Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why are women so unhappy?

Why are women so 'unhappy'? | Jessica Valenti | " . . . . It could be true that women report more unhappiness since feminism's gains of the 60s and 70s. Maybe the trade-off for having our eyes opened to inequality is feeling a little miffed about getting the short end of the stick. Dissatisfaction seems a fairly normal reaction to injustice. Buddhist Pema Chodron writes that constantly seeking happiness can actually throw us in a cycle of unhappiness and disappointment.
Instead of asking ourselves, 'How can I find security and happiness?' we could ask ourselves, 'Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away? Can I stay present to the ache of loss or disgrace – disappointment in all its many forms – and let it open me?' This is the trick.
While I don't mind being a little unhappy as a feminist, I admit there are downsides. The realization that there is so much work to be done is overwhelming. But the itch of discontent makes us better: we fix things, seek out new adventures, and think about new ways of living our life. Ignorance may be bliss – but it's not the truth." (read more at link above)

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Shingles, strokes, antiviral drugs

When Shingles Is Just the Beginning - "....The study found an even higher stroke rate among those whose shingles spread to their eyes, though most are spared that particular misery. It also found that the antiviral drugs given for shingles also reduced subsequent strokes — but only 55 percent of patients received them. Previous studies in Taiwan and Denmark have shown elevated stroke rates after shingles, Dr. Langan pointed out, so despite our differences from Britain, Americans also may face an elevated stroke risk after an episode of shingles. You have to think folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are gnashing their teeth about this. For several years, they’ve been urging older Americans — those who aren’t immunosuppressed — to get vaccinated against shingles. The vaccine isn’t 100 percent effective, but it can cut the risk of shingles roughly in half and reduces postherpetic neuralgia by even more. Yet the latest data (from 2012) show that only 20 percent of those over age 60 have gotten it — paltry compared with the percentage vaccinated against flu (66 percent of those over age 65) or pneumonia (60 percent)...." (read more at link above)

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thousands of Toddlers Medicated for ADHD, Bad Medical Care?

When is medical care is a bad thing? --

Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries - "More than 10,000 American toddlers 2 or 3 years old are being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder outside established pediatric guidelines, according to data presented on Friday by an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, which found that toddlers covered by Medicaid are particularly prone to be put on medication such as Ritalin and Adderall, is among the first efforts to gauge the diagnosis of A.D.H.D. in children below age 4. Doctors at the Georgia Mental Health Forum at the Carter Center in Atlanta, where the data was presented, as well as several outside experts strongly criticized the use of medication in so many children that young...."

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Prebiotics, probiotics, digestive health

Dishes for Digestive Health - "...I’d never heard the word “prebiotics” until I attended a talk by the Stanford nutritionist Jo Ann Hattner, who has written (with Susan Anderes) an interesting guide called “Gut Insight: Probiotics and Prebiotics for Digestive Health and Well-Being.” Prebiotics are certain indigestible plant fibers that have been shown in studies to support the growth of probiotics in the gut. Ms. Hattner has looked at the scientific literature and created a table of foods considered by some researchers to be “prebiotic stars” as well as “prebiotic potentials” (foods that may have a prebiotic effect but require more study). The “prebiotic stars” are high in inulin and oligosaccharides, nondigestible fermentable carbohydrates that support probiotics in the intestinal tract. “The probiotics need to eat, and that’s where the prebiotics come in,” Ms. Hattner explained in her talk...."

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Google Glass, wearables, informatics, algorithms, clinical care

Glass Can Help When Seconds Count | MIT Technology Review: "....The limitations of the Glass interface also represent a new area for potential innovation. “The use of mobile devices and all the opportunities that that opens up in clinical care create new needs on the informatics and algorithms side,” says David Sontag, a computer scientist at NYU, who is collaborating with Horng. “Only a small amount of information would be visible to the clinician. There simply aren’t that many pixels to display on, and time is of the essence.” What will make Glass and other wearable devices more useful will be algorithms that can get the right data to doctors at the right time, says Sontag. “They are simply even more important now in the context of mobile devices.”" (read more at link above)

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