May save lives: a new way to treat people with severe COVID-19 was found in the United States
In the United States, they are looking for ways to save lives of patients with the most severe form of COVID-19. Some American scientists argue that cannabidiol, one of the ingredients found in marijuana, can help with this. "Voice of America".
According to scientists from the University of Augusta, Maine, cannabidiol comes to the rescue in the worst cases of coronavirus - when a patient begins to develop complications in the lungs.
“Now, when diagnosed with COVID-19, you are first sent home. You are admitted to the hospital if you find it difficult to breathe and are so short of breath that you cannot get from bed to the bathroom. At the hospital, we first provide supportive therapy, until the last moment trying not to intubate the patient, ”Dr. Jack Yu, professor at the University of Augusta, told Voice of America.
Scientists from the University of Augusta cite alarming statistics: a significant number of patients on mechanical ventilation do not survive.
“For example, a 52-year-old female doctor who was diagnosed with this disease spent four weeks on ventilation, and when she woke up, she found that her legs and fingers were amputated,” says Dr. Yu.
The cannabidiol in marijuana may help alleviate illness in severely ill patients, according to research. This component of marijuana has anti-inflammatory properties and is able to prevent the so-called cytokine storm - a hyperresponse of the immune system that leads to severe side effects, including breathing difficulties.
“Preliminary evidence suggests that cannabidiol can be very effective in combination with maintenance treatment,” explains University of Augusta professor Babak Baban. "It can be used at the most severe stage of the disease."
Tests in mice showed that the use of cannabidiol improved lung function. The level of cytokines in the blood decreased, while the level of oxygen increased. Scientists intend to continue clinical trials in animals.
“The mouse is not the best model for this disease. Ferrets fit better and we are planning to test on them now. The ferret is the best animal for medical experimental research, ”says Professor Baban.
He stressed that if tests on animals lead to the desired results, scientists will prepare for human tests.
“Cannabidiol is not a constituent of cannabis and therefore does not have a psychotropic effect. This ensures the safety of its use, "- said the interlocutor of the Voice of America.
The researchers warn that while cannabinoids are readily available, they should never be used to treat coronavirus at home.
“Despite the fact that cannabidiol can be bought without a prescription, it is absolutely impossible to use it at home. The initial stage of COVID-19 is characterized by an attempt by the virus to make it difficult for the immune system to “detect” it, emphasizes Jack Y. “At this very moment, the body needs to stimulate the immune system, and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs can be fatal.”
The next phase of testing will take place at Georgia State University, scientists say. If successful, cannabidiol can be quickly released to the market: it has already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of seizures in children.
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