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January 8, 2009, 9:53 PM CT

Behavioral difficulties at school

Behavioral difficulties at school
Adolescents who misbehave at school are more likely to have difficulties throughout their adult lives, finds a 40-year study of British citizens published on bmj.com today. These difficulties cover all areas of life, from mental health to domestic and personal relationships to economic deprivation.

Severe behavioural problems in schools affect about 7% of 9-15 year olds and have been on the increase for the past 30 years. Prior studies have shown that individuals with severe conduct problems place a significant burden on society in terms of crime as well as the additional needs of education, health and welfare.

Ian Colman, an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Population Health Investigator, and Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta's School of Public Health, and colleagues examined the health and social problems of adults who had mild and severe behavioural problems as adolescents. The findings are based on more than 3,500 individuals taking part in the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (the British 1946 birth cohort), over a 40-year period. All the participants were aged between 13 and 15 at the start of the study. Approximately a quarter of the participants had mild behavioural problems.

Participants were rated by their teachers as having severe, mild or no conduct problems and were followed up between the ages of 36 and 53 when they were asked about their mental health, and social and economic status.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 8, 2009, 9:51 PM CT

Experiences of older people

Experiences of older people
It's debilitating, isolating and can lead to severe depression - yet pain is widely accepted as something to be expected and regarded as 'normal' in later life.

Now a newly released study from The University of Nottingham examines older people's experiences of pain and how best Government, the NHS and social care agencies can address the issue.

The report, Pain in older people: reflections and experiences from an older person's perspective, aims to highlight the issue of pain in older people by exploring their experiences of living and coping with persistent pain.

Funded by Help the Aged and the British Pain Society, the study saw scientists interview older people about their experiences of pain and how it affected their lives, both physically and psychologically. Literature on pain in older people was also evaluated.

The report - which reveals that nearly five million people over the age of 65 are in some degree of pain and discomfort in the UK - has already led to questions being asked of the Government in the House of Lords.

By interviewing older people, the scientists identified specific themes in the way that they communicate, cope with and experience their pain. These include;.
  • The stiff upper lip - "I understand my generation very well. We learned our attitude to pain from British society in general and from our families. It was: 'Don't make a fuss'."
  • ........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 8, 2009, 9:47 PM CT

Women's brains recognize smell of male sexual sweat

Women's brains recognize smell of male sexual sweat
A new Rice University study reported in the Journal of Neuroscience observed that socioemotional meanings, including sexual ones, are conveyed in human sweat.

Denise Chen, assistant professor of psychology at Rice, looked at how the brains of female volunteers processed and encoded the smell of sexual sweat from men.

The results of the experiment indicated the brain recognizes chemosensory communication, including human sexual sweat.

Researchers have long known that animals use scent to communicate.

Chen's study represents an effort to expand knowledge of how humans' sense of smell complement their more powerful senses of sight and hearing.

The experiment directly studied natural human sexual sweat using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Nineteen healthy female subjects inhaled olfactory stimuli from four sources, one of which was sweat gathered from sexually aroused males.

The research showed that several parts of the brain are involved in processing the emotional value of the olfactory information. These include the right fusiform region, the right orbitofrontal cortex and the right hypothalamus.

"With the exception of the hypothalamus, neither the orbitofrontal cortex nor the fusiform region is considered to be linked to sexual motivation and behavior," Chen said. "Our results imply that the chemosensory information from natural human sexual sweat is encoded more holistically in the brain rather than specifically for its sexual quality".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 8, 2009, 9:25 PM CT

Older women who are more physically fit

Older women who are more physically fit
New research reported in the international journal Neurobiology of Aging by Marc Poulin, PhD, DPhil, finds that being physically fit helps the brain function at the top of its game. An Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Senior Scholar, Poulin finds that physical activity benefits blood flow in the brain, and, as a result, cognitive abilities.

"Being sedentary is now considered a risk factor for stroke and dementia," says Poulin, a scientist in the Faculties of Medicine and Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. "This study proves for the first time that people who are fit have better blood flow to their brain. Our findings also show that better blood flow translates into improved cognition".

The study, Effects of Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Cerebral Blood Flow on Cognitive Outcomes in Older Women, compares two groups of women whose average age was 65 years old. From a random sample of 42 women living in Calgary, the study observed women who took part in regular aerobic activity, and another group of women who were inactive. Poulin's team recorded and measured the women's cardiovascular health, resting brain blood flow and the reserve capacity of blood vessels in the brain, as well as cognitive functions. The team included scientists, doctors and graduate students, with MSc student Allison Brown taking a lead role.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 6, 2009, 8:46 PM CT

Cut down on smoking using nicotine gum

Cut down on smoking using nicotine gum
Nicotine gum has been in use for over 20 years to help smokers quit abruptly yet close to two-thirds of smokers report that they would prefer to quit gradually. Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare have now observed that smokers who are trying to quit gradually can also be helped by nicotine gum. The results of the first study to test the efficacy and safety of using nicotine gum to assist cessation by gradual reduction are reported in the February 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Almost 3300 smokers participated in this double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Participants were enrolled in 27 study sites across the US. Participants were allowed to choose between 2-mg and 4-mg doses of nicotine gum, with the higher doses generally being selected by heavier smokers. Within each dose group, participants were then randomized to receive either the active gum or a placebo, yielding 4 approximately equal groups.

The study assessed initial 24-hour abstinence and 28-day abstinence, and participants were followed up at 6 months to determine overall success rates for quitting. The odds of smokers achieving 24-hour abstinence were 40 to 90% higher using active gum in comparison to placebo, and 2 to 4.7 times higher for attaining 28-day abstinence. At the end of 6 months, while absolute quit rates were somewhat low, the odds of quitting were about 2 to 6 times greater for active gum users as for the placebo users, with a quit rate of 6% in the 4-mg group.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 6, 2009, 7:54 PM CT

Sleep Apnea, Stroke And Death

Sleep Apnea, Stroke And Death
Obstructive sleep apnea decreases blood flow to the brain, elevates blood pressure within the brain and eventually harms the brain's ability to modulate these changes and prevent damage to itself, as per a newly released study published by The American Physiological Society. The findings may help explain why people with sleep apnea are more likely to suffer strokes and to die in their sleep.

Sleep apnea is the most usually diagnosed condition amongst sleep-related breathing disorders and can lead to debilitating and sometimes fatal consequences for the 18 million Americans who have been diagnosed with the disorder. This study identifies a mechanism behind stroke in these patients.

The study, "Impaired cerebral autoregulation in obstructive sleep apnea" was carried out by Fred Urbano, Francoise Roux, Joseph Schindler and Vahid Mohsenin, all of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. It appears in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.

During sleep apnea episodes, the upper airway becomes blocked, hindering or stopping breathing and causing blood oxygen levels to drop and blood pressure to rise. The person eventually awakens and begins breathing, restoring normal blood oxygen and blood flow to the brain.

Ordinarily, the brain regulates its blood flow to meet its own metabolic needs, even in the face of changes in blood pressure -- a process known as cerebral autoregulation. This study observed that the repeated surges and drops in blood pressure and blood flow during numerous apnea episodes each night reduces the brain's ability to regulate these functions.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 6, 2009, 7:45 PM CT

Find some to locate a healthy meal place

Find some to locate a healthy meal place
As adolescents mature into young adults, increasing time constraints due to school or work can begin to impact eating habits in a negative way. As per a research findings reported in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, scientists found that while young adults enjoy and value time spent eating with others, 35% of males and 42% of females reported lacking time to sit down and eat a meal. They further noted that "eating on the run" was correlation to higher consumption of unhealthy items like fast foods and lower consumption of a number of healthful foods.

By surveying 1687 young adults between 18 and 25, who had previously participated in the Project EAT (Eating Among Teens) study while in high school, researchers from the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota assessed both eating behaviors and dietary balance. In particular, the participants were asked whether they enjoyed eating with friends or family in social settings, whether eating regular meals was important and whether they felt they had to eat on the run due to time pressures. Regarding dietary balance, they were asked about their past year intake of fruit, vegetables, dark-green and orange vegetables, whole grains and soft drinks, as well as their consumption of fast food in the past week.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 6, 2009, 7:32 PM CT

When do older drivers stop driving?

When do older drivers stop driving?
With 30 million drivers in the US aged 65 and over, we count on older Americans to recognize when they can no longer drive safely and decide that it's time to stay off the road. A newly released study finds that a decrease in vision function is a key factor in bringing about this decision.

The Salisbury Eye Evaluation and Driving Study (SEEDS), conducted by scientists affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, looked at changes in vision, cognition and the general health status of more than 1,200 licensed drivers aged 67-87 in Salisbury, MD, a community with limited public transportation. SEEDS is unique, in that the scientists performed comprehensive tests of both vision and cognitive function.

The results, recently published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, reveal that after a year, 1.5 percent of the drivers had given up driving, and another 3.4 percent had restricted their driving. The most common predictors of stopping or decreasing driving were slow visual scanning, psychomotor speed and poor visuo-constructional skills, as well as reduced contrast sensitivity. (These skills are necessary to help drivers be aware of and respond to other cars, road conditions and road signs. Contrast sensitivity is the ability to detect detail in shades of gray; it is necessary for driving in poor weather and low lighting.)........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


January 6, 2009, 7:06 PM CT

Drug to slow aging in making?

Drug to slow aging in making?
Recent animal studies have shown that clioquinol an 80-year old drug once used to treat diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders can reverse the progression of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. Scientists, however, had a variety of theories to attempt to explain how a single compound could have such similar effects on three unrelated neurodegenerative disorders.

Scientists at McGill University have discovered a dramatic possible new answer: As per Dr. Siegfried Hekimi and his colleagues at McGill's Department of Biology, clioquinol acts directly on a protein called CLK-1, often informally called "clock-1," and might slow down the aging process. The advance online edition of their study was published in Oct. 2008 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry

"Clioquinol is a very powerful inhibitor of clock-1," explained Hekimi, McGill's Strathcona Chair of Zoology and Robert Archibald & Catherine Louise Campbell Chair in Developmental Biology. "Because clock-1 affects longevity in invertebrates and mice, and because we're talking about three age-dependent neurodegenerative diseases, we hypothesize that clioquinol affects them by slowing down the rate of aging".

Once usually prescribed in Europe and Asia for gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and shigella, clioquinol was withdrawn from the market after being blamed for a devastating outbreak of subacute myelo-optic neuropathy (SMON) in Japan in the 1960s. However, because no rigorous scientific study was conducted at the time, and because clioquinol was used safely by millions before and after the Japanese outbreak, some scientists think its connection to SMON has yet to be proven.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 6, 2009, 6:50 PM CT

Wii Fit can promote physical activities

Wii Fit can promote physical activities
Image courtesy of Howstuffworks
While some emerging technologies can create environments that require very little physical effort, one Kansas State University researcher thinks games like Nintendo's Wii Fit can help promote physical rather than sedentary activities for people of all ages.

"I think there is a great potential to develop ways to promote physical activity through technology," said David Dzewaltowski, professor and head of the department of kinesiology at K-State and director of the university's Community Health Institute. "Kids innately like to move, so I think that there is a big future in games that use emerging technologies and require movement because the games will be enjoyed by children and also be more healthy than existing games".

In a commentary reported in the October 2008 Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, Dzewaltowski discussed how technology is changing our everyday life and affecting our health.

Wii Fit has games that incorporate yoga, strength training, balance and aerobics. The games are interactive and require the player to physically move, which is better than nothing, Dzewaltowski said. It uses a balance board and allows gamers to simulate challenges like snowboarding down a mountain.

"Anything that gets people to move more than they have in the past is positive, but if people are trying to replace physical activity that demands more movement with the Wii, then that will be negative," Dzewaltowski said.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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