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Collagenase
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01/28/07 23:30
Wanker 
01/28/07 23:30
Wanker 
Collagenase

AN experimental drug is straightening crooked fingers in the elderly.

Surgery was previously the only treatment option for people like Neville Galbraith, who has Dupuytren's contracture, a condition that results in fingers becoming progressively bent. The 63-year-old from Deception Bay, north of Brisbane, had twice had successful surgery to fix the fourth finger on each hand in the early 1990s.

But when the curving pinky on his right hand started playing havoc with his grip on his lawn bowls – and his quality of life – he was reluctant to go under the knife again.

"I've got high blood pressure and diabetes. Going under anaesthesia poses a risk. I didn't want to have anaesthetic unless it was absolutely necessary," he explained.

So when the opportunity arose to take part in a worldwide experimental trial, testing whether a new drug could straighten his finger, Mr Galbraith decided to give it a go.

And it worked.

A day after an injection of clostridial collagenase into his hand last October, his finger "popped" straight.

"It was great after that. I can get a better grip on things with my right hand now," Mr Galbraith said.

"The day after they did it, I could carry on with my normal life."

The surgery, by contrast, required an overnight stay in hospital and left him unable to use his hand for six weeks. He also needed post-operative physiotherapy.

Mr Galbraith said the only downside of the drug therapy was the expected pain of the injection.

Dupuytren's contracture, first described by French surgeon Baron Guillaume Dupuytren in 1831, was wrongly believed at the time to be caused by a person's excessive holding of the reins of a horse.

Australian Clinical Research Organisation medical director Jeff Karrasch said the condition was caused by a build-up of fibrous tissue in the palm, around the joint that connects the finger to the hand.

It tends to affect people aged 50 and over and around two in 100 people will develop Dupuytren's contracture in their lifetime.

Men are more susceptible than women and it tends to run in families.

"You're more likely to get it if you've had an injury to the hand or repetitive trauma like using a pneumatic drill," Dr Karrasch said.

People with diabetes, epilepsy or alcohol dependency are also at increased risk.

Clostridial collagenase, developed by pharmaceutical company Auxilium, works by breaking down the abnormal tissue that causes the condition.

The drug is not designed to treat fingers badly crippled by arthritis.

Dr Karrasch said trials so far had shown the drug to be effective in about 75 per cent of cases of Dupuytren's contracture with no significant side effects.

"Often if the condition is severe, people can't get their fingers in the right place to do up buttons or they can't hold a golf stick. When the treatment works, they're just so excited," he said.

So far, the drug is only available in Australia as part of an experimental trial.

Another st

01/28/07 23:38
TrevB 
01/28/07 23:38
TrevB 

Re: Collagenase

Quote:



So when the opportunity arose to take part in a worldwide experimental trial, testing whether a new drug could straighten his finger, Mr Galbraith decided to give it a go.

And it worked.

A day after an injection of clostridial collagenase into his hand last October, his finger "popped" straight.

"It was great after that. I can get a better grip on things with my right hand now," Mr Galbraith said.

"The day after they did it, I could carry on with my normal life."

The surgery, by contrast, required an overnight stay in hospital and left him unable to use his hand for six weeks. He also needed post-operative physiotherapy.

Sounds good. Hopefully it works and is used more widely

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