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July 2007 Briefing - Rheumatology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for July 2007. 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.

Interleukin-7 Receptor Gene Linked to Multiple Sclerosis

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- An international team of researchers has discovered that variants of the interleukin-7 receptor α (IL7Rα) gene increase the risk of multiple sclerosis. The findings were published online July 29 in two studies in Nature Genetics and confirmed in a third, which was released early by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Haines
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Abstract - Hillert
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Abstract - NEJM
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Editorial - NEJM

FDA Halts Gene Therapy Trial After Patient's Death

FRIDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it had halted a gene therapy trial after Targeted Genetics Corporation of Seattle reported that a patient in the trial had died.

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Lumbar Spondylolisthesis Surgeries Found Effective

WEDNESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with lumbar spondylolisthesis, anterior lumbar interbody fusion and posterior lumbar interbody fusion are both effective treatments. But patients who receive anterior lumbar interbody fusion may be less likely to develop adjacent-segment degeneration, researchers report in the July issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

Abstract
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Immune System Affects Circadian Clock During Illness

WEDNESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Sleepiness that commonly occurs during illness or infection may be caused by inhibition of circadian rhythm genes by the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α, according to the results of a study in cultured cells and in mice published online July 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Switching Arthritis Patients to Adalimumab Is Safe, Effective

FRIDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Switching patients with rheumatoid arthritis from infliximab to adalimumab is safe and effective and may reduce costs, researchers report in the July issue of Rheumatology.

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Ultrasound Can Diagnose Gout Non-Invasively

THURSDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound can be used as a non-invasive way to diagnose gout by detecting the monosodium urate crystal deposits in joints, researchers report in the July issue of Rheumatology.

Abstract
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Many Teen Elite Tennis Players Have Spinal Abnormalities

THURSDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Most young elite tennis players with no symptoms of pain have abnormalities in their lower spine including fractures and degenerated discs, according to a report published online July 19 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Abstract
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Leflunomide Effective at Preventing Wegener's Relapse

WEDNESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Leflunomide can prevent relapse of Wegener's granulomatosis, but with a high incidence of adverse events compared to methotrexate, according to the results of a randomized trial published in the July issue of Rheumatology. However, the high relapse rate associated with methotrexate caused that arm of the study to be halted early.

Abstract
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Editorial

FDA OKs First Artificial Disc for Cervical Degenerative Disease

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first artificial disc for the treatment of cervical degenerative disease. The Prestige Cervical Disc, made by Medtronic Sofamor Danek, is as safe and effective as cervical fusion, according to clinical trials.

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Minimal Effects from Exercise Program for Low Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with persistent and disabling low back pain find limited relief from an exercise and educational treatment program, but those who have a preference for that type of intervention tend to fare better than others, according to a report in the July issue of Spine.

Abstract
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Arthritis Medication Linked to Lower Diabetes Rates

TUESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- The commonly used antirheumatic medication hydroxychloroquine is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis compared with other antimalarials used to treat autoimmune diseases, according to a report in the July 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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High Intensity Walking Improves Blood Pressure

TUESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy older adults who incorporate some high intensity into their walking program can significantly improve muscle strength and reduce blood pressure, according to the results of a study published in the July issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Abstract
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Hip Impingement May Not Cause Arthritis in Asians

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Femoro-acetabular impingement occurs during sitting positions common to Asian and Middle Eastern cultures but it may not cause primary osteoarthritis of the hip, according to a small study of Japanese women published online June 28 ahead of print in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

Abstract
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Merck Recalls Three Lots of Invanz Due to Glass Shards

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Three lots of Invanz (ertapenem sodium) were recalled this week due to two incidents in which pieces of broken glass were found in the reconstituted solution for injection. Merck & Co., Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., issued a letter to health care professionals noting that it is working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to inform its direct customers of the recall.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Reluctant to Switch Therapies

WEDNESDAY, July 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are reluctant to change their current therapy, even if it's not working, largely because of fear of losing control of their disease or the potential for side effects, researchers report in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Abstract
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Some Studies of Glucosamine May Overstate Effects

WEDNESDAY, July 4 (HealthDay News) -- Trial results on glucosamine hydrochloride differ widely because the drug is not effective for osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, with industry-sponsored researched overstating the effects, according to a report published in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism. But an accompanying editorial points out some potential problems with the investigation and advises caution with interpretation.

Abstract
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Editorial

High Sperm Abnormalities in Lupus Patients

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Males with systemic lupus erythematosus have a high frequency of sperm abnormalities that may be associated with early cyclophosphamide treatment, researchers report in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Abstract
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Physician's Briefing
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