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Health Bulletin


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  1. #141
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Writing before working day helps fight stress

    A study has suggested writing a 'happy list' before the start of each working day can help stressed-out workers improve their problem-solving skills.
    Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, US, asked 73 students to write a short essay on subjects such as the importance of friends and family.

    A group of students rated their levels of stress over last month, and half the group then performed the self-affirmation exercise.

    While the stressed-out students had been found to have performed nearly 50 percent worse on a problem-solving test, after writing the essay their scores caught up.

    David Creswell, assistant Professor in psychology at the university said: "A brief self-affirmation activity is sufficient to buffer the negative effects of chronic stress on task performance and can improve the ability to solve problems in a flexible manner during high stress periods.

    "Our study suggests that self-affirmation may increase creativity and insight in stressed individuals."

    Earlier studies had shown how self-affirmation exercises could reduce acute stress. But the link between these improvements and chronic stress-related effects was unknown.


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    Re: Health Bulletin

    World Asthma Day being observed with a message

    World Asthma Day is being observed across the country today and the theme for this year is "You can control your asthma."

    According to World Health Organisation (WHO),estimates 235 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children. It is not just a public health problem for high income countries: it occurs in all countries regardless of level of development.

    Over 80% of asthma deaths occur in low and lower-middle income countries. Asthma is under-diagnosed and under-treated, creating a substantial burden to individuals and families and possibly restricting individuals'' activities for a lifetime. The fundamental causes of asthma are not completely understood.

    The strongest risk factors for developing asthma are a combination of genetic predisposition with environmental exposure to inhaled substances and particles that may provoke allergic reactions or irritate the airways, such as:i) indoor allergens (for example house dust mites in bedding, carpets and stuffed furniture, pollution and pet dander) ii) outdoor allergens (such as pollens and moulds)iii) tobacco smoke iv) chemical irritants in the workplace and v) air pollution. Other triggers can include cold air, extreme emotional arousal such as anger or fear, and physical exercise. Even certain medications can trigger asthma: aspirin and other non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, and beta-blockers (which are used to treat high blood pressure, heart conditions and migraine).

    Although asthma cannot be cured, appropriate management can control the disease and enable people to enjoy good quality of life. Short-term medications are used to relieve symptoms. People with persistant symptoms must take long-term medication daily to control the underlying inflammation and prevent symptoms and exacerbations. Medication is not the only way to control asthma. It is also important to avoid asthma triggers - stimuli that irritate and inflame the airways. With medical support, each asthma patient must learn what triggers he or she should avoid. Although asthma does not kill on the scale of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD) or other chronic diseases, failure to use appropriate medications or to adhere to treatment can lead to death.


  3. #143
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Women with dense breasts at cancer risk

    In a new study, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered why breast cancer patients with dense breasts are more likely than others to develop aggressive tumors that spread.

    The finding opens the door to drug treatments that prevent metastasis.

    It has long been known that women with denser breasts are at higher risk for breast cancer. This greater density is caused by an excess of a structural protein called collagen.

    "We have shown how increased collagen in the breasts could increase the chances of breast tumors spreading and becoming more invasive," said Gregory D. Longmore, MD, professor of medicine.

    "It doesn`t explain why women with dense breasts get cancer in the first place. But once they do, the pathway that we describe is relevant in causing their cancers to be more aggressive and more likely to spread," he stated.

    Working in mouse models of breast cancer and breast tumor samples from patients, Longmore and his colleagues showed that a protein that sits on the surface of tumor cells, called DDR2, binds to collagen and activates a multistep pathway that encourages tumor cells to spread.

    "We had no idea DDR2 would do this. The functions of DDR2 are not well understood, and it has not been implicated in cancer -- and certainly not in breast cancer -- until now," said Longmore, also professor of cell biology and physiology.

    At the opposite end of the chain of events initiated by DDR2 is a protein called SNAIL1, which has long been associated with breast cancer metastasis.

    Longmore and his colleagues found that DDR2 is one factor helping to maintain high levels of SNAIL1 inside a tumor cell`s nucleus, a necessary state for a tumor cell to spread. Though they found it is not the only protein keeping SNAIL1 levels high, Longmore says DDR2 is perhaps the one with the most potential to be inhibited with drugs.

    "It`s expressed only at the edge of the tumor. And it`s on the surface of the cells, which makes it very nice for developing drugs because it`s so much easier to target the outside of cells," asserted Longmore, a physician at Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital and co-director of the Section of Molecular Oncology.

    Longmore emphasizes that DDR2 does not initiate the high levels of SNAIL1. But it is required to keep them elevated. This mechanism that keeps tumor cells in a state that encourages metastasis requires constant signaling - meaning constant binding of DDR2 to collagen.

    If that continuous signal is blocked, the cell remains cancerous, but it is no longer invasive. So a drug that blocks DDR2 from binding with collagen won`t destroy the tumor, but it could inhibit the invasion of these tumors into surrounding tissue and reduce metastasis.

    One possible way DDR2 may govern metastasis is its influence on the alignment of collagen fibers. If fibers are aligned parallel to the tumor`s surface, the tumor is less likely to spread. While fibers aligned perpendicular to the surface of the tumor provide a path for the tumor cells to follow and encourage spreading. Tumors without DDR2 or SNAIL1 tend to show the parallel fiber alignment that is protective against spreading.

    In early drug development efforts, Longmore and his colleagues have done some preliminary work looking for small molecules that may inhibit DDR2 binding to collagen.

    The results appear online in Nature Cell Biology.


  4. #144
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Indian Institute of Science develops painless drug delivery device

    Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science has developed a pen-shaped needleless drug delivery device that promises to be pain free and economical.


    The device uses supersonic shock waves for painless delivery of medicines into the body, minister of state for HRD Shashi Tharoor today informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

    The new system has multiple advantages such as being painless, easily portable, completely disposable, safe and very economical, he said.

    Using the new technique, typhoid vaccines have been successfully delivered into mice in the laboratory.


  5. #145
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Multi-drug resistant TB prevalence three times high in north India: Study

    Prevalence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB is three times more in north India than the global average projected by the WHO.

    This has come out in a study published recently in an international journal "BMC Infectious Diseases" by PGIMER doctors Sunil Sethi, microbiology department, and Dheeraj Gupta, pulmonary medicine.

    According to the study, in a sample of 2,100 patients, who were suspected TB cases from Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana, the prevalence of MDR TB was found to be 9% in newly diagnosed cases, which is 3-5 % globally. A new case of TB was defined as a patient who has never had treatment for TB or who has taken anti-TB drugs for less than a month. There were 121 newly-diagnosed and 98 previously treated patients, of which MDR TB was found to be associated with 9.9% and 27.6% cases respectively.

    A majority of patients were between 21 to 50 years of age. This was an Indian Council of Medical Research-funded study for over three years.

    The study demonstrated high prevalence of drug resistance among pulmonary TB isolates from north India as compared to the WHO estimates for India in 2010. "This could possibly be attributed to the clustering of more serious or referred cases at our tertiary care centre," said Sunil.

    The study also reasoned that MDR TB is a consequence of lack of proper interventions and stopping the treatment for TB. "If person is diagnosed with MDRTB he has to be treated with 10 drugs per day for at least 2 years and chances of cure is less and cost of medicine is 1 lakh," said Sunil.

    There was no case of extreme drug resistance (XDRTB), which has been shown worldwide and prevalence in different parts of the country is 2-8 %. The mortality for XDRTB is 80%.


  6. #146
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Sunshine can help lower BP

    Scientists have found that getting even a little bit of sun benefits health tremendously and prolongs life. Exposing skin to sunlight helps to reduce blood pressure and cut the risk of heart attack and stroke.
    Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have shown that when our skin is exposed to the sun's rays, a compound is released in our blood vessels that helps lower blood pressure.

    The findings suggest that exposure to sunlight improves overall health, because the benefits of reducing blood pressure far outweigh the risk of developing skin cancer.

    Heart disease and stroke linked to high blood pressure are estimated to lead to around 80 times more deaths than those from skin cancer, in the UK. Production of this pressure-reducing compound—nitric oxide—is separate from the body's manufacture of vitamin D, which rises after exposure to sunshine.

    Until now it had been thought to solely explain the sun's benefit to human health, the scientists add. Researchers studied the BP of 24 volunteers who sat beneath tanning lamps for two sessions of 20 minutes each.

    In one session, the volunteers were exposed to both the UV rays and the heat of the lamps. In the other, the UV rays were blocked so that only the heat of the lamps affected the skin.

    The results showed that BP dropped significantly for one hour following exposure to UV rays, but not after the heat-only sessions.

    Scientists say that this shows that it is the sun's UV rays that lead to health benefits. The volunteers' vitamin D levels remained unaffected in both sessions. The landmark proof-of-principle study will be presented on Friday in Edinburgh at the world's largest gathering of skin experts.

    Dr Richard Weller from the University said: "We suspect that the benefits to heart health of sunlight will outweigh the risk of skin cancer. The work we have done provides a mechanism that might account for this, and also explain why dietary vitamin D supplements alone will not be able to compensate for lack of sunlight."

    "We now plan to look at the relative risks of heart disease and skin cancer in people who have received different amounts of sun exposure. If this confirms that sunlight reduces the death rate from all causes, we will need to reconsider our advice on sun exposure," Dr Weller added.


  7. #147
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Sunshine can help lower BP

    Scientists have found that getting even a little bit of sun benefits health tremendously and prolongs life. Exposing skin to sunlight helps to reduce blood pressure and cut the risk of heart attack and stroke.
    Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have shown that when our skin is exposed to the sun's rays, a compound is released in our blood vessels that helps lower blood pressure.

    The findings suggest that exposure to sunlight improves overall health, because the benefits of reducing blood pressure far outweigh the risk of developing skin cancer.

    Heart disease and stroke linked to high blood pressure are estimated to lead to around 80 times more deaths than those from skin cancer, in the UK. Production of this pressure-reducing compound—nitric oxide—is separate from the body's manufacture of vitamin D, which rises after exposure to sunshine.

    Until now it had been thought to solely explain the sun's benefit to human health, the scientists add. Researchers studied the BP of 24 volunteers who sat beneath tanning lamps for two sessions of 20 minutes each.

    In one session, the volunteers were exposed to both the UV rays and the heat of the lamps. In the other, the UV rays were blocked so that only the heat of the lamps affected the skin.

    The results showed that BP dropped significantly for one hour following exposure to UV rays, but not after the heat-only sessions.

    Scientists say that this shows that it is the sun's UV rays that lead to health benefits. The volunteers' vitamin D levels remained unaffected in both sessions. The landmark proof-of-principle study will be presented on Friday in Edinburgh at the world's largest gathering of skin experts.

    Dr Richard Weller from the University said: "We suspect that the benefits to heart health of sunlight will outweigh the risk of skin cancer. The work we have done provides a mechanism that might account for this, and also explain why dietary vitamin D supplements alone will not be able to compensate for lack of sunlight."

    "We now plan to look at the relative risks of heart disease and skin cancer in people who have received different amounts of sun exposure. If this confirms that sunlight reduces the death rate from all causes, we will need to reconsider our advice on sun exposure," Dr Weller added.


  8. #148
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Sports makes kids less violent

    Children are found to be most vulnerable during vacations. With schools closed and nothing much to do, they either stick to the TV screens or are stuck to gadgets. With increasing exposure to screen or virtual violence, children, especially in their teens, are found to become more violent or being bullied around by their peers. In an attempt to find a solution to the problem, American Academy of Pediatrics recently surveyed over 1,800 children in the age group of 14-16 years. It found that those children involved in school sports activities were at a lesser risk of getting violent or being bullied.

    Explaining the trend, Dr Jagadish Chinnappa, senior consultant pediatrician, Manipal Hospitals, said: "Sports activities can bring about a lot of developmental change in a child. By indulging in sports, their minds will be away from other activities. It also takes away screen time (watching TV, playing games or being hooked on gadgets, which are the main source of violence) from children. Playing games also takes away a lot of energy and hence, a child is less likely to engage in violence or bully his/her peer. Sports also develop social skills among children."

    The yet-to-be published study was presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting in Washington DC last week. The children were surveyed for about a year by the researchers, who opined that boys who participated in school sports activities were being less bullied, while the girls when involved in sports were less violent.

    "Physical activity is generally good for children. It keeps them engaged mentally and physically. If they are not engaged in physical activities like sports, children are likely to be occupied watching TV or playing video games, which will affect their mental development," said Dr Swarna Rekha Bhat, professor and HOD, pediatrics, St John's Hospital.


  9. #149
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Right way to eat an apple revealed

    A new video shows the “right way” way to eat an apple.
    According to common practice, there’s one way to eat it, and it’s down to the core.

    The clip shows that eating it from the sides is wasteful, and should be eating from the top, the Huffington Post reported.

    The man gorged nearly halfway through the apple, all without choking on what we normally consider the inedible “core.”

    Eating from the top allowed more of the pleasant flesh to encompass the surface of every bite.

    The traditional method of eating around “the core” seemed to create a sizable amount of waste.

    In fact, we throw away anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of every apple.
    The only thing you have to spit out are the seeds.


  10. #150
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Scorching heat can cause blood clot in brain

    Desai, a salesman, spends most of the working hours outdoors. The excruciating heat and high humidity levels left Desai with a neurological disorder - cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. It is a condition which causes blood clots to develop in the brain.

    “Excessive heat teamed with high humidity causes loss of water from the body. Blood thickens and does not get drained out of the brain effectively. Desai was brought in with symptoms of headache, vomiting and fits. He was immediately put on hydrating fluids and anti-coagulants,” said Dr Joy Desai, neurologist at Bhatia Hospital in Tardeo. Doctors cite at least five to six occurrences of thrombosis as summer temperatures start crossing 35 degree Celsius.

    “Dehydration due to excessive heat is one of the most common reasons for clotting of blood in the brain. It can lead to catastrophic repercussions within as less as a few minutes to 48 hours,” said Dr Paresh Doshi, neurosurgeon at Jaslok Hospital in Peddar Road. While symptoms of thrombosis are convulsions, severe headache and vomiting, a sunstroke leads to a person becoming unconscious and that thrombosis should not be mistaken for a sunstroke, say doctors.

    “If a patient is suffering from a splitting headache and convulsions he/she should immediately be rushed to hospital,” said Dr Atul Goel, head of neurosurgery department, KEM Hospital.

    Though rarely, correcting cerebral thrombosis may require intense surgical intervention. “The effect of excessive heat and dehydration may badly affect the circulation of blood in the brain.

    Surgery may be required wherein the skull cap is drilled open and the brain is decompressed to remove blood clots. Delay in treatment can lead to death,” said Dr Doshi.

    BEAT THE HEAT
    Dehydration due to excessive heat causes of loss of water content from the body which leads to thickening of blood. It effects circulation of blood in the brain causing multiple clots in the brain
    Drink plenty of fluids — at least two and half litres of water (about 10 glasses) — throughout the day.

    Deficiency of Vitamin B12 exacerbates the condition of cerebral thrombosis. Eat products rich in Vitamin B12 such as sprouts, boiled egg, red meat and milk to build resistance.


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