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September 27, 2006, 9:12 PM CT

Binge-drinking teenagers

Binge-drinking teenagers
Teenagers who drink alcohol are at higher risk of becoming victims of violence, a Cardiff University study has observed.

A team from the School of Dentistry's Violence Research Group studied drinking habits in children aged 11-16 in England. They found not only a link between drink and aggression but also that children who drank were more likely to be hit, even if they weren't violent themselves.

The scientists are now calling for measures to prevent alcohol misuse to reduce injury risk. Current policy focuses on reducing aggression but this research shows that there should be equal effort to reduce victimisation.

More than 4,000 children were surveyed at 13 schools at four local authorities in the North, the Midlands, London and the South. The study observed that 25% of 11-year-olds were drinking monthly and 3.6% daily, with 12.8% admitting to getting drunk three to five times a year. By the age of 16, 40% were drinking weekly and 6.2% were drinking every day. The research also showed 22.6% of 16-year-olds getting drunk more than 21 times a year.

The study, which has just been reported in the Journal of Adolescence, found a strong link between frequency of drinking and frequency of hitting other people.

However, children who reported drinking monthly were also three times more likely to be hit. Adolescents who drank but didn't get into fights were more likely to be hit than those who did fight.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

September 27, 2006, 7:20 PM CT

Spinal Cord Stimulators For Migraine Headaches

Spinal Cord Stimulators For Migraine Headaches
Anyone who has gone through the experience of migraine headache knows the misery of this miserable disease. Now there is some active research going on in this field that might interest those who are suffering from those miserable headaches.

A new therapy for migraine headaches is in the horizon: occipital nerve stimulation, a surgical procedure in which an implanted neurostimulator delivers electrical impulses to nerves under the skin at the base of the head at the back of the neck.

This treatment may help migraine sufferers who do not respond to other available therapies, or who cannot tolerate the side effects of existing medications.

"The purpose of the randomized, double-blinded study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of occipital nerve stimulation as a therapy for refractory migraine headache," says Dr. Sandeep Amin, Rush study investigator and anesthesiologist who surgically implants the device in the two-visit operation.

Rush is recruiting patients through the Diamond Headache Clinic and is the only site in Illinois in the trial.

The study, known as PRISM (Precision Implantable Stimulator for Migraine), uses Boston Scientific's Precision neurostimulator with approximately 150 patients at up to 15 sites in the U.S. The implantable pulse generator will deliver electrical impulses to the occipital nerves located just under the skin at the base of the skull at the back of the neck.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

September 27, 2006, 6:37 PM CT

Improving Patient's Meal Experience

Improving Patient's Meal Experience
Anyone who had spent a day in the hospital knows about the quality of the hospital food. Now there is an innovative idea from the Rush University Medical Center.

Sometimes innovation in health care takes the form of advanced imaging technology or breakthroughs in drug therapys. Sometimes it takes the form of hamburgers cut into squares and soup served in a cup.

It may seem simple, but these innovations are making a big difference for geriatric psychiatry patients at Rush University Medical Center, which recently established a new meal service to increase patient nutrition and satisfaction.

"We totally changed the way we do business on our geriatric psychiatry unit. It is part of our effort to gear our food and nutrition services to the needs of our patients on the different floors," said Marcy Stone, RD/LDN, assistant director of Food Service Operations at Rush, who led the team that developed the new meal service.

The patients in the geriatric psychiatric unit, located in Rush's Johnson R. Bowman Health Center, range in age from 49 to 101 and suffer from Alzheimer's disease and/or clinical depression. The center that is adjacent to Rush's acute care hospital.provides medical and rehabilitative patient care services to older persons and to persons with short-term and long-term disabilities. These illnesses make it difficult to eat, because the patients become overwhelmed when they see too much food in front of them, and their reduced motor skills make it difficult for them to feed themselves.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source

September 24, 2006, 10:13 PM CT

Alcoholics Anonymous Reduces Homicides

Alcoholics Anonymous Reduces Homicides
Studies consistently show a strong link between alcohol use and violence, such as homicide. New research that looks at the relationship among drinking, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) membership, and homicide mortality has observed that AA can have a beneficial effect on alcohol-related homicide mortality rates, especially among males who consume beer and spirits.

Results are reported in the recent issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research

"It is important to try to understand the factors that could reduce alcohol's adverse effects," said Robert E. Mann, senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and associate professor of public health sciences at the University of Toronto. "We know that economic and legal measures such as taxation policies, increased drinking ages, and lowered legal limits for driving can exert powerful effects on alcohol problem rates. We also know that individual participation in AA and alcohol therapy can have very beneficial effects. We wanted to see if these beneficial effects are observable at population levels, that is, if numerous people are positively influenced." Mann is also the study's corresponding author.

As per the World Health Organization, said Mark Asbridge, assistant professor and chair of graduate studies in the department of community health and epidemiology at Dalhousie University, "alcohol is a leading [contributor to the] global burden of disease, and homicide is just one of many negative consequences of its consumption. Given this link, any policies or intervention that reduce or remove alcohol consumption are bound to offer some beneficial reduction in aggregate violent incidents in this case, mortality."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

September 24, 2006, 10:07 PM CT

Decision-making Process In Alcoholics

Decision-making Process In Alcoholics
People make decisions all the time: they form preferences, take action, and evaluate outcomes, whether rewarding or aversive. Impaired decision making is regarded as one of the neurobehavioral hallmarks of addiction. New research has observed that alcoholics with certain coexisting personality disorders (PDs) have decision-making abilities that are especially impaired.

Results are reported in the recent issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research

"Normally, we make choices by weighing immediate benefits of different options relative to possible negative consequences in the longer term," said Geert Dom, head of therapy at the Alexian Brothers Psychiatric Centre in Boechout, Belgium. "When these abilities are impaired, people are less able to cognitively evaluate the longer-term consequences of their choices. This is reflected in real life by choices that are socially inadequate and/or correlation to overtly negative outcomes. Substance or polydrug use/abuse is one example".

On a neuronal level, added Dom, decision making is believed to involve multiple brain structures in the limbic region. "These brain regions are very important in the processing of emotions, motivational processes and the processing of rewards and punishments," he said. "Earlier studies have indicated that individuals with lesions in these regions lose the ability to make advantageous decisions, reflected by severe social behavioral problems and impaired performance on decision-making tasks such as the Iowa Gambling Task, which was originally designed to study decision-making in neurological patients with brain lesions."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

September 24, 2006, 9:50 PM CT

Diabetes Not Obesity

Diabetes Not Obesity
Diabetes puts people who are at risk of developing critical illness and dying early, but obesity without diabetes does not. A study published recently in the open access journal Critical Care reveals that individuals suffering from diabetes are three times more at risk of developing critical illness and dying young than individuals who do not have diabetes. Obese individuals who do not have diabetes, by contrast, have the same risk of dying or of falling critically ill as non-obese patients who do not have diabetes. These results are surprising, as obesity is associated with diabetes. The authors of the study conclude that the relationship between obesity, diabetes and critical illness is complex and that obesity, per se, does not predict poor outcomes.

Katarina Slynkova and his colleagues from the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital collaborated with colleagues from Emory University School of Medicine to analyse data from 15,408 subjects aged 44 to 66, coming from four different US communities, who had originally been studied between 1986 and 1989. The authors analysed the subjects' body mass index (BMI), presence of diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) and the subjects' history of critical illness (acute organ failure) and mortality within 3 years.

Slynkova et al.'s results show that, in the absence of diabetes, obese individuals do not have an increased risk of suffering from acute organ failure, and of dying from acute organ failure, than non-obese individuals. By contrast, patients with diabetes are three times more likely to become critically ill with acute organ failure and they are three times more likely to die from acute organ failure, or from any cause, than patients who do not have diabetes, regardless of their BMI. Slynkova et al. conclude that diabetes is a strong independent predictor of acute organ failure and subsequent death, or death from any cause.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

September 23, 2006, 11:44 AM CT

Chronic Pain After Breast Cancer Surgery

Chronic Pain After Breast Cancer Surgery
A woman's young age, extensive surgery, and whether she suffered severe, post-operative pain are risk factors for developing chronic pain after breast cancer surgery, a University of Rochester study found.

Up to half of all women who undergo a lumpectomy or mastectomy feel pain weeks or months later near the breast, adjacent armpit and upper arm on the same side. It is often described as burning, throbbing, and/or a sharp pain.

As per a research findings reported in the September 2006 Journal of Pain, lead author Robert H. Dworkin, Ph.D., a University of Rochester Medical Center professor of anesthesiology, neurology, oncology and psychiatry, and international pain management expert, recommends that women facing breast-cancer surgery should be counseled beforehand to alleviate any distress they may have and improve coping skills. Results of the study suggest that a combination of analgesic drugs and counseling immediately after surgery might also help to prevent long-term problems, he said.

"Women with breast cancer have unique concerns and fears that may be connected to pain," Dworkin said. "And despite considerable changes over time in surgical approaches, these results are consistent with other studies".

Few prospective studies have identified the characteristics of patients who are most likely to develop chronic pain, which can diminish a woman's quality of life by leading to job loss or marriage stress, even if the cancer is successfully treated.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

September 23, 2006, 11:31 AM CT

Taller Women Are More Likely To Have Twins

Taller Women Are More Likely To Have Twins
Taller women are more likely to have twins according to experts. They suggest insulin-like growth factorr is responsible for this increased incedence. By comparing the heights of women who had given birth to twins or triplets with the average height of women in the United States, Gary Steinman, MD, PhD, an attending doctor at Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center, observed that the multiple-birth mothers averaged more than an inch taller. The study was reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.

"Any circumstance that affects the amount of available insulin-like growth factor so as to modify the sensitivity of the ovary to follicle-stimulating hormone appears to govern the rate of spontaneous twinning," said Dr. Steinman.

Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) is a protein that is released from the liver in response to growth hormone. It increases the sensitivity of the ovaries to follicle stimulating hormone, thereby increasing ovulation. Some studies also suggest that IGF may help embryos survive in the early stages of development.

Among its a number of effects in the body, IGF stimulates cells in the shaft of long bones to grow. Prior studies have demonstrated that people with short stature have significantly lower levels of IGF. Countries with taller women have higher rates of twinning in comparison to countries with shorter women.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source

September 22, 2006, 4:32 PM CT

Diverticulitis Now Seen In Young, Obese Adults

Diverticulitis Now Seen In Young, Obese Adults
This used to be a disease of older people who are more than 50 years old. Now this this is appearing in younger adults, who are obese. A research study from the University of Maryland Medical Center showed that diverticulitis is now occurring in younger adults who are obese.

"Over the last ten years, I noted that a number of patients coming into the emergency room with CT findings of acute diverticulitis seemed younger than traditional teaching suggested, and often were obese," said Barry Daly, MD, an author of the study partner in research. "We were seeing patients as young as their early twenties, though textbooks typically describe this condition as a disease of the over-fifty age group," he said.

Elderly adults often develop acute diverticulitis, and this is considered to be one of the most frequent acute diseases of the colon. This disease is thoughtful occur because of inadequate amount of fiber in the diet. A diet which is deficient in fiber causes numerous thin-walled out-pouches called diverticula to develop in the bowel wall. This is actually a chronic condition known as diverticulosis. With passage of time bacterial infection of these diverticula can occur and this would cause inflammation that may lead to a perforation in the wall of the intestine and other serious complications.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source

September 20, 2006, 9:54 PM CT

Skeletal Microdamage Stable After First Year

Skeletal Microdamage Stable After First Year
Skeletal microdamage resulting from bisphosphonate therapy may be maximal during the first year of therapy, and not continue to accumulate with longer periods of therapy, as per new research being presented today at the 28th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).

Bisphosphonates are the most common class of drugs used for the therapy of osteoporosis because of their demonstrated effect on fracture reduction but the occurence rate of microcracks - small cracks in the skeleton - has been shown to increase with bisphosphonate therapy. This has led to some concerns regarding the potential long-term adverse effects of these agents. This study shows that the continued use of alendronate (a bisphosphonate) is not linked to continued accumulation of microdamage.

Matt R. Allen, Ph.D., assistant research professor, and David B. Burr, Ph.D., chairman, both from the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indianapolis, IN, reviewed the effects of alendronate in one-year-old female beagles. The beagles were given oral doses of alendronate at levels comparable to that employed in humans (.2 mg/kg/day) or at five times the clinical dose (1 mg/kg/day) for either 1 year or 3 years.

Scientists found there was no increase in vertebral microcracks after 3 years of alendronate therapy compared to the beagles treated for 1 year. These results suggest that microcrack accumulation is greatest during the early course of alendronate therapy. This is an encouraging sign for long-term safety of these drugs.........

Posted by: Mark      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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