Portal:Medicine/Selected Article Archive

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Today, October 24, 2014, is in week number 43.

Selected articles have {{WPMED|selected=yes}} on their talk pages.

For the selected articles of 2006, please see the archive page.

For the selected articles of 2007, please see the archive page.

The following articles were selected for display on Portal:Medicine:

April 20, 2008 - April 27: Nutrition[edit]

MyPyramidFood.svg

Nutrition science studies the relationship between diet and states of health and disease. Dieticians are health professionals who are specialized in this area of expertise, highly trained to provide safe, evidence-based dietary advice and interventions.

There is a spectrum ranging from malnutrition to optimal health, including many common symptoms and diseases which can often be prevented or alleviated with better nutrition.

Deficiencies, excesses and imbalances in diet can produce negative impacts on health, which may lead to diseases such as scurvy, obesity or osteoporosis, as well as psychological and behavioral problems. Moreover, excessive ingestion of elements that have no apparent role in health, (e.g. lead, mercury, PCBs, dioxins), may incur toxic and potentially lethal effects, depending on the dose. The science of nutrition attempts to understand how and why specific dietary aspects influence health. (More...)

April 13, 2008 - April 20: Insulin[edit]

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Insulin (from Latin insula, "island", as it is produced in the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas) is a polypeptide hormone that regulates carbohydrate metabolism. Apart from being the primary agent in carbohydrate homeostasis, it has effects on fat metabolism and it changes the liver's activity in storing or releasing glucose and in processing blood lipids, and in other tissues such as fat and muscle. The amount of insulin in circulation has extremely widespread effects throughout the body.

Insulin is used medically to treat some forms of diabetes mellitus. Patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus depend on external insulin (most commonly injected subcutaneously) for their survival because of an absolute deficiency of the hormone. Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus have insulin resistance, relatively low insulin production or both; some type 2 diabetics eventually require insulin when other medications become insufficient in controlling blood glucose levels. (More...)

April 6, 2008 - April 13: Vacutainer[edit]

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Vacutainer was developed in 1947 by Joseph Kleiner. The vein is first punctured with the hypodermic needle, which is connected to a translucent plastic holder. The needle actually has a second, smaller needle, and when a Vacutainer test tube is pushed down into the holder, its rubber cap is pierced. The vacuum in the tube sucks blood though the needle and fills itself. The tube is then removed and another can be inserted and filled the same way. It is important to remove the tube before withdrawing the needle, as there may still be some suction left, causing pain upon withdrawal. (More...)

March 30, 2008 - April 6: Helicobacter pylori[edit]

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Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that infects the mucus lining of the human stomach. Many peptic ulcers and some types of gastritis are caused by H. pylori infection, although most humans who are infected will never develop symptoms. This bacterium lives in the human stomach exclusively and is the only known organism that can thrive in that highly acidic environment. It is helix-shaped (hence the name helicobacter) and can literally screw itself into the stomach lining to colonize.

The bacterium was rediscovered in 1982 by two Australian scientists Robin Warren and Barry Marshall; they isolated the organisms from mucosal specimens from human stomachs and were the first to successfully culture them. In their original paper, Warren and Marshall contended that most stomach ulcers and gastritis were caused by colonization with this bacterium, not by stress or spicy food as had been assumed before.

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March 23, 2008 - March 30: Asthma[edit]

A typical inhaler, of Serevent (salmeterol), a long-acting bronchodilator.

Asthma is a disease of the human respiratory system where the airways narrow, often in response to a "trigger" such as exposure to an allergen, cold air, exercise, or emotional stress. This narrowing causes symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing, which respond to bronchodilators. Between episodes, most patients feel fine.

The disorder is a chronic (reoccurring) inflammatory condition in which the airways develop increased responsiveness to various stimuli, characterized by bronchial hyper-responsiveness, inflammation, increased mucus production, and intermittent airway obstruction. The symptoms of asthma, which can range from mild to life threatening, can usually be controlled with a combination of drugs and lifestyle changes.

The word asthma is derived from the Greek aazein, meaning "sharp breath." The word first appears in Homer's Iliad. Hippocrates was the first to use it in reference to the medical condition. Hippocrates thought that the spasms associated with asthma were more likely to occur in tailors, anglers, and metalworkers. Six centuries later, Galen wrote much about asthma, noting that it was caused by partial or complete bronchial obstruction. Moses Maimonides, an influential medieval rabbi, philosopher, and physician, wrote a treatise on asthma, describing its prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

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March 16, 2008 - March 23: Female hysteria[edit]

Water massages as a treatment for hysteria c. 1860.

Female hysteria was an incorrectly diagnosed medical condition in western medicine that is not currently acknowledged by the medical community. It was a popular diagnosis in the Victorian era for a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and a "tendency to cause trouble".

Patients diagnosed with female hysteria would undergo "pelvic massage" — manual stimulation of the woman's genitals by the doctor to "hysterical paroxysm", which is now recognized as orgasm.

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March 9, 2008 - March 16: H5N1[edit]

Influenza A virus

Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species. A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu". It is endemic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia. It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread. Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.

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March 1, 2008 - March 9: Forensic facial reconstruction[edit]

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Forensic facial reconstruction (or forensic facial approximation) is the process of recreating the face of an unidentified individual from their skeletal remains through an amalgamation of artistry, forensic science, anthropology, osteology, and anatomy. It is easily the most subjective - as well as one of the most controversial - techniques in the field of forensic anthropology. Despite this controversy, facial reconstruction has proved successful frequently enough that research and methodological developments continue to be advanced.

In addition to remains involved in criminal investigations, facial reconstructions are created for remains believed to be of historical value and for remains of prehistoric hominids and humans. (More...)

February 25, 2008 - March 1: Metabolism[edit]

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Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that occur in living organisms in order to maintain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories. Catabolism breaks down large molecules, for example to harvest energy in cellular respiration. Anabolism, on the other hand, uses energy to construct components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids.

The chemical reactions of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways, in which one chemical is transformed into another by a sequence of enzymes. Enzymes are crucial to metabolism because they allow organisms to drive desirable but thermodynamically unfavorable reactions by coupling them to favorable ones. Enzymes also allow the regulation of metabolic pathways in response to changes in the cell's environment or signals from other cells.

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February 18, 2008 - February 25: Influenza[edit]

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Influenza, commonly known as flu, is an infectious disease of birds and mammals caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses). The name influenza comes from the Italian: influenza, meaning "influence", (Latin: influentia). In humans, common symptoms of the disease are fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. In more serious cases, influenza causes pneumonia, which can be fatal, particularly in young children and the elderly. Although it is sometimes confused with the common cold, influenza is a much more severe disease and is caused by a different type of virus. Influenza can produce nausea and vomiting, especially in children,[1] but these symptoms are more characteristic of the unrelated gastroenteritis, which is sometimes called "stomach flu" or "24-hour flu."

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February 11, 2008 - February 18: Sexually transmitted disease[edit]

American poster propaganda targeted at World War II soldiers and sailors appealed to their patriotism in urging them to protect themselves. The text at the bottom of the poster reads, "You can't beat the Axis if you get VD." Images of women were used to catch the eye on many VD posters.

A sexually transmitted disease (STD), a.k.a. Venereal disease (VD), is an illness that has a significant probability of transmission between humans or animals by means of sexual contact, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. Increasingly, the term sexually transmitted infection (STI) is used, as it has a broader range of meaning; a person may be infected, and may potentially infect others, without showing signs of disease. Some STIs can also be transmitted via the needles used in IV drug use, as well as through childbirth or breastfeeding. Sexually transmitted infections have been well known for hundreds of years.

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February 4, 2008 - February 11: Hodgkin's lymphoma[edit]

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Hodgkin's lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin's disease, is a type of lymphoma first described by Thomas Hodgkin in 1832. Hodgkin's lymphoma is characterized clinically by the orderly spread of disease from one lymph node group to another and by the development of systemic symptoms with advanced disease. Pathologically, the disease is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. Hodgkin's lymphoma was one of the first cancers to be cured by radiation. Later it was one of the first to be cured by combination chemotherapy. The cure rate is about 93%, making it one of the most curable forms of cancer.

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January 29, 2008 - February 4: Fever[edit]

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Fever (also known as pyrexia from the Greek pyretos meaning fire, or a febrile response from the Latin word febris, meaning fever, and archaically known as ague) is a frequent medical symptom that describes an increase in internal body temperature to levels that are above normal (the common oral measurement of normal human body temperature is 36.8±0.7 °C or 98.2±1.3 °F). Fever is most accurately characterized as a temporary elevation in the body's thermoregulatory set-point, usually by about 1–2°C. Fever differs from hyperthermia, which is an increase in body temperature over the body's thermoregulatory set-point (due to excessive heat production or insufficient thermoregulation, or both). Carl Wunderlich discovered that fever is not a disease but a symptom of disease.

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January 22, 2008 - January 29: Smallpox[edit]

smallpox

Smallpox is an acute infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants named Variola major and Variola minor. Also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera; a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning spotted, or varus, meaning "pimple". The term "smallpox" was first used in Europe in the 15th century to distinguish variola from the great pox (syphilis).

Smallpox localizes in small blood vessels of the skin and in the mouth and throat. In the skin, this results in the characteristic maculopapular rash, which evolves into raised vesicles, then into fluid-filled pustules. V. major produces a more serious disease and has an overall mortality rate of 30–35%. V. minor (also known as alastrim, cottonpox, milkpox, whitepox, and Cuban itch) causes a milder form of disease which kills ~1% of its victims.

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January 15, 2008 - January 22: Vaccination[edit]

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Vaccination is the administration of antigenic material to produce immunity to a disease. Vaccines can prevent or ameliorate the effects of infection by a pathogen. The material administrated can either be live, but weakened forms of pathogens such as bacteria or viruses, killed or inactivated forms of these pathogens, or purified material such as proteins. Smallpox was the first disease people tried to prevent by purposely inoculating themselves with other types of infections; smallpox inoculation was started in India or China before 200 BC. In 1718, Lady Mary Wortley Montague reported that the Turks have a habit of deliberately inoculating themselves with fluid taken from mild cases of smallpox and she inoculated her own children.

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January 7, 2008 - January 14: Renal cell carcinoma[edit]

Renal cell carcinoma.

Renal cell carcinoma is the most common form of kidney cancer arising from the renal tubule. It is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. Initial treatment is surgery. It is notoriously resistant to radiation therapy and chemotherapy, although some cases respond to immunotherapy. The advent of targeted cancer therapies such as sunitinib has vastly improved the outlook for treatment of RCC.

The classic triad is hematuria (blood in the urine), flank pain and an abdominal mass. This is now known as the 'too late triad' because by the time patients present with symptoms, their disease is often advanced beyond a curative stage. Today, the majority of renal tumors are asymptomatic and are detected incidentally on imaging, usually for an unrelated cause.

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January 1, 2008 - January 7: Cholangiocarcinoma[edit]

CT scan showing cholangiocarcinoma.

Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancer of the bile ducts, which drain bile from the liver into the small intestine. It is a relatively rare cancer, with an annual incidence of 1–2 cases per 100,000 in the Western world, but rates of cholangiocarcinoma have been rising worldwide over the past several decades. Risk factors for cholangiocarcinoma include primary sclerosing cholangitis (an inflammatory disease of the bile ducts), congenital liver malformations, infection with the parasitic liver flukes Opisthorchis viverrini or Clonorchis sinensis, and exposure to Thorotrast (thorium dioxide), a chemical previously used in medical imaging. The symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma include jaundice, weight loss, and sometimes generalized itching. The disease is diagnosed through a combination of blood tests, imaging, endoscopy, and sometimes surgical exploration.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Influenza: Viral Infections: Merck Manual Home Edition". www.merck.com. Retrieved 2008-03-15.