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MEDICAL NEWS

Faecal levels of calprotectin (FC) in systemic sclerosis (SSc) are stable over time and are higher compared to primary Sjogren's syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. FC could be a useful marker when novel, more specific drugs targeting the GI tract in SSc will be introduced. PubMed, Arthritis Res Ther, 2014 Feb 6. (Also see: Systemic Scleroderma Prognosis and Mortality: Biomarkers)

Winter Workout: Shiver Away the Pounds. A new study reports that shivering can lead to some of the same slimming benefits as exercise. Time Healthland, 02/04/2014.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC), Autoimmunity & Rheumatoid Arthritis. A better understanding of the link between these cells and their biology could be a key to developing novel MSC based strategies for therapy. PubMed, QJM. 2014 Feb 10. (Also see: Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes and Autoimmunity)

Relationship between serum leptin level and disease activity in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Leptin can be used as an activity marker in SSc and further studies should be carried out to clarify this relationship. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 2013 Dec 27. (Also see: Hormones)

Human Emotions Are Not as Complex as We Thought. Forget the conventional thinking that humans are complex creatures with a wide range of emotions. New research suggest we only have four. Time Healthland, 02/05/2014.

Diagnosis and classification of the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). At least one clinical (vascular thrombosis or pregnancy morbidity) and one laboratory (anticardiolipin antibodies, lupus anticoagulant or anti-β2-glycoprotein I antibodies) criterion had to be met for the classification of APS. PubMed, J Autoimmun. 2014 Jan 22. (Also see: Antiphospholipid Syndrome)

Increased intrarenal arterial stiffness may predict the occurrence of new digital ulcers (DU) in systemic sclerosis. Doppler indices could be used in association with the capillaroscopic and clinical findings or serological tests for the identification of patients at high risk of developing DUs. PubMed, Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 2014 Feb 10. (Also see: Digital Ulcers)

New evidence on how weight, diet and exercise can help reduce cancer risk. Common-sense lifestyle strategies for lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes are now being shown to help prevent many types of cancer. Washington Post, 02/18/2014. (Also see:Cancer and Scleroderma)

Hemostatic and Fibrinolytic Changes Are Related to Inflammatory Conditions in Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) — Effect of Different Treatments. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors brought about a significant improvement of hemostatic and fibrinolytic balance in subjects with PsA. Maximal changes were found in patients achieving minimal disease activity (MDA.) PubMed, J Rheumatol. 2014 Feb 15. (Also see: Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis)

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)

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