Folic Acid Tied to a Reduction in Suicide Attempts

Prescription folic acid, a synthetic form of vitamin B9, may provide a safe and effective approach for decreasing suicidal ideation, new research suggests. After adjusting for multiple factors, results from a large pharmaco-epidemiological study showed taking folic acid was associated with a 44% reduction in suicide events. Dr Robert Gibbons “These results are really putting … Read more

Is Medical Cannabis the Answer to the Opioid Crisis?

Medical cannabis may be an important alternative to opioids for pain management, new research suggests. In a large survey, patients with a variety of ailments, including pain and mental health problems, reported less pain and better functioning, after using medical cannabis — and most were able to stop or cut back on their opioid use. … Read more

Me, My Spouse, and COVID

I watched you in the garage, with your wipes and your mask, your gloves and bottles of sprays and potions. I admired your fealty to CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta as he demonstrated the proper technique for disinfecting groceries. I watched sterile protocol being broken and quietly closed the garage door. Dr Alison Hero I listened … Read more

First Known Opiate Biomarker Shows Fentanyl’s Effect on Brain

Fentanyl depresses breathing about 4 minutes before symptoms of distress are evident at a dose that is 1700 times lower than that needed for sedation, new research shows. This new information comes after researchers identified a unique EEG signature produced by fentanyl, the first known biomarker of an opiate’s effect on the brain. By monitoring … Read more

Why Do We Want to Tough It Out?

We physicians come to the noble profession to heal and help others. Over years of education and training, we learn to be compassionate and empathic not only toward our patients but also to people around us. Patients’ safety and care become our priority. And at some point, we forget about ourselves. We forget that we … Read more

Easing the Trauma of Terminal Illness

Something was gnawing at Manish Agrawal, MD. Every day, the oncologist treated patients with standard cancer therapies, but his care could never touch their deepest pains: their despair about death. “In 20 years, I’ve treated close to 100,000 patients,” Agrawal says, “and the one thing I know we don’t do well is dying.” Hospitalist Shoshana … Read more

Detachment Predicts Worse Posttraumatic Outcomes

Feelings of detachment following a traumatic event are a marker of more severe psychiatric outcomes, including depression and anxiety, new research suggests. The results highlight the importance of screening for dissociation in patients who have experienced trauma, study investigator Lauren AM Lebois, PhD, director of the Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Research Program at McLean Hospital … Read more

Cannabis for Pain Linked to Slight Risk for Arrhythmia

Patients who received a first prescription for medicinal cannabis for chronic pain were more likely to have new onset of arrhythmia — bradyarrhythmia, tachyarrhythmia, or a conduction disorder — within 6 months than were similar nonusers, in a new case-control study. There were no between-group differences in the incidence of heart failure or acute coronary … Read more

Stress Key to Link Between Computer Vision Syndrome and Migraine

Computer vision syndrome (CVS), a condition involving eye problems resulting from screen time with digital devices, is significantly associated with both insomnia and migraine — with stress as a central mediating factor, new research suggests. Investigators administered an online questionnaire to more than 700 adults, of whom 71% had CVS. Results showed the presence of … Read more

How to Spot Older Patients With Hidden Mental Health Issues

Dee McClure works with many older people who don’t think they’re depressed. They may be down in the dumps. They may be blue. But they aren’t depressed — because they aren’t crazy. Dee McClure McClure, coordinator of the Community Based and Peer Counseling Program at North Range Behavioral Health , in Greeley, Colorado, doesn’t judge … Read more