Here are some health news event we picked for you, on August 2018 Health News Round Up.
- THE FDA JUST APPROVED AN APP TO PREVENT PREGNANCY. CAN AN APP REALLY DO THAT?
Contraception? Yes, there’s an app for that.
And an FDA-approved app at that. Natural Cycles, a smartphone app for preventing pregnancy has just become the first of its kind to receive marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but some experts are wary.
Natural Cycles uses an algorithm to calculate the days of the month when a woman is most likely to be fertile and tells a woman to abstain from sex or to use protection (such as condoms) on these days.
The app requires that women take their temperature every morning, using a sensitive thermometer called a basal body thermometer, and enter the measurement into the app. These thermometers — which are provided to women who sign up for a yearly subscription to the app can detect slight increases in body temperature around the time of ovulation. This data, along with information about a woman’s menstrual cycle and factors such as how long sperm can survive in the woman’s reproductive tract, is used to determine whether a woman is fertile, Natural Cycles says. (Typically, a woman can get pregnant on only about four or five days each month, according to the FDA.)
“Consumers are increasingly using digital health technologies to inform their everyday health decisions, and this new app can provide an effective method of contraception if it’s used carefully and correctly,” Dr. Terri Cornelison, assistant director for the health of women in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said. “But women should know that no form of contraception works perfectly, so an unplanned pregnancy could still result from correct usage of this device.”
Outside experts, however, are wary of using an app for pregnancy prevention.
“I don’t feel that it can reliably take the place of [other] contraceptive method[s],” said Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, a gynecologist at NYU Langone Health. “I wouldn’t encourage women to rush and use this app” until more research has been done on it, she said.
The company has done its own studies involving 15,570 women who used the app for an average of eight months, according to the FDA statement. If women used the app perfectly, meaning exactly as directed, about 2 in 100 women would get pregnant over the course of a year, the studies found.
The app is already approved in Europe. However, in July, the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority said it was investigating the app’s marketing after reports that women became pregnant while using it, according to The Guardian.
And the app is also being investigated in Sweden after 37 women who used the app said they became pregnant.
Women should not use Natural Cycles if they are currently using hormonal birth control or if they have a medical condition in which becoming pregnant may lead to a significant risk for her or her fetus, according to the FDA. The app does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
- 4-YEAR-OLD KID DIAGNOSED WITH WHISTLING COUGH HAD AN ACTUAL WHISTLE STUCK IN HIS THROAT
Never assume that your child’s cough is merely a cold. It could be something more serious! One boy in India had a cough that squeaked. Doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, cured him after removing a toy whistle which was lodged in his throat. Yes, you read that right. With a series of tests done in the hospital, doctors finally discovered the reason behind his whistling cough. The unidentified patient was brought to an otorhinolaryngology outpatient clinic last year following a persistent cough for two days.
According to a case report published in The New England Journal Of Medicine on August 9, the 4-year-old boy repeatedly coughing had an ‘intermittent whistling character.’ Doctors determined that the young patient who otherwise felt fine had no history or symptoms of an infection in his throat. However, his parents informed the doctors that he had been playing with a whistle before the onset of his coughing.
After taking an X-ray of the boy’s chest, the medics saw that his left lung was hyperinflated. Science experts say that hyperinflation can be caused by blocking the air passages to the lungs, or by certain medical conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. Through the report, a presence of a foreign body blocking some of the airflows in the boy’s left lung was found. It could not be definitively identified.
The doctors performed a bronchoscopy—a procedure that involves inserting a thin tube called a bronchoscope down through the throat and into the lungs. Using this tool, the doctors were able to find the mysterious object, which turned out to be a toy whistle. After a one-year follow-up visit, the doctors confirmed that the child’s health was right and he was no longer whistling.
This case is a reminder for parents to be very conscious about their child’s health and safety and not to treat every health condition as being normal, but to go straight to the hospital as soon as any abnormality is observed.
- MEET THE ROSEHIP NEURON: A NEWLY IDENTIFIED TYPE OF BRAIN CELL IN HUMANS
It’s the reason we sit at the top of the food chain, but the question of what makes our brains different to other animals remains a somewhat elusive one for neuroscientists.
Research continues to provide answers however, and this month a new study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience identified a new and mysterious type of human brain cell.
The study led by Ed Lein of Allen Institute for Brain Science and Gábor Tamás of the University of Szeged in Szeged identified a kind of brain cell found in people, but not in mice. It was named “rosehip neuron” because it looked like a rose after the petals have fallen off.
“We really don’t understand what makes the human brain special,” said Lein. “Studying the differences at the level of cells and circuits is a good place to start, and now we have new tools to do just that.”
The cell type has been added to a short list of specialized brain cells that may be completely unique to humans and perhaps other primates.
The cells have not been seen in animals used in the lab and display anatomical features never described in rodents.
The researchers ran complex sequencing experiments on tissue samples from the cerebral cortices of two male brain donors. Interestingly, the cells were found in a region of the brain that is thought to be responsible for consciousness — one of the most fascinating and enduring mysteries in the field of neuroscience.
“It’s the most complex part of the brain, and generally accepted to be the most complex structure in nature,” Dr Ed Lein from the Allen Institute said, in a report by Science Daily.
- A CONTACT LENS WAS EMBEDDED IN WOMAN’S EYELID FOR 28 YEARS
When a teen lost her contact after she was hit in the eye during a game of badminton, doctors assumed it simply fell off and got lost somewhere.
They couldn’t have been more wrong!
Well, 28 years later, doctors found the missing contact embedded in a cyst in her left eyelid.
It’s not like the woman was looking for it the entire time, though. Instead, at age 42, she visited an ophthalmologist for what she thought was an unrelated problem: Her left eyelid had been swollen and drooping for about six months, and doctors could feel a small lump under the skin, according to a report of her case, published Aug. 10 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
She underwent an MRI where the ‘well-defined’ cyst was located. When doctors tried to remove the cyst, it broke open and revealed an extremely fragile hard contact lens inside.
The woman couldn’t recall how the lens would have gotten there, but her mother did: A mishap during a badminton game 28 years prior resulted in the woman ‘losing’ her contact lens as a teenager.
The patient, then 14 years old, presumed the lens was lost and she hadn’t used such a lens since.
The lens was unscathed when discovered, engulfed in the eyelid’s soft tissue, only to chip as doctors removed it.
The doctors who treated the woman inferred the lens migrated into the patient’s “upper eyelid at the time of trauma and remained there for the last 28 years,” they wrote in the report.
Why it took 28 years to cause swelling and inflammation is a mystery, the doctors wrote, and there were no ‘elicited triggers’ that could have caused the symptoms.
Before you start trying to remember all of the contact lenses you’ve ever lost in your life, keep in mind that doctors say this is an extremely rare occurrence, and to note that it did not cause the patient too much discomfort.
- 21-YEAR-OLD GIRL BECOMES YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF FACE TRANSPLANT IN THE US
Katie Stubblefield lost her face at 18, when she attempted to take her own life, shooting herself in the face with a rifle. At 21, she received a transplant at the Cleveland Clinic, making her the youngest person in the U.S. to receive a face transplant. Her story, “The Story of a Face,” is the cover story of National Geographic’s September issue.
Stubblefield, who went through a hard breakup and a series of medical issues over a short period of time, shot herself in the face with her brother’s hunting rifle during a 2014 visit to his Tennessee home. The brother, Robert, told National Geographic that he found the then-18-year-old covered in blood and her face “gone.”
The report stated that the bullet tore through her forehead, nose, sinuses, jaw bones and badly damaged her eyes. Surgeons responsible for saving her life in Memphis attempted to cover her facial wound using a tissue graft from her abdomen, but failed, and she arrived at the Cleveland Clinic with “her brain basically exposed.”
Dr. Brian Gatsman, a head, neck, skin and high-risk soft-tissue cancer specialist, oversaw Stubblefield’s care at the clinic, and said the bullet also caused a traumatic brain injury and severely impacted her hormones and sodium levels, as well as frontal lobe function.
According to the report, Stubblefield was placed on a transplant list and waited for over a year for a donor match. During that time, two potential donors didn’t work out. Her eventual donor, 31-year-old Adrea Schneider, has helped at least seven people through organ donation.
Stubblefield’s surgery marks the 40th face transplant conducted in the world, and the third to occur at Cleveland Clinic.
The procedure is considered experimental and is largely funded by the Department of Defense through the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, National Geographic reported.
Stubblefield faces several more procedures and will remain on anti-rejection medications for the remainder of her life.
Stubblefield now hopes to go to college and study counseling, to teach teenagers the value of life. “So many people have helped me; now I want to help other people,”
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