Monday, November 28, 2011

Medicine Has Come a Long Way in the Last 10 Years

Today, I'm doing something a bit different. Instead of look at what's been happening rather recently in medical developments and funding, we're going to take a look at what has been developed in the last, almost 11 years. Since 2000, there have been some great discoveries. Some have immediate applications, while others promise to have many utilizations. Let's take a quick look, shall we?

In 2000, both the government funded, Human Genome Project and the privately funded, Celera Genomics came out with a rough draft of our human genome. This is the map of all of our genes as humans. With this discovery, much is possible. Not only can they see what each gene possibly does, they can also find ways to cure disease and increase health and lifespan with certain genes.

While not a breakthrough, anti-smoking laws and bans have increased the air quality in certain spaces and businesses, which should lead to healthier lungs and less incidence of lung cancer, or so the laws are intended. Also, increase information sharing between doctors may lead to increased awareness of disease and quicker patient look-up on their records.

Heart disease deaths have decreased a dramatic 40% since a quarter century ago. The reason is better medication, better procedures, and more knowledge. Now, they can destroy blood clots, the reason for the heart attack or stroke, with medications they didn't have before. They also have stints and other surgeries designed to give you a better chance of dealing with heart disease or cure it altogether, depending on your condition.

While stem cells from embryos has fueled controversy and has been suspended and in some places, rescinded, stem cell research from people such as children and adults has helped in finding ways to combat various diseases. This will remain a hotbed of research for some time to come.

Herceptin and Gleevec are two newer cancer medications that have helped many people survive cancer and have opened the door to newer technology in the anti-cancer drug arena.

The therapy used to extend those with HIV/AIDS lives has also paved the way for other treatments such as lung cancer and heart disease.

Robotics for surgery has made surgery less invasive and more precise. Things you only dreamed of when watching television and movies over a decade ago, have become more prevalent and are now reality in some places. More to come in the near future.

While Hormone Replacement Therapy, widely used prior to 2003 for menopause, has been discovered recently to lead to breast cancer and other maladies, the good news is that it also has been shown to lower bone fractures and prevent certain cancers such as colorectal. While this seems to be the case many times where one thing hurts you here but helps you here, there is positive to all of this. By recognizing the aspects that help, researchers and doctors will be able to isolate and utilize the helpful abilities of these therapies for prevention.

Finally, functional MRI's, aka fMRI, have been developed to not only advance psychology, but also to gather much information such as brain cancer, autism, memory disorders, and even psoriasis, a skin condition.

For further reading, here you go:

No comments:

Post a Comment