|News & Information for June 3, 2020
Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial
Background Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been found to be efficient on SARS-CoV-2, and reported to be efficient in Chinese COV-19 patients. We evaluate the role of hydroxychloroquine on respiratory viral loads. […] Results Six patients were asymptomatic, 22 had upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and eight had lower respiratory tract infection symptoms. Twenty cases were treated in this study and showed a significant reduction of the viral carriage at D6-post inclusion compared to controls, and much lower average carrying duration than reported of untreated patients in the literature. Azithromycin added to hydroxychloroquine was significantly more efficient for virus elimination. Conclusion Despite its small sample size our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin.
Read this thread @ https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/1268936285441359872
5 natural ways to boost your mental health during stressful times
Life today is razor’s-edge tense. If your regular coping methods aren’t measuring up, there are science-backed actions we can add on our own to ease anxiety, depression and stress — all done naturally, no doctor’s note required. Get enough exercise If you had to choose just one thing to do to better your mental and physical health, choose to exercise on a regular basis. Scientists believe exercise increases blood circulation to the brain, especially areas like the amygdala and hippocampus — which both have roles in controlling motivation, mood and response to stress. For one thing, it releases endorphins, the body’s feel-good hormones. […] Focus on sleep There’s another benefit of exercise — it will improve your sleep quality, one of the best things you can do to ease stress and boost your mood. There’s an additional benefit to a better snooze. You’ll be protecting your heart, improving your brain and reducing your desire to snack. […] Deep breathing Something as simple as taking deep, slow breaths can do amazing things to our brain and therefore our stress, experts said. “Learning breathwork lets you know that you have an ability to physiologically calm yourself,” said stress management expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, an editor for Contentment magazine, produced by the American Institute of Stress. “When you physiologically calm yourself, you actually change your brainwaves,” Ackrill said. “I used to do neurofeedback, which is brainwave training, and I would have people hooked up to all kinds of machines. And after doing breathwork with them you could see these massive changes in the brain. It also lowered blood pressure.” […] Take up yoga, tai chi or qi gong Yoga, of course, is a form of physical exercise. In additon to releasing endorphins, yoga can regulate the body’s central stress response system, called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and improves sleep quality, said Jacinta Brinsley, a doctoral candidate at the University of South Australia who recently published a study on yoga. […] Meditation Meditation and mindfulness are two excellent ways to lower stress. At the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, researchers studied the brains of Tibetan Buddhist monks recruited by the Dali Lama and found startling results: Tens of thousands of hours of compassionate meditation had permanently altered the structure and function of the monks’ brains. One 41-year-old monk had the brain of a 33-year-old.
What Measures Can You Take to Help Prevent COVID-19?
Information surrounding the transmission and spread of COVID-19 can sometimes seem confusing, and figuring out how to protect yourself can feel overwhelming. A comprehensive report published Monday in The Lancet compiled evidence-based guidance based on 172 studies and available data to help clarify risk-reduction recommendations like face masks, social distancing measures and eye protection. The findings show that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is reduced by 82% when a physical distance of one meter is maintained. Every additional one meter of separation more than doubled the protection. The study also found that masks and respirators reduced the risk of infection by 85%. N95 masks, which have a respirator function that filters airborne particles, were 96% effective, compared with other masks, which were 77% effective. Additionally, eye protection resulted in a 78% reduction in infection. The study recommends universal mask-wearing and maintaining a distance of one meter from others, but stresses that none of these practices offer complete protection.
Blue light from phone screens at night ‘linked to depression’
Modern habits such as working late into the night and ‘unwinding’ by staring at a phone screen could increase the risk of depression, a study has found. Researchers found that exposure to blue light during the night led to mice becoming less active and eating less, after exposure to just two hours of blue light. The researchers believe that light sensitive cells in the retina affect areas in the brain linked to negative emotions. Previous studies have linked blue light emitted from technology to anxiety and depression in humans. The latest research was published in Nature. Corresponding author Dr Huan Zhao, of Hefei University, said: “Besides generating vision, light modulates various physiological functions, including mood. “While light therapy applied in the daytime is known to have anti-depressive properties, excessive light exposure at night has been reportedly associated with depressive symptoms.”
Anti-inflammatories fail to reduce depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder
Adjunctive anti-inflammatory therapy was not superior to placebo for the treatment of depression in patients with bipolar disorder, according to results from a clinical trial published in Lancet Psychiatry. When combined with treatment as usual, minocycline and celecoxib did not outperform placebo in reducing patients’ depressive symptoms. Muhammad Ishrat Husain, MRCPsych, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues designed a 12-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to test the effect of minocycline and/or celecoxib added to usual treatment in patients with bipolar disorder. The study was performed at 4 outpatient psychiatric clinics in Pakistan. Eligible participants were adults aged 18 to 65 years with bipolar disorder type I or II. All participants were experiencing a major depressive episode at the time of enrollment.
Moderna executives claimed their Covid-19 vaccine works then sold $89M of their shares as stock price soared
The top five executives at the biotech company Moderna have sold more than $89 million of stock so far this year — initiating nearly three times as many stock transactions than in all of 2019 — as the company’s share price has soared on hopes for its Covid-19 vaccine. The trades, which led to about $80 million in profits, were prescheduled through a legal program that allows company insiders to buy and sell shares at a later date. But the volume and timing might prove alarming to Moderna’s shareholders, especially in light of the company’s May decision to raise more than $1 billion in a stock offering. If Moderna’s early-stage vaccine can one day prevent coronavirus infection and the company’s best days lay ahead, why are insiders selling?