Winter is the peak season for full-time college students to start non-medical use of prescription drugs, such as pain relievers and stimulants, indicates a new study by SAMHSA. The study, which tracks initiation by month, reveals that in the past year, approximately 251,000 full-time college students started the non-medical use of pain relievers, with an average of 700 initiates a day. However, this rate rises to 850 initiates a day during December, according the study. Further, more students start non-medical use of stimulant medications in November, December, and April. Specifically, about 500 students per day start abusing stimulants during those months, compared with 400 students on an average day. SAMHSA notes that because the rise in the initiation of non-medical use of prescription stimulants coincides with the times of the year that many college final exams and midterm exams occur, this may suggest that students believe non-medical use of stimulants can benefit academic performance.Read more
Because less than half of Americans received flu vaccinations last year, according to a new CDC report, the agency is once again reminding the public that patients and caregivers of patients six months and older should be vaccinated. According to CDC’s September 19, 2014 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, only one-third of adults aged 18 to 64 received flu shots last year, Pharmacy Times reports. Influenza vaccinations are particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe complications from influenza, or at higher risk for influenza-related outpatient, emergency department, or hospital visits, according to information posted the CDC website.Read more
When it comes to flu vaccines, a federal panel says a squirt in the nose is better than a shot in the arm for young children.
The advisory panel voted Wednesday to advise doctors that FluMist nasal spray is a bit better at preventing flu in healthy young kids. The recommendation is specific to ages 2 through 8 only.
Some studies have found that kids within that age group are about half as likely to get the flu if they had the spray vaccine instead of a shot.
Federal health officials usually adopt the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. A flu vaccine is now recommended for virtually everyone over 6 months old.
Children who are physically fit have faster and more robust neuro-electrical brain responses during reading than their less-fit peers, researchers report.
These differences correspond with better language skills in the children who are more fit, and occur whether they’re reading straightforward sentences or sentences that contain errors of grammar or syntax.
The new findings, reported in the journal Brain and Cognition, do not prove that higher fitness directly influences the changes seen in the electrical activity of the brain, the researchers say, but offer a potential mechanism to explain why fitness correlates so closely with better cognitive performance on a variety of tasks.