New Findings May Change the Prevailing Modes of Treatment of Heart Attacks

New Findings May Change the Prevailing Modes of Treatment of Heart Attacks

Antibodies, also known as immunoglobulins (Ig), refer to a type of protein produced by plasma cells. Your immune system utilizes these to combat potentially dangerous foreign bodies.

Researchers belonging to the Karolinska Institute in Solna, Sweden, performed a research on these antibodies. They found that certain antibodies associated with rheumatic diseases are also present in people who just suffered from a heart attack.

These antibodies are the anti-phospholipid antibodies (aPLs). These refer to the abnormal antibodies that may react to certain types of tissues produced by the body. The examples of these tissues include beta-2-glycoprotein-1 (a plasma protein), or cardiolipin, a lipoprotein.

The scientists noted that aPLs normally appear in reference to rheumatic diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus.

The presence of these antibodies in a person indicates a higher risk of blood clots. This particularly happens in antiphospholipid syndrome, an autoimmune problem in which your body produces excessive aPLs.

Antibodies are Present at High Concentrations

The findings of this recent studies are present in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors noted that aPL is present in the bodies of most of the individuals who suffered from a heart attack.

The scientists also reported that it has not been clear how common aPLs are in such people. This is mostly because the scientists conducted all previous studies at small scales. So no appropriate data existed as such.

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For this new study, the investigators worked with almost 800 people. These people were hospitalized in 17 different Swedish hospitals after suffering from a heart attack. Note that this was the first episode of heart attack that these people encountered.

In order to compare the data, the scientists made sure to recruit an equal number of healthy people. These people served as the control group.

The researchers investigated by collecting blood samples from the first groups. The first sample withdrawal took place at 6th week after the attack. The second one took place after 10 weeks.

The scientists particularly looked for three different types of aPLs: immunoglobulin A, M, and G.

After investigating the data, the scientists found that 11 percent of the participants reacted to beta-2-glycoprotein and cardiolipin both.

This ratio was ten times more than the people present in the control group.

The study author said that he had always known how antibodies are more common than one thinks. Now, they have been able to analyze them in a large patient group.

Changing Prevailing Guidelines

According to the researchers, it was surprising to find high levels of these antibodies in the majority of patients. The volunteers, in particular, had great levels of IgG antibodies. Such antibodies are mostly in relation with an increased risk of blood clots.

However, the researchers admit the limitations of this study. They admit that they only collected one set of the blood sample. This may not properly reflect the levels of aPL over time. It may also be the one-off reaction of your body to a heart attack.

Even in this case, their levels of aPL must remain high for 3 months. This means that the participants having APL will be at a higher risk of developing blood clots.

In such a case, it is important to prescribe these patients with an anticoagulant warfarin. The lifelong treatment with this agent can reduce the risk of developing new clots.

This study is set to change the existing guidelines for the investigations and treatments for heart attack.


Published at Mon, 29 Oct 2018 08:47:14 +0000

Artificial Sweeteners: A Beginner’s Guide

Artificial Sweeteners: A Beginner’s Guide

Artificial sweeteners are substances which we add to some foods and beverages. These help to make nutrients and materials sweet also called as sugar alternatives. Since they give a flavor that is same as table sugar but has a taste several thousand times sweeter.

So, people usually mention to those as “intense sweeteners”. Though some taster has calories, the quantity desired to sugarcoat foodstuffs is so lesser that you finish up almost no calories.

Artificial sugars are engineered sugar substitutes. However, they might be gotten from normally natural substances. So it includes examples of herbs or sugar itself.

Artificial sugars otherwise called exceptional sugars since they are ordinarily better than sugar.

Artificial sugars can appeal choices to sugar. Since they add for all intents and purposes no calories to your eating routine. Likewise, you require just a small amount of artificial sugar as compared to the measure of sugar you would typically use for sweetness.

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Natural sweeteners

Natural sweeteners are sugar alternatives that often stimulated as healthier options than sugar or other sugar alternatives. But even these “natural sweeteners” often undergo treating and purifying.

Regular sugars that the FDA perceives as by and large safe include:

  • Organic product juices
  • Nectar or Honey
  • Molasses
  • Maple syrup

Utilizations for normal sugars

Normal sugars have a mixture of roles both at home and in prepared nourishments. They’re in some cases known as “added sugars” since they’re added to nourishments preparing.

Natural sweeteners give a couple of a larger number of supplements than table sugar. Yet, they are on the whole still types of sugar and high in calories, so utilize close to 1 to 2 teaspoons for every day.

Crude nectar contains cell reinforcement vitamins E and C and in addition minerals, and unadulterated maple syrup contains cancer prevention agents. Both have prebiotic oligosaccharides that assist to nourish gut flora.

In any case, read all nourishment names for concealed fixings. In case that you should utilize maple syrup, for instance, pick organic and unprocessed maple syrup. Business marks regularly contain high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose low carbs connected to long-haul metabolic inconveniences like insulin resistance, storage of fat in tummy region, and high triglyceride levels.

Agave nectar promoted as a protected choice to sugar for those with diabetes gives fewer supplements than crude nectar or unadulterated maple syrup. Agave nectar has a characteristic of sugar that can be utilized to make low carb sweet treats.

It has an indistinguishable number of starches from table sugar, however, you get a considerable measure of flavor from a little sum. Like agave, crude sugar has fewer supplements than the other regular sugars.

Be that as it may have a main concern with regards to your digestion, every normal sugar act like sugar.

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Artificial Sweeteners, impact on Hungriness

Artificial Sweeteners: A Beginner's Guide
image by newsbeezer.com

A few people accept artificial sugars may really build a hunger and advance weight gain. They figure artificial sugars might be not able to motivate the “nutrition reward pathway” expected to make you feel fulfilled after you eat.

Since they taste sweet yet do not have the calories found in other sweet-tasting nourishment. They’re thought to confound the cerebrum into as yet feeling hungry.

Furthermore, a few researchers think you’d have to eat a greater amount of healthy nourishment as compared to sugar-improved rendition, with the end goal to feel full.

It has even been proposed that sugars may cause desires for sugary nourishment.

Despite the fact that these hypotheses are conceivable, numerous ongoing examinations don’t bolster the possibility that artificial sweeteners increase craving or burning of calories.

Indeed, a few examinations have discovered that members report less appetite and expend fewer calories when they supplant sugary nourishment and drinks with misleadingly improved choices.

Impact of artificial sweeteners on weight

With respect to control, some observational examinations report a connection between devouring artificially made refreshments and obesity.

Be that as it may, randomized controlled examinations, the highest quality level in logical research, report that artificial sugars may really decrease body weight, fat mass, and midsection perimeter.

Artificial Sweeteners: A Beginner's Guide
image by reader’s digest

These examinations additionally demonstrate that supplanting customary soda pops with sugar-free forms can diminish weight file (BMI) by up to 1.3– 1.7 points.

Furthermore, picking artificially made nourishments rather than those with included sugar may lessen the measure of everyday calories you expend. Different examinations going from about a month to 40 months demonstrate this may prompt a weight reduction of up to 2.9 lbs. artificially made beverages can be a simple option for ordinary soda pop shoppers who need to diminish their sugar utilization.

Be that as it may, picking diet soft drink won’t prompt any weight reduction in case that you remunerate by eating bigger servings or additional desserts.

In case that eating routine soft drink builds your longings for desserts, adhering to water may be ideal.

RELATED: Gaining Weight Fast: Some Quick Tips

Utilizations for Artificial Sweeteners

These sweeteners are broadly utilized in handled and highly processed nourishments, including:

  • Sodas, powdered beverage blends, and different drinks
  • Prepared food
  • Sweet
  • Puddings
  • Canned nourishments
  • Sticks and jams
  • Dairy items

Artificial sugars are likewise prevalent for home utilize. Some can even be utilized in cooking or baking. Certain cooking recipes may require a change in light of the fact that dissimilar to sugar. Meanwhile, artificial sugars give no mass or volume.

Check the marks on the packs of artificial sugars. Some sweeteners may leave a persistent flavor. An alternate sugar or a blend might be all the more engaging.

Some Examples of Artificial Sweeteners include:

  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Advantame
  • Cyclamate
  • Neotame
  • Neohesperidin
  • Saccharin
  • Sucralose

Effect of Artificial Sweeteners on Overall Health

In any case, as indicated by the National Cancer Institute and other wellbeing offices, there’s no stable logical proof that any of the artificial sugars affirmed for use in the United States cause disease or different genuine medical issues.

Various examinations affirm that Artificial sugars are by and a large safe in restricted amounts. Therefore, restrict notwithstanding for pregnant ladies. Thus, the notice mark for saccharin had dropped.

Sweeteners directed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as nourishment added substances. They should evaluate and affirm by the FDA before being made accessible available for purchasing.

The research additionally demonstrates that sucralose has less inclined to cause tooth rot or decayed than sugar. Therefore, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves items containing sucralose to guarantee that they decrease tooth rot.

Some sweeteners may cause unsavory manifestations, for example, cerebral pains, sadness, and seizures, in any event in a few people. It, likewise assessed by US and European administrative experts.

Both concurred that artificial sugars, in suggested sums, don’t expand malignancy chance. Also, a few people are sensitive to the class of intensifies that saccharin has a place with, called sulfonamides. For them, saccharin may prompt breathing challenges, rashes or looseness of the bowels (diarrhea).

Bottom line

Last but not least, artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes can help with weight administration. In any case, they have to consume with some restraint. Nourishment showcased as sugar-free isn’t necessarily calorie free.

So it can make a cause to gain great weight. Remember that prepared sustenance, which regularly contains sugar substitutes, for the most part, don’t offer similar medical advantages as whole nourishments, for example, products of the soil.


Published at Mon, 29 Oct 2018 08:27:16 +0000

Common Anti-hypertensives May Increase the Risk for Lung Cancer

Common Anti-hypertensives May Increase the Risk for Lung Cancer

People often use angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor medicines (ACEIs) to manage hypertension.

They are really effective and the doctors deem them safe when people take it for a short duration of time.

Earlier studies hinted that ACEIs may increase the risk of cancer for people. However, these findings were not conclusive. Most of these studies had access to the small size of the sample. Additionally, the study went on for only a short duration of time.

Recently, the scientists from McGill University in Canada investigated the role of ACEIs and cancer. They specifically targeted lung cancer.

The results of this study are accessible.

The scientists theorized that ACEIs may be able to increase the risk of lung cancer. This happens by the buildup of two kinds of substances in the lungs: substance P and Bradykinin.

Bradykinin refers to a peptide that may cause the blood vessels to dilate. This reduces the blood pressure. Substance P, which is also an important peptide, acts as a neurotransmitter.

Scientists associated both of these agents with the tissue of lung cancer. Bradykinin works by directly stimulating the growth of lung cancer. On the other hand, substance P, when expressed by the lung cancer tissue, encourages tumor proliferation.

Blood Pressure Drug and Lung Cancer

The researchers carrying out this study investigated the medical records of over 1 million people of the United Kingdom. All of these patients started taking drugs for controlling blood pressure from 1995 to 2015.

All the participants were older than 18 years of age and had no previous record of cancer. The research team supervised them for an average of 6.4 years. During this time, the doctors successfully made almost 8000 diagnoses for lung cancer.

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Having Too Much Iron May Increase the Risk of Stroke

The scientists compared the risk of acquiring lung cancer in people who started using ACEIs. They compared the risk against those who were taking another class of drug i.e. angiotensin receptor blocker (ARBs).

For reducing the statistical clutter, they also took into account other factors that may influence the risk of lung cancer. These risk factors included age, tobacco, body mass index, alcohol use, and the history of lung problems.

The scientists concluded that consuming ACEIs caused a 14 percent increase in the risk of lung cancer. This was in comparison to the level of risk associated with taking ARBs.

The relationship became apparent after an individual took the medicine for more than 5 years. As they continued using it, the risk increased steadily. Those who took this medicine for a decade or more suffered from a pronounced risk of 31 percent more.

Keeping Perspective on Risk

Even though 14 percent seems like a considerable increase, the authors need a perspective. In real life, the risk for any person would change from 1.2 to 1.6 cases per 100 person-years.

However, the effect is much more significant at a population level. This is because a lot of people tend to take antihypertensive drugs. The authors say that the small relative effects can translate into large numbers of patients at risk.

The researchers are looking forward to others to adopt this line of investigation and continue it. They say that others should replicate this study but in different settings. They must check it in patients who take the antihypertensive drugs for much longer durations.

Such type of studies has a drawback that it is not easy to differentiate between cause and effect. Many other factors might be working at the same time. However, the current study used a huge number of participants to draw conclusions. So the results merit further scrutiny.


Published at Mon, 29 Oct 2018 07:54:25 +0000

New Approach May Improve Survival in Pancreatic Cancer

New Approach May Improve Survival in Pancreatic Cancer

As per the estimates by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), 55400 cases will emerge in the U.S. in 2018 alone. This makes up for 3.2 percent of the total cancer diagnoses.

Pancreatic cancer tumors are highly resistant to therapy. The 5-year survival rate of such types of cancer is only around 8.5 percent.

However, certain studies are working their ways of finding appropriate drug treatments to deal with it. For example, the researchers from the University of Texas are struggling to find treatments for destroying pancreatic cancer cells.

The study highly suggests that scientists must look for a specific type of scar tissue. This consists of stroma that surrounds the tumor and is in direct interaction with tumors. Identifying it will help find a better therapeutic target.

Dr. Hwang and companions carried out a study regarding pancreatic cancer. They used mouse models for this study. The results concluded that humans can block the growth of cancer cells by targeting a certain protein. The tumor stroma is responsible for producing it.

The results of this study are present in the journal named Science Translational Medicine.

The Protein which Protects Cancer Tumor

The majority part of the tumor stroma of pancreatic cancer cells contains pancreatic stellate cells. Researchers believe that this can actually help protect the cancer tumor. This is because the stroma has a thick consistency. However, it could also be because of the specific properties of the stromal cells.

The current research recognized that the pancreatic stromal cells, particularly the stellate cells produce a certain protein. This protein is Dickkopf protein (DKK3).

This protein is present in extremely high levels in the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. An adenocarcinoma is a form of pancreatic cancer that the doctors diagnose most commonly.

The activity of protein appears to facilitate the growth of the cancer cells. It also tends to support the metastasis and protect the tumor against the therapy.

In this study on mice, the researchers were able to silence this problematic protein. They introduced a DKK3-blocking antibody that helps prevent it from interacting with other cancer cells. It also stopped the immune cells in the tumor’s environment.

By doing this, the researchers managed to reduce the growth of tumor in the mice. It tended to extend their lives.

Pancreatic cancer usually has a poor prognosis. It is quite unclear if the stromal infiltrate contributes to its total aggressiveness. The scientists demonstrated that DKK3 is present in all major types of pancreatic cancer cells of humans.

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The researchers said that DKK3 stimulates the growth of cancer growth and metastasis. It also increases its resistance to immunotherapy and chemotherapy. Targeting this protein in mice cancer can, therefore, boost the immune cell infiltration. It also doubled their survival rates.

Rethinking about Treatment Strategies

Researchers also assessed the DDK3 expression in pancreatic cells of humans. They concluded that two-thirds of the people with this cancer have moderate or high levels of DDK3.

In fact, the levels of DKK3 in the patients of pancreatic cancer are 4.5 times higher than those without cancer.

All of these findings suggest that DKK3 is an extremely therapeutic agent for treating pancreatic cancer. A newly formed anti-DKK3 drug can work on its own. Alternatively, the doctors could administer it as a part of immunotherapy or chemotherapy.

Previous attempts to target the stroma of pancreatic cancer aimed at eliminating stromal elements. However, this study is unique as it adopts a different approach. The study shows that a more effective strategy can inhibit these mechanisms of tumor promotion. This includes DKK3.


Published at Mon, 29 Oct 2018 07:21:42 +0000

Keep your Alertness at Peak with this New Tool- Researchers Says

Keep your Alertness at Peak with this New Tool- Researchers Says

There are many parts of the day where the person level of alertness continuously fluctuates. Sometimes our energy drops and our mind wanders when there is a need to do an important task

Recent findings published in the journal of ACM digital library show with evidence that a person’s alertness level can be accurately predicted through scanning the Pupil. Whenever the person unlocks their smartphone, a bunch of photographs is taken.

There are numerous gadgets out there that can monitor a person’s activity level but most of them have to be worn continuously. These gadgets used scientific inference and analyzed the data obtained from different sensors on them.

Based on the new research Vincent WS Tseng, lead researcher, from the New York based Cornell University has asserted that there are patterns when it comes to studying the relationship between alertness levels and the pupil size.

“Since our alertness fluctuates if we can find a pattern it will be very useful to manage and schedule our day.” Vincent WS Tseng, lead researcher, from the New York based Cornell University

As the traditional methods to measure alertness level now seem to be obsolete or too cumbersome there was a need to find a method that could analyze the alertness level seamlessly and constantly.

Tseng added, “Since people use their phones very frequently during the day, we were thinking we could use phones as an instrument to understand and measure their alertness. And since people’s eyes are affected by their alertness, we were thinking that when people are looking at their phones, we could use a moment to measure their alertness at that point.”

The times at which people are alert, their sympathetic nervous system makes their pupil dilate for taking the necessary information easily. According to the team, the pupils are contracted by the parasympathetic nervous system if one is feeling lethargic and drowsy. For the conduction of this study, the team made use of the two studies which were carried out over the two years.

This new tool holds an immense importance as it can be especially used in the health sector. People working in this department may get tired after working for long hours. These medical professionals should be very alert while doing their intricate and important work.

According to Tseng, the doctors particularly make use of devices during surgeries. A front-facing camera embedded in these devices will make the lives of doctors easier as it can track their alertness throughout the surgery process.

He further added that it will not be only helpful in the health sector but also at many other places; people only need to understand the patterns on the device.


Published at Sun, 28 Oct 2018 21:05:09 +0000

Is Peeing Blood Normal- Hematuria?

Is Peeing Blood Normal- Hematuria?

Peeing blood is not normal, it can be one of the alarming situations. While in many of the cases blood in urine is harmless, it can also indicate a serious health issue. Blood in urine that is visible under the naked eye is called as gross hematuria. However, blood in the urine that the only one can see under the microscope is called as microscopic hematuria.

Microscopic hematuria is only diagnosed when your doctor tests your urine. It is important to know the cause behind this bleeding as the treatment plan depends on the underlying cause.

What are the Causes of Blood in Urine?

hematuria
image by sonria

In the hematuria disorder, the kidneys, urinary tract, ureters and other parts related to the urination mechanism leaks the red blood corpuscles into the urine. This leakage can be caused by different health issues like:

1) Urinary Tract Infection

UTI occurs when bacteria invade your bladder and multiply via the urethra. Symptoms of UTI include:

• Burning sensation while urinating

• Dark color and smelly urine

• Persistent urge to urinate

RELATED: Urinary Tract Infections

However for many people especially elderly experience only the microscopic blood in urine.

2) Kidney Infections (Pyelonephritis)

In kidney infections, the bacteria targets your kidneys. The source of these bacteria in your kidneys is bloodstream or ureters. The signs and symptoms are just similar to the bladder infections, however, the only difference is that the person goes through fever and flank pain.

3) A Bladder Or Kidney Stone

In some of the cases, the concentrated urine starts forming crystals on the lining of kidneys and bladder. As time passes these crystals can transform themselves into small hard stones.

These hard stones usually do not cause any pain. Thus, the person himself does not know that if he is having any stone inside his body or not until and unless it causes any blockage or is passed in the urine. However, in many of the cases, the person experiences an excruciating pain. Stones both in bladder and kidneys can cause bleeding either microscopic or gross.

4) Enlarged Prostate

As the man approaches his midlife that is 45 he may observe his prostate gland getting enlarged. The prostate gland is a gland which surrounds the urethra (top part) and is situated below the bladder.

The enlarged prostate gland compresses the urethra. As a result, it partially blocks the urine flow. Signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate, also called benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) can cause:

• Difficulty in urination

• Persistent urge to urinate

• Gross or microscopic blood in urine

Infection in the prostate gland (prostatitis) can cause the same signs and symptoms that as of enlarged prostate.

5) Kidney Disease

A kidney disease known as glomerulonephritis can cause microscopic bleeding. This disease is an inflammation of the kidneys filtering system. It is a systematic disease like diabetes which does not have any cause and occurs on its own.

However, there are some factors which can trigger glomerulonephritis by affecting the capillaries of glomerulus which filters the blood in the kidneys. The factors include:

• Strep infections

• Viral infections

• Vasculitis, a blood vessel disease

IgA nephropathy, an immune problem

6) Cancer

Advanced kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and prostate cancer, all of them can cause gross bleeding. Only some of the people experience signs and symptoms of these cancers in their early stage when they are more treatable.

RELATED: What is Prostate Cancer and What to Expect?

7) Inherited Disorders

An inherited disorder called sickle-cell anemia in which the red blood corpuscles become sickle-shaped can cause blood in urine. The sickle-cell anemia can cause both gross and microscopic hematuria. Same is the case with the disorder, Alport syndrome where it affects the filtering membranes of the glomeruli.

8) Kidney Injury
gross and microscopic hematuria
image by drugs

Kidney injuries either caused by an accident or contact sports can cause gross bleeding in your urine.

9) Medications

Cyclophosphamide and Penicillin are the two anti-cancer medications which can cause blood in your urine.

The gross bleeding can be caused if you are taking any anticoagulants, like aspirin or blood thinners, like heparin. If you are going through a condition in which your bladder bleeds then you may also observe visible bleeding.

10) Strenuous Exercise

It is very rare that strenuous exercise may lead one to gross bleeding, yet the cause is also unknown. Many people think that it is due to dehydration, stress to the bladder or because of the breaking of red blood corpuscles during the sustained aerobic exercise.

In most of the cases the athletes experience this, however, it can also target the ones who are doing an intense workout. If you observe any bleeding while urination then immediately contact your doctor.

However, in many of the cases, the cause of hematuria is not identified.

What are the symptoms of Hematuria?

Due to the presence of red blood corpuscles, the gross hematuria causes your urine to be of pink, red or of blackish brown color.

The blood urination is not painful if one is not passing any blood clot. Furthermore, your urine needs only a little amount of blood to become red. Blood in the urine usually brings no signs or symptoms.

Immediately contact your doctor if you see any blood in your urine as sometimes people are not able to make a difference between a normal and a bloody urine.

What are the Risk Factors of Hematuria?

Anyone at any age can experience blood in their urine. However, there are some factors which makes it more likely to occur. These factors are:

Age: Many of the men aging above 50 experience hematuria due to enlarged prostate

Certain Medications: Medications like aspirin, penicillin, and asteroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers increase the risk of blood urination.

A Recent Infection: A viral or bacterial infection can cause your kidney inflammation. This results in gross hematuria in children.

Strenuous Exercise: The athletes who run long distances are more prone to urinary bleeding. This condition is also usually referred to as jogger’s hematuria. Not only athletes but anyone doing an intense workout session can experience visible hematuria.

Family History: If someone is having a family history of kidney stones or kidney disease, then he must have a greater risk of developing hematuria.

What is the Treatment Plan for Hematuria?

As mentioned above, the treatment plan mainly depends on the underlying cause. To treat any kind of infection the doctor may prescribe you antibiotics. He may recommend you shock wave therapy for breaking bladder or kidney stones or prescribe you different medications for enlarged prostate.

In some of the cases, no treatment is needed. Make sure that you follow the instructions of your doctor even after the treatment plan so that you do not observe any further bleeding.


Published at Sun, 28 Oct 2018 19:00:42 +0000

Having Too Much Iron May Increase the Risk of Stroke

Having Too Much Iron May Increase the Risk of Stroke

Scientists belonging to Imperial College London in the UK examined the risk of stroke. The researchers were well aware of the iron levels of each of these participants. Moreover, they also checked if any of these participants suffered from genetic differences that altered their body iron.

The results suggested that those with genetically determined high levels of iron had an increased risk of stroke. These results are present in a report which now features in the journal named Stroke

In addition to this, the scientists found that the driving factor of this effect was an increase in the risk for cardioembolic stroke. This is a type of stroke in which the vessels supplying your brain get blocked. The blockage occurs mainly occurs secondary to the obstruction coming from the heart.

The authors of this study caution the people that these findings should not provoke people to check their iron levels. People should, in fact, wait for further research before confirming their results. It is also necessary to wait in order to find out why iron is causing this effect.

The lead researcher of this study considers this as an early-stage finding. He specifically asks people not to reduce their total iron intake just because it elevates the risk of stroke. This is because iron serves many important functions inside your body.

Cardioembolic Stroke and the Role of Iron Status

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 15 million people suffer from a stroke every year. Of these 15 million, 5 million of the people die. Another 5 million become disabled for the rest of their lives.

In the United States alone, more than 795,000 people suffer from a stroke every year. Of it, almost 140,000 people die. This means that 1 out of every 20 people die of stroke every year.

The majority of stroke cases are of the ischemic type. This type of stroke occurs because of a blockage in the blood vessel. This causes an impairment of the oxygen and nutrients in reaching the affected area of the brain.

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A cardioembolic stroke makes up for a significant proportion of ischemic strokes. Researchers also associate it with another heart condition called atrial fibrillation. In this condition, the heart beats become irregularly faster than normal.

Iron serves a lot of roles in your body. One of the main functions of iron is to carry the oxygen in red blood cells.

The link between iron and risk of stroke have been a highlight for some time. Many researchers attempted to investigate it but the results were always conflicting.

For example, some studies linked the low levels of iron with reduced risk of stroke. On the other hand, some tied it with high levels of iron. Some studies were not able to establish a link at all.

Genetically Driven Iron Status

The researchers of this study decided to carry out further investigations. This is mainly because other studies suggested how iron could trigger blood clots to form.

The first part of their investigations involved knowing the genetic differences influencing the levels of iron. This is what you know as the iron status.

The researchers investigated using public data sources and took information for more than 48,000 people.

Then, they used a technique, the Mendelian randomization, to identify 3 single-letter alterations or the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in their DNA. These SNPs were able to reduce or increase the iron status of a person.

They used these SNPs for screening another dataset which covered over 60,000 patients of stroke. They found that individuals with SNPs who can raise their iron levels were more prone to cardioembolic stroke.

These findings signify the potential treatments that may help reduce the risk of stroke.


Published at Sun, 28 Oct 2018 18:52:18 +0000

Novel Drug Kills Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria in Trial

Novel Drug Kills Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria in Trial

Antibiotic resistance seems to be a major obstacle in modern medicine. It led to a crisis all around the world forcing the researchers to find solutions. One clinical trial is, however, breaking this superbug barrier.

Bacteria can lead to a number of infections. Most of the times, the best way to treat these infections is by using antibiotic drugs.

However, in many cases, the bacteria become resistant to many antibiotics. The misuse or overuse of the antibiotics by the people led to an exacerbation of this drug resistance.

Due to the gravity of this situation, the WHO came up with a priority list. This list included all the antibiotic-resistant bacteria against which new drugs were needed.

A new phase II randomized trial is attempting to eradicate this global crisis for good. It has, in fact, come one step closer to its mission recently. The supervisors of these trials are the researchers belonging to Shionogi Inc. This is a pharmaceutical company present in Osaka, Japan.

The results of this study are present in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. They suggest that a newer antibiotic can be effective in the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (UTIs). It can do so by fighting the stubborn species of gram-negative bacteria.

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The New Drug is Well-tolerated and Highly Effective

This trial was actually an effort by the Food and Drug Administration to stimulate antibiotic development. It involved 448 adult participants.

All the participants were suffering from a complicated UTI or uncomplicated pyelonephritis.

The researchers randomly assigned some of these participants to take either a standard antibiotic imipenem-cilastatin. They directed the others to consume the new antibiotic cefiderocol. The participants used their respective medicines thrice every day for one to two weeks.

Almost three hundred people consumed cefiderocol as compared to 148 using imipenem-cilastatin. 252 out of the 300 participants taking the new drug suffered from a gram-negative bacterial infection.

The scientists saw that cefiderocol was equally effective as imipenem-cilastatin. Both of these drugs also had an equal tolerance level. The efficacy rate of cefiderocol was very high.

Both medicines led to a similar number of adverse events. Some of the most common adverse events were gastrointestinal disorders. For example, most of the patients suffered from constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and pain in the abdomen.

How does this Drug Attack Bacteria

The researchers explained that this new drug is able to bypass all three mechanisms of resistance.

The two solid outer membranes that do not allow antibiotics to penetrate and the porin channels are two of them.

Cefiderocol is just like a Trojan horse. It utilizes new mechanisms of cell entry and takes benefit of the bacteria’s need for iron to live.

The scientists explained what happens during an acute infection to provide further clarifications.

They said that during an acute infection, your immune system tends to create an iron-poor environment. In response to this, the bacteria increase their uptake of iron.

The success of this new trial indicates that cefiderocol will be a great addition to the drugs available to fight bacteria.

The drug is equally safe and tolerable in the populations of older people. It even works for old people with comorbid situations and a broad range of multi-drug resistant microbes.

The trial proves that cefiderocol is a novel approach to overcome resistance due to gram-negative bacteria. However, experts also suggest further testing to check its efficacy in treating other bacterial infections.

There are some trials going on for pneumonia. This includes ventilator-associated pneumonia and hospital-acquired pneumonia. This trial may provide additional information about the efficacy of cefiderocol.


Published at Sun, 28 Oct 2018 15:11:23 +0000

Everything you Need to Know About Coronary Artery Disease- CAD

Everything you Need to Know About Coronary Artery Disease- CAD

In coronary artery disease (CAD) there is an impaired blood flow in the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries are the blood vessels which brings blood to the heart. Likewise called coronary heart disease (CHD), CAD is the most widely recognized type of heart disease and influences roughly 16.5 million Americans aged above 20 years old.

It’s likewise the main source of death for both the men and women in the United States. It’s evaluated that at every 40 seconds, at least one person in the United States is experiencing a heart attack. A heart attack can originate from uncontrolled CAD.

Causes for Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary heart diseases
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The most widely recognized reason for CAD is vascular damage and deposition of cholesterol plaque in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis. There is decreased blood flow in the arteries when at least one of the coronary arteries turns out to be halfway or totally blocked.

The four essential coronary arteries on the surface of the heart are:

• Left circumflex artery

• Right main coronary artery

• Left anterior descending artery

• Left main coronary artery

These arteries supply oxygen and supplement rich blood to your heart. Your heart is a muscular organ that is in charge of directing blood all through your body. As indicated by the Cleveland Clinic, a healthy heart moves roughly 3,000 gallons of blood through your body a day.

Like some other organ or muscle, your heart must also get a sufficient and true supply of blood in order to perform its function. The reduced blood flow to the heart can lead one to the manifestations of CAD.

There are many other causes which can also restrict the blood flow to the heart.

Manifestations of CAD

When the heart is not supplied with enough nutrient-rich blood, then the person may a range of manifestations. Angina is one of the most common manifestations of the CAD. People usually depict this distress as:

• Tightness

• Chest pain

• Burning

• Heaviness

• Squeezing

These manifestations sometimes are thought to be of heartburn or acid reflux. Some other manifestations of CAD include:

• Shortness of breath

• Dizziness

• Pain in the upper arm and shoulders

• Sweating

One will face more severe symptoms when there is much-restricted blood flow to the heart. If in case the blood supply is completely blocked, the person will encounter a heart attack. Without an immediate treatment, the heart muscles can start to die.

Try not to ignore any of these side effects, especially if they are unbearable or last longer than five minutes.

Manifestations of the CAD for Women

Ladies may encounter the above side effects, but also have high chances to face:

• Vomiting

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• Jaw pain

• Nausea

• Shortness of breath without feeling chest pain

• Back pain

When comparing, men have a higher chance of experiencing a heart disease than premenopausal ladies. While by age 70 postmenopausal ladies have the same chances of developing heart disease as men.

The reduced blood supply to your heart may make your heart:

• Fail to pump sufficient blood throughout your body

• Become powerless

• Experience abnormal heart rhythms

Your cardiologist will be able to depict these heart issues during the diagnosis.

Risk Factors for CAD

Dead heart muscle
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Understanding the risk factors for CAD can protect you from developing heart diseases. The risk factors include:

• Tobacco smoking

• High blood pressure

• Emotional stress obesity high blood cholesterol levels

• history of preeclampsia amid pregnancy

• Hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus

• Inactivity

• Excessive alcohol use

• Obstructive sleep apnea

• Unhealthy dietary patterns

The risk for CAD additionally increases with age. CAD is highly dependent on the age factor, men have more chances for the disease above 45 while for women it is 55. The risk of CAD further increases if you have a family history of the disease.

Diagnosis of CAD

For diagnosis, the doctor first needs to audit your previous medical history, with a physical examination, and medicinal testing. The tests include:

• Electrocardiogram: The electrical signs on the monitor helps to determine that if you had a heart attack or not.

Echocardiogram: This is an imaging test which use ultrasound waves to make a photo of your heart. The picture depicts that if everything is working right in your heart or not.

• Stress test: In this test, the doctor measures the amount of stress on your heart during exercise and rest. The test screens your heart’s electrical movement while you stroll on a treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle. Atomic imaging may likewise be performed for a bit of this test. For those unfit to perform physical exercise, certain drugs can be utilized rather for pressure testing.

• Cardiac catheterization (left heart catheterization): During this method, your specialist infuses an exceptional pigment into your coronary arteries through a catheter embedded through an artery in your crotch or lower arm. The pigment helps to improve the radiographic picture of your coronary arteries to see if there are any blockages.

• Heart CT: Your specialist may use this imaging test to check calcium accumulation in your arteries.

Treatment for CAD

In order to prevent CAD one has to properly look for the risk factors which trigger CAD and should seek a proper treatment. The treatment largely depends on your current health condition. For instance, your specialist may recommend pharmaceutical treatment to treat elevated cholesterol or hypertension, or you may get a drug to control blood sugar if you have diabetes.

Some lifestyle changes can likewise decrease your danger of heart disease and stroke. For instance:

• Regular exercise

• Quit smoking

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• Healthy diet ( low in fat and sodium)

• Avoid alcohol use

• Maintain a healthy weight )

If in case, still, your condition does not improve with the lifestyle changes and prescription, your specialist may then prescribe a method to increase your blood flow to the heart. These methods include:

• Balloon angioplasty

• Coronary artery bypass surgery

• Enhanced outer counterpulsation

Takeaway

Everyone has different views on CAD. Chances of less damage and survival increase if you start your treatment early with some lifestyle changes. It is very important to consult your doctor and stick to his guidelines. Take medicines on time and roll out with the suggested lifestyle changes.


Published at Sun, 28 Oct 2018 11:56:05 +0000

How does Depression Physically Affect your Brain?

How does Depression Physically Affect your Brain?

According to an estimate, almost 16.2 million people in the United States suffered one major depressive episode in 2016.

You are well aware of how depression can affect you psychologically. However, it also has the potential to affect the physical structures present in your brain.

These physical changes range from inflammation and oxygen restriction to a real shrinkage. In simple words, depression can impact your brain and affect all the central nerves.

If you want to learn about how depression affects your brain, keep reading. This article will provide in-depth information about the likely changes that occur and how to prevent them.

Brain Shrinkage

Scientists believe that suffering from depression can actually cause your brain to shrink. However, no one exactly knows which parts of your brain does depression affect the most. The extent of damage also remains unknown to date.

Certain studies, however, put forward the following list of areas most affected by depression:

  • Amygdala
  • Thalamus
  • Hippocampus
  • Prefrontal cortices
  • Frontal cortex

The amount of shrinkage seen in these areas depends upon the severity of depression. It also takes into account the total duration for which an episode of depression lasts.

For example, it takes 8 months to almost a year for depression to cause changes in the hippocampus. This can occur by a single bout of depression but multiple shorter episodes may also trigger it.

This said, when the shrinkage of a particular brain area occurs, it also affects its functions.

For example, amygdala and the prefrontal cortex work in harmony to control emotions. They also help recognize the emotional cues coming from other people.

This is why there is a reduction in empathy, especially in people who are suffering from postpartum depression.

Brain Inflammation

Scientists are keen to establish new links between depression and inflammation. It is, however, not clear how inflammation causes depression or vice versa.

However, the scientists seem to know that inflammation somehow associates with the duration of depression. They speculate that people suffering from depression for a decade develop 30 percent more depression. This is in contrast to people who have been suffering from depression for a lesser time.

As a result, you are more likely to develop inflammation in a persistent depressive disease. Brain inflammation often causes the cells inside the brain to die. This may lead to certain complications some of which include:

  • The decrease in functions of the neurotransmitters
  • Shrinkage of different parts of the brain
  • Reduction in the ability of the brain to change according to the process of aging

All these changes together may lead to problems in normal functioning including:

  • Problems with mood
  • Problems with memory
  • Problems in learning
  • Problems in brain development
Oxygen Restriction
How does Depression Physically Affect your Brain?
Image by Hemophilia News Today

People have been linking depression to a reduced oxygen supply to the body. These changes may occur due to the changes caused by depression. However, the scientists are not sure about which one comes first and which follows.

A cellular factor present as a response to the brain not receiving oxygen increases in some immune cells. This is particularly visible in people suffering from bipolar disorder and any major depressive problem.

Overall speaking, your brain is highly sensitive to a reduction in the oxygen supply. This may lead to:

  • Brain cell death
  • Cell injury in the brain
  • Inflammation

Both cell death and inflammation may lead to a host of symptoms. These symptoms particularly produce problems in learning, development, mood, and memory.

Even a short-term hypoxia may cause confusion in a similar way as it occurs in high altitude hikers.

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However, it is possible to treat it. Hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments are particularly useful. They increase the circulation of oxygen in your body leading to a complete relief of depression.

Connective and Structural Changes

The effects of depression on your brain may also lead to various structural and connective tissue changes. Some of these may include:

  • A reduction in the functionality of the hippocampus: this mainly leads to the impairment of memory.
  • A reduction in the functionality of the prefrontal cortex: this may cause a person to stop getting things done. It also has the ability to harm the level of their attention.
  • A reduction in the functionality of the amygdala: this can cause a direct effect on your emotional regulation and mood.

Most of these changes typically take almost eight months to develop.

Sometimes, it is possible for the dysfunction of executive function, mood, memory, and attention to persist for long. This effect is particularly visible in conditions where depression lasts for long.

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Can you Prevent these Changes?

Do you or anyone around you suffer from depression? Do you think of different ways to help them but are not sure about any of them?

There are different ways to treat most of the symptoms of depression. However, some of them can particularly be helpful in minimizing the above-mentioned changes.

Some of these steps include:

Asking for Help

You must always be willing to ask for help. Most of the time, people suffering from depression tend to hide their problems. This is due to the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses and serves as an obstacle in the way of help. The stigma is particularly high for men.

From the information above, it has become quite clear that depression is not only a mental disease. It has physical components as well. This concept can help society reduce the stigma that usually surrounds it.

If you are suffering from depression, it is important to acknowledge that it is not your fault. Remember that you are not alone in this and there are many others who feel the same way as you do.

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Cognitive therapies and group support, especially those which incorporate stress-relieving mindfulness techniques, can help. These can, in fact, serve as a great source for finding support and overcome the stigmas. With the right kind of support, these therapies can even cure depression.

Taking Antidepressants

If you are experiencing a depressive episode currently, consuming antidepressants may help you. These medications can also help prevent the physical changes occurring due to depression.

Moreover, they are effective aids in handling these physical effects as well as the symptoms of depression.

If antidepressants alone are not working, you can pair them with psychotherapy. This combination is extremely powerful for fighting physical changes due to depression. It also makes coping a much easier.

Reducing Stress

If you do not suffer from depression at the moment, the best way to prevent the physical changes is avoidance. It is important to stay as far away from a depressive episode as possible.

A considerable evidence links psychological stress with the starting of depressive episodes. This is visible in different forms of depression.

Asking someone to reduce the element of stress from their lives may seem daunting or entirely impossible. However, there are some changes that you can make to reduce the levels of stress.

Try meditating, listen to soothing music, or take a relaxing shower.

Try getting help from others. There are a number of helpful resources there to make your journey easy for you.


Published at Sun, 28 Oct 2018 11:38:22 +0000