Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Analysis of Dreams Suggests Help for Persons with PTSD

An intriguing new study conducted by researchers at the University Of California Berkeley indicates to California veterans benefits lawyers that people who spend more time in dream sleep, may be getting more than just a good night’s rest. These people could actually be triggering the process of healing of bad memories. The researchers are connecting this finding with nightmares in veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may suffer vivid nightmares that are also recurrent. According to the researchers, the dream stage of sleep allows a form of overnight therapy, helping heal some of the not-so-pleasant experiences that the person had the previous day. These are bound to be controversial studies because there isn't enough consensus on the link between sleep and mental well-being.

However, researchers are linking this dream analysis with the fact that people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder suffer from frequent nightmares. In these people, this form of dream therapy may not be working as well. Therefore, when these people suffer flashbacks in the daytime, they suffer from nightmares at night, because the experiences in the daytime have not been properly purged from memory during sleep. Other studies in the past have indicated that people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression also suffer from disrupted sleep patterns.

The researchers were alerted to the possibility of more dream-stage sleep helping veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, through a study on PTSD conducted in Seattle. The study was conducted at a US Department of Veterans Affairs facility. Researchers in that study used blood pressure drugs in order to prevent recurrent nightmares in patients with PTSD. What they ultimately found was that the blood pressure drug suppressed the norepinephrine in the brain, promoting better quality of sleep and dreams, thus reducing the possibility of nightmares.

Trucking Companies Try to Steer Drivers Towards Healthier Lifestyles

Spurred by rising trucker health insurance rates and medical costs, trucking companies are investing in initiatives to steer drivers towards healthier lives. The happy result of all this is likely to be a reduced risk of accidents caused by truckers who suffer medical conditions at the wheel.

Trucking isn't an occupation that allows workers to make safe and healthy lifestyle choices. A typical working day for a trucker involves driving long hours, with occasional breaks for food at a truck stop or a fast food outlet. Food in these places is unhealthy and high in calories. Los Angeles truck accident lawyers do not find it at all surprising that lifestyle diseases, like cardiovascular disease, are so widespread in the trucking industry.

When a truck driver is unhealthy, it's not just insurance rates and medical costs that suffer. There is also a high risk of accidents involving drivers who suffer a medical condition while driving. Motorists may be at a special risk of accidents that involve a trucker, who has a cardiac arrest or goes into diabetic shock while driving.
Fortunately, more and more trucking companies are waking up to the fact that investing in their drivers’ health can not only lower insurance premiums and cut down medical costs, but also reduce their liability in the event of accidents.

Across the country, trucking companies are investing in all kinds of initiatives aimed at encouraging truckers to follow a healthy lifestyle. These initiatives include hiring fitness trainers and nutritionists to encourage truckers to get fit and lose weight. Companies are investing in on-site gyms, and offering financial incentives to truck drivers who attain fitness goals.

The need for such initiatives is dire. In 2007, truck driver error accounted for more than 85% of all fatal truck accidents, and about 12% of these accidents were the result of the driver suffering some kind of medical condition at the wheel.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Study Finds People with Facial Scars Less Likely to be Hired

When a person walks into a California employment lawyer's office alleging looks- based employment discrimination, we know better than to brush those claims aside. Looks-based discrimination is widely prevalent in the workplace, and there are enough studies to show that persons with a pleasant appearance and symmetrical features have a greater chance of being hired compared to others. A new study confirms this fact. According to the study, people who have facial scars, birthmarks or acne scars, could stand a lower chance of acing a job interview.

The study conducted by researchers at Rice University and the University of Houston staged mock interviews, consisting of subjects with or without facial scars or acne. A total of 171 undergraduates participated in the mock interview. The interviews were conducted via computer screen. The interviewers’ eye movements were tracked during the interview. After the interview, the interviewers were asked questions about the candidate.

The researchers found that the interviewers were not blatantly discriminatory against persons with acne or birthmarks. However, they did tend to get distracted by applicants who suffered from acne and other facial scars. As a result of this distraction, they were less likely to focus on the positive aspects of the applicant's candidacy, and therefore the applicant was less likely to get the job.

When the researchers conducted another study using people who had experience in management and training instead of undergrad students, they found the same results. In this experiment, many of the interviewees suffered from acne or birthmarks. The researchers expected that these more experienced interviewers would be less likely to be distracted by the facial scars. However, they found that the trained persons were actually more likely to be distracted by facial scars, than the undergrad students.

This kind of looks-based discrimination seems to be subconscious, but the end result is the same.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Alabama A&M University Tops in College Crime Rates

An analysis of crime data reported by universities and colleges in Alabama finds some of the highest crime rates at Alabama A&M and Alabama State universities.

According to the analysis, which included data from between 2005 and 2010, there were 170 robberies at 11 schools in the state with the highest number of students. There were also reports of 119 aggravated assaults, and 97 reports of sexual offenses on these campuses.

Alabama A&M University leads with a total of 63 aggravated assaults on campus during this six-year period. At the same college, there were 29 robberies, 463 burglaries and 16 sexual offenses during the same period of time. Overall, the University of Alabama had the most drug and alcohol-related crimes. Students at the University of Alabama, the University of South Alabama, Birmingham-Southern College and A&M also reported the highest numbers of sexual offenses on campus. The other colleges that were studied in the analysis were Auburn, Auburn-Montgomery, Alabama State, Birmingham-Southern, Jacksonville-State, Miles, Samford, Troy, UAB, UAH, Montevallo, UNA and South Alabama.

The analysis found that one of the biggest factors in college campus crime rates is easy access to alcohol and drugs. Alabama criminal defense lawyers also believe that this is true. When access to alcohol and drugs on campus is lowered, the incidence of campus-related crimes also drops. Universities and colleges in Alabama could be doing more to restrict student access to alcohol, considering the serious consequence of crimes for these students.

The University of Alabama is experimenting with measures to lower drug and alcohol use and crimes rates on campus. This college had the highest alcohol-related arrests during this period of time with a total of 540 arrests. However, authorities have been trying to take steps to reduce the number of alcohol-related offenses. In 2009, the school began a program of referring alcohol offenders to a student services program, under which students undergo an alcohol and drug education program instead of being sent to a Municipal Court. These are the sort of measures that Alabama criminal defense attorneys believe can lower campus crime rates.

Sexual Abuse Tied to Higher Risk of Stroke, Heart Attack in Adulthood

Girls, who have suffered physical or sexual abuse in childhood, may have a much higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke in adulthood. According to the results of research presented at the American Heart Association's 2011 scientific sessions, women who reported abuse during their childhood had a 62% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease in adulthood. The study found that severe physical abuse in childhood contributed to a 45% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

This is believed to be the first such study that comprehensively studies the association between sexual/physical abuse and cardiovascular disease. The researchers used data from a study conducted between 1989 and 2007. The study included more than 67,000 respondents. 9% of the women had suffered severe physical abuse, and 11% had suffered sexual abuse in their childhood.

So, what’s the link between physical/sexual abuse in childhood and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease? Researchers believe it has to do with stress brought on as a result of the abuse and increased weight gain. Girls who suffer from abuse-related trauma are more likely to gain weight, thereby increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease. Besides stress issues, smoking and alcohol use were also linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease among women who had been physically or sexually abused.

The study provides California sexual abuse lawyers more clues about the long-lasting impact of sexual abuse. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone that sexual abuse can leave a victim with such devastating, long-term health effects. It is to be expected that the stresses and trauma brought on by abuse during childhood will affect an individual's health as she ages.