MISSION STATEMENT

The mission for Transplant Views is to provide accurate new information referencing organ transplantation and it's efficacy also to shine a spotlight on research into stem cells and regenerative medicine. Stem cell and bone marrow transplants are given to treat certain types of cancer and in other applications to regenerate or regrow bone or tissue.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Urinary levels of novel biomarkers linked to adverse long-term outcomes in AKI patients

Urinary levels of novel biomarkers linked to adverse long-term outcomes in AKI patients

High levels of two novel urinary biomarkers early in critical illness are associated with adverse long-term outcomes in patients with acute kidney injury (AKI), according to an international, multi-center study led by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Researchers. AKI is a condition that often affects those in intensive care and can occur hours to days after serious infections, surgery or taking certain medications.
The results, available online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, show that the combination of tissue inhibitor metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) and IGF-binding protein-7 (IGFBP7) can identify patients with AKI who are at increased risk for death or requiring renal replacement therapy, such as dialysis or kidney transplant, over the next nine months. The two biomarkers are indicators of cell stress and injury, key components in the development of AKI.
AKI is largely asymptomatic, lacking warning signs such as pain, shortness of breath or other clinical symptoms, particularly in the early stages when intervention is most beneficial. The incidence of AKI is high among critically ill patients, with up to 50 percent developing some degree of AKI during their illness, increasing the risk of death due to kidney failure.

"We found that not only do these biomarkers predict the development of AKI but, at high levels, they also tell us about long-term prognosis," said senior investigator John Kellum, M.D., a critical care physician at UPMC and director of the Center for Critical Care Nephrology at the University of Pittsburgh. "This should greatly aid clinicians and researchers attempting to address this too-common complication."  ...

Viruses May Play Role in Crohn's Disease, Colitis: Study

Viruses May Play Role in Crohn's Disease, Colitis: Study


By Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Viruses may play a role in inflammatory bowel diseases, including the two most common types, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, a new study reveals.
Previous research has linked these bowel diseases with a lower variety of bacteria in the gut, according to the researchers.
In this new study, people with inflammatory bowel disease had a greater variety of viruses in their digestive systems compared to healthy people, the investigators found.
The findings suggest that viruses, as well as bacteria, are a factor in inflammatory bowel disease, according to the study published online Jan. 22 in the journal Cell.

The findings are the "tip of the iceberg," said study senior author Dr. Herbert Virgin IV, a professor of pathology and head of the department of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Much more research is needed to learn more about these gut viruses -- many of which are new -- and how they interact with the gut and gut bacteria, Virgin said in a university news release.  ...

Family Stories May Help Coma Patients Recover

Family Stories May Help Coma Patients Recover

When relatives read detailed recollections of significant events, improvements were seen
HealthDay news image Jan. - 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hearing their loved ones tell familiar stories can help brain injury patients in a coma regain consciousness faster and have a better recovery, a new study suggests.
The study included 15 male and female brain injury patients, average age 35, who were in a vegetative or minimally conscious state. Their brain injuries were caused by car or motorcycle crashes, bomb blasts or assaults.
Beginning an average of 70 days after they suffered their brain injury, the patients were played recordings of their family members telling familiar stories that were stored in the patients' long-term memories.
The recordings were played over headphones four times a day for six weeks, according to the study published Jan. 22 in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.
"We believe hearing those stories in parents' and siblings' voices exercises the circuits in the brain responsible for long-term memories," study author Theresa Pape, a neuroscientist in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University's School of Medicine in Chicago, said in a university news release.
"That stimulation helped trigger the first glimmer of awareness," she added.
This increased awareness can help coma patients wake more easily, be more aware of their surroundings and start to respond to conversations and directions, Pape noted.
"After the study treatment, I could tap them on the shoulder, and they would look at me. Before the treatment, they wouldn't do that," she said.  ...

'Hidden' Brain Damage Seen in Vets with Blast Injuries

'Hidden' Brain Damage Seen in Vets with Blast Injuries

 Autopsies showed broken, swollen nerve fibers in regions related to memory, reasoning
HealthDay news image THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The brains of some veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who were injured by homemade bombs show an unusual pattern of damage, a small study finds.
Researchers speculate that the damage -- what they call a "honeycomb" pattern of broken and swollen nerve fibers -- might help explain the phenomenon of "shell shock."
That term was coined during World War I, when trench warfare exposed troops to constant bombardment with exploding shells. Many soldiers developed an array of symptoms, from problems with vision and hearing, to headaches and tremors, to confusion, anxiety and nightmares.
Now referred to as blast neurotrauma, the injuries have become an important issue again, said Dr. Vassilis Koliatsos, the senior researcher on the new study.
"Vets coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan have been exposed to a variety of situations, including blasts from improvised explosive devices [IEDs]," said Koliatsos, a professor of pathology, neurology and psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
But even though the recognition of shell shock goes back 100 years, researchers still know little about what is actually going on in the brain, Koliatsos said.
For the new study, published recently in the journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications, his team studied autopsied brain tissue from five U.S. combat veterans.
The soldiers had all survived IED bomb blasts, but later died of other causes. The researchers compared the vets' brain tissue to autopsies of 24 people who had died of various causes, including traffic accidents and drug overdoses.
According to Koliatsos, the soldiers' brains showed a distinct pattern of damage to nerve fibers in key regions of the brain -- including the frontal lobes, which govern memory, reasoning and decision-making.
He said the "honeycomb" pattern of small lesions was unlike the damage seen in people who died from head trauma in a car accident, or those who suffered "punch-drunk syndrome" -- brain degeneration caused by repeated concussions.
According to Koliatsos, before their deaths the five vets did show signs of "neuropsychiatric" problems, such as depression and anxiety. One died of a gunshot wound to the head, and three died of methadone overdose. Those overdoses could have been accidental, since the drug is prescribed for severe pain, he noted.  ...

Long-Term Use of Ventricular Assist Devices Induces Heart Muscle Regeneration, Study Finds

Long-Term Use of Ventricular Assist Devices Induces Heart Muscle Regeneration, Study Finds

Newswise DALLAS January=2015 Prolonged use of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) by patients with heart failure may induce regeneration of heart muscle by preventing oxidative damage to a cell-regulator mechanism, UTSouthwestern Medical Center investigators have found.
LVADs are mechanical pumps that are sometimes implanted in patients who are awaiting heart transplants. LVADs substitute for the damaged heart by pumping blood throughout the body.
Dr. Hesham Sadek, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at UTSouthwestern, is senior author of the study, which looked at pre- and post-LVAD samples of heart muscle in 10 patients with heart failure. The study authors examined the paired tissue samples for markers of DNA damage and cell proliferation.
Their study builds on earlier work with mice that demonstrated that newborn mammalian hearts are capable of a strong, regenerative response to injury by activating cell division. The earlier studies further showed that the ability to respond to injury is lost due to changes in circulation that occur after birth, which lead to a more oxygenated environment in the heart, ultimately causing oxidative damage to the cellular machinery that controls heart-muscle regeneration.
In the current study, the investigators reasoned that, by assisting the damaged heart, LVADs would alleviate oxidative damage that occurs within the heart-muscle cells.
We looked at markers of what is called the DNA damage response in cardiomyocytes (heart-muscle cells) of these patients, said Dr. Sadek. The response is composed of a cascade of proteins that is activated in response to DNA damage and in turn shuts off the ability of cardiomyocytes to divide. We found that patients who were on LVAD for more than six months had significantly decreased levels of DNA damage response.
Next, the investigators examined the paired tissue samples for markers of cell division. They found that patients who were on LVADs for six months or longer had a significant increase in cardiomyocyte proliferation. The increase in cell proliferation was nearly triple, in fact.

This result shows that patients with mechanical assist devices have the ability to make their muscle cells divide, said Dr. Sadek. And the obvious question now is, Are these hearts regenerating? Could LVADs be used as a cure for heart failure

Growing bone in space: Study to test therapy for bone loss on the International Space Station

Growing bone in space: Study to test therapy for bone loss on the International Space Station

UCLA has received grant funding from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to lead a research mission that will send rodents to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission will allow astronauts on the space station and scientists on Earth to test a potential new therapy for accelerating bone growth in humans.
The research will be led by Dr. Chia Soo, a UCLA professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery and orthopaedic surgery, who is member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. Soo is also research director for UCLA Operation Mend, which provides medical care for wounded warriors. The study will test the ability of a bone-forming molecule called NELL-1 to direct stem cells to induce bone formation and prevent bone degeneration.
Other members of the UCLA research team are Dr. Kang Ting, a professor in dentistry who discovered NELL-1 and is leading efforts to translate NELL-1 therapy to humans, Dr. Ben Wu, a professor of bioengineering who modified the NELL-1 molecule to make useful for treating osteoporosis, and Dr. Jin Hee Kwak, an assistant professor of dentistry who will manage daily operations.

Based on results of previous studies supported by the NIH, the UCLA-ISS team will begin ground operations in early 2015. They hope that the study will provide new insights into the prevention of bone loss or osteoporosis as well as the regeneration of massive bone defects that can occur in wounded military personnel. Osteoporosis is a significant public health problem commonly associated with “skeletal disuse” conditions such as immobilization, stroke, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury and jaw resorption after tooth loss.  ...

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