Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Qing Dai, A Chinese #Herb & #Acupuncture Clear Ulcerative #Colitis - Good Read

This is good news for people looking for an alternative therapy option for hard to treat cases of ulcerative colitis (UC).  Read the case about the man with UC under the Clinical Highlight section of this article.  It's hopeful in my opinion.  

My $0.02 - It's nice to see herbal forms of medicine being tested clinically and seeing the results published in known journals.  I'd like to see a larger study though.  The 1st thing a skeptic would point out about this research is the size of the study.  It's way too small, but not small enough to say that the results don't show significance.  There just needs to be larger clinical studies being conducted to make an impact.  The more participants that have a beneficial result, the more noteworthy the findings will be.  Size matters in this case, especially since TCM and naturopathic medicine are not recognized as effective in the medical community........ still.  You would think that by now alternative approaches of treating diseases would be accepted more than they are.  Unfortunately the pharmaceutical presence is all we can see and hear because the industry's ability to market their drugs.  

When we are faced with a choice in respects to treatment (alternative approach vs. conventional), we have to take into consideration the two types of areas of medicine and the facts surrounding them.  This part is simple.  Large markets get more exposure.  More exposure leads to something being talked about more, used more, and becoming the popular choice that is opted for the masses. Who has never heard of Cymbalta, Humira, Lunesta?  If you have a tv, you've heard of at least one of these drugs.  Are the drugs that we hear about on a constant basis a better choice than the little guy that doesn't have the multimillion dollar advertising budget? You make that decision.   Research and figure it out.

New research finds a very powerful Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herb effective in resolving ulcerative colitis. The patients examined in the study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology suffered from intractable ulcerative colitis and were unresponsive to conventional drug therapy. After use of the herbal medicine, 6 of the 7 patients in the study were able to completely discontinue the use of anti-inflammatory medications. This included the use of aminosalicylates, corticosteroids and azathioprine. Endoscopy and symptomatic responses showed everything from significant clinical improvements to a complete resolution of the condition.
Herbal Powder
The patients orally self-administered 1 gram of Qing Dai (Indigo Naturalis) powder, 2 times per day for 4 months. The results of the herbal program demonstrated significant clinical and objective improvements such that 6 of the 7 patients completely discontinued the use of prednisolone, a corticosteroid used to control ulcerative colitis. The researchers examined Qing Dai to learn more about its effective mechanisms of action. Using electron spin resonance, they discovered that Qing Dai has potent hydroxl radical scavenging activity. This discovery prompted the researchers to recommend further investigation into the mechanisms of Qing Dai’s anti-inflammatory effects.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

REDHILL BIOPHARM - News -> RHB-104 - Possible Breakthrough Treatment for Crohn's Disease

I get so excited when I read about this possible treatment, RHB-104, for Crohn's!  I've been watching this drug for over a year now.  This is a  treatment that if approved by the FDA, I will be jumping on it as soon as it becomes available.  No doubt!  This is the kind of treatment we need.  Everything else just treats symptoms.
So, why is this so exciting?  If you read current research about what causes Crohn's disease, you will see that researchers are leaning away from considering Crohn's disease an autoimmune condition.  They have found that there is an underlying cause for the immune response to activate.  Crohn's is said to be caused by a combo of 3 factors - Immune system abnormalities, environmental influences and bacteria.  I just wiki'd Crohn's disease and this is what is said about what is believed to be the cause - "Crohn's disease is caused by interactions between environmental, immunological and bacterial factors in genetically susceptible individuals.[4][5][6] This results in a chronic inflammatory disorder, in which the body's immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract possibly directed at microbial antigens.[5][7] While Crohn's is an immune related disease, it does not appear to be an autoimmune disease (in that the immune system is not being triggered by the body itself)."
What this means is that people that have Crohn's disease do not have the immune system capabilities to destroy a form of bacteria that have been introduced into the body at some point in time.  As research has indicated, a large number of people with Crohn's disease happen to have the MAP bacteria in their body somewhere.  The exact location of the bacteria is not known at this time.  Who cares where it is, as long as a treatment is available that will destroy it is my opinion.
See why this makes me super hopeful?  If Crohn's is caused by this MAP bacteria & if this new combination antibiotic eradicates the MAP bacteria from people with Crohn's disease, this could be the answer to the Crohn's disease epidemic!  Can someone say CURE :)
Wouldn't that be glorious?  

Clinical trial for a new antibiotic therapy for Crohn’s treatment started:
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease which may affect gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus, and has a wide variety of symptoms. Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is believed to be associated with Cronh’s disease. Professor Dr. Saleh Naser, UFC College of Medicine, believes that MAP is the cause of the disease. He said, "Crohn's disease affects more than 750,000 Americans, yet traditional treatments only address the symptoms of inflammation and not the cause." He further added, "I have seen case studies where patients' lives have been restored following treatment, which removes MAP. I have high hopes that this clinical trial may lead to finding a cure." Dr. Saleh Naser will soon conduct clinical trials on a new antibiotic therapy acquired by RedHill Biopharma for curing the disease. 240 participants will be recruited for this double blind clinical trial.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Post-Diverticulitis Irritable Bowel Syndrome - New form of IBS Found by UCLA Researchers

This is interesting...  UCLA researchers have found that a form of IBS may be developed after a period where a person is diagnosed with diverticulitis.  The new condition is called post-diverticulitis irritable bowel syndrome (PDV-IBS).  The research also found that an increase in mood disorders was highly likely for people that suffer from IBS.  Read the article for the details.

UCLA researchers have described a new form of irritable bowel syndrome that occurs after an acute bout of diverticulitis, a finding that may help lead to better management of symptoms and relief for patients.

The discovery of this new condition, called post-diverticulitis irritable bowel syndrome (PDV–IBS), validates the irritable bowel symptoms that many patients report long after suffering a bout of diverticulitis but that many physicians have waved off as being part of the original condition, said Dr. Brennan Spiegel, an associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and senior author of the research.

"We've known for a long time that after some people develop diverticulitis, they're a different person. They experience recurrent abdominal pains, cramping and diarrhea that they didn't have before," Spiegel said. "The prevailing wisdom has been that once diverticulitis is treated, it's gone. But we've shown that IBS symptoms occur after the diverticulitis, and they may result from an inflammatory process, like a bomb going off in the body and leaving residual damage."

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Vedolizumab, A New Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn's Disease Looks Promising - Info & Clinical Trial Included

Vedolizumab, a potentially new treatment for UC and Crohn's disease is being fast tracked for review by the FDA.  The BLA (biologics license application) will give priority review to the ulcerative colitis application and standard review to the Crohn's disease application.
The part of the clinical trial that is most important to me is the said adverse effects that were found in the patients who participated in the study.  Based on the concluding trial results, the adverse effects of the drug is said to be the same as the placebo.  That's great news.  I'm going to continue to watch this drug for new updates and news pertaining to safety. So far, this new treatment by Takeda Pharmaceuticals looks promising.
I have also included the clinical trial abstract below.  

On Sept. 4, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., announced that it received priority review status from the FDA for its drug vedolizumab, an investigational antibody for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Takeda submitted a biologics license application (BLA) to the FDA in June for the treatment of CD and UC; the UC application will receive priority review, and the application for CD will be reviewed under the standard timeline.