Prozac Could Treat Eye Condition Affecting Half A Million People, Analysis Says

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Prozac may be the first treatment for an eye condition that affects over half a million people in the UK causing blurred or restricted vision.

That’s the suggestion of the data analysis that found that people who take antidepressants regularly are 15% less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Animal research by the same team of scientists who analyzed the data also found that the drug – which costs £ 2 a pill – slows the rate at which AMD progresses.

The researchers suggest the findings could lead to the widely available drug becoming the first treatment for the dry form of AMD.

The disease, which mainly affects people 50 to 60 years old, is caused by damage to the retina, the layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye that sends images to the brain.

Prozac could be the first treatment for an eye condition that affects more than half a million people in the UK, causing blurred or restricted vision

There are two forms; AMD wet and dry. In the dry form, which accounts for about nine out of ten cases, there is a slow deterioration of cells in the central part of the retina, an area called the macula, often over many years, as the cells in the retina die and are not renewed with age.

Wet AMD is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the back of the eyes and occurs much faster when the blood vessels leak fluid or blood into the macula. Medicines can help stop the growth of these blood vessels by blocking the signals the body sends to generate new blood vessels.

Both forms of AMD can make things like reading and recognizing faces difficult.

Although some or all of central vision can be affected by both types, peripheral vision remains normal. When, for example, a person with AMD looks at a clock face, they can see the numbers but not the hands.

And straight lines, such as doorways or streetlights, can appear wavy, curved, or distorted. The exact cause of dry AMD is unknown, although it has been linked to smoking, high blood pressure, being overweight, and a family history of the disease.

Although some or all of central vision can be affected by both types, peripheral vision remains normal.  When, for example, a person with AMD looks at a clock face, they can see the numbers but not the hands.

Although some or all of central vision can be affected by both types, peripheral vision remains normal. When, for example, a person with AMD looks at a clock face, they can see the numbers but not the hands.

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine looked at data from more than 100 million adults and found a 15% reduction in the risk of AMD in those prescribed fluoxetine (name of Prozac brand), according to results published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States

Follow-up animal research has confirmed that the drug slows sight loss by sticking to compounds in the immune system called inflammasomes. These are thought to trigger inflammation which leads to the breakdown of the surface layer of the retina. The researchers suggest that the drug could be taken as a daily pill or packaged in a slow-release implant in the eye.

Commenting on the research, Gwyn Williams, consultant ophthalmologist at Singleton Hospital in Swansea, said: “It is certainly an interesting finding.

“AMD is arguably one of the biggest health challenges we face. Human trials would indicate if there is a clinically relevant finding here, and we must remember that antidepressants have side effects, so any benefits should be great enough to outweigh the risks.

The spice curcumin, a component of turmeric, may be effective against the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), reports the journal Neural Regeneration Research.

Researchers at the University of Madrid looked at the evidence for a wide range of plants and natural products that have been studied as treatments for AMD, including saffron, ginkgo, bilberry and bilberry, curcumin, turmeric and vitamins C and E.

The researchers said that, among these, curcumin had stronger evidence to support its use, but clinical trials are needed.

When a sun rash is responsible for your cold

Your risk of catching a cold could be greater on days when there are solar flares or other variations in the sun’s activity, a Harvard University study suggests.

When scientists compared 13 years of weather data with details of the white blood cell count (a measure of immune activity) during the same time period, they found that the increase in solar wind and fluctuations in the field magnetic earth were associated with a decrease in the number of white blood cells.

Writing in the journal Environmental Research, the scientists linked this effect to the changes that “solar and geomagnetic activity” had on the body clock.

Combining opioid pain relievers with a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine could prevent patients from becoming dependent on the drug, suggests a study from the University of California in the United States. still relieving pain, reports the journal Pharmaceuticals.

Ice Cube Treatment for Loss of Taste after Covid

Sucking on an ice cube is being tested as part of a four-pronged approach to combat loss of taste and smell after having Covid-19.

In an eight-week trial led by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health, patients will be given insulin (thought to regenerate nasal receptors), zinc (to stimulate taste), and gabapentin (to block nasal receptors). electrical signals of damaged olfactory and taste receptors).

They will also be asked to put a small ice cube in their mouth for one minute, three times a day (to stimulate the taste buds).

Sucking on an ice cube is being tested as part of a four-pronged approach to tackle loss of taste and smell after having Covid-19

Sucking on an ice cube is being tested as part of a four-pronged approach to tackle loss of taste and smell after having Covid-19

Water jet pen to draw your blood instead of the needle

New Zealand engineers have developed a needle-free device that uses mini jets of water to check blood sugar.

The technology was originally conceived as a way to deliver drugs – the short, chunky pen-shaped device produces a thin but powerful stream of water that has been proven to deliver an anesthetic in liquid form at 20 mm in the skin.

According to the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, scientists at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute have shown that it works almost as efficiently as a standard needle, with a jet of water strong enough to break the skin like a lancet. .

The researchers hope that the same device will also be able to inject insulin.

High-tech gel can speed up the recovery of knee operation

A gel that hardens when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light accelerates the healing of damaged knee cartilage by acting as a scaffold on which cells grow.

Cartilage acts as a shock absorber in the joints but cannot regenerate itself naturally. New cartilage cells can be surgically implanted in the damaged area, but they tend to migrate.

The new gel is designed to solve this problem. Once loaded with new cartilage cells, the gel is inserted through keyhole surgery. UV light is then applied to trigger the curing process, securing the cells in position.

A recent animal study at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, published in the journal Science Advances, found that after treatment with the gel, cartilage problems healed well within six months.

Revolting remedies

Medical treatments that could turn your stomach upside down. This week: let blood flow to reduce iron levels

In medieval times, bloodletting was used as a treatment for everything from epilepsy to gout – nowadays it is used to reduce levels of iron in the blood or to treat people with thicker blood. due to excess red blood cells. But where it used to be to cut a vein and let it bleed, the process is now the same as donating blood.

“The treatment is known as therapeutic bleeding and involves removing around 450ml of blood from a vein, usually in the elbow,” says Dr Jonathan Cullis, consultant hematologist at the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.

Therapeutic bleeding is most often used to treat genetic hemochromatosis, which affects around 250,000 Britons (although not all need treatment) and causes iron to build up in the blood. This can lead to liver scarring and heart failure. The blood test is first weekly for a year, then four times a year.

Try that

Bath Alchemist Apple Cider Vinegar Wellness Tonic No 2 is infused with turmeric and ginger. The infusion preserves ‘the mother’, a sediment that contains gut bacteria – £ 12.95, 240 ml, thebathalchemist.com

Secrets of an A-List Body

How to achieve the enviable physique of the stars. This week: Amanda Holden’s biceps

Amanda Holden showed off her toned biceps as she took an invigorating swim in the sea on the weekends

Amanda Holden showed off her toned biceps as she took an invigorating swim in the sea on the weekends

Amanda Holden showed off her toned biceps as she took an invigorating dip in the sea this weekend.

The 50-year-old swears by yoga, running, home workouts and long walks.

Must try: Zottman Loop.

Hold a dumbbell or water bottle in each hand with your arms by your side.

Slowly roll the weights up to your shoulders without moving your upper arms and with your palms facing forward.

Rotate the wrists so that the palms are facing outward and slowly lower the weights.

Return the wrists to the starting position.

It’s a repetition.

Do four sets of 12 repetitions, three days a week.

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