Tag Archives: Medicine

Covid-19: China Approves The First Inhaled Vaccine

The vaccine, called Convidecia Air, changes the liquid form of the vaccine into an aerosol using a nebuilzer. The vaccine can then be inhaled through the mouth using the nebulizer machine. The needle-free vaccine “can effectively induce comprehensive immune protection in response to SARS-CoV-2 after just one breath,” Cansino said in a statement.

Fortune.com on September 5, 2022 – China’s government approved the world’s first inhaled vaccine against COVID-19, the vaccine’s maker Cansino Biologics announced on Sunday.

In July, Chinese scientists published a pre-print study showing that people who received one booster dose of Cansino’s inhaled vaccine after two doses of the inactivated jab from Chinese maker Sinovac developed more antibodies than people who received three Sinovac shots. Four weeks after receiving the inhaled booster, 92.5% of people had developed neutralizing antibodies for Omicron.

Those who got three doses on Sinovac’s jab did not demonstrate any neutralizing antibodies for Omicron, either four weeks or six months after getting a booster.

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Covid-19: Heart Disease Risks Rise After Infection

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In December 2020, a week before cardiologist Stuart Katz was scheduled to receive his first COVID-19 vaccine, he came down with a fever. He spent the next two weeks wracked with a cough, body aches and chills. After months of helping others to weather the pandemic, Katz, who works at New York University, was having his own first-hand experience of COVID-19.

On Christmas Day, Katz’s acute illness finally subsided. But many symptoms lingered, including some related to the organ he’s built his career around: the heart. Walking up two flights of stairs would leave him breathless, with his heart racing at 120 beats per minute. Over the next several months, he began to feel better, and he’s now back to his normal routine of walking and cycling. But reports about COVID-19’s effects on the cardiovascular system have made him concerned about his long-term health. “I say to myself, ‘Well, is it really over?’” Katz says.

In one study1 this year, researchers used records from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to estimate how often COVID-19 leads to cardiovascular problems. They found that people who had had the disease faced substantially increased risks for 20 cardiovascular conditions — including potentially catastrophic problems such as heart attacks and strokes — in the year after infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Researchers say that these complications can happen even in people who seem to have completely recovered from a mild infection.

Some smaller studies have mirrored these findings, but others find lower rates of complications. With millions or perhaps even billions of people having been infected with SARS-CoV-2, clinicians are wondering whether the pandemic will be followed by a cardiovascular aftershock. Meanwhile, researchers are trying to understand who is most at risk of these heart-related problems, how long the risk persists and what causes these symptoms.

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Old Age: ‘Hyperexcitable Neurons’ Interrupt Sleep

For many older adults, a good night’s rest is elusive. The implications of chronically poor sleep can be far-reaching and include a decline in cognitive functioning and detrimental effects on health and general well-being. Fortunately, relief may be in sight.

A new study led by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a brain region, play a pivotal role in sleep loss in old mice. More specifically, the arousal-promoting hypocretin neurons become hyperexcitable, driving sleep interruptions.

Read the full story: https://stan.md/3JQ7z77

Luis de Lecea, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford Medicine. He is the study’s senior author and hopes the finding could pave the way to new drug treatments for age-related sleep problems in humans.

Shi-Bin Li, PhD, is an instructor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department at Stanford Medicine. He is also a basic life research scientist in the de Lecea lab, and is the lead author of the study.

Insights: The Lucrative Business Of Diabetes (2022)

In our modern consumer society, Type 2 diabetes has become a widespread disease. Companies are developing drugs that are increasingly expensive, but not necessarily more effective. Health authorities are powerless. Diabetes is spreading rapidly, all over the world. The disease destroys lives and puts a strain on public budgets.

The UN is calling on governments to take action. Diabetes is proof that modern societies are incapable of adequately treating chronic disease. It affects around 430 million people worldwide, with two main metabolic disorders falling under the name diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that must be treated with lifelong doses of insulin, while type 2 can develop when a person’s diet is too high in fat and sugar and they do not engage in enough physical activity.

With turnover of $46 billion, diabetes is a massive and extremely lucrative market. Constantly promised miracle cures have not led to satisfactory treatment, with patients either taking too many drugs or no longer being able to afford them. It’s a desperate situation, and the only ones benefiting seem to be pharmaceutical companies. A medical focus on blood glucose levels has led to an overreliance on medication, sometimes without due concern for dangerous side effects.

Patients become trapped in a cycle of treatment, which in many cases still does not halt the disease’s progression. This can lead to amputations, blindness and heart attacks. And yet there are alternatives that could flatten the curve of the type 2 diabetes epidemic, while reducing health care spending. Improved diet can be a preventative measure, and a strict adherence to diet can also bring about remission in the case of Type 2 diabetes.

But these solutions require effort, as well as a complete rethinking of chronic disease management. Filmed on three continents, this documentary features industry whistleblowers, patients, researchers and medical professionals. It also confronts pharmaceutical companies about their responsibility for the situation.

Covid-19: Can A Vaccine Be Developed That Lasts?

“Roughly two and a half years into the pandemic, White House officials and health experts have reached a pivotal conclusion about Covid-19 vaccines: The current approach of offering booster shots every few months isn’t sustainable.

Though most vaccines take years to develop, the Covid shots now in use were created in record time—in a matter of months. For health authorities and a public desperate for tools to deal with the pandemic, their speedy arrival provided a huge lift, preventing hospitalizations and deaths while helping people to escape lockdowns and return to work, school and many other aspects of pre-Covid life.”

Science & Medicine: What Are Risks Of Monkeypox?

The sudden surge of monkeypox cases outside Africa has alarmed public health authorities around the world. In Europe and North America it’s the first time community transmission has been recorded among people with no links to west or central Africa. So what is happening?

Ian Sample talks to virologist Oyewale Tomori about why monkeypox is flaring up, whether we should fear it, and what we can learn from countries such as Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which have been tackling this virus for decades.

Emergency Medicine: Use Of Flying Intervention Teams In Ischemic Stroke

In a nonrandomized controlled intervention study published in JAMA, researchers in Germany assessed whether deployment of a flying interventional team, consisting of a neurointerventional radiologist and an angiography assistant, was associated with a shorter time to endovascular thrombectomy for patients in rural or intermediate population areas in Southeast Bavaria.

This video explains the study design. Click https://ja.ma/FIT for full details.

Africa Views: A Look At The Health System In Nigeria

Nigeria is rightly taking its place on the world stage. But its health has been neglected. Prof Iruka Okeke and Dr Ṣẹ̀yẹ Abímbọ́lá lay out a positive, achievable vision for a healthy future. Read the Lancet Nigeria Commission: investing in health and the future of the nation: https://www.thelancet.com/commissions…

Nigeria is projected to become one of the most populous countries in the world, and is rightly taking its place on the world stage. The Lancet Nigeria Commission tells the story of the country through a health lens, and details recommendations that will enable the country and its people to fulfil their potential, and seize the opportunity ahead. It has been led by Nigerians for Nigerians. The Commissioners call for the creation of a new social contract that redefines the relationship between citizen and state. They argue that health has, to date, been neglected by successive governments and consequently the citizens of Nigeria, and must be recentred as a vital investment in the population – one that will reap political and economic benefits. Nigeria is poised to define the future of West Africa, the African continent, and the whole world. This Commission lays out how best to realise that ambition.

Technology: How AI Can Improve Health Care

AI has the power to transform health care. From more efficient diagnoses to safer treatments, it could remedy some of the ills suffered by patients. Film supported by @Maersk

Timeline: 00:00 – Can AI help heal the world? 00:45 – How can AI spot blindness? 04:01 – Protecting patients’ privacy 05:10 – How to share medical data safely 06:11 – Medical AI is rapidly expanding 08:02 – What do the sceptics say? 08.36 – Using AI for new medical devices 11:08 – What does the future hold for medical AI?

Prescription Drugs: What Is The Right Price? (NEJM)

Why can’t the U.S. control prescription drug pricing as they do in the U.K., where per-capita spending is less than half our level?

In a capitalist democracy, many parties — the drug companies, medical associations, consumer groups — get to lobby their points of view. Is the problem intractable, or just an exercise in chaos?

Our three guests have written a book about the problem, “The Right Price: A value-based prescription for drug costs.” And although they don’t have a definitive answer, they do offer recommendations, interesting observations, and a way forward.