UAB creates gout research center - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

UAB creates gout research center

Posted: Updated:

It's been called "the disease of kings", but gout affects two percent of Americans. A number that's expected to grow as the U.S. population ages.

Gout is a form of arthritis, caused by uric acid build-up in the blood and typically forms around the "big toe".

Uric acid is created when breaking down purines. Purines already occur naturally in your body.  However, certain foods, including organ meats and veggies like asparagus can cause them as well.

Through research, the University of Alabama at Birmingham hopes to discover new ways to treat gout.

Andrew Simon describes living with gout and the feeling it creates in his right foot.

"You know how you feel when your leg falls asleep? that numbness and tingling? take that and concentrate it into one small part of your body," says Simon. "It's tender, it hurts, there's no doubt about it."

Despite having a family history of the disease, it took years for Simon to finally be diagnosed.

"It's one of those things where you think you know what's wrong with you, but you don't really know. When I went to the clinic I was able to get a true diagnosis," Simon says. "I was trying to live with it and by not living with it and getting care has made all the difference in the world."

Simon now manages his pain through medication, changes in diet and treatment from his specialist, Dr. Kenneth Saag.

"Gout can form in any joint in the body. The most common place to see it is in the feet in the great toe, but it can cause swelling, arthritis in the knee, in the wrist, almost any place in the body," Saag explains. "Over time, it can cause damage to the joints, damage to the tissue of the joints, which is what we're trying to prevent with many of the therapies we're using and studying in this new research center."

Saag is the director of the newly formed Center of Research Translation in Gout at UAB Hospital.

The center's focus is to improve the health of gout sufferers.

One problem not yet understood, is how the rise in uric acid has an impact on other health concerns.

Saag says, "We know that gout is increasing in overall frequency due to an increase in obesity, people living longer with chronic illnesses and many medicines that can also contribute."

Dr. S. Louis Bridges, co-director of the center says genetics must be a big part of the research.

"What I hope it will do is to better understand at a fine level of detail, what role genetics and diet play in causing the disease and hopefully being able to treat it or prevent it," says Bridges.

For Andrew Simon, the clinic gives him reason to hope for a less painful future.

"On the research side, having a group of patients that are being followed and then researched will help to ultimately lead to even some cure in the future," Simon says.

The center will be launching clinical trials of new medications for gout relatively soon. If anyone suffers from gout and is interested in participating, contact (205)-934-1444.

  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Board members extend contract for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools

    Board members extend contract for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:38:45 GMT
    Parents all over are getting their child's 'back to school' list together. Classes in Birmingham start August 14, 2014. The school board is also getting ready. Board members checked off a big item during the last board meeting.More >>
    Parents all over are getting their child's 'back to school' list together. Classes in Birmingham start August 14, 2014. The school board is also getting ready. Board members checked off a big item during the last board meeting.More >>
  • Starting process of replacing I-20/59 bridge

    Starting process of replacing I-20/59 bridge

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:17 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:17:49 GMT
    It's more than 42 years old and not getting in any better shape. The long and arduous process of replacing the I-20/59 bridge near the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center area is in the beginning stages. Starting Wednesday, July 23, at 9 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct geotechnical investigations for replacement of the bridge that's in disrepair. More than 160,000 vehicle travel the corridor each day. However, the bridge was only designed to carry 80,000 vehicles a d...More >>
    It's more than 42 years old and not getting in any better shape. The long and arduous process of replacing the I-20/59 bridge near the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center area is in the beginning stages. Starting Wednesday, July 23, at 9 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct geotechnical investigations for replacement of the bridge that's in disrepair. More than 160,000 vehicle travel the corridor each day. However, the bridge was only designed to carry 80,000 vehicles a d...More >>
  • California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:33:21 GMT
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.More >>
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.
    More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:06:38 GMT
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.More >>
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.
    More >>
  • Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:05:18 GMT
    William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
  • Heflin police: North Carolina man arrested with over 8 pounds of marijuana

    Heflin police: North Carolina man arrested with over 8 pounds of marijuana

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:04:33 GMT
    A North Carolina man was arrested Monday after Heflin police found over eight pounds of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.More >>
    A North Carolina man was arrested Monday after Heflin police found over eight pounds of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.
    More >>
  • Tuscaloosa Area NewsMore>>

  • Warrants issued to arrest Forkland mayor

    Warrants issued to arrest Forkland mayor

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:24 AM EDT2014-07-22 12:24:52 GMT

    Warrants allege: Theft of Property & Tampering Govt Records

    More >>

    Warrants allege: Theft of Property & Tampering Govt Records

    More >>
  • Tuscaloosa police on the look out for a murder suspect

    Tuscaloosa police on the look out for a murder suspect

    Sunday, July 20 2014 2:21 PM EDT2014-07-20 18:21:54 GMT
    At approximately1:40 am this morning Tuscaloosa Police responded to a reported shooting in the 4700 block of East McFarland Blvd (Motel 6). When officers arrived, they found the victim, 21 year old Jamarcus Marquez Roberts in his vehicle. Roberts had crashed into the shrubs at the entrance to the motel parking lot. Roberts was treated at the scene and transported to DCH-ED, however he died from his injuries. The victim appears to have been shot one time in the chest. Investigators were able t...More >>
    At approximately1:40 am this morning Tuscaloosa Police responded to a reported shooting in the 4700 block of East McFarland Blvd (Motel 6). When officers arrived, they found the victim, 21 year old Jamarcus Marquez Roberts in his vehicle. Roberts had crashed into the shrubs at the entrance to the motel parking lot. Roberts was treated at the scene and transported to DCH-ED, however he died from his injuries. The victim appears to have been shot one time in the chest. Investigators were able t...More >>
  • Tuscaloosa Police investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd.

    Tuscaloosa Police investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd.

    Sunday, July 20 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-20 18:09:31 GMT
    Tuscaloosa Police are investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd. at the Motel 6.  More >>
    Tuscaloosa Police are investigating a murder on East McFarland Blvd. at the Motel 6.  More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • CEO: Clippers coach to quit if Sterling stays

    CEO: Clippers coach to quit if Sterling stays

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:03 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:03:50 GMT
    Richard Parsons, the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, is due to step into the battle of billionaires going on in probate court over the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.More >>
    The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.More >>
  • Board members extend contract for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools

    Board members extend contract for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:38:45 GMT
    Parents all over are getting their child's 'back to school' list together. Classes in Birmingham start August 14, 2014. The school board is also getting ready. Board members checked off a big item during the last board meeting.More >>
    Parents all over are getting their child's 'back to school' list together. Classes in Birmingham start August 14, 2014. The school board is also getting ready. Board members checked off a big item during the last board meeting.More >>
  • Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival at the gulf

    Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival at the gulf

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:05:11 GMT
    The 2nd Annual Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival is coming on September 6th at Perdido Key. The event will be held at Stacey's at the Point, just off Galvez Landing. Last year's event attracted over 3,500 visitors in its first year, more are expected this year.The festival will feature kayak and stand up paddleboard races, arts and crafts vendors, live music, a huge fireworks show and a BBQ cook off competition with cash prizes. This year's kayak and paddleboard races have been expanded with separ...More >>
    The 2nd Annual Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival is coming on September 6th at Perdido Key. The event will be held at Stacey's at the Point, just off Galvez Landing. Last year's event attracted over 3,500 visitors in its first year, more are expected this year.The festival will feature kayak and stand up paddleboard races, arts and crafts vendors, live music, a huge fireworks show and a BBQ cook off competition with cash prizes. This year's kayak and paddleboard races have been expanded with separ...More >>
  • Starting process of replacing I-20/59 bridge

    Starting process of replacing I-20/59 bridge

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:17 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:17:49 GMT
    It's more than 42 years old and not getting in any better shape. The long and arduous process of replacing the I-20/59 bridge near the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center area is in the beginning stages. Starting Wednesday, July 23, at 9 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct geotechnical investigations for replacement of the bridge that's in disrepair. More than 160,000 vehicle travel the corridor each day. However, the bridge was only designed to carry 80,000 vehicles a d...More >>
    It's more than 42 years old and not getting in any better shape. The long and arduous process of replacing the I-20/59 bridge near the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center area is in the beginning stages. Starting Wednesday, July 23, at 9 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct geotechnical investigations for replacement of the bridge that's in disrepair. More than 160,000 vehicle travel the corridor each day. However, the bridge was only designed to carry 80,000 vehicles a d...More >>
  • Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:06:38 GMT
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.More >>
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.
    More >>
  • Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:05:18 GMT
    William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
  • California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    California law limits full-contact football practice for youth, local coach weighs in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:33:21 GMT
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.More >>
    Football, and the injuries associated with it, are in the national spotlight. With recent suits from former NFL players and new rules determining when it is safe to return to play after a concussion, it's at the center of attention.
    More >>
  • UAB gets commitment from JUCO receiver/returner

    UAB gets commitment from JUCO receiver/returner

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:17:31 GMT
    Alex Byers is set to return to his southeast roots. The junior college wide receiver and return man committed to UAB. He's the ninth member of the Blazers 2015 recruiting class.More >>
    Alex Byers is set to return to his southeast roots. The junior college wide receiver and return man committed to UAB. He's the ninth member of the Blazers 2015 recruiting class.More >>