Archive for 2010

Peter Wehrwein

Those biking Bankers: Active commuters to the World Bank

Peter Wehrwein, Contributor, Harvard Health

After the article on cycling in the August 2010 issue of the Health Letter, we heard from Gary Reid, a public sector management specialist at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Reid is impressive. He commutes by bicycle 14.5 miles one-way (29 miles round-trip) from his home in McLean, Virginia, to the Bank headquarters, which is a just couple […]

Ann MacDonald

Advice for dealing with school bullies

Ann MacDonald, Contributor, Harvard Health

Although adults sometimes dismiss it as a childhood rite of passage, bullying in school is now recognized as a form of aggression that may have long-lasting psychological ramifications — for both victims and perpetrators. Most research on bullying has been done in Australia and Europe, where rates of frequent bullying range from 2% of youths […]

Ann MacDonald

Dental fear? Our readers suggest coping techniques.

Ann MacDonald, Contributor, Harvard Health

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the topic of dental phobia. Fear of the dentist is incredibly common, with surveys estimating that it affects 13% to 24% of people around the world. For many people, dental anxiety is disturbing but not disabling. But some are so terrorized at the thought of going to […]

Michael Craig Miller, M.D.

Hitch on Cancer

Michael Craig Miller, M.D., Senior Editor, Mental Health Publishing, Harvard Health Publications

Thanks to my friend and colleague, Christopher Lovett, PhD, for alerting me to the vivid piece that Christopher Hitchens wrote about his cancer diagnosis. It appears in the September 2010 issue of Vanity Fair. Hitchens is a banality-basher. The value of his piece is in his detailed account — the particularity of his experience comes […]

Michael Craig Miller, M.D.

Did Lou Gehrig have Lou Gehrig’s Disease?

Michael Craig Miller, M.D., Senior Editor, Mental Health Publishing, Harvard Health Publications

Many brain disorders are syndromes where root causes and the neurobiology are poorly understood. Two people can have similar illnesses, but have very different underlying causes.

Ann MacDonald

Alzheimer’s study on biomarkers generates debate

Ann MacDonald, Contributor, Harvard Health

A study about a three-protein signature that might help identify people with Alzheimer’s,  published in the August issue of the Archives of Neurology, has generated quite a bit of discussion in the blogosphere.  I thought readers might want to follow the discussion, so I’ve shared some links to representative posts. (We will be covering the […]

Peter Wehrwein

Torn your ACL? Send us your story.

Peter Wehrwein, Contributor, Harvard Health

You may have heard or read about the Swedish study published in The New England Journal of Medicine that found no difference between surgical repair of a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and taking a rehab-only approach. Some of our favorite sports stars here in New England have torn their ACLs recently, including Wes Welker, a receiver for the Patriots, and […]

Michael Craig Miller, M.D.

Concussions in Football

Michael Craig Miller, M.D., Senior Editor, Mental Health Publishing, Harvard Health Publications

I have to applaud today’s editorial in the New York Times that anticipates a new football season. Here is the first paragraph — The millionaire players of professional football are suiting up for the new season with a startling caution on their locker room walls. A poster headlined “CONCUSSION” warns players that lifelong brain damage […]

Could too much calcium cause heart disease?

Patrick J. Skerrett, Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Don’t throw out those calcium supplements just yet. Oh, the ruckus a single study can raise. A report about calcium and cardiovascular disease had people from San Diego to Caribou, Maine worriedly calling their doctors or throwing away the calcium supplements they were taking to keep their bones strong. Here’s what prompted the concern: New […]

Ann MacDonald

Mental illness affects the wallet as well as the brain

Ann MacDonald, Contributor, Harvard Health

We often report about the psychological toll of mental illness, but while researching a story today I came across a study that documents the economic toll of psychiatric disorders–especially when they are not adequately treated. Researchers at Harvard collaborated with colleagues at the World Health Organization to survey individuals in 19 countries. They found that […]