Weekly Health Update: January 7th, 2013

Mental Attitude
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs. Antidepressants. Only a third of patients respond fully to antidepressant medications and there is no consensus on what to try next.  In a study of 469 patients from the United Kingdom who did not fully respond to initial treatment, 235 patients again received the usual care (antidepressants) and 234 again received the usual care plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to find patterns in thinking that cause negative thoughts leading to negative feelings and self-destructive behaviors. 46% of participants who received CBT as an adjunct to usual care saw improvements after 6 months compared to only 22% among those who solely used antidepressants. Those in the CBT group experienced less anxiety, were more likely to go into remission, and experienced fewer and 
milder symptoms than those in the other group. 
The Lancet, December 2012  

Health Alert
Childhood Obesity Rates Falling! During the first decade of the 21st century, childhood obesity rates among children in lower income families in the United States have decreased (14.94% in 2010 vs. 15.21% in 2003).  
The Journal of the American Medical Association, December 2012

Red Wine and Cancer. Resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine, is thought to help prevent cancer. Lab models designed to identify any benefits from consuming the amount of resveratrol in 2 daily glasses of wine found a reduction in the rate of bowel tumors by around 50%. 
University of Leicester, December 2012 

Good Vibrations. Within 7 months of starting a poor diet, normal mice became obese, with significant damage to their immune and skeletal systems. Daily 15-minute treatments of low-intensity vibration, barely perceptible to human touch, helped restore the immune and skeletal systems of the mice towards those of mice fed a regular diet. If this effect translates to humans, it could have benefits for obese people suffering from immune problems related to their obesity.  
The FASEB Journal, December 2012 

Quit Smoking! Smokers suffering from spinal disorders and related back pain reported greater discomfort than those who stopped smoking during an 8 month treatment period. Patients who had never smoked and prior smokers reported significantly less back pain than current smokers and those who had quit smoking during their care.  
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, December 2012 

Sleep and Pain?  In a recent study, participants who slept 1.8 hours more per night had increased daytime alertness and less pain sensitivity than those who slept their normal amount. 
Sleep, December 2012 

“What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.”  
~ Henry David Thoreau 

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