Diagnostics

Diagnostics

Children & Exercise: Not a Pretty Picture

The AMA reported (July 16, 2008) in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that only one-third of the children studied had enough regular exercise to maintain a healthy body. Lack of exercise has been associated with overweight children, obese children and associated illnesses and chronic health conditions.

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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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Postural Restrictions Following BPPV Treatment

Casqueiro et al (2008) reported their recent double-blind prospective consecutive case study of 391 patients (ranging from 19-93 years old, with an average age of 57) diagnosed with posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Two-hundred and seven (207) patients were instructed to follow postural restrictions after receiving modified Epley repositioning maneuvers. One-hundred and eighty-four (184 ) were not instructed to limit their postural motions post treatment.

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Age-Related and Occupational Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in the United States

Dobie (2008) recently addressed aging and noise as the most suspected and common causes of hearing loss in developed countries. Dobie determined occupational noise-induced hearing loss likely accounts for some 5 to 10 percent of the SNHL found in adults in the United States. Further, he noted non-occupational noise exposure probably has a similar impact (5 to 10 percent). Nonetheless, Dobie stated that noise-induced hearing loss is clearly the most preventable form of hearing loss.

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Contact Free Electrodes

Researchers at the University of Sussex (Brighton, UK) announced in 2002 they had designed non-invasive, non-touching, non-contact electrodes that could detect bio-electric activity such as multi-channel EEG and other brain activity without physically touching the body. For example, no scrubbing, no abrasion, no glue, no gel, no electrode on the scalp. The design was based on measuring electric fields remotely with an eye toward the eventual union of mind and machine. The same group had previously produced remote-sensing cardiac electrodes.

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Beyond Brain Processing, Brain Predictions via fMRI

It has been previously proposed that as two people converse, the talker's task is to selectively speak particular words from his or her vocabulary "inventory," while the listener's task involves "re-assembling meaning." From the listener's viewpoint, meaning occurs over time as the listener continually reduces word options while funneling the incoming stream of words into smaller and more finite units, thus replicating the talker's options, and hopefully receiving the intended message.

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Under-Reporting of Negatives in ENT Journals

Based on a review of 1,835 articles from four ENT journals between 1996 ands 2006, untoward mishaps, harm, and negative events and effects are under-reported in ENT journals. Researchers from SUNY Downstate Medical Center noted 31% of the clinical research articles reviewed did not mention "adverse or harm" events, 53% did not explicitly describe negative effects and some 76% did not mention the methodology used to collect negative data.

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ASSR Test-Retest Reliability

D’haenens, Vinvk, et al, evaluated the test re-test reliability of an 80 Hz Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR) system. Twenty-nine normal hearing subjects (15 females, 14 males) were evaluated. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 30 years. Participants were tested at two separate test sessions. A comprehensive three-layer statistical analysis was used to determine reliability (Pearson product-moment correlation, analysis of variance and standard error of the mean).

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Considerations in Pediatric Speech Audiometry

Mendel (2008) notes "speech perception" is not directly measurable. This issue poses a greater problem when assessing children, more so, than adults. Mendel reminds us speech perception is an abstract theoretical construct more so than an objective, concrete metric.

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Ginkgo Biloba and Alzheimer's Disease

Lon S. Schneider MD, (University of Southern California) reflects in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 2008;300[19] despite 20 years of research into ginkgo biloba extracts, a plethora of uncertainty still exists regarding ginkgo's pharmacology and clinical benefit. Noting the active molecules of the otherwise biochemically complex extract remains unidentified and noting that actual clinical research lacks cognitive indications, dosages, pharmacodynamic markers, or any efficacy evidence related to any cognitive function, Dr.

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