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Telephone-Delivered Care For Treating Depression After Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery Appears To Improve Outcomes

Patients who received telephone-delivered collaborative care for treatment of depression after coronary artery bypass graft surgery reported greater improvement in measures of quality of life, physical functioning and mood than patients who received usual care, according to a study in the November 18 issue of JAMA. The study is being released early online because of its presentation at an American Heart Association scientific conference. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is one of the most common and costly medical procedures performed in the United States. As many as half of CABG patients report depressive symptoms after surgery, and are also more likely to experience a decreased health-related quality of life (HRQL) and functional status, according to background information in the article.

Link Between High Unexpressed Anger In MS Patients And Nervous System Damage

People with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) feel more than twice as much withheld anger as the general population and this could have an adverse effect on their relationships and health, according to a study published in the December issue of the European Journal of Neurology. Italian researchers assessed 195 patients with MS, using a range of scales that measure anger, depression and anxiety, and then compared them with the general population. They were surprised by the results, which showed that while patients experienced almost twice the normal level of withheld anger and exerted low levels of control on their anger, their expressed anger levels were similar to the general population.

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Falls Among Elderly And Sedatives, Mood-Altering Drugs Linked: UBC Study

Falls among elderly people are significantly associated with several classes of drugs, including sedatives often prescribed as sleep aids and medications used to treat mood disorders, according to a study led by a University of British Columbia expert in pharmaceutical outcomes research. The study, published Nov. 23 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, provides the latest quantitative evidence of the impact of certain classes of medication on falling among seniors. Falling and fall-related complications such as hip fractures are the fifth leading cause of death in the developed world, the study noted. Antidepressants showed the strongest statistical association with falling, possibly because older drugs in this class have significant sedative properties.

Greater Risk Of Major Medical Errors When Surgeons Are Burned Out, Depressed

Surgeons who are burned out or depressed are more likely to say they had recently committed a major error on the job, according to the largest study to date on physician burnout. The new findings suggest that the mental well-being of the surgeon is associated with a higher rate of self-reported medical errors, something that may undermine patient safety more than the fatigue that is often blamed for many of the medical mistakes. Although surgeons do not appear more likely to make mistakes than physicians in other disciplines, surgical errors may have more severe consequences for patients due to the interventional nature of the work. Some estimate that as many as 10 percent of hospitalized patients are impacted by medical errors.

Mother's Depression A Risk Factor In Childhood Asthma Symptoms

Maternal depression can worsen asthma symptoms in their children, according to research from Johns Hopkins Children's Center published online in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Analyzing data from interviews with 262 mothers of African-American children with asthma a population disproportionately affected by this inflammatory airway disorder the Hopkins investigators found that children whose mothers had more depressive symptoms had more frequent asthma symptoms during the six-months of the study. Conversely, children whose mothers reported fewer depressive symptoms had less frequent asthma symptoms. Researchers tracked ups and downs in maternal depression as related to the frequency of symptoms among children.

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Grants From Michael J. Fox Foundation Awarded To BIDMC Scientists For Parkinson's Research

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) neurologists Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, and Daniel Tarsy, MD, have been awarded grants totaling more than $1.5 million from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) to conduct investigations aimed at improving the quality of life for patients with Parkinson's disease. A chronic, degenerative disorder of the nervous system that affects one in 100 individuals over age 60, Parkinson's disease results from diminished levels of dopamine, the brain's chemical messenger responsible for transmitting the signals that enable us to coordinate movements. Although Parkinson's disease typically results in tremor, rigidity and other motor symptoms, a number of non-motor symptoms, including depression, cognitive impairment, and sleep problems can also affect patients with Parkinson's disease and, in many cases, can be even more disabling than the motor symptoms.

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