The Biggest Medical Stories You May Have Missed In 2015


By Craig Bowron

As we head into the New Year, let’s take a look back and see what lessons we should have learned from medical science in 2015.

The New England Journal of Medicines publication Journal Watch provides physicians and other health care providers with expert analysis of the most recent medical research. Below is a brief synopsis of what the Journal Watch editors felt were the most important stories in general medicine for the year 2015. While you likely heard about a couple, others probably escaped your radar.

Getting Aggressive with Strokes

We’re familiar with the idea of a cardiologist performing an angioplasty, where a tiny tube called a catheter is threaded into a coronary artery and a balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated to open the blockage that’s causing a heart attack. One would think a similar “endovascular” intervention might work well for a blocked cerebral artery causing a stroke, but it hasn’t worked out that way… until now.

A new device called a “stent retriever” expands out into the offending arterial clot, allowing it to be removed. Five trials published in 2015 showed a clear benefit for this new technique, but the procedure needs to be performed quickly, and at high-level stroke centers.

Testosterone for the Old(er) Man?

Testosterone levels decline naturally as men age, and there’s never been any proof that artificially boosting testosterone levels with medication improves anything but the bottom line of the companies who are selling the stuff. Several 2015 studies confirmed this.

Peanut Allergies and Your Grandkids: An About-Face

In 2000, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that children at high risk for food allergies (those with severe eczema or an egg allergy) avoid —> Read More