Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

BJA Education

Sepsis: What we need to know now

The man doing a spot of gardening cleaning out his fishpond in Europe, the woman who becomes unwell after giving birth in rural India, the child with pneumonia in Rwanda, and the senior citizen who develops diverticulitis in Singapore – the triggers are different but they all die from the same disease process: sepsis.

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The Journals of Gerontology

Oral health and well-being among older adults

When we think about well-being among older adults, how often do we think about their oral health as being an important component? In reviews of risk factors for low well-being among older adults, oral health is never explicitly mentioned, although other health conditions and disease states are often discussed.

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9780199363445

Show me the bodies: A monumental public policy failure

In the 21st century, “show-me-the-bodies” seems a cruel and outdated foundation for public policy. Yet history is littered with examples—like tobacco and asbestos—where only after the death toll mounts is the price of inaction finally understood to exceed that of action.

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Aesthetic surgery and Alzheimer’s risk

A growing body of scientific support for the notion that an individual’s attitudes toward aging and personal appearance could have profound effects upon physical and mental well-being. As a result, I began to wonder whether it’s possible that such attitudes may, in measurable ways, impact the development of specific diseases.

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9780199377527

Randomized controlled trials: Read the “fine print”!

Most randomized controlled trials (RCTs) can appear deceptively simple. Study subjects are randomized to experimental therapy or placebo—simple as that. However, this apparent simplicity can mask how important subtle aspects of study design—from patient selection to selected outcomes to trial execution—can sometimes dramatically affect conclusions.

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Unwholly bound: Mother Teresa’s battles with depression

A psychiatrist’s couch is no place to debate the existence of God. Yet spiritual health is an inseparable part of mental or psychological health. Something no psychiatrist should regard with clinical indifference. But what does spiritual or religious health involve? This can’t just include normalized versions of monistic theism – but the entire set of human dispositions that may be thought of in spiritual terms.

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Lift the congressional ban on CDC firearm-related deaths and injuries research

Imagine that there is a disease that claims more than 30,000 lives in the United States each year. Imagine that countless more people survive this disease, and that many of them have long-lasting effects. Imagine that there are various methods for preventing the disease, but there are social, political, and other barriers to implementing these preventive measures.

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JNCI

Possible genetic pathway to melanoma

Genetic mutations that result in melanoma have been cataloged over the years. The missing piece has been an understanding of the order of their occurrence and how they move from a benign lesion to one that is cancerous. An article by Boris C. Bastian, MD, PhD; Hunter Shane, PhD; and others hopes to help answer some of those questions.

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President William Henry Harrison’s fatal “pneumonia”

William Henry Harrison was 68 years old when he became the ninth president of the United States and the oldest US president until Ronald Reagan was elected nearly a century and a half later. He was sworn into office on 4 March 1841. Exactly one month later, he was dead.

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9780199937776

Francisco Goya’s deafness

By the time Francisco Goya died on this day in 1828, he had established himself as one of the greatest portraitists of modern times. During his 74 years, he featured both nobles and kings and humble workers and farmers in over 1,800 works. It is said that he painted at a pace so furious, he completed his wife’s portrait, now hanging in the Prado, in an hour.

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Brain front matter

Today’s Forecast: Cloudy with a chance of seizures

For people suffering from recurrent epileptic seizures, one of the most burdensome aspects of their condition is the unpredictability of their seizures. While medications, surgery, and novel neurostimulation methods can eliminate seizures seizures in some cases, many people with epilepsy face the possibility of a seizure at any time, even when they occur only rarely.

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9780198719410

Doing it with sensitivity

I’m sure you’ve had this experience. You want to get somewhere, say a concert, or a public building, and all the people are stopped by security officials, who ask to search your bag. They open it, maybe take out one or two items, then glance around inside the rest, before giving it back to you and letting you go.

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9780199689231

Is it all in the brain? An inclusive approach to mental health

For many years, the prevailing view among both cognitive scientists and philosophers has been that the brain is sufficient for cognition, and that once we discover its secrets, we will be able to unravel the mysteries of the mind. Recently however, a growing number of thinkers have begun to challenge this prevailing view that mentality is a purely neural phenomenon.

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Annonc 2016 cover

What is cancer drug resistance? Q&A with Dr Maurizio D’Incalci

One of the biggest obstacles in treating cancer is drug resistance. There are still many unanswered questions about the genomic features of this resistance, including different patient responses to therapy, the role drug resistance plays in the relapse of tumours, and how cancer treatments in the future will combat drug resistance.

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jpo

Why e-cigarettes have an image problem

E-cigarettes have an image problem. I mean this in two different ways. They are still seen as controversial products, often featuring in dramatic stories about battery explosions or toxic substances. Most of these stories play on public fears, exaggerate their claims, and are unhelpful for fostering a constructive public debate. But more generally, e-cigarettes have an image problem in that no one agrees on what they represent.

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Uterus transplants: challenges and potential

The birth of a healthy child in Sweden in October, 2014 after a uterus transplant from a living donor marked the advent of a new technique to help women with absent or non-functional uteruses to bear genetic offspring. The Cleveland Clinic has now led American doctors into this space, performing the first US uterine transplant in February, 2016

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