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Platelet E-News: July 26, 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

 

PLATELETS PLAY CRITICAL ROLE IN INFLAMMATION OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

When platelets are called to action to form blood clots or help maintain blood vessel walls they shed microparticles, extremely tiny parts of themselves. Now scientists have found platelet microparticles in the joint fluid of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease characterized by joint swelling, inflammation, and pain, but not in patients with osteoarthritis, a different kind of arthritis. When the researchers purposely reduced the number of platelets in mice with rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain and swelling decreased. In his commentary on these findings Dr. Vercellotti concluded, “This manuscript adds to the evidence for the critical role of platelets in inflammation…”

Vercellotti GM, “Platelet Kindling on the Fire: Another Example How Hemostasis and Inflammation are Linked.” The Hematologist April 27, 2010. http://www.hematology.org/Publications/Hematologist/2010/5154.aspx

Boilard E et al, “Platelets amplify inflammation in arthritis via collagen-dependent microparticle production.” Science 2010; 327:580-83. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20110505

 

 

DIFFERENCES IN INCIDENCE OF ITP IN CHILDREN FOUND TO VARY BY SEX AND AGE

Of the 1145 reports of ITP in the General Practice Research Database in the UK between 1990 and 2005, 257 were pediatric patients. This is an average of 4.2 children per 100,000 people per year who develop the disease. For the children with ITP aged 2-5 years, boys significantly outnumbered girls and the incidence was above the average of 4.2/100,000. Among teenagers aged 13-17, boys and girls had the same disease rate and it was below the pediatric average.

Schoonen YM et al, “Epidemiology of paediatric immune thrombocytopenia in the General Practice Research Database.” Br J Haematol. 2010 Apr 4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20377590

 

 

TREATMENT OF THROMBOCYTOPENIA IN HEPATITIS C PATIENTS IS FEATURED IN LATEST INSTALLMENT OF ITP ONLINE MONOGRAPH SERIES

According to a new paper, the sixth in an 8-part CME series on ITP published in Hematology Times, about 175 million people in the world have hepatitis C virus and as many as 40% of them will have thrombocytopenia during their bout with the disease. The combination of the virus with low platelets complicates the treatment since the usual treatments for hepatitis C can lower platelets. Other papers in the ITP series, available to all, detail further aspects of the disease and treatments.

Newland AC, “Treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with hepatitis C” Hematology Times. http://www.hematologytimes.com/ht/cme/itp-overview-monographs.jsp

 

 

PLATELET COUNTS DECREASED DURING H PYLORI INFECTIONS IN ITP PATIENTS

Some strains of the bacteria H pylori use a 3-step process to reduce platelet counts, according to researchers in Taiwan. In this cascade, the body produces antibodies against H pylori that interact with platelets. This interaction induces p-selectin (a pro-clotting molecule) to move to the platelet surface, which then prompts platelets to stick together and die. Other strains of H pylori do not promote platelet aggregation, but may cause some platelets to break apart and die by altering other internal molecules. The varied behavior of different strains of H pylori may explain why some patients with low platelets and H pylori infections respond to treatment for the bacteria and others do not.

Ahn YS, “Triple play of H pylori in ITP.” Blood 2010 May 27;115 (21):4155-4156

Yeh JJ, “P-selectin-dependent platelet aggregation and apoptosis may explain the decrease in platelet count during Helicobacter pylori infection. “ Blood 2010 May 27;115 (21):4247-53. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20097880

 

 

 

 

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

 

NEW FDA WEB SITE SHARES POST MARKETING SAFETY DATA ON DRUGS APPROVED SINCE SEPTEMBER 2007

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a new Web site to report the results of safety reviews of drugs that have been recently approved. After criticism that the FDA failed to monitor the safety of drugs in a timely manner after they were used more widely, Congress passed a law in 2007 requiring the FDA to review and publish information on the safety profile of approved drugs 18 months after approval or after being administered to 10,000 people. So far, the FDA has published information about 26 drugs with another 20 to 30 under review.

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/default.htm

Rubin R, “New FDA web site lets public find drug safety info” USA Today. June 16, 2010. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-06-16-drugsafety16_ST_N.htm

 

 

FDA FINES AMERICAN RED CROSS FOR FAILURES TO MEET BLOOD SAFETY LAWS

Blood safety issues were recently highlighted when the Red Cross, largest supplier of blood, plasma, and other blood products in the US, was fined $16 million by the FDA for problems with their blood processing procedures, including mislabeling, lack of recorded information, and possible air contamination. The FDA found no evidence that patients were harmed from these lapses.

Lentz J, “FDA fines Red Cross $16 million for safety lapses.” Reuters June 18, 2010

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65H3JX20100618

 

 

 

 

General Health and Medicine

 

FOODS RICH IN VITAMIN K NOT ONLY HELP YOUR PLATELETS BUT MAY LOWER RISK FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES

Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) and to lesser extent, vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) were associated with a significant reduction in diabetes, report researchers in the Netherlands after examining food diaries of 38,094 men and women. In addition to its role in forming blood clots, Vitamin K reduces inflammation and has been linked to a decrease in cancer risk and mortality, improved bone density, and the prevention of heart disease. Vitamin K1 is found in leafy green vegetables while Vitamin K2 is found in fermented foods as well as meat, cheese, and eggs.

Beulens JW, ”Dietary phylloquinone and menaquinones intake and risk of type 2 diabetes.” Diabetes Care. 2010 Apr 27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20424220

“Foods Rich in This Vitamin Reduce Your Diabetes Risk by 20%” Dr. Mercola newsletter, June 19, 2010. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/06/19/vitamin-k-linked-to-lower-diabetes-risk.aspx

 

 

JAPANESE APRICOT (UME) REDUCES H PYLORI SYMPTOMS AND ANTIBODIES

People diagnosed who tested positive for H pylori and who consumed a high intake of Japanese apricot (Prunus mume or Ume Plum) had fewer symptoms, fewer H pylori anti-bodies, and reduced inflammation, according to researchers in Japan. The researchers concluded that the apricot had an inhibitory effect on H pylori infection and inflammation. Ume or umeboshi plum is widely available in various forms in specialty grocery stores.

Enomoto S et al,” Inhibitory effects of Japanese apricot (Prunus mume Siebold et Zucc.; Ume) on Helicobacter pylori-related chronic gastritis.” Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jul; 64(7):714-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20517325

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

 

 

 

 

 

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