Saturday Health (17 – 23 Oct 2020)

Health News related to Restoration of Retinal and Visual Functions, Antibodies in Recovering COVID-19 Patients, Insomnia Among Young Drinkers, Cannabis Reducing OCD Symptoms, COVID Vaccine Doubts Among People, New Details on Heart Defects, Potential Vaccine for Alzheimer’s Disease Progression, Green Tea and Coffee for Lower Death Risk, Activating the Immune Response Against Cancer, Insights for Universal Flu Vaccine, Soy Lowering Dementia Risk, Ovarian Cancer Treatments

Note: I do not write/own any of the health news bits (and cover picture) given here. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. The content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story

1. Study Reveals Significant Restoration of Retinal and Visual Function Following Gene Therapy

Source: University of California – Irvine

19 Oct 2020

A breakthrough study results in the restoration of retinal and visual functions of mice models suffering from inherited retinal disease. It illustrates the use of a new generation CRISPR technology and lays the foundation for the development of a new therapeutic modality for a wide range of inherited ocular diseases caused by different gene mutations.

2. In Recovering COVID-19 Patients, Antibodies Fade Quickly

Source: American Society for Microbiology

19 Oct 2020

In the absence of approved, effective treatments for COVID-19, some hospitals have been treating patients with severe COVID symptoms with blood plasma from recovering patients. The blood of recovered patients contains antibodies that act against the coronavirus. While plasma hasn’t yet shown a benefit in randomized trials, some small retrospective studies suggest it may reduce illness severity and reduce hospitalization time.

3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Reduces Insomnia Symptoms Among Young Drinkers

Source: University of Missouri-Columbia

19 Oct 2020

More than half of young adults at risk for alcohol-related harm report symptoms of insomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the first-line treatments for insomnia, but it’s never been tested on young adults who are actively drinking. Researchers conducted a pilot study to evaluate CBT’s effect on young adult binge drinkers with insomnia to determine if this treatment can improve their sleep and potentially affect alcohol use outcomes.

4. Cannabis Reduces OCD Symptoms by Half in The Short-Term

Source: Washington State University

20 Oct 2020

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, report that the severity of their symptoms was reduced by about half within four hours of smoking cannabis, according to a study. The researchers analyzed data inputted into the Strainprint app by people who self-identified as having OCD. After smoking cannabis, users with OCD reported it reduced their compulsions by 60%, intrusions, or unwanted thoughts, by 49% and anxiety by 52%.

Original written by: Sara Zaske

5. Coronavirus Vaccines Stir Doubts Among Many People Worldwide, New Study Shows

Source: CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

20 Oct 2020

New research reveals potential global hesitancy to accept a COVID-19 vaccine. Based on data collected with the previously validated COVID-SCORE survey of a sample of over 13,400 individuals from 19 countries that have been hard-hit by the virus, the investigators found that 72 % of participants would likely take the vaccine. Of the remaining 28 %, 14% would refuse, while 14% would hesitate, which translates into tens of millions of potential vaccine avoiders.

6. Cutting-Edge, Whole-Heart Imaging Provides New Details on Heart Defects

Source: eLife

20 Oct 2020

A cutting-edge technique that allows scientists to zoom into tiny details in a 3D image of a whole animal heart may lead to new insights on congenital heart disease. Surgery and other interventions can help repair structural heart defects in many of the 1% of infants born with congenital heart disease. But 10–25% of these children still do not survive their first year and 44% do not survive to age 18. The new technique reveals defects in cells and the components within them found in hearts affected by congenital heart disease. This may lead to treatments to correct these defects and further improve survival.

7. New Vaccine Targeting Toxic Amyloid-Β Could Help Halt Alzheimer’s Disease Progression, Preclinical Study Finds

Source: University of South Florida (USF Health)

20 Oct 2020

Our immune system’s capacity to mount a well-regulated defense against foreign substances, including toxins, weakens with age and makes vaccines less effective in people over age 65. At the same time, research has shown that immunotherapy targeting neurotoxic forms of the peptide amyloid beta may halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common age-related neurodegenerative disease.

Original written by: Anne DeLotto Baier

8. Drinking Green Tea and Coffee Daily Linked to Lower Death Risk in People with Diabetes

Source: BMJ

20 Oct 2020

Drinking plenty of both green tea and coffee is linked to a lower risk of dying from any cause among people with type 2 diabetes, suggests research. Drinking 4 or more daily cups of green tea plus 2 or more of coffee was associated with a 63% lower risk of death over a period of around 5 years, the findings show.

9. Genome Archeologists Discover A Path to Activate the Immune Response Against Cancer

Source: University Health Network

21 Oct 2020

Ancient embedded elements in our DNA from generations past can activate a powerful immune response to kill cancer cells like an infection. A team of researchers has now identified silent ancient DNA elements buried in our genome that when “reactivated” can initiate this immune response. Importantly, they have also discovered a key enzyme used by cancer cells to prevent this from happening in order to survive.

10. Key Details About Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies Provide Insights for Universal Flu Vaccine

Source: University of Chicago Medical Center

22 Oct 2020

New research may shed light on the challenges of developing a universal flu vaccine that would provide long-lasting and broad protection against influenza viruses. The study explores the behavior of polyreactive antibodies — antibodies that are capable of binding to more than one distinct antigen — in an effort to understand their role against influenza viruses. The researchers identified that broadly neutralizing antibodies are commonly polyreactive and are preferentially induced by novel and pandemic-level influenza viruses.

Original written by: Alison Caldwell

11. Bacterial Metabolism of Soy May Lower Dementia Risk Factor

Source: University of Pittsburgh

22 Oct 2020

A metabolite produced following consumption of dietary soy may decrease a key risk factor for dementia—with the help of the right bacteria, according to a new discovery. The study reports that elderly Japanese men and women who produce equol—a metabolite of dietary soy created by certain types of gut bacteria—display lower levels of white matter lesions within the brain.

12. Technology Shines the Light on Ovarian Cancer Treatments

Source: Purdue University

22 Oct 2020

Scientists estimate that nearly 60% of all cancer patients do not respond effectively to chemotherapy treatments. Even worse – many of those same patients experience toxic and sometimes deadly side effects. Now, a scientist and entrepreneur is working to use simple LED light to help determine if certain chemotherapy options will work for specific patients.

Original written by: Chris Adam

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