December 29, 2016

Health Roundup - Good news

MS breakthrough: Doctors hail the discovery of a 'landmark' drug that alters the immune system

Ocrelizumab reported positive results in the treatment of one form of MS, primary progressive. It works by preventing the body's immune system from malfunctioning.  It was found only 33% of primary progressive patients deteriorated over time. However, 39% suffered from worsening symptoms after taking a placebo drug
The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved testing on more than 700 patients across Europe and the US.

New antibiotic mined from human gut reverses drug resistance in superbugs

Using DNA sequences, scientists decode new antibiotics used in gut warfare.....The microbes bustling in our bellies may be gold mines for new antibiotic drugs, researchers report this week in Nature Chemical Biology. As proof of gut-bugs’ potential, the authors dug up a new bacteria-busting drug that can reverse resistance in pathogens and help kill off methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. In mice with lethal MRSA infections, the drug helped cure 100 percent of infections.

Scientists have figured out how to help nerve fibers repair themselves

A team of scientist from the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) began their research with the hypothesis that such a molecular brake naturally exists - something that stops neurons growing when we become adults and our bodies are fully formed.  But finding such a mechanism was like "looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack", according to lead researcher Frank Bradke.  By using a data-crunching approach called bioinformatics - where computers analyze and interpret biological information - the team eventually zeroed in on the gene they were looking for.

They have identified a gene that inhibits fibre regrowth when nerve connections become damaged. This gene, called Cacna2d2, acts as 'molecular brake', but now that we know how to turn the brake off, it could help us to develop treatments for conditions like paralysis and other spinal cord injuries.

Over 60,000 People Every Year Get Adult Stem Cell Treatments, Embryonic Cells Help No One

To date there is no proven success with human embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are the least likely type of stem cell to help any patients. Their very nature—a tendency to incessant growth—means that they are much more likely to form a tumor than to form healthy tissue, and so embryonic stem cells risk the life and health of those who are injected with them.

Even some embryonic stem cell advocates are beginning to admit failure. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, charged with spending $3 billion of state taxpayer dollars primarily for embryonic stem cell and human cloning research, has lately been funding mostly grants for non-embryonic stem cell research, hoping that they will have something to show for their expenditures which so far have yielded nothing from embryonic stem cells.
Adult stem cells remain the gold standard among stem cells when it comes to helping patients. For the latest facts on adult stem cell transplants see

In the last year, adult stem cells have been shown the potential to re-grow damaged heart muscle and reduce scars in the heart tissue.  They have been used to regrow new windpipes in patients with cancer or other tracheal problems. French scientists showed for the first time that a few adult stem cells from a patient could be used to grow enough red blood cells in the lab for a transfusion. The adult stem cells efficiently produced new cells that survived transfusion back into the patient’s body and functioned normally.

Ebola breakthrough as vaccine trial shows 'historic' 100% success rate

11,300 people died in West Africa's 2013-2016 epidemic of the virus.  New vaccine was found to be 100% successful in 2015 Guinea trial 
Posted by Jill Fallon at December 29, 2016 12:51 PM | Permalink