Conditions

Magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for persistent vegetative state

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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Don’t fall into the dementia trap when treating a developmental disability

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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Why The Biggest Loser uses CT scans to help contestants lose weight

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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Neuroscience explains why changing addictive behavior is so difficult

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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Doctors have an ethical obligation to treat complications from a transplant operation performed abroad

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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Why are demented women still getting mammograms?

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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Don’t forget the patient when using algorithms in their care

The common thought among health reformers is that we spend too much on care, and the additional care patients receive doesn’t necessarily help them.

What inevitably follows is a discussion on how to streamline care, yet maintain quality. To that end, most hospitals and emergency rooms are using algorithm-based care based on the best available evidence. Where doctors actually had to hand write admission orders, they are now checked off …

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How hypertension increases the risk of dementia

Originally published in MedPage Today

by John Gever, MedPage Today Senior Editor

Another study has found that hypertension may contribute to increased risk of dementia, this time with evidence of actual brain abnormalities.

Data from an offshoot of the Women’s Health Initiative found that participants’ baseline blood pressure was strongly correlated with volume of lesions in their brains’ white matter, according to Lewis …

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What is the biggest risk for soldiers fighting overseas?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by John Gever, MedPage Today Senior Editor

More than 85% of American military medical evacuations from the Middle East were not the direct result of enemy action, but the result of non-battle injuries and disease, researchers said.

Of some 34,000 military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan who shipped out for medical reasons from 2004 to 2007, only …

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The specialty of underwater medicine, and an interview with a dive physician

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Kristina Fiore

Physicians tend to prefer intellectual hobbies — chess, reading, writing. Dr. Alfred Bove is no exception. His hobby often requires application of his expertise in physiology. You know him as the president of the American College of Cardiology. But you may not know that his heart belongs to the sea.

Bove’s interest in scuba diving …

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Leg and buttock pain can be signs of peripheral arterial disease, especially in patients with diabetes

by Michael Jaff, MD

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), a condition commonly correlated with diabetes, also known as a “silent killer,” affects at least one in every three diabetics over the age of 50 and approximately eight million Americans in total over the age of 40. Although PAD is prolific among diabetic and senior populations, current data show that public and physician knowledge of the disease is startlingly low, with only 25 …

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A comprehensive plan to fight obesity begins at an early age

Originally published in HCPLive.com

by Jeffrey Gene Kaplan, MD, MS

In a given year in the U.S., 1/4th of US men and 2/5ths of US women attempt to lose weight, unfortunately, they often fail to keep the weight off.

Sobering statistics that we see all around us, particularly poignant in my office as a pediatrician. Clearly a multifaceted approach is required, but the most …

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Why patients should quit smoking after lung cancer

Originally published in Insidermedicine

Quitting smoking after being diagnosed with lung cancer can prolong life and reduce the risk of a cancer recurrence or the development of a new lung cancer, according to research published online ahead of print in the British Medical Journal.

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How the stress of caregiving can lead to stroke

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent

The strain of caring for a disabled spouse is associated with an increased risk of stroke, researchers found.

The risk is increased for men, and especially African-American men, according to William Haley, PhD, of the University of South Florida, in Tampa, and colleagues.

On the other hand, there was no significant …

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