Tag: Spotlight on Books

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App Helps Distract Kids During Painful Medical Procedures

The Distraction in Action app offers parents tips about how to help their child through a medical procedure. Image by Tim Schoon. Sometimes painful medical procedures are necessary for children, but that doesn’t make them any less traumatizing for the patients or their parents. Researchers at University of Iowa (UI) Children’s Hospital and the UI...

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New Book Offers Strategies for Caregivers

Image courtesy of AARP. Family caregiving has its challenges: emotional overload, time constraints, anxiety, burnout, missed work, adult sibling conflicts, and marital issues. But providing care for a loved one can also be enriching. AARP Meditations for Caregivers: Practical, Emotional, and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family offers family caregivers tips and guidance on...

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Even With Insurance, Hospital Stay May Cost You $1,000 or More

Key findings from a study of out-of-pocket costs for hospitalization. Image courtesy of the University of Michigan. Even if you have what you might think of as good health insurance, your next hospital stay could cost you more than $1,000 out of your own pocket. That amount has gone up sharply in recent years-a rise...

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Amputee Explains Why and How People With Disabilities Often Exceed Expectations

Image courtesy of Laurent Qy Photography. In a recent TEDx Talk in Paris, Jothy Rosenberg, a two-time cancer survivor, amputee, and founder of the Who Says I Can’t Foundation, explains his theory about why and how a disproportionate percentage of people with physical disabilities go beyond their supposed limitations and thrive in life. Using his...

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Study Discusses Open-source 3D-printed Cyborg Hand

Zuniga displays various versions of the Cyborg Beast 3D-printed prosthetic hand. Photograph courtesy of Jorge Zuniga. A study published in the July issue of the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics identified active range of motion (ROM) and strength changes in children who used the Cyborg Beast, a wrist-driven, 3D-printed transitional prosthetic hand. The prosthesis was...

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Study Finds Minimal Risk for Serious Infection With Osseointegration in Transfemoral Patients

A study in the June issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery concluded there is minimal risk for severe infection with osseointegrated implants for prosthetic attachment in patients with transfemoral amputations. The researchers specifically reported on the safety of press-fit osseointegrated implants currently used in Australia and the Netherlands. They prospectively recorded all...

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Doctors Call for Single-payer Health Reform

On May 5, in a dramatic show of physician support for deeper health reform-and for making a decisive break with the private insurance model of financing medical care-2,231 physicians called for the creation of a publicly financed, single-payer national health program that would cover all Americans for all medically necessary care. Single-payer health reform, often...

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Safety-net Clinics May Remain Important Options for Many Patients

Safety-net clinics are likely to continue to play a critical role in meeting the needs of insured minority and low-income populations despite expanded insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a University of Texas (UT) Southwestern study suggests. Based on results of federal government healthcare surveys from 2006 to 2010, the study showed that...

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Pilot Study Shows Meditation Can Help Veterans Manage Chronic Pain

Military veterans return to the United States with multiple types of trauma and suffer from one of the highest rates of chronic pain of any population in the nation. A major challenge for healthcare providers is how to help them alleviate pain that will last a lifetime. Now, a new study suggests veterans may be...

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Scientists Create Painless Patch of Insulin-Producing Beta Cells to Control Diabetes

For decades, researchers have tried to duplicate the function of beta cells, the tiny insulin-producing entities that don’t work properly in patients with diabetes. Insulin injections provide painful and often imperfect substitutes. Transplants of normal beta cells carry the risk of rejection or side effects from immunosuppressive therapies. Now, researchers at the University of North...

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Monkeys Drive Wheelchairs Using Only Their Thoughts

Neuroscientists at Duke Health, Durham, North Carolina, have developed a brain-machine interface (BMI) that allows primates to use only their thoughts to navigate a robotic wheelchair. The BMI uses signals from hundreds of neurons recorded simultaneously in two regions of the monkeys’ brains that are involved in movement and sensation. As the animals think about...

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Uses New Mobile Imaging Technique to Promote Communication and Emotional Resilience

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the EDI Institute are partnering to provide a new mobile imaging technique for cancer patients, family members, and staff to express their feelings around the illness. Expressive Digital Imagery (EDI) is used on a smartphone or tablet to provide a creative outlet for people to express complex feelings and emotions that...

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People on High-Deductible Health Plans Aren?t Better Healthcare Shoppers

High-deductible health plans are sold as a way for consumers to take greater control over managing their medical costs, but new research shows people on those plans are no better at price shopping for healthcare professionals or services than people on traditional insurance. “The main message of our research is this: Giving ‘skin in the...

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Robotic Fingers Use Static to Create Gentle Touch

Photograph of the robotic gripper by Alain Herzog, courtesy of EPFL. Scientists at Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a lightweight, soft robotic gripper-made of rubber and stretchable electrodes-that can bend and pick up delicate objects of arbitrary sizes like eggs, paper, and water balloons. Possible uses for these robotic fingers...

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Electric Patch Could Help Treat PTSD

Image courtesy of UCLA. In a study published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, an unobtrusive patch on the forehead provided considerable relief from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for the 12 people who participated. For those who participated, an average of 30 years had passed since the traumatic events that triggered their PTSD symptoms....

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New Study Links Cancer’s Financial Burden to Mortality Rates

A new study conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that the financial toxicity resulting from the high cost of cancer care is almost as deadly as cancer itself. “It varies from cancer to cancer, but for those who are in a bankruptcy situation-and about 3 percent of cancer patients...

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AARP Awards Prizes for Documentary Filmmakers? Compelling Family Caregiving Stories

AARP recently announced the winners of a contest that encouraged filmmakers to tell the story of family caregiving through short films. The competition was launched as part of the Ad Council and AARP’s National Caregiver Awareness Campaign to help reveal the hard work and dedication of the nation’s 40 million family caregivers. These stories focus...

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Spinal Cord Stimulation May Help Critical Limb Ischemia Patients Avoid Amputation

An analysis of medical literature to determine whether spinal cord stimulation (SCS) decreases lower-limb amputation found that SCS, rather than medical management alone, may help to decrease the incidence of limb amputation for some patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI), especially in patients with less severe disease. The study was conducted by researchers at the...

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Japanese Researchers Regenerate Joints in Amputated Frog Limbs

Researchers at Kyoto University, Japan, have regenerated functional joints in frogs by activating a newly discovered reintegration mechanism. Further understanding of this process may help transplanted tissues integrate with the original organs and limbs after surgical removal or amputation. The study was published January 6 in the open access journal Regeneration. “We expect that by...

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New Material Helps Accelerate Skin Regeneration in Major Wounds

Image courtesy of T. Segura et al, UCLA. Some skin wounds, such as diabetic ulcers, are chronic and may never heal; others, such as burn wounds, are often large and difficult to treat, resulting in pain, infection, and scarring. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), funded by the National Institutes of Health...

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New Drug Therapy Could Help End Chronic Pain

A brain region controlling whether we feel happy or sad, as well as addiction, is remodeled by chronic pain, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. And in a significant breakthrough for the millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain, scientists have developed a new treatment strategy that restores this region and dramatically lessens pain symptoms...

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Patient Mood Can Impact Medical Procedure Results

Feeling high levels of distress, fear, and hostility prior to undergoing an angioplasty or other interventional radiology procedure may lead to a poor outcome, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). “I was surprised by this result,” said study author Nadja Kadom, MD, currently acting...

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Injectable Biogel Helps Destroy Cancerous Tumors

Lerouge and Lapointe examine the cancer-fighting biogel they have developed. Image courtesy of CRCHUM. A new injectable “biogel” is effective in delivering anti-cancer agents directly into cancerous tumors and killing them. This technology, developed by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM), has already been successfully tested in the laboratory. Unlike gelatin,...

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Nondrug Interventions Improve Quality of Life for Chinese Cancer Patients

Acupuncture, tai chi, qigong, therapeutic massage, and five elements musical intervention were among the approaches evaluated in a new analysis of traditional Chinese medicine and its effects on quality of life in Chinese cancer patients. Image by Julie McMahon. A meta-analysis of dozens of studies of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and other nonpharmacological interventions meant...

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Researchers Develop Antibiotic Alternative for Wound Infections

Electrical Current Kills 99.99 Percent of Bugs Washington State University (WSU) researchers have discovered how electrical stimulation works for the treatment of bacterial infections, paving the way for a viable alternative to medicinal antibiotics. The researchers passed an electric current over a film of bacteria that killed almost all of a multidrug-resistant bacterium that is...

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Cancer Cells Hijack Glucose, Alter Immune Cells

A new study published in Nature Immunology suggests a potential metabolic pathway for cancer treatment. When cancer cells compete with immune cells for glucose, the cancer wins. As a result, the immune T cells are not healthy and don’t have the weapons to kill the cancer. “If we have a way to manipulate the metabolic...

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AARP Launches Awareness Campaign for National Family Caregivers Month in November

November is National Family Caregivers Month, and AARP is launching a national campaign to bring awareness to the important role that family caregivers play in the lives of their loved ones. AARP’s Random Acts of Kindness for Caregivers contest began October 15 with the goal of encouraging people to recognize and reward caregivers in small...

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Diabetes Identified as Risk Factor for Surgical Site Infections

Patients with diabetes are at considerably increased risk for developing surgical site infections (SSIs), compared to patients without diabetes, according to a new study published online in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). “Diabetes has been recognized as a risk factor for infection following some...

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Many Older Adults Are Burdened by Demands of Healthcare System

Nearly four in ten older adults say that managing their healthcare needs is difficult for them or their families, that medical appointments or tests get delayed or don’t get done, or that all of the requirements of their healthcare are too much to handle. This is according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health...

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Porous Elastomer Foam Being Used in Prosthetic Hand

Researchers at Cornell University have developed a material with the consistency of memory foam that could allow air or liquid to move through prosthetic devices; a hand is the first prosthesis under development. The lightweight and stretchable polymer (elastomer) foam can be formed and has connected pores that allow fluids to be pumped through it....

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Many Patients Prefer Online Postoperative Care to In-Person Care

The majority of patients who undergo routine, uncomplicated operations prefer online postoperative consultations to in-person visits, according to a new study published on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website. In this prospective pilot study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, researchers tracked 50 patients who completed both online and in-person visits...

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New Technology Allows Real-Time Prosthetic Tuning

New software that can be incorporated into powered, lower-lower limb prosthetic devices to automatically tune the amount of power a prosthetic limb needs in order for a patient to walk comfortably has been developed by researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill). The...

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UPDATE: Nine Researchers Cited by Medicare Say That Proposed Cutback on Prosthetic Care Not Based on Science

Nine U.S. researchers sent a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that said they are “extremely concerned that the [proposed Medicare rule to reduce care for amputees] was not based at all on the current literature and science associated with the provision of prosthetic care.” The nine researchers are...

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Cancer Drugs: Are They a Good Value?

At a time when cancer drug prices are rising rapidly, an innovative new study provides the framework for establishing value-based pricing for all new oncology drugs entering the marketplace. Using a highly sophisticated economic model, researchers from Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology used an example of a new lung...

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Most Chronic Pain Patients Use Alternative Therapies, But Many Don’t Tell Their Doctors

More than half of chronic pain patients in a managed care setting reported using chiropractic care, acupuncture, or both, but many of these patients didn’t discuss this care with their primary care providers. These study results, published in the American Journal of Managed Care, suggest that better care coordination is needed among patients and physicians....

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Technique Helps Patients Overcome Negative Thinking

Some depressed patients may be hoping for answers from their therapists, but a new study suggests questions may be the key. Researchers examined how cognitive therapy for depression achieves its positive effects. Their study is the first to show that depressed patients see substantial improvements in their depressive symptoms when their therapists use a technique...

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Study Identifies How Objects Affect Brain?s Grip Plan

Plots that relate the neural patterns from each experimental instance show how the plans for gripping either of two objects in different ways cluster distinctly and identifiably, from start of gripping effort (left) to contact. Image courtesy of the John Donoghue Lab and Brown University. A study conducted at Brown University has advanced neuroscientists’ understanding...

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Stanford Team Improves Precision of Brain-Controlled Prosthesis

Brain-controlled prostheses sample a few hundred neurons to estimate motor commands that involve millions of neurons, so tiny sampling errors can reduce the precision and speed of thought-controlled keypads. A Stanford technique can analyze this sample and make dozens of corrective adjustments in the blink of an eye to make thought control more precise. Image...

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Leading Experts Call for Making Cancer Drugs More Affordable

A group of 118 of the nation’s leading cancer experts have drafted a prescription for reducing the high cost of cancer drugs and voiced support for a patient-based grassroots movement demanding action on the issue. Their recommendations and support are outlined in a commentary, co-authored by the group, in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. “High...

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Ultrasound Accelerates Ulcer Healing

Healing times for bedsores and skin ulcers, including those related to diabetes, can be reduced by a third with the use of low-intensity ultrasound, scientists from England’s University of Sheffield (Sheffield) and University of Bristol (Bristol) have found. Researchers from Sheffield’s Department of Biomedical Science discovered the ultrasound transmits a vibration through the skin and...

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Study Affirms Link Between Disjointed Care and Unnecessary Medical Procedures

A “look back” study of Medicare fee-for-service claims for more than 1.2 million patients over age 65 has directly affirmed and quantified a long-suspected link between lower rates of coordinated healthcare services and higher rates of unnecessary medical tests and procedures. In a report on the study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins...

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New Device May Help Identify Best Cancer Drugs for Each Patient

More than 100 drugs have been approved to treat cancer, but predicting which ones will help a particular patient is an inexact science at best. A new device developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) may change that. The implantable device, about the size of a grain of rice, can carry small doses of...

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OPAF Accepting Yasukawa Scholarship Applications

The OPAF Dale Yasukawa Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications from full-time students enrolled in the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) program. The $1,000 scholarship is intended to help NUPOC students attend their local chapter or society meeting of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (the Academy) and to pay for items such as...

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Losing Sleep May Promote Weight Gain and Adversely Affect Blood Sugar Control

Losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep per day on weekdays can have long-term consequences for body weight and metabolism, according to a new study. “While previous studies have shown that short sleep duration is associated with obesity and diabetes, we found that as little as 30 minutes a day sleep debt can have...

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Slim by Chocolate?

New Study Finds that High-Cocoa Chocolate Accelerates Weight Loss Can you indulge your sweet tooth and lose weight at the same time? If it’s chocolate you crave, then the answer seems to be yes. That is the surprising conclusion of a study by German researchers published this week in the International Archives of Medicine. Confusion...

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Some Diabetes Medications May Increase Risk for Heart Failure, Study Finds

A comprehensive study examining clinical trials of more than 95,000 patients has found that some glucose- or sugar-lowering medications prescribed to patients with diabetes may pose an increased risk for the development of heart failure in these patients. “Patients randomized to new or more-intensive blood sugar-lowering drugs or strategies to manage diabetes showed an overall...

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Having a Sense of Purpose May Lower Health Risks

Having a high sense of purpose in life may lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a new study led by researchers at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt. The new analysis defined purpose in life as a sense of meaning and direction and a feeling that life is worth...

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Novel “Smart” Insulin Automatically Adjusts Blood Sugar

Seven-year-old Foster’s fingertips are so calloused from pricking them that he now draws blood from the sides of his fingers instead. His mother, Tricia, says his toes are next. Foster was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at 10 months old, and Tricia started turning some of his care over to him as soon as...

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Cancer Patients Rarely Demand Unnecessary Tests and Treatments

Physicians often blame patient demands for contributing to high medical costs. A new study involving more than 5,000 patient-clinician visits indicates, however, that cancer patients rarely push for unnecessary tests and treatments from their healthcare providers. The study, conducted by Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, and colleagues in the Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School...

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Experts Recommend Intermediate Physical Activity Goals, Especially for Older Adults

The recommendation that adults should get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week may be too ambitious for many middle-aged and older adults. That’s one key recommendation from physical activity and health experts in the United States and Australia who published a paper in the British Medical Journal. While all adults, even those over the...

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