A look at the top medical headlines for the week of October 6, 2019.

Medical Notes: Week of October 6, 2019

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of October 6, 2019.

The Workings of the Immune System

Millions of Americans cannot afford the medications they’ve been prescribed. Many skip doses, split pills or don’t fill prescriptions at all as a result, with sometimes even fatal consequences. But doctors are often unable to consider cost very well in prescribing, as the same drug often costs patients vastly different amounts due to insurance differences. Experts discuss the problem and what patients can do to save.

Can IUDs and Other Contraceptives Trigger Autoimmune Disease?

Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus carry a genetic predisposition, but need an environmental trigger to take hold. Triggers are poorly understood, but some women claim their disease is a result of contraceptives, including birth control pills and IUD’s. Experts and one women suffering from autoimmune disease discuss the issue.

Cancer Suppression: Lessons from Pachyderms

DNA mutations happen all the time in the body, but the immune system usually detects and deals with them. When the system fails, cancer results. Yet some animals, such as elephants, almost never get cancer, and scientists have learned that the elephant DNA repair system is 20 times more powerful than the human system. Experts explain how they hope to tap this knowledge.

Medical Notes: Week of May 5, 2019

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of May 5, 2019.

little girl having throat examination with tongue depressor checking for strep throat

16-39 Segment 1: PANDAS: Dangerous Aftereffects of a Strep Throat

Strep infection may prompt a severe reaction in some children, causing their own immune system to attack cells in the brain.

15-07 Story 1: The Gut Microbiome

  Synopsis: Scientists are learning that the bacteria living inside us, most notably in the intestines, influence our bodies far more than previously suspected. Our microbiome influences many other organs, particularly the liver, brain, and immune system. Different mixes of these bacteria may account for a great deal of the variability among people, particularly in our … Continue reading 15-07 Story 1: The Gut Microbiome