Category: Research

Many countries are relaxing their restrictions on cannabis. It’s been a long time since a psychoactive drug based on a plant and already widely used illicitly has been regulated. That is not surprising, given the trajectories of use and abuse of three of the older regulated products – opioids, tobacco and alcohol. Can THC help? […]

A watch is no longer a watch. It is a wrist-mounted health and fitness monitor for a large and increasing population. Indeed, one in six consumers in the United States now uses a smartwatch or fitness band.  Watches can do much more than watching. The accuracy of these devices is variable, depending on a variety of factors […]

Thinking and seeing are always linked. After a number of requests to see the way I view the world, each week I will be posting one of my artworks. This week it is from TheThinker City Series and it is a pastel of the Philadelphia Art Museum and Waterworks. Please feel free to download it […]

The first commandment of health information disclosure dictates that data shalt not be disclosed to any third party beyond what the patient has consented to. An awards program for health data would be a good start.  Unfortunately, organizations create, store and have access to our health data. Big data is big business and there are a variety […]

The second decade of this century will be remembered as the decade of COVID craziness if we aren’t careful. There is madness all around and very little of it is caused by the virus itself. From vaccine frenzy to vaccine denial, it is difficult to tease out what should be done next.  Start distributing more […]

Women are women and men are men – for the most part. Ovaries and testes can be removed, and hormones blocked or supplemented but it doesn’t change the genetic makeup of our cells. Well not yet at least. So, people born with an XY chromosome have different potentials and responses to disease and treatments than […]

There is a level of complexity in determining who is at risk from a serious COVID infection. Prior chronic diseases have a big part to play, and it’s not just based on which organs are affected by the chronic disease.  Is it time to say goodbye to COVID boosters?  For example, not all patients with […]

There is a new eating disorder coined every decade. Obesity: you eat too much. Anorexia nervosa: you ingest too little. Bulimia nervosa: you do too much of both – but not at the same time. Now, there is orthorexia nervosa (ON): you worry too much about eating healthy food. Maybe we should just stop eating […]

In the acute phase, men with COVID experience more severe symptoms and higher mortality than women. In that way COVID is no different from many of the viruses that have attacked humans over the last century.  The health of women is not just women’s health Men are more attractive to viral infections than women. For example, […]

Do  booster vaccinations prevent breakthrough infections? Who knows? But is that the right question. Are breakthrough infections important to prevent? Afterall we do know that most breakthrough infections are mild or asymptomatic. Breakthroughs, boosters and severe COVID – are they really related? When we look at deaths from COVID amongst breakthrough cases, they occur at a rate […]

Medical evidence is in a state of constant flux. Most of us would feel comfortable if  amassing research evidence was like completing a jigsaw puzzle. Each new piece would add to the greater picture. Unfortunately, that is not the case. When viewing medical research we must learn, as we did as  adolescents, that not everything in our lives […]

It sounds like a no brainer. Why would you want to further compromise the immune system of someone whose immune system is already compromised? And yet that is what the “expert” committees all around the globe are advocating with their “science-by-committee” advice recommending booster COVID vaccination.   Science-by-committee lacks any proven clinical benefit There just isn’t […]

The way COVID-19 vaccines protect us is still not fully understood. Nor is the level of protection achieved by the various vaccines. Studies are now emerging highlighting the confusion in the community about what constitutes vaccine efficacy. There is a common misconception that vaccine efficacy is measured by the vaccine’s ability to prevent us from […]

Now that the saner populations of the world are reaching a critical mass of  vaccination against COVID, our attention must turn to whether booster vaccinations are necessary. And as with everything emerging about COVID, it is a rapidly changing picture. Choose a different vaccine to boost and only one dose Eleven years ago, US Infectious Disease […]

The promotion of a COVID vaccine as a cure to the pandemic may be as misguided as the early projections that herd immunity could be a panacea.  To date no vaccination, other than against smallpox, has prevented the existence of a deadly virus and some have even led to the propagation of new wild strains […]

Caring for patients over long periods of time starts out as a romantic courtship. Initially, there is wooing. Both parties can do no wrong.  New patients are relatively unknown to clinicians and vice versa. The main difference is that clinicians are expected to catalyze some change in patients for the better. After taking a history, doing […]

With the data about COVID isolation and its negative effects polluting our senses, it is reassuring that researchers are turning their attention to interventions to assist people sheltering at home.  Caged humans should start planning escapades Bringing the outside world into our homes is one strategy. Stress is reduced in indoor environments enriched with plants […]