Archive | January, 2009

Medical Students Often Depressed

New research reveals the extent of how medical students frequently suffer from depression. Sergio Baldassin, from the ABC Regional Medical School, Brazil, led a team of researchers who carried out a study on 481 medical students. He said, “We used cluster analyses to better describe the characteristics of depressive symptoms – affective, cognitive, and somatic. This is the first study to directly evaluate, in a cross-sectional design, the characteristics of depressive symptoms by applying such clusters”. Affective symptoms represent the core symptoms of a depressive mood, based on students’ reported levels of sadness, dissatisfaction, episodes of crying, irritability and social withdrawal. The cognitive cluster assessed pessimism, sense of failure or guilt, expectation of punishment, dislike of self, suicidal ideation, indecisiveness and change in body image. Finally, the somatic cluster assessed the presence of slowness, insomnia, fatigue, loss of weight and loss of sexual interest. Baldassin said, “There was a high prevalence towards depressive symptoms among medical students, particularly females, mainly involving the somatic and affective clusters”. The authors’ cluster analysis found that the reasons for most students’ depression scores were in the affective cluster, and that the problem was at its worst in the internship years. Cognitive cluster symptoms were […]

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Stress Affects Memory In the Brain

Researchers using functional MRI (fMRI) have determined that the circuitry in the area of the brain responsible for suppressing memory is dysfunctional in patients suffering from stress-related psychiatric disorders. “For patients with major depression and other stress-related disorders, traumatic memories are a source of anxiety,” said Nivedita Agarwal, M.D., radiology resident at the University of Udine in Italy. “Because traumatic memories are not adequately suppressed by the brain, they continue to interfere with the patient’s life.” Dr. Agarwal and colleagues used brain fMRI to explore alterations in the neural circuitry that links the prefrontal cortex to the hippocampus, while study participants performed a memory task. All patients reported s varying degrees of stressful traumatic events, such as sexual or physical abuse, difficult relationships or bullying or harassment – in their lives. The fMRI images revealed that the prefrontal cortex, which controls the suppression and retrieval of memories processed by the hippocampus, showed abnormal activation in the patients with stress-related disorders compared to the healthy controls. During the memory suppression phase of the test, patients with stress-related disorders showed greater activation in the hippocampus, suggesting that insufficient activation of the prefrontal cortex could be the basis for inadequate suppression of unwanted […]

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Wisdom Teeth Removal Book

I recently finished a book called Wisdom Teeth Removal : Lessons Learned, Healthcare Problems, and How to Be Better Prepared It discusses in detail my story and experience with doctors and the health system. It provides detailed information on how to better make a decision regarding the extraction of wisdom teeth by discussing complications and shortcomings of the health and legal systems. Twelve key takeaways from my experience with wisdom teeth removal and my health problems are presented and explained. The book is 61 pages in length, contains much of the information on http://www.teethremoval.com along with new information and additional information. The price for the book is currently twelve dollars and can be purchased easily with paypal. To add the Wisdom Teeth Removal book to your shopping cart visit this link and select “Wisdom Teeth Removal Book.” If you have any questions or would like detailed information on the book just ask. If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase a refund will be provided if you notify me within 30 days of your purchase.

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Colon Cancer and Inflammation

Researchers led by Dr. Brian Iritani at The University of Washington found that mice that lack the immune inhibitory molecule Smad3 are acutely sensitive to both bacterially-induced inflammation and cancer. I actually study some of the Smad moelecues in Biology classes at University by performing Western blot plots. Absence of Smad3 inhibits inflammation and  increase susceptibility to colon cancer. To examine whether Smad3 signaling contributes to development of colon cancer, mice deficient in Smad3 were studied. It was found that these mice are acutely sensitive to bacterially-induced inflammation and cancer due to both deficient T regulatory cell function and increased expression of proinflammatory cytokines. “That the inflammatory response to microorganisms is a key event in these results reveals important ‘tumor-suppressive’ functions for Smad3 in T effector cells, T regulatory cells, and intestinal epithelial cells, all of which may normally limit the development of colon cancer in response to bacterial inflammation,” as stated by the researchers. Adapted from materials provided by American Journal of Pathology.

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High School Senior Drug Use

Parents have long worried whether their kids at college are drinking too much or just abusing drugs. Lately there have been a large number of young people abusing prescription opiates. It is rather common knowledge now that several years ago, attention-deficit drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall became popular among students. This was so that they could improve concentration or lose weight. Now more dangerous drugs and powerful painkillers are being used largely by such students such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. Earlier this month, several drug experts testified at a congressional hearing named Generation Rx In 2006, 2.2 million people ages 12 and older said they started abusing pain relievers within the past year. It has also been seen that young adults ages 18-25 show the greatest overall use of any age group. Even so, these drugs are still not as popular amongst young adults. College students use these drugs much less than alcohol and pot. From 2002 to 2006, the annual prevalence of use of narcotics other than heroin among college students rose to 8.8% at its former rate of 7.4%, according to a University of Michigan study. For OxyContin, annual prevalence of use doubled, to 3%; the […]

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