Health and Fitness

Percentage Of Babies Placed To Sleep On Their Backs Levels Off

The rate of babies being placed on their backs to sleep-a sleep position associated with a dramatic decrease in the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)-has reached a plateau since 2001, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In addition, racial disparities remain in infant sleeping position. SIDS is a leading cause of infant death, according to background information in the article. The Back to Sleep campaign, launched in 1994, encouraged parents to place infants to sleep in the supine position (on their backs) and was associated with a dramatic decrease in the SIDS rate. However, African American infants continue to have more than twice the rate of SIDS as white infants. Eve R. Colson, M.D., of Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., and colleagues analyzed data from the National Infant Sleep Position Study, a nationally representative telephone survey conducted annually between 1993 and 2007.

Contaminated Well Water Caused Illness In CPAP Patient

Many people rely on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines as a safe and effective treatment for sleep apnea. But a new case report describes a rare complication a lingering inflammatory disease of the lungs, apparently related to the use of contaminated well water in a CPAP machine. The report appears in the December Southern Medical Journal, official journal of the Southern Medical Association. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, and pharmacy. Dr. Lawrence W. Raymond and colleagues of Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, describe an unusual case of lung disease related to CPAP, which uses humidified air to keep the airways open while the patient is sleeping. The patient in the case report had used her CPAP machine for several years with no problems she was careful about cleaning her machine and filling it with distilled water, as recommended.

Study Shows Dream-Enacting Behavior Is Common In Healthy Young Adults

A study in the Dec.1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that dream-enacting behaviors are common in healthy young adults, and the prevalence of specific behaviors differs between men and women. Results indicate that 98 percent of subjects (486/495) reported experiencing one of seven subtypes of dream-enacting behavior at least "rarely" in the last year. The most prevalent behavior subtype was "fear, " with 93 percent reporting that they had felt signs of fear in their body after awakening from a frightening dream. Seventy-eight percent reported that they had awakened from an erotic dream to find that they were sexually aroused; 72 percent had awakened from a happy dream to find that they were actually smiling or laughing. Each of the other four behavior subtypes was reported by more than 50 percent of participants: They awakened from a dream to find that they were talking, crying, acting out an angry or defensive behavior such as punching or kicking, or acting out other movements such as waving or pointing.

Insomnia Prevalent Among Cancer Patients Who Receive Chemotherapy

Three quarters of cancer patients and survivors treated with chemotherapy suffer insomnia or sleep disorders that often become chronic conditions, hindering patients' ability to fully recover, according to scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center. A study of 823 cancer patients showed they experienced sleep troubles at nearly three times the rate of the general population. The problem was more prevalent in younger patients and those with lung and breast cancers, according to the paper published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. "These numbers are very high and something we can't ignore, " said Oxana Palesh, Ph.D., M.P.H., research assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at the Medical Center's James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and lead author of the paper. "The good news is that insomnia is a very treatable problem that can be addressed quickly so it doesn't compound other symptoms." Palesh reviewed data on patients who received chemotherapy between 1997 and 1999 at private practice medical oncology groups who were part of the National Cancer Institute's Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP.

Startled Flies May Provide Insight Into ADHD

It seems obvious that naturally waking up from sleep and being startled by something in the environment are two very different emotional states. However, the neuroscience that underlies these different forms of arousal has, for the most part, remained a mystery. Now, new research published by Cell Press in the November 25 issue of the journal Neuron demonstrates that there are at least two completely separate and independent forms of arousal in fruit flies. The study answers critical questions about how the nervous system processes arousal and may even shed some light on the neurobiology of human affective disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ). A state of arousal can be defined as in increase in activity or sensitivity and is central to many behaviors in all sorts of organisms. It has not been fully established whether arousal is a generalized state that can be heightened by specific stimuli or is more multidimensional. Further, although many studies have implicated key neurochemicals in arousal, the specific roles of these neuromodulators are unclear.

Hebrew University, US Scientists Find Clue To Mystery Of How Biological Clock Operates On 24-hour Cycle

How does our biological system know that it is supposed to operate on a 24-hour cycle? Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered that a tiny molecule holds the clue to the mystery. Human as well as most living organisms on earth possess circadian a (24-hour) life rhythm. This rhythm is generated from an internal clock that is located in the brain and regulates many bodily functions, including the sleep-wake cycle and eating. Although the evidence for their existence is obvious and they have been studied for more than 150 years, only recently the mechanisms that generate these rhythms have begun to be unraveled. A researcher of the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University, Dr. Sebastian Kadener, and one of his students, Uri Weissbein, are among a collaborative group of researchers that have now found that tiny molecules known as miRNAs are central constituents of the circadian clock. Their discovery holds wide-ranging implications for future therapeutic treatment to deal with sleep deprivation and other common disorders connected with the daily life cycle.

Hospital Noise Initiative Reduces Average Peak Decibel Levels By 20 Percent

Patients often complain that getting a good night's sleep or a bit of peace and quiet in hospital can be difficult. But a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing has shown that adopting some simple measures can reduce peak noise levels on hospital wards by just under 20 per cent. UK researchers from Newcastle upon Tyne audited average decibel levels before and after a noise reduction intervention programme on three wards with a total of 92 beds - a surgical ward, medical ward and orthopaedic ward. Forty-six ward staff - just over 51 per cent of the total - took part in the initiative, along with five members of the multi-disciplinary team, including a physiotherapist and junior doctors. The training was delivered on an individual basis by the same staff nurse to ensure consistency. "Hospitals can be very noisy places" explains lead author Annette Richardson, a nurse consultant in critical care at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. "Dropping a stainless steel bowl creates 108 decibels, which is more than the 100 decibels from a nearby car horn or chainsaw.

ImThera Medical Successfully Implants First Patients With Neurostimulation Device To Treat OSA

ImThera Medical, Inc. today announced that two patients have been surgically implanted with ImThera's aura6000™ neurostimulation device for treating tongue-based Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Patients are being enrolled in ImThera's pilot clinical investigation in Belgium with the first results expected to be published in the first half of 2010. The patients were implanted with the aura6000, during which the hypoglossal nerve was briefly stimulated to verify system and nerve integrity. One week post- surgery, the patients underwent an in-laboratory Polysomnography (PSG) titration process during which stimulation parameters were determined in order to maintain proper tongue position and to provide an open airway during sleep. "The surgical procedures went smoothly, taking approximately 90 minutes to complete. There were no surgical complications; minor surgical issues were quickly resolved. At one week, patients were not disturbed by the implanted stimulator, lead or electrode, " said Dr.

Study Shows That Adults Have Dreamlike Thoughts During Sleepwalking And Sleep Terrors Episodes

A study in the Dec.1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that short, unpleasant, dreamlike mental activity occurs during sleepwalking and sleep terrors episodes, suggesting that people with these sleep disorders may be acting out dreamlike thoughts. Results show that 71 percent of participants reported at least one incident of dreamlike mental content associated with an episode of sleepwalking or sleep terrors, and the action in the dreamlike thoughts corresponded with the observed behavior. A total of 106 reports of dreamlike mental activity were collected; the mental content was brief, with 95 percent of the reports involving a single visual scene. These dreamlike thoughts were frequently unpleasant, with 84 percent involving apprehension, fear or terror; 54 percent involving misfortune, in which injury, mishap or adversity occurred through chance or environmental circumstances; and 24 percent involving aggression, with the dreamer always being the victim. Compared with healthy controls, patients with sleepwalking and sleep terrors reported more severe daytime sleepiness and had four times as many arousals from slow-wave sleep.

Sleep Changes Predict The Onset Of Physical Changes Associated With Puberty

A study in the Dec.1 issue of the journal Sleep suggests that changes in children's sleep patterns that typically occur between the ages of 11 and 12 years are evident before the physical changes associated with the onset of puberty. Results show that over the two-year course of the study, sleep onset was significantly delayed by an average of 50 minutes, and sleep time was significantly reduced by an average of 37 minutes. Girls had higher sleep efficiency and reported fewer night wakings than boys. Initial levels of sleep predicted an increase in pubertal development over time, whereas there was no similar prediction in the opposite direction. According to the authors, this suggests that the neurobehavioral changes associated with puberty may be seen earlier in measures of sleep organization than in bodily changes. Lead author Avi Sadeh, D.Sc, professor of psychology at Tel Aviv University in Israel, said that biological factors have a significant influence on sleep during puberty;

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