New Smell Tech Could Make VR Therapies More Powerful

An emerging trend in virtual reality – incorporating smell – could be exciting news not just for gaming but for health care as well. A growing number of hospitals across the country are using virtual reality to help patients manage pain, overcome phobias, and calm anxiety. Providers and patients report mostly good results, save for … Read more

Screen All Patients for Cannabis Use Before Surgery: Guideline

If you smoke, vape, or ingest cannabis, your anesthesiologist should know before you undergo a surgical procedure, according to new medical guidelines. All patients who undergo procedures that require regional or general anesthesia should be asked if, how often, and in what forms they use the drug, according to recommendations from the American Society of … Read more

Antipsychotic Use in Pregnancy: New Data

New data suggests that in general, antipsychotics are not associated with any increased risk of congenital malformations in a growing fetus, new data show. Dr Krista Huybrechts Overall, the findings suggest that antipsychotics are “not major teratogens and are therefore generally reassuring for women who require treatment with antipsychotics during pregnancy,” study investigator Krista Huybrechts, … Read more

Overdose Deaths up 81% in Pregnant, Postpartum Women

Drug overdose deaths in pregnant and postpartum women rose by about 81% from 2017 to 2020, researchers report in a JAMA research letter published online Dec. 6. Pregnancy-associated overdose deaths were highest in 2020 as the COVID pandemic began, according to the researchers, Emilie Bruzelius, MPH, and Silvia S. Martins, MD, PHD, with the department … Read more

More Evidence In Utero Exposure to Antiseizure Meds Safe for Kids

NASHVILLE — There is no negative impact of in utero exposure to antiseizure medications on children’s creativity, new research shows. Dr. Kimford Meador The results of this study, along with other research, suggest the risk for cognitive problems “is fairly low” overall for children of women with epilepsy taking lamotrigine or levetiracetam, study investigator, Kimford … Read more

E-Health Program Improves Perinatal Depression

Patients with perinatal depression who used a specialized online tool showed improvement in symptoms, compared with controls who received routine care, based on data from 191 individuals. Although perinatal depression affects approximately 17% of pregnant women and 13% of postpartum women, the condition is often underrecognized and undertreated, Brian Danaher, PhD, of Influents Innovations, Eugene, … Read more

Folic Acid Tied to a Reduction in Suicide Attempts

Prescription folic acid, a synthetic form of vitamin B9, may provide a safe and effective approach for decreasing suicidal ideation, new research suggests. After adjusting for multiple factors, results from a large pharmaco-epidemiological study showed taking folic acid was associated with a 44% reduction in suicide events. Dr Robert Gibbons “These results are really putting … Read more

High-Dose Folic Acid During Pregnancy Tied to Cancer Risk in Kids

Prenatal exposure to high-dose folic acid is associated with a greater than twofold increased risk for cancer in children of mothers with epilepsy, new data from a Scandinavian registry of more than 3 million pregnancies suggests. The increased risk for cancer did not change after considering other factors that could explain the risk, such as … Read more

Mothers’ Diabetes Linked to ADHD in Their Children

Children born to women who develop diabetes either before or during their pregnancy could be at risk for developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, data from a large multinational cohort study appear to show. Considering more than 4.5 million mother-child pairs, it was found that children whose mothers had diabetes around the time of their pregnancy were 16% … Read more

Brain Shrinkage in First-Time Dads: It’s a Good Thing

First-time fathers appear to experience a loss of cortical volume following the birth of their child, new research suggests. Investigators associated with the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, Spain, and the University of Southern California compared MRIs of the brains of 40 new fathers (half located in the United States and the … Read more