An Independent International Scientific Web Site to Promote Intellectual Values


The Addictive Nature of Indoor Tanning

Cody J. Connor, BS

While many cultures strongly endorse the cosmetic effect of tan skin, the dangers of attaining it often evade the minds of those who seek that “beautiful” status. In fact, for many of those that do consider these dangers, the remote consequences do not seem to outweigh the immediate benefits. Thus, the perfect storm for addiction is born.

The toxic consequences of excessive UV exposure are well-established, ranging from acute effects like cutaneous burns (erythema), tanning, and local immunosuppression, to more long-term consequences like photoaging , immunosuppression, and photocarcinogenesis [1].

Paradoxes of US psychopharmacology practice

Jose de Leon, M.D.

This editorial proposes that 2013 may someday be known as the year psychiatry was at a crossroad. Practicing psychiatrists were pressured with paradoxical messages including (1) assurances from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that better psychiatric medications are forthcoming, which would decrease the impact of mental illness, even as pharmaceutical companies are leaving the field because they have failed to produce revolutionary new medications, (2) encouragement from the  American Psychiatric Association (APA) to use the DSM-5, which further increases the prevalence of mental illness, and its apparent agreement with overprescription of psychiatric medications to control behaviors, even if they are not a consequence of severe mental illness.

Marijuana warning: cognitive decline in adolescents

Vivek C. Shah, M.D., Murali K. Kolikonda, M.D., Suneela Cherlopalle, M.D., Steven  Lippmann M.D.

Okay, marijuana is being legalized in many places across this country. Lots of people smoke pot. Some of them may have the impression that governmental legalization of this drug implies safety. What should you tell your adolescent patients?

Cannabis is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. Because of legalization in several states and decriminalization campaigns, many people, especially adolescents, might erroneously misinterpret this as a sign that the drug is harmless. However, it has profound adverse effects on the brain, especially for cognition.

Nursing metaparadigm and person-centered care

Yulin Chu, N.P.

The metaparadigm of nursing distinguishes nursing from any other discipline such as biology, sociology, or psychology (Jonson et al., 2012).  Initial consensus on the metaparadigm concepts in nursing was proposed by Fawcett in 1984. According to Fawcett (1984), metaparadigm, as the central concepts of nursing, contains person, environment, health, and nursing. These four concepts represent the phenomena of interest to nursing discipline, which are under the umbrella of nursing metaparadigm.

Testosterone and suicidal behavior in women with bipolar disorder

Leo Sher, M.D.

Multiple lines of evidence suggest that testosterone may affect mood and behavior both in males and in females. However, the role of testosterone in the pathophysiology of suicidal behavior remains unclear. Studies of the relation between testosterone and suicidal behavior have been mostly focused on male populations and produced inconsistent results. The variations between the results of the studies of the relation between testosterone and suicidal behavior could be related to many factors including differences in sample selection criteria and differences in time intervals between suicide attempts and blood sampling. We have recently published the results of the first study on the relation between testosterone and suicidal behavior in females (1).

Sleep disordered breathing in hyperactive children

Suneela Cherlopalle, M.D., Murali K. Kolikonda, M.D., Manasa Enja, M.D., Steven Lippmann, M.D.

You are in your office evaluating a child with hyperactivity and inattention. The parents want quick intervention;  the teacher suggests to “start medication” now. Under pressure, you are considering attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the child appears to fit the criteria. However, sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and ADHD can present similarly, with hyperactivity and inattentiveness. So similarly, that mis-diagnoses can occur. Erroneous diagnosis leads to ineffective treatment and may make things worse.

Fortunately, office-based screening with a history from the parents about the child’s sleep can quickly help rule out sleep disordered breathing.

Human behaviour and degrees of freedom

Said Shahtahmasebi, Ph.D. 

Human behaviour is dynamic. This means it changes over time. How does this change occur? To answer this question it is necessary to take a look at our own lives as individuals. We do not wake up one day to find out that we are smokers, a champion athlete, obese, have health issues, depressed, or have a tendency towards excessive drinking, and/or other behaviour. What is meant by phrases such as ‘time will change a person’, or ‘time is a great healer’? Is it human nature to learn from changes in our surroundings? Time in itself is simply a vehicle that takes us from the start line to the finishing line. In other words, it is what happens on the journey that brings about change, e.g. through aging (physiological and biological changes), knowledge and experience, and through interactions with the living environment (communities, health and social policies).

Is it possible to enhance voluntary help seeking among doctors with mental disorders? The experience of the Barcelona Physicians’ Health Program

M. Dolores Braquehais, M.D., Ph.D.

Specific programs to treat doctors who suffer from mental disorders and/or addictions (Physicians’ Health Programs, PHPs) seem to provide the best available measures for protecting patients, recovering physicians’ careers and their psychosocial wellbeing (1). First PHPs were developed in the USA since the late 1970s in order to identify and treat physicians who had had misconduct behaviours as a consequence of a mental disorder, mainly, substance use disorders (2). The US Federation of PHPs offers state programs (44 states are full members, as membership is voluntary) and meetings, where issues concerning physicians’ health are discussed (2). Similar PHP were developed later in every Canadian province (3), in Australia (4), and the UK (5).