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A possible way to reverse lupus; FDA recommendations of product misinformation; Rare case of plague found in Colorado – Morning Medical Update


The top news stories in medicine today.

Morning Medical Update : © MargJohnsonVA - stock.adobe.com

Morning Medical Update : © MargJohnsonVA - stock.adobe.com

A possible way to reverse lupus

Scientists from Northwestern Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently found a molecular defect that causes the pathologic immune response in systemic lupus. By reversing this defect, they believe this new discovery could potentially reverse the disease.

Right now, lupus affects more than 1.5 million people in the US. Before this study, the causes of the disease were uncertain. The scientists believe that by reversing the disease, patients will not have to deal with the side effects caused by current therapies, which typically include reducing the immune system’s ability to fight infections.

In their study, research showed that there are disease-associated changes in multiple molecules in the blood of patients with lupus. These changes lead to insufficient activation of a pathway controlled by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which regulates a cell’s response to environmental pollutants, bacteria, or metabolites. Read more about the potential cure for lupus here.

FDA recommendations on product misinformation

On Monday, the FDA provided updated recommendations to ensure the public has access to accurate, science-based information about FDA-regulated medical products. The updates come as misinformation about or related to approved FDA medical products has increased.

Robert M. Califf, FDA commissioner, said, “The growing spread of rumors about science and medicine continues to put patients and consumers at risk. We remain steadfast in our commitment to address this public health concern and continue to support and encourage all parties in the public health ecosystem to take an active role.”

The recommendations include issuing internet-based communications to address internet-based misinformation about or related to a company’s approved medical products when that misinformation is created or disseminated by an independent third party.

Rare case of plague found in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is investigating a rare case of plague found in Pueblo County after preliminary test results. The plague is caused by zoonotic bacteria, transmitted by fleas and cycles naturally among wild rodents.

Between 1900 and 2012, the CDC reported 1,006 confirmed or probable human plague cases in the US. Bubonic plague, characterized by painful swollen lymph nodes, accounted for over 80% of the US plague cases.

Since the rare case, the Pueblo County Public Health Department released several ways to prevent contracting or spreading plague, including eliminating places where rodents can hide and breed in one’s home, garage, shed, or recreation area. Find more information in this article on tips to avoid plague exposure.

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