iPhone Headache Diary Study

Do you have headaches? If so, do you want to learn more about your headaches? You can now from anywhere in the world with a new iPhone application developed by a research team at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The app has a pain diary that allows you to conveniently track your headaches whenever they happen and provides helpful reports to help you to identify your headache patterns.

The study is entirely electronic, so you can participate no matter what country you are from. Follow this link if you would like participate in the research study to test out the application: http://crfh.ca/whi

Participants will be reimbursed with a $20.00 CAD gift card for their time.

Principal investigator:      Dr. Patrick McGrath
Coordinator:                       Dr. Anna Huguet
Contact:                               Wireless.Headache@gmail.com

UBC Researchers: Potential New Therapy Approach for Hepatitis C

Open gateResearchers at the University of British Columbia have found a new way to block infection from the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the liver that could lead to new therapies for those affected by this and other infectious diseases.

More than 170 million people worldwide live with hepatitis C, the disease caused by chronic HCV infection. HCV affects the liver and is spread by blood-to-blood contact. There is currently no vaccine to prevent it and treatments are only moderately effective and can cause serious side effects.

“As HCV infects a person, it needs fat droplets in the liver to form new virus particles,” says François Jean, Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Scientific Director of the Facility for Infectious Disease and Epidemic Research (FINDER) at UBC. “In the process, it causes fat to accumulate in the liver and ultimately leads to chronic dysfunction of the organ.”

“HCV is constantly mutating, which makes it difficult to develop antiviral therapies that target the virus itself,” says Jean. “So we decided to take a new approach.”

Jean and his team developed an inhibitor that decreases the size of host fat droplets in liver cells and stops HCV from “taking residence,” multiplying and infecting other cells.

“Our approach would essentially block the lifecycle of the virus so that it cannot spread and cause further damage to the liver,” says Jean. The team’s method is detailed in the journal PLoS Pathogens, published online today.

Report on Employment and People with Invisible Disabilities

In 2011, BCCPD had an opportunity to work with two Douglas College students to assess accommodations in BC for-profit organizations for employees and potential employees with invisible disabilities. Their final report entitled Investigating Workplace Accommodation for People with Invisible Disabilities covers awareness of invisible disabilities in the workplace, disclosure, barriers for job seekers and employees and recommendations.