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Health News Results - 230

Protective immune system antibodies that develop after being infected with COVID-19 last for at least a few months, a new study suggests. And reinfection does seem to be relatively rare.

That could have big implications for public health and societies, including allowing people to return to physical workplaces and go to school, the researchers said.

"The data from this study suggest...

Researchers have identified more than 140,000 viruses that live in the human gut, including half that were previously unknown.

The number and variety of viruses found in more than 28,000 gut microbiome samples gathered from different parts of the world are surprisingly high, according to the study authors.

The researchers added that their findings will lead to new research to learn ...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- One of the least understood effects of COVID-19 infection is "brain fog," a kind of mental confusion that can take hold among seriously ill patients, sometimes lingering long after recovery.

Now, a new study has spotted a possible neurological clue in the form of highly unusual cell clusters in the brains of people who had CO...

It would be nice if it were true, but a bout of the common cold won't protect you against the new coronavirus infection, researchers report.

Colds are caused by seasonal coronaviruses (CoVs) and previous studies have suggested that exposure to cold coronaviruses may safeguard against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

To find out if that was true, researchers analyzed...

A new weight-loss drug is almost twice as effective as current medications, clinical trial results show, and experts say it could revolutionize the treatment of obesity.

Overweight and obese people lost an average 15% of their body weight using a weekly injectable 2.4 milligram dose of semaglutide (Ozempic), a new report reveals.

What's more, one-third of all participants lost 20% ...

Could it be that a strange-looking creature known as a pangolin was the conduit by which the new coronavirus jumped to humans and prompted an international pandemic?

New research suggests the theory is a plausible one.

Pangolins are sold for food in live-animal "wet markets" in China -- facilities that have long been suspected of being ground zero for the spread of viruses originat...

An experimental antiviral drug known as peginterferon lambda can speed up COVID-19 patients' ability to shed the virus and recover, scientists report.

"One of the important things about this treatment that's different from the other things that have been studied for COVID-19 is that this is working on the person, not on the virus. So it doesn't depend at all on the strain or the sequence ...

A virus-linked cancer killing California sea lions is sounding a chilling alarm for mankind.

Exposure to environmental toxins significantly boosts risk for the herpes-like cancer, which was discovered in sea lions in 1979.

Since then, between 18% and 23% of adult sea lions admitted to a California animal rescue-and-research center have died of the disease. That's the highest rate ...

The death rate among COVID-19 patients in intensive care has fallen since the start of the pandemic, largely because of better treatments. But a new study review suggests that those advances in care may have plateaued.

The new analysis looked at data from 52 studies in North America, Europe, China and elsewhere, conducted up to October 2020 and including more than 43,000 patients.

T...

Stroke survivor Ken Allsford focused intensely on how he wanted to bend his elbow.

And then the robot exoskeleton attached to his left arm obeyed his unspoken command, moving his crippled limb.

"It was a combination of exciting and trepidation, because sometimes nothing would happen," Allsford, 61, of Katy, Texas, recalled. "But when you actually see it move without actually making ...

Like influenza, could COVID-19 evolve to wax and wane with the seasons? New research suggests it might.

Early in the pandemic, some experts suggested that SARS-CoV-2 -- the virus that causes COVID-19 -- may behave like many other coronaviruses that circulate more widely in fall and winter.

To find out if that could be true, researchers analyzed COVID-19 data -- including cases, deat...

Previous exposure to other coronaviruses may enhance a person's immune response to COVID-19 infection, but new research suggests that antibodies triggered by the SARS outbreak of 2003 provide only limited protection against the new coronavirus.

Antibodies are blood proteins made by the immune system to protect against infection, the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) researchers ex...

The new coronavirus is mutating in an attempt to elude vaccines and treatments, putting a greater onus on Americans to get vaccinated and use social distancing measures to avoid infection, U.S. health officials said Friday.

New COVID-19 variants out of South Africa and Brazil -- B.1.351 and P1, respectively -- contain a mutation called E484K, "which results in changes in the shape of the ...

An experimental gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy shows promise, a small study suggests.

The severe form of muscular dystrophy -- which affects about one in 3,500 males born each year in the United States -- causes muscles to progressively weaken and lose the ability to regenerate after an injury.

Muscle tissue is eventually replaced by fat and collagen. Many children wit...

To the ever-growing list of COVID-19's collateral damage, add one more casualty: cancer research.

A new study indicates that during the first wave of the pandemic last spring, the number of newly launched cancer treatment studies cratered by 60%.

"In short, the first wave of COVID slowed scientific progress in a health-related area distant from the disease itself," said study author...

Previous coronavirus infections might prime the immune system to fight the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, a new study suggests.

There are numerous types of coronaviruses, including many harmless ones that cause mild upper respiratory infections similar to the common cold.

Besides SARS-CoV-2 -- the virus that causes COVID-19 -- other deadly coronaviruses include MERS-CoV, whic...

A promising step toward using retinal cell transplants to treat blindness is reported in a new study.

Adult retinal stem cells from deceased human donors survived when they were transplanted into the eyes of non-human primates, according to the researchers.

The cells were taken from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). It is a layer of cells that supports and nourishes the retina, ...

Noninvasive electrical stimulation of the brain, fine-tuned to specific "circuitry" gone awry, might help ease obsessive-compulsive behaviors, an early study hints.

Researchers found that the brain stimulation, delivered over five days, reduced obsessive-compulsive tendencies for three months, though in people who did not have full-blown obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

It's too...

Biomarkers in sperm may help identify men at risk of fathering children with autism, researchers say.

For the study, investigators examined sperm epigenetics -- the molecular processes that affect gene expression -- in 13 men who fathered sons with autism and 13 who had children without the disorder.

The American and Spanish researchers focused specifically on DNA methylation, a che...

Scientists have created the first computer model of the entire virus that causes COVID-19 and will share it with other researchers trying to find ways to fight the pandemic.

"If you can understand how a virus works, that's the first step towards stopping it," Gregory Voth, a chemistry professor at the University of Chicago, said in a school news release. "Each thing you know about the vir...

New research offers a novel explanation for the long-term brain problems many COVID-19 patients experience.

Many coronavirus patients report headaches and "brain fog" for weeks or months after they recover from respiratory symptoms. It's been believed that these lingering neurological issues are the result of nerve cell damage, but the new study suggests that the virus may instead be stri...

Unlike regular pneumonia, COVID-19 pneumonia spreads like many "wildfires" throughout the lungs, researchers say.

This may explain why COVID-19 pneumonia lasts longer and causes more harm than typical pneumonia, according to the researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

The research team said that their aim is to make COVID-19 more like a bad cold.

For the study, the t...

By Nov. 15 of last year, roughly 47 million Americans -- about 14.5% of the U.S. population -- had already been infected with the new coronavirus, a new study finds.

That's much higher than the close to 11 million known U.S. cases of infection that were recorded by that date, the researchers said, because reported cases "do not represent the full SARS-CoV-2 disease burd...

A new study supports the theory that people who suffer a spinal cord injury may also have accelerated brain aging that affects how fast they process information.

Those "cognitive deficits" are similar to those in older adults, according to research from the nonprofit Kessler Foundation in New Jersey.

Individuals with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) have an increased risk for cognit...

THURSDAY, Dec. 31, 2020 -- Folks who contract COVID-19 can expect to gain some durable immunity against future infection, according to a new study of memory cells within the immune systems of coronavirus patients.

Previous studies have raised concern that COVID-19 patients might lose their immunity quickly once they recover, because the first wave of coronavirus antibodies tends to wane a...

THURSDAY, Dec. 31, 2020 -- A new and more infectious variant of the COVID-19 virus has shown up in separate cases in Colorado and California, weeks after it first emerged in the United Kingdom.

Doctors on the pandemic's front line say people shouldn't panic, but should definitely adhere even more closely to proven infection control measures, like mask wearing and social distancing.

...

Blood vessel damage and inflammation in the brains of deceased COVID-19 patients suggest the damage is not caused by the virus, but the body's immune response to it.

Researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) consistently found signs of damage caused by thinning and leaky brain blood vessels in tissue samples from patients who died shortly after getting COVID-19.

...

Those mussels, oysters and scallops on your plate may come with a secret ingredient: microplastics.

Researchers at Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull in the United Kingdom reviewed more than 50 studies (from 2014 to 2020) to investigate the levels of microplastic contamination globally in fish and shellfish.

The investigators found that mollusks (such as clams, muss...

For Americans who are worried about the new coronavirus variant that is circulating in Britain, experts in the United States urge everyone to stay calm.

So far, the new variant only seems to spread more easily, with no evidence of higher virulence (ability to cause harm), researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago explained.

"There's no reason to get scared or panic, we j...

As scientists have labored to understand COVID-19 and develop a vaccine to combat it, interest in infectious disease careers seems to be growing.

Academic leaders from the United States and Israel have noted the increased interest among medical students.

"We just went through an applications season for fellows, and we had more applicants than in recent years," said Richard D'Aquila,...

As America rolls out a nationwide coronavirus vaccination campaign this week, experts help answer your questions about the new COVID-19 vaccines.

Both the Pfizer vaccine (already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and the Moderna vaccine (up for approval) were developed using a technology called messenger RNA, or mRNA, explained Dr. Thomas Ma. He's chair of the department ...

Humans, ferrets, cats, civets and dogs are the animals most susceptible to infection with the new coronavirus, researchers say.

The analysis of 10 species also found that ducks, rats, mice, pigs and chickens were less or not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

"Knowing which animals are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 helps us prevent building up animal reservoirs from which the coronavi...

Important clues about Crohn's disease in children have emerged in new research.

Scientists analyzed gene expression in individual cells in the inner lining (epithelium) of the intestines of human fetuses, six to 10 weeks after conception.

Then, they examined tissue from the intestines of 4- to 12-year-olds with Crohn's disease.

The upshot: Some of the cellular pathways active ...

Results from a long-term study of a gene therapy technique to prevent inherited mitochondrial disease show promise, researchers say.

Studies of the technique at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland show no adverse health effects in rhesus macaque monkeys and their offspring. The researchers said the technique could break the cycle of disease passed from mother to baby through mu...

Scientists say they may be getting closer to creating a universal flu vaccine.

In an early-stage clinical trial with 65 volunteers in the United States, an experimental vaccine triggered strong immune responses to a wide range of flu virus strains and subtypes. The immune responses lasted at least 18 months, according to the researchers at Mount Sinai Health System, in New York City.

<...

A pair of new gene therapies promise a potentially lasting cure for sickle cell disease by subtly altering the genetic information in patients' bone marrow cells, researchers report.

Both therapies work by switching on a gene that promotes production of fetal hemoglobin, said Dr. Lewis Hsu, chief medical officer of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.

Sickle cell dis...

When actor, writer and producer Mindy Kaling's mom was fighting pancreatic cancer, it was the biggest struggle the family had ever experienced.

Swati Chokalingam, a Boston-area obstetrician/gynecologist and Kaling's mom, died in 2012 after getting a stage 4 diagnosis eight months earlier.

Now Kaling is raising awareness for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) as official b...

People paralyzed with spinal cord injuries can safely and effectively use an exoskeleton to assist them in walking, a new study finds.

"Participants showed improvement regardless of level of injury, completeness or duration of injury," said Gail Forrest, director of the Tim and Caroline Reynolds Center for Spinal Stimulation at Kessler Foundation in East Hanover, N.J.

The findings ...

Immunity to the new coronavirus may last six months or longer after people recover from infection, a new study suggests.

Researchers collected blood samples from 149 patients who had COVID-19 early in the pandemic and analyzed them for immune cells that make antibodies that block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering cells.

One month after infection, all of the patients had coronavirus...

A single pill loaded with cholesterol and blood pressure medications can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by as much as 40%, a new international study reports.

The "polypill" containing three generic blood pressure medications and a statin dramatically reduced the risk of heart-related illness in people with no prior history of heart problems, according to clinical trial result...

Scientists say they have spotted the gene responsible for telling you when it's time to pee.

The gene, called PIEZO2, may help at least two different types of cells sense when the bladder is full and needs to be emptied.

"Urination is essential for our health. It's one of the primary ways our bodies dispose of waste. We show how specific genes and cells may play criti...

A combination of two "targeted" therapies can beat back a rare form of blood cancer -- without the toxic effects of chemotherapy, a new study has found.

In a trial of 63 patients, researchers found that the drug regimen frequently wiped out all signs of the cancer -- a subtype of the blood cancer acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). And at 18 months, 95% of patients were still aliv...

A coronavirus strain that has plagued the swine industry in recent years may have the ability to spread to people, researchers say.

Swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) has infected swine herds throughout China since its discovery in 2016, according to a new report.

In lab tests, scientists at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill showed that ...

An experimental drug combination lengthens survival for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), new research shows.

A previous clinical trial found that the two-drug combo -- called AMX0035 -- slowed progression of the neurodegenerative disease over six months.

The new clinical trial of 137 patients with the disease, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, found that ...

After a serious case of COVID-19 you may have long-lasting immunity, a new study finds.

The finding is reassuring to patients because the immune system makes antibodies in response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the researchers said.

"But there is a big knowledge gap in terms of how long these antibody responses last," said researcher Dr. Richelle Charles o...

The so-called love hormone, oxytocin, may be worth investigating as a treatment for COVID-19, a new study suggests.

One of the most serious complications of infection with the new coronavirus is a "cytokine storm," in which the body attacks its own tissues.

There are currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for COVID-19, which means that "repurposin...

They are the closest relatives to humans, but gorillas have been spared one aging disease that people haven't: osteoporosis.

The condition triggers accelerated bone loss and weakening.

In a new study, researchers used a CT scanner to analyze the leg, arm and spine bones of 34 wild mountain gorillas from Rwanda -- 16 females and 17 males -- aged 11 to 43. That's the full adul...

Researchers may have found a way for people with severe hemophilia to take their standard treatment less often, if the results of an early trial pan out.

In what experts called a feat of bioengineering, scientists were able to create a "fusion protein" that may extend the interval between treatments for hemophilia -- from about every couple of days to once a week.

The early ...

Asthma treatments tailored to the genes of kids and teens could help improve control of their symptoms, new research suggests.

The study included 241 adolescents, aged 12 to 18, who were randomly selected to receive either traditional asthma treatment or "personalized medicine" -- treatment based on their individual genetics.

During a year of follow-up, those in the personal...

A new clinical trial will try to determine whether the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect health care workers from being infected with COVID-19.

Hundreds of millions of people have received the MMR vaccine since it was developed nearly 50 years ago. It's usually given to children before age 6. Growing evidence suggests that the vaccine may also prevent COVID-19.

...