Week in Health (17 – 23 Apr 2021)

Health News related to Intellectual Disability Risk, Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy, Once-A-Week Insulin Treatment, Methylene Chloride Paint Strippers, Drug That Regenerates Erectile Nerves, Leg Muscle Action, Supplement Treating Schizophrenia, Food Allergies and Changes to Infant Gut Bacteria, Newly Discovered Airway Cells, Cell-Free Vaccine Production, Ankle Exoskeletons, Anti-Aging Compound


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. Intellectual Disability Is Rarely Inherited – Risk for Younger Siblings Is Low


Source: University of Helsinki 18 Apr 2021


Intellectual disability is most often caused by changes to the genome that take place in early foetal development and are not found in the parents’ DNA. This is why the risk of recurrence in the next sibling of the family is very small, as indicated by a study. Furthermore, Finns do not have a higher risk of inherited developmental disorders compared to other Europeans.


Original written by: Anu Koivusipilä

2. Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy May Increase Risk of High Blood Pressure


Source: American Heart Association 19 Apr 2021


Transgender and gender-diverse people have higher rates of hypertension compared to the general population. Within two to four months of starting gender-affirming hormone therapy, transgender women had a lower average systolic blood pressure, and transgender men had a higher average systolic blood pressure. Clinicians should consistently monitor blood pressure before and after starting gender-affirming hormone therapy to take hypertension prevention measures.

3. Once-A-Week Insulin Treatment Could Be Game-Changing for Patients with Diabetes


Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center 19 Apr 2021


Treating people with Type 2 diabetes with a new once-a-week injectable insulin therapy proved to be safe and as effective as daily insulin injections, according to the results of two international clinical trials. The studies suggest that the once-weekly treatment could provide a convenient alternative to the burden of daily insulin shots for diabetes patients.

4. Deaths Rising in Workers Using Methylene Chloride Paint Strippers


Source: University of California - San Francisco 19 Apr 2021


Researchers and physicians have found that deaths of workers using methylene chloride paint strippers are on the rise. The solvent is widely used in paint strippers, cleaners, adhesives and sealants. The study is the first comprehensive review of fatalities linked to the deadly chemical in the United States and identified more deaths than previously reported.


Original written by: Elizabeth Fernandez

5. Novel Drug That Regenerates Erectile Nerves Damaged by Prostate Surgery


Source: Albert Einstein College of Medicine 19 Apr 2021


Researchers have developed a topical drug that regenerates and restores the function of erectile nerves damaged by radical prostatectomy, the most common treatment for localized prostate cancer. The drug was tested in rats.

6. Leg Muscle Action Assists Blood Flow Independently of Age


Source: Kanazawa University 20 Apr 2021


Researchers conducted a study of muscle pump action in the context of chronic lower-limb edema. They found that body posture and exercise habits affect the blood pumping action of muscles in the leg, whereas age generally does not.

7. Supplement Treats Schizophrenia in Mice, Restores Healthy “Dance” And Structure of Neurons


Source: University of Tokyo 20 Apr 2021


A simple dietary supplement reduces behavioral symptoms in mice with a genetic mutation that causes schizophrenia. After additional experiments, including visualizing the fluorescently stained dancing edge of immature brain cells, researchers concluded that the supplement likely protects proteins that build neurons’ cellular skeletons.

8. Food Allergies and Changes to Infant Gut Bacteria Due to Method of Childbirth, Mother’s Ethnicity


Source: University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry 20 Apr 2021


Researchers have found a causal link between caesarean section birth, low intestinal microbiota and peanut sensitivity in infants, and they report the effect is more pronounced in children of Asian descent than others.


Original written by: Gillian Rutherford

9. Newly Discovered Airway Cells May Shed Light on SIDS And Other Conditions


Source: Massachusetts General Hospital 20 Apr 2021


Pulmonary neuroendocrine cells, found in the human airway, are more varied than previously thought. Higher levels of certain types of pulmonary neuroendocrine cells are linked to sudden infant death syndrome and other breathing-related conditions. The research links certain cells that line the human airway with different infant diseases. The work could lead to new prevention and treatment strategies for these conditions.

10. Membranes Unlock Potential to Vastly Increase Cell-Free Vaccine Production


Source: Northwestern University 22 Apr 2021


In February, researchers introduced a new biomanufacturing platform that can quickly make shelf-stable vaccines at the point of care, ensuring they will not go to waste due to errors in transportation or storage. In its new study, the team discovered that enriching cell-free extracts with cellular membranes — the components needed to made conjugate vaccines — vastly increased yields of its freeze-dried platform.


Original written by: Amanda Morris

11. Ankle Exoskeletons Can Greatly Increase Walking Speed


Source: Stanford University 22 Apr 2021


In lab tests, researchers found that an optimized ankle exoskeleton system increased participants’ walking speed by about 40 percent compared with their regular speed. The researchers hope someday to help restore walking speed in older adults.


Original written by: Taylor Kubota

12. Anti-Aging Compound That Improves Metabolic Health in Mice Improves Muscle Glucose Metabolism in People


Source: Washington University School of Medicine 22 Apr 2021


A natural compound previously demonstrated to counteract aspects of aging and improve metabolic health in mice has clinically relevant effects in people, according to new research. A small clinical trial of postmenopausal women with prediabetes shows that the compound NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) improved the ability of insulin to increase glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, which often is abnormal in people with obesity, prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.


Original written by: Jim Dryden


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