The power and pitfalls of omics part 2: epigenomics, transcriptomics and ME/CFS
Simon McGrath concludes his blog about the remarkable Prof George Davey Smith's smart ideas for understanding diseases, which may soon be applied to ME/CFS.
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Doctors are not able to diagnose a healthy brain

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by guest, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. guest

    guest Guest

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    One really big problem for many diseases is that doctors are not able and willing to look at the damage that happens in the brain of patients. We can look at HIV patients, we can look at certain cancer patients and we can look at many other diseases to see a certain development. The people get ill and over time they change their behaviour. This can be attributed as a psychological consequence of the illness of course. For example if someone would know that he only had one more year to live with lots of pain and suffering to come from an illness that cannot be healed he or she probably isn't that happy.

    BUT what if the illness itself damages the brain over time? What if the illness causes depression, brain fog and all other kinds of problems in the brain by messing up brain chemistry or destroying cells and nerves...could we diagnose it? Maybe if we put a lot of effort into it but certainly not under the current system! What if HIV patients wouldn't die of AIDS? Do you think they would put billions of dollars into research? Forget it! The HIV research could be compared to CFS research then. People with HIV would have digestion problems, immune abnormalities, brain impairment and live awful lives but who cares, they don't die. As long as they don't die the whole scientific world seems to deny the fact that there could be illnesses which they don't understand.

    Doctors either will attribute changes as a psychological consequence and send the person to a psychologist (who of course can't help either) or they won't notice it at all. If we have a very intelligent person who gets HIV but does not receive HART and the virus moves over the BBB and starts destroying the brain, it will take some time till this person notices it. If you ask him at a later point of time how he feels mentally, he will say sth. like "not good" and when you ask "why?" he will say "i don't know, i just feel weird". Every human does feel bad sometimes so noone cares because he has no proof that his "weird feeling" is much worse and actually caused by a virus that destroys his brain. As long as we don't have tests and treatment people with illnesses that cause brain damage are even worse of. They are ill but noone helps them.

    Maybe in 50 years we will have these tests until then I guess life isn't fair to many humans. Out of an individual perspective it makes absolutely no sense to be born or getting ill with a severe chronic illness.


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    Memory Impairment Common in People With a History of Cancer

    ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2010) — People with a history of cancer have a 40 percent greater likelihood of experiencing memory problems that interfere with daily functioning, compared with those who have not had cancer, according to results of a new, large study.

    The findings, believed to be one of the first culled from a nationwide sample of people diagnosed with different cancers, mirror findings of cancer-related memory impairment in smaller studies of certain cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer. Results were presented at the Third AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities.
    "The findings show that memory impairment in cancer patients is a national problem that we must pay special attention to," said Pascal Jean-Pierre, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, department of pediatrics, and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
    He added that while there is no curative treatment yet for memory impairment -- ongoing studies are testing therapies -- physicians can still help these patients.
    "One of the most important parts of cancer treatment is management of symptoms, such as impairments in attention, memory and fatigue, in order to improve a patient's quality of life. This study suggests these memory issues are more common than had been recognized before, and should be assessed in all patients with a history of cancer," Jean-Pierre said.
    Jean-Pierre and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a population-based survey sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designed to collect information on the health and nutrition in U.S. households. Their sample included 9,819 people, aged 40 years and older, from diverse educational and racial-ethnic backgrounds. Within that group, 1,305 participants reported they had cancer or a history of cancer. All participants had a physical exam and responded to a survey, which included the question: "Are you limited in any way because of difficulty remembering or because you experience periods of confusion?"
    Fourteen percent of participants who had cancer reported memory impairment compared to 8 percent of participants who did not have cancer. Those with cancer were 40 percent more likely to have memory issues than other participants -- impairments that interfered with daily functioning.
    "The findings indicate that cancer is, therefore, a key independent predictor of memory problems in the sample studied," said Jean-Pierre.
    He calls the condition "cancer related cognitive dysfunction," suggesting that it goes beyond the "chemobrain" label that has been attached primarily to women treated with chemotherapy for their breast cancer who reported problems in cognitive function (e.g., attention and memory).
    "These memory issues can be related to treatment, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapies, or to the tumor biology itself, which could change brain chemistry and neurobehavioral function," said Jean-Pierre.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101003081703.htm
     
  2. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    It may not be coincidence that the Miller School also has Nancy Klimas on the faculty. She is well known for her expertise with HIV/AIDS and its problems. Her work on biomarkers for CFS/ME is also turning up clues to the pathology of this problem. Your 50 year estimate sounds too pessimistic, if people pay attention to her work.
     
  3. guest

    guest Guest

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    You are right that if the scientific community would put more effort and attention to it, we would progress much faster. There are scientists like Nancy Klimas who really do a wonderful job but for me it seems that they are pretty alone right now due to ideology in the scientific community and an inefficient government/health care system.
     
  4. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Thought awfully points Diesel. I was a classic "Canadian Consensus" case and when very ill t the time of lumbar puncture - pressure was high in the spinal fluid - was sure something should be found. It was not just "high spots" in the brain left unexplained and violent headaches. But from severe cognitive problems I can now do so much more, so seems reversible. Correction to input - Laptop balanced - Awfully GOOD points !.
     

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