Quantum Sufficit

Just Enough



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Am Fam Physician. 2002 Sep 15;66(6):945.

▪ Bavaria, which has been known for Alpine peaks and steins of beer, may soon be notable for the safety of its hair salons. According to a study published in BMJ, occupational skin injuries affecting that region's hair dressers are down, in part because of information campaigns and regulations in Germany that have promoted safe practices and stopped the use of glyceryl monothio-glycolate, an allergen in some permanent-wave preparations. Germany continues to get to the root of the problem—currently, the country is discussing other legislative measures intended to ensure the health of hairdressers.

▪ A familiar headache today maybe related to last night's snoring. Study results presented at the 2002 American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting show that persons with chronic daily headache (occurring more than 180 days out of the year) are two to three times more likely to be habitual snorers than those with episodic headache (occurring two to 104 days a year), reports Family Practice News. Of nearly 5,000 participants in the case-control Frequent Headache Epidemiology Study, 32 percent with chronic daily headache reported snoring regularly. Only 17 percent of those with episodic headaches snored regularly.

▪ “Just a pill full of sugar makes depression go away.” To a certain extent, placebos and antidepressants have similar effects on depression. Researchers gave depressed men either a placebo or an antidepressant. Based on a series of brain scans, the men who overcame their depression showed similar changes in the cortical regions of the brain, whether they had taken the placebo or the antidepressant. According to research from a double-blind trial published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, this finding points to brain pathways whose treatment is key in depression. However, the study also shows that only the antidepressant increases activity in deeper regions of the brain, possibly decreasing the chance of a relapse.

▪ “I'm majoring in happiness.” After all of the focus on hatred and war in recent times, it's promising to know that a place has been developed to research the positive aspects of human nature like peace, love, and happiness. At the new University of California, Berkeley, Center for the Development of Peace and Well-being, researchers from varied fields have come together to advance a developing field called “positive psychology that deals with these issues, reports Science. So far, research has included projects centered on peace, breast-cancer support groups, and the well-being of children. Let's hope this Center has a lot to study in the future.

▪ Got meat? America's 10 million vegetarians don't, but are they healthier? Time reports that a vegetarian diet lowers risks for many chronic diseases and provides cuisine that is lower in fat and cholesterol. However, this low-protein diet also reduces calcium absorption and lacks sufficient intake of fatty acids. The solution for vegetarians may be to eat a well-balanced diet and use supplements to meet nutrition requirements, which is good advice for omnivores as well.

▪ Are you a type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetic? And are you tired of daily injections? In a comparative study of injected vs inhaled insulin, Internal Medicine News reports that the in haled alternative to shots is similarly aggressive in achieving tight glucose control. Involving 335 subjects with type 1 diabetes, the study reveals that most patients prefer inhaled insulin before meals to the usual preprandial shots. However, one evening injection of long-lasting insulin was still necessary for optimal glucose control.


Copyright © 2002 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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