To mark this month’s release of Martin R. Turner and Matthew C. Kiernan’s Landmark Papers in Neurology, we spoke with the two editors, to discuss their thoughts on neurology – past and present. We asked about the origins of neurology, the understanding of neurological diseases, milestones in the field, why historical context is so important – and their predictions for the future…
Two women are being trained for work on a factory assembly line. As products arrive on a conveyor belt, their task is to wrap each product and place it back on the belt. Their supervisor warns them that failing to wrap even one product is a firing offense, but once they get started, the work seems easy.
I recently attended an event at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine “Celebrating 200+ Women Professors”. The celebration of these women and their careers inspired me, especially as a “young” woman and an assistant professor. It was also humbling to hear about their successes in spite of the many challenges they faced solely due to their sex.
When I started my career as a medical statistician in September 1972, medical research was very different from now. In that month, the Lancet and the British Medical Journal published 61 research reports which used individual participant data, excluding case reports and animal studies. The median sample size was 36 people. In July 2010, I had another look.
Sometimes, what your brain wants is not always good for your body. Donuts are a good example. It’s early morning and you’re driving to work after a nice breakfast of black coffee and two eggs, easy-over, with bacon. Yet, you’re still hungry and having difficulty paying attention to the traffic. Why? Your brain is not cooperating because it is not satisfied with that breakfast because it lacked one critical ingredient that your brain urgently needs: sugar.
Today (Friday 16 October) is World Anaesthesia Day. To mark this occasion, we have selected ten of the most interesting events in the history of anaesthesia. From the discovery of diethyl ether by Paracelsus in 1525, to James Young Simpson’s first use of chloroform in 1847, and the creation of the first specialist anaesthetic society in 1992 – anaesthesia is a medical discipline with a fascinating past.
Although soda companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are recognized around the world – the history, politics, and nutrition of these corporations are not as known. In her latest book, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), Marion Nestle exposes the truth behind this multi-billion dollar industry. Check out these hard hitting facts and see how much you actually know about the soda industry.
Each year in July, I greet a new group of post-doctoral psychiatric trainees (‘residents,’ ‘registrars’) for a year’s work in our psychiatric outpatient clinic. One of the rewards of being a psychiatric educator is witnessing the professional growth of young clinicians as they mature into seasoned, competent, and humanistic psychiatrists.
Epigenetics has been a buzzword in biology for the past several years, as scientific understanding has grown about how genes are expressed. We now know that segments of DNA–genes–can be silenced by chemicals in DNA’s local environment; likewise, genes can be “turned on” in ways that allow populations of cells to churn out proteins at high speed, at sluggish rates, or at any speed in between.
It was midnight and I had just slumped into bed, exhausted after one of my first days on-call as a new intern, and still adjusting to life in a new apartment. As my nagging reflections on the day were just beginning to subside, insistent knocking at my door jolted me back to alertness. Dragging myself out of bed to open the door, I was surprised to see a diminutive elderly lady who appeared quite perturbed.
An unacceptably large proportion of mentally ill individuals do not receive any care. Reasons vary but include the dearth of providers, the cost of treatment and stigma. Telemental health, which uses digital technology for the remote delivery of mental health services, may help toward finding a solution.
“Death is inevitable, but suffering doesn’t have to be,” says Tennessee native John Jay Hooker, who has devoted his life to fighting for civil liberties, and hasn’t let his deadly cancer stand in his way. This past summer, he filed a lawsuit against his state to sue for the right to die on his own terms.
Lawmakers around the country are rushing to enact laws that require providers to notify women if their screening mammograms find dense breast tissue. Meanwhile, clinicians remain at a loss concerning how to counsel such women.
There are massive inequalities in global health opportunities and outcomes. Consider, for instance, that Japan has around twenty-one physicians per 10,000 people, while Malawi has only one physician for every fifty thousand people. This radical inequality in medical skills and talents has, obviously, bad consequences for health; people born in Malawi will live, on average, 32 years fewer than their counterparts born in Japan.
Is garlic or citronella more useful in repelling insects? Which disease is typically identified as an ‘urban’ disease? What is the most reliable way to purify water? Which factors contributes most to psychological stress in frequent international travellers? Whether you’re climbing Mount Everest in the Himalayas, making your way through the Amazon, or just curious about various hazards abroad, prepare for your travels and test your knowledge of the unique dangers and diseases faced in travel medicine.
Two other major and largely unsolved problems in evolution, at the opposite extremes of the history of life, are the origin of the basic features of living cells and the origin of human consciousness. In contrast to the questions we have just been discussing, these are unique events in the history of life.