Chinese researchers have identified a neuroimaging biomarker that can facilitate the early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD).
AD is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive dementia. Neuroimaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help diagnose AD. Accurate data-driven methods that can classify and characterize the neural features of AD would be powerful clinical tools.
Researchers from the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other collaborators found that hippocampal radiomic features can be a promising personalized biomarker for AD.
In their search for suitable biomarkers, researchers proposed a novel hippocampal radiomic biomarker derived from structural MRI and systematically validated its reliability using neuroimaging data from over 1,900 individuals, including more than 700 located at six sites in China and around 1,200 subjects from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) dataset.
The study showed that hippocampal radiomic features are related to the clinical features and changes in cognition ability. Long-term follow-up data in some hospitals demonstrated that the markers could be used to track the progression of the disease in high-risk subjects.
The research was published in the journal Science Bulletin.
Liu Yong, one of the researchers, said the research represents a large, interdisciplinary and interinstitutional effort between clinicians and researchers to develop and validate an AD neuroimaging biomarker.
The methodology can be extended to the study of other mental diseases. It has important clinical implications as the biomarker is promising for the early clinical diagnosis or prognostic follow-up in AD, Liu said.
Liu's team has dedicated itself to neuroimaging studies of AD that could provide relevant information to clinical practice.
The team is now focusing on further verification work among people with high risks of AD in more clinical centers, Liu added.
Chinese researchers have determined the high-resolution crystal structure of the main protease (Mpro) from the COVID-19 virus and identified drugs that may have promise against COVID-19, according to the research published online in Nature on Thursday.
Rao Zihe and Yang Haitao at the Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies of ShanghaiTech University, together with their collaborators, have been searching for drugs to combat the novel coronavirus, which has claimed over 85,000 lives and infected over 1.4 million people worldwide as of Thursday, according to data published by the World Health Organization.
The Mpro, which plays a pivotal role in mediating viral replication and transcription, is an attractive drug target for this virus.
The team identified a mechanism-based inhibitor, N3, by computer-aided drug design and subsequently determined the crystal structure of the COVID-19 virus Mpro in complex with this compound on Jan. 26, which is the first determined public-domain 3D structure from the COVID-19 virus.
After assaying over 10,000 compounds including approved drugs, drug candidates in clinical trials, and other pharmacologically active compounds as inhibitors of Mpro, several were found to inhibit Mpro, including Disulfiram, Carmofur, Ebselen, Shikonin, Tideglusib and PX-12. Ebselen and N3 both exhibited promising antiviral activity in cell-based assays.
In order to facilitate global researchers to develop antiviral drugs targeting N3 the first time, the joint team disclosed the list of candidate drugs and the structure of the COVID-19 virus Mpro to the public on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26 respectively in advance.
Rao and Yang have been engaged in the research against coronavirus for years since SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) broke out in 2003. They determined the crystal structure of the main protease from the SARS virus and discovered inhibitors for coronavirus.
Many of us are often suffering from fever, cough, chills, body aches, etc. almost several times a year. In most cases, these symptoms are caused by common colds and flues. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has affected millions of human populations around the world. Some symptoms of this deadly disease also match with colds and flues. If some of those common symptoms are found in a human body, it becomes quite difficult for even health professionals to understand whether that individual has caught cold or flu or COVID-19 without any blood test. However, in the current situation, the health service has been experiencing huge pressure in many countries including Bangladesh. Read this article to better understand the signs, and symptoms of COVID-19, cold, and flue.
COVID-19 or Coronavirus 2019 is spreading rapidly worldwide. This new strain of coronavirus hasn’t been found in humans ever before the last months of 2019. There are four other strains of coronavirus. But those infections are nearly common causing mild symptoms like the common cold. However, the newly discovered strain COVID-19 is capable of causing severe sickness in certain human groups. For instance, people with a history of heart disease, diabetes, Pneumonia, lung disease, etc, or other kinds of severe health conditions appear to be at higher risk of getting seriously ill by COVID-19 disease. The older people are the worst victim of the Corona Virus 2019 in different countries around the world.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- Tiredness (occasionally)
- Sore throat (occasionally)
- Cough (generally dry)
- Headaches (occasionally)
- Difficulty in breathing or Shortness of breath
- Body pains and Aches (occasionally)
The symptoms of corona virus (COVID-19) usually range from mild to severe. Remember that an individual affected by COVID-19 rarely experiences the upper respiratory symptoms, such as runny nose and/or sinus congestion.
Read: How to Know Whether You Are Infected by Coronavirus?
Individuals who have recently traveled abroad where the COVID-19 outbreak has occurred need to consult health professionals if they experience the above-mentioned symptoms. People who have got at close contact with any COVID-19 patient should also become concerned about COVID-19 if they have those symptoms. Check your symptoms through Bangladesh COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool.
During the season change periods, many people tend to catch cold. The symptoms of common colds are usually mild compared to viral flues. You can check the following symptoms to understand whether you are suffering from a typical cold.
- Runny Nose
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Cough (mild)
- Fatigue (occasionally)
- Watery eyes
- Headaches (seldom)
- Body pains and/or Aches
Most of these symptoms are actually caused due to the preventive actions of the immune system of a human body against the invader infection. The immune system of a human body is the greatest defense against the cold virus. If you are facing the above-mentioned symptoms, just be patient and help your body to fight back. Then the common cold will eventually go away. Generally, normal colds last from seven to ten days depending on the immune of a human body. The doctor prescribed medications can affect moderately to reduce the cold symptoms.
Flu is also known as seasonal influenza. It is a common respiratory viral infection that mostly affects the nasal area, throat area, and lungs area. Check out some common symptoms of the flu:
- Body pains and Aches
- Runny nose(occasionally)
- Sore throat (occasionally)
- Stuffy nose (occasionally)
- Cough (generally dry)
- Diarrhea (occasionally in children)
A viral flue can last from five to seven days. Unlike colds or COVID-19, medical treatment can successfully cure seasonal influenza. In most of the cases, people affected by viral flu get well without taking any vaccination. If you are experiencing Flu symptoms, stay home and drink plenty of fluids, take adequate rest. Consult with your doctor for medication to handle the fever.
- Corona virus spreads through sneezing, cough, breathing, and touch. Therefore it is advised to stay at home unless you have an emergency.
- Clean your hands with soap and running water (warm or cold) to wash your hands properly for at least 20 seconds. If not possible, use an alcohol-based (60%) hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands.
- After returning home, dispose of your clothes for washing or leave them for drying under the sun as soon as possible.
- While staying outside home maintain a minimum 6-feet of social distancing from other people.
- Try not to touch any part of your face or eyes before cleaning hands.
- Use a tissue while sneezing or coughing. And dispose of the tissue properly.
- And don’t forget to wear a mask while you step outside the home.
These practices will also save you from common colds and viral flues.
Also Read: Coronavirus Vs Dengue: Which Can Kill You
If you're not sick with the new coronavirus, should you wear a mask in public? Global health authorities say no. Amid a shortage of masks, the U.S. is sticking with that advice but Tuesday, President Donald Trump suggested people who are worried wear a scarf.
That shortage is so severe that the Joint Commission, which accredits U.S. hospitals, said Tuesday that if facilities can't provide proper masks, health workers are allowed to bring their own from home.
Front-line health workers have the greatest need for masks. And when people are sick, wearing a mask helps lessen the chances of infecting others. In places where relatives care for the sick at home, the World Health Organization also has recommended they wear a mask.
But "there is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any particular benefit," Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO's epidemics chief, told reporters Monday.
"In fact, there's some evidence to suggest the opposite," he added, noting risks from an improperly fitted mask or touching the face while taking it off or putting it on.
For months as the COVID-19 crisis grew and masks disappeared from store shelves, U.S. health officials have agreed. The virus is believed to spread mostly through droplets from coughs or sneezes, and thus the main advice has been to keep your distance — staying 6 feet away — in addition to frequent hand-washing and not touching your face. Health workers who may be doing procedures that generate tinier particles are supposed to get high priority for tight-fitting filtering masks.
"Seriously people - STOP BUYING MASKS!" Surgeon General Jerome Adams wrote in a February 29 tweet. "They are not effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus but if healthcare providers can't get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk."
But mask-wearing has long been common in some countries during respiratory outbreaks, especially in parts of Asia. As questions grow about whether people sometimes can spread the virus before realizing they're sick -- which social distancing is supposed to address — increasingly people ask what it would hurt to wear some form of mask in public.
Trump said Tuesday that his scientific advisers made clear the general public shouldn't be competing with hospitals and health workers for scarce masks of any type.
His solution: "Use a scarf if you want," Trump said at the daily White House briefing. "It doesn't have to be a mask. It's not a bad idea at least for a period of time."
Earlier in the day, Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, had told CNN that once there are enough masks, there might be "some very serious consideration" about broadening the mask recommendations.
For now, the advice posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website: "If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face mask)."
Some pregnant women fear giving birth with no loved ones by their side. Others worry about getting sick with COVID-19 and not being able to hold their newborns. The coronavirus pandemic has injected anxiety and uncertainty to an already stressful time and while science about risks is mostly reassuring, doctors want clearer answers too.
"There is very limited information available," said Dr. Leana Wen, a George Washington University public health specialist. She wants answers as a physician and as a patient — Wen is pregnant and due to give birth to her second child any day.
Her greatest fear is developing a COVID-19 infection or symptoms that would force her to be separated from her newborn for days or weeks.
"I would only be able to see my baby through a glass window," said Wen, former Baltimore health commissioner. "That's the one that gives me nightmares."
To help provide answers, the University of California, San Francisco last week started the first U.S. registry of COVID-19 infected or exposed pregnant women. At least 60 women have enrolled so far.
Not all have confirmed cases. Women who turn out not to be infected will remain in the registry as a comparison group.
The more women in the registry "the more quickly we can provide the answers," said Dr. Vanessa Jacoby, who heads the effort.
The big questions include: Are pregnant women more likely than others to become infected and to develop complications? Preliminary evidence suggests no.
There is also no definitive evidence that the virus can be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, although three small and preliminary studies from China published last week raised that possibility. One paper in JAMA Pediatrics included 33 infants born to infected women; only three babies tested positive, two days after birth, and developed symptoms including pneumonia. All three recovered.
It's likely their mothers transmitted the disease during or after birth, not during pregnancy, said Dr. David Kimberlin, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
"The numbers are too small to make any conclusions" about how often infants become infected or how sick they become, Kimberlin said.
Guidance from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine says pregnant women with COVID-19 should be considered high-risk patients. That's because pregnant women who develop flu or other respiratory infections caused by related viruses face increased risks for complications from those illnesses, including premature births and certain birth defects. There a few reports of babies born prematurely but there is no evidence that the coronavirus was the cause.
To limit the risk of infection, some doctors are doing prenatal checkups by phone or video conference. Some are implementing or considering limits on visitors in the delivery room. At some New York City hospitals, that meant no spouses or partners either, until the state said one person was allowed.
Federal recommendations say hospitals should consider separating infected mothers from newborns until the mother tests negative for the virus, but that is not a mandate, said Dr. Brenna Hughes, a Duke University specialist who helped write the obstetric groups' guidance.
Some pregnant women are seeking to have labor induced early to avoid hospitals during a possible surge of COVID-19 cases, and others are suddenly deciding to give birth at home. Mainstream medical groups advise against both.
"We believe that planned hospital birth is the safest option for pregnant women," Hughes said.
She added that for women who are planning to become pregnant, there's no specific advice against it during the pandemic.
Some hospitals are seeing pregnant women from out-of-state virus hotspots, who are seeking to give birth in a safer environment. These include Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut, 35 miles from New York City, and Tufts Medical Center, 200 miles away, in Boston.
Tufts is not accepting any routine OB/GYN transfers from any COVID-19 surge areas that advise against travel, said spokesman Jeremy Lechan. "If a pregnant patient from one of these areas shows up in the clinic, they will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before receiving care." Women in labor will accepted but without anyone else.
Maureen Nicol, a single Columbia University doctoral student in early childhood education, will be giving birth to her first child out of state, not as planned. She expected to give birth in April at a Manhattan hospital with the assistance of a doula. But during a visit in March to her family's Maryland home, New York became the nation's coronavirus epicenter. She canceled plans to return.
Now she's racing to find a new doctor and hospital, buy new baby supplies, and considering the possibility of giving birth with her doula on the phone.
"I'm just wishing for a healthy and safe delivery," Nicol said. "And feeling I have some control in a time and situation where I feel like no one feels like they have control."