More Evidence Insomnia Contributes to Cognitive Decline

A new study provides more evidence that insomnia may contribute to cognitive decline in older adults and shows that difficulty falling asleep in midlife may be most indicative of future cognitive impairment. Investigators found that having trouble falling asleep most nights (vs rarely/never) was equivalent to the effect of 2 to 3 years of aging … Read more

Recommending Exercise for Migraine: Just Do It

Strength training is the most effective form of exercise for reducing migraine, with high-intensity aerobics coming in second, and both beating top-line migraine medications topiramate and amitriptyline, new research suggests. The new results should encourage clinicians to recommend patients with migraine engage in strength-training exercise whenever possible, study author Yohannes W. Woldeamanuel, MD, a physician-scientist … Read more

Primary Care Moves Patients With Addiction to Self-Advocacy

Samuel Werner, DO, a family medicine physician in West Hartford, Connecticut, vividly remembers one patient who was struggling with a drug addiction. The man was having trouble holding down a steady job because of his dependence, but with Werner’s guidance, he started on buprenorphine. Werner also connected him with a social worker to address housing … Read more

Chronic Pain Tied to Poor Health, Increased COVID Risk

Individuals who have chronic pain at age 44 are more likely to report poor general health, poor mental health, and joblessness when they are in their 50s and 60s, new research shows. Chronic pain at age 44 (in 2002) was also predictive of SARS-CoV-2 infection nearly two decades later, in 2021. “We speculate that pain … Read more

New CDC Guidance on Prescribing Opioids for Pain

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released updated and expanded recommendations for prescribing opioids for adults with acute and chronic pain not related to cancer, sickle cell disease, or palliative/end-of-life care. The 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline provides guidance on determining whether to initiate opioids for pain; selecting opioids and determining opioid … Read more

Taking Prescribed Opioids Tied to Low Rates of Illicit Drug Use

Less than 5% of people whose opioid therapy is managed in a pain management setting test positive for illicit drugs, a new study found. An analysis of urine drug tests (UDTs) from 600,000 pain clinic patients also shows that those who test positive for their prescribed opioids are significantly less likely to test positive for … Read more

Suicide Notes Are ‘Unique Window’ Into Motives, Risks in the Elderly

Suicide notes left by elderly people provide a unique opportunity to better understand and prevent suicide in this often vulnerable population. A new analysis of notes penned by seniors who died by suicide reveals several common themes. These include feeling as if they were a burden, feelings of guilt, experiencing mental illness, loneliness, or isolation, … Read more

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