News Medical's "Thought Leaders" series is a selection of articles written by national and
international experts and trusted advisers in health and medicine. All the articles are
written by experts who have been invited as recognised leaders in their fields to provide
a "state of the art" contribution.
'What defines obesity in children' is a very important question, primarily because we need to use one definition in order to be able to compare the prevalence of obesity in different countries. It is also important to have a single definition in order to evaluate whether interventions are successful or not.
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder which usually affects people in their 60’s and older. It is caused by the loss of dopamine neurons in the brain leading to rigidity, slowness of movement, tremor, problems with balance and so forth.
The antioxidants that we mainly looked at were selenium, vitamin C and vitamin E. They are chemicals which inactivate pro-oxidants or free radicals. Smoking and normal metabolism can lead to the production of free radicals.
With the approach of the Olympic Games, a group of researchers throughout the world thought that it would be a good time to draw the attention of the world to the health dangers of being physically inactive.
TB is a leading global killer. It is the second leading infectious disease in the world, behind HIV. TB is spread through the air, so it can affect anyone, but has its worst impact on impoverished communities and those people with HIV.
Sexual intercourse is the major mode of HIV transmission. HIV may also be transmitted through sharing of needles or contaminated blood products (although this is rare).
Since its discovery in 1989, hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been recognized as a major cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. The most recent WHO estimate of the prevalence of HCV infection is 2%, representing . about 150 million people. Every year, 3–4 million new people are infected with the hepatitis C virus, of those, approximately 60–80% develop chronic hepatitis, and 30% of them progress to cirrhosis and to end-stage liver disease.
Malaria is caused by a multi-staged parasite which is transmitted by the bite of infected female anopheles mosquitoes. It affects millions of people and kills more than 500,000 people throughout the world every year.
The tendency to get allergies is a fairly general one, which is mostly inherited – it tends to run in families. There are several foods that are most common for children to become allergic to: milk, egg and peanuts in most countries are the most common food allergies.
Type 1 diabetes is a disorder in which the body makes proteins (antibodies) against the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, destroying those cells. As a result, individuals are unable to secrete insulin to normalize blood sugar and hyperglycemia results.
In 2007/8 when we were thinking about the study, there wasn’t a clear picture of the number of preventable deaths in English hospitals. There had been an important report by the chief medical officer of the NHS in 2000 (An Organisation with a Memory) and he talked of the possibility of between 60,000 and 250,000 cases of severe disability or death arising in hospitals.
We are very interested in hepatitis C as it is the most common indication for liver transplant in the Western world. The difficulty is that recurrence happens in the majority of patients within the first 2 to 7 years after transplant, and occasionally sooner.
Polio is a disease caused by a virus and results in paralysis, usually in the legs, of those affected. The paralysis is irreversible. In some extreme cases the virus spreads to the nerve cells of the brain reducing breathing capacity and this rarer form can be fatal.
There are three principle cells in the brain: neurons and two types of glial cells. One type is called an astrocyte. These were well known to inactivate neurotransmitters like glutamate, and provide metabolic support to neurons.
The best estimates at the moment reckon that there are about 25 million people infected with HIV. Most of those are in resource-limited settings, including sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and India.
There are multiple kinds of cell death. Cells can undergo programmed cell death, which is a series of events that undergoes a predictable order at certain times during development.
There are several signs that indicate that a child is seriously ill. These can be spotted by parents, teachers and carers as well as by me or any other doctor or nurse.
Cigarette smoking and nicotine addiction are widespread problems throughout the world. Many people continue to smoke despite high taxes and the available public information on the dangers of smoking.
By focusing on how best to help patients, researchers can sometimes find solutions that are much simpler than anticipated. That has been the guiding approach to our efforts to develop a treatment for sickle cell disease.
Diabetes is the number 1 cause of neuropathy, which is a very common condition in itself. In fact, up to half of all neuropathy is caused by diabetes, although other people can get the condition as well.