Diagnosing liver damage earlier could help to prevent liver failure in many patients. — ScienceDaily

About 25 percent of the U.S. population suffers from fatty liver disease, a condition that can lead to fibrosis of the liver and, eventually, liver failure.

Currently there is no easy way to diagnose either fatty liver disease or liver fibrosis. However, MIT engineers have now developed a diagnostic tool, based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), that could be used to detect both of those conditions.

“Since it’s a noninvasive test, you could screen people even before they have obvious symptoms of compromised liver, and you would be able to say which of these patients had fibrosis,” says Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and the senior author of the study.

The device, which is small enough to fit on a table, uses NMR to measure how water diffuses

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Study forecasts advantages and disadvantages for Black patients of removing race from kidney function calculators — ScienceDaily

Race is not biology. As a social construct, race is an unreliable predictor of physiologic variation and a notoriously unreliable marker for biologic differences across populations.

To reflect this growing realization, hospital systems and professional medical organizations have started reconsidering the use of race in clinical calculators that estimate how well a person’s kidneys work. Indeed, some hospital systems have already removed race from these commonly used clinical tools.

But what this move might mean for patients remains unclear.

Now a new study from Harvard Medical School forecasts the effects of this change if implemented nationwide. The results, published Dec. 2 in JAMA, suggest that removing race from kidney function tests might have both advantages and disadvantages for Black people with kidney disease.

The analysis represents the most comprehensive study to date to assess the impact of eliminating race from kidney function formulas. It is intended to help clinicians,

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Patients with heart rhythm disorder warned against heavy alcohol consumption — ScienceDaily

Fourteen drinks a week is linked with a higher risk of health problems including stroke and embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation, according to research published in EP Europace, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

“Our study suggests that atrial fibrillation patients should avoid heavy alcohol consumption to prevent stroke and other complications,” said author Dr. Boyoung Joung of Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

The study included 9,411 patients with atrial fibrillation from 18 tertiary hospitals covering all geographical regions of South Korea. Patients were categorised into four groups according to their weekly alcohol consumption (one drink contains 14 grams of alcohol): abstainer/rare (0 grams/less than one drink), light (less than 100 grams/7 drinks), moderate (100-200 grams/7-14 drinks), and heavy (200 grams/14 drinks or more).

A total of 7,455 (79.2%) patients were classified as abstainer/rare, 795 (8.4%) as light, 345 (3.7%) as

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Study examines role of mobile health technology in monitoring COVID-19 patients

Study examines role of mobile health technology in monitoring Covid-19 patients
Wearable devices are viable options to monitor Covid-19 patients and predict symptom escalation for earlier intervention. Credit: Tammy Ko

A 60-person task force, including MIT Lincoln Laboratory researchers, has published a study reviewing mobile health (mHealth) technologies and examining their use in monitoring and mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. They found that mHealth technologies are viable options to monitor COVID-19 patients and predict symptom escalation for earlier intervention.

The study, “Can mHealth Technology Help Mitigate the Effects of the COVID 19 Pandemic?”, is published in the IEEE Open Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology. The task force was led by Harvard Medical School Associate Professor Paolo Bonato, director of the Motion Analysis Lab at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, and included international experts and those from across the United States.

The study reviewed mHealth technologies in three categories—wearable sensors, digital contact tracing technology, and electronic patient-recorded

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GRAIL and UK Government to Make Galleri Multi-Cancer Early Detection Blood Test Available to Patients

MENLO PARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov 26, 2020–

GRAIL, Inc., a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured, today announced a partnership with the United Kingdom’s (UK) National Health Service (NHS) to help transform cancer outcomes by making GRAIL’s multi-cancer early detection blood test, Galleri™, available to UK patients starting in 2021.

The commercial partnership program aims to confirm Galleri’s clinical and economic performance in the NHS system as a precursor to its routine use by the NHS.

The partnership program will involve approximately 165,000 people in the UK and includes two groups. The first will include 140,000 people over the age of 50 without any suspicion of cancer, and the second will include 25,000 people aged 40 and above with suspicious signs or symptoms of cancer. Based on data from this program, access to the test could be expanded to around one million people

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COVID-19 patients survive in-hospital cardiac arrest at pre-pandemic rates — ScienceDaily

It isn’t a death sentence if a COVID-19 patient suffers a cardiac arrest while getting treatment for the virus in the hospital, according to new research that contradicts reports from early on in the pandemic. The new insight from a researcher in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania still shows that such events remain deadly, but can be survived at a rate likely near what it was among other hospital inpatients before the pandemic broke out. This analysis was presented during the American Heart Association’s annual scientific meeting this month.

“Early studies showed extremely low rates of COVID-19 patients who were resuscitated successfully and went on to survive after suffering from cardiac arrest. The first study from Wuhan demonstrated just a 2.9 percent 30-day survival rate and a second small cohort from New York City showed absolutely no survival,” said Oscar Mitchell, MD, a fellow in

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Understanding lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis — ScienceDaily

For young people with cystic fibrosis, lung infection with Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, is common and is treated with antibiotics in the hope that this will prevent a decline in lung function. However there has recently been debate over the role S. aureus plays in CF lung disease. Researchers from the University of Warwick have used a new model of CF lungs which could be used to make better decisions about future use of antibiotics.

S. aureus is commonly found on the skin of healthy people, it can cause lung infection and abscess, and is often present in the mucus and sputum of children with cystic fibrosis. When S. aureus — including the antibiotic-resistant form, MRSA — is found in people with CF, it is treated with antibiotics, but exactly how S. aureus affects the lungs in people with this condition is unknown.

Previous research models have often looked at

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Patients who received the combination therapy had increased cognition and functioning — ScienceDaily

UCLA scientists and colleagues found the use of long-acting antipsychotic medication combined with the use of cognitive training in group settings led to improved cognition and increased productivity.

Researchers say patients using a combination of long-acting antipsychotic medication and a multipronged cognitive remediation that taught memory and problem-solving skills had significant improvements in work and school function.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. People with schizophrenia may appear to have lost touch with reality, which can cause distress for family and friends and lead to permanent disability. Treatments delivered in a sustained manner can help people with schizophrenia engage in school or work, achieve independence and enjoy personal relationships.

During a 12-month randomized controlled trial, 60 patients from the UCLA Aftercare Program who recently experienced a first episode of schizophrenia were randomized to oral or long-acting injectable antipsychotic medication and to

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Group of radiologists raise money for new technology critical for Nova Scotia cancer patients

A group of radiologists, in collaboration with the QEII foundation in Halifax and the government, were able to purchase a new cancer imaging technology that is reducing waiting times and providing more accurate cancer diagnoses for patients.



a group of people standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: QEII Radiologists were able to raise money for a new PET-CT scan.


© Nova Scotia Health Authority
QEII Radiologists were able to raise money for a new PET-CT scan.

According to the foundation, PET-CT scan is a diagnostic tool that helps determine the stage and spread of many cancers. PET-CT guides critical decisions for patient care — whether that means additional testing, treatment or surgery.

READ MORE: Navigating a new cancer diagnosis during a pandemic: ‘Everything is upended’

The foundation, which helps fund new technologies and medical research, said in a statement that QEII Radiologists tripled all donations to the QEII Foundation’s PET-CT campaign, to a total of $50,000. This was a total impact of $150,000 — completing the fundraising campaign, which totaled $600,000.

“I

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Biomedical engineers use computer modeling to investigate low blood oxygen in COVID-19 patients — ScienceDaily

Scientists are still solving the many puzzling aspects of how the novel coronavirus attacks the lungs and other parts of the body. One of the biggest and most life-threatening mysteries is how the virus causes “silent hypoxia,” a condition when oxygen levels in the body are abnormally low, which can irreparably damage vital organs if gone undetected for too long. Now, thanks to computer models and comparisons with real patient data, Boston University biomedical engineers and collaborators from the University of Vermont have begun to crack the mystery.

Despite experiencing dangerously low levels of oxygen, many people infected with severe cases of COVID-19 sometimes show no symptoms of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Hypoxia’s ability to quietly inflict damage is why it’s been coined “silent.” In coronavirus patients, it’s thought that the infection first damages the lungs, rendering parts of them incapable of functioning properly. Those tissues lose oxygen

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