What We’re Reading
Artificial blood stored as powder could be used in life-saving transfusions
By Ryan O’Hare
Getting replacement blood into patients as soon as possible can make the difference between life or death. But scientists working to develop artificial blood cells could bring even more life-saving transfusions to trauma patients within the next 10 years. The hope is that the artificial blood could be freeze dried and stored in powder form, ready for use by paramedics and combat medics on the battlefield. dailymail.co.uk
Use of prescription pain medicine differs between persons with and without Alzheimer’s disease
By University of Eastern Finland
Approximately one third of persons with Alzheimer’s disease use prescription medicines for pain after their diagnosis. Findings show the use of analgesics was as common among persons with Alzheimer’s disease as it was among those of the same age without the disease (34%), but there were significant differences in the types of medicines used.
Paracetamol was the most common medicine in both groups, but it was much more frequently used by persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Persons with Alzheimer’s disease also used less anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, and mild opioids for their pain. During a six-year follow-up, the use of paracetamol and opioids continued to increase significantly, while the use of anti-inflammatory drugs became less common.
Neighbours Treating Neighbours For Depression
By Joanne Silberner
In India, providing mental health care is a special challenge. Many people, especially in rural areas, don’t understand much about mental illness. Even if people know they need help, it’s not easy to find. As there are only three psychiatrists for every one million people. The ratio for psychologists is even worse.
For the colleagues of Sangath, a nonprofit health care organization based in Goa, their answer is lay counselors people who come from the community, and have at least a 10th grade education but have never had mental health training. They go through a three-week workshop taught by mental health professionals where they learn how to talk to people with depression or alcoholism or other concerns. Their objective is to help people refocus their minds. It’s an adaptation of cognitive behavioural therapy, a popular treatment around the world that’s aimed at changing harmful patterns of thinking or behaviour.
Antibodies to Block MMP Proteins, Using Camels as Inspiration
By Joana Fernandes, PhD
Researchers, using camels as an inspiration, have finally developed antibodies against a group of proteins known as metalloproteinases (MMPs), which are involved in the pathology of diseases that include multiple sclerosis (MS) and cancer.
Producing antibodies that target faulty MMPs has not been easy because these proteins are difficult to bind to (antibodies bind to the targeted proteins, thereby blocking or inhibiting their work).
This led researchers to wonder whether the convex, looped binding sites found in antibodies from camels and llamas would be a better option to bind. Results showed that several of these antibodies were able to bind and block MMPs with high efficiency. Using laboratory modelsof cancer, the team then observed that these antibodies reduced the spread of cancer by targeting specific MMPs. multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com
Dementia and antipsychotic medications
By McMaster University
These types of drugs can have serious side effects, and research suggests that non-drug approaches should be considered first. The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal’s blog post about ‘Three non-drug approaches for managing dementia behaviours’ was one of its most popular blogs of the year in 2016 and their most shared post. Their research team understands that there is strong interest in better understanding how to effectively support loved ones. Included in this article are evidence-based resources on how to support loved ones living with dementia.