The Medicine Portal
Medicine is the science and practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, treatment, palliation of their injury or disease, and promoting their health. Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences, biomedical research, genetics, and medical technology to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and disease, typically through pharmaceuticals or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints and traction, medical devices, biologics, and ionizing radiation, amongst others.
Medicine has been practiced since prehistoric times, and for most of this time it was an art (an area of creativity and skill), frequently having connections to the religious and philosophical beliefs of local culture. For example, a medicine man would apply herbs and say prayers for healing, or an ancient philosopher and physician would apply bloodletting according to the theories of humorism. In recent centuries, since the advent of modern science, most medicine has become a combination of art and science (both basic and applied, under the umbrella of medical science). For example, while stitching technique for sutures is an art learned through practice, the knowledge of what happens at the cellular and molecular level in the tissues being stitched arises through science.
Prescientific forms of medicine, now known as traditional medicine or folk medicine, remain commonly used in the absence of scientific medicine, and are thus called alternative medicine. Alternative treatments outside of scientific medicine with safety and efficacy concerns are termed quackery. (Full article...)
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate dietary therapy that in conventional medicine is used mainly to treat hard-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.
Normally carbohydrates in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is important in fueling brain function. However, if only a little carbohydrate remains in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, the latter passing into the brain and replacing glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood (a state called ketosis) eventually lowers the frequency of epileptic seizures. Around half of children and young people with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists after discontinuing the diet. Some evidence shows that adults with epilepsy may benefit from the diet and that a less strict regimen, such as a modified Atkins diet, is similarly effective. Side effects may include constipation, high cholesterol, growth slowing, acidosis, and kidney stones. (Full article...)
Bupropion, sold under the brand name Wellbutrin among others, is an atypical antidepressant primarily used to treat major depressive disorder and to support smoking cessation. It is also popular as an add-on medication in the cases of "incomplete response" to the first-line selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. Bupropion has several features that distinguish it from other antidepressants: it does not usually cause sexual dysfunction; it is not associated with weight gain and sleepiness, and it is more effective than SSRIs at improving symptoms of hypersomnia and fatigue. Bupropion, particularly the immediate release formulation, carries a higher risk of seizure than many other antidepressants and caution is recommended in patients with a history of seizure disorder.
Common adverse effects of bupropion with the greatest difference from placebo are dry mouth, nausea, constipation, insomnia, anxiety, tremor, and excessive sweating. Raised blood pressure is notable. Rare but serious side effects include seizure, liver toxicity, psychosis, and risk of overdose. Bupropion use during pregnancy may be associated with increased odds of congenital heart defects. (Full article...)
β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyric acid (HMB), otherwise known as its conjugate base, β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate, is a naturally produced substance in humans that is used as a dietary supplement and as an ingredient in certain medical foods that are intended to promote wound healing and provide nutritional support for people with muscle wasting due to cancer or HIV/AIDS. In healthy adults, supplementation with HMB has been shown to increase exercise-induced gains in muscle size, muscle strength, and lean body mass, reduce skeletal muscle damage from exercise, improve aerobic exercise performance, and expedite recovery from exercise. Medical reviews and meta-analyses indicate that HMB supplementation also helps to preserve or increase lean body mass and muscle strength in individuals experiencing age-related muscle loss. HMB produces these effects in part by stimulating the production of proteins and inhibiting the breakdown of proteins in muscle tissue. No adverse effects from long-term use as a dietary supplement in adults have been found.
HMB is sold as a dietary supplement at a cost of about US$30–50 per month when taking 3 grams per day. HMB is also contained in several nutritional products, including certain formulations of Ensure, Juven, and Myoplex. HMB is also present in insignificant quantities in certain foods, such as alfalfa, asparagus, avocados, cauliflower, grapefruit, and catfish. (Full article...)
- Ray Fletcher Farquharson MBE (4 August 1897 – 1 June 1965) was a Canadian medical doctor, university professor, and medical researcher. Born in Claude, Ontario, he attended and taught at the University of Toronto for most of his life, and was trained and employed at Toronto General Hospital. With co-researcher Arthur Squires, Farquharson was responsible for the discovery of the Farquharson phenomenon, an important principle of endocrinology, which is that administering external hormones suppresses the natural production of that hormone.
He served in the First and Second World Wars, earning appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his medical work during the latter. He chaired the Penicillin Committee of Canada and served as a medical consultant for the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was awarded the Queen's Coronation Medal in 1953 for his work for the Defence Review Board. Farquharson was also a charter member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. (Full article...)
The menstrual cycle is a series of natural changes in hormone production and the structures of the uterus and ovaries of the female reproductive system that makes pregnancy possible. The ovarian cycle controls the production and release of eggs and the cyclic release of estrogen and progesterone. The uterine cycle governs the preparation and maintenance of the lining of the uterus (womb) to receive an embryo. These cycles are concurrent and coordinated, normally last between 21 and 35 days, with a median length of 28 days, and continue for about 30–45 years.
Naturally occurring hormones drive the cycles; the cyclical rise and fall of the follicle stimulating hormone prompts the production and growth of oocytes (immature egg cells). The hormone estrogen stimulates the uterus lining (endometrium) to thicken to accommodate an embryo should fertilization occur. The blood supply of the thickened lining provides nutrients to a successfully implanted embryo. If implantation does not occur, the lining breaks down and blood is released. Triggered by falling progesterone levels, menstruation (a "period", in common parlance) is the cyclical shedding of the lining, and is a sign that pregnancy has not occurred. (Full article...)
Leeches are segmented parasitic or predatory worms that comprise the subclass Hirudinea within the phylum Annelida. They are closely related to the oligochaetes, which include the earthworm, and like them have soft, muscular segmented bodies that can lengthen and contract. Both groups are hermaphrodites and have a clitellum, but leeches typically differ from the oligochaetes in having suckers at both ends and in having ring markings that do not correspond with their internal segmentation. The body is muscular and relatively solid, and the coelom, the spacious body cavity found in other annelids, is reduced to small channels.
The majority of leeches live in freshwater habitats, while some species can be found in terrestrial or marine environments. The best-known species, such as the medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, are hematophagous, attaching themselves to a host with a sucker and feeding on blood, having first secreted the peptide hirudin to prevent the blood from clotting. The jaws used to pierce the skin are replaced in other species by a proboscis which is pushed into the skin. A minority of leech species are predatory, mostly preying on small invertebrates. (Full article...)
Pancreatic cancer arises when cells in the pancreas, a glandular organ behind the stomach, begin to multiply out of control and form a mass. These cancerous cells have the ability to invade other parts of the body. A number of types of pancreatic cancer are known.
The most common, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, accounts for about 90% of cases, and the term "pancreatic cancer" is sometimes used to refer only to that type. These adenocarcinomas start within the part of the pancreas that makes digestive enzymes. Several other types of cancer, which collectively represent the majority of the non-adenocarcinomas, can also arise from these cells. About 1–2% of cases of pancreatic cancer are neuroendocrine tumors, which arise from the hormone-producing cells of the pancreas. These are generally less aggressive than pancreatic adenocarcinoma. (Full article...)
Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms range from mild to severe and often include fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pain, headache, coughing, and fatigue. These symptoms begin from one to four days after exposure to the virus (typically two days) and last for about 2–8 days. Diarrhea and vomiting can occur, particularly in children. Influenza may progress to pneumonia, which can be caused by the virus or by a subsequent bacterial infection. Other complications of infection include acute respiratory distress syndrome, meningitis, encephalitis, and worsening of pre-existing health problems such as asthma and cardiovascular disease.
There are four types of influenza virus, termed influenza viruses A, B, C, and D. Aquatic birds are the primary source of Influenza A virus (IAV), which is also widespread in various mammals, including humans and pigs. Influenza B virus (IBV) and Influenza C virus (ICV) primarily infect humans, and Influenza D virus (IDV) is found in cattle and pigs. IAV and IBV circulate in humans and cause seasonal epidemics, and ICV causes a mild infection, primarily in children. IDV can infect humans but is not known to cause illness. In humans, influenza viruses are primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets produced from coughing and sneezing. Transmission through aerosols and intermediate objects and surfaces contaminated by the virus also occur. (Full article...)
Rhabdomyolysis (also called rhabdo) is a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle breaks down rapidly. Symptoms may include muscle pains, weakness, vomiting, and confusion. There may be tea-colored urine or an irregular heartbeat. Some of the muscle breakdown products, such as the protein myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and can cause acute kidney injury.
The muscle damage is mostly caused by a crush injury, strenuous exercise, medications, or a substance use disorder. Other causes include infections, electrical injury, heat stroke, prolonged immobilization, lack of blood flow to a limb, or snake bites. Statins (prescription drugs to lower cholesterol) are considered a small risk. Some people have inherited muscle conditions that increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis. The diagnosis is supported by a urine test strip which is positive for "blood" but the urine contains no red blood cells when examined with a microscope. Blood tests show a creatine kinase activity greater than 1,000 U/L, with severe disease being above 5,000-15,000 U/L. (Full article...)
Oxygen toxicity is a condition resulting from the harmful effects of breathing molecular oxygen (O
2) at increased partial pressures. Severe cases can result in cell damage and death, with effects most often seen in the central nervous system, lungs, and eyes. Historically, the central nervous system condition was called the Paul Bert effect, and the pulmonary condition the Lorrain Smith effect, after the researchers who pioneered the discoveries and descriptions in the late 19th century. Oxygen toxicity is a concern for underwater divers, those on high concentrations of supplemental oxygen (particularly premature babies), and those undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
The result of breathing increased partial pressures of oxygen is hyperoxia, an excess of oxygen in body tissues. The body is affected in different ways depending on the type of exposure. Central nervous system toxicity is caused by short exposure to high partial pressures of oxygen at greater than atmospheric pressure. Pulmonary and ocular toxicity result from longer exposure to increased oxygen levels at normal pressure. Symptoms may include disorientation, breathing problems, and vision changes such as myopia. Prolonged exposure to above-normal oxygen partial pressures, or shorter exposures to very high partial pressures, can cause oxidative damage to cell membranes, collapse of the alveoli in the lungs, retinal detachment, and seizures. Oxygen toxicity is managed by reducing the exposure to increased oxygen levels. Studies show that, in the long term, a robust recovery from most types of oxygen toxicity is possible. (Full article...)
Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as clinical depression, is a mental disorder characterized by at least two weeks of pervasive low mood, low self-esteem, and loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. Introduced by a group of US clinicians in the mid-1970s, the term was adopted by the American Psychiatric Association for this symptom cluster under mood disorders in the 1980 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III), and has become widely used since.
The diagnosis of major depressive disorder is based on the person's reported experiences, behavior reported by relatives or friends, and a mental status examination. There is no laboratory test for the disorder, but testing may be done to rule out physical conditions that can cause similar symptoms. The most common time of onset is in a person's 20s, with females affected about twice as often as males. The course of the disorder varies widely, from one episode lasting months to a lifelong disorder with recurrent major depressive episodes. (Full article...)
Brigadier Sir Neil Hamilton Fairley, KBE, CStJ, FRACP, FRCP, FRCPE, FRS (15 July 1891 – 19 April 1966) was an Australian physician, medical scientist, and army officer who was instrumental in saving thousands of Allied lives from malaria and other diseases.
A graduate of the University of Melbourne, Fairley joined the Australian Army Medical Corps in 1915. He investigated an epidemic of meningitis that was occurring in Army camps in Australia. While with the 14th General Hospital in Cairo, he investigated schistosomiasis (then known as bilharzia) and developed tests and treatments for the disease. In the inter-war period he became renowned as an expert on tropical medicine. (Full article...)
Coeliac disease (British English) or celiac disease (American English) is a long-term autoimmune disorder, primarily affecting the small intestine, where individuals develop intolerance to gluten, present in foods such as wheat, rye and barley. Classic symptoms include gastrointestinal problems such as chronic diarrhoea, abdominal distention, malabsorption, loss of appetite, and among children failure to grow normally. This often begins between six months and two years of age. Non-classic symptoms are more common, especially in people older than two years. There may be mild or absent gastrointestinal symptoms, a wide number of symptoms involving any part of the body, or no obvious symptoms. Coeliac disease was first described in childhood; however, it may develop at any age. It is associated with other autoimmune diseases, such as Type 1 diabetes mellitus and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, among others.
Coeliac disease is caused by a reaction to gluten, a group of various proteins found in wheat and in other grains such as barley and rye. Moderate quantities of oats, free of contamination with other gluten-containing grains, are usually tolerated. The occurrence of problems may depend on the variety of oat. It occurs more often in people who are genetically predisposed. Upon exposure to gluten, an abnormal immune response may lead to the production of several different autoantibodies that can affect a number of different organs. In the small bowel, this causes an inflammatory reaction and may produce shortening of the villi lining the small intestine (villous atrophy). This affects the absorption of nutrients, frequently leading to anaemia. (Full article...)
Endometrial cancer is a cancer that arises from the endometrium (the lining of the uterus or womb). It is the result of the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. The first sign is most often vaginal bleeding not associated with a menstrual period. Other symptoms include pain with urination, pain during sexual intercourse, or pelvic pain. Endometrial cancer occurs most commonly after menopause.
Approximately 40% of cases are related to obesity. Endometrial cancer is also associated with excessive estrogen exposure, high blood pressure and diabetes. Whereas taking estrogen alone increases the risk of endometrial cancer, taking both estrogen and a progestogen in combination, as in most birth control pills, decreases the risk. Between two and five percent of cases are related to genes inherited from the parents. Endometrial cancer is sometimes loosely referred to as "uterine cancer", although it is distinct from other forms of uterine cancer such as cervical cancer, uterine sarcoma, and trophoblastic disease. The most frequent type of endometrial cancer is endometrioid carcinoma, which accounts for more than 80% of cases. Endometrial cancer is commonly diagnosed by endometrial biopsy or by taking samples during a procedure known as dilation and curettage. A pap smear is not typically sufficient to show endometrial cancer. Regular screening in those at normal risk is not called for. (Full article...)
Helicobacter pylori, previously known as Campylobacter pylori, is a gram-negative, microaerophilic, spiral (helical) bacterium usually found in the stomach. Its helical shape (from which the genus name, helicobacter, derives) is thought to have evolved in order to penetrate the mucoid lining of the stomach and thereby establish infection. The bacterium was first identified in 1982 by the Australian doctors Barry Marshall and Robin Warren. H. pylori has been associated with cancer of the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue in the stomach, esophagus, colon, rectum, or tissues around the eye (termed extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of the cited organ), and of lymphoid tissue in the stomach (termed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma).
H. pylori infection usually has no symptoms but sometimes causes gastritis (stomach inflammation) or ulcers of the stomach or first part of the small intestine. The infection is also associated with the development of certain cancers. Many investigators have suggested that H. pylori causes or prevents a wide range of other diseases, but many of these relationships remain controversial. (Full article...)
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- The abortion–breast cancer hypothesis posits that having an induced abortion can increase the risk of getting breast cancer.This hypothesis is at odds with mainstream scientific opinion and is rejected by major medical professional organizations; despite this, it continues to be widely propagated as pseudoscience, typically in service of an anti-abortion agenda.
In early pregnancy, hormone levels increase, leading to breast growth. The hypothesis proposes that if this process is altered by an abortion, then more immature cells could be left behind, and that these immature cells could increase the risk of breast cancer over time. (Full article...)
Lujan–Fryns syndrome (LFS) is an X-linked genetic disorder that causes mild to moderate intellectual disability and features described as Marfanoid habitus, referring to a group of physical characteristics similar to those found in Marfan syndrome. These features include a tall, thin stature and long, slender limbs. LFS is also associated with psychopathology and behavioral abnormalities, and it exhibits a number of malformations affecting the brain and heart. The disorder is inherited in an X-linked dominant manner, and is attributed to a missense mutation in the MED12 gene. There is currently no treatment or therapy for the underlying MED12 malfunction, and the exact cause of the disorder remains unclear. (Full article...)
Low back pain (LBP) or lumbago is a common disorder involving the muscles, nerves, and bones of the back, in between the lower edge of the ribs and the lower fold of the buttocks. Pain can vary from a dull constant ache to a sudden sharp feeling. Low back pain may be classified by duration as acute (pain lasting less than 6 weeks), sub-chronic (6 to 12 weeks), or chronic (more than 12 weeks). The condition may be further classified by the underlying cause as either mechanical, non-mechanical, or referred pain. The symptoms of low back pain usually improve within a few weeks from the time they start, with 40–90% of people recovered by six weeks.
In most episodes of low back pain, a specific underlying cause is not identified or even looked for, with the pain believed to be due to mechanical problems such as muscle or joint strain. If the pain does not go away with conservative treatment or if it is accompanied by "red flags" such as unexplained weight loss, fever, or significant problems with feeling or movement, further testing may be needed to look for a serious underlying problem. In most cases, imaging tools such as X-ray computed tomography are not useful and carry their own risks. Despite this, the use of imaging in low back pain has increased. Some low back pain is caused by damaged intervertebral discs, and the straight leg raise test is useful to identify this cause. In those with chronic pain, the pain processing system may malfunction, causing large amounts of pain in response to non-serious events. (Full article...)
Serotonin syndrome (SS) is a group of symptoms that may occur with the use of certain serotonergic medications or drugs. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and are potentially fatal. Symptoms in mild cases include high blood pressure and a fast heart rate; usually without a fever. Symptoms in moderate cases include high body temperature, agitation, increased reflexes, tremor, sweating, dilated pupils, and diarrhea. In severe cases, body temperature can increase to greater than 41.1 °C (106.0 °F). Complications may include seizures and extensive muscle breakdown.
Serotonin syndrome is typically caused by the use of two or more serotonergic medications or drugs. This may include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), amphetamines, pethidine (meperidine), tramadol, dextromethorphan, buspirone, L-tryptophan, 5-hydroxytryptophan, St. John's wort, triptans, ecstasy (MDMA), metoclopramide, or cocaine. It occurs in about 15% of SSRI overdoses. It is a predictable consequence of excess serotonin on the central nervous system. Onset of symptoms is typically within a day of the extra serotonin. (Full article...)
XYYY syndrome, also known as 48,XYYY, is a chromosomal disorder in which a male has two extra copies of the Y chromosome. The syndrome is exceptionally rare, with only twelve recorded cases. The phenotype of the syndrome is heterogeneous, but appears to be more severe than its counterpart XYY syndrome. Common traits include borderline to mild intellectual disability, infertility, radioulnar synostosis, and in some cases tall stature. (Full article...)
- Thiomersal (or thimerosal) is a mercury compound which is used as a preservative in some vaccines. Anti-vaccination activists promoting the incorrect claim that vaccination causes autism have asserted that the mercury in thiomersal is the cause. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. The idea that thiomersal in vaccines might have detrimental effects originated with anti-vaccination activists and was sustained by them and especially through the action of plaintiffs' lawyers.
The potential impact of thiomersal on autism has been investigated extensively. Multiple lines of scientific evidence have shown that thiomersal does not cause autism. For example, the clinical symptoms of mercury poisoning differ significantly from those of autism. In addition, multiple population studies have found no association between thiomersal and autism, and rates of autism have continued to increase despite removal of thiomersal from vaccines. Thus, major scientific and medical bodies such as the Institute of Medicine and World Health Organization (WHO) as well as governmental agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reject any role for thiomersal in autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders. In spite of the consensus of the scientific community, some parents and advocacy groups continue to contend that thiomersal is linked to autism and the claim is still stated as if it were fact in anti-vaccination propaganda, notably that of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., through his group Children's Health Defense. Thiomersal is no longer used in most children's vaccines in the United States, with the exception of some types of flu shots. While exposure to mercury may result in damage to brain, kidneys, and developing fetus, the scientific consensus is that thiomersal has no such effects. (Full article...)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to form pictures of the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients, and radio waves to generate images of the organs in the body. MRI does not involve X-rays or the use of ionizing radiation, which distinguishes it from CT and PET scans. MRI is a medical application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) which can also be used for imaging in other NMR applications, such as NMR spectroscopy.
MRI is widely used in hospitals and clinics for medical diagnosis, staging and follow-up of disease. Compared to CT, MRI provides better contrast in images of soft-tissues, e.g. in the brain or abdomen. However, it may be perceived as less comfortable by patients, due to the usually longer and louder measurements with the subject in a long, confining tube, though "Open" MRI designs mostly relieve this. Additionally, implants and other non-removable metal in the body can pose a risk and may exclude some patients from undergoing an MRI examination safely. (Full article...)
Ascending cholangitis, also known as acute cholangitis or simply cholangitis, is inflammation of the bile duct, usually caused by bacteria ascending from its junction with the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). It tends to occur if the bile duct is already partially obstructed by gallstones.
Cholangitis can be life-threatening, and is regarded as a medical emergency. Characteristic symptoms include yellow discoloration of the skin or whites of the eyes, fever, abdominal pain, and in severe cases, low blood pressure and confusion. Initial treatment is with intravenous fluids and antibiotics, but there is often an underlying problem (such as gallstones or narrowing in the bile duct) for which further tests and treatments may be necessary, usually in the form of endoscopy to relieve obstruction of the bile duct. The word is from Greek chol-, bile + ang-, vessel + -itis, inflammation. (Full article...)
Vertebral artery dissection (VAD) is a flap-like tear of the inner lining of the vertebral artery, which is located in the neck and supplies blood to the brain. After the tear, blood enters the arterial wall and forms a blood clot, thickening the artery wall and often impeding blood flow. The symptoms of vertebral artery dissection include head and neck pain and intermittent or permanent stroke symptoms such as difficulty speaking, impaired coordination and visual loss. It is usually diagnosed with a contrast-enhanced CT or MRI scan.
Vertebral dissection may occur after physical trauma to the neck, such as a blunt injury (e.g. traffic collision), or strangulation, or after sudden neck movements, i.e. coughing, but may also happen spontaneously. 1–4% of spontaneous cases have a clear underlying connective tissue disorder affecting the blood vessels. Treatment is usually with either antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin or with anticoagulants such as heparin or warfarin. (Full article...)
- Lucinda L. Combs-Stritmatter (October 10, 1849 – April 23, 1919) was an American physician who was the first female medical missionary to provide medical care in China and is credited with establishing the first women's hospital in what was then Peking (now Beijing). Combs was a pioneer in women's medical care while serving the Women's Foreign Ministry Society's North China Mission for seven years. (Full article...)
Ticks (order Ixodida) are parasitic arachnids that are part of the mite superorder Parasitiformes. Adult ticks are approximately 3 to 5 mm in length depending on age, sex, species, and "fullness". Ticks are external parasites, living by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. The timing of the origin of ticks is uncertain, though the oldest known tick fossils are from the Cretaceous period, around 100 million years old. Ticks are widely distributed around the world, especially in warm, humid climates.
Ticks belong to two major families, the Ixodidae or hard ticks, and the Argasidae, or soft ticks. Nuttalliella, a genus of tick from southern Africa, is the only member of the family Nuttalliellidae, and represents the most primitive living lineage of ticks. Adults have ovoid/pear-shaped bodies (idiosomas) which become engorged with blood when they feed, and eight legs. Their cephalothorax and abdomen are completely fused. In addition to having a hard shield on their dorsal surfaces, known as the scutum, hard ticks have a beak-like structure at the front containing the mouthparts, whereas soft ticks have their mouthparts on the underside of their bodies. Ticks locate potential hosts by sensing odor, body heat, moisture, and/or vibrations in the environment. (Full article...)
Brugada syndrome (BrS) is a genetic disorder in which the electrical activity of the heart is abnormal due to channelopathy. It increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac death. Those affected may have episodes of syncope. The abnormal heart rhythms seen in those with Brugada syndrome often occur at rest. They may be triggered by a fever.
About a quarter of those with Brugada syndrome have a family member who also has the condition. Some cases may be due to a new genetic mutation or certain medications. The most commonly involved gene is SCN5A which encodes the cardiac sodium channel. Diagnosis is typically by electrocardiogram (ECG), however, the abnormalities may not be consistently present. Medications such as ajmaline may be used to reveal the ECG changes. Similar ECG patterns may be seen in certain electrolyte disturbances or when the blood supply to the heart has been reduced. (Full article...)
A blood culture is a medical laboratory test used to detect bacteria or fungi in a person's blood. Under normal conditions, the blood does not contain microorganisms: their presence can indicate a bloodstream infection such as bacteremia or fungemia, which in severe cases may result in sepsis. By culturing the blood, microbes can be identified and tested for resistance to antimicrobial drugs, which allows clinicians to provide an effective treatment.
To perform the test, blood is drawn into bottles containing a liquid formula that enhances microbial growth, called a culture medium. Usually, two containers are collected during one draw, one of which is designed for aerobic organisms that require oxygen, and one of which is for anaerobic organisms, that do not. These two containers are referred to as a set of blood cultures. Two sets of blood cultures are sometimes collected from two different blood draw sites. If an organism only appears in one of the two sets, it is more likely to represent contamination with skin flora than a true bloodstream infection. False negative results can occur if the sample is collected after the person has received antimicrobial drugs or if the bottles are not filled with the recommended amount of blood. Some organisms do not grow well in blood cultures and require special techniques for detection. (Full article...)
- The nomenclature of monoclonal antibodies is a naming scheme for assigning generic, or nonproprietary, names to monoclonal antibodies. An antibody is a protein that is produced in B cells and used by the immune system of humans and other vertebrate animals to identify a specific foreign object like a bacterium or a virus. Monoclonal antibodies are those that were produced in identical cells, often artificially, and so share the same target object. They have a wide range of applications including medical uses.
This naming scheme is used for both the World Health Organization's International Nonproprietary Names (INN) and the United States Adopted Names (USAN) for pharmaceuticals. In general, word stems are used to identify classes of drugs, in most cases placed word-finally. All monoclonal antibody names assigned until 2021 end with the stem -mab; newer names have different stems. Unlike most other pharmaceuticals, monoclonal antibody nomenclature uses different preceding word parts (morphemes) depending on structure and function. These are officially called substems and sometimes erroneously infixes, even by the USAN Council itself. (Full article...)
John Benjamin Murphy, born John Murphy (December 21, 1857 – August 11, 1916) was an American physician and abdominal surgeon noted for advocating early surgical intervention in appendicitis appendectomy, and several eponyms: Murphy’s button, Murphy drip, Murphy’s punch, Murphy’s test, and Murphy-Lane bone skid. He is best remembered for the eponymous clinical sign that is used in evaluating patients with acute cholecystitis. His career spanned general surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, and cardiothoracic surgery, which helped him to gain international prominence in the surgical profession. Mayo Clinic co-founder William James Mayo called him "the surgical genius of our generation".
Over the course of his career he was renowned as a surgeon, a clinician, a teacher, an innovator, and an author. In addition to general surgical operations, such as appendectomy, cholecystostomy, bowel resection for intestinal obstruction, and mastectomy, he performed and described innovative procedures in neurosurgery, orthopedics, gynecology, urology, plastic surgery, thoracic surgery, and vascular surgery. He also ventured into techniques such as neurorrhaphy, arthroplasty, prostatectomy, nephrectomy, hysterectomy, bone grafting, and thoracoplasty. (Full article...)
Did you know –
- ... that in Prehistoric medicine, a hole was cut into the skull to release evil spirits (Trepanning) and that there is evidence that many people survived the operation?
- ...Empty nose syndrome is caused by excess surgical removal of turbinate tissue, e.g. because of severe chronic congestion, and may severely impact quality of life?
- ...hair transplantation is a surgical baldness treatment?
General images –
Curandera performing a limpieza in Cuenca, Ecuador (from Traditional medicine)
Galen (129 - 216 CE). Known for their wide insights into anatomy. (from History of medicine)
Heraklas, a sling for binding a fractured jaw. These writings were preserved in one of Oribasius' collections. (from History of medicine)The plinthios brochos as described by Greek physician
combat surgery during the Pacific War, 1943. Major wars showed the need for effective hygiene and medical treatment. (from History of medicine)American
cochlear implant is a common kind of neural prosthesis, a device replacing part of the human nervous system. (from History of medicine)A
Hippocrates (c. 460 - 370 BCE). Known as the "father of medicine". (from History of medicine)
Hospital train "Therapist Matvei Mudrov" in Khabarovsk, Russia (from Health care)
Horus inscribed with healing encantations (c. 332 to 280 BCE). (from History of medicine)Magical stela or cippus of
WHO report.[needs update] (from Health care)Global concentrations of health care resources, as depicted by the number of physicians per 10,000 individuals, by country. Data is sourced from a World Health Statistics 2010, a
Ayurvedic herbal medicines (from History of medicine)
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, United Kingdom is a specialist neurological hospital. (from Health care)
Smallpox vaccination in Niger, 1969. A decade later, this was the first infectious disease to be eradicated. (from History of medicine)
Zhang Zhongjing - a Chinese pharmacologist, physician, inventor, and writer of the Eastern Han dynasty. (from History of medicine)
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, the primary teaching hospital of the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and the largest hospital in the United States with 1,547 beds (from Health care)
Louis Pasteur experimenting on bacteria, c. 1870 (from History of medicine)
Botánicas such as this one in Jamaica Plain, Boston, cater to the Latino community and sell folk medicine alongside statues of saints, candles decorated with prayers, lucky bamboo, and other items. (from Traditional medicine)
cuniform terracotta tablet describing a medicinal recipe for poisoning (c. 18th century BCE). Discovered in Nippur, Iraq.A
emergency room is often a frontline venue for the delivery of primary medical care. (from Health care)The
advertisement for Camel cigarettes in the 1940s (from Medical ethics)"More Doctors Smoke Camels than Any Other Cigarette"
Diagram of the causes of mortality in the army in the East" by Florence Nightingale. (from History of medicine)"
slow loris in Southeast Asia. (from Traditional medicine)Sometimes traditional medicines include parts of endangered species, such as the
American Civil War hospital at Gettysburg, 1863 (from History of medicine)
Neo-Assyrian cuneiform tablet fragment describing medical text (c. 9th to 7th century BCE). (from History of medicine)A
Guy's Hospital in 1820 (from History of medicine)
PPP-adjusted US$) among several OECD member nations. Data source: OECD's iLibrary (from Health insurance)Health Expenditure per capita (in
Robert Koch, father of medical bacteriology, at Robert-Koch-Platz (Robert Koch square) in Berlin (from History of medicine)Statue of
HIV epidemic beginning around 1990 has eroded national health. (from History of medicine)Most countries have seen a tremendous increase in life expectancy since 1945. However, in southern Africa, the
Byzantine manuscript of the Hippocratic Oath (from Medical ethics)A 12th-century
daVinci Xi surgical system, a minimally-invasive robotic surgery system, at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center. (from History of medicine)Medical personnel place sterilized covers on the arms of the
York Retreat, founded in 1796, gained international prominence as a centre for moral treatment and a model of asylum reform following the publication of Samuel Tuke's Description of the Retreat (1813). (from History of medicine)The Quaker-run
Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, written in the 17th century BCE, contains the earliest recorded reference to the brain. New York Academy of Medicine. (from History of medicine)The
Mandrake (written 'ΜΑΝΔΡΑΓΟΡΑ' in Greek capitals). Naples Dioscurides, 7th century (from History of medicine)
Jagiellonian University founded in 1364 (from History of medicine)The oldest Polish Collegium Medicum at
Surrey County Lunatic Asylum, c. 1850–58. The asylum population in England and Wales rose from 1,027 in 1827 to 74,004 in 1900. (from History of medicine)Patient,
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek's microscope of the 1670s (from History of medicine)Replica of
smallpox in Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún's history of the conquest of Mexico, Book XII of the Florentine Codex, from the defeated Aztecs' point of view (from History of medicine)Depiction of
Yarrow, a medicinal plant found in human-occupied caves in the Upper Palaeolithic period. (from History of medicine)
More Did you know (auto generated)
- ... that Paul Rolan has been the principal investigator in more than 700 clinical research studies of new medicines?
- ... that confectionery in the English Renaissance marks the transition of sugar from a medicine to a sweetener?
- ... that Geoffrey Guy's company GW Pharmaceuticals was the first to obtain regulatory approval for a medicine based on cannabis?
- ... that Elvira Bierbach has run an alternative medicine school for heilpraktiker in Bielefeld since 1992?
- ... that fourteenth-century Buddhist monk Tuệ Tĩnh is referred to as a founding father of traditional Vietnamese medicine?
- ... that James A. Merriman was the only Black graduate from Rush Medical College in 1902 and the first African-American physician to practice medicine in Portland?
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