Carpal Tunnel, Polypills, Stem Cells, Medical MJ, and Housing the Drunks

April 4, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Posted in Medical | Leave a comment

Video – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome exercises that really work:

Polypill cuts risk of heart disease and stroke ‘could save thousands of lives a year’:

“A new five-in-one pill can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in even healthy patients and could save tens of thousands of lives a year, a study suggests.”

Stem cell science’s new breakthrough:

The development has several advantages. No human embryos were involved, so the process sidestepped the ethical debate that dogs the science around stem cell research. Also, using personalized cells means there is no threat of immune rejection, and this reprogramming method means there can be a ready supply of personalized cells for research.

Calgary medical marijuana activist agrees to stop selling to sick:

A longtime advocate for the use of medical marijuana has agreed to give up a fight that has seen him battle the justice system as far as the Supreme Court.

Grant Krieger, who has for years vocally defended his right to provide marijuana to the sick, signed a legal document Tuesday pledging to stop growing or distributing it.

Housing Drunks and Letting Them Drink Saves Millions:

Three years ago, an experiment known as 1811 Eastlake opened in Seattle. It’s a large apartment complex just off downtown and it houses about 100 chronic inebriates, as the term goes, all of them formerly homeless. The experiment part is that for eons America has attempted to grapple with the problem of urban street drunks by either sticking them in jail (very expensive and a practice that largely stopped in the 1970s), forcing them into housing where they couldn’t drink (and inevitably relapsed and got the boot) or leaving them on the streets where they cycled from street to jail to ER to sobering center to homeless shelter to the liquor store to the streets. Commonly, such people (and it’s usually guys) run up a $50,000 a year or so tab on the public purse and harm reduction advocate got to think that maybe it made more sense to stick such folks in long-term publicly supported housing and let them drink their brains (and livers) out and it’d wind up being cheaper.


A new study came out in JAMA this week detailing whether the concept of “Housing First,” as it’s known, had any impact (here’s an AP piece on the study). The 98 street drunks whom the study tracked had cost the public $4,066 a month prior to entering 1811 and afterwards they cost $1,492 a month after six months in the facility and $958 a month after 12 months. That’s a pretty big savings and, oddly enough, some of the residents began to drink less. Some even got sober. (Some also died.)

Previous Medical News:


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