Several studies have shown that healthcare clowning has a strong positive effect on pediatric patients in general, but there is limited research into its impact on those with psychological disorders. RED NOSES Clowndoctors Austria – an organization with decades of experience in healthcare clowning – is addressing this issue through a collaboration with the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Vienna. A joint study is currently being conducted in several psychiatric in-patient wards across Austria, using salivary stress biomarkers to assess whether clown visits are really benefitting patients.
Rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and celiac disease are familiar examples of autoimmune disorders that occur when the immune system attacks healthy cells or tissues by mistake. Myasthenia gravis is a far rarer autoimmune disease, causing weakness in the skeletal muscles. LAB Maastricht UMC+ in the Netherlands has a long history with myasthenia gravis, using gold standard immunoassays to enable accurate diagnosis and provide the information necessary to allow effective treatment.
Extracellular HMGB1 has been implicated in a wide range of conditions, from trauma and sepsis to epilepsy and lupus. As a result, this almost ubiquitous biomolecule is garnering increasing interest as a potential target for new therapeutics. In a recent review paper, Prof Ulf Andersson et al. summarized the latest advances in our understanding of the release, receptor interactions and functional consequences of extracellular HMGB1.