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December 7, 2008

A French Doctor Uses Medicine to Cure Alcoholism

A French Doctor Uses Medicine to Cure Alcoholism

Dr Olivier Ameisen, 55, of France quit drinking by self-administering amounts of a muscle-relaxant.

“The first effects were a magical muscular relaxation and baby-like sleep,? he said. Almost immediately his desire for a drink decreased.

Baclofen is still not authorized for treating alcoholism.

“I prescribed it to two alcoholics who were really at the end of the road. To be honest, it was pretty miraculous,? Says Dr Renaud de Beaurepaire of the Paul-Guiraud hospital at Villejuif near Paris.

“Encouraging people to think that there is a miracle molecule is to completely misunderstand the nature of alcoholism, and is extremely irresponsible,? says Dr Michel Reynaud of Paul-Brousse hospital in Paris.

“But even if it turns out to work, that does not mean a drug alone is the solution.?

Sources:

BBC “France abuzz over alcoholic ‘cure’? By Hugh Schofield

Two Teens Missing Since Saturday

Two Teens Missing Since Saturday

Autumn Estey, 13, and Jeanette Solis, 14, both of Minneapolis, were walking to Solis’s home Saturday night but never arrived.

“She calls. Even if she knows we’re mad she still calls,? Autumn’s mother, Jennifer Claypool said.

The 2 girls had been together all weekend and everything appeared normal. Their parents called police when they never arrived home.

“I am so worried. We don’t know if they’re with some friend or if something bad happened to them,? Solis’s mother, Alejandra Giron said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Sources:

WCCO- “Mothers Search For 2 Teens Missing Since Walk Home?

Death on Medicine Lake

Death on Medicine Lake

An ice skater died after going through the ice on a Twin Cities lake.

Around 2 p.m. Sunday Hennepin County authorities responded to a call of a person through the ice on Medicine Lake.

The 53-year-old man was found wearing ice skates and a camera around his neck. Emergency workers found the man underwater and about 600 yards from land. The man was brought to North Memorial Hospital and later died.

Sources:

WCCO "Skater Dies After Going Through Ice On Lake"

Analysis

Analysis

In “Ongoing Steroid Coverage? Michael O’Keeffe used computer assisted reporting to investigate the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports, particularly baseball.

O’Keeffe needed to have basic computer knowledge as well as computer aided resources that allowed him to examine data throughout the year long investigation.

O’Keeffe also had the computer knowledge to keep digital track of Jose Canseco, Major League Baseball, steroids and drugs prevalent to his research.

Motherly Love

Motherly Love

A New York mother went to extreme lengths to prove her son’s innocence. Doreen Giuliano’s son, John Giuca, was convicted of murdering Mark Fisher, a 19-year-old college student in 2003.

Giuliano went through an extreme transformation by losing weight at a gym, dying her hair blond, tanning, creating a phony name and a sexy change of wardrobe. She then initiated a relationship with one of the jurors, John Allo, for almost eight months. The two drank at bars, had dinners and smoked marijuana in Giuliano’s Brooklyn residence.

With recorded tapes of their conversation, Giuliano has a base for a defense motion that was filed this week.

“What she did was extraordinarily commendable,? said one of Giuliano’s lawyers, Ezra Glaser. “It shows the love of a mother and the great lengths she’ll go to help her child.?

Giuliano accuses Allo of having personal knowledge that Giuliano’s son ran with a rough crowd.

“Allo went on to explain that he didn’t know Giuca directly, but used to hang out in his clique and heard rumors that the Fisher slaying—something he failed to mention when questioned under oath during jury selecti0on. Asked if he had been curious about newspaper accounts of the trial, he responded that he’d read them. He also bragged that he had been the first one during deliberations to vote for a conviction.?-Star Tribune

“I shouldn’t have been in that jury,? Allo said.

“My main concern was that John got a fair trial,? said Giuliano.

Sources:

Star Tribune “ Undercover Mother? By Tom Hays

6 Degrees of Happiness

6 Degrees of Happiness

A 20 year long study finds that happiness is contagious and spreads further than immediate friends and family. Researchers found that happiness can even filter its effects beyond people who do not know each other.

Over 4,700 people were followed over 20 years for the happiness study.

“You would think that your emotional state would depend on your own choices and actions and experience,? said Nicholas Christakis, a medical sociologist at Harvard University who helped conducted the study, “But it also depends on the choices and actions and experiences of other people, including people to whom you are not directly connected. Happiness is contagious.?- Star Tribune

After hearing about the study, a person is likely to ask, “Well, what about sadness or depression?? The same study found that depression is also contagious but not nearly to the extent of happiness.

When one individual in a network becomes happy, the likeliness that a sibling, friend or spouse would become happy increased 8 to 34 percent, the researchers found.

Sources:

Star Tribune- “Turns out happiness spreads like the flu? By Rob Stein of the Washington Post