Originally published in MedPage Today by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent Researchers in England are reporting they have been able to establish limited communication with a man in a persistent vegetative state by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The 34-year-old man was able to answer simple Yes or No questions by imagining different types of activity, which caused changes ...

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by Lockup Doc In addition to correctional psychiatry, I spend about half of my professional time treating patients with developmental and intellectual disabilities (mental retardation). The majority of my patients have severe or profound mental retardation and are completely nonverbal. Over the years I have observed that when many of them are admitted to the hospital for acute medical or surgical problems, because they are severely cognitively and functionally impaired, they are ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Cole Petrochko The train wreck has become an integral part of reality TV programming, and that's terrible. As much as I've learned on the internet about the "Snooki Punch" fiasco from MTV's Jersey Shore, there's little to watching a household of adults thrown together under a wacky premise turn into overgrown, throat-seeking children under lights and a camera, except on the one-season CBS show Kid ...

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The American Cancer Society has designated this weekend "Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend," as part of the annual Coaches vs. Cancer program that will feature well-dressed basketball coaches wearing "sneakers instead of dress shoes with their usual game attire during weekend games to demonstrate their support for the Society and the fight against cancer." The idea is to encourage people to exercise and eat a healthy diet to reduce their ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer By the end of January, many New Year's resolutions have been tossed out with the leftover holiday cookies. That's because change is hard -- and neuroscientists are learning why. Advances in neuroimaging have enabled researchers to peer inside the brains of addicts and patients with addictive behaviors. They can see in ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer Patients who travel to foreign countries for organ transplants may return with more problems than they left with -- and physicians here have a moral responsibility to treat them, researchers asserted in a transplant journal. "Medical tourism" has been on the rise as demand for organs outpaces supply and U.S. ...

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Part one of a series. The first patient I ever saw as a first year resident came in with a litany of complaints, not one of which I remember today except for one---he had headaches. The reason I remember he had headaches isn't because I spent so much time discussing them but rather the opposite: at the time I knew next to nothing about headaches and somehow managed to end the ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Mike Himowitz When I read Michael Smith’s account of European politicians taking WHO to the woodshed for allegedly conspiring with vaccine makers to overinflate the danger from H1N1 pandemic flu, I was reminded of a similar -- and equally silly -- argument that occurred exactly a decade ago. In the early days of 2000, you ...

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In case you haven't read enough about the mammogram debate, here's one more post. Newsweek's Sharon Begley points to an study showing that a significant number of elderly women with dementia are still receiving mammograms to screen for breast cancer. These women have an average life-expectancy of 3.3 years; the American Cancer Society recommends those with life-expectancies less than 5 years not be screened. So, why is this happening? The ...

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Words have power. Language has power. The words we use may comfort or shock, allay or provoke, sooth or batter. Words often imply layers of meaning that are not explicitly articulated, yet rest beneath the surface: “I worry that time is short for you” (You are dying) (I care about you) “I wish we could have done more” (Nothing would have changed her death) (I am on your side) “I hope with you that ...

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