Cutting edge disease tracking system tested by the Hajj One of the largest and most diverse gatherings of people in the world is to become a laboratory for a high-tech disease-warning system that researchers are hoping to expand into a global system. More than two million people travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj, a yearly pilgrimage to one of Islam’s holiest sites that every Muslim is required to observe once in their lifetime. With massive crowds in limited spaces, the disease becomes a serious hazard—which is why a new digital
alarm system designed by the WHO will be tested to raise a warning at the first sign of an outbreak. The surveillance system will ping alarms—based on automated medical records and Saudi Arabia’s exceptionally detailed visa database—to the government’s public health command centre for rapidresponse teams to review. The hope is this automated alert system will increase the response time to outbreaks, create a snapshot of everyday diseases and provide a method to track illnesses at other major gatherings.
Source: World Health Organization
Could olfactory loss point to Alzheimer’s disease? There is much interest in finding ways to detect Alzheimer’s disease early on, as brain damage may have been occurring for as long as 20 years by the time memory loss begins to occur. Researchers now believe that simple odor-identification tests might help to track the progression of the disease, particularly among those at risk. This is because the olfactory bulb (responsible for our sense of smell) and the entorhinal cortex (in charge of memory and naming odours) are among the first brain structures to be affected. The hope is that with early detection, treatment will be able to delay the further development of the disease—and just five years of delay can reduce the prevalence and severity of symptoms by more than 50 per cent.
Source: McGill University, Newsroom
Media Relation Office
Study reveals early warning signs of heart problems in patients with newly diagnosed lupus for patients with lupus, a systemic
autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death. But new research could reverse that trend. A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology has reported that while current imaging tests often miss structural and functional changes in the hearts of
individuals with lupus, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging can consistently detect early silent heart problems—meaning significantly more patients could receive proper treatment, protecting them from further damage. The team’s next study will analyze whether early treatment improves an individual’s prognosis.
Evaluation of a program model for minimizing restraint and seclusion the use of restraints and seclusion could be history for mental health care suggests a decade-long study from the Grafton Integrated Health Network reported in Advances in Neurodevelopmental
Disorders. In 2004, the Grafton Network introduced a new model for treating high-risk patients with disabilities without the use of restraints or seclusion. An evaluation of the model, which included data from more than 3000 clients and 750 employees between 2004 and 2016, now reports that the culture shift to comfort and minimizing everyday traumatizing events has resulted in major improvements for both client and staff well-being. The shift has saved more than $16 million for the organization and resulted in a 64 per cent decrease in client-induced staff injuries. The method is now being taught to more than 100 other organizations, with the goal of eliminating the use of restraints and seclusion through proper training of caregivers.
Source: Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Men’s health: What the latest research tells us updated research from McMaster University shows that older men are significantly lagging behind women when it comes to preventive health and well-being behaviours. The research suggests that, compared with women, men generally focus less on their own health, visit doctors less and are not as engaged in preventative behaviors ranging from taking regular exercise to eating a good diet and engaging socially. All of which, the study suggests, might help to explain why health issues from cardiovascular disease to loneliness are seen at a higher rate in men.
Source: McMaster University Optimal Aging Portal