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Brain

New 'breakthrough' Alzheimer's drug fast-tracked by US watchdog

old man on bench loneliness alzheimer's
The first drug that could halt Alzheimer's is to be fast-tracked for approval, in what experts say could be the biggest breakthrough yet in the fight against the disease.

Charities said the decision by US watchdogs to give the treatment a "priority review" could mean it would be prescribed within six months, giving hope to sufferers everywhere.

Trials have found that patients given aducanumab showed improvements in their language skills and ability to keep track of time and place, and a slower loss of memory.

Comment: See also:


Question

The best way to measure rates of COVID immunity?

World Mask
© Sebastian Rushworth.com
In my previous post on the covid pandemic I mentioned that the body's main defence against viruses is T-cells, not antibodies, and that the only reason we test for antibodies instead in clinicial practice is because it is easier and cheaper. I also ventured a hypothesis that the levels of population immunity are much higher than is being found in the antibody tests, and that this is because lots of people who don't have antibodies do have covid specific T-cells. It turns out that this hypothesis is supported by new evidence.

A study carried out at Karolinska Institutet (where I went to medical school), which is still awaiting publication, looked at the presence of both antibody-based and T-cell specific immunity to covid among people in Stockholm. The data was collected during May. The first covid fatality in Sweden was in mid-March, so at that point covid had been raging for about two months.

The study was funded by Karolinska Institutet, the Swedish Research Council, and a number of private foundations and charities. The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

Study participants were recruited in to five distinct cohorts, with a total of around 200 individuals:

Biohazard

New virus passed via tick bites emerges in China, seven killed so far

mosquito
© gmw.cn
Super mosquito with 20-times bigger body compared with common ones
A new type of virus, which is likely to be passed to be infected after bite by ticks, is emerging in China, with more than 60 people infected and killed at least seven.

According to media reports, more than 37 people in East China's Jiangsu Province have contracted with the virus - SFTS Virus in the first half of the year; and later 23 people was found infected in East China's Anhui Province.

Wang, a woman in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu who suffered from the virus showed onset of symptoms such like fever, coughing and doctors found decline of leukocyte, blood platelet inside of her body.

Comment: RT provides more details:
The current case fatality rate of the re-emerging disease is between approximately 16 and 30 percent, according to the China Information System for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the infection is primarily transmitted through tick bites, transition between humans cannot be excluded, Sheng Jifang, a doctor from a hospital under Zhejiang University, told the Global Times, explaining that it could be passed through blood or mucous.

A 2015 outbreak of the same virus in Japan and South Korea had a mortality rate of more than 30 percent in both countries. The virus is known to be particularly harmful for older or immunocompromised people.

The doctors also warn that tick bites are a major transmission route not only for SFTS, but other infections as well. They say there is no reason to panic, however, if people exercise caution.

In 2018, the World Health Organization included SFTS on its list of the diseases prioritized for research together with the likes of Ebola, SARS and Zika. Those viruses were singled out due to their high potential to cause a public health emergency and lack of efficacious drugs or vaccines against them.
See also:


Syringe

These NHS staff were told the swine flu vaccine was safe, now they're suffering the consequences

NHS workers swine flu vaccine injury
© BuzzFeed
Dozens of NHS workers are fighting for compensation after developing narcolepsy from a swine flu vaccine that was rushed into service without the usual testing when the disease spread across the globe in 2009. They say it has destroyed their careers and their health.

When nurse Meleney Gallagher was told to line up with her colleagues on the renal ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital, for her swine flu vaccination, she had no idea the injection she was about to have had not gone through the usual testing process.

It had been rushed into circulation after the swine flu virus had swept across the globe in 2009, prompting fears thousands of people could die. From the moment the needle broke Gallagher's skin, her life would never be the same.

"I remember vividly we were all lined up in the corridor and we were told we had to have it. It wasn't a choice," she claimed. "I was pressured into it. We were given no information."

The date was 23 November 2009 and Gallagher was one of thousands of NHS staff vaccinated with Pandemrix, a vaccine made by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Comment: Obviously, lessons were not learned:

Objective:Health - Operation 'Warped' Speed - These People Are Crazy!


Quenelle - Golden

'Vaccines-or-masks' policy of Canadian health authorities ruled 'unreasonable' in 2015 arbitration case

vaccinate masks policy

A 'vaccinations-or-masks' policy was legally ruled 'unreasonable' in Canada in 2018, following detailed cases investigating scientific efficacy of surgical masks
The Ontario arbitration fight about masks is really stunning. The background: several Ontario hospitals wanted to make all nurses get flu vaccinations. Legally they couldn't. So they required the nurses who wouldn't get vaccinated to wear masks.

The nurses filed a grievance saying that masks were useless and they should not be forced to wear them. Both sides took the arbitration very seriously.

A long fight ensued. Both sides called experts and offered evidence. And in two decisions - in 2015 and 2018 - separate arbitrators ruled for the nurses.
ontario nurses masks

Comment: For more on the Ontario nurses' successful defeat of a pseudo-scientific facemask policy back in 2015 (and again in 2018), read this:

Union says Ontario nurses can't be forced to wear masks in flu season
CBC, 10 September 2015


Beaker

Fact-Checking a 'Fact-Checker' on Covid-19: A Response to HealthFeedback.org

Fact Checking Covid-19
© Unknown
On July 12 an organization called Health Feedback posted a review of my and Patrick Corbett's July 2 OffGuardian article on the bombshell revelations of Bulgarian Pathology Association President Dr. Stoian Alexov. They stamped it "inaccurate."

This article is a refutation of Health Feedback's so-called fact-checking. I show why Dr. Alexov's statements, in fact, fit the evidence, and punch plenty of other holes in Health Feedback's claim that our article is "clearly wrong" and has "very little credibility."

Health Feedback's review is fatally faulty right off the top, when the review's unnamed author mistakes my co-author Patrick Corbett for James Corbett of The Corbett Report: the screencap at the top of the review is from James Corbett's June 16 interview with me.

The review also takes a swipe at outlets that reposted our article: it notes Media Bias/Fact Check dubs GlobalResearch.ca and Australian National Review "conspiracy websites."

Pills

Lithium-laced drinking water could be curbing suicide rates, scientists say

lithium
© Alamy Stock Photo
For communities with a low rate of depression and suicide, there may be something in the water, according to a new study.

A comprehensive analysis of findings from previous studies has revealed that regions where the public drinking water contains a high level of naturally occurring lithium — a mineral used most often for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder — also boast a lower rate of suicide than other areas. The review included all prior research on the effects of lithium, as well as regional water samples and suicide data from 1,286 locales in Austria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the UK, Japan and the United States.

"Naturally occurring lithium in drinking water may have the potential to reduce the risk of suicide and may possibly help in mood stabilization, particularly in populations with relatively high suicide rates and geographical areas with a greater range of lithium concentration in the drinking water," the authors concluded in their report.

Comment: See also:


Cupcake Choco

Mexico state bans sale of sugary drinks and junk food to children

kids pop machine soda
© Henry Romero/Reuters
Mexican lawmaker Magaly López Domínguez said the coronavirus pandemic had spurred colleagues to ban soft drink sales to children and improve the country’s health.
The southern Mexican state of Oaxaca has banned the sale of sugary drinks and high-calorie snack foods to children - a measure aimed at curbing obesity.

The bill to reform the state's children and adolescents' rights law proposed fines and the possible closure of stores for selling soft drinks and sweets to children. It in effect puts sugary items into the same category as cigarettes and alcohol.

"It's important to finally put the brakes on this industry, which has already sickened our country and our children," said Magaly López Domínguez, the Oaxaca lawmaker who presented the bill. "[The industry] gets into the most remote corners of the state" - known for its mountainous topography - "where there's often not even medicines, but there's Coca-Cola."

Comment: Considering Covid-19 is more or less harmless unless there are existing conditions, taking steps to mitigate existing conditions, like improving the diet, is really the only protective step that makes any sense. While the rest of the world tramples over the rights of its citizens with useless measures that do nothing but virtue signal, at least one state in Mexico seems to be taking steps to actually protect one of its vulnerable populations.

See also:


HRC Blue

EU numbers show correlation between flu vaccine and coronavirus deaths

coronavirus
The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic shows startling variation, some countries having rates of less than ten per million, while western Europe and the USA are in the hundreds. Among the likely reasons are ecological (high population density and urbanisation), demographic (ageing and multicultural societies) and clinical (obesity and chronic disease such as diabetes mellitus). Also, there are significant differences in diagnostic practice and recording.

However, a factor that hasn't been considered is the flu vaccine, which is widely administered to the elderly. Some correlation with Covid-19 mortality, although not necessarily causal, is readily apparent. The medical establishment tends to cast any critic of vaccination as an extremist, but we are not 'anti-vaxxers'. We present our case tentatively, and leave it to readers to decide whether this is a reasonable line of enquiry.

Influenza is a contagion that strikes every winter, with symptoms of headache, fever, chill, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, nasal congestion and cough. Severe cases lead to pneumonia, a common cause of death in the elderly. The first vaccine against influenza was produced by Ernest Williams Goodpasture at Vanderbilt University in 1931, and vaccination became widely available after the Second World War.

Health

CDC warns parents to be on lookout for acute flaccid myelitis in children

Polio-like illness known as acute flaccid myelitis
© CNN
Polio-like illness known as acute flaccid myelitis leaves healthy, active toddler paralyzed.
Parents and pediatricians need to be on the lookout in the coming months for a rare, paralyzing condition that affects young children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The polio-like condition, called acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, tends to peak every other year, and the last surge of cases was in 2018, when 238 cases were diagnosed across the US, the CDC said.

This year is likely to see another upsurge but things will be complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

"AFM is a priority for CDC as we prepare for a possible outbreak this year," Dr. Thomas Clark, deputy director of CDC's Division of Viral Diseases, told reporters."

We are concerned that, in the midst of a Covid pandemic, that cases might not be recognized as AFM, or we are concerned that parents might be worried about taking their child to the doctor if they develop something as serious as limb weakness," Clark added.

The CDC released results of a study done after the last outbreak in 2018. It put almost all the affected children into the hospital. Patients were 5 years old on average.