For some older adults, thinning bones may be a harbinger of waning memory, a new study suggests. The study, of more than 3,600 older adults, found that those with relatively low bone density were at greater risk of being diagnosed with dementia within the next decade. The one-third of participants with the lowest bone mass at the hip faced double the risk of dementia as the third with the strongest hip bones. Researchers said the findings — published March 22 in the journal Neurology — do not mean that thinner bones help cause dementia. Instead, they suspect that declining bone mass is one part of the early dementia process — before problems with memory and thinking skills become apparent. And that implies that doctors should pay attention to bone health as soon as older adults are diagnosed with dementia, said senior researcher Dr. Mohammad Arfan Ikram. One of the main reasons that people with dementia end up in nursing homes is poor mobility and falls, noted Ikram, a professor at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. “We know that low bone mineral density is a strong risk factor for poor mobility, and falls and fractures,” he said. “Therefore, it can be helpful in persons with early-stage dementia to also pay proper attention to their bone health — and where possible optimize it.” The…  read on >  read on >

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for severe COVID-19, and researchers think they’ve uncovered a possible reason why. Obese folks appear to have a blunted inflammatory response to COVID, leaving their immune systems less capable of fighting it, according to a recent study. The findings were a surprise to researchers, given that severe COVID often has been tied to an overactive immune response that produces damaging levels of inflammation in humans. People who are obese already have higher levels of inflammatory biochemicals in their blood, so it was suspected that COVID’s damaging inflammation would be even worse, noted researcher Menna Clatworthy, a clinician scientist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. “During the pandemic, the majority of younger patients I saw on the COVID wards were obese,” Clatworthy said in a university news release. “Given what we know about obesity, if you’d asked me why this was the case, I would have said that it was most likely due to excessive inflammation. What we found was the absolute opposite.” For this study, Clatworthy and her colleagues analyzed blood and lung samples taken from 13 obese patients with severe COVID who required mechanical ventilation and intensive care. They compared those samples against 20 COVID patients who weren’t obese and didn’t require ventilation. The researchers found the obese patients had underactive immune and inflammatory responses…  read on >  read on >

Much has been made of the so-called “obesity paradox” — the observation that people with a heart condition seem less likely to die if they are overweight or obese. But European researchers now say they’ve debunked that theory, which was based on earlier research that relied on body mass index (BMI, a measure based on weight and height) to judge whether a person carried excess weight. The major new study shows the obesity paradox vanishes if other heart risk factors are considered along with a person’s BMI. Further, researchers found that another measure of obesity, the waist-to-height ratio, more accurately reflected the real heart health risk that comes from having too much body fat. “Better measures of adiposity [excess fat] than BMI, such as waist-height ratio, eliminate the ‘obesity survival paradox’ and, indeed, show that greater adiposity is associated with a higher rate of hospital admission for worsening heart failure and worse symptoms and quality of life,” said senior researcher Dr. John McMurray, a professor of cardiology at the University of Glasgow. For this study, McMurray and his colleagues analyzed data from nearly 8,400 heart failure patients suffering from reduced ejection fraction, a condition in which the heart is not able to pump a normal amount of blood throughout the body. The patients were taking part in a clinical trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness…  read on >  read on >

(HealthDay News) – A drug-resistant bacteria linked to recalled eye drops has now killed three people. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa had led to two additional deaths. In all, 68 people have become infected in 16 states. Eight of the patients have lost their vision. Four people have had to have their eyeballs removed. Three eye products have been recalled from Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited in India. They were sold online, at stores and provided through ophthalmologist offices. While the P. aeruginosa strain involved in the recalls is resistant to 12 antibiotics, there may be new hope for treating it. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, say they have identified a bacteriophage that has potential for working on the bacteria, CBS News reported. “Phage” treatments send viruses in to attack the drug-resistant bacteria. The university’s Center for Innovative Phage Applications has previously reported on therapies it developed to save patients with drug-resistant infections, CBS News reported. The center did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment. It’s not known how many patients have been treated with the phage identified for this bacteria. In unrelated contamination incidents, two additional eye products from other manufacturers have been recently recalled, CBS News reported. More information The National Library of Medicine has more on…  read on >  read on >

Patients could soon have access to a new injectable drug to treat atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema. The drug, lebrikizumab, proved effective in teenagers and adults in two clinical trials just published in the New England Journal of Medicine. “Across both of these pivotal studies for atopic dermatitis, lebrikizumab was highly effective, with a subset of patients responding quite early and then experiencing very durable responses up until week 16 in the initial phase of the study,” said lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Silverberg. He is an associate professor of dermatology at George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. Subsequent data has shown a good response among patients out to a year, he added. Based on these results, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could approve lebrikizumab within a matter of months, Silverberg said. “We’re hoping that by mid-2023 that this will be FDA-approved and available to us to use, which is very exciting to have another highly effective option on the horizon,” he said. Lebrikizumab is an injectable monoclonal antibody designed to target interleukin-13, a biochemical expressed by immune cells that promotes an inflammatory response in the body. “It increases inflammation within the skin. It can increase or amplify the sensation of itch,” Silverberg said of interleukin-13. “And it also can lead to disruption of the skin…  read on >  read on >

If you bought a carbon monoxide detector on Amazon and it was sold under the names GLBSUNION and CUZMAK, stop using it. The U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission issued a warning because these detectors may fail to alert consumers to the presence of deadly CO, which is odorless and colorless. The detectors have a digital display. More than 200 people in the United States die every year from accidental, CO poisoning associated with consumer products. If an elevated level of the deadly gas is in the home and the detector isn’t working, injury or death are likely, CPSC noted. Sensitivity tests performed by the commission on the GLBSUNION and CUZMAK detectors found that they failed to alert when exposed to predetermined concentrations of CO in the amount of 400 ppm. This is a violation of UL 2034, a voluntary safety standard, the commission said in a statement. The CO detectors in the warning are made of white plastic, with approximate dimensions of 4 by 1.5 by 4 inches. The devices are advertised to detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and alert with a flashing red LED and a loud alarm pattern. The items sold on Amazon for between $16 and $40. Model No. AJ-938 was sold under the Amazon ASIN B093Y1KK5Q and B093Y637CM. Model No. CD01 was sold under the Amazon ASIN B07MPVK6HG and B07K44HLCV.…  read on >  read on >