Thursday, 25 February 2016

Lack of Exercise In Mid-Life May Age Brain as Well as Body


Lack of Exercise in Middle Age – Affect Brain & Body

A new study from the Boston University School of Medicine had suggested that lack of exercise during the middle age could probably affect the brain and the body. The research, a part of the on-going Framingham Heart Study observed that the lack of activity at 40 was connected to considerably smaller brain volume at the age of 60.According to researchers at Boston University, fitness in middle age could be important to people with early signs of heart disease.

The study adds to the increasing indication that heart health could affect brain health in the later stage of life. A related effect was perceived for high blood pressure as well as heart rate in reaction to exercise. The research published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology followed people in the average age group of 40 who had not suffered from dementia or heart disease who took to two treadmill test two decades apart together with brain scans to measure the neurological activity.

They were asked to run till they had reached 85% of their maximum heart rate. The figure was then utilised in calculating their total exercise volume. They were excluded from the research if they had been suffering from cardiovascular issues, or had taken beta blockers or were unable to complete the exercise test.

Fitness in Middle Age – Important

The study also indicated that people who tend to have blood pressure and heart rate going on a higher rate during exercise was also more likely to have smaller brain volumes two decades later. It was observed that there was a direct correlation between fitness levels and the brain volume.Nicole Spartano, lead researcher of Boston University School of Medicine had commented that they had found a direct correlation in their study between poor fitness and brain volume decades later which indicated the accelerated brain ageing.

Spartano stated that people with poor physical fitness often tend to have higher blood pressure and heart rate responses to low levels of exercise when compared to the people with better fitness. He also observed that the study was observational and does not prove that poor physical fitness could cause a loss of brain volume, it portrays the association. Though not yet studied on a large scale, these results recommend that fitness in middle age could be mostly important for several millions of people all across the world that may have any indication of heart disease.

High Blood Pressure Linked with Dementia

Dr Laura Phipps, of Alzheimer’s Research UK had commented that though it would be hard to conclude from these types of studies whether one factor certainly caused the other, the findings add to a growing body of evidence that poor cardiovascular health throughout the life could have a negative impact on the brain. Present indication recommend that the best way in maintaining a healthy brain is by way of keeping physically and mentally active, eating a balanced diet, refrain from smoke, drink only within recommended limits and keep diabetes, high blood pressure as well as cholesterol under control.

 The outcome could be taken with a pinch of salt since it is not known how important brain size is or what various sizes it could be. It is known that high blood pressure is linked to dementia and hence the study adds to the indications that physical fitness is connected to greater mental aptitude.

Monday, 22 February 2016

The Wearable Sensor Helping Women Conceive - Claire Hooper

Claire Hooper

DuoFertility – Monitoring & Advisory Device – Conceive Naturally

UK based company CTC launched in 2006, developed DuoFertility, a £500 monitoring as well as advisory device which aided couples to conceive naturally. The company asserts that couples utilising DuoFertility tend to have 39% chance of being successful when compared to 35% if on an IVF cycle, due to its combination of tech, data together with support 24/7.

 Claire Hooper, CEO of DuoFertility that developed the monitoring and advisory device has a PhD in biochemistry and had earlier served as technology director at PerkinElmer wherein she held succession of senior R&D positions. After becoming a CEO, Claire was hit by the fact that the data collected did not just relate to better fertility treatment.

 In order to measure body basal temperature and recognize ovulation it was essential to collect and compare huge quantities of data, like body temperature besides sleep quality, activity level and significantly patient generated information regarding their sense of health. When these data were analysed together, the data related to things such as pain management, obesity, sleep problem, and much more.However there is a great deal more to do in the capacity of fertility while collecting more data and view new relationships in the data.

Device – Wearable Sensor Worn Against the Skin

A condition, for instance, known as polycystic ovarian syndrome – PCOS tends to affect one in six infertile women and is commonly undiagnosed and when detected can be easily treated. Claire’s role at CTC was the responsibility of expanding DuoFertility in the US as well as developing the company in the other areas of healthcare.

The DuoFertility’s mission statement is to `help women make the most of their natural chances’. The device is said to be a small wearable sensor which is worn against the skin, under the arm of the women and tends to continuously measure the signs and signals of the body pinpointing precisely when to try for a baby. This information is proven to make much of a difference.

If a couple seems to be physically capable of conceiving naturally, which most of the couples undergoing IVF are in fact capable of, they support in maximising their natural chances. The sensors are just a route for the patient and healthcare provider in gaining additional information.

Enhancement in Sensor Technology

The sensor technology together with the wider concept of the measured self is progressing quickly with the acceptance of the patient on the growing consumer market for wearable fitness trackers as well as sleep monitors. There are nanomaterials being utilised in coating sensors in order to make them safe in implanting to gather data from within the patient.

With the combination of these advances, together with big data analytics, we can see a near term future wherein the patient and the health care provider’s relationship can be changed. Enhancement in sensor technology could bring about immense change by giving healthcare provider quantitative data regarding the health of the patient across end number of parameters in real time that they can enquire against bigger data set for better insight.

At DuoFertility, an option is offered to women in monitoring their own bodies and see how their own data could compare to that of other patient groups with women of similar age. This could help them in making more informed decisions which would lead to better results.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Alzheimer's Preventative Drug Hope


Drugs in Protecting against Alzheimer’s Disease

In recent years, the struggle against Alzheimer’s disease has been increased and researchers are achieving a better understanding of this mind altering ailment though we seem to be far from a cure for it. Various drugs have been detected by scientists that could help in protecting against Alzheimer’s disease and act like statins for the brain.

Experimenting on worms, researchers from University of Cambridge recognized drugs that could prevent the initial step in brain cell death. They now plan to match with drugs having precise stages of the disease. Experts state that it is of great importance to discover if these drugs could be safe for humans. Statins are taken by people to decrease the risk of developing heart ailment and the research team at Cambridge state that its work could have discovered a possible neurostatin to ward off Alzheimer’s disease.

 Instead of treating the symptoms of the disease, neurostatin can be utilised as a preventative measure in order to stop the condition in the first place. For instance the cancer drug bexarotene has been found to stop the first step that could lead to the death of brain cells in worms naturally programmed in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Discover More on Mechanics at Every Stage of Development

The researchers, intheir earliertrials in humans, had tested the drug at a later stage of the ailment to check if it would clear amyloid plaques from the brain though the trials had been unsuccessful. Head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dr Rosa Sancho had stated that scientists should find out precisely how the drugs tend to work prior to any clinical trials. She added that they will now need to see if this new preventative approach could halt the earliest biological events in Alzheimer’s and keep damage away in further animals and human studies.

This early research in worms recommend that bexarotene could act earlier in the process to interfere with amyloid build-up. Prof Michele Vendruscolo, senior study author from the University of Cambridge, said while writing in Science Advances, that the research team wanted to discover more about the mechanics of every stage of the development of the disease.

Body – Natural Defences in Protecting Itself

She mentioned that the body tends to have a variety of natural defences in protecting itself against neurodegeneration, but as we seem to age, these defences become progressively impaired and could get overwhelmed. By understanding how these natural defencesworks, we could be capable of supporting them by designing drugs which behave in a similar manner.

 The director of research and development at the Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Doug Brown said that it was still early days. Bexarotene had been given to nematode worms genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer’s disease, as part of the research and the way the drug worked at molecular level had been analysed. As per the researchers, Bexarotene seems to work by suppressing primary nucleation reaction, which is a process that starts the formation of malfunctioning proteins known as amyloid fibrils and accumulation of amyloid is a symbol feature of Alzheimer’s.

Bexarotene seems to have several side-effects when utilised to treat lymphoma like skin complaints, sickness and headaches and that we would also need to be sure that it would be safe for people suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Colombia Links Zika to Rare Nerve Disorder Deaths


Zika Virus – Developed Rare Nerve Disorder

Columbia has informed that three people died after getting affected with the Zika virus and developed rare nerve disorder. Alejandro Gaviria, Health Minister had stated that there was a `causal link between Zika, the Guillain-Barre disorders and the three deaths’. The mosquito-borne disease, Zika, has been connected to cases of babies born in Brazil with underdeveloped brains - microcephaly.Head of Colombia’s National Health Institute, Martha Lucia Ospina had confirmed and attributed three deaths to Zika.

She stated that `in this case, the three deaths were led by Guillain-Barre syndrome’. Guillain-Barre is considered a rare disorder wherein the immune system of the body attacks part of the nervous system and is normally deadly. Cases of the syndrome wherein the immune system attacks the nervous system causes weakness and at times paralysis has increased in tandem due to the Zika outbreak.

This has given rise to suspicions that it is a complication of the mild tropical fever. Ms Ospina also mentioned that another six deaths were investigated for probable connection to Zika. She also informed that the other cases of death connected to Zika would arise and the world is recognising that Zika could be deadly.

Complications – Respiratory Failure

The standard rate does not seem to be very high though it could be deadly. Mr Gaviria had stated that one of the fatalities had taken place in San Andres and the other two in Turbo in Antioquia department. Prof Jonathan Ball, UK virologist of the University of Nottingham had informed BBC that they had been saying Zika had been linked with Guillain-Barre and one of the complications of that could be respiratory failure.

However, it is yet probably a very rare incident. Though Zika tends to cause mild, flu-like symptoms, it has been associated to thousands of suspected birth defects. But it has still not been proved that Zika tends to cause either microcephaly or Guillain-Barre. The foremost method of infection is through mosquito bites though the scientists in Brazil state that tests on two patients discovered Zika could be found in other body fluids. Paulo Gadelha, Head of Brazil’s Fiocruz Institute, which is part of the Ministry of Health, commented that the presence of the active Zika virus has been traced in saliva and urine. However that does not mean that there is a capacity for transmission through saliva and urine.

Public Health Emergency Over Zika

Traces of genetic material of Zikahave been identified in saliva and urine during the outbreak in French Polynesia in 2013, but the authorities in Brazil state that this is the first time `active’ virus had been discovered.

According to Oswaldo Crus also from Fiocruz stated that it means that the virus is active with the capability of infecting a cell which is completely different and means that the virus is functional. Brazil had 4,783 suspected cases of babies born with small brains though only 404 had been confirmed, while 709 had been rejected and 3,670 are still being inspected.

Updated information states that avoiding mosquitoes seems the best way in preventing infection but advises men returning from affected countries to refrain from sexual activity especially during the duration of the pregnancy. The governor of Puerto Rico, in the meanwhile has declared a public health emergency over Zika. The US territory has confirmed 22 cases.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Brain Scans to Catch Child Depression Before It Starts


Brian Imaging Identifies Great Risk of Depression

Latest developments in brain imaging in identifying children at great risk of depression prior to unbearable and at times dangerous disorder setting in, is being tested by researchers at MIT’s McGovern Institute.It has been estimated by World Health Organization that around 350 million people of all age tend to suffer from depression which is a serious mental disorder.

The study observed a significant negative connection between the depression of parents and kids’ performance at school according to senior author Brian Lee of Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. Lee stated that depression being a bad thing like any other mental health is less recognized and that mental health affects other people than the people themselves. For parents or guardian, a weak population is their children.

It seems to affect all aspect of a person’s life and in some serious incidents could also lead to suicide cases. Two groups of children are involved in the study, one at high risk of depression owing to family history and a control group with kids at low risk. Kids were scanned from both the groups to map the network pathways in their brains and the question was whether the researchers could detect the difference in brain activity which would indicate a higher risk of depression. The answer was that there were great differences.

Learn to Identify Early Children who are At Real Risk

According to John Gabrieli, professor of Brian and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, they envisaged differences which were striking in various circuits comprising of those which change in depression, inclusive of those involved in feelings and other areas involved in thinking.

Additional thing besides these differences were that the differences were so strong between each child that they were very near to perfect in being capable of categorizing from a brain scan if a child was at risk or not. The aim is to follow these children and observe who among the high risk group tend to develop depression, tracing changes in their brain function all the way.

Gabrieli mentioned that the children which tend to go on to depression more, can be identified more and hope to get preventive treatment and save them from suffering but help them beforehand. He added that they want to learn both to identify early children who are at real risk, help them prior to their struggle and learn from those that are resilient, what could be the difference regarding them since it could give a hint on how to help the children who are not resilient.

Better Understanding on Depression/Improved Treatment Option

The researchers state that a better understanding on how depression tends to affect the brain would eventually lead to improved treatment option for those who may be more at risk. Lee and his colleagues mentioned in JAMA Psychiatry that the earlier studies showed children with depressed parents would possibly have problems with brain development, behaviour and emotions together with the other psychiatric problem. Data from over 1.1 million children born in Sweden between 1984 and 1994 has been utilised for the new study.

3% of mothers and around 2% of fathers had been diagnosed with depression prior to their children finishing their last required year of school which happened around the age of 16 in Sweden. The kids’ grades seemed to suffer, when parents had been diagnosed with depression during their children’s lifespan. Lee considered the link as `moderate’ between parental depression and the children’s school performance

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Harvard Team Discovers How the Brain Gets Its Folds


Mechanical Instability Linked with Buckling- Probable Cause of Folds

The human brain is famous for its walnut shape. It was earlier unclear as to how the brain got its distinctive folds but a team at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have now discovered that a mechanical instability connected with buckling is the probable cause of the folds in the brain.

Published in Nature Physics, the team, in research had created a 3D gel model of a smooth foetal brain constructed on MRI image which was then covered with layer of elastomer gel to duplicate the cortex. It was then immersed in a solvent which led it to swell relative to its deeper regions. Compression within minutes led to the formation of folds identical in size and shape like the real brains.

Lead author of the study, L. Mahadevan had informed that they found that they could imitate cortical folding by utilising simple physical principle and get the results which were similar to what is seen in real foetal brains. This simple evolutionary innovation enabled a larger cortex to be packed into a small volume and is probably the main cause behind the brain folding. He added that when he put the model in the solvent, he was aware that there would be folding but had not expected that kind of close pattern to the human brain.

Brain Folding Abnormalities - Serious

The study of the human cortex could help in solving a longstanding secret regarding the structure of grey matter in brain and understand better the disorder connected to under-folding or over-folding of the brain. Brain folding abnormalities could be serious and infants born with completely smooth brains tend to have very short life expectations. Folding tends to happen as the brain grows with the number, shape, size and position of the neuronal cells which contribute to the expansion of the cortex which is also known as the grey matter comparative to the white matter which is beneath.

The subsequent compression leads to mechanical instability causing the iconic folds. This simple evolutionary invention permits the thin though expansive cortex to be packed in a small volume and is the leading cause behind the folds in the brain which has surprised even the scientists.

Understanding Brain Related Disorders

Researchers suggest that the resemblances between the model and a real brain in the shape of a brain, the geometry of the brain tends to serve in positioning the folds in certain directions. The earlier research in this space observed that a difference in growth between the cortex as well as the soft tissue beneath could enlighten the differences in the folding pattern through the organisms. Comprehending the mechanism, the researcher comment could help in further understanding of brain related disorders.

Mahadevan had stated that `brains are not accurately the same from one human to another, though we should all have the same main folds in order to be healthy. Research portrays that if a part of the brain does not tend to grow properly, or if the global geometry seems to be disrupted, it may not have the main folds in the right place, which could cause dysfunction in the brain’.

Though the researchers have pointed out that the 3D printed gel based model only predicts the behaviour of simple and regular brain structure at the start of the gyrification process, it is an important step in ultimately recreating more complex and dynamic emerging folds.

Scio Pocket 'Food-Sniffing' Sensor now Shipping to Devs


Pocket Friendly Molecular Sensor – Instant Information on Food

Consumer Physics, the company behind Scio, has announced the pocket friendly molecular sensor which had been a Kickstarter sensation in 2014.Scio had hit its Kickstarter goal within 24 hours in 2014 and towards the end had raised 1,381% of its initial funding goal. Thereafter the device had been redesigned several times and there had been stress on building an ecosystem for developers.

 The company is now making efforts in shipping early SDK units to the researcher community with the possibility that several of those who tend to receive their kit from the early shipment would be super early-bird backers who managed to get Scios at a price of only $149. Dror Sharon, CEO of Consumer Physics had commented that `it had been over four years since the work on Scio had commenced and the Kickstarter campaign had been part of an amazing journey.

The greatest value obtained from the campaign had been highly enthusiastic and engaged community of early adopters, developers, scientists and more Scio explorers’.Scio is for those who would prefer instant information regarding the things they interact with and take in daily. It is beneficial for those who would want help in developing a quick expanding database of valuable knowledge which would be of advantage to the community of users.

Power of Near-Infrared – NIR Spectroscopy

With the potentials of identifying food as well as distinguishing between kinds of pills by only scanning their molecular fingerprints, it was a popular sensor on Kickstarter. Besides identifying objects, it can also provide a breakdown of the several chemicals in it.

Scio tends to operate due to the power of near-infrared –NIR spectroscopy that has the possibilities of scanning physical materials for signs of these fingerprints and is an intensely downsized version of a substantial as well as a very pricey kind of equipment which is known as a lab spectrometer. When one gets their Scio, they will be capable of analysing food, medications and plants.

 For instance, one could get nutritional facts regarding the various types of food like dairy products, fruits and vegetables, knowing the well-being of popular plants, in identifying capsules comprising of medicine and nutritional supplements and help to build the world’s first database of matter. Other apps for drinks, meats, salad dressing, ripeness and much more would be released on a regular basis when the database tends to expand.

Scio – Not a Medical Device for Treating/Preventing Medical Conditions

These are some of the few of the starter applications which one could use on receiving the Scio and after its release, new applications would be created and released regularly. The prospects of Scio applications seems to be endless like for instance, in future one could utilise Scio in measuring properties of cosmetics, flora, clothes, soil, together with precious stones, leather, oils, plastics, rubber etc.

However, users are cautioned that Scio is not a medical device and should not be utilised in treating or preventing medical conditions like allergies. The car clicker sized machines depends on spectroscopy like the light based technology which astronomers tend to use in determining the composition of stars.

While performing a scan, Scio’s tiny optical sensor captures the molecular footprint of the item, measures how those molecules seem to interact with light and develops a barcode like data which the Scio’s in-house app changes into the data it sends to the phone.

Reading about Industry Practices and News with Regular Publications

People in the business world often like to stay abreast of changes and news in their respective industries. One of the leading ways that they stay informed is by subscribing to and reading publications like magazines and newsletters that relate to their jobs. When you want to know all there is to know about the dental industry, you may subscribe to a publication like the Journal of Dental Implantology and other regular print news that aims to inform dental professionals. You can find out how to subscribe and what kind of content can be found in each journal by checking out the website.

Procedural News

Given the nature of this industry, it is important for dental practitioners to stay abreast of the latest news regarding implants and surgical procedures. This information keeps patients safe and also lets dentists practice their trade better.

It also highlights some of the changing technology found within this area of dentistry. Just like any other medical field, dentistry relies heavily on changing technology to treat patients better. When an innovation hits the market or the industry wants to promote a certain practice, it relies on these publications to inform dentists throughout the country. Dentists can then undergo training and begin implementing this technology into their own practices.

The website also promotes products and services that relate to the industry. Dentists on the lookout for new products or services to use in their own practices can consider the advertisements found in the publication itself.

Subscribing, Contact, and Archives

Dentists who are just getting started in their trade or even dental students looking to conduct research for educational reasons may want to access the archives from the publication. They can find back issues by using the archive tab found on the website.

They can also subscribe to the publication using the subscription option found online. This option lets dentists sign up for and pay to receive the journal.

People who want to contact or interact with the journal can do so on social networking sites. They can use the social media plugins offered on the publication's website.

The dental industry relies on the latest news and technology to treat patients better. Dentists can stay abreast of all there is to know about their trade by subscribing to and reading professional journals that are published on a regular basis.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Grandmother Gives Birth to Granddaughter


Grandmother Offered to Be Surrogate to Daughter

Infertility tends to affect one out of every six couples like the McKissacks. After the miscarriages, the McKissacks had only four embryos left from the earlier vitro fertilization -IVF treatments when Tracey Thomson, a 54 year old grandmother offered to be a surrogate to her daughter who struggled with fertility issues.

At the time of IVF, mature eggs are collected from the woman’s ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the embryo is transferred to the uterus. Thompson had undergone stress tests, full evaluations together with hormones prior to completing the infertility treatment. According to the Medical Centre of Plano, `Tracey had been seven years past menopause but in excellent health. Age alone is typically a limiting factor for childbirth and surrogacy. But medical advances in assisted reproductive technology tend to permit late-in-life surrogacy, under thorough supervision’.

 Tracey Thompson had the opportunity of not only giving birth to her daughter Kelly McKissack, presently 28 yearsold, but also the surrogate mother to McKissacks’s daughter. After several efforts at fertility treatment together with three miscarriages, McKissack and husband Aaron McKissack, 33 had the pleasure of a new-born baby girl, Kelcey McKissacks.

Women Can Give Birth – Surrogacy is Deemed Safe

McKissack had informed KHOU that `she is beautiful and just perfect. No one could give someone a greater gift, ever’. For Thompson, the pregnancy was not an easy affair. Her first and third trimester had been particularly hard and she faced complications at the time of labour. Kelcey’s heart rate too began dropping too far which urged the doctors to go in for a Caesarean section.

Often age however being a limiting factor for pregnancy, hormonal supplementation together with assisted reproductive technology – ART enables women to give birth even after going through menopause. As a matter of fact, it is said that women can give birth when surrogacy is deemed safe, at any age.

The story of the birth began when Kelley McKissack of 28 years of age had faced years of infertility problems. Her husband Aaron and Kelly had made several attempts on multiple IVF treatment and had gone through three heart-breaking miscarriages. It was at this point of time that Kelley’s mother offered to be a surrogate mother for her daughter.

Surrogacy A Possible Option

Kelley had mentioned that `my lovely mom offered to give me the greatest gift I could ever have in my life’. It was said that when Kelley was a teenager, she had jokingly asked her mom to carry her baby.She informed CNN affiliate KTVT that she said, `If I can’t carry my own baby will you carry it for me?’ who had replied that she would, not dreaming that she would actually be doing it.

That promise had been kept when an embryo had been successfully implanted into Thompson in April 2015. Though she was seven years past menopause but in good health, Thompson had to go through several treatments earlier to enable her body to carry the baby. Eventually she gave birth to a healthy six pound eleven ounce baby girl on January 7 at The Medical Centre of Plano in Texas.

The unique name `Kelcey’ had been created by joining the names of her mother and her grandmother – Kelley and Tracey. Their story is being shared by the family to make others aware that surrogacy is a possible option especially to those couples who tend to have issues conceiving on using other methods.