Much of the world is on hold until scientists find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which has, so far, claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. However, with current estimates suggesting that a vaccine is 12-18 months away, many people are placing increasing hope on an effective treatment for COVID-19. For this reason, people have been eagerly awaiting news on Gilead's experimental Ebola drug remdesivir, after former World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward described it as the only drug that the organization consider to have real efficacy. The scientists analyzed the coronavirus protease in detail to help them identify compounds that target a critical part of its structure. Beginning with a starting material that is available from commercial suppliers, they performed a series of synthesis steps to create two lead compounds named 11a and 11b. The scientists found that both compounds were good inhibitors of the enzyme, achieving 100% and 96% inhibition activity, respectively. According to the reported results, this is a highly promising compound. What is more, because there is no human equivalent to the enzyme that it targets, the drug is unlikely to cause serious side effects in people. The researchers say that preclinical research on the compound is continuing. They are also sharing their data with scientists around the world to help accelerate the development of the treatment.
A recent study has concluded that anaerobic bacterial blood infections are associated with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Anaerobic bacteria, unlike aerobic bacteria, do not require oxygen in order to function. They are a normal part of the human body, existing in various locations, including the gut. They usually do not cause infections, but when they do, it is most often in the area that the bacteria inhabit. The authors of the new study note that previous research had linked specific types of anaerobic bacteria with colorectal cancer. The researchers wanted to further explore this link through a large-scale study. The study authors found that anaerobic bacterial blood infections were associated with a significant increase in the risk of colorectal cancer. Only 0.5% of the control group, who had not had a bacterial infection, developed colorectal cancer, compared with 20.8% of those who had a C. septicum infection. Although the results are interesting, this research is awaiting presentation at a scientific conference. Therefore, details about the full methodology and results are not yet available.
People with spinal cord injuries may experience a loss of function around the body. This loss of function can be permanent. However, some people do make a full recovery. Spinal cord injuries can cause secondary conditions, such as pressure sores and blood clots. People with secondary conditions such as these will need long-term care. Long-term treatment for people with spinal cord injuries is complex. The type of treatment will vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. In most cases, a doctor will prescribe various forms of therapy to help with rehabilitation. They will also try to prevent or treat secondary health conditions, which are common in people with spinal injuries. These secondary conditions include:
* pressure ulcers
* muscle spasms
* urinary tract infections
* chronic pain
* deep vein thrombosis
* respiratory infections, such as pneumonia
* autonomic dysreflexia
People with spinal cord injuries are at greatest risk within the first year of the injury. As a result, this first year will involve regular check-ups. It is possible for some people to recover some function up to 18 months after the injury. However, many people will experience a permanent loss of function that requires long-term care. will also help them keep their symptoms under control.
PANDAS syndrome is a neurological condition that appears suddenly following a strep infection, such as strep throat. One theory is that it is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack healthy cells. Researchers think that PANDAS may occur when the body attacks cells in the basal ganglia, a region of the brain responsible for many functions, including learning and movement. The resulting damage could cause the psychiatric symptoms of PANDAS. The doctor will likely test the child’s throat to check for an active strep infection. If the test is negative, the infection could be hiding elsewhere, such as the genitals. The doctor may, therefore, use other tests if the child has or previously had strep symptoms. Parents or caregivers may need to answer questions about when the symptoms appeared and whether the child has a history of infections. They should tell a doctor about all symptoms and prior infections, even if the doctor does not ask. It is also important to note whether symptoms appeared suddenly or developed over time. Parents or caregivers who suspect that a child may have PANDAS syndrome should find a paediatrician who specializes in PANDAS, strep infections, or childhood mental health symptoms. They should also do this if a child has behavioural problems alongside frequent strep infections. PANDAS often gets better, and even when it does not, the symptoms are manageable. With ongoing treatment, disability accommodations, and family support, a child can have a happy, healthy life.
Having one leg longer than the other is relatively common. The condition is known as leg length discrepancy. Some research indicates that 40-70% of people have some form of leg length discrepancy (LLD). The differences in leg length can range from a fraction of an inch to several inches. The greater the difference, the more likely it is that the person will experience issues with gait, posture, and pain. Moderate-to-severe cases of LLD can cause additional symptoms, including:
* gait issues, such as a limp
* pain in the back, hip, knee, or ankle
* increased tiredness
Minor discrepancies often cause no symptoms or problems. However, moderate-to-severe asymmetry may cause issues with walking and posture, and it can contribute to hip and back pain. People should see a doctor if they suspect that they or their child has LLD. A doctor can diagnose the condition and recommend appropriate treatments.
Asthma is not curable, but that does not mean that people with asthma will experience regular asthma attacks. Much of the time, people with asthma can control their symptoms by:
* working with healthcare professionals to develop and follow an asthma treatment plan
* identifying and avoiding triggers for asthma attacks
* following a healthful diet and exercising regularly
* tracking symptoms and activities
* preparing for and working through flare-ups
One of the most important things that people with asthma can do to protect their health is to educate themselves about the condition. The more people learn about asthma and their particular triggers and symptoms, the better they can manage it. It is not curable, but it is manageable. People with asthma can work with their healthcare providers to establish the right mix of long-term control and quick-relief medications. Individuals can educate themselves about asthma and be proactive about establishing a healthful lifestyle, which will also help them keep their symptoms under control.