Archive for August, 2005

Treating Depression During Pregnancy

Depression affects up to 15% of women during and shortly after pregnancy. Dr Janet Atsumi Martin, from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, stated that the impact of depression during pregnancy includes:

Unfortunately, Dr. Martin also pointed out that there are also dangers of treating depression during pregnancy. For mothers who must get chemical treatment during pregnancy, she suggested the following.

“Start low and go slow with these medications by using a minimal effective dose because they have effects on the mother (example, potential side effects of increased anxiety, nausea and insomnia) and also effects on pre-term labor (that is, increased pre-term labor).”

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School Textbooks Just Wanna Be Free

With the huge success of Wikipedia (a Web-based, multi-language, free-content encyclopedia written collaboratively by volunteers and sponsored by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation), Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is now embarking on a new project called Wikibooks. Wikibooks looks to take the same approach it took with Wikipedia, and create textbooks for all grades, including college level textbooks.

In the long run, it will be very difficult for proprietary textbook publishers to compete with freely licensed alternatives. An open project with dozens of professors adapting and refining a textbook on a particular subject will be a very difficult thing for a proprietary publisher to compete with. The point is: there are a huge number of people who are qualified to write these books, and the tools are being created to leave them to do that.

As most parents and students know (especially college students), textbooks have long been way overpriced. Also, there are many people that believe knowledge should be freely available to anyone. Making these textbooks freely available, and current, will enable anyone with Internet access to view, download, or print the books. The long term hope would be that these materials would be used in as many schools as possible as the primary learning material.

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Smoking + Pregnancy = Anti-Social Child

A new study suggests that mothers who smoke while pregnant increase the risk of anti-social behavior in their children.

In a study of 1,896 twins it was found that the average symptom scores for both increased with the number of cigarettes the mother had smoked while pregnant.

The researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry say the findings do not mean unruly behaviour and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were linked, although ADHD is known to increase the risk of anti-social behaviour.

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