Medication

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Promising candidate

Single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for Covid-19 in development

Before the pandemic, the lab of Stanford University biochemist Peter S. Kim focused on developing vaccines for HIV, Ebola and pandemic influenza. But, within days of closing their campus lab space as part of Covid-19 precautions, they turned their attention to a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Although the coronavirus was outside the lab’s specific area of expertise,…

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Drug repurposing

AI finds new uses for existing medications

Scientists have developed a machine-learning method that crunches massive amounts of data to help determine which existing medications could improve outcomes in diseases for which they are not prescribed. The intent of this work is to speed up drug repurposing, which is not a new concept – think Botox injections, first approved to treat crossed eyes and now a migraine treatment and top cosmetic…

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Crossing the blood-brain barrier

Nanoparticle drug-delivery system to treat brain disorders

In the past few decades, researchers have identified biological pathways leading to neurodegenerative diseases and developed promising molecular agents to target them. However, the translation of these findings into clinically approved treatments has progressed at a much slower rate, in part because of the challenges scientists face in delivering therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier (BBB)…

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Promising drug combination

Stroke: new prescription strategy shows great potential

Research conducted at the Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence at the Louisiana State University (LSU) reports that a combination of an LSU Health-patented drug and selected DHA derivatives is more effective in protecting brain cells and increasing recovery after stroke than a single drug. The findings are published in Brain Circulation.

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For use across the UK

Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca approved

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University/AstraZeneca has been given regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after meeting required safety, quality and effectiveness standards. Following a rigorous, detailed scientific review by the MHRA’s expert scientists and clinicians and on the basis of the advice of its scientific, independent…

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Supply and demand

Covid-19 vaccine will probably be unavailable for many until 2022

Nearly a quarter of the world’s population may not have access to a covid-19 vaccine until at least 2022, warns a study published by The BMJ. A second study estimates that 3.7 billion adults worldwide are willing to have a covid-19 vaccine, highlighting the importance of designing fair and equitable strategies to ensure that supply can meet demand, especially in low and middle income countries.

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Enhanced therapeutic delivery

Focused ultrasound shows promise for Alzheimer's treatment support

A recent preclinical study from scientists at Sunnybrook Research Institute, Canadian Blood Services and the University of Toronto has demonstrated that focused ultrasound improves the delivery of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), a blood product composed of antibodies from healthy donors, previously shown to have potential in treating a subgroup of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Cardiac complications

Immunotherapy drugs can lead to higher risk of heart problems

A study of over a thousand cancer patients treated with immunotherapy drugs has found these patients are at greater risk of heart problems, including death from heart attack or stroke. The patients had either lung cancer or malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer), for which immune checkpoint inhibitors such as a programmed cell death-1 (PD1) inhibitors or cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated…

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Brain rejuvenation

Drug reverses age-related mental decline within days

Just a few doses of an experimental drug can reverse age-related declines in memory and mental flexibility in mice, according to a new study by UC San Francisco scientists. The drug, called ISRIB, has already been shown in laboratory studies to restore memory function months after traumatic brain injury (TBI), reverse cognitive impairments in Down Syndrome, prevent noise-related hearing loss,…

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List by top clinicians and researchers

Top 10 medical innovations for 2021

An up-and-coming gene therapy for blood disorders. A new class of medications for cystic fibrosis. Increased access to telemedicine. These are some of the innovations that will enhance healing and change healthcare in the coming year, according to a distinguished panel of clinicians and researchers from Cleveland Clinic. In conjunction with the 2020 Medical Innovation Summit, Cleveland Clinic…

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Medicine, key nutrient, or both?

Risky misunderstandings about vitamin D

The professional perception of vitamin D as a medicine, rather than as a key nutrient, is constraining practice and jeopardising the health of elderly care home residents in England, conclude researchers in the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health. At a time when the vulnerability of elderly care home residents is under the spotlight because of the impact of COVID-19, an urgent review is…

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Cardiovascular risk

Cholesterol drug combination could benefit heart patients

A new study has suggested that more patients could benefit from combinations of cholesterol-lowering drugs to reduce their risk of stroke and heart attacks. While risk is reduced for many patients through taking statins, those at the highest risk of cardiovascular events may benefit from combinations of lipid-lowering therapies, according to the results of a European study of patients across 18…

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Psychotherapy delivery

Chatbots can 'nudge' patients away from opioid use after surgery

Patients who need surgery to fix major bone fractures use fewer opioid pills after their procedure if they're reminded of their values – and those reminders don't necessarily need to come from a doctor, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. “We showed that opioid medication utilization could be decreased by more than a third in an at-risk patient…

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Lack of females

Sex biases in drug dose trials leads to overmedicated women

Women are more likely than men to suffer adverse side effects of medications because drug dosages have historically been based on clinical trials conducted on men, suggests new research from UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago. Researchers analyzed data from several thousand medical journal articles and found clear evidence of a drug dose gender gap for 86 different medications approved by…

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Wearable watcher

Personalised treatment through smartwatch medication tracking

Engineers in the US have demonstrated that drug levels inside the body can be tracked in real time using a custom smartwatch that analyzes the chemicals found in sweat. This wearable technology could be incorporated into a more personalized approach to medicine — where an ideal drug and dosages can be tailored to an individual. The engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)…

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Temporal pressure

"Micropores": A new way to deliver drugs through the skin

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have showed that applying “temporal pressure” to the skin of mice can create a new way to deliver drugs. In a paper published in Science Advances, the researchers showed that bringing together two magnets so that they pinch and apply pressure to a fold of…

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'Ancientbiotics'

Medieval medicine against antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing battle for scientists to overcome, as more antimicrobials are urgently needed to treat biofilm-associated infections. However, scientists from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick say research into natural antimicrobials could provide candidates to fill the antibiotic discovery gap.

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Right in the guts

IBD: The late repercussions of early antibiotics use

Disruption of gut bacteria by antibiotics soon after birth can affect the maturation of the immune system, say researchers at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Even short, single antibiotic courses given to young animals can predispose them to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) when they are older, according to their research. The study, published in Genome Medicine, provides further evidence…

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ER-positive tumour BC

Drug target for aggressive breast cancer found

A team of British and American scientists have discovered a way to slow the growth of breast cancer stem cells in the lab. The study led by Dr Bruno Simões and Professor Rob Clarke from The University of Manchester could eventually lead to combination drug therapies on previously untreatable breast cancers. Around three quarters of women who have breast cancer have what are known as oestrogen…

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Combined against corona

COVID-19: promising drug combination opens up new therapeutic avenues

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, finding a treatment to effectively fight the disease remains a major research challenge. Researchers from Inserm, CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and ENS Lyon within the International Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIRI) have developed a unique strategy for selection, evaluation and repositioning of drugs already on the market to assess their…

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L-type calcium channel blockers

LCCBs may contribute to heart failure

L-type calcium channel blockers (LCCBs) — the most widely used drugs for treating hypertension — may harm the heart as much as help it, according to a new study. The research team, led by the Pennsylvania State University, found that in rats and human cells in vitro, LCCBs cause changes in blood vessels — known as vascular remodeling — that reduce blood flow and increase pressure.…

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'ChAdOx1' delivers promising results

Breakthrough for coronavirus vaccine candidate

A team of scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group has taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus. The results of the Phase I/II trial published in the scientific journal, The Lancet, indicate no early safety concerns and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.

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