Author: auzalus

Drug resistance: a serious lack of new antibiotics, reported WHO

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It has been reported by WHO that need for antibiotics is growing enormously as there is the limited treatment for drug-resistant infections which is a matter of grief.

This need is difficult to meet because there are very few antibiotics under development which could fight the drug-resistant infections.
These are some common causes of antibiotic resistance;

  • A person may become resistant to antibiotics due to the over-prescription of antibiotics.If a patient does not finish the complete course of antibiotics, then he/she may get antibiotic-resistant.
  • Due to poor infection control in healthcare settings.
    Overuse of antibiotics in fish farming, poultry, and cattle rearing.
  • Poor hygiene and sanitation are leading to recurring infections.
  • Drug resistance or antimicrobial resistance also arise when bacteria evolve and combat the antibiotic drugs, due to which the efficacy of antibiotics reduces thus desired therapeutic effect is not achieved. According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), USA millions of people are infected with drug-resistant pathogens every year and thousands die. The most deadly one is Clostridium difficile, and it causes millions of deaths worldwide every year.
  • One of the biggest threat globally is drug-resistant tuberculosis which causes about half a million deaths every year.

Thus it is urged by WHO that individuals must avoid the overuse of antibiotics, should complete the entire course of antibiotics and keep proper hygiene and sanitation.
The pharma companies should also work for the development of newer antibiotics.

A new treatment for rare form of inherited vision loss got FDA approval

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USFDA has approved a new gene therapy, Luxturna (Vortigern neparvovec-rzyl) for the treatment of an inherited form of vision loss causing blindness in adults and children. Luxturna is the first directly administered gene therapy approved in the U.S. that targets a disease caused by specific gene mutations. FDA has designated Luxturna as Orphan Drug.

Biallelic RPE65 mutation is associated with retinal dystrophy lead to the vision loss and may cause blindness. Luxturna is gene therapy approved for treatment of such patients. It uses a naturally occurring adeno-associated virus modified using rDNA technology as a vehicle to deliver normal human gene RPE65 directly to retinal cells of the eye which helps in the production of normal proteins. These proteins convert light signals into electrical signals restoring vision loss.

Luxturna could be the treatment approach for the patients who have viability in retinal cells determined by physicians. The route of administration is subretinal. Moreover, a short course of prednisolone along with Luxturna is advisable to avoid immune reactions.

Exercise will improve memory and thinking

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Mild cognitive impaired patients, don’t be surprised if exercise is prescribed by your health care provider rather than medication. A new guideline for medical practitioners says that twice-weekly exercise is recommended to people with mild cognitive impairment for the improvement of memory and thinking. The recommendation is part of an updated guideline for mild cognitive impairment published in the December 27 in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Follow the link:

Dr. Ronald Petersen, lead author, and director of Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Mayo Clinic, said that “Regular physical exercise has shown to have heart health benefits, and now we can say that exercise also may help in the improvement of memory for people with mild cognitive impairment.”
Dr. Petersen urged people for aerobic exercises which include jogging, brisk walking for 150 minutes a week, five times for 30 minutes, or three times for 50 minutes, whichever is suitable. The exercise should not be rigorous but may sweat a bit. He said exercising slows down the rate of progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia.

A device to treat Diabetic Foot Ulcers got FDA approval.

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Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permitted the marketing of the Dermapace System, which is first shock wave device for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

Binita Ashar, M.D., director of the division of surgical devices in Center for Devices and Radiological Health of FDA said that “Diabetes is the leading cause of lower limb amputations.” “The FDA is working to develop technologies that can help in improvement of the quality of life for people suffering chronic diseases. Additional options for successfully healing and treating ulcer wounds may help in preventing the lower limb amputations.”
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 30.3 million people in the US are suffering from diabetes Diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels and nerves in feet which lead to severe infections. About 25 percent of people with the diabetes experiences foot ulcer. When circulation is poor that the foot ulcer fails to heal or when treatment fails to stop the spread of an infection amputation is necessary.

The Dermapace System is used in the treatment of chronic, full-thickness diabetic foot ulcers with wound areas measuring no longer than 16 cm2 (about the size of a can of soda can top) which extend through the dermis, epidermis, capsule, or tendon, but without bone exposure. The Dermapace System is an external (extracorporeal) shockwave system that uses pulses of energy, similar to sound waves. The device is used for adult patients (22 years or older), suffering from diabetic foot ulcers which last for more than 30 days, and should be used along with standard diabetic ulcer control.

For Eighth Consecutive Straight Year DASH Diet Ranked Best.

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Even for the eighth consecutive year, DASH Diet developed by the National Institutes of Health was ranked best among 40 others. New research suggested that when combined DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, with a low-sodium diet, it has the potential to lower the blood pressure and is better than anti-hypertension medications. DASH Diet focuses on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins was ranked 1 in “healthy eating” and “heart disease prevention” categories.
 According to World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension also known as high blood pressure is globally the most common chronic condition. It is the major risk factor for heart disease that affects around 1 billion people across the globe and accounts for 1 in 8 deaths annually.
Research funded by NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) which developed DASH diet to prevent and treat high blood pressure and this diet has also proven highly effective in lowering blood cholesterol.
Previous research showed that people following the DASH diet were able to reduce their blood pressure by a few points in two weeks. Over time, their systolic blood pressure could drop by eight to 14 points, which significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Berry gives the boost to cervical cancer therapy

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 12000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. The treatment approach for cervical cancer is radiation therapy, but it also destroys nearby healthy cells. The researchers of the University of Missouri School of Medicine studied the in vitro human cancer cells, which showed that the blueberry extract combined with radiation improves the treatment of cervical cancer.

Yujiang Fang, M.D., Ph.D., visiting professor at the MU School of Medicine and lead author of the study told that “The high energy X-rays are used in radiation therapy, but for late-stage cancers, radiation therapy is recommended however collateral damage is caused to healthy cells.

The research verified blueberry extract could be used as a radiosensitizer. Radiosensitizers are the non-toxic chemicals that make cancer cells more responsive to radiation therapy. Fang and his fellow researchers showed that resveratrol (a compound found in red grapes) could be used as a radiosensitizer to treat prostate cancer. Blueberries are also the source of resveratrol.

Blueberries also contain flavonoids which are the chemical compounds that may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Human cervical cancer cell lines were used to mimic the clinical treatment which was divided into four groups which included a group that received only radiation, a control group, a group that received both radiation and the extract and a group that received only blueberry extract.

Rosemary and tomato combined with lutein are beneficial for eye health.

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According to the pre-clinical publication in Molecular Vision, discussed by Lycored, Within the paper, scientists dug out the fact that there is very potent synergism between Lycoinvision found in, Nutrient Complex for Vision Health.
The successful results of pre-clinical ex vivo study which was designed to assess the effect of Lycoinvision on the immune cells in patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration made Lycored to continue the research.

The research carried out by scientists at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel funded by Lycored focuses on adding phytonutrients, i.e., the combination of Tomato and Rosemary to AREDS composition is shown to have better balanced the cellular responses and modulate biomarkers and processes which affect the eye-health.

Dr. Karin Hermoni, Head of science & Nutrition team at Lycored said that “The role played by lycopene in eye health has been a mystery, as lycopene is not accumulated in the eyes. Moreover, this study allowed us to reveal the synergistic role played by it in the vision protection,” he also said that the “Research suggested that Lycopene sacrifices itself for lutein by protecting it from oxidation and allowing lutein to be effectively transported to the eye.”
This study emphasized that although the lycopene does not directly contribute to macular pigmentation (like lutein does), it works in tandem with the other nutrients to help create the most potent combination of eye-protecting nutrients.

Diabetes Mellitus: Major threat to humans

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Diabetes mellitus (DM) is the metabolic disorder of multiple etiologies characterized by chronic abnormal blood glucose levels with disturbances in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, and protein resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both.

As the function of time and consequent to the metabolic disruption, diabetic patients may suffer the terrible ravages of long-term damage, dysfunction, and failure of various organs, especially the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and blood vessels.

There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:

  1.  Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), Insulin Dependant DM
  2.  Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), Non-insulin Dependant DM
  3.  Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)

Less common types of diabetes include:

  1.  Monogenic diabetes, due to the genetic mutation.
  2.  Secondary diabetes, which arises due to the complication of other diseases.

Global prevalence of DM:

WHO and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) are the organizations which keep the constant eye on the worldwide incidence of diabetes. These both cover all the 180 nations and more than 230 national diabetes agencies to monitor the epidemiology and global challenges in this field. Both the organizations publish comprehensive reports chronologically, WHO released “Global Report on Diabetes” in 2016 and IDF published IDF atlas in 2015 enlightening on the pace and approaches needed to fight this dreadful disorder.
The global prevalence of diabetes has increased to twice since 1980, raising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population. This has shown a massive increase in associated risk factors such as obesity. In the past decade, diabetes prevalence has risen faster in developing countries than in developed countries. Around 1.5 million deaths in 2012 were reported due to diabetes. Higher blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases. 43% of 3.7 million deaths occur before the age of 70 years. Approximately 4.2 billion people worldwide are at risk of diabetes, consequently cardiovascular disease, related metabolic and inflammatory disturbances.

Management of Diabetes mellitus:

T1DM is managed by the insulin therapy, moderate exercises, and diet control. Physical inactivity, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking and generous consumption of alcohol are responsible for T2DM. Through lifestyle and diet modification a significant reduction in the incidence of T2DM with a combination of maintenance of body mass index of 25 kg/m2, consuming high fiber and unsaturated fat and the diet low in saturated and trans-fats and glycaemic index, regular exercise, abstinence from smoking and moderate consumption of alcohol.

Medications for DM:

Monotherapy with metformin and sulphonylureas (Glimepiride, Glipizide, Gliburide, Acetohexamide, Tolbutamide, Chlorpropamide, Tolazamide) is the first step for management of T2DM; however, the advancement of the disease often necessitates alteration of therapy. When the response to oral monotherapy declines over time, a combination of oral agents is a common approach for restoring resistance to control hyperglycemia.

  • Sitagliptin
  • Vildagliptin
  • Saxagliptin
  • Linagliptin
  • Canagliflozin
  • Dapagliflozin
  • Empagliflozin
  • Zopolrestat
  • Epalrestat
  • Exenatide
  • Liraglutide
  • Dulaglutide
  • Albiglutide
  • Pioglitazone
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Repaglinide
  • Nateglinide

The patients who fail to adequately respond to combination therapy or those with other safety concerns such as pregnancy, or severe renal, or liver impairment are administered insulin injections.

How to Get Your Health on Track?

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Diet and exercise can play a prominent role in leading a healthy life; certain specific dietary changes can help individuals. One can follow these steps to get self-healthy.

The first attempt should be made to cut back on sugary beverages. Screening for diabetes is also a good and proactive step.

Physical exercise is already a known approach to achieve the healthy and active state. One should work out for at least half-hour up to 5 days a week or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise for 3 times a week.

Medical associations also suggest to lower the intake of sodium and processed food; this will help in managing the blood pressure.

Limiting the alcohol intake is another good habit to adapt to achieve good health.

Smoking should be reduced, and steps could be taken to control stress for sound physical and mental health.

Due to stress individuals are at large intake of painkillers which is becoming addictive, so the use of analgesics must be limited to more severe aches.

Vaccination plays a vital role in attaining sound immunity against infectious diseases. Thus individuals should keep themselves up-to-date on vaccinations.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle gives us vitality and adds on to life.

Rheumatoid arthritis: A review

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory condition which might cause joint deformities like the erosion of bone and narrowing of the joint space and extra-articular symptoms such as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is more frequent in patients with RA. RA commonly affects the joints; mainly elbows, knees, hands, feet, wrists, and ankles. The effect on the joints is often symmetrical. That means if one knee or hand is affected, often the other one is, too. Because RA also can affect body systems, such as the cardiovascular or respiratory systems, it is called a systemic disease. Systemic means “entire body.”
Even though the patient suffering from RA are more likely to acquire osteoporosis, but tight control of disease activity may bring a positive effect on bone metabolism.

RA treatment aims to:

  • Stop inflammation (put the disease in remission)
  • Relieve symptoms
  • Prevent joint and organ damage
  • Improve physical function and overall well-being
  • Reduce long-term complications
  • The symptoms of RA: If one is experiencing the below-written symptoms then he/she needs medical consultation.
  • Joint pain, swelling or stiffness, tenderness, for six weeks or longer
  • Morning stiffness for 30 minutes or longer
  • More than one joint is affected
  • Small joints (wrists, certain joints of the hands and feet) are affected
  • The joints on both sides of the body are affected

Treatment of RA: Physicians follow 2 types of treatments for RA;

  • Drugs which provide symptomatic relief: The Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) relieve the symptoms of RA. Some of the NSAIDs effective in RA are Celecoxib, etoricoxib, ibuprofen, ketoprofen and naproxen sodium, etc.
  • Drugs which slows down the disease activity: Corticosteroid medications, which include methylprednisolone, prednisone, and prednisolone are potent and quick-acting anti-inflammatory medications. They may be used in RA to get the potentially damaging inflammation under control while waiting for NSAIDs and DMARDs (below) to take effect.

Self-management of RA:
Self-management of RA means taking part in treatment and maintaining a good quality of life. Here are some ways you can manage RA symptoms which can be followed along with recommended medication to improve overall health.

  • Exercise: Moderate to low impact aerobics can help in strengthening of muscles and bone, consult a physiotherapist fo the same.
  • Diet modification: Switching to Mediterranean diet viz., fish, vegetables, fruits and olive oil. Avoid intake of fast food & processed foods.
  • Hot and cold treatments: Heat treatment, such as heat pads or warm baths, work best for soothing the stiff joints and tired muscles. Cold is best for acute pain. It can numb painful areas and reduce inflammation.