How far have we come since Egyptians drilled holes in the skull in an attempt to cure a variety of diseases? We’ve seen tremendous advances in brain surgery. But relatively little progress in how to treat concussion. Basically, medical advice has been to rest while waiting for the brain to recover. But research now shows Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT) can dramatically speed up the healing of bruised brains. So why isn’t it used more by doctors, and for more conditions?
As 2018 draws to a close, the pharmaceutical industry is celebrating a prosperous year of new investments and therapeutic breakthroughs. These successes were driven by cutting-edge science and progress in finally translating long-standing technology into actual products, according to a cover story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.
Fourteen percent of American adults suffer from migraines or severe headaches. Among women aged 18 to 44, the number soars to 23%. There is no cure for migraines, and over-the-counter pain relief medicines do not always work.
Ask anyone about AAA and they will immediately think of the American Automobile Association. But in this case it stands for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Sir William Osler once remarked, “There is no disease more conducive to clinical humility than aneurysm of the aorta.” He could have added that it’s a lethal disease, so prevention is better than cure.
John Ioannidis reported in 2005 that most published medical research findings are false. 1 His statistical analysis and logic are impeccable and his paper has never been seriously refuted. Furthermore, he has had a tremendous impact: the paper has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.
Today, scientists can sift through quadrillions of genetic sequences in open-access databases, searching (free-of-charge) for new ways to engineer crops, develop medicines or even create synthetic organisms. But a controversial proposal that aims to share the benefits of digitized DNA could affect scientists’ ability to use these data, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.
Many life-saving medicines, including insulin, antibodies and vaccines, are derived from living cells. These “biologics” can be difficult to obtain and store on the battlefield or in remote areas. That’s why scientists are trying to develop portable systems that can quickly manufacture small batches of protein therapeutics on demand, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.
Pancreatic cancer cells are known for their ability to thrive under extreme conditions of low nutrients and oxygen, a trait known in the cancer field as “austerity.” The cells’ remarkable resistance to starvation is one reason why pancreatic cancer is so deadly. Now researchers have identified a compound from a Congolese plant that has strong “antiausterity” potential, making pancreatic cancer cells susceptible to nutrient starvation. They report their results in ACS’ Journal of Natural Products.
The siren call of addictive drugs can be hard to resist, and returning to the environment where drugs were previously taken can make resistance that much harder. However, addicts who exercise appear to be less vulnerable to the impact of these environmental cues. Now, research with mice suggests that exercise might strengthen a drug user’s resolve by altering the production of peptides in the brain, according to a study in the journal ACS Omega.
A new treatment for aggressive brain tumors (glioblastoma) shows great promise, according to a report by Israeli scientists that was published recently in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.
Winter’s coming, so how much vitamin D do we need? How much time do you have to spend in the sunlight to obtain adequate amounts? How does obesity affect the dosage? How many diseases can be prevented by adequate amounts of this vitamin? And what can a psychiatrist tell us about this vital vitamin?
What couldn’t I believe? Discovering that it’s been 42 years since I last wrote about ovarian cancer! During my time as a surgeon, what was my primary concern about this malignancy? And what has happened in the last four decades to bring hope to those diagnosed with this disease?
Israeli researchers report that they have invented the first fully personalized tissue implant, engineered from a patient’s own materials and cells. The new technology makes it possible to engineer any kind of tissue implant, for the spinal cord, to the heart, or brain, from one small fatty tissue biopsy.
CollPlant, an Israeli regenerative medicine company focused on 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs, signed a license, development and commercialization agreement with United Therapeutics Corporation of Maryland for 3D bioprinted lung transplants.
I wrote years ago that, “If you keep going to hell, you’ll eventually get there.” Today, half of North Americans suffer from chronic disease. One in four has several chronic diseases, and 30 percent of children struggle with chronic illness. Chris Kresser, an integrative medicine clinician at The California Center for Functional Medicine, and author of the book, “Unconventional Medicine,” reports that conventional medicine has failed those suffering from chronic disease. So how can we prevent so many from finding their way to hell?
About 10 percent of women worldwide suffer from endometriosis, a painful and debilitating disease with inadequate treatments. Currently, doctors don’t know what causes the condition, which occurs when endometrial tissue escapes the uterus and forms lesions on other organs.
Autumn is the season for falling leaves, pumpkin-spice-flavored everything and apple cider. Yet new research indicates that, in addition to alcohol, some hard ciders may contain a hefty dose of added sugar, which may not be disclosed on the label. The researchers report their results in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The idea of ultrasound technology is to give radiologists a dynamic look at moving parts inside the body. However, most ultrasound scans today are done by technicians – so the radiologist is reviewing recorded images or video clips instead of seeing the full real-time picture.
What should you do if the doctor says, “You need a hip or knee replacement due to severe arthritis? The time – honoured treatment has been a major operation to replace the injured joint. This may still be the best option for some patients. But how many of these joints could be repaired by stem cell injections, thereby saving the potential complications of surgery?
In recent years deaths from opioid overdoses have become one of the most common injury-related deaths in North America. The continent also has the highest per capita rate of opioid prescription in the world.