Researchers Aren't Wasting Time Looking for Cures for Alzheimer's Disease or Schizophrenia

As I did on my posts of November 30, 2011,  October 2, 2012, and September 17, 2013, it’s once again time to look over the highlights of the latest issue of one of my two favorite medical journals, Duh! and No Sh*t, Sherlock. Let’s take a look at the unsurprising findings published in the latest issue of Duh! My comments in bronze.As I pointed out in those earlier posts, research dollars are very limited and therefore precious. Why waste good money trying to study new, cutting edge or controversial ideas that might turn out to be wrong, when we can study things that that are already known to be true but have yet to be "proven"? Such an approach increases the success rate of studies almost astronomically. And studies with positive results are far more likely to be published than those that come up negative.9/13/13. Effects of Child Abuse Can Carry Over, Study Finds.Researchers with the National Academy of Sciences reported Thursday that the damaging consequences of abuse can not only reshape a child’s brain, but can last a lifetime. Untreated, the effects of child abuse and neglect, the researchers found, can profoundly influence a child’s physical and mental health, their ability to control emotions and impulses, their achievement in school, and the relationships they form as children and as adults.Cognitive behavioral therapists are all up in arms in reaction to this, thoroughly annoyed that the psychoanalysts were right about some things.

9/16/13.  Teens Who Text About Fighting, Drug Use More Likely To Engage In Those Behaviors.

HealthDay (9/14, Preidt) reported that research published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology suggests that “teens who text about bad behaviors such as drug use or fighting are more likely to actually engage in those behaviors.” Researchers examined the text messages of more than 170 ninth-graders. Their behaviors were rated by their teachers, parents, and fellow students. The investigators “found a strong link between antisocial text messages and higher ratings of antisocial and aggressive behavior at the end of the school year.” If they were real sociopaths, they wouldn’t have to brag about it.

 

9/27/13. Common Pain Relievers May Reduce Depression In Individuals With Osteoarthritis.

Reuters (9/27, Doyle) reports that research published in the American Journal of Medicine suggests that common pain relievers may reduce both pain and depression among individuals with osteoarthritis. Investigators came to this conclusion after looking at data from five trials that included approximately 1,500 patients.Pain causes people unhappiness??  I always thought pain was something that causes unremitting happiness and celebration.

10/21/13. Stalking May Cause Psychological Distress.

HealthDay (10/19, Dallas) reported that, according to a study published online in the journal Social Science Quarterly, “women who are the victims of stalkers are up to three times more likely than their peers to experience psychological distress.” Researchers arrived at this conclusion after examining data “compiled on over 8,100 women from three major surveys.” And here I thought stalkers were spreading joy wherever they went.2/27/14.  Suicide Attempts Early in Life Signal Long-Term Social, Health Problems, Study FindsYoung people who attempt suicide are not only more likely to have persistent psychiatric problems as they approach midlife than non-attempters, but they are also more likely to have physical health problems, engage in violence, and need more social supports as they age. These are key findings from a study by led by Sidra Goldman-Mellor, Ph.D., and colleagues at Duke University and several other institutions and reported in JAMA Psychiatry. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior?  Who knew?

2/27/14. Study: Stigma Associated With Mental Illness May Prevent Many People From Seeking Care.

HealthDay (2/27) reports that research published in Psychological Medicine suggests that “the stigma often associated with mental illness prevents many people from getting the care they need.” Investigators looked at data from 144 studies that included a total of approximately 90,000 people. The researchers found that “stigma ranked as the fourth highest of 10 barriers to care.” The investigators also found that, “aside from the stigma of using mental health services or being treated for mental illness, the participants also reported feelings of shame and embarrassment as reasons for not seeking care.” Caring about what other people think?  Worrying about your reputation?  Who does THAT?

3/17/14. Stress May Impact Kid's Health, Well- Being  

HealthDay (3/15, Preidt) reported that according to research presented at the American Psychosomatic Society’s annual meeting, “stressful events can have an almost immediate impact on children’s health and well-being.” After analyzing data on some 96,000 US children, researchers also found that youngsters “who experienced three or more stressful events were six times more likely to have physical or mental health problems or a learning disorder than those who had no stressful experiences.”Nonsense.  Learning how to reacting to constant threats to your well being builds character!

4/8/14. Study: Physician appointment availability greater with private insurance than Medicaid.

Reuters (4/8, Seaman) reports on a new study, published in the current edition of JAMA Internal Medicine, which shows the availability of physicians varies depending on a patient’s insurance coverage. Researchers, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, found they were able to book appointments 85% of the time when claiming private insurance, compared to just 58% when they claimed to be covered by Medicaid. Oh come on. Doctors absolutely hate to make money.4/14/14. Paternal Alcoholism Tied To Family Conflict.Reuters (4/11, Bond) reported that according to a study published online March 15 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, families in which the father had a problem with alcohol appeared to experience increased levels of conflict. However, treating men for alcoholism may result in an improved home life for their children.

Gee, and I thought drug addiction was a symptom of family harmony.

4/22/14.  False-Positive Mammograms Linked To Increased, But Temporary, Anxiety.

The Los Angeles Times(4/22, Kaplan) “Science Now” blog reports that in a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, investigators “examined data from a large clinical trial of digital mammography and concluded that false-positives produced a ‘significant increase in anxiety,’ though it was only temporary.”         People get nervous if they think they might die. Really?5/1/14. Effects of Recurrent Violence on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Severe Distress in Conflict-affected Timor-Leste: a 6-year longitudinal studySilove D, et al. – Recurrent violence resulted in a major increase in post–traumatic stress disorder and severe distress in a community previously exposed to mass conflict. Poverty, ongoing community tensions, and persisting feelings of injustice contributed to mental disorders. The findings underscore the importance of preventing recurrent violence, alleviating poverty, and addressing injustices in countries emerging from conflict.So what does trauma have to do with PTSD anyway?

 
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