clinical trialWith Clinical Trials, People Can Get New Treatments Not Available to Others

Besides testing treatments, research studies help doctors understand conditions so they can help future patients

For over four years Jessica Donlon, 17, suffered from depression that was so severe, she had difficulty getting out of bed. She gave up cheerleading and softball, spending much of her time sleeping. She tried many kinds of medications and therapies, but her depression was getting worse. “She suffered degrees of not wanting to live, but it was getting stronger and more frequent,” says her mom, Theresa Roy.

Theresa heard about a clinical trial using ketamine— a medication often used as an anesthetic in children—to treat severe depression, and she thought it might help her daughter. Earlier studies at Yale and elsewhere have shown that ketamine can provide rapid and dramatic relief for depression in adults. “Suicide is the second leading cause of death in adolescents, and while there are some effective treatments, a substantial proportion of adolescents don’t respond to those treatments,” notes psychiatrist Michael Bloch, MD, MS, associate professor in the Yale Child Study Center, who led the clinical trial.

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aarp financial security is possibleRetirement Doesn’t Have to be Scary

When we’re young and agile, most of us look forward to starting a family, buying a nice car, buying a house and making it into a home. Then as we age, we invest money, time, and energy in our kids, our careers, and our social lives. That’s all pretty normal, but when’s the right time to start saving money for retirement? Many of us look at retirement as a big, daunting task. But, if you start early and start smart, you can look forward to retirement as much as you looked forward to the other seasons of your life. As dads (and parents in general), we focus so much on everyone else that we often put ourselves last. Anyone who’s scrimped and saved for holiday shopping or stayed up late wrapping presents or baking cookies knows what I’m talking about.
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Anxiety, Cardio, Depression

benefits of meditationFive Amazing Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness

While ultimately rooted in the religious practices of East Asia, meditation and mindfulness are essentially the cultivation of a positive and tranquil mental state via focused periods of practice. Just as your body needs nutrition and exercise to function properly, so too does your emotional center and state of mind require special tools for their maintenance. While their origins lie in theology and spiritual study, both meditation and mindfulness have been linked to measurable benefits for adults regardless of their metaphysical or philosophical inclinations.

Reduced Anxiety

One of the key concepts to meditation is its understanding of the relationship between the physical body and its more ephemeral moods and processes. As exemplified by the concept of chakras (see the chakra chart here for more information), emotional and spiritual states are linked to physical centers of the body and real biological processes, a fact supported by meditation and mindfulness’ impact on anxiety.

While it varies by individual, mindfulness reduces anxiety in patients in as little as eight weeks of practice. This not only includes the mental aspects of anxiety, but also physically measurable symptoms like blood pressure, quality of sleep, jaw clenching, and chronic headaches. This further shows the link between the emotional or spiritual states meditation attempts to treat and their physical manifestations.

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Cardio, Fitness, Health, Health, Nutrition

8 Ways to Stay Healthy While Travelling

Holidays are one of those times of the year when your health or fitness plans can take a real dent. It’s natural that you’ll want to relax, take part in activities that you enjoy the most—which might include sitting and eating a lot—and generally not doing a great deal. So while you might not make any fitness progress it’s important to make sure that you don’t get derailed entirely and face setbacks for months to come.


The first challenge you will face when traveling is the flight, flying is notoriously dehydrating, and the longer you’re in the air the worse it gets. Arriving dehydrated at your destination isn’t a great start as well as actually making you sick, it can make you feel pretty lousy and increase hunger. It’s not a great start to staying healthy so make sure you drink at every chance you get on the flight, and we’re not talking about alcohol here.

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Fatherhood, Parenting

never too soon to childproofIt’s Never too Soon to Start Childproofing

Dear Mr. Dad: I always seem to be hearing about children who are seriously injured (or worse) in their own houses. We just brought our new baby home from the hospital, but I want to start getting our house childproofed right now. How should we start and what should we do?

A: When it comes to your child’s safety, there’s no such thing as too soon, especially at home, where accidents are among the biggest (and most-preventable) causes of injury and death to young children. And because kittens grow up to be cats, there’s also no such thing is being done with childproofing. It’s a process that will last until he or she moves out of the house (although you’ll have to start all over again when your grandchildren arrive).

Your first order of business is to think like a baby. That means getting down on your hands and knees and exploring your home. Electrical outlets look like perfect places to stick forks, don’t they? Drapery cords and dangling corners of tablecloths are almost begging to get yanked on; the dried out carrot that fell under the dining room table a few months ago looks delicious; and what about all those buttons and knobs on the stove? Hopefully you get the point.

Let’s start with the basics. We’ll go into more detail in future columns.


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Added on April 18, 2012

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