We’re all suckers for medical advances, right? After all, they’re what will help keep us healthy going forward. But one particularly underappreciated area is the advance in children’s medicine. It’s a particularly sensitive area, as childhood conditions often result in tragedy. Because a child’s body isn’t that advanced, science has had to pick up some of the “slack”.
Well, science has been doing a great job over the past decade!
Telemedicine refers to the use of electronic communication in medicine. For many people, this has removed the ultimate pain about seeing a doctor: actually going to the doctor! Of course, the benefits don’t just stop at “you don’t have to leave the house”. Telemedicine can actually reduce costs and improve diagnosis times. This has had amazing benefits for everyone. But it can be absolutely amazing when it comes to children and their parents.
Children are often terrified of going to the doctor. I know; plenty of adults are, too, right? But this fear can actually become quite a burden on parents. Telemedicine allows parents to get pediatric assistance from home. Parents are often so busy, so this time-saving technique can be incredibly useful. It’s also especially important if their child shouldn’t, or physically can’t, leave the house. You can read more about the wonders of telemedicine at https://www.childrens.com/.
Gene and immunotherapy
Gene therapy and immunotherapy are two distinct forms of treatment. But they both involve similar, mind-boggling science. The technique, to put it very simply, is “editing” the way in which deep biological responses in your body work. Gene therapy sees the alteration of genes to help fight diseases, even cancer. Immunotherapy sees scientists use the power of your own immune system to combat a given condition.
This, of course, is not without its controversy. People are understandably sensitive about treatments that seem to involve “editing” a child! Of course, “editing” is a very reductive way to put it. (I’m aware I used the term myself, but I was just trying to keep things simple!) The unavoidable fact is that these techniques are bringing amazing therapies and data to the medical world. You can read more about this sort of research and therapy in children at http://poseida.com/pipeline/. It’s one of the reasons that childhood cancers are no longer a death sentence.
Biologics is a short term for biologic response modifiers. Put simply, it’s anything that alters the way your body responds to a given stimulus. To some extent, gene therapy can be included in the umbrella term biologics. But I want to talk about something specific here that a lot of people don’t seem to know about.
Biologics have aided the massive decline of juvenile arthritis tremendously in the last decade. You may not even have been aware that juvenile arthritis (a.k.a. arthritis in childhood) even existed. Most of us associated arthritis exclusively with much older folk. Juvenile arthritis is very rare – which makes it all the more impressive that we’ve come so far in tackling it. If you want to check out all the details, you can do so at https://www.sciencedaily.com/.