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Sharing the science behind health, disease, and wellness



Strokes: Recent research advances for future treatments

Ivelisse Cruz Torres's picture

A stroke is a cerebrovascular incident in which there is a lack of oxygen being supplied to the brain. There are local ischemic strokes, where a clot blocks a blood vessel and hemorrhagic strokes, which occur due to the rupture of a blood vessel.1 Although local ischemic attacks are more prevalent (85% of cases) both cause massive neuronal death in the affected area, called the core, and less extensive neuronal death in adjacent areas, called the penumbra.

Efforts to develop a vaccine against HIV in Puerto Rico

Manuel Delgado-Vélez's picture

Even before its discovery in the mid-80s, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was already responsible for one of the most devastating pandemics in the history of humankind. Since then there have been significant advances, ranging from the approval by the FDA ("Food and Drug Administration") of the first antiretroviral drug, zidovudine (AZT) in 19871; to the launch in 2015 by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the recommendation that all HIV-infected individuals should receive antiretroviral therapy immediately after being diagnosed.2  

What is the Zika virus?

Francis Heber Gonzalez's picture

By Natalia Rodríguez Jockovich.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that is known to circulate in tropical climates and has caused disease outbreaks in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and most recently in the Americas. The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika, and usually include low fever or rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, appearing a few days after a person has been infected by an infected mosquito or after sexual intercourse with an infected person. Zika is generally a mild disease and most people with the virus will not even experience symptoms.

Raising awareness of skin cancer and how to protect ourselves

Doriann González Rodríguez's picture

We live on a tropical island where it’s summer year around. We go to the beach in December and in July. When we go to the beach or play sports outdoors, we are aware that we are exposed to sunlight. But there are times when we are exposed to sunlight and are not always aware of it. For example, when we drive, work in the garden and every time we go out, especially at midday, between 10 am-3pm, we are exposed to sunlight too. Therefore,it is important that you educate yourself about the most common type of cancer, skin cancer, which is one of the most important consequences of exposure to sunlight.

How does alcohol affect your brain?

Francis Heber Gonzalez's picture

Alcohol consumption has some benefits: helps us relax and generally makes us have a good time. But not everyone has the same relationship with alcohol. There are some people who are more affected by alcohol consumption than others, either because of genetic predispositions, the environment they grew up in or behaviors they observed. Although for some, the two or three drinks on a Friday is no more than an escape without much consequence, for others it can be a sentence to constant suffering.

"A liver of steel"

Francis Heber Gonzalez's picture

Some will feel the like their chest is going to pop out because someone has told them that they have a “liver of steel” during their career as professional drinkers. What you haven’t been told is that the origin of this saying is because the liver hardens and loses its function for those who abuse alcohol.  Because we only have one liver, once you damage it, there’s no plan B, YOU lost the game. It’s not like the kidneys which if you remove one, there’s still another one and you can receive dialysis to ameliorate the symptoms.  But many people take the comment a joke. Now I’ll explain what happens to your liver every time you go drinking and abuse alcohol.  

One more beer and then we go...

Francis Heber Gonzalez's picture

Today, April 7th, is Alcohol Screening Day. "Ugh!  Don’t sign me up for that one!  Alcoholism. What an ugly word!"  Yes, it is.  But the reality of life as an alcoholic or having a friend or family member suffering from this health condition is even uglier.  

Why does alcohol cause so much trouble and why is taboo to talk about alcoholism? After all, alcohol is a legal product and in Puerto Rico consumption often is glorified.

Monitoring your weight: An incentive for healthy eating

Christina Giselle Lopez's picture

Eating is great! No one can dispute that, but: What happens when we eat more than necessary? What happens when what we eat is of little nutritional value?

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),the rate of individuals overweight and obese worldwide has doubled between 1980 and 2014 and continues to grow (Fig 1). This path is primarily led by the United States, including Puerto Rico. Currently, 65.8% or two-thirds of the Puerto Rican population is considered overweight and 28.1% or close to one-third, is considered obese.

When menstruation hurts: Learn more about endometriosis

Idhaliz del R. Flores Caldera's picture

For many women, menstruation is just a nuisance or discomfort. But for one in ten women this process is accompanied by inflammation and pelvic pain so severe that it affects the normal rhythm of their lives. These women are suffering from endometriosis, a condition characterized by dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), dyspareunia (pain during intercourse), chronic, disabling pelvic pain, and often infertility.

 

Diabetes mellitus in Puerto Rico: opportunities to be discovered

Mainés Larissa Avilés Santa's picture

We’ve flirted with diabetes since the beginning of time, it has been part of our environment, and has become part of our family and our heritage. We live and die with it, it sits with us at the dinner table, at the beauty salon, on the bus, in the car, in the classroom, and in the office. And especially in those days, when we have no intention of walking or moving, that’s when it takes hold and doesn’t allow us to get out of our stupor.  We have accepted it as a natural companion in our daily lives, and often we realize that we have a guest when it suddenly steals the control out of our health and our lives. So diabetes, surname mellitus, is thus one of the oldest diseases of humanity.

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