In the first week of February 2021, we bring you news of a novel approach to skin cancer treatment being developed by Yale researchers in which tumors are injected with polymer-based nanoparticles carrying a chemotherapy agent. There’s also research updates in the immunology, neuroscience and pain, and infectious disease fields.
Parkinson's Disease Risk Potentially Lowered by Prostate Drug
Roughly 10 million individuals worldwide have Parkinson’s disease (PD), and unfortunately, that number continues to grow as the population ages. There is no cure for PD, but medications can help control symptoms, often dramatically. Now, according to a large observational study led by scientists at the University of Iowa (UI), with colleagues in Denmark and China, taking a particular type of medication to treat enlarged prostate is associated with a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Common HIV Drugs may Prevent Macular Degeneration, a Major Cause of Vision Loss
Sometimes solutions come from the most unexpected of sources. Researchers at the University of Virginia report a common drug usually used to treat HIV may be able to help stop one of the leading causes of blindness around the globe. Scientists uncovered the connection thanks to a major discovery which calls into question modern science’s fundamental beliefs regarding DNA.
Women with Endometriosis are at Increased Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Patients with endometriosis are at increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to study results in the first and largest population-based cohort study to explore the incidental risk for rheumatoid arthritis in patients with endometriosis. Previous studies have suggested similarities between endometriosis and several autoimmune diseases, including high levels of cytokines, decreased apoptosis, and cell-mediated abnormalities.
Immune System Found to Evolve a Tripwire Defense for Invading Viruses
Just as pathogens evolve new tricks to evade our body’s safeguards and cause infection, our immune system can also develop new tricks that keep these nasty invaders at bay. New research has revealed an interesting example of this, demonstrating how the mammalian immune system deploys a type of tripwire defense to fend off viral attacks.
How Does Pain Experienced in Everyday Life Impact Memory?
How do the normal pains of everyday life, such as headaches and backaches, influence our ability to think? Recent studies suggest that healthy individuals in pain also show deficits in working memory, or the cognitive process of holding and manipulating information over short periods of time. Prior research suggests that pain-related impairments in working memory depend on an individual's level of emotional distress.
Dual Treatments Help PTSD and Depression
The first randomized control trial to rigorously test a sequential approach to treating comorbid PTSD and major depressive disorder has recently taken place. Findings from a trial of 52 patients undergoing three types of treatment regime - using only Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), using Behavioral Activation Therapy (BA) with some CPT, or CPT with some BA - found that a combined treatment protocol resulted in meaningful reductions in PTSD and depression severity, with improvements maintained at six-month follow-up investigations.