Health

Scientists: Coffee and Naps – the Best Combination

A series of experiments performed by scientists from UK and Japan suggests that coffee and naps taken together maximize the brain’s alertness much better than when taken alone. Scientists at Loughborough University in Britain found out that tired test takers who drank a cup of coffee and immediately took a 15-minute nap had fewer errors in a driving simulator than those who only drank coffee or only took a nap. The secret is in how the combination of caffeine and sleep affects a neuromodulator called adenosine. Normal activity slowly raises the level of adenosine in the brain, which makes us…
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Rhode Island Nursing Homes Continue to Outperform the Nation

Listening to Residents Helps Rhode Island Nursing Homes Continue to Outperform the Nation Quality of life and care for Rhode Island seniors and their families reach above average marks, making the state a more desirable place for elders Providence, Rhode Island, August 28, 2014 – Nursing home providers are increasingly recognizing that the people who call their facilities "home" should have the opportunity to provide feedback about their care and environment. Under the direction of the Rhode Island Department of Health, the state's nursing homes field surveys to their residents and family members every year using products from My InnerView…
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Featured

RI State Agencies Promote Tick Bite Prevention as First Line of Defense Against Lyme Disease

Providence: With the tandem of increased outdoor activities and increased tick populations, the Department of Health (HEALTH) has partnered with other state agencies to urge Rhode Islanders to check for tick bites as the first line of prevention against Lyme disease when enjoying and working outdoors. HEALTH, the Departments of Environmental Management (DEM) and Transportation (DOT) are working together to provide Lyme disease and tick bite prevention trainings for seasonal staff and other outdoor workers, and to place education posters at state facilities and public recreation spots, including DEM trailheads, parks, and fishing spots. The URI TickEncounter Resource Center facilitated…
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Featured

Flu Declared Widespread in Rhode Island Again; Masking Requirement In Effect For Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers

Providence: Director of Health Michael Fine, MD today declared the flu to be widespread again in Rhode Island. This declaration triggers the requirement that healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated against the flu wear surgical masks during direct patient contact. Rhode Island is seeing a second wave of flu that is even more intense than the first. The dominant strains in this late-season wave have been H3N2 -- which has a great impact on the elderly -- and influenza B. The majority of the 13 flu-related deaths this season have been people in their 80s and 90s. There have…
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Brown Medical Student Katie Brooks, MD

Katie Brooks is this week's Medical Apprentice. She speaks fluent Spanish and said that she decided to become a doctor later in life. While in college she majored in Political Science, taking classes in sociology and Hispanic Studies. She also worked as a social worker in Philadelphia, working primarily with AIDs patients. Through her interactions with these patients and their doctors, she decided that medical school was a good choice for her. Katie combines her educational and work experience into her work as a doctor and believe it shapes the way in which she executes her profession. Katie explains that…
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Featured

Influenza Deaths Climb; H3N2 taking toll on elderly

Providence: Thirteen people, most of them in their 80s and 90s, have died from influenza this season, many since the arrival of the H3N2 strain of flu in late March. Rhode Island is also seeing cases of Type B strains recently. There have been 392 hospitalizations, with 40 of those occuring in the last week with a spike in influenza activity, as part of a the late season second wave of influenza disease. “Thirteen Rhode Islanders have died from influenza this season, and the number of hospitalizations due to influenza has increased, with much of the activity occurring in the…
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Traumatic Experiences Can Be Inherited From Parent to Child

Can a traumatic experience, or any change in our lifestyle be transmitted genetically to our children? This phenomenon, called Epigenetic inheritance has been linked in a multitude of diseases, from obesity to psychiatric problems like bipolar disorder where there is a gene that is clearly identified. But up to this date, no mechanism by which this occurs has been identified. A team of scientists from the Institute of Brain Research at the University of Zurich Switzerland, offer the key in the magazine "Nature Neuroscience". Their work suggests that the environment leaves traces in the brain, organs and also in the gametes. And that it is through small fragments of RNA of…
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New Software Can Age the Face of a Child

In less than a minute, a child's face can be aged to show what he or she will look like when older. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a software that automatically generates images of the face of a young child to age through life. The technique is the first fully automated approach for the aging of the image of a person since it is baby to an adult that works with bad lighting, expressions and poses. Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman, Professor of computer science and engineering, explains that aging very young children from a single photo is considered very difficult. "We took photos of children in…
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Health

Weight-Loss Surgery Could Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Bariatric Surgery for weight loss in obese patients with type 2 diabetes helped many to reduce their blood sugar to healthy levels and not need more medication for the disease three years after the procedure, according to data presented at a major medical meeting on Monday. The operation also helped patients to reduce the need for treatments for high blood pressure and cholesterol and led to improvements in quality of life compared with those who received medical therapy for weight loss, the researchers discovered. The study, called Stampede, which involved 150 obese patients who had type 2 mellitus diabetes for at least eight years, was led by…
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Stem Cell Study Contained ‘Fraudulent’ Parts

The Nippon Research Institute of Riken acknowledged today that the last and revolutionary study on stem cells, led by scientist Haruko Obokata, published by the journal "Nature" contained "fraudulent" parts. The study, published in January in two articles that were picked up by "Nature", showed a very simple method to reprogram adult cells (immersing them in an acid or by applying pressure on their membranes) and obtain stem cells, with the ability to become any tissue. Although the great find would simplify the process to obtain these cells (which may constitute the future of regenerative medicine) many researchers began to report, after the publication, the use…
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