research

7 Secrets to the Freakish Recoveries Athletes Are Now Making from Destructive Knee Injuries

Here are 7 modern knee treatments (quotes are from Harlan Selesnick, M.D., the orthopedic surgeon for the Miami Heat): 1. Physical therapy or anti-inflammatories A common problem in athletes is jumper’s knee, a condition due to overuse. Most players with patella tendonitis can treat their knees with anti-inflammatories or physical therapy. Breakdown: Physical therapy includes flexibility, stretching, strengthening the muscle and increasing range of motion, as well as stimulation or cold laser therapy. Anti-inflammatories (prescription or over the counter) include Advil, Aleve, Celebrex, Mobic and Motrin, or a cortisone shot. Also, ice postgame is prevalent around the league. How Effective? They often are very effective, but in some cases more extensive treatment is needed. Treatment Cost? Physical therapy is usually more than $100. Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually less than $100. Back to playing? Usually one day to a week.   2. Synvisc Synvisc is used in athletes diagnosed with early arthritis, who usually have lower concentrations of hyaluron. Breakdown: It’s a one-time injection-based lubricant into the knee joint. “It cuts down on the wear and tear, and cuts down on the pain in 75 percent of people with arthritis. We’ve actually done a study showing that it’s pretty effective in professional athletes. I know a lot of the NFL teams use it, NBA teams use it, pro tennis. There are different forms of it, but the one that I use most commonly is the one...

Chocolate Covered Medicine?

The Nestle We Know: Most of us associate Nestle with coffee and chocolate. Personally, I associate Nestle with amazing chocolate chip cookies that are great especially after a long study session. Nestle and the Health Sciences:  According to Reuters, apparently Nestle and health sciences have a lot more in common than I realized. Namely, a brand new $70 million research facility in New Jersey. This would also not be Nestle’s first investment into the health sciences either. They have also invested $65 million in Seres Therapeutics that researches the healthy bacteria in the GI tract and has signed a deal with a swiss based company that is developing diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s. Reuters says that it could be a move on Nestle’s part to both quell concerns about “unhealthy” foods that they sell and also to branch out into new and lucrative healthcare markets.    PBS    What does this have to do with med school? As med students and future physicians, we are exposed to a lot of articles and information. Therefore, it is important for us to analyze this information and understand bias’ that might be present. Am I implying that health information from Nestle will be skewed? No, not necessarily. However, it is important to be aware of where information is coming from and be able to critically analyze it as well. Personally, I will be...

A Sad Day For Bacon…

According to Reuters, some of the country’s favorite foods seem to cause cancer!!! This can’t be good…   Nickelodeon   The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) just stated in a press release  that processed meats like hot dogs and bacon have been linked to causing cancer. How much processed meat would you need to eat in order to start having negative effects? Well, if you’re looking for a comparison, 50g/day (about one hot dog) has being linked to an 18% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. The studies correlate most strongly to processed meats though and not fresh cuts of red meat. However, according to Reuters, some studies show that we have to be careful when eating red meat as well. Disney   What do we do now? Well, that is a great question. I believe that this information will take some time to settle in for everyone. It seems as though we might have to back off of the bacon wrapped everything trend that seems to have swept the country recently. Fox   Maybe we should just stick to chicken for the next barbeque…. Disney Feature Image by Pleated...

The Big Shift in Soda Consumption

Soda sales are declining as Americans are shifting away from popular carbonated beverages to healthier alternatives, and diet soda is not an exception.  This news may come as a surprise for people who just can’t seem to get through the day without a caffeinated swig, but for health advocates it’s a welcomed turn of events. In fact, many city officials across the country are imposing taxes on soda, making the products more expensive to buy and in many schools and government offices, the sale of soda has been prohibited.   So how are soda companies adjusting to these changes? Most have recognized that competition with health and wellness is inevitable. According to the New York Times, soda companies are now experimenting with selling smaller packages, to prevent people from consuming “too much,” and are promising “real sugar,” as opposed to high-fructose corn syrup. We have also witnessed a evolution in  soda bottle designs. For example, Coca-Cola now personalizes their bottles with common first names and Sprite prints popular song lyrics on their packaging.   Nevertheless, research suggests that soda sales have hit their lowest level in nearly two decades and bottled water sales are steadily on the rise. Highly active consumers seeking more nutrient value in their beverages are turning to water fortified with vitamins and specialty drinks such as matcha tea, a powdered green tea high in antioxidants which is emerging as a healthier alternative to...

New HIV Vaccine Candidate to Begin Human Trials

  It has been a long road in the battle against HIV/AIDS since the epidemic began in the early 1980s. However, in 2013, the virus hit what was widely referred to as a tipping point when, for the first time, more people were newly being treated with antiretroviral drugs than became newly infected with HIV. Despite this milestone, there are still 35 million people estimated to be living with HIV today — 19 million who are estimated to be unaware of their HIV-positive status — and 2 million more people are being infected each year.   Recently, the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine announced that for the first time, it will begin testing its HIV vaccine candidate in humans.   The vaccine has previously been tested on primates, and it is the cumulation of nearly twenty years of research. While not the only HIV vaccine candidate to begin human trials, the research team for this vaccine is being led by Dr. Robert Gallo, who was one of the first doctors to search for the virus causing AIDS, and is well known for his and the Pasteur Institute’s co-discovery that HIV is the cause of AIDS.* Dr. Gallo says the institute has been home to the research and development of the vaccine as it went from “a concept on paper, to the test tube, to tissue culture, to small...

Innovations in Organ Transplantation

  Individuals experiencing life-threatening conditions of the heart, liver, lungs, intestines, pancreas, etc. may require organ transplants. Organ transplantation was once considered an experimental procedure with a low success rate, however, innovations in technology and genetic engineering are helping to usher in a new era.   Dr. Shana Kelley, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and biochemistry, and Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, a professor of thoracic surgery — two researchers at the University of Toronto — have been working to revolutionize organ transplantation with microchips. In medicine, a biomarker is a measurable indicator of the severity or presence of a disease. The aforementioned microchips are called fractal circuit sensors (FraCS) and were designed to test for infection but have been refashioned to locate biomarkers in lung tissue. Although this research is focused on lung transplants, Dr. Kelly says that “any assessment that can be made on the basis of specific molecular markers can be carried out with our chip.” In other words, the innovative microchips could ideally transform the entire organ transplantation practice. Additionally, for the many individuals on waiting lists, implementing this technology would significantly decrease waiting times and allow for more lives to be saved.   It is important to note that human-to-human organ transplantation has only been around since the 1950s, and scientists have worked for many years to develop animal-to-human transplants. While pigs are genetically distant from humans, they...

Harry Potter and the Book of Equality

While we do live in one of the most tolerant eras in history, there is still plenty of prejudice in the world, whether it be outright or hidden. Living in New York City, a place home to almost every kind of creed and culture, I can attest to the progress our world has made, but in many other places there is no where near as much equality. I have even noticed this growing up in the suburbs, but much more extreme cases of prejudice have definitely sprung up both in and out of our country, some much worse than others. These opinions, usually formed at a young age, can be very difficult to change and can clearly have negative consequences for the prejudiced and the victims of their bigotry. So what can be done to help form the correct, accepting kinds of opinions that pave the way for a future of equality? I’m not pretending to be a nobel peace prize winner over here, but I did notice an interesting study connecting a certain piece of literature to a more open, tolerant mindset, that can be read by almost anyone. What books could work this kind of magic, you ask? Only those about the magic boy himself, Harry Potter. An article in the Journal of Applied Psychology concluded from three different studies that reading the Harry Potter series can...