Friday, 29 January 2016

Natural Fertilisation Device for IVF


New Type of IVF Treatment to Aid Conception

A private UK fertility clinic has been offering couples with a new type of IVF treatment which helps conception to take place in the womb instead of, in the lab. Doctors are hoping that making fertilisation more natural would mean healthier pregnancies. The first to use the AneVivo device method is the Complete Fertility clinic in Southampton which is a tiny tubular capsule that is loaded with the sperm and egg prior to being placed into the uterus.

Prof Nick Macklon head of the clinic has insisted that it is not a ploy and has informed BBC that `at this stage we are just offering it to private patients and if the NHS prefers to use it then they would need to know that it is cost effective. We do not know that yet but that does not mean new technology like this cannot be introduced in a cautious manner. I’m very keen that we study new innovation in IVF’.

The cost of the techniques is around £700 per go and has gained the approval of the UK’s fertility watchdog, the HFEA. According to Prof Macklon, international trials among 250 women indicate that it tends to achieve a similar pregnancy rate to conventional IVF.


Aim – Maximise Time Spent in the Body than Lab

However, it tends to reduce how long the growing embryo remains artificially outside the womb in a dish of culture fluid. According to Prof Macklon, `the aim is to maximise the time spent in the body rather than in the lab. The immediate advantage is in reducing exposure at this vulnerable time of human development when the genes are switched on and off. Some studies have stated that growing embryos in a dish tends to increase the risk of genetic as well as other health defects.

It is not known yet if the womb device would be an improvement Conventional in vitro fertilization – IVF treatment, includes the eggs which are removed from the ovaries, fertilised with sperm cells and placed in a tiny capsule which is then placed painlessly in the womb for 24 hours during which the embryos tends to develop.

Doctors then remove the device of around 1 cm long and 1 mm wide. After 2-4 days, they then select the embryo which is adequately healthy to implant it back into the lining of the womb, hoping to achieve pregnancy.

Breakthrough in IVF Treatment

Prof Macklon is of the belief that the device could be a breakthrough in IVF treatment since it will enable women to care for an embryo in its initial stage of development for the first time. Earlier studies have indicated that babies born from IVF treatment tend to have a lower birth weight. Though not an issue, low birth weight has been connected to long term health which the researchers intend to improve.

Prof Macklon of the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton, UK, is of the opinion that long-term health in babies born through IVF can be improved by spending shorter time in the laboratory. He had been involved in the creation of the new device AneVivo. Psychologically it is said to bring parents-to-be, closer to the fertilization procedure and early embryo development.

Moreover it can provide health benefits for the new born, since fertilization could take place in the natural environment of the womb with admission to nutrients as well as signs or indications from the mother. It would also decrease exposure to the synthetic culture fluids that is utilised in the laboratory.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Zika Virus Triggers Pregnancy Delay Calls


Warning to Avoid Pregnancy – Severe Birth Defects

Four Latin American as well as Caribbean nations’ officials have warned women to avoid pregnancy due to apprehensions over an illness resulting in severe birth defects. Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica have been recommended to delay pregnancies till more details are provided regarding the mosquito borne Zika virus.

 The outbreak had spread to Brazil where it was reported that the number of babies born with suspected microcephaly or abnormally small heads had reached to almost 4,000 since October. In the meanwhile, US health authorities had cautioned pregnant women to refrain from travelling to more than 20 countries in the Americas and beyond where the cases of Zika had been registered.

The connection between microcephaly and Zika is not confirmed though a small number of infants who had died had the virus in their brain with no other explanation for the rush in microcephaly being recommended. The virus is said to be normal like flu symptoms and does not seem to be contagious. Health Minister of Columbia, Alejandro Gaviria has advised women to delay pregnancies for around eight months.

He has been quoted by Reuters that `we are doing this because I believe it’s a good way to communicate the risk, to tell people that there could be serious consequences’.

Spread through Aedes Aegypti Mosquito

Warnings had also been issued in Ecuador, El Salvador as well as Jamaica. But the women’s rights campaigners had disapproved the recommendation stating that women in the region often had little choice about getting pregnant.

Monica Roa, member of Women’s Link Worldwide group had commented that `it is incredibly na├»ve for a government to ask women to postpone getting pregnant in a context such as Colombia, where more than 50% of pregnancies are unplanned and across the region where sexual violence is prevalent’. It is spread due to the Aedes aegypti mosquito that also tends to carry dengue fever as well as yellow fever. It has first been identified in Africa in the 1940s though is now spreading in Latin America.

Scientists are of the opinion that there seems to be an increased indication of a connection to microcephaly which tends to lead to babies born with small heads. Though this condition could lead to a rash and fever, several people tends to have no symptoms and the cure for the same is not known.

Warnings Issued to Several Countries

The only means of fighting Zika is by way of clearing stagnant water where mosquitoes tend to breed and to be careful of mosquito bites.

Brazil’s health ministry has informed that forty-nine babies suspected of microcephaly had died and in five of these cases the infection with Zika virus had been detected. Brazil has been subjected to the largest known outbreak of Zika and several of the cases is in the north-east while others have been identified in the south-east, which is an area comprising of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. There has been an increase in the cases of Zika in many other Latin American countries.

It has been reported that in Columbia there were over 13,500 cases. Besides, these countries, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention had issued initial travel warnings to pregnant women recently with the addition of more places to the list and the warnings are now extended to Central and South America:

Bolivia,Brazil,Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela, Caribbean: Barbados, Guadeloupe, SaintMartin, Haiti, Martinique and Puerto Rico, Oceania: Samoa and Africa: Cape Verde

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Mysterious Cancers of 'Unknown' Origin in Men Traced Back to HPV


Cancer Ailments Mysterious – Difficult to Define

Some of the cancer ailments seem mysterious and doctors find it difficult in defining where they may originate and how they tend to spread. These types of cancers are given the name of `unknown primary squamous cell carcinoma – UPSCC and around 4% of head and neck cancers belong to the UPSCC variety. They tend to appear in this section of the body after being metastasized or spread from somewhere though the exact origin of the cancer cell is not known.

It is this lack of information of cancer type which seems to make the treatment of cancer a bit difficult. Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore have now found that the human papillomavirus – HPV has been strongly linked with UPSCC in the head and the neck part and more precisely, cancer of the oropharynx, in the middle area of the throat which comprises of tonsils and the base of the tongue.

 According to the researchers, this discovery could be helpful in turning the `unknown’ in UPSCC into a `known’, helping the doctors on a treatment option and target therapy for the victim.

HPV Infection on the Rise

Besides this, the discovery also strengthens the theory that the rising rates of HPV infection are on the rise of not only oropharynx or throat cancers but also UPSCCs, thereby further emphasizing the significance of vaccinating against HPV infection. The study appears in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery dated January 14.

HPV is mainly a sexually transmitted virus where most of the infection does not seem to cause any harm. But it could be the main cause of cervical cancer and is the cause of almost 300,000 deaths annually all over the world, as per World Health Organization. HPV too, together with substantial tobacco and with the use of alcohol is a major cause of throat cancer, especially in men. Around 75% of the assessed 12,500 annual cases of throat cancer in the United States are the cause of HPC as per the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

An associate professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr Carole Fakhry, in a new study had led a research team that examined 84 male patients with UPSCC over a period of 9.5 years, which was the largest study of its kind at a single hospital.

HPV – Probable Cause for Cancer

It was observed that over 90% of the patients were HPV positive portraying that HPV seems to be a probable cause for cancer. Fakhry’s team found that, for the almost 60% of the patients with these `unknown’ cancers, they could ultimate detect the tumour’s main source.

All of these cancers had been in the oropharynx in the base of the tongue or in the tonsils thereby changing the dim UPSCC diagnosis to orophryngeal cancer with better prediction. Researchers also documented an increase in the number of UPSCC cases at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and in the first four years of the study, there were around 14 cases of UPSCC.

In the following three years, there were 30 cases and over the next 2.5 years, 37 cases. This rise indicated the national trend of increased HPV infection rate in young people. Fakhry who had emphasized on the importance of HPV vaccine for teenagers, states that the study, `gives a glimpse of what is happening at other hospitals ‘.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Soluble Brain Implants Could Reduce Surgery Risks


Soluble Electronic Biomedical Sensor Implants

A group of neurosurgeons and materials scientists have created a new class of electronic biomedical sensor implants which tends to monitor the brain after surgery and thereafter harmlessly dissolve away over a period of time. The soluble electronic sensor seems to be smaller than a grain of rice, built on tremendously thin and naturally biodegradable sheets of silicon which are designed to work for a few weeks prior to dissolving away totally and harmlessly, in the fluids of the body.

This could strongly reduce the risks connected with postoperative monitoring. The team had written in a letter published in Nature that the permanently implanted monitoring hardware presently in use tends to act as a nidus for infection – bacterial form biofilms along percutaneous wires or seed haematogenously with the possibility of migrating within the body and to provoke immune-mediated pathological tissue reactions.

Removing such hardware could be hazardous and could subject the patient to the suffering connected with re-operation as well as expose them to more complications. The latest sensor technology has the ability of monitoring temperature and the pressure of intracranial fluid in the skull with the same accuracy as conventional, permanent monitoring devices.


Device Adapts – Fluid Flow/Motion/pH/Thermal Characteristic

According to the report of Project lead, John A. Rogers has commented that they were able to demonstrate all these key features in animal models with a measurement precision which is just as good as that of conventional devices. At the time of testing, the team experimented the sensor utilising an external wireless transmitter as well as an implanted, though so far only partially soluble, NFC data communication system, in order to ascertain that a complete implanted system would function as it was expected.

The researchers had explained that the devices could be adapted to sense fluid flow, motion, pH or thermal characteristics in setups which are compatible with the body’s abdomen and extremities together with the deep brain signifying that the sensors could meet several needs in clinical medicine.

These implants created by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis together with engineers at the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, could be utilised in monitoring patients with painful brain damages. However, researchers are of the belief that they could develop similar absorbable sensors in monitoring activity in organ systems in the body.

Reduce Risk of Infection/Complications

Co-first author Rory K. J. Murphy, MD and a neurosurgery resident at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis had said that `electronic devices together with their biomedical applications are rapidly advancing.

However, a major hurdle is that implants placed in the body regularly cause an immune response that could cause problem for the patients. The advantage of these new devices is that it tends to dissolve after some time and hence one does not have anything in the body for a long period of time that would be the cause of any infection, chronic inflammation and erosion through the skin or the organ in which it is placed.

Moreover, utilising reabsorb-able devices eliminates the need for surgery to recover them. This further reduces the risk of infection and more complications.Murphy is concerned in monitoring pressure and temperature in the brains of patients suffering from traumatic brain injury.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Pattern of Brain Chatter -Clue to Anaesthesia Response


Anaesthetic Dose – `Marsh Model’

According to new research from the University of Cambridge, the difficult pattern of chat between various areas of an individual’s brain when they are awake could be helpful to doctors in tracking as well as predicting their response to general anaesthesia. This would help in identifying the amount of anaesthetic that would be necessary. Presently patients who have to undergo surgery are administered a dose of anaesthetic depending on the `Marsh model’ that tends to use factors like individual’s body weight in predicting the amount of drug that may be essential.

As the patient `go under’, their levels of awareness tends to be monitored comparatively in a simple way. If they tend to be still awake, they are given more anaesthetic, but general anaesthetics could be risky especially if the individual seems to have some underlying health issues like a heart disorder. Areas of the brain tend to communicate with each other and provide tell-tale signs which can give an indication of how conscious a person is. These networks of the brain activity is measured through electroencephalogram - EEG that measures the electric signs as the brain cells tend to talk to each other.

Propofol – Commonly Utilised Anaesthetic

Researchers from Cambridge had earlier shown that the network signatures could be seen in some individuals who had been in vegetative state and could help doctors identify patients who are aware inspite of being incapable of communicating. These discoveries have been built on advances in science of network in order to tackle the challenge of comprehending as well as measuring human consciousness.

A study published recently in the open access journal PLOS Computational Biology, funded by the Wellcome Trust, the researchers had studied how these signals tend to change in healthy participants when they received an infusion of propofol which is a commonly utilised anaesthetic.

Twenty individuals comprising of 9 males and 11 females had received a steadily increasing amount of propofol all of the same limit at the time of undergoing a task which involved pressing one button if they heard a `ping’ and different button if they heard a `pong’. The researchers, at the same time tracked their brain network activity utilising the EEG.

Brain Network Activity – Delta-Alpha Coupling

When they had reached the maximum limit of the dose, some of them were still awake and were in a position to carry out the task while there were others who were unconscious. The researchers analysed the readings of the EEG and found clear differences between those who had responded to the anaesthetic and those who were capable of carrying on with the task.

This `brain signature’ had been apparent in the network of communication between areas in the brain carried by alpha waves, - brain cell oscillations in the frequency range of 7.5-12.5Hz, which is the normal range of electrical activity ofthe brain in conscious and relaxed state. The researcher had also measured the propofol levels in the blood in order to know if this could be used as a measure of how conscious a person would be.

Having found little correlation with the alpha wave readings, they found a correlation with certain form of brain network activity known as delta-alpha coupling which could be capable of providing a useful, non-invasive measure of the level of drug that could be present in the blood.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Converting Skin Cells to Pancreatic Cells May Help Protect Against Diabetes


Human Cells Converted into Pancreatic Cells

For the treatment of diabetes, scientists have successfully converted human skin cells into pancreatic cells which created insulin and protected the mice from developing diabetes. Researchers at the Gladstone Institute and the University of California, San Francisco-USCF,state that their discoveries have opened the door for diseases modelling, making personalized cell therapy and drug screening a step nearer for patients suffering from diabetes.

The study that was published in Nature Communication on January 6 involved reprogramming skin cells in early development of cells and thereafter adding molecule in order that the endoderm progenitor cell tends to divide quickly. Additional two steps developed the cells into completely functional pancreatic beta cells. The skin cells had been reprogrammed in a laboratory to an embryonic like condition prior to being developed in a culture medium to grow into the beta cells of the pancreas that produces insulin.

The most important thing noted by the researchers was that mice were safeguarded from developing diabetes in an animal model of the ailment since the cells had the capability of producing insulin in reaction to changes in glucose levels. System of cellular reprogramming seems to be more scalable than the earlier procedures.

Development Warrants Greater Regulation in New Cells

Co-senior author Sheng Ding, PhD, a senior investigator in the Roddenberry Stem Cell Centre at Gladstone had commented in the news release that `this development warrants greater regulations in the manufacturing process of new cells and can generate virtually unlimited numbers of patient matched insulin producing pancreatic cells.

According to the National Institutes of Health, diabetes tends to take place when the blood glucose levels goes too high. Insulin, a hormone is utilised in helping the cells to consume glucose for energy. Diabetes patients of type 1 are unable to make insulin and diabetics with type 2 do not have the ability of making or using insulin well.

Matthias Hebrok, director of the diabetes centre at UCSF and a co-senior author on the study published in the journal Nature Communications had stated that the results reveal for the first time that human adult skin cells could be used to efficiently and quickly generate functional pancreatic cells which tend to behave in the same way as human beta cells.

Patients with Array of Diseases – Capable of Transforming their Own Cells

Type 1 diabetes patients tend to suffer from under-production of insulin and need regular injections of the hormone that cannot be taken in the oral form and developing a system of repopulating the pancreas with working beta cells could lead to an effective cure for the ailment.

Postdoctoral researcher at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and firstauthor of the study, Saivong Zhu informs that `this study represents the first successful creation of human insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells utilising direct cellular reprogramming system.

The final step was the most unique and the most difficult as the molecules had not been identified earlier which could take reprogrammed cells the final step to the functional pancreatic cells in a dish’.The utilisation of autologous reprogrammed cells should associate to less complication for the future patients. Dr. Ding comments that ultimately, patients with a broad array of diseases could be capable of transforming their own cells by simply taking a pill.

Teen Angst? Or Traumatic Brain Injury? Identifying the Triggers of Teen Behavior


Teens are not easy to read. They can be exuberant one moment, morose the next. Teens can be talkative or non-communicative. Teens see it as a rite of passage to break rules and flaunt authority. But all of these “typical” teen behaviors could also be signs of something more sinister in play: a traumatic brain injury.

Has your son been in a fist fight? Did your daughter take a bad fall in her gymnastics class? Does your son play football? Does your daughter play hockey? Do your kids often ride their bikes? Teens can develop a traumatic brain injury from a great deal of sources and, if improperly diagnosed, the TBI or concussion could turn them into people their parents don’t really recognize.

Are Girls in Greater Danger of Long-Term TBI Effects?

A teen’s response to a concussion is easily mistaken for teenage angst or growing pains, and sometimes their baffling, frustrating, or insolent behavior is misdiagnosed as a mental health condition or assumed to be the result of drug use.
Concussion symptoms can include dizziness, slurred speech, headaches, memory loss, confusion, sleep changes, aggression, depression, nausea, and sensory changes. A Canadian concussion study focusing on the long-term negative effects of concussions found that teens who experience these ongoing symptoms can experience personality changes, prompting them to engage in behavior like drinking, bullying, smoking, and even attempt suicide, girls in particular.

Why are girls at risk more so than boys, especially when boys play the concussion-rampant sport of football? Hormones and age were considered major contributing factors. And, the study also discovered, teenage girls who suffer a TBI in their late teens were 20 percent more likely to develop a drinking habit, compared to those who develop a TBI in their earlier teens. (Adolescent drivers are already at greater risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Add alcohol to the mix and the road becomes even more deadly.)

TBIs Can Stunt a Teen’s Maturity Level

In some TBI cases, the injury is slow to heal, and in other cases the effects of the concussion or head injury are permanent. Suffering one concussion makes your teen more susceptible to developing more concussions. And the compounding of these injuries – particularly when misdiagnosis occurs and treatment is minimal or incorrect – prevents a teen’s body from healing itself the way it should.

Yes, teens are more resilient than adults, and they can recover from injuries faster than other people, but we are talking about brain injuries here, and an adolescent is not exempt from long-term deficits, particularly as they are in possession of brains that are still maturing. In order to ensure that the brain functions properly after a fall, a hit, or accident, immediate and extensive monitoring must be conducted to adequately diagnose the condition and treat it.

And if your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury without proper attention and care because of an overzealous coach or poor medical attention, don’t hesitate to consult a traumatic brain injury attorney. TBIs are not always easy to prove, but a qualified attorney can help you and your teen.

About: David Christensen is a brain injury expert with Christensen Law in Southfield, MI and Ann Arbor, MI. He helps the families of TBI victims in securing benefits and compensation for their injuries.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Dementia Loved Ones 'Benefit from Visits'


Social Interaction – Beneficial for Dementia People

One may have to face immense responsibility as well as pressure in taking care of someone affected with memory loss disease. The symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are often painful to witness when it tends to affect our near and dear ones.

Research recommends social interaction with loved one could have a long lasting emotional benefit for those suffering from dementia. Though the physical or explicit memory of an experience with a loved one tends to disappear, the benefits which are the feelings of familiarity, comfort, happiness and comfort tends to remain for some time.

A Dementia charity experts states that spending time with ones loved ones suffering from dementia is very important even if they tend to fail in recognizing the faces of their family and friends. From a survey conducted it was observed that 42% of the community are of the opinion that there is no point in keeping in touch with them at this stage of time.

 However the Society of Alzheimer states that family visits tend to stimulate feelings of happiness, security and comfort. As the condition seems to progress, it is said that people suffering from dementia could still hold on an emotional memory.

Visit/Indulge in Activities they Enjoy

The charity requests people to visit friends and relatives with dementia, regularly and help them to indulge in activities which they tend to enjoy. In another survey by the charity of 300 people who had been affected by dementia, around 54% had stated that they were rarely or no longer taking part in any social activity and about 51% had informed that having someone to help them in getting involved would make them less lonely.

Around 64% had informed that they felt isolated after their diagnosis. Chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society, Jeremy Hughes had commented that `after spending time with friends and family over festive period, New Year could be a bleak and lonely time for people affected with dementia as well as their caretakers.

It is essential for those suffering from dementia to feel connected all through the year. Spending time with their loved ones as well as taking active part in meaningful activities could help tremendously in having a powerful and a positive impact inspite of the fact that they do not remember the event itself.

Right Support Helpful

People are urged to get in touch with the society or visit the site to get to know how they could get help to stay connected with their support service across the North-East and make some improvement in their lives. A survey of over 4,000 members of people indicated that 68% still tend to visit their loved one with dementia who no longer seems to recognize them.

 But the charity states that the people’s busy lives often seems to mean that they do not manage to follow up on the good intentions, thus leaving several of those living with dementia, with a feeling of being isolated. In UK there are about 850,000 people who have been suffering from dementia.

With the right support, people with this condition could live a happy life and continue to indulge in activities they seem to enjoy like meeting friends which could eliminate some of the loneliness and bring about some joy and happiness in their live.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Should You Be Taking Aspirin Daily

Credit: Alamy

Should Aspirin Be Taken Daily

Should Aspirin be taken daily? Several researches recommend that this medicine tends to protect the victim from heart attacks, strokes, various types of cancer as well as pre-term birth and preeclampsia which are a condition in pregnancy with high blood pressure together with damage to organs like the kidneys. In a recent study it was found that salicylic acid, the active ingredient present in aspirin, tends to block a protein which can enter brain cells, triggering the process leading to death as seen in conditions of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

However it is too early to add protection to such type of brain condition to the pros, taking into consideration of taking aspirin or not according to PhD researcher on the new study, Daniel Klessig, and a professor at the Boyce Thompson Institute and Cornell University.

Klessig states that while the results from their study seems to be exciting, promising great promise as a probable treatment for neuro degenerative disease, they would need to be followed by more comprehensive studies, inclusive of mouse model work as well as human clinical studies. He adds that research would likely lead to compounds derived from salicylic acid which would be more effective as well as safer than aspirin.

Troublesome Quality of Aspirin

The centre of aspirin debate had always been its safety even for heart disease. The most troublesome quality of aspirin is that it could cause bleeding in the upper digestive tract especially the stomach and in the brain. The risk tends to increase with age, together with having a history of bleeding. Executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Deepak Bhat, MD MPH had commented that it is important to discuss the risks as well as benefits of aspirin therapy with a physician.

An independent panel of health care professionals, The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, had added a twist to the debate on whether healthy individuals should take aspirin. A draft with new guidelines had been posted in September regarding the drug’s use by people of 50 and above. These guidelines are the first from a main organization recommending aspirin to protect from cancer and in this case it is colorectal cancer together with heart disease.

Primary/Secondary Prevention

This is only in the case of those between the age of 50 and 69 and who have a 10% or higher risk of heart attacks and strokes for a period of ten years and are not at an added risk of bleeding. However the task force has not recommended that anyone should take aspirin mainly to lower the risk of colorectal cancer.

Andrew Chan, MD, MPH, gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital has stated that `for the patients who tend to take aspirin or are speculating on taking aspirin for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, it is easy to inform that they could gain an additional benefit of protection against colorectal cancer and starting to think more seriously about aspirin to prevent cancer.

People without any history of heart disease seems to be the main focus of the debate regarding the wisdom of taking aspirin to stay healthy, known as primary prevention. Though the research had established that taking of the drug could lessen the risk of another heart attack or stroke with people who had already one attack, known as secondary prevention, indication that it is worth taking it in order to protect from a first heart attack or stroke, is not clear.

What Can I Do To Jumpstart My Weight Loss Process?

weight loss
If you are currently overweight and know that it's time for a change, you may be ready to get on the path to permanent weight loss. Yet in many cases, motivated individuals don't know which strategies to implement in order to accomplish their weight loss objectives. To get off to a great start, try using the following tips and tricks:

1. Get Professional Help.

If you're serious about losing weight and keeping it off permanently, it's a good idea to attain professional help. Industry experts will generally have the detailed knowledge and extensive hands-on experience necessary to develop and consistently update a customized weight loss plan that helps you attain the results you want. As you start the process of finding the right professionals to assist you with your weight loss journey, be sure to consider Bay Surgical Weight Loss. The company's surgeons specialize in offering bariatric, vascular, and general surgeries.

2. Develop A Meal Plan.

Outside of getting professional help, one of the best ways to jumpstart your weight loss process is by developing a meal plan. As research studies have already indicated, poor eating habits play an integral role in causing all kinds of health complications, including obesity. For this reason, it's important for you to put together a diet that enables you to attain all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs to thrive. When you do so, you'll help optimize your metabolism and thereby contribute to the fat-burning and weight loss processes. As you develop your meal plan, be sure that it includes a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables that you find tasty!

3. Keep Records.

If you're serious about getting your weight loss journey off to a great start, be sure to get in the habit of keeping records. This process is important because it allows you to see what your daily behaviors are like and determine whether they're contributing to or detracting from your ability to lose weight. With this idea in mind, make sure that you start keeping a food journal so you can see things like how many calories you took in and whether you attained all of the recommended vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. You can use online resources  to complete this process.


Carrying excess weight is dangerous for numerous reasons, including the fact that it makes you more susceptible to diseases like diabetes, depression, and cancer. However, there are numerous weight loss strategies you can begin implementing now so that you can look better, fight disease, and lead the amazing life you deserve. Refer to the information found in this quick reference guide to jump start your weight loss process right now!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

No, Testosterone Probably Doesn't Improve Your Sense of Direction

Cure for Bad Sense of Direction Discovered

According to a press release, the cure for bad sense of direction has been discovered and it is a dose of testosterone. Researchers at Norwegian University of Science and Technology – NTNU have tried to prove the ancient myth that men tend to have a much better sense of direction than women by administering testosterone to 42 men and women and thereafter monitor their neural activity through a way finding task.It was observed that men had performed much better than the women in the navigational task and the testosterone altered the neural activity of the participants.

 However, the results were eventually unconvincing regarding testosterone improvement of a person’s sense of direction. The researchers have mentioned that the `studies have constantly portrayed that the males seem to perform better than women on various spatial tasks.

Though the testosterone group had performed slightly better, the navigation success as well as the navigation strategy was the same in those controlled with a placebo. The authors further wrote that the `complex behaviour like the navigation depending more on learned strategies were not changed inspite of the increased neuronal activity in applicable brain regions.

Neurological Preference in Men – Navigation Strategies

The authors are yet of the belief that there is a neurological preference in men which tends to make their navigation strategies much better. The neural activity of 18 men and 18 women was monitored by the researchers while they oriented in a virtual maze.

An hour of learning the layout of the maze prior to them being hooked up to an fMRI scanner was given to the participants who were given 45 navigation tasks with duration of 30 seconds long. The task solved by the men was 50 percent more that of the women. According to the lead author of the study and a PhD candidate in the NTNU’s Neuroscience department, Carl Pintzka, men’s sense of direction seems to be more effective. They tend to simply get to their destination faster.

 In ancient times, men were hunters and women were the gatherers and hence the brains probably evolved differently. He added that for instance, the researchers documented that women seemed to be better in finding objects locally than men. Women, in simple terms seemed to be faster at locating things in the house, while men were faster in finding the house.

Hippocampus Essential in Making Cardinal Directions

The fMRI scans portrayed that men of the group had bigger activity in the hippocampus at the time of the tasks while the female seemed to used their frontal lobes. Pintzka adds that `it’s in sync with the fact that the hippocampus is essential in making cardinal directions and hoped that the women administered with testosterone would be capable of solving more tasks but did not. However, they had improved knowledge of the layout of the maze and used the hippocampus to a great extent that seemed to be used more for navigating by men.

Hippocampus is the area of the brain which is linked with memory and navigation. Some of the researchers are of the belief that men tend to have a larger hippocampus than the women, though a study in October indicated that there was nominal difference in the size of the hippocampus in the brains of both men and women.

The study of Pintzka is a part of a broader study on how the brain of male as well as female tends to differ. An area of his interest is how Alzheimer’s disease tends to affect men and women in a different manner, twice as many women had been diagnosed with the disease than men.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Blood Pressure Drugs Rethink Urged


High Blood Pressure – Higher Risk of Heart Disease

According to a study, several lives could be saved if the doctors had considered giving blood pressure drugs to the patients during high risk of heart disease even when their blood pressures seemed to be normal. A report calls for a move from present guidelines that suggest pills only to be prescribed if the blood pressure is said to be above a particular threshold.

However experts have admitted that lifestyle factors have played a very important role in bringing the blood pressure down and the study had been published in the Lancet. High blood pressure has been connected to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Present guidelines which have been issued by England’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellences have recommended that patients need to take only medication whenever their blood pressure level tends to reach 140 mmHg.

Those at a risk till this point, for instance people who may have had strokes are provided monitoring though not pills. A global team of experts are coordinating with doctors to focus on risks of individual instead of the firm and arbitrary blood pressure thresholds.

Treatment Reduces Blood Pressure Levels

The results of over 100 large scale trials with some 600,000 people between 1966 and 2015 have been analysed by experts. It was observed that those who were at the highest risks which included smokers with high cholesterol levels as well as people beyond 65 with diabetes could benefit more from treatment, thus reducing their chance of heart attacks and strokes.

 Besides this, the report also recommends that once on treatment, blood pressure levels can be lowered much further than the target used presently. The study also supplements the growing evidence which the patient may benefit from reducing their blood pressure irrespective of their baseline levels either through their lifestyle changes or drugs.

However, it indicates that lower the person’s blood pressure to begin with, the lower the benefit they derive from reducing the same. The author does not suggest that everyone need to be given pills and also cautions that the side-effects of medication need to be taken into consideration.

Medication Not the Only Solution

Professor of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Liam Smeeth has agreed that the findings were essential for those at highest risk. However, he had brought about awareness that `one important caveat is that not all would be able to tolerate having their blood pressure brought to low levels and there is a need to balance possible drug side effect as well as likely benefits.

Dr Tim Chico, heart specialist, of the University of Sheffeld has commented that medication need not be the only way to resolve the issue. He further added that `we could all reduce our blood pressure. We could do this safely, cheaply as well as effectively as tablets by consuming health food, with more physical activity, reducing the intake of alcohol and by maintaining a healthy weight’. All this could help the individual in maintaining the blood pressure level and reduce the risk of heart disease.