research

What Does Hepatitis C Treatment Look Like In The Future?

You’ve probably heard about Hepatitis C treatment options. There are regularly commercials advertising medications that inform treat the issue. Perhaps you have an acquaintance that has been afflicted by the virus. Or maybe you’re concerned that you’ve somehow contracted the virus. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misunderstanding about Hepatitis C, how it varies from other strains of Hepatitis, and how it can be treated. These misunderstandings often lead to fear, frustration, and confusion. If that’s you, have no fear. The issue really isn’t that complicated. Once you know the facts, you’ll be equipped to discuss and even be treated for it if necessary. Consider this your primer on Hepatitis C. We’re going to break down the what, why, and how of the virus so that you can make appropriate and informed decisions. What is Hepatitis C? As the disease progresses and becomes chronic, it starts to wreak havoc on the liver. Over time, it may lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, cancer, blood infections and hemoglobin diseases, autoimmune weakness, and all manner of horrible complications in the gastrointestinal tract. The spread of infection of Hepatitis C is mostly through blood-to-blood contact. Unlike other strains of Hepatitis, there are few cases of it being propagated through unsafe sex. In most case, the HCV is spread through intravenous drug use, poor sterilized medical equipment, from mother to child during pregnancy, or open...

Learn How to Workout Like Tom Brady

Are you starting to think that your fitness goals are out of reach? You’ve read so many articles and tried all the tips, but you can’t achieve your goals. It’s rough, especially if you are competitive … so much effort with so little success. But maybe there is a more simple way to achieving peak fitness and performance: Tom Brady, the football quarterback for the New England Patriots, wants to share his 5 step winning fitness routine with you. These five simple steps are guaranteed to improve your fitness and performance. Nothing complicated, no additional expense – just focus and commitment. Nothing else! That’s all you need to achieve your goals. Learn how to workout like Tom Brady. Hiw success comes down to to five simple steps, and they’re all about lifestyle. It’s about dedication to your goal every day. No days off. But once you buy into Tom’s fitness routine you won’t want days off because this is really a way of life rather than a routine. This is how Tom Brady does it: 1. Muscle pliability training 2. Go vegan! Plant protein is best 3. Rehydrate … drink water, water and more water 4. Get 9 hours sleep every night 5. Play sport and work out daily If you also want to improve your fitness, turn it into a game! Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Boston...

Your Microbial Self: What Does Your Gut Tell You?

When most people think of bacteria within your body, what comes to their mind are these nasty unfriendly creatures that cause certain diseases and make them sick. However, that is true only to a certain extent and does not apply to all species of bacteria. Research has actually determined that there are trillions of beneficial bacteria inside our body that help us in performing life-sustaining functions at all times. These good bacteria indeed make up our internal ecosystem that we call the ‘microbiome’. The microbiome inhabits everything from our skin and genitals, to our mouths and eyes, and a vast majority of them reside in our intestines and are known as our ‘gut microbiota’. The total number of genes represented by our microbiome likely exceeds the number of our human genes by at least two orders of magnitude! Appropriately so, we are but an amalgamation of our human selves and our ‘microbial selves’. These diverse organisms in our microbiome govern nearly every function in the human body. Traditionally, it was thought that the gut microbiota effects are limited to the host’s digestive tract but more recent research has proven that the effects of the microbiome on our health are far-reaching, hence making it vital for our survival. You can think of the microbiome as an intricate web that connects to virtually all processes in our body. The current scientific...

The Best 2018 Diets (And The Worst 2017 Diets)

Every year we start with the best intentions: “This is the year I’m going to exercise more, eat better and lose weight.” But now that we’ve rung in another new year, you might be wondering why your efforts in 2017 fell short. Whether you went Paleo, tried the Dukan Diet or cut out nearly everything that makes life worth living with the Whole30 Program, you might have found that the latest fad diets didn’t live up to their promises. Worst Diets of 2017 The worst diet of 2017, as ranked by U.S. News, was Whole30. For 30 days you are required to avoid all sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy. If you follow the 30 day program to the letter, it’s highly likely that you’ll lose weight. But as an overall health and wellness strategy, it falls far short of its claims to “change your life forever.” Nutritionists have slammed Whole30 for making outsized claims with no scientific support. By avoiding dairy, legumes and grains, you are cutting out a lot of essential nutrients, such as vitamin D and calcium. It is severely restrictive, and doesn’t help the dieter build a long-term strategy for a healthy lifestyle, which is the best way to improve your health. Following closely behind Whole30 was the Dukan Diet and Paleo. The Dukan diet was also criticized for being too restrictive with...

The Latest Breakthrough in CTE Research for Your Football Players

Dr. Bennet Omalu, the inspirational character behind the movie Concussion starring Will Smith, and the lead author of the study claiming to have correctly diagnosed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a living patient over 4 years before his death, identified the now deceased patient who was the subject of this announcement as Fred McNeill, former linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings. Although this is only one case, and researchers admit more evidence is needed before making further conclusions, this marks the first time a diagnosis of CTE was indicated during a patient’s life and then confirmed by an autopsy after the patient’s death. This is a great breakthrough in CTE research in alleviating and preventing CTE for football players, but we will need more data to adequately diagnose it. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a progressive degenerative brain disease associated with repetitive head trauma. Currently, CTE can only be confirmed post-mortem. In a new study from JAMA earlier this year, researchers examined the brains of 202 deceased former football players — more than half of them from the NFL — and talked to their family members to identify pathological and clinical features of CTE. CTE has affected football players of all ages, including a player student athlete that committed suicide because he had known about the condition: While it is unknown whether Madison had the same disease, the link between these two well-liked, successful, and smart young...

The Pros and Cons of Having Dyslexia

Dyslexia can be described as a general term for disorders that hinder one’s ability to read and interpret words, pictures, and other visuals. While this condition can’t be cured, there are  treatment options available for those diagnosed with dyslexia and can be identified easily at an early age. Did you know that 10% of the population in the UK suffer from the disorder? Over 700 million people worldwide suffer from the disorder. Dyslexia brings along many unexpected boons, such as high creativity and superior thought processing, and can easily be overcome with the right specialist, attention, tutoring, therapy, and other treatment options. Famous figures such as Steven Spielberg and Albert Einstein suffered from the disease, so it is definitely possible to become a successful person even with the disorder. Researchers are working day-to-day looking for ways at a better quality of life for dyslexics. For example, the BBC reports that a new typeface – Dyslexie – helps dyslexics read, by tweaking some of the characters. There are even applications such as Snaptype and Mental Note developed for individuals with visual impairments. How does dyslexia affect the human person? How can dyslexic individuals challenge themselves to overcome its impairments? Here is an infographic by Wooden Toy Shop detailing its challenges and gifts, and how to learn and succeed despite its setbacks. The Challenges and Gifts of Dyslexia by Wooden Toy...

A Day in the Life of a MD-PhD Student

Physician-scientists are medical doctors who contribute significant effort toward scientific research and play an integral role in the advancement of medical knowledge. They provide a unique perspective to the research community through first-hand experience with patients and the problems they face, but they also have the research skills to directly address those problems. Examples include Edward Jenner, a physician who created the smallpox vaccine, and Frederick Banting, who isolated and discovered the therapeutic potential of insulin. Modern physician-scientists continue to carry on the tradition of excellency established by these earlier physician-scientists, though they are becoming a smaller part of the biomedical workforce. Being a MD/PhD student looking to become a physician-scientist is a time-consuming process that requires both medical and research training. Research training can be done at various times such as during fellowship, in a research year during medical school, or by completing a PhD. The latter is frequently offered in a dual-degree program in which research and medical training are integrated over approximately 8 years. This is an ideal route for those people interested in effectively translating basic science findings into the clinic. Over the past 4 years, I’ve often been asked by undergraduates interested in a career as a physician-scientist to describe my daily life as a dual-degree MD/PhD student. Yet, I have not because my days are so variable that I’ve found it difficult to...