Better targeted, more cost-effective osteoporosis treatment could soon be a reality worldwide
European researchers have developed highly sensitive ultrasound equipment that can detect tiny quantities of reflective microbubbles engineered to stick to specific tumour cells. The technique should pick up tumours early and improve patients’ chances of survival. Most of the current diagnostic methods - biopsy analysis, biochemical tests and medical imaging - are not sufficiently sensitive.
Full Post: Sensitive ultrasound to spot early-stage cancer
A new method for determining more accurately at which point someone needs further diagnostic tests, or when immediate treatment is warranted, has been developed by The National Osteoporosis Guideline Group in the UK.
Rather than relying primarily on Bone Mineral Density (BMD) measurements, as the majority of current guidelines do, their approach takes into account both the risk of someone suffering a fracture - using the WHO’s fracture risk assessment tool, FRAX - as well as whether or not treatment is likely to be cost-effective. This new method, developed by Professor John A. Kanis and colleagues from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases at the University of Sheffield Medical School in the UK, already forms the basis of the new clinical guidelines for the management of osteoporosis in the UK. The case finding on the management of osteoporosis with FRAX has been published in Springer’s journal Osteoporosis International.
Professor Kanis, President of the International Osteoporosis Foundation, comments: “The incorporation of the WHO risk assessment tool FRAX into practice guidelines in the UK is a key development that will target treatment more accurately to those in need and avoid unnecessary treatment in men and women at low risk. I hope that this paper in Osteoporosis International will serve as a template for the development of FRAX-based guidance in other countries.”
The FRAX tool predicts the ten-year risk of men and women suffering a fracture. An individual’s age, sex, weight, height, and femoral BMD, if available, are entered into the web-based tool, followed by clinical risk factors for osteoporosis including a prior fracture, parental history of hip fracture, smoking, long-term use of glucocorticoids (a type of steroid hormone), rheumatoid arthritis and alcohol consumption. The tool then calculates the likelihood of the individual suffering a fracture in the next ten years.
Because this new method for the management of osteoporosis takes into account the likelihood of someone suffering a fracture, rather than relying solely on BMD, or BMD with one or more recognized clinical risk factors, it is an important milestone towards helping health professionals worldwide to identify patients at high risk of fracture more accurately and treat them cost-effectively.
Cuts to Medicare reimbursement of DXA undermine efforts to properly diagnose and treat osteoporosis and diminish quality of patient care. According to a paper published in the November issue of the Springer journal Osteoporosis International, Medicare reimbursement for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) has been cut to levels substantially below the cost to perform the procedure.
Full Post: Osteoporosis care at risk in the U.S.
New guidelines developed by the American Academy of Neurology find a combination of blood tests and other specialized assessments appear to be the most helpful tests for finding the cause of neuropathy. Also known as neuritis or distal symmetric polyneuropathy, this common nerve problem affects people of all ages. The guidelines are published in the
Full Post: New guidelines for neuropathy
If you will exert too much pressure on a bone, more than the threshold pressure which it can tolerate, it will break. This is usually termed as bone fracture and is a very painful thing. Fractures are considered as a major form of injury. However, whether a person can recover from them depends on a
Full Post: Symptoms of a fracture
Surgery to treat obesity could be avoided if GPs and healthcare trusts put more time and money into early stage weight management programmes, a senior clinical researcher will say today (Wednesday, 17 December, 2008). And he will say that patients suffering from obesity face a “post code lottery” when seeking access to specialist care. Speaking
Full Post: GPs ‘could do more’ to help obese avoid surgery
A team of researchers from the University of Sydney has developed an innovative new method to analyse digital photographs of faces in order to determine an individual’s risk of developing Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). In conjunction with the Royal North Shore Hospital and the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Professor Peter Cistulli and Dr Richard
Full Post: Researchers analyse photographs of faces to determine risk of developing sleep disorder