Category: Health

Chronic pain stems from childhood ills

By Health 24

Children who experience abuse or other adversities and develop mental health disorders are at increased risk for chronic physical problems when they’re adults, according to a new study.

Researchers examined data from people in 10 countries included in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys initiative. The team looked at anxiety disorders and depression in children and at the following childhood adversities: abuse, neglect, loss of a parent through death or other causes, divorce, parental substance abuse, parental criminal behaviour, family violence and being poor.

Full story at Health 24

HIV, STD Exposure Risk Increases With Methamphetamine Use

By Nancy A. Melville

Methamphetamine use among younger men who report having sex with older men significantly increases the risk for exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV, according to a study published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

As part of the Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions, Peter Freeman, MPH, from the Children’s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional observational study, surveying 595 adolescent boys and young men who have sex with men, aged 12 to 24 years, recruited from social venues (eg, clubs, parks, and street corners) in 8 US cities. Recruitment took place between January 3, 2005 and August 21, 2006. Among the participants, 64 respondents reported having used methamphetamines in the past 90 days. The methamphetamine users were found to have higher STD rates than those who did not use methamphetamine or other hard drugs in the preceding 90 days (51.6% vs 21.1%), higher rates of 2 or more sex partners in the past 90 days (85.7% vs 63.1%), much higher rates of sex with an injection-drug user (51.6% vs 10.7%), and sex with someone who has HIV (32.8% vs 11.1%). Each of these comparisons was statistically significant (P < .05).

Full story at Medscape Today

Medical marijuana for man’s best friend: Seattle company develops ‘pot patch’ for dogs

By Jennifer Madison

A Seattle company is developing a medical marijuana patch for man’s best friend.

Medical Marijuana Delivery Systems LLC has licensed a patent for Tetracan, a ‘pot patch’ intended as a pain relief alternative to pharmaceuticals.

Company president Jim Alekson says could it used on dogs, cats and horses – and he expects it will be ready for market by the end of this year.

Full story at Daily Mail Online

Walmart’s Food Deserts: Greening the Bottom Line

By Eric Holt Gimenez

Recently. First Lady Michelle Obama announced that SUPERVALU, Walgreens and Walmart committed to open or expand 1,500 supermarkets across America’s food deserts — low-income areas without easy access to a supermarket. But while improving food access is a noble goal, the announcement merits a closer look.

Critics of the program note that health disparities are more strongly related to poverty than location of grocery stores. In fact, a recently published study in a top medical journal found that "greater supermarket availability was generally unrelated to diet quality…" Responding to the announcement, Joe Hansen, of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), pointed out that "Walmart is more responsible than any other private employer in our country for creating poverty-level jobs that leave workers unable to purchase healthy food."

For Walmart, urban expansion has nothing to do with food deserts. Walmart desperately needs a fix to its sagging bottom line.

Full story at Huffington Post

Teen athletes at greater risk for osteoarthritis

By HealthDay News

Children and teens with abnormal development of the long bone between the pelvis and knee from playing high-intensity sports, such as soccer and basketball, are at greater risk for osteoarthritis of the hip, according to a new study.

Swiss researchers explained that deformities of the top of that bone — known as the femur — leads to reduced rotation and pain during movement among young competitive athletes. This may explain why athletes are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than more sedentary individuals, according to Dr. Klaus Siebenrock, from the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Full story at

After an Emergency, Comprehensive Care Is Best for Older Patients

BY Health Behavior News Service

Older people rushed to the emergency room are more likely to be living at home up to a year later if they receive a comprehensive and age-appropriate evaluation during their hospital stay.

That’s the finding of a new review of recent studies that evaluate the usefulness of a comprehensive geriatric assessment, or CGA. “Rather than a single assessment, a CGA is a thorough examination of an older person’s medical background and psychological and functional capabilities, combined with a multidisciplinary treatment plan,” said Graham Ellis, M.D., lead review author and a geriatrician at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie, Scotland.

Conducted by a team of health care workers who specialize in geriatric care, Ellis and colleagues said, a thorough assessment could save lives and spare older patients further deterioration and colleagues.

“There is a clear and significant improvement in the chances of a patient being alive and in their own home at up to a year after an emergency hospital admission if they receive coordinated specialist services,” Ellis said.

Full story at

Muscles in a Vial: Can a Single Shot Turn You Into Captain America?

By Gregory Mone

Thor is a god, the Green Lantern linked up with some aliens, and the X-Men got their powers from genetic mutations. But Captain America, the latest superhero to attempt box-office domination this summer, owes his abilities to science. Through an experiment, the skinny weakling Steve Rogers becomes a super-soldier who pushes the limits of human performance.

In the movie, the so-called "rebirth" takes place inside a heavily wired and illuminated pod. The pod pumps him with drugs, lights flash, electronics spark, and, in a matter of minutes, the previously 90-pound Rogers emerges looking like a cross between a linebacker and an Abercrombie and Fitch model.

Impossible, right?

Full story at

The Stigma Around Aging And Chronic Pain

By Richard W. Besdine, M.D.

"Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death itself."

– Physician and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

When you’re in pain, nothing else seems to matter. And if you’re an older adult, you are not only more likely to have pain, but also to get less help for it than younger people are.

Chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined, and is the top-cited reason for seeking medical care. The relief of pain is the heart and soul of health care. And while always unwelcome, pain often has an important role to play. It can provide a warning that something is wrong, such as infection or undiagnosed disease. It is sometimes called the "fifth vital sign," as essential as temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate, for assessing health status.

Full story at Huffington Post

Clinical study to test tobacco plants that produce antibodies for HIV

By News Medical

Pharmaceuticals can be produced by plants. Antibodies that have been produced  in tobacco plants will now for the first time be tested in a clinical study. The decision was announced at a press conference in London on Tuesday July 19th 2011.

UK regulators have approved Europe’s first clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody produced from genetically modified plants. This landmark decision sets the stage for the testing, in humans, of an anti-HIV product made from genetically modified tobacco plants. It will open the door for trials of additional plant-derived medicines treating a range of diseases.

The trial will test the safety of a plant-derived antibody designed to stop the transmission of HIV between sexual partners when applied directly to the vaginal cavity. If proven safe in the 11 participants, the researchers can then go on to test the effectiveness of the product.

Full story at

Portable robotic device, videogames can help patients to recover from stroke

By News Medical

Today 15 million persons throughout the world suffer from an ictus every year and 5 million are left with chronic disabilities. FIK designed a system for alleviating neuromuscular disability amongst these patients from their homes and by which these can be permanently supervised by the therapist who will be able to carry out a quantitative evaluation of the therapy. To this end, they have brought together new technologies and entertainment and a greater quality of rehabilitation.

The patient will be able to enhance his or her arm mobility by means of a portable robotic device and a software platform with videogames for tele-rehabilitation, so that the doctor can carry out the online monitoring of these exercises through the quantitative results obtained from the said games. This is the ArmAssist project, currently based at the La Fe Hospital in Valencia, to find out the degree of satisfaction of patients who have suffered a brain stroke and admitted to this hospital. Subsequently ArmAssist will be tested in other geographical areas such as Barcelona`s Guttmann Institute.

Full story at