[Ed. Note: If it interested us it will interest you! That's the
thinking of our epidemiologist mind in creating a new feature entitled "What We're Reading". The concept is
to share with our readers some of the best articles we come across
each month or give readers more opportunities to learn about topics we
were not able to report on. We hope you will benefit from this new
addition and send of some of your own "best articles" to share with
readers. Send your suggestions and links to
Behind a Cluster of Unusual Amnesia Cases?
Appeared in The Atlantic Online January 30, 2017
Doctors in Massachusetts have found a surprising link between 14 cases
of amnesia and opioid use. Going beyond the usual memory loss
associated with use of the drug, the patients showed acute, complete
and bilateral ischemia of the hippocampus, a brain region critically
involved in memory. That this condition is very rare and usually
isolated is why experts are still stumped as to what would cause such
a profound and specific effect.
Epidemiology Today: “Not Strengthening the Value Proposition”and
“Science is an Iterative Process”
Both appeared in HemOnc Today January 25, 2017
An interesting debate has unfolded in the pages of HemOnc Today.
In his editorial for the month titled “Not Strengthening the Value
Proposition”, Derek Raghavan, MD, PhD, started asking some
tough questions about the basic motivations behind studies in cancer
epidemiology. Raghavan set his critical sights on what he considers to
be an excess of pointless and redundant studies identifying only mild
associations. He specifically cites a study by Amanda I. Phipps,
MPH, PhD and colleagues linking prediagnostic consumption of alcohol
to modestly improved outcomes in colorectal cancer. In the same issue,
you can find a direct response from Phipps titled “Science is an
Iterative Process”, defending her own studies and arguing that what
may appear to be duplicative research is actually the iterative
scientific process functioning as it should.
Editorial: https://tinyurl.com/jz4qr2n Response:
with Hans Rosling will change your mind about the world
Appeared in the December 15th
edition of Nature
fascinating profile of Swedish physician and epidemiologist Hans
Rosling, whose work has influenced a number of important people
including Al Gore, Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and even Fidel
Castro. The profile tracks his unorthodox career path from early
successes in the field battling an incurable disease known as konzo in
Mozambique and Cuba, to his later efforts to improve global health by
focusing on poverty and his current mission to dispel science myths
and misinformation through fact-based education.
Debate Vaccine Skeptics - And Win
tell people that these are contagious diseases and that there are
serious benefits to getting vaccines, you can get improvements in
people with negative attitudes toward vaccines."
https://tinyurl.com/phk8eun (From Vocativ.com)
Mass Killings as a Kind of Contagion
potential for cultural contagion, many experts say, demands a public
health response, one focused as much on early detection and preventive
measures as on politically charged campaigns for firearm
https://tinyurl.com/o763x8p (From NY Times)
Cancer Surgeon Who Keeps Challenging the Status Quo
Esserman, 58, is one of the most vocal proponents of the idea that
breast cancer screening brings with it overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
https://tinyurl.com/nphssyf (From NY Times)
Connection Between Cleaner Air and Longer Lives
Numerous studies have found that the Clean Air Act has substantially
improved air quality and averted tens of thousands of premature deaths
from heart and respiratory disease. Here I offer new estimates of the
gains in life expectancy due to the improvement in air quality since
https://tinyurl.com/q2fm7xy (From NY Times)
Canada: Why we're all losers in Ottawa's war on data
months long Maclean's investigation, which includes interviews with
dozens of academics, scientists, statisticians, economists and
librarians, has found that the federal government's "austerity"
program, which resulted in staff cuts and library closures (16
libraries since 2012) - as well as arbitrary changes to policy, when
it comes to data - has led to a systemic erosion of government records
far deeper than most realize, with the data and data gather capability
we do have severely compromised as a result.
https://tinyurl.com/q2fawd7 (From Macleans.ca)
Life-or-Death Approach to Funding Heart Research
result will be the financing of fewer, but deeper, studies, to focus
resources on efforts with real world impact and life or death
https://tinyurl.com/ncuekpd (From NY Times)
Spread of Cigarettes in China
men now smoke one third of all the world's cigarettes, and a third of
all young men in China are doomed to eventually die from the habit,
scientists in China and Britain have concluded.
https://tinyurl.com/nsts63k (From NY Times)