Diphtheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae): History, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Corynebacteria are Gram-positive, aerobic, nonmotile, rod-shaped bacteria related to the Actinomycetes. They do not form spores or branch as do the actinomycetes, but they have the characteristic of forming irregular shaped, club-shaped or V-shaped arrangements in normal growth. They undergo snapping movements just after cell division which brings them into characteristic arrangements resembling Chinese letters.…

Huntington’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Testing

Huntington’s disease, or Huntngton’s chorea, is a genetic disease that causes selective neural cell death, which results in chorea, or irregular, jerking movements of the limbs caused by involuntary muscle contractions, and dementia.  It can cause a lack of concentration and depression.  It also may cause atrophy of the caudate nucleus, a part of the…

Osteoporosis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Osteoporosis is a significant health problem that affects more than 25 million women in the United States and potentially 200 million worldwide. This disease is characterized by diminishing the structure of the skeleton (particular the “spongy” bone). This results in an increased risk of fracture. Osteoporosis develops silently over a period of years, eventually progressing…

Premature Infancy & Infants: Causes & Treatment

Premature babies, otherwise known as preterm babies, or preemies, are babies that are born earlier than the full-term of thirty-eight to forty-two weeks of pregnancy. These babies are generally born between the twentieth and thirty-eighth week. Almost 250,000 babies, nearly seven percent of newborns, are premature(Golant 4). Prematurity, even with all the advances in technology,…

Reye Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Reye Syndrome is an extremely rare, non-contagious disease thought to be triggered by aspirin use.  The actual origin of the disease is unknown.  Reye’s Syndrome, occasionally called Reye-Jacobsen’s Syndrome, is known to follow any viral infection.  Two of the most common viral infections it precedes is influenza, “the flu”, and chicken pox.  A now-familiar warning…

Treating Anaphylaxis: Treatments & Methods

In the emergency setting, anaphylaxis is a dangerous, life threatening condition that must be treated in an aggressive and timely fashion. Anaphylaxis is a condition related to acute allergic reactions. Following the body’s exposure to the offending allergen, there are common systemic reactions. The most serious reactions involve the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, but the…

Vitamins & Nutrient Supplements: History, Use, Effectiveness

A Vitamin is any organic compound required by the body in small amounts for metabolism, to protect health, and for proper growth in children. Vitamins also assist in the formation of hormones, blood cells, the chemicals of the nervous-system, and genetic material. The various vitamins are not chemically related, and most differ in their physiological…