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.
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.
Over the past few decades there has been an increase in injury to youth participating in sport. The issue of youth sport injury has become a conundrum because if there is an increase in injury, then subsequently there is usually an increase in participation. With the insurgence of childhood obesity, youth participation in sporting activities has been encouraged.It has been proven that regularly scheduled physical activity is associated with health improvements and reduced incidence of disease.
It’s said a lot can happen in seven days. In seven years, a lot has happened in the understanding of acromegaly, a debilitating condition that causes a patient to have too much growth hormone. It’s seven years since the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists last produced guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acromegaly. Their 2004 guidelines were just 13 pages long. Their latest, the 2011 guidelines, have grown – to 44 pages.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated liver disease continues to be the most common indication for liver transplantation (LT) in the United States accounting for nearly 50% of all liver transplants. Recurrence is universal in patients viremic at the time of transplantation with histological hepatitis developing in the majority of patients. Although the natural history of recurrent HCV is difficult to predict, it is widely accepted that cirrhosis from recurrent HCV occurs in up to 30% of patients within five years of transplantation.
The “perfect storm” for Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, and fatigue in general is preparing to hit. A combination of poor nutrition, decreasing sleep, increasing stress and environmental toxins has created a human energy crisis of unprecedented proportions. Over the past 10 years, the incidence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FMS) has exploded by 400 to 1000 percent, as documented in five separate studies. The numbers for those with CFS in the U.S., previously estimated at 500,000, are now being re-tallied at closer to 1- 2.5 million. Previous estimates placed the number of Americans with FMS at 6 million. Studies worldwide suggest this has likely gone up in the last decade to ~ 12-24 million Americans! Meanwhile, ¼ of Americans suffer with chronic pain and most are fatigued.
Almost everybody these days thinks that it is best to be tall, meaning much taller than the average traditional height of Asian populations, and even taller than the current average height of populations in high-income countries. It is also often believed – though people might be shy to admit this – that tall people are intrinsically superior to short people. The expressions 'look up to' and 'look down on' are significant.
There are a number of studies that look at the economics of technologies to enable people to age at home rather than in some other kind of accommodation. In 2010, CSES contributed an economic analysis for the ATSE report written by Greg Tegart drawing in part on these studies and using Australian data on demographic trends and healthcare costs.
A national policy is required for the research, demonstration, commercialisation and wide-scale deployment of smart technology for ageing-in-place to ensure: a healthy, safe, secure and fulfilling future for the increasing aged population in Australia by enabling them to remain at home longer, by easing the strain on the national healthcare system and providing cost effective solutions to meet the needs of the growing number of elderly Australians.