Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is used in medical terminology to describe developmental disorders which have characteristic symptoms: poor social interaction, communication difficulties and repetitive behaviours. Autism spectrum disorders include autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). It is estimated that the disease affects 1 per 1000 people and is four times more common among males than females. Currently, the disease is incurable and in order to mitigate its symptoms pharmacological and psychological treatment can be used.
Metformin is one of the most popular antidiabetic drugs. It is usually well-tolerated and widely used as a first line treatment in type II diabetes. However, there is more to metformin than meets the eye. The world of science held its breath when in 2010 the American Diabetes Association and American Cancer Society agreed, that taking metformin is clearly associated with a lower risk of cancer (1). For the last years various tests have been performed to warrant the theory. Does metformin prevent cancer in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients? Can the biguanide help those who already suffer from cancer? What are the possible mechanisms explaining the beneficial effects of metformin? We can find all the answers in a thorough review prepared by Bost et al., published in the January volume of “Current opinion in oncology” (2). Read full text »
1990 brought the conflict between Iraq and Kuwait, called the Persian Gulf War. It’s dusk in 1991 brought the revolution in medical diagnostics. It has been found that men with severe pneumonia caused by inhalation of poison gas tend to have high levels of procalcitonin (PCT). Attracted by this discovery, scientists began a series of tests involving injecting healthy patients with bacterial endotoxins. PCT was to appear in the serum of volunteers as one of the body’s response to inflammation. Moreover the concentration of procalcitonin changes overtime: increased levels appeared after 3-4 hours after the inflammation factor, reached maximum in 6-8 hours, and normalized within 72 hours. Scientists have concluded that the procalcitonin is an excellent indicator of inflammation and bacterial processes. Read full text »