Dec 15

More Than 1 in 10 Pilots Suffer From Depression, Survey Finds

Latest Mental Health News THURSDAY, Dec. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) — More than one-tenth of professional airline pilots may suffer from depression, and a small percentage might experience suicidal thoughts, a new survey reveals. The findings come in the wake of the Germanwings air crash in 2015. In that tragedy, a co-pilot with depression deliberately crashed an airliner in the French Alps, killing all 150 people onboard. “We found that many pilots currently flying are managing depressive symptoms, and it may be that they are not seeking treatment due to the fear of negative career impacts,” said senior study author Joseph Allen. He is an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “There is a veil of secrecy around mental health issues in the cockpit. By using an anonymous survey, we … Continue reading

Dec 15

NYC ‘Zombie’ Outbreak Highlights Dangers of Synthetic Drug

By Alan MozesHealthDay Reporter Latest Mental Health News WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The drug misleadingly marketed as “fake pot” that triggered a “zombie” outbreak in a New York City neighborhood last summer was significantly more potent than real marijuana, investigators say. Thirty-three people at a Brooklyn event became intoxicated and essentially immobilized after smoking the synthetic drug. Eighteen were taken to hospitals for emergency treatment. Testing of their urine and blood revealed evidence of a synthetic product known as AK-47 24 Karat Gold. A lab analysis found it was as much as 85 times more potent than THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active ingredient in real marijuana, the researchers reported. Fake pot is highly potent, unregulated and bears no real relationship to plant-based marijuana, said Roy Gerona, author of the new study. “What we’re talking about are thousands … Continue reading

Dec 15

Women Denied an Abortion Endure Mental Health Toll: Study

By Alan MozesHealthDay Reporter Latest Mental Health News WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Women who are denied an abortion may suffer anxiety and low self-esteem, a new analysis indicates. In contrast, the researchers found no indication that having an abortion increased the risk for near- or long-term psychological problems. “Our study found that denying women an abortion has negative consequences to their mental health and well-being in the short-term,” said study author M. Antonia Biggs, a social psychologist researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. “[And] our study found no evidence of emerging mental health problems after having an abortion — for at least five years,” Biggs added. Other research has suggested that having an abortion may raise the risk of mental health issues later in life. Biggs and her colleagues reported their findings online Dec. 14 … Continue reading

Dec 14

Ativan vs. Xanax

Ativan vs. Xanax review Ativan (lorazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam) are both members of the benzodiazepine family of drugs used mainly to treat anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. Researchers believe both Ativan and Xanax – like other benzodiazepines – work by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter that helps inhibit excess brain activity. Excessive activity of nerves in the brain may cause anxiety and other psychological disorders, according to the current understanding of neuroscience. The central difference between Ativan and Xanax is Ativan leaves a person’s system more quickly, reducing the chance of toxicity or side effects, a few of which are: Ativan also has fewer unfavorable interactions with other medications when compared to Xanax. Both drugs, however, can cause dangerous increased sedation when consumed with alcohol. Both drugs also have the potential for addiction. Stopping either Ativan or Xanax abruptly … Continue reading

Dec 14

Immune-Focused Drug Shows Promise Against Lung Cancer

Latest Cancer News TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) — An immunotherapy drug called Tecentriq (atezolizumab) extended the survival of lung cancer patients for several months longer than chemotherapy and caused fewer side effects, according to a new study. The findings are from an early analysis of 850 patients with non-small cell lung cancer in a phase 3 trial funded by the drug’s makers. According to the American Cancer Society, non-small cell lung cancer is the major form of the disease, comprising up to 85 percent of cases. Lung cancer remains the leading cancer killer in the United States, with more than 158,000 people expected to die from the disease this year. The patients in the new trial had run out of treatment options. They received either Tecentriq or the chemotherapy drug docetaxel — the standard treatment for this type … Continue reading

Dec 14

Some Low-Income, Uninsured Patients Aren’t Referred for Colonoscopy

Latest Cancer News TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Many low-income and uninsured patients don’t have a follow-up colonoscopy after abnormal results on a colon cancer screening test — even if they’re in a “safety net” health program, a new study finds. A safety net health system provides significant care to vulnerable patients, regardless of their income. This study included more than 2,200 such patients, ages 50 to 75, in the San Francisco Health Network. This safety net system includes several hospitals and clinics in the area. All of the study participants had positive findings on a fecal blood test between April 2012 and February 2015. A fecal blood test is a noninvasive exam that checks for blood in the stool, a possible indication of colon cancer. If blood is detected, the risk of colon cancer is about 10 … Continue reading

Dec 14

Health Tip: Who Needs a Flu Shot?

Latest Cold and Flu News (HealthDay News) — Debating whether to get a flu shot? With few exceptions, most people will benefit and a few in particular really need the vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says these people are at greatest risk of flu and should get the shot: Children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years, and seniors aged 50 and older. People with a chronic illness, such as diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease or kidney disease. Also, anyone with a suppressed immune system. Pregnant women. Children on aspirin therapy. Anyone living in a nursing home or long-term care facility. People who work in a health-care setting. People who live with young children or older adults. People who are obese. People of Alaskan or American Indian descent. — Diana Kohnle Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. … Continue reading

Dec 13

Just 40 Percent of Americans Vaccinated for Flu This Season

Latest Cold and Flu News MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Only about two out of five Americans had gotten this season’s flu shot as of early November, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. About 37 percent of children between 6 months and 17 years old have gotten the flu vaccine this year. And approximately 41 percent of adults aged 18 and older have received the shot. The overall rate is similar to the vaccination rate at the same time last year, the CDC noted. “We are glad to see that people are making the decision to protect themselves and their families from flu, but coverage is still low and we urge people to get vaccinated if they haven’t yet,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “We … Continue reading

Dec 13

Health Tip: Enjoy an Active Holiday Season

Latest Exercise & Fitness News (HealthDay News) — You can enjoy the holidays without skipping exercise, overdoing it at the buffet and gaining weight. The American Council on Exercise suggests: Say “no” to the small temptations you face throughout the holiday season. Decide which two holiday treats are your favorites, and only indulge in those. Don’t stress if you miss a workout. Do your best. Decide which holiday obligations, whether it’s cards or a party, you can do without. Make a family tradition of fun ways to be active, whether it’s ice skating or going for a walk. Plan for each of the holidays so your busy schedule doesn’t catch you off guard. — Diana Kohnle Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Dec 13

Most Teen Smokers Also Turn to Alcohol, Drugs, Study Finds

Latest Mental Health News MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Many U.S. teen smokers — even those who only light up occasionally — also use other drugs, a new study suggests. Of the 176 teen smokers in San Francisco who took part in the study, 96 percent said they’d used at least two other substances besides cigarettes. In most cases, those other substances were alcohol, marijuana and other tobacco products. However, 16 percent reported the use of harder drugs, such as cocaine, hallucinogens and Ecstasy, or the misuse of prescription medications. “Most of these adolescents smoked five or fewer cigarettes a day,” said study author Karma McKelvey. She’s a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. “This tells us that multidrug use among adolescents may be more prevalent … Continue reading

Dec 13

1 in 6 U.S. Adults Takes a Psychiatric Drug: Study

By Steven ReinbergHealthDay Reporter Latest Mental Health News MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) — One in six U.S. adults takes a psychiatric medication to cope with conditions such as depression, anxiety and insomnia, a new study finds. Researchers found that in 2013 nearly 17 percent of adults said they filled one or more prescriptions for antidepressants such as Zoloft; sedatives and sleep drugs, including Xanax and Ambien; or antipsychotics, used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. “From a drug safety perspective, I am concerned that so many of these drugs have withdrawal effects and that some of the overwhelming long-term use may reflect drug dependence,” said study co-author Thomas Moore. “These questions need further investigation,” added Moore, a senior scientist for drug safety and policy at the nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Alexandria, Va. Because most prescriptions … Continue reading

Dec 12

Klonopin (clonazepam) vs. Xanax (alprazolam)

Klonopin (clonazepam) vs. Xanax (alprazolam) review Klonopin (clonazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam) belong to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are medications that cause drowsiness (sedation) and inhibition of nerve signals within the brain (central nervous system or CNS). They also are used for sedation during surgery. Both Klonopin and Xanax are prescribed to treat anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety include: Headaches Sleep problems Becoming tired easily Irritability Muscle tension Restlessness or feeling edgy Trouble concentrating Klonopin also is prescribed to treat certain types of seizures and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Since both Klonopin and Xanax are benzodiazepines, they can cause physical dependence (addiction). Withdrawal symptoms from suddenly stopping taking these medications can include insomnia, headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating, tremors, and seizures. Examples of common side effects of benzodiazepines like Klonopin and Xanax include Klonopin and Xanax interact with alcohol, barbiturates, narcotics, and … Continue reading

Dec 12

Sore Throat: Virus or Strep?

Are you wondering if your sore throat requires antibiotics? Strep throat, named for the Streptococcus bacterium that causes the condition, is a particularly severe form of sore throat that is best treated with antibiotics. Strep throat can strike both children and adults, but only about 5%-10% of sore throats are caused by a bacterial infection. Most sore throats are caused by viral illnesses and are not responsive to treatment with antibiotics. What are the symptoms of strep vs. a viral infection? A true streptococcal infection of the throat often leads to excruciating throat pain accompanied by difficulty swallowing and even speaking. Fever may be present, and the tonsils are often covered with a whitish layer of pus. Cough and runny nose are not commonly related to strep throat, but it is possible to have a streptococcal infection along with a … Continue reading

Dec 12

Loneliness May Sabotage Breast Cancer Survival: Study

By Steven ReinbergHealthDay Reporter Latest Cancer News MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Loneliness may impede long-term breast cancer survival, a new study suggests. In the years after treatment, women who don’t have strong social ties are more likely to have their cancer return or die from it than women with friends and a support network, the researchers found. Reviewing data on nearly 10,000 breast cancer patients, the researchers linked isolation with a 40 percent higher risk of cancer recurrence compared to socially connected women. These solitary women also had a 60 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer and a 70 percent increased risk of dying from any cause, the study found. The results weren’t unexpected, the researchers said. “It is well established that women generally and those with breast cancer with greater social ties have a … Continue reading

Dec 12

Breast Cancer Death Rates Vary Around the World

Latest Cancer News FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Breast cancer death rates are falling in the United States and many other countries, but increasing in South Korea and some Latin American countries, researchers report. The investigators looked at data from 47 countries from 1987 to 2013. They found that breast cancer death rates declined in 39 of those nations due to advances in detection and treatment over the past few decades. The largest decrease was in England and Wales, with a 46 percent drop. In the United States, the breast cancer death rate fell 42 percent. It dropped from 22 deaths per 100,000 women in 1987-1989 to 14 deaths per 100,000 women in 2011-2013, the study showed. Rates declined in all age groups in the United States: by 50 percent for women under 50; by 44 percent for … Continue reading

Dec 12

Strength Training May Prevent Side Effect of Breast Cancer Surgery

Latest Cancer News FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Strength training might benefit breast cancer survivors who’ve undergone surgery, researchers suggest. In a small study, weightlifting appeared to help prevent swelling in the arms and chest, a common side effect of breast cancer treatment. The study included 27 breast cancer survivors who did supervised moderate-intensity strength workouts twice a week. Each woman’s regimen was matched to her ability. The women were checked every two weeks. Three had reductions in swelling and the rest did not develop any swelling. Many of the women also said they were better able to perform everyday tasks, such as opening jars or lifting heavy objects. “At one time, women were told they shouldn’t do upper-body activities after surgery and treatment because doctors thought it could actually cause swelling to become worse,” said study author … Continue reading

Dec 12

Health Tip: Trying to Unclog That Stuffy Nose?

Latest Cold and Flu News (HealthDay News) — Over-the-counter decongestants can spell relief from a stuffy nose, but it’s important to use them properly to avoid side effects. The American Academy of Family Physicians advises: Read and follow package instructions. Do not take more than the recommended dose. Check with your doctor to make sure an OTC decongestant is safe to take with your other meds. Don’t take more than one decongestant at a time. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions. — Diana Kohnle Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Dec 12

Was Football Safer Back in the Day?

By Amy NortonHealthDay Reporter Latest Exercise & Fitness News MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) — In a finding that suggests football used to be a less dangerous sport, a small study shows that men who played in high school in the 1950s and 1960s may not be at increased risk for dementia or memory problems. Nor did they show increased rates of Parkinson’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The study used a small group of men, the researchers acknowledged. But, they added, the results are in line with an earlier study that examined men who’d played high school football in the 1940s and 1950s. “What we can say is, for that era, football did not increase the risks of neurodegenerative disease compared with other sports,” said senior researcher Dr. Rodolfo Savica, a … Continue reading

Dec 12

How Muscles Work & Respond to Resistance Training

Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. Muscle contraction isn’t just brawn. It isn’t just mass that allows bodybuilders and powerlifters to perform Herculean lifts. Contraction of muscle, and strength in general, is much more than just size but also involves the muscle response to resistance exercise. Anatomy and Physiology of Skeletal Muscles There are three types of muscle in the body: Skeletal (voluntary muscles that move the body, … Continue reading

Dec 12

Muscle Cramp (Charley Horse) Treatment and Symptoms

Facts on muscle cramps Anyone who has experienced a muscle cramp (charley horse) can attest to the fact that it can be quite painful. Muscle cramps or spasms occur when muscles involuntarily contract and cannot relax. The term charley horse has been used to refer to painful muscle cramps, particularly when they occur in the leg. The skeletal muscles (those over which we have voluntary control) are most prone to cramping. The skeletal muscles in the calf, thigh, and arch of the foot are most notorious sites of cramps. Cramps can be perceived as mild twitches or may be excruciatingly painful. Typically, cramps cause an abrupt, intense pain in the involved muscle. Often a muscle that is cramping feels harder than normal to the touch or may even show visible signs of twitching. Most cramps resolve spontaneously within a few … Continue reading

Dec 12

Alcohol Can Be a Risky Guest at Holiday Parties

Latest Mental Health News SUNDAY, Dec. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) — During the holiday season, gatherings and parties are a part of the festivities. Unfortunately, so are alcohol-related accidents and deaths. Many people who attend seasonal parties seldom drink alcohol, making them more vulnerable to its effects, according to experts at UC Davis Health System in California. Meanwhile, heavy drinkers may use holiday gatherings as an opportunity to let loose and drink too much, the experts cautioned. Drinking in moderation can help prevent alcohol-related injuries and health issues. It’s also important to appoint a designated driver who will stay sober and ensure partygoers get home safely, the experts advised. Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. U.S. health officials define moderate drinking as one drink per day for women and two drinks for men. The type of alcohol also matters. One drink is … Continue reading

Dec 09

For People With Mental Health Woes, Pets Can Be Invaluable

Latest Mental Health News FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Cats, dogs, birds and other pets can help people manage their mental disorders, a new study says. Researchers from the United Kingdom asked more than 50 adults with long-term mental conditions about the role pets play in their social networks. Sixty percent placed pets in the central and most important circle — above family, friends and hobbies. Another 20 percent placed pets in the second circle. Many said the constant presence and close proximity of their pets provide an immediate source of calm. For some, a pet helps distract them from symptoms and upsetting experiences such as hearing voices or suicidal thoughts. “You just want to sink into a pit… the cats force me to sort of still be involved with the world,” one patient said. Another patient said: … Continue reading

Dec 09

Turning to an Ancient Art to Help Ease PTSD in Veterans

Latest Mental Health News THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The age-old practice of Tai Chi shows promise in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans, new research shows. The study was small — just 17 U.S. veterans — and involved four introductory sessions of Tai Chi, the Chinese exercise regimen that involves slow, fluid movements. A team led by Barbara Niles, of Boston University School of Medicine, said the program helped ease the veterans’ PTSD symptoms. Those symptoms included intrusive thoughts, difficulty concentrating and physiological arousal. Most of the veterans involved in the program said they would recommend Tai Chi to a friend, according to the study published Dec. 8 in the journal BMJ Open. One psychiatrist with experience treating PTSD said the approach might have merit. “Tai Chi is an ancient exercise developed in China, originally a … Continue reading

Dec 09

Could Regular Pot Smoking Harm Vision?

By Alan MozesHealthDay Reporter Latest Eyesight News THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Smoking pot regularly may be linked to a limited degree of vision impairment, a new French study suggests. The finding stems from very preliminary research involving just 52 participants, 28 of whom were regular marijuana users. That meant they used marijuana at least seven times a week. The question posed in the study: Does marijuana affect the healthy functioning of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which are situated on the surface of the retina? These cells receive incoming visual information, and are considered the first link in the pathway that connects the retina to the part of the brain where eyesight is processed. The answer: Regular pot users do appear to experience a slight delay in their RGC signaling. And that could indicate impaired vision, the study … Continue reading