In mid-December, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced approval of Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl), the first directly administered gene therapy approved in the U.S. to target a disease caused by mutations in a specific gene ... in this case, a rare form of inherited vision loss.
"Nature was good at selecting for traits that helped us survive from infancy to reproductive age. After that, it didn't concern itself much with helping to develop genes to stay healthy and live a long life," Steven N. Austad, PhD, Chair of the Department of Biology at UAB, said.
At the most basic level, life is energy. Within each cell, the transformation of nutrients and oxygen powers the processes, activity and thoughts that make us living beings.
United Health Foundation's annual America's Health Rankings® report explores state rankings on 35 health measures. How did Alabama fare?
Without moving an inch, anyone in Alabama can now use their phone, computer or tablet to connect virtually to a physician or nurse practitioner in minutes any time of day or night through St. Vincent's OnDemand service for a nominal fee of $35.
There is an increasing concern among public health professionals over the link between social media use and an increase in anxiety and depression.
Three devastating hurricanes and the threat of a cholera outbreak from contaminated water; wildfires near Gatlinburg and California wine country; outbreaks of Zika and Ebola--it all reminds us that bad things can happen anywhere.
Sticking to New Year's resolutions can help with a host of health concerns ... including lowering risk for many types of cancers.
The battle against brain cancer is a personal one for Christopher Jahraus MD, a radiation oncologist with Shelby Baptist Medical Center. When Jahraus was a fourth-year resident in his specialty, his father was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a highly malignant tumor.
According to the American Cancer Society, one out of every four cancer deaths is attributed to lung cancer, making the disease the leading cause of cancer death among men and women.
"It's potentially revolutionary," says Luciano Costa, MD, PhD, about chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy -- a newly approved gene therapy for blood cancers.
Few people alive today remember a time when there were no antibiotics. Before penicillin arrived on the front lines of World War II, many lives and limbs were lost not on the battlefield, but in the days after when even small wounds could become lethal infections.
"If this was a prostate cancer tool, 90 percent of surgeons would be using it," says Jeffrey Nix, MD, assistant professor in the UAB Department of Urology, about blue light cystoscopy in bladder cancer surgeries.
For the past 11 years, Brian Christine, MD has focused his Urology Centers of Alabama practice on men's sexual health with the Men's Sexual Health Clinic which provides treatment for patients with erectile dysfunction and other problems.
With all the problems facing healthcare professionals today, perhaps the most challenging arena of all is providing primary care in rural areas. Despite those challenges, however, several Alabama physicians also tout the advantages of choosing a rural setting.
Peanut allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis and fatal outcomes from food reactions in children. A new oral immunotherapy (OIT) treatment is proving to be a safe and effective way to eliminate the effects of the allergen in many sufferers through controlled exposure to peanuts.
In the days of door to door vacuum cleaner salesmen, a common sales technique was to astound the prospective customer by cleaning a huge pile of debris from the living room rug.
New guidelines for managing hypertension are expected this year. Meanwhile, in light of the SPRINT study and years of debate about blood pressure targets for older adults, many physicians face questions over how aggressively they should push for lower blood pressure numbers.
A recently developed cell phone application gives new meaning to the term 'house call.' The program, known as ChronicCareIQ, is an app that helps doctors remotely monitor the care of chronic patients.
An expert panel takes a fresh look at the most common mode of death and outlines 10 measures to try to flip the script.
Brooke MD Primary Care, honored as Huntsville's Medical Practice of the Year, utilizes an innovative patient care model. In response to the shortage of primary care physicians, Dr. Brooke Uptagrafft manages three nurse practitioners who are the principal patient care providers.
"The great thing about being part of Partnership for Patients is you have access to a lot of resources," says Vicki Britt, director of quality management at Pickens County Medical Center.
"This will fill an unmet need in mental health," says Tom Dooley, PhD, a Birmingham researcher with 13 patents for pharmaceutical and biotech developments to his name.
The Power of "Why?"
Primary care physicians see it almost every day. Patients come in complaining of fatigue. The exam is normal, labs raise no flags, and questions yield few if any clues.
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