Medical Bulletin 26/November/2022
Adults with asthma had, at one point, an approximately doubled risk of a severe asthma attack after Covid-19 restrictions were relaxed in the UK, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London, funded by Barts Charity.
Episodes of progressive worsening of asthma symptoms, termed exacerbations or asthma attacks, are the major cause of illness and death in this condition. Asthma affects more than 5 million people in the UK and more than 300 million globally. Symptoms include breathlessness and chest tightness as well as wheezing and coughing.
Tydeman F, Pfeffer PE, Vivaldi G, et al, Rebound in asthma exacerbations following relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions: a longitudinal population-based study (COVIDENCE UK), Thorax Published Online First: 23 November 2022. doi: 10.1136/thorax-2022-219591
Penn Scientists develop 20-subtype mRNA flu vaccine to protect against future flu pandemics
An experimental mRNA-based vaccine against all 20 known subtypes of influenza virus provided broad protection from otherwise lethal flu strains in initial tests, and thus might serve one day as a general preventative measure against future flu pandemics, according to researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The "multivalent" vaccine, which the researchers describe in a paper published today in Science, uses the same messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology employed in the Pfizer and Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. This mRNA technology that enabled those COVID-19 vaccines was pioneered at Penn. Tests in animal models showed that the vaccine dramatically reduced signs of illness and protected from death, even when the animals were exposed to flu strains different from those used in making the vaccine.
Arevalo, C. P., Bolton, M. J., Le Sage, V., Ye, N., Furey, C., Muramatsu, H., Alameh, M. G., Pardi, N., Drapeau, E. M., Parkhouse, K., Garretson, T., Morris, J. S., Moncla, L. H., Tam, Y. K., Fan, S. H. Y., Lakdawala, S. S., Weissman, D., & Hensley, S. E. (2022b). A multivalent nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine against all known influenza virus subtypes. Science, 378(6622), 899–904. DOI: 10.1126/science.abm0271
Eating fat fast food can trigger pain even if in good health
Scientists have long agreed that nerve damage and pain observed in people with diabetes or obesity is related to their metabolic state. Researchers from the University of Texas-Dallas are now challenging this notion. Could chowing down on fattening food alone be the driving factor behind pain in some people?
The findings are published in the journal Scientific Reports.
It's all the more reason to avoid a high-fat diet, no matter how healthy you are in general. Eating fattening food may even exacerbate preexisting conditions or hinder injury recovery. For their study, Burton and his team compared the effects of different diets on two sets of mice over eight weeks. One received normal food, while the other was fed a high-fat diet that would not induce diabetes or obesity since both can result from disease state-related pain such as diabetic neuropathy. They compared obese, diabetic mice with these mice as well.
Tierney, J.A., Uong, C.D., Lenert, M.E. et al. High-fat diet causes mechanical allodynia in the absence of injury or diabetic pathology. Sci Rep 12, 14840 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-18281-x
Dr. Nandita Mohan
BDS, MDS( Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry)