Sports-related concussion symptoms linger twice as long for adolescent girls

Adolescent female athletes suffer concussion symptoms twice as long as their male counterparts, according to a new study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Researchers found the extended recovery period may be due to underlying conditions including migraines, depression, anxiety and stress.

The research analyzed the medical records of 110 male and 102 female athletes, ages 11 to 18, with first-time concussion diagnoses. The median duration of symptoms was 11 days for boys and 28 days for girls. The data also showed that symptoms resolved within three weeks for 75 percent of boys, compared to 42 percent of girls.

“These findings confirm what many in sports medicine have believed for some time,” said lead researcher John Neidecker, DO, a sports concussion specialist in Raleigh, North Carolina. “It highlights the need to take a whole person approach to managing concussions, looking beyond the injury to understand the mental and emotional impacts on recovery when symptoms persist.”

Full story at Science Daily

7 Steps to Reduce Stroke Risk

A man’s last years ought to be spent strapped to the fighting chair of a game-fisher while battling a black marlin, not tethered to a nursing-home bed, incontinent and unable to talk.

Steps to Reduce Stroke RiskBut the latter is a likely scenario if you’re one of approximately 600,000 Americans who will have a stroke this year.

“Your chance of dying is 20 percent-but you have a 40 percent chance of being disabled and a 25 percent chance of being severely disabled,” says Dr. David Spence, director of the stroke-prevention center at the Robarts Research Institute in Canada.

10 Questions Every Man Must Ask His Doctor

An ischemic stroke—the kind that affects most men—occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked by arterial plaque that has broken loose and caused a blood clot. In fact, it’s just like a heart attack, only instead of heart cells dying for lack of blood, brain cells are kicking off-thousands of brain cells. Perhaps paralyzing half of your body. Or slurring your speech. Or plunging you into senility.

But a “brain attack” is not inevitable.

“Fifty to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented,” says Dr. David Wiebers, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic and author of Stroke-Free for Life. “Making the simple choices at 25, 35, or 45 years of age can make an enormous difference in preventing stroke when you’re in your 60s, 70s, or 80s.”

Full story of reducing stroke risk at ABC News

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12 odd pain relief tricks that work

pain-reliefAfter, oh, age 8 or so, you no longer get away with wailing when you get stung by a bee or stub your toe. But unfortunately—whether it’s a much-needed bikini wax or your annual mammogram—pain is a part of our everyday lives. It turns out, though, that you don’t have to rely only on your OTC aspirin to get relief. Research reveals some quirky but effective natural ways to reduce aches without popping a pill.

1. Shout a four-letter word

Next time you take a spill, don’t hold your tongue. Swearing can increase your tolerance for discomfort, found British researchers. People could keep their hands submerged 35% longer in a tub of ice-cold water when they repeated an epithet in lieu of a more acceptable word. Swearing may trigger a series of physical and hormonal reactions that ease the sting of an injury.

2. Flip through photos

Scanning your iPhone for loving faces before an uncomfortable test like a mammogram may make it more bearable. Women who viewed pictures of their partners during a lab test reported less pain than those who looked at inanimate objects or strangers. A loving face may spur the release of chemicals that shut down pain-processing areas of the brain.

Full story of pain relief tricks at Fox News

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

BioHug offers hug therapy in an automatic vest

BioHug Offers Hug Therapy for PTSDBioHug’s Israeli pressure garment provides custom soothing for people with autism, PTSD and others prone to high stress.

Most of us have moments when we could really use a hug – when we’re sad, lonely, scared or stressed. The therapeutic value of a good squeeze for emotional wellbeing is well documented.

For people affected by autism, post-traumatic stress and anxiety or attention disorders, research has shown that hugging is an especially effective soother.

That is the scientific fact behind the development of the BioHug Vest by Haifa-based BioHug Technologies. Already in use and soon to roll out to a wider market, the vest provides an effective, portable, non-restraining stress-relief solution using deep, hug-like pressure.

“We’re all familiar with stress, which is associated with lots of health problems,” says BioHug CEO Andrew Schiffmiller. “For some populations it can be associated with much more severe symptoms – someone with autism under stress may injure himself or others, while someone with ADHD under stress may be unable to stay on task.”

Full story of BioHug at Isreal 21

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Yoga’s physical, mental benefits touted

Yoga Health BenefitsDon Ammon took up yoga 15 years ago as a way to combat the anxiety he felt as a result of his multiple sclerosis.

He didn’t anticipate getting a physical benefit as well.

Ammon, who was diagnosed with MS in 1991 and said he “was limping around with an AFO (ankle-foot orthotic) by 1995,” no longer needs the brace.

He credits yoga.

“It’s helped with focus and balance,” said Ammon, 49, of Monroeville. “I was able to strengthen the whole right side of my body. I’m more flexible, (and) I’m stronger now than I was then.”

Ammon said his last MS flare-up occurred in 2005, although he still deals with numbness in his hands and feet.

Dr. Betsy Blazek-O’Neill, medical director of the integrated medical program in Allegheny General alHospital, said Ammon’s isn’t an isolated case. She said yoga can benefit many people, no matter their age or condition.

Full story of yoga benefits at Trib Live

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Relieve Chronic Pain By De-Stressing, Study Says

De-Stressing Helps Chronic PainLiving with chronic pain can be truly stressful, but a new study contributes to growing research that managing stress may help reduce discomfort as well. Doctors from the University of Montreal found an association between the intensity of the pain experienced by chronic pain patients and their reported stress levels.

In the small study of just 24 participants, 16 of whom had chronic pain and 18 of whom were healthy control subjects, researchers found that patients who had a smaller hippocampus were more likely to also have higher cortisol levels. And higher levels of the stress hormone, in turn, contribute to increased reported pain scores on a scale of intensity.

"Our study shows that a small hippocampal volume is associated with higher cortisol levels, which lead to increased vulnerability to pain and could increase the risk of developing pain chronicity," lead author Étienne Vachon-Presseau said in a statement.

Full story of chronic pain and de-stressing at Huffington Post

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Massage as Part of a Multidisciplinary Treatment Program for Fibromyalgia

By Massage Mag.com

Massage To Treat FibromyalgiaMassage therapy and other touch therapies, including craniosacral and myofascial release, have been found through research to reduce pain, anxiety and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia.

A new study shows that a health care program that included massage therapy, ischemic pressure on the 18 tender points, aerobic exercise and thermal therapy resulted in "significant" improvement in overall health perception, social functioning, grip strength and a walking test among fibromyalgia patients.

Full story at Massagemag.com

Omega-3 Relieves Anxiety, Inflammation in Healthy Sample

By Rick Nauert, PHD

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In a new study, Ohio State researchers discovered consumption of fish oil reduced inflammation and anxiety among a group of healthy young people.

Researchers believe the findings suggest the elderly and people at high risk for certain diseases may benefit from similar dietary supplements.

The research is published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity and is the latest from more than three decades of research into links between psychological stress and immune response.

The benefits from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been debated for the last 30 years.

Full story at PsychCentral