Clinical Research

Long-term cigarette smoking impacts morbidity and mortality, no question about that, but there may be a good reason to stop smoking in the weeks before surgery even if you don't intend to quit overall. 

In a review article, researchers from the University of California San Francisco and Yale University examined neurosurgical literature to characterize the impact of active smoking on neurosurgical outcomes. They found strong evidence for the association between smoking and perioperative complications throughout the surgical literature. 

When a liver from a deceased adult or adolescent donor is split into two separate portions for transplantation, with the smaller portion going to a young child and the larger to an adult, the child will benefit as much if they had received a whole organ from a donor close to their size, according to a paper in Liver Transplantation.      

As men get older they are more likely to suffer from andropausal syndrome (AS), also known as 'menopause' and by other complicated terms 'androgen deficiency in the aging male' or' late-onset hypogonadism'.

Men with andropausal syndrome have decreased levels of anabolic hormones, including testosterone, and it has been suggested that these hormone deficiencies are what cause the clinical symptoms.

Nearly 10,000 participants are in Istanbul at  the congress of the ERA-EDTA (European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Association) to share their knowledge and discuss the latest research findings. New pioneering studies have been presented: 


By SFP-iron administration, the ESA dose could be reduced by 35% while maintaining stable Hb levels. There were no SFP-related adverse effects and no cases of iron overload.


If you read THE WIRED WORLD IN 2013 Annual Trend Report you may have seen my article predicting we would make a big advancement on the road to growing one of the Big 5 organs from a person's own stem cells this year.  That will mean no more driver's license donor permission, no waiting lists and no immunosuppressive drugs.

A drug developed by Gilead Sciences and tested in an animal model at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio suppresses hepatitis B virus infection by stimulating the immune system and inducing loss of infected cells.  

Trigemina, a company focused on creating non-narcotic pain relief drugs, is enrolling patients in a Phase II clinical trial of inhaled oxytocin to treat chronic migraine. Trigemina's oxytocin product, known as T1-001 (no doubt to be renamed to something lyrical if it comes to market), has already shown promising results in preliminary studies, the company says.

This use makes perfect sense: Oxytocin is a general analgesic (pain reducer), and it also contributes to relaxation and healing.

Discovery of a new protein that controls the presence of the Vel blood group antigen on our red blood cells will make it possible to use simple DNA testing to find blood donors for patients who lack the Vel antigen and need a blood transfusion, say researchers. 

In a two-year sub-study of the STAMPEDE (Surgical Therapy And Medications Potentially Eradicate Diabetes Efficiently) trial, researchers  evaluated the effects of bariatric surgery and intensive medical therapy on blood sugar levels, body composition, and pancreatic beta-cell function
and found that gastric bypass surgery reverses diabetes by uniquely restoring pancreatic function in moderately obese patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

Striking metabolic changes were observed in patients who underwent bariatric surgery compared with intensive medical therapy, particularly in the gastric bypass treatment group.

Every year in Germany, approximately 280,000 people suffer a myocardial infarction; more than 52,000 die as a result. Due to an occluded vessel, parts of the heart muscle no longer have sufficient circulation and the tissue dies off. These regions are not replaced by new heart muscle cells but instead by scar tissue – this generally causes the pump function of the heart to decrease following an infarction.  

Scientists have tested a method in mice allowing the morphological and functional sequelae of a myocardial infarction to be reduced and
with which scar tissue can be reduced and cardiac output increased.