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Anchor lead: Hope is here for cure of drug resistant tuberculosis, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Pretomanid is the name of a drug recently approved by the FDA for drug resistant tuberculosis, or TB, the type of infection that caused panic among airline passengers recently when it was revealed that someone with the bug was aboard. While that is the stuff of urban legend, Richard Chaisson, a TB expert at Johns Hopkins, says for millions of people worldwide, this has the potential to be a lifesaver.

Chaisson: This is a huge development. Take a disease with about 80% mortality and cure 90% in six months. It’s given as individual drugs. I suspect that in the future that the efforts to combine the drugs together to make it even easier to take, but it’s pretty easy to take compared to the alternative types of treatments which included painful injections, pills that made you psychotic, pills that made you throw up, pills that made you go deaf. In comparison it’s pretty benign.   :31

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: Some people with multiple sclerosis repair their own damage, Elizabeth Tracey reports

OPC is the acronym for a cell that seems to be involved in multiple sclerosis, both having the capacity to repair the insulation around nerve cells called myelin, but also promoting the disease process when inflammation is present, as shown recently by Peter Calabresi, an MS expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues. Calabresi says understanding what makes the cell either repair, called remyelination, or participate in progression of MS, is critical.

Calabresi: Ten to twenty percent of people with MS we see evidence for successful remyelination. Some people with MS do very well. I have some patients who have had MS for forty years with many lesions on their brain MRI, and they’re almost normal. The MRI can detect the residual change in the myelin, but we think that those people are remyelinating and just a few wraps of myelin around the axons protects the axons from degeneration, so those patients never become progressive and actually regain function.   :30

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: A cell known by the acronym OPC may be critical in worsening MS, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Multiple sclerosis, where the body attacks the insulation around nerve cells known as myelin, affects almost a million people in the United States alone, often resulting in disability and sometimes death. Now research by Peter Calabresi, an MS expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, points to a cell known by the shorthand OPC, as playing a critical role.

Calabresi: This cell that we thought would only do good things actually becomes a bad guy if you will and in the inflamed environment is actually propagating the inflammatory process. And so it speaks to the fact that cells have different functions. We’ve known this with the immune cells but with the glial cells we hadn’t realized, especially with OPCS, that they had this dual role, where sometimes they can repair the damage but if they’re in an inflamed environment that they actually participate in the inflammatory process.  :28

Calabresi says this knowledge may point the way to interrupting the process of OPCs going rogue, and perhaps stalling MS progression. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: Many healthcare workers will no longer need an annual TB test, Elizabeth Tracey reports

People who work in healthcare have had annual tuberculosis tests for many years, but that’s changing. At Johns Hopkins people are tested when they begin working and then only if they’ve been exposed afterward. Richard Chaisson, a TB expert at Johns Hopkins, explains why.

Chaisson: Historically one of the best places to catch TB in America has been a hospital, because people with TB go there and they transmit the infection until they’re diagnosed and they’re put in isolation. But with the rates of tuberculosis in the US at historic lows, most hospitals don’t get a case of tuberculosis more than once every few years if that, and infection control procedures have improved greatly, so that policy here at Johns Hopkins now is we only test when we know there’s been an exposure.  :31

Chaisson notes that active cases of tuberculosis in the US are few and far between, so the chances of exposure are also low. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: A new combination regimen for tuberculosis is a game changer, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Drug resistant tuberculosis is a killer, but now a drug recently approved by the FDA, called Pretomanid, in combination with two existing drugs, can help. Richard Chaisson, a TB expert at Johns Hopkins, describes its impact.

Chaisson: The disease it’s treating is extensively drug resistant TB, which means impossible to treat tuberculosis, where the mortality rates are 80%, treatment is miserable. People are on toxic drugs for several years and usually die. This new treatment which includes three drugs, including Pretomanid, the approved drug, cured virtually everybody in six months with all oral treatment, no injections, and everyone tolerated it.   :30

Chaisson says worldwide, the death toll due to tuberculosis topped 1.3 million people in 2017, and with drug resistant TB on the rise, the need for effective treatment is critical. He notes that while the US doesn’t see that many cases, drug resistant TB is still a concern. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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In the tenth podcast, we bring back our guest from the Center for the Practice of Collaborative Leadership, Carolyn Cumpsty-Fowler, Ph.D., M.P.H.. First, Carolyn points out what "strategic convening" is not: hint... it's not convenience sampling or being voluntold for a project. Next, we discuss partnerships and what makes people leave collaborative work. Finally, we challenge you to consider how tapping into people's strengths can improve the group's engagement in partnered work!

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In the ninth podcast, we bring back our guest from the Center for the Practice of Collaborative Leadership, Carolyn Cumpsty-Fowler, Ph.D., M.P.H.. First, Carolyn points out how you ask the question makes a world of difference as you approach your inquiry project work. Next, we discuss the importance of context, which is part of brainstorming. Finally, we challenge you to consider the fact that the people asking the questions may not have all of the answers... and give you tips regarding what to do about it!