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Study Identifies Risk Factors for Complications after Spine Surgery

Findings aim to help patients and surgeons address potential risks before surgical procedures

 

In the last 20 years, due to diagnostic and surgical advances, more and more patients have become appropriate candidates for spine surgery, and the number of these procedures performed has risen significantly. While medical experts acknowledge the potential benefits of spine surgery, they also understand that complications can reduce the success in the short and long term.

Complications following spine surgery may have a substantial impact on the quality of life of patients as well as the outcome of the primary surgical procedure,” said orthopaedic surgeon Andrew J. Schoenfeld, MD, one of the authors of a new study recently published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS). This study identified several risk factors for a variety of complications and death shortly after spine surgery among men and women across the U.S.

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Relapse or Recovery? Neuroimaging Predicts Course of Substance Addiction Treatment

Brain activity changes as people recover from their addictions

 

An Indiana University study has provided preliminary evidence that by measuring brain activity through the use of neuroimaging, researchers can predict who is likely to have an easier time getting off drugs and alcohol, and who will need extra help.

"We can also see how brain activity changes as people recover from their addictions," said Joshua Brown, assistant professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The chronic occurrence of relapse underscores the need for improved methods of treatment and relapse prevention. One potential cause for relapse is deficient self-regulatory control over behavior and decision-making. Specifically this lack of self-regulatory ability in substance dependent individuals has been associated with dysfunction of a mesolimbic-frontal brain network.

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Social Media as an Effective Tool for Preventing STD and HIV Infection

Facebook and other social networking technologies could serve as effective tools for preventing HIV infection among at-risk groups, new UCLA research suggests

 

In a study published in the February issue of the peer-reviewed journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases, researchers found that African American and Latino men who have sex with men voluntarily used health-related Facebook groups, which were created by the study's investigators, to discuss such things as HIV knowledge, stigma and prevention and ultimately to request at-home HIV testing kits.

"Researchers, policymakers and public health professionals are hoping that social media can be used as a tool for improving health research and solving health and HIV prevention-related issues," said principal investigator Sean Young, an assistant professor of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "This study helps direct us toward that goal by suggesting that participants will use social media to learn about HIV prevention and that those who talk about HIV prevention over social networking groups are not just talking about it -- they are acting on their words by getting an HIV test."

The study also demonstrates that social networking can be a useful tool for collecting and analyzing data, added Young, who is a member of the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) at UCLA.

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