The change in the climatic conditions, lifestyle, eating habits and the development of technology are increasing the risk of developing new diseases. For example, increased use of machinery is contributing to various sorts of pollution which in turn is the cause for prevailing global warming and respiratory diseases. Scientists are trying hard to develop revolutionary medical treatments to combat these diseases. This article lists the top 10 revolutionary medical treatments that Mankind can enjoy in future.
1. Nanotechnology to fight against wound infections: Exposed wounds without proper dressing are sites of infection. To prevent wound infections scientists at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol are working hard to design an advanced wound dressing capable of fighting against infections. This wound dressing is designed with nanocapsules of antibiotics. Once the wound is covered with this dressing, the disease causing microorganisms present in the wound trigger the release of antibiotics from these nanocapsules. These antibiotics fight against the bacteria and prevent the infection. The best part of this dressing is it changes its color after the release of the antibiotics which alerts the doctors about the presence of infection. This nanotechnology based wound dressing is expected to help in easy curing of burns without the risk of toxic shock syndrome.
2. Pharmacogenomics for tailor-made drugs for every individual: Pharmacogenomics that studies the influence of genetic makeup on the action of a particular drug states that apart from the diet, lifestyle and age, genetic makeup of an individual has profound influence on his response to a particular drug. Thus, by understanding the genetic makeup of an individual it would be possible to design tailor-made drugs for every individual as per his genetic makeup. These personalized drugs ensure safety, increased efficiency, appropriate usage of required dosage and reduced medical expenses.
3. Robot assisted surgeries for lesser pain and scarring: Certain surgeries such as those performed to remove cancer affected region of prostate and cardiac surgeries are hard to perform through traditional surgical procedures and laparoscopy. To easily perform these surgeries the assistance of robots is being taken. These robot assisted surgeries are less invasive, take less time, reduce the period of hospital stay, less pain and result in less scarring. However, these surgeries are very expensive. Doctors are being trained in performing robot assisted surgeries so as to bring these surgeries in the reach of everyone.
4. Embryonic stem cells for disease identification and drug screening: Stem cells which have the capability to regenerate all other types of body cells can be used to identify the genes that went wrong for a particular disease. These cells can also be used to identify potential drugs for a particular disease. For example, to identify the genes that went wrong in Parkinson’s disease, skin cells from the patient are taken to turn them into stem cells. Now, these cells lines are allowed to turn into neurons that are genetically identical to the brain cells of the patient. So, anything wrong in these cells would help to identify the actual cause of the disease and accordingly design drugs. This type of study is highly helpful to study diseases for which animal models cannot be used.
5. Gene therapy to treat genetic disorders: Diseases that develop due to alterations in the genetic code are termed as genetic disorders. Changes in genetic code result in synthesis of altered proteins which fail to carry out the normal body processes resulting in a disease. Through gene therapy this defective gene is replaced with the normal gene by using viral vectors or the defective gene is repaired through reverse mutations. Introduction of the normal gene restores the normal body process. Gene therapy is still in the stage of clinical trials.
6. Treating tooth decay without drilling and filling: Repair of decayed teeth involves drilling and filling of the microscopic pores to prevent further damage. However, this act of drilling and filling threatens many people and they even avoid visiting the dentist. Now, this painful process of drilling and filling can be avoided with the help of peptide based fluid designed by scientists at the University of Leeds. This fluid has a peptide p11-4 which has the capability to regenerate the degenerated tooth tissue. The peptide assembles to form a gel like framework that attracts calcium so as to regenerate the damaged tooth tissue. The procedure is yet to be tested on a large group of patients so as to allow it to use on all patients.
7. Cancer treatment using Rotational Field Quantum Magnetic Resonance therapy: Use of chemotherapy in cancer treatments results in death of normal cells along with the tumor cells resulting in several complications. Now, Cytotron therapy that is based on the RFQMR therapy activates the internal mechanism of tumor suppression. This will regulate the growth of tumor cells without any side effects by activating the tumor suppressor genes and proteins responsible for apoptosis.
8. NeoGraft device for automated hair transplantation: In traditional method of hair transplantation a large amount of skin and hair is removed from the back of the head and is used in the areas of implantation. But, with NeoGraft individual follicles are removed and are placed at the desired location eliminating the need for removal of larger section of skin from the back of scalp.
9. The science of SENS to fight aging: Every one of us desire to live long. But, the natural aging process comes in the way of fulfilling this desire. Now, the science of SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) is helping to clear the roadblocks in the fight against aging. For example, the stem cell therapy is helping in identification of genes responsible for various diseases, use of gene therapy to modify the ends of telomeres and to repair the damaged mitochondrial DNA. All these efforts are still under study and if all these trials turn out successful then you continue to remain young for a long time.
10. Stem cell therapy to treat cardiovascular diseases: Stem cells which have the ability to generate any type of cells can be used to generate heart tissue so as to treat cardiac diseases such as coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy. This therapy is expected to improve the functioning of heart by about 70%. In this therapy, the heart cells developed from the stem cells of the patient are inserted into the heart through a catheter.
Lastly, let us hope that these efforts of scientists would give fruitful results so as to enable our future generations enjoy a happy life free of deadly diseases.