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Best Of - 1st - Week of Apr 2023


Richard Ferber MD on WBZ’s Dr. Howard Smith OnCall: Best Of: Mar91 Part 1



Two Part Series

Boston Children's Hospital’s Dr. Richard Ferber and Dr. Smith take calls from parents with questions about children who won’t fall asleep and stay asleep.  Dr. Ferber is the author of SOLVE YOUR CHILD’S SLEEP PROBLEMS.


#ferber #pediatrics #sleep #wbznewsradio #BostonChildrensHospital 

ferber, pediatrics, sleep, wbznewsradio, BostonChildrensHospital



Richard Ferber MD on WBZ Radio’s Dr. Howard Smith OnCall: Best Of: Mar91 Part 2



Two Part Series

Boston Children's Hospital’s Dr. Richard Ferber and Dr. Smith take calls from parents with questions about children who won’t fall asleep and stay asleep.  Dr. Ferber is the author of SOLVE YOUR CHILD’S SLEEP PROBLEMS.


#ferber #pediatrics #sleep #wbznewsradio #BostonChildrensHospital

ferber, pediatrics, sleep, wbznewsradio, BostonChildrensHospital



Possible Trigger For Celiac Disease: Best Of: 2018



A common food additive may cause autoimmune celiac disease.  Microbial transglutaminase used to glue food together may be the culprit as the rise of celiac disease is associated with increasing use of this food ingredient.


#celiac #transglutaminase #autoimmunity #mTG #foodadditive

celiac, transglutaminase, autoimmunity, mTG, foodadditive



Laughter An Antidote For Pain: Best Of: 2018



An unexpected observation during awake neurosurgery at Emory University demonstrates that laughter leads to a sense of calm and happiness.


#laughter #pain #neurosurgery #anxiety

laughter, pain, neurosurgery, anxiety



Kids Love “How It Works” Stories: Best Of: Apr20



Pre-schoolers overwhelmingly choose to hear and read stories about the workings of the world around them.  This from a Vanderbilt University analysis of story choices by 48 kids 3-4 years of age.


The investigators presented children two versions of 2 stories.  One version was causally-rich with details about why and the  minimally-causal version provided just the story line.  Though the kids comprehended both versions equally, they clocked a preference for the causally-rich stories in 70% of cases.


You now have endless hours at home with your children.  Please them by providing non-fiction or fictionalized science.  Particular winners are books about the how and why of animals.


#children #parenting #reading #nonfiction #fictionalizedscience

children, parenting, reading, nonfiction, fictionalizedscience



Loving Interactions Synchronize Partners’ Brains: Best Of: Apr20




A new MRI technique permitting simultaneous brain scanning of two persons face-to-face touching one another shows that their sensory and motor regions light up in response to a partner’s actions but also in anticipation of them.  


Finnish neuroscientists, psychologists, and biomedical engineers modified a standard MRI coil to permit two person scanning.  Ten GenZ subject-pairs, all friends or romantic partners, were examined.


Though the image resolutions of this split coil technique were lower, the researchers could determine that motor activities in the brains of those touching triggered sensory activity in the brains of those being touched in a coordinated fashion.


This is only the beginning of many more studies to come.


#mri #romance #touching #love

mri, romance, touching, love



We Blab Our Secrets To Our Phones: Best Of: May20



When composing tweet, texts, and answering surveys, you tend to reveal more private, confidential information on your smartphone than on your desktop computer.  University of Pennsylvania researchers report this conclusion from their analysis of more than 369,00 tweets, nearly 20,000 call-to-action web ads, and 10,000 restaurant reviews.


The investigators attribute this “truth serum” phone effect to our intimacies with these devices.  Because phones often serve as our adult pacifiers, we view them as safe zones.  We all too often lower our defenses and risk our own data security.


This study should prompt us all to be extraordinarily careful with content we provide on social media via the phone.


#smartphone #socialmedia #privacy #security

smartphone, socialmedia, privacy, security



Zombie Moviegoers Weather Stress Better: Best Of: Jan21



Lovers of post-apocalyptic stories may be better prepared to weather stressful events like the recent pandemic say Penn State psychologists.


#zombie #disasters #pandemic #stress #anxiety

zombie, disasters, pandemic, stress, anxiety



Low Dose Aspirin Reduces Miscarriages: Best Of: Feb21



Low dose aspirin increases the chances of a live birth by up to 15% for women who had up to 2 previous miscarriages.  This the conclusion of a study from Emory and the NIH.


A group of 1228 women 18-40 years were randomized to receive 81 mg of aspirin and folic acid or folic acid alone daily for up to 6 cycles while attempting conception and continuing the regimen through 36 weeks of a successful gestation.  Those who adhered to the regimen a minimum of 4 days per week enjoyed 15 more live births per 100 women and suffered 6 fewer pregnancy losses per 100 women.  


Recurrent pregnancy losses are heartbreaking but preventable.


#pregnancy #miscarriage #aspirin

pregnancy, miscarriage, aspirin



Eating Breakfast Early Lowers Diabetes Odds: Best Of: Mar21



Eating breakfast before 8:30 in the morning reduces factors associated with development of type 2 diabetes.  So say Northwestern University nutritional researchers.


#diabetes #breakfast #insulin #insulinresistance #glucose

diabetes, breakfast, insulin, insulinresistance, glucose



Harsh Parenting Leads To Smaller Child Brains: Best Of: Mar21



Children repeatedly brow-beaten by angry, screaming, and abusive parents have measurably smaller brain structures in adolescence.  University of Montreal researchers studied 94 children 2.5 to 9 years of age at study onset.


#parenting #abuse #pediatrics #development #psychiatry

parenting, abuse, pediatrics, development, psychiatry



Exercise Makes Your Fat Healthier: Best Of: Feb22



Lifelong exercise not only keeps your body fat from over-accumulating but it also fine tunes its metabolic activity helping to prevent diabetes, obesity, and cancer.  Researchers at the University of Copenhagen make these claims after comparing the fat cells from 20 something male couch potatoes with those from 60 something men who either avoided exercise, exercised moderately, or exercised vigorously and consistently.


The studies confirmed that mitochondria, the metabolic engines in fat cells and, in fact, all cells suffer a natural decline in number and function with age.  Those men who exercised the most over their lifetimes had fat cells with the most mitochondria and best-preserved mitochondrial activity.  These vigorous mitochondria remove damaging oxygen free radicals that facilitate nasty and cancerous mutations.  They also better participate in glucose metabolism preventing diabetes and obesity.


So lifelong exercise is a fountain of youth for your fat keeping it both attractive and functionally beneficial.


#exercise #fat #adiposetissue #mitochondria #cancer #diabetes #obesity

exercise, fat, adiposetissue, mitochondria, cancer, diabetes, obesity



Childhood Insomnia Becomes Lifelong: Best Of: Feb22



Some 43% of elementary school aged children with insomnia continue to suffer from it into adolescence and young adulthood.  This from a Penn State longitudinal study of 502 children initially studied when they were 5 to 12 years of age with followup evaluations 7 and 15 years later when they were at median ages of 16 years and 24 years.


In addition to the 43% who were chronic insomniacs 27% of the group experienced durable remissions of their insomnia by adolescence.  Another 19% of the children experienced insomnia that waxed and waned through adolescence into adulthood.  Looking at those children without insomnia,  about 15% of them developed it as adolescents and continued to suffer from it into adulthood.  Another 21% of those without insomnia in childhood or adolescence developed it as adults. 


The take home: a majority, that is 58%, of those children who developed insomnia up through their teen years continue to suffer from it as young adults.


#insomnia #children #adolescents #adults

insomnia, children, adolescents, adults



Women With Migraines Face Higher Pregnancy Complications: Best Of: Feb22



The young women who experience migraines and become pregnant are more likely to suffer sometimes dire complications.  Investigators at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital issue this warning after analyzing more than 30,000 pregnancies in about 19,000 women over a 20 year period.


The data shows that pregnant women with migraine headaches are 17% more likely to have a pre-term delivery, 28% more likely to suffer elevation blood pressures, and 40% more likely to develop pre-eclampsia.  A closer look at the numbers indicates that the presence or absence of aura with the migraine affects the risk of preeclampsia, since those women with aura had a 51% risk while those with migraines and no aura had a 29% risk.  


About 20% of women of childbearing age suffer from migraines. It is important for any pregnant woman or any woman contemplating pregnancy who also has migraines to be on the lookout for these potential complications during their pregnancies.


#pregnancy #migraines #preeclampsia #preterm #hypertension

pregnancy, migraines, preeclampsia, preterm, hypertension



Office Water May Be Unsafe After Weekends and Holidays: Best Of: Mar22



You may get more than a case of the Mondays if you hit the ol’ office water fountain after a weekend or holiday closure.  Purdue University engineers issue this warning after their in-depth study of water in a 10 year old 3 story so-called green office building.  


The building’s water quality was assessed for minerals and bacteria including legionella, the bug that causes Legionnaire’s disease.  The investigators found that the drinking water flowing after a weekend had elevated levels of lead, copper, and the legionella bacteria.  The concentration of the protective disinfectant chlorine in the water decreased to suboptimal levels.


Take away points:  

  1. Stagnant water in an unoccupied building is unsafe for consumption.

  2. Bring your own bottled water on Mondays or following holidays.

  3. Even in your own home or vacation home, run the water to bring in a fresh supply that will dilute and flush any contaminants.


#water #stagnation #bottledwater #legionnella

water, stagnation, bottledwater, legionnella

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