Injectable approved to reduce liver fat content

A National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study revealed that a weekly injection of semaglutide is safe and reduces liver fat by 31% in individuals with HIV and metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD). MASLD, previously known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, is a common chronic liver disease associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic disorders. Semaglutide, an antidiabetic and anti-obesity medication, was self-administered by participants ages 18 and older whose HIV viral load was suppressed by antiretroviral therapy. Results showed a significant reduction in liver fat content, with 29% of participants experiencing a complete resolution of MASLD, alongside weight loss and improved metabolic markers. Although some experienced gastrointestinal side effects, semaglutide was generally well-tolerated. The study's findings indicate semaglutide is a promising therapy for MASLD in individuals with HIV, contributing to healthier aging strategies for those living with the virus. Further research will explore potential immunological or inflammatory pathway changes associated with semaglutide therapy in people with HIV.

Source: asamonitor.pub/4aGhKYX

Nonopioid postsurgical pain treatment option approved

Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Caldolor® (intravenous ibuprofen, or IVIB) as a standard treatment for pain and fever across various patient demographics. Caldolor offers multimodal pain management, with clinical studies demonstrating IVIB's significant efficacy in reducing temperature compared to placebo or acetaminophen, its ability to alleviate postsurgical pain when administered before surgery, potentially reducing opioid use, and its efficacy in minimizing opioid requirements for acute pain management in the emergency department. IVIB is the only nonopioid injectable analgesic approved for infants as young as 3 months old, positioning it as a possible foundational component of multimodal pain regimens. An April press release emphasizes the importance of judicious pain management, particularly amid the prevalent opioid prescription trend and its associated risks of dependence and misuse.

Source: asamonitor.pub/3U2eNfU

Novel gene therapy reduces risk of motor impairment in MLD

The FDA has approved Lenmeldy (atidarsagene autotemcel) as the first gene therapy for children with presymptomatic late infantile, pre-symptomatic early juvenile, or early symptomatic early juvenile metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD). MLD is a rare genetic disease affecting the brain and nervous system due to a deficiency of the enzyme arylsulfatase A (ARSA), leading to sulfatide buildup and neurological damage. Lenmeldy is a one-time infusion of the patient's own genetically modified hematopoietic stem cells, providing functional copies of the ARSA gene to help break down harmful substances. Before treatment, patients undergo chemotherapy to prepare for cell transplantation. In a clinical trial, Lenmeldy significantly reduced the risk of severe motor impairment or death compared to untreated participants, with all presymptomatic late infantile MLD participants alive at 6 years and 71% of treated participants walking unaided at 5 years. Treated participants also demonstrated improved language and cognitive scores compared to untreated peers. The approval of the gene therapy marks a significant milestone in MLD treatment, offering hope for improved outcomes and potentially altering disease progression.

Source: asamonitor.pub/3U5WhCj

Hormone drugs associated with higher risk of brain tumor

A recent study highlights an association between prolonged use (defined as a year or more) of certain progestogen hormone drugs and an increased risk of developing intracranial meningioma, a type of brain tumor. Progestogens, similar to the natural hormone progesterone, are commonly used for various gynecological conditions and hormone therapy. While factors like older age, female sex, and exposure to specific high-dose progestogens are known to elevate meningioma risk, this study aimed to evaluate the individual risk associated with various progestogens. Analyzing data from over 18,000 women who underwent meningioma surgery, researchers found that prolonged use of medrogestone, medroxyprogesterone acetate injection, and promegestone correlated with increased meningioma risk. Conversely, no elevated risk was observed with shorter-term use or with certain other progestogens. Given the widespread use of certain progestogens like medroxyprogesterone acetate for birth control, the potential impact on meningioma rates could be significant. The study underscores the need for further research to better understand and mitigate this risk.

Source: asamonitor.pub/3TJPw8L

Over-the-counter glucose monitor expands access to diabetes care

In March, the FDA approved the Dexcom Stelo Glucose Biosensor System, the first over-the-counter continuous glucose monitor (CGM). This integrated CGM is for adults 18 and older who don't use insulin, including those managing diabetes with oral medications or nondiabetics seeking to understand the effects of diet and exercise on blood sugar. It is not for use in people with problematic hypoglycemia. The Stelo system consists of a wearable sensor and a smartphone app that provides continuous glucose measurements and trends every 15 minutes. Users can wear each sensor for up to 15 days before replacement. Clinical data submitted to the FDA demonstrated performance comparable to other integrated CGMs, with reported adverse events including local infection, skin irritation, and discomfort. Patients are reminded that medical decisions should not be made without consulting a health care professional and they should not rely solely on the device's output. This approval marks a step toward health equity, enabling individuals to access CGMs without a health care provider's involvement.

Source: asamonitor.pub/3VOM5k4

WHO announces new AI resource

The World Health Organization (WHO) has unveiled the Smart AI Resource Assistant for Health, or S.A.R.A.H., a digital health promoter prototype that uses generative artificial intelligence (AI) with enhanced empathetic response capabilities. S.A.R.A.H. operates 24/7 in eight languages across various devices, offering guidance on diverse health topics like healthy habits and mental wellness. S.A.R.A.H. assists users in understanding risk factors for prevalent causes of mortality such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. It provides insights on lifestyle improvements like tobacco cessation, physical activity, and stress management. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an iteration of S.A.R.A.H. known as Florence played a crucial role in disseminating vital public health messages. Its shift to generative AI ensures real-time, personalized interactions, reflecting human-like conversations and empathetic responses, facilitated by Soul Machines Biological AI. According to a WHO press release, this resource represents the importance of digital technologies for health and encourages further research to harness AI's potential for equitable health information access.

Source: asamonitor.pub/43LUNBm