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 month carefully curated to keep you in the lymphie loop.
“Lymphoedema patient’s dedication results in state-wide compression garment subsidy”
A simple “why not us?” from Mount Gambier resident Dulcie Hoggan has delivered a life-altering win for lymphedema patients across South Australia. Hoggan is one of hundreds of lymphedema patients across the state who will now have access to a compression garment subsidy – in line with the rest of the nation.
“Youngster’s battle with disease gives rise to a Scottsdale foundation”
After struggling to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for daughter Brylan’s lymphedema, Brittany Williams was spurred to action: she founded a nonprofit called Brylan’s Feat Foundation, which serves as a financial, educational, and emotional resource for children with lymphedema who are in need of necessary treatment.
“I just want to make sure that every kid is able to get treatment. I don’t think finances should be a reason for why they can’t get treatment,” says Williams.
“Traveling in Vietnam, His Leg Swelled Terribly. Had He Caught Something?”
After her grandson was diagnosed with hereditary lymphedema, one grandmother turned to the internet for answers.
While searching for inherited diseases that cause lymphedema, one detail caught her attention: There was one genetic disorder that results in leg swelling and a double row of eyelashes. Her daughter-in-law, who had persistent leg swelling just after her pregnancy, also had thick, beautiful lashes and often complained about their tendency to poke into and irritate her eyes. Moreover, this inherited condition was also associated with a risk of a cleft palate, which her grandson had when he was born. Could this disorder, called lymphedema-distichiasis, be the culprit?
“UVA Identifies Brain’s Lymphatic Vessels as New Avenue to Treat Multiple Sclerosis”
Lymphatic vessels that clean the brain of harmful material play a crucial role in the development and progression of multiple sclerosis, new research from the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia suggests.
The discovery comes from the same UVA lab that identified the lymphatic vessels surrounding the brain – vessels that textbooks long insisted did not exist. In an exciting follow-up, the researchers have determined that the vessels play an important role in not only multiple sclerosis but, most likely, many other neuroinflammatory diseases and in dangerous brain infections.
“Lymph node structural cells rein in human immune responses”
New research shows that the so-called Fibroblastic Reticular Cells (FRCs) that form the inner structure of human tonsils and lymph nodes exert control over T cells and their response to infection.
“It’s like finding out that the walls of a home control the people living in it. It is quite a surprise to most immunologists, who—understandably—have always focused on the people, or in this case, T cells,” says Dr. Anne Fletcher.
“WATCH: New blood vessels, straight from the printer”
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital are using 3D printing to make new blood vessels, with “ink” derived from human cells and gel.
Yu Shrike Zhang, an associate bioengineer in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital department of medicine, said these faux blood vessels can be tailored to a particular patient and could potentially be used one day to replace damaged vessels in people with cardiovascular disease.
This is an incredible advancement — I can’t help but wonder if this could be done with lymphatic vessels one day.
Lymphatic filariasis news
Lymphatic filariasis (commonly known as elephantiasis) is a neglected tropical disease caused by parasitic infection to the lymphatic system. It is the leading cause of lymphedema worldwide: of the over 120 million people infected, 40 million are incapacitated or disfigured by the disease.
“No more filariasis cases seen in Pullambadi”
In a major relief, the district health department has said that no further positive cases of lymphatic filariasis had been detected in Pullambadi in the district where a seven-year-old boy recently tested positive. Officials from the health department said that the disease would no longer be considered endemic in Pullambadi.
“Reports of lymphatic filariasis in Khurda raises concern”
Even as the drive for mass drug administration to curb lymphatic filariasis in the State is continuing, over 90 cases of the disease reported from Khurda district have raised concerns of the health department.