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Tue, 26 Jul 2016
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Health & Wellness


Patients Lack Knowledge of Medications They Were Given in Hospital, Study Shows

In a new study to asses patient awareness of medications prescribed during a hospital visit, 44% of patients believed they were receiving a medication they were not, and 96% were unable to recall the name of at least one medication that they had been prescribed during hospitalization. These findings are published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Inpatient medication errors represent an important patient safety issue, with one review finding some degree of error in almost one in every five medication doses. The patient, as the last link in the medication administration chain, represents the final individual capable of preventing an incorrect medication administration. Researchers from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine conducted a pilot study to assess patient awareness of their in-hospital medications and surveyed attitudes towards increased patient knowledge of hospital medications.

"Overall, patients in the study were able to name fewer than half of their hospital medications," said lead researcher Ethan Cumbler, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver. "Our findings are particularly striking in that we found significant deficits in patient understanding of their hospital medications even among patients who believed they knew, or desired to know, what is being prescribed to them in the hospital."


The 7 foods experts won't eat

How healthy (or not) certain foods are - for us, for the environment - is a hotly debated topic among experts and consumers alike, and there are no easy answers. But when Prevention talked to the people at the forefront of food safety and asked them one simple question - "What foods do you avoid?" - we got some pretty interesting answers. Although these foods don't necessarily make up a "banned" list, as you head into the holidays - and all the grocery shopping that comes with it - their answers are, well, food for thought:


First Evidence of Brain Rewiring in Children: Reading Remediation Positively Alters Brain Tissue

© Timothy Keller and Marcel Just
The left brain image shows the area of compromised white matter (blue area) among poor readers relative to good readers at the beginning of the study. The center brain image shows the area where the structural integrity increased (red/yellow area) among poor readers who received the instruction, and it is very similar to the initially compromised area. The right brain image shows that following the instruction, there were no differences between the good and poor readers with respect to the integrity of their white matter.
Carnegie Mellon University scientists Timothy Keller and Marcel Just have uncovered the first evidence that intensive instruction to improve reading skills in young children causes the brain to physically rewire itself, creating new white matter that improves communication within the brain.

As the researchers report today in the journal Neuron, brain imaging of children between the ages of 8 and 10 showed that the quality of white matter -- the brain tissue that carries signals between areas of grey matter, where information is processed -- improved substantially after the children received 100 hours of remedial training. After the training, imaging indicated that the capability of the white matter to transmit signals efficiently had increased, and testing showed the children could read better.

"Showing that it's possible to rewire a brain's white matter has important implications for treating reading disabilities and other developmental disorders, including autism," said Just, the D.O. Hebb Professor of Psychology and director of Carnegie Mellon's Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging (CCBI).


Roche's Tamiflu Not Proven to Cut Flu Complications

The effectiveness of Roche Holding AG's Tamiflu in treating flu complications in healthy adults can't be determined because the Swiss drugmaker wouldn't supply data from eight studies, an independent research group said.

The exclusion led the Cochrane Collaboration to reverse its previous finding that the pill warded off pneumonia and other deadly conditions linked to influenza. Tamiflu has been the mainstay of treatment for swine flu, which has killed almost 9,000 people since April, according to the World Health Organization. Roche said the drug is effective.


Fast Food Safer Than School Lunch?


Meat Served to U.S. Students Doesn't Meet Safety Standards of Fast Food Chains, Report Claims

Schoolchildren around the U.S. are eating meat that falls short of the safety standards of many fast food restaurants, the USA Today reported Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains the meat it buys for the National School Lunch Program "meets or exceeds standards in commercial products."

But the paper's investigation revealed fast food chains including McDonald's, Burger King, Jack in the Box and KFC have much more stringent quality requirements for the food they serve, with some of them testing meat for dangerous pathogens up to 10 times more a day than the USDA.


11 Dangerous Ingredients You Should Avoid at All Costs

Headaches, birth defects, allergies and even cancer can be caused by ingredients in common cosmetics. You don't need that junk to look good.

The greener we become, the more we have to scrutinize. I for one have cleaned up my home, my diet, my cleaning products and of utmost importance the products I put on my skin. I'm an avid ingredient reader and do the research -- after all, my skin is the largest organ in my body! Here's a list of some common skin and hair care chemicals we all need to avoid.

Cell Phone

Texting a Pain in the Neck, Study Suggests

Texting long messages can be a pain in the neck - literally.

The repetitive action of working your fingers across the number pad of your cell phone can cause some of the same chronic pain problems previously confined to those who'd spent a lifetime typing, a new study suggests.

The possible connection is particularly worrying given how much teens and young adults - and increasingly those in professional settings - are texting nowadays, said Judith Gold of Temple University in Philadelphia, who carried out one of the first studies on the potential connection.

Arrow Up

Top 12 Foods for Healthy Immune Response

The 2009 flu season is upon us.

Staying well while those around you sniffle and sneeze requires that you extract as much nutrition from your diet as you can, loading up on the foods that pack the biggest nutritional punch.

Avoiding processed foods, grains and sugar will go a long way toward strengthening your immune system. However, you can do even more by selecting foods that are loaded with specific immune boosting nutrients.

Eating a diet rich in the following foods will be far better for your health than loading up on handfuls of supplements, or worse yet, falling victim to vaccines that expose you to health risks far worse than influenza.


PTSD in Children Linked with Poor Memory Function

© Jacob Langvad/Getty
In children, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may inhibit the function of a brain region associated with memory, according to a new study published online today in the Journal of Pediatric Psychiatry. In an effort to better understand how trauma may impact brain function in children, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital recruited 27 children and adolescents, 16 of which had previously been diagnosed with PTSD, and 11 who were in the control group. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers took brain scans of the study subjects while they were asked to complete simple memory tasks. As the trial progressed, they discovered that children with PTSD fared far worse on the memory tasks, and showed correspondingly less activity in the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved with creating, storing and processing memories.


L-carnitine might not be the boost for you


Boost?: L-carnitine is often put in energy drinks.
Claims stem from studies of vascular and heart disease. But it's unclear if it helps lift the healthy at all.

Read the ingredient label on any energy drink and odds are fairly good that, among other arcane items, you'll come across something called L-carnitine.

Also sold in supplement form, L-carnitine is often touted as a miracle molecule that boosts energy and helps burn fat naturally.

The claims appear to stem largely from studies showing that the molecule may improve endurance and energy in people with heart or vascular disease. But to conclude that it would do the same in healthy people is a big leap, says Dr. Ziv Haskal, professor of radiology and surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.