Day: July 30, 2002

Can you picture that?

PhotoshopContest.com: “Here you can take a pre-chosen image, alter it how ever you like and post it for others to view, vote, comment and submit their own versions. The images that we select for editing can come from anywhere, such as news, sports, a random keyword search, anything!”

Double Jeopardy

After Treatment for Mental Illness, Fight for Insurance Often Follows:

“The social stigma surrounding mental illness may have eased, but many insurers are still reluctant to issue individual policies to people with a psychiatric history — be it depression, anxiety or more serious conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

A record of treatment for any of those conditions can make a person ineligible for long-term disability insurance and complicate efforts to obtain health insurance. Though life insurers rarely decline people with psychiatric problems, they may refuse to offer the low-cost “preferred” rates intended for healthy nonsmokers.” NY Times

Living Museum:

A Protected Space, Where Art Comes Calling:

If Dr. Janos Marton ran the world, there would be protected spaces everywhere for people with mental illness to create paintings and sculptures, drawings and lithographs, installations, murals and collages, poetry and novels, songs and symphonies.

The abandoned buildings on the grounds of old state hospitals would be turned into sheltered workshops.

Warehouses in urban centers, where the mentally ill pace the streets and scrounge meals from garbage cans, would become safe harbors, working studios filled with color and form.

Delusion and hallucination, pain and sorrow, fear and manic exuberance would find their outlet in something quite simple, the creation of works of art.

Dr. Marton’s vision is hardly an idle one. At the Living Museum, housed in Building 75 of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, the state hospital’s former main kitchen and dining areas, he is the director of just such an “art asylum,” a refuge where in the 19 years since the museum opened more than 800 men and women have shed their identities as psychiatric patients and bloomed instead as artists…

In a recent interview, Dr. Marton discussed the museum’s goals and the relationship between art and mental illness… NY Times

NIH Licenses New MRI Technology

Detailed Images of Nerves, Other Soft Tissues: “A new technology that allows physicians and researchers to make detailed, three-dimensional maps of nerve pathways in the brain, heart muscle fibers, and other soft tissues has been licensed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The new imaging technology, called Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DT-MRI) was invented by researchers now at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). DT-MRI may allow physicians and researchers to better understand and diagnose a wide range of medical conditions such as stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), multiple sclerosis (MS), autism, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and schizophrenia.” National Institutes of Health press release

Medical myth, marketing opportunity?

NPR’s The Connection considers Andropause: “If you’re over forty and a man, it could be coming to your body soon. Andropause, or male menopause. Symptoms include fatigue, moodiness, and decreased sex-drive.

But wait, from the industry that can lift you up, calm you down, re-grow your hair, even give Bob Dole back his sex life, comes the latest effort to medicalize the living.

Death and taxes may be certain, but not middle age, if you believe the hype from the makers of testosterone replacement therapies. Take “T” and regain the form and function of a twenty year-old.” A discussion between Dr. Jerome Groopman of Harvard Medical School, who authored a New Yorker article, “Hormones for Men”, which is apparently no longer online; and geriatric endocrinologist Dr. John Morley of St. Louis University. [Listen].