NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Archive for May, 2013

Irritable Kids – Nuisance or Sign of Future Mental Illness?

As many parents know, children of all ages can be irritable at times.  Yet while some irritability in children is normal, very high levels of irritability (or even very low levels) may put kids at risk for mental illness. While we know that children with behavioral problems are at risk for mental illness later in life, we don’t know why irritability in particular puts kids at risk.

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In the News: What is the BRCA gene?

Actress Angelina Jolie announced today that she had a double mastectomy after finding out she had a BRCA1 gene mutation which put her at a greater risk of developing breast cancer. 

With a family history of the disease – her mother died in her 50s after battling ovarian cancer – Jolie said she  made the decision to have the surgery because it was something she could do to reduce her risk. She made the announcement in a New York Times op-ed that was published today and coincides with Women’s Health Week.

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Women’s Health Week: ‘Mom, is my period normal?’

National Women’s Health Week runs May 12 to 18 with the goal of empowering women to make their health a priority. This is the first in a series this week focusing on women’s health issues from the teenage years through menopause.

A girl’s first period is considered an important milestone and an indicator she’s “growing up.” After sharing the news, many girls prefer to manage their periods on their own without much discussion with family. But because their period is brand-new, girls don’t yet know what’s “normal.” As a result, every now and then, a girl’s periods can be abnormally irregular, heavy, or long for an extended amount of time before she gets needed help for this.

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