Health Advice



Pandemic's Toll on Mental Health

Scott LaFee on

Instead, they were more likely to compare their children to friends' children.

Survey authors noted, however, that it's important to remember that child development is a process that unfolds over time and that each child is unique.

Phobia of the Week

Automysophobia: fear of being dirty

Hypochondriac's Guide

Sleeping Beauty Syndrome (or, more technically, Kleine-Levin Syndrome) is a neurological condition involving periods of excessive sleep. In some cases, episodes can last up to 20 hours with repeated bouts over multiple days.

Episodes may be preceded by flu-like symptoms, and sufferers may exhibit unusual behaviors, such as overeating, hallucinating or acting childishly. The vast majority of patients are adolescent males. Stimulant medications tend to moderate the syndrome, which usually dissipates as the person reaches adulthood.



"Adam and Eve ate the first vitamins, including the package." -- American doctor and pharmaceutical maker E.R. Squibb (1819-1900)

Medical History

This week in 1888, a baby incubator was used for the first time in a U.S. hospital to care for an infant: Edith Eleanor McLean, who weighed just 2 pounds, 7 ounces. Originally called a "hatching cradle," the device was designed to increase the survival rate for premature infants. Sixteen years later, 14 metal-framed glass incubators with constant ventilation and temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit would be displayed at the World's Fair, with actual infants tended by actual nurses. The infants' care was covered by the exhibit admission fee.

Curtain Calls

In the Dancing Plague of 1518, which afflicted parts of France, a mania for movement allegedly caused a spate of deaths due to heart attacks, stroke and exhaustion. Reports put the death toll between 50 and 400 people, all of whom had begun dancing fervently and continuously. Not everyone blames dance, however, with other reasons cited being the plain old bubonic plague, food poisoning and stress-induced hysteria.


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