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FDA-approved HIV medication could help patients with movement disorder

Researchers say the medication may help increase the independence of patients with dystonia and relieve some of the pain associated with the condition.
Researchers say the medication may help increase the independence of patients with dystonia and relieve some of the pain associated with the condition.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Recently published research by scientists at the University of Florida and Duke University found the drug ritonavir showed promise for possibly treating dystonia, a neurological movement disorder that causes muscles to contract involuntarily.

“We think it’s having an effect not only molecularly but also physiologically which was shown in the article but also on the whole brain MRI’s which was shown in the article,” said Dr. David Vaillancourt, PhD. and chair of the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida College of Health and Human Performance.

Researchers say the medication may help increase the independence of patients with dystonia and relieve some of the pain associated with the condition.

Human clinical trials are still needed to test dosage levels and safety and to determine whether the same results found in animal models can translate to humans.

Pricey pandemic

And the costs of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic continue to skyrocket.

According to new data, hospitals billed private insurers an average of just over $317,000 for a complex COVID case.

Insurers paid out close to $100,000 on those claims, which included ICU stays and ventilators.

The average payout for a general hospitalization was nearly $75,000, which experts say makes the $5 billion price tag for treating unvaccinated patients an underestimate.

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that 287,000 hospitalizations this past summer could have been avoided with vaccination.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.