Archive for August, 2010
High levels of stress, poor emotional health, and a lack of social support seem to be linked to a history of prostatitis. Stress also seems to heighten pain associated with the condition.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Atul Gawande’s piece about end-of-life care in the Aug. 2 issue of The New Yorker is another gem by the surgeon-writer-health policy wonk and staff member at Harvard-affialiated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. In an online chat after the article was published, Gawande said he had the usual preconceived notions about hospice before he started researching the article: Telling a patient […]