A New Do It Yourself Screening Test for Dementia

The British Medical Journal has reported a new self-administered screening test for Alzheimer's dementia: Self administered cognitive screening test (TYM) for detection of Alzheimer’s disease: cross sectional study. Just like so many other tests like HIV status, pregnancy, and blood sugar measurements, now people can take 15 or so minutes and in the privacy of their own home, determine if there's sufficient evidence of a problem to seek further evaluation.

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blood-zThe big story this week was a recommendation by an international body of experts, including the American Diabetes Association, to use a test called hemoglobin A1C, often abbreviated HbA1C, or even simply A1C, to diagnose diabetes.

Continue reading “June 14, 2009” »

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smoking_ceilingComputers Can Help People Quit Smoking

It's no surprise to anyone that smoking is the number one cause of preventable death worldwide. I've said a number of times in our podcast that if some universal authority empowered me to make just one decision to benefit everyone's health I would immediately abolish cigarettes. That said, and in an attempt to avoid a rant, this week Rick and I talked about the use of computer-based programs to assist people in their efforts to quit smoking: Effects of Web- and Computer-Based Smoking Cessation Programs in this issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Continue reading “June 7, 2009” »

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NFLweightliftingGuys who play football professionally are probably in great shape, right? They work out all the time, pay close attention to what they eat and get regular physical exams. Turns out though, that the majority of professional football players have either high blood pressure or the condition that precedes it known as prehypertension. That's in this week's JAMA, Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Among National Football League Players

Continue reading “May 29, 2009” »

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arthritisGood news came this week from Annals of Internal Medicine, http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/360/21/2165, to those of us who have arthritis in our hands, specifically in the thumb joint. Not rheumatoid arthritis, the one that often causes deformed joints and is the result of the immune system gone awry, but osteoarthritis, that very common condition usually affecting knees and hips. Turns out that the very simple intervention of using a splint to immobilize the thumb, worn only at night, resulted in significant pain reduction and increased ability to use the thumb joint over time.

Continue reading “May 22, 2009” »

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