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July 12, 2006, 8:42 PM CT

Parents Are Not To Be Blamed

Parents Are Not To Be Blamed
What's the largest study that looked at children's late language development showed? It showed that parents are not to be blamed for the late language development of children. It is not because the parents are not talking to the toddlers that they are not developing the language skills.

This world's largest study has examined speech development of 1766 children in Western Australia from infancy to seven years of age, with particular focus on environmental, neuro-developmental and genetic risk factors. It is the first study to look at predictors of late language.

Chief Investigator Professor Mabel Rice said the research found that about 13 per cent of children at two years of age were late talkers.

This problem affects boys were three times higher compared to girls. While a child with siblings was at double the risk, as were children with a family history of late talkers.

Mother's education, income, parenting style or mental health had no significant impact on a child's likelihood of being a late talker. The researchers say that their findings debunked common myths about why children are late talkers.

"Some people have wrongly believed that delayed language development could be due to a child not being spoken to enough or because of some other inadequacy in the family environment," Associate Professor Taylor said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


July 12, 2006, 8:26 PM CT

Who Eat More Fruits

Who Eat More Fruits
Those who are sweet lover may be eating more fruits compared to those who love salty-snacks. People who like fruit eat more sweets than vegetable lovers do. These findings are according to scientists from Cornell University analyses.

"If we know a person likes one type of food, this kind of study helps us better predict what other types of foods he or she might prefer," said the researcher and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab that studies the psychology behind what people eat and how often they eat it. By better understanding how various foods, such as sweets, are linked by preference, strategies used to market such sweet snacks as candy bars, for example, could be incorporated into an educational program to increase the consumption of fruit.

To research in this matter and to see how much fruit sweet and salty-snack lovers ate, Wansink used the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals. To determine whether fruit lovers eat more sweets than vegetable lovers, Wansink analyzed the results of a snack consumption survey of 770 individuals.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


July 12, 2006, 8:02 PM CT

Dealing With Unexplained Symptoms

Dealing With Unexplained Symptoms
How to deal with symptoms that are not explained by conventional medical diagnosis? There is no clear answer to this question. Now some doctors from Michigan State University are trying to answer this question. They have developed a revolutionary therapy plan that will allow primary care physicians to more effectively treat people who suffer from medically unexplained symptoms.

This is a problem that affects millions of people and can affect an already over-burdened health care system, as per Robert Smith, a doctor and professor in MSU's Department of Medicine, College of Human Medicine.

Smith and colleagues have developed a therapy plan, which involves a combination of behavior modification and therapeutic drugs, as well as a good dose of improved communication between patient and doctor.

These scientists have tested their novel therapy approach with about 100 patients. Smith and his colleagues found that nearly half of them showed significant improvement. Their findings were published in a recent issue of Journal of General Internal Medicine.

"What we did was use what they've learned in psychiatry and the pain clinics, which is cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacological therapy," Smith said. "We simply adapted it for use by primary care providers. But the centerpiece of all this is the doctor-patient relationship."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


July 11, 2006, 7:05 AM CT

How Group Dynamics Affect Fitness, Eating Habits

How Group Dynamics Affect Fitness, Eating Habits
Imagine break-room vending machines featuring fruit juice and vegetables instead of cookies and soda pop. Consider colleagues who insist on mid-morning group exercise breaks and applaud a lunchtime workout rather than criticizing the cut of the sweat suit. Ponder an organizational culture that encourages walking the stairs instead of riding the elevator.

A UCLA-evaluated study of a demonstration project led by Community Health Councils, Inc. (CHC) in Los Angeles shows how incorporating physical activity and healthy eating into an office or other organizational culture pays dividends for participants.

Reported in the July 2006 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Health Promotion Practice, the study finds that a six-week wellness-training program significantly increases vigorous physical activity among participants. A 12-week curriculum, meanwhile, boosts fruit and vegetable intake while reducing feelings of sadness and depression, and can even reduce waistlines.

"Creating a culture of healthy living within an organizational framework requires buy-in by leadership, staff and clientele," said Dr. Antronette K. Yancey, lead author of the study and associate professor of health services at the UCLA School of Public Health. "Both the physical and social environment must change.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


July 5, 2006, 8:25 AM CT

Antihistamine Does Not Improve Infant Sleep

Antihistamine Does Not Improve Infant Sleep
An antihistamine often recommended to parents whose infants do not sleep through the night may not be effective in reducing nighttime awakenings or improving parents' happiness with their children's sleep, as per a report in the recent issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Between 20 and 46 percent of parents have reported that their infants have trouble sleeping, as per background information in the article. Some parents let their children cry for extended periods at night--this method, known as crying out, is popular but controversial among parents and health care professionals. Another usually used method is to give children medications--such as antihistamines, normally used to treat allergies--to sedate them at bedtime. Diphenhydramine hydrochloride, sold as Benadryl, is often used by parents and recommended by physicians despite the fact that it has not been studied in children younger than age 2 years.

Dan Merenstein, M.D., then at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, and now at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and his colleagues conducted a trial of diphenhydramine in 44 children ages 6 to 15 months who slept in cribs. Parents in the study had all reported that their children woke up two or more times per night. The participating infants were randomly assigned to receive 100 mL of diphenhydramine or placebo (inactive medication) in a cherry-flavored liquid 30 minutes before bedtime for one week between May 2004 and May 2005. Parents reported whether the child had fewer awakenings that mandatory parental intervention during that week and also tracked their child's sleep in a diary for the first 28 days. At four points during the first 43 days of the study, parents were asked to rate their happiness with their children's sleep on a scale of one to 10.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


July 5, 2006, 8:10 AM CT

Medication Helps Smoking Cessation

Medication Helps Smoking Cessation
The drug varenicline shows effectiveness in helping smokers quit and abstain from smoking when compared to placebo and the smoking cessation medicine bupropion, as per three studies in the July 5 issue of JAMA.

Eventhough nearly 41 percent of smokers try to quit smoking each year, relapse is common, and only about 10 percent achieve and maintain abstinence. The negative effects of nicotine withdrawal account, in part, for low success rates, as per background information in the article. Approved pharmacotherapies to treat nicotine dependence (e.g., nicotine replacement treatment and bupropion) have had important, but moderate efficacy, with reported rates of quitting generally twice those of placebo. Additional and more effective therapies are needed.

David Gonzales, Ph.D., of Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, and his colleagues with the Varenicline Phase 3 Study Group evaluated the efficacy of varenicline compared with placebo and sustained-release (SR) bupropion in generally healthy adult smokers. Varenicline is a non-nicotine drug that is believed to be beneficial for smoking cessation by stimulating the release of the chemical dopamine in the brain to reduce craving and withdrawal while simultaneously blocking the reinforcing effects of smoked nicotine. Most other smoking cessation pharmacotherapies are nicotine replacement products.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


July 5, 2006, 8:05 AM CT

Heat Stops Pain Inside The Body

Heat Stops Pain Inside The Body Image courtesy of Amazon
The old wives' tale that heat relieves abdominal pain, such as colic or menstrual pain, has been scientifically proven by a UCL (University College London) scientist, who will present the findings today at the Physiological Society's annual conference hosted by UCL.

Dr Brian King, of the UCL Department of Physiology, led the research that found the molecular basis for the long-standing theory that heat, such as that from a hot-water bottle applied to the skin, provides relief from internal pains, such as stomach aches, for up to an hour.

Dr King said: "The pain of colic, cystitis and period pain is caused by a temporary reduction in blood flow to or over-distension of hollow organs such as the bowel or uterus, causing local tissue damage and activating pain receptors.

"The heat doesn't just provide comfort and have a placebo effect - it actually deactivates the pain at a molecular level in much the same way as pharmaceutical painkillers work. We have discovered how this molecular process works."

If heat over 40 degrees Celsius is applied to the skin near to where internal pain is felt, it switches on heat receptors located at the site of injury. These heat receptors in turn block the effect of chemical messengers that cause pain to be detected by the body.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


July 5, 2006, 7:51 AM CT

Higher Death Rates With Obesity

Higher Death Rates With Obesity
While obesity has generally been viewed as a single significant health concern, a University of Pittsburgh study suggests that not all obese women share the same health risks. This multi-center study of more than 90,000 women published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows extremely obese women to be at significantly higher risk of dying than women at normal weight and links the risk of death to specific categories of obesity.

To better quantify the health risks associated with obesity, the Pitt researchers, collaborating with scientists from six other institutions, examined the rates of death and of newly diagnosed coronary heart disease over a seven year period of 90,185 women in five specific weight categories. The women, all participants of the Women's Health Initiative-Observational Study, were assigned to the weight categories based on the weight-to-height ratio known as body mass index (BMI): normal (BMI 18.5 24.9), overweight (BMI 25.0 29.9), obesity 1 (BMI 30.0 34.9), obesity 2 (BMI 35.0 ¨C 39.9) and extreme obesity (BMI 40).

The study showed that white women in the obesity 1 category (approximately 60 pounds above a normal weight for a 5-foot, 5-inch tall woman) to have a 12 percent higher risk of death over the seven year follow-up period, but extremely obese women (approximately 110 pounds above a normal weight for a 5-foot, 5-inch tall woman) had an alarming 86 percent higher risk of death than their normal weight counterparts.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


July 4, 2006, 10:10 AM CT

Early drinking linked to higher lifetime alcoholism risk

Early drinking linked to higher lifetime alcoholism risk
Data from a survey of 43,000 U.S. adults heighten concerns that early alcohol use, independent of other risk factors, may contribute to the risk of developing future alcohol problems. Those who began drinking in their early teens were not only at greater risk of developing alcohol dependence at some point in their lives, they were also at greater risk of developing dependence more quickly and at younger ages, and of developing chronic, relapsing dependence. Among all respondents who developed alcoholism at some point, almost half (47 percent) met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence (alcoholism) by age 21.

The associations between early drinking and later problems held even after researchers controlled for other risk factors for dependence, adding to concerns that drinking at a young age might raise the risk of future alcohol problems rather than being an identifying feature of young people predisposed to risky behavior. The study appears in the recent issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Volume 160, pages 739-746.

Elias Zerhouni, M.D., director of the NIH, said, "This is a very good example of how insights gained from health research can inform public policy. Converging research suggests that youthful drinking is associated with an increased risk of long-term, not just acute, health consequences.¨........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


July 4, 2006, 9:44 AM CT

Path To Miscarriage Traced To Placental Infection

Path To Miscarriage Traced To Placental Infection
For years, doctors have puzzled over why pregnant women are 20 times more likely than others to be infected by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, now think they have the answer, and it isn't pretty.

Their research, conducted in guinea pigs, shows that the bacteria can invade the placenta, where - protected from the body's immune system - they proliferate rapidly before pouring out to infect organs such as the liver and spleen. The illness they cause often results in miscarriage or infection of the fetus.

The study is the first to trace such a pathway of infection, and it dashes the widely-held assumption that immune-system changes during pregnancy are to blame for elevated Listeria infection rates.

"The reason the mother is more susceptible is not necessarily because her immune system is compromised, but because the bacteria that got into her placenta are infecting her," said Anna Bakardjiev, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral researcher with Daniel Portnoy, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Berkeley. "The miscarriages that result from these infections may be a natural defense mechanism to dispel this source of infection".

The study will be posted on June 30 in the recent issue of the online journal PLoS Pathogens.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         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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