Friday February 20th, 2009

Stem Cells to Treat Crohn’s Disease

When drugs don’t work and surgery is not possible, transplanting stem cells from the patient’s own bone marrow is an effective alternative for the treatment of this chronic disease.

Equip mèdic de l'Hospital Clínic amb els tres pacients intervinguts

Cellular therapy with stem cells is revolutionizing the focus of treatment of many serious diseases. Replacing the cells of damaged tissue with other new cells from the same patient is already a reality. This is the basis of cellular therapy and regenerative medicine, the latest great advance in biomedicine. In this line, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona is leading the world in the application of an innovative cellular therapy that uses stem cells to treat Crohn’s disease, a chronic genetic disease that affects 1% of the population in Spain and which has considerable impact on the quality of life of the patients. The procedure is based on an autologous bone-marrow transplant (when patients receive a transplant of their own stem cells) and now constitutes a treatment option to cure an intestinal disease that sometimes does not successfully respond to drugs and requires highly complex surgery that does not provide a cure.

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Chagas Disease: a Disease Without Frontiers

Vídeo Clínic-UB sobre què és la Malaltia de Chagas i per què és un problema global. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wednesday February 18th, 2009

Women hold only 13% of top posts in hospitals

Dra. Pilar Arrizabalaga

The proportion of women who study medicine and who hold posts in resident programs for medical specialization has increased considerably in the past 3 decades. They currently represent 50% of practicing doctors and more than 80% of recently qualified doctors. A study published in the  Journal of Medical Ethics and carried out in Hospital Sant Pau and Hospital Clínic, Barcelona shows that the proportion of women holding positions of responsibility in these hospitals represents only 13%, a figure which has remained constant between 2002 and 2006. The study was carried out by Dr. Amparo Santamaría of the hematology department of Hospital Sant Pau and Dr. Pilar Arrizabalaga of the nephrology department of Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, as first and second authors, respectively.

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The TRPV4 receptor plays a key role in the death of pancreatic cells induced by amyloid fibers

Anna Novials

Amyloid is a pathologic substance mostly consisting of proteins such as amylin, which can become deposited on different organs and tissues. In some degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, the formation of ordered amyloid fibers has been observed in places where cell death occurs. In patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus, islets of amyloid have been found within the islets of Langerhans, the collection of pancreatic cells with an endocrine function. These amyloid deposits are found in regions with cellular degeneration and have therefore been associated with the progression of the diabetes.

An IDIBAPS study published on the front page of Diabetologia (51(12):2252-62) by the team led by Dr. Anna Novials analyzes the mechanisms by which these amyloid fibers are associated with the death by apoptosis of pancreatic cells. The results show that abnormal concentrations of calcium play a key role in the toxicity induced by the amyloid. The hypothesis put forward in the article suggests that TRPV4, a channel to the cell surface that is sensitive to mechanical and osmotic changes, becomes activated in response to physical alterations caused by the aggregation of fibers around the cells. This would activate the process that leads to cell death by apoptosis: the entry of calcium into the cell, that the polarized nation of the membrane, and the activation of L-type calcium channels.

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Tuesday February 17th, 2009

New European consensus document for management of hospital pneumonia

Dr. Antoni Torres

Considerable disagreement persists regarding hospital-acquired pneumonia and ventilator-associated pneumonia. This circumstance has led to the initiative to create a consensus document that unifies the criteria of the 3 main European societies linked to these diseases—the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine. The person chosen to coordinate this project and represent the ERS was Dr. Antoni Torres, head of the respiratory medicine department of Hospital Clínic, Barcelona and leader of the research team on the spiritual diseases at the Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS). He is the principal author of the article published in the Journal Intensive Care Medicine (35:9-29), which lists the 20 points of agreement that were reached.

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Friday February 13th, 2009

Dr. Raimon Belenes on the Diario Médico chat

El Conseller Delegat del Clínic respon a les preguntes dels lectors de Diario Médico — El Consejero Delegado del Clínic respondo a las preguntas de los lectores de Diario Médi Read the rest of this entry »

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