Optimized LVAD Mechanical Unloading May Reverse Heart Failure

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28, 2020 — An optimized left ventricular assist device (LVAD) mechanical unloading, combined with standardized specific pharmacologic therapy, can help patients reach criteria for explantation within 18 months, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in Circulation. Emma J. Birks, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and colleagues enrolled 40 patients with chronic advanced […]

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COVID-19 causes some patients’ immune systems to attack their own bodies, which may contribute to severe illness

Around the world, immunologists who retooled their labs to join the fight against SARS-CoV-2 are furiously trying to explain why some people get so sick while others recover unscathed. The pace is dizzying, but some clear trends have emerged. One area of focus has been the production of antibodies—powerful proteins capable of disabling and killing invading pathogens like viruses. Of […]

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Observed COVID-19 variability may have underlying molecular sources

People have different susceptibilities to SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic, and develop varying degrees of fever, fatigue, and breathing problems—common symptoms of the illness. What might explain this variation? Scientists at the University of California, Riverside, and University of Southern California may have an answer to this mystery. In a paper published in Informatics in Medicine Unlocked, the […]

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Prenatal Cannabis Exposure May Raise Risk for Psychopathology

THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2020 — Prenatal cannabis exposure is associated with a greater risk for psychopathology during middle childhood, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in JAMA Psychiatry. Sarah E. Paul, from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues evaluated whether cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with adverse outcomes among offspring. The analysis included 11,489 children (52.2 […]

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Reduced Drinking May Improve Veterans’ Chronic Pain

FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2020 — Cutting back on booze may reduce chronic pain and use of other substances among U.S. veterans who are heavy drinkers, according to a new report. The study included about 1,500 veterans who completed annual surveys between 2003 and 2015, and reported heavy drinking in at least one of those surveys. “We found some evidence for […]

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Urban air pollution may make COVID-19 more severe for some

As the pandemic persists, COVID-19 has claimed more than 200,000 lives in the United States and damaged the public health system and economy. In a study published on September 21 in the journal The Innovation, researchers at Emory University found that long-term exposure to urban air pollution may have made COVID-19 more deadly. “Both long-term and short-term exposure to air […]

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A COVID-19 vaccine may come without a needle, the latest vaccine to protect without jabbing

Vaccines are traditionally administered with a needle, but this isn’t the only way. For example, certain vaccines can be delivered orally, as a drop on the tongue, or via a jet-like device. Vaccines that appear particularly suitable to needle-free technology are DNA-based ones, including a COVID-19 vaccine being developed in Australia. Needle-free vaccines are attractive as they cause less pain […]

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Researchers expect viral transmission of COVID-19 may increase as temperatures drop

Last winter, infectious disease specialists hoped the transmission rates of SARS-CoV-2—the virus behind COVID-19—would rapidly decline like the seasonal flu with the coming of warmer months. Unfortunately, this big drop didn’t materialize, or so we thought. Preliminary results from research at Johns Hopkins Medicine suggest that a large component of the pandemic’s initial spread was indeed dependent on temperature. In […]

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Hypoxia in hospitalized COVID-19 patients may be treatable

COVID-19 patients with hypoxia respond positively to icatibant treatment, Radboud university medical center researchers wrote in JAMA Network Open. These findings have led to a follow-up study at ten Dutch hospitals into a drug that may be even more effective. The current study has been funded by ZonMw. Rapid fluid overload of the lungs—pulmonary edema—is a hallmark of severe infection […]

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Study finds cancer mapping may solve puzzle of regional disease links

QUT researchers have used nationwide cancer mapping statistics to develop a new mathematical model so health professionals can further question patterns relating to the disease. Epidemiologists use disease atlases to identify disease prevalence and mortality rates and QUT researchers say data could be expanded by including factors such as remoteness to investigate health inequalities. QUT Ph.D. student Farzana Jahan is […]

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