Medical Notes 17-10

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Medical Notes this week…

            We reported last week on the opioid epidemic. Now a new study finds yet another symptom of opioid addiction—amnesia. The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report describes a group of 14 patients—almost all opioid addicts–who couldn’t remember things they’d just been told. Along with short-term memory loss, the patients had abnormal MRI scans as well. Doctors are concerned the patients represent a new condition triggered by substance abuse that they were not previously aware of. Researchers say most of the patients recovered their normal memory after several months substance free.

            Sitting in traffic is a sure way to increase your stress level and a new study shows it also increases domestic violence. A study at Louisiana State University correlated 25 million traffic observations and two million police reports over four years and found that extreme traffic jams increase the likelihood of domestic violence when people get home by about 6 percent.

            People who’ve suffered concussions are held out of sports and school until they’re considered recovered but a new study shows that even then, they may have trouble driving. The study in the Journal of Neurotrauma tested the driving skills of 14 people who’d had a concussion but felt they were now over it. Researchers say that at times they drove as if they were drunk.

            And finally…parents who use threats and raised voices to get their kids to behave often end up doing the opposite. A study in the journal Child Development shows that kids parented harshly as ‘tweens are more likely to drop out of school, engage in early sex, and commit theft a few years later. Researchers say those kids reject their domineering parents and seek approval from their peers instead.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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16-50 Segment 1: Drug Abuse and Personality

man showing his personality in many different faces

 

Drug and alcohol addiction and abuse is rising. Researchers have found that “fear mongering” educational efforts to combat it in adolescents doesn’t work. New science has discovered that certain personality types are predictably predisposed to addiction risk, and that educational efforts can be targeted to them effectively.

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16-50 Segment 2: God and Genome

52853590 - egg is holding by a pipet and a neeldle.

 

Advancements in genetic science are often clouded in ethical controversy. Experts discuss a new platform where scientists and public can debate it, and from which education can be disseminated.

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16-47 Segment 1: Restoring Doctors’ Compassion

42403001 - senior couple discussing test results with doctor

 

Doctors have often been advised to avoid emotions regarding patients in order to keep their decisions objective. However, this has led many patients to believe doctors don’t care about them. A new movement in medicine seeks to reverse the trend and put compassion back in medicine, led by a “Healer’s Art” class in many medical schools. Experts who teach the class explain.

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16-47 Segment 2: PBC: Liver Autoimmune Disease

59430166 - woman with pain in the abdomen.

 

A variety of liver diseases may cause test results that mimic alcohol-related cirrhosis. One, known as PBC, is the second largest reason for liver transplants in women. A patient and an expert discuss.

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16-38 Segment 1: Epi-Pen Price Hikes

61756232 - saint louis, united states - august 25, 2016: two epipen auto-injectors used for treatment of allergic reactions.

Synopsis: The Epi-Pen brand has become synonymous with epinephrine injectors, which can save the life of a person suffering a severe allergic reaction. Recently there’s been outcry over large price hikes for the devices, which have forced some people to seek other alternatives or go without. Experts discuss the economics involved and what patients can do to be protected without going broke.

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16-38 Segment 2: Homesickness

56672594 - handsome asian man looking through train window, warm light tone, with copy space

Synopsis: What we now call “homesickness” used to be a medical diagnosis called “nostalgia,” and it was considered life-threatening. Today many people consider homesickness to be a childish emotion, but an expert says it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all suffer from it sometime and need to know how to cope.

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Click here for guest information and the transcript