Health

How to make the most of your child’s telehealth visit

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, telehealth visits with doctors have been on the rise — and for many reasons, they are likely to be part of medical care for the foreseeable future. While they aren’t the same as an in-person visit, I’ve found as a pediatrician that telehealth visits can be very useful. I can …

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What should you do during a psychiatric medication shortage?

You have finally found a medication to treat your depression that your body tolerates well. It has taken your psychiatrist months to find the optimal dose (after two failed medication trials). The COVID-19 pandemic hit, but in spite of your new daily stressors, you seem to be doing relatively well. That is, until you hear …

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Protesting in the time of COVID-19

We’ve known for a long time that racism is a deeply ingrained public health issue resulting in real, tangible health disparities. For people of color, racism results in unequal access to quality education, healthy food, livable wages, affordable housing, and medical care. We also know very well that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting our communities of …

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Can controlling blood pressure later in life reduce risk of dementia?

Everyone talks about the importance of treating high blood pressure, the “silent killer.” And everybody knows that untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes. But can treating high blood pressure reduce your risk of cognitive impairment and dementia? High blood pressure is a risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia Cognition …

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Brain plasticity in drug addiction: Burden and benefit

The human brain is the most complex organ in our body, and is characterized by a unique ability called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to our brain’s ability to change and adapt in its structural and functional levels in response to experience. Neuroplasticity makes it possible for us to learn new languages, solve complex mathematical problems, acquire …

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How risky is a hug right now?

“Can I get a hug?” It’s a simple question for a simple act that’s been especially missed because of COVID-19 distancing. “Human beings need social contact,” says Dr. Eugene Beresin, executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “We are not …

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4 parenting tips to break the negativity loop

“It’s a beautiful day outside,” you say, smiling. Your son replies, “It’s supposed to rain later.” You share, “That game was fun!” Your daughter adds, “I messed up one of my turns.” If you find that your child tends to channel Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh and has difficulty seeing some of the bright moments in a …

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The plight of nursing home residents in a pandemic

For anyone living in a nursing home or other long-term or assisted-living facility, these are particularly difficult times. I’ve heard more than one resident complain bitterly about feeling trapped in their rooms, having meals left outside their door (rather than gathering in the dining room with friends), and not being allowed to participate in their …

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Global mental health in the time of COVID-19

Just months ago, who could have imagined that the world would be looking down the barrel of a spiralling health crisis and economic recession unlike any witnessed in our lifetime? Now, in a world gripped by the fear of a marauding virus, mental health is emerging as a key concern. Diverse pathways to poorer mental …

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