Monday, December 31, 2012

Emotional Recovery High For Young Survivors

For Young Survivors, Odds of Emotional Recovery Are High - " . . . For young people exposed to gun trauma — like the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. — the road to recovery can be long and torturous, marked by anxiety, nightmares, school trouble and even substance abuse. Witnessing lethal violence ruptures a child’s sense of security, psychiatrists say, leaving behind an array of emotional and social challenges that are not easily resolved. But the good news is that most of these children will probably heal. “Most kids, even of this age, are resilient,” said Dr. Glenn Saxe, chairman of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. “The data shows that the majority of people after a trauma, including a school assault, will end up doing O.K. . . .”

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Mental Illness in Gun Control Debate

A Misguided Focus on Mental Illness in Gun Control Debate - "But there is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that the vast majority of people with psychiatric disorders do not commit violent acts. Only about 4 percent of violence in the United States can be attributed to people with mental illness. This does not mean that mental illness is not a risk factor for violence. It is, but the risk is actually small. Only certain serious psychiatric illnesses are linked to an increased risk of violence. One of the largest studies, the National Institute of Mental Health’s Epidemiologic Catchment Area study, which followed nearly 18,000 subjects, found that the lifetime prevalence of violence among people with serious mental illness — like schizophrenia andbipolar disorder — was 16 percent, compared with 7 percent among people without any mental disorder. Anxiety disorders, in contrast, do not seem to increase the risk at all. Alcohol and drug abuse are far more likely to result in violent behavior than mental illness by itself. In the National Institute of Mental Health’s E.C.A. study, for example, people with no mental disorder who abused alcohol or drugs were nearly seven times as likely as those without substance abuse to commit violent acts. . . .”

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Looking at a Screen Instead of Both Ways

Looking at a Screen, Instead of Both Ways - " . . . Researchers in Seattle last summer watched more than 1,100 people crossing at busy intersections. Their study, published online last week in Injury Prevention, reports that almost a third were listening to music, texting or talking on a cellphone. Compared with undistracted pedestrians, people who were listening to music crossed an average of a half-second quicker. But those talking on a hand-held phone spent three-quarters of a second longer in the street, and people with hands-free devices were even slower: one and one-third seconds behind those with no distractions. Worst of all were the texters. They took almost two seconds longer to get across and were about four times as likely as undistracted pedestrians to engage in at least one unsafe behavior — disobeying the lights, crossing midblock or failing to look both ways. . . . "

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Task Force Created to Regulate Legalized Marijuana in Colorado

Task Force Created to Regulate Legalized Marijuana in Colorado - " . . . The task force, made up of designees from an array of state offices as well as various marijuana advocates, weighed in on matters including the identification of marijuana revenue sources and the prospect of the federal government cracking down on the drug. “We’re not here to have a discussion on whether legalizing marijuana was the right thing to do,” said Jack Finlaw, Mr. Hickenlooper’s chief legal counsel and a co-chairman of the task force. “Our job is to find ways of efficiently and effectively implementing it.” Colorado’s Amendment 64 sets the stage for marijuana to be regulated much like alcohol. But the state will have a whole new set of variables to consider, like licensing retail facilities and determining what sort of security measures stores should have. And Mr. Finlaw said he was not sure that alcohol could be used as a model for marijuana, given the inevitable differences in how it would be sold. . . . "

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Teenagers and the Morning-After Pill

new normal birth control--

Teenagers and the Morning-After Pill - "When a teenager goes in for a checkup, the pediatrician often asks the parent to step outside so the doctor can talk to the youngster one-on-one about sensitive topics, like whether she is using drugs or is sexually active. Now the nation’s leading pediatrics organization is encouraging doctors to also talk to teenagers about the morning-after pill — and to send girls home with prescriptions for emergency contraception, just in case. The recommendation, announced last week by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is the latest salvo in the contentious debate over access to emergency contraception. Ever since the Food and Drug Administration approved levonorgestrel (now sold under the brand name Plan B One Step, and generically as Next Choice), advocates have pushed to make it more easily accessible. . . . "

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Viewing online pornography 'can make you lose your memory'

"I always wondered why he had become so forgetful . . . "

Here's a story you can pass along--

Viewing online pornography 'can make you lose your memory'
Daily Mail
According to researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen, the findings could help psychologists understand why some people with internet porn addictions forget to sleep, miss appointments, shirk job responsibilities and neglect relationships.. . . "

Daily Mail

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Diet and Lowering Risk of Repeat Heart Attacks

Diet's Role in Lowering Risk of Repeat Heart Attacks - "Patients with heart disease frequently assume that medication is enough to forestall a repeat heart attack or stroke, but a large new study shows the preventive power of a healthy diet. A study of 32,000 people shows that a heart-healthy diet is a big factor in reducing the risk of a second heart attack, not just medication. . . . Although it is widely accepted that healthy diets are powerful tools to prevent cardiovascular disease, less is known about the impact of diet on people who already have the disease. . . . People with the healthiest diets—those with the highest intakes of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and a higher intake of fish relative to meat poultry and eggs—were 35% less likely to die from a repeat heart attack or stroke during the length of the study, compared with those with the least healthy diets, according to the five-year study of 32,000 people in 40 countries. . . " More Reasons to Eat Right The New Science Behind America's Deadliest Diseases Not All Calories Equal, Study Shows The Best Foods for Thought, Literally

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Friday, December 14, 2012

80% of what doctors do, Tech will do better

It's only a matter of time--

Technology will replace 80% of what doctors do - Fortune Tech: " . . . it will happen regardless. And it may start at the periphery, e.g. with the 40 million uninsured Americans or the hundreds of millions of people in India with no access. This shift in healthcare delivery will allow for less money to be spent on capital equipment, cutting costs. It will allow us to provide care and basic service to those who can't afford it now. It will help avoid errors. And, it will prevent simple things from getting worse before being addressed. Entrepreneurs can come at these challenges and inject new insight. They can ask naïve questions that get at the heart of pervasive and sometimes unperceived assumptions. They can leverage the many insiders to provide real understanding of medicine at the right time. They can build smart computers to be objective cost minimizers while being care optimizers. This evolution will take time, but it won't take as long as people think. The move will happen in fits and starts along different pathways, with many course corrections, steps backward, and mistakes. Maybe we'll start seeing disruption at the fringes. Many naïve innovators, maybe even 90% of them, will attempt this change and fail. But, a few will succeed and change the system. . . . there's a huge opportunity for technologists, entrepreneurs, and other forward-thinkers to reduce healthcare expenditures and improve patient care at the very same time. --Vinod Khosla (A longer version of this story can be found here.)

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Google search algorithm tracks spread of cancer

More on technology in healthcare--

'Google search algorithm helps track spread of cancer': "Google ranks Web pages by the likelihood that an individual would end up visiting each one randomly. These predictions are based on the trends of millions of users across the Web, the 'Live Science' reported. It uses the "steady state distribution" to calculate the probability of someone visiting a page. "You have millions of people wandering the Web, [and] Google would like to know what proportion are visiting any given Web page at a given time. "It occurred to me that steady state distribution is equivalent to the metastatic tumour distribution that shows up in the autopsy datasets," Newton said. The referred dataset contains information about autopsy patients from the 1920's to the 1940's, who died before chemotherapy was available. By focusing on this group of patients, the researchers could track the natural progression of cancer, specifically lung cancer, without different treatments interfering with the data. Out of fifty metastasis sites described in the autopsy reports, the scientists found that twenty-seven contained cancer that appeared to have spread from the lungs. Just like with an individual browsing the Web, cells that break off from the original lung tumour and entered the bloodstream had a certain probability of progressing to different locations. . . . "

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Monday, December 10, 2012

80% of what Doctors do, Technology can do better

Technology may be able to save Obamacare and give us better healthcare--

Technology will replace 80% of what doctors do - Fortune Tech: "Today's diagnoses are partially informed by patients' medical histories and partially by symptoms (but patients are bad at communicating what's really going on). They are mostly informed by advertising and the doctor's half-remembered and potentially obsolete lessons from medical school (which are laden with cognitive biases, recency biases, and other human errors). Many times, if you ask three doctors to look at the same problem, you'll get three different diagnoses and three different treatment plans. The net effect is patient outcomes that are inferior to and more expensive than what they should be. A Johns Hopkins study found that as many as 40,500 patients die in an ICU in the U.S. each year due to misdiagnosis, rivaling the number of deaths from breast cancer. . . ."

What's the answer?

"Next-generation medicine will utilize more complex models of physiology, and more sensor data than a human MD could comprehend, to suggest personalized diagnosis. Thousands of baseline and multi-omic data points, more integrative history, and demeanor will inform each diagnosis. Ever-improving dialog manager systems will help make data capture and exploration from patients more accurate and comprehensive. Data science will be key to this. In the end, it will reduce costs, reduce physician workloads, and improve patient care."(source and full article: Fortune)

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Friday, December 7, 2012

NothinNormal: None Dare Call It Default

Jenkins: None Dare Call It Default - "If politicians weren't eager to be re-elected, the trust necessary to be an investor would vanish altogether. While there is no escaping our challenges, there is a path in which the economy grows strongly and we don't savage each other, and there is the other path. For years the trustees of Social Security and Medicare were accused of exaggerating the programs' deficits by envisioning that America's long-run growth would become more like Europe's. Now who doesn't fret that America's growth is becoming permanently slower like Europe's? Which brings us to President Obama. He knows cuts are necessary but seeks to position Democrats politically as the defender of all spending. Notice that, with ObamaCare, he is deliberately creating a constituency of the young to set against the old in future fights over the allocation of federal health care dollars. . . ."

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Is sex getting too demanding for men?

Is sex getting too demanding for men? - Telegraph: "a very lucky man. The unnamed individual is, according to reports at the weekend, being divorced by his wife, a high-flying City banker, on the grounds, inter alia, that he is ''boring’’ in bed and refuses to take part in the kind of bedroom antics popularised by the raunchy blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey.Well done, that man! He is not only escaping what sounds like a miserable marriage (''Thank you for whipping me, darling, but you forgot the handcuffs’’), but in doing so – he’s admitting ''unreasonable behaviour’’ for a quick divorce – he is striking a blow for his sex. Like Bradley Wiggins, like Mo Farah, he can go into any pub in the country and know that every man jack there would be happy to buy him a drink if only they knew his story. . . . "

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Stand-Up Desks Gaining Favor in the Workplace

Stand-Up Desks Gaining Favor in the Workplace - "The research comes more from observing the health results of people’s behavior than from discovering the biological and genetic triggers that may be associated with extended sitting. Still, scientists have determined that after an hour or more of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat in the body declines by as much as 90 percent. Extended sitting, they add, slows the body’s metabolism of glucose and lowers the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol in the blood. Those are risk factors toward developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. “The science is still evolving, but we believe that sitting is harmful in itself,” says Dr. Toni Yancey, a professor of health services at the University of California, Los Angeles. Yet many of us still spend long hours each day sitting in front of a computer.  . . . If there is a movement toward ergonomic diversity and upright work in the information age, it will also be a return to the past. Today, the diligent worker tends to be defined as a person who puts in long hours crouched in front of a screen. But in the 19th and early 20th centuries, office workers, like clerks, accountants and managers, mostly stood. Sitting was slacking. And if you stand at work today, you join a distinguished lineage — Leonardo da Vinci, Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill, Vladimir Nabokov and, according to a recent profile in The New York Times, Philip Roth. DR. JAMES A. LEVINE of the Mayo Clinic is a leading researcher in the field of inactivity studies. When he began his research 15 years ago, he says, it was seen as a novelty. “But it’s totally mainstream now,” he says. “There’s been an explosion of research in this area, because the health care cost implications are so enormous.” Steelcase, the big . . . . "

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Want to lose weight? Get enough sleep

Experts: If you want to lose weight, get enough sleep - Leader-Telegram: Food: "Experts have new weight-loss advice that's sure to be welcome news: Sleep can be just as important to a successful diet as healthful eating and exercise. "Chronic sleep restriction is pervasive in modern societies, and there is robust evidence supporting the role of reduced sleep as contributing to the current obesity epidemic," write obesity experts in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. That evidence includes findings that overtired brains prompt people to eat more, and that some hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism don't work properly in people who don't get enough sleep. The authors of the CMAJ commentary cite various studies, including their own investigation with 123 dieting adults. After 17 weeks, sleep habits were able to predict the amount of fat loss, they say. . . "

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