Bringing Rapid HIV Testing to Dentistry

An interesting study has been performed by the University of Sydney in 2014, looking at the possibility of using rapid HIV testing before dental surgery. The study assessed 521 Sydney based dental patients and their willingness to undergo rapid HIV testing in dental settings, their preference for HIV testing type, and their willingness to pay for the HIV test. More than 80% of the patients in the study were found to be willing to undergo rapid HIV testing before a dental procedure. The technology behind a rapid HIV test has been around for more than a decade but it not currently available in dental settings. The test can be done as a finger prick or a saliva swab. The results of the HIV test can be determined within 20 minutes. The Australian Federal government announced in July 2014, that they would no longer prevent the manufacture and sale of oral home-testing kits for HIV.  In the study, 76% preferred an oral saliva swab, 15% preferred a pin prick test, and 8% preferred a traditional blood test that draws blood through a needle. The researchers further believe that around 45% of dentists are prepared to perform HIV testing in their clinic. […]

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Migraine Sufferers that are Old could have Silent Brain Injury

An interesting study appears in the May 2014 issue of Stroke titled “Migraine, White Matter Hyperintensities, and Subclinical Brain Infarction in a Diverse Community: The Northern Manhattan Study,” written by Teshamae Monteith and et. al exploring migraine headaches. The article finds that older migraine sufferers are more likely to have silent brain injury. The study found that people who have a history of migraine headache had a double the chance likelihood of having ischemic silent brain infarction compared to those who did not suffer from migraine headache. A silent brain infarction is a type of brain injury that is mostly likely caused when a blood clot interrupts blow flow to brain tissue. These type of injuries occur without any symptoms and is believed to play a role in future strokes. The risk of this occurring is considered small; however, those with migraine risk factors may want to be extra careful and should consider lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Researchers from the Northern Manhattan Study, a collaborative investigation between the University of Miami and Columbia University, studied an ethnic group of older adults (average age 71 and 41% men) in New York. A […]

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New Drugs to Help Prevent Migraine in Development

Earlier this year at the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, two studies were presented which may be intriguing for those who suffer from migraine headaches. The studies explored the use of potential drugs to prevent migraine attacks from occurring. In both studies monoclonal antibodies were explored which target the calcitonin gene related peptide CGRP. Researchers have believed that CGRP is useful for migraine but drugs were never developed for it previously. One of the studies looked at 163 people who suffered from migraine between 5 and 14 days per month. These individuals received either a placebo or a IV dose of a drug ALD403. The individuals were followed for a period of 24 weeks. Those who received ALD403 had an average of 5.6 fewer migraine days per month compared to 4.6 fewer migraine days per month for those who received placebo. A total of 16% of the patients who received ALD403 were migraine free at 12 weeks. The other study looked at 217 people who suffered from migraine between 4 and 14 days per month. Some individuals received either a placebo or a drug called LY2951742 for a period of 12 weeks. Those who received LY2951742 had an […]

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Exploring the Alternative to Medical Injury Claims in New Hampshire

In a post last year I dicussed briefly the early offer system in New Hampshire see The Optional Alternative to Medical Injury Claims. This is the first of the kind system in the United States that is an alternative to the traditional medical malpractice system. An article in the 2013 issue 4 of the American Journal of Law and Medicine has explored this titled “Evaluating New Hampshire’s First-In-The-Nation Early Offer Alternative to Medical Malpractice Litigation,” and written by John W. Masland. The article states “Many states have enacted medical malpractice reforms, recognizing that their tort systems result in protracted litigation, high costs, and a large number of uncompensated victims. One proposed reform, an “early offer” system, allows a medical provider to make a financial offer covering an injured patient’s economic damages, which, if the patient accepts, precludes litigation…On June 27, 2012, the New Hampshire General Assembly overrode former Governor John Lynch’s veto and established the country’s first early offer payment system for medical malpractice claimants.  After a medical injury, patients may now request an early offer payment from their medical providers for economic damages.” The article goes into more specific details of the early offer program as implemented in New Hampshire. […]

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New Blood Pressure Medication for Migraines

A new study by the Norway and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology shows that a blood pressure medication, candesartan, is as effective as propranolol which is prescribed to prevent migraine. Further, candesartan may work better for those migraine suffers who don’t find propranolol to be useful. The study by the norwegian researchers was a triple blind test which means that neither patients nor doctors nor those who analyzed the results knew whether the patients had been given the drug or a placebo. Seventy two patients took part in the study and all patients were affected by migraine attacks at least twice a month. The patients used each treatment candesartan, propranolol, or placebo for 12 weeks and also underwent four weeks before start and finish between each treatment without anything. As such each patient was tested for nearly a year. More than 20 percent of migraine patients reported that they feel better when given a placebo. However, blind tests show that candesartan works for another 20 to 30 percent of patients with migraine. Candesartan was used intially to treat high blood pressure but was discovered by chance in the 19990s that it worked well for headaches. This led to […]

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