Fleming’s prediction was correct. Penicillin-resistant staph emerged in 1940, while the drug was still being given to only a few patients. Tetracycline was introduced in 1950, and tetracycline-resistant Shigella emerged in 1959; erythromycin came on the market in 1953, and erythromycin-resistant strep appeared in 1968. As antibiotics became more affordable and their use increased, bacteria developed defenses more quickly. Methicillin arrived in 1960 and methicillin resistance in 1962; levofloxacin in 1996 and the first resistant cases the same year; linezolid in 2000 and resistance to it in 2001; daptomycin in 2003 and the first signs of resistance in 2004.
Myth #1: The flu vaccine gives you the flu or makes you sick. (No, it doesn’t.)
Myth #2: Flu vaccines contains dangerous ingredients, such as mercury, formaldehyde and antifreeze. (Not exactly, and the ingredients aren’t dangerous.)
Myth #3: Pregnant women should not get the flu shot. (They should.) / The flu shot can cause miscarriages. (It doesn’t.) / Pregnant should only get the preservative-free flu shot. (Nope.)
Myth #4: Flu vaccines can cause Alzheimer’s disease. (They can’t.)
Myth #5: Flu vaccines provide billions of dollars in profits for pharmaceutical companies. (Maybe, maybe not, but so what?)
Myth #6: Flu vaccines don’t work. (Um, they do work.)
Myth #7: Flu vaccines don’t work for children. (Again, they work.)
Myth #8: Flu vaccines make it easier for people to catch pneumonia or other infectious diseases. (No, they make it harder.)
Myth #9: Flu vaccines cause vascular or cardiovascular disorders. (No, they don’t.)
Myth #10: Flu vaccines can break the “blood brain barrier” of young children and hurt their development. (No, they can’t.)
Myth #11: Flu vaccines cause narcolepsy. (Not the seasonal flu vaccine, and not most others.)
Myth #12: The flu vaccine weakens your body’s immune response. (It actually strengthens it.)
Myth #13: The flu vaccine causes nerve disorders such as Guillain Barre syndrome. (Not usually, and not as much as the flu does.)
Myth #14: The flu vaccine can cause neurological disorders. (No, it can’t.)
Myth #15: Influenza isn’t that bad. Or, people recover quickly from it. (Uh, it’s pretty bad.)
Myth #16: People don’t die from the flu unless they have another underlying condition already. (Actually, healthy people DO die from the flu.)
Myth #17: People with egg allergies cannot get the flu shot. It will kill them! (No, it won’t, and there’s an egg-free vaccine.)
Myth #18: If I get the flu, antibiotics will take care of me. (No, they can’t.)
Myth #19: The flu shot doesn’t work for me, personally, because last time I got it, I got the flu anyway. (It still reduces your risk.)
Myth #20: I never get the flu, so I don’t need the shot. (You can see the future?)
Myth #21: I can protect myself from the flu by eating right and washing my hands regularly. (No, you can’t.)
Myth #22: It’s okay if I get the flu because it will make my immune system stronger. (Selfish, much? And no, it doesn’t.)
Myth #23: Making a new vaccine each year only makes influenza strains stronger. (No, it doesn’t.)
Myth #24: The side effects of the flu shot are worse than the flu. (No, they aren’t.)
Myth #25: The flu vaccine causes Bell’s palsy. (No, it doesn’t.)
Kickstarting a Cure by Noah Rosenberg - Narratively: Local stories, boldly told. - Narratively: Local stories, boldly told.
“It might be frightening to get an answer,” Stone says of genetic testing. “I mean, you get answers you don’t want. But I’m happy to have an answer.”
Lin, too, knows that RGI offers just another “micro-step” in an agonizing process that might not bear any real improvements by the time Robert or Balazs or other suffering children have left this earth.
“The biggest thing we’re developing is hope,” he says, which can at times be difficult for an around-the-clock caregiver to accept.
This is important. This is analysis and determination of the disease, not a cure. Knowing what the problem is can be comforting. At least, then people can figure out how to deal with it.
Drug A helps half of those to whom it is prescribed but it causes very serious liver damage in the other half. Drug B works well at some times but when administered at other times it accelerates the disease. Drug C fails to show any effect when tested against a placebo but it does seem to work in practice when administered as part of a treatment regime.
I’m not sure it so easy to have such cut and dry situation for each drug. Though, the basic conceit is an excellent one.
It is exotic. It is invasive. It is slightly painful. It involves time with a therapist. It involves touch. If anyone had the task to develop a treatment that maximises placebo-effects, he could not come up with a better intervention!
Autism Inc.: The Discredited Science, Shady Treatments and Rising Profits Behind Alternative Autism Treatments - The Texas Observer
In reality, Laidler says, your primary care doctor does a good job of describing available treatments for autism—but it’s not a very happy story. “And parents, like myself, don’t like the truth. Most people are much happier with a pleasant lie than an unpleasant truth. These quacks are selling false hope, and this should be listed up there with heroin as an addictive substance. I’ve had a lot of people chastise me for taking people’s hope away.”
Curing chemophobia: Don’t buy the alternative medicine in “The Boy With a Thorn in His Joints.” - Slate Magazine
Meadows isn’t alone in her molecular paranoia. We are a chemophobic culture. Chemical has become a synonym for something artificial, adulterated, hazardous, or toxic. Chemicals are bad—for you, for your children, for the environment. But whatever chemophobics would like to think, there is no avoiding chemicals, no way to create chemical-free zones. Absolutely everything is made of atoms and molecules; it’s all chemistry.
Studies underwritten by drug or medical device companies aren’t the only research that risks being biased by financial incentives. Competition for funding from any source can influence researchers to focus on designing a study that is more likely to produce a positive outcome. What does “more likely” mean? Allowing too much leeway in determining which side effects are reported or finding reasons to toss out data that does not support a hypothesis can create skewed, unreliable results. There are also competitive professional pressures to get high-impact results published in top-tier journals, which means important confirmation studies for new findings can have a harder time getting published.
Snake Venom Trend Piece. So cliche.
Taken as a whole, these findings suggest high vagal tone makes it easier to generate positive emotions and that this, in turn, drives vagal tone still higher. That is both literally and metaphorically a positive feedback loop. Which is good news for the emotionally positive, but bad for the emotionally negative, for it implies that those who most need a psychosomatic boost are incapable of generating one. A further (as yet unpublished) experiment by Dr Kok suggests, however, that the grumpy need not give up all hope. A simpler procedure than meditation, namely reflecting at night on the day’s social connections, did seem to cause some improvement to their vagal tone. This might allow even those with a negative outlook on life to “bootstrap” their way to a mental state from which they could then advance to the more powerful technique of meditation.
I actually do believe in this. It will be interesting to see, if they are able to find new ways to manipulate the vagal tone.
An article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in March put these questions to a panel of more than 400 doctors with relevant clinical experience. Eighty-two per cent thought they’d been shown evidence that test “A” saved lives – they hadn’t – and of those, 83 per cent thought the benefit was large or very large. Only 60 per cent thought that test “B” saved lives, and fewer than one-third thought the benefit was large or very large – which is intriguing, because of the few people on course to die from cancer, the test saves 20 per cent of them. In short, the doctors simply did not understand the statistics on cancer screening.
The practical implications of this are obvious and worrying. It seems that doctors may need a good deal of help interpreting the evidence they are likely to be exposed to on clinical effectiveness, while epidemiologists and statisticians need to think hard about how they present their discoveries.
Why am I not surprised?
The lack of laboratory diagnostic tests for mental disorders, along with the shady marketing practices of the pharmaceutical industry, are often viewed as the most fatal flaws in the medical practice of psychiatry. This is especially true among critics of psychiatry, but doctors in other medical specialties tend to have a dismal opinion of psychiatry1 as well (Fazel & Ebmeier, 2009). Widespread perceptions that the field is relatively low in scientific precision, and that the patients have a poor prognosis, are among the possible reasons for this…Instead, the goal should be to create a “stratified psychiatry” of phenotypic or genotypic subtypes - although they caution that the promise of “personalized medicine” has not been obtained in other specialties either. But they point to discovery of the gene mutation resulting in overexpression of HER2 in breast cancer, and the development of monoclonal antibody treatments, as one success story. This type of stratification doesn’t require a complete understanding of the etiology of breast cancer.
65 percent of the doctors (or former medical students) had created an advance directive, i.e. a set of legal documents spelling out in advance what sort of end-of-life care they would like. Only about 20 percent of the public does this. When asked whether they would want cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, if they were in a chronic coma, about 90 percent of the Johns Hopkins doctors said no. Only about 25 percent of the public gives the same answer….only 8 percent of patients survived for more than one month. Of these, only about 3 percent could lead a mostly normal life. A little more than 3 percent were in a vegetative state, and about 2 percent were alive but had a “poor” outcome.
Two things: Doctors understand how important quality of life is and isn’t accounted for in survival rates. Second, the general public overestimates their own personal chances of having a miracle recovery, because those are the stories that they hear, while doctors at the front lines are more aware of the negative outcomes.