Archive for March 15th, 2012
Research over the past couple of years has found that massage therapy boosts immune function in women with breast cancer, improves symptoms in children with asthma, and increases grip strength in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Giving massages to the littlest patients, premature babies, helped in the crucial task of gaining weight.
Scholars, consultants and analysts have searched for reasons behind the biopharmaceutical industry's failure to live up to its anticipated potential, but few viable solutions have emerged, writes David Shaywitz, an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
However, Shaywitz sees a silver lining: "If Big Pharma is truly evolving from a thematic, highly strategic business into what I suspect may be an opportunistic, pragmatic, highly tactical, perhaps even somewhat desperate enterprise, this could lead to important new partnering opportunities for an unexpectedly wide range of small upstart companies," he writes.
A Mayo Clinic study found that people who got 80 minutes less sleep at night ate an average of 549 more calories during the day compared with those who were not sleep deprived, but both groups burned similar amounts of energy. The study, presented at the American Heart Association meeting, linked a lack of sleep to higher leptin and lower ghrelin levels, but researchers said the changes probably came from overeating rather than causing people to overeat.
A Commonwealth Fund report found wide variation in the cost and quality of health care provided in 306 U.S. communities it studied, and said 66 million Americans live in the lowest-performing areas. Authors said if all of the locales were at top-performing levels, Medicare would save billions of dollars on preventable hospitalizations and readmissions.
… a medical sensation [it's] transforming surgery in some fields, especially gynecology and urology … More than 250,000 hysterectomies and prostate removal surgeries were done with the da Vinci last year, according to the company. Surgeons are expanding use of the machines to other procedures, from gastric bypasses to thyroid cancer surgeries. Advocates of the devices say they make minimally invasive surgery possible for more patients, helping them recover more quickly and in less pain.
But patients wondering whether they should opt for robot-assisted surgery should be aware that the choice is sometimes more complex than the messages presented by hospitals and the company.
Confirmed cases of influenza in the U.S. are increasing, according to the CDC, but levels overall remain low. The CDC also reports that flu-related hospitalizations increased by 36% last week, although that number is lower than expected, too. Influenza A strains were linked to 90% of hospital admissions, including H3N2 and 2009 H1N1.