Oxygen Therapy for Migraine Headaches

Two types of oxygen therapy may offer relief to people who suffer from disabling migraine and cluster headaches.

A review of a number of studies evaluated normobaric oxygen therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of migraines and cluster headaches. Normobaric therapy consists of patients inhaling pure oxygen at normal room pressure, and hyperbaric therapy involves patients breathing oxygen at higher pressure in a specially designed chamber.

Three studies reported a significant increase in the proportion of patients who had relief with hyperbaric oxygen compared to sham therapy. For cluster headaches, two studies found that a significantly greater proportion of patients had relief of their headaches after 15 minutes of normobaric therapy compared to sham therapy.

About 6 percent to 7 percent of men and 15 percent to 18 percent of women suffer from severe migraine headaches, and cluster headaches affect about 0.2 percent of the population.

Science Blog July 16, 2008
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews July 16, 2008, Issue 3

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Hemophilia (heem-o-FILL-ee-ah) is a rare, inherited bleeding disorder in which your blood doesn’t clot normally. If you have hemophilia, you may bleed for a longer time than others after an injury. You also may bleed internally, especially in your knees, ankles, and elbows. This bleeding can damage your organs or tissues and, sometimes, be fatal.


People born with hemophilia have little to none of a protein needed for normal blood clotting. The protein is called a clotting factor. There are several types of clotting factors, and they work together with platelets to help the blood clot. Platelets are small pieces of blood cells that are formed in the bone marrow. They play a major role in blood clotting.

When blood vessels are injured, clotting factors help the platelets stick together to plug cuts and breaks at the site of the injury to stop the bleeding. Without clotting factors, normal blood clotting can’t take place. Sometimes people with hemophilia need injections of a clotting factor or factors to stop bleeding.

There are two main types of hemophilia. If you have hemophilia A, you have little to no clotting factor VIII (8). About 9 out of 10 people with hemophilia have type A. If you have hemophilia B, you’re missing or have low levels of clotting factor IX (9).

Hemophilia can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on how much clotting factor is in the blood. About 7 out of 10 people who have hemophilia A have the severe form of the disorder. People who don’t have hemophilia have a factor VIII activity of 100 percent; people who have severe hemophilia A have a factor VIII activity of less than 1 percent.

In addition to being inherited, hemophilia also can be acquired, which means that you can develop it during your lifetime. It can develop if your body forms antibodies to the clotting factors in your bloodstream. The antibodies can block the clotting factors from working. Only inherited hemophilia is discussed in this article.

Other Names for Hemophilia:

Hemophilia A
Classic hemophilia
Factor VIII deficiency

Hemophilia B
Christmas disease
Factor IX deficiency

If you have inherited hemophilia, you’re born with the condition. It’s caused by a defect in one of the genes that determine how the body makes blood clotting factors VIII or IX. These genes are located on the X chromosomes (KRO-muh-somz).

Chromosomes come in pairs. Females have two X chromosomes, while males have one X and one Y chromosome. Only the X chromosome carries the genes related to clotting factors.

A male who has the abnormal gene on his X chromosome will have hemophilia. A female must have the abnormal gene on both of her X chromosomes to have hemophilia; this is very rare.

A female is a “carrier” of hemophilia if she has the abnormal gene on one of her X chromosomes. Even though she doesn’t have the condition, she can pass the gene on to her children.

Below are two examples of how the hemophilia gene is inherited.

Inheritance Pattern for Hemophilia—Example 1

The diagram shows one example of how the hemophilia gene is inherited. In this example, the father doesn’t have hemophillia (that is, he has two normal chromosomes—X and Y). The mother is a carrier of hemophilia (that is, she has one abnormal X chromosome and one normal X chromosome). Each daughter has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the abnormal gene from her mother and being a carrier. Each son has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the abnormal gene from his mother and having hemophilia.

Inheritance Pattern for Hemophilia—Example 2

The diagram shows one example of how the hemophilia gene is inherited. In this example, the father has hemophilia (that is, his X chromosome is abnormal). The mother isn’t a carrier of hemophilia (that is, she has two normal X chromosomes). Each daughter will inherit the abnormal gene from her father and be a carrier. None of the sons will inherit the abnormal gene from their father, and, therefore, none will have hemophilia.

Females who are carriers usually have enough clotting factors from their one normal X chromosome to prevent serious bleeding problems.

Very rarely, a girl is born with hemophilia. This can happen if her father has hemophilia and her mother is a carrier.

Some males with the disorder are born to mothers who aren’t carriers. In these cases, a mutation (random change) occurs in the gene as it is passed to the child.

Signs and Symptoms:
The major signs and symptoms of hemophilia are excessive bleeding and easy bruising.

Excessive Bleeding
The extent of bleeding depends on the type and severity of the hemophilia. Children with mild hemophilia may not have symptoms until they have excessive bleeding from a dental procedure, an accident, or surgery. Males with severe hemophilia may bleed heavily after circumcision. Bleeding can be obvious (external bleeding) or hidden within the body (internal bleeding).

Signs of excessive external bleeding include:

*Bleeding in the mouth from a cut or bite or from cutting or losing a tooth
*Nosebleeds for no obvious reason
*Heavy bleeding from a minor cut
*Bleeding from a cut that resumes after stopping for a short time
*Signs of internal bleeding include blood in the urine (from bleeding in the kidneys or bladder) and blood in the stool (from bleeding in the intestines or stomach).

Bleeding in the Joints
Bleeding in the knees, elbows, or other joints is another common form of internal bleeding in people with hemophilia. This can occur without obvious injury. At first, this bleeding causes tightness in the joint with no real pain or any visible signs of bleeding. The joint then becomes swollen, hot to touch, and painful to bend.

Swelling continues as bleeding continues, and eventually movement in the joint is temporarily lost. Pain can be severe. Joint bleeding that isn’t quickly treated can permanently damage the joint.

Bleeding in the Brain
Internal bleeding in the brain is a very serious complication of hemophilia that can happen after a simple bump on the head or a more serious injury. The signs and symptoms of bleeding in the brain include:

*Long-lasting painful headaches or neck pain or stiffness
*Repeated vomiting
*Changes in behavior or being very sleepy
*Sudden weakness or clumsiness of the arms or legs or difficulty walking
*Double vision
*Convulsions or seizures


If hemophilia is suspected or if you appear to have a bleeding problem, your doctor will take a personal and family medical history. This will reveal whether you or anyone in your family has a history of frequent and/or heavy bleeding and bruising. Your doctor also will do a physical exam and order blood tests.

Blood tests are used to determine:

*How long it takes for your blood to clot
*Whether your blood has low levels of any of the clotting factors
*Whether one of the factors is completely missing from your blood
*The test results will show if you have hemophilia, what type of hemophilia you have, and how severe it is.

Hemophilia A and B are classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the amount of clotting factor VIII or IX in the blood.

*Mild hemophilia…….. 5–30 percent of normal factor
*Moderate hemophilia…. 1–5 percent of normal factor
*Severe hemophilia…… Less than 1 percent of normal factor

The degree of symptoms can overlap between the categories. For example, some people with mild hemophilia may have bleeding problems almost as often or as problematic as some people with moderate hemophilia.

Severe hemophilia can cause serious bleeding problems in babies. Therefore, children with severe hemophilia are usually diagnosed during the first year of life. People with milder forms of hemophilia may not be diagnosed until they’re adults.

The bleeding problems of hemophilia A and hemophilia B are the same. Only special blood tests can tell which type a person has. Knowing which type is important because the treatments are different.

Pregnant women who are known carriers of hemophilia can have the condition diagnosed in their unborn child as early as 10 weeks into their pregnancy.

Women who are hemophilia carriers also can have “preimplantation diagnosis” to have a child without hemophilia. For this process, women have their eggs removed and then fertilized by sperm in a laboratory. The embryos that result from this fertilization are then tested for hemophilia. Only embryos that lack the condition will then be implanted in the womb.


Treatment With Replacement Therapy:
The main treatment for hemophilia is called replacement therapy—giving or replacing the clotting factor that’s too low or missing. Concentrates of clotting factor VIII (for hemophilia A) or clotting factor IX (for hemophilia B) are slowly dripped in or injected into a vein.

Clotting factor concentrates can be made from human blood that has been treated to prevent the spread of diseases, such as hepatitis. With the new methods of screening and treating donated blood, the risk of developing an infectious disease from clotting factors taken from human blood is now very small.

To further reduce that risk, you or your child can take clotting factor concentrates that don’t use human blood. These are called recombinant clotting factors. Clotting factors are easy to store, mix, and use at home—it takes only about 15 minutes to receive the factor.

You may have replacement therapy on a regular basis to prevent bleeding. This is called preventive or prophylactic (PRO-fih-lac-tik) therapy. Or, you may only need replacement therapy to stop bleeding when it occurs. This use of the treatment, on an as-needed basis, is called demand therapy. Therapy that’s given as needed is less intensive and less expensive than preventive therapy. However, there is a risk that bleeding will cause damage before the as-needed treatment is given.

Complications of Replacement Therapy:
Complications of replacement therapy include:
*Developing antibodies, which are proteins that act against the clotting factors
*Developing viral infections from human clotting factors
*Damage to joints, muscles, or other parts of the body resulting from delays in treatment

Antibodies to the clotting factor. Antibodies destroy the clotting factor before it has a chance to work. This is a very serious problem, because it makes the main treatment for hemophilia—replacing clotting factors—no longer effective.

Antibodies to clotting factor develop in about 20 percent of people with severe hemophilia A and 1 percent of people with hemophilia B.

When antibodies develop, doctors may use larger doses of clotting factors or try different sources of the clotting factor. Sometimes, the antibodies go away. Researchers are studying ways to deal with antibodies to clotting factors.

Viruses from human blood factors. The viruses that cause AIDS (HIV) and hepatitis can be carried in clotting factors. However, there has been no documented case of these viruses being transmitted during replacement therapy for about a decade. Transmission of viruses has been prevented by:

*Careful screening of blood donors
*Testing of donated blood products
*Treating donated blood products with a detergent and heat to destroy viruses
*Vaccinating people with hemophilia for hepatitis A and B
*Researchers continue to find ways to make blood products safer.
Home Treatment With Replacement Therapy:

Both preventive and as-needed replacement therapy can be done at home. Many people learn to do the infusions at home for their child or for themselves. Home treatment has several advantages:

You or your child can get treatment quicker when bleeding happens. Early treatment means that fewer complications are likely to occur.

*Fewer visits to the doctor or emergency room are needed.
*Home treatment costs less than treatment in a medical care setting.
*Home treatment helps children accept treatment and take responsibility for their own health.
Discuss options for home treatment with your doctor or your child’s doctor. A doctor or other health care provider can teach you the steps and safety procedures for home treatment. Another valuable resource for learning about home treatment is hemophilia treatment centers (discussed under “Living With Hemophilia”).

Vein access devices can be surgically implanted to make it easier to get into a vein for treatment with replacement therapy. These devices can be helpful when such treatment occurs often. However, infections can be a problem with these devices. Your doctor can help you decide whether this type of device is right for you or your child.

Vein access devices can be surgically implanted to make it easier to get into a vein for treatment with replacement therapy. These devices can be helpful when such treatment occurs often. However, infections can be a problem with these devices. Your doctor can help you decide whether this type of device is right for you or your child.

Other Types of Treatment:

Desmopressin (DDAVP) is a man-made hormone used to treat people with mild to moderate hemophilia A. DDAVP can’t be used to treat hemophilia B or severe hemophilia A.

DDAVP stimulates the release of stored factor VIII and von Willebrand factor and increases the level of these proteins in your blood. Von Willebrand factor carries and binds factor VIII, which then can stay in the bloodstream longer.

DDAVP usually is given by injection or in a nasal spray. Because the effect of this medicine wears off when used often, it’s given only in certain situations. For example, your doctor may have you take this medicine prior to dental work or before playing certain sports to prevent or reduce bleeding.

Antifibrinolytic Medicines
Antifibrinolytic medicines (including tranexamic acid and aminocaproic acid) may be used with replacement therapy. They’re usually given as a pill, and they help keep clots from breaking down. They’re most often used:

*Before dental work
*For treating bleeding from the mouth or nose
*For mild intestinal bleeding

Gene Therapy:
Researchers are trying to develop ways to correct the defective genes that cause hemophilia to cure the disorder. Such gene therapy hasn’t yet developed to the point that it’s an accepted treatment. But researchers continue to test gene therapies for hemophilia in clinical trials.

Which Treatment Is Best for You?
The type of treatment you or your child receives depends on several things, including how severe the hemophilia is, what activities you will be doing, and what dental or medical procedures you will be having.

*Mild hemophilia—Replacement therapy isn’t usually needed for mild hemophilia. But DDAVP is sometimes given to raise the body’s levels of factor VIII.

*Moderate hemophilia—You may need replacement therapy only when bleeding occurs or to prevent bleeding that could occur when participating in some activity. DDAVP is another treatment option on occasion, prior to having a procedure or doing an activity that increases the risk of bleeding.

*Severe hemophilia—You usually need replacement therapy to prevent bleeding that could cause permanent damage to your joints, muscles, or other parts of the body. Typically, replacement therapy is given at home two or three times a week. It may be needed on a long-term basis or just for short periods when you expect to do an activity that might increase your risk of bleeding. However, some people with severe hemophilia receive treatment only when bleeding occurs.

For all types of hemophilia, getting treatment quickly for bleeding to limit damage is important. Learn to recognize signs of bleeding. Family members also should learn to watch for signs of bleeding in a child with hemophilia. Children sometimes ignore signs of bleeding because they want to avoid the discomfort of treatment.

Living With Hemophilia:
If you or your child has hemophilia, you can take steps to prevent bleeding problems. Thanks to improvements in treatment, a child with hemophilia today is likely to live a normal lifespan.

Hemophilia Treatment Centers:
A nationwide network of hemophilia treatment centers (HTCs), funded by the Federal Government, is an important resource for

families and people affected by hemophilia. The medical experts in HTCs provide treatment, education, and support. They can teach you or your family member how to do home treatments. Center staff also can provide information to your doctor.

People who get care in HTCs are less likely than those who get care elsewhere to have bleeding complications and hospitalizations, and they’re more likely to have a better quality of life. This may be due to the centers’ emphasis on prevention of bleeding and the education and support provided to patients and their caregivers.

More than 100 federally funded HTCs are located throughout the United States. Many HTCs are located at major university medical and research centers. The hemophilia teams at these centers include:

Nurse coordinators
*Pediatricians and adult and pediatric hematologists (doctors who specialize in blood disorders)
*Social workers (who can help with financial issues, transportation, mental health, and other issues)
*Physical therapists and orthopedists (doctors who specialize in disorders of the bones and joints)

To find an HTC located near you, go to the directory of HTCs on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. Many people with hemophilia go to an HTC for annual checkups, even if it means traveling some distance to do so.

At an HTC, you or your child may be able to participate in clinical research and benefit from the latest research findings about hemophilia treatment. The HTC team also will work with your local health care providers to help meet your needs or your child’s needs.

Ongoing Health Care Needs:
To avoid complications, it’s important that people who have hemophilia:

*Continue any treatment prescribed for hemophilia.

*Get regular checkups and vaccinations as recommended. Vaccines for hepatitis A and B are recommended for those who are treated with blood transfusions. There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C.

*Get regular dental care. Dentists at the HTCs are experts in providing dental care for people who have hemophilia. If you

see another dentist, tell the dentist that you or your child has hemophilia. The dentist can provide medicine that will reduce bleeding during dental work.

*Know the signs and symptoms of bleeding in joints and other parts of the body and when to call the doctor or go to the emergency room.

Contact your doctor or go to the emergency room for:

*Heavy bleeding that can’t be stopped or a wound that continues to ooze blood.
*Any signs or symptoms of bleeding in the brain. Such bleeding is life threatening and requires immediate emergency care.
*Limited motion, pain, or swelling of any joint.

It’s a good idea to keep a record of all previous treatments. Be sure to take this information with you to medical appointments and to the hospital or emergency room.

When Your Child Is Diagnosed With Hemophilia

Expect emotional, financial, social, and other strains as you adjust to the situation of having a child with hemophilia. Learn all you can about the disorder and get the support you need.

*Talk with doctors and other health care providers about treatment, prevention of bleeding, and what to do in emergencies.

*Take advantage of the care teams at the HTCs for education and support as well as treatment. The social worker on the team can help with emotional issues, financial and transportation problems, and other concerns.

*Seek the many resources available through the Web, books, and other materials, including those provided by national and local hemophilia organizations.

*Look into support groups that offer a variety of activities for children with hemophilia and for family members. Some groups offer summer camps for children with hemophilia. Ask your doctor, nurse coordinator, or social worker about these groups and camps, or contact your local chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation.

Challenges will occur as your child grows and becomes more active. In addition to treatment and regular health and dental care, your child needs information about hemophilia that’s at his or her level. Children with hemophilia also need to be reassured that the condition isn’t their fault and given support for having a chronic health problem.

Young children with hemophilia need extra protection from things in the home and elsewhere that could cause injuries and lead to bleeding:

*Protect toddlers with kneepads, elbow pads, and protective helmets. All children should wear safety helmets when riding tricycles or bicycles.

*Be sure to use the safety belts and straps in highchairs, car seats, and strollers to protect the child from falls.

*Remove furniture with sharp corners or pad them while the child is a toddler.

*Keep out of reach or locked away small and sharp objects and other items that could cause bleeding or harm.

*Check play equipment and outdoor play areas for possible hazards.

You also need to learn how to examine your child for and recognize signs of bleeding as well as prepare for bleeding episodes when they do occur. Keep a cold pack in the freezer ready to use as directed or to take along with you to treat bumps and bruises. Popsicles work fine when there is minor bleeding in the mouth. You also might want to keep a bag ready to go with items you will need if you must take your child to the emergency room or elsewhere.

Be sure that anyone who is responsible for your child knows that he or she has hemophilia. Talk with your child’s babysitters, daycare providers, teachers, other school staff, and coaches or leaders of afterschool activities about when to contact you or to call 9–1–1 for emergency care.

Consider having your child wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace. If your child is injured, the ID will alert anyone caring for your child about the condition.

Physical Activity and Hemophilia:
Physical activity helps keep muscles flexible, strengthens joints, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Children and adults with hemophilia should get regular physical activity, but they may have limits on what they can do safely.

People with mild hemophilia can participate in a variety of activities. Those with severe hemophilia should avoid contact sports and other activities that are likely to lead to injuries that could cause bleeding.

The physical therapist at the HTC can develop an exercise program tailored to your needs and teach you how to exercsafely. Talk with your doctor or physical therapist about recommended types of physical activity and sports.

To prevent bleeding, you also may be able to take clotting factors prior to exercise or a sporting event.

In general, some safe physical activities are swimming, biking (wear a helmet), walking, and golf.

Activities that aren’t usually considered safe for those with bleeding problems include most contact sports, such as football, hockey, and wrestling.

Medicine Precautions
Some medicines increase the chance for bleeding. You should avoid medicines such as:

*Aspirin and other drugs that contain salicylates (sa-LIH-sil-ates)

*Ibuprofen (EYE-boo-pro-fen), naproxen, and some other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Treatment at Home and When Traveling:
Home treatment with replacement therapy has many benefits. It lets you treat bleeding early before complications are likely to develop. Home treatment also can save you from having to make frequent trips to the doctor’s office or hospital. This can give you more independence and a sense of control over your hemophilia.

But if you’re treating yourself or your child with clotting factors at home, you should take some precautions:

*Follow instructions for storage, preparation, and use of clotting factors and treatment materials.

*Keep a record of all medical treatment.

*Know the signs and symptoms of bleeding, infection, or an allergic reaction, and how to respond appropriately.

*Have someone with you when you treat yourself.

*Know when to call the doctor or 9–1–1.

When you’re traveling, be sure to take enough treatment materials along. You should carry with you a letter from your doctor describing your hemophilia and treatment. It’s also a good idea to find out in advance where to go for care when out of town.

Click for more knowledge

You may Click to see:-> Latest Research : Haematology : Hemophilia

Cure Research list for Hemophilia

Alternative Medicine for Hemophilia

Possible alternative treatment for hemophilia

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.


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Senior Citizens Should Walk Fast to Live Longer

Two studies seem to prove that aging does not necessarily mean sedentary lifestyle:

Too many senior citizens assume that becoming inactive – sitting around doing not much of anything most of the time – is just what happens with getting older. Two research reports seem to prove this is just not true – life can be different with changing our mindset and, the second study finds, we will live longer if we just walk a little faster.

The program testing the results of changing the mindsets of older people was by UCLA researchers. Seniors in the pilot program became more physically active, increasing their walking by about 24 percent – an average increase of 2.5 miles per week.

The second study on speed of walking, which found that improvement in usual gait speed predicts a substantial reduction in mortality, is from the Division of Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh.

Both studies which looked at people aged 65 or older appear in the issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Changing Mindset Works:
“We can teach older adults to get rid of those old beliefs that becoming sedentary is just a normal part of growing older,” said Dr. Catherine Sarkisian, assistant professor of geriatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study’s lead author. “We can teach them that they can and should remain physically active at all ages.”

The researchers used a technique known as “attribution retraining” to effect a change among study participants about what it means to age and what to expect out of it.

“The exciting part is that, to our knowledge, this attribution retraining component hasn’t been tested in a physical activity intervention,” Sarkisian said. “It’s been very successful in educational interventions.”

The researchers worked with 46 sedentary senior citizens age 65 and older from three senior centers in the Los Angeles area.

The participants attended four weekly, hour-long group sessions led by a trained health educator who applied an attribution retraining curriculum. The participants were taught to reject the notion that becoming older means becoming sedentary and to accept that they can continue engaging in physical activity well into old age.

Each attribution retraining session was followed by a one-hour exercise class that included strength, endurance and flexibility training.

Participants were fitted with electronic pedometers, to be worn at all times, which measured the number of steps they took each week. They also completed surveys that gauged their expectations about aging — higher scores indicated that participants expected high functioning with aging, while lower scores meant they expected physical and mental decline.

As a result of the program, participants increased the number of steps they took per week from a mean of 24,749 to 30,707 — a 24 percent increase — and their scores on the age-expectation survey rose by 30 percent .


Also, their mental health-related quality of life improved, and they reported fewer difficulties with daily activities, experienced less pain, had higher energy levels and slept better.

“An intervention combining attribution retraining with a weekly exercise class raised walking levels and improved quality of life in sedentary older adults in this small pre-post community-based pilot study,” the researchers wrote. “Attribution retraining deserves further investigation as a potential means of increasing physical activity in sedentary older adults.”

Live Longer by Walking Faster:
The study on walking speed looked at 439 senior citizens to estimate the relationship between 1-year improvement in measures of health and physical function and 8-year survival.

Six measures of health and function were checked quarterly over 1 year.

Participants were classified for each measure as –
? improved at 1 year,
? transiently improved, or
? never improved.

Mortality was ascertained from the National Death Index.

Of the six measures, only improved gait speed was associated with survival.

Mortality after 8 years determined by the gait speed measurement was
31.6% – for improved,
41.2% – for transiently improved, and
49.3% – for never improved,.

The authors concluded, “Because gait speed is easily measured, clinically interpretable, and potentially modifiable, it may be a useful ‘vital sign’ for older adults.”

But, they also said, “Further research is needed to determine whether interventions to improve gait speed affect survival.”

About faster gait speed…
“Improvement in Usual Gait Speed Predicts Better Survival in Older Adults,” was by Susan E. Hardy MD, PhD, Subashan Perera PhD, Yazan F. Roumani MS, MBA, Julie M. Chandler PhD, Stephanie A. Studenski MD, MPH (2007)


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Lower Cholesterol Early for a Long Life

The best approach to reducing incidence of coronary heart disease, which kills millions every year, is by lowering cholesterol early on, according to University of California researchers.

Pioneering lipid researcher Daniel Steinberg, professor emeritus of medicine, University of California and colleagues Christopher Glass and Joseph Witztum, dismissed current approaches to lowering cholesterol as “too little, too late”.

With a large body of evidence proving that low cholesterol levels equate with low rates of heart disease, “our long-term goal should be to alter our lifestyle accordingly, beginning in infancy or early childhood” and “instituting a low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol diet in infancy is perfectly safe, without adverse effects…”

According to Steinberg, progress has been made in the treatment of coronary heart disease (CHD) in adults with cholesterol lowering drugs like statins.

However, while studies show a 30 percent decrease in death and disability from CHD in patients treated with statins, 70 percent of patients have cardiac events while on statin therapy.

Promising new therapies are under development, but with an alarming rate of CHD in the US today, action to curtail the epidemic is needed urgently.

In fact, the researchers propose that lowering low-density lipoproteins (“bad cholesterol”) even in children and young adults is a safe and potentially life-saving standard, through diet and exercise changes if possible. Drug treatment may also be necessary in those at very high risk.

“Our review of the literature convinces us that more aggressive and earlier intervention will probably prevent considerably more than 30 percent of CHD,” said Steinberg.

“Studies show that fatty streak lesions in the arteries that are a precursor to atherosclerosis and heart disease begin in childhood, and advanced lesions are not uncommon by age 30.

“Why not nip things in the bud? Such early signs of heart disease should be taken as seriously as early signs of cancer or diabetes,” he said.

The UC San Diego team noted that studies of Japanese men in the 1950s showed that consuming a low-fat diet from infancy resulted in lifelong low cholesterol levels, and their death rate from heart disease was only 10 percent of the rate of cardiac-related death in the US

These findings were published in Tuesday’s issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Stretch Exercise for Leg, Back and hip muscles

Step 1->

Sit on the floor with your left leg straight in front of you. Bend your right leg, moving your foot up to press against your left inner knee. Inhale, sit tall and reach your arms overhead, your palms facing inward. On an exhale, bend forward at your hips, maintaining a straight spine, and place your hands on the floor. To engage the front of your leg, think of lifting your left kneecap up to your thigh. This will help stretch the back of your thigh. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, release and repeat on the other side.
Step 2->

For a more advanced version, try to stretch deeper into this pose and reach around your left foot’s toes with both hands. Bend at your elbows and move the front of your torso lower to your leg. Be sure to keep your chin tucked in slightly to elongate the back of your neck. Don’t round your back to get lower, rather maintain a long straight spine and go only as low as possible without curling your spine. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

An important component of fitness is flexibility, especially for your leg, back and hip muscles. The above two stretch exercises target all three areas in one simple move.

Practice dailt atleast three sets each and take one minute rest.

Sources: Los Angles Times

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Mouth Or Dental Injury

Schematic of patterns of disease in Crohn's di...Image via Wikipedia

Conditions that may increase the risk for problems after a mouth or dental injury:

Many conditions, lifestyle choices, medicines, and diseases interfere with one’s ability to heal or fight infection. The person may be at risk for a more serious problem from his or her symptoms if he or she have any of the following. Be sure to tell the health professional in detail.


*Heart valve disease:

*Heart valve replacement

*Previous dental injuries

*Previous dental or gum surgery

*Radiation therapy to the mouth, face, or neck (now or in the past)

*Surgery to remove the spleen

Lifestyle choices:

*Alcohol abuse or withdrawal

*Drug abuse or withdrawal

*Smoking or other tobacco use


*Antiseizure medicines, such as phenytoin

*Birth control pills (oral contraceptives)

*Blood-thinning medicines, such as warfarin, heparin, and aspirin

*Calcium channel blockers, which are used to control high blood pressure or for people with heart problems

*Corticosteroids, such as prednisone

*Medicines that contain gold

*Medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection

*Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy)

*Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen



*Crohn’s disease

*Dental disease, such as tooth decay or gum disease


*Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa

*Gastroesophageal reflux disease


*Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)

*Infection of the muscles and valves of the heart (endocarditis)

*Iron deficiency anemia

*Malabsorption syndromes


*Sickle cell disease

*Sjögren’s syndrome

*Vitamin deficiencies, such as too little folate, niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, vitamin C, and vitamin K

Sources:MSN Health & Fitness

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Nanosilver Use Prompts Worries of Resistant Bacteria

The advent of nanosilver products raises the possibility of new strains of silver-resistant bacteria, although there’s little evidence of that.
Could the use of nanosilver products create another problem for medicine — strains of bacteria that are resistant to silver? Although silver is not used to treat disease, it is used in hospital settings to speed wound-healing, prevent eye infections in newborns and as a coating for catheters, where it can cut infection rates.

Here, too, there is much surmise and not much evidence, although researchers do know there are strains of bacteria that have developed resistance to silver.

“If [nanosilver] is used without restriction, then you’re increasing the chances that a number of microbes will develop resistance to it,” says Andrew Maynard, chief science advisor for the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Maynard says he worries especially about bacteria that develop resistance to the major classes of antibiotics and silver.

But Dr. David Weber, an infectious disease and public health expert at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, isn’t convinced that silver resistance will prove much of a problem. Resistance to antibiotics occurs quite readily in bacteria once prolonged exposure to, say, penicillin, occurs. But there’s little reason to suppose that resistance to silver would develop so easily, he says.

An antibiotic like penicillin works by hitting a bacterium in a limited fashion, at specific sites. Because the killing is done precisely, the bacterium has a good chance of developing a mutation that would confer resistance.

In contrast, silver kills microbes in a broad, unspecific fashion — like tossing a bomb at a bacterium. It hits many essential points such as a bacterium’s entire respiratory system. This makes it much more difficult for silver-resistance to develop.

And even if tolerance did develop, Weber says, increasing the dose of silver the bacterium is exposed to will solve the problem in most cases.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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Probiotics are “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” (Microorganisms are tiny living organisms—such as bacteria, viruses, and yeasts—that can be seen only under a microscope.)

Probiotics are not the same thing as prebiotics—nondigestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial microorganisms already in people’s colons. When probiotics and prebiotics are mixed together, they form a synbiotic.

Probiotics are available in foods and dietary supplements (for example, capsules, tablets, and powders) and in some other forms as well. Examples of foods containing probiotics are yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, and some juices and soy beverages. In probiotic foods and supplements, the bacteria may have been present originally or added during preparation.

Most probiotics are bacteria similar to those naturally found in people’s guts, especially in those of breastfed infants (who have natural protection against many diseases). Most often, the bacteria come from two groups, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. Within each group, there are different species (for example, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidus), and within each species, different strains (or varieties). A few common probiotics, such as Saccharomyces boulardii, are yeasts, which are different from bacteria.

Probiotic bacterial cultures are intended to assist the body’s naturally occurring gut flora, an ecology of microbes, to re-establish themselves. They are sometimes recommended by doctors, and, more frequently, by nutritionists, after a course of antibiotics, or as part of the treatment for gut related candidiasis. Claims are made that probiotics strengthen the immune system to combat allergies, excessive alcohol intake, stress, exposure to toxic substances, and other diseases. In these cases, the bacteria that work well with our bodies may decrease in number, an event which allows harmful competitors to thrive, to the detriment of our health.


Maintenance of a healthy gut flora is, however, dependent on many factors, especially the quality of food intake. Including a significant proportion of prebiotic foods in the diet has been demonstrated to support a healthy gut flora and may be another means of achieving the desirable health benefits promised by probiotics.

Adverse Effects:-
There is no published evidence that probiotic supplements are able to completely replace the body’s natural flora when these have been killed off; indeed bacterial levels in faeces disappear within days when supplementation ceases. While the oral use of probiotics is considered safe and even recommended by World Health Organization under specific guidelines , in some specific situations (such as critically ill patients) they could be potentially harmful. In one therapeutic clinical trial, a probiotic cocktail have been shown to increase the death rates of patients with acute pancreatitis , but was given through tube feeding directly in the intestine instead of the usual oral way since oral re-feeding following acute pancreatitis increases morbidity and mortality. Some other therapeutic use of probiotics have been shown to be beneficial for other types of patients.

Potential benefits:-
Experiments into the benefits of probiotic therapies suggest a range of potentially beneficial medicinal uses for probiotics. For many of the potential benefits, research is limited and only preliminary results are available. It should be noted that the effects described are not general effects of probiotics. All effects can only be attributed to the strain(s) tested, not to the species, nor to the whole group of LAB (or other probiotics).

Managing Lactose Intolerance
As lactic acid bacteria actively convert lactose into lactic acid, ingestion of certain active strains may help lactose intolerant individuals tolerate more lactose than what they would have otherwise. In practice probiotics are not specifically targeted for this purpose, as most are relatively low in lactase activity as compared to the normal yogurt bacteria.

Prevention of Colon Cancer
In laboratory investigations, some strains of LAB have demonstrated anti-mutagenic effects thought to be due to their ability to bind with heterocyclic amines, which are carcinogenic substances formed in cooked meat. Animal studies have demonstrated that some LAB can protect against colon cancer in rodents, though human data is limited and conflicting. Most human trials have found that the strains tested may exert anti-carcinogenic effects by decreasing the activity of an enzyme called ?-glucuronidase (which can generate carcinogens in the digestive system). Lower rates of colon cancer among higher consumers of fermented dairy products have been observed in some population studies.

Cholesterol Lowering
Animal studies have demonstrated the efficacy of a range of LAB to be able to lower serum cholesterol levels, presumably by breaking down bile in the gut, thus inhibiting its reabsorption (which enters the blood as cholesterol). Some, but not all human trials have shown that dairy foods fermented with specific LAB can produce modest reductions in total and LDL cholesterol levels in those with normal levels to begin with, however trials in hyperlipidemic subjects are needed.

Lowering Blood Pressure
Several small clinical trials have shown that consumption of milk fermented with various strains of LAB can result in modest reductions in blood pressure. It is thought that this is due to the ACE inhibitor-like peptides produced during fermentation.

Improving Immune Function and Preventing Infections
LAB are thought to have several presumably beneficial effects on immune function. They may protect against pathogens by means of competitive inhibition (i.e., by competing for growth) and there is evidence to suggest that they may improve immune function by increasing the number of IgA-producing plasma cells, increasing or improving phagocytosis as well as increasing the proportion of T lymphocytes and Natural Killer cells. Clinical trials have demonstrated that probiotics may decrease the incidence of respiratory tract infections and dental caries in children. LAB foods and supplements have been shown to be effective in the treatment and prevention of acute diarrhea, and in decreasing the severity and duration of rotavirus infections in children and travelers’ diarrhea in adults.

Helicobacter pylori
LAB are also thought to aid in the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infections (which cause peptic ulcers) in adults when used in combination with standard medical treatments.

Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
A meta-analysis suggested probiotics may reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea. A subsequent randomized controlled trial also found benefit in elderly patients.

Reducing Inflammation
LAB foods and supplements have been found to modulate inflammatory and hypersensitivity responses, an observation thought to be at least in part due to the regulation of cytokine function. Clinical studies suggest that they can prevent reoccurrences of inflammatory bowel disease in adults, as well as improve milk allergies and decrease the risk of atopic eczema in children.

Improving Mineral Absorption

It is hypothesized that probiotic lactobacilli may help correct malabsorption of trace minerals, found particularly in those with diets high in phytate content from whole grains, nuts, and legumes.[27]

Prevents Harmful Bacterial Growth Under Stress

In a study done to see the effects of stress on intestinal flora, rats that were fed probiotics had little occurrence of harmful bacteria latched onto their intestines compared to rats that were fed sterile water.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Colitis
B. infantis 35624, sold as Align, was found to improve some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in women in a recent study. Another probiotic bacterium, Lactobacillus plantarum 299V, was also found to be effective in reducing IBS symptoms. Additionally, a probiotic formulation, VSL3, was found to be effective in treating ulcerative colitis. Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 may help.

It is also possible to increase and maintain a healthy bacterial gut flora by increasing the amounts of prebiotics in the diet such as inulin, raw oats, and unrefined wheat.

As probiotics are mainly active in the small intestine and prebiotics are only effective in the large intestine, the combination of the two may give a synergistic effect. Appropriate combinations of pre- and probiotics are synbiotics.

Synbiotics have also been defined as metabolites produced by ecoorgan or by synergistic action of prebiotics and probiotics e.g. short chain fatty acids, other fatty acids, amino acids, peptides, polyamines, carbohydrates, vitamins, numerous antioxidants and phytosterols, growth factors, coagulation factors, various signal molecules such as cytokine-like bacteriokines.

Foods that contain probiotic:
Probiotics are available in foods and dietary supplements (for example, capsules, tablets, and powders) and in some other forms as well. Examples of foods containing probiotics are yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, and some juices and soy beverages. In probiotic foods and supplements, the bacteria may have been present originally or added during preparation.It is found plenty in garlic,honey, leeks,onions and whole grains.

The most common form for probiotics are dairy products and probiotic fortified foods. However, tablets, capsules, powders and sachets containing the bacteria in freeze dried form are also available.

Research about probiotics shows both benefits and harm.

A 2007 study at University College Cork in Ireland showed that a diet including milk fermented with Lactobacillus bacteria prevented Salmonella infection in pigs.

A 2007 clinical study at Imperial College London showed that preventive consumption of a commercially available probiotic drink containing L casei DN-114001, L bulgaricus, and S thermophilus can reduce the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and C difficile-associated diarrhea.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled therapeutic study on the effects of a probiotic cocktail on pancreatitis at University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC), 24 out of 296 patients died between 2004 and 2007, with more deaths among those receiving the probiotic cocktail directly in the intestine. According to the spokesman of UMC, it is likely that some of these deaths would not have occurred without the probiotics, although other therapeutic trials conducted on probiotics were more positively conclusive
You may click to see:->Beneficial effects of probiotic strains

Probiotics and Colorectal Cancer

The Probiotics Revolution


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Love Hormone

Breastfeeding an infantImage via Wikipedia

Scientists have cracked the mystery of a mother’s selfless love for her child.

Science has finally cracked the mystery of a mother’s selfless love. The tenderness, intimacy and selflessness with which a mother interacts with her infant has been revered and celebrated through the ages as one of the most beautiful and inspiring manifestations of human behaviour.

Now a new study says the credit for triggering this altruistic love may go to the suckling baby.

Reported by a team of researchers from France, Italy and the UK, the work unravels the mechanism by which a nursing baby triggers a chain of chemical events that lead to a rush of the “love” hormone, oxytocin, in the brain of the mother. The findings appear in the journal PLoS Computational Biology.

Scientists have known for a while that oxytocin — also called the hormone of trust and lust — when released in the blood causes milk to be let down from the mammary glands. But they didn’t have any clue about the exact cascade of events that leads to the release of oxytocin in the brain.

What was known before the study is how a few thousand neurons, specialised to release oxytocin, are marshalled together to produce a sufficiently intense outburst during events such as childbirth, breastfeeding or even an orgasm.

“For 30 years we have known that these spurts arise because, during suckling, the oxytocin neurons fire together in dramatic synchronised bursts, but exactly how these bursts come about had puzzled us,”says Jianfeng Feng, a neuroscientist at the University of Warwick who led the study.

The scientists found that in response to suckling, the neurons start releasing oxytocin from their dendrites (protrusions on the branches for receiving electric signals from other brain cells) as well as nerve endings. The finding came as a surprise as dendrites were earlier thought to be that part of a neuron which receive rather than transmit information.

Dendrites usually create a weak network of connection between neurons. According to the researchers, the release of oxytocin from them allows for a massive spurt in communication between the neurons. This coordinates a “swarm” of oxytocin producing factories, leading to massive bursts of release at intervals of five minutes or so.

The scientists liken the event to a flock of birds or insects undertaking a closely coordinated action without a leader to guide.

“The dendrites do much more than just receive information,” Feng, who is also the director of the Centre for Computational Systems Biology at Fudan University in China, told KnowHow.

Oxytocin, the brain chemical that works as a trigger for love and affection in females, is stored in the pituitary gland from where it is discharged into the blood. Interestingly, it is released not only during a surge of maternal love but also romantic love. According to Semir Zeki, regarded as the doyen of neurobiology, oxytocin — quite like vasopressin in males — is released in the blood during a sexual orgasm. Copious amounts of oxytocin are detected in a woman’s blood during childbirth as well.

Because of the role it plays in releasing milk, the chemical is being used indiscriminately by the dairy industry to make milching animals produce even more milk. It is also used arbitrarily by some clinics and midwifes to make labour pain free, often risking the lives of babies.

Another interesting brain study recently found that this trust-building hormone reduces neuronal activity and weakens the connections in the amygdala, which serves as the brain’s fear hub.

Feng thinks similar triggers may be at work during other natural processes where abundant quantities of oxytocin are released into the blood.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Bitter Truth About Betel

Indian researchers have discovered that areca nut is quite addictive and, when combined with tobacco, can lead to cancer.

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If you thought only the tobacco in chewing pan is addictive, think again. Researchers in Bangalore have found that betel nut (Areca catechu or supari), too, is addictive and long-term users develop a dependency on it.

According to a team of researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans), the chances of those chewing areca nut — with or without tobacco — developing oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) are much higher than in smokers. OSF is a medical condition that leads to cancers of the oral cavity and throat.

The relative risk of those who use areca nut along with tobacco developing OSF is nearly 400 times more than plain tobacco users, Nimhans psychiatrist Vivek Benegal and his colleagues at the institute’s Deaddiction Centre said in a study reported online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

“Traditionally, it is thought that areca nut is not addictive and hence safe to consume. For this reason, even children, for whom other stimulants such as tobacco are taboo, are allowed to use it,” observed Benegal. It is a matter of concern as a significant portion of the younger generation in India consumes areca products, he said.

“Our study shows that it is not just gutka (which contains tobacco along with areca nut and several spices) that is harmful; even plain pan masala is injurious to health as it, too, develops a dependence syndrome on persistent use,” he said.

Tobacco in areca nut mixtures — although not a causative factor of OSF — is believed to be more responsible for the disease as it increases addiction, leading to a greater yearning for nut chewing.

Areca nut, which is said to be the fourth most commonly used psychoactive stimulant, makes more than 70 per cent of its users addicted to it. Popular in South Asia and South-east Asia, it is used by nearly 10 per cent of the world’s population. Though there could be subtle variations in its effects on people, the consumption of areca nut generally produces a sense of well being, euphoria, warm sensation in the body and heightened alertness.

The scientists said that long-term areca users may develop the same kind of dependence syndrome as those indulging in other substances of abuse do. They hoped that the work might highlight a public health problem that has hitherto been ignored.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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