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MEDICAL NEWS

Early systemic sclerosis (SSc): Analysis of the disease course in patients with marker autoantibody or capillaroscopic positivity or both. The data demonstrate faster progression of SSc in autoantibody–positive patients, particularly in those with preclinical internal organ involvement at baseline, than in autoantibody–negative patients. PubMed, Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 2014 Feb 10. (Also see: Scleroderma Autoantibodies and Capillaroscopy)

New therapies raise hope for a breakthrough in tackling cancer. Immune-checkpoint blockade is a form of immunotherapy, meaning it aims to help the patient's own immune system fight cancer. Washington Post, 02/18/2014. (Also see: Cancer and Scleroderma)

Incidence of lymphoma associated with underlying lupus (SLE): Lessons learned from observational studies. Although the association of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in SLE is well established, risk factors attributing to this association are still not understood. PubMed, Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2014 Mar;26(2):111-7. (Also see: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Symptoms and Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma)

Patients with Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) Present Increased DNA Damage Differentially Associated with DNA Repair Gene Polymorphisms. Polymorphic sites of the XRCC1 and XRCC4 DNA repair genes may differentially influence DNA damage and the development of autoantibodies. PubMed, J Rheumatol, 2014 Feb 1. (Also see: Causes of Scleroderma: Genetics)

Loneliness and feeling unloved TWICE as likely to kill you as being fat... as scientists warn against elderly retiring to sunnier climes. Being lonely in later life could be worse for your health than obesity, according to research. Mail Online, 02/16/2014.

T cell repertoire (TCR) following autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple sclerosis. TCR characterization during immunomodulatory treatment is both feasible and informative, and may enable monitoring of pathogenic or protective T cell clones following HSCT and cellular therapies. PubMed, J Clin Invest. 2014 Feb 17. (Also see: Multiple Sclerosis and Stem Cell Transplantation)

Reconciling Healthcare Professional and Patient Perspectives in the Development of Disease Activity and Response Criteria in CTD-ILD Efforts described here demonstrate unequivocally the value and influence of patient involvement on core set development. PubMed, J Rheumatol, 2014 Feb 1. (Also see: Pulmonary Fibrosis and Connective Tissue Disease)

Forgotten your keys? Memory loss as you age is entirely normal, scientists conclude… and they even say a 'cure' is in sight. Forgetting where you put your keys or someone's name is a perfectly normal part of the aging process and well underway by the age of 40, scientists have said. Mail Online, 02/15/2014.

Gender differences in multiple sclerosis (MS): induction of estrogen signaling in male and progesterone signaling in female lesions. The different gender–specific responses in steroid synthesis and signaling in the brains of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients may represent contributing factors to gender differences in the prevalence and course of MS. PubMed, J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2014 Feb;73(2):123-35. (Also see: Multiple Sclerosis)

Disease progression in systemic sclerosis (SSc)-overlap syndrome is significantly different from limited (IcSSc) and diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc). SSc-overlap syndromes should be regarded as a separate SSc subset, distinct from lcSSc and dcSSc, due to a different progression of the disease, different proportional distribution of specific autoantibodies, and of different organ involvement. PubMed, Ann Rheum Dis, 2014 Jan 3. (Also see: Systemic Scleroderma in Overlap)

Stress makes headaches last longer, study finds. Stress is known to trigger headaches and researchers have found that the more intense a person's stress, the more time he or she will spend in pain. Chicago Tribune, 02/19/2014.

Fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain in autoimmune thyroid disease. This review looks at the current understanding of the prevalence of pain syndromes in autoimmune thyroid disease, their likely causes, present appreciation of the pathogenesis of chronic widespread pain, and how our knowledge can be used to find lasting and effective treatments for the pain syndromes associated with autoimmune thyroid disease. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol. 2014 Jan 18. (Also see: Fibromyalgia and Autoimmune Thyroid Disease)

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