Daily Rounds: Mouse Mini-Me; Preemptive Obamacare Attack; Labels Affect Eating; Antipsychotic Overuse

Seeking cures, patients enlist mice stand-ins (The New York Times) - "In what could be the ultimate in personalized medicine, animals bearing your disease, or part of your anatomy, can serve as your personal guinea pig, so to speak. Some researchers call them avatars, like the virtual characters in movies and online games. “The mice allow you the opportunity to test drugs to find out which ones will be efficacious without exposing the patient to toxicity,” said Colin Collins, a professor at the University of British Columbia."

How food and clothing size labels affect what we eat and what we wear (NPR- The Salt) "University of Michigan marketing professor Aradhna Krishna has studied how labels impact how much we eat. In one experiment, she gave people cookies that were labeled either medium or large, and then measured how much they ate. The catch? The cookies were identical in size. What happened? You guessed it. People ate more cookies when they were labeled "medium." Rather than trust what their stomachs were telling them, in other words, people went by the label."

Jonathan Gruber's new 'analysis' of Obamacare and Romney's health reform plan ("The Apothecary on Forbes) - "Politico Pro reported yesterday that Gruber is hosting a news conference, slated for Thursday, to discuss his new paper. “The report provides new national data comparing the small differences between ObamaCare and RomneyCare [in Massachusetts], and provides new national and state-by-state data describing the vast differences in the impact on people in every state between ObamaCare and RomneyCandidateCare [Romney’s plan for national reform]...” I’m not sure what Gruber is going to say, or what his analysis will show. But I’m a bit confused as to how Gruber thinks such an analysis can be performed in the first place....If the work of other liberal think-tankers is any guide, Gruber will simply invent a Romney-like plan, one with scary but inaccurate numbers, that he can then compare unfavorably to his own (historically unreliable) analysis of Obamacare."

A call for caution on antipsychotic drugs (The New York Times) - "The number of annual prescriptions for atypical antipsychotics rose to 54 million in 2011 from 28 million in 2001, an 93 percent increase, according to IMS Health. One study found that the use of these drugs for indications without federal approval more than doubled from 1995 to 2008....A more recent and worrisome trend is the use of atypical antipsychotic drugs — many of which are acutely sedating and calming — to treat various forms of anxiety, likegeneralized anxiety disorder and even situational anxiety."

This program aired on September 26, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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