Add lower gastrointestinal (GI) problems such as ulcers, bleeding and perforations to the list of serious complications facing many rheumatoid arthritis patients. They are at greater risk for GI problems and gastrointestinal-related death than people without the disease, a Mayo Clinic study shows. Researchers say their findings point out the need for new ways to prevent and treat lower GI disease in rheumatoid arthritis patients; the incidence of lower gastrointestinal complications is rising even as upper GI problems decrease significantly among rheumatoid arthritis patients. Smoking, the use of steroids known as glucocorticoids, prior upper GI disease and abdominal surgery were associated with lower GI problems in rheumatoid arthritis patients, the study found. The research was published online in The Journal of Rheumatology.
Rhode Island Hospital physicians identified six cases of accidental ingestion of wire grill brush bristles that required endoscopic or surgical removal. The paper calls attention to the need for the public and physicians to be aware of this potential danger. It is published in the American Journal of Roentgenology and is now available online in advance of print. David Grand, M.D., a radiologist in the diagnostic imaging department at Rhode Island Hospital, is the lead author of the paper. Grand explains that six patients were identified within an 18-month period who presented to the emergency department within 24 hours of ingesting grilled meat. Their symptoms were odynophagia (painful swallowing in the mouth or esophagus) or abdominal pain. In all cases, a careful history revealed the patients had consumed meat cooked on a grill that was cleaned with a wire brush immediately prior to cooking.
Tales from the crypt are supposed to be scary, but new research from Vanderbilt University, the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and colleagues shows that crypts can be places of renewal too: intestinal crypts, that is. Intestinal crypts are small areas of the intestine where new cells are formed to continuously renew the digestive tract. By focusing on one protein expressed in our intestines called Lrig1, the researchers have identified a special population of intestinal stem cells that respond to damage and help to prevent cancer. The research, published in Cell, also shows the diversity of stem cells in the intestines is greater than previously thought. "Identification of these cells and the role they likely play in response to injury or damage will help advance discoveries in cancer, " said Shawn Levy, Ph.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers working as part of the International Cystic Fibrosis Consortium have discovered several regions of the genome that may predispose cystic fibrosis (CF) patients to develop an intestinal blockage while still in the uterus. A report of this international study appears online in the journal Nature Genetics. It was the work of the North America CF Gene Modifier Consortium, which brought together dozens of investigators from the United States, Canada, and from France, to identify genetic variations that could be linked with meconium ileus (MI), an intestinal obstruction that usually requires emergency surgery for treatment, and can result in a substantially increased rate of serious health problems. MI affects roughly 15-20 percent of all patients with CF, a genetic condition that causes scarring throughout the body, especially the lungs and pancreas.
An international team led by scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) discovered that a protein, called TRIM28, normally present in the mother's egg, is essential right after fertilisation, to preserve certain chemical modifications or 'epigenetic marks' on a specific set of genes. This newly published study paves the way for more research to explore the role that epigenetics might play in infertility. Previous studies have shown that both nuclear reprogramming as well as 'imprinting' are vital for the survival and later development of the embryo. However, the underlying mechanisms governing the intricate interplay of these two processes during the early embryonic phase have not been clear, until now. Nuclear Reprogramming Immediately after fertilisation, the majority of the 'epigenetic marks' on the DNA from the sperm and egg cells are erased.