Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Danger of Teens Playing the Choking Game in Vincennes, Indiana

Parents should be aware that teens may be involved in the choking game-even if they are happy,
Parents should be aware that teens may be involved in the choking game-even if they are happy,
Parents need to be aware that a thrill seeking pre-teen or teen may be playing the choking game in Vincennes, Indiana.  I am going to give the procedure used in this game because I feel the parents need to understand it and know what to watch for.  This game gives the teen a temporary high without the use of drugs-but instead deprives the brain of oxygen.  The method used could be any of the following: applying pressure to the neck by another person or the use of belts or neckties.  This activity presents the feeling of pleasure when the rapid release of previously impeded blood from the brain is released because the pressure is taken away.
This game may be played alone or in groups and the usually age range is from 7 to 21 years of age.  The game is most dangerous when played alone because the person may become unconscious and unable to release the pressure on the neck.  So, it is important take a more active role in supervising your child's activities and the best policy is to have a policy of doors in bedroom left open-so the parent will know what the teen is doing.  This is not going to be a popular suggestion-but teens need adult supervision and so when in groups - adults need to take an active role in knowing what the teens are doing and where.  In my opinion-it is best to have a teen that is alive and unhappy because they have restrictions on activities and privacy instead of a teen with permanent brain damage or one you are planning a funeral for.
The signs a parent in Vincennes, Indiana needs to look for as warning signs that a teen may be playing a choking game alone or with others would be: headaches, bruising in the neck area that has no logical explanation, eyes that are bloodshot, items with unexplainable knots tied in them and furniture that has wear marks.  The parent who suspects a teen is participating in this type of game-should consult with a mental health agency or family doctor in Vincennes, Indiana to receive information on the best way to deal with this situation.

Dr Oz worries about cell phones too

More on cell phones and brain tumors: a reader yesterday sent along a link to an earlier commentary by Mehmet Oz, the cardiac surgeon/author/media guru who has also weighed in with advice that links between cell phone use and cancer are indicated.

We rely on them to connect us to the people we love, to help us stay organized, and, in an emergency, to keep us safe. But more and more experts are saying that cell phones may pose a very serious health risk – increasing your chance of developing a brain tumor.

That means that over 270 million Americans may be playing Russian roulette with their cell phones every day. Each year, more than 21,000 adults and 1,500 children are diagnosed with brain tumors, and researchers believe some of them may have been caused by talking on a mobile phone.

A new study examined a decade’s worth of research and concluded that people who use cell phones for more than 10 years are up to 30% more likely to develop brain tumors than people who rarely use them.

Nothing has shown proof — yet — that if you use a cell phone often enough, long enough, you’re going to get brain cancer. Dr. Oz lists ways to improve your chances — keep your phone in your pocket, use it on speaker (and Lord help us all when everyone’s not just on cell but on speaker…), use wired rather than wireless when possible. And however much some of us vow we’ll resist texting to the bitter end, atrophied thumbs might still be preferable to brain cancer.

Still, the cell phone industry is not going to issue credible warnings. The FCC should do so.

Low Vitamin D levels linked to MS brain atrophy, cognitive function, says study

Early last month, we came across a study that revealed Vitamin D to be essential in triggering immune defenses. Studies connected at the University of Buffalo have now shown that low vitamin D levels may be associated with more advanced physical disability and cognitive impairment in individuals with multiple sclerosis.
Neurologists indicate that a large number of MS patients and healthy controls appeared to have insufficient levels of Vitamin D. Low blood levels of total vitamin D and certain active vitamin D byproducts were found to be related with augmented disability, brain atrophy and brain lesion load in MS patients. This was ascertained through clinical evaluation and MRI images. There appeared to have been a potential link between cognitive impairment in MS patients and low vitamin D levels.

For the MRI study, 236 MS patients were roped in. Among them, 208 were diagnosed with the relapsing-remitting type and 28 were identified with secondary progressive. The latter is known to be a more destructive form of MS. 22 persons without MS were also involved in the analysis. Blood serum samples of all the participants were investigated for total vitamin D (D2 and D3) levels in addition to levels of active vitamin D byproducts. Within three months of blood sampling, MRI scans were available for 163 of the MS patients.
The results pointed that only seven percent of persons with secondary-progressive MS exhibited sufficient vitamin D. This was in comparison to 18.3 percent of patients who had the less severe relapsing-remitting type. On the disability tests, increased levels of vitamin D3 and vitamin D3 metabolism byproducts that was analyzed as a ratio were also associated with better scores. This was along with lower brain atrophy and fewer lesions on MRI scans.
Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, UB associate professor of neurology/Jacobs Neurological Institute and director of the Baird Multiple Sclerosis Center, is first author on the study, commented “Clinical studies are necessary to assess vitamin D supplementation and the underlying mechanism that contributes to MS disease progression.”
Vitamin D status that may be lower than normal is apparently associated with a higher risk of developing MS. However, there appears to be very little information about its link with cognitive impairment. Sarah A. Morrow, MD, UB assistant research professor of neurology/Jacobs Neurological Institute and lead author on the cognitive-impairment study tried to gain a better understanding of this. She examined in contrast vitamin D levels in blood samples of 136 MS patients with the outcomes of their neuropsychological assessments that quizzed multiple types of cognition affected by MS.
“Results showed that MS patients who were impaired on tests of executive function –critical reasoning and abstract thinking — and the ability to plan and organize, were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D,” said Morrow. “This relationship held true when controlling for the season during which vitamin D was measured, as well as depression, which is known to be associated with lower vitamin D levels.”
Morrow observed that when vitamin D levels are not sufficient, verbal fluency and visual-spatial memory may also have a higher likelihood of being affected. Morrow is carrying on her investigation to clarify these associations.
These results have been reported at the American Academy of Neurology meeting.