Daily Rounds: Therapy For Global Depression; Not Exercising = Smoking; The HIV Cure; The Dangers Of Early Potty Training

This article is more than 9 years old.

Fighting Depression, One Village At A Time (The New York Times) — "Amadi was inside her hut, sitting in the semidarkness, when C.N. came to her door to invite her to do something that would have been unheard-of in her Ugandan village before: join a therapy group for depression. She was 59, and had lost five of her nine children in the last 10 years, three of them to AIDS. She was numb and passive, sad and irritable. She could not care for her family, work in her garden, or do her mat-weaving. At first Amadi had no use for any therapy — “all the treatment in the world won’t bring my children back,” she told C.N. But at C.N.’s urging, she joined the group. The group consisted of eight women, with C.N. as facilitator. They met weekly, first spending their time describing their problems, but gradually comforting one another and suggesting steps to take. Together they visited the graves of their loved ones and held a formal mourning service. The women all became active in the community, and each talked to her own family members about H.I.V. infection and how to prevent it. All the women, including Amadi, gradually got better. Eighteen weeks after starting therapy, Amadi had no more symptoms of depression. She was once again, to use her husband’s words, the fierce, loving, strong woman she had been."

Lack Of Exercise Just As Deadly As Smoking, Study Finds (Time Healthland) — "Physical inactivity has become a global pandemic, say researchers in a series of related papers published in the journal Lancet. According to one of the reports, lack of exercise causes as many as 1 in 10 premature deaths around the world each year — roughly as many as smoking. About 5.3 million of the 57 million deaths worldwide in 2008 could be attributed to inactivity, the new report estimates, largely due to four major diseases: heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer. The study finds that if physical inactivity could be reduced by just 10%, it could avert some 533,000 deaths a year; if reduced by 25%, 1.3 million deaths could be prevented."

HIV Cure Is Closer As Patient's Full Recovery Inspires New Research (NPR) — "Brown, who now lives in San Francisco, is something of a rock star in the AIDS community. He has made himself endlessly available to researchers, who regularly bleed and biopsy him to learn as much as possible about his amazing cure. "I have sort of a guilt feeling about being the only person in the world who's been cured so far," Brown said in an interview with NPR. "I'd like to dispel that guilt feeling by making sure that other people are cured." The transplant was to cure leukemia unrelated to his HIV infection. The German doctors gave Brown a new immune system from a bone marrow donor who is immune to HIV by virtue of a genetic mutation shared by 1 percent of Caucasians."

The Dangers of Potty Training Too Early (Babble) "As a pediatric urologist who specializes in toileting problems, I’ll tell you this: Children under age 3 should not manage their own toileting habits any more than they should manage their college funds. Preschools that require 3-year-olds to be potty trained – like the one in Virginia that suspended 12-year-old Zoe Rosso for excessive potty accidents – are harming kids. And infant toilet training, promoted in Mayim Bialik’s new book Beyond the Sling, is just plain nuts – unless, like Bialik, you monitor your child 24/7, feed your child a high-fiber vegan diet, and home-school your child. Babies need to experience uninhibited voiding, or elimination, without the expectation of using the toilet at such an early age. It’s not that young kids can’t be potty trained. Sure they can. But knowing how to poop on the potty is not the same as responding to your body’s urges in a judicious manner. Let’s fast-forward two or three years. That’s when potty prodigies show up at my clinic – one of a handful specializing in dysfunctional voiding – with the sudden onset of pee and poop accidents, urinary tract infections (UTIs), urinary frequency, and/or bedwetting. “I don’t get it,” a mom will tell me. “I didn’t push her – she basically trained herself.” I believe these parents, but unfortunately it’s typically the kids who trained earliest and most easily who develop the most serious problems. I see about 100 kids a week at my clinic, and about half are dysfunctional voiders; most of them trained before 3."

This program aired on July 19, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.