Nonconventional medical treatments have become increasingly mainstream, in some cases, despite the lack of rigorous evidence. This trend is driven by patients who are demanding the integration of alternative or complementary treatments...
New York, NY (PRWEB) July 11, 2012
In the July issue of The Scientist magazine, the editorial team reports on the scientific evidence that certain alternative treatments—acupuncture, probiotics, marijuana, and psychedelics—are beneficial to patients. Nonconventional medical treatments have become increasingly mainstream, in some cases, despite the lack of rigorous evidence. This trend is driven by patients who are demanding the integration of alternative or complementary treatments for conditions that are difficult to manage or cure, such as diabetes, chronic pain, and cancer. The articles highlight the circumstances that hinder the broader acceptance and study of medicinal marijuana, the incomplete evidence for the effectiveness of probiotics, the reasons why acupuncture might work, and the promising benefits of psychedelics in treating cognitive diseases. Often, the data both support and contravene the effectiveness of these alternative therapies, uncovering both positive and negative aspects of treatments for which patients are clamoring and both physicians and informed minds are demanding evidence.
The issue also includes an opinion piece calling for all physicians to become more aware of the dangers (and benefits) of mixing herbal remedies with prescription drugs and an article about a group of ALS patients who have taken fate into their own hands by launching do-it-yourself trials using a chemical they believe to be the active ingredient in a drug under development.
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