Saturday Health (14 – 20 Nov 2020)

Health News related to Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine, Sleep and Heart Failure Risks, Improvements to Metabolic Health, Retinas for Alzheimer’s Diagnosis, Melatonin Promoting Sleep, Pfizer’s Coronavirus Vaccine, 3D Bioprinted Heart, Detecting Circulating Tumor Cells, Childhood Brain Cancer, Drug for Severe Alcohol Withdrawal, Brain Organization, Weight loss in Elderly


Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Early Data Show Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is 94.5% Effective


Source: The New York Times 16 Nov 2020


The drugmaker Moderna announced on Monday that its coronavirus vaccine was 94.5 percent effective, based on an early look at the results from its large, continuing study. Researchers said the results were better than they had dared to imagine. But the vaccine will not be widely available for months, probably not until spring.


Original written by: Denise Grady

2. Healthy Sleep Habits Help Lower Risk of Heart Failure


Source: American Heart Association 16 Nov 2020


Adults with the healthiest sleep patterns had a 42% lower risk of heart failure regardless of other risk factors compared to adults with unhealthy sleep patterns, according to new research. Healthy sleep patterns are rising in the morning, sleeping 7-8 hours a day, and having no frequent insomnia, snoring, or excessive daytime sleepiness.

3. Bursts of Exercise Can Lead to Significant Improvements in Indicators of Metabolic Health


Source: Massachusetts General Hospital 16 Nov 2020


Short bursts of physical exercise induce changes in the body’s levels of metabolites that correlate to and may help gauge, an individual’s cardiometabolic, cardiovascular and long-term health, a study has found. It describes how approximately 12 minutes of acute cardiopulmonary exercise impacted more than 80% of circulating metabolites.

4. Retinas: New Potential Clues in Diagnosing, Treating Alzheimer’s


Source: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center 17 Nov 2020


A study has identified certain regions in the retina – the lining found in the back of the eye – that are more affected by Alzheimer’s disease than other areas. The findings may help physicians predict changes in the brain as well as cognitive deterioration, even for patients experiencing the earliest signs of mild impairment.

5. Worms Reveal Why Melatonin Promotes Sleep


Source: University of Connecticut 17 Nov 2020


Melatonin is used as a dietary supplement to promote sleep and get over jet lag, but nobody really understands how it works in the brain. Now, researchers show that melatonin helps worms sleep, too, and they suspect they’ve identified what it does in us. Melatonin binds to melatonin receptors in the brain to produce its sleep-promoting effects.

6. Updated Analysis Shows Pfizer Vaccine Is 95 Percent Effective


Source: The Verge 18 Nov 2020


Pfizer and BioNTech said on Wednesday that an updated analysis of the phase 3 clinical trial for their COVID-19 vaccine shows that it is 95 percent effective. They plan to file for authorization with the Food and Drug Administration “within days.” Pfizer also said that the vaccine was 94 percent effective in people over the age of 65.


Original written by: Nicole Wetsman

7. 3D Bioprinted Heart Provides New Tool for Surgeons


Source: College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University 18 Nov 2020


Researchers have created the first full-size 3D bioprinted human heart model using Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels (FRESH) technique. The model, created from MRI data using a specially built 3D printer, realistically mimics the elasticity of cardiac tissue and sutures.


Original written by: Dan Carrol

8. A More Sensitive Way to Detect Circulating Tumor Cells


Source: American Chemical Society 18 Nov 2020


Researchers have developed a method that could more sensitively detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) within the complex environment of blood. Detecting CTCs in the bloodstream could help doctors find and treat metastases at an earlier stage, increasing chances of survival.

9. Breakthrough in Childhood Brain Cancer Will Save Lives


Source: Newcastle University 18 Nov 2020


Research has revealed that experts can identify the time, nature, and outcome of medulloblastoma relapse from the biology of the disease at diagnosis and the initial therapy received. The study shows that different biological and treatment groups within the disease relapse at different times and with different patterns of spread throughout the body.

10. Drug Eases Recovery for Those with Severe Alcohol Withdrawal


Source: Yale University 19 Nov 2020


A drug once used to treat high blood pressure can help alcoholics with withdrawal symptoms reduce or eliminate their drinking, researchers report. In a double-blind study, researchers gave the drug prazosin or a placebo to 100 people entering outpatient treatment after being diagnosed with alcohol use disorder. All of the patients had experienced varying degrees of withdrawal symptoms prior to entering treatment.


Original written by: Bill Hathaway

11. Memories Create ‘Fingerprints’ That Reveal How the Brain is Organized


Source: University of Rochester Medical Center 20 Nov 2020


While the broad architecture and organization of the human brain is universal, new research shows how the differences between how people reimagine common scenarios can be observed in brain activity and quantified. These unique neurological signatures could ultimately be used to understand, study, and even improve the treatment of disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.


Original written by: Mark Michaud

12. Age Is No Barrier to Successful Weight Loss


Source: University of Warwick 20 Nov 2020


A study of patients attending a hospital-based obesity service shows no difference in weight loss between those under 60 years old and those from 60 to 78 years old. The study concludes that lifestyle changes to manage weight loss are effective in reducing obesity regardless of age.


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