Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of interest in medical research. After all, no one can expect to maintain a perfect state of health forever, meaning that the fruits of medical breakthroughs can have a significant impact for people at some point in their lives. As a result, it is no wonder that medical innovations and inventions seem to come out on a regular basis. Sometimes, these can mean improved treatments for people who are coping with chronic illnesses, thus enabling them to live in a more comfortable manner as well as with fewer complications in the processes. Other times, these can mean potential solutions for problems that remain all too common. Whatever the case, 2017 has had a fair number of interesting medical breakthroughs so far, which should come as welcome news to interested individuals.
Here are five of the top medical breakthroughs of 2017 so far:
Breath Test for Lung Cancer
When a person exhales, there are a lot of organic compounds that are exhaled in the process, which can see significant variation depending on the state of their health. There is now evidence suggesting that this could be used to design a breath test for lung cancer, which would be based on the levels of a particular compound that seems to be produced by tumorous tissue in the lungs. As a result, should this become reality, people would be able to check for lung cancer with much more ease as well as much more convenience, thus enabling them to catch it sooner than otherwise possible. Something that could mean much better outcomes for said individuals.
Edaravone is a new medication provided to patients through intravenous infusion. It has a couple of uses. First, it is being used to help people recover from their strokes over in Japan. Second, it has been approved by the relevant authorities in not just Japan but also the United States for use in treating ALS by slowing the patients’ rate of decline from the neurodegenerative disease. This is rather remarkable because it is the first time in more than two decades that the FDA has approved a medication for use in treating ALS, meaning that it provides new hope that it will be cured at some point in the future.
The Elimination of HIV in Mice
CRISPR has proven its enormous potential once more by enabling scientists to remove HIV from infected mouse cells. This is huge because current treatment is based on using medications to suppress the replication of said virus, whereas if CRISPR can be used to perform the same function in infected human cells, it could eliminate the replication of said virus at the source. Of course, this is still far from the point when it can be used in human patients, seeing as how the success of the mouse trial means that the scientists will now be able to move onto a primate trial that should enable them to collect more relevant results.
Improved Understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease
There is new research showing that there is a correlation between the decline in mental faculties so associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and low levels of a particular protein called NPTX2. This means little on a practical level for the time being, but it does mean a better understanding of the nature of Alzheimer’s Disease as well as what happens to someone with the medical condition. As a result, it can still be considered one more step towards coming up with a better treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease at some point in the future, which is important not just because of what happens to people with the medical condition but also because of how widespread it is. After all, the chances of someone getting Alzheimer’s Disease increases at a massive rate as a person ages.
Introduction of Artificial Pancreas
Artificial pancreases are now available for people suffering from diabetes. Given the name, it should come as no surprise to learn that said device provides its user with more insulin on an automatic basis by monitoring their blood sugar levels. As a result, it should enable people suffering from diabetes to live with more convenience than otherwise possible, thus resulting in a massive gain when it comes to their quality of life. Something that should never be underestimated when evaluating the importance of new medical breakthroughs.