Systems

From The Archives: Metabolic Syndrome: Fact or Myth?

May 22, 2014
From The Archives: Metabolic Syndrome: Fact or Myth?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated September 30, 2011

By Vicky Jones, MD

A 40-year-old female presented to her primary care provider with a chief complaint of weight gain over the past year.  She wants to be fully evaluated for any kind of medical disorder that could have caused it.  She has been seen by multiple specialists but no one can give her a “straight diagnosis”.  Their advice is for her to lose weight.  She insists she never had problems with her weight …

Read more »

Help Versus Hope: Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors in Alzheimer’s Disease

May 21, 2014
Help Versus Hope: Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors in Alzheimer’s Disease

By Jonathan Gursky

Peer Reviewed

Approximately 5.2 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) , with this number expected to triple by the year 2050 . Alzheimer’s disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and accounts for $100 billion in healthcare expenditures each year . Nevertheless, the most devastating and far-reaching effects of Alzheimer’s disease hit close to home. While those with the disease progressively lose their memory, speech, and independence, it is the caretaker who …

Read more »

New Cholesterol Guidelines: How Safe Are High-Potency Statins?

May 14, 2014
New Cholesterol Guidelines: How Safe Are High-Potency Statins?

By Molly Anderson

Peer Reviewed

Managing hyperlipidemia is a mainstay of cardiovascular risk reduction. The 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines no longer target specific low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels, but recommend lipid-lowering therapies of varying intensity based on the predicted risk of cardiovascular events . Adoption of the new guidelines would result in millions more Americans receiving high-potency statins; it is therefore important to investigate potential dangers associated with aggressive therapy and the long-term implications for patients.

Many studies have shown that strict adherence to lipid-lowering medications improves …

Read more »

Lung Cancer Screening with Low-Dose CT Scans

May 9, 2014
Lung Cancer Screening with Low-Dose CT Scans

By Susanna Jeurling

Peer Reviewed

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently finalized its position regarding annual low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scanning for early detection of lung cancer. The grade B recommendation states that individuals between the ages of 55 and 80 with a 30 pack-year history or more of smoking who are current smokers or who have quit within the last 15 years should undergo annual LDCT screening, based on the results of the National Lung Screening Trial . Lung cancer is the …

Read more »

Infection Transmission During Air Travel

May 7, 2014
Infection Transmission During Air Travel

By Aaron Smith, MD

Peer Reviewed

It’s become a familiar site to travelers: airline passengers wearing respiratory masks to filter pathogens from the cabin air. To those not wearing masks, the fashion trend can be discomfiting. Are the mask-wearers paranoid or prudent? What is the probability of contracting an illness on an airplane? And how unique is the aircraft environment when it comes to disease transmission?

It is clear that due to lower air exchange rates and decreased sunlight, enclosed spaces such as buildings and …

Read more »

MSG: Can an Amino Acid Really Be Harmful?

April 30, 2014
MSG: Can an Amino Acid Really Be Harmful?

By Michael Lee, MD

Peer Reviewed

The human taste bud has become increasingly accustomed to the Japanese invention of the early 20th century: monosodium glutamate, better known as MSG. Its basic component, glutamate, is a non-essential amino acid found in many naturally occurring food sources. This universally consumed food additive has historically garnered much attention for its potential threat to human health. To best understand how an amino acid has amassed such a tarnished reputation, we must first consider the history of its discovery and …

Read more »

Type 1 Diabetes: Research for Pancreatic Replacement, Transplantation and Regeneration

April 10, 2014
Type 1 Diabetes: Research for Pancreatic Replacement, Transplantation and Regeneration

By Karin Katz, MD and Loren Wissner Greene, MD, MA

Peer Reviewed

In 1964, Dr. Arnold Kadish used real-time glucose monitoring to adjust insulin infusion in a patient with diabetes and introduced the concept of a closed-loop system of insulin delivery. A decade later, several research groups developed closed-loop systems that linked glucose monitors with insulin pumps and determined how much insulin to deliver based on calculations from a set of algorithms . These big, bulky machines depended on intravenous routes of glucose sensing …

Read more »

Proton Pump Inhibitors and Clostridium Difficile Infection

March 20, 2014
Proton Pump Inhibitors and Clostridium Difficile Infection

By Aaron Smith, MD

Peer Reviewed

First introduced in the late 1980s, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have revolutionized the treatment of gastric acid-related disorders and have been described as a miracle drug by patients and physicians alike. As is often the case with miracle drugs, however, long-term use of PPIs has led to unforeseen adverse effects. Chief among the purported side effects of PPI use is an association with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). CDI, an enterocolitis that leads to voluminous and potentially fatal diarrhea, was …

Read more »