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Portal:Medicine

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The Medicine Portal

Marble statue of Asclephius on a pedestal, symbol of medicine in Western medicine

Medicine is the science and practice of caring for a patient and managing the diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, treatment or palliation of their injury or disease. Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences, biomedical research, genetics, and medical technology to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and disease, typically through pharmaceuticals or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints and traction, medical devices, biologics, and ionizing radiation, amongst others.

Medicine has been practiced since prehistoric times, during most of which it was an art (an area of skill and knowledge) frequently having connections to the religious and philosophical beliefs of local culture. For example, a medicine man would apply herbs and say prayers for healing, or an ancient philosopher and physician would apply bloodletting according to the theories of humorism. In recent centuries, since the advent of modern science, most medicine has become a combination of art and science (both basic and applied, under the umbrella of medical science). While stitching technique for sutures is an art learned through practice, the knowledge of what happens at the cellular and molecular level in the tissues being stitched arises through science.

Prescientific forms of medicine are now known as traditional medicine or folk medicine, which remains commonly used in the absence of scientific medicine, and are thus called alternative medicine. Alternative treatments outside of scientific medicine having safety and efficacy concerns are termed quackery. ( Full article...)

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Triatoma infestans.jpg

Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a tropical parasitic disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. It is spread mostly by insects known as Triatominae, or "kissing bugs". The symptoms change over the course of the infection. In the early stage, symptoms are typically either not present or mild, and may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, or swelling at the site of the bite. After four to eight weeks, untreated individuals enter the chronic phase of disease, which in most cases does not result in further symptoms. Up to 45% of people with chronic infection develop heart disease 10–30 years after the initial illness, which can lead to heart failure. Digestive complications, including an enlarged esophagus or an enlarged colon, may also occur in up to 21% of people, and up to 10% of people may experience nerve damage.

T. cruzi is commonly spread to humans and other mammals by the bite of a kissing bug. The disease may also be spread through blood transfusion, organ transplantation, eating food contaminated with the parasites, and vertical transmission (from a mother to her baby). Diagnosis of early disease is by finding the parasite in the blood using a microscope or detecting its DNA by polymerase chain reaction. Chronic disease is diagnosed by finding antibodies for T. cruzi in the blood. It affects more than 150 types of animals. ( Full article...)

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MR CoA collaterals.png
MRI-picture of coarctatio aortae with collaterals.

Photo credit: User:Ekko

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