The world of medicine and health is constantly evolving and advancing. From a shot that prevents migraines to a cancer vaccine, there have been a few astonishing breakthroughs in 2018. Find out what other breakthroughs happened over the past year below.
1. A test that Detects Hyperkalemia
Hyperkalemia is a term used when the potassium level in your blood is much higher than normal. Typically hyperkalemia is related to kidney failure or disease, Type 1 Diabetes, and some medications. While it may not sound ominous, high potassium levels can be life-threatening. Hyperkalemia can be dangerous for your heart and result in a weak pulse, chest pains, or arrhythmias.
Before, Hyperkalemia could only be found by a blood test. However, in September of 2018, AliveCor announced its creation of a device that can detect potassium levels without the use of blood and with the utilization of artificial intelligence through electrocardiograms
2. A Non-Invasive Test for Endometriosis
6.5 million women in the United States suffer from endometriosis, a condition where the endometrium grows outside of the uterus. Endometriosis typically results in painful periods and can even cause infertility. Women with endometriosis often go undiagnosed, sometimes it takes years for doctors to confirm. Before the only testing available was quite invasive and expensive. However, this year DotLab created the DotEndo which measures biomarkers specific to endometriosis through a patient’s saliva and blood.
3. A Shot to Prevent Migraines
Most Americans are familiar with a migraine. It is estimated that over 39 million Americans have suffered from a migraine, making it one of the most common illnesses. Migraines can be tough to treat even with the help of pills. In May, the FDA approved Aimovig’s injectable that has shown to cut down patient’s migraine days to only 2.5 a month.
4. A New Drug for Parkinson’s
In the past, Ketamine was known as an illegal party drug, but now it may help Parkinson’s patients. While taking Levodopa, one of the most popular medications for Parkinson’s, 40% of patients experince involuntary movements. To better control this side effects, researchers at the University of Arizona found that a controlled dosage of Ketamine reduced the amount of movement.
5. A Cancer Vaccine
Standford University found that by injecting immune-stimulating agents into solid tumors in mice, they were able to eliminate any trace of cancer. After seeing such amazing results, researchers are now recruiting lymphoma patients for a clinical trial. While human trials have not yet been explored, the shot could potentially treat multiple types of cancerous tumors.