STRESS AND “PRE-HYPERTENSION”

As you may know, white-coat hypertension is the temporary rise in blood pressure caused by the anxiety of being in a medical setting and interacting with a health professional. The fear and anxiety aroused in this situation stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which prompts a transient increase in blood pressure. While white-coat hypertension should not [...]

ATHEROSCLEROSIS OF LEG’S ARTERIES

The most common location for atherosclerosis, other than in the heart, is in the arteries that feed the legs. Blood leaving the heart flows into the large aorta, which carries blood to all parts of the body. As the aorta passes down into the abdomen, it divides into two large iliac arteries that supply the [...]

HIV: ON LIVING-THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION

Your attitude toward life might in fact be related to your health. A field of research studies the intricate connections between mental state, the brain, and the immune system. The field goes by two impossible names: one is neuroimmunomodulation, the other is psychoneuroimmunology. Specifically, stress seems to affect the immune system’s ability to respond to [...]

BOTULINUM TOXIN: DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT AND POSTEXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS

Diagnosis The diagnosis of botulism requires recognition of the key clinical features. Clinical samples used for naturally occurring disease include direct detection of botulinum toxin and identification of C. botulinum by culture of serum (>30 ml of blood in a red-top tube), stool, gastric aspirate, vomitus, and suspected food. In a bioterrorism aerosol release, serology [...]

TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE: EARLY, LATE AND CHRONIC LYME DISEASE

Early Lyme Disease with Acute Neurologic Involvement Acute neurologic involvement includes aseptic meningitis or radiculopathy. Parenteral therapy with ceftriaxone, penicillin G, or cefotaxime is recommended for both children and adults. Oral or parenteral doxycycline can be used for patients over 8 years of age with intolerance of penicillins or cephalosporins. Lumbar puncture may be reserved [...]

THE OTHER SIDE OF SLEEP: THE DREAM DEBATE

Today, with the increased attention paid to sleep by the medical community, the debate over the function of dreams continues apace. As in any good debate, there are opposing schools of thought, each armed with volumes of data to prove its points. One camp, comprised mainly of psychiatrists and psychologists, stands committed to the belief, [...]

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA) AND HEALTH INSURANCE: PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE

If you are working and your employer provides health insurance benefits, you may not have the option of selecting a specific form of insurance or a specific insurance carrier. (Note: If you are insured through a group plan at work and then lose your job or begin to consider another job, do not drop your [...]

SYPHILIS – CONGENITAL SYPHILIS

The early lesions are similar to those of secondary syphilis with rhinitis, rash, bone involvement, hepatosplenomegaly, meningitis and anaemia. Late congenital syphilis is comparable to late acquired syphilis. It usually occurs after 2 years of age. Manifestations include Hutchinson’s triad (interstitial keratitis, incisor defects and perceptive deafness), gummas and neurosyphilis. Cardiovascular lesions do not occur [...]

SYPHILIS – LATENT SYPHILIS; LATE SYPHILIS

Positive serology in a patient without symptoms or signs of disease is referred to as latent syphilis and is the commonest presentation of syphilis in Australia today. Possibly because of the widespread use of antibiotics, the infection often proceeds to the latent stage without a recognised primary or secondary stage. An attempt should be made [...]

SYPHILIS – SECONDARY SYPHILIS

Secondary syphilis is generally an immune complex disease presenting in various ways. In many cases symptoms are too mild to be of concern to the patient. The most common feature of the secondary stage of infection is a rash which is present in about 80% of cases. The rash is typically a symmetrical, generalised, coppery-red [...]