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Breakthrough Studies in Relationship between Infections and Dementia, Racial Disparities in COVID-Related Hospitalizations, and Hospital Leadership in Staff Well-Being

Groundbreaking research and studies were unveiled in the past week shedding new light on some of the pressing health issues. Drexel University presented compelling data to substantiate the theory that the development of a pathobiome in the brain could be a contributing factor to certain forms of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The Link between brain network breakdowns and infections contributing Alzheimer’s, thus calls for further exploration.

In another significant revelation, a study from the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health, New Orleans, School of Public Health, discovered that Black patients with a history of cancer had notably higher rates of hospital admission due to COVID-19. The research, published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute, is pioneer to quantify the influence of chronic diseases on racial disparity in relation to COVID-induced hospitalizations.

In the area of infection prevention, insights from a 2021 survey of infection preventionists at approximately 900 US hospitals propose that strong leadership in hospitals was pivotal in reducing COVID-19 pandemic-related burnout. The study, highlighted in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, also found that this robust support contributed to greater psychological safety among the healthcare staff.

Lastly, the American Society of Microbiology (AMS) put forth their consensus recommendations on ‘gain-of-function’ research pertaining to infectious agents with potential to cause a pandemic. These recommendations, developed during a 2023 workshop attended by top scientists, call for international acceptance of terminologies, enhanced transparency, and robust biorisk-management systems and oversight. The aim is to balance the benefits and risks associated with this type of research, enhancing safety and accessibility of information for the public.

As healthcare evolves, continuing research in these areas will be crucial in improving patient care and outcomes.

Tags: infection prevention, Alzheimer’s disease, brain pathobiome, COVID-19, racial disparity in healthcare, hospital leadership, gain-of-function research


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