medical

Another study finds metformin lowers dementia risk, but there’s a catch

Another study finds metformin lowers dementia risk, but there’s a catch

Another study has linked the popular drug used to treat type-2 diabetes, metformin, with a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease later in life, but that may not mean what you think it does. Dementia, including Alzheimer's, is believed to be caused by a variety of genetics and lifestyle factors, with the latter having a massive influence -- so much so that even those who have a genetic risk for the disease may stall its onset until very late in life by adopting the right habits.

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Non-NIOSH imported N95 style masks and counterfeits flow from China

Non-NIOSH imported N95 style masks and counterfeits flow from China

This week the folks at the independent testing organization ECRI published Medical Device Hazard Report on certain N95-style masks. A wide variety of imported (into USA) N95-style respirators (face-filtering respirators [FFRs]) that lack NIOSH certification were shown in testing to be less than acceptable for filtration of airborn materials, here more specifically COVID-19 and related materials. To be clear, here, this does not mean that ALL MASKS are bad, but that some masks aren't as good as they should be for healthcare workers and patients at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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FDA warns more thyroid drugs recalled because they’re not potent enough

FDA warns more thyroid drugs recalled because they’re not potent enough

On Thursday, September 17, the Food and Drug Administration brought attention to another voluntary recall of thyroid medication -- and as with the previous recall, the drugs may be too weak to properly treat those who take them. This follows a similar recall of thyroid medications issued in recent weeks, though that one was issued for the opposite reason: the drugs were too potent, putting patients at risk of becoming hyperthyroid and developing the risks associated with that.

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Hypothyroidism study finds controversial desiccated thyroid as effective as synthetic drugs

Hypothyroidism study finds controversial desiccated thyroid as effective as synthetic drugs

When it comes to hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid produces too little thyroid hormones, the standard treatment is to take a synthetic form of the T4 thyroid hormone. Called levothyroxine and sold under brand names like Synthroid, this drug replaced older, riskier treatments that involved consuming minuscule quantities of desiccated thyroid sourced from pigs. For many with hypothyroidism, this decision to use synthetic drugs over desiccated thyroid remains a big controversy.

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Sleeping brain analysis quickly reveals which antidepressants work

Sleeping brain analysis quickly reveals which antidepressants work

A new pilot study has found that it is possible to analyze brainwaves during REM sleep to quickly determine whether a particular antidepressant is likely to work for any given patient suffering from depression. The findings may pave the way for more rapid treatment of major depression, which can -- in some cases -- take multiple months of trial-and-error to find the right solution.

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Study details surprising link between anxiety and ‘silent’ thyroid issue

Study details surprising link between anxiety and ‘silent’ thyroid issue

The endocrine system, specifically the thyroid, may play a big role in the development of anxiety disorders in some people, according to a new study published by the European Society of Endocrinology. The research specifically focuses on an autoimmune condition impacting the thyroid that causes it to become inflamed. This inflammation, it turns out, may be a driving factor in the anxiety experienced by some people, opening the door to new treatment options.

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Popular thyroid drugs recalled because they’re weaker than expected

Popular thyroid drugs recalled because they’re weaker than expected

Only weeks after multiple lots of thyroid medication were recalled over being too potent, the FDA is highlighting a new recall covering nearly 500 lots of popular thyroid meds -- this time because they're not potent enough. According to the recall notice, random testing of multiple lots found that the active amount of thyroid hormone in the medication was lower than expected, substantially so in some cases.

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Elon Musk shows off futuristic Neuralink and the robot that implants it

Elon Musk shows off futuristic Neuralink and the robot that implants it

As promised, Elon Musk held a conference today detailing Neuralink, an implantable device that would, according to Musk, solve certain problems related to brain and spine function. As an implant -- and unlike many prototypes of similar concepts we've seen over the years -- Neuralink will be entirely implanted within the recipient's body, hiding it away from the world. Before such a device can be brought to market, however, it'll require talented people to make it happen.

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$5 Abbott BinaxNOW 15-minute COVID-19 test gets FDA emergency use approval

$5 Abbott BinaxNOW 15-minute COVID-19 test gets FDA emergency use approval

With no vaccine much less a cure in sight yet, the best that healthcare systems can do to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus is to treat infected people and isolate them immediately. That, however, requires that healthcare workers are able to identify such individuals before they unknowingly spread it around. The cost and time needed for nasopharyngeal swab tests make that difficult but Abbott's new BinaxNOW rapid test kit could help in that area for as little as $5.

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Elon Musk teased working Neuralink device: Will this rat be involved?

Elon Musk teased working Neuralink device: Will this rat be involved?

Today Elon Musk said Neuralink would show a working brain-computer interface device in a live streamed event this Friday, the 28th of August. This event will take place at 3PM Pacific Time - that's 4PM Mountain Time, 5PM Central Time, and 6PM Eastern Time. Showing the device at this time on a Friday should allow a minimized reactionary impact on Musk's various companies, whether or not they're directly involved in what's going on at Neuralink.

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Common high blood pressure drugs have surprising effect on depression

Common high blood pressure drugs have surprising effect on depression

Many different antihypertensive drugs are prescribed to patients suffering from high blood pressure, some more common than others. A new study evaluated dozens of these drugs for their potential influence on depression, a common mental health condition that is linked to hypertension. The research was published by the American Heart Association and found that while the 41 most commonly prescribed high blood pressure drugs don't increase the depression risk, a small number of them may significantly decrease it.

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Confirmed COVID-19 reinfection case offers a sliver of hope

Confirmed COVID-19 reinfection case offers a sliver of hope

Newly published research from Hong Kong University reveals the first confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection, raising new questions while offering a small sliver of hope. The confirmation of the reinfection was made possible by testing the viral genomes from the infected person and comparing the differences between the viruses acquired during the first and second infections.

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