Jul 31, 2016 PERF Monthly Newsletter – July 2016
Here is a roundup of the articles, news & updates that we've published on the PERF blog site during the past month. Click on the "Read More" link at the bottom of each excerpt to read the full article.
7 Non-Drug Treatments for COPD
In addition to the many beneficial drugs that are available for the treatment of COPD, there are several effective non-drug treatments available. Chief among them are smoking cessation for continuing cigarette smokers; pulmonary rehabilitation, which focuses on exercise endurance to improve dyspnea (difficult or labored breathing) and quality of life; and long-term oxygen therapy. Other treatments available are noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIV), lung volume reduction surgery, minimally invasive bronchoscopic valves that have been showing promise, and finally and relatively rare, lung transplantation.
The Benefits of Patient Involvement In Clinical Trial Design
In a study co-authored by a group of researchers including PERF’s Richard Casaburi, Ph.D., M.D., and Janos Porszasz, Ph.D., M.D., and funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), it was found that patient involvement in the design of clinical trials improved the degree to which the needs and concerns of both patients and their caregivers were satisfied.
In the study, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were involved in the design of a clinical trial to promote adherence to supplemental oxygen therapy.
Pulmonary Hypertension – Signs, Symptoms & Causes
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure that affects the lungs specifically by affecting the arteries in the lungs and in the right side of the heart, also known as the pulmonary circulatory system. These arteries and vessels become damaged and then form scars or thickening inside the vessel walls, restricting the flow of blood through the heart. This increases pressure and causes the right side of the heart to work harder and less effectively, and ultimately heart damage or a heart attack will occur.
Though there is no cure for pulmonary hypertension, there are treatments that can lower the blood pressure in the pulmonary circulation, lessen symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Oxygen therapy reduces pulmonary pressures. In recent years several medications have been introduced that effectively reduce pulmonary pressures.
Exercise Testing Is Valuable In Measuring The Success of Treatments for COPD
PERF’s Richard Casaburi, Ph.D., M.D., Janos Porszasz, Ph.D., M.D., and Harry B. Rossiter, Ph.D., contributed to a study published earlier this year in the European Respiratory Journal regarding the use of exercise testing in evaluating the efficacy of various treatments for COPD.
The study found that exercise tests provide reliable measurements of the effect of both drug-based and rehabilitative treatments for COPD. Here are some of the findings:
In pulmonary arterial hypertension, peak oxygen uptake and the ratio of ventilation/carbon dioxide output are the variables most responsive to vasodilators (drugs that widen blood vessels).
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