Lymphedema Research

In the past, lymphedema has been much ignored and little effort was made to carry out research on lymphedema. During the recent years, however, funding has been increased and researchers are more than willing to explore the causes responsible for the condition and to basically understand its nature. There is great progress in understanding the link between the lymphatic system and the other body systems; how it can be a cause for some of the maladies that we normally see in a patient. New studies have shown that all the processes in the body are intrinsically linked to the lymphatic system. According to recent studies, malfunctioning of the lymphatic system is also the root cause for many a disease.

The research on the subject of lymphedema as a whole is mainly focused on recognizing how a person's overall health is affected by this health condition. The growth of the lymphatic system is studied to understand what measures must be taken to improve the condition. Researchers are exploring the possibility of finding a cure for lymphedema, which, till now had never been done. New methods of treatment to restore the strength of the lymphatic system are also being investigated. Lymphedema research is encouraged in the recent times. Worldwide, numerous scientific bodies and laboratories are making new discoveries in the treatment methods for lymphedema.

There have been positive results with studies pertaining to the genetic development of the lymphatic system. A new molecule which is said to block the progress of lymphedema has been identified as recently as August 2009 by researchers of the University of Kentucky. Skin ailments caused due to chronic lymphedema are another aspect of the research. Researchers have been working continually to find a cure for the ailment as well as newer methods of treatment for prevention of the condition.

Until recently, doctors advised breast cancer survivors to avoid lifting heavy objects as well as exercise. The latest lymphedema research however, defies this whole theory and instead says that exercises like weight lifting may actually benefit women who have had mastectomy. A controlled weight lifting exercise routine is good to keep up the circulation in the arm according to this research. However, the recommendation is to lift weights while wearing the compression garment. The report also cautions women to undertake the exercise under supervision of a trained fitness professional.

Research centers in countries like USA, UK, Poland, Italy, Australia and European countries are striving to find the origin for lymphedema. In the past four years, they have been successful in isolating two genes that are believed to be the cause for lymphedema. Asian countries like Korea and China are also working in the field of lymphedema research, but their findings have not been published. Continuing research may, one day find a cure for lymphedema or at least find a way to make the treatment more effective.