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,...

This Health and Wellness Podcast Will Help You Get Through Med School

A new addition to the Alternative Health category on iTunes is Well Now, a health and wellness podcast by Saje Natural Wellness. The podcast was launched February 2018. As not only an avid podcast listener, but also a student in the health profession with a strong scientific background, I can say the podcast does not disappoint. The content is not only scientifically sound and reliable, but the patient stories are heart-warming and informative. The podcast is a new venture for the retail company. Saje Natural Wellness is a retail company based in Vancouver, Canada. It started in 1992 by a husband and wife team, Jean-Pierre LeBlanc and Kate Rose LeBlanc. They had a vision to introduce 100 percent natural, plant-based wellness products to the market. According to their website, the products contain pure ingredients from nature. The lavender they use in their products, for example, is grown in the hills of Provence. The company offers a wide range of products with the Saje label: massage oils, face and body mists, essential oils, and bath soaks. Saje introduces Well Now as one that helps listeners “discover the hidden side of health.” Having enjoyed the first two episodes and listened to them both in its entirety in one sitting, I can attest that this description is as an accurate one. Conventionally, a podcast will have a teaser or introductory episode. Sometimes...

5 Reasons Why Hospital Queues Are So Long

There is no question that every patient dreads having to wait in a hospital emergency department queue. It can be a frustrating, time-consuming, and confusing process. Research backs up this experience: a study by Bleustein et al found that patient satisfaction is negatively correlated with longer wait times for provider care. Furthermore, physicians and other caregivers also perceive longer waits to represent lesser quality information and treatment. So why are the hospital queues so long? Patient urgency is decided by triage. Because patients come into emergency departments with varying needs, the order in which patients are moved to a care room is determined by the seriousness of their injury or illness. Triage comes from the French word for ‘to sort’ and has been the system in place for medical care since the late 1700s. Immediate, urgent, and non-urgent remain the three main categories for patients, and patients who are non-urgent may experience significantly longer wait times than those who have more pressing needs. Administrative information must be gathered prior to treatment. Anyone who has been to a hospital knows that a major portion of time before treatment is spent filling out paperwork, providing documents and insurance information, and working with administrative personnel to make sure payment is covered for the services that will be provided. One study on wait times for German hospitals by Kuchinke et al found that...

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...

Internal Medicine Rotation Resources I Used To Receive Honors

In my post, I laid out my top tips to honor your internal medicine rotation. In this post I’ll walk through each resource I used to score well on the shelf and ultimately receive honors in the internal medicine rotation! Once you pick your resources, check out my study schedule on how to study for the internal medicine shelf. Internal medicine covers a lot of material so no time to waste. Let’s get to it. UWORLD: (A+) This is the granddaddy of them all. You’ll use UWORLD for almost all of your rotation. But UWORLD for the internal medicine rotation is a must. You can argue, in fact,  it’s all you need. The question bank has over 1400 questions! You’ll be well prepared for the rotation and the shelf if you complete them all. How is it even possible to fit 1400 questions into a busy internal medicine rotation? It’s challenging but doable. My next post about the internal medicine will break down exactly how I studied during my clerkship. I’ll include a week by week breakdown and how I used all the resources. Spoiler alert, expect to do at least 40 questions every day. Some days will be easier than others, but that’s the blunt truth of how to get through them all. After completing UWORLD 1.25 x, I had little anxiety before the test. Make this question bank a...

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...

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