Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found in a preliminary study that the drug fluvoxamine seems to prevent some of the most serious complications of COVID-19 patients and make hospitalization and the need for supplemental oxygen less likely.
In an innovative twist to research during the pandemic, the study, involving 152 patients infected with SAR-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was conducted remotely. When a symptomatic patient tested positive and enrolled in the study, research staff delivered the medication or inactive placebo to them, along with thermometers, automatic blood pressure monitors and fingertip oxygen sensors.
For two weeks, subjects took either the antidepressant drug or placebo sugar pills while having daily interactions with members of the research team via phone or computer. That allowed patients to report on their symptoms, oxygen levels and other vital signs. If patients suffered shortness of breath or were hospitalized for pneumonia, or their oxygen saturation levels fell below 92 percent, their conditions were considered to have deteriorated.
After 15 days, none of the 80 patients who had received the drug experienced serious clinical deterioration. Meanwhile, six or 8.3 percent of the 72 patients given placebo became seriously ill, with four requiring hospitalization.
"There are several ways this drug might work to help COVID-19 patients, but we think it most likely may be interacting with the sigma-1 receptor to reduce the production of inflammatory molecules," said senior author Angela M Reiersen, an associate professor of psychiatry. "Past research has demonstrated that fluvoxamine can reduce inflammation in animal models of sepsis, and it may be doing something similar in our patients."
Reiersen said the drug's effects on inflammation could prevent the immune system from mounting an overwhelming response, which is thought to occur in some COVID-19 patients who seem to improve after a few days of illness and then worsen. Many of those patients end up hospitalized, and some die.
In the next few weeks, the researchers will begin a larger study, using mobile and internet technology to conduct clinical trials throughout the United States.
Fluvoxamine is used commonly to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder and depression. It is in a class of drugs known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but unlike other SSRIs, fluvoxamine interacts strongly with a protein called the sigma-1 receptor. That receptor also helps regulate the body's inflammatory response.
The study was published online Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Are you bored of the din and bustle of regular city life? Going for a day out on the weekend is a great way to escape the tension of hectic life for some hours. Visiting some historical places, you can experience the reminiscent grandeur of our ancestors ruled this region several hundred years ago; while some other historical places can remind you of the sacrificial and proud history of our Liberation War. Stay with us to know more about the top historical places in Dhaka to plan a day out on your next weekend with your family with kids.
Today we can freely express our thoughts, feelings, and ideas in the Bengali language; but gaining this right was not easy. We are the only nation in the world who had to shed blood to protect the honor of our own mother tongue. In the year 1952, the patriot people of this country protested the then authoritative rulers of West Pakistan who forcefully declared that Urdu would be the national language of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Several brilliant students of Dhaka medical college and some general people lost their precious lives in this demonstration that has been termed as ‘Bengali Language Movement’. The Central Shahid Minar (Martyr Monument) was established as a national monument to commemorate the martyrs of the language movement.
In recognition of the Bengali language movement, the United Nations (UN) has declared 21st February as the International mother language day. In the first hour of 21st February, thousands of people visit the Central Shahid Minar every year barefoot to pay respect to the martyrs with floral wreaths and flower bouquet. The solemnity would make you remember how the brave souls fearlessly stood against the then rulers and acquired the right to speak in Bengali.
However, you can visit the Dhaka Central Shahid Minar any day to pay your tribute to our brave language soldiers. The Central Shahid Minar is located near Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Just a few hours before the independence of Bangladesh, the new country lost its most erudite sons and daughters as a result of some evil conspiracy to make the country guardian-less. The slaughtering place is locally known as Rayer Bazar ‘Bodhyo Bhumi’ (killing ground). Furthermore, many other scholars were killed in different places of the country during the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
The list of martyred Intellectuals includes Munier Chowdhury (a litterateur, dramatist, and Dhaka University teacher), Shahidullah Kaisar (journalist), Altaf Mahmud (lyricist and musician), Selina Parvin (reporter), Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury (litterateur, professor at DU), Anwar Pasha (litterateur, professor at DU), Alim Chowdhury (ophthalmologist), Govinda Chandra Dev (philosopher, professor at DU), Hobibur Rahman (professor of mathematics, Rajshahi University), Mir Abdul Quaiyum (professor of psychology, RU), Dhirendranath Datta (politician), and many others.
The Martyred Intellectuals Memorial was built in memory of all the martyred intellectuals who lost their lives between March 25 and December 16, 1971, in Bangladesh. This national monument was designed by Farid U Ahmed and Jami Al Shafi.
The memorial is built at Rayerbazar, Mohammadpur Thana in Dhaka. If you visit this place, you may feel both the brutality of the then rulers and the overwhelming courage of those late intellectuals who loved their motherland more than their own lives.
Do you have a passion for Mughal architecture? Plan a day out in Lalbagh fort which is also known as Fort Aurangabad. Though it is an incomplete construction, this place relates us to the grandeur of Mughal ruling in this region. Lalbagh Fort is located at the Lalbagh area in Old Dhaka.
Late Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb dreamt of building the Lalbagh Fort. The construction was started in 1678 by Mughal Subahdar Muhammad Azam Shah. He was the son of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and the successor emperor himself. His descendant, Mughal Subahdar Shaista Khan continued the work for some time. But, Shaista Khan left the work unfinished after the accidental death of his own daughter, Bibi Pari. The fort’s construction was never finished and left unoccupied for a long time. Though some parts of the Lalbagh complex have been re-built, this 17th-century Mughal architecture still connects us to the rich history of Bengal.
The fort area is combined with three buildings including the mosque, the tomb of Bibi Pari, and the Diwan-i-Aam. In this fort area, you would find a magnificent water channel where some marvelous artificial water fountains have been placed at regular intervals. The canal connects the three buildings from east to west and north to south. The aesthetics of Lalbagh may take your mind back to the golden age of the Mughal kingdom.
Even though it’s known as a respiratory virus, doctors believe the coronavirus can directly infect the heart muscle and cause other problems leading to heart damage.
In some people, as COVID-19 decreases lung function, it may deprive the heart of adequate oxygen. Sometimes it causes an overwhelming inflammatory reaction that taxes the heart as the body tries to fight off the infection.
The virus can also invade blood vessels or cause inflammation within them, leading to blood clots that can cause heart attacks.
Clots throughout the body have been found in many COVID-19 patients. That has led some doctors to try blood thinners, although there is no consensus on that treatment.
Dr. Sean Pinney of the University of Chicago says people with heart disease are most at risk for virus-related damage to the heart. But heart complications also have been found in COVID-19 patients with no known previous disease.
A recent review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology notes that evidence of heart involvement has been found in at least 25% of hospitalized coronavirus patients. At some centers, the rate is 30% or higher. And some studies have found elevated enzyme levels and other signs suggesting heart damage even in patients with milder disease. It is not known whether that damage is permanent.
One small study found evidence of the virus in the hearts of COVID-19 patients who died from pneumonia. Another, using heart imaging, found inflammation of the heart muscle in four college athletes who had recovered from mild COVID-19 infections. There were no images available from before the athletes got sick, and therefore no way to know if they had pre-existing heart problems.
Dr. Tom Maddox, an American College of Cardiology board member, says it’s unclear if the virus can cause a normal heart to become dysfunctional.
“There’s still so much we don’t know,” Maddox said.
Restoration work on a sculpture in northern Spain has resurrected memories of a restored Christ fresco in another Spanish city eight years ago that drew ridicule as well as tourists.
The latest incident concerns a relief sculpture on the exterior of an ornate office building in the city of Palencia. What was once the bust of a smiling woman now looks more like the head of a cartoon character.
The disfigurement was bought to light by a local artist who lives near the office building and was tipped off by a florist on his street. Antonio Capel posted before and after photographs on his Facebook page, triggering a flurry of social media reaction and attention from journalists.
“I was surprised. How could they have done this?” Capel told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "This must be at least 10-years-old, and we’re only finding out now.”
He said the 20th-century building belongs to a bank but tenants decided to fix the façade some years ago.
Now, Spanish media are showing images of people stopping to stare up at the building and to take photos.
The poorly done restoration drew immediate comparisons with an “Ecce Homo” fresco in the northern Spain town of Borja. A local amateur artist decided the circa 1930 depiction of Christ at the Sanctuary of Mercy church needed restoration, but the face she produced in 2012 immediately drew comparisons to a monkey.
However, her work turned into a Borja tourist attraction. It remains to be seen if the Palencia job will have the same effect.
A Palencia City Hall spokesman who declined to offer a name following internal procedure was unable to say when the work was carried out or by whom but said the restoration would most likely be investigated by regional authorities.
Many places are closed for the time being due to the unrelenting nature of the current epidemic, and that means losing out when searching for your favourite sweets. The conventional ice-cream or chocolate cake is easy enough to get in convenient stores and supermarkets, but if your sweet tooth beckons for handmade local dishes, you’ll want to have the know-how to make some yourself. With easy to find ingredients, here are three Bangladeshi desserts you can do yourself.
South Asian deserts have a ton of milk-based desserts; but Rasgulla is one of our favourites and has simple ingredients and steps to follow. It is true that you’ll have to curdle the milk and put some time in to bring the cheese out, but the rest from there should be simple. Boiling milk and adding lemon juice with vinegar is the first step. This will sit till it curdles - cool off the pot with some ice after.
To get the best bits out, pouring the mixture into a thin cloth will filter out all the lemon flavour as you proceed to prepare the Chenna. The goal is to squeeze out as much water as possible and let it sit for up to three hours. It’ll have to be moist until then so that you can begin to knead. This process will take some attention to detail, as kneading for too long will shrink the rasgullas after it has been reheated.
After popping in sugar and cardamom seeds into a boiling pot, the final result should be satisfying. It is critical to maintain the consistent temperature when boiling so that the Rasgulla texture can be just right. This entire preparation is no quick task, but the required ingredients are easy to find in any grocery store and it can be done with nothing but a boiling pan and a cloth. It’ll take practice to knead perfectly, but as the old adage goes - practice makes perfect! You can find the steps here.
Shemai is one of the most satisfying desserts to have after a heavy meal. And since it isn’t a solid dish, you won’t have to worry about texture and kneading at all. This treat wil take significantly less time to prepare and it starts with stirring butter with vermicelli with some sugar, raisins and almonds thrown into the mix when the aforementioned has turned brown.
The heat will have to be reduced for about 10 minutes before adding the whipping cream. The final step is to put the result into the refrigerator. Yes, that is all there is to it, but holds its own among the best despite such simplicity. If you are looking for a more decadent version, you can replace the milk with condensed milk or even powdered milk! You can find the ingredients and steps here.
Saving the most sinful for last, Malpua is a Bangladeshi staple that can look akin to a pancake to the untrained eye, but this dish is deceptively easy to prepare and requires very few ingredients to get started. Malpua is meant to be deep fried, which means it would be highly advisable to make this a less-than-frequent treat.
The first step is to create the batter by preparing all-purpose flour or maida with semolina, sugar, crushed fennel seeds and evaporated milk - regular milk is also possible but boiling will be required. You’ll want to mix the batter thoroughly enough that there won’t be lumps. It’ll need to rest for a couple of hours after. The sugar syrup part comes after, where you’ll mix water with sugar and green uncrushed cardamoms.
The deep drying part is pretty straightforward and you can use your favoured oil for this part. Some eyeballing is required as you’ll have to pour the batter to form a pancake shape of about 2”-2.5” in diameter. When flipped and fired till brown, your prepared sugar syrup comes in and is fried for an extra 30 seconds. Other than perfecting the pancake-like shape, this dish will require minimal effort with a juicy payoff! You can find the recipe and instructions here.