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June 10, 2006, 7:00 PM CT

Migraine Headaches And Sexual Desire

Migraine Headaches And Sexual Desire
Contrary to the popular cliche, "Not tonight, I have a headache," new research suggests that not all headache sufferers avoid sexual activity. In fact, migraine sufferers reported higher levels of sexual desire than those with other types of headaches, as per scientists from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and his colleagues.

"Our study suggests that sexual desire and migraine headaches may be influenced by the same brain chemical," said Timothy Houle, Ph.D., lead author and research assistant professor of anesthesiology. "The results support the idea that migraine, as a syndrome, is associated with other common phenomena. Understanding of this link will help us to better understand the nature of migraine and perhaps lead to improved therapy."

The research, involving 68 young adults from Chicago, will appear in an upcoming issue of Headache, published by the American Headache Society, and already is available on line.

The objective of the study was to examine the relationship between migraine headache and self-reported sexual desire. There is evidence of a complex relationship between sexual activity and headache. Both sexual desire and migraine headache have been linked to levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that also plays a role in depression. An excess of serotonin may be associated with decreased libido, and migraine sufferers are reported to have low system levels of the brain chemical. Serotonin has also been found to play a role in migraine attacks.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 9, 2006, 0:16 AM CT

The Mystery Behind Love-hate Relationships

The Mystery Behind Love-hate Relationships
People who see their relationships as either all good or all bad tend to have low self-esteem, as per a series of seven studies by Yale scientists reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

In two of the studies participants were asked to indicate as quickly as possible whether each of 10 adjectives applied to their relationship partner, adjectives such as caring and warm or greedy and dishonest. Partners in this study included college roommates and mothers.

Individuals low in self-esteem were considerably slower to respond when negative and positive adjectives were alternated than when similar adjectives appeared in blocks. Those high in self-esteem were equally quick to respond to the adjectives no matter how they were presented.

"This suggests it was hard for them to think of their partners as a mix of positive and negative characteristics at a given point in time," said Margaret Clark, a professor in the Department of Psychology and senior faculty author of the study. "We do not think these results are limited to any one type of relationship. We think they apply to any close relationship."

Clark said the effects were obtained only when people judged relationship partners. There was no delayed response when judging an object, in this case, their computer.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 8, 2006, 7:15 PM CT

Erotic Images Elicit Strong Response From Brain

Erotic Images Elicit Strong Response From Brain This brain map shows differences in reactions to erotic and neutral visual materials. Red zones represent the largest differences, suggesting that circuits in the frontal parts of the brain are particularly sensitive to erotic content and the fastest to detect the difference.
A new study suggests the brain is quickly turned on and "tuned in" when a person views erotic images.

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis measured brainwave activity of 264 women as they viewed a series of 55 color slides that contained various scenes from water skiers to snarling dogs to partially-clad couples in sensual poses.

What they found may seem like a "no brainer." When study volunteers viewed erotic pictures, their brains produced electrical responses that were stronger than those elicited by other material that was viewed, no matter how pleasant or disturbing the other material may have been. This difference in brainwave response emerged very quickly, suggesting that different neural circuits may be involved in the processing of erotic images.

"That surprised us," says first author Andrey P. Anokhin, Ph.D., research assistant professor of psychiatry. "We believed both pleasant and disturbing images would evoke a rapid response, but erotic scenes always elicited the strongest response."

As subjects looked at the slides, electrodes on their scalps measured changes in the brain's electrical activity called event-related potentials (ERPs). The scientists learned that regardless of a picture's content, the brain acts very quickly to classify the visual image. The ERPs begin firing in the brain's cortex long before a person is conscious of whether they are seeing a picture that is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 8, 2006, 0:08 AM CT

Laws Don't Stop Kids From Smoking

Laws Don't Stop Kids From Smoking
Laws criminalizing the sale of tobacco to kids might be good PR for politicians, but they have little or no effect of the use of tobacco by minors, a Swiss researcher concludes in a new review article.

The author, Jean-Fran├žois Etter, Ph.D, of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Geneva, reviewed all published studies on the subject, most of which were done in the United States, where, since 1992, legislation requires all states to enact and enforce laws prohibiting the sale for tobacco to persons under the age of 18.

"The review showed that laws prohibiting tobacco sales to minors are widespread, but that there is little evidence that they have any impact on smoking rates among youth," said Etter.

States do not enforce the laws, and the federal government does not require states to penalize lawbreakers, as per the review would be reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Even when laws are followed, the analysis found "no effect of sales prohibitions on tobacco use by minors, at any level of compliance by retailers".

Minors easily find "social" sources - family and friends - to get tobacco products and circumvent the laws, the review found, and the weight of criminalization is being shifted from retailers to underage users of tobacco.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 7, 2006, 7:02 AM CT

Children And Teens Treated With Antipsychotics Increases

Children And Teens Treated With Antipsychotics Increases
A steadily increasing number of patients younger than age 20 received prescriptions for antipsychotic medications between 1993 and 2002, as per a report reported in the recent issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Antipsychotics are medications used to treat mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and mania, that may involve loss of contact with reality. Several studies have indicated that prescriptions for these medications have been increasing among children and adolescents, raising concerns among professionals and the public. However, no national data have previously been available, as per background information in the article. Most prescriptions given to children and adolescents are for second-generation antipsychotics, which are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for pediatric patients.

Mark Olfson, M.D., M.P.H., College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, and his colleagues analyzed data from a national survey of office-based physicians conducted yearly by federal researchers. In addition to recording whether the child or adolescent patient received a prescription for antipsychotics, the doctor or a staff member also logged the patient's age, sex and race or ethnicity; the length of the visit; the physician's specialty and whether the patient received psychotherapy.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink


June 5, 2006, 11:48 PM CT

Self-injury is prevalent among college students

Self-injury is prevalent among college students Janis Whitlock, right, director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behaviors in the Family Life Development Center, and John Eckenrode, Cornell professor of human development
About 17 percent of college students -- 20 percent of women and 14 percent of men -- report that they have cut, burned, carved or harmed themselves in other ways, reports a new survey by Cornell and Princeton University researchers, the largest study on self-injurious behavior (SIB) in the United States to date.

However, fewer than 7 percent of the students studied had ever sought medical help for their self-inflicted physical injuries.

"Self-injurious behavior is defined as inflicting harm to one's body without the obvious intent of committing suicide," said Janis Whitlock, director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behaviors in the Family Life Development Center (FLDC) at Cornell and lead author of the study, reported in the recent issue of Pediatrics. SIB also may include such behaviors as ripping or pulling skin or hair, biting, bruising and breaking bones, she said.

The findings, the scientists contend, may reflect broader national trends: "Our findings are entirely consistent with nationally representative research in the United Kingdom and with smaller studies in the United States and Canada, which show self-injury to be a widespread phenomenon among adolescents and young adults," said Whitlock, adding, "There is virtually universal consensus among college and secondary-school mental health providers that a number of psychological disorders, including SIB, have increased significantly in the past five years."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 4, 2006, 8:48 AM CT

Type of Stress, Not Duration, Key to Heart Enlargement

Type of Stress, Not Duration, Key to Heart Enlargement
When judging whether or not an enlarged heart is healthy or potentially at risk for heart disease, the nature of the physiological stress that produced the enlargement is more important than the duration of the stress, as per a new study led by Duke University Medical Center investigators.

This distinction has significant clinical implications, the scientists said. While enlargement of the heart can be a natural and beneficial response to exercise training, it can also be an early warning sign for such harmful conditions as heart failure.

These findings, based on a series of experiments in mice, could help settle a long-running controversy among cardiologists concerning heart enlargement, or cardiac hypertrophy, as per Duke cardiologist Howard Rockman, M.D., who led the team of Duke and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill researchers.

The scientists published their findings on June, 1, 2006, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

"If you look at the hearts of athletes, they are larger than normal," Rockman said. "Conversely, patients with hypertension also tend have larger-than-normal hearts. So why are some cardiac overloads, such as exercise, good for the heart, while others, such as high blood pressure, not?".........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 1, 2006, 11:31 PM CT

A Father's Hand Guides A Child To Success

A Father's Hand Guides A Child To Success Paquette believes that there is a link between a poor father-child relationship and such problems as dropping out of school, difficulty entering the job market, gangs and homelessness.
"Does a child need a father?" Daniel Paquette asks this question when he speaks at libraries and cultural centres in Quebec. The answer is yes. Paquette, a professor in the Department of Psychology, explains: "A good relationship with the father gives a child confidence in her own abilities and teaches her how to handle danger and new physical and social situations".

Paquette, a researcher at the Institut de recherche pour le developpement social des jeunes, has been investigating various aspects of attachment for eleven years. His studies on the development of children in distress have convinced him that a child's social skills must be learned through close relationships with one or more adults in the child's circle. The father is an essential role model.

"Fathers help the child explore her world," says Paquette. "The child needs stimulation and encouragement as much as she needs the security and stability that she gets from her mother. Fathers are more likely than mothers to play physical games with young children." These games teach the child to take initiative, face challenges and claim her place in a competitive world.

Paquette believes that there is a link between a poor father-child relationship and such problems as dropping out of school, difficulty entering the job market, gangs and homelessness.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 31, 2006, 9:13 PM CT

Guidance In Treatment Of Alcohol Dependence

Guidance In Treatment Of Alcohol Dependence
A large-scale study of different therapy approaches for alcohol dependence underlines that medicine can play a key role in therapy.

While a number of therapy approaches were found helpful, the authors report that the patients who were most successful in abstaining from alcohol 16 weeks after therapy were those prescribed naltrexone under medical management and those participating in a multi-session program of alcohol counseling delivered by a behavioral specialist.

The paper appears in the May 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association and reports on the largest clinical trial ever conducted of pharmacologic and behavioral therapys for alcohol dependence.

"The most robust finding in the study is that those receiving any medicine did much better than those who received no pills at all," says The Scripps Research Institute's Professor Barbara Mason, an author of the paper. "This should be a wakeup call. With less than one percent of those seeking help for alcohol dependence receiving a prescription, medicine is underutilized. Medication for alcoholism can offer patients an advantage for their recovery, particularly in a real-world setting."

Another important aspect of the study, says Mason, is that it offers new safety data on the prescription drugs used in the trial, naltrexone and acamprosate, which were administered at higher-than-standard doses. "We had no serious drug-related events during the course of the research," she says. "That fact should offer prescribing physicians a high degree of comfort".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 30, 2006, 11:31 PM CT

Hypnotherapy For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Hypnotherapy For Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) who took part in hypnotherapy sessions reported reduced symptoms and improved quality of life, as per research reported in the recent issue of Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Dr Graeme D Smith from University of Edinburgh studied 75 patients with IBS - which affects up to one in seven adults - before and after they took part in four to five therapy sessions over three months.

He discovered that before the sessions, women were most concerned with quality of life issues such as diet and energy and that men had the highest levels of anxiety and depression and worried about their physical role.

The 20 men and 55 women who participated in the study reported that hypnotherapy brought about significant improvements in the physical and emotional symptoms correlation to IBS.

These included a 30 per cent improvement in their emotional quality of life and a 25 per cent improvement in energy levels.

Mental health improved by 21 per cent, sleep by 18 per cent, physical health by 16 per cent and diet by 14 per cent.

The participants also reported that their social role had improved by 20 per cent and their physical role by 18 per cent.

Average anxiety levels fell by 12 per cent and depression fell by four per cent. Men showed higher levels of both problems before the hypnotherapy sessions, but also reported greater improvements than women.........

Posted by: Sue      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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