Myelofibrosis – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Myelofibrosis is a disease in which the bone marrow gets replaced by connective tissue in a process called fibrosis. Since the bone marrow’s main role is to produce erythrocytes, or red blood cells; leukocytes, or white blood cells; and thrombocytes, or platelets, the process of fibrosis interferes with production of these cell types. Now, many […]

Pleural Effusion – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

“Pleural” refers to the space between the chest cavity and the lungs, and “effusion” refers to a collection of fluid, so a pleural effusion is when a disease process causes fluid to start to collect in the pleural space, which can sometimes restrict lung expansion. The pleural cavity or pleural space lies between the parietal […]

Bell’s Palsy – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Bell’s palsy, named after the surgeon Charles Bell who first described it, is when there’s weakness or paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face, caused by damage to the seventh cranial nerve, which is the facial nerve. The underlying cause of cranial nerve damage is idiopathic which means it’s unknown, so when […]

Adult brain tumors – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Adult brain tumors are masses of abnormal cells that generally occur in adults, and result from the uncontrolled growth of those cells within the brain. OK – let’s start with some basic brain anatomy. First off, there’s the cerebral cortex which is the part of the brain that’s supratentorial or above the tentorium, and the […]

Somatic symptom disorder – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Somatic symptom disorder, which used to be called somatization or somatoform disorder, involves having physical symptoms that aren’t explained by any known physical or mental disorder – in other words, symptoms that can’t be explained. That said, individuals aren’t ‘faking’ the symptoms, these symptoms are real and often made worse by the fact that they […]

Chagas disease – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Chagas Disease, also called American trypanosomiasis, is a parasitic disease common in Central and South America, caused by a protozoan called Trypanosoma cruzi or T. cruzi for short. T. cruzi is transmitted through the feces of the insect triatominae. Triatominae is a type of reduviid bug also called the kissing bug because it typically bites […]

Carpal tunnel syndrome – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve entrapment disorder that results from compression of the median nerve which winds its way through the wrist through a narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel. This compression typically causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side of the ring finger, which […]