July 31, 2010

Q&A: Post-Menopausal Osteoporosis and Vertebral Fractures

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Natural menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of menstrual periods, determined retrospectively after a woman has experienced 12 months of amenorrhea without any other obvious pathological or physiological cause.

July 20, 2010

Gel to Reduce Risk of AIDS in Women Discovered

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A woman's risk of infection with the AIDS virus can be significantly cut by the use of a vaginal gel, a study has found. The research marks the first success in a 15-year search for a way women can independently protect themselves from contracting HIV infection through sex.

Q&A: Vascular Complications Of Cytotoxics: Pulmonary Veno-Occlusive Disease

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Development of new anticancer drugs has resulted in improved mortality rates and 5-year survival rates in patients with cancer. However, many of the modern chemotherapies are associated with cardiovascular toxicities that increase cardiovascular risk in cancer patients.

July 15, 2010

Q&A: X-ray Diagnosis of Congenital Heart Disease

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Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common congenital disorder in newborns. Critical CHD, defined as requiring surgery or catheter-based intervention in the first year of life, occurs in approximately 25 percent of those with CHD. Although many newborns with critical CHD are symptomatic and identified soon after birth, others are not diagnosed until after discharge from the birth hospitalization. In infants with critical cardiac lesions, the risk of morbidity and mortality increases when there is a delay in diagnosis and timely referral to a tertiary center with expertise in treating these patients.

July 14, 2010

Q&A: Management of Urinary Tract Infection in Infants and Young Children

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Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a common and important clinical problem in childhood. Upper urinary tract infections (ie, acute pyelonephritis) may lead to renal scarring, hypertension, and end-stage kidney disease. Although children with pyelonephritis tend to present with fever, it can be difficult on clinical grounds to distinguish cystitis from pyelonephritis, particularly in young children (those younger than two years).

Q&A: Cardiac Side Effects of Cytotoxic Therapy

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Many side-effects of cytotoxic drugs often do not occur at the time of administration, but days or weeks later. It is therefore important that patients and healthcare professionals can identify symptoms that cause concern and can contact an expert for advice. Toxicities should be accurately recorded using a recognised scoring system such as the Common Toxicity Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) developed by the National Cancer Institute.

Q&A: Painful Sexual Intercourse in a Woman

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Female sexual pain (FSP) has a significant negative impact on a woman's health, self-esteem, relationships, quality of life, and work productivity. It is unclear if sexual pain is a sexual disorder, pain disorder, or both. It can be difficult to identify a definitive cause of pain. Etiologies range from simple anatomic problems to complex biopsychosocial issues. In addition, a woman can have more than one etiology of her pain.

Q&A: Treatment of Diarrhoea in an Immunocompetent Patient

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Diarrhea is generally defined as the passage of three or more unformed stools per day, often in addition to other enteric symptoms, or the passage of more than 250 g of unformed stool per day. On the basis of its duration, diarrhea can be classified as acute (<14 days), persistent (14 to 29 days), or chronic (≥30 days).

July 13, 2010

Q&A: Delayed Puberty in a Young Male

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Delayed puberty is defined clinically as the absence of the first signs of pubertal development beyond the normal range for the population. Most often, children simply develop later than their peers but ultimately develop normally. Sometimes, delayed puberty is caused by chronic medical problems, hormonal disorders, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, disordered eating or excessive exercise, genetic disorders, tumors, and certain infections.

Big head 'may protect against dementia' - BBC

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Having a big head may help protect against the worst ravages of dementia, say researchers.
They found that people with Alzheimer's with the largest craniums had better memory and thinking skills than patients with smaller skulls.

Q&A: Woman With Features Of Acromegly

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Gigantism and acromegaly are syndromes of excessive secretion of growth hormone (hypersomatotropism) that are nearly always due to a pituitary adenoma. Before closure of the epiphyses, the result is gigantism. Later, the result is acromegaly, which causes distinctive facial and other features.

Q&A: Treatment of Atypical Pneumonia

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Atypical pneumonia refers to pneumonia caused by C. pneumoniae and other bacteria including Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila and Legionella species, C. psittaci, and Coxiella burnetii.

Q&A: Mode of Action of Antitumor Agents

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Antitumor agents prevent or inhibit the formation or growth of tumors and are known as antitumor, anticancer, chemotherapeutic, or antimetastatic agents.

Q&A: Intravenous Drug Use Complications

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People who inject drugs (PWID) are vulnerable to a wide range of viral and bacterial infections. These infections can result in high levels of illness and in death.

Q&A: Side Effects of Anti-TNF Therapy

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Tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) was originally named for its ability to trigger necrosis of transplanted tumor cells in mice. The purification and cloning of a molecule called “cachectin”, which causes wasting in chronic diseases, was subsequently found to be identical to TNF-a. TNF is produced primarily by macrophages and, to a lesser extent, by lymphocytes.

Q&A: Causes of Occupational Pneumonia

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Environmental and occupational issues present both diagnostic and preventive care opportunities in primary care practice, emergency medicine, pediatrics, and various medical specialties. Clinicians need to know how to take a good environmental/occupational history and should have a reasonable understanding of common environmentally related illnesses and injuries as well as basics of exposure assessment.

Q&A: Forms of Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

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In 1930, Louis Wolff, Sir John Parkinson, and Paul Dudley White published a seminal article describing 11 patients who suffered from attacks of tachycardia associated with a sinus rhythm electrocardiographic (ECG) pattern of bundle branch block with a short PR interval. This was subsequently termed Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, although earlier isolated case reports describing similar patients had been published.

Q&A: Acuity of Vision

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20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance.

Q&A: Appropriate Tests in Neuromuscular Diseases

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Neuromuscular disease is a broad term that encompasses many diseases and ailments that impair the functioning of the muscles, either directly, as pathologies of the voluntary muscle, or indirectly, as pathologies of nerves or neuromuscular junctions.

July 07, 2010

Q&A: Mechanism Of Action Of Metformin

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Initial treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus includes lifestyle changes focusing on diet, increased physical activity and exercise, and weight reduction, reinforced by consultation with a registered dietitian and diabetes self-management education, when possible.

July 06, 2010

Q&A: Vascular Complications Of Cytotoxics: Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease

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Anticancer drugs have improved mortality rates and 5-year survival rates in patients with cancer, however, many of the modern chemotherapies are associated with cardiovascular toxicities that increase cardiovascular risk in cancer patients, including the development of hepatic veno-occlusive disease in certain cases.

Q&A: Management of Sleep Apnoea

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The most common sleep disorder is insomnia. Others are sleep apnea, narcolepsy and hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness at inappropriate times), sleeping sickness (disruption of sleep cycle due to infection), sleepwalking, and night terrors.

July 05, 2010

Q&A: Vascular Complications Of Cytotoxics: Thrombosis and Thromboembolism

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Development of new anticancer drugs has resulted in improved mortality rates and 5-year survival rates in patients with cancer. However, many of the modern chemotherapies are associated with cardiovascular toxicities that increase cardiovascular risk in cancer patients, including hypertension, thrombosis, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and arrhythmias. These limitations restrict treatment options and might negatively affect the management of cancer.

July 04, 2010

Q&A: Drug-Induced Torsades de Pointes

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Torsades de pointes is a distinctive polymorphic ventricular tachycardia in which the QRS amplitude varies and the QRS complexes appear to twist around the baseline. Torsades de pointes is associated with a prolonged QT interval, which may be congenital or acquired.

July 03, 2010

Overcoming Low Life Expectancy in Africa: How to live longer and healthier

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When this article was first written in July 2010, official figures of life expectancy in most African countries were at record low levels, for example Nigeria was 47 years. I had gone on to point out that extreme stress almost on a daily basis, inconsiderate leaders, lack of portable water, prevalence of fake drugs and very poor healthcare delivery, amongst others, all contributed to this. I compared the African life expectancy to that of Americans which had risen to between 75-80 years, and proposed that all Africans should take responsibility for their health at a personal level, since there seemed no government interest.

Fever: Classes, Causes and Treatment

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Fever, also called pyrexia, is abnormal rise in body temperature of a person above the normal. Fever itself is not an illness. A fever is usually a symptom of an underlying condition, most often an infection.

Q&A: Complement Deficiencies

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The complement system is a major component of innate immunity and a "complement" (from which its name is derived) to antibody-triggered responses. It consists of nearly 60 plasma and membrane proteins that form three distinct but overlapping activating pathways, as well as a common terminal lytic cascade and a network of regulators and receptors.

Secret to long and healthy living

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WITH official figures of life expectancy in most African countries at low levels eg Nigeria is 47years, it implies that those who are above 50 in the country deserve a thanksgiving celebration.

July 01, 2010

Q&A: Asthma Control in Children

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Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory condition of the airways, associated with airway hyperresponsiveness and variable airflow obstruction. The most frequent symptoms of asthma are cough, wheeze, chest tightness, and breathlessness.

Vermiform Appendix: Useful and in fact Promising

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The body's appendix has long been thought of as nothing more than a worthless evolutionary artifact, good for nothing save a potentially lethal case of inflammation.

Q&A: Pharmacologic Stress Echocardiography

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Stress echocardiography (echo) is an established technique for assessing coronary artery disease. It has been used for diagnosis and assessment of probable coronary artery disease, for risk stratification and to guide revascularisation procedures.

Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV/AIDS

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Standard highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) consists of the use of at least three antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to maximally suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of HIV disease.

Parkinson's Disease: Frequently Asked Questions

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Parkinson's disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disease of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system, and the symptoms generally come on slowly over time. With a diagnosis of such a life-changing medical condition, you may feel angry, afraid, sad, or worried about what lies ahead. Medical Notes has compiled a list of possible frequently asked questions (FAQs) you may have.