Daily Rounds: Migraine Surgery; Pain Prescriptions; Autism And Obesity; Bad Nutrition Science

Migraine sufferers turn to surgery (The Boston Globe) – “The nerve decompression procedure is one of at least five new migraine surgeries, ranging from closing a hole in the heart to implanting electrodes to stimulate the nerves, Glaser says. These surgeries are only for ‘the very worst cases,’ she says, the people who have already tried pharmaceutical and behavioral therapies. ‘The truly desperate.'”

Tightening the lid on pain prescriptions (The New York Times) “Now the alarm is extending from the street to an arena where the drugs had been considered legitimate and safe: doctors’ offices where they are prescribed — and some say grossly overprescribed — for the treatment of long-term pain from back injuries, arthritis and other conditions. Studies link narcotic painkillers to a variety of dangers, like sleep apnea, sharply reduced hormone production and, in the elderly, increased falls and hip fractures. The most extreme cases include fatal overdoses.”

Study warns of autism risk for children of obese mothers (NPR) – “A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that moms who are obese or have diabetes are more likely to have a child with autism or another developmental problem. The finding is ‘worrisome in light of this rather striking epidemic of obesity’ in the U.S., says Irva Hertz-Picciotto from the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis, one of the study’s authors. But it’s not clear whether there’s any connection between rising obesity rates and the increasing number of children diagnosed with autism, she says.”

Chocolate & red meat can be bad for your science: Why many nutrition studies are all wrong (Discover Magazine) – “The last couple of weeks have witnessed a slightly-greater-than-usual outbreak of extremely newsworthy nutrition stories that could be described as bad journalism feasting on bad science. The first was a report out of the Harvard School of Public Health that meat-eating apparently causes premature death and disease (here’s how the New York Times covered it), and the second out of UC San Diego suggesting that chocolate is a food we should all be eating to lose weight (the Times again).”

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