PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Hopkins Med news update

Hopkins Med news update
2021-07-15
(Press-News.org) COVID-19 NEWS: CAN DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS HELP THE IMMUNE SYSTEM FIGHT CORONAVIRUS INFECTION?

Media Contact: Patrick Smith, pjsmith88@jhmi.edu

Johns Hopkins Medicine gastroenterologist Gerard Mullin, M.D., and a team of co-authors published an article May 11, 2021, in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology that details the scientific rationale and possible benefits -- as well as possible drawbacks -- of several dietary supplements currently in clinical trials related to COVID-19 treatment.

According to business analysts, the U.S. nutritional supplement industry grew as much as 14.5% in 2020, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mullin, associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and his colleagues shine a light on melatonin, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and several plant-based compounds, such as green tea and curcumin. For instance, the authors explain that ascorbic acid -- also known as vitamin C -- "contributes to immune defense by supporting cell functions of both the innate and adaptive immune systems."

In the journal article, they discuss the mechanics of how each of the supplements works and how each might benefit a patient fighting COVID-19.

Zinc, they write, has been shown "to inhibit coronavirus RNA replication." They also note that, when administered at symptom onset, zinc "can reduce the duration of symptoms from illness attributed to more innocuous coronavirus infections, such as the common cold."

Finally, Mullin and his colleagues provide short explanations of the clinical trials underway to test each supplement's effectiveness in fighting COVID-19.

For example, Mullin says that, "to date, there are abundant data associating low vitamin D status to higher vulnerability to COVID-19 and poor clinical outcomes."

The authors caution that "any benefit of dietary supplements against COVID-19 depends on results of randomized controlled trials" and peer-reviewed literature.

Mullin is available for interviews.

JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE HELPS DEVELOP PHYSICIAN TRAINING TO PREVENT GUN INJURIES, DEATHS

Media Contact: Kim Polyniak, M.A., kpolyni1@jhmi.edu

Each year, nearly 40,000 people in the United States die because of guns, making firearm-related injuries a leading cause of death for adults and children. According to a recent report, gun violence surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, making 2020 one of the nation's deadliest years for firearm-related casualties on record. Health care professionals could help reduce the toll, but only about 20% receive any education on firearm injuries or their prevention. To help change that, Johns Hopkins Medicine experts and collaborators across the United States established a national consensus guideline on educational priorities regarding firearm injury prevention for health care professionals.

The guideline appeared July 6, 2021, in the journal Academic Medicine.

"In many cases, physicians haven't felt comfortable talking about firearms with patients because it's been viewed as a divisive subject," says Katherine Hoops, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

"We set out to change that by being the first to create standards for undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education, so clinicians and educators have a foundation from which they can develop educational programming for their learners," says Hoops, who cares for patients -- including those with gun-related injuries -- in the pediatric intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

In April 2019, Hoops and Jahan Fahimi, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, convened a diverse group of more than 30 subject matter experts in medicine, nursing and public health from academic institutions across the United States to create a comprehensive and adaptable framework for firearm injury education.

The group outlined six categories previously identified in medical research as priorities. These include a general category with priorities applicable to all types of gun-related injuries and five specific categories focused on intimate partner violence, peer violence, mass violence, suicide and unintentional injury.

According to the researchers, training based on the new standards should enable clinicians to describe fatal and nonfatal firearm injury epidemiology; understand firearm access, possession, ownership, transfer and use; and be familiar with basic types of firearms and ammunition. They also should be able to provide counseling about firearm injury prevention -- such as safe gun storage -- to their patients.

Regarding suicide and suicide prevention, the researchers say clinicians should be able to describe the epidemiology of suicide and suicide attempts relating to firearm injury and death, as well as have the ability to assess patient suicide risk and understand how to escalate concerns for patients who may be at risk.

The published paper includes more guidelines and can serve as a resource for educators in health care professional schools.

"We hope that this educational framework will fundamentally change how physicians talk about violence in their practices," Fahimi says. "It's engaging with patients, talking about their experiences, helping them understand the risk of injury, and ultimately preventing injuries and saving lives."

Along with Hoops and Fahimi, Megan Ranney, M.D., M.P.H., of Brown University was a key researcher on this project.

Hoops is available for interviews.

COVID-19 NEWS: STUDY SAYS PANDEMIC IMPAIRED REPORTING OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Media Contact: Michael E. Newman, mnewma25@jhmi.edu

With the health care community heavily focused on COVID-19 since the first quarter of 2020, there have been concerns that reporting of other infectious diseases -- and the resulting data that enables them to be more effectively treated and controlled -- may have been impacted.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Southern California analyzed the number of reported cases of 42 infectious diseases at the state and national levels between March 2020 and March 2021, compared with those recorded over the previous five years. Their findings were reported online June 7, 2021, in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The researchers looked for reporting differences by geographic location and by five routes of transmission: sexual, foodborne/waterborne, vectorborne (such as mosquito transmission), injection drug-use associated and respiratory.

Among the study's highlights was a nationwide 82% drop in the number of cases of mumps reported in 2020, compared with the previous year. Between the same dates, the number of reported cases of chlamydia in the United States fell almost 15%, from 1.57 million to 1.34 million.

"We found substantial differences in the reporting of diseases between 2019 and 2020 by route of transmission, with the greatest relative decrease -- nearly 51% -- seen for respiratory diseases," says Matthew Crane, a medical student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study's lead author. "There also were significant decreases for drug use-associated diseases [47%], vector-borne diseases [44%] and foodborne/waterborne diseases [40%]."

Regarding reporting variation by geographic location, Crane says he and his colleagues found decreases of 50% or greater in 2020 relative to 2019 in five states: Hawaii (75%), Kentucky (66%), Nebraska (65%), Missouri (59%) and North Dakota (55%). Five other states had decreases between 40% and 49%, three states were between 30% and 39%, and seven states were between 20% and 29%. There were decreases in reporting of infectious diseases in 34 states during the pandemic compared with the 2015-2019 period.

"Overall, we found decreased reporting of almost all nationally notifiable infectious diseases and conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic," Crane says. "These decreases were found nationwide and at the state level, and appeared in all of the disease transmission routes we studied."

Crane says it's unknown whether the observed decreases indicate true reductions in infectious disease cases or an impairment of typical disease reporting during the pandemic.

"We believe that both factors likely contributed to our findings," he says.

Based on these findings -- and similar results in an earlier study looking at pandemic-driven reporting variations for sexually transmitted infections -- the researchers feel there is a critical need for more investment in disease surveillance in order to understand whether infectious disease transmission may have been underreported during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crane is available for interviews.

JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE HELPS CREATE TREATMENT GUIDE FOR NEURODEGENERATIVE DISORDERS

Media Contact: Michel Morris, melben1@jhmi.edu

Some people may think nothing can be done for neurodegenerative disorders such as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal syndrome (CBS). However, a Johns Hopkins Medicine researcher and his colleagues are adamant that is not the case.

PSP is a rare brain disorder that causes serious problems with walking, balance and eye movements, and later with swallowing. CBS is a condition that causes changes in movement, language skills or both. Both are characterized by deposition in the brain of abnormal, malfunctioning proteins known as tau proteins. These usually show up in people of mid-60s age, leading to death after an average of seven years.

In a study published July 1, 2021, in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, Alexander Pantelyat, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and 35 colleagues at the non-profit organization CurePSP, outline best practices in the management of these difficult-to-treat disorders. Pantelyat is the study's joint first author and a member of the four-person steering committee that oversaw the project's completion.

"There is still a lingering impression that nothing can be done for these conditions and I hope that this comprehensive review can do a lot to dispel this notion," says Pantelyat, director of the Johns Hopkins Atypical Parkinsonism Center/CurePSP Center of Care. "Time is really of the essence with these conditions and it's important to understand that much can be done to improve a patient's quality of life."

Pantelyat says most physicians, including many neurologists, are reluctant to care for patients with these conditions because they are unfamiliar with the wide range of interacting symptoms and neurological deficits (abnormal functioning, such as the inability to speak). While there currently is no specific or disease-modifying treatment for either PSP and CBS, their symptoms are amenable to a variety of treatment strategies.

Pantelyat says several pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions can meaningfully improve quality of life for patients with PSP and CBS. With a lack of approved pharmaceuticals for these conditions, the guidelines recommend useful off-brand medications to physicians and clinicians.

"One aspect that the guidelines discuss is avoiding medications that can worsen cognitive function, since in some ways, these diseases are closer to Alzheimer's disease than Parkinson's disease," says Pantelyat.

"In the case of CBS, it's like having a severe stroke except that it happens over months to years," he explains. "We encourage physicians to refer patients to a CurePSP Center of Care as soon as possible, enabling them to take advantage of resources like physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology that can improve their daily function."

Pantelyat says the guidelines also address the use of botulinum toxin injections. For patients with excessive saliva, an injection of botulinum toxin can alleviate drooling, and it may improve symptoms for those with dystonia and pain. Since it's injectable, botulinum toxin doesn't have systemic side effects.

"We hope this comprehensive guide helps physicians identify patients as early as possible so they can get the appropriate care, and refer them appropriately," Pantelyat says.

Pantelyat and his colleagues hope to next look at how multidisciplinary care can be delivered remotely to patients with PSP and CBS using a virtual environment.

Pantelyat is available for interviews.

INFORMATION:


[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Hopkins Med news update

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Fossil rodent teeth add North American twist to Caribbean mammals' origin story

Fossil rodent teeth add North American twist to Caribbean mammals origin story
2021-07-15
GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Two fossil teeth from a distant relative of North American gophers have scientists rethinking how some mammals reached the Caribbean Islands. The teeth, excavated in northwest Puerto Rico, belong to a previously unknown rodent genus and species, now named Caribeomys merzeraudi. About the size of a mouse, C. merzeraudi is the Caribbean's smallest known rodent and one of the region's oldest, dating back about 29 million years. It also represents the first discovery of a Caribbean rodent from a North American lineage, a finding that complicates an idea ...

Early intervention in schools needed to address Malta's obesity crisis

2021-07-15
A new study by the University of Malta and Staffordshire University highlights an urgent need for change in the curriculum and demonstrates how introducing longer, more frequent and more physically intense PE lessons can significantly improve children's weight and overall health. Malta currently has one of the highest rates of obesity worldwide with 40% of primary and 42.6% of secondary school children being overweight or obese. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that children engage in at least 60 minutes of age-appropriate moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily, however ...

On the front lines: Correctional nurses and the COVID-19 pandemic

On the front lines: Correctional nurses and the COVID-19 pandemic
2021-07-15
New Rochelle, NY, July 14, 2021-Firsthand reports from nurses in correctional facilities detail the challenges they faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. These firsthand accounts are reported in a special issue on correctional nursing in the Journal of Correctional Health Care. Click here (https://www.liebertpub.com/toc/jchc/27/2) to read the issue now. Karen Monsen, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, and colleagues present the Omaha System COVID-19 Response Guidelines, which provide evidence-based pandemic response interventions used in correctional ...

Unlocking efficient light-energy conversion with stable coordination nanosheets

Unlocking efficient light-energy conversion with stable coordination nanosheets
2021-07-15
Converting light to electricity effectively has been one of the persistent goals of scientists in the field of optoelectronics. While improving the conversion efficiency is a challenge, several other requirements also need to be met. For instance, the material must conduct electricity well, have a short response time to changes in input (light intensity), and, most importantly, be stable under long-term exposure. Lately, scientists have been fascinated with "coordination nanosheets" (CONASHs), that are organic-inorganic hybrid nanomaterials in which organic molecules are bonded to metal atoms in a 2D network. The interest in CONASHs stems mainly from their ability to absorb light at multiple wavelength ranges and convert ...

Life-saving snake venom

2021-07-15
Indiana Jones hates snakes. And he's certainly not alone. The fear of snakes is so common it even has its own name: ophidiophobia. Kibret Mequanint doesn't particularly like the slithery reptiles either (he actually hates them too) but the Western University bioengineer and his international collaborators have found a novel use for snake venom: a body tissue 'super glue' that can stop life-threatening bleeding in seconds. Over the past 20 years, Mequanint has developed a number of biomaterials-based medical devices and therapeutic technologies - some of which are either licensed to medical companies or are in the advanced stage of preclinical testing. His latest collaborative research discovery ...

Engineers find imaging technique could become treatment for deep vein thrombosis

Engineers find imaging technique could become treatment for deep vein thrombosis
2021-07-15
Penn State College of Engineering researchers set out to develop technology capable of localizing and imaging blood clots in deep veins. Turns out their work may not only identify blood clots, but it may also be able to treat them. The team, led by Scott Medina, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, published its results in Advance Healthcare Materials. "Deep vein thrombosis is the formation of blood clots in deep veins, typically in a person's legs," said Medina. "It's a life-threatening blood clotting condition that, if left unaddressed, can cause deadly pulmonary embolisms -- when the clot travels to the lungs and blocks an artery. To manage DVT, and prevent these life-threating complications, it's critical to be able to rapidly detect, monitor and treat it." The ...

New research at ESMT Berlin shows potential variance in academic research

2021-07-15
The research seeks to understand what drives decisions in data analyses and the process through which academics test a hypothesis by comparing the analyses of different researchers who tested the same hypotheses on the same dataset. Analysts reported radically different analyses and dispersed empirical outcomes, including, in some cases, significant effects in opposite directions from each other. Decisions about variable operationalizations explained the lack of consistency in results beyond statistical choices (i.e., which analysis or covariates to use). "Our findings illustrate the importance of analytical choices and how different statistical methods can lead to different conclusions," says Martin Schweinsberg. ...

New guidance on how to diagnosis and manage osteoporosis in chronic kidney disease

2021-07-15
Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) typically suffer from impaired bone quality and quantity, with a non-vertebral fracture risk which is 4-to 6-fold higher than the fracture risk of matched controls. However, despite their high risk of fragility fractures, the vast majority of patients with chronic CKD stages 4 to 5D, are not receiving osteoporosis therapy. A newly published review by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) CKD-MBD working group now provides concise recommendations, with a clear management algorithm, to support clinicians' knowledge and confidence in managing ...

Antihypertension drug may help patients with noncancerous brain tumors affecting hearing

2021-07-15
BOSTON - New research led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear indicates that the blood pressure drug losartan may benefit patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a hereditary condition associated with vestibular schwannomas, or noncancerous tumors along the nerves in the brain that are involved with hearing and balance. The findings, which are published in Science Translational Medicine, are especially important because vestibular schwannomas are currently treated with surgery and radiation therapy (which carry risks of nerve damage), and no drug is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat these tumors or their associated hearing ...

Autophagy may be the key to finding treatments for early Huntington's disease

Autophagy may be the key to finding treatments for early Huntingtons disease
2021-07-15
Amsterdam, July 15, 2021 - Huntington's Disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition characterized by motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms, and motor symptoms are often preceded by cognitive changes. Recent evidence indicates that autophagy plays a central role in synaptic maintenance, and the disruption in autophagy may be at the root of these early cognitive changes. Understanding this mechanism better may help researchers develop treatments for patients with HD early in their disease progression, report scientists in a review article published in the Journal of Huntington's Disease. In this review, experts describe how autophagy, the cellular process responsible ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

New breakthrough to help immune systems in the fight against cancer

Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase

Administering opioids to pregnant mice alters behavior and gene expression in offspring

Brain's 'memory center' needed to recognize image sequences but not single sights

Safety of second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after first-dose allergic reactions

Changes in disparities in access to care, health after Medicare eligibility

Use of high-risk medications among lonely older adults

65+ and lonely? Don't talk to your doctor about another prescription

Exosome formulation developed to deliver antibodies for choroidal neovascularization therapy

Second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose found safe following allergic reactions to first dose

Plant root-associated bacteria preferentially colonize their native host-plant roots

Rare inherited variants in previously unsuspected genes may confer significant risk for autism

International experts call for a unified public health response to NAFLD and NASH epidemic

International collaboration of scientists rewrite the rulebook of flowering plant genetics

Improving air quality reduces dementia risk, multiple studies suggest

Misplaced trust: When trust in science fosters pseudoscience

Two types of blood pressure meds prevent heart events equally, but side effects differ

New statement provides path to include ethnicity, ancestry, race in genomic research

Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer

Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed

Anticipate a resurgence of respiratory viruses in young children

Anxiety, depression, burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus

Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping

New research identifies cancer types with little survival improvements in adolescents and young adul

Oncotarget: Replication-stress sensitivity in breast cancer cells

Oncotarget: TERT and its binding protein: overexpression of GABPA/B in gliomas

Development of a novel technology to check body temperature with smartphone camera

The mechanics of puncture finally explained

Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests

[Press-News.org] Hopkins Med news update