Thursday, July 28, 2005

Focus: is it tissue or is it snot?

I like the creative way this was communicated, so I decided to cover "Chronic sinus infection thought to be tissue issue, Mayo Clinic scientists show it's snot."

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that the cause of chronic sinus infections lies in the nasal mucus not in the nasal and sinus tissue targeted by standard treatment.

The findings will soon be published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, according to the Mayo Clinic press release.

The researchers say that physicians might need to take not only the tissue but also the mucus into account when trying to understand what causes chronic sinus infections and probably other airway diseases.

Chronic sinus infection is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States, affecting 32 million adults, according to the National Center of Health Statistics. Chronic sinus infection produces nose and sinus problems characterized by stuffy nose, loss of sense of smell, postnasal drip, nasal discharge, and head and face pain lasting three months or longer.

"This has far-reaching implications," says lead researcher and Mayo Clinic ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Jens Ponikau. "This suggests a beneficial effect in treatments that target primarily the underlying and presumably damage-inflicting nasal and sinus membrane inflammation, instead of the secondary bacterial infection that has been the primary target of treatments for the disease."

I really enjoy the enthusiasm each researcher has for her or his own work. So, today sinus tissue and snot take center stage!

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