Fluoroquinolones and Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy, this is an often devastatingconditionwhich people develop pain and numbnesstheir hands and feet. Basicallythey're told on the evening news that they should be taking this or that mediion 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 thatAmerica,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 amatically increases yourrisk for having peripheral neuropathy and
fact being devastated by it. This is adisease that effects 115 Americans. Let's take a look. So again this is 115 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,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 usedwalks. If you have a urinarytract infection, you may have received these mediations. Well, here's what the study showedus: So this is a study publishedSeptember2014 that looked at men between age 45 to 80 years of age followed for a 10 year periodandthis 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 fluoroquinolonesthe United States, ians must weigh the riskof PN against the benefits of prescribing FQ when prescribing these ugs 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 journals is nowtelling us that the use of these mediionsâ€”these fluoroquinolone antibiotics is associatedwith doubling of the risk of peripheral neuropathy. A disease which often is not treatable. Sokeep thatmind 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 onesthe 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 complied. 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, woundedAfghanistan, faced the prospect of an amputation. A graft was a welcome option. The company, AxoGen, distributes the grafts, which were developed based on work doneSchmidt'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 foundthe 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 goalnerve 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