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Leprosy News

Artificial Skin Could Bring Sense of Touch to Prosthetics

Posted 15 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2015 – In a step toward giving prosthetic limbs a sense of touch, scientists have developed an artificial skin that can "feel" pressure and send those signals to brain cells. Reporting in the Oct. 16 issue of Science, researchers say the plastic skin mimics the ability of human skin to tell the difference between a firm handshake and the dead-fish variety. It can then transmit that information to cells of the central nervous system. So far, the principle has only been tested using brain cells from mice, and much work remains before it could be useful for people with prosthetic limbs. "But, we know what we need to do to move this forward, and I'd estimate this could be available in three to six years," said researcher Alex Chortos, a doctoral candidate at Stanford University, in California. Recent years have seen major advances in the function of prosthetic limbs, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, Leprosy, Minor Skin Conditions

Old Bones Give Clues to Leprosy's Demise in Europe

Posted 13 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 13 – A close look at some very old bones is shedding light on the elimination of leprosy in Europe, where it was a major scourge until medieval times. Leprosy was common across medieval Europe and nearly one in 30 people are thought to have had the disease. However, while it is still endemic in many parts of the world today – affecting over 200,000 people across the globe – leprosy all but disappeared in Europe by the turn of the 16th century. The reasons for this sudden change have been a mystery. In this new study, researchers decoded the nearly complete genomes of five strains of Mycobacterium leprae, the bacterium that causes leprosy. The samples were collected from the bones of people buried in medieval graves across Europe. The study seems to rule out sudden genetic changes as the reason for leprosy disappearing from Europe. That's because the genomes of the ... Read more

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U.S. Man Diagnosed With HIV Develops Leprosy

Posted 19 Oct 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19 – Ohio doctors report they got a diagnostic surprise when an HIV patient tested positive for the bacterium that causes leprosy. What was even more surprising was that the initial infection most likely occurred decades earlier, from exposure to an armadillo. Soon after starting treatment for the HIV infection, the Ohio man developed lesions on his skin that didn't respond to antibiotic treatment. His doctors eventually confirmed that the lesions were caused by Mycobacterium leprae bacteria, an infection more commonly known as leprosy. "With the way he presented, typically, any clinician would think of an infection with bacteria, and that's what we were thinking, but he was not responding to regular antibiotic treatment," said Dr. Madhuri Sopirala, the lead author of a letter on the unusual case in the Oct. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. And, it was ... Read more

Related support groups: Leprosy

Armadillos Give Leprosy to Humans in Southern U.S.: Study

Posted 1 May 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 27 – The prehistoric-looking armadillo, already the state animal of Texas, now has a new claim to fame: leprosy. A new study finds that armadillos carry the bacterium that causes leprosy, and have somehow passed the disease to several dozen humans in the southern United States. "We've confirmed a long-suspected link between leprosy in humans and armadillos," said the study's lead author, Richard Truman, from the Bureau of Primary Health Care at the Health Resources and Services Administration's National Hansen's Disease Program at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Truman said it's important to realize that the risk of contracting leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease) from armadillos "is still infinitesimally small." "The last thing we want is to induce panic in the population and incite a slaughter of armadillos. The best way to combat further infection is ... Read more

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Leprosy - Erythema Nodosum Leprosum, Leprosy - Lepromatous, Leprosy - Tuberculoid, Leprosy - Borderline, Leprosy - Dapsone-Sensitive, Leprosy - Dapsone-Resistant, Bacterial Infection

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