Medical Notes 18-31

 

Medical Notes this week…

If excessive sweating is taking a toll on your social life, you’re not alone. An estimated 15 million Americans have some form of this condition and only one in four get treatment, often with Botox. But that could all change this fall. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Qbrexza, a drug-infused cloth meant to be wiped over the skin each day to block sweat glands from activating. Researchers say 53 percent of patients report the drug reduces sweat production by roughly half.

Regulators know marijuana for its abuse potential and safety questions but now there’s an FDA-approved drug derived from marijuana. The drug Epidiolex has been approved to treat two rare, severe forms of childhood epilepsy which can prompt uncontrolled daily seizures. The disorder puts patients at high risk for other physical and intellectual disabilities, injury and early death. The oral pot solution contains cannabidiol, a chemical in the cannabis plant containing only trace amounts of the psychoactive element thc, the drug does not induce euphoria.

And finally, having the same doctor for awhile can extend your life. A study published in the journal BMJ Open shows that contact with the same physician over an average of two years results in fewer deaths as a result of better communication. Researchers continuity of care should be given a higher priority in healthcare planning because it benefits everyone, not just patients with chronic illnesses, complex needs, or long-term mental health issues.

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Medical Notes 18-16

 

Medical Notes this week…

Opioid drugs are a major public health threat but two new studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that legalizing pot may be a way to reduce their impact. The studies show that in states that have legalized marijuana the number of opioid prescriptions have fallen dramatically. Researchers can’t say for sure that people are replacing opioids with marijuana or whether it’s patients or doctors that are the driving force.

Therapy dogs are a welcome sight in some hospital wards but an editorial in the journal Critical Care says they’d do a world of good in the one place you wouldn’t expect them—intensive care. Doctors say trained therapy dogs can substantially ease physical and emotional suffering of the most seriously ill patients. Therapy dogs also do a good job getting patients engaged one of the more difficult tasks in the ICU.

And finally, if you lose your life savings, you’re at a much greater risk of early death. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that losing at least 75 percent of your net worth increases the odds of death by about 50 percent over the next 20 years. And if you lose your home, the risk of death is even worse. Researchers say a personal financial crash makes people put off expensive doctor’s appointments and creates intense stress that’s harmful to your health.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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17-03 Segment 1: Stoned Driving: How can police tell?

man making joint and a stash of marijuana in the car

 

With recreational marijuana use legal in eight states and 29 permitting medical pot use, there will be more drivers on the road who are potentially under the influence of marijuana. However, police have no way to determine who is dangerous and who is not, as blood levels of marijuana’s active ingredient are often meaningless. Experts discuss the problem and new scientific discoveries about marijuana impairment.

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