‘I knew they were sugar pills but I felt fantastic’ – the rise of open-label placebos

From the Guardian:

Dr Jeremy Howick first began asking about placebos when a herbal doctor suggested he drink ginger tea to combat cat allergy symptoms. He was highly sceptical, but three days later his runny noses, sneezing and insomnia stopped. Twenty years later, Howick is a clinical epidemiologist at the University of Oxford. Last month, his group published a review of previous research that has compared the effects of giving patients open-label placebos with no treatment.

The first was led by Professor Ted Kaptchuk, of Harvard Medical School, who gave 80 IBS patients, including Buonanno either no treatment or open-label placebo pills. He found those who took placebos for three weeks experienced greater improvements in symptoms, including less severe pain. Sadly for Buonanno, when the study ended she was unable to obtain further effective placebos and her symptoms returned.

In another of the studies in Howick’s review, chronic lower back pain patients openly given dummy pills to add to their existing treatments reported an average 30% pain reduction. In the three other review studies, people given open-label pills reported reduced symptoms for depression, lower back pain, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Likelihood of having current CPR training declines with age

From Reuters:

Older people are the group most likely to need cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but they are the least likely to have training in the life-saving technique, according to new findings.

“This mismatch may translate into lives lost, because if someone collapses at home who is 65 years old and their 62-year-old spouse does not know CPR, they have to wait for the ambulance to arrive and it may be too late,” said Dr. Benjamin S. Abella, who directs the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “We need to be more creative about our approach to CPR training in this population.”

Kidney Stones Fly Out Of People On Roller Coasters, Surgeon Discovers

From All That Is Interesting:

Using a 3D printer, Wartinger made a silicone replica of the three-stone-Thunder-Mountain-man’s kidney and filled it with fake stones and his own very real urine.

Then, like a championship-winning quarterback, he went to Disney World.

Wartinger and his colleague, Marc Mitchell, packed their fake kidney in a backpack with a plan to hold it between them on the ride.