Archive | The Body Electric

Here’s some good news

Upvoted: Regenerative dental fillings that allow teeth to heal themselves have been developed by researchers, potentially eliminating the need for root canals. via /r/Futurology

It won’t be available anytime soon, of course, but it’s great progress:

Regenerative dental fillings that allow teeth to heal themselves have been developed by researchers, potentially eliminating the need for root canals.

The treatment, developed by scientists from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University, earned a prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry after judges described it as a “new paradigm for dental treatments.”

The tooth filling works by stimulating stem cells to encourage the growth of dentin—the bony material that makes up the majority of the tooth—allowing patients to effectively regrow teeth that are damaged through dental disease.

Midwives and malpractice

Our lady the midwife Η κυρά μας η μαμή 1958

This Ben Whitley piece is not all that convincing to me. My experience is that doctors are all too eager to punish the same outcomes with midwives they would excuse in physicians. Birth isn’t 100% predictable, as ob-gyns are happy to point out when it suits them:

In light of what is being called the biggest malpractice settlement in 10 years, midwives and doulas are being called out by medical professionals and the general public for lack of training, as well as little recourse when things go wrong. If midwives want to practice as physicians then they should be prepared to carry the same risks as trained medical professionals.

Even though most births under the care of a midwife are successful, some do go wrong and can produce devastating consequences. The question must be asked, for the ones that do go wrong, could they have been prevented and, if so, do the injured families have any recourse for the malpractice?

An Oregon couple received a $13 million settlement for their son, delivered by midwives at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, in what is being called a botched water birth. This settlement is the largest in a decade for a hospital birth malpractice case.

The family’s lawyer, Rich Rogers said the couple was informed by the midwives that the mother was an ideal candidate for a safe water birth, when in fact she was not, due to the baby having an abnormal fetal heart rate upon entering the hospital.
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Falsified drug studies led to millions of children receiving dangerous antidepressants

Again: If they help you, fine. Not a moral question but a medical one: Are anti-depressants perpetuating the very thing they’re supposed to help? Yet another reason I think Big Pharma should be nationalized:

This study “confirms that the full degree of harm of antidepressants is not reported,” says Joanna Moncrieff, a psychiatrist and researcher at University College London who was not involved in the study. “[These harms] are not reported in the published literature—we know that—and it appears that they are not properly reported in clinical study reports that go to the regulators and form the basis of decisions about licensing.”

The researchers struggled for many years to get access to the clinical trial reports, which are often withheld under the guise of commercial confidentiality. “All this secrecy actually costs human lives,” says Peter Gøtzsche, a clinician researcher at Cochrane and a co-author of the recent study. Eventually the EMA provided access after being publicly accused of mismanagement, but in the U.S. these documents remain inaccessible. “It’s deeply unethical when patients volunteer to benefit science, and then we let drug companies decide that we cannot get access to the raw data,” Gøtzsche says. “The testing of drugs should be a public enterprise.”

The fact that antidepressants may cause suicidal ideation has been shown before, and in 2004 the FDA gave these drugs a black box warning—a label reserved for the most serious hazards. The EMA has issued similar alerts. There are no labels about risks for aggression, however. Although hints about hostile behavior existed in case studies, the BMJ study was the first large-scale work to demonstrate an increase in aggressive behavior in children and adolescents. “This is obviously important in the debate about school shootings in the [U.S.] and in other places where the perpetrators are frequently taking antidepressants,” Moncrieff says.

Taken together with other research—including studies that suggest antidepressants are only marginally better than placebos—some experts say it is time to reevaluate the widespread use of these drugs. “My view is that we really don’t have good enough evidence that antidepressants are effective, and we have increasing evidence that they can be harmful,” Moncrieff says. “So we need to stop this increasing trend of prescribing them.”

This is exactly how I feel

Top Ways Tech Has Rewired Your Brain

My brain hurts all the damn time:

New research suggests the possibility that cognitive damage associated with multi-tasking could be permanent.

A study from the University of Sussex (UK) ran MRI scans on the brains of individuals who spent time on multiple devices at once (texting while watching TV, for example). The MRI scans showed that subjects who multitasked more often had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex. That’s the area responsible for empathy and emotional control.

The one caveat is that research isn’t detailed enough to determine if multitasking is responsible for these effects, or if existing brain damage results in multitasking habits. Still, no matter how you spin it, multitasking is no good.

The lesson? Multitasking is not a skill to add to the resume, but rather a bad habit to put a stop to. Turn off notifications, create set email checking time slots throughout the day (rather than constant inbox refreshing), and put your mind to the task at hand.

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