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June 25, 2007, 7:34 PM CT

Young Men More Willing To Purchase Alcohol For Underage Youth

Young Men More Willing To Purchase Alcohol For Underage Youth
Nearly 20 percent of young males are willing to purchase alcohol for underage youth when approached outside of an alcohol establishment, as per scientists at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

A study reported in the recent issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research (ACER) observed that 19 percent of young males over the age of 21 were willing to purchase alcohol for youth who appeared to be underage when shoulder-tapped outside of a convenience or liquor store. In contrast, only 8 percent of the general adult population entering alcohol establishments were willing to purchase the alcohol.

Most underage drinkers obtain alcohol from social sources, individuals who illegally provide alcohol to youth, as opposed to commercial sources. These sources include parents, parents of friends, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, siblings, and even strangers. Shoulder-tapping occurs when an underage person approaches a stranger outside of an alcohol establishment and asks this person to purchase alcohol for him or her.

The small percent of the general population that agreed to purchase alcohol when approached is encouraging, said Traci Toomey, Ph.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota. However, the percentage of males willing to buy alcohol was much higher. One out of every five young males that were approached bought the alcohol when requested.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 25, 2007, 7:23 PM CT

Improved Attention With Mindfulness Training

Improved Attention With Mindfulness Training
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania say that practicing even small doses of daily meditation may improve focus and performance.

Meditation, as per Penn neuroscientist Amishi Jha and Michael Baime, director of Penn's Stress Management Program, is an active and effortful process that literally changes the way the brain works. Their study is the first to examine how meditation may modify the three subcomponents of attention, including the ability to prioritize and manage tasks and goals, the ability to voluntarily focus on specific information and the ability to stay alert to the environment.

In the Penn study, subjects were split into two categories. Those new to meditation, or "mindfulness training," took part in an eight-week course that included up to 30 minutes of daily meditation. The second group was more experienced with meditation and attended an intensive full-time, one-month retreat.

Scientists observed that even for those new to the practice, meditation enhanced performance and the ability to focus attention. Performance-based measures of cognitive function demonstrated improvements in a matter of weeks. The study, would be reported in the journal Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, suggests a new, non-medical means for improving focus and cognitive ability among disparate populations and has implications for workplace performance and learning.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 22, 2007, 4:54 AM CT

Omega-3 supplements affect Alzheimer's symptoms

Omega-3 supplements affect Alzheimer's symptoms
Omega-3 supplements can, in certain cases, help combat the depression and agitation symptoms linked to Alzheimers disease, as per a clinical study conducted at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet.

Many epidemiological studies have shown that eating fatty fish provides a certain degree of protection against Alzheimers and other dementia diseasesan effect often thought attributable to the omega-3 fatty acids it contains. Some studies also suggest that omega-3 can have a therapeutic effect on some psychiatric conditions.

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University have now examined whether omega-3 supplementation has any effect on the psychiatric symptoms linked to Alzheimers disease. Just under 200 patients with mild Alzheimers were divided into two groups, one of which received omega-3, and one a placebo. The study lasted for one year.

There was no observable difference in therapeutic effect between the patients receiving the omega-3 and the placebo group. However, when the scientists took into account which of the patients carried the susceptibility gene APOE ?4 and which did not, an appreciable difference appeared. Carriers of the gene who had received active therapy responded positively to the omega-3 as regards agitation symptoms, while non-bearers of the gene showed an improvement in depressive symptoms.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


June 22, 2007, 4:52 AM CT

Pill-splitting study looks at cost-saving

Pill-splitting study looks at cost-saving
Pill-splitting requires a special inexpensive cutter, and can only be done with certain pills. It's not safe to split pills that have a time-release coating, for example, or that include medicines that exit the body quickly. But certain cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can be split safely.
Slicing certain pills in half could slice a hefty amount off of America's prescription drug costs. While only some types of pills can be split safely, the practice could be used by millions of Americans - including a number of of those who take popular cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Now, a new University of Michigan study adds more evidence that splitting a high-dose pill and swallowing half of it, rather than taking a whole low-dose pill each time, doesn't change those medicines' impact on cholesterol levels. It is also the first prospective randomized controlled trial of pill-splitting, and the first to look at the impact of out-of-pocket costs on patients' willingness to take the time to split pills.

The study is reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Managed Care by a team from the U-M Health System and the U-M College of Pharmacy.

"This study was done in part to see what the impact would be of having some of the cost savings go back to the patient," says first author Hae Mi Choe, PharmD, CDE, clinical assistant professor in the College and a UMHS clinical pharmacist.

While the study did not find that out-of-pocket costs had an impact on the participants' tendency to split and take their pills in the six-month study, most participants said that reduced co-pays would be needed to entice them to continue splitting pills.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 22, 2007, 4:37 AM CT

Smoking rate has plummeted in New York City

Smoking rate has plummeted in New York City
New York Citys smoking rate has plummeted since a comprehensive program against smoking was launched in 2002, as per findings issued today in the national Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The 2006 rate was nearly 20% lower than the 2002 rate -- a decline that represents 240,000 fewer smokers. The Citys rate for 2006 is the lowest on record (17.5%), and lower than all but five U.S. states (California, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Connecticut). Over the past year, smoking decreased among men (from 22.5% to 19.9%) and among Hispanics (from 20.2% to 17.1%). These large declines followed a year-long ad campaign aimed at prompting more smokers to quit. The new report is available online at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/.

Beginning in 2002, and after a decade with no progress, New York City increased the tobacco tax, eliminated smoking in virtually all workplaces, and launched hard-hitting anti-tobacco ads. By all indications, the interventions have made a difference. Hard-hitting ads work, said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden -- particularly when theyre paired with a tobacco tax and smoke-free air legislation. With nearly a quarter of a million fewer smokers, New York City is leading the way on tobacco control. There arent a number of programs that can prevent 80,000 premature deaths this quickly.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 20, 2007, 8:36 AM CT

Identifying Potentially Violent Individuals

Identifying Potentially Violent Individuals
A researcher who spent nearly 300 hours observing patients in an accident and emergency department has developed a method for identifying possible flashpoints, as per the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Lauretta Luck, who carried out her research at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, points out that the STAMP violence assessment framework could have much wider applications than just hospitals.

STAMP - which stands for Staring and eye contact, Tone and volume of voice, Anxiety, Mumbling and Pacing could be used by any professionals in potentially violent situations, such as law enforcement and social services.

The five-month research project was carried out in a 33-bedded emergency department in a public hospital serving a large rural, remote and metropolitan community in Australia.

It serves a multi-cultural community, which includes a high number of tourists and seasonal workers as well as a large metropolitan population.

Luck carried out 290 hours of observation and interviewed 20 Registered Nurses who agreed to take part in the study.

During my time in the department there were 16 violent episodes aimed at staff taking part in the study says Luck. Because I was on the spot I was able to obtain feedback from them while the event was still fresh in their minds. They were able to tell me how they perceived the event and how they tried to handle it.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 19, 2007, 9:30 PM CT

Cigarette smoking impairs ligament healing

Cigarette smoking impairs ligament healing
The list of reasons you shouldn't smoke has gotten longer. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are reporting that smoking interferes with ligament healing.

Studying mice with knee ligament injuries, the team discovered cigarette smoking impairs the recruitment of cells to the injury site and delays healing following ligament-repair surgery. They reported their findings in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

The scientists looked at the mouse medial collateral ligament (MCL), a ligament that supports the knee joint in both mice and people. Each year in the United States there are more than 20 million reported ligament injuries, and MCL injuries are the most common. They also are the most common injuries seen in competitive and recreational sports. It's not clear exactly how a number of MCL injuries occur annually because a number of go unreported.

"A lot of MCL injuries never make it to an emergency room because patients will have a sore knee but don't seek therapy," says Rick W. Wright, M.D., associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and a senior investigator on the MCL study.

Prior studies have demonstrated that the mouse provides a good paradigm for what happens in injured human knees.

"This is a good model for knee ligament injury, but it could be a model for ligament injuries anywhere in the body," says co-investigator Linda J. Sandell, Ph.D., professor of orthopaedic surgery. "It's likely the biology is transferable to other knee ligaments, elbow ligaments, shoulder ligaments, you name it."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 18, 2007, 9:41 PM CT

Fat fish put obesity on the hook

Fat fish put obesity on the hook
Everyone knows that eating lean fish helps slim waistlines, but scientists from the Center for the Study of Weight Regulation and Associated Disorders at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR, have found a new way fish can help eliminate obesity. In a study would be reported in the July 2007 print issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists describe the first genetic model of obesity in a fish. Having this model should greatly accelerate the development of new drugs to help people lose weight and keep it off.

As per corresponding author Roger Cone, Being able to model human disorders like obesity in zebrafish allows researchers to understand the molecular basis of disease. This may ultimately increase the efficiency and power of the drug discovery process, thus bringing new medicines to the market faster and cheaper.

In the study, scientists caused obesity in zebrafish by introducing the same type of genetic mutation that causes severe obesity in humans. The genetic change blocks the activity of a receptor, the melanocortin-4 receptor, which is at the heart of a device in our brains called the adipostat. The adipostat regulates body weight homeostatically, like the thermostat in a house, and works to keep long-term energy storesa.k.a. body fatconstant. The adipostat is what makes it difficult for people to lose weight and keep it off.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 18, 2007, 9:38 PM CT

Link Between Foie Gras And Disease

Link Between Foie Gras And Disease
University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine professor and researcher Alan Solomon, M.D., director of the Human Immunology and Cancer/Alzheimers Disease and Amyloid-Related Disorders Research Program, led a team that discovered a link between foie gras prepared from goose or duck liver and the type of amyloid found in rheumatoid arthritis or tuberculosis.

Their experimental data, appearing in this week's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has provided the first evidence that a food product can hasten amyloid development.

Amyloidosis is a disease process involving the deposit of normal or mutated proteins that have become misfolded. In this unstable state, such proteins form hair-like fibers, or fibrils, that are deposited into vital organs like the heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas and brain. This process leads to organ failure and, eventually, death. There are a number of types of amyloid-related diseases in addition to rheumatoid arthritis, such as Alzheimers disease, adult-onset (type-2) diabetes and an illness correlation to multiple myeloma called primary or AL amyloidosis, an illness that has been a particular focus of study in the Solomon laboratory.

Foie gras is a culinary delicacy derived from massively enlarged fatty livers of ducks and geese. It is produced by gorging the fowl over several weeks. Solomon and his research team analyzed commercially sold foie gras from the U.S. and France and observed that it contained a type of amyloid called AA. Amyloid deposits are usually found in waterfowl, but this condition is noticeably increased in force-fed birds. In their study, mice prone to develop AA amyloidosis were injected or fed amyloid extracted from foie gras. Within eight weeks, a majority of the animals developed extensive amyloid deposits in the liver, spleen, intestine and other organs.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 15, 2007, 12:22 AM CT

How Insomnia Affects Job Performance And Safety

How Insomnia Affects Job Performance And Safety
Minneapolis, MN -- June 15, 2007 -- Alertness Solutions presented results of a new survey this week at the annual SLEEP meeting showing the significant impact our 24/7 culture is having on healthcare professionals job performance and patient safety. The survey of 2,082 nurses observed that more than one quarter of nurses (27.23%) suffered from insomnia; 32.10% had difficulty staying asleep, 12.52% had trouble falling asleep, and 55.38% suffered from a combination of both symptoms. To our knowledge, this is the first study looking at how insomnia in healthcare professionals affects their job performance. The findings revealed that insomnia is attributed to a significant increase in medicine dispensing errors, charting deviations from standard practice and falling asleep unintentionally at work. The survey also observed that despite the significant impact of their insomnia, only 30% of those surveyed sought professional care to address the problem.

The pressure of shift work and the high demands of our round the clock society, often result in the development of insomnia, which is a significant contributing factor to workplace errors that may compromise safety, said Dr. Mark Rosekind, president and chief scientist of Alertness Solutions, who conducted the survey. The results from this study show that insomnia affects workplace productivity, performance and safety, regardless of the type of insomnia experienced. Yet in spite of the significant effects that were reported, the insomnia is rarely being addressed.........

Posted by: Janet      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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