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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Why Retirees Should Get Back to Work

Our entire working life, we dream of being retired and being able to do the things we always wished we had time for, such as vacations, golf, or gardening. But, once we retire, we waste away our hours wishing we could go back to work.
There are many reasons why going back to work after retirement makes sense. Retirees who work typically stay more mentally and physically fit than their non-working counterparts. Plus, they have more disposable income for the things that make life worth living and the unexpected expenses that inevitably come along with aging. So, how can you find a retirement job that will be an enjoyable experience without sacrificing the free time you've worked so hard for? Here are a few job ideas that will still allow you to enjoy retirement:
1. Become a consultant. If you worked in a high demand field prior to your retirement and gained a bevy of specialized skills, put them to work for your previous employer or other clients as a consultant. Being a consultant often means that you work for yourself, not the company that hired you. You can negotiate your own hours and rates and accept only the projects that are interesting to you. The main drawback to consulting is the lack of consistent work. Most projects have a defined lifespan and there can be long gaps between jobs. If you plan to rely upon consulting to provide a regular income to support you in your retirement years, you may need to consider whether a more steady part time job makes more sense. You'll also have to figure your own income tax liabilities, since these won't be withheld from your checks, and there are no benefits such as health insurance.
2. Become a Mart greeter. Most of us don't dream of sitting on a three-foot-tall stool beside a stack of colorful circulars and saying, "Welcome to Walmart". But this flexible position is held by many retirees across the country. The pay isn't great, but your employee discount may make up for it. If Walmart isn't your thing, try other retail or service-oriented establishments in your area to see if you can pick up a low stress part-time job with benefits. Day cares, retail establishments, and call centers are great places to find easy work.
3. Volunteer. If you've planned well and money isn't an issue, find a charitable organization that could use your help. Giving back to the community is a very meaningful way to spend your time. Volunteering allows you to make your own schedule, doesn't affect your income or taxes, and helps better your community.
4. Go back to school. This technically isn't a job, but it is a great way to expand your horizons and meet new people. Scholarships are often available for older, non-traditional students, and there are a number of free classes offered by most community colleges. You may even qualify for federal assistance to go back to school, which means that you can take classes without cracking into your retirement savings.
Working in your retirement years is an opportunity to work on your own terms. Retirees bring a lot of experience and knowledge to a position that younger workers simply can't offer. So make the most of your golden years and get back to work.

Experts concur nano medicine to be platform for growth in pharma, healthcare space

Nano medicine is the next wave of advancements in the healthcare space. The nanotechnology revolution is now enabling novel approaches to address the major problems in modern medicine, leading to the emergence of nano medicine as a new paradigm for diagnosis and therapy, according to experts.
In a discussion on the varied applications of the nanotechnology, scientists and medical experts present at the 4th edition of the Bangalore Nano agreed that nano-science adopted drugs and diagnostics was the way forward to unravel the complications for comprehending the disease symptoms and therapies.
Prof. Srinivas Sridhar director, IGERT Nanomedicine, Science and Technology and Visiting Professor, Radiation Oncology Northeastern University Boston said that the IGERT has developed several nano platforms that offer potential for significant improvements in multi modal imaging, targeted delivery of therapeutics and monitoring of outcomes. “Magnetic liposomal nano platforms for thereanostics combine multiple functionalities including imaging magnetic guidance to the disease site, delivery of drug payload through sustained as well as triggered drug release. We have already demonstrated in-vivo multimodal imaging using MRI, SPECT and FMT using these nano platforms,” he said
Nanoporous coating has also been developed for implants, cardiovascular stents used in image guided radio therapy of cancer. The non-erodible coatings show sustained release profiles that are comparable to those from erodible polymer platforms but with no problems of de-lamination. Non-porous coated fiducial markers have been developed with tailored release profiles suitable for radiation oncology treatment. In fact a new doctoral programmes have also been established incorporating new courses in the disciplinary research in nano medicine, said Prof. Sridhar while addressing the developments in the area of nano materails in biomedical applications.
According to Dr S Swaminathan, director, Centre for Nanotechnology & Advanced Biomaterials, Sastra University Thanjavur, the two key applications that have emerged in recent years are regenerative medicine and smart drug release systems. “Nanofirborous polymeric scaffolds have geometries that mimic the extracellular matrix closely and thereby provide the right topography for the adhesion, growth and proliferation of cells,” he said.
Stating that smart nano delivery systems have been widely investigated for sustained, targeted and triggered release of drugs at the target cells, Dr Swaminathan pointed out that it would reduce the side-effects, dose and frequency of administration of the drugs. In this regard, the lab at the Sastra University is now actively involved in the synthesis of novel products which not only help to alter drug load efficiency but also modify the drug release time, stated Dr Swaminathan.
Dr Robert Stokes, application development manager, EMEA, Nanoink Inc. US, said that micro and nanoscale materials hold huge potential for medical and life sciences. The establishment of Dip Pen Nanolithography (DPN) is used in ELISA-type and biosensors to help increase sensitivity for faster detection.
Research on nanoparticles cover nanotechnology and biotechnology which provides numerous opportunities and end-product modifications, he said.

Breakthrough In Obesity Research: 'Fat Switch’ Identified

British researchers say they have identified the body’s’fat switch.’ The discovery improves our understanding of how proteins regulate appetite control and insulin secretion.The research, led by Professor Victor Zammit, Head of Metabolic and Vascular Health at Warwick Medical School, found that the enzyme known as ‘Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A’ (CPT1) has a switch which is thrown depending on the composition and curvature of its cellular membrane. This is the first time such a mechanism has been described and may possibly be unique, reflecting the importance of this protein to cellular function.
CPT1 is the key protein that regulates fatty acid oxidation in the liver and is critical for metabolism. Its activity determines whether individuals suffer from fatty liver in one extreme or ketosis in the other.
Professor Zammit explained: “Knowing that the CPT1 enzyme can switch and what controls it will ultimately lead to a better understanding of why some people appear to have a speedy metabolism and others struggle to curb their appetite.
“We are making great inroads to understanding the science behind our metabolism and how at cellular level it changes according to the influence of different factors — be they nutritional or hormonal.”
The importance of this work on clinical practice is that, having discovered the molecular mechanism, it should now be possible to design drugs that flick the switch of CPT1 in one way or the other, depending on the requirements of individual patients and the tissue that needs to be affected. For example, drugs can be developed for patients suffering from diabetic keto acidosis, a condition when insufficient insulin caused the body to start breaking down fat, so that the enzyme is inhibited to oxidize fewer fatty acids.
“This would be a major breakthrough in tackling the obesity crisis we now face,” added Professor Zammit.
The research, conducted in association with the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA has been published in Journal of Biological Chemistry as ‘Paper of the Week’ and the editors considered it to be within the top one percent in terms of significance both to fundamental science and potential clinical importance.

Seaweed Could Help You Lose More Weight

Seaweed can help dieters to lose weight more quickly, claims a new study. Consuming dietary fibres from brown algae makes one feel fuller, thereby making them to eat less and lose more weight.
According to researchers at the Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE), University of Copenhagen, dietary fibres from brown algae, the so-called alginates, are excellent at creating an 'artificial feeling of fullness" in the stomach.
"Over a three-year period, we have studied the effect of taking different alginate doses. We are able to demonstrate that the healthy subjects who took alginates and were also allowed to eat as much as they wanted felt less hungry and ate less than the subjects not drinking fibre drinks with alginates," Morten Georg Jensen, a PhD student, said.
The 12-week study conducted by the researchers included 96 overweight men and women. 48 subjects drank a specially designed drink with alginates three times daily before each main course as a supplement to an energy-reduced diet. The other 48 subjects drank a placebo drink without alginates.
The 80 subjects who completed the study achieved a far larger weight loss with alginate treatment than those drinking a similar drink without alginates.
On an average, the subjects in the seaweed fibre drink group lost 1.7 kg more than those in the placebo group. According to the researchers, this weight loss is primarily due to a decrease in body fat percentage.
"A probable explanation of the weight loss is that the alginates form a gel in the stomach which strengthens the gastrointestinal satiety signals to the brain because the gel takes up space in the stomach. The overweight subjects thus ate less than usual,' Jensen added.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Yoga Pose Copyright Bid Is Too Much of a Stretch, U.S. Says

Yoga poses such as head-to-knee stretches can’t be copyrighted in the U.S. because they are “exercises” rather than “choreography,” federal regulators said.
The U.S. Copyright Office previously permitted yoga poses and their sequences to be registered, even if those exercises were in the public domain, Laura Lee Fischer, acting chief of the office’s Performing Arts Division, said in response to an inquiry by an attorney involved in lawsuits the founder of Bikram Yoga filed against three yoga studios.
The office reviewed the legislative history of the copyright law and decided that exercises, including yoga, “do not constitute the subject matter that Congress intended to protect as choreography,” Fischer said in an e-mail. “We will not register such exercises (including yoga movements), whether described as exercises or as selection and ordering of movements.”
The e-mail is contained in a response filed today to Bikram’s Yoga College of India’s complaint against New York- based Yoga to the People. Washington lawyer Elliott Alderman, hired by the defense to assist in copyright review, sought the determination from the Copyright Office.
Evolation Yoga, with studios in cities including Buffalo and Brooklyn, New York, and Yen Yoga, in Traverse City, Michigan, also were sued. All three lawsuits were filed in federal court in Los Angeles.
The Copyright Office decision won’t put an end to the litigation since the suits also claim trademark infringement and violation of the teacher-certification agreements.
Breathing Exercises
Bikram Choudhury -- and his affiliated Bikram Yoga studios -- teaches a strictly regimented type of yoga that lasts for 90 minutes and includes 26 poses, two breathing exercises and a scripted dialogue in a room that is heated to 105 degrees. Yoga to the People founder Greg Gumucio was a former student of Choudhury, as were some of the instructors at Evolation and Yen Yoga.
Choudhury said in his complaint that each studio violated his copyrights and trademarks as well as limitations on how and where his students can teach his method.
Jordan Susman, a Los Angeles lawyer who represents Yoga to the People and Gumucio, said yoga sequences and poses can’t be copyrighted. The defendants said the hot yoga they offer differs from Bikram yoga. Each studio offers other types of yoga as well.
Website Petition
Gumucio created a website,, and has almost 8,000 signatures of people who agree yoga should not “be privatized.”
Robert Gilchrest, a lawyer at Silverman Sclar Shin & Byrne PLLC in Los Angeles who represents Choudhury, couldn’t be immediately reached for comment on today’s filing.
The case is Bikram’s Yoga College of India L.P. v. Yoga to the People, Inc., 11-cv-07998, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles). The other cases filed are Bikram’s Yoga College of India L.P. v. Raiz, 11-cv-7377, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles) and Bikram’s Yoga College of India L.P. v. Evolation Yoga LLC., 11- cv-05506, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Rosen in New York at
To contact the editor responsible for this report: Michael Hytha at

Scientists kick off debate over barefoot running

Despite the cold and many other potential hazards, naked from the ankle down is the way Anna Toombs likes it, and she gets plenty of catcalls in the street as a result.
The 35-year-old co-founder of the personal training company Barefoot Running UK says she's lost count of the times people yell "where are your shoes?" as she and partner David Robinson negotiate London's parks and pavements to indulge their passion and train their clients.
"People give you a lot of weird looks," says Robinson.
They are also getting a lot of inquiries.
A surge of interest in "natural," or barefoot, training has seen runners around the world kick off their arch-supporting, motion-controlling, heel-cushioning shoes and try to feel the ground beneath their feet.
Top scientists - from sports physicians to podiatrists to evolutionary biologists - are jumping in too.
At a recent sports science conference in London, hundreds of participants, many of them shod but a few daringly barefooted, flocked to a two-hour long discussion about the merits or otherwise of running without shoes.
"It's a really polarized debate - there are what you might call the barefoot evangelicals on one side and the aggressive anti-barefoots on the other," says Ross Tucker, an expert in exercise physiology at South Africa's University of Cape Town and a middle- and long-distance running coach.
The current barefoot trend has its roots in the book "Born to Run," by Christopher McDougall. In it, he tells of time spent with Mexico's Tarahumara tribe who can run huge distances barefoot, often very fast, apparently without suffering the injuries that plague many keen runners in the developed world.
The debate centers on whether running in shoes with cushioned heels and supportive structures changes the way people move so dramatically that it's more likely to cause injuries.
Proponents of barefoot running say the natural way is more likely to prompt a runner to land on the padded and springy part of the foot, toward the front, rather than strike the ground with the heel as many shod runners do.
In a study published in the scientific journal Nature last year, Daniel Lieberman, an evolutionary biology professor at Harvard University, sought to find out how our ancestors, who ran and hunted for millions of years in bare feet or simple moccasins, coped with the impact of the foot hitting the ground.
Lieberman and colleagues from Britain and Kenya studied runners who had always run barefoot, those who had always worn shoes and runners who had abandoned shoes.
They found that barefoot endurance runners often land on the fore-foot before bringing down the heel, while shod runners mostly rear-foot strike, prompted by the raised and cushioned heels of modern running shoes.
In a series of analyses, they found that even on hard surfaces, barefoot runners who fore-foot strike generate smaller "collision forces" - less impact - than rear-foot strikers in shoes. Barefoot runners also had a springier step and used their calf and foot muscles more efficiently.
Lieberman, who spoke at the conference after an early-morning barefoot run along the banks of London's Thames, is keen to stress that the scientific evidence on whether barefoot running is better in terms of injuries is still very unclear.
"A lot of people are arguing on the basis of passion, anecdote, emotion or financial gain - but what's quite true is there are no good data saying whether it's better for you or worse for you," he said.
Having said that, he has already voted with his feet.
As has fellow biology professor Daniel Howell, who teaches human anatomy and physiology at Liberty University in the United States.
Howell, dubbed the "Barefoot Professor" by his students after he began living his life 95 percent shoe-free, admits he's an extremist.
He's spent almost all of the past six years in bare feet, he's run thousands of miles in all weathers and across many terrains without footwear, and he refers to shoes rather suspiciously as "devices."
"Barefoot is the natural condition. It's the most natural way to be," he told the conference. "Walking and running are extremely complicated from a biomechanical perspective ... and if you add a device to your foot, it alters it."
"When you put on a device, it changes the way you stand, the way you walk and the way you run. Those changes are unnatural, and generally negative."
While it's true that almost all modern athletes use running shoes in international sporting competitions, a few barefooters have been trailblazers for the cause.
Back in 1960 Ethiopia's Abebe Bikila, one of the world's greatest Olympic marathon runners, won the first of his consecutive gold medals without shoes, covering the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 17 seconds. And in 1984, South African barefoot runner Zola Budd set a track world record when she ran 5,000 meters in 15 minutes and 1.83 seconds.
Simon Bartold, a sports podiatrist and international research consultant for the sports brand Asics, says most athletes, amateur or otherwise, should stick to wearing shoes.
"I'd come down pretty heavily in favor of footwear," he said. "It does offer some real protection and some real performance advantages over barefoot."
Still, Asics and other big running shoe brands like Nike, New Balance and Saucony see no reason to be excluded from this new and potentially lucrative form of the sport just because it's about running in bare feet.
A nifty rebranding of the trend to "natural" or "minimalist" running has opened up a potential new market in "barefoot running shoes" that promise to be the closest thing to wearing nothing at all.
For Howell, even minimalist shoes are a step too far. "For most people, under most circumstances, most of the time, barefoot is the healthiest and most natural way to be," he said.
Toombs, whose clients often come to her with injuries or illnesses that are restricting their movement, is concerned that scientific rows about the biomechanics of foot strikes, and efforts by sports brands to cash in, are robbing barefoot running of its best bits.
Formerly an enthusiastic shod runner, she says training without shoes is partly about getting back to nature, but it's also about learning a better way to run, using the body's bounce and balance to improve form and reduce impact.
"With barefoot running ... each time my foot strikes the ground, it lands slightly differently," she told Reuters. "In other words it's adjusting to what's underneath it."
"I'm constantly scanning the terrain, dodging rougher areas and taking a much more meandering line, which works different sets of muscles. It's almost like dancing. But the moment I put shoes on, most of that sensitivity is gone."

15-Minute Walk Cuts Snacking on Chocolate by Half: Study

A 15-minute walk can reduce snacking on chocolate at work by half, a research by the University of Exeter found. The study showed that, even in stressful situations, workers eat only half as much chocolate as they normally would after this short burst of physical activity.
Published in the journal Appetite, the research suggests that employees may find that short breaks away from their desks can help keen their minds off snacking.
In the study, 78 regular chocolate-eaters were invited to enter a simulated work environment, after two days abstinence from chocolate snacking. Two groups were asked to take a brisk 15-minute walk on a treadmill and were then given work to complete at a desk. One group was given an easy, low-stress task, while the other was asked to complete a more demanding job. The other two groups were asked to have a rest before completing the same tasks as the first two groups. Again, half were given an easier and the remainder a more challenging task. Chocolate was available in a bowl on the desk for all participants as they carried out their work.
Those who had exercised before working consumed on average half the amount of chocolate as the others: around 15 grammes, compared with 28 grammes. 15 grammes is equivalent to a small 'treat size' or 'fun size' chocolate bar.
The difficulty of the task made no difference to the amount of chocolate they ate, which suggests that stress did not contribute to their cravings for sweet snacks.
Lead researcher Professor Adrian Taylor of the University of Exeter said: "We know that snacking on high calorie foods, like chocolate, at work can become a mindless habit and can lead to weight gain over time. We often feel that these snacks give us an energy boost, or help us deal with the stress of our jobs, including boredom. People often find it difficult to cut down on their daily treats but this study shows that by taking a short walk, they are able to regulate their intake by half."
Exercise is known to have significant benefits for mood and energy levels and has potential for managing addictions. Professor Taylor and his colleagues at the University of Exeter have previously shown that exercise can curb cravings for chocolate but this is the first study to show a reduction in consumption.

Islamic Cleric Says Women Should Not be Allowed to Eat Bananas and Cucumbers

In yet another bizarre statement, a European Islamic cleric told an Egyptian news website that women should be kept away from food items such as bananas and cucumbers as they could arouse sexual thought.Speaking to the Egyptian website Bikya Masr, the unnamed cleric said that the shape of a banana or a cucumber resembled a penis and it could make women have sexual thoughts. The cleric added that if the women did like to eat the fruits, then they should be served by a male related to them and should first be cut into pieces, the Times of India reported.
“If women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve”, the cleric said.
While the latest dikat has been scorned by a large section of Muslim internet users, there has been no official response from other renowned Islamic scholars.

How to Get and Stay Healthy

The current dominant school of thought in medicine adheres to a mechanistic philosophy: it views the body as a machine, and each part is considered separate, like a cog in a wheel. In machines, sometimes things go wrong (for no apparent reason other than random error), and one must fix the parts that are broken. The opposite philosophy (and the one adhered to by Naturopathic Medical Doctors) is called vitalism. In this model, the body is viewed as a single organism which behaves rationally in response to its environment. If you change one aspect of the body, everything else has to adapt to that change, because the change did not occur in a vacuum.
So, if we begin with the assumption that the body is smart and knows what it’s doing, then we must conclude that any symptoms are an adaptation necessary for survival. For instance: you drink too much, and you vomit rather than die of toxicity. You eat contaminated food and get diarrhea to purge it. In this light, symptoms must be viewed as the body’s language, telling the physician what the body is trying to do in order to correct a problem.
In Latin, the word homeopathy (frequently used, although somewhat inaccurately, as a synonym for naturopathy) means “same as the disease”: that is, the homeopathic treatment for a disease mimics the symptoms that the patient is already experiencing. Thus, the homeopath responds by assisting the body in its efforts to rid itself of a morbid process. By contrast, the word allopathy (the conventional medical approach) means to works against the body’s symptoms, attempting to counteract them. From the naturopathic perspective, this is actively harmful. It prevents the body from expelling the pathogen or toxin, causing the problem to burrow deeper and reappear as something more serious later on. It’s like having a fire in your house, and instead of putting out the fire, you turn off the alarm.
Furthermore, in naturopathic philosophy, pathogens are considered secondary rather than primary causes of illness. Robert Vichrow, one of the scientists credited with discovering the existence of microorganisms, stated, “If I had my life to live over again, I would devote it to showing that microorganisms do not cause disease, but rather seek diseased tissue as mosquitoes seek stagnant water.” For instance, a high percentage of the population carries streptococcus bacteria in their throats at any given time. But the bacteria do not cause Strep Throat in all individuals; it is the weakened or diseased tissue that allows the bacteria to thrive. The solution, then, is to fix the tissue, not to kill the bug. This is not to say that killing the bug will have no effect, because of course we know that it does – but killing the bug using antibiotics may not only cause side effects in the individual and allow subsequent strains of bacteria to adapt and mutate, but it will also leave the patient with the same weak and susceptible tissue he started out with.
Anything brought to the body can act as either “food” or “poison”, as an agent for healing or damage, depending on how it is used. Pharmaceuticals can be used to suppress symptoms, or to restore balance, just as naturopathic remedies can be used allopathically (though at least they would presumably carry fewer side effects). It’s not what you do, but why you do it… and isn’t this true in every area of our lives?
By: Lauren Deville ( She completed her doctorate at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona and is board-certified to practice Naturopathic Medicine in the state of Arizona. She holds a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the University of Arizona, as well as minors in Spanish and Creative Writing.)

New book release from local Ayurvedic expert in US

Through 15 practical lessons in the new book “Healing Your Life,” Dr. Marc Halpern, president of the California College of Ayurveda, shows how even small changes in what people eat, see, hear, smell, and touch, can profoundly improve health and happiness.
Halpern shares knowledge learned from working with thousands of students and patients, plus inspiring reflections from his own healing journey.
A fight against debilitating disease led Halpern to reject his “work hard, play hard” lifestyle in the 1980s, pursue natural healing, and establish the first school of clinical ayurvedic medicine in the U.S. in 1995 in Nevada County.
“No two people are the same, so there is no single diet or lifestyle that works for everyone. This book, and my life's work, is to help people achieve their own highest potential, happiness and health,” said Halpern.
“Healing Your Life” is sprinkled with insights such as, how and where we eat is more important than what we eat; music is medicine, and some thrive on rap, others on reggae or classical; We shouldn't work past 7 p.m., or check e-mail or cell phones; and a closet full of black clothes might be bringing us down.
The 15 Lessons include insights into the cause of disease, developing patience, and the roles of diet, music, color, touch, aroma, imbalances and daily rhythm in our lives.
Halpern also reflects on his life as the child of divorced Jewish parents, his early professional life as a doctor of chiropractic, the mysterious auto-immune disorder that left him bedridden at age 25, and his subsequent seven year struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. His inspiring path to personal health and happiness is a success story in ayurvedic living and medicine.
Halpern is founder and president of the California College of Ayurveda and co-founder of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and the California Association of Ayurvedic medicine. He has been instrumental in bringing ayurvedic medicine to the west. An advisor to ayurvedic journals in India and the U.S. and a recipient of the Best Ayurvedic Physician award, Halpern is one of the few Westerners recognized as an expert in ayurveda internationally.
Healing Your Life, Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda, by Halpern was published Nov. 10 by Lotus Books.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Long wait for 5th floor in Ayurveda Hospital

The executive engineer has submitted a proposal seeking administrative sanction for completion of the fifth floor of the first phase of the new complex of District Ayurveda Hospital in Kacheripady on Wednesday.
“We need at least Rs 1 crore for the fifth floor,” said executive engineer N Robeson.
The new building was opened in June 2010 with two floors. The construction work of two more floors is nearly over. This poses problems for patients and staff. “We have to wait in long queues at the pharmacy counter. Though it has been upgraded into a 50-bedded hospital, only 20 beds are there and facilities are not enough.
It is difficult for the elderly and the ailing to climb the steps. The panchakarma treatments are being done in a makeshift building,” said a few patients from the coastal regions of the district. “The second and third phase have to be completed fast if the hospital has to function properly,” said DMO Dr Amibika whose office is now in Thammanam. “We are coping with what we have. The facilities have to be improved. There are 50 inpatients and around 660 outpatients each day and there is no space for storage and we are short of hands.The work on the two floors (women’s wards) is over but funds are needed to complete the fifth floor (for the aged and children). Unless it is ready by March, it cannot be upgraded to a 100-bedded hospital,” said Dr Rex Nelson, Chief Medical Officer.
“The four staff members provided by the NRHM are of great help,” he said
Construction of ramp, lift and reception area are included in the second phase. X-ray unit, pay wards of different scales and canteen are planned in the third phase.
District panchayat president Eldose Kunnappally said,”We are giving priority to the project. Over `1 crore will be sanctioned soon. Tourism packages can also be incorporated when the pay wards are ready. By next year we will turn this into an ayurveda specialty hospital,” he said. District Collector Sheik Pareeth said he would look into the matter.
Source:IBN live

Babies learn whom to trust at early age: study

You can fool them once, but babies will not be fooled again if adults trick them, according to a new Canadian study.
Infants normally mimic sounds, facial expressions and actions they observe but researchers at Concordia University in Montreal found that if an adult tricks them, they will no longer follow along with that person.
The findings published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development bolster previous evidence that infants can differentiate between credible and un-credible sources, the study said.
"Like older children, infants keep track of an individual's history of being accurate or inaccurate and use this information to guide their subsequent learning," said researcher Diane Poulin-Dubois, a professor in Concordia's department of psychology.
"Specifically, infants choose not to learn from someone who they perceive as unreliable."
To demonstrate this, experimenters looked inside a container while expressing excitement and invited infants aged 13 to 16 months to discover whether the box actually contained a toy or was empty.
Then, the same experimenters used their forehead instead of their hands to turn on a push-on light, hoping the infant would follow suit.
Only 34 percent of infants paired with unreliable testers followed the task while 61 percent of infants whose testers were reliable imitated the behavior.
Source:Relax News

ICMR launches surveillance network to monitor NDM virus

With the controversy about New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) still resisting to subside, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has initiated a surveillance network exclusively to monitor negative bacterial organisms. It has also launched studies about the presence of NDM virus in Delhi.
The move comes in the wake of recent reports about the presence of NDM in some hospitals in Delhi, though with a minimal impact and without any danger. The network, mounted in collaboration with other government agencies, will monitor negative bacterial organisms, methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus and fungus causing sepsis, along with NDM.
“Government is aware of antimicrobial resistance in bacterias and viruses. Such naturally occurring multi-drug resistant bacteria with NDM-1 or similar plasmids are present all over the world. Their presence as such has limited implications unless linked to clinical situations and outcome. Unless these organism get the opportunity to invade body through wounds, surgery, damage due to instruments etc. these are not usual cause of infection. This can be tackled by good hospital infection control measures,” sources said.
In a recent study, seepage samples and 50 tap water samples from New Delhi were analysed, of which two of water samples and 51 of seepage samples were detected having contamination with NDM-1, sources confirmed.

Delhi Government also has recently admitted to the presence of superbug NDM-1 in several hospitals, but affirmed that it was not alarming. The Government also instructed all public sector hospitals to take effective measures to contain the spread of the virus and rationalise use of antibiotics.
“A very low” prevalence of NDM1 infection has been found in tests conducted in ICUs of a number of hospitals like RML Hospital, Lady Harding Hospital, CNBC and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. “It was found in the range of 0.04 per cent to 0.08 per cent, which cannot be stated as alarming,” the government said.
Triggering panic and controversy, two articles were published in the Lancet Infections Diseases citing presence of carbapenem resistant enterobacteriaceae due to NDM-1 and the origin of this bacteria has been traced back to India and Pakistan. The Government had denied this allegation as the origin of NDM-1 from India.
“As per information published by WHO, even USA and Canada have reported cases of NDM-1. Australia, Belgium, Japan, Sweden and Vietnam have also reported cases. In a study funded by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) in six centres (Vellore, AIIMS, New Delhi, Kochi, Sevagram, Puducherry and Lucknow) the proportion of such strains was found to be less than 5 per cent (2 – 4.5 per cent) during 2008-09. Such naturally occurring multi-drug resistant bacteria with NDM1 or similar plasmids are present all over the world,” Government sources claimed.

High Risk of Diabetes in Women Who Work in Rotating Day and Night Shifts

High Risk of Diabetes in Women Who Work in Rotating Day and Night Shifts
Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health used data from the Nurses’ Health Study I and II carried out between 1988 and 2008 and involved more than 177,000 women. In total around 60 percent of the nurses had served at least one year of rotating night shift work while 11 percent from Study I and 4 percent from Study II had served at least 10 years.
The researchers found that those who had worked on rotating night shifts for three to nine years had a 20 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The risk increased to 40 percent among nurses who had spent 10 to 19 years working at nights and 58 percent among nurses who had worked at nights for more than 20 years.
“The increased risk is not huge, but it's substantial and can have important public health implications given that almost one-fifth of the workforce is on some kind of rotating night shift”, lead researcher Frank Hu said.

Most Snakebite Victims Prefer Consulting Traditional Healers

Lethal snakebites are recognized as massive global health problem yet immensely under-reported, states research presented today at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's (ASTMH) annual meeting.A key reason for the low count is that many snakebite victims are treated or die without seeking or reaching health facilities. A Bangladeshi study, for example, found that only 3 percent of those treated went directly to a physician or hospital. Rather, 86 percent saw a "snake charmer." Snakebite victims often do not go to hospitals because they have to travel too far, antivenom is scarce in many regions, or the treatment can be too expensive.
"People are dying in their villages without 'bothering' the health system," said Ulrich Kuch, head of the Emerging and Neglected Tropical Diseases Unit at the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Frankfurt, Germany. "They simply don't show up in the statistics."
The World Health Organization estimates that up to 5 million people suffer from snakebites each year, resulting in 300,000 cases of permanent disability and about 100,000 deaths. But two recent studies reveal that the magnitude of the problem is far greater than official statistics show. One survey, published in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases in 2011, found that 46,000 people die every year in India from snakebites, compared to the official figure of 2,000. A second survey found 700,000 snakebites and 6,000 deaths annually in Bangladesh alone, far higher than previous estimates.
"In the 21st century, snakebite is the most neglected of all the neglected tropical diseases," said David Warrell, emeritus professor of Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and one of the study's authors. "The deaths and suffering from venomous snakebites remain largely invisible to the global health community."
While just a handful of people in the United States die each year from snakebites, venomous snakebites greatly afflict the most impoverished people in rural areas in low- and middle-income countries. As many people die from snakebites as from several recognized neglected tropical diseases, and, similarly, snakebites also lack the support of major foundations, development agencies and global leaders, according to Warrell. If the bitten survive, they often are permanently disabled by the effect of the toxins in the venom.
"Neglected tropical diseases too often hold people and their families and communities hostage to poverty," said Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD, president of ASTMH and a noted tropical disease expert. "Investing in research for answers that will bring an end to needless suffering, through adequate cures and life-saving health programs, is a smart investment for funders, both private and public."
Volunteer Motorcycle Ambulances, Rapid Diagnostic Tests, New Antivenoms
In the absence of significant global initiatives, scientists, research institutions and community-based organizations are taking it upon themselves to develop solutions in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, the world's most-affected regions. These latest developments were presented at the symposium.
One successful program uses volunteer motorcycle drivers to rush victims in southeastern Nepal to a community-based snakebite treatment center. Data presented at the conference showed that the program substantially reduced the snakebite death-rate—from 10.5 percent to 0.5 percent, compared to no decrease in other villages surveyed. "It actually seemed too good to be true," said François Chappuis, Associate Professor in the Division of International and Humanitarian Medicine at Geneva University Hospitals.
The program began in 2003 after a study found that 80 percent of deaths due to snakebites in villages surveyed occurred outside a medical center and that half of those victims died on the way to the health facility. So researchers established a program where volunteer motorbike owners race snakebite victims 24-hours-a-day to the Damak Red Cross Health Center for fast medical care. They also launched an educational campaign where Nepalese residents met with villagers and community health workers and distributed leaflets in the most affected villages. "The message was extremely straightforward: you get bitten, you call a motorcycle volunteer and you go as fast as possible to the medical center," Chappuis said. The program was expanded to 40 villages and in 2011 began in south central Nepal with hopes of it being replicated in India.
Scientists also presented promising data on rapid diagnostic tests being developed to allow physicians to make fast decisions on whether to give antivenom and which type to use. Currently, standard practice is to wait until symptoms of envenomation appear before giving antivenom because it can have serious side effects and supply is scarce. This is reasonable in many cases. However, the venom of certain species irreversibly destroys parts of the nervous system before envenomation becomes clinically apparent, making the resulting life-threatening paralysis resistant to antivenom treatment. With a 20-minute strip test that shows if venom was injected and by which species, doctors can give antivenom immediately after such bites, before patients become severely ill or die. The tests are easy to use in rural, poor settings.The tests discussed at the forum would detect bites from two deadly snakes—the Russell's viper and the krait. The krait test is in preliminary stages for potential use in South Asia. The Russell's viper test successfully completed preclinical testing with a clinical trial expected in 2012. It has been designed for Burma with plans to adapt it for wider use throughout South and Southeast Asia.
In addition, researchers discussed their progress on the development of cheaper, effective antivenoms, which are scarce or nonexistent in some parts of the world, or are too expensive.
The nonprofit Instituto Clodomiro Picado (ICP) of the University of Costa Rica has teamed up with governments, manufacturers and world-renowned universities and research institutions—including Oxford, the University of Melbourne, Instituto de Biomedicina of Valencia, Spain, and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine—to develop new antivenoms for sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
One is for the taipan of Papua New Guinea, one of the most venomous snakes in the world. Though a good Australian antivenom exists, it is scarce in Papua New Guinea because of its very high price. The new antivenom for Papua New Guinea, at a fraction of the cost, successfully completed laboratory and animal testing, with the results published in 2011 in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. A clinical trial will start this year.
This comes on the heels of two new effective antivenoms panelists worked on that are starting to be distributed in Nigeria—one for the saw-scaled viper and a "polyspecific" antivenom that works for three snakes. One is being manufactured in the UK and the other at ICP in Costa Rica, which would also produce the antivenom for Papua New Guinea.
But a new project presented at the ASTMH forum takes a different approach. The ICP will help formulate a polyspecific antivenom for five snakes in Sri Lanka and then transfer the technology to Sri Lanka for local production. The ICP is collaborating with the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka and a US-based non-profit, Animal Venom Research International, said José María Gutiérrez, PhD, head of the Research Division of ICP and Professor at the University of Costa Rica.
"These new antivenoms show how international partnerships between organizations that have different strengths can work together and solve problems in diverse parts of the world," he said.
The December 5th symposium, Snakebite Envenomation: From Global Awareness to Best Practice Implementation, will feature leading snakebite authorities from Bangladesh, Germany, the UK, Nepal, Nigeria and Costa Rica.
On December 6th, Warrell will present findings on new medical symptoms documented in people bitten by certain snake species in his talk, Newly Recognized Clinical Syndromes of Snakebite Envenoming.

Progressive and Powerful Women Throw Their Weight Around

Women in powerful positions are turning into bullies and are throwing their weight around at the workplace.According to the survey conducted by the British Association of Anger management, while such bullying behaviour is more commonly associated with male bosses, a fifth of female bosses admit to shouting or being verbally abusive at work.
10 percent of women executives admit to blaming and shaming colleagues when things go wrong.
However, almost 90 percent of those surveyed said they had experienced an increase in stress, with more than 60 percent citing poor management as the reason for their anxiety.
Mike Fisher, the association's director, said high-flying women are now encountering the psychological problems that have historically blighted the lives of men at the top.
"The main reason for an increase in anger is the inability to deal with stress. Women tend to pay more attention to detail than men so they sweat over the small things," the Daily Mail quoted Fisher as saying.
"They can be short-tempered and abrupt, and make underhanded critical remarks. It can be interpreted by colleagues as bullying," he added.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Workshop on medicinal plants at Niligiri biosphere to begin at JSS College of Ooty on Dec 8

The department of Phytopharmacy and Phytomedicine at the JSS College of Pharmacy, Ooty will conduct three days national workshop on Potentials of Medicinal plants at the Niligiri Hills from December 8 to 10, 2011. The theme of the workshop is ‘An ethnomedical approach to herbal drug development’. The program is sponsored by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi.
The aim of the programme is to provide a timely forum for the exchange and dissemination of newer ideas and techniques among the researchers in the field of botanical medicine of ethnomedical importance and focused on conservation of medicinal plants on Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR). NBR is the first biosphere reserve set up in India covering an area of 5500 sq km in the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
On December 8 noon, Dr V T Kandasamy, conservator of forests, Coimbatore will inaugurate the function. From 2 pm onwards scientific sessions will be started.
On December 9, the participants will visit Organic Cultivation of Medicinal Plants at Doddabetta and some primitive tribal settlements and have interactions with tribal medicine men.
On December 10, the factory manager of Sterling Biotech, Ooty will deliver a speech on herbal drugs. There will be practical demonstration on preparation of tribal medicines as part of the programme. Research scientists and professors of pharmacy from different pharmacy colleges will speak on various subjects during these days.

HIV Cure Tops Agenda in World Top HIV Researchers’ Meet

An international AIDS research workshop this week will have scientists working on HIV persistence in viral reservoirs meeting between December 6 and 9. Their findings have potential implications for the 34 millions of patients who are chronically infected by HIV worldwide.
More than 210 international scientists meet Tuesday 6 December for the "International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs & Eradication Strategies". The workshop is supported by the American National Institute of Health (NIH) and the French Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS).
"We are very excited by the fact that all top scientists involved in the quest of an HIV cure will be there" declared Doctor Alain Lafeuillade (Toulon, France) cofounder of the workshop with Professor Mario Stevenson (Miami, USA).
The workshop will begin on Tuesday 6 December by a satellite symposium entitled "Unique Challenges and Opportunities for Eradication of Brain HIV-1 Reservoirs" organized by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In the following days, sessions will discus the animal models of HIV persistence, the virological and immunological factors at play, and the development of new therapeutic strategies to reach a functional or a sterilizing HIV cure.
"It is a unique program, involving researchers from America, Europe and Australia, and the abstracts we have received show that the field is moving quickly" Doctor Lafeuillade mentioned. The workshop will combine state-of-the-art lectures and more than 60 presentations of yet unpublished data as oral or poster publications. Embargo on these data will be lifted on December 6.
Several NIH representatives will attend the workshop, as well as members of the "Towards an HIV Cure" initiative from the International AIDS Society (IAS). The IAS will convene their group twice during the workshop to prepare the scientific strategy towards an HIV cure to be launched in Washington in July 2012.
"With the case of the Berlin patient we now know that an HIV cure is achievable, but we have to find strategies which are scalable" Doctor Lafeuillade added.
The Berlin patient was declared cured from HIV a year ago after receiving 2 bone marrow transplants for acute leukemia. The bone marrow donor exhibited a rare defect on the CCR5 coreceptor that HIV uses to enter cells. Researchers working in the USA on "zinc finger nucleases" to mimic the CCR5 defect will detail their latest advances at the workshop.
Another approach to a cure is purging residual HIV reservoirs with drugs capable of acting on latently-infected cells. Trials have already started with Histone Deacetylase inhibitors, disulfiram and bryostatin. Their preliminary results will also be published at the workshop.
But the workshop is not all about therapy and basic science will represent an important part of it. "It is still necessary to increase our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the maintenance of HIV reservoirs during effective antiretroviral therapy" Dr. Lafeuillade said, "That is why the NIH and the NIAID recently awarded $14 million/year for research on eradication of HIV through the Martin Delaney Collaboratory".
The "International Workshop on HIV Persistence, Reservoirs & Eradication Strategies" is held at the Westin Sin Maarten Hotel, Philipsburg, December 6-9, 2011. It is a closed meeting where participants are selected for their committment in HIV persistence research.

Radioactive Cesium Found in Baby Food

Traces of radiation were detected in a leading brand of Japanese baby formula.
Meiji, a major producer of milk, confectionery and pharmaceuticals, said it was recalling some 400,000 cans of "Meiji Step" formula that contained a small amount of radioactive caesium-134 and ceasium-137.
The level of contamination ranged from 22 to 31 becquerels per kilogram (10 to 14 becquerels per pound), compared with the 200-becquerel legal limit, Meiji said.
The formula was produced at a factory in Saitama prefecture, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where reactors were sent into meltdown in the aftermath of the March 11 quake and tsunami.
The company said it suspects caesium might have entered the formula during the drying process, rather than being present in the raw materials used, but stressed the exact cause of the contamination was not clear.
The announcement will add to the unease in Japan over food safety, particularly for small children, with a significant proportion of the public mistrustful of official pronouncements on radiation.
The government has previously declared many food items safe to eat, including rice produced in Fukushima after the nuclear disaster, only to announce later that a number of farm products had been contaminated.
Following the latest announcement, shares in Meiji Holdings plunged 9.72 percent to 3,020 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The company said no radioactive contamination had been detected in any of its other products.

Fighting Fake Medicines

Counterfeit and poor quality medicines are to be severely condemned and public health issues should be the prime consideration in fighting the supply of counterfeit medicines.
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Paul Newton of Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane, Lao PDR and the University of Oxford, UK and colleagues argue that public health issues, and not intellectual property or trade issues, should be the prime consideration in defining and combating counterfeit medicines. They say that the World Health Organization (WHO) should take a more prominent role. The authors advocate that an international treaty on medicine quality, under the auspices of the WHO, could play a key role in the struggle against counterfeit and substandard medicines.
The authors comment that: "Counterfeit medicines should be defined in terms of harm to health, with punishments appropriate for the injury or killing of patients. Moreover, it is imperative that public health institutions, ministries, and lawyers, and not primarily IP specialists or industrial and trade bodies, take the strategic lead in countering poor quality medicines."

Body Odor can Help Identify Personality Type

A new study has revealed that people can know the personality of a person through his or her body scent.The study was conducted by Polish researchers who asked a group of raters to smell clothes worn by 100 men and 100 women for three consecutive nights. All of those who had worn the clothes had taken part in a personality test. The raters were asked whether they were able to identify the personality of the wearer.
While they were not able to get the answer right every time, the raters did manage to say whether the wearer was outgoing and extrovert or neurotic and anxious. The number of times the raters “smelled” the right personality was similar to the number that raters who predicted personality traits after watching a video.
The study details will be published in the European Journal of Personality.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Can positive thinking make you well?

Observers may have noticed recently that mainstream medicine is taking a harder line against positive thinking.
Surveys of the leading research in the field conclude that recovery rates from cancer, for example, are not higher among patients who take a positive attitude about fighting their disease. Studies that show the reverse have been small and, according to their critics, flawed in serious ways.
Anyone would be forgiven for throwing up their hands. This seems like another example of dueling data, where one study's findings are contradicted by the next study, leaving the public in a state of confusion.
Doctors are confused, too. It has always been part of a doctor's kit bag to tell patients to keep their spirits up. Until a few decades ago, it was standard not to acquaint a dying patient with the gravity of his condition, which implies an unspoken agreement that hearing bad news isn't good for patients.
At the same time, doctors want to protect their profession, so few want to cross the line and support the notion that how you think can work as powerfully as "real" medicine.
Let's see if some of this confusion can be cleared up.First of all, thinking is "real" medicine, as proven by the placebo effect. When given a sugar pill in place of a prescription drug, an average of 30% of subjects will show a positive response. What causes this response isn't a physical substance but the activity of the mind-body connection. Expectations are powerful. If you think you've been given a drug that will make you better, often that is enough to make you better.
This implies that a person should be able to trigger the placebo effect on himself. However, there is a psychological illusion involved. Take away the authority figure in a white coat to tell you that you are taking an effective drug, and suddenly the sugar pill is just a sugar pill. You can't fool yourself when you know what the placebo is.
This can't be the whole story, however. We can't deny that the mind-body connection is powerful. So is there a placebo effect that doesn't involve fooling the patient? Can you trigger your own inner defenses by the way you think?
Those who believe in positive thinking say yes. I believe the situation is more nuanced. On the plus side, the studies that debunk positive thinking deal with very sick patients struggling to recover from major diseases. They do not comment on how positive thinking might prevent disease or how it might affect someone in the very early stages of illness.
The real point isn't to rescue a dying patient but to maintain wellness.
Does positive thinking keep you well? Right now the camps are divided, because with the rise of genetics, many disorders clearly have triggers that originate in our genes.
In the public's mind, being told that cancer or diabetes is genetic acts as final authority. Luckily for the positive-thinking camp, this fatalistic attitude is mistaken. Genes are dynamic, not fixed; they respond to a person's environment, behavior and attitudes. Indeed, a now-famous study in Sweden showed that a tendency to diabetes may be strongly affected by the diet your great-grandfather ate. A whole new field is studying how much choice we have at the genetic level.
The findings are not complete by any means, yet there is no harm in assuming that your mind affects your genes, because there is abundant evidence to support this attitude.
Medicine hasn't proven that positivity is good prevention, but let's go a step further. To me, the problem with positive thinking is the thinking part. It takes effort to be positive all the time. The mind has to defend itself from negativity, and that is exhausting as well as unrealistic. You may succeed in calming the appearance you present to the world, but there's almost always a struggle hidden just below the surface; at the very least there is a good deal of denial. Being fanatically positive is still fanaticism.
The alternative to thinking is a calm mind that is at peace with itself. I believe that such a mind delivers the benefits that positive thinking cannot, and my view is supported by studies showing a decline in high blood pressure, stress levels and other disease states among long-term meditators.
Meditation is a spiritual practice, but it's also a mind-body practice. Here the results are not final, either, in part because almost the only research subjects tend to be Buddhist monks. We need expanded studies based on Western subjects; that much is clear.
The upshot is that medicine cannot be definitive on how mood affects wellness. But if I wanted to enhance a state of wellness before symptoms of illness appeared, there is much to be gained and no risks involved in trying to reach the best state of mind possible.
By:Deepak Chopra ( A mind-body expert who specializes in integrating the healing arts of the East with the best in modern Western medicine. He is the founder of the Chopra Foundation, a senior scientist for the Gallup Organization and a best-selling author. Learn more at

State forum orders ayurveda doctor to pay Rs 7 lakh for negligence

Taking a serious note of medical violations by doctors practicing without any specialisation, the Maharashtra State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission ordered an ayurveda doctor to cough up Rs 7 lakh as compensation for openly tendering allopathic medicines to a patient, which caused his death.
The commission directed Dr R R Singh to pay additional Rs 5,000 to Pratibha Gamre for medical negligence. Pratibha’s husband Pandurang, a deputy superintendent at the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai in the market division, suffered a paralytic stroke in 2004. Soon after Gamre took ill, Pratibha took him to a nearby clinic in Kandivili and got him hospitalised.
According to Pratibha, her husband was hospitalised at a local Varadan Clinic on August 20, 2004, soon after he felt pain waist below. According to the complainant, Dr Singh hospitalised Gamre at his clinic, but did not attend to him. In fact, Gamre was left at the mercy of a compounder, who was not a qualified practitioner. When Gamre’s health started deteriorating, his wife asked for the doctor to attend to him, but his compounder went ahead and administered saline to Gamre. He died later that night. The postmortem revealed that the cause of death was heart attack. However, Dr Singh claimed that the compounder administered the saline without his permission.
Source:Indian Express

'Burnout Syndrome' Could Be a Precursor To Depressive Disorders

Researchers have warned that 'burnout syndrome' may be a precursor to depressive disorders.
The diagnosis 'burnout syndrome' is the basis for many doctors' certificates attesting unfitness to work and is therefore an important factor in health economic terms.
The study by psychiatrist Wolfgang P Kaschka and coauthors shows that a vast deficit exists with regard to research into the condition. In spite of the absence of instruments, the diagnosis of burnout is often made in clinical practice, and it is also being used to base further treatment on.
The symptoms of those affected usually include emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced productive capacity.
In the authors' view, burnout should be regarded as a precursor of or risk factor for depressive disorders.
The study has been published in Deutsches Arzteblatt International.

Eggs, Chicken may Sharpen Memory

Chicken and eggs can boost memory function, finds recent study.
This is because the essential nutrient 'choline' found in eggs may sharpen aging brains, the report said.
Rhoda Au and her team of researchers from Boston University School of Medicine performed the long-term health study on 1,400 adults, spanning 10 years, New York Daily News reported.
They found that those participants who ate diets packed with plenty of choline, an essential nutrient found in eggs, performed better in memory tests and were less likely to acquire brain changes associated with dementia than those who consumed less choline in their diets.
Other foods high in choline include legumes like soy and kidney beans, saltwater fish, liver and milk, according to Australian news website ninemsn.
According to The Huffington Post UK, Au said that "no one nutrient is a magic bullet against dementia".

Low-carb Diet may Help Prepubescent Girls Beat Obesity Risk

Dietary carbohydrates may help prepubescent girls beat obesity risk, suggests study.
According to research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a reduction in dietary carbohydrates improved various metabolic indicators in overweight African-American girls even in the absence of weight-loss.
The research team placed 26 obese African-American girls ages 9-14 on one of two diets.
One diet drew 43 percent of its calories from carbohydrates, and the other drew 57 percent of calories from carbohydrates.
After five weeks, the lower-carb group showed a reduction in lipids, such as triglycerides and cholesterol, along with better glucose control and insulin response and an improvement in reproductive hormones.
"Our goal was to understand better the effects of a low- or high-carbohydrate diet on girls before puberty, an important time in a young girl's physical development," said Krista Casazza, Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the UAB School of Health Professions and first author on the study.
"There is evidence that the prepubescent years are vitally important for young girls in terms of body composition and the development of good bone density."
Casazza said that a diet high in carbohydrates sets off a metabolic cascade of events, such as an increase in blood serum glucose and insulin and an increase of lipids.
These events are associated with an elevated risk of obesity, with all of its implications of increased risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
"Understanding the role carbohydrates play in children's development is important."
"If we can decrease exposure to the risk factors for disease at an early age, perhaps we can reduce the cumulative risk associated with these diseases over time," Casazza added.
The study has been recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Can Wi-Fi Kill Your Sperm?

Attention all men: You might want to keep your laptops, smartphones and other Internet-browsing tools away from the family jewels.
A new study, albeit a small one, suggests that using Wi-Fi may damage sperm and decrease a man’s fertility. The cause, according to Reuters Health, is electromagnetic radiation generated by wireless communication.
In the study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, researchers took semen samples from 29 healthy volunteers and placed them under a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop connected to the Internet. After four hours, the semen suffered – 25 percent of the sperm were no longer swimming and 9 percent of them showed DNA damage. Semen samples kept near a laptop that was turned on but not connected to the Internet showed minimal damage, as did samples that were stored separately.
“Our data suggest that the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the Internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality,” the authors wrote in the study, noting that they were unsure if their findings extended to all wireless devices or if there were other conditions affecting sperm quality.
The findings fuel anxiety for the millions of men who keep a number of Wi-Fi-enabled devices on their laps, in their pockets and in close proximity to their nether regions.
According the American Urological Association, nearly one in six U.S. couples have difficulty conceiving, and about half of the time, the man’s fertility is the problem. For optimal fertility, a man should have 70 million sperm per millimeter. Some research has found that environmental factors can lower sperm counts below this level.
A study published in early November indicated that the heat generated by holding a laptop on the knees was enough to raise testicle temperatures to dangerous, sperm-damaging levels, even after 10 to 15 minutes.
Smoking and excessive alcohol are obvious culprits in depleting sperm, said Shanna Swan, director of the Center for Reproductive Epidemiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. She also told ABC News that men who are worried about their fertility might think about eating organic foods to avoid pesticides that might lead to less viable sperm. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise doesn’t hurt either.
Some scientists say they don’t believe using a laptop will make men infertile. But just in case, maybe consider using our computer on your desk.
Courtesy:ABC News’ Dan Childs contributed to this report.

High Blood Sugar can Negatively Impact Your Appearance

High blood sugar speeds up ageing and most victims look older than they really are, a study has revealed.
Unhealthy diet and negligible physical activity are known to disturb blood sugar levels in the body but this is perhaps the first study of its kind to show how it can impact ageing.
The study revealed how every additional millimole per litre increase in blood sugar contributes to an increase of five months of ageing to victims’ facial features.
People with low blood sugar readings appeared atleast a year younger than their counterparts with high blood sugar readings.

Health ministry to establish network of virology labs at cost of Rs. 1000 cr

As part of its Rs. 1000-crore plan to establish a large network of virology laboratories in different parts of the country to cope with the increasing viral infections, the union health ministry will soon establish six more virology laboratories at Chandigarh, Ranchi, Patna, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai and Jabalpur.
By establishing such a network even rare viruses can be detected and it will also help in the early detection of viral diseases in the country. At present, there are two apex laboratories in the country. They are National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) at New Delhi and National Institute of Virology under Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at Pune which are handling the outbreaks of epidemics.
In view of the growing incidence of viral diseases in the country, the Department of Health Research (DHR) had earlier prepared a programme for establishment of a virology network including a virology laboratory in each state. In view of the limited capacity for diagnosis of viral infections, ICMR had taken new initiatives to strengthen virology laboratories in various parts of the country in phased manner. Under this programme, virology laboratories have already been established at Port Blair, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Manipal, Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur, Raipur and Allapuzha (in Kerala).
As per the DHR blueprint, there will be a three-tier system of virology labs in the country which will be established in a phased manner.
The Grade I laboratory (highest facility) will be equipped with facilities to carry out serology, tissue vulture, virus isolation, PCR/RT-PCR, fluorescence microscopy and sequencing of all major respiratory, enteric, blood borne, vector borne, zoonotic viruses and viruses which have the potential to cause outbreaks. The Grade 1 laboratories can be given up to Rs. 15 crore depending on the type of research the labs carry out.
The Grade II laboratories will be equipped to carry out serology, PCR, fluorescence microscopy for immuno-detection and the Grade III laboratories will carry out serology for viruses (ELISA based diagnosis) and PCR.
The Manipal Centre for Virus Research - ICMR network laboratory, which is headed by Dr G Arunkumar, was the first of the four sanctioned Grade I laboratories in the country. The others are in Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Medical University, Lucknow (formerly KGMC), Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhuvaneshwar and Regional Medical Research Centre, Port Blair.

Union govt to tie up with NIH, USA for collaborative research in diabetes

Union government’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) will sign an agreement with the National Institute of Health (NIH), USA on collaborative research in diabetes in New Delhi this week.
Dr Francis Collins, director, NIH, USA who led the International Human Genome project, was here in India at Bangalore, said that bio medical research has come a long way to allow scientists to examine the human DNA and understand how it influenced one’s predisposition to diseases and disorders. Since 2003, when the human genome was completely decoded, medical research has moved closer to the identifications of diseases causing sequences hidden in human genes.
As many as 4,400 disorders and diseases including certain types of cancer and diabetes caused due to variations in the pattern of genes, have been identified. “However, therapy and treatment have been found only for 250 of such conditions so far. But we are optimistic that the future is bright in finding cures for more disorders,” he added.
The pact with India is for the advanced research in diabetes, a condition that affected 60 million in the country. No other details were made available.
Dr Collins who spoke at the centenary lecture at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on the “Exceptional Opportunities in Biomedical Research” said that it was closely associated in the human genomic research in the last 8 years and all the efforts put only allowed to be at the cusp of a revolution that is still opening up immense possibilities in disorder prevention and therapy including for cancer and diabetes.
Dr Collins provided details on the decoding of the human genome, the molecular causes of diseases and the way it has helped in understanding how life works.
It was Dr Collins in 2003, who announced that the entire human genome was decoded and during the lecture at IISc said that DNA sequencing had a huge scope for personalized medicine. Like for instance in cancer, a disease of the genome and in a similar way we could look at diabetes control and treatment.
In order to have a better comprehension of the DNA, he went on to take up an international project to create a genomic atlas on clusters of disease. The project catalogues human variability and identifies patterns of genes that are linked to health and disease, he explained.
The big advantage of the genome sequencing was that it would result in affordable treatment costs. In fact the decline in the cost of sequencing the human genome would encourage an extensive expansion in the medical applications of DNA sequencing and related technologies. The cost of sequencing the first human genome was about $4000 million. Today the cost of sequencing one genome stands at $8,000 and within the next five years; one could sequence an individual’s genome for $100.
In addition, the genomic examination had also resulted in cataloguing genetic changes in 20 major types of cancer. “The opportunities in the field, to find new therapies focusing on the molecular level are significant. For this we need the best talent to come together. Here it is my expectation that over the next one or two decades genomic discoveries will lead to an increasing long list of health benefits for people across the world.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Can yoga and meditation help bring peace to Afghans?

As the Afghan government's Western backers pour in cash, and tens of thousands of foreign soldiers patrol the country, a French human rights activist is trying a new way to break the cycle of violence in Afghanistan: yoga and meditation.
"In thirty years of war, we've tried everything and nothing has worked," said Amandine Roche, who believes it is better to try to rid the mind of vengeful thoughts than to disarm a fighter at gunpoint.
Her organization, the Amanuddin Foundation, aims to promote nonviolence by teaching techniques of calm.Volunteering since February as she searches for funds, she has given classes at which she demonstrates yoga and meditation to men, women, children, police officers, soldiers and former Taliban insurgents.
"It's a new solution to an old problem. War starts in the minds of men, so peace starts in the minds of men. You cannot bring peace with the means of war, it's as simple of that."
The most recent conflict, which started with the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban government in 2001, has killed thousands of soldiers and civilians, and cost tens of billions of dollars. According to United Nations figures, 2011 is the most violent year since the war began: all signs, Roche argues, that the Western military and diplomatic effort isn't working.
"My project might look crazy, but what is more crazy?"
Key to her work is the idea that peace cannot be imposed from outside, but must come from within an individual, she said.
"I've become firmly convinced that nonviolence is not the best way for Afghanistan, it's the only way."
The young Afghans who have tried yoga and meditation have been receptive.
"When I do yoga exercise I forget all of my pains and I feel comfortable," said Masoda, a 12 year old schoolgirl at one of Roche's classes for children in the capital Kabul.
It might be quite a leap from working with children to bringing that same peace of mind to the gunmen of Afghanistan, but Roche, who was detained by the Taliban in 2001, says they are human too.
"My vision is to teach meditation to all the insurgents, to organize vocational training for them to become mediation teachers, so ... they can go back to society, they have a job, they can reintegrate, and they will become peaceful."
"Meditation is like an inner shower," she said. "You feel dirty when you don't take a shower for one week, you feel the same with your mind when you don't meditate. It helps you to purify your mind, be rid of all the negativity, frustration."
On Monday, the German city of Bonn is hosting a major international conference about the future of Afghanistan, at which the West will signal its long-term support for the country.
But evidence of the damage done by the cycle of attack and revenge is everywhere in Afghanistan. This week, in reaction to a NATO raid along the Afghan-Pakistan border that killed 24 of its soldiers, Pakistan pulled out of a major international conference on the future of the country.
"You look at the story of Afghanistan -- from the British to the Russians to the Mujahideen, the Taliban, now democracy -- it's always revenge for the past war," Roche said. "It's never ended. If once, one day someone says 'I stop, and you stop, and let's stop together' ... let's see."
Still, Roche, who has worked on peace-building projects in Asia, Africa and South America, knows there are no easy fixes for the troubles of Afghanistan.
"I'm not a prophet, I don't want to convert people. It's not even a solution, it's a tool. I don't pretend I'm going to save Afghanistan."

US FDA issues guidance for helping artificial pancreas system developers to treat diabetes

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued draft guidance designed to help investigators and manufacturers as they develop and seek approval for artificial pancreas device systems to treat type 1 diabetes.
To facilitate development of this novel product in an evolving area, the draft guidance provides flexible recommendations for design and testing that meet statutory requirements for safety and effectiveness. For example, the draft guidance provides for flexibility in choice of study endpoints, number of patients to be studied and the length of the clinical trial.
“The FDA is focused on improving the process for the study and approval of artificial pancreas systems, and developed this guidance to provide maximum flexibility to manufacturers seeking to bring this device to US patients,” said Jeffrey Shuren, MD, director of the FDA’s Centre for Devices and Radiological Health. “We understand how this device could change the lives of millions of Americans with diabetes, and we want our safety and effectiveness review to give patients the confidence that the device works.”
Type 1 diabetes is a serious, chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to properly control blood glucose (sugar) levels. People with type 1 diabetes must monitor their blood sugar using a glucose meter throughout the day, calculating how much insulin is needed to lower their blood glucose levels, and administering the necessary dose using a syringe or insulin pump to deliver insulin into subcutaneous tissue.
An artificial pancreas system does not involve synthetic or artificial tissue or organs. Instead, it combines two medical devices, an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor or CGM that receives information on glucose levels from a sensor placed under the patient’s skin. The pump and CGM work together, monitoring the body’s glucose levels and automatically pumping appropriate doses of insulin as determined by a computer algorithm.

While not a cure, an artificial pancreas could reduce dangerous high and low blood sugars, providing a better quality of life for those with diabetes and lowering the risk for future diabetes-related complications.
The guidance recommends a three-phase clinical study progression so that studies may move to an outpatient setting as quickly as possible. To further streamline clinical studies, the guidance suggests ways sponsors may leverage existing safety and effectiveness data for components that may make up an artificial pancreas system, as well as data gathered from clinical studies conducted outside of the US.
Sponsors also have the choice of showing that the system provides glycemic control as well as standard therapies, or showing that it provides better glycemic control when compared to other therapies. When final, the guidance will help manufacturers and investigators assemble submissions for clinical trials as well as product approval submissions.
In June, the FDA issued a draft guidance outlining the agency’s expectations about the non-clinical testing and clinical trials for a first-generation artificial pancreas system called a Low Glucose Suspend System. Such a system helps eliminate, or reduce the severity of, a dangerous drop in blood glucose levels by temporarily suspending insulin delivery when glucose levels approach a low threshold.
Today’s guidance was informed by the comments on the Low Glucose Suspend System guidance document. It addresses future generation artificial pancreas devices such as a treat-to-range system that would adjust insulin dosing if a person’s glucose level approaches a low or high threshold and a treat-to-target system that would set target glucose levels and try to achieve these levels at all times. This system would be fully automated and require no interaction from the user, except for calibration of the CGM system.
The FDA, an agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

India invited to popularize homoeopathic medicine in Sri Lanka

Impressed by the rapid progress India has made in popularizing homoeopathic medicine, Sri Lanka has invited Indian experts to help assist spread of homoeopathy in the island nation which incidentally has a significant number of migrants from peninsular India as also China.
“We want to open doors for homoeopaths to develop the system in a big way in Sri Lanka. We soon enact legislation in our Parliament and encourage doctors from India and other countries to work with us as we have shortage of doctors,” Sri Lanka's minister for indigenous medicine Salinda Disanayake had announced in the inaugural session of the 66th World Homoeopathic Congress (WHC) of the International Homoeopathic Medical League (LMHI).
At present, there is no homoeopathic college in Sri Lanka, and it has one hospital with no adequate staff. The Sri Lankan government is planning to open nine hospitals, one referral besides importing homoeopathic drugs from abroad, he said.
Sri Lanka is a member of the SAARC country along with India. Meanwhile, India had unfolded its plans to give fillip to the indigenous schools of medicine - Ayurveda, Unani, Sidha and Homoeopathy (Ayush) – in the coming 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) by integrating Ayush in the healthcare delivery to reach remote areas.
“India will take all measures to strengthen homoeopathic education by studying the best practices in the world besides further developing infrastructure. We have to gear up all systems of medicine by bringing about awareness among the masses taking advantage of the unique strengths each system has. Homoeopathy in this case becomes relevant as it provides simple and cost effective remedies,” Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Health Minister said.
A National Commission for Human Resources for Ayush, Regional Hospitals, more International institutions, quality control laboratories, central drug control units for standardization are some of the projects under examination, announced Azad.
India is also planning to send surplus homoeopathic and ayurvedic doctors to Sri Lanka to assist the neighbour in boosting its public health systems. Allopathic doctors are in short supply in India.

PCI mandates annual registration renewal & CEP to audit quality of pharmacists

The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has mandated that all pharmacists should renew their registrations annually and undergo a Continuing Education Programme (CEP) which is a refresher course to audit the qualification and quality of pharmacists.
So far, the renewal of registration of pharmacists was only once in five years, but now PCI has made it mandatory for an annual renewal to keep a check on the pharmacists. The CEP, which will commence from January 1, 2012, will be conducted twice in five years. During the two years when the CEP is organized, pharmacists should be physically present to renew their registrations for that year, DA Gundu Rao, president, Karnataka State Pharmacy Council (KSPC) told Pharmabiz.
In a communique to all State Pharmacy Councils, the PCI has stated that the Pharmacy Act 1948, referred to as Education Regulation, prescribes a minimum qualification for registration as a pharmacist, course duration, subjects, examination and practical training and an annual renewal.
But during the 87th Central Council of PCI, it was noted that some State Pharmacy Councils in its rules had provided a facility of annual renewal deposit scheme to renew the registration, thereby resulting in difficulty of knowledge about the number of pharmacists actually engaged in the practice of pharmacy. Since the rationality of this scheme is in question, it is desirable to be discontinued and to be consistent with the provisions of the Pharmacy Act.
However, till such amendment in respective rules of the State Pharmacy Councils is made, the attention be drawn to the guidelines issued by PCI with regard to the registration of pharmacists and Continuing Education. It is decided to reiterate that the State Pharmacy Councils should ensure that the pharmacists so being registered under its annual renewal scheme shall appear in person once in five years and give evidence of his being in practice and having attended the CEP for renewal of registration. PCI has now called on the State Pharmacy Councils to intervene and ensure strict compliance of the Pharmacy Act 1948.
Following the PCI move, the Karnataka State Pharmacy Council has also taken a step further to organize an online test for all registered pharmacists in the state. The two objectives of the test are that a candidate could be reviewed in terms of his knowledge and the validity of his registration as a pharmacist, he added stating that such an initiative is a first-of-its-kind in the country.
The CEP will be a one-day orientation course and PCI has instructed all State Pharmacy Councils to oversee the conduct of training. “The orientation course offer a bird’s eye view on a wide range of subjects covering from accounting- inventory control for a pharmacy trade and pharma marketing professional to hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, pharmacovigilance, adverse drug reaction, manufacture and quality control, among others. It will update the professionals on the latest developments in the field.
The subjects can be selected by the candidate based on his specialization. Now we are in the process of identifying colleges to conduct the course and also look at devising the curriculum for the same, stated Rao.
In the case of KSPC online test, it will be an objective type format which would make the candidate thorough in his subject. Presently Karnataka has 47,800 registered pharmacists. We can now keep tabs on renewals to avoid misuse of the certificates held by candidates, said Rao.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Traditional Chinese Medicines Can Cure AIDS

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has helped in the recovery of at least 17,000 HIV carriers and AIDS patients in China since 2004, claims experts.
Speaking on the eve of World AIDS Day, which is observed on December 1, Wang Jian, deputy director of the TCM Center for AIDS Prevention and Treatment with the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said: "TCM performs as an effective supplement to Western therapy in terms of alleviating patients' symptoms, including fever, cough, asthenia and diarrhea, thus making life easier for them."
According to the China Daily, China started to give AIDS patients free TCM therapy in a pilot project carried out among 2,300 patients in five provinces in 2004.
By last October, the projects had expanded to 19 provinces.
The TCM therapy is usually applied to carriers whose immune system is not too weak to receive the Western medication that is largely known as antiretroviral therapy; or to patients who suffer side effects from the therapies.
A biological indicator for this is CD4, a type of cell in the immune system. When a carrier's CD4 count reaches 350 per cubic millimeter or below they will need western treatment.
According to Wang Jian, Chinese herbal medicines work differently from Western anti-HIV drugs. The Western therapies target blocking viral replication, but TCM therapy works towards increasing people's immunity.
Wang said that Chinese government has allocated 220 million Yuan (34.49 million dollars) for TCM therapy research, and further efforts will be made to develop better treatment based on a combination of TCM and Western medicine.
By the end of 2011, China is estimated to have 780,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, including 154,000 patients with full-blown afflictions, official statistics show.

Why are We Antagonistic Towards Atheists?

Most of us might feel antagonistic towards atheists and the reason behind this is mainly distrust of them a new University of British Columbia study has revealed. In fact the degree of distrust is equivalent to the contempt we feel for rapists, the study revealed.
Researchers think that this negative feeling towards atheists may have its roots in our perception of morality which is always connected to our belief in God. Nearly 50% of Americans feel that morality is not possible without belief in God.
"People did not significantly differentiate atheists from rapists," the study said.
This is the first study of its kind which has delved into anti-atheist sentiments and researchers are hoping that this study will help deal with such prejudices.

Artificial Leaf May Pave Way for New Era of 'Fast Food Energy'

Technology engaged in creating an 'artificial leaf' perhaps can soon be used for generating 'fast food energy'. Debuting an era where people will be able to generate their own electricity at home using inexpensive equipments.The technology will be perfect for the 3 billion people living in developing countries and even homeowners in the United States.
That is among the prospects emerging from research on a new genre of 'electrofuels', made by using energy from the sun and renewable ingredients like water and carbon dioxide.
C and EN Senior Correspondent Stephen K. Ritter in the study has described the artificial leaf is one of the electrofuels technologies. Made of inexpensive materials, the leaf breaks down ordinary water into the oxygen and hydrogen that can power an electricity-producing fuel cell.
Just drop the credit-card-sized device into a bucket of water and expose it to sunlight. With the cost-conscious technology, one door-sized solar cell and three gallons of water could produce a day's worth of electricity for a typical American home.
The study has also described a range of other electrofuel technologies, including ones based on engineered microbes, being developed in the quest for new ways of making fuels.
The study has been published in the Chemical and Engineering News, the American Chemical Society's weekly newsmagazine.

Active “Inactivity” in Front of the Television Leads to Obesity

A new study has revealed that people who engage in “active inactivity” in front of the television are more prone to becoming obese.The study said that sedentary lifestyle spent in front of the idiot box triggers the deposition of new fat in fat cells. Amit Gefen, researcher in biomedical engineering at the Tel Aviv University and colleagues showed that prolonged periods of inactivity make preadipocyte cells turn into fat cells at a faster rate. Preadipocyte cells are precursors of fat cells.
"Obesity is more than just an imbalance of calories," said a statement released by Gefen. The researchers also found that prolonged inactivity also leads to muscle deterioration.

Know Gilbert’s Syndrome

Gilbert’s syndrome is a common, mild liver disease in which a liver enzyme required to process bilirubin is abnormal. Treatment is not necessary.
Gilbert’s syndrome is a common, mild liver disease in which a liver enzyme required to process bilirubin (a chemical produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells) is abnormal. It is a harmless inherited genetic condition found in up to five percent of the population. Gilbert’s syndrome is often discovered by accident in young adults by finding an elevated bilirubin level in blood. This raised bilirubin level usually fluctuates between 2 and 5 mg/dl and may increase with fasting and other stressos. The syndrome is often mistaken for chronic hepatitis or other liver diseases. Treatment is not necessary.
ilbert's syndrome is also known as constitutional hepatic dysfunction, benign unconjugated bilirubinemia and familial nonhemolytic jaundice.
Causes of Gilbert’s Syndrome
Gilbert’s syndrome is the result of a mutation in a gene for the enzyme UGT1A. Metabolism of bilirubin requires enzymes called UGT glucuronosyl transferases, and UGT1A is one among these. The gene that codes for UGT1A is located on chromosome 2.
A different type of mutation in the same gene is responsible for a more severe and dangerous disease called Crigler-Najjar syndrome.
Gilbert’s syndrome is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, i.e. a copy of the defective gene from both parents is required for the child to develop the serious ailment. Many people carry one copy of the abnormal gene. Two abnormal copies are needed for Gilbert’s syndrome to develop.

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