In The Fight For Money For The Opioid Crisis, Will The Youngest Victims Be Left Out?

Babies born to mothers who used opioids during pregnancy represent one of the most distressing legacies of an opioid epidemic that has claimed almost 400,000 lives and ravaged communities.

In fact, many of the ongoing lawsuits filed against drug companies refer to these babies, fighting through withdrawal in hospital nurseries.

The cluster of symptoms they experience, which include tremors, seizures and respiratory distress, is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. Until recently, doctors rarely looked for the condition. Then case numbers quadrupled over a decade. Hospital care for newborns with NAS has cost Medicaid billions of dollars.

Full story at Kaiser Health News

How playing in a brass band could give your health a boost

New research from the United Kingdom suggests that people who play in a brass band experience a wide array of mental and physical health benefits — partly from playing an instrument, and, in part, thanks to the feeling of inclusion in a group.

A large number of recent studies have shown that listening to music can help improve a person’s cognitive and physical health, as well as increase their resilience to stress.

According to research Medical News Today has covered of late, this passive endeavor may protect cardiovascular health from daily stressors and reduce anxiety before a surgical procedure. It may also boost the effectiveness of pain medication and even help people with Alzheimer’s manage their symptoms.

Full story at Medical News Today

In sickness and in health: Study looks at how married couples face chronic conditions

When they said their wedding vows, many of them promised to stand by one another in sickness and in health.

But a new study suggests that as married couples age and develop chronic conditions, the daily demands of coping with their own health demands and those of their spouse may take a mental toll.

Depression symptoms increased over time among married men and women who themselves had two or more chronic conditions that need different types of self-care — such as a special diet and medications for heart disease or diabetes along with pain-reducing therapy for arthritis.

When husbands and wives both had chronic health conditions, and needed different kinds of self-care from their partners, husbands fared worse. Their depression symptoms were significantly higher, but this effect was not found for wives.

Full story at Science Daily

Black Mothers Get Less Treatment For Postpartum Depression Than Other Moms

Portia Smith’s most vivid memories of her daughter’s first year are of tears. Not the baby’s. Her own.

“I would just hold her and cry all day,” Smith said.

At 18, Smith was caring for two children, 4-year-old Kelaiah and newborn Nelly, with little help from the partner in her abusive relationship. The circumstances were difficult, but she knew the tears were more than that.

“I really didn’t have a connection for her,” said Smith, now a motivational speaker and mother of three living in Philadelphia. “I didn’t even want to breastfeed because I didn’t want that closeness with her.”

Full story at Kaiser Health News

What to know about alcohol intoxication

Alcohol intoxication refers to a temporary condition that occurs when a person drinks an excess of alcohol at one time.

Alcohol intoxication causes physical and behavioral symptoms that range from mild to severe.

Severe alcohol intoxication — or alcohol poisoning — is a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention.

 — is a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Although people can safely consume alcohol without experiencing immediate adverse health effects, long term alcohol consumption can jeopardize overall health.

Full story at Medical News Today

Borderline personality disorder: Trauma raises risk by 13-fold

A new meta-analysis of existing studies has revealed that people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are much more likely to report childhood adversity than those without the condition.

Childhood trauma is also associated with BPD more than it is with other similar psychiatric conditions, according to the study.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, BPD is a mental health condition that affects around 1.4% of the population of the United States.

Full story at Medical News Today

What are the effects of emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is a serious form of abuse that may come before, during, or after periods of physical abuse. Emotional abuse is never the fault of the person subjected to it.

Emotional abuse can have several long- and short-term effects. These might be physical (racing heart and tremors), psychological (anxiety and guilt), or both.

Keep reading for more information on the different types of emotional abuse, its short- and long- term effects, and some tips for healing and recovery. This article also discusses how to seek help.

Full story at Medical News Today

Firefighters can ease one another’s job stress, but loving spouses may increase it

Strong same-sex friendships among male firefighters can help cut down on their stress — but loving relationships with their wives may increase anxiety for those who constantly face danger, according to a Baylor University study.

For firefighters — 90% percent of whom are males — the desire to protect wives from awareness of the risks and emotional trauma of their jobs can add apprehension to their already considerable burden, said lead author Mark T. Morman, Ph.D., professor of communication studies at Baylor University.

“The well-known firefighter mandate is to ‘leave it at the firehouse,'” Morman said.

The study — “Firefighters’ Job Stress and the (Un)Intended Consequences of Relational Quality with Spouses and Firefighter Friends” — is published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Full story at Science Daily

Side effects mild, brief with single antidepressant dose of intravenous ketamine

National Institutes of Health researchers found that a single, low-dose ketamine infusion was relatively free of side effects for patients with treatment-resistant depression. Elia Acevedo-Diaz, M.D., Carlos Zarate, M.D., and colleagues at the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) report their findings in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Studies have shown that a single, subanesthetic-dose (a lower dose than would cause anesthesia) ketamine infusion can often rapidly relieve depressive symptoms within hours in people who have not responded to conventional antidepressants, which typically take weeks or months to work. However, widespread off-label use of intravenous subanesthetic-dose ketamine for treatment-resistant depression has raised concerns about side effects, especially given its history as a drug of abuse.

“The most common short-term side effect was feeling strange or loopy,” said Acevedo-Diaz, of the Section on the Neurobiology and Treatment of Mood Disorders, part of the NIMH Intramural Research Program (IRP) in Bethesda, Maryland. “Most side effects peaked within an hour of ketamine administration and were gone within two hours. We did not see any serious, drug-related adverse events or increased ketamine cravings with a single-administration.”

Full story at Science Daily

Depression: 35 extra minutes of exercise daily slashes risk

It is common knowledge that exercise is good for physical health, but a new study shows that it can also help curtail episodes of depression, even in those who have an increased genetic risk.

According to the researchers, who are from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the study is the first of its kind.

The paper, which appears in the journal Depression and Anxiety, shows that physical activity can positively affect the risk of depression — even when there is a higher genetic risk.

Lead author Karmel Choi, Ph.D., and her colleagues consulted genomic and electronic health record data from almost 8,000 participants in the Partners Biobank.

Full story at Medical News Today