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Shocking! Chinese doctors plan to operate on human pin-cushion

Doctors have discovered 26 needles embedded in the body of a woman in China, believed to have been inserted not long after she was born by grandparents upset she was not a boy, state media said Friday.

The sewing needles were found in an X-ray after the 29-year-old, Luo Cuifen, went to a hospital in Yunnan province complaining of blood in her urine, the Beijing Morning Post reported.

Doctors plan to operate to remove as many of the needles as they can, it said, but face "great difficulties" as the images show several had penetrated vital organs including her lungs, liver, bladder, small intestine and kidneys.

Red Flag

CDC: Suicide Rate Among U.S. Girls Soars

ATLANTA - The suicide rate among preteen and young teen girls spiked 76 percent, a disturbing sign that federal health officials say they can't fully explain.

Red Flag

Chickens culled in southern Russia after bird flu outbreak

About 22,000 birds have been culled at a poultry farm in south Russia's Krasnodar Territory following a bird flu outbreak, local emergency services said Wednesday.

Specialists from the local veterinary watchdog have launched a set of measures to contain the spread in the Bryukhovetsky District, including health checks, thermal processing of seeds, and scaring wild birds away from farms. Revaccination of domestic birds in the region is underway.

Magic Wand

Having right timing 'connections' in brain is key to overcoming dyslexia

Using new software developed to investigate how the brains of dyslexic children are organized, University of Washington researchers have found that key areas for language and working memory involved in reading are connected differently in dyslexics than in children who are good readers and spellers.

However, once the children with dyslexia received a three-week instructional program, their patterns of functional brain connectivity normalized and were similar to those of good readers when deciding if sounds went with groups of letters in words.

"Some brain regions are too strongly connected functionally in children with dyslexia when they are deciding which sounds go with which letters," said Todd Richards, a UW neuroimaging scientist and lead author of a study published in the current issue of the Journal of Neurolinguistics. "We had hints in previous studies that the ability to decode novel words improves when a specific brain region in the right hemisphere decreases in activation. This study suggests that the deactivation may result in a disconnection in time from the comparable region in the left hemisphere, which in turn leads to improved reading. Reading requires sequential as well as simultaneous processes."

Richards and co-author Virginia Berninger, a neuropsychologist, said temporal connectivity, or the ability of different parts of the brain to "talk" with each other at the same time or in sequence, is a key in overcoming dyslexia. Berninger, who directs the UW's Learning Disabilities Center, compared dyslexia to an orchestra playing with an ineffective conductor who does not keep all the musicians playing in synchrony with each other.

Health

Study identifies key player in the body's immune response to chronic stress

Osteopontin (OPN), a protein molecule involved in many different cellular processes, plays a significant role in immune deficiency and organ atrophy following chronic physiological stress, resulting in increased susceptibility to illness. These findings appear in the September 4th issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study is supported by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), the Busch Biomedical Research Grant, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Rutgers Technology Commercialization Fund. Authors on the paper include Dr. Yufang Shi, investigator on NSBRI's Radiation Effects Team and professor of molecular genetics, microbiology and immunology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Dr. David T. Denhardt, one of the discoverers of OPN, professor of cell biology and neuroscience at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and Kathryn X. Wang, graduate student in the Rutgers Graduate Program in Cell and Developmental Biology.

Attention

Study documents rapid increase in youth bipolar disorder diagnoses

The estimated number of youth with office visits with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder substantially increased between 1994 and 2003, while adult visits with a bipolar disorder diagnoses appeared to almost double, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric illness that typically involves periods of mania (an abnormally elevated mood) and depression. "Although bipolar disorder may have its onset during childhood, little is known about national trends in the diagnosis and management of bipolar disorder in young people," the authors write as background information in the article.

Carmen Moreno, M.D., of the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon, Servicio de Psiquiatria, Madrid, Spain, and colleagues analyzed data from a national survey of office-based physicians designed to represent all such clinicians in the United States. The physicians provided information about demographic, clinical and treatment aspects of each patient visit for a one-week time period. The researchers compared the rate of growth in bipolar disorder diagnoses among individuals age 19 and under to that of individuals age 20 and older from 1994 to 1995 through 2002 to 2003. They also compared demographic information and prescribed treatments between the two groups during the years 1999 to 2003.

Comment: Due to massive and unfounded prescription of mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and antidepressants, we tend to conclude that this increase is a result of deliberate overdiagnosis.


Coffee

UI professor identifies new eating disorder, seeks study participants

A University of Iowa professor is making a case for a new eating disorder she calls purging disorder.

The disorder is similar to bulimia nervosa in that both syndromes involve eating, then trying to compensate for the calories. What sets the disorders apart is the amount of food consumed and the way people compensate for what they eat. Women with purging disorder eat normal or even small amounts of food and then purge, often by vomiting. Women with bulimia have large, out-of-control binge eating episodes followed by purging, fasting or excessive exercise.

"Purging disorder is new in the sense that it has not been officially recognized as a unique condition in the classification of eating disorders," said Pamela Keel, associate professor of psychology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, "But it's not a new problem. Women were struggling with purging disorder long before we began studying it."

In a paper published this week in the Archives of General Psychiatry, Keel shares the results of a study indicating that purging disorder is a significant problem in women that is distinct from bulimia.

Health

Warnings over food additive E numbers that make children misbehave

Parents will be alerted this week to ensure children avoid artificial additives in drinks, sweets and processed foods because of explosive evidence about the effects on behaviour.

A plausible connection to tantrums, poor concentration and slow progress at school is understood to have been found in a study to be published by the Government's Food Standards Agency.

Food industry leaders have been summoned to a meeting with the FSA today for a briefing on the research and its implications.

©Daily Mail

Health

Popcorn supplier to drop toxic chemical

ConAgra, the world's largest supplier of the 3 billion bags of microwave popcorn sold each year, said Tuesday that it will eliminate the use of a controversial chemical butter flavoring linked to severe lung disease in workers from its Act II and Orville Redenbacher products.

The announcement comes a week after Pop Weaver, the nation's second-largest popcorn producer, said it already had pulled the synthetic flavoring -- diacetyl -- from its microwave product delivered to stores last month.

Bulb

Avian Flu Spread by Poultry, Not Wild Birds

The search for answers to the spread of the deadly bird flu virus is calling into question a long-held practice in science where recognition is given to positive test results, say experts meeting in the Thai capital.

It stems from lack of clear evidence to link wild birds to the cases of avian influenza (AI) that have infected poultry populations across countries and continents, they add. Yet this view has not taken flight because of "a bias in science" against "negative test results".