Medicine (category filter × )

Prescribing Opioids for a Sprained Ankle?
  • Study finds that out of 592,000 patients with sprained ankles, 11.9% filled prescriptions for opioids within 7 days of diagnosis.
  • What’s more alarming, is that 8.4% out of those individuals continued to fill an opioid prescription 3 months after the diagnosis.
  • Opioids have never been recommended as a treatment for ankle sprains.
  • Study authors say that physicians need to understand ankle sprain treatment guidelines--prescribing opioids clearly leads to new persistent opioid use.
  • The opioid epidemic is a big issue in the US, and “physician prescribing and over-prescribing is part of the problem”.

First step to induce self-repair in the central nervous system
  • Neurobiologists are looking for a way to enable repair processes in the central nervous system which, when injured, leads to permanent damage like paraplegia.
  • Studying how peripheral nerves regenerate, they found that the key to this process lies in cells which form a substance called myelin.
  • Myelin turns out to be produced by different cells in the peripheral (Schwann cells) and central (oligodendrocytes) nervous system.
  • Following this lead, the team has found a pathway that accelerates myelin degradation (enabling regeneration) in peripheral nerves.
  • Now they are working at identifying the molecular processes responsible for removing myelin at injury sites in the central nervous system.

New Type Of Antibiotics Could Help Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance
  • New type of antibiotic, based on a toxin produced by bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, could help in the fight against antibiotic resistance.
  • It’s a breakthrough because most other new antibiotics are derived from existing drugs.
  • Molecules derived from the toxin were found to be capable of killing other bacteria present in our body.
  • First tests have shown no toxicity to animal and human cells, and targeted bacteria show no signs of resistance.
  • It’s still very early, but clinical trials in humans are already being planned.

Killing the seeds of cancer: A new finding shows potential in destroying cancer stem cells
  • Newly discovered molecule shows promise of killing cancer stem cells, and ensuring that they don’t return in the future.
  • By itself, it seems to work against sarcomas and claudin-low breast cancer, and it could be paired with chemotherapy for treating other types of cancer.
  • Finding a way to kill these cells is important - there are various cells even in the same tumor, and they can re-seed tumors.
  • Study authors compare these cells to weeds in a garden; killing them would be a huge step for cancer research.
  • The discovery was patented in 2018, and authors were awarded a grant to continue testing.

Texas A&M Chemists Develop Nanoscale Bioabsorbable Wound Dressing
  • New type of anti-hemorrhage wound dressing created by combining highly entangled nanofibers of chitosan (widely used natural material) with a sugar-based hydrogel.
  • It’s easy to apply, and it can dissolve in as little as 7 days without the need to be removed.
  • Hemorrhage is the cause of over 35% of pre-hospital deaths, and over 40% of deaths within 24 hours of injury.
  • The new wound dressing has the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality through early and easy control of hemorrhage.
  • However, it’s still awaiting human trials, and so far has only been applied to liver injuries in rats, rabbits and pigs.