If there is one thing that best describes today’s healthcare, then that would be it is ever-changing. Our understanding of human health conditions has grown leaps and bounds, thanks to the ever-increasing reliance on advanced technologies as well as the sharing of research information across various fields of interest to bring to man some of the most amazing discoveries of the 21st century. As we wind our countdown towards 2018 we have born witness to some of the most amazing medical breakthroughs in 2017. Here are 5 of them.
- Na-Nose Disease-Smelling Breath Test
Boasting of the same principles used in breathalyzer tests, the Na-Nose device is currently hailed as one of the most amazing medical breakthroughs in 2017 primarily for its ability to detect up to 17 different disease conditions through the identification and analysis of volatile organic compounds that are present in an individual’s breath. Among the diseases that Na-Nose is able to detect include breast cancer, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. The device is able to identify unique breathprint patterns that differentiate them from the breath of a normal, healthy individual.
- CRISPR Hope for HIV Patients
CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindronic Repeats. In simplest forms, CRISPR is a defense mechanism developed by certain bacterial species against viruses. It is almost similar to the T-lymphocytes of the human immune system where memory cells make copies of the offending organism so that it can mount an effective defense the second time this organism invades. This 2017, scientists have begun to understand the complex processes involved in CRISPR mechanisms. What is truly amazing is that their laboratory tests confirm that CRISPR can effectively remove HIV from the cells of infected mice. The implications is that, if CRISPR can be fully understood and applied into HIV-infected human cells, there is hope for people with the dreaded disease.
- Edaravone ALS Treatment
While there is currently no cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, there are certain medications that can be used to slow down its progression. Before Edaravone, there was only Riluzole that was approved by the FDA in the management of ALS. This year, Edaravone was introduced after undergoing an extensive 6-month clinical trial, significiantly reducing the rate of neurologic decline in affected patients.
- Artificial Pancreas
Patients with dysfunctional glucose metabolism can now let out a sigh of relief as an artificial pancreas has been developed in 2017. This is especially beneficial for patients who have insulin dependent diabetes mellitus as the artificial pancreas effectively takes the place of the real organ by providing the patient with a steady dose of insulin automatically delivered to the body.
- NPTX2 and Alzheimer’s Disease
The actual disease mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease still baffles the medical community. However, scientists believe that with the discovery of the association between the NPTX2 protein and cognitive decline among Alzheimer’s patients, we are actually a lot closer to truly understanding this disease entity.
Medical and healthcare breakthroughs continue to be made at a steady pace. These 5 amazing medical breakthroughs in 2017 are clear manifestations of man’s pursuit to address a variety of pressing health concerns.