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A preliminary study of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) quantification for the assessment of skin in diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dSSc). ARFI quantification is feasible and reliable for assessing the skin involvement in dcSSc and may be a valuable adjunct to skin evaluation in patients with SSc. PubMed, J Rheumatol, 2015 Mar;42(3):449-55. (Also see Skin Fibrosis)

20 Things You Shouldn't Do Before Bed. Having trouble sleeping? These insomnia-inducing habits could be to blame. Time Healthland, 03/10/2015. (Also see Sleep Disorders)

Serum progranulin (PGRN) levels are elevated in dermatomyositis (DM) patients with acute interstitial lung disease, predicting prognosis. Serum PGRN is associated with disease activity and prognosis of DM with interstitial lung disease. Arthritis Research and Therapy, 02/18/2015. (Also see Mortality and Prognosis of Dermatomyositis and Polymyositis)

A reactive oxygen species(ROS)-mediated loop maintains the increased expression of NOX2 and NOX4 in skin fibroblasts from patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). NOX2 and NOX4 generate ROS in SSc fibroblasts and play a critical role in cell activation and DNA damage. PubMed, Arthritis Rheumatol, 02/23/2015. (Also see Causes of Scleroderma: Fibroblasts)

Acid reflux raises serious health concerns. For most, acid reflux is a burning annoyance. Left unchecked, for some it can become a deadly cancer. Los Angeles Times, 02/13/2015. (Also see Reflux (Heartburn) and GERD)

Central pathways causing fatigue in neuro-inflammatory and autoimmune illnesses. Peripheral inflammation and immune activation, likely account for the severe levels of intractable fatigue and disability seen in many patients with neuroimmune and autoimmune diseases. BMC Medicine, 03/06/2015. (Also see Fatigue)

Decreased numbers of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in patients in the early stages of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Decreased EPCs in SSc patients might be an important therapeutic target for the prevention of vascular complications. PubMed, Microvasc Res, 2015 Jan 13;98C:82-87. (Also see Vascular Involvement in Systemic Scleroderma)

Even with breaks for exercise, lengthy sitting linked to heart disease. The latest research marks the first to show that punctuating sedentary behavior with exercise does not undo the harm of sitting for lengthy periods. Los Angeles Times, 03/05/2015. (Also see Cardiac (Heart) Involvement)

Pulmonary Vasculitis. Pulmonary vasculitis encompasses inflammation in the pulmonary vasculature with involved vessels varying in caliber from large elastic arteries to capillaries. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America, 03/06/2015. (Also see Symptoms and Complications of Vasculitis)

Early systemic sclerosis-opportunities for treatment. The early diagnosis of SSc, before the development of fibrosis in internal organs, will allow the introduction of immunosuppressive medications in these patients in a controlled setting. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 02/26/2015. (Also see Common Medical Tests for Scleroderma)

How depression affects our sense of time. Time seems to pass extremely slowly or even stand still when a person suffers from depression, a study has found. Mail Online, 03/12/2015. (Also see Depression)

Procoagulant microparticles are increased in patients with Behçet's disease (BD) but do not define a specific subset of clinical manifestations. Although inactive BD patients had high values of procoagulant MP, they did not differentiate between BD patients with or without thrombosis. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 02/26/2015. (Also see: Symptoms and Complications of Behçet's Disease)

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