Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday October 9, 1985
By the Associated Press
BOSTON - Doses of steroids ap-
pear to protect young victims of cystic
firbrosis from lung damage, the
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single greatest cause of illness and
death in this common inherited
disease, researchers say.
The study, conducted at Harvard
University and Children's Hospital in
Boston, showed that children who took
the drug had healthier lungs and spent
less time in the hospital than did a
AFTER FOUR YEARS, "'we felt
we had to stop the study, because it
was becoming so obvious that the
steroid group was better. We felt we
needed to open it up and let people
know," said Dr. Harvey Auerbach,
who directed the study.
Steroids reduce inflammation, but
they can cause serious side effects.
The researchers said they do not
recommend the drugs for routine use
in cystic fibrosis until their findings
are confirmed by a larger study.
"We are very encouraged," said
Dr. Robert Bealle of the Cystic
Fibrosis Foundation. He said the
foundation will finance a major study
to check and expand the Harvard
CYSTIC FIBROSIS is the most
common fatal genetic disease of
whites. One in 20 Americans carries
the gene for cystic fibrosis, and the
disease occurs whenever a child
inherits the gene from both parents. It
strikes about 1 in 1,800 whites.
Victims secrete thick mucus that
clogs the airways of their lungs. They
are also susceptible to lung infections,
and most patients die of respiratory
failure. They typically live until their
The latest study, published in the
Sept. 28 issue of the journal Lancet,
was conducted on 45 children. They
were randomly assigned to receive
either a cortisone-like steroid drug
called prednisone or dummy
THE TWO groups were alike when
the study began, but after four years,
there were significant differences.
March of Dimes
81IWRTH DEFECTS FOUNOATION
The steroid patients' lungs were vir-
tually normal, while various
measures demonstrated that the
comparison group's lungs were about
15 percent below normal.
Youngsters who got the drug had to
be admitted to the hospital a total of
nine times for lung disease, compared
with 35 time for the placebo group.
When the study was stopped, the
steroid patients "seemed to be pretty
much normal, and the other group
was deteriorating," said Auerbach.
Youngsters received the steroids
every other day, and doctors said they
noticed no adverse side effects.
However, the therapy can cause
cataracts and diabetes, and Auerbach
said he believes that continued
therapy will produce some ill effects.
BEALLE said his foundation is
about to begin a two- or three-year
study of the treatment at 10 medical
centers that will enroll about 300
patients. Besides confirming the Har-
vard results, the research will attem-
pt to find the best effective dose and
also compare steroids to ibuprofen, a
Bealle said the foundation is not
recommending that doctors adopt
steroids yet as standard therapy for
"I've talked to a number of
physicians, and there's a reluctance
only because of the nature of steroids
and the kinds of side effects they can
produce," he said.
Auerbach said researchers are not
sure why steroids seem to help.
However, he theorized that the drug
may help clear the airways of
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a microbe
that often causes infections in victims
of the disease.
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UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL REPORTS
Captain says all well on hijacked
ship, despite reports two killed
BEIRUT, Lebanon - A man who identified himself as the captain of
the commandeered Italian cruise liner, Achille Lauro, said yesterday
night, "Everybody is very good on the ship," according to Beirut port of-
ficials monitoring the hijacked ship's radio.
The statement appeared to contradict earlier, unconfirmed reports,
that the Palestinian hijackers had claimed they killed two Americans.
Speaking in broken English, the man who said he was the captain - but
did not give his name - sounded nervous, said the port officials who
declined to be identified. They quoted him as saying: "I have one
message. Please, please, don't try anything on my ship. Everybody is
very good on the ship."
The port officials said the message was apparently not directed at any
Beirut port officials said they were not sure whether he was addressing
the message to Cypriot, Lebanese or Syrian authorities. He just shouted -
the message over the radio.
Thatcher denouices British riots
LONDON - Police yesterday patrolled a mostly black neighborhood
hit by the British mainland's worst riots and Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher forcefully denounced the unrest as "new depths of terrorism."
One policeman was killed Sunday in the rioting and his widow said she
felt only "pity" for the killers who hacked her husband to death.
Thatcher, in her first public statement on the unrest, backed police
threats to use rubber bullets and tear gas in any new outbreaks and for-
cefully condemned the riot in north London - the fifth to hit Britain in a
Police in British cities traditionally have dealt with rioters and other
crimes without firearms or tear gas.
"They have sunk to new depths of terrorism. We have to fight it," she
told reporters at her Conservative Party's annual convention meeting in
the seaside town of Blackpool.
More than 500 riot police, equipped with floodlights and shields, kept
guard throughout the early hours yesterday in the Tottenham section -
the scene of fierce rioting that began Sunday and raged into the early
hours of Monday.
Amnesty reports official deaths
LONDON - Thousands of people worldwide were killed last year as a
result of government policies allowing the execution, torture or
assassination of criminals and political opponents, Amnesty Inter-
national said today.
In a report reviewing the human rights records of 123 countries in 1984,
the London-based group said it was impossible to provide an exact figure
because "secrecy concealed many deaths and government denied
responsibility for killings carried out on their orders or with their com-
Amnesty - basing part of its report on information from 40 countries -
said it counted 1,513 official executions in 1984, including 21 in the United
States, 16 in the Soviet Union and 114 in South Africa.
Thousands more peope were "the victims of deliberate political killings
in various countries," the organization said in the 359-page report.
Two British hostages released
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Two British women who were kidnapped in
Moslem west Beirut 13 days ago, were released yesterday. They ap-
peared shaken, but apparently unharmed.
The women, 28-year-old Amanda McGrath, a teacher at the American
University of Beirut's intensive English program, and Hazel Moss, 45, a
former restaurant manager, were freed near the Commodore Hotel in
Moslem west Beirut late in the evening.
Associated Press reporters who saw the women said they showed no
obvious signs of having been phsyically mistreated.
Both immediately called their families in England.
"I am fine. We've just been released," McGrath told her father. "I am
well and I even gained weight. I wasn't hurt."
The two said they did not know who their captors were.
Police in Beirut repoted Sept. 26 that the women were seen being
pushed into a car oustide of their Makhous Street apartment by men ar-
med with pistols and an AK-47 assault rifle.
Still missing are a British journalist and 11 other Westerners, all men,
kidnapped in west Beirut since March 1984. Six are Americans, four are
French and one is Italian.
Reagan program may have hurt
farm exports, spokesmen say
WASHINGTON - The Reagan Administration's. $2 billion program to
rescue sagging U.S. farm exports may instead have damaged overseas
sales because it has angered America's best customers, grain industry
spokesmen told Congress yesterday.
"The program has turned out to be a miserable failure that has...an-
tagonized our traditional customers and lost more business than it has
gained," said J. Stephen Gabbert, executive vice president of the Rice
Farm exports are the largest single positive influence on the U.S. trade
balance, but they have slipped in the past four years. Export value this
year is projected at $32 billion, down from a 1981 peak of $43.8 billion.
Reasons for the slide range from the high value of the U.S. dollar and
relatively high domestic price supports to slack demand due to a world
economic slump and massive overproduction that has led to huge sur-
In response, the Reagan administration on May 15 announced a $2
billion plan to rescue exports by subsidizing them with surplus gover-
nment commodities. "We will be going on the attack in the international
marketplace," Agriculture Secretary John Block said at the time.
Q he Michigan 13at-1
Vol XCVI- No. 25
The Michigan Daily (ISSN 0745-967 X) is published Monday through
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419 E. LIBERTY
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Editor in Chief....................NEIL CHASE
Opinion Page Editor............JOSEPH KRAUS
Managing Editors-.........GEORGEA KOVANIS
News Editor................. THOMAS MILLER
Features Editor-.............LAURIE DELATER
City Editor ................. ANDREW ERIKSEN
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NEWS STAFF: Jody Becker, Laura Bischoff, Nancy
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Scott Shaffer, Howard Solomon.
Business Manager...........DAWN WILLACKER
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