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
"Usually it was the Western music they wanted to copy," Sergei Khrushchev, the son of Joseph Stalin’s successor as the U.S.S.R.’s General Secretary explained to NPR. "Before the tape recorders they used the X-ray film of bones and recorded music on the bones, bone music."
First do no harm.
Liver Structure and the Flow of Blood and Bile
How has healthcare changed since “Mad Men?” We’ve come far on gender equality — although we still have a ways to go.
For 85% of kids with a terrible cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chemotherapy is a cure – but not for Emily Whitehead. Diagnosed at 5, she suffered an infection from her first round of chemo and nearly lost her legs. Then the cancer came back; she was put into remission once more and scheduled for a bone marrow transplant. As she waited, the cancer returned yet again. There was nothing else to try.
Nothing except a crazy experimental treatment never before given to a child: Blood was taken out of 6-year-old Emily’s body, passed through a machine to remove her white cells and put back in. Then scientists at the University of Pennsylvania used a modified HIV virus to genetically reprogram those white cells so that they would attack her cancer, and reinjected them.
But the cells attacked her body, too. Within days Emily was so feverish she had to be hospitalized. Hallucinating, she asked her father, “Why is there a pond in my room?” She was sent to the intensive care unit and put on a ventilator. A doctor told her family that there was only a one-in-1,000 chance she would survive the night. Then the miracle breakthrough: Doctors gave Emily a rheumatoid arthritis drug that stopped the immune system storm – without protecting the cancer. Emily awoke on her 7th birthday and slowly recovered. A week later her bone marrow was checked. Emily’s father, an electrical lineman named Tom Whitehead, remembers getting the call from her doctor, Stephan Grupp: “It worked. She’s cancer free.”
Arachnoid cysts are cerebrospinal fluid covered by arachnoidal cells and collagen that may develop between the surface of the brain and the cranial base or on the arachnoid membrane, one of the three membranes that cover the brain and the spinal cord. Arachnoid cysts are a congenital disorder, and most cases begin during infancy; however, onset may be delayed until adolescence.
Image: An MRI of a 25 year old woman with left frontotemporal arachnoid cyst.