Health & WellnessS


Parents facing full brunt of the state as more choose health freedom from vaccinations

AS states move to require more vaccines for school-age children, an increasing number of parents are saying no to some of the inoculations. They are seeking exemptions from the state in growing numbers, citing religious reasons or saying that they believe the vaccines will do more harm than good.

©New York Times
SECOND THOUGHTS Jaime Polatsek, of Trumbull, Conn., stopped allowing vaccinations for her children, Coby and Sophie, after Sophie was found to have autism.


Is depression good for you?

Pills aren't the answer to helping many people recover from depression, says a report out this week. But there's growing evidence that gloominess could be a positive experience.

What depressed the cavemen? It may strike us as a particularly modern malaise for a time-poor, fast-paced society but a new reappraisal of depression suggests it has always been around.


The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know

The YouTube clip opens with a woman facing away from the camera, rocking back and forth, flapping her hands awkwardly, and emitting an eerie hum. She then performs strange repetitive behaviors: slapping a piece of paper against a window, running a hand lengthwise over a computer keyboard, twisting the knob of a drawer. She bats a necklace with her hand and nuzzles her face against the pages of a book. And you find yourself thinking: Who's shooting this footage of the handicapped lady, and why do I always get sucked into watching the latest viral video?

Autism researchers
©Jessica Dimmock
Michelle Dawson, right, is autistic. She's also a researcher in the lab of Laurent Mottron (left), a psychiatrist who specializes in autism.


Flashback French Women Don't Get Fat but Do Get Lucky

Paris, France -- If I have to get old, I want to do it in Paris.

It's not because of the dank weather, the constant personal snubs or a fetish for unpasteurized cheese. It's because, quite frankly, I'd like to keep having sex.

Comment: While this piece is somewhat fluffy and celebrity-obsessed, it does point up something of the Puritanism of English-speaking societies, which can lead to a loss of playfulness in many areas of life. Engendered by such Puritan attitudes, deep-seated insecurities about oneself commonly lead to a fractured psyche - which can then be exploited all the more easily by our grim masters.

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Low-intensity exercise reduces fatigue symptoms by 65 percent, study finds

Sedentary people who regularly complain of fatigue can increase their energy levels by 20 percent and decrease their fatigue by 65 percent by engaging in regular, low intensity exercise, according to a new University of Georgia study.

"Too often we believe that a quick workout will leave us worn out - especially when we are already feeling fatigued," said researcher Tim Puetz, who recently completed his doctorate at UGA and is the lead author of the study. "However, we have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy - particularly in sedentary individuals."


Maternal love: How a mother's brain responds to her infant

The distinctive ability of mothers to identify the cries of their offspring is widely evident in nature, where it is critical to the survival of these offspring. In humans, we are aware that the distinctive ability of mothers to recognize and respond to the smiles and cries of their babies plays an important role in the psychological, cognitive, and social development of these babies. We have had a very limited understanding of how the maternal brain accomplishes these amazing feats, but a new study published in the February 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry now provides some new insight.


When couples face the diagnosis of cancer, women carry a larger emotional burden than men

In a couple where one of the partners is diagnosed with cancer, women are more consistently and severely distressed than men, regardless of whether they are the person with the disease or the healthy partner. The results of a research paper appearing in the Psychological Bulletin report that when a couple is faced with coping with a diagnosis of cancer, gender plays a greater role than who the patient is.

For more than twenty-years, researchers have accumulated anecdotal and statistical evidence that has been inconclusive and even contradictory as to who carries the greater psychological burden in a couple struggling with the diagnosis of cancer, the patient or the spouse" The researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University Medical Center Groningen, in the Netherlands, conducted the exhaustive study that analyzed the findings of 43 studies from around the world that assessed distress in couples coping with cancer.


Almost 120,000 Russian orphans adopted last year

Some 120,000 Russian orphans were adopted both in Russia and abroad in 2007, a 6.4% increase from 2006, an official with Russia's Science and Education Ministry said on Friday.

"A significant growth in the amount of children adopted was seen in more than 40% of Russian regions," said Alina Levitskaya, the director of the ministry's department for education, higher education and social protection.


Blood thinner may be linked to more deaths

The Changzhou SPL plant
©Du Bin / The New York Times
The Changzhou SPL plant, which is west of Shanghai, supplied much of the active ingredient for the blood thinner heparin.

Amid indications that more people may have died or been harmed after being given a brand of the blood thinner heparin, U.S. federal drug regulators said Thursday that they had found "potential deficiencies" at a Chinese plant that supplied much of the active ingredient for the drug.


Government Flu Shots: From "Recommended" to Mandatory

The government has taken one step closer to realizing its dream of forcing people to get flu shots. Whereas the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices used to "recommend" that children from 6 months to five years get flu shots, it now recommends that all "children" from ages 6 months to 18 years old get them. In short time, this will become mandatory, as will all other medicinal "recommendations" of the State. The states are already doing this.