Monthly Archives: June 2013

Mariano’s essay

Pineda Torres Gerardo Mariano              Advanced Grammar

Inlingua English Center

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease


Have you ever heard about mad cow disease (MCD)? If you had, you may want to know that humans can

also get infected. The human version of the MCD is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). This rare

disease affects one person in every one million people per year and just in the USA 200 cases are reported

every year. Once infected and after a certain period of time, failing memory, blindness, coma and

involuntary movements appear in patients with CJD. The responsible of this brain disease is a prion. A

prion is a protein that is capable of fold another in order to generate an infectious protein. Usually the fold

or deformation of the protein changes radically their biological roll or even its function as a molecule.

We can distinguish 3 different types of CJD: sporadic (85 percent of people without even been directly

exposed acquired it), hereditary (5-10 percent if there was any case of CJD in the family) and acquired (1

percent of the population that is believed to get infected by direct contact with infected tissue). Nowadays

there is not a standard procedure to diagnosed CJD. Normal medical routine include electroencephalograms

or magnetic resonance imaging for scanning the brain tissue.

Prion is a  term that stands for  proteinaceous infectious agent. A protein can be understood as a long

aggregate of small repetitive molecules, aminoacids. Hemoglobin and DNA are some examples of proteins.

Since these prions can’t replicate or metabolize they are not considered living organisms. However, prions

are considered a high level treat because of its complex diagnosis and no efficient treatments available.

After a period of time the infected proteins will begin to polymerize into an aggregate consisting of tightly

packed sheets. This configuration is very stable, also resistant to chemical and physical degradation, and

once accumulate in the tissue or cells the damage is irreversible.

CJD symptoms usually begin  at the age of 60, and 90 percent of the  patients die after 1 year. Other

symptoms of the CJD are: confusion, dementia, hallucinations, muscle stiffness, personality changes and

sleepiness. As it was mention there is no cure or effective treatment for this condition. Some medication is

recommend to control de aggressive behaviors. At the present time, scientists are working to develop tests

for CJD while the only and certain procedure to find CJD consist in a complete brain biopsy. One of the

treatments develop at NINDS detects the neuronal degeneration using fluids coming from the brain,

obviously this diagnosis is safer than the brain biopsy. The false positive rate reported for this test is about

5 to 10 percent.


CJD is a very rare brain infection cause by a prion witch triggers a very fast degeneration of the brain tissue

leading to hallucinations, involuntary movements, dementia and finally death. Nowadays there  are not

efficient treatments and standard procedures to detect it, but scientist are working on a safer detection of

the disease base on tests results obtained from the brain fluids of the patient. The prion is responsible for

the fold of other proteins leading to structural changes and finally adding layers (polymerizing) of these

proteins to build tightly packed sheets. Scientists are beginning to investigate prion related diseases like

CJD and other related.  We have to continue the support for prion researches in order to find better and

more efficient treatments.



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Pink’s essay

Bipolar Disorder


        Imagine you cannot control your moods. Nowadays, people face with many pressures around them. Bipolar may be one of the effect. It can occur at any age, although it often develops between the ages of 18 and 24 years. It has been known as manic depression which can affect your moods to swing from one extreme to another.

        The symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on which mood you are experiencing. Unlike simple mood swings, each extreme episode of bipolar disorder can last for several weeks or longer, and some people may not experience a normal mood very often. People who have bipolar disorder, will have two periods of depressions and mania.They will be in term of of depression when they feel very low and inactive. On the other hand, they will be in the condition of mania when they feel very high and overactive. In addition, During terms of mania and depression, someone with bipolar disorder may experience strange sensations, such as seeing, hearing or smelling things that are not exist.

        The exact cause of bipolar disorder is not fully diagnose. However, experts believe that a number of different factors act together and make a person more likely to develop the condition. These are thought to be a complex mix of physical, environmental and social factors. The first factors is widely believed to be the result of chemical imbalances in the brain. It is also thought to be linked to genetics as it seems to run in families. Moreover,Bipolar disorder may also be triggered by physical illness, sleep disturbances and overwhelming problems in everyday life, such as problems with money, work or relationships.

        In order to heal and live with Bipolar, Most people can be treated using a combination of different treatments in long term. The treatment may include one or more of medication to prevent conditions of mania, and depression. Moreover, take some psychological treatment such as talking therapy to help dealing with depression and to give some advice about how to improve the relationships. Although, it is usually a long-term condition, effective treatments for bipolar disorder combined with self-help techniques which impact in your daily life. The patient should Eat well and keep fit are important for everyone. Exercise can also help reduce the symptoms.

        All in all, the causes of this disorders may depend on the lifestyle, genetic, and the social factors. The effect of bipolar disorder may be not severe disease. The symptoms can be notice  and can be heal by receiving treatment without having to stay in hospital.

Stay in a positive thinking may help you prevent the bipolar disorder.


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Helgi’s essay on a health concern

Nowadays society becomes older and older. There are so many things like infrastructure, medicine, medical treatment and medical machines which help humans to subsist or heal almost every disease. But what is when an older person or a person seriously ill wants to die or deliver from their agonies? Is it allowed to help someone to die?

Euthanasia is a big controversy in our society and refers to the practice intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. The most people who wants to make use of euthanasia are seniors, paraplegics and terminal cases. 
But there are different euthanasia laws in each country. In most countries it is forbidden by law to practice mercy killing. But, for example in Switzerland it is allowed. That’s why there is a called “euthanasia-tourism”. 
Euthanasia is categorized in different ways, which includes voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries and U.S. states. Non-voluntary euthanasia is illegal in all countries. Involuntary euthanasia is usually considered murder. 
All in all I think people have a right to self-determination, and thus should be allowed to choose their own fate. Assisting a subject to die might be a better choice than requiring that they continue to suffer.

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William’s Essay on an obscure medical condition

Chinese restaurant syndrome (CRS) describes some syndromes that some people experience after eating food at a Chinese restaurant. A food additive called monosodium glutamate (MSG) is frequently blamed for CRS. However scientific evidence has not proven MSG to be cause the symptoms.


I read some articles and web blogs, A Chinese restaurant chef might have used MSG on the food, Actually most Chinese food is cooked by oil and used a special sauce that include a lot of MSG than regular a food. It is artificial flavor, not natural so it probably causes some symptoms, such a Chest pain, Flushing, Headache, Numbness or Burning in around the mouth, Sense of facial pressure or Swelling and, Sweating.


You can check whether you have CRS or not, Have you eaten Chinese food within the past of day or two days? If your body or brain wants to have Chinese food again, you might get CRS, But don’t worry about it, even though you are getting it too. I have a couple of solution; First, Drinking several glass of water should help to flush the MSG. You can check the ingredient labels on food packages and ask restaurant manager.

You have to know what kind of ingredient causes symptoms in your system and should be more careful although your system not reacts from MSG. 


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Homework :) for June 28, 2013

Great week, everyone!


Homework for the weekend includes getting your essay on an obscure medical issue typed up and emailed to me for posting here.  You’ll need to check in to read and email your comments on your classmates’ essays.  


From the textbook:  pages 107, 110 – 111, 113 – 114


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Karine’s essay :)

Aquagenic Pruritis


Allergies are a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system, often associated with some type of food, dust or materials that occur very rarely affecting only one in 230 million people worldwide. “Only around 30-40 people worldwide are thought to have been diagnosed with the condition, which was first described in 1964.”

Aquagenic Urticaria causes severe itching after contact with water usually in any temperature. Symptoms develop within minutes and it leaves the skin “weeping with reds welts and blisters”  c

The intensity of Aquagenic Pruritis depends from case to case. According to cases reported by MSN Healthy Living, Mail Online and Florida Today, this condition can happen to anyone at any stage of life. In MSN Healthy Living, a mum shows concerns about her 15 years old son, that recently when he takes shower his chest itches badly. She starts to become frustrated, because she has changed every soap and laundry detergent and still could not found what the problem was. Another paper, Mail Online, tells the story of a 21 years-old-mother, which on the first day that she bathed, after giving birth to her son, noticed that something was wrong. She has the more aggressive version of the disease: she cannot drink water, only tolerate Diet Coke and cannot carry her child for long because of his sweat. Florida Today also reports another testimony, this time about a 57-years-old attorney that has dealt with the disease for 15 years. “The problem started one day, while he was riding on his motorcycle and he felt his skin crawling.  After much trial and error, what works best for Steve is a short hot shower only at night.”

Medical opinion does not know the exact causes and just follow a few tips of treatment for relief of the symptoms without a cure. Some investigators believes that it caused by the release of histamine, others by a blood disorder called polycythemia vera or mineral presences in the water (such as chlorine, fluoride). Depending on the case, patients are medicated with antihistamines and Capsaicin cream. Also, an oil-based emollient lotion before bath and phototherapy are recommended.

Aquagenic Pruritis is a rare allergy of water, that could happen to everyone in different levels and Science does not have a complete understanding of the cause nor the cure. Talking about the problem “helps to increase the awareness of this rare disorder which can be debilitating”.


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Advanced Grammar, 06/27/13

Great class today!

Homework:  pages 96 – 99 in textbook, post your informative essays, complete extra-credit by tomorrow (page 83, #10).



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