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Researchers Identify Core Genetic Switch As A Viable Target For New Scleroderma Treatments PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 08:15
Scleroderma is a rare, autoimmune disease. Often fatal, it causes the fibrosis or thickening of the connective tissue which support the skin and other vital organs within the body, through the overproduction of collagen. The disease currently lacks a cure or effective methods of treatment, but a group of researchers is looking to change that.

Richard Neubig, Chairperson of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, along with several of his colleagues from the University of Michigan, have identified a core genetic signaling pathway that activates Scleroderma and the chemical compounds that can turn it off.
 
Unite Against Scleroderma 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 21:53

For the fourth year running, we will be hosting our annual “Unite Against Scleroderma” Awareness Walk. Scheduled to start from 2:30pm, the Walk would be held on Saturday 3rd May, 2014 and cover one full lap around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain. We have traditionally held the event on a Sunday, but this year, we aim to get more of the public involved by the change in date.
 
New Biomarker Predicts Poor Outcomes in Scleroderma PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 22:05
A novel biomarker may aid in establishing the prognosis of Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma), and particularly in predicting the most common lethal complications, an international group of researchers reported.

Patients with Systemic Sclerosis who had high levels of circulating CXCL4 were more than three times as likely to develop early pulmonary fibrosis as shown by a 30% or more loss in forced vital capacity, compared with patients with low levels of this protein (HR 3.67, 95% CI 2.31-4.31, P<0.001), according to Timothy R.D.J. Radstake, MD, PhD, of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues.
 
Researchers Testing Intense Pulsed Light As An Alternative Treatment for Telangiectatases PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 December 2013 11:00
Telangiectatases are knot-like clusters of blood vessels on the skin which can occur in 30 to 50 per cent of patients with Systemic Sclerosis, also known as Scleroderma. Telangiectases tend to occur on the face, neck, and upper limbs and can cause psychological issues for patients.

Currently, doctors use laser treatment to blast the telangiectases and destroy them but this treatment can be painful at the time and result in bruising afterwards
 
Scleroderma Patients At Greater Risk Of Myocardial Infarction Within First Year PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 December 2013 21:29
According to the first large population-based cohort study of its kind, patients with Systemic Sclerosis or Scleroderma were found to be at a greater than eightfold increased risk of having an acute myocardial infarction (MI) during their first year after diagnosis. After that first year however, the risk drops off over time.

Still, during the five years post diagnosis the MI risk remains more than three times that of the matched general population, Dr. J. Antonio Avina-Zubieta reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. "Our findings support increased vigilance in cardiovascular disease prevention, surveillance, and risk modification in patients with systemic sclerosis," declared Dr. Avina-Zubieta, a rheumatologist at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
 
Scleroderma May Be Initated By Cancer PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 December 2013 13:45
The Scleroderma Research Foundation has reported that researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have discovered that some cases of Scleroderma are likely to have been initiated by Cancer.  In a landmark paper published in Science, researchers focusing on a select group of patients with both Scleroderma and Cancer, discovered that the patients' immune response to a mutated protein in their tumors resulted in autoimmunity once the immune response spread to the non-mutated form of the protein. This major insight into the origins of autoimmunity in Scleroderma may also have ramifications for other autoimmune diseases.
 
Researchers Gain Deeper Insights Into Causes And New Treatment Strategies For Scleroderma PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 21:43
Using mice, lab-grown cells and clues from a related disorder, Johns Hopkins researchers have greatly increased understanding of the causes of Systemic Sclerosis, showing that a critical culprit is a defect in the way certain cells communicate with their structural scaffolding. They say the new insights point the way toward potentially developing drugs for the disease.

"Until now we've had little insight and no effective treatment strategies for Systemic Sclerosis, and many patients die within a year of diagnosis," says Hal Dietz, the Victor A. McKusick Professor of Genetics and Medicine in the Institute of Genetic Medicine and director of the Smilow Center for Marfan Syndrome Research at Johns Hopkins. "Our group created mouse models that allowed us to learn about the sequence of events that leads to the disease's symptoms, and we hope drugs can be developed that target one or more of these events." The Dietz team's results are described in the Oct. 10 issue of Nature.
 
New Classification Criteria Developed For Scleroderma PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 October 2013 09:37
The 2013 Classification Criteria for Systemic Sclerosis have been developed and validated by the American College of Rheumatology and EULAR and should allow patients to be identified and treated earlier, according to the professional bodies.

Published in Arthritis and Rheumatism, the new criteria will classify patients as having Systemic Sclerosis if they have thickening of the skin in the middle part of the fingers (from the proximal to the metacarpophalangeal joints) regardless of other features.
 
Cell Therapy Yields Promising Results For Scleroderma Treatment PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 08:49
Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. provided preliminary data from a study evaluating a potential treatment for Scleroderma based on the company's cell therapy. The investigator-funded, open-label, pilot study is being conducted on patients with Cutaneous Systemic Scleroderma in France.

12 patients were administered Cytori's cell therapy, injected into their fingers. Safety and hand function improvement are the primary endpoints of the study which were measured by the Cochin hand functional scale at six months.
 
Italians Explain Low Sex Drive In Female Scleroderma Patients PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 08:26
In a world first, Italian rheumatologists have discovered why women living with Systemic Sclerosis often suffer from a low sex drive. The study of 22 women with systemic sclerosis found the disease resulted in a lack of blood flow around the clitoris compared to healthy controls.

Reduced blood flow down below was particularly evident in women with a history of digital ulcers and capillaroscopic damage, the researchers from the Sapienza University in Rome found.
 
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