A few articles relating to the history of medicine in today's papers. All 3 of these articles have in common a condition or diagnosis that's perceived to be increasing, without any good epidemiological work being done:
The Washington Post has its medical mysteries column (as does the NY Times in its Sunday magazine) which looks at the growing diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. See "A Suspect Diagnosis: The Doctors Agreed. So Why Did He Doubt Them?" By Sandra G. Boodman, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, March 4, 2008; Page HE01. Read to the end to see what the amazingly common diagnosis should have been.
And it's page A1 news that "Immune Systems Increasingly On Attack" By Rob Stein, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, March 4, 2008; Page A01. Actually, like the MS article above, I have doubts about this, which a doctor from Johns Hopkins also has although we're about 20 paragraphs in before he's quoted. But how many articles do you see recommending dosing one with parasitic worms? Now that's heroic medicine.
And finally this article in the NY Times business section discusses a test for MRSA although one doctor they interviewed suggests that patients would be better off if everyone in the hospital just washed their hands -
A Bug Rises, and With It a Company By ANDREW POLLACK, Published: March 4, 2008.
Patients might not like the new admission procedure at a growing number of hospitals: having an elongated Q-Tip stuck up their noses. But it smells great to Cepheid.
Note the VA is planning on using this test. Is the test a bad idea? Probably not, but one wonders if the money could be spent more wisely.
And without even trying hard, we started every post title with "More" this evening.