The Health News – 12 November 2015

Overview:
• Experts from across the globe have gathered at the 13th biannual World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (WFITN) Congress on the Gold Coast to share ideas and new treatments. The trial treatment of acute strokes allows doctors to remove blood clots in the brain through the blood vessels in the leg and groin.

• Hookworm larvae will be injected into coeliacs as part of a revolutionary treatment for the debilitating illness that affects one out of every 70 Australians. James Cook University doctors John Croese and Paul Giacomin hope to find a drug derived from the parasites to treat gluten intolerance.

• Newcastle researchers say early results of a ground-breaking study show there are differences in the brain’s biochemistry of people with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), when compared to those without.

News on Health Professional Radio.  Today is the 12th November 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.  Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-10/surgery-offers-hope-to-stroke-patients/6926920

A surgical blood clot removal technique is offering major stroke patients a less invasive treatment option, a conference has heard.

Experts from across the globe have gathered at the 13th biannual World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (WFITN) Congress on the Gold Coast to share ideas and new treatments.

The trial treatment of acute strokes allows doctors to remove blood clots in the brain through the blood vessels in the leg and groin.

The endovascular technique has been around for several years, but recent developments are offering more reliable results.

Congress organiser Dr Hal Rice, who performs the technique at Gold Coast University Hospital, said the technique was fast grabbing attention.

Dr Rice said the surgery was more effective than drugs aimed at breaking down clots.

“We go in through the patient’s artery, usually the arteries in the leg or the arm, and we’re able to navigate up into the arteries in the brain,” he said.

“If there’s a stroke with a blood vessel completely blocked with a piece of clot, we’re able to go up and deploy devices to extract that clot… and restore blood flow.”

Dr Rice said intravenous drugs still played an important role in clot treatment, but studies had shown in some cases more direct intervention was needed.

Dr Rice said the conference would provide a massive boost to local specialists in the field.

The conference is on until Friday.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-10/hookworm-larvae-injected-into-coeliacs-gluten-intolerance/6926286

Hookworm larvae will be injected into coeliacs as part of a revolutionary treatment for the debilitating illness that affects one out of every 70 Australians.

James Cook University doctors John Croese and Paul Giacomin hope to find a drug derived from the parasites to treat gluten intolerance.

The larvae are put under a bandage, they burrow into the patients’ skin to make their way into their intestines.

The 40 people in the trial will then have gluten gradually reintroduce into their diet.

It follows a successful study in which patients were able to eat the equivalent of a bowl of spaghetti, a meal which would usually cause diarrhoea, cramps and vomiting.

Dr Giacomin said hookworms may secrete anti-inflammatory proteins, which could be put in a pill.

“[We want to] look at the different molecules, proteins and enzymes these worms are producing

“We will see if any of these molecules alone, if they’re included in a pill-based medication, might be able to mimic the immunoregulatory response of the worm, and therefore be a quite marketable, good therapeutic for restoring gluten tolerance.”

Participants in the new trial will have their gluten levels elevated far above those in the pilot study as they progress towards eating a normal diet.

Brisbane man Peter Letheren has had coeliac disease for about 15 years.

He breaks out in … huge blisters all over his body if he eats gluten.

He took part in a pilot study a few years ago and is keen to be re-infected with the worms in the new trial.

“It was incredibly pleasant. They just put a Bandaid on your forearm and it just feels like they’ve got some Tabasco sauce on there.

“I actually went out and I went to town and … had pizza and ice-cream, and salad sandwiches and Subway, just all the things I’ve missed for the last 15 years. And I was absolutely fine, I was terrific.”

Hookworms do not breed within the human body so there is no chance of the parasite multiplying to dangerous numbers.

Symptoms of coeliac disease vary, with the most common being gastrointestinal upsets.

Others symptoms, some more severe, may include fatigue, anaemia, unexplained weight loss or gain, bone or joint pains and swelling of the mouth or tongue.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-10/call-out-for-more-volunteers-to-assist-ptsd-brain-study/6926076

Newcastle researchers say early results of a groundbreaking study show there are differences in the brain’s biochemistry of people with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), when compared to … those without.

Lead researcher Professor Carolyn Mountford said by understanding the changes in the brain she hopes doctors will be able to objectively make a diagnosis.

Researchers are using the Hunter’s MRI scanner to look at the hard and soft tissue structure of the brain, as well as its chemistry.

She said the main aim is to ameliorate the effects of the disorder.

“It’s a bit early to say exactly what we are discovering, but we can tell that there are differences between the biochemistry in the brain of somebody suffering from PTSD and those that are healthy,” she said.

“We’re still trying to work out exactly the rhyme and reason behind it – that’s going to take a little longer.”

Around 100 Australian soldiers will also be scanned, before and after deployment, to investigate blast injuries.

Professor Mountford said they need another 15 people who have been diagnosed with PTSD to participate.

For more information, please phone (07) 3443 7814 or visit Translational Research Institute.