Friday, December 9, 2016

Increased smartphone screen-time associated with lower sleep quality

Date:
November 10, 2016
Source:
PLOS
Summary:

Exposure to smartphone screens is associated with lower sleep quality, according to a study that used a smartphone app to record the daily screen-time of over 650 adults.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161110155020.htm


xposure to smartphone screens is associated with lower sleep quality, according to a study published November 9, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Matthew Christensen from the University of California, San Francisco, USA, and colleagues.
Smartphones are increasingly becoming part of everyday life, but questions remain about the effects of frequent use on sleep. Poor sleep is associated with health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and depression.
Christensen and colleagues sought to test the hypothesis that increased screen-time may be associated with poor sleep by analyzing data from 653 adult individuals across the United States participating in the Health eHeart Study. Participants installed a smartphone application which recorded their screen-time, defined as the number of minutes in each hour that the screen was turned on, over a 30-day period. They also recorded their sleeping hours and sleep quality.
The researchers found that each participant totaled an average of 38.4 hours over this period, with smartphones being activated on average for 3.7 minutes in each hour. Longer average screen-time was associated with poor sleep quality and less sleep overall, particularly when smartphones were used near participants' bedtime.
The authors state that their study is the first to measure smartphone exposure prospectively, but caution that the study also had some important limitations, including the self-selection of study participants and self-reporting of data. While the authors' findings cannot show causation or exclude the "effect-cause" that poor sleep could lead to more screen time, the association they found could fit with the theory that bedtime smartphone use may negatively impact sleep.

Story Source:
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Journal Reference:
  1. Matthew A. Christensen, Laura Bettencourt, Leanne Kaye, Sai T. Moturu, Kaylin T. Nguyen, Jeffrey E. Olgin, Mark J. Pletcher, Gregory M. Marcus. Direct Measurements of Smartphone Screen-Time: Relationships with Demographics and Sleep. PLOS ONE, 2016; 11 (11): e0165331 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165331

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Autism Pregnancy / Obstetrics Pharmacy / Pharmacist ADHD / ADD Acetaminophen use in pregnancy linked to autism, ADHD in offspring

Written by Honor Whiteman
Published: Monday 4 July 2016

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311418.php

Acetaminophen is one of the very few painkillers considered generally safe to use during pregnancy. A new study, however, suggests it may not be so safe after all, after identifying a link between prenatal exposure to the drug and symptoms of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder




The study - led by researchers from the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) in Barcelona, Spain - is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Also known as paracetamol, acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used over-the-counter medications during pregnancy. Around 65 percent of expectant mothers in the United States use the drug.
All pregnant women should seek medical advice before taking any medications, but for most mothers-to-be, acetaminophen use is deemed safe. A 2010 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found no increased risk of major birth defects with use of acetaminophen in the first trimester of pregnancy, and some studies have even suggested it may lower the risk of birth defects.
However, there has been some evidence that acetaminophen use during pregnancy may interfere with the brain development of offspring. In 2014, a study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that expectant mothers who used acetaminophen were more likely to have children with behaviors associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Assessing the link between acetaminophen and ADHD, autism
For this latest study, lead author Claudia Avella-Garcia, a researcher at CREAL, and colleagues set out to further investigate the association between acetaminophen use in pregnancy and ADHD among offspring, as well as determine whether there might be a link with autism.
The team enrolled 2,644 expectant mothers to their study. At 12 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, the women completed a questionnaire, in which they were asked whether they had used acetaminophen in the month prior to becoming pregnant or during their pregnancy.
The women were also asked how often they had used the drug, though the exact doses used could not be assessed, due to mothers being unable to recall them.
The neuropsychological development of 88 percent of the women's offspring was assessed at the age of 1 year, while 79.9 percent were assessed at the age of 5 years.
At 1 year, the children's neuropsychological development was evaluated using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID), while a number of tests - including the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities (MCSA) and the Childhood Autism Spectrum Test (CAST) - were used for evaluation at 5 years.


Prenatal acetaminophen exposure linked to autism symptoms in boys
The researchers found that 43 percent of the children assessed at the age of 1 and 41 percent of those assessed at age 5 were born to mothers who used acetaminophen in the first 32 weeks of pregnancy.
Compared with children born to mothers who did not take acetaminophen during pregnancy, the researchers found that those whose mothers used acetaminophen in the first 32 weeks of pregnancy were 30 percent more likely at age 5 to have attention impairments, often found in children with autism or ADHD.
Children prenatally exposed to acetaminophen were also more likely to have symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsivity at the age of 5. Those who had been persistently exposed to the drug performed worse on tests of attention, impulsivity, and visual speed processing.
Furthermore, the researchers found boys with prenatal acetaminophen exposure were more likely to have clinical symptoms of autism than non-exposed boys, and the incidence of such symptoms increased with persistent exposure to the drug.
This finding, the team says, could explain why boys are much more likely to develop autism than girls.
"The male brain may be more vulnerable to harmful influences during early life," says Avella-Garcia. "Our differing gender results suggest that androgenic endocrine disruption, to which male brains could be more sensitive, may explain the association."
Overall, the researchers say their findings indicate that children exposed to acetaminophen in the womb may be at greater risk of symptoms of autism or ADHD.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311418.php

Monday, December 5, 2016

9 Signs That You Might Be a Perfectionist

you might be perfectionist and not even know it




https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/better-perfect/201611/9-signs-you-might-be-perfectionist



You may not have a meticulously organized junk drawer or a closet full of clothes organized by color or sleeve length, but perfectionist traits may still be affecting your life—and holding you back. Can you relate to any of these habits?

  1. You think in all-or-nothing terms. Something is either right or wrong, good or bad, perfect or a disaster. You tend to think in one extreme or the other, rather than seeing the characteristics of people and situations existing along a continuum. For example, you tend to think, "She is mean,” instead of, “She can sometimes be mean.”
  2.  
  3. You think, and then act, in extremes. Have you ever acted on a sentiment like this, more than once?: "I had one cookie and screwed up my diet...I might as well eat them all.”
  4.  
  5. You can’t trust others to do a task correctly, so you rarely delegate. Others may see you as a micro-manager or control-freak, but you see your actions as just wanting to get the job done right.
  6.  
  7. You have demanding standards for yourself and others. You believe in always giving your best and you expect others to do the same. And you are scared to death of looking like a failure.
  8.  
  9. You have trouble completing a project because you think there is always something more you can do to make it better. You obsess about sharing your book, project, meal, invitation, business card, website, article, or speech with others. You want to make sure your work is the best it can be before revealing it.
  10.  
  11. You use the word “should” a lot. “I should do this," and “They should do that,” may be common phrases, both out loud and inside your head. You have certain “rules” you believe that you, and others, should follow. And when those rules aren't followed, you are not pleased.
  12.  
  13. Your self-confidence depends on what you accomplish and how others react to you. You strive for excellence and need validation from others to feel good about your accomplishments. What’s more, once you have achieved a goal, you quickly move on to the next one.
  14.  
  15. You tend to fixate on something you messed up. You may have done something right, but still focus instead on the one mistake you made.
  16.  
  17. You procrastinate, or avoid situations where you think you might not excel. It may seem counterintuitive, but many people who procrastinate or avoid doing something are actually perfectionists: They're afraid they will fail. Their rationale is, “I might not be able to do it perfectly, so why bother at all?”

Voting is an important right that the government has granted to all US citizens

The US Constitution in various Amendments has expanded and reformed the voting rights of American citizens.  However, the rights of our disabled citizens were only addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (Motor-Voter Act) and the Help America Vote Act of 2001 (HAVA).
In 1999, the NYS Attorney General reviewed the accessibility of polling places and discovered many issues that required improvement.  Since 1999, NYS has tried to improve the voter turnout among the disabled however, as the past election of November 8, 2016 can attest, many problems are still present, depriving voters with disabilities their constitutional right to vote.
Voting is an important right that the government has granted to all US citizens.  Through voting the average citizen will obtain a voice in their government.  This allows our citizens to have a say in decisions that will have a significant impact on their lives.  Therefore, when polling sites are not fully compliant with State and Federal laws, the disabled persons’ participation in the democratic process is obstructed.
In New York City, numerous examples of lack of accessibility have been brought to our attention.   The past Presidential Election was obviously a game changer and the Polling Sites should have been fully staffed with well-trained poll workers and additional support staff on standby.  Instead we heard numerous complaints, some are listed below:
  1. The Ballot Marking Device assists voters with marking their selections on the paper ballot.  The voter can view the ballot in different languages or font sizes.  The BMD can aid people with various physical problems that may impede their voting rights.  The BMD is attended by a Republican and a Democrat.  However, we have been informed of instances where no one was stationed at the BMD.  Eventually, when the voter was noticed, it was reported that poll workers not fully trained in use of the BMD, were called over to assist.  This led to long waits further inconveniencing those with disabilities.
  2. Another common complaint was that of the lack of an accessibility clerk.  This clerk ensures that the alternate accessible entrance to the poll site is available to disabled voters.  The accessibility clerk is also responsible for completing every 2 hours an  ADA check list.  The clerk also places outside signage that informs the voters of the location of the alternate accessible entrance.  It was brought to our attention that signs were missing and that clerks were not present.
  3. The next issue affected all voters, but was particularly troublesome for voters having mobility issues.  A couple of months ago, PBS reported on the purging of 126,000 voters from the election rolls and I believe that there are still outstanding issues related to missing voters.  After waiting at some polling places for over an hour, people were told again that they weren’t listed, a very stressful event.  For some people with disabilities, an absentee ballot may work well, however many people want to be part of the voting experience and after taking the trouble to wait online, they do not want to be handed an affidavit.  This problem must be resolved.  This past April, City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a statement acknowledging “that there is nothing more sacred in our nation than the right to vote, yet election after election, reports come in of people who were inexplicably purged from the polls, told to vote at the wrong location or unable to get in to their polling site”.

I hope that the above events experienced by myself and others, will bring finally to the attention of the Board of Elections and the Attorney General of New York State, the various issues that have caused stress to our voting public and in particularly those with disabilities.  This past Presidential Election was extremely important and I believe that potential voters did not all vote due to the above listed concerns.  For those of us that have disabilities, the lack of people assigned to the Ballot Marking Devices, or the lack of appropriate translators and the improper location of outside signs, may have deterred people from casting their votes.  It is our duty to provide a safe and accessible location for all American Citizens to vote.  These basic complaints were prevalent throughout all the 50 States.  The Federal government must vigorously address these complaints and issues with stronger language to the states to resolve these problems.  Hopefully, by the next election, these recurring issues will be addressed and the general public will not experience any deterrents to our constitutional rights.  

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Accessibility for Voting on November 8 2016

The US Constitution in various Amendments has expanded and reformed the voting rights of American citizens.  However, the rights of our disabled citizens were only addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (Motor-Voter Act) and the Help America Vote Act of 2001 (HAVA).
In 1999, the NYS Attorney General reviewed the accessibility of polling places and discovered many issues that required improvement.  Since 1999, NYS has tried to improve the voter turnout among the disabled however, as the past election of November 8, 2016 can attest, many problems are still present, depriving voters with disabilities their constitutional right to vote.
Voting is an important right that the government has granted to all US citizens.  Through voting the average citizen will obtain a voice in their government.  This allows our citizens to have a say in decisions that will have a significant impact on their lives.  Therefore, when polling sites are not fully compliant with State and Federal laws, the disabled persons’ participation in the democratic process is obstructed.
In New York City, numerous examples of lack of accessibility have been brought to our attention.   The past Presidential Election was obviously a game changer and the Polling Sites should have been fully staffed with well-trained poll workers and additional support staff on standby.  Instead we heard numerous complaints, some are listed below:
  1. The Ballot Marking Device assists voters with marking their selections on the paper ballot.  The voter can view the ballot in different languages or font sizes.  The BMD can aid people with various physical problems that may impede their voting rights.  The BMD is attended by a Republican and a Democrat.  However, we have been informed of instances where no one was stationed at the BMD.  Eventually, when the voter was noticed, it was reported that poll workers not fully trained in use of the BMD, were called over to assist.  This led to long waits further inconveniencing those with disabilities.
  2. Another common complaint was that of the lack of an accessibility clerk.  This clerk ensures that the alternate accessible entrance to the poll site is available to disabled voters.  The accessibility clerk is also responsible for completing every 2 hours an  ADA check list.  The clerk also places outside signage that informs the voters of the location of the alternate accessible entrance.  It was brought to our attention that signs were missing and that clerks were not present.
  3. The next issue affected all voters, but was particularly troublesome for voters having mobility issues.  A couple of months ago, PBS reported on the purging of 126,000 voters from the election rolls and I believe that there are still outstanding issues related to missing voters.  After waiting at some polling places for over an hour, people were told again that they weren’t listed, a very stressful event.  For some people with disabilities, an absentee ballot may work well, however many people want to be part of the voting experience and after taking the trouble to wait online, they do not want to be handed an affidavit.  This problem must be resolved.  This past April, City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a statement acknowledging “that there is nothing more sacred in our nation than the right to vote, yet election after election, reports come in of people who were inexplicably purged from the polls, told to vote at the wrong location or unable to get in to their polling site”.

I hope that the above events experienced by myself and others, will bring finally to the attention of the Board of Elections and the Attorney General of New York State, the various issues that have caused stress to our voting public and in particularly those with disabilities.  This past Presidential Election was extremely important and I believe that potential voters did not all vote due to the above listed concerns.  For those of us that have disabilities, the lack of people assigned to the Ballot Marking Devices, or the lack of appropriate translators and the improper location of outside signs, may have deterred people from casting their votes.  It is our duty to provide a safe and accessible location for all American Citizens to vote.  These basic complaints were prevalent throughout all the 50 States.  The Federal government must vigorously address these complaints and issues with stronger language to the states to resolve these problems.  Hopefully, by the next election, these recurring issues will be addressed and the general public will not experience any deterrents to our constitutional rights.  

Friday, December 2, 2016

How Deep Breathing Opens Up the ADHD Brain


Studies suggest that rhythmic, deep breathing can balance the autonomic nervous system, which helps individuals with ADHD become more attentive and relaxed. Learn more about this free, highly portable alternative treatment







our autonomic nervous system (ANS) has two components: a stress response and a recharge response. Attention deficit adults and ADHD children have nervous systems that are out of whack: Most of the time the stress and recharge responses are under-active. But when an ADDer’s stress response kicks in, it goes into high gear, compared to those who don’t have the condition. For your brain to work better -- and for you to be less impulsive and hyperactive -- both components of the ANS need to work optimally and in the right balance. Coherent breathing can help accomplish these goals.


Amazing things happen in the body and brain when you slow down your breathing to five or six full breaths a minute,” says Brown, who teaches a weekend course in coherent breathing (haveahealthymind.com). The heart, lungs, and blood vessels work more efficiently, delivering more oxygen to the body’s tissues and the brain. Parts of the brain that deal with complex problems begin to function better. Typically, you see a big change in brain-wave patterns -- meaning more healthy alpha waves and fewer sleepy delta waves.


People with ADD feel a lot calmer, are better able to make good judgments, and are less easily frustrated,” says Brown.

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/6564-2.html

Thursday, December 1, 2016

How Deep Breathing Opens Up the ADHD Brain


Studies suggest that rhythmic, deep breathing can balance the autonomic nervous system, which helps individuals with ADHD become more attentive and relaxed. Learn more about this free, highly portable alternative treatment.





ou have to breathe, so why not use your inhalations and exhalations to manage your ADHD symptoms? “Several studies show that rhythmic, paced breathing balances the autonomic nervous system,” says Richard Brown, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.


What does that mean to someone with attention deficit disorder? Controlling your breathing can help you become more attentive and more relaxed at the same time.
Many of Brown’s ADD patients have benefited from coherent breathing -- a term coined by author and yoga specialist Stephen Elliott because the technique synchronizes heart, lung, and brain rhythms.
Ethan, 10, has ADD. He couldn’t sit still when doing homework, couldn’t fall asleep, and was difficult to manage. He experienced bad side effects from ADHD stimulants, and cognitive behavioral therapy didn’t work.
So Ethan’s mother, who had used coherent breathing to calm her own anxiety, taught him how to do it. His overall behavior improved in four or five weeks, and he fell asleep without difficulty. Whenever he felt stressed, or he felt like he wasn’t meeting expectations at school or at home -- common occurrences for those with ADHD -- he would do the breathing exercises, whether he was taking a test at school or not getting along with classmates.

“The nice thing about coherent breathing is that, unlike yoga and exercise -- both very good therapies for ADD -- it is portable and accessible,” says Brown. You can do it while you’re at the office, riding the subway, or even in school.

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/6564.html