Tick saliva could help keep hearts healthier in people with HIV

HIV Blood Testing

HIV research and treatments have evolved leaps and bounds in the past decades but researchers continue to dedicate time and resources to helping increase both quality of life and life expectancy for those who contract the virus. Researchers have recently developed an experimental drug derived from deer tick salvia that could significantly decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Individuals with HIV develop a higher risk of both neurological and cardiovascular medical issues because the immunodeficiency virus causes higher levels of monocytes, a type of white blood cell. These cells directly influence the “tissue factor” (TF) protein, which triggers blood clotting and dangerous inflammation – even when an individual is controlling their HIV virus rigorously by antiretrovirals. The scientists have developed an experimental drug called Ixolaris which contains extracts from saliva of a type of ticks found on deer. It was first tested on monkeys who had been infected with SIV, the primate equivalent of human HIV virus. They discovered Read more

The Amygdala: The connection between stress and heart disease

Artistic picture of a stethoscope and a foam heart

A recent study conducted by Harvard Medical School and published by UK medical journal The Lancet suggests that the effect of constant stress on a deep-lying region of the brain could potentially explain the link between the risk of heart attack and stress.[1]

Experts and scientific studies coincide that emotional stress can have a serious negative effect on the increase risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Stress affects the body in many ways, one of which being directly affecting the heart and blood vessels. Some experts even believe that emotional stress can be just as dangerous a risk factor as smoking and high blood pressure.[2] Medical professionals have had little understanding until now about the link between stress, the brain and heart disease. However, this recent study, conducted by Harvard Medical School, suggests that the effect stress has on the amygdala section of the brain Read more