Winning over TCM sceptics with science

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Issue 62: 27 April 2021
Every week, HEADlines brings you the latest news, stories and commentaries
in education and healthcare. This week, get insights on the latest developments in healthcare.
Putting science into the art of Traditional Chinese Medicine

To the western medical world, practices in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are seen as unconventional, and questions often arise over its effectiveness and safety. Not only are TCM concepts such as qi and meridians foreign to the scientific world, herbal medications, too, come under scrutiny for not having passed proper controlled processes. 

Using scientific methods to prove why and how TCM works is key to overcoming skepticism. In a bid to understand the chemical components of TCM herbs, Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has partnered with ChemoPower to start an SGD3.9mil laboratory that will develop a molecular database of commonly-used TCM herbs

At the hospital level, the National Cancer Centre Singapore is embarking on a trial to determine if TCM benefits patients who suffer from cancer-related fatigue. Results from the trial will facilitate future studies to better understand the possible biological mechanisms contributing to the effects of TCM. 

After all, the aim of medicine, whether modern or traditional, is to bring healing to patients. With a better understanding of the science behind TCM, there will be a stronger scientific basis for integrating its use into mainstream healthcare if it indeed improves patient care.
Healthcare in the Spotlight
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From selling products via social media and messaging channels to offering consultations online, Eu Yang Sang has broken away from traditional models to serve patients during the pandemic.
These mosquitoes are programmed with a 'limiting gene' to suppress the growth of local Aedes aegypti populations, but this has stirred controversy among residents.
The research, tracking thousands of people from age 50 on, suggests those who sleep six hours or less a night are more likely to develop dementia in their late 70s.
From droughts to floods, the effects of climate change have a very real impact on mental health. Experts help us understand this and offer tips for resilience.
A study published in 2020 shows a direct correlation between negative birth outcomes when a woman is exposed to extreme heat during pregnancy.

Photo credit: freestocks on Unsplash
Source: Medical News Today

When a person experiences chest pain and dizziness, it may or may not be related to a heart problem. Learn more about the possible causes and when to seek emergency medical help.

That's all for the week!
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