David W. Weisgerber, M.D., P.A.

Internal Medicine

307 10th Avenue N.E.

Hickory, N.C.  28601

(828) 327-9898

Answers to Weekly Quiz

                    1.        Raynaud's Syndrome is a relatively common occurance and many times is not able to be associated with any particular disease.  It is an overly active vascular reflex to cold affecting the small arteries feeding blood to the fingers of the hand.  We all experience a decrease in blood supply to the hand when our hand becomes cold, those with raynauds have a near cessation of blood flow to the extremity associated with a spasm of the small arteries in one or more fingers.

                    2.        Chelation therapy is used in medicine for treating iron poisoning, heavy metal poisoning including lead, mercury, and arsenic poisoning, and occassionally for the treatment of hemochromatosis, a condition in which the body absorbs an excessive amount of iron from the normal diet.

                    3.        Smell and taste is made possible by a system consisting of the sensors in the nose and tongue connected by a network of nerve fibers ending in the first cranial nerve of the brain and the olfactory bulb and frontal lobe of the brain itself.  Damage to the nerves can impair smell and taste.

                    4.        Viagra was initially developed as a heart medication.  It is currently a very successful medication used to treat sexual dysfunction or impotence in men.

                    5.        The Black Widow spider and its cousin the Australian Redback produce the most powerful venom and it works as a neurotoxin with local irritation at the bite site. The rattlesnake venom is less potent and causes injury to the blood vessels and local tissue around the wound.  Copperhead venom is similar to rattlesnake venom in its mode of effect although most copperhead bites are not serious.  The brown recluse spider bite produces loss of blood supply at the bite site resulting in death of the tissue and formation of an ulcer which often requires minor surgery to treat.


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