Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Cleansing the soul by hurting the flesh: The guilt-reducing effect of pain

Cleansing the soul by hurting the flesh: The guilt-reducing effect of pain

From the March 8, 2011 Science Daily news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2011) — Lent in the Christian tradition is a time of sacrifice and penance. It also is a period of purification and enlightenment. Pain purifies. It atones for sin and cleanses the soul. Or at least that’s the idea. Theological questions aside, can self-inflicted pain really alleviate the guilt associated with immoral acts? A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explores the psychological consequences of experiencing bodily pain.

 

 

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , | Leave a comment

Improving risk/benefit estimates in new drug trials

Improving risk/benefit estimates in new drug trials

From the Science Daily News March 8 2011 news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2011) — It’s all too familiar: researchers announce the discovery of a new drug that eradicates disease in animals. Then, a few years later, the drug bombs in human trials. In the latest issue of the journal PLoS Medicine, ethics experts Jonathan Kimmelman, associate professor at McGill’s Biomedical Ethics Unit and Department of Social Studies of Medicine, and Alex John London, associate professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, argue that this pattern of boom and bust may be related to the way researchers predict outcomes of their work in early stages of drug development.

 

The study suggests researchers focus too narrowly on pre-clinical data, which leads to overoptimistic predictions. It is also possible that drug bias is not as rigorous in animal testing than in human testing.

 

 

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , | Leave a comment

Drug Information Product DailyMed Mobile Version Launched

DailyMed Mobile Version Launched

From the National Library of Medicine (NLM)  March 4 announcement

NLM® released DailyMed® Mobile on January 31, 2011. DailyMed provides access to over 20,000 structured product labels (SPL) from the Food and Drug Administration. DailyMed mobile features a simplified design enabling easy search, retrieval and display of SPLs from any Web-enabled mobile device (see Figure 1). Users can also e-mail SPLs to themselves or colleagues for later viewing on other platforms.

Editor Flahiff’s note:  You also cannot go wrong with these nonmobile(at least for now!)  resources (via a Consumer Health Library Guide

Dietary Supplements Labels Database

Information about ingredients in more than three thousand selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to determine what ingredients are in specific brands and to compare ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the health benefits claimed by manufacturers. These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Check out the Help section for tips on how to browse and search this site.

Drug Digest

This noncommercial consumer health and drug information site provides information about drugs and treatment options to be discussed with your primary health care provider or a pharmacist.  Information about over 1,500 drugsas well as common herbs and supplements. The check interactions tab (potential interactions between drugs)  and conditions/treatments area provide easy-to-read overviews. Information provided by Drawing pharmacy experts, licensed doctors of pharmacy, and physicians. From ExpressScripts.

Drugs and Supplements (sponsored by the Mayo Clinic)

Somewhat lengthy drug and over-the-counter medicationinformation with these sections: description, before using, proper use, precautions and side effects. From Micromedex, a trusted source of healthcare information for health professionals. 

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.

Drug Information Portal

A good central source of drug information by the US government (the National Institutes of Health). It links you to information on over 12,000 drugs from trusted consumer drug information sources, the US Food and Drug Information, and LactMed*** (summary of effects on breastfeeding i), It also gives any summaries from medical and toxicological articles (however, some whole articles may not be for free on the Internet).

PillBox Beta

Aids  in the identification of unknown solid dosage pharmaceuticals using images to identify pills (color, shape, etc) as well as a separate advanced search (imprint, drug manufacture, ingredients, etc)

HMO Collaboratory Videocast

Announcements

Beware of Fraudulent Weight Loss “Dietary Supplements”

The Food and Drug Administration warns that false claims and tainted products can cause serious harm to consumers.
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm246742.htm

Consumer Update: Dietary Supplements

The Food and Drug Administration has found nearly 300 fraudulent products—promoted mainly for weight loss, sexual enhancement, and bodybuilding—that contain hidden or deceptively labeled ingredients.
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm246744.htm

***As of July 2011…The National Library of Medicine Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed)
has added complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) products. CAM
products generally consist of dietary supplements derived from botanicals
(herbals), “nutraceuticals” (natural and synthetic nonherbals, such as
coenzyme Q10), and related products.
http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peer-To-Peer Health Care

Peer-To-Peer Health Care reports on the use of online connections, especially by those with chronic conditions,  to supplement professional medical advice.

This February 28 2011 report is published by the Pew Research Center, a “nonpartisan “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does so by conducting public opinion polling and social science research; by analyzing news coverage; and by holding forums and briefings. It does not take positions on policy issues.” [From the Pew Research Center About Page]

Some excerpts from the report

  • Many Americans turn to friends and family for support and advice when they have a health problem. This report shows how people’s
    networks are expanding to include online peers, particularly in the crucible of rare disease. Health professionals remain the central
    source of information for mostAmericans, but “peer‐to‐peer healthcare” is a significant supplement.
  • One in five internet users have gone online to find others like them.Eighteen percent of internet users say they have gone online
    to find others who might have health concerns similar to theirs.
  • In the moment of need, most people turn to a health professional for information, care, or support.  When asked about the last time they had a health issue, 70% of adults in the U.S. say they receivedinformation, care, or support
    from a health professional.

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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