Early Detection For Arthritis

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legslotionDr. John D. Tomasin, MD, a Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) Orthopedic Surgeon discusses living with arthritis, exploring the latest research on the care of arthritis and explains when total-joint-replacement is necessary.

Research, led by the University of Warwick in the UK published recently in the journal Scientific Reports reveals that the first blood test for detection of early-stage osteoarthritis could soon be developed. Researchers who say that the biomarker they identified in the study makes it possible to detect the painful joint condition before bone and joint damage becomes obvious.Dr. John Tomasin, NCMA Orthopedic Surgeon, points out that this development will help to bring treatment for arthritis to patients when it could actually have the greatest impact; in the early stages of the disease.

Researchers suggest that this discovery raises the potential of a blood test that can help diagnose the most common forms of arthritis, RA and OA — as much as several years before the onset of physical symptoms. “With this sort of advanced warning orthopedic physicians would be able to manage and treat symptoms well before the disease reaches its more painful state and starts to become degenerative,” Tomasin says.

The sooner the diagnosis, the better — as most types of arthritis can be managed fairly well, and the pain and disability minimized when caught in the early stages. While it may be some time before advance detection is available by way of a blood test, treating arthritis as symptoms arise and knowing when to make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist will help to give patients a better outlook on living with arthritis.

Common Forms of Arthritis

It may surprise some people to learn that arthritis is the nation’s most common cause of disability affecting an estimated 52.5 million adults in the U.S; that figure translates to about 1 of 5 adults currently living with some form of arthritis. According to the Center for Disease Control, as the U.S. population continues to age, the number of adults with arthritis is expected to increase to a whopping 67 million by 2030.

Arthritis is most commonly diagnosed in adults 65 years or older but people of all ages – including children, can be affected. It tends to affect women more than men (26 to 19 percent respectively) of all racial and ethnic groups. Arthritis is thought to be caused by inflammation of the tissue lining the joints. More than 100 different category of rheumatic diseases and conditions exist under the umbrella of an arthritis diagnosis; the most common being osteoarthritis which usually develops are part of the aging process, and most often affects the fingers, knees and hips. Other forms of arthritis that occur includes:

* rheumatoid arthritis

* lupus

* gout, pseudo gout

Arthritis is also more commonly diagnosed among adults who have issues of obesity, and is less likely to appear in those who maintain a healthy weight. There is no known cure for arthritis, but there are many treatments that can help slow down the condition and provide some relief. Symptoms universally include pain, aching, stiffness and swelling in or around the joints. Certain forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, have been known to affect organs and cause pervasive symptoms throughout the body.

How Is Arthritis Treated?

Arthritis treatments are aimed at providing pain relief by controlling inflammation and increasing joint mobility. “Early, aggressive treatment is particularly important for rheumatoid arthritis in order to help prevent further damage and disability down the road,” explains Dr. Tomasin. Common treatment options may include medication, an exercise regime specific to the condition, application of heat or cold compresses and use of joint protection. When these methods fail to provide relief surgery may be considered.

When it’s time for Total Join Replacement

Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure where aspects of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with prosthesis. This type of prosthesis is constructed from plastic, ceramic or metal and is designed to perfectly replicate the movement of a normal, healthy joint.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons the vast majority of patients report a significant decrease in pain following total joint replacement surgery; up to 90 percent of all patients. “Most patients quickly return to normal daily activities and are usually able to continue to stay active for years to come,” says Dr. Tomasin. “In many cases, following total joint replacement surgery we see our patients resume activities they enjoyed prior to being diagnosed with arthritis.”

A variety of conditions can cause joint pain and disability that lead patients to consider joint replacement surgery including damage to the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones called ‘articular cartilage’ usually due to arthritis, a fracture, trauma or some other condition.

It is reported that about 1 million total joint replacements were performed in the United States as if 2011. The most common type of joint replacement is hip and knee but replacement surgery can also be successfully performed on the ankle, wrist, elbow and shoulder.

About Dr. Tomasin

Dr. John D. Tomasin attended medical school at the University of California, Davis-School of Medicine, and completed his residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Tomasin completed his Sports Medicine Fellowship at Hughston Sports Medicine Clinic in Columbus, GA, as well as an AO Fellowship in Munich, West Germany. Dr. Tomasin has been published in numerous professional medical journals, including Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Journal of Orthopedic Trauma, and The Physician and Sports Medicine. Dr. Tomasin has been the team physician for numerous high school athletic programs, including Healdsburg High School and Cardinal Newman High School. He is also been the acting medical consultant for the Northern California Rugby Football Union, and the team physician for the Santa Rosa Rugby Club. Dr. Tomasin is committed to the health of the Sonoma County community, and he has been in practice in Healdsburg since 1988. To learn more visit our website or call 707-4330-0126 for an appointment.

Resources:

First blood test for osteoarthritis could soon be available – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150320091317.htm

Arthritis: The Nation’s Most Common Cause of Disability – http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/arthritis.htm

Arthritis Basics – http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/arthritis-basics?page=3#1

Arthritis Foundation – http://www.arthritistoday.org/

Living With Arthritis: Health Information Basics for You and Your Family – http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Arthritis/default.asp

Georgia State Research Paves Way For Early Detection Of Liver Cancer

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doctorLed by Georgia State University, researchers have developed the first robust and noninvasive detection of early stage liver cancer and liver metastases, in addition to other liver diseases, such as cirrhosis and liver fibrosis.

Their findings were published Wednesday (May 13) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More than 700,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer each year. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for more than 600,000 deaths annually, according to the American Cancer Society. The rate of liver cancer in the U.S. has sharply increased because of several factors, including chronic alcohol abuse, obesity and insulin resistance.

“Liver cancers associated with high mortality rates and poor treatment responses are often diagnosed in the late stages because there is not a reliable way to detect primary liver cancer and metastasis at a size smaller than one centimeter,” said Jenny Yang, lead author on the paper, Distinguished University Professor and associate director of the Center for Diagnostics and Therapeutics at Georgia State.

The liver is a common site for a variety of cancers, including melanoma, breast, pancreatic and colon cancers. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the leading imaging technique to detect disease without using radiation. MRI contrast or imaging agents aid MRI techniques to obtain tissue-specific images.

As reported by Yang, the applications of MRI contrast agents are not effective for early detection of cancerous tumors because they are hampered by uncontrolled blood circulation time, low relaxation rate or sensitivity, and low specificity. Most contrast agents, she said, are rapidly excreted from the liver, not allowing sufficient time to obtain quality imaging.

To more effectively detect cancerous tumors at an early stage, researchers from Georgia State, in collaboration with researchers from Emory University, Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia and the University of Virginia, have developed a new class of protein-based contrast agents (PRCAs) and an imaging methodology that provides robust results for the early detection of liver cancer and other liver diseases.

ProCA32, the researchers’ newly developed contrast agent, allows for imaging liver tumors that measure less than 0.25 millimeters. The agent is more than 40 times more sensitive than today’s commonly used and clinically approved agents used to detect tumors in the liver.

ProCA32 widens the MRI detection window and is found to be essential for obtaining high-resolution quality images of the liver. This application has important medical implications for imaging various liver diseases, the origin of cancer metastasis, monitoring cancer treatment and guiding therapeutic interventions, such as drug delivery.

“Our new agents can obtain both positive and negative contrast images within one application, providing double the accuracy and confidence of locating cancerous tumors,” Yang said. “These agents are also expected to be much safer with reduced metal toxicity.”

The researchers have shown proof-of-concept that ProCA32 can be used to detect cancerous liver tumors at an early stage with high sensitivity. They have also demonstrated that these new agents better aid the imaging of multiple organs, including the kidney and blood vessels, in addition to the liver and tumors.

“ProCA32 may have far-reaching implications in the diagnosis of other malignancies, which in turn would facilitate development of targeted treatment along with effective monitoring of reduction of tumor burden,” Yang said. “Our agent and methodology can also be applied to study the brain and monitor treatment outcomes in a number of disorders, including stroke and recovery after stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors and gliomas.”

The research is supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Type 1 Diabetes New Staging System Promotes Early Detection

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diabeteswordThis article was submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

For most people with type 1 diabetes, the disease seems to occur suddenly, often resulting in a trip to the emergency room with life-threatening complications. But a new recommendation calls for a diabetes staging classification that could mean earlier diagnosis and better outcomes for patients in the long run.

The recommendation was made by the JDRF, the American Diabetes Association and the Endocrine Society in the January issue of the journal Diabetes Care and is based on research from TrialNet, an NIH-funded international network of research centers, including Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital.

The research indicates that type 1 diabetes can now be most accurately understood as a disease that progresses in three distinct stages.

Stage 1 is the start of type 1 diabetes. Individuals test positive for two or more diabetes-related autoantibodies. The immune system has already begun attacking the insulin-producing beta cells, although there are no symptoms and blood sugar remains normal.

Stage 2, like stage 1, includes individuals who have two or more diabetes-related autoantibodies, but now, blood sugar levels have become abnormal due to increasing loss of beta cells. There are still no symptoms.

For both stages 1 and 2, lifetime risk of developing type 1 diabetes approaches 100 percent.

Stage 3 is when clinical diagnosis has typically taken place. By this time, there is significant beta cell loss and individuals generally show common symptoms of type 1 diabetes, which include frequent urination, excessive thirst, weight loss and fatigue.

“Clinical research supports the usefulness of diagnosing type 1 diabetes early – before beta cell loss advances to stage 3. The earlier diagnosis is made in the disease process, the sooner intervention can take place, and the more beta cells are likely to remain. More beta cells may lead to better outcomes regarding blood sugar control and reduction of long-term complications,” said. Dr. Maria Redondo, director of the Texas Children’s/Baylor TrialNet Clinical Center and associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor and in the diabetes and endocrinology section at Texas Children’s Hospital.

The Texas Children’s/Baylor TrialNet Program serves as one of the 14 TrialNet Clinical Centers throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. TrialNet was founded in 2001 and since then has screened approximately 150,000 participants for type 1 diabetes markers.

Screening is recommended for people who have relatives with type 1 diabetes. Family members have a 15 times greater risk of being diagnosed than a person with no family history. TrialNet screening is available at no charge to:

* Anyone between the ages of 1 and 45 with a sibling, child or parent with type 1 diabetes.

* Anyone between the ages of 1 and 20 with a sibling, child, parent, cousin, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparent or half-sibling with type 1 diabetes.

“TrialNet’s goal is to identify the disease at its earliest stage, delay progression and ultimately prevent it. We offer screening and clinical trials for every stage of type 1 diabetes and close monitoring for disease progression,” Redondo said.

For people who participate in type 1 diabetes prevention research like TrialNet, the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at diagnosis decreases to less than 4 percent from 30 percent. DKA is a serious complication of diabetes than can lead to coma or even death.

For more information or to participate, call 832-824-1207 or email TrialNet@texaschildrens.org.

Early Detection Of Coronary Artery Disease

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hearthealthLarge multicenter clinical trial conclusively reveals Lev El’s newly discovered HeartTrends™ test to detect presence of ischemia related to coronary artery disease in individuals 3 times more accurately than conventional exercise stress testing Results translate immediately into early detection, lower health costs, no radiation, no toxic risk, no induced stress testing.

The latest clinical study on 450 patients has concluded that HeartTrends™– a new, innovative analysis of cardiac data obtained from standard Holter monitors — can determine with a high probability the existence of ischemic heart disease far better than the traditional exercise stress test, without exercise and with no inherent potential risk to patients. The HeartTrends test analyzes just 1 hour of heart data without the need for any special maneuvers or heart stress, making it especially advantageous for the elderly and handicapped.

The prospective study was conducted at Sheba and Shaarei Zedek Medical Centers (Israel) on 450 patients (279 males, 171 females) ranging in age from 50 to 72 and BMI from 23 to 35. Test results from both the exercise stress test and HeartTrendsTM analysis were subsequently compared to the gold standard Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI SPECT) using injected dye and radiation to positively confirm the existence of significant coronary artery disease. Results showed HeartTrends positively diagnosed three times more patients with heart disease than traditional exercise stress testing on the same patients. A negative HeartTrends result essentially rules out (negative predicative value of 98%) the presence of significant coronary artery disease.

A further important outcome shows that, out of the 450 patients tested using Myocardial Perfusion Imaging, only 7% had myocardial ischemia. This expensive and potentially radioactive 4-hour test was overused and was not required in over 93% of the patients. Use of HeartTrends could drastically reduce costs and use of radionuclide dyes such as thallium and technetium. Results of the study may be viewed on the Clinical Trials website (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov).

“Now, for the first time, we have an ability to quickly detect and positively diagnose ischemic heart disease with no effort or stress on the part of the patient. More importantly, the test has the ability to reduce exposure to ionizing radiation testing involving thallium injections without sacrificing medical accuracy since less patients will be referred for advanced testing and even coronary angiography based on inaccurate exercise stress testing,” said Professor Ilan Goldenberg, MD, Director of Cardiology at the Sheba Medical Center and Director of the Israeli Association for Cardiovascular Trials.

“We believe that HeartTrends could become part of the standard annual testing checkup and without the risk or hassle of undergoing exercise stress tests to get early detection and treatment of ischemic heart disease. General health should increase immensely now that the handicapped, elderly, and obese can perform this test easily. Furthermore, reducing the number of MPI tests could immediately decrease healthcare costs,” said Michal Kahan, CEO, Lev El Diagnostics of Heart Disease Ltd.

About HeartTrends™:
A medically proven, non-invasive analysis obtained from just 1 hour of cardiac data from a standard Holter device to detect myocardial ischemia related to Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) at its early stages. This CE-cleared, HIPAA-compliant, web-based test consists of an innovative multivariate analysis that culminates in a conclusive test score. The test is inexpensive, performed in a clinic or at home, with no need for technicians or physician to be present during the test. It is envisioned to be utilized as the initial risk-free diagnostic tool for individuals both sick and healthy without known CAD disease. HeartTrends is available commercially on a server-based business model (no software or hardware license charges) throughout the world and shortly within the U.S. pending FDA approval.

About Lev El Ltd.
Lev El Diagnostics of Heart Diseases Ltd. (Lev El) is a privately-held biomedical company committed to delivering innovative prognostic capabilities for accurate and reliable cardiovascular disease detection.