A team of US researchers have discovered a new organ — highway of moving fluid — using updated technology, in human body that might affect major diseases
What was once thought to be dense, connective tissues running all throughout the body has now been found to be a network of fluid-filled compartments that may act as ‘shock absorbers’.
Not only could the finding reshape our understanding of the human body, it could help to explain why cancer is more likely to spread when it invades certain areas, scientists said in the March 27 issue of Scientific Reports.
“This finding has potential to drive dramatic advances in medicine,” said study co-senior author Dr. Neil Theise, a pathology professor at NYU Langone Health in New York City.
“The direct sampling of interstitial fluid may become a powerful diagnostic tool,” Theise added in an NYU news release.
The new discovery was made using a newer technology called probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy, which provides a microscopic view of living tissues instead of fixed ones.
This discovery, the researchera said, could also lead to new ways to treat a wide range of health issues, including cancer and age-related conditions.
The newfound network lies below the skin’s surface and between muscles, lining the digestive tract, lungs and urinary systems, and surrounding arteries and veins, the researchers said.
They suspect the fluid-filled spaces may act like shock absorbers that prevent the tearing of tissue in organs, muscles and vessels as they move during normal functioning.
The network drains into the lymphatic system, and may explain why cancer that gets into this “highway” is much more likely to spread through the body, the researchers said.
The cells that reside in this network may also play a role in many other body processes, from skin aging to the stiffening of limbs and the progression of inflammatory diseases, according to the report.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health funded the study. According to the authors, it’s the first study to recognize the interstitium as an organ in its own right, and one of the largest of the body.
So, how did these fluid-filled spaces go undetected for so long?
Until now, the medical field was dependent on fixed tissue on microscope slides. The tissue is prepared by treating it with chemicals, slicing it thinly and dying it to highlight important features.
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Diabetes drug might ease heart failure risk
A new research has showed that the diabetes drug Farxiga might do double-duty for patients, helping to ward off another killer, heart failure.
According to the findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with their presentation at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago, Type 2 diabetics who took Farxiga saw their odds of hospitalization for heart failure drop by 27 percent compared to those who took a placebo.
Farxiga is a type of drug called a SGLT2 inhibitor. The compound is called dapagliflozin.
The study included more than 17,000 type 2 diabetes patients aged 40 and older. Nearly 7,000 had heart disease and more than 10,000 had numerous risk factors for heart disease, Wiviott’s group said.
Patients were randomly assigned to take a dummy placebo pill or 10 milligrams of Farxiga each day.
“When it comes to helping our patients control and manage blood glucose, the ‘how’ appears to be as important [as] the ‘how much,” said study author Dr Stephen Wiviott, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
“When choosing a therapy, trial results like these can help us make an informed decision about what treatments are not only safe and effective for lowering blood glucose but can also reduce risk of heart and kidney complications,” Wiviott said in a hospital news release.
Taking the drug did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular-related death, the research team noted. However, patients who took the drug did see healthy declines in their blood sugar levels, plus an added bonus: a 27 percent decrease in their risk of hospitalization for heart failure.
Their risk of kidney failure and death from kidney failure also fell, researchers noted.
Two other recent studies of this class of drugs show that they “robustly and consistently improve heart and kidney outcomes in a broad population of patients with diabetes,” Wiviott noted.
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