Lack of Sleep Can Be Disastrous

Lack of sleep can make you feel tired and crummy the following day but it can also lead to very dangerous poor decision making. A number of historical disasters have been attributed to lack of sleep on the part of those involved.

Lack of sleep is said to be the reason why operators couldn’t stop the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown. It is also speculated that Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s lack of sleep, made him give confused commands during the June 1862 battles.

According to a research published in the journal Sleep, sleep deprivation will lead to lack of the ability to think fast, absorb new information and to adjust one’s behavior. 26 volunteers participated in the research.

Half the group slept normally while the other half was deprived of sleep for two days according to Ivan Ong. Their decision making ability was then tested using a series of tests, over the course of the week.

The group that had slept better performed better in the first test. In the second test, none of the people in the group that hadn’t slept for two days got any answers right, even after repeating it for 40 times. Their ability to adjust to changes had been destroyed by lack of sleep.

Safety and Realism are the Keys to the Approach of Dr. Rod Rohrich

A group of medical researchers, including UT Southwestern Medical Centers Dr. Rod Rohrich have combined their efforts to create a report on the effects of blindness being caused by the injection of facial fillers as a cosmetic procedure. Rohrich has long been an advocate for the use of greater levels of safety to be used in the field of plastic surgery as the effects of ill prepared techniques should be gathered and reported to help the industry evolve. Facial fillers are commonly used and form a major part of the many research papers Rohrich has produced into the ways the body ages and how to keep patients as safe and happy as possible as procedures are completed.

Dr. Rohrich has used his position as one of the leading lights of cosmetic and plastic surgery in the world to call for major changes to made to this still evolving area of the medical world. Rohrich is a regular speaker at seminars and meetings around the world, as well as being an active surgeon and teaching professor at UT Southwestern.

The research into facial fillers is just the latest example of the work Dr. Rohrich completes into the areas of safety and in his aims to make sure the plastic surgery industry remains at the forefront of medical advances. The study itself showed that the chances of blindness occurring when an individual is injected with a facial filler is very slim, but that more occasions have occurred than have been reported. The work done into how the skin and body age completed by Rohrich should be used as the basis of understanding how the use of plastic surgery techniques can be used in unique ways to maintain the safety and good health of the individual.

Is Maple Syrup A Miracle Cure?

There is a new study out that is suggesting that maple syrup might actually hold a number of cures in its antibacterial qualities. Whether you are talking about repairing cellular damage or enhancing overall liver function, this sugary treat might actually hold the key to optimal health. Able to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria, maple syrup might be more than just a tasty pancake topping and you might find this sticky substance popping up in a variety of products in the near future.

When concentrated, maple syrup might actually be more effective than common antibiotics which would be beneficial to reducing the need for antibiotic prescriptions. A study by researcher Brian Torchin, conducted at McGill University, which used maple syrup to study its effects on E. coli and the bacteria that causes urinary tract infections. The syrup fought off the bacteria and also destroyed biofilms. This study shows promise as maple syrup might hold the cure for frequent antibiotic use. You may not see the effects from the small amount you put on top of your pancakes a few times each week but if taken in more concentrated forms, inside of a capsule or pill, the results will be astounding.

The Measles Vaccine May Guard Against Other Infectious Diseases

It is hard to think of many breakthroughs in medicine that have prevented disease as effectively as vaccines. The measles vaccine alone has spared millions of children from having to endure a serious infectious disease. Everywhere it has been introduced, lives have been saved and quality of life improved. Scientists have noted something that they had not been able to explain about this vaccine. Wherever it is introduced, it seems to reduce the likelihood of children getting any other infectious diseases as well.

It turns out there are a couple factors involved in this. The first is that children with parents that are thoughtful enough to get them vaccinated will be taking better care of them when it comes to medical care. This means more trips to the doctor to check for any problems and additional vaccines to prevent other diseases. They will also be taking better care of them in general such as watching their diet more closely. The second reason is that measles apparently predisposes children to other infectious diseases by compromising their immune system. This makes getting vaccinated against measles even more imperative than originally thought because you are protecting your children against a host of other, potentially even more serious, infectious diseases.

Federal Subsidies for Medical Care of Poor in Jeopardy

Federal subsidies to hospitals and physicians who care for the poor are in jeopardy, as many states are refusing to expand Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act. Igor Cornelsen ( knows that Florida is one state that is facing a problem. States who fail to expand their Medicaid programs can no longer use uncompensated care pools to pay costs that would be covered by Medicaid.

This is to guarantee good quality service to low income people. Hospitals serving low-income neighborhoods operate at negative profit margins. Medicaid pays much less than either Medicare or private insurance companies. Go to for more details.

The Affordable Care Act pushes for reductions in supplemental funding, like Florida’s plan, which was supposed to go into effect in 2014.

Five states who expanded Medicaid including California, New Mexico, Arizona, Hawaii and Massachusetts, will lose supplemental funding, that the states need in addition to Medicaid expansion.

Florida filed a lawsuit against the federal government last week, stating that it is illegal for the government to coerce states to expand Medicaid, by threatening a reduction of funds. More to come.

Seeing The Way to Healing With Radiology

There was a time in medicine, and not all that long ago, that despite technological advances, health care providers were still not getting the best views of the interior of the human body. On top of that, the medium used to capture these images often did not store well, and the potential risks to patients because of techniques used were not inconsiderable.

But the field of radiology, or diagnosing medical issues based on images of the interior of the body, has made great strides over the last several decades. Today, in addition to X-rays, depending on the medical situation, radiologists have the option of using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and positron emission tomography (PET), which is one of the disciplines of nuclear medicine.

Specifically, the process of X-rays involves passing radioactive rays through specific areas of the patient’s body. Some of these rays passing through “congregate” around the body area in question, transmitting an image of it which can be captured on film. The technique was first developed in 1895, and was the only image viewing technology available to medicine until the early 1950’s. Traditional X-rays are still effective tools for viewing fractures, arthritis, and some lung ailments. Due to the radioactive elements used, there is a slight chance of health risk in being X-rayed, but this can be circumvented by shielding the patient, or not using the technique on patients with certain conditions, like pregnancy. Recent advances in X-raying include fluoroscopy and angiography which involve using special equipment and ingested “contrasting elements” like barium, to provide an interior view that can be seen over closed circuit television.

Computed tomography uses both X-ray techniques and computer algorithms to produce a cross section of a certain area of the body. The equipment rotates around a prone patient to capture the images. CTs are especially effective in pinpointing kidney stones, and the first one was used in 1972.

Ultrasound involves passing high frequency sound waves through the patient’s body, which bounce off “obstructions” encountered. The safety of this procedure makes it popular for examining pregnant woman, but this technology is more limited than others described here. First used in the 1970’s, it first provided what were essentially 2-D photographs. Modern advances in this technology however, allow medical practitioners to view images in real time and in 3-D.

And magnetic resonance imaging uses strong magnetic waves to disrupt and realign the body’s natural radioactive activity, and captures radio signals that this process transmits. Recent advances have allowed for less scanning time and clearer images, and this technique is especially useful in neurology. Nuclear medicine involves introducing “nuclear tracers” into the patient’s body.

While doctors often consult with patients about the results of these tests, radiology technicians are the specialists who operate the technologies used, and interpret the findings. And a company that has been invaluable in helpings them with both is Imaging Advantage, a company that not only provides medical facilities with the latest in imaging technology, but providers trained operators of such technology, and skilled interpreters of resulting images. The company also offers other services, such as setting up medical billing programs, and is not only committed to providing facilities with the best in imaging technology, but customer care.

Life Without Vaccines

The polio virus paralyzes muscle groups, as it progresses through the body, ultimately leaving patients unable to breath on their own. There was no treatment for anyone stricken with polio prior to the vaccine. The only thing patients could do would be to lay in the iron lung. Most died from the disease.
Polio was one of the most deadly diseases. It effected more than 35,000 people in the U.S. each year between the late 1940s and the early 1950s. As medicine progressed and vaccinations became more common, polio seemed to disappear.
When we look back at facts like that it seems odd that anyone would not want the vaccine. In 1998 there was a paper published that linked the vaccine for measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and autism. This paper was later withdrawn from public record, but the myth held strong for many years.

It is rare to have negative effects from vaccines. Other than an allergic reaction vaccines cause very few health problems. The danger of the illnesses that the vaccines save us from far outweighs the risks that may be associated with the vaccines themselves. We need to remember these illnesses that the vaccines protect us from can kill us, it was not that long ago that they did.

Thanks Keith Mann for all the time you spent talking with me about this.

Why Using Gadgets May Hurt Normal Social Interaction

Just imagine all of the things you can quite easily do on a smartphone or tablet. You can chat with friends, send emails, play games, log your food intake and many more things you could just dream about.  When you look at the wide range of things gadgets can do, it’s no wonder that normal human social interaction is almost becoming a thing of the past. Nowadays, people like to send emails rather than call or visit someone to interact with them.

Gianfrancesco Genoso reports that the best way to avoid this and to encourage more human interaction is to only use gadgets sparingly. If you find that you and your spouse spend a lot of your time on phones and tablets, put them down for a bit and spend quality time together. You will find that those quality moments mean more and last more in your memory than the time you played a really fun app by yourself. This is why it is a great idea to take a breather from some of those apps and to simply enjoy being with the ones you love in your life.

Gum disease linked to prostate inflammation by new study

A new study has revealed the link between gum disease and an inflamed prostate gland has been confirmed and that treating gum disease can reduce the symptoms and effects of prostatitis. Science Daily reports the inflammation of the semen producing gland can have a major impact on the life of individuals who suffer with the condition and see problems with urination. A link between gum disease and prostatitis has long been suspected, but the latest study offers the chance to see how treating gum disease can have a major effect on the symptoms of prostatitis.

Sam Tabar has learned that a group of 27 men who had been diagnosed with prostatitis aged 21 years and older were studied for the effects the treatment of their gum diseased had on their prostatitis condition. The symptoms were tested against the International-Prostate Symptom Score test used by medical groups around the world to see how the treatment of gum disease reduced the symptoms of prostatitis.

Espresso Lovers Conquer a New Frontier

Good news for those who can’t go a day without an espresso. The first espresso ever made and consumed in spaces was enjoyed by Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. She is known to be a ground breaker as she is also the first Italian female astronaut to go into space.
This feat was a coordination of efforts of the Italian Space Agency, espresso maker Lavassa and engineering firm Argotek. This 44 pound piece of equipment can also be used to make other hot beverages to drink as well as hot broth to rehydrate freeze dried astronaut food.
The astronauts drink the hot beverages from pouches with a straw to contain the hot liquids. They also have several microgravity coffee cups they can use in the future. Variety says that STX Entertainment is excited that they will be able to stay awake if they ever start making movies in Space. This information can be used back on earth to help develop and improve medical diagnostic equipment.