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January 22, 2008, 11:07 PM CT

Questions About Diagnosis, Medical Treatment Of ADHD

Questions About Diagnosis, Medical Treatment Of ADHD
A new UCLA study shows that only about half of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, exhibit the cognitive defects usually linked to the condition.

The study also observed that in populations where medicine is rarely prescribed to treat ADHD, the prevalence and symptoms of the disorder are roughly equivalent to populations in which medicine is widely used.

The results of the first large, longitudinal study of adolescents and ADHD, conducted among the population of northern Finland, appeared in several papers in a special section of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry published in December and are currently online.

ADHD is a common, chronic behavioral disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that is thought to affect some 5 to 10 percent of school-age children worldwide.

In adolescence, ADHD is generally linked to cognitive deficits, especially with working memory and inhibition, which have been associated with overall intelligence and academic achievement, as per UCLA psychiatry professor Susan Smalley, who headed the research. Interestingly, the study showed that these deficits are only present in about half of adolescents diagnosed with ADHD.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 22, 2008, 10:58 PM CT

A good fight may keep you and your marriage healthy

A good fight may keep you and your marriage healthy
A good fight with your spouse may be good for your health, research suggests.

Couples in which both the husband and wife suppress their anger when one attacks the other die earlier than members of couples where one or both partners express their anger and resolve the conflict, as per preliminary results of a University of Michigan study.

Scientists looked at 192 couples over 17 years and placed the couples into one of four categories: both partners communicate their anger; in the second and third groups one spouse expresses while the other suppresses; and both the husband and wife suppress their anger and brood, said Ernest Harburg, professor emeritus with the U-M School of Public Health and the Psychology Department, and lead author. The study is a longitudinal analysis of couples in Tecumseh, Mich.

"Comparison between couples in which both people suppress their anger, and the three other types of couples, are very intriguing," Harburg said.

When both spouses suppress their anger at the other when unfairly attacked, earlier death was twice as likely than in all other types.

"When couples get together, one of their main jobs is reconciliation about conflict," Harburg said. "Commonly nobody is trained to do this. If they have good parents, they can imitate, that's fine, but commonly the couple is ignorant about the process of resolving conflict. The key matter is, when the conflict happens, how do you resolve it?".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 21, 2008, 9:20 PM CT

New technology sharpens X-ray vision

New technology sharpens X-ray vision
Traditional absorption image of chicken wing.

Credit: Franz Pfeiffer, EPFL/PSI
Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the EPFL in Switzerland have developed a novel method for producing dark-field x-ray images at wavelengths used in typical medical and industrial imaging equipment.

Dark-field images provide more detail than ordinary x-ray radiographs and could be used to diagnose the onset of osteoporosis, breast cancer or Alzheimers disease, to identify explosives in hand luggage, or to pinpoint hairline cracks or corrosion in functional structures.

Up until this point, dark-field x-ray imaging mandatory sophisticated optics and could only be produced at facilities like the PSIs 300m-diameter, $200 million synchrotron. With the new nanostructured gratings described in this research, published online January 20 in Nature Materials, dark-field images could soon be produced using ordinary x-ray equipment already in place in hospitals and airports around the world.

Unlike traditional x-ray images, which show a simple absorption contrast, dark-field images capture the scattering of the radiation within the material itself, exposing subtle inner changes in bone, soft tissue, or alloys. The overall clarity of the images is striking. The improved sensitivity in measuring bone density and hairline fractures could help diagnose the onset of osteoporosis. Because cancer or plaque cells scatter radiation slightly differently than normal cells, dark-field x-ray images can also be used to explore soft tissue, providing safer early diagnosis of breast cancer or the plaques linked to Alzheimers disease.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 21, 2008, 8:48 PM CT

Caffeine's link to miscarriage

Caffeine's link to miscarriage
High doses of daily caffeine during pregnancy whether from coffee, tea, caffeinated soda or hot chocolate -- cause an increased risk of miscarriage, according a new study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. The study controlled, for the first time, pregnancy-related symptoms of nausea, vomiting and caffeine aversion that tended to interfere with the determination of caffeines true effect on miscarriage risk. The research appears in the current online issue of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

While prior research showed a link between caffeine consumption and miscarriage, this is the first study to thoroughly control for morning sickness, which typically causes a number of women to avoid caffeine, explained De-Kun Li, MD, Ph.D., an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and lead investigator of the study. This study strengthens the association between caffeine and miscarriage risk because it removes speculation that the association was due to reduced caffeine intake by healthy pregnant women, Li said.

To address that speculation, the study, which looked at 1,063 pregnant Kaiser Permanente members in San Francisco from October 1996 through October 1998, examined the caffeine effect among women who never changed their pattern of caffeine consumption during their pregnancy. Kaiser Permanente is the nations largest health plan with 8.7 million members, 416 medical offices and 32 hospitals in nine states and the District of Columbia.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


January 21, 2008, 8:37 PM CT

Pharmaceutical market fails pregnant women

Pharmaceutical market fails pregnant women
The existing research and development and business model of the pharmaceutical industry is failing pregnant women, according a policy paper published this week in PLoS Medicine. In their analysis of an industry database that tracks drugs under development since 1981, Imperial College Londons Nick Fisk (Professor of Fetal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine) and Rifat, Atun (Professor of International Health Management, Tanaka Business School) show that pregnancy has become a virtual pharma-free zone with only seventeen drugs under active development for maternal health indications and only one new class of drug licensed in the last 20 years.

For their analysis, the authors searched the Pharmaprojects database, which lists all drugs identified as being under development from pharmaceutical company web sites, conferences, PubMed (a searchable database of the abstracts of published medical journal articles) and registered clinical trials. Over 37,000 drugs under development have been listed since 1981. They searched for drugs for obstetric applications and, in order to compare industry activity in maternal health relative to other areas of medicine, they also examined the database for drugs for cardiovascular indications and for a rare condition called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - a neurodegenerative disease sometimes called Lou Gehrigs disease.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


January 21, 2008, 8:34 PM CT

Studies highlight MRSA evolution and resilience

Studies highlight MRSA evolution and resilience
S. aureus bacteria escaping destruction by human white blood cells

Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections are caused primarily by a single strainUSA300of an evolving bacterium that has spread with extraordinary transmissibility throughout the United States during the past five years, as per a new study led by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists. CA-MRSA, an emerging public health concern, typically causes readily treatable soft-tissue infections such as boils, but also can lead to life-threatening conditions that are difficult to treat.

The study, from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of NIH, resolves debate about the molecular evolution of CA-MRSA in the United States. The findings rule out the previously held possibility that multiple strains of USA300, the most troublesome type of CA-MRSA in the United States, emerged randomly with similar characteristics. The study also offers a hypothesis for the origin of prior S. aureus outbreaks, such as those caused by penicillin-resistant strains in the 1950s and 1960s.

A second study led by the same NIAID researchers takes the issue of the evolution of MRSA a step further, revealing new information about how MRSA bacteria in general, including the USA300 group, elude the human immune system.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


January 21, 2008, 8:29 PM CT

Saline nasal wash helps improve children's cold symptoms

Saline nasal wash helps improve children's cold symptoms
A saline nasal wash solution made from processed seawater appears to improve nasal symptoms and may help prevent the recurrence of respiratory infections when used by children with the common cold, as per a report in the recent issue of Archives of Otolaryngology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Infections of the upper respiratory tract and sinus infections are common among children, as per background information in the article. Nasal irrigation with isotonic [balanced] saline solutions seems effective in such health conditions and is often used in a variety of indications as an adjunctive therapy, the authors write as background information in the article. Eventhough saline nasal wash is currently mentioned in several guidelines, scientific evidence of its efficacy is rather poor.

Ivo lapak, M.D., of Teaching Hospital Brno, Brno, Czech Republic, and his colleagues randomly assigned 401 children age 6 to 10 with cold or flu to two therapy groups, one receiving standard medicine and the other also receiving a nasal wash with a modified processed seawater solution. Patients were observed for a total of 12 weeks, from January to April 2006, during which health status, symptoms and medicine use were assessed at four visits over the course of the trial, the authors write. Acute illness was reviewed during the first two visits (up to three weeks), prevention during the following two visits (up to 12 weeks). The third visit, scheduled for week eight after study entry, could be conducted over the telephone.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


January 21, 2008, 8:24 PM CT

Change in trauma level designation and survival

Change in trauma level designation and survival
Death rates among patients admitted to a Colorado trauma center appeared to decrease after the centers designation was upgraded, as per a report in the recent issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Trauma centers are accredited through the American College of Surgeons, as per background information in the article. Level designations are based on factors such as surgeon and nurse availability, protocols and research. Level 1 is the highest level of trauma center and most studies report improvements in survival and outcomes for patients admitted to these centers as compared with lower-level centers and non-trauma centers, eventhough some have found no difference between level 1 and level 2 centers.

The trauma center at Swedish Medical Centera community hospital in Englewood, Colo.was upgraded from level 2 to level 1 in 2002. Kristin Scarborough, B.S., and his colleagues at the hospital studied all 17,413 trauma patients consecutively admitted to the trauma center between 1998 and 2007. The scientists compared death rates of the 9,511 patients admitted when the center was designated level 2 (Jan. 1, 1998, to Dec. 31, 2002) to those of the 7,902 patients admitted after the upgrade to level 1 (Jan. 1, 2003, to March 31, 2007).

After adjusting for several other factorsincluding age, sex, injury severity, low blood pressure on hospital admission, breathing rate and co-occurring illnesses3.48 percent of patients admitted during level 2 designation died, compared with 2.5 percent of those admitted during level 1 designation. Among severely injured patients, 14.11 percent of those admitted during the level 2 designation died, compared with 8.99 percent of those admitted during level 1 designation.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 21, 2008, 8:15 PM CT

Infections rates of breast surgery

Infections rates of  breast surgery
Infections at the incision site occurred in more than 5 percent of patients following breast surgery and cost them more than $4,000 each in hospital-related expenses, as per a report in the recent issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Reported surgical site infection rates following mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast) and other breast procedures range from 1 percent to 28 percent, as per background information in the article. Given the state of fiscal constraints within the U.S. health care system, it is important to calculate the cost-effectiveness of infection control interventions to justify their use from an economic perspective, the authors write. Cost-effectiveness analyses require accurate estimates for the attributable costs of hospital-acquired infections, which are lacking for surgical site infections.

Margaret A. Olsen, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, and his colleagues studied 949 hospital admissions for mastectomy or breast reconstruction procedures at a university-affiliated hospital between 1999 and 2002. Surgical site infections were identified in an electronic hospital database and verified by review of medical records. Costs were taken from the hospital accounting database and included those from the original admission to the hospital for surgery as well as any readmissions within one year of surgery.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 21, 2008, 8:10 PM CT

Melanomas may appear different than other moles

Melanomas may appear different than other moles
A preliminary study suggests that melanomas have a different appearance than other irregular skin moles (i.e., are ugly ducklings), as per a report in the recent issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Rates of cancerous melanoma continue to increase, and early identification allows surgeons to treat the disease by removing the tumor, as per background information in the article. The disease is more common in individuals with a number of moles or other skin marks, particularly if the marks are atypical in color, shape or size. The challenge for clinicians who diagnose and treat pigmented skin lesions is to distinguish between cancerous melanoma and non-malignant simulants, the authors write.

Alon Scope, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and his colleagues obtained images of the backs of 12 patients from a database of standardized patient images. All of the patients had at least eight atypical moles, and five patients had one lesion that had been confirmed as a melanoma. Thirty-four study participantsincluding eight pigmented lesion experts, 13 general dermatologists, five dermatology nurses and eight non-clinical medical staffwere asked to evaluate the images and identify lesions that looked different from all other atypical moles.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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