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Worldwide, over 300 million people suffer from asthma, with this leading to nearly 400,000 deaths every year. A new study has shown that asthma sufferers could potentially reduce the chance of suffering an attack by taking Vitamin D supplements in combination with their standard asthma medication.

Why is Vitamin D important?

Vitamin D is suggested to have an important role to play, because it helps the immune system deal with viruses and inflammation, both of which can exacerbate the conditions of asthma and lead to potentially fatal asthma attacks.

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Today, a new plan to bring about an end to cholera has been launched by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC). The strategy, titled ‘Ending Cholera: A Global Roadmap to 2030’ provides a clear plan to reduce worldwide cholera deaths by 90 percent by 2030, with the hope of eliminating the transmission of this deadly disease in up to 20 different countries.

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Currently, clinicians tend to agree that patients who are in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for over twelve months have sustained irreversible damage and may never regain any level of consciousness. A new study, released this week, throws a different light on this commonly accepted belief, and may well change the way that the treatment of these patients is managed in the future. 

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New research released this week suggests that suicide attempts in the United States are on the rise, particularly in young adults. ‘National Trends in Suicide Attempts Among Adults in the United States’ was published September 13 in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Psychiatry.

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The traditional route of taking medicines in tablet form for certain conditions could potentially be replaced by a small device similar to a pacemaker, researchers claim. The device is roughly the same size as a pacemaker, but instead of being implanted by the heart, it sits just below the left collarbone. The idea is that the device stimulates the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the abdomen and is responsible for maintaining our heart rate, as well as relaying signals to and from our spleen, lungs and digestive system.

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Pediatric leukemia, a cancer of the blood in children, is classified into two types — acute lymphocytic/lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Of the two, ALL is more common, occurring between the age groups of two and four. Apart from when chemotherapy is successful, these children are left with a bleak prospect of survival because of this devastating disease.

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Not just adults but also infants and people with chronic heart and lung diseases are hospitalized and sometimes even die from excessive exposure (above 35 ppm) to the toxic gas, carbon monoxide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it has caused more than 400 deaths per year in America alone because of what is called carbon monoxide poisoning. The presence of this gas in the environment is a result of automobile emissions and exhaust fumes or while burning fuels in homes such as stoves and open fires.

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Scientists at the University of Oxford have just released details of a pioneering new study which aims to predict the risk of a patient suffering a stroke using an MRI scan. Using non-invasive scans such as these could well provide a much more effective way of monitoring patients who are at a high risk of strokes, as well as being an efficient way of observing patients who have suffered minor strokes.

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In cases of couples struggling to conceive, the cause can sometimes be the fact that the male partner has been born with an extra sex chromosome, known as X and Y chromosomes. This additional chromosome can cause problems in that it interferes with the creation of healthy mature sperm.

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Peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergies and can cause potentially fatal allergic reactions, with sufferers going into anaphylactic shock.

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If you’re into tattoos, bioengineering and high-tech health-sensing devices, this new development may be just the thing for you. A new project completed as a collaboration between researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School has resulted in a prototype ‘tattoo’ that changes colour in response to variations in certain health metrics, and can be read through the skin. This clinical ink has been shown to be able to indicate skin pH, glucose and sodium levels.

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End stage liver diseases, such as Stage 4 cirrhosis takes the lives of about 10,000 people every year in the United States, and unfortunately this number only seems to be increasing.

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For years, scientists have been searching for a medical adhesive that stays sticky when wet and does not cause irritation. Medical glue, or tissue adhesives, are becoming more and more popular as an alternative to staples or stitches. Currently, most glues available do not exhibit a high level of biocompatibility and also do not always match the mechanical properties of the tissues they’re attached to.

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Worldwide, 37 million people are infected with HIV. New research suggests that early treatment given to children born with the disease may help them control it in later life, without the need for daily medication in the form of antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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Dyslexia is characterized by trouble reading, despite normal or above average intelligence. Problems may include difficulties in spelling or pronouncing words, reading quickly, writing words and understanding what one reads.Galexia is an interactive game app for smartphones that notably improves the reading and writing ability of children with dyslexia.

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Worldwide, the number of people suffering from depression is startling. Every year, it affects over 300 million people, with around 800,000 of those committing suicide. Whilst our environment and experiences certainly play a role, our genes also have a central part to play. As a result, a team from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, led by Dr. Mary Kay Lobo, has been working to determine exactly which genes could be responsible for depression.

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Malaria, dengue, yellow fever, Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses have wreaked havoc among humans in the past, and are continuing to do so by taking lives irrespective of age, gender or status. Among these, malaria, the deadliest of all, affects more than half the world’s population. Fortunately, innovations in biotechnology are attempting to provide solutions to eradicate these maladies.

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The internet, one of man’s greatest discoveries, is now literally at our fingertips. Though it is highly developed and talks of a progressive society, there are some downsides too: cyber-crimes that affect the lives of many. It has recently come to light that such issues can also extend into areas of medicine.

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Scientists have been researching Parkinson’s for many decades and have this week come one step closer to a better understanding of the condition. Their research confirms the inkling that scientists have had for nearly 100 years, namely that a ‘faulty’ immune system is partly to blame. This finding is significant because it raises hope that the nerve death associated with Parkinson’s could be prevented by therapies that focus on the immune system.

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