Monthly Archives: July 2016

Silly cat will be help you more to happiness

This type of online activity may feel silly and a waste of time. But a lot of what we do on social media may be good for us, a growing body of new research shows. Our experiences online can increase our connectivity and combat loneliness, boost our mood and improve our relationships and our memory.

We turn to social media for social support and engage online in topics and causes that matter to us: Facebook to connect. Twitter to follow the news. Instagram to show our artsy side. Snapchat to be funny.

Neuroscientists believe that we get a spike of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which increases when the reward systems of our brain are activated, when we get a “like” or a comment on one of our posts. “It’s a powerful positive reinforcement,” says Patricia Wallace, a psychologist and author of “The Psychology of the Internet.”

“The brain is very plastic in young ages, and prolonged exposure with improperly fitted devices could incur damage,” she said. “Children also may not understand how to communicate eyestrain and may lack reflexes to remove the devices if they find them uncomfortable.”

Still, this does not necessarily mean that VR is unsafe for children and never can be, she said, adding that VR’s safety varies according to the device, type of content and time spent using it, as well as on the individual child using it.

Remedies are best for morning sickness

images-39Even though nearly all women experience at least a little nausea or vomiting during pregnancy, there isn’t much solid evidence to suggest the best treatments, a research review concludes.

Ginger, vitamin B6 or antihistamines, for example, may ease mild nausea, while severe vomiting that carries a risk of dehydration and malnutrition can sometimes be improved by corticosteroids, the study found.

The trouble is there’s scant evidence to suggest how one treatment might stack up against available alternatives, said lead study author Catherine McParlin of Newcastle University in the U.K.

“Women react differently and may need to try different treatment options before they find something that is effective for them,” McParlin said by email.

“When it comes to evidence of the effectiveness of specific treatments for different levels of condition severity, the research to date has mostly been of low quality, with many trials badly designed and/or badly reported, with few direct comparisons between treatments especially in severe cases,” McParlin added.

Nausea and vomiting are common during pregnancy, affecting up to 85 percent of women, the researchers note in JAMA.

Sometimes called morning sickness, in reality it can occur throughout the day. Often, symptoms may be mild and ease up after the first few months of pregnancy.

The most severe form, hyperemesis gravidarum, affects up to 3 percent of pregnant women and can require hospitalization to provide nutrition through a feeding tube.

To assess the effectiveness of a variety of treatments for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, researchers analyzed data from 78 previously published studies with 8,930 patients combined.

For mild symptoms, ginger, vitamin B6, antihistamines and metoclopramide (Reglan) were all more effective than a placebo pill, the study found. Pyridoxine-doxylamine (Diclectin) and ondansetron (Zofran) both beat a placebo for moderate symptoms.

When women have moderate to severe symptoms, they may get better results by taking pyridoxine-doxylamine preemptively to reduce the risk of recurrent vomiting instead of waiting to take this medicine until symptoms return, one study of 60 women in the analysis suggests.

Another study found ondansetron more effective at curbing moderate to severe nausea in the first few days of use than metoclopramide, but no difference in how many times women vomited.

With hyperemesis gravidarum, women have fewer options and there’s even less evidence, the study authors note.

Corticosteroids appeared superior to metoclopramide for reducing vomiting episodes in an analysis of three studies of women with the most severe symptoms.

One limitation of the analysis is that researchers lacked data to compare side effects for babies associated with different treatments the authors note.

The findings aren’t surprising because ethics limit testing experimental drugs in pregnancy, particularly during the early months when medications might harm fetal development, said Angela Lupattelli, a pharmacy researcher at the University of Oslo in Norway who wasn’t involved in the study.

Complicating matters, there aren’t good objective tests to assess nausea symptoms, Lupattelli added by email.