Boy Develops Tumors After Fetal Stem Cell Injections
An experimental injection of fetal stem cells caused tumors to develop in an Israeli boy's brain and spinal cord, according to a new report in the journal PLoS Medicine. The child had a rare, deadly brain disease called ataxia telangiectasia, or A-T. The disease can lead to degeneration of a region of the brain; most people with A-T die by their teens or early 20s. The boy had traveled to Russia at age 9, when he was injected with fetal neural stem cells in his brain and spinal cord, the Associated Press reports. He received two additional sets of injections at ages 10 and 12. By age 13, the boy needed a wheelchair for his A-T, and he was experiencing headaches. The tumors in his brain and spinal cord were discovered soon after that. A test of the tissue found that the tumors were caused by the fetal cells.
Treatments involving stem cells, such as a heart attack procedure offered in Thailand, are still viewed as experimental, yet some researchers believe they may help certain medical problems. Consider these 3 ways that stem cells may speed new cures for certain diseases. Also, human stem cells now can be made from adult skin, without using embryos or eggs.
Electronic Medical Records: Will Your Privacy Be Safe?
Electronic medical records have become a national goal, a way to replace the highly fragmented and inefficient paper system used in most medical settings today, Bernadine Healy reports. President Obama has made revamping the medical system a top priority, with the national electronic medical record first up in healthcare reform. Indeed, the economic stimulus package assigns billions of dollars to that effort. In light of public sensitivity, this major jump-start for centralized records comes with provisions to further strengthen privacy laws.
While electronic medical records are being touted as part of the key to an efficient healthcare system in the future, some doctors have been slow to take up the technology.
Stressed Out? Find a Great Deal at a Spa
Discount is not a word that traditionally has been associated with the spa industry. Yet, people looking for relief from the stress brought on by their shrinking portfolios will find that spas nationwide are vying for their business, Lindsay Lyon reports. "I've been in the spa industry 30 years, and I have never seen so many deals and so many good deals . . . unprecedented deals," says Susie Ellis, president of SpaFinder.com, a website that helps people research and book visits at more than 5,000 day, resort, and destination spas worldwide. Many vacation spas, Ellis says, are lowering room rates, tossing extra services or meals into their overnight packages, allowing a free guest, or slashing the package price of midweek stays, for example.
—January W. Payne
Other Popular Articles From USNews.com
- 10 Cities Where Coronary Bypass Surgery Outpaces Angioplasty
- A Better Way to Screen for Heart Disease
- 10 Reasons Not to Skimp on Sleep
- What Makes Teens Abstain From Sex
- 7 Steps Newly Diagnosed Diabetics Should Take
- 6 Ways to Reduce Inflammation Without Taking a Statin
- Need Care? Scan the Rankings: Best Health Plans and Best Hospitals