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Am Fam Physician. 1998;57(1):17

Good things may come to those who ache. According to Time, the American Association for the Study of Headache hasn't come up with a breakthrough cure for headaches, but researchers are making progress in finding out what causes headaches and how to better treat them. In the works are a 15-minute screening test that will hopefully eliminate the trial-and-error method of treating headaches and a second-generation migraine medication that lasts longer than its predecessor and has fewer side effects. Also coming to light is the fact that migraines seem to run in families and that headaches and sex hormones are somehow linked, especially in women.

Cat got a cavity? Dog needs a canine capped? Doctors at the University of Florida's veterinary hospital and dental college routinely collaborate to provide root canals, periodontal surgery and endodontics to pets in pain. They also use devices such as crowns and braces to treat dental problems plaguing pets and exotic animals.

“Better sitters today ... better parents tomorrow.” This is the philosophy behind Safe Sitter, Inc., an organization that trains teenage babysitters. Here are some tips from Safe Sitter: book your sitter in advance; be sure the age and experience of the sitter correspond with the amount of time he or she will have to work and the amount of responsibility involved; pay well; call ahead if you won't make it home by the designated time; have adult back-ups and their phone numbers on hand, and make it a fun night for everyone by having special treats available.

Recycling can be a sticky business. The adhesives on Post-It notes, postage stamps, labels and tape are causing all sorts of problems at recycling plants, according to USA Today. They gum up the machines, cause black dots to speckle the recycled paper, and weaken the paper, causing it to tear easily. Because of the stickies, as they are called in the paper industry, only about 35 percent of stationery, envelopes and junk mail are recycled, and 52 million tons of otherwise-recyclable paper ends up in the landfills.

You may begin to notice something fishy going on in your soups, salad dressings and cheeses. According to Seafood Source, after 20 years of research, the FDA has approved deodorized and refined fish oil, which contains those healthy omega-3 fatty acids that have been gaining so much attention lately because of their apparent ability to help reduce the risk of heart attacks and depression.

Apparently, some people like eating and sleeping so much that they indulge in both at the same time. According to a psychiatrist cited in Physician's Weekly, mention of the supposedly rare sleep-related eating disorder on television elicited calls from 50 viewers who said they suffered from the condition. Of the 27 sleep eaters subsequently interviewed, 22 were women. Several had a history of depression, bulimia, anorexia or other parasomnias.

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Copyright © 1998 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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