Saturday, June 11, 2011

Huge Global Burden Of Neuropsychiatric Disorders among 10 To 24 Year-Olds

27% of the world's population, a total today of 1.8 billion people, are aged 10 to 24 years. The authors warn that by 2032 this population will rise to around 2 billion.

Unipolar depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and alcohol use are among the neuropsychiatric disorders that represent 45% of the disease burden among teenagers and young adults worldwide. Unfortunately, these disorders are glaringly absent from too many health programs, researchers from the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, reported in the medical journal The Lancet.

The authors added that the main worldwide risk factors impacting on health later in life include unsafe sex, iron deficiency, lack of
contraception and alcohol use.

The 10-to-24 year age group is more and more driven by conditions that cause disability instead of death. There is a growing need to concentrate resources on prevention of, and health promotion against non-communicable and non-lethal causes of illnesses in adolescence.

The authors say that their findings will pose a serious challenge to the political willingness of those in charge to invest heavily on long-term prevention programs that do not give instant results, such as levying extra taxes on tobacco products, and promoting the vaccination of adolescent girls with the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination.

27% of the world's population, a total today of 1.8 billion people, are aged 10 to 24 years. The authors warn that by 2032 this population will rise to around 2 billion.

Risk factors for disease can emerge later in life from behaviors and other factors during adolescence and early adulthood, even though these years are generally seen as healthy ones for most humans. Not enough is being done to protect them from injury and subsequent diseases.

Most reports on young people have generally focused on global patterns of death, rather than risk factors that start during one's teenage years and can have an impact on future disability risk.

Fiona Gore and team gathered data from the 2004 Global Burden of Disease to work out the cause-specific DALSYS (disability-adjusted life-years) for those aged 10-24 years. They wanted to specify what major worldwide and regional risk factors for the burden of disease might be. DALYs are a "combined measure of Years of Life Lost due to premature deaths (YLLs) and Years Lost due to Disability (YLDs), with one DALY representing the loss of the equivalent of 1 year of full health."

They estimated that the total DALYs for the global 10-24 year aged group were approximately 236 million - about 15.5% of DALYs for all age groups. Africa's rate of DALYs is 2.5 times higher than industrialized nations'. The disease burden on girls globally is 12% higher than for boys 15-19 years of age.

Friday, June 10, 2011


The sky is quite active today and by the time I got home those bumpy clouds way off in the distance soon started to cloud things up.

A couple of Canada geese going for a swim with their broods and a pair of ducks watching the parade.

I thought this an odd arrangement of telephone poles in that they are a lot closer together than the normal poles along a highway and they just suddenly seemed to appear suddenly.  I must ask some people I know who work for the power company and I'll get back to you with the answer. 

I notice the clouds had caught up to me by the time
 I stopped to get a picture of this field to prove that some seed has germinated this year, the farmers who managed to get some crop in this year I'm sure are now praying for a late frost.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


This is a picture taken through my dirty window of our parking lot behind the apartment and I see that today most of the cars are back in their designated spots.  For the better part of the year this is the way it looks but in the spring most of us have to park on the street or drive around for 24 hours a day for 3-4 weeks. Just so you don't feel that sorry for me I park on concrete beside the building that the landlord uses when he comes to see if we want gravel ( that will make sense in a minute).......  The driveway is a bit difficult to get in and out of because the exit ramp actually belongs to the neighbor which means a little wiggling has to go on to back out not to mention avoiding their garbage container that they put out every Tuesday so the others here choose not to park there which is just fine with me.
 Very early in the spring it's too wet because our landlord is a miser (told you it would sense) and won't put enough gravel down so we could reasonably keep the insides of our cars clean so this has been going on for more than 6 weeks.  Come to think of it he has never added any gravel since I moved here early in 2009 , but I digress.  Even though we've had a lot of rain this month we could have parked easily enough if it weren't for the horrible trees we have to park under or beside that shed sticky pods that damages the paint on cars and also makes permanent yellow stains and stickiness on the linoleum when tracked in.  There are two drivers that choose to cover their cars with various types of tarps and at time blankets and sheets which makes it just about as colorful and interesting as the clothesline.......that's sarcasm for those who missed it.
 Now all I have to remember is to go out the BACK door again instead of the the front because it is rather undignified to climb over the fence in front of the driveway....and the neighbors I might add.
 And you think I have an easy life!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


 With some trepidation I have decided that I must write about my battle with Fibromyalgia, to share with you experiences that even my own family does not know about.   It's not to evoke sympathy but to be able to vent my frustrations and helplessness when this evil cloud descends upon me as it has been doing with frightening frequency lately.  Also I want TRY to blog a daily record during these episodes so that I can compare them and perhaps find some commonality in order to see if there are any contributing factors that I would be able to either adjust or avoid.  The episodes are similar if not identical as far as my recollection is at this moment and as my latest fog is lifts.
 My whole life is affected and compressed into days of 'living' on the sofa and barely able to get up to make meals which severely affects my nutrition during this time.  I remember once getting up to get a meal and by the time I got to the kitchen I hurt so bad I just turned around and went back to lie down.  Needless to say feeling like this and lack of hunger has affected my weight to such a degree that I'm only 2 pounds away from my all time lowest adult weight and am presently10 pounds less than my obese 11-year old body weight that was written in my school record. 
 My mental status is affected and definitely not sharp and I cannot think straight.  In fact my ability to be able to think of doing more than one thing at a time is pretty much impossible like making a list or plan a trip downtown to do an errand or two.  I do not and cannot do anything but lie on the sofa, go to the bathroom as needed (I'm thankful for small mercies!!), get some food/drink and sit in the recliner for short periods of time.  There is no energy in my muscles, my limbs and body feel heavy.  I can barely read for more than a few minutes because my arms hurt to hold up reading material or it just doesn't hold my interest. I do not have the will to even pick up the phone and talk to anyone.  Who would want to listen?  Most of my outside activities and responsibilities are left undone.  Blogging or any work on the computer is minimal including answering or sending email for the reasons that I'm too tired and it's painful, I can't think, ergo I make mistakes and the biggy.... I JUST DON'T CARE.
 Now that's a very scary thing to admit not only to myself but to my global audience but it might answer a few questions you may have had about the quality or topics of my blogs at times and the occasional no-show.  If you haven't noticed perhaps I'm either really good at covering up or I'm really awful anyway....[poking fun at self is always good therapy :o)]

I have argued with myself back and forth as to whether this is a form of depression or not.  I do not feel emotionally depressed in the sense of the word that I'm crying, having suicidal thoughts or feel any sense of hopelessness.  That's what makes me rule out clinical depression and also the fact that so far it has limited itself to 1-3 days or 5-10 days at a time although winter episodes are longer.  My biggest argument against depression is that the onset seems to coincides with low pressure weather; rain in summer and snow in winter. 
 I am hopefully looking at my latest episode in the rear view mirror now. I wanted to blog this today to get this preliminary 'heads up' out of the way while still fresh in my mind and that I wouldn't be able to do when I was down and out.

Monday, June 6, 2011


 Since I'm not in the walking mood these days I drove around to find some pictures on the other side of town.  Out of about 17 that I took 9 were fairly good including the two here, a bunch of parrot tulips I believe and getting a good look into a white tulip.
Personally I like the flowers on this side of town but let's not start a riot I'm sure things will look up as the seasons progress.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


 I found this study very interesting in that I had not heard that this is indeed going on with those who have survived cancer treatment as if they haven't gone through enough.  The reasons why this happens is unknown but one thing is known and that is that pain control is still very poorly managed but more importantly is why this happens is what needs to be investigated. 

When people finish treatment for cancer, they want to bounce back to their former vital selves as quickly as possible. But a new Northwestern Medicine study - one of the largest survivor studies ever conducted - shows many survivors still suffer moderate to severe problems with pain, fatigue, sleep, memory and concentration three to five years after treatment has ended.

"We were surprised to see how prevalent these symptoms still are," said study co-investigator Lynne Wagner, an associate professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a clinical health psychologist at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. "This is one of the first looks at what's really happening for survivors in terms of symptoms and treatment among community-based treatment settings across the U.S."

The persistent pain in survivors who are cancer-free and no longer receiving any treatment is particularly puzzling, Wagner noted, because good treatment exists. "It seems we haven't come a long way in managing pain despite a lot of medical advances, " she said. "This is eye opening. It tells us we need to be better in clinical practice about managing our survivors' pain."

Wagner presented the findings June 4 at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago. Sunday is National Cancer Survivors Day.

Cancer survivors seem to slip through the cracks in healthcare in terms of getting treatment for their pain and other symptoms.

"We don't have a great system to provide care to cancer survivors," Wagner said. "Cancer survivors are left trying to put the pieces together to find optimal care. They ideally need to see someone who is knowledgeable about the long-term affects of treatment." She pointed to the example of the STAR (Survivors Taking Action & Responsibility) Survivorship Program at Lurie Cancer Center, a comprehensive long-term follow-up program for survivors of pediatric cancer.

The study included a sample of 248 survivors of breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer
. The survivors were primarily female and white, and most were more than five years post-diagnosis. They also had been treated in community settings -- where 80 percent of people with cancer are treated in the United States -- as opposed to academic medical centers. This group best represents the typical experience of cancer survivors around the country, Wagner said.

The most common symptoms reported by survivors were fatigue (16 percent), disturbed sleep (15 percent), cognitive difficulties (13 percent) and pain (13 percent.)

Survivors need education programs for transitioning from treatment to life as a cancer survivor, and this education should include skills for managing these difficult and chronic symptoms, Wagner said. Medical providers also need to be educated about survivors' lingering symptoms.

"It is acceptable for someone actively going through cancer treatment to have pain medications, but when they transition to being survivors, that acceptance goes away," Wagner said. "If they ask for pain medication again, doctors may worry that they are getting addicted."

The study also pointed out the need to develop better ways to address sleep problems, fatigue and lasting difficulties with memory and concentration. Non-drug interventions for improving sleep are effective, Wagner said, and researchers need to tailor these for cancer survivors.

Exercise is the most effective weapon against cancer-related fatigue, but it's challenging to adhere to an exercise regime when you don't feel well. "We need to see how we can be more effective in promoting physical activity among survivors," Wagner said.

Researchers also documented any treatment interventions for study participants' symptoms and then repeated an assessment of the symptoms four weeks later.

"We generally found the same severity of these symptoms one month later, suggesting they tend to be chronic," Wagner said.

The study was funded by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, which is funded primarily by the National Institute of Cancer.


A jumper cable walks into a bar.  The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."