Category: Analyses

Depression Rates Correlate Highly with Changes in Diet and Autoimmune Disease

The increase in depression is most correlated with the increase in inflammatory autoimmune diseases and with significant changes in the western diet. The US suicide rate has increased by 40% over the last 20 years. The increase in suicides that appeared around the year 2000 correlates highly with changes in the American diet starting around […]

Structural Changes Leading to the Health Explosion

Let’s zoom in and see what happened in the last couple of centuries leading to this explosion. We see on the timeline are two primary groups of factors: Research Improvements Incentive Improvements Research Improvements Schools of Medicine An influx of new state-affiliated pharmacy schools in the 1880s and 1890s helped to raise the level of the practice […]

What We Don’t Know is Killing Us

It was recently discovered that two types of drugs significantly increase your risk of developing dementia.  In two separate large population studies, both benzodiazepines (a category that includes medications for anxiety and sleeping pills) and anticholinergics (a group that encompasses medications for allergies and colds, depression, high blood pressure, and incontinence) were associated with an increased risk of […]

How to Measure and Compare Treatment Effectiveness

Measures of medication efficacy There’s a thousands of studies available at Absolute risk or response difference (ARD) is the risk or percentage of responders in group B subtracted from the risk or percentage of responders in group A. For example, mortality was 2 % for drug treatment and 4 % for placebo, which gives an ARD = |-2 %|. […]

Crowdsourcing Clinical Research

The Power of Crowdsourcing In the mid-1990’s Microsoft started an encyclopedia called Encarta. Microsoft invested over a billion dollars and hired hundreds of Ph.D. researchers to build up their electronic encyclopedia. In the early 2000s, Wikipedia started out with a few thousand dollars and some volunteer contributors. At the time, no one would have believed that […]

Off Label Prescriptions

Off-label prescribing has been under scrutiny since a recent study found that medications prescribed for non-FDA-approved uses are associated with a significantly higher rate of negative side effects. It is estimated that up to 20% of all medications prescribed are for indications that are not approved by the FDA.  In the study, which was published […]