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Current News in Health

Every Childhood Vaccine May Go into a Single Jab

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed microscopic, vaccine-storing particles that can release an initial dose and booster shots at specific times. With these particles, the large amount of childhood vaccines could be reduced to one single shot. Unlike previous attempts in creating an all-in-one vaccine which slowly released medicine over a long period of time, this technology releases the vaccines in short, sharp doses which closely resemble current immunization programs. Thus far, the micro-particles have been shown to work in mice models, and more capsules designed to release vaccines at precise dates are in development.

From: BBC Health News

 

Killing cancer with vitamin C: Hype or hope?

Although the number of people who die from cancer annually has decreased, cancer is still the second-largest cause of death worldwide.  High-dose Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, injections have been shown to be successful in treating a wide variety of cancers in clinical trials.  Its ability to target multiple types of cancer comes from its molecular function.  In one study, Vitamin C induced apoptosis of colorectal cancer cells through oxidative damage.  In another, it corrected a genetic control mechanism mutation that normally leads to leukemia.  Of course, not all studies that used Vitamin C resulted in successful treatment, especially since the effect of Vitamin C in combination with other cancer treatments is not yet well known.  However, the treatment does show promise for the future of cancer research.

From: Medical News Today 

 

Zika virus may be effective against brain cancer, researchers claim

Although the zika virus made headlines in causing birth defects in unborn children, researchers now believe it can be used to help fight the most common type of brain cancer, glioblastoma. So far, the virus has proven effective in mice by specifically targeting and killing patient-derived glioblastoma cells. Researchers believe it could potentially be a new form of treatment for those who are not responsive to chemotherapy and radiation.

From: Fox News Health

 

Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing

With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.  Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women -- close to 100 percent -- who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy.  While the tests are optional, around 80 to 85 percent of pregnant women choose to take the prenatal screening test.

From: CBS Health News

Health Profession of the Week

Perfusionist

Perfusionists are specialized healthcare professionals who assume the role of the heart and the lungs by providing oxygenated blood to the patient’s body during medical procedures in which a surgeon must work on a still heart. They mainly work in the operating room and are employed by medical centers. To become a certified clinical perfusionist (CCP), you must have a Bachelor’s degree and training from an accredited program.

From: Explore Health Careers

Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT)

Certified vision rehabilitation therapists assist patients with visual impairments in living safe and independent lives.  They often work one-on-one with patients and help them adjust to their home and work environments, as well as facilitating psychosocial adjustment to vision impairment.  CVRTs can work in center-based or itinerant settings, such as patients’ homes and workplaces.

From: Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals

Cytotechnologist

Cytotechnologists are laboratory professionals who study cells and cellular anomalies to help identify diseases and conditions, hopefully while it is still treatable. To become a cytotechnologist, you must have a Bachelor's degree and graduate from an accredited cytotechnology program. Work settings are generally in hospitals or commercial laboratories.

From: Explore Health Careers

Prosthodontist

Prosthodontists specialize in treating and handling dental and facial problems that involve restoring missing tooth and jaw structures. A prosthodontist is highly trained in cosmetics, dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, temporomandibular disorders (TMJ/TMD), and more.

From: American College of Prosthodontists

Healthcare Interpreter

Healthcare interpreters facilitate communication between patients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and their physicians, nurses, lab technicians and other health care providers. Healthcare interpreters are a key part of a healthcare team because communication errors can be a risk and a liability to health care providers. Certification and years of experience in interpreting can lay the foundation for healthcare interpreting.

From: Interpreter Education: Healthcare

Rheumatologist

A rheumatologist is a type of physician who specializes in diagnosing/detecting and treating musculoskeletal diseases and systemic autoimmune conditions. The diseases that they will typically treat are those that affect the joints, muscles, and bones causing pain, swelling, stiffness and deformity. This specialty requires two to three additional years of rheumatology fellowship on top of a three year internal medicine or pediatric residency. Many rheumatic diseases fall under the classification of an autoimmune disease and therefore, a major component of a rheumatologist's job is to treat the immune system.

From American College of Rheumatology

Periodontist

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease and oral inflammation as well as in the placement of dental implants. They receive three additional years of education beyond dental school.  They offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned), root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed) and other surgical procedures. In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.

From American Academy of Periodontology