Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

March is National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month (Resources & Links)


March Is National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

Illustration of the nervous system, including brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervesMarch is National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month.


Check out the MedlinePlus multiple sclerosis health topic page including

And also

March 20, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories | , , , | 1 Comment

Rat Study Sheds Light on How Alcohol Affects Young Brain

Rat Study Sheds Light on How Alcohol Affects Young Brain
Drinking at an early age may have long-lasting repercussions for decision-making, risk-taking

HealthDay news image


From the March 17 2011 Health Day news item by Robert Preidt

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) — Based on the results of a new study conducted with rats, researchers say that kids who drink alcohol may have trouble with decision-making in adulthood.

Alcohol consumption during adolescence can change the perception of risk but does not affect how rewards are valued, the University of Washington researchers found.

The investigators studied decision-making in adult rats that had been given free access to alcohol when they were adolescents. The researchers measured changes in the neurotransmitter dopamine when the rats were offered rewards alone and also in response to cues predicting risky or certain outcomes.

“Dopamine is central to the way we process and evaluate rewards and is the primary target in the brain for virtually all abused drugs,” study author Jeremy J. Clark, an acting assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, explained in a university news release.

In the rats, alcohol use during adolescence increased dopamine signaling to risky options but did not affect responses to rewards.

“Alcohol is corrupting the ability to make a good decision by altering the perception of risk. It doesn’t appear to be about the reward,” Clark said.

The study was published March 14 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.***

***For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost click here




March 20, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , | Leave a comment

ADHD’s Upside: Greater Creativity?

ADHD’s Upside: Greater Creativity?
Focusing issues may actually help those with the disorder think outside the box, researchers say



[Figure Caption – Percent of Youth 4-17 ever diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: National Survey of Children’s Health, 2003]



From the March 17 2011 Health Day news item


THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) — The distractibility and impulsiveness that is the hallmark of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have a silver lining, according to a new study ** that suggests those with the disorder are more creative than those without.

Researchers gave 60 college students, half with ADHD, a series of tests measuring creativity across 10 domains — drama, music, humor, creative writing, invention, visual arts, scientific discovery, dance, architecture and culinary arts. The students also answered questions about their problem-solving styles, including preferences for generating, structuring, refining and implementing ideas.

The ADHD group scored higher on creativity across the board, the study authors said, and also exhibited a greater preference for brainstorming and generating ideas than the non-ADHD group, which preferred refining and clarifying ideas.

The study, a follow-up to one conducted in 2006, is published in the April issue of Personality and Individual Differences…..***

***For information on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here.

The abstract

Creative style and achievement in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Holly A. Whitenext terma, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author and Priti Shahb

a University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA

b University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

Received 22 June 2010;
revised 5 December 2010;
accepted 13 December 2010.
Available online 13 January 2011.


Previous research has suggested that adults with previous termADHDnext term perform better on some measures of creativity than non-previous termADHDnext term adults (White & Shah, 2006). The present study replicated previous findings using a standardized measure of creativity (the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults, Goff & Torrance, 2002) and extended previous research by investigating real-world creative achievement among adults with previous term Results indicated that adults with previous termADHDnext term showed higher levels of original creative thinking on the verbal task of the ATTA and higher levels of real-world creative achievement, compared to adults without previous term In addition, comparison of creative styles using the FourSight Thinking Profile (Puccio, 2002) found that preference for idea generation was higher among previous termADHDnext term participants, whereas preference for problem clarification and idea development was greater among non-previous termADHDnext term participants. These findings have implications for real-world application of the creative styles of adults with and without previous term

Keywords: previous termADHDnext term; Adult; Creative achievement; Creativity; Divergent thinking; Hyperactivity/impulsivity; Inattention; Inhibitory control

March 20, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

School Lunches – Advice from Kids Health (Nemour Foundation)

School Lunches


Kids Health provides medically reviewed articles written for parents, teenagers, and children touching on almost all aspects of health and wellness.

The School Lunches section advises parents on how to select and pack nutritious food. Healthier Alternatives and Nutritional Upgrades quick guides give easily remembered advice.

The Additional Resources Link at the page includes

Cooking Light
Cooking Light magazine goes online with recipes for healthy living, plus grocery coupons and tips for feeding your family.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children – better known as the WIC Program – serves to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, & children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.

American Dietetic Association
The American Dietetic Association offers nutrition news, tips, resources for consumers and dietitians, and a find-a-nutritionist search tool.

Food Network
TV’s Food Network goes online with searchable menus and recipes, an encyclopedia of cooking terms, and ideas from celebrity chefs.




March 20, 2011 Posted by | Nutrition | Leave a comment

Tea Tree Oil – Facts from the US National Institute of Health (NIH)

Tea tree oil plantation, harvesting equipment ...

Tea tree oil plantation, harvesting equipment (a Ford tractor pulling a loader wagon), Coraki, New South Wales, Australia.



Tea Tree oil facts from herbs at a glance

N C C A M: The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Excerpts from the Tea Tree Oil article

This fact sheet provides basic information about tea tree oil—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the tea tree, and has been used medicinally for centuries by the aboriginal people of Australia.

What Tea Tree Oil Is Used For

  • Tea tree oil is often used externally as an antibacterial or antifungal treatment.
  • Tea tree oil is used for a number of conditions including acne, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, wounds, and infections.
  • Other applications for tea tree oil include use for lice, oral candidiasis (thrush), cold sores, dandruff, and skin lesions

What the Science Says

  • A 2004 NCCAM-funded review examined the ability of tea tree oil to kill bacteria and found that in vitro (in a test tube) studies may provide some preliminary evidence for the use of tea tree oil as an adjunctive (additional) treatment for wounds involving difficult-to-treat bacterial infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). However, large, well-designed clinical trials on tea tree oil are lacking, and it remains unclear whether tea tree oil is effective against these emerging resistant strains of bacteria in people.
  • Some smaller-scale clinical studies have had positive results for treating athlete’s foot, nail fungus, dandruff, and acne, but more large-scale, well-designed clinical studies are needed.

Side Effects and Cautions

  • Tea tree oil contains varying amounts of 1,8-cineole, a skin irritant. Products with high amounts of this compound may cause skin irritation or contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction, in some individuals. Oxidized tea tree oil (oil that has been exposed to air) may trigger allergies more than fresh tea tree oil.




March 20, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness (Journal Article)

From the March 18 2011 DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB **posting

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
The March 2011 issue of this journal includes an article titled,
“Supporting Evidence-based Health Care in Crises: What Information Do Humanitarian Organizations Need?” ***as well as a selection of open access articles relevant to the Japan earthquake. [Submitted by Anna Gieschen]


Supporting Evidence-based Health Care in Crises

What Information Do Humanitarian Organizations Need?

Tari Turner, PhD, Sally Green, PhD and Claire Harris, MBBSAuthor Affiliations: Dr Turner and Dr Green are with the Australasian Cochrane Centre, Monash University, Victoria, Australia; and Dr Harris is with the Centre for Clinical Effectiveness, Southern Health, Victoria, Australia.

In crisis situations, there is an enormous burden of disease and very limited resources. To achieve the best possible health outcomes in these situations and ensure that scarce resources are not wasted, knowledge from health research needs to be translated into practice. We investigated what information from health research was needed by humanitarian aid workers in crisis settings and how it could be best provided. Semistructured interviews were conducted by telephone with 19 humanitarian aid workers from a range of organizations around the world and the results analyzed thematically. Participants identified a clear and currently unmet need for access to high-quality health research to support evidence-based practice in crisis situations. They emphasized that research into delivery of health care was potentially morevaluable than research into the effectiveness of particular clinical interventions and highlighted the importance of includingcontextual information to enable the relevance of the research to be assessed. They suggested that providers of health research information and humanitarian aid organizations work together to develop these resources. [editor Flahiff’s emphasis]

**DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB is a discussion group for librarians, information specialists and othersinterested in disaster information outreach to their communities and responding to information needs for all-hazards preparedness, response and recovery.
The DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB archives are available at

*** For information on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here

March 20, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

James Gleick’s History of Information (Includes Medical Information)- NY Times Book Review


A History. A Theory. A Flood.

By James Gleick

Illustrated. 526 pp. Pantheon Books. $29.95.

James Gleick

Author James Gleick, author of “The Information.” Photographer: Phyllis Rose/Random House via Bloomberg

Excerpts from the March 18 2011 NY Times Book Review

The universe, the 18th-century mathematician and philosopher Jean Le Rond d’Alembert said, “would only be one fact and one great truth for whoever knew how to embrace it from a single point of view.” James Gleick has such a perspective, and signals it in the first word of the title of his new book, “The Information,” using the definite article we usually reserve for totalities like the universe, the ether — and the Internet. Information, he argues, is more than just the contents of our overflowing libraries and Web servers. It is “the blood and the fuel, the vital principle” of the world. Human consciousness, society, life on earth, the cosmos — it’s bits all the way down.

Gleick makes his case in a sweeping survey that covers the five millenniums of humanity’s engagement with information, from the invention of writing in Sumer to the elevation of information to a first principle in the sciences over the last half-century or so….

But knowledge isn’t simply information that has been vetted and made comprehensible. “Medical information,” for example, evokes the flood of hits that appear when you do a Google search for “back pain” or “vitamin D.” “Medical knowledge,” on the other hand, evokes the fabric of institutions and communities that are responsible for creating, curating and diffusing what is known. In fact, you could argue that the most important role of search engines is to locate the online outcroppings of “the old ways of organizing knowledge” that we still depend on, like the N.I.H., the S.E.C., the O.E.D., the BBC, the N.Y.P.L. and ESPN. Even Wikipedia’s guidelines insist that articles be based on “reliable, published sources,” a category that excludes most blogs, not to mention Wikipedia itself.

Gleick wouldn’t deny any of this, but his focus on information as a prime mover and universal substance leads him to depict its realm as a distinct place at a remove from the larger social world, rather than as an extension of it. As he puts it, in the vatic tone that this topic tends to elicit, “Human knowledge soaks into the network, into the cloud” (more of those totalizing definite articles). In an evocative final paragraph, he pictures humanity wandering the corridors of Borges’s imaginary Library of Babel, which contains the texts of every possible book in every language, true and false, scanning the shelves in search of “lines of meaning among the leagues of cacophony and incoherence.”

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March 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment


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