Clinical Research

The incidence of serious strep infections has risen dramatically in the last three decades, and this increase is largely attributed to the spread around the globe of a single strain of strep known as the invasive M1T1 clone.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the University of Wollongong in Australia have discovered that, 30 years ago, a virus infected the strep bacteria – creating a deadly strain of “flesh-eating” bacteria that has evolved to produce serious human infections worldwide.

It has been almost a century since scientists at Eli Lilly figured out how to make large quantities of pure insulin. This historical discovery made it possible for the first time to save the lives of diabetics (mostly children). But now, we are witnessing another breakthrough.

Although perhaps not as dramatic as the development of insulin, for the first time a hypoglycemic drug has been found to increase life expectancy.

As more money has been spent on biomedical research in the United States over the past 50 years, there has been diminished return on investment in terms of life expectancy gains and new drug approvals, two Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say.

In a report published Aug. 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found that while the number of scientists has increased more than nine-fold since 1965 and the National Institutes of Health's budget has increased four-fold, the number of new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration has only increased a little more than two-fold. Meanwhile, life expectancy gains have remained constant at roughly two months per year.

Perhaps some day, 3D printers will be spitting out replacement organs made from your own DNA, and like, they will show up in your “mailbox” an hour after you order them.

Across the entire world, women have a greater life expectancy than men. But why? Was this always the case?

According to a new study led by University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology researchers, significant differences in life expectancies between the sexes first emerged as recently as the turn of the 20th century. As infectious disease prevention, improved diets and other positive health behaviors were adopted by people born during the 1800s and early 1900s, death rates plummeted, but women began reaping the longevity benefits at a much faster rate.

The Phase IIb pivotal study of P2B001 for the treatment of early stage Parkinson's Disease has been announced as a success. 

P2B001 is a combination of low dose pramipexole and low dose rasagiline administered as a proprietary sustained release formulation. The study, titled A Phase IIb, Twelve Week, Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Study, To Determine the Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of Two Doses of Once Daily P2B001 in Subjects with Early Parkinson's Disease, showed that it met primary and secondary clinical endpoints for both dose combinations. Specifically, the results showed:

For the first time gene therapy for cystic fibrosis has shown a significant benefit in lung function compared with placebo, in a phase 2 randomized trial. The technique replaces the defective gene response for cystic fibrosis by using inhaled molecules of DNA to deliver a normal working copy of the gene to lung cells.

“Patients who received the gene therapy showed a significant, if modest, benefit in tests of lung function compared with the placebo group and there were no safety concerns,” said senior author Professor Eric Alton from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London. “Whilst the effect was inconsistent, with some patients responding better than others, the results are encouraging.”

When a new type of drug or therapy is discovered, double-blind randomized controlled trials (DBRCTs) are the gold standard for evaluating them. These trials, which have been used for years, were designed to determine the true efficacy of a treatment free from patient or doctor bias, but they do not factor in the effects that patient behaviors, such as diet and lifestyle choices, can have on the tested treatment.

I saw this in today’s Daily Mail:

Landmark discovery about the brain 'will have scientists rewriting textbooks' - and could help treat conditions such as autism and Alzheimer's

and here is a copy of the University of Virginia press release for your interest:

Researchers Find Textbook-Altering Link Between Brain, Immune System

One day you feel a strange stinging, biting or crawling sensation beneath your skin, which just won't go away. Then fibres begin to protrude from the skin or you may see red or blue lines below the surface of your skin. Eventually sores erupt all over your body, including in places you can't reach such as the middle of your back. You go to the doctor - and - after doing tests to rule out many other similar conditions, he finds that you fit the symptoms of a very rare condition, popularly called "Morgellons". He or she then tells you that this is not a real disease, but rather is a delusional condition. There is nothing physical causing this. It's just something going on in your mind which leads to all these symptoms.