December 29, 2010

Targeted Radiation Can Go Astray

1 Radiation Dangers of Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Increasingly popular stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), which uses targeted radiation to pinpoint a specific area, may be a source of harmful radiation overdose due to equipment or human errors. New York Times reports that Marci Faber is one of three patients to receive an overdose of radiation from SRS last year at Evanston Hospital in Illinois. Faber, who originally sought treatment for head pain, is now almost comatose and unable to speak, walk or eat. After two other patients received radiation overdoses, the hospital finally realized that a linear accelerator, which was redesigned for use in SRS, had allowed radiation outside a cone attachment intended to channel the beam toward a specific brain area. The same accident occurred at another hospital one month later.

More at New York Times | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Foot Tanning Device May Deliver UV Overdose

Tags: Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Dangers of Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Side Effects Stereotactic Radiosurgery, SRS Dangers, Marci Faber, Treatment Options Head Pain, Treatment with Radiation, Evanston Hospital

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Shred Bad Memories of 2010

2 New York Has Good Riddance Day

New Yorkers have been writing down their least favorite memories of 2010 and then shredding them to free themselves for the New Year as part of their annual Good Riddance Day. Some people interviewed by BBC said they were saying good riddance to things like restless leg syndrome, fear, bills and low self-esteem. The band Green Day said good riddance to policies that restrict gay people in the military. The official Good Riddance Day activities took place at Duffy Square, Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets yesterday afternoon when Cintas was on hand with a shredder. However, anyone can shred their bad memories at home! Tiffany Bradley of Knoxville, Tenn. won the Cintas inaugural Good Riddance Day Contest, gaining a trip to New York City to shred her paid-off medical bills.

More at BBC | Hat tip to Times Square Alliance | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Band Green Day, Annual Good Riddance Day, New York Celebrations, New York Activities, Things to Do in New York City, When to Visit New York, Letting Go of Bad Memories, Shredding Bad Memories, New Year Traditions, Inaugural Good Riddance Day Contest

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Stuff You Knew Anyway

3 "Duh" Study Findings of 2010

Exciting research findings were announced this year, but there were also several "duh" studies, as noted by MSNBC. Research findings making MSNBC's "well, duh" list for 2010 include: meth exposure is harmful to a fetus; bullies focus on unpopular kids; smoking a lot of weed is bad for your attention and focus; children without friends are sad; males want casual sex instead of dating; spending too much time watching TV can make teenagers fat; the way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more; caffeine can mess with kids' sleep; kids studying abroad consume more alcohol; and children raised by gay partners do well in school. MSNBC notes that the last finding may not be so "duh" to many people who remain convinced that gay couples are "dangerous" for children.

More at MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Caffeine Doesn't Affect Bed Wetting in Kids

Tags: Duh Studies, Obvious Research Findings, Silly Research, Meth Affect on Babies, Meth Affect on Fetus, Bullies Pick on Unpopular, Weed Bad for Attention and Focus, Children Raised by Gay Partners

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Poll Reveals Anxious Retirees

4 Baby Boomers Worry over Medicare Lasting

As the first baby boomers qualify for Medicare coverage in January, a new poll finds that many are afraid that Medicare will die out before they do. CBS News reports that the new Associated Press-GfK poll reveals that 43 percent of baby boomers say they don't expect to be able to depend on Medicare forever. Only 20 percent think Medicare is secure, and the rest have mixed feelings. The poll shows that baby boomers, by a ratio of 2-to-1, think they can't rely on Medicare throughout retirement. When asked to choose between losing some benefits or raising the age to qualify, 59 percent of baby boomers chose to raise the age. Medicare currently covers 46 million elderly and disabled individuals at a yearly cost of around $500 billion. Within 20 years, Medicare will be covering 80 million.

More at CBS News | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Baby Boomers, Rely on Medicare Throughout Retirement, Associated Press-GfK Poll, Qualify for Medicare, Who Gets Medicare, How to Qualify for Medicare, Retirement Age, Baby Boomers Retiring, Healthcare During Retirement

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

A Reversible Coma

5 Coma, General Anesthesia Have Lots in Common

The brain under general anesthesia has much in common with the brain in a coma, claim researchers. Study findings, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, reveal that a patient's brain under general anesthesia isn't exactly "asleep," as often described, but is actually in a reversible, drug-induced coma. The insight may lead to improved diagnosis and treatment for sleep abnormalities and emergence from coma, as well as new approaches to general anesthesia. Dr. Emery Brown of Massachusetts General Hospital says that "... monitoring brain function under general anesthesia gives us new insights into how the brain works in order to develop new sleep aids and new ways for patients to recover from coma."

More at EureakAlert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Massachusetts General Hospital, New England Journal of Medicine, Develop New Sleep Aids, Recover from Coma, Dr. Emery Brown, Dr. Nicholas D. Schiff, Diagnosis Sleep Abnormalities, Treatment for Sleeping Problems, Coma and General Anesthesia Much in Common

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (54%)

Labels to Expose Fat, Calories

6 Meat and Poultry to Have Nutritional Labels

Informed shopping may be easier by January 1, 2012 when 40 popular cuts of meat and poultry products will have nutritional labels added. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said today that the new labels will make it easier for shoppers to understand the content of the meat and poultry they're buying. Nutritional labels will be required for poultry products and major cuts of raw, single-ingredient meat, reports MSNBC. Labels will be added to brisket, tenderloin steak, ground turkey, whole or boneless chicken breasts, hamburger and more. The nutritional panels will reveal the product's grams of total fat and saturated fat and number of calories.

More at MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: U.S. Department of Agriculture Regulations, Nutrition LaBels to Be Added to Meat, Nutrition LaBels to Be Added to Chicken, Nutritional Labels, Brisket, Tenderloin Steak, Ground Turkey, Boneless Chicken Breasts, Hamburger Calories, Chicken Fat Content, Brisket Fat Content

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Alcohol Affects More Than Liver

7 New Years Eve Hazards Abound

New Year’s Eve is often celebrated with a big party, lots of food and beverage, and staying up late to watch the ball drop in NYC’s Times Square. However, all of the revelry can lead to some dangers that are harmful to your health. Alcohol is not only a contributory factor in drunken driving, but also impairs coordination and the physical ability to walk leading to what is termed as “drunken walking”. Research has shown that NYE is not only one of the most dangerous driving days of the year, but also one of the most dangerous as a pedestrian. Overconsumption of alcohol also weakens the immune system, slows healing, increases the risk of HIV transmission, and impairs bone formation. Not to mention what all of the calories do for your waistline.

More at Medical Daily | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Alcohol More Dangerous Than Cocaine, Create Small Realistic Goals for New Year's Resolutions

Tags: Alcohol, Immunity, New Year's, Alcohol Effects on HIV, Drunk Driving

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (54%) / No! (46%)

Different for Everyone

8 Foods to Avoid If You Have Heartburn

Heartburn is caused when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus caused by an abnormal weakening or relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (found between the stomach and the esophagus). It causes a pain or burning in the chest, usually after eating. The good news is that avoiding certain foods known to trigger acid reflux can help relieve symptoms. First, you might try abstaining from acidic foods such as citrus fruits and their juices, including oranges and grapefruits. Tomatoes are also acidic foods to avoid. Spicy foods are a trigger for some, as are foods that are high in fat. Chocolate and peppermint are also known triggers. For beverages, alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated drinks, and carbonated liquids such as soda can affect heartburn symptoms.

More at WebMD | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Heartburn Free Coffee May Be on the Way

Tags: Alcohol, Caffeine, Chocolate, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Heartburn, Citrus Fruits

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

Vitamin C for Me

9 Antioxidants May Protect Against Ischemic Stroke

Eating a diet high in antioxidants may protect against ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke that occurs as a result from an obstruction within a vessel that supplies blood to the brain. Antioxidants can come from a variety of food sources, including fruits, vegetables, coffee, chocolate, red wine, whole grain cereals, and nuts. Vitamin C in particular appeared effective. The nutrients work by combating the oxidative stress and systemic inflammation that contributes to the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke. But the same cannot be said about hemorrhagic stroke, which is less common and occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures. High Vitamin E intake, in fact, is associated with a greater risk of developing hemorrhagic stroke.

More at Med Page Today | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure, Reduces Risk of Heart Disease, Women Who Walk Have Lower Stroke Risk

Tags: Antioxidants, Chocolate, Fruits, Stroke, Stroke Risk, Vegetables, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Whole Grain

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Let Them Eat Cucumber

10 USDA Green-Lights Self-Serve School Salad Bars

Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which would put self-serve school salad bars in 6,000 U.S. educational institutions -- including elementary schools. Initially, the U.S. Department of Agriculture ruled that self-serve salad bars were a food safety hazard for kids, and that only pre-assembled or adult-served salads were allowed. However, Ed Bruske of the Grist interviewed a USDA spokesperson, who revealed that elementary-school children could use self-serve school salad bars so long as these bars had "sneeze guard" barriers sized for children. The Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative is funded through corporate and private donations; under its provisions, the salads would not be mandatory lunchtime fare.

More at Grist | Posted 7 years ago by Marissa Brassfield

Previously: First Lady Asks Congress to Pass School Meals Bill

Tags: School Children, School Lunch, School Lunch Reform, School Lunches

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

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