Platelet E-News - April 15, 2010

This e-newsletter is a monthly 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.

Contents:

ITP Research and Treatments

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

General Health and Medicine

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ITP Research and Treatments

 

PATIENTS WITH ITP AT HIGHER RISK FOR BLOOD CLOTTING PROBLEMS

“ITP patients have a greater risk of venous thromboembolic events, including blood clots in the veins and lungs, than those without the disease conclude researchers in the UK after comparing 1,070 adults with ITP and 4,280 adults without the disease. In this study, using the UK General Practice Research Database, the ITP patients also had a greater percent of total thromboembolic events than the control group. A lower platelet count did not protect people from the increased risk.

Sarpatwari A, et al. ”Thromboembolic events among adult patients with primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in the United Kingdom General Practice Research Database.” Haematologica. 2010 Feb 9.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20145266

 

 

SUMMARY OF RECENT CHANGES IN ITP PUBLISHED IN THE HEMATOLOGIST

In the last few years significant aspects of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) have been revisited including the name, treatment approaches, and diagnostic criteria. Dr. James Bussel summarizes the changes and provides links to very useful references in an article that is available to all published in the latest issue of The Hematologist, a publication of the American Society of Hematology.

Bussel, JB. “Update on Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura” The Hematologist, March/April 2003

http://www.hematology.org/Publications/Hematologist/2010/4965.aspx

 

 

ACUTE INFECTION WITH CHAGAS DISEASE CAUSES SEVERE THROMBOCYTOPENIA

The parasite that causes Chagas Disease sheds an enzyme that alters the sialic acid content on the platelet surface, which in turn induces platelet destruction and a low platelet count. About 20 million people have Chagas Disease and 40 million people are at risk in the Americas, including some of the southwestern U.S. The parasite is transmitted to humans via blood-sucking assassin bugs, but may also be transmitted by contaminated food and blood transfusions. Earliest symptoms of Chagas Disease resemble the flu.

Tribulatti MV. “The trans-sialidase from Trypanosoma cruzi induces thrombocytopenia during acute Chagas' disease by reducing the platelet sialic acid contents.” Infect Immun. 2005 Jan;73(1):201-7.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15618155

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chagas_disease

 

 

IMPROVING PLATELET FUNCTION AFTER STORAGE AND TRANSFUSION

Stored platelets can change their shape, shed parts, and lose function, among other shifts (termed platelet storage lesion). To help banked platelets retain their integrity, researchers have discovered that inhibiting the p38 MAPK pathway during storage prevents them from shedding important receptors located on their surface. More research is needed to determine if the treated platelets will cause problems when they are transfused, since the p38 MAPK pathway is involved in regulating blood vessel expansion and contraction.

Beaulieu LM, et al, “p38: signaling improved platelet storage?” Blood. 2010 Mar 4;115 (9):1665-66

Canault M. “p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation during platelet storage: consequences for platelet recovery and hemostatic function in vivo.” Blood. 2010 Mar 4;115(9):1835-42

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19965619

Kaufman RM, “Platelets: Testing, Dosing and the Storage Lesion—Recent Advances” American Society of Hematology Education Program Book 2006

http://asheducationbook.hematologylibrary.org/cgi/content/full/2006/1/492

 

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Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

 

NEW INFORMATION ON LAB TESTS AVAILABLE ONLINE

Lab Tests Online, a Web site dedicated to helping patients understand laboratory tests, has recently added new laboratory test information and updated other entries. The new and updated information includes tests for detecting antibodies to red blood cells and assessing platelet function. The Web site also has information on sample collection, reference ranges, regulatory impact, and more.

http://www.labtestsonline.org

 

 

NIH/FDA COLLABORATION TO EXPEDITE NEW TREATMENTS

The National Institutes of Health, the premier research organization in the U.S., and the Food and Drug Administration, the organization responsible for approving new treatments and devices, announced a new partnership to more efficiently transition promising lab results to treatments. The new approach includes the establishment of a Leadership Council to promote communication between the two groups as well as funds to advance regulatory science, a field that relates the approval process to the underlying science.

NIH Press Release:NIH and FDA Announce Collaborative Initiative to Fast-track Innovations to the Public:Partnership Combines Strengths to Speed New Treatments to Patients

http://www.nih.gov/news/health/feb2010/od-24.htm

Akst, J, “Regulatory Science gets Boost.” The Scientist Feb. 24, 2010
http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57174/

 

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General Health and Medicine

 

INTRIGUING CONNECTION BETWEEN VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

Those born north of 35 degrees latitude (at about Atlanta, Georgia) and living there for the first ten years of their life had fewer opportunities to absorb vitamin D from sunlight and have an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis, a type of autoimmune disease. Decreased vitamin D levels have also been associated with the incidence of type 1 diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. When exposed to the sun, your skin (without sunscreen) can produce vitamin D. Other sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, fortified foods, and supplements.

“Vitamin D-Fense against Disease” Environmental Nutrition, April 2010, vol 33, no. 4

http://www.environmentalnutrition.com/pub/33_4/features/151991-1.html
(Note: ITP is classified as an autoimmune disease)

 

 

EXERCISE IMPROVES ANXIETY IN PATIENTS WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS

“Exercise training significantly reduced anxiety symptoms…” concluded researchers who examined the relationship between exercise and anxiety published in journal articles between 1995 and 2007. In the 2914 chronically ill patients studied, the largest improvements were in exercise training programs lasting at least 30 minutes for fewer than 12 weeks, with a reporting interval greater than one week.

Herring MP,”The effect of exercise training on anxiety symptoms among patients: a systematic review.” Arch Intern Med. 2010 Feb 22;170(4):321-31.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20177034

 

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