Health & WellnessS


Why we don't always learn from our mistakes

If you are struggling to retrieve a word that you are certain is on the tip of your tongue, or trying to perfect a slapshot that will send your puck flying into a hockey net, or if you keep stumbling over the same sequence of notes on the piano, be warned: you might be unconsciously creating a pattern of failure, a new study reveals.


UK: Drugs 'kill 23,000 Alzheimer's victims a year'

More than 23,000 elderly people with Alzheimer's could be dying prematurely in care homes each year after being given drugs to keep them quiet, a report claims today.

Anti-psychotic drugs, which are not licensed to treat dementia but are prescribed to control agitation, sleep disturbance and aggression, are being given to 100,000 elderly people to keep them "quiet and manageable", says a report by Paul Burstow, the Liberal Democrat MP and a campaigner for the rights of elderly people.


Statin Can Reduce Plaques That Cause Heart Attack

New research shows that an aggressive statin regimen can reduce the dangerous plaque that clogs arteries, causing heart attacks. Results were presented today at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session in Chicago and were published today in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.


Boosting self-esteem can backfire in decision-making

Smart business leaders understand that confidence affects decision-making and ultimately a company's earnings.

But giving employees positive feedback in the hopes of promoting better decisions sometimes can backfire, suggests new research from the psychology department and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the London Business School.

Some types of positive feedback actually can escalate perceived threats to the ego and increase the need to prove that a questionable decision was the right one.

Across several studies, the research examines how boosting self-esteem - whether contemplating one's own accomplishments or receiving positive feedback from others -- affects the face-saving impulse to justify and recommit to decisions whose outcomes seem dubious at best.

The specifics of the positive feedback or self-affirmation that occurs at a critical juncture of decision-making are key to whether a person recommits or walks away from a questionable decision, the studies suggest.


Are you my mother? Transference more pronounced when we are tired.

Sigmund Freud hailed the phenomenon of transference as fundamental to the process of dynamic psychotherapy. Freud depicted transference as a false connection between patient's memories of a past relationship and the therapeutic context. He noted it as an integral part in the psychoanalytic cure.

New theories present a very different interpretation of transference. In that, it transcends the therapeutic context and constitutes part and parcel of everyday social perception. Much like stereotypes, mental representations of significant others may be activated from memory and applied to new people that you meet who resemble someone you know.


Why the female flirt is wasting her time

Some girls merely flutter their eyelashes.

Others snuggle up close and play footsie, while the really forward type might venture a touch on the thigh.

But whatever the method of flirting it just doesn't work with most men, claim researchers.

The male brain, it seems, is hopeless at picking up "come-on" signals, according to a report to be published next month. This leaves men impervious to the seduction techniques of the opposite sex.


Indonesian child tests positive for bird flu

©REUTERS/Crack Palinggi
A chicken to be transported to a local market is seen in Jakarta March 24, 2008. Major efforts have done little to control H5N1 avian influenza in Indonesia and the country needs more help in controlling the virus, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.

An Indonesian child has tested positive for bird flu, pushing the country's total confirmed human cases to 130, a health ministry official said on Monday.

Lily Sulistyowati, the ministry's spokeswoman, said the 22-month-old girl from Sumatra's Bukit Tinggi fell sick on March 19 and the ministry is checking her neighborhood for possible backyard farming.

"Her condition is improving, and she is being treated at a Padang hospital," Sulistyowati told Reuters by telephone.


Sore Wrists And Hands Can Result From Our Work: But Is It Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Do you feel numbness, burning pain or a tingling sensation in your hand or wrist that seems to increase at night; have difficulty holding objects without dropping them; or find it increasingly difficult to perform repetitive movements such as using your computer mouse or keyboard without pain? If so, then you may be one of the estimated 2 million people in the United States affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. About half of all cases are work-related, and in fact, carpal tunnel syndrome accounts for the highest average number of days missed at work, when compared to all other work-related injuries or illnesses.

Hand X-Ray
©American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Hand X-Ray.


Preschool kids do better on tasks when they talk to themselves, research shows

Parents should not worry when their pre-schoolers talk to themselves; in fact, they should encourage it, says Adam Winsler, an associate professor of psychology at George Mason University. His recent study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly showed that 5-year-olds do better on motor tasks when they talk to themselves out loud (either spontaneously or when told to do so by an adult) than when they are silent.

"Young children often talk to themselves as they go about their daily activities, and parents and teachers shouldn't think of this as weird or bad," says Winsler. "On the contrary, they should listen to the private speech of kids. It's a fantastic window into the minds of children."


Mysterious fevers of unknown origin: could surgery be a cure?

A child spikes a high fever, sometimes as high as 104 or 105 degrees, and sometimes causing seizures. She's rushed to the emergency room, the hospital runs test after test, specialists are brought in, but no explanation is found.

Many families - though no one knows how many - go through this cyclical nightmare. The fevers seem to come like clockwork, aren't accompanied by any obvious symptoms and don't respond to antibiotics or fever reducers like Motrin or Tylenol. Instead, they vanish on their own after four to five days, only to return four to six weeks later.