April 28, 2011

Checklist Identifies ASD

1 Towards Early Diagnosis of Autism

A five-minute checklist, filled out in doctors’ offices, may help with the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, allowing children to start treatment sooner, aiding in later development and learning, says the National Institutes of Health. The checklist includes questions about a child’s eye gaze, vocalizations, gestures, and other age-appropriate forms of communication. In early screenings of 10,479 infants, 32 were identified as having ASD, which is consistent with current rates of diagnosis. Currently, there is often a significant delay between when parents report concerns about their child's behavior and an eventual diagnosis. Doctors who participated in the research rated the early screening program positively. Researchers note that further refinement is necessary.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 6 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Urine Test May Diagnose Autism Quickly and Early

Tags: Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Diagnosing Autism, National Institutes of Health, Early Diagnosis of Autism

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

Helps Control Obesity

2 Melatonin May Help with Weight Gain, Heart Disease

Melatonin, a hormone produced naturally in the body and found in some fruits, vegetables, almonds, Goji berries and sunflower seeds, helps control weight and improves blood lipid profiles, say researchers at the University of Grenada. Researchers’ work with laboratory animals indicate that melatonin might help in preventing heart disease associated with obesity and dyslipidemia. Researchers indicate that human testing is required but, if this finding is duplicated and confirmed in humans, supplemental administration of melatonin, and eating foods that contain the substance, may be useful in the fight against obesity and metabolic disease due to it.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 6 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Study Will Look at Melatonin to Manage Alzheimer's

Tags: Heart Disease, Melatonin, Metabolic Disease, Obesity, Melatonin to Control Obesity, University of Grenada, Dyslipidemia

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

Be Careful with Q-Tips

3 Misusing Cotton Swabs Results in Damaged Ear Drums

Inserting a cotton swab too far into the ear may result in a ruptured ear drum, says a new study. While most ruptures heal on their own without surgery, they can cause facial paralysis and vertigo. "If a patient is experiencing symptoms such as hearing loss, drainage, dizziness or abnormality in their facial movements they should see a doctor immediately ..." says co-author Dr. Ilaaf Darrat. Co-author Dr. Michael Seidman recommends the following for cleaning the ear: Use cool peroxide, hot tap water and mix equally. Be sure it is body temperature and gently irrigate the ear one or two times per month; Take plain vinegar and water and use four or five drops in the ear once a week; Try an over-the-counter treatment such as Debrox. A doctor can also remove ear wax for you.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 6 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Roller Coaster Rides May Lead to Ear Injury

Tags: Ear Canal, Cotton Swabs, Ear Health, Ear Drum, Ruptured Ear Drum, Dr. Ilaaf Darrat, Dr. Michael Seidman

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (42%) / No! (58%)

Less May Be More As We Age

4 Too Much Thyroid Drug Increases Fracture Risk

Taking an excessive amount of thyroid medication may increase fracture risk in the elderly, say researchers. Reporting in the British Medical Journal, researchers write that taking too much thyroxine, a synthetic hormone for treating hypothyroidism, may boost fracture risk for seniors. They believe that doses may need to be lowered as people age. The study, conducted by Women's College Research Institute in Toronto, involved 213,500 people 70 years and older who received one or more prescriptions for levothyroxine, a version of thyroxin. Researchers found that more than 10 percent of people experienced at least one fracture between 2002 and 2007. People who were still taking the drug, or had only recently discontinued, it were at much greater risk for fractures.

More at BBC | Posted 6 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: First Drug for Rare Thyroid Cancer Approved

Tags: Fracture Risk, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Disease, Thyroid Drug, Thyroxine, Levothyroxine, Women's College Research Institute in Toronto

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

Sickly Poultry

5 Leading Causes of Food-Borne Illness Ranked

The leading cause of food-borne illness in the U.S. is poultry contaminated with campylobacter bacteria, finds the University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute. According to the new report that ranks the 10 most risky food-bacteria combos, toxoplasma in pork is the second-leading cause of food-borne illness, followed by listeria in deli meats, salmonella in poultry and listeria in dairy products. WebMD reports that the top 10 riskiest food-bacteria combos cost more than $8 billion each year in sick days and medical care, including care for lasting complications.

More at WebMD | Posted 6 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Food Safety, Campylobacter Bacteria, University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute, Toxoplasma Pork, Listeria Deli Meats, Salmonella in Poultry, Listeria in Dairy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

Toxicity a Concern

6 Kava Tea Linked to Muscle and Kidney Problems

Kava root and its extract are sold as herbal supplements, and some make a tea from the leaves which is purported to ease anxiety, insomnia, and menopause symptoms. The active compounds create a mild sedation effect. However, doctors from the University of Rochester Medical Center have reported a case study, believed to be the first of its kind, that link the tea to kidney failure and muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis) in a patient who presented to their emergency room. The young male drank twice as much tea as usual and experienced severe weakness and elevated creatine kinase (CK) levels, a sign of muscle fiber breakdown. The US FDA and CDC have both previously issued warnings about the herb due to concerns about liver and kidney toxicity.

More at Red Orbit | Posted 6 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Herbal Supplements Not Useful in Combating Anxiety

Tags: Herbal Supplements, Kava Extract, Kidney Failure, Kava, Muscle Breakdown, Rhabdomyolysis

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

Seek Performance Enhancing Drugs

7 One in Four Patients Fake ADHD Symptoms

A new survey, published in the journal The Clinical Neuropsychologist, suggests that one in four adults who seek treatment for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be exaggerating or faking their symptoms. The reasons varied and included wanting to ensure that the doctor gave them the appropriate diagnosis or mistaking their symptoms for ADHD when they in fact were suffering from stress or depression. Many may also fake the disorder to obtain stimulant drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin. These have been used in the past as performance enhancers in students, athletes and others who want to get ahead. The CDC estimates that between 2 and 4 percent of American adults actually have an appropriate ADHD diagnosis.

More at Time Magazine | Posted 6 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Immaturity in Kids Leading to Misdiagnosis of ADHD

Tags: ADHD, Ritalin, Adult Adhd, Adults Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, Adderall

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

Old Traditions a Challenge

8 India Paying Newlyweds Not to Have Kids

Maharashtra state in India is taking steps to slow population growth and improve the health of women by paying young couples to wait to have kids. The voluntary program pays 5,000 rupees if they do not have kids during the first two years of their marriage and another 2,500 if they wait one more year. Couples are required to attend counseling and education classes every three months. They get family planning, free birth control and abortion services if needed. Conservative parts of India value children because they are the ones that provide for their parents in the future and changing attitudes has not been easy. Forty percent of brides are under the legal marrying age of 18 and doctors point out that both young girls and their babies have a high rate of dying during childbirth.

More at Yahoo! AFP | Posted 6 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Maternal Deaths Rising in California

Tags: Birth Control, Maternal Mortality, Populations Growth in India, Population Control in India, Population Control, Program to Delay Childbirth in India, Program to Delay Having Kids in India, Family Planning, Abortion, Maternal Deaths, Newborn Mortality

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

Replacing Lost Calories

9 Kids on Low Fat Dairy Products Do Not Lose Weight

A study of 145 Australian kids found that kids switched to low fat dairy products did not lower their weight their body mass index (BMI) anymore than kids who did not get dietary advice. Consuming low fat dairy did cause their cholesterol to drop slightly. Dairy products lower in fat content do contain less cholesterol but the calcium and vitamin D levels are the same making the transition safe. Overall fat consumption was 13.3 percent and 16.6 percent in the low fat and control group, respectively. But the fact that kids in the low fat dairy group, researchers believe they are just getting more calories from other dietary sources. The National Dairy Council says these results support previous research that milk either has no effect or a positive effect on body composition.

More at Yahoo! Reuters | Posted 6 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Weight Watchers Potentially Dangerous for Kids

Tags: BMI, Body Mass Index, Weight Loss in Children, Low Fat Dairy Products in Children, Low Fat Dairy Products for Weight Loss in Children, Low Fat Dairy Products, National Dairy Council

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Second Hepatitis C Drug Approved

10 Telaprevir Recommended for FDA Approval

A panel of experts has voted unanimously to support the FDA approval of another hepatitis C drug, telaprevir developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals. This approval comes on the heels of the recommendation to approve Merck & Co.’s boceprevir, another hepatitis C drug. Both work by preventing the virus from replicating and studies have shown they cure more individuals and within a shorter period of time in combination the older drugs, pegylated interferon and ribavirin compared to only treating with two older drugs. While the FDA is not required to follow the panel’s recommendation it usually does. Hepatitis C can go undected for a long time because so many with the blood-borne virus are symptom-free for years and by the time it’s diagnosed a liver transplant may be the only option.

More at Yahoo! AFP | Posted 6 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Boceprevir Recommended for FDA Approval

Tags: Boceprevir, FDA, FDA Approval, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis C Cure, Hepatitis C Treatment, Merck & Co., Pegylated Interferon, Ribavirin, Telaprevir, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

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

Treatment Failed for Most Teens

11 Study Links Teen Obesity and Low Vitamin D Levels

A study involving 68 obese teenagers found that blood levels of 25 OH D (25-hydroxy vitamin D) found that 100 percent of the girls had low vitamin D levels with 72 percent deficient and 28 percent insufficient. Sixty-nine percent of the 91 percent of boys with low vitamin D considered deficient and 22 percent were insufficient. Vitamin D treatment increased levels but only normalized them in 28 percent of the patients. Teens who did not respond to the first round of treatment did not respond to repeated treatments. Researchers think the lack of response may be due to body fat trapping the fat-soluble vitamin. It may also be that obese people spend less time outdoors and do not expose their skin to enough sunlight to stimulate its production, the main source of vitamin D.

More at Science Daily | Posted 6 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Vitamin D Deficiency Is Widespread

Tags: 25 Hydroxy Vitamin D, Adolescent Obesity, Teenage Obesity, Vitamin D, Vitamin D Deficiency, Obesity in Teens, Low Vitamin D Levels and Obesity, Low Vitamin D Levels and Obesity in Teens, Vitamin D Insufficiency, 25(OH) D

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

Cool Adults Un-Cool Consequences

12 Teens Drinking with Adults Present Causes Problems

When parents let kids drink in their presence sends mixed messages which can lead to more problems according to a new study. Over 1,900 seventh graders in Australia and Washington State were surveyed up to ninth grade on their alcohol consumption. Sixty-seven percent of young people from Australia drank with adult supervision compared to 35 percent in Washington. Problems related to drinking such as not being able to stop, fighting and experiencing blackouts were experienced by 36 percent of Australian teens and 21 percent of American teens. Kids from both countries who drank under supervision had more alcohol-related problems. Researchers believe that sending kids black and white messages about alcohol will help them with limits as they get older and have the chance to drink.

More at Science Daily | Posted 6 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Teenage Alcohol Use Tied to Benign Breast Disease

Tags: Alcohol, Alcohol Abuse, Teen Drinking, Teen Drinking Problems, Alcohol Consumption in Teens, Adults Drinking with Teens, Teens Drinking with Adult Supervision, Teens Drinking with Adults, Alcohol Abuse in Teens

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (42%) / No! (58%)

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