ADHD – Only for the Younger Kids in the Class?

Two new interesting U.S. studies point to one of the ways that children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – age as compared to peers.  It appears that children who are younger than their classmates tend to get the diagnosis more often than do their older peers.

The first study, by researchers at North Carolina State University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Minnesota, compared children who were born just before the kindergarten eligibility date and those born just after the eligibility date.  They found a 25% higher rate of ADHD diagnosis in those who were younger in the class.  They used three separate data sources and looked at tens of thousands of children aged seven to 17.

When a doctor evaluates whether a child may have ADHD, one of the frequent questions that is asked is if the behavior seems to be exhibited in their child more often than in others.

The other study looked at 12,000 children by a Michigan State University economist Todd Elder.  It found that the youngest child in the class is 60% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than is the oldest child in the class.

Experimental Alzheimer’s Drug Testing Ended

Eli Lilly, the giant pharmaceutical company, has decided to halt the development of its latest experimental drug which was a hopeful candidate for treating Alzheimer’s disease. Instead of helping sufferers of this illness, which causes severe memory loss and dementia in mostly older people, the drug was actually thought to be worsening the condition upon administration.

The medication, semagacestat was showed in preliminary results from large studies that cognition and the performance of daily tasks was hindered markedly due to the drug. There was also data from the studies that showed an association of use of the drug with an increased risk of skin cancer.

Although the loss of this drug from the future in the  fight against Alzheimer’s is a disappointment, Eli Lilly reassured those concerned that this decision in no way alters the continuing development and testing of solanzumab, another drug with hopeful possibilities for a future treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Get Back to Nature at Multnomah Falls

Sometimes it’s really great to take a break and get back to nature.  When living in Portland, Oregon, you’re in a prime spot as there are so many places to visit.  One such spot is Multnomah Falls, which is a stunning waterfall situated on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge.  This can be found amidst Corbett and Dodson, east of Troutdale.  It is a most impressive waterfall, dropping in two steps and split into upper falls of 165 m and lower falls of 21 m.  The waterfall’s total height is 189 m, making it Oregon’s tallest waterfall.  For anyone who loves beautiful scenery, this is a must-see, given that it really has some of the area’s most  beautiful views and also leads on to many impressive wilderness areas and recreational places including Bonneville Dam and Cascade Locks.  Even en route to Multnomah Falls it is something spectacular, since getting there requires one travel along beautiful, scenic highways.

Hold the Beer, Please

A new study published Monday in the Archives of Dermatology points to an interesting link between psoriasis and beer.  The study indicates that women who drink beer on a regular basis may be more likely to develop psoriasis.  Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease that causes scaly lesions, redness and inflammation of the skin.  The study found that just five regular brews a week can increase a woman’s risk of psoriasis 2.3 times when compared with non-drinkers.

Interestingly, the researchers did not find a link between psoriasis and any other types of alcohol including light beers, wines or spirits.  People with psoriasis tend to be more sensitive to gluten than do those without the disease, and researchers believe that the gluten in regular beer, which comes from the barley used to ferment the beer, could be the culprit.

Choosing the Right Phone

All students need a good cellphone these days.  In fact, pretty much most people require such mobility for their everyday lives in today’s modern world.  But what is a student supposed to look for in terms of features?  First, since most students are on quite a budget (or at least should be), a pay as you go plan is a good idea.  In this same vein, ensure that any unused minutes for the month can be “rolled over” to the next month.  You might also want to get a phone with at least a 3 megapixel (relatively good quality) camera to capture all those not-to-be-forgotten student memories; the first time you went to the student bar; your first lecture hall; even your first college date.  Next, since students are often attempting to be great social butterflies, look for a phone featuring one click access to Facebook and Twitter so that all your followers know exactly what you’re doing and where, any time of day or night.  Check out the different prices of phones offering these features and you’ll be well on your way to a great cellphone purchase.

Monsoon Rains Create Crisis in Pakistan

Trying to avert a disaster, The World Food Program has appealed to the international community to make good on their pledges of aid totaling 460 million dollars which the Program asked for last week to provide relief to the people of Pakistan who are facing unprecedented flooding as a result of monsoon rains. So far the nations of the world have contributed about 35% of the aid requested, which is only about half of what the World Bank has said it would provide to fund the relief, about $900 million.

The people of Pakistan are experiencing washed out roads, and bridges, making food deliveries difficult, and some areas can only be reached by helicopter. According to the United Nations only a small fraction of those in need have actually received any help so far. Due to the monsoon rains already 1,600 people have died from the floods, and an additional 20 million have been adversely affected by the much worse than normal rains. According to the World Bank, they are planning on using a percentage of the funds to strengthen infrastructure along the River Indus which will hopefully in the future help to prevent such devastating floods.