Space Coast Daily Healthcare Headlines of the Week
By Dr. James Palermo // June 19, 2014
Topics Include Innovative ‘Bionic Pancreas’ For Diabetes; Marriage: Good For A Man’s Health; Should You Hover Or Cover? – and More
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Welcome to SpaceCoastDaily’s Healthcare Headlines.
GOVERNOR SCOTT SIGNS LIMITED USE MEDICAL MARIJUANA INTO LAW
When Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a law on Monday allowing for the limited use of a special strain of medical marijuana to treat epileptic seizures, cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s diseases, but does not induce the psychoactive high typically associated with recreational marijuana use.
Florida joins 20 other states and the District of Columbia that have some form of laws that permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
The law, which was passed with bipartisan support in the spring legislative session, is not related to a more expansive and controversial medical marijuana referendum up for vote in November.
STARING AT SCREENS ALL DAY LINKED TO ‘DRY EYE‘
According to research out of Japan published in the medical journal JAMA Ophthalmology, office workers who spend long hours looking at computer screens have poor quality or quantity of tear film, which causes irritation, burning or blurred vision typical of a condition known as “dry eye.”
The researchers site previous studies that suggest that up to 5 million men and women over age 50 in the United States suffer from dry eye disease, and, in Japan, tens of millions of people report some dry eye symptoms, often associated with computer work.
Dr. Yuichi Hori, chair of the department of Ophthalmology at Toho University Omori Medical Center in Tokyo, told Reuters Health: “We advise the office workers suffering from ocular fatigue and dry eye symptoms that they should blink more frequently in an intended manner during (screen use), and that they should use artificial tears.”
‘BIONIC’ PANCREAS OFFERS GROUNDBREAKING APPROACH TO GLUCOSE CONTROL
The American Diabetes Association wrapped up their annual Scientific Sessions conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. One of the most impressive new groundbreaking approaches to improving diabetic care presented at the conference was a bihormonal “artificial pancreas,” which improved glycemic control and led to less hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes patients involved in a 5-day outpatient trial.
Dubbed “The Bionic Pancreas,” the device, developed by a Boston University/Massachusetts General Hospital research team consists of a smartphone hardwired to a continuous glucose monitor and two pumps that deliver doses of insulin or glucagon every five minutes.
The closed loop device eliminates the fingerprick test that people with diabetes must do many times a day and delivers insulin to lower blood glucose when needed and in the right amounts — something diabetics must do several times a day either with a syringe or by pressing a button on an insulin pump. It also delivers another hormone called glucagon, which brings blood sugar back up when it’s too low.
TEEN SMOKING HITS A LANDMARK LOW, TECHNOLOGY CREATES NEW RISKS
Based on the findings of the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the data from which measures 100 risky behaviors, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that current cigarette smoking among high school students is at its lowest level in more than 2 decades.
“We’re encouraged to see that high school students are making better choices in some areas, like smoking, fighting, and alcohol use,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.
Nonetheless, other areas are concerning, he said, including the amount of time students spend glued to a screen instead of being active and a relatively new worry — texting or emailing while driving.
MARRIAGE IMPROVES MEN’S HEALTH, ‘SHACKING UP’ NOT SO MUCH
According to the CDC’s 2011-2012 National Center for Health Statistics‘ (NCHS) National Health Interview Survey, marriage is good for a man’s health, and it’s actually having a marriage license that matters — not just living with a partner.
The survey found that cohabiting men were less likely than married men to have seen their doctor in the previous year.
Apparently married men are more likely to get preventive screenings than cohabitating men and single men. And women? They appear to take care of their own health whether they are single, married, or somewhere in between.
VIDEO SPECIAL: SHOULD YOU HOVER OR COVER THE TOILET SEAT?
ASAPSCIENCE is the creative brainchild of two Canadians, Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, who, after graduating from the University of Guelph with biology degrees, recognized the power of YouTube to inform and entertain.
Their very popular YouTube channel produces three-minute lessons that bring logic, reason, and scientific evidence to some of the most common of questions.
In the video below they tackle a practical question, which we have all asked ourselves at one time or another: Is the toilet seat in a public restroom really all that dangerous…should I hover or cover it with TP? The facts may surprise you.