Recent Blog Articles

Harvard Health Blog

Read the latest posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.

Articles

I’m too young to have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, right?

Published June 20, 2022

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are something we think of as diseases of old age. Memory loss is a common symptom, and something that people in midlife also experience — but young onset dementia is very uncommon.

Asking about guns in houses where your child plays

Published September 22, 2022

Between 2015 and 2020, there were more than 2,000 unintentional shootings in the US by children under 18. Parents can help reduce the chance of an accidental shooting by asking about gun security at homes where their children play.

Behavioral weight loss interventions: Do they work in primary care?

Published September 21, 2022

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is a major health issue. An analysis of data from multiple studies found that when weight management interventions were delivered in primary care settings, participants lost more weight and kept it off longer.

Who needs treatment for ocular hypertension?

Updated September 22, 2022

High pressure in the eyes puts a person at greater risk of developing glaucoma, but does everyone with higher than normal eye pressure need to be treated? A major long-term study provides some clues.

The popularity of microdosing of psychedelics: What does the science say?

Published September 19, 2022

Renewed research into the potential benefits of psychedelic drugs has led to interest in microdosing — taking a fraction of a regular dose. Many people believe that microdosing can help them, but the evidence from some recent studies is mixed.

AFM: A scary polio-like illness

Updated September 13, 2022

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is an uncommon illness with symptoms that are somewhat similar to polio — weakness and loss of muscle tone in the arms and legs. AFM occurs most often in children and treatment is largely supportive.

When can women with early-stage breast cancer skip radiation after lumpectomy?

Published September 15, 2022

Current guidelines for women under 65 with early-stage breast cancer recommend following lumpectomy with radiation therapy, but emerging research could expand the option of skipping radiation to some women as young as 55.

Palliative care frightens some people: Here’s how it helps

Published September 14, 2022

Palliative care is a medical specialty meant to help people during many different stages of health. Many people who might benefit from palliative care do not receive it; if more people understand it, more people can take advantage of it.

The case of the bad placebo

Published September 13, 2022

A trial from 2019 showed a medication dramatically reduced triglyceride levels in participants, but subsequent analysis found that the placebo used in the trial may have negatively affected those assigned to take it.

Taking up adaptive sports

Published September 12, 2022

Our abilities may change during the course of a lifetime. Adaptive sports are competitive or recreational activities that are modified to support people living with disabilities or limitations.

Prostate cancer: Radiation therapy elevates risk for future cancers

Published September 9, 2022

A standard treatment for localized prostate cancer is radiation, but there is a risk that it can lead to secondary cancers forming in the body later. Now, a large study of men treated with current radiation delivery methods clarifies that the amount of risk is low, but real.

Monkeypox: What parents need to know

Published September 8, 2022

Few cases of monkeypox have occurred in children during this outbreak, and while the illness is usually mild, it’s important for parents to know how to recognize and prevent this virus.

Have a gas stove? How to reduce pollution that may harm health

Published September 7, 2022

Cooking with gas stoves releases nitrogen dioxide and gas appliances introduce other toxic chemicals into homes, but people can take steps to protect their household and help improve outdoor air quality, too.

Proton-pump inhibitors: Should I still be taking this medication?

Published September 6, 2022

Proton-pump inhibitors are a commonly prescribed anti-acid medication, but new guidelines from the American Gastroenterological Association recommend that they should be taken at the lowest dose and shortest duration for the condition being treated.

French fries versus almonds: Calorie for calorie, which comes out on top?

Published May 10, 2022

A study compared eating a serving of French fries every day for a month to eating a serving of almonds with the same number of calories, and found that levels of some health markers were similar between the two groups — but those numbers don’t tell the full story.

An action plan to fight unhealthy inflammation

Published May 5, 2022

Inflammation serves a vital role in the body’s defense and repair systems, but chronic inflammation can be harmful. Learn six of the most effective ways to ward off unhealthy inflammation.

How to help your child get the sleep they need

Updated August 28, 2021

This year, back-to-school plans encourage a return to full-time, in-person learning to support children's psychological and academic well-being. Sleep is crucial for all of us, particularly children and teens. Here's how to help ensure that they get the high-quality sleep they need.

Gyn Care 101: What to know about seeing a gynecologist

Published May 16, 2022

There are many reasons you might want or need to see a gynecologist or seek gyn care from your health care team. It helps to understand who will provide your care, what to expect during the visit, what to discuss, and how to have a positive experience during the visit.

How good is your cardiometabolic health — and what is that, anyway?

Published August 18, 2022

An analysis shows less than 7% of adults in the US meet the criteria for optimal cardiometabolic health. Taking small steps to help control and improve key risk factors can reduce the odds of a heart attack or stroke.

Poison ivy: Scratchin’ like a hound?

Published August 17, 2022

Misconceptions about poison ivy are common — from when you can get it to how you might get it, and the best ways to treat it. Knowing the facts can help you avoid it, or treat it properly if you are exposed to it.

Apps to accelerometers: Can technology improve mental health in older adults?

Published August 16, 2022

The adoption of technology has grown rapidly among older adults, and with it have come potential benefits to mental health, daily functioning, and quality of life. Those who want to help an older person in their life might suggest one of the many options available.

Opioid addiction and overdoses are increasingly harming Black communities

Published August 15, 2022

The ongoing opioid epidemic in the US has been perceived as an issue that mostly affects white people in rural areas, but a recently published report from the CDC shows that the epidemic is now disproportionately affecting Black people.

New Harvard tool helps fact-check cancer claims

Published April 27, 2022

Scary or misleading claims about things that may cause cancer are so plentiful that it’s hard to know which ones to take seriously. A new website developed by experts aims to provide reliable information about whether a particular cancer claim is true.

Hand pain from arthritis? This may help

Published August 11, 2022

The joint connecting the thumb and wrist is crucial in everyday activities like opening jars or grasping objects, but if osteoarthritis develops, treatment options are limited and don’t always work well. A new study has demonstrated the effectiveness of occupational therapy for arthritis in this joint of the hand.

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