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August 3, 2007, 5:06 AM CT

Heat-related deaths in middle, high school football players

Heat-related deaths in middle, high school football players
Image courtesy of
Every year, Fred Mueller compiles a sports list, but unlike popular pre-season picks or a glamorous hot-recruit sheet, nobody envies him this task. Some years the list is longer than others, but, Mueller said, theres no reason any kid should be on it.

Its a list of boys who died playing or practicing football, kids whose body temperatures rose so high and so fast under the summer sun that their brains couldnt keep up, couldnt regulate their cores, and the boys died.

When something is preventable., Mueller said, shaking his head. Those kids could be alive today.

Five young athletes, from 11 to 17 years old, died of heat stroke in 2006. The trend was declining. The last time there were more than five was 1972, when there were seven. In five of the past 16 years there were none. But, Mueller said, there have been 31 since 1995, and all of them could have been avoided.

Seven other players died last year of heart-related deaths that might or night not have been correlation to heat or exertion. And we dont know the number of kids who had heat exhaustion, Mueller said.

With summer practice about to swing into high gear, Mueller said its time to remember these kids, and to keep in mind how heat-related deaths can be prevented.
  • Require each athlete to have a physical and know if an athlete has a history of heat-related illness; these kids are more susceptible to heat stroke. Overweight players are also at higher risk.

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

August 1, 2007, 9:20 PM CT

Sleep is the right ingredient for academic success

Sleep is the right ingredient for academic success
Returning to the classroom after a three-month break signals that summer is drawing to a close. For children and teens, the end of summer also means an end to the long daylight hours that allows them to stay out later, as well as the long lazy mornings of sleeping in. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) advises children and teens that sleep habits adopted over the summer will need to be changed when school starts in order to ensure proper sleep.

Daniel G. Glaze, MD, of Texas Childrens Hospital in Houston, a pediatric sleep expert and a member of the AASM board of directors, notes that, just as one wouldnt start a trip with a half-full tank of gas, children and teens need to obtain a proper amount of sleep during the night to complete the school day successfully.

A number of children, and particularly teens, alter their sleep-wake schedules and maintain a later bedtime, says Dr. Glaze. This works for the summer until the start of the school year. They then need to advance their bedtime to meet early school start times. It is difficult to advance your bedtime and, once a schedule has been established, it may take days or weeks to develop a new schedule. It cant be done overnight. Not unexpectedly, for the first weeks of school, a number of children and teens do not obtain a proper amount of sleep.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

August 1, 2007, 8:49 PM CT

Cholesterol-lowering drugs don't offset healthy choices

Cholesterol-lowering drugs don't offset healthy choices
Within the medical field, it is often assumed that patients view cholesterol-lowering medications (or statins) as a license to eat whatever they like -- they figure their medicine has them covered, so a steak here and there wont hurt. However, a study published in the recent issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings finds that such patients dont tend to adopt unhealthy diets when prescribed statins.

Researchers also found that some patients were placed on cholesterol-lowering drugs before theyd made a good faith effort at improving their lifestyle to better their health. And some said they would have preferred starting with lifestyle alterations rather than medication.

Devin Mann, M.D., lead author of the article on statin use, says physicians should reconsider how theyre treating patients who seek preventive care for cardiovascular disease, namely by giving up their long-held assumptions about them.

Physicians arent good at predicting patient behavior, so they should seek to form a partnership of trust with patients based on mutual respect and optimal communication, says.

Dr. Mann from Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

This study involved 71 patients who had been prescribed statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Patients were interviewed at the time of prescription and three and six months later, when no significant change in saturated fat intake was noted.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

August 1, 2007, 8:42 PM CT

Taming the anthrax threat

Taming the anthrax threat
Shown here is an electron micrograph of a Bacillus anthracis spore, magnified 92,000 times.
Credit: University of Michigan/ Journal of Bacteriology
In the American governments biodefense efforts, the potential for terrorists to cause a deadly anthrax outbreak remains a significant concern, six years after the letter attacks that shook the nation shortly after 9/11.

Now, scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School have developed the first complete picture of how anthrax-causing bacteria survive and grow inside unwitting immune cells their supposed attackers during the crucial first moments of anthrax infection. They have also identified gene candidates to pursue as possible anthrax drug targets. They say the methods they used to detect the microbes activities should become important new tools for other researchers.

Ultimately, the goal in this and other related research is to discover more effective, more easily tolerated therapys than those available now if an anthrax attack occurs, says U-M scientist Nicholas H. Bergman, Ph.D., the lead author of the study, which appears in the July edition of Infection and Immunity. Drugs given to people within a day of exposure, before symptoms develop, can prevent illness and death.

In mouse studies using DNA microarray technology, the U-M researchers were able to track which genes and enzymes play key roles in the bacterium that causes anthrax, while it sneaks inside the immune systems first-responder cells in the lungs, called macrophages, and begins to multiply. The work is a significant advance because it will make it much easier to identify precise new targets for better anthrax drugs and vaccines, says Bergman, a research assistant professor of Bioinformatics at the U-M Medical School.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source

July 31, 2007, 9:51 PM CT

Older Folks Don't Get The Joke

Older Folks Don't Get The Joke
It's no laughing matter that elderly adults have a tougher time understanding basic jokes than do younger adults.

It's partially due to a cognitive decline linked to age, as per Washington University in St. Louis scientists Wingyun Mak, a graduate student in psychology in Arts & Sciences, and Brian Carpenter, Ph.D., Washington University associate professor of psychology.

Humor comprehension in elderly adults functions in a different fashion than humor comprehension in younger adults. The scientists studied elderly adults from a university subject pool as well as undergraduate students. The subjects participated in tests that indicated their ability to complete jokes accurately as well as tests that indicated their cognitive capabilities in areas of abstract reasoning, short-term memory, and cognitive flexibility. Overall, elderly adults demonstrated lower performance on both tests of cognitive ability as well as tests of humor comprehension than did younger adults.

"However, just because you're an older adult does not mean that you can't understand humor. All hope is not lost," said Mak. "This is just the first step in understanding how humor comprehension functions in elderly adults." There are likely a multitude of factors, like prior experiences, preferences, and personality that also contribute to how well someone understands different types of humor.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

July 30, 2007, 10:14 PM CT

Drug improves symptoms of severe Alzheimer's disease

Drug improves symptoms of severe Alzheimer's disease
A drug initially used to treat mild to moderate Alzheimers disease improved the memory and global function of people with severe Alzheimers disease and was safe and effective, as per a research studyreported in the July 31, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The six-month study involved 343 people with severe Alzheimers disease at clinics in the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Half of the group received a daily dose of donepezil; the other half received placebo. Cognitive tests were performed throughout the study.

The study found cognitive function stabilized or improved in 63 percent of people taking donepezil in comparison to 39 percent of people taking placebo. In comparison to the placebo group, those taking donepezil showed improvement in memory, language, attention, and recognizing ones name. The donepezil group also showed less of a decline in social interaction, skills needed to complete a jigsaw puzzle, and arranging sentences in comparison to the placebo group.

The effectiveness of donepezil in preserving cognitive and global function in people with severe Alzheimers disease, as evidenced by this study and others, is encouraging, said study author Sandra Black, MD, Brill Professor of Neurology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto in Canada, and member of the American Academy of Neurology.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

July 30, 2007, 10:10 PM CT

Caffeine plus exercise to prevent skin cancer

Caffeine plus exercise to prevent skin cancer
Regular exercise and little or no caffeine has become a popular lifestyle choice for many Americans. But a new Rutgers study has found that it may not be the best formula for preventing sun-induced skin damage that could lead to cancer. Low to moderate amounts of caffeine, in fact, along with exercise can be good for your health.

According to the National Cancer Institute, sunlight-induced skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States with more than 1 million new cases each year. A research team at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, showed that a combination of exercise and some caffeine protected against the destructive effects of the suns ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation, known to induce skin cancer. The caffeine and exercise seemingly conspire in killing off precancerous cells whose DNA has been damaged by UVB-rays.

The studies, conducted in the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research at Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, appear in the July 31 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Groups of hairless mice, whose exposed skin is vulnerable to the sun, were the test subjects in experiments in which one set drank caffeinated water (the human equivalent of one or two cups of coffee a day); another voluntarily exercised on a running wheel; while a third group both drank and ran. A fourth group, which served as a control, didnt run and didnt caffeinate. All of the mice were exposed to lamps that generated UVB radiation that damaged the DNA in their skin cells.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

July 30, 2007, 9:57 PM CT

One cannabis joint equal to up to 5 cigarettes

One cannabis joint equal to up to 5 cigarettes
A single cannabis joint has the same effect on the lungs as smoking up to five cigarettes in one go, indicates research published ahead of print in the journal Thorax.

The scientists base their findings on 339 adults up to the age of 70, selected from a research study that's ongoing of respiratory health, and categorised into four different groups.

These comprised those who smoked only cannabis, equivalent to at least one joint a day for five years; those who smoked tobacco only, equivalent to a pack of cigarettes a day for at least a year; those who smoked both; and those who did not smoke either cannabis or tobacco.

All the participants had high definition x-ray scans (computed tomography) taken of their lungs and they took special breathing tests designed to assess how well their lungs worked.

They were also questioned about their smoking habits.

Seventy five people smoked only cannabis, and 91 smoked both. Eighty one people did not smoke either, and 92 smoked only tobacco.

Combined smokers tended to use less tobacco, the findings showed.

Cannabis smokers complained of wheeze, cough, chest tightness and phlegm. But emphysema, the progressive and crippling lung disease, was only seen in those who smoked tobacco, either alone or in combination.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

July 30, 2007, 9:50 PM CT

Obese patients get patchy weight-loss support

Obese patients get patchy weight-loss support
Only one in seven UK doctors surgeries provide well-developed support programmes for obese patients, as per a survey of primary care nurses reported in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Sheffield-based scientists surveyed just under 400 nurses in the north of England in mid 2006, including district nurses, practice nurses and health visitors.

Their aim was to ask the nurses about their clinical practice, views and support for patients with obesity.

The scientists discovered that 89 per cent of nurses recognise the need for more effective primary care services to tackle obesity and see obesity advice and support as part of their role.

However, one in five nurses also admitted that they felt awkward or embarrassed about talking to patients about obesity and only a fifth felt they were effective when it came to helping patients to lose weight.

Half said that they found providing care and support for obese patients especially rewarding, but some also expressed negative attitudes and beliefs.

Its estimated that one in five adults in the survey area which covered four primary care trusts in the north of England - are obese, reflecting national UK trends.

A number of of the nurses in the current survey also had weight problems - 14 per cent were obese and 29 per cent were overweight.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

July 29, 2007, 9:54 PM CT

Work-family stress studied among immigrant Latinos

Work-family stress studied among immigrant Latinos
A new study that examined the work-family experiences of recent Latino immigrants working in low-wage, nonprofessional jobs, observed that they reported infrequent work-family conflict, as per lead author Joseph G. Grzywacz, Ph.D., of Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

The findings, would be reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, suggest that individuals from more collective cultures experience fewer conflicts between work and family than white, middle-class workers because they view work as a necessary and vital component of assuring family well-being.

Work-family conflict refers to situations in which the demands and responsibilities of work and family roles are incompatible in some respect. It can occur in both directions. For example, family can interfere with work if a worker is distracted by marital problems or a sick child. And, work can interfere with family when work schedules make it impossible to attend family functions or complete household chores. Since the early part of 1970s when women began joining the workforce en masse, work-family conflict research has focused, almost exclusively, on professional white adults, said Grzywacz.

Work-family balance is a popular topic yet very little is known about the work-family experiences of Latinos, the fastest growing segment of the work force and a population that frequently finds themselves in difficult work arrangements, said Grzywacz.........

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. Archives of society medical news blog

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