Since the beginning of the “baby on back” movement to reduce sudden infant death syndrome, many more infants are developing misshapen heads with a flat spot in one place. An expert discusses whether this is serious, how it can be treated with a helmet-like device, and how it might be prevented.
Some people are finding relief from mental health issues through music therapy, a combination of psychotherapy and music-making. A noted music therapist describes what the practiced is and how it works.
Handedness is a central part of a person’s identity. Left-handers are often seen as somehow different than the rest of us, and over history they’ve been stereotyped as more quirky, intelligent, and sinister than righties. Science shows that some labels are likely to be true. Experts discuss where handedness comes from, and what differences truly result.
Some nursing homes with a large number of patients with dementia have found that farm animals on-site and even in rooms can be helpful in raising spirits and reducing the need for medications. A therapist and program director at one such nursing home discusses how llamas, chickens, goats and mini horses have found a home, to the benefit of residents.
Black lung disease among coal miners is often thought of as a relic of the past, thanks to environmental laws. The disease is completely preventable, but a distinguished reporter and author has still found plenty of it among today’s miners. He discusses his findings and why it’s still going on.
The new scientific field of planetary health seeks to analyze how humans are influencing the planet, which in turn rebounds to affect humans. The field encompasses more than environmental science and ecology, and helps to explain pandemics and other illnesses, mass migration, food consumption, and other public health factors. Two experts explain.
Grief can come from the loss of anything important to us—a loved one, a job, a home, a status in the community. Today many people are suffering from unresolved grief, since there are no rituals to ease these forms of grief and prohibitions against large gatherings such as funerals. An expert discusses the many forms of grief and how we can get through them.
The ability to "know" the musical pitch of any sound has traditionally been thought to be learnable only at a very early age through musical training. But new research shows perfect pitch is teachable to adults as well. Experts discuss the implications on all forms of learning.
In the race to perform the first human-to-human heart transplant, ethical corners were sometimes cut. An investigative journalist explains how a black man’s heart was harvested without his family’s consent for the first human heart transplant in the South, and how incidents such as this help to explain ongoing African-American distrust of medicine.
A searing, stabbing pain on one side of the face can be so severe it’s sometimes called “the suicide disease,” and may evade diagnosis. Trigeminal neuralgia is often caused by a throbbing artery in contact with nerves at the base of the brain. Treatment can be difficult though often ultimately successful. Two experts discuss.
A COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon, but while billions have been spent on its development, little has been spent on distribution and there are still many unanswered questions. Experts discuss how vaccine distribution might be carried out, how long it’s likely to take, and the steps needed to make it work.
An estimated 35 million people were food insecure last year, and the dislocations due to COVID-19 have made it much worse now. Experts discuss the health consequences of hunger, the strategies families are using to cope with economic dislocation, and one local effort typical of new volunteer programs to feed hungry children in need.
Researchers see the new acceptance of telemedicine as an opportunity during clinical trials. Along with Zoom visits, numerous sensors on participants could provide constant monitoring of health conditions without traveling to see doctors, making control better.
Studies show that medical professionals are as biased as the rest of us against people who are overweight, resulting in lectures, misdiagnoses, and patients who start avoiding the doctor. Experts explain the problem, results, and what might be done about it.
Rheumatoid diseases number around 100, though arthritis is the most well known. They can be crippling and sometimes even fatal, but good treatments exist. The key is early detection, as an expert explains.