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Study reveals "diagnostic odyssey" of mitochondrial patients

Mitochondrial diseases can affect almost any part of the body, and their wide range of symptoms can make it all too easy for doctors to misdiagnose them. Most primary care physicians also have little familiarity with these (comparatively rare) diseases. Patients in Texas who suffer, or believe they suffer, from a mitochondrial disease should know about a study detailing the "diagnostic odyssey" that many people in their situation go through.

App-assisted diagnostics have potential to reduce misdiagnoses

People in Texas routinely look to mobile applications to help them navigate streets, find dates or buy show tickets. However, many are unaware of the benefits that health apps can have on patient care. An app called PTT Advisor recently received a favorable evaluation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and university researchers. Testing showed that the app improved the accuracy of diagnoses for coagulation and bleeding disorders by 13 percent.

Blood pressure medications increase risk of pancreatic cancer

Women in Texas and across the United States who have taken certain types of blood pressure medications may be at a greater risk of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The research, which came from the Women's Health Initiative, found that postmenopausal women who took short-acting calcium channel blockers, or CCB, increased their risk of pancreatic cancer by 66 percent. Women who took a long-acting CCB were found to have a 12 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

Family history of brain aneurysms could create need for screening

A brain aneurysm can strike a person in Texas without warning. People with a strong family history of aneurysms occurring in first-degree relatives might meet the medical guidelines for screening. Magnetic resonance imaging with angiography or computed tomography with angiography have the potential to detect weakened vessels in the cranium. MRIs usually represent the first step while physicians reserve CTAs for more advanced diagnostics.

Study highlights misdiagnoses among people with rare diseases

Texas residents afflicted with rare diseases often endure a lengthy diagnostic process that involves one or more incidents of misdiagnosis. A recent study conducted with support from the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network looked at the diagnostic process for 210 patients with confirmed mitochondrial diseases. These diseases involve rare genetic disorders that impact mitochondria inside cells. These microscopic units generate 90 percent of the energy needed for organ function and life.

Data entry software can help reduce misdiagnoses

People in Texas may be worried about being the victim of a misdiagnosis or the failure to diagnose a progressive, serious illness like cancer when they go visit the doctor or enter a hospital for treatment. The consequences of a wrong diagnosis or a doctor error can be serious because the disease can progress and become deadly or difficult to treat in the interim. For health institutions concerned about patient care and liability, cutting down on the number of diagnostic errors can be a major priority.

Selecting a new diabetes treatment requires care

For people in Texas living with diabetes, the range of treatment options available can be confusing and surprising. Over 20 therapies for diabetes have been newly approved by the FDA since 2010, giving diabetes patients many more choices in how to treat the disorder. Pharmacists can help to play an important role in assisting both doctors and patients in selecting the right treatment and avoiding potentially dangerous interactions or costly prescriptions.

Reducing the number of medication errors

Every year in Texas and across the U.S., more than 250,000 people die as a result of medication errors. Despite advances in technology that allow for digital record keeping, nurses and other health care professionals continue to make life-altering mistakes, most of which are preventable. Many errors are revealed in patients' charts and other documents.

Heart disease misdiagnosed in younger women

For some Texas heart attack patients, conservative treatment that involves allowing the body to heal by itself may be the most helpful course of action. This is especially true for spontaneous coronary artery dissection or SCAD, most frequently experienced by young women; in this type of heart attack, a sudden tear happens inside an artery, leading to the incident. This is unlike typical heart attacks, which occur due to the results of a lifetime of plaque building up in the arteries. Researching physicians said that treating the two types of heart attacks in the same way can be detrimental.

How dermatologists can prevent cellulitis misdiagnoses

Texas cellulitis patients should know about the findings of researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital, as they may affect how cellulitis will be diagnosed in the future. Cellulitis is a bacterial skin condition that leads to red, swollen skin that's warm and tender to the touch. The only way to diagnose it is by looking at the skin and taking the patient's symptoms into account.

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