The Link Between Parkinson’s and the Appendix 
Increasingly, researchers are finding associations between conditions in the gut and maladies in other organs, such as the brain. Some researchers have now advanced the hypothesis that the appendix might play a key role in the development of Parkinson’s disease. Gizmodo fills in the details: https://gizmodo.com/scientists-find-link-between-parkinsons-disease-and-the-1830127056

The Costs of Obesity, Recalculated 
It’s a little hard to put an exact figure on the costs of a health crisis. Nevertheless, a new study from the Milken Institute tries to do just that. The figure they arrived at is staggering; the estimated cost to the US of obesity is $1.72 trillion, annually. More details can be found in Ars Technica’s coverage: https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/11/a-new-eye-wateringly-high-estimate-of-the-cost-of-obesity-in-the-us/

Effective Chronic Pain Treatments Overlooked 
While tradition-based, medical treatments for pain have spawned a wave of opioid addiction and huge social costs, psychological treatments for pain are often dismissed. That’s unfortunate, because techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy have shown real efficacy in helping patients manage pain, without dangerous medications. Vox outlines the situation, here: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/5/17/17276452/chronic-pain-treatment-psychology-cbt-mindfulness-evidence