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Friday, January 25, 2013

Training programme may help ADHD patients: study

Posted: 29 October 2012

a stethoscope
SINGAPORE: A study has shown promising results for using a special computer-based training programme as a potential new treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The study was conducted by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), in collaboration with the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.

20 children with ADHD (16 males, four females) who had significant symptoms of inattentiveness were recruited.

They played a computer game three times a week for eight weeks.

In the training game, the children wore headbands around their foreheads, with an electrode clipped to the earlobes.

They controlled an avatar via the signals detected by electrodes.

In order to move the avatar, the child would need to focus.

The system would measure the attention level and the game would proceed at a proportional speed.

The higher the concentration level of the child, the higher the speed of the avatar's movement.

The training programme included academic tasks at the end of every alternate session.

The intention was to train the child to learn to focus in the same way when performing academic work.

After the eight-week training program, patients showed significant improvement.

Those with more severe symptoms were also the ones who showed greater improvement.

Principal investigator Dr Lim Choon Guan from the IMH said the team is excited by the early result.

But he added that there are limitations to the study as the number of patients involved was small with no comparison group.

The team plans to have a larger trial over the next two years.

- CNA/xq

Taken from; source article is below:
Training programme may help ADHD patients: study

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Organic food not necessarily better for children, say experts

Posted: 23 October 2012

Organic fruits and vegetables
WASHINGTON: Feed your children plenty of fruits and vegetables but don't fret over whether they're organic or not if you're on a budget, US experts said on Monday.

While organic foods have lower pesticide levels, they also have the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients as their conventional counterparts.

"We do not want families to choose to consume smaller amounts of more expensive organic foods and thus reduce their overall intake of healthy foods like produce," said Janet Silverstein of the American Academy of Pediatrics

"What's most important is that children eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products, whether those are conventional or organic foods," she said.

"This type of diet has proven health benefits," she said.

The report found no individual health benefit from organic milk but emphasised that all milk should be pasteurised to reduce the risk of bacterial infections.

In that vein, the group called for large prospective cohort studies that directly measure environmental exposures such as estrogen at low levels to examine the impact of hormonal exposure of children through milk and meat.

A large-scale study by researchers from Stanford University published in early September found that organic foods were no more nutritious than conventional products but contained fewer traces of pesticides.

- AFP/de

Taken from; source article is below:
Organic food not necessarily better for children, say experts

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Reptiles in Fresh Water

English: Eonatator sternbergi, a mosasaur from...
English: Eonatator sternbergi, a mosasaur from the Late Cretaceous of Kansas. Digital. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Something new... how many more are there undiscovered...?

The New York Times International Weekly
Science & Technology

Reptiles in Fresh Water

Mosasaurs were large, ancient relatives of monitor lizards common during the Late Cretaceous period, 66 million to 100 million years ago. They were found near shallow marine areas in salt water. But researchers now say a newly discovered species of mosasaur lived in fresh water river environments. This species probably adapted to fresh water the same way river dolphins in Asia and South America did.

The new mosasaur has been named Pannoniasaurus inexpectatus. Researchers discuss the species and its fossils in the journal PLoS One.

The fossils suggest that the mosasaur had limbs like a terrestrial lizard; a flattened, crocodilian skull; and a long tail about half the length of its body. (The bodies ranged from less than a meter to about six meters, though the average was about three meters.)
“These animals were undulating their tail like a crocodile to propel their movement in water,” said an author of the study, Laszlo Makadi, a palaeontologist at the Hungarian Natural History Museum.”They used their limbs just to brake and steer.”

The fossils were discovered in an open-pit bauxite mine in the Bakony Mountains in Western Hungary.


Article taken from TODAY Paper, Saturday Edition, 05-Jan-2013
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