Medical Bulletin 15/March/2023

Here are the top medical news for the day:

Novel treatment approach to improve cardiac pump function in heart failure patients

A clinical study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden shows that the hunger hormone ghrelin can increase the heart’s pump capacity in patients with heart failure.Ghrelin is an endogenous hormone that has many receptors distributed in cardiac muscle tissues. It increases the appetite and stimulates the release of growth hormones.

In this double-blind study, 30 patients with heart failure were randomly assigned to two groups, receiving either active treatment with ghrelin or a placebo given intravenously for two hours. The participants were followed up after two to five days.


“Acyl ghrelin improves cardiac function in heart failure and increases fractional shortening in cardiomyocytes without calcium mobilization”,European Heart Journal,doi 10.1093/eurheartj/ehad100

Study finds common dry cleaning chemical trichloroethylene to be linked to Parkinson’s

A common and widely used chemical may be fueling the rise of the world’s fastest growing brain condition – Parkinson’s disease. For the past 100 years, trichloroethylene (TCE) has been used to decaffeinate coffee, degrease metal, and dry clean clothes. TCE causes cancer, is linked to miscarriages and congenital heart disease, and is associated with a 500 percent increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.

In a hypothesis paper in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, an international team of researchers postulate that TCE may be an invisible cause of Parkinson’s. In the paper they detail the widespread use of the chemical, the evidence linking the toxicant to Parkinson’s, and profile seven individuals, ranging from a former NBA basketball player to a Navy captain to a late U.S. Senator, who developed Parkinson’s disease either after likely working with the chemical or being exposed to it in the environment.


Trichloroethylene: An Invisible Cause of Parkinson’s Disease?,Journal of Parkinson s Disease,doi 10.3233/JPD-225047

Mediterranean diet reduces women’s cardiovascular disease and death risk by a quarter, finds study

Sticking closely to a Mediterranean diet cuts a woman’s risks of cardiovascular disease and death by nearly 25%, finds a pooled data analysis of the available evidence published online in the journal Heart.

To build on the evidence base to inform sex specific guidance and clinical practice, the researchers trawled research databases for studies looking at the potential impact of eating a Mediterranean diet on women’s cardiovascular health and their risk of death.


Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in women with a Mediterranean diet: systematic review and meta-analysis,Heart,doi 10.1136/heartjnl-2022-321930

Increased levels of blood caffeine might curb body fat amount and type 2 diabetes risk: Study

A high blood caffeine level might curb the amount of body fat a person carries and their risk of type 2 diabetes, suggests research published in the open access journal BMJ Medicine. The researchers used Mendelian randomisation to find out what effect higher blood caffeine levels have on body fat and the long term risks of type 2 diabetes and major cardiovascular diseases-coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, and irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation).

The researchers looked at the role of two common genetic variants of the CYP1A2 and AHR genes in nearly 10,000 people of predominantly European ancestry, who were taking part in 6 long term studies. The CYP1A2 and AHR genes are associated with the speed of caffeine metabolism in the body.


Appraisal of the causal effect of plasma caffeine on adiposity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease: two sample mendelian randomisation study,BMJ Medicine,doi 10.1136/bmjmed-2022-000335

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