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Medical Updates Index

Amnesia After Sex? A Medical Possibility
If President Clinton had known what a pair of Johns Hopkins doctors recently learned from two patients with a temporary form of amnesia, charges that he lied about sex might be moot.

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Finding Left-behind Cancer Seeds
Squamous cell carcinoma in the head or neck is not only often disfiguring to patients, but also has a significant chance of recurring. Despite careful surgery, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed, roughly half of the patients who’ve undergone tumor removal retain small numbers of cancer cells in the remaining tissue. Help my be coming..

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Gearhart Reaches a Scientific Holy Grail
Every once in a while, a report on a medical research discovery in a scholarly journal like, say, The Lancet, or the magazine Science, will catch the public eye and turn into blockbuster news. Just such an item was PNA’s (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) November announcement that Hopkins researchers had isolated and identified human stem cells—the fundamental building blocks of human...

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Taking on Head and Neck Tumors
The only thing that’s even vaguely good about head and neck tumors, according to otolaryngologist/oncologist Bert W. O’Malley Jr., M.D., is their accessibility. “Without too much trouble,” he says, “you can reach the tumors with a needle. That gives them great possibility as a target for gene therapy.”...

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New Weapons Battle Pancreatic Cancer
Hopkins researchers are taking on this deadly disease on several fronts. Here are two: Gene Therapy: “Even with our best treatment, the five-year survival for pancreatic cancer patients is a dishearteningly low 10 percent,” says oncologist Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D. “We had no doubt that we had to try something different.” Buoyed by her tests of a ...

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How a Whisper Becomes a Voice
"Even the fish are amazed at my new voice!" announces a postcard that otolaryngology director Charles Cummings, M.D., got from a patient snorkeling in the West Indies. Cummings says it typifies the joyful response he hears regularly from people who have received....

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Halting the Insecure Eyeball
It ranks high on the list of ultimate embarrassments and is something that should never happen, says otolaryngologist Mark Brown, M.D., but it does. Occasionally, a patient who’s lost an eye to disease or trauma has the prosthetic eyeball come loose in a public place...

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Face-lift Alternative
Plastic surgeon Craig Vander Kolk, M.D., says Hopkins’ recent acquisition of a $150,000 coherent ultrapulse carbon dioxide laser will change cosmetic surgery here. The device, dedicated to the cosmetic surgery needs of four major departments—Plastic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology and Dermatology, offers a remarkably safe and accurate...

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Test Confirms a Rare blood Disease
"A patient has too many red blood cells, causing headaches and potentially fatal blood clots. You want to find out why. That shouldn’t be too hard," says hematologist Jerry L. Spivak, M.D., “but more often than we’d like, it is.” Spivak says any number of things can elevate RBC levels: smoking, heart disease...

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