November 22, 2012 |
This might be tough for parents who want to swoop in and fix their children's every problem, but a study found that half of the teenagers who screened positive for depression got better in six weeks without treatment. Two aspects of the teenagers' conditions seemed to predict whether the depression would ease without treatment: the severity of the symptoms and whether the symptoms persisted for six weeks, the researchers, led by Dr. Laura Richardson of Seattle Children's Research Institute, said in an article published this week in the journal Pediatrics.
November 16, 2012 |
Don't be fooled by some of the jargon of biomedical research: People who respond strongly to placebo medications are not dummies. A new study finds they tend to be people you would describe in much more favorable terms: straightforward, tough in the face of difficulty, and willing to lend others a hand. Maybe the people who don't respond well to placebos are the dummies: Angry, hostile and prone to negativity, these people seem far less capable of harnessing their minds to the task of healing their bodies, says the new research.
October 2, 2012 |
If you're trying to ward off the sniffles, you can take vitamin D supplements out of your shopping cart: A new study reports that dosing with the vitamin does nothing to prevent colds or other forms of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). The effect of vitamin D on the immune system has been debated for a long time. Controlled laboratory research has shown that vitamin D has several beneficial effects on the immune system, and some studies conducted in the past have suggested that people with low levels of the vitamin are at higher risk for URTIs.
September 13, 2012 |
Acupuncture eases some kinds of chronic pain - and it's not just a placebo effect at work, researchers who looked at data from nearly 18,000 patients found. An estimated 3 million American adults get acupuncture treatments annually; still, there “remains considerable controversy as to its value,” the researchers wrote in a study published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine. But they found that for back and neck pain, chronic headache, osteoarthritis and shoulder pain, acupuncture works better than no treatment and better than “sham” acupuncture - done, for example, with needles inserted superficially or with needles that retract into the handles instead of going into the skin.
September 11, 2012 |
To most people, the story of the placebo effect is simple: Because we believe that medicine makes us healthier, a pill - even if it is just sugar - causes us to feel better when we take it. As a result, the placebo effect has generally been considered a conscious process, the result of seeing the pill and the doctor in the white coat who gives it to us. But a new study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests...
September 6, 2012 |
Studies in macaques have for the first time shown that an intravaginal ring laced with an anti-HIV drug can block transmission of HIV during sexual intercourse. Researchers at the Population Council who demonstrated the product are now refining drug concentrations and contents of the ring and hope to begin human trials within 18 to 24 months. Previous studies with vaginal microbicides to block HIV have produced mixed results, with at least one showing some protection and another showing none.