Tag Archives: Health Services

Social Media and its Use in Health Promotion

Authors: Joëlle J. LEVAC & Tracey O’SULLIVAN

Abstract

Social media holds considerable potential for health promotion and other health intervention activities, as it addresses some of the limitations in traditional health communication by increasing accessibility, interaction, engagement, empowerment and customization. The use of social media increases the potential for easy access to preventive medicine, interaction with health care providers, interprofessional communication in emergency management, and public health. However, more research is needed to determine its long term effectiveness and to maximize the strategic presence of health organizations on social networking websites. This paper provides encouraging information about the possibilities of using social media to improve access to health information and health care providers, as well as to promote positive health behaviour change. It is essential for health promotion organizations to capitalize on the opportunities provided by social media, in order to modernize strategies to reach all age groups and to tailor programs to current communication trends, all of which are offered at a relatively low cost.

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Angioplasty Used to Treat Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Potential Revolution in Health Care Technology

Author: Andre Guerra

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) has long been labeled as a neurological disease with a high incidence among Canadians, women in particular. The disease first manifests itself in young adulthood (between the ages of 15 and 40 years). Areas of demyelination with a proliferation of astrocytes are found scattered in the white matter of MS patients, this leads to muscle weakness, numbness, disequilibrium, sphincter disturbance and other neurological dysfunctions. Recently Dr. Paolo Zamboni, a vascular surgeon at the University of Ferrara in Italy, found that many multiple sclerosis patients have a narrowing of some of the neck veins responsible for draining blood from the brain. According to Dr. Zamboni, this narrowing of the blood vessels leads to the deposit of iron in the defected veins, which restricts blood flow and is responsible for some of the MS complications. Dr. Zamboni achieved unblocking of the veins through angioplasty, a procedure normally used to open arteries affected by atherosclerosis. In one of his trials, 65 patients were given the procedure, which decreased the rate of occurrence of lesions, from 50 % to 12 % in patients. There was an improvement in mental and physical quality of life in most of the patients in this trial. Ethical questions are also discussed in this review. Dr. Zamboni`s studies suggest a genetic inheritance of factors that may lead to MS. Should health care providers institute a screening procedure in newborns? Would these screenings be mandatory? Would the screenings be free?

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