Fluoroquinolones and Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy, this is an often devastatingcondition in which people develop pain and numbness in their hands and feet. Basicallythey're told on the evening news that they should be taking this or that medication sothat they can get through life. That's treating the smoke and ignoring thefire. Those medicines that you're seeing advertised don't treat the neuropathy, they only treatthe symptoms. But what's causing peripheral neuropathy? Well we know that in America,one of the biggest causes of peripheral neuropathy is being diabetic, which is clearly relatedto the foods that you eat by and large. Becoming a type 2 diabetic dramatically increases yourrisk for having peripheral neuropathy and
in fact being devastated by it. This is adisease that effects 1 in 15 Americans. Let's take a look. So again this is 1 in 15 Americansâ€”thisis 20 million Americans afflicted by this disease, that aside from diabetes, we're toldthe cause is unknown. Well maybe that's not exactly true. Last month, in the journal Neurology,an incredible study was published describing a relationship between what are called fluoroquinolones,and the risk of developing a peripheral neuropathy. You may not know what fluoroquinolones are,but chances are you may have actually been exposed to fluoroquinolone. These are antibioticsused for treating things like upper respiratory
infections and even urinary tract infections.Things like Levaquin and Cipro are commonly used in walk in s. If you have a urinarytract infection, you may have received these mediations. Well, here's what the study showedus: So this is a study published in September2014 that looked at men between age 45 to 80 years of age followed for a 10 year periodand in this group there were over 6,000 cases of peripheral neuropathy. And they comparedthese individuals to about 25,000 aged match controls, and what they found was that riskfor developing this devastating condition called peripheral neuropathy was doubled inthose individuals exposed to this class of
antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. And whatthe researchers also told us is that, and I quote, quot;Fluoroquinolones have been shownto neurotoxic. Oral fluoroquinolones have also been associated with reported cases ofpsychosis and seizures, which similar to peripheral neuropathy have been shown to be acute eventsoccurring within days of fluoroquinolone use. In light of strong evidence of unnecessaryprescribing of oral fluoroquinolones in the United States, ians must weigh the riskof PN against the benefits of prescribing FQ when prescribing these drugs to their patients.quot; We've got to practice medicine under the dictumof quot;above all do no harm.quot; One of our most
well respected peer review journals is nowtelling us that the use of these medicationsâ€”these fluoroquinolone antibiotics is associatedwith doubling of the risk of peripheral neuropathy. A disease which often is not treatable. Sokeep that in mind the next time you think you need an antibiotic for this or that problem,discuss this study with your treating physician. I'm David Perlmutter.
Helping the body regrow nerves Science Nation
â™«MUSICâ™« MILES O'BRIEN: Combat, cancer and accidents all can cause devastating nerve injuries. Sometimes, the body heals on its own. CHRISTINE SCHMIDT: Your peripheral nerves are the ones in the arms and the face, have an inherent ability to regenerate but only under ideal circumstances. MILES O'BRIEN: With support from the National Science
Foundation, University of Florida Biomedical Engineer Christine Schmidt is working to restore nerve function when injuries are more complicated. SURGEON: Took that muscle and rotated it, took it over the back of his elbow to cover â€“ MILES O'BRIEN: Surgeons can sometimes move a nerve from one part of a patient's body to another. Schmidt has developed a method that grafts cadaver tissue onto the damaged area to
act as a scaffold for nerves to regrow themselves. CHRISTINE SCHMIDT: Basically what we're doing is removing all the cellular material that would cause rejection but leave behind the native architectures. You're putting this graft into the site of injury. And now, that graft is providing a scaffold for your blood vessels to grow in. And then once you have that recellerization your nerve fibers can then regrow, so then, ultimately regain that muscle function.
MILES O'BRIEN: Navy Veteran Edward Bonfiglio, wounded in Afghanistan, faced the prospect of an amputation. A graft was a welcome option. The company, AxoGen, distributes the grafts, which were developed based on work done in Schmidt's lab. JILL SCHIAPARELLI: And his family pressed the s to say, quot;Are there any alternatives?quot; He was a young, healthy, vibrant guy. And they had a great surgeon at Walter Reed who was willing to work with them to find those options.
CHRISTINE SCHMIDT: This is some of the micronized nerve that you're working with. MILES O'BRIEN: Schmidt and her team are also looking at other approaches to directly stimulate nerve growth using natural sugar molecules found in the body as building blocks, eliminating the need to transplant tissue. CHRISTINE SCHMIDT: So you don't have to actually take it from somebody's body. You can grow it.
MILES O'BRIEN: While the ultimate goal in nerve regeneration is reversing paralysis, Schmidt says intermediate successes, like improving lung or bladder function, can be invaluable to patients and their families. CHRISTINE SCHMIDT: So rather than saying we're going to try to tackle this humongously complex beast and try to get the patient to necessarily be exactly like they were before, why not provide some function that will have merit
Why Cant We Reverse Nerve Damage
Every year, tens of millions of Americanssuffer from nerve damage, some irreparably so. Science can heal bones, grow new organsand even restore our microbiomes, but why is it so hard to fix our nerves? Hey guys Lissette here for DNews The human body posses a remarkable abilityto heal. Bones refuse, skin wounds mend, and the immune system adapts to infection,after infection. But there's one area of the body that struggles to recover after aninjury: The nervous system. Nerve damage can be some of the most debilitating and permanenttype of injury.
The nervous system is an incredibly complexnetwork used to send electrical information throughout your body. It can basically bedivided into two sections. With the brain and spinal cord making up the central nervoussystem or CNSâ€¦. and the nerves made up of fibers of sensory and motor neurons comprisingthe peripheral nervous system. Each cell in the nervous system from the tipof your finger up your arm, up your spinal column, into your brain, is very specialized.And each has a unique function on the pathway, like a circuit. If one these gets cut or injured,it's hard for an exact replacement cell to be put in in the right spot. Think aboutwhen you get a cut on your skin. If the cut
goes deep enough, exact replicas of cellswon't cover the wound, instead fibrous tissues form. which we call scars. And scars arepart of the problem in regrowing nerves, they often get in the way especially in the caseof spinal cord injuries. As part of the CNS, spinal cord injuries are notoriously difficultto heal; partially because of the way nerve cells in the CNS are made. According to the book, â€œResults and Problemsin Cell Differentiationâ€�, the CNS also has certain proteins that weirdly, inhibit cellregeneration. While this might sound like a bad idea, it's hugely beneficial overallto the formation of the CNS. These cells need
to grow exactly where they are supposed to,just one out of place could be bad. Like. think of an electrical circuit, each unithas to be in a specific order in specific place to work. If one is out of place, theintegrity of the CNS is compromised. Neurons in the CNS also lack certain cleaningcells. Nerve cells are made up of many parts, but they send signals through threads coveredin a protective sheet of myelin. These threads are called axons. Axons are the long partof the cell that reaches out to the cell next to it to send information down the line.Like arms handing the bucket down the line in a bucket brigade. So these are obviouslysuper important and need protecting. That's
where the Schwann cells come in. which areonly found in the Peripheral nervous system. Schwann cells, which aren't neurons butGLEEL cells, produce the myelin that help protect the axons. But, a study publishedin The Journal of Cell Biology found they also clean up damaged nerves making wayfor the healing process to take place and new nerves to be formed. But the problem is.these Schwann cells are missing from the CNS. What they have instead are myelin producingcells called oligodendrocytes. But these cells don't clean up damaged nerve cells at all.Which is part of the problem. So unfortunately, according to RichardG. Fessler professor at Rush University Medical
Center quot;There are currently no therapies whichsuccessfully reverse the damagequot; from injuries to the spinal cord. But research is currentlyunderway to examine the potential success of stem cell treatment, where stem cells areinjected directly at the injury site. Still, it will take a few years to see the resultsof such trials. But there are times your body can regeneratenerves. The peripheral nervous system doesn't have the same blocking proteins that the CNShas, and Schwann cells help heal the damage. So it's able to regrow nerves, albeit slowly.For instance, if you cut a nerve into your shoulder, it could take a year to regrow.By that time.the muscles in your arms could