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New antibody-based eye drops developed that reduce dryness

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A new eye drop based on aggregated human antibodies was developed by a group of researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago. These eye drops have already shown a reduction in symptoms and signs in some patients with dry eyes in response to treatment.

Eye drops target protein autoantibodies against anti-citrullinated proteins or ACPA, specific antibodies found in human tear fluid.

Dry eyes are a disease that sees an abnormality in the amount of tear fluid in the eye, leading to drier eye regions. This, in turn, can be a problem as it leads to eye pain and poor sensitivity to light. The dry eye, as Sandeep Jain, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and senior author of the study, explains, can also seriously affect the quality of daily life and vision.

It was Jain and his colleagues who discovered that DNA strands can form “cobwebs” on the surface of eyes with dry eyes, and they discovered ACPA as a major cause of inflammation. The eye drops they developed then interrupt this cycle, at least partially, and weaken the immune system.

The new eye drops were tested on 27 participants in two groups: The participants of the first group received one drop of eye drops with antibodies aggregated twice daily for eight weeks. The second group was the control group and their participants received eye drops without the antibodies. People in the first group showed a significant reduction in corneal inflammation and a general improvement in the dry eye situation compared to the control group.

The eye drops contained aggregated antibodies from blood-based immunoglobulins donated by several individuals. In this way, it is possible to counteract the negative effects of ACPA. As Jain explains, there are currently only two drugs available to treat dry eyes, but both do not work well in the most severe cases.

LINKS AND SOURCES

Antibody-based eye drops show promise for treating dry eye disease

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1542012419303775?via%3Dihub

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Bob Miller

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website www.healthmongers.org in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

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Health and Medicine

Diabetes: scientists discover new therapeutic options to limit collateral damage caused by insulin

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A protein that can act as a regulator of blood sugar and lipids under certain conditions has been identified by a group of researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE). The protein, called S100A9, could counteract the side effects of insulin administered to diabetics.

The study published in Nature Communications mentions what a new treatment for diabetes and in general a significant improvement in the quality of life of tens of millions of people could be. In fact, millions of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have to resort to insulin injections. Overdose can cause hypoglycemia, a drop in blood glucose levels, while underdose can lead to dangerous hyperglycemia.

In experiments on mice, scientists found that the administration of S100A9 to insulin-deficient diabetic rats led to better glucose management and better control of ketones and lipids. They then discovered that this protein appears to work only when there is TLR4, a receptor placed on the membrane of certain cells, including adipocytes and immune system cells.

Now Roberto Coppari, one of the authors of the study together with Giorgio Ramadori, and his team want to understand the function of the protein S100A9. In this context, they are developing a new treatment that combines low doses of insulin and S100A9 to understand whether it is possible to better control glucose and ketones and limit the same negative side effect of insulin.

“We also want to decipher the exact role of TLR4 to offer a therapeutic strategy that achieves the delicate balance between blood sugar, ketones and optimal lipid control,” explains Coppari himself in the press release.

LINKS AND SOURCES

https://www.unige.ch/communication/communiques/en/2019/diabete-des-traitements-de-nouvelle-generation-bientot-disponibles/

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-11498-x

IMAGE CREDIT

https://www.franciscanhealth.org/sites/default/files/2015/10/20/hero-diabetes-managemetn-tools-and-veggies.jpg

Bob Miller

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website www.healthmongers.org in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

2930 Scheuvront Drive, Denver Colorado, 80211
303-458-7258
[email protected]
Bob Miller
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Health and Medicine

Children of mothers who have taken snus during pregnancy show higher blood pressure.

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A research team found that children between the ages of five and six whose mothers had used snus during pregnancy had higher systolic blood pressure. The new study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Snus is a moist powdered tobacco for oral use that was banned in the European Union as early as 1992 after World Health Organization studies found it to be carcinogenic. However, this tobacco is very popular in some countries, such as Sweden, and is still available in the United States (although it is currently processed by the FDA in that country).

The snus is placed between the gums and the upper lip and essentially provides nicotine. The advantage of using such tobacco would be that it does not include the by-products of burning classic cigarettes. Another advantage is that it is not necessary to spit, as is the case with most common chewing tobacco cards.

This study shows that the intake of nicotine during pregnancy, whether from cigarettes, chewing tobacco or snus, is not safe and can have negative effects on the unborn child, as Felicia Nordenstam, a paediatric cardiologist at the Karolinska Institute University Hospital in Stockholm and lead author of the study, explains.

The researcher analyzed data from children born to 21 women who used only snus during pregnancy and compared it with data from 19 children whose mothers did not consume tobacco products during pregnancy.

Researchers found that systolic blood pressure in children in the first group was 4.2 mmHg higher than in children in the second group.

LINKS AND SOURCES

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-10-children-higher-blood-pressure-age.html

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.012629

IMAGE CREDIT

https://images.newscientist.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/14161245/e2d3ay.jpg

Bob Miller

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website www.healthmongers.org in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

2930 Scheuvront Drive, Denver Colorado, 80211
303-458-7258
[email protected]
Bob Miller
Continue Reading

Health and Medicine

Pregnant with twins? Here are the weight gains recommended by a researcher

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A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh sets new guidelines for weight gain in pregnant women who expect twins. Unlike non-partners, the guidelines for twin pregnancies are not always as precise, which is why the doctors at the Graduate School of Public Health have decided to remedy the situation.

The researchers who published their study on Obstetrics & Gynecology analyzed statistical data on 27,723 pregnancies and twin births (with two children) between 2003 and 2013. This data was then compared with those of the mother, in particular with height and weight both before pregnancy and at birth.

They then worked out three upper and lower recommended weight gain limits for three types of pregnant twin women: Underweight or normal, overweight or obesity.

According to the results presented in the press release of the study, there was an increased risk of poor birth results if the weight gain was:

  • Less than 31 pounds or more than 60 pounds in underweight and normal-weight women;
  • Less than 24 pounds or more than 62 pounds in overweight women;
  • Less than 14 pounds or more than 57 pounds for obese women.

“We are not saying that an increase within these weight ranges is necessarily better for the health of the mother and her children, but simply that an increase above or below them poses a greater risk of poor health. Women should talk to their doctors to determine safe weight gain for them,” says Lisa Bodnar, lead author of the study and professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

LINKS AND SOURCES

https://www.chp.edu/news/101019-bodnar-twins-maternal-weight

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00006250-900000000-97570

IMAGE CREDIT

https://www.twins.org.au/twins-research/Blog/twinsartim-D_children_female_MZ_with_pregnat_mum.jpg

Bob Miller

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website www.healthmongers.org in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

2930 Scheuvront Drive, Denver Colorado, 80211
303-458-7258
[email protected]
Bob Miller
Continue Reading

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