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September 23, 2007, 11:05 AM CT

Struggles of children with language impairments

Struggles of children with language impairments
For the first time, a new study has looked into how language impairments affect a childs ability to understand and retell a script-based story.

When we experience an event frequently, for example going to a restaurant, we remember the kinds of activities that are part of that event. This is called a script and a number of scientists think that we store information in our brain as scripts. So if you are listening to a story that takes place at a restaurant and you have been to a restaurant before, you would expect characters in the story to order food, eat food, and pay for their meal.

But how do you understand the story when you dont even know the scripts?

For this study, involving a University of Alberta researcher, the examiner read a script-based story (about two children who go to a restaurant with their mother) to 44 eight-year-old children with and without language impairments. Once the story was finished, the children were asked to tell the story back to the examiner. The children with language impairments faired very poorly when trying to recall story details.

It was observed that the children with language impairments often were only able to retell one key piece of information correlation to the story, a very surprising result as research on children without language impairments shows children as young as three-years-old can comprehend and retell basic scripts.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 10:13 PM CT

Medication for ADHD may help student outcomes

Medication for ADHD may help student outcomes
In an 18-year-study on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Mayo Clinic scientists observed that therapy with prescription stimulants is linked to improved long-term academic success of children with ADHD. The Mayo Clinic results are the first population-based data to show stimulant drug treatment helps improve long-term school outcomes.

A related Mayo Clinic study reveals that in comparison to children without AD/HD, children with ADHD are at risk for poor long-term school outcomes such as low achievement in reading, absenteeism, repeating a grade, and dropping out of school. Both studies appear in the current edition of the Journal of Development & Behavioral Pediatrics, (http://www.jrnldbp.com).

Nearly 2 million children, or approximately 3 percent to 5 percent of young children in the United States, have ADHD. This disorder affects a childs ability to focus, concentrate and control impulsive behavior (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/adhd.cfm). This disorder is so common that most school classrooms have at least one child with clinically-diagnosed ADHD.

In this study, therapy with stimulant medicine during childhood was linked to more favorable long-term school outcomes, explains William Barbaresi, M.D., Mayo Clinic pediatrician and lead author of the reports.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 18, 2007, 5:20 AM CT

Can't take my eyes off you: the power of attraction

Can't take my eyes off you: the power of attraction
Whether we are seeking a mate or sizing up a potential rival, good-looking people capture our attention nearly instantaneously and render us temporarily helpless to turn our eyes away from them, as per a new Florida State University study.

Its like magnetism at the level of visual attention, said Jon Maner, an assistant professor of psychology at FSU, who studied the role mating-related motives can play in a psychological phenomenon called attentional adhesion. His findings appear in the recent issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The paper, Cant Take My Eyes Off You: Attentional Adhesion to Mates and Rivals, is one of the first to show how strongly, quickly and automatically we are attuned to attractive people, he said. FSU graduate students Matthew Gailliot, D. Aaron Rouby and Saul Miller co-authored the study.

In a series of three experiments, Maner and colleagues observed that the study participants, all heterosexual men and women, fixated on highly attractive people within the first half of a second of seeing them. Single folks ogled the opposite sex, of course, but those in committed relationships also checked people out, with one major difference: They were more interested in beautiful people of the same sex.

If were interested in finding a mate, our attention gets quickly and automatically stuck on attractive members of the opposite sex, Maner said. If were jealous and worried about our partner cheating on us, attention gets quickly and automatically stuck on attractive people of our own sex because they are our competitors.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 17, 2007, 5:12 AM CT

Divorce foretells child's future care for elderly parent

Divorce foretells child's future care for elderly parent
For better or worse, baby boomers approach retirement with more complex marital histories than prior generations. Temple University researcher Adam Davey, Ph.D. has found the impact of these events -- divorces, widowhood, and remarriage can predict if a child will provide more involved care in the future.

A divorce may have happened over 30 years ago, but the changes it caused can have a long lasting effect for the child into adulthood, Davey said. The findings are reported in the recent issue of Advances in Life Course Research.

More specifically, divorce predicted an adult child would be less of involved with day-to-day assistance during the later part of life for the aging parent. These activities include the child helping the parent maintain chores in the home.

Its not the divorce itself that affects the quality of the parent-child relationship, but its what happens afterwards such as geographical separation, said Davey, a gerontologist who studies trends in the baby boomer generation and other aging issues.

Davey analyzed data from 2,087 parents, aged 50 and older, who reported on their 7,019 adult children in the National Survey of Family and Households. Information was collected between 1987 and 1994.

Marital transitions affect families in many ways, Davey said. They can interrupt the relationship of support between a parent and child, and the evidence suggests that the continuity of support by parents and to parents matters.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 12, 2007, 8:13 PM CT

Pine bark extract reduces ADHD symptoms

Pine bark extract reduces ADHD symptoms
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a prevailing issue in the United States, with millions of children getting diagnosed every year. A new study reveals that Pycnogenol, (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, reduces ADHD in children. The study shows Pycnogenol balances stress hormones, which lowers adrenaline and dopamine, resulting in a decrease of ADHD.

The findings, would be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Nutritional Neuroscience is a spin-off of a 2006 study found in the journal of European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry that revealed Pycnogenol helped reduce hyperactivity and improve attention, concentration and motor-visual coordination in children with ADHD. The current study measures urine samples and blood samples of the children, which were not accounted for in the results of the original study.

Pycnogenols ability to naturally treat symptoms of ADHD is what makes this extract exceptionally pleasing to parents who may be uneasy about medicating their children with stimulant medications,"said Dr. Peter Rohdewald of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Gera number ofs University of Munster and one of the authors of the study.

The study sampled 57 outpatients with ADHD with an average age of 9"years, from the Department of Child Psychology at the Children University Hospital in Slovakia.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 11, 2007, 11:21 PM CT

Breast Cancer Medication For Bipolar Disorder

Breast Cancer Medication For Bipolar Disorder
Tamoxifen
The medicine tamoxifen, best known as a therapy for breast cancer, dramatically reduces symptoms of the manic phase of bipolar disorder more quickly than a number of standard medications for the mental illness, a new study shows. Scientists at the National Institutes of Healths National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) who conducted the study also explained how: Tamoxifen blocks an enzyme called protein kinase C (PKC) that regulates activities in brain cells. The enzyme is believed to be over-active during the manic phase of bipolar disorder.

By pointing to PKC as a target for new medications, the study raises the possibility of developing faster-acting therapys for the manic phase of the illness. Current medications for the manic phase generally take more than a week to begin working, and not everyone responds to them. Tamoxifen itself might not become a therapy of choice, though, because it also blocks estrogen the property that makes it useful as a therapy for breast cancer and because it may cause endometrial cancer if taken over long periods of time. Currently, tamoxifen is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for therapy of some kinds of cancer and infertility, for example. It was used experimentally in this study because it both blocks PKC and is able to enter the brain.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 6, 2007, 9:55 PM CT

Parenting help for bipolar mums and dads

Parenting help for bipolar mums and dads
Parents with bipolar disorder are taking part in a study that will give them the chance to follow a highly successful parenting skills programme.

Dr Steven Jones and Dr Rachel Calam at the University of Manchesters School of Psychological Sciences assess the volunteers current mood and experiences of parenting with an online questionnaire before offering some of them help via an online version of the Triple P Positive Parenting Programme that featured on the ITV1 television series called Driving Mum and Dad Mad.

The Triple P system, developed by Australian clinical psychology expert Professor Matt Sanders, is known to be effective in modifying and improving childrens behaviour by rebuilding positive relationships, tackling discipline and setting rules and limits.

The first series of Driving Mum and Dad Mad in spring 2005 followed the experiences of five families attending a Triple P group. An average of 4.23 million viewers watched the show, with 500 families taking part in a parallel study by Dr Calam, The Great Parenting Experiment. All the parents who followed the TV series and used the strategies shown reported improved behaviour in their child and greater confidence in managing it. The group receiving additional web-based information and email support experienced an even greater improvement, and six months after the series most of the families reported long term benefits and continued improvements to their childrens behaviour.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 4, 2007, 7:44 PM CT

Primary Care Depression Treatment

Primary Care Depression Treatment
Most patients with depression who are treated by primary care physicians do not receive care consistent with quality standards, as per a new RAND Corporation study.

Physicians had high rates of adherence to just one third of the 20 measures of quality that scientists examined and had low rates of adherence to nearly half of the therapy recommendations studied, as per the report in the September 4 edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"These findings are important for patients since most cases of depression are diagnosed and treated in primary care settings," said senior author Dr. Lisa V. Rubenstein, the study's senior author, and a senior scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization, and a doctor at the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. "This shows that additional efforts are needed to improve the therapy of depression".

The study also observed that patients who received better-quality care reported fewer symptoms of depression up to two years after the start of therapy. The findings are among the first linking quality guidelines for depression therapy with improved patient outcomes in community settings.

"These are initial findings, but they suggest that programs that encourage doctors to follow therapy guidelines can help improve the long-term outlook for people with depression," said Rubenstein, who also is affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 3, 2007, 1:01 PM CT

Work time and a person's sleep

Work time and a person's sleep
Work time is the primary lifestyle factor with the largest reciprocal relationship to a persons sleep time the more hours a person works, the less sleep that he or she gets, as per a research studyreported in the September 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, authored by Mathias Basner, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, focused on a total of 47,731 respondents to the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) conducted in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The telephone survey was 15-20 minutes in length, and asked people how they spent their time between 4 a.m. the prior day and 4 a.m. the interview day, including where they were and whom they were with.

As per the results, most waking activities were inversely correlation to sleep time. The largest reciprocal relationship to sleep on both weekdays and weekends was found for work time. Respondents who slept four-and-a-half hours or less worked an average of 93 minutes more on weekdays and 118 minutes more on weekends than the average sleeper, while those who slept 11-and-a-half hours or more worked an average of 143 minutes less on weekdays and 71 minutes less on weekends than the average sleeper.

These cross-sectional results in a nationally representative sample suggest that compensated work time is the most potent determinant of sleep time, in which case work time should be considered an important factor when evaluating the relationship between sleep time and morbidity and mortality, said Dr. Basner.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


August 31, 2007, 4:54 AM CT

Underage drinking starts before adolescence

Underage drinking starts before adolescence
As schools reopen around the country, a new study finds that parents and teachers should pay attention to alcohol prevention starting as early as fourth grade.

A review of national and statewide surveys conducted over the last 15 years shows that among typical 4th graders, 10% have already had more than a sip of alcohol and 7% have had a drink in the past year. While the numbers are small in the fourth grade, the surveys show that the percent of children who have used alcohol increases with age, and doubles between grades four and six. The largest jump in rates occurs between grades five and six, as per John E. Donovan, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is author of the study, Really Underage Drinkers: The Epidemiology of Childrens Alcohol Use in the United States, reported in the recent issue of Prevention Science, a peer-evaluated journal of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR).

Dr. Donovan said that eventhough there are a number of published national surveys of alcohol use among adolescents, national surveys and those conducted by state governments that have looked at alcohol use among young children are often unpublished. He observed that 39 of the 50 states have conducted statewide surveys that included children in the 6th grade or younger. His study summarized the results of the available national surveys as well as the statewide surveys conducted by Arizona, Delaware, New York, Ohio and Texas, which included fourth and fifth graders. Several of the surveys conducted on a regular basis since 1990 show that the numbers of elementary school children who have ever used alcohol, who have used alcohol in the past year, and who have used alcohol in the past month have all decreased significantly over time. But the numbers are still alarming because of the correlation between early alcohol consumption and negative outcomes later during both adolescence and young adulthood. It is this linkage that argues most strongly for preventing alcohol use previous to adolescence, Donovan said.........

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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