Testing It Up

New Type 1 Diabetes Drug: Rejected by US, Approved by EU

Health officials in the U.S. have rejected the approval of this monumental diabetic drug due to adverse cardiovascular effects. The European Union (EU), on the other hand, is embracing it with open arms.

tresiba type 1 diabetes drugTresiba, a drug designed by Novo Nordisk to treat Type 1 diabetes, was approved by EU in 2013, and is currently in developmental clinical trials. According to a news report from Reuters, the pharmaceutical company recently announced that Tresiba was tested to be safe and effective for children up to 18 years of age. “These data show that Tresiba has the potential to offer youngsters with diabetes a new treatment option, which may help them achieve better control of their diabetes,” said Dr. Nandu Thalange of U.K.’s Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and one of the lead study authors.

The clinical trial was conducted on 350 youngsters with Type 1 diabetes. Results were favorable based on diabetes tests: blood sugar levels of the patients who received Tresiba were improved without decreasing the level too much to cause hypoglycemia. Results also showed that the fasting plasma glucose dropped significantly after the patients took Tresiba.

Diabetes continues to be one of the most widely spread diseases in the U.S., with close to 30 million already diagnosed with the blood sugar abnormality. Global figures from the World Health Organization show that only 10 percent of diabetics in the whole world are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which usually occurs in children.

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Yesterday at 12:00 am Comments (0)

New Blood Test Detects Depression

Many people believe that depression is just a state of mind and that it can be wished away. A new technology supports the idea that depression is caused by biochemical reactions that can be treated medically and identified through a blood test.

blood test for depressionIn fact, a new test is being developed by Dr. Eva Redei of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to identify blood particles linked to depressive episodes. Call it a blood test to detect depression. According to Redei, the study could pave the way for treating depression like any other disease, which can be cured through medical treatment.

In the meantime, the study focuses on tracing ribonucleic acids (RNA) in the blood as a marker for depression. The framework of the RNA strand of a person experiencing depression was taken from comparisons conducted on depression patients with those who were not depressed. The study was able to identify differences between the RNA in the blood of depressed people and those of people without the condition.

The study author believes that the study will change the way society thinks about depression. “I really believe that having an objective diagnosis will decrease stigma,” said Redei in a news release.

Medical professionals advise people diagnosed with depression to have their condition treated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, diagnosis takes months to confirm that the person is depressed. With this new blood test, detection of depression is made quicker.

September 17, 2014 at 12:59 am Comment (1)

Rare Enterovirus in Kids Spreads Across U.S.

Heads up: A rare virus is threatening the health of children in the U.S., and physicians are just beginning to scratch the surface of this growing problem.

enterovirus D68 respiratory problems in childrenThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released an advisory about Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a rare virus strain that causes breathing and respiratory problems in children across the country. The virus is reportedly not lethal, unlike the Ebola virus spreading in West Africa, but the CDC is sending information to parents and doctors about the issue.

According to a news report, the virus has already infected at least a hundred kids in seven states — New York, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and New York — and seems to be spreading even further. In fact, a news release last week said that 30 children a day are sent to hospitals in Kansas City due to the virus. Many of the kid patients were diagnosed to have respiratory diseases even before the virus struck. This particular enterovirus strain seems to target the victim’s breathing, based on the cases that have been reported so far. Other symptoms of the virus include wheezing, coughing, sneezing, tender muscles, and fever.

Despite the hazards that the virus poses on child health, the CDC declares that Enterovirus D68 is not deadly, and may be cured just like common colds. In fact, the virus typically spreads like the common cold. Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC, said that the effects of the enterovirus may die down within a week, with proper fluid replenishment, respiratory assistance, and good hygiene.

There are currently no vaccines to cure a child of EV-D68, but treating the symptoms may relieve the patient of the virus.

September 17, 2014 at 12:06 am Comments (0)

Obama on Ebola Virus Outbreak: Send More U.S. Aid to West Africa

The Ebola virus outbreak continues to threaten not only the localities in West Africa, but also the health of other countries around the world. According to sources close to U.S. President Barack Obama, the president is drafting a strategic plan to send aid to the virus-stricken countries.

ebola virus west africa US aidLisa Monaco, an adviser of the president for counterterrorism, said in a news release via WSJ that Obama wants Congress to boost funding for an increased involvement of the U.S. in the battle against the Ebola virus. “There’s a lot that we’ve been putting toward this, but it is not sufficient… So the president has directed a more scaled-up response and that’s what you’re going to hear more about on Tuesday,” Monaco said.

Obama is scheduled on September 16 for a visit to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to possibly discuss the details of the plan. According to Monaco, the Obama administration plans to help in controlling the virus outbreak, boosting Africa’s health care system, giving health training to West Africa’s officials, and facilitating support from the World Health Organization.

CDC Director Tom Frieden spoke to Obama about the situation in West Africa, stating that he “could not possibly overstate the need for an urgent response.” This statement from CDC, along with reports, might have brought the president to act on the pressing matter, despite the fact that key officials have declared a low likelihood of the deadly virus from entering U.S. soil.

To date, the U.S. government has already sent more than a hundred health workers from the CDC to West Africa, as well as 8 military personnel. The government has also spent at least $100 million in financial aid and another $75 million is already declared in funding.

September 15, 2014 at 12:35 am Comments (0)

Pet Lovers Beware: Antifreeze Causes Kidney Failure In Cats

While some of us take care of our pets and want to give them the best that we can, others are doing the opposite.

cat antifreeze poisoning kidney failureA news report from the U.K. revealed that pet owners of the city of Hull in Yorkshire, England have been warned against antifreeze ingestion by their pets. One family in particular, whose identities were undisclosed as per request, said that two of their pet cats died because of the hazardous compound.

The head of the family said that when they noticed something abnormal in the behavior of one of their cats, they rushed the pet to the vet. According to the pet doctor, blood tests revealed elevated amounts of toxic materials. Eventually, the cat died due to complete kidney failure. When a similar set of symptoms was exhibited by another one of their cats, he already knew the reason.

According to the vet, the cat’s immediate death due to kidney failure may be a result of antifreeze matter eaten by the pet. What’s disturbing the family is that it happened again on another pet of theirs. “At this time of year you don’t just get antifreeze lying around… It seems like too much of a coincidence to be an accident,” the father said in a news release.

The family immediately raised the issue to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), which can conduct an investigation on the matter. The organization upholds an existing law — the Animal Welfare Act 2006 — that considers pet poisoning as a criminal offense.

Proper pet treatment has always been a strong issue in the U.S., and similar offenses are also being investigated. On the other side of things, it’s nice to learn that pet testing products and pet hotels featured in Furlocity exist to give our pets a better life.

September 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm Comments (0)

Study: Common Viruses Spread Fast In Busy Buildings

Amidst the worldwide scare of the Ebola virus outbreak, a new study revealed that a common virus could spread in only a matter of hours inside a building full of people.

phone receiver virus spread officeResearchers from the University of Arizona simulated the spread of a virus — a noroviruses in particular — from surfaces that are commonly touched, and monitored the presence of the said virus on other parts of the building. An inert tracer virus was used in place of the norovirus, which is the leading cause of gastroenteritis.

Results of the study showed that traces of the tracer virus was found in up to 60 percent of the people inside the building in a matter of 2 to 4 hours. Virus traces were found on several areas where people usually touch surfaces: light switches, push buttons, door knobs, phone receivers, computer peripherals, and coffee pots.

While the study showed the speed of virus spread inside a building facility, the study suggests a very simple yet effective solution: use disinfectants with quaternary ammonium compounds (QUAT). Lead study author Charles Gerba, who works as professor at the university’s Microbiology & Environmental Sciences department, discussed the effectiveness of QUAT-based disinfectant products. “Using disinfecting wipes containing quaternary ammonium compounds registered by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as effective against viruses like norovirus and flu, along with hand hygiene, reduced virus spread by 80-99%,” Gerba said in a news item.

Noroviruses are notorious for afflicting stomach flu especially in schools, hospitals, and office buildings. In fact, this disease may cause a particular facility to be shut down and closed until the virus has been eliminated.

September 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm Comments (0)

Children of Dads Who Smoked Pre-Conception More Likely to Have Asthma: Study

Children are more likely to have asthma if their fathers smoked prior to conceiving them, a new German study has found. kid with asthma

The research looked at the smoking habits of 13,000 men and women who responded to survey questions, including whether they have smoked, when and for how long. They also indicated whether they stopped smoking before conceiving, according to a news release about the study, which found fathers who smoked prior to conception raised the chances of their unborn children having asthma. Fathers who had been smoking longer and fathers who began smoking before 15 were more likely to have babies born with asthma.

Mothers smoking prior to conception was not associated with increased asthma risk among the women in the survey.

It isn’t exactly clear how smoking before conception could cause asthma, but air pollution is certainly a factor, the authors said.

“This study is important as it is the first study looking at how a father’s smoking habit pre-conception can affect the respiratory health of his children,” said one of the study authors, Dr. Cecile Svanes, of the University of Bergen, Norway, in a statement. “Given these results, we can presume that exposure to any type of air pollution, from occupational exposures to chemical exposures, could also have an effect.”

Asthma is a condition that causes the airways to swell, leading to labored breathing and tightness around the lungs. At least 25 million Americans have asthma, and 7 million of them are children, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


September 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm Comments (0)

Back to School Went Badly for Students who Ended up with Mysterious Illness

Going back to school sent hundreds of children to hospitals throughout the American Midwest for an unconfirmed respiratory illness that gave sufferers intense flu-like symptoms. school closings

Parents are being warned that back to school time is going to mean viruses have a field day with returning students, as the children are exposed to ailments with so many of them congregating in the same place after being separated for the past few months.

The Enterovirus EV-D68 is most likely the cause of the outbreak and has common symptoms. The virus is sending 30 children to the hospital a day and 15% of them are being placed into intensive care units. September is peak season for enteroviruses, which have more than 100 different strands and are typically what causes a summer cold. The virus was first identified in 1962, however it’s fairly rare until now. Between 1987 and 2005, only 26 cases were reported worldwide, but in the past month 19 cases have been confirmed in Kansas City alone.

“It’s worse in terms of scope of critically ill children who require intensive care. I would call it unprecedented,” Mary Anne Jackson, division director for infectious diseases at Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital, said. “I’ve practiced for 30 years in pediatrics, and I’ve never seen anything quite like this.”

The influx of 475 children forced the facility to call in help from other health care providers.

September 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm Comments (0)

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise

A GlaxoSmithKline-produced Ebola vaccine has shown to be effective in lab monkeys for at least five weeks and extends protection to 10 months with a booster that contains an additional vaccine, a recently released study has indicated. alcoholism vaccine

Johnson & Johnson and NewLink Genetics are also among the firms developing an Ebola vaccine and treatments as the worst known outbreak of the virus ravages West Africa. Thus far, it has killed more than 2,000 people.

The results of the new study, published in Nature Medicine, suggest that a GSK vaccine now being tested on healthy volunteers would protect against Ebola infection in the short term, but may have to be augmented for long-term protection.
The study is the first to report that a vaccine regimen produced “durable immunity” against Ebola, protecting four out of four monkeys for 10 months.

The vaccine uses a chimp adenovirus, a version of Ebola closely related to a human version, that causes upper respiratory tract infections, into which scientists spliced an Ebola gene.

The adenovirus infects cells in a vaccinated animal, causing them to take up the gene and produce Ebola proteins, which primes the immune system to attack the proteins of Ebola viruses when an infection occurs.

The vaccine in the study is similar to competing vaccines being developed by GSK, which began human safety trials last week, and by J&J, which aims to start safety trials in early 2015.

September 8, 2014 at 8:22 am Comments (0)

Joan Rivers Dies Days After Medically-Induced Coma Following Throat Surgery

Veteran comedian Joan Rivers died on the afternoon of September 5, 2014 (Thursday) following a medically-induced coma after suffering from cardiac arrest during a throat surgery. She was hooked on life support at the Mount Sinai hospital in Manhattan after she was found not breathing during the procedure at the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic.

joan rivers deathMelissa Rivers, daughter of the influential TV host, released a statement to the press: “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother. Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated. My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

The 81-year-old TV fixture underwent a minor surgery at the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic, where she suffered respiratory and cardiac arrest. Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was placed in a medically-induced coma under life support until her demise last Thursday.

Details about her death have not been released as of this time, but according to a report from CNN, the New York medical examiner’s office will launch an investigation regarding the incident. In the meantime, the New York State Department of Health is already conducting its own investigation on the clinic.

Rivers is best known for her acid-tongued commentaries on current events, as well as her tongue-in-cheek barks on fashion trends through her show “Fashion Police”.

September 4, 2014 at 10:58 pm Comments (0)

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