6 Commonly Asked Scoliosis Questions Finally Answered

Scoliosis is nothing but the sideways curvature of the spine. It occurs mostly during the growth spurt just before puberty. Most cases are found to be mild with only a few symptoms. Some children develop spine distortion that gets worse as they grow. Worse scoliosis can be painful and disabling. Though this disease is self – diagnosable, it cannot be cured, and therefore treatment is not mandatory. But sometimes surgery or brace is needed, lab tests or imaging is always required. Since it is a chronic disease, it can last for years or may stay lifelong.

Commonly Asked Questions (C.A.Q.)

1. How does an individual discover that he or she has scoliosis?

Scoliosis or curvature of the spine usually produces a cosmetic distortion. Visible asymmetries in the shape of the back and the observation that one hip or shoulder is higher than the other are the most general signs that someone has scoliosis. These asymmetries are more evident in adolescence during the fast growth spurts and may be detected by friends or parents.

2. Is drinking enough milk or consuming junk food responsible for scoliosis?

In sporadic cases, scoliosis may be caused by dietary issues. Scoliosis may be a rare finding in diseases where lack of calcium causes softening of the bone. Whatsoever one consumes and the quantity of food one consumes doesn’t produce any curvature in the spine. Regarding junk food, they never cause any curve to the spine.

3. Does it hurt?

Adolescents and children who are suffering from scoliosis seldom complain of pain. If the pain is the primary reason for a young patient, then further analysis is required beyond standard x – rays to put in place an underlying cause of the curvature. For example, in rare instances, an excellent inflammatory focus of tissue (osteoid osteoma) can produce curvature of the spine.

The population of adults that are diagnosed with scoliosis seek treatment because of pain. As one grows old, the spine becomes less ductile and undergoes changes which lower the water content in the disks and cause inflammation in the joints.

4. Since surgery is not mandatory, does wearing a hard brace the only choice to preserve the spine?

Though there is a little dispute as to whether patients who qualify for specific criterion should be braced, the precise choice of the brace type and the time span of brace wear generates some exchange of views.

5. Who is fit for spinal surgery? Who is the decision maker for surgery and how worse the curve has to be?

For a patient discovered with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, who has never undergone spine surgery, the leading indicator for an operation is a growing curvature measuring 40° or more. The physician will suggest surgery based on medical necessity (not at all a cosmetic reason), and then the surgical options are talked over with the patient, and with the parents of any patient who is below 18 years. The choice to proceed with the surgery is entirely on the hand of the patient except for who is below 18 years.

6. Is there any age restriction?

The final commitment for surgery is based on medical criteria, which includes the degree of curvature, the progress of curve and the skeletal maturity of the patient. Through surgical intervention, the spinal curvature can daily be made correct to 40% of the original size, but the curative aim should be more vitally be producing a fused spine that leaves the patient balanced.

Medical Disclosure:

The information contained in this article is presented to educate the people. Nothing contained in this section should be construed nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. Should you have any healthcare-related questions, please call or see your physician or another qualified healthcare provider promptly. Always consult with your doctor or another qualified healthcare professional before embarking on a new treatment, diet, or fitness program.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bat Diseases

Zoonotic viruses are those than can pass from one animal to another, and bats are known hosts to more than 60 of them. Furthermore, they are carriers of several other infectious viruses, bacteria, and parasites. However, just because a bat is a host does not mean they are infected, or even contagious. Continue reading to learn more about transmissible bat diseases, including the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions asked by readers just like you.

Which Diseases Can Bats Carry and Transmit?

Bats are most known for being carriers of the Rabies virus. It is also possible for bats to carry the SARS virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome), however, it is rare, and the transmission from bat to human is even rarer. Other than zoonotic viruses, bats can also cause additional health concerns. Their droppings (also known as guano) can grow fungi spores (Histoplasma Capsulatum) that become airborne. If inhaled, it can cause a respiratory illness known as Histoplasmosis, which can be incredibly severe for young children, elderly folks, and those with weakened immune systems. Bats can also cause parasitic outbreaks, including lice, bat mites, bed bugs, and fleas.

What Happens if a Person Gets Rabies?

When a human has contracted rabies, they will start to display particular signs, in which case they will need to go to the emergency room immediately. These signs will appear similar to the flu or common cold, with symptoms like headache and fever. As the virus progresses, other signs such as dizziness, rage, and confusion. The incubation period for rabies in the average person is about five to seven days. All cases of rabies in humans were fatal until the vaccine was invented in the early 1900’s. Now, if a person is ever infected with Rabies, he or she can go to the emergency room and receive effective treatment to stop the virus from multiplying.

Can Pets Get Infected?

All of these illnesses and parasites can all be transmitted to both people and pets. It is important to have your pet properly vaccinated every year to prevent complications or fatalities that result from a wild animal attack or bite. Common pet vaccines include: Rabies, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus, and Parainfluenza. Vaccinations are important for humans as well, especially children and those with weakened immune systems.

How Do Bats Transmit Diseases?

The most common means of bacterial or viral transmission is through blood or saliva. This often occurs in the form of a bat bite or scratch. In most cases, a person bitten by a bat will be instructed to immediately seek medical attention. In the case that you or a loved one is bitten by a wild animal, it is important to call your doctor immediately. Depending on the description of the bat and the boosters you have one file, your doctor will determine whether or not you need emergency services. If a pet is bitten, take them to the emergency vert clinic right away.

Which Diseases Only Affect Bats?

There are some diseases that can affect bats, but cannot be transmitted to other mammals. The most common disease is called White Nose Syndrome (WNS). It gets its name from the distinctive symptoms it renders in bats, namely a white fungal growth on their noses, muzzles, and other areas of the body. Geomyces destructans is a newly-discovered fungus that is suspected to cause White Nose Syndrome in bats. Bats infected with White Nose Syndrome will show strange signs and exhibit odd behaviors. This includes daytime activity and clustering near the entry points of their roost. In North America, this disease is spreading quickly among Microchiroptera populations, and has caused millions of bat fatalities.

Kidney Disease: It’s More Common Than You Think

You must have heard of chronic kidney disease taking lives of many people around you. The name is not so unfamiliar, is it? Terms such as kidney transplant, dialysis, kidney failure have somewhat become common in the medical field and way too many people are coming across kidney problems due to many reasons both explainable and unexplainable. But then the point is, you must know what actually causes kidney disease and what are you supposed to do in case you are diagnosed with it.

So let us begin with having a basic idea of chronic kidney disease followed by its symptoms and finally the treatment. Now, if you didn’t know it already, your kidneys play a very important role in your body. They are located at the back of the abdominal cavity and their function is to remove unwanted toxins, balance chemical neutrality (the acid-base balance) and filter the blood plasma (through key processes such as filtration, reabsorption, secretion, and excretion). The nephrons present in kidneys are basically what carry these jobs and hence, make this organ a vital one to be taken care of.

Now, there are times when your kidneys aren’t able to perform to their best ability and there are reasons for why it happens so. More often than not, diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure are what hampers the functionality of your kidneys. It also happens in case you have been hit by urinary tract infection in the past (UTI). Certain other problems such as heart attack are also sometimes responsible for it. In short, it’s all about the kind of lifestyle you lead, and how it affects not one but different systems of your body.

Let us see how you can actually figure out if you are suffering from chronic kidney disease, via understanding these symptoms.

In the initial days, you might notice:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Alteration in urination
  • Muscle cramps
  • Though you might notice the following if it is acute:
  • Diarrhea
  • Back pain
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Fatigue
  • Hypertension
  • Chest pain

These symptoms though might replicate that of another disease, we suggest you must visit your doctor to check chronic kidney disease as they might be so due to the same problem. The fact that the health of your kidneys depends on your overall lifestyle, it becomes a matter of crucial understanding regarding the fragility of the situation.

Chronic kidney disease though has several treatment options that guarantee a successful cure, there are chances of it proving to be fatal and taking lives when you least expect it to do so. So first and foremost, the treatment option that you can begin with are controlling your blood pressure, eating healthy, and following a lifestyle that does not stress your body in any manner.

Apart from that, you can eat food that is rich in potassium such as spinach, banana, and yogurt.

Stem Cell Tools Helping Scientists Understand Complex Diseases

Do you ever think what would have happened if there had been no discovery of the various significant tools for the diagnosis of untreatable diseases? We would have never got to the bottom that underlies the key causes of a range of diseases. And in our quest to discover more pathways to identify the etiologies of the diseases, and their severities, we need disease models for a better understanding. With regard to this, stem cells have been a great tool to foster our medical researches and discoveries of various new therapies and treatments. Let’s remove the veil to uncover the role of various stem cell tools in disease prognosis, diagnosis and their treatment options.

Various Stem Cell Tools to Understand Complex Diseases

IPS Cells

First of all, we must thank Shinya Yamanaka for inventing the human induced pluripotent stem cells using reprogramming technology to turn them to behave like embryonic stem cell like state. Since, iPS cells behave like embryonic cells, it is possible for them to turn into many cell types, and finally develop into skin, nerve, heart muscle and anything.

Ever since its inception, these reprogrammed cells have proven to be a boon for the regenerative medical therapies and novel therapeutic uses. Therefore, it is easier for researchers to regenerate complete organ tissues for liver, heart, skin, and blood using their cells, and reprogram them into iPS cells. As is with iPS cells, we would have fewer concerns over immune rejections, and no more ethical concerns for embryonic cells.

In order to understand the pathophysiology of certain medical conditions including macular degeneration, Parkinson’s diseases, frontotemporal dementia, iPS cells work as a great stem cells-based tissue models. However, the scientists found that observing the affected cells in comparison with healthy individual cells, iPS cells fail to work efficiently in the culture. Rather, they focused to introduce gene editing technology in the iPS cells to better understand the disease pattern. The process of disease diagnosis has been simplified by the introduction of gene-editing tool CRISPR CAS 9. The introduction of the disease-associated mutations in the specimen of iPS cells provide a clear vision into how the disease behaves in comparison with healthy and unedited cells. They can prove to be even more useful in identifying Alzheimer’s linked mutations through the editing of a single copy of a gene, rather than both the copies.

DNA Sequencing

Another effective tool namely DNA sequencing technologies are useful to develop human biology and improve medicines. Rather than just decoding DNA, it is capable of assisting scientists and researchers to study genomic data, which offers elaborate insights into the manipulation activity of the genes. Even in the tissue modeling of DNA sequencing, we need to the take help of iPS cells. RNA sequencing experiments allow the researchers to discern the raw data to unravel the gene’s turning on/off activity. Being the photocopy of the DNA, it is their general functions to carry information embedded in the DNA. In addition to this, RNA sequencing is more apt to expose the characteristic of specific cell types and their diversities. This RNA based sequencing helps scientists identify the accuracy and efficacy of the stem cell models in comparison to single cell-based models. Hence, using this tool, it is possible for scientists to find the accuracy rate of the stem cell models based on the genetic profiles.


The Brain of Cells- it is a scorecard being developed with a single RNA sequencing derived from thousands of fetal brain cells. With inputs from RNA, this scorecard will distinguish between brain cell types and their developmental states. This would be a milestone in understanding the neuroscience and the etiologies of neurodegeneration complexes.

With most advanced stem cell-based models, we can be able to develop tools to better understand the cell fates and their states. Thus, we could develop better disease models using this information and create effective therapeutics for use in future

What Is Hypothyroidism? What Can We Do About It?

The thyroid- stimulating hormone, Thyrotropin or TSH stimulates the thyroxine levels which is what regulates energy in the body. High levels of this can cause many health problems including heart attack. When the thyroid function is lower than it should be, but not low enough to be classified as clinical hypothyroidism, is called subclinical hypothyroidism. This can often be the pre-curser to heart disease.

Having low energy, depression, low blood pressure, low heart rate, poor memory, sensitivity to cold, aching joints, high cholesterol, weight gain, constipation, low libido, dry skin, brittle nails and poor hair can all be signs that you may have Hypothyroidism. It is a very subtle disease as it shows TSH levels are elevated, thyroxine levels appear normal yet tend to low. So, tests show that something is going on because it takes a lot of TSH to produce normal levels of thyroxine.

The way the thyroid works is like the electricity running your toaster. The pituitary hormone TSH is the electricity and the thyroid gland is the toaster, with the hormone thyroxine the heat that is cooking the toast. When the thyroid works properly the TSH and thyroxine works fine meaning the electricity is running and the heat is working well. However if the thyroid gland is not working properly (the toaster is broken in some way) then it may take more electricity to keep it going and get the toast cooked. Since the toast is still cooking we don’t often realise there is anything even wrong with the toaster.

When there is more electricity needed or TSH levels are high but the heat output is still normal (meaning your thyroxine level is normal) you would not know that there is something amiss. This is what subclinical hypothyroidism is and you may not know you have it but your body does and there is increasing TSH in your system. Eventually this will affect your health. The thyroid gland (the toaster) stops functioning properly. This could lead to heart disease.

There are a lot of contradictory studies which make it important to do your research to be able to make an informed decisions yourself as to what you believe. Some studies show there is no association and some show there are strong associations with heart disease. High cholesterol is also often present and adds to the risk of heart attack. High levels of C reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation in cardiovascular disease causing a tendency for blood to clot, are also present.

The term cardiovascular disease is not a concise one as it entails a number of things that can go wrong with the heart. A recent study amalgamated all the results trying to find the risks for myocardial ischemia which is a condition of insufficient blood flowing to the heart and is life threatening. The outcome of the study was that it is possible and there is evidence to back up the fact that the thyroid not working properly will affect your heart. It can also affect other hormone levels in your body which is not good for women going through menopause. So why take chances?

The good news is that subclinical hypothyroidism can be treated. You can take thyroxine, which is either chemical or natural. The natural is best and often contains other important hormones as well. It should be available through your qualified natural therapist.

Stem Cell Agency Funds Phase 3 Clinical Trial for Lou Gehrig’s Disease

A neurodegenerative disease when occurred leads us to a series of complications all together. The occurrence of this devastating disease exposes us to dysarthria – a condition in which we cannot speak properly, dyspnea- a distress in breathing, and also dysphagia, which deteriorates our ability to swallow easily. It is rapidly characterized by an intense weakness in our muscles. Now, you could easily recognize the characterization of this nasty disease, which is known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s diseases or motor neuron disease.

Being a motor neuron disease, ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease causes degeneration to the motor neurons found in our brain and spinal cord. That’s another reason, why do we find difficulty in walking; and gradually why this restricts us from developing strong muscle control. The cruelty of the disorder is so harsh and unbearable, that it slowly leads us to the threshold of death. To our greater dismay and misfortune, there is currently no available treatment to defer the effects of the disease and cure it permanently.

The Characteristic of ALS Or Lou Gehrig’s Disease

The prevalence of the disease is highly noticed in the Western Counties uniformly. The onset of the disease is most likely to hit the patients at the age of 60 years, but patients approaching their 30’s are not averse to this neurodegenerative disease too, followed by 5% of the total juvenile populations.

However, the pathogenesis of the disease is still unclear, and it seems that the pathogenic cellular mechanisms could be at the root of the occurrence of the disease.

If we further explore, we get to know that many of the patients suffering from this disease, do not have any family history, while others seem to express a hereditary factor.

Lou Gehrig’s is a disease with no possible treatment in sight though, yet some of its conditions are likely to be treated. So, efforts and clinical trials are on the go to improve the life of the patients to some extent. And, an approach to find more possibilities with the stem cell transplant is in the pipeline also.

Phase III Clinical Trials for To Alleviate the Conditions Of ALS

California’s Stem Cell Agency feels an urge and need to invest $15.9 million in a clinical trial for Lou Gehrig’s disease in an association with BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics.

The organization is dependent on the mesenchymal stem cells taken from the participating patients’ bone marrow in the clinical trials. With these stem cells, the researchers at the agency are developing a therapy called NurOwn. The mesenchymal cells are grown in the petri dish in the lab followed by a reprogramming method. The reprogram will command the cells to produce a protein called glial cell infused with nuerotropic factors. Neurotropic factors or GDNF has the potential to stop the further deterioration of the motor neurons caused by ALS. They also protect the cells and reduce the risks of immunodeficiency in the patients.

The ongoing trial received a positive signal from the patients’ tolerance capacity to NurOwn Therapy, and hence it raises hopes for the patients with ALS. It is capable of restricting the further adverse effects, and also deferring the progress of the disorder in a short period of time.

Getting Rid of A Cold Sore – Natural Remedies and Medication

Cold sores are frequently called fever blisters. The majority of cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV-1.

The WHO reports that approximately 65% of adults aged over 50 are inflicted with HSV-1, and around 50% of American children already have the virus. The virus doesn’t constantly show symptoms, and only around 30% of individuals with HSV-1 will show infection signs namely cold sores.

Cold sores often appear on the mouth and lips, but they can show anywhere on the skin, even the tongue.

Home Remedies

Immune-boosting, antiviral, and antimicrobial compounds are usually excellent for treating cold sores. Some remedies help reduce the transmission of the virus while others cut the possibility of more infections or ease discomfort and pain. Not all treatment works for each person, but various natural products could help lessen symptoms and inhibit future recurrences.

Natural remedies include:

• lemon tea and its compresses
• lip balms with no less than 1% lemon
• witch hazel oil, mint, and peppermint
• Aloe vera gel to soothe inflamed lesions while giving moisture.
• licorice powder, combined with petroleum jelly or water and applied to sores
• licorice root, with glycyrrhizic acid
• l-lysine supplements or lysine cream used as an immune booster and help in cell repair
• Echinacea to boost immunity, best consumed in supplement form or tea. Echinacea is available online.
• sage and rhubarb mixtures
• cornstarch paste, made with starch and water, 1:1
• milk, with l-lysine and antibodies

Vitamin E aids the body to repair damaged dermal cells as well as grow them. Food rich in Vitamin E include nuts, leafy greens, and whole wheat. Moreover, oils with Vitamin E are available. Furthermore, Vitamin C can increase white blood cells, which are mainly the infection-fighting cells of the body. Food rich in Vitamin C is frequently deep green, orange, or red in color. And these include tomatoes, peppers, berries, kiwis, spinach, and broccoli.

There are OTC medications available as well to treat symptoms of cold sores. Lots of them provide child-friendly dosages. These include:

• Orajel and Anbesol numb sores, reducing pain
• Zilactin and Abreva, both available online, may aid to cut recovery time
• Inflammation- and pain-reducing medications such as ibuprofen can help as well
• Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide keep the lesions clean
• Applying zinc oxide creams to scabs could kill viral cells that the sores release


Individuals with cold sores ought to seek medical attention if the infection does not improve in several weeks. HSV-1 complications are uncommon but highly possible. Individuals with weak immune systems ought to seek expert medical advice whenever recurrences are becoming frequent. Several complications can result when the virus starts to spread to other body parts. For instance, the virus could infect the fingertips (herpes whitlow) or the eyes (herpes keratitis).

Commonly prescribed treatments for cold sores include anti-viral tablets and creams. According to the British National Health Service (NHS), creams are usually only effective if applied when the sores first appear.

For treating cold core symptom, the doctor usually prescribes anti-viral creams and tablets. The British National Health Service states that creams are often only effective if applied as soon as the initial sores appear – which is the first outbreak.

Prescribed medications for cold sores include:

• Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
• Acyclovir (Zovirax, Xerese)
• Penciclovir (Denavir)
• Famciclovir (Famvir)