Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease that is completely preventable. Since 1988, members of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), including CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary, and UNICEF, have teamed up to eradicate polio world-wide through large scale vaccination efforts. Global polio cases are down more than 99% since GPEI began. We were able to completely eradicate the disease in the Americas by 1994 and protect our children. By 2006, polio was endemic in only four countries: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Public Health Matters Blog*
It’s that well-worn tale of Pavlov and his crazy dogs, the ones that he trained to expect treats whenever a bell was rung. And whether or not the treats were offered, the dogs learned to respond by salivating, waiting.
Diabetes has made me one of Pavlov’s dogs. But instead of the chimes of a bell triggering salivation, it’s the sound of the Top Gun theme song coming from my insulin pump, making me check the status of my battery. Or the sound of my Dexcom letting loose with a BEEEEEEEP!, making me reach for my glucose meter. The sounds of diabetes are so ingrained in my brain that I don’t think before responding. My reaction to certain sounds is visceral.
Sometimes the sounds of my diabetes are subtle – Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*
There has been an ongoing debate about placebos on SBM, both in the articles and in the comments. What does it mean that a treatment has been shown to be “no better than placebo?” If our goal is for patients to feel better and they feel better with placebos, why not prescribe them? Do placebos actually do anything useful? What can science tell us about why a patient might report diminished pain after taking an inert sugar pill? The subject is complex and prone to misconceptions. A recent podcast interview offers a breakthrough in understanding.
On her Brain Science Podcast Dr. Ginger Campbell interviewed Dr. Fabrizio Benedetti, a physician and clinical neurophysiologist who is one of the world’s leading researchers on the neurobiology of placebos. A transcript of the interview [PDF] is available on her website for those who prefer reading to listening. The information Dr. Benedetti presents and the expanded remarks by Dr. Campbell after the interview go a long way towards explaining the placebo phenomenon and its consequences for clinical medicine. Dr. Campbell also includes a handy list of references. I’ll try to provide a summary of the main points, but I recommend reading or listening to the original.
A common misconception is that Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*