18-45 Segment 1: MDMA for PTSD

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People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder often can’t face their trauma, which is necessary for psychotherapy to work. It is a big reason PTSD is so difficult to treat. Scientists are leading clinical trials into the use of the banned drug MDMA in connection with therapy to help break this hurdle, and the results so far have been outstanding in curing PTSD.

Guests:

  • Dr. Michael Mithoefer, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina and Medical Director, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation clinical trials
  • Charlotte Harrison, Senior Clinical Research Associate, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation

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18-45 Segment 2: Leprosy in the Modern Era

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Thanks in part to its Biblical past, the disfiguring disease leprosy carries more stigma than most diseases. We hear little about it today, but it still exists, and because it’s now treatable, often the stigma is worse than the disease. An expert discusses.

Guest:

  • Dr. David Scollard, Director, National Hansen’s Disease Program

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Medical Notes 18-45


Medical Notes this week…

Acute myeloid leukemia, or AML is one of the deadliest cancers, with a five-year survival rate of about 25 percent… and even when a patient has a lasting remission, the disease almost always relapses. But a new study in the journal Nature Communications finds that the disease appears to be the fault of a single gene, which they’ve located. Researchers say the gene rewires the body’s entire set of blood-forming cells and tissues. They hope the breakthrough could eventually lead to a gene-targeted therapy and improve survival rates.

Scientists have discovered some of the reasons why people with obesity have a higher risk of asthma. A study in the Journal of Physiology—Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology shows that inflammation in airways is greater in people with obesity. Those with obesity are also more likely to over-respond to allergens in airway muscles…causing the airways to narrow. Researchers say the discoveries may improve asthma treatment.

Teachers often contribute to a diagnosis of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in children… but a new study concludes they may be mistaking immaturity for ADHD. The study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry shows that it’s most often the youngest kids in a classroom who are diagnosed with ADHD. Experts also say that in children who are diagnosed… it appears that some parts of the brain mature up to three years later than in kids who are not labeled.

And finally… one good way to get the vitamins you need in the future may be to chew some gum. A study in the Journal of Functional Foods shows that gum loaded with vitamins delivers enough of them to significantly raise levels in the blood. Both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins were effectively delivered in gum… and researchers say most people think it’s a pleasant way to get nutrition.

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18-44 Segment 1: The Psychology of Adopted People

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People who are adopted have more psychological problems than others, yet they also tend to have other psychological strengths. Experts, both themselves also adoptees, discuss the roots and outcomes of these issues as adopted children grow up.

Guests:

    • Dr. Stephen Betchen, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology, Thomas Jefferson University, Senior Supervisor, Council for Relationships and author, Magnetic Partners
    • Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao, adoption consultant and Lecturer in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

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18-44 Segment 2: The Surprising Importance of Tickling

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Tickling is a unique application of the sense of touch that surprisingly has developmental and cultural importance. Experts discuss the science and sociology of tickling.

Guests:

  • Dr. David Linden, Professor of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and author, Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart and Mind
  • Dr. Robert Provine, Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of Maryland, Baltimore County and author, Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond 

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Medical Notes 18-44


Medical Notes this week…

Some people are more likely than others to become persistent opioid users after surgery, and a new report from “Choices Matter” finds that millennial women are at greatest risk. Researchers say the number of women age 18 to 34 who become persistent opioid users six months after surgery rose by 17 percent last year alone. Forty percent more women than men continue using opioid painkillers long after surgery, and while 12 percent of patients overall become addicted or dependent on them after surgery, that number is 18 percent among millennials.

Over the last decade or so, a number of studies have come out suggesting that a glass of wine per day is good for your heart. But a new study finds that the risks of drinking far outweigh the benefits. In fact, researchers say consuming just one drink per day, every day increases the risk of premature death by 20 percent. The study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research explains that daily drinking increases cancer risk so much that it overshadows any heart benefit.

A person’s mix of intestinal bacteria can mean the difference between being thin or obese. Now a new study shows that the bacteria in an infant’s mouth can predict obesity. The study in the journal Scientific Reports finds that a child’s oral bacteria at age two can predict obesity two years later. Researchers hope the finding may lead to preventive steps for children who are found to be at risk.

Lung cancer deaths in California are 28 percent lower than the rest of the country, and that gap is increasing by almost a percentage point per year. What are they doing right? A new study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research gives credit to the state’s aggressive anti-smoking campaign. Researchers say the campaign has resulted in a 39 percent lower rate of people who start smoking compared to the U.S. as a whole, a 30 percent lower consumption of cigarettes among those who do smoke, and a 24 percent higher early quit rate.

And finally… if you want to avoid getting sick this flu season, science has proven a way to increase the odds—turn on your tv. A study in the journal BMC Infectious Disease shows that people who watch more tv get sick with the flu less often. The reason is pretty obvious. Those people are staying home and have a lot less chance to catch a flu virus from someone else.

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18-43 Segment 1: Exploding Myths about the Flu and Flu Vaccines

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About 40 percent of eligible people have been vaccinated against the flu in recent years, but many more might do so were it not for persistent myths about the disease and its vaccine. For example, a new survey shows that more than half of parents believe the flu shot can cause the flu. Experts explain why those myths aren’t true and set the record straight.

Guests:

    • Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine & Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
    • Dr. Jean Moorjani, pediatric hospitalist, Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, Orlando, FL
    • Dr. Michael Deem, Professor of Bioengineering, Physics & Astronomy, Rice University

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