17-11 Segment 2: Hangovers

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As St. Patrick’s Day approaches—one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year—an expert discusses why hangovers occur and what might work to prevent them and recover from them.

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Medical Notes 17-11

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Medical Notes this week…

Government statistics are now quantifying the huge increase in drug overdose deaths. A report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that the drug death rate in 2015 was between two and three times what it was in 1999. During those 16 years, overdose deaths rose an average of 5.5 percent per year. Researchers say heroin deaths tripled and now make up a quarter of the total, while deaths from prescription pain medications declined slightly.

Millions of people take vitamin C to ward off colds and infections, but a new study finds that vitamin D is also important. The study in the journal BMJ shows that getting enough vitamin D cuts the proportion of people who get an acute respiratory infection by about 12 percent. Researchers say the study supports public health measures such as fortifying foods to increase vitamin D at least in locations where deficiency is common.

And finally, are pharmaceutical companies “getting away with murder” in relation to high drug prices? The president thinks so and about 75 percent of people agree. The Zogby poll for the organization Prescription Justice shows that 45 percent of people think the prescription drug supply system needs a major overhaul to reduce prices. About 30 percent of respondents say they’ve failed to get a prescription filled at some time in their life because it cost too much.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

17-10 Segment 1: Remaking the FDA

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The Trump Administration has signaled it intends to revamp the Food and Drug Administration to speed the approval of drugs. Some FDA commissioner candidates have proposed radical reform, including an end to the requirement that drugs must be effective to be approved. Experts discuss what reform might look like and what the FDA needs to better succeed.

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17-10 Segment 2: Misconstrued Body Basics

 

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Many people have questions about their bodies that seem so silly, they never bring them up with their doctors. While the answers are sometimes humorous, often they are more complicated and important than we imagine. An expert physician/writer discusses.

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Medical Notes 17-10

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Medical Notes this week…

            We reported last week on the opioid epidemic. Now a new study finds yet another symptom of opioid addiction—amnesia. The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report describes a group of 14 patients—almost all opioid addicts–who couldn’t remember things they’d just been told. Along with short-term memory loss, the patients had abnormal MRI scans as well. Doctors are concerned the patients represent a new condition triggered by substance abuse that they were not previously aware of. Researchers say most of the patients recovered their normal memory after several months substance free.

            Sitting in traffic is a sure way to increase your stress level and a new study shows it also increases domestic violence. A study at Louisiana State University correlated 25 million traffic observations and two million police reports over four years and found that extreme traffic jams increase the likelihood of domestic violence when people get home by about 6 percent.

            People who’ve suffered concussions are held out of sports and school until they’re considered recovered but a new study shows that even then, they may have trouble driving. The study in the Journal of Neurotrauma tested the driving skills of 14 people who’d had a concussion but felt they were now over it. Researchers say that at times they drove as if they were drunk.

            And finally…parents who use threats and raised voices to get their kids to behave often end up doing the opposite. A study in the journal Child Development shows that kids parented harshly as ‘tweens are more likely to drop out of school, engage in early sex, and commit theft a few years later. Researchers say those kids reject their domineering parents and seek approval from their peers instead.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

17-09 Segment 1: Can Primary Care Doctors End the Opioid Epidemic

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Eye transplants have long been attempted unsuccessfully. Doctors are taking what they’ve learned in hand transplants, especially in nerve regeneration, and applying it to eye transplant development. Experts discuss what need to be accomplished to make transplants a reality.

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17-09 Segment 2: Eye Transplants: A Future Reality

50324446 - woman sitting in her office with her eyes covered

 

Eye transplants have long been attempted unsuccessfully. Doctors are taking what they’ve learned in hand transplants, especially in nerve regeneration, and applying it to eye transplant development. Experts discuss what need to be accomplished to make transplants a reality.

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Click here for guest information and the transcript