Class Act

West Nile Virus: Just How Bad Is It?

March 5, 2014
West Nile Virus: Just How Bad Is It?

By Julian Horwitz

Peer Reviewed

As of mid-August 2012, the CDC had reported 1118 cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infections and 41 related deaths, which, pro rata, made 2012 the most prolific year for WNV in the United States . Although West Nile’s classification as a public health crisis remains debatable, the lack of treatment and vaccination options make associated severe infections a real threat.

West Nile virus, a single-stranded RNA virus of the Flavivirus family, was first isolated in Uganda in 1937 . …

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What Physicians Should Know About MDMA (Ecstasy)

February 20, 2014
What Physicians Should Know About MDMA (Ecstasy)

By Loren Gorcey

Peer Reviewed

With the recent resurgence of techno music and raves in the United States, the drug MDMA, known worldwide by the name “ecstasy,” has experienced a comeback. In light of a New Year’s Eve rave in Los Angeles in 2010, where 18 MDMA-related emergency room visits and 1 death occurred, MDMA is once again becoming a problem . Locally, 4 MDMA-related emergency room visits and 2 MDMA-related deaths occurred this past summer at Electric Zoo, an annual electronic music festival in …

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From The Archives – The Hangover: Pathophysiology and Treatment of an Alcohol-Induced Hangover

January 16, 2014
From The Archives – The Hangover: Pathophysiology and Treatment of an Alcohol-Induced Hangover

Please enjoy this post from the archives, dated May 27, 2011

By Anthony Tolisano

Faculty Peer Reviewed

The sunlight forces its way into your eyes, stabbing at your cortex. Suddenly, a wave of nausea and diarrhea grips your stomach, threatening to evacuate its contents. You rush to the bathroom, tripping over the clothes that speckle your apartment. Your heart pounds inside your chest and your hands shake ever so subtly. Your mind is in a fog and the details of last night’s party are a …

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From The Archives: Fast Hearts and Funny Currents, Part 2: Is Tachycardia Part of the Problem in Heart Failure?

January 9, 2014
From The Archives: Fast Hearts and Funny Currents, Part 2: Is Tachycardia Part of the Problem in Heart Failure?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated May 25, 2011

By Santosh Vardhana

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Please review Part 1 of this article here.

Mr. M is a 63-year old man with a history of coronary artery disease and systolic congestive heart failure (ejection fraction 32%) on lisinopril, metoprolol, and spironolactone who presents to the Adult Primary Care Center complaining of persistent dyspnea with exertion, two-pillow orthopnea, and severely limited exercise tolerance. His vital signs on presentation are T 98.0˚F, P 84, BP 122/76. …

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Barriers to Translating Evidence into Clinical Care: the Zoster Vaccine

December 13, 2013
Barriers to Translating Evidence into Clinical Care: the Zoster Vaccine

Zachary Elkin

Faculty Peer Reviewed

There are more than a million cases of herpes zoster (HZ) in the US annually . The incidence of HZ, or shingles, has been rising in the US since the 1990s . One third of all people in the US will get HZ, with the highest incidence in people aged 50 to 79 . As a result of the Shingles Prevention Study (SPS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved the Zostavax …

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Generation A(dderall)

October 17, 2013
Generation A(dderall)

By Michael Weinstock

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Neurocognitive enhancement with mixed amphetamine salts (MAS) has grown commonplace in academic settings. Over 34% of college students at a large public university reported using MAS as a study aid at least once in their life . Other researchers have found prevalence rates ranging from 13.7% lifetime use at another large public university to 55% lifetime use among fraternity members at a large public university . Abuse and misuse of stimulants does not stop after four years of college, …

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Barriers to Translating Evidence into Clinical Care: the Zoster Vaccine

October 10, 2013
Barriers to Translating Evidence into Clinical Care: the Zoster Vaccine

By Zachary Elkin

Faculty Peer Reviewed

There are more than a million cases of herpes zoster (HZ) in the US annually . The incidence of HZ, or shingles, has been rising in the US since the 1990s . One third of all people in the US will get HZ, with the highest incidence in people aged 50 to 79 . As a result of the Shingles Prevention Study (SPS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved the …

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Decoding the APOL1 Kidney

September 25, 2013
Decoding the APOL1 Kidney

By Areeba Sadiq

Faculty Peer Reviewed

African American patients have a higher risk of developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD) than their Caucasian counterparts . If over the age of 70, that risk is 3 times higher. If between the ages of 60-69, the risk is 8 times higher. And, if between 30 and 39, African American patients are an astounding 11 times more likely to develop ESRD . Why are African Americans more likely to develop ESRD? What is different about the African American kidney?…

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Confocal Microscopy To Noninvasively Detect Skin Cancer: An Emerging Technology To Avoid Unnecessary Skin Biopsy

September 6, 2013
Confocal Microscopy To Noninvasively Detect Skin Cancer: An Emerging Technology To Avoid Unnecessary Skin Biopsy

By Brian Park

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide. In the United States, the incidence is rising, with over two million people diagnosed each year . More cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined. The lifetime risk of developing skin cancer is estimated to be 20% . Although nonmelanoma skin cancer is rarely fatal and associated with a very low mortality rate, melanoma can be highly fatal. Approximately 76,000 …

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Down-And-Out With Diabetes: Caring For The Homeless Diabetic Patient

August 23, 2013
Down-And-Out With Diabetes: Caring For The Homeless Diabetic Patient

By Sara Gallant

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Each year in the US, an estimated 2.3–3.5 million individuals are homeless . Homelessness has a complicated association with poor health. People at risk for losing their home tend to have heavier disease burdens. In New York City, 6.3% of a subset of newly homeless people had diabetes mellitus, compared to 1.9% of the same age group in the general US population . In return, homelessness poses unique challenges to receiving and adhering to treatment for diabetes. The rewards …

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Why You Should Think Twice About Using Medical Abbreviations

July 31, 2013
Why You Should Think Twice About Using Medical Abbreviations

By Benjamin Rodwin

Faculty Peer Reviewed

It seems like a simple enough history: an 18 year old with a past medical history significant for GBS. They probably gave him some antibiotics for a Group B Strep infection and sent him home. Or did he need IVIG (that’s intravenous immunoglobulin) and plasmapheresis for Guillain-Barré syndrome? When a patient is prescribed MS will he receive morphine sulfate or magnesium sulfate? Abbreviations, used to save time and space, have become ubiquitous in prescriptions and medical records. However, they …

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Not for Human Consumption: Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists As An Emerging Drug Of Abuse

July 26, 2013
Not for Human Consumption: Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists As An Emerging Drug Of Abuse

By Ryland Pace

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Cannabinoid receptor agonists (CRAs) have been recently popularized as “legal” alternatives to marijuana and are becoming increasingly common, especially among teens and young adults. These new artificial “highs” consist of a blend of various dried herbs, spices and plant material that have been sprayed with one or more CRAs and are sold under names like Spice, K2, Mr. Smiley, Mr. Nice Guy, Black Mamba, Purple Haze, Spice Gold, and Smoke .

CRAs are thought to have first appeared in …

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