Antibody therapy halves ‘bad’ cholesterol levels


A clinical trial has found that a monoclonal antibody reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels by 50% in people with an inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolemia.
Individuals with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol in their blood are at increased risk of developingatherosclerosis (narrowed arteries) and cardiovascular disease.
Doctors define severe hypercholesterolemia as untreated LDL cholesterol levels of at least 190 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) of blood.
Cardiologists in the U.S. recommend that individuals who are at very high risk of cardiovascular disease due atherosclerosis aim for an LDL cholesterol level of around 70 mg/dl of blood. Lifestyle changes can help reduce LDL, but people usually need to take cholesterol-lowering drugs to reach this goal. In addition, certain genetic differences can make achieving this objective more difficult for some people.
Worldwide, approximately 1 in 250 adults have an inherited condition called heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. This usually results from mutations in a gene for a receptor that removes LDL from the bloodstream.
Scientists discover that a drug used to treat arthritis shows promising initial results for treating Covid-19 in older adults. Alongside developing an effective and safe vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, scientists are also identifying potential treatments that may help increase the survival chances of people who develop Covid-19.
To do this quickly, scientists have turned to previously available drugs, looking to repurpose them as COVID-19 treatments. Since these medicines already have approval for use, many of the safety tests involved in the development of a novel drug are not required.
However, this is still no small task. There are thousands of potential drugs to search through when identifying those that may be worth testing.
To speed up the process, scientists used artificial intelligence (AI) systems that can rapidly analyze these medicines and determine if they could be effective Covid-19 treatments. One such drug that artificial intelligence software identified in February 2020 was baricitinib, a medication for adult rheumatoid arthritis.
The software identified this drug because it had two potential mechanisms of action. The first might reduce inflammation, while the second might make it more difficult for the virus to access a person’s cells. Mindfulness interventions can help people change unhealthful behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, and overeating.

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