Daily Times Nigeria

November 28, 2013 2:01 PM

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New research suggests that multivitamin supplements taken long-term, alongside a micronutrient called selenium, delay HIV progression in patients with early stages of the disease and reduce the risk of immune decline and illness. This is according to a study published in JAMA.

Investigators from Florida International University in Miami, led by Marianna K. Baum, note that micronutrient deficiencies are known to influence immune function, are common before the development of symptoms of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), and are linked to increased HIV progression.

Previous studies have demonstrated that micronutrient supplementation improves markers of HIV progression, the researchers say, but they add that these studies were conducted in patients who were at the late stages of the disease, or in pregnant women.

For this most recent study, the investigators wanted to determine whether certain micronutrient supplements would slow HIV progression in HIV-infected patients who were in the early stages of the disease, and who had not received antiretroviral therapy (ART).

The investigators say the vitamins and selenium are nutrients that the body needs in order to maintain a responsive immune system, while selenium may also play a part in preventing HIV replication.

Older patients who received extra geriatric care following a traumatic injury were able to return to roughly two thirds more daily activities than those without a consultation, according to a new study led by researchers from the University of Michigan Health System and University of California, Los Angeles.

Patients in the study were 65 or over and had experienced injuries ranging from a minor rib fracture from a bad fall to a serious head injury or multiple fractures as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident.

A year after discharge from the hospital, patients were questioned about how well they were able to return to independence in regular activities, including walking, bathing, managing finances, light housework and simple shopping trips.

Those who saw an additional geriatrician during their hospital stay were less dependent on others a year later -- most notably in their ability to leave the house to shop for personal items -- according to the research that appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association Surgery.

"Trauma surgeons have long struggled with the fragility of their older trauma patients who have much greater health risks for the same injuries experienced by younger patients," says senior author Lillian Min, M.D., M.S.H.S., assistant professor of internal medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine at the U-M Medical School. "We've come a long way in improving our survival rates of these patients but what we didn't know was whether we were returning them to their homes and communities sicker than they were before.

"What we found was that geriatric interventions helped older patients take better care of themselves and be more independent."

Tongue piercings may be stylish in some circles, but they also are central to the latest innovation in wheelchair mobility for folks paralyzed from the neck down.

Researchers have developed a new navigation system for powered wheelchairs in which patients use a magnetic tongue piercing to steer their chair about, according to new research published November 27 in Science Translational Medicine.

The "Tongue Drive System" uses sensors located near a person's cheeks to track the movement of the magnetic tongue piercing. Signals from the sensors are picked up by a smartphone, which then relays them to the powered wheelchair.

Essentially, the patient's tongue becomes the joystick through which they steer their wheelchair.

"There is absolutely no difference between the tongue piercing you need for this device and the one you get at your local tattoo parlor," said study co-author Maysam Ghovanloo, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "The only difference is we've replaced the jewelry with a small magnet."

In clinical trials, paralyzed people were able to use the Tongue Drive to steer their wheelchairs much more quickly and just as accurately as those using the most popular current technology, in which a person steers by sipping or puffing into a straw.

Source: dailytimes.com.ng

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