Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stopping gout in its tracks

26.03.2012
Detecting imminent attacks of gout is now possible using a new modification to an established medical imaging technique

Agonizing and debilitating attacks of gout, an inflammatory disease affecting the joints, could soon be consigned to history, thanks to a non-invasive test that can detect the disease before the first painful symptoms strike.


PET imaging reveals that compared to a healthy rat (left), a rat model with gout (right) accumulates much higher levels of radiolabeled uric acid in it limbs. Copyright : 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Keiji Yashio and Yasuyoshi Watanabe at the RIKEN Center for Molecular Imaging Science at Kobe and their colleagues developed the test that, as well as being useful for diagnosis, could finally reveal exactly what triggers bouts of the disease.

Gout attacks can occur when uric acid levels rise to abnormally high levels in the blood, and then begin to accumulate and crystallize in the lubricating, or synovial, fluid within joints. Patients tend to experience the disease as a series of attacks, and currently there is no way to detect when an attack is about to begin.

To provide a test for the disease, Yashio and Watanabe developed a way to synthesize uric acid labeled with carbon-11, a positron-emitting form of carbon that can be detected by the medical imaging technique called positron emission tomography (PET). Using this tool, medical investigators could scan the body and follow the flows of uric acid around it. If uric acid is beginning to accumulate in the joints, an attack of gout could be imminent, and so preventive medicine can be given.

Yashio and Watanabe successfully tested this idea in rats, showing that the uric acid probe accumulates in the limbs of diseased rats at levels 2.6-fold higher than healthy specimens. The next step is to test it in people. “Of course, we will test it in gout patients, in remission and in attack,” says Watanabe. The team hopes that their whole-body approach will also allow other uric acid related diseases to be detected in this way. “The PET study could reveal the accumulation of uric acid in the other tissues, such as the kidneys,” he adds. Uric acid build up in the kidney can lead to conditions as serious as renal failure.
Despite decades of study, the relationship between uric acid levels in the blood and the onset of disease symptoms remains unclear. The team’s whole-body snapshots of uric acid distribution may provide the answer. “The PET analysis could clarify whether clearance of uric acid from the kidney in patients is the problem, or whether the problem might be in the circulation of synovial fluid in the cavity of the affected joint,” explains Watanabe.

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Molecular Probe Dynamics Laboratory, RIKEN Center for Molecular Imaging Science

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>