Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

I did take the day off yesterday -- could have kept sleeping, but there were 10 messages on my voicemail at work, so I guess it's good I came to work. First, the news:

Under health reform, insurers and employers have to pay to screen kids for obesity and to counsel those who need it. But how best to help kids who are overweight? Few models exist.

Mitt Romney and health reform -- getting the facts straight.

The Obama Administration is set to require drug companies to disclose payments to physicians. Good.

A new groups will set priorities for Medicare Coverage. Called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the Institute will give out $3 billion in grants for comparative effectiveness research -- are more expensive treatments really better? Good question. My concern is that different things will work for different people, so while some people may not need the expensive option, some will, and I'm afraid that this research won't allow for that flexibility.

A study shows that patients like being able to read their medical records.

An achy calf may be deadly deep vein thrombosis. Take it seriously. And see an expert in vascular medicine to make sure you get the right care. (Disclosure: I am biased. My brother runs the Vascular Center at Mass General -- so just read the article for yourself.)

Nearly 1/3 of Americans take an aspirin every day -- and that could be doing more harm than good.

What if the doctor is wrong? A good reason to get a second opinion.

Problems in the gut may lead to other problems, some in the brain. Fascinating. Bacteria in the gut may lead to depression and anxiety. Wow.

And deep brain stimulation may also help depression and other illnesses. We got this device for a young man with Tourette's syndrome and it was a life saver.

A DC cardiologist is developing an app to tell if you're having a heart attack.

Brand name drugs may be no better than generics.

Crossword puzzles may hold keys to the subconscious mind. Hmmm -- I always feel pretty conscious when doing crossword puzzles!

Researchers in Israel report that there may be a new weapon against super-bugs thought to be resistant to antibiotics.

Workouts have their limits -- as they should. But not everybody observes those limitations. But don't skip your winter workouts.

Is there an upside to depression? Skepticism is warranted.

The US is launching war on Alzheimer's. Good.

Understand your thyroid gland -- it's small, but it does a big job.

Food myths and truths are revealed in a new book.

Paula Deen goes public with her Type 2 diabetes. And she's cooking differently, too.

And that's today's news. Have a great day! Jennifer

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