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April 2006 Briefing - Rheumatology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for April 2006. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Aging Disease-Gene Defect Active in Normal Cell Aging

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- A splicing defect in the lamin A gene is known to cause premature aging diseases, and the same defect has now been linked to the normal process of cellular aging, according to a report published April 27 in Sciencexpress, the early online edition of Science. Reversing the defect causes fibroblasts to lose some age-related characteristics, and cells from 80- and 90-year-olds proliferate more like a child's.

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Antibody Detects, Predicts Rheumatoid Arthritis Outcome

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- A second generation anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP2) antibody test is useful for early detection of rheumatoid arthritis and may predict radiographic and functional outcomes, according to a report in the April issue of Rheumatology.

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Collagen Changes Detected in Carpal Tunnel Tissue

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome have ultrastructural changes in their subsynovial collagen that may explain some of the pathological fibrotic changes associated with this disease, according to a report in the April issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Lipid Changes Detected in Sjogren's Syndrome

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Sjogren's syndrome have altered levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and total cholesterol that may be related to disease activity, according to a report in the April issue of Rheumatology.

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CDC Reports U.S. Death Rate Has Fallen to Record Low

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The United States death rate has fallen to a record low, life expectancy is increasing and the life expectancy gender gap is narrowing, according to a summary report, issued April 19 by the National Center for Health Statistics.

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Foot Orthoses Help Foot Pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Foot orthoses may be useful in managing pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients, according to a report in the April issue of Rheumatology. About 90 percent of such patients experience foot pain.

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Prior Pain, Function Predict Outcome for Hip Arthroplasty

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing revision hip arthroplasty who have less self-reported pain and better function scores than other patients before surgery tend to have better long-term postoperative outcomes, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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'Cytokine Storm' May Explain U.K. Clinical Trial Disaster

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- The experimental antibody drug TGN1412 that caused organ failure in six British men but not in test animals may have triggered a "cytokine storm" immune reaction, according to a news report published in the April 13 issue of Nature.

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Twin Study Suggests Genetic Link to Fall Risk in Elderly

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic factors may play a role in whether or not older women are susceptible to falls, according to a study in twins published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Prescription Drug Prices Rose at Twice Inflation in 2005

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Average prices of brand-name prescription drugs used most often by older Americans rose at about twice the rate of inflation in 2005 compared with the previous year, while generic drug prices remained relatively constant, according to a report published online April 10 by the AARP.

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Epstein-Barr Antibody Titers Elevated in Multiple Sclerosis

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus are elevated 15 years to 20 years before the onset of symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients, with a four-fold increase in antibody titers associated with a doubling of the multiple sclerosis risk, according to a study published online April 10 in Archives of Neurology.

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Quality of Care in Elderly Osteoarthritic Patients Low

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- The quality of care for community-dwelling elderly patients with osteoarthritis is low, and better counseling on medications and more use of proven therapies are needed, according to a study in the April 15 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Factors Predict Osteoarthritis-Related Mobility Problems

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women with lower extremity osteoarthritis are at risk of developing difficulties performing daily activities, however two potentially modifiable risk factors, high weight and lower knee extensor strength, contribute to the risk, according to a study in the April 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Long-Term Etanercept Use Safe for Elderly with RA

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of etanercept to treat elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is safe, the drug is well-tolerated, and the risk of adverse events is no greater than in younger patients, according to a study in the March issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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