Tarheel Health Portal
Welcome to the learning project on The Tarheel Health Portal
This page is under construction by English 105i at UNC Chapel Hill, and it will eventually include information on various health topics and related resources that will be useful to UNC students. It will potentially be passed on to other 105i instructors next semester for ongoing expansion.
The construction of this page will be a learning experience aimed at fostering familiarity with wiki markup and editing practices. Be aware that if this page was transferred to Wikipedia, it would be considered too informal, of too localized interest, and too lengthy for easy navigation. That's why we're using Wikiversity.
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Chondrosarcoma is a rare form of bone cancer that is unreceptive to many current radiation and chemotherapy options, making invasive surgery the most common form of treatment. Proton radiation therapy has seen significant results in small clinical settings, yet has not been expanded into larger studies. 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME), a new chemotherapy drug, has show to be effective in targeting human chondrosarcoma cells in lab settings and appears to have a very high dose before toxicity becomes apparent. Similarly to proton therapy, however, 2-ME has not been expanded into human trails yet. This wiki will delve further into how and why these treatment options seem so promising for the future of chondrosarcoma treatment.
Lactose intolerance is a common disorder shared by many people around the globe. It involves the absence of the enzyme lactase, which is necessary to break down the sugar lactose (found in any dairy products). Although lactose intolerance is a fairly common affliction, it shows interesting patterns of prevalence in different populations. For example, 96% of Swedes are lactose tolerant, while 97% of Chinese are lactose intolerant. The reason for these discrepancies can be found in evolutionary, as well as genetic, reasons.
There are many risk factors that may contribute to memory loss from subclinical vascular disease in the brain, in addition to the alteration of tau protein phosphorylation or amyloid precursor protein expression and processing, which can both lead to defective neurotransmission, degeneration of neurons, synaptic loss, and clinical and pathological defects consistent with AD and dementia. Obesity and obesity-related factors (such as high blood pressure, insulin intolerance, etc.), which are risk factors for dementia, may also be risk factors for AD. The basis for obesity to increase AD risk is based on the results of many epidemiological dementia studies and proof that these illnesses may promote mechanisms hypothesized to cause AD. For instance, endocrine changes in the brain often result from obesity and may demonstrate an increased risk for AD. Thus, this Wiki page will explain the role of obesity in AD and its importance since the insights could glean way to a sooner diagnosis of AD and also to lifestyle and clinical methods to prevent AD.
Evidence shows that people who experience long periods of stress may be at increased risk of developing PTSD. This is largely supported by studies that show that a decrease in hippocampal volume has been linked to both long-term stress as well as PTSD. This connection is important for students at UNC because of the long-term academic stress associated with college. Furthermore, students have a particular risk of being exposed to certain types of trauma. For example, there is a danger of sexual assault for women that could cause psychological trauma. Veteran students as well might be at risk for the trauma associated with experiencing combat. This page will discuss why students should be aware of this connection and how their college experience might be better for it.
Adverse childhood experiences are categorized as traumatic experiences or circumstances endured during an individual’s early developmental years. Some of the main examples of adverse childhood experiences include child abuse, growing up in poverty, suffering from the loss of a loved one, or being a victim of sexual abuse, however, the phrase adverse childhood experiences refers to more than just the few examples listed here. Most individuals are aware of the mental strain that these events can cause in adulthood but many are unaware of the life-long effect that such experiences can have on physical health and morbidity. This page will discuss the elevated susceptibility to physical illness in adulthood possessed by victims of adverse childhood experiences and possible ways that these individuals may be able to overcome the enduring effects of childhood misfortune.
Age-related macular degeneration causes irreversible vision loss, due to damage caused by the growth of blood vessels in the retina. To treat and prevent age-related macular degeneration, there are anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections, which inhibit the blood vessels to grow causing a gain in visual acuity. Two well-known injections, Avastin and Lucentis, have been used to treat age-related macular degeneration; however, the two drugs have differences in cost, approval, and treatment plans. This page presents a cost effective analysis of Avastin and Lucentis.
Ultimate is a relatively new sport that has started gaining a lot of traction in the public the last few years. With every new sport, there are many fields and subjects that can be researched, including psychological (tactics) and physiological aspects. Ultimate is a game that is an amalgamation of sports such as soccer, football, and rugby and so the throwing or passing motion is an important part of the game for every player. The flight of the disc depends mostly on the angle of release and the amount of spin placed on it, while the wrist, arm, and shoulder are the main physiological factors. To determine which factors were the most important, experiments have been conducted that used high speed cameras and reflective markers to collect data about the joint kinematics.
Many in our society are hoping for a way to increase the overall chances of someone with breast cancer living. Exercise is making it to the forefront of this medical conversation. Exercise used in conjunction with a primary care (such as radiation or chemotherapy) can increase the likelihood that one will survive the disease. Exercise has many positive outcomes for cancer patients just as it does with a healthy person. This page will look at how moderate-intensity exercise appears to be the best form of exercise in which a patient should take part.
Many people believe that Heart Disease mainly effects men, but this is simply not true. Heart disease kills more women than men each year, with the total morality higher than all cancer deaths combined. Because of the varying symptoms, many women with heart disease do not know that they are having this health issue. This is also not helped by the fact that most physicians, including cardiologist, don’t know that the symptoms of heart attack differ between men and women. In this page, I will be focusing on how women can identify their risk factors for heart disease and be better prepared on how to prevent and/or treat this disease.
Traditionally, medicine has been the only effective medical option for epilepsy treatment in the neurological community. However, in the recent years, the scientific community has explored non-pharmacological and noninvasive treatments for epilepsy. This page will explore these proven and effective treatment options, and the increased quality of life that epileptic patients subsequently receive. Also, this page will be giving some precautions that bystanders can take when encountering a person having a seizure.
In the 20th century, there was some suspicion that oral contraceptives could lead to infertility or delays in return to fertility upon cessation of use, but these fears abated in the 21st century as studies repeatedly concluded oral contraceptives had no effect on women's fertility. This page will expose why these more recent studies' conclusions may be misleading, and it will provide other resources about oral contraceptives and fertility research currently underway at UNC Hospitals.
Many people die annually due to infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. To address the pressing problem of antibiotic resistance, many scientists propose the use of bacteriophages to combat pathogen outbreaks, a technique known as “phage therapy”. Bacteriophages have the ability to clear and kill bacteria, and are highly effective when combined into a phage cocktail. Furthermore, phage therapy can be an effective method used within the food industry in order to kill foodborne pathogens. This linked page explains what phage therapy is, and why it is proposed as a promising alternative to antibiotic therapy. It also describes the history of antibiotic resistance, virophages, and the possibility of phage resistance.
The Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL), or medial collateral ligament is part of the human elbow joint and, connects the humerus to the ulna. Specifically the UCL is located on the medial side of the arm, the side of the elbow, which is closer to the body, if you are standing in the anatomical position. Repetitive stressful motions such as throwing a baseball can cause the ulnar collateral ligament to become stretched, frayed or torn. For this reason injuries to the UCL have become increasingly prominent in baseball pitchers are occurring more at much younger ages. When the tendon is torn doctors can preform ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction or Tommy John Surgery to replacing the ligament with a graft from somewhere else in the body. The high success rate for the surgery, has allowed pitchers to return at such a high level of play, that it is now not uncommon to see pitchers tear their UCL a second time. It has done nothing to decrease the occurrence of the injury which is now more common then ever.
Stem Cell Research
Every year in the United States, about 27,000 people die from end-stage liver disease, 120,000 from chronic lung disease, 112,000 from end-stage kidney failure, and 425,000 from coronary heart disease. Even patients who acquire an organ transplant after enduring the notoriously sluggish organ waiting list, still face the potential of rejection of the organ from the body. This page describes the process of making artificial organs from stem cells and scaffold. Because the stem cells used to make the organs come from the patient who is receiving the organ, the chance of rejection of the organ will be slim to none. This page will delve into the decellularization of a cadaveric organ, the recellularization of stem cells onto the scaffold through a bioreactor, the actual transplantation of the artificial organ, and experiments/surgeries that have already been done with respect to artificial organs.
In 2013, a beef patty comprised of ten thousand lab-grown (in vitro) muscle cells was cooked and tasted on live television by a panel of writers and scientists and gave the world a glimpse into the future of meat. Alternative sources of animal proteins are gradually being developed and improved, but the most interesting and complex alternative is growing meat in vitro, or outside of the animal’s body. As we approach 2050, the world's demand for meat will increase over 70% due to the rapidly growing world population. It is unsure if innovations in livestock management will be able to support a production level able to meet the growing demands. This page explains the science behind in vitro meat, the environmental advantages that come with producing meat in a lab, and the possibility of consumer approval.
In North America, more than 15,000 people have Huntington’s Disease. Most people affected by Huntington’s Disease will develop symptoms between the ages, while 10% of the population will develop onset prior to age 55. In August 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved tetrabenazine to treat Huntington’s chorea, the first drug approved for use in the United States to treat the disease. Other drugs, such as antipsychotic drugs like haloperidol, only help alleviate choreic movements, hallucinations and violent outbursts asociated with the disease. These drugs, especially antipsychotic drug Dystonia, may worsen the condition of muscle contraction in HD, causing stiffness and rigidity. New, biomedical methods, like pluripotent stem cells, are being implemented in order to understand, restore, and replace functions typically lost by neuronal degeneration in individuals with Huntington's Disease. Research on induced pluripotent stem cells are slowly converging, and are yielding important clues about the disease's relentless destruction of mind and body through gene correction and disease modeling. This page will explain the mechanisms surrounding Huntington's Disease, induced pluripotent stem cells and their functionality, disease modeling, and neural grafting.
HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects men who have sex with men and African Americans in the United States. According to the CDC, In 2013 African American gay and bisexual men accounted for 39% of new infections, almost as many new HIV infections as white gay and bisexual men, despite the differences in population size of African Americans compared to whites. Increased risk is due to a combination of socioeconomic factors prohibiting access to healthcare, greater likelihood of being exposed to HIV, stigma, lack of awareness, and smaller sexual networks.
The growing diagnosis of African American males showing symptoms of ADHD due to their "behavior" has only further agitated their perception in society and impeded their chances of going into other social sectors. In my research, I want to examine how race, socioeconomic status, and academic achievement and behavior play in the substantial diagnosis and how these traits are congruent to the amount of treatment an individual is able to receive due to their social factors. This examination will also be related to the perception of African American males and how the substantial diagnosis has played in their direction of social mobility.
Approximately 250,000 people in the United States suffer from spinal cord injuries. These types of injuries have been long believed to be irreversible with the only treatment being physical therapy. This unfortunate fact is due to the inability of the Central Nervous System to repair itself. However, in recent years, there has been much research and investigation into the treatment and possible reversal of spinal cord injuries. The linked page above includes one of the most promising techniques, Schwann Cell Therapy, being researched in the field of spinal cord repair after injury.
Additional helpful readings include: