Sunday, February 14, 2010

Human Network

Rummaging the internet for a bit of entertainment to break the monotony of studying for our exams this week, I came across one of the latest installments of the TED talks and wanted to share it here.

Patients Like Me

Medicine does not have all the answers. Clinicians and researchers continue to investigate how the body functions and how to make it better. Despite decades of data, we are still plagued with devastating illnesses that affect individuals and families alike. Jamie Heywood, after losing his brother to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's Disease, has developed a network for sufferers, families and providers afflicted by various prevalent and rare diseases.

Patients Like Me permits users to create a profile that depicts their illness in measurable terms. In the way a social network functions, one can compare their symptoms, treatments and journey with others who suffer from the same complication. The site functions as a tool for encouragement, but has the potential to help with future outcomes and treatment. The more patients contribute their data, the better the reports become. One can see a spectrum of their disease in a way not possible before. Patients and clinicians can integrate disease progression with the current situation in an effort to find the best approach to treatment. Although it is not solid science, it is a model for clinical data developed by the people who know the disease best, the patients.

Board Prep Question of the Week

A 32-year-old woman with no significant medical history presents to the clinic with visual complaints. On a recent trip to Arizona, she suffered an acute episode of visual impairment. She experienced blurred and double vision, which made it difficult for her to drive. On visual examination, her vision is 20/20 in both eyes. When she is asked to look to the right, her left eye only reaches midline while her right eye shows a beating nystagmus. Testing for visual convergence is intact. Based on the clinical history and physical examination, what is the most likely cause of her complaints?

A. Amaurosis fugax
B. Cataract
C. Multiple sclerosis
D. Optic neuritis
E. Panophthalmitis

Answer & Explanation


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