January 24, 2012

Perception or Biology?

1 Women Feel Pain More Acutely Than Men

Women report feeling pain more acutely than men, finds a Stanford U study that examined medical records of 72,000+ patients. Based on an 11-point scale, women, on average, reported experiencing pain one point higher than men. Study authors cite genetics, hormones or psychological factors as possible reasons. “A lot of times cognitive, emotional and behavioral factors really influence the level and someone’s experience with pain,” says Dr. Irene Wu, UCLA Med Ctr, who was not involved with the study. She added that women's stress may make pain seem worse. Medical experts say more research is needed to determine if there is a biological basis for why there is an apparent gender difference in the perception of pain.

More at CNN.com | Posted 6 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: 10 Gynecologic Symptoms Women Should Heed

Tags: Women and Pain, Stanford University, Irene Wu, UCLA Medical Center, Hormonal Influences on Pain Perception, Pain Perception

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

Get Happy Dude

2 Magic Mushrooms Could Help Depression

People that attend certain types of parties are probably already familiar with the effects of magic mushrooms but one study indicates those happy ‘one with the universe’ feelings could help fight depression in a clinical setting by making use of psilocybin, one of the mushroom’s hallucinogenic chemical compounds. "We have found that these drugs turn off the parts of the brain that integrate sensations – seeing, hearing, feeling – with thinking," said David Nutt, co-author of the study and researcher at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom. In addition to helping with depression, research has also shown that psilocybin helps reduce anxiety in terminally ill cancer patients. However, more testing is required because the preliminary study consisted of only 30 people.

More at CNN Health | Posted 6 years ago by Marty Shaw

Previously: Hallucinogen Helps Terminal Cancer Patients

Tags: Depression, Hallucinogen, Magic Mushrooms, Psilocybin

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

Not Included in Definition

3 Grieving to Become Depression?

Is grieving a part of depression? The answer is no, according to the current definition, which is now being reviewed by the American Psychiatry Association as they work on the 5th edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Currently, a diagnosis of depression requires 5 of 9 symptoms for 2 weeks or more. Grieving is excluded. While some researchers say an expanded definition would result in numerous false-positives, others argue that depression “can and does occur in the wake of bereavement, it can be severe and debilitating, and calling it by any other name is doing a disservice to people who may require more careful attention.” There’s currently no indication on whether the revised definition will be used or not.

More at New York Times | Posted 6 years ago by Marty Shaw

Previously: Bereaved Parents Are at Risk for Dying Early

Tags: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, American Psychiatry Association

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

Leave off the PPI

4 Acid Reflux Drug Doesn't Help Asthma in Kids

While doctors frequently prescribe the gastroesophageal reflux drug lansoprazole for children with asthma, a new study shows that the addition of the drug with standard inhaled steroid treatment doesn't improve asthma symptoms. Researchers found that adding lansoprazole not only doesn't control asthma in kids, but it may increase risk for upper respiratory infections, bronchitis and sore throats. The study involved 18 trial sites and 306 kids ages 6 to 17. Lansoprazole, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), is often used by doctors to treat children with asthma even when there are no symptoms of acid reflux. Children suffering from acid reflux don't always have symptoms such as heartburn. The research, conducted by the American Lung Association's Asthma Clinical Group, was published in JAMA.

More at Eurekalert | Posted 6 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Nexium to Get New Fracture Risk Warning

Tags: Typical Symptoms of Heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux Kids, Treating Asthma Kids, Reflux Drugs Not Helpful Kids, Lansoprazole Asthma Treatment, American Lung Association's Asthma Clinical Group, Risk for Upper Respiratory Infections, Bronchitis Risk, Cause Sore Throats Kids

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

Being Male May Be Risk Factor

5 Men Are More Likely to Get 32 of 35 Cancers

Men are at much greater risk of developing 32 of 35 cancers, and the reason may be biological, finds an international study by American and Swedish researchers. Researchers didn't consider gender-specific cancers like breast or prostate. Published in European Journal of Epidemiology, the study reveals that for 15 cancers, men face twice the risk as women. For five cancers (lip, bladder, Kaposi sarcoma, larynx, hypopharynx) men face a four-times bigger risk, making being male a strong risk factor. According to Los Angeles Times, researchers attribute much of the gender gap to biology, but behavioral and environmental factors like smoking do contribute to the increase. Women face a much greater risk for only one cancer, thyroid, but researchers don't know the reasons behind the increase.

More at Los Angeles Times | Posted 6 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Cancer Risk Factors, European Journal of Epidemiology, Being Male Cancer Risk Factor, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Risk for Kaposi Sarcoma, Cancer Risk by Gender, Males More Likely Get Cancer, Bladder Cancer Risk Factor, Hypopharynx Cancer

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

Reduce Heart Disease Risk

6 Black Tea Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

Green tea is well-studied for its positive health effects, but for those who favor black tea, new research shows that it can help lower blood pressure. A study by researchers at The University of Western Australia followed 95 volunteers for six months. Half drank three cups of black tea daily, while the others drank a placebo with the same flavor and caffeine content. Those drinking black tea had a lower 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure of between 2 and 3 mmHg. Lead author Jonathan Hodgson writes, “"There is already mounting evidence that tea is good for your heart health, but this is an important discovery because it demonstrates a link between tea and a major risk factor for heart disease." The research is published in this week’s Archives of Internal Medicine.

More at Science Alert | Posted 6 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure, Daily Pomegranate Juice May Lower Blood Pressure

Tags: Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Nutrition, Black Tea

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

Safe and Effective Treatment

7 Embryonic Stem Cells Improve Vision Loss

A major victory for using embryonic stem cell therapeutically has been achieved. Two women, one with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the other with Stargardt's macular dystrophy had about 50,000 differentiated embryonic stem cells transplanted in one eye. They were weaned off anti-rejection drugs and watched for cancer or rejection, problems that have significantly slowed the advancement of embryonic stem cell research since they were discovered in 1998. No side effects were seen. The woman with AMD had better visual acuity within two weeks of treatment and the one with Stargardt’s disease improved in multiple ways. Future clinical trials are underway and the results in these women with advanced vision loss give researchers hope that it will work well in the early stages.

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

Previously: Stem Cells Used in Older People with Vision Loss

Tags: Age Related Macular Degeneration, AMD, Blindness, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Vision Loss, Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy

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

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