Disease

Artificial intelligence may help physicians identify patients at risk for Parkinson's Disease (PD) before symptoms develop, improving health care and possibly zeroing in on potential causes of PD. Restricting access to technology can generate disastrous consequences. Why, then, are 'green' politicians so eager to ban these useful tools?
Did COVID lockdowns save lives? At what cost and to whom? The answer to both is that it depends. Let’s consider some of the issues that make up “it depends.”
Could cocoa extract or a multivitamin slow the onset of dementia? A new randomized placebo-controlled study offers some hope. Spoiler alert, eating a chocolate bar a day will not keep dementia away.
Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia have Death with Dignity legislation. Arizona, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Rhode Island all have active legislation under consideration. California and Vermont have amended legislation. All told, 74 million individuals live in states with Medical Aid in Dying and 87 million more in states considering this legislation. A new paper looks at who has availed themselves of these services.
Daily infections and deaths have been the main coronavirus public health concerns. Little attention has been given to the grab bag of lingering symptoms collectively known as “long-haul” or “post-COVID-19 syndrome,”  affecting about 15% of the U.S. population. Here we use public data from two ongoing research projects to summarize the current state of knowledge.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS, is a horrible disease. Last week in a reversal of a decision the FDA made just a few months ago, their external advisory board approved a “novel” drug for ALS. What changed?
Parkinson’s Disease is one of several degenerative diseases in our neurologic system. It has a celebrity patient, Michael J. Fox. Still, with a million patients living with the disease in the US and sixty thousand new diagnoses annually, it lacks a biomarker to aid in early detection. An artificial intelligence program looking at nocturnal breathing may change that and, ultimately, how we care for these patients.
It has long been accepted that statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) cause muscle pain. Everyone knows this. But a study published in Lancet tells us that only a small number of cases of muscle pain are actually from the drugs. Interesting and a bit surprising.
Climate change is real; we contribute to it. But warmer temperatures aren't driving unprecedented increases in the number of heart attacks we suffer.
Most of our previous COVID-19 analyses focused on national and regional trends. A recent article indicated that the pandemic might be entering a new period of less lethal infections [1]. This trend might relate to a new variant, exposure differences, or additional vaccination acceptance. Here we draw on weekly state-level data to explore such relationships, including two other COVID-19 metrics: percentages of positive tests and rates of hospitalization.
We spend quite a bit on body-affirming surgery in the US. According to the Aesthetic Society, in 2021, we spent $14.6 billion on procedural care, including liposuction and breast augmentation, to mention the top two. That doesn’t include the nips, tucks, revisions, or injectables to fill or paralyze. One form of body-affirming surgery remains quite controversial, genital gender affirming surgery – a new study follows up on our earlier reporting.
The global population is becoming increasingly sedentary, an inevitable result of labor-saving technologies. Some might argue that our couch-potato ways go against our evolutionary design; we were hunters and gatherers, and that rarely allowed time for sitting around. A new study considers whether sitting is the great Satan of a healthy life.