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Richard Smith: The case for medical nihilism and “gentle medicine”

Jacob Stegenga, a philosopher of science in Cambridge, has written a closely argued and empirically supported book in which he argues the case for medical nihilism by which he means that our confidence in the effectiveness of medical interventions should be low. My belief is that many doctors, particularly senior ones, are instinctively nihilists but most patients are not.

CDC: Suicide Rates Rising Across U.S.

June 7, 2018 -- Suicide is on the rise across the U.S., claiming the lives of nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older in 2016, according to new data from the CDC.

It is now the 10th leading cause of death in this country. Among the top 10, suicide, Alzheimer’s, and drug overdoses are the only ones increasing, CDC officials say. Middle-age adults are among the hardest hit by suicide, the officials found.

WHO Calls ‘Gaming Disorder’ Mental Health Condition

June 20, 2018 -- The World Health Organization is recognizing “gaming disorder” as a diagnosable condition.

But the organization’s decision to include the new term in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which it released Monday, has sparked controversy among psychiatric experts who question whether there’s enough research to call it a true disorder.

Fitness Can't Counteract Fat in Heart Attack Study

MINNEAPOLIS — Physical activity does not offset the risk for myocardial infarction that comes with excess body weight, a new analysis from the long-term Tromsø Study suggests.

This finding adds one more piece to the puzzle about the relation between fitness and fatness, said Bente Morseth, PhD, from the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø.

First-Ever Ketamine Guidelines for Acute Pain Management Released

Evidence supports the use of intravenous (IV) ketamine for acute pain in a variety of contexts, including as a stand-alone treatment, as an adjunct to opioids, and, to a lesser extent, as an intranasal formulation, according to the first guidelines on the use of ketamine for acute pain management.

Scientists discover why humans have big brains

Three international research teams have solved a genetic mystery of evolution: how human brains got to be so big. Two groups of scientists have discovered a family of genes called Notch2NL, found only in humans, that played a critical role in the evolutionary expansion that made human intelligence and behaviour possible. Their findings appear in the journal Cell.
 A third team discovered how the brain maintained a healthy balance between different types of neuron as it more than doubled in size.