Sleep That Knits the Raveled Sleeve of Care

Posted November 2016

The importance of sleep has even inspired William Shakespeare with his famous, “Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care” (in Macbeth).  In our day and age, sleep still retains its importance for health, both physical and mental.  Inadequate sleep causes the body to increase levels of cortisol, which predisposes to weight gain and […]

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The Triumph And Trouble With The Immuno-Biologicals

Posted October 2016

Immuno-biologicals represent a new class of medications, used for a wide variety of conditions.  They modulate the body’s immune response in different ways to either enhance or reduce inflammation (thus their other name, “biological response modifiers”).  In a sense, they continue the tradition of older anti-inflammatory medication, the most famous of which is aspirin.  Traditionally, […]

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Get The Lead Out!

Posted September 2016

Lead poisoning can be devastating at any age, but is particularly destructive in very young children due to its effects on the developing brain.  The events in Flint, Michigan have highlighted this long-standing issue of national importance.   Lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal that is also found in older paint (pre-dating 1978), some […]

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Eat Your Way to Brain Health

Posted August 2016

What you eat has a huge impact on your brain. The correct combination of certain foods can enhance memory, build new brain cells, and even help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. The M.I.N.D. diet, developed by researchers at Rush University in Chicago, can slash the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 53 percent. M.I.N.D. stands […]

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Diabetes Treatment: Increasing Complexity and Cost

Posted July 2016

Diabetes has increased parallel to the epidemic of obesity in the United States.  It now affects over 10% of the adult population, many of whom are unaware they have the disease.  Diabetes contributes to strokes, heart disease, neuropathy, renal failure, blindness, peripheral vascular disease and amputations.  The morbidity and mortality continue to soar as does […]

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Summertime Dangers: Water Related Illnesses

Posted June 2016

Summer fun often includes water and that can be in public pools, water parks, ponds, rivers or bayous.  Fresh water fun, however, does have its share of potential hazards beyond the risk of drowning.  The list of potential infectious illnesses that can come from fresh water exposure includes Cryptosporidia, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus, E. Coli and […]

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2016 Parish Health Rankings For Louisiana and Cenla

Posted May 2016

Once a year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute publish their annual “County Health Rankings & Roadmaps”.  This report establishes rankings for “Health Outcomes,” (length of life and quality of life criteria) and “Health Factors” (health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environments) for each […]

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Child Abuse And Neglect: An Ongoing Tragedy

Posted April 2016

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Child “maltreatment”, as it is called, remains a serious problem in the United States and in Louisiana.  There were 3.4 million referrals to child protective services in the U.S. in 2012, of which over 700,000 (or 9.2/1,000) were confirmed cases of “maltreatment”.  Most of the victims (78%) were […]

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Public Health: What It Has Done For You Lately?

Posted March 2016

The general public has a poor understanding of what Public Health does and what it has accomplished. That confusion persists, especially among those over 50, because of the shifts in public health functions over the past decades. Older Louisianans, when asked, “What happens at the health units?”, will invariable say, “That’s where kids get their […]

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Zika Virus: Another Unwanted Mosquito-Borne Invader

Posted February 2016

In our days of worldwide travel, germs move with us on our meanderings.  Zika virus has now grabbed the international headlines.  It is a Flavivirus, one of several that is transmitted from human-to-human through the bite of mosquitos.  In this case, as with Dengue and Chikungunya, it is transmitted through the bite of Aedes species […]

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