Early, correct diagnosis is the best way to prevent the development of Lyme arthritis in individuals with the tick-borne illness, according to a paper published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS). In patients who do develop the condition, most cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics, the review found. "Lyme arthritis occurs commonly in patients with Lyme disease and should be considered when evaluating patients with joint complaints and who live in areas where the disease occurs, " said study author Aristides Cruz, MD, chief orthopaedic resident, Yale-New Haven Hospital. "When diagnosed early, most patients do not develop Lyme arthritis. But when correct diagnosis is delayed, arthritis can occur and requires intervention before permanent joint damage develops.
Researchers have developed the first animal model of the infection caused by chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an emerging arbovirus associated with large-scale epidemics that hit the Indian Ocean (especially the French Island of La RĂ union) in 2005, later spreading to India, and Italy in 2007. Using this mouse model, scientists of the Institut Pasteur and INSERM determined which tissues and cells are infected by the virus in both the mild and severe forms of the disease it causes. They detail their findings in an article published February 15 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens. The main symptoms of CHIKV - fever, joint and muscle pains, and skin rash - are now well known by the medical community and the general public. However, the pathophysiology of this infection remains poorly understood, notably the factors responsible for severe disease with neurological manifestations, which are mainly observed among newborns and the elderly.
Chest pain that does not appear to be a heart attack when examined in hospital emergency departments, accounted for 1.6 million visits in 23 selected states in 2005, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. About one-fifth of the cases - 345, 000 people - were admitted to hospitals for observation or treatment. "Non-specific" chest pain was the fourth most common cause of emergency visits. The top three: sprains and strains (2.4 million visits), bruises and other superficial injuries (2.0 million), and abdominal pain (1.7 million). In each of those categories, however, less than 5 percent of patients were admitted to hospitals. Additional highlights of the AHRQ analysis: - Rates of emergency department visits were nearly 2 times higher among persons from the poorest communities compared with those from the wealthiest communities (about 481 per 1, 000 persons versus 261 per 1, 000 persons).
A new study by human factors researchers in Australia suggests that students' posture is affected by the height at which they view classroom learning materials. The researchers cited computer screen displays positioned at mid-level as causing less musculoskeletal strain than high- and book-level displays. Their findings were published in the February 2008 issue of Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. The rapid increase in computer use by children over the past few years, say the authors, "has outpaced the development of knowledge about the ramifications for the health of children." For example, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that in 2006, 80% of children aged 5 to 14 years used a computer at home. Children are physically and behaviorally different from adults;
Pipex Pharmaceuticals' Oral Flupirtine Opens IND With FDA For Phase II Clinical Trial For Fibromyalgia
Pipex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMEX: PP), a specialty pharmaceutical company developing innovative late-stage drug candidates for the treatment of neurologic and fibrotic diseases, today announced that the United States FDA has accepted a Pipex-supported, investigator-initiated, Investigational New Drug Application (IND) to conduct a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase II clinical trial of oral flupirtine for the treatment of fibromyalgia, a rheumatic pain disease. Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 6 million people in the U.S. and recently Pfizer's Lyrica ® became the first FDA-approved treatment for fibromyalgia. The market for fibromyalgia treatments is expected to grow to several billion dollars annually in the coming years. Oral flupirtine has been approved as a treatment of pain in Europe since 1981 but has never been approval for any indication in the U.