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  1. #1541
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Weight-loss surgery reduces diabetes risk

    Weight-loss surgery could reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by around 80 percent in obese people, says a study.

    More than 80 percent of adults with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.

    "Our results suggest that bariatric (weight loss) surgery may be a highly effective method of preventing the onset of diabetes in men and women with severe obesity," said Martin Gulliford, professor at King's College London in Britain.

    We need to understand how weight loss surgery can be used, together with interventions to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating, as part of an overall diabetes prevention strategy, he added.

    Using electronic health records from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, the researchers assessed the effect of contemporary surgical weight loss procedures on the development of diabetes.

    They identified 2,167 obese adults without diabetes, who underwent one of three surgical procedures (laparoscopic adjustable banding, sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric bypass) for weight loss from 2002 onwards.

    These participants were compared with 2,167 controls. Participants were followed up for a maximum of seven years.

    During follow-up, 38 new diagnoses of diabetes among participants who had weight loss surgery were recorded, compared with 177 in control participants.

    Compared with controls, diabetes incidence was reduced by about 80 percent in participants who had surgery, even after controlling for other important factors including smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

    The study appeared in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.


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  2. #1542
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Childhood leukemia and air pollution linked, say scientists

    Researchers have suggested a theory in which a previously reported risk of leukemia among children born close to overhead power lines could be caused by an alteration to surrounding air pollution.

    Researchers have found little evidence to support the 'corona-ion hypothesis' which has explained the excess of childhood leukemia cases close to high-voltage overhead power lines in the UK prior to the 1980s.

    The 'corona-ion hypothesis' was based on the fact that high-voltage overhead power lines has created charged particles in the surrounding air by a process known as ionization.

    On occasions, these ionized particles, known as corona ions, could be blown away by the wind and attach to air pollutants, such as those from traffic or smoking. The 'corona-ion hypothesis' has suggested that these electrically charged pollutants were more likely to be retained in the airways or lungs and that this could lead to serious health effects, including childhood leukemia.

    To investigate this theory, the researchers had used data from over 7,000 children in England and Wales who were born and diagnosed with leukemia between 1968 and 2008, and who lived within 600 m of a high-voltage overhead power line.

    The results has not suggest that exposure to corona ions explained the pattern of increased leukemia rates close to high-voltage overhead power lines previously found in earlier decades.

    Co-author of the study Kathryn Bunch has said that they found in earlier studies that, childhood leukemia rates were higher near power lines. This new paper seems to show that this wasn't caused by corona ions.

    The study was published in the Journal of Radiological Protection.


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    Re: Health Bulletin

    மழைக்காலத்தில் பரவும் மெட்ராஸ் : ஒரு மாதத்தில் 3 ஆயிரம் பேர் பாதிப்பு

    மெட்ராஸ் ஐ இதுவரை இல்லாத அளவுக்கு மழைக்காலத்தில் அதிகம் பரவி பாதிப்புகளை ஏற்படுத்தி வருகிறது. கடந்த ஒரு மாதத்தில் மட்டும் சென்னையில் சுமார் 3 ஆயிரம் பேர் பாதிக்கப்பட்டு சிகிச்சை பெற்றுள்ளனர்.

    வழக்கமாக வெயில் கொளுத்தும் மே, ஜூன், ஜூலை மாதங்களில் பரவலாகக் காணப்படும் மெட்ராஸ் ஐ, தற்போது மழைக்காலத்தில் தீவிரமாக பரவி வருகிறது. சென்னை எழும்பூர் அரசு கண் மருத்துவமனையில் தினமும் சராசரியாக 70 பேர் வீதம் கடந்த ஒரு மாதத்தில் சுமார் 2 ஆயிரம் பேர் பாதிக்கப்பட்டு சிகிச்சை பெற்றுள்ளனர். இங்கு பணிபுரியும் டாக்டர்கள், நர்ஸ்கள், உதவியாளர்கள் பலரும் பாதிக்கப்பட்டனர். இது மட்டுமின்றி, தனியார் மருத்துவமனைகளிலும் ஆயிரத்துக்கும் மேற்பட்டவர்கள் சிகிச்சை பெற்றுள்ளனர்.

    இதுதொடர்பாக எழும்பூர் அரசு கண் மருத்துவமனை இயக்குநர் மற்றும் கண்காணிப்பாளர் டாக்டர் நமிதா புவனேஸ்வரி நேற்று செய்தியாளர்களிடம் கூறியதாவது:

    வைரஸ், பாக்டீரியாவால் பரவும்
    அடினோ என்ற வைரஸ் மூலமாக மெட்ராஸ் ஐ வருகிறது. இதுதவிர பாக்டீரியா கிருமி மூலமாகவும் மெட்ராஸ் ஐ பரவும். ஒரு சிலர் 2 வகையிலும் பாதிக்கப்படுவார்கள். 75 சதவீதம், வைரஸ் மூலம்தான் வருகிறது.

    வழக்கமாக கோடைகாலத்தில் தான் மெட்ராஸ் ஐ அதிகம் காணப்படும். இதுவரை இல்லாத வகையில், மழைக்காலத்தில் பரவிவருகிறது. அது மட்டுமின்றி, பெரும்பாலும் ஒரு கண்ணில்தான் வரும். தற்போது 2 கண்களிலும் வருகிறது. இதையெல்லாம் வைத்துப் பார்க்கும்போது மெட்ராஸ் ஐ வைரஸின் தன்மை மாறுபட்டிருக்கலாம் என தோன்றுகிறது.

    பெங்களூருவில் பரிசோதனை
    எனவே, பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களின் கண்களில் இருந்து மாதிரிகள் எடுத்து பரிசோதனைக்காக பெங்களூருவில் உள்ள வைராலஜி மையத்துக்கு அனுப்பப்பட்டுள்ளது. 2 வாரத்தில் பரிசோதனை முடிவு வந்துவிடும். அதன்பின்னர், மெட்ராஸ் ஐ வைரஸின் தன்மையைப் பொருத்து, அதற்கு என்ன மாதிரியான சிகிச்சை அளிப்பது என முடிவு செய்யப்படும்.

    மெட்ராஸ் ஐ-யால் பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்கள் பள்ளி, கல்லூரிகள், அலுவலகம், சினிமா தியேட்டர், வழிபாட்டுத் தலங்கள் என மக்கள் அதிகம் கூடும் இடங்களுக்கு செல்லக்கூடாது. பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்கள் பயன்படுத்திய துணி, சோப் உள்ளிட்ட எந்த பொருட்களையும் மற்றவர்கள் தொடக்கூடாது.

    பார்த்தால் பரவாது
    பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களின் கண் களைப் பார்ப்பதால் மற்றவர் களுக்கு மெட்ராஸ் ஐ பரவாது. அவர்கள் பயன்படுத்திய பொருட்களை தொட்டால்தான் பரவும். கண் சிவப்பது, கண் எரிச்சல், கண்ணில் இருந்து நீர் வடிதல், கண் வீக்கம் போன்றவை மெட்ராஸ் ஐ-யின் முக்கிய அறிகுறிகள். அனைவரும் கை, முகம், கண்களை சுத்தமான தண்ணீரில் நன்றாக கழுவ வேண்டும்.

    மெட்ராஸ் ஐ வந்தால் உடனடியாக கண் மருத்துவரிடம் சென்று சிகிச்சை பெற வேண்டும். முறையாக சிகிச்சை பெறாவிட்டால் கருவிழி பாதிக்கப்படும். அதன்பின் பார்வையை இழக்கவும் நேரிடலாம். மெட்ராஸ் ஐ-யால் கருவிழி பாதிக்கப்பட்டு நிறைய பேர் சிகிச்சைக்கு வந்துள்ளனர்.

    இவ்வாறு டாக்டர் நமிதா புவனேஸ்வரி கூறினார்.


  4. #1544
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Human intelligence increases by three IQ points a decade

    Human intelligence is increasing by about three IQ points each decade due to improved health, education and nutrition, a new UK study has found.

    "You'll probably be smarter than your parents and almost definitely be smarter than your grandparents," said Roger Staff, who led the study at the University of Aberdeen.

    The study found that people born in 1936 scored considerably better on intelligence tests than those born in 1921 and that the improvements extended into old age.

    Scientists believe that IQ is still on an upward trend, meaning that, on average, children born today are likely to surpass their parents in intellectual abilities, 'The Times' reported.

    In the study, scientists compared two groups of people raised in Aberdeen, one set born in 1921 and the other in 1936. Both groups - 751 people in total - were given IQ tests at the age of 11 and then again at the age of 60.

    At the age of 11, the 1936 group were 3.7 IQ points ahead, and the gap had widened to 16.5 points by the time the participants were pensioners ? more than three times the size of increase seen in previous studies.

    The inter-generational increase in IQ, known as the 'Flynn effect', has previously prompted debate about whether it reflects a genuine improvement in cognitive skills or is simply down to people getting better at tests.

    Staff argued that the changes are likely to be genuine, as they are seen across a wide variety of countries, which have had very different testing regimes in schools over the past century.

    Staff said the differences may be due to changes in nutrition, education and healthcare.

    "Those born in 1936 were children during the war and experienced food rationing. Although rationing meant that the food was not particularly appetizing, it was nutritious and probably superior to the older group's," Staff said.

    The 1936 group were also young enough to benefit from the Aberdeen oil boom, which meant that they were, on average, wealthier later in life and therefore more able to eat well and spend money on intellectually stimulating activities.

    This could explain why the IQ gap widened significantly as the two groups got older, researchers said.


  5. #1545
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Happy New Year racing fast towards Rs 200 crore club!

    Releasing just a day after Diwali on October 24, Shah Rukh Khan starrer `Happy New Year` has taken the Box-Office by storm and has raked in moolah for it's makers.

    So far, the entertainer has netted almost Rs.180 crore at the Indian box office.

    `HNY` broke all records by minting Rs 45 crore in the opening day. The multi-starrer heist drama which also includes Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Vivaan Shah, Sonu Sood and Boman Irani made history by earning over 100 crores in just 2 days of its release.

    Directed by Farah Khan and produced by Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, 'HNY' has got one of the biggest openings in international market.

    The makers of `Happy New Year` left no stone unturned in making the film one of the most anticipated films of the year.

    Exhibitors are happy that the movie has found resonance with audiences of all age groups.

    "The film, after completing seven-day run, became the most preferred for families in the second weekend too. The number of Friday was bettered by Saturday, and Sunday was 40 percent better than Saturday - which only goes on to give the indication that families and people who couldn't catch the film in the first week came to the theatres," Anand Vishal, head (Sales and Operations), Fun Cinemas, said in a statement.

    There were also audience members who came to see the film on repeat value, Vishal said, and added: "We feel that the film will stay in the forefront for the next 10 days or so."

    Anant Verma of DT Cinemas said: "The film has held well again over the weekend with 60-65 percent occupancy."


  6. #1546
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Omega-3 rich diet may help beating reading difficulties in dyslexic kids

    A new study has revealed that a diet rich in omega-3 could help tackle children's reading difficulties.

    According to the study by researchers at University of Oxford, the key to dyslexia is hearing and in order to do phonics correctly, you've got to hear the order of sounds in the word very clearly, the Guardian reported.

    Professor John Stein said that many dyslexics hear the sounds, but they can't get them in the right sequence because their auditory nerve cells are not working fast enough, and we think this is because of a lack of certain omega-3 fatty acids.

    One of the alleles believed to be associated with dyslexia is involved in metabolising these crucial omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. One of these, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), makes up 50 percent of the membranes of nerve cells in the auditory system, known as magnocells. DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are also involved in creating the myelination around nerve cells, which allows signals to pass more quickly.

    When they work properly, auditory magnocells track rapid fluctuations in sound frequency and amplitude; the subtle cues that enable you to distinguish the sequence in which sounds occur. To do this, they require their membranes to be highly flexible and able to react quickly. However, Stein believes the development of these magnocells is impaired in many dyslexic people, and that this may be the result of a lack of DHA and EPA, both of which are found in fish oil.

    Current recommendations suggest we should consume around 220mg of DHA a day. Our ancestors would easily have exceeded this, with fish forming one of the main components of their diets. However, since the advent of processed ready-meals, the amount we consume has fallen drastically. Last year, the British Nutrition Foundation found that around 80% of five- to 16-year-olds in the UK eat fewer than two portions of fish a week.

    The study found that it was possible to improve the reading abilities of children by giving them supplements of DHA. A larger replication study is currently underway to try to confirm this finding.


  7. #1547
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Hunger can help you take better decisions

    It's better to be starving than well-fed when you are trying to make a life-changing decision, according to a new study which found that hunger can improve decision making.

    Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands conducted three experiments on a group of students to test whether hunger led to advantageous strategic decision-making.

    In all experiments, the students were split up into two groups - fasting and non-fasting.

    The fasting participants ate nothing for approximately 10 hours before taking a test, while the non-fasting group was treated to a generous breakfast, where they were free to eat and drink as much as they wanted.

    In the first two experiments, the students played a card game that mirrors complex real-life decision-making related to gambling that involves various risks and rewards.

    The fasting group performed better than the non-fasting group, managing to understand the pattern of long-term rewards over short-term gains, 'sciencealert.Com.Au' reported.

    "These results show that people who were hungry because of having fasted overnight performed better on a complex decision task than sated people and thus provides a first piece of evidence that the hot state of hunger improves, rather than compromises, advantageous decision making," researchers said.

    In the third experiment, the participants were presented with a set of questions that required them to choose between being given a small amount of money at that moment or a larger amount of money in the future.

    This experiment supported the findings of the first two experiments, as the fasting participants opted for the larger amount of money in the future, whereas non-fasting participants were more likely to choose the first option.

    The study was published in the journal PLOS One.


  8. #1548
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Doctors give drugs without knowing side-effects: Study

    Forget laymen, even doctors don't get adequate information about the drugs they prescribe to their patients. Companies advertise prescription drugs in medical journals to boost sales, but a large majority of them don't give doctors vital information such as adverse effects the medicines can have on patients, according to a study published in a recent edition of 'Indian Journal of Medical Ethics'.

    Most doctors depend on advertisements in medical journals or direct marketing by representatives to gather information about new medications. Lack of complete information prevents them from using the drug in a rational manner, the authors said.

    After studying 54 advertisements of more than 145 drugs printed in the Journal of Indian Medical Association between December 2011 and November 12, researchers from MGM Medical College and LSK Hospital, Bihar, found that while all advertisements mentioned brand names, only 61% of them mentioned approved therapeutic uses.

    Only two of the 145 advertisements mentioned names of ingredients known to cause problems. Likewise, only two ads mentioned major adverse drug reactions. Precautions, contraindications and warnings were listed in two advertisements, and major interactions were mentioned in just one advertisement.

    While doctors said they depend on advertisements in medical journals as one of the sources of drug information, Medical Council of India, the apex body for regulating medical practices, has urged them to be careful while prescribing medicines.



    "As of now medical companies may not be obliged to print everything, but doctors should have all the details. We have several complaints against doctors who prescribed medicines without the knowledge of contraindications. We have initiated action against some doctors, and investigation is on many other cases," said MCI ethics committee chairman Muzaffar Ahmed.


  9. #1549
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    One in 5 suicides in India is due to chronic illness

    Shame and pain caused by an ailment was the reason for one in every five suicides in India last year.

    The story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old terminally ill cancer patient in the US who chose to end her life, has rekindled the age-old debate on euthanasia.Even as the medical and legal fraternity wrangle over the controversial subject, data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau show that 26,426 people in the country suffering from various ailments, including cancer, AIDS and paralysis, chose to end their lives in 2013. Tamil Nadu had the highest number of suicides linked to illness in 2013, with 4,362 people taking the extreme step.

    "After family problems, terminal illness is one of the biggest reasons for people to take the extreme step," said P V Sankaranarayanan, a counsellor at suicide prevention organisation SNEHA, which also operates a helpline. He said most of the calls they receive are from those who are bedridden or in pain. "They feel guilty for being a burden on their families. They think no one understands their pain," he said, adding that the number of such suicides could be higher as families tend to cover it up as natural death.

    After prolonged illness, "insanity" was another reason that pushed people to the edge, constituting 30% of suicides linked to ailments. "There are studies showing the link between mental health and suicide. Unfortunately , secondary depression because of an illness is often ignored," said Dr R Padmavati of Schizophrenia Research Foundation.

    The number of people with cancer committing suicide has seen a significant jump, with Kerala taking the lead with 155 such cases. Dr C S Mani of Cancer Research and Relief Trust said patients who come to him feel "setbacks" at multiple levels: during diagnosis, when they have a relapse and when they are recommended palliative care."There comes a point when there is no cure as chemotherapy and medication have proved ineffective. That's when we treat just the symptoms and wait for the disease to take over. Sometimes death is quick, at times it is long and painful," said Dr Mani. "For many, the fear of pain takes over and suicidal tendencies creep in."

    Dr N Kathiresan, an oncologist at Cancer Institute, Adyar, said many patients preferred death over amputation. "We show them examples of people who have reached heights despite not having a limb.Sometimes it works," he said.

    Experts say besides giving importance to palliative care, hospitals could have more counsellors."Doctors must also be trained to pick up signs of depression," said Dr Padmavati.


  10. #1550
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Scientists see mechanism for spontaneous HIV 'cure'

    French scientists said on Tuesday they had found the genetic mechanism by which two HIV-infected men may have experienced a "spontaneous cure", and said it offered a new strategy in the fight against AIDS.

    Both men were infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), one of them 30 years ago, but never developed AIDS symptoms.

    The AIDS-causing virus remained in their immune cells but was inactivated because its genetic code had been altered, the scientists said.

    The change appeared to be linked to increased activity of a common enzyme named APOBEC, they theorized.

    The "apparent spontaneous cure" throws up an intriguing avenue for drug engineers, the team said in a statement.

    "The work opens up therapeutic avenues for a cure, using or stimulating this enzyme, and avenues for identifying individuals among newly-infected patients who have a chance of a spontaneous cure."

    The work, published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, was carried out by scientists at France's Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm).

    HIV replicates by invading human CD4 immune cells, which it reprogrammes to become virus factories.

    A rare group of people — fewer than one per cent of those infected — are naturally able to rein in viral replication and keep the virus at clinically undetectable levels.

    They are known as "elite controllers", but the mechanism by which they keep the virus at bay remains a mystery.

    The French group looked at two such individuals, a 57-year-old man diagnosed HIV-positive in 1985, and a 23-year-old diagnosed in 2011, and sequenced their virus genomes.

    Though they remained infected, standard tests could not detect the virus in their blood.

    The team found that in both cases, the virus was unable to replicate in immune cells due to mutations in its genetic code.

    The researchers suggested spontaneous evolution between humans and the virus, a process called "endogenisation" that is believed to have neutralized other viruses in humans in the past.

    A similar process has been witnessed in a population of koalas that has integrated an AIDS-like virus into their genes, neutralized it, and were passing resistance on to their offspring.

    "We propose that HIV cure may occur through HIV endogenisation in humans," the team wrote.

    "These findings suggest that without therapeutic and prophylactic strategies, after several decades of HIV/host integrations and millions of deaths, it is likely that a few individuals might have endogenised and neutralized the virus and transmitted it to their progeny," they added.

    "We believe that the persistence of HIV DNA can lead to cure, and protection, from HIV."

    The approach hitherto has been the opposite: to try and clear all traces of HIV from human cells and from cell reservoirs where they hide.

    "We suggest that persistence of integrated HIV DNA is not a barrier, but on the contrary, may be a prerequisite to HIV cure," said the study authors.

    "We propose a new vision of HIV cure through integration, inactivation and potential endogenisation of a viral genome into the human genome."

    The team said they did not believe the two patients were unique or that the phenomenon was new.

    And they called for "massive sequencing" of human DNA, particularly from Africans who had been exposed to HIV for longest, to find further proof.

    Only one person is thought to have ever been cured of HIV: Timothy Ray Brown who had bone marrow transplants as a treatment for leukaemia, from a donor with resistance to HIV.

    A baby given anti-AIDS drugs immediately after birth for 18 months, was at first also thought to have been cured, but the virus later came back.


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