Medical Notes this week…

Doctors have known for awhile that people with depression and schizophrenia have a higher chance of being infected with Covid-19 than other people. Now a new study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry finds that schizophrenia is the second biggest risk factor for dying of Covid, second only to age. Researchers know that people with schizophrenia have altered genetics that regulate the immune system… possibly making them more at risk for Covid complications. Scientists say schizophrenia patients should be considered for vaccine prioritization.  

Multiple sclerosis is the result of an immune system attack on the central nervous system…and scientists have discovered that a lack of a specific fatty acid in body tissues may trigger it. A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that people with MS have low levels of oleic acid, which is found in foods such as cooking oil, meats, eggs and cheese. When scientists injected oleic acids into fatty tissues of MS patients, immune cells shifted to a more normal level. but it’s not known yet if a diet high in oleic acid can help people with MS. 

And finally… parents of children with autism are more stressed than parents of kids with any other disability. So a study in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing recommends a calming influence for everyone. They suggest getting a cat. Families report to scientists that children with autism bond quickly with their new cat… and that the new arrival decreases their child’s anxiety.

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