I Will Teach You to Work

Go to any bookstore or check the millions of blogs out there and you'll find a significant percentage that claim to help you reset your life, find success, or become a superhero. Invariably, they'll start with a long spiel about the author's CV which ends with them finding their passion and making money by telling… Continue reading I Will Teach You to Work

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Bitcoin and Medicine

All right, confession time. That was a clickbait title. What I really want to talk about is the blockchain technology underlying Bitcoin and its possibilities in health care. Basic definitions first. Blockchain is a public ledger, or database of every transaction conducted stored on it. It is decentralized in that no transaction is controlled by… Continue reading Bitcoin and Medicine

Artificial Intelligence and Medicine

Note: Apologies for not updating in a while. I've been working on a science fiction novel for National Novel Writing Month. Stay tuned, I might show some of it on this blog! Artificial intelligence, or more accurately machine learning, has exploded within the past couple of years. This is not the artificial intelligence of science… Continue reading Artificial Intelligence and Medicine

When correlation collides with causation

Recently, an article caught my eye (link) entitled "Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?" It discusses the possible deleterious effects that smartphones may have on young people, or those born in the mid-1990s. The unique aspect of this cohort is that they were born after the start of the Internet age. For all their lives, they… Continue reading When correlation collides with causation

Kratom: Curse or Cure?

Recently, the US FDA issued a public health advisory warning the public not to use kratom, a substance purported to treat pain and opioid withdrawal. They give the following arguments: 1) There is no reliable evidence that kratom effectively treats opioid withdrawal; 2) use of kratom can lead to death; and 3) it can worsen… Continue reading Kratom: Curse or Cure?

A Challenge to the Behavioral Addiction Concept

While I do believe that behaviors in excess can be called addictions, I must consider the counterpoint that doing this can actually worsen the chances of improving health. When observing a new phenomenon, say Internet Gaming Disorder, it is recommended to follow a theory, a systematic set of concepts that explain the relationships between variables.… Continue reading A Challenge to the Behavioral Addiction Concept

Benzodiazepines: Another Face of the Crisis

A little-commented on aspect of the opioid epidemic is the polypharmaceutical nature of the overdoses. For many deaths, it isn't just morphine or oxycodone found in the drug toxicology report. There can be antidepressants, stimulants, alcohol, and perhaps of most concern, benzodiazepines. If you think opioids are overprescribed, then benzodiazepines, or benzos, are on a… Continue reading Benzodiazepines: Another Face of the Crisis