London: People bedridden for seven days or more with Covid-19 showed a higher rate of depression and anxiety, compared to those who were infected but never bedridden, according to a new study published in The Lancet Public Health.
The findings suggest that, on the whole, non-hospitalised patients with a SARS-CoV-2 infection were more likely to experience depressive symptoms up to 16 months after diagnosis compared to those never infected.
While symptoms of depression and anxiety mostly subsided within two months for non-hospitalised patients, those bedridden for seven days or more continued to be 50-60 per cent more likely to experience depression and anxiety upto 16-months.
The quicker recovery of physical Covid-19 symptoms may explain in part why mental health symptoms decline at a similar rate for those with a mild infection. However, patients with severe Covid-19 often experience inflammation which has previously been linked to chronic mental health effects, particularly depression.
"The higher occurrence of depression and anxiety among patients with Covid-19 who spent seven days or longer bedridden could be due to a combination of worrying about long-term health effects as well as the persistence of physical long Covid symptoms well beyond the illness that limit social contact and may result in a sense of helplessness," said Ingibjorg Magnusdottir, from the University of Iceland.
To capture long-term mental health impacts, the researchers looked at symptom-prevalence of depression, anxiety, Covid-19 related distress, and poor sleep quality among people with and without a diagnosis of Covid-19 from 0-16 months (mean follow-up 5.65 months).
The analysis drew upon data from 247,249 people in seven cohorts across Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the UK.
Overall, participants diagnosed with Covid-19 had a higher prevalence of depression and poorer sleep quality compared to individuals who were never diagnosed.
"Our research is among the first to explore mental health symptoms after a serious Covid-19 illness in the general population up to 16 months after diagnosis. It suggests that mental health effects aren't equal for all Covid-19 patients and that time spent bedridden is a key factor in determining the severity of the impacts on mental health," said Professor Unnur Anna Valdimarsdottir, from the varsity.
"As we enter the third year of the pandemic, increased clinical vigilance of adverse mental health among the proportion of patients with a severe acute disease of Covid-19 and follow-up studies beyond the first year after infections are critical to ensure timely access to care." (agency)
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New York- Cow milk contains proteins with virus inhibiting properties that can help prevent Covid-19 from replicating in a person's body and cause infection, according to a study.
The protein lactoferrin is found in the milk of most mammals.
Researchers from the University of Michigan found that bovine lactoferrin, from cow milk, has bioactive characteristics against many microbes, viruses, and other pathogens.
It has also been found to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection under experimental conditions by blocking the ability of the virus to enter target cells, as well as by supporting cells' antiviral defence mechanisms.
"Bovine lactoferrin has shown antiviral activity in human clinical trials," said lead investigator Jonathan Sexton, from the varsity's Department of Internal Medicine.
"For example, orally administered bovine lactoferrin has been shown to improve the severity of viral infections, including rotavirus and norovirus. Given the broad antiviral efficacy and safety, minimal side effects, and commercial availability of bovine lactoferrin, several review papers have suggested using it as a preventive or post-exposure treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection," he added.
The findings are detailed in the Journal of Dairy Science.
With the goal of improving clinical relevance and translatability, the team tested bovine lactoferrin against some of the most common SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern from around the world, including the WA1 variant representative of the US outbreak in 2020, the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 variants, and the Delta variant.
"Each of these variants includes modifications to the SARS-Cov-2 spike protein that reduce the efficacy of newly produced vaccines. Furthermore, each of these strains shows reduced neutralisation by vaccination sera," Sexton explained.
A key benefit of the broad antiviral efficacy of lactoferrin is its potential for the prevention or treatment of emerging diseases.
"This is especially important when there are limited treatment options, or when the treatment options are too costly for widespread use. An orally available therapeutic that covers emerging strains would be ideal for treating SARS-CoV-2 in areas without widespread vaccination or if new strains escape the vaccine," Sexton said. (Agency)
Kolkata: Extract from the bark of the neem tree, indigenous to India, may help treat and reduce the spread of coronavirus, a team of international researchers found.
Neem, used for over thousands of years, is known for its pesticidal, insecticidal, and medicinal properties.
The bark extract has helped treat malaria, stomach and intestinal ulcers, skin diseases and many other diseases. People also use it in hair and dental products.
The study, led by a team from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, shows that components of neem bark may target a wide range of viral proteins, suggesting its potential as an antiviral agent against emerging variants of coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2.
The Indian researchers tested it in animal models and showed that it had antiviral properties against coronavirus.
Using computer modeling, the researchers predicted that Neem bark extract will bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein at various locations, preventing virus entry to host cells.
Further, a team at University of Colorado, US, tested the Neem bark extract in SARS-CoV-2 human lung cells. It proved as effective as a preventive drug for infection and also decreased virus replication and spread after infection. The findings are reported in the journal Virology.
"The goal of this research is to develop a Neem-based medication that can reduce the risk of serious illness when someone is infected with coronaviruses," said study co-author Maria Nagel, research professor in the department of neurology and ophthalmology at the varsity's School of Medicine.
"We hope that scientists won't have to continuously develop new therapies every time a new SARS-CoV-2 variant emerges.
"Just like how we take penicillin for strep throat, we envision taking the Neem-based drug for Covid, allowing us to resume our normal lives without fear of hospitalisation and death," Nagel said.
The scientists believe this research could guide new antiviral therapeutic efforts to combat the ongoing pandemic, while holding out the promise for treating new coronavirus strains. (agency)
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Prenatal infections are common in women, which is why it is critical to keep every detail in mind. Before becoming pregnant, a woman should ensure that she is immunised. Prenatal infection prevention is critical for both the baby's and the mother's health.
Here are some more pointers to keep in mind:
Hand Washing: After using the restroom, before handling food, blowing your nose, touching your pet, or touching any dirty object washing hands can all help to keep germs at bay.
Personal Items: Avoid sharing personal items with anyone.
Clean Your Fingernails: To avoid infection, remember to clean your fingernails, between your fingers, and around your wrists.
Influenza (flu) Vaccine: Women who are pregnant should get the influenza (flu) vaccine. Vaccines will protect the mother from contracting a vaccine-preventable disease and will reduce the risk of exposure to the baby. Some vaccines cannot be given directly prior to or during pregnancy, consult with your doctor about vaccines.
Get Tested For Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): It's essential to understand if you have an STI when you're pregnant, as it can take a toll on you and the baby. If you do test positive for an STI, speak to your doctor about what you can do to safeguard yourself and the baby. Some STIs are treatable while you're pregnant.
Avoid People Who Have An Infection: Maintain a safe distance from anyone who has one of these infections or has failed to get vaccinated before pregnancy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, wear a mask, avoid crowds, and practise social distancing. Try to disinfect frequently touched surfaces, avoid going to crowded places, sanitise your hands, and do not be around sick people.
Take Vitamins Prescribed By The Doctor: You will have to do so as per the instructions of the expert. Stay in touch with the doctor if you have any doubts or queries.
Avoid Unpasteurized (Raw) Milk and Foods: You should avoid unpasteurized milk and foods because they are high in bacteria.
Go For Check-Ups And Follow-Ups: You will have to schedule regular appointments and also go for follow-ups. Doing so can help you stay informed regarding your health. (Dr. Sushruta Mokadam, Senior Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Motherhood Hospital)
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Nutraceuticals, functional foods, and supplemental micronutrients have the potential to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. A variety of natural dietary herbs have even been shown to have a potential role in the prevention and treatment of cancer, and are regarded as an effective strategy by Nutraceutical experts all over the world.
Epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated that dietary habits are one of the most important predictors of chronic diseases, including several types of cancer. Thus, diet and food have a direct impact on health and disease.
Through nutrition, humans have evolved a sophisticated and cooperative system of antioxidant defence mechanisms against toxic oxygen intermediates, according to biochemical and epidemiological evidence. This suggests that increasing antioxidant intake through nutrition may significantly reduce the risk of cancer.
Following are some of the herbs suggested by the experts in nutraceutical space which has significantly shown positive results in the prevention of cancer cells-
Graviola (Annona muricata)
Annona Muricata, also known as Graviola, soursop, Brazilian pawpaw, or guanabana, is an evergreen tree native to the Americas' tropical regions and a member of the Annonaceae family.
Graviola contains hundreds of acetogenins, which are chemicals (ACGs). ACGs have the ability to kill many different types of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.
It aids in the inhibition of energy production in cancer cells while also inhibiting the oxidative stress response. Graviola has also been shown to cause apoptosis.
In addition to its positive effects, the herb may cause some side effects such as low blood pressure, low sugar levels, or even nerve damage. As a result, it is strongly advised not to consume directly.
To avoid any access consumption or such side effects, please use a product supplement that contains the desired amount of Graviola.
Catharanthus Rosea, also known as Madagascar Periwinkle, is a miracle plant. It is a member of the Apocynaceae family. It is the most medicinally valuable plant species in the Apocynaceae family, which is used worldwide in traditional herbal medicine.
The plant has also been used in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine for a long time. Western medical science began researching this plant in the twentieth century.
Catharanthus roseus is well-known for producing the anticancer drugs vinblastine and vincristine, which are derived from the dimerization of the MIAs vindoline and catharanthine. The anti-tumor activity discovered in C. Roseus is due to the presence of dimeric alkaloids, which are already widely used in industry.
Indian Podophyllum is another name for Podophyllum. Vanyakarkati is its Ayurvedic name. The rootstock of this herb has beneficial properties that aid in the prevention of cancer. Podophyllum is a purgative that is also used to treat vaginal warts.
Etoposide and teniposide, two podophyllotoxin derivatives, are used in cancer treatment. Etoposide is an alkaloid derived from the mandrake plant Podophyllum peltatum that is used to treat germ cell tumours, lung cancer, Hodgkin's and non-lymphomas, Hodgkin's gastric cancer, breast cancer, and testicular cancer.
Although podophyllotoxin has a high cytotoxic effect and acts as a tubulin polymerization inhibitor, if used excessively, it is more toxic than beneficial as an anticancer drug. As a result, it should only be consumed in the amounts recommended by an expert in the form of supplements, with the quantities added rationally. (Suresh Garg, MD and Founder, Zeon Lifesciences)
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London- People with higher levels of T-cells from common cold coronaviruses are less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, according to new research. The study, by Imperial College London researchers, provides the first evidence of a protective role for these T-cells.
While previous studies have shown that T-cells induced by other coronaviruses can recognise SARS-CoV-2, the new study, published in Nature Communications, examines for the first time how the presence of these T-cells at the time of SARS-CoV-2 exposure influences whether someone becomes infected.
The researchers also stated their findings provide a blueprint for a second-generation, universal vaccine that could prevent infection from current and future SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron.
"Being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus doesn't always result in infection, and we've been keen to understand why. We found that high levels of pre-existing T cells, created by the body when infected with other human coronaviruses like the common cold, can protect against Covid-19 infection," said Dr Rhia Kundu, from Imperial's National Heart and Lung Institute.
"While this is an important discovery, it is only one form of protection, and I would stress that no one should rely on this alone. Instead, the best way to protect yourself against Covid-19 is to be fully vaccinated, including getting your booster dose," she added.
The study included 52 people who lived with someone with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and who had therefore been exposed to the virus. The participants did PCR tests at the outset and 4 and 7 days later, to determine if they developed an infection.
Blood samples from the 52 participants were taken within 1-6 days of them being exposed to the virus. This enabled the researchers to analyse the levels of pre-existing T-cells induced by previous common cold coronavirus infections that also cross-recognise proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The researchers found that there were significantly higher levels of these cross-reactive T-cells in the 26 people who did not become infected, compared to the 26 people who did become infected. These T-cells targeted internal proteins within the SARS-CoV-2 virus, rather than the spike protein on the surface of the virus, to protect against infection.
Current vaccines do not induce an immune response to these internal proteins. The researchers said that - alongside our existing effective spike protein-targeting vaccines - these internal proteins offer a new vaccine target that could provide long-lasting protection because T-cell responses persist longer than antibody responses which wane within a few months of vaccination.
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