Showing posts with label health tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health tips. Show all posts

Saturday, 18 March 2017

5 Essential Tips for Expectant Indian Women

Expectant Women

What You Must Know Before Baby's Birth?

Expecting a baby is the most wonderful feeling in this world. You will experience a mix of emotions during this phase. Sometimes you feel happy while sometimes you feel scared because of the future challenges.

Sarah Walker, an artist, once explained her feeling that

“Becoming a mother is like discovering the existence of a strange new room in the house where you already live.” 

When the baby arrives, you want to give every comfort of this world to make sure he/ she is safe. With a different level of responsibilities, you start planning your schedule and make yourself prepare for coming responsibility. But, in the hustle-bustle, you may forget many essential things. Hence, it is a must to start making a to-do list a month or two before the delivery to eliminate the last minute rush.

Here, we have shared a short list of important tasks that an expectant mom must consider before the childbirth.

  1. Shortlist Few Baby Names 

    When a baby arrives, people give several random and irritating names.

    Obviously, you won’t like to call your little one with some crazy name, right? So, make a shortlist of cute Indian Baby Names before the childbirth. Select the most appropriate one after the birth.

  2. Workout/ Exercises for Natural Baby Birth

  3. If you want to avoid a C-section and your pregnancy is normal then exercises are beneficial to avoid complications at the time of delivery. But that doesn’t mean heavy and long exercise sessions. There are some special exercises for increasing chances of normal delivery, for that do consult with your doctor. Yoga postures are effective and safe also they help in reducing the aches and preparing body for easier childbirth.
    Expectant Women

  4. Prepare Hospital Bag One Month Prior

  5. The delivery timing is always uncertain. Hence, start making a hospital bag of essentials a month before, is always helpful. You can take help from a doctor or an experienced mom to make a list of essentials and "Buy newborn essentials online in India."

    Make sure you won’t skip any important item.

  6. Read the Breast Feeding Guide

  7. Nowadays, the majority of couples live away from their families. Hence, it is become more crucial to stay updated with all the information related to before and after the childbirth. You can easily get the details online as the Internet is the pool of information.

    Breastfeeding has many advantages. Alongside, moms and babies may face issues if not supervised correctly. Hence, mom should know what’s necessary and what’s not during breastfeeding.

  8. Find A Pediatrician

  9. Babies are fragile and easily prone to infections. They need a lot of care and precautions at every stage.
    Finding a pediatrician may seem a premature decision, but it is for the benefit of you and your baby. Right after the childbirth, you will require a pediatrician to know what the perfect diet for a newborn is and how much you should feed. What’s good and what’s bad for a baby can only be figured out with the help of a pediatrician.
Hence, it is necessary to stay in touch with a good pediatrician near your home.

While choosing a pediatrician, consider a few things such what are their hours? What is their philosophy on vaccinations?You can ask for suggestions from friends and family members who have children. Make an appointment and visit their clinic to know more about them. It is always a good decision to explore a bit about the pediatrician and the staff.

Conclusion- An expectant mom should consider a few things for hassle-free childbirth. They can either consult with a doctor or an experienced mom to avoid all mistreatments. Read the article thoroughly to have a healthy and happy baby.

Author Bio: Sapana is mother of 2 and a WAHM IT Professional. She writes about pregnancy health, breastfeeding and baby health on her blog:

Monday, 13 February 2017

Paralysed Patients Communicate Thoughts via Brain-Computer Interface

Brain-Computer Interface
Healthcare is going through a decisive decade wherein technology is advancing at an incredible pace to enhance the longevity of the human race along with offering some incredible solutions to age old problems. Quite recently a team of scientists has been able to develop a highly advanced brain-computer interface which has the ability to read brain’s blood oxygen level in order to bring communicational abilities to the paralyzed patients.

This interface essentially helps in deciphering the patient’s thoughts and allows them to communicate. During the initial trial of this system scientist has taken help of four patients who are suffering from complete locked-in syndrome wherein they are unable to a single part of their body to facilitate communication. Thereby their thought waves were analyzed to bring responses in either yes or no through a list of questions.
Brain Computer interface (BCI) will transform millions of patient’s life

Researchers have asserted that the brain-computer interface (BCI) developed by them is non-invasive in nature. It will help in effectively transforming lives of millions of patients by giving them an opportunity to express their feeling and opinions. Patients who can only lift their eyes up and down in form of active body movements is classified as enduring locked-in syndrome when even such ability is lost then it results in complete locked-in syndrome. BCI will help such patients in communicating again and with further progress in the technology they will be able regain their body movement.

More details into the development of this system

Scientists has made trail of this system on four patients effectively suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is defined as a progressive motor neuron disease which gradually destroys a patient’s nervous system which controls of the body movement thereby paralyzing him for life. They have published their trial and its finding in the journal on Tuesday called PLOS Biology wherein they provided some of the insightful studies of their trial.

The questions put forwarded to the patients were to be responded in either yes or no and it included basic questions such as whether their husband name is correct or not or are they are happy. The technology used to measure their responses by effectively measuring their blood oxygenation and brain electrical activity was made up of near infrared spectroscopy and the electroencephalography or EEG.

How this system works? 

This particular system devised by the scientists actually keeps a record of the blood flow and oxygen level then calculates how these levels changes during the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses by the patients. Over the time this system learns from this and develops a pattern which is able to accurately predict/calculate patient’s responses with precision.

John Donoghue the director of Wyss Center has appreciated the breakthrough made by the scientists and he states that this could be the first step in helping such patients in regaining their movement. His team has next task at hand that is to develop this particular system and technology further to make it available to wider number of patients suffering from strike, spinal cord injury or ALS.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Hair Straighteners Pose Child Burn Risk

Hair Straighteners
Hair straightener threat

Joshua, who is only 10 months old is 1 out of 100 children to be admitted in hospital who suffer from burns caused by hair straighteners. The straightener fell off the table and on his harm causing a burn. It had just been switch off but was yet very hot. The burn units from the UK say that one in every twenty cases of children being admitted for child burns the previous year were due to hair straighteners. As a result, the ask parents to be cautious.

Thinner skin

Data from the database of the international burns injury illustrate that there were three hundred and ninety two children admitted in UK in the year 2015 to the specialist unit for calamities that were caused by hair straighteners.

Electrical Safety First a charity says that most of the calamities happen when children reach for or end up touching hair straighteners that are still hot. Hair straighteners and curling irons have the potential to reach upto the temperature of 235 degree Celsius and maintain their temperature up to forty minutes even after power supply is cut off. Emma Apter from the same charity stated that parents tend to run from pillar to post in the day and even though they would not prefer to add on more tasks, it is necessary to keep hair straigteners out of the way of toddlers.

We advice manufacturing companies to take into consideration steps to grant safer protective measures by granting a better way of storage for their respective products. From the Children’s Burns Trust, Paul Fuller cautioned that since the skin of children tend to be about fifteen times thinner than those of adults therefore they are more prone to have severe burns.

He also said that a burn caused to a child may require years of continuous surgeries as the toddler ages, as damaged tissue does not multiply to form a new layer of skin. Fortunately for Joshua the burns are in the process of healing post 3 weeks being in a bandage. His mother named Josie said that the doctors will keep an eye on his arm and observe if any scarring will occur.

She is now at ease as her son is now playing like before and makes use of his arm like before. She also mentioned that was in shock and immediately began panicking when the incident took place. The whole thing happened in a jiffy. She was getting ready to leave for work and had switched off the straightener and placed it on a table out of his reach.

Joshua had just began to crawl and she misjudged how swiftly he could get to the table. He ended up pulling the cord and as a result the hot straightener fell. She was not aware that the straightener could remain so hot even when they were turned off. The awareness about this should be made and spread so such calamities can be kept at bay.

Serious burns – what to do:
  • Immediately place burned area under running cold water for at least 20 minutes and get rid of all jewellery and clothes except if its melted or has stuck to the skin. 
  • Cover the area which is burnt with Clingfilm or a germ free dressing.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Knuckle-Cracking is Actually Good For You


Of Myths and Results

Tanya Johnson is an outstanding nurse, but has been driving her boss, Dr Robert Szabo nuts for 15 years with her never ending knuckle cracking which makes him want to choke her. Szabo is the former president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and is also a hand surgeon at the UC Davis Medical Centre. Johnson was constantly told by Szabo to stop with the cracking of her knuckles by saying it wasn’t good for her to which she replied asking him to prove it. But Szabo was unable to.

When Dr Robert Boutin, his colleague who is a radiologist at the same centre asked him to work together on a knuckle-cracking study, Szabo grabbed the opportunity. They together gathered people, along with Johnson herself, who were driven with the needed habit, and perform the action under ultrasound so as to observe what really happened inside the joint. Not only were the knuckles examined before and after the cracking of them, but also the knuckles of a number of those who do not crack their knuckles were also considered, to observe problems inclusive of swellings and weakened grip strength.

Szabo felt certain that the test would prove to his nurse that the cracking of her knuckles had to stop as it was bad. But this didn’t fall in his favour. They found no hand problems in those who cracked their knuckles frequently. As a matter of fact, when a knuckle was cracked, the individual showed an increased range of movement as compared to those whose knuckles hadn’t cracked. The study was presented at a meeting in December of the Radiological Society of North America, although it has not been published.

What causes the crack?

More than simply knowing the pros and cons of knuckle cracking, Szabo and Boutin were keen to know what exactly happened inside the joint that had been cracked. The researchers found something remarkable, by looking at the ultrasounds of around 400 knuckles. They found that when a knuckle was cracked, there was characteristic and a sudden flash in the joint.

They though that when a knuckle is cracked, two surfaces of the joint is being pulled apart, which lowers the amount of pressure in the joint. That pressure lets gas which is mixed with the fluids within the joints to be liberated, and the bright flash observed is a bubble of gas forming. Boutin says that he thinks that is why a joint has more motion post cracking. Maybe lowering the pressure permits the joint to be a little loose and relaxed.

The mythology behind knuckle-cracking

If knuckle cracking is proved to not be bad for you, then how did it come around with a negative approach? A rehabilitative medicine specialist, Dr Greg Kawchuk at the University of Alberta said that, everybody’s aunts and grannies say that it isn’t a good practice, but no one has an idea where that comes from. He mentioned he might know it, based on the fervent reply he received when he published his very own study on knuckle cracking last year.

He also said that they got feedbacks from a lot of people and while a few said that they felt relieved by cracking their knuckles just as many found it pretty disgusting. Perhaps, this could be the reason why generations of grannies and aunts have corrected children to stop with the practice because they simply couldn’t bear the sound. It was his person opinion, but he felt that few of the people felt gross because of it that they created such myths. But this myth does have a scientific side.

A study from 1990 showed that knuckle crackers were more prone to have swelling hands and bad grip strength. But Kawchuk and Boutin pointed out some flaws in the study from more than a one fourth of a century ago. First, if the researchers knew which individual cracked knuckles and which did not and not having known that could have made their evaluations biased.

Secondly, the writers did not maintain transparency as to how they judged grip strength and swelling. Be that as it may, Szabo and Boutin are the first to say that their test wasn’t a final study on cracking knuckles, especially as they observed only short term and not prolonged effects. They say that in the coming years, a greater and better study may refute their findings.

Boutin typed an email saying ‘Knuckle kerfuffles are numerous’ adding an emoji of a smiling face at the end of the sentence. But in the bargain, it clicked to Szabo that he has no valid reason telling his nurse to put an end to cracking her knuckles. He said at the end, that after he reviewed the science behind it, he had a strong opinion that knuckle cracking was on the whole not harmful.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

'Bagpipe lung' warning for wind musicians


Harbouring in the damp

In the journal Thorax, UK doctors warn that people who play wind instruments like bagpipes, trumpets and saxophones can have damaged lungs. They explained an unusual but deadly scenario in a patient who was 61 years old, called ‘bagpipe lung.’ The late man is believed to have cultivated a reaction against fungi and moulds prowling inside the damp interiors of his bagpipes.

Doctors are advising others to be better sanitized. They recommend a routine clean-up of the instruments to avoid the growth of yeast and other microscopic organisms. If a player feels breathlessness and has a cough, he should ponder on the possibility that his symptoms could have been aggravated because of their practice in music.

Many other familiar reports have been documented with regards to trombone and saxophone players facing lung problems. Gratefully, the symptoms and caused were diagnosed at an early stage and were treated and cured at the earliest.

Irreversible scarring

Doctors explain that lung damage occurs when the immune system of the body get overridden. The pathogen that are inhaled cause inflammation, and if is not treated, can cause an increasing and irreversible scarring. The doctors at the Wythenshawe Hospital mentioned that they had an intuition that the person’s bagpipes could be the root of his problems.

The man was a dedicated piper and used to practice music daily. He had been sick for a few years, except for a few months when he went abroad and his bagpipes were left at home. They were then sent to the laboratory to be tested and prove the doctor’s intuition to be true. When the results came back it declared that the instrument was a haven for moist-loving fungi and mould, the ones that doctors are aware can cause problems related to the lungs.

The impairment that was previously done to the man’s lung was permanent as a result of which his condition worsened and led to his death. A member of the Wythenshawe group who had a role in this case called Dr Jenny King said that unfortunately the damage was lethal. If the diagnoses are predicted early and its activation could be stopped then these people can be cured and the prognosis is truly great. These pathogens are in the air around us but are not usually at a high possible standard to create problems.

This type of problems with respect to the lungs is seen especially with those who work on farms and work near or around plenty of mouldy hay. Andrew Bova is an expert bagpiper in Glasgow at the National Piping Centre. He suggests that he would certainly recommend giving the woodwind instrument a swab after every use when it comes to hygiene.

Moisture can settle in the nooks and corners and we wouldn’t want that. Moisture as it is damages wooden articles so a swab would do the work of keeping it clean. Andrew makes use of brushes to keep his blowpipe clean and shares that he also gives a complete rinse with hot water once in six months to avoid any possible problems in the future.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Women Warned about Booming Market in Period Tracker Apps



The market is flourishing with apps which grant women an opportunity to keep in check their dates of their month menstrual cycle. Currently, 200m download are thought to have been of menstrual cycle tracking apps, throughout the world. However, one of the top UK medical royal college has notified that women should not completely and blindly depend on these apps as a form of contraception.

Promoters of privacy suggest that users should be cautious of what matter they might unintentionally be sharing when they download such apps. When one searches for apps which track one’s period one will see lot of options being prompted like some displaying charts and diagrams, while others illustrate floral patterns of lilac or pink tulips. Menstrual cycle tracking apps come second to apps which are based for motor running, in the category for health and fitness.

Amy Worsfold resides in the south-eastern part of London in Greenwich mentioned that she used multiple trackers for about three years. This opera singer said that when a woman is in a pre-menstrual phase, the levels of hormone secretions are elevated and affect the larynx in different ways could be unfavourable to the same person’s singing voice. She makes use of such apps just to avoid fixing auditions, important performances or premiers on pre-menstrual days if she could.


She notes down and calculates her cycle with the help of her smartphone. The app also has feature which allows her to recognize connections with fluctuations in her emotions or mood, headaches and eating habits. She added that since she was able to make note of what was happening to her and how she distinctively responded to her cycle made her aware n could take ownership of the fact that could suck but also is completely necessary.

In some cases, women download apps to track their period in order to monitor their fertility. But Gynaecologists and Obstetricians from the Royal College have advised them not to use the apps as a way of contraception. So far, only one app in the market has solely assessed for efficiency for the same. Mostly they are not categorized as medical devices that would involve stern regulations.

Powerful tool

Clue is an app by Ida Tin, who is a Berlin based Danish entrepreneur. Her market share is of 10% in the UK. She said that all she wanted to do was develop a next generation of technology in the terms of family planning and she is certain that they will reach there, however they haven’t reached there yet. Many women have been recently showing a great amount of interest in Clue from Brazil and Mexico, probably due to the increasing threats of conceiving during an outbreak of zika.

Ida is fascinated in how anonymous matter from her app which is free can be used for a greater good. She has therefore teamed up with medical researchers who are established at Oxford University. Her business has been constructed on an accountable method by her.

She adds that her app is a very powerful tool, and that she cannot do what her users would want her to do until and unless she makes use of the data that they feed in. She is grateful and she is asking for a lot of faith in her, but many companies that likewise are in the same sort of work line, do not have any value or respect the trust they set.

Terms and conditions

Few apps that more clearly directed at conception have a proper value to advertisers and promoters. For instance, a woman who is planning for a baby will be a likely market for clothing, prams and other possible purchases. Sam Smith, who is privacy promoter at medConfidential said that it is necessary for a source to be present for people to trust which is independent and that can assure the safety of the app for individuals, not only for all medical applications, but for applications for conception in particular.

The terms and conditions which are provided but the app developers can be read; also legally people are required to do so. But every individual knows that nobody pays heed to that. Sam understands the deficiency of regulations or also authorized recommendations, as a failure of the market in this area.

As a result, he advises that in case the application is free of charge to download, one should ponder if they would have to be paying for it in result by providing them with their data that they feed in the app on their smartphone, and also consider where that would be going. This along with many other aspects calls for areas of improvement. Further improvement need to be made to gain accuracy. So far it’s all on trial and error, until the data can be examined by the developers.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

TauRx Alzheimer's Drug LMTX Fails in Large Study Although Some Benefit Seen


LMTX – Unsuccessful to Improve Cerebral/Functional Abilities – Alzheimer

In a late stage study, for an experimental Alzheimer’s drug called LMTX, by TauRX pharmaceuticals have concluded that it was unsuccessful to improve cerebral and functional abilities in patients suffering from slight to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Amazingly, results at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto, revealed that in about 15 percent of experimental patients who were not administered other standard Alzheimer’s drug, showed a substantial benefit with regards to the drug.The co-founder of Singapore-based TauRX, Claude Wischik, who is also a professor of geriatric psychiatry at Aberdeen University, mentioned in a monotherapy group that, by 85 per cent the drug had reduced the amount of decline in cognitive and functional skills.

The findings were not only called ‘intriguing’, by Dr. Laurie Ryan, chief of the Dementia of Aging Branch at the National Institute on Aging, but also stated that the results do not reveal much at this point.On a whole, the study comprised of a total of 891 subjects, out of which, a figure of only 15 percent were not administered standard Alzheimer’s drug. In a telephone interview, Dr Laurie said that a small portion showed a benefit and that was the reason why they were unable to obtain result. 70.6 was said to be the mean age of the study.

Avoids Stamping in Brain of Abnormal Fibres – Protein Tau

The drug LMTX has been developed to avoid stamping in the brain of abnormal fibres connected with a protein known as tau. The development of plaques is said to happen much earlier than the development of tangles. Hence several scientists have been making attempts in the development of drugs in order to clear the brain of plaques according to Dr Ganesh Babulal, researcher in the department of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Pharmaceutical companies like Biogen, Abbvie and Eli Lilly have started developing their own tau inhibitors though the field is yet in its initial stages compared to what had been done to study drugs intended at beta-amyloid. The results are primary from a large-scale experiment of a drug that aims ‘tau’, which is the Alzheimer’s-related protein.

It forms lethal tangles of nerve fibres related with fatal disease. With the help of existing treatments, Alzheimer’s symptoms can be improvised on, but no drug yet, has managed to show the slow progression of disease.

Many Companies Targeting Tau

Several companies, like Biogen, AbbVie and Eli Lilly, have started targeting tau itself, the protein linked with cell death, after many years of failed drug experiments in which, beta-amyloid, the Alzheimer’s protein which forms sticky plaques in the brain, was targeted.Although, the overall study goal was missed, Wischik remained hopeful.

He brought to light distinct analysis of brain scans which demonstrated a statistically substantial decrease in the rate of shrinkage of the brain, among the monotherapy patients who had been benefited, indicating that the drug slowed brain atrophy.Uncertainty persists, as to why the drug worked only in patients that were not receiving any other Alzheimer’s treatment.

Wischik commented that the firm is speculating on the same, but at the moment was unable to obtain an answer. TauRX has been researching LMTX in 800-patient trial on patients with mild Alzheimers’ where the aim is to prevent the progress of Alzheimer’s in patients taking LMTX and the outcome of it is anticipated later in the year

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Sodas Linked to Gallbladder Cancer


Soda/Sugary Beverages Linked to Gallbladder Cancer

According to a Swedish study, individuals who tend to consume plenty of soda or any other sugary beverages could be at a greater risk of being affected by rare cancers in the gallbladder and bile ducts surrounding the liver.Not much is known regarding the causes of biliary tract together with gallbladder tumours though initial evidence recommend obesity and elevated blood sugar levels which are a symbol of diabetes could increase the risk of these menaces.

Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden stated that since sodas and the other sugary drinks have been connected to high blood sugar as well as weight gain, researchers speculated if these drinkscould play a role in these kinds of cancer.

To discover the possibility, researchers investigated the survey data on eating and drinking habits of over 70,000 adults and thereafter followed them for over 13 years on an average to check whether cancer was diagnosed. During the study period, around 150 people had developed biliary tract or gallbladder cancers. The study observed that when compared with people who seemed to refrain from sugar sweetened drinks overall, individuals who had consumed two and more juice beverages or soda, inclusive of artificially sweetened sodas each day had more thandoublethe risk of having gallbladder tumours and 79% higher chancesof developing biliary tract cancer.

Soda Consumption Connected with Risk of Biliary Tract Cancer

Larsson had mentioned in her email that soda consumption has been inconsistently connected with the risk of biliary tract cancer and other cancers in earlier similar studies. Larsson adds that the present study is the first study showing a strong connection between consumption of sweetened beverages like soda and the risk of biliary tract cancer.

 Towards the beginning of the study, participants completed the food and drink questionnaires which queried on how many sodas or juice drinks had been consumed by them in the past week and how much they had typically consumed during the earlier year. When they had answered these questions in 1997, the participants were of 61 years old on an average and about half of them seemed to be overweight and approximately 25% seemed to be current smokers. The researchers had excluded individuals who had earlier cancer diagnosis or a history of diabetes.

Precise Reason for Connection Between Sodas & Tumours Unclear

Those who consumed two or more sodas or sugary drinks daily were more likely of being overweight and had a higher-calorie intake with more sugar and carbohydrates and less protein and fat. The risk of gallbladder and biliary tract tumours continued though even after researchers adjusted to participantsregardlessof being overweight. Since the study is said to be observational, the conclusions does not prove that soda and sugary drinks could cause cancer.

The authors noted in JNCI – Journal of the National Cancer Institute that there could be a possibility that since researchers only haddata on the habits of drinking at the beginning of the study, the results could have been influenced due to changes over a period of time in the beverages that people consumed. Dr Margo Denke, a former researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas who was not involved in the study stated that the researchers also were short of exact data in evaluating how often the drinks people opted were diet sodas.

Dr Igor Astsaturov, a medical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Centre in Philadelphia also not involved in the study commented that the precise reasons for the connection between sodas and these tumours could be unclear, though the message for consumers is still simple.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Thumb Suckers and Nail Biters Have Fewer Allergies

Thumb Suckers

Thumb Suckers/Nail Biters – Hygiene Hypothesis – Strengthens Immune System

According to a study, children who tend to suck their thumb or bite their nails seem to be less likely to develop allergies. The explanation, according to the authors in the journal Pediatrics, is the hygiene hypothesis - exposure to some germs which strengthens the immune system of the body. In New Zealand, thumb sucking and nail biting looked to prevent some allergies among 1,000 individuals that were assessed and recorded periodically at the age of five, seven, nine and eleven and allergies were tested for at age thirteen and thirty-two.

However the habits did not have any bearing on asthma or hay fever threat. Around a third of the children were regular thumb suckers or nail biters. They were considerably less likely of have allergies at the age of 13. The possibilities of these children developing allergy to things like house dust bug or pet cat or dog was around a third less than those of the others who did not have these habits.

 Senior author Dr Robert Hancox of the Dunedin School of Medicine at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, stated that in this research, it was impossible to ascertain that thumb sucking or nail biting could cause decrease in allergies.

Pets at Home/Living on Farms – Identified as Environmental Influences

He had informed Reuters that it is always possible that there could be another explanation for this association though it is difficult to suggest what it could be.Prof Malcolm Sears, who is a researcher for the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at McMaster and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, stated that the findings are consistent with the hygiene theory that early contact to dirt or germs reduces the risk of developing allergies and while they did not recommend that these habits could be encouraged, there does seem to be a positive side to these habits.

 Holly Shaw of Allergy UK commented that `research that has been carried out in other countries also adds weight to this theory of the part of the environment and gut macrobiotic tend to play in shaping the potential of the individual to develop a food allergy. Having pets at home, older siblings and staying on a farm have also been identified as environmental effects which may have a role in the development of allergic disease.

Increased Microbial Exposures – Affecting Immune System

The researchers tested the idea that common childhood habits of thumb-sucking and nail-biting could have increased microbial exposures, affecting the immune system as well as dropping the development of allergic reaction which is known as atopic sensitization.

From all the children at 13 years, around 45% indicated atopic sensitization though among those with one oral habit only 40% seemed to have allergies. From those with both habits, only 31% had the allergies. This tendency continued right into adulthood showing no difference based on smoking in the home, possession of cats or dogs or exposure to house dust bugs.

The idea that thumb sucking and nail biting would likely decrease the risk of allergies later would need to be supported by various studies in different geographical states across the globe, according to Emmanuel Prokopakis of the University of Crete School of Medicine in Greece who has not been part of the new study.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Is your hand sanitizer safe? The FDA wants to know

hand sanitizer

FDA to Investigate Sanitizer – Harmless/Effective

Presently alcohol based sanitizer seems to be all over the place and Food and Drug Administration needs to be aware of them. Recently, it requested more controlled proof to verify that the sanitizers could be considered harmless and effective. The FDA specifically would be investigating to check if the sanitizer could be harmful to pregnant women and children. Since it is being used by millions of Americans regularly and frequently repeatedly, these over the counter sanitizers are utilised to diminish bacteria when it is either inconvenient or impossible for hand-washing.

The agency has been inquiring with the makers of hand sanitizer for details on how safe and effective it could be not because it thinks that they are definitely unsafe but because they are being utilised so often that there could be some unknown side effects. Hand sanitizers which are over 60% alcohols tend to kill about the same amount of germs like soap and water.

However since hand sanitizer gels are not rinsed off with water, whatever chemicals used in killing the germs may tend to remain on the hands when the alcohol seems to evaporate. The agency, specially wants to be more aware about the three elements in these products namely ethanol or ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and benzalkonium chloride.

High Concentration Exposure to Ethyl - Dangerous

Ethyl alcohol is said to be a primary alcohol while isopropyl a secondary alcohol. Though they seemed to be associated, they tend to have various chemical properties as well as absorbency. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, high concentration exposure to ethyl alcohol – PDF could be dangerous to the foetus while isopropyl alcohol – PDF could cause irritation to the eyes and skin. Benzalkonium chloride found in various products from burn treatments to spermicides to floor cleaners, tend to have antimicrobial properties.

As per the European Medicines Agency – PDF, Benzalkonium chloride, in the study of animalseemed to have lethal effects on rodents when taken orally in recurring large doses. The concerns of FDA are established on the independent advisory committee of the agency who had reviewed scientific data on these elements. But the federal agency has not yet asked for the products to be removed from the market.

FDA Responsibility to Determine – Safe & Effective to Consumers

The FDA had initially reviewed these antiseptics in 1970 and since then several things have altered, inclusive of how often people tend to use them. Moreover, latest technologies tend to detect low levels of antiseptics in the body and the FDA is more aware about how it could affect the health of a person.

The agency noted that over the past seven years, 90% of the entire antiseptic rub had utilised ethanol as their active element and additional information was essential to know about how repeated exposure to this as well as the other active elements would impact the body.

Janet Woodcock, FDA director stated that `it is our responsibility to determine whether these products are safe and effective so that consumers can be confident when using them on themselves and their families multiple times a day and to do that, we must fill the gaps in scientific data on certain active ingredients’.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

To improve your memory, get moving ... or take a nap


Enhancing Memory – Break Sweat/Take Nap

New secrets have been revealed by scientists for enhancing memory retention one of which involves breaking sweat while the other is taking a nap. According to a small study published in the journal Current Biology this month, four hours of exercise on learning something could improve your memory. Working out regularly has been linked with improvement of memory as well as the thinking skills.

As per co-author of the study and professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in the Netherlands, Guillen Fernandez, the latest discovery tends to provide a precise time window in taking an important advantage of this association. Besides this, Fernandez has stated that it could lead to further studies augmenting the delay as well as the intensity of post-learning exercise for the purpose of great study achievement which could be applicable for education.

In other words the study tends to support the idea that after-school sports could assist students to retain what has been learnt in the classroom. Around 72 men and women completed a task for the study, wherein they observed 90 photos appear one after the other on a screen for around 40 minutes.

Participants Tested – Hooked to MRI Scanner

The participants were then instructed to recall precisely where on the screen the pictures had appeared. Thereafter, the participants were segregated into three groups wherein one group exercised instantly on completing the task. The second group exercised four hours on completion of the task while the third did not attempt to exercise at all.

The group which had exercised had participated in a 35-minute interval training session on an exercise bike. Two days thereafter, all the participants had completed a test measuring on how well they had recalled the picture location, which was done while they were hooked up to an MRI scanner.

It was observed that exercising following the learning of the picture locations had no effect on memory retention, though waiting four hours resulted in a 10% increase on an average in memory retention. Besides this, the MRI scans also showed that during the memory test, those who exercised after a period of few hours had increased activity in the hippocampus of their brain, which is a region linked with learning and memory.

Sleep Assist in Transforming Short-Term Memories – Long Term Memories

Fernandez has stated that they have no conclusive answer for the immediate exercise not enhancing the memory. However he added that a follow-up study was underway for examining the influence that exercise has on memory in great detail. Other studies have indicated that sleeping immediately after learning something could also be helpful in remembering.

Sara Mednick, professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside has stated that `sleep tends to assist in transforming short-term memories into long term memories by helping in making stronger connections between the new experiences and old memories which enables the new experience to be integrated with our general knowledge and understanding of the world’.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, this month, the Mednick led research tends to define the role of the autonomic nervous system of the body that plays during sleep in memory consolidation. It is a process which several earlier thought was the work of the central nervous system.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Texting While Driving Might Derail Your Brain's 'Autopilot’


Researchers Study – Risks of Texting & Driving

Researchers of University of Houston and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute are making attempts in studying on countless things which could distract you while driving and which distractions could be riskier than others. In a latest study which has been sponsored partly by Toyota Class Action Settlement Safety Research and Education program, it has been observed how drivers managed when distracted by preoccupied thoughts, text messages and emotions.

Authors observed that when several studies had discovered the risks of texting and driving, there was less research on how other types of stressor could disturb your behaviour at the wheel. However, their results show that the most awful type of distraction could be checking the phone. The researchers discovered that people, who tend to drive being distracted or emotional, benefitted from a `sixth sense’ instinct which helped in navigating safely. In the meanwhile those who tend to text while driving did not experience the same defence. For research, 59 drivers had navigated a virtual stretch of highway four times, once under normal condition, once when they had been asked cognitively interesting questions, once when they were asked emotionally charged questions and once when they had been distracted through text.

Intervention of Brain – Anterior Cingulate Cortex - ACC

The researchers measured the sweat under the nose of the drivers, each time, which was an indicator of their stress level, how nervous their steering became and if or not they drifted out of their lane. The three kinds of distractions all seemed to heighten the perinasal perspiration levels of the driver, causing them to be more nervous.

 However when the drivers had been asked cognitively challenging as well as emotional rousing questions, they were capable of maintaining a straight course though texting led them to deviate out of their lane. Ioannis Pavlidis, PhD and Robert Wunderlich, lead researchers, guess that the paths of the drivers tend to remain straight under cognitive and emotional stress due to the intervention of a part of the brain known as the anterior cingulate cortex – ACC.

This tends to provide a fight or flight reflex. Pavlidis has stated that there is corrective action precipitated for sure from some brain centre possibly the ACC when one is distracted while performing a routine handy task, driving in this situation. When this distraction is purely mental, this corrective mechanism tends to work well.

ACC Needs Eye-Hand Coordination

However to do its job, your ACC needs eye-hand coordination.Wunderlich explains that `it appears that an eye-hand feedback loop is essential for the brain to be capable of accomplishing these corrections. The feedback loop gets disrupted when one looks at the phone.

Pavlidis further explains that when there is a physical distraction either by itself or in addition to mental distraction, the corrective mechanism seems to break down. The purpose is that the corrective function is subject to the physical resources, eyes and hands in this situation, to keep performing its auto-pilot task. All this indicates that reading as well as responding to messages on the road is considered as dangerous as one thought or could be much more.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Cardiff University Microwave Device to Help Diabetics


Portable Blood Glucose Measure for Diabetic

Diabetic patients now have the benefit of the microwave device which tends to help them in testing their blood to check their blood glucose level whenever they need to. Portable blood glucose measure for diabetic has been created by scientists that tend to use microwaves rather than pricking the skin, a painful process, though it may seem like a simple prick. Presently, diabetics need to test their blood many times a day or use inserted devices such as continuous blood glucose monitors – CGMs.

However a new monitor developed by Cardiff University’s School of engineering is subtly stuck on to the skin. Prof Adrian Porch has said that it will help with the management of the condition. He also adds that the conventional methods of monitoring blood glucose need the extraction of the blood and the device is non-invasive.

It does not need the extraction of blood apart from the initial calibration. Dr Heungjae Choi of Cardiff University demonstrated how the device can be worn. Prof Porch stated that the monitor established with Dr Heungjae Choi can be stuck on the arm or side of the body utilising an adhesive. Moreover, it also has a longer shelf-life since it is not chemical in its action. The data that is collected can be monitored constantly on a computer or a mobile app.

Sticking Microwave Emitter to Body

Though the notion of sticking a microwave emitter to someone’s body would sound alarming, Prof Porch said that is seems to be completely safe. He further added that it tends to use microwaves but the levels are very low. Thinking about a mobile phone, we are about a thousand times less than that level.

Prof Stephen Luzio of Swansea University’s College of Medicine seems to carry out clinical research in diabetes and had supervised trials of around 50 patients utilising the device, with plans this summer. He comments that patients are very keen on this device and one of the big problems with patients measuring their glucose is that they dislike pricking their finger and hence there is a lot of interest in the same.

People who are diabetic tend to have higher than normal blood sugar levels. There are about 3.5 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK with an estimated 549,000 more who seem to have the ailment, though do not know about it.

Product Five Years from Reaching Markets

The 10% who tend to have Type 1 diabetes need to monitor their blood glucose level on a regular basis, around six times a day or 20,000 times over a decade. Diabetes monitor project of Cardiff Universityhad begun in 2008 and since then has received £1m in finance from health improvement charity, Wellcome Trust.

The team have said that the product is possibly five years away from reaching the markets subject to further investment. The device would be of great help for those diabetic patients while monitoring their blood sugar level which needs to be done on a regular basis to keep control on their sugar levels with timely treatment.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Skin Cells Turned Into Sperm


Medical Achievement – Treatment for Infertility

Human sperm from skin cells have been developed by scientists from Spain, a medical achievement which could lead to treatment for infertility. The researchers informed that they had been working with a solution for the approximately15% of couples worldwide who tend to be unable to have children and the only option for them is to use donated sperms or eggs. Carlos Simon, scientific director of the Valencian Infertility Institute, the first medical institution that is entirely dedicated to assist reproduction in Spain, had asked `what to do when someone who wants to have a child lacks sperms or eggs?

This is the problem needed to be addressed, to be able to create gametes in people who do not have them’. Outcome of the research that had been carried out with Stanford University in the United States had been published recently in Scientific Reports, which is the online journal of Nature. The team had been motivated by the work of Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka and Britain’s John Gordon who had shared a Nobel Prize in 2012 for the discovery where adult cells could be altered back into embryo-like stem cells. Within a period of one month, the skin cell had transformed into a germ cell which developed into sperm or an egg, though they found that it did not have the ability to fertilize.

A Step Ahead of the Chinese Researcher

Simon had informed that `this is a sperm though it required a further maturation phase to become a gamete and this is just the beginning’.It seemed to be a step ahead of the Chinese researcher who had earlier in the year, announced that they had created mice from artificial sperm. Simon added that with the human species they could do much more testing since they are talking about the birth of child and are talking about a long process.

 The researchers need also to take into account the legal constraints as the technique involves the creation of artificial embryos that presently is only permitted in some of the countries. British law prohibits fertility clinics in the UK from utilising artificial sperm and eggs in treating infertile couples. If the law is reviewed, skin cells could probably be taken from patients and changed into genetically alike sperm or eggs for use in IVF therapies.

SOX17, Vital in Turning Human Stem Cells in Early-Stage Sperms/Eggs

A woman’s skin cell could only be utilised to make eggs since they lack the Y chromosome. Those from a male could ideally be changed into eggs as well as sperm though Azim Surani leading the work at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge states that on the basis of present knowledge, the same was doubtful. Surian informed the Guardian that it is not impossible that they could take these cells on towards making gametes, though whether they could ever use them would be another question for another time. In the process of their work, Surani’s team also learned that a specific gene, SOX17, was vital in turning human stem cells into early-stage sperm and eggs.

This discovery was surprising since in mice the corresponding gene does not tend play any role. Surani comments that mice are the key model used to study mammalian development and is generalized from mice to human. He adds that this work tells that the generalization could be unreliable. It is not that all work in mice does not apply to humans but there are essential differences which are needed to be watchful.

New health sensing tool measures lung function over a phone call, from anywhere in the world


SpiroCall – A New Health Sensing Tool – Measures Lung Function

Several people in the developing world suffering from asthma, cystic fibrosis or any other chronic lung ailment have no way to know how well their lungs tend to function beyond a clinic or doctor’s visit. However, most of them have access to a phone and though it could be a 10 year old flip phone or a common village landline rather than the latest app-driven smartphone.

This is the reason why the University of Washington computer science and engineering and electrical engineering researchers had created SpiroCall which is a new health sensing tool that can precisely measure lung function over an ordinary phone call. At the Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI 2016 conference in San Jose, California, a paper to be presented in May will show that the results of SpiroCall came within 6.2% of the results from clinical spirometers utilised in hospitals and doctor’s offices which meant that it meets the standards of the medical community accuracy.

Washington Research Foundation Endowed Professor of Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the UW, Shwetak Patel stated that they wanted to be capable of measuring lung function on any type of phone one may encounter around the world, smartphone, dumb phones, landlines, pay phone. With SpiroCall, one can call a 1-800 number, blow into the phone and utilise the telephone network to test your lung function.

Device to Monitor Ailment At Home

Researcher from the UW’s UbiComp Lab had introduced SpiroSmart in 2012 that enabled people to monitor their lung function by blowing into their smartphones. Patients tend to take a deep breath in and breathe out as hard and fast as they can till they cannot breathe out any more. The microphone of the phone senses sound and pressure from the outbreath and directs the data to a central server that utilises machine learning processes, converting the data into average measurements of lung function.

Lead author Mayank Goel, a UW computer science and engineering doctoral student stated that people have to manage chronic lung disease for their entire lives, so there is a real need to have a device which permits patients to precisely monitor their ailment at home without the need of constantly visiting a medical clinic which could be far off and time consuming.

System Works on Any Phone/Anywhere in the World

The team had collected data from over 4,000 patients, over the last four years, who had visited the clinics in Seattle and Tacoma as well as in Bangladesh and India, where the clinicians had measured lung function by using SpiroSmart as well as a commercial spirometer. The comparative data has enhanced the performance of the machine learning, laying the groundwork for the current FDA clearance process of the team.

However in surveying patients from India and Bangladesh, the team recognized that a significant percentage did not own smartphone and were unable to use SpiroSmart in their own home which happened to be the main goal of the project. The team had also realized that the only sensor used was the microphone that all the phones tend to have and hence they decided to create a system which would work with any phone, anywhere in the world wherein the patient can use a call-in service.

SpiroCall tends to transmit the gathered audio using a standard phone channel against a sound file which is transferred by a smartphone app over the internet. The team integrated various regression processes to provide reliable lung function estimate in spite of the degraded audio quality

Monday, 2 May 2016

Scientists Reveal How to Wash Your Hands


Lathering Hands with Soap/Rubbing/Rinsing – Not Effective Way of Cleaning

Lathering the hands with soap and rubbing them strongly for 20 seconds and then rinsing does not seem to be the most effective way of cleaning them. Experts now state that the six-step hand-hygiene technique suggested by the World Health Organization tends to be more superior to a challenging three step process. In a recent study, this practice seems to reduce the median bacterial count from 3.28 to 2.58, when compared to the three step system which only touched 2.88.

Researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland witnessed 42 physicians together with 78 nurses wash their hands with alcohol based hand rub after they had treated their patients. The six-step method was considered to be microbiologically much more effective in decreasing the median bacterial count, in comparison to the three step method. But utilising the six-step method needs 25% more time to complete.

According to Jacqui Reilly, PhD, lead author of the study as well as professor of infection prevention and control at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, stated that `one of the remarkable related results was that submission with the six-step technique was missing.

Alcohol-Based Hand Rub

Just 65% of the providers seemed to complete the hand hygiene process in spite of the participants having instructions on the technique before them and then having the technique observed. This permits further investigation for this precise technique and how the submission rates could be improved. Experts state that one should use soap only when the hands seem to be visibly dirty but should use alcohol-based hand rub when one does not know on looking at them.

To wash the hand well utilising the six-step method, one should start by wetting the hands with water and take either a dollop of soap or hand rub. Start by rubbing the palms together with the fingers closed and then together with the fingers interlaced. Moving your right palm over left dorsum with interlaced finger and vice versa, ensuring in actually rubbing in between the fingers. Thereafter interlock the fingers and rub the back of them by rubbing the back of them by turning the wrist in a half circle motion.

Lack Surveillance Systems in Monitoring

Then clasp the left thumb in the right palm and rub it in a rotational motion from the tip of the fingers towards the end of the thumb and then switch hands. Lastly scrub the inside of the right hand with the left fingers closed and then the other hand. Reilly has commented that hand hygiene has been regarded as the most important intervention in reducing the healthcare-associated infection thought there is restricted evidence on which of the technique seems to be more effective. He further added that the study has provided a foundation for effective best practices to implement on the frontlines of healthcare.

As per World Health Organization, health care-related infections attained in health-care location seem to be the most frequent adverse incident in health-care delivery all over the world and most of the countries tend to lack surveillance systems in monitoring the problem. Though there has been substantial development in fighting this issue, there still seems to be one in 25 hospitals with atleast one healthcare-related infection.

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.

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

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.