Archive for February, 2020

The role of our minds in the avoidance of falls

Brad Manor, PhD


In older people, the majority of falls occur when someone is standing or walking while also performing a separate cognitive or motor task. These tasks require more cognitive effort as we age, but focus and awareness can prevent falls from happening.

What’s new with the Nutrition Facts label?

The Nutrition Facts label that appears on packaged foods has been updated to provide consumers with more thorough information, and also to more accurately reflect typical consumption habits.

As coronavirus spreads, many questions and some answers

Todd Ellerin, MD


Readers have many questions about the new coronavirus (COVID-19). We have enlisted one of our experts on infectious disease to answer some of them.

New study compares long-term side effects from different prostate cancer treatments

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Prostate cancer therapies are improving over time. But how do the long-term side effects from the various options available today compare? Results from a newly published study are providing some valuable insights. Investigators at Vanderbilt University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center spent five years tracking the sexual, bowel, urinary, and hormonal […]

Dopamine fasting: Misunderstanding science spawns a maladaptive fad

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in the body’s system for reward and pleasure. A recent trend has people avoiding stimulating activities in the belief that doing so allows the body to reset from being overstimulated, but the original idea has been misunderstood and wrongly applied.

Co-parent adoption: A critical protection for LGBTQ+ families

Establishing a legal relationship between parents and their children allows both parents to make care decisions. For LGBTQ+ families, this can be especially important. In some states, co-parent adoption, which offers broader protection than a state birth certificate, is available.

Puffing away sadness

The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates the nervous system, resulting in a mood boost. But does this mean that smokers will reach for a cigarette when they are feeling sad? Researchers found that sad feelings may cause some people to smoke.

Hands or feet asleep? What to do

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s happened to all of us: a hand or leg temporarily “falls asleep,” usually from being in one position for too long. Why does it happen? Are there times when you should be concerned about it?

C. difficile (C. diff): An urgent threat

The bacteria known as C. diff has become a leading cause of infection among hospitalized patients. The infection is more common following antibiotic therapy, and it is challenging to treat because of a high relapse rate.

Five healthy habits net more healthy years

Following five healthy lifestyle habits has been shown to extend life expectancy. Better still, a recent study suggests the added years are more likely to be free of illness or disease.