The following stories appear in full on Today's Vidyya Medical News Service Web site.
Widely prescribed pain killers that provide relief with minimal side effects may have more pain-relieving properties than previously identified. A new study funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) shows that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, not only relieve pain at the local (peripheral) site of inflammation but in fact affect the entire central nervous system. Results of the study appear in the 22 March 2001, issue of Nature.
For more information: Popular Pain Analgesics Found To Affect Central Nervous System
National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers have used a novel bone marrow transplantation procedure to successfully transfer stem cells from immunologically matched siblings into a small group of people who have a rare, inherited immune disorder. The disorder, chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), leaves individuals vulnerable to life-threatening infections and inflammatory growths, or granulomas, which can damage the lungs, liver and other organs. Although it is too soon to claim that the patients have been cured, the data so far suggest that for patients in whom the transplant was successful, the immune system is functioning significantly better than before treatment, the investigators say.
For more information: Transplants Of Sibling Stem Cells Show Promise For Immune Disorder
In the first half of 1999, 15.8 percent of people in the U.S., or 42.8 million people, were without health insurance coverage. Among people under 65, 17.9 percent, or 42.6 million people, were uninsured. This is according to the latest statistics from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Young adults 19-24 years of age are more likely than other age groups to be uninsured. Almost a third (32%) were uninsured in the first half of 1999. Highlights of the uninsured data can be found in today's Vidyya.
For more information: Research Findings: Health Insurance Status Of The US Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population - 1999
An article published recently in Blood (Unnikrishnan, et al, 1 March 2001;97:1514–1516) describes prolonged QT interval and torsade de pointes in 3 patients being treated with arsenic trioxide for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In one patient, the torsade resolved upon correction of serum potassium to 3.1 mEq/L and magnesium to 1.7 mg/dL. The other two patients died from cardiac arrhythmia. All 3 patients had been intubated due to respiratory distress.
For more information: FDA Safety Alert For Trisenox (Arsenic Trioxide)
Trisenox (arsenic trioxide) injection is indicated for induction of remission and consolidation in patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) who are refractory to, or have relapsed from, retinoid and anthracycline chemotherapy, and whose APL is characterized by the presence of the t(15;17) translocation or PML/RAR-alpha gene expression. Get the full prescribing information for Trisenox in today's issue of Vidyya.
For more information: Prescribing Information: Trisonex
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