The eyes have it – Eye Involvement In Rheumatic Diseases

It’s not widely known, but eye problems, visual impairment and even blindness are not uncommon features of many forms of arthritis and rheumatic disease. Dr Badal Pal and Dr Sathianathan Panthakalam, of Withington Hospital, Manchester, explain.

Rheumatoid arthritis:-
Common, inflammatory joint disease

The three main problems in rheumatoid arthritis are dry eyes, which affects one quarter of RA patients; keratitis (inflammation of the cornea); and scleritis (inflammation of the sclera, the white outer layer of the eyeball) of which RA is one of the most common causes. Patients may also develop secondary Sjögren’s Syndrome due to salivary gland abnormality which also causes a dry mouth. In scleritis, the sclera can become thin leading to perforation.

Juvenile chronic arthritis:-
Rare form of inflammatory arthritis affecting children from six months upwards

In most cases of JCA, the eyes are unaffected for up to three years, when complications may occur, so it is important for children at risk to have their eyes checked regularly. Up to 18 per cent of youngsters with JCA have a form of uveitis after having JCA for five years. Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea – a layer of tissues made up of the iris and choroid membrane and the middle of the three layers of the eyeball – which causes irritation, reddening of the eye, and blurred or loss of vision. It can be treated by steroid drops and immuno-suppresives. Children at the highest risk are those aged under nine, with a few affected joints. They need screening every three months at the age of two, then regularly until they reach ten. Youngsters with many affected joints, or with systemic onset disease, and all children over the age of nine, are considered low risk.

Systemic lupus erythematosus:-
Autoimmune disease affecting many organs in the body

Eye damage in patients with lupus vary from minor problems to severe retinopathy (inflammation of the iris or choroid which can lead to visual impairment, even blindness). Five per cent of patients develop scleritis. Retinal vasculitis (inflammation of the arteries) can occur, and patients can develop cotton wool spots at the back of the eyeball, retinal bleeding and swelling of the optic disc. Double vision can also occur,

Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma):-
Rare, serious condition affecting the skin, joints and internal organs

The most common complaint is dryness in the eyes. A minority of patients develop retinopathy with cotton wool spots at the back of the eyeball, retinal haemorrhages and blockage of retinal arteries.

Polymyositis and dermatomyositis:-
Similar automimmune diseases causing inflammation of the muscles. Dermatomyositis also affects the skin

The typical lilac discolouration (heliotropic) rashes on the eyelids are seen in 40 per cent of patients. Ocular myopathy (muscle wasting) can occur in a small proportion of patients, leading to double vision, and a few people develop retinopathy.

Seronegative arthropathies:-

A group of non-rheumatoid inflammatory diseases

Acute uveitis is the most important disease in this group of patients:

Ankylosing spondylitis:-
Rheumatic disease affecting the spine, resulting in stiffness in the back

Uveitis occurs in 20 per cent of patients. Only one eye is usually affected at one time, but both eyes may become affected during the course of the disease.

Reiter’s Syndrome:-
Also known as reactive arthritis; affects tendons and tissues as well as joints

Conjunctivitis is the most common symptom, seen in 30–60 per cent of patients. Uveitis is less frequent in early disease, but can occur in up to 40 per cent of patients.

Psoriatic spondyloarthropathies:-
A form of inflammatory arthritis, similar to RA

Uveitis occurs in up to 15 per cent of patients, and is frequently accompanied by conjunctivitis, dry eyes or keratitis. It can be chronic or acute.

Arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease
Arthritis occurs in association with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and Whipple’s disease.

Uveitis is seen in 10 per cent of these patients. Crohn’s disease seems to be frequently associated with uveitis (less often with ulcerative colitis).

Other eye lesions seen occasionally in this group of patients are episcleritis – inflammation of the superficial vessels of the sclera – or peripheral corneal ulceration. The likelihood of eye lesions increase in those with arthritis, spondylitis and skin symptoms.

Behçet’s disease:-

A rare disorder of oral and genital ulcers, inflammatory eye disease and skin lesions

Eye involvement is the most serious symptom in Behçet’s patients. It occurs in 70 per cent of patients, and 25 per cent will go blind. Those most at risk are men, particularly those who developed the condition at a young age. Women are less severely affected. Patients develop eye disease within two to three years of developing the condition. Anterior uveitis is fairly easy to treat, but postererior uveitis and retinal vasculitis are more serious. After four years of eye disease, up to 85 per cent of patients have some form of visual impairment.

Wegener’s granulomatosis:-
A form of vasculitis

Eye problems develop in about 50 per cent of patients. The eye socket is infiltrated with granulomatous tissue; the eyes become prominent, and become reddened because of scleritis. Patients sometimes have visual impairment because of the compression of the optic nerve by granulomatous tissue.

Sarcoidosis:-
Rare skin condition also affecting the lungs, eyes and the musculoskeletal system

Between 30 and 40 per cent of patients will develop eye problems. The most common problem is acute or chronic relapsing uveitis leading to dry eyes. Five per cent of patients develop optic nerve neuropathy (a disease of the peripheral nerves causing weakness or numbness) with a significant loss of sight.

Giant cell arteritis:-
Inflammation of blood vessels commonly in the head

Giant cell arteritis is an emergency condition, and an important cause of preventable blindness in old people. Twenty five per cent of patients develop eye disease and suddenly lose the sight in one eye. Blindness is usually due to loss of blood supply, and subsequent damage to the optic nerve. Treatment is immediate, high dose steroids, to prevent blindness in the other eye, as recovery is unusual.

Ocular side effects of anti-rheumatic therapy:-
Most of these drugs cause no significant side effects, but cortisteroids and antimalarial drugs can have toxic effects.

Antimalarial drugs, hydroxychoroquine and chloroquine, which are used in RA, lupus and other related disorders, can lead to irreversible retinal damage and corneal opacity. Patients on these drugs have their eyes examined once a year.

Corticosteroids can lead to corneal and scleral thinning, and cataracts are common after higher doses of steroids. Raised intra ocular pressure is another common side effect.

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*Sclera…. white outer layer of the eye Retina inner most light-sensitive layer of the eye

*Conjunctiva…. transparent membrane on the front part of the sciera iris pigmented tissue surrounding the pupil – in front of the lens – allowing light to enter the eye.

*Cornia……... front part of the eye overlying the pupil, iris and lens. it is part of the sclera

*Choroid….… middle layer of the eye, alsocalled the uvea. it contains blood vessels and a pigment that absorbs excess light – this prevents blurring

*Optic nerve…… main nerve travelling from the back of the eye carrying signals to the brain for the eye to see

*Vitreous body…. jelly-like substance separating the front part of the eye and the back part where the retina and optic nerve are located.

Click to see also:->
Inflammatory conditions of the eye associated with rheumatic diseases.

EYE INVOLVEMENT IN THE SPONDYLOARTHROPATHIES

Ophthalmologic manifestations of rheumatic diseases

Sources:

http://www.arc.org.uk/news/arthritistoday/106_2.asp

Ayurveda, Alopathy Are Linked

Ayurveda, which is one of the oldest and most holistic medical systems, suffered a setback during Medieval and British rule in India.

But, institutions like, Dayanand Ayurvedic College in Jalandhar, have been trying to revive the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda within the parametres of modern medical science.

The herbal factory at the college provides an opportunity for students to learn old-time methods of using herbs and plants for ailments.

“In Ayurveda, we have six tastes. Every taste is infact representing one or the other chemicals present in the plants or the vegetables. So, in Ayurveda this evolution of medicine started long ago, then there were more developments. We started using minerals, then we started making some extracts. So, Ayurveda and Alopathy is infact are sister pathies,” said Dr Raj Kumar Sharma, Principal of the college.

Established in 1898, the college has brought its education from ‘gurukuls’ to the modern classrooms.

Besides providing a degree in Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery, the college has a well-equipped operation theatre to teach students the major and minor operation procedures.

“In India, only two per cent of the total health budget is being spent on all alternative system of medicine including Ayurveda, whereas 98 per cent of budget is being spent on modern medicine. India has contributed by spending 98 per cent of total health in the field of research. Even if half of the share is being given to Ayurveda, it can be a world leader in the field of research in medicine,” Sharma added.

The institution is just a drop in the ocean conducting research in Ayurveda.

At present, there are about 154 recognized under-graduate and 33 post-graduate colleges in India.

It’s a myth that Ayurveda is limited to herbs and yoga. It offers therapies for all health concerns, from colds to cancer, emotional issues to epilepsy. 600 medicinal plant products, 52 minerals and 50 animal products are commonly used for Ayurvedic medicines.

According to the WHO, more than one billion people use herbal medicines to some extent, and India being a rich medicinal plant flora of some 2500 species the future looks bright.

Sources: The Times Of India

Undistracted Energy

Pure Thoughts
If we make no effort at all, our thoughts usually scatter in a vast array of directions. They start and stop and move in surprising ways from one second to the next. If we try to follow our thoughts without controlling them, we will be amazed at how truly inconsistent they are. Yet, if we apply our minds to a specific task, especially one that interests us, they gather together and allow us to focus our attention, creating great power and energy. This is what is known as pure thought, because it is undistracted.

The law of attraction—like attracts like—influences all energy, including our thoughts, and this is what makes pure thought so potent. Our undistracted thoughts create a powerful magnet that draws similar energy into our vibrational field. As a result, the longer we are able to hold positive thoughts in our minds, the more powerful the positive energy around us becomes. We don’t need to focus on action and controlling so much when we are surrounded by energy that draws what we want toward us. We can simply respond to the opportunities that naturally come our way. When this is the essence of our experience, we can go with the flow, knowing that we will be okay.

If pure thought is a body, it is our emotions that supply the heart that can really bring it to life. Our thoughts and feelings exist in relation to one another, and they form a feedback loop through which they communicate and empower each other. When we hold a thought in our mind without being distracted, we have achieved pure thought. When we have a positive emotional response to that thought, we enable it to dance and move and breathe itself into existence.

Sources: Daily Om

Drug Allergy

Synonyms and Keywords:-
drug allergy, allergen, allergic reaction, anaphylactic shock, anaphylaxis, antibodies, antibody, hypersensitivity, medication allergies, medication reactions, immune system, immunoglobulin E, IgE, serum sickness

Description:
A drug allergy is an allergy to a drug, most commonly a medication. Medical attention should be sought immediately if an allergic reaction is suspected.

An allergic reaction will not occur on the first exposure to a substance. The first exposure allows the body to create antibodies and memory lymphocyte cells for the antigen. However, drugs often contain many different substances, including dyes, which could cause allergic reactions. This can cause an allergic reaction on the first administration of a drug. For example, a person who developed an allergy to a red dye will be allergic to any new drug which contains that red dye.

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A drug allergy is different from an intolerance. A drug intolerance, which is often a milder, non-immune-mediated reaction, does not depend on prior exposure. Most people who believe they are allergic to aspirin are actually suffering from a drug intolerance.

Both over-the-counter and prescription drugs can cause various problems. Most symptoms, such as nausea and diarrhea, are not allergies but side effects that can affect anyone. A drug allergy occurs when the immune system produces an abnormal reaction to a specific drug. Often the reactions are mild, but some can be life-threatening.

Several different types of allergic reactions to medications can occur. Reactions to drugs range from a mild localized rash to serious effects on vital systems. The body’s response can affect many organ systems, but the skin is the organ most frequently involved.

It is important to recognize the symptoms of a drug allergy, because they can be life-threatening. Death from an allergic reaction to a medication is extremely rare, however.

An allergic reaction does not often happen the first time you take a medication. A reaction is much more likely to occur the next time you take that medication. If you have a reaction the first time, you probably were exposed to the medication before without being aware of it.

Causes:
An allergic reaction is caused by the body’s immune system overreacting to the drug, which is viewed as a chemical “invader,” or antigen. This overreaction is often called a hypersensitivity reaction.

*The body produces antibodies to the antigen and stores the antibodies on special cells.
*The antibody in an allergic reaction is called immunoglobulin E, or IgE.
*When the body is exposed to the drug again, the antibodies signal the cells to release chemicals called “mediators.” Histamine is an example of a mediator.
*The effects of these mediators on organs and other cells cause the symptoms of the reaction.

The most common triggers of drug allergies are the following:
*Painkillers (called analgesics) such as codeine, morphine, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or indomethacin), and aspirin
*Antibiotics such as penicillin, sulfa drugs, and tetracycline
*Antiseizure medications such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or carbamazepine (Tegretol)

Symptoms:
Drug allergies may cause many different types of symptoms depending on the drug and the degree of exposure to the drug (how often you have taken it). These are the most common reactions:

Skin reactions:
A measles-like rash
Hives—Slightly red, itchy, and raised swellings on the skin, which have an irregular shape
Photoallergy—Sensitivity to sunlight, an itchy and scaly rash that occurs following sun exposure
Erythema multiforme—Red, raised and itchy patches on the skin that sometimes look like bull’s-eye targets and which may occur together with swelling of the face or tongue

Fever
Muscle and joint aches
Lymph node swelling
Inflammation of the kidney

Unlike most allergic reactions, which occur fairly quickly after exposure to the allergen, allergic reactions to drugs tend to occur days or weeks after the first dose of the drug.

Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic reaction—This is a serious allergic reaction that can be life threatening. A person with anaphylaxis must be treated in a hospital emergency department. Characteristics of anaphylaxis (sometimes referred to as anaphylactic shock) include:

Skin reaction—Hives, redness/flushing, sense of warmth, itching

Difficulty breathing—Chest tightness, wheezing, throat tightness

Fainting—Light-headedness or loss of consciousness due to drastic decrease in blood pressure (“shock”)

Rapid or irregular heart beat

Swelling of face, tongue, lips, throat, joints, hands, or feet

Almost all anaphylactic reactions occur within four hours of the first dose of the drug. Most occur within one hour of taking the drug, and many occur within minutes or even seconds.
An allergic reaction to a drug may give rise to the following symptoms:

If you develop the symptoms and suspect they may be due to a prescription, or over-the-counter drug, contact your doctor at once before taking the next dose. Rarely, a drug allergy may lead to a severe and potentially fatal reaction called anaphylaxis.

Risk factors for drug allergies include the following:-

*Frequent exposure to the drug

*Large doses of the drug

*Drug given by injection rather than pill

*Family tendency to develop allergies and asthma

*Certain food allergies such as to eggs, soybeans, or shellfish

When to Seek Medical Care:-

Always contact the health-care provider who prescribed the medication for advice.

*If the symptoms are mild, such as itching and localized hives, the provider may switch you to a different type of medication, recommend that you stop the medication, or, if appropriate, prescribe antihistamines to relieve your symptoms.

*If you cannot reach this provider for advice quickly, play it safe and go to a hospital emergency department.

*If you are having any “systemic” symptoms such as fever or vomiting, you should stop taking the medication and be seen immediately by a medical professional.

*If you are having difficulty breathing, your throat is swelling, or you are feeling faint, you may be having an anaphylactic reaction. Go immediately to a hospital emergency department. Do not attempt to drive yourself. If no one is available to drive you right away, call 911 for an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance, start self-treatment.

Diagnosis:-
Generally a drug allergy is identified by signs and symptoms. Medical professionals are trained to recognize hives, swelling patterns, and rashes associated with allergic reactions. You will be asked questions about your medical history and possible triggers of the reaction.Blood tests and other tests are needed only under very unusual circumstances.

Treatment:-
After getting advice from your health-care provider, some mild allergic reactions may be treated at home.In very serious cases only , Hospitalization may be required.

Self Home Care:-

For hives or localized skin reactions, perform the following:

*Take cool showers or apply cool compresses.
*Wear light clothing that doesn’t irritate your skin.
*Take it easy. Keep your activity level low.

To relieve the itching, apply calamine lotion or take nonprescription antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or chlorpheniramine maleate (Chlor-Trimeton).

For more severe reactions, self-treatment is not recommended. Call your health-care provider or 911, depending on the severity of your symptoms. If you have symptoms of anaphylaxis, here’s what you can do while waiting for the ambulance:

Try to stay calm.

*If you can identify the cause of the reaction, prevent further exposure.
Take an antihistamine (one to two tablets or capsules of diphenhydramine [Benadryl]) if you can swallow without difficulty.
*If you are wheezing or having difficulty breathing, use an inhaled bronchodilator such as albuterol (Proventil) or epinephrine (Primatene Mist) if one is available. These inhaled medications dilate the airway.
*If you are feeling light-headed or faint, lie down and raise your legs higher than your head to help blood flow to your brain.
*If you have been given an epinephrine kit, inject yourself as you have been instructed. The kit provides a premeasured dose of epinephrine, a prescription drug that rapidly reverses the most serious symptoms.

Bystanders should administer CPR to a person who becomes unconscious and stops breathing or does not have a pulse.

If at all possible, you or your companion should be prepared to tell medical personnel what medications you take and any known allergies.

Modern Medical Treatment:-

Generally, treatment of a drug allergy falls into three categories:

Mild allergy (localized hives and itching)
Treatment is aimed at caring for the symptoms and stopping the reaction caused by the drug.
Medications prescribed may include antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
You may be advised to stop taking the medication that caused the allergy.
Moderately severe allergy (all-over hives and itching)
Treatment is aimed at caring for the symptoms and stopping the reaction.

Usually the offending medication is stopped.
Medications prescribed may include antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)), oral steroids (prednisone), or histamine blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), or ranitidine (Zantac).

Severe allergy (shortness of breath, throat tightness, faintness, severe hives, involvement of many organ systems)
Treatment includes strong medications to quickly reverse the dangerous chain of events.
The offending medication is stopped immediately.

Medications prescribed may include antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), oral or IV steroids such as prednisone or methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol), or histamine blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), or ranitidine (Zantac).

Depending on the severity of other symptoms, other medications may be used including epinephrine (also called adrenaline), which is inhaled, given by IV, or injected under the skin.

If your reaction is severe, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for continued therapy and observation.

Follow-up:-
Follow up with your health-care provider after an allergic reaction to a drug. At this follow-up appointment, he or she can evaluate your recovery from the reaction and adjust any medications.
If you do not respond to the treatment prescribed for your drug allergy, it is important that you see a medical professional for re-evaluation.

Ayurvedic Treastment : VIRECHAN

Prevention:-
There is no known way to prevent drug allergies. You can reduce your risk by taking as few medications as possible. The more exposure your body has to medications, the greater the likelihood of a drug allergy.

Always tell any new health-care provider you see about your allergies and the types of reactions you have had. Talk to your doctor about the possibility or necessity of having a portable epinephrine kit to treat severe reactions.

Do not take a drug that you have reacted to in the past. Once you have a reaction to a drug, your risk of having a more severe reaction next time increases dramatically.

Consider wearing a medical alert ID bracelet or necklace. These devices are worn on the wrist or neck and can alert medical personnel and others about the risk for an allergic reaction.

Adults might carry a card with pertinent medical information in a wallet or purse. Tell your health-care provider about any adverse reactions to medications in the past before he or she prescribes medications to you.

Tell your health-care provider about any medications, prescription or over-the-counter, that you are taking.

Click for->Practice Guidelines: Drug Allergy

Resources:

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

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug_allergy/page15_em.htm

http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=246

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FDA Cites Toxic Risk Of Popular Head-Lice Drug

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The sole U.S. maker of an insecticide-based treatment for head lice has stopped promoting the product after a sharply worded warning from the Food and Drug Administration that its marketing misled consumers by downplaying the rare, but serious, risks of the treatments.
The move follows years of controversy over prescription shampoo and lotion treatments that contain the insecticide lindane, including a ban on their use in California. Lawmakers in Michigan, New York and Minnesota are considering curbing use of the products.

In a little-noticed December letter, the FDA cites concern over some of the information drugmaker Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals provided on websites and in mailed materials, including a statement by the company that treating head lice effectively requires two applications, several days apart. That is “extremely alarming given that retreatment with Lindane Shampoo can lead to increased exposure and possibly death,” the FDA says.

Millions of cases of head lice and body mites are reported each year in the USA, often among children. More than 166,000 prescriptions for lindane treatments — almost 10% of all prescriptions for head lice and scabies — were written from January to November 2007, according to the tracking firm IMS Health.

RELATED: States may restrict lice treatments:

Hospitalizations, seizures and deaths have been reported after the use of Lindane Shampoo and Lindane Lotion, according to the products’ warning label. The FDA requires the prescriptions to carry that warning. The warning label also cites “lindane toxicity, verified by autopsy” in two deaths: an infant and an adult who used the product to commit suicide.

Morton Grove was purchased by Wockhardt, an India-based company, in October. It says in a response letter that the new owners “do not believe” that the marketing materials “intended to downplay” the risks associated with the shampoo. Morton Grove President and CEO Kurt Orlofski said in an interview the firm has stopped its promotion, as requested by the FDA, until it develops new marketing materials.

“The FDA has had a number of occasions to review the safety and efficacy of product and keep it or pull it: They have kept it on the market,” Orlofski said. “It’s an important second-line therapy.”

The FDA says lindane products are useful as a last resort against head lice and scabies. “The benefit of the drug for treating scabies and lice outweigh the risk,” FDA spokeswoman Rita Chappelle said.

Several treatments for head lice are available, including combing out the lice and their nits, over-the-counter products and prescription treatments.

In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency banned lindane as an agricultural insecticide, citing its toxicity. About 50 other countries already ban or restrict the agricultural use of lindane.

Sources:http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-01-30-lindane_N.htm?csp=34

Safed Musli

Botanical Name: Chlorophytum Borivilianum

Family : Liliaceae,

English Name: Indian Spider Plant
Common Name: Safed Musli
Parts used: Tuberous Root and Seeds

Habitat:Chlorophytum is a genus of about 200-220 species of evergreen perennial flowering plants in the Agavaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and Asia.
Chlorophytum comosum, the Spider Plant, a native of South Africa, is a very popular houseplant in its variegated form.

Description:
Safed Musli belongs to the family of Liliaceae, is a traditional medicinal plant found is natural forest right from east Assam to Gujarat. It is a pretty herb with erect lanceolate herbed leaves erect dense flowered racemoses of white colour.They grow to 10-60 cm tall, with a rosette of long, slender leaves 15-75 cm long and 0.5-2 cm broad, growing from a thick, fleshy rhizome. The flowers are small, usually white, produced on sparse panicles up to 120 cm long; in some species the panicle also bears plantlets, which take root on touching the ground.
safed-moosli-field4.jpg………………………safed-musli-1.jpg.safed-musli-21.jpg

Different Species of Musli (Moosli):

In India about eight species of safed musli are reported out of them only Chlorophytum borivillianum, Chlorophytum arundinaceam and Chlorophytum tuberosum are commercially collected by our tribes from the forest. Chlorophytum borivillianum is the only species which is under commercial cultivation.

1.Chlorophytum borivillianum
2.Chlorophytum arundinaceum
3.Chlorophytum tuberocum
4.Chlorophytum malabericum
5.Chlorophytum attenuatum
6.Chlorophytum breviscapum
7.Asparagus filicinus
8.A. gonoclados
Medicinal Uses:
.Aphrodasiac, tonic, pain reliever and used to cure general debility and impotency. Its powder increases lactation in feeding mothers and lactating cows. It is being increasingly used in Ayurvedic and Pharmaceutical Industries.
Safed Musli is a rare divine-graced herb to offer all the effects required for achievement of health par excellence or for attaining the ultimate positive health. It treats male sexual inadequacies like oligospermia, lack of libido, impotency, etc, general debility. It is also used as major components in all kinds of sex-tonics and capsules.

Safed Musli is also gaining increasing acceptance as a vitalizer and health-giving tonic, a curative for pre-natal and post-natal problems, a restorative for immunity-improvement and as a remedy for diabetes and arthritis.

Chlorophytum borivilianum is eaten as a leaf vegetable in some parts of India, and its roots are used medicinally as a sex tonic under the name safed moosli. The medicinal value is thought to derive from its saponin content, up to 17 percent by dry weight. It has also recently been suggested that it may produce an aphrodisiac agent. It is a herb with lanceolate leaves, from tropical wet forests. As medicinal demand has increased, the plant has been brought under cultivation. The saponins and alkaloids present in the plant are the source of its alleged aphrodisiac properties.

Its tubers are used in Ayurvedic medicines; it contains about 27 alkaloids, steroid saponin (2-17%), polysaccaroids (40-45%), carbohydrates, proteins (7-10%), minerals, vitamins etc. White musli or Dhauli Musli is used for the preparation of health tonic used in general and sexual weekness. It contains spermametogic properties, decoction of safed musli for curing impotency as they are rich in glycosides.

Composition and Uses:
Safed Musli is a rich source of :-
* Alkaloids
* Proteins
* Carbohydrates
* Steroid Saponins
* Vitamins
* Polysaccarods
Safed Musli is used as an –
* Aphrodisiac agent and vitalizer.
* As a general sex tonic.
* Remedy for Diabetes.
* As a cure for Arthritis.
* As a curative for Natal and Post-Natal problems.
* For Rheumetism and Joint Pains.

*For therapeutic application in ayurvedi, unani, Allopathic.

*Curative of many physical illness and weakness.

*It has spermatogenic property and helpful in curing impotency as they are rich in glycosides.

*For increasing general boddy immunity.

*Used in PAN and GUTKHA.

*Root powder fried in the GHEE, CHEWED in case of apthae of mouth and throat.

8*Curative of Natal and post Natal problems.

Above all these SAFED MUSLI (SAFED MOOSLI) is found very effective in increasing male potency.
It is considered as alternative to Viagra.

Demand:
The Demand of SAFED MOOSLI (35000 tons/Annum) is much higher then the supply/collection (5000 tons/annum).

Looking to the increasing demand and alarming dangers, it has become inevitable to undertake the commercial cultivation of the SAFED MUSLI

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.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/safedmoosli.html

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

http://www.apexherbex.com/herbs3.htm#Chlorophytum%20Borivilianum

http://www.jeevanherbs.com/safed-musli.html

http://www.motherherbs.com/safed-musli.html

http://hramit.en.ec21.com/product_detail.

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Methicilling Restsant Staph Aureus (MRSA)

Description:
MRSA is a strain of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria. S. aureus is a common type of bacteria that normally live on the skin and sometimes in the nasal passages of healthy people. MRSA refers to S. aureus strains that do not respond to some of the antibiotics used to treat staph infections.

The bacteria can cause infection when they enter the body through a cut, sore, catheter, or breathing tube. The infection can be minor and local (for example, a pimple), or more serious (involving the heart, lung, blood, or bone).

You may click to see pictures


MRSA infections are grouped into two types:

•Healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) infections occur in people who are or have recently been in a hospital or other health-care facility. Those who have been hospitalized or had surgery within the past year are at increased risk. MRSA bacteria are responsible for a large percentage of hospital-acquired staph infections.

•Community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) infections occur in otherwise healthy people who have not recently been in the hospital. The infections have occurred among athletes who share equipment or personal items (such as towels or razors) and children in daycare facilities. Members of the military and those who get tattoos are also at risk. The number of CA-MRSA cases is increasing.

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Serious staph infections are more common in people with weak immune systems. This includes patients have been in hospitals or other health care centrs, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When a person gets from  these settings, it’s known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.

A much wider community among the healthy people gets MRSA infection. This form, community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA), often begins as a painful skin boil. It’s spread by skin-to-skin contact. At-risk populations include groups such as high school wrestlers, child care workers and people who live in crowded conditions, living togather with infected people.

Signs and symptoms:

Staph skin infections, including MRSA, generally start as small red bumps that resemble pimples, boils or spider bites. These can quickly turn into deep, painful abscesses that require surgical draining. Sometimes the bacteria remain confined to the skin. But they can also burrow deep into the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves and lungs.

Other symptoms may include:
•Drainage of pus or other fluids from the site
•FeverFever
•Skin abscessSkin abscess
•Warmth around the infected area

Symptoms of a more serious staph infection may include:

•Chest painChest pain
•ChillsChills
•Cough
•Fatigue
•Fever
•General ill feeling (malaisemalaise)
•Headache
•Muscle achesMuscle aches
•RashRash
•Shortness of breathShortness of breath
MRSA infections start out as small red bumps that can quickly turn into deep, painful abscesses.

Sometimes the bacteria remain confined to the skin. But they can also burrow deep into the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves and lungs.

Causes:-
Anyone can get a Staph infection. People are more likely to get a Staph infection if they have:

*Skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a Staph infection

*Contact with items and surfaces that have Staph on them

*Openings in their skin such as cuts or scrapes

*Crowded living conditions

* Poor hygiene

Most Staph skin infections are minor and may be easily treated. Staph also may cause more serious infections, such as infections of the bloodstream, surgical sites, or pneumonia. Sometimes, a Staph infection that starts as a skin infection may worsen. It is important to contact your doctor if your infection does not get better.

Although the survival tactics of bacteria contribute to antibiotic resistance, humans bear most of the responsibility for the problem. Leading causes of antibiotic resistance include:

*Unnecessary antibiotic use in humans. Like other superbugs, MRSA is the result of decades of excessive and unnecessary antibiotic use. For years, antibiotics have been prescribed for colds, flu and other viral infections that don’t respond to these drugs, as well as for simple bacterial infections that normally clear on their own.

*Antibiotics in food and water. Prescription drugs aren’t the only source of antibiotics. In the United States, antibiotics can be found in beef cattle, pigs and chickens. The same antibiotics then find their way into municipal water systems when the runoff from feedlots contaminates streams and groundwater. Routine feeding of antibiotics to animals is banned in the European Union and many other industrialized countries. Antibiotics given in the proper doses to animals who are sick don’t appear to produce resistant bacteria.

*Germ mutation. Even when antibiotics are used appropriately, they contribute to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria because they don’t destroy every germ they target. Bacteria live on an evolutionary fast track, so germs that survive treatment with one antibiotic soon learn to resist others. And because bacteria mutate much more quickly than new drugs can be produced, some germs end up resistant to just about everything. That’s why only a handful of drugs are now effective against most forms of staph.

Risk factors:-
Because hospital and community strains of MRSA generally occur in different settings, the risk factors for the two strains differ.

Risk factors for hospital-acquired (HA) MRSA include:

*A current or recent hospitalization. MRSA remains a concern in hospitals, where it can attack those most vulnerable — older adults and people with weakened immune systems, burns, surgical wounds or serious underlying health problems. A 2007 report from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology estimates that 1.2 million hospital patients are infected with MRSA each year in the United States. They also estimate another 423,000 are colonized with it.

*Residing in a long-term care facility. MRSA is far more prevalent in these facilities than it is in hospitals. Carriers of MRSA have the ability to spread it, even if they’re not sick themselves.

*Invasive devices. People who are on dialysis, are catheterized, or have feeding tubes or other invasive devices are at higher risk.

*Recent antibiotic use.
Treatment with fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin or levofloxacin) or cephalosporin antibiotics can increase the risk of HA-MRSA.

These are the main risk factors for community-acquired (CA) MRSA:

*Young age. CA-MRSA can be particularly dangerous in children. Often entering the body through a cut or scrape, MRSA can quickly cause a wide spread infection. Children may be susceptible because their immune systems aren’t fully developed or they don’t yet have antibodies to common germs. Children and young adults are also much more likely to develop dangerous forms of pneumonia than older people are.

*Participating in contact sports. CA-MRSA has crept into both amateur and professional sports teams. The bacteria spread easily through cuts and abrasions and skin-to-skin contact.

*Sharing towels or athletic equipment. Although few outbreaks have been reported in public gyms, CA-MRSA has spread among athletes sharing razors, towels, uniforms or equipment.

*Having a weakened immune system. People with weakened immune systems, including those living with HIV/AIDS, are more likely to have severe CA-MRSA infections.

*Living in crowded or unsanitary conditions. Outbreaks of CA-MRSA have occurred in military training camps and in American and European prisons.

*Association with health care workers. People who are in close contact with health care workers are at increased risk of serious staph infections.

Diagnosis:-
Doctors diagnose MRSA by checking a tissue sample or nasal secretions for signs of drug-resistant bacteria. The sample is sent to a lab where it’s placed in a dish of nutrients that encourage bacterial growth (culture). But because it takes about 48 hours for the bacteria to grow, newer tests that can detect staph DNA in a matter of hours are now becoming more widely available.

In the hospital, you may be tested for MRSA if you show signs of infection or if you are transferred into a hospital from another healthcare setting where MRSA is known to be present. You may also be tested if you have had a previous history of MRSA.

Treatment:-
Treatment for a Staph skin infection may include taking an antibiotic or having a doctor drain the infection. If you are given an antibiotic, be sure to take all of the doses, even if the infection is getting better, unless your doctor tells you to stop taking it. Do not share antibiotics with other people or save them to use later.

Both hospital and community associated strains of MRSA still respond to certain medications. In hospitals and care facilities, doctors generally rely on the antibiotic vancomycin to treat resistant germs. CA-MRSA may be treated with vancomycin or other antibiotics that have proved effective against particular strains. Although vancomycin saves lives, it may grow resistant as well; some hospitals are already seeing outbreaks of vancomycin-resistant MRSA. To help reduce that threat, doctors may drain an abscess caused by MRSA rather than treat the infection with drugs.

How do I keep Staph infections from spreading?

Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Keep your cuts and scrapes clean and cover them with bandages
Do not touch other people’s cuts or bandages

Do not share personal items like towels or razors.

Prevention:-

Hospitals are fighting back against MRSA infection by using surveillance systems that track bacterial outbreaks and by investing in products such as antibiotic-coated catheters and gloves that release disinfectants.

Still, the best way to prevent the spread of germs is for health care workers to wash their hands frequently, to properly disinfect hospital surfaces and to take other precautions such as wearing a mask when working with people with weakened immune systems.

In the hospital, people who are infected or colonized with MRSA are placed in isolation to prevent the spread of MRSA to other patients and healthcare workers.Visitors and healthcare workers caring for isolated patients may be required to wear protective garments and must follow strict handwashing procedures.

What you can do in the hospital
Here’s what you can do to protect yourself, family members or friends from hospital-acquired infections.

*Ask all hospital staff to wash their hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before touching you — every time.
Wash your own hands frequently.

*Make sure that intravenous tubes and catheters are inserted under sterile conditions, for example, the person inserting them wears a mask and sterilizes your skin first.

What you can do in your community:-
Protecting yourself from MRSA in your community — which might be just about anywhere — may seem daunting, but these

common-sense precautions can help reduce your risk:

*Wash your hands. Careful hand washing or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer remains your best defense against germs. Scrub hands briskly for at least 15 seconds, then dry them with a disposable towel and use another towel to turn off the faucet. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer containing at least 62 percent alcohol for times when you don’t have access to soap and water.

*Keep personal items personal. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, sheets, razors, clothing and athletic equipment. MRSA spreads on contaminated objects as well as through direct contact.
*Keep wounds covered. Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with sterile, dry bandages until they heal. The pus from infected sores may contain MRSA, and keeping wounds covered will help keep the bacteria from spreading.
Shower after athletic games or practices. Shower immediately after each game or practice. Use soap and water. Don’t share towels.

*Sit out athletic games or practices if you have a concerning infection
. If you have a wound that’s draining or appears infected — for example is red, swollen, warm to the touch or tender — consider sitting out athletic games or practices until the wound has healed.

*Sanitize linens. If you have a cut or sore, wash towels and bed linens in a washing machine set to the “hot” water setting (with added bleach, if possible) and dry them in a hot dryer. Wash gym and athletic clothes after each wearing.

*Get tested. If you have a skin infection that requires treatment, ask your doctor if you should be tested for MRSA. Doctors may prescribe drugs that aren’t effective against antibiotic-resistant staph, which delays treatment and creates more resistant germs. Testing specifically for MRSA may get you the specific antibiotic you need to effectively treat your infection.

*Use antibiotics appropriately. When you’re prescribed an antibiotic, take all of the doses, even if the infection is getting better. Don’t stop until your doctor tells you to stop. Don’t share antibiotics with others or save unfinished antibiotics for another time. Inappropriate use of antibiotics, including not taking all of your prescription and overuse, contributes to resistance. If your infection isn’t improving after a few days of taking an antibiotic, contact your doctor.

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/mrsa/DS00735/DSECTION=4
http://www.kidsgrowth.com/resources/articledetail.cfm?id=2357

http://www.ronjones.org/Weblinks/MRSA-Photos.html

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007261.htm

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Betel nut (Bengali Supari)

Botanical Name : Areca catechu L. (Arecaceae)
Family: N.O. Palmacea

English names: Areca palm, Areca nut, Betel nut, Pinang palm.

Sanskrit names: Gubak, Phalam, Poag, Pooga, Poogi.

Vernacular names: Asm : Tambul; Ben: Supari, Gua; Guj : Supaari; Hin : Kasaili,

Supari; Kan : Adike, Bette; Kon : Maddi; Mal: Adakka, Pugam, Pakka; Mar: Supari Ori : Gua; Tam: Kamubu, Pakku; Tel: Poke, Vakka.

Synonyms:Amaska, areca nut, arecoline, arequier, betal, betelnusspalme, betel quid, chavica etal, gutkha, hmarg, maag, marg, mava, mawa, pan, paan, Palmaceae (family), pan masala, pan parag, pinang, pinlang, Piper betel Linn. (leaf of vine used to wrap betel nuts), pugua, quid, Sting® (Tantric Corporation), supai, ugam

Trade names: Areca nut, Betel nut, Supari. There are over 150 trade types.

Habitat :Cultivated in the coastal regions of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,East Indies. Myanmar and other tropical and subtropical countries.

Part Used:—The seed.
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Description:Tall, slender, unbranched palm with a crown of leaves; stem annulate; leaves pinnate with a conspicuous sheet; flowers in spadix, male many at the upper portion, female much longer and a few at the base; fruits are single-seeded berries with flesh and fibrous pericarp and a stony seed, 3.8-5 em long, smooth, orange or scarlet when ripe.

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A handsome tree cultivated in all the warmer parts of Asia for its yellowish-red fruits the size of a hen’s egg, containing the seed about the size of an acorn, conical shape with flattened base and brownish in colour externally; internally mottled like a nutmeg. The seeds are cut into narrow pieces and rolled inside Betel Pepper leaf, rubbed over with lime and chewed by the natives. They stain the lips and teeth red and also the excrement, they are hot and acrid when chewed.

Betel nut is commercially available in dried, cured and natural forms. Considered an auspicious ingredient in Hinduism, it is used along with betel leaf in religious ceremonies and also while honoring individuals. Betel nuts are chewed for their effects as a mildly euphoric stimulant, attributed to the presence of relatively high levels of psychoactive alkaloids and terpeneols. Chewing betel nuts increases the capacity to work, also causes a hot sensation in the body, heightened alertness and sweating[citation needed]. It should be noted effect of chewing a few betel nuts is milder than drinking a cup of coffee. Chewing betel nuts is an important and popular cultural activity in many Asian countries including Palau. In East and North-east India, Betel nut is chewed with Paan (Betel leaf).Betel nuts are used in preparation of Ayurvedic medicines

Constituents of areca are potentially carcinogenic. Long-term use has been associated with oral submucous fibrosis (OSF), pre-cancerous oral lesions and squamous cell carcinoma. Acute effects of betel chewing include worsening of asthma, low blood pressure, and rapid heart beat..

Constituents—Areca Nut contains a large quantity of tannin, also gallic acid, a fixed oil gum, a little volatile oil, lignin, and various saline substances. Four alkaloids have been found in Areca Nut – Arecoline, Arecain, Guracine, and a fourth existing in very small quantity. Arecoline resembles Pilocarpine in its effects on the system. Arecaine is the active principle of the Areca Nut.

Medicinal Actions and Uses:—Areca Nut is aromatic and astringent and is said to intoxicate when first taken. The natives chew these nuts all day. Whole shiploads are exported annually from Sumatra, Malacca, Siam and Cochin China. In this country Areca Nut is made into a dentrifrice on account of its astringent properties. Catechu is often made by boiling down the seeds of the plant to the consistency of an extract, but the proper Catechu used in Britain is produced from the Acacia catechu. The flowers are very sweet-scented and in Borneo are used in medicines as charms for the healing of the sick. In India the nut has long been used as a taenifuge for tapeworm. The action of Arecain resembles that of Muscarine and Pilocarpine externally, internally used it contracts the pupils.

Arecoline Hydrobromide, a commercial salt, is a stronger stimulant to the salivary glands than Pilocarpine and a more energetic laxative than Eserine. It is used for colic in horses.

Dosages and Preparations:—Of the powdered nut for tapeworm 1 to 2 teaspoonsful. Of the Fluid Extract of Areca Nut, 1 drachm. Of the Arecoline Hydrobromide, for colic in horses, 1 to 1 1/2 grains. Of the Arecoline Hydrobromide, for human use, 1/15 to 1/10 grains .

Uses based on some evidence:
Anemia:- Preliminary poor-quality research reports that betel nut chewing may lessen anemia in pregnant women. Reasons for this finding are not clear, and betel nut chewing may be unsafe during pregnancy.(Unclear scientific evidence for this use; )

Dental cavities:- Due to the known toxicities of betel nut use and the availability of other proven products for dental hygiene, the risks of betel nut may outweigh potential benefits.(Unclear scientific evidence for this use; )

Saliva stimulant:- Betel nut chewing may increase salivation. However, it is not clear if this is helpful for any specific health condition. Due to known toxicities from betel nut use, the risks may outweigh any potential benefits.(Unclear scientific evidence for this use; )

Schizophrenia:- Preliminary poor-quality studies in humans suggest improvements in symptoms of schizophrenia with betel nut chewing. However, side effects such as tremors and stiffness have been reported. More research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn.(Unclear scientific evidence for this use; )

Stimulant:- Betel nut use refers to a combination of three ingredients: the nut of the betel palm ( Areca catechu ), part of the Piper betel vine, and lime. It is believed that small doses can lead to stimulant and euphoric effects, and betel nut chewing is popular due to these effects. Although all three ingredients may contribute to stimulant properties, most experts believe that chemicals in the betel nuts (alkaloids) may be responsible. Other substances that may be combined with betel nut chew, such as tobacco, may also contribute. However, chronic use of betel nuts may increase the risk of some cancers, and immediate effects can include worsening of asthma, high or low blood pressure, and abnormal heart rate. Based on the known toxicities of betel nut use, the risks may outweigh any potential benefits.(Unclear scientific evidence for this use; )

Stroke recovery:-Several poor-quality studies report the use of betel nut taken by mouth in patients recovering from stroke. In light of the potential toxicities of betel nut, additional evidence is needed in this area before a recommendation can be made (Unclear scientific evidence for this use; )

Ulcerative colitis:- Currently, there is a lack of satisfactory evidence to recommend the use of betel nut for ulcerative colitis. Based on the known toxicities of betel nut use, the risks may outweigh any potential benefits. (Unclear scientific evidence for this use; )

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Traditional use: SANTAL(IndianTribals): (i) a patient of small pox is given to eat the areca nut when the pustules subside; (ii) a mixture for biliary colic is prepared with areca nut as a constituent; (iii) an ointment for chancre and syphilis is made by pestling areca nut with the root of Gymnema hirsutus, leaf of Piper betel and then cooking the same in mustard oil or butter; TRIBALS also use this plant in rhagadas, venereal sores, syphilis, dysentery, cholera, small pox and for fractured bones.

References to this plant are found in the BHAGVA TA along with the plants of Musa paradisica and Borassus fIabellifer. CHARAKA SAMHITA : Fruit: useful in the diseases caused by bile; SUSHRUTA SAMHITA : Fruit: beneficial in the diseases caused by phlegm; but overuse of this may distort voice of a man; CHACRADATTA : Paste of unripe fruit: may be used as liniment; Extract of unripe fruit: useful in small pox; HARITA SAMHITA : sesame oil in which extract of unripe fruit has been boiled should be used; A YURVEDA : various preparations of unripe and ripe nuts are useful in toothache, pyorrhea, gum diseases, in treatment of worms, while extract of young leaf mixed with mustard oil is useful as liniment in rheumatism; BRAHMAVAIVARTA PURANA : brushing the teeth with twig of this plant is beneficial; AGNI PURANA : (i) immortality can be attained by consuming decoction of this plant along with the powder of root, bark, leaf and fruit of margosa and juice of Wedelia calendulacea; (ii) alkaloids of this plant are beneficial medicine.

UNANI: Ingradient of ‘Futal (Chalia)’.

Modern use: Nut: chewing facilitates salivation, it being a good source of fluoride prevents tooth decay, but constant use might cause oral carcinoma; shows antimicrobial activities; Aqueous extract of nut: exhibits vascoconstriction and adrenalin p.Qtentiation in rats; Extract of leaf and fruit: spasmogenic.

Other Species:—In Malabar Areca Dicksoni is found growing wild and is used by the poor as a substitute for the true Betel Nut (A. aleraceae). The Cabbage Palm, which grows profusely in the West Indies, derives its name from the bud topping the tall stem; this consists of leaves wrapped round each other as in the cabbage, the heart of which is white inside. It has a delicate taste and is cut and cooked as a vegetable, many of these beautiful palms being destroyed in this way. It is said that in the empty cavity a beetle lays its eggs. These turn into maggots which are eaten with great relish by the negroes of Guiana.

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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.bsienvis.org/medi.htm#Anacardium%20occidentale

http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/areca056.html

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Map Pinpoints Disease ‘Hotspots’

A detailed map highlighting the world’s hotspots for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) has been released.
It uses data spanning 65 years and shows the majority of these new diseases come from wildlife.

Scientists say conservation efforts that reduce conflicts between humans and animals could play a key role in limiting future outbreaks.

Writing in Nature, they said their map revealed that global anti-EID resources had been poorly allocated in the past.

……………11.jpg
………….Map of world’s Emerging Infectious Diseases hotspots

Researchers from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and the US-based University of Georgia and Columbia University’s Earth Institute analysed 335 emerging diseases from 1940 to 2004.

They then used computer models to see if the outbreaks correlated with human population density or changes, latitude, rainfall or wildlife biodiversity.

Finally, the data was plotted on to maps to reveal the “hotspots” around the globe.

Healthy environment

“Our analysis highlights the critical importance of conservation work,” said co-author Dr Kate Jones, a research fellow for ZSL.

“Conserving areas rich in biodiversity from development may be an important means of preventing the emergence of new diseases.”

The researchers found that 60% of EID events were caused by “non-human animal” sources.

They add that 71% of these outbreaks were “caused by pathogens with a wildlife source”.

Among the examples listed by the team was the emergence of Nipah virus in Malaysia and the Sars outbreak in China.

Others included the H5N1 strain of bird flu, Ebola and West Nile virus.

The number of events that originated from wild animals had increased significantly over time, they warned.

“This supports the suggestion that zoonotic EIDs represents an increasing and very significant threat to global health,” the paper’s authors wrote.

They added that it also highlighted the need to understand the factors that lead to increased contact between wildlife and humans.

“We are crowding wildlife into ever smaller areas, and human population is increasing,” explained Dr Marc Levy, a global change expert at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

“Where those two things meet, that is the recipe for something crossing over.”

He added that the main sources were mammals that were most closely related to humans.

‘Missing the point’

While some pathogens may be picked up while hunting or by accident, others – such as Nipah virus – are transmitted to humans from wild animals via livestock.

Because humans had not evolved resistance to these EIDS, the scientists said that the results could be “extraordinarily lethal”.

The main hotspots were located in low latitude regions, like South Asia and South-East Asia, which were not the financial focus of global funds to prevent the spread of EIDs.

……………………………………_40852452_greaterhorseshoebat203.jpg
………….The bats have a wide distribution in Europe and Asia

The world’s public health resources are misallocated,” opined co-author Peter Daszak, executive director of the Consortium for Conservation Medicine at the US-based Wildlife Trust.

“Most are focused on richer countries that can afford surveillance, but most of the hotspots are in developing countries.

“If you look at the high-impact diseases of the future, we’re missing the point.”

However, Dr Dazak said that the maps were the first to offer a prediction of where the next new disease could emerge.

His colleague, Dr John Gittleman from the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology, described the data-set as a “seminal moment in how we study emerging diseases”.

“Our study has shown that bringing ecological sciences and public health together can advance the field in a dramatic ways,” he observed.

The researchers said that the priority should be to set up “smart surveillance” measures in the hotspots identified on the map.

Dr Daszak explained that logistically straightforward bio-security measures, such as screening people who come into contact with wild birds and mammals in the hotspot areas, could halt the “next Aids or Sars before it happened”.

“It simply follows the old adage that prevention is better, and cheaper, than finding a cure.

“If we continue to ignore this important preventative measure, then human populations will continue to be at risk from pandemic diseases,” Dr Daszak warned.

Click to see also:->

Bats ‘likely source of Sars’

Nepal ‘apathy’ over elephant TB

Climate linked to plague increase

New diseases threaten humans and wildlife

Malaysia mystery virus unmasked

Sources: BBC News.21st. Feb’08

How to Achieve Deep, Uninterrupted Sleep

Americans now get about 25 percent less sleep than they did a century ago. This isn’t just a matter of fatigue, it causes serious damage to your body.

click to see the pictures

Sleep deprivation can alter your levels of thyroid and stress hormones, which play a part in everything from your memory and immune system to your heart and metabolism. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to:

  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • High blood sugar levels and an increased risk of diabetes
  • Brain damage

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to get the sleep your body craves. Here are 10 to start with (and the link below has 14 more):

1. Sprinkle just-washed sheets and pillowcases with lavender water, and then iron them before making your bed. The scent is proven to promote relaxation.

2. Hide your clock, so that its glow won’t disturb you and make sure there is no light coming from other sources including your windows as this will seriously impair your body’s ability to produce melatonin.

3. Choose the right pillow – neck pillows, which resemble a rectangle with a depression in the middle, can enhance the quality of your sleep and reduce neck pain.

4. Paint your bedroom sage green, or another soothing color, which will provide a visual reminder of sleep.

5. Move your bed away from outside walls, which will help cut down on noise.

6. Kick your dog or cat out of your bedroom – studies have shown that they snore!

7. Take a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime; it increases your core body temperature, and when it abruptly drops when you get out of the bath, it signals your body that you are ready for sleep.

8. Keep a notepad at your bedside — if you wake in the middle of the night with your mind going, you can transfer your to-do list to the page and return to sleep unworried.

9. Put heavier curtains over your windows -- even the barely noticeable light from streetlights, a full moon, or your neighbor’s house can interfere with the circadian rhythm changes you need to fall asleep.

10. Eat a handful of walnuts before bed – they’re a good source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid.

Sources:

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