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Asthma: Increased Meat Intake Linked To Increased Wheezing In Children

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Researchers from the Mount Sinai Hospital/Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that substances present in cooked meats are linked to increased wheezing in children.

The researchers, who published their study in Thorax, described pro-inflammatory compounds known as advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) as an early dietary risk factor that may have broad clinical and public health implications when it comes to preventing inflammatory respiratory disease.

In the United States, childhood asthma prevalence has risen over the last few decades. The current study researchers found that dietary habits earlier in life may be associated with wheezing, which could eventually lead to asthma.

The team looked at nearly 4,400 children aged between 2 and 17 from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program of the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The program is designed to evaluate the health and nutritional status of American adults and children through interviews and physical examinations.

The researchers evaluated associations between dietary AGE, meat consumption frequencies, and respiratory symptoms. They found that the higher the intake of AGE – the higher was the risk of wheezing, including wheezing that disrupted sleep and exercise.

Similarly, increased intake of non-seafood meats was associated with increased wheezing that disrupted sleep and wheezing that required prescription medication.

Lead author Dr. Jing Gennir Wanh said, “We found that higher consumption of dietary AGEs, which are largely derived from intake of non-seafood meats, was associated with increased risk of wheezing in children, regardless of overall diet quality or an established diagnosis of asthma.”

Senior author Dr. Sonali Bose said, “Research identifying dietary factors that influence respiratory symptoms in children is important, as these risks are potentially modifiable and can help guide health recommendations.”

“Our findings will hopefully inform future longitudinal studies to further investigate whether these specific dietary components play a role in childhood airways disease such as asthma,” she added. The article appeared on Science Daily.

Brazil’s Top Research Medical Center Says CoronaVac, An Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine, Is Safe

Preliminary results of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate called CoronaVac, developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech, appeared to be safe in a Phase III clinical trial in Brazil.

Brazil’s top biomedical research center called São Paulo’s Butantan Institute said CoronaVac has been proved safe so far in the late-stage trial that involves 9,000 volunteers.

However, Dr. Dimas Covas, head of Butantan, said data on the vaccine’s efficacy will not be released until the trial is completed on all of the 13,000 volunteers.

João Doria, Governor of São Paulo, told reporters, “The first results of the clinical study conducted in Brazil prove that among all the vaccines tested in the country, CoronaVac is the safest, the one with the best and most promising rates.”

Dr. Covas said, “The result is only preliminary and researchers will keep monitoring the participants in the on-going trial.” He also said there were no severe side effects reported with the vaccine so far.

Jean Gorinchteyn, São Paulo State Health Secretary, said CoronaVac appeared to produce protective antibodies.

The state hopes to get regulatory approval for CoronaVac by December to start inoculating its population early in 2021.

São Paulo has signed a deal with Sinovac Biotech to buy 60 million doses of CoronaVac by the end of February.

Sinovac wanted to conduct large trials in Brazil because it has been one of the global hotspots of the coronavirus. Brazil has so far reported more than 5.2 million coronavirus cases and over 154,200 deaths.

Meanwhile, competing coronavirus vaccine candidates, especially the ones developed by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, have had their trials suspended in the United States over safety concerns.

Experts say vaccines are an essential tool to curb the ongoing pandemic, which has so far killed more than 1 million people globally.

According to Sinovac, CoronaVac uses inactivated vaccine technology, a conventional way of using a killed virus, which cannot replicate in human cells to cause an immune response.

Scientists have warned that the safety of such vaccine candidates must be evaluated over longer periods. They say some other inactivated vaccines had led to infection-enhancement effect, where vaccine-triggered antibodies could worsen the infection when people are exposed to a virus after inoculation, instead of offering protection.

American Rapper Scarface Says “I Need A Kidney” After COVID-19 Damaged His Organ

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Brad Terrence Jordan, an American rapper better known by his stage name Scarface, is looking for someone who can donate their kidney to him after his COVID-19 diagnosis left him with permanent kidney damage this year.

On Wednesday, the 49-year-old rapper made a plea on social media, asking fans to donate a kidney.

He wrote on Twitter, “I need a kidney y’all any volunteers? B+ blood type.”

One fan responded, “It would be returning the favor. Your music speaks to me more than any artist ever. Learned how to manage depression openly cause of you.”

Rapper Glasses Malone replied, “I’m a go find out… all that street s*** your music got me thru, a kidney would be my pleasure.”

In March, Scarface got candid about his months-long, coronavirus health scare.

He told rapper Willie D, “I fought COVID double bilateral pneumonia, both lungs and kidney failure, in my house. I went back to the hospital. I just got out of the hospital [on April 20] … I have to change my entire diet, I have to do dialysis four days a week, three hours a day. That’s taking all my blood out, cleaning it and putting it back in my body.”

Scarface, who is now COVID-free, said it felt like an elephant was sitting on his chest when he tried to breathe.

At the time he said, “This whole three weeks has been an ordeal. It’s the craziest I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve been to the point where I felt like I was gonna die.”

The rapper revealed that his kidneys had not recovered three months after his diagnosis.

He told Fox5 DC, “COVID attacked my lungs first, and then it attacked my kidneys and knocked them out. I got full lung recovery, but my kidneys never came back.”

“I’m still a little weak,” he added. “I don’t have a lot of strength in my legs yet. I still haven’t got full taste back and sense of smell yet. But I am glad to be alive.” In the United States, the virus has affected more than 7.8 million and killed over 217,000 people so far.

FDA Approves Additional Doses of Cancer Drug Keytruda in Adults

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted accelerated approval of an additional recommended dose of Keytruda (pembrolizumab), a cancer drug, in adults, said its manufacturer Merck & Co.

The drug regulatory body approved the use of Keytruda 400 mg every 6 weeks alone or in conjunction with other drugs.

The FDA approved the additional recommended dosage of Keytruda given the complexity of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, said Dr. Roy Baynes, Merck’s CMO.

“The important social distancing measures for COVID-19 have created a number of challenges for people with cancer, including keeping to planned treatment schedules,” he added.

“Today’s approval of an every 6-week dosing schedule for (pembrolizumab) gives doctors an option to reduce how often patients are at the clinic for their treatment,” continued Dr. Baynes, who is the head of global clinical development at Merck.

The FDA’s approval is contingent upon clinical verification and description in the confirmatory human trials.

Previously, Keytruda was approved to be administered at the dosage of 200 mg every 3 weeks.

The FDA said some of the immune-related adverse effects of Keytruda include inflammation of the colon, lungs, liver, and kidney. Other side effects include kidney dysfunction, skin reactions, and solid organ transplant rejection.

Belonging to antineoplastic agents, Keytruda is a humanized antibody used in cancer immunotherapy, which is administered intravenously. It is indicated for the treatment of melanoma (skin cancer), lung cancer, head and neck cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, and stomach cancer.

Foods That Improve Your Immunity amid Coronavirus Pandemic

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the United States and internationally, it is high time to find ways to boost our immunity though through a healthy lifestyle, mainly by eating foods rich in antioxidants.

Nutritionists and fitness experts have come up with top foods that can boost your immune system, thereby reducing the risk and severity of illness.

Naturopath Elizabeth MacGregor from the Endeavour College of Natural Health told FEMAIL, “Immunity is a broad term to describe a complex system of bodily functions. There are two key types of defense – barrier and innate.”

She explained that barrier defense is the skin and the mucus membranes of the bodily systems, acting as a physical barrier to foreign substances that can cause illness. On the other hand, innate immunity is the non-specific cells of the body, which respond to the presents of foreign substances or noxious agents.

MacGregor said, “They will engulf, and destroy these. These are present in close proximity to the barrier defense. The body will also respond by producing inflammation and other chemical messenger agents to increase circulation to a site, carrying with it white blood cells triggering other immune system responses.”

She said nutrition is one of the best ways to boost your immunity naturally, so make sure you eat a well-balanced diet. She said, “Adopt rainbow eating practices (ensure you are eating fruit and vegetables in every color) and each day focus on a range of plant foods, which are excellent sources of carotenoids that help support a healthy immune system.”

The naturopath said it is important to make sure you give your body all of the nutrients it requires.

You can add orange to salads, make fresh mango smoothies, and eat carrots and pumpkins, along with a good source of plant-based protein. She said you can even add herbs and spices to add flavors because they are antimicrobial.

MacGregor said, “Slow-cooked meals that include an adequate serve of protein, your favorite vegetables, culinary herbs, and spices are easy to digest and deliver some of the required nutrients for healthy immune support.”

“The addition of herbal teas can also support with antimicrobial action, and depending on the herb may have other properties such as aiding sleep, boosting energy and also building immunity,” she added.

Registered dieticians advise people to eat anti-inflammatory foods.

Wholefoods Chef and Holistic Nutritionist Lee Holmes said anti-inflammatory foods are essential in “healing the gut” and “improving overall immunity.”

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our body to avoid foggy brains, helping to produce energy and strengthen our immunity. Flaxseeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids and high in fiber to promote regular bowel movements,” Holmes said.

She continued, “It’s no secret that oily fish like salmon, sardines and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids but, our fishy friends can also raise dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain.”

Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that increases the level of immunity-boosting proteins in our bodies,” Holmes added. “These proteins help fight bacteria and viruses when they try to attack. Turmeric is also a natural anti-inflammatory and painkiller.”

Holmes also advised to include foods rich in dietary fiber because it creates a healthy community of intestinal bacteria and eases digestion.

She said, “Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and is slower to digest as it attracts water to form a gel. Types include oatmeal, psyllium husks, acacia fibers, berries, lentils (soaked for easier digestion), fruit and vegetables.”

“Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water,” she added. “It passes through the digestive system relatively intact and speeds up the passage of food waste through your gut. Sources include grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fruit and vegetables”

Foods loaded with fiber include green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables, berries, nuts and seeds.

The chef also recommended including prebiotics and probiotics through food.

“While probiotics are live organisms, prebiotics are the components of our food that are otherwise not easily digested, but are thoroughly enjoyed by our beneficial bacteria,” Holmes said.

Good vegetable sources of prebiotics include fresh dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, leeks, chives, garlic, endive, asparagus, radicchio, chicory, shallots, spring onions (scallions), beetroot (beet), fennel bulbs, green peas, snow peas (mange tout) and savoy cabbage.”

Prebiotic fruits include avocados, custard apples, nectarines, white peaches, persimmons, bananas, apples, pomegranates and figs,” Holmes added. “I encourage you to incorporate some of these delicious prebiotic foods into your diet, it’s your body’s best defense to keep you ahead of common bugs and boost your immunity.”

Juul Accused of Promoting Vaping Products to Young Children Online

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    Juul, the largest e-cigarette manufacturing company, has been accused of promoting their products to young children and teenagers online, including websites such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and seventeen Magazine.

    In a new lawsuit, Massachusetts prosecutors said the e-cigarette company explicitly target adolescents by advertising vaping products online. They said the company promoted mock-up ads of young-looking models who were seen holding Juul devices.

    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said, “A Juul customer service rep even told underage customers in Massachusetts how to get around our laws.”

    The e-cig company rejected a marketing proposal targeting adults; instead, the company chose a campaign targeting a “cool crowd,” according to the lawsuit.

    Juul prompted their vaping products on youth-centric websites, such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and seventeen Magazine.

    On Wednesday, in a press conference, 19-year-old Emma Tigerman talked about her addiction to e-cigarettes.

    She said, “Unfortunately, I will have to consider myself an addict for the rest of my life and that is at the hands of Juul.”

    Juul has banned the sale of fruit-flavored vaping products. The company told CBS News, “We have not yet reviewed the complaint, but we working to combat underage use.”

    The company also said that their main customer base is “adult smokers.”

    Massachusetts’ attorney general is the ninth to sue Juul. E-cigarette manufacturers, including Juul, have a deadline until May 12 to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to continue selling their vaping products and that review will take at least a year.

    Black Friday and Mental Health: What’s The Connection?

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    Black Friday is around the corner and people across the nation will go crazy again to reap the benefits of flash sales and attractive deals.

    On Black Friday, innumerable stores reduce the prices of their services and products, driving millions of people to go to the retailers. American retailers earned more than $7 billion on Black Friday in 2017, according to the American Marketing Association.

    On average, a person in the United States spends more than $1,000 to do Black Friday shopping, according to The Balance. These flash sales come along with a great amount of stress and excitement.

    Many stores offer attractive deals on a first-come-first-serve basis due to increased popularity and people wait in lines for long hours, feeling tired and fatigued.

    For shoppers, it could be quite hectic and stressful, especially those who have a history of mental health conditions. Large crowds, unruly shoppers, and long lines could increase irritability, anger or anxiety. And stress could exacerbate these mental health issues.

    According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, “Flash sales like Black Friday can place great stress on people’s shopping experience. Periods of poor mental health can in some cases be accompanied by impulsive decision making, or anxiety and worry about the future.”

    There is also a scientific reason why Black Friday shopping affects your mental health. The flash sales and large crowds on Black Friday give a massive boost to one of your brain chemicals called dopamine, a neurotransmitter that gives you a feeling of intense pleasure when you are about to make a sizzling deal, of course, for a little while.

    The shoppers are not the only ones who are affected by Black Friday sales, the store workers also put extra efforts throughout their shifts with small breaks. The workers are also stressed out because they must help control large crowds and indulge in bargains with customers over several items. So all of this is quite stressful. Nevertheless, shopping on Black Friday can be less stressful if you plan well. You can plan ahead to expedite your shopping process. You can go online if you want to avoid those long lines, large crowds, and unwanted long waits.

    EMA Recommends Suspension of 100 Generic Drugs Due To Data Irregularities

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended the suspension of 100 generic drugs after uncovering data irregularities at an Indian CRO (Contract Research Organization), according to Endpoints News.

    A CRO provides support to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. It may also provide services such as biopharmaceutical development, biologic assay development, commercialization, clinical development, clinical trials management, pharmacovigilance, and outcomes research. It basically runs tests for generic drugs.

    Here, the CRO in question is Synchron Research Services, which is not the first to come under the scanner for data integrity failings.

    Previously, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EMA uncovered similar data integrity issues from several Indian CROs, including Semler Research and GVK Biosciences.

    On Friday, the EMA said, “The recommendation comes after irregularities were found in how the CRO carried out bioequivalence studies, which raised serious concerns about the company’s quality management system and the reliability of data from that site.”

    The EMA recommended the suspension of 100 generic drugs made by several companies, such as J&J, Sandoz, Teva, Viatris, Jubilant, Wockhardt, Accord, Aurora, and Strides, among others.

    The European drug regulatory body warned member states that the drugs recommended for suspension “may be of critical importance (e.g. due to lack of available alternatives) in a given EU Member State. Therefore national authorities can temporarily postpone the suspension in the interest of patients.”

    “Member States should also decide whether recalls of the affected medicines are needed in their territories,” it added.

    Last year, Synchron also came under fire from the FDA over similar data concerns.

    In a 2019 inspection, the FDA body “found unusual and unexplainable study records demonstrating that you engaged in practices and processes that undermined the analytical methods used at your firm. Upon close review of study records from your firm, we conclude that those practices and processes resulted in the submission of falsified study data to the FDA.”

    Monkeypox Virus: WHO European Official Warns Cases Could Accelerate In Coming Months

    A top European health official associated with the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that monkeypox could accelerate in the coming months, according to The Guardian.

    Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said, “As we enter the summer season … with mass gatherings, festivals, and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate.”

    Monkeypox cases are spreading across the Europe, including Sweden and Portugal. The virus causes distinctive pustules but is rarely fatal. There have been cases reported in central and west Africa, the United States, Canada, and Australia. Dr. Kluge said the spreading of monkeypox is “atypical.”

    He said, “All but one of the recent cases have no relevant travel history to areas where monkeypox is endemic,” adding that transmission could be boosted because “the cases currently being detected are among those engaging in sexual activity,” and many do not recognize the symptoms.

    Initial cases of monkeypox have been reported in men who have sex with men and sought treatment at sexual health clinics, noted Dr. Kluge, adding “this suggests that transmission may have been ongoing for some time.”

    On Friday, UK health officials reported more than 10 confirmed cases in England, taking its overall figure to 20.

    Dr. Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor Transition Lead, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said she expected “this increase to continue in the coming days and for more cases to be identified in the wider community.”

    She has urged gay and bisexual men to notice any symptoms of monkeypox, stating a “notable proportion” of cases in Europe came from this group.

    Monkeypox symptoms include fever, chills, myalgia (muscle aches), swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, fatigue, and skin rash on the face and hands.

    The UKHSA said the virus had not previously been described as a sexually transmitted infection. It is highly transmissible through close contact with skin lesions and droplets of a contaminated person.

    Reassuring the public, Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, tweeted, “Most cases are mild and I can confirm we have procured further doses of vaccines that are effective against monkeypox.”

    On May 7, the UK health officials reported the first case in a patient who had recently traveled to Nigeria. A week later, two more cases were reported in people in the same household. However, the two cases were not linked to the first case.

    Earlier this week, Italian health officials announced the country’s first case of monkeypox, in a young man who recently returned from the Canary Islands. The WHO said monkeypox is a self-limiting disease and usually clears up after two to four weeks.

    Healthy Diet Could Reduce ADHD Symptoms in Children, Finds Study

    A new study, published online in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, suggests that eating fruits and vegetables may help reduce the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, according to Science Daily.

    Researchers at The Ohio State University asked parents of more than 130 kids with ADHD symptoms to complete a detailed questionnaire about the foods their children ate, including portion sizes, over 90 days.

    The team also asked parents to rate symptoms of inattention in their children, such as having trouble staying focused, difficulty remembering things, and difficulty regulating emotions, among others.

    The study’s co-author Dr. Irene Hatsu said the study showed that kids who consumed more fruits and vegetables showed less severe symptoms of inattention, per Science Daily.

    She said, “Eating a healthy diet, including fruits and vegetables, may be one way to reduce some of the symptoms of ADHD.

    Another study, published last year in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, examined the efficacy of a 36-ingredient vitamin and mineral supplement to treat ADHD symptoms and poor emotional control in the study participants aged between 6 and 12.

    The researchers found that these supplements significantly improved ADHD and emotional dysregulation symptoms in children.

    In yet another study, published this year in the journal Nutrients, kids with families who had higher levels of food insecurity were more likely to show more severe symptoms of emotional dysregulation.

    All three studies paint a similar picture, according to Dr. Hatsu. She said. “A healthy diet that provides all the nutrients that children require can help reduce the symptoms of ADHD in children.”

    “What clinicians usually do when kids with ADHD start having more severe symptoms is increase the dose of their treatment medication, if they are on one, or put them on medication,” Dr. Hatsu noted. “Our studies suggest that it is worthwhile to check the children’s access to food as well as the quality of their diet to see if it may be contributing to their symptom severity.”

    She went on to explain that experts believe ADHD is associated with lower levels of some brain chemicals, vitamins, and minerals, affecting brain function.

    Dr. Hatsu said, “Everyone tends to get irritated when they’re hungry and kids with ADHD are no exception. If they’re not getting enough food, it could make their symptoms worse.”

    “We believe clinicians should assess the food security status of children with ADHD before creating or changing a treatment program,” she explained. “Some symptoms might be more manageable by helping families become more food secure and able to provide a healthier diet.”

    Consumer Reports Says Buying Prescription Drugs Online Could Save You Money

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      Are you still relying on major drugstore chains like Walgreens and CVS to get your prescriptions mailed to you? If so, it’s time for a change!

      Consumer Reports (CR), a nonprofit consumer organization, has found that there are a number of legitimate and regulated online pharmacies, which can give you plenty of cheaper options. It investigated several online pharmacies and found that you can save big on your prescriptions without stepping out of your house.

      A recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that at least 3 in 10 adults who need prescription drugs said they did not take them in the past year because they were too expensive. CR says people who are insured as well as uninsured are struggling.

      Well, there is a savings solution – all you need to do is go online. Some big-name online retailers such as Amazon, Costco, GeniusRx, Honeybee Health, Scriptco, RO Pharmacy, Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs, and Health Warehouse, among others offer discounted prescription drugs.

      CR compared prices and found that the prescription drug prices online were low. It also found that you can save big on your orders if you buy medications online for multiple months. For instance, Ro Pharmacy sells a 30-day supply of generic Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering drug, for just $9.90, while a year’s supply costs you $19.80.

      However, there are a few drawbacks. If you are paying out of pocket for your prescriptions, the money will not typically go toward your insurance deductible. You might also not be able to find your exact prescription drug.

      Another drawback is some websites are not full-service pharmacies so they might not carry brand-name drugs. They only offer cheaper generic drugs. In addition, some online pharmacies may fail to address dangerous drug interactions.

      Online pharmacies can really help you save money on your prescription but sticking with a local drugstore may be better if you take a combination of drugs or complex drugs.

      Make sure you choose an online pharmacy that can ship to you. Four online pharmacies ship to all 50 states, according to CR.

      Does COVID Increase the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease?

      There is growing evidence that some patients with COVID-19 develop neurological symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, and brain fog.

      In May 2021, a study found that at least 8 in 10 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection developed neurologic complications and were more likely to die in hospital than those without neurologic complications.

      A new preclinical study by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University has shown that the coronavirus could increase the risk of developing the degenerative brain disorder Parkinson’s disease, according to Medical Xpress.

      The study’s first author Dr. Richard Smeyne said, “Parkinson’s is a rare disease that affects 2% of the population above 55 years, so the increase in risk is not necessarily a cause for panic, but understanding how coronavirus impacts the brain can help us prepare for the long-term consequences of this pandemic.”

      The study, published Tuesday in Movement Disorders, adds to growing evidence that viruses can make neurons or brain cells more susceptible to damage or death.

      Previous studies found that mice infected by the H1N1 strain of influenza, which is responsible for the 2009 flu pandemic, were more susceptible to a toxin called MPTP, which is known to induce some of the characteristic features of Parkinson’s.

      MPTP is associated with the loss of neurons expressing the chemical dopamine and increased inflammation in the basal ganglia, a brain region that is critical for movement per MPTP.

      In the current study, the researchers found that COVID-19 infection alone had no effect on the dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia, according to the news outlet. However, mice that were given the low dose of MPTP after recovering from COVID-19 infection exhibited the classic pattern of neuron loss that is seen in Parkinson’s disease.

      The study findings suggest that the coronavirus could increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s.

      Dr. Smeyne explained, “We think about a ‘multi-hit’ hypothesis for Parkinson’s—the virus itself does not kill the neurons, but it does make them more susceptible to a ‘second hit,’ such as a toxin or bacteria or even an underlying genetic mutation.”

      SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been associated with a “cytokine storm,” an overproduction of pro-inflammatory chemicals. These inflammatory chemicals can cross the blood-brain barrier and affect microglia – the brain’s immune cells. This explains why COVID-19 infection could increase the risk of Parkinson’s.

      The study’s co-lead author Dr. Peter Schmidt said, “We were concerned about the long-term consequences of viral infection. Dr. Smeyne is a leader in this area of research and Jefferson was the ideal site to perform the analysis.”

      However, Dr. Smeyne cautioned, “First of all, this is preclinical work. It is too soon to say whether we would see the same thing in humans, given that there seems to [be] a 5-10 year lag between any changes in clinical manifestation of Parkinson’s in humans.”

      “If it does turn out that COVID-19 increases the risk of Parkinson’s, it will be a major burden on our society and healthcare system,” he added. “But we can anticipate that challenge by advancing our knowledge of potential ‘second hits’ and mitigating strategies.”

      FDA Doesn’t Issue Approval of Fluvoxamine for COVID-19 Infection

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently issued a new alert about fluvoxamine, a popular antidepressant, warning consumers that it is not approved for one thing in particular.

      On May 16, the agency announced that it would not be approving the medicine fluvoxamine for the treatment of COVID-19.

      A group of medical providers led by Dr. David Boulware of the University of Minnesota submitted a proposal in December 2021, requesting the FDA to approve fluvoxamine for adult patients with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to prevent progression to severe illness and/or hospitalization.

      The group provides information from clinical trials investigating the use of the drug for COVID treatment.

      A scientific review staff of the FDA assessed the information and said in a 27-page alert that the panel has chosen not to issue the requested Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of fluvoxamine for COVID-19 treatment.

      Fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a type of antidepressant that is commonly advised to patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

      The FDA has approved the drugs for the treatment of OCD, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. However, in the new alert, the agency said that the drug is ineffective in treating COVID-19 infections.

      The FDA wrote, “Based on the review of available scientific evidence, the FDA has determined that the data are insufficient to conclude that fluvoxamine may be effective in the treatment of nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 to prevent progression to severe disease and/or hospitalization.”

      Dr. Boulware expressed his disappointment on Twitter. He tweeted Monday that he was “disappointed” with the agency’s decision to decline the proposal.

      The FDA has been busy approving other COVID-19 treatments, including Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir. However, Dr. Boulware said there is still value in the FDA approving other popular medicines, including fluvoxamine, for the treatment of COVID-19.

      Dr. Boulware told Reuters, “There are effective therapeutics that are available. But not everyone has access to them. Not everyone can tolerate them. Some people have contraindications. And if you go elsewhere in the world, low- and middle-income countries, they have access to no therapeutics.” The story appeared on Best Life, a news outlet.

      Sheryl Crow Talks about Being a Breast Cancer Survivor in Her New Documentary

      Sheryl Crow, who is a breast cancer survivor, has explained why she wanted to make a documentary about her life and how a mammogram saved it.

      The 60-year-old Grammy-award winning artist was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. She is not in remission. She has been working hard to raise awareness about the importance of early detection.

      Crow said, “When it was suggested to me at the start of the pandemic it was time to make a documentary about my life and career, I was hesitant at first. But quickly I realized that the opportunity to tell my story — my whole story, from my perspective — was one that not everyone gets in life.”

      “For someone like me, especially, who has lived three decades in the public eye, dealing with preconceived notions of my identity based solely on song lyrics or tabloid rumors, making a movie felt like a refreshing and cathartic way to enter into a new decade of life,” she added.

      The musician has spent the last 10 years sharing her experience with breast cancer with women across the world so they can learn from her experience and prioritize their health. “It’s so important to me because I came incredibly close to missing the opportunity to find my cancer early,” she said.

      Crow said, “As I share in my documentary Sheryl, 2006 was a particularly tumultuous time of my life. I was going through a public breakup and battling with paparazzi, all while trying to focus on my career. I’ve always been a healthy person who prioritized eating well and exercising, but at that time it seemed impossible to focus on anything other than getting through each day and keeping my career going.”

      “Naturally, I found myself tempted to delay my annual mammogram visit — like so many women do when dealing with stressful periods of life, whether during a pandemic, career change, family issues, or just the daily grind,” she continued.

      The actress went on to say that her breast cancer was detected early, giving her “an opportunity to begin treatment and move on with my life.” She said, “Since then, there have been countless advancements in breast cancer screening, including the Genius 3D mammography exam, which has been shown to detect more invasive cancers and is clinically proven superior to 2D mammography for all women, including those with dense breasts.”

      Crow, who is the spokeswoman for the Genius 3D Mammography, said, “For the majority of women, breast cancer is treatable if caught early. My story is a testament that you can go on to live a long, healthy life after diagnosis.”

      “As a breast cancer survivor who credits early detection for saving my life, I have made it part of my life story to help educate women about the importance of scheduling their annual mammograms,” she added. “It’s my hope that women who watch Sheryl will be inspired to advocate for themselves in all aspects of their lives, especially when it comes to preventive health screenings.”

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