Piles of Articles

Long, holiday weekend. I am on the second day of four and have gotten pretty much nothing done. Oh, well. Procrastination is us.

Be that as it may, Happy Fourth of July whenever you may be!

Part of the ‘straightening up’ task for me is going through piles of articles I have found interesting and printed out. That word is actually PILES.

Just rediscovered one – Update on Genetics and Age-Related Macular Degeneration by Jerome Dunaierf – that has some good stuff in it. Did you know people with a parent with AMD have DOUBLE the risk of getting the disease? Make sure the kids get their eye exams!

Jerome talks about the complement immune system and does a nice job – much clearer and nowhere near as fanciful – in describing how the ‘friendly fire’ bit works. He shared the proteins that activate the complement system have been found around drusen. (Maybe a demented garbage men analogy would be better? Coming for the trash but hauling away the house?)

Jerome also talks about the ARMS2/HTRA genes. Enticing and mysterious those. No true clue what they do but we with AMD often have certain variants of them.

Other genes that seem to be somehow in the mix include genes that code for collagen formation, cholesterol formation and cell signaling. You might not realize it but the chemical ‘chatter’ going on in our bodies is deafening! Eavesdrop on that and we could intervene in amazing ways.

Jerome agrees with me lampalizumab will open up a HUGE market for genetic testing. (Probably the reason I kinda like Jerome). He shared it is now possible to sequence an entire human genome in a few days. The cost? About $1,000.

Wow. Have your code read and know exactly which drug is going to work on you. How far in the future before genetic sequencing becomes a requirement for getting health insurance? Ethical nightmare that.

And a little filler here: Pubmed published an abstract on a meta analysis of 10 trials about the risks and benefits of aspirin. Bottom line was this: aspirin can keep those of us with cardiovascular problems alive. Proven. Aspirin might, maybe, could have a negative effect on your AMD. The authors, Small, Garabetian, and Shava decided most of us would want to be alive. Their advice was to take your aspirin.

OK. A few more things off the pile. Time to wander off to something else. Maybe some housework. Gasp!

I am staying home from yoga today. Self diagnosis of rotator cuff tendinitis. Doctor’s appointment next week by which time I will not only have diagnosed but also treated myself!

My yogini is digging out a ‘no arms’ practice she found so I can try that tomorrow. Movement continues to be important to – and for! – me. Where there is a will, there often is a way.

That is what is happening here. Hope you are all doing well. Bye!

written July 2nd, 2017

Next: Rock On!

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