New hope in the epidemic of binge-drinking rodents: Aussie lab sparks premature claims on old drugs as addiction treatments

Alan Cassels is a drug policy researcher and regular contributor to the blog. He is also the author, most recently, of The Cochrane Collaboration: Medicine’s Best-Kept Secret. He tweets as @akecassels.  Who doesn’t like recycling? Along with reusing and reducing, recycling is an important part of keeping down the size of your ecological footprint. In […]

8 4/20/2016

Media mystery: Why did journalists ignore an important study on a costly, harmful back pain procedure?

Kevin Lomangino is the managing editor of HealthNewsReview.org. He tweets as @KLomangino. What qualifies as “news” in the topsy-turvy world of health care can be a real head-scratcher sometimes. A few weeks ago, the New York Times reported in some depth about a two-week, 9-person study of bicyclists headlined, Chocolate Can Boost Your Workout. Really. […]


NFL-affiliated neurosurgeon downplays concussion risks in Penn State news release

The following is a guest blog post from one of our regular contributors and reviewers, Susan Molchan, MD, a psychiatrist in the Washington, DC, area. Over the past several years many stories in the media, as well as last winter’s movie, Concussion, have reported on the increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS […]


Some news media wake up to problematic Belsomra ads; most hit the snooze button

Harold J. DeMonaco is one of our most prolific story reviewers and a frequent contributor to the HealthNewsReview.org blog. He was featured recently on our 10th Anniversary Podcast. Jonathan Cohn deserves a round of applause for his recent Huffington Post story dissecting a television commercial for Belsomra, a prescription sleeping pill. The story, headlined “Drugs […]

1 4/13/2016

Podcast: 10th anniversary for HealthNewsReview.org

In the spring of 2005, then-president Jack Fowler of the then-Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making (FIMDM) approached me looking for ideas.  He wanted to bring ideas to his Board about how to reach the broader patient population beyond those that FIMDM was reaching with its condition-specific shared decision-making programs (which I had helped produce throughout […]

7 4/12/2016

The marketing of mindfulness and why that matters

Alan Cassels is a drug policy researcher and regular contributor to the blog. He is also the author, most recently, of The Cochrane Collaboration: Medicine’s Best-Kept Secret. He tweets as @akecassels.   Is it possible to use our minds to create a better sense of physical well-being? Can we use meditative breathing, non-judgmental “mindfulness” techniques […]

5 4/7/2016

5 tips for writing better health news headlines

Fellow journalists, we feel your pain: Writing headlines for health news is difficult. Findings from medical research are often tricky to condense into a single, snappy and accurate sentence. Yet, it’s so important to get right, explains Sharon Dunwoody, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and a contributor […]

1 4/6/2016

Podcast: ABC stations mislead patients with “migraine treatment” news

The world needs more smart patient advocates. Our latest podcast is about one of them – Teri Robert – who has had migraines for more than 50 years, starting when she was 6.  She publishes a migraine patient blog, “Putting Our Heads Together,” to provide information, support and advocacy. And she is a migraine “health […]

3 4/5/2016

Whiplash warning! Readers brace for possible neck injury as competing claims on statins hit the headlines

You’ve felt that pain before. Red wine is good for you. Red wine is bad for you. One day chocolate=bad; the next, it’s good for you. Scanners and surfers of health and medical news are accustomed to being jerked back and forth by competing Twitteresque soundbites. Readers worried about their cholesterol could be getting whiplash this week as news […]


Wearable monitors: what do we really know?

The following guest post is by Dr. Michael Joyner, a medical researcher at the Mayo Clinic. These views are his own. You can follow him on twitter @DrMJoyner. One of the most interesting pieces of health care reporting I have read in the last couple of weeks was Charles Piller’s article in Stat on leadership […]


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