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Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category

Toxicology and Environmental Health Resource Update: LiverTox

Many medications have the potential to cause liver injury. The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) LiverTox is an evidence-based resource that provides guidance to consumers, patients, and healthcare providers about the potential for prescription and nonprescription drugs, herbals and dietary supplements to cause damage to this critical organ. It assists physicians regarding the diagnosis and management of this important cause of liver disease. LiverTox represents a collaborative effort by medical and scientific specialists to provide a central repository of clinical information in support of clinical and basic research on the prevention and control of drug induced liver injury. It also includes a case registry that enables scientific analysis and better characterization of the clinical patterns of that injury.

NLM Launches “Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature,” a New Traveling Exhibition

Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature logoThe National Library of Medicine has announced the launch of a new traveling exhibition and an online adaptation of Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature.

In 1816, Mary Shelley conceived a story that would pose profound questions about individual and societal responsibility for others, and serve as a metaphor for apprehensions about scientific advancement. Victor Frankenstein, a scientist obsessed with creating life, succeeds in his endeavor. But while Frankenstein’s creature can think and feel, he is monstrous to the eye. Spurned by all, the embittered creature turns into a savage killer. Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature explores the power of the Frankenstein story to expose hidden fears of science and technology—both in the original novel and shaped into new forms, such as plays, films, and comics. Captivating audiences for 200 years, as scientists have gained new knowledge, the Frankenstein story remains like a warning beacon, throwing its unsettling beam upon human efforts to penetrate the secrets of nature.

The online exhibition features resources for educators and students, including lesson plans developed by classroom teachers for middle and high school classes, and a higher education module developed by scholars for undergraduate and graduate students and instructors. The traveling banner exhibition is available for booking now. Please visit traveling exhibition services for more information about Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature.

June 2015 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of a 3 people sitting in a doctor’s waiting room.Check out the June issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • HIV and AIDS: Know the Facts: Treatments Work, but Prevention Is Key
    It’s been more than 30 years since a disease now called AIDS was first recognized in the United States. Back then, it was considered a death sentence. No treatments were available, its cause was unknown, and people often died within a few months after being diagnosed. Today, people infected with HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—can live full, healthy lives, in large part because of medicines and other discoveries made with NIH support.
  • Talking With Your Doctor: Make the Most of Your Appointment
    Patients and health care providers share a very personal relationship. Doctors need to know a lot about you, your family, and your lifestyle to give you the best medical care. And you need to speak up and share your concerns and questions. Clear and honest communication between you and your physician can help you both make smart choices about your health.
  • Mapping Language Problems in the Brain
    We often use language to communicate our knowledge and beliefs. But such communication can be challenging for up to 8 million people nationwide who have some form of language impairment. To learn more about how language is organized in the brain, an NIH-funded research team studied people with a type of language impairment known as aphasia.
  • Healthy and Fun Family Recipes
    As parents and caregivers, you make a big difference in what your kids think and do. When children see you making healthy choices—such as eating right and being active—there’s a good chance they’ll do the same. Nutritious food doesn’t have to be bland or take a long time to prepare. Get the whole family to help slice, dice, and chop, and learn how to cut fat and calories.
  • Featured Website: NIH’s National Cancer Institute
    This newly redesigned site can help you quickly find trusted information about cancer prevention and screening, diagnosis and treatment, research, clinical trials, and more—whether on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The site is also available in Spanish.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

New Issues of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine and NIH MedlinePlus Salud Now Available!

Spring 2015 Cover of NIH MedlinePlus the MagazineThe Spring 2015 issue of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is now available online! The issue featuring actress Jennifer Esposito, includes features on celiac disease, hearing loss, glaucoma, diseases and vaccinations, seasonal allergies, and more!

Additionally, the Winter 2014 issue of NIH MedlinePlus Salud is also now available online! The issue featuring singer Gilberto Santa Rosa, includes features on diabetes, lupus, COPD, and more!

NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine and NIH MedlinePlus Salud are free, trusted consumer guides to the vast array of authoritative online health and medical information at MedlinePlus.gov (español). These magazines present the best in reliable, up-to-date health information, showcase the latest breakthroughs from NIH-supported research, and features people from all walks of life talking about how they’ve handled their health challenges. NIH MedlinePlus Salud is a bilingual publication, with articles in both English and Spanish.

Both magazines are available online in HTML and PDF format. Free print subscriptions are also available for US addresses.

Assessing Patient Health Information Needs

On May 7th, the Health Information Technology section of AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) sponsored the presentation A National Web Conference on Assessing Patient Health Information Needs for Developing Consumer Health IT Tools. Featured speakers included:

  • Wanda Pratt, Ph.D., Professor, Information School, University of Washington
  • James Ralston, M.D., Associate Investigator/Physician, Internal Medicine, Group Health Research Institute
  • Patricia Flatley Brennan, Ph.D., Moehlman Bascom Professor, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin- Madison

The presenters described projects to improve communication of safety concerns among hospitalized patients, promote effective management of patients with diabetes, and improve asthma care in children. Presentation slides from the talks are now available on the Health Information Technology website.

San Francisco General Hospital Library Receives NLM Grant to Reduce Health Disparities!

Congratulations to Stephen Kiyoi, Library Director at San Francisco General Hospital, who is a Principal Investigator on a newly awarded three-year, $300,000 NLM Information Resource Grant to Reduce Health Disparities (G08) from the National Library of Medicine. The project, Patient Engagement with Personal Health Records, will support the research and development of better ways to engage safety net patients with personal health records.

Partnering on the grant are Courtney Lyles, PhD, and Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH, from the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP). The CVP is an internationally recognized leader in health communication and health policy to reduce health disparities, with special expertise in the social determinants of health. The team will also partner with Yemila Alvarez, Community Outreach Manager at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). SFPL will help disseminate and scale project interventions across its 27 branch locations.

May 2015 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of a man, woman, and child walking with bags from a local grocery storeCheck out the May issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Opportunities Abound for Moving Around: Get Active, Wherever You Are
    You know that physical activity can help you live a longer, healthier life. But did you know you don’t need to join a gym or use costly equipment to be physically active? No matter where you live, work, or go to school, you can find ways to move more and sit less throughout your day. In addition to helping your health, you might have fun without spending a lot of money.
  • HIV Therapy Promising in First Human Study
    Just one dose of an experimental antibody significantly reduced HIV levels in infected people for up to 28 days. This promising approach, called immunotherapy, might help to combat many strains of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
  • Add NIH’s Free Content to Your Website
    If you have a website or blog, or manage one for your organization, NIH has a new way for you to get trusted, up-to-date health information added directly to your site. It’s called “content syndication,” and it’s an easy way to share high-quality articles, images, infographics, videos, podcasts, and other credible material that updates automatically on your site.
  • Featured Website: Allergens & Irritants
    This website can help you survive the seasons by learning more about asthma, allergies, and the common substances that trigger breathing problems. Get tips on preventing exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, cockroaches, animals, pollen, and dust mites, so you can keep breathing easier.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

NLM and FDA Launch Public Access to Global Unique Device Identification Database

The FDA, in partnership with the National Library of Medicine, has announced that data submitted to FDA’s Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID) is now publicly available through a website called AccessGUDID. By using AccessGUDID, anyone can search or download information that device labelers have submitted to the GUDID about their medical devices. Because the UDI system is being phased in over the next several years, labelers are currently submitting data on only the highest risk medical devices, a small subset of marketed devices. But as the system is implemented according to the UDI compliance timeline, the records of all medical devices required to have a UDI will be included.

With the launch of this beta version of AccessGUDID, everyone is encouraged—health care systems, clinicians, patients, researchers, industry and others—to explore its contents, assess its functionality and provide feedback. This feedback will shape future enhancements, including advanced search and web services. To submit feedback, use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the AccessGUDID landing page or the FDA UDI Help Desk.

MedlinePlus Releases New Responsive Web Design Interface!

New responsive design of MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en Espanol

MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español are now available with a fresh look and feel and a completely redesigned web site. The new release uses responsive design for ease of use on any device, whether that is a desktop monitor or mobile touchscreen. Responsive pages automatically change their layout to fit your screen. Further details are available by visiting the NLM announcement page.

Since this latest version enables all users to access a layout of MedlinePlus.gov optimized for their device, there is no longer a need for the separate mobile (m.medlineplus.gov) sites. These sites are now retired, and visitors to them will be redirected to the new version of MedlinePlus.gov. NLM invites you to try out the MedlinePlus full responsive design on your smartphone, tablet or desktop. A two-minute tour of the redesigned site is also available in English and Spanish. Feel free to send your feedback and comments about the new design via the “Contact Us” link that appears on every MedlinePlus page.

NLM Project to Improve Malaria Diagnosis Wins HHS Funding

Researchers at the National Library of Medicine are collaborating on a software tool to speed up the diagnosis of malaria. They’ve developed an automated system for detecting and counting parasites in blood films. The goal is to develop a version for smartphones so it can be used in the field. The project, Watch it, Parasite!, is an idea so promising, the US Department of Health and Human Services will provide support from the HHS Innovation Ventures Fund Program to take this early-stage idea to the next level.

The current standard method for malaria diagnosis in the field is light microscopy of blood films. About 170 million blood films are examined every year for malaria, which involves manual counting of parasites. To improve malaria diagnostics, the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, an R&D division of the National Library of Medicine, in collaboration with NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Mahidol-Oxford University, is developing a fully-automated system for parasite detection and counting in blood films. While existing drugs make malaria a curable disease, inadequate diagnostics and emerging drug resistance are major barriers to successful mortality reduction. The development of a fast and reliable diagnostic test is therefore one of the most promising ways of fighting malaria, together with better treatment, development of new malaria vaccines, and mosquito control.

Read more about this project by visiting NLM in Focus.