Other interesting research


Engagement in meaningful activities is essential to development and is often reduced in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have limited engagement in activities or relationships. A multiple-baseline design was used with 7 children with ASD ages 4-8 yr to assess the effect of including a horse in occupational therapy intervention on task engagement. The children showed improvements in engagement. Including horses in occupational therapy sessions may be a valuable addition to conventional treatments to increase task engagement of children with ASD. Factors related to the environment, therapeutic strategies, and individual participation need to be considered in understanding why this intervention may be effective and developing a theoretical basis for implementation.

Copyright © 2016 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.


More and source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27767943/

New study explains why babies calm down when they are carried

Every parent and caregiver knows from first hand experience that babies calm down when they are picked up, gently rocked, and carried around the room. New research published in the journal Current Biology on April 18, 2013 shows that this is a universal phenomenon. Infants experience an automatic calming reaction when they are being carried, whether they are mouse pups or human babies.

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The University of British Columbia is defending two of its researchers who have published vaccine-related studies discredited by the World Health Organization and described by several medical experts as weak and misleading.

Organizations that promote messages about the dangers of vaccines, such as the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI), have used the results of the UBC research as evidence that vaccines cause autism and other serious harm. The front page of the CMSRI website states that in a “landmark” 2013 paper, the two UBC researchers show that “the more children receive vaccines with aluminum adjuvants, the greater their chance is of developing autism, autoimmune diseases and neurological problems later in life.” In that study, the researchers note that the rate of autism spectrum disorders increased along with the number of pediatric vaccines that contain aluminum.

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More and source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102473744#

Washington, D.C., March 3, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Physicians and public health officials know that recently vaccinated individuals can spread disease and that contact with the immunocompromised can be especially dangerous. For example, the Johns Hopkins Patient Guide warns the immunocompromised to "Avoid contact with children who are recently vaccinated," and to "Tell friends and family who are sick, or have recently had a live vaccine (such as chicken pox, measles, rubella, intranasal influenza, polio or smallpox) not to visit."1

A statement on the website of St. Jude's Hospital warns parents not to allow people to visit children undergoing cancer treatment if they have received oral polio or smallpox vaccines within four weeks, have received the nasal flu vaccine within one week, or have rashes after receiving the chickenpox vaccine or MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.2

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Last week,a report by the University of San Diego School of Law found that about 686,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in 2013. Traumatic childhood events can lead to mental health and behavioral problems later in life, explains psychiatrist and traumatic stress expert Bessel van der Kolk, author of the recently published book, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. Children’s brains are literally shaped by traumatic experiences, which can lead to problems with anger, addiction, and even criminal activity in adulthood, says van der Kolk.Sound Medicine’sBarbara Lewis spoke with him about his book.

Sound Medicine:Can psychologically traumatic events change the physical structure of the brain?

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk:Yes, they can change the connections and activations in the brain. They shape the brain.

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Kids, beware: A new Yale research study has found a possible link between energy drinks and ADHD in middle school children.

Out of the 1,649 middle school students surveyed, those who drank beverages high in sugar and caffeine were 66 percent more likely to have symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention.

The study found that boys are more likely to consume energy drinks than girls. Black and Hispanic boys were more likely to drink the beverages than their white peers.

The findings from the Yale School of Public Health support the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to limit consumption of sweetened beverages in children. The academy also notes that children shouldn’t consume energy drinks at all.

Previous research has found links between children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and poor academic outcomes, greater difficulties with peer relationships and increased susceptibility to injuries.



More and source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/south-florida-parenting/sfp-study-energy-drinks-possibly-linked-to-adhd-in-children-20150216-story.html

"Think fast!"

As kids, that's what we used to say at school recess when tossing the ball around. Is "Think fast!" what we're now saying when we read?

Historically, thinking and reading have gone hand-in-hand. Eric Havelock argued years back that development of alphabetic writing in Greece enabled a level of analysis not earlier possible. Havelock may have gilded the alpha, beta, gamma, delta lily, but no one who reads Aristotle or Aristophanes doubts these writers gave us a lot to mentally chew on.

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Pharmaceutical companies have more power than ever, and the American people are paying the price—too often with our lives.

By now you have probably seen John Oliver’s comic take on the pharmaceutical industry’s influence on doctors’ prescribing habits. Media outlets from Mother Jones to the Wall Street Journal commented admiringly, and even the American Medical Association felt compelled to declare they were “committed to transparency” around drug company payments to doctors.

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Despite the increased emphasis on obesity and diet-related diseases, nutrition education remains lacking in many internal medicine training programs. We evaluated the attitudes, self-perceived proficiency, and knowledge related to clinical nutrition among a cohort of internal medicine interns.


Nutrition attitudes and self-perceived proficiency were measured using previously validated questionnaires. Knowledge was assessed with a multiple-choice quiz. Subjects were asked whether they had prior nutrition training.


Of the 114 participants, 61 (54%) completed the survey. Although 77% agreed that nutrition assessment should be included in routine primary care visits, and 94% agreed that it was their obligation to discuss nutrition with patients, only 14% felt physicians were adequately trained to provide nutrition counseling. There was no correlation among attitudes, self-perceived proficiency, or knowledge. Interns previously exposed to nutrition education reported more negative attitudes toward physician self-efficacy (p = 0.03).


Internal medicine interns’ perceive nutrition counseling as a priority, but lack the confidence and knowledge to effectively provide adequate nutrition education.

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Since there are more and more links between autism and environmental toxins, we find this article is important for our readers:

Energy firms and state attorneys general have established a secretive alliance in an effort to derail environmental oversight and promote fossil fuels, according to an in-depth New York Times’investigationpublished this weekend. Having reviewed thousands of emails and legal documents and undertaken dozens of interviews, the Times found that “Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda.” ...

Source and more: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/12/07/3600475/investigation-energy-firms-attorneys-general-fighting-federal-government/?utm_source=SAS+Master+List&utm_campaign=51408e5eac-SR_Daily_Digest9_23_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0eb25d4404-51408e5eac-221404137

and http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/us/politics/energy-firms-in-secretive-alliance-with-attorneys-general.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

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The Long Ride Home

The long awaited sequel of the Horse Boy.


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