A Cure for Hearing Loss?

All you boomers who listened to too much rock ’n’ roll may eventually get back your hearing by popping a pill. Researchers are closing in on a way to reverse sensorineural loss, the most common cause of hearing loss. Just as important, pharmaceutical companies are putting big money into the effort. Garnering the most publicity so far is a clinical trial of an injectable drug backed by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis. Given that 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss — …

Study: Suffering Increasing at the End of Life

It’s been more than 15 years since the Institute of Medicine released its seminal 1997 report detailing the suffering many Americans experience at the end of life and offering sweeping recommendations on how to improve care. So has dying in America gotten any less painful? Despite efforts to build hospice and palliative-care programs across the country, the answer seems to be a resounding no. The number of Americans experiencing pain in the last year of life actually increased by nearly …

Harper Lee to Publish ‘New’ Novel in July

Oh happy day! On July 14, Harper Lee will release a second, newly discovered novel titled Go Set a Watchman. Now 88, the author is world-famous for her first — and, until now, only — book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Published in 1960, it won the Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. The new novel will be published in North America by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins. Said Lee in a statement …

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Not getting enough sleep has huge effects on our health — from foggy thinking to heart problems to weight gain — but just how much sleep is considered enough? That’s the question the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) tackled with a panel of scientists who reviewed more than 300 sleep-duration studies and came up with new guidelines, including one for people age 65-plus. “This is the first time that any professional organization has developed age-specific recommended sleep durations based on a …

Pharmacists Rank Best Over-the-Counter Products

Let’s say you have a cold. Or some nagging heartburn or other minor ailment. Which of the myriad over-the-counter drugs at your drugstore or discount store should you buy for relief? Let’s ask the pharmacist. In fact, let’s ask more than 12,600 pharmacists. That’s what the American Pharmacists Association does each year for its survey of over-the-counter (OTC) products. For the 2015 survey, released Feb. 1, pharmacists across the country were asked to report which nonprescription brand-name products they recommended …

Rod McKuen: 10 Things You Might Not Know About the Pop Poet

Literary critics never had much love for Rod McKuen, who passed away on Jan. 30 at age 81 in Beverly Hills. Not that it mattered to his legions of fans. McKuen’s volumes of poetry, including Stanyan Street and Other Sorrows and Listen to the Warm, sold 60 million copies. In addition, McKuen was a prolific songwriter whose lyrics were interpreted by performers ranging from Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand to Johnny Cash. His own gravelly, breathy recording of “Jean,” which he composed for …