January 25, 2011

Electrodes Stimulate Deep Brain

1 Woman Cured of Deep Depression with Surgery

The first patient ever to undergo advanced neurosurgery called Anterior Cingulotomy (GTAC), Sheila Cook, 62, has been cured of the deep depression that had ruled her life for 10 years, reports UK's The Telegraph. Prior to GTAC, Cook had tried conventional treatments for depression, including multiple rounds of unsuccessful electric shock therapy (ECT). GTAC surgery involves "burning out connections in the brain" that may be too active, says the UK publication. The new style of deep brain stimulation, which uses electrodes inserted inside the head, was pioneered by the University of Bristol and Frenchay Hospital. A year after having the GTAC surgery, Cook remains free of the deep depression that left her unable to work or have relationships with her grandchildren.

More at The Telegraph | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Deep Brain Stimulation, University of Bristol, Anterior Cingulotomy, Frenchay Hospital, Sheila Cook, GTAC, Curing Deep Depression with Surgery, Advanced Neurosurgery, Electric Shock Therapy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

Decision Support Not Effective

2 Electronic Health Records May Not Improve Care

While President Obama has pushed for electronic health records, a new study reveals that they may not do much to improve the quality of care patients receive. According to Reuters, Stanford researcher Dr. Randall Stafford said that our expectations for electronic health records should be more realistic. However, he did note that stimulus funding used to standardize medical records might improve the current "patchwork of systems." Findings show that even with decision support software, electronic records didn't improve quality of care much. Decision support software provides tips on how to best treat patients. The study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, included survey information from more than 250,000 doctor visits, including outpatient settings, between 2005 and 2007.

More at Yahoo News/Reuters | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: At Risk Behavior

Tags: Archives of Internal Medicine, Stanford Researcher Dr. Randall Stafford, Decision Support Software, Electronic Health Records, Improving Patient Care, General Electric GE Healthcare, Siemens Health Records, Google Inc. Health Records

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Where's the Beef?

3 Taco Bell Sued for False Advertising

An Alabama law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Taco Bell in federal court for false advertising. On behalf of a Taco Bell customer, the lawsuit states that the “seasoned ground beef” or “seasoned beef” in its Mexican-inspired food is not qualified to be labeled as beef. Because the mixture sold in restaurants contains binders and extenders and such ingredients as wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, an anti-dusting agent, and modified corn starch, it does not meet the minimum standards set by the US Department of Agriculture. Attorney Dee Miles says that it actually contains less than 35 percent actual beef. The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages, just that the company becomes more honest in its advertising. Taco Bell plans to vigorously defend the suit.

More at Google News | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Tags: Beef, False Advertising, Taco Bell

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

Talk to the Hand

4 Woman Suffers from Alien Hand Syndrome

We often say our bodies sometimes don’t do what our brains ask them to, but a New Jersey woman has lost control of her own left hand as a result of a surgery she had to control her epilepsy. The condition is called Alien Hand Syndrome, and it results when abnormal signals from the brain cause a part of the body to act as if it were under the control of an alien intelligence. Karen Byrne, a 55-year-old woman from New Jersey, had her corpus callosum severed in an effort to control symptoms of epilepsy. This portion of the brain keeps the left and the right hemispheres in communication. Now, each half is capable of its own independent will. Byrne’s left hand often participates in actions without her knowledge. She is now on a medication that better controls the condition.

More at BBC | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Children with Epilepsy Happier Than You Think

Tags: Brain, Epilepsy, Alien Hand Syndrome, Strange Disorders, Neurological Disorders

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

Smoking Wins over Obesity

5 Smoking Shortens Life Span of Americans

The National Research Council has shown that smoking is the number one reason Americans’ life span is shorter than those in Japan and France, with obesity coming in a close second. Forty percent of adults in America smoked in the 1960s and many are suffering from the consequences of that. Currently, that number has decreased to 20 percent. The panel pointed out that factors such as obesity, diet, exercise, and economic inequality are probably linked to the decreased life span as well. The fact that the U.S. spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country in the world and has a wealthy and well-fed population but continues to fall short in terms of life span has baffled experts. But life spans in the United States are expected to improve because of the decreased smoking rates.

Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Handshake Can Predict Life Span

Tags: Longevity, Smoking, Lifespan in the United States

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

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