Category Archives: Articles (EN)

This category lists peer-reviewed articles only. Manuscripts, letters or articles that did not go through the classic peer-review process are listed under the category “Blog (EN)”. Please use the suggested reference for each peer-reviewed articles you wish to cite.

A Review of Xq28 and the Effect on Homosexuality

Author: Philip M. LEE


The cause of homosexuality remains a hotly contested debate to this day. Although the role of genetics has diminished over the past decade because of the popularity of environmental influences, it continues to be a relevant correlative possibility. Since its inception in the early 1990’s from a study conducted by Dr. Dean Hamer, the genetic locus Xq28 has become amongst one of the most important genetic factors of sexual orientation. Subsequent studies attempting replication have improved on the original experiment although the initial measures and methods of experimentation may have biased the results of the findings. Consequently, contention between advocates for and against Xq28 continues over 15 years later with mounting evidence weakening the link of Xq28 and homosexuality. Even though the majority of genetic discussion revolves around Hamer’s original findings, more recent genetic markers have also now been found which may show positive connections and provide the basis for further research.

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Portrayals of Childbirth: An Examination of Internet Based Media



More pregnant women turn to reality-based television programs and the Internet than to prenatal classes. Scant research examines the portrayal of childbirth in these new media. Although its impact is unknown, we do know that up to 20% of pregnant women fear giving birth; consequences include avoiding pregnancy, termination, depression, and increased maternal morbidity.

Overall internet content tended to be contradictory but largely reflected two categories: natural and mainstream, with two different portrayals of childbirth. Natural sources focused on eliminating fear, discrediting hospital births, and promoting ‘alternative’ options such as home birth and midwifery. Mainstream sources reinforced fears, discredited home births, reported statistics from studies, and employed misinformation. Popular Internet sources tended to have the goal of educating whereas media uncovered in the purposive searches tended towards entertainment goals. Conflicting and misinformation from the Internet may entrench rather than assuage fears. Women may become confused and develop a heavily biased representation of birth. This could strongly impact a woman’s approach to and experience of birth.

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A Review of the Effects of Psychological Interventions on the Quality of Life for Children with Atopic Dermatitis

Author: Maria A. CZERNIAKOW


Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is a psychologically debilitating disease due to its embarrassing skin lesions and pruritic nature which disturb the quality of life (QOL) of the patients. Even though children are primarily affected, caregivers can also be affected due to being the first line of care for others who are inflicted. This review focuses on randomized control trials which investigated the use of non-chemical forms of treatment to improve QOL and disease severity in children. A search of the PubMed database identified six studies that met the inclusion criteria. The studies were ranked from most rigorous trial to least. Various forms of education as an intervention were used. Conversely the viewing of a humorous film was tested to examine if it had an impact on QOL. Education intervention versus no education at all showed that the intervention group had a larger decrease in disease severity than the control group. The form of education as a single consult with an AD educated nurse showed no difference between the control and the intervention group. Comparison of nurse-led clinics with the dermatologist-led clinics indicated that the nurse-led clinics were more successful. Viewing humorous films before bedtime was demonstrated as a successful means of reducing night-time awakenings. Also specific AD education versus routine education and consultations showed improvement in both groups. Finally AD video-education versus direct parental teaching concluded that the video-education was more effective. Although the studies show that any form of education intervention is better than none, the methodological assessment of the studies showed that four of the studies were not rigorous enough or were not described at all. Further studies must be conducted in a more methodologically sound manner for the results to be considered replicable and valid.

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Les risques associés à l’utilisation inappropriée des stéroïdes anabolisants

Authors: Marie-Claudel BORGEAT & James GOMES
Article in French only.


Notre société accorde une grande importance à la beauté et à la performance physique. Il n’est donc pas surprenant qu’une fraction non négligeable de gens aient recours à des méthodes draconiennes pour atteindre ces objectifs, ou s’en rapprocher. Une des méthodes les plus populaires est l’utilisation abusive de stéroïdes anabolisants. Plusieurs études ont évalué les effets indésirables et néfastes de ces composés à des doses “supra-physiologiques”. Nous présentons donc ici une révision et une synthèse de ces effets afin de mieux comprendre la nocivité de ces stéroïdes anabolisants quand ils sont mal utilisés.

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Angioplasty Used to Treat Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Potential Revolution in Health Care Technology

Author: Andre Guerra


Multiple sclerosis (MS) has long been labeled as a neurological disease with a high incidence among Canadians, women in particular. The disease first manifests itself in young adulthood (between the ages of 15 and 40 years). Areas of demyelination with a proliferation of astrocytes are found scattered in the white matter of MS patients, this leads to muscle weakness, numbness, disequilibrium, sphincter disturbance and other neurological dysfunctions. Recently Dr. Paolo Zamboni, a vascular surgeon at the University of Ferrara in Italy, found that many multiple sclerosis patients have a narrowing of some of the neck veins responsible for draining blood from the brain. According to Dr. Zamboni, this narrowing of the blood vessels leads to the deposit of iron in the defected veins, which restricts blood flow and is responsible for some of the MS complications. Dr. Zamboni achieved unblocking of the veins through angioplasty, a procedure normally used to open arteries affected by atherosclerosis. In one of his trials, 65 patients were given the procedure, which decreased the rate of occurrence of lesions, from 50 % to 12 % in patients. There was an improvement in mental and physical quality of life in most of the patients in this trial. Ethical questions are also discussed in this review. Dr. Zamboni`s studies suggest a genetic inheritance of factors that may lead to MS. Should health care providers institute a screening procedure in newborns? Would these screenings be mandatory? Would the screenings be free?

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