New York, Aug 20 (IANS) Several drugs that are already in use for other purposes, including one dietary supplement, have shown to block or reduce infection by SARS-CoV2, the virus causing Covid-19, in cells, researchers have found.The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, uses artificial intelligence-powered image analysis of human cell lines during infection with the novel coronavirus.The cells were treated with more than 1,400 individual US Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs and compounds, either before or after viral infection, and screened, resulting in 17 potential hits.Ten of those hits were newly recognised, with seven identified in previous drug repurposing studies, including remdesivir, which is one of the few FDA-approved therapies for Covid-19 in hospitalised patients."Traditionally, the drug development process takes a decade -- and we just don't have a decade," said Jonathan Sexton, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School."The therapies we discovered are well positioned for phase 2 clinical trials because their safety has already been established," he added.The team validated the 17 candidate compounds in several types of cells, including stem-cell derived human lung cells in an effort to mimic SARS-CoV2 infection of the respiratory tract.Nine showed antiviral activity at reasonable doses, including lactoferrin, a protein found in human breast milk that is also available over the counter as a dietary supplement derived from cow's milk."We found lactoferrin had remarkable efficacy for preventing infection, working better than anything else we observed," Sexton said. He added that early data suggest this efficacy extends even to newer variants of SARS-CoV2, including the highly transmissible Delta variant.The team aims to soon launch clinical trials of the compound to examine its ability to reduce viral loads and inflammation in patients with SARS-CoV2 infection.The study also identified a class of compounds called MEK-inhibitors, typically prescribed to treat cancer, that appear to worsen SARS-CoV2 infection. The finding sheds light on how the virus spreads among cells."People going in for chemotherapy are at risk already due to a lowered immune response. We need to investigate whether some of these drugs worsen disease progression," said Sexton.--IANSrvt/ksk/
Los Angeles, Aug 11 (IANS) American pop star Beyonce Knowles has described how touring has taken a toll on her body, leaving with muscle aches, pains, and a stressed hair and skin."I think like many women, I have felt the pressure of being the backbone of my family and my company and didn't realize how much that takes a toll on my mental and physical well-being. I have not always made myself a priority, Beyonce told Harper's Bazaar's Icons issue, reports femalefirst.co.uk.The 39-year-old added: "I've personally struggled with insomnia from touring for more than half of my life. Years of wear and tear on my muscles from dancing in heels. The stress on my hair and skin, from sprays and dyes to the heat of a curling iron and wearing heavy makeup while sweating on stage."The "Black Is King" hitmaker is aware she needs to "take care of (herself) and listen" to her body to be at her "best", she said that she used to struggle with body image and was fixated on her physique."In the past, I spent too much time on diets, with the misconception that self-care meant exercising and being overly conscious of my body," said Beyonce, who has four children Blue Ivy, Nine, and Rumi and Sir, with husband Jay-Z.The "Single Ladies" hitmaker is trying to change her habits and focus on her mental health and to register the "subtle signs" that her body needs a break."My health, the way I feel when I wake up in the morning, my peace of mind, the number of times I smile, what I'm feeding my mind and my body - those are the things that I've been focusing on. Mental health is self-care too."Beyonce revealed that she is "learning to break the cycle of poor health and neglect, focusing my energy on my body and taking note of the subtle signs that it gives me. Your body tells you everything you need to know, but I've had to learn to listen.She added: "It's a process to change habits and look past the bag of chips and the chaos everywhere!--IANSdc/in
New York, July 31 (IANS) A team of researchers has leveraged two new molecules, one of which is currently in clinical oncology trials, to devise a dual-drug therapy for alcohol use disorder (AUD), without the side-effects or complications associated with current treatment regimens.The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, indicates that the approach had highly successful results in mice and may apply to other drugs that are often abused."Alcohol use disorder is really a process of maladapted learning and memory," said researcher Dorit Ron from the University of California, San Francisco."Alcohol is rewarding, and we learn to associate alcohol, and even the environment in which we drink the alcohol, with that reward," Ron added.At the root of the team's thinking is the idea that AUD and other substance abuse disorders are the results of reinforced pathways in the brain, and that those pathways can be blocked or redirected, ending cravings and habitual behaviour.The researcher said she is studying the role of the enzyme mTORC1 in the creation of those memories and associations, to create an effective drug that can treat the neurological causes of AUD.Ordinarily, mTORC1 is involved in brain plasticity, helping to create connections between neurons that reinforce memory. In previous work, Ron showed that consuming alcohol activates the enzyme in the brain.Ron has also shown that blocking the activity of mTORC1 with the FDA-approved compound rapamycin, used to treat some types of cancer and suppress the immune response in transplant patients, can halt cravings in mice engineered for alcohol use disorder.But mTORC1 contributes to a bevy of other bodily tasks related to metabolism and liver function, and people taking it for an extended period often develop liver toxicity, glucose intolerance, and other side effects.Ron believes that tackling addiction from a neurological perspective has potential for broad applications."We could see these side effects in mice who are taking rapamycin or RapaLink-1, and then when you give Rapablock, it's like magic, the side effects are gone," Ron noted.--IANSvc/arm
New York - People who eat a diet that includes at least half a serving per day of foods high in flavonoids like strawberries, oranges, peppers and apples may have a 20 per cent lower risk of cognitive decline, according to a study.
Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds found in plants and are considered powerful antioxidants. It is thought that having too few antioxidants may play a role in cognitive decline as you age.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, showed that flavones -- found in some spices and yellow or orange fruits and vegetables -- had the strongest protective qualities, and were associated with a 38 per cent reduction in risk of cognitive decline, which is the equivalent of being three to four years younger in age.
Peppers have about 5 mg of flavones per 100 gram serving. Anthocyanins, found in blueberries, blackberries and cherries, were associated with a 24 per cent reduced risk of cognitive decline. Blueberries have about 164 mg of anthocyanins per 100 gram serving.
"A colourful diet rich in flavonoids -- and specifically flavones and anthocyanins -- seems to be a good bet for promoting long-term brain health. Our results are exciting because they show that making simple changes to your diet could help prevent cognitive decline,"said Walter Willett, from Harvard University in Boston, US.
"The people in our study who did the best over time ate an average of at least half a serving per day of foods like orange juice, oranges, peppers, celery, grapefruits, grapefruit juice, apples and pears," Willett added.
The study looked at 49,493 women with an average age of 48 and 27,842 men with an average age of 51 at the start of the study.
Over 20 years of follow up, people completed several questionnaires about how often they ate various foods. Their intake of different types of flavonoids was calculated by multiplying the flavonoid content of each food by its frequency.
New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) The havoc induced by Covid-19 has affected sleep, and increased stress and anxiety, impacting physical as well as mental health of people. Natural antioxidant Gamma Oryzanol may help improve sleep and anxiety, say health experts.Gamma Oryzanol is a mixture of antioxidant compounds in the bran's oil fraction. Isolation, loss of work, economic and health worries during the pandemic has dramatically altered the sleeping pattern of many.While the treatment of insomnia mostly involves pharmaceutical drugs, it comes with its own side effects and many people are not really open or they don't want to take pharmacotherapy because of the side effects. However, many studies are being done to find out certain natural substances, which can help in the treatment of insomnia and Gamma Oryzanol is one of them."There are several antioxidants available for enhancing our overall health. Recently discovered Gamma Oryzanol preliminarily extracted from rice bran, is an important antioxidant," said Dr Nand Kumar, Professor at the Psychiatry Department of AIIMS, New Delhi. "Gamma Oryzanol is a great natural antioxidant which has been derived from rice bran. Many studies have been done on this which have proved that Gamma Oryzanol is good for the treatment of insomnia," added Dr Pratibha Dogra, Head, Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, W Pratiksha Hospital, Gurugram.Dogra said a 2017 study in Korea proved that it is a natural sleeping aid. The Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020 disrupted people's routines, lifestyle and sleep quality. Disruption in work, school and home has increased stress, anxiety, and depression."Managing stress level becomes really important as stress over a period of time can lead to many diseases like sleeplessness, depression, panic attack, high blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes etc. Stress and related medical conditions can be naturally managed by lifestyle modifications, Dietary changes little medication and consumption of natural antioxidants," Kumar said.Gamma Oryzanol also helps alleviates high fat diet-induced anxiety behaviour through downregulation of dopamine and inflammation, he said, citing a recent scientific study. Further, the natural antioxisdant also significantly improves the symptoms of dementia, without compromising cognitive function or causing other major side effects, Kumar noted.--IANSrvt/bg
Lucknow - Nearly 55 per cent students in Classes 4 to 12 have reported health issues, mainly due to prolonged online learning during the pandemic.
The health issues mainly include stress, severe eyesight problems and insomnia.
These are the findings of a study -- 'The Impact of Online Teaching during the Pandemic on Learning and Well-being' -- conducted by students of Lucknow-based Spring Dale College (SDC) chain of schools.
The report is based on a survey, including group discussion, of 4,454 respondents -- 3,300 students, 1,000 parents and 154 teachers -- of various schools.
The respondents were queried about the problems and benefits of online classes.
In the study, 54-58 per cent students said that they experienced severe physical strain, eyesight troubles, backache and headache due to postural problems, apart from lethargy, fatigue, irritability and obesity.
Nearly 50 per cent complained of stress and 22.7 per cent of insomnia while about 65 per cent of students cited technical glitches, network problem, difficulty concentrating while studying through mobile phones.
About 45-47 per cent of students had problems in interacting with teachers and classmates and said not all people are seen on screen at a time.
Students also complained of loss in confidence and low motivation.
The positive result of online education, however, is that both students and teachers have become tech savvy.
Over 60 per cent of the students said they got additional leisure time which they used in gardening, art and craft while 65 per cent said they spent free time at home which strengthened family bonding.
However, both students and teachers yearned to get back to classrooms and felt that physical interaction helped in improving educational standards.