Health & WellnessS


Flashback Handle with Care: Institutionalised Abuse of Teenagers in Tennessee

The state of Tennessee continues to license a Midstate youth treatment facility where two have died and many others have been abused.

Linda Harris
©Philadelphia Inquirer/John Sullivan
Linda Harris

Comment: This sort of heavy-handed set-up is all too common in the US: once a person is labelled as criminal - or just non-compliant - they become a non-person forever, and the authorities feel justified in taking any steps necessary to force compliance.


Pushing PLAY: Richard Solomon's groundbreaking work is changing the lives of autistic children

In his darkened office in the University of Michigan Health System, Richard Solomon, M.D., pops a videocassette tape into the VCR and pushes "play." Instantly, the screen is alive with the colors of American childhood. Bare feet running through backyard grass, little fingers clutching plastic toys, faces dancing with the boundless smiles of youth. Swimming pools, sandboxes, tricycles.


Morgellons: Emerging illness or filaments of imagination?

Sue Laws remembers the night it began. It was October 2004, and she'd been working in the basement home office of her Gaithersburg, Md., brick rambler where she helps her husband run their tree business. She was sitting at her computer getting the payroll out, when all of a sudden she felt as if she were being attacked by bees. The itching and stinging on her back was so intense that she screamed for her husband, Tom. He bounded downstairs and lifted her shirt, but he couldn't see anything biting her. She insisted something must be. To prove there was nothing there, he stuck strips of thick packing tape to her back and ripped them off. Then they took the magnifying eyepiece that Tom, an arborist, uses to examine leaves for fungus and blight and peered at the tape.

©Lab of Vitaly Citovsky/SUNY at Stony Brook
Some call it the "fiber disease," but most refer to it as Morgellons, a name taken from a similar condition of children wasting away with "harsh hairs" described in the 17th century

Comment: Related articles:
CDC to make call on mystery skin disease
Morgellons disease, Is this a disease or an episode of the X Files?
Doctors puzzled over bizarre infection surfacing in South Texas


Hormone therapy skews breast cancer diagnosis

CHICAGO - Women on hormone replacement therapy have only a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer, but there are much greater chances they will experience the worry of abnormal mammograms or may undergo an avoidable breast biopsy, researchers said on Monday.

Mammograms and biopsy exams were also found to be less reliable at detecting breast cancer among women taking hormones, which counteract symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness.


Prozac, used by 40m people, does not work say scientists

Prozac, the bestselling antidepressant taken by 40 million people worldwide, does not work and nor do similar drugs in the same class, according to a major review released today.

The study examined all available data on the drugs, including results from clinical trials that the manufacturers chose not to publish at the time. The trials compared the effect on patients taking the drugs with those given a placebo or sugar pill.

When all the data was pulled together, it appeared that patients had improved - but those on placebo improved just as much as those on the drugs.


Cocaine's brain effect revealed

Brain scans have revealed a possible biological basis for cocaine addiction which may explain why some get hooked, while others can use the drug socially.

The scans show cocaine alters parts of the brain controlling behaviour and appropriate decision-making.

In effect, the drug messes with what is colloquially known as willpower - with some maybe more vulnerable than others.


Flashback Women who have Caesarean's 'less likely to bond'

Women who choose to have Caesarean sections may be jeopardising their chances of bonding properly with their babies, a leading childbirth expert has claimed.

Obstetrician Michel Odent said that undergoing the planned procedure prevents the release of hormones that cause a woman to 'fall in love' with her child.

Heart - Black

Female Psychopathy: Equal but Distinct

Studies of antisocial personality primarily focus on men, but women antisocials have distinct features. Can the same be true of psychopathy, increasingly distinguished from even those with antisocial personality as the emerging "baddest" of characters?

Researchers examined the construct and predictive validity of psychopathy as applied to 103 jailed female offenders diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder (APD) (J Abnormal Psychology 106:4 pp. 576-585). The construct of psychopathy, generated largely on male offender populations, appeared applicable to female offenders; however, their absolute rates of symptoms and severity of symptoms were lower.


The ABCs of Death: Bush vs. Africa's Women

The Bush Administration's PEPFAR AIDS initiative places fundamentalist Christian views over the reality of African women's lives, while shamelessly prioritizing pharmaceutical industry profits over ensuring people's access to medicine.

Heart - Black

Romeo's Bleeding - When Mr. Right Turns Out To Be Mr. Wrong

Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken? -Tina Turner
The trouble with falling in love is that the fall can terminate against the cold concrete of betrayal. Pain replaces promise, cynicism flowers in place of confidence and hope flees on wings of misled desire.

If both of you gave it your honest best, and it failed to work out, then it's the kind of pain that can heal in time. The experience can even increase the chances for future relationship success. But there are times when the object of your lost affection intensifies the pain-times when someone who looks like the perfect choice turns out to be the perfect heel. And the damage may not be easily undone.

Unlike men that can honestly struggle with their own uncertainties and confusions about a relationship, and recognize the part they play in creating problems and conflicts, there are other kinds of men that see love as a game and you as their pawn. In this cruelly covert contest, cunning is their watchword, deception is their fix, and control is their high.