Health & WellnessS


Drug Ads On TV May Infuence Americans To Overmedicate

A UCLA study suggests that direct to consumer television advertisements of prescription drugs may be influencing Americans to believe they are sicker than they really are and this could lead to taking more medication than they actually need.

The study is published in the current edition of the Annals of Family Medicine.

It was funded by the National Cancer Institute's Centers of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and was led by Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr Dominick Frosch.


Medical Mystery: Genetic Secret to a Long Life?

Despite indulging in an artery-clogging diet that could make even an Italian grandmother cringe, the 400 or so residents of tiny Stoccareddo, Italy, have virtually no heart disease or diabetes, and often live into their 90s.

At first blush, nothing seems to be unusual about the tiny town, other than the shocks of red hair that are oddly common here. But a little sniffing around reveals not only fresh air and the tantalizing scent of Italian food cooking, but also a tasty medical mystery.


Unvaccinated Kids Barred From Attending School

Maryland - Officials say they are working with the health department to make sure the remaining students are vaccinated so they may return to school. "If they stay out of school for too many days, it becomes an issue of truancy," Mowen said. Officials have said they might use the court system to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated. Hanlin said before that option is explored officials are "trying to find out what the road blocks are" to being vaccinated." - Erin Cunningham, The Hagerstown Morning Herald, MD


Indigo children - Evolved Narcissists?

There was a huge crash from the living room. A second later, New Hampshire skated through the kitchen on his Heelys screaming "Watch me! Watch me!" as he slammed into our refrigerator. New Hampshire is my cousin's 6-year-old.

He won't eat vegetables, is allergic to gluten, peanuts, latex, penicillin, cats, bees and shellfish. He is, against all odds, overweight. And surly. I can't tell you how I look forward to their visits.

His parents, Hanna and Pat, had their hearts set on naming him after a state, like Indiana Jones, but most of the good state names had been taken by the time he was born. In New Hampshire's prekindergarten class there are two Dakotas, two Nevadas, a Montana, a Georgia, a Florida, a Virginia, a Tennessee and an Arizona.


US obesity tsar punished

It wasn't quite as bad as putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop. Still, the law takes a dim view when the head of the US Food and Drug Administration fails to own up to profiting from soft drinks and food while determining policy on obesity. Lester Crawford this week paid the price for this notable lapse.


'Supersize me' revisited - under lab conditions

If you had bumped into nursing student Adde Karimi last September, he probably wouldn't have had much time to stop and chat. He was too busy stuffing his face with burgers, cola and milkshakes. It takes a lot of planning to get 6600 calories of junk food down you in a day, he explains. If you are not a born glutton, serious overeating also requires a high level of commitment. Karimi's motivation was commendable. "I did it because I wanted to hate this type of food," he says. He also did it for science.


How sunshine triggers skin repair

A blast of sunshine could help fight skin diseases and cancer by attracting immune cells to the skin surface, according to a new study.

Eugene Butcher at Stanford University in California, US, and colleagues discovered an interesting immune process in human skin. Immune cells in the skin, called dendritic cells, convert vitamin D3 (produced in exposed skin in response to sunlight) into its active form.


Marked rise in Neurological Disorders in the US debated by scientists

Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease are becoming more common in the US, a large new analysis suggests.

Deborah Hirtz at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, US, and colleagues reviewed about 500 research articles describing the prevalence of 12 diseases commonly identified and treated by neurologists.


Menstrual mood swings may have a use after all

The monthly mood swings experienced by many women may serve an evolutionary purpose, researchers say, by helping to get them pregnant.

Levels of sex hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone fluctuate throughout a woman's monthly menstrual cycle. During the follicular phase at the start of the cycle, the egg is maturing and the body releases oestrogen, while during the luteal phase, when a fertilised egg might implant, progesterone is secreted.

Comment: And they had to do a study to figure that out?! Astonishing. Most women already know it.


Brace yourself for blues Monday

If you wake up feeling blue Monday, it's no wonder.

Monday is the most depressing day of the year, according to a United Kingdom psychologist.

Dr. Cliff Arnall developed a formula three years ago as a public relations campaign for a travel agency to boost travel during the industry's slowest month of the year. Arnall took factors like weather, debts, monthly salary, time since Christmas, time since failed attempt to quit (for example, to quit smoking), low motivational levels and the need to take action.