Current News

The first COVID-19 patient in the U.S. to receive a double-lung transplant was discharged from the hospital this week, according to news reports.

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A Nature study authored by a global team of scientists and led by Sumit Chanda, Ph.D., professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, has identified 21 existing drugs that stop the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

 

The scientists analyzed one of the world's largest collections of known drugs for their ability to block the replication of SARS-CoV-2, and reported 100 molecules with confirmed antiviral activity in laboratory tests. Of these, 21 drugs were determined to be effective at concentrations that could be safely achieved in patients. Notably, four of these compounds were found to work synergistically with remdesivir, a current standard-of-care treatment for COVID-19.

 

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A new blood test demonstrated remarkable promise in discriminating between persons with and without Alzheimer's disease and in persons at known genetic risk may be able to detect the disease as early as 20 years before the onset of cognitive impairment, according to a large international study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and simultaneously presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference.

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Humans once assumed our planet was the physical center of the solar system, so it's no surprise that we also think highly of consciousness, the apparently unique quality that allows our species to contemplate such matters.

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Further notification

Berlin. Approximately one fifth of COVID-19patients admitted to German hospitals between the end of February and mid-April died. For patients receiving ventilation, the mortality rate was 53 percent. For those not receiving ventilation, the rate was significantly lower at 16percent. 17percent of all patients were ventilated during this period. These are the main resultsofan analysis by WIdO, the research institute of the AOK health insurance, DIVI, the German Interdisciplinary AssociationofCritical Care andEmergency Medicine, and Technische Universität Berlin published in the specialist medical journal, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. Data were analyzed for 10,000patients withaconfirmed COVID-19infectionadmitted to 920German hospitals between 26February and 19April2020. The joint study providesnationwide and representative findingson the treatment of COVID-19patients in Germany based on AOK administrative claims data, which cover almost one third of the German population. Onefocus is on thesituation regarding ventilated patients. Approximately onefifth (22percent) of COVID-19patients treated in hospitals died (Figure 1). The mortality rate for men(25percent)was 6 percentage pointshigher than that for women (19 percent). Mortality among older patients was very high, irrespective of gender: 27percent of patients aged 70 to 79 died, with the number rising to 38percent forpatients over 80years....

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Current observations suggest that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causes severe symptoms mainly in elderly patients with chronic disease. However when two pairs of previously healthy young brothers from two families required mechanical ventilation at the intensive care unit in rapid succession, doctors and researchers at Radboud University Medical Center were inclined to consider that genetic factors had a key role in compromising their immune system. Their research identified the gene TLR7 as an essential player in the immune response against SARS-CoV-2. A finding with potentially major consequences for understanding and possibly treatment of COVID-19.

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Since day one of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. has not had enough tests. Faced with this shortage, medical professionals used what tests they had on people with the worst symptoms or whose occupations put them at high risk for infection. People who were less sick or asymptomatic did not get tested. Because of this, many infected people in the U.S. have not been tested, and much of the information public health officials have about the spread and deadliness of the virus does not provide a complete picture.

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Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disorder in which the nerve cells (neurons) in a person's brain and the connections among them degenerate slowly, causing severe memory loss, intellectual deficiencies, and deterioration in motor skills and communication. One of the main causes of Alzheimer's is the accumulation of a protein called amyloid β (Aβ) in clusters around neurons in the brain, which hampers their activity and triggers their degeneration. Studies in animal models have found that increasing the aggregation of Aβ in the hippocampus--the brain's main learning and memory center--causes a decline in the signal transmission potential of the neurons therein. This degeneration affects a specific trait of the neurons, called "synaptic plasticity," which is the ability of synapses (the site of signal exchange between neurons) to adapt to an increase or decrease in signaling activity over time. Synaptic plasticity is crucial to the development of learning and cognitive functions in the hippocampus. Thus, Aβ and its role in causing cognitive memory and deficits have been the focus of most research aimed at finding treatments for Alzheimer's. ...

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