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MEDICAL NEWS

Left atrial (LA) dysfunction detected by speckle tracking in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). 2D speckle-tracking echocardiography is a sensitive tool to assess impairment of LA mechanics, and may represent an early sign of cardiac involvement in patients with systemic sclerosis. PubMed, Cardiovasc Ultrasound, 2014 Aug 5;12(1):30. (Also see: Diastolic Dysfunction)

Patients denied transplants as donor organs are discarded. Transplant candidates are dying even while viable organs are being thrown out, because government regulations have forced centers to focus on overall post-transplant survival rates instead of the well-being of individual patients. The Bulletin, 01/03/2014. (Also see: Lung Transplants)

Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Surveillance. Continued surveillance helps us understand and address the evolving trends in hospitalization and mortality associated with PH and PH-associated conditions, especially regarding sex, age, and race/ethnicity disparities. Chest, 2014;146(2):476-495. (Also see: Pulmonary Hypertension Prognosis)

Gut bacteria linked to rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis has confounded efforts to identify its trigger and mounting evidence points to a new suspect: a disturbance in the bacteria that live in the intestines. Chicago Tribune, 07/02/2014. (Also see: Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) vs Intravenous Pulse Cyclophosphamide in Diffuse Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Among patients with early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis, HSCT was associated with increased treatment-related mortality in the first year after treatment. However, HCST conferred a significant long-term event-free survival benefit. JAMA, 2014;311(24):2490-2498. (Also see: Stem Cell Transplantation and Cyclophosphamide Research)

Study finds alarming global rise in use of antibiotics. Antibiotic use has surged by 36% worldwide in a decade, much of it unwarranted, according to a new study. Chicago Tribune, 07/10/2014.

Sjögren's syndrome (pSS): still not fully understood disease. Laboratory biomarkers and useful imaging tools for predicting the development of complications associated with Sjogren's. PubMed, Rheumatol Int, 2014 Jul 2. (Also see: Sjogrens Syndrome)

Arterial vasculopathy in systemic sclerosis (SSc): Computerized tomography (CT) angiographic features of macrovascular and microvascular upper limbs arteries. Macrovascular arterial vasculopathy of upper limbs may occur in SSc irrespective of the disease pattern and major arteries can be affected in association with other medium sized arteries of the forearms and microvascular arterial branches of the hands. PubMed, Joint Bone Spine, 2014 Jun 20. (Also see: Vascular Involvement)

Shorter sleep may speed brain aging. With less sleep, normal aging-related structural changes in the brain progress slightly faster in middle-aged and older people, according to a new brain imaging study. Chicago Tribune, 07/10/2010.

Cytokine profiles in polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) complicated by rapidly progressive or chronic interstitial lung disease (ILD). The presence of anti-NXP2 autoantibodies substantially increases the risk of calcinosis across all ages and is associated with disease severity. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 2014 Jul 1. (Also see: Dermatomyositis Symptoms and Calcinosis)

Effect of menopause on the modified Rodnan skin score (mRSS) in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Results suggest that menopause has a substantial effect on skin thickening in diffuse SSc, with postmenopausal status being associated with a lower mean mRSS compared to premenopausal status. PubMed, Arthritis Res Ther, 2014 Jun 23;16(3):R130. (Also see: Skin Fibrosis)

Worried You May Be Developing Alzheimer's? Check Your Eyes. People worried they might be developing early signs of Alzheimer's may be able to ask their eye doctors to have a quick peek during a regular exam, experts reported. NBC News, 07/13/2014.

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