Tuesday December 18, 2018

Alcohol May Increase Death Risk in Young TB Patients

According to the researchers, the study could facilitate the development of therapies for alcoholic individuals with latent and active Mtb infections

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Hangovers might last longer than you think
Hangovers might last longer than you think. Pixabay
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Increased consumption of alcohol in people with tuberculosis (TB) may accelerate their risk of death, scientists led by an Indian-origin researcher have found.

Chronic alcohol consumption modulates a host of immune defense mechanisms and increases susceptibility to infections with various pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) — the TB-causing bacterium.

In the study, the risk was seen in young mice, not in older ones.

It was due to the production of a protein IFN-a — involved in innate immune response against viral infection — in the lungs by a subset of immune cells that express molecules called CD11b and Ly6G, explained researchers, led by Deepak Tripathi of the University of Texas.

For the study, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, young and old mice were fed alcohol or control diets for one month and then infected with MtbH37Rv.

Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol may increase death risk in young tuberculosis patients. Pixabay

The analysis showed that 80 per cent of Mtb-infected alcohol-fed young mice died within 6 months, while the death rate was 25 per cent in Mtb-infected alcohol-fed old mice.

Further, among patients with latent tuberculosis infection, peripheral blood mononuclear cells from young alcoholic individuals produced significantly higher amounts of IFN-a than those from young non-alcoholic, old alcoholic, and old non-alcoholic individuals.

Also Read: Teens Drinking Regularly face Worse Alcohol Problems Than Adults

This suggests that young alcoholic individuals with latent tuberculosis infection have a higher risk of developing active tuberculosis infection.

According to the researchers, the study could facilitate the development of therapies for alcoholic individuals with latent and active Mtb infections. (IANS)

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Epileptic Pregnant Women Often Have Higher Risk of Death

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases affecting approximately sixty million people globally

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Pregnant Women
Risk of death 5 times higher in epileptic pregnant women: Study. Pixabay

The risk of dying during pregnancy is five times higher for pregnant women with epilepsy, finds a new study.

According to the study, from the Aarhus University in Denmark, pregnant women with epilepsy die of virtually the same conditions and events that women without epilepsy die of — ranging from accidents to blood clots, cancer and suicide — although with a greater frequency.

The results should be seen in light of the fact that in general, people with epilepsy have a higher mortality rate than the rest of the population. Overall, for women of childbearing age the mortality rate is 15 times higher, the researchers said.

“We can’t produce statistics on causes of death on the basis of five deceased pregnant women with epilepsy but we can conclude with great statistical certainty that pregnant women with epilepsy die five times more frequently than other pregnant women,” said Jakob Christensen, Associate Professor at the varsity.

For the study, the team examined a total of 2,110,084 pregnancies among which 11,976 (0.6 per cent) were pregnant women with epilepsy and a total of 176 women died during their pregnancy.

Pregnant Women
Lady with her baby. Pixabay

Mortality among women with epilepsy was compared with the mortality rate for women of the same age and social background.

“Although the absolute risk is small, we have to consider how we can follow pregnant women with epilepsy better than today,” Christensen said.

Also Read- Compound Found in Grape Skin Can Protect Against Lung Cancer: Research

“… We must take into account that the vast majority of pregnant women with epilepsy receive medication and are closely monitored during pregnancy, and that this probably helps to reduce the overall mortality because close monitoring means that there is better management of their epileptic seizures,” he said.

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases affecting approximately sixty million people globally. (IANS)