A team of global scientists, led by researchers at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, has developed a safer and more accurate way to administer warfarin, one of the most commonly prescribed but also potentially dangerous medications in the United States. As part of a worldwide study, the research team developed and tested a new formula that combines individual genetic data with a mathematical model to help physicians more accurately predict patient response to the popular blood-thinning drug. Researchers found that the formula was safer and more accurate than current methods used to dose for warfarin patients. They're hopeful that the more accurate dosing will eliminate many emergency hospitalizations among warfarin users. Results of the team's study are published in the February edition of the journal, Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
Worldwide, over 13 million people suffer from sickle cell disease, for which few treatment options exist. Over six decades ago, scientists discovered the cause of sickle cell disease. They established that individuals with sickle cell disease produce crescent-shaped red blood cells that unlike typical disc-shaped red blood cells, clog the capillaries instead of flowing smoothly, which can result in severe pain, major organ damage and a substantially shorter life-span. Later discoveries demonstrated that the disease is caused by a single mutation in the hemoglobin protein, and that the sickle shape, which is more prevalent in people who come from tropical climates, is in fact an evolutionary adaptation that can prove beneficial in protecting against malaria. Sangeeta Bhatia, the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT declares: "We still don't have effective enough therapies and we don't have a good feel for how the disease manifests itself differently in different people.
People with a blood cancer - myelofibrosis - can benefit from a drug called ruxolitinib, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that included patients and researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine. The results of the multi-site phase-3 trial, which will be published in the March 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, led the Food and Drug Administration to approve the drug in November as treatment for people with intermediate or advanced cases of the disease. Ruxolitinib is marketed as Jakafi by Incyte Corp., which funded the trial, known as COMFORT-1. Investigators at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., led the study. The Stanford arm of the trial was managed by Jason Gotlib, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine.
Being anemic could more than triple your risk of dying within a year after having a stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2012. "Among stroke patients, severe anemia is a potent predictor of dying throughout the first year after a stroke, " said Jason Sico, M.D., lead researcher and an assistant professor of neurology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. Anemia is a common condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Without red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body, fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and other symptoms can occur. Previous research has shown anemic people who have a heart attack, heart failure or kidney disease are more likely to die within a year.
For Atrial Fibrillation Patients At Risk For Stroke, Easy-To-Use Blood Thinners Likely To Replace Coumadin
Within a few years, a new generation of easy-to-use blood-thinning drugs will likely replace Coumadin for patients with irregular heartbeats who are at risk for stroke, according to a journal article by Loyola University Medical Center physicians. Unlike Coumadin, the new drugs do not require patients to come in to the clinic on a regular basis to check the dose. Nor do the drugs require extensive dietary restrictions. First author Sarkis Morales-Vidal, MD, and colleagues describe the new drugs in a review article in the February issue of the journal Expert Reviews. Co-authors are Michael J. Schneck, MD, Murray Flaster, MD, and JosÃ Biller, MD. All are in the Department of Neurology, Stroke Program, of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Biller is department chair.