[Isabel Rangel Baron] The new vaccine that could cure HIV

A new hope for HIV patients

Recently, it seems that a new vaccine could raise hope for patients with this virus. An experiment tested in monkeys showed that a combined vaccine with immune system stimulant leads to undetectable levels of the virus in monkeys.

isabel-rangel-baron-new-hiv-vacinneNowadays, patients with HIV use antiretroviral treatments because it helps to lower the levels of the virus, which allow them to have a healthy life, reducing also the risk of infecting others. Nevertheless, the disadvantage is that it’s not a cure, just a treatment to control the virus.

When a person takes the medication, the virus hides in some parts of the body, waiting to appear again. For this reason, people must follow the medication strictly because stopping it involves a dangerous rebound effect that increases the virus levels. This is why it’s important to find the cure that will definitely suppress the virus HIV.

Dan Barouch, the lead investigator of the study, first infected 36 monkeys with simian immunodeficiency virus. Then he treated them with antiretroviral medication for six months. Barouch divided the monkeys into four groups to treat them differently. Almost all monkeys presented a rebound effect of the virus.

However, one of the groups received a combination of the vaccine and the immune system compound, and they presented a considerable improvement compared to the others. The most important result was that three out of nine of these monkeys had undetectable levels of the virus in their bodies.

Isabel Rangel Baron - HIV vaccine
Isabel Rangel Baron – Fight Against HIV

The vaccine and the immune system compound have been tested separately in human trials.  The pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson tested the HIV vaccine, and Gilead Sciences Inc. tested the immune system stimulant. Barouch aims to test both compounds in patients with HIV to determine if it could cure the virus in human beings.

Isabel Rangel Baron 

 

 

 

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[Isabel Rangel Baron] Do you suffer from headache pain?

A cause of headache pain you probably didn’t know

Headache pain is a very common problem that affects us. Stress, undiagnosed jaw disorders, and genetic susceptibility are the main causes of headaches disorders.

Headache pain is a problem that affects everybody at different levels. According to the WHO, it has been estimated that headache disorders affect about 50% of the world’s adult population. Experts have considered that undiagnosed jaw disorders, genetic susceptibility, and stress are the most common causes of headache pain. However, recent researchers found that a considerable number of headaches are being caused by the medications taken to relieve them. Scientists discovered that 25% of headaches and 50% of chronic migraines are a side effect of the overuse of pain medications. Prescription and non-prescription drugs are responsible for these common headaches.

Isabel Rangel Baron - Headache
Isabel Rangel Baron – Headache pain pills

We must be careful with overmedication

People start to take too many pills to alleviate a simple headache or a migraine, which lead to a cycle of headaches and overmedication. For this reason, The International Headache Society published new guidelines to help doctors to recognize and treat headaches from overmedication. One of the symptoms of this problem is headaches that repeat 15 or more days per month. It is considered a case of overmedication when the patient takes pain pills for 15 or more days per month.

But how can you know that pain medication is increasing your headaches? The best way to know it is by stop taking them. Overmedication leads to the problem of dependence, so the bad news is that if you became a medication-dependent person, it will take more than two months to get better from this problem.

A migraine tends to present rebound episodes. For this reason, some drugs have been approved to prevent and control it. The most recent drug called topiramate (Topamax) may reduce the frequency of migraine attacks up to 14 months. Moreover, recent studies state that Botox injected in the scalp could prevent or reduce the frequency of migraines and tension headaches. Anyways, the overuse of any pain pills can cause rebound problems.

Isabel Rangel Baron - Headache pain
Isabel Rangel Baron – Tips to deal with headache pain 

-Isabel Rangel Baron

Facebook can be related to longevity

Social media in our lives

Social media has become very important in our lives. We spend many hours in front of the screen. For this reason, in the last years, many studies and writings have talked about why social media are bad for our health.

However, a new study has found that time spent in social media might be associated with a longer life.

Social interaction is very important for human beings, and social media have increased online interaction, which it is mainly associated with longevity, according to this new study.

Isabel Rangel Baron - Facebook can improve our health
Isabel Rangel Baron – Social networks in our lives

The researchers compared 12 million Facebook users to nonusers to determine if social networks are associated or not with a longer life. They found that “people with more friends online are less likely to die than their disconnected counterparts.”

This research rebuts the studies that affirm that social media are bad for health.  However, some could doubt about the results obtained because two of the researchers worked at Facebook. One of them was William Hobbs, a postdoctoral fellow at the Northeastern University worked at Facebook. But he affirmed that Facebook did not interfere with the research results.

People using many social networks live longer!

Researchers found that a moderate use of Facebook is associated with the lowest mortality rate. They also found that people who use many social networks lived longer than those who had very small social networks. Indeed, there is no evidence in the results which could indicate that Facebook directly affects a person’s health.

James Fowler, a professor of public health and political science at the University of California, said that “the reason why people with more friends are healthier is because healthier people have more friends.” So, social media are not associated with health.

Isabel Rangel  Baron - Facebook and its use
Isabel Rangel Baron – Facebook may be associated with good health

William Hobbs said, “we’re not making any recommendations on how people should use social media.”

This study is an advance on how social networks and online interaction influence our lives.