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August 24, 2006, 10:17 PM CT

Psychology Of Aggressive Students

Psychology Of Aggressive Students
As the disturbing trend of school violence continues to plague our education system, it is important for caregivers, educators, and doctors to join forces to be proactive in its prevention. A study in the recent issue of The Journal of Pediatrics shows that students displaying violent behaviors often have untreated learning disorders and psychiatric illnesses.

Dr. Nancy Rappaport, a child psychiatry expert at Cambridge Health Alliance, and his colleagues from Harvard University reviewed 33 students in an urban public school district who were referred by school staff due to their aggressive behavior. The participants' ages ranged from 5 to 18 years old. The authors identified substance abuse in 11 students and at least one medical problem in 13 students. 28 of the 33 students (85%) reviewed had experienced a significant family crisis (such as sickness or death of a parent). 23 had participated in brief or intermittent psychosocial interventions, 5 of which included hospitalizations. 6 of the 18 students (33%) with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder had never received any kind of therapy for it.

These findings reflect the need for health care professionals, caregivers, and teachers to be able to identify potentially dangerous behavior patterns in aggressive students so that proper evaluations and diagnoses can be provided and subsequent therapys be made accessible.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 24, 2006, 9:35 PM CT

Save Money While Treating Drug Abuse

Save Money While Treating Drug Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released a landmark report containing 13 specific principles and recommendations to rehabilitate drug offenders and ultimately provide substantial financial savings to communities. The publication, Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations, is based in part on the work of University of Kentucky Scientists Michele Staton-Tindall, Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR) and Carl Leukefeld, Professor of Behavioral Science and Director of CDAR.

Findings from Staton-Tindall's 2003 Kentucky study were used to profile the substance use, mental health problems, health problems and therapy history of incarcerated women. These findings point out the unique issues of women in criminal justice settings. The article is one of only two peer-evaluated articles cited in the entire NIH report.

Staton-Tindall and Leukefeld's research is part of the NIDA/NIH-funded Central States Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Research Systems (CJ-DATS) Center in Lexington. It is one of nine such centers in the U.S. The CJ-DATS Center studies drug abuse interventions in the criminal justice system. The goal of the research is to develop, implement, and test interventions to reduce recidivism, drug abuse and crime.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 24, 2006, 6:39 PM CT

Did You Ever Have A Binge-eating Spell?

Did You Ever Have A Binge-eating Spell? Image courtesy of University of Pennsylvania
No one knows for sure what causes binge eating disorder. As a number of as 50 percent of all people having binge eating disease diagnosis have the diagnosis of clinical depression or have been diagnosed with depression in the past. Whether depression is the cause of binge eating disorder or if binge eating disease leads to depression is not clearly understood.

It is also unclear whether dieting and binge eating disorder are in fact associated. Some persons may binge eat after stopping a course of dieting. Dieting as used here means skipping regular meals, not taking adequate food every day, or avoiding certain types of food. These are dangerous ways to implement any alterations to your body appearance weight and outlook.

Studies suggest that persons with binge eating might have some intrinsic trouble dealing with some of their inner emotions. A number of persons who are binge eaters consider themselves they are being angry without reason, moody, bored with themselves, worried, or stressed. They think that these abnormal mood disorders might lead them to initiate a binge eating spell.

Certain behavioral characteristics and emotional problems are more usually seen among persons who have binge eating disorder. These behavioral problems might include abusing alcohol, acting quickly without thinking about consequences (impulsive type behavior), not feeling in control of themselves, not feeling as a part of the society, and not noticing and talking about their own feelings.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

August 24, 2006, 4:43 AM CT

Is Canada too clean?

Is Canada too clean?
Canada has among the highest incidences of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease cases per capita in the world, a new study shows.

About one in 350 Canadians suffer from ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, otherwise known collectively as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), the study shows. The study was published recently in the American Journal of Gasteroenterology.

IBD is a wearing away of the lining of the intestinal tract until it becomes red and raw and begins to bleeds, like a skinned knee. The difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease is where they occur: ulcerative colitis occurs only in the large intestine, and Crohn's disease, which is more common, occurs in both the large and small intestines.

"The key issue about IBD is that if affects people in the prime of their lives--it's commonly first diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 25--and it can be very debilitating," said Dr. Richard Fedorak, director of the University of Alberta Division of Gasteroenterology and a co-author of the study.

Fedorak and colleagues are studying IBD incidence rates in Canada to gain insight into the causes of the disease and determine why, as other studies have shown, it occurs more often in northern regions of the world.

"We know that people need a certain genetic mutation to be vulnerable to the disease," said Fedorak. "However, we believe there is an environmental element to it, as well, because not all people with the genetic mutation develop the disease".........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source

August 23, 2006, 8:57 PM CT

How We Detect Sour Taste

How We Detect Sour Taste
A team headed by biologists from the University of California, San Diego has discovered the cells and the protein that enable us to detect sour, one of the five basic tastes. The scientists, who included scientists from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, suggest that this protein is also the long-sought sensor of acidity in the cerebrospinal fluid.

The study, featured on the cover of the August 24 issue of the journal Nature, reports that each of the five basic tastes is detected by distinct taste receptors-proteins that detect taste molecules-in distinct cells. The team previously discovered the sweet, bitter and umami (savory) receptors and showed that they are found in separate cells, but some scientists have argued that sour and salty tastes, which depend on the detection of ions, would not be wired in the same way.

"Our results show that each of the five basic taste qualities is exquisitely segregated into different taste cells" explained Charles Zuker, a professor of biology at UCSD and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, who headed the study. "Taken together, our work has also shown that all taste qualities are found in all areas of the tongue, in contrast with the popular view that different tastes map to different areas of the tongue."........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

August 23, 2006, 6:46 PM CT

Space Age To Surgery Equipment

Space Age To Surgery Equipment Dr. Blake Hannaford's lab is developing robotic arms for remote telesurgery at the University of Washington.
Credit: Courtesy Photo from University of Washington
Though robots were once the stuff of Star Wars and The Jetsons, commercially available systems have made robotic surgeries common in hospitals. Located just feet away from the surgeon, the systems are minimally invasive and offer surgeons better dexterity.

Department of Defense-funded scientists want to take that capability to the next level so surgeries can commence on battlefields with the surgeon's work being done by a robot that's miles away and connected by communication links.

"There is a large community that is envisioning a robot that is deployable in an armored vehicle, much closer to combat, where an expert surgeon can remotely work on the patient very quickly after an injury is sustained," said Dr. Blake Hannaford, a professor of electrical engineering and adjunct professor in bioengineering and mechanical engineering at the University of Washington. "The kind of focus, as I understand it, is stopping arterial bleeding that's not amenable to a tourniquet..... and stabilizing that so that a Soldier can be transported for regular care".

Hannaford and his team have created a surgical robot that works on a patient's abdomen. It has two arms, and a motorized carriage on the operating table lets the arms move anywhere on the table.

"It's very position-able to any part of the body," he said, adding that this may possibly allow the robot be used on arms and legs.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

August 23, 2006, 5:18 AM CT

Serious Eye Infection With Certain Contact Lens Solutions

Serious Eye Infection With Certain Contact Lens Solutions
Scientists have additional information concerning the recent outbreak of the corneal infection Fusarium keratitis, which was linked to use of a specific contact lens solution, as per a research studyin the August 23/30 issue of JAMA. After preliminary findings from this investigation were released in May, the product was withdrawn from the market worldwide.

Among the estimated 34 million contact lens wearers in the United States, microbial keratitis (corneal infection) is a rare but serious complication that may lead to permanent vision loss or the need for corneal transplantation. The annual occurence rate of microbial keratitis is estimated to be 4 to 21 per 10,000 soft contact lens wearers depending on overnight wear, as per background information in the article. Fusarium is a filamentous fungus usually found in soil and plants and is the major cause of fungal keratitis in certain tropical or subtropical regions. Beginning in March 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received multiple reports of Fusarium keratitis among contact lens wearers in the US.

Douglas C. Chang, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and his colleagues conducted a study to determine the specific activities, contact lens hygiene practices, or products linked to this outbreak. Data for cases that occurred after June 1, 2005, were obtained by patient and ophthalmologist interviews for case patients and neighborhood-matched controls by trained personnel.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source

August 23, 2006, 5:00 AM CT

Why soldiers were not expressing war traumas?

Why soldiers were not expressing war traumas?
After the Second World War, Finnish psychiatry experts felt that soldiers had readapted to civilian society very well. The reason was not that Finnish soldiers were exceptionally strong, but that war psychiatry experts put the blame for long-term psychological problems on the soldiers themselves. Thus explains researcher Ville Kivimäki, who is involved in the research project "The War That Follows Peace" funded by the Academy of Finland.

Soldiers very rarely sought compensation for psychological war injuries. As per Kivimäki, this does not indicate the non-existence of the problem: "Refusing to talk about traumatic war experiences is correlation to a deep-seated culture of shame and very limited resources for veterans to express their traumas. War psychiatry had a profound impact on the creation of this culture. Even though the restrictive and stigmatising aspects of war psychiatry might seem repulsive, it did establish a certain type of reality, defined possibilities for the existence of soldiers and veterans, and created tension between traumatic war experiences and the culturally acceptable forms of expressing them".

As per Kivimäki, war psychiatry experts were not just quacks, but primarily emphasised that soldiers presenting with psychological problems be quickly brought back from the front lines for therapy. Disabled patients were not forcibly returned to the front lines, at least as per official directives. They were given assignments in which they could best serve their country.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 22, 2006, 8:08 PM CT

Self-inflicting injuries in teens

Self-inflicting injuries in teens
In a survey of more than 6,000 15 and 16-year-old school pupils, scientists observed that girls are four times more likely to have engaged in deliberate self-harm in comparison to boys, with 11 per cent of girls and 3 per cent of boys reporting that they had self-harmed within the last year.

Prior estimates for the amount self-harm in the country were based on the 25,000 'presentations' at hospitals in England and Wales each year that are the result of deliberate self-poisoning or self-injury amongst teenagers.

However, research by academics from the universities of Bath and Oxford has observed that only 13 per cent of self-harming incidents reported by the pupils had resulted in a hospital visit.

Eventhough self-poisoning is the most common form of self-harm reported in hospitals, the study revealed that self-cutting was the more prevalent form of self-harm (64.5 per cent), followed by self-poisoning through overdose (31 per cent).

"The study shows that deliberate self-harm is common amongst teenagers in England, particularly in girls who are four times more likely to self-harm than boys," said Dr Karen Rodham from the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath.

"Until now, most studies of deliberate self-harm in adolescents in the UK have been based on the cases that reach hospital.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

August 22, 2006, 7:03 PM CT

Cigarette smoke blocks cell repair mechanism

Cigarette smoke blocks cell repair mechanism
Cigarette smoke can turn normal breast cells malignant by blocking their ability to repair themselves, eventually triggering tumor development, University of Florida researchers report.

While some cells nonetheless rally and are able to fix their damaged DNA, a number of others become unable to access their own cellular first aid kit, as per findings from a UF study published recently (Aug. 21) in the journal Oncogene. If they survive long enough to divide and multiply, they pass along their mutations, acquiring cancerous properties.

Past research has been controversial. Tobacco smoke contains dozens of cancer-causing chemicals, but until more recently a number of studies found only weak correlations between smoking and breast cancer risk, or none at all. Those findings are increasingly being challenged by newer studies that are focusing on more than just single chemical components of tobacco, as past research often has done. In the UF study, scientists instead used a tar that contains all of the 4,000 chemicals found in cigarette smoke.

"Our study suggests the mechanism by which this may be happening," said Satya Narayan, Ph.D., an associate professor of anatomy and cell biology at UF's College of Medicine. "This is basically the important finding in our case: We are now describing how cigarette smoke condensate, which is a surrogate for cigarette smoke, can cause DNA damage and can block the DNA repair of a cell or compromise the DNA repair capacity of a cell. That can be detrimental for the cell and can lead to transformation or carcinogenesis".........

Posted by: Janet      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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