4 research outputs found

    The implications of alcohol mixed with energy drinks from medical and socio-legal standpoints.

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    Co-ingestion of energy drinks and alcohol has long been in practice and has been poorly regulated despite a growing body of literature of their potential negative health impacts. Co-ingestion of energy drinks with alcohol has multiple counter-active effects such as reduction of body sway, fatigue and sedative effects induced by alcohol, along with increased subjective feeling of alertness, which may lead to increased binge-drinking, intoxication, decreased perception of intoxication, dehydration, and alcohol poisoning. Adding energy drinks to alcohol may also have synergistic effects in causing alcohol dependency and addiction. The association between caffeine, a common active ingredient in energy drinks, and alcohol is relatively well defined, however association with other active ingredients such as taurine, niacin, and pyridoxine, is less understood, pointing to a gap in our knowledge regarding this practice. Nonetheless, the current associations between AMED (Alcohol Mixed with Energy Drinks) and risky behavior secondary to intoxication and cases of alcohol poisoning have led various national governing bodies to regulate this practice. This review highlights the potential effects of AMED on human physiology based on what is known from human and animal models, and sheds light on specific biochemical interactions between alcohol and active ingredients found in energy drinks; Caffeine, Taurine, and Glucuronolactone. The review also touches on the regulation of this practice around the world, and the impact it has on its users, and points researchers to gaps in our knowledge on the interactions between alcohol and EDs and the full extent of their effects

    Exploring non-pharmacological methods for pre-operative pain management

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    The management of pain is an essential aspect of surgical care, and pain levels in post-operative patients vary case by case. Treating postoperative pain is crucial as it leads to better outcomes and reduces risk of long term pain. While post-operative analgesics has been the mainstay of treatment, this mini-review explores an emerging concept which is preoperative pain management, with promising potential. Such interventions include educating patients on the expected pain outcomes and available pain medications. Non-pharmacological methods such as relaxation exercises have also proven to be effective after abdominal surgery, and educating patients on the existence of such methods pre-operatively encourages them to make use of available therapies. A major area of importance is the pre-operative psychological and emotional wellbeing of patients, as it is a strong predictor of pain and pain prognosis. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be effectively used to tackle preoperative anxiety and reduce pain levels. Hypnosis is another developing modality for decreasing stress. Lastly, long term pre-operative opioid use has been linked with higher pain scores and longer pain duration. This provides the basis on which pre-operative opioid weaning can lead to favorable post-operative pain outcomes. While many of these methods have not been experimented on recipients of abdominal surgery in specific, it still paves the path for newer pain control strategies that can eventually be adopted for visceral surgery patients. This review points the reader and researchers to new and developing areas that hold the potential to revolutionize current established pain management guidelines. </p

    Beneficial use and potential effectiveness of physical activity in managing autism spectrum disorder

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    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by poor social and communication skills. Therapeutic interventions are behavioral and educational-normally delivered as structured programs. Several well-established programs exist and most of them do not incorporate physical activity and exercise as core elements. Deficiencies in motor skills are associated with ASD and physical activity has been shown to reduce maladaptive behaviors with autistics. However, the notion of exercise being employed to manage autism is controversial. Meta-analysis and systematic reviews have concluded that physical activity has positive effects on social skills and behavior in young children and adolescents with autism. Activities such as martial arts have been singled out as being particularly beneficial. Established programs such as TEACCH have been successfully modified, as research trials, to be more physical activity-based and have shown positive results. Studies have also reinforced the importance of the role of parental involvement in delivering programs based on physical activity. There is a paucity of research evidence about the long-term effects of physical activity-based interventions. There is also disparity over the detailed nature of the activities and exercises that compose an effective program. Each person with autism has a highly individualized set of symptoms and characteristics for which highly individualized programs are warranted. This is especially true for physical activity programs

    COVID-19: breaking down a global health crisis

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    Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the second pandemic of the twenty-first century, with over one-hundred million infections and over two million deaths to date. It is a novel strain from the Coronaviridae family, named Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2); the 7th known member of the coronavirus family to cause disease in humans, notably following the Middle East Respiratory syndrome (MERS), and Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (SARS). The most characteristic feature of this single-stranded RNA molecule includes the spike glycoprotein on its surface. Most patients with COVID-19, of which the elderly and immunocompromised are most at risk, complain of flu-like symptoms, including dry cough and headache. The most common complications include pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, and cardiovascular manifestations. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is mainly via respiratory droplets, either directly from the air when an infected patient coughs or sneezes, or in the form of fomites on surfaces. Maintaining hand-hygiene, social distancing, and personal protective equipment (i.e., masks) remain the most effective precautions. Patient management includes supportive care and anticoagulative measures, with a focus on maintaining respiratory function. Therapy with dexamethasone, remdesivir, and tocilizumab appear to be most promising to date, with hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, ritonavir, and interferons falling out of favour. Additionally, accelerated vaccination efforts have taken place internationally, with several promising vaccinations being mass deployed. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries and stakeholders have taken varying precautions to combat and contain the spread of the virus and dampen its collateral economic damage. This review paper aims to synthesize the impact of the virus on a global, micro to macro scale