Portal:Medicine/Did you know

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Did you know

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  • ... that the polymeal is a diet-based approach to combating heart disease, proposed in December 2004 by Oscar Franco?
  • ... that a mammotome is a device that uses a computer-guided probe to perform breast biopsies, and that it can be conducted on an outpatient basis under local anaesthetic?

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  • ...the brain itself is not sensitive to pain, because it lacks pain-sensitive nerve fibers? Several areas of the head can hurt, including a network of nerves which extends over the scalp and certain nerves in the face, mouth, and throat.
  • ...that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may sometimes have an acute onset and develop after an infectious illness, and that this "Post infectious IBS" (IBS-PI) is drawing much clinical investigation?

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  • ...infantile pyloric stenosis is a not uncommon pediatric condition where there is a congenital narrowing of the pylorus (the opening at the lower end of the stomach)? Babies with this condition usually present within the first few weeks (usually between 2nd and 3rd) of life with poor feeding, weight loss and progressively worsening vomiting leading ultimately to projectile non-bilious vomiting.

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  • ...that during the "Age of Heroic Medicine" (1780-1850), educated professional physicians aggressively practiced "heroic medicine", including bloodletting (venesection), intestinal purging (calomel), vomiting (tartar emetic), profuse sweating (diaphoretics) and blistering? These medical treatments were well-intentioned, and often well-accepted by the medical community, but were actually harmful to the patient.
  • ...thalidomide is a drug that was sold during the late 1950s and 1960s to pregnant women as an antiemetic? It was later found to be teratogenic, causing amelia and phocomelia. However, it is still used for other indications such as for leprosy and multiple myeloma, with close regulation through the System for Thalidomide Education and Prescribing Safety (STEPS) program.

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  • ...Genotoxicity is the proper term for the DNA damaging property of many carcinogens. These chemicals alter DNA to induce mutations and then apoptosis. While this is a common property in chemicals that cause cancer it is also a property in drugs that fight cancer; these drugs alter the DNA of cancerous cells leading to mutations in cancer cells and eventual cell death.

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  • ...the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease as a distinct entity were first identified by Emil Kraepelin, and the characteristic neuropathology was first observed by Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist, in 1906? In this sense, the disease was co-discovered by Kraepelin and Alzheimer, who worked in Kraepelin's laboratory. Because of the overwhelming importance Kraepelin attached to finding the neuropathological basis of psychiatric disorders, Kraepelin made the generous decision that the disease would bear Alzheimer's name.

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  • ... 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?

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