London- Researchers have identified an anti-viral gene that impacts the risk of both Alzheimer's disease and severe Covid-19.
A team from the University College London (UCL) estimated that one genetic variant of the OAS1 gene increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease by about 3-6 per cent in the population as a whole, while related variants on the same gene increase the likelihood of severe Covid-19 outcomes.
"While Alzheimer's is primarily characterised by harmful build-up of amyloid protein and tangles in the brain, there is also extensive inflammation in the brain that highlights the importance of the immune system in Alzheimer's. We have found that some of the same immune system changes can occur in both Alzheimer's disease and Covid-19," said lead author Dr Dervis Salih, from UCL's Queen Square Institute of Neurology and UK Dementia Research Institute.
"In patients with severe Covid-19 infection, there can also be inflammatory changes in the brain. Here we have identified a gene that can contribute to an exaggerated immune response to increase risks of both Alzheimer's and Covid-19," Salih added, in the paper published in the journal Brain.
To understand the gene's link to Alzheimer's, the team sequenced genetic data from 2,547 people, half of whom had the brain disorder.
They found that people with a particular variation, called rs1131454, of the OAS1 gene were more likely to have Alzheimer's disease, increasing carriers' baseline risk of Alzheimer's by an estimated 11-22 per cent.
The new variant identified is common, and it has a bigger impact on Alzheimer's risk than several known risk genes, the researchers said.
Further, the researchers investigated four variants on the OAS1 gene, all of which dampen its expression (activity).
They found that the variants increasing the risk of Alzheimer's are linked (inherited together) with OAS1 variants recently found to increase the baseline risk of needing intensive care for Covid-19 by as much as 20 per cent.
That is, the microglia cells where OAS1 gene was expressed more weakly had an exaggerated response to tissue damage, unleashing what they call a 'cytokine storm,' which leads to an autoimmune state where the body attacks itself, the team said.
OAS1 activity changes with age, so further research into the genetic network could help to understand why older people are more vulnerable to Alzheimer's, Covid-19, and other related diseases, they added.
Read More► Why Covid-19 is More Deadly for Some With Diabetes
Bhopal- A team of scientists at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal have in a review identified the biomolecular relationships between Covid-19, ageing, and diabetes.
The review, published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, presented that existing drugs used to treat diabetes, obesity and ageing can potentially be used to treat Covid-19. Similar naturally existing biomolecules were also explored in combination for the Covid treatment.
"There are classes of compounds such as polyphenols found in plant-based food, curcumin (found in turmeric), and resveratrol (found in grapes), have been shown to not only slow down the ageing process, but also possess anti-viral properties," said Dr. Amjad Husain, Principal Scientist, and CEO of Innovation and Incubation Center for Entrepreneurship (IICE), IISER Bhopal, in a statement.
Some other polyphenols that the researchers have identified as being useful for both Covid-19 treatment and comorbidity conditions such as diabetes and ageing may include catechins (present in green tea, cocoa and berries), procyanidins (found in apples, cinnamon and grape skin), and theaflavin (found in black tea).
The researchers also present evidence of some existing potential anti-ageing drugs such as Rapamycin that can be explored for the Covid-19 treatment because of the common biochemical pathways associated with these diseases. Another such example is a drug Metformin , which is usually used to control blood sugar.
The review showed that at the molecular level, there are intersecting pathways that are common to diabetes, ageing, and Covid-19. All three conditions are associated with oxidative stress and lowering of the immune response and complications arising from them lead to the onset of numerous other diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, eye diseases, neuropathy (nerve diseases), and nephropathy (kidney problems).
The researchers believe that an ideal therapeutic candidate for Covid-19 should be able to target the pathways that are common to diabetes, ageing and the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Further, computational studies showed that lipids present in cell membranes play an important role in coronavirus infectivity.
Natural compounds such as polyphenols may affect the binding of the virus to host receptors and the molecular interactions required for virus replication and release, thereby stopping the infection in its early stages, the team explained.
Read More► Risk of Stroke Increases With Insulin Resistance: Study
New York - Women who contract Covid-19 during pregnancy are at significantly higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia, the leading cause of maternal and infant death worldwide, according to a new study.
Pre-eclampsia is a sudden increase in blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy.
The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showed that women with SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy had 62 per cent higher odds of developing preeclampsia than those without the infection during pregnancy.
"This association was remarkably consistent across all predefined subgroups. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy was associated with a significant increase in the odds of pre-eclampsia with severe features, eclampsia and HELLP syndrome," said Roberto Romero, Professor of Molecular Obstetrics and Genetics at the Wayne State University School of Medicine.
HELLP syndrome is a form of severe pre-eclampsia that includes hemolysis (the rupturing of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes and a low platelet count.
The team published their findings after reviewing 28 previous studies that included 790,954 pregnant women, including 15,524 diagnosed with Covid-19 infection.
"Both asymptomatic and symptomatic infection significantly increased the risk of pre-eclampsia," Romero said.
"Nevertheless, the odds of developing pre-eclampsia were higher among patients with symptomatic illness than among those with asymptomatic illness."
Pre-eclampsia warning signs, in addition to elevated blood pressure, can include headaches, swelling in the face and hands, blurred vision, chest pain and shortness of breath.
The condition is responsible for 76,000 maternal deaths and more than 500,000 infant deaths every year, according to estimates from the Pre-eclampsia Foundation.
The babies of pre-eclamptic mothers are affected by the condition and may develop intrauterine growth restriction or die in utero.
The researchers said health care professionals should be aware of the association and closely monitor pregnant women who are infected for early detection of pre-eclampsia.
A separate study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology-Maternal-Fetal Medicine, showed that women who receive the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine during pregnancy pass high levels of antibodies to their babies.
The study of 36 newborns whose mothers received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine during pregnancy showed that 100 per cent of the infants had protective antibodies at birth.
Read More► Viral fever rages in Bihar among kids
पूर्वोत्तर में पारंपरिक औषधीय परंपराओं को बढ़ावा देने की मुहिम के तहत केंद्रीय बंदरगाह, नौवहन और जलमार्ग एवं आयुष मंत्री श्री सर्बानंद सोनोवाल ने आयुष और सभी पूर्वोत्तर राज्यों के स्वास्थ्य मंत्रियों के आज आयोजित किए गए सम्मेलन में कई प्रमुख पहलों की घोषणा की। आयुष मंत्रालय द्वारा इस सम्मेलन का आयोजन आयुष प्रणाली को प्रभावी ढंग से मुख्यधारा में लाने और इसे पूर्वोत्तर राज्यों में और अधिक लोकप्रिय बनाने के उद्देश्य के साथ किया गया।
केंद्रीय मंत्री सोनोवाल ने मीडिया को संबोधित करते हुए घोषणा की कि आयुष औषधीय विशेषज्ञों की शिक्षा और प्रशिक्षण को बढ़ावा देने के लिए, असम के गोलपाड़ा के दुधनोई में एक नए आयुर्वेदिक की स्थापना के लिए राष्ट्रीय आयुष मिशन (एनएएम) के समर्थन के तहत 70 करोड़ रुपये का वित्तीय प्रावधान किया गया है। उन्होंने कहा कि आयुष मंत्रालय ने गुवाहाटी के सरकारी आयुर्वेदिक कॉलेज को उन्नत बनाते हुए इसे उत्कृष्टता केंद्र के रूप में विकसित करने का भी फैसला किया है और इस संबंध में 10 करोड़ रुपये की वित्तीय अनुदान राशि प्रदान जाएगी।
सोनोवाल ने यह भी घोषणा की कि आयुष प्रणालियों के विकास और विस्तार के लिए पूर्वोत्तर राज्यों में राष्ट्रीय आयुष मिशन (एनएएम) योजना के हिस्से के रूप में 1000 नए स्वास्थ्य और कल्याण केंद्र (एचडब्ल्यूसी) खोले जाएंगे। आयुष द्वारा प्रदान की जाने वाली पारंपरिक दवाओं की लोकप्रियता को बढ़ावा देने के उद्देश्य से, मंत्री महोदय ने पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र में एनएएम के तहत 100 आयुष औषधालयों की स्थापना की भी घोषणा की।
पूर्वोत्तर में कच्चे माल के अर्ध-प्रसंस्करण के लिए एक सुविधा केंद्र खोले जाने की जानकारी देते हुए केंद्रीय मंत्री ने कहा कि इसके साथ ही राष्ट्रीय संस्थान के सहयोग से पूर्वोत्तर राज्यों में जैव-प्रौद्योगिकी विभाग के तहत मणिपुर के इंफाल में जैव-संसाधनों और सतत विकास के लिए क्षेत्रीय प्राकृतिक औषधि भंडार (आरआरडीआर) की स्थापना की भी परिकल्पना की गई है। ।
मंत्री महोदय ने बताया कि पूर्वोत्तर राज्य सरकारों, केंद्र सरकार और आयुष कॉलेजों में शिक्षण अस्पतालों के तहत आयुष चिकित्सा सुविधाओं को आयुष-स्वास्थ्य प्रबंधन सूचना प्रणाली (एएचएमआईएस) के अंतर्गत लाया जाएगा ताकि विभिन्न रोग प्रबंधन में आयुष हस्तक्षेपों का डिजिटल डेटा बेस विकसित किया जा सके।
सोनोवाल ने यह भी बताया कि आयुष मंत्रालय ने स्वतंत्रता के 75 वर्ष पूरे होने के उपलक्ष्य में मंत्रालय द्वारा विभिन्न पहलों को प्रारंभ करके आजादी के अमृत महोत्सव पर वार्षिक कार्यक्रम आयोजित करने की योजना बनाई है। आयोजनों का शुभारंभ समारोह 30 अगस्त से 5 सितंबर तक होगा।
केंद्रीय आयुष राज्य मंत्री डॉ. मुंजापारा महेंद्रभाई कालूभाई ने अपने संबोधन में कहा कि भारत सरकार पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र में निवेश में वृद्धि के साथ-साथ पारंपरिक औषधीय परंपराओं को बढ़ावा देने के लिए विभिन्न पहल कर रही है।
मुख्य अतिथि के रूप में सम्मेलन में भाग लेते हुए, असम के मुख्यमंत्री श्री हिमंता बिस्वा सरमा ने कहा कि पूरे पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र में जैव विविधता का पूरा लाभ उठाते हुए इस क्षेत्र में एक आयुष हब के रूप में विकसित होने की पूर्ण क्षमता है।
इस सम्मेलन में असम के स्वास्थ्य मंत्री केशब महंत के अलावा अन्य गणमान्य व्यक्ति भी शामिल हुए।
अंग्रेजी में पढ़ें► Rs 70 Crore Financial Provision for a New Ayurvedic College at Dudhnoi in Goalpara: Sarbananda Sonowal
In a major boost to the initiatives to promote traditional medicinal practices in the Northeast Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, announced a slew of major initiatives at a conference of Ayush and Health Ministers of all the North Eastern States held here today. The conference was organised by the Ministry of AYUSH to discuss how the Ayush System of Medicines can be efficiently mainstreamed and can become more popular in the Northeastern states.
The Union Minister Sonowal while addressing the media announced that in order to boost the education and training of Ayush medicinal experts, financial provision of Rs 70 crore, under National Ayush Mission(NAM) support, is to be provided for establishment of a new Ayurvedic College at Dudhnoi in Goalpara, Assam. The Ministry of AYUSH has also decided to upgrade the Government Ayurvedic College in Guwahati and develop it as a Centre of Excellence and a sum of Rs 10 crore as financial grant is to be provided in this regard, he added.
Shri Sonowal also announced that as many as 1000 new Health & Wellness Centres (HWC), as part of the National Ayush Mission (NAM) Scheme, will be opened in the NE states for growth and development of Ayush systems. With an aim to boost the popularity of traditional medicines provided by Ayush, the minister also announced setting up of 100 Ayush dispensaries under NAM in the north east region.
Informing that a facilitation Centre for Semi Processing of raw material is going to be opened up in NE the Union Minister said that along with this, it is also envisaged to set up Regional Raw Drug Repository (RRDR) in NE states in collaboration with National Institute of Bio-resources and sustainable development in Imphal, Manipur under Department of Bio-Technology.
The Ayush medical facilities under Northeastern State governments, central government and teaching hospitals in Ayush Colleges will be brought under Ayush-Health Management Information System (AHMIS) so as to develop digital data base of Ayush interventions in various disease management, the Minister informed.
Shri Sonowal also informed that the Ayush Ministry has planned to organize yearlong programmes on Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to mark the 75 years of Independence by launching various initiatives by the ministry. The launching ceremony of the events will be held from 30th August to 5th September.
Dr Munjapara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai, Union Minister of State for AYUSH in his speech said that the government of India is taking various initiatives to promote traditional medicinal practices with increase in investments in the Northeast region.
Attending the conference as the Chief Guest, Assam Chief Minister Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the entire Northeast has all the potential to develop into Ayush hub taking full advantage of the biodiversity of the region.
Assam Health minister Shri Keshab Mahanta along with other dignitaries attended today’s conference.
Read in Hindi► गोलपाड़ा के दुधनोई में एक नए आयुर्वेदिक कॉलेज के लिए 70 करोड़ रुपये का वित्तीय प्रावधान: सर्बानंद सोनोवाल
Washington, Aug 19 (IANS) Early administration of convalescent plasma does not prevent disease progression in a high-risk group of Covid-19 patients, says a study led by US National Institutes of Health (NIH).The trial, launched in August 2020, was stopped in February 2021 due to lack of efficacy based on a planned interim analysis. The final study has been published online in The New England Journal of Medicine."We were hoping that the use of Covid-19 convalescent plasma would achieve at least a 10 per cent reduction in disease progression in this group, but instead, the reduction we observed was less than 2 per cent," said Clifton Callaway, principal investigator for the trial."That was surprising to us. As physicians, we wanted this to make a big difference in reducing severe illness and it did not," said Callaway, who is also professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in the US.Covid-19 convalescent plasma, also known as "survivor's plasma", is blood plasma derived from patients who have recovered from Covid-19. Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorisation to allow use of convalescent plasma in hospitalised patients with Covid-19.The randomised, controlled clinical trial involved 500 adult outpatients who presented to 48 emergency departments with mild Covid-19 symptoms during their first week post-infection in the US.The researchers randomly assigned the participants to receive treatment with either high-titre Covid-19 convalescent plasma (containing anti-Covid-19 antibodies) or placebo (salt solution infused with multivitamins and lacking antibodies).Of the 511 participants, disease progression occurred in 77 (30 per cent) in the Covid-19 plasma group compared with 81 patients (31.9 per cent) in the placebo group. The plasma intervention did not cause harm, the researchers found.The reason the intervention did not produce the expected results is unclear, Callaway said. Researchers are continuing to look at possible explanations, including insufficient plasma dose, timing of plasma administration, host-related factors, or other aspects of the host tissue responses to the infection, he added.Additional studies of Covid-19 convalescent plasma are ongoing or planned in different populations. The results will help get a clearer, more conclusive picture of its value for future treatments of Covid-19, the researchers said.--IANSrvt/vd