Friday, September 19, 2014

Strange Dreams Linked to Time of Night

Have a truly strange dream? Chances are, you had it during a long night's sleep.

According to a new study, dreams tend to become longer, stranger and more emotional later at night. The researchers concluded that dreams might be affected by particular times of night.

Earlier on in the night, dreams are more likely to contain references to things people saw, did or thought about during the day. As time goes on, however, dream content becomes more and more detached from reality.

To learn more, click here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Analysis: ACA Hasn't Created More Part-Time Workers

A new analysis has found that the Affordable Care Act (AKA "Obamacare") didn't create more part-time jobs before 2014, despite fears to the contrary. 

While there has been a small increase in part-time work in 2014, it is largely due to continued economic recovery. There was little change in the number of part-time workers between 2010 and 2012. 

The researchers, however, did not rule out changes in part-time work as new components of the ACA continue to be put into place in the coming years. 

To learn more, click here

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scientists Develop Blood Test for Depression Diagnosis

Scientists at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago have developed the first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults. The test also predicts whether depressed individuals will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, allowing doctors to develop effective, individualized treatment plans.

The test measures the levels of nine RNA blood markers to diagnose depression. It can also reveal the biological effects of cognitive behavioral therapy. Patients who received the therapy for 18 weeks and were no longer depressed showed changes in the levels of relevant RNA markers in their blood.

Currently, depression is diagnosed using subjective analysis and is based on non-specific symptoms such as poor mood, fatigue and a change in appetite, which can also be related to a number of other health concerns.

The test is not yet ready to be marketed to healthcare professionals. First, the scientists plan to test their results in a larger population and determine whether the test can differentiate between major and bipolar depression.

To learn more, click here

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Enterovirus D68: What You Need to Know Now

Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Ohio are among the 10 states that have contacted the CDC in the past few weeks for help investigating clusters of enterovirus, a serious respiratory virus that causes symptoms similar to an intense cold.

The states are especially concerned because of the high number of children who have been hospitalized related to the virus. In Kansas City, Missouri, more than 30 children a day are being hospitalized for the virus and about 15 percent of the patients are placed in the ICU. So far, none of the cases have been fatal.

This particular enterovirus, EV-D68, was first identified in the 1960s and there have been fewer than 100 reported cases since then. There is no vaccine for EV-D68 and there is no specific treatment for people who are infected. The virus can cause coughing, difficulty breathing and a rash, sometimes accompanied by fever or wheezing. It is especially problematic for people with asthma.

The virus appears to be spread through close contact with infected people. To reduce the risk of infection, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick; regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces and stay home if you feel sick. While children and teenagers are most likely to be infected, be sure to keep special watch over your residents as well as anyone else with a compromised immune system.

Professional Medical stocks a complete line of surface disinfectants and hand hygiene products that can help you fight back against enterovirus and other infectious organisms. To learn more, contact your ProMed territory manager, give us a call at (800) 648-5190 or visit us online at

To learn more, click here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Study: Men, People with Certain Cancers Less Likely To Seek Hospice Care

A new study has found that men and people with certain types of cancer are less likely to enroll in hospice care before the last three days of their lives. Other factors that made people more likely to seek hospice care only during the last days of life included being younger than 65, married, of nonwhite ethnicity and having blood or liver cancer.

The study's authors said their findings suggest healthcare providers should focus on making sure these groups are well aware of their end-of-life care options.

During the study, the researchers examined the electronic medical records of more than 64,000 patients in 12 hospices.

To learn more, click here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Study: Blood Type AB Tied to Increased Dementia Risk

According to a new study, people with blood type AB, which includes about 4 percent of the population, are at an increased risk of dementia.

Over the course of the three-year study, the researchers found that people with blood type AB were almost twice as likely to show memory problems as those with type O blood, the most common blood group.

However, experts caution that there are other factors that are more likely to contribute to dementia, including smoking, lack of exercise, obesity and other lifestyle factors.

To learn more, click here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Study: Lack of Sleep Could Shrink Your Brain

If you need a reason to turn in earlier, consider this: European researchers have found that a lack of sleep could affect the size of your brain.

The researchers examined 147 adults between the age of 20 and 84, using two MRI scans to examine the link between sleep problems, such as insomnia, and the size of the participants' brains. They found that the participants with sleep problems had a more rapid decline in brain size over the course of the study than those who slept well. These results were especially pronounced in participants over the age of 60.

In addition to brain size, poor sleep has also been linked to problems with the immune system, cardiovascular health, weight and memories as well as brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and dementia.

The researchers stressed that they still need to determine whether the brain shrinkage is a cause or consequence of poor sleep habits.

To learn more, click here.