Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Religion benefits traumatic brain injury victims, Wayne State University research finds

A CT of the head years after a traumatic brain...

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From a 28 June 2011 Eureka news alert

DETROIT – Brigid Waldron-Perrine, Ph.D., a recent graduate from Wayne State University, and her mentor, Lisa J. Rapport, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Wayne State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, found that if traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims feel close to a higher power, it can help them rehabilitate. The study was recently published in Rehabilitation Psychology.

 

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Traumatic brain injury is a disruption of normal brain function after a head injury and affects 1.7 million Americans annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those struggling with the long-term effects of TBI are at a heightened risk for mental and physical problems. Such problems can significantly inhibit rehabilitation outcomes and are therefore important to address in the context of rehabilitation efforts. And when TBI leaves people feeling stressed, less satisfied with life and functionally dependent on others, rehabilitation is the only option.

“Among healthy adults, religion and spirituality have shown strong association with improved life satisfaction and physical and mental health outcomes,” said Waldron-Perrine. But research about religion’s effect on TBI rehabilitation in particular is lacking….

June 28, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Computational Tool For Rapid Identification Of Disease-Causing Variations In The Human Genome & Guides to Genomics Resources

An overview of the structure of DNA.

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From the 26 June Medical News Today article

Scientists from the University of Utah and Omicia, Inc., a privately held company developing tools to interpret personal genome sequences, have announced the publication in Genome Research of a new software tool called VAAST, the Variant Annotation, Analysis and Selection Tool, a probabilistic disease-causing mutation finder for individual human genomes.

The dramatic decline in DNA sequencing costs is making personal genome sequencing a reality. Already, significant progress has been made in applying whole genome sequencing to cancerprognosis and early childhood disease. Examples include the 2010 publications on Miller Syndrome in Nature Genetics and Science, and similar studies aimed at identifying the unknown genetic defects responsible for some early childhood diseases…

…However, a data interpretation bottleneck has limited the utility of personal genome information for medical diagnosis and preventive care. VAAST is a new algorithm to assist in overcoming this bottleneck. VAAST is the product of a collaboration between Mark Yandell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine, and colleagues, and the Omicia scientific team under the leadership of Martin Reese, Ph.D., the company’s CEO and Chief Scientific Officer.

In the Genome Research paper, Yandell and colleagues show that VAAST provides a highly accurate, statistically robust means to rapidly search personal genomes for genes with disease-causing mutations. The authors demonstrate that as few as three genomes from unrelated children, or those of the parents and their two children, are sufficient to identify disease causing mutations.

“The big challenge in genomic medicine today is how to sift through the millions of variants in a personal genome sequence to identify the disease-relevant variations,” said Dr. Reese. “It’s a classic needle in a haystack problem, and VAAST goes a long way toward solving it. We look forward to integrating VAAST into the Omicia Genome Analysis System currently under development for clinical applications.”

Dr. Yandell added: “VAAST solves many of the practical and theoretical problems that currently plague mutation hunts using personal genome sequences. Our results demonstrate that this tool substantially improves upon existing methods with regard to statistical power, flexibility, and scope of use. Further, VAAST is automated, fast, works across all variant population frequencies and is sequencing platform independent.”

Two General Genomics Resources

 

    • Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions

 

June 28, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public) | , , , | 1 Comment

Study: Most parents unaware of teen workplace risks

From the 27 June 2011 Eureka news alert
Most parents are unaware of the risks their teenagers face in the workplace and could do more to help them understand and prepare for those hazards, according to a new study.

Previous findings have shown that about 80 percent of teens are employed during their high school years. But the study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Injury Prevention Research Center and North Carolina State University highlights the role parents play in helping their children get those jobs, and making good decisions about workplace safety and health.

The paper will be published in the July issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

About 38 workers under the age of 18 in the U.S. die from work-related injuries each year, while an estimated 146,000 experience nonfatal injuries or illnesses.

“Because parents are so involved with their children about work, they are in an excellent position to help teens ensure that their employers are assuring good safety standards,” said Carol Runyan, Ph.D., the study’s lead investigator and director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center….
….Runyan and Schulman said questions that parents should ask their working teens include:

  • How much training did you receive?
  • If you are handling cash, have you been trained about what to do if there is a robbery?
  • Are you ever alone in the workplace?
  • Are there machinery or tools that could be hazardous?
  • Have you been trained on how to deal with an angry customer?
  • Is there an adult manager on site?

The researchers are planning additional work to determine how to get parents more informed and more involved. Parents, educators, teens and employers can find additional information at the U.S. Department of Labor website: http://www.youthrules.dol.gov/

###
Along with Runyan and Schulman, the paper, “Parental Involvement with Their Working Teens,” was co-written by Catherine Vladutiu, a doctoral student in epidemiology at UNC, and Kimberly Rauscher, Sc.D., of West Virginia University. The research was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service.

Study abstract: http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X%2810%2900494-5/abstract

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June 28, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Free Ebook Downloads from the National Academies Press

 

The National Academies Press
From a blog item of the OU Schusterman Library

Are you a digital reader? If so, you might be interested in the following news. On June 2nd, the National Academies Press (NAP) began offering the PDF versions of their reports and books as FREE downloads.

Who is the National Academies? The National Academies is a collection of four private, nonprofit institutions: the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Center. Each year, the NAP publishes over 200 authoritative books and reports that address science, engineering, and health topics.

More the 4000 NAP titles are now freely available to download. Users can choose to download entire books or individual chapters. To download a book, visit the NAP website at http://www.nap.edu/. Select a topic to browse (for example, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Education, Food & Nutrition, and Health and Medicine) and explore the available titles. Once you select a title, look for the DOWNLOAD FREE PDF option. To complete the download, you will need to create an NAP user account or register as a guest.

The following list comprises a small sampling of NAP titles:

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (2011)
Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2020: Letter Report (2011)
The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary (2009)
The Science of Adolescent Risk-Taking: Workshop Report (2011)
Understanding the Demand for Illegal Drugs (2010)

June 28, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , | Leave a comment

   

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