Health and Medicine
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We are pleased to be joined by Dorothy Achu, Regional Malaria Adviser, WHO African Region; Aimable Mbituyumuremyi, Director, National Malaria Control Program, Ministry of Health, Rwanda; Adam Aspinall, Senior Director, Access and Product Management, and George Jagoe, Executive Vice-President Medicines for Malaria Venture. To learn about antimalarial drug resistance in Africa to ensure patients can continue to be saved.
Dr Kerstin Kleinschmidt-Doerr | Could R399E Become a Promising Treatment for Restoring Joints and Relieving Pain in Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a painful and progressive joint disorder that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Typically, the options for treating the condition involve exercise or medication to reduce pain. However, these methods do not target the underlying structural problems in the joints of patients. Recently, researchers have uncovered a genetic susceptibility to osteoarthritis associated with a protein called GDF5, which is involved in skeletal growth and development. Alongside a team of scientists across Europe, Dr Kerstin Kleinschmidt-Doerr at Merck has explored a modified form of the GDF5 protein, named R399E, which showed effects in animal models and in-vitro experiments for treating pain and the underlying structural problems in osteoarthritis.
Dr Xiaomu Li | Understanding Diabetes: Revealing the Links Between High Blood Pressure and Insulin Resistance
Cases of type 2 diabetes are on the rise around the world, so gaining a deeper understanding of this chronic condition is vital to ensure early diagnosis and good outcomes for patients. Dr Xiaomu Li and her colleagues at Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University are conducting important research to understand the risk factors associated with developing type 2 diabetes. Their findings will help healthcare providers to identify patients at high risk of diabetes, enabling early diagnosis and targeted interventions to prevent the development of the condition.
Acute vestibular syndrome is one of the most common reasons people present at hospital with dizziness. The symptoms can arise from damage within the brain or the ear, and specialist medical knowledge or equipment is typically needed to determine the specific cause. Dr Nakatsuka from the University of Sydney in Australia has conducted a large-scale analysis and review of the published literature to determine whether well-trained emergency physicians can differentiate between the two causes, using a quick bedside physical examination without expensive special equipment.
Professor Anne Summach – Titus Chan – Tammy O’Rourke | A New Index to Assess Frailty and Promote Healthy Ageing
In their recent research, Anne Summach, Titus Chan and Tammy O’Rourke at the University of Alberta explore the factors that determine healthy ageing and frailty in seniors. They formulate and test a new index for assessing strengths and deficits in individuals to create targeted interventions.
Cell membranes are critical for life. Effectively extracting proteins with naturally associated lipids from cell membranes is necessary for research, but traditional methods may damage these membrane components and limit the accuracy of scientific data. Dr Youzhong Guo at Virginia Commonwealth University has recently developed a revolutionary method for extracting membrane components in the form of Native Cell Membrane Nanoparticles. His team’s exciting work advances our understanding of the structure, function and interactions of membrane proteins and lipids.
Paediatric healthcare workers often experience poor mental health and burnout. While specially trained facility dogs have been found to positively impact patient well-being, little research has focused on the benefits for professionals. Clare Jensen and her colleagues from Purdue University and the University of Arizona have undertaken a study demonstrating the positive impact these dogs can have on the mental health of paediatric healthcare workers.
Individuals with chemical intolerance may experience an array of symptoms following exposure to toxicants commonly found inside the home. Researchers at UT Health San Antonio, USA, have demonstrated that improving indoor air quality reduces the symptoms of chemical intolerance. One of their most important recommendations is to create a clean air oasis in your own home to ensure the air that you breathe is as free as possible from smoke, chemicals, fragrances, and other common indoor pollutants.
Stroke can impair a person’s ability to communicate, resulting in a disorder known as aphasia. To facilitate recovery, scientists must understand how language is processed normally as well as how a stroke may impact the language system in the brain. Dr Cynthia K. Thompson, Ralph and Jean Sundin Professor of Communication Science and Professor of Neurology at Northwestern University, has been researching normal and disordered language for over thirty years. Her focus is on understanding and supporting the recovery of language processes when the brain has been damaged.
After the amputation of a lower limb, amputees can learn to walk with an artificial replacement for that limb known as a prosthesis. However, this can be challenging due to the loss of somatosensory information such as the perception of touch and pressure. Dr Jozina de Graaf of Aix-Marseille University in France is working with colleagues to find a solution to this lack of somatosensory feedback and improve approaches to rehabilitation for lower limb amputees.
People living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) now have very effective treatment options to allow them to live long lives but the need for new and improved therapeutics remains. Dr Delphine Muriaux from Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Montpellier, France, researches HIV infection and replication utilising advanced state-of-the-art microscopy. This super-resolution imaging has led to new findings on the importance of the HIV-1 Gag proteins and the cellular host co-factor IRSp53, a membrane curving protein, and how they interact with host cell membranes.
Sexual pain, often referred to as vaginismus and dyspareunia, can be a debilitating condition that prevents many women from having penetrative sexual intercourse. While many studies have investigated this disorder, its psychological underpinnings are not yet fully understood. Dr Thula Koops, Christian Wiessner, Professor Johannes Ehrenthal, and Professor Peer Briken at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf recently explored some of the psychological dimensions of women’s sexual pain. They conducted this research from the standpoint of psychodynamics, which involves exploring links to childhood experiences and unconscious thoughts and feelings.
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