Home Authors Posts by Alexandra Velcelean

Alexandra Velcelean

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1894

Excessive sugar consumption side effects

According to recent studies, excessive consumption of sugar not only leads to obesity and diabetes but can even prevent heart and lungs from working properly. Lungs and heart pump blood in the organism with the help of some proteins called elastins, and it seems that excess sugar disturb the function of these proteins.

In a healthy lung, these proteins form a network and are involved actively in a function called  ferroelectricity. Researchers found that these networks freezes when exposed to high levels of glucose, which makes their activity to decrease by half. In other words, these proteins cannot perform their function (they are slowed down or they are stopped completely).

Initially it was considered that ferroelectricity is a property that is found only in synthetic materials, but after several trials and experiments it was found that they were also involved in pumping the pig’s aorta. This led the researchers to wonder how the human system can have the same functions. Co-corresponding author Jiangyu Li, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Washington, said it would be expected that the same phenomenon to happen in those organs and tissues as well.

cola

Cola

Li said that this discovery is important because it reveals what is the mechanism that underlies ferroelectric switching phenomenon and also indicates that it is not an isolated phenomenon that occurs only in one type of tissue as previously thought. He added that this phenomenon may be related to aging and diabetes. In the next studies researchers will investigate whether elastins and ferroelectric properties are involved in the onset of certain disease.

As you age, there is a process called glycation, which means that proteins in the organism thicken and harden. Glucose itself is not a toxic metabolite, but excess glucose, that is hyperglycemia, induces oxidative stress in endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells. In addition, excess glucose leads to the formation AGE, that is advanced glycation-end-products. Every protein in the body can be glycated, which means that their structures and functions are modified. For example, glycation of plasma proteins favors their passage into the extravascular space, leading to edema, or in urine, leading to proteinuria.

Oxidative stress promoted by hyperglycemia involves the formation of oxide compounds called radicals or reactive oxygen species. Because of excessive reactive oxygen species, an imbalance between their increased production and protection mechanisms (glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase) occurs, which causes oxidative stress in the endothelium.

2001

Combined Therapy For Breast Cancers

According to an article published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, it seems that researchers have made new progress in the treatment of triple negative breast cancer, a form of breast cancer that occurs in young women. Triple negative breast cancer does not express estrogen receptors ( ER), progesterone receptors ( PR) or Her2/neu (human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2).This is a type of breast cancer that is more aggressive than the other subtypes, has a worse prognosis and do not respond to conventional treatments. Triple negative breast cancer is usually found in advanced stages because on the one hand has a rapid growth pattern and on the other hand usually affects young women. Another distinguishing feature of this subtype of cancer is that the tumor is larger than other types of cancer.

Treatment is usually limited because there is no specific therapeutic targets to act on (such as estrogen receptors). Because of this, the risk of developing metastases (lungs and brain) and the risk of relapse is high; this is one of the reason why the average survival time is 12 months. But now researchers have found that a combination therapy is able to destroy tumor cells completely. This new combination therapy is designed to eradicate tumors in advanced stages and experiments conducted so far in laboratory animals have been successful.

Researchers tested the effectiveness of this therapy in three separate experiments conducted on 40 rats of which 15 were already in stage IV, which means that they had already metastases in other organs. In the first experiment, sensitive tumor cells were destroyed with low-dose chemotherapy. Then, in order to prevent recurrence of the tumor and to destroy the rest of the cells that were resistant to chemotherapy, there have been used low doses of radiation. This combination therapy resulted in the destruction of the primary tumor and the metastases in the lungs, brain and bones. In parallel there were conducted experiments in which rats were treated with only one of the therapies, that is with chemotherapy only or radiotherapy, and the result was that the tumor was not completely eradicated  ( the tumor relapsed).

Dr Fares Al-Ejeh, Senior Research Scientist at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and lead author of the study, said that the next step is to translate these findings to humans. He hopes that in 10 years this success will lead to the development of a treatment for women diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.

2111

Minocycline May Enter Haemorrhagic Stroke Treatment Scheme

Researchers at the Georgia Regents University are leading a study to see if a broad spectrum antibiotic, minoclycline, can reduce the degree of disability produced by the hemorrhagic stroke. Results so far are promising and show that minocycline is a safe and effective drug in treating damage caused by  the other type of stroke, that is ischemic stroke, which is the most common.

Although hemorrhagic stroke counts for about 10% of all strokes, however, the consequences are often more serious. It is worth mentioning  that the mortality rate is much higher in the hemorrhagic stroke than in the ischemic stroke. However, an early intervention is associated with higher chances of recovery. Dr. Jeffrey A. Switzer, stroke specialist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, said that they hope that minocycline, administered early, would reduce bleeding and the cerebral lesions caused by stroke. He said: “If we could give something in the field before we can confirm the type of stroke because we know it’s safe for both, that would be a novel strategy to help patients.”

avc

AVC

It seems that minocycline reduces inflammation and the level of enzymes involved haemorrhage, called matrix metalloproteinases, or MMPs. MMPs destroy the basement membrane of blood vessels which make the blood vessel to be more prone to bleeding. Previous studies have shown that patients with a certain type of stroke have elevated blood levels of MMPs and inflammatory cells, which is correlated with a negative prognostic factor. One mechanism by which minocycline works is to collect iron, which is an essential component in the structure of hemoglobin (oxygen transport) but very harmful when it comes in contact with brain tissue.

Switzer hopes this antibiotic will reduce bleeding and the cerebral damage caused by hemorrhagic stroke. Because patients condition worsens usually in the first hours after stroke, early intervention may improve the prognosis. If studies show that minocycline is a safe drug in patients with hemorrhagic stroke, then this drug may be administered before reaching the hospital. In addition it is also possible that this antibiotic to bring benefits in patients with ischemic stroke (ie to increase the window in which can be administered tPA).

Before being given intravenous minocycline, patients will receive a brain CT confirming the hemorrhagic stroke. Also, patients will be investigated several times to see what is their level of MMPs and inflammatory proteins in the blood: at 24 hours, at 7 days and at 90 days after stroke.

1866

Combined hormonal therapy linked with increased breast cancer

According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, hormone therapy with estrogen and progestin is correlated with an increased incidence of breast cancer and mortality. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women and it is estimated that one in eight women will develop at some time in their lives breast cancer. There are many risk factors for breast cancer such as age, family history, medical history. These are risk factors that cannot be controlled but there are risk factors that can be controlled such as weight, alcohol consumption, diet (red meat, processed foods, fats, etc.), smoking, physical inactivity, oral contraceptives, stress, etc. . Recently researchers conducted a study that found that combined hormone therapy (estrogen and progestin) increases breast cancer risk and mortality. However most observational studies to date have not demonstrated this connection.

To clarify this issue, Rowan T. Chlebowski, MD, PhD, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) researcher along with his team, have investigated postmenopausal women without hysterectomy who received or not estrogen and progestin combined therapy. The conclusion was that the incidence of breast cancer among women who used combined hormone therapy (estrogen plus progestin) have been higher compared to those who had never used combined hormone therapy. Also, it seems that the incidence of mortality was higher among those women who used estrogen plus progestin therapy. In addition it was found that women who started hormone therapy closer to menopause have a higher risk of breast cancer. Moreover, it appears that the incidence is increased for all categories of breast cancer, not just for those with favorable prognosis.

The authors said that: “Because survival after breast cancer diagnosis did not differ between estrogen plus progestin users and nonusers, the higher breast cancer incidence of those using estrogen plus progestin may lead to increased breast cancer mortality on a population basis.”

It is known that exposure to estrogen for a long time, uninterrupted, may increase the risk of breast cancer. Estrogens are hormones that cause cell proliferation in the mammary gland, and it seems that women with early menarche (starting menstruation before age 12 years) or those with late menopause (over age 55) have a higher risk of breast cancer. Also, there is an increased risk for women exposed long time to estrogens in the environment such as DDT or pesticides in food. It should be noted that approximately 10% of breast cancers are due to genetic mutations (the most common are BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations). Women with these mutations have a 80% risk to develop breast cancer.

3553

Fanconi syndrome Causes And Symptoms

Fanconi syndrome is a renal disease in which  amino acids, glucose, phosphate, uric acid and bicarbonate are lost in urine instead of being reabsorbed. Multiple electrolyte imbalances occur (hypokalemia, metabolic acidosis, hypercalciuria, albuminuria), which in childhood lead to growth retardation and later in life to osteoporosis and osteomalacia. Fanconi syndrome is of several types: hereditary, acquired or produced by exogenous substances.

Hereditary Fanconi syndrome occurs due to congenital metabolic abnormalities caused by different genetic mutations. Nephrotic syndrome, immune reactions, various heavy metals and medicines lie behind the other two types of Fnaconi syndrome: acquired Fanconi syndrome respectively Fanconi syndrome induced by exogenous substance.

Fanconi

Fanconi

Causes

Hereditary Fanconi syndrome

Different genetic diseases are associated with hereditary Fanconi syndrome: Dent’s disease, Lowe syndrome, cystinosis, galactosemia, von Gierke disease, Wilson’s disease, tyrosinemia and others. These are rare genetic diseases, usually autosomal recessive. Two of them, Lowe syndrome and Dent disease, are X-linked disease which means they are manifested only in boys ( girls are carriers of the defective gene but they do not develop the disease).

Acquired Fanconi syndrome

In terms of acquired Fanconi syndrome, there are several immune and hematologic diseases that may cause proteinuria because Fanconi syndrome is associated with nephrotic syndrome. Multiple myeloma, Sjogren’s syndrome, various nephritis (interstitial nephritis), amyloidosis can cause Fanconi syndrome at a time.

Fanconi syndrome induced by exogenous substances

There are a variety of medications and various exogenous substances that are responsible for Fanconi syndrome. Aminoglycosides, salicylates, valproic acid, tetracycline expired alter proximal renal tubule function and causes abnormal transport of various compounds. Various drugs that are used in the treatment against HIV or chemotherapy (tenofovir, adefovir, cisplatin) may affect kidney function and may lead to Fanconi syndrome. Also, heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, platinum, are very toxic to the kidneys even in very small doses.

Signs and symptoms

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are the main manifestations of Fanconi syndrome. Polyuria, polydipsia and dehydration occur due to large quantities of solutes and water that are lost in the urine. Hypokalemia, which is due to increased secretion of potassium, leads to muscle weakness, fatigue, cardiac arrhythmias to sudden death. In addition to hypokalemia, hypophosphatemia and acidosis may also occur. Proteinuria is not usually significant, except for cases in which Fanconi syndrome is associated  with nephrotic syndrome.

The main feature of children with Fanconi syndrome is growth retardation, which is the consequence of all these imbalances. Loss of calcium and phosphate in the urine leads to alterations in mineral and vitamin D metabolism and this results in rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.

1659

New chemo drug less toxic to fertility

Researchers at Northwestern Medicine have developed for the first time a cancer drug that is less toxic to fertility but stronger against cancer. It seems that the drug used in chemotherapy, which is in the form of nanoparticles, is the first tested in vitro to see what is its effect on fertility. Up to date, drug testing to see that the degree of toxicity on the reproductive system has been quite expensive and time-consuming. But now researchers have developed a new in vitro quick test that can be used both for existing drugs and for those under development. Teresa Woodruff, co-principal investigator of the study and chief of fertility preservation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said that their goal is to develop drugs to fight the cancer but in the same time to cause no harm to reproductive system in young women. Researchers hope that from now on chemotherapy drugs to be developed so as to take account of this aspect. The effect of chemotherapy on the reproductive system is extremely important in young women especially because oncology patient survival rate began to rise in recent years.

toxic

Toxic

Arsenic trioxide, the drug used in chemotherapy, is packaged in some special particles called nanobins. Nanobins are nano-sized crystalline arsenic particles that are encapsulated in some fat bubbles called liposomes, which are hundreds of times smaller than human cells and which function as carriers for drug. Thomas O’Halloran, also co-principal investigator and director of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute at Northwestern, said that to destroy a tumor  a significant amount of arsenic is needed, also the drug should not affect the surrounding healthy tissue. Because these fat bubble are several hundred smaller than human cells, they can go directly to the tumor through the blood vessels. In addition, because of the acidic environment around the tumor, this nanobin particles release the drug, that is arsenic trioxide.

Even though the chemotherapic effect is quite potent, yet on the reproductive system, the new form of the drug has no harmful effects. Scientists were able to show that by this method ovaries, follicles and eggs are not affected . O’Halloran said that the drug was so constructed so as to have maximum efficiency but to reduce fertotoxicity. “Many cancer drugs cause sterilization, that’s why the reproductive tract is really important to focus on in the new stages of drug design. Other body systems get better when people stop taking the drug, but fertility you can’t recover,” said O’Halloran.

3004

Study reveals new findings about polycystic ovary syndrome and insulin resistance

A study published in the journal Diabetes reveals new insights about polycystic ovarian syndrome ( PCOS) and insulin resistance. It seems that these endocrine disorders are caused by some small RNA molecules called miR-93. These small RNA molecules prevent glucose usage in the cells leading to PCOS and insulin resistance. Dr. Ricardo Azziz, reproductive endocrinologist and PCOS expert at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, said this is the first time that a study shows that a defect occurs both in women with insulin resistance and in women with PCOS. He also added that identifying these molecular mechanisms help to a better understanding of these disorders and the development of targeted therapies in the future.

polycystic ovary

PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome is an endocrine disorder characterized by infertility and hyperandrogenism, that is high levels of male hormones in the blood. Symptoms range from mild endocrine disturbances to amenorrhea, obesity, hirsutism, acne, etc. Besides these symptoms, there are also other hallmarks such as irregular menstruation and insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It should be said that PCOS is one of the most common cause of infertility and studies show that about 10% of women suffer from this syndrome.

In order to find more about the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease, researchers conducted a study in which they analyzed fat cells in the lower abdomen of 21 women with PCOS and 20 healthy women. The researchers found that all women with PCOS have over expression of miR-93 and a low expression of GLUT4, a protein with a role in regulating the utilization of glucose in adipocytes. It seems that the lowest expression of GLUT4 was found in women who had PCOS and insulin resistance. Moreover, researchers found that women in the control group who were insulin resistant also had a low expression of GLUT4. Azziz said that low levels of GLUT4 in adipocytes appear to affect insulin resistance in general but especially PCOS.

Another interesting finding was that two other microRNAs – miR-133 and miR-223, which are known to influence the expression of GLUT4 in heart muscle cells,  were also over expressed but only in fat cells of women with PCOS. However it is not known yet if the two microRNAs  are related with miR-93. “We are just beginning to understand the role of these small molecules in PCOS and insulin resistance and much work remains to be done,” Azziz said.

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Sources

1. http://www.ovariancystmiracle.com/Ovarian-Cyst-Video.php

2. http://news.psu.edu/story/320417/2014/07/09/research/letrozole-may-help-women-pcos-become-pregnant

3. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ovarian-cyst/Pages/Introduction.aspx

4. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/ovarian-cysts.html


2755

The Best 7 Android Medical Apps Of 2013

If you are in the medical field of activity, then this article is addressed to you and to you only so you’d better make sure you take your time to check it out as we are going to shed some light on a few apps for your Android devices that will bring you closer to delivering a more professional and high-quality treatment on a daily basis.

It is common knowledge that when you are a doctor, people are counting on you, let it be your patients or their families, so there is no room for error in this profession whatsoever. You are facing the challenges of saving lives on a daily basis and you have to make quick decisions at every step along the process, basing your entire judgement on your previous long years of study in the medical school and on your direct personal hands-on experience you have gained so far. But what happens when you are facing a split-second decision you need to take and you are not 100% sure about the right thing to do and the right approach to take in order to solve that crisis situation your patient has been confronted with in that very second. If you immediately think that you can solve this by running to the medical book that describes the best procedure on the matter, think again. It only takes a few seconds to lose a patient and you know you can not afford this happening. Yes, it would be so much easier if you could simply carry your entire collection of medical books on you, but simply deciding which of them to take out and check is going to take up to a few minutes and this is crucial time you can not afford to waste.

This is where we come along and give you the best solution to your problem – so all you need to do is embrace technology and let us drive you towards the most approachable and easy to access solution for your problem-solving. What we ask of you is to grasp the idea that you can comprise all the medical books and implicit references in an easy to access pocket guide that you can carry along with you at all times. Yes, I am referring to making use of your Android device as the umbrella and encyclopedia for all the info you need to find in just a few seconds. This will not only improve your taking-decision process, but shall also bring you closer to the most relevant and recent updates in your field and you will always be on top of all critical situations. All you need to know shall simply be in your pocket, and the Google Play Store will become your best friend in helping you reach out to all types of apps that will make your working experience so much more enjoyable. See now – there is a segment for every type of activity, and even the medical staff can benefit from the latest perks of technology.

Deciding to adopt this method shall soon reveal all of its advantages, and when you find yourself in a critical situation you will no longer have to be consumed by the thought of having to spend a good amount of time checking one book or another to get it right. You can simply take out your Android device from your pocket, and then start navigating through the app that you find the most useful in order to solve your dilemma, right there and then.

Taking into consideration that you can find a multitude of apps on Google Play, we have taken our time and put effort into presenting you with a few of the best apps on the market when it comes to the medical field, and we highly recommend you to read this article all the way through and decide for yourself which of the highlighted apps shall be your chosen one.

Medscape

The first best android app we have chosen to present to you is Medscape, and this one represent the topnotch medical resource for clinical use. What is perhaps even more important is that it is addressed to such a wide audience range that not only physicians can benefit from its perks, but it can also be used by all other parties involved in the medical process, be it nurses, medical students, and any other medical health professionals for that matter.  What Medscape uses as platform when it gives you its medical news is actually Medscape News, and by selecting Medcape you can benefit from top daily news from any of the 34 specialties. You will of course not require to access all the info from all existing specialties, so in order to make the range smaller all you need to do is simply select the specialties that you are most interested in.

You will be able to search through an entire Medscape News and MEDLINE databases. Moreover, not only can you navigate through these databases, but you can also choose to save the specific articles you want to later on read and then simply read them offline. Once you have chosen this app, you open yourselves up to a multitude of prescribing and safety information. And there is no exaggeration when saying “a multitude”, as you can access info on over 8,000 branded and generic drugs, OTC drugs, and herbals and supplements.

When it comes to different types of disease, condition and procedures – you can shed light on any aspects you find important by checking out the over 4,000 available evidence-based articles authored by leading physicians and experts. And the benefits’ list does go on, including approx. 600 step-by-step procedure videos, and 100 tables and protocols.

There are no warnings I should bring to your attention when it comes to the wide range of info Medscape can offer you. However I do want to take a minute to let you know that you shall need to be cautious about one thing, and one thing only. For all of you users out there with rooted devices and ad-blocker software, be informed that it might happen that you experience connectivity errors while using Medscape. If you have made up your mind to go for the Medscape app, just be informed that the devices that are supported by Medscape are the Motorola Droid, the Motorola Droid X, Motorola Droid 2, HTC Incredible, Samsung Galaxy S, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

WebMD for Android

The second app we want to draw your attention upon is the WebMD for Android. This again is a very useful app that shall ensure you 24/7 access to mobile-optimized health information. Additionally, you shall also benefit from a series of decision support tools that will ultimately lead to an overall and effortless improvement in  your decision making and health enhancement hard work. Just to mention a few of the tools that you can gain access to, I shall include WebMD's Symptom Checker, Drugs & Treatments, First Aid Information, and Local Health Listings, but the list can go on.

An innovative element the app brings to the game is the 3D figure it encompasses, which allows doctors to effortlessly determine what exactly their patient’s problem is by a mere tap on the part of the body where the patient feels a certain degree of discomfort in. This shall decidedly contribute to a faster and more steady medical approach from then on. Moreover, another inherent advantage is that the search can be narrowed down by simply ticking the symptoms the patient presents and then checking out a conclusive and comprising list of potential conditions and issues.

As was the case with MedScape, it is also possible with WebMD for doctors to gain constant access to WebMD's extensive database, where they can check out information on Drugs, Supplements and Vitamins, as well as being able to access Uses, Side Effects and Warnings. This opens up the path for doctors to give insightful and also accurate preparation advice to patients in regards to any any possible discomfort they might experience.

Another really useful concept WebMD introduces is its Pill Identification Tool and I will try to summarize the concept in just a few words. What the Pill Identification Tool basically does is to help identify the specific pills a patient is currently taking. This shall therefore take the pressure off patients to squeeze their brains out in order to remember the complicated names of the pills they are taking – as this newly introduced tool can very easily follow a series of elements such as shape, color and imprint in order to identify prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines.

I have just chosen to highlight a small number of the many features available with WebMD, but I do highly recommend you to look into this app more thoroughly and simply discover and check out on your own all the other useful concepts and tools it has in store. Moreover, I am sure you shall be pleased to find out that you can download this app for free from the Google Play Store.

Diseases Codes ICD-10

The next app I have chosen to present to your in this guidelines is the Diseases Codecs ICD-10, and this again is one of my favorite apps on the market. It is basically a virtual encyclopedia when it comes to all the international diseases you can think of, and they are all just a click away. Therefore it shall be of most use as well if it happens that you are finding yourself on a holiday or somewhere remotely when somebody comes to resort to your medical advice on an issue he or she might be facing in that very instant. So forget about language barriers or other types of difficulties – you can simply choose to take out your device from your pocket, to open up this app and instantly check the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) – it shall always be at your disposal no matter what.

The app has been developed by TrofoSystems and is of course only applicable on Android, as mentioned at the very beginning of the article. The app is geared towards helping you determine disease codes via its objective and also fast interface. In order to achieve this, you can simply make queries by typing the disease name as well as by code. And if you also feel like you are not in a very inquisitive set of mind, then you can also leave it up to the auto-complete search to get the job done for you, hence there is nothing to worry about, this app is always on your side.

Moreover, once you start to use this app on a constant basis, you can notice that the most-accessed codes can ultimately be saved in a bookmark list for easy access and reference. And I have not even yet revealed the biggest advantage this app has. I will break it to you right now and tell you that you do not even need to be connected to the Internet to access data, which makes everything all the more easy to use. If you are curios as to how this is possible, well the answer is quite simple. In a nutshell, all that information the app holds is stored in a single download of 1 MB, which means that if you want to do so, you can even install it on your SD card. But do not hold your breath – you will indeed need to have Internet access when it comes to disease-related ads.

Epocrates

Epocrates also presents similar features with the previous app, and it brings you one step closer to immediate access when it comes to reliable drug, disease, and diagnostic information no matter where exactly you might be. On top of that, you can also benefit with Epocrates from a free drug application – entitled Epocrates Rx. What Epocrates Rx does is that it features thousands of drug monographs, a drug-drug interaction checker to make sure that patients won't get a cocktail of unfortunate side-effects. The list goes on with its being equipped with a pill identifier mechanism for the times when you need to detect what types of pills you have and then just label them correctly, and health plan formularies on the other hand.

Not only can you as a medical health professionals make sure you check out a drug of your choice starting with finding details from its common term to its full name, but you can also check out what that drug’s most common uses are or what its reported applicable doses are. As mentioned, there are different types of features that this app brings to the table, and I will continue by enumerating a few more just to highlight the importance of this app: for instance, doctors can also check a number of infectious diseases and their empiric therapy, but they can furthermore also see their specific therapy, and the list can go on and on, but I will leave it up to you to try this app out and decide for yourself.

Having tried out this app, you can decide for yourself if it is sufficient or not for what you plan on using it. If you do happen to think that you could use having a few more features and functions with it, then we are happy to inform you that we have a solution for this as well, and that you can also purchase Epocrates' premium applications. There are quite a few to be mentioned, but I will only bring Epocrates Essentials Deluxe, Epocrates Essentials, and Epocrates Rx Pro into your attention for now. For your info – Epocrates is available for free download from the Google Play Store.

Skyscape Medical Resources

As its title gives away, the Skyscape Medical Resources is an app that fosters quite a wide range of medical resources, so if this is what you are looking for you might have found your match. What this app can be cataloged as is a guide for anybody involved in the decision-support mechanism that needs a tool to provide fast answer to whatever topic they need enlightenment with, may them have any type of role in the medical professionals, starting from doctors to nurses and even med students.

Again – this app is available for free download on the Google Play Store, and you will be happy to know that you can access any type of medical resources such as drug information, medical calculators, and clinical information on more than 850 topics via the Skyscape Medical Resources app.

To be more specific, you can also get access to RxDrugs, which provides comprehensive information on thousands of brands and generics with interactions, including a multi-drug analyzer tool, pill images and over 400 integrated dosing calculators. And RxDrugs is not the one and only perk Skyscape Medical Resources comes packed with, but you can also get Archimedes, which is a medical calculator that encompasses over 200 interactive tools, Outlines in Clinical Medicine for evidence-based clinical information on hundreds of diseases and symptom-related topics, and MedAlert for in-context and specialty focused journal summaries.

If you shall still be hungry for more and you decide you want to get your hands on something else as well, then you can always simply purchase any of the 600 premium resources that cover over 35 medical specialties and then simply check them out via the Skyscape Medical Resources app.

PubMed Mobile

We are heading towards another area of expertise now and we are going to give you all the heads up when it comes to an app that you can find useful if you find yourselves in the position of having to write a paper on a given topic. Therefore, as it generally happens with papers’ writing, you shall have to do your best and compile a great deal of journal citations to be able to go forward on your own research. We have now come up with a solution for you – and this is PubMed Mobile, that will give you the chance to access and scroll through its PubMed database where you can find over 21 million citations for a wide range of articles and journals, with a main focus on the bio-medical and life science journals.

There are different elements to help and narrow down your search, and you can start by making use of the standard keyword search function, and then simply just save your search queries. What this will do is enable you to save selected citations for an easy access later when you do have the time to go through with it, or furthermore to simply share these sources with anybody else you would need to share them with via email. You can simply link to it if you have a fully-available article.

This app is pretty similar to all the programs you could normally access for any type of social activities, so if you do want to post a comment for an article for public viewing, then you can do it without delay. Moreover, you can also choose to write a note or comment to yourself, or also view public comments for an article at a later stage.

You can also get PubMed Mobile for free on the Google Play Store, and if you do happen to want to benefit from more features and to let’s say search for a specific author or a particular journal you might need to access, then you have an additional option to simply  purchase PubMed Mobile Pro for a small fee.

Calculate by QxMD

This is one of my other fav apps and you will see why in just a matter of phrases. But let’s start with the beginning and then move on to the juicy stuff.

First and foremost, this app has been the product of  QxMD Medical Software, Inc. who developed it in tight collaboration with a series of clinical experts who all pertain to very different and diverse backgrounds. As guessed, the implicit result of this collaboration is Calculate by QxMD. What this app has so special is that it doesn’t fail to provide advanced clinical calculators and decision support tools for health providers. Moreover, it is both addressed to medical health professionals and patients, and gives an accurate insight into references with Pubmed integration.

What Calculate basically offers is a focus on bringing up tools that are of great use to clinical practice and that ultimately contribute to impact diagnosis, treatment, or determining prognosis. What most users appreciate most about this app is its very simple, classic, elegant and somewhat intuitive user interface design, thanks to which users can access more than 150 unique calculators and decision support tools without any effort whatsoever.

In order to get the work done – you can simply proceed with selecting from any of its numerous calculators, and you shall see that their being grouped together hugely contributes to an easy access. The universe of options OxMD provides to you is unlimited, and you can decide to select whatever might suit you at that time, be it general calculators, those specifically for cardiology, or many others.

Secondly, I must also inform you that if you need a tool that helps you with reducing and also predicting preoperative guide treatment, or even determine prognosis, or dose, calculate, classify, manage, stage, understand and diagnose – then this is the app you need to download. Just like the rest of the app presented so far, you can download Calculate by QxMD for free from the Google Play Store.

3178

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease that can affect any part of the body. In the United States this disease affects in average 50 per 100,000 inhabitants and it seems that the incidence is higher in African-American women and Hispanics. Also, the disease is more common in women than in men and in the group of age 20-50 years.

Causes

Systemic lupus erythematosus ( SLE) is triggered by autoantibodies that attack self cells, and this autoimune attack  can damage practically any organ: kidney, skin, joints, blood vessels, pleura, etc.. Regarding the etiopathogenesis of this disease, it seems that there are involved genetic factors, hormonal factors and environmental factors. Genetic factors have been highlighted by experiments on laboratory animals and in studies on monozygotic and heterozygous twins. In addition, there are several genetic markers that predispose some people to develop SLE: HLA DR2, DR3, DQ2, DQ6, etc..

Hormonal factors are considered possible causes of SLE due to increased incidence in women and because of the association with high levels of estrogen and prolactin. It is believed that the disease is aggravated by birth control pills and estrogen therapies. As for environmental factors, it seems that ultraviolet rays, Epstein Barr virus infection, bacterial infections, certain drugs, and various foods can contribute to this disease.

Systemic Lupus Erithematosu

Systemic Lupus Erithematosu

Symptoms

As it is a systemic disease, SLE may lead to general manifestations such as fever, weight loss, fatigue, myalgia, joint pain, etc.. Musculoskeletal symptoms include arthritis, deforming arthropathy (‘swan neck’ deviation of the fingers of the hand), aseptic necrosis, myopathy and others. Dermatological symptoms are malar rash, discoid lupus, that is red patches on the skin, alopecia, oral or genital painless ulcers etc.

Renal symptoms occur in 50% of patients at onset and is manifested by lupus nephritis and glomerulonephritis. Frequently, patients with SLE have hematuria (blood in urine), proteinuria (protein in urine), hypertension and nitrogen retention. It should be pointed out that kidney damage eventually lead to kidney failure and it is one of the serious complications of the disease.

There are also many cardiovascular manifestations which, in advanced stages, may even lead to heart failure: pericarditis, myocarditis and endocarditis. In addition, due to hematological disturbances, patients with SLE have an increased risk of atherosclerosis and arterial and venous thrombosis. The lungs may also be affected; patients may develop acute pneumonia (shortness of breath, fever, coughing, etc.), interstitial pneumonia, pleurisy etc. Cognitive dysfunction, psychosis, convulsions, headache, cerebrovascular lesions, polyneuropathies are some of the nervous system symptoms.

SLE patients may also develop some gastrointestinal disorders such as pancreatitis, peritonitis, hepatic steatosis, etc. In addition, in SLE there are hematological disorders, that is anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia which may lead to infections and coagulation disorders.

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Researchers Confirm That Proteins from Neurodegenerative Diseases Are Not Contagious

A new paper, published in the online journal JAMA Neurology, reveals that proteins formed in neurodegenerative disorders and not infectious and cannot be transmitted between humans or from animals to humans. This comes as an answer to concerns regarding the contagiousness of neurodegenerative disorders. The study is led by a team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine, from the University of Pennsylvania, in the United States, in collaboration with scientists from the United States Centers for Disease Control.

According to previous studies of the matter, pathological proteins that are related with both the onset and the progression of several neurodegenerative diseases are able to spread to neighboring brain cells, thus being able to affect more than one region of the brain. The recently published study reports no evidence that  supports the concern that these pathological proteins are contagious in any way. The ability of the proteins to spread from one cell to another is one of the possible pathways for progression in Alzheimer’s disease and possibly in Parkinson’s disease. The progression of other neurodegenerative disorders linked to pathological protein spread include ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and FTLD (frontotemporal lobar degeneration).

Neurodegeneration

Neurodegeneration

Researchers say that the neurons that are affected by these misfolded proteins become dysfunctional. Further spread of these proteins causes the progression of neurodegenerative diseases because they affect an increasing number of neurons from different regions of the brain. “By interrogating an existing database with information on a cohort of well-characterized patients, we were able to determine that there is no evidence suggesting the pathology of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s can transmit between humans”, said professor John Trojanowski, the senior author of the study.

To be able to verify the contagiousness of these proteins, the research team gathered and analyzed data from an already existing cohort of patients. These patients had previously received hGH (human growth hormone) taken from the pituitary glands of cadavers. More than 7,700 patients received this hormone over more than 20 years (from 1963 to 1985). In 1985, approximately 200 patients developed CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) due to an unwittingly contamination with prion proteins found in the pituitary tissue that was taken from the cadavers. CJD is a neurodegenerative disorder that is both incurable and invariably fatal. Sometimes CJD is referred to as a human form of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). The brain of patients suffering from CJD develops a sponge-like texture due to holes that form in the tissue.

All the patients in the cohort were followed up in order to track any other abnormalities caused by prions. For their study, the researchers investigated the extensive medical history of the patients, in search for signs that would indicate an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Researchers report that they found no evidence that any of the patients from the cohort developed Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or frontotemporal lobar degeneration. However, 3 patients have been found to have developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis despite the fact that no ALS-related proteins were found. Proteins related to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s were found in patients, but weren’t significant.

Researchers concluded that even though the patients from the cohort were exposed to these pathological proteins, the diseases were not transmitted from one person to another. “This cohort is an invaluable resource and should continue to be followed, especially as we rapidly increase our understanding of disease progression in neurodegenerative conditions”, concluded the lead author of the study, Dr David Irwin.