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Latest News Around the Web

Review: Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Benefit Youngsters With AD/HD.

HealthDay (1/10, Goodwin) reports that according to a review published in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics, “omega-3 fatty acids may” benefit children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), “while fatty ‘Western-style’ diets do these children no favors.” Researchers arrived at this conclusion after reviewing “previous studies on diets and supplements that have been tried in children with AD/HD. Among the diets tested: restricting sugar, which some parents believe worsens hyperactivity; avoiding food containing additives and preservatives, known as the ‘Feingold diet’; an ‘elimination diet’ that avoids foods most often implicated in food allergies; and supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil capsules.”

WebMD (1/10, Mann) quotes psychiatrist Marshall Teitelbaum, MD, who was not involved in the study. Dr. Teitelbaum said, “What makes the most sense is to look at a child’s diet and see what changes may be healthy in general and may also help improve AD/HD symptoms.” He advised parents of children with AD/HD that they “cut back on soda, junk food, hot dogs, and processed foods” in their youngsters’ diets. However, psychiatrist Stephen Grcevich, MD, “says medication and behavioral changes should always come first, especially for children with issues in addition to AD/HD, such as anxiety or depression.”

Related Links:

— “Diet Might Have Some Effect on ADHD,” Jennifer Goodwin, HealthDay, January 9, 2011.

VA Researching Alternative Therapies For PTSD Sufferers

The San Diego Union-Tribune (1/9, Steele) reports, “Nationally,” Veterans Affairs is “embracing alternative therapies,” including meditation and yoga, “to help veterans deal with combat stress and…physical pain.” However, a “May VA research conference concluded that evidence of the benefit of these therapies on post-traumatic stress disorder — possibly the signature wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — is still thin. Now VA researchers in San Diego, which has the largest population of post-9/11 military veterans in the nation, have received funding to conduct additional studies.”

Related Links:

— “PTSD? Try meditation and yoga,” Jeanette Steele, San Diego Union-Tribune, January 8, 2012.

Patients Not Taking Prescribed Medicines Cost US Healthcare System $290B Yearly

The AP (1/4, Johnson) reports, “Patients not taking medicine as prescribed cost the US healthcare system roughly $290 billion a year in extra treatment and related costs, research shows. One study estimated those patients pay about $2,000 a year in extra out-of-pocket medical costs.” Notably, “nearly three in four Americans don’t take their prescription medicine as directed. Even among those with serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes, about one in three don’t.”

Unfortunately, “for patients with chronic health conditions — nearly half the US population — not taking medications as prescribed can bring serious consequences,” even premature death.

Related Links:

— “Following the doctor’s orders on your medicine can save you thousands, prevent hospital stays,” Linda A. Johnson, Chicago Tribune, January 3, 2011.

“Positive Activity Interventions” May Counteract Depression

HealthDay (1/3, Thompson) reports that “a growing body of research that has found that ‘positive activity interventions’ — like helping someone with groceries, writing a thank you note or even counting your blessings — can serve as an effective, low-cost treatment for depression.” Michelle Riba, MD, former president of the American Psychiatric Association, “agreed that positivity can have a dramatic effect on people’s psychological well-being.” She stated, “In general, people who help others stop focusing on their own pains and problems and worries and feel good about themselves.”

Related Links:

— “With Depression, Helping Others May in Turn Help You,” Denise Thompson, HealthDay, January 2, 201.

Methamphetamine Users More Likely To Attempt Suicide

HealthDay (12/31, Mozes) reported, “Drug users who inject themselves with methamphetamine are 80 percent more likely to attempt suicide than those abusing other drugs,” according to a study published in the December issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Researchers arrived at this conclusion after examining “material from interviews involving nearly 1,900 men and women that were conducted in the Vancouver area over seven years, from 2001 to 2008.”

HealthDay also pointed out that the study was partly funded by the US National Institutes of Health.

Related Links:

— “Meth Users Much More Likely to Try Suicide,” Alan Mozes, HealthDay, December 30, 2011.

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