Source:https://www.escardio.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 5 2019Anti-inflammatory biologic drugs used to treat severe psoriasis have the potential to prevent heart disease in patients with the skin condition, according to research published today in Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). During one year of treatment, biologic therapy improved coronary artery plaque similar to the effect of a low-dose statin.”Psoriasis severity is related to the burden of coronary disease – our findings suggest treating the psoriasis may potentially benefit coronary heart disease,” said study author Dr Nehal Mehta, Chief of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, US.Psoriasis causes scaly skin patches, often on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Patients with the skin condition have an elevated risk of heart disease – young patients with severe psoriasis are at twice the risk of having a first heart attack at 40-50 years of age.Psoriasis patients often have inflammation throughout the body and may be treated with anti-inflammatory biologic therapy when their skin condition is severe and topical treatments or phototherapy have failed. This study investigated whether treating severe psoriasis with a biologic could improve the health of the coronary arteries.The study found that patients with severe psoriasis who took biologic therapy for one year had an 8% reduction in total and non-calcified coronary plaque burden, a frequent cause of heart attacks (see figure) – similar to the effect of a low dose statin. The make-up of coronary plaques also improved in those taking biologics, making them less risky. Coronary plaque burden increased by 2% in patients who did not take a biologic.Dr Mehta said: “We found that these anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used to treat severe psoriasis also improve plaque in the coronary artery making them more stable and less likely to cause a heart attack. This occurred in the absence of changes in traditional cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure and blood lipids.”Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseDuring the one-year study, systemic inflammation assessed by blood markers reduced only in the group taking biologic therapy. Dr Mehta said it is too early to say whether biologics exert their effects on coronary plaques directly or by reducing systemic inflammation.He said: “This preliminary study provides the first evidence that biologic therapy is associated with coronary plaque reduction and stabilization, and provides strong rationale for conduct of a randomized trial testing the impact of biologic therapy on the progression of coronary disease in patients with psoriasis.”Dr Mehta noted that some patients with severe psoriasis opt not to take a biologic medicine because they suppress the immune system and may increase the chance of infection. In addition, they must be injected.Previous research has shown that in heart attack patients, anti-inflammatory biologic therapy reduces the risk of another cardiovascular event.2 “With the results of that study and our current one, my message to patients with psoriasis is to take untreated inflammation seriously,” said Dr Mehta. “When someone has severe psoriasis, they are at higher risk of heart attack and treating the psoriasis may reduce that risk.”The observational study included 121 patients with severe psoriasis who qualified for biologic treatment. Of those, 89 took biological therapy (one of three types) and 32 used topical treatment. All patients underwent imaging of their coronary arteries with computed tomography angiography at baseline and one year later to assess the amount and characteristics of plaques such as the necrotic core which causes plaque rupture.
Investors respond better to the profit potential of green innovations such as solar-powered planes rather than their eco-credentials, according to Dr Bertrand Piccard, founder of Solar Impulse. Credit: Milko Vuille, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 New energy innovation report highlights central role of emerging economies Provided by Horizon: The EU Research & Innovation Magazine It was one of a number of initiatives launched at the Mission Innovation clean energy conference in Malmö, Sweden, on 23 May.Clean energy innovations are often high risk, yield low returns and take a long time to reach maturity. The idea of the label is that showing the financial impact of environmental solutions will help sell the concept of clean and renewable energy to governments and potential financial backers. It’s led by Dr Bertrand Piccard, the first person to fly around the world in a solar-powered aircraft.’When we consider climate change and consumption, it’s not only our comfort, our growth, our lifestyle that is the reason for that,’ said Dr Piccard. ‘It’s the fact that the technologies that we use are wasting half of the energy that is produced. Half of the pollution is only due to the losses, to the waste and the inefficiencies of the systems that are in use today.’He told the conference that he had already used arguments around profitability and job creation to convince right-wing politicians in Switzerland, who are generally against environmental initiatives.By the end of 2018, Dr Piccard aims to have selected 1,000 recipients of the label, and the EU is helping to reach the target by identifying the most promising EU-funded projects.Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, who launched the label with Dr Piccard, said that it would change the conversation around clean energy by focusing on solutions.’The efficient solutions label clearly demonstrates the economic opportunities that innovative clean technologies bring,’ he said. ‘Its rigorous and strict criteria will help raise the profile of new breakthrough solutions and make them attractive for investors.’In 2019, Dr Piccard will travel around the world to promote the solutions to governments and businesses, and they will also be presented at the UN’s 24th climate change conference COP24 in December 2018. The aim is to encourage the adoption of more ambitious environmental targets and energy policies by highlighting the financial advantages of doing so.Two-thirdsEnergy consumption and production account for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, so sustainable energy innovation is vital if the world is to achieve its climate goals. Explore further The pioneering solar flight foundation Solar Impulse has launched an ‘Efficient Solution’ label for clean energy start-ups and innovations that can demonstrate their profitability, in a bid to boost investment in the sector. That’s one of the reasons that the Mission Innovation project was launched in 2015 at the Paris climate change conference, where countries agreed to limit global warming to two degrees above pre-industrial levels. It aims to double public investment for early-stage clean energy entrepreneurs by 2021 in a bid to dramatically speed up innovation in this sector, and is supported by 24 members, including the EU.’Citizens and innovators can help us to accelerate the clean energy revolution,’ said Commissioner Moedas.Ahead of the Malmö conference, the World Economic Forum (WEF) launched a white paperthat identified the main problems faced by clean energy entrepreneurs, including a so-called financial valley of death – meaning that there is little long-term risk capital available in the sustainable energy sector.According to the WEF, governments currently supply more than two-thirds of global investment into research development and demonstration (RD&D) for clean energy projects, while most private RD&D is focused on oil and gas rather than renewable technology.The paper set out six bold ideas for improvement – including creating institutions for energy innovation, establishing an independent international fund to finance energy projects that combines public and private donations, and developing instruments for public-private co-investment. It highlighted the need for alliances between organisations and companies that promote innovation, and praised the Mission Innovation programme as a best-practice example.Through the Mission Innovation initiative, India has also proposed an international incubator to test clean energy technologies in local markets, and Sweden has launched a competition to promote disruptive innovations funded by public-private partnerships.However, part of the problem is a lack of visibility, as clean energy entrepreneurs don’t always have access to the platforms where potential investors are active.ChampionsIn an effort to address this, Mission Innovation is setting up a Mission Champions scheme to promote excellent clean-energy researchers and innovators and raise their profile on a global scale.The champions will be flown to the next Mission Innovation conference where they have the opportunity to network with ministers and business leaders, and they will be encouraged to engage in cross-border idea exchanges with other champions. The idea is that through the scheme, the champions’ visibility will be enhanced, which could lead to potential investment opportunities.To date, the Mission Innovation initiative has set out seven so-called Innovation Challenges that push member countries towards ambitious goals in a variety of clean energy sectors. The EU is co-leading challenges on converting sunlight into storable solar fuels and affordable heating and cooling of buildings. A new eighth challenge on hydrogen energy was launched this week and will also be led by the EU.So far, research in this area has boosted the production of aviation biojet fuels under the ITAKA project and have led to the development of new approaches to make building heating and cooling systems more sustainable and efficient under the Celsius City project. ITAKA in particular achieved greenhouse gas savings of more than 70%, and improved local air quality by 30%. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Solar Impulse ‘Efficient Solution’ label for profitable start-ups to boost clean energy investment (2018, May 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-solar-impulse-efficient-solution-profitable.html
politics YS Jagan Mohan Reddy COMMENT Andhra Pradesh IT-enabled services The Andhra Pradesh government will unveil a new IT policy within 100 days or so, and the State government will focus on developing Visakhapatnam as the IT destination, M Goutham Reddy, the State IT and Industries Minister, told the media here on Saturday.He said the government would review most of the agreements signed by the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) regime and review the policies relating to IT and industry development. “If there are any good features and policies, we will persist with them. It is not our policy to undo whatever the previous government had did,” he said in response to a question.After a review meeting with the representatives of IT Association of Andhra Pradesh (ITAAP) and IT companies at Tech Hub along with Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, he said that the government would ensure balanced development in both urban and semi-urban areas by promoting BPOs and MSMEs to generate jobs for the locals. SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL July 07, 2019 Published on COMMENTS