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August 13, 2006, 6:33 PM CT

Depressed People Benefit More From Marriage

Depressed People Benefit More From Marriage
Depressed singles receive greater psychological benefits from getting married than those who are not depressed, new research shows.

While a number of studies have shown that marriage helps boost well-being, most studies have looked at a general, average population and don't examine whether some people were helped more by marriage than others.

"Our findings question the common assumption that marriage is always a good choice for all individuals," said Adrianne Frech, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in sociology at Ohio State University.

Frech conducted the study with Kristi Williams, assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State. Williams said the study was the first to compare how depressed and non-depressed people benefit from marriage.

"Those 'average' benefits of marriage may be largely limited to people who are depressed before they entered marriage," Williams said. "There may not be strong benefits for everyone."

Frech will present their findings Aug. 13 in Montreal at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

The scientists used data collected by the National Survey of Families and Households, which interviewed a representative sample of Americans in 1987-88 and then re-interviewed them in 1992-94. They used data from 3,066 people who were unmarried at the time of the first interview.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 13, 2006, 6:00 PM CT

Simplified Treatment Of HIV Infection

Simplified Treatment Of HIV Infection
A preliminary study indicates that using a single boosted protease inhibitor instead of the standard regimen of 3 drugs for maintenance treatment may be an effective therapy for select patients with HIV infection, as per a research studyin the August 16 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on HIV/AIDS.

Susan Swindells, M.B.B.S., of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, presented the findings of the study today at a JAMA media briefing at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto.

The long-term adverse effects, expense, and difficulty of sustained adherence to multidrug antiretroviral regimens have prompted studies of simpler therapies for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. Treatment cessation, intermittent treatment, and induction-maintenance (a few months of triple treatment followed by simplified treatment) regimens have been reviewed with mostly inferior results, as per background information in the article.

Dr. Swindells and his colleagues conducted a study to determine whether a simplified maintenance treatment with the antiretroviral medicine "boosted" atazanavir alone after virologic suppression (cessation of detectable HIV virus replication) would not markedly increase the risk of virologic failure. Protease inhibitors, such as atazanavir, are often combined with a small dose of ritonavir to increase blood levels a phenomenon known as "boosting." This regimen was selected because of low pill burden, once-daily dosing, safety, and unique resistance profile. The 24-week pilot study, conducted between Sept. 2004 and April 2006, included 36 HIV-infected adults with virologic suppression for 48 weeks or longer receiving their first protease inhibitor (PI)based regimen. Participants switched PIs to atazanavir-ritonavir at entry and discontinued nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) after 6 weeks. Virologic failure was defined as two consecutive HIV-1 RNA measurements of 200 copies/mL or more. The final analysis included 34 patients.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


August 13, 2006, 5:58 PM CT

Rapid expansion of HIV treatment

Rapid expansion of HIV treatment
A massive scale-up of HIV/AIDS therapy programs at urban primary care sites in Zambia has produced favorable patient outcomes, demonstrating that expansion of such programs in sub-Saharan Africa is feasible, with good results, as per a research studyin the August 16 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on HIV/AIDS.

Jeffrey S.A. Stringer, M.D., of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, Lusaka, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, presented the findings of the study today at a JAMA media briefing at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto.

Zambia's 11.5 million residents are among the world's poorest and most severely affected by acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), as per background information in the article. About 16 percent of the adult population is infected with human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV 1), including 22 percent in the capital city Lusaka. In 2003, more than 90,000 Zambians died of HIV disease. Historically, only the wealthiest citizens have had access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV through private medical practices.

The Zambian Ministry of Health, aiming to provide public access to therapy, in 2002 started pilot ART distribution programs at two of the country's largest hospitals. The program filled almost immediately and in May 2004 expanded to four clinics in the Lusaka Urban District, which were staffed primarily by clinical officers and nurses. In the following 18 months, all fees for patients seeking care were eliminated, ART and laboratory tests were offered for free and the program expanded to 14 additional urban sites. "At the time of program initiation, there was widespread uncertainty that complex, long-term HIV care could be delivered in a setting with so few physicians and so little physical and technical resources," the authors write.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


August 12, 2006, 6:16 AM CT

Breast Cancer Survivors Change Lifestyle

Breast Cancer Survivors Change Lifestyle
Breast cancer survivors' beliefs about what may have caused their cancer are connected to whether they make healthy lifestyle changes after a cancer diagnosis. This is the finding of a research study appearing in the August 2006 issue of Psycho-Oncology by researchers at The Miriam Hospital and Brown Medical School.

"We found that breast cancer survivors who believed that an unhealthy behavior - such as consuming an unhealthy diet, contributed to their cancer - were more likely to say that they had changed that behavior since their diagnosis," says lead author Carolyn Rabin, PhD, a psychologist at The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine. "Likewise, breast cancer survivors who believed that a healthy behavior- such as consuming a healthy diet, could ward off a cancer recurrence - were more likely to say that they had adopted that behavior since their diagnosis".

Due to advances in detection and treatment, there are now more than 10 million Americans who are cancer survivors, according to the American Cancer Society. However, researchers have not yet determined why some cancer survivors are motivated by a cancer diagnosis to make healthy lifestyle changes, while others are not. This question prompted the study by researchers at The Miriam Hospital and Brown Medical School.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 11, 2006, 6:42 AM CT

The 'Good Life' elusive for middle class

The 'Good Life' elusive for middle class
In research to be presented at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting, Phyllis Moen, McKnight Presidential Chair in Sociology at the University of Minnesota, says that middle class couples who both work struggle to compete in job environments designed for single earners with no family responsibilities. As per Moen, couples still are operating under outdated work policies and practices and institutional and organizational rules designed for a one earner, one homemaker model.

"Middle class couples are stretched thin in terms of time by "work-friendly" jobs," said Moen. "In part this reflects the realities of a global information economy with its speed-ups, pressures to increase productivity, 24-7 availability by computer, downsizing insecurities, expectations of long hours and little schedule flexibility."

In her paper, Moen describes evidence that middle class dual-earner couples, who appear advantaged given their education and resources, are nevertheless stretched thin. In fact, fewer than one in six qualify as "super couples" (those where both husband and wife have a high quality of life). And those who fit this category tend to be couples with no children.

In about half of the 1,060 couples she studied, Moen observed that both the husbands and wives reported either low quality of life or only adequate -- what she calls "good enough" -- quality of life. Women working in job environments that are insecure or offer them little scheduling flexibility and control are unlikely to have individual or couple life quality.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 10, 2006, 11:56 PM CT

Parental Time And Childhood Obesity

Parental Time And Childhood Obesity
The fight against obesity in children just got a new weapon, thanks to a multi-year study by scientists from Texas A&M University.

The study observed that the amounts and quality of time parents spent with their children has a direct effect on children's rates of obesity, said Dr. Alex McIntosh, lead researcher. McIntosh is professor of sociology with a research appointment from Texas Agricultural Experiment Station.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture study, "Parental Time, Role Strain and Children's Fat Intake and Obesity-Related Outcomes," was published in June.

In general, scientists found the amount of time a mother spent with her child, her work stress and her income level had a larger impact in lowering the child's risk of obesity than the father's time, work stress and income, McIntosh said.

Furthermore, the more time a mother spends with the child, the less likely that child is to be obese; on the other hand, the more time a father spends with a child, the more likely the child will be obese, he said.

"The impacts were greater for 9- to 11-year-old children than for 13- to 15-year-old children," he added.

As a sociologist, McIntosh has long wondered how parents influence their children's nutritional habits, he said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


August 10, 2006, 6:46 AM CT

Genetics Of Successful Aging

Genetics Of Successful Aging
Researchers have identified genes correlation to reaching age 90 with preserved cognition, as per a research studyreported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The study, which was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh is among the first to identify genetic links to cognitive longevity.

"Successful aging has been defined in a number of ways, however, we focused on individuals who had reached at least 90 without significant decline in mental capacity," said lead researcher George S. Zubenko, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and biological sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. "While this is a goal that a number of of us share, such a definition of 'successful aging' can be determined objectively and consistently across subjects--an important requirement of scientific studies."

While prior research has revealed that genes make important contributions to exceptional longevity, the goal of this study was to identify regions of the human genome that contributed, along with lifestyle factors, to reaching age 90 with preserved cognition.

The study involved 100 people age 90 and older who had preserved cognition as measured by clinical and psychometric assessments. Half of the subjects were male, half were female. Using a novel genome survey method, researchers compared the DNA of the study sample with that of 100 young adults, aged 18-25, who were matched for sex, race, ethnicity and geographic location. Particularly, Dr. Zubenko and his research team attempted to identify specific genetic sequences present in older individuals that may be associated with reaching older ages with preserved cognitive abilities, or on the other hand, specific genetic sequences present in younger individuals (and not present in those over age 90) that may impede successful aging. The study also looked at a variety of lifestyle factors, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, with the goal of eventually exploring the interactive effects of genes and lifestyle on successful aging.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


August 10, 2006, 6:41 AM CT

Texts to reveal 'Whodunnit'

Texts to reveal 'Whodunnit'
Psychology experts at the University of Leicester are to investigate texting language to provide new tools for criminal investigation.

The forensic linguistic study based in the Forensic Section of the School of Psychology will examine how well an individual can be identified by their texting style.

A previous case where this was used was the investigation of murder a few years ago. At the 2002 trial an alibi was broken based on the evidence that the murderer and not the victim had sent crucial messages from her phone. Text analyses revealed that the texts had not been written by the victim herself, but that they had been faked to deflect suspicion from the killer as there were many differences in the texting styles between the victim and murderer. Linguistic analysis is therefore a useful tool which can reveal secrets within the criminal investigation, which otherwise would not be apparent. This present study aims to develop the technique further by investigating text language and style.

The innovative six-month study will assess similarities and differences in texting style, between texts sent by individuals and within and between networks of people who frequently text one another. The scientists are inviting ordinary people to help them with the study by completing an anonymous on-line questionnaire. Eventhough forensic authorship analysis is a growing area of research, this is the first study to focus on mobile phone texting.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


August 9, 2006, 11:39 PM CT

Assessment Of Aggressive Boys' Needs

Assessment Of Aggressive Boys' Needs
A decision support system, in form of a checklist with 20 risk- and need factors, complements clinical evaluation of boys between the ages of six and twelve with behavioural problems, as per new research from Karolinska Institutet.

Prolonged aggressive and disruptive behaviour in childhood is a strong risk marker for criminality and mental health problems in adulthood. Early identification of boys with increased risk of problems in the future is therefore important in order to be able to provide specialised initiatives to help them and their families.

Several years ago, help appeared in the form of a checklist called EARL-20B. EARL-20B (Early Assessment Risk List for boys) consists of 20 risk- and need factors, where boys' anti-social behaviour, family, friends and environment are reviewed. Dr. Pia Enebrink, psychology expert and researcher at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, is one of the first to investigate how well EARL-20B works for boys between the ages of six and twelve.

"The results show that EARL-20B is reliable and useful in evaluating different risk factors and that it can help us identify the boys who really need help, and focus on the risks and needs with which they require help" , says Dr. Enebrink.

The investigation followed 76 Swedish boys in outpatient child psychiatry, and EARL-20B was compared with standard clinical assessments. The boys were followed up after 6 months and again after 30 months.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


August 9, 2006, 11:22 PM CT

Blocking Human HIV Transmissions

Blocking Human HIV Transmissions
As primates evolved 7 million years ago, the more advanced species stopped making a protein that University of Central Florida scientists believe can effectively block the HIV-1 virus from entering and infecting blood cells.

HIV-1 often mutates quickly to overcome antiviral compounds designed to prevent infections. But a research team led by Associate Professor Alexander Cole of UCF's Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences has demonstrated that over 100 days the virus develops only weak resistance to retrocyclin, a defense peptide still found in monkeys and lower primates.

If additional laboratory tests demonstrate only weak resistance, Cole will study how retrocyclin could be developed into a drug designed to prevent the HIV virus from entering human cells.

Cole is also working with Henry Daniell, a UCF professor of molecular biology and microbiology, to develop a way to grow retrocyclin through genetically engineered tobacco plants. The retrocyclin gene would be incorporated into the chloroplast genome of tobacco cells before the plants grow. Daniell has developed a similar approach to growing anthrax vaccine in tobacco plants.

An inexpensive way to produce the drug with only a small amount of tobacco would help to make it accessible in areas such as Southeast Asia, Africa and the Caribbean where the disease spreads most quickly.........

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.

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