The intensity of the symptom varies,
as does the type of discomfort. People also differ in how
unpleasant they find their symptoms and how well they cope.
Doctors have no straightforward way to assess all the
different aspects of breathlessness.
Paddington will be a very busy bear indeed in 2008, as he celebrates the 50th anniversary of the launch of ‘A Bear called Paddington’, written by Michael Bond and published in October 1958. But one of the most important events in his calendar will be this year’s Bring Your Bear bonanza in June. Everyone at Action Medical Research is really looking forward to marking half a century of Paddington in fabulous style and we want to raise as much money as possible in this special year.
Up to 300,000 people in the UK are blind or partially sighted because of AMD; diabetic retinopathy affects nearly everyone with Type I diabetes and up to 60 per cent of those with Type II. Fortunately, the last few years have seen the launch of some promising new treatments, but crucial to their success is early diagnosis.
Wheelchairs provide an invaluable means of support and mobility for many but a standard wheelchair seat may not always be suitable for people with serious disability, especially children. In 1980, Dr Steven Cousins and Professor Tom Lambert approached Action Medical Research with their concept for a revolutionary new posture support system.Their innovative work, supported with grants of more than £75,000 from the Charity, led to the development of the ‘Matrix’.
For most children, RSV infection is relatively mild, causing symptoms like a bad cold, often with wheezing and coughing. But a significant minority, mostly babies under six months old, can develop complications leading to pneumonia and sometimes respiratory failure.
At some point in 2008, Karen Jankel hopes to have a hip replacement. It’s a surprising operation for someone not yet 50 to be planning, but Karen was born with a hip condition and has lived with complications arising from it, ever since. So despite being a youthful woman in her prime, the prospect of surgery is being faced with the same stoical optimism that Karen has displayed all her life.
Action Medical Research began in 1952 as the National Fund for Poliomyelitis Research, with the aim of fighting the feared polio virus.
Each year in the UK, around 70,000 babies need some form of resuscitation in the vital few minutes immediately after birth. Currently, the best way to assess a baby’s response is to measure the heart rate with a stethoscope. But this can interrupt the resuscitation procedure, losing crucial seconds and putting the baby at increased risk.
Several things can
help relieve the symptoms,
including painkillers, antiinflammatory
and joint replacement
operations. Nevertheless, some people find they must learn to
cope with persistent pain and stiffness, which poses a real
challenge, especially if they have difficulties sleeping and are
worried about losing their independence.
Osteoarthritis results from damage to cartilage.
Babies born with the condition, Hirschsprung’s disease, have a lack of nerve cells in the rectum and need an operation to relieve the subsequent obstruction and diseased section of bowel.The condition is usually diagnosed within days of birth. Keyhole techniques mean that surgery is less invasive than it used to be, but even so around 10 % of sufferers require a lifetime colostomy and many more have to live with significant incontinence problems.
We do not understand why some of these babies die. It’s also unclear whether a drug called ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), which relieves the mother’s itch, could also benefit babies. It has long been known that pregnant women with obstetric cholestasis have abnormally high levels of bile acids in their blood because the liver is not working properly. Researchers from Imperial College London, led by Dr Julia Gorelik, suspect these raised levels of bile acids might endanger unborn babies by causing their heart to beat abnormally, putting them at risk of a heart attack.
Several treatments help manage flare-ups by reducing inflammation in the gut. But up to a third of people with Crohn’s disease also develop scarring to the walls of their intestine.This can become so bad that it causes a blockage, called a stricture, which stops food and faeces passing along the abdominal tract. The causes of scarring are poorly understood and no treatments can prevent it. Many people with strictures have to undergo surgery to remove the damaged part of their intestine.
Researchers from the University of Manchester, led by Dr Shaheen Hamdy, are now looking at a safe and painless new technology called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which stimulates the brain using weak electric currents. Ongoing trials in the US suggest similar technologies can help stroke victims recover lost movement in their arms and hands. In Dr Hamdy’s study, the research team is investigating whether tDCS has the potential to help people recover their ability to eat and drink again.
In order to live a normal life medication is often a necessity. But in some cases even this is not sufficient to assist one to live a seizure-free life and the sideeffects of this medication may cause additional health problems. Seizures can hamper one’s daily life causing disruption to education, damaging employment prospects not to mention a loss of personal freedom.