Category Archives: Health and Medicine

Digestive Disease Research

Our digestive system is made up of the digestive tract — a series of organs from the mouth to the anus — that help the body break down and absorb food to create energy. Gastroenterology focuses on the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts.

This conversation with the globally recognized team of physician-scientists at UC San Diego Health includes the latest research, innovations, therapies and potential cures for digestive diseases. They discuss Inflammatory Bowel Disease, advanced techniques in endoscopic surgery, and paradigm-shifting treatments to manage esophageal conditions.

U.S. News & World Report ranks UC San Diego #1 in the world for gastroenterology and hepatology (liver) research, based on physicians’ research reputation and publications.

Watch Trusting Your Gut – Insights from World Leaders in Gastroenterology – Health Talks.

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Spinal Cord Injury and Stem Cells

Every year, 15,000 – 20,000 Americans sustain a spinal cord injury (SCI). Another 200,000 – 500,000 are living in the chronic stages of SCI every day. Loss of movement and sensation, persistent pain, and depression are common. Could stem cells play a role in finding a cure? Dr. Mark Tuszynski shares his work using neural stem cells to build bridges after an SCI – forming new relays across injury sites in the hopes of restoring limb function and feeling. Bob Yant, who suffered an SCI in 1981, joins Tuszynski to express the need for further research in the field of regenerative medicine and to share his story of living with and SCI.

Watch A Closer Look at…Spinal Cord Injury.

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The Latest on Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. People with PD may experience tremor, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), limb rigidity and gait and balance problems.

The cause remains largely unknown. Although there is no cure, treatment options vary and include medications and surgery. While Parkinson’s itself is not fatal, disease complications can be serious.

In this new series you will learn about the latest breakthroughs, leading-edge technology and care for Parkinson’s disease from interdisciplinary experts at UC San Diego.

Topics include:

  • Wearable technology to automate medication management
  • Support programs patients
  • A personalized approach to treating PD
  • Making new neurons to treat PD

UC San Diego Health is a designated Center of Excellence by the Parkinson’s Foundation. It represents the consensus of leaders in the field that the UC San Diego program is among the world’s leading centers for Parkinson’s research, outreach and care.

Browse more programs in Innovations Shaping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease Treatment .

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Family Health in Challenging Times

Resilience and coping have been hot topics in the recent era of multiple societal and environmental stressors. Teenagers and their families have had to learn to adapt to challenges they’ve never imagined. This has meant learning new and improved strategies for coping with multiple stressors and their impacts on health.

UCSF has been involved in clinical care, education, and research in these fields since well before recent events, and has been actively engaged in elevating supports during challenging times.

In this series, researchers, educators, and clinicians share their experiences as they investigate, develop, and deliver the knowledge base and tools to help the community build the resources to help children and teenagers not only to cope in challenging times, but to thrive.

Browse more programs in Family Health in Challenging Times.

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Environmental Justice and Human Health

Human health is inseparable from environmental health. Our exposure to toxic environmental chemicals through air, water, food, and consumer products is contributing to a surge in chronic disease (cancer, asthma, diabetes, COPD, etc.), developmental delay, neurodegenerative disease, and infertility. Our climate emergency’s associated catastrophic events (hurricanes, wildfires, floods, famine, etc.) are driving massive human displacement as populations flee climate-fueled war, conflict, and environmental degradation. Existing health challenges and health care systems will need considerable investments of resources and attention in order to mitigate the impacts. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how the web of life connects human health to other species and global health, and the importance of systemic solutions.

Environmental threats to human health are not experienced equally among populations. Structural and institutional racism, and other economic and public policy choices underlie the fact that some communities suffer more and die earlier from environmental health harms. While health care professionals work to mitigate suffering of individuals, the cause and enduring solutions to these problems are systemic, and as such, require solutions that address the upstream influences on health at a society-wide level. Thus, research and policy decisions are needed that address the systemic roots of environmental threats to our health.

This series explores a range of environmental contributors to human health and disease through the lens of our most vulnerable populations, and seeks to identify and advocate for systemic solutions by health professionals and community members.

The series is co-organized by the UCSF EaRTH Center, UCSF Program for Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE), and San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and further supported by the UCSF Center for Climate Health and Equity and the Environmental and Climate Health Student Advisory Group. Series Co-Chairs include Annemarie Charlesworth, Patrice Sutton, Robert Gould, Nadia Gaber.

Browse more programs in Environmental Justice and Human Health: Creating Systemic Solutions.

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