Category "Health"

14Jun2019

Stem cells are one of the most researched things on the planet. Even though there have been countless studies stating the efficacy of stem cells in animals, there is still no substantial evidence to indicate that it is safe and effective for humans.

Still, a lot of money is being spent on the research of stem cells because they can purportedly be manipulated or engineered into specialized cells to the scientists and doctors’ liking.
However, even though this is one of the most researched things in the entire world, there are some bioethical implications that you need to be aware of and that is something that I will discuss in this article.

Even though the use of adult stem cells is already considered controversial, it is the harvest and use of human embryonic stem cells that take the cake when it comes to moral and ethical implications on its use in both research and therapy.

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Ethics

hESCs are stem cells that are harvested from blastocysts which are early-day embryos that haven’t fully formed into a fetus yet. These are harvested for their stem cells mainly because most of its cells are not differentiated yet or have not been formed into specialized cells.

Although the use of hESCs was given the green light before, pro-life groups despise the idea of its use mainly because the resulting embryos are considered dead already. Furthermore, doing this would not bode well for religious groups.

In order for scientists to still use stem cells for research, the Council on Bioethics back in 2005 have recommended that researchers come up with a new way to harvest pluripotent stem cells (this is originally a trait found in human embryonic stem cells).

The committee was able to propose four different approaches. Stem cell researchers could obtain stem cells either from dead embryos, from living embryos using nondestructive biopsy, stem cells that were created from bioengineered artifacts that have embryo-like properties, and cells that were obtained from somatic cells that haven’t differentiated yet.


Stem Cell Therapy Today

Scientists have managed to create induced pluripotent stem cells in favorable lab environments and they are able to coax them to turn into whatever cell they need.

Although the use of stem cells has been well-researched, there are only two approved therapies: hematopoietic stem cell transplants for treating patients with Leukemia, and epithelial stem cell treatments that are typically given to people suffering from burns or corneal disorders.

A lot of people all over the world still do not know anything about stem cells that is why those who are looking for some treatment for their conditions will usually believe what some clinicians and doctors say.

This puts the general public at huge risk because aside from the two approved therapeutic practices, all of the other ones are deemed as experimental and may pose a huge threat or danger to the ones who are going to take them.

The ISSCR is now creating efforts to inform the public. For the general consumer, it would be best that you keep yourself informed at all times.

24Apr2019

 

A Very Common Affliction, Especially In This Day And Age

 

Sleep is very important to us. In fact, we will be sleeping a third of our lives. However, there are a lot of people that experience some sleeping disorders- one of the most common being insomnia.

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by having difficulty sleeping or even staying asleep. The effects of this condition are quite devastating as it can lead to lethargy, mood swings, irritability, and in more severe cases, anxiety.

This sleeping disorder can be caused by many things and 40% of Americans are estimated to have suffered Insomnia in their lifetime.

 

Causes

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that has many causes. It can either be physical or psychological in nature and these have to be fixed in order for the disorder to be treated. Some of the causes include:

  • Psychological Issues- Anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, which can lead to physical issues such as extreme fatigue, difficulty in delaying ejaculation, etc.
  • Underlying Medical Conditions- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Congestive Heart Failure, Angina, Acid-Reflux Disease (GERD), Chronic Pain, Hyperthyroidism, Brain Tumors and Lesions, Stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
  • Disruptions in Our Body Clock- Job Shift changes, Environmental Disturbances, Jet lag
  • Hormonal Imbalances

  • Other Factors- Which include genetic conditions, having an overactive mind, parasites, and pregnancy.

Insomnia can also be caused by the overexposure to the screens of the gadgets that we use. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not use such gadgets an hour or two before sleeping.

The reason why you do not want to use your gadgets prior to sleeping is due to the fact that these screens emit blue light which has been known to disrupt sleep patterns. Overuse of gadgets may result in more severe cases of insomnia.

 

Symptoms

Some symptoms of Insomnia include:

  • Sleepwalking
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty Socializing
  • Waking up during the night
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Worrying too much about sleep
  • Being Uncoordinated
  • Daytime Fatigue or Sleepiness
  • Feeling Tired Even After a Night’s Sleep
  • And many others

There are different types of Insomnia. Transient Insomnia usually happens when the symptoms of the disorder last for three nights. Acute Insomnia is where you will feel symptoms that may last for more than a few weeks. And, Chronic Insomnia is where the condition lasts for a couple of months and in some cases, may persist for many years.

 

Treatment

For treating insomnia, it is best that both the doctor and the patient is able to pinpoint the exact cause so that the treatment would become effective.

Treating this condition may involve both psychological, as well as medical, therapies. Some treatments include:

  • The use of antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Prescription Sleeping Pills
  • Melatonin tablets
  • Sleeping Aids
  • Ramelteon

There are also effective home remedies that you can do as well. Some of them are:

  • Always find a set time to sleep. Improving your sleep hygiene is necessary. This is characterized by getting ample hours of rest while also getting adequate exercise or physical activity during the day.
  • The use of different relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation may help.
  • Avoid using any gadget or TV an hour or two before bedtime.