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Severity of Diarrhoea is Affected by the Blood Types

Enterotoxigenic E. coli are responsible for millions of cases of diarrhoea and hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, mainly of young children.

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More than eight of 10 (81 per cent) blood group A people developed diarrhoea that required treatment, as compared with about half of people with blood group B or O.
Advancements in the medical field. Pixabay.
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A bacteria associated with travellers’ diarrhoea and children in underdeveloped areas of the world causes more severe disease in people with blood type A but not blood type O or B, finds a study.

Enterotoxigenic E. coli are responsible for millions of cases of diarrhoea and hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, mainly of young children.
Types of Blood. Pixabay.

Enterotoxigenic E. coli are responsible for millions of cases of diarrhoea and hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, mainly of young children.

The bacteria release a protein that latches onto intestinal cells in people with blood type A, but not blood type O or B.

A vaccine targeting that protein could potentially protect people with type A blood against the deadliest effects of enterotoxigenic E. coli (Escherichia coli) infection.

“We think this protein is responsible for this blood-group difference in disease severity,” said James Fleckenstein, Associate Professor at the Washington University in St. Louis.

“A vaccine targeting this protein would potentially protect the individuals at highest risk for severe disease.”

For the study, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, the team gave healthy volunteers a dose of an E. coli strain originally isolated from a person in Bangladesh with severe, cholera-like diarrhoea.

They observed the volunteers for five days and obtained data and blood samples from over 100 people and found that people with blood type A got sick sooner and more seriously than those of other blood types.

More than eight of 10 (81 per cent) blood group A people developed diarrhoea that required treatment, as compared with about half of people with blood group B or O.

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The researchers also found that the bacteria produce a specific protein that sticks to A-type sugars – but not B or O-type sugars – on intestinal cells.

Since the protein also sticks to E. coli, it effectively fastens the bacteria to the intestinal wall, making it easy for them to deliver diarrhoea-causing toxins to intestinal cells.

The effect of blood group in people infected with this strain of E. coli was striking and significant, but it doesn’t mean people should change their behaviour based on blood type, the researchers said. IANS.

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Thinning of Retina Maybe Linked to Parkinson’s: Researchers

The thinning of the retina corresponded with the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine and the severity of the disease.

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Parkinson's Disease
GREAT MANCHESTER RUN 2010 Parkinson's UK Runners 16 May 2010 Manchester

The thinning of retina — the lining of nerve cells in the back of the eye — could be linked to Parkinson’s disease, a finding that can boost diagnoses to detect the disease in its earliest stages, researchers have found.

According to the study, the thinning of the retina is linked to the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine, a substance that helps control movement — a hallmark of the Parkinson’s disease that impairs motor ability.

“Our study is the first to show a link between the thinning of the retina and a known sign of the progression of the disease — the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine,” said Jee-Young Lee, from the Seoul National University in South Korea.

Parkinson's Disease
Representational Image. Flickr

“We also found the thinner the retina, the greater the severity of disease. These discoveries may mean that neurologists may eventually be able to use a simple eye scan to detect Parkinson’s disease in its earliest stages, before problems with movement begin,” Lee added.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, involved 49 people with an average age of 69 years who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years earlier but who had not yet started medication. They were compared to 54 people without the disease who were matched for age.

The team evaluated each participant with a complete eye exam, high-resolution eye scans as well as PET scan and found retina thinning, most notably in the two inner layers of the five layers of the retina, in those with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson’s Disease Gets Awareness From Various Events. Flickr

In addition, the thinning of the retina corresponded with the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine and the severity of the disease.

Also Read: Headache Due to Spending Long Hours in Front of Computer? Here’s How You Can Protect Your Eyes!

If confirmed in larger studies, “retina scans may not only allow earlier treatment of Parkinson’s disease but more precise monitoring of treatments that could slow progression of the disease as well”, Lee said. (IANS)

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