• August 05, 2013
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60 year old Brain Electrode Technology by Robert Galbraith Heath

It is said that human beings can survive almost anything, as long as he/she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious that it seems impossible to ever see the end. . A recent study has revealed that globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression which sometimes even leads to committing suicide. When depression more or less appeared to be like a cage without a key Robert Galbraith Heath invented Brain-Fixing Electrodes, a technology that could revolutionize the treatment to depression. This contribution was made by Heath about 60 years ago. The treatment involved easing minds of the patients, and this was done by fixing about 125 electrodes to the patient’s brain in order to stimulate the center of the brain. The whole idea of this technology was to inject electric pleasure into the human brain that could treat the depressants, a finding that could have done wonders.

The experiment mainly focused on influencing the patient’s mood by means of injecting electrical pressure on patient’s brain. The major problem was the extent to which the exercise had to be repeated. The electrodes needed to stimulate the brain at regular intervals. The very idea of treating depression by injecting electrodes was not appreciated by many. Though this technique could have reformed treatment of depression in the history of medicine, Heath chose to keep this on a low profile and hence remained quiet about his ideas and plans for the immediate future.

The experiment conducted sixty years ago by Robert Heath on Brain electrodes was an exceptional idea. Similar technique is now adopted in brain pacemakers. Though Heath’s experiment was impeccable no further research was done on the same and hence it went unnoticed. Having known the fact that the antidepressants (medication for depression) causes a wide range of side effects, Heath’s brain electrode technology could have left an exceptional mark in field of medicine.

  • July 26, 2013
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Overdose Of Vitamin A - Symptoms and Adverse Effects

There is always a happy medium to everything you consume. Even the best of foods should be had only up to the limit suggested. Vitamin A, which is essential to enhance your immunity, is no exception to this rule. While vitamin A deficiency could cause blindness and low immunity, overdose of the same could produce various complications as well. Heavy overdose of vitamin A could prove fatal under certain circumstances.

Vitamin A - A Quick View

Vitamin A is fat-soluble and there are two types of vitamin A in the diet. One is from animal products namely fish, meat and dairy products and the other one is plant-based obtained from fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene is the most popularly known type of plant-based vitamin A.

Vitamin A aids in boosting your immunity, improves vision and contributes to keep your skin healthy and glowing. It is great for breast-feeding. The permissible limits of the vitamin depend on the age and the medical condition of the individual.   

Symptoms Of Overdose Of Vitamin A

If your meal happened to contain very high share of vitamin A, you may suffer from certain short-term symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache and blurred vision. If you had been on a consistent overdose of vitamin A, you may experience fatigue and weight loss. The complications of consuming overdose of vitamin A for a prolonged period do not end here. You may experience hair loss, pain in the muscles, loss of appetite, convulsions, irregular heartbeat and it could affect your mental well-being, leading to confused thoughts and mental tiredness. Liver could suffer the worst and could be fatal at times.  

Adverse Effects Of Overdose Of Vitamin A

One of the worst conditions suffered by vitamin A overdose could be osteoporosis. This cruelly affects the quality of your life. Pregnant women need to exercise caution while consuming vitamin A as intake of more than the prescribed level could cause birth defects in the child, which could prove extremely severe. However, the problems could occur only if vitamin A overdose is owing to animal source and not from plant source. Other side effects include sore eyes, skin irritation, cracked lips, mouth ulcers, diarrhea and many more.

It would be best to have a balanced diet that lets you have a fair share of vitamins and nutrients to keep you fit.

  • July 25, 2013
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Turmeric - Cancer Fighting Indian Spice

Turmeric, an Indian spice often called as the “golden spice of life” is one of the most widely used spice all over the world. Turmeric comes with a lot of uses starting from its use in food, cosmetics and medicines.

Turmeric, botanically called Curcuma longa contains an antioxidant called Curcumin which has been clinically proven to show anti-cancer effects. A few recent clinical studies have revealed that Turmeric can prevent and slow down the growth of a number of types of cancerous cells, mainly the tumors of esophagus, mouth, intestines, stomach, ovaries, lungs, breast, and skin.

Curcumin is said to help in fighting cancer mainly because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulating benefits. Another reason as to why Curcumin is directly linked to treating cancer is that it stimulates 'Apoptosis' (programmed cell death/cell suicide) which helps to get rid of the  cancer breeding cells without posing a threat to the development of other healthy cells. Recent findings show that Curcumin decreases inflammation. It also hinders the transformation of cells from normal to tumor. It also helps to destroy transmuted cancer cells thereby preventing them from spreading throughout.

Advance research still needs to be done whether or not it would work the same on humans as turmeric can only be incorporated into one’s diet in small amounts which otherwise would result in causing nausea and/or diarrhea.

Cancer being the second leading cause of death throughout the world has no cure as of yet. However, Curcumin has emerged as a potent cancer-preventing agent that helps in fighting cancer. Though numerous investigations and clinical tests prove that turmeric can help in fighting cancer, further clinical experiments are on to investigate the role of curcumin in cancer treatment. However, it is clear that curcumin, a component of turmeric, exhibits anticancer and other health benefits which is also very cost-effective. 

  • July 24, 2013
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Is Artificial Sweetener A Worthy Replacement To Sugar?

While you may have your ears full of advice from dieticians on the need to ban sugar from diet, the temptation may be too hard to resist. The tendency to move towards artificial sweetener is seen in many. However, how good (or bad) is the fake sugar? Is it true that it may have side effects? Is there any valid evidence to substantiate the claims that fake sugar causes cancer? Let us have a quick study on the available facts. Alternatives To Sugar If you love sugar, it is natural for you to look for sugar alternatives the moment you bid sugar goodbye. Sugar alternatives can be classified into two types as nutritive sweeteners, which are derived from plants and non-nutritive sweeteners, which are artificial. Some of the popular natural based sugars include stevia, sorbitol, xylitol and thaumatin. Commonly used non-nutritive sweeteners include saccharin, steviol glycoside, sucralose, aspartame and cyclamate. The classification does not mean that the ‘natural’ alternatives are indeed natural; they undergo chemical process before they find place in the store shelves. This leads to the question if artificial sugar is bad for health.

Artificial Sugars: Are They Good Or Bad?

While there are no solid evidences to show that artificial sugar is bad for health, there are suggestions on the intake level. Sorbitol and xylitol, both from plants, are considered to be producing laxative effect if consumed in excess. World Health Organization (WHO) had saccharin, a non-nutritive sweetener, in their list of cancer producing ingredients. This was based on a study on the risk of cancer in bladder in rats. However, since there were not substantial evidences to support this theory, saccharin was out of the list. It is still banned in some countries. A study was conducted in 2005 on rats, in which they were fed with overdose of aspartame, a non-nutritive sweetener. The dose was equivalent to consuming 2000 cans of diet soda a day. The results pointed out that the rats had higher risk of being affected by leukemia. However, the study does not signify that humans might be affected by consuming aspartame.

What Is The Right Call?

Artificial sugar produces side effects as well. They could cause diarrhea, as some are not easily digested by the body. They are said to aid in weight loss, as they contain no calories. However, this theory does not hold good as it tends to affect the psychological expectations of the human mechanism. The body is teased into believing that real sugar is given when actually it is not. Hence, when real sugar is consumed by those on diet, the body does not respond by releasing the hormone to regulate blood sugar. Real sugar or fake sugar, it is known that they are not promoters of health. While the adverse effects of consuming them have not yet been proven to cause drastic effects, it is always better to limit yourself to consuming less of sugar, in any form, to stay fit and healthy.

  • July 23, 2013
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Apoptosis and its Role in Cancer

Apoptosis is a type of cell death in which the cell uses specialized cellular machinery to kill itself; a cell suicide mechanism that enables metazoans to control cell number and eliminate damaged cells. Apoptosis is a naturally occurring process in the human body. The role of Apoptosis in treating cancer is significant. It is also known as programmed cell death. It is one way through which the development of cancer could be prevented. That is via the death of infected cells. A cell that becomes mutated or damaged will first tempt to repair the damage. If that is not possible the cells will commit the cellular version of suicide. Apoptosis can lead to the breakdown of the parts and the death of the cell. Cancerous cells will lose the spiracle capability and will continue to divide. This can lead to the accumulation of cells that can become more and more abnormal. Many cells in our body endure PCD (programmed cell death), or apoptosis, during fetal development. Apoptosis also may occur when a cell becomes damaged or deregulated thereby killing the damaged cells if irreparable. When functioning properly, the apoptosis induced can fight cancer by getting rid of the cancer cells.

 

There are a few types of cancers that persist as a result of a cell's inability to undergo apoptosis. Defective apoptosis (programmed cell death) does the reverse of what healthy apoptosis could do in treating cancer. It represents a major causative factor in the development and progression of cancer. After a series of research being done, it is now clear that Apoptosis can help to destroy the cancerous cells. However, the fact cannot be denied that some oncogenic mutations disrupt apoptosis, leading to tumor initiation, progression or metastasis. Thus it is very important to take suitable care to understand how apoptosis can provide new possibilities for diagnosing and treating cancer.

  • July 23, 2013
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Apoptosis and its Role in Cancer

Apoptosis is a type of cell death in which the cell uses specialized cellular machinery to kill itself; a cell suicide mechanism that enables metazoans to control cell number and eliminate damaged cells. Apoptosis is a naturally occurring process in the human body. The role of Apoptosis in treating cancer is significant. It is also known as programmed cell death. It is one way through which the development of cancer could be prevented. That is via the death of infected cells. A cell that becomes mutated or damaged will first tempt to repair the damage. If that is not possible the cells will commit the cellular version of suicide. Apoptosis can lead to the breakdown of the parts and the death of the cell. Cancerous cells will lose the spiracle capability and will continue to divide. This can lead to the accumulation of cells that can become more and more abnormal. Many cells in our body endure PCD (programmed cell death), or apoptosis, during fetal development. Apoptosis also may occur when a cell becomes damaged or deregulated thereby killing the damaged cells if irreparable. When functioning properly, the apoptosis induced can fight cancer by getting rid of the cancer cells. There are a few types of cancers that persist as a result of a cell's inability to undergo apoptosis. Defective apoptosis (programmed cell death) does the reverse of what healthy apoptosis could do in treating cancer. It represents a major causative factor in the development and progression of cancer. After a series of research being done, it is now clear that Apoptosis can help to destroy the cancerous cells. However, the fact cannot be denied that some oncogenic mutations disrupt apoptosis, leading to tumor initiation, progression or metastasis. Thus it is very important to take suitable care to understand how apoptosis can provide new possibilities for diagnosing and treating cancer.

  • July 22, 2013
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An Active Mind Fights Dementia

Dementia poses major threat as statistics point out that more people are being affected by this condition. Dementia is characterized by a severe decline in one’s mental ability, which could result in throwing routine life off balance. The most commonly known type of dementia is Alzheimer’s.

 

What Is Dementia?

Dementia cannot be termed as a specific disease. It relates to various symptoms associated with memory loss and other brain functions such as the ability to concentrate, solve problems, and recall date. As the condition advances, the affected person might not be able to identify the place or people around him. The condition is seen in seniors while adults are not ruled out. Symptoms Of Dementia Some of the symptoms of dementia include memory loss, mood swings and difficulty in communication. When affected with memory loss, the person finds it difficult to trace the way back home while away. Even names or places will be difficult to recall. Mood swings are characterized by stress, fear and anxiety. The affected person finds it difficult to communicate.

 

Types Of Dementia

Some of the most common types of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, stroke and fronto-temporal dementia. Dementia is seen in those suffering from Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. Treatment For Dementia Until now, effective cure for dementia is not identified. Researches are being conducted to make a breakthrough to address this alarming condition. Active Brain Could Help Prevent Dementia However, recent research conducted by Dr. Robert Wilson, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, has shown that dementia could be postponed or prevented by keeping the brain active. This could be achieved by engaging the brain in reading books, writing letters and solving crossword puzzles. The study involved 294 participants aged over 55 and they were questioned on their reading habits and activities involving mental stimulation during various phases of their lives. Their memory was tested to measure the level of their memory and thinking.. The test was conducted every year for around 6 years until they passed away. After their death, the participants’ brains were examined to look for brain lesions and/or plaques, which could be the physical signs to suggest that they had dementia. The results showed that those with a busy brain activity had 15% slower cognitive decline than those who did not have a busy schedule for their brains. Dr. Wilson suggests that busy brain activity spanning lifetime was important for keeping the brain in great shape, as one grows old. He goes on to state that the performance of brain in old age depends to an extent on its activity through out the early stages of life. The argument is supported by Dr. Simon Ridley and Dr. James Pickett, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research in the United Kingdom. Though more researches are needed along these lines, it is evident that mental activity plays a major role in protecting the brain from dementia. To reduce dementia risk, it is essential to have a balanced diet and exercise regularly to maintain body fitness while ensuring that brain gets sufficient work to keep it going.

  • July 17, 2013
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Are Cell Phone Vibrations Always Real Or Do We Phantom It?

Technology has taken the world to a different level. Now, it seems near impossible to live a life without these gadgets, which have crossed the limits to dominate our life and style. They have become an inevitable part of our life to an extent that we feel their presence even when they are not present. So it seems going by the case studies on the phantom vibration syndrome.

Phantom Ringing Syndrome

Various studies conducted on phantom ringing, otherwise referred as ‘phantom vibration syndrome’ throws light on the fact that many people are affected by this condition. The condition refers to the feeling of vibration of the phone even when there has been no call or message. The research results claim that 68% of the participants in the survey felt vibrations and among them, 87% felt them weekly and 13% everyday.

Real Or Imaginary?

Why do people ‘feel’ the vibration when in reality there was neither a call nor a text message to the phone? The reasons assigned for the feeling vary. The chairman of the School of Psychology at University of Sydney, Alex Blaszczynski, opines that electrical activity could have triggered the vibrating sensation in the person. He suggests that electrical signals might have touched the surrounding nerves while in transmission, causing the vibration. He, however, goes on to state that he has not researched on the vibrations yet. If you go by his suggestion, then you are not ‘feeling’ something that has not happened but you are ‘experiencing’ it because of electromagnetic interference.

A different view is presented by Larry Rosen, psychology professor at California State University. In the book iDisorder written by him, he talks about the phantom vibration. He feels that since the advent of smartphones, we have become more prone to expecting technological interaction always that even the lightest stimuli causes us to believe that we have a call coming through. We are so much used to the smartphones that any vibration caused around leads us to believe that there is a call.

A research by Michael Rothberg and his team from Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, studied the level of vibranxiety’s prevalence though not into the cause behind it, makes suggestions that draw parallel with that of Rosen. Rothberg opines that the feeling could be a misinterpretation by the sensory signals.

Feel Free Off Vibrations

While phantom vibrations are not proven yet to cause physical harm, it could succeed in annoying you, which needs to be addressed. This could be easily done by sampling deactivating the vibrate mode and opt for audible ringer. You could also avoid carrying it on your person or use alternate device to attend calls. The changes, though seem simple enough, have proved successful as a good number of the participants in Rothberg’s survey were able to stop feeling the vibrations following the above-mention

  • July 16, 2013
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Virtual Reality Takes On The Role Of Fitness Educator

While various psychological conditions that affect the health of a growing child are assigned to computers and video games, a new role by Virtual Assistant has been identified by Philadelphian researchers from Temple University Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE). The research team announces that the findings of the study point out to the fact that using a virtual model could motivate a person to work towards healthy weight loss.

The research team led by Melissa Napolitano surveyed 128 overweight women. Most of these participants had attempted at weight reduction the past year but not taken part in any virtual reality game in the process of weight reduction. But for a few participants, none had experience with virtual reality or video games. However, 88 percent of the women participants showed interest to use avatar models to help in weight reduction programme.

The research team registered eight of the participants in a DVD course that lasted four weeks during which they watched a digital model of themselves on the screen. The avatar models were tools to guide the women to learn about diet and exercise habits to keep weight under control. The eight participants had to travel to the clinic once every week to watch the 15-minute long virtual reality program.

The virtual model was effective in guiding the participants to set weight loss goals. It was instrumental in making the participants design a program that is practical, effective and tailor made to suit their individual needs. Napolitano and the team are excited that even those who are not used to playing video games showed interest in avatar-based technology to help with their weight check, which could lead to using the technology to its potential.

When further studies confirm the findings of this research, there will be a fresh face to Virtual Reality, as it will be encouraging and assisting people to live healthily. 

  • July 09, 2013
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Telemedicine to Treat Inmates

Telemedicine which could only be dreamt of a few years ago is now a reality. Telemedicine is nothing but a method of remotely diagnosing and treating patients by means of telecommunications and technology. The program is aimed at improving the accessibility to specialty care without having to travel.

Recent advancement in technology has also lead to deploying technology by means of telemedicine in prison in order to provide healthcare services to its inmates. The Colorado Department of Corrections and Denver Health Medical Center have come to an agreement to launch a telemedicine program for its inmates.

How does Telemedicine work in prison?

Telemedicine is the ability to provide interactive health care utilizing modern technology and telecommunications. Here the patients (inmates) are treated by a doctor by means of technology to electronically exchange medical information and provide medical services in various fields including rheumatology, infectious disease, orthopedics, general surgery, etc. The telemedicine setup is such that it allows video conferencing between patients and healthcare providers, transmitting still images and also to remotely monitor the vital signs.

Why telemedicine for inmates prisons?

Transferring inmates from one place to another is always considered to be a costly affair as it is associated with a high amount of risk of inmates escaping. The use of telemedicine can result in enormous cost saving as there is no need to physically transfer the inmates to the hospital. Telemedicine allows providing adequate treatment and care without having to travel the distance and also at a significantly lower cost.

With telemedicine significantly improving the access to medical aid, the government of various countries are also planning to try out telemedicine not just for its cost savings and security reasons but also for its convenience. Therefore it cannot be denied that telemedicine has taken healthcare services to the next level.

  • July 08, 2013
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New Acne Medicine: Birth Control Pills

Each one of us dream to have flawless glowing skin which is free of acne. But there are only a few fortunate ones who are blessed with healthy flawless skin. The remaining lot suffers from permanent skin scarring due to acne which shows no sign of leaving the skin alone despite of having taken suitable medications from dermatologists.

There are many reasons for why acne occurs but the most common reason is the accumulation of sebum and dead skin cells in the hair follicles which inflames or turns into an infection as a result of bacteria acting upon it. Even after taking several measures if you don’t seem to get rid of acne, then birth control pills can do the trick for you.

When acne is not responding well to the regular treatments, then it is possible to put a full stop to acne with consumption of oral contraceptives (birth control pills). As discussed earlier, the main cause of acne is a result of accumulation of sebum and dead skin cells in the hair follicles and birth control pills act directly in reducing the sebum buildup. However, it is best advised to take these contraceptives with the other medications for acne like the creams with salicylic acid, ointments, etc.  as prescribed by the dermatologist.

Nevertheless, care should be taken before taking these birth control pills because not all birth control pills can treat acne and the only ones that can treat acne should contain estrogen and progesterone. One also needs to take suitable care and consult the physician before taking birth control pills to fight acne as the medical history needs to be taken into consideration.  Though the result is not immediate as it may take quite a few months to see the effects, having taken it under suitable guidance, one can definitely say goodbye to acne through birth control pills.

  • July 05, 2013
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Sleep More, Live More

Getting good quality sleep plays a major role in a person’s health and wellbeing. The lack of quality sleep can have a negative impact on our energy, emotional balance, and health. We are all aware of the various sleep disorders and the impact it can have on us, yet people tend to neglect the importance of sleep and thus end up not getting enough sleep. Most of us simply keep wondering if we too could sleep like a baby only hoping to get more and better sleep.

Not all of us have the same need for sleep. It varies with individuals and also with age. A newborn baby would need a good sixteen hour sleep whereas an adult would need just about eight hours of sleep to actively function and so does it vary with the adolescents and teenagers who would need about seven to nine hours of sleep.

Now that we have realized the importance of sleep, let us now focus on ways through which we can get more and better sleep. The only way out to sleeping right is to develop good sleeping etiquettes. This can be achieved by developing a good sleep hygiene which simply includes a certain healthy habits that would help you in getting a good night’s sleep.  A few healthy habits are listed below:

  • Improve your sleeping environment
  • Fix your sleep/wakeup schedule
  • Eat Right- Avoid eating heavy meals for dinner
  • Exercise- Don’t forget to include a good thirty minute exercise in your routine
  • Avoid taking naps in the noon
  • Stay clear away from caffeine close to bedtime

It is really very important for our body to get enough sleep in order to function adequately. It undoubtedly contributes in having better health, better memory, better sex life, etc. Having known the importance of sleep, would anyone of us let go off this. After all we have to do is sleep.