Connect with us

Health

Alzheimers can be predicted BEFORE symptoms show as new test detects spread in brain – Express.co.uk

Published

 on


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and currently scientists are unable to diagnose it until serious symptoms occur – and as yet no cure has been found. But a new study carried out by the University of California in San Francisco could change that, as scientists identify “key driver” of Alzheimers. Cutting-edge brain scans enable experts to track a protein found inside brain cells, which has been found to predict how the disease will develop years before patients show serious symptoms.

Scientists have used imaging techniques to track the extent of the protein, called tau, of those with early signs of Alzheimer’s, revealing that levels of the protein predict not only how much brain shrinkage will subsequently occur, but where.

The research suggests the protein drives the death of brain cells and could lead to better drugs and a screening programme for those most at risks.

The study, published on Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine, used PET (positive emission tomography) scans to study the brains of 32 people aged between 49 and 84 who were in the early stages of showing Alzheimer’s symptoms.

PET imaging in this case involved injecting patients with a substance that attached to tau tangles, allowing clusters to show up in subsequent scans.

Scientists took a PET scan at the start of the study, as well as an MRI, which reveals the structure of the brain.

A second MRI was taken 15 months later to track brain atrophy and the results revealed the amounts of tau at the outset predicted how much degeneration would occur – on average 15 months later.

The findings also showed the level and location of tau tangles shown in the PET scan were closely linked to shrinkage of grey matter in the brain, both in terms of the degree of shrinkage and its location.

Gill Rabinovici, a co-author of the study, said: “These predictions were much more powerful than anything we’ve been able to do with other imaging tools, and add evidence that tau is a major driver of the disease.”

READ MORE: Alzheimer’s charity demands £320m spent on research to stop condition

But Mr La Joie said the results does not mean amyloid is not harmful.

He said: “It is extremely rare to see significant amounts of tau tangles across the brain in patients with no amyloid: for some reason, amyloid seems almost necessary for tau to build up in the cortex.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK welcomed the results of the study and suggested it tracking tau could be an important tool for future clinical trials.

Dr Laura Phipps said: “The ability to track tau in the brain will be critical for testing treatments designed to prevent the protein causing damage, and the scans used in this study could be an important tool for future clinical trials.”

She continued: “This relatively small study adds to evidence that tau may drive the death of brain cells, and could explain why symptoms get worse as tau spreads through the brain.

“While the majority of volunteers in the study were under the age of 65, making it harder to generalise the findings to everyone with the disease, the study highlights the importance of focusing future research efforts on the tau protein.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto declares COVID-19 outbreak among ER staff – pentictonherald.ca

Published

 on


TORONTO – Another hospital in downtown Toronto has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 among its staff.

Unity Health says there are five active coronavirus cases among emergency room staff at St. Michael’s Hospital.

In a statement Tuesday evening, the health network says “no patient cases have been identified to date” and the risk of patient exposure is low.

However, it recommends anyone who visited the ER at St. Michael’s within the last two weeks to self-monitor.

The hospital is one of four in Toronto that have declared COVID-19 outbreaks in recent days.

The others are St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto Western Hospital and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

Correctional officer contracts COVID-19 after brief encounters with infected individuals – CTV News

Published

 on


TORONTO —
A case study of a correctional officer who tested positive for COVID-19 despite having no sustained exposure of at least 15 minutes with any infected individual is providing new evidence that the virus can be transmitted in brief encounters.

The study, released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, has prompted them to expand their definition of a “close contact.”

On July 28, the study states, six incarcerated or detained individuals who had not yet received their COVID-19 results arrived to a Vermont correctional facility from out of state, and were transported to a quarantine unit. In the process, all six — who were not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms — briefly interacted with a 20-year-old correctional officer.

The six tested positive for COVID-19 on July 29. In the contact tracing process, officials looked at every interaction the six had while they would have been infectious, and determined that the 20-year-old correctional officer was not a close contact who needed to be quarantined, according to the Vermont Department of Health’s rules, since he had never been within two metres of any of them for 15 minutes.

Thus, the correctional officer continued working — until August 4, when, at the end of his shift, he started feeling the symptoms of COVID-19, including a loss of smell and taste, a cough, a headache and shortness of breath, among other symptoms.

He tested positive for COVID-19 on August 11.

In order to find out how the correctional officer had contracted the virus, officials observed video surveillance on July 28 to tally up the time the officer had spent within two metres of any of the six individuals who had COVID-19.

“Although the correctional officer never spent 15 consecutive minutes within 6 feet of an [incarcerated person] with COVID-19, numerous brief (approximately one-minute) encounters that cumulatively exceeded 15 minutes did occur,” the case study stated. “During his eight-hour shift on July 28, the correctional officer was within six feet of an infectious [incarcerated person] an estimated 22 times while the cell door was open, for an estimated 17 total minutes of cumulative exposure.”

The study added that while the six incarcerated or detained people wore cloth face masks during some of these interactions, there were a few interactions in a cell doorway or the recreation room where they did not wear a mask.

The correctional officer was wearing a face mask and eye goggles at all times.

Since the officer had no travel-related exposure or any other known close contact exposures, officials surmised that he’d contracted the virus during one of his interactions on July 28.

A “close contact” according to the CDC is someone who was “within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset.”

In the wake of this study, they are adding to the definition anyone who spends 15 minutes cumulatively within six feet (two metres) of an infected person, even if those 15 minutes are the result of numerous brief interactions, and not in one go.

Fifteen minutes has never been the make-or-break length of time that is necessary for an exposure — there is no magic number detailing exactly how long it takes the virus to successfully make the jump from one body to another.

There are numerous factors that contribute to the risk of contracting COVID-19, and the 15-minute mark is merely a benchmark to allow officials to categorize at what point exposure is most likely, in order to know how to prioritize resources for contact tracing.

In Canada, the official COVID Alert app also uses the 15-minute rule, only alerting those who were closer than two metres for more than 15 minutes to a person who tested positive.

The risk of exposure can be minimized or increased by a number of things, including physical proximity, whether they’re in an enclosed space, whether there is adequate ventilation and air flow, as well as whether both individuals are wearing masks, among other factors.

The case study concluded by advising that public health officials consider the extra risk of cumulative exposure due to brief interactions in settings where frequent interaction within two metres of a person is necessary, such as within a correctional facility.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto declares COVID-19 outbreak among ER staff – Toronto Star

Published

 on


TORONTO – Another hospital in downtown Toronto has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 among its staff.

Unity Health says there are five active coronavirus cases among emergency room staff at St. Michael’s Hospital.

In a statement Tuesday evening, the health network says “no patient cases have been identified to date” and the risk of patient exposure is low.

However, it recommends anyone who visited the ER at St. Michael’s within the last two weeks to self-monitor.

The hospital is one of four in Toronto that have declared COVID-19 outbreaks in recent days.

The others are St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto Western Hospital and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending