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Health News Results - 64

A blood test may predict which COVID-19 patients are likely to need a ventilator.

This finding could lead to a scoring system that would flag at-risk patients for closer monitoring and to personalized treatments. It may also help explain how diabetes makes outcomes worse, according to researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

The study focused on 57 C...

There's new evidence that a 2,000-year-old medicine might offer hope against a modern scourge: COVID-19.

The medication, called colchicine, is an anti-inflammatory taken as a pill. It's long been prescribed for gout, a form of arthritis, and its history goes back centuries. The drug was first sourced from the autumn crocus flower.

Doctors also sometimes use colchicine to tre...

HIV may not be the death sentence it was 20 or 30 years ago, but people who are HIV-positive still face much shorter lives than other adults -- even if they're treated with medications that make the virus undetectable.

A new study reports that people who were HIV-positive at age 21 had an average life expectancy of 56 years -- nine years fewer than their virus-free peers.

Th...

HIV can reside in brain cells and spread the AIDS-causing virus to the body, a new study in mice indicates.

It's known that HIV enters the brain within eight days of infection, but less is known about whether HIV-infected brain cells can release HIV that can then infect other tissues.

This new work from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found that certain types of ...

There's an association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and celiac disease, according to a new research review.

Researchers analyzed dozens of studies published between 1978 and 2019 that included tens of millions of people in Europe, North America and Asia.

They found that people with a previous diagnosis of celiac disease had a ninefold increased risk of IBD, and ...

Mindfulness training may help counter the thinking and emotional difficulties caused by multiple sclerosis.

In a small test study, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who had four weeks of mindfulness training emerged with better emotional control and faster thinking.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves....

Air pollution might increase the risk for multiple sclerosis (MS), Italian researchers report.

They found that in places with low levels of tiny particles of air pollution called particulate matter, the risk for MS was lower than in areas where those levels were high. In urban areas, the risk was 29% higher than in rural areas.

"Our findings show that the prevalence of...

The severity of COVID-19 illness may be influenced by what researchers call "cytokine storms."

In a new study, investigators assessed 522 COVID-19 patients, aged 5 days to 97 years, who were admitted to two hospitals in Wuhan, China, in December and January. The study also included a "control group" of 40 healthy people.

Compared to the control group, 76% of COVID-19 pat...

For many COVID-19 patients battling for their lives in the ICU, a runaway immune system response -- known as a "cytokine storm" -- is their primary foe.

Doctors have few tools to help tame this hyperinflammatory condition, but early research is suggesting that nanotechnology might safely deliver drugs to affected tissues, quieting the storm.

It's so far only been tested in m...

Hydroxychloroquine is a key therapy for the autoimmune disease lupus, but interest in it as a potential COVID-19 treatment could make it hard for lupus patients to obtain, experts warn.

Hydroxychloroquine is the only medication known to increase survival in patients with systemic lupus. That's the most common form of lupus, a disease in which the immune system attacks different parts ...

As researchers hunt for ways to treat severe COVID-19 infections, a new trial will ask whether an old arthritis drug can prevent serious complications in the first place.

The medication, called colchicine, is an oral anti-inflammatory that has long been prescribed for gout, a form of arthritis. Its history goes back thousands of years, and the drug was first sourced from the autumn cr...

One of the few bright spots in the COVID-19 pandemic has been the perception that children are mostly spared from its worst effects. But what about kids already at risk of contracting serious infections due to a compromised immune system? Do they have the same protection?

"One group we always worry about when it comes to viral illnesses is immunocompromised children," said Dr. Reggie...

Can zinc help shorten a COVID-19 infection? Will vitamin C or other supplements prevent it?

These claims and plenty more can be found on social media and internet sites, but be advised: There is no pill or treatment that can prevent or cure COVID right now.

"We want to think that there is a quick way to get rid of this. But there is not a product out there that will keep y...

People with asthma and other lung diseases are at increased risk for serious complications from COVID-19, caution experts from the American Lung Association.

"Everyone's health is at risk from COVID-19, and those living with a lung disease or who are immunocompromised may be more vulnerable to the impacts of the virus," said Dr. Albert Rizzo, the association's chief medical officer.

New research suggests that having an underlying health condition might be one of the most significant risk factors for developing a severe case of COVID-19.

Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took a look at a group of U.S. adult COVID-19 patients and found roughly three-quarters of those who wound up in the hospital had at least one underlying health iss...

Smokers and vapers who get COVID-19 can probably expect a more severe infection, health experts warn.

Many advisories have focused on the risk facing older people, those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, and people with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients. But doctors also caution that users of electronic cigarettes and tobacco are more in danger from the new ...

Everyone is learning to deal with the threat of the new coronavirus, but for people with cancer, the virus is even more concerning.

Cancer can increase people's risk of catching the coronavirus. It increases the odds of complications from the infection, too.

"Patients with cancer are at a higher risk, especially if treatment is active or recent. It's hard to give a one-siz...

E-cigarette use is rising, putting more Americans at risk of blood vessel damage and heart disease, according to three new studies.

In the first study, researchers found that nearly 1 in 20 adults use e-cigarettes.

"Our study may have important public health implications and ramifications for educational strategies aimed at targeting various population segments to inform t...

As the coronavirus pandemic continues its relentless spread around the world, the greatest worry has been for older people. But experts stress that age is not the sole determinant of risk for severe illness or death.

"The elderly and people with chronic diseases have the highest risk. If you're not sure if you're at a higher risk, talk to your doctor," said Dr. Susan Bleasdale, a spo...

Premature infants' immune systems develop at a rate similar to full-term infants, a new study finds.

British researchers tracked immune system development in babies born before 32 weeks, including identifying different immune cell populations and the types of bacteria present in stool samples.

All of the preemies' immune systems progressed similarly as they got older, regard...

The coronavirus is on the cusp of becoming a global pandemic and experts say that, if it does, older people and men could be most at risk for serious illness and death.

Men have died from coronavirus at nearly twice the rate as women, and the virus has been shown to sicken and kill older folks at a greater rate than young people, according to data from China.

The coronavirus...

Hepatitis, appendicitis and viral meningitis are among the serious complications that can occur when you get the measles, doctors warn in a new report.

The study -- which outlines cases involving three adults who developed major complications -- is also a reminder of the importance of vaccination against the illness.

Measles is highly contagious, but it's also easily prevent...

Researchers who have pinpointed an antibody linked to life-threatening autoimmune disorders in children say their discovery could lead to faster diagnosis and treatment of these patients.

The investigators identified the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody in their study of 535 children with central nervous system demyelinating disorders and encephalitis.

MOG ...

A new discovery could lead to better treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, researchers report.

MS occurs when immune cells get into the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), causing nerve damage that results in neurological problems. However, the cause is unclear.

Studies in a mouse mo...

An immune system that's not functioning normally may lead to lung cancer in patients who don't smoke, a new study suggests.

"A strong immune system helps to keep inflammation under control and chronic inflammation is known to promote cancer," said co-author Rayjean Hung.

"Our research suggests that it's underlying dysfunction of immune regulation that can lead to lung cance...

Sepsis kills more than twice as many people worldwide as once believed, and children in poor regions account for an excessive number of such deaths, researchers say.

Sepsis is an out-of-control immune response to infection that harms organs. People who survive sepsis can have lifelong disabilities.

In 2017, there were 48.9 million cases of sepsis and 11 million sepsis deaths...

HIV infection causes a loss of immunity to smallpox, even in people who were vaccinated as kids and are taking antiretroviral drugs to restore their immune system, a new study finds.

Such "HIV-associated immune amnesia" could explain why people with HIV who are on antiretroviral therapy still have shorter lives on average than people without HIV, according to the researchers.

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A variant of a common herpes virus may play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), Swedish researchers say.

They analyzed the blood of about 8,700 MS patients and a control group of more than 7,200 people without MS. They were looking for antibodies against proteins of two variants (A and B) of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), which has been linked with MS.

MS pat...

The latest version of the so-called artificial pancreas system helped people with type 1 diabetes gain even better control of their blood sugar levels than current technology does, a new study reports.

The device combines an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor and a computer algorithm. The system measures blood sugar levels and delivers insulin automatically when levels rise. ...

Massive vitamin C infusions could be a life-saver for patients with sepsis, an inflammatory condition run amok, new research suggests.

Sepsis is a leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, claiming as many as 300,000 lives a year, according to the U.S. National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

"It's literally an explosion of the body's immune defense," said the study's...

You may have the extinct humans called Denisovans to thank for your adaptable immune system, Australian researchers suggest.

Denisovans were related to Neanderthals and interbred with modern humans about 50,000 years ago as modern humans left Africa for Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Modern humans got a gene variant from Denisovans that boosted immune reactions and inflamm...

If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), you can and should receive recommended vaccinations -- including annual flu shots, a new American Academy of Neurology guideline says.

"We reviewed all of the available evidence, and for people with MS, preventing infections through vaccine use is a key part of medical care," said guideline lead author Dr. Mauricio Farez.

"People with MS ...

As they get older, U.S. children born with HIV are less likely to take the medicine they need to fight the AIDS-causing virus, a new study finds.

About 12,000 children, teens and young adults in the United States have had HIV since birth. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is key to managing the infection and reducing the risk of transmission.

In this study, researchers followed 3...

After vitamins and minerals, fish oil with its omega-3 fatty acids is the most widely used supplement, taken by an estimated 10% of Americans.

So, when research reviews show that it doesn't provide the health benefits for people with heart conditions that researchers thought it did, it's hard to know what to do.

One thing researchers do know is that omega-3s are essenti...

Smartphones have become an essential part of modern medicine, but they might be exposing patients to potentially deadly staph infections, a new study suggests.

Tests of cellphones at a Brazilian medical school revealed that 40% carried Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of hospital infections.

Worse, 85% of the bacteria isolated were resistant to antibiotic...

Children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at an early age have slowed growth in brain areas linked to mild cognitive deficits, new research suggests.

The study compared MRIs of the brain in kids with type 1 diabetes to age-matched children without the condition. Researchers also saw that areas of slower brain growth were associated with higher average blood sugar levels.

"We ...

Steering clear of folks who are coughing and sneezing is one way to prevent catching the flu. Avoiding e-cigarettes may be another, new research suggests.

In a small study including smokers, e-cigarette users and nonsmokers, researchers saw that both traditional cigarette smokers and "vapers" were more susceptible to flu.

But cigarettes and e-cigarettes appeared to boost fl...

A gene therapy that tweaks the immune system might offer hope to people with blood cancer that has resisted standard treatments, a new preliminary trial suggests.

The cancer, called multiple myeloma, arises in certain white blood cells. It is currently incurable, but there are treatments that can help people live with the disease for years.

Howeve...

The idea behind immunotherapy for peanut allergy is appealing in its simplicity: Ask a patient to eat tiny amounts of peanut every day, and over time their immune system will become desensitized to it.

Unfortunately, this cure might be doing more harm than the allergy itself, a new evidence review suggests.

People who undergo immunotherapy for their peanut allergies wind up with...

They were once imprisoned in plastic bubbles that cut them off from the dangerous, infectious world.

But now, children born with a disease that robs them of a functioning immune system may have gained a new lease on life.

Researchers say gene therapy may be a cure for X-linked severe combined immune deficiency (SCID-X1), widely known as "bubble boy disease."

Ten ...

Almost one in five multiple sclerosis patients may be misdiagnosed with the autoimmune disease, according to a new study.

Of 241 previously diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) patients referred to two major Los Angeles medical centers for treatment, nearly 18% did not actually have the autoimmune disease, the researchers found.

Those patients spent an average of nearly fou...

Scientists have been cataloging bacteria and fungi inside the International Space Station (ISS), and they say their efforts will should keep astronauts safe and could also have benefits on Earth.

The team analyzed samples collected from eight locations on the space station during three flights across 14 months. The samples came from the viewing window, toilet, exercise platform, dinin...

Proper treatment can help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) contend with their disease, an expert says.

"Patients get a predisposed feeling that their life is doomed. That it's going to be a complicated life, which isn't necessarily so," said Dr. Cary Twyman, a neurologist at Penn State Health.

"There are many misconceptions and false information about MS on the internet, ...

Researchers have added to a growing body of evidence that skin plays a major role in food allergies.

Their study of 62 children with eczema found that those with food allergies had skin irregularities not present on others.

Those irregularities included a lack of structural proteins needed to retain moisture and produce an effective skin barrier; increases in certain keratin...

Certain tick bites can cause a red meat allergy, and now scientists are shedding new light on the condition, known as alpha-gal syndrome.

Alpha-gal is a sugar found in most mammal blood, but not in humans.

"Our original hypothesis was that humans developed the allergy after being exposed to alpha-gal through a tick that had fed on a deer, dog or other small mammal that has ...

Melanoma patients who are recent and current smokers have lower survival rates than nonsmokers, suggesting that smoking may weaken immune response to the most deadly skin cancer, researchers say.

In a study of more than 700 melanoma patients in the United Kingdom, smokers were 40 percent less likely to survive melanoma than people who hadn't smoked for at least 10 years before their ...

Patients with kidney failure who are on dialysis or have received a transplant have a sharply higher risk of dying from cancer, Australian researchers report.

In fact, compared with people who don't have kidney failure, they have more than double the odds of cancer death. The odds are particularly high among patients aged 20 to 34, for whom the risk is 11 times higher, the researcher...

HPV vaccination rates for younger American adolescents are alarmingly low, researchers say.

"While we have seen gains in HPV vaccination coverage, we are still falling behind at the younger ages," said study lead author Robert Bednarczyk. He'sassistant professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmi...

People who take prescription opioid painkillers are at increased risk for pneumonia, especially those with HIV, a new study suggests.

The findings support concerns that prescription opioids can weaken the immune system. Doctors who prescribe opioids need to reduce patients' risk of pneumonia through vaccination and by encouraging them to stop smoking, the researchers said.

F...

An immune system drug may help prevent or slow complications in a type of multiple sclerosis known as secondary progressive MS, a new study finds.

The medication is called rituximab (Rituxan). It's used to treat a number of conditions, including certain blood cell cancers and the autoimmune condition rheumatoid arthritis.

The new Swiss study found that MS patients tak...