Explaining Medicine in Plain English
Today, we have more access to medical articles and abstracts
than ever before. Everyone can now look for medical articles and
scientific studies at a click of a button, through the Internet
(especially through National Libary of Medicine's free PubMed
Medical Articles are Hard to Understand
Understanding what the article is all about, however, is a different
matter. Scientists and medical researchers write in a concise,
yet jargon-filled manner that confuses most layperson.
Take for instance, this excerpt below:
"We highlight a case of gouty arthritis involving
the atlanto-axial joint resulting in joint instability, subluxation,
and neurological deficit. A 66-year-old obese woman who had
a polyarticular disease for the previous 3 years presented with
neck pain and progressive neurology."
It's written in English - but for most people, it might as well
be written in latin.
We'll Translate It Into Plain English!
Let us translate it for you:
"We highlight a case of gouty arthritis (or also commonly
known as gout) found at the joint of the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis)
vertebrae of the spinal cord. This results in joint instability,
dislocation of the joint, and impairment of nerve function (Editor's
note: the exact problem is not disclosed, although it is
most likely caused neural impingement or pinched nerves). A
66-year old obese woman who had a joint disease, which affects
multiple of her joints, for the previous 3 years came with neck
pain and nerve function problems."
We have dedicated a whole section of Health In Plain English
for translating medical and research article summaries (all available
publicly at PubMed) into plain English.
We hope that this service can help you as a layperson understand
more about the medical and scientific research that interest you.