March 8, 2014 |
Frank Jobe batted third at Cooperstown last summer, in the annual awards ceremony on the Saturday before the induction ceremony. Paul Hagen led off, a distinguished baseball writer from Philadelphia. Shirley Cheek followed, the widow of the late Tom Cheek, a beloved broadcaster for the Toronto Blue Jays. The names of Paul Hagen and Tom Cheek would be forever displayed within the Hall of Fame. Jobe's award did not come with a permanent place inside the Hall of Fame -- an error that ought to be rectified forthwith -- but the good doctor nonetheless was delighted with his moment in the Cooperstown sun. Jobe rose to his feet, slowly.
March 5, 2014 |
For the first time in more than four decades, the drug lysergic acid diethylamide -- better known as LSD -- has been the experimental adjunct to psychotherapy in a controlled clinical trial approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And a newly published study on that trial reports that the medication's anti-anxiety effects on patients facing life-threatening illnesses were sizable, sustained -- and free of worrisome side effects. In short, everything was groovy. In a pilot study conducted in Switzerland, 12 patients suffering deep anxiety due to serious illnesses participated in several drug-free psychotherapy sessions, and then joined a pair of therapists for two full-day psychotherapy sessions, separated by two to three weeks, under the influence of LSD. After tapering off any anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications and avoiding alcohol for at least a day, subjects in the trial were given either a 200-microgram dose of LSD or an "active placebo" of 20 micrograms of the drug.
February 4, 2014 |
Doctors used to call influenza "knock-me-down" fever, and there was a reason for that. Anyone who's suffered through a bout of it knows the miseries: the headaches, the throat that feels scrubbed with sandpaper, the fever so high you're floating on the edge of delirium. And then there is the cough, the muscle pain, the general misery. Worse still: Flu can kill, though not often, and typically only the very young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. So what do you do?
January 30, 2014 |
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that a group of Colorado nuns will not be required to offer contraceptive coverage to employees while pursuing its legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The nuns' action highlights the misunderstandings and theological errors behind the Vatican's condemnation of what it terms "artificial contraception. " And it also overlooks an important medical point: The nuns might have something to gain from taking oral contraceptives. But first, some background on the history of contraception.
January 18, 2014 |
The NBA's top players can be divided into three categories at next month's All-Star game: The West, the East and the creased. Several stars will be wearing freshly pressed suits as the result of injuries that have seemingly left no roster untouched. Derrick Rose, Brook Lopez and Al Horford have been sidelined for the rest of the season, and Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant all hope to return within the next month. Dr. Riley J. Williams III, medical director for the Brooklyn Nets and sports medicine surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York (not to mention a lifelong Lakers fan who played football at Loyola High in Los Angeles)
January 7, 2014 |
Debuting Tuesday as part of the PBS series "American Experience," "The Poisoner's Handbook" offers a fascinating look back at how the chemical age changed police work. Based on Deborah Blum's 2010 book "The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York," it is divided into toxin-specific "chapters," (cyanide, arsenic, carbon monoxide, lead, radium, denatured alcohol and so on), but there is nothing particularly instructional about it. A certain sort of viewer might get ideas, of course, but should he watch to the end he will learn that poisoning is a hard crime to get away with anymore.