Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
New drug can help paralysed people walk again

The experimental drug, called LM11A-31, allowed mice with no movement in their lower limbs to walk with “well-coordinated steps” and even to replicate swimming motions

London: Scientists have developed a pill which they claim could help paralysed people walk again. The new drug allowed mice with no movement in their lower limbs to walk with “well-coordinated steps” and even to replicate swimming motions, reports PTI quoting the researchers.


The experimental drug, called LM11A-31, was developed by Professor Frank Longo, of Stanford University, California.


The researchers gave three different oral doses of LM11A-31, as well as a placebo, to different groups of mice beginning four hours after injury and then twice daily for a 42 day experimental period, the “Daily Mail” reported.


In tests, the experimental medication did not increase pain in the mice and showed no toxic effects on the animals.


It also efficiently crossed the blood brain barrier, which protects the central nervous system from potentially harmful chemicals carried around in the rest of the bloodstream.


An injury to the spinal cord stops the brain controlling the body and this is the first time an oral drug has been shown to provide an effective therapy.


“This is a first to have a drug that can be taken orally to produce functional improvement with no toxicity in a rodent,” Professor Sung Ok Yoon, of Ohio State University, Columbus, said.


“So far, in the spinal cord injury field with rodent s, effective treatments have included more than one therapy, often involving invasive means. Here, with a single agent, we were able to obtain functional improvement,” Yoon said.


The small molecule in the study was tested for its ability to prevent the death of cells called oligodendrocytes.


These cells surround and protect axons, long projections of a nerve cell, by wrapping them in a myelin sheath that protects the fibres.


In addition to functioning as axon insulation, myelin allows for the rapid transmission of signals between nerve cells.


The drug preserved oligodendrocytes by inhibiting the activation of a protein called p75. Yoon's lab previously found p75 is linked to the death of these specialised cells after a spinal cord injury. When they die, axons that are supported by them degenerate.


“Because we know oligodendrocytes continue to die for a long period of time after an injury, we took the approach that if we could put a brake on that cell death, we could prevent continued degeneration of axons,” she said.


The study was published in The Journal of Neuroscience.


ICICI Lombard launches mobile app ‘Insure’

ICICI Lombard's ‘Insure’ will help customers to intimate a claim through their mobile

Mumbai: Private sector general insurer ICICI Lombard has launched a mobile application called ‘Insure’ that will allow customers to intimate a claim through the mobile, reports PTI.


“We have launched this mobile application ‘Insure’, which will help customers to intimate a claim through their mobile. For example, a customer can send the photographs of the damaged vehicle in case of an accident to the company through this application,” ICICI Lombard General Insurance operations and technology head N Eswarnatarajan said.


“The company is investing on mobile applications to make the customer experience better. We will come up with more such products shortly,” he added.


Customers have to download the application in their mobile phones to be able to use it, he said.


IRDA proposes uniform definition of key terms in health insurance

IRDA said the 46 standard terms would reduce ambiguity in the health insurance sector and enable all stakeholders to provide better services

New Delhi: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has come out with standard definition of various key terms like critical illness with a view to bring in uniformity and promote health insurance, reports PTI.


“Health insurance addresses a major area of public concern. Although it is rapidly growing, access to health insurance still remains limited and add to it complaints especially due to variable interpretations of key policy terms are enormous,” the exposure draft on standardisation in Health Insurance of IRDA said.


IRDA has defined 46 commonly used terms in health insurance and standardised 11 critical illness terms.


It said the standard terms would reduce ambiguity, enable all stakeholders to provide better services, IRDA said adding that insurers should give all the 46 definitions in the policy document.


“In view of resolving the differences in the definitions of terms on critical illnesses adopted by the different insurers which are creating confusion in the minds of consumers and the industry ..., 11 critical illness terms have been standardised to be adopted uniformly across industry,” IRDA said.


As per the exposure draft, critical illness includes cancer, first heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, permanent paralysis of limbs, coma, organ transplant and multiple sclerosis.


Further, IRDA has allowed insurers to exclude certain diseases, including skin cancer and HIV induced diseases, from the 11 critical illnesses.


The exposure draft also listed 203 items, including diaper and internet charges, which are excluded from hospitalisation indemnity products.


Further to streamline the claim process, the exposure draft has also suggested a standard agreement between the third party administrator (TPA), the insurer, the hospital and the insurer. It also suggested a common industry wide pre-authorisation and claim form.


The regulator has sought feedback from all stakeholders within 10 days, starting from 11th January.



aps babu

4 years ago

Most of the Health Insurance plans have an option where sons/daughters as proposer can pay the premium for their parents. Proposer need not be insured and they can claim IT exemption under 80D. Recently I have across PNB-Oriental Royal Mediclaim Plan exclusively for its policy holders without the above option. As a result, there are not many takers for it.

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