Here are the top medical news for the day:
Rise in pregnancy-related complications during COVID-19 pandemic
In a paper published in JAMA Network Open, physician-scientists assessed how pregnancy-related complications and obstetric outcomes changed during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to pre-pandemic. Looking at the relative changes in mode of delivery, rates of premature births and mortality outcomes before compared to during the pandemic, the team found increased odds of maternal death during delivery hospitalization, cardiovascular disorders and obstetric hemorrhage during the pandemic.
Molina and colleagues analyzed data from more than 1.6 million pregnant patients who gave birth in 463 U.S. hospitals in the 14 months prior to the advent of COVID-19 and during the first 14 months of the pandemic. There were no statistically significant differences in the two groups’ demographic characteristics, including age, race and ethnicity, insurance types and co-morbidities.
Rose L. Molina et. al, JAMA Network Open, 12-Aug-2022
Nanometric photodiodes to study the activity of neurons
‘A jolt of light’ to modulate the activity of a single neuron in real time. This is how innovative nanometric photodiodes work, the protagonists of a new research study published in Science Advances. The technique developed by Professor Laura Ballerini’s team at SISSA in Trieste, in collaboration with the Universities of Chicago and Cambridge, is a truly innovative and sophisticated one. When activated with an infrared ray, photodiodes of nanometric dimension are able to send an electrical message to the nerve cell to which they are bound, regulating its function. The effect of the stimulation can then be extended and amplified to the surrounding network of neurons in virtue of their synaptic contacts. Working like a real electrode, but with a non-invasive and very selective approach, these nanotechnologies could be extremely useful for basic research, to investigate in-depth the mechanisms of the nervous system, but also to develop targeted therapies for neurological diseases.
Laura Ballerini et. al,Distributed interfacing by nanoscale photodiodes enables single neuron light-activation and sensory enhancement in 3D spinal explants,Science Advances,12-Aug-2022,DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abp9257
Children hospitalized with COVID-19 or MIS-C who have lingering complications
As part of the national Overcoming COVID-19 study, investigators led by Adrienne Randolph, of Boston Children’s surveyed family caregivers of patients under age 21 who were hospitalized with COVID-19 or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)
Of these children and youth, roughly 40 percent were hospitalized with acute COVID-19 and roughly 60 percent with MIS-C. Fifty percent and 86 percent, respectively, were admitted to the intensive care unit.
Adrienne Randolph et. al, PEDIATRICS, 12-AUG-2022