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January 15, 2009, 6:45 PM CT

Dementia in the environment of universal health care

Dementia in the environment of universal health care
A newly released study has observed that in spite of their universal health care system which facilitates access to free dementia care, elderly adults in the United Kingdom are less willing to undergo dementia screening than their counterparts in the U.S. because the Britons perceive greater societal stigma from diagnosis of the disease than do Americans.

Scientists surveyed 125 elderly adults in Indianapolis and 120 elderly adults in Kent, England, on their opinions on the perceived harms and benefits of dementia screening. None of those surveyed had been diagnosed with dementia, however significantly more of the U.K. participants (48 percent) had close friends or relatives who have or had Alzheimer's disease in comparison to U.S. participants (27 percent).

The study of public attitudes toward early detection of dementia across different health-care systems was conducted by scientists from Indiana University in the United States and the universities of Kent and London in the United Kingdom. The research was funded in part by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, and appears in an advance online publication of the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

"From my prospective, it was a genuine surprise that having a universal health care system, which provides services and support to all those who need it, didn't protect from perceived stigma and negativity," said the study's corresponding author, Malaz Boustani, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute research scientist.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 14, 2009, 11:40 PM CT

Telephone support after traffic accidents

Telephone support after traffic accidents
People who were injured in road accidents had fewer problems and a much higher quality of life if they received a simple follow-up call from a nurse three weeks after being discharged from hospital, as per research in the recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing

During the two-year study, scientists from Umea University in Sweden followed up 568 car occupants, cyclists and pedestrians who had attended the same emergency department after an accident.

They observed that patients in the telephone support group were 35% less likely to complain of pain and discomfort than patients in the control group and that this rose to 40% when it came to car occupants. Patients who received support also reported fewer problems with anxiety, depression, everyday tasks and mobility.

The patients, who were between 18 and 70, were randomly assigned to the intervention group (288 people) or the control group (280). People with mental health problems or dementia were specifically excluded. 510 people completed the six-month study 147 were car drivers, 178 were cyclists and 185 were pedestrians.

All the patients were asked to fill in the same quality of life questionnaire two weeks and six months after their accident.

Patients in the intervention group also received a follow-up call after three weeks.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 14, 2009, 11:38 PM CT

Can coffee drinking increase risk of dementia?

Can coffee drinking increase risk of dementia?
Stockholm, Sweden -- Midlife coffee drinking can decrease the risk of dementia/Alzheimer's disease (AD) during the later part of life. This conclusion is made in a Finnish Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) Study reported in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (Volume 16:1).

This study has been conducted at the University of Kuopio, Finland in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and the National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland. The study included participants from the survivors of population-based cohorts previously surveyed within the North Karelia Project and the FINMONICA study in 1972, 1977, 1982 or 1987 (midlife visit). After an average follow-up of 21 years, 1409 individuals (71%) aged 65 to 79 completed the re-examination in 1998. A total of 61 cases were identified as demented (48 with AD).

"We aimed to study the association between coffee and tea consumption at midlife and dementia/AD risk in late-life, because the long-term impact of caffeine on the central nervous system was still unknown, and as the pathologic processes leading to Alzheimer's disease may start decades before the clinical manifestation of the disease," says lead researcher, associate professor Miia Kivipelto, from the University of Kuopio, Finland and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 12, 2009, 11:51 PM CT

Stress at workplace may increase risk of stroke

Stress at workplace may increase risk of stroke
Japanese men in high-stress jobs appear to have an increased risk of stroke compared with those in less demanding positions, as per a report in the January 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Stress is considered a risk factor for stroke, as per background information in the article. Several models of job stress have been developed and provide clues as to how occupational factors appears to be modified to reduce risk. "The job demandcontrol model is the most often used occupational stress model," the authors write. "It posits that workers who face high psychological demands in their occupation and have little control over their work (i.e., those who have job strain) are at a greater risk of becoming ill than are workers with low psychological demands and a high degree of control in their occupation (i.e., those with low-strain occupations)".

Akizumi Tsutsumi, M.D., of the University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan, and his colleagues studied 6,553 Japanese workers (3,190 men and 3,363 women, age 65 and younger) who completed an initial questionnaire and physical examination between 1992 and 1995. The workers were followed up annually through phone calls, letters and interviews for an average of 11 years.........

Posted by: Daniel      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, 9:16 PM CT

Spirituality To Cope With Chronic Illness

Spirituality To Cope With Chronic Illness
Chronic illness can lead to poorer quality of life-especially for adolescents. New research shows that spirituality may help teens cope with their conditions.

Two recent studies, led by Michael Yi, MD, associate professor of medicine, and Sian Cotton, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of family medicine, investigated how adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-a condition characterized by chronic inflammation in the intestines-may use spirituality to cope with their illness.

These results were published in online versions of the Journal of Pediatrics and the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Spirituality is defined as one's sense of meaning or purpose in life or one's sense of connectedness to the sacred or divine.

IBD is a term that refers mainly to ulcerative colitis-which causes ulcers in the colon-and Crohn's disease-occurring when the immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract.

Patients with IBD experience recurrent abdominal pain, bloody stools and diarrhea, among other serious problems, and have an increased risk for colon cancer. Adolescents with IBD are also at risk for numerous psychosocial difficulties, including increased mental health problems and social stigma.

The exact cause of IBD is not known, and there is no cure.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 7, 2009, 11:58 PM CT

Restoring Trust is Harder

Restoring Trust is Harder
In relationships built on trust, a bad first impression can be harder to overcome than a betrayal that occurs after ties are established, a newly released study suggests.

While betraying trust is never good for a relationship, the results show that early violations can be especially devastating, and plant seeds of doubt that may never go away, said Robert Lount, co-author of the study and assistant professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business.

"First impressions matter when you want to build a lasting trust," Lount said.

"If you get off on the wrong foot, the relationship may never be completely right again. It's easier to rebuild trust after a breach if you already have a strong relationship".

While the importance of first impressions may seem obvious, Lount said there is still a common theme in popular culture that suggests a number of great relationships start off badly.

"Our results fly in the face of this Hollywood notion of hating someone at first sight but then developing a wonderful, passionate relationship," he said. "The likelihood of that happening in real life is pretty low".

The study appears in a recent issue of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 7, 2009, 11:54 PM CT

Genetic Determinants of ADHD

Genetic Determinants of ADHD
A special issue of American Journal of Medical Genetics (AJMG): Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics presents a comprehensive overview of the latest progress in genetic research of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The issue covers major trends in the field of complex psychiatric genetics, underscoring how genetic studies of ADHD have evolved, and what approaches are needed to uncover its genetic origins.

ADHD is a complex condition with environmental and genetic causes. Typically it is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that has an onset in childhood. It is one of the most common psychiatric diseases, affecting between 8-12 percent of children worldwide. The drugs used to treat ADHD are highly effective, making ADHD one of the most treatable psychiatric disorders. However, despite the high efficacy of ADHD medications, these therapys are not curative and leave patients with residual disability. Because ADHD is also has one of the most heritable of psychiatric disorders, scientists have been searching for genes that underlie the disorder in the hopes that gene discovery will lead to better therapys for the disorder.

Among the a number of studies in the issue are two from the first genomewide association study of individual ADHD patients. The study examined more than 600,000 genetic markers in over 900 families from the largest genetic study of ADHD, the International ADHD Multicenter Genetics (IMAGE) project led by Stephen V. Faraone of SUNY Upstate Medical Center. The authors have made these data publicly available to scientists who are interested in pursuing further studies.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 2, 2009, 10:55 AM CT

Getting better results from anxiety treatment

Getting better results from anxiety treatment
A network of emotion-regulating brain regions implicated in the pathological worry that can grip patients with anxiety disorders may also be useful for predicting the benefits of therapy.

A newly released study appearing online Jan. 2 reports that high levels of brain activity in an emotional center called the amygdala reflect patients' hypersensitivity to anticipation of adverse events. At the same time, high activity in a regulatory region known as the anterior cingulate cortex is linked to a positive clinical response to a common antidepressant medication. The study will appear in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry

For individuals with anxiety disorders, the anticipation of a bad outcome can be worse than the outcome itself, says Jack Nitschke, assistant professor and clinical psychology expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and main author of the newly released study. Some individuals spend so much time worrying about getting into a negative situation or having a panic attack, he says, that the condition becomes debilitating. "In an extreme situation, they might not even leave their home," he says.

To study how the brain responds to anticipation, scientists at the UW-Madison Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as they viewed a set of negative and neutral images. Patients were shown pre-image cues several seconds before each picture so they would know what to expect: a circle before a neutral image and a minus sign before an aversive image.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 30, 2008, 7:11 AM CT

How your facial expressions are formed?

How your facial expressions are formed?
Facial expressions of emotion are hardwired into our genes, as per a research studypublished recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology The research suggests that facial expressions of emotion are innate rather than a product of cultural learning. The study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that sighted and blind individuals use the same facial expressions, producing the same facial muscle movements in response to specific emotional stimuli.

The study also provides new insight into how humans manage emotional displays as per social context, suggesting that the ability to regulate emotional expressions is not learned through observation.

San Francisco State University Psychology Professor David Matsumoto compared the facial expressions of sighted and blind judo athletes at the 2004 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games. More than 4,800 photographs were captured and analyzed, including images of athletes from 23 countries.

"The statistical connection between the facial expressions of sighted and blind individuals was almost perfect," Matsumoto said. "This suggests something genetically resident within us is the source of facial expressions of emotion."

Matsumoto observed that sighted and blind individuals manage their expressions of emotion in the same way as per social context. For example, because of the social nature of the Olympic medal ceremonies, 85 percent of silver medalists who lost their medal matches produced "social smiles" during the ceremony. Social smiles use only the mouth muscles whereas true smiles, known as Duchenne smiles, cause the eyes to twinkle and narrow and the cheeks to rise.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Too little evidence exists to recommend or rule out estrogen as a treatment for schizophrenia in women, a new review of studies finds.People diagnosed with schizophrenia suffer distorted perceptions of reality and hallucinations. Today, estrogen is strictly an experimental therapy for the psychotic symptoms associated with the mental illness.

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