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The Disease Detective – The New York Times

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Meningitis itself is not a disease, just a description that means that the tissues around the brain and spinal cord have become inflamed. In the United States, bacterial infections can cause meningitis, as can enteroviruses, mumps, and herpes simplex. But a high percentage of cases, as doctors say, have no known etiology: Nobody knows why the patient’s brain and spinal cord swell.

This was the case with the Dhaka eruption. CHRF is one of the leading microbiology laboratories in Southeast Asia and is responsible for tracking meningitis in the country for the World Health Organization. “Every case of meningitis that comes in, we cultivate,” Saha told me. “We run antigen tests for pneumococci, Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae and GBS” or group B streptococci – the four infections most likely to cause meningitis. “Then we do a much more sensitive and specific test for Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria as this causes the highest percentage of cases. And then we also do real-time PCR to look for DNA fragments from one of these pathogens. ”

When the outbreak began, the cause was thought to be bacterial again, but none of the tests could locate a pathogen. Over the next year, Saha worked to solve the puzzle, sometimes in collaboration with other laboratories. A partnership with an organization in China broke up when the group was unwilling to share their techniques. Another group of researchers in Canada did their own tests on the meningitis samples, but couldn’t figure out the cause either. Not long after, Saha was attending a conference at the British Museum where she gave a presentation entitled “The Dark Side of Meningitis”. “It was a negative conversation,” recalls Saha. “How: Why does everyone only talk about the successful cases? We have to talk about thousands of cases each year where we have no idea what is causing the disease. ”

Before meeting DeRisi, Saha was skeptical about further collaboration. But the two hit it off right away. Although DeRisi could be impatient, Saha liked that he was direct and appreciated that his “ethics are very strong. In his head he says: That’s right; that is wrong; I’ll do that. ”Still, she proceeded cautiously. “Because IDseq was new and I’m very meticulous, I built in a lot of controls,” she told me. Of the 97 CSF samples, only 25 came from actual mystery meningitis cases. The remainder were either from cases for which Saha’s lab had already identified the cause or were not meningitis at all. Several were just water. “The idea was that all of this would be tested and the process dazzled,” says Saha. “Because I had to see whether the platform worked or not.”

However, when Saha and her team performed the mysterious meningitis testing through IDseq, the result was surprising. Rather than uncovering a bacterial cause as expected, a third of the samples showed signs of the Chikungunya virus – particularly a neuroinvasive strain that was thought to be extremely rare. “At first we thought: It can’t be true!” Saha remembers. “But the moment Joe and I realized it was Chikungunya, I went back and looked at the other 200 samples we had collected around the same time. And we also found the virus in some of these samples. ”

Until recently, chikungunya was a comparatively rare disease that occurs mainly in parts of central and east Africa. “Then it just exploded across the Caribbean and Africa and across Southeast Asia to India and Bangladesh,” DeRisi told me. No cases of chikungunya were reported in Latin America in 2011. In 2014 there were a million.

Common chikungunya can cause permanent neurological damage and lifelong joint pain. DeRisi called the disease “enormously devastating” and stated that chikungunya means “to be distorted” in the Kimakonde language spoken in Tanzania. But one neuroinvasive version that caused brain damage, particularly affecting children and infants, was particularly alarming.

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Boots issues recall of 31 own-brand vitamins and health supplements over banned substance

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Boots Ireland has recalled 31 of its own brand of vitamins and supplements due to the presence of a substance that could pose a risk if taken for long periods of time.

The recall was published today in the Irish Food Safety Authority’s (FSA) latest food alert.

“The products contain a substance called 2-chloroethanol, which is a recognized reaction product of ethylene oxide,” said the FSAI.

“Ethylene oxide is a pesticide that is not approved for use in food sold in the EU, but is approved for use in other countries outside the EU. Although the consumption of the contaminated product does not pose an acute risk to health, there is an increased risk with continued consumption of contaminated food over a longer period of time, so exposure to this substance must be minimized. “

All affected products were made in the UK.

In a statement tonight, Boots Ireland said: “The safety of our customers is of paramount importance to us. As a precautionary measure, we have chosen to recall a small number of lots of selected Boots vitamins and supplements from our stores in Ireland. Consumption of the affected products does not pose an acute health risk.

“If customers have purchased one of the listed items and they have an expiration date before or equal to August 2023, we ask that you stop taking them and return them to any Boots store for a full refund. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and if customers have any further questions, our customer service team can be contacted at 1800 719824. “

The affected products include popular multivitamins as well as vitamins B, C, D, zinc and iron as well as vegan formula multivitamins and multivitamins for children.

Other dietary supplements affected are those used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, dietary supplements to strengthen the immune system, joints and conception, and products for men and women over the age of 50. All affected products have a best before date of August 2023.

The full recall list is as follows, including the barcode.

3586286 Design support 30×6 50-45093-58628-9

1701819 Pregnancy Support 90×6 50-45091-70181-3

8100373 Complete woman 50+ 30×6 50-45098-10037-4

8100365 Full man 30 50-45098-10036-7

8100381 Complete man 50+ 30×6 50-45098-10038-1

8369437 Children Chewy AZ 30×6 50-45098-36943-6

1548484 immune defense 30×6 50-45091-54848-7

4082869 zinc 180s 50-45094-08286-5

8188661 Ginseng & Multivitamin Tablets 50-45098-18866-2

1454730 Calcium, Vitamin D & K1 tablets 50-00167-07963-0

8579377 Vitamin D 75ug 90s 50-45098-57937-8

8597073 Calcium with Vitamin D&K chewable 90er 50-45098-59707-5

8578818 Iron & Vitamin C Tablets 50-45098-57881-4

8380392 HS B vitamins 60×6 50-45098-38039-4

8380406 Vegan Vitamin D 90s 50-45098-38040-0

8593922 Good Gut Lacatase 60s 50-45098-59392-3

8599351 Vegan AZ 60s 50-45098-59935-2

4781465 Pregnancy Support Plus tablets 30 + 30×6 50-45094-78146-1

8578966 Selenium 60s 50-45098-57896-8

8721181 Vegan Duo AZ 30 + 30 50-45098-72118-0

8579121 Chewable Calcium & HS Vitamin D 60s 50-45098-57912-5

8847916 Meatless Diet Support 50-45098-84791-0

8847932 Dairy-free food supplement 50-45098-84793-4

8847940 Egg-free dietary supplement 50-45098-84794-1

1156470 Vitamin C 500mg and Vitamin D 10ug 50-45091-15647-7

8902321 Nagel Boost 60×6 50-45098-90232-9

2513048 Turmeric 4000 mg tablets 50-45092-51304-0

2512653 Joint lock active 30×6 50-45092-51265-4

2512637 Joint Duo30 + 30×6 50-45092-51263-0

4781457 BTS pregnancy support 30s 50-45094-78145-4

8100349 Breastfeeding tablets 50-45098-10034-3

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NBA roundup: Kevin Love honored for efforts to destigmatize mental health issues

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Cleveland Cavaliers striker Kevin Love during Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat. Love, a five-time NBA All-Star, is honored by a Boston foundation for his work on and off the court in removing the stigma from mental health problems. Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

BOSTON – Kevin Love knows the euphoria of sinking a threesome just before the buzzer. But the five-time NBA All-Star had plenty of lows to make up for those highs.

“There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed. That’s just the truth, “wrote the 2018 Cleveland Cavaliers power forward of his lifelong struggles with depression and low self-esteem.

On Thursday, the Boston-based Ruderman Family Foundation honored Love with its annual Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion for its work both on and off the field to eradicate the stigma of mental illness.

“Love has repeatedly taken steps to eradicate the mental health stigma by sharing stories of his struggles with depression, anxiety and other challenges,” the foundation said in a statement. He also founded the Kevin Love Fund, with the ambitious goal of helping more than 1 billion people over a five-year period.

Last year, his fund partnered with the University of California, Los Angeles to establish the Kevin Love Fund Chair in UCLA’s Psychology Department to diagnose, prevent, treat, and destigmatize anxiety and depression.

Love, 33, won an NBA championship with the Cavaliers in 2016 and was a member of the gold-medaled US national team at the 2010 FIBA ​​World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics.

He has repeatedly taken steps to eradicate the mental health stigma by telling stories of his struggles with depression, anxiety, and other challenges. In a 2018 essay for The Players’ Tribune, he revealed that he had been seeing a therapist for several months after suffering a panic attack during a game earlier this year.

The fight continues: In April, Love apologized for a fit of anger on the pitch during a game against the Toronto Raptors.

“When I first spoke about my mental health problems, it changed my life,” said Love on Thursday.

“In recent years, athletes around the world have shown us incredible courage by highlighting the psychological stress of extreme pressure. In this way, they have helped initiate a cultural shift around mental wellbeing, ”he said.

Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, said Love was chosen for his “instrumental role in destigmatizing mental health and exposing this long-overdue conversation.”

“He has served as a high-profile role model for countless people facing mental health problems who can now use his courage and determination as a guide,” said Ruderman.

BUCK: Brook Lopez, Milwaukee center, has had surgery for his back injury that has kept him from playing since the opening game of the season.

The Bucks announced that Lopez had back surgery on the same day in Los Angeles. Team officials did not provide a schedule for his potential return, but said, “Lopez will continue to be listed as out of action and updates on his rehabilitation progress will be provided accordingly.”

Lopez played 28 minutes and had eight points, five rebounds and three blocks in an opening season win over the Brooklyn Nets, but the 7-footer has not played since. The 33-year-old Center is in his fourth season with the Bucks and in his 14th season overall.

He averaged 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks last season while helping the Bucks win the NBA title.

Bucks officials said Robert Watkins performed the operation under the supervision of team doctor William Raasch.

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How Light Therapy Can Help With Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Cleveland Clinic

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The winter months can mean snowball fights, hot cocoa, and Christmas decorations, but they also mean less sunlight. And less sunlight can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) now known as major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern.

The Cleveland Clinic is a not for profit academic medical center. Advertising on our website helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. politics

SAD is a form of depression that typically occurs in fall or winter. The lack of sunshine affects our circadian rhythm, the so-called “internal body clock”, which regulates the 24-hour cycle of biological processes in our body.

Reduced sunlight can also cause your serotonin levels to drop and melatonin levels to become unbalanced, which can play a role in your sleep patterns and mood.

For many, the use of light therapy can help treat SAD and other conditions such as depression and insomnia.

Psychologist Adam Borland, PsyD, talks about how light therapy works and how to use it at home.

What is light therapy?

Also known as phototherapy or bright light therapy, light therapy can be used to treat SAD and other diseases with artificial light. To use light therapy, you need to sit or work near a light therapy box for about 30 minutes.

“Especially in winter our body reacts to the gray, cold weather and the lack of natural sunlight,” says Dr. Borland. “Light therapy compensates for the lack of exposure that we get from natural sunlight.”

Types of light therapy

While most light boxes or other light therapy devices use full spectrum fluorescent light, there are also several types of light therapy that can provide benefits beyond treating SAD.

  1. Red. While more research is needed to see if red light therapy is effective at treating wounds, ulcers, and pain, there is some promise that it will help with fading scars and improving hair growth.
  2. Blue. In addition to helping people with SAD and depression, blue light can help with sun damage and acne as well.
  3. Green. Research shows that green light can be beneficial in migraine sufferers.

Benefits of light therapy

Helps with SAD

About 5% of adults in the United States have SAD, which tends to start in young adulthood. About 75% of people with seasonal affective disorder are women.

When you have SAD, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Sadness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Weight gain.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Irritability.

In order to increase your alertness, mood, energy and concentration most effectively and for the longest, regular use of light therapy is important. Research shows that light therapy is considered to be the best treatment for SAD.

Helps with depression

Research shows that light therapy can improve depression by helping your circadian rhythm and balancing serotonin levels.

One study shows that light therapy, both alone and with fluoxetine, an antidepressant, was effective in improving symptoms of depression.

Helps with sleep disorders

If you suffer from insomnia or circadian rhythm sleep disorders, research shows that using light therapy can help by positively affecting the levels of melatonin and serotonin in your brain.

It can also help you set up and stick to an ideal sleep schedule.

Supports the effectiveness of antidepressants

If you are taking an antidepressant, remember to use light therapy in combination with your medication.

“It helps balance and activate the serotonin in our brain,” says Dr. Borland. “So if someone is on medication and doing talk therapy, all of these things can certainly improve their mood.”

How to use light therapy

Although there are light therapy options like dawn stimulators and natural spectrum lightbulbs, the use of a light box (a flat panel device that uses full spectrum fluorescent light) is the most common in treating SAD.

If you’re interested in a lightbox, there are plenty of affordable options out there. But Dr. Borland says you should do your homework and look for one that provides 2,500 to 10,000 lux of output (a way to measure light brightness).

Here’s the best way to use your lightbox:

  • Use a timer. Dr. Borland says the time it takes to use your light box will vary from person to person, but most people tend to use it for 30 minutes a day. “The nice thing is that most light boxes have a timer,” he says.
  • Use it in the morning. Try to use it as early as possible in the day, says Dr. Borland. Use at night can have negative effects.
  • Don’t look straight into the light. Place your lightbox on the side of your desk or table. “Only use it as a passive light source and don’t look directly into it,” says Dr. Borland.

Dr. Borland cautions you not to speak to your doctor before starting light therapy. It may not be the best option for people with vision problems, people taking certain medications like anti-inflammatories or antibiotics, people who are photosensitive, and people with bipolar disorder.

Headache, blurred vision, fatigue, and eye strain may also occur when using light therapy. If symptoms worsen, call your doctor.

But with its affordable price and small, practical size, using a light box can be beneficial.

“Be open-minded,” says Dr. Borland. “This is something that can be used in addition to medication, talk therapy, exercise, and socializing – all those things that are important in life.”

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