Mental health centers in Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and other states are adding in-patient internet addiction treatment to their line of services. But some health experts view internet addiction as a false condition. Public health news also focuses on a potential cure for sickle-cell; lessons from a Rwandan medical school; dealing with dementia in the workplace; an overlooked, dangerous infection; tips to avoid a cold; prediction models for pandemics; secrets of unlocking mysterious fascia; naming and taming your anger and problems with scooters.
Reuters: The Digital Drug: Internet Addiction Spawns U.S. Treatment Programs
When Danny Reagan was 13, he began exhibiting signs of what doctors usually associate with drug addiction. He became agitated, secretive and withdrew from friends. He had quit baseball and Boy Scouts, and he stopped doing homework and showering. But he was not using drugs. He was hooked on YouTube and video games, to the point where he could do nothing else. As doctors would confirm, he was addicted to his electronics. (1/27)
The New York Times: These Patients Had Sickle-Cell Disease. Experimental Therapies Might Have Cured Them.
Scientists have long known what causes sickle-cell disease and its devastating effects: a single mutation in one errant gene. But for decades, there has been only modest progress against an inherited condition that mainly afflicts people of African descent. With advances in gene therapy, that is quickly changing — so much so that scientists have begun to talk of a cure. (Kolata, 1/27)
Politico: What A Medical School On A Rwandan Hilltop Can Teach The United States
Three hours along a bumpy dirt road from the capital of Rwanda, a new medical school is emerging from the unlikeliest of places — a small hilltop in the poor farming village of Butaro. The school’s name reveals its ambitious mission: The University of Global Health Equity. It aims to transform both medical education and medical care for the rural poor in central Africa and to serve as a model for more equitable health care around the globe. The new university is setting out to achieve this from the poorest part of Rwanda, a nation still recovering and rebuilding from genocide and civil war a quarter-century ago. (Karlin-Smith, 1/27)
The Associated Press: Companies Navigate Dementia Conversations With Older Workers
Faced with an aging American workforce, companies are increasingly navigating delicate conversations with employees grappling with cognitive declines, experts say. Workers experiencing early stages of dementia may struggle with tasks they had completed without difficulty. Historically punctual employees may forget about scheduled meetings. And those who have traveled to the same office day after day, sometimes for years on end, may begin to lose their way during their morning commutes. (Soergel, 1/28)
The Washington Post: How To Avoid Getting A Cold This Winter
“Don’t go outside with wet hair, you’ll catch a cold!” “Take vitamin C to ward off the sniffles.” “Stay inside during cold season.” Chances are, you’ve heard these words of advice before, probably from your parents when you were little. Indeed, a survey published last week, shows that many parents have tried these strategies to keep their kids from getting sick — even though little evidence exists that they work. (Rettner, 1/26)
The Washington Post: Child’s Cold Could Be Often Overlooked Infection RSV
Our holiday season was a symphony of sneezes. It’s inevitable, we joked, as family members from as far away as Illinois and Italy joined our celebrations in suburban Philadelphia. We added packages of colorful tissues to last-minute shopping lists, drank ginger tea with lemon and recalled wryly how much worse it was a few years back when three generations in close quarters shared a stomach bug. (Sellers, 1/26)
Georgia Health News: Predicting Pandemics: It’s Not Easy, But Researchers Are Trying
Scientists, frustrated with insufficient prediction models, are more frequently turning to Twitter posts and Google searches to monitor in real time how viruses like seasonal influenza and other communicable diseases may spread. But it’s complicated. As experts look at everything from local health reports to search engine statistics and complex algorithms, there remains only cautious optimism about progress. (Dhapte, 1/25)
The Washington Post: Fascia Encases Tissues And Organs And May Have Widespread Effects
Americans, who spend about $8 billion a year in massage and chiropractic treatments to relieve pain, may have no idea that they’re all probably experiencing the same thing — a manipulation of their fascia, a three-tiered layer of tissue that encases tissues and organs. Although some people who are kneaded, stretched, or cracked may have a vague notion that fascia exists, they probably don’t know much about their fascia — or understand why it even matters. Some in the scientific and medical communities think the same way. (Damiani and Spiker, 1/26)
NPR: Giving A Name To Your Anger May Help You Tame It
Over the past three years, I’ve had one major goal in my personal life: To stop being so angry. Anger has been my emotional currency. I grew up in an angry home. Door slamming and phone throwing were basic means of communication. I brought these skills to my 20-year marriage. “Why are you yelling?” my husband would say. “I’m not,” I’d retort. Oh wait. On second thought: “You’re right. I am yelling.” (Doucleff, 1/28)
WBUR: New Study Provides 1st In-Depth Look At Severity Of Electric Scooter Accidents
Researchers at UCLA have found that 1 in 3 people in the Santa Monica, California, area involved in an electric scooter accident were hurt so severely, they needed to be transported to an emergency room by ambulance. …The study found less than 5 percent of the patients wore helmets while riding, signaling a low rider adherence to the safety protocols — such as wearing a helmet — that e-scooter companies recommend. (Mullins, 1/25)
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