Medical Notes 18-41


Medical Notes this week…

Between 10 and 20 percent of new moms experience postpartum depression, and it can be difficult to treat because most antidepressants take a month or more to work. But a new injectable drug could change that if it’s approved by the FDA. The drug, called Brexanolone, is the first new class of antidepressants in decades and is being developed specifically for postpartum depression. A study in The Lancet shows that it works quickly… and researchers say it could be a “game changer” for women.

Multiple sclerosis results when the body’s own immune system attacks myelin, the tissue insulating nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. The relapsing-remitting form of the disease is especially hard to treat… but a study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that an asthma drug already available in Japan could help. Researchers say the drug Ibudilast (i-byoo-dih-last) slows brain shrinkage associated with progressive MS by 48 percent compared to patients taking a placebo.

And finally… a new study shows that angry people are most likely to think they’re a lot smarter than they really are. The study in the journal Intelligence finds that anger is related to narcissism… and inflates a person’s self-perception. Researchers say angry people are no more intelligent than others… but they’re more likely to think they are.

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Medical Notes 18-38


Medical Notes this week…

What’s the safest level of alcohol consumption? A new study concludes there’s no such thing. Research in the journal “The Lancet” builds from the fact that nearly three million deaths a year are attributed to alcohol use… and concludes that zero alcohol consumption minimizes that risk. Therefore, researchers say, it’s a myth that one or two drinks a day are good for you. They want national health officials around the world to take action to get people to drink less… or not at all.

Set your alarm clocks accordingly—researchers have found the ideal amount of hours you should spend sleeping each night. A study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress shows that six to eight hours of sleep per night is most beneficial for heart health. More than that or less than that is bad for the heart. Scientists say if you’re having trouble regulating your sleep schedule, try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends, and avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed.

Not every pregnancy is planned… and it turns out knowing you were an accident can strongly impact your relationships with others. A study in the “Journal of Social and Personal Relationships” shows knowing your birth was unwanted or unplanned is associated with attachment insecurity. Experts urge parents to be careful when informing a child of their birth status. Knowing you’re an “oops” could have more serious outcomes than you might expect.

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