30 Jun 2012

Flexible human beings

I always like to see how human beings can be so flexible and adaptive to their environments...
Hong Kong architect Gary Chang managed to squeeze 24 rooms in his little house and calls his house his “domestic transformer”.

See the video to understand why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg9qnWg9kak

24 Jun 2012

Stress: 3 different types

A little bit of stress can be thrilling and stimulizing, but a lot of people nowadays are experiencing too much stress.

Stress can come in several ways, and depending on the type of stress, there are different ways to deal with it. Read more about the several kinds of stress (and...what to do about it!) here: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-kinds.aspx

20 Jun 2012

Higher educated cancer patients get better treatment?

Today the quite shocking results of a Dutch research (led by epidemiologist Mieke Aarts) were published: it appears that higher educated cancer patients get better treatments (and because of that: higher survival rates) than lower educated cancer patients.
Reason for this is probably that the higher educated patients are more often actively looking for more information and probable treatments, raising the chance that they will find those treatments also. Besides, they probably have better (more 'equal') conversations with their doctors: doctors will explain them more, and the patients dare to discuss more with their doctors.
Advices that the researchers provide are: doctors should treat every patient the same way, and they should empathize more with the patient so that they can adapt their way of communication.

14 Jun 2012

Most EU citizens support demotivation of the use of tobacco

An EU-wide survey, published by the European Commission, shows that a majority of EU citizens (60%) supports stronger tobacco control measures to make tobacco less visible and attractive, such as keeping tobacco products out of sight in shops or curbing the use of attractive flavours and colours. 
According to this study, despite decreasing numbers, still 28% of EU citizens aged 15 and over smoke...

12 Jun 2012

Heart attack or panic attack?

Approximately one sixth of the patients treated at Emergency Heart Care units is having a panic attack rather than heartproblems. Indeed a panic attack could have some of the same symptoms as a heart attack (for example: chestpain, heart palpitations, being short of breath).
In Holland, this was a reason for a psychiatrist to join the team of cardiologists, to screen every patient showing up at the Emergency Heart Care. This way, patients actually suffering from a panic attack could get the right treatment faster.

7 Jun 2012


Our colleague Mary Fowke asked me to post this text for her, since she doesn't handle the blogger dash (what a shame!)

Gabor Maté is a Hungarian - Canadian medical doctor who has thought provoking and unconventional perpectives on addictions that differ from currrent tendencies to attribute causes to genetics .He sees addictions not as distinct entities but rather as parts of a continuum with roots in childhood traumas and other environmental influences.His book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, presents addictions in this holistic, relational light, taking away their "otherness".  To him, an addiction is " any behavior that has negative consequences but that a person continues to crave and relapse into despite the negative consequences ." Maté has become a sought after speaker following the publication of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. The following is an interview in which he discusses how addiction changes the brain :http://youtu.be/oZ-FAX4Pz8I.

The origin of monogamy

Professor Sergey Gavrilets (Universiteit of Tennesse, U.S.A.) shares his theory about the evolution of monogamy in the latest edition of the journal ´Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences´. Bottom line is that lower-ranked males started using the alternative strategy of provisioning and caring, to compete with the higher-ranked males...

Read more about this interesting theory here: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/05/21/1200717109.abstract?sid=6bd33217-3cc3-4289-8e1a-9cb709b49a83

3 Jun 2012

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A new research (performed by the University of California) has shown that some people could be more susceptible to develop a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after experiencing a life-threatening event than others.
This susceptability seems to be inherited: there are specific variants of two genes involved (TPH1 and TPH2). Probably these the specific gene variants produce less serotonin, which could explain why these people could be more vulnerable to develop PTSD.

More research about this needs to be done in the future, but for now you can read more at http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-study-identifies-first-genes-231248.aspx


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