Archive for June, 2018

Separating children and parents at the border causes lifelong damage

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Separating children and parents at the border can permanently affect a child’s brain development and even risk his or her future health thanks to the “toxic” stress caused by the experience and the loss of parental nurturing and support.

Lyme disease: Resolving the “Lyme wars”

Most people who get Lyme disease recover after a course of antibiotics, but some patients continue to experience symptoms for months or even years. There is much controversy around post-treatment Lyme disease, particularly in how long patients should continue taking antibiotics.

Swimming lessons: 10 things parents should know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

All children should know how to swim. Before arranging for swimming lessons for kids, parents should know when a child is ready to learn, how to encourage learning this skill, and what to expect from facilities or programs that give lessons.

“What ifs”: An underappreciated side effect of addiction

Bill Williams

Guest Contributor

The pain of losing a loved one to an overdose never goes away completely, and it’s tempting (if not inevitable) for survivors to look back at places where the outcome could have changed. But sharing the truth about addiction, regardless of how painful, may help others.

Exercise as part of cancer treatment

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Based on analyses of multiple studies showing benefits of exercise, Australia’s national cancer organization has issued formal guidelines recommending exercise as part of cancer treatment for all cancer patients. The guidelines emphasize that exercise recommendations be tailored to each patient.

Skin serum: What it can and can’t do

Women concerned about the effects of aging on their skin may want to consider a skin serum, which is a concentrated formulation containing vitamins, antioxidants, and other ingredients.

Dogs and health: A lower risk for heart disease-related death?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A Swedish study found a new connection between dogs and health–people who own dogs tend to live longer and have a lower risk of death from a cardiovascular event than those who do not. But the study did not prove that dog ownership is the reason for the advantage.

Prescription monitoring programs: Helpful or harmful?

Prescription monitoring programs are databases that keep track of prescriptions issued to individuals. While their intent is to identify drug misuse, a PMP may incorrectly flag certain people as misusing medications that they legitimately need.

Music and heart health

Almost everyone enjoys listening to music, but researchers are finding a connection between music and heart health. This isn’t limited to music therapy ans benefits may come from engaging with music in a variety of ways.

Genealogy testing: Prepare for the emotional reaction

The availability of relatively affordable personal DNA genealogy testing has led to an increase in people exploring their family histories. If you are considering this type of testing, you should spend some time preparing yourself for what you may learn, and what you may want to do with that knowledge.