The New York Times
SEPT. 19, 2016
SEPT. 19, 2016
Iesha Thomas has been in and out of hospitals battling sickle cell disease since she was only 8 months old. This summer, 33-year-old Thomas became the first adult to be cured of sickle cell disease with a chemotherapy-free procedure at University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health), the University reported. Thomas is one of 12 adult patients cured of sickle cell disease as part of a clinical trial at UI Health that used a unique procedure for stem cell transplantation from healthy tissue matched from a sibling donor.
Findings from phase I/II of the clinical trial are published online in the journal Biology of Blood & Marrow Transplantation. Read more
The New York Times
Fear, if not the reality of the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that carry it, has not only cast its shadow on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August, but is upending the carefully laid plans of couples who have long wanted a wedding in an exotic tropical locale.
Labor and delivery can be joyous for new parents and the health professionals who help bring infants into the world. But the birthing process also exposes physicians and nurses to large volumes of patients’ body fluids, reinforcing the need for extra vigilance in observing infection control measures as protection against possible Zika virus infection.
July 12, 2016
Infection with HIV may be associated with accelerated cellular aging, according to a new study in which researchers analyzed DNA methylation patterns of men with HIV infection (Gross AM et al. Mol Cell. 2016;62:157-168). The study provides a possible explanation for why people with HIV who take antiretroviral medications often develop age-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, bone fractures, and renal failure years earlier than those who are uninfected (Guaraldi G et al. Clin Infect Dis. 2011;53:1120-1126).
A new guideline is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on opioid prescribing for chronic pain.
Opioids are natural or synthetic chemicals that relieve pain by binding to receptors in the brain or body to reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain. Doctors prescribe opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine to treat acute pain or chronic pain (pain that lasts more than 3 months).
June 23, 2016
Pricking a finger multiple times a day to monitor their blood glucose levels often proves overwhelming for patients with diabetes. Many simply won’t follow their physician’s recommendation to test so frequently, making it harder to manage their condition.
The biggest challenge in staying hydrated these days—whether you’re a distance runner or a desk jockey—is information overload. Don’t believe the hydration hype and keep it simple.
Nutrition rules are great for taking the guesswork out of eating and drinking right. But they also often lead to gross miscalculations and, in many cases, perpetuatesome of the biggest myths. Proper hydration is no exception, whether it’s the old eight-glasses-a-day chestnut or that you should down a sports drink every time you work out. Yet nothing influences your overall well-being more than healthy H2O habits. Here are some of the biggest hydration myths, as well as the truth behind them.
May 3, 2016
In 1993, James L. Mills, MD, MS, a senior investigator at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, attended a series of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) subcommittee meetings. The subcommittee was considering whether to recommend fortifying cereal grain products with the B vitamin folic acid as a public health strategy to reduce the risk of infant neural tube defects. A year earlier, the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health Service (PHS) had recommended that all women of childbearing age consume 400 μg of folic acid daily to reduce the risk of having a child with spina bifida, anencephaly, or another neural tube defect (MMWR Recomm Rep. 1992;41[RR-14]:107). The PHS’ recommendation was based, in part, on a landmark UK Medical Research Council clinical trial, which demonstrated that among women who had previously given birth to babies with neural tube defects, those who took 4 mg of folic acid supplements daily had a 72% reduced risk of having another baby with neural tube defects relative to those who did not take supplements (Wald N et al. Lancet. 1991;338:131-137). Despite the PHS’ recommendation, committee members were cautious about moving forward with fortification, Mills recalled (http://1.usa.gov/1Rq9jDz).