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Diabetes drug might ease heart failure risk

Gorkha Post

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A new research has showed that the diabetes drug Farxiga might do double-duty for patients, helping to ward off another killer, heart failure.

According to the findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with their presentation at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago, Type 2 diabetics who took Farxiga saw their odds of hospitalization for heart failure drop by 27 percent compared to those who took a placebo.

Farxiga is a type of drug called a SGLT2 inhibitor. The compound is called dapagliflozin.

The study included more than 17,000 type 2 diabetes patients aged 40 and older. Nearly 7,000 had heart disease and more than 10,000 had numerous risk factors for heart disease, Wiviott’s group said.

Patients were randomly assigned to take a dummy placebo pill or 10 milligrams of Farxiga each day.

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“When it comes to helping our patients control and manage blood glucose, the ‘how’ appears to be as important [as] the ‘how much,” said study author Dr Stephen Wiviott, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“When choosing a therapy, trial results like these can help us make an informed decision about what treatments are not only safe and effective for lowering blood glucose but can also reduce risk of heart and kidney complications,” Wiviott said in a hospital news release.

Taking the drug did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular-related death, the research team noted. However, patients who took the drug did see healthy declines in their blood sugar levels, plus an added bonus: a 27 percent decrease in their risk of hospitalization for heart failure.

Their risk of kidney failure and death from kidney failure also fell, researchers noted.

Two other recent studies of this class of drugs show that they “robustly and consistently improve heart and kidney outcomes in a broad population of patients with diabetes,” Wiviott noted.

With Inputs from HealthDay

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Researchers find link between brain activity and depressed mood

Raghu Kshitiz

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Researchers from University of California San Francisco have identified a common pattern of brain activity linked to feelings of low mood, particularly in people who have a tendency toward anxiety.

The findings published in the journal Cellcould help scientists to develop new therapies to help people with mood disorders such as depression by convincing the brain to ‘unlearn’ the detrimental signaling patterns of these diseases, according to researchers at the UCSF.

The study was funded by the Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS) program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

“It is remarkable that we are able to see the actual neural substrates of human mood directly from the brain,” study leader Dr Edward Chang, a UCSF Health neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, said in a press release.

“The findings have scientific implications for our understanding of how specific brain regions contribute to mood disorders, but also practical implications for identifying biomarkers that could be used for new technology designed to treat these disorders, which is a major priority of our SUBNETS effort,” Chang said.

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The researchers recruited 21 patient volunteers with epilepsy who had had 40 to 70 electrodes implanted on the brain’s surface and in deeper structures of the brain as part of standard preparation for surgery to remove seizure-causing brain tissue.

Over seven to 10 days,the researchers recorded a wide range of brain activity in these patients over the course of seven to 10 days, particularly focusing on certain deep brain structures that have been previously implicated in mood regulation.

The researchers then used computational algorithms to match patterns of brain activity to changes in the patients’ reported mood. Patients logged their mood throughout the day.

These new algorithms were developed by the lead author, Lowry Kirkby, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the Sohal lab, and Francisco Luongo, PhD, a recent alumnus of UCSF’s Neuroscience Graduate Program.

In the past, most human brain research on mood disorders relied on studies in which participants lie in an fMRI scanner and look at upsetting images or listen to sad stories.

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