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Latest Posts

PTSD Flashbacks Reduced By Playing Tetris

tetris Playing Tetris Cuts Flashbacks in PTSDFlashbacks are vivid, recurring, intrusive, and unwanted mental images of a past traumatic experience. They are a sine qua non of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although drugs and cognitive behavioral interventions are available to treat PTSD, clinicians would prefer to utilize some sort of early intervention to prevent flashbacks from developing in the first place. 

Well, researchers at Oxford University appear to have found one. Remarkably, all it takes is playing Tetris. Yes, Tetris!

The team responsible for the discovery was led by Emily Holmes. The writeup appears in the November issue of PLoS ONE. Holmes and colleagues had reasoned that the human brain has a limited capacity to process memories, and that memory consolidation following a traumatic experience is typically complete within six hours after the event. Holmes’ team also knew that playing Tetris involved the same kind of mental processing as that involved with flashback formation. So they figured if they had people play Tetris during that six-hour window after the traumatic event, it might interfere with memory consolidation of the traumatic experience. That, in turn, would reduce or eliminate the flashbacks. The idea worked like a charm. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Pizaazz*

A “Future Of Health” Report For UNICEF

A report on the future of health was presented to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) by PSFK, a trends research and innovation company. It features a wide range to topics including distant learning, diagnostics, gaming for health, offline web, DIY checkup, and many others:

(Hat Tip: iMedicalApps)

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Games For Health 2010

Games For Health 2010It’s time for the 6th annual Games for Health conference. The conference, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides a forum for experts in the fields of video games, healthcare, and science to come together and share the latest and greatest in health-related video game news and research.

From their promotional pamphlet:

Because digital games can actively engage and challenge people of all ages, they have the ability to help individuals manage chronic illnesses, support physical rehabilitation, pursue wellness goals and contribute to changes in health behaviors. Public health leaders, doctors and nurses, rehabilitation specialists, emergency first responders and other health professionals are also using games and game technologies to advance their skills and enhance how they deliver care and services. Games are even beginning to mine the wisdom of the crowds to forge critical new discoveries in biology and genomics.

The acceptance of games as a valuable health management and training method, the popular success of consoles like the Nintendo Wii, and the growth of smartphone game applications indicate that there is tremendous potential for continuing to move health and behavior change activities beyond clinical settings and the classroom and into consumers’ home, work, social and recreational spaces.

We’ll be reporting throughout the event (May 25-27). Stay tuned for info on the PS3 Move, a Wii laparoscopic trainer, and more.

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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