Deep Dive into Atherosclerosis

There’s a method to my madness, for sure! If you’ve been wondering about my “eclectic” choice of topics for previous episodes, I’m hoping you’ll realize that I was making my way towards this deep dive all along! From lipoproteins to the immune system to the glycocalyx and so on, I’ve been building a foundation for us to understand the complex disease process that is atherosclerosis.

My main frustration in the past was that the plaque process seemed to be full of vague allusions to “inflammation” and very little concrete detail. Worse, there appeared to be a lot of jumping-to-conclusions with minimal data points by different camps on the topic. While creative speculation is part of the initiation of the scientific process, it’s worrisome to me that people are prescribing clinical applications based on those speculations!

In the next few episodes I will attempt to draw a more comprehensive picture of the immune origins of atherosclerosis. I’ll be keeping the episodes to a 30-35 minute format and sticking to the Big Picture rather than trying to cover all the details.

So many things we’ve been taught in medical school have been wrong. Much of what is practised in medicine today is unverified and may even be based on fraudulent research.

It’s time we questioned things more, expected better answers and demanded more than explanations that hide behind encompassing terms/phrases like “inflammation” and “it’s in your genes” and “stress”. When we get specific about the root cause of disease we get closer to helping patients reverse disease. Instead of moving the chairs on the deck of the Titanic as we “manage” disease, we get closer to practising real health care.

(Above picture from Merck Manual, Professional Edition).