By Dr. Michael Roizen
Q: There are so many new medical treatments happening, but are they really making a difference to my health today? — Gregory Y., Columbus, Ohio
A: It’s been an exciting year for medical research, with more insights into how cancer forms and how to stop it, how genes work, and how technology can personalize medicine. Each year, the Cleveland Clinic identifies the top 10 breakthroughs. Those for this year are:
1. More mRNA vaccines: Beyond those for COVID-19, more are being developed to treat infections, like Zika and some cancers, and to prevent cancers, like breast cancer .
2. Improved accuracy in detecting prostate cancer metastases: Using a so-called PMSA PET scanner, it is now possible to detect an antigen on the surface of cancer cells which is a potential biomarker of prostate cancer. sickness.
3. More power to lower LDL cholesterol: Using a six-monthly injection of inclisiran with a statin can improve compliance and save lives.
4. A new diabetes drug: Although still in phase 3 trials, a weekly injection of GIP and GLP-1 agonists could be a new way to get the pancreas to release insulin and reduce blood sugar spikes after eating.
5. A quick fix for postpartum depression: A neurosteroid, given by IV for 60 hours, appears to control the brain’s stress response by targeting deficient brain signaling.
6. A first-ever treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: There is now a drug that targets the heart muscle to reduce the abnormal contractions that put the heart into overdrive. It may be approved for use this month.
7. Hot flash zapper using non-hormonal drugs – NK3R antagonists: more studies are needed before it is available.
8. Implantable Movement Stimulators for Paralyzed Limbs: Referred to as a breakthrough device, these implanted electrodes collect movement signals from the brain and decode them into movement commands.
9. & 10. Two advances powered by AI: AI algorithms can detect sepsis risk factors in real time and drive early intervention, thereby saving lives. And machine learning allows doctors to select more effective drugs, as well as personalized drug doses and combinations.
Q: I’m worried that my 15 year old daughter is developing an eating disorder. What are the signs ? — Lorie J., Jacksonville, Florida
A: Eating disorders can result from stress, poor eating habits, fads and fad diets. It can contribute to obesity, nutritional deficiencies and emotional disorders, requiring therapy. Then there are two more serious and specific psychiatric eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. During COVID-19, we have seen an increase in these conditions among (usually) young girls. A hospital in Australia reports that admissions of children with anorexia nervosa for nutritional rehabilitation jumped 104% from the previous three years.
If you see eating disorders, help your child find a support group of like-minded children to share interests and concerns with, encourage them to join a sports team or gym, and create an environment at home where you eat your meals together. Offering the option of talk therapy is also effective – and caring. The past two years have disrupted school routines, interfered with social activities, caused fear of the unknown, and in many cases placed the whole family in high stress situations. You should recognize these pressures and talk about them.
The signs of anorexia nervosa and bulimia are more extreme. They include preoccupation with food and a distortion of body image. There is a need to have a sense of control over life and saying “no” to food provides it. She – or he – will think she’s fat no matter how thin she gets. The symptoms of bulimia are usually different. With bulimia, a teen may binge on high-calorie foods and/or purge by vomiting, extreme physical exercise, and/or using laxatives. Purge signs spend a lot of time in the bathroom and running water to drown out the sounds.
For more information and advice on treating these conditions, call the National Eating Disorders Association at 800-931-2237. Don’t delay in contacting your daughter and finding help if needed. * * *
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, MD, is director emeritus of wellness at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four New York Times #1 bestselling books. His next book is “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow”. Do you have a topic that Dr. Mike should address in a future column? If so, please email [email protected]