Finishing my ER shift for the day, I waited for the shuttle at a busy intersection. Within a minute of drowning myself in music, I saw an obese man at the bus stop suddenly collapse to the ground. I removed my backpack and ran the fastest I have ever run in my life across the street to him. His body was shaking violently, and I waved and yelled to the nearby police ...

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I have had a complex relationship with music. As a child, I had several instances of feedback that I was “bad at music.” When my class would sing at assemblies, I would get side glances and subtle and not so subtle clues that I should be at the edges and sing quietly. I played the viola from second to ninth grade. I had fun in orchestra class. For the rehearsals, I ...

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My dad flew to California in the spring to meet his grandson, who was about five months old at the time. He wasn’t that interested in baby care. He mostly wanted to sight-see and spend the evenings watching TV. One weekday morning, he ventured out on a hike alone, while I was at work. He left at 9 a.m. and never came home. We live at the base of a dusty ...

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Recently the Apple Watch’s latest feature went live – an electrocardiogram (ECG) app that monitors irregular heart rhythms. The internet is overflowing with reports from people didn’t know they had irregular heartbeats until they took their data to their doctors and received diagnoses of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common cause of stroke. As neurologists who treat stroke patients, we welcome technology that enables patients to receive faster diagnoses and better treatment. ...

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A few days ago, I made a call to my neurologist's office. The fourth call about the same issue. I needed my migraine medication and wasn't able to get it. I was almost ready to give up and give in to having migraines on a daily basis. None of the usual preventative medications have worked for me, so I am on one of the new, hi-tech injectable medications for migraine ...

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An opinion piece published in JAMA suggests the latter: "Protecting the Value of Medical Science in the Age of Social Media and 'Fake News'" The authors argue social media poses a threat to science in several ways:

  • Unfettered publication of unvetted information by sources of unknown reliability.
  • An emerging tactic of decrying disagreeable content as “fake” or part of a “conspiracy.”
  • Opponents of evidence-based research who perpetuate ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. An 82-year-old woman is seen for follow-up evaluation of Alzheimer disease. Since her last visit 12 weeks ago, she has been taking rivastigmine, with a progressively titrated dosage. The patient's only new symptoms are increasing insomnia, loss of appetite, and occasional diarrhea; she has had no feelings of hopelessness, ...

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You’ve probably seen it on the news – a rare, polio-like illness is causing cases of paralysis in children. Here’s the latest info, based on our best current knowledge from the CDC. Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a sudden illness that causes weakness in one or more extremities – one arm or (less likely) a leg, or any combination of arms and legs. The words in the name express the key ...

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When I finished my training, I was taught that the vast majority of dementia was Alzheimer's disease, with occasional cases of multi-infarct dementia as well as odd syndromes such as Kreutzfeld-Jacob disease and genetic, traumatic, toxic and tumor-related syndromes. Parkinson's disease, we were taught, caused a tremor and freezing up of a person's movements and only very rarely was associated with any kind of memory loss. These teachings helped us modern ...

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“He’s having a senior moment.” That dismissive phrase seems harmless, but, in reality, it leads to devastating, debilitating disease. I firmly believe that a generation from now, people will not know the pain of watching a loved one slip into oblivion. But the only way we will get there is we stop dismissing memory loss and other behaviors as “normal aging.” The recent news that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor ...

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