Archive for Medicine

Fracture Putty Can Heal a Broken Bone In Days – Slashdot

Posted in News with tags , , on February 7, 2012 by cykros

“If we break a bone it can take weeks or even month to heal depending on the type and severity of the break. In some extreme cases the complexity of the fracture can make it impossible to heal properly. Researchers at the University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center have come up with a new solution for healing broken bones that cuts recovery time to days. It relies on the use of stem cells that contain a bone generating protein. These cells are injected in gel form directly into the area of the broken bone, where they quickly get to work forming new bone. The end result is very rapid recovery, possibly sidestepping the muscle atrophy that can come with long bone healing times. The gel has been proven to work on animals as big as a sheep and has funding from the DoD. Lets hope it is proven to work on humans in the coming years.”

via Fracture Putty Can Heal a Broken Bone In Days – Slashdot.

So, this is fucking AMAZING. Always nice to see medicine making legitimately visible progress. Now, if we could only stop bones from being breakable in the first place…

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Oblivious Supreme Court poised to legalize medical patents

Posted in News with tags , , , , on December 8, 2011 by cykros

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a case that raises a fundamental question: whether a physician can infringe a patent merely by using scientific research to inform her treatment decisions.

Unfortunately, this issue was barely mentioned in Wednesday’s arguments. A number of influential organizations had filed briefs warning of the dire consequences of allowing medical patents, but their arguments were largely ignored in the courtroom. Instead, everyone seemed to agree that medical patents were legal in general, and focused on the narrow question of whether the specific patent in the case was overly broad.

This should make the nation’s doctors extremely nervous. For two decades, the software industry has struggled with the harmful effects of patents on software. In contrast, doctors have traditionally been free to practice medicine without worrying about whether their treatment decisions run afoul of someone’s patent. Now the Supreme Court seems poised to expand patent law into the medical profession, where it’s unlikely to work any better than it has in software.

via Oblivious Supreme Court poised to legalize medical patents.

Soooo… This is just a nice clear indication of the true parasitic nature of patent and copyright law, with the courts poised to rule that money is more important than human lives.

Marijuana blocks PTSD symptoms in rats: study – Yahoo! News

Posted in News with tags , , on September 22, 2011 by cykros

 

 

Marijuana administered in a timely fashion could block the development of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in rats, a new study conducted at Haifa University has found.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the university’s psychology department and published in the Neuropsychopharmacology journal, found that rats which were treated with marijuana within 24 hours of a traumatic experience, successfully avoided any symptoms of PTSD.

“There is a critical ‘window of time’ after trauma, during which synthetic marijuana can help prevent symptoms similar to PTSD in rats,” said Dr Irit Akirav who led the study.

In the first part of the experiment, rats were exposed to extreme stress, and were found to display symptoms resembling PTSD in humans.

They were then divided into four groups, with the first given no marijuana, the second given a marijuana injection two hours after being exposed, the third after 24 hours and the fourth after 48 hours.

The researchers examined the rats a week later and found that the group that had not received marijuana, as well as the one that received the injection after 48 hours, displayed PTSD symptoms and a high level of anxiety.

Although the rats in the other two groups also displayed high levels of anxiety, the PTSD symptoms had totally disappeared.

“This shows that the marijuana administered in the proper ‘window of time’ does not erase the experience, but can help prevent the development of PTSD symptoms in rats,” Akirav said.

“We also found that the effects of the cannabinoids were mediated by receptors in the amygdala area of the brain, known to be responsible for mediation of stress, fear and trauma,” she noted.

While a decisive parallel between emotional states in humans and animals cannot always be drawn, Akirav was confident psychiatrists will take her research forward to implement it on humans.

via Marijuana blocks PTSD symptoms in rats: study – Yahoo! News.

Support our Troops! Legalize Weed! Hmm, suddenly the same movement? We find ourselves living in strange days… At the very least, this indicates a major portion of the country that could benefit from medical marijuana, and in the meantime, turn it into a MAJOR industry, without even necessarily going out and giving everyone access to weed (if you’re of that authoritarian type). Either way, the science speaks for itself. Denying this stuff to people who have fought for our country, condemning them by the thousands to a lifetime of PTSD symptoms, while knowing that it can prevent such symptoms, is beyond abominable.

Study concludes Gulf War syndrome involves real brain damage | The Raw Story

Posted in News with tags , , , on September 17, 2011 by cykros

 

 

For the last twenty years, veterans of the Persian Gulf War of 1991 have been complaining of a range of ailments, including pain, fatigue, and problems with memory and concentration. And for just as long, the causes have remained uncertain and there has been a tendency by the military to attribute the complaints to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Now a long-term study at the University of Texas in Dallas has used a new technique to measure blood flow in the brains of sufferers and has detected “marked abnormalities” in brain function that can probably be attributed to low levels of exposure to sarin nerve gas. This abnormal blood flow has persisted or even worsened over the eleven years of the study.

“The findings mark a significant advancement in our understanding of the syndrome, which was for years written off by the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs as a form of combat stress rather than an objectively diagnosable injury,” reports the Dallas Observer.

via Study concludes Gulf War syndrome involves real brain damage | The Raw Story.

About time we got some good solid evidence. Now, in only another 20 or so years (or however long it really takes before most of the veterans suffering from this syndrome have died off), perhaps Congress will actually provide assistance to our wounded veterans.

Scientists find gene that controls chronic pain | Reuters

Posted in News with tags , , on September 9, 2011 by cykros

British scientists have identified a gene responsible for regulating chronic pain, called HCN2, and say their discovery should help drug researchers in their search for more effective, targeted pain-killing medicines.

Scientists from Cambridge University said that if drugs could be designed to block the protein produced by the gene, they could treat a type of pain known as neuropathic pain, which is linked to nerve damage and often very difficult to control with currently available drugs.

“Individuals suffering from neuropathic pain often have little or no respite because of the lack of effective medications,” said Peter McNaughton of Cambridge’s pharmacology department, who led the study.

“Our research lays the groundwork for the development of new drugs to treat chronic pain by blocking HCN2.

“Pain is an enormous health burden worldwide, estimated to cost more than 200 billion euros $281 billion a year in Europe and around $150 billion a year in the United States.

Studies show that around 22 percent of people with chronic pain become depressed and 25 percent go on to lose their jobs. A 2002/03 survey by a group called Pain in Europe estimated that as many as one in five Europeans suffers chronic pain.

via Scientists find gene that controls chronic pain | Reuters.

Well, this looks like a very good breakthrough for those affected by chronic neuropathic pain. The number of people who, due to this malady, end up addicted to painkillers (often even resulting in illicit use of opioids such as heroin, and the overdoses, imprisonment, ostracism, and other complications that arise therefrom), or otherwise find themselves completely incapacitated. I’ve seen enough people in this position that this news is very exciting. Now, to wait and see how much they want to bleed people for on the price tag…