Sunday, 26 August 2012

Medicine stuff from the fortnight 13-26/8/12

Are Energy Drinks Safe? - C0nc0rdance

New Tech To Cure Blindness (Brainstorm Ep98)

People with depression often speak in a flat, monotonous way, and also speak slower, and with longer hesitations, most obviously in those who are severely depressed.
This means it might be feasible to assess people's depressive symptoms by simply giving them a phone call, and using their mode of speech to assess their condition.

"Brain imaging and post-mortem studies provide evidence that the wealth of connections in the brain are reduced in individuals with depression, with the result of impaired functional connections between key brain centers involved in mood regulation."
This is the so-called 'vicious spiral' - depression undermines ability to cope with experiences, locking the sufferer into more depression.

It might seem frivolous to us, but poor oral health - mitigated by brushing teeth, and fluoridation of drinking water - can have a serious effect on the sufferer's life.
Kids miss days of schooling to deal with dental problems, incurring missed work days for their parents, too, and usually because the kids' teeth weren't maintained effectively.
"Eleven percent of children who had limited access to dental care—whether due to lack of insurance, lack of transportation, or other barriers—missed school due to their poor oral health, as opposed to only four percent of children who had easier access to dental care."
As was been outlined in a New Scientist special, health and socio-economic status are intrinsically linked -- poor health causes poverty, and vice versa.

Despite being regarded as a problem that mainly effects men, sleep apnoea - where the airways clamp of during sleep, causing breathing to stop, and often correlating with insomnia and snoring - is also common in women.

Yet another success story for vaccines:
'Chickenpox cases fall 80% over decade'
"Chickenpox cases in the United States dropped almost 80 percent between 2000 and 2010 in 31 states following routine use of the varicella vaccine"

'Work has more benefits than just a paycheck for moms'
Ocean Dilemma again -- is the working lifestyle better for their health, or do the healthier women have healthier lifestyles, resulting in more work?

Stress at work, according to this study, doesn't seem good for women's health, where diabetes is concerned:

Note to remember: workers make fewer claims for mental illnesses than physical ones.
We can hypothesise that this will be due to fear of stigma about mental health difficulty, and also cultural attitude to whether mental illness is even real.

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