‘Health Notes’ for Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013

Study aims to reduce pregnancy weight

Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Woman’s Hospital are enrolling women in a study to learn which of three methods is the most effective in reducing weight gain during pregnancy: advice from the woman’s physician; advice from a lifestyle counselor, in both individual and group sessions, and advice from a lifestyle counselor, through smartphone technology.

“Expecting Success” is funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of a national research effort, according to a news release from Pennington.

The study will follow 306 local women throughout their pregnancies and one year into their babies’ lives. All women will receive free wellness visits and screenings.

The study is seeking volunteers who are in their first trimester or planning to become pregnant; ages 18 to 40; nonsmoking; currently overweight or obese and are planning to deliver their babies at Woman’s Hospital.

To learn more, visit http://moms.pbrc.edu, call (225) 215-7980 or email moms@pbrc.edu.

Woman’s Hospital gets Pinterest page

Woman’s Hospital has launched a Pinterest social media network account at http://www.pinterest.com/womanshospital.

Woman’s plans to use Pinterest to offer healthy recipes, fitness and health tips and information on children’s activities, newborn photo ideas, maternity fashion, baby shower ideas and more, according to a news release from the hospital.

Stem cells studied as way to save limbs

Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans is seeking participants for a clinical trial on the use of bone marrow cells to save the limbs of patients suffering severe peripheral artery disease.

The Harvest CLI (critical limb ischemia) clinical trial will enroll patients at several medical centers in the nation.

Critical limb ischemia is a severe condition of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a blockage of the arteries that decreases blood flow to the legs and feet, to the point of severe pain at rest or the formation of skin ulcers, according to a news release from Ochsner Medical Center.

“The Gulf South region of the United States has a very high proportion of patients with peripheral arterial disease, compared to other areas of the United States,” said Dr. Hernan Bazan, with the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, who is principal investigator for the study.

The Gulf South also has a higher level of amputations, Bazan said in the news release.

The treatment being studied uses a patient’s own cells, including stem cells taken from their bone marrow, to stimulate growth of new blood vessels in the lower extremities. Both the cell harvest and implantation are carried out in one procedure, under local anesthesia with sedation.

In the trial, participants will have a 66 percent chance of receiving their own bone marrow concentrate and a 33 percent chance of receiving a placebo.

The study is looking for people who have been diagnosed with advanced peripheral arterial disease or critical limb ischemia; have a sore or more severe condition, such as gangrene, on the foot or leg; are not a candidate for other treatments and are not receiving dialysis.

To learn more, contact Clinical Research Coordinator Shannon Williams, at (504) 842-6487 or slwilliams@ochsner.org.

Compiled by Ellyn Couvillion

Advocate staff writer