There’s always something going on in the world of lymphedema and lymphatic research! It can be a lot to keep up with, so here’s a digest of some of the latest headlines from the past week carefully curated to keep you in the lymphie loop.
“Team Identifies Protein Crucial to Lymphatic System Development”
The molecular mechanisms underlying lymphatic system development have been a bit of a mystery — although that may soon change.
A group of Japanese researchers led by Osaka University have identified a protein that’s crucial to the development of the lymphatic system. The protein, called Polydom, associates with lymphatic vessels throughout embryonic development, when the primitive lymphatic system is remodeled to produce mature, functioning lymphatic vasculature.
This is pretty big news: a clearer understanding of how the lymphatic system develops can lead to more effective treatments (and eventually a cure!) for lymphatic diseases like lymphedema.
“Culture of ‘steady and sustained improvement’ in Welsh NHS”
In this year’s Annual Quality Statement, NHS Wales’ chief executive Dr. Andrew Goodall noted a “culture of steady and sustained improvement” within the NHS:
“Passionate and committed NHS staff are leading improvements in healthcare services across Wales […] I want to challenge the NHS to keep on improving; to work to provide care that is truly centred on the individual patient, and to ensure health and care are delivered to the same high standards consistently across Wales.”
Cited in the report were Welsh innovations in lymphedema surgery. Funded through the Welsh government’s Health Technology fund, the surgical procedure has not only improved the quality of life for lymphedema patients, but it’s reduced costs to the NHS as well.
Currently, Wales is the only place in the UK to offer this surgery.
Fourth grader wins science fair with lymphatic project
Wisconsin 4th grader Alaina Archambault received a well-deserved first place at her elementary school science fair for her project entitled “Your Lymphatics: How it Works and What Happens When it Doesn’t.”
Lymphedema is a cause that Alaina is deeply passionate about, as her mother has primary lymphedema. Her presentation — peppered with the teal butterflies emblematic of lymphedema awareness — offered a detailed and thorough explanation of the lymphatic system and lymphedema, complete with a working demonstration of both a healthy lymphatic system and a compromised one.
Congratulations and keep it up, Alaina — we lymphies are in good hands with you working so hard on our behalf!