Google X, the company’s in-house future technologies research lab, is working on smart contact lenses that could help diabetics monitor their blood sugar level through their tears.
References to hydrocephalic skulls can be found in ancient Egyptian medical literature from 2500 BC to 500 AD. Hydrocephalus was described more clearly by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates in the 4th century BC, while a more accurate description was later given by the Roman physician Galen in the 2nd century AD. The first clinical description of an operative procedure for hydrocephalus appears in the Al-Tasrif (1000 AD) by the Arab surgeon, Abulcasis, who clearly described the evacuation of superficial intracranial fluid in hydrocephalic children. He described it in his chapter on neurosurgical disease, describing infantile hydrocephalus as being caused by mechanical compression. He states:
“The skull of a newborn baby is often full of liquid, either because the matron has compressed it excessively or for other, unknown reasons. The volume of the skull then increases daily, so that the bones of the skull fail to close. In this case, we must open the middle of the skull in three places, make the liquid flow out, then close the wound and tighten the skull with a bandage.”
In 1881, a few years after the landmark study of Retzius and Key, Carl Wernicke pioneered sterile ventricular puncture and external CSF drainage for the treatment of hydrocephalus. It remained an intractable condition until the 20th century, when shunts and other neurosurgical treatment modalities were developed. It is a lesser-known medical condition; relatively small amounts of research are conducted to improve treatments for hydrocephalus, and to this day there remains no cure for the condition. In developing countries, it is common that this condition go untreated at birth. It is difficult to diagnose during ante-natal care and access to medical treatment is limited. However, when head swelling is prominent, children are taken at great expense for treatment. By then, brain tissue is undeveloped and neurosurgery is rare and difficult.
Hydrocephalus is a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain. This may cause increased intracranial pressure inside the skull and progressive enlargement of the head, convulsion, tunnel vision, and mental disability. Hydrocephalus can also cause death. Although it does occur in older adults, it is more common in infants.
Image: Hydrocephalus seen on a CT scan of the brain
As Ebola Cases Spike, WHO Asks For More Money And Help
The world’s largest Ebola outbreak continues to surge at a troubling rate. The number of cases has climbed by nearly 20 percent in the past week, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.
At least 759 people have caught the hemorrhagic fever and 467 of those have died in three West African countries since March.
The WHO has been so concerned about the disease spreading to other countries that the agency held an emergency meeting this week in Accra, Ghana.
To contain this “unprecedented outbreak,” the agency said Thursday, it needs more people on the ground to find cases, and to track down the family, friends, co-workers and other contacts of these infected patients. The agency called for more money and better communication among the countries involved.
The WHO is also setting up an Ebola control center in Guinea to coordinate the effort.
As NPR’s Jason Beaubian explained Thursday on All Things Considered, while the outbreak shows signs of slowing down in Guinea, it continues to expand in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ebola cases have appeared in more than 60 cities and villages, some far-flung — up to 400 miles apart. That’s about the distance between Boston and Baltimore.
So why has this outbreak been so hard to contain? Many factors have come together to create the crisis.
Chart: The 2014 outbreak is the largest on record. Values are as of July 1. (Data from WHO/Michaeleen Doucleff/NPR)
Warfarin is an anticoagulant normally used in the prevention of thrombosis and thromboembolism, the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels and their migration elsewhere in the body respectively. It was initially introduced in 1948 as a pesticide against rats and mice and is still used for this purpos. In the early 1950s, warfarin was found to be effective and relatively safe for preventing thrombosis and thromboembolism in many disorders. It was approved for use as a medication in 1954 and has remained popular ever since; warfarin is the most widely prescribed oral anticoagulant drug in North America.
If the placebo works as well as the active drug, we could perhaps take them the way we take pills today, perhaps even knowing they were fake. Several studies have shown placebos working even when patients knew what was happening. —
Help Find A Placebo Treatment For Happiness
What if there was a pill that could bring you joy? Maybe all you need to do is simply believe.
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Watch Global Childhood Mortality Plummet Around The World
The maps that track death and disease across the world aren’t usually uplifting. But a new map from the Pulitzer Center tells a different kind of story, one that actually marks a set of enormous, but quiet, wins for decreasing the rate of childhood mortality.
Chiari malformation is a malformation of the brain. It consists of a downward displacement of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum (the opening at the base of the skull), sometimes causing non-communicating hydrocephalus as a result of obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) outflow. The cerebrospinal fluid outflow is caused by phase difference in outflow and influx of blood in the vasculature of the brain. It can cause headaches, fatigue, muscle weakness in the head and face, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, nausea, impaired coordination, and, in severe cases, paralysis.
Image: A T1-weighted sagittal MRI scan, from a patient with an Arnold-Chiari malformation, demonstrating tonsillar herniation of 7mm
First do no harm. — Hippocrates
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