Friday December 15, 2017

Potential generic drugs used for heart-disease may treat Ebola

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www.ibtimes.com
www.iflscience.com
www.iflscience.com

New York: Generic drugs used to treat heart diseases also have the potential to bolster the immune systems of patients with Ebola virus and some other life-threatening illnesses, research has found.

Unlike other medications in development for Ebola, which attack the virus, statins and angiotensin receptor blockers, typically used for heart disease, work on the host response, or a person’s biological reaction to the virus, said a lead study, authored by  David Fedson, retired professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia in the US.

“The statin or angiotensin receptor blocker combination was found to help improve survival in 100 Ebola patients treated in Sierra Leone”, Fedson said. “This approach to Ebola treatment has two advantages,” he added.

According to him, the first advantage is that it uses inexpensive generic drugs that are widely available in any country with a basic healthcare system, and most physicians who treat patients with cardiovascular diseases are familiar with these medications.  Second, because this strategy targets the host response to infection, these drugs might be used to treat patients with any form of acute infectious disease in which a failure to overcome endothelial dysfunction could lead to multi-organ failure and death, Fedson noted.

In a pilot study, patients were given the drugs atorvastatin (40 mg/day) and irbesartan (150 mg/day) at several hospitals in West Africa.

The researchers found rapid clinical improvement in most patients.

Specifically, the drugs stabilise or restore the integrity of endothelial cells lining the blood vessels.

Endothelial cell dysfunction has been a central feature of human Ebola virus disease, leading to severe fluid and mineral losses, Fedson explained.

The findings appeared in ‘mBio’, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

(IANS)

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3 Cups of Coffee a day may Prevent you from Premature Death

Compared to Abstainers, people who drink 3-4 cups of coffee a day are more likely to see health benefits than harm, experiencing lower risks of premature death and heart disease .

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3 Cups of Coffee a day may prevent you from premature death
Someone pouring a cup of coffee. Drinking coffee could increase your health benefits, according to a new study,Thursday, Nov 23, 2017. (Photo: Diaa Bekheet)

London:

People who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are more likely to see health benefits than harm, experiencing lower risks of premature death and heart disease than those who abstain, scientists said on Wednesday.

The research, which collated evidence from more than 200 previous studies, also found coffee consumption was linked to lower risks of diabetes, liver disease, dementia and some cancers.

Three or four cups a day confer the greatest benefit, the scientists said, except for women who are pregnant or who have a higher risk of suffering fractures.

Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed drinks worldwide. To better understand its effects on health, Robin Poole, a public health specialist at Britain’s University of Southampton, led a research team in an “umbrella review” of 201 studies based on observational research and 17 studies based on clinical trials across all countries and all settings.

“Umbrella reviews” synthesize previous pooled analyses to give a clearer summary of diverse research on a particular topic.

“Coffee drinking appears safe within usual patterns of consumption,” Pool’s team concluded in their research, published in the BMJ British medical journal late on Wednesday.

Drinking coffee was consistently linked with a lower risk of death from all causes and from heart disease. The largest reduction in relative risk of premature death is seen in people consuming three cups a day, compared with non-coffee drinkers.

Drinking more than three cups a day was not linked to harm, but the beneficial effects were less pronounced.

Coffee was also associated with a lower risk of several cancers, including prostate, endometrial, skin and liver cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes, gallstones and gout, the researchers said. The greatest benefit was seen for liver conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver.

Poole’s team noted that because their review included mainly observational data, no firm conclusions could be drawn about cause and effect. But they said their findings support other recent reviews and studies of coffee intake. (VOA)

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Women can Boost their Working Memory with Hormone Therapy

Benefits of oestrogen therapy in women.

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oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress
oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress. wikimedia commons

New York, Nov 5: Undergoing a type of hormone replacement therapy — used for menopausal treatment — may help protect as well as improve working memory for some women as they age, according to a new study.

Hormone replacement therapy uses female hormones – oestrogen and progesterone – to treat common symptoms of menopause and ageing.

The findings showed that women taking oestrogen-only therapy had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and performed better on tests of “working memory” following exposure to stress compared to women taking a placebo.

“Our study suggests that oestrogen treatment after menopause protects the memory that is needed for short-term cognitive tasks from the effects of stress,” said lead author Alexandra Ycaza Herrera, a researcher at the University of Southern California – Davis.

To measure the effect of oestrogen therapy on working memory under stress, the team recruited 42 women with an average age of 66.

Half of the postmenopausal women had been on estradiol — a type of oestrogen therapy — for approximately five years, while the others had received a placebo.

The researchers, in the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, collected saliva to measure the women’s levels of cortisol, oestrogen, and progesterone.

They also ran a test of working memory called a “sentence span task”, in which the women were each given a series and then asked whether each sentence made sense. They also were asked to recall the last word of each one.

While women receiving oestrogen therapy had a smaller increase in cortisol and showed no decrease in working memory function, even after being exposed to stressful situation, those taking the placebo experienced a spike in cortisol levels as well as demonstrated a decrease in working memory function.

Previous studies have pointed to potential health risks — the Ahigher risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots — of the treatment.

Thus, Herrera noted that “hormone replacement therapy may not be right for every woman, but women need to be able to have the conversation with their doctors”.(IANS)

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Teenaged mothers at high risk for heart diseases later

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Teenaged mothers at high risk for heart diseases later(Pixabay)

New York, November 2,2017: Women who became first-time mothers during their teenage years may be significantly more likely than older mothers to have greater risks for heart and blood vessel diseases later in life, according to new research.

The findings showed that women reporting a first birth before the age of 20 scored significantly higher on “Framingham Risk Score” — a measure commonly used to estimate the 10-year cardiovascular risk.

Conversely, women whose first births occurred at older ages had lower average risk scores. The lowest cardiovascular risk, however, was among women who had never given birth, the researchers said.

“Adolescent mothers may need to be more careful about lifestyle factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including maintaining a healthy body weight and sufficient physical activity,” said lead author Catherine Pirkle, assistant professor at the University of Hawaii.

“Clinicians may need to pay more careful attention to women’s reproductive characteristics, and more intensive screening of cardiovascular-disease risk may be required of women reporting early childbirths.”

For the study, detailed in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the team examined 1,047 women between the ages of 65 and 74 and were from Canada, Albania, Colombia and Brazil.

However, the findings must be confirmed because this study relied on self-reports of childbirth history which could be affected by memory loss in this older population even though participants were screened for dementia.

In addition, many young mothers from the poorer countries may not have survived to the ages of 64-75 years represented in the study, limiting the strength of the results, the researchers said.

“If adolescent childbirth increases the risk of cardiovascular disease risk, then our findings reinforce the need to assure that girls and adolescents have sufficient sexual education and access to contraception to avoid adolescent childbearing in the first place,” Pirkle said.(IANS)