Platelet E-News – October 8, 2002

This e-newsletter is a bi-weekly publication of The Platelet Disorder Support Association. The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. For advice on your unique medical condition, please consult a health care professional.


  • ITP Docs Win Awards
  • Research on Cell Death and Inflammation
  • Summer/Fall Issue of The Platelet News In the Mail
  • Arthritis Sufferers Find Relief Through Prayer
  • Fall Allergy Relief



The American Society of Hematology awarded Barbara Alving, MD their 2002 Outstanding Service Award. Dr. Alving played a major role in establishing the new Transfusion Medicine/Hemostasis Clinical Research Network, a group of up to16 clinical centers and one data coordinating center devoted to testing promising treatments for ITP and other non-malignant blood disorders. The grants will total $6 million per year for 5 years with the possibility of extension. Now the Deputy Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Alving has been very supportive of PDSA. We are thrilled that her hard work on behalf of lesser known blood diseases was recognized with this honor.

Professor John Lilleyman was awarded a Knighthood by Her Majesty the Queen of England in the 2002 Jubilee Honours List for recognition of his work as President of the Royal College of Pathologists, notably his leadership during the Alder-Hey scandal. Sir John Lilleyman has a distinguished career that includes ITP research and editing hematology publications. He is a medical advisor for the ITP Support Association in the UK and spoke at their conference in April where he was very generous in answering our questions and providing a copy of the notes of his talk. We at PDSA join the ITPers in the UK in congratulating Sir John on this recognition of his truly great accomplishments.


In ITP, the platelets are eliminated from the body by macrophages, a type of white blood cell. Several recent studies show that defective removal of the dead cells can trigger inflammation and autoimmune diseases. A key issue facing researchers is how the body discriminates between ready-to-die cells and healthy cells. This ‘eat-me’ message to the macrophages may be signaled by the appearance of phosphatidylserine on the cell surface. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh noted that healthy cells may actually fend off macrophages. This area of study is important for us if researchers learn to curb the rapid destruction of seemingly dying cells (platelets, for us).

For more information see:



The print copy of the Summer/Fall issue of our 20 page quarterly newsletter, The Platelet News was mailed September 30. If you are a member you should be receiving your copy soon. You also have the option of receiving a .pdf version of the newsletter, avoiding the mail delays and helping to save printing costs, postage costs, and a few trees in the future. Just send an e-mail to us at indicating that you want to receive the .pdf version.

The Summer/Fall issue contains articles on the survey of non-traditional treatment of ITP, treatment payment tips, ITP registry, success stories, ITP conference 2002 report, answers to your questions, abstracts, ITP calendar, and more. To receive your copy, join PDSA before October 15. Go to for more information.


Researchers at Georgetown University took 44 volunteers who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease and separated them into groups. Some patients received ‘hands-on’ prayer, others had knowledge they were being prayed for, some had no knowledge they were the object of prayer. Participants who received ‘hands-on’ prayer showed marked improvement, but those who received distant prayer or did not believe they were being prayed for did not show any statistical improvement in health or relief from pain.

See: for the study report.

Note that 45.83 percent of the people who responded to our survey of non-traditional treatments of ITP reported some benefit from prayer with 24.87 reporting sustained benefit. See for results from our survey.


When you think of fall do you think of a stuffy nose and not brightly colored leaves? A neti pot can help. It is a small container that you fill with warm salt water. Then you pour the warm salt water over your sinuses. The salt rinse helps open the sinus passages and prevent bacteria from multiplying.

You can purchase a ceramic neti pot or its cousin the plastic narial nasal cup from us in the Platelet Store,

The cost for our plastic or ceramic versions is $17.95 plus shipping.

Join me and hundreds of satisfied and healthier ITP people in using this simple, healthy technique.

"Of 85 patients with chronic post nasal drip…were 79 cases that were markedly improved (by daily irrigation at home) so that symptoms ceased and further treatment was unnecessary." - Max Unger, MD, from an article in The Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Monthly.

See further testimonials on our store pages.

For information on advertising in our e-news letter contact us at

This e-newsletter is published by the Platelet Disorder Support Association, P.O. Box 61533, Potomac, MD, 20859, phone/fax: 1-87-Platelet or (301) 294-5967, web:, e-mail:

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