Healthcare

Hooked On Angry Birds?

An Israeli addiction specialist talks about the lure of Internet games, and more traditional substances.

Staff Writer
01/31/2012

Rabbi Eitan Eckstein is the founder in 1990 of Retorno, a nonprofit that specializes in the prevention and treatment of addiction. Based in Israel with branches in Latin America, it has an inpatient treatment center for 120 14- to18-year-olds and adults. Its program for prevention annually provides services to 24,000 teachers, students, soldiers and educators from Israel and abroad.

Retorno’s Rabbi Eitan Eckstein.

Smoking Out The Tobacco Urge

The only government-approved, hospital-based anti-smoking program stresses a holistic approach to big problem in Israeli society.

Israel Correspondent
01/31/2012

Jerusalem — Naomi Ohayon, a 52-year-old mother of four, smoked for over 30 years until she quit the habit — hopefully for good — a month ago. “I’d tried just about every stop-smoking program out there,” Ohayon said from her home in the southern city of Beersheva. “Once, I quit for three days, the other times I couldn’t stop at all.”

Ohayon, who has asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), said she became increasingly motivated to kick the habit as her health deteriorated.

A nurse in the pulmonary institute gives a patient a pulmonary function test.

Navigating The ‘Gray Zone’ Of Personal Medical Decisions

In new book, doctors Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband encourage building up ‘health literacy.’

JointMedia News Service
01/31/2012

Perhaps doctor doesn’t know best.  In their new book, “Your Medical Mind: How To Decide What is Right For You” (Penguin Group), husband-wife physician team Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband lay the groundwork for making sound medical decisions.

None of our choices are completely independent, the authors say; rather, they are influenced by a set of values and history. Understanding what makes us tick is vital in making the correct medical decisions for ourselves.

Physicians-authors Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman.

‘Weight Is Not Everything’

New Israeli-German study shows health benefits even if people regain lost weight — provided they eat right.

Special To The Jewish Week
01/31/2012

LynleyShimat Lys, a 34-year-old student in Jerusalem, has fought since her college days to take off 50 extra pounds, only to see them slowly come back on.

Los Angeles writer Gordon Haber, 43, went on the South Beach diet after consuming too much beer, kielbasa and pierogi while on a Fulbright scholarship in Poland in 2002. He got down to down to 170 pounds from 195, but now he is back up to 183.

Ben-Gurion University researcher Dr. Iris Shai.

The Healthiness Of A Long-Distance Walker

Olympic race walker and Holocaust survivor Shaul Ladany strides right through life.

Special To The Jewish Week
01/31/2012

Dr. Shaul Ladany is a fascinating person to speak to. That is, if he stops moving long enough to hold a conversation. A world record-holding long-distance race walker, who — at the age of 75 — still practices for several hours daily and competes in 35 events a year, Ladany was recently elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He is the first and only Israeli athlete to be given this honor.

Still fit at 75, Shaul Ladany was a world-class race walker and an Israeli Olympian. Photos courtesy of Ben-Gurion University

Healthcare February 2012

The healthiness of a long-distance walker, cardio benefits from eating right, battling addictions, and an interview with Hadassah Medical Organization’s new chief.

01/31/2012
Healthcare February 2012

The ‘Growth’ Of A Cancer Discovery

TAU researcher helps pinpoint why certain dwarfs don’t get cancer.

Staff Writer
10/25/2011

H aim Werner, a professor in the department of human molecular genetics and biochemistry at the Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine, is conducting research aimed at understanding the role of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in cancer development.

New Push For Genetic Testing

Dramatic progress in in-vitro detection spurs effort aimed at Ashkenazi Jews.

JTA
10/25/2011

Washington — Susan and Brad Stillman grew concerned following their son Benjamin’s birth in September 1998. He was fussy and congested, had difficulty breastfeeding and didn’t take to the bottle.

The parents brought him to the pediatrician and then to a hospital pediatric care unit near their home in Rockville, Md., a suburb of Washington.

Benjamin soon was diagnosed with Riley-Day syndrome, now called familial dysautonomia, a genetic disease of the autonomic nervous system that disproportionately strikes Ashkenazi Jews.

Dr. Adele Schneider of the Victor Center, counseling a couple. Victor Center

Seniors’ ‘Fun Online’ Has Its Benefits

Internet communities built around ‘casual leisure’ forge important connections.

Special To The Jewish Week
10/25/2011

If you think playing games and chatting online is just for young people, think again. A new study out of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev indicates that the young at heart, too, can benefit greatly from spending time in cyberspace, especially by engaging in what researchers have termed “fun online.”

Ben-Gurion University gerontologist Galit Nimrod looks at the nexus between Internet use and successful aging in seniors.

Faith And The ‘C’ Word

James Kugel reflects on his battle with cancer and what he learned from it.

Staff Writer
10/25/2011

Best known for his series of books on reading and understanding the Bible, James Kugel, emeritus professor of Hebrew literature at Harvard University who now lives in Jerusalem, turned to a more-personal subject in his latest book — his confrontation with an aggressive form of cancer a decade ago.

In “In the Valley of the Shadow: On the Foundations of Religious Belief” (Free Press), Kugel shares part of his experience of confrontation with a potentially fatal illness, and his perspective on mortality through a lens of scripture and Jewish tradition.

A biblical scholar, James Kugel was diagnosed with an aggressive form of  cancer, which he eventually grappled with in “In the V
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