Archive for May, 2018

PrEP: Protection against HIV in a pill?

Meera Sunder, MBBS, MRCOG

Contributing Editor

While there is still no cure for HIV, it has become much more treatable, and now PrEP offers a way to help prevent it. PrEP involves a medication that combines two antiretroviral drugs that, if taken daily, can prevent HIV infection.

The psychology of Internet rage

Why do so many people express themselves online in ways they would seemingly be unlikely to in a face-to-face setting? The explanation for Internet rage involves anonymity, knowledge of subject matter and personal identification with it, and perception of content versus what it is actually saying.

Fermented foods for better gut health

Naturally fermented foods have been getting the attention of health experts lately because they may help strengthen your gut biome—the bacteria and microorganisms in your digestive tract. These foods contain beneficial probiotics, live cultures found in foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and some pickles.

4 things to know about ticks and Lyme

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s smart to be concerned about Lyme disease, but awareness of symptoms and taking some simple precautions when you or your family members spend time outdoors can help you avoid being bitten by ticks.

Knuckle cracking: Annoying and harmful, or just annoying?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Some people do it regularly, while others can’t stand the idea or sound of it, but either way, there is no evidence that knuckle cracking is harmful to your joints, or increases your chances of arthritis.

The bacterial horror of hot-air hand dryers

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

Researchers testing the dispersal of bacteria in public restrooms found that the hand dryers were picking up bacterial deposits, likely from aerosolized microbes caused by the flushing of uncovered toilets.

Memories: Learning, remembering, (not) forgetting

Who we are and how we define our lives is built on the accumulation of personal experiences. As we age, these memories start to fade. People with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease are especially vulnerable.

Chondroitin and melanoma: How worried should you be?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Research in mice found that the supplement chondroitin sulfate led to the growth of melanoma cells, and though this does not mean it will do the same in people, there isn’t much evidence to support taking chondroitin anyway.

Do we need to take tackling out of youth football?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Ongoing research on the effects of repeated head injury on the brains of football players raises the question of whether preteen football players should be prohibited from tackling.

Take control of your health care (exert your patient autonomy)

A healthy and sustainable doctor-patient relationship depends on how comfortable you are with your doctor, which includes your doctor respecting your needs as a patient and how involved you want to be in your health care.