The Gender Gap in Medical Trials: What to Know

When you examine medical research — or place your trust in health care providers who delve into this research on your behalf — you trust that experts have taken every step necessary to control for variables that might affect the results. Unfortunately, while many studies are trustworthy, some researchers neglect to account for factors that can have a huge impact on outcomes. This, in turn, may affect the health of countless patients. Often, those who bear the brunt of the damage are female, thanks to an enduring gender gap in medical trials. Researchers from the University of Chicago and the…

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How Concussions Can Lead to Accelerated Brain Aging: A Summary of the Science

Athletic concussions regularly hit headlines, but brain injuries are also alarmingly common outside of professional sports. A poll from NPR and Truven Health Analytics suggests that approximately one-quarter of Americans have suffered at least one concussion at some point. The long-term cognitive health implications could be staggering, as we reveal below: Issues with Executive Functioning While a growing body of research suggests that concussions can negatively impact a variety of brain processes, the effects are most evident with executive functioning. Impairments to the frontal lobe may leave sufferers struggling to focus or control their impulses. Brain scan data from the…

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COVID As a Metabolic Wake-Up Call: What Is the Relationship Between Insulin, Blood Sugar, and Immunity? Part II

COVID-19 can cause a wide array of short and long-term health concerns, ranging from temporary shortness of breath to enduring brain fog. Many of these are poorly understood due to the novel nature of the virus. Such is the case for the relationship between blood sugar and immunity to the disease, a pattern that becomes increasingly clear as more data becomes available. In the first part of this blog series, we examined the role of diabetes in COVID complications. Now, we’ll highlight the strange interplay of blood sugar and COVID in people who have not already been diagnosed with diabetes….

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COVID as a Metabolic Wake-Up Call: What Is the Relationship Between Insulin, Blood Sugar, and Immunity? Part I

After over a year of battling the COVID pandemic, we are beginning to understand the implications of general health and wellness on the disease. Concerns such as metabolism and blood sugar may play a significant role in determining who suffers the worst symptoms and what it takes to recover. In this two-part blog series, we’ll examine these concerns and uncover the metabolic wake-up call underlying the pandemic for many patients with pre-existing conditions. Diabetes Is a Huge Risk Factor for COVID Complications While more data is needed to determine whether diabetes truly increases the potential for contracting the coronavirus, the…

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The Great Barrington Declaration And COVID: Part I

  The COVID pandemic has sparked contentious debates about the balance between reducing the spread of the disease and avoiding the unintended repercussions of lockdown. The original quarantine, although necessary for flattening the curve, created economic upheaval while also sparking significant mental health issues related to long-term isolation. In an effort to avoid these problems as we continue to navigate the pandemic, a variety of scientists and other influential individuals gathered at the American Institute for Economic Research in early October to sign the Great Barrington Declaration. How Would Pandemic Response Work Under the Proposed Great Barrington System? The approach…

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The Lancet’s Retracted COVID-19 Study And What It Says About Treating a New Disease: Part II

  The debate surrounding possible COVID-19 treatment hydroxychloroquine remains as vicious as ever. In the previous portion of our two-part series on The Lancet‘s ill-fated study, we examined how a lack of available data led to the study being retracted. While this research previously attracted the most attention, other studies still cast doubt on whether the drug is worth pursuing as a treatment option. Alternate Research The Lancet is far from the only publication to examine the role of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 treatment. Several other studies also highlight how this drug could be used to assist vulnerable patients — and…

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The Lancet’s Retracted COVID-19 Study And What It Says About Treating a New Disease: Part I

  As the research surrounding COVID-19 reveals new findings, even the most trusted scientific authorities are forced to occasionally walk back previous statements. Such was the case for the trusted publication The Lancet, which previously published a noteworthy study suggesting that drugs such as hydroxychloroquine could pose a significant threat to COVID patients. Keep reading to learn more about The Lancet‘s retracted study — and its implications for future treatments. The Hydroxychloroquine Drama Hydroxychloroquine attracted attention for several months after President Donald Trump touted the drug as an effective treatment for coronavirus. Medical experts quickly dismissed this assertion, stating that…

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The Scientific Debate Over Coronavirus: Part II

  As the science surrounding the coronavirus evolves, disagreements are sure to appear. While many of these have involved the concept of asymptomatic spread — as highlighted in the first half of our two-part series — other sources of contention also limit consensus within the scientific community. Chief among these? The ongoing strength of the disease. Is COVID-19 Conquered in Italy? While it may seem as if the world has lived with the coronavirus for ages, it’s still less than a year old. Much remains unknown about its current — and future — volatility. Italian doctor Alberto Zangrillo made headlines…

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The Scientific Debate Over Coronavirus: Part I

  There’s no denying the inherent frustration of our efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Much of this stems from advice that seems to change on a daily basis. From surface spread to the value of masks, shifting recommendations from the CDC leave many of us deeply confused about how this virus spreads — and what can realistically be done to contain it. Because the coronavirus is novel, many scientists share this overwhelming sense of confusion. While we know far more about the disease than we did just a few short months ago, researchers have yet to reach…

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How Do Doctors Stay Up to Date on Protocol Changes? How Often Do They Fall Behind?

Change is rampant in every industry, but it’s particularly prominent in medicine, where emerging research holds the potential to dramatically alter protocol we currently take for granted. Already, the average physician visit looks little like it did just twenty years ago. Keeping up may seem impossible as a patient, but what about the doctors charged with handling a myriad of medical issues? Unfortunately, their efforts to stay current vary dramatically, as we examine below: Interactions With Fellow Professionals In today’s technological world, word of mouth remains one of the most effective means of keeping up to date with medical developments….

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