Marijuana Could Help Epilepsy, and Other News

medical marijuana plant leafFor children experiencing treatment-resistant epilepsy, every day may be filled with seizures. Their parents have increasingly begun advocating for the legalization of medical marijuana to treat their symptoms. Cannabidiol, an ingredient in marijuana, has been shown to help reduce some of the symptoms of severe epilepsy.

Utah recently passed a law allowing those with epilepsy to use strains of marijuana high in cannabidoil. Medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, so the use of medical marijuana—even in a state where it is legal—remains risky.

Study: An Intellectual Life Could Protect Against Dementia

Staying intellectually active may help prevent dementia, according to a new study. Researchers evaluated 2,000 senior Minnesotans, following up every 15 months. Researchers found that study participants who regularly read, did crafts, socialized, worked on computers, played music, or completed other intellectual activities had a lower chance of developing dementia. Even among participants who had a gene that yields a 67% chance of developing Alzheimer’s, intellectual pursuits reduced the risk of dementia.

Too Little Known About PTSD Treatments for Veterans, Experts Say

Despite spending billions of dollars on care for veterans struggling with posttraumatic stress, the Veteran’s Administration does not know if the treatments it uses actually works. A report from the Institute of Medicine points out that the government does not track the results veterans get from VA-backed PTSD treatment. Despite the fact that 8% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans struggle with PTSD, there’s little information about what happens when these veterans seek treatment.

Cool at 13, Adrift at 23

In middle school, adult-like social skills and a tendency to take risks can add up to major social successes. Among children and adolescents who were popular in their preteen and early teenage years, though, early social success can add up to later social failure. A study has found precocious behavior in middle school is a strong predictor of alcohol and drug use, and that children who are popular in middle school may find themselves socially adrift in high school and beyond.

Those With Low Self-Esteem May Not Want to Be Cheered Up

A new study has verified what the loved ones of people struggling with low self-esteem already know: people with low self-esteem don’t actually want to be cheered up. Researchers found that when loved ones offered positive feedback or tried to reframe negative comments in a positive light, there was no benefit. Those who tried to help people with low self-esteem feel better frequently reported that their positive statements made the interaction go downhill.

New Device Allows Brain to Bypass Spinal Cord, Move Paralyzed Limbs

People who experience spinal cord injuries frequently end up fully or partially paralyzed, but a new device aims to change this. The device allows the brain to bypass the spinal cord, sending signals directly to muscles and enabling patients to move their limbs again. A 23-year-old male quadriplegic is the first to use the device, which uses a brain chip that converts thought signals into muscle movements.

Deep Brain Stimulation Improves Non Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease as Well as Motor Symptoms

Parkinson’s patients have relied on deep brain stimulation (DBS) to improve motor skills for years, but new research suggests that the procedure may also improve non-motor symptoms such as sleep disturbances. Although DBS may help with some non-motor symptoms, researchers caution that it may worsen some psychiatric symptoms associated with Parkinson’s.

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  • Brandon


    June 27th, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    I still don’t understand why, if there is so much convincing evidence that marijuana is beneficial for many different health conditions, there continues to be the push back from society to keep it illegal. I want to advocate to do anything possible to keep as many people healthy as possible and if marijuana is it, even if you consider it an illegal drug, then it should at least be worth giving it a thought about making it more widely available in the medical community. To think that parents could get in trouble for trying what they can to keep their children healthy, that to me is so ridiculous.

  • rory


    June 27th, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    That story about the device that bypasses the brain to send the signals to the muscle? Now that’s just incredible that the technology is even available to make that happen. This could be the answer or part of the answer that victims of spinal cord injuries have been hoping for for years.

  • Delane


    June 28th, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    I like to do crossword puzzles so I have been excited to learn that the more things like this that we do, then the less likely that it is we will develop dementia. I guess it is that exercise for the brain that can keep you going and keep your mind healthy. Now if I was only as good at taking care of the outside stuff as I am about the mental stuff…

  • Marcy


    June 28th, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    How could a department as large as the VA have no real understanding of how their treatment for pTsd is helping their vets or even know what the best approach for helping them is? I guess after all of the controversy surrounding getting appointments and stuff it seems relatively possible that they aren’t tracking this stuff like they should be but what a shame that a population that does so much for our country has to receive and depend upon such shoddy treatment. Did the government that set this up have any idea that this was what it would be like? very doubtful, I am sure that there was a whole lot more hope that it would do things for the betterment of this population instead of leaving them with poor access and poor care even when or if they are lucky enough to receive it.

  • Juana


    June 29th, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    I remember all of those cool kids in middle school and high school and how I SOOO much wanted to be like them. Of course I wanted it so bad that I never was and looking back I am glad now. Most of them are lost as to who they are and what they want by the time they make it to college and everyone is not bowing down to them anymore. They never learn who they are because most of the time they are busy trying to be something that they aren’t.

  • peter


    June 30th, 2014 at 4:31 AM

    The ones with low self esteem are like EEyore in the Winnie the Pooh stories. They like being depressed

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