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Danish researchers claim that antibiotics could cure 40% of chronic back pain patients

By |May 7, 2013|News|

Source The Guardian

Up to 40% of patients with chronic back pain could be cured with a course of antibiotics rather than surgery, in a medical breakthrough that one spinal surgeon says is worthy of a Nobel prize. Surgeons in the UK and elsewhere are reviewing how they treat patients with chronic back pain after scientists discovered that many of the worst cases were due to bacterial infections.

The shock finding means that scores of patients with unrelenting lower back pain will no longer face major operations but can instead be cured with courses of antibiotics costing around £114. One of the UK’s most eminent spinal surgeons said the discovery was the greatest he had witnessed in his professional life, and that its impact on medicine was worthy of a Nobel prize.

“This is vast. We are talking about probably half of all spinal surgery for back pain being replaced by taking antibiotics,” said Peter Hamlyn, a consultant neurological and spinal surgeon at University College London hospital.

Specialists who deal with back pain have long known that infections are sometimes to blame, but these cases were thought to be exceptional. That thinking has been overturned by scientists at the University of Southern Denmark who found that 20% to 40% of chronic lower back pain was caused by bacterial infections.

“This will not help people with normal back pain, those with acute, or sub-acute pain – only those with chronic lower back pain,” Dr Hanne Albert, of the Danish research team, told the Guardian. “These are people who live a life on the edge because they are so handicapped with pain. We are returning them to a form of normality they would never have expected.”

The Danish team describe their work in two papers published in the European Spine Journal. In the first report, they explain how bacterial infections inside slipped discs can cause painful inflammation and tiny fractures in the surrounding vertebrae.

In the second paper, the scientists proved they could cure chronic back pain with a 100-day course of antibiotics. In a randomised trial, the drugs reduced pain in 80% of patients who had suffered for more than six months and had signs of damaged vertebra under MRI scans.

Steps Set for Livestock Antibiotic Ban

By |March 24, 2012|Public Health|

Source NY Times

The Obama administration must warn drug makers that the government may soon ban agricultural uses of some popular antibiotics that many scientists say encourage the proliferation of dangerous infections and imperil public health, a federal magistrate judge ruled on Thursday.

The order, issued by Judge Theodore H. Katz of the Southern District of New York, effectively restarts a process that the Food and Drug Administration began 35 years ago, but never completed, intended to prevent penicillin and tetracycline, widely used antibiotics, from losing their effectiveness in humans because of their bulk use in animal feed to promote growth in chickens, pigs and cattle.

The order comes two months after the Obama administration announced restrictions on agricultural uses of cephalosporins, a critical class of antibiotics that includes drugs like Cefzil and Keflex, which are commonly used to treat pneumonia, strep throat and skin and urinary tract infections.

Siobhan DeLancey, an F.D.A. spokeswoman, would not say whether the government planned to appeal. “We are studying the opinion and considering appropriate next steps,” she said.

In a separate move, the F.D.A. is expected to issue draft rules within days that ask drug makers to voluntarily end the use of antibiotics in animals without the oversight of a veterinarian. (more…)

Viruses Can Survive For Centuries or Millenium

By |May 21, 2009|Prevention, Research|

Interesting and timely post on Wired Science yesterday. Virii have been found to remain virulent for centuries, and could potentially for millenium, in the frozen lakes of Siberia. This is likely due to the configuration or “anatomy” of a virus particle. You can read more of the report about a presentation made at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in Philadelphia.

Flu Pandemics May Lurk in Frozen Lakes

Antibiotic Use In Infants Linked To Asthma

By |March 21, 2009|News, Research|

Antibiotic Use In Infants Linked To Asthma

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   The Science Advisory Board


New research indicates that children who receive antibiotics before their first birthday are significantly more likely to develop asthma by age 7. The study, published in the June issue of CHEST is titled Increased Risk of Childhood Asthma From Antibiotic Use in Early Life.

The risk for asthma doubled in children receiving antibiotics for nonrespiratory infections, as well as in children who received multiple antibiotic courses and who did not live with a dog during the first year.

There is more information on this topic at:

Pediatrics Section and the

Antibiotic Abuse Page