Tag Archives: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Remedy for Strokes

Mild electrical stimulation shows promise in reviving stroke-damaged brains:-

Shova Paul, a 55-year-old housewife, was rushed to the emergency unit of a hospital after she was found lying on the floor of the toilet well past midnight. A quick examination and a subsequent brain scan revealed an awake and alert patient unaware of her illness (anosognosia). She had lost senses on the left side of the body (hemiplegia) and the brain image showed tell-tale signs of damage in the movement and language centres (sensorimotor cortex and Broca’s area). While recording the obvious signs of a severe cerebral stroke the doctor could apprehend what was coming: even after the best possible medical care, she wouldn’t be able to move, speak, read, write or comprehend what others were saying.

Now, two years after that incident, Paul leads a hemiplegic’s life. Like countless other hapless stroke survivors, she can’t move on her own, speaks with a slurred accent and has an impaired vision. To regain some control of the damaged muscles and relearn simple chores she undergoes a rehabilitation regime, which includes prolonged physiotherapy and psychological counselling.

Yet the lives of hundreds of thousands of stroke survivors like Paul can be dramatically transformed by a simple, inexpensive technique developed many decades ago, but largely forgotten. According to a new study reported last week, electrical brain stimulation — a procedure that delivers mild electric current to the brain non-invasively — has been shown to help severely affected stroke patients recover their ability to move and speak. In the therapy, known as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a mild electrical jolt is passed to the brain through the scalp and skull of the patient — perceived as a slight tingle in the head. “The concept of using therapeutic electricity on excitable tissue such as that of the brain is not new, considering the attempts to cure epileptic disorders with electric catfish as early as in the 11th century (by an Arab physician called Ibn-Sidah),” writes Gottfried Schlaug, the principal investigator of the study which appeared in the journal Archives of Neurology. He also points out that in the late 19th century physicians had used mild electrical stimulation to treat patients with depression. According to Schlaug, a neurologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) at Harvard Medical School in Boston, non-invasive brain stimulation using tDCS is “fast re-emerging as an interventional tool to modulate the effects, and possibly treat the symptoms, of several neurological and psychiatric disorders.”

However tDCS should not be confused with its controversial cousin electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), or electro shock, used for the treatment of severe depression. Unlike shock therapy — which is more drastic, giving a giant 600 milliampere (mA) buzz and affecting the entire brain, causing a seizure and memory loss — tDCS is much gentler (2mA) and more selective in the sense that it excites or inhibits brain regions directly underneath the positioned electrode. Moreover, ECT always requires the use of anaesthesia and is more invasive.
click to see the pictures>..…………..(1)…..…(2)...(3)
Schlaug and his collaborators at the BIDMC tested tDMC on 20 patients who had suffered a stroke about two-and-a-half years back and still had moderate to severe impairments. Patients performed 60 minutes of routine rehabilitation procedures each day for five days while also receiving a 30-minute session of either active electrical stimulation or a placebo (‘sham’ treatment designed to mimic electrical stimulation). A simple nine volt battery connected to a piece of moistened sponge was used to deliver the mild electrical jolt. Within a week, patients given the real treatment were found to perform better in basic motor tests such as grasping a cup. A brain scan showed that activity in the injured part of the brain increased after the treatment. Schlaug presented the findings of the research at a conference at San Francisco last week.

Although it is not yet clear exactly how tDCS works, Sclaug believes that the electrical stimulation augments recovery in stroke patients by re-establishing communication between the damaged and unaffected halves or hemispheres of the brain. In other words, a stroke creates an imbalance in the normal communication of the brain’s hemispheres such that the unaffected hemisphere becomes functionally dominant and inhibits the damaged hemisphere.

“There is no denying that tDCS has an immense potential for repairing the stroke-damaged brain, but the problem is that it is still in an experimental stage,” says Dr J.N. Roy, a stroke neurologist at the Advanced Medicare Research Institute (AMRI) in Calcutta, who had attended to Paul two years ago. “Unless there is a huge trial involving a large number of patients, and the underlying neurophysiological changes are properly explained, one can’t put it into use in a routine rehab programme,” he adds. In fact, Schlaug’s team is trying to understand better the changes that take place in the brain as patients recover.

Countless neurologists like Roy and patients like Paul around the world are waiting for their results.

Source:Thje Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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The Neurostimulation Technology Portal

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Weighing the Value of Organic Foods

Food produced without most conventional pesticides or fertilizers are perceived to be more healthful, but scientists have yet to offer proof.

With the recession breathing down our necks, many people are looking for ways to cut the household budget without seriously compromising family well-being. So here’s a suggestion: If you buy organic fruits and vegetables, consider switching to less pricey non-organic produce instead.

Hold the e-mails and hear me out: There really is no proof that organic food, which costs about a third more, is better than the conventionally grown stuff.

It may seem, intuitively, that crops grown without pesticides should be better for us and that food grown the old-fashioned way, by rotating crops and nurturing the soil naturally, would be superior to food that is mass-produced and chemically saturated.

Many people feel that way. Annual sales of organic food and beverages grew from $1 billion in 1990 to well over $20 billion in 2007, according to the Organic Trade Assn., an industry group.

But the truth is that, from a hard-nosed science point of view, it’s still unclear how much better — if at all — organic food is for one’s health than non-organically grown food.

“Organic” means food grown without most conventional pesticides or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website (usda.gov). To carry the “organic” seal, a product must be certified as having been produced according to federal regulations. Small farmers are exempt.

Prepared food made with organic ingredients also tends to be processed more gently, with fewer chemical additives, said Charles Benbrook, an agricultural economist who is chief scientist at the Organic Center. The nonprofit research group is based in Boulder, Colo., and is supported by the organic food industry.

But the word “organic” has not been designated as an official health claim by the government. Such a designation is used only when there is evidence of significant health benefits — and so far, that evidence is lacking for organic food.

It’s clear, however, that conventionally grown food has remnants of pesticides on it. A 2002 study in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants showed that there were more pesticide residues on conventional than organically grown food, even after the food was washed and prepared. There’s also clear evidence that pesticides can enter the body in other ways, a major reason that Environmental Protection Agency regulations exist to keep farm workers from entering recently sprayed fields.

A study by Emory University researchers and others published in 2006 in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Institutes of Health, showed that when children were fed a conventional diet, their urine contained metabolic evidence of pesticide exposure, but that when they were switched to an organic diet, those signs of exposure disappeared.

All of which raises the question: How much harm do pesticides cause?

A number of studies suggest that, at high doses, organophosphate chemicals used in pesticides can cause acute poisoning and that even at somewhat lower doses, they may impair nervous system development in children and animals. But at the amounts allowed by the government in the American food supply? That’s where many nutritionists and environmental scientists seem to part company.

“We don’t have any good proof that there is any harm from fruits and vegetables grown with the pesticides currently used,” said Dr. George Blackburn, a nutritionist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and associate director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School. The real issue is to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables, whether they’re grown conventionally or organically, he added.

“Keeping herbicide and pesticide levels as low as possible does make sense, although there is no clear evidence that these increase health risks at the levels consumed currently in the U.S.,” said Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

What is of concern, he said, is the meat industry’s increasing use of growth hormones in animals. (The “organic” label on beef means, among other things, that the cattle it came from were raised without antibiotics and hormones. Some non-organic beef is also raised without hormones or antibiotics, as noted on its label.)

Even if we don’t yet have all the evidence that organic produce might be desirable, Benbrook of the Organic Center said it’s time to change the notion that there’s nothing wrong with a little pesticide for breakfast. Over the last two years, he said, “nearly every issue of Environmental Health Perspectives has had at least one new research report” on how pesticides can harm a child’s neurological growth, particularly on brain architecture, learning ability and markers for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. While this falls short of incontrovertible proof that properly washed conventional produce can harm people, it does raise red flags, environmentalists say.

Weighing the value of organic foods also means looking at nutrition, not just the dangers of pesticides — and there is disagreement over whether organic food supplies more nutrients.

Researchers at UC Davis did a 10-year study, published last year, in which a particular strain of tomatoes was grown with pesticides on conventional soil right next to the same strain grown on soil that had been certified organic. All plants were subject to the same weather, irrigation and harvesting conditions.

The conclusion? Organic tomatoes had more vitamin C and health-promoting antioxidants, specifically flavonoids called quercetin and kaempferol — although researchers noted that year-to-year nutrient content can vary in both conventional and organic plants.

Other research has also shown nutritional advantages for organic food, according to the Organic Center, which reviewed 97 studies on comparative nutrition. Benbrook, the center’s chief scientist, says that although conventionally grown food tends to have more protein, organic food is about 25% higher in vitamin C and other antioxidants.

Yet a recent Danish study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture showed no vitamin and mineral advantage to organic food.

So, what to eat? ………… Side with the nutritionists who urge people to eat more fruits and vegetables, regardless of how they’re grown. Common sense, though not necessarily science, would seem to favor organics, if you can afford them. But if you want, split the difference — buy organic for fruits and vegetables that are thin-skinned or hard to wash or peel, and go conventional for those, such as bananas, that peel easily.

Sources: Los Angles Times

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Indigestion

Indigestion, also known as upset stomach or dyspepsia, is discomfort or a burning feeling in the upper abdomen, often accompanied by nausea, abdominal bloating, belching, and sometimes vomiting. Some people also use the term indigestion to describe the symptom of heartburn.

Indigestion might be caused by a disease in the digestive tract such as ulcer or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but for many people, it results from eating too much, eating too quickly, eating high-fat foods, or eating during stressful situations. Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, using medications that irritate the stomach lining, being tired, and having ongoing stress can also cause indigestion or make it worse.

Some people have persistent indigestion that is not related to any of these factors. This type of indigestion—called functional or nonulcer dyspepsia—may be caused by a problem in the muscular squeezing action of the stomach (motility).

To diagnose indigestion, the doctor might perform tests for problems, like ulcers. In the process of diagnosis, a person may have x rays of the stomach and small intestine or undergo endoscopy, in which the doctor uses an instrument to look at the inside of the stomach.

Avoiding the foods and situations that seem to cause indigestion in some cases is the most successful way to treat it. Heartburn caused by acid reflux is usually improved by treatment with antacids, H2-blockers, or proton pump inhibitors. Smokers can help relieve their indigestion by quitting smoking, or at least not smoking right before eating. Exercising with a full stomach may cause indigestion, so scheduling exercise before a meal or at least an hour afterward might help.

To treat indigestion caused by a functional problem in the digestive tract, the doctor may prescribe medicine that affects stomach motility.

Because indigestion can be a sign of, or mimic, a more serious disease, people should see a doctor if they have :

1.Vomiting, weight loss, or appetite loss

2.Black tarry stools or blood in vomit

3.Severe pain in the upper right abdomen

4.Discomfort unrelated to eating

5.Indigestion accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, or pain radiating to the jaw, neck, or arm

6.Symptoms that persist for more than 2 weeks

For More Information

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) Inc.
P.O. Box 170864
Milwaukee, WI 53217
Phone: 1–888–964–2001 or 414–964–1799
Fax: 414–964–7176
Email: iffgd@iffgd.org
Internet: www.iffgd.org

Additional Information on Indigestion

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse collects resource information on digestive diseases for National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Reference Collection. This database provides titles, abstracts, and availability information for health information and health education resources. The NIDDK Reference Collection is a service of the National Institutes of Health.

To provide you with the most up-to-date resources, information specialists at the clearinghouse created an automatic search of the NIDDK Reference Collection. To obtain this information, you may view the results of the automatic search on Indigestion.

If you wish to perform your own search of the database, you may access and search the NIDDK Reference Collection database online

Ayurvedic & Natural Treatment For Indigestion……………...(1).…….(2)…...(3).……(4)

Homeopathic Treatment for Indigestion……………...(1).………...(2)……..(3)

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

Source:http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/indigestion/index.htm

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Constipation In Children

Constipation means that bowel movements are hard and dry, difficult or painful to pass, and less frequent than usual. It is a common problem for children, but it is usually temporary and no cause for parents to be concerned.

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When a child does not eat enough fiber, drink enough liquids, or get enough exercise, constipation is more likely to occur. It also happens when children ignore the urge to have a bowel movement, which they often do out of embarrassment to use a public bathroom, fear or lack of confidence in the absence of a parent, or unwillingness to take a break from play. Sometimes constipation is caused by medicines or a disease.

Symptoms of constipation include:

  • no bowel movement for several days or daily bowel movements that are hard and dry
  • cramping abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • weight loss
  • liquid or solid, clay-like stool in the child’s underwear—a sign that stool is backed up in the rectum

Constipation can make a bowel movement painful, so the child may try to prevent having one. Clenching buttocks, rocking up and down on toes, and turning red in the face are signs of trying to hold in a bowel movement.

Treatment depends on the child’s age and the severity of the problem. Often eating more fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereal), drinking more liquids, and getting more exercise will solve the problem. Sometimes a child may need an enema to remove the stool or a laxative to soften it or prevent a future episode. However, laxatives can be dangerous to children and should be given only with a doctor’s approval.

Although constipation is usually harmless, it can be a sign or cause of a more serious problem. A child should see a doctor if

  • episodes of constipation last longer than 3 weeks
  • the child is unable to participate in normal activities
  • small, painful tears appear in the skin around the anus
  • a small amount of the intestinal lining is pushed out of the anus (hemorrhoids)
  • normal pushing is not enough to expel stool
  • liquid or soft stool leaks out of the anus

For More Information

American Academy of Pediatrics
National Headquarters
141 Northwest Point Boulevard
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007–1098
Phone: 847–434–4000
Fax: 847–434–8000
Internet: www.aap.org

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) Inc.
P.O. Box 170864
Milwaukee, WI 53217–8076
Phone: 1–888–964–2001 or 414–964–1799
Fax: 414–964–7176
Email: iffgd@iffgd.org
Internet: www.iffgd.org

Additional Information on Constipation in Children

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse collects resource information on digestive diseases for National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Reference Collection. This database provides titles, abstracts, and availability information for health information and health education resources. The NIDDK Reference Collection is a service of the National Institutes of Health.

To provide you with the most up-to-date resources, information specialists at the clearinghouse created an automatic search of the NIDDK Reference Collection. To obtain this information, you may view the results of the automatic search on Constipation in Children.

If you wish to perform your own search of the database, you may access and search the NIDDK Reference Collection database online.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892–3570
Phone: 1–800–891–5389
Fax: 703–738–4929
Email: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1980, the Clearinghouse provides information about digestive diseases to people with digestive disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. The NDDIC answers inquiries, develops and distributes publications, and works closely with professional and patient organizations and Government agencies to coordinate resources about digestive diseases.

Publications produced by the Clearinghouse are carefully reviewed by both NIDDK scientists and outside experts.

This publication is not copyrighted. The Clearinghouse encourages users of this publication to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.

Ayurvedic Treatment for child Constipation………………(A).……..(B)………..(C)

Home Remedy for Child Constipation…………………………(A).……..(B)

Homeopathic Treatment for Child Constipation………….(A).……..(B)………….(C)

Chiropractic view on Constipation.

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

Source:http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/constipationchild/index.htm

Walking is a very good exercise

Walking is a very good exercise…. this advice should be given to those who are above 30 years old or who may have some heart problem or other physical problems or are totally unable to do other exercises .But some times I find young people specially, young girls taking brisk walk in the park instead of playing in the field. They might think that they are doing lot of exercises by walking a long distances.According to me, walking is definitely good, it is refreshing,soothing and pleasant but it is not at all a full exercise for young people.They should rather play in the field, or swim or do other form of exercise which will really burn the required calories to be burnt by exercises.

But it is the best form of exercise for the people who doesnot get proper time or interest for doing any other exercise to keep the body fit.
BENEFITS OF WALKING:  

5 surprising benefits of walking:
The next time you have a check-up, don’t be surprised if your doctor hands you a prescription to walk. Yes, this simple activity that you’ve been doing since you were about a year old is now being touted as “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” in the words of Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of course, you probably know that any physical activity, including walking, is a boon to your overall health. But walking in particular comes with a host of benefits. Here’s a list of five that may surprise you.

1. It counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight. They then discovered that, among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half.

2. It helps tame a sweet tooth. A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations. And the latest research confirms that walking can reduce cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.

3. It reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers already know that any kind of physical activity blunts the risk of breast cancer. But an American Cancer Society study that zeroed in on walking found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. And walking provided this protection even for the women with breast cancer risk factors, such as being overweight or using supplemental hormones.

4. It eases joint pain. Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints — especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis — by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.

5. It boosts immune function. Walking can help protect you during cold and flu season. A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.

To learn more about the numerous benefits of walking, as well as easy ways to incorporate a walk into your daily routine, buy Walking for Health, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School

_________________
You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is sometimes called    weight bearingâ exercise. Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
  • Stronger bones and improved balance
  • Increased muscle strength and endurance
  • Reduced body fat.

WALK 30 MINUTES A DAY

_____________________
To get the health benefits, try to walk for at least 30 minutes as briskly as you can most days of the week. ˜Brisk  means that you can still talk but not sing, and you may be puffing slightly. Moderate activities such as walking pose little health risk but, if you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program of physical activity.

BUILD PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN YOUR LIFE ALSO

________________________________

If it’s too difficult to walk for 30 minutes at one time, do regular small bouts (10 minutes) three times per day. If you want to lose weight, you will need to do physical activity for longer than 30 minutes each day. You can achieve this by starting with smaller bouts of activity throughout the day, as suggested above, and eventually building up to sessions of more than 30 minutes.

Physical activity built into a daily lifestyle plan is also one of the most effective ways to assist with weight loss and keep weight off once it’s lost. Here are some ways to build walking into your daily routine:

  • Try taking the stairs instead of the lift (for at least part of the way).
  • Get off public transport one stop earlier and walk to work or home.
  • Do housework like vacuuming ,gardening and mowing the lawn(with hand mower)
  • Walk (don’t drive) to the local shops.
  • Walk the dog .