Medicine and Pharmaceuticals

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 (which would make it the first successful herpes vaccine ever) earlier this year, there has been massive interest in development.

This past September, a new player entered the field—Rational Vaccines (Rvx), which was founded by immunologist Dr. William Halford. RVx's Theravax claimed to have dramatically reduced genital outbreaks in 20 patients. Shortly thereafter, I interviewed Dr. Halford, to try and get additional information 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. ...

The prevalence of dementia in the United States significantly declined from 11.6% in 2000 to 8.8% in 2012.  A new study by JAMA Internal Medicine attributes this, in part, to an increase in educational attainment. 

Dementia has multiple causes and types.  It reflects damage to the nerve cells of the brain which can appear in varying locales.  Symptoms of memory loss and cognitive changes manifest differently depending on the individual, medical history and etiology.  

Alzheimer’s is the most common culprit in those 65 and older.  Right behind is vascular damage of the vessels that...

By now, everyone concerned about cholesterol and heart disease knows about statins — the family of drugs that can effectively lower blood cholesterol levels, especially the levels of so-called bad cholesterol, the LDLs. And by lowering cholesterol, and perhaps by also decreasing inflammation, statins have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with previous heart attacks — which is called secondary prevention. The question has arisen, should people with no previous history of atherosclerotic heart disease (in which cholesterol deposits in the arteries form plaques) also be given one of these drugs for primary prevention? In particular, should our expanding population of elderly people — those 75 years old and up — be treated, or is this just an example of...