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June 5, 2008, 10:15 PM CT

How best to treat chronic pain?

How best to treat chronic pain?
How best to alleviate chronic pain, a leading cause of disability and employee absenteeism, continues to perplex both patients and their doctors.

A review of recent studies on pain medicine appearing in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine reports that while various approaches and combinations of therapies to treat pain have advantages and disadvantages, scientists don't yet know how to determine which is best for individual patients.

Among the approaches to pain management studied were those relying on the prescription of opioids (drugs such as morphine, Percocet and Vicodin), surgery, and alternative medicine (acupuncture, herbal remedies).

"We conducted this review of pain management strategies because doctors, particularly primary care doctors who manage the bulk of patients with chronic pain, are frustrated and want to know how to better alleviate what is often debilitating pain. A number of of these physicians have not been well trained in pain management. And while a number of are paying more attention to pain than ever before, particularly given JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) and Veteran Affairs mandates that pain be regarded as the --fifth vital sign,-- they don't know what therapy will work for a given patient. They want guidance and we found very limited information," said the paper's senior author, Matthew J. Bair, M.D. Dr. Bair is an assistant professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, a research scientist with the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and an investigator at the Roudebush VA Center of Excellence for Implementing Evidence Based Practice.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 4, 2008, 11:00 PM CT

Substance in red wine keep hearts young

Substance in red wine keep hearts young
How do the French get away with a clean bill of heart health despite a diet loaded with saturated fats? Researchers have long suspected that the answer to the so-called "French paradox" lies in red wine. Now, the results of a new study bring them closer to understanding why.

Writing this week in the online, open-access journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE, scientists from industry and academia, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Florida, report that low doses of resveratrol -- a natural constituent of grapes, pomegranates, red wine and other foods -- can potentially boost the quality of life by improving heart health in old age.

The researchers included small amounts of resveratrol in the diets of middle-aged mice and observed that the compound has a widespread influence on the genetic causes of aging. Specifically, the scientists observed that low doses of resveratrol mimic the heart-healthy effects of what is known as caloric restriction, diets with 20 to 30 percent fewer calories than a typical diet. The new study is important because it suggests that resveratrol and caloric restriction, which has been widely studied in animals from spiders to humans, may govern the same master genetic pathways correlation to aging.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


June 1, 2008, 10:46 PM CT

Acupuncture reduces pain and dysfunction in head and neck cancer

Acupuncture reduces pain and dysfunction in head and neck cancer
New data from a randomized, controlled trial observed that acupuncture provided significant reductions in pain, dysfunction, and dry mouth in head and neck cancer patients after neck dissection. The study was led by David Pfister, MD, Chief of the Head and Neck Medical Oncology Service, and Barrie Cassileth, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Dr. Pfister presented the findings today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology.

Neck dissection is a common procedure for therapy of head and neck cancer. There are different types of neck dissection, which vary based on which structures are removed and the anticipated side effects. One type the radical neck dissection involves complete removal of lymph nodes from one side of the neck, the muscle that helps turn the head, a major vein, and a nerve that is critical to full range of motion for the arm and shoulder.

"Chronic pain and shoulder mobility problems are common after such surgery, adversely affecting quality of life as well as employability for certain occupations," said Dr. Pfister. Nerve-sparing and other modified radical techniques that preserve certain structures without compromising disease control reduce the occurence rate of these problems but do not eliminate them entirely. Dr. Pfister adds, "Unfortunately, available conventional methods of therapy for pain and dysfunction following neck surgery often have limited benefits, leaving much room for improvement."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 1, 2008, 10:45 PM CT

Mom's behavior key to dad's involvement in child care

Mom's behavior key to dad's involvement in child care
Mothers play an important role in determining how much fathers get involved in taking care of their infants, as per new research.

A study of 97 couples observed that fathers were more involved in the day-to-day care of their infants when they received active encouragement from their wife or partner.

In fact, this encouragement was important even after taking into account fathers and mothers views about how involved dads should be, the overall quality of the couples parenting relationship, and how much mothers worked outside the home.

In addition, fathers beliefs about how involved they should be in child care did not matter when mothers were highly critical of fathers parenting. In other words, fathers didnt put their beliefs into practice when faced with a especially judgmental mother.

Mothers are in the drivers seat, said Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, co-author of the study and assistant professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.

Mothers can be very encouraging to fathers, and open the gate to their involvement in child care, or be very critical, and close the gate.

This is the first real evidence that mothers, through their behavior, act as gatekeepers by either fostering or curtailing how much fathers take part in caring for their baby.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 1, 2008, 10:33 PM CT

It's Okay to Keep Those Feelings

It's Okay to Keep Those Feelings
Contrary to popular notions about what is normal or healthy, new research has observed that it is okay not to express one's thoughts and feelings after experiencing a collective trauma, such as a school shooting or terrorist attack.

In fact, people who choose not to express their feelings after such an event may be better off than those who do talk about their feelings, as per University at Buffalo psychology expert Mark Seery, Ph.D., lead author of a study to appear in the recent issue of Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

The study investigated the mental and physical effects of collective traumas on people who are exposed to a tragedy but who do not experience a direct loss of a friend or family member. It focused on people's responses to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but the results may generalize to include responses to other collective traumas.

The findings have important implications for expectations of how people should respond in the face of a collective trauma affecting a whole community or even an entire nation, says Seery, an assistant professor of psychology.

Seery says the results should not be interpreted to mean that expressing one's thoughts and feelings is harmful or that if someone wants to express their emotions they should not do so. "It's important to remember that not everyone copes with events in the same way, and in the immediate aftermath of a collective trauma, it is perfectly healthy to not want to express one's thoughts and feelings," he says.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 27, 2008, 9:10 PM CT

Combining exercise with hormone could prevent weight gain

Combining exercise with hormone could prevent weight gain
Once heralded as a promising obesity therapy, the hormone leptin lost its fat-fighting luster when researchers discovered overweight patients were resistant to its effects. But pairing leptin with just a minor amount of exercise seems to revive the hormones ability to fight fat again, University of Florida scientists recently discovered.

The combination of leptin and a modest dose of wheel running prevented obese rats on a belt-busting, high-fat diet from gaining weight, even though neither tactic worked alone, say UF researchers, writing in the journal Diabetes.

They dont run enough to use sufficient energy to prevent weight gain, said Philip Scarpace, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology and therapeutics in the UF College of Medicine and the senior author of the study. What the act of running appears to do is allow the leptin to work again. Its a demonstration that this simple act can reverse leptin resistance.

More than 34 percent of American adults about 72 million people are obese or overweight, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers had hoped to wield leptin, a hormone that sends the body chemical signals to stop eating and use stored energy, as a weight-loss weapon. Studies in lean animals were promising, but overweight animals and people dont respond the same way, likely because their bodies already overproduce leptin, causing them to develop resistance to the hormone, Scarpace said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 26, 2008, 8:33 PM CT

Many men with low testosterone

Many men with low testosterone
The majority of men with androgen deficiency may not be receiving treatment despite having sufficient access to care, according to a report in the May 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Androgen deficiency in men means the body has lower than normal amounts of male hormones, including testosterone, according to background information in the article. Although prescriptions for testosterone therapy for aging men have increased in recent years, treatment patterns for androgen deficiency are not clearly understood in community-dwelling U.S. males.

Susan A. Hall, Ph.D., of New England Research Institutes, Watertown, Mass., and colleagues examined data collected from 1,486 Boston-area men (average age 46.4) from April 2002 to June 2005 to estimate the number of men receiving treatment for androgen deficiency, to explain how treated and untreated men varied in seeking care and to understand potential barriers to health care. Specific symptoms of androgen deficiency include low libido, erectile dysfunction and osteoporosis and less-specific symptoms include sleep disturbance, depressed mood and tiredness.

A total of 97 men met the criteria for having androgen deficiency. Eighty-six men were symptomatic and untreated, and 11 were prescribed testosterone treatment. Men were using the following: testosterone gel (n=1), testosterone patch (n=3), testosterone cream (n=1), testosterone cypionate [an injectable form of testosterone] (n=1) or unspecified formulations of testosterone (n=5), the authors write. All of the unspecified forms of testosterone used were self-reported as administered in intervals defined in weeks, which suggests that these were injectable formulations.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 26, 2008, 7:58 PM CT

Flat carbonated drinks not an effective alternative

Flat carbonated drinks not an effective alternative
Flat carbonated drinks should not be used as an alternative for oral rehydration solution to prevent dehydration in children with acute vomiting and diarrhoea, as per advice reported in the recent issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Oral rehydration solution is a liquid containing the ideal balance of salts and sugars for avoiding dehydration in people with gastroenteritis who are losing fluids, salts and sugars through diarrhoea and vomiting.

It is usually believed that flat carbonated drinks are an effective alternative to these solutions, especially for children who dont like their taste. However, scientists at the childrens emergency department at Watford General Hospital were unable to find any published trials to back this up, so they looked for information about the contents of different types of liquids and compared them.

Carbonated drinks were found to contain too much sugar and not enough salts.

Current World Health Organisation recommendations are for oral rehydration solution to contain 75mmol/l of sodium and the same amount of glucose. Published biochemical analyses show carbonated drinks have much lower levels of sodium (1.09.9 mmol/l) and potassium (00.3 mmol/l), but much higher levels of glucose, with branded cola having 550mol/l of glucose (more than seven times the recommended amount).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 22, 2008, 10:26 PM CT

High-school girls who consider themselves attractive

High-school girls who consider themselves attractive
University of Alberta Educational Psychology PhD student Lindsey Leenaars has completed a study that assessed what types of high school students are being indirectly victimized. This includes being involved in emotionally damaging scenarios such as receiving hurtful anonymous notes, being socially excluded, or having rumours spread about them, including threats of physical harm.

Leenaars analyzed data that was collected in Ontario in 2003. More than 2,300 students aged 1218 filled out an anonymous questionnaire asking them questions, including how they rate their attractiveness, their sexual activity, their friendships and school social problems.

Leenaars found the females who viewed themselves as attractive had a 35 per cent increased chance of being indirectly victimized. On the other hand, for males who perceived themselves as good looking, their risk of being bullied decreased by 25 per cent. Leenaars also found older teens (aged 1618) were at a 35 per cent increased risk of being victimized if they were sexually active.

Leenaars says this information could be used to raise awareness amongst parents, teachers and counselors. She adds it would also be helpful when schools are working on a variety of anti-bullying programs to include all students, not just those who may be traditionally perceived as victims.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 22, 2008, 10:16 PM CT

Fruit juice consumption not related to overweight in children

Fruit juice consumption not related to overweight in children
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, and Singapore (April 14, 2008) -- Despite studies that assert otherwise, 100% fruit juice consumption is not correlation to overweight in children, as per the authors of A Review of the Relationship Between 100% Fruit Juice Consumption and Weight in Children and Adolescents in the May/recent issue of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (AJLM), published by SAGE.

The statistics about overweight children are alarming. Over the past 20 years, there has been an increased prevalence of overweight and at-risk-for overweight in all ages and ethnic groups. In 2002, 10.3% of children 2-5 years of age were overweight, an increase from 7.2% in 1994. In males and females 12-17 years of age, waist circumference increased by 4.0% and 5.2%, respectively, between 1994 and 2004.

The article, authored by Carol E. ONeil, PhD, MPH, LDN, RD, Louisiana State University, and Theresa A. Nicklas, DrPH, USDA/ARS Childrens Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, examined 21 studies about a relationship between consumption of 100% fruit juice by children and adolescents and weight, and found there is no systematic association between consumption of 100% fruit juice and overweight in children or adolescents.

Health professionals and policy makers should be encouraged to objectively review the literature on all beverages and encourage consumption of healthful beverages including water, milk, and 100% fruit juice, as per the authors. The data support the consumption of 100% fruit juice in moderate amounts, and this may be an important strategy to help children meet the current recommendations for fruit.........

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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