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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

One High Fat Breakfast Sandwich Can Affect Your Heart Health

Eat a breakfast sandwich and your body will be feeling the ill effects well before lunch – now that's fast food and it's nothing short of a time bomb in a bun, reveals a new study. 
High-fat diets are associated with developing atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) over a lifetime. But how quickly can damage start?Just one day of eating a fat-laden breakfast sandwich – processed cheese and meat on a bun – and "your blood vessels become unhappy," says Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Todd Anderson, director of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and head of cardiac science at the University of Calgary. 
Atherosclerosis can eventually lead to serious problems including heart disease, stroke or even death. 
Delegates at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress heard today about a study at Dr. Anderson's lab, led by student researcher Vincent Lee. The key ingredients: breakfast sandwiches and a group of healthy, non-smoking university students. 
Fats can build up in your arteries over decades. One important gauge of how "happy" your arteries feel is how much blood flow can increase in your arm in response to its brief interruption – measured as VTI (velocity time integral). You can measure VTI with doppler ultrasound at rest and then after a blood pressure cuff been inflated. 
"VTI tells us how much blood flow you can you get in your arm," says Dr. Anderson. The higher the better, which means the small vessels can dilate to capacity, and the blood vessel hormones are working well. 
So what would happen to the university students after starting their day with a breakfast of fat champions? 
The objective of this study was to assess the acute effects of just one high-fat meal on microvascular function, an indicator of overall vascular (blood vessel) health. 
The students were studied twice, once on a day they had no breakfast, and once on a day when they consumed two commercially available breakfast sandwiches, total of 900 calories and 50 g of fat. Two hours after eating the sandwiches, their VTI had decreased by 15-20 per cent, reports Dr. Anderson. 
From just one isolated meal, the results are temporary. But the study shows that such a high-fat offering can do more harm, and do it more quickly, than people might think. 
"I won't say don't ever have a breakfast sandwich," says Dr. Anderson. But enough of a diet like that, and you can see how you can build up fat in the walls of your arteries. 
Dr. Anderson is also co-chair of the group that updated the Canadian Lipid Guidelines (on managing and treating high blood cholesterol), presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress. 
"This study reminds us that our behaviours are the backbone of preventing heart disease," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson. 
"Remember that whether you eat at home or go to a restaurant, you're still in charge of what you eat. So consider all the choices, and try to cut down on saturated and trans fats, calories and sodium. That's one of the keys to decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke." 

Source:University of Calgary 


Men Who Do Exercise Are More Fertile With Better Quality Semen

Based on a new study researchers at the University of Cordoba linked moderate physical activity in males with better hormone levels and sperm characteristics that favour reproduction compared to sedentary men. 
Semen quality at large has dropped in the last 50 years. Amongst other factors, this is due to exposure to external agents and alcohol and tobacco consumption. This decline in sperm properties has caused an increase in reproductive problems.
Therefore, experts have studied the possible relationship between sperm quality and lifestyle habits in males. Published in the 'European Journal of Applied Physiology', the new study suggests that men who do moderate physical exercise have better hormone levels and their gonads undergo healthier spermatological processes. 
The authors assessed whether there was a difference in the hormonal and seminoligical profiles of physically active and sedentary males. "We have analysed qualitative semen parameters like the ejaculated volume, sperm count, mobility and sperm morphology," as explained to SINC by Diana Vaamonde, researcher at the University of Cordoba and lead author of the study. 
In addition, an evaluation was made of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), the luteinising hormone (LH), testosterone (T), cortisol (C) and the T/C ratio. This offers additional information on the environment needed for the sperm creation process as well as the anabolic or catabolic state of the body. 
"Despite the fact that the sample population is not very big (31 men), given the complexity of the analysis, this is the first study that assessed the differences between these parameters in both populations," states the researcher. 
The results conclude that the physically active subjects display better semen values. More specifically, the differences found were in the seminological parameters of total progressive velocity and morphology, in the FSH, LH and T hormones and in the T/C ratio. Hormone data thus supports the hypothesis of a more favourable environment for sperm formation. 
Moderate exercise is the key 
In 2010, the same researcher published a study showing that the sperm parameters of elite sportsmen (triathletes and waterpolo players) are worse than men who are just physically active. It is possible that the increased strain of training causes a decline in sperm quality. 
"Despite that fact that more studies are needed to confirm these findings, we can suggest exercise to improve the hormonal environment and stimulate the sperm process," adds Vaamonde. 

Diana Vaamonde, Marzo Edir Da Silva-Grigoletto, Juan Manuel García-Manso, Natalibeth Barrera, Ricardo Vaamonde-Lemos. "Physically active men show better semen parameters and hormone values than sedentary men". Eur J Appl Physiol (2012) 112:3267. DOI 10.1007/s00421-011-2304-6

Source:FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology 


Women Who Drink Green Tea May Lower Risk of Digestive System Cancers

Women who drink green tea may reduce their risk of developing some digestive system cancers, especially cancers of the stomach/esophagus and colorectum, revealed a study led by researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. 
The study by lead author Sarah Nechuta, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor of Medicine, was published online in advance of the Nov. 1 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Wei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, professor of Medicine, chief of the Division of Epidemiology and director of the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, was the principal investigator for the study.
 To determine green tea's impact on cancer risk, the investigators surveyed women enrolled in the Shanghai Women's Health Study, a population-based study of approximately 75,000 middle-aged and older Chinese women. During the initial interview participants were asked if they drank tea, the type of tea consumed and how much they consumed. Most of the Chinese women reported drinking primarily green tea. 

The researchers found that regular tea consumption, defined as tea consumption at least three times a week for more than six months, was associated with a 17 percent reduced risk of all digestive cancers combined. A further reduction in risk was found to be associated with an increased level of tea drinking. Specifically, those who consumed about two to three cups per day (at least 150 grams of tea per month) had a 21 percent reduced risk of digestive system cancers. 
The trend toward fewer digestive cancers was strongest for stomach/esophageal and colorectal cancers. 
"For all digestive system cancers combined, the risk was reduced by 27 percent among women who had been drinking tea regularly for at least 20 years," said Nechuta. "For colorectal cancer, risk was reduced by 29 percent among the long-term tea drinkers. These results suggest long-term cumulative exposure may be particularly important." 
Tea contains polyphenols or natural chemicals that include catechins like EGCG and ECG. Catechins have antioxidant properties and may inhibit cancer by reducing DNA damage and blocking tumor cell growth and invasion. 
The researchers also asked about other lifestyle factors including the kinds of food eaten regularly, exercise habits, education level and occupation. Women who had ever smoked or who drank alcohol were excluded from the study. 
Regular tea drinkers in the study were younger, had higher education, exercised more and consumed more fruits and vegetables. While the researchers adjusted for these factors, they could not rule out an effect from these and other unmeasured lifestyle habits. 
The study was conducted in nonsmoking and nondrinking Chinese women to minimize the potential influence of these two risk factors on the results for tea consumption and digestive system cancer risk. 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center 

Study Sheds Light on the Origin of Sight

A recent study has shed light on the origin of sight in animals including humans. Vision originated 700 million years ago, say researchers. 
The evolutionary origins of vision remain hotly debated, partly due to inconsistent reports of phylogenetic relationships among the earliest opsin-possessing animals.
 Dr Davide Pisani of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences and colleagues at NUI Maynooth performed a computational analysis to test every hypothesis of opsin evolution proposed to date. 
The analysis incorporated all available genomic information from all relevant animal lineages, including a newly sequenced group of sponges (Oscarella carmela) and the Cnidarians, a group of animals thought to have possessed the world's earliest eyes. 
Using this information, the researchers developed a timeline with an opsin ancestor common to all groups appearing some 700 million years ago. This opsin was considered 'blind' yet underwent key genetic changes over the span of 11 million years that conveyed the ability to detect light. 
"The great relevance of our study is that we traced the earliest origin of vision and we found that it originated only once in animals. This is an astonishing discovery because it implies that our study uncovered, in consequence, how and when vision evolved in humans," Dr Pisani said.


Clinical hypnosis can reduce hot flashes after menopause, Baylor study shows

Clinical hypnosis can effectively reduce hot flashes and associated symptoms among postmenopausal women, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Baylor University's Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory.
Hypnotic relaxation therapy reduced hot flashes by as much as 80 percent, and the findings also showed participants experienced improved quality of life and a lessening of anxiety and depression.
The mind-body therapy study of 187 women over a five-week period measured both physical symptoms of hot flashes and women's self-reporting of flashes. The women received weekly sessions of hypnosis by clinically trained therapists, and they also practiced self-hypnosis using audio recordings and such visualizations as a snowy path or a cool mountain creek, according to the study, published online inMenopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society and funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health.
"This is the first study in which we compared both self-reporting and physiological monitoring — not just a change in tolerance or ability to cope, but the hot flashes themselves decreased," said Gary Elkins, Ph.D., professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences and director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory.
By the fourth session, hot flashes had decreased about 70 percent, and at a three-month follow-up, the decrease averaged 80 percent, he said. "Some women reported having nearly complete elimination of hot flashes."
To be clinically significant, the decrease must be 50 percent or more, he said. Besides decreasing in frequency, the hot flashes also became milder.
"For women who want to be involved in their own therapy, this is very appealing," Elkins said. "It also has the advantages of cost savings and few or no side effects. Over the long term, the intervention has the potential to reduce health care costs and provide a safe and effective choice for women during menopause."
Other treatment options are hormones — estrogen or progestin —which are most effective with a range of 90 to 100 percent reduction in hot flashes, but associated with increased risk of breast cancer or heart disease; antidepressants, with a decrease in the range of 45 to 60 percent but with possible side effects such as dry mouth and decreased interest in sex; and herbal remedies, generally found to be of little more benefit than a placebo, Elkins said.
During the study, women wore skin monitors with electrodes. They pushed a response button when they experienced a flash, and the monitor also recorded physiological changes such as temperature.
"This is one of the largest studies for menopausal intervention that has been done, and certainly for mind-body intervention," Elkins said.
"Our next steps are to determine if the intervention can be provided by audio and video recordings as well as the long-term cost benefits," he said. "If it can be provided by audio recording, we could achieve a wide usage and potentially help millions of women. Studies also need to be done to see whether this could benefit the immune system and ward off disease."
Research findings mirrored results of an earlier Baylor study using hypnosis to reduce hot flashes in breast cancer survivors.
Source:Baylor University 

How and why herpes viruses reactivate to cause disease

New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that T-cells responsible for controlling Herpes reduce significantly during times of new infection, allowing latent herpes virus to reactivate

The mere mention of the word "herpes" usually conjures negative images and stereotypes, but most people have been infected with some form of the virus. For most, a sore appears, heals and is forgotten, although the virus remains latent just waiting for the right circumstances to come back. Now, the mystery behind what triggers the virus to become active again is closer to being solved thanks to new research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology's November 2012 issue. In the report, scientists show how the immune system may lose its control over the virus when facing new microbial threats, such as when it must fend off other viral invaders or bacteria.
"Because almost all people are infected by one or more herpes family viruses during their lifetime, the potential impact of these findings are significant," said Charles H. Cook, M.D., FACS, FCCM, director of surgical critical care at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio, and a researcher involved in the work. "We hope that by understanding how these latent viral infections are controlled that we can prevent reactivation events and improve people's lives."
To make this discovery, researchers studied mice with latent herpes family cytomegalovirus (CMV) during severe bacterial infections. They found that T-cells responsible for CMV control were reduced significantly during a new infection with bacteria. This, in effect, reduced the "brakes" which kept the virus under control, allowing the virus to reactivate and cause disease. When the immune system eventually sensed the reactivation, the memory T-cell levels returned to normal, effectively restoring the body's control over the virus.
"Finding ways to control herpes flare ups is important, not only for the health of the person with the virus, but also for preventing its transmission," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "This report highlights the important interplay when we are 'co-infected' with more than one microbe and provides important insights into why the immune system sometimes fails as well as how it can regain control of latent herpes virus infections."
Source:Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 

Bhopal: World Ayurveda Congress to promote Ayush sector

The 5th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) in Bhopal will promote Ayush and herbal sector in the country.
 The WAC is scheduled from December 7-10 in Madhya Pradesh.
 Focusing its energies towards promoting the Ayush sector, the pharmaceutical export promotion council of India (Pharmexcil) is planning to organise an Arogya Exhibition along with an international buyer-seller meet at the WAC.
Following the success of earlier buyer seller meets at 4th World Ayurveda Congress and 7th Nutra Summit at Bangalore, Pharmexcil is supporting the Ayush sector by participating in the 5th World Ayurveda. The mega event is being organised by Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), reported.
 Over the past few years from now, the Indian Ayurvedic and herbal products have been gaining lot of popularity across the world. These products have been increasingly recognised for their ability to heal diseases without any side effects.
These products are fast catching the attention of the global community mainly because they are obtained directly from nature and have been proved vital in healing dreaded diseases like cancer. In view of this, the Council is taking every opportunity to promote the Ayurvedic and herbals products at all the world forums, added.
 During the past one year, India had exported Herbals and Ayush Products worth Rs 1663.86 crore, with a growth rate of 20 per cent per annum. Currently, India stands as the second largest country in the export of medicinal plants to the world next to China. Most of India’s herbals and Ayurvedic products are exported to Europe and United States of America, added.

‘Dance therapy reduces stress, boosts self-esteem’

The Academy of Yoga and Oriental Studies (AYOS) orgainsed a lecture on “Dance Movement Therapy” here last week with Odishi dance expert and Panchakarma specialist Dr Biswajit Dash as the speaker of the occasion. The meeting was presided over by AYOS Director Dr Indulata Das.Dr Biswajit Dash said dance is a coordination of body, space, force and movement. There are eight types of classical dances and thousands of folk dances in India. There are specific martial dance art forms like Chhau and Paika.In almost all Indian dances, yogic postures are incorporated. Bhakti or devotion is the main component of Indian dances.“We have many dances, the postures and movements of which have therapeutic values. Dance movement therapy is a new area of exploration.Experiments have shown that dance therapy improves self-esteem, reduces stress and gives a peaceful state of mind. It provides positive energy and gives a sense of completeness and surrender to the Supreme Self. In addition to physical and mental therapy, it also provides emotional therapy.There was a question-answer session after the lecture in which Dr VB Sastri, Dr Bharati Sastri and S Sundar Rajan, among other scholars, participated. Dr Indulata Das, in her presidential address, said dance therapy is a new area and a lot of research is to be done in the field. Dance therapy may prove to be a joyful therapy in the future.
Source:the Pioneer

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Baby Delivered in Truck During Sandy

During Hurricane Sandy's high winds and heavy rain, a New Jersey woman gave birth to a baby boy in a hospital's make-shift medical shelter to aid residents immobilized by flooding.
Christine Schleppy, 34, was only 35 weeks into her pregnancy when she started having contractions on Monday near the height of the storm. When they became more frequent around 6 p.m., her husband called 911 and an ambulance arrived.
"You hope you can get to the hospital," David Schleppy, 38, said. "We knew there were many trees down and roads getting closed left and right."
Their home in Skillman, N.J., was not in an evacuation zone, but the emergency medical technicians struggled to drive the Schleppy family to a hospital in Princeton amid flooding, debris and road closures. Ultimately, the ambulance became stuck in the mud, so the parents-to-be were switched to the fire ambulance that was leading the way.
Despite having five children between the two of them, it was an anxiety-ridden experience for the couple.
"It was definitely stressful," he said.
The fire department's SUV finally made its way to Hackensack University Medical Center's Mobile Satellite Emergency Department shelter in Hillsborough. It was one of several mobile units deployed by the hospital to low-lying areas.
Schleppy had previously given birth to three children with epidural medicine, but this was her first natural birth.
A spokeswoman for Hackensack University Medical Center said the hospital had one mobile unit that was an operating room with epidural medicine, but the other units did not have epidural medicine.
"She wasn't happy about it but ultimately the main concern was to have a healthy baby," David Schleppy said about his wife.
Due to high winds, the doctor and staff in the mobile unit had set up shelter in the gymnasium of a church next door.
Dr. Herman Morchel and the MSED team finally delivered Liam Alexander Schleppy, 5 pounds, 2 ounces, at 11 p.m. on Monday in Hillsborough.
They have since been transported to Somerset Hospital and are doing well, David said.
Hackensack University Medical Center Chairman of Emergency Medicine Dr. Joseph Feldman said it was a good thing that county officials requested the mobile units be deployed in areas hit hardest by Hurricane Irene last year.
"It was lucky because who knows who would have delivered this woman's baby if our team was not set up there," Feldman said.
Source:abc News

Single Junk Food Meal Damages Your Arteries

Junk food meal is harmful to the health of the arteries whereas Mediterranean diet has a positive effect on the health of the arteries, say researchers. The Mediterranean meal may even have a positive effect on the arteries. The findings are being presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, which runs in Toronto until Wednesday, by the head of the study, Dr. Anil Nigam, Director of Research at the Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre (ÉPIC) and associate professor at the university''s Faculty of Medicine. 
Bad fat vs. good fat
Dr. Nigam undertook the study to compare the effects of junk food and typical Mediterranean meal on the vascular endothelium: the inner lining of the blood vessels. By measuring endothelial function, it is possible to determine how easily the arteries will dilate after a temporary, five-minute occlusion, following the consumption of the two types of meals. This is a very interesting analysis for researchers to perform as endothelial function is closely linked to the long-term risk of developing coronary artery disease.
The study also revealed that participants with higher blood triglyceride levels seemed to benefit more from the healthy meals. Their arteries responded better to the Mediterranean meal compared to people with low triglyceride levels. "We believe that a Mediterranean-type diet may be particularly beneficial for individuals with high triglyceride levels, such as patients with metabolic syndrome, precisely because it could help keep arteries healthy," Dr. Nigam said.


Mediterranean meal vs. junk food meal
The results were established in 28 non-smoking men, who ate the Mediterranean-type meal first and then the junk food-type meal one week later. Before beginning, the men underwe 

Exercising Before Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight

Exercising before the first meal of the day helps you lose more body fat, suggests study. 
Not only does working up a sweat on an empty stomach burn off more body fat - helping you lose those extra inches around the waist - it also triggers a bigger reduction in artery-clogging blood fats, the Daily Mail reported.
 Although the benefits of exercise are well-known, people have been unsure about whether it is better to do it on an empty stomach or a full one. 

Dr Jason Gill, who conducted the research at Glasgow University, said that while exercise in itself is good, any done before breakfast may be extra beneficial, because it forces the body to rely on its stores of fat for energy. 
"When people talk about losing weight, they really mean losing fat," he said. 
Ten men made three visits to his laboratory at the university's Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, and were given breakfast each time. 
On the first visit, the men didn't do any exercise. On another, they did an hour's brisk walk ahead of breakfast and on the third they did the walk after breakfast. 
Those who exercised burnt off more fat than those who simply sat around. And those who did their walk before breakfast used up 33 percent more fat than those who exercised after eating. 
Tests revealed they also experienced a bigger drop in the blood fats that raise the risk of heart disease. 
While the men only did a brisk walk, more strenuous activity can also be safely carried out on an empty stomach, Dr Gill said. 
This is because the body has enough reserves for about 90 minutes to two hours of exercise. 
The study is published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Complementary and alternative therapy improved lives of arthritis patients

 Nearly a quarter of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis used complementary and alternative therapy (CAT) to help manage their condition, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
Researchers interviewed 250 patients aged between 20 and 90 years of age. More than two-thirds (67%) had rheumatoid arthritis and the remainder had osteoarthritis.
They found that 23% used CAT in addition to prescribed drugs and that just under two-thirds of those (64%) felt that the therapy was beneficial, reporting improvements in pain intensity, sleeping patterns and activity levels.
"Our study underlines the importance of healthcare professionals being knowledgeable about the potential use of CAT when providing medical care to patients with arthritis" says lead author Professor Nada Alaaeddine, Head of the Regenerative and Inflammation Lab in the Faculty of Medicine, University of St Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon.
"Although CAT might have beneficial effects in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, patients should be cautious about their use and should tell their healthcare providers that they are using them to make sure they don't conflict with their existing treatment."
Key findings of the survey included:

  • CAT users had an average age of 45 years, significantly younger than the average non CAT user, who was aged 57 years.
  • CAT use was higher in patients with osteoarthritis (29%) than rheumatoid arthritis (20%).
  • The most common CAT used was herbal therapy (83%), followed by exercise (22%), massage (12%), acupuncture (3%), yoga and meditation (3%) and dietary supplements (3%).
  • Just under a quarter of the patients using CAT (24%) sought medical care because of possible side effects, but they were not serious and were reversible. The most common side effects included skin problems (16%) and gastrointestinal problems (9%).
  • Just under a quarter of the patients using CAT (24%) sought medical care because of possible side effects, but they were not serious and were reversible. The most common side effects included skin problems (16%) and gastrointestinal problems (9%).
  • The majority did not tell their healthcare provider about their CAT use (59%).
  • CAT users were asked to rate the amount of pain they felt and the percentage who said that they experienced no pain rose from 12% to 43% after CAT use. The number who slept all night rose from 9% to 66%.
  • CAT users also reported an improvement in daily activities. The percentage who said that their pain did not limit them at all rose from 3% to 12% and the percentage who said they could do everything, but with pain, rose from 26% to 52%.
"CAT use is increasing and this study shows that it provided self-reported benefits for patient with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis" says Professor Alaaeddine.
"It is, however, important that patients discuss CAT use with their healthcare practitioner and that they are made aware of possible side effects, in particular the possible interactions between herbal and prescribed drugs."
Source:The Journal of Clinical Nursing (JCN) 

Unique protein bond enables learning and memory

Two proteins have a unique bond that enables brain receptors essential to learning and memory to not only get and stay where they're needed, but to be hauled off when they aren't, researchers say.
NMDA receptors increase the activity and communication of brain cells and are strategically placed, much like a welcome center, at the receiving end of the communication highway connecting two cells. They also are targets in brain-degenerating conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
In a true cradle-to-grave relationship, researchers have found the scaffolding protein, SAP102, which helps stabilize the receptor on the cell surface, binds with a subunit of the NMDA receptor called GluN2B at two sites, said Dr. Bo-Shiun Chen, neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.
While one binding site is the norm, these proteins have one that's stronger than the other. When it's time for the normal receptor turnover, the stronger bond releases and the lesser one shuttles the receptor inside the cell for degradation or recycling.
"One binding site is involved in stabilizing the receptor on the cell surface and the other is important in removing the receptor. We think it's a paradigm shift; we've never thought about the same scaffolding protein having two roles," said Chen, corresponding author of the study in the journal Cell Reports.
"We believe by understanding the normal turnover of these receptors, we can learn more about how to prevent the abnormal receptor loss that occurs in debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer's." In Parkinson's, the receptors inexplicably move away from where the synapse, or information highway, connects to the neuron, making them less effective. NMDA receptors are supposed to cluster where the synapse hooks into the receiving neuron; in fact, it's part of what anchors the synapse, Chen said.
Interestingly, this pivotal protein, SAP102, a member of the MAGUK family of scaffolding proteins, is the only family member known to directly contribute to maladies: its mutation causes intellectual disability.
While all cells have a system for managing the number of receptors on their surface, in Alzheimer's, this removal process appears accelerated, with increased engulfing of receptors and less neuron-to-neuron communication. The neurotransmitter glutamate helps establish and maintain the synapse and also binds with GluN2B.
GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors stay open to receive information for a long time, enabling the type of vigorous and sustained communication that enables learning and memory. In fact the number of these receptors naturally decreases with age, which may be one reason young people learn easier. When it's time to remove a receptor, phosphorus gets added to GluN2B, changing its function so it no longer binds to the scaffolding protein.
Source:Georgia Health Sciences University 

Study Suggests New Way to Prevent Recurrent Ear Infections

Eliminating bacteria’s DNA and boosting antimicrobial proteins that already exist may help prevent middle ear infections from reoccurring. These are the findings from a Nationwide Children’s Hospital study that examined how an immune defense protein common in the middle ear interacts with a structure meant to protect a colony of bacteria.  The bacterium nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) causes a wide range of diseases of both the lower and upper airways, including middle ear infection. NTHI, like most other bacteria, can form a biofilm, a robust community of bacteria that allows the bacteria to evade the host’s immune system and protects the bacteria from antibiotics and other therapies designed to kill them. Human beta-defensin-3 is an antimicrobial defense protein expressed in the middle ear of humans and other mammals that kills both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Previous research has shown that if expression of beta-defensin is disrupted, the host’s ability to control the bacteria in the upper airway is altered and infection worsens.    Investigators in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital hypothesized that human beta-defensin-3 might lose its power to kill NTHI if it got caught up within the extracellular DNA that makes up a biofilm’s outer layer, thus preventing its contact with bacteria within the biofilm.  “Antimicrobial host defense proteins, like human beta-defensin-3, have been shown to bind to non-host DNA,” says Lauren O. Bakaletz, PhD  director of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis   “This interaction has an impact on the defense protein’s ability to function.” Upon examining their animal model of middle ear infection, Dr. Bakaletz’ team found that bacterial DNA and the animal’s defense peptides were detected together in biofilms that developed during infection. Also, the defense peptide was predominantly co-localized with the biofilm’s extracellular DNA.  When the team exposed the bacteria that cause ear infections  to a concentration of human-beta defensin-3 that is typically detected in the a middle ear of a child with active infection, the peptide was able to kill 100 percent of the NTHI, but the killing stopped when extracellular DNA was introduced to the reaction. “These data support the conclusion that the killing activity of the antimicrobial defense protein was decreased in an NTHI-induced biofilm due to its interaction with eDNA,” says Dr. Bakaletz, who is the lead study author and professor of Pediatrics and Otolaryngology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.When they removed extracellular DNA from the biofilm, the killing activity of the defense peptide was rescued.“The ability to restore antimicrobial defense protein activity is encouraging, since biofilms are resistant to most treatments, including traditional antibiotics,” says Dr. Bakaletz.  Dr. Bakaletz says this study provides evidence for a new treatment regimen to target biofilms formed by NTHI during middle ear infection. One approach would be to deliver a therapeutic agent that can disrupt bacterial DNA, in conjunction with human beta-defensin-3 to the middle ear of a child with chronic, recurrent infection. Physicians could follow the same pathway used to target the middle ear during ear tube surgery, a common treatment for chronic ear infections.“This approach would likely bolster the ability of the innate immune system to manage NTHI-induced biofilms, avoiding the need for antibiotics or empowering the use of antibiotics we already have in our arsenal,” says Dr. Bakaletz. “Doing so could help diminish the recurrent nature of middle ear infection.”   
Source:Nationwide Children

Monday, 29 October 2012

Neuroscientist Sees 'Proof of Heaven'

Holley Alexander is serving chicken curry, 14-year-old Bond is hungry after soccer and the dad, Dr. Eben Alexander, leads the family in prayer.In this home, saying grace is different these days. This family has been touched by a medical miracle -- and maybe more.
"It was impossible after impossible after impossible that all these things happened," Alexander said in an interview with "Nightline" co-anchor Terry Moran.Alexander, a Harvard neurosurgeon, nearly died four years ago when a ferocious E. coli meningitis infection attacked his brain and plunged him deep into a week-long coma. Brain scans showed his entire cortex -- the parts of the brain that give us consciousness, thought, memory and understanding -- was not functioning. Doctors gave him little chance to live and told his family that if he did survive he'd probably be brain-damaged for the rest of his life."Nurses would come in, and they would pull his eyelids back, shine in the flashlight, and his eyes were just off and cocked," Holley Andersen said. "It's just like no one was there."Against all odds, Alexander woke up a week after being stricken. But he believes Holley was right: He wasn't there.Deep in coma, his brain infected so badly only the most primitive parts were working, Alexander claimed he experienced something extraordinary: a journey to Heaven."In every sense, of the word that's what my experience showed me," Alexander said."My first memories from when I was deep inside: I had no language, all my earthly memories were gone," he said. "I had no body awareness at all. I was just a speck of awareness in kind of a dark, murky environment, in roots or vessels or something. And I seemed to be there for a very long time -- I would say years."I was rescued by this beautiful, spinning, white light that had a melody, an incredibly beautiful melody with it that opened up into a bright valley," he added, "an extremely verdant valley with blossoming flowers and a just incredible, rich, ultra-real world of indescribable complexity."Alexander said there was a young woman who soared across time and space with him on a butterfly wing and gave him a message to take back from Heaven."She looked at me, and this was with no words, but the concepts came straight into mind: You are love; you are cherished; there's nothing you have to fear; there's nothing you can do wrong," he said.God was there as a vast presence of love, Alexander said, and Alexander understood God through an orb of brilliant light."It was all of eternity and all of conscious existence," he said. "But it was this brilliant orb of light that was almost as necessary as a translator to bring in that message from the divine and the incredible."After he recovered, Alexander, who was adopted, was shown a picture by his biological family of a sister he had never met or seen before. He recognized the sister as the young woman from Heaven."I looked up at that picture on my dresser that I had just got and I knew who my guardian angel was on the butterfly wing," he said. "It is the most profound experience I've ever had in this life."Of course, many would call Alexander's experience a hallucination -- but not him."I know this is not a hallucination, not a dream, not what we call a confabulation," Alexander said. "I know that it really occurred, and it occurred outside of my brain."It was a near-death experience -- like those reported by thousands of others. But Alexander was determined to prove scientifically that it happened.In his new book, "Proof of Heaven," he raises and then strikes down various hypotheses on how his journey could not happen.Alexander said he is scientifically certain that his stricken brain could never have produced the images and ideas he experienced -- or remembered them."If you would have asked me before my coma, How much will someone who is in coma for a week with a severe bacterial meningitis -- so severe that the sugar level ... around my brain, normally around 60-80 and in a bad meningitis maybe down to 20; in my case it went down to 1 -- to me, that's just one piece of evidence of how severe this was. If you'd ask me how much would that patient remember, I'd say nothing," he said. "They wouldn't remember a single thing. ...The severity of the meningitis would have prevented dreams, hallucinations, confabulations, because those things all require a fairly coordinated amount of cortex."Alexander isn't fazed at all by the skeptics. He was one, too.Now he has "proof of Heaven," he said."For me, it's become clear that the best way to look at it is to turn it around and realize that consciousness exists in a much richer form, free and independent of the brain, which has everything to do with the eternity of our souls and the fact that our awareness, our consciousness, our soul, our spirit, does not depend on the existence of the brain in the physical universe. In fact, it's freed up to a much richer knowing when we're outside."
 Source:abc News

Psoriasis mandate results released to mark World Psoriasis Day

On World Psoriasis Day, Psoriasis Mandate have released a promising interim results. To date 1145 people across 40 European countries have pledged their support for five basic rights of people with psoriasis, but experts are urging people to keep signing the Mandate to drive much-needed improved standards of care.
Professor Matthias Augustin, University Medical Center of Hamburg, Germany, and Chair of the European Expert Working Group for Healthcare in Psoriasis (EEWGHP) says, “Psoriasis affects approximately 14 million people across Europe and there is significant variation in the standard of care people receive. Great steps are being made in the management of psoriasis, but lack of awareness and understanding of the condition by policy-makers and the general public adds to the distressing stigmatisation of this disease. The Psoriasis Mandate is our opportunity to give a voice to people living with psoriasis; to help them demand the high quality care that they deserve – please sign it.”
The Psoriasis Mandate launched earlier this year by the EEWGHP, Janssen and The European Umbrella Organisation for Psoriasis Movements (EUROPSO) to provide an opportunity for the community at large, people with psoriasis and their healthcare professionals to pledge their support for achieving the best care possible for those living with psoriasis.
Anyone can sign the Psoriasis Mandate ( to show their support for five key rights of people with psoriasis: early and accurate diagnosis, access to a specialist for regular treatment review, access to effective treatment options, involvement and choice in a treatment plan with defined goals and understanding and support from society to live a normal life.
To date, 18 per cent of people who have signed the Psoriasis Mandate have psoriasis, 19 per cent have family members or friends across Europe with psoriasis, 21 per cent are healthcare professionals, and 42 per cent of signatures are from members of the public who simply support the cause, demonstrating the growing support and understanding of the need to help people living with this debilitating condition.
The Psoriasis Mandate followed the publication of the first-ever Psoriasis White Paper in July 2012 by the EEWGHP, whose principle aim is to improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for the 14 million people living with psoriasis in Europe. The White Paper addresses the under-treatment of psoriasis in Europe and provides a framework for action. It calls on healthcare organisations, healthcare professionals, European regulatory bodies, governments, industry, academia and patient advocacy groups to act together implement change.
Ottfrid Hillmann, president of EUROPSO, says, “For too long now psoriasis has been a low priority. These days it is possible for people with psoriasis to live a normal life, but that can only be achieved through early access to high quality care. We continue to call on all people involved in the management of psoriasis, including healthcare professionals, people with psoriasis, their families, and governments, to pledge their support to improve care across Europe. We are all working towards a brighter future for those with psoriasis, but this will only be achieved with a unified approach.”
Psoriasis is a chronic disease caused when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, speeding up skin cell production. Plaque psoriasis, the most common type of psoriasis, often results in patches of thick, red or inflamed skin covered with silvery scales (known as plaques). These plaques usually itch or feel sore, can crack and bleed, and can occur anywhere on the body. It is often very painful and associated with multiple physical and psychological burdens such as depression.
The type, symptoms and severity of psoriasis may differ from one person to another, with its effects ranging from mild or moderate, to severe.
Biological therapies are a valuable advancement in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, and long-term efficacy and safety data on available treatment options is vital to support healthcare professionals in their decision-making about the most suitable treatment option for patients.
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies are dedicated to addressing and solving the most important unmet medical needs of our time, including oncology (e.g. multiple myeloma and prostate cancer), immunology (e.g. psoriasis), neuroscience (e.g. schizophrenia, dementia and pain), infectious disease (e.g. HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and tuberculosis), and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (e.g. diabetes).

Gluten-free Diet Could Make You Fat

Gluten-free diet favoured by Victoria Beckham and many other stars could make you pile on pounds, finds recent study. 
The controversial wheat-free weightloss plan is designed to help celebrities slim down.Now, the latest study found that UK supermarkets are cramming in up to five times the amount of fat to bulk up their gluten-free products, the Daily Star reported. 
Waitrose cram almost three grams of extra fat into their Love Life wheat-free loaf. Marks and Spencer's wheat-free bread contains nearly three times as much fat as the regular version. 
And Sainsbury's FreeFrom pitta bread could pile on the pounds as it racks up almost five times as much fat. 
"People assume that by cutting out gluten they are going to lose weight. It's a myth," the Daily Star quoted food expert Tanya Thomas of the British Dietetic Association, as saying. 
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK, which represents people with wheat allergies, said: "Undoubtedly there has been a rise in diagnosis of coeliac disease, but it can't explain the explosion in gluten-free products. 
"Many people are choosing to go gluten-free because they simply want to reduce their wheat intake," she stated. 
She added that the industry had a problem with higher fat in gluten-free bread and bakery products.

Injecting Young Blood may Reverse Some Effects of Ageing

There’s a reason why anti-ageing therapies are so popular today. With the boom in industrialization and rapid modernization, there is a steady demand of healthcare and lifestyle anti-aging products, accounting for a huge investment in clinical trials and research in that area. 
New products are being developed, and plenty of studies are being conducted on various ways to reduce ageing and its effects. A recent study conducted in mice in the Stanford University claims that injecting young blood in older individuals may promote healthy brain function, thereby reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and other age-related illnesses, and significantly reducing visible effects of ageing. It is also thought to aid the development of new synapses and revitalize brain tissue.
 Saul Villeda of Stanford University presented results which suggest that it is indeed possible to enhance brain function and rejuvenate the brain of old animals by injecting them with the blood of the young. 

The experiment involved connecting the circulatory systems of an old and a young mouse, to introduce the young blood into the system of the ‘old’ mouse. The old mouse was kept under observation for several days, after which, it was found that the old mouse demonstrated clear signs of reversed ageing. A whopping 20% increase in the connections between brain cells was noted, and an increase in the number of stem cells was observed. It is presumed that the regenerative effects of young blood outweigh the degenerative effects of old blood, which promotes age reversal. 
On the other hand, injecting old blood may have detrimental impact on the young mouse, due to the inflammatory action of plasma proteins. 
The above study is not yet published and has been done only in rodents. A number of factors will have to be taken into account before this procedure is considered in humans. You will thus have to wait sometime to inject ‘young’ blood into your great granddads and grannies for now. 
Source:the Gurdian

Smoking causes asthma in second generation offspring

The dangers of smoking on smokers and their children are widely known but new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine demonstrates that nicotine exposure also causes asthma in the smoker's grandchildren.
Asthma is a major public health problem. It is the most common chronic disease of childhood. While there are many factors which contribute to asthma maternal smoking during pregnancy is a well known, and avoidable, risk.
During pregnancy nicotine can affect a developing foetus' lungs, predisposing the infant to childhood asthma. Researchers from Harbor-UCLA Medical Centre, California, tested the effect of nicotine exposure during pregnancy on rats, looking not only at their pups (F1) but also at second generation pups (F2).
Exposure inside the uterus resulted in both male and female (F1) offspring having reduced lung function consistent with asthma. It also impaired lung function of their own offspring (F2), even though the F1 rats were not themselves exposed to nicotine once they were born. Levels of proteins increased by maternal smoking in the lungs of their offspring such as fibronectin, collagen and nicotinic aceylcholine receptors, were also found to be raised in the grandchildren. Similarly the expression of PPARγ, a normal lung development, was reduced in first and second generation offspring.
Dr Virender Rehan, who led this study commented, "When we looked at the effect of nicotine on DNA in the testes or ovaries of the rats they found that nicotine increased the level of methylation in the testes but reduced it in the ovaries. Nicotine also altered methylation of histones in a sex-dependent manner. These epigenetic marks may be the mechanism behind how nicotine-induced asthma is transmitted from one generation to the next."
Treating the mothers with a synthetic version of PPARγ, known to normalise lung function in nictotine exposed offspring also prevented lung damage to F2 offspring and restored normal histone modification patterns in their lungs.
The effects of smoking during pregnancy are, it seems, very long lasting. Stop smoking education and intervention aimed at mothers-to-be and women planning pregnancy needs to take into account the fact that nicotine itself contains dangers to their children and their children's.
Source:BioMed Central 

Overweight and smoking during pregnancy boost risk of overweight kids

High birth weight and early rapid weight gain additional factors

[Systematic review and meta-analyses of risk factors for childhood overweight identifiable during infancy Online First doi 10.1136/archdischild-2012-302263]
Mums who carry too much weight and/or who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of having overweight kids, indicates a systematic analysis of the available evidence published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
A high birth weight and rapid weight gain during the first year of life also increase the risk, indicates the study.
The authors base their findings on a comprehensive review of the available evidence, housed in reputable research databases, such as MedLine and PubMed, and published between 1990 and 2011.
They included only those studies which tracked children's health from birth until at least the age of two years, and which looked at potential risk factors before birth and up to the age of 12 months.
In all, 30 studies, involving more than 200,000 participants, were included in the analysis.
The results indicated several significant and independent factors that increased the risks of childhood overweight.
These were a mum who was overweight during the pregnancy; high birth-weight of the child; early rapid weight gain during the first year of life; and a mum who smoked during her pregnancy.
Smoking during pregnancy alone boosted the risk by 47.5%. But this may be because smoking is a good indicator of other social and lifestyle characteristics, say the authors.
Breastfeeding and late weaning helped to stave off childhood overweight, to some extent, the analysis showed. Breastfeeding cut the risk by 15%.
The evidence was mixed for length of breastfeeding, household income and marital status at the time of the child's birth, and how many other pregnancies the mother had had.
And no link was found between the mother's age, educational attainment, ethnicity or depressive symptoms and being overweight during childhood, while the evidence for type of delivery, weight gain during pregnancy, weight loss after pregnancy and whether the child was a "fussy" eater was inconclusive.
While there seem to be clear factors that increase the risk of childhood overweight, further research will be needed to explore the feasibility of using these in clinical practice to help healthcare professionals pick up infants at risk early on, conclude the authors.
Source:BMJ-British Medical Journal 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Trans fats raise cholesterol, not blood sugar: study

Although much-criticized trans fats raise levels of "bad" cholesterol, they don't appear to have a lasting impact on blood sugar levels, according to a U.S. study.Researchers, writing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that both blood sugar and insulin, the hormone that keeps blood sugar levels in check, were similar regardless of how much trans fat people ate.The link between trans fats and high cholesterol levels is widely accepted, but there has been a lack of clarity on the effect on blood sugar control, which is involved in diabetes."Although evidence from cohort studies has suggested that trans fatty acid (TFA) consumption may be associated with insulin resistance and diabetes, randomized placebo-controlled trials have yielded conflicting results," wrote lead researcher Christos Mantzoros of Harvard Medical School in Boston.Trans fats, technically known as trans fatty acids, are found in animal products and chemically processed vegetable oils. In response to studies linking high consumption of the substances to an increased risk of heart disease, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required food makes to disclose trans fats on nutrition labels.Some cities and states have banned them in restaurants or schools.Montzoros and his colleagues pooled the results from seven experiments, including 208 people.In five of the studies, the participants' blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol levels were monitored for several weeks under a diet of high trans fat consumption, and again for a few weeks when the trans fats were substituted for other fats, such as palm or soybean oil.Two of the studies compared people who ate a diet that included trans fats to others who ate a diet without trans fats.There were no changes in blood sugar or insulin levels during the times when people ate trans fats, compared to when they ate the other fats," Mantzoros's group reported.However, the researchers found that during the trans fat-eating weeks, "good" HDL cholesterol went down and "bad" LDL cholesterol went up."They saw what you would expect to see" regarding cholesterol, which shows that the studies were well done, said Mark Pereira, an expert in public health and nutrition at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.Pereira, who was not involved in the study, said it isn't definitive proof that trans fats can't influence blood sugar levels.Although several weeks is enough time to see an effect on cholesterol, he said, a potential impact on metabolism might not show up until later."If you're going to control weight and switch around fats in the diet, it might take a lot longer, because these fatty acids are being gradually incorporated over time into tissues in the body," he added.But even if trans fats do have an impact on blood sugar control, Pereira said, it's becoming a moot point as the amount of trans fats people eat in the United States has diminished considerably.

Crusty Food Increases Risk of Heart Disease Among Diabetics

A new study has warned diabetic patients to stay away from crusty foods as it produces advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that can increase the risk of heart disease as they are associated with plaque formation. 
This is the conclusion of a University of Illinois study.
"We see evidence that cooking methods that create a crust-think the edge of a brownie or the crispy borders of meats prepared at very high temperatures-produce advanced glycation end products (AGEs). And AGEs are associated with plaque formation, the kind we see in cardiovascular disease," said Karen Chapman-Novakofski, a U of I professor of nutrition. 
For years nutrition experts have advised people with diabetes to bake, boil, or grill their food instead of frying it, she said. 
"That's still true, but if you have diabetes, you should know that AGEs-byproducts of food preparation methods that feature very high, intense, dry heat-tend to end up on other tissues in the body, causing long-term damage," she added. 
If you're fighting this vascular buildup anyway, Chapman-Novakofski thinks that consuming products containing AGEs could worsen the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. 
In the U of I study, the scientists compared the 10-day food intake of 65 study participants in two ethnic groups: Mexicans (who have higher rates of diabetes and a greater risk of complications from the disease) and non-Hispanic whites. 
"We found that people with higher rates of cardiovascular complications ate more of these glycated products. For each unit increase in AGEs intake, a study participant was 3.7 times more likely to have moderate to high risk for cardiovascular disease," said Claudia Luevano-Contreras, first author of the study. 
The study showed that non-Hispanic whites had a higher intake of AGEs, and they consumed more saturated fats. However, the association between AGEs and cardiovascular disease was stronger than for saturated fats and heart disease, she said. 
Eating less saturated fat and more fruits, vegetables, and fiber are important for people with diabetes, but this study shows that food preparation may be important too, she added. 
"AGEs are higher in any kind of meat, but especially in ground meat. If you put hamburgers or brats on the grill, you'll likely have a higher AGEs content than if you chose a whole cut of meat, say round steak or chicken," said Chapman-Novakofski. 
Boiling or stewing meat would reduce your AGEs intake further. And scrambling an egg with cooking spray instead of frying it leads to a significant reduction in AGEs, she added. 
The scientists said more research is needed before definite recommendations can be made. They are planning another study in which they'll examine past AGEs intake of diabetes patients. 
"These findings are preliminary, but they give us ample reason to further explore the association between AGEs and cardiovascular risk among people with diabetes," Chapman-Novakofski noted.


Tribal Meditation May Help Overcome Stress

Simple "tribal meditation" techniques like clapping or chanting has been found beneficial in fighting stress that haunts individuals in day-to-day life due to various factors, according to an expert. 
Internationally acclaimed ZeNLP trainer Murli Menon, a stress management guru, believes economic stress is increasing due to price rise while people also suffer from physical, mental and spiritual stress.
 Menon imparts tribal meditation technique for relieving mental stress. "There are various simple techniques to manage stress. For example, you can overcome physical stress by clapping and spiritual stress by chanting," he said. 

"Tribes are misunderstood. Everyone thinks that tribes are not advanced but the technology I have seen in the tribes is much more modern and efficient than modern factories," Menon, who has lived with primitive tribes in different parts of India, Tibet, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos and China, told IANS. 
Menon has done a certified course in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). ZeNLP is a combination of NLP and Zen meditation. According to him, it is the science of creating structured change in behavior using the language of meditation. 
NLP, the programming of the brain with positive vibes and thoughts, was created by psychotherapist John Grinder and mathematician and psychologist Richard Bandler in association with Milton Erickson, a psychiatrist. NLP was developed at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in the 1970s. 
About 9,000 people, mainly CEOs and middle-level managers from corporate houses, school teachers, students, professionals and homemakers have attended Menon's programs during the last 15 years. During the training programs, Menon shares his experience with tribals in different countries and explains how simple techniques of physical exercise, vegetarian food, music, chanting of mantras and living in harmony with nature can help overcome stress. 
Menon, who was here to conduct a program for CEOs at the Dhruva College of Management, is of the view that economic stress can be managed by certain techniques like budgeting. 
"Stress is increasing because things are getting costlier but incomes are not rising in parity," said Menon, who conducts stress management programs in India and abroad. 
"There is physical stress as people are working for longer hours because of mobile phones. There is also mental stress as people think too much about what will happen tomorrow and there is spiritual stress. People are not getting time to pray," Menon said. 
Menon, president of the Ahmedabad-based PhenoMenon Consultants Inc, is coming out with a book "Learning through stories" in December. "It is a compilation of 50 stories, each one of which I learnt from a different country I traveled to. There are stories I learnt while living with tribes." 
The 45-year-old has already penned two books - "ZeNLP: The power to succeed" and "ZeNLP: The power to relax". 
He asserts that a family which eats, prays and stays together, relaxes with more holidays and just thinks of the present can relieve stress. 
Menon, a Keralite settled in Ahmedabad, started training program after an accident left him paralyzed in 1995 and rendered him unfit to continue his job as a manager in a pharmaceutical firm. 
While undergoing treatment at the Manipal Hospital in Bangalore, he made a dramatic recovery thanks to NLP, his strong will power and determination to succeed despite all odds. 
Lying on hospital bed, he set 20 goals, which then looked impossible for him. Today, he has achieved most of them. 

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