Depression is a worldwide issue. To give you some idea, it’s the number one psychological disorder in the western world1. And not unlike the common cold, it doesn’t discriminate between age groups or gender assignment. Depression is growing in all age groups, the largest increase noted in the younger generations, in our teenagers. At the rate of knots this psychological issue is developing, by 2020, it is estimated to be the second most debilitating condition behind heart disease.
Sometimes when a piece of research lands in a reputable journal, it is heralded and celebrated. At the very least, it makes the science section of the big newspapers. Other times, research arrives with more of a whisper than a yell. Of the two categories, this piece of news fits more with the latter: it appears the use of an antibiotic in treating infant ear infections is only slight . It’s a rare and lucky parent who hasn’t had to nurse a child through a painful ear infection (technically called ‘acute otitis media’ or AOM). The condition, marked by pain and fever with the potential to affect hearing, is the most common reason antibiotics are prescribed for children . Despite appearances, the proverbial jury is still debating how to best treat this common issue.
Every now and then a study comes along that makes you smile and think “Ah, I knew it!” This one landed quietly in JAMA Internal Medicine while we were all looking the other way. The New York Times did a tiny little blog piece on it, but for the most part, the world didn’t know the results of studies looking at nearly 8,000 participants that found opioids are often ineffective for back pain .