« Newer storyOlder story »Epilepsy aid uses wearable sensors to predict seizures and call for helpinShare1214 March 2014| 1 commentMore:DesignSlideshows
This wearable design concept helps epilepsy sufferers manage symptoms, predict potential seizures and alert passersby or loved ones when having a fit (+ slideshow).
The Dialog device can be worn as a patch or clipped into watch-like bracelet
The Dialog device, developed by American technology company Artefact, would use a wearable sensor and an iPhone app to help monitor patients' vital signs and keep a log of conditions leading up to, during, and after a seizure.
"There are currently three million epilepsy sufferers in America, and it is the third most common neurological disorder after Alzheimer's and stroke," said Matthew Jordan, the project leader.
Current solutions, according to Artefact, only focus on detection, alert or journaling and don't address the whole experience of living with the condition.
The Dialog would deal with the problem by creating a digital network that connects the person living with epilepsy to caregivers, doctors, and members of the public who have installed the Dialog app with data and instructions on how to give assistance.
The user attaches a nodule to the skin, which can be done either using transparent adhesive paper or by wearing it in a bracket that looks like a watch.
The app alerts carers or bystanders about a seizure and gives instructions so they can help
Using a series of sensors that monitors hydration, temperature, and heart rate, it gathers information on the wearer and stores the data on a smartphone.
Additionally, the sensor would prompt the wearer to take medication and record mood through the sensor's touchscreen, and logs information about local climate conditions that could increase the likelihood of a seizure.
The log helps the wearer reorientate themselves after a seizure
In the event of a fit, the wearer simply grasps the sensor, which alerts a caregiver and anyone within close proximity of the sufferer who has downloaded the app.
"It helps possible first responders be notified that a patient who is nearby is having a sustained seizure, directs the bystander to the patient, gives instructions on how to help the patient through the emergency, and affords a direct line of communication to the family caregiver," said Jordan.
When the seizure ends, information about the length of the seizure, along with other contextual information, is displayed on the user's smartphone to help reorient themselves.
Data collected over time can help the wearer identify triggers and patterns
With the information generated by wearing the sensor, the app will then be able to learn what conditions or vital signs could indicate a potential seizure is imminent and alert all parties. It would also give time for the wearer to take preventative action.
A doctor can would be able to access all of the data generated by the app and make changes to medication or offer insights into causes and symptoms.
"At this point, the device is a concept, but we designed it with technologies and components in mind that are currently in development or being tested in labs and research centres," said Emilia Palaveeva, another member of the Dialog team.
When people have nerve problems such as those caused by spinal injuries, they can lose the ability to feel when their bladder is full. This means that they don't know when it needs to be emptied, resulting in a build-up of pressure that can damage both the bladder and their kidneys. Now, a tiny sensor may offer a better way of assessing their condition, to see if surgery is required or if medication will suffice.
Presently, in order to observe how well the bladder is functioning, a catheter is inserted into the patient's urethra and used to fill their bladder with saline solution. This is understandably uncomfortable for the patient, plus it's claimed to provide an inaccurate picture of what's going on, as the bladder fills up much more quickly than would normally be the case.
That's why scientists at Norwegian research group SINTEF are proposing replacing the catheters with tiny pressure sensors. The current prototypes can be injected into the bladder directly through the skin, and could conceivably stay in place for months or even years, providing readings without any discomfort, and without requiring the bladder to be filled mechanically.
Patients would be able to move around normally, plus the risk of infection would reportedly be reduced. Currently readings are transmitted from the prototypes via a thin wire that extents from the senor out through the skin, although it is hoped that subsequent versions could transmit wirelessly – perhaps even to the patient's smartphone.
Next month, a clinical trial involving three spinal injury patients is scheduled to begin at Norway's Sunnaas Hospital. Down the road, plans call for trials involving 20 to 30 test subjects.
Although they're currently about to be tested in the bladder, the sensors could conceivably be used to measure pressure almost anywhere in the body.
Each of our bodies is utterly unique, which is a lovely thought until it comes to treating an illness -- when every body reacts differently, often unpredictably, to standard treatment. Tissue engineer Nina Tandon talks about a possible solution: Using pluripotent stem cells to make personalized models of organs on which to test new drugs and treatments, and storing them on computer chips. (Call it extremely personalized medicine.)
Cancer is not just one disease. It is a myriad collection of diseases that can affect virtually any cell type or tissue in the human body. Even the major types of cancer that occur most commonly (like breast cancer, lung cancer, or colorectal cancer) do not represent one kind of cancer. Some major forms of cancer manifest as different morphologic variants (perhaps reflecting the specific cell type that gave rise to the cancer), different morphologic subtypes can exhibit differences in genetics and gene expression patterns, and most importantly, even in cases where cancers share morphology, there can be dramatic differences in the underlying molecular signature (genetics and gene expression patterns). The molecular signatures of cancer include gene expression patterns and other genetic factors that influence gene expression and the function of gene products and pathways. Hence, the presence of specific gene mutations, the nature of chromosomal abnormalities, gene copy number variation, aberrations of post-transcriptional regulation and other epigenetic mechanisms combine to influence the overall molecular signature. This complex genetics and gene expression signatures observed among cancers are important because they drive the phenotype of the cancer (including growth rate, invasiveness, and ability for metastatic spread) and in many cases influence the response of a given cancer to various therapeutic agents and approaches.
"As an experiment, I immersed myself in social media for the past three months. I started this blog, joined Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, bought a domain name, and posted on Facebook for the first time in years.
Even within this short period of time, I reaped tangible benefits: I interacted with top physicians from across the world, kept up with the medical literature, participated in discussions with patients about how how rheumatic diseases affect their lives, joined webinars about improving the patient experience, and provided educational information to physicians and patients about autoinflammatory diseases, my clinical interest.
Social media has changed the way that I think about and practice medicine, and it’s only been a few months"
A promising new study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine titled, "Effect of Wasabi Component 6-(Methylsulfinyl)hexyl Isothiocyanate and Derivatives on Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells," reveals the potent Japanese horseradish concoction known as wasabi may help fight highly lethal pancreatic cancer by striking to the very root cause of cancer malignancy and its resistance to conventional treatment.
A team of Taiwanese researchers studied the effects of a naturally occurring wasabi isolate, compound 6-(methylsulfinyl)hexyl isothiocyanate (6-MITC), and two of its synthetic derivatives (I7447 and I7557, respectively), on human pancreatic cancer cells. They used two pancreatic cell lines known as PANC-1 and BxPC-3, respectively, and measured their responses to the wasabi derived compounds using the following techniques:
Drinking two or more diet drinks a day may increase the risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, in otherwise healthy postmenopausal women, according to a new University of Iowa study. The findings were presented March 30 at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington, D.C.
The study, which analyzed diet drink intake and cardiovascular health in almost 60,000 women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, found that compared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.
"This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome,” says Dr.Ankur Vyas, a fellow in cardiovascular disease at UI Hospitals and Clinics, and the lead investigator of the study.
The central theme of personalized medicine is the premise that an individual’s unique physiologic characteristics play a significant role in both disease vulnerability and in response to specific therapies.
The major goals of personalized medicine are therefore to predict an individual’s susceptibility to developing an illness, achieve accurate diagnosis, and optimize the most efficient and favorable response to treatment. The goal of achieving personalized medicine in psychiatry is a laudable one, because its attainment should be associated with a marked reduction in morbidity and mortality.
In this review, we summarize an illustrative selection of studies that are laying the foundation towards personalizing medicine in major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. In addition, we present emerging applications that are likely to advance personalized medicine in psychiatry, with an emphasis on novel biomarkers and neuroimaging.
Excerpt From the Conclusion:
The prospect of personalized medicine in psychiatry more or less reflects ideals still largely unrealized. Currently, the field is at the information-gathering infancy stage.
The greatest progress can be expected at the intersections of the categories described above, such as gene × environment and genes × biomarkers, which will poise psychiatry to make biological system-based evaluations. Furthermore, some of the emerging applications, including imaging genomics, strengthen our conviction that the future for personalized medicine is highly promising.
With the entry of “Millenials” into medical residency programs across the country, institutions have started to examine ways to improve programs to correspond with that generation’s learning behaviors and preferences.
Jim Bourg/ReutersImagine you are a medical student, volunteering in a research study to help out a friend. The fMRI during a memory test also happens to pick up a life-threatening aneurysm. Instead of starting classes, you are rushed to the OR.
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