29th Sep 2015, 01:06 PM #2151
Re: Health Bulletin
இதயமே... இதயமே...: இன்று உலக இதய நாள்
கடந்த 20 ஆம் நூற்றாண்டில் இருதய நோயால் பாதிக்கப்படுபவர்களின் எண்ணிக்கை 10 சதவிகிதமாக இருந்தது. 21ம் நூற்றாண்டில் 35 சதவிகிதம் பேர் இருதய நோயால் பாதிக்கப்பட்டிருகிறார்கள் அத்துடன் இவ் மாரடைப்பின் காரணமாக அதிகமாக பெண்களே இறப்பதாக தெரியவருகின்றது.
உலக இதய நாளின் முக்கிய குறிக்கோளே, மாரடைப்பை’ வரும் முன் காப்பதும், வந்தபின் பூரண குணம் அடையச் செய்வதும்தான். இந்த நாளில் இதய நோய் தடுப்புக்கான வழிமுறைகள் பற்றி தெரிந்து கொள்ள வேண்டியது அவசியமான ஒன்று. உணவுப் பழக்கங்களை மாற்றி, உணவை கட்டுப்பாட்டுக்குள் கொண்டுவந்தால் மாரடைப்பு வராமல் தடுக்கப்படுவதுடன், மாரடைப்பு வந்தவர்களுக்கு மீண்டும் ஏற்படாமல் தடுத்து நிறுத்தவும் முடியும். காய்கறி அல்லது பழங்களின் ஜூஸ் குடிப்பதை வாடிக்கையாக கொள்ள வேண்டும்.
வெள்ளைப் பூண்டு கொலஸ்ட்ராலை கட்டுபடுத்தும் சக்தி கொண்டிருப்பதால் பூண்டை உணவில் சேர்த்து வந்தால் இதய நோய்களை தவிர்க்கலாம் இருதயத்தின் முக்கிய எதிரி புகைதான். எனவே புகையை விட்டொழியுங்கள். புகையிலை சேர்ந்த எந்தப் பொருளையும் பயன்படுத்தாதீர்கள். அது வெற்றிலைப் பாக்கு போடும் பழக்கமோ, புகைபிடிக்கும் பழக்கமோ எந்த போதை பழக்கமாக இருந்தாலும் இப்போதே விட்டுவிடுங்கள். இன்றைய பணிச் சூழலில் மனஅழுத்தம் மாரடைப்பு ஏற்பட முக்கிய காரணமாகிறது.
எனவே எந்த செயலையும் அழுத்தமின்றி செய்ய பழகிக் கொண்டாலே இருதயத்தில் அழுத்தமோ, டென்சனோ ஏற்பட வாய்ப்பில்லை என்கின்றனர் நிபுணர்கள் உடல் பருமன், அதிக ரத்த அழுத்தம், ரத்தத்தில் சர்க்கரை அளவு அதிகம் இருப்பது, ஒரே இடத்தில் நீண்ட நேரம் அமர்ந்து பணிபுரிவது போன்ற பிரச்னை உள்ளவர்களுக்கு மாரடைப்பு வர அதிக வாய்ப்பு இருக்கிறது
எனவே தினமும் அரை மணி நேரமாவது காலார நடை போடுங்கள். சில உடற்பயிற்சிகளை மேற்கொள்ளுங்கள். தொடர்ச்சியாக உடற்பயிற்சி செய்து வருவதன் மூலம் மாரடைப்பு ஏற்படுதுவதை பெருமளவு குறைத்து விடலாம். வயிறு முட்ட சாப்பிடுவதை தவிர்த்து விடுங்கள். தூங்குவதற்கு இரண்டு மணி நேரத்திற்கு முன்பே இரவு சாப்பாட்டை முடித்துக் கொள்ளுங்கள்.
இப்படி முறையான உடற்பயிற்சி, உணவுக் கட்டுப்பாடு, உயரத்திற்கேற்ற உடல் எடை என்று ஆரோக்கியத்தைக் கடைப்பிடித்தால் மாரடைப்பு என்ற பேச்சுக்கே இடமிருக்காது.
30th Sep 2015, 01:04 AM #2152
Re: Health Bulletin
Intelligent people's brains wired differently: study
Intelligent people have brains that are wired differently, according to a new Oxford study which suggests 'smart minds' are more likely to be happy, well educated and earn more.
A team of scientists led by Oxford University's Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain studied the connections in the brains of 461 people and compared them with 280 different behavioural and demographic measures that were recorded for the same participants.
They found that variation in brain connectivity and an individual's traits lay on a single axis - where those with classically positive lifestyles and behaviours had different connections to those with classically negative ones.
The team used data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP). The HCP is pairing up functional MRI scans of 1,200 healthy participants with in-depth data gained from tests and questionnaires. So far, data for 500 subjects have been released to researchers for analysis.
The researchers took the data from 461 of the scans and used it to create an averaged map of the brain's processes across the participants.
"You can think of it as a population-average map of 200 regions across the brain that are functionally distinct from each other," said lead author Stephen Smith, from Oxford University.
"Then, we looked at how much all of those regions communicated with each other, in every participant," he said.
The result is a connectome for every subject - a detailed description of how much those 200 separate brain regions communicate with each other, which can be thought of as a map of the brain's strongest connections.
The team then added the 280 different behavioural and demographic measures for each subject and performed a 'canonical correlation analysis' between the two data sets - a mathematical process that can unearth relationships between the two large sets of complex variables.
They found one strong correlation that relates specific variations in a subject's connectome with their behavioural and demographic measures.
The correlation shows that those with a connectome at one end of scale score highly on measures typically deemed to be positive, such as vocabulary, memory, life satisfaction, income and years of education.
Meanwhile, those at the other end of the scale were found to exhibit high scores for traits typically considered negative, such as anger, rule-breaking, substance use and poor sleep quality.
The researchers point out that their results resemble what psychologists refer to as the 'general intelligence g-factor' - a variable used to summarise a person's abilities at different cognitive tasks.
The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
30th Sep 2015, 01:38 PM #2153
Re: Health Bulletin
Singing cells in our brain
A recent study by Bengaluru-based scientists has found that the nerve cells found at the base of the brain - cerebellum - send out electrical signals in either a constant hum or in sudden bursts.
The decision to pick one of these two tunes is made by the cell based on the "voltage across their cell membranes and on input from a specific region of the brain under certain conditions."
The study conducted by Mohini Sengupta and Vatsala Thirumalai, from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), in North Bengaluru here has been able to demonstrate this.
The cerebellum is a small leaf-like structure at the base of our brain that is important for controlling balance, coordination and for learning new motor skills such as riding a bicycle or playing a piano.
Allowing these functions are nerve cells called 'Purkinje cells', which are neatly arranged in a single layer within the cerebellum.
The Purkinje cells' tune theory demonstrated by the scientists says that these cells receive signals from many different regions of the brain and send out messages to the deeper layers of cerebellum.
30th Sep 2015, 01:39 PM #2154
Re: Health Bulletin
Cure for age*related blindness in sight?
Surgeons in the UK have carried out a pioneering human embryonic stem cell operation in their efforts to find a cure for age-related blindness The procedure, which invol ved "seeding" a tiny patch with specialised eye cells and imp lanting it at the back of the reti na, was performed on a 60-year old woman at the Moorfield Eye Hospital.
Describing the operation as "successful", surgeons said it was the first of the 10 planned for participants in a trial of the treatment for a disease called 'wet' age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The London Project to Cure Blindness was established a decade ago to try to reverse vision loss in patients with AMD.
"We won't know until at least Christmas how good her vi sion is and how long that may be maintained, but we can see the cells are there under the retina where they should be and they appear to be healthy ," said Pro essor Peter Coffey , of the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology , who is co eading the project.
The cells being used form the retinal pigment epithelium RPE) -the layer of cells that nourish and support the photoreceptors in the macula, the seeing part of the eye. In macular degeneration, the RPE cells die, and as a result the eye loses unction. Patients with AMD lose their central vision, which becomes distorted and blurred.
Macular degeneration acco unts for almost 50% of all cases of blindness or vision loss in the developed world. It usually affects people over 50 and comes in two forms, wet and dry . Wet AMD, which is less common than dry AMD, is generally caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into a region in centre of the retina.
Professor Lyndon Da Cruz of Moorfields Eye Hospital, who carried out the surgery , said, "This is truly a regenerative project. In the past it's been impossible to replace lost neural cells. If we can deliver the very layer of cells that is missing and give them their function back this would be of enormous benefit to people with the sight threatening condition."
Chris Mason, a professor of regenerative medicine, said the trial is important both as potential step towards curing a major cause of blindness, and as a way of deepening understanding of the use of embryonic stem cells in treatments. "If the age-related macular degeneration trials are successful, then by using embryonic stem cells as the starting material, the therapy can then be affordably manufactured at large scale," he said.
If the treatment is successful, the scientists say, it would also help patients in the early stages of dry AMD, and could potentially halt their vision loss.
30th Sep 2015, 01:47 PM #2155
Re: Health Bulletin
Women who have never had sex give 'virgin birth' through IVF, say doctors
Women are having children after undergoing IVF - despite never having had sex, according to doctors.
Twenty-five young women in the UK, all of whom are hetereosexual and in their twenties, have opted for IVF in the past five years because they feel ready to be a parent, doctors told the Mail on Sunday.
Some who have had the "virgin births" said they made the decision because they were still waiting for the right partner - and a few said they were afraid of sex owing to psychosexual complications.
Whilst some religious groups have said a child should be brought up in a traditional family, one doctor said these single mothers are often more emotionally and financially stable than others who have been left to bring up a child after a relationship breakdown.
Laura Witjens, chief executive of the National Gamete Donation Trust, said society tended to "freak out" when they heard about single women going for motherhood. "These women have a right to choose this path if they want to, but clinics do have a responsibility to consider why they want to do so," she told the Mail.
A survey in 2013 claimed that one in every 200 women in the US reported to have become pregnant without having had sexual intercourse.
Of these women, 31% said they had signed a chastity pledge whereby they vow, usually for religious reasons, not to have sex. About 28% of those girls' parents said they rarely talked to them about sex or contraception - compared to only 5% of other women who became pregnant and had had intercourse.
1st Oct 2015, 11:35 AM #2156
Re: Health Bulletin
WHO changes global HIV policy
For the first time ever, the World Health Organisation wants everyone who has HIV to be offered the life-saving drugs as soon as they are diagnosed.
In what is a major change in policy, the WHO on Tuesday said governments do not need to wait until the disease progresses as earlier prescribed.
The new recommendations also say that all those who are at risk of HIV should also be made to pop the antiretroviral therapy to help prevent the infection taking hold.
Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) is free in India under its National AIDS Control Programme but the treatment is not provided to every HIV patient. ART is initiated depending upon the stage of infection. HIV patients with less than 200 CD4 (while blood cells) require treatment irrespective of the clinical stage. Those with 200-350 CD4, ART is offered to symptomatic patients. Among those with CD4 of more than 350, treatment is deferred for asymptomatic persons.
WHO estimates that these new policies could help avert more than 21 million deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030.
With its "treat-all" recommendation, WHO removes all limitations on eligibility for ART) among people living with HIV; all populations and age groups are now eligible for treatment.
The expanded use of antiretroviral treatment is supported by recent findings from clinical trials confirming that early use of ART keeps people living with HIV alive, healthier and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to partners.
WHO is working towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 and expanding access to treatment is at the heart of the new set of targets.
These targets include 90% of people living with HIV being aware of their HIV infection, 90% of those receiving antiretroviral treatment, and 90% of people on ART having no detectable virus in their blood.
Michel Sidibe, executive director, UNAIDS said, "Everybody living with HIV has the right to life-saving treatment. The new guidelines are a very important step towards ensuring that all people living with HIV have immediate access to antiretroviral treatment".
1st Oct 2015, 11:38 AM #2157
Re: Health Bulletin
Womb transplants: 10 women get approval for breakthrough surgery to have children
Ten British women without wombs will get the chance to carry their own babies after doctors received the go-ahead for the first ever womb transplants in the UK.
Doctor Richard Smith will lead the team hoping to perform the UK's first ever womb transplant following the success of the procedure in Sweden.
Ethical approval has been granted by a special committee at Imperial College London for 10 transplants as part of a clinical trial.
It will launch in the spring and more than 100 women have been identified as potential recipients of donor wombs.
Dr Smith said childlessness could be a "disaster" for couples, but the technique would offer hope to those whose only other option is surrogacy or adoption.
Around one in 5,000 women are born without a womb, while others lose their womb to cancer.
If the trial is successful, the first British baby born as a result of a womb transplant could arrive in late 2017 or 2018, with more in the future.
Dr Smith, 55, a consultant gynaecologist at the Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, has been working on the project for 19 years.
He said he was "really, really pleased" to have been granted approval for the move, which follows the birth of a baby boy in Sweden last year.
He said: "I've met many of the women who want this and it's really important for them and their partners.
"There is no doubting that, for many couples, childlessness is a disaster.
"Infertility is a difficult thing to treat for these women. Surrogacy is an option but it does not answer the deep desire that women have to carry their own baby.
"For a woman to carry her own baby - that has to be a wonderful thing."
The 10 women who will be selected for the trial must all meet strict criteria, which includes being 38 or under, having a long-term partner and being a healthy weight.
More than 300 women have approached the Womb Transplant UK team, of which 104 meet the criteria.
Before the trial starts, embryos will be created and frozen using each woman's eggs and sperm from her partner.
The women will then undergo a six-hour transplant operation to receive a womb from a donor who is classed as brain dead but whose heart has been kept beating.
After 12 months on immunosuppressant drugs and close monitoring, each woman will be implanted with one of her embryos, with the hope of achieving a successful pregnancy.
Any baby would be delivered by Caesarean section to prevent the donor womb going through the stresses and strains of labour.
Dr Smith said the trial would use deceased donors rather than living ones owing to the complexities of the operation.
"Donor retrieval is a bigger operation than transplanting the uterus into the recipient," he said. "We don't want to subject a live donor to that operation."
Six months after giving birth, each woman will be given the option of trying for one more baby, or the womb will be removed by surgeons.
This is to minimize the risk of keeping women on immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives, which have side effects, including an increased risk of cancer.
Dr Smith needs to raise £500,000 for the trial.
"I've always been an enormous optimist," he said. "The project has run with no money from the start. Somehow or other, somebody has always turned up and given us enough money to keep it going."
Organ donor co-ordinators have suggested that around five wombs per year could be made available to the surgical team.
1st Oct 2015, 11:59 AM #2158
Re: Health Bulletin
Diabetes pills can cut food intake
Diabetic drugs can affect the brain’s reward system and reduce the need to eat more, researchers report.
The study on rats at Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg in Sweden shows that hormone-like medication used for Type-2 diabetes can lower food intake.
A follow-up study showed that this substance can also reduce alcohol intake.
“Later, we discovered that the same medication can stimulate production of two important hormones that play a major role in our immune system, in the areas of the brain that control appetite,” said Rozita Anderberg from Sahlgrenska Academy in a university statement.
“The results are increasing our understanding of how these medications can affect the brain,” Anderberg added.
The medication used for Type-2 diabetes mimics the gut-brain hormone called “glucagon-like peptide-1”.
Recently, Type-2 diabetes has begun to be treated with medications that resemble the body’s own hormone GLP-1.
The hormone GLP-1 is produced naturally, both in the intestines and in the brain.
After every meal, the levels of GLP-1 in the blood increase, which lead to an increase in insulin production and a decrease in appetite.
Medications resembling GLP-1 have become a potential new treatment for obesity and these findings can be of major clinical significance.
“Our data can make an important contribution to the understanding of these mechanisms,” Anderberg added.
2nd Oct 2015, 01:08 PM #2159
Re: Health Bulletin
US lists 70,000 official ways to get sick, injured
There are 70,000 ways to get sick, hurt or mor tally injured, and the US is making them official.
On Thursday, US hospitals, doctors and other care providers have to start using internationally developed standards called ICD-10 codes to bill government programs and private insurers in the nation's $2.9 trillion-ayear health-care system.The codes cover everything from parrot bites to getting sucked into a jet engine. The list has some absurd excuses such as Z63.1, "Problems in relationship with in-laws," or V91.07XA, "Burn due to water skis on fire."
HCA Holdings Inc., the hospital chain, said 2015 costs for the transition from ICD-9 to the new codes will be about $30 million.
Concerns about the changeover grew as the possibility loomed that Congress might not pass a spending bill and cause a shutdown of the federal government. "We will pay claims and continue to implement the rollout," said Patrick Conway , chief medical officer for the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.Officials, who have delayed the codes' debut twice, say it will help identify ways to manage all kinds of conditions, from heart disease to rollerskating injuries. To doctors, it will be more paperwork and possibility of slower payments. "I think there could be a lot of delays in payments and a cash-flow crunch across medicine," said Peter Masucci, a pediatrician.
And if, even after all the efforts, doctors are still dealing with problems, there's an ICD-10 code for that--F43.22: Adjustment disorder with anxiety.
4th Oct 2015, 12:50 PM #2160
Re: Health Bulletin
Scientists invent chocolate so healthy 'it could be eaten as medicine'
Chocolate so healthy it could be eaten as medicine has allegedly been invented by scientists.
Scientists at an American chocolate company specialising in herbal technologies claim to have developed the "medicinal" chocolate, which contains only 35 per cent fat.
Cacao, the key ingredient in chocolate, contains a variety of antioxidants and minerals, which perform health benefits such as protecting the nervous system, reducing stroke risk and lowering blood pressure.
However, cacao is extremely bitter meaning many chocolate companies sweeten their products with fat and sugar, overriding cacao's health benefits.
Kuka Xoco, the Boston-based firm, have discovered a new de-bittering agent in the form of a little-used herb from the Andean region of Bolivia and Peru.
Using micrograms of the plant extract can completely de-bitter large amounts of unsweetened cacao, the company have claimed, developing a prototype with only 35 per cent sugar and fat.
Speaking at the World Chocolate Forum in London this week, Gregory Aharonian, president and chief scientist at Kuka Xoco, said: "This eliminates the need for sugar, sweeteners and much of the fat in chocolate, unleashing the medical benefits of cacao," the Daily Mail reports.
The company's long-term goal, he added, is to develop chocolate with just 10 per cent of fat and sugar.
If the unhealthy ingredients are removed from chocolate, it could be eaten medicinally, Mr Aharonian said.
The firm argue sugar is the "next nicotine". Artificial sweeteners, they add, have been disastrous because they lead to weight gain and other problematic health complications.
Mr Aharonian also suggested the chocolate industry could double its annual profits if it also became a health food industry by removing as much fat and sugar from its products as possible.