Blood stem cell transplants may not fully reconstitute blood cells in the immune system, according to a study using humanized mice.

If the study led by Stanford University scientists is confirmed in human transplant patients, it means they could be more vulnerable to common infections such as the flu, the study found. The study, published in Stem Cell Reports, said the finding adds to evidence that blood forming or hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow do not contain the full spectrum of cells required to make immune cells.

 

Opiod overdoses don’t halt refills

Even after overdosing on opioid medications, more than nine out of 10 patients continued to get prescriptions for the painkillers, a study said. As a result, some went on to suffer another overdose.

The findings, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, are “highly concerning,” the study authors wrote. In 70 percent of the cases, the physician who prescribed opioid painkillers after the overdose was the same as the one who wrote the prescription before the overdose.

 

Psychotherapy may ease irritable bowel syndrome

Psychotherapy is effective in easing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, researchers have found, even after therapy has ended.

Irritable bowel syndrome can cause diarrhea, cramping, fever and sometimes rectal bleeding. The chronic ailment affects up to 11 percent of the population, and there is no cure or completely effective treatment. The study, in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, used data from 41 clinical trials that included 1,183 people assigned to psychotherapy and 1,107 controls. The approach was usually cognitive therapy, but some studies tested hypnotherapy, mindfulness, behavioral therapy or dynamic psychotherapy. The studies used questionnaires at the start and end of the treatment, asking about severity and frequency of symptoms.

Overall, the researchers found that 12 months after the end of treatment, 75 percent of the treatment group had greater symptom relief than the average member of the control group, although the benefits were modest.

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