Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

5 reasons why music would be great for digital health

From the 26 July 2013 KevinMD entry

 | TECH | JULY 24, 2013

Music as a healing mechanism has been accepted for over 50 years. Music is a source of primal memory similar to that of smell. It has been used in brain injury patient management, as well as to promote wellness, manage stress alleviate pain, promote physical rehabilitation, and enhance memory in Alzheimer’s Disease patients.I have appreciated the power of music my whole life and as a physician and musician, realized its healing potential early on in my medical career. I burned CDs of the music chosen by my patients to be played during their surgery (usually performed with light sedation) and gave it to them as a surprise at their office follow-up visit.

I will lightly touch on some reasons why music would be a great digital health technology.

1. There are scientific studies to provide evidence of efficacy. There are very few digital health technologies that are mobile technologies which have been proven to be efficacious. Since music has been digital for decades, it is a natural for adoption as a mobile health tech tool. Here’s a nice bibliography on the uses of music therapy. Areas such as mental health, special education and Autism, and pain management have been subjects of studies.

Read the entire article here

 

July 26, 2013 Posted by | health care | , , , , | Leave a comment

Potential To Learn High-Performance Tasks With Little Or No Conscious Effort (with Video summary!)

Image with a head and three brain patterns going to people, Chinese characters and airplanes.

In the future, a person may be able to watch a computer screen and have his or her brain patterns modified to improve physical or mental performance. Researchers say an innovative learning method that uses decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging could modify brain activities to help people recuperate from an accident or disease, learn a new language or even fly a plane.

Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation

[The NSF has a video about this learning method (Decoded Neurofeedback)at http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_images.jsp?cntn_id=122523&org=NSF,

http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_images.jsp?cntn_id=122523&org=NSF

news_images.jsp?cntn_id=122523&org=NSF

however on 15 December 2011

From the 14 December 2011 Medical News Today article

New research published in the journalScience suggests it may be possible to use brain technology to learn to play a piano, reduce mental stress or hit a curve ball with little or no conscious effort. It’s the kind of thing seen in Hollywood’s “Matrix” franchise.

Experiments conducted at Boston University (BU) and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, recently demonstrated that through a person’s visual cortex, researchers could use decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to induce brain activity patterns to match a previously known target state and thereby improve performance on visual tasks.

Think of a person watching a computer screen and having his or her brain patterns modified to match those of a high-performing athlete or modified to recuperate from an accident or disease. Though preliminary, researchers say such possibilities may exist in the future. …

“The most surprising thing in this study is that mere inductions of neural activation patterns corresponding to a specific visual feature led to visual performance improvement on the visual feature, without presenting the feature or subjects’ awareness of what was to be learned,” said Watanabe, who developed the idea for the research project along with Mitsuo Kawato, director of ATR lab and Yuka Sasaki, an assistant in neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“We found that subjects were not aware of what was to be learned while behavioral data obtained before and after the neurofeedback training showed that subjects’ visual performance improved specifically for the target orientation, which was used in the neurofeedback training,” he said.

The finding brings up an inevitable question. Is hypnosis or a type of automated learning a potential outcome of the research? ….

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December 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The achievement culture problem in our country

From the 8 August 2011 posting by CLAIRE MCCARTHY, MD at KevinMD.com

My friend Nancy went for physical therapy for her back pain the other day, and was really surprised by what she saw there: the place was full of kids.

“Yeah, it’s like this now,” said the therapist when Nancy asked about it. “It’s the sports.”

It’s not that kids are getting clumsier or having more accidents. The injuries that are sending kids to physical therapy are overuse injuries. Kids these days are specializing in a sport as early as elementary school, and spending many more hours a week in practice than we ever did as kids—and we’re seeing the consequences.

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August 8, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

   

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