Since the introduction of antibiotics in World War II, doctors have prescribed courses of treatment that typically ran longer than necessary. Bacterial resistance is forcing a reevaluation, shortening courses sometimes to just a few days and even prompting doctors to advise not using all pills if patients feel better.
Dr. Brad Spellberg, Chief Medical Officer, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center
Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Dr. Louis Rice, Chairman, Department of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University
Hormones were unknown until a little more than 100 years ago, and experts admit we still have a lot to learn. An expert author details the discovery of hormones and how our growing knowledge has shaped treatment of many diseases and conditions.
Dr. Randi Hutter Epstein, Yale University, Columbia University, and author, Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything
A drinkable cocktail of designer molecules is showing promise in stopping the development of dementia. A study in the journal Cell Reports finds that a cocktail based on an old antibiotic can keep amyloid beta peptides from binding to prion proteins—one of the first steps in Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers say the cocktail has also repaired synapses in the brains of rats… restoring memories. Scientists will now start testing the cocktail for toxicity.
If you’re using sugar substitutes as part of a weight loss resolution, a new study says “don’t bother.” In fact, the study in the journal BMJ finds there’s no compelling evidence that sugar substitutes help regulate any important health variable. Blood sugar levels and the risk of heart disease or cancer did not benefit from the use of saccharin, aspartame, or other artificial sweeteners. People who used plain old sugar ended up pretty much in the same place health-wise.
And finally… shaming people for what they do isn’t right… even though new research suggests that it can get people who engage in dangerous activities to quit. A study in the Journal of Consumer Affairs shows that smokers are more likely to quit if they’re told that their peers disapprove of smoking. However, experts warn that shaming people leads others to think that the bad effects of a bad habit are all their fault… and they deserve what they get.