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New SIDs cause possibly found 

A piece of the puzzle that could reveal more clearly the cruel mystery of SIDs was found recently thanks to researchers from Boston Children's hospital.

A study has shown that "some infants who died suddenly and unexpectedly, in both safe and unsafe sleep environments, have underlying brainstem abnormalities and are not all normal prior to death."

The findings are by no means a clear answer to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome that claims more than 4,000 lives a year in the U.S. alone, but they are a step toward detecting what could be the cause of something that has long remained elusive. According to the article researchers say there is a need to detect and treat the underlying vulnerability early.

The abnormalities found in these infants show that while a "normal" infant may wake under certain circumstances that lead to rebreathing too much carbon dioxide, these infants do not.

 

The company we keep

Turns out that old warning about the company we keep may be quite accurate. According to a new study from a professor at the University of Michigan there is a clear connection with student behavior based on that of their roommate.

"The bottom line was we found that when youre matched with a roommate who drinks alcohol, your grades are likely to go down ..." according to Dan Levy, a senior lecturer in public policy at Harvard and co-author of a 2008 study on college students and alcohol.

While most mental health issues have no "contagious" effect, researches found that risky behavior can spread. In fact, binge drinking spreads like mono at prom. Before parents panic, research showed other risky behaviors have no contagious effect like smoking, gambling and sex with multiple partners.

 

 

Beyond the playground

Bullying has long been the buzz word du jour with a healthy dose of skeptics as to how greatly a bully impacts a child longterm. New studies prove the effect of bullying to be very real and lasting long after the last push (or nasty Instagram photo).

A February study published in Pediatrics is the first to follow students from elementary to junior high and show that the compounding effects of bullying are profound.

"Our research shows that long-term bullying has a severe impact on a child's overall health, and that its negative effects can accumulate and get worse with time," says the study's first author Laura Bogart, PhD, from Boston Children's Division of General Pediatrics. "It reinforces the notion that more bullying intervention is needed, because the sooner we stop a child from being bullied, the less likely bullying is to have a lasting, damaging effect on his or her health down the road."

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