Stories We're Following

News + Insights from Around the Web + The Patient's Playbook Bottom Line


Opioid Addiction:
Separating Fact From Fiction

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“Families are often given guidance that bears no resemblance to what the research evidence shows — and patients are commonly subjected to treatment that is known to do harm.”

—An investigative journalist says most advice families get about
addiction is not based in science. (FiveThirtyEight)

Bottom Line: Finding a right-fit rehab program with skilled and trusted therapists is a crucial part of success. But it's also important to keep in mind that there are no federal standards for rehab programs and, in some states, being an addiction counselor often doesn't require a high school degree or standardized training. If someone you love is addicted to opioids, this article, from an investigative journalist who specializes in addiction reporting, offers thoughtful advice backed by data. 


Trouble sleeping? 

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"If the desire to stay sleeping . . . lasts for months on end, this could be a sign of fatigue rather than simple catch-up — and a symptom of something more serious."

—Experts say our sleep habits reveal insights about our overall health. (CNN)

Bottom Line: In the United States, 40% of the population sleeps less than the recommended 7 hours, according to Gallup polls. What does this mean to you? Your body feels the need to catch up, oftentimes binge-sleeping on the weekends. Scientists say this takes a toll on our health and deprives us of much-needed REM sleep. Thankfully, there are myriad ways to get more (and better!) sleep. 


The Search for an Alzheimer's Drug

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"Tau therapy still is a very interesting approach to Alzheimer's disease."

—Researchers say that LMTX, an experimental drug for Alzheimer's, failed to
provide any benefits. But they still have hope for Tau therapy. (NBC News)

Bottom Line: TauRx's once-promising experimental drug showed no benefit in the vast majority of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, according to a report at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference. Many drugs in the Alzheimer's research pipeline have tried (and failed) to target beta-amyloid proteins linked to the disease. Tau are brain proteins that, when they become abnormal, collapse into tangles that kill neurons. Researchers are hopeful that Tau therapy will ultimately deliver a breakthrough. 


Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

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“10 to 15 minutes of laughter could burn 10 to 40 calories a day.”

—Can laughter lead to a longer life and thinner waist? (Everyday Health)

Bottom Line: Learning to laugh in the face of stress? It's no joke. Studies show that stress weakens the immune system. But laughter can be a powerful healing agent, helping to boost your immunity and burn off those extra calories. So go ahead, laugh a little. It's good for you.