Monthly Archives: March 2008

Personality Disorders

Definition:
Personality disorders are defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as “an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the culture of the individual who exhibits it”. These patterns, as noted, are inflexible and pervasive across many situations, due in large part to the fact that such behavior is ego-syntonic (i.e., the patterns are consistent with the ego integrity of the individual), and therefore, perceived to be appropriate by that individual. The onset of these patterns of behavior can typically be traced back to the beginning of adulthood, and, in rare instances, early adolescence.

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This definition allows significant deviance from societal norms, such as conscientious objection to a social regime, to be classified as a mental disorder. In the former Soviet Union and elsewhere this has been used to justify treatment of political dissidents as though they were psychologically disturbed.

Personality disorders are also defined by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) which is published by the World Health Organization. Personality disorders are categorized in ICD-10 Chapter V: Mental and behavioural disorders, specifically under Mental and behavioral disorders: 28F60-F69.29 Disorders of adult personailty and behavior. It is seeking to develop an international diagnostic system. The ICD-10 has been structured in part to mesh the DSM’s multiaxial system and diagnostic formats.

Whether you’re sociable, reserved, funny or forthright, everyone who knows you would likely list the same traits when describing your personality. These characteristics are the combined product of your heredity and early life experience, and they are fixed by the time you reach adulthood.

People with personality disorders have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, which often limit their ability to function in relationships and at work. Depending on the disorder, their personalities are generally described in more-negative terms: dramatic, clingy, antisocial or obsessive. As many as 15 percent of U.S. adults have one or more personality disorders.

Among the 10 conditions that are considered personality disorders, some have very little in common. Doctors typically group the personality disorders that have shared characteristics into one of three clusters:

*Cluster A includes personality disorders marked by odd, eccentric behavior, including paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders.

*Cluster B personality disorders are those defined by dramatic, emotional behavior, including histrionic, narcissistic, antisocial and borderline personality disorders.

*Cluster C personality disorders are characterized by anxious, fearful behavior and include obsessive-compulsive, avoidant and dependent personality disorders.

It is a condition characterized by impulsive actions, mood instability, and chaotic relationships.There’s no cure for these conditions, but therapy and medication can help. The symptoms of some personality disorders also may improve with age.

Signs and symptoms:
People with personality disorders commonly experience conflict and instability in many aspects of their lives, and most believe others are responsible for their problems.

Signs and symptoms of cluster A (odd, eccentric) personality disorders may include:

Paranoid personality disorder
*Belief that others are lying, cheating, exploiting or trying to harm you
*Perception of hidden, malicious meaning in benign comments
*Inability to work collaboratively with others
*Emotional detachment
*Hostility toward others

Schizoid personality disorder:
*Fantasizing
*Extreme introversion
*Emotional distance, even from family members
*Fixation on your own thoughts and feeling
*Emotional detachment

Schizotypal personality disorder
*Indifference to and withdrawal from others
“Magical thinking” — the idea that you can influence people and events with your thoughts
*Odd, elaborate style of dressing, speaking and interacting with others
*Belief that messages are hidden for you in public speeches and displays
*Suspicious or paranoid ideas

Signs and symptoms of cluster B (dramatic, emotional) personality disorders may include:

Histrionic personality disorder
*Excessive sensitivity to others’ approval
*Attention-grabbing, often sexually provocative clothing and behavior
*Excessive concern with your physical appearance
*False sense of intimacy with others
*Constant, sudden emotional shifts

Narcissistic personality disorder
*Inflated sense of — and preoccupation with — your importance, achievements and talents
*Constant attention-grabbing and admiration-seeking behavior
Inability to empathize with others
*Excessive anger or shame in response to criticism
*Manipulation of others to further your own desires


Antisocial (formerly, sociopathic) personality disorder

*Chronic irresponsibility and unreliability
*Lack of regard for the law and for others’ rights
*Persistent lying and stealing
*Aggressive, often violent behavior
*Lack of remorse for hurting others
*Lack of concern for the safety of yourself and others
Borderline personality disorder
*Difficulty controlling emotions or impulses
*Frequent, dramatic changes in mood, opinions and plans
*Stormy relationships involving frequent, intense anger and possibly physical fights
*Fear of being alone despite a tendency to push people away
*Feeling of emptiness inside
*Suicide attempts or self-mutilation

Signs and symptoms of cluster C (anxious, fearful) personality disorders may include:

Avoidant personality disorder
*Hypersensitivity to criticism or rejection
*Self-imposed social isolation
*Extreme shyness in social situations, though you strongly desire close relationships
Dependent personality disorder
*Excessive dependence on others to meet your physical and emotional needs
*Tolerance of poor, even abusive treatment in order to stay in relationships
*Unwillingness to independently voice opinions, make decisions or initiate activities
*Intense fear of being alone
*Urgent need to start a new relationship when one has ended
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Excessive concern with order, rules, schedules and lists
Perfectionism, often so pronounced that you can’t complete tasks because your standards are impossible to meet

*Inability to throw out even broken, worthless objects

*Inability to share responsibility with others

*Inflexibility about the “right” ethics, ideas and methods

*Compulsive devotion to work at the expense of recreation and relationships

*Financial stinginess
*Discomfort with emotions and aspects of personal relationships that you can’t control

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is not the same as obsessive-compulsive disorder, an anxiety disorder that shares some symptoms but is more extreme and disabling.

Causes:
Personality disorders are chronic patterns of behavior that impair relationships and work. The cause of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is unknown. People with BPD are impulsive in areas that have a potential for self-harm, such as drug use, drinking, and other risk-taking behaviors.

A combination of personal history and biology appears to play a role in most personality disorders. Genetics play a significant — but not necessarily singular — role in the development of schizotypal, schizoid and paranoid personality disorders, which all are more common in families with a history of schizophrenia. Heredity also contributes to the development of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

A family history of antisocial personality disorder increases your risk of developing the condition, but childhood trauma also has considerable influence. Children with an alcoholic parent, or who have an abusive or chaotic home life, are at increased risk of developing antisocial personality disorder.

Sexual abuse is a common risk factor for borderline personality disorder. People with borderline personality disorder who report sexual abuse at a younger age — younger than 13 years old — are also more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder. Heredity and childhood head injuries also may influence the development of this disorder.

The causes of narcissistic, histrionic, avoidant and dependent personality disorders have been minimally studied and aren’t yet well understood.
Risk factors:
More women than men develop borderline personality disorder. But men are much more likely than women to have antisocial personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Other risk factors for personality disorders include:

*A history of childhood verbal, physical or sexual abuse
*A family history of schizophrenia
*A family history of personality disorders
*A childhood head injury
*An unstable family life
Diagnosis:
Personality disorders are diagnosed based on psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms.
There are no specific tests for personality disorders. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, personal history and emotional well-being, and may talk to friends and relatives about your behavior. A mental health professional will probably help make the diagnosis, and he or she will also evaluate whether you have other mental health or substance abuse problems.

Doctors regard the diagnosis of most personality disorders in adolescents as premature. That’s because what appear to be signs or symptoms of personality disorders often disappear as adolescents grow older. However, signs and symptoms of antisocial personality disorder become evident before age 15.

Complications:
People with personality disorders are at significantly increased risk of:

*Social isolation.
An inability to forge and maintain healthy relationships, lack of desire for closeness, or extreme shyness may cause those with personality disorders to be socially disconnected.

*Suicide. The risk of self-inflicted injury and suicide is highest among people with cluster B personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder.

*Substance abuse. Those with cluster B personality disorders are at especially increased risk of alcohol and drug addiction.
Depression, anxiety and eating disorders. People with all types of personality disorders are at increased risk of developing other psychiatric problems.

*Self-destructive behavior. People with borderline personality disorder are particularly at risk of engaging in dangerous behaviors, such as risky sex and gambling. Those with dependent personality disorder — who may tolerate mistreatment in order to stay in a relationship — are at increased risk of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

*Violence and homicide. Aggressive behavior is a significant risk among those with paranoid and antisocial personality disorders.

*Incarceration. People with antisocial personality disorder are at increased risk of committing serious crimes. The condition is common among prisoners.

The intensity of the symptoms of personality disorders may change over time. The symptoms of cluster A and cluster B personality disorders may become less severe later in life. Those with cluster C personality disorders often experience worsening symptoms as they age.
Treatment:
A number of barriers make personality disorders among the most challenging mental health conditions to treat. People with these conditions are likely to have difficulty opening up to or retaining closeness with therapists. Perceived criticism may cause them to react angrily and break off therapy. Those who seek treatment on their own and who are motivated to stick with therapy over many years are the most likely to succeed.

Treatment for most personality disorders is with a combination of therapy and medications.

Therapy
Types of therapy that can help people with personality disorders include:

*Psychodynamic psychotherapy. This approach entails talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health professional. Psychotherapy can help people with personality disorders recognize how they’re responsible for the turmoil in their lives and learn healthier ways of reacting to people and problems. Individual, group and family therapy can all be helpful.

*Cognitive behavior therapy. This form of psychological treatment involves actively retraining the way you think about problems, which in turn improves your emotions and behaviors.

*Dialectical behavior therapy. This type of cognitive behavior therapy focuses on coping skills — learning how to take better control of behaviors and emotions with techniques such as mindfulness, which helps you observe your feelings without reacting. It is most often used to treat borderline personality disorder. Doctors are studying the effectiveness of this type of therapy with all types of personality disorders.

Medications:
People with personality disorders often experience serious mental and emotional strain, causing additional mental health problems, such as depression, phobia and panic. Medications may help alleviate these related conditions, but they can’t cure the underlying disorder. Therapy aimed at building new coping mechanisms must be the cornerstone of treatment.

Medications that may offer support during therapy include:

*Antidepressants.
Doctors commonly prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (Paxil), nefazodone, and escitalopram (Lexapro), or the related antidepressant venlafaxine (Effexor) to help relieve depression and anxiety in people with personality disorders. Less often, monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate) may be used.

*Anticonvulsants. These medications may help suppress impulsive and aggressive behavior. Your doctor may prescribe carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol) or valproic acid (Depakote). Your doctor may also prescribe topiramate (Topamax), an anticonvulsant that’s being studied as an aid in managing impulse-control problems.

*Antipsychotics. People with borderline and schizotypal personality disorders are at risk of losing touch with reality. Antipsychotic medications such as risperidone (Risperdal) and olanzapine (Zyprexa) can help improve distorted thinking. For severe behavior problems, doctors may prescribe haloperidol (Haldol).

*Other medications. Doctors sometimes prescribe anti-anxiety medications such as alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin) and mood stabilizers such as lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) to relieve symptoms associated with personality disorders.

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Alternative therapies:
Some alternative therapies for PTSD include:

*Spiritual/religious counseling. Because traumatic experiences often affect patients’ spiritual views and beliefs, counseling with a trusted religious or spiritual advisor may be part of a treatment plan. A growing number of pastoral counselors in the major Christian and Jewish bodies have advanced credentials in trauma therapy.

*Yoga and various forms of bodyworkare often recommended as ways of releasing physical tension or muscle soreness caused by anxiety or hypervigilance.

*Martial arts training can be helpful in restoring the patient’s sense of personal effectiveness and safety. Some martial arts programs, such as Model Mugging, are designed especially for survivors of rape and other violent crimes.

*Art therapy, journaling, dance therapy, and creative writing groups offer safe outlets for the strong emotions that follow traumatic experiences.

Recent controversial therapies:
Since the mid-1980s, several controversial methods of treatment for PTSD have been introduced. Some have been developed by mainstream medical researchers while others are derived from various forms of alternative medicine.

They include:

*Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This is a technique in which the patient reimagines the trauma while focusing visually on movements of the therapist’s finger. It is claimed that the movements of the patient’s eyes reprogram the brain and allow emotional healing.


*Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT).TAT was derived from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and its practitioners maintain that a large number of acupuncture meridians enter the brain at certain points on the face, especially around the eyes. Pressure on these points is thought to release traumatic stress.

*Thought Field Therapy. This therapy combines the acupuncture meridians of TCM with analysis of the patient’s voice over the telephone. The therapist then provides an individualized treatment for the patient.

*Traumatic Incident Reduction. This is a technique in which the patient treats the trauma like a videotape and “runs through” it repeatedly with the therapist until all negative emotions have been discharged.

*Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). EFT is similar to TAT in that it uses the body’s acupuncture meridians, but it emphasizes the body’s entire “energy field” rather than just the face.

*Counting Technique. Developed by a physician, this treatment consists of a preparation phase, a counting phase in which the therapist counts from 1 to 100 while the patient reimagines the trauma, and a review phase. Like Traumatic Incident Reduction, it is intended to reduce the patient’s hyperarousal.

Prognosis:
Trauma survivors who receive critical incident stress debriefing as soon as possible after the event have the best prognosis for full recovery. For patients who develop full-blown PTSD, a combination of peer-group meetings and individual psychotherapy are often effective. Treatment may require several years, however, and the patient is likely to experience relapses.

There are no studies of untreated PTSD, but long-term studies of patients with delayed-reaction PTSD or delayed diagnosis of the disorder indicate that treatment of patients in these groups is much more difficult and complicated.

In some patients, PTSD becomes a chronic mental disorder that can persist for decades, or the remainder of the patient’s life. Patients with chronic PTSD often have a cyclical history of symptom remissions and relapses. This group has the poorest prognosis for recovery; some patients do not respond to any of the currently available treatments for PTSD.

Prevention:
Some forms of trauma, such as natural disasters and accidents, can never be completely eliminated from human life. Traumas caused by human intention would require major social changes to reduce their frequency and severity, but given the increasing prevalence of PTSD around the world, these long-term changes are worth the effort. In the short term, educating people—particularly those in the helping professions—about the signs of critical incident stress may prevent some cases of exposure to trauma from developing into full-blown PTSD.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/personality-disorders/DS00562/DSECTION=2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_disorder
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000935.htm
http://www.minddisorders.com/Ob-Ps/Post-traumatic-stress-disorder.html

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Concerns Over Raw Fish Side-Effects

As Japanese sushi conquers restaurants and homes around the world, industry experts are fighting the side-effects of the raw fish boom: fake sushi bars, over-confident amateurs, poisoned consumers.

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Once a rare and exotic treat, seaweed rolls and bites of raw tuna on vinegared rice are now familiar to most food fans.

So familiar, in fact, that many hobby cooks in Europe and the US like to make them in their own kitchens.

But chefs and sushi experts at an international restaurant summit in Tokyo warned of a lack of awareness in handling raw fish among amateurs and some restaurateurs who enter the profitable industry without sufficient training.

“Everybody thinks: ‘sushi is so expensive—I can buy cheap fish, fresh fish, I can make it at home.’ It’s not true. Not every fish is suitable to eat raw,” chef and restaurateur Yoshi Tome told Reuters. Tome’s restaurant, Sushi Ran in Sausalito, California, was awarded a Michelin star and he often advises customers on preparing Japanese food.

He sees himself as an educator as well as a chef, and believes that more and better training opportunities are needed to prevent food scandals that could hurt the entire industry.

“I get these questions all the time—people call me: ‘Hey Yoshi, my husband went to fish a big salmon, we’re looking to eat it as sashimi. We opened it and a bunch of worms came out. Can we eat it?”‘ His answer: You cannot eat it as sashimi; but you can throw away the affected parts and cook and eat the rest.

In fact, Tome said salmon, which is prone to parasites, should never be eaten raw but be cooked, marinated, or frozen before being consumed.

He described another case in which an inexperienced restaurateur in the US served raw baby crab. This lead to cases of food poisoning and prompted a recall of that type of crab. Tome serves the crab deep-fried at his restaurant and says it is perfectly safe if prepared the right way.

“Here in Japan, some people eat raw chicken, chicken sashimi. But we know chicken can have salmonella, so in the US nobody eats raw chicken,” he added.

Japan’s bureaucrats drew criticism and ridicule a year ago with a plan to create a global “sushi police” that would assess Japanese restaurants overseas. Since then, there has been a change of tactics, and the emphasis is now on education and advice rather than uninvited checks.

Ryuji Ishii, who runs the Advanced Fresh Concepts Franchise Corp, the largest supplier of fresh sushi to supermarkets in the United States, finds that education is important not just for food safety purposes.

Ishii is rolling out his ready-to-eat sushi range in Wal-Mart supermarkets. But bringing raw fish and seaweed to middle America takes some work.

“The challenge is, we have never dealt with that market. So far, we’ve been dealing with a very upscale market, high-end supermarkets,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of the two-day summit.

“In order to become really mainstream, we have to overcome the Wal-Mart consumers. We need more time to educate the consumers.”

Sources: The Times Of India

Head Implant that Makes You Taller

Is your wife or girlfriend taller than you? Forget shoe lifts. Instead you can try out a two-inch head implant. A cosmetic surgeon in Spain has developed a new way of adding up to two inches to a person’s height by inserting a silicone head implant, British newspaper the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.

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According to Dr Luis de la Cruz of the Clinica La Luz hospital in Madrid, the operation takes 90 minutes during which an incision is made in one side of the head and then the implant is squeezed in between the skull and the scalp. The cost of the entire operation is roughly £4,000 and it is usually performed by applying a local anaesthetic.

Patients are released from the hospital the subsequent day. Dr de la Cruz, who has already carried out the operation on 17 patients, said: “It is a relatively simple procedure that can have a wonderfully positive effect on the patient’s life. Like most good ideas it came to me in a flash.

“I was approached by a young woman who always dreamt of becoming an air stewardess. She was rejected for being half an inch too small and asked if there was any technique to add to her height.

“At the time the only way was through lengthening the leg bones, which is an extreme and traumatic option. It got me thinking. I carry out many chin implant operations and suddenly I thought, ‘Why not an implant between the skull and the scalp?’. She is very happy with the result and is now an air stewardess.”

A woman patient called Eugenia said: “It changed my life. I look a different person.” The Clinica La Luz in Madrid is thought to be the only place in the world where the operation is performed. But people with long, thin heads are advised against the surgery as the result can look odd. Clinical psychologist Javier Hernandez said: “People should think long and hard before having this surgery.”

Sources:
The Times Of India

Broccoli-The Best Health Vegetable

Botanical Name: Brassicaceae (formerly Cruciferae).
Family: Cabbage

Description:Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, and is closely related to cauliflower. Its cultivation originated in Italy. Broccolo, its Italian name, means “cabbage sprout.” Because of its different components, broccoli provides a range of tastes and textures, from soft and flowery (the floret) to fibrous and crunchy (the stem and stalk). Do not let the smell of the sulfur compounds that are released while cooking keep you away from this highly nutritious vegetable. …….CLICK & SEE
It is classified as the Italica Cultivar Group of the species Brassica oleracea. Broccoli possesses abundant fleshy flower heads, usually green in colour, arranged in a tree-like fashion on branches sprouting from a thick, edible stalk. The large mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. Broccoli most closely resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivar group of the same species, but broccoli is green rather than white. In the United States, the term refers exclusively to the form with a single large head. This form is sometimes called “Calabrese” in the United Kingdom, where sprouting (non-heading) types and those with underdeveloped flower buds are also sold as broccoli.

Varieties:
There are three commonly grown types of broccoli. The most familiar is sometimes called Calabrese in Great Britain and simply ‘broccoli’ in North America. It has large (10 – 20 cm) green heads and thick stalks, and is named after Calabria in Italy where it was first cultivated. It is a cool season annual crop.

Sprouting broccoli has a larger number of heads with many thin stalks. It is planted in May to be harvested during the winter or early the following year in temperate climates.

Romanesco broccoli has a distinctive fractal appearance of its heads, and is yellow-green in colour. It is technically in the Botrytis (cauliflower) cultivar group

Purple cauliflower is a type of broccoli sold in southern Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. It has a head shaped like cauliflower, but consisting of tiny flower buds. It sometimes, but not always, has a purple cast to the tips of the flower buds.


PLANT CHARACTERISTICS

Overview. The edible part of the broccoli plant is a tender stem and unopened flower buds. They are a good source of Vitamin A, calcium, and riboflavin or B2. Broccoli and cauliflower are quite similar morphologically, but the broccoli produces a green head with longer and more slender floret stalks than cauliflower. After the main stem has been harvested, the axillary buds that are lower on the main stem are induced to develop into smaller heads, which can also be harvested in home gardens. They are not harvested in commercial production....CLICK & SEE
Cultivation, preparation and nutritional value:
Broccoli is a cool-weather crop that does poorly in hot summer weather. Other cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea include: cabbage (Capitata Group), cauliflower (Botrytis Group), kale and collard greens (Acephala Group), kohlrabi (Gongylodes Group), and Brussels sprouts (Gemmifera Group). Chinese broccoli (Alboglabra Group) is also a cultivar group of Brassica oleracea. It is usually boiled or steamed, but may be eaten raw and has become popular as a raw vegetable in hors-d’oeuvre trays. It is high in vitamin C and soluble fiber and contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties including diindolylmethane and selenium. The 3,3′-Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anticancer compound sulforaphane, though the benefits of broccoli are reduced if the vegetable is boiled. A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Broccoli leaf is also edible and contains far more betacarotene than the florets

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Ideal for harvest
Root System. The seedling will generally produce a red colored hypocotyl, two notched cotyledons and a tap root with lateral roots. Usually during transplanting the tap root is damaged and therefore many adventitious roots will arise. Most of the roots are 0.5 mm with few reaching 1 cm thick. In the beginning the roots are quite shallow and the lateral roots are growing horizontally. The roots can be found up to 3 feet away from the plant. After a few months of growing some of the roots will mine vertically to a depth of 1.5-2 m. The majority of the roots occur in the top 20-30 cm. The root system that develops is influenced greatly by water and cultivation.
Stem. The stem is waxy, usually unbranched and, from it arise the leaves and flower heads.
Leaves. The leaves are simple, alternate and without stipules. Many times they are pinnately lobed.
Flower. Branched flower clusters form on 2-2 ½ ft tall plants. The flowers are bright yellow. There are four sepals, six stamens, two carpal and four petals. Broccoli flowers have a superior ovary. The buds are dark green and tightly packed on top of the plant. Broccoli exposed to 40°F will initiate flower primordia much quicker than plants grown in higher temperatures. The flowers are pollinated mostly by bees.
Seed. The fruit of broccoli is a glabrous silique. There are between 10-30 seed per silique. About 325 seed will constitute a gram, and approximately 9,000 seeds make up an ounce. It will take about 144,000 broccoli seed to make up a pound. The seed should be planted ½ inches deep. It will take the seed about 10 days to germinate.
In popular culture
In 1928, when broccoli was still something of a novelty in the United States, a cartoon appeared in the New Yorker magazine. A mother and child are seated at the table, and the mother says, “It’s broccoli, dear.” The child replies, “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.”

In Michael Winterbottom’s 2002 film 24 Hour Party People, Tony Wilson explains that James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli invented broccoli by cross-pollinating cauliflower and “a green thing”, then using the profits to fund the Bond movies.

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Click to see:->

Broccoli Boosts Aging Immune Systems

How Broccoli Fights Cancer

Broccoli May Undo Diabetes Damage

Broccoli ‘May Help Protect Lungs’

BROCCOLI: THE CROWN JEWEL OF NUTRITION

WHFoods: Broccoli

Broccoli is a Super Food.

Details About Broccoli

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broccoli
http://www.uga.edu/vegetable/broccoli.html

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Sleep Disorders

Definition :
Sleep disorders involve any difficulties related to sleeping, including difficulty falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time, or abnormal behaviors associated with sleep.

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Sleep disorders are a group of conditions characterized by disturbance in the amount, quality, or timing of a person’s sleep. They also include emotional and other problems that may be related to sleep. There are about seventy different sleep disorders. Short-term, temporary changes in a person’s sleep pattern are not included in sleep disorders.

Description:

Sleep disorders are divided into two major categories. One category consists of disorders in which a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. This category also includes disorders in which a person may fall asleep at inappropriate times. Conditions of these kinds are called dyssomnias. A second category of sleep disorders includes those in which people experience physical events while they are sleeping. Nightmares and sleepwalking are examples of these disorders. Conditions of this type are called parasomnias.

The following are some examples of each type of sleep disorder:

Dyssomnias

  • Insomnia. Insomnia (see insomnia entry) is perhaps the most common of all sleep disorders. About 35 percent of all adults in the United States experience insomnia during any given year. People with insomnia have trouble falling asleep. Often people with this disorder worry or become anxious about not being able to sleep, which can make the problem even worse. Insomnia may begin at any time in a person’s life. It tends to be most common in young adulthood and middle age.
  • Hypersomnia. Hypersomnia is a condition in which a person is excessively sleepy during normal waking hours. The person may often fall asleep for lengthy periods during the day, even if he or she has had a good night’s sleep. In some cases, patients have difficulty waking up in the morning. They may seem confused or angry when they awaken. About 5 to 10 percent of people who seek help for sleep disorders have hypersomnia. The condition is most common in young adults between the ages of fifteen to thirty.
  • Narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is characterized by sleep attacks over which patients have no control. They may fall asleep suddenly with no warning. The sleep attack may last a few minutes or a few hours. The number of attacks patients experience can vary. People with narcolepsy usually feel refreshed after awakening from a sleep attack but they may become sleepy again a few hours later and experience another attack.

Three other conditions are often associated with narcolepsy: cataplexy, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis. Cataplexy is the sudden collapse of a person’s muscles. The person may become completely limp and fall to the ground. A person may also experience hallucinations. Hallucinations are sounds and sights that a person experiences that do not exist in the real world. Sleep paralysis occurs when a person is just falling asleep or just waking up. The person may want to move, but is unable to do so for a few moments.

  • Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea (pronounced AP-nee-uh) is a condition in which a person actually stops breathing for ten seconds or more. The most common symptom of sleep apnea is very loud snoring. Patients with this condition alternate between periods of snoring or gasping and periods of silence.
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorders. The term circadian (pronounced sir-CAYD-ee-uhn) rhythm refers to the usual cycle of activities, such as waking and sleeping that is common to any form of life. Most people are accustomed to falling asleep after it gets dark out and waking up when it gets light. In certain conditions, this pattern can be disrupted. A person may fall asleep as the sun comes up and wake up as the sun goes down. An example of a circadian sleep disorder is jet lag. People who fly suddenly across many time zones may have their sleep patterns disrupted. It may take a few days before those patterns return to normal.

Sleep Disorders: Words to Know

Apnea:
A temporary pause in one’s breathing pattern. Sleep apnea consists of repeated episodes of temporary pauses in breathing during sleep.
Brainstem:
Portion of the brain that connects the spinal cord to the forebrain and the cerebrum.
Cataplexy:
A sudden loss of muscular control that may cause a person to collapse.
Circadian rhythm:
Any body pattern that follows a twenty-four-hour cycle, such as waking and sleeping.
Insomnia:
Difficulty in falling asleep or in remaining asleep.
Jet lag:
A temporary disruption of the body’s sleep/wake rhythm caused by high-speed air travel through different time zones.
Narcolepsy:
A sleep disorder characterized by sudden sleep attacks during the day and often accompanied by other symptoms, such as cataplexy, temporary paralysis, and hallucinations.
Polysomnograph:
An instrument used to measure a patient’s body processes during sleep.
Restless leg syndrome:
A condition in which a patient experiences aching or other unpleasant sensations in the calves of the legs.
Sedative:
A substance that calms a person. Sedatives can also cause a person to feel drowsy.
Stimulant:
A substance that makes a person feel more energetic or awake. A stimulant may increase organ activity in the body.
Somnambulism:
Also called sleepwalking, it refers to a range of activities a patient performs while sleeping, from walking to carrying on a conversation.

Parasomnias

  • Nightmare disorder. Nightmare disorder is a condition in which a person is awakened from sleep by frightening dreams. Upon awakening, the person is usually fully awake. About 10 to 50 percent of children between the ages of three and five have nightmares. The condition is most likely to occur in children and adults who are under severe stress.
  • Sleep terror disorder. Sleep terror disorder occurs when a patient awakens suddenly crying or screaming. The patient may display other symptoms, such as sweating and shaking. Upon awakening, the patient may be confused or disoriented for several minutes. He or she may not remember the dream that caused the event. Sleep may return in a matter of minutes. Sleep terror disorder is common in children four to twelve years of age. The condition tends to disappear as one grows older. Less than one percent of adults have the disorder.
  • Sleepwalking disorder. Sleepwalking disorder is also called somnambulism (pronounced suhm-NAHM-byoo-LIHZ-uhm). The condition is characterized by a variety of behaviors, of which walking is only one. Sleepwalkers may also eat, use the bathroom, unlock doors, and carry on conversations. If awakened, sleepwalkers may be disoriented. They may have no memory of their sleepwalking experience. About 10 to 30 percent of children have at least one sleepwalking experience. The occurrence among adults is much lower, amounting to about 1 to 5 percent of all adults.

A few sleep disorders are related to some physical or mental disorder. The three conditions that fall into his category include:

  • Sleep disorders related to mental disorders. Many types of mental illness can cause sleep disorders. People who have severe mental illness, for example, may develop chronic (long-lasting) insomnia.
  • Sleep disorders due to physical conditions. Physical illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease (see Parkinson’s disease entry), encephalitis (see encephalitis entry), brain disease, and hyperthyroidism may cause sleep disorders.
  • Substance-induced sleep disorders. The use of certain types of drugs can lead to sleep disorders. The most common of these drugs are alcohol and caffeine. Certain types of medications can also cause sleep disorders. Antihistamines, steroids, and medicines used to treat asthma are examples.

Causes:

More than 100 different disorders of sleeping and waking have been identified. They can be grouped in four main categories:

  • Problems with falling and staying asleep
  • Problems with staying awake
  • Problems with adhering to a regular sleep schedule
  • Sleep-disruptive behaviors

In many cases, the cause of a sleep disorder is not known. In other cases, researchers know at least part of the reason the disorder occurs. Some examples include:

  • Insomnia. Insomnia may be caused by emotional experiences or concerns such as marital problems, problems at work, feelings of guilt, or concerns about health. A person may become so distraught that sleep is impossible. Insomnia often becomes worse when patients worry about the condition. In such cases, the worry itself becomes another cause for the disorder.
  • Hypersomnia. One possible cause of hypersomnia is restless legs syndrome. Restless legs syndrome is the name given to cramps and twitches a person may experience in the calves of the legs during sleep. These sensations may keep a person awake and lead to sleep episodes during the day.
  • Narcolepsy. The cause of narcolepsy is currently not known.
  • Sleep apnea. The most common cause of sleep apnea is blockage of the airways. The condition occurs most commonly in people who are over-weight. The snoring and gasping that are typical of apnea are caused by the person’s trying to catch his or her breath. Less commonly, sleep apnea is caused by damage to the brainstem.
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Circadian rhythm sleep disorders are caused when people are forced to adjust to new dark/light patterns. An example is a worker whose assignment is changed from the day shift to the night shift. The worker must learn how to sleep when it’s light out and to work when it’s dark out.

The causes of most parasomnias are not well understood. In some cases, severe stress may be responsible for the condition. In other cases, it is not clear what the cause for the disorder is.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of most sleep disorders are obvious from the descriptions above. A person with insomnia, for example, tends to be very tired during the day. A person with nightmare disorder displays the disturbed behavior typical of a person who has been awakened from sleep by a bad dream.

 

  • Awakening in the night
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Excessive daytime drowsiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes of stopped breathing
  • Sleep attacks during the day
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Apathy
  • Irritability
  • Loss of memory (or complaints of decreased memory)
  • Lower leg movements during sleep

The symptoms may vary with the particular disorder.
Diagnosis:
A beginning point in diagnosing sleep disorders is an interview with the patient and his or her family. From this interview may come a list of symptoms that suggests one or another form of sleep disorder. For example, very loud snoring may be an indication that the patient has sleep apnea. Sleepwalking is, itself, enough of a symptom to permit diagnosis of the condition.

Doctors use a number of other tools to diagnose the exact type of sleep disorder a patient has experienced. Some of these tools include:

*Sleep logs. Patients are asked to record everything about their sleep experiences they can remember. The log might include symptoms, time of appearance, severity, and frequency. Events in the person’s life may also be recorded as possible clues to the cause of the disorder.

*Psychological testing. Some sleep disorders are caused by emotional problems in a person’s life. Those problems may be identified by means of certain tests. Examples of these tests are the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Zung Depression Scale.

*Laboratory tests. Techniques have now been developed to observe and record a patient’s behavior during sleep. The most common device used is called a polysomnograph. this device measures a person’s breathing, heart rate, brain waves, and other physical functions during sleep. Various types of sleep disorder can be identified based on these measurements.
Exams and Tests :

*Polysomnography (recording brain activity, muscle activity and breathing during sleep)

……….….click & see

The most common device to use to test for sleeping disorders is called a polysomnograph. This device measures a person’s breathing, heart rate, brain waves, and other physical functions during sleep. (Photograph by Russell D. Curtis. Reproduced by permission of the National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers, Inc.)

*Multiple sleep latency test — a daytime test that uses polysomnography during multiple brief nap periods

Treatment:
The choice of treatment for a sleep disorder depends on the cause of the disorder, if it is known. For example, some people develop insomnia because they have become depressed. The solution to this problem is not to treat the insomnia, but to treat the depression (see depression entry). The patient may be given antidepressants or counseling to improve his or her emotional outlook. If this treatment is successful, the insomnia usually disappears on its own.

In many cases, however, the sleep disorder itself may be treated directly. The five forms of treatment that can be used are medications, psychotherapy, sleep education, lifestyle changes, and surgery.

Medications:
One might expect that insomnia should be treated with a sedative (a substance that helps a person relax and fall asleep). But sedatives provide only temporary relief from insomnia. They do not cure the underlying cause for the disorder. In addition, some sedatives may be habit-forming or may interact with other drugs to cause serious medical problems.

Stimulants (substances that cause a person to feel more energetic or awake) are often effective in treating narcolepsy. The drug known as clonazepam is used to treat restless legs syndrome. Benzodiazepines are used for children with sleep terror disorder or sleepwalking because they help the child sleep more soundly.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is used when sleep disorders are caused by emotional problems. Patients are helped to understand the nature of their problems and to find ways to solve or to live with those problems. To the extent this treatment is successful, the patient’s sleep disorders may be relieved.

Sleep Education

Researchers now know a great deal about the sleep process. By learning about that process, and changing their behavior patterns, patients may overcome some forms of sleep disorder. Some general guidelines that can help people sleep better include the following:

  • Wait until you are sleepy before going to bed.
  • Avoid using the bedroom for work, reading, or watching television.
  • Get up at the same time every morning, no matter how much or how little you have slept.
  • Get at least some physical exercise every day.
  • Avoid smoking and avoid drinking liquids that contain caffeine.
  • Limit fluid intake after dinner.
  • Learn to meditate or practice relaxation techniques.
  • Do not stay in bed if you can’t fall asleep. Get up and listen to relaxing music or read.

Lifestyle Changes

Some types of sleep disorders can be relieved by changing one’s lifestyle. For example, people with sleep apnea should stop smoking if they smoke, avoid alcohol and drugs, and lose weight to improve the function of their airways. People who experience circadian rhythm sleep disorders should try to adjust their travel or work patterns to allow time to adjust to new day/night patterns. Children with nightmare disorder should not watch frightening movies or television programs.

Surgery

Surgery is the treatment of last resort for sleep apnea, perhaps the only type of sleep disorder that is life-threatening. Combined with other factors, such as obesity, it can cause death. In such cases, surgery may be required to open up the patient’s airways and make breathing easier.

Alternative Treatment

Stress may be responsible for a number of forms of sleep disorder. Alternative treatments that teach people how to reduce stress in their lives can be very helpful. These treatments may include acupuncture, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, and hypnotherapy. Homeopathic practitioners recommend a variety of substances to treat insomnia caused by various factors. They suggest Nux vomica for insomnia caused by alcohol or drugs, Ignatia for insomnia caused by grief, Arsenicum for insomnia caused by fear or anxiety, and Passiflora for insomnia related to mental stress.

Practitioners of Chinese medicine also have a range of herbs for the treatment of sleep disorder. The substance recommended depends on the particular type of disorder. For example, the magnetic mineral known as magnetite is recommended for insomnia caused by fear or anxiety.

Dietary changes may also help relieve some sleep disorders. Patients should avoid any food that contains caffeine or other stimulants. Such foods include coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate. Some botanical remedies that may help a person relax and get a good night’s sleep include valerian, passionflower, and skullcap.

Prognosis:
Prognosis depends on the specific type of sleep disorder. In most cases, children outgrow sleep disorders such as nightmares and sleep terror disorder. Other conditions tend to be chronic. Narcolepsy, for example, is a life-long condition. Relatively few forms of sleep disorder represent life-threatening medical conditions. Sleep apnea is one of the few examples.

Possible Complications:
A complication is dependence upon sedatives or other medications prescribed for sleep disorders.

Prevention:
Maintaining regular sleep habits and a quiet sleep environment may prevent some sleep disorders.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000800.htm
http://www.faqs.org/health/Sick-V4/Sleep-Disorders.html

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