I have been very aware of the plight of those with Lymphedema. It is a disease that is hard to manage and has profound impact on your daily life. Fortunately, the first possible drug treatment for Lymphedema is in trials. In a recent study researchers found that the buildup of lymph fluid, in Lymphedema, is actually an inflammatory response within the tissue of the skin, not just a “plumbing” problem within the lymphatic system. Scientists discovered that a naturally occurring inflammatory substance known as leukotriene B4, or LTB4, is elevated in both animal and human models of Lymphedema. and that at elevated levels it causes tissue inflammation and impaired lymphatic function. Inflammation is the root cause of most disease, even Lymphedema. Based on results of the study, the drug Bestatin, which is not approved for use in the United States, was found to work well as an LTB4 inhibitor, with no side effects.
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