The 1st Annual Awards for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights were awarded to the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and to Dr. Wan Yanhai, a Chinese physician and activist. The international attention and media coverage of the awards was heightened by the fact that the Chinese government had detained Dr. Wan for disclosing information about unsanitary blood collection practices in Henan province. An international outcry led to Dr. Wan's release on 20 September 2002.
A retrospective analysis of adults with strabismus was done to examine the potential risks and the possible benefits of surgical treatment and to describe the types of adult strabismus.
Eight hundred ninety-two patients were analyzed. Age at time of surgery ranged from 9 years to 89 years. The average follow up was 34 months. Major types of strabismus were grouped by their original diagnoses. The group of patients with horizontal strabismus, which usually had an onset before 9, was termed the before visual maturity (BVM) group. The group of patients with paretic or restrictive strabismus usually had the onset of strabismus after age 9 and was termed the after visual maturity (AVM) group.
Patients with adult strabismus can gain restoration of alignment, as well as binocular function. At the last postoperative visit, 74% of the BVM group were aligned within 15 prism diopters. Not only was restoration of alignment accomplished, many of them gained some degree of sensory fusion as measured by the Worth 4-Dot (W4D) or Titmus stereoacuity. Twenty-nine percent of patients with congenital esotropia had some sensory fusion. The other subtypes in the BVM group had even higher percentages of patients with postoperative stereoacuity. In the AVM group, 92% had fusion at the last postoperative visit.
The outcomes of adult strabismics in our study show that certain benefits can be gained from correction of ocular alignment. Restoration of alignment, elimination of diplopia and sensory fusion are functional benefits that can be obtained through strabismus surgery in the adult patient. It is clear that adult strabismus is more than just a cosmetic problem and treatment is worthwhile.
Several types of collagen are known to exist in the intervertebral disc in addition to the fibrillar collagens, Types I and II. Although they constitute only a small percentage of the total collagen content, these minor collagens may have important functions. This study was designed to investigate the presence of Types I, II, III, IV, VI, and IX collagens in the intervertebral disc and cartilage end plate by immunohistochemistry, thereby establishing their location within the tissues. Types III and VI collagen have a pericellular distribution in animal and human tissue. No staining for Type IX collagen was present in normal human disc, but in rat and bovine intervertebral disc, it was also located pericellularly. These results show that cells of the intervertebral disc and cartilage end plate sit in fibrous capsules, forming chondrons similar to those described in articular cartilage. In pathologic tissue the amount and distribution of the collagen types, and the organization of the pericellular capsule, differ from that seen in control material.
The primary objective of this study was to determine whether disc degeneration, as assessed through magnetic resonance imaging, is greater in smokers than in nonsmokers. To control for the maximum number of potentially confounding variables, pairs of identical twins highly discordant for cigarette smoking were selected as study subjects. Data analyses revealed 18% greater mean disc degeneration scores in the lumbar spines of smokers as compared with nonsmokers. The effect was present across the entire lumbar spine, implicating a mechanism acting systemically. This investigation demonstrates the efficiency of using carefully selected controls in studying conditions of multifactorial etiology, such as disc degeneration.
The 1996 Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards. Prevention of systemic infections, especially meningitis, caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b. Impact on public health and implications for other polysaccharide-based vaccines.
The development of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines has led to the virtual elimination of systemic infections caused by that pathogen, has provided insights into the pathogenesis of and immunity to other capsulated bacteria, and has contributed to the development of new vaccines. Meningitis, a common and serious infection of children, and other infections caused by Hib have been virtually eliminated in countries that have achieved widespread vaccination with Hib conjugates, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Scandinavia, France, and Germany. Hib conjugates have also been shown to be highly effective in developing countries. The principles derived from the use of these vaccines, along with studies of other capsulated pathogens, should allow the rapid inclusion of new polysaccharide-based conjugates into routine vaccination schedules of infants, and should help to realize further reductions in serious systemic infectious diseases.