Health & Wellness


Study: Firm handshakes help land jobs

If you're seeking employment, get a grip. A firm handshake is key to landing a job.

In a new study, scientists put 98 students through mock job interviews with businesspeople. The students also met with trained handshake raters who, unbeknownst to the students, rated their grips. Separately, the businesspeople graded each student's overall performance and hireability. The two group's scores were then compared.

Students who got high handshake marks were also rated most hireable.

Congressman targets deceptive pharmaceutical advertising

Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, held a hearing today on the potentially misleading and deceptive tactics used in direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements for prescription pharmaceutical products.

The hearing, titled "Direct-to-Consumer Advertising: Marketing, Education, or Deception?" reviewed deceptive and misleading practices in three ad campaigns and explored better practices for DTC marketing. Stupak delivered the following statement:

Comment: Tell your doctor if you experience difficult or painful swallowing, chest pain, or severe or continuing heartburn, as these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems.

Side effects are generally mild or moderate and may include diarrhea, pain in the arms or legs, back, muscle, bone or joint pain, stomach pain or upset, or constipation. If you develop severe bone, joint, and/or muscle pain, contact your healthcare provider.

Women who are or could become pregnant should not handle this medication due to the potential risk of a specific birth defect. Do not donate blood until at least 6 months after stopping this medication. Tell your doctor if you have liver disease.

Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney problems, as he doesn't know how to figure that out and you do.

Avoid stopping therapy abruptly. With certain beta-blocking agents, stopping therapy abruptly has led to chest pain and, in some cases, heart attack.

Some common side effects include shortness of breath, a slow heartbeat, weight gain, fatigue, hypotension, dizziness, or faintness.

Contact lens wearers may produce fewer tears or have dry eyes.

Heat prostration (fever and heat stroke due to decreased sweating) can occur when anticholinergics such as oxybutynin are administered in hot weather.

Tablets must be swallowed whole with the aid of liquids, and must not be chewed, divided, or crushed."

"Important Product Information
. . . . . . . Since the product was first introduced, the following have been reported in patients:
* Serious Infections
* Many occurred in people prone to infection, such as those with advanced or poorly controlled diabetes
* Some serious infections were fatal
* Rare cases of tuberculosis
* Do not start medication if you have an infection or are allergic to the medication or its components
* Tell your doctor if you are prone to infection
* Stop the medication if a serious infection occurs
* Tell your doctor if you have ever been treated for heart failure
* Rare reports of serious blood disorders (some fatal).
* Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness
* In medical studies of all TNF inhibitors, a higher rate of lymphoma (a type of cancer) was seen compared to the general population, however, the risk of lymphoma may be up to several-fold higher in RA and psoriasis patients.

You should not use this medication if you have certain disorders of the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth with the stomach), are not able to stand or sit upright for 30 minutes or have severe kidney disease.

Tell your doctor:
* if you have had any infection in the past that keeps coming back, or if you have any problems that increase the risk of infections,
* if you feel any numbness or tingling,
* if you have ever had a disease that affects your nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, or
* if you have ever been treated for heart failure.

Tell your doctor right away or seek emergency care immediately if you have an allergic reaction such as a bad rash, swollen face, or trouble breathing. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of a blood disorder such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding or paleness.

You and your family should watch closely and call the doctor right away, if you have worsening depression, thoughts of suicide, or sudden or severe changes in mood or behavior (for example feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, hyperactive, overly excited, or not being able to sleep), especially at the beginning of treatment or after any change in dose.

Other side effects may include infection, diarrhea, dry mouth, constipation, decreased appetite, sleepiness, dizziness, sexual side effects, nervousness, tremor, yawning, sweating, weakness or insomnia.

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
* leg pain or swelling
* shortness of breath
* coughing up blood
* cough that doesn't go away
* blue-grey color or darkening around mouth or nails
* dizziness
* fainting
* blurred vision
* temporary confusion
* slow or difficult speech
* loss of memory or ability to concentrate
* hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
* extreme tiredness
* seizures
* weakness, numbness, heaviness, or tingling in arms or legs
* floppiness or loss of muscle tone
* lack of energy
* increased or rapid heart beat
* irregular heart beat
* chest pain or tightness
* excessive sweating
* fever, sore throat, chills, cough, and other signs of infection
* rash
* hives
* itching
* swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, or ankles
* wheezing
* difficulty breathing or swallowing
* hoarseness

Warning: Life-threatening if taken within 2 weeks of taking a MAO inhibitor.

In addition, the following side effects have been reported: anxiety, blurred vision, colitis, confusion, decreased levels of sodium in the blood, depression, fluid in the lungs, hair loss, hallucinations, increased levels of potassium in the blood, insomnia, low blood cell counts, menstrual disorder, palpitations, pancreatitis, ringing in the ears, severe increase in blood pressure, tingling sensation, unusual headache with stiff neck (aseptic meningitis), vertigo, worsening of epilepsy.

Call your doctor today for a free trial sample.


Pharmaceutical Companies Defend Drug Ads Before Congress

Officials from several large pharmaceutical companies defended their direct-to-consumer television advertisements before a powerful House committee Thursday that is calling for stronger legislation to rein in false and misleading ads.

At a hearing entitled, "Direct to Consumer Advertising: Marketing, Education or Deception?" Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., showed three television ads and said, "These are three examples of drug companies acting improperly."

Are Anxiety Disorders All in the Mind?

Researchers Find Link Between Altered Dopamine Activity and Social Anxiety Disorder According to an Article in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), researchers in The Netherlands were able to detect biochemical differences in the brains of individuals with generalized social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia), providing evidence of a long-suspected biological cause for the dysfunction.

The study, which was reported in the May issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, compared densities of elements of the serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitter systems in the brains of 12 people diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, but who had not taken medication to treat it, and a control group of 12 healthy people who were matched by sex and age.

Both groups were injected with a radioactive compound that binds with elements of the brain's serotonin and dopamine systems. Once administered, the radiotracer revealed functional alterations in these systems by measuring the radioactive binding in the thalamus, midbrain and pons (known to be acted upon by serotonin) and in the striatum (known to be acted upon by dopamine). The altered uptake activity in these regions indicated a greater level of disordered function.

Maths plus 'geeky' images equals deterred students

Images of maths 'geeks' stop people from studying mathematics or using it in later life, shows research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Many students and undergraduates seem to think of mathematicians as old, white, middle-class men who are obsessed with their subject, lack social skills and have no personal life outside maths. The student's views of maths itself included narrow and inaccurate images that are often limited to numbers and basic arithmetic.

The research revealed that many of the clichéd perceptions which it identified are linked to the way in which mathematics and mathematicians are presented in popular culture. Although there has been an increase since 2006, the number of people in England and Wales choosing to study maths has been in decline in the last decade. The subject's negative portrayal in popular culture contributes to this lack of interest. The research went on to suggest using popular culture as one way to promote a more positive view of maths.
Eye 1

Warning: Technology and Drugs are Changing Brain Function

An Oxford University neuroscientist has warned that human identity faces an unprecedented crisis, brought about by damage caused by various electronic gadgets and pharmaceuticals that blur the line between our bodies and the outside world.

Writing in Britain's Daily Mail, neuroscientist Susan Greenfield, Oxford University Alzheimer's researcher and author of the book "ID: The Quest For Identity In The 21st Century", says modern technology, including violent video games, multichannel television and the Internet, is altering the way our brains work.

Arrow Up

Death toll in Chinese hand, foot and mouth outbreak reaches 39

The death toll in the current outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in China climbed to 39 on Monday as authorities announced the deaths of five more children in provinces across the country, the Xinhua news agency said.

The disease has spread rapidly in China since March, when children aged between two and six began to be admitted to hospitals in the central Chinese province of Anhui displaying symptoms of the potentially fatal virus.

The latest fatalities came as three children died in the southern province of Guangdong, and two deaths were reported in the eastern Anhui province and the island province of Hainan, the agency said.

Sweeping analysis of research reinforces strong media influence on women's body image

As France's parliament considers a landmark bill that would outlaw media images glamorizing the extremely thin, psychology researchers are reporting some of the most definitive findings yet on how these images affect women.

In the May issue of Psychological Bulletin, University of Wisconsin-Madison postdoctoral researcher Shelly Grabe and psychology professor Janet Hyde describe a sweeping analysis of 77 previous studies involving more than 15,000 subjects. In it, they found that exposure to media depicting ultra-thin actresses and models significantly increased women's concerns about their bodies, including how dissatisfied they felt and their likelihood of engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors, such as excessive dieting.

Although on one level the results seem obvious, Grabe believes many people still resist the idea that a societal influence, like the media, can have a real impact on how women view themselves. When individual experiments have found this relationship in the past, she explains, critics have often dismissed them for focusing on groups of particularly body-conscious women, such as college students, or exposing test subjects to unusually racy photos.

Both Boys and Girls Negatively Affected By Sexual Harassment

A new study in Psychology of Women Quarterly explored the outcomes of sexual harassment on both boys and girls. While girls were harassed more frequently, boys were indirectly yet negatively affected through a school climate that tolerates the harassment of girls.

The study, led by Alayne J. Ormerod, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, examined the relationship among peer-to-peer sexual harassment, school climate, adult-to-student harassment, and outcomes for the students. Approximately 300 girls and 250 boys were surveyed from seven public high schools in the Midwest.

Study: Kids think eyeglasses make other kids look smart

Young children tend to think that other kids with glasses look smarter than kids who don't wear glasses, according to a new study.

Children between the ages of 6 and 10 who were surveyed for the study also thought that kids wearing glasses looked more honest than children who don't wear glasses.