Adult

Adult

Vestibular Disorientation and Space Sickness

Suzanne Nooij defended her doctoral dissertation in May 20, 2008, at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, alongside her PhD supervisor, Wubbo Eckels — the first Dutchman in space as a space shuttle passenger (1986). Nooij's dissertation topic was Space Adaptation Syndrome (SAS). SAS is experienced by up to 80% of all astronauts and usually lasts for not more than the first three days of space flight. Nooij's premise is that SAS occurs when humans experience the onset or conclusion of centrifuge-like motion (rotation) and when they adapt to different gravitational forces.

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Brain Damage Associated with Marijuana

In 2004, 15 million Americans used marijuana within the month prior to being surveyed. Almost two-thirds of users were younger than age 18. Short-term effects of marijuana are well known — loss of coordination, increased heart rate, memory and learning problems, distorted perceptions etc. However, in 2004, long-term effects from smoking marijuana were noted to be withdrawal issues after long-term exposure, and changes impacting nerve cells containing dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and a hormone and is sometimes used to treat Parkinson’s Disease.

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Hearing Loss and the War in Iraq/Afghanistan

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the third most common disability among veterans and the number one disability suffered by U.S. servicemen and women serving in the War on Terror. Some 70,000 of the 1.3 million U.S. veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are receiving disability benefits for tinnitus and 58,000 are on disability for hearing loss.

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Update and Review: Hearing and Stem Cells

Stem cells are in most (perhaps all) organisms and they reproduce through cell division and differentiate into specialized cell types such as muscles or nerves. Embryonic stem cells are the most controversial (see last paragraph below) yet embryonic stem cells appear to be able to differentiate into almost any type of human cell, whereas adult stem cells seems to be organ-specific. In other words, to be viable for transplant, adult stem cells appear to have to originate within the structure itself.

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Eight Potential Solutions and Changes for Healthcare in the United States

In the United States, providers, insurers, employers, and patients are often caught in confusing, worrisome, and dangerous situations. Business Week (June 16, 2008) reported medical mistakes kill some 100,00 people per year. The problems of our current health-care delivery system are well known to all of us, yet solutions are considerably less well-defined. Business Week and Doblin (a Chicago consulting firm) identified eight possible solutions/innovations for consideration:

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The Brain's Electrical Architecture: New Insights

Researchers from Switzerland, Harvard, and Indiana University reported on five adult males using an MRI-based technique called diffusion spectrum imaging (DSI) to estimate the orientation and density of the bio-electrical connections throughout the brain.

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Greater Satisfaction When Companions Participate

The spouse (i.e., significant other, primary communication partner, etc. ) of the hearing impaired patient is enormously important with regard to audiometric diagnostics and the entire aural rehabilitation process.

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Hybrids: Too Quiet for Safety?

Sarah Simpson (2008) noted that hybrids are "delightfully quiet." However, as many pedestrians depend on some level of anticipated car noises (motors, tires, engines) to warn them about oncoming multi-ton vehicles, particularly when crossing city streets, Simpson questioned whether being too quiet might be dangerous.

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Training and Education for Human Test Subject Protection

The Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP) is seeking comment (as of July 2, 2008) regarding whether OHRP should issue further guidance or implement new/additional training and education for those who conduct, review, or oversee research involving human subjects. In addition to investigators and researchers, the OHRP is seeking input and direction from, and related to, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs).

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Hearing Loss Progression and Adults

Wiley et al (2008) reported on the progression of hearing loss over a 10-year period, based on 2,130 older men and women (age range 49 to 92 years). In the younger groups (ages 50 to 69 years) the greatest changes were seen in the higher frequencies (3 to 8 kHz)in the older groups (ages 70 to 89 years) threshold changes were greatest for lower frequencies (0.5 to 2 kHz). The authors note that beyond age and gender, the best predictor of frequency-specific hearing thresholds over 10 years is the frequency-specific baseline threshold itself.

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