Does Publication Bias Make Antidepressants Seem More Effective at Treating Anxiety Than They Really Are?

By Craig Williams, Professor of Pharmacy at Oregon State University

In scientific literature, studies with “good” results are more likely to be published than studies with results that are unclear or negative. A study with a new, exciting finding (a positive result) is likely to see the light of day, even if the finding is not in line with the authors hypothesis. But a study that doesn’t have a new finding (a negative result), or has an unclear finding is far less likely to be published. [Read more…]

Corneal Implant to Improve Near Vision Wins FDA Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the KAMRA inlay, a device implanted in the cornea of one eye (the clear, front surface) to improve near vision in certain patients with presbyopia. It is the first implantable device for correction of near vision in patients who have not had cataract surgery. [Read more…]

New Dietary Guidelines: What Are We Supposed to Eat?

By Elena Carbone, Associate professor, Nutrition at University of Massachusetts Amherst

Since 1980, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) have been providing information to Americans on how to make choices to reach a healthy weight, prevent disease and promote overall good health.

The Dietary Guidelines provide recommendations on food and physical activity for Americans aged two and older and are the driving force behind federal nutrition policy, education, outreach and food assistance programs, including school breakfast and lunch programs. The Guidelines are used by both the public and industry, and by a wide variety of nutrition educators, health professionals and government agencies. [Read more…]

Studying Down Syndrome Might Help Us Better Understand Alzheimer’s Disease

By Elizabeth Head, Associate Professor at University of Kentucky

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in older adults. At the moment there is no cure, but many clinicians feel that the earlier one is diagnosed, the better the possibilities are for treatment or slowing the disease.

But developing treatments or prevention approaches for Alzheimer’s disease is difficult. There is no biomarker (for example a blood test) or definitive medical test for it and there is no set age where people develop memory impairments and dementia. [Read more…]

Why Too Much Iron Can Be Dangerous

By Richard Stevens, Professor, School of Medicine at University of Connecticut

Iron is a most versatile element. It is essential to many of the enzymes that are the engines for life, and in mammals is also used to carry oxygen on hemoglobin in blood. Remember Popeye and his spinach: all that iron made him strong.

But the very quality that makes iron so useful also makes it dangerous. Iron can easily lose or gain one electron going from the ferrous (Fe++) to the ferric (Fe+++) state, back and forth indefinitely. This is how it carries oxygen, for example. [Read more…]