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Showing posts from January, 2021


  POTENTIAL COVID-19 DRUG EFFECTIVE IN LAB Peptide reduced COVID-19 symptoms in mice A new therapy developed by researchers at Rush University Medical Center shows success as a way to prevent COVID-19 symptoms in mice. In a study published in the  Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology,  mouse models with COVID-19 showed positive results when a small peptide was introduced nasally. The peptide proved effective in reducing fever, protecting the lungs, improving heart function, and reversing cytokine storm -- a condition in which an infection triggers the immune system to flood the bloodstream with inflammatory proteins. The researchers also report success in preventing the disease from progression. "This could be a new approach to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and protect COVID-19 patients from breathing problems and cardiac issues," said Kalipada Pahan, Ph.D., the Floyd A. Davis Professor of Neurology at Rush and a Research Career Scientist at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. &


  CAN VITAMIN D PROTECT AGAINST CANCER? According to a new research review, a good vitamin D status is beneficial both in cancer prevention and in the prognosis of several cancers. The anti-cancer effects of vitamin D are especially pronounced in preventing and treating colon cancer and blood cancers. Also, high vitamin D responsiveness can be linked to smaller cancer risk. Vitamin D responsiveness varies between individuals, affecting their need for vitamin D supplementation. The review article, published in  Seminars in Cancer Biology  and written by Professor Carsten Carlberg from the University of Eastern Finland and Professor Alberto Muñoz from the Autonomous University of Madrid, provides an updated molecular basis of vitamin D signaling and its role in cancer prevention and therapy. Vitamin D is commonly known for its crucial role in bone health. Still, the authors point out it also regulates the immune system, and its anti-cancer effects are mediated mainly by immune cells, suc


  BRAIN PRESSURE DISORDER LINKED TO OBESITY The increase corresponds with obesity rates, linked to low socioeconomic status in women A new study has found a brain pressure disorder called idiopathic intracranial hypertension is on the rise, and the increase corresponds with rising obesity rates. The study is published on January 20, 2021, online issue of  Neurology® , the American Academy of Neurology's medical journal. The study also found that socioeconomic factors like income, education, and housing may play a role in their risk for women. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension is when the pressure in the fluid surrounding the brain rises. It can mimic a brain tumor's symptoms, causing chronic, disabling headaches, vision problems, and in rare cases, vision loss. It is most often diagnosed in women of childbearing age. Treatment is often weight loss. In some cases, surgery may be required. "The considerable increase in idiopathic intracranial hypertension we found may be

Personalized brain stimulation alleviates severe depression symptoms.

  Personalized brain stimulation alleviates severe depression symptoms. The case study shows promising proof of concept for ongoing clinical trials. Targeted neuromodulation tailored to individual patients' distinctive symptoms is an increasingly common way of correcting misfiring brain circuits in people with epilepsy or Parkinson's disease. Now, scientists at UC San Francisco's Dolby Family Center for Mood Disorders have demonstrated a novel personalized neuromodulation approach that -- at least in one patient -- was able to provide relief from symptoms of severe treatment-resistant depression within minutes. The approach is being developed specifically as a potential treatment for the significant fraction of people with debilitating depression who do not respond to existing therapies and are at high risk of suicide. "The brain, like the heart, is an electrical organ, and there is a growing acceptance in the field that the faulty brain networks that cause depression


  LIFESTYLE CHANGES CAN HELP TREAT GERD. Findings from the Nurses' Health Study, one of the longest-running studies of women's health, show that five diet and lifestyle factors, including regular exercise, can significantly impact gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) heartburn symptoms. GERD is a common condition affecting about a third of the U.S. population; the main symptom is heartburn, and it is often managed with medications. However, this new study suggests that following diet and lifestyle guidelines may substantially reduce symptoms and make medication unnecessary for some patients. It was published as a letter in  JAMA Internal Medicine . The five factors include normal weight, never smoking, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily, restricting coffee, tea, sodas to two cups daily, and a "prudent" diet. "This study provides evidence that common and debilitating gastrointestinal symptoms could be well controlled in many cases with

Fried food intake linked to heightened serious heart disease and stroke risk

  Fried food intake linked to increased serious heart disease and stroke risk Risk rises with each additional weekly 114 g serving, pooled data analysis shows. Fried-food intake is linked to a heightened risk of major heart disease and stroke, finds a pooled analysis of the available research data, published online in the journal  Heart . And the risk rises with each additional 114 g weekly serving, the analysis indicates. It's clear that the Western diet doesn't promote good cardiovascular health, but it's not clear exactly what contribution fried food might make to the risks of serious heart disease and stroke, say the researchers. To shed some light on this, they trawled research databases, looking for relevant studies published up to April 2020, and found 19. They pooled the data from 17, involving 562,445 participants and 36,727 major cardiovascular 'events,' such as a heart attack or stroke, to assess cardiovascular disease risk. And they pooled the data from

Why sex becomes less satisfying with age

  Why sex becomes less satisfying with age The number of women regularly having sex declines with age, and the number of women enjoying sex postmenopause is even lower. Although these facts are not surprising, the causes for these declines may be because previous research focused largely on biological causes. However, a new UK study identifies psychosocial contributors. Study results are published online today in  Menopause, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) . It's hard to pick up a woman's magazine or ob/GYN journal anymore without reading an article about how and why a woman's libido and level of sexual satisfaction decline during and after menopause. Substantial research has been conducted into biological reasons such as hot flashes, sleep disruption, vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse. Much less is known about the effect of various psychosocial changes that are common in postmenopause. These include body image concerns, self-confidence, perceived desirab

MIND and Mediterranean diets associated with later onset of Parkinson's disease

  MIND and Mediterranean diets associated with later onset of Parkinson's disease A new study from UBC researchers suggests a strong correlation between following the MIND and Mediterranean diets and later onset of Parkinson's disease (PD). While researchers have long known of neuroprotective effects of the MIND diet for diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia, this study is the first to suggest a link between this diet and brain health for Parkinson's disease (PD). The MIND diet combines aspects of two trendy diets, the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. "The study shows individuals with Parkinson's disease have a significantly later age of onset if their eating pattern closely aligns with the Mediterranean-type diet. The difference shown in the study was up to 17 years later in women and eight years later in men," says Dr. Silke Appel-Cresswell of the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre, the Djavad Mowafagh

Why do women get more migraines?

  Why do women get more migraines? Estrogen and other sex hormones may be responsible for the higher prevalence of migraine in women. Research published recently reveals a potential mechanism for migraine causation, explaining why women get more migraines than men. In  Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences , the study suggests that sex hormones affect cells around the trigeminal nerve and connected blood vessels in the head, with estrogens -- at their highest levels in women of reproductive age -- being particularly important for sensitizing these cells to migraine triggers. The finding provides scientists with a promising new route to personalized treatments for migraine patients. "We can observe significant differences in our experimental migraine model between males and females and are trying to understand the molecular correlates responsible for these differences," explains Professor Antonio Ferrer-Montiel from the Universitas Miguel Hernández, Spain. "Although this is

Scientists reveal the mechanism that causes irritable bowel syndrome.

  Scientists reveal the mechanism that causes irritable bowel syndrome. KU Leuven researchers have identified the biological mechanism that explains why some people experience abdominal pain when eating certain foods. The finding paves the way for more efficient treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and other food intolerances. The study, carried out in mice and humans, was published in  Nature . Up to 20% of the world's population suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which causes stomach pain or severe discomfort after eating. This affects their quality of life. Gluten-free and other diets can provide some relief, but this works is a mystery since the patients are not allergic to the foods in question, nor do they have known conditions such as coeliac disease. "Very often these patients are not taken seriously by physicians, and the lack of an allergic response is used as an argument that this is all in mind and that they don't have a problem with their gut physio

Research shows a few beneficial organisms could play a key role in treating type 2 diabetes.

  Research shows a few beneficial organisms could play a key role in treating type 2 diabetes. Researchers at Oregon State University have found that a few organisms in the gut microbiome play a key role in type 2 diabetes, opening the door to possible probiotic treatments for a serious metabolic disease affecting roughly one in 10 Americans. "Type 2 diabetes is, in fact, a global pandemic, and the number of diagnoses is expected to keep rising over the next decade," said study co-leader Andrey Morgun, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the OSU College of Pharmacy. "The so-called 'western diet' -- high in saturated fats and refined sugars -- is one of the primary factors. But gut bacteria have an important role to play in modulating the effects of diet." Formerly known as adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition affecting how the body metabolizes glucose, a sugar that's a key source of energy. For some patients, that me