Tag Archives: Disease

The Hepatitis Outbreak Has Hit Los Angeles, a Week After the Disease Sickened Hundreds in San Diego

The Hepatitis Outbreak Has Hit Los Angeles, a Week After the Disease Sickened Hundreds in San DiegoHere's how this highly contagious infection is transmitted and what you can do to avoid getting it.



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The Hepatitis Outbreak Has Hit Los Angeles, a Week After the Disease Sickened Hundreds in San Diego

The Hepatitis Outbreak Has Hit Los Angeles, a Week After the Disease Sickened Hundreds in San DiegoHere's how this highly contagious infection is transmitted and what you can do to avoid getting it.



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Japan woman dies of tick disease after bitten by sick cat

Japan woman dies of tick disease after bitten by sick catA Japanese woman has died from a tick-borne virus after being bitten by a stray cat in what is possibly the world’s first animal-to-human transmission of the disease. Authorities have since confirmed that she developed SFTS, a disease transmitted by bites from a certain group of virus-carrying ticks. Human-to-human infections of the tick virus through blood contact have been reported, but ministry officials believe the Japanese woman’s death could be the first case of a human dying from the bite of an infected animal.



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Who is Charlie Gard, what is the disease he suffers from and what will the High Court decide today?

Who is Charlie Gard, what is the disease he suffers from and what will the High Court decide today?It has been a heartbreaking legal battle that has captured international attention and drawn offers of support from Donald Trump and the Pope. Now, the parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard are preparing for another legal battle with doctors at the UK's most famous children's hospital. Chris Gard and Connie Yates want a judge to rule today that the 10-month-old, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in the United States. Here is everything you need to know about the case. Who is Charlie Gard? Charlie is a 10-month old patient in intensive care at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London. On August 4, 2016, he was born a "perfectly healthy" baby at full term and at a "healthy weight". After about a month, however,  Charlie's parents noticed that he was less able to lift his head and support himself than other babies of a similar age. Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Credit: PA Doctors discovered he had a rare inherited disease – infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS). The condition causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. In October, after he had became lethargic and his breathing shallow, he was transferred to the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Why was there a legal fight?  Charlie's parents wanted to take him to see specialists in the USA, who had offered an experimental therapy called nucleoside.  A crowdfunding page was set up in January to help finance the therapy. Ribbons and hearts tied to trees outside Great Ormond Street Hospital in London by well wishers backing a campaign to allow terminally ill baby Charlie Gard to be treated in America Credit: PA But doctors at GOSH concluded that the experimental treatment, which is not designed to be curative, would not improve Charlie’s quality of life.  When parents do not agree about a child’s future treatment, it is standard legal process to ask the courts to make a decision. This is what happened in Charlie’s case. What were the stages of the legal battle? March 3: Great Ormond Street bosses asked Mr Justice Francis to rule that life support treatment should stop. The judge was told that Charlie could only breathe through a ventilator and was fed through a tube. April 11: Mr Justice Francis said doctors could stop providing life-support treatment after analysing the case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London He concluded that life-support treatment should end and said a move to a palliative care regime would be in Charlie's best interests.  Connie Yates leaves the Supreme Court after a panel of three Supreme Court justices on dismissed the couple's latest challenge Credit: PA May 3: Charlie's parents then asked Court of Appeal judges to consider the case. May 23: After analysing the case, three Court of Appeal judges dismissed the couple's appeal two days later.  June 8: Charlie's parents then lost their fight in the Supreme Court. Charlie's mother broke down in tears and screamed as justices announced their decision and was led from the court by lawyers. Chris Gard leaves the Supreme Court after it ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street Hospital Credit: PA June 20:  Judges in the European Court of Human Rights started to analyse the case after lawyers representing Charlie's parents make written submissions.  A European Court of Human Rights spokeswoman said the case would get "priority". "In light of the exceptional circumstances of this case, the court has already accorded it priority and will treat the application with the utmost urgency," she added. Supporters outside the Supreme Court Credit: PA June 27: On Tuesday, European court judges refused to intervene. A Great Ormond Street spokeswoman said the European Court decision marked "the end" of a "difficult process". She said there would be "no rush" to change Charlie's care and said there would be "careful planning and discussion". July 10: Charlie's parents return to the High Court and ask Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of the case. Mr Justice Francis gives them less than 48 hours to prove an experimental treatment works. Why is the case back in court? Charlie inherited the faulty RRM2B gene from his parents, affecting the cells responsible for energy production and respiration and leaving him unable to move or breathe without a ventilator. GOSH describes experimental nucleoside therapies as "unjustified" and the treatment is not a cure. The hospital's decision to go back into the courtroom came after two international healthcare facilities and their researchers contacted them to say they have "fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment". What did Charlie's parents argue? Richard Gordon QC, who led Charlie's parents' legal team, had told Court of Appeal judges that the case raised "very serious legal issues". Mum of Charlie Gard says five doctors support her 01:33 "They wish to exhaust all possible options," Mr Gordon said in a written outline of Charlie's parents' case. "They don't want to look back and think 'what if?'. This court should not stand in the way of their only remaining hope." Mr Gordon suggested that Charlie might be being unlawfully detained and denied his right to liberty. He said judges should not interfere with parents' exercise of parental rights. Lawyers, who represented Charlie's parents for free, said Mr Justice Francis had not given enough weight to Charlie's human right to life. They said there was no risk the proposed therapy in the US would cause Charlie "significant harm". Ethics professor: If Charlie Gard was my child I would let him die peacefully 01:22 What did GOSH argue? Katie Gollop QC, who led Great Ormond Street's legal team, suggested that further treatment would leave Charlie in a "condition of existence". She said therapy proposed in the USA was "experimental" and would not help Charlie. "There is significant harm if what the parents want for Charlie comes into effect," she told appeal judges. "The significant harm is a condition of existence which is offering the child no benefit." She added: "It is inhuman to permit that condition to continue." A banner hung on railings outside Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London Credit: PA Ms Gollop said nobody knew whether Charlie was in pain. "Nobody knows because it is so very difficult because of the ravages of Charlie's condition," she said. "He cannot see, he cannot hear, he cannot make a noise, he cannot move." Interventions from Trump and the Vatican While Ms Yates and Mr Gard said they have been boosted by support from US President Donald Trump and the Vatican, a leading expert has described interventions from high-profile figures as "unhelpful". Professor Neena Modi, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said in an open letter that Charlie's situation is "heartbreaking" for his parents, and "difficult" for others including medical staff, but added that even well-meaning interventions from outsiders can be unhelpful. If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017 The interest of the Pope and Mr Trump in Charlie's case has "saved his life so far", his mother has said. Ms Yates told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Yeah, they have saved his life so far. It turned it into an international issue. "There are a lot of people that are outraged by what is going on. We have got new evidence now so I hope the judge changes his mind." Timeline | Charlie Gard case She said that "sometimes parents are right in what they think" and it is not simply that they do not want to switch off life support. She said the family now have seven specialist doctors – two from the US, two from Italy, one from England and two from Spain – who are supporting them. She added: "We expect that structural damage is irreversible, but I have yet to see something which tells me my son has irreversible structural brain damage."



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Expect More Cases of Lyme Disease This Summer, Experts Warn

Expect More Cases of Lyme Disease This Summer, Experts WarnThe CDC estimates that there are about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease every year, and due to a mild winter, scientists are predicting a particularly bad summer ahead.



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Erin Moran Died From Throat Cancer, a Disease That’s Growing Among Younger People

Erin Moran Died From Throat Cancer, a Disease That’s Growing Among Younger PeopleIt's not just a disease of old men and chain-smokers, say experts-but fortunately, many cases can be cured.



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Risk factors for heart disease and stroke also tied to Alzheimer’s

Risk factors for heart disease and stroke also tied to Alzheimer’sBy Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) – Middle-aged people with risk factors for heart attacks and stroke are also more likely to develop changes in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests. Previous research has linked so-called vascular risk factors, including obesity, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure, to higher odds of dementia, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. “Each alone may not be enough to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but having a number of these risk factors appears to be associated with an even higher risk,” Gottesman said by email.



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How Gum Disease May Affect Your Breast Cancer Risk

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Gum disease might increase the risk for breast cancer among postmenopausal women, particularly those who smoke, a new study suggests.

Women with gum disease appeared to have a 14 percent overall increased risk for breast cancer, compared to women without gum disease. And that increased risk seemed to jump to more than 30 percent if they also smoked or had smoked in the past 20 years, researchers said.

“These findings are useful in providing new insight into what causes breast cancer,” said lead author Jo Freudenheim, a professor of epidemiology at the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions in New York.

“There is good evidence, though, that good dental care is important in any case and that treatment of periodontal disease is important for the health of the mouth,” she said.

But more study is needed before there is enough evidence to say that gum disease causes breast cancer or other diseases, Freudenheim said. This study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between the two, a point made by several experts not involved with the study.

A number of studies have found an association between gum disease and other chronic diseases, including stroke, heart attack and other cancers, Freudenheim said.

“There is much to learn about why we see these associations,” she said. “In particular, we don’t know yet if treating the gum disease would decrease risk of these other diseases.”

The report was published Dec. 21 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Dr. Ashish Sahasra, an orthodontist in Garden City, N.Y., said, “This is going to open a lot of people’s eyes to the potential link between gum disease and breast cancer.”

Periodontal disease can cause many health problems, he said. “Gum disease is very common, and sometimes it goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and many people don’t pay attention to it, but it’s a serious disease that needs to be treated immediately,” he added.

For the study, Freudenheim and her colleagues collected data on nearly 74,000 postmenopausal women who took part in the Women’s Health Initiative study. None of the women had a history of breast cancer. After an average follow-up of almost seven years, more than 2,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

The researchers found that women who were smoking at the time of the study appeared to have a 32 percent higher risk for breast cancer if they had gum disease, but the association was not statistically significant, Freudenheim said, because there weren’t many current smokers among the women in the study. Among women who had quit smoking sometime within the past 20 years, those with gum disease seemed to have a 36 percent higher risk of breast cancer.

In addition, women who had never smoked but had gum disease seemed to have a 6 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer, and those who had quit more than 20 years before and had gum disease had an 8 percent higher risk, the study suggested.

Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said, “Although there is a possibility that there is a direct link between gum disease and an increased risk of breast cancer, this study does not prove a direct link.”

More study needs to be done to see if inflammatory factors such as gum disease contribute to the development of breast cancer, she said.

“Women with gum disease may lead lives that are less healthy overall, such as eating poorly, not exercising and drinking excessively,” Bernik explained.

Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said, “We have to be cautious about putting too much emphasis on this study, but look at it in the context of overall health.” Gum disease might be a sign of overall poor health and not the specific cause of breast cancer, he said.

More information

Visit the American Cancer Society for more on breast cancer.



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Chronic gum disease tied to risk of erectile dysfunction

By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – Erectile dysfunction is more common in men with gum disease, according to a new review of existing studies. Chronic bacterial infection of the gums, or periodontitis, is common and a major cause of tooth loss for adults, the authors write. The condition has been tied to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and general inflammation, which in turn have been tied stroke and hardening of the arteries.
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Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative pledges $3 billion to curing, managing disease

Pricilla Chan announces the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to "cure, prevent or manage all disease" by the end of the century during a news conference at UCSF Mission Bay in San FranciscoFacebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, on Wednesday pledged more than $ 3 billion toward a plan to "cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children's lifetime." Investments will include a bioscience research center, called the Biohub, and plans for a chip to diagnose diseases, continuous bloodstream monitoring and a map of cell types in the body. Chan and Zuckerberg will donate $ 600 million over the next decade to the Biohub research center, which will bring together San Francisco Bay-area researchers and scientists from the University of California San Francisco, the University of California Berkeley and Stanford University. Two initial projects of the research center will be a Cell Atlas, a map of cells controlling the body's major organs, and the Infectious Disease Initiative, which develops new tools, tests, vaccines and strategies for fighting diseases such as HIV, Ebola and Zika.



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