Medical Bulletin 1/May/2023
Here are the top medical news for the day:
Wellness tips for substance use and mental health recovery in new guide
People with substance use and mental health disorders, the concept of wellness isn’t a typical part of recovery.
Margaret Swarbrick, professor and associate director of the Rutgers Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies, is working to change that. Her latest contribution, “Journey to Wellness,” is an easy-to-use 20-page guide co-created with people in recovery.
“Typically, people with mental health and substance use challenges are not involved in creating the interventions and tools that can support their recovery,” Swarbrick said. “Journey to Wellness was developed in response to this identified need.”
Many recovery programs are built around steps: Do this first for a prescribed amount of time, then proceed. Swarbrick said she wanted to make something that was more relatable and individual.
Margaret Swarbrick et al,RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
Siesta duration linked to higher risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension
A new study led by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, assessed more than 3,000 adults from a Mediterranean population, examining the relationship of siestas and siesta duration with obesity and metabolic syndrome. The researchers found that those who took siestas of 30 minutes or longer (long siestas) were more likely to have a higher body mass index, higher blood pressure, and a cluster of other conditions associated with heart disease and diabetes (metabolic syndrome) compared to those without siestas. However, for those who had short siestas, also known as "power naps,” this increased risk for obesity and metabolic alterations was not present. In contrast, short siesta-takers were less likely to have elevated systolic blood pressure than those who took no siestas. The team’s results are published in Obesity.
Vizmanos, B et al. “Lifestyle mediators of association among siestas, obesity, Q2 and metabolic health” Obesity DOI: 10.1002/oby.23765
Brain function changes persist for months in long COVID cases: Study
New research published in the April 26, 2023, online issue of Neurology suggests that months after COVID-19, previously infected people with persistent neuropsychiatric symptoms had abnormal brain activity during memory tests, with less activity in brain regions normally used for memory tasks, but more activity in other areas of the brain.
Despite these changes and the ongoing complaints of problems with memory, concentration and fatigue, people who had COVID-19 had cognitive test scores similar to those who never had a history of COVID-19. However, people who had long COVID had greater brain activation on a working memory task compared to people without prior COVID-19 infections.
Linda Chang et al,JOURNAL Neurology
Vitamin D levels affect the body’s response to anti-cancer immunotherapy: Study
New research indicates that for patients with advanced skin cancer, it may be important to maintain normal vitamin D levels when receiving immunotherapy medications called immune checkpoint inhibitors. The findings are published by Wiley online in CANCER.
Vitamin D has many effects on the body, including regulation of the immune system. To see whether levels of vitamin D might impact the effectiveness of immune checkpoint inhibitors, investigators analyzed the blood of 200 patients with advanced melanoma both before and every 12 weeks during immunotherapy treatment.
Vitamin D supplementation increases objective response rate and prolongs progression-free time in advanced melanoma patients undergoing anti-PD1 therapy,Cancer, DOI: 10.1002/cncr.34718
B.Sc Life Sciences, M.Sc Biotechnology, B.Ed