Scientific Integrity and the Commercial Speech Doctrine for Industry

An interesting article by Joanna K. Sax titled “Protecting Scientific Integrity: The Commercial Speech Doctrine Applied to Industry Publications,” appeared in the American Journal of Law and Medicine in 2011 (vol. 37, pages 203-224). The article opens up by discussion how the economic reality of survival and profits may distort a company’s decision making process regarding full disclose on a particular drug. Dow Corning, which manufactured implants, withheld important data from long-term animal models which demonstrated adverse effects from breast implants and failed to conduct long-term studies. It was necessary for litigation in order to expose Dow’s failure to conduct the necessary studies. It was found that even though Dow denied liability they had evidence which demonstrated they had knowledge of the harmful effects of the breast implants and suppressed these findings. The author later mentions how the tobacco industry used propaganda in the 1960s and 1970s to refute evidence of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke by flooding the scientific literature with studies which concluded that passive smoking was not harmful. A discussion is made of a potential regulation called the Truth in Marketing (TIM) Act which would expand the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) role to penalize pharmaceutical companies for false or misleading […]

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Dental Cleanings May Reduce Stroke and Heart Attack Risk

A study in Taiwan looked at those who have had professional tooth scraping and cleaning performed and found that they had reduced risks of stroke and heart attack. The study showed that more frequent scraping/cleaning was associated with more reduced risk compared to never having teeth cleaned/scraped or occasionally having it performed. The study looked at over 100,000 people and found that if either a dentist or dental hygienist scraped and cleaned teeth those people in that group had a 24% lower risk of a heart attack and a 13% lower risk of a stroke when compared to those who never had a dental cleaning performed. The people in the study were followed for an average of 7 years. The study was conducted using data from the Taiwan National Health insurance data base. One of the researchers was Emily (Zu-Yin) Chen, M.D., cardiology fellow at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, who stated “Protection from heart disease and stroke was more pronounced in participants who got tooth scaling at least once a year.” She went on to further address how tooth scaling appears to reduce inflammation-causing bacterial growth which can potentially lead to stroke or heart disease. As discussed […]

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Cluster Headache Features and Therapeutic Options

A review article titled “Cluster Headache: Clinical Features and Therapeutic Options” written by Charly Gaul, Hans-Christoph Diener, and Oliver M. Muller published in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (vol. 108, issue 33, pages 543-549, 2011) provides an interesting look on new options for those with a chronic refractory cluster headache. The article discusses how 120,000 people in Germany are affected by cluster headache. The attacks are in the periorbital area on one side and last 90 minutes on average. The attacks often posses a circadian and seasonal rhythm. The author lists the diagnostic criteria for cluster headache as from the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-II). First line drugs for treatment include verapamil and cortisione or lithium and topirmate. In addition, short term relief can be obtained by local anesthetics and steroids along the course of the greater occipital nerve. I have taken verapamil as discussed over at http://www.teethremoval.com/ndph.html and also had lidocaine injected into my occipital nerve as discussed over at http://www.teethremoval.com/occipital_nerve_block.html as treatment strategies after suffering from a 24/7 headache 2 days after having all 4 healthy wisdom teeth removed. I did not have a positive experience with the occipital nerve block which just led to more lasting pain and […]

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Headaches after Traumatic Brain Injury Highest in Adolescents and Girls

A recent study has been conducted by the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and appeared in Pediatrics, vol 129, number 1, January 2012, pages 1 to 9, titled Headache After Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: A Cohort Study, wirtten by Heidi K. Blume and et al. The article discusses how in the adult population 18% to 33% of those who suffer from traumatic brain injury suffer from headaches 1 year after the injury. In the child population most of the investigations conducted have been small, retrospective, lacked a control, or involved only short term follow up. Chronic headaches with children are associated with interference in social function, parental productivity, and poor quality of life. The study randomly selected 1507 patients with TBI and 495 controls with arm injury (AI) for the study. However, some patients were not reachable, others were inegligible, and others refused. This left 512 patients with TBI and 137 with AIs for the study. Headache was reported by 43% of children with mild TBI and 37% of children with moderate/severe TBI, and 26% of the patients in the control group. The authors noted that the frequency of serious headache appeared to be increased after mild TBI and in teenagers. […]

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Alveolar Expansion Technique for Extraction of Third Molars (Wisdom Teeth)

An interesting study titled “Comparison of an alveolar expansion technique and buccal guttering technique in the extraction of mandibular third molar. A pilot study,” appeared in the Open Journal of Stomatology (vol 1, pages 103-108, 2011) written by Babatunde O. Akinbami and Lukcy I. Ofomala from Nigeria. As stated in the abstract the background for this study was “The over-ambitious use of surgical drills for almost every case of third molar impaction is on the increase in most established oral surgery centers. The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the severity of post operative symptoms of swelling and pain that accompany the use of surgical drill in the buccal guttering technique and the non application of drill in an alveolar expansion technique.” The authors open in the introduction by discussion how bone around impacted third molar teeth is usually dense and can require the use of cutting drills which can cause vibration and friction. A total of 10 patients were included in the study. Five patients had the guttering technique performed on the right side and alveolar expansion technique on the left side, 3 patients had the alveolar expansion technique performed on the right side and buccal […]

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