The medical opinions and advices contained in this blog are those of the respective authors and should serve as guides. The patient themselves have the final decision with what to do to their health.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Sniff-controlled wheelchairs coming soon

Paraplegics and quadriplegics may soon enable themselves to become mobile using wheelchairs that they can maneuver easily by sniffing.

Thanks to Israeli scientists these low-tech wheelchairs will set the handicapped free.

One sniff to go forward, two sniffs to on reverse direction, one sniff out tells the wheelchair to go left, one sniff in to turn right. It's easy!

Watch it in action below.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Robots successfully removed lung tumors

Two high-tech operations that use robots were successfully performed in Singapore that marked a first in Southeast Asia.

The removal of lobes of lungs, or lobectomies, which uses robots enabled surgeons to successfully remove early stage lung tumors from two patients.

The state-of-the-art operation have been carried out with success at the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) since August.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

'Tipsy alcohol' gene, a cure for addiction?

Are you an alcoholic? If not, be happy. You could be among the 10 to 20 percent of all the people who are lucky to have the brain gene, CVP2EI.

According to US scientists, people who have the 'tipsy alcohol' gene are less likely to tolerate alcohol and feel drunk easily with just a few glasses.

In their published study, hundreds of college students--with at least one alcoholic parent--were interviewed after they were told to consume alcohol or soda drinks.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Botox approved for chronic migraine

Here is good news to those who suffer from migraine.
The US and the UK have approved the use of anti-wrinkle drug, Botox, to prevent attacks of chronic migraine.
But not all migraine sufferers will need Botox. According to the Food and Drug Administration, patients will be prescribed by doctors if they suffer from severe form of migraine on at least 15 days a month.
Chronic migraine is characterized by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, intense sensitivity to light and noise, in addition to moderate to severe pain.
Botox is currently approved for uncontrolled blinking, crossed eyes, neck muscle spasms, excessive underarm sweating, muscle spasticity in upper extremities, as well as cosmetic use to smoothen lines between eyebrows.
Read more below.
Botox Shots Approved for Migraine

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Botox, the anti-wrinkle shot from Allergan, as a treatment to prevent chronic migraines, a little more than a month after the company agreed to pay $600 million to settle allegations that it had illegally marketed the drug for unapproved uses like headaches for years.
Joshua Lott for The New York Times
A migraine patient in Arizona receiving Botox injections.
Joshua Lott for The New York Times
Allergan says sales of Botox for chronic migraine and other medical uses will eclipse sales of the drug as a wrinkle smoother.
The agency’s decision endorses doctors’ use of Botox to treat patients who suffer from a severe form of migraineinvolving headaches on at least 15 days a month. Britain’s drug agency approved Botox for the same use this summer.
Botox is already approved by the F.D.A. to treat uncontrolled blinking; crossed eyes; certain neck muscle spasms; excessive underarm sweating; and stiffness associated with muscle spasticity in the elbows and hands. It also is approved for cosmetic purposes — to smooth lines between the eyebrows.
Botox had worldwide sales last year of about $1.3 billion, divided equally between medical and cosmetic uses.
But Allergan said sales of Botox for chronic migraine and other medical uses would soon eclipse sales of the drug as a wrinkle smoother. Allergan is also studying the drug for a variety of new medical uses, including overactive bladder, said Dr. Scott M. Whitcup, the company’s executive vice president for research and development.
“For the business, Botox has been an incredible medication. We call it our pipeline in a vial,” Dr. Whitcup said. “People still think about it as a cosmetic product, but the therapeutic indications in the next five years will far surpass its cosmetic use.”
Industry analysts have forecast worldwide sales of the drug for the severe migraine condition at $250 million to more than $1 billion annually by 2015.
Unlike the occasional headache, the chronic migraine condition is often accompanied by nausea, vomitingdizziness, intense sensitivity to light and noise, and moderate to severe pain.
The audience for Botox headache shots could be significant because some chronic migraine patients do not improve when they take the pills that are now the standard treatment, neurologists said. Treatments include pills like Topamax, taken daily to prevent migraine, and the triptan family of drugs, taken to ease an existing migraine.
Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin, a nerve poison produced by the bacteria that causes botulism. Injections of Botox typically act to temporarily blunt nerve signals to certain muscles or glands. Researchers are still exploring how the drug works on migraines. Dr. Whitcup said one theory was that it blocked pain signals from reaching nerve endings.
A Botox migraine treatment generally involves a total of 31 injections in seven areas — including the forehead, temples, the back of the head, the neck and shoulders. To treat the chronic condition, injections are given about every three months.
Industry analysts estimated that the migraine treatment would cost $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the amount of the drug used and the physician’s fee. Some private insurers are likely to cover the migraine treatment now that it has received F.D.A. approval, analysts said, although patients may have to cover a significant co-payment.
“The cost is prohibitive for some,” Randall Stanicky, a vice president for global research atGoldman Sachs, said in an interview earlier this year. “But given the debilitating challenges of having migraines more than 15 days a month, if Botox can cut down on that, it’s clearly going to be a big opportunity.”
Other analysts have expressed skepticism that doctors and patients would embrace the drug, arguing that Botox has a marginal effect on headaches compared with a placebo.
“The true drug effect is minimal,” Corey Davis, an analyst at Jefferies & Company, said in an interview earlier this year.
Patients in one study financed by Allergan, for example, typically experienced about five fewer headache episodes a month than they had before the study — no matter whether they had injections of Botox or a placebo.
After Allergan reviewed the results of that first study, the company changed the primary end point — the scientific goal post — on a second study so that it would focus on the drug’s effect on the number of headache days rather than the number of headache episodes that a person experienced each month. Dr. Whitcup said it was easier for patients to remember how many headache days as opposed to how many headache episodes they had every month.
The second study reported that patients who received Botox injections typically experienced about 2.3 fewer headache days than the placebo group, a statistically significant difference. But the placebo group also experienced considerable improvement — a common feature in pain studies — raising questions among some doctors about the magnitude of the Botox effect.
Dr. Whitcup said Botox had consistently beaten the placebo at different time points in the study and that patients had reported an improvement in their daily functioning and quality of life.
Although the F.D.A. approved the drug for the chronic condition, the agency said in its statement Friday that Botox had not been shown to work for the occasional headache or migraine.
Common side effects were neck pain and headaches. But neurologists point to a more welcome side effect for some — fewer wrinkles.


Friday, October 15, 2010

15 Oct. is Global Handwashing Day

Today is the first Global Handwashing Day.

Dirty hands are the surest way to spread diseases. So people need to wash their hands frequently.

Following the UN directives, the Global Handwashing Day will mobilize millions of people in over 20 countries to wash their hands with soap.

Have you washed your hands yet?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The 6th APOCB Congress

The Philippine Society for Cell Biology and the Philippine Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology under the auspices of the International Federation for Cell Biology announces the 6th APOCB Congress that will be held at EDSA, Shangri-La, Manila, Philippines on 25-28 February 2011.

This year's theme of the Asian-Pacific Organization for Cell Biology is "Challenges in Cell Biology: Health, Agriculture, Industry and Education".

Catch the deadline for early bird registration and submission of abstracts on 15 December 2010.

For inquiries, visit this link:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hokkaido University wins its first Nobel Prize

Hi friend,

Today marks a historic event for Hokkaido University as it receives its first Nobel Prize. Prof. Emeritus Akira Suzuki is one of two Japanese Nobel laureates to win the prestigious award Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this year. Click here to continue reading: Hokkaido University wins its first Nobel Prize


JAPAN Lights and Shadows


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is sperm nutritious?

Sperm is biological substance that is contained in bodily fluid called spermatic fluid secreted by males in order to fertilize the eggs of the females. It is through the union of a sperm cell and egg cell that humans are conceived.

No, this video is not about the hotly debated family planning bill. This is about the myth which says that sperm is nutritious.

Toasted Skin Syndrome

We have heard the health hazards of the new electronic gadgets these days such as the increased risk of developing brain cancer, Facebook addiction, eye problems and all.

Another health problem first described in 2004 is a computer-induced lesion caused by resting a laptop on the thighs. The heat generated by a laptop is enough to cause burns, which may increase the risk of developing skin cancers.

Researchers in Switzerland reported a 10-year old boy, the youngest patient known to have the laptop-induced dermatosis, who developed a sponge-patterned discoloration on his left thigh after playing computer games with his laptop resting on his upper legs a few hours per day for several months.

The condition could be prevented by placing a heat insulator in between the skin and the computer, say the laptop's casing. Read more below.