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Health Bulletin


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  1. #151
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Nutrition plays key role in oral health

    The Academy's position paper highlighted that nutrition is an integral component of oral health.

    There is a strong connection between the food people eat and their oral health, a recently updated position paper of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has stated.

    The Academy’s position paper highlighted that nutrition is an integral component of oral health.

    The Academy supports integration of oral health with nutrition services, education and research. Collaboration between dietetics practitioners and oral health care professionals is recommended for oral health promotion and disease prevention and intervention.

    According to the Academy’s position paper, dental caries – also known as tooth decay – “is the most prevalent, chronic, common and transmissible infectious oral condition in humans.”

    In addition, a person’s overall health can be affected by tooth loss, since “declining periodontal health” can lead to diminished dietary quality because of lack of essential nutrients in a person’s diet.

    The Academy’s position paper emphasizes that oral health problems can be prevented by.

    Eating a healthy balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy products and whole grains that provide essential nutrients for optimum oral health and overall health.

    Practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day; drinking fluoridated water; and seeking regular oral health care.

    “As knowledge of the connection between oral and nutrition health increases, it highlights the importance of dietetics practitioners and oral health care professionals to provide screening, education and referrals as part of comprehensive client/patient care,” according to the authors of the Academy’s position paper.

    “Collaborative endeavors between dietetics, dentistry, medicine and allied health professionals in research, education and delineation of practice roles are needed to ensure comprehensive health care,” they noted.
    The Academy’s position paper was published in the May issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and can be found on the Academy’s website.


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  2. #152
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    7 simple lifestyle steps may decrease risk of blood clots

    Among participants with optimum health, the risk of blood clots was 44% lower than those with inadequate health. Those with average health had a 38% lower risk.

    Adopting seven simple lifestyle steps could help reduce your risk of these potentially deadly blood clots, according to a new study.

    Every five minutes, someone in the United States dies of a blood clot in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism), according to the American Heart Association.

    In a large, long-term study, researchers followed 30,239 adults who were 45 years or older for 4.6 years. Researchers rated participants’ heart health using the seven health indicators from the American Heart Association Life’s Simple 7.

    They include being physically active, avoiding smoking, following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body mass index, and controlling blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. They then compared the incidence of blood clots among those whose heart health rated as inadequate, average and optimum.

    Among participants with optimum health, the risk of blood clots was 44 percent lower than those with inadequate health. Those with average health had a 38 percent lower risk.

    Maintaining ideal levels of physical activity and body mass index were the most significant lifestyle changes related to lower risk of blood clots.
    The study has been presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions.


  3. #153
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    5 sudden symptoms of stroke that could save lives

    Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and adult disability, but quickly recognizing the signs of it and seeking immediate medical care from specialists can minimize the effects of the disease or even save a life, say an expert at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

    Stroke is no longer a disease only of the elderly. Nearly 20 percent of strokes occur in people younger than age 55, and over the past decade, the average age at stroke occurrence has dropped from 71 to 69.

    Patrick D. Lyden, MD, chair of Neurology and director of the Stroke Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, has revealed “Five Sudden, Severe Symptoms,” that could signal the onset of a stroke.

    Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body.

    Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.

    Sudden trouble seeing on one side.


    Sudden, severe difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
    Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

    Any of these symptoms can occur in a mild, fleeting way and not be worrisome, but if any one of them comes on suddenly and is quite severe, it could signal the onset of a stroke, which increasingly is described as a “brain attack,” because like a heart attack, a stroke requires immediate action to improve the odds against disability and death.
    The National Stroke Association estimates that two-thirds of stroke survivors have some disability.

    “Clot-busting” drugs make it possible in some cases to stop a stroke in progress and even reverse damage. But the crucial element is time. If given within three hours of onset, the drugs improve outcomes by about 30%.

    Not every hospital or stroke center has the facilities, staff or resources to provide complete care for every stroke patient, but many hospitals and health authorities are collaborating to establish regional stroke-treatment networks to be sure that even the most complex cases are rapidly transferred to a center with the needed level of care.

    Still, no amount of readiness can make a difference unless someone recognizes the symptoms and calls emergency medical service providers.


  4. #154
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    A pacemaker that can SMS the doctor if you miss a beat

    Very often, people do not seem to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack. But what if a heart patient was fitted with a special pacemaker that could inform his doctor as soon he starts feeling unwell? Such a thing is indeed possible, says Gopal Motilal Agarwal, one of the first few Indians to be fitted with a pacemaker that can directly send an email and an SMS to his doctor in case of an emergency. Not just that, Agarwal can travel the world and still consult his doctor in Mumbai for a routine check-up.

    "This is a cardiac resynchronization device for heart patients, which can give a shock if there is a heart failure. It can also send me an alert if my patient gets an uneven heartbeat," said Dr V T Shah, who consults at Breach Candy and Nanavati Hospital.

    Three months ago, Agarwal started getting breathless. "A check-up revealed that my heart was beating faster than normal. Doctors suggested that I get a pacemaker," he said.

    Dr Shah then told Agarwal about the 'care link', a new pacemaker that was to get the Food and Drugs Association (FDA) approval soon.

    "When the doctor explained to me that a pacemaker was necessary, I wanted the latest technology. On May 1, the pacemaker was fitted it in my heart," said Agarwal. Compared to a simple pacemaker that's costs Rs 1.5 lakh, the care link cost the family Rs 14.5 lakh.

    The pacemaker, by Medtronic, works on the concept of a cellphone. "With the help of infrared rays, the pacemaker sends the information to the modem that the patient has to carry along. This modem, which has an international roaming SIM card, sends an email and an SMS to a number that is already fed to the system," said Dr Shah.

    Conditions such as ventricular tachycardia-a condition in which scar tissues form in the muscle of the ventricles; ventricular fibrillation-a heart rhythm problem that occurs when the heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses or when the battery of the pacemaker is about to die, are marked as high alert conditions.

    "The pacemaker and the modem can be programmed according to the patient's needs," said Dr Shah.


  5. #155
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Nobody likes a 'fat-talker'

    Women who engage in "fat talk" - the self-disparaging remarks girls and women make in relation to eating, exercise or their bodies - are less liked by their peers, a new study has found.

    Researchers from the University of Notre Dame in the US presented college-age women with a series of photos of either noticeably thin or overweight women.

    The women in the photos engaged in either "fat talk" or positive body talk; the participants were then asked to rate the women on various dimensions, including how likeable they were.

    The women in the photos were rated significantly less likeable when they made "fat talk" statements about their bodies, whether or not they were overweight.

    The women rated most likeable were the overweight women who made positive statements about their bodies.

    "Though it has become a regular part of everyday conversation , 'fat talk' is far from innocuous ," said lead author Alexandra Corning, research associate professor of psychology and director of Notre Dame's Body Image and Eating Disorder Lab.

    "It is strongly associated with, and can even cause, body dissatisfaction , which is a known risk factor for the development of eating disorders," Corning said.

    Although fat talk has been thought of by psychologists as a way women may attempt to initiate and strengthen their social bonds, the new research finds that fat-talkers are liked less than women who make positive statements about their bodies. "These findings are important because they raise awareness about how women actually are being perceived when they engage in this self-abasing kind of talk," Corning said.


  6. #156
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Effects of stress on brain cells offer clues to new anti-depressant drugs

    Research from King's College London has revealed how stress hormones reduce the number of new brain cells - a process considered to be linked to depression. The researchers identified a key protein responsible for this process, and successfully used a drug compound to block the effect, offering a potential new avenue for drug discovery and treatment.

    The study, published in 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' (PNAS) was co-funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR BRC) for Mental Health at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London.

    Depression is a common mental disorder worldwide, with more than 350 million people of all ages affected. The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2030, depression will be the leading cause of the global burden of disease.

    In India, a study in 2011 found that around 9 per cent of people reported having an extended period of depression within their lifetime and nearly 36 per cent had suffered from a major depressive episode (MDE).

    Treatment for depression involves either medication or talking therapy, or usually a combination of both. Current anti-depressant medication is only successful in treating depression in about 50-65 per cent of cases and fewer than half of those affected worldwide receive such treatments.

    Barriers to effective care include a lack of resources, lack of trained health care providers, and social stigma associated with mental disorders. Depression and successful antidepressant treatments are associated with changes in a process called 'neurogenesis' - the ability of the adult brain to continue to produce new brain cells.

    At a molecular level, stress is known to increase levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) which in turn acts on a receptor called the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). However, the exact mechanism explaining how the GR decreases neurogenesis in the brain has until now remained unclear. Professor Carmine Pariante, from King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry and lead author of the paper, said: 'With as much as half of all depressed patients failing to improve with currently available medications, developing new, more effective antidepressants is a priority.

    In order to do this, we need to understand the abnormal mechanisms that we can target. Our study shows the importance of conducting research on cellular models, animal models and clinical samples, all under one roof in order to better facilitate the translation of laboratory findings to patient benefit.' In this study, the multidisciplinary team of researchers studied cellular and animal models before confirming their findings in human blood samples.

    First, the researchers studied human hippocampal stem cells, which are the source of new cells in the human brain. They gave the cells cortisol to measure the effect on neurogenesis and found that a protein called SGK1 was important in mediating the effects of stress hormones on neurogenesis and on the activity of the GR. By measuring the effect of cortisol over time, they found that increased levels of SGK1 prolong the detrimental effects of stress hormones on neurogenesis. Specifically, SGK1 enhances and maintains the long-term effect of stress hormones, by keeping the GR active even after cortisol had been washed out of the cells.

    Next, the researchers used a pharmacological compound known to inhibit SGK1, and found they were able to block the detrimental effects of stress hormones and ultimately increase the number of new brain cells. Finally, the research team were able to confirm these findings by studying levels of SGK1 in animal models and human blood samples of 25 drug-free depressed patients.

    Dr Christoph Anacker, from King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry and first author of the paper, said: 'Because a reduction of neurogenesis is considered part of the process leading to depression, targeting the molecular pathways that regulate this process may be a promising therapeutic strategy. 'This novel mechanism may be particularly important for the effects of chronic stress on mood, and ultimately depressive symptoms. Pharmacological interventions aimed at reducing the levels of SGK1 in depressed patients may therefore be a potential strategy for future antidepressant treatments.'


  7. #157
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Brain responds based on type of laughter
    Different types of laughter such as joyful, mocking and ticklish makes the brain react in different ways, a new study has found.

    These different kinds of laughter also spark different connections within the "laughter perception network" in the human brain depending on their context, according to scientists.

    A laugh may signal mockery, humour, joy or simply be a response to tickling, but each kind of laughter conveys a wealth of auditory and social information.

    Laughter in animals is a form of social bonding based on a primordial reflex to tickling, but human laughter has come a long way from these playful roots, researchers said.

    Though many people laugh when they're tickled, 'social laughter' in humans can be used to communicate happiness, taunts or other conscious messages to peers.

    Researchers studied participants' neural responses as they listened to three kinds of laughter: joy, taunt and tickling.

    "Laughing at someone and laughing with someone leads to different social consequences," said Dirk Wildgruber from the University of Tuebingen, Germany.

    "Specific cerebral connectivity patterns during perception of these different types of laughter presumably reflect modulation of attentional mechanisms and processing resources," said Wildgruber.

    The researchers found that brain regions sensitive to processing more complex social information were activated when people heard joyous or taunting laughter, but not when they heard the 'tickling laughter'.

    However, 'tickling laughter' is more complex than the other types at the acoustic level, and consequently activated brain regions sensitive to this higher degree of acoustic complexity.

    These dynamic changes activated and connected different regions depending on the kind of laughter participants heard. Patterns of brain connectivity can impact cognitive function in health and disease.

    Though some previous research has examined how speech can influence these patterns, this study is among the first few to examine non-verbal vocal cues like laughter.

    The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.


  8. #158
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Ayurveda earn popularity for treatment of eye

    The world's first ayurvedic ophthalmic hospital in Koothattukulam says that more and more people are turning to the ancient Indian system of medicine to resolve eye problems.

    Doctors at the Sreedhareeyam Ayurvedic Eye Hospital and Research Centre near Kochi assert that ayurveda can easily cure many eye diseases without surgery.

    "Before we came in, there was no ayurvedic medicine in this field," says NPP Namboothiri, the hospital's managing director and chief physician. "We have become the pioneers."

    Kerala draws every year tens of thousands of Indians and foreigners in search of ayurvedic treatment. But few beyond Kerala appear to know what ayurveda can do in the field of ophthalmology.

    Eye diseases are rampant today, caused in part by long hours of work on computers, poor eating habits, long and frequent journeys, inadequate hours of sleep and so on.

    Eye disorders can also result from watching TV for long hours, reading small print continuously, inappropriate head position while lying on the bed, heavy sneezing and even overindulgence in sex. Television is to blame for most myopic disorders in children. "Many of these diseases can be completely cured through simple treatments we offer," Namboothiri said at his office, which is part of the family's ancestral home.

    Hailing from a family of ayurvedic practitioners, Namboothiri set up Sreedhareeyam with five beds in 1999. It has expanded to 350 beds and also gets around 200 daily patients. The hospital is located at a site where the Namboothiri family ran an informal clinic for a very long time.

    Sreedhareeyam has 16 centres in Kerala and elsewhere in India, including major cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi and Chennai.

    In Kerala, it also has a presence in Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Thodupuzha and Thiruvananthapuram.

    Unlike earlier times when many turned to ayurveda only as the last resort, today many prefer ayurvedic ophthalmic treatment right away, doctors with Sreedhareeyam say.

    "Early detection of eye ailments helps in faster and better recovery," Namboothiri said. "If treated early, ayurveda strengthens the nervous system and prevents degeneration of the optic nerves."

    According to him, even complicated and rare diseases that affect the optic nerve and retina that lead to blindness can be treated with great success with ayurveda. "Thousands of people are today resorting to ayurveda for effective cure," he said.

    Major eye diseases treated at Sreedhareeyam include diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract and detachment of retina. The hospital also manufactures all medicines and formulations utilized in eye and other treatment. Shalakya Tantra is the branch of ayurveda that deals with ailments above the neck. Ayurvedic texts deal with 76 eye, 28 ear and 31 nose diseases. Sreedhareeyam boasts of a large collection of ancient ayurvedic manuscripts of medicinal preparations and treatment methods.

    These inscriptions in old Tamil and Malayalam are on palm leaves and have been handed down by ancestors of the Namboothiri family. "We even treat and cure eye problems not normally curable by other medical sciences," Namboothiri says. "Today, our hospital has brought new respect to the science of ayurvedic ophthalmology


  9. #159
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Chemical in microwave popcorn bad for heart?

    Scientists, led by an Indian-origin researcher, have linked perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) — a chemical found in microwave popcorn bags — to cardiovascular disease. PFOA is also found in nonstick cookware, food wrappers, furniture, and even raincoats.

    Researchers from West Virginia University School of Public Health, Morgantown, looked at the health data of 1,200 Americans and compared their PFOA serum levels with the incidence of heart disease. The greater the amounts of PFOA in the bloodstream, the greater the risk of cardiovascular disease — regardless of factors like age, race, smoking, BMI, diabetes, and even hypertension, Fox News reported. This is the first study to look at PFOA's heart effect on humans.

    However, more research needs to be done to determine the specific relationship between PFOA and cardiovascular disease. "We can't yet be certain that PFOA causes heart disease," says lead study author Dr Anoop Shankar, chair of the department of epidemiology in the WVU School of Public Health. "The two could be related in another way, like people with cardiovascular disease tending to retain more PFOA in their blood," he said.

    Additionally, health watchdogs like the Environmental Working Group suggest PFOA may be a human carcinogen, and previous study has linked the chemical to chronic kidney disease and high cholesterol.


  10. #160
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Tech-aided lifestyle tied to early onset of dementia

    Modern lifestyle is causing dementia and other brain diseases to strike at a younger age, with widespread use of computers, mobile phones and chemicals to blame, a new study has found.

    The latest research has found that the sharp rise of dementia and other neurological deaths in people under 74 cannot be put down to the fact that we are living longer.

    The rise is because a higher proportion of old people are being affected by such conditions - and what is really alarming, it is starting earlier and affecting people under 55 years, according to the research published in journal Public Health. Of the 10 biggest Western countries the US had the worst increase in all neurological deaths - men up 66% and women 92% between 1979-2010. The UK was 4th highest - men up 32% and women 48%.

    "These statistics are about real people, and we need to recognize that there is an 'epidemic' that is influenced by environmental and societal changes," said professor Colin Pritchard of Bournemouth University. Study shows there is a rise in total neurological deaths, including dementia, which is starting earlier, impacting patients, their families and health and social care services, exemplified by an 85% increase in UK Motor Neurone Disease deaths. It also highlights that there is an alarming 'hidden epidemic' of rises in neurological deaths between 1979-2010 of adults in Western countries.


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