Psychedelics May Ease Dying Fears; Misinformation Consequences; and WHO Releases Six 'Action Steps' for Parkinson's

Kaitlin Edwards

September 01, 2022

Psychedelics May Ease Fear of Death and Dying

Psychedelics can help with positive attitudes toward death and dying and ease anxiety and depression at the end of life, according to new research.

The retrospective study compared psychedelic drug experiences with nondrug near-death experiences, which are also known to alter perspectives on death and dying.

Less afraid: About 90% of individuals in both groups said that they were less afraid of death after their experiences.

Less expensive: Co-investigator Roland Griffiths, PhD, said that people with severe anxiety and depression at end of life often encounter increased healthcare expenses from desperate and often futile treatments. The findings suggest psychedelics could be a less expensive alternative.

More research needed: The respondents were self-selected and may not be representative of all psychedelic or near-death experiences. The study was retrospective and self-reported.

California Bill: Docs Spreading Misinformation Is "Unprofessional Conduct"

New legislature in California allows the state medical board to discipline physicians who spread COVID-19 misinformation.

The bill states the dissemination of misinformation or disinformation to be "unprofessional conduct."

Possible disciplinary action: The state's licensing entities — the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California — are involved in the bill, so it's assumed that license suspension or revocation could be in play.

Next step: Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has 3 weeks to act and has not yet indicated his stance. California would be the first state to have such a policy.

Strong support: The bill has received support from California medical associations including the American College of Emergency Physicians and the California Medical Association. Some physicians have criticized it as possibly infringing on free speech.

WHO Releases Six "Action Steps" to Combat Global Disparities in Parkinson's Disease

A World Health Organization consultation workshop on global disparities in Parkinson's disease came up with six avenues for action to address patient needs.

Context: Since 2000, Parkinson's disease has increased 81% and global deaths have increased by 100%. Many affected patients live in low- and middle-income countries.

Action steps: The six steps address disease burden, advocacy and awareness, prevention and risk reduction, diagnosis and treatment, caregiver support, and research.

"The take-away message for clinicians is that Parkinson disease is a growing global public health issue and there is a pressing need for a global public health response to address health and social requirements for people with PD," said lead author Nicoline Schiess, MD, MPH.

Kaitlin Edwards is a staff medical editor based in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @kaitmedwards. For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


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