WAITING FOR GOOD NEWS?
The Cleveland Clinic makes annual predictions about the development of medicine in the upcoming year. Let’s take a look at the first five.
Gene Therapy for Hereditary Retinal Diseases
This gene (the name won’t tell you anything) is responsible for the formation of the eyes’ light receptors, and if you get a defective version it can cause pigment retinitis or Leber amaurosis. Both can lead to blindness. The company Spark Therapeutics developed a method that I’ve already mentioned before – a virus is introduced to the eye carrying healthy copies of the gene. The cost is still astronomical, but effectiveness is high. If everything goes as it should, there’s a chance it could treat not just the retina, but also some forms of cancer and other problems associated with DNA defects.
A Decline in Bad Cholesterol
Bad cholesterol contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease, but there are new combinations of drugs that can reduce it by 75%.
Motherly AI Looks After You
2018 could be fateful, in this regard. Constant monitoring of a patient’s condition can predict a crisis in advance, which will give doctors a chance to react in time, rather than in hindsight – which often happens. And there will be more information on the patients that have already returned home. You can contact the doctor through an app on your smartphone.
Victory over Sleep Apnea
22 million people suffer from sleep apnea, and its dangers are well-known – it can lead to heart problems, increased blood pressure, and even stroke. For some time now, there have been devices for artificial ventilation, but 40% of patients refuse them because it makes it “impossible to sleep”. The new method is neuromodulation. A device stimulates respiratory activity as needed, something like a pacemaker.
Diabetes could safely be called a serial killer – it kills more Americans than AIDS. But at last there’s a glimmer of hope. The artificial pancreas uses algorithms to determine how much insulin a patient needs. It’s a combination of glucose sensor and insulin syringe, and has already been approved by the FDA. Initially, it was only thought to be of help to those with type I diabetes, but it looks like it can help with type II, as well.
Let’s hope that 2018 brings us all that we’re looking for!