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Reading Room

The reading room includes articles and videos of potential interest to consumers and medical professionals. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the NC Medical Board, its members and staff.

Can virtual reality boost positive feelings in patients with depression?

STATNews
April 22, 2019
Michelle Craske is asking patients to dive into coral reefs, ride on bullet trains rushing past pine trees, and cheer on soccer teams from the stands — at least virtually — in a bid to tackle a symptom long sidelined in depression treatment. The University of California, Los Angeles, psychiatry researcher and her colleagues are testing whether virtual reality can curb anhedonia, a symptom of depression and other serious mental health conditions that’s marked by a lack of interest or ability to feel pleasure.

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Study says poor diets are linked to 20% of all deaths worldwide

Time Magazine
April 3, 2019
If people around the world cleaned up their eating habits, it could potentially prevent one in five deaths globally, according to a new research review published in The Lancet. And the key to eating more healthfully isn’t depriving yourself, the research suggests — it’s adding more healthy foods.

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Training a computer to read mammograms as well as a doctor

NPR
April 1, 2019
Regina Barzilay teaches one of the most popular computer science classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. And in her research — at least until five years ago — she looked at how a computer could use machine learning to read and decipher obscure ancient texts. “This is clearly of no practical use,” she says with a laugh. “But it was really cool, and I was really obsessed about this topic, how machines could do it.”

But in 2014, Barzilay was diagnosed with breast cancer. And that not only disrupted her life, but it led her to rethink her research career. She has landed at the vanguard of a rapidly growing effort to revolutionize mammography and breast cancer management with the use of computer algorithms.

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How can doctors be sure a self-taught computer is making the right diagnosis?

NPR
April 1, 2019

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