A summary of important health news from the past week.
By: Temma Ehrenfeld
Over half of suicides are committed by people without a mental health diagnosis. While some of these people suffered from undiagnosed psychiatric illness, some experts say that more awareness is needed for quick-onset suicidality. For some otherwise healthy people, suicidality can strike and hit a climax within days, hours, or even minutes. Experts say that the victims of these “impulsive suicides” are often not impulsive at all, but are overwhelmed by a flood of feelings, images, and uncontrollable thoughts. Seeing suicidality as a distinctive condition, rather than a symptom, could fundamentally shift the way people understand and treat mental health.
By: Dennis Thompson
A new Swedish study has found that girls with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are six times more likely to become teenage moms due to impulsiveness and disorganization that are a part of ADHD. The results are based on more than 384,000 Swedish women and girls ages 12 to 50 who gave birth between 2007 and 2014. 6,400 of that population had ADHD. Due to inadequate contraceptive counseling that considers ADHD symptoms, teenage births were 6.2 times more likely among women and girls with ADHD compared to those without the disorder.
By: James Gallagher
A man who suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed was able to move all of his paralyzed limbs with a mind-controlled exoskeleton. While the robot suit is far from being perfect, the researchers believe that it is a step towards improving the quality of life on paralyzed patients. The exoskeleton works through implants that read the brainwaves of the patient and create instructions that are used by the suit. Since the exoskeleton allows for the control of multiple muscles and movements, it is said to be a “marked advance” from similar approaches where people can only control one limb. Nonetheless, experts believe that there is a long way until exoskeletons can enter clinical trials and go onto the market. They also believe that technologies like these would only be available to a small population who can afford them.
By: Landon Thomas Jr.
Abraaj Group, an investment firm in Dubai, is trying to build a global network of hospitals in many of the poorest places in the world. Abraaj has bought a hospital in India and is trying to transport its business model to Africa. The task of becoming global is difficult because of the cultural differences between the countries. However, lower-income countries have many substantial similarities such as government-run hospitals offering cheap care and issues with overcrowding and funding. Abraaj hopes that with the emerging middle class in lower-income countries, people will be willing to pay for more expensive treatments. With funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other big institutional investors, Abraaj anticipates successful expansion.
By: Steven Reinberg
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging everyone who is eligible to get the flu vaccine, which protects against influenza A and B. Even if you get the flu, having the vaccine can lessen the effects. It also helps prevent the spread of flu. There is a nasal spray that is just as effective as the traditional shot. Also, follow basic hygiene guidelines, such as washing your hands, covering your sneezes, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth when ill. And, if ill, stay home.