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August 18, 2006, 7:10 AM CT

TV is an effective 'painkiller' for kids

TV is an effective 'painkiller' for kids
TV really does act like a painkiller when it comes to kids, reveals a small study published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The research team assessed 69 children between the ages of 7 and 12, who were randomly divided into three groups to have a blood sample taken.

One group was given no distraction while the sample was being taken. In the second group mothers attempted to actively distract their children by talking to them, soothing, and/or caressing them.

And in the third group, the children were allowed to watch TV cartoons while the procedure was being carried out.

None of the children was given any form of anaesthesia, and after the samples had been taken, all the children and their mothers then rated their pain scores.

The children recording the highest pain scores were in the group for whom no distraction had been provided. These scores were around three times as high as those recorded by children allowed to watch the TV cartoons.

Middling scores were recorded by those children whose mothers had attempted to actively distract them while the sample was taken.

Eventhough on average, the mothers rated pain scores higher than their children had done, and especially for their own attempts at distracting their offspring, they nevertheless recorded the lowest pain scores for children who had been allowed to watch TV cartoons.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 18, 2006, 6:59 AM CT

MRI Can Predict Developmental Delays

MRI Can Predict Developmental Delays
A Washington University pediatrician at St. Louis Children's Hospital has observed that performing MRI scans on pre-term infants' brains assists dramatically in predicting the babies' future developmental outcomes.

Terrie E. Inder, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, of radiology and of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and pediatric scientists in New Zealand and Australia observed that the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were able to determine abnormalities in the white matter and gray matter of the brains of very pre-term infants, those born at 30 weeks or less. Following the infants from birth to age 2, the scientists were able to grade those abnormalities to predict the risk of severe cognitive delays, psychomotor delays, cerebral palsy, or hearing or visual impairments that may be visible by age 2.

The results of the study appear in the Aug. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists studied 167 preterm infants in New Zealand and Australia and at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Inder said the findings are a breakthrough because prior technology -- cranial ultrasounds -- did not show the abnormalities in the infants' brains.

"With the MRI, now we can understand what's going wrong in the developing brain when the baby is born early," Inder said. "We can use the MRI when the baby reaches full-term (40 weeks) to predict neurodevelopmental outcomes." More than 2 percent of all live births are infants born before 32 weeks of gestation. Nationwide, the rate of premature births jumped 13 percent between 1992 and 2002, as per the March of Dimes. Recent data show that 50 percent of children born prematurely suffer some neurodevelopmental challenges, such as crawling, walking upright, running, swinging arms, and other activities that require coordination and balance. Among pre-term infants who survive, 5 percent to 15 percent have cerebral palsy, severe vision or hearing impairment or both, and 25 percent to 50 percent have cognitive, behavioral and social difficulties that require special educational resources.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 17, 2006, 11:42 PM CT

Some video games promote sociability

Some video games promote sociability
Hang in there, parents. There is some hopeful news on the video-gaming front.

Scientists have observed that some of the large and hugely popular online video games eventhough condemned by a number of as time-gobbling, people-isolating.

monsters actually have socially redeeming qualities.

In theory, anyway.

After examining the form and function of what's known in the trade as.

MMOs massively multiplayer online video games an interdisciplinary team of.

scientists concludes that some games "promote sociability and new worldviews."

The researchers, Constance Steinkuehler and Dmitri Williams, claim that MMOs function not like solitary dungeon cells, but more like virtual coffee shops or pubs where something called "social bridging" takes place. They even liken playing such games as "Asheron's Call" and "Lineage" to dropping in at "Cheers," the fictional TV bar "where everybody knows your name."

"By providing places for social interaction and relationships beyond the workplace and home, MMOs have the capacity to function much like the hangouts of old," they said. And they take it one step further by suggesting that the lack of real-world hangouts "is what is driving the MMO phenomenon" in the first place.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

August 17, 2006, 11:36 PM CT

All Tobacco Bad For The Heart

All Tobacco Bad For The Heart
A major Canadian-led global study has observed all forms of tobacco exposure, whether that be smoking, chewing or inhaling second hand smoke, increase the risk of heart attack.

The study by professors Salim Yusuf and Koon Teo of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, is published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

In collaboration with colleagues from 52 countries, they calculated the risk of heart attack for various forms of active tobacco use (both smoking and non-smoking) and second hand smoking in all areas of the world. The INTERHEART study included data from more than 27,000 people in 52 countries. In their calculations, the researchers accounted for other lifestyle factors that could affect the heart attack risk, such as diet and age.

They observed that tobacco use in any form, including sheesha smoking popular in the Middle East and beedie smoking common in South Asia, was harmful. In comparison to people who had never smoked, smokers had a three-fold increased risk of a heart attack. Even those with relatively low levels of exposure of eight to 10 cigarettes a day doubled their risk of heart attack. Each cigarette smoked per day, increased the risk by 5.6 per cent.

However, the scientists did find that the risk of heart attack decreased with time after stopping smoking. Light smokers, those who consume fewer than 10 cigarettes a day, benefit the most. They have no excess risk three to five years after quitting. By contrast, moderate and heavy smokers of 20 or more cigarettes a day still had an excess risk of around 22 per cent, 20 years after quitting.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

August 17, 2006, 11:18 PM CT

Botox Injections May Improve Facial-wound Healing

Botox Injections May Improve Facial-wound Healing
Botulinum toxin, the same Botox used to treat facial wrinkles, helps facial wounds heal with less scarring, as per results of a study reported in the recent issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

David Sherris, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University at Buffalo is senior author on the research.

"This study is the first blinded trial demonstrating that injecting Botox (the trademark name for botulinum toxin) when we close a facial wound results in less visible scars," said Sherris, an ear, nose and throat specialist who came to UB from the Mayo Clinic in 2004.

"This study is the culmination of work that Dr. Holger Gassner and I started at Mayo Clinic about seven years ago. The reason this works is because wide scars are the result of the local muscles pulling the wound apart during the healing phase," he said. "Botulinum toxin temporarily weakens the surrounding muscles, thereby lessening the pull on the wound during the acute healing phase of the first 2-4 months".

The trial involved 31 patients who had sustained wounds to the forehead or were having elective surgery to remove skin cancers of the forehead. This area was chosen because it is especially susceptible to scarring, and because using Botox in this area has been shown to be safe and effective.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

August 14, 2006, 11:47 PM CT

Cohabiters Are Traditional

Cohabiters Are Traditional
Eventhough cohabitation outside of marriage is still considered to be an alternative lifestyle, working-class cohabiters are quite conventional when it comes to advancing their relationship, pursuing careers and doing housework, says Cornell sociologist Sharon Sassler.

Most of the 30 cohabiting working-class couples interviewed for the study still comply with traditional patterns throughout their relationships, including the initiation of the first date, moving in together and discussing marriage, Sassler said. They also are not egalitarian in pursuing careers or doing housework.

"Our results indicate that the institution of gender is so pervasive and entrenched that it shapes even the behaviors of individuals in such alternative living arrangements as cohabitation," said Sassler, associate professor of policy analysis and management in the College of Human Ecology.

Eventhough the findings are based on working-class couples, Sassler said that there is reason to think that middle-class cohabiting couples follow similar patterns, but more studies are needed to confirm this.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 14, 2006, 10:15 PM CT

Kids with OCD bullied

Kids with OCD bullied
Children with obsessive-compulsive disorder are three times more likely to be bullied than other children, and the name-slinging could cause symptoms of OCD to worsen, University of Florida scientists have found.

"One of the things we have noticed working with a number of kids with OCD is that peer relations are extremely impaired," said Eric Storch, Ph.D, a UF assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics and lead author of the study. "Kids target kids who are different. Kids with OCD sometimes exhibit behaviors that peers simply don't understand".

More than one-quarter of the children with OCD who scientists studied reported chronic bullying as a problem, as per findings described in the recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

By comparison, only 9 percent of kids in the two other groups scientists studied - healthy kids without medical or mental conditions and children with type 1 diabetes - reported serious problems with bullies.

Nearly all children are bullied at least once in their lives. But chronic bullying equates to about one taunt per day, ranging from kicking or hitting to name-calling or excluding children from activities in school.

"The kids with OCD are really experiencing higher rates of peer problems than other kids," Storch said. "We're not saying one causes the other, but there is a positive relationship between (OCD and bullying)".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 14, 2006, 10:12 PM CT

Hearing loss and high-speed dental tools

Hearing loss and high-speed dental tools
After 36 years in private dental practice, Fred Kreutzer, D.M.D., began struggling to hear. It's been five years since he retired from his practice and Kreutzer now wears hearing aids in both ears. Eventhough he has a family history of hearing loss, he believes the high-speed tools he worked with eight hours a day for so a number of years may have played a role in his hearing troubles. "I think if you listen to any high-pitched noise for any length of time, it will get to you eventually," said Kreutzer, an assistant professor in operative dentistry at the OHSU School of Dentistry ( "But in my case, with a family history of hearing loss, it may be hereditary, as well".

Whether high-speed dental tools contribute to long-term hearing loss is the subject of a study currently under way in the OHSU Tinnitus Clinic and the School of Dentistry. As per Robert Folmer, Ph.D., one of the study leaders, published research is mixed about whether high-speed dental tools contribute to noise-induced hearing loss over time.

"Over the years, we have seen dentists in the OHSU Tinnitus Clinic who were convinced that long-term exposure to sound from high-speed hand pieces contributed to their high-frequency hearing loss and tinnitus," said Folmer. "These anecdotes, in combination with the research being divided about high-speed hand pieces playing a role in hearing loss, prompted our study. We hope the study is a good first step toward scientific evidence behind the anecdotes we've been hearing." Fulmer is associate professor of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, School of Medicine, and chief of clinical services at the OHSU Tinnitus Clinic, Oregon Hearing Research Center.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source

August 14, 2006, 9:56 PM CT

Insights To High-maintenance Dynamics

Insights To High-maintenance Dynamics
Do you have a co-worker with whom you have trouble working? If you have a co-worker with whom you always seem to be somewhat out of sync so much of your psychic energy is consumed trying to get on the same page with him that by the time you get home you are too drained to do much of anything, never mind read any of those books you were compelled to buy on office politics.

Or imagine Bob, an experienced cook, who shows up at a soup kitchen for the first time enthusiastic about sharing responsibilities with another accomplished cook. The problem is that the styles of Bob and his fellow cook clash so much that later that evening, when Bob is at home, both his concentration and manuscript writing suffer greatly.

Confirming what many of us have suspected anecdotally, new research from Northwestern University shows that high-maintenance or difficult interactions indeed drain us. Most importantly, the study demonstrates how those draining social dynamics, in which an individual is trying so hard to regulate his or her behavior, can impair success on subsequent unrelated tasks.

"Luckily, humans are exceptionally social beings equipped with remarkable behavioral repertoires for engaging in effective interpersonal relationships," said Eli Finkel, assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern and the study's main investigator. "But there are plenty of inefficient interpersonal interactions that we engage in every day, and those draining dynamics have significant consequences".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 13, 2006, 6:38 PM CT

Almost Half Of Kids With ADHD Not Treated

Almost Half Of Kids With ADHD Not Treated A large number of children who could benefit from ADHD medications don't get them.
In contrast to claims that children are being overmedicated for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has observed that a high percentage of kids with ADHD are not receiving therapy. In fact, almost half of the children who might benefit from ADHD drugs were not getting them.

"What we found was somewhat surprising," says Richard D. Todd, M.D., Ph.D., the Blanche F. Ittleson Professor of Psychiatry and professor of genetics. "Only about 58 percent of boys and about 45 percent of girls who had a diagnosis of full-scale ADHD got any medicine at all."

Much has been written about the increasing number of children taking drugs for ADHD. One study observed that the percentage of elementary school children taking medicine for ADHD more than tripled, rising from 0.6 percent in 1975 to 3 percent by 1987. Another study reported that the number of adolescents taking ADHD drugs increased 2.5 fold between 1990 and 1995. And a number of reports have noted a rapid increase in the U.S. manufacture of the stimulant drug methylphenidate - commonly sold under the brand names Ritalin or Concerta.

The scientists studied 1,610 twins between the ages of 7 and 17. Of those, 359 met full criteria for ADHD: 302 boys and 57 girls. The total number of boys in the sample was 1,006, and 604 girls were included.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         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. Archives of society medical news blog

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