Archive | Healthcare

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PET Scans Predict Coma Outcome

Posted by Steven Novella on June 1, 2016 A new study shows that 42 really is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. OK, not really, but it does show that 42% of healthy brain activity is the minimum threshold for consciousness. Disorders of consciousness, also referred to as coma when severe enough, can […]

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Even “healthy” men need health screenings

Did you ever put off doing a task or getting a test and later wished you’d just gotten it over with? If you’re a man with Medicare, now’s the time to talk with your doctor about whether you should get screened for prostate cancer, for colorectal cancer, or for both. Screening tests can find cancer […]

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Therapeutic Touch Pseudoscience: The Tooth Fairy Strikes Again

Posted by Harriet Hall on May 31, 2016 When tested, therapeutic touch (TT) practitioners failed to detect the human energy field they thought they could feel. Experimental setup from Rosa et al., from JAMA, 1998, 279 (13) A study out of Iran titled “Therapeutic touch for nausea in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: Composing a […]

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Today’s the day to quit tobacco

If you or a loved one is hooked on tobacco, make today, May 31—designated by the World Health Organization as World “No Tobacco” Day—your starting point to kick the habit. Tobacco use is the second leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for 1 in every 10 adult deaths, but Medicare can help you quit smoking. […]

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No, a rat study with marginal results does not prove that cell phones cause cancer, no matter what Mother Jones and Consumer Reports say

Posted by David Gorski on May 30, 2016 The zombie story that cell phones cause cancer has risen from the grave yet again. There are certain myths that are frustratingly resistant to evidence, science, and reason. Some of these are basically medical conspiracy theories, where someone (industry and/or big pharma and/or physicians and/or the government) […]

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Dry Needling

Posted by Mark Crislip on May 27, 2016 War, huh, yeah What is it good for Absolutely nothing Uh-huh huh War, huh, yeah What is it good for Absolutely nothing Say it again, y’all War, huh, What is it good for Absolutely nothing Listen to me Ohhh, war, I despise Cause it means destruction Of […]

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O’Malley is out; his Medicare plan shouldn’t be

Throughout his campaign for president, Martin O’Malley struggled just to get people to notice him. O’Malley announced that he was running back in May 2015, yet days before the Iowa caucus, 41 percent of the state’s Democratic voters said they still didn’t know enough about him to have an opinion. His support in national polls […]

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Supplements, Lies, and a Lengthy Transcript

Posted by Jann Bellamy on May 26, 2016 Thanks, Congress, for making bull testicles available as a dietary supplement! On October 21, 1993, there was a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee for Labor and Human Resources, with the long-winded title: Examining How the Federal Government Should Regulate the Marketing and Use of Dietary Supplements […]

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Pushback on Chiropractic

Posted by Steven Novella on May 25, 2016 From time to time we respond directly to reader comments or e-mails in an article, when it seems that doing so would be a useful teachable moment. One of the strengths of social media is that it is interactive – it is part didactic and part interactive. […]

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Uncertainty in Medicine

Posted by Harriet Hall on May 24, 2016 Medicine is an uncertain business. It is an applied science, applying the results of basic science knowledge and clinical studies to patients who are individuals with differing heredity, environment, and history. It is commonly assumed that modern science-based doctors know what they are doing, but quite often […]

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