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Turmeric Can Prevent Diabetes

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Indian scientists have found yet another reason why turmeric should be part of our daily diet.
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Lab experiments in the past have shown that curcumin – the yellowish component of the Indian curry spice turmeric – is able to fight skin, breast and other tumour cells. It is also known to lower the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease and haemorrhagic stroke.

Now a team at the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) in Chennai reports that curcumin also blocks a key biological pathway needed for development of diabetic retinopathy, an eye complication among diabetics that leads to blindness if untreated.

“This is the first scientifically documented evidence of the molecular action of curcumin against diabetic retinopathy,” the researchers claim in a report published in a recent issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

The study was prompted by an interesting observation made by the MDRF team while analysing the data from an epidemiology study it had completed in urban Chennai earlier.

The study showed that the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in Indians is lower than that reported among Europeans suggesting there could be something in the diet that gave protection to Indians. What was that something?

“We suspected it was turmeric,” says Mohan Rema, chief ophthalmologist and vice-president at MDRF. The hunch turned out to be correct.

In diabetic retinopathy, abnormal new blood vessels grow in the retina – the light sensitive layer lining the back of the eye – due to a process called “angiogenesis“. These new vessels are thin and fragile and tend to bleed resulting in sudden and total loss of vision.

Angiogenesis that involves the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels is a normal process as in wound healing. But this is also a key step that helps tumours to grow. Angiogenesis inhibitors (or anti-antigenic drugs) prevent the formation of new blood vessels so that the tumour cannot grow.

“Our guess was that curcumin which shows anti-angiogenic effects against various cancers may also inhibit the growth of new blood vessels in the retina and thereby prevent diabetic retinopathy,” said Muthuswamy Balasubramanyam, cell biologist and assistant director of MDRF who is one of the authors of the paper describing the study. “Our laboratory experiments have confirmed this.”

Diabetic retinopathy results when the so called “endothelial cells” that line the inside of retinal blood vessels proliferate and migrate away from the parent vessels to form a network of new fragile micro capillaries which bleed.

“We have demonstrated that curcumin inhibits the migration of cells thereby blocking a key step that leads to retinopathy,” Balasubramanyam said. Other authors of this work include research scholars Zaheer Sameermahmood and Thangavel Saravanan.

Turmeric which is a major ingredient of curry has been consumed for thousands of years and has been used in traditional Indian, Chinese, and Western herbal medicine.

While much of the world literature dealt with the anti-cancer actions of curcumin, the work at MDRF for the first time emphasizes its use against diabetic retinopathy, the scientists said.

Headed by Viswanathan Mohan, a renowned diabetologist, MDRF is exclusively devoted to research on diabetes and its vascular complication.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Congenital Blindness

Vision plays a very important part in the early development of a child. Impaired vision at birth will cause serious delay in development and is likely to lead to learning disabilities, particularly when associated with other problems, such as congenital deafness.

………………………………………………Jyotindra Mehta
Congenital blindness due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) took away Jyotindra Mehta’s power of sight at a very young age. Emigration to the US on scholarship, coupled with a readiness to take up any challenge, resulted in Jyotindra’s quick success there.

and Nevy George
Congenital blindness due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) took away thir eye sight at very early age.

About 9 in 10 children who are considered blind from birth have some vision, even though it may be only recognition of light and dark or shapes…..CLICK & SEE

Causes:
There are several causes including microphthalmos, cataracts, bilateral pseudogliomatous retinal detachments, and phthisis bulbi. OPPG is usually not suspected until fractures occur, frequently after seemingly minor trauma.

In the developed world, half of all cases of congenital blindness run in families and therefore may be due to a genetic disorder. another important cause is congenital infection such as the protozoal infection toxoplasmosis and the viral infection rubella. These infections are transmitted from the mother to the developing fetus during pregnancy and may lead to impaired vision in the newborn baby. congenital rubella is now rare in the developed world due to routine immunization. The baby’s eyes may also be affected by cataracts, in which the lenses are opaque, or glaucoma, in which the optic nerve is damaged due to increased pressure in the eyes. Congenital blindness may also be caused by damage to the brain as a result of lack of oxygen during birth.

Symptoms:
Parents usually become aware that their have a vision problem within a few weeks. he or she may less responsive than other babies, lying quietly to make the most of his or her hearing. parents may also notice that their baby:

· Is unable to fix his or her eyes on a close object.
· Has random eye movements.
· Does not smile by the age of 6 weeks.
· Has abnormally large, cloudy eyes if glaucoma is present.

Parents may find it difficult to bond with a quiet baby who does not smile.

Diagnosis:
If congenital blindness is not suspected by a baby’s parents, it will probably be picked up during a routine examination in infancy. A child suspected of having an impaired vision will be referred to a specialist for an examination and tests. His or her hearing will also be tested because, if the child is severely visually impaired, he or she will rely more on hearing.

Treatment:
It is possible to improve vision in only a smaller number of babies, such as those with cataracts or glaucoma. Early treatment of these conditions is important. cataracts are usually removed surgically within the first month of life. glaucoma may also be treated surgically to allow fluid to drain from the eye.

If vision cannot be improve, much can be done to help a child make maximum use of other senses or what little vision he or she has. if your child is diagnosed as blind, a team of specialist, including a teacher for the blind, will be able to give you and your child support and care. You will also be given advice on how to stimulate your child, by using your speech, sounds, and touch and how to adapt your home so that your child can explore it safely and develop self-confidence. Some children will require special schooling to learn braille, a system of raised dots that allows blind people to read.

Genetics counseling is available for parents of an affected child who wish to have more children or for prospective parents who are blind.

Click to see :
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Preventable Causes of Congenital Abnormalities
Enzyme Responsible For Congenital Blindness
Prognosis :
Children treated for cataracts or glaucoma will probably still have impaired vision but often have enough sight to perform most activities unaided. Many blind or visually impaired children with no other disabilities go on to have successful personal and professional lives.

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.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=338
http://www.blonnet.com/ew/2005/03/07/stories/2005030700230200.htm