Posts Tagged ‘medicine’

Gotta love these studies that take MRI’s of brains of people doing particular tasks.  It’s worth noting that similar findings have been found in many other tasks as well.  We just have to accept that sometimes people are better at doing that things than others, and it is probably to some degree, innate talent.

This also explains why I never was able to beat Super Mario Brothers.  Curse that level 8 stage 2!

Prior cognitive, psychological, and neurological studies have shown that expert video game players are capable of outperforming novices in measures of attention and perception. They also have demonstrated that, when novices train on video games for 20-plus hours, they experienced no measurable increase in cognitive ability. These two pieces of information would seem to point to an innate difference between expert and novices gamers, instead of suggesting that gaming is a skill that can be learned.

New neurological research, published in—and made freely available by—the journal Cerebral Cortex has found a correlation between the size of a trio of structures in the human brain and their owner’s ability to learn and play video games. Animal studies had focused the authors’ attention on three distinct structures deep within the brain: the caudate nucleus and the putamen in the dorsal striatum, and the nucleus accumbens in the ventral striatum. It was known that the striatum was used in habit forming and skill acquisition, so a role in video games skills makes sense.

via Bad at video games? Your brain structure may be at fault.

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Too often, EMS crews feel obliged to bring unresponsive patient to hospital, study finds

Quote and Link below

In the United States, paramedics treat almost 300,000 people with cardiac arrest each year. But despite what’s portrayed on TV, fewer than 8 percent survive, according to the American Heart Association.

The association’s guidelines include the recommendation that people who have not responded to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and advanced cardiac life support in the field not be taken to a hospital. After paramedics have tried and failed to resuscitate a patient, they should stop, researchers say.

“Paramedics provide all the same lifesaving procedures that we can provide in the emergency department,” said the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Comilla Sasson, Robert Wood Johnson clinical scholar and clinical lecturer in emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.

“Once you have done 20 to 30 minutes of cardiac resuscitation, the best practice guidelines are to cease if a patient does not have a pulse,” she said. But the study, published online June 30 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, found that several factors inhibit this from happening, including:

via HealthDay.

Most of the time when I get a patient like this, I find that the patient is ready to be declared dead within a couple minutes of arrival, but one is afraid the family will feel that no attempt was made if one stops that quickly.  The paperwork and burden of telling the family then falls on the ER doctor, who honestly knows very little about the case other than what the paramedics just told him.  I’m not sure what is the best option for this, but these cases can lead to significant crowding and disrupt the flow of the Emergency Department, and it would certainly be nice if they weren’t brought to the Department if it is not necessary.

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Many scientists view homeopathic remedies as modern snake oil – ineffective but mostly harmless because the drugs in them are present in such tiny amounts.

But an Associated Press analysis of the Food and Drug Administration’s side effect reports found that more than 800 homeopathic ingredients were potentially implicated in health problems last year. Complaints ranged from vomiting to attempted suicide.

via News from The Associated Press.

I never understood how people keep insisting that “it is natural, so it has no side effects.”  That just didn’t make any scientific sense.  Many synthetic drugs are derivatives of natural substances that are modified to reduce or minimize side effects that would normally occur if taken “naturally.”

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Yup, I finally made a page. I got tired to saying the same things over and over again during the winter time.

Patient Instructions for Viral Infections

Other References:

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A really great article by Atul Gawande (writer of “Complications” and “Better”) was published in the New Yorker. The ariticle follows the work on intensivist Dr Peter Pronovost, who made simple workflow interventions which made dramatic reductions on the rate of complications in the intensive care unit. The following quote, however, made him an instant hero to me:

“The fundamental problem with the quality of American medicine is that we’ve failed to view delivery of health care as a science. The tasks of medical science fall into three buckets. One is understanding disease biology. One is finding effective therapies. And one is insuring those therapies are delivered effectively. That third bucket has been almost totally ignored by research funders, government, and academia. It’s viewed as the art of medicine. That’s a mistake, a huge mistake. And from a taxpayer’s perspective it’s outrageous.”

A link to the article is here.

Thanks Phil Andrus at the Mount Sinai Emergency Medicine Critical Care Blog for bringing this to my attention.

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