Longer looks: Doctor training for ADHD, Obamacare and epilepsy, clues in a drop of blood

Every week reporter Ankita Rao selects interesting reading from around the Web.

The New York Times: Doctors Train To Spot Signs Of A.D.H.D. In Children
Jerry, 9 years old, dissolved into his Game Boy while his father described his attentional difficulties to the family pediatrician. The child began flitting around the room distractedly, ignoring the doctor's questions and squirming in his chair -; but then he leapt up and yelled: "Freeze! What do you think is the problem here?" Nine-year-old Jerry was in fact being played by Dr. Peter Jensen, one of the nation's most prominent child psychiatrists. On this Sunday in January in New York, Dr. Jensen was on a cross-country tour, teaching pediatricians and other medical providers how to properly evaluate children's mental health issues -; especially attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which some doctors diagnose despite having little professional training (Alan Schwarz, 2/18).

Salon: Obamacare Again: How The Law's Changed Life With Epilepsy 
I was diagnosed with epilepsy at 14, after I had a seizure in my junior high school cafeteria. ... For those unaccustomed to neurological illness, navigating the healthcare system is nightmarish. A series of increasingly specialized doctors is required: not only a neurologist, but a pediatric neurologist, and not only a pediatric neurologist, but a pediatric epileptologist. ... As a sophomore in college, I worked for the national office of the Epilepsy Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to furthering the quality of life of people with epilepsy. It was there that I became aware of a pertinent and disturbing reality of this disease: It not only disproportionately occurs in the poor, but also inflicts greater suffering upon them than on their wealthy counterparts (Elizabeth Stoker, 2/14).

The New York Times Magazine: How Obamacare Could Unlock Job Opportunities
In a sense, Obamacare amounts to a massive transfer of risk. Under the old system, if you quit your job and couldn't get health insurance, you courted financial ruin every time you did something as mundane as riding your bike or playing pickup basketball. Now that risk is distributed to everyone who buys health insurance (including the government). Free of the massive financial risk of being alive, unemployed Americans can more easily take on risks associated with doing what they want to do (Shaila Dewan, 2/20).

Politico: The Next Battle In The Abortion Wars
If you want to know how the abortion wars will be waged in the months ahead, pay attention to what's happening far away from the media's glare, in South Dakota, a state that has long been on the front lines of America's still very much unresolved conflict over how and when women can end an unwanted pregnancy. In both 2006 and 2008, South Dakota's voters rejected full abortion bans, and since then anti-abortion legislators have debuted a variety of abortion restrictions meant to close the last abortion clinic in the state or promote continuing unwanted pregnancies. Within just the last few years, South Dakota has passed multiple bills to restrict abortion access (Robin Marty, 2/17).

Slate: Himalayan Bath Salts Will Not Save Your Life
Have you heard that eating whole lemons prevents cancer? Or that bathing in Himalayan salt rids the body of harmful toxins? ... If you have a few Facebook friends, you've probably encountered some of these claims. The website Natural News-;which seems like a parody but is unfortunately quite serious-;published these preposterous stories, and many others just as silly, last week alone. Hokum like this is best ignored, but hundreds of thousands of Americans fail to do so. ... Natural News has an uncanny ability to move unsophisticated readers from harmless dietary balderdash to medical quackery to anti-government zealotry (Brian Palmer, 2/18).

Wired: This Woman Invented A Way To Run 30 Tests On Only One Drop Of Blood
As a college sophomore, Elizabeth Holmes envisioned a way to reinvent old-fashioned phlebotomy and, in the process, usher in an era of comprehensive superfast diagnosis and preventive medicine. That was a decade ago. Holmes, now 30, dropped out of Stanford and founded a company called Theranos with her tuition money. Last fall it finally introduced its radical blood-testing service in a Walgreens pharmacy near the company headquarters in Palo Alto, California. ... Instead of vials of blood-;one for every test needed-;Theranos requires only a pinprick and a drop of blood. With that they can perform hundreds of tests, from standard cholesterol checks to sophisticated genetic analyses. The results are faster, more accurate, and far cheaper than conventional methods (Caitlin Roper, 2/18).  

Notre Dame Magazine: My Two Emilys
Jennifer shivers, then drapes one of the white blankets over her daughter's shoulder. Like every hospital, this one keeps the temperature low to limit nausea. I notice the particular coolness and recoil, not from the strangeness of these circumstances but from over-familiarity. My stepdaughter, Emily, looks pale. She's in pain, which makes her angry. She will not meet anyone's eyes or respond to their questions. She is 11 years old. The medical staff members of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital probably think they can wear her down, win her over, but I know better (Mike Smith, 2/14).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



  1. Christine Sullivan Christine Sullivan United States says:

    of all the debates to have on a sunday morning. Plea: I just wanted my kids to get a chance to make friends. I just want someone to play music with. says the 31 year old to her 12 year old boy who states "church?!?!?!!?!? you can't force me to go to church!" keep in mind the boy is shouting in front of his impressionable 8 year old brother who's heart aches in excitment everytime he feels an atom of purpose radiate from his mothers soul. "Mommy  was almost a music teacher once." says 8 year old younger brother who at this time answers any questions pertaining to his mother with worry in his eyes. "She taught other kids in the class how to play instruments." So I suppose if you wanted to have a good day with your family that would include getting everyone on the same page. which of course would include not missing the bus to school , that is provided your bus knew to pick you up....of course meaning that the bus driver wanted you to go. oh yes. There is a character in here i forgot to mention, the mother of all mothers...The single mother. As i find myself explianing to my oldest son the importance of picking up on what others are feeling (he is autistic & could not stand the thought of letting his mom use the computer to look up the ingredients in a new medication she is taking for he is far too lazy & insufficient at asking questions that get to the point it is a weekend after all. forcing a child to think would be considered abuse) I tell his younger brother to go to  grandma that we want to go check out a church today.  Who's high heels  do we hear coming down the hall??? it's grandmas. of course she is on her way to her new church this morning. who is left behind? The single mother of 2. No husband, no glasses, no podium. Well whatever i say, you go have fun with your friends... i was just trying to get my kids out there...  you never taught me how to drive remember? & let them know they have a place to call home & they have people they can turn to after i die. yo cannot force people to listen unless it sounds good, you cannot make people be accepting of different things. i create music only. not magic

  2. Christine Sullivan Christine Sullivan United States says:

    & the fact is.. i have taken medications for a.d.d. i have taken medications for depression, i have taken antipsychotics. i am not on any right now & it is because of the negative image that is accosiated. With a.d.h.d. it would be an out of control kid who has a crappy mom or depression which would have you thinking of a moody teenager who wants attention. the medications once used for a.d.d. don't respond well once the child's hormones start going crazy in high school. at that time you give the child antidepressants which is fine if the kid is actually depressed...by this time the chances of the kid actually being depressed because of real life things like lets say being dumped are actually quite real & don't require antidepressants, but simply a good 2 weeks out of school. However we can';t do that in this day & age... the show must go on as they say even if that means forcing yourself to attend school even if your brain is not capable of remembering the information it is receiving because of the lack of space that it has now because your body has been drained of seratonin. my recommendation would be to switch over to a mood stablizer as soon as the child starts showing signs of depression & or hyper activity on ritilin. But of course if you are all concerned with what people think....FORGET it.. go ahead & have a miserable child

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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