Also: a strange inflammatory disease in children; head injuries in rats 

Vitamin D Determines Severity in COVID-19: Researchers Urge Government to Change Advice 

(SciTechDaily5/13/20) 

Trinity College Dublin researchers claim that vitamin D supplements could help with COVID-19 patients’ recovery. In a meta-analysis published in the Irish Medical Journal, the authors saw a correlation between regular vitamin D intake and patient mortality. Interestingly, the paper compares mortality rates in sunny countries like Italy with cloudy countries like Sweden, saying that there are more cases of vitamin D deficiency in the sunny countries. They attribute this to the common food supplements and fortification found in cloudy countries. 

More US children ill from rare syndrome with possible link to coronavirus 

(Kenya Evelyn, The Guardian, 5/15/20) 

The article discusses the apparent connection between COVID-19 and children developing a syndrome similar to Kawasaki disease. In New York alone at least 100 children have been diagnosed with this potentially fatal inflammatory disease. Not much is known about Kawasaki disease itself, though it has been linked with viral infections. 

‘Cell pores’ discovery gives hope to millions of brain and spinal cord injury patients 

(ScienceDaily, 5/14/20) 

Researchers at Aston University have tested a treatment for central nervous system (CNS) edema, or swelling in the brain, on rats. CNS edema is the result of injuries to the brain or spinal cord. The treatment uses the anti-psychotic trifluoperazine (TFP) to change the behavior of aquaporins – or water channel pores on cells. Rats that were given a dose of the drug at the injury site were observed to recover full movement and sensitivity in two weeks. 

—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker