Inadequate sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 variants impedes global response to COVID-19

  San Francisco, California, USA (July 15, 2021) — The lack of sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 variants by the U.S. and other countries is imperiling the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, argues Dana Crawford of Case Western Reserve University in a new Viewpoint published July 15th in the journal PLOS Genetics. Surveillance is essential to

New meta-analysis finds cannabis may be linked to development of opioid use disorders

  Northampton, UK (July 15, 2021) — The idea that cannabis is a ‘gateway drug’ to more harmful substances such as opioids is controversial, yet has substantially impacted drug policy, education and how we conceptualize substance use. A new systematic review and meta-analysis has found that people who use cannabis are disproportionately more likely to

New guidance on how to diagnosis and manage osteoporosis in chronic kidney disease

  Nyon, Switzerland (July 15, 2021) – Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) typically suffer from impaired bone quality and quantity, with a non-vertebral fracture risk which is 4-to 6-fold higher than the fracture risk of matched controls. However, despite their high risk of fragility fractures, the vast majority of patients with chronic CKD

Starting the day off with chocolate could have unexpected benefits

  WHO Frank A. J. L. Scheer, PhD, MSc, Neuroscientist and Marta Garaulet, PhD, Visiting Scientist, both of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Drs. Scheer and Garaulet are co-corresponding authors of a new paper published in The FASEB Journal.   WHAT Eating milk chocolate

Better mental health supports for nurses needed, study finds

  Vancouver, BC, Canada (June 24, 2021) — Working in the highly charged environment of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the mental health of nurses, according to a new survey by researchers at the University of British Columbia and the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. The findings, described recently in the

Monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19 safe, effective for transplant patients

  ROCHESTER, Minn., USA (June 10, 2021) — Treating transplant patients with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies is safe and helps prevent serious illness, according to a Mayo Clinic study recently published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases. These results are especially important because transplant patients who are infected with COVID-19 have

Having trouble falling asleep predicts cognitive impairment in later life

  DARIEN, IL, USA (June 9, 2021) — A study of nearly 2,500 adults found that having trouble falling asleep, as compared to other patterns of insomnia, was the main insomnia symptom that predicted cognitive impairment 14 years later. Results show that having trouble falling asleep in 2002 was associated with cognitive impairment in 2016.

SARS-CoV-2 detectable — though likely not transmissible — on hospital surfaces

  San Diego, Cal., USA (June 9, 2021) — Watching what was happening around the world in early 2020, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers knew their region would likely soon be hit with a wave of patients with COVID-19, the infection caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. They wondered how the virus

Important to reduce patients’ time respiratory intensive care with mechanical ventilation

  Gothenburg, Sweden (June 7, 2021) — More active efforts to reduce patients’ time on a ventilator in an ICU can both spare their suffering and free up intensive care resources, a thesis at the University of Gothenburg shows. Mechanical ventilation (MV) in an intensive care unit (ICU) is often needed to save a patient’s

Waking just one hour earlier cuts depression risk by double digits

  Boulder, Colorado, USA (May 28, 2021) — Waking up just one hour earlier could reduce a person’s risk of major depression by 23%, suggests a sweeping new genetic study published May 26 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. The study of 840,000 people, by researchers at University of Colorado Boulder and the Broad Institute of

Moving one step closer to personalized anesthesia

  Lausanne, France (May 28, 2021) –EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) researchers have developed a device that can continuously measure the blood concentration of propofol – one of the main compounds used in anesthetics – in patients as they are being operated on. Anesthesia may be an exact science, but it’s not yet fully

MS experts call for increased focus on progressive MS rehabilitation research

International Progressive MS Alliance contends that the development of rehabilitation strategies for people with progressive MS is lacking compared to other types of MS   East Hanover, NJ., USA (May 28, 2021) — An international team of multiple sclerosis (MS) experts has identified four under-researched areas that are critical to advancing symptom management for progressive

Exoskeleton therapy improves mobility, cognition and brain connectivity in people with MS

  East Hanover, NJ., USA (May 28, 2021) — A team of multiple sclerosis (MS) experts at Kessler Foundation led the first pilot randomized controlled trial of robotic-exoskeleton assisted exercise rehabilitation (REAER) effects on mobility, cognition, and brain connectivity in people with substantial MS-related disability. Their results showed that REAER is likely an effective intervention,

Association of tracheostomy with outcomes in patients with COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 transmission among health care workers

  JAMA Network (Mai 27, 2021) — What The Study Did: The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis indicate that enhanced personal protective equipment is associated with low rates of SARS-CoV-2 transmission during tracheostomy. Authors: Phillip Staibano, M.Sc., M.D., of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study:

Escape from oblivion: How the brain reboots after deep anesthesia

  Ann Arbour (May 27, 2021) — Millions of surgical procedures performed each year would not be possible without the aid of general anesthesia, the miraculous medical ability to turn off consciousness in a reversible and controllable way. Researchers are using this powerful tool to better understand how the brain reconstitutes consciousness and cognition after

The Lancet: More nurses lead to fewer patient deaths&readmissions, shorter hospital stays, and savings

  The Lancet (May 25, 2021) — A study across 55 hospitals in Queensland, Australia suggests that a recent state policy to introduce a minimum ratio of one nurse to four patients for day shifts has successfully improved patient care, with a 7% drop in the chance of death and readmission, and 3% reduction in

Doctor and mother recounts COVID-19 experience that saw her placed on special ECMO respiratory support and remain in hospital for 150 days

  London, UK, (May 18, 2021) — A general practitioner, wife and mother has recounted her experience with COVID-19 which saw her stay in hospital 150 days and become one of the first patients to be treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), special equipment that completely takes over the function of the lungs and is

COVID-19 pandemic sees increased consults for alcohol-related GI and liver diseases

  Bethesda, MD, USA (May 14, 2021) — Inpatient consults for alcohol-related gastrointestinal (GI) and liver diseases have surged since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and remained elevated, according to research selected for presentation at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2021. The proportion of patients that required inpatient endoscopic interventions for their alcohol-related GI and

The eyes offer a window into Alzheimer’s disease

  San Francisco, Cal., USA (May 14, 2021) — While it has been said that the eyes are a window to the soul, a new study shows they could be a means for understanding diseases of the brain. According to new research by scientists at the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, retinal scans can detect

Ventilating the rectum to support respiration

  Tokyo, Japan (May 14, 2021) — Oxygen is crucial to many forms of life. Its delivery to the organs and tissues of the body through the process of respiration is vital for most biological processes. Now, researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have shown that oxygen can be delivered through the wall

Screening for ovarian cancer did not reduce deaths

  London, UK (May 13, 2021) — A large-scale randomised trial of annual screening for ovarian cancer, led by UCL researchers, did not succeed in reducing deaths from the disease, despite one of the screening methods tested detecting cancers earlier. Results from the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) have been published in

New 2021 COVID-relevant fire safety and emergency evacuation guidelines for intensive care units and operating theaters launched

  London, UK (May 13, 2021) — The need to evacuate an intensive care unit (ICU) or operating theatre complex during a fire or other emergency is a rare event but one potentially fraught with difficulty: not only is there a risk that patients may come to significant harm but also that staff may be

Fatigue, mood disorders associated with post-COVID-19 syndrome

  ROCHESTER, Minn., USA (May 12, 2021) — Patients diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome, also known as “PCS,” “COVID-19 long-haul syndrome” and “Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS COV-2,” experience symptoms such as mood disorders, fatigue and perceived cognitive impairment that can negatively affect returning to work and resuming normal activities, according to a Mayo Clinic study published

New material to treat wounds can protect against resistant bacteria

  GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN (May 11, 2021) — Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a new material that prevents infections in wounds – a specially designed hydrogel, that works against all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones. The new material offers great hope for combating a growing global problem. The World Health Organization

Gout treatment success doubled by combining two drugs, study finds

  Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA (May 11, 2021) — By combining two medications, researchers at Michigan Medicine optimized a therapy for people with gout, a condition that causes severe damage and disability if left untreated. The study revealed how a second drug taken orally more than doubled the effectiveness of Pegloticase, an intravenous gout treatment

This stinks: New research finds sense of smell and pneumonia linked

This stinks: New research finds sense of smell and pneumonia linked   EAST LANSING, Mich., USA (May 11, 2021) — An acute loss of smell is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, but for two decades it has been linked to other maladies among them Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Now, a poor sense

Study examines connection between oral and general health in patients with diabetes

  Leawood, KS, USA (May 11, 2021) — Individuals with diabetes are at greater risk of developing oral health issues, like gum disease, yet care for these linked health issues are usually disconnected, split between primary care and dental care. A research team from the University of Amsterdam developed an intervention that provided primary care-based

Microneedle patch delivers antibiotics locally in the skin

  Stockholm, Sweden (May 10, 2021) — MRSA skin infections are often treated with intravenous injection of antibiotics, which can cause significant side effects and promote the development of resistant bacterial strains. To solve these problems, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden are developing a microneedle patch that delivers antibiotics directly into the affected skin

New theory may revolutionize treatment of endometriosis

  Vancouver, Canada (May 11, 2021) — Endometriosis, a disease found in up to 10 per cent of women, has been enigmatic since it was first described. A new theory developed by researchers at Simon Fraser University suggests a previously overlooked hormone — testosterone — has a critical role in its development. The research could

ICU admission linked to increased risk of future suicide and self-harm

  (May 5, 2021) — Admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) is associated with a small increased risk of future suicide or self-harm after discharge compared with non-ICU hospital admissions, finds a study published in The BMJ today. The findings are particularly relevant during the covid-19 pandemic, as the number of ICU admissions around

Dexamethasone treatment safe in surgery

  Victoria, Australia (May 5, 2021) — A large scale trial by Monash University has definitively found a drug commonly used during anaesthesia before surgery to prevent nausea and vomiting does not increase the risk of a surgical wound infection as once feared. The steroid drug, dexamethasone, is often given by anaesthetists during surgery. However,

Medical and ethical experts say ‘make general anaesthesia more widely available for dying patients’

  London, UK (April 20, 2021) — General anaesthesia is widely used for surgery and diagnostic interventions, to ensure the patient is completely unconscious during these procedures. However, in a paper published in Anaesthesia (a journal of the Association of Anaesthetists) ethics and anaesthesia experts from the University of Oxford say that general anaesthesia should

Perinatal patients, nurses explain how hospital pandemic policies failed them

  Seattle, WA, USA (April 7, 2021) — With a lethal, airborne virus spreading fast, hospitals had to change how they treated patients and policies for how caregivers provided that treatment. But for maternity patients and nurses some of those changes had negative outcomes, according to a new University of Washington study. “We found that

Johns Hopkins Medicine expert creates comprehensive guide to new diabetes drugs

Diabetes specialist Rita Kalyani outlines the current standards of care for diabetes management   Baltimore, MA, USA (April 7, 2021) — New medicines for people who have diabetes seem to pop up all the time. Drugs that help the body break down carbohydrates, drugs that increase excretion of glucose in the urine, drugs that help

An amyloid link between Parkinson’s disease and melanoma

  WASHINGTON, USA (April 7, 2021) — On the surface, Parkinson’s disease — a neurodegenerative disorder — and melanoma — a type of skin cancer — do not appear to have much in common. However, for nearly 50 years, doctors have recognized that Parkinson’s disease patients are more likely to develop melanoma than the general

Ultrasensitive, rapid diagnostic detects Ebola earlier than gold standard test

Portable platform detects early biomarkers of the Ebola virus faster than PCR, the current industry standard   DURHAM, N.C., USA (April 7, 2021) — An interdisciplinary team of scientists at Duke University has developed a highly sensitive and rapid diagnostic test for Ebola virus (EBOV) infection. In monkeys infected with Ebola, this diagnostic, called the

Paranoia therapy app SlowMo helps people ‘slow down’ and manage their fears

A clinical trial has revealed that a new digitally supported therapy effectively supports people to manage paranoia to help them get on with life   London, UK (April 7, 2021) — A new clinical trial from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, & Neuroscience, in collaboration with Oxford University, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust,

Conspiracy theories and cognitive biases in the COVID-19 pandemic

  Basel, Switzerland (April 7, 2021) — Conspiracy theories appear to be increasing in popularity as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. But to what extent do people really agree with them, and what is the association with cognitive biases? A research team from the University of Basel studied these questions in German-speaking Switzerland and Germany. Periods

New Lyme disease test distinguishes between early and late-stage disease

New test targets genetic sequences in Lyme-causing bacteria and is highly sensitive, detecting just one bacterial cell in a blood sample   (April 7, 2021) — For those who live in an area blighted by ticks, the threat of Lyme disease can cast a shadow over the joy of spring and summer. These blood-sucking arachnids

Study shows why crossing obstacles is difficult for patients with Parkinson’s disease

  Bauru, Brazil (April 7, 2021) – A multidisciplinary research group affiliated with the Department of Physical Education’s Human Movement Laboratory (Movi-Lab) at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Bauru, Brazil, measured step length synergy while crossing obstacles in patients with Parkinson’s disease and concluded that it was 53% lower than in healthy subjects of

Cost-effective, easily manufactured ventilators for COVID-19 patients

The Mechanical Ventilator Milano design helps overcome the ventilator shortage, aids with the respiratory effects of the pandemic.   WASHINGTON, USA (March 23, 2021) — Scientists have been working for the past year to find ways to curb the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though it is outside their typical realm of study, physicists have

New diagnostic tool for the management of patients with sepsis

  Hennigsdorf/Berlin, Germany (March 23, 2021) — Diagnostics company SphingoTec GmbH (“SphingoTec”) announced today the first published data (1) on the biomarker DPP3 that can predict the evolution of organ function and survival in septic patients. Measured on top of routinely used standard parameters, such as Lactate and Procalcitonin, DPP3 is an early indicator of

The impact of population-wide rapid antigen testing on SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in Slovakia

  Washington,DC, USA (March 23, 2021) — In Slovakia, in counties subject to two rounds of rapid antigen testing for SARS-CoV-2 where those who tested positive then isolated, the approach helped decrease the prevalence of positive tests by more than 50% in a week – all while primary schools and workplaces remained open. “While it

Pilot study finds evidence of bartonella infection in schizophrenia patients

  Raleigh, NC, USA (March 23, 2021) — A pilot study from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found evidence of Bartonella infection in the blood of people with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. “Researchers have been looking at the connection between bacterial infection and neuropsychiatric disease for

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients with obesity are significantly more likely to need ICU care

Study did not find higher risk of death in people with obesity, COVID-19   WASHINGTON, USA (March 20, 2021) — People with obesity who are hospitalized with COVID-19 have a significantly higher rate of ICU admissions and longer duration of ICU stay compared to people with a normal body mass index (BMI), according to a

Certain mouthwashes might stop COVID-19 virus transmission

A Rutgers study shows two types of mouthwash disrupt SARS-CoV-2 in laboratory   New Brunswick, NJ, USA (March 17, 2021) — Researchers at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine have found evidence that two types of mouthwash disrupt the COVID-19 virus under laboratory conditions, preventing it from replicating in a human cell. The study, published in

High speed air hand dryers spread contamination more than paper towels

Experiment shows air dryers spread bacteria from poorly washed hands to clothing and surfaces beyond the restroom   NEW YORK, USA (March 17, 2021) — High speed air dryers not only leave more contamination on poorly washed hands compared to paper towels, but during hand drying, they can also spread germs onto clothing, ultimately transferring

Nurse work environment influences stroke outcomes

  PHILADELPHIA, USA (March 17, 2021) – Stroke remains a leading cause of death worldwide and one of the most common reasons for disability. While a wide variety of factors influence stroke outcomes, data show that avoiding readmissions and long lengths of stay among ischemic stroke patients has benefits for patients and health care systems

Aspirin use may decrease ventilation, ICU admission and death in COVID-19 patients

Researchers from the George Washington University found that aspirin may have lung-protective effects and reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, ICU admission and in-hospital mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients   Washington, DC (March 17, 2021) — George Washington University researchers found low dose aspirin may reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, ICU admission and in-hospital

Ultrasound has potential to damage coronaviruses, study finds

Simulations show ultrasound waves at medical imaging frequencies can cause the virus’ shell and spikes to collapse and rupture   Cambridge, MA, USA (March 17, 2021) — The coronavirus’ structure is an all-too-familiar image, with its densely packed surface receptors resembling a thorny crown. These spike-like proteins latch onto healthy cells and trigger the invasion


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