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Friday
Nov122010

Mother in Need of Transplant Dies Despite Having Donors

Microscopic image of red bone marrow. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A mother of two who suffered from acute leukemia has died while waiting for a bone marrow transplant, despite there being registered donor matches.  Four matched donors were found in the bone marrow registry, but all four declined to go through with the procedure.

Dr. Claudio Anasetti, the department chair of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation program at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, says its not easy to find a match, even among siblings.

"Within siblings, there is only about a one in four chance of being a match," he says.  "We need to go to unrelated donor searches 70 percent of the time for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma or other blood disorders that need a transplant."

Anasetti adds, "Tissue matching between the donor and the recipient has to be very close."

It is estimated that only 47 percent of registered donors go through with the donation.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov112010

Daydreaming May Be Tied to Bad Mood, Study Finds

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Whether in line at the supermarket or sitting in traffic on the highway, the human mind is prone to wander at the slightest sign of boredom.


However, daydreaming may not be as harmless as it seems: According to a study published Thursday in the journal Science, a wandering mind is often an unhappy one.

Using an iPhone application that prompts users to answer survey questions about their mental state throughout the day, researchers at Harvard University tracked how frequently the minds of 2,250 U.S. adults wandered and how their moods changed accordingly.

Based on self-reported mind-wandering and self-gauged levels of happiness collected via subjects' phones, researchers found that people reported being significantly less happy when their minds wandered than when they were focused on the task at hand.

"The human capacity that underlies our ability to mind wander is incredibly important," says Matthew Killingsworth, the lead researcher and a doctoral candidate in psychology at Harvard University. "It allows us to plan for the future, process the past, imagine things that could never occur, but at the same time, the data shows that when people use this capacity it reduces their happiness."

Daydreaming was a surprisingly frequent practice -- subjects reported meandering thoughts nearly half of the time they were questioned -- but this state was consistently associated with a lower mood, even when subjects were thinking about pleasant things, researchers found.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov112010

Health Group Lauds Debt Commission's Support for Liability Reform

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After releasing a report detailing ways to reduce the nation's national debt, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform received feedback that was generally negative.

Thursday, however, the Health Coalition on Liability and Access praised the commission co-chairs -- Erskine Bowles, former Clinton White House chief of staff, and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo. -- for their endorsement of comprehensive medical liability reform in the commission's draft proposals.

"Medical liability reform must be a priority for the new Congress.  Reform will not only reduce the cost of defensive medicine and our skyrocketing deficits, but it will preserve access to quality care for all Americans," said HCLA Chair Mike Stinson.

Stinson says the current system not only costs too much, but is "designed to benefit personal injury lawyers, not patients."

The commission's initial proposal includes plans to "pay lawyers less and reduce the costs of defensive medicine by adopting comprehensive tort reform."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov112010

Teen Paralyzed From Piercing Dances Again

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images(LONDON) – A young girl in Britain has defied medical expectations to overcome paralysis and dance again, reports the Daily Mail.

When 15-year-old Grace Etherington was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare immune disorder that attacks the nervous system, doctors at Evelina Children’s Hospital in London told her she could remain motionless for the rest of her life, dependent on a ventilator to breathe and unable to move or communicate. Etherington developed the disease after a getting a viral infection from a routine ear piercing.

"It was a fate worse than death. She would be trapped in a lifeless shell," her mother, Sharon Etherington, 41, of Sittingbourne, Kent, told the British newspaper.

But less than a year after her diagnoses, she took her first steps. Months later, intensive physical therapy had her walking again. Finally, in May, she achieved her dream of dancing with her troupe in London. With the exception of some ongoing fatigue, she has recovered completely.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov112010

Healthcare 'Not as Safe' as Americans Believe?

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) – A new measure of patient safety may show that the U.S. healthcare system is not as safe as some may think, according to an associate professor of medicine at the University of Utah.

"While traditional measurements of patient safety show that our system is very safe, a new global trigger tool developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) shows that the current safety measures pick up less than 10 percent of injuries patients suffer in the hospital," said David Classen at the MedeAnalytics Clinical Leadership Summit in San Francisco.

Classen said the new measurement can detect 60 different adverse outcomes in patients -- a tool he said may help to show flaws in the healthcare system and improve care to Medicare patients.

The new method is expected to be detailed in a report to Congress over the next several months.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov112010

Former GSK Lawyer Charged in Wellbutrin Cover-Up

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Department of Justice has charged a former vice president and lawyer at GlaxoSmithKline with trying to cover up evidence that the company was illegally marketing the depression drug Wellbutrin as a weight-loss aid, reports MedPage Today.

Lauren Stevens of Durham, N.C. was charged with one count of obstructing an official proceeding, one count of concealing and falsifying documents to influence a federal agency, and four counts of making false statements to the FDA, according to the FDA.

The indictment doesn't name the company or the drug, but a lawyer for Stevens confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that Stevens was a vice president at GlaxoSmithKline and that the indictment relates to Wellbutrin and an ongoing investigation into the company marketing the depression drug to treat weight loss -- a health issue for which it is not approved.

A spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline confirmed that Stevens was employed in the company's legal department and that she is now retired.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov112010

Childhood Weight Bullying May Trigger Eating Disorders in Adulthood, Say Doctors

(PHOENIX) -- Children who are teased about their weight are less likely to have a desire for exercise or physical activity, say doctors at the Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders.

Particularly during preteen years, children are more susceptible to developing negative self-image, which can last into their adult years.  Consequently, children who are bullied about their weight are more sensitive to "poor body dissatisfaction," say psychologists.

"We know that weight bullying happens to a lot of children," said Dena Cabrera, PsyD, a psychologist and director of educational outreach at Remuda Ranch.  "Bullying can perpetuate the cycle of lack of exercise as well as using food as a source of comfort."

Dr. Cabrera says that the parents' role is crucial in matters of bullying or self image and that parents must work toward "creating a home environment that fosters healthful eating and physical activity."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

Thursday
Nov112010

Lower Protein Infant Formula Supports Growth Rate Similar to Breast Milk, Study Says

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MADISON, N.J.) -- In a recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that infants who were fed a lower-protein infant formula gained weight at a rate similar to infants who were breastfed.

"This study showed that when we fed infants with a formula that contained specially-adjusted levels of protein that more closely matched those found in breast milk, these babies grew at a rate similar to breastfed babies," said Rosario Capeding, M.D., from the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in the Philippines.

Dr. Capeding, a pediatrician, added that early childhood nutrition is especially important and that child growth and development are dependent on support from nutrients in the "most appropriate proportions."

Although not determined in the study, Dr. Capeding also emphasized the benefits of breastfeeding pointing to the immunity that breast milk provides.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov112010

Playing Tetris Could Help Reduce Flashbacks, Study Says

Photo Courtesy - Nintendo(OXFORD, England) -- Playing Tetris after traumatic events could help reduce painful flashbacks similar to those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study by scientists at Oxford University.

Tetris, the classic computer puzzle game developed in the mid-1980s, challenges players to evenly stack blocks of different shapes and sizes as they move slowly down the computer screen.  Emily Holmes, the study's lead researcher at Oxford University's Department of Psychiatry, said her team thinks that the image-driven nature of the game gives it a kind of anti-flashback property.

"We think it works because it's competing with resources with the same kind of visual memory that would otherwise make a visual flashback, because flashbacks themselves are strong images," she said.

In a previous study involving Tetris, Holmes and her team showed that the game could reduce flashbacks when played by a healthy volunteer after a traumatic event.  But Holmes said that this new study sheds more light on why games like Tetris could help alleviate PTSD symptoms.

In the recent study, published in this week's issue of the journal PLoS ONE, the scientists asked 60 healthy volunteers to watch a video featuring traumatic images, including clips highlighting the dangers of drunk driving.  After waiting 30 minutes, 20 volunteers played Tetris for 10 minutes, 20 volunteers played the word-based game Pub Quiz Machine 2008 for the same amount of time and 20 volunteers did nothing.

The researchers found that those who played Tetris after the video experienced fewer flashbacks than those who did nothing, while those who played Pub Quiz Machine experienced more flashbacks than participants who didn't do anything.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov112010

Diagnosed ADHD Cases in US Rise Dramatically

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Cases of U.S. youngsters diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder skyrocketed over a four-year period, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The rate of new cases went up 22 percent from 2003 to 2007 and lead author Susanna Visser said Wednesday that “there are probably more children out there who have not received a diagnosis and we can't determine how many more children there are based on these data.”

All told, 5.4 million children between the ages of four and 17 are afflicted with ADHD, a condition that makes it difficult for many youngsters to concentrate and can adversely affect grades in school.

Currently, the CDC says that 2.7 million kids take medication to ease the symptoms of ADHD.

Interestingly, the incidence of ADHD being diagnosed in older teens has risen 42 percent over the four-year span studied by the government.  It’s a condition that can persist into adulthood if not treated.

Still, some health experts can’t tell if more children are actually ADHD patients, or if a greater awareness of the disease has caused the spike in the number of cases diagnosed.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio