SEPTEMBER 2017 HEALTH NEWS ROUND UP
Your Health Attitude was not really there this year to bring you health news round up for each month, hoping September 2017 health news round up, gladdens your heart a little as there is some good news.
MAJOR HIV BREAKTHROUGH AS SCIENTISTS DEVELOP ANTIBODY THAT ATTACKS 99% OF VIRUS’ STRAINS
An antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and could even prevent infection in primates has been developed by scientists for the first time. More people come forward to say they were deliberately infected with HIV The antibody works by attacking three critical parts of the virus, making it harder for HIV to resist its effects. The major breakthrough could eventually lead to treatment or even prevent transmission of the virus, with trials on humans set to begin as early as next year.
WHY COURT RULING ON ENDING LIFE SUPPORT IS THE RIGHT DECISION
It is much kinder for all involved if someone kept alive in a vegetative state is allowed to die with only their doctor’s and family’s approval, not a judge’s say-so
Should someone in a vegetative state, with no awareness of themselves or what is going on around them, be kept alive with a feeding tube for years after all hope of recovery is lost? It’s a question not many would want to reflect on, but some families have to.
Now, a judgment announced yesterday by the Court of Protection of England and Wales may makes it easier for families of people in such conditions to stop artificial feeding and let their loved one die without having to go through a lengthy and distressing legal process.
MEET THE TEAM WHO ‘WOKE’ A MAN FROM 15 YEARS IN VEGETATIVE STATE
Sirigu, director of the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and her colleagues chose the 35-year-old man to be the first trial for vagus nerve stimulation because his condition had not improved for 15 years. The process involves a device implanted into his chest which in turn stimulates a body of fibers that extends from behind the ears, through the chest to the stomach, feeding information back to the brain. She and her team had to wait one month to record real results – enough time to measure any change at a neurological level. On the surface, those changes were already visible day to day.
On one occasion, Sirigu and his mother were talking to the man and asked him to turn his head towards them. “It took one minute for him to rotate his head very slowly towards us. It was really amazing from somebody that never answered you and was always in the same position.” His mother describes it as now being able to feel that her son is present; they can understand each other. Communication might be limited, but after 15 years of no response, it enabled them to once again form some kind of interaction between mother and child. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/man-in-vegetative-state-regains-consciousness-after-15-years
SEE-THROUGH BRAINS REVEAL HOW STROKE DAMAGES VITAL BLOOD VESSELS
NOW we can see stroke damage in 3D. A technique that turns mouse brains transparent has given us the most detailed view yet of how stroke cuts off the blood supply in the brain.
Stroke damages the brain’s blood vessels, stopping oxygen and nutrients reaching cells. To understand this impact, researchers usually examine thin brain slices under the microscope.
Now Dirk Hermann and Matthias Gunzer at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany and their team have developed a way to see all of a brain’s blood vessels clearly, without having to slice it up. They injected a fluorescent gel into the hearts of mice, waited for it to be pumped around the body, and then removed the brains and soaked them in chemicals. “You’re left with a brain that is clear like glass,” says Hermann.
COMMON ANTIDEPRESSANT FOUND TO REDUCE BELLY FAT IN OLDER MICE
Belly fat can be deadly, and is linked to a host of chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But as many of us probably know, it can be hard to lose weight in this area. Now it seems that inflammation of immune cells may be to blame, and we may be able to use drugs to help us burn off our belly flab.
The drug used is a common antidepressant called clorgyline, which is given to some people because low levels of catecholamine have been linked to symptoms of depression.
“But we don’t know yet if people taking this drug get any positive side effects on their waistlines. It may be tricky to find out” says Cammel of Yale school of medicine, because the drug also causes changes in appetite. How it does this is unclear – there’s evidence of the drug both boosting and decreasing appetite in people.