The definition of “getting old” has changed dramatically in recent years. Due to the remarkable advances in medical technologies and interventions, the average life expectancy in the United States has been rising exponentially over the past 50 years. But while our bodies are lasting longer, our brains are still susceptible to the cognitive decline associated with aging.
Humanity’s unnerving cruelty is perhaps only balanced by its kindness and innovation. We will see on which side of the scale CRISPR, a remarkable genome-editing tool and one of the most exciting scientific innovations of the 21st century, is going to land on, for land it certainly will.
Seeing this dialog box, which pops up on the hospital’s electronic health record program, is never a surprise. On the list of patients whose charts I’m supposed to review for my summer research project, the deceased ones are highlighted in grey, setting them apart from the otherwise black-and-white list of names and medical record numbers.
With each new year, we are pressured to construct a “new self” guided by resolutions. We design a “new year, new me,” fueling the marketing of self-improvement products around December and January. The explosion of fitness equipment in stores during this time attests to the pervasiveness of an annual self-improvement routine in our culture. Importantly, this phenomenon of constructing resolutions to improve body image represents some of the elements of our potentially misaligned “beauty culture,” where popular culture could be involved in driving individuals to extreme measures to achieve weight loss.
Anyone who has come face to face with a bear can attest to the fact that our bodies can respond physiologically to emotional stimuli in the environment. A racing heart rate, rapid breathing and pounding cardiac output are all physiological responses that may take place during such an encounter. But we do not necessarily need to run into a bear to dramatically affect our cardiovascular (CV) health.
Parallels are often drawn between the fields of aviation and medicine. It has been said that the number of hospital-related preventable deaths in the United States alone is equivalent to 20 large airplane crashes, with no survivors, each week. With the advancements made in flight safety, doctors are now looking to the field of aviation to improve patient safety.
In addition to its beneficial effects in patients with mood disorders, exercise has been found to be an excellent anxiety reliever. 30 million Americans suffer from severe anxiety that impairs daily functioning. This article will discuss anxiety disorders and research regarding the role of exercise in their treatment.
My thumb is on the white plunger: first stop / and now the pipette is ready to suck. / My hand is trembling, hovering over / the small plastic tube. I dip it down and in, / release the plunger, and draw it all inside.
While dancing on the line between church and state, the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby’s decision to not fund contraceptives for its employees drew considerable media attention and controversy. Since the use of contraceptives opposes the religious beliefs of the company leaders, Hobby Lobby employees seeking access to contraceptives must pay for them out of pocket. To better understand the experience of faith that ultimately guided the Hobby Lobby company leaders and in order to “bridge the gap” between science and medicine on the topic of religion, it is important to explore the mechanisms by which widely used religious routines affect our brains.
As medical students, we will encounter scenarios in which patients are seeking advice on the benefits of switching to e-cigarettes, or we may have patients, who were previously non-smokers, start “vaping.” To effectively counsel our patients and advocate for their health and well-being, we must stay current with the evolving research on e-cigarette use.
A common complaint among emergency room physicians surrounds the solicitation of pain medications. Nearly half a million ER visits in 2009 were due to the misuse or abuse of prescription painkillers. Several years ago I worked closely with a family physician in Binghamton who warned a [bout patients who feigned illness to acquire narcotics (…)
After a nearly 40-year moratorium, a controlled study of the therapeutic use of LSD in humans has been published in The Journal of Neural and Mental Disease after the pioneering work of Swiss psychiatrist Peter Gasser. Sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and approved by the BAG (the Swiss Drug Enforcement Agency), the study has completed treatment of all subjects after having enrolled its first patient in April of 2008. Many hallucinogens, such as psilocybin and MDMA, are being investigated today for their clinical benefits as a result of a gradual effort to reexamine the pharmacologic and psychiatric interests in hallucinogens.