Does addiction affect all of us in some degree? A noted addiction specialist and author believes we are all somewhere on the addiction spectrum, from bad habits to full-blown addiction. He discusses how small triggers can push people to seek relief, producing deepening decline.
Dr. Paul Thomas, author, The Addiction Spectrum: A Compassionate, Holistic Approach to Recovery
After serious injury, the leading cause of death is blood loss. But a new study shows that if a person needs massive transfusions, the fresher the blood, the better. The study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine finds that people receiving large transfusions of packed blood more than about three weeks old have about a five percent higher death risk… and the more blood transfused, the higher the risk. Experts say more blood and plasma donors are needed to overcome shortages… and shelf life limits.
If you didn’t sleep well last night, you’re more likely to be angry today. That sounds intuitive, but a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology proves it– losing just a couple hours of sleep makes you much more likely to react with anger to a frustrating situation. Researchers used annoying noises in the lab to measure anger responses… and found that anger was substantially higher in people who were sleep-deprived. The next step is to see if sleep loss makes people act more aggressively toward others.
And finally… people who grow up in an abusive home are more likely to repeat the behavior themselves. But a new study shows that it’s the opposite in the workplace. The study in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that people who’ve been abused and mistreated by their bosses are much more likely to become good bosses themselves. Apparently, abused employees learn what not to do when they’re running things.
In the near future, cars will be able to provide data as well as receive it, and a variety of methods are being researched to tap into this. Experts explain how cars can communicate with roads, traffic signals and central computers, and how roads themselves may collect data on the cars they carry. In the future, autonomous cars may use these links to greatly speed travel and make it much safer.
Andrew Bremer, Managing Director of Local Affairs, Drive Ohio
Tim Sylvester, Founder and CEO, Integrated Roadways Co.
Epilepsy affects 3.5 million Americans, yet stigma prevents many from speaking out, which in turn prolongs the stigma. An award-winning writer who has epilepsy describes the discrimination faced by people with seizure disorders and dispels the many myths many people hold about them.
Death rates for most major health conditions have been in decline, but chronic kidney disease is a big exception, according to a study in the journal JAMA Open. Researchers say that deaths due to chronic kidney disease have increased overall by 58 percent over the last 15 years… and among people under 55, who previously suffered little chronic kidney disease, death rates are sharply up as well. Scientists blame high-sugar, high-salt foods and the increase in health problems such as high blood pressure and type two diabetes… which can trigger kidney disease.
Some people say having a tough childhood makes kids grow up fast. But a new study in the journal Biological Psychiatry finds that it also ages children prematurely. Researchers analyzed DNA of children age eight to 16 who had been exposed to violence, neglect, or emotional abuse… and found that on a cellular level, they were older than similar children living in a more stable environment. Those changes are reflected in the average age of puberty… which is lower among children growing up in a tough environment.
And finally… if you’re a night owl, your health may suffer for it. Previous studies have linked being a night owl to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease… and now a study in the journal Chronobiology International has added up the effect—night owls may have a 10 percent higher risk of early death. Researchers admit they don’t know why a person’s chronotype has such an effect.
Many people with dwarfism also face skeletal abnormalities which can lead to disability. Experts, and little people themselves, discuss major causes of dwarfism, the hurdles they create, the struggle for respect, and the prospect of treatments that could one day make little people much more rare.
Dr. Jennifer Arnold, co-star, TLC’s The Little Couple and co-author, Think Big
Ericka Okenfuss, licensed genetic counselor, Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento, CA
Gary Arnold, President, Little People of America and Public Affairs Manager, Access Living, Chicago, IL