Friday, October 28, 2016

CT Angiography in Acute Chest Pain.

CT angiography of the heart reduced the need for coronary angiography from 100% to 14%. After a median follow-up of 3.3 years, there was no significant difference in major adverse cardiac events between those undergoing CT angiography versus those undergoing conventional coronary angiography (4.2% vs 3.7%, p=0.86). BMJ. 2016 Oct 24;355:i5441

Comment: This is a good use of technology: using a non-invasive study (CT Angiography) to decrease the need for a more invasive approach. The health benefit was a shorter hospitalization, a non-invasive approach, with no increase (or decrease) in adverse health events over a 3-year follow-up period.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

B Complex Vitamins and the Brain

Vitamin B complex deficiency is common. In the absence of an optimal diet, this author suggests that it is reasonable to take a B complex dietary supplement at doses greatly in excess of current governmental recommendations to preserve brain health. Nutrients. 2016 Jan 27;8(2):68

Comment: Most people believe that taking a B complex supplement is safe, given that they are water soluble. However, to my knowledge there are no long-term studies looking at the benefits or risks. While this author suggests a significant benefit greater than risks, it seems prudent that if you take a B complex supplement, that you should take regular breaks or holidays from the supplement regimen to allow the washout of any buildup, and continue to receive regular medical care including blood testing.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Aspirin use and cancer mortality

Aspirin use was found to be associated with a decreased risk of cancer mortality in this study of 14386 elderly women. Cancer Causes Control. 2016 Sep 27;

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Internet-based interventions in the treatment of mental disorders

Internet based psychotherapy appears to be effective and beneficial, especially in people with depression and anxiety. Nervenarzt. 2016 Sep 20

Comment: This is a review study, so no new information. Other research is conflicting. Some studies show greater overall Internet use is associated with mental disorders, and other studies show targeted Internet use may be beneficial in some mental disorders. This is a fruitful area for further research. When it comes to the Internet, a saying by Hippocrates comes to mind: "Everything in excess is opposed to nature."

Friday, September 16, 2016

Dairy, calcium, vitamin D and ovarian cancer risk in African-American women.

In African-American women, whole milk and lactose consumption was associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Calcium intake and longer sun exposure in summer months was associated with a lower risk. Vitamin D intake was not associated with a decrease in ovarian cancer. Br J Cancer. 2016 Sep 15.

Comment: What is the real message here? These seem like unusual and inconsistent associations. Seems best at this point in time to take calcium at a level designed to prevent osteoporosis, and as a side-effect the risk of ovarian cancer may be decreased. I hope additional studies will look at these associations so we can get more clarity on the best dietary habits to prevent ovarian and other cancers. The best diet in terms of overall mortality seems to be the Meditteranean diet. Cancer Med. 2015 Dec;4(12):1933-47

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Supervised, Vigorous Intensity Exercise Intervention for Depressed Female Smokers: A Pilot Study.

This study of 30 female smokers with moderate-severe depressive symptoms found that supervised vigorous intensity exercise improved short-term smoking cessation. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 Sep 9

Comment: This study found that cessation was improved at 3 months, but not at 6 months after beginning the exercise program. The authors hypothesize that non-adherence to the exercise program after 3 months possibly resulted in decreased benefits, and decreased smoking cessation.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Cognitive Impairment and Rehabilitation Strategies After Traumatic Brain Injury

Cognitive impairments are common after traumatic brain injury. Problems with memory are common, and frequently one of the last functions to be regained. Indian J Psychol Med. 2016 May-Jun; 38(3): 172–181.