• Do you live in the Seattle area? If so, you won’t want to miss the Round Table Discussion on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis for physicians and patients on April 27th. Call Mark Shreve at 888-222-8541 for specific information. Many more such Round Table discussions are planned around the country in the next few months in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York etc. We will keep you posted in this newsletter when possible, but suggest that you call that 888-222-8541 number for specific dates and places.
  • Lesson from the Olympics
  • Were you one of the millions of people glued to the television set watching the Winter Olympics? We followed with interest the “blood doping scandal” of the disgraced Russian athletes. Not because of any morbid fascination, but because of the drug involved. How many of you noted that this drug, in addition to only being on the market for only a few months, was something that increased the athletes’ red blood cells, thus increasing their energy and exercise tolerance? Now, why do you suppose that increasing their red blood cells increased their energy and exercise tolerance? That’s right! It is because the hemoglobin in red blood cells carries oxygen! More red blood cells, means more hemoglobin, which means increased oxygen and energy. Does that sound interesting to you? Does it sound like something that might be of help to you, as well as those Russian athletes? Well, that is exactly the thinking of scientists at Harbor-UCLA. If it’s good enough for the Russians, it may be good enough for respiratory patients. Or rather, it’s the other way around, since this was being discussed as a possible help for those with pulmonary disease months before the Olympics. Anyway, under consideration at the Harbor-UCLA Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center, is a major study on the effects of this drug on the exercise and energy level of patients with COPD whose red blood cell count is low. Are you interested? Stay posted for more information on this study a month or two from now. (Olympic athletes not eligible.)
  • The Future of Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • LAST CHANCE to register for CHANGING TIMES: The Future of Pulmonary Rehabilitation. There is still time join other doctors, nurses, therapists and team members at the California Society for Pulmonary Rehabilitation (CSPR) annual meeting at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center April 5th-6th. This two-day meeting is packed with state of the art information delivered by world-class physicians, practitioners and scientists. And the price is right! Two full days of informative lectures and 11 CEU’s costs only $150.00. E-mail Mary Burns at perf@pacbell.net or call (310) 539-8390 today for further information.

  • Current News
  • Dr. Rich Casaburi had another paper published in the prestigious journal Chest, in which he is acknowledged as occupying the Alvin Grancel-Mary Burns Chair in the Rehabilitative Sciences. The first author is Dr. Attilla Somfay, who was a visiting scientist at Harbor-UCLA when this study was done, but has now returned to Szeged, Hungary. The second author is Janos Porszasz MD, PhD who is our new web master. The name of the paper? I thought you would never ask. It is the “Effect of Hyperoxia on Gas Exchange and Lactate Kinetics Following Exercise Onset in Nonhypoxemic COPD Patients”. We won’t attempt to give you a synopsis of this one! Just take our word that it is a contribution to the science examining the ways in which oxygen is of benefit to COPD patients who exercise!
  • And speaking of Dr. Porszasz, he has been working long hours improving the look and the content of our web site, www.perf2ndwind.org. Won’t you please take a look at it and tell us what you think? We really would like your opinion, since our goal is to give you as much information as possible in a way that you can easily access. If you are a patient we do hope that you will tell your physician or pulmonary rehab team about this site, since it should be helpful to them also. Our goal is to provide you with the newest articles on treating respiratory problems, or at least the abstracts of these articles.
  • We have started an additional feature, giving you a description of the research studies that you can participate in. Not only will you help yourself but you also will be helping others. Besides the possible benefits of the study itself, there is usually very generous financial compensation for your time. Now you do need to be aware that most of these studies, in order to have scientific validity, are double blinded and placebo controlled. That is, half of the participants get the treatment or the medication while the other half doesn’t and no one, physician or patient, knows one from the other. This gives an unbiased result. However, in all the years of working with patient research at Harbor-UCLA, I have never met a participant who didn’t feel that it was worthwhile.
  • We have started by listing the opportunities at Harbor-UCLA in Torrance, CA but invite other universities to contact us in order to list the respiratory research that they are involved with. We would like to open this up to all of you across the country, as is part of the PERF philosophy. So, if you don’t have access to the Internet, get a friend or relative to open it up for you. Telephone, write or e-mail us with your comments and suggestions. Our goal is to make this one of the most valuable sites on-line for respiratory patients and the health care professionals caring for them. Till next time, we leave you with…
  • "The Irish Blessing":