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Drug Long Used for Alcoholism Might Fight Severe COVID-19

A widely available drug used to treat alcoholism has potential as a COVID-19 treatment, researchers say.

The investigators found that people taking disulfiram (Antabuse) for alcoholism had a lower risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and were less likely to die from COVID-19 if infected than those not taking the drug.

  • Robert Preidt
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  • November 23, 2021
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  • Wearable Vibration Device May Ease Parkinson's Tremor

    MONDAY, Nov. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Physiotherapist David Putrino was working on a vibrating glove to help deaf people experience live music when a friend mentioned that the same technology might stop tremors in people with Parkinson's disease.

    Putrino, director of rehabilitation innovation for Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, was intrigued. The friend'...

    Neurologists' Group Issues Guidance to Families on Controversial Alzheimer's Drug

    Neurologists must make sure Alzheimer's patients and their families understand that the controversial drug aducanumab does not restore mental function, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) said in new position statement that includes ethical guidelines.

    "Aducanumab is not a cure for Alzheimer's disease, yet since it has been approved by the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration], patients...

    Trial Begins of Nasal Vaccine for Alzheimer's Disease

    The first human clinical trial of a nasal vaccine to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease is set to begin after nearly 20 years of research.

    This is a "remarkable milestone," according to Dr. Howard Weiner, co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

    "Over the last two decades, we've amassed preclinical evidence sugg...

    Stem Cell Therapy Boosts Outcomes for Some Heart Failure Patients

    Heart failure patients who fit a specific profile can benefit from injection of stem cells delivered directly into their heart muscle, a new study finds.

    Patients with mild or moderate heart failure who have high levels of inflammation responded well to the stem cell injections, and experienced a decline in their risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart-related death, clinical trial resul...

    More Evidence That COVID Vaccines Are Safe for Cancer Patients

    COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for most cancer patients, a new study confirms.

    Cancer patients have an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID because their immune systems have been weakened by their disease or treatments.

    "We pursued this study because there were limited data on the safety of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in people with active cancer; no published pro...

    Placebo Effect Plays Big Role in Antidepressant's Impact on Anxiety: Study

    Illustrating the power of the mind to heal itself, new research suggests that the placebo effect could help drive antidepressants' effects against anxiety disorders.

    The placebo effect refers to an increase in the success of a treatment when a patient expects a benefit.

    In the new study, patients with s...

    We've Been Here Before: How Polio Vaccine Rollout Saved Millions of Young Lives

    An infection that can disable and kill stalks the land, but a brand-new vaccine offers hope that almost everyone, kids included, can evade it. After scientific testing, a nationwide rollout of the vaccine begins.

    Sound familiar?

    As the U.S. government gears up to offer COVID-19 shots to about 28 million 5- to 11-year-olds, high levels of vaccine hesitancy in some corners may make ...

    How Two People With HIV Suppressed Virus After Stopping Treatment

    There are two ways that HIV patients' bodies can keep the virus under control after they stop antiretroviral therapy, a new study shows.

    The findings could point to ways to help people with HIV keep the virus in remission without having to keep taking medications that can have long-term side effects, according to researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease...

    Shorter Course of Post-Op Radiation May Work Well for Prostate Cancer Patients

    After prostate cancer surgery, men can safely undergo fewer radiation treatments at higher doses, a new clinical trial shows.

    Researchers found that the shorter regimen — given over five weeks, instead of seven — did not raise patients' odds of lasting side effects.

    Safety has been a "major concern" because when patients have fewer radiation treatments, the daily dose needs to b...

    Targeted High-Dose Radiation Helps Fight Advanced Lung Cancer

    High-dose radiation therapy may stall tumor growth in patients with advanced lung cancer who are not fully responding to drug therapies, a preliminary study suggests.

    The study involved patients whose lung cancer was considered "oligoprogressive." That means the cancer had spread to other sites in the body, and the patients were having a mixed response to standard systemic treatments — ...

    Moderna Says Its COVID Vaccine Works Well in Children Aged 6 to 11

    Moderna announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine safely triggers a strong immune response in children aged 6 to 11.

    Company data shows that a month after receiving both doses of the vaccine, children's antibody levels were 1.5 ...

    Pfizer Vaccine Booster Restores Nearly Full Protection, Company Says

    The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster restored close to full protection against COVID-19 in a late-stage trial involving 10,000 people, the company announced Thursday.

    They said the booster was 95.6% effective and that they plan to submit the latest data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regulators in other nations.

    "These results provide further evidence of the benefits of...

    Still Too Few Women in Stroke Treatment Clinical Trials

    Men still outnumber women in stroke therapy clinical trials, which means women may end up receiving less effective treatment, researchers say.

    For the new study, investigators analyzed 281 stroke trials that included at least 100 patients each and were conducted between 1990 and 2020.

    Of the nearly 590,000 total participants, 37.4% were women. However, the average rate of stroke amo...

    Another Study Suggests Too Much Fish Oil Could Trigger A-Fib

    A new study confirms that fish oil supplements may raise the risk of a common heart-rhythm disorder -- particularly when doses top 1 gram per day.

    At issue are medications and supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, which are naturally found in fish oil.

    Fish is considered a generally heart-healthy food, but some studies have linked omega-3 in capsule form to an increased risk o...

    Anti-Nausea Drug May Boost Survival for Some Cancer Patients

    Patients who undergo surgery for certain types of cancer may have better short-term survival if they receive a particular anti-nausea drug, a preliminary study suggests.

    Among more than 74,000 patients who had cancer surgery, researchers found that those who received the drug -- called dexamethasone -- were less likely to die in the next 90 days.

    The vast majority of all patients su...

    New Hope for IBD Patients

    A drug previously approved for multiple sclerosis also can treat inflammatory bowel disease in some patients, a new clinical trial reports.

    The medication, ozanimod (Zeposia), proved effective in helping patients with ulcerative colitis, sending many into full remission, according to results being published Sept. 30 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Ulcerative colitis...

    Trials Show COVID Vaccines Well Worth It for Cancer Patients

    If you have cancer and you think coronavirus vaccines may do you little good, don't let your hesitation stop you from getting the shots: A pair of clinical trials finds that patients' immune systems ramped up after vaccination.

    The findings were presented this week during a virtual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO Congress 2021).

    "We have to vaccinate all ...

    New Drug Combo Boosts Survival Against Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer

    New research offers good news for women with an aggressive HER2-positive breast cancer.

    A targeted therapy, trastuzumab deruxtecan (T-DXd), sold as Enhertu, triples the length of time that the cancer remains in check when compared with the current gold standard, trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1).

    Both of these drugs are second-line treatment options for HER2-positive breast cancer that...

    Trial Into Antioxidant for Parkinson's Disease Yields Disappointing Results

    FRIDAY, Sept. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers hoped to show that the natural antioxidant urate could delay Parkinson's disease progression, but a study completed at Massachusetts General Hospital dashed those expectations.

    The trial enrolled nearly 300 individuals recently diagnosed with early Parkinson's disease, which affects the body's motor system. Symptoms such as tremors,...

    Ebola Vaccine Effective in African Clinical Trial

    An experimental Ebola vaccine appeared effective in children and adults in a clinical trial.

    Two doses of Johnson & Johnson's Ebola vaccine appear safe, well tolerated and produce a strong immune response in people over the age of 1, according to two just-published papers.

    ...

    Data Doesn't Support Need for COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters: Experts

    COVID-19 vaccine booster shots might not be needed for most people, according to a large international review.

    The review -- conducted by a team that included scientists from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- concluded that current vaccines are effective enough against severe COVID-19, even from the Delta variant, and that booster shots are unnece...

    Could a Long-Used Cholesterol Drug Fight Severe COVID-19?

    A drug that lowers cholesterol might help save hospitalized patients with COVID-19, a new, small Israeli study suggests.

    Researchers at Hebrew University of Jerusalem noted that COVID causes a big buildup of cholesterol, which results in inflammation in cells.

    In lab experiments, they found that the cholesterol-lowering drug fenofibrate (TriCor) effectively reduced damage to lung ce...

    Could Electrode 'Pulses' Cut Back, Leg Pain Without Drugs?

    A new approach to spinal cord stimulation may drastically reduce chronic back pain, a small pilot study suggests.

    The study, of 20 patients with stubborn low back pain, tested the effects of implanting electrodes near the spinal cord to stimulate it with "ultra-low" frequency electrical pulses.

    After two weeks, 90% of the patients were reporting at least an 80% reduction in their pa...

    Experimental Drug Could Cut Migraine Frequency

    A new pill specifically designed to prevent migraines appears to do the job, a new clinical trial finds.

    Atogepant cut patients' migraine days in half over 12 weeks of treatment, without causing serious side effects, the researchers said.

    Experts said the drug, if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, would give migraine sufferers a welcome new option.

    "There's a ...

    Far Too Few People of Color in U.S. Pancreatic Cancer Trials

    Racial and ethnic minorities in the United States are severely underrepresented in clinical trials testing cutting-edge treatments for pancreatic cancer, researchers say.

    "There are a ton of obstacles to get these patients into clinical trials," said senior author Dr. Jose Trevino, chairman of surgical oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. "But this is how we're...

    New Drug Might Be Non-Surgical Option for Common Skin Cancers

    An experimental gel has shown early promise in treating the most common form of skin cancer -- hinting at a potential alternative to surgery in the future.

    Researchers tested the gel in 30 patients with basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a skin cancer diagnosed in more than 3 million Americans each year. The tumors rarely spread and are highly curable, usually through surgical removal.

    Eve...

    How Did the Pandemic Affect Cancer Clinical Trials?

    The pandemic widely disrupted medical care across the United States, but a new study reports that clinical trials testing cancer treatments were able to carry on.

    Researchers found that U.S. cancer trials quickly responded to the pandemic in the early months, allowing the studies to get back on track after an initial -- and steep -- drop-off in patient participation.

    That was partic...

    Drug Shows Promise in Easing Dementia-Linked Psychosis

    A drug that eases hallucinations in people with Parkinson's disease may be able to do the same for those with dementia, a new clinical trial finds.

    The medication, called Nuplazid (pimavanserin), is already approved in the United States for treating hallucinations and delusions related to Parkinson's.

    The new study, published July 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine, ...

    Chinese CoronaVac Vaccine 83.5% Effective Against Symptomatic COVID

    A double dose of China's CoronaVac vaccine is 83.5% effective against symptomatic COVID-19, researchers say.

    Their phase 3 trial included more than 10,000 people, aged 18 to 59, in Turkey who received either two doses of CoronaVac 14 days apart or an inactive placebo.

    An immune response analysis of 981 participants who got the vaccine found that it triggered a strong immune response...

    New Drug Shows Real Promise Against Celiac Disease

    An experimental drug can prevent intestinal damage caused by celiac disease, an early trial has found -- raising hopes that it could become the first medication for the serious digestive disorder.

    With celiac disease, the immune system attacks the lining of the small intestine when a genetically susceptible person eats gluten -- a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

    The symptoms...

    'Laughing Gas' Shows Promise Against Tough-to-Treat Depression

    When antidepressants fail to rein in hard-to-treat depression, the common anesthetic most know as "laughing gas" might be a safe and effective alternative, new research suggests.

    The finding follows work with 28 patients struggling with "treatment-resistant major depression," a severe condition that investigators say affects about one-third of all patients - an estimated 17 million Americ...

    FDA Defends Approval of Controversial Alzheimer's Drug

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first new drug to treat Alzheimer's disease in nearly two decades, in a controversial decision that left the agency defending its reputation and its science.

    Aduhelm (aducanumab) treats Alzheimer's by clearing out amyloid beta, a sticky protein known to form plaques in the brains of early-stage patients.

    It is the first approved...

    'Historic' Decision Expected on U.S. Approval of Alzheimer's Drug

    The first drug ever shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease could be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday, but experts say that approval will be surrounded by controversy.

    In clinical trials, aducanumab showed a 22% reduction in the development of thinking and memory problems associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to a statement from the Alzheim...

    Antibiotics Won't Help Fight Lung-Scarring Disease IDF: Study

    Antibiotics do not reduce the risk of hospitalization or death in patients with a lethal lung disease known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a new study finds.

    "We were certainly disappointed in the results," said study co-author Dr. Imre Noth, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at UVA Health in Charlottesville, Va. "But we remain hopeful that in further downstream analyses, w...

    Newly Approved Drug Fights Lung Cancer Tied to Certain Genes

    A newly approved lung cancer drug shows promise in improving survival in patients whose tumors carry a common and tough-to-treat genetic mutation, researchers say.

    Sotorasib - brand name Lumakras - was approved May 28 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a targeted therapy for non-small cell lung cancer patients with tumors that express the G12C mutation in the KRAS gene, ...

    Drug Lynparza Could Help Fight Some Early-Stage Breast Cancers

    A twice-daily pill can dramatically reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who are genetically prone to the disease, researchers report.

    The pill - olaparib (Lynparza) - works by blocking a natural enzyme called PARP that normally fixes DNA damage in healthy cells, but in these women actually promotes the growth of cancerous cells.

    Early high-risk breast cancer patient...

    NIH Starts Trial Assessing 'Mix & Match' COVID Vaccine Approach

    Moderna plus Pfizer? J&J plus Moderna? There's a new clinical trial underway to assess the safety and effectiveness of mixing different types of booster shots in adults who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

    "Although the vaccines currently authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration offer strong protection against COVID-19, we need to prepare for the possibility of ne...

    Experimental Treatment Offers New Hope Against Lupus

    An experimental antibody therapy may help ease skin symptoms from the autoimmune disease lupus, a small preliminary trial suggests.

    Researchers found that a higher-dose version of the drug spurred a "clinically meaningful" symptom improvement for 87% of patients after one month.

    But they also stressed that the findings are based on a small "phase 1" trial - a type of study designed ...

    Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Highly Effective in Kids 12 and Older

    Moderna's coronavirus vaccine fully protects children aged 12 to 17, the company announced Tuesday.

    In a clinical trial that included more than 3,700 young volunteers, there were no cases of symptomatic COVID-19 infection in the two-thirds of participants who received both doses of the vaccine, which translates into an efficacy rate of 100%.

    That's the same rate that was reported re...

    New Drug Shows Promise Against Tough-to-Manage Asthma

    An experimental injectable drug appears more versatile than existing medications in treating people with different forms of severe, hard-to-control asthma, clinical trial results show.

    There are many different types of asthma brought on by many different triggers, and a number of monoclonal antibody medications -- called "biologics" -- have been crafted to target distinct asthma triggers....

    Gene Therapy Uses HIV to Rescue Kids Born Without Immune System

    Cora Oakley is a rough-and-tumble 4-year-old who loves gymnastics and outdoor activities, particularly if it involves bouncing on a trampoline.

    It's hard to tell from looking at her that she was born without an immune system. Kids with this condition can acquire dangerous, life-threatening infections from day-to-day activities as simple as going to school or playing with friends.

    "I...

    Drug Saxenda Aids Weight Loss -- But You Should Exercise, Too

    The weight-loss drug Saxenda can keep extra pounds off -- but combining it with exercise brings a bigger payoff, a new clinical trial finds.

    The study found that some longstanding advice is valid: Prescription weight-loss drugs work best when used along with -- and not in place of -- lifestyle changes.

    Saxenda (liraglutide) is a prescription drug approved in the United States for sp...

    Who's Most Likely to Join a Clinical Trial?

    Cancer patients most likely to sign up for clinical trials during their treatment include people of color, those with higher incomes and those who are younger, a new study finds.

    "This study informs our understanding of who is participating in cancer clinical trials," said study author Dr. Lincoln Sheets, an assistant research professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, in...

    Researchers Seek Antiviral Pill That Would Ease COVID Severity

    While COVID-19 research efforts must now shift toward the development of a pill that can prevent serious illness in the recently infected, experts say.

    "We need a pill that can keep people out of the hospital, and the time to develop that is right now," Dr. Rajesh Gandhi said during a Thursday media briefing by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He is director of HIV Clinical Ser...

    Race Against Time: Stricken With ALS, She's Seeking Access to Experimental Drug

    Like many proud moms, Lisa Stockman-Mauriello of Summit, N.J., is looking forward to exciting milestones in lives of her three sons over the coming months: One will graduate college, one will enter college, and the third will begin high school.

    But unlike other moms, it's not guaranteed that she'll be there to experience them.

    Lisa, 51, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a di...

    New Drug May Be Better Psoriasis Treatment

    A breakthrough psoriasis drug is better at treating the itchy and painful skin disease than medicines already on the market, according to results from two clinical trials.

    There was a "night and day difference" in the results from bimekizumab compared against two established psoriasis drugs, secukinumab (Cosentyx) and adalimumab (Humira), said Dr. Mark Lebwohl, a co-researcher in one of t...

    'Nerve Zap' Pain Treatment Could Cut Need for Opioids After Surgeries

    An emerging technology could zap your post-op pain away -- little or no opioids needed.

    The technique is called percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation. It involves inserting a small wire next to a nerve and using a stimulator to deliver a mild electrical current to the affected area, interrupting pain transmission.

    A team led by Dr. Brian Ilfeld, of the University of California, ...

    New Hope Against a Rare but Incurable Eye Cancer

    A cutting-edge experimental drug cuts nearly in half the risk of death among patients with a rare but aggressive cancer of the eye, new clinical trial data show.

    Tebentafusp has now become the first drug shown to improve overall survival in patients with uveal melanoma, said Dr. Antoni Ribas, immediate past president of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), in a

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 20, 2021
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  • 'Magic Mushroom' Hallucinogen as Good as Antidepressants: Study

    The magic ingredient in "magic mushrooms" may be at least as effective as standard medication for depression, an early clinical trial suggests.

    The study of 59 patients with major depression tested the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro) against psilocybin, which is the psychedelic substance in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

    Over six weeks, it appeared that just two doses of psilocybi...