October 2016

How we behave or feel is influenced by many factors including our hormones. Oxytocin is a hormone that is associated with social behavior and it also helps with regulating stress and anxiety. Current research has shown males and females respond differently to the Oxytocin present creating less anxiety in males but not in females. The study findings offer possible new gender-specific therapies for treating anxiety disorders. Click here to learn more. 

Current antiretroviral therapies have transformed the concept of HIV from a fatal disease to a manageable chronic condition. However, the global burden continues to grow including young children for whom HIV medicines are not adequately available. Management includes daily oral administration of medications in high doses leading to high costs and high non-compliance. Resent research in nanotechnology promises changes in oral medications that will surmount these challenges through improved drug absorption significantly improving administration and reducing the dose and the cost. This would enable consistent treatment for more patients and better formulas for children. Click here to learn more. Read more.

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood and has serious consequences as it can lead to problems with eating, speaking and learning. School-based dental sealant programs (SBSP) are shown to be highly effective in preventing tooth decay especially for children in low-income families who do not have access to regular dental care. Increasing sealant prevalence has benefits that exceed the cost of the care by reducing the associated problems and health costs and improving the quality of life. Click here to learn more.

Increasing L-arginine has been shown to boost our immune response and promises improved T cell therapies against cancer. Since L-arginine is an inherent, semi-essential amino acid produced in our bodies and consumed through diet, this process presents an alternative therapy that is nontoxic, biologically compatible and effective. Click here to learn more. Read more.

In the primary care setting, rapid decision-making for acutely ill children is challenging. Many of the symptoms of serious infections, like pneumonia, meningitis and osteomyelitis, initially resemble common viral infections, however, prompt recognition is essential to avoid life-threatening complications. Receiving confirmation through testing delays treatment so many children are hospitalized as a precautionary tactic. Recent studies conclude that for high-risk children, a finger prick CRP can facilitate the decision-making process within minutes in the clinic. Click here to learn more. Read more.

When you are running on empty, your stomach may be more in control of your choices than you know! Recent research shows that the hunger hormone, Ghrelin, increases impulsive behavior which is characterized by a “lack of control“ or “inability to resist.” Beyond basic nourishment, Ghrelin and impulsivity are associated with many psychiatric and behavioral disorders such as ADHD, OCD, eating disorders and substance abuse. Managing the release of Ghrelin may help in the future management of these conditions. Click here to learn moreRead more.

The renewal and degradation necessary for the continuity of life is dependent upon the process of cellular autophagy. It is the perpetual maintenance mechanism driving our longevity, well-being and quality of life. It heals and sustains us. It is integral to our physiology, our immune response, embryo development and cell differentiation. Disrupted, autophagy has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and other disorders of aging as well as cancer and genetic abnormalities. Dr. Ohsumi’s contribution has given new understanding to these processes and ensures hope for future treatments. Click here to learn more. 

New technology for UTI testing promises rapid identification of pathogens and resistance profiling without culture. Faster diagnosis reduces the delay of initiating appropriate treatment and minimizes the interim use of wide-spectrum antibiotics which contributes to the increasing challenge of antibiotic resistance. Click here to learn more. Click here to read more. 

Not to take a backseat to the current epidemic spread of the Zika virus, there are other mosquito-borne viruses that are potential threats to the U.S. Dengue Fever is the most common febrile illness in travelers from the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Chikungunya is epidemic in the Caribbean. Both can have either severe or long-lasting consequences.  But, it is complicated: Carrier symptoms can be minimal, viral rashes can be mistaken for sunburns and the differential diagnoses extensive. A Los Angeles, California, Emergency doctor offers specific clues to assist diagnosis and expedited care. Click here to learn more.