Medicine and Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Buzz Aldrin — American hero, fighter pilot, astronaut who walked on the moon, engineer, author, adventurer, explorer or, more appropriate, living legend — was medically evacuated from Antarctica during his recent visit to the South Pole.

He has ventured to the Titanic.  Conquered air and space.  The North Pole.  He considers this South Pole excursion to be “the capstone of his personal exploration achievements” as his expressed purpose for the trip was to “experience conditions akin to Mars.”

At 86 years of age and when speaking about Buzz, this sounds about right.  It’s like any other mere mortal —of which category I place myself— taking a difficult work out class or completing a half-marathon for the first time at any life stage...

For someone who is not a fan of the “trigger warning,”  I can report —upon opening my medscape email which contained a Reuter’s Health press release— even I was triggered.  It’s just my definition incites annoyance and frustration, not fear or anger. 

Triggered by redundant studies of things we already know.  Triggered by work that has been repeatedly learned, understood and implemented in actual medical practice.  Triggered by an understanding when such studies are performed resources are diverted away from greater risk, greater reward endeavors.  Triggered by written language that tends to mischaracterize what practicing physicians know and knew before the publication of said study.  Triggered by a narrative that, if accurate, further perpetuates the notion that there exists—...

Since the 1980s, great strides have been made in designing and producing new drugs to prevent and treat HIV-AIDS.  As a result, HIV infection has become a chronic disease that doesn't progress to life-stifling AIDS, at least in the developed world. Unfortunately, the same isn't necessarily true globally.  In parts of Africa, acquisition of HIV is still a massive problem. Women, in particular, are at high risk of acquiring the infection via sexual intercourse. Although condoms are the most effective non-pharmaceutical means of protection, their use is not under women's control. Prophylactic oral drugs and vaginal gels can also be effective — when used appropriately and consistently, but compliance is not always ideal. Thus, a means of intervention that doesn't require either daily...

With the holiday season upon us and the palpable slow descent of the temperature, it seems appropriate to nestle in to the unpleasant notion that cold-related deaths are a reality.  An often avoidable one at that.

So, let's be aware of some measures that can ensure a fun-filled, special winter -- only good memories allowed.

The National Health Statistics Reports generated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services attributed the annual death rate from weather-induced causes to be 2,000 per year between 2006-2010.  Of those, 63% were due to excessive natural cold, hypothermia or both.  These extremes can prompt significant morbidity and mortality.  It is believed this data is even underestimated...

Since Genocea first reported data on GEN-003 (the first successful herpes vaccine ever) earlier this year, there has been massive interest in its development.

This past September, a new player entered the field—Rational Vaccines (Rvx), which was founded by immunologist Dr. William Halford. RVx's Theravax dramatically reduced genital outbreaks in 20 patients. Shortly thereafter, I interviewed Dr. Halford, at which point he revealed additional data on Theravax.

You can find a table that compares the two vaccines...

All you have to do currently to encounter an influx of negativity and persistent “what ifs” or anxiety is turn to social media or any news outlet.  This pervasive, chronic theme—no matter where you fall on the political spectrum—has been ever present the last 18 or so months throughout the campaign season.  

Now that election day has come and gone it appears we keep attaining new thresholds of vitriol.  

Life is replete with ups and downs.  Negative emotions are a part of the deal.  They often make positive experiences more joyful due to the perspective they promote.  Some stress can be a salvation to enable us to flee danger, hence, why we have the innate, instinctual biological response of hormone release during those critical moments or brief periods of time.  

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Recently, we wrote about the challenges that women with dense breasts face with mammograms — the primary tool used to screen for breast cancer. Dense breasts make it difficult to detect abnormalities in the tissue. We spoke with ACSH advisor and radiology expert Dr. Robert Bard on the topic [watch our story here], who says identifying dense breasts remains largely subjective. What's more, the presence of dense tissue alone is an independent risk for breast cancer.    

We suspected some may take note; but the facts haven't reached as many women as they should. According to a...

It isn’t hard to imagine that as our enlarging and ever-stiffening polarized political spheres come to a head, an article about what maintains the penis’ potency might be a kind of crowning glory.

To start, let’s give you a sturdy grasp of what prompts erectile dysfunction (ED) firming up any confusion.

More than 30 million men in the United States are affected by ED to some extent, so prevalence is certainly high (1).

The mechanism to control a man’s ability to get erect and maintain it is quite complex.  The point and shoot components are controlled by your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.  When there is impairment in either arena, there is a flawed rigidity or ejaculation.  

When nerves are firing and blood is flowing, this pleasurable...

Highly realistic simulations for training could soon be widely used to rehearse complex cases prior to surgery, thanks to Simulated Inanimate Model for a Physical Learning Experience (SIMPLE), the brainchild of Ahmed Ghazi, M.D., M.Sc., an assistant professor in the Department of Urology at University of Rochester Medical Center, and Neurosurgery resident Jonathan Stone, M.D.

SIMPLE is a new new way to fabricate artificial organs and human anatomy that mimics the real thing, even up to the point of bleeding when cut. It entails converting images obtained from medical scans into computer generated designs and, through the assistance of 3D printing, fabricating lifelike organs that can be poked, prodded, and dissected. 

The process begins with images obtained from MRI, CT,...

Kids are my favorite. They are way cooler than adults.  No giant leap there.  As a pediatrician whose coffee has yet to kick in this day before Thanksgiving, I shouldn't be too impressed with my own grasp of the obvious.

They see a world of wonder.  They, especially the littlest ones, view their environment with amazement replete with such an honesty and purity in their perspective.  This natural curiosity should be— in most situations— a nurtured and valued commodity. 

However, like what goes up must come down, this quality can be accompanied by a touch of mischief and consequent hazards.  So, instead of unloading an endless barrage of terrifying doctorate-level home and object child-proofing restrictions, enjoy this practical guide to surviving the holiday season. ...