Platelet E-News – September 23, 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.


  • Less Sleep – More Disease
  • Infections and the Rise of Autoimmune and Allergic Diseases
  • A Patient Guide to Clinical Trials
  • Computer Virus Epidemic
  • Clarification – Genes and ITP
  • If you have chronic ITP - did you know you have treatment options (advertisement)



Several recent studies show that reducing sleep to 6.5 or fewer hours for successive nights causes potentially harmful metabolic, hormonal, and immune changes. Specifically, researchers found increased insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to diabetes, increased weight gain, increased concentrations of stress hormones, and increased inflammatory response. These findings are preliminary, however they do point to an area of study that could have an effect on long term health.

From Science News 9/7/02 Vol. 162


The incidence of allergic and autoimmune diseases has been rising steadily in developed countries in the past three decades. The incidence varies on a North / South gradient. Those countries further from the equator have more cases. This geographic variation could be attributed to socioeconomic differences, environmental differences, exposure to sunlight, or a combination of all of these and other factors.

In several studies, researchers noted that there was an increase in autoimmune diseases for both people and research animals raised in more sterile environments that limited experience with infectious diseases during early development. The irony is that researchers may now look for new ways to introduce benign infectious diseases because of the benefits they seem to confer in reducing the later onset of allergic and autoimmune diseases.

From: The Effect of Infections on Susceptibility to Autoimmune and Allergic Diseases, Jean-Francois Bach, M.D., D.Sc. New England Journal of Medicine Vol. 347: 911-920, September 9, 2002 Number 12.

You can purchase the article for $10.00 at


Considering joining a clinical trial for ITP? Want to know more about how clinical trials work? Here’s a must read. “Should I Enter a Clinical Trial? A Patient Reference Guide for Adults with a Serious or Life-Threatening Illness” explains the objectives, risks, benefits, and implications of a clinical trial. Read it. Discuss with your doctor. Make more informed decisions.

The guide is available FREE at -

You can find a list of ITP clinical trials at


Some of you have reported that you’ve received messages from us containing a computer virus. We did not send these messages. They are randomly generated by a virus on someone else’s computer that places a random e-mail address in the ‘From’ portion of the message. We scan the messages we send and receive and frequently check our computers for virus infections.

We receive about 20 virus filled messages a day that are automatically deleted by our virus protection software. We know the people who send these to us and others are unaware this is happening. Because the ‘From’ portions of the e-mails are erroneous, there is no way to directly identify where these messages are originating.

The viruses that are most problematic to us and others have an inappropriate subject, an introduction of a few sentences and an attachment that contains the virus. Some messages purport to contain software that repairs viruses in which the attachment actually contains the virus.

We have a large electronically linked ITP community. It is unfortunate our energies are devoted to dealing with those whose intent is to create problems and not solve them.

If you have not done so, please check your computer for a virus infection. You can purchase virus protection software from and other vendors.


The 9/9/02 version of the e-news headline stated, “Gene Linked to ITP”. According to John Semple, PhD, “The paper in Blood did not find a gene associated with ITP. It simply showed that the antibodies use a narrow array of V-region gene usage. The somatic mutation studies are important as they formally prove that ITP is a T cell mediated pathogenesis.”

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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