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New drug for stiff person syndrome granted fast-track designation from FDA

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Patients with stiff person syndrome are one step closer to having access to a new treatment.

Kyverna Therapeutics’ new drug, KYV-101, has been designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT), the company announced on Monday.

A drug is eligible for RMAT designation if it is “intended to treat, modify, reverse or cure a serious or life-threatening disease or condition” and if “preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug has the potential to address unmet medical needs for such disease or condition,” according to the FDA’s website.

STIFF PERSON SYNDROME PATIENTS SHARE WHAT IT’S LIKE TO LIVE WITH THE RARE DISEASE

One of the benefits of RMAT is that Kyverna will be able to work closely with the FDA to help support accelerated development, review and approval, according to the company.

The FDA’s decision was based on positive results from clinical trials with patients, a company press release stated.

Carrie Robinette, left, was diagnosed with stiff person syndrome in 2023. The FDA named KYV-101 a Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) on Monday. (Carrie Robinette; iStock)

A rare neurological disorder, stiff person syndrome affects only one or two people for every million — including singer Celine Dion.

The disease can have a devastating impact, causing muscle rigidity, pain, spasms and loss of mobility.

LIKE CELINE DION, PENNSYLVANIA MAN IS FIGHTING STIFF PERSON SYNDROME WITH ‘EVERYTHING I HAVE’

Kyverna Therapeutics, based in Emeryville, California, developed the new CAR-T cell therapy, KYV-101, with the goal of “resetting” the immune systems of patients with autoimmune diseases, according to the company.

“As a physician dedicated to optimizing diagnosis and treatments for patients with autoimmune neurological disorders, I am grateful to be able to witness and contribute to the advancement of treatments and patient outcomes in stiff person syndrome via collaborative research efforts with leading players in the field and the support of the FDA oversight,” Amanda Piquet, M.D., director of the Autoimmune Neurology Program at CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado, told Fox News Digital via email.

Celine Dion in a white turtleneck smiles on the carpet in France

Céline Dion shared her stiff person syndrome diagnosis with the world in Dec. 2022. (Edward Berthelot/GC Images/Getty Images)

Piquet was not involved in the development of KYV-101, but did take part in one of the medical advisory boards.

Peter Maag, PhD, CEO of Kyverna, also commented on the announcement.

“This RMAT designation means science agrees that fast-tracking this treatment could save lives.”

“Kyverna is focused on supporting patients and their clinical unmet needs, building patient-centric clinical trials to allow access to the latest medical advances in the CAR-T space for autoimmune disease,” Maag told Fox News Digital in a written statement. 

“We are proud to be able to investigate the potential of safe and effective long-lasting treatment that can lead to meaningful, durable remission for patients suffering from autoimmune diseases like SPS.”

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Patients also reacted to the news with a sense of excitement.

“From the moment I learned what Kyverna’s treatment had done for the SPS patient in Germany, my dream was that it would get FDA-approved quickly so we could all benefit,” Carrie Robinette, 45, from San Diego, California, told Fox News Digital.

FDA Building

A drug is eligible for RMAT designation if it is “intended to treat, modify, reverse or cure a serious or life-threatening disease or condition” and if “preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug has the potential to address unmet medical needs for such disease or condition,” according to the FDA’s website. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File photo)

Robinette, a Navy wife and mother, was diagnosed with stiff person syndrome in spring 2023.

“This RMAT designation means science agrees that fast-tracking this treatment could save lives,” she added. “I’m thrilled for the entire autoimmune disease community.”

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During clinical trials, 50 patients with oncological and autoimmune conditions have been treated with KYV-101 in more than 15 locations in Europe and the U.S., according to the company.

Kyverna will now continue collecting data from the drug’s Phase 2 trials for stiff person syndrome, multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.

Stiff person syndrome split

Carrie Robinette, 45, from San Diego, California, at left, and Corwyn Wilkey, 44, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska, right, are both living with stiff person syndrome. (Carrie Robinette; Corwyn Wilkey)

Phase 1 and 2 trials are also underway for systemic sclerosis and lupus.

“We are eager to begin generating data from our sponsored trial to advance the knowledge on a potential immunological reset of the patient’s immune system,” Maag said in the company’s release.

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews/health

Added Piquet, “Stiff-person syndrome has devastating and life-altering effects on patients suffering from this rare autoimmune disease … I look forward to the data that will emerge from the KYSA-8 trial, as this trial could drastically change the treatment landscape for SPS.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the FDA for additional comment.

How to protect yourself when your cellphone number is exposed on dark web

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While it is easy to imagine what one would do if any of one’s information hypothetically ended up on the dark web, it is quite another to be notified that your personal information, especially one you use every day, such as your cellphone, has been found on the dark web. That’s why we are eager to dive into the exact scenario that Scott wrote to us about and that he is dealing with.

“I was notified by the Credit Agencies that [my] cellphone number was found on the dark web. What specifically does one do in this case other than freeze credit and monitor credit and bills? Should you change your cell number to a different number?” — Scott, Santa Fe, New Mexico

As with any privacy and security breach, it’s important to take immediate action to secure your personal information and prevent further damage if your cellphone number has been found on the dark web.

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How to protect yourself when your cellphone number is exposed on dark web

A stressed-out couple (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Action steps to take if your cellphone number is found on the dark web

Unfortunately, if your phone number is found on the dark web, it’s likely that other sensitive personal information like email addresses, physical addresses, social security numbers or bank account information may have been compromised. Below are some steps you can take if your cellphone number has been found on the dark web: 

1) Change passwords: If any of your information, especially your cellphone number, ends up on the dark web, you should log in from a secure, virus- and malware-free device and change your passwords immediately. It is best to create unique and complex passwords, including letters, symbols and numbers, for each separate online account. In addition, consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords.

2) Keep an eye on all your accounts as well as credit consistently: Contact the three main credit bureaus to freeze your credit. This will prevent anyone, including hackers, from wreaking havoc on your credit. Make sure to report any errors on your credit reports with the credit agencies as well. Remember that you are allowed a free annual credit report. If there are too many accounts for you to keep track of regularly, a credit monitoring service can help by constantly monitoring and alerting you of any account changes or problems.

Identity theft companies can monitor personal information like your Social Security number, phone number and email address and alert you if it is being sold on the dark web or being used to open an account. They can also assist you in freezing your bank and credit card accounts to prevent further unauthorized use by criminals. See my tips and best picks on how to protect yourself from identity theft.

How to protect yourself when your cellphone number is exposed on dark web

A man on his cellphone (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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3) Turn on two-factor authentication: While enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra step to your login process, it’s a small price to pay for the robust security it provides. Just like it prevents unauthorized access by requiring an additional form of identification beyond your password, 2FA acts as a formidable barrier against potential hackers.

By sending a one-time code to your phone or prompting for a biometric factor like your fingerprint, 2FA serves as an early warning system, alerting you to any suspicious login attempts. This gives you the chance to secure your account and thwart potential data breaches or identity theft. In today’s digital landscape, where cyberthreats are ever-evolving, embracing 2FA is a proactive step towards fortifying your online presence and safeguarding your digital assets from malicious actors.

4) Get SIM-swapping protection added to your phone: SIM-swapping fraud is when someone gains control of your cellphone number by moving it to a new SIM card. If you want to add SIM-swapping protection to your phone, you can contact your provider to see if this feature can be added.

5) Report personal information or account theft: If your personal information has been hacked or stolen, file a report with the local authorities and the Federal Trade Commission.

How to protect yourself when your cellphone number is exposed on dark web

A person on their cellphone (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

6) Invest in personal data removal services: Unfortunately, much of your personal information is scattered across the internet, making it accessible to hackers and scammers who can harvest and sell this information. While no service promises to remove all your data from the internet, having a removal service is great if you want to constantly monitor and automate the process of removing your information from hundreds of sites continuously over a longer period of time. Check out my top picks for removal services here.

How to protect yourself when your cellphone number is exposed on dark web

A man on his cellphone (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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Now, unless your cellphone has been compromised, changing your number is unnecessary. If you decide to change your phone number, reach out to your service provider and explain your circumstances to get help changing your phone number and transferring contacts. Also, if you change your phone number, notify and update your contact information with all relevant accounts, such as financial institutions, and anywhere you used the old number as a part of the two-factor authentication process.

HERE’S WHAT RUTHLESS HACKERS STOLE FROM 110 MILLION AT&T CUSTOMERS

Kurt’s key takeaways

In the digital age, where our personal data can sometimes slip through the cracks and into the shadows, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and proactive. Remember, if your cellphone number takes an unwelcome tour of the dark web, don’t panic; equip yourself with the right tools and knowledge to safeguard your digital life. And hey, changing your number might just be the fresh start you need, but it’s not always necessary unless you’re experiencing direct threats or persistent issues.

Have you ever encountered a breach of your digital privacy, and how did you navigate the aftermath? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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HumanPlus robot can go from playing piano to ping-pong to boxing

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Researchers at Stanford University have created an innovative humanoid robot called “HumanPlus” that can learn and perform a wide range of tasks by observing human actions. This breakthrough in robotics brings us one step closer to developing truly versatile and adaptable machines.

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HumanPlus robot can go from playing piano to ping-pong to boxing

HumanPlus humanoid robot playing ping-pong (Stanford University) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Technical specifications

Built on Unitree’s H1 robot base, with hands from Inspire-Robots and custom wrists, HumanPlus stands 5 feet 9 inches tall. It features a 6-DoF (degrees of freedom) hand, which includes one degree of freedom for each of the index, middle, ring and little fingers, plus two degrees of freedom for the thumb. This configuration allows for complex hand movements and manipulations.

The robot also has a 1-DoF wrist, which means it can rotate in one plane, likely allowing for up and down or side-to-side movement, calculated using the relative rotation between the forearm and hand global orientations.

HumanPlus robot can go from playing piano to ping-pong to boxing

HumanPlus humanoid robot (Stanford University) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

It features 33 degrees of freedom, two RGB webcams mounted on its head, a finger force capacity of up to 10N, an arm payload of up to 16.5 pounds and leg motor torque of up to 360Nm.

N stands for Newtons, which is the standard unit of force. 10N means the robot’s fingers can exert a force of up to 10 Newtons. This is equivalent to about 2.25 pounds-force, indicating the gripping strength of the robot’s fingers.

Nm stands for Newton meters, the standard unit for torque. 360Nm means the motors in the robot’s legs can generate a rotational force of up to 360 Newton meters. This is a significant amount of torque, indicating powerful leg motors capable of performing tasks that require substantial force and movement.

These specifications give us an idea of the robot’s grip strength and leg power capabilities, which are crucial for various tasks like manipulation and locomotion.

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HumanPlus robot can go from playing piano to ping-pong to boxing

HumanPlus humanoid robot folding clothes (Stanford University) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

CHINA UNVEILS ITS FIRST FULL-SIZE ELECTRIC RUNNING HUMANOID ROBOT

Learning through observation

HumanPlus utilizes a single RGB camera and a whole-body policy to clone human motion in real time. The robot can learn various activities, including boxing, playing the piano, ping-pong, tossing objects and typing.

HumanPlus robot can go from playing piano to ping-pong to boxing

HumanPlus humanoid robot boxing (Stanford University) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

The system requires approximately 40 hours of human movement data to learn a task and then reproduce it step by step.

HumanPlus robot can go from playing piano to ping-pong to boxing

HumanPlus humanoid robot playing the piano (Stanford University) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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Impressive task performance

HumanPlus has also demonstrated remarkable capabilities in various tasks, including wearing shoes and walking, unloading objects from warehouse racks, folding clothes, rearranging objects, typing and greeting another robot. The robot achieved success rates of 60%-100% in these tasks using up to 40 demonstrations.

HumanPlus robot can go from playing piano to ping-pong to boxing

HumanPlus humanoid robot wearing and walking in shoes (Stanford University) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

HERE’S WHAT RUTHLESS HACKERS STOLE FROM 110 MILLION AT&T CUSTOMERS

Cost considerations

While HumanPlus represents a significant advancement in humanoid robotics, it comes with a substantial price tag. The researchers estimate the cost of building a working model at approximately $107,945. However, given its versatility, it may still be one of the more cost-effective options currently available on the market.

HumanPlus robot can go from playing piano to ping-pong to boxing

HumanPlus humanoid robot folding clothes (Stanford University) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Open-source design

One of the most notable aspects of HumanPlus is its open-source design. The researchers have released a GitHub repository, allowing others to build similar models and contribute to its development.

HumanPlus robot can go from playing piano to ping-pong to boxing

HumanPlus humanoid robot unloading objects from warehouse racks (Stanford University) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Kurt’s key takeaways

HumanPlus’s ability to learn from human demonstrations and perform a wide range of tasks showcases the potential for more adaptable and versatile robots in the future. The open-source nature of the project encourages collaboration and further development, which could accelerate progress in this field.

As humanoid robots continue to evolve and improve, we may see them playing increasingly important roles in various industries, from manufacturing and healthcare to entertainment and education. While the current cost of HumanPlus may limit its immediate widespread adoption, ongoing research and development could lead to more affordable versions in the future, potentially revolutionizing how we interact with and utilize robotic assistants in our daily lives.

What everyday task or skill would you most like to see HumanPlus learn and perform and why? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.



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Rare sleep disorder causes people to cook and eat food while asleep, experts say

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A rare health condition could be causing some people to eat while they’re sound asleep. 

Sleep-related eating disorder (SRED) is an abnormal behavior called parasomnia that occurs during sleep.

The condition causes a person to eat — and in some cases even prepare food — while asleep, according to experts.

GOING TO BED AFTER THIS TIME COULD LEAD TO POORER MENTAL HEALTH, A STANFORD STUDY FINDS

Kara Becker, a certified eating disorders specialist and national director of eating disorder programs for Newport Healthcare in California, told Fox News Digital that people who experience this sleepy snacking usually have no recollection of it the next morning.

A person can have more than one sleep-eating event per night — and it can happen even if the person isn’t hungry, Becker noted.

The person is “generally not aware” of the sleepwalking or “might only have a hazy awareness,” said a clinical psychologist. (iStock)

Certain medications can cause SRED, as can smoking cessation, alcohol and drug use, stress, narcolepsy and dieting, according to the expert.

Drug-induced SRED can also occur after taking sedative-hypnotic drugs to treat insomnia, Cleveland Clinic noted on its website.

FEELING HUNGRIER THAN USUAL? YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE COULD BE THE CULPRIT, AN EXPERT SAYS

Symptoms of the disorder can include repeated episodes of “out-of-control” eating and drinking when asleep, eating strange combinations of foods, or loss of appetite in the morning, Becker said.

The expert also flagged the dangers that can come with cooking or eating during the night, such as fires, burns and cuts.

Woman tired fridge

Symptoms of the disorder can include repeated episodes of “out-of-control” eating and drinking when asleep, eating strange combinations of foods, or loss of appetite in the morning.  (iStock)

Fox News Digital also spoke to clinical psychologist Kelly Baron, PhD, director of the behavioral sleep medicine lab at the University of Utah, about symptoms and dangers of non-REM parasomnia.

SRED can cause dental issues and can interfere with weight-loss goals, Baron noted.

AMERICANS NEED MORE SLEEP, LESS STRESS, EXPERTS SAY, AS GALLUP POLL REVEALS TROUBLING FINDINGS

“In some cases, the person could cook and injure themselves or run into things,” she warned. 

“People can eat non-food items at times,” Baron said. “I wrote a case series with a colleague and one patient had eaten dog food in his sleep or a casserole with his hands, making a big mess.”

man preparing lunch in a pan in the kitchen.

People with SRED could “fall or bump into things” or cut or burn themselves during an episode, an expert warned. (iStock)

Consuming large amounts of calories without mindfully eating is “not recommended for anyone and can be very disruptive to adequate nutrition consumption,” Becker added.

“Some may even consume hazardous substances at night without knowing, putting their health immediately at risk.”

So who is at risk?

SRED episodes are more likely to occur with lack of sleep, so conditions like snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can be risk factors, according to Cleveland Clinic’s website.

People are more likely to have SRED if they’re closely related to someone who sleepwalks, if they feel stressed out or sleep-deprived during the day, if they suffer from an eating disorder, or if they have anxiety or depression.

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“For other people, having another sleep disorder can trigger sleepwalking behavior, including night eating, so having a sleep evaluation is really important,” Baron advised.

A woman standing in front of the refrigerator

Those suffering from this condition should be evaluated at a sleep center, an expert said. (iStock)

For some people, sleepwalking is an inherited risk that continues from childhood into adulthood, according to Baron.

Treatment options

There are several treatment options for SRED, including reducing and eliminating triggers and addressing other sleep disorders, Baron told Fox News Digital.

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People can also implement techniques to improve sleep behaviors and try taking medication, the expert said.

Becker also suggested implementing safety precautions at home, like installing locks on kitchen cabinets and refrigerators and removing dangerous obstacles.

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People with SRED should also get “plenty of regular sleep,” she encouraged, as the condition can heighten with sleep deprivation.

“It’s also recommended to participate in a sleep study so that your health care provider can better understand your nighttime activity,” she said.

Woman eating pizza slice in front of the refrigerator late night

SRED is most common in women under 20 years old, according to Cleveland Clinic. (iStock)

SRED is a condition separate from night eating syndrome (NES), which causes people to feel compelled to eat before bed or to wake up multiple times in the night to eat and then return to bed, Baron said.

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SRED is most common in women under 20 years old, according to Cleveland Clinic, but it can occur in anyone. 

Between 1% and 5% of adults experience parasomnia.

Experts suggest seeking a health care provider if SRED episodes are suspected.

New York deli goes viral for its uniquely created ‘pickle bun’ sandwich

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It’s pickle mania at a New York deli thanks to its newest “dill-icous” bun, which is a large, sliced pickle that takes the place of sandwich bread.

Seven Brothers Gourmet in Oceanside on Long Island first created this crunchy concoction in January, but it really took off in May after a social media user reviewed the pickle-encased sandwich.

“Two of our employees — me being one of them and Gianna [Cilluffo] — were working one day and typically we eat regular pickles almost every day, but one day in January we decided we wanted to try it with honey turkey and then we made it into a sandwich,” Stephanie Kemp, social media manager for Seven Brothers Gourmet, told Fox News Digital.

SANDWICH FROM NEW ENGLAND, A MOST UNUSUAL TREAT, HAS FASCINATING STORY, PLUS 5 FUN FACTS

The creation of the now-viral sandwich was simple.

“There was no real purpose other than that we both really love pickles,” Kemp said.

This pickle sandwich has gone viral. It’s from Seven Brothers Gourmet in Oceanside, New York. (Seven Brothers Gourmet)

Kemp noticed that customers were a bit “apprehensive” when the pickle sandwich debuted.

Yet that apprehension quickly turned to excitement after the sister of one of the deli cashiers, Gabby Palmigiano, reviewed the sandwich on TikTok and her video quickly garnered more than 4 million views.

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Now, several pickle-sandwich lovers have taken to social media to express their love of the handheld meal.

The sandwich appears to be filled with whatever meats and cheeses customers would like, from chicken cutlets and mozzarella to turkey and bacon with provolone.

giant pickle jar

The sandwich is made up of favorite sandwich fillings and condiments — but instead of a bread bun, the bun is a large pickle. (iStock)

While the inside might be very much like a usual deli favorite, it’s the crunchy, briny bun that really sets it apart.

Seven Brothers Gourmet scoops out the inside of the pickle to create enough space to add the favorite condiments and any additional toppings such as lettuce or peppers.

HOT BROWN IS KENTUCKY’S MEATY, CHEESY, SIGNATURE SANDWICH THAT YOU DON’T EAT WITH YOUR HANDS

Since the sandwich has blown up online, the deli has had to make a few adjustments to keep up with all the viral attention.

“Business has changed drastically in regard to the amount of foot traffic we’re seeing throughout the day now,” Kemp told Fox News Digital.

Seven Brothers Gourmet pickle sandwich

The deli has now made two separate lines for customers: those who want the pickle sandwich and those who are “regulars” with different food orders. (Seven Brothers Gourmet)

“Our busiest time of year is Christmas, so that’s what every day feels like now,” she added.

In order to keep up with the deli’s regular customers, Seven Brother Gourmet has created two lines — one for pickle sandwich lovers and the other for regulars who have different orders to place.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews/lifestyle

And the best part of the “pickle bun” is that nothing goes to waste.

Employees will scoop out the inside of the pickle “bun,” including the seeds, into a separate bowl.

Seven Brothers Gourmet pickle sandwich

The insides of the “buns” are scooped out into a separate bowl and used to make pickle fries. (Seven Brothers Gourmet)

Kemp said that instead of throwing out the pickle leftovers, the deli began making pickle fries.

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The excitement behind the pickle sandwich appears to continue to grow as more social media users come from all over to give the sandwich a taste test.

pickle sandwich

While some may be apprehensive to try the pickle sandwich, pickle lovers online say they’ve found it to be a favorite new treat. (Seven Brothers Gourmet)

Kemp and the team at Seven Brothers Gourmet have loved the feedback they’ve received from fans of the sandwich, especially those who may be a little intimidated by the briny bite.

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“[The most] memorable feedback is honestly the shock on the customers’ faces when they’re a little apprehensive at first — but then they try it and love it,” Kemp said.

Trump’s survival was ‘miraculous’ given bullet’s proximity to brain, says doctor

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The morning after former President Donald Trump survived an assassination attempt during a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, on Saturday afternoon, Dr. Marc Siegel spoke to Fox News about the “miraculous” outcome.

Appearing on “America Reports,” the Fox News medical contributor and clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center expressed his admiration for Trump’s reaction in what he described as a “war zone.”

“The crowd kept its composure when this was going on … They were led by President Trump’s rally cry, raising his fist, saying ‘Fight’ and not giving up,” Siegel said.

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“From a medical point of view, that idea of showing courage, and then showing compassion, reaching out on social media to the families of the victim and those who were injured, also sends the right message.”

The doctor also noted the quickness with which Trump got down when the shots were fired and then was led off the stage, which showed an “adroitness.”

The morning after former President Donald Trump survived an assassination attempt during a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, on Saturday afternoon, Dr. Marc Siegel spoke to Fox News about the “miraculous” outcome. (Fox News/Getty Images)

“You don’t know what you’re going to do in that situation,” he said.

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Siegel also emphasized how “miraculous” it is that the former president survived the incident.

“I’ve been talking to emergency room doctors, vascular surgeons and trauma surgeons all over the country this morning, and nobody can remember a case like this,” he said. 

Dr. Marc Siegel

“I’ve been talking to emergency room doctors, vascular surgeons and trauma surgeons all over the country this morning, and nobody can remember a case like this,” Dr. Siegel said.  (Dr. Marc Siegel)

In particular, the doctor noted how rare it is for someone to be only grazed by a bullet from a high-powered file.

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“I trained in the Bellevue [Hospital Center] emergency room, I took care of gunshot victims countless times, and I never saw anything from a high-powered rifle that only grazed something.”

Trump rally

Audience members duck in the crowd during a shooting attempt at a campaign rally for GOP presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump at Butler Farm Show Inc. on July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)

“People can recount someone being grazed by a bullet — I’ve seen that in the ER, but never from a high-powered rifle,” Siegel said.

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews/health

The doctor stressed the small chance of Trump escaping this alive — “especially since it’s next to the part of the brain that is absolutely uniformly deadly, over 95% deadly, if he’d been hit in the brain there.”

Cloned on Facebook? Here’s how to take back control

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If you could get a penny for every new scam online, you’d be on your way to becoming rich. 

If you got a penny for every person who has had their account hacked on Facebook, you’d be doubly rich. Not only do you have to contend with hackers hijacking your accounts or selling your information on the dark web, but now? 

Hackers are skipping the attempts to infiltrate your accounts and are cloning Facebook accounts.

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facebook clone 1

Facebook app on a smartphone  (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

What is Facebook cloning?

Now hackers are using your photos, name and information to create new Facebook profiles. Once these fake duplicate profiles are created, they reach out to your friends and family to ask them to accept the friend request. Once accepted, they usually message friends and family for monetary assistance due to some bogus and urgent scenario. 

What hackers commonly ask for with a cloned account:

  • Money
  • Additional personal information
  • Password and login information
  • Redirecting unsuspecting people to spam and scam websites

Yes, it seems unlikely that anyone would be duped so easily. Yet many people do get fooled. Most people also don’t hesitate to accept friend requests from people they think they already know. Due to their concern for their friend or family member, many rush in an effort to help someone they know with resources, access or information.

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What to do if your Facebook account has been cloned?

While not as complicated as having your Facebook account hacked, below are steps to take if your account has been cloned to minimize consequences.

1. Notify friends and family immediately that your account has been cloned and to not accept new friend requests from this account 

2. Get as many friends and family to report the cloned account as possible.

Below are steps to take to report these cloned accounts:

  • On the cloned account’s profile, click the three dots under the profile banner

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facebook clone 2

Steps to take to report cloned accounts   (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

  • Select ‘Report Profile’ in the drop-down menu
  • Select ‘Fake account’ as the problem in the next drop-down menu

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facebook clone 3

Steps to take to report cloned accounts   (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

If you successfully reported the cloned profile, you should get a confirmation message showing the progress of the review of the account.

3. If your account is cloned, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is hacked. So, check your settings to determine if anyone has access to your account before taking more stringent measures. To take more specific steps to secure your Facebook account from being hacked, follow the steps in 5 ways to make your Facebook account bulletproof.

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How to prevent Facebook cloning?

While it is difficult to prevent someone from cloning your Facebook account, there are some steps you can take to make it more difficult. 

1. First, you can check if this is already happening by entering your name in the search bar on Facebook. While there may be multiple users with the same name, cloned accounts are usually identifiable because they try to use your photo to dupe your friends and family.

2. Make your Friend List private so no one can access it. This will make it harder for people, even in your network, to know who to contact with these cloned accounts. 

3. Change your privacy settings for photos, videos and information you post so people can’t use your photos and info to create profiles. Anything set to “public” is fair game to be used by these hackers to include in their cloned accounts.

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Kurt’s key takeaways

As long as social media exists, there will be bad actors working every possible angle to take advantage of people and their networks. Aside from following best practices in keeping your accounts secure, it is now important to keep your personal information and media private. With hackers now cloning Facebook accounts, you might not even know about such an account until a friend or family member alerts you. With clear communication with your social networks on Facebook and enlisting their support to report the fake account, you can take steps to secure your presence on Facebook. While there will inevitably be another scam on Facebook, we will keep you notified and on high alert so you can nip it in the bud.

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Has anyone ever cloned your Facebook account? Have you received a friend request from a cloned account? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact

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New Mexico travel guide: Discover Santa Fe, Albuquerque, caverns and more

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New Mexico, often called the Land of Enchantment, is a stunning vacation destination, celebrated for its diverse landscapes and Native American, Spanish and Anglo-American cultural influences. 

Before European colonization, the region was shaped by the traditions of Hispanic and Native American people.

Today, the state’s compelling history is a main attraction for visitors often awestruck by its rugged and varied terrain.

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From the local food and art to the overall character, New Mexico reflects the convergence of cultures to define this unique state.

Another reason visitors come to New Mexico is the alluring landscapes, ranging from dry deserts to lush forests. 

The rich history involving Native American, Hispanic and Anglo influences is reflected in the state’s art, architecture, festivals and cuisine. (Nextrecord Archives/Getty Images)

Many people often imagine red rocks, vast deserts and distinctive rock formations of the Southwest when they think of New Mexico. 

What might surprise new visitors is the white sand dunes, river gorges and dense, evergreen woodlands included in the state’s natural diverse landscape.

Here are some of the top locations to put on your New Mexico itinerary: 

Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the oldest capital city in the United States. Inhabited in 1607, it was officially settled between 1609 and 1610, according to the city’s official website. Originally established with European-style dwellings, the city is full of historical sites and experiences. 

A visit to Sante Fe can include a trip to the historic Santa Fe Plaza, exploration of the oldest church in America and a visit to one of the many museums, such as the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, where the 20th century artist’s love for Northern New Mexico and Santa Fe is on display. 

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Families visiting the city will enjoy the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Santa Fe Southern Railway and the Museum of International Folk Art. 

Albuquerque

Albuquerque’s rich history and resulting culture are reasons it is a popular city to visit. 

Albuquerque was established in 1706, but the city was originally inhabited by Native Americans. Following its establishment, the city became an important trading center. Although Albuquerque has become an area known for its high-tech industry, its historical significance has been preserved. 

Hot air balloons in New Mexico during annual festival

For a unique experience, visitors can explore historical pueblo sites or attend events like the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. (Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

Beyond the historical significance of Albuquerque, the city attracts visitors with its family-friendly attractions, such as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which is a yearly hot air balloon festival. Another activity that families visiting New Mexico can enjoy is a trip to the ABQ BioPark, where they can explore the zoo, botanic garden and aquarium. 

Visitors of all ages can also enjoy a scenic ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway, North America’s longest aerial tram ride. For those not afraid of heights, the tram offers fresh mountain air and incredible panoramic views of New Mexico. 

Taos

Taos is best known among ski enthusiasts. Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near New Mexico’s high desert, the small town offers ski opportunities for those who enjoy the popular winter sport. 

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Taos is also a haven for the arts. The Taos art colony was founded in Taos, New Mexico, because of the creative culture of the Pueblo people. The area celebrated a diverse range of artistic mediums, including furniture and tin work. 

Taos received a modern artistic makeover in the early 20th century, and there are more than 70 galleries in Taos, according to Taos.org.

Taos Pueblos in New Mexico featuring a multi-story adobe complex

Taos Pueblo in Taos, N.M., has been designated both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. (obert Alexander/Getty Images)

Taos is also home to the Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest inhabited sites in the country. For context, other UNESCO-recognized historical cultural landmarks include the Taj Mahal in India and the Grand Canyon in the United States. The pueblo features 1,000-year-old adobe homes that exemplify the early history of the village. Travelers to northern New Mexico are welcome to visit the pueblos. 

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The caverns of Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, located in the Guadalupe Mountains, is a large underground system formed over 4 million years ago, according to the National Park Service (NPS). The park consists of more than 100 limestone caves formed through a complex geological process involving acid dissolving the Capitan limestone, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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One of the most notable cave chambers in North America, because of its size by volume and ease of accessibility for visitors, is located in Carlsbad Caverns. 

The Big Room is a 1.25-mile trail that takes around an hour and a half to walk, according to NPS.

White Sands National Park

White Sands is a national park in New Mexico. Originally designated as a national monument in 1933, it was redesignated as a national park in 2019, according to the NPS. The White Sands National Park preserves a large portion of the unique white gypsum sand dune field and the plants and animals that live there. 

Not only is it a remarkable place to see, the park offers a full day’s worth of activities. After an exciting dune sledding adventure, families and friends can sit down for a relaxing picnic enjoying the tranquil views. The day can end with a sunset stroll around one-half mile long, according to the NPS.

New Mexico flag next to American flag

New Mexico has a high altitude and dry climate. Visitors should remain hydrated, wear sunscreen and be prepared for temperature changes. (Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

What to know before your New Mexico visit

When considering when to visit the state, some ideal times are from May to October, when the temperatures are warm enough to enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities. Skiers can still enjoy the snow-capped mountains in the spring without the freezing temperatures, according to travelandleisure.com. 

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Winter months are ideal for travelers on a budget or those hoping to avoid the crowds of tourists. 

No vacation is complete without partaking in the gastronomic culture of the location visited. New Mexico’s cuisine blends Native American, Spanish and Anglo dishes. The state’s signature dishes are reminiscent of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine with a distinctive flair. A main ingredient that sets New Mexico’s cuisine apart is chile, an ingredient indigenous to North America. 

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Visitors to New Mexico should take full advantage of the rich culture by exploring the activities and events available during their stay, such as those at museums, art galleries and historic locations.

What is stroke? Expert shares what happens in the body, signs to look out for and preventative measures you can take

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Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of disability, according to the American Stroke Association. 

“Stroke is injury to the brain from impairment of blood flow,” Dr. Sandeep Kumar, Department of Neurology, Stroke Division, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, told Fox News Digital in an email.

“A normal blood supply is vital for the brain to function normally and for preservation of its structure. Interruption of the blood flow deprives the affected parts of the brain from receiving oxygen and other nutrients with the result that these tissues start disintegrating rapidly.”

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When a person suffers from a stroke, it can affect their ability to speak and comprehend, Dr. Kumar noted. 

There can also be a loss of sensation in different parts of the body, loss of vision or an inability to walk or stand. 

If you notice someone experiencing stroke symptoms, it’s vital to get them medical help right away.  (iStock)

Read on to learn more about stroke symptoms, preventative measures you can take and the road to recovery.

  1. What are the different types of strokes?
  2. What are the main symptoms of a stroke?
  3. What can I do to prevent a stroke?
  4. What is the recovery process after having a stroke?

1. What are the different types of strokes?

There are two main types of strokes: ischemic and hemorrhagic. 

Ischemic strokes are by far the most common, accounting for 87% of all strokes, according to the American Stroke Association. 

“Blood flow to the brain can be compromised when the blood flowing to the brain in a cerebral artery is blocked off either by a blood clot or a plaque. This is called an ischemic stroke,” Dr. Kumar told Fox News Digital. 

A less-common type of stroke is hemorrhagic. In those cases, “the blood vessel supplying the brain ruptures leading to bleeding within the brain tissue. Bleeding can directly damage brain cells or deprive the surrounding tissues from receiving adequate oxygen and nutrients,” Dr. Kumar said. 

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There’s also a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is called a “warning stroke” or a “mini-stroke,” according to the American Stroke Association.

 This “warning stroke” is caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain. If you have this type of stroke, don’t disregard it. Call 911 right away. 

Illustration of a brain when a stroke happens

There are several different types of strokes a person could face, but ischemic strokes are by far the most common.  (iStock)

Strokes with an unidentifiable cause are labeled as cryptogenic strokes, according to the American Stroke Association. 

2. What are the main symptoms of a stroke?

The following are common symptoms of TIA or a stroke, as highlighted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or trouble understanding speech
  • Sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Sudden trouble seeing from one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination

The NIH notes that symptoms can occur rapidly, or slowly, developing over hours and sometimes even days. 

An acronym important to remember is F.A.S.T. Below is how you can identify if someone is having a stroke, using the F.A.S.T acronym, as provided by the American Stroke Association. 

F = Face Drooping: “Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?”

A = “Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?”

S = “Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred?”

T = “Stroke is an emergency. Every minute counts. Call 911 immediately. Note the time when any of the symptoms first appear.”

3. What can I do to prevent a stroke?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sais that around 80% of strokes are preventable. 

A senior woman meditating at home

One thing you can do to prevent a stroke is to live a healthy lifestyle, filled with proper diet and adequate exercise.  (iStock)

While the average age for a stroke is 65 and older, according to Lifespan, the average age is decreasing. In the United States, 10 percent of people who have a stroke are under the age of 45. 

“People who develop strokes usually have underlying risk factors,” Dr. Kumar told Fox News Digital.

“The most important among these are high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, heart disease, especially a condition called atrial fibrillation.”

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Kumar noted the importance of screening for these underlying conditions with your doctor. Be sure you’re following advice from your doctor for testing, and follow instructions regarding medication that may be needed if these conditions are found. 

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can also help reduce stroke risk. 

Kumar noted the following as things you can do to promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce your risk:

  • Get regular physical exercise
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Ensure good sleep
  • Avoid excess alcohol
  • Manage stress
  • Stop smoking

4. What is the recovery process after having a stroke?

The recovery after a stroke can be long and challenging. Some patients may not reach full recovery. 

Not every patient’s road to recovery will look the same. 

“Many stroke survivors are left with enduring disabilities that prevent them from getting back to their usual routines. These can include simple tasks like eating, dressing, toileting, bathing or other aspects of self-care,” Kumar wrote in an email to Fox News Digital. 

“Others may find that they are unable to engage in other normal day-to-day activities like reading, writing, driving. Even those individuals who have recovered fully feel very vulnerable and cannot shake off the shadow of a stroke on their lives; they may end up curtailing things that they enjoyed, such as going on family vacation, fearful that a stroke may strike again.”

Because of these life-altering changes that stroke survivors endure, they will need support from those around them, including medical professionals and loved ones.

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The exact needs that a stroke survivor requires in order to recover will vary, depending on each individual’s case. Factors like how severe the stroke was, which area of the brain was affected, how soon a patient received medical attention and the overall health of the patient can all play into the recovery process, according to Northwestern Medicine. 

Two people holding hands

Stroke survivors will need support from those around them to help them get through their difficult recovery.  (iStock)

“Needs of a stroke survivor for coping and adjustments are varied. A number of patients who have lingering impairments, such as limb weakness, walking difficulty, speech impairment, benefit greatly from rehabilitation,” Kumar said. 

“Rehabilitation includes physical and occupational therapy that is targeted towards restoring the lost function, such as improving limb strength in a limb that was weakened from the stroke. In other instances, the loss of function cannot be completely regained; rehabilitation in such [a] situation can be helpful in developing compensatory adaptation strategies that can help an individual transition to independence. These may include the use of prosthetics or mobility devices.” 

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Some patients also have cognitive impairments they deal with after a stroke, as well as other pragmatic issues, Kumar noted, such as those related to employment, finances and housing. 

“Social workers and other community support can be essential to help navigate these challenges,” Kumar said. 

Chemotherapy drug could have serious, surprising side effect, study finds

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A chemotherapy drug could cause “significant” hearing loss among cancer survivors, according to a study from the University of South Florida and Indiana University.

Researchers tracked 100 testicular cancer survivors who received a chemo drug called cisplatin for an average of 14 years, as a press release from USF noted.

Among the participants, who averaged 48 years of age, 78% of them reported experiencing “significant difficulties in everyday listening situations.”

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This was reportedly the first study to assess potential hearing loss among cancer survivors.

“Patients receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy are at high risk for permanent hearing loss, and for some, that hearing loss will progress years after chemo treatment,” lead author Victoria Sanchez, associate professor in the USF Health Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, told Fox News Digital in an email. 

A chemotherapy drug could cause “significant” hearing loss among cancer survivors, according to a study. (iStock)

“This hearing loss affects how people hear in everyday life, like a noisy restaurant or other social gatherings.”

Cisplatin is a type of chemotherapy drug that contains the metal platinum, according to the National Cancer Institute’s website.

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The IV-administered drug is approved to treat bladder cancer, ovarian cancer and testicular cancer, the NCI states, either alone or in combination with other medications.

Higher doses of cisplatin were linked to more severe cases of hearing loss, the researchers found.

woman receives chemo

Cisplatin is a type of chemotherapy drug that contains the metal platinum, according to the National Cancer Institute’s website. (iStock)

Those at highest risk included patients with poor heart health or high blood pressure.

“It was surprising to see that cardiovascular conditions are related to increased hearing loss and progression of hearing loss, which speaks to the need for patients to consider healthy lifestyle choices to help protect their ears,” Sanchez said.

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The ears are especially vulnerable to the drug because they cannot filter it out, according to the USF researchers.

“This leads to inflammation and the destruction of sensory cells that are critical for coding sound, causing permanent hearing loss that can progressively get worse well after cisplatin treatments are completed,” the release stated.

Immunotherapy

Researchers tracked 100 testicular cancer survivors who received a chemo drug called cisplatin for an average of 14 years. (iStock)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved cisplatin for testicular cancer treatment in 1978, according to the NIH.

Packaging labels for the drug warn of the potential for ototoxicity, which involves damage to the inner ear as a side effect of medication.

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Hearing loss can be unilateral or bilateral and tends to become more frequent and severe with repeated doses,” the packaging stated.

“Decreased ability to hear normal conversational tones may occur.”

It is unclear whether the drug-induced ototoxicity is reversible, according to the packaging.

Woman with hearing aid

“If a hearing loss is identified, treatment and help for hearing loss is available,” the lead study author said. “Health care providers can talk to patients about their risk of hearing loss and a plan for survivorship.” (iStock)

Based on the findings, the researcher recommends that cancer patients talk to their health care providers about possible hearing loss as a side effect of treatment and to receive hearing evaluations while receiving chemotherapy. 

“Check your hearing if you have any concerns,” Sanchez advised.  

“If hearing loss is identified, treatment and help for hearing loss is available. Health care providers can talk to patients about their risk of hearing loss and a plan for survivorship.”

Human ear anatomy

The ears are especially vulnerable to the drug because they cannot filter it out, according to the USF researchers. (iStock)

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, noted that cisplatin is a “highly effective treatment” for testicular cancer, improving the cure rate from 10% to 90% when used in combination with other drugs. 

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“[The drug has a] very high degree of side effects, [including] hearing loss, which is very well-known, in up to 80% of patients,” Siegel, who was not involved in the study, told Fox News Digital via email. 

A cost-benefit analysis should be performed for all treatments, the doctor advised.

Audiologist

“High doses of chemotherapy (especially ones that are platinum-based) and radiation to the head, ear or brain can cause damage and hearing problems in one or both ears,” the ACS stated.  (iStock)

“Since this is a potentially deadly cancer, the benefits are generally worth the side effects, until newer, less toxic and equally effective treatments are developed,” Siegel said.

The main limitation of the study, according to Sanchez, is that all of the patients were very similar — males treated for testicular cancer.

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“We need to conduct additional studies to understand women treated with cisplatin and for other types of cancers,” she said.

The goal is that the research will lead to alternatives in chemotherapy treatment plans and preventative medications to reduce the risk of hearing loss, according to USF.

“Hearing loss related to cancer treatment is often permanent (doesn’t go away), but a hearing aid might help.”

The American Cancer Society warns on its website of the potential for chemotherapy drugs to impact hearing.

“High doses of chemotherapy (especially ones that are platinum-based) and radiation to the head, ear or brain can cause damage and hearing problems in one or both ears,” the ACS stated. 

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“Hearing loss related to cancer treatment is often permanent (doesn’t go away), but a hearing aid might help.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the FDA, the ACS and several manufacturers of branded cisplatin medications requesting comment.