Wednesday July 18, 2018

Potential generic drugs used for heart-disease may treat Ebola

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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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Diabetes? Living Near Woods May Cut Risk of Elevated Blood Sugar

The researchers hope that the findings will prompt doctors and other healthcare professionals to recommend patients to spend more time in greenery and natural areas

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Spending more time with nature also increased sleep duration and significantly reduced the levels of salivary cortisol -- a physiological marker of stress.
Spending more time with nature also increased sleep duration and significantly reduced the levels of salivary cortisol -- a physiological marker of stress. Pixabay

Feeling unwell? Instead of popping up a pill, sitting in the lap of nature can have various health benefits, says a study.

The findings showed that living near the nature or getting regular exposure to greenery may reduce the risk of a host of illnesses including Type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, preterm birth and stress — and boost overall health.

“We often reach for medication when we’re unwell but exposure to health-promoting environments is increasingly recognized as both preventing and helping treat disease. Our study shows that the size of these benefits can be enough to have a meaningful clinical impact,” said Andy Jones from Britain’s University of East Anglia (UEA).

“People living near greenery likely have more opportunities for physical activity and socializing. Meanwhile, exposure to a diverse variety of bacteria present in natural areas may also have benefits for the immune system and reduce inflammation,” said lead author, Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

Health-boosting properties of forest bathing can be explained by Phytoncides, which are organic compounds with antibacterial properties, released by trees, the researchers said.
Health-boosting properties of forest bathing can be explained by Phytoncides, which are organic compounds with antibacterial properties, released by trees, the researchers said. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Environmental Research, the team studied data from over 140 studies involving more than 290 million people from 20 countries including the UK, the US, Spain, France, Germany, Australia and Japan.

Spending more time with nature also increased sleep duration and significantly reduced the levels of salivary cortisol — a physiological marker of stress.

Also Read: Air Pollution Linked to 3.2 Million New Diabetes Cases in One Year

The researchers hope that the findings will prompt doctors and other healthcare professionals to recommend patients to spend more time in greenery and natural areas.

“We hope that this research will inspire people to get outside more and feel the health benefits for themselves. Hopefully our results will encourage policymakers to invest in the creation, regeneration, and maintenance of parks and greenery, particularly in urban residential areas,” Twohig-Bennett noted. (IANS)

One response to “Diabetes? Living Near Woods May Cut Risk of Elevated Blood Sugar”

  1. Bad sugar. I found out I had type 2. I had no idea what to do or how I was going to eat. I did know that I was very motivated not to take medication. Then I read a diabetes story (google ” How I Freed Myself From Diabetes ” ) Eight weeks later I have lost 35 pounds and am not taking any medication and have a blood glucose reading that averages 105. The first few days saw an immediate change. I went from a blood glucose reading of 314 to 143 in three days. I immediately started shedding weight without exercise.