Recent News from MetaMed

Antidepressant Could Help Treat Sickle Cell Disease

Lauren McNamara

Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder wherein a person's red blood cells are changed from the normal disc shape into the shape of rigid sickles. While normal red blood cells are able to deform and squeeze through narrow blood vessels, these sickle cells can cause blockages and cut off the flow of blood to certain areas of the body, resulting in tissue death and damage to various organs. The condition also causes anemia, as the sickle cells have a much shorter lifespan than normal red blood cells, and the body's red blood cell production is unable to match this rapid loss.

Data-Mining Techniques Can Find Unreported Drug Side Effects

Abby Brennan

Looking at what people are searching might find previously undetected side effects of drugs.

After all, many people who take a particular drug will search for it online to find out what the side effects are or whether it interacts with other drugs they're taking; if you mysteriously get a symptom, you're often going to look online to see what could cause it. Therefore, we'd expect searches for a drug to correlate with side effects from that drug-- even side effects we don't know about.

New Trials Offer Hope For Children With Multiple Severe Allergies

Lauren McNamara

For people with severe food allergies, the risk of sudden and unexpected death is everywhere around them. When exposed to even trace amounts of allergens such as nuts, eggs, milk, or wheat, they can suffer a rapid, full-body immune response, potentially leading to shock, respiratory collapse and heart failure. 90,000 people visit the emergency room each year due to such severe reactions, known as anaphylaxis, and 100 to 200 die of it.

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