Health & Wellness
Map


Syringe

Extreme rehab: Inside the world's most radical drug clinic

Andre Waismann
© Getty
Miracle man? Dr Andre Waismann argues that opiate addiction is a medical problem and that his fast-track neural treatment works far better than counseling and methadone. Drug agencies disagree
Dr Andre Waismann is rewriting the rulebook for rehab, with incredible success. So why is the medical establishment ignoring his work? Nick Harding investigates

Dr Andre Waismann looks out of the window towards the Gaza Strip. Speaking in a medical centre in the Israeli town of Ashkelon, a few miles north of the heavily fortified border and constantly under threat from Kassam rocket attack, he explains his vision. "My goal," he says, "is that any drug addict in the world will one day be able to turn up at their local general hospital and say, 'good evening, I am hooked on opiates'. They will then lie down on a treatment table and be cured quickly before going home healthy. It will be as simple as taking a trip to the dentist."
People

Medical student gender and self-confidence: Females underestimate their abilities and males tend to overestimate theirs

Despite performing equally to their male peers in the classroom and the clinic, female medical students consistently report decreased self-confidence and increased anxiety, particularly over issues related to their competency. A new study published in the September 2008 issue of Patient Education and Counseling found that female medical students also appeared less confident to patients.

"We observed third-year medical students interacting with individuals simulating patients and gave the students a battery of tests measuring non-verbal sensitivity. Female medical students self reported less self confidence than the male medical students and were also observed by trained raters to be less confident. Despite objective test performance that is equal to or greater than their male classmates there was something about the way in which the female medical students were observed and experienced their communication with patients that made them less confident" said the study's senior author Richard M. Frankel, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute research scientist.
Bulb

Musicians use both sides of their brains more frequently than average people

Supporting what many of us who are not musically talented have often felt, new research reveals that trained musicians really do think differently than the rest of us. Vanderbilt University psychologists have found that professionally trained musicians more effectively use a creative technique called divergent thinking, and also use both the left and the right sides of their frontal cortex more heavily than the average person.

The research by Crystal Gibson, Bradley Folley and Sohee Park is currently in press at the journal Brain and Cognition.

"We were interested in how individuals who are naturally creative look at problems that are best solved by thinking 'out of the box'," Folley said. "We studied musicians because creative thinking is part of their daily experience, and we found that there were qualitative differences in the types of answers they gave to problems and in their associated brain activity."

One possible explanation the researchers offer for the musicians' elevated use of both brain hemispheres is that many musicians must be able to use both hands independently to play their instruments.
Family

Autism genes can add up to genius

Intellectual gifts and certain brain disorders are closely related

Some people with autism have amazed experts with their outstanding memories, mathematical skills or musical talent. Now scientists have found that the genes thought to cause autism may also confer mathematical, musical and other skills on people without the condition.
Health

Rethinking Who Should Be Considered 'Essential' During A Pandemic Flu Outbreak

Not only are doctors, nurses, and firefighters essential during a severe pandemic influenza outbreak. So, too, are truck drivers, communications personnel, and utility workers. That's the conclusion of a Johns Hopkins University article to be published in the journal of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism.

The report, led by Nancy Kass, Sc.D, Deputy Director of Public Health for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, provides ethical guidance for pandemic planning that ensures a skeletal infrastructure remain intact at all times. Dr. Kass says, "when preparing for a severe pandemic flu it is crucial for leaders to recognize that if the public has limited or no access to food, water, sewage systems, fuel and communications, the secondary consequences may cause greater sickness death and social breakdown than the virus itself."

The authors represent a wide-range of expertise in several areas of pandemic emergency planning both at the state and federal levels. After examining several accepted public health rationing strategies that give priority to all healthcare workers and those most susceptible to illness, the authors propose a new strategy that gives priority to a more diverse group. "Alongside healthcare workers and first responders, priority should be given to the people who provide the public with basic essentials for good health and well-being, ranging from grocery store employees and communications personnel to truck drivers and utility workers," says Dr. Kass.
Heart

Why Andorrans live longest - Exercise, lean meat and they smoke!


Tobacco growing in Andorra
High on the French-Andorran border, desolate mountain peaks are still green in the last warmth of clear autumn skies. There is the sound of cowbells and the occasional shout, in Catalan, from farmers rounding up white cattle, ready to herd them down into the valleys for winter shelter.

But there is something slightly different about these farmers.

Almost all of them, I notice as they chase the animals across scree slopes and shove them into wooden pens, are older than you might expect. In fact, there is barely one under pensionable age. Clearly, I was not misled about older Andorrans leading an active life.

Not every citizen of Andorra these days toils up and down mountains as part of their daily existence.
Health

US: Doctors want FDA to halt cold medicines for kids

Beltsville, Maryland - Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not be sold for young children because they are unproven and can be dangerous, doctors and consumer advocates said on Thursday, despite objections from industry representatives.

Experts urged U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials to ban sales of the products, which take in billions of dollars in annual sales and include versions of Wyeth's Dimetapp and Procter & Gamble Co's NyQuil, for children ages 2 to 6.

"Cough and cold medications ... have not been proven to be effective and they have clear risks. It is time for them to be reevaluated," Dr. Wayne Snodgrass of the University of Texas Medical Branch, said at an FDA meeting to discuss whether the nonprescription remedies should be sold for children.
Info

Driving Fatalities Surge On US Presidential Election Days

Sunnybrook researcher Dr. Donald Redelmeier and Stanford University statistician Robert Tibshirani have found an increased risk of fatal motor vehicle crashes on United States (US) presidential election days.

"We thought efforts that mobilize about 55 per cent of the population to vote, along with US reliance on motor vehicle travel, might result in increased fatal motor vehicle crashes during US presidential elections," says Redelmeier, lead investigator of the study and staff physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, "indeed, we found a significant increase in traffic deaths on election days."

The investigation looked at all US presidential election days over the last 32 years, from Jimmy Carter in 1976 to George Bush in 2004, during the hours of polling. They also looked at the same hours on the Tuesday immediately before and immediately after as control days. Their main finding was that the average presidential election led to about 24 deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
Health

Acupressure Calms Children Before Surgery

An acupressure treatment applied to children undergoing anesthesia noticeably lowers their anxiety levels and makes the stress of surgery more calming for them and their families, UC Irvine anesthesiologists have learned.
Acupressure bead
© Daniel A. Anderson
Acupressure bead applied before surgery decreases anxiety in children.

According to Dr. Zeev Kain, anesthesiology and perioperative care chair, and his Yale University collaborator Dr. Shu-Ming Wang, this noninvasive, drug-free method is an effective, complementary anxiety-relief therapy for children during surgical preparation. Sedatives currently used before anesthesia can cause nausea and prolong sedation.

"Anxiety in children before surgery is bad because of the emotional toll on the child and parents, and this anxiety can lead to prolonged recovery and the increased use of analgesics for postoperative pain," said Kain, who led the acupressure study. "What's great about the use of acupressure is that it costs very little and has no side effects."
Health

Changes In Sex Steroids Associated With Menopause

A study in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that the increased rate of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) change that occurs during menopause is associated with increased objective sleep duration but poor subjective sleep quality.

Findings from the sleep profiles created for the study's 365 participants indicate that postmenopausal women had deeper sleep and longer total sleep time than premenopausal women. The faster rate of change in FSH was associated with slow wave sleep and sleep duration, indicating that as women transitioned more rapidly from an endocrine perspective, they slept longer. Simultaneously, however, FSH change was associated with poorer self-reported sleep quality.

"We found that it was not the level of the FSH that was predictive of sleep, bout how quickly these menopause transition changes - FSH changes - occurred when hormones were measured over a seven-year period," said principal investigator MaryFran Sowers, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan.
Top