Browse Category: Diseases and Disorders
If you live on planet Earth, than you’ve probably heard about the latest food scare gripping the nation: cantaloupe. And if you haven’t heard, I’m telling you now: step away from the cantaloupe . . . don’t walk, RUN to your nearest trash can and get rid of that nasty melon!
It’s hard to imagine a disease that you may think to be almost “extinct”
in developed countries could rise again. Especially when we have the means to seemingly prevent it from occurring. Unfortunately, those prevention measures aren’t always 100% effective, and the result can be the outbreak of a dangerous and deadly disease.
Even in today's jaded society, there are still many American adults who believe the government is looking after them. Take the way the public feels about the FDA
, for example. Despite the controversies and questionable motives that have been brought to light, according to a recent study Americans still think the agency approves only extremely effective drugs that have no adverse side effects. Seriously?
When Hollywood takes on medicine, the facts are often sacrificed for character and plot, as well as a huge splash of hyperbole and a heightened fear factor. Remember the blockbuster movie Contagion?
It was somewhat of an exception. The creators of this action thriller did their homework. By retaining renowned virologists and epidemiologists, they were able to fact-check their gripping tale of a deadly viral pandemic and ended up with a portrayal of how a pandemic could really
happen. As a matter of fact, it already has. The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak 10 years ago was disastrous, and a recent outbreak of a mysterious SARS-like virus has claimed lives in Saudi Arabia.
Most Americans have accepted the paradox of hospitals. They are supposed to be an institution of healing; yet due to staff errors and other health risks such as MRSA
, many people leave sicker than they were when they checked in. Now a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control tells us healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is a bigger risk than previously believed.
Tennis fans around the world were surprised and dismayed when the two-time U.S. Open champion and seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams withdrew from the U.S. Open tournament. Recent reports of a virus and stomach complaints had recently surfaced, but her reason for pulling out was due to a more mysterious condition.
The two and a half million people worldwide who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS)
have more in common than their disease—they also share similar genetic traits. A recent study published in the journal Nature
found 29 new genetic variants linked to MS in addition to confirming 23 already known genetic links. This is great news for MS sufferers, as scientists can now target research on treatment options to specific areas of the immune system.
Maybe the garden centers have it right after all: it’s time to play in the dirt again. Over the last few years, more and more research has leaned toward supporting the argument that dirt, germs, and even worms
need to make a way back into our immune system. If that sounds more than a little far-fetched to you, you’re not alone. This idea is in stark contrast to the saturation of anti-bacterial gels and germ phobia that is so prevalent in society today. But scientific research is clear about the fact that the hyper-sterilization of our day-to-day world
has had negative effects on our health.
A new study conducted at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is offering new hope for Down syndrome patients. A major clinical trial is underway that could result in an effective drug treatment. This treatment could increase cognitive function in these individuals. Since the typical prognosis of the condition is a steady decline
in cognitive function with age, such a drug could significantly improve quality of life.
Consumers spending up to hundreds of dollars each month on certain popular prescription drugs
may soon find a little relief for their pocketbook. Over the next 17 months, ten of the world's top-selling medications will go “off patent,” which makes room for less expensive generic versions to fill pharmacy shelves. While this may mean bad news for manufacturers, with a potential savings of 80% it could mean great news
It seems as of late there has been a rash of media headlines reporting contaminated food and resulting food-borne illnesses
. Most recently, Cargill Inc., one of the nation’s largest meat producers, recalled about 36 million pounds of frozen and fresh ground turkey after an investigation linked the contaminated meat a case of antibiotic resistant Salmonella Heidelberg
. What has caused such an outrage is that regulators waited months before they warned the public about the Salmonella outbreak that not only sickened nearly 80 people, but also caused one death. Now, safety advocates around the nation are crying out for changes in the rules that govern meat recall.
July 15, 2011, marked another important anniversary for our nation . . . but one that is much less celebratory than the anniversary of our nation's Independence. One year ago on that date, the oil conglomerate BP finally contained the monstrous catastrophe
it had unleashed on the Gulf of Mexico. BP crews were able to cap the raging Macondo oil and gas well and ended the dreadful gush of hydrocarbons that had many people not only fearful for their livelihood, but for their health, and the health of the entire Gulf Coast community.
When the trailer for the Adam Sandler movie Grown Ups
was aired on television, the scene that received the most guffaws was the one where four “grownups” were in the pool and were suddenly surrounded by dark blue blooming clouds of the mythical blue pee-detecting chemical.
Are summertime mosquitoes making you slaphappy? Growing up in Minnesota, where we often used to joke that the mosquito was the unofficial State bird, mosquitoes were always the bane of summertime existence. But now, new research suggests there may be a way to curb the mosquito population . . . which is not only a human nuisance, but is also responsible for diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever.
Troubled singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse died July 23, 2011 at the age of 27. Though investigators are operating under the suspicion that her death was due to a drug overdose, at this time an autopsy has revealed no conclusive cause. As the world waits for clearer results of toxicology tests, the days following her death have been a time to reflect on the turbulent life of this talented star.
Recent summers' record heat waves not only have Americans clamoring for cooler temperatures, but many become increasingly alarmed as reports of deaths from heat related illnesses
hit the airwaves. In recent years, even areas of the country that avoided the heat advisories were still seeing record high temperatures. Understandably, healthcare officials worry every season.
The possible threat of a nuclear disaster resulting from the Los Alamos, New Mexico wildfire
has led many to question just how safe our country’s nuclear plants really are. Since Japan’s deadly earthquake in March of this year and the resulting nuclear crisis began, U.S regulators have expressed doubts that our nation’s nuclear power plants are prepared for a disaster - even after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission publicly stated that American reactors are safe.
Nearly 42 years ago, history was made when the world's first artificial heart was implanted in a 47-year-old patient dying of heart failure. The device kept him alive for three days while he waited for a human heart transplant
. While this event was certainly a remarkable milestone, medical science has taken gigantic leaps
since then. Now, for the first time, a patient has received a synthetic windpipe created from his very own stem cells. No human donor tissue was involved.
On June 26, 2011 the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico saw thousands of residents evacuating ahead of the wildfire that rained down ash from towers of smoke. Now, there are signs of normalcy as just recently officials have allowed people to return to their homes.
But Los Alamos could have remained a ghost town, and thousands of lives could have been affected.
Now that summertime is here, many people will be spending more time outdoors. That means more exposure to mosquitoes and ticks and other buggy creatures that could potentially carry deadly illnesses. One such illness is called Babesiosis, a tick-borne illness with symptoms that mimic malaria
and is potentially life-threatening.