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Seizure drugs make patients suicidal

Patients who take drugs for epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders are at an increased risk for suicidal behavior.

The Food and Drug Administration reported four suicides and 105 reports of suicidal symptoms among 43,892 patients who take drugs like Depakote, Lamictal, Topamax, Keppra, Lyrica, and Neurontin — drugs that are also prescribed for headaches.

While this information is important for caregivers, it should not bring about a change in the treatment of epilepsy, explained Laureen Cassidy, spokeswoman for Abbott, the company that makes Depakote.

Medical specialists argue that injuries caused by prolonged seizures can be avoided by taking these drugs, which makes the drugs worth a try.

Source: The New York Times

‘Double dipping’ proves dangerous

A recent study shows that “double dipping” may be more hazardous than you think. The phrase, popularized by the Seinfeld episode in which George is confronted at a funeral after dipping the same chip twice, has been making its rounds at parties ever since.
Professor Paul Dawson, a food microbiologist at Clemson University, investigated this claim by analyzing the microbial transfer that takes place from mouth to chip to dip. The results showed that between three and six double dips caused roughly 10,000 bacteria from the dipper’s mouth into the dip.
Assuming that each chip picks up two grams of dip, double dipping could transfer anywhere from 50 to 100 bacteria per bite.

Source: The Canadian Press

Hand washing linked to dermatitis

Health care workers routinely wash their hands more than 10 times a day.
However, a new study presented by Susan T. Nedorost, M.D., FAAD (Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology), an associate professor of dermatology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, shows the definite link between frequent hand washing and irritant contact dermatitis (or hand dermatitis) in health care workers.
The study was presented at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
While good hand hygiene is important, Dr. Nedorost recommends substituting alcohol-based cleaners for hand washing whenever appropriate. Also, cream- or ointment-based emollients should be applied to the skin immediately after hand washing, to prevent the rapid drying and cracking of skin.

Source: The New York Times

Schools denied cancer vaccine

Friday morning, the Minnesota Department of Health decided that it will not support a requirement for cervical cancer vaccinations to be given at schools.
Instead of the vaccine, health officials decided that the best way to broach cervical cancer is to raise its awareness through a combination of cancer screening and education about the vaccine.
Gardasil is the vaccine that prevents the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is responsible for 70 percent of all cervical cancers.

Source: Fox News