Toward the elimination of cervical cancer
In Canada, human papillomavirus (HPV) causes 99 per cent of all cervical cancers, and one in four women diagnosed will die from cervical cancer this year. At the 75th Annual Conference of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (SOGC), held in Halifax in June, one of the keynote sessions focused on eliminating cervical cancer. In her presentation, Prof. Karen Canfell of the University of Sydney, Australia, highlighted her country’s declaration to remove the disease completely from its shores. Dr. Jennifer Blake, CEO of the SOGC, said that Canada could reach the same target by raising awareness, conducting proper screening and increasing HPV vaccination rates.
$1 million to support multiple sclerosis research
The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Canada has awarded a $1 million grant to a research study that aims to increase understanding of disease progression in MS. The study will focus on two areas: Why relapsing-remitting MS transitions to secondary progressive MS; and why the latter cannot be effectively treated with current disease-modifying therapies. According to Dr. Pamela Valentine, President and CEO of the MS Society of Canada, the study is important to further our knowledge of the molecular factors involved in MS progression and to find
new ways of managing and halting the disease. She hopes the results will be a turning point for individuals with MS.
Source: National News Release
Statins safe and effective in people with rheumatoid arthritis
Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have around a 50 per cent higher risk of experiencing a heart attack and stroke compared with the general population. And although statins can help prevent cardiovascular events in those at high risk of the disease, it was previously unclear
if they were safe for people with RA.
Researchers, led by Prof. Deborah Symmons at the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, therefore carried out a trial that included 3,002 participants with RA who were aged 50 years or older or who had the disease for more than 10 years, and who did not have clinical atherosclerosis, diabetes or myopathy. Participants were randomized to receive either 40 mg of atorvastatin or placebo each day, and were followed for a median of 2.5 years. The results showed that it was as safe for those with RA to take statins as everyone else, and that there were no differences in RA disease activity, severity or quality of life between the two groups.
Source: Wiley Research News
Raising children with disabilities creates employment challenges
Parent carers of children with disabilities face employment challenges, reports journalist Annie Ridout. Children with severe disabilities often need round-the-clock care, she says, while others may have lots of medical appointments a year—perhaps six to eight each month, compared with four appointments per year for mainstream kids. In addition, Ridout suggests that parenting children with disabilities brings physical and mental challenges, which often causes muscle stiffness and anxiety in their caregivers. All of this equates to the need for flexible working, she says, which can be impossible in a traditional job.
Your gut bacteria could affect how your meds work
According to a research team from Yale University, gut bacteria can play a role in how well you respond to medications. The researchers reviewed whether and how 271 drugs are chemically modified by 76 kinds of gut bacteria. Not surprisingly, the results showed that nearly two-thirds of drugs were metabolized by at least one bacteria species, with many genes enabling this process. The number of these genes varies in healthy people, which explains why some people’s gut bacteria metabolizes drug rapidly, while others respond to the same drug more slowly.