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February 7, 2006, 10:24 PM CT

Parental Alcoholism Substance Abuse In Children

Parental Alcoholism Substance Abuse In Children
The impacts of parental alcoholism in children are well known, especially the alcohol consumption habits of children of alcoholics (COA's). However, until now, little research has been conducted on the connection between parental alcoholism and illicit drug use in emerging adults. A new study by David Flora, PhD of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (now at York University), and Laurie Chassin, PhD of Arizona State University, shows that parental alcoholism represents a risk factor for maladaptive behaviors in adulthood that extend beyond alcoholism and into illicit drug use. The study appears in the current issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

This research identifies parental alcoholism as an important risk factor for escalated use of both alcohol and other drugs during young adulthood. Specifically, parental alcoholism has been associated with both an early onset of drinking and with persistent alcohol abuse throughout adulthood. Currently 1 in 4 children (under the age of 18) grow up in a household affected by alcoholism as per the National Association of Children of Alcoholics. That means 1 in 4 emerging adults and young adults will be faced with an increased risk for alcoholism and illicit drug use, simply because of exposure to an alcoholic parent.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

February 7, 2006, 9:52 PM CT

Viruses That Can Make Us Fat

Viruses That Can Make Us Fat
There is a lot of good advice to help us avoid becoming obese, such as "Eat less," and "Exercise." But here's a new and surprising piece of advice based on a promising area of obesity research: "Wash your hands".

There is accumulating evidence that certain viruses may cause obesity, in essence making obesity contagious, as per Leah D. Whigham, the lead researcher in a new study, "Adipogenic potential of multiple human adenoviruses in vivo and in vitro in animals," in the recent issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology published by the American Physiological Society.

The study, by Whigham, Barbara A. Israel and Richard L. Atkinson, of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, found that the human adenovirus Ad-37 causes obesity in chickens. This finding builds on studies that two related viruses, Ad-36 and Ad-5, also cause obesity in animals.

Moreover, Ad-36 has been associated with human obesity, leading scientists to suspect that Ad-37 also may be implicated in human obesity. Whigham said more research is needed to find out if Ad-37 causes obesity in humans. One study was inconclusive, because only a handful of people showed evidence of infection with Ad-37 - not enough people to draw any conclusions, she said. Ad-37, Ad-36 and Ad-5 are part of a family of approximately 50 viruses known as human adenoviruses.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

February 6, 2006, 7:32 AM CT

Double Your Quit Rate By Wearing Nicotine Patch

Double Your Quit Rate By Wearing Nicotine Patch
Smokers trying to quit the habit may double their success rate by wearing a nicotine patch two weeks before their actual quit date, as per a Duke University Medical Center study. Currently, the patch's label warns against smoking while wearing the patch.

In a study of 96 smokers attempting to quit, 50 percent of those who wore the patch two weeks previous to quitting had stopped at four weeks. Only 23 percent of smokers who wore a placebo patch two weeks previous to quitting had stopped after four weeks. The same pattern appeared to continue for six months, eventhough a number of of the study participants were no longer reachable to verify this trend, said the researchers.

If these findings are confirmed by a larger study currently underway, the scientists said the Food and Drug Administration may need to re-evaluate its current warning against smoking while wearing the nicotine patch. Moreover, said the researchers, such confirmation would lead them to advocate a change in clinical practice in smoking cessation programs, to include use of the patches before cessation.

Results of the study, funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), are reported in the Feb. 1, 2006, issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

The Duke scientists said that wearing a nicotine patch before a smoker attempts to quit provides a steady, consistent source of nicotine that interrupts the rapid reward of inhaling nicotine via cigarettes.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

February 5, 2006, 10:30 PM CT

Pregnancy With Female Fetus Causes More Asthma Attacks

Women with asthma who are carrying a female fetus are more likely to experience worse asthma symptoms than asthmatic women carrying a male fetus, scientists at Yale School of Medicine report in the recent issue of American Journal of Epidemiology.

"This is one of the first and largest studies to investigate the effect of fetal sex on the severity of the mother's asthma, and one of the largest to investigate the effect of fetal sex on any disease of the mother," said senior author Michael B. Bracken, Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine.

The scientists monitored 702 pregnant women throughout southern New England who were trained to assess their lung function for 10-day intervals at selected points in pregnancy. Lung function and a large number of other factors that might influence severity of the mother's asthma were recorded automatically.

Asthma worsened in mothers with either male or female fetuses until about 30 weeks gestation, after which there was an improvement in lung function. However, throughout pregnancy, mothers with a male fetus had 10 percent better lung function.

"This difference due to sex is potentially important but needs to be placed in the context of other factors which have a greater impact on the severity of mother's asthma, including inadequate medical management of asthma symptoms, and whether the mother was a smoker or not," said Bracken, who also co-directs the Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink

February 2, 2006, 10:04 PM CT

Can Snoring Ruin a Marriage?

Can Snoring Ruin a Marriage?
The husband snores. The wife nudges him to flip over. Both wake up feeling grouchy the next morning. It's a common occurrence that may have more of an impact on the marriage than most couples think.

The Sleep Disorders Center at Rush University Medical Center is conducting a scientific sleep study to evaluate how a husband's sleep apnea impacts the wife's quality of sleep and the couple's marital satisfaction.

"This is a frequent problem within marriages that nobody is paying enough attention to," said Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, founder of the Sleep Disorders Center at Rush. "Couples who struggle with sleep apnea have a high-divorce rate. Can we save marriages by treating sleep apnea? It's a question we hope to answer".

The Married Couples Sleep Study is evaluating 10 couples in which the male has been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. After completing surveys about sleepiness, marriage satisfaction, and quality of life, the couple spends the night in the sleep lab where technicians determine each partner's quality and quantity of sleep. Following two weeks of therapy, the diagnostic tests and surveys are repeated.

"Our early results are showing that the wife's sleep is indeed deprived due to the husband's noisy nights. This is not a mild problem. The lack of sleep for both partners puts a strain on the marriage and creates a hostile and tense situation," said Cartwright.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

January 31, 2006, 0:02 AM CT

Price Of Divorce

Price Of Divorce
A new nationwide study provides some of the best evidence to date of the devastating financial toll divorce can wreak on a person's wealth.

The study of about 9,000 people found that divorce reduces a person's wealth by about three-quarters (77 percent) compared to that of a single person, while being married almost doubles comparative wealth (93 percent). And people who get divorced see their wealth begin to drop long before the decree becomes final.

"Divorce causes a decrease in wealth that is larger than just splitting a couple's assets in half," said Jay Zagorsky, author of the study and a research scientist at Ohio State University 's Center for Human Resource Research.

By the same token, married people see an increase in wealth that is more than just adding the assets of two single people.

"If you really want to increase your wealth, get married and stay married. On the other hand, divorce can devastate your wealth," Zagorsky said.

Contrary to popular belief, the results showed that the wealth status of divorced women wasn't significantly worse than that of divorced men, in terms of real money.

The findings are reported in the current issue of the Journal of Sociology.

The study used data involving 9,055 people who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which is funded primarily by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The NLSY is a nationally representative survey of people nationwide conducted by Ohio State 's Center for Human Resource Research.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

January 30, 2006, 11:45 PM CT

Pay Cuts Lead To Lack Of Sleep

Pay Cuts Lead To Lack Of Sleep
When workers take a pay cut, money is not the only thing that is lost - they may also lose sleep, as per new research.

A study at four hospitals found that nurses who took an unexpected pay cut reported higher levels of insomnia than their colleagues whose pay did not change.

But insomnia symptoms dropped sharply for nurses whose supervisors were trained to offer emotional support and full information to those suffering the salary cut.

"There's both bad news and good news in these results," said Jerald Greenberg, author of the study and professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University 's Fisher College of Business.

The bad news is that sources of stress in the workplace - such as a pay cut - really can have a negative physiological effect on workers. Insomnia has been linked to workplace accidents and lowered productivity.

But the good news is that management can help minimize these problems both easily and inexpensively, Greenberg said.

"There's nothing magical about the supervisor training I did at the hospitals during the study," he said. "But unfortunately, it is seldom done at a number of organizations."

The study was published this week in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

January 28, 2006, 4:31 PM CT

Keys To Fighting Winter Blues

Keys To Fighting Winter Blues
As the long, dark stretch of winter lingers on, it can be a struggle for some people to keep the blues at bay, but there are several tips that can help until spring arrives, a Purdue University expert says.

Jane Kinyon, a clinical professor in the School of Nursing, says mild depression, or the "blahs," are common in the winter due to the double impact of a lack of sunlight and the often bitter cold temperatures that discourage outdoor activities. She says that's why more discipline is needed this time of year to keep spirits afloat.

"In addition to the obvious things - eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep - it's important to make ourselves do things like have lunch with a friend or take a walk," Kinyon says. "We must schedule activities like this and make ourselves get out in the winter because we might not do them otherwise".

Putting more light into our lives also is beneficial, she says.

"Having a lot of lights on in the house may not be a substitute for sunlight, but it can raise our spirits," Kinyon says. "If your house is dark and it's dark outside, it just contributes to a low mood".

Kinyon says another tactic that is helpful is what she calls "reframing".

"It's just like in your house, where you have a picture hanging on the wall that you like but are tired of the frame," she says. "Reframing is about turning a given situation around to make it more positive".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

January 26, 2006, 12:10 AM CT

Anxious fathers make caesarean ops more painful

Anxious fathers make caesarean ops more painful
In a study involving 65 women scheduled for an elective caesarean, scientists found that the way their birth partners felt during the operation influenced the womans own levels of fear and anxiety about the operation.

This increased the amount of pain the woman felt immediately after the operation, which could affect her immediate recovery as well as potentially influence other related factors such as breast feeding and parent-child bonding.

The lead scientists from the University of Bath (Dr Keogh) and Imperial College London (Dr Anita Holdcroft ) suggest that helping prepare the birth partner for a caesarean, both at antenatal classes and before the operation, could help reduce the pain experienced by the mother and improve the birth experience.

One in four babies born in the UK is now delivered by caesarean section (CS), with a number of hospitals delivering almost 30 per cent in this way. Fear of pain during childbirth is often cited as one of the contributory factors for the increasing rate of CS delivery.

But despite the popular notion that caesarean deliveries are the 'easy option', with respect to overall pain experiences compared with labour pain, this may not be the case.

"Caesarean sections involve major surgery and are often performed whilst the mother is awake under regional anaesthesia which numbs the lower part of the body, said Dr Ed Keogh from the University of Bath.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink

January 26, 2006, 11:52 AM CT

Link Between Cat Faeces And Schizophrenia

Link Between Cat Faeces And Schizophrenia
Research published recently in Procedings of the Royal Society B, shows how the invasion or replication of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in rats may be inhibited by using anti-psychotic or mood stabilising drugs.

The scientists tested anti-psychotic and mood stabilising medications used for the therapy of schizophrenia on rats infected with T. gondii and found they were as, or more, effective at preventing behaviourial alterations as anti-T. gondii drugs. This led them to think that T. gondii may have a role in the development of some cases of schizophrenia.

Dr Joanne Webster from Imperial College London, and lead researcher said: "Eventhough we are certainly not saying that exposure to this parasite does definitely lead to the development of schizophrenia, this and prior studies do show there may be a link in a few individuals, providing new clues for how we treat toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia".

Prior epidemiological and neuropathological studies have indicated some cases of schizophrenia may be associated with environmental factors, such as exposure to the parasite T. gondii. At the same time several of the medications used to treat schizophrenia have been shown to posess anti-parasitic and in particular anti-T.gondii properties. This led the authors to suspect that the anti-psychotic activity of these medications may be due to their inhibition of these parasites.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink

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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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