Archive

Archive for September 2nd, 2020

Dr Fauci ‘sounds different’ after vocal cord polyp removal, Twitter users say – Daily Mail

September 2nd, 2020

Dr Fauci is back in action, with a new, smoother voice after surgery to remove a polyp from his vocal cord – and Americans are taking note of his new sound. 

Many took to Twitter to express their shock that ‘Dr Fauci’s voice is so different now!’ with some even saying it was nearly unrecognizable. 

America’s top infectious disease doctor underwent surgery to remove a benign polyp on his vocal cord on August 20.  

Polyps, small soft tissue lesions, can develop as a result of irritation from allergies, fume exposures, trauma, smoking or, in Dr Fauci’s case ‘overuse of the voice.’ 

As the voice of infectious disease expertise in the US, the 79-year-old coronavirus task force member has been using his a lot since the pandemic came to the US at the beginning of the year. 

After a few days off to recover from the surgery, and rest his voice, Dr Fauci made appearances on Good Morning America and the Today show. 

After surgery to remove a benign polyp from his vocal cord, Dr Anthony Fauci's voice sounded notably less raspy - and Americans noticed

After surgery to remove a benign polyp from his vocal cord, Dr Anthony Fauci's voice sounded notably less raspy - and Americans noticed

After surgery to remove a benign polyp from his vocal cord, Dr Anthony Fauci’s voice sounded notably less raspy – and Americans noticed

Twitter user's comments on how 'different' Dr Fauci sounded when he began making TV appearances again after his surgery

Twitter user's comments on how 'different' Dr Fauci sounded when he began making TV appearances again after his surgery

Twitter user’s comments on how ‘different’ Dr Fauci sounded when he began making TV appearances again after his surgery 

One Twitter user thought Dr Fauci's voice was nearly unrecognizable

One Twitter user thought Dr Fauci's voice was nearly unrecognizable

One Twitter user thought Dr Fauci’s voice was nearly unrecognizable 

Polyps as well as nodules the vocal cords can cause chronic hoarseness like most of us only experience on occasion after yelling at a concert or sports match. 

WHAT IS A POLYP AND HOW IS IT CAUSED? 

A polyp is a a small, soft growth or lesion that can appear on a vocal cord. 

When polyps appear on a vocal cord it can cause hoarseness in a person’s voice. 

Doctors say it can be caused by ‘vocal abuse’ and can occur in people who speak for a living or those who are prone to screaming or shouting frequently. 

Polyps can also be caused by long-term exposure to irritants like chemical fumes or cigarette smoke. 

Advertisement

With the polyp gone, Dr Fauci’s gravelly voice seems have smoothed out. 

A few Twitter users even said they missed his signature sound – but were glad he had recovered smoothly. 

The physician told the Today show he’d followed doctors’ orders and spent about five days keeping quiet. 

But already, he was back to overdoing it by Monday, and could feel the difference. 

‘[There were] a bunch of emergency catastrophic White House-related…”crises,” that I had to into animated discussions [for] and I kicked myself after that because it didn’t feel 100 percent great like it did after the five days…so I had to back off,’ Dr Fauci told the Today show’s Sheinelle Jones. 

The 79-year-old had general anesthesia during the procedure on Thursday, August 20 and sent CNN medical correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta a text message soon after he woke to say he was doing okay.

‘Dr Anthony Fauci had an operation today to remove a polyp on his vocal cord. He had general anesthesia and texted me after to let me know he was doing ok,’ Gupta tweeted.

‘Doctors have advised him to curtail his talking for a while to allow his vocal cords to recover.’

Dr Anthony Fauci underwent surgery on Thursday to remove a polyp from his vocal cord

Fauci had general anesthesia during the procedure and sent CNN medical correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta a text message soon after to say he was doing okay

Twitter user Ruthie Kessler commented that she missed the signature gravelly tone of Dr Fauci's voice

Twitter user Ruthie Kessler commented that she missed the signature gravelly tone of Dr Fauci's voice

Twitter user Ruthie Kessler commented that she missed the signature gravelly tone of Dr Fauci’s voice 

WHAT IS A POLYP AND WHAT CAUSES ONE TO DEVELOP? 

A polyp is a a small, soft growth or lesion that can appear on a vocal cord.

When polyps appear on a vocal cord it can cause hoarseness in a person’s voice.

Doctors say it can be caused by ‘vocal abuse’ and can occur in people who speak for a living or those who are prone to screaming or shouting frequently.

Polyps can also be caused by long-term exposure to irritants like chemical fumes or cigarette smoke.

A polyp is a vocal lesion that can cause hoarseness in a person’s voice and is often caused by what doctors describe as ‘vocal abuse’. Polyps can occur in people who speak for a living or those who are prone to frequently screaming or shouting.

Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been the most vocal of the COVID-19 task force members throughout the pandemic.

Dr Fauci told the Today show's Sheinelle Jones that he'd overdone it following the surgery and wasn't feeling as good as he had after five days of resting his voice

Dr Fauci told the Today show's Sheinelle Jones that he'd overdone it following the surgery and wasn't feeling as good as he had after five days of resting his voice

Dr Fauci told the Today show’s Sheinelle Jones that he’d overdone it following the surgery and wasn’t feeling as good as he had after five days of resting his voice 

At the start of the outbreak, Fauci would regularly appear at White House coronavirus briefings alongside President Donald Trump.

He, along with task force coordinator Dr Deborah Birx, have repeatedly faced tension with Trump as the pandemic has worn on after publicly contradicting the rosy picture the president has painted of the virus.

Now, instead of appearing frequently at White House briefings, Fauci has been conducting interviews, testifying in front of Congress and speaking mostly at private events organized by universities and medical facilities.

Back in April, Fauci addressed his hoarse voice after he croaked his way through a live TV interview with the Today show’s Savannah Guthrie.

‘I’m physically fine,’ he said when asked about his own health.

‘All I do all day long is brief people. I just need to keep my mouth shut for a little while and it will get better.’

His surgery came in a week where Fauci participated in a series of interviews and online events related to a variety of different matters concerning the ongoing outbreak.

The most recent speaking engagement was on Wednesday where he spoke a COVID-19 vaccine during a video talk organized by George Washington University.

The coronavirus task force member said he had to engage in 'animated discussions' related to the White House following his surgery. Tensions have risen between Dr Fauci and Trump over the last several months

The coronavirus task force member said he had to engage in 'animated discussions' related to the White House following his surgery. Tensions have risen between Dr Fauci and Trump over the last several months

The coronavirus task force member said he had to engage in ‘animated discussions’ related to the White House following his surgery. Tensions have risen between Dr Fauci and Trump over the last several months 

Dr Fauci explains safety and effectiveness of vaccines with GWU

His most recent speaking engagement before undergoing surgery was on Wednesday (pictured above) where he spoke a COVID-19 vaccine during a video talk organized by George Washington University

He already has virtual speaking engagements lined up for next week, including one with the University of California, Berkeley on August 27.

During his most recent appearance, Fauci said the government wouldn’t make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public but local jurisdictions could make it mandatory for some groups, including children.

‘You don’t want to mandate and try and force anyone to take a vaccine. We’ve never done that,’ Fauci said during the video talk organized by the university.

‘You can mandate for certain groups of people like health workers, but for the general population you can’t’ he added, citing the example of the National Institutes of Health, where health workers can’t treat patients without a flu shot.

In a virtual conference hosted by health information website Healthline on Tuesday, Fauci touched on the issue of students returning to school.

He said easing in with virtual classrooms would be better in parts of the country that have a coronavirus infection positivity rate of more than 10 percent.

Fauci said that the default position should be to try and reopen schools for the psychological health of children but added that a unilateral approach to reopening schools could not be taken.

‘To make a statement on one side vs the other and take the country as a whole won’t work – we’re so heterogeneous with the infections,’ Fauci said.

Uncategorized

Plano Resident is First 2020 Human West Nile Case in Collin County – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

September 2nd, 2020

Collin County reported its first positive human case of the West Nile virus in 2020 Wednesday: a Plano resident.

No other details were released about the person.

The city of Plano will spray targeted locations in and around the case on Thursday, beginning at 9:00 p.m.

The area to be sprayed is bound by Mills Branch Circle and Grand Falls Circle to the north, McKamy Trail to the south, Old Gate Drive and Sudbury Road to the east, and Shadow Rock Drive to the west.

How to Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites

  • Dress in long sleeves, pants when outside: For extra protection, spray thin clothing with repellent.
  • DEET: Make sure this ingredient is in your insect repellent.
  • Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood: Mosquitoes can develop in any water stagnant for more than three days.

It has been recommended in the past that to avoid mosquito bites you should avoid being outdoors during Dusk and Dawn (the 4 Ds). While this is true for mosquitoes that commonly carry the West Nile virus, other types of mosquitoes that are more likely to carry Zika, dengue and chikungunya are active during the day. When outdoors, no matter what time of day, adjust your dress accordingly and wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus as your first line of defense against insect bites

Uncategorized

Canada’s top doctor: ‘consider using a mask’ during sexual activity – CTV News

September 2nd, 2020

TORONTO — Canada’s top doctor dispensed some important sexual education today for those attempting to date during a pandemic: consider wearing a mask during sex.

Dr. Theresa Tam put out a statement Wednesday that covered how best to keep yourself safe from COVID-19 while engaging in sexual intercourse.

“Sexual health is an important part of our overall health,” she said in the statement. “However, sex can be complicated in the time of COVID-19, especially for those without an intimate partner in their household or whose sexual partner is at higher risk for COVID-19.”

While obviously the sexual activity with the lowest risk “involves yourself alone,” there are ways to make sex with others safer during the pandemic. One important first step is to trust that your partner is following COVID-19 precautions themselves and will be honest with you if they experience symptoms.

Tam also suggests Canadians limit their use of alcohol or substances that might make a couple make unsafe decisions around sex, and that they make sure they are aware of whether their partner is at a high risk of COVID-19.

“Current evidence indicates there is a very low likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus through semen or vaginal fluids,” she said. “However, even if the people involved do not have symptoms, sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing COVID-19 through close contact, like kissing.”

She recommends couples skip kissing and avoid “face-to-face contact or closeness” during sex, or “consider using a mask that covers the nose and mouth.”

“By taking these precautions and staying conscious of the risks we assume, Canadians can find ways to enjoy physical intimacy while safeguarding the progress we have all made containing COVID-19.”

In the statement, Tam also provided an update on COVID-19 numbers in Canada, saying that 88.5 per cent of the 129,425 people to contract the virus in Canada so far have recovered. Over the past seven days, an average of more than 490 new cases across the country have been reported daily. 

Android, Apache, bioinformatics, bitcoin mining, computers, Employment, ethereum mining, Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, skype, smartphone, software, tablet, TV, Video, visualizations

Scientists Report Steroids Can Be Lifesaving for Covid-19 Patients – The New York Times

September 2nd, 2020

International clinical trials published on Wednesday confirm the hope that cheap, widely available steroid drugs can help seriously ill patients survive Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Based on the new evidence, the World Health Organization issued new treatment guidance, strongly recommending steroids to treat severely and critically ill patients, but not to those with mild disease.

“Clearly, now steroids are the standard of care,” said Dr. Howard C. Bauchner, the editor-in-chief of JAMA, which published five papers about the treatment.

The new studies include an analysis that pooled data from seven randomized clinical trials evaluating three steroids in more than 1,700 patients. The study concluded that each of the three drugs reduced the risk of death.

JAMA published that paper and three related studies, along with an editorial describing the research as an “important step forward in the treatment of patients with Covid-19.”

Corticosteroids should now be the first-line treatment for critically ill patients, the authors said. The only other drug shown to be effective in seriously ill patients, and only modestly at that, is remdesivir.

Steroids like dexamethasone, hydrocortisone and methylprednisolone are often used by doctors to tamp down the body’s immune system, alleviating inflammation, swelling and pain. Many Covid-19 patients die not of the virus, but of the body’s overreaction to the infection.

#styln-briefing-block { font-family: nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; color: #121212; box-sizing: border-box; margin: 30px auto; max-width: 510px; width: calc(100% – 40px); border-top: 5px solid #121212; border-bottom: 2px solid #121212; padding: 5px 0 10px 0; } @media only screen and (min-width: 600px) { #styln-briefing-block { margin: 40px auto; } } #styln-briefing-block a { color: #121212; } #styln-briefing-block ul { margin-left: 15px; } #styln-briefing-block a.briefing-block-link { color: #121212; border-bottom: 1px solid #cccccc; font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.375rem; } #styln-briefing-block a.briefing-block-link:hover { border-bottom: none; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-bullet::before { content: ‘•’; margin-right: 7px; color: #333; font-size: 12px; margin-left: -13px; top: -2px; position: relative; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-bullet:not(:last-child) { margin-bottom: 0.75em; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header-section { margin-bottom: 16px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header { font-weight: 700; font-size: 1.125rem; line-height: 1.375rem; display: inline-block; margin-bottom: 5px; } @media only screen and (min-width: 600px) { #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header { font-size: 1.25rem; line-height: 1.5625rem; } } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header a { text-decoration: none; color: #333; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header a::after { content: ‘›’; position: relative; font-weight: 500; margin-left: 5px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer { font-size: 14px; margin-top: 1.25em; /* padding-top: 1.25em; border-top: 1px solid #e2e2e2; */ } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-briefinglinks a { font-weight: bold; margin-right: 6px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer a { border-bottom: 1px solid #ccc; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer a:hover { border-bottom: 1px solid transparent; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header { border-bottom: none; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-lb-items { display: grid; grid-template-columns: auto 1fr; grid-column-gap: 20px; grid-row-gap: 15px; line-height: 1.2; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-update-time a { color: #999; font-size: 12px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-update-time.active a { color: #D0021B; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer-meta { display: none; justify-content: space-between; align-items: center; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-ts { color: #D0021B; font-size: 12px; display: block; } @media only screen and (min-width: 600px) { #styln-briefing-block a.briefing-block-link { font-size: 1.0625rem; line-height: 1.5rem; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-bullet::before { content: ‘•’; margin-right: 10px; color: #333; font-size: 12px; margin-left: -15px; top: -2px; position: relative; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-update-time a { font-size: 13px; } } @media only screen and (min-width: 1024px) { #styln-briefing-block { width: 100%; } }

Updated 2020-09-02T23:19:10.303Z

In June, researchers at Oxford University discovered that dexamethasone improved survival rates in severely ill patients. Researchers had hoped that other inexpensive steroids might help these patients.

The evidence had been lacking: After the Oxford researchers made their announcement, some clinical trials of steroids were halted, as doctors were loathe to withhold what appeared to be an effective treatment from study participants.

Steroids can have harmful side effects, especially in elderly patients, who make up the majority of very ill coronavirus patients. The drugs may leave patients vulnerable to other infections, may raise blood glucose levels, and may cause confusion and delirium.

In the clinical trials, only the sickest patients were treated with steroids, and it is not certain that those who are less ill will benefit or be harmed. The optimal doses and duration of treatment also need to be identified.

But over all, the scientists said, the new studies appeared to confirm the promise of this class of drugs for patients severely ill with Covid-19.

The studies “are like the second punch of a one-two punch,” said Dr. Derek C. Angus, chair of the department of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, who co-authored one of the new studies and the analysis.

“I had a big smile on my face when I saw the results,” Dr. Angus added. “This is a case of, ‘A question asked, a question answered,’ and that’s so rare.”

The analysis of pooled data found that steroids were linked with a one-third reduction in deaths among critically ill Covid-19 patients. Dexamethasone produced a 36 percent drop in deaths in 1,282 patients treated in three separate trials.

Hydrocortisone, tested in 374 patients in three trials, appeared to reduce deaths by 31 percent, and a small trial of methylprednisolone in 47 patients resulted in a 9 percent drop in deaths. The analysis was carried out by a W.H.O. working group that is making efforts to rapidly evaluate Covid-19 therapies.

Taken together, the new studies will bolster confidence in the use of steroids and address any lingering hesitancy on the part of some physicians, said Dr. Todd Rice, an associate professor of medicine and critical care physician at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

.css-1wxds7f{margin-bottom:10px;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:700;font-size:0.875rem;line-height:1.25rem;color:#333 !important;}.css-2al2sh{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:0.9375rem;line-height:1.25rem;color:#333;margin-bottom:0.78125rem;margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:5px;font-weight:700;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-2al2sh{font-size:1.0625rem;line-height:1.5rem;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}}@media (min-width:740px){.css-2al2sh{margin-bottom:10px;}}.css-1yyoic1{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:0.9375rem;line-height:1.25rem;color:#333;margin-bottom:0.78125rem;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-1yyoic1{font-size:1.0625rem;line-height:1.5rem;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}}.css-zkk2wn{margin-bottom:20px;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:0.875rem;line-height:1.5625rem;color:#333;}.css-1dvfdxo{margin:10px auto 0px;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.125rem;line-height:1.5625rem;color:#121212;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-1dvfdxo{font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.875rem;}}.css-16ed7iq{width:100%;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-box-pack:center;-webkit-justify-content:center;-ms-flex-pack:center;justify-content:center;padding:10px 0;background-color:white;}.css-pmm6ed{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;}.css-pmm6ed > :not(:first-child){margin-left:5px;}.css-5gimkt{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:0.8125rem;font-weight:700;-webkit-letter-spacing:0.03em;-moz-letter-spacing:0.03em;-ms-letter-spacing:0.03em;letter-spacing:0.03em;text-transform:uppercase;color:#333;}.css-5gimkt:after{content:’Collapse’;}.css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transition:all 0.5s ease;transition:all 0.5s ease;-webkit-transform:rotate(180deg);-ms-transform:rotate(180deg);transform:rotate(180deg);}.css-eb027h{max-height:5000px;-webkit-transition:max-height 0.5s ease;transition:max-height 0.5s ease;}.css-6mllg9{-webkit-transition:all 0.5s ease;transition:all 0.5s ease;position:relative;opacity:0;}.css-6mllg9:before{content:”;background-image:linear-gradient(180deg,transparent,#ffffff);background-image:-webkit-linear-gradient(270deg,rgba(255,255,255,0),#ffffff);height:80px;width:100%;position:absolute;bottom:0px;pointer-events:none;}#masthead-bar-one{display:none;}#masthead-bar-one{display:none;}.css-19mumt8{background-color:white;margin:30px 0;padding:0 20px;max-width:510px;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-19mumt8{margin:40px auto;}}.css-19mumt8:focus{outline:1px solid #e2e2e2;}.css-19mumt8 a{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;border-bottom:2px solid #ccd9e3;}.css-19mumt8 a:visited{color:#333;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;border-bottom:2px solid #ddd;}.css-19mumt8 a:hover{border-bottom:none;}.css-19mumt8[data-truncated] .css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transform:rotate(0deg);-ms-transform:rotate(0deg);transform:rotate(0deg);}.css-19mumt8[data-truncated] .css-eb027h{max-height:300px;overflow:hidden;-webkit-transition:none;transition:none;}.css-19mumt8[data-truncated] .css-5gimkt:after{content:’See more’;}.css-19mumt8[data-truncated] .css-6mllg9{opacity:1;}.css-a8d9oz{border-top:5px solid #121212;border-bottom:2px solid #121212;margin:0 auto;padding:5px 0 0;overflow:hidden;}

In new guidance, the W.H.O. warned against indiscriminate use of steroids, emphasizing that patients who are not severely ill are unlikely to benefit and may suffer side effects. Unwarranted use could deplete global supplies, depriving patients who genuinely need the medications.

The health organization started work on its guidance in June, shortly after Oxford University published a preliminary report of its findings, partnering with investigators of seven clinical trials in order to conduct a meta-analysis and provide additional evidence in the most expeditious manner, W.H.O. officials said.

They characterized the quality of the evidence in favor of steroid treatment for severely ill patients as one of “moderate certainty.”

Among the other studies published Wednesday was a Brazilian trial of 299 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome that compared dexamethasone treatment with regular care. The steroid significantly improved outcomes, increasing the number of days patients were alive and free of mechanical ventilation.

[Like the Science Times page on Facebook. | Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.]

Another study in France evaluated low doses of another steroid, hydrocortisone, in 148 patients. Those receiving the drug were more likely to survive, but the results were not statistically significant because the trial was stopped early.

A third study tested varying hydrocortisone regimens in 400 seriously ill Covid-19 patients in eight countries. It was also stopped prematurely, but the researchers concluded there was a strong probability that the treatment improved outcomes.

When the Oxford results were announced in June, physicians worldwide started using dexamethasone. “I think there was some uncertainty about whether the effect was real,” said Dr. Rice, who co-authored an editorial accompanying the new papers in JAMA.

“This shows us steroids are clearly beneficial in this population and should clearly be given, unless you absolutely can’t for some reason, which needs to be a pretty rare occasion.”

The drug remdesivir modestly shortens time to recovery in critically ill Covid-19 patients, he noted, but has not been shown to reduce fatalities. “People are dying from this disease, and we want treatment that we are confident will decrease mortality and save people’s lives,” Dr. Rice said.

Uncategorized

New treatment may help slow progression of ALS, research shows – NBC News

September 2nd, 2020

An experimental medication may slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, researchers reported Wednesday. The research was supported in part by donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge, the social media sensation that raised more than $200 million worldwide.

The drug is not a cure, but it may help slow the inexorable disability caused by ALS, which rapidly destroys the nerve cells that control the muscles that allow us to move, speak, eat and even breathe.

“Patients keep telling me their No. 1 goal is to be able to retain physical function for as long as possible,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Sabrina Paganoni, a neuromuscular specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS. “They want to be able to continue to walk and to use their hands.”

About 20,000 people in the U.S. have ALS at any given time, according to the ALS Association. It usually strikes between the ages of 40 and 70. Once symptoms set in, life expectancy is two to six years, on average.

The treatment studied by Paganoni and her colleagues targets two cellular structures damaged by the disease: the mitochondria, which are the cells’ power plants, and the endoplasmic reticulum, the cellular dump trucks that cart away waste that can gunk up the cells’ machinery.

The multicenter, randomized, double-blind study is the second step — a phase 2 trial — in a three-step process required by the Food and Drug Administration for drug approval. In a double-blind study, neither the patients nor the researchers know who is receiving the drug. If a phase 2 study generates positive results, the FDA typically requires a larger and longer phase 3 trial.

To test the effectiveness of the two-drug combination, the researchers recruited 137 ALS patients who had become symptomatic within the previous 18 months. About two-thirds of the patients (89) received the drug, while the remaining third were given a placebo.

Participants were evaluated on a scale of 0 to 48, measuring the disabilities caused by the disease.

“By the time they entered the trial, on average, patients had already lost 12 points. Their baseline score was about 36, on average,” Paganoni said. “Each question addresses a specific domain of function and is scored on a scale from zero to four.”

For example, for walking:

4 = Normal

3 = Early ambulation difficulties

2 = Walks with assistance

1 = Nonambulatory functional movement only

0 = No purposeful leg movement

During the six months of the study, patients taking the medication lost an average of 2.32 points less than those receiving placebos, a 25 percent better functional outcome.

“A 2- to 3-point change can mean the difference between being able to do an activity independently or with an assistance device,” Paganoni said.

The trial did not show a difference between medication and placebo in outcomes such as time to death, tracheostomy, or permanent intubation, or hospitalization. But that may be because it ran for just six months.

Paganoni suspects that, if it is approved, the new drug would be just one part of a cocktail of medications that would help to keep ALS at bay.

Because the trial showed that the medication might make a difference, all participants were offered the opportunity to stay on it or, in the cases of those who were given placebos, to start on it. The Mass General researchers will track how the patients taking the medication do in the long term.

Paganoni credited the Ice Bucket Challenge for getting her study and others going.

“The Ice Bucket Challenge was an important turning point in the fight against ALS,” she said. “It put ALS on the map and raised awareness of the disease and attracted more investigators and investment to the research.”

With the good news from the trial, the ALS Association hopes to persuade the FDA to allow other patients to have access to the drug, even before phase 3 trial results are available.

“It’s very unusual for an ALS clinical trial to hit its primary endpoint, so we’re very excited about it,” said Neil Thakur, chief mission officer for the ALS Association. “It’s the difference between being able to feed oneself versus being fed or needing versus not needing a wheelchair.”

ALS experts cautioned against rushing ahead without more data.

“The current data are definitely positive, but they need to be replicated,” said Dr. Martina Wiedau-Pazos, a neurologist who is director of the ALS Clinic and Research Center at UCLA. “This study has limitations, such as being small and lasting just six months. I think a phase 3 trial is needed, because, in the past, positive outcomes from phase 2 trials were not confirmed in phase 3 trials.”

Another issue is that the study included subjects who had more rapid disease progression than normal, said Dr. David Lacomis, chief of the neuromuscular division at UPMC in Pittsburgh. “So it’s unclear what the effects would be in the broader ALS population,” Lacomis said via email.

While the new findings are promising, they are not “earth shattering,” said Dr. Erik Pioro, director of the section of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and related disorders at the Cleveland Clinic. “But it does add credence to the idea that other pathways are playing significant roles in ALS pathogenesis.”

Results of the trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Follow NBC HEALTH on Twitter & Facebook.

Uncategorized

Intel’s ‘Tiger Lake’ Laptop CPUs: Slightly Faster, Much Smarter – PCMag

September 2nd, 2020

Chadwick Boseman’s Final Text To ‘Black Panther’ Producer – Access

September 2nd, 2020

About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features

Chadwick Boseman’s Final Text To ‘Black Panther’ Producer – YouTube

Uncategorized

Samsung’s got a new budget 5G handset and a fitness tracker with a two-week battery – TechCrunch

September 2nd, 2020

Alexei Navalny ‘victim of a crime’ in Russia, Germany’s Merkel says of poisoning – CBC.ca

September 2nd, 2020

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the same type of Soviet-era nerve agent that British authorities identified in a 2018 attack on a former Russian spy, the German government said Wednesday, citing new test results.

The Berlin hospital treating Navalny said he remains in serious condition, though his condition is improving. The facility said that it expects a long recovery, and it still can’t rule out long-term consequences from the poisoning.

The government said that testing by a special German military laboratory at the hospital’s request showed “proof without doubt of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group.”

“With this, it is certain that Alexei Navalny is the victim of a crime,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “He was meant to be silenced and I condemn this in the strongest possible manner.”

“There are very serious questions now that only the Russian government can answer, and must answer,” Merkel said, describing what happened to Navalny as “the attempted murder by poisoning of one of Russia’s leading opposition figures.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a statement on Wednesday condemning the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. (Markus Schreiver/AFP/Getty Images)

Navalny, a politician and corruption investigator who is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on Aug. 20 and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing.

He was later transferred to Berlin’s Charite hospital, where doctors last week said there were indications that he had been poisoned.

British authorities identified Novichok as the substance used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in 2018. It is a cholinesterase inhibitor, part of the class of substances that doctors at Charite initially identified in Navalny.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the Russian ambassador was summoned to his ministry Wednesday and told in “unmistakable” terms of Germany’s call for the Navalny case to be investigated “in full and with full transparency.”

“We now know that there was an attack with a chemical nerve agent,” Maas said. “That makes it even more urgent to determine who was responsible in Russia and to hold them to account.”

Navalny, seen in 2018, was transported to a German hospital on Aug. 22 after becoming sick on a flight in Russia. (Jean-Francois Badias/The Associated Press)

Countries condemn use of chemical weapon

The Kremlin remained tight-lipped and said it hadn’t been informed of the findings, even though its ambassador in Berlin had been summoned.

“Such information hasn’t been relayed to us,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told the state Tass news agency.

The German government has said it will inform its partners in the European Union and NATO about the test results.

“Russia itself should have a serious interest in good relations with its neighbours in Europe,” said Maas. “Now at the very latest, it is the time to make a decisive contribution toward this.”

Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne said Canada “strongly condemns the attack,” as international reaction poured in Wednesday.

“Russian authorities must explain what happened and those responsible must be held accountable,” he said. “The use of chemical weapons is despicable and abhorrent.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also called on Russia to explain what happened, calling the use of a chemical weapon “outrageous.” In Washington, National Security Council spokesperson John Ullyot tweeted that it was “completely reprehensible.”

Reaction from NATO’s secretary general:

Navalny remains in induced coma

In an update shortly after the government’s announcement, the Charite hospital said Navalny is still in intensive care in an induced coma and remains on a ventilator. But it said that he is in stable condition and “continues to improve.” 

Recovery is likely to be lengthy,” read the hospital’s statement. “It is still too early to gauge the long-term effects, which may arise in relation to this severe poisoning.”

Navalny’s allies in Russia have insisted he was deliberately poisoned by the country’s authorities, accusations that the Kremlin rejected as “empty noise.”

“To poison Navalny with Novichok in 2020 would be exactly the same as leaving an autograph at a crime scene, like this one,” Navalny’s longtime ally and strategist Leonid Volkov said in a tweet that featured a photo of Putin’s name and a signature next to it.

The Russian doctors who treated Navalny in Siberia have repeatedly contested the German hospital’s conclusion, saying they had ruled out poisoning as a diagnosis and that their tests for poisonous substances came back negative.

LISTEN l Aug. 27 Front Burner on Navalny’s rise, poisoning:

Alexei Navalny is the most prominent opposition figure in Russia, an anti-corruption crusader and a frequent Kremlin critic. But right now, Navalny is comatose in a German hospital after a suspected poisoning. Today on Front Burner, Chris Brown from CBC’s Moscow bureau explains why Navalny might have been targeted, by whom, and the potential fallout. 21:08

Novichok is a class of military-grade nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War. Western weapons experts say it was only ever manufactured in Russia.

After the Skripals were poisoned, Russia said the U.S., Britain and other Western countries acquired the expertise to make the nerve agent after the Soviet Union collapsed, and that the Novichok used in the attack could have come from them.

According to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, there is no record of Novichok having been declared by any nation that signed the chemical weapons convention.

“Unless you are working for the military, it is impossible to be accidentally exposed,” said Richard Parsons, a senior lecturer in biochemical toxicology at King’s College London. “It is only dangerous when it is about to be used, i.e. mixed together. It is unavailable from anywhere except the Russian military as far as I am aware.”

Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, left, is seen outside Berlin’s Charite hospital on Aug. 25. Navalny remains in an induced coma. (Christoph Soeder/dpa/The Associated Press)

Britain has charged two Russians — alleged to be agents of the Russian military intelligence service GRU — in absentia in the 2018 attack, which left the Skripals in critical condition and killed a local woman. Russia has refused to extradite the men to the U.K.

British police believe the nerve agent was smuggled to Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle and sprayed on the front door of Sergei Skripal’s house in the city of Salisbury in southwest England.

More than three months later, the bottle was found by a local man, 48-year-old Charlie Rowley. He was hospitalized and his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, 44, died after being exposed to the contents.

Android, Apache, bioinformatics, bitcoin mining, computers, Employment, ethereum mining, Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, skype, smartphone, software, tablet, TV, Video, visualizations

Nerve agent Novichok found in Russia’s Alexey Navalny: Germany – Al Jazeera English

September 2nd, 2020

Tests performed on samples taken from prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny showed the presence of the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok, the German government said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said in a statement on Wednesday testing by a special German military laboratory had shown “proof without doubt of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group”.

“It is a dismaying event that Alexey Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent in Russia,” Seibert said. “The German government condemns this attack in the strongest terms. The Russian government is urgently requested to provide clarifications over the incident.”

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was not informed of the German findings and had no such data, the TASS news agency reported.

But the German chancellor did not mince words.  

“This is disturbing information about the attempted murder through poisoning against a leading Russian opposition figure,” Merkel told a news conference. “Alexey Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group.”

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged Moscow to investigate the poisoning, and said the Russian ambassador had been summoned to explain the evidence.

“This makes it all the more urgent that those responsible in Russia be identified and held accountable,” Maas told reporters. “We condemn this attack in the strongest terms.”

Novichok – a military grade nerve agent – was used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom. 

The Charite hospital in Berlin, where Navalny is being treated, has reported “some improvement” in his condition, but he remains in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator.

‘Joint response’

Navalny, 44, a politician and corruption investigator who is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on August 20 and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing.

He was later transferred to Charite hospital, where doctors last week said there were indications he had been poisoned.

Seibert said the German government would inform its partners in the European Union and NATO about the Novichok test results. He said it would consult with its partners in light of the Russian response “on an appropriate joint response”.

Navalny’s allies in Russia have insisted he was deliberately poisoned by the country’s authorities, accusations the Kremlin rejected as “empty noise”.

“To poison Navalny with Novichok in 2020 would be exactly the same as leaving an autograph at a crime scene, like this one,” Navalny’s longtime ally and strategist Leonid Volkov said in a tweet that featured a photo of Putin’s name and a signature next to it.

200821124630002

Kremlin-linked poisonings

The Russian doctors who treated Navalny in Siberia have repeatedly contested the German hospital’s conclusion, saying they ruled out poisoning as a diagnosis and their tests for poisonous substances came back negative.

Al Jazeera’s Aleksandra Stoyanovich-Godfroid, reporting from Moscow, said Russia’s response was so far “cautious and restrained”. 

“The Russian doctors released Navalny with a ‘metabolic disorder’ diagnosis. Two labs in Russia didn’t find anything suspicious and a pre-investigation didn’t find anything leading to foul play,” she said. “On the other hand, the opposition is saying, ‘We knew [it was Novichok] – all the symptoms are there.'”

Novichok is a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and ’80s. It is a cholinesterase inhibitor, part of the class of substances that doctors at the Charite initially identified in Navalny.

Navalny’s allies said the German government’s identification of the poison used against him suggested the Russian state had been behind the attack.

“Only the state [FSB, GRU] can use Novichok. This is beyond any reasonable doubt,” Ivan Zhdanov, director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, said on Twitter, referring to the FSB internal security and GRU military intelligence services.

‘Poisoned’ Kremlin critic Navalny arrives at Berlin hospital

‘Never blame one area’

Bharat Pankhania, from the University of Exeter Medical School, said while Russian authorities have access to chemical weapons such as Novichok, so too do other countries.

“It’s well known in the intelligence communities, despite international agreements, nations were developing these agents, and we know the Soviet Union as it was breaking up did have supplies,” Pankhania told Al Jazeera.

“But that is also not to say other states do not also have access. We should never blame one area, we know other states also have access to nerve agents.”

Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova that Russia’s ambassador to Germany, Sergei Nechayev, who was summoned to the foreign ministry on Wednesday, asked for evidence and received “no answer, no facts, no data, no formulae”.

“Russia as before expects an official answer from Berlin to the request of the Prosecutor-General’s Office” to share medical data on Navalny, she said.

The Navalny case has drawn parallels with two suspected Kremlin-linked poisonings in the UK.

British authorities identified Novichok as the poison used in 2018 on former Russian spy Skripal and his daughter in the southern city of Salisbury. The Skripals recovered, but a local woman who picked up the discarded perfume bottle in which the poison had been carried, later died in hospital.

In 2006, Putin was blamed for the radiation poisoning death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in central London, after he drank tea laced with polonium-210.

Android, Apache, bioinformatics, bitcoin mining, computers, Employment, ethereum mining, Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, skype, smartphone, software, tablet, TV, Video, visualizations