MOM'S HOURS MAY IMPACT CHILD'S BRAIN
A mother who works non-standard hours -- evenings, nights or rotating shifts -- may affect her young child's intellectual development, a U.S. study finds. Wen-Jui Han, of the Columbia University School of Social Work, tracked 1,364 children from 10 sites around the country from birth in 1991 through 36 months. The study, published in Child Development, finds that even after controlling for the quality of the home environment, child care, maternal depression, and the mother's sensitivity toward her children, the children of mothers who worked non-standard work schedules performed much worse on cognitive tests. Han suggests mothers who worked non-traditional hours may not place children in day care, which has been linked with better child cognitive outcomes.
LOCKED GUNS, LESS UNINTENTIONAL INJURIES
Keeping a gun locked, unloaded and storing ammunition in a locked and separate location can lower the risk of unintentional injuries and suicide in youth. Dr. David Grossman, of the Group Health Cooperative and the University of Washington, Seattle, measured the association of household firearm storage practices and the risk of unintentional and self-inflicted firearm injuries. The researchers examined records from medical examiners from 37 counties in several states. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found storing household guns locked, unloaded or separate from the ammunition is associated with significant reductions in the risk of unintentional and self-inflicted injuries and deaths among adolescents and children.
ACUPUNCTURE MAY REDUCE PREGNANCY BACK PAIN
A Yale researcher is conducting a three-year study on the effectiveness of the Chinese practice of acupuncture in reducing lower back pain during pregnancy. Study leader Dr. Shu-Ming Wang, of the Yale School of Medicine, was approached by a colleague who was suffering from severe low back pain and sciatica in the final months of pregnancy. "She asked if I could do anything to help," said Wang, who inserted three, 2-millimeter needles into her colleague's ear. "She recovered immediately."
HEARING AIDS COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER
Wireless digital technology offers the 28 million U.S. adults with hearing loss the most sophisticated hearing device yet. The Acuris hearing aid is the first of its kind to use devices for each ear that communicate wirelessly with each other. Acuris features hearing aids for both the left and right ear that work together to automatically sense and adjust incoming sounds. The device also features digital noise suppression and speech enhancement for the clearer sound. About 80 percent of Americans with hearing loss wear two hearing aids. The Acuris hearing aid is easier to control manually for these users because both hearing aids can be adjusted from just one ear.
(EDITORS: For more information on BRAIN contact Andrea Browning at (202) 336-5926 or email@example.com. For BACK PAIN, Jacqueline Weaver at (203) 432-8555 firstname.lastname@example.org. For HEARING, Scott Michaeloff (212) 980-7171)