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More stress leads to more headaches

A new study provides evidence that having more stress in your life leads to more headaches.

For the study, 5,159 people aged 21 to 71 in the general population were surveyed about their stress levels and headaches four times a year for two years. Participants stated how many headaches they had per month and rated their stress level on a scale of zero to 100.

A total of 31 percent of the participants had tension-type headache, 14 percent had migraine, 11 percent had migraine combined with tension-type headache and for 17 percent the headache type was not classified. For each type of headache, an increase in stress was associated with an increase in the number of headaches per month. The results were adjusted to account for factors that could affect the number of headaches, such as drinking, smoking and frequent use of headache drugs.

“These results show that this is a problem for everyone who suffers from headaches and emphasize the importance of stress management approaches for people with migraine and those who treat them,” study author Sara H. Schramm, MD, of University Hospital of University Duisburg-Essen in Germany, said.

“The results add weight to the concept that stress can be a factor contributing to the onset of headache disorders, that it accelerates the progression to chronic headache, exacerbates headache episodes, and that the headache experience itself can serve as a stressor,” she added.

Infants with cleft lips can lead normal life if treated on time

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when the tissues that form the roof of the mouth and the upper lip fail to fuse from one or both sides.

The problem can range from a small notch in the lip to a groove that runs into the roof of the mouth and the nose. This deformation affects the way the child’s face looks, Parent India magazine reported.

Children with cleft palate are unable to maintain negative pressure in their oral cavity and, therefore, face difficulty in sucking. They may have nasal regurgitation, choking, gagging and might intake too much air while sucking the nipples.

Appreciatively, cleft lip can now be successfully treated by surgery with minimal scarring, especially if conducted during early childhood.

This surgery is performed on babies as early as three to six months. In difficult cases with very wide clefts, PSIO (Pre Surgical Infant Orthopaedics) is practised at some centres to facilitate cleft lip closure and present post-operative stretching of scars. Scar less surgery of the cleft lip is a possibility with foetal surgery on intrauterine babies.

Closure of the cleft palate is done in babies between the age group of 12 and 18 months, i.e. before they acquire speech. This prevents the development of abnormal adaptive speech patterns in the child which are difficult to rectify. When it comes to minimal corrections, they are attempted at the time of lip repair to present progression of deformity. In case of gross deformity, rhinoplasty is performed before the child goes to school.

‘Beautiful but sad’ music can boost people’s moods

Psychologists at the universities of Kent and Limerick have found that music that is felt to be “beautiful but sad” can help people feel better when they’re feeling blue.

The research investigated the effects of what the researchers described as Self-Identified Sad Music (SISM) on people’s moods, paying particular attention to their reasons for choosing a particular piece of music when they were experiencing sadness - and the effect it had on them.

The study identified a number of motives for sad people to select a particular piece of music they perceive as ‘sad’, but found that in some cases their goal in listening is not necessarily to enhance mood. In fact, choosing music identified as ‘beautiful’ was the only strategy that directly predicted mood enhancement, the researchers found.

In the research, 220 people were asked to recall an adverse emotional event they had experienced, and the music they listened to afterwards which they felt portrayed sadness. It followed earlier research from the same team that identified that people do choose to listen to sad music when they’re feeling sad.

Dr Annemieke van den Tol, Lecturer in Social Psychology at Kent’s School of Psychology, explained that the study found that among the factors influencing music choice were its memory triggers for a particular event or time; its perceived high aesthetic value - which involves selecting music that the person considers to be beautiful; and music that conveys a particular message.

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