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May 17, 2007, 5:27 AM CT

Hyperactivity and academic achievement

Hyperactivity and academic achievement
Children who are hyperactive tend to do worse academically than their peers who are not hyperactive. Eventhough the relationship between such behaviors as overactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness in children and poor achievement in math, reading, language, and other areas has been well documented, little is known about the reasons for this link. New research shows that the tie may be to genetic influences.

The study, conducted by scientists at Boston University and at the Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry in London, appears in the May/June 2007 issue of the journal Child Development.

The scientists examined the extent to which common genetic and environmental factors operate across hyperactivity and achievement in nearly 2,000 7-year-old pairs of twins taking part in the U.K.-based Twins Early Development Study. In the study, both parents and teachers provided ratings of twins' hyperactive behavior problems (e.g., restlessness, fidgeting, distractibility, impulsivity, and attention span). Academic achievement was based on teacher assessments of English and mathematics skills conducted at the end of the first year of primary school (equivalent to first grade in the United States).

Based on the study's results, the scientists concluded that hyperactive behavior and poor academic achievement are linked primarily because of common genetic influences. They posited two possibilities for how this could happen: It could be that some of the genes that influence hyperactivity also influence academic achievement. Or it could be an indirect relationship, as a result of genes influencing one behavior, which, in turn, influences another; for example, it may be that behaviors linked to hyperactivity may make it harder for children to learn in the classroom.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 17, 2007, 5:25 AM CT

Ulcerative colitis quite disruptive

Ulcerative colitis quite disruptive
Nearly three out of four ulcerative colitis (UC) sufferers (73 percent) responding to a new nationwide survey say not feeling well has become a normal part of life. Furthermore, they describe UC as disruptive when it comes to their relationship with a spouse (64 percent), their sexual relations (75 percent) and their emotional state (82 percent).

UC patients "normalize" aspects of their experience to the point that they resign themselves to these burdens. The majority say that there is not much they can do beyond what they are already doing to feel better (70 percent) and they have learned to live with the disruptions that UC causes (83 percent).

"The findings sound an alarm because a diagnosis of UC shouldn't mean patients are settling for the level of burden reported in this survey for the next 50 or 60 years. UC is a manageable disease with the appropriate treatment," says David Rubin, M.D., a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center who helped design the surveys.

UC is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the intestine and can lead to symptoms such as severe abdominal pain and cramping, uncontrollable bloody diarrhea several times a day, fatigue and weight loss. It is typically first diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 to 30 and is estimated to affect nearly 700,000 Americans.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


May 15, 2007, 11:22 PM CT

Alzheimer's weight gain initiative

Alzheimer's weight gain initiative
Swedish scientists have found a way to increase the weight of people with Alzheimer's, by improving communication and patient involvement, altering meal routines and providing a more homely eating environment.

During the three-month study, reported in the recent issue of Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13 of the 18 patients in the intervention group put on weight, compared with just two of the 15 patients in the control group.

Patients who gained weight also displayed improved intellectual abilities.

"Weight loss is a common issue among people with dementia and in particular Alzheimer's" explains lead researcher Anna-Greta Mamhidir from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

"Meal environment, communication difficulties, loss of independence and confusion are just some of the factors that appear to contribute to this problem.

"Malnutrition can also lead to other serious issues, such as increased infection rates, delayed wound healing and increased risk of hip fractures".

The aim of the study was to measure weight changes in patients with moderate and severe dementia and analyse whether providing staff training and a more supportive environment could lead to weight gain.

Two nursing home wards with similar staffing profiles and numbers of patients were selected. Both received meals from the same central kitchen.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 15, 2007, 11:10 PM CT

Obesity Increases Risk of Injury on the Job

Obesity Increases Risk of Injury on the Job
Having a body mass index (BMI) in the overweight or obese range increases the risk of traumatic workplace injury, as per scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. Employer-sponsored weight loss and maintenance programs should be considered as part of a well-rounded workplace safety plan. The study was Advance Access published on May 7, 2007, by the American Journal of Epidemiology.

BMI is a measure of body fat based on an adult's height and weight. It is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight, 18.5-24.9 is normal; 25-29.9 is overweight and over 30 is obese.

"Clearly, limited resources for workplace injury prevention and control should target the most prominent and modifiable risk factors, but we cannot neglect the fact that our study and other recently published studies support an association between BMI and the risk, distribution and prevalence of workplace injury," said Keshia M. Pollack, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management.

The scientists used medical and injury surveillance data on hourly workers employed in eight plants of the same aluminum manufacturer to determine whether increased BMI was a risk factor for workplace injury. The plants were scattered across the United States. BMI was calculated using National Institutes of Health criteria. Employees were grouped into five categories: underweight, normal, overweight, obesity levels I and II and obesity level III.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 15, 2007, 11:06 PM CT

Women And Cholesterol Controlled

Women And Cholesterol Controlled
Women are significantly less likely than men to have their LDL cholesterol controlled to recommended levels, as per a new study by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The study, would be reported in the May/June edition of Womens Health Issues, investigated gender differences in cardiovascular disease prevention, therapy and risk factors based on national health care quality data from commercial and Medicare managed care plans.

Elevated LDL cholesterol is an important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading single cause of death for both women and men.

The study, "Improving the Quality of Care for Cardiovascular Disease: Using National Managed Care Performance Data to Investigate Gender Differences in HEDIS Measures Correlation to Heart Disease," analyzed data from a national sample of 46 commercial managed care plans and 148 Medicare plans across 11 HEDIS measures of care for cardiovascular conditions and diabetes. The results, controlled for other factors such as age, income and ethnicity, showed equal or better outcomes for women on most dimensions of carewith the notable exception of cholesterol control, where significant disparities existed between men and women.

"This study highlights the importance of not just knowing your health, but also taking an active role in your care," said NCQA President Margaret E. OKane. "The data show that weve got our work cut out for us in terms of raising awareness among both physicians and patients".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 15, 2007, 11:04 PM CT

Smokeless cannabis delivery device efficient

Smokeless cannabis delivery device efficient
A smokeless cannabis-vaporizing device delivers the same level of active therapeutic chemical and produces the same biological effect as smoking cannabis, but without the harmful toxins, as per UCSF researchers.

Results of a UCSF study, which focuses on delivery of the active ingredient delta-9-tertrahydrocannibinol, or THC, are published in the online issue of the journal "Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics."

"We showed in a recent paper in the journal Neurology that smoked cannabis can alleviate the chronic pain caused by HIV-related neuropathy, but a concern was expressed that smoking cannabis was not safe. This study demonstrates an alternative method that gives patients the same effects and allows controlled dosing but without inhalation of the toxic products in smoke," said study lead author Donald I. Abrams, MD, UCSF professor of clinical medicine.

The research team looked at the effectiveness of a device that heats cannabis to a temperature between 180 and 200 degrees C, just short of combustion, which occurs at 230 degrees C. Eighteen individuals were enrolled as inpatients for six days under supervision in the General Clinical Research Center at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.

Under the study protocol, the participants received on different days three different strengths of cannabis by two delivery methodssmoking or vaporizationthree times a day.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 14, 2007, 10:36 PM CT

Obesity And Its Complications

Obesity And Its Complications
Due to the gastrointestinal tracts role in body weight regulation, gastroenterologists should work closely with other medical disciplines to oversee and coordinate the care of obese individuals, as per an American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute Obesity Task Force Report. The Report was published in a special 13th issue of Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA Institute, that focuses on the growing problems correlation to obesity and nutrition. The special issue of Gastroenterology presents a series of articles on the epidemiology of obesity, pathophysiology, associated disease and management.

An estimated 1.6 billion adults worldwide are overweight (body mass index [BMI]>25) and 400 million are obese (BMI>30), and potentially as a number of 20 million children are overweight. As obesity becomes an increasingly global problem, it is harder for government, institutions and individuals to continue to consider obesity as a problem of personal choice that can be controlled and even reversed by deciding to eat less and exercise more. The incidences of diabetes and other debilitating diseases attributable to obesity continue to rise along with the negative impact on healthcare budgets and various sectors of the economy leading to changing attitudes about the obesity epidemic.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 14, 2007, 9:07 PM CT

Migraines And Retinopathy

Migraines And Retinopathy
Middle-aged men and women with a history of migraine and other headaches are more likely to have retinopathy, damage to the retina of the eye which can lead to severe vision problems or blindness, than those without a history of headaches,.

as per a research studyfrom the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For the study, reported in the May 15, 2007, issue of Neurology, scientists evaluated the headache history and eye health of 10,902 men and women who participated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Participants, who were from communities in Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Carolina, were black and white and between the ages of 51 and 71 at the time of their examination.

Twenty-two percent of the participants had a history of migraine or other headaches. Those with a history of headaches were slightly younger, more likely to be female, and more likely to be white than those without a history of headaches.

The study found people with headaches were between 1.3 and 1.5 times more likely to have retinopathy than those without headaches. Among participants who did not have a history of diabetes or hypertension, the association was stronger and limited to those with migraine headaches and other headaches with aura (visual disturbances).........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 14, 2007, 8:59 PM CT

Breastfeeding duration rates for infants born in an inner-city

Breastfeeding duration rates for infants born in an inner-city
A new study in the recent issue of the Journal of Human Lactation reports that being born in a Baby-Friendly hospital gives babies the best possible chance of breastfeeding to 6 months. This is especially true for low-income populations and for families from backgrounds that traditionally have low breastfeeding rates.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other respected groups recommend that babies breastfeed exclusively until six months of age. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was established by WHO and the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) to help the participating hospitals become centers of breastfeeding support.

The research published by SAGE in the Journal of Human Lactation, for the International Lactation Consultant Association, studied breastfeeding rates among babies who were born in an inner-city US Baby-Friendly hospital. They looked at the factors influencing a mothers decision to begin to breastfeed while in the hospital and what influenced whether that baby was still being nursed at six months old.

The study observed that the rates of breastfeeding at six months was decreased for families with public insurance or if there was an early feeding problem. And eventhough other studies have concluded that demographics commonly factor into poor breastfeeding duration rates in low-income, black populations, this study observed that those mothers who gave birth in a Baby-Friendly hospital breastfed at rates comparable to the overall US population, suggesting that the Baby-Friendly initiatives were positively affecting the health of those babies.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 14, 2007, 8:51 PM CT

Studying Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Studying Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Weill Cornell Medical College scientists are using a virtual reality simulation called "Virtual Iraq" to better understand how symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develop. In their ongoing research trial, participating Iraq War and Gulf War veterans with and without PTSD are shown a brief, 3-D virtual-reality simulation of an urban combat scenario. They wear a headset, through which they hear, see, and - using a keypad - "move" through a "virtual world" in which images change in a natural way along with head and body movement.

A recent Archives of Internal Medicine study observed that as a number of as 13 percent of recent veterans are diagnosed with PTSD.

The Weill Cornell scientists are testing whether physiological arousal (heart rate, stress hormones) and anxiety while viewing the simulation - as well as suppressing memories after viewing the simulation - affect the ability to remember the scenario and suppress intrusive scenario memories.

The study's principal investigator, Dr. Loretta Malta, a clinical psychology expert at Weill Cornell Medical College, states: "It isn't possible after a traumatic event to study, in a controlled way, conditions that lead to the development of specific types of PTSD symptoms. Commonly this is studied by comparing people who develop PTSD months or even years after trauma exposure. With this pilot study, we are trying to develop a paradigm in which we can use virtual reality to learn more about how the responses of people exposed to trauma contribute to the development of PTSD re-experiencing symptoms, like intrusive memories or physiological reactivity to trauma reminders. By better understanding how PTSD symptoms develop, we hope to create effective prevention programs and improve current therapys".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         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.

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