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Acromegaly and Gigantism

Acromegaly and Gigantism

Throughout history, folklore, and every culture, stories about giants have persisted. The mythos surrounding them elicits memories of simpler times. Growing up, most children are made aware of Jack’s giant (Jack and the Beanstalk) or how Paul Bunyan carved the Grand Canyon by dragging his ax behind him. Giants have been portrayed as grotesque brutes and less than human, as is the case with Jack’s giant or the Cyclops from Greek mythology. Sometimes, giants are extremely agreeable and pleasant, such as the lovable gentle giant Fezzik in The Princess Bride. Giants may also represent monolithic feats or something that must be conquered, as is the case with the story of David and Goliath. Virtually every religion references giants, typically as creatures in the early days of mankind. In fact, giants have such a connection to religion that in recent years there have been several hoaxes involving giants that attempt to confirm biblical accounts. One of the more famous giant hoaxes occurred in Cardiff, New York, in 1869. The Cardiff giant was deliberately sculpted and buried at a farm in New York State by George Hull, a self-proclaimed atheist. The fake fossil was carved out of gypsum and measured over 10 feet long. Immediately upon its discovery, it was deemed a fake. However, that didn’t deter swarms of people from flocking to New York and shelling out 50 cents to see the real-life Goliath. As the rumor mill ramped up, declaring that the Cardiff giant was evidence of the Bible’s accuracy, P.T. Barnum wanted to cash in too. Barnum tried to rent the giant for his traveling circus but was turned down. Undeterred, Barnum created his own fake Cardiff giant and, interestingly enough, Barnum’s fake fossil was more popular than the original.

Not All Medulloblastomas Are Alike

“Not All Medulloblastomas Alike”; Variations in Treatment Approaches Urged

Medulloblastoma, a rapidly growing brain tumor, can be categorized as four genetically and clinically distinct subtypes. Traditionally, increased extent of resection (EOR) has been linked to an improved prognosis in some medulloblastomas. A global team of more than 40 researchers at 20 institutions studied more than 500 medulloblastomas to determine the clinical importance of EOR and metastatic stage.

Dr. Conrad Murray

Dr. Conrad Murray

Michael Jackson, once hailed the King of Pop, died in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009, the eve of his 51st birthday. The official cause of his death was recorded as a fatal overdose of a combination of the powerful, hospital-grade anesthetic propofol and the anti-anxiety drug lorzepam. After the autopsy, the Los Angeles County Coroner concluded that the superstar’s death was a homicide.

HPV Strains Affecting African-American Women Differ from Vaccines

HPV Strains Affecting African-American Women Differ from Vaccines

Two subtypes of human papillomavirus (HPV) prevented by vaccines are half as likely to be found in African-American women as in white women with precancerous cervical lesions, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.

The findings, presented on Oct. 28, 2013, at the 12th annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research hosted by the American Association for Cancer Research, suggest that African-American women may be less likely to benefit from available HPV vaccines to prevent cervical cancer.

Experts Clarify Conflicting Criteria for Diagnosing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Experts Clarify Conflicting Criteria for Diagnosing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) for the diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome, the most common hormone disorder in women of reproductive age and a leading cause of infertility.

The CPG, entitled “Diagnosis and Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline” will appear in the December 2013 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), a publication of The Endocrine Society.

Sleep Apnea is Associated with Subclinical Myocardial Injury

Sleep Apnea is Associated with Subclinical Myocardial Injury

Obstructive sleep apnea is known to be associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease. Now a new study indicates that OSA is associated with subclinical myocardial injury, as indicated by increased high sensitivity troponin T (hs-TnT) levels. Elevated hs-TnT levels are predictive of both coronary heart disease (CHD) and heart failure (HF) in the general population. This is the first study to demonstrate an independent association between sleep apnea severity and this marker of early myocardial injury.

Kids' Asthma Medication

Caregivers Frequently Administer Kids’ Asthma Medication Inaccurately Leading to Poor Health Outcome

The majority of caregivers who administer their child’s asthma medication frequently use the incorrect technique, leading to poor health outcomes, according to new research from The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM). The study, published in the Journal of Asthma, found that only one of 169 caregivers accurately carried out 10 steps outlined in national guidelines as the appropriate method to deliver adequate medication for asthma management. Robust education efforts and training of caregivers could help to improve outcomes, reduce hospital admissions and healthcare costs.

Study Again Confirms High Cost of Self-Referral with No Patient Benefit

Study Again Confirms High Cost of Self-Referral with No Patient Benefit

According to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), self-referring urologists dramatically increased their usage of a more expensive, but not necessarily more effective, radiation treatment they own compared to their non-self-referring counterparts where no ownership interest exists. The study adds to the existing mountain of evidence that the in-office ancillary services loophole to the Stark Law costs the Medicare system billions without benefiting patients.

Health Center Patients Remain Uninsured

Over One Million Community Health Center Patients in 25 States Will Remain Uninsured and Left Out of

A new report by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) examines the impact of health reform on community health centers (CHCs) and their patients. “Assessing the Potential Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Uninsured Community Health Center Patients: A Nationwide and State-by-State Analysis,” estimates that more than 5 million health center patients would have gained coverage had all states participated in a sweeping Medicaid expansion. However, nearly half of all CHCs are located in states that have opted out of the expansion. As a result, more than a million uninsured CHC patients who would have been covered under a nationwide Medicaid expansion will be left without the protection of health insurance, the report says.

David Carradine

David Carradine

On June 3, 2009 at the Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, the actor, musician, and writer David Carradine was found dead hanging from a nylon rope in a hotel room closet, of what looked like an old-fashioned suicide. An ex-wife believed he was murdered. The family attorney blamed his death on kung fu assassins.

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