Monthly Archives: February 2009

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Definition:
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An EKG translates the heart’s electrical activity into line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves. See a picture of the EKG components and intervals.

The heart is a muscular pump made up of four chambers. The two upper chambers are called atria, and the two lower chambers are called ventricles. A natural electrical system causes the heart muscle to contract and pump blood through the heart to the lungs and the rest of the body. See a picture of the heart and its electrical system.

The coordinated pumping of your heart is controlled by natural electrical currents within the heart. An EKG (sometimes referred to as ECG) measures those currents. An EKG is especially useful for diagnosing heart attacks and rhythm abnormalities, but it can also provide many clues about other conditions.You should have an EKG every one to three years after age 40 if you have heart disease; if you are at risk for developing it because you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes; or if you are about to start a vigorous exercise program.

Why It Is Done
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is done to:

*Check the heart’s electrical activity.

*Find the cause of unexplained chest pain, which could be caused by a heart attack, inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis), or angina.

*Find the cause of symptoms of heart disease, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, or rapid, irregular heartbeats (palpitations).

*Find out if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick (hypertrophied).

*Check how well medicines are working and whether they are causing side effects that affect the heart.

*Check how well mechanical devices that are implanted in the heart, such as pacemakers, are working to control a normal heartbeat.

*Check the health of the heart when other diseases or conditions are present, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes, or a family history of early heart disease.

Click to see the pictures

How To Prepare
Many medicines may change the results of this test. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the nonprescription and prescription medicines you take. If you take heart medicines, your doctor will tell you how to take your medicines before you have this test.

Remove all jewelry from your neck, arms, and wrists. Men are usually bare-chested during the test. Women may often wear a bra, T-shirt, or gown. If you are wearing stockings, you should take them off. You will be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the test.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will indicate. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form (What is a PDF document?) .

If you have a hairy chest, a nurse might have to shave several patches so that the stickers or suction cups used in the test can hold to your skin.

…….…Click to see the picture

The electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) is used extensively in the diagnosis of heart disease, from congenital heart disease in infants to heart attack (myocardial infarction) and myocarditis (heart inflammation) in adults.
.How It Is Done
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is usually done by a health professional, and the resulting EKG is interpreted by a doctor, such as an internist, family medicine doctor, electrophysiologist, cardiologist, anesthesiologist, or surgeon.

You may receive an EKG as part of a physical examination at your health professional’s office or during a series of tests at a hospital or clinic. EKG equipment is often portable, so the test can be done almost anywhere. If you are in the hospital, your heart may be continuously monitored by an EKG system; this process is called telemetry.

.
How do you feel During an EKG:
*You will lie on a bed or table. Areas on your arms, legs, and chest where small metal discs (electrodes) will be placed are cleaned and may be shaved to provide a clean, smooth surface to attach the electrode discs. A special EKG paste or small pads soaked in alcohol may be placed between the electrodes and your skin to improve conduction of the electrical impulses, but in many cases disposable electrodes are used that do not require paste or alcohol.

*Several electrodes are attached to the skin on each arm and leg and on your chest. These are hooked to a machine that traces your heart activity onto a paper. If an older machine is used, the electrodes may be moved at different times during the test to measure your heart’s electrical activity from different locations on your chest. After the procedure, the electrode paste is wiped off.

*You will be asked to lie very still and breathe normally during the test. Sometimes you may be asked to hold your breath. You should not talk during the test.

*The electrodes may feel cool when they are put on your chest.

Risk Factors:
There is no chance of problems while having an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). An EKG is a completely safe test.The machine is measuring natural electrical activity in your body; it is not sending electricity into you. In most cases, there is no reason why you should not be able to get an EKG.

The electrodes are used to transfer an image of the electrical activity of your heart to tracing on paper. No electricity passes through your body from the machine, and there is no danger of getting an electrical shock.
Must you do anything special after the test is over?
Nothing.

Results:
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An EKG translates the heart’s electrical activity into line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves.

The test usually takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Your doctor will look at the pattern of spikes and dips on your electrocardiogram to check the electrical activity in different parts of your heart. The spikes and dips are grouped into different sections that show how your heart is working. See a picture that explains the EKG components and intervals.
How long is it before the result of the test is known?
The EKG must be reviewed by a trained professional. Your doctor can interpret an EKG right away.However, if a technician is taking the EKG and your doctor is not present, it may be one to three days before there is an official interpretation by a cardiologist.
Normal: The heart beats in a regular rhythm, usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

The tracing looks normal.

Abnormal: The heart beats too slow (less than 60 beats per minute).

The heart beats too fast (more than 100 beats per minute).

The heart rhythm is not regular.

The tracing does not look normal.

What Affects the Test:
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

*Not having the electrodes securely attached to your skin.

*Moving or talking during the test.

*Exercising before the test.

*Being anxious or breathing very deeply or rapidly.

What To Think About:-
*Sometimes your EKG may look normal even when you have heart disease. For this reason, the EKG should always be interpreted along with your symptoms, history, physical examination, and, if necessary, other test results.

*An electrocardiogram cannot predict whether you will have a heart attack.

*At first, an EKG done during a heart attack may look normal or unchanged from a previous EKG. Therefore, the EKG may be repeated over several hours and days (called serial EKGs) to look for changes.

*There are several other types of electrocardiograms, including telemetry, ambulatory monitoring (using a Holter monitor or event monitor), and exercise EKG testing. For more information, see the medical tests Ambulatory Electrocardiogram and
*Exercise Electrocardiogram.

*Sometimes EKG abnormalities can be seen only during exercise or while symptoms are present. To check for these changes in the heartbeat, an ambulatory EKG or stress EKG may be done.

*An ambulatory EKG is a type of portable, continuous EKG monitor. For more information, see the medical test Ambulatory Electrocardiogram.

*A stress EKG is a type of EKG done during exercise. A resting EKG is always done before an exercise EKG test, and results of the resting EKG are compared to the results of the exercise EKG. A resting EKG may also show a heart problem that would make an exercise EKG unsafe. For more information, see the medical test Exercise Electrocardiogram.

*Some doctors think that people older than age 35 need a baseline EKG before problems develop. This baseline EKG may be compared to later EKGs to see if changes have occurred. But a baseline EKG is expensive and may not be covered by insurance.
*Baseline EKGs may be most useful in people who have other conditions or diseases that increase their chances of having heart disease.

You may click to learn more in detail about electrocardiogram
Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/electrocardiogram.shtml

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/electrocardiogram

http://adam.about.com/reports/ECG.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta

Graphology

DEFINITION:-
Graphology is the study and analysis of handwriting especially in relation to human psychology. In the medical field, it can be used to refer to the study of handwriting as an aid in diagnosis and tracking of diseases of the brain and nervous system. The term is sometimes incorrectly used to refer to forensic document examination.

Click to see the   Letter from John Cox, 1784

click to see…>…..(01)...(1)……..(2).……...(3).……….(4).………..(5)..……….(6)...

Graphology: graphos (from the Greek  writing) / logos (from the Greek science). It is a generic, as for instance: Anthropology, Psychology, Biology, Geology. With the lexeme Grapho (from the Greek: ) there are many words generic: Graphopatology, Graphomaniac, Graphistic, Graphopsychology, psychoGraphology, Graphometric, Graphometry, Graphoanalysis, Graphotechnology.

Graphology has been controversial for more than a century. Although supporters point to the anecdotal evidence of thousands of positive testimonials as a reason to use it for personality evaluation, most empirical studies fail to show the validity claimed by its supporters. Graphology is now generally considered a pseudoscience.

BASIC TENENTS:-
Graphology is based upon the following basic assertions:

*When we write, the ego is active but it is not always active to the same degree. Its activity waxes and wanes; being at its highest level when an effort has to be made by the writer and at its lowest level when the motion of the writing organ has gained momentum and is driven by it.

*When the action of writing is comparatively difficult, the writer uses those forms of letters which are simpler or more familiar.

*The muscular movements involved in writing are controlled by the central nervous system. The form of the resultant writing movement is modified further by the flexibly assembled coordinative structures in the hand, arm, and shoulder; which follow the principles of dynamical systems. The specific writing organ (mouth, foot, hand, crook of elbow) is irrelevant if it functions normally and is sufficiently adapted to its function.

*The neurophysiological mechanisms which contribute to the written movement are related to conditions within the central nervous system and vary in accordance with them. The written strokes, therefore, reflect both transitory and long term changes in the central nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease, or alcohol usage.

*The movements and corresponding levels of muscular tension in writing are mostly outside of conscious control and subject to the ideomotor effect. Emotion, mental state, and biomechanical factors such as muscle stiffness and elasticity are reflected in a person’s handwriting.

*One must examine the handwriting or drawing movements by considering them as movements organized by the central nervous system and produced under biomechanical and dynamical constraints. Given these considerations, graphologists proceed to evaluate the pattern, form, movement, rhythm, quality, and consistency of the graphic stroke in terms of psychological interpretations. Such interpretations vary according to the graphological theory applied by the analyst.

*Most schools of thought in graphology concur that a single graphological element can be a component of many different clusters, with each cluster having a different psychological interpretation. The significance of the cluster can be assessed accurately by tracing each component of the cluster back to their origins and adapting the meaning of the latter to the conditions of the milieu in which the form appears.

APPROACH TO GRAPHOLOGY :-
There are three approaches to graphology: the integrative approach, the holistic approach, and the symbolic analysis.

Integrative graphology
This approach holds that specific stroke structures relate to personality traits. Most systems within this approach use a cluster of stroke formations, to score a specific personality trait. Systems that fall under this umbrella are: fixed signs, trait stroke, French System and Graphoanalysis. It has been described as starting from the inside, and working to the outside.

Holistic graphology
This is commonly, but incorrectly referred to as Gestalt Graphology. Gestalt graphology was a system of handwriting analysis developed circa 1915 in Germany and was related theoretically to Gestalt psychology. In this approach (Holistic Graphology) a profile is constructed on the basis of form, movement and space. It has been described as starting from the outside, and working to the inside. In this approach, individual traits, such as legibility, are not assigned specific meanings, but can take on different meanings depending on the overall context.

Symbolic analysis
In this approach, one looks for symbols seen in the handwriting. This can be either Major symbolism, or Minor Symbolism.

*Major symbolism is the meaning ascribed to the stroke, as it related to the page.

*Minor symbolism ascribes a meaning to the stroke, depending upon the picture that the stroke draws. For example, John Wayne’s signature shows a blackened out portion, that represents his lung cancer.

This approach provides the theory that underlies both Holistic Graphology, and Integrative Graphology. Max Pulver is the best known exponent of this system.

SYSTEMS OF HANDWRITING ANALYSIS:-
Each approach to handwriting analysis has spawned several different systems.

Integrative Graphology
Graphoanalysis was the most influential system in the United States, between 1929 and 2000.
Sistema de Xandró.

Holistic Graphology
*The psychogram is the only system to have been taught as part of an academic degree, at an accredited institution in the United States .

*The Personal Worth Chart was developed by Handwriting Consultants of San Diego during the early eighties.

*The psychograph  was developed by Leslie King during the seventies.

*Wittlich Character Diagram.

*Muller – Enskat Protokol

*Szondi

*Girolamo Moretti

*Augusto Vels

TRAINING:-
The only academic institutions in the world that currently offer an accredited degree in handwriting analysis are:

*The University of Urbino, Italy: MA (Graphology)

*The LUMSA University in Rome, Italy: BA (Graphology)

*Emerson University College, Buenos Aires, Argentina: BA (Graphology)

*Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona: Spain: MA (Graphology)

TRANING IN THE UNITED STATES :-
Between 1940 and 1995, New School for Social Research, in New York City, offered a diploma in Graphology. At its peak, the diploma course took 8 semesters, and also included Forensic Document Analysis. This diploma did not have academic accreditation.

From 1970 to 2000, one could obtain a Graphology track Associate Arts Degree from Felician College, in Lodi, NJ. This was the only academic institution in the United States to have offered graphology for an accredited academic degree.

Training in the United States is currently available through correspondence courses. The quality of instructions varies considerably. Look for instructors that have a successful track record in teaching handwriting analysis.

WRITING SYSTEMS:-
The majority of material in the field is oriented towards the Latin Writing system. Courses offered in the subject reflect that bias.

Before taking any course, or certification, ensure that it is usable for the local writing system.
CERTIFICATION:-
There is no certification that is generally recognized, either within or without the field. Certifications are invariably linked to the organization one belongs to, and are no longer recognized when one resigns from the organization.

VOCABULARY:-
Every system of handwriting analysis has its own vocabulary. Even though two or more systems may share the same words, the meanings of those words may be different. The technical meaning of a word used by a handwriting analyst, and the common meaning is not congruent. Resentment, for example, in common usage, means to feel or exhibit annoyance. In Graphoanalysis, the term indicates a fear of imposition.
VALIDITY :-
Although graphology had some early support in the scientific community such as Fluckinger, Tripp & Weinberg(1961)  , Lockowandte (1976)  and Nevo(1986) , the results of most of the recent surveys on the ability for graphology to assess personality and job performance have been negative . Graphology is primarily used as a recruiting tool to screen candidates during the evaluation process. Many studies have been conducted to assess its effectiveness to predict personality and job performance. Recent studies testing the validity of using handwriting for predicting personality traits have been consistently negative , the results of most of the recent surveys on the ability for graphology to access personality and job performance have been negative as well . Here are some of the specific results for the personality tests:

*Graphologists were unable to predict scores on the Eysenck personality questionnaire using writing samples from the same people

*Graphologists were unable to predict scores on the Myers-Briggs test using writing samples from the same people
Using meta-analysis drawn from over 200 studies, graphologists were generally unable to predict any kind of personality trait on any personality test

Graphologists didn’t do better to assess job performance:

*Professional graphologists using handwriting analysis were just as ineffective as lay people at predicting performance

*A broad literature screen done by King and Koehler confirmed dozens of studies showing the mechanical aspects of graphology (slant, slope, etc.) are essentially worthless predictors of job performance.

The best way to summarize the appeal that graphology has despite the complete lack of empirical evidence has been put up by Dr Rowan Bayne, a British psychologist who wrote several studies on graphology: “It’s very seductive because at a very crude level someone who is neat and well behaved tends to have neat handwriting” and then added that the practice was “useless… absolutely hopeless”. It is also worth noting that the British Psychological Society for example ranks graphology alongside astrology – giving them both “zero validity”.

Overall, despite a few studies that support handwriting analysis, such as Crumbaugh & Stockholm , the large majority of studies such as Ben-Shakar, Bar-Hillel, Blum, Ben-Abba, & Flug [59] and many others indicate overwhelming evidence against its predictive validity.

ADDITIONAL SPECIFIC OBJECTIONS :-
*The Barnum effect and the Dr Fox effect . These phenomena make it difficult to validate methods of personality testing. These describe the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. See, for example, Tallent(1958). Non-individualized graphological reports give credence to this criticism.

*Effect Size: Dean’s(1992) primary argument against the use of graphology is that the effect size is too small. Regardless of the validity of handwriting analysis, the research results imply that it is not applicable for any specific individual, but may be applicable to a group.

*Vagueness: One of the key points of attack for critics is the ease with which a graphologist can alter the “rules.” Formniveau, for example, interprets a sign positively if the individual is high status, and negatively if the individual has low status

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS :-

Privacy
Graphologists often claim that handwriting analysis in the workplace is legal[64], citing one or more of the following cases:

*Gilbert v California :388 US 263-267 (1967)

*US v Dionisio :410 US 1 (1973) 1973, Lawyers Edition, Second Series 35, 67; 93 SC 774

*US v Mara aka Marasovich :410 US 19 (1973)

*US v Rosinsky :547 F 2nd 249 ( CA 4th 1977 )

*United States v Wade  :388 US 218, 221-223 (1967)

All of these cases are about Fifth Amendment rights in a criminal investigation. These cases do not address issues relating to psychological analysis of an individual. Neither do they address third party issues.

A Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information report states that handwriting analysis without informed consent is a privacy violation.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION (EEOC):-
Many graphologists claim that handwriting analysis is non-discriminatory, since it cannot determine Gender, Age, Ethnicity, or other EEOC Protected Classes. However, thus far, there have been no studies demonstrating that the use of handwriting analysis in employment does not have a disparate impact upon EEOC protected classes.

There have been a number of studies on gender and handwriting. Uniformly the research indicates that gender can be determined at a significant level. The published studies on ethnicity, race, age, nationality, gender orientation, weight, and their relationship to handwriting have had mixed results, with a tendency to indicate that they can be determined from handwriting.

DAUBERT :-
Daubert defined several criteria that admissible expert testimony has to meet.

*Be falsifiable, refutable, and testable;

*Be valid and reliable;

*Subject to published peer review;

*Held to standards within the field;

*Be generally accepted in the Scientific Community;

Depending upon the specific system of handwriting analysis that is used, it fails between two and five criteria.

APPLICATION OF GRAPHOLOGY :-

Employment profiling
A company takes a writing sample provided by an applicant, and proceeds to do a personality profile, matching the congruency of the applicant with the ideal psychological profile of employees in the position.

A graphological report is meant to be used in conjunction with other tools, such as comprehensive background checks, practical demonstration or record of work skills. Graphology supporters state that it can complement but not replace traditional hiring tools.

Research in employment suitability has ranged from complete failure [83] to guarded success.[84] The most substantial reason for not using handwriting analysis in the employment process is the absence of evidence of a direct link between handwriting analysis and various measures of job performance[85]

The use of graphology in the hiring process has been criticized on ethical grounds[86] and on legal grounds.


Business compatibility

This is an additional service offered by some handwriting analysts. The focus of these reports can be one, or more of the following:

Company-wide

This is a report the describes how compatible the individual is, with each employee in the company.

The average company employee
For this report, the mean, mode, and median scores of every scored data point , for the entire company are used, to create three hypothetical employees. The individual is then compared to these three employees, with the focus being how good a fit the individual is.

Division wide
This is a report that describes how compatible the individual is, with each employee in the division.

The average division employee
For this report, the mean, mode, and median scores of every scored data point , for the entire division are used, to create three hypothetical employees. The individual is then compared to these three employees, with focus being how well the individual will fit into the existing company psychodynamic profile.

Unit wide
This is a report the describes how compatible the individual is, with each employee in the unit.

The average unit employee
For this report, the mean, mode, and median scores of every scored data point , for the entire unit are used, to create three hypothetical employees. Those are then compared to the applicant, with a focus on how good a fit the individual is.

The unit manager / Co-worker
This explores the differences in personal style between a manager/co-worker and potential employee. The end result is on how each can maximize productivity and minimize personal friction.

Composite reports
This explores the difference in personal style between every employee in a group. The idea is for each member of the group to learn not only their own strengths and weakness, but also those of their co-workers, and how they can more harmoniously work together. The resulting reports not only deal with the individual on a one-to-one level within the group, but also each individual as a part of a group of three, four, five, etc people within the group.
The content of these reports can range from a simple perspectrograph, to a four wheel Wittlich Diagram and accompanying twenty five thousand word analysis.

PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS:-
These reports can range from a ten item check off list to a 25 page report on the makeup of an individual from the perspective of Freudian Psychoanalysis, Transactional Analysis, or another personality theory.

A major value of a graphological analysis lies in the increased understanding of people and the ability consequently to enjoy improved relationships both personally and professionally.

MARITAL COMPATIBILITY :-
In its simplest form only sexual expression and sexual response are examined. At its most complex, every aspect of an individual is examined for how it affects the other individual(s). The basic theory is that after knowing and understanding how each other is different, any commitment that is made will be more enduring. Typically done for couples, it is not unknown for a polyamorous group to obtain a report prior to the commitment ceremony of a new individual.

In cultures where arranged marriages are common, graphology can be used as an additional checkpoint on the compatibility of the couple prior to the elders giving their consent for the marriage to take place.
MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS :-
Medical graphology  is probably the most controversial aspect of handwriting analysis. Strictly speaking, such research is not graphology as described throughout this article but an examination of factors pertaining to motor control. Research studies have been conducted in which a detailed examination of handwriting factors, particularly timing, fluidity, pressure, and consistency of size, form, speed, and pressure are considered in the process of evaluating patients and their response to pharmacological therapeutic agents. The study of these phenomena is a by-product of researchers investigating motor control processes and the interaction of nervous, anatomical, and biomechanical systems of the body.

The Vanguard Code of Ethical Practice, amongst others, prohibits medical diagnosis unless one is also licensed to do diagnosis in the state in which they practice.

JURY SCREENING :-
A graphologist is given handwriting samples of a prospective jury and determines who should be struck, based upon their alleged personality profile. After the trial has begun, the graphologist advises counsel on how to slant their case, for the most favorable response from the jury.

GRAPHOTHERAPY :-….graphotherapy exercises
This is the practice of changing a person’s handwriting with the goal of changing features of his or her personality. It was pioneered in France during the nineteen-thirties, spreading to the United states in the late fifties.

The therapy consists of a series of exercises which are similar to those taught in basic calligraphy courses, sometimes in conjunction with music or positive self-talk. There have been anecdotal reports of these exercises curing everything from drug addiction to anorexia nervosa, and back to borderline personality disorder.

FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINATION:-
This discipline is better known as questioned document examination within the judicial system. This is used to determine whether or not a document was written by the person who is thought to have written it. As such, this is not an aspect of graphology.

Goodtitle Drevett v Braham 100 Eng Rep 1139 (1792) is reportedly the first case at which the testimony of a questioned document examiner was accepted.

DIVINATION:-
Some individuals believe that one can tell the future from handwriting analysis. Others believe that a handwriting analyst can provide spiritual guidance on situations that they face. These beliefs are claimed to be false for reasons ranging from the complete lack of either scientific or anecdotal evidence, to the application of Aristotelian logic to any of the numerous (and mutually incompatible) theories of handwriting analysis. Most graphologists reject supernatural insights from their assessment of handwriting.

The code of ethics for the International Graphoanalysis Society, British Association of Graphology, and Association Déontologique Européenne de Graphologie prohibits the practice of anything related to the occult.

You may click to get more knowledge about Graphology:->..…..(A)….(B)….(C)…..(D)…….(E)

Sources:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphology

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bacteria Offers Insight Into Health

Bacteria found in people’s spit does not vary much around the world, a surprising finding that could provide insights into how cultural  factors affect health, researchers said on Thursday. Because the human body harbors 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells, scientists are trying to understand more about the bacteria we carry.
………………
“We are interested in this because by studying the bacteria we can get more insights into human populations than we would get from just studying human DNA,” Mark Stoneking of the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, who led the study, said.

The team observed considerable diversity of bacterial life in the overall saliva microbiome, both within and between individuals. But when comparing samples from different geographic areas they found not much variation, suggesting that bacteria within the mouth of a person’s neighbor is likely to be just as different as someone on the other side of the world. The findings could help better understand human migrations and populations.

Sources: The Times Of India

Zemanta Pixie

Opium Poppy

A field of opium poppies in Burma.
Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Papaver somniferum Linn
Family Name: Papaveraceae,Papaver somniferum L.
Vernacular Name: Sans-Ahiphenam ,Hind – Aphim, Eng – opium poppy, common poppy, garden poppy, chessbolls (English), Kas-kas, kashkash, aphim, afim, afyun (Hindu)
Ahiphenam, aphukam, ahifen, chosa, khasa (Sanskrit),Pasto (Bengal) Aphina, khuskhus, posta (Gujarat), Abini, gashagasha, kasakasa (Tamil)
(names used for plants, fruit capsules, seeds and opium)

Other Name:Ahiphenam
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. somniferum
Parts used: Seeds, seed oil, unripe capsules and flowers
Habitat:Native to Southeastern Europe and western Asia. Also known as opium poppy, the species is cultivated extensively in many countries, including Iran, Turkey, Holland, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, India, Canada, and many Asian and Central and South American countries. Reaching a height of 1.2 meters, the erect plant can have white, pink, red, or purple flowers. Seeds range in color from white to a slate shade that is called blue in commercial classifications.

Description:It is an annual herb.An opium poppy seedling (Papaver somniferum), showing two slender cotyledons and several young, developing leaves. The seed is still attached to one of the cotyledons. Note the favose-reticulate (honeycombed) seed coat. The following image shows the very pale flower that developed from these seedlings.
Flowers – with papery petals that can vary in colour from white to red or lilac with a darker purple base…..CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES..
Fruits - a rounded capsule topped with the disc-like stigma remains. The liquid that is obtained from the fruit capsule contains morphine alkaloids which are dried to produce raw opium. Opium is used to manufacture medicinal drugs such as codeine and morphine, and for illegal drugs such as heroin.
Seeds - small and black, dark blue or yellow-white. The seeds are edible and tasty and are used in bakery products such as poppy-seeded bread.
The reported life zone of poppy is 7 to 23 degrees centigrade with an annual precipitation of 0.3 to 1.7 meters and a soil pH of 4.5 to 8.3 (4.1-31). The plants grow best in rich, moist soil and tend to be frost sensitive.

A latex  containing several important alkaloids is obtained from immature seed capsules one to three weeks after flowering. Incisions are made in the walls of the green seed pods, and the milky exudation is collected and dried. Opium and the isoquinoline alkaloids morphine, codeine, noscapine, papaverine, and thebaine are isolated from the dried material. The poppy seeds and fixed oil that can be expressed from the seed are not narcotic, because they develop after the capsule has lost the opium-yielding potential (11.1-128). Total yield of alkaloids is dependent on light, temperature, the plant species, and the time of harvest (5.2-4).

You may click to learn :->How to grow Opium Poppy
Varieties:-
Papaver somniferum is a species of plant with many sub-groups or varieties. Colors of the flower vary widely, as do other physical characteristics such as number and shape of petals, number of pods, production of morphine, etc.

Papaver somniferum Paeoniflorum Group (sometimes called Papaver paeoniflorum) is a sub-type of opium poppy whose flowers are highly double, and are grown in many colors. Papaver somniferum Laciniatum Group (sometimes called Papaver laciniatum) is a sub-type of opium poppy whose flowers are highly double and deeply lobed, to the point of looking like a ruffly pompon.

A few of the varieties, notably the Norman and Przemko varieties, have low morphine content (less than one percent), but have much higher concentrations of other alkaloids. Most varieties, however, including those most popular for ornamental use or seed production, have a higher morphine content, with the average content being 10%

Uses:The Opium Poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the type of poppy from which opium and many refined opiates, including morphine, thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine, are extracted. The binomial name means, loosely, the “sleep-bringing poppy“, referring to its narcotic properties. The seeds are important food items, and contain healthy oils used in salads worldwide. The plant itself is valuable for ornamental purposes.

Properties:The petals are bitter, expectorant, sudorific and sedative, and are useful in coughs. The opium obtained from the fruits is constipating, bitter, astringent, sweet, aphrodisiac, sedative, narcotic, anodyne, antispasmodic, sudorific and nervineonic.
Medicinal Uses:In India and Turkey, opium production is used for medicinal purposes, making poppy-based drugs, such as morphine or codeine, for domestic use or exporting raw poppy materials to other countries. The United States buys 80 percent of its medicinal opium from these two countries.
In Ayurveda it is emaciating, astringent; efficacious in deranged kapha but excites vata and pitta anticovulsant, sedative, narcotic, diaphoretic, analgesic, used in urinary troubles,cough, bronchial diseases, diarrhoea; styptic.
A recent initiative to extend opium production for medicinal purposes called Poppy for Medicine was launched by The Senlis Council which proposes that Afghanistan could produce medicinal opium under a scheme similar to that operating in Turkey and India (see the Council’s recent report “Poppy for Medicine” ). The Council proposes licensing poppy production in Afghanistan, within an integrated control system supported by the Afghan government and its international allies, in order to promote economic growth in the country, create vital drugs and combat poverty and the diversion of illegal opium to drug traffickers and terrorist elements. Interestingly, Senlis is on record advocating reintroduction of poppy into areas of Afghanistan, specifically Kunduz, which has been poppy free for some time.

It is useful in cough,’ ophthalmitis, otitis and proctalgia and coxalgia due to diarrhoea and dysentery. It is also good for internal haemorrhages.

The seeds are sweet, constipating, aphrodisiac and tonic. They are ground in cold water and administered in diarrhoea and dysentery.

Vapours of boiling water, mixed with small doses of opium, is. useful in conjunctivitis. Camphorated opium is an excellent pain-killer in sprain. However, it is contraindicated for people suffering from asthma, cardiac diseases and urinary disorder. Poppy seeds are demulcent, nutritive and mild astringent; beneficial in cough and asthma.

Seed oil, freed from narcotic principles, is useful in diarrhoea and dysentery

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm

http://www.opioids.com/poppy.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_poppy

http://www.plantcultures.org/plants/opium_poppy_plant_profile.html

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Babies Born During Pollen Season More Likely to Wheeze

A typical inhaler, of Serevent (salmeterol), a...
Image via Wikipedia

Newborns born during the high pollen and mould seasons, linked with the presence of allergens, are more likely to develop early symptoms  of asthma, suggests a new study.
.CLICK & SEE
University of California, Berkeley (UC-B) researchers found that such children born in the high mould season, coinciding with the last quarter of the year, have three times the odds of developing wheezing, often an early sign of asthma, compared with those born at other times of the year.

The study may help shed light on why such babies appear to have a higher risk of eventually developing asthma than children born in the summer.

A 2008 study of birth and medical records found that babies born in autumn are at greater risk of later developing childhood asthma.

That study suggested an influence from early exposure to respiratory viruses, which is more common during the peak of cold and flu season.

“In our study, we took a different tack to understand the link between month of birth and asthma by considering ambient concentrations of fungal spores and pollen, which follow distinct seasonal patterns,” said Kim Harley, associate director at UC-B Centre for Children’s Environmental Health Research and co-author of the study.

The researchers examined 514 children born in 1999 and 2000 in California’s Salinas Valley, a region with mild, rainy winters and dry summers.

They identified 27 spore and 48 pollen groups in the study, recording the average daily concentrations for the groups that accounted for more than 3% of the total during the first three months of life for each child in the study.

The researchers found that babies born in autumn and winter have triple the odds of developing early wheezing, often a precursor to asthma, by 24 months of age, said an UC-B release.

The results were reported online in Thorax.

Sources:The Times Of India

Zemanta Pixie

Modern Lifestyle Habits Help Prevent Tooth Decay

Cervical decay on a premolar
Image via Wikipedia

Modern lifestyle habits help prevent tooth decay, according to a new study.
……………..…CLICK & SEE.

According to a review of the scientific evidence over the past 150 years, the effects of fluoride toothpaste, good oral hygiene and health education, might override the effects of food alone on tooth decay.

Professor Monty Duggal, an author of the review, said that it’s not enough to just look at what we eat when talking about tooth decay, as other factors seem to be as important.

Fluoride toothpaste changes the effect that some foods have on the teeth, as do other good oral hygiene practices’.

“Future research should investigate a number of lifestyle factors together with different foods that might affect tooth decay. Times have changed and with that, the foods we eat, and how we care for our teeth,” Duggal said.

The overall aim of the review was to look at the evidence for the claim that sugar was the main cause of dental caries (tooth decay).

The researchers concluded that out of 31 studies carefully reviewed, the majority did not find a relationship between the amount of sugar consumed and dental caries, but the frequency of consumption may be important.

Most people now know the best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, especially before going to bed, courtesy dental health education.

The research has been published online in a Supplement to the journal Obesity Reviews.

Sources:The Times Of India

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Pashanabhedi(Coleus forskohlii )

Botanical Name:Coleus forskohlii
Family: Lamiaceae
Trade Name : Pashanabhedi
Other Names:Suganda , Makandi
Common names: pashanabhedi, makandi, colforsin, HL-362 , and mao hou qiao rui hua.

Habitat:
The plant is native to subtropical and tropical regions of India and east Africa. A synonym is C. barbatus.Grows on the dry slopes on the indian plains and in the foothills of the himalayas.

Description:Coleus forskohlii is a perennial herb in a large genus of mints.Grows and cultivated throughout India.

..click to see the pictures…>…..(01)…....(1)....(2)....(3)…..………..
Propagation : Forskolin, Coleous root

Parts Used
:  Leaves and Roots.

Medicinal Uses : Coleus has been used as a medical herb to treat heart and lung diseases, intestinal spasms, insomnia and convulsions. Forskolin may also assist in dilating blood vessels and improving the forcefulness with which the heart pumps blood.It may help to reduce blood pressure and improved heart function in people with cardiomyopathy. It is found effective in skin conditions as eczema and psoriasis. It can aid in weight loss due to its ability to breakdown stored fat.

The root is used for a myriad of medicinal purposes. According to the ancient Sanskrit texts, coleus has been used as a medical herb to treat heart and lung diseases, intestinal spasms, insomnia and convulsions. It also lowers blood pressure, antispasmodic, dilates the blood vessels.

It is found to be effective in skin conditions as eczema and psoriasis. Coleus is primarily indicated for cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, congestive heart failure and angina. It is also used for asthma, intestinal colic, uterine cramps as well as painful urination. Coleus can aid in digestive and malabsorption disorders through its ability to stimulate secretion of saliva, hydrochloric acid, pepsin, amalyase and pancreatic enzymes and increase nutrient absorption in the small intestine. It accelerates the breakdown of existing fat stores and promotes healthy cardiovascular function, lowers elevated blood pressure. Useful in treatment for eczema and other allergic condition. The oil finds useful applications in flavor and fragrance preparations as well as in aromatherapy.

Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses
This species and other related species were used in Ayurvedic medicine under the name pashanabhedi for heart and lung diseases, intestinal spasms, insomnia, and convulsions. It was studied for cardiovascular activity in 1974 by scientists from Hoechst India and the Central Drug Research Institute of India in screening programs that examined medicinal plants.

Cardiovascular effects
Forskolin has been shown to dilate the blood vessels, decreasing blood pressure, increasing the contractility of the heart, and inhibiting platelet aggregation in patients. Because of its multiple sites of action, it should be used with caution. Research reveals no clinical data regarding the use of forskolin for antithrombotic effects. Forskolin has shown positive effects in human heart tissues. More clinical studies are needed.

Asthma
Forskolin has been shown to relax contracted airways in humans. A small human study found that inhaled forskolin powder formulations were capable of causing bronchodilation in asthma patients. Further clinical study is necessary.

Contraindications
Avoid use in patients on anticoagulants, antihypertensives, and vasodilators because of additive effects. Avoid use with ulcers because of stimulation of gastric acid, and in diabetes due to stimulation of lipid release and gluconeogenesis.

Pregnancy/nursing
Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Avoid use.

Interactions
May have additive effects with anticoagulants, antihypertensives, and vasodilators.

Side Effects
Avoid use with ulcers because of stimulation of gastric acid and in diabetes due to stimulation of lipid release and gluconeogenesis.

You may click to see:->for more knowledge in medicinal uses of forskolin :
Research Update:Coleus forskohlii,Forskolin :

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.drugs.com/npc/forskolin.html

http://apmab.ap.nic.in/products.php?&start=30

http://www.motherherbs.com/coleus-forskohlii.html

Enhanced by Zemanta

Treating Diseases Through Grapho-Yoga

 Ever heard of diseases being cured through ‘grapho-yoga’?

click to see

Grapho-Yoga claims if you learn & practice it,  you can get rid of: sciatica, neurosis, hysteria, neurasthenia irritability, impotency, vertigo, tendency to remain ill, disparate, trembling of hands and feet, violent anger, chronic choryza, depression, sleeplessness, paronia, suicidal tendency, sensuality, forgetfulness, rough voice, anthrophobia, timidity, thyroid problem, resentment etc…...CLICK  & SEE

It is the super technology and it don’t require any other help.

You can destroy the den of enemies inside or outside.

You can approach Dr Sachidanand Pandey in Patna (a town in Bihar in India) who claims to have cured at least 2000 patients through the art of grapho-yoga, a combination of hand-writing and yoga.

Pandey said he had invented the system after putting in 18 long years in research and established his own ‘Grapho Yoga Peeth’ in Bihar‘s capital.

Explaining the method, Pandey said it was based on a combination of yoga and the science of hand-writing analysis i.e. graphology. It is simple, does not cost much and requires nothing except pen, paper and oxygen.

“I got inspiration from western researches which say that letters give an insight into the psyche of persons like why many people are quarrelsome or why many turn into criminals. So I thought that the letters and the way one writes them can also have a positive effect on their personality,” Pandey explained.

There are 26 letters in Roman alphabet and 50 in Devnagri which have been invented as per the need of human being, he said. All these 50 characters were linked to glands in the human body which secrete 50 vital hormones controlling 50 propensities or qualities of a person.
You may click to learn more ….(1)……..(2)
Sources
:

The Times Of India

http://www.microvitumgraphotherapy.swebby.com/

Enhanced by Zemanta

Hot Chillies Can Help Mitigate Pain

Capsaicin, the active agent in spicy hot chili peppers, often acts as an irritant, but it may also be used to reduce pain.

………………...CLICK & SEE
Feng Qin, associate professor of physiology and biophysics at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine, and Jing Yao used capsaicin to unravel how pain-receptor systems can adapt to painful stimuli.

For example, adaptation happens when your eyes adjust from a dark movie theatre during a matinee to the bright sunlight outside. Whether pain receptors truly adapt or rescale their responses (versus simply desensitising) has been an open question.

Scientists had previously linked the analgesic or pain-relieving effects of capsaicin to a lipid called PIP2, found in cell membranes. When capsaicin is applied to the skin it induces a strong depletion of PIP2 in the cell membrane.

“The receptor acts like a gate to the neurons,” said Qin. “When stimulated it opens, letting outside calcium enter the cells until the receptor shuts down, a process called desensitisation.”

“The analgesic action of capsaicin is believed to involve this desensitization process. However, how the entry of calcium leads to the loss of sensitivity of the neurons was not clear,” he said, according to a Buffalo release.

Capsaicin creams are commonly sold over the counter as effective treatment for a variety of pain syndromes, from minor muscle or joint aches to those that are very difficult to treat, such as arthritis and neuropathic pain.

Sources:The Times Of India

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Echocardiogram

Definition
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This common test allows your doctor to see how your heart is beating and pumping blood. Your doctor can use the images from an echocardiogram to identify various abnormalities in the heart muscle and valves.

CLICK TO SEE

It determines the size of your heart, and assess how well it is functioning. The test can estimate how forcefully your heart is pumping blood, and can spot areas of the heart wall that have been injured by a previous heart attack or some other cause.

Depending on what information your doctor needs, you may have one of several types of echocardiograms. Each type of echocardiogram has very few risks involved.

Why it’s done
Your doctor may suggest an echocardiogram if he or she suspects problems with the valves or chambers of your heart or your heart’s ability to pump. An echocardiogram can also be used to detect congenital heart defects in unborn babies.

Depending on what information your doctor needs, you may have one of the following kinds of echocardiograms:

*Transthoracic echocardiogram. This is a standard, noninvasive echocardiogram. A technician (sonographer) spreads gel on your chest and then presses a device known as a transducer firmly against your skin, aiming an ultrasound beam through your chest to your heart. The transducer records the sound wave echoes your heart produces. A computer converts the echoes into moving images on a monitor. If your lungs or ribs obscure the view, a small amount of intravenous dye may be used to improve the images.

*Transesophageal echocardiogram. If it’s difficult to get a clear picture of your heart with a standard echocardiogram, your doctor may recommend a transesophageal echocardiogram. In this procedure, a flexible tube containing a transducer is guided down your throat and into your esophagus, which connects your mouth to your stomach. From there, the transducer can obtain more detailed images of your heart.

*Doppler echocardiogram. When sound waves bounce off blood cells moving through your heart and blood vessels, they change pitch. These changes (Doppler signals) can help your doctor measure the speed and direction of the blood flow in your heart. Doppler techniques are used in most transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiograms.

*Stress echocardiogram. Some heart problems — particularly those involving the coronary arteries that feed your heart muscle — occur only during physical activity. For a stress echocardiogram, ultrasound images of your heart are taken before and immediately after walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. If you’re unable to exercise, you may get an injection of a medication to make your heart work as hard as if you were exercising.

Risk Factors:
There are minimal risks associated with a standard transthoracic echocardiogram. You may feel some discomfort similar to pulling off an adhesive bandage when the technician removes the electrodes placed on your chest during the procedure.

If you have a transesophageal echocardiogram, your throat may be sore for a few hours afterward. Rarely, the tube may scrape the inside of your throat. Your oxygen level will be monitored during the exam to check for any breathing problems caused by the sedation medication.

During a stress echocardiogram, exercise or medication — not the echocardiogram itself — may temporarily cause an irregular heartbeat. Serious complications, such as a heart attack, are rare.

How do you prepare for the test?
No special preparations are necessary for a standard transthoracic echocardiogram. Your doctor will ask you not to eat for a few hours beforehand if you’re having a transesophageal or stress echocardiogram. If you’ll be walking on a treadmill during a stress echocardiogram, wear comfortable shoes. If you’re having a transesophageal echocardiogram, you won’t be able to drive afterward because of the sedating medication you’ll receive. Be sure to make arrangements to get home before you have your test.

What happens when the test is performed?

During the procedure
An echocardiogram can be done in the doctor’s office or a hospital. After undressing from the waist up, you’ll lie on an examining table or bed. The technician will attach sticky patches (electrodes) to your body to help detect and conduct the electrical currents of your heart.

If you’ll have a transesophageal echocardiogram, your throat will be numbed with a numbing spray or gel. You’ll likely be given a sedative to help you relax.

During the echocardiogram, the technician will dim the lights to better view the image on the monitor. You may hear a pulsing “whoosh” sound, which is the machine recording the blood flowing through your heart.

Most echocardiograms take less than an hour, but the timing may vary depending on your condition. During a transthoracic echocardiogram, you may be asked to breathe in a certain way or to roll onto your left side. Sometimes the transducer must be held very firmly against your chest. This can be uncomfortable – but it helps the technician produce the best images of your heart.

After the procedure
If your echocardiogram is normal, no further testing may be needed. If the results are concerning, you may be referred to a heart specialist (cardiologist) for further assessment. Treatment depends on what’s found during the exam and your specific signs and symptoms. You may need a repeat echocardiogram in several months or other diagnostic tests, such as a cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan or coronary angiogram.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
If a doctor does the test, you might get some results immediately. If a technician performs the test, he or she records the echocardiogram on a videotape for a cardiologist to review later on. In this case, you’ll probably receive results in several days.

Results:
Your doctor will look for healthy heart valves and chambers, as well as normal heartbeats. Information from the echocardiogram can reveal many aspects of your heart health, including:

*Heart size. Weakened or damaged heart valves, high blood pressure or other diseases can cause the chambers of your heart to enlarge. Your doctor can use an echocardiogram to evaluate the need for treatment or monitor treatment effectiveness.

*Pumping strength. An echocardiogram can help your doctor determine your heart’s pumping strength. Specific measurements may include the percentage of blood that’s pumped out of a filled ventricle with each heartbeat (ejection fraction) or the volume of blood pumped by the heart in one minute (cardiac output). If your heart isn’t pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs, heart failure may be a concern.

*Damage to the heart muscle. During an echocardiogram, your doctor can determine whether all parts of the heart wall are contributing equally to your heart’s pumping activity. Parts that move weakly may have been damaged during a heart attack or be receiving too little oxygen. This may indicate coronary artery disease or various other conditions.

*Valve problems. An echocardiogram shows how your heart valves move as your heart beats. Your doctor can determine if the valves open wide enough for adequate blood flow or close fully to prevent blood leakage. Abnormal blood flow patterns and conditions such as aortic valve stenosis — when the heart’s aortic valve is narrowed — can be detected as well.

*Heart defects. Many heart defects can be detected with an echocardiogram, including problems with the heart chambers, abnormal connections between the heart and major blood vessels, and complex heart defects that are present at birth. Echocardiograms can even be used to monitor a baby’s heart development before birth.

Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/echocardiogram.shtml

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/echocardiogram/MY00095

http://www.sads.org.uk/cardiac_tests.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta