Brain implants provide hope for those unable to speak

Restoring the power of speech to those who have lost it through illness or accident is becoming an ever more plausible concept, based on results from two brain implants that show encouraging results, researchers say. Pat Bennett, 68, was a dynamic and sporty human resources senior executive before being diagnosed more than a decade ago with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a neural disorder resulting from damage to nerves that transmit […]

US surgeons say pig kidney functional in human for more than a month

By Issam AHMED US surgeons who transplanted a genetically modified pig kidney into a brain dead patient said Wednesday the organ was still working well after a record 32 days — a significant step in the quest to close the organ donation gap. The latest experimental procedure is part of a growing field of research aimed at advancing cross-species transplants, testing the technique on bodies that have been donated for science. There are more than […]

US court restricts access to abortion pill, ruling on hold

By Chris Lefkow A US federal appeals court on Wednesday imposed restrictions on a widely used abortion pill, but the ruling will remain on hold as the Supreme Court decides whether to hear the case. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals would limit use of mifepristone to the first seven weeks of pregnancy, instead of 10, and block it from being distributed by mail. It would […]

Cyprus cats to get Covid meds

Unused coronavirus medication for humans will be made available to treat cats in Cyprus, where they have been dying in their thousands from feline Covid, officials announced Thursday. The government gave the green light in line with a recommendation from the agriculture ministry. A strain of coronavirus — feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), not transmittable to humans — has been wreaking havoc on the prolific cat population of the Mediterranean island. “Stocks of preparations that were […]

Medical journals warn of ‘growing’ nuclear weapon threat

More than 100 medical journals across the world issued a rare joint call on Thursday for urgent action to eliminate nuclear weapons, warning that the threat of nuclear catastrophe was “great and growing”. The call comes with Russia repeatedly issuing thinly veiled warnings that Moscow could use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, as well as repeated North Korean missile tests and stalling efforts towards non-proliferation. An editorial published in numerous medical journals called on health professionals […]

Croatia targets latest climate-change threat: mosquitoes

By Lajla VESELICA ZAGREB, July 20, 2023 (AFP) – Hordes of buzzing but sterile mosquitoes are being let loose in Zagreb as Croatia gets ahead of worries that climate change could bring tropical diseases to the Mediterranean nation. The release is part of a pilot project focused on eradicating invasive Asian Tiger mosquitoes known for carrying sicknesses like Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and Zika. The species has appeared to thrive in the country and across the […]

Doctors walk out in UK health service’s biggest strike

LONDON, July 13, 2023 (AFP) – Hospital doctors in England will on Thursday stage the biggest walkout in the history of the UK’s state-funded National Health Service, prompting fears for patient safety. The unprecedented five-day stoppage over pay and staffing is the latest in eight months of industrial action across the NHS, which is already reeling from a vast pandemic backlog. Nurses, ambulance staff and other medical staff have all joined picket lines in recent […]

US makes new Alzheimer’s drug more widely accessible

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The US drug regulator gave full approval to a new Alzheimer’s medicine on Thursday, a move that makes it more widely available to the public through government-run health insurance for the elderly. Leqembi, developed jointly by Japan’s Eisai and Biogen of the United States, was shown in a clinical trial to modestly reduce cognitive decline among patients in the early stages of the disease. But the study also raised concerns […]

WHO announces 18 mn malaria jab doses for 12 African nations

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Around 18 million doses of the first malaria vaccine will be delivered to 12 African countries by 2025, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Vaccine Alliance said Wednesday. “Malaria remains one of Africa’s deadliest diseases, killing nearly half a million children under the age of five every year,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing. In 2021, 96 percent of the world’s malaria deaths occurred in Africa. The Mosquirix […]

Study highlights limitations of BMI in predicting death

By Issam AHMED Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — People classified as overweight though not obese are not at a higher risk of death, according to a new study Wednesday that underscores the limitations of the body mass index (BMI), long a standard medical metric. The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, come as populations in both rich and poor countries are becoming heavier. In the United States, more than 70 percent of […]

Britain’s public health service at 75: on life support?

By Jitendra JOSHI LONDON, July 4, 2023 (AFP) – Deeply loved but wracked by crisis, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) on Wednesday marks 75 years since it was founded as the Western world’s first universal, free healthcare system. In a secular age, the NHS is the closest thing Britain has to a national religion — devoutly cherished, with levels of public support higher than the royal family or any other British institution. It was founded […]

Diabetes cases to double to 1.3 billion by 2050: study

PARIS, June 22, 2023 (AFP) — The number of people suffering from diabetes worldwide will more than double to 1.3 billion by 2050 driven by structural racism and gaping inequality between countries, new research predicted on Friday. Every country on the globe will see an increase in the number of patients with the chronic disease, according to the most comprehensive analysis of global data projecting out to 2050. Some 529 million people were estimated to […]