research

Mental Health Can Affect Your Job Performance

Wildgoose undertook a survey to examine employees at 250 businesses across the UK and revealed that there is still a substantial stigma surrounding mental health at work. Of those surveyed who have taken a day off work, just under half admitted to calling in sick with a different complaint to the one they were actually suffering with. When compared with the responses of those who haven’t taken a day off work, 43% indicated that they would say nothing and carry on as normal if faced with mental health issues, whilst 4% stated they would call in with a different issue. NHS mental health nurse, psychotherapist and podcaster, Aimee Leigh suggests: “To combat stress, one must learn to be present and grounded in their bodies, through the use of the senses. “Developing a practice of mindfulness helps the mind become resilient. Managing stress by training the mind to focus on one point for sustained periods of time stops the mind fluctuating, racing and catastrophizing. “When a person isn’t caught up in their thoughts, they’re more able to be focused and productive. They’re also less emotionally reactive and more proactive, productive and efficient. “Higher priorities need to be placed on supporting staff emotionally in the workplace, with more education for staff around taking responsibility for their health and well-being.” The survey also highlights differences in absence across various groups and demographics. On average, women...

With Data From “All of Us” NIH Launches Ambitious Data Repository

This month the National Institute of Health (NIH) launched the beta portal for “All of Us,” a project that aims to capture health data from over a million Americans. Born out of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, the data collected through “All of Us” will include not just health records or test results, but also lifestyle choices and, most importantly, genomic and biological data analysis to help fuel future medical research. What is precision medicine? Precision medicine, a term that is sometimes used interchangeably with “personalized medicine,” is a medical model that encourages healthcare professionals to customize treatments to the individual patient. Precision medicine takes into account the patient’s unique environmental and biological situation, in addition to the patient’s presenting symptoms. With this information, the healthcare professional may create a treatment plan that is tailored to that specific person, instead of using a standard treatment that is thought to work for the “average” patient. Why 1 Million? The All of Us program is specifically geared to be a broad and diverse program. Minority communities are often underrepresented in medical research, as most research populations tend to be homogenous, specifically white and male (Oh et al, 2015). All of Us aims to correct the gap in research data by aiming for a study population that better reflects the rich diversity of America. Researchers hope that this data will feed into...

The Prevalence of Munchausen Syndrome or Factitious Disorder in Medical Professionals

Munchausen Syndrome, sometimes known as Factitious Disorder, is a mental illness in which the sufferer acts as if s/he has a physical or mental disease when in fact the symptoms are self-inflicted (Cleveland Clinic). The ways in which those with Factitious Disorder fake illness include faking symptoms, making up medical histories, causing self-harm, and tampering with medical instruments and tests (Mayo Clinic). More women than men suffer from Factitious Disorder, and there is research showing an increased representation of the disorder in medical professionals (Burnel). Because one of the main warning signs of Factitious Disorder is extensive knowledge of medical terminology, hospitals, etc., it may be more difficult to diagnose among healthcare workers who would already possess such knowledge. In addition, medical workers have an understanding of and access to resources that they may use to further the fiction of their illness. For example, tampering with medical equipment and lab tests to skew the results of diagnostic procedures is very common. Healthcare workers with Factitious Disorder may contaminate their own urine samples with blood or other substances to alter results, or may heat up thermometers to fake a fever (Mayo Clinic). Those in the medical field have direct access to a number of other resources that they may use to. One study found that a significant subgroup of those with Factitious Disorder is made up of female healthcare workers...

Harnessing Brainwaves to Treat Dyslexia: Fact or Fiction

Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disorders in America, but also one of the most mysterious and under-diagnosed. Estimates put the rate of dyslexia in the U.S. at 10%, but because it often goes undetected, the rate may be as high as 17% of the population. Dyslexia may be detected even before a child learns to read, if she is exhibiting behaviors such as struggling to learn rhyming words or to develop letter recognition at the same rate as her peers. However, there are interventions and strategies that can be implemented at any age. With such a high incidence rate, it’s understandable that neuroscientists are searching high and low for the causes and effects of dyslexia. Although there have been incredible advances in research around learning disorders it is still unclear just how brainwaves are associated with the brain activity used for reading. Over the last two decades, researchers have used MRIs and fMRIs to monitor the activity of a dyslexic brain. They have found that in dyslexic patients, the areas typically used in reading, writing, visual recognition, or often a combination of all of these, are underdeveloped. But with intensive training or tutoring, other areas of the brain can essentially grow to compensate for these underdeveloped areas. Thus, in young students with intensive reading tutoring, we can see an improvement in their symptoms, similar to how...

Here’s How To Survive A Sleepover

Many parents are caught in two minds when it comes to the issue of a sleepover. On the one hand, they’re exciting for the children. On the other hand, the list of things that can go wrong is lengthy! Is the reward really worth the effort and the energy? If you’re babysitting children for some extra dollars, or gathering friends of your own for a sleepover, this infographic is for you. With a bit of careful planning and some ground rules, a sleepover need not be as taxing as it may often appear. Follow our guide and ensure you’ll be a Sleepover Party Survivor, this time and every time. How to Survive a Sleepover Infographic by Mattress Online. Here are more insights on sleep just for you: Polyphasic Sleep – A Boon For Modern Humans? As students, we all experience a lack of time at one point or another. There are just so many things on our plate that we must achieve in a short lifespan! Our decisions regarding priorities eventually boil down to a balancing act of the three-legged stool – education, social life, and sleep – with the last one ending up usually being cut. But what if I were to say that there is an alternative to the recommended 8 hours of sleep? Would you go for it? Looking around the world, people usually engage in monophasic sleep,...

Causing Seasonal Misery: The “Flu” and the “Flu-like” Virus

It’s almost the middle of winter and you start feeling sick. Runny nose, cough, sore throat, breathing problems, fever, headache, and diarrhea- all these dreaded symptoms sound familiar to you? And most certainly you attribute this seasonal misery to “common cold” or the flu. Most people use the terms common cold and flu interchangeably, however, the flu is very different from common cold. While a “common cold” can be caused by more than 200 different viruses, the “flu” is an abbreviation for influenza. This respiratory virus is dreaded for its ability to spread rapidly through communities. When someone with the influenza coughs or sneezes, the influenza virus is expelled into the air, and anyone who inhales it can become infected. The virus can also be spread if someone touches a contaminated hard surface such as a door handle and then places their hand on their mouth or nose. Each year millions of people suffer from flu symptoms to varying degrees of illness. For instance, children, old people, and people with weakened immune systems are more prone to the illness. Other secondary bacterial infections may follow after the flu. This season has been a particularly tough flu season. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention (C.D.C) reports1 (as of February 17, 2018) for flu activity during the year 2017-2018, 161,129 positive tests were performed by clinical laboratories and 35,544...

What It’s Like As A Woman With PCOS

Could you be suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and not even know? As many as one in every five women in the UK suffers from the condition, which affects cysts in the ovaries, high levels of male hormones and irregular periods. It’s hard enough battling an illness without many of the symptoms being so visible. Many women with the condition experience weight gain, acne and hair loss as well as depression and anxiety. Frustratingly, many treatments bring side effects and more hormonal fluctuation (such as the contraceptive pill) – creating a vicious cycle. The key things to remember about controlling PCOS, is making sure you do the following: Balance your hormones Normalise your insulin levels Reduce inflammation Balance pH levels The good news is that these actions can be controlled naturally, allowing you to be in charge of your health and wellbeing. Add natural supplements to your diet Women with PCOS need supplements – even if you follow a strict PCOS diet and lifestyle, there are gaps here and there to fill. The dilemma is how to choose the right supplements to manage PCOS. There is so much information out there it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Supplements can help your body to: Build its immune system Restore energy levels Balance hormones Promote healthy blood flow Some key contenders include: Inofolic – which combines myo-inositol (a naturally occurring substance found in...