Genetics 101 Blog

What causes premature birth? Emerging role of genetics

It is challenging enough to deliver a baby without having to worry about words like premature birth, and spontaneous preterm labour. Unfortunately, premature births account for up to 12% of infant (1-12 months old) deaths in North America, and 70% of ALL neonatal (< 28 days old) deaths1. These are sobering numbers for any mother…

Genetics can help optimize carvedilol treatment for high blood pressure

Carvedilol is a common prescription given to help lower blood pressure. However, determining whether carvedilol is the right medication for you, at what dose, and whether it will cause adverse side effects can be a long, drawn-out process of trial-and-error. Not more than a couple of years ago, this would have been you and your…

Obesity-and-fertility

According to Statistics Canada, 27% of Canadian women are considered overweight. It has been known for some time that being overweight is linked to infertility, and women with a BMI higher than 30kg/m2 will likely take longer to conceive, if at all. The most common explanation for this is likely hormonal imbalance, which ultimately leads…

Blood-pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a very common condition that can have dangerous health consequences. Fortunately, many medications options are available to: Lower blood pressure numbers to a healthy range, and Prevent serious heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. But among these choices, how do you know which one is the best blood pressure…

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Genes and environment contribute to IBD Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), comprising different diseases of the colon and small intestines such as Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), are autoimmune diseases whereby the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, causing chronic inflammation, abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, fever and weight loss. The ultimate cause(s) of…

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Robin Williams’ recent battle with depression has helped open everyone’s eyes to the seriousness of mental health issues. While antidepressant drugs are the first-line treatment used to combat this mental health disease, only 22-40% of patients actually respond to treatment. However, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is rapidly emerging as one of the best treatments available…

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Antidepressant use in psychiatry: Nowadays, physicians have an arsenal of drugs to combat psychiatric disorders: Anxiolytics, Antidepressants, Anti-psychotics, and Mood stabilizers. However, as with most other drugs, one dosage does NOT apply to all patients. A certain amount of drug might offer desired clinical improvements to some while under the same regiment others may exhibit…

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Detrol (tolterodine) causes sleep disturbance side effects in patients who are slow drug metabolizers One of the most common manifestations of ‘urinary incontinence’ is excessive bladder wall contraction – causing an uncontrollable urge to visit the washroom. Antimuscarinics are the class of drugs given to patients suffering from urinary incontinence, and common ones include: Detrol…

vaccines-and-autoimmune-diseases

Vaccines are an important medical advance Measles, mumps, rubella, polio, meningitis, influenza, hepatitis, human papillomavirus (HPV), these are all infectious agents that cause serious and often fatal diseases in humans. But thanks to vaccinations, infections by most of these microbes have been, or will soon be, a thing of the past. However, in recent months,…

When it comes to cholesterol control, the first line of defense is always a healthy lifestyle and diet. But when that’s not enough, cholesterol medication can help to: Lower the heart-disease-causing bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, LDL), Lower triglycerides, a type of fat in blood, which also increases the risk of heart problems, and Increase the…

Briefly – What is Endometriosis? Essentially, in endometriosis, the cells of the endometrium, the inner layer of the uterus, escape and grow outside the uterus. Like their normal counterpart inside the uterus, this displaced endometrium is influenced by hormonal changes, thickening, breaking down and bleeding with each menstrual cycle. As this extra tissue is outside…

Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to develop gestational diabetes after conceiving. PCOS is one of the leading causes of female infertility, affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age. Many women with PCOS exhibit insulin resistance resulting in an increase in blood glucose levels. Elevated blood sugar can lead to serious complications…

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