Tag Archives | Medicine

Power of the media’s impact on medicine use revealed

The Catalyst Team

The Catalyst Team

For non-Australians (like myself), here’s a quick overview of the science program, Catalyst.

University of Sydney via EurekAlert:

More than 60,000 Australians are estimated to have reduced or discontinued their use of prescribed cholesterol-lowering statin medications following the airing of a two-part series critical of statins by ABC TV’s science program, Catalyst, a University of Sydney study reveals in the latest Medical Journal of Australia.

The analysis of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medication records of 191,000 people revealed that there was an immediate impact after Catalyst was aired in October 2013, with 14,000 fewer people dispensed statins per week than expected.

“In the eight months following the Catalyst broadcast, an estimated 60,897 fewer people had statins dispensed than expected. If patients continue to avoid statins over the next five years, this could result in between 1,522 and 2,900 preventable, and potentially fatal, heart attacks and strokes,” the authors report.

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Music As Medicine

“Biometric trackers are helping scientists tap into the body’s response to songs and sound,” suggesting there is a way to measure whether or not music can function as medicine, reports the Atlantic:

“Because you listened to Drake, how about Future next?”

Sinnliche Töne [Explored]

Photo: Tekke (CC)

 

Pandora, Spotify, and other music-streaming services try to predict what users might like to listen to, based on their tastes and what’s popular with people near them. People make playlists for certain moods and activities—going to the gym, going to bed. But imagine if those apps could predict exactly which song would be best to help you focus, or to slow your heart rate after a run. (“You seem stressed. How about Sigur Ros?”) And if technology could predict how music affects the body, could it suggest music to treat symptoms of a disease?

That idea is the basis of The Sync Project, a new company based in Boston.

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1000-year-old Remedy Kills MRSA Superbug

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This article was sent to us by a reader. He asks, “How did ancient people have this knowledge?”

A medieval remedy of leeks, garlic, wine, and the bile of a cow’s stomach was used as an “eyesalve” circa the 10th Century. Scientists have recently discovered, much to everyone’s surprise, that this salve is also effective against antibiotic-resistant MRSA.

via New Scientist:

Sourcing authentic ingredients was a major challenge, says Harrison. They had to hope for the best with the leeks and garlic because modern crop varieties are likely to be quite different to ancient ones – even those branded as heritage. For the wine they used an organic vintage from a historic English vineyard.

As “brass vessels” would be hard to sterilise – and expensive – they used glass bottles with squares of brass sheet immersed in the mixture. Bullocks gall was easy, though, as cow’s bile salts are sold as a supplement for people who have had their gall bladders removed.

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Potential Arizona Bill Mandates Doctors To Tell Patients Abortions Can Be “Reversed”

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Scott Camazine/Alamy

There’s currently an abortion bill (S.B. 1318) in Arizona waiting to be signed into law by Republican Governor Doug Ducey. The bill, which made it through the House and Senate, will force doctors to tell patients that abortions can be “reversed.” Furthermore, under this bill, abortions will not be covered by the Affordable Care Act.

If Gov. Ducey signs this bill into law (he’s previously stated that he’s against abortion), doctors will essentially be forced to lie to their patients. Republican Rep. Regina Cobb of Kingman argued fiercely against the bill stating that it forced doctors to spread “non-evidence based medicine.” As Brandy Zadrozny notes at The Daily Beast, if S.B. 1318 is passed, it will not be the first law that binds doctors to relay misinformation to abortion patients:

It’s the first reversal language of its kind to make it through a state legislature, and should it become law, will join a long list of information that doctors in The Grand Canyon State are forced to relay to patients seeking an abortion—much of which providers know to be misleading and aimed less at informed consent and more at dissuading women from choosing the procedure.

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10 Medicinal Weeds That May Grow In Your Backyard

"Milk thistle flowerhead" by Taken byfir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.auCanon 20D + Sigma 150mm f/2.8 - Own work. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons.

Milk thistle flowerhead” by Taken byfir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au Canon 20D + Sigma 150mm f/2.8 – Own work. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons.

Jeff Roberts writes at Collective-Evolution:

For thousands of years, man has looked to nature to cure disease. In the last decade particularly, medicinal plants have been catapulted into mainstream culture, with the  popularity of plant medicines such as ayahuasca, ibogaine and cannabis making headlines for their powerful healing abilities against some of today’s most prominent illnesses.  However, these plant medicines come with illicit conditions in most countries.

The good news is, some of the most common weeds in our backyard yield amazing healing abilities, and they are all legal! Here are ten weeds which possess interesting medicinal properties. (Note: Consult with your health professional before self-medicating with these plants)

Chicory (Cichorium intybus), the light blue flower frequently seen along roads, provides the main commercial source of the compound inulin.

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Ending Aging with Dr. Aubrey de Grey | Midwest Real

aubrey de grey

Via Midwest Real

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at the SENS Research Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ending aging. 

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The march of time spares none, neither rich, famous nor powerful. The deep, existential angst that comes part and parcel with that knowledge has, no doubt, haunted mankind from the very first moment we became self-aware. It’s also the one obstacle we’ve encountered as a species we just take for granted as the unassailable natural order of things.

It’s incredible really- we’ve walked the moon, we fly across the world and we transmit words through the air as if it’s trivial. Yet, for some reason when it comes to aging, we yield. Even the most brilliant men among us don’t consider the possibility that we might be able to circumvent becoming old and dying.

Actually, some brilliant men do.

Ending aging has become the life’s work of our guest, Dr.Read the rest

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When Taking Anxiety Medication Is A Revolutionary Act

“Without the medicine, I live a life of ‘I can’t do this, but I’m somehow doing it anyway.’ With it, it’s more ‘this is sometimes difficult, but I got it'” writes Tracy Clayton at Buzzfeed:

If I had to describe what having anxiety feels like, I’d say that it’s kind of like walking through the world beneath tornadic skies without an umbrella, unsure if you’ll be able to find shelter if things get bad. When friends invite you out, you politely decline because while you’d like to enjoy their company, the sky could open up and wash you out to sea at any minute so it’s probably safer for you to stay at home. In the background of anything you do is the gentle hum of your nervous system as it tosses and turns, wondering when the deluge will hit, thinking about how unfortunate will be if you don’t survive it.

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The man who revolutionized our knowledge of the human body

Drawn directly from the flesh. Public Domain Review/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Drawn directly from the flesh. Public Domain Review/Flickr, CC BY-SA

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
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By Richard Gunderman, Indiana University-Purdue University

December 31, 2014 marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of one of the most important figures in the history of medicine. He authored one of the most elegant and influential books in scientific history. His investigations revolutionized our understanding of the interior of the human body and the methods physicians use to study and teach about it, reverberating throughout medicine down to the present day.

His name was Andreas Vesalius. He was born into a medical family in what is now Belgium. As a boy he showed a great interest in the dissection of animals, a predilection that disgusted his contemporaries. Yet he persevered, going on to study medicine at both Paris and Padua, then two of the great centers for anatomic research.… Read the rest

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Half of Dr. Oz’s Medical Advice is Baseless or Wrong


Sorry Doc, but half of everything you know is wrong. From the Washington Post:

It’s not hard to understand what makes Dr. Oz so popular. Called “America’s doctor,” syndicated talk-show host Mehmet Oz speaks in a way anyone can understand. Medicine may be complex. But with Dr. Oz, clad in scrubs and crooning to millions of viewers about “miracles” and “revolutionary” breakthroughs, it’s often not. He somehow makes it fun. And people can’t get enough.

“I haven’t seen a doctor in eight years,” the New Yorker quoted one viewer telling Oz. “I’m scared. You’re the only one I trust.”

But is that trust misplaced? Or has Oz, who often peddles miracle cures for weight loss and other maladies, mortgaged medical veracity for entertainment value?

These questions have hammered Oz for months. In June, he was hauled in front of Congress, where Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told him he gave people false hope and criticized his segments as a “recipe for disaster.” Then last month, a study he widely trumpeted lauding coffee bean weight-loss pills was retracted despite Oz’s assertions it could “burn fat fast for anyone who wants to lose weight.”

Sen.
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The Legendary Dennis McKenna Joins the Midwest Real Podcast!

Via Midwest Real

Dr. Dennis McKenna is a scientist, author and living legend of psychedelic counterculture. He joined Midwest Real to wax philosophical on the ever-novel, topography of society, technology, medicine, the limits of science and why we should always remain humble. 

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IMG_6310How many of us can truly say our lives will tell a story? That when we, or someone else looks back on it, we’ll find real development, defining moments and a worthwhile central cause?

Clearly, living a life of legends is far from simple. Just getting around the obligations and momentum that are built into being a modern human can be a tough, if not insurmountable task. Depending upon your roll of the dice, you might be grappling with debt, illness, family issues or any number of other inhibitory obstacles that coerce you into living your life in a way that’s less than ideal. But, aside from that, I’m willing to bet that most of us are actually holding ourselves back.… Read the rest

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