Medicine

British boy’s medical cannabis returned

Xil 2b

London: The UK Home Office is returning a severely epileptic boy’s medicinal cannabis oil after confiscating it from his mother at customs. WAtoday PA Charlotte Caldwell tried to bring the medication into Heathrow Airport in a last-ditch effort to treat her 12-year-old son Billy, but it was removed by border officials. After a week of pleading with the Home Office, during which she accused a minister of likely signing the boy’s “death warrant”, the government has relented. Home Secretary Sajid Javid ... Read More »

When possessions are poor substitutes for people: hoarding disorder and loneliness

Bulu 2b

A decomposed, mummified body of a man was recently found by forensic cleaners in a Sydney apartment. Authors: The Conversation The apartment’s owner is thought to have suffered from hoarding disorder, and police believe the decomposed body had been there for more than ten… We occasionally read stories involving people with hoarding disorder – people whose possessions pose a serious burden. Clutter might prevent them from sitting on their sofa, taking a shower, cooking a meal, or sleeping in their… ... Read More »

The Insatiable and Unknowable Anthony Bourdain

Wels 2b

Anthony Bourdain devoured the world. That’s not hyperbole. It’s not even metaphor. Frank Bruni The New York Times There was no place that he wasn’t curious to explore, no food that he wasn’t determined to try, no cap on his hunger and no ceiling, or so it always seemed, on his joy. In his writing and especially on his TV shows, most recently CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” he exhorted the rest of us to follow his lead and open our eyes ... Read More »

How we talk about Kate Spade could help others survive

Keyt 1a

I was sitting at my desk when a push notification came on my phone about Kate Spade’s suicide, and I felt a rush of vertigo, as if the room had tipped sideways. Gayle Brandeis CNN I had to clutch the arms of my desk chair to steady myself, had to take a few deep breaths. My mother took her own life in 2009, and whenever I hear news of a suicide, it both reopens that grief and sends my heart ... Read More »

Why long-term separation from parents harms kids

Oft 2b

As a society, we often wax eloquent about how important it is to nurture, support and protect our children. David Rosenberg The Conversation The sad reality, however, is that all too often major, life-changing decisions are made without any consideration of their potential lifelong and devastating impact on kids. Case in point: children separated from their parents at borders as new immigration policies are debated. Separation from parents for even short periods can cause anxiety disorders that can last a ... Read More »

The desperate global need for medical diagnostics

Enf 2b

Prince, a three-year-old boy, is brought to the emergency room in Monrovia, Liberia, with fever and a decreased level of consciousness. He is critically ill. He is treated for malaria. Authors The Conversation Time is the only way to tell if this was the right treatment choice — but time may not be on his side. An astute nurse asks a visiting doctor if she can borrow a blood glucose monitor and nails the diagnosis: Type 1 diabetes, requiring urgent ... Read More »

Syrian refugees in America: The forgotten psychological wounds of the stress of migration

Kama 1a

War in Syria and the refugee crisis have been the subject of a heated debate in United States politics, leading to a travel ban and drastic reduction in the number refugees to the U.S. this year. Arash Javanbakht The Conversation We occasionally hear about brutal deaths and starvation of civilians in Syria from the news, as a far concept happening in another world. This is a group of people who may justifiably feel betrayed by the world. But what do ... Read More »

The art of healing: five medicinal plants used by Aboriginal Australians

Yy 1a

People have lived in Australia for at least 65,000 years. In all those generations the land provided original Australians with everything they needed for a healthy life. Beth Gott The Conversation At least half the food eaten by the first Australians came from plants, and it was the task of women to collect them. Fruits, seeds and greens were seasonal, but roots could usually be dug up all year round, because the earth acted as a natural storage cupboard. The ... Read More »

Having an abortion does not lead to depression

EurekAlert 2b logo LLLLLL

A study of nearly 400,000 women is the first to explore the risk of antidepressant use around an abortion as a proxy for depression University of Maryland EurekAlert! Having an abortion does not increase a woman’s risk for depression, according to a new study of nearly 400,000 women published today in JAMA Psychiatry. While previous research has found abortion does not harm women’s mental health, studies claiming that it does continue to be published and state policies that restrict access ... Read More »

Have you got an end-of-life plan?

Agape 1a

Lawyers are encouraging us to think about how we want our lives to end as part of a campaign to record end-of-life wishes with a free online tool called Advance Care Directive. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly While the topic of death and dying remain uncomfortable subjects for many, lawyers in South Australia are urging members of the community to think seriously about the end. These can include questions about whether a patient wishes to be resuscitated or placed on life support ... Read More »

Children struggle to hold pencils due to too much tech, doctors say

HoldP 1a

Children need opportunities to develop hand strength and dexterity needed to hold pencils Amelia Hill The Guardian Children are increasingly finding it hard to hold pens and pencils because of an excessive use of technology, senior paediatric doctors have warned. An overuse of touchscreen phones and tablets is preventing children’s finger muscles from developing sufficiently to enable them to hold a pencil correctly, they say. “Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 ... Read More »

‘Give addicts overdose cure’ Doctors desperate to keep opioid epidemic at bay

Drugs 1a Getty LLLL

TENS of thousands of drug addicts should be given anti-overdose medication to keep at home, according to new advice on preparing for a possible opioid epidemic. Kate Devlin Express Doctors and health experts fear a death toll to rival that in the US, where the drugs have been implicated in overdoses and the deaths of pop stars Michael Jackson and Prince. New guidance says addicts should be given an emergency “antidote” called naloxone – which keeps them alive until an ... Read More »

Extinguished and anguished: what is burnout and what can we do about it?

Angue 1a

Feeling “burnt out” is a pretty common phrase in daily parlance, but we’re starting to learn more about its longer-term destructive effects. Authors: The Conversation Sufferers often describe feeling exhausted and disconnected, and as though they’re “going through the motions” without motivation or… Burnout can have serious consequences, including reduced work performance and life satisfaction, and has been associated with other mental health conditions. For instance, it has been linked to depression, as both conditions share a number of symptoms ... Read More »

Final donation for man whose blood helped save 2.4 million babies

Ske 4d

For every regular blood donation, three lives could be saved; an ordinary plasma donation could save 18. But James Harrison is extraordinary. Kate Aubusson The Age His blood has helped save the lives of 2.4 million babies. The 81-year-old’s plasma contains a potent antibody used to create a remarkable treatment known as Anti-D that protects unborn babies from the potentially deadly Rhesus D Haemolytic Disease (HDN). On Friday, after more than 60 years and 1173 donations, Mr Harrison made his ... Read More »

The New Ebola Outbreak Could Take ‘Three, Maybe Four’ Months to Control

Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB), Jean-Jacques Muyembe from Democratic Republic of Congo poses on May 28, 2015 in Paris. Dr Muyembe received the 2015 Christophe Merieux Prize for his search on Ebola. AFP PHOTO / MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE        (Photo credit should read MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images)

The DRC’s top virologist says the response has been quick, but it started late because of delays in reporting suspected cases. Ed Yong The Atlantic The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently fighting its ninth Ebola outbreak—and Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum is as calm as ever. Warm, round-faced, and preternaturally chill, Muyembe was the first scientist to encounter Ebola during the first-ever outbreak in 1976, and he has been involved in studying and fighting the disease ever since. “We have a ... Read More »

Vitamin D linked to lowered autism risk in large study

Ceb 3c

Children born with high blood levels of vitamin D have 25 percent decreased odds of autism compared with those born with low levels. Nicholette Zeliadt Sprctrum Researchers presented the unpublished results today at the 2018 International Society for Autism Researchannual meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The results come from the largest study yet to explore a link between vitamin D and autism. It involves an analysis of dried blood spots from 3,370 newborns in Sweden, 1,341 of whom now have an ... Read More »