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Sat, 16 Oct 2021
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Health & Wellness


'Proof still needed' for flu jab

There is not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of immunising older people against flu, fresh research in the US has concluded.

Researchers from George Washington University, Washington DC, say the benefits in reducing deaths among over 70s have been "greatly exaggerated".


Morgellons disease, Is this a disease or an episode of the X Files?

The symptoms sound like something from The X Files - sufferers complain of a crawling sensation all over the body, egg-like lumps under the skin and, even more bizarrely, cuts which produce tiny red and blue fibres.

©Daily Mail
Morgellons disease: Sufferers complain of cuts which produce tiny red and blue fibres.

Many doctors, however, are highly sceptical - dismissing the symptoms as imaginary and patients as delusional.

But a growing number of experts believe the symptoms are genuine, and the U.S. government's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating the condition - Morgellons disease - as reported in the New Scientist.


New study discovers why few people are devoid of racial bias

Why are some individuals not prejudiced? That is the question posed by a provocative new study appearing in the September issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The authors investigate how some individuals are able to avoid prejudicial biases despite the pervasive human tendency to favor one's own group.

Robert Livingston of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Brian Drwecki of the University of Wisconsin conducted studies that examined white college students who harbored either some or no racial biases. What is remarkable about the findings is that only seven percent did not show any racial bias (as measured by implicit and explicit psychological tests), and that nonbiased individuals differed from biased individuals in a psychologically fundamental way -- they were less likely to form negative affective associations in general.


Victims of child maltreatment more likely to perpetrate youth violence, intimate partner violence

Some people are caught in a cycle of violence, perhaps beginning with their own abuse as a child and continuing into perpetration or victimization as an adult. To interrupt this cycle, it is important to understand how childhood experiences are related to behavior later in life. In a paper published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers examined how forms of child maltreatment victimization and youth violence and young adult intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration or victimization are interrelated.

This study analyzed data from more than 9,300 respondents of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Respondents were asked about youth violence perpetration and victimization during Wave I of the study in 1994-1995, and were subsequently asked about IPV perpetration and victimization in young adult sexual relationships in Wave III of the study (2001-2002). Questions in Wave III assessed whether the respondent suffered physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect as a child. To evaluate IPV in young adults, this study was restricted to those respondents who reported at least one sexual relationship in the two years preceding Wave III. In addition, demographic and environmental variables were collected, such as parent education, employment status, school enrollment, and the county crime rate, among others. Youth violence was defined as fighting, hurting someone badly enough to need care, threatening to use a weapon, using a weapon, and shooting or stabbing someone. Intimate partner violence was defined as threatening a partner with violence; pushing, shoving, or throwing something at a partner; slapping, hitting, or kicking a partner; or insisting or making a partner have sexual relations when he or she did not want to do so.


Adverse Reactions to Aspartame: Double-Blind Challenge in Patients from a Vulnerable Population

Department of Psychiatry, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (RGW) and Department of Psychiatry (RGW) and Director of Research (RJG-W) Western Reserve Care System, Youngstown, OH; and Department of Psychiatry, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH (RH).


This study was designed to ascertain whether individuals with mood disorders are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of aspartame. Although the protocol required the recruitment of 40 patients with unipolar depression and a similar number of individuals without a psychiatric history, the project was halted by the Institutional Review Board after a total of 13 individuals had completed the study because of the severity of reactions within the group of patients with a history of depression.

In a crossover design, subjects received aspartame 30 mg/kg/day or placebo for 7 days. Despite the small n, there was a significant difference between aspartame and placebo in number and severity of symptoms for patients with a history of depression, whereas for individuals without such a history there was not. We conclude that individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to this artificial sweetener and its use in this population should be discouraged.

Life Preserver

Doctors Often Fail to Spot Suicidal Patients

(HealthDay News) -- Pointing to a disconnect between doctors and some of their neediest patients, a new study suggests that large numbers of physicians fail to spot symptoms that raise suicide risk.

U.S. researchers recruited actresses to act as patients and visit physicians while showing signs of depression or a similar disorder.

Only 36 percent of the doctors asked the "patients" about suicidal thoughts, the team found.

Magic Wand

Study: Acupuncture Works for Back Pain

CHICAGO - Fake acupuncture works nearly as well as the real thing for low back pain, and either kind performs much better than usual care, German researchers have found. Almost half the patients treated with acupuncture needles felt relief that lasted months. In contrast, only about a quarter of the patients receiving medications and other Western medical treatments felt better.


Suspected bird flu death in Indonesia

An Indonesian woman suspected of being infected with bird flu has died in the West Java city of Bandung, hospital sources there said today.

Samples from the 30-year-old woman have been sent for testing in Jakarta, said a staff member at Bandung's Hasan Sadikin general hospital who only identified himself as Herdi.


Solve all your problems with depression zapper

The most promising new treatment for severe depression isn't a pill. It's a permanent implant that shocks the brain. Is this what joy looks like?

Comment: That's one way to turn off the last vestiges of your conscience - zap it till it dies and all seems right in the world once again. Should we have expected something different when we put psychopaths in charge of "curing" us?


People who 'um' and 'ah' are more memorable than clear speakers

They are seen as a mark of poor communication, and can be. . . um. . . simply maddening for anyone waiting for a punchline.

But the utterances that slow down our sentences actually make us better understood, according to scientists.

They found that "ums", "ers" and "ahs" - known as "disfluencies" - force a listener to pay attention.