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Medical Bulletin 8/February/2023
Here are the top medical news for the day:
Novel techniques to reduce progression of diabetic kidney disease discovered
A new way to reduce progression of diabetic kidney disease, affecting 40% of people with diabetes, has been discovered by scientists. Recent clinical trials show a commonly used blood pressure medicine, known as spironolactone, is an effective treatment by reducing protein leak into the urine. However, despite its positive effect, the drug can have adverse side effects, causing problems including high blood potassium levels (hyperkalaemia) in patients, making clinicians reluctant to use it.
Researchers from Bristol Medical School, in collaboration with international colleagues, aimed to understand how spironolactone prevents damage to the kidneys. They found that the drug has a protective effect by helping preserve the gel-like glycocalyx layer on the surface of blood vessels within the kidney. Using novel alternative therapeutics to slow down glycocalyx layer degradation in diabetes directly could now help them recreate the same effect but without adverse side effects.
Dr Matthew Butler et al,Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism in diabetes reduces albuminuria by preserving the glomerular endothelial glycocalyx,JCI Insight
Engineered antibiotics to help fight against superbugs developed in recent study
RMIT scientists have created a new type of antibiotic that can be rapidly re-engineered to avoid resistance by dangerous superbugs. The antibiotic has a simple design that allows it to be produced quickly and cost-effectively in a lab. Named Priscilicidin, the antibiotic’s amino acid building blocks are small, so it can be tailored to tackle different types of antimicrobial resistance.
Priscilicidin is a type of antimicrobial peptide. These peptides are produced by all living organisms as the first defense against bacteria and viruses. After reviewing the literature on antimicrobial peptide molecular engineering, the team designed and tested 20 short peptides before settling on Priscilicidin as the best candidate.
“Rational design of potent ultrashort antimicrobial peptides with programmable assembly into nanostructured hydrogels" is published in Frontiers in Chemistry (DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2022.1009468).
Mental health disorder more likely in the least wealthy people later in life: Study
People from the poorest backgrounds are far more likely to develop a mental disorder later in life than those from wealthier beginnings, suggests a recent study. In addition, more than half of people with a low educational attainment at age 30 will have a diagnosis of a mental disorder 22 years later, according to the study of people in Finland.
A team of researchers from Finland analysed official national data on more than 1.2 million of the population born between 1966 and 1986 who were living in Finland when they turned 30. They set out to investigate the association between socioeconomic position at the age of 30 and the subsequent risk of the most common major mental disorders - substance misuse, schizophrenia, mood, and anxiety disorders. The study’s population was followed between 1996 and 2017 and just over a quarter (26.1%) of them (331,657) were diagnosed with a mental disorder during the study’s follow-up period.
Socioeconomic position at the age of 30 and the later risk of a mental disorder: a nationwide population-based register study doi:10.1136/jech-2022-219674, Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
B.Sc Life Sciences, M.Sc Biotechnology, B.Ed