After Last Year’s Deadly Flu Season, Doctors Focus On The Vaccine; At An Airport Near You … Dogs Diagnosing Malaria?
Outlets report on a range of public health developments, including the latest on daylight savings time, therapy for pregnant women, dementia, CTE and the intersection of exercise and weight loss.
Why Scientists Are Teaching Dogs To ID Malaria From Sniffing Socks
So [British entomologist Steve Lindsay] set out to create the ultimate disease watchdogs — canines that can smell parasites living inside people. Then, as people hop off international flights, these watchdogs could take a few sniffs at each person's skin and paw at the people who might be carrying a parasite. "The person can be taken aside and possibly tested for the disease with a blood test," Lindsay explains. Sound far-fetched? Well, it might not be as far from reality as you would think. (Doucleff, 11/2)
Daylight Saving Time: How 'Fall Back' Could Be Bad For Your Health
Daylight Saving Time ends and clocks will "fall back" an hour this weekend, giving Americans the feeling of an extra hour in the morning, which could negatively affect their health. "Ever since the institution of Daylight Saving Time, there has been controversy regarding whether it accomplishes its goals or not, and if so — at what cost," Timothy Morgenthaler, Mayo Clinic's co-director of the Center for Sleep Medicine, said in an email. Morgenthaler has reviewed about 100 medical papers related to how the time change could affect health. (May, 11/2)
The Wall Street Journal:
Therapy For Pregnant Women With Anxiety Offers Alternative To Medication
The group is part of Dr. Green and her colleagues’ treatment program for perinatal anxiety at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. It is one of a small but growing number of psychological therapy programs that are specifically designed for pregnant and postpartum women who struggle with anxiety and depression. They address a critical need. While scientific studies have generally found that antidepressant medications are safe to use during pregnancy and breast-feeding, there are still some concerns about their impact on babies. Some doctors encourage women to avoid the drugs during the perinatal period, especially those patients with mild illness. And many women, even some with severe depression and anxiety disorders, simply refuse to take them while pregnant or breast-feeding. (Petersen, 11/3)
The Washington Post:
Tracking People With Dementia Who Wander And Get Lost.
L.A. Found, which launched in this sprawling county in September, equips potential wanderers with trackable bracelets that, when activated by search crews, transmit a radio signal to handheld receivers placed in several Sheriff’s Department cruisers and helicopters. The battery-operated bracelets are available to anyone with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or autism. The bracelets are nothing new. They are distributed by Project Lifesaver, a nearly 20-year-old nonprofit group based in Florida that has issued the white, watch-sized wristbands — each equipped with a radio transmitter — to hundreds of municipal public-safety agencies around the country. (Kuznia, 11/3)
Study Hints That A Certain Gene May Worsen CTE
In a paper published Saturday, a team from the Boston University School of Medicine identifies a new clue in understanding an illness that has raised worrisome questions about the long-term risks of playing contact sports. Genes had been suspected of playing a role in CTE, and the study is the first to suggest a specific culprit: a common variant of a gene known at TMEM106B. (Freyer, 11/4)
The Washington Post:
Yes Exercise Really Does Play A Role In Weight Loss
“Exercise isn’t really important for weight loss” has become a popular sentiment in the weight-loss community. “It’s all about diet,” many say. “Don’t worry about exercise so much.” This idea crept out amid infinite theories about dieting and weight loss, and it quickly gained popularity, with one article alone citing 60 studies to support and spread this notion like wildfire. The truth is that you absolutely can — and should — exercise your way to weight loss. So why is anyone saying otherwise? (Prologo, 11/4)