Posted by – August 15, 2011
Many medical advances have saved lives and eased suffering for millions of people. Screening tests like mammograms can lead to early treatment of breast cancer, especially for women with hereditary risk or a strong family history of the disease. For cancer patients who report back pain, MRIs can prove invaluable for spotting tumors that have metastasized to the bones, allowing doctors to intervene before it’s too late.
The years between 1980 and 2004 saw a 50 percent decline in the death rate from coronary heart disease thanks to better treatments and drugs that reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. At least 7,300 lives are saved every year thanks to colonoscopies.
But as Sharon Begley reports in Newsweek, new research shows how some common tests and procedures aren’t just expensive, but can do more harm than good. And you will probably be surprised to learn what some of them are. Click here for the story.
Posted by – August 20, 2010
From the New York Times:
The disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease after the baseball player who famously suffered from it. Or so we thought.
The New York Times reports on a study in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology which has found that brain injuries can cause symptoms similar to those of A.L.S. Though the study doesn’t directly dispute that Gehrig suffered from the disease, the Times reports that the authors of the study mentioned the possibility in interviews.
The study does specifically refer to other athletes who had been diagnosed with A.L.S. and who were later found to be suffering from a “different fatal disease, doctors said, caused by concussionlike trauma, that erodes the central nervous system.” Although the truth was discovered after those particular athletes had already passed away, this discovery could effect the future treatment of athletes suffering from A.L.S.-like symptoms.