Perspectives

Antimicrobial resistance: A major threat to public health

Credit: Wellcome Images

doi:10.7244/cmj.2016.01.001
WL Hamilton and R Wenlock

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is an increasing problem in the treatment of many pathogenic microorganisms, and can be intrinsic to the pathogen or acquired. Here, we provide an overview of the causes and consequences of AMR using illustrations from bacterial species that have a major impact on UK healthcare, such as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Extended-Spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing organisms, and Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE). Bacteria can quickly evolve AMR due to short generation times allowing rapid evolutionary change, and horizontal transfer of genetic material between strains. The resulting arms race between bacterial evolution and human pharmaceuticals is one that modern medicine is currently losing, with potentially disastrous consequences for patient outcomes, public health, and healthcare macroeconomics.

From Brain To Behaviour – What will we know in 10 years’ time?

doi:10.7244/cmj.2015.12.001
Matt Butler

The arbitrary distinction between the disciplines of psychiatry and neurology has become increasingly unhelpful in the successful treatment of patients with nervous system disorders. Since the divergence of the disciplines in the 19th and 20th centuries, neurology has been concerned with conditions arising from discreet lesions in the nervous system; conversely psychiatry with conditions involving higher cortical dysfunction.

Patient Information: One Approach Fits All?

doi:10.7244/cmj.2015.08.001
R Price, R Gilhespy, K Hartop, S Jack, E Simpson, A Stillie

The evolution of healthcare spans centuries and reflects the way in which new knowledge has been applied and subsequently integrated into medical practice. There has been a distinct shift towards a mutualistic approach to delivering healthcare. Physicians must address increasingly complex patient expectations and ensure that patients understand their medical conditions. Providing solely verbal information has long been recognised to result in poor patient recall1, however identifying and developing a model to ensure the effective delivery of medical information is proving more challenging. Can one approach fit all?

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