Mind Boggling Medical Innovations

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  October 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM Lifestyle and Wellness
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Stem cells heal hearts: Stem cell therapy is round the corner. These cells are amazing as they identify the part of the system that needs repair the most. Since 2009, extensive research is being conducted on whether it is safe for heart patients to undergo stem cell therapy. Studies proved that by using stem cells to treat patients, it could actually repair damaged heart cells - caused by heart attacks. Bed ridden patients are now active and could jog an entire football field, thanks to the amazing healing power of stem cells.
 Mind Boggling Medical Innovations
Mind Boggling Medical Innovations

Pain relief that has an amazing bonus: For patients suffering from a terminal illness, pain relief improved quality of life of the patient. By using pain relief methods the life span of lung cancer patients can be increased by 3 months, but it was rejected under mercy killing. It was also categorized as palliative care.

A life-saving test for lung cancer: A CT scanof the chest can save lives of heavy smokers due to lung cancer. This scan timely done can bring down lung cancer cases to bare minimum. Heavy smokers can cut down their risk of dying by 20%.

Better, effective CPR: Cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been saving millions of lives worldwide. Rumor is, it just got better. Earlier, the classic push and breath method was considered among the best methods, but now, it's the hands only method that is thought to save more lives. Studies suggest that if your heart were to suddenly stop when you walked down the road, you'd have a very little chance of getting a CPR from a bystander. Also, bystanders would be much more willing to help if they didn't have to worry about the germs passed on from a stranger's mouth. On the other hand, the hands-on method is easy to learn and implement.

New method to combat skin cancer: Melanoma, the most feared of all cancers - a skin cancer, which is known to claim lives within six months, can now be treated by two new drugs-PLX4032 and Ipilimumbab. These drugs produced jaw-dropping results in shrinking melanoma tumors and spurred 'pinch-me' moments for researchers. Ipilimumbab works by boosting the body's immune system so that it can fight cancer aggressively, doubling the number of surviving patients. PLX4032, on the other hand, managed to shrink tumors in 81% patients.

Anti-smoke vaccine: This one may definitely raise eyebrows, but the fact is, that there's a new 'anti-smoke' vaccine in town, that holds promise for 90% of quitters who relapse. After 6 monthly injections, almost all the patients experienced a less or no pleasurable feeling after smoking a cigarette. NicVAX - builds up antibodies against nicotine. When a person smokes and nicotine enters the bloodstream, it attaches itself to the nicotine molecules, making them too large to reach the 'pleasure center' of the brain. The craving is killed, thus helping chain smokers who are desperately trying to quit smoking. This vaccine has an added bonus. Unlike other anti-smoke drugs, this one has fewer side effects.

No drill dental work: Getting to a cavity in a decaying tooth involves extensive drilling, which may scrape away the healthy parts of the tooth. ICON, a new breakthrough in dental procedures introduced a new technique where liquid resin is injected in the tooth. This reaches the decayed part of the tooth faster than traditional metal or composite fillings and once it reaches the problem spot, it solidifies and prevents the cavity from progressing. This technique does not require anesthesia.

Needle-free vaccines: There are many people who fear injections. Boston University researchers are working on a new method of inoculation, which is 'needle-free'. The vaccine is deposited inside nanoparticles that are almost the size of the human pore, which is then placed on the skin. A mild electrical charge is now applied on the skin which helps transport the particles through the skin to the cells.

Colonoscopy in a capsule: Colon cancer is among the most curable cancers, especially when detected early. However, the thought of an investigative colonoscopy complete with fasting, cleansing solutions, anesthesia and a day off from work may seem too hard for some. Early detection becomes even more difficult when the symptoms like lower abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits are frequently ignored.

But what if you could swallow a camera-carrying pill that would take images and send them to your doctor's computer screen? This less-fuss approach is just about to enter your life.

Doctor robot: Physician operated robots are the wonder of the century. These robots are being extensively used in procedures, which require a delicate touch. They are programmed to carry out an entire surgical procedure without assistance by a physician. The ultrasound system in the robot takes scans and the artificial intelligence program processes the information and undertakes the task accordingly. The era of the humanoid is here.

Hope for heart patients: For patients who are too sick and fragile for heart transplants, Heart Mate II is a savior. This device is run by a turbine engine almost the size of a D sized battery.  It routes the oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body through the turbine.  It has dramatically doubled the chances of survival in more than 4000 patients it was tested on. After clinical trials in Australia, hopefully, will reach India by the next year.

New weapon again TB: Tuberculosis is among the major diseases that claim millions of lives each year, and even though early diagnosis and treatment can help cure this disease, the standard test, being unreliable, causes a huge number of undiagnosed cases every year. This can pose a threat in future, considering the fact that the bacteria causing tuberculosis may develop resistance and become impervious to the medication. In this developed world when traveling just became easier, there is a risk of multi drug resistant TB from an immigrant or an infected tourist.

The new test, however, is 99% effective and shows results within 100 minutes, which is an extraordinary achievement compared to the standard 3 month wait in the conventional detection method. The Indian Council of Medical Research is soon going to introduce these low-cost, rapid TB test kits to help early detection and treatment.

Heart repair with barely a cut: Till now, there weren't many treatment options for someone who had his aortic valve (the valve that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body) blocked with calcium deposits. Surgeons had to break open through the sternum to reach the heart, or opt for drugs (less invasive and ineffective treatment) for old or sick patients. However, now the treatment can be carried out by a process known as TAVI (Transcatheter aortic valve implantation) which involves snaking a catheter tube through the groin. Implementing this procedure will make treatment easier for fragile patients and those looking for minimally invasive and non-surgical procedures.

A daily pill to prevent cancer: The pill in your medicine box may help you fight colon cancer; according to research. Studies have proved that a regular dose of aspirin cuts down the risk of colon cancer by at least 35%. And it's not just limited to aspirin. The diabetes drug metformin is said to protect against lung and colon cancers. It's not a wise idea to start popping these pills every day, considering that they have serious side effects on long term use. However, if you have been taking them as your prescription drug, you're doing yourself a life-saving favor.

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Source: Medindia

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