Health & Wellness

Cell Phone

Mobile phones to be banned in French primary schools to limit health risks

Alpha Mummy: Are the French trying a sneaky classroom mobile ban?

Mobile telephones are to be banned from French primary schools, and operators must offer handsets that allow only text messages, under government measures to reduce the health risk to children.

Companies will also be required to supply phones that work only with headsets, to limit the danger to the brain from electromagnetic radiation, Rosalyne Bachelot, the Health Minister, said.


US: Retail clinics serve wealthier neighborhoods

* Poor neighborhoods less likely to have access

* Municipalities may want to offer incentives for clinics

While seen as a way to improve health-care access for the poor and uninsured, retail clinics in the United States tend to be clustered in higher-income neighborhoods, researchers said on Monday.

Located in grocery stores and retail chains such as Walgreen Co (WAG.N), CVS Caremark (CVS.N) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), retail clinics offer convenient, walk-in hours for flu shots, treatment of sore throats and other basic services.

Arrow Up

Dramatic Increase In Metastatic Colon Cancer Survival

Novel chemotherapy and biological agents for metastatic colorectal cancer, combined with surgical advances in liver resection, have resulted in a dramatic increase in survival for patients with advanced disease, according to researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, it is the first study in the last 20 years to examine the survival rates for metastatic colorectal cancer, and finds that the median overall survival is now more than 30 months, compared to eight months for patients diagnosed before 1990. Five-year survival of patients diagnosed with the disease after 2004 is more than 30 percent.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2008, more than 148,800 people were diagnosed and 49,960 died from the disease.


Study: Abuse, provocative images increase Internet risks for girls

A history of childhood abuse and use of a provocative online identity increase the risk that girls will be victimized by someone they meet on the Internet, according to a study appearing in the June issue of Pediatrics.

While highlighting the dangers that exist for adolescent girls, the study's authors also offer a word to parents: You can lessen the risks to your children by monitoring their Internet use.

The authors sought to identify risk factors connected to increased rates of Internet-initiated victimization of girls. They also wanted to find out whether abuse victims showed increased vulnerability to online victimization.


Using less pesticide may kill more cockroaches

New York - An innovative cockroach control strategy that keeps pesticide use to a minimum is much more effective than the standard approach -- regular, massive sprays of powerful bug-killers -- for wiping out the pests, a new study conducted in schools shows.

Exposure to cockroach allergens contributes to the development and worsening of asthma in children. Dr. Coby Schal of North Carolina State University in Raleigh and colleagues previously demonstrated that a strategy known as integrated pest management (IPM) works better than indiscriminate, regular spraying to control cockroach infestations and reduce levels of cockroach allergen in apartment buildings.

This was a major breakthrough, Schal noted in an interview, because efforts to control the insects have had disappointing results.

Light Saber

Obama Reverses Bush Policy Preventing Consumers From Suing Product Makers in State Courts

President Obama on Wednesday ordered federal agencies to rescind regulations enacted by former President George W. Bush's administration that protect manufacturers of such products as medical devices from product-liability lawsuits in state court, the Wall Street Journal reports. The decision could affect a wide range of manufacturers and products because the Bush administration "aggressively" encouraged federal agencies to make rules that pre-empt and override state laws, which often meant protecting manufacturers of medical equipment from lawsuits, according to the Journal.

Obama in a two-page memo wrote that federal agencies and departments could claim state law is pre-empted by federal law only when there is a well-defined legal basis. The memo stated that state laws are important because they supplement federal regulations. "State and local governments have frequently protected health, safety and environment more aggressively than has the national government," Obama wrote (Mundy/Kendall, Wall Street Journal, 5/21).


Eight toxic personalities to avoid

Although we like to think that the people in our lives are well-adjusted, happy, healthy minded individuals, we sometimes realize that it just isn't so. Personally, I've had moments where I'll be skipping through my day, happy as can be, thinking life is grand and BAM, I'll be blindsided by someone who manages to knock the happy wind out of my sails. Sometimes it is easy to write it off and other times, not so much.

Maybe you are a positive person, but when you are around a certain individual, you feel negative. Or, maybe you have an idealistic view of the world and when you are with certain people, you are made to feel silly, unrealistic or delusional. Or, maybe you pride yourself in being completely independent and in control of your life, but when you are around a certain family member, you regress into a state of childhood.

Some of these situations, and yes, these people, can have a tremendously negative impact on our lives. And, although we are all human and have our 'issues,' some 'issues' are quite frankly, toxic. They are toxic to our happiness. They are toxic to our mental outlook. They are toxic to our self-esteem. And they are toxic to our lives. They can suck the life out of us and even shorten our lifespan.


Health Benefits of Almonds

When we eat an almond nut, we are technically eating the seed of the fruit from the almond tree. The almond nut is off white in color and oval in shape, it is covered by a thin brownish skin and then the hard shell. There are two types of almond, sweet and bitter almond; it is the sweet almond that we eat. Bitter almonds are used for almond oil and it is this oil which is famously used in the liqueur Amaretto. Almonds are thought to originally come from the regions of western Asia and North Africa; they are an ancient food which has been eaten since ancient Greek and Roman times. Almonds are now typically cultivated in the Mediterranean countries and also in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco and also in the American state of California.

Life Preserver

Massage Chair Therapy Help Relieve Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia or FMS is a condition that is characterized by varying degrees of muscle aches and general body pain. The pain can range from mild stiffness to severe pain. The pain can be widespread affecting the muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons. Your health care professional may recommend varying treatments depending on the situation. Many fibromyalgia patients are turning to massage chairs to help relieve aches and pains.


Brain-behavior Disconnect In Cocaine Addiction

© DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
During an emotionally salient task, fMRI scans of cocaine-addicted individuals (bottom) showed stronger deactivation in the anterior cingulate cortex compared with scans of healthy controls (top). This deactivation suggests that this region may have been trying to "tune out" emotional stimuli, such as craving.
Parts of the brain involved in monitoring behaviors and emotions show different levels of activity in cocaine users relative to non-drug users, even when both groups perform equally well on a psychological test. These results - from a brain-imaging study conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and published online the week of May 25, 2009, by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - suggest that such impairments may underlie addictive vulnerability, and that treatments aimed at improving these functions could help addicted individuals resist drugs.

"Many studies have found decreased brain activity in drug-addicted individuals relative to healthy control subjects during psychological tests," said lead author Rita Goldstein, a psychologist at Brookhaven Lab. "But it's never been clear if these differences were due to varying levels of interest or ability between the two groups. This is the first study to look at two groups matched for performance and interest - and we still see dramatic differences in the brain regions that play a very significant role in the ability to monitor behavior and regulate emotion, which are both important to resisting drug use.