Sydney, The venom from one of the largest spiders in the world may bring the hope to ease the gut pain suffered by millions of people with the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Australian researchers revealed on Monday.
IBS is an intestinal disorder causing pain in the stomach which affects the internal organs. The causes of IBS remain unknown.
The lead researcher, Professor Richard Lewis from the University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience said current treatment targeting gut pain had some drawbacks.
"All pains are complex but gut pain is particularly challenging to treat and affects around 20 percent of the world's population," Lewis said.
"Current drugs are failing to produce effective pain relief in many patients before side effects limit the dose that can be administered."
There were hundreds of mini proteins known as peptides contained in spider's venom which has the capability of blocking the pain. However, not all of them were able to specifically block the chronic visceral pain caused by IBS, according to Lewis.
"Our goal was to find more specialized pain blockers that are potent and target pain sodium channels for chronic visceral pain, but not those that are active in the heart and other channels," he said.
Researchers screened venom from 28 spiders and identified two peptides from the venom of the Venezuelan Pinkfoot Goliath tarantula - which has a leg-span of up to 30 centimeters were most promising, with one nearly stopping chronic visceral pain in a model of IBS, reports Xinhua.
"The highly selective ones have potential as treatments for pain, while others are useful as new research tools to allow us to understand the underlying drivers of pain in different diseases," Lewis said.
New York, Sep 6 (IANS) Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), believed to be linked to Covid-19, damages the heart to such an extent that some children will need lifelong monitoring and interventions, warn researchers.According to the review, published in EClinicalMedicine, a journal of The Lancet, case studies also show MIS-C can strike seemingly healthy children without warning three or four weeks after asymptomatic infections."Children did not need to exhibit the classic upper respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 to develop MIS-C, which is frightening," said study author Alvaro Moreira from The University of Texas in the US."Children might have no symptoms, no one knew they had the disease, and a few weeks later, they may develop this exaggerated inflammation in the body," Moreira added.For the findings, the research team reviewed 662 MIS-C cases reported worldwide between January 1 and July 25. The researchers found that 71 per cent of the children were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and at least 60 per cent presented with shock.According to the study, the average length of stay in the hospital was 7.9 days and 100 per cent had a fever, 73.7 per cent had abdominal pain or diarrhoea, and 68.3 per cent suffered from vomiting.The findings also showed that 22.2 per cent of the children required mechanical ventilation and 4.4 per cent required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Also, 11 children died."This is a new childhood disease that is believed to be associated with SARS-CoV-2," Moreira said."It can be lethal because it affects multiple organ systems. Whether it be the heart and the lungs, the gastrointestinal system or the neurologic system, it has so many different faces that initially it was challenging for clinicians to understand," Moreira added.The amount of inflammation in MIS-C surpasses two similar pediatric conditions, Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome."The saving grace is that treating these patients with therapies commonly used for Kawasaki - immunoglobulin and glucocorticosteroids - has been effective," D Moreira said.Most of the 662 children suffered cardiac involvement as indicated by markers such as troponin, which is used with great accuracy in adults to diagnose heart attacks."Almost 90 per cent of the children (581) underwent an echocardiogram because they had such a significant cardiac manifestation of the disease," the researchers said.The damage included dilation of coronary blood vessels, a phenomenon also seen in Kawasaki disease. Almost 10 per cent of children had an aneurysm of a coronary vessel.Children with an aneurysm are at the most risk of a future event."Evidence suggests that children with MIS-C have immense inflammation and potential tissue injury to the heart, and we will need to follow these children closely to understand what implications they may have in the long term," the team noted.--IANSbu/sdr/
New York, Aug 18 (IANS) Researchers have found that antibiotics use may be associated with an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and its subtypes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.IBD is a term for two conditions (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) that are characterised by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.According to the study, published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, the association between antimicrobial treatment and IBD remained when patients were compared with their siblings.IBD is becoming more common, particularly in Europe, the US and other parts of the world undergoing rapid economic development, increased sanitation, and more frequent use of antibiotics.With a growing appreciation for the gut microbiome's role in maintaining human health, concern has risen that antibiotics may perturb and permanently alter these fragile microbial communities. This could potentially impact the risk of gastrointestinal disease.In the study, researchers were able to more definitively demonstrate that more frequent use of antibiotics was associated with the development of IBD and its subtypes."I think this affirms what many of us have suspected--that antibiotics, which adversely affect gut microbial communities, are a risk factor for IBD," said study lead author Dr Long Nguyen from the Harvard Medical School in the US.The researchers identified almost 24,000 new IBD cases (16,000 had ulcerative colitis and 8,000 Crohn's disease) and compared them with 28,000 siblings, and 117,000 controls from the general population.The researchers were able to enroll all consecutive, eligible patients with new-onset IBD from a population-based register over a ten-year study period, limiting selection bias.The findings showed that prior use of antibiotics was associated with a nearly two-times increased risk of IBD after adjusting for several risk factors.The increased risk was noted for both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease with the highest estimates corresponding to broad-spectrum antibiotics."To identify risk factors for IBD is important, and ultimately our aim is to prevent the disease. Our study provides another piece of the puzzle and even more reason to avoid using antibiotics needlessly," the authors wrote.--IANSbu/na
London- Women in their 30s and 40s with a common condition affecting how the ovaries work are more likely to get heart disease.
"Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) isn't a life sentence - there are many ways to stay heart healthy. Small changes add up, like eating more fruits and vegetables and doing more exercise," said study author Clare Oliver-Williams from the University of Cambridge in the UK.
According to the study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, It is estimated that 6-20 per cent of women of reproductive age have PCOS.
Features of the condition include multiple cysts (fluid-filled sacs) on the ovaries, irregular periods, excess body hair or hair loss from the head due to high levels of male hormones, and difficulty becoming pregnant.
Women with PCOS are more likely to be overweight or obese, have diabetes, and have high blood pressure - all risk factors for heart disease and stroke.This study examined whether this risky profile translates into a greater likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease - and, for the first time, whether that persists across the lifespan.
"Some PCOS symptoms are only present during the reproductive years, so it's possible that the raised chance of heart disease might disappear later in life," Oliver-Williams said.
The study included 60,574 women receiving treatment to help them get pregnant, such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), from 1994 to 2015.
Of those, 6,149 (10.2 per cent) had PCOS.
The researchers used medical records to follow women for nine years. During that period, 2,925 (4.8 per cent) women developed cardiovascular disease.
Overall, women with PCOS were at 19 per cent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than women who did not have PCOS.
When divided into age groups, women with PCOS aged 50 and over did not have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular risk compared to their peers without PCOS.
The findings showed that women in their 30s and 40s with PCOS were at greater risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those without PCOS.
The evidence in those under 30 was less clear; this is likely because there were insufficient women of that age in the dataset to identify the risk.
"Heart health appears to be a particular problem for young women with PCOS. This may be because they are more likely to be overweight and have high blood pressure and diabetes compared to their peers," the authors wrote. (Agency)
London, June 12 (IANS) Researchers have found that effects of a regular dose of aspirin taken to reduce the risk of inherited bowel cancer lasts at least 10 years after stopping treatment.The international trial - known as CAPP2 - involved patients with Lynch syndrome from around the world and revealed that two aspirins a day, for an average of two-and-a-half years, reduced the rate of bowel cancer by half.The study, led by experts at the Universities of Newcastle and Leeds in the UK, published in the journal The Lancet, is a planned double-blind 10-year follow-up, supplemented in more than half of recruits with comprehensive national cancer registry data for up to 20 years."I had an idea 30 years ago that people with a genetic predisposition to colon cancer could help us to test whether aspirin really could reduce the risk of cancer," said study researcher Sir John Burn from Newcastle University."Patients with Lynch syndrome are high risk and this offered statistical power to use cancer as an endpoint - they are like the canaries in the mine who warned the miners that there was gas," Burn added.The study further strengthens the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendation on taking daily aspirin for those at high risk and supports wider use of aspirin to prevent cancer.Based on the preliminary five-year data from the CAPP2 trial, NICE recommended that aspirin should be offered for the prevention of bowel cancer in adults with Lynch syndrome.According to the researchers, it took a long time to start the trial and to recruit enough people in 16 countries, but this study has finally given us an answer.The study involved 861 patients with Lynch syndrome, which affects about one in 200 people in the population. These people have a genetic problem with DNA repair, making them at much higher risk of cancers like thsoe of bowel and womb.A group of 427 patients were randomised to aspirin continuously for two years and 434 were allocated to placebo group and then they were all followed for 10 years.Out of those given two aspirins each day (600mg) there were 18 fewer colon cancers, representing a drop of 42.6 per cent. When all 163 Lynch syndrome cancers are included in the analysis - such as cancer of the endometrium or womb - there was an overall reduced risk of cancer of 24 per cent in those taking aspirin or 37 per cent in those who took aspirin for the full two years."Two aspirins a day for a couple of years gives protection that lasts more than 10 years," Burn said."For people at high cancer risk, the benefits are clear - aspirin works. Our new international trial, CaPP3, will see if smaller doses work just as well," Burn added.--IANSbu/tsb
London, June 9 (IANS) Children with Covid-19 who develop dangerous inflammation similar to Kawasaki syndrome are suffering from an entirely new disease, warn researchers.Kawasaki disease is a syndrome of unknown cause that results in a fever and mainly affects children under 5 years of age. It is a form of vasculitis, where blood vessels become inflamed throughout the body. In April, researchers in the UK and several European countries with high numbers of Covid-19 cases recognised a new inflammatory syndrome in children that was similar to Kawasaki disease, a rare syndrome known to affect young children.Now in the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers have identified the main symptoms and clinical markers of the new syndrome. The condition, which the researchers have named 'Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally' associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS), was studied in 58 children admitted to eight hospitals in England.The condition is believed to be extremely rare, but there are concerns about long-lasting coronary damage. Less than 200 cases have been reported in England with a range of symptoms and severity and most children have already recovered."The new condition, PIMS-TS, is extremely rare but it can make a child very ill, so it's important to characterise the disease properly so we can provide close monitoring and the best treatment," said study lead author Elizabeth Whittaker from the Imperial College London.According to the researchers, PIMS-TS appears to be more likely to affect older children than Kawasaki disease does (average nine years old versus four years old, respectively) and presents more often with abdominal pains and diarrhoea alongside the common features such as persistent fever.Blood tests also show different results, with PIMS-TS patients showing more markers of inflammation and cardiac enzymes, which suggest the heart is under stress.Kawasaki disease is known to damage the coronary artery in such a way that as the child grows the artery does not, leading to a reduction in the amount of blood that can reach the heart. Immune therapy is known to help alleviate these problems, so has been used on patients with PIMS-TS as well, although the research team said differences in the two diseases mean this needs to be investigated further and treatment should be carefully monitored.While the team cannot say for certain that PIMS-TS is caused by Covid-19, 45 of the 58 children had evidence of current or past Covid-19 infection, and the researchers said the emergence of a new inflammatory condition during a pandemic is unlikely to be a coincidence.The majority of children with indications of infection had antibodies for the new coronavirus, suggesting PIMS-TS happens after infection, potentially as a result of an immune system overreaction."Our analysis has shown that this is indeed a new condition. Untreated, there is a risk of severe complications in very unwell children, but with early identification and treatment, the outcome is excellent, with the children we are reviewing after discharge completely well," said study researcher Julia Kenny,--IANSbu/in
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