Review Category : Health

Excessive Video Game Playtime Can Affect Kids’ Behavior, Study Finds

iStock/Thinkstock(OXFORD, England) — Don’t worry so much about your children playing violent video games. Worry more about the time they actually spend with their games and controllers.

That’s the takeaway from a new study that actually found no definitive link between the types of games youngsters player and outward aggression and bad study habits.

However, University of Oxford researchers led by study author Dr. Andy Przybylski say that children who spend three or more hours daily playing video games tend to be hyperactive, do worse in school and are more apt to pick fights than their peers.

They based their findings on teacher evaluations of 200 students ages 12 and 13, matched with surveys the same youngsters filled out about their video game habits.

The Oxford study appears to corroborate a previous recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics that parents should monitor their children’s digital playtime.

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Medical Schools Lacking in Courses Teaching Physical Activity

iStock/Thinkstock(CORVALLIS, Ore.) — If you can’t recall the last time your personal physician told you about the benefits of exercise, you’re probably not alone.

Brad Cardinal, an Oregon State University professor of exercise and sport science, says the problem has to do with medical schools failing to teach students about the importance of staying fit.

The point was proven through an analysis of data from 118 accredited medical schools that listed their curriculum online. Of that group, half offered no courses related to physical activity, 21 percent offered just one course on the topic and of the schools that featured course work related to physical activity, less than one in five made them required.

Cardinal and his team came away from their research somewhat disappointed since doctors are often their patients’ go-to source for information about personal health.

Although Cardinal doesn’t doubt the expertise of physicians when it comes to knowing what’s right for the people they care for, what they need to learn is how to relate to a patient’s specific needs, which can come from formal education on the medical school level.

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FDA Offers Final Guidance on Painkillers with Abuse-Deterrent Properties

moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released its “final guidance” on opioid painkillers with potentially abuse-deterrent properties on Wednesday.

In the 29-page report, the FDA aimed to explain its “current thinking about the studies that should be conducted to demonstrate that a given formulation has abuse-deterrent properties.” The FDA notes that opioid drugs provide “significant benefit for patients when used properly,” but that the risk of abuse and death are worrisome.

Because of that, the FDA is encouraging manufacturers to develop drugs that work correctly when taken as prescribed, but make it difficult to abuse. “While drugs with abuse-deterrent properties are not ‘abuse-proof,’ the FDA sees this guidance as an important step toward balancing appropriate access to opioids for patients with pain with the importance of reducing opioid misuse and abuse,” an FDA press release reads.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement that “the science of abuse-deterrent medication is rapidly evolving, and the FDA is eager to engage with manufacturers to help make these medications available to patients who need them.”

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Alabama Baby Born Without a Nose, Mom Says He’s Perfect

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Eli Thompson came into this world in the late afternoon of March 4, perfectly healthy but with one distinction — he didn’t have a nose.

“The day I delivered, everything went fine,” his mother, Brandi McGlathery, told ABC News Wednesday. “At 4:42 when he was born, he came out and the doctor put him on my chest. When I took a closer look at him, I said, ‘He doesn’t have a nose,’ and they took him out of the room.”

“He had the most apologetic look on my face,” she said. “I knew right away that something was wrong.”

Although her baby showed no signs of additional abnormalities, McGlathery said she was at first shocked and upset to hear the news from her doctor.

Dr. R. Craig Brown, McGlathery’s obstetrician, said his own research has revealed only 38 cases of “absolutely nothing being wrong other than no nose.” That’s very, very rare.

“I’ve seen facial abnormalities, cleft lip and pallet, but this is the first time I’ve seen a case with just no nose,” Brown told ABC News.

McGlathery became Brown’s patient early in her pregnancy, he said, noting that the 23-year-old mom of three showed no signs of a high risks, and tests showed Eli to have a nasal bone.

“She came in right at 37 weeks and went into labor,” Brown said. “Once I delivered him and we cleaned him off I could tell something wasn’t right, but I didn’t want to alarm her.”

Other than not having a nose, “he’s doing great,” Brown said. “He’s a super cute kid and you could tell he was fighting.”

“I recounted everything I did throughout my pregnancy to figure out if I did something wrong,” McGlathery said. “I realized it was nothing anyone did. I mean, he’s perfect. I’m not going to say I was sad. I was just scared for him because I didn’t think he’d make it.”

Because Eli was born without a nose, he must use a tracheostomy, a tube that will assist his breathing.

McGlathery said she and her family have all been trained in controlling her child’s equipment, and all received CPR training.

“After I realized nothing wrong was him health-wise, I was scared what other people would say,” McGlathery said. “I don’t ever want my son to come home and say ‘mommy, somebody made fun of my nose.’ But I also don’t want others to pity him.”

On March 30, McGlathery brought Eli home and she said he’s been doing wonderfully since.

“He’s an extremely happy baby and does cute stuff all the time,” she said. “There’s a reason aside from his health issue and not having a nose as to why we call him our miracle baby. He just tugs on people’s heart strings. It’s his demeanor.”

“I don’t think my son will ever have an idea of how much he’s impacted people,” McGlathery added. “He’s definitely started something and has got a big purpose in life. He’s going to have one hell of a testimony to tell people one day.”

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Recovering Joni Mitchell Has Claimed to Have Mysterious Skin Condition

Steve Granitz/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Legendary folk singer Joni Mitchell’s health scare is drawing attention to the fact that she’s said in the past that she has Morgellons disease, a rare and controversial illness characterized by a crawling sensation on the skin with no apparent cause.

Mitchell was found unconscious in her home Tuesday and rushed to the hospital, according to her official website. As of Tuesday night, she was “awake and in good spirits,” the website reported.

Health experts say there could be any number of reasons Mitchell, 71, collapsed, but Morgellons disease probably isn’t one of them.

Morgellons disease is a mysterious condition, prompting experts to debate whether it is a skin condition, a psychological condition, a neurological condition, an allergy or something else, said Dr. Kevin Cooper, who chairs the dermatology department at U.H. Case Medical Center in Cleveland.

These patients feel that there’s something wrong with their skin, causing them to scratch and dig at it, creating open wounds and scabs, he said, adding that they don’t always believe they caused the wounds. They often bring bags to dermatologists containing “fibers” they pulled from their skin, but these fibers can be anything from their own hairs to cotton fibers that had become stuck in their scabs.

“Generally when we biopsy it, we don’t see much,” he said. “Just erosion. The top of the skin has been scratched off or died spontaneously. So patients are pretty miserable.”

Many Morgellons patients think bugs are crawling on their skin he said, but when they exterminate their homes, they find nothing, Cooper said. Some are diagnosed with delusions of parasitosis, but they don’t agree with it, he said.

Cooper said even when nothing’s touching you, there’s a sort of “static hum” of sensation that your skin feels. For patients with Morgellons, Cooper said perhaps that hum is turned up, resulting in a crawling sensation.

Other symptoms include fatigue, short-term memory loss and trouble concentrating, according to the Mayo Clinic website. Middle-aged white women are most likely to have it, according to the site.

He said the disease is vague, varies from patient to patient and could have multiple causes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied a cluster of 115 women in northern California who said they had Morgellons disease. Investigators concluded in 2012 that the illness was not caused by anything infectious or environmental.

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Picking Your Work Hours Could Pick Up Your Spirits

iStock/Thinkstock(LOUGHBOROUGH, England) — Choosing your occupation is one thing. Choosing the number of hours you work is an entirely different matter altogether, which may not be in your power.

However, Andy Charlwood, a professor of human resource management at Loughborough University, says if workers did get to pick the amount of hours they spent on the job weekly, it would improve their spirits and probably their performance.

In studying the working-time patterns of 20,000 adults over 18 years, Charlwood and his team discovered that over half of those working 50 hours or more weekly and 40 more percent working 40-to-49 hours preferred to put in fewer hours.

The obvious drawbacks of being overworked, according to Charlwood, are deterioration of life satisfaction as well as added stress.

Ultimately, he says that “government and employer policies need to give workers greater flexibility to choose the hours that they work.”

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Pains in the Head and Hand Have Apparent Link

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — On the surface, carpal tunnel syndrome and migraine headaches don’t seem to be connected but a new study reports that these painful connections are apparently linked.

Dr. Huay-Zong Law of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas says that they actually share a “common systemic or neurological factor.”

Law and his team, after analyzing the data found in a health survey of 26,000 U.S. adults, learned that a third of people with carpal tunnel syndrome, a numbness and weakness of the hand, also complained of debilitating headaches known as migraines.

What’s more, twice as many people with migraines had carpal tunnel syndrome than those who didn’t have migraines.

Delving further into the study, Law discovered that migraines and carpal tunnel syndrome share several risk factors, including obesity, diabetes, smoking and being a woman.

Still, Law cautioned the exact connection between the two conditions is not totally clear.

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High Blood Pressure Only During Doctor’s Visits Could Be a Sign of Trouble

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Do you suffer from white-coat hypertension?

It’s a condition whereby a person’s blood pressure actually spikes during a doctor’s visit but usually during no other times.

However, whatever white-coat hypertension is attributed to, such as anxiety, for instance, it may also be sign of serious health problems that are normally associated with actual hypertension.

That’s the finding of Italian researchers who did a meta-analysis of 10 studies involving thousands of adult patients from three different continents including the U.S.

What they learned was that people who experienced white-coat hypertension had significantly thicker carotid neck arteries than people with normal blood pressure.

Thicker carotid neck arteries is a sign of hardening of the arteries, a leading cause of heart attack and stroke.

While hypertension is associated with carotid artery thickening, even surges of blood pressure, such as in the doctor’s office, can also result in arterial damage.

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Bacon Sounds Better than It Tastes and Smells

iStock/Thinkstock(OXFORD, England) — Ah, bacon. It tastes good. It smells good. And yes, it sounds good too.

Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist at Oxford University who also fancies himself a food sensory expert, says what really turns people on about bacon and other culinary delights are the pleasant sensations they provide the ear rather than the taste buds or nose.

Although many of Spence’s peers believe he’s a bit daft, he says he can back up his claim with a study in which people used various descriptive words to explain what they liked about 79 foods.

According to Spence, the word “crisp” was used three times as much as other descriptors because “crisp” indicates freshness.

University of Leeds researchers also gave Spence more ammunition when participants in a bacon experiment said that crunchiness was crucial to what makes up the perfect BLT.

As Spence explains it, people are enamored with the textural properties of food as they’re biting or chewing it while the actual sound made while eating seems to affect the perception of flavor.

He adds that as people age and start to lose their senses of taste and smell, the ambient quality of food might compensate for these deficiencies.

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Five Patients Being Monitored for Ebola Reach End of Quarantine Period

Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images(OMAHA, Neb.) — The five people at Nebraska Medicine being monitored after being exposed to the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone have reached the end of the quarantine period.

According to a statement from the senior media relations coordinator for Nebraska Medicine, none of the five have been determined to have contracted Ebola. Four of the five patients left the Omaha area.

The fifth patient, the hospital said, had a cardiac-related issue over the weekend, but was discharged from the hospital. That patient will leave the Omaha area soon.

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