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Friday, 26 August 2011

In US Many Health-Care Workers Have Turned to Alternative Medicine

Three out of every four U.S. health-care workers use some form of complementary or alternative medicine or practice to help stay healthy, a new report shows.
What's more, doctors, nurses and their assistants, health technicians, and healthcare administrators were actually more likely than the general public to use any number of wide-ranging alternative medicine options, including massage, yoga, acupuncture, Pilates or herbal medicines.
"No one has really done this sort of analysis before, so when I saw our results I was authentically surprised," acknowledged study co-author Lori Knutson, executive director of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing with the Allina Health System in Minneapolis. "But pleasantly so. Because clearly this means that even our health-care workers are recognizing the need for alternative options in the search for ways to improve our health and lives."
Knutson and her colleagues reported their findings this month in the journal Health Services Research.
According to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health), about 38 percent of Americans currently avail themselves of some form of complementary/alternative medicine, which can also include dietary supplements, meditation, chiropractic services, Pilates, and Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.
The poll data, collected in 2007 as part of the National Health Interview Survey, looked at use among a nationally representative sample of more than 14,300 working adults 18 years old and up. About 1,300 of those surveyed were health-care providers and workers employed in either a hospital or ambulatory environment.
The survey covered 36 different forms of options, including therapies involving body manipulation, mind-body and biological-based therapies, and energy-healing treatments.
Doctors and nurses were found to be more than twice as likely as non-clinical health-care support workers to have tried out a practitioner-based complementary or alternative medicine service (such as a chiropractor) in the past year.
They were also almost three times as likely to have "self-treated" using complementary/alternative approaches versus their technical or administrative colleagues.
Overall, health-care workers were found to be bigger users of complementary/alternative medicine than those outside the health-care industry. Seventy-six percent of health-care workers said they had used such methods in the past year, compared to 63 percent of people working in non-healthcare fields.
And even when diets, vitamins, minerals, and/or herbal supplements were excluded from the range of options, health-care workers were still significantly more likely to have tried out a complementary medicine product or service over the prior year than the general public (41 percent versus 30 percent.)
But the reasons health-care workers turned to alterative/complementary medicine were similar to those seen elsewhere, with back, neck and joint pain being the three most prevalent concerns.
"In general, Western culture has believed that complementary services and techniques aren't as well-researched and evidence-based as conventional medicine," noted Knutson. "But that is certainly no longer the case. And so what I hope comes from this insight into practitioner use of complementary options is an opening up of the conversation between providers and patients about the use and potential of alternative medicine."
Judy Blatman, a spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based Council for Responsible Nutrition, which represents the supplements industry, seconded that notion.
"These results are not surprising, as in fact we've had similar findings looking at health-care practitioner attitudes and uses regarding dietary supplements," she noted. "So this is consistent with out own research."
"And I would agree," said Blatman, "that seeing that the very people who are considered to be the leaders in health are themselves more and more willing to go beyond what was a traditional model of treatment could be very helpful to consumers. Because we find that often patients feel uncomfortable talking to their providers about non-traditional disciplines for fear of being discounted. So this should put everyone more at ease."
Experts typically advise that any patient who turned to an alternative or complementary therapy first consult with their doctor.

Because dietary supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the same way traditional medicines are, and some supplements interact with traditional medicines, patients should also talk with their doctors before taking supplements and keep their physicians current on any supplements or alternative medicines they are using.

More information
For more on complementary and alternative medicine, visit the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Homeopathy new ray of hope in dengue-hit districts

While the authorities continue to battle increasing cases of dengue, which has no known vaccine, homeopathy practitioners are cashing in on the situation and are selling 'preventive' medicines in Dhenkanal. People from Angul and Dhenkanal district seem to be making a beeline for homeopathy clinics to buy medicines to prevent the vector-borne disease.
Homeopathy doctors claim preventive medicines like Eupatorium Prof-200 can boost the resistance of the body and help fight against dengue. Allopathic doctors of several government hospitals, however, said there are no preventive medicines for dengue. The only precautionary measure one can take is maintain hygiene in and around the house.
As many as 600 families from Dhenkanal and Angul district have purchased such homeopathic medicines in the last five days, said Dr Kunja Bihari Raj of Sriram Homeo Clinic. "Though there are no proper medicines for dengue, I am giving Eupatorium Prof-200 to people who have symptoms such as dengue-like high fever, frontal headache, bleeding from the nose etc. The medicine helps the body develop resistance power against dengue. Till today, no patient who has taken the medicine has been infected with the dengue virus," he claimed.
Another doctor, Bhabani Shankar Das of Life Care Homeo Clinic said, "We are prescribing Eupatorium Prof-200 as a preventive medicine for dengue. More than 200 patients have bought it from us this week."
Rekha Sahoo, a Dhenkanal resident who decided to give the homeopathic medicine a shot, said, "I consulted a homeopathic doctor and took a preventive dengue medicine for my family members. I was advised to take the medicine on empty stomach twice a day for three days. There were hundreds of people who had queued up at the homeopathy clinic to consult the doctor and buy medicine."
However, Mission Reconstruction, a voluntary organization and development activists urged the government probe into the efficacy of homeopathy medicines in preventing dengue and check whether there is any truth in the matter or is it just a bid to promote homeopathy.


FDA Approves Botox for Urinary Incontinence

FDA has approved botox injections for the treatment of overactive bladder. 
The new application was given the nod by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat people with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury who suffer from  urinary 
 incontinence and must manage it with medication or a catheter.
"Urinary incontinence associated with neurologic conditions can be difficult to manage," said George Benson, deputy director of FDA's division of Reproductive and Urologic Products. 
"Botox offers another treatment option for these patients." 
The new method allows a physician to inject Botox into a patient's bladder, where it relaxes the muscles and allows more urine to be stored. 
Clinical studies showed such injections could decrease episodes of urinary incontinence for a period of nine months. 
Botox, which is marketed by the California-based Allergan, is also approved for treatment of chronic migraines, severe underarm sweating, eyelid twitching and certain kinds of muscle stiffness, the FDA said. 
The drug is made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In other forms it can cause a deadly type of food poisoning called botulism, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Live-in Relationships Account for Most Unplanned Pregnancies

 Live-in Relationships Account for Most Unplanned Pregnancies 

The risk of unplanned pregnancies in the United States was found to be high among couples in live-in relationships, especially those below the age of 25. 
 The report also revealed that 5 percent of all women in the reproductive age experienced unintended pregnancies.
The study showed that the rate of unintended pregnancy was high among African-American women. 
The risk rose according to the strata of society women belonged, for instance women from low-income groups portrayed a five-fold increase in the rate of unplanned pregnancies.   

Wheezy Toddlers Allergic to Dust Mites Likely to Develop Asthma

Using a Nebulizer with a MaskWheezy toddlers who are allergic to house dust mites are more at risk of developing asthma by the age of 12, according to Australian researchers. 
 Children aged one - two years with a family history of allergy, who had a positive skin prick test to house dust mites, had a higher risk of developing asthma later in life.
 Results showed 75 percent of these children had asthma at aged 12 compared to 36 percent of children without a positive skin prick test. 
Lead author Dr Caroline Lodge from the University of Melbourne's School of Population Health said the identification of house dust mites as a predictor for asthma in high risk children, is a significant step forward in identifying high risk groups on whom we can trial interventions. 
"Our findings provide researchers with a more targeted group of at risk children, for investigating strategies to prevent asthma later in life," she said. 
"House dust mite sensitivity amongst wheezy toddlers could be used as a clinical tool to assist parents in understanding the risk of asthma in their children. 
"Although currently there is no known intervention to stop asthma developing, identifying children at higher risk may lead to more tailored treatments of wheeze in this high risk group," Dr Lodge added.


Arthritis Treatment By Acupuncture

Arthritis is one of the most pervasive diseases and is the leading cause of disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one out of every three Indians (an estimated 70 million people) is affected.
For most people arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis. Joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can often be managed by Acupuncture .
What is Arthritis? 
Arthritis isn't just 1 disease; it's a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these 2 forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body, they often share a common symptom—persistent joint pain.
Osteoarthritis(OA) is the most common form of arthritis in India, affecting an estimated 21 million adults. OA begins with the breakdown of joint cartilage, resulting in pain and stiffness.
OA commonly affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips, and spine. Other joints affected less frequently include the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. When OA is found in a less frequently affected joint, there is usually a history of injury or unusual stress to that joint. Work-related repetitive injury and physical trauma may contribute to the development of OA. If you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling, or squatting, for example, you may be at high risk for OA of the knee.
Rheumatoid arthritis(RA) can affect many different joints and, in some people, other parts of the body as well, including the blood, the lungs, and the heart. Inflammation of the joint lining, called the synovium, can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, and redness. The affected joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. RA can last a long time and can be a disease of flares (active symptoms) and remissions (few to no symptoms).

Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis with Acupuncture 

According to Chinese medical theory, arthritis arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes blocked. This blockage is called, "bi" type pain and is widely in studies and successfully treated using by acupuncture .
Acupuncture have been found to be extremely effective at treating the pain and inflammation associated with all types of arthritis. The acupuncture points that are used depend on if the blockage of Qi (arthritis) is caused by the pathogen wind, cold, damp or damp-heat.
Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize arthritis as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with ACUPUNCTURE for joint pain, each of these 10 patients will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points .
Your acupuncturist will examine you, take a look at the onset of your condition and learn your signs and symptoms to determine your Chinese diagnosis and choose the appropriate acupuncture points and treatment plan.
The Acupuncture Treatment 
Acupuncture points to treat Arthritis are located all over the body, not just directly over the affected area. During the acupuncture treatment, tiny needles could be placed along your legs, arms, shoulders, and perhaps even your little toe!
There seems to be little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles. They are so thin that several acupuncture needles can go into the middle of a hypodermic needle. Occasionally, there is a brief moment of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin, but once the needles are in place, most people relax and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment.
The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

MoT announces incentives for NABH accredited wellness centres and Ayurveda hospitals

To promote Wellness Tourism as a niche tourism product and encourage wellness activities, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has announced incentives for National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) accredited wellness centres and Ayurveda hospitals. According to a media release, NABH, a constituent board of the Quality Council of India (QCI) provides accreditation to Ayurveda hospitals and wellness centres including spas, Ayurveda centres, Yoga and naturopathy centres, fitness centres, skin care centres, etc.

Commenting on the incentives, Dr. Girdhar J Gyani, Secretary General, Quality Council of India (QCI) and CEO, NABH, said that the initiative by the Ministry of Tourism to provide incentives for NABH accredited wellness centres and accredited ayurveda hospitals will give a tremendous boost to the NABH’s wellness accreditation programme. “Wellness is a part of the Indian culture and has become a global trend. As such, it is essential for destinations here in India to create unique travel experiences that are holistic in nature. It is time that we realized our strength and used it to our advantage.” 

Some of the incentives for the accredited entities are:

  • Being featured on the Incredible India website.
  • Being linked to an accredited centres website from the listings.
  • A NABH Mark of Excellence and a MoT approved logo.
  • Listing of accredited wellness entities on Incredible India stalls in approved national and international wellness and spa conferences.
  • Eligibility to participate in Ministry of Tourism publications and road shows.
  • Financial support for all accredited centres up to Rs six lakh per year from the MoT for participation in international Wellness Tourism events duly identified and approved under the existing guidelines for Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme for Wellness Tourism Service Providers (WTSP). Under this, financial assistance would be permissible on travel expenses by air from India to any other country and by air/rail from one country to another, in economy excursion class fair and/or charges of the built furnished stall, electricity and water charges etc. subject to a maximum of 75 per cent of the total expenditure or Rs.2.00 lakh, whichever is less to WTSP. Up to three visits for two persons from accredited wellness centres and AYUSH Hospitals to participate in international events can be supported by MoT i.e. up to six lakh per year.
  • For Domestic events, four seminars/events in a financial year will be sponsored by MoT with a ceiling of Rs 10 lakh each on a 50:50 sharing basis. Further, for developing publicity material, MoT would be providing financial assistance of 67:33 sharing basis to accredited wellness centres subject to a ceiling of Rs 50 lakh a year.
  • All the accredited entities would be eligible to apply for the annual National Tourism Awards under the Wellness & Spa category.

Study Finds Saffron may Help Prevent Liver Cancer

Saffron, a commonly used spice that adds flavour and colour to foods, provides a significant chemopreventive effect against liver cancer in animal models, a new study has found. 
When saffron was administered to rats with diethylnitrosamine (DEN), induced liver cancer, an inhibition of cell proliferation and
stimulation of apoptosis was observed.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer, is the fifth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the world. 
Prior studies have shown that saffron, a naturally derived plant product, possesses antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. 
The research team administered saffron to the animals at 75mg/kg, 150 mg/kg, and 300 mg/kg per day two weeks prior to DEN injection and continued the regimen for 22 weeks. 
Results show saffron significantly reduced the number and the incidence of liver nodules, with animals receiving the highest dose of saffron showing complete inhibition of hepatic nodules. 
Animals that received pre-treatment with saffron displayed a decrease in the elevation of gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, alanine aminotransferase and alpha-fetoprotein (GGT, ALT, aFP)-proteins, which indicate liver damage. 
Furthermore, saffron inhibited the elevation of cells positive for Ki-67, cyclooxygenase 2, inducible nitric oxide synthase, nuclear factor-kappa Bp-65 and the phosphorylated tumour necrosis factor receptor, all of which have respective roles in the development and progression of cancerous cells. 
"Our findings suggest that saffron provides an anti-cancer protective effect by promoting cell death (apoptosis), inhibiting proliferation of cancerous cells, and blocking inflammation," concluded Prof. Amr Amin from United Arab Emirates University. 
The detailed study appear in the September issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

NABH & BD collaborate to develop quality – of-care standards for hospitals in India

itation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support hospitals to achieve quality-of-care standards for infection control.
The collaboration is viewed to strengthen health systems in India and promote continuous quality improvement to ensure quality care for patients when visiting hospitals with effective infection control practices in place.
There are three phases identified under the collaboration. During phase I, initial workshops would be carried out across hospitals in India to ensure the SAFE-I programme is adopted by hospitals as a stepping stone towards achieving quality. This will be followed by the second phase where Centres of Excellence and Health Economic models will be developed for the benefit of Indian Healthcare after dissemination of Safe-I programme. The last phase will augment national capability of standards dissemination by developing additional Centres of Excellence.
SAFE-I certification will be viewed as a precursor for preparing HCO (Healthcare organisations) or SHCO (Small healthcare organisations) for NABH accreditation. Through its experienced field force, BD will guide applicant hospitals toward SAFE-I preparation and other relevant training and development workshops. With the wider rollout of community health insurance initiatives, there is an increased demand for bed capacity. Existing small and medium-size hospitals, estimated to account for more than two-thirds of all beds need to strengthen the quality systems and these hospitals can achieve quality-of-care systems by standardizing and adopting necessary infection control practices to ensure patient and healthcare worker safety.
According to Dr Giridhar J Gyani, secretary general, Quality Council of India and CEO, NABH the objective is to develop a basic infection-control standard for all hospitals delivering healthcare in India. The association with BD will enable us to provide on- and off-site technical support to collaborating institutions for upgrading their infection control practices.
NABH has recommended quality toward safe injection practices, waste management and infusion safety, to name a few, as minimum requirements across hospitals in India, following the lead of several facilities undertaking these processes. Most of these hospitals are high in volume and have the bandwidth as well as the desire to improve clinical outcomes; whereas the quality of care in smaller hospitals, especially which are government empanelled is much more varied in terms of infection control practices. It  is currently operating in India with nearly 500 hospitals in various phases of accreditation, and nearly 100 hospitals are already accredited.
“The pact with NABH is to enhance patient safety and healthcare worker safety in India. The company will leverage it global experiences in implementing infection control programmes by supporting NABH to enhance infection control standards in the hospitals of India, said Manoj Gopalakrishna, managing director, BD – India.


Anti-aging Treatments Not Accepted Universally - Study

People who use more invasive anti-aging methods such as Botox injections or surgery are viewed more negatively than those who use milder techniques such as sun-avoidance and facial creams, reveals study.
"These results suggest that despite the rapid growth of the anti-aging cosmetic industry, age concealment has not yet become universally accepted," said lead author and associate professor, Alison Chasteen. "This is important because it shows that despite the emphasis on looking younger in society, there are possible negative social consequences to fighting the signs of aging by engaging in cosmetic age concealment." 
The first study assessed the reactions of 122 younger (mean age 19) and 123 older adults (mean age 70) to middle aged (50-years-old) or older (60- to 70-years-old) people who used mild (facial creams) or major (Botox) anti-aging methods. They also assessed the participants' perceptions of the middle aged or older adults' vanity and typicality to their age group. 
The study found that older adults had more positive feelings towards those who used any type of anti-aging techniques than the younger adults did. Both groups viewed mild methods more favourably than major methods and both groups considered middle aged people to be more "typical" of those using anti-aging techniques. 
The second study broadened the age range of the age concealment users as well as the types of anti-aging methods used. A total of 51 younger (mean age 19) and 49 older adults (mean age 70) were randomly assigned to read about either four middle-aged adults (40s) or four older adults (60s) who used either natural (avoiding the sun), mild (facial creams), major (Botox) or extreme (brow lift) anti-aging methods. Participants again indicated their overall reaction, how vain they thought the individuals were, and also how typical they felt the adults were of their age group.


Rare Brain Surgery Saves Teenager’s Life

A rare surgery was successfully performed on a 15-year-old in Chennai, South India to correct a huge aneurysm in his brain.
The teenager who complained of severe and continuous head-aches for more than 2 months was brought to Dr. K. P. Thirumaran at Dr. Mehta’s Hospital. The patient was found to have a huge aneurysm (swelling of the blood vessel) in the brain that occupied almost 1/3rd of the cerebellum.  The aneurysm was compressing the portion of the brain which controls respiration, heart and all parts of the body below the neck.  
The teenager was admitted to the hospital for observation on August 3, 2011, and a day after, Dr. K. P. Thirumaran successfully performed a 4-hour long surgery to correct the aneurysm. Dr. K. P. Thirumaran said, “The surgery proved a great challenge at each instance, the age of the patient, the huge size of the aneurysm, the possibility of rupture of the aneurysm, and on top of all that was the question whether the patient could live a normal life after the surgery.  But, it was indeed a great relief to see that the teenager was able to speak after the surgery.” 
An intracranial aneurysm is an abnormal outward bulging of an artery in the brain. Aneurysms are often discovered when they rupture causing bleeding into the brain.  The main goal of treatment once an aneurysm has ruptured is to stop the bleeding and potential permanent damage to the brain and prevent recurrence.  

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Researchers Say They've Found Common Cause of All Types of ALS

 The apparent discovery of a common cause of all forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) could give a boost to efforts to find a treatment for the fatal neurodegenerative disease, a new study contends.Scientists have long struggled to identify the underlying disease process of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and weren't even sure that a common disease process was associated with all forms of ALS.In this new study, Northwestern University researchers said they found that the basis of ALS is a malfunctioning protein recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord. Efficient recycling of the protein building blocks in the neurons are critical for optimal functioning of the neurons. They become severely damaged when they can't repair or maintain themselves.This problem occurs in all three types of ALS: hereditary, sporadic and ALS that targets the brain, the researchers said.The discovery, published Aug. 21 in the journal Nature, shows that all forms of ALS share an underlying cause and offers a common target for drug therapy, according to the researchers."This opens up a whole new field for finding an effective treatment for ALS," study senior author Dr. Teepu Siddique, of the Davee Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "We can now test for drugs that would regulate this protein pathway or optimize it, so it functions as it should in a normal state."This finding about the breakdown of protein recycling in ALS may also prove useful in the study of other neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer's and other dementias, the Northwestern researchers said.
ALS afflicts an estimated 350,000 people around the world. About 50 percent of patients die within three years of the first symptoms. They progressively lose muscle strength until they're paralyzed and can't move, speak, swallow and breathe, the researchers said.
More information
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about ALS.

New Target for Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Identified

In the skeletal muscle of those with diabetes it was found that an enzyme present in the mitochondrial cells is decreased, this finding holds the key to fight the disease.
A paper in published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that the enzyme, Sirt3, is decreased in the skeletal muscle of humans and animals with diabetes by at least half, compared to those without diabetes and that this may contribute to development of insulin resistance, one of the earliest manifestations of the disease. Sirt3 is found in the mitochondria, the power producers of cells that convert energy into usable forms. 
"Ours is perhaps the first study to understand what is going wrong in the mitochondria of those with diabetes," said senior author C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., Head of the Joslin Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Many studies have shown that the mitochondria don't work well in those with diabetes. This points to a cause of why they don't work well." 

Dr. Kahn said the study sought to look at how decreased Sirt3 levels might affect the metabolism of cells, particularly how it could affect insulin action in cells. "We know that one of the hallmarks of early diabetes is insulin resistance in muscle, but we didn't know what caused it," he said.

Bodily Changes After Marriage or Divorce

There is now a study to show that women may just get a bit heavier after marriage. But it works quite the opposite for men, who tend to lose their shape and put on weight after a divorce.
Older people tend to put on weight after these sudden life changes like a marriage or a divorce, depending upon the level of physical activity. The younger lot is still able to battle weight issues before it overtakes them.
 Women tended to gain weight in the two years after marriage and for men it was the years immediately following a divorce which turned out to be a problem for their weight. 

The reasons could well be that women post marriage get so involved with the home and hearth that they progressively have less time for exercise. On the contrary, men after a divorce, do not find much time for fitness related activities, as they need to make time for domestic chores, which they didn’t have to bother during their days of marriage. 


New Imaging Technique to Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer

 New Imaging Technique to Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer
Near-infrared imaging system can reliably distinguish between pancreatic cysts that are low-risk and high-risk for becoming malignant. 
 Other optical techniques often fail to provide images that are clear enough for doctors to differentiate between the two types.
To test the diagnostic potential of OCT imaging, researchers from four Boston-area institutions led by Nicusor Iftimia from Physical Sciences, Inc. used the technique to examine surgically removed pancreatic tissue samples from patients with cystic lesions. 
By identifying unique features of the high-risk cysts that appeared in the OCT scans, the team developed a set of visual criteria to differentiate between high and low risk cysts. 
They then tested the criteria by comparing OCT diagnoses to those obtained by examining thin slices of the pancreatic tissue under a microscope. 
Their results showed that OCT allowed clinicians to reliably differentiate between low-risk and high-risk cysts with a success rate close to that achieved by microscope-assisted examinations of slices of the same samples. 
The study has been described in the August issue of the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal Biomedical Optics Express.

Monday, 22 August 2011


Summer is still upon us, though we can feel it winding down. What kind of positive healthy changes can we implement to our daily diets that will keep us nourished and warm this Autumn and Winter....during the Vata months.
 There are a couple recipes that are hearty and warming for the cooler months ahead and they also provide many wonderful health benefits.
Dried Fenugreek Fish (Sukhi Methi Wale Macchi)

This is a very simple recipe and it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. Move over Rachel Ray, I am coming through!!
5 tablespoons fenugreek leaves, 1 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon Ginger-garlic paste, 1/2 plain yogurt, 4 tablespoon heavy cream, 1 pound whitefish (cut into chunks),
 Once in a bowl, mix the fenugreek, red chili powder, turmeric, paste, yogurt, and cream together. Add fish and coat with butter well. Then, refrigerate.
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.....and place fish onto skewers.
Roast for 4-5 minutes only

Garlic Fish Tikka (Lasuni Macchi)
Cook time and prep time is about 15 minutes total
1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 tsp spice mix (cloves, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, nutmeg)
1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp minced garlic, 1 pound white fish (into chunks)
 Combine cream, spice mix, red chili powder, turmeric, garlic into bowl and mix. Add fish. Refrigerate.
 Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
 Skewer fish and bake for 3-4 minutes total. (Baste with butter before baking).
During the vata months, we need warmth. The garlic provides excellent health benefits as does much of the spices in the ingredients.
Fish provides your omega-3 fatty acids.
Fenugreek leaves also help to reduce blood sugar (in diabetes), and is an excellent blood purifier.
The pungent of the garlic will give the warmth that is needed during the cooler and damp months.
Many of these spices in both of these recipes are unique in flavor and NOT overpowering in hot spicy. It is all in moderation. Many people associate the word "spice" with hot. This is a misconception. Spice does not always mean "hot."
 These dishes also will help increase our digestive fire as well.

Med students on warpath after univ alters syllabus

More than 1,100 students of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani courses of Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University are planning to boycott classes from Monday as they fear their courses will soon become invalid after portions pertaining to allopathic medicine were removed from their syllabus. The Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), a regulatory body for the Indian medicine doctors has threatened to withdraw recognition to the state medical university, which removed allopathic content from their syllabus for traditional medicine. The council's one month deadline to withdraw its decision on syllabus revision ends September 17.
Students from Government Siddha College in Palayamkottai, who went on a token fast last week, have threatened to boycott class indefinitely. They argue that the council had allowed students of Indian medicine to also study parts of modern medicine to enable them to become better doctors. The university has deleted surgery, pharmacology and large sections of orthopeadics and ophthalmology.
"If the university is not recognised, we will not be registered as doctors," said Sabari Manikantan, a student at the Government Siddha College, Palayamkottai. Students from seven siddha colleges, six ayurveda colleges, nine homeopathy colleges and a unani college will join the strike, he said. Council member (siddha) Dr B Muthukumar said the association of practitioners of Indian medicine will move the court against the university decision. He said the university did not consider the views of the standing academic board.
Six Indian medicine doctors, members of the board, advised the university not to delete allopathic contents from siddha, unani and ayurveda. But the university chose to go with the views of six allopathic doctors, he said. "The government has allowed us to prescribe allopathic medicines and do some surgeries because our students are trained. The university thinks that if they delete those parts from the syllabus we will be forced to stay away from prescribing certain allopathic drugs," he said. Associations of doctors in modern medicine including the state wing of the Indian Medical Association and the Tamil Nadu State Medical Council have a different take. "Anatomy and physiology that the Indian medicine students learn may be common to those of MBBS, but pharmacology is not," said state medical council president Dr M Prakasam. "An MBBS student studies modern medicine for five years unlike a student of Indian medicine who has only a few hours of exposure to the subjects. How can they be allowed to prescribe allopathic drugs." 


Saving lives with poison

Having saved thousands of lives from the hands of death, Plakkaat Mathew has a story to tell on how he mastered this traditional way of treatment. It was during the summer of 1956 that Plakkaat Mathew was bitten by a viper when he was on a hunting spree with his friends in the forest. As there was hardly any effective treatment available for poison in the Malabar region during that time, he was taken to Erumely in Pathanamthitta in a bid to save his life.Located at the hillocks of Poyilomchal in the Kozhikode-Wayanad border, Plakkaat house has become synonymous with ‘Visha chikitsa’ (poison treatment) over the past five decades. Be it the venom of cobra, saw-scaled viper, russel’s viper or krait, the father-son duo - Plakkaat Mathew and Saji Mathew - offers an effective treatment at their house using traditional ayurvedic methods. Locals testify that if the affected person arrives here even with a bit of life, he will be saved.
Though they couldn’t be termed as professional physicians, their success is evident from the fact that patients abandoned by the Medical College and other hospitals had been cured under their treatment. One of the major advantages of their treatment is that they can diagnose the kind of poison by just seeing the injury and the symptoms whereas in the Allopathy medical practitioners have to conduct tests to confirm it.Later he came back to Poyilomchal mastering the traditional ayurveda treatment and has saved several lives till date. “Once I learnt the treatment, people started to flock from Wayanad, Kannur and various places in the Kozhikode district. Our treatment is based on ayurveda. Viper venom is the most difficult to cure among various snake poisons but we have the effective treatment for it too,” 86-year-old Mathew said.
After Mathew lost eyesight due to old age three years ago, his son Saji Mathew took up the treatment. Much of the medicines for treatment are also produced by themselves. For this, the family is cultivating various herbs.“This is the most effective kind of treatment for the snake poison prevailed in the state a couple of decades ago. Now the traditional poison treatment is on the decline in the state. But our own experience of treating nearly 70,000 people during all these years is a testimony that the traditional treatment still has a place in the minds of people. One of the major advantages of this treatment is that the patient need not be admitted, the only thing they should do is to take medicine and follow some restrictions on food,” Saji Mathew said. 

Source:IBN Live

Health cover doesn’t fit the ayurveda bill

Are you suffering from diabetes, arthritis or any other chronic disease and opting for ancient forms of medicine? The good news is insurance cover is available for such patients. After some insurance companies began recognizing ayurvedic treatment, many are going ahead with cashless transactions or 80% reimbursements for chronic diseases. Not just that, Karnataka has recognized 15 ayurvedic hospitals for its employees who can undergo treatment and even claim reimbursement.
The Ayush department is in the process of drafting specifications of ayurvedic treatments that can be reimbursed like any other mainstream one. "This can help employees get treated anywhere they like," said Ayush director G N Srikantaiah.
It is also evolving standards for alternative medicine hospitals so that they can be covered by private insurance companies.
But ayurvedic hospitals feel private insurance companies are still restrictive in terms of coverage. At Soukya holistic health centre in Whitefield, 25 cases of 80% coverage have been made after some insurance companies began covering alternative medicine. "It was a little tough as the parameters of our treatment do not match that of mainstream medicine and diseases. Neither do we have standard pricing. But nowadays, people are coming to us for long-term chronic diseases that could cost up to Rs 1.5 lakh. These are comparable to surgeries in English medicine," said Dr Isaac Mathai, director of Soukya.
Soukya is in the process of getting a certificate from the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), so that the process of insurance coverage becomes smoother. At Soukya, the diseases mostly covered by insurance are chronic longterm conditions like arthritis , spondilytis, neurological diseases and even cancer. "Anything chronic should be covered by insurance providers ,'' added Dr Mathai.


'Healthily' Fat Is Better Than ‘Sickly Slim’!

This would be refreshing news for all fat people - scientists have indicated that it may be better to stay fat than go on dieting to shed those extra pounds. 
A study by York University has found that obese people who are otherwise healthy, live just as long as their slim counterparts, and are less likely to die of cardiovascular causes.
 "Our findings challenge the idea that all obese individuals need to lose weight," said lead author Jennifer Kuk, assistant professor in York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health. 
"Moreover, it's possible that trying - and failing - to lose weight may be more detrimental than simply staying at an elevated body weight and engaging in a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables," she added. 
Kuk's team looked at 6,000 obese Americans over a 16-year span, comparing their mortality risk with that of lean individuals. 
They found that obese individuals who had no (or only mild) physical, psychological or physiological impairments had a higher body weight in early adulthood, were happier with this higher body weight, and had attempted to lose weight less frequently during their lives. However, these individuals were also more likely to be physically active and consume a healthy diet. 
The study has been published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.


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