Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Treatments For Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is said to affect more than 220 million people all over the world, with type 2 diabetes, known as late-onset diabetes, comprising 90% of the statistics. Type 2 diabetes develops later in life when body tissues become resistant to insulin.

In a study involving 125,000 volunteers, scientists discovered a set of genes responsible in controlling the body's reaction to blood glucose.

According to Edinburgh University geneticist Jim Wilson, the discovery of nine new genes associated with type 2 diabetes can help develop new therapies for the condition. In five to 10 years from now, scientists are looking forward to easily identify which persons are genetically susceptible to develop type 2 diabetes. They are also hoping that new treatments will be available to prevent the onset of the disease. Genes influencing blood sugar levels and insulin levels are those included in the nine new genes, with a subset linked to diabetes itself.

Contributed By: Monch Bravante

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Treating Urinary Incontinence

When we drink, we pee. However, there's more to urine than just the drink we had earlier. We urinate in order to get rid of the toxins, waste, and excess water that our body doesn't need. Urinary control is a function of the smooth muscle tissue of the urethra and bladder in coordination with the skeletal muscle and the autonomic nervous system.

When muscles of the bladder become too weak or too active, urinary incontinence occurs. There are two types of urinary incontinence:

Stress incontinence – loss of bladder control may happen when you laugh, sneeze, or lift heavy objects.

Urge incontinence – overactive bladder makes you feel like going to the bathroom even if you have little urine in your bladder.

Causes of urinary incontinence may be congenital or acquired disorders, such as prostate problems and nerve damage.

In addition to medication, treatment includes simple exercises, special devices and procedures, depending on your lifestyle. A relatively new procedure in treating men with incontinence resulting from prostate cancer treatment is the Male Sling. It's an out-patient procedure that can take less than half an hour to one hour. This minimally invasive procedure allows men to regain urinary control.

Contributed By: Monch Bravante

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Play Attention: A New Treatment For ADHD

We all know that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a common childhood illness considered to be a neuro-behavioral developmental disorder. While regarded as a childhood disease, ADHD can continue throughout adulthood. Many adults with ADHD have developed coping mechanisms. However, many aspects of our daily living becomes difficult due to ADHD symptoms.

In the UK, a new thought-operated computer system aimed to reduce the symptoms of ADHD in children will be rolled out this month. The system, called Play Attention, is supplied by Games for Life, a non-profit community interest company. It allows kids to play a fun educational computer game using a helmet just like a typical bicycle helmet. This helmet picks up the brain activity related to attention, and controlling the game depends on the child's concentration. It stops the moment the attention waivers.

In a study involving 10 kids, researchers learned that the kids' impulsive behavior was reduced compared to a control group who had not used the system. According to Professor Karen Pine at the University of Hertfordshire's School of Psychology and assistant Farjana Nasrin, the Play Attention method may prevent long-term problems by helping the children to be less impulsive and more self-controlled.

Contributed By: Monch Bravante

Monday, January 18, 2010

Immunotherapy Proving Effective Against Melanoma

Some people may not be aware of it, but the skin is the largest organ in the body. Its purpose is to cover and protect the different organs inside the body. Without it, the muscles, bones, and other organs will be exposed. We need the skin to hold everything together. That is why when something happens to our skin, we could be in real jeopardy.

Skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers. And melanoma is a skin cancer that is considered a deadly disease. While it only accounts for less than five percent of all skin cancers, it is the one responsible for more than 75% of skin cancer deaths.

The good news, however, is that new forms of treatment are underway which make use of the body's immune system to attack the cancer cells. While immunotherapy has had a limited role in treating cancer, it shows great potential as far as treatment for melanoma is concerned.

Survival rates for melanoma are low because it does not respond well to traditional radiation and chemotherapy once it has spread. But in rare cases, melanoma simply goes away which make scientists believe is due to an immune reaction against the cancer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Modes Of Chronic Pain Relief

In the past, many have actually believed that “chronic pain is all in the head.” However, today's pain specialists understand how the sensation of pain occurs. According to Rollin M. Gallagher, MD, MPH, director of pain management at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, the nervous system, including the spinal cord, interacts with the brain to create the sensation of pain.

Learning how to manipulate the neurotransmitter system paved the way for new modes of chronic pain relief, antidepressants, and other drugs that work with specific brain chemicals that affect emotions and help with the perception of pain.

Advances in MRI imaging allow researchers to demonstrate that the changes are very real in the brain, showing exactly where the sensation of pain is occurring in the brain when it is activated by stimuli. MRI imaging clearly shows the effects of pain on emotion, and vice versa.

These insights help pain specialists to develop treatments that attack moderate-to-severe chronic pain from different angles -- innovative drugs, targeted nerve-zapping procedures, and drug pumps that deliver strong painkillers to the nerve root.