Back Off, Back Pain! • 2018 Medical Frontiers

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Chronic lower back pain can be both debilitating and frustrating. The cause is often unclear, making it difficult to treat. As a result, many people give up on medical treatment. Now, researchers in Japan are using new approaches that target the body and the brain to successfully offer relief. One therapy eases pain with injections of saline solution. In another, a simple exercise helps people overcome the fear of pain and promotes recovery.

Medical Frontiers • 0 • 7 episodes •

Back Off, Back Pain!

Chronic lower back pain can be both debilitating and frustrating. The cause is often unclear, making it difficult to treat. As a result, many people give up on medical treatment. Now, researchers in Japan are using new approaches that target the body and the brain to successfully offer relief. One therapy eases pain with injections of saline solution. In another, a simple exercise helps people overcome the fear of pain and promotes recovery.

2018 • Health

Another Chance for Stroke Patients

A treatment developed in Japan can dramatically improve stroke aftereffects such as paralysis. Until recently, medical experts thought that after 6 months, stroke patients would see little improvement, even with intensive rehabilitation. A treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is overturning that idea. Using magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain, it has helped people improve movement and speech, sometimes years after a stroke. We'll also learn how to spot a stroke and help with rehabilitation at home.

2018 • Health

The Brain Can Be Regenerated

A treatment method that overturns a common sense of the medical community that "the brain cell does not regenerate" has been developed in Japan, and its practical application is imminent. The key to the treatment are "stem cells", which regenerate various body tissues on a daily basis. Japanese researchers have discovered that stem cells, which have been thought to be absent in adult brains, actually exist in small numbers. A therapy that stimulates brain stem cells in an innovative way and regenerates the brain is entering the final phase of a clinical trial.

2018 • Health

Eye-Opening Treatments

Cataract and glaucoma are eye diseases that progress by aging. Both are severe diseases that can cause blindness, but in Japan, unique treatment methods and causes are being investigated. For cataracts, the world is paying attention to a Japanese doctor who has devised an innovative surgical method which is in just over 3 minutes. And distinctive research is progressing at Japanese universities as to what kind of ingredients can delay the progression of glaucoma. How can we save people from blindness? Explore with us the forefront of Japanese ophthalmic medical care.

2018 • Health

Search for Superfoods in Oita

The latest episode of Medical Frontiers is part of a special series which looks at superfoods around the country. This time we visited Oita Prefecture, where fewer people have died from colorectal cancer over the past 10 years than anywhere else in the country. Research has found that's due to 3 foods the locals eat regularly that help maintain gut health: kabosu citrus fruit, shiitake mushrooms and onions. We'll look at the part these superfoods play in the local diet, share the latest findings on their key components and bring you some healthy, delicious recipes using them.

2018 • Health

Gums, Germs and Healing

Periodontal disease affects more people worldwide than any other illness, according to the Guinness World Records. It destroys gum and bone, eventually causing teeth to fall out. Periodontal disease may also be linked to life-threatening illnesses, such as pneumonia and diabetes. One drawback of standard treatments is that it's difficult to restore damaged tissue. But a drug developed in Japan regenerates gum and bone, and saves teeth. We'll also look at ways to maintain good oral hygiene, even when disaster strikes.

2018 • Health

Nobel Laureate Changed Cancer Treatments

We bring you a special episode, celebrating the award of this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Tasuku Honjo, Distinguished Professor at Kyoto University. His basic research has led to the development and clinical applications of Opdivo, a groundbreaking new anti-cancer drug that works with immune cells. It has given hope to many cancer patients, and surprised clinical specialists. We'll explore what innovation Opdivo has brought to cancer treatment, and what challenges remain.

2018 • Health

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Medical Frontiers • 2018 • Health

Fresh vs Frozen

Seventy years ago, when the coldest thing in your house was a pantry, most of the food we ate was harvested, sent straight to the shops and would have been on our plates before it started to go off. However, the advent of the home freezer and advances in various preservation techniques changed all of that and now we’re used to eating what we want, when we want, regardless of the time of year when the food is actually grown. So how do they keep the food for so long? And does the quality stay the same?

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The Parkinson's Drug Trial: A Miracle Cure?

Filmed over six years following a group of volunteers with Parkinson's disease as they take part in a ground-breaking medical trial to test a new drug that could be the first to halt progression or even reverse their condition.

2019 • Health

Nature's Candy

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How does the thyroid manage your metabolism?

Nestled in the tissues of your neck is a small, unassuming organ that wields enormous power over your body: the thyroid. Emma Bryce explains how the thyroid, like the operations manager in a company, is tasked with making sure that all the cells in your body are working properly.

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