The business of selling cures has relied on anecdotes since the days of the traveling snake oil salesmen. In fact, it was practiced widely in Athens, at the time of Hippocrates. Healers hawked their wares from house to house.
“When Okies moved to California, the IQ improved in both states.” Meant as an insensitive joke, the statement was improperly attributed to humorist Will Rogers. Yet the idea has been adapted to explain certain medical reporting errors.
I no longer jump out of airplanes or sport a green beret. In fact, I dislike arguments. I avoid discussing evolution and other subjects that might start a fight.
Would you invest in the future of treating prostate cancer? The entry level cost for today’s radiation equipment is in the millions.
“What should I do about my prostate?” you ask.
In this month’s look at the journals we travel to Nova Scotia to touch on climate change, leave Walla Walla for prostate cancer treatment via expensive machines, then dive into the world of advertising to discuss claims about antioxidants.
I was recently asked to comment about the benefits of pineapple in Alzheimer’s disease. I checked peer-reviewed literature and found nothing to directly support the idea. Google, however, led me to Doctor Oz. He recommends a variety of commercial products and brings authors to his TV program. He put Haylie Pomroy’s “Fast Metabolism Diet”on his show’s website. She promotes pineapple as a source of “natural” sugar and suggests that it’s good for the adrenals.
Do you remember what I wrote about Alzheimer’s last month. I’m fuzzy about it, too. Here’s a restatement. More than a century ago Alois Alzheimer described misshapen proteins, or peptides, in the brains of patients with dementia. Studies seem to confirm an association, but not necessarily cause and effect. Treatments to clear these proteins from the brain have produced disappointing results. While we wait for clarification, what might help?
At the end of each year, writers and researchers take a little break and tell what they think about the year past. I’m borrowing wholesale from the journal Science and developments that its staff ranked at the top of 2013.
Many of us hear an alarm bell when we forget where we left the keys or see someone we should know but can’t connect the face with a name.