Make Chiangmai Mail | your Homepage | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail |

 

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Update August 2018


Home
Thailand News
World News
World Sports
Arts - Entertainment - Lifestyles
Book Review
Health & Wellbeing
Odds & Ends
Science & Nature
Technology
Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Health & Wellbeing
 

August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018

Simpler, one-dose treatment to prevent malaria relapse OK’d

On Friday, July 20, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved GlaxoSmithKline’s Krintafel, a simpler, one-dose treatment to prevent relapses of malaria. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Linda A. Johnson

U.S. regulators last month approved a simpler, one-dose treatment to prevent relapses of malaria.

Standard treatment now takes two weeks and studies show many patients don’t finish taking every dose.

Malaria is caused by parasites that are spread to people through mosquito bites. Antimalarial drugs can cure the initial infection but parasites can get into the liver, hide in a dormant form, and cause recurrences months or years later. A second drug is used to stop relapses.

The new drug, GlaxoSmith Kline’s Krintafel (KRIN’-tah-fell), only targets the kind of malaria that mainly occurs in South America and Southeast Asia. Most malaria cases and deaths are in Africa, and they involve another species.

In testing, one dose of Krintafel worked about the same as two weeks of the standard treatment, preventing relapses in about three-quarters of patients over six months, the company said.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for patients 16 and older, according to GlaxoSmithKline. The company said it’s the first new treatment in six decades for preventing relapses.

GlaxoSmithKline plans to apply soon for approval in Brazil, then other countries where the malaria type is common. It says it will sell the pills at low cost in poor countries.

Worldwide, malaria infects more than 200 million people a year and kills about half a million, most of them children in Africa. It causes fever, headache, chills and other flu-like symptoms. The malaria type Krintafel targets causes about 8.5 million infections annually.

The British drugmaker, working with the World Health Organization, is also developing what could be the world’s first malaria vaccine, but early testing indicates it’s not very effective. Prevention now focuses on using insecticides and bed nets. (AP)


August 4, 2018 - August 10, 2018

AP-NORC Poll: If DNA shows health risks, most want to know

Graphic shows results of AP-NORC Center poll on attitudes toward genetic testing.

Lauran Neergaard & Emily Swanson

Washington (AP) - Would you want to know if you harbor a gene linked to Alzheimer’s or another incurable disease? A new poll finds most Americans would.

Some 17 percent of Americans already have undergone at least one kind of DNA test, and 52 percent of the remainder say they’d like to, according to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released Thursday.

Curiosity about ancestry is the main reason. But large segments of the public also want to know if they’re at risk for various medical conditions - even if they can’t do anything about it. In fact, 60 percent of people say they’d want to know if they carried a gene associated with a disease that’s currently incurable, the AP-NORC poll found.

The question is how they’d handle that information. For most diseases, whether you get sick depends on a mix of genetics, lifestyle and other factors.

“It’s really important for people to understand that it is a risk, not a destiny,” said Erica Ramos, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

Lots of tests to choose from

Genealogy buffs can get clues about ancestry. DNA testing can help diagnose symptoms, predict risk of later health problems, or tell if prospective parents might pass on diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Doctors can tell if certain medicines are more or less likely to work based on genetics, what’s called precision medicine.

Some gene tests require just a credit card and mailing in a saliva sample, while others need a doctor’s order - and there are important differences.

What people want to know

Younger adults especially want to know what health conditions might lie ahead. Among those under 30, more than two-thirds are interested in genetic testing and of those, 65 percent say one reason is to learn if they might pass a disease to their children.

If they’re at risk for an incurable disease, 78 percent of the younger crowd would want to know.

And if they got that bad news, 8 in 10 people of all ages would tell siblings and children, family members who might harbor the same gene.

Who gets tested?

Those living in households making $100,000 a year or more are most likely to have had a gene test. Direct-to-consumer tests are paid for out-of-pocket, but insurance may cover DNA tests deemed medically necessary.

Trusting the results

Most people think genetic testing is at least somewhat reliable, but less than half call it very or extremely reliable, the poll found.

DNA testing isn’t foolproof, said Ramos, the genetic counselor. There can be false alarms, the reason medical labs and the most popular direct-to-consumer companies must meet strict testing rules. But there are loopholes: Say after ancestry testing, you download the “raw” genetic data generated to analyze your heritage and send the file to a second company to interpret whatever health information is inside. Those companies may not be certified for medical diagnosis - meaning it’s important for a doctor to verify any scary result.

The flip side: False reassurance. Direct-to-consumer tests for breast cancer risk, for example, only look for a few mutations. If cancer runs in the family, you may need a doctor-ordered test that examines a variety of genes and mutations, Ramos said.

A genetic counselor can help explain the different tests and what results mean.

Privacy is
complicated, too

Half of Americans are very or extremely concerned about companies sharing their genetic data without their knowledge, and roughly a third have the same concerns about medical researchers and doctors, the poll found.

Remember how investigators used a free genealogy website to track down a suspected California serial killer? Half of people think genetic data should be used to help solve crimes only with the consent of the person tested, a third think it’s OK without that consent - and 13 percent don’t think law enforcement should use it at all.

Crime aside, federal law offers some privacy protections for DNA testing in medical settings - but check privacy policies on direct-to-consumer websites.

The AP-NORC poll of 1,109 adults was conducted June 13-18 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.

Online: AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org/


July 28, 2018 - August 3, 2018

FDA OKs 1st drug to treat smallpox, in case of terror attack

This undated photo provided by SIGA in July 2018 shows capsules of the drug TPOXX. On Friday, July 13, 2018, U.S. regulators announced the approval of the first treatment for smallpox - a deadly disease that was wiped out four decades ago - in case the virus is used in a terror attack. (SIGA via AP)

Linda A. Johnson

U.S. regulators Friday approved the first treatment for smallpox - a deadly disease that was wiped out four decades ago - in case the virus is used in a terror attack.

Smallpox, which is highly contagious, was eradicated worldwide by 1980 after a huge vaccination campaign.

But people born since then haven’t been vaccinated, and small samples of the smallpox virus were saved for research purposes, leaving the possibility it could be used as a biological weapon.

Maker SIGA Technologies of New York has already delivered 2 million treatments that will be stockpiled by the government, which partially paid for the development of the drug, called TPOXX.

To test the drug’s effectiveness, monkeys and rabbits were infected with a similar virus and then given the drug. More than 90 percent survived, the company said. Its safety was tested in several hundred healthy volunteers, who were not infected with smallpox.

Smallpox killed about 300 million people worldwide in the 20th century before its eradication. Symptoms include fever, fatigue and pus-filled sores. Until now, doctors could only provide supportive care such as IV fluids and fever remedies and isolate the patients. Vaccination can be used to prevent infection but it must be done within five days of exposure to the virus, well before symptoms appear.

“This new treatment affords us an additional option should smallpox ever be used as a bioweapon,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, head of the Food and Drug Administration, said in a statement.

The drug is a capsule, taken twice daily for 14 days.

SIGA develops vaccines and medicines for biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear attacks. Chief Executive Phil Gomez said the company is developing an IV version and is exploring selling the drug to other countries and developing it to treat other infectious diseases, including monkeypox, which African monkeys can transmit to humans. Monkeypox can then spread among people, and has a mortality rate of about 15 percent.


Fresh grounds for coffee: Study shows it may boost longevity

A 10-year study released on Monday, July 2, 2018 shows that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of death than abstainers, including those who downed at least eight cups daily. The benefit was seen with instant, ground, decaf, and in people with genetic glitches affecting how their bodies use caffeine. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Lindsey Tanner

Chicago (AP) - Go ahead and have that cup of coffee, maybe even several more. New research shows it may boost chances for a longer life, even for those who down at least eight cups daily.

In a study of nearly half-a-million British adults, coffee drinkers had a slightly lower risk of death over 10 years than abstainers.

The apparent longevity boost was seen with instant, ground and decaffeinated, results that echo U.S. research. It’s the first large study to suggest a benefit even in people with genetic glitches affecting how their bodies use caffeine.

Overall, coffee drinkers were about 10 to 15 percent less likely to die than abstainers during a decade of follow-up. Differences by amount of coffee consumed and genetic variations were minimal.

The results don’t prove your coffee pot is a fountain of youth nor are they a reason for abstainers to start drinking coffee, said Alice Lichtenstein, a Tufts University nutrition expert who was not involved in the research. But she said the results reinforce previous research and add additional reassurance for coffee drinkers.

“It’s hard to believe that something we enjoy so much could be good for us. Or at least not be bad,” Lichtenstein said.

The study was published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

It’s not clear exactly how drinking coffee might affect longevity. Lead author Erikka Loftfield, a researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, said coffee contains more than 1,000 chemical compounds including antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage.

Other studies have suggested that substances in coffee may reduce inflammation and improve how the body uses insulin, which can reduce chances for developing diabetes. Loftfield said efforts to explain the potential longevity benefit are continuing.

Adam Taylor, fetching two iced coffees for friends Monday in downtown Chicago, said the study results make sense.

“Coffee makes you happy, it gives you something to look forward to in the morning,” said Taylor, a sound engineer from Las Vegas.

“I try to have just one cup daily,” Taylor said. “Otherwise I get a little hyper.”

For the study, researchers invited 9 million British adults to take part; 498,134 women and men aged 40 to 69 agreed. The low participation rate means those involved may have been healthier than the general U.K. population, the researchers said.

Participants filled out questionnaires about daily coffee consumption, exercise and other habits, and received physical exams including blood tests. Most were coffee drinkers; 154,000 or almost one-third drank two to three cups daily and 10,000 drank at least eight cups daily.

During the next decade, 14,225 participants died, mostly of cancer or heart disease.

Caffeine can cause short-term increases in blood pressure, and some smaller studies have suggested that it might be linked with high blood pressure, especially in people with a genetic variation that causes them to metabolize caffeine slowly.

But coffee drinkers in the U.K. study didn’t have higher risks than nondrinkers of dying from heart disease and other blood pressure-related causes. And when all causes of death were combined, even slow caffeine metabolizers had a longevity boost.

As in previous studies, coffee drinkers were more likely than abstainers to drink alcohol and smoke, but the researchers took those factors into account, and coffee drinking seemed to cancel them out.

The research didn’t include whether participants drank coffee black or with cream and sugar. But Lichtenstein said loading coffee with extra fat and calories isn’t healthy.
 


DAILY UPDATEE

|

Back to Main Page

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Simpler, one-dose treatment to prevent malaria relapse OK’d


AP-NORC Poll: If DNA shows health risks, most want to know


FDA OKs 1st drug to treat smallpox, in case of terror attack

Fresh grounds for coffee: Study shows it may boost longevity


 



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
THAILAND
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.