Two new studies, one for children and one for adults, at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Antibiotics, are being carried out to challenge the prevailing recommendation that regular use of antibiotics is not good when person is having asthma attacks. UW is one of eight centers in the nation participating in the Macrolides in Asthma (MIA) trial through the Asthma Clinical Research Network of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The MIA trial aims to enroll 144 adults (age 18-60) who have moderate to severe asthma symptoms despite use of standard medical therapy. ‘There is emerging evidence from other recent research that, for some patients, adding an antibiotic to standard therapy may improve asthma symptoms considerably,’ says Robert F. Lemanske, Jr., MD, the principal investigator for both UW studies. ‘But the question is far from settled. Even if antibiotics are effective against asthma, the medical community does not yet understand how they might work against the disease–by reducing inflammation, curing a minor infection, or both. These studies are very exciting because they could open up a whole new line of treatment for asthma.’ More than 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, and the incidence of the disease is growing quickly for reasons that are not well understood. Most patients do well on conventional medication therapy, but some do not respond satisfactorily to current treatments. The current national guidelines for asthma treatment discourage the routine use of antibiotics for asthma. This is mainly, says Lemanske, because of concerns about overuse of antibiotics and the development of resistance with recurrent or chronic use of them. The MARS study seeks to enroll 42 children here (210 nationwide). Potential participants must be between the ages of 6 and 17 years at enrollment and must have moderate to severe asthma requiring significant corticosteroids for control. Following National Institutes of Health guidelines, the goal is to achieve 33 percent minority participation and at least 40 percent female.
The portable unit deigned by John Burke is efficient enough to ease the amputees when being carried to a hospital in the ambulance van or when kept in the hospital waiting rooms. These units pump the chilled water under pressure around the immobilized part to give a soothing feeling. The Intermittent Compression Therapy involves cooling and compression that fends off the pain and prevents long-term tissue damage.
Researchers at University of Michigan have developed a new device which they describe as a “robotic exoskeleton controlled by the wearer’s own nervous system”. This could help the people who are suffering from partial nervous system impairment as they could regain limb function. Though the U-M team have no plans to commercialize the device but they claim that their results put forward hopeful applications for rehabilitation and physical therapy. How it works: The electrodes were attached to the wearer’s leg and those electrical signals received from the brain were translated into movement by the exoskeleton. When the computer gets the electrical signal from the (wearer’s) muscle, it increases the air pressure into the artificial muscle on the brace. Initially the wearer’s gait was disrupted but in a relatively short time, the wearers adapted to the new strength and used their muscles less because the exoskeleton was doing more of the work. Though we won’t be able to see the commercialized robotic exoskeleton, the findings will certainly open the doors for new innovations in rehabilitation and physical therapy.