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October 30, 2006, 8:15 PM CT

Dad Or Mom?

Dad Or Mom?
In families with two working parents, fathers had greater impact than mothers on their children's language development between ages 2 and 3, as per a research studyby the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute and UNC's School of Education.

Scientists videotaped pairs of parents and their 2-year-old children in their homes during playtime. The children whose fathers used more diverse vocabularies had greater language development when they were tested one year later. However, the mothers' vocabulary did not significantly affect a child's language skills.

"Most prior studies on early language development focused on mothers," said Nadya Panscofar, a graduate research assistant and an author of the study. "These findings underscore that for two-parent, dual earner families, fathers should be included in all efforts to improve language development and school readiness".

Panscofar and Dr. Lynne Vernon-Feagans, the William C. Friday distinguished professor of Child and Family Studies in the School of Education and a faculty fellow at FPG, conducted the study in Pennsylvania as part of the Penn State Health and Development Project when both were affiliated with that university.

The study appears in the online version of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. It will appear in the November print issue of that publication.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


October 29, 2006, 7:11 PM CT

Nightmares, demons and slaves

Nightmares, demons and slaves
Workplace bullying negatively impacts employees' physical and mental health, leading to higher company costs including increased employee illness, use of sick days, and medical costs, ultimately affecting productivity. Studies report that 25-30% of employees experience bullying and emotional abuse sometime during their work life.

In a recent study researching organizational conflict, emotion, wellness and work-life balance, reported in the recent issue of SAGE Publication's Management Communication Quarterly, communication scientists Sarah Tracy, Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik, and Jess Alberts used metaphor analysis to better understand the emotional pain experienced as a result of workplace bullying.

The study, which was supported by a grant from Research and Economic Affairs at Arizona State University, and is part of "The Project of Wellness and Work-Life," collected qualitative data through focus groups, narrative interviews and target drawings, allowing participants the freedom to describe their workplace harassment as "a battle," "water torture," "a nightmare," or "a noxious substance." Bullies were described as "two-faced actors" and "devils" and the workers were left feeling like "vulnerable children," "slaves," or "prisoners" in these situations. As one employee explained, "I feel like I have 'kick me' tattooed on my forehead".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 27, 2006, 9:08 PM CT

Study Shows Cognitive Decline Is Often Undetected

Study Shows Cognitive Decline Is Often Undetected
A number of patients over the age of 65 who are hospitalized with an acute illness experience a subtle change in their cognitive ability that often goes undiagnosed, untreated and underreported. As a result, a patient's ability to make decisions about his or her medical therapy may be negatively impacted.

These findings by Sharon Inouye, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Aging Brain Center at Hebrew SeniorLife and Professor of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, identified symptoms, such as disorientation, forgetfulness and an inability to follow directions, that may go undetected except by those individuals such as family members who know the patient well enough to notice the changes. A report of Dr. Inouye's findings, "Recoverable Cognitive Dysfunction at Hospital Admission in Older Persons," will appear in the recent issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM).

"Acute illness can represent a life-altering event for an older person, yet the impact of acute illness on cognitive functioning has not been systematically examined," Dr. Inouye said. "Understanding a patient's cognitive functioning is also necessary for developing effective and appropriate discharge planning."

As per Dr. Inouye's paper, no prior studies exist that establish just how much change in cognitive function regularly occurs in older patients or how it impacts their care. The subtle cognitive decline that she examined is referred to as recoverable cognitive dysfunction (RCD) and is determined by the results of a questionnaire called the.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 27, 2006, 9:04 PM CT

Many Have Undiagnosed ADHD

Many Have Undiagnosed ADHD
Shire plc announced recently that many adults with a depressive disorder, Bipolar Disorder (BPD), or an anxiety disorder may also have undiagnosed Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to a longitudinal retrospective medical claims analysis presented today at a major medical meeting of child and adolescent psychiatrists.

According to an analysis of medical claims derived from a large managed care database in the United States, approximately 2.5 percent of adults initially diagnosed with a depressive disorder, BPD or an anxiety disorder were also diagnosed with ADHD within the 12-month analysis period spanning January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2005. However, recent findings from the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) showed that among adult patients surveyed ADHD existed comorbidly in 32.0 percent of those with a depressive disorder, 21.2 percent of those with BPD, and 9.5 percent of those with an anxiety disorder. When compared with these high overall levels of psychiatric comorbidity detected in the NCS, the low comorbid diagnosis rates of the medical claims analysis suggest that many adult patients with psychiatric disorders such as a depressive disorder, BPD or an anxiety disorder may also have undiagnosed ADHD.

"The large discrepancy between the known rates of ADHD comorbidity and the number of patients actually being diagnosed with comorbid ADHD clearly demonstrates that there is still a strong need for increased awareness of adult ADHD, and that physicians treating the adult population may benefit from additional training in evaluating and diagnosing this disorder," said Lenard A. Adler, M.D., lead researcher and director of the Adult ADHD Program in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine and author of Scattered Minds: Hope and Help for Adults with ADHD (Putnam).........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 27, 2006, 4:59 AM CT

Survivors of organized violence

Survivors of organized violence
A series of studies, conducted by a psychotraumatology research group headed by Thomas Elbert in collaboration with Penn State psychology expert William Ray, has examined a group of people who have been exposed to different magnitudes of torture and found the appearance of dissociation (mental separation from the incident) long after the event. The research is reported in the latest issue of Psychological Science.

Those who experienced multiple and extreme trauma stopped responding physiologically and began to feel numb. The scientists think that, just as the body can turn off some of its stress response during feelings of great terror or helplessness, the mind has a way of turning off strong emotions in overwhelming situations.

The research group examined the functional architecture of the brain in relation to varying degrees of dissociation. They found that dissociative experiences are reflected in slow, abnormal brainwaves in an area that contributes to verbalizing and the ability to plan and prepare for actions.

Observation of structural or functional brain lesions has led the authors to interpret their findings as a sign of the brain decoupling these regions from sensory experience and action. They believe this is the only response that seems possible during serious torture but note that, when maintained during the later part of life, the long-term consequences are devastating. This brain reorganization is maintained even when the torture is over.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 26, 2006, 5:10 AM CT

Linking Emotions And Memories

Linking Emotions And Memories
Having a child with bottled up emotions isn't a good thing. Psychology experts from Case Western Reserve University have observed that the range of emotions that children use in play can be used as an indicator of how emotionally charged their memories will be.

Emotions--whether positive or negative--in play offer important information to people working with children about how able they will be at expressing the emotional side of their memories. Accessing emotional memories is important for adjusting to traumas experienced.

A number of children are unable to start talking about their emotions or memories with someone new, but watching children play can help child therapists and others working with children gauge how open children might be to talking about the emotions linked to past memories, as per Sandra Russ, Case professor of psychology. She has been studying the emotional side of play and how play benefits children for more than 20 years.

Russ, with Ethan D. Schafer, discusses this discovery in the Creativity Research Journal article, "Affect in Fantasy Play, Emotion in Memories, and Divergent Thinking." In the past, this link between emotions in play treatment and emotions in memories was observed but had not been formally studied in children.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 26, 2006, 5:07 AM CT

Insight Into Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Insight Into Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
New research into Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is leading to a better understanding of its underlying neurobiology, risk factors and long-term implications. The findings appear in a recent issue of Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences and were revealed at a conference jointly sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Scientists are studying many previously unexplored topics, including an examination of trauma within hours of the event, the thought processes that keep sufferers focused on the trauma and possibilities for prevention and treatment. New and promising research is engaged with mapping the neural circuitry involved in response to danger and with investigations of the complex genetics of individual risk.

Eventhough the NIMH was created 60 years ago partly in response to an increased awareness of the psychological consequences of war, little PTSD research had been done before the Vietnam War. Since that time, PTSD has been found in veterans dating back to World War II. Eventhough PTSD appears at a high rate among veterans, the condition is also seen in the civilian population: the events of 9/11 have increased the urgency of finding answers.

A study of the general population observed that PTSD affects 5% of men and 10% of women. Studies also show a greater likelihood of PTSD development in the children of trauma survivors, including data on babies born to women who were pregnant and escaped from the World Trade Center on September 11 suggesting in utero and other developmental effects.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 24, 2006, 9:00 PM CT

Women Feel Less Trusting In Their Relationships At Work

Women Feel Less Trusting In Their Relationships At Work
They are less likely than men to feel that clients and other people they deal with in other companies are acting honestly with them, says the research, from the University of Bath.

Dr Simon Pervan interviewed 400 senior marketing managers about their relationships with people from other companies in the advertising and marketing sector.

He observed that only 48 per cent of women agreed with the statement: "We are honest with each other about the problems that arise," whereas 67 per cent of men agreed with this.

Only 45 per cent of women agreed with the statements that, in their relationship, "parties were willing to exchange fairly, communicate problems and make up for harm done," compared with 55 per cent of men, an indicator of how reciprocal they felt their relationships were.

"These findings show that women are less likely to feel that the relationship they have with people from other companies is honest or reciprocal," said Dr Pervan, who is based at the University's School of Management Marketing Group.

"It could be that women, being more empathic, are better able to see that the relationships at work are not honest or reciprocal, whereas men wrongly assume they are.

"A cynical interpretation of the results is that men are more likely to blissfully continue in what they perceive, wrongly or rightly, as a good business relationship".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 24, 2006, 6:03 PM CT

New Treatment For Obsessive-compulsive Disorders

New Treatment For Obsessive-compulsive Disorders
In a paper published on-line in advance of publication in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, Sanjaya Saxena, M.D., Director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD) Program at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, reports the surprising finding that the serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) medication, paroxetine, is effective in treating patients with compulsive hoarding syndrome.

The study of 79 patients diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 32 of them with compulsive hoarding syndrome suggests that further controlled trials of SRI medications for compulsive hoarding are now warranted.

Compulsive hoarding, which may affect up to 2 million people in the United States, is found in people with many diseases, including anorexia, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease and dementia. It is most often found in patients with OCD, though researchers are not yet sure if it is a subtype of OCD or a separate disorder.

In previous, retrospective studies looking at patients and data from past drug trials compulsive hoarding had been associated with poor response to SRI medications commonly used to treat OCD patients. However, no previous study had ever directly tested this widely held theory. Saxena's prospective study, comparing the hoarding and non-hoarding OCD patients, showed nearly identical responses to paroxetine (commonly known as Paxil.) The symptoms exhibited by patients in both groups improved significantly with treatment.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 16, 2006, 10:09 PM CT

Prescription Pain Medication Abuse On Increase

Prescription Pain Medication Abuse On Increase
Scientists at Rush University Medical Center found prescription pain medicine (PPM) abuse is a rapidly growing problem with surprising and often unpredictable distribution patterns. The research was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Anesthesiologists in Chicago, October 13, 2006.

Mario Moric, PhD, a researcher in the department of Anesthesiology at Rush, and his colleagues used survey data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health for 2002-04 to estimate the prevalence of drug abuse across the United States for various illicit and prescription substances.

Moric observed that PPM abuse did not follow traditional patterns. "Individual states with high levels of PPM abuse may not recognize the problem. The prevailing assumption that only those states with high levels of traditional illicit drug abuse should be vigilant is clearly misleading".

The scientists found distribution of PPM abuse across the United States varied greatly and differed from other seemingly similar drug abuse trends. PPM distribution differed substantially from inhalants, heroin and sedatives, was somewhat similar to cocaine and stimulants and was closely correlation to distribution of tranquilizers.

Furthermore, the scientists observed that states with large metropolitan areas (New York, Illinois, Texas and California) did not have a high distribution of abuse, despite the common view that drug abuse is linked to the fast-paced lifestyle of city dwellers.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         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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