Sunday, 29 July 2012

Medicine stuff from the week 23-29/7/12

TB (mycobacterium tuberculosis) has been looking increasingly threatening, in the last couple of years, because of drug-resistant strain outbreaks.
This so-called three-in-one drug counters multiple varieties of TB at once, and could become a major weapon against TB, depending on how easily it can be got to people.
"Called PaMZ, the pill is a combination of the standard TB drug pyrazinamide with the antibiotic moxifloxacin – not previously used against TB – and PA-824, a drug whose potential against TB was reported by New Scientist in 2001."
"PaMZ could wipe out several resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis – the cause of most cases of TB – which have been spreading through South Africa, India and the countries that made up the former Soviet Union. What's more, it could work in a sixth of the time of existing treatments, at a tenth of the cost – as well as slashing by a third the number of pills required."

'Large breasts a cancer risk'
No matter how much you might like 'bigguns' or how much you might like having 'bigguns', there are downsides beyond back ache and strap burn - the more breast there is, the higher the chances of some cells of it turning into a tumour.
"As it is a non-preventable disease, early detection is vital. Women with large breasts may be more likely to suffer breast cancer because there is more tissue available for neoplastic change and/or because larger breasts cause increased oestrogen levels. As women age, a larger proportion of them have larger breasts."
The bigger your breasts are, the more important it is that you check them out, using the hand-rub technique thingy...

'Drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks leads to fat gain'
The general gist of this subject, is that soft drinks are 'invisible' calories. It's a drink, but the high sugar content contains a lot of calories, which are easily consumed, and can make you fat, the same way fat in solid food does.
If you feel thirsty, take a bottle of water with you - it will quench your thirst better, too, because soft drinks tend to have a lt of salt in them, which increases thirst.
Also, use tap water, and reuse the bottles - tap water maintains higher health standards (bottled water is occasionally withdrawn from shelves due to poisoning) and costs you nothing.
Don't feed the bottled water scam!

Forget the idea that only rich 'Westerners' get depressed - depression is a global problem, whether Major, Bipolar, Manic, or Dysthymic.
Anxiety, too, is a global problem, which is to be expected - anxiety and depression tend to go hand-in-hand.
"Clinical anxiety affected around 10 per cent of people in North America, Western Europe and Australia/New Zealand compared to about 8 per cent in the Middle East and 6 per cent in Asia."
"About 9 per cent of people have major depression in Asian and Middle Eastern countries, such as India and Afghanistan, compared with about 4 per cent in North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and East Asian countries including China, Thailand and Indonesia."
"Alize Ferrari, lead author on the depression study, said findings suggested that depression appeared to be higher in parts of the world where conflict is occurring. However, she warns that it can be difficult to obtain good quality data from some low and middle income countries."

A researcher has established that although DID (differential identity disorder) does exist, the identities are not completely separated - they can remember events that they experienced, while occupying their other personality.
"Memory loss has always been the most important factor that distinguished DID from a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, this distinction is now obsolete according to Huntjens. 'Therapists can therefore consider giving DID patients the faster and demonstrably effective treatment PTSD patients currently receive,' she says. Future research must demonstrate whether this approach is indeed more efficient for DID patients. There are also implications for forensic research: a perpetrator with DID is therefore clearly aware of criminal actions that he or she committed in a different identity."

Researchers have discovered a novel use for fluoxetine (brand name 'Prozac') - as well as an anti-depressant, it seems to work as an antiviral.
Fluoxetine apparently works against enteroviruses, which cause conditions such as poliomyelitis and encephalitis, by inhibiting their replication, giving the immune system time to pick them off, and suppress the outbreak.

Top 5 myths about skin protection debunked:
- The higher the sun protection factor (SPF), the better
SPF is a measure of UVB protection only and is not an indicator of UVA protection. It is a ratio of how long it would take your skin to burn with sunscreen applied properly over how long it would take it to turn red without protection.
- “Broad-spectrum” sunscreen
The new FDA guidelines, slated to go into effect later this year, dictate that a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen needs to demonstrate that it protects you from a standardized (but not complete) portion of UVA spectrum.
- “Waterproof” sunscreen
A sunscreen can only protect you while in the water for a finite time period.
- Cloudy or rainy days
Up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays go though both clouds and fog, including UVA rays that can cause skin cancer and photo aging.
- People with darker skin tones
skin cancer in skin of color often presents at a more advanced stage, which only highlights the importance of daily sunscreen use in these patients.

New study confirms: there is no such thing as a safe tan
It has long been thought that a small amount of tanning poses low risk for melanoma, due to stimulated melanin production. This is not true. Any time tanning poses risk to health.
UVB causes burning of the skin; UVA causes aging (memory aide: B for burning, A for ageing), and tanning beds typically emit UVA in dangerous amounts (any amount!)

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