30 years of Achievement in Health Research

  • In 1976...

    Thirty odd years ago, the link between lung cancer and smoking was established, but very little was understood about the biology of the disease. Back in the era when disco reigned, two types of lung cancer were recognized: “small cell” and “non-small cell”. For small cell lung cancer, radiation therapy was about the only known treatment, while non-small cell...

  • In 1976…

    Once thought of as ‘creeping paralysis’ caused by ‘female hysteria’, the understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS) has come a long way. By 1976, this definition was long gone, as was the mistaken idea that MS occurred only in women.

    A fair amount about the disease was understood by the mid-70s – that it was a neurodegenerative condition with inflammatory...

  • In 1976…

    The medical community understood that Parkinson’s disease involved the degeneration of a group of cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. Those cells produced dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls movement. When dopa-mine-making cells died, patients experienced tremors, slow movement, muscle rigidity, or other symptoms of impaired motor...

  • In 1976 ...

    Polio, spread mainly by the fecal-oral route and direct contact with infected people, usually causes only a mild viral illness, but about 1% of polio victims develop paralysis.

    Two polio vaccines existed in 1976: an injectable one, containing dead virus; and an oral vaccine, containing live, weakened virus. The oral vaccine is easy to administer and...

  • In 1976…

    Schizophrenia is an extremely complex mental disorder. Even with 30 years of research modifying our ideas about what causes it and how to treat it, schizophrenia remains somewhat of a mystery. Our understanding of the disorder was even more limited in 1976 by the lack of brain-imaging techniques and other developments in neuroscience that inform today’s...

  • In 1976…

    The 1970s were “where the action was” when it came to the start of big revolutions in genetic research technology. The decade began with the belief that sequencing large chunks of DNA was impossible and ended with the ability to sequence genes and make directed changes within specific genes.

    “When I was a student in college in the early 70s, I was...

  • In 1976…

    There was a lot of optimism about science’s ability to destroy this highly infectious and devastating disease. After all, there were diagnostic tests, a vaccine, and antibiotics against it. Plus, public health steps, designed to provide cleaner local environments, had been adopted by many regions, contributing to a decline in tuberculosis (TB). But looking...

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