Archive for January, 2018

Newer drugs are improving survival for men with metastatic prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Men with prostate cancer that has spread outside the gland now have several newer drug options available for treatment, and research has found that taking any of them is likely to improve survival duration.

Why teenagers eat Tide pods

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s difficult to understand why teenagers would willingly engage in risky behavior like the Tide Pod Challenge. It’s due to the combination of young brains that are still growing and forming, the need to learn to take risks, and the attention and pressure from social media.

A neurologist talks about kids and headaches

Children can get migraines, but if your child has a headache it’s much more likely that it’s a more typical one. Knowing what signs to look for will help you know when to call your pediatrician.

10 things you can do for your pet when it’s cold outside

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Winter is as challenging for our pets as it is for us, but there is a lot you can do to keep your pets safe and comfortable during the cold months.

Acupuncture for headache

Although acupuncture has been practiced for centuries, many people are still skeptical of its effectiveness. But in the past decade or so, a significant amount of evidence has accumulated from high-quality studies showing that acupuncture provides genuine pain relief, and can help with other conditions as well.

Involuntary treatment for substance use disorder: A misguided response to the opioid crisis

Leo Beletsky, JD, MPH

Guest Contributor
Wendy E. Parmet, JD

Guest Contributor

A proposed expansion of the existing laws in Massachusetts that allow involuntary commitment of a person with substance use disorder may be motivated by genuine concern, but available data suggest this approach is less effective than voluntary treatment, and may even be more dangerous.

The crucial brain foods all children need

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Proper nutrition is crucial for mothers-to-be and their babies, as brain development depends on many nutrients and vitamins, but it’s not always easy or affordable for people to get the healthy foods they need.

Keeping carbon monoxide out of your home

Wynne Armand, MD


In the United States, around 400 people die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide exposure. It is so dangerous because it’s odorless and invisible, and is more likely to accumulate at high levels during the winter when homes are closed up.

Revisiting options for improving results of breast reconstruction

Ted A. James, MD


Women who choose breast reconstruction after mastectomy but are unhappy with the results have another option: fat grafting, in which liquefied tissue from another part of the body is injected into the reconstructed breast.

Access to safe, affordable birth control is a maternal health issue

When a pregnancy puts the life of the mother at risk, access to birth control is essential. As more women are experiencing medical complications from or with pregnancy or after giving birth, the issue is becoming even more important.