Richard Knox

Since he joined NPR in 2000, Knox has covered a broad range of issues and events in public health, medicine, and science. His reports can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Talk of the Nation, and newscasts.

Among other things, Knox's NPR reports have examined the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa, North America, and the Caribbean; anthrax terrorism; smallpox and other bioterrorism preparedness issues; the rising cost of medical care; early detection of lung cancer; community caregiving; music and the brain; and the SARS epidemic.

Before joining NPR, Knox covered medicine and health for The Boston Globe. His award-winning 1995 articles on medical errors are considered landmarks in the national movement to prevent medical mistakes. Knox is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Columbia University. He has held yearlong fellowships at Stanford and Harvard Universities, and is the author of a 1993 book on Germany's health care system.

He and his wife Jean, an editor, live in Boston. They have two daughters.

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11:46am

Tue August 27, 2013
Shots - Health News

More Stroke Patients Now Get Clot-Busting Drug

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 11:14 am

A brain scan followed by quick drug treatment in the right patients can stop a stroke in its tracks.
iStockphoto.com

It's been a long and often controversial road, but U.S. doctors are finally embracing a drug that can halt strokes and prevent disabling brain damage.

An analysis of more than 1 million stroke patients shows that use of the 17-year-old drug, called alteplase (brand-name Activase), nearly doubled between 2003 and 2011.

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10:18am

Fri August 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Another Study Of Preemies Blasted Over Ethical Concerns

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:09 am

What should parents be told before their premature infants participate in a clinical study?
iStockphoto.com

For the second time in four months, the consumer group Public Citizen is alleging that a large, federally funded study of premature infants is ethically flawed.

Both complaints raise a big issue that's certain to get more attention beyond these particular studies: What's the ethically right way to do research on the validity of the usual care that doctors provide every day.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will host an unusual forum on that question next Wednesday — stimulated by the sharp questions raised by Public Citizen.

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1:03pm

Wed August 21, 2013
Shots - Health News

Ebola Treatment Works In Monkeys, Even After Symptoms Appear

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 7:58 pm

The Ebola virus forms threadlike structures under the microscope.
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Ebola, your days as one of the world's scariest diseases may be numbered.

A team of U.S. government researchers has shown that deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever can be vanquished in monkeys by an experimental drug given up to five days after infection — even when symptoms have already developed.

An antibody cocktail aimed at Ebola's outer surface rescued three of seven macaques infected with lethal doses of the hemorrhagic virus in the U.S. Army's high-security labs at Fort Detrick, Md.

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4:27pm

Mon August 19, 2013
Shots - Health News

Lyme Disease Far More Common Than Previously Known

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:58 pm

Black-legged ticks like this can transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 300,000 Americans are getting Lyme disease every year, and the toll is growing.

"It confirms what we've thought for a long time: This is a large problem," Dr. Paul Mead tells Shots. "The bottom line is that by defining how big the problem is we make it easier for everyone to figure out what kind of resources we have to use to address it."

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4:27pm

Wed August 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Evidence Supports Pill To Prevent Some Prostate Cancers

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

The active ingredient in Propecia, a baldness remedy approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1997, is showing new promise as a way to prevent some prostate cancers.
AP

Researchers say a cheap, generic pill called finasteride prevents almost 40 percent of low-grade prostate cancers without increasing the risk of dying from more aggressive tumors.

New evidence points to the drug as a potentially safer way to deal with prostate cancers that now get more intense treatment. Many prostate cancers that aren't destined to cause men serious health problems are often treated with surgery or radiation.

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