Cholesterol medicine affects the organs differently

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600,000 Danes take medicine containing statins. Statins lower the cholesterol level and thus helps prevent cardiovascular disease and blood clots. But there is a different side to the coin.

Treatment with statins may also have negative side effects, some of which are so severe that people suffering from elevated cholesterol choose to stop treatment. One of the main side effects is muscle pain, also called myalgia, which may lead to reduced quality of life, pain and inactivity due to the pain.

Statins inhibit the production of cholesterol in the cell, but it also inhibit an important element in the energy production in the cells’ mitochondria. Mitochondria are small, energy-producing organelles found in almost all cells in the body. Statins are suspected of lowering the energy level in the cells, thus causing myalgia in muscle cells.

The researchers therefore wished to determine whether statins also inhibited the energy production in blood cell mitochondria. And research from the Center for Healthy Aging at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences now shows that statins do not have the expected effect.

“We can see that long-term treatment with statins at the recommended dose increases the blood cells’ ability to produce energy. These are surprising results. We had expected statins to behave the same way that they do in muscle cells, but in fact they do the exact opposite here,” says Executive Director and Professor at the Center for Healthy Aging Lene Juel Rasmussen.

Statins Do Both Good and Bad

Even though the surprising results challenge the theory that statins lower the energy level, this does not necessarily mean that statins do not have adverse effects on some organs.

Because the results say nothing about whether the statins are responsible for affecting the energy level or it is the body that does that to compensate for the change caused by the statins.

“Statins are quite mysterious, as they can have both positive and negative consequences depending on the part of the body,” says Lene Juel Rasmussen.

“Our results show an increase in the energy level in the blood cells, but whether that is good or bad, we cannot say. It can either mean that the statins improve the blood cells’ ability to produce energy, which would be a good thing, or that the statins do damage and that the body consequently raises the energy level to mend that damage,” she explains.

Different Effects on Different Parts of the Body

Even though the mechanism behind statins’ effect on the blood remains unknown, the new results provide brand new insight into the effect of statins: Contrary to expectation, statins behave differently in different parts of the body.

“Previous studies suggest that statins have a potentially beneficial effect on some forms of cancer and possibly also on some forms of dementia. If we are able to produce new knowledge on the effect of statins on various parts of the body, we can use this knowledge to design drugs based on the beneficial effects.

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What We Know So Far about How COVID Affects the Nervous System

Many of the symptoms experienced by people infected with SARS-CoV-2 involve the nervous system. Patients complain of headaches, muscle and joint pain, fatigue and “brain fog,” or loss of taste and smell—all of which can last from weeks to months after infection. In severe cases, COVID-19 can also lead to encephalitis or stroke. The virus has undeniable neurological effects. But the way it actually affects nerve cells still remains a bit of a mystery. Can immune system activation alone produce symptoms? Or does the novel coronavirus directly attack the nervous system?

Some studies—including a recent preprint paper examining mouse and human brain tissue—show evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can get into nerve cells and the brain. The question remains as to whether it does so routinely or only in the most severe cases. Once the immune system kicks into overdrive, the effects can be far-ranging, even leading immune cells to invade the brain, where they can wreak havoc.

Some neurological symptoms are far less serious yet seem, if anything, more perplexing. One symptom—or set of symptoms—that illustrates this puzzle and has gained increasing attention is an imprecise diagnosis called “brain fog.” Even after their main symptoms have abated, it is not uncommon for COVID-19 patients to experience memory loss, confusion and other mental fuzziness. What underlies these experiences is still unclear, although they may also stem from the body-wide inflammation that can go along with COVID-19. Many people, however, develop fatigue and brain fog that lasts for months even after a mild case that does not spur the immune system to rage out of control.

Another widespread symptom called anosmia, or loss of smell, might also originate from changes that happen without nerves themselves getting infected. Olfactory neurons, the cells that transmit odors to the brain, lack the primary docking site, or receptor, for SARS-CoV-2, and they do not seem to get infected. Researchers are still investigating how loss of smell might result from an interaction between the virus and another receptor on the olfactory neurons or from its contact with nonnerve cells that line the nose.

Experts say the virus need not make it inside neurons to cause some of the mysterious neurological symptoms now emerging from the disease. Many pain-related effects could arise from an attack on sensory neurons, the nerves that extend from the spinal cord throughout the body to gather information from the external environment or internal bodily processes. Researchers are now making headway in understanding how SARS-CoV-2 could hijack pain-sensing neurons, called nociceptors, to produce some of COVID-19’s hallmark symptoms.

Neuroscientist Theodore Price, who studies pain at the University of Texas at Dallas, took note of the symptoms reported in the early literature and cited by patients of his wife, a nurse practitioner who sees people with COVID remotely. Those symptoms include sore throat, headaches, body-wide muscle pain and severe cough. (The cough is triggered in part by sensory nerve cells in the lungs.)

Curiously, some patients report a loss of a particular sensation called chemethesis, which

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‘Weekend Effect’ Affects Survival Odds for Rural Stroke Patients | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter


WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Stroke patients have a higher risk of death if they’re admitted to a rural hospital on the weekend, a new study finds.

University of Georgia researchers analyzed 2016 data on stroke deaths at U.S. hospitals to learn whether the so-called “weekend effect” influenced stroke outcomes.

“The weekend effect is the phenomenon where the risk of bad or adverse outcomes, such as mortality in our study, increases for those who are admitted to the hospital over the weekend as opposed to a weekday,” said lead author Birook Mekonnen, who was a graduate student in the College of Public Health when the research was conducted.

There was evidence to support the weekend effect in all hospitals. But outcomes were especially poor for rural patients who had hemorrhagic (bleeding) strokes on a weekend, as opposed to ischemic strokes (ones caused by blocked blood flow to the brain).

But the time of week may be just one factor in unfavorable outcomes for rural stroke patients, according to study co-author Donglan Zhang, an assistant professor of health policy and management in public health.

Zhang noted that rural hospitals tend to have fewer resources, including stroke specialists and equipment for particularly severe cases. They also serve a wider area and it’s not uncommon for rural patients to be more than an hour’s drive from the nearest hospital.

The researchers said one way to protect stroke patients from the weekend effect is to invest in telemedicine. They noted that more rural hospitals are joining telestroke care networks, enabling them to connect with specialists and collaborate on treatment for stroke patients.

Mekonnen advised people who are at risk for stroke or other major health problems to look into the telemedicine options available to them. “This may be the new norm,” he said in a university news release.

The findings were published in the October issue of the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on stroke.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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How Your Focus AFFECTS Your Health?

You are what you think! This adage, is extremely relevant, to our overall health, and well – being. Whether one pursues, the best possible course of action, or focuses, on the negative possibilities, often AFFECTS whether we are truly, happy, and healthy, or, let our personal negative thoughts, dominate us, or, whether, we consistently, are ready, willing, and able, to focus on, being, happier, and healthier. Henry Ford has been credited with saying, You can think you can, or can't. Either way, you'll be correct . With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means, and represents, and why it's such an essential consideration.

1. Attitude; attention; actions: Do you proceed, with a true, positive, can – do, attitude, or, do you let the self – imposed limitations of your comfort zone, dominate you? How much attention do you pay, to your health, and well – being, and do your actions, match your rhetoric, and claims? Will you transform obstacles to challenges, to overcome, or consider them, as problems, and become debilitated?

2. Faith; feeling; feelings: How much faith, do you have, in yourself? Are you feeling, good vibes , about your personal value, and do you pay close attention, to your feelings?

3. Furnish; fruition; future: How might you furnish, the necessities, which make you, better, happier, more self – confident, prepared, and, thus, potentially, healthier? Will you have the persistence, to bring your finest efforts, to fruition? What might you be willing to do, today, to ensure a finer future?

4. Energy; emphasis; endurance; expectations; excellence: Will you maintain an energy level, which enriches your existence? Will you place most of your emphasis, where it benefits you? Hopefully, you will realize, good things take time, and persistence, and will proceed with the endurance, to ensure positive results! When you demand the utmost degree of personal excellence, you will proceed with positive expectations, and self – belief!

5. Character; create / creative; consider: How will you create, your level of quality character, which ensures, a happier, healthier future? Creative individuals creatively consider, viable options and alternatives, in a well – considered manner!

6. Time – tested; timely: In order to become happier, and healthier, there is no need, to reinvent the wheel! Therefore, it is beneficial, to learn, from the past, and proceed, with time – tested ways. However, unless / until, you avoid procrastination, and proceed in a well – considered, timely manner, you will never, become, the best, you can possibly be!

7. Strengths; stronger; solutions; spirit: Know your personal strengths, and weaknesses, effectively using areas of strength, while addressing any weakness! When you become stronger, and proceed, with a positive, productive, spirit, you will use quality, viable solutions, to ensure the finest possibilities!

When you know, and understand, your personal responsibility, and how your focus, AFFECTS your capabilities , you enhance the chances of being happier, and healthier! Will you become, your own, …

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