Test of Howard County

By: Me

This is only a test

Newly approved drugs not always better

By: Carla K. Johnson

Many consumers mistakenly believe new prescription drugs are always safer than those with long track records, and that only extremely effective drugs without major side effects win government approval, according to a new study.A national survey of nearly 3,000 adults finds that about four in 10 wrongly believe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves only “extremely... READ MORE

Tracking diseases may improve diagnoses

By: Lauran Neergaard

The doctor doesn’t think your sore throat is bad enough yet to order a strep test — unaware that a dozen people across town were diagnosed with strep throat just last week.Doctors rarely know what bugs are brewing in the neighborhood until their own waiting rooms start to fill. Harvard University researchers report that getting them real-time information on nearby infections... READ MORE

Shop earlier for Medicare plans this year

By: Tom Murphy

A new deadline for Medicare Advantage plans — privately run versions of the government’s Medicare program — may trip up seniors who typically wait until the holidays to settle on their health insurance coverage for the coming year.Medicare Advantage plans cover more than 11 million people. They offer basic Medicare coverage topped with extras, such as vision or dental... READ MORE

Better nutrition may reduce arthritis pain

By: Victoria Shanta Retelny

When your joints are inflamed with arthritis, the condition can be painful and debilitating. Although the first line of defense for arthritis is medication, research is unfolding about the effects of diet on joint health.“Some people may find that over time — three to six months — a plant-based, Mediterranean-type diet may help them feel better,” said Dr. Lona... READ MORE

Blood test for mental illness, Alzheimer’s?

By: Tarah Knaresboro

Cancer has the biopsy, kidney disease has the urine test, and HIV has the cheek swab. Yet diagnosis for mental illness is often nothing more than a survey or a conversation with a psychiatrist.The lack of distinct biological markers of disease could be doing a huge disservice to patients, said Alexander Niculescu, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at the Indiana School of Medicine.... READ MORE