Drug protects mice against malaria brain damage and raises levels of a neuroprotective factor in humans
Cerebral malaria is a serious complication of infection with the malaria parasite, affecting approximately one in a thousand children in areas where malaria is common. Many of the patients die, and among those who survive, about a third have lasting cognitive and neurological disabilities, including epilepsy and learning disorders. A study published on March 6th in PLOS Pathogens shows that a known drug can prevent brain damage in a cerebral malaria mouse model and eliminate subsequent neurological deficits.
Infection with the malaria parasite elicits a strong immune response in the patient, and it is known that both parasite and host response contribute to the nervous system problems in cerebral malaria. Lena Serghides, from the Toronto General Research Institute, Canada, and colleagues are interested in modulating the host response to malaria infection, in addition to anti-parasite drugs, with the goal to improve outcomes in patients.
Electronic cigarettes, which deliver a heated aerosol of nicotine mimicking conventional cigarettes, was associated with higher odds of cigarette smoking by adolescents, whose use of e-cigarettes doubled between 2011 and 2012.
Lauren M. Dutra, Sc.D., and Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D., of the Center for Tobacco Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco.
E-cigarettes are marketed in much the same way cigarette manufacturers marketed conventional cigarettes in the 1950s and 1960s, including on TV and the radio where cigarette advertising has been banned for more than 40 years. Studies have shown that exposing young people to cigarette advertising can cause them to start smoking. E-cigarettes also are sold in flavors (e.g. strawberry, licorice and chocolate) that are banned in conventional cigarettes because they appeal to young people.
High beach bacterial diversity may contribute to less water contamination.
Human activity influences ocean beach bacterial communities, and bacterial diversity may indicate greater ecological health and resiliency to sewage contamination, according to results published March 5, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Elizabeth Halliday from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and colleagues.
Beaches all contain bacteria, but some bacteria are usually from sewage and may contaminate the water, posing a public health risk. In this study, scientists studied bacterial community composition at two distant beaches (Avalon, California, and Provincetown, Massachusetts) during levels of normal- and high-contamination (measured using a fecal or ‘poop’ indicator) by genetically sequencing over 600,000 bacteria from 24 dry sand, intertidal sand, and overlying water sampling sites at the locations. Waters at the Avalon site frequently violate water quality standards, while waters at the Provincetown site have infrequent water quality violations.
The first randomised trial to rigorously test community-based care for people with schizophrenia in a low-income country shows that treatment in the community led by lay health workers is more effective than standard facility-based care at reducing disability and psychotic symptoms, and ensuring that individuals continue their antipsychotic medication.
“Our findings from India show even more positive outcomes than similar trials of collaborative community-based care carried out in high-income countries. They show that this approach of using community health workers, under proper supervision, who make home visits could play a major part in improving outcomes for people with schizophrenia in low-income countries using the locally available, human resources”, explains Graham Thornicroft, a professor of community psychiatry from the Centre for Global Mental Health, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, who led the research.
Anti-Coagulant Treatment For Atrial Fibrillation Does Not Worsen Outcomes for Patients With Kidney Disease
Chicago – Although some research has suggested that the use of the anticoagulant warfarin for atrial fibrillation among patients with chronic kidney disease would increase the risk of death or stroke, a study that included more than 24,000 patients found a lower l-year risk of the combined outcomes of death, heart attack or stroke without a higher risk of bleeding, according to a study in the March 5 issue of JAMA.
Juan Jesus Carrero, Ph.D., of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and colleagues examined outcomes associated with warfarin treatment in relation to kidney function among patients with established cardiovascular disease and atrial fibrillation. Using data from a Swedish registry, the study included survivors of a heart attack with atrial fibrillation and known measures of serum creatinine (n = 24,317; a substance used to measure kidney function), including 21.8 percent who were prescribed warfarin at discharge.