For Tuesday, Oct. 17, WGN’s Dina Bair has new medical information, including:

Long Covid linked to low serotonin

Patients with long Covid can experience neuro-cognitive difficulties like brain fog and memory loss. 

the study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania shows long Covid can deplete what’s known as peripheral serotonin, the kind that circulates in our bodies, not just the brain. 

Researchers say proteins released by the immune system to fight the virus set off inflammation that cuts down on levels of serotonin. 

The more long Covid symptoms patients had, the lower their peripheral serotonin levels. 

Study authors say this can offer doctors a baseline and treat low levels of serotonin with supplementation. 

New approach to treating brain cancer

A new approach to treating one of the most common brain cancers. 

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center bio-engineers teamed with neurologists using nanotechnology to cross the blood-brain barrier to deliver medication to the brains of patients with glioblastoma.  

They say the technique has shown promise for attacking a difficult-to-treat cancer. 

Glioblastoma is an aggressive and deadly brain cancer. 

The biggest challenge is getting chemotherapy into the tumors because most medications will not cross the blood vessels in the brain meant as protectors, preventing 98 percent of molecules from getting inside the brain.  

The new drug delivery method uses nanoparticles to pass through the blood-brain barrier in animals. 

Developers say the new approach is promising but still needs to be tested on humans. 

AI and teen drivers

AI may make the roads safer by creating better teen drivers. 

Parents typically teach their children to drive along with driving teachers before the driving test. But Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers used a virtual driving assessment to predict crashes and the need for more training. 

The technology-driven assistant exposes drivers to common serious crash scenarios. 

Experts say using it can improve driving skills by identifying deficits and correcting them to help prevent accidents in newly licensed young drivers. 

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