Health and fitness briefs, Jan. 15

Oklahoma health and fitness briefs
by Ken Raymond Modified: January 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm •  Published: January 15, 2013
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DIALYSIS

Study focuses on dialysis success in children

A study by University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center researchers suggests dialysis is less effective than it should be.

Dialysis, which is used to treat adults and children who have kidney failure, flushes toxins and excess water from blood, according to an OU news release. In this study, researchers focused on a particular molecule to see what happens to it during dialysis in children.

“Cystatin C is a molecule that recently has been suggested as a better molecule for measuring how well kidneys work,” said Dr. Olivera Marsenic Couloures, a pediatric nephrologist with OU Children's Physicians. “We hypothesized that if Cystatin C is so good at measuring kidney function, then it is possibly also good at measuring artificial kidney function; i.e., dialysis.”

The study followed seven children through 21 dialysis sessions, the release notes. Doctors tested the children's blood to see how well Cystatin C and two other molecules were cleared during dialysis. They measured the change in Cystatin C levels between treatments.

The results? Not good.

Dialysis doesn't remove even a tiny amount of Cystatin C, which suggests current treatments don't touch similarly sized, larger molecules, either. Researchers also found that Cystatin C levels are higher in larger pediatric patients, a discovery that runs contrary to standard medical wisdom. The findings indicate a need for different, intensified dialysis treatments to remove larger molecules from patients' blood. They also signify that Cystatin C levels should be used to monitor the effectiveness of intensified treatments. The next step is to launch a clinical study with a larger number of patients. The Cystatin C research is published in the online edition of Pediatric Nephrology, a journal of the International Pediatric Nephrology Association.

HOSPICE

More volunteers needed

Integris Health's Hospice of Oklahoma County is seeking volunteers to help with nonmedical tasks for the terminally ill. Volunteers generally are caring people willing to give of their time to help patients and their families during painful transitions. Volunteers are strong, brave and compassionate, and their main responsibility is to give family caregivers short breaks from the pressure and responsibility of tending to dying loved ones. Patient care volunteers also may run errands for a caregiver or become companions to patients who are living alone or in a nursing home. A free, two-week training course begins Feb. 5. For more information or to enroll, call Ruth Ann Frick at 848-8884.

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by Ken Raymond
Book Editor
Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists. In...
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