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 Friday, April 28, 2000

True
Elian True is making the rounds on the Internet. It's Flash. It takes a while to download. But it's a funny parody of the commercial and the whole Elian situation.

(Posted at 11:11:03 AM EDT.)

Hostility, anger linked to chemical that may cause heart disease
"A new study has identified one possible reason that people who show high levels of hostility and anger are more likely to develop heart disease. Researchers at Ohio State University found that men and women with higher levels of hostility also showed higher levels of homocysteine -- a blood chemical strongly associated with coronary heart disease (CHD)." A good reason to be less hostile... you could be hastening your own death! Yikes.

(Posted at 11:08:18 AM EDT.)

 Thursday, April 27, 2000

Mighty things from small beginnings
"Like many parts of the human body, a platelet is a tiny but essential team member. One of its primary functions is to form blood clots -- this is called platelet aggregation -- both internally and externally. A study in the April issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found that certain levels of alcohol consumption may have positive consequences for coronary artery disease by inhibiting internal platelet aggregation." One of those benefits of moderate drinking... One drink a day.

(Posted at 11:27:11 AM EDT.)

The power of the mother-child bond
"It's no secret that a baby's survival, under normal circumstances, is dependent on the mother's behavior. Nourishment, appropriate body temperature, protection from harm - these are the basics. Yet researchers are also beginning to determine, as shown in a study in the April issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, that a mother's behavior, altered by alcohol, can have powerful and enduring effects on her infant's subsequent memories." Good stuff to know if you're a new mother or expecting. Reduce the alcohol intake and be sensitive to your behavior around your baby.

(Posted at 11:07:51 AM EDT.)

New data shows prescribers how to cut the cost of schizophrenia care while relieving patient distress
"A major new study evaluating the cost-effectiveness (1,901 patients, 61 centres, 9 countries) of atypical antipsychotics in schizophrenia have shown that treatment with Risperdal (risperidone) is 50% less expensive than olanzapine, with no difference in clinical outcomes." Hmm. Good news.

(Posted at 11:05:51 AM EDT.)

 Wednesday, April 26, 2000

Study: Depression Key For Heart
"Heart patients with chronic depression are three times more likely to suffer a second heart attack within a year of their first one, a study found. Short-term depression is common after a heart attack. The new findings suggest, however, that if depression lingers and there is no support from family, friends or mental health professionals, a second heart attack is likely." Wow. No more stronger evidence is needed to see how closely the body and mind are linked -- they are all a part of one system: you!

(Posted at 10:13:48 AM EDT.)

Childhood Memories Lost in the Haze
"Are childhood memories just as strong as those acquired later on? According to a team of researchers, the intuitive answer is the correct one: ``people really do remember less about things that happen to them in childhood,'' says Dr. Nora S. Newcombe of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania." Read the whole story from Reuters Health. As one data point, I remember not too much about my childhood, outside of a few event-driven memories.

(Posted at 10:11:49 AM EDT.)

If Everyone Believes In It...
... But science doesn't support it, does anyone care? "While alternative therapies have become more popular in the US over the past couple of decades, new survey findings indicate that 9 out 10 Americans believe that alternative medicine may help a wide variety of health conditions." Are they effective? Some are, some aren't. But Americans are apparently firmly entrenched in the idea that they might be.

(Posted at 10:09:38 AM EDT.)

 Tuesday, April 25, 2000

Well, it's time for me to get ready for my trip out to San Jose. Oh, how I love airplanes. Not. I'll bring you all back something from the West Coast, 'kay?
(Posted at 09:29:26 AM EDT.)

Criminal Cases Take Psychological Toll On Juries
"Sixteen months after his jury service ended, Edward Wack still carries an unwanted memento of the month he spent in Middlesex Superior Court: a detailed, indelible memory of the medical examiner's photos of 10-year-old Jeffrey Curley's suffocated, decomposing corpse." Juries put up with a lot more than we give them credit for. It's amazing to me that people can do it at all, given some of the cases in modern times. Let's not even mention their compensation!

(Posted at 09:16:07 AM EDT.)

Promising new Parkinson's treatment proves safe
"An experimental drug that may improve Parkinson's disease symptoms when used in conjunction with current therapies is safe for use by Parkinson's patients, according to a study published by the Parkinson Study Group in the April 25 issue of Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology's scientific journal.

Researchers found that Parkinson's disease patients did not improve when using the drug -- remacemide hydrochloride -- alone. However, recent preliminary studies have shown that remacemide hydrochloride, used in addition to currently prescribed dopaminergic drugs, such as levodopa, reduces Parkinson's disease symptoms and may slow disease progression." Good to hear... baby steps... we're getting there...
(Posted at 09:10:47 AM EDT.)

 Monday, April 24, 2000

Joys of Open Source Software
One of the most pleasurable joys of open source software is that you're never dependent on someone else's expertise or Web server to run things of value to you! For instance, there are other services online which allow you to something similar to what I do here. But guess what happens when they have network or server problems?!? Hundreds of Weblogs and journals go down and who suffers? Everyone, most importantly, the readers of all those Weblogs and journals. When everyone is responsible for maintaining their own server and software, then a single point of failure affects only that one Weblog or journal. Not hundreds of them. That's why I would never put any words I valued onto one of those other servers... I may never see them again!

(Posted at 06:33:15 PM EDT.)

Online Mental Health Services: An Opportunity, or an Alarm?
"With Americans turning to the Internet to find the perfect sofa, or even a car, then why not a therapist? To the excitement, and alarm, of experts in the field, new mental-health Web sites are beginning to pop up almost daily, and many are offering the type of counseling once offered only in the intimacy of a therapist's office." This is a NY Times article, so to access it, a one-time, free registration is required. Generally a well-thought out article which covers the major issues in this emerging field.

(Posted at 02:25:16 PM EDT.)

Want to read some thoughtful (and some not-so-thoughtful) commentary on the studies below? You can't beat SlashDot's geeky take on the whole issue.
(Posted at 02:02:55 PM EDT.)

Violent Video Games Can Increase Aggression
This press release from APA summarizes the results of two studies released today. "Playing violent video games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D or Mortal Kombat can increase a person's aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior both in laboratory settings and in actual life, according to two studies appearing in the April issue of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Furthermore, violent video games may be more harmful than violent television and movies because they are interactive, very engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor, say the researchers." One of the studies is available online for your perusal. I can't help but wonder, given the amount of exposure I've had over the years (some of which were in my formative developmental years), if I haven't developed an "aggressive personality." I don't think I have! Hmmm, I must be the exception to the rule...

(Posted at 02:00:53 PM EDT.)

Smoking cessation aids help smokers quit
"Rather than quitting cold turkey, more smokers are seeking assistance to help them quit smoking, and it seems to improve their odds of success, according to a new study. "Our findings refute some earlier suggestions that smoking-cessation programs may not have sufficient public health impact to justify their existence," said lead author Shu-Hong Zhu, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego." If you're going to do it, make a plan that uses one of these aids and stick to it. Personally, I recommend Quit Smoking Helper when it comes online next month.

(Posted at 10:43:24 AM EDT.)

I'm heading out of town this week, so updates may not occur daily. My apologies in advance.
(Posted at 10:39:55 AM EDT.)

OCD Has Strong Gene Ties
This article in the Archives of General Psychiatry illustrates that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has strong genetic ties, similar to bipolar disorder. But the main finding of the authors may be misconstrued or overgeneralized -- it does not mean that OCD is a genetic disorder like autism. It means that we've established a strong link for genetic predisposition for this disorder, but that other factors may actually be the determining trigger. The authors state, "The finding that OCD is familial is a necessary, albeit not sufficient, condition for genetic etiology." In other words, another piece of the puzzle, not the answer in and of itself.

(Posted at 10:39:00 AM EDT.)

 Saturday, April 22, 2000

Oh, and Happy Earth Day!!!!!!
(Posted at 11:04:55 PM EDT.)

Well, Something Must Be Said!
Okay, so I will say it. Happy Easter!!

(Posted at 11:04:33 PM EDT.)

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jul 2007
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-- W. Somerset Maugham
 
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