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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Have You Heard of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy?

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is concerning and many - even those with seizure disorders - may not be aware of this condition. New research published in Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), reports that 76% of caregivers are more likely to have heard of SUDEP compared with 65% of patients with epilepsy.
Have You Heard of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy?

Dr. Barbara Kroner, an epidemiologist with RTI International in Rockville, Maryland and lead author of the study says, "When someone with epilepsy dies suddenly we want to understand why. Our research calls attention to SUDEP and provides important knowledge to help neurologists have open discussions with patients, especially those at greatest risk of epilepsy-related death." 

While it is obviously an overwhelming loss, SUDEP is uncommon, occurring in about 1 in 1,000 individuals with epilepsy each year. However, a study by Dr. David Thurman and colleagues also published in this issue of Epilepsia suggests that "comparing years of potential life lost from SUDEP with selected other neurologic diseases, SUDEP ranks second only to stroke." Moreover previous evidence shows that only 5% of neurologists discuss SUDEP with their all patients and 69% discuss it with few or none of their patients. One of the main reasons for this lack of communication is that doctors do not want to raise fears or anxiety in patients. 

For the Kroner et al study, researchers surveyed close to 1,400 patients with epilepsy and more than 600 caregivers. Surveys were conducted via the web or in a clinical setting. The survey included questions about type of seizure, epilepsy treatment plans, fear of death, and familiarity with SUDEP. If respondents had not heard of SUDEP, a definition was provided, and questions about the initial reaction to the condition were asked. 

Findings indicate that internet survey respondents were more likely to have heard about SUDEP than patients in the clinical setting at 71% and 39%, respectively. Those caring for epilepsy patients were more likely than the epilepsy patient to have heard about SUDEP (76% vs. 65%), with prior awareness associated with increased education level, more severe and longer epilepsy duration, and having an epilepsy specialist as the primary care provider. 

Fear, anxiety, and sadness were often reported by epilepsy patients at caregivers upon first learning about SUDEP, with most wanting to discuss these feelings with their doctor. Knowledge of SUDEP and increase in epilepsy severity escalated the concern of death among patients and caregivers. However half of respondents thought that knowledge of SUDEP would influence management of epilepsy. 

"Preventing seizures in patients with difficult to treat epilepsy may help avert sudden death," concludes Dr. Kroner. "It's important for the neurological community to continue to focus our attention on SUDEP, determining which epilepsy patients are at greatest risk and how best to educate them and their caregivers." 

Drs. Gary Mathern and Astrid Nehlig, Editors-in-Chief of Epilepsia, along with Associate Editor, Dr. Dale Hesdorffer agree, "SUDEP continues to gain considerable attention, with increasing pressure from the epilepsy community to encourage dialog between clinicians, patients and their families. In a series of SUDEP articles we start this important conversation and invite readers to participate in a SUDEP survey at Together we can advance understanding of SUDEP and how best to communicate with those challenged by this tragic outcome." 
Source:RTI International in Rockville, Maryland 

New Technology Makes 'Dance' of HIV Virus Visible in Humans

A team of scientists has developed a new technology which allows them to watch what they call the "dance" of HIV proteins on the virus' surface, which may contribute to how it infects human immune cells.
New Technology Makes 'Dance' of HIV Virus Visible in Humans

Dr. Scott Blanchard, an associate professor of physiology and biophysics at Weill Cornell, asserted that the new technology platform opens new possibilities for devising an approach to prevent HIV infection. 

Blanchard continued that making the movements of HIV visible so that they could follow, in real time, how surface proteins on the virus behave will hopefully tell them what they needed to know to prevent fusion with human cells if one could prevent viral entry of HIV into immune cells, one had won. 

Blanchard adapted an imaging technique that uses fluorescence to measure distance on molecular scale - single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) imaging - to study viral particles. His group developed fluorescent molecules (fluorophores) - which he dubs "beacons" - and the team inserted them into the virus's outer covering, known as the envelope. With two of these special beacons in place, smFRET imaging can be used to visualize how the molecules move over time, when the virus proteins change conformation. 

The team used the technology to study motions of proteins on the surface of the HIV virus called envelope proteins that are key to the virus's ability to infect human immune cells carrying CD4 receptor proteins. (CD4 receptor proteins help HIV bind to a cell.) The envelope consists of three gp120 and gp41 proteins positioned close together, and referred to as "trimers" that open up like a flower in the presence of CD4, exposing the gp41 subunit that is essential for subsequent aspects of the mechanism that causes infection. 

Source:The study was published in journal Science, and journal Nature.


Birth season affects your mood in later life

Berlin 19th October New research shows that the season you are born has a significant impact on your risk of developing mood disorders. People born at certain times of year may have a greater chance of developing certain types of affective temperaments, which in turn can lead to mood disorders (affective disorders). This work is being presented at the European College of CNP Congress in Berlin.
Seasons of birth have traditionally been associated with certain personality traits, such as novelty seeking, and various folklore justifications, such as astrology, have sought to explain these associations. Now a group of researchers from Budapest, Hungary, are presenting a study which links birth season with temperament.
According to lead researcher, Assistant Professor Xenia Gonda:
"Biochemical studies have shown that the season in which you are born has an influence on certain monoamine neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which is detectable even in adult life. This led us to believe that birth season may have a longer-lasting effect. Our work looked at over 400 subjects and matched their birth season to personality types in later life. Basically, it seems that when you are born may increase or decrease your chance of developing certain mood disorders".
"We can't yet say anything about the mechanisms involved. What we are now looking at is to see if there are genetic markers which are related to season of birth and mood disorder".
The group found the following statistically significant trends:
  • cyclothymic temperament (characterized by rapid, frequent swings between sad and cheerful moods), is significantly higher in those born in the summer, in comparison with those born in the winter.
  • Hyperthymic temperament – a tendency to be excessively positive - were significantly higher in those born in spring and summer
  • Those born in the winter were significantly less prone to irritable temperament than those born at other times of the year.
  • Those born in autumn show a significantly lower tendency to depressive temperament than those born in winter.
Commenting for the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Professor Eduard Vieta (Barcelona) said: "Seasons affect our mood and behavior. Even the season at our birth may influence our subsequent risk for developing certain medical conditions, including some mental disorders. What's new from this group of researchers is the influence of season at birth and temperament. Temperaments are not disorders but biologically-driven behavioral and emotional trends. Although both genetic and environmental factors are involved in one's temperament, now we know that the season at birth plays a role too. And the finding of "high mood" tendency (hyperthymic temperament) for those born in summer is quite intriguing."
Source:27th European Congress of Neuropsychopharmacology

It’s One Of The Most Important Nutrients Known To Man & Most Of Us Are Deficient

There is a silent pandemic sweeping many parts of the northern world. In fact, the information in this article may be the most important information of the year for you and your family, according to Dr. Mercola. He is an osteopathic physician who has made it his life’s intent to provide the public with the most up-to-date information regarding personal health, beyond the lies of the conventional health care system.
In his one-hour lecture available on his website, Mercola states that vitamin D is one of the most widely misunderstood nutrients today, and that proper systemic levels of vitamin D has the ability to prevent and eradicate an impressively large list of diseases.
There are only about 30,000 genes in your body and vitamin D has been shown to influence about 3,000 of them.
That is one of the primary reasons it influences so many diseases, from cancer and autism to heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few.
There’s just one massive issue, nearly 77% of Americans are estimated to be vitamin D deficient, and as you’ll find out, that’s a big problem.

What Is Vitamin D?

Contrary to what its name states, vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone which anyone can attain through UV radiation exposure, certain foods, and supplements.
There are two types of vitamin D, D2 and D3. The beneficial one is D3, as it has been shown to be 87% more effective in treating vitamin D deficiency.

The Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency & Cancer

Theories linking vitamin D to certain cancers have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and an understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies, according to epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Here are some facts from his findings:
1) Some 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented each year if vitamin D levels among populations worldwide were increased.
2) Optimizing your vitamin D levels could help you to prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers.
3) A large-scale, randomized, placebo-controlled study on vitamin D and cancer showed that vitamin D can cut overall cancer risk by as much as 60 percent.
4) Light-skinned women who had high amounts of long-term sun exposure had half the risk of developing advanced breast cancer (cancer that spreads beyond your breast) as women with lower amounts of regular sun exposure, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
5) A study by Dr. William Grant, Ph.D., internationally recognized research scientist and vitamin D expert, found that about 30% of cancer deaths – which amounts to two million worldwide and 200,000 in the United States – could be prevented each year with higher levels of vitamin D.

How Does Vitamin D Protect Against Cancer & Other Diseases?

Vitamin D, a steroid hormone, reduces the spread and production of cancer cells.
Vitamin D, a steroid hormone, reduces the spread and production of cancer cells.
Vitamin D has a protective effect against cancer in several ways, including:
  • Increasing the self-destruction of mutated cells (which, if allowed to replicate, could lead to cancer).
  • Reducing the spread and reproduction of cancer cells.
  • Causing cells to become differentiated (cancer cells often lack differentiation).
  • Reducing the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, which is a step in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous.
Vitamin D also fights colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. In fact, it is very rare for someone with optimized vitamin D levels to come down with the flu.
The best part about all of this is that for many people getting the proper amount of vitamin D is absolutely free.

Widespread Misinformation About Sun Exposure

Continuous and controlled UV radiation exposure is more beneficial than non-exposure, contrary to popular belief.
The notion that one should avoid the sun and wear sunscreen to prevent skin cancer is absolutely ludicrous. In actuality, controlled UV radiation exposure from the sun is one of the best ways to protect ourselves against the development of cancer.
But isn’t UV exposure going to cause skin cancer? According to Mercola’s lecture, there is a form of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) which is not the same as the dangerous form of melanoma. The deaths associated with NMSC are 1500 per year. Mercola points out that it is important to remember that in the US 200-300,000 people are dying every year from cancer alone because their vitamin D levels are too low.
So we’re seeking to limit the amount of NMSC deaths (1500 p/year) while sacrificing ourselves to common cancer deaths (200-300k p/year) due to a lack of vitamin D.
Of course, burning from sun exposure is dangerous and that is never recommended. The idea is to incrementally expose your skin to UV rays either in the sun or in a proper tanning bed. See below for more information about that.
Up until very recently, most sunscreens worked to block the beneficial UVB rays (which produce vitamin D) yet not the harmful UVA rays. On top of that, heavy toxins from the creams permeate through the skin.
There is a massive fear-culture based around sun exposure which is completely backwards.

Sources of Vitamin D

A safe tanning bed uses electronic ballasts, as opposed to magnetic ballasts.
A proper tanning bed uses electronic ballasts, as opposed to magnetic ballasts. However, more studies must be done to determine the full value of indoor UVB exposure.
The sun is the ideal source of obtaining vitamin D, however, in the case of many people living in the northern hemisphere, this source isn’t practical for half of the year. In this case, Dr. Mercola recommends using the proper tanning beds or supplementing with vitamin D3.
What’s a proper tanning bed? An unsafe tanning bed will use a magnetic ballast, you will know this by the sound it is making. If it is making a loud high-pitched sound, then you know the bed is using a magnetic ballast.
An electronic ballast doesn’t emit the same amount of harmful radiation as a magnetic ballast. You’ll also want to look at the types of bulbs being used, as some bulbs will have the ratio of UVB and UVA rays adjusted so that you are getting more of the positive rays (UVB) than you would from sun exposure. So essentially it’s more controlled than sun exposure.
Contrary to what Dr. Mercola states, the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Dermatology still denote indoor tanning as unsafe. Studies must be done to determine the value of UVB radiation, until then no one can conclusively say that any UVB exposure is safe.

Optimal Levels Of Vitamin D

The following chart shows the ideal levels of vitamin D in the body:
To optimize your vitamin D level and get a healthy tan, it is important in the first few days to limit your exposure to the sun to allow your body’s melanocyte cells to rev up the ability to produce protective pigmentation.
The more tanned your skin gets, and/or the more tanned you want to become, the longer you can stay in the sun. If it is early or late in the season and/or you are a dark skinned individual, you could likely safely have 30 minutes on your initial exposure.
*One important thing Dr. Mercola stresses is not to wash with soap at least for an hour after being in the sun, preferably for 24-48 hours (except in the groin and armpit area) because it takes our body that long to convert the UVB radiation into vitamin D3. So you may be missing out on the extremely beneficial vitamin D3 production. Washing with water is okay however.
If you are deeply pigmented and your immediate ancestors are from Africa, India or the Middle East, it is possible you may not even have to worry about the timing of your exposure.
Always err on the side of caution, however, and let it be your primary goal to never get sunburned.
The only wavelength that will produce vitamin D in our bodies is UVB rays. This obviously does not occur in the winter for most of us.
UVB rays will only penetrate the atmosphere when the sun is above an angle of about 50° from the horizon. When the sun is lower than 50°, the ozone layer reflects the UVB rays but let through the longer UVA rays.
It is also important that you are not overdosing on vitamin D. For much more information about vitamin D listen to Dr. Mercola’s full lecture below.

Doctor Suggests That Marijuana Can Protect You From Ebola

hempAccording to Dr. David B Allen, a retired Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon, and medical director at Cannabis Sativa Inc, we may be able to protect ourselves from the Ebola virus using cannabis. While claims like this come forward, others suggest we may not be hearing the full story when it comes to Ebola.

Can Cannabinoids Work?

Cannabinoids may be one of the best disease fighting treatments out there. Cannabinoids refer to any of a group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors in the body. The body itself produces compounds called endocannabinoids and they play a role in many processes within the body that help to create a healthy environment.
This fact has led a couple of doctors to suggest that in turn cannabinoids can provide sufficient protection from viral infections.
According to Dr. David B Allen:
“There is good scientific evidence that cannabinoids, and in particular Cannabidiol (CBD), may offer control of the immune system and in turn provide protection from viral infections (4). Cannabis has already been recognized to inhibit fungus and bacteria and can be considered a new class of antimicrobial because of the different mechanism of action from other antimicrobials. 
Ebola is a complex RNA viral organism that causes the cell to engulf it by pinocytosis, and then the virus hijacks the cell to replicate itself. This replication can involve many mutations in the RNA code that make it difficult to impossible to create an effective vaccine. There are U.S. Patents showing evidence that Cannabinoids have significant anti-viral activity. ”  

How It May Work

He states how the Ebola virus causes the cell to produce proteins that hide the virus from the immune system, which allows the RNA virus to hide the infected cell by shielding it from view from the immune system.
He adds that the cause of death by this virus is the body’s own immune response to the actual viral infection itself by triggering the immune killer cells to release the cytokines they hold, which is termed a “Cytokine Storm.”
A cytokine storm forces the body into a toxic shock state, and causes small blood clots to form in all arterioles, which is called Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC).
Since cannabinoids have been shown to prevent Toxic Shock as well as DIC, they could be a viable solution. Of course more testing and research would need to be done on this. Luckily something like cannabis, especially when eaten raw, does not have dangerous side effects and therefore could help in areas where Ebola is actually spreading.
 Ebola Info Flooding The Internet
The recent Ebola scare seems to be going viral on the internet. Anything from theories behind how to stop it to theories about it being a bio-weapon.  What’s interesting is that (apparently) there are even citizens in West Africa making various claims suggesting that the only ones who’ve fallen ill are the ones who’ve received treatment.
Beyond these claims, the internet has become flooded with potential natural cures and various ways to boost ones immune system, one of them being cannabis.

Is The Recent Ebola Uprising Being Overstated?

This is difficult to say. There is a lot of information going around that claim hoaxes and what not, the truth is it’s tough to tell and certainly not all the pieces are put together. We’re better off exploring this as if it’s factual as opposed to just assuming it’s a lie. But this doesn’t mean jumping straight to the vaccine.
It seems claims coming from outside of the western media state that what is actually happening in areas where Ebola is more common is not quite what is being reported in the media. A man named Nana Kwame from Ghana has stated:
“People in the Western World need to know what’s happening here in West Africa. THEY ARE LYING!!!…. The Red Cross has brought a disease to 4 specific countries for 4 specific reasons and it is only contracted by those who receive treatments and injections from the Red Cross. That is why Liberians and Nigerians have begun kicking the Red Cross out of their countries and reporting in the news the truth.”   
What’s also seems to be causing much confusing is the fact that the United States government patented the Ebola virus a few years ago.    This is done so that governments or corporations can profit from it, like the vaccine that will be issued in a few months, for example.
I personally believe if there was anything to worry about, it may be the vaccine itself. Remember what happened with the H1N1 vaccine? It was rushed to market and injured a lot of people. In terms of all of the Ebola info, I haven’t found enough information on the topic to make further comments about it.
This does demonstrate one thing though, more and more people are loosing complete trust in corporate media, and it’s becoming harder and harder to find real truthful information.
Sources used:

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Combination of Nanoparticle and Photodynamic Therapy Found to Kill Off Deep Cancer Tumors

A new type of nanoparticle has been found to effectively kill deep-set cancer cells in a laboratory experiment when used in combination with a FDA-approved photodynamic therapy. This therapy causes minimal damage to surrounding tissue and fewer side effects than chemotherapy, an international study led by Gang Han at the University of Massachusetts Medical School reveals.

"We are very excited at the potential for clinical practice using our enhanced red-emission nanoparticles combined with FDA-approved photodynamic drug therapy to kill malignant cells in deeper tumors," said Dr. Han, lead author of the study and assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology at UMMS. "We have been able to do this with biocompatible low-power, deep-tissue-penetrating 980-nm near-infrared light." 

In photodynamic therapy, also known as PDT, the patient is given a non-toxic light-sensitive drug, which is absorbed by all the body's cells, including the cancerous ones. Red laser lights specifically tuned to the drug molecules are then selectively turned on the tumor area. When the red light interacts with the photosensitive drug, it produces a highly reactive form of oxygen (singlet oxygen) that kills the malignant cancer cells while leaving most neighboring cells unharmed. 

Because of the limited ability of the red light to penetrate tissue, however, current photodynamic therapies are only used for skin cancer or lesions in very shallow tissue. The ability to reach deeper set cancer cells could extend the use of photodynamic therapies. 

In research published online by the journal ACS Nano of the American Chemical Society, Han and colleagues describe a novel strategy that makes use of a new class of upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs), a billionth of a meter in size, which can act as a kind of relay station. These UCNPs are administered along with the photodynamic drug and convert deep penetrating near-infrared light into the visible red light that is needed in photodynamic therapies to activate the cancer-killing drug. 

To achieve this light conversion, Han and colleagues engineered a UCNP to have better emissions in the red part of the spectrum by coating the nanoparticles with calcium fluoride and increasing the doping of the nanoparticles with ytterbium. 

In their experiments, the researchers used the low-cost, FDA-approved photosensitizer drug aminolevulinic acid and combined it with the augmented red-emission UCNPs they had developed. Near-infrared light was then turned on the tumor location. Han and colleagues showed that the UCNPs successfully converted the near-infrared light into red light and activated the photodynamic drug at levels deeper than can be currently achieved with photodynamic therapy methods. Performed in both in vitro and with animal models, the combination therapy showed an improved destruction of the cancerous tumor using lower laser power. 

Yong Zhang, PhD, chair professor of National University of Singapore and a leader in the development and application of upconversion nanoparticles, who was not involved in the study, said that by successfully engineering amplified red emissions in these nanoparticles, the research team has created the deepest-ever photodynamic therapy using an FDA-approved drug. 

"This therapy has great promise as a noninvasive killer for malignant tumors that are beyond 1 cm in depth—breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer, for example—without the side-effects of chemotherapy," Zhang said. 

Han said, "This approach is an exciting new development for cancer treatment that is both effective and nontoxic, and it also opens up new opportunities for using the augmented red-emission nanoparticles in other photonic and biophotonic applications." 
Source:ACS Nano

Research Sheds Light on Factors That may Contribute to Pancreatic Cancer

New research that provides a better understanding of pancreatic cancer may help identify individuals at increased risk.
Symptoms and Treatment of Pancreatic Exocrine Tumors 300x194 Symptoms and Treatment of Pancreatic Exocrine Tumors
Pancreatic cancer is a stealthy cancer that is usually detected at very late stages and has a 5-year survival rate of less than 5 percent. Strategies that might help identify which individuals have an increased risk of developing the disease are sorely needed. Some cases seem to run in families, but the genes that are responsible for such inherited predisposition remain largely unknown. 

To get a better understanding of the clinical features of inherited and non-inherited forms of the disease, Andrew Biankin, MBBS, PhD, of the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, and his colleagues studied 766 patients who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Patients were thought to have an inherited predisposition if they had one or more affected first-degree relatives. Otherwise, their cancer was considered sporadic. 

Nearly 9 percent of patients who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer had at least one parent or sibling who was also diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. When Dr. Biankin and his team examined the pancreas tissue adjacent to the cancer in all study participants, they found more pre-cancerous tissue in those whose first-degree relatives also had pancreatic cancer. They also found that members of these families appeared to be at higher risk of developing other cancers including melanoma and endometrial cancer. Importantly, active smoking was associated with a significantly younger age at diagnosis in all patients. 

"These findings are important because they suggest that the genes we inherit from our parents likely play a significant role in our lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer," said Dr. Biankin. "Secondly, they emphasize that when assessing someone's individual risk of developing pancreatic cancer, it may be important to assess not just family history of pancreatic cancer but other malignancies too. Finally, our data emphasize the importance of smoking abstinence." 

Source:The findings are published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. 


New Study Shows That Yoga and Meditation May Help Train the Brain

Yoga and meditation boost brain power to control a computer.
New research by biomedical engineers at the University of Minnesota shows that people who practice yoga and meditation long term can learn to control a computer with their minds faster and better than people with little or no yoga or meditation experience. The research could have major implications for treatments of people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.
The research is published online in TECHNOLOGY, a new scientific journal featuring cutting-edge new technologies in emerging fields of science and engineering.
In the study, researchers involved a total of 36 participants. One group of 12 had at least one year of experience in yoga or meditation at least two times per week for one hour. The second group included 24 healthy participants who had little or no yoga or meditation experience. Both groups were new to systems using the brain to control a computer. Both groups participated in three, two-hour experiments over four weeks in which they wore a high tech, non-invasive cap over the scalp that picked up brain activity. The participants were asked to move a computer cursor across the screen by imaging left or right hand movements.
The participants with yoga or meditation experience were twice as likely to complete the brain-computer interface task by the end of 30 trials and learned three times faster than their counterparts for the left-right cursor movement experiments.
"In recent years, there has been a lot of attention on improving the computer side of the brain-computer interface but very little attention to the brain side," said lead researcher Bin He, a biomedical engineering professor in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering and director of the University's Institute for Engineering in Medicine. "This comprehensive study shows for the first time that looking closer at the brain side may provide a valuable tool for reducing obstacles for brain-computer interface success in early stages."
Researchers have been increasingly focused on finding ways to help physically disabled individuals who are paralyzed, have lost limbs, or suffer from diseases such as ALS or cerebral palsy. In these cases, brain function remains intact, but these people have to find a way to bypass muscular control to move a wheelchair, control an artificial limb, or control other devices.
Professor He gained international attention in 2013 when members of his research team were able to demonstrate flying a robot with only their minds. However, they found that not everyone can easily learn to control a computer with their brains. Many people are unsuccessful in controlling the computer after multiple attempts. A consistent and reliable EEG brain signal may depend on an undistracted mind and sustained attention. Meditators have shown more distinctive EEG patterns than untrained participants, which may explain their success.
Professor He said he got the idea for the study more than five years ago when he began his brain-computer interface research and noticed one woman participant who was much more successful than other participants at controlling the computer with her brain. The woman had extensive experience with yoga and mediation, referred to by researchers as Mind-Body Awareness Training (MBAT).
The next step for He and his team is to study a group of participants over time who are participating in yoga or meditation for the first time to see if their performance on the brain-computer interface improves.
"Our ultimate goal is to help people who are paralyzed or have brain diseases regain mobility and independence," He said. "We need to look at all possibilities to improve the number of people who could benefit from our research."
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Minnesota's Institute for Engineering in Medicine. In addition to He, the University of Minnesota research team included research lab technician Kaitlin Cassady, biomedical engineering undergraduate student Albert You, and biomedical engineering master's and medical student Alex Doud.
Corresponding author for this study in TECHNOLOGY is Professor Bin He, Ph.D.,

Should first responders use acupuncture & integrative medicine in natural disasters & battle zones?

New Rochelle, NY, October 16, 2014—Delivering traditional emergency medical care at ground zero of natural disasters and military conflicts is challenging. First responders trained in simple integrative medicine approaches such as acupuncture, hypnosis, or biofeedback can provide adjunctive treatment to help relieve patients' pain and stress. How to teach and utilize modified techniques and their potential benefit are described in a Review article in Medical Acupuncture, a peer-reviewed journal from by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Medical Acupuncturewebsite at until November 16, 2014.
In the article "The Roles of Acupuncture and Other Components of Integrative Medicine in Cataclysmic Natural Disasters and Military Conflicts" Richard Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief of Medical Acupuncture, a retired Air Force Colonel, and current Director of the USAF Acupuncture Center, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; Wayne Jonas, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Samueli Institute (Alexandria, VA); and coauthors from InsideSurgery, LLC (Wayne, PA) and Samueli Institute present integrative health care approaches suitable for use by emergency responders and rescuers that do not require extensive equipment, facilities, or supplies.
"These approaches are usually inexpensive and nontoxic, are inherently low-risk, do not require complicated delivery methods, and can be pushed far forward in disaster relief effort even when other resources cannot be delivered," state the authors. "Such approaches may provide significant and rapid relief for victims of disasters and wars, as well as for their caregivers."
The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the United States Air Force Medical Corps, the Air Force at large, or the Department of Defense.
Source:Medical Acupuncture

Cure For Type 1 Diabetes Imminent After Incredible Harvard Stem-Cell Breakthrough

Scientists at Harvard university recently discovered how to make large quantities of insulin producing cells. They are claiming that this breakthrough is just as big as the development of antibiotics, which (although successful) have not come without severe and damaging health consequences.  
stemType 1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease which prevents a person’s pancreas from producing insulin, which is a hormone that enables people to receive energy from their food. This occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas, which are called beta cells. Apparently, the cause is not well understood, but scientists believe that genetic and environmental factors play a role.  Modern day mainstream science tells us that there are no preventative measures,  and no cure.
Harvard researchers managed to develop billions of beta cells that (insulin producing cells) would be required for transplantation, which would put an end to the daily injections that millions of people (living with diabetes) all over the world have to take everyday.
 “We are now just one pre-clinical step away from the finish line. It was gratifying to know that we can do something that we always thought was possible” - Doug Melton, Leading Researcher (1)
It’s not 100 percent confirmed yet, the stem cell-derived beta cells are currently undergoing clinical trials in animal models, which include non-human primates. These results have been successful so far, as the beta cells are still producing insulin after several months.
This new discovery comes approximately one year after researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) discovered the hormone and thought (then) it could be used to treat type two diabetes (see video below). It appears they’ve come a long way since then.
Melon is hoping to have human clinical trials underway within the next couple of years. Over 20 years ago his son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, since then he has dedicated his life to find a cure, he’s now extremely close. His daughter also suffers from type 1 diabetes.
“You never know for sure that something like this is going to work until you’ve tested it numerous ways. For decades, researchers have tried to generate human pancreatic beta cells that could be cultured and passaged long-term under conditions where they produce insulin. Melton and his colleagues have now overcome this hurdle and opened the door for drug discovery and transplantation therapy in diabetes” – Doug Melton (1)
 “This work will leave a dent in the history of diabetes. Doug Melton has put in a lifetime of hard work in finding a way of generating human islet cells in vitro. He made it. This is a phenomenal accomplishment.”(1)
Despite cell transplantation for people with type 1 diabetes being strictly experimental, this new research is clearly providing promising results and inches us closer to a real cure. Even though diabetics can can keep their glucose metabolism largely under control by injecting insulin multiple times a day, it still doesn’t do the trick entirely when it comes to controlling metabolism. As a result, severe health risks are still present.
There are over 25 million Americans alone that require insulin injections everyday. This could change everything.

Is There Something We’re Missing?

Numerous studies and human case examples clearly indicate the extreme health benefits of a completely raw diet. In the film Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days, six test subjects were used, all of whom had varying lifestyles and conditions but were all diabetic- five type 2, and one type 1. Each subject was taking insulin.  
Research shows that in terms of health, meat eaters have 4 times more breast cancer, 3.6 times more prostate cancer, 4 times more diabetes, and much more in general chronic disease. If you’re just having milk, that’s 3 times more leukemia.
The participants of the program were as follows:
  • Austin (age 25) was not only a type 1 diabetic, but he also had a drinking problem.
  • Kirt (age 25) had a blood sugar reading of 1200. Normal is below 100. His doctor told him, “You should be dead.”
  • Bill (age 58) was seeing a cardiologist and had neuropathy. He could not feel his feet.
  • Michelle (age 36) was quite obese.
  • Henry (age 58) took insulin plus 9 pills daily. Blood sugar was at 464.
  • Pam (62) was quite obese. Her father, brother and sister are also diabetic.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Smallest Pacemaker of the World - 'Vitamin Pill-Sized'

 Smallest Pacemaker of the World - 'Vitamin Pill-Sized'A new cardiac pacemaker, still in investigational stage, is as small as a multivitamin pill, reveals a new research. This would be one-tenth the size of conventional pacemakers. 

Cardiologists at Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital (BHVH) implanted the world's smallest pacemaker, the Medtronic Micra(tm) Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) as part of a study by Medtronic. 

Principal investigator Robert C. Kowal said that this is an investigational device that could be a game-changer because of its size and the technology housed inside of it. 

Kowal added that this miniaturized technology is designed to provide patients with the advanced pacing technology of traditional pacemakers via a minimally invasive approach. 

Kowal continued that in the past, they made a surgical incision in the chest and created a 'pocket' under the skin where they placed the pacemaker, but this one is placed inside the heart via catheter, which eliminates a potential source of complications and any visible sign of the device. 

The miniature device does not require the use of wires, known as "leads," to connect to the heart and is attached to the heart via small tines; and then the pacemaker delivers electrical impulses that pace the heart via an electrode.

Daily 'Yoga Pose' to Reduce Spine Problem in Adolescents

 Daily 'Yoga Pose' to Reduce Spine Problem in AdolescentsA basic yoga pose, done for 90 seconds a day, six days a week for two months, can reduce idiopathic scoliosis curves by 32 percent for adolescent and adult patients, reveals a new research. Vasisthasana, a type of side plank, is an effective way to reduce spine problems. 

Researcher Loren Fishman said that since scoliosis is an asymmetrical condition, he has treated it asymmetrically, asking patients to do the pose on the weaker side only, which strengthens the specific spinal muscles on the convex side that are needed to help with curve reduction. 

Fishman added while the National Scoliosis Foundation (NSF) recommends twenty-five yoga poses, it does not cite clinical results and does not suggest that the poses be done asymmetrically. 

Fishman continued that since many scoliosis patients are adolescent girls, the unwieldy bracing and lengthy exercising is socially awkward, emotionally painful and physically difficult and yet untreated scoliosis can progress at 7% per year, and result in disability and life-threatening health risks. 

The paper concluded that an asymmetrically strengthening the convex side of the primary curve with daily practice of the Side Plank (yoga pose) held for as long as possible (up to 2 minutes) for 3 to 22 months appeared to reduce the primary sclerotic curve. 
Source:National Scoliosis Foundation (NSF)

Yoga may Benefit People With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder patients who practice yoga believe their yoga practice has significant mental health benefits, says study published in Journal of Psychiatric Practice.
 Yoga may Benefit People With Bipolar Disorder

"Some individuals with bipolar disorder believe that yoga has had a significant positive impact on their life." according to the study by Dr Lisa A. Uebelacker of Butler Hospital and Brown University, Providence, R.I., and colleagues. But they note their survey shows that yoga is "not without risks"—including potential worsening of symptoms related to bipolar disorder. 

Survey Suggests Benefits of Yoga for Bipolar Disorder
 The researchers recruited 109 individuals who identified themselves as having bipolar disorder and as being yoga practitioners. Participants were asked to complete an online survey concerning their yoga practice and its impact on their mood disorder symptoms. Of 86 individuals with usable responses, 70 had positive results on a screening questionnaire for manic (or less-severe hypomanic) symptoms. 

Participants reported practicing yoga for an average of six years; they attended a yoga class twice a week and practicing yoga at home three times per week, on average. Two-thirds of respondents said they practiced yoga for exercise/to improve flexibility and to reduce stress and anxiety. 

Most participants believed that yoga had benefits for their mental health. Two-thirds said that yoga positively affected their depressive, manic, or hypomanic symptoms at least some of the time. 

They also reported positive emotional effects of yoga, such as reduced anxiety and worry; positive cognitive effects, especially in terms of increased mindfulness; and positive physical effects, such as weight loss, increased energy, and improved sleep. Fifteen respondents said that yoga had been "significantly life-changing." 

Some Report Adverse Effects of Yoga on Bipolar Symptoms
 But about one-fourth of respondents reported some type of negative effects related to yoga. The most common negative effects were physical pain or injury. In addition, nine percent of respondents reported that yoga had negatively affected their bipolar disorder symptoms at some time. 

Some gave examples of yoga practices that they believed increased agitation or manic symptoms, such as rapid/energetic breathing or heated yoga. Others said that yoga had at times led to increased depression or lethargy—for example, after very slow and meditative practice. At least one report raised concerns about possible heat intolerance during hot yoga in patients taking antipsychotic medications or lithium. 

Yoga is an ancient Indian system of philosophy and practice. Over the course of a year, approximately five percent of U.S. adults in the United States practice yoga. Most practice hatha yoga, which involves training the body with the ultimate goal of physical and emotional self-transformation. 

Dr Uebelacker and coauthors note important limitations of their internet survey study—particularly in that it was limited to people who identified themselves as having bipolar disorder, and relied on participant-reported effects of yoga. The researchers write, "Our results suggest that hatha yoga may be a powerful positive practice for some people with bipolar disorder but that it is not without risks and, like many treatments for bipolar disorder, should be used with care." 

The next step is to undertake a pilot study of yoga as an adjunctive intervention for bipolar disorder. In the meantime, Dr Uebelacker and colleagues add, "We hope that patients (and their clinicians) may use the information we collected to decide whether to try community yoga for themselves, and if so, what potential risks to watch for." 

Brown University

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