Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Light therapy could be a new approach to treating patients with pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to treat, largely because of the location of the pancreas close to major arteries and vital organs, and the effects of a poorly functioning pancreas on the rest of the body. It is one of the top 10 leading causes of death from cancer worldwide, and in the UK kills around 6500 people every year.

Doctors gave intravenous photosensitising agent (meso-tetrahydroxyphenyl chlorin) to 16 patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Three days later they ins

Possible to detect causes of autism in over a third of cases

It may be possible to find the causes for autism in over a third of cases, suggests research in the Journal of Medical Genetics. And these are likely to include a range of factors.

Autism is a chronic and severe disorder that takes the form of severely impaired language and social skills, delayed development, and repetitive behaviours. Three times as many boys as girls are affected, and three quarters of those with autism will have a mental disability. It is thought that a combination of a g

Sight for sore eyes

An inventive breakthrough from the Applied Optics Group at the University of Kent at Canterbury (UKC) is set to revolutionise current methods of eye examinations.

Professor David Jackson, Dr Adrian Podoleanu and Dr John Rogers, who gained his doctorate at Kent, have developed an instrument known as an Optical Dual Channel Tomograph. The instrument blends together two imaging technologies. Although in its early stages, it is already being used by ophthalmologists and researchers at New York`

Tobacco industry deceived public with ‘low tar’ cigarettes

The tobacco industry has deliberately deceived the public with “low tar/light” cigarettes, reveals an analysis in a special supplement to Tobacco Control. Industry documents show that companies recognised that low tar products were as dangerous as regular cigarettes, yet marketed them as healthy alternatives.

The authors analysed trade sources and internal US tobacco company documents. These show that the industry feared mounting evidence linking tobacco with lung cancer would discourage smo

3D liver aids surgery

Virtual organ image beamed into OR.

Liver surgeon Rory McCloy carries a wad of CAT scans into his operations. “I spend my life looking at 60 slices of salami,” he says. Peering at the light-box, he constructs a mental picture of a tumour before making a cut. “I’m trying to do a 3D operation with 2D images,” he protests.

Despite the wide availability of 3D graphics programs, they rarely penetrate operating theatres. Frustrated by the technology void, McCloy, of Manchester Roy

Smokers disillusioned and over-optimistic about quitting

Most smokers are disenchanted with smoking and would not smoke if they had their time again, according to a letter in this week’s BMJ. It also shows that smokers’ expectations of how soon they will quit greatly exceed rates of quitting observed in recent history.

A national sample of 893 smokers were asked: “If you had your time again would you start smoking?” Over 80% said that they would not (79% men, 87% women). Those aged 45 to 64 were most regretful, with 90% saying that they would not

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