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Study Links Birth Weight Gene To Diabetes

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Mothers who give birth to babies with low birth weight may want to monitor their child’s health as they grow, as a new study is suggesting that babies that are born at a low weight have a stronger chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

According to a report published in the journal, Nature Genetics, researchers have discovered two genetic regions that influence birth weight, one of which is also associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.

Researchers analyzed more than 38,000 patients from 19 different studies and found that the gene ADCY5, a factor in causing low birth weight, is also associated with type 2 diabetes. It was found that individuals who had this gene variant had a 25 percent higher risk of developing the condition later in their lifetime.

“It was a surprise to see such strong genetic effects for a characteristic, such as birth weight, which is subject to powerful influences from so many environmental factors,” said researcher Mark McCarthy. “These discoveries provide important clues to the mechanisms responsible for the control of growth in early life and may lead us to a better understanding of how to manage growth problems during pregnancy.”

Individuals who suffer from the condition can take diabetes natural remedies to treat their symptoms without worrying about the side effects that comes with some prescription medication.

Source:
Better Health Research; 8th April.2010

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Typhoid fever

Typhoid fever is an illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Common worldwide, it is transmitted by ingestion of food or water contaminated with feces from an infected person. The bacteria then multiply in the blood stream of the infected person and are absorbed into the digestive tract and eliminated with the waste.

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Typhoid fever is also called enteric fever. It happens due to the involvement of the intestines and may become very serious if treatment is not provided to the patient at the right time. Typhoid fever has a tendency to relapse the patient. It is sometimes accompanied by hoarse cough and constipation or diarrhoea. Typhoid fever is mainly transmitted by ingestion of food or contaminated water from an infected person. Typhoid fever is still common in many developing countries like india, where it affects about 21.5 million persons each year.

Who gets typhoid fever?
Anyone can get typhoid fever if they drink water or eat food contaminated with the S. typhi bacteria. Travelers visiting developing countries are at greatest risk for getting typhoid fever. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 12.5 million persons each year. Only about 400 cases occur each year in the United States.

Symptoms:
Typhoid fever is usually recognized by the sudden onset of sustained fever.
During typhoid fever you may also suffer from severe headaches.
Nausea is an another symptom for typhoid fever.
Some times Stomach Pain is also accounted.
Sometimes the person also suffers from severe loss of appetite.
Typhoid fever accompanied by insomnia and feverishness, particularly at night.
In the beginning the temperature of the body is slightly high in morning, then it gradually becomes normal in the afternoon and then again rises in the evening. The temperature of sustained fever may go up to as high as 103° to 104° F (39° to 40° C ).
They may also feel weak, or have gastroenteritis, headache, diarrhea and anorexia (loss of appetite). In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots.

Classically, untreated typhoid fever course is divided in 4 weeks. In the first week, there is a slowly rising temperature with relative bradycardia, malaise, headache and cough. Epistaxis is seen in a quarter of cases and abdominal pain is also possible. There is leukopenia with eosinopenia and relative lymphocytosis, a positive diazo reaction and blood cultures are positive for Salmonella typhi or paratyphi. The classic Widal test is negative in the first week.

In the second week of the infection, the patient lies prostrated with high fever in plateau around 40ºC and bradycardia (Sphygmo-thermic dissociation), classically with a dicrotic pulse wave. Delirium is frequent, frequently calm, but sometimes agitated and this delirium gave to typhoid the nickname of “nervous fever”. Rose spots appear in lower chest and abdomen in around 1/3 patients. There are rhonchi in lung bases. The abdomen is distended and painful in the right lower quadrant where borborygmi can be felt. Diarrhea can occur in this stage: six to eight stools in a day, green with a characteristic smell, comparable to pea-soup. Howewer, constipation is also frequent. The spleen and liver are enlarged and tender and there is elevation of transaminases . The widal reaction is strongly positive with antiO and antiH antibodies. Blood cultures are sometimes still positive in this stage. In the third week of the typhoid fever a number of complications can occur:

Intestinal haemorrhage due to bleeding in the congested Peyer patches; that can be very serious but generally does not lead to death.
Intestinal perforation in distal ileon: this is a very serious complication that is frequently fatal. It may occur without alarming symptoms until septicaemia or diffuse peritonitis sets in.
Toxic myocarditis with collapse
Encephalitis
Metastatic abscesses, cholecystitis, endocarditis and osteitis
The fever is still very high and oscillates very little around the day. Dehydration ensues and the patient is delirious (typhoid state). By the end of third week defervescence commences that prolongs itself in the fourth week.

The ways typhoid fever spreads:

Typhoid fever appears to have affected thousands of human beings from last so many years, but the cause of the illness is a poisonous and interruptive bacterium called Salmonella typhi . Typhoid fever mainly spreads when people eat food or drink water which is already been infected with Salmonella typhi. This bacteria lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in unhygienic areas of the world where hand washing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with germs. It also spreads through direct contact with a person who is already infected with this disease.

A different pathogen, Salmonella paratyphi , causes paratyphoid fever. Although they’re related, these aren’t the same bacteria responsible for salmonellosis, another serious intestinal infection.

After treatment, some people who recover from typhoid fever, even then continue to harbor the bacteria in their intestinal tract or gallbladder, for some years. These people are called chronic carriers, usually shed the bacteria in their feces and are capable of infecting others, although they no longer have signs or symptoms of the disease themselves.

Diagnosis:
The only way to know for sure if an illness is typhoid fever is to have samples of stool or blood tested for the presence of S. Typhi.

Diagnosis is made by blood, bone marrow or stool cultures and with the Widal test (demonstration of salmonella antibodies against antigens O-somatic and H-flagellar). In epidemics and less wealthy countries, after excluding malaria, dysentery or pneumonia, a therapeutic trial with chloramphenicol is generally undertaken while awaiting the results of Widal test and blood cultures.

Treatment:
Typhoid fever in most cases is not fatal. However, in some cases it is. Antibiotics, such as ampicillin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and ciprofloxacin, have been commonly used to treat typhoid fever in developed countries. Prompt treatment of the disease with antibiotics reduces the case-fatality rate to approximately 1%.

When untreated, typhoid fever persists for three weeks to a month. Death occurs in between 10% and 30% of untreated cases. Vaccines for typhoid fever are available and are advised for persons traveling in regions where the disease is common (especially Asia, Africa and Latin America). Typhim Vi is an intramuscular killed-bacteria vaccination and Vivotif is an oral live bacteria vaccination, both of which protect against typhoid fever. Neither vaccine is 100% effective against typhoid fever and neither protects against unrelated typhus.
Resistance:
Resistance to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and streptomycin is now common, and these agents have not been used as first line treatment now for almost 20 years. Typhoid that is resistant to these agents is known as multidrug-resistant typhoid (MDR typhoid).

Ciprofloxacin resistance is an increasing problem, especially in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Many centres are therefore moving away from using ciprofloxacin as first line for treating suspected typhoid originating in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand or Vietnam. For these patients, the recommended first line treatment is ceftriaxone.

There is a separate problem with laboratory testing for reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin: current recommendations are that isolates should be tested simultaneously against ciprofloxacin (CIP) and against nalidixic acid (NAL), and that isolates that are sensitive to both CIP and NAL should be reported as “sensitive to ciprofloxacin”, but that isolates testing sensitive to CIP but not to NAL should be reported as “reduced sensitivity to ciprofloxacin”. However, an analysis of 271 isolates showed that around 18% of isolates with a reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (MIC 0.125–1.0 mg/l) would not be picked up by this method. It not certain how this problem can be solved, because most laboratories around the world (including the West) are dependent disc testing and cannot test for MICs.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Typhoid fever
Given below course you may follow for general treatment of typhoid fever, it depends on subjective or objective symptoms of the patient.

In first week: You may take 125 mg each of Muktashukti Bhasma and Mrigshringa Bhasma, at least three times daily which should be mixed with honey. A decoction of 12 gm of Khub Kalan and 10 gm of dried grapes with one litre of water, boiled down to about one-third, can be given along with the above medicines.

In second week: You may take a dose of Muktashukti Bhasma (10-12mg) & a dose of Kasturibhairava Rasa (120-125mg) with honey thrice daily. You may also take a mixture of Saubhagya Vati (240 mg) and Jwararyabhra (120 mg) three times in a day with juice of fresh ginger.

In third week: Mix 120 mg of Pravala Bhasma and 120 mg of Vasantmalati Ras with atleast 120 mg Amritsattva, to be taken with honey at least two times in a day. After at least three hours of serving the above medication give a dose of 240 mg of Powder of Pippali & also 240 mg of sarvajwaralauha with honey atleast two times in a day.

That is first, second & third, second should be taken alternatively.

In fourth week:You may take a mixture of Navayasa Choorna (Powder) – 2.5 mg & Vasantmalati Ras 125 mg & Sitopladi Choorna – 1.5 gm (Two Doses) to be taken with honey at least two times in a day. After meals, take a liquid compound prepared from- 10ml of Amritarishta & 5ml of Vishmushtayasava with 10ml of Lauhasava (one dose to be taken for each with equal quantity of water after lunch & dinner meals).

If whole body is massaged with oil, preferably Mahalakhshadi Tail daily, it will provide much desired relief to the patient and also help in quicker recovery. Some people suggest massage with olive oil or Johnson’s Body oil but, then, it is simply a matter of individual response and suitability, availability and choice.

Preventions:
Now vaccines for typhoid fever are also available, but these vaccines are not effective so much and are just partially effective and are usually reserved for people who may be exposed to the disease or are traveling to areas where typhoid fever is endemic. No vaccine has been discovered till date for paratyphoid fever.

It is always adviced to follow the Tips (Specially in Typhoid prune area)

Avoid foods and drinks that you may think may be contaminated. Also avoid eating things that have been kept in the open for long time.

Most important thing – Get vaccinated against typhoid fever.

Use careful selection of food and drink while you are in a developing country. This will also help protect you from other illnesses such as cholera, dysentery and hepatitis A.
Only use clean water. Buy it bottled or make sure it has been brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute before you drink it. Bottled carbonated water is safer than uncarbonated water.
Ask for drinks without ice unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water.
Only eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked.
Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled.
When you eat raw fruits or vegetables that can be peeled, wash your hands with soap, then peel them yourself. Do not eat the peelings.
Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors. Many travelers get sick from food bought from street vendors.
Remember:
Even if your symptoms go away without treatment, you may still be carrying the S. typhi bacteria, and your illness could return and be passed to other people.
If you work at a job where you handle food or care for small children, you should not go back to work until a doctor has determined that you no longer carry any S.typhi bacteria.
Even if you are vaccinated, you should carefully select your food and drink, especially when visiting areas where typhoid fever is common.

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.

Help taken from :Ayurvedic-medicines.com , en.wikipedia.org and http://health.utah.gov/epi/fact_sheets/typhoid.html

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A ray of hope for autism.

After years of research, scientists have zeroed in on the genes responsible for autism. V. Kumara Swamy reports

A five-year-long international study that looked into the genetic underpinnings of autism has zeroed in on new genes, giving hope to millions that some day a treatment for this complex brain disorder may be possible. According to current estimates, around 1.7 million people suffer from autism in India.

 

The preliminary results of the study, gleaned from a large sample of 1,200 families with multiple cases of autism in 19 different countries, were published in this month’s issue of Nature Genetics. More than 120 scientists from 50 institutes participated in the exercise.

The Autism Genome Project, launched way back in 2002, in its first phase assembled the largest gene “biobank” in the world. It conducted a comprehensive genome scan, announcing last month that the susceptible genes  responsible for inheriting the risk of the disease  have been identified.

Autism is a psychiatric disorder that inhibits a child’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, resulting in slow learning and severe intellectual impairment in some cases.

The identification of the susceptible genes, say the experts, will provide an insight into the basis of the disease as well as pave the way for developing intervention methods.

The scientists had at their disposal a gene chip  technology that can rapidly look for genetic commonality in the samples collected.

The new study implicates a previously unidentified region of chromosome 11 and neurexin 1, a member of a family of genes believed to be important in neuronal contact with and communication to other parts of the body. Although there have been several genetic analyses for autism, the results have not been uniform and none has been performed on such a large scale before.

Researchers also speculate that there may be five or six major genes and as many as 30 others involved in autism. If a foetus has more of these genes, there is a higher chance of being born with autism or a more severe form of the disease.

According to Andy Shih of Autism Speaks, a New York-based organisation, the findings could have an impact in the near future. Some of the data will have immediate diagnostic impact, and the new understanding of the genetic contributors will give direction to the development of targeted treatment and intervention,  he says. Shih’s organisation is one of the funders of the current research study.

First classified as a specific disorder over 50 years ago, the incidence of autism is rising steadily, although the criteria for diagnosis have changed over time.

There have been various estimates for autism in India, but no prevalent study that can arrive at a definite figure, says Dr Shobha Srinath of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans), Bangalore. Moreover, there may be underreporting in many places owing to ignorance, she adds.

While it is estimated that one in every 500 children suffer from autism in India, in countries like the US, the problem is more acute with the figure being one in every 150 children. According to experts, the disease affects more boys than girls. In the UK, autism is said to affect one in every 100 children.

Researchers have for long suspected a genetic link to the disease, and the latest study only confirms that, says Dr J.R. Ram, consultant psychiatrist, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Calcutta. “The study is a breakthrough so far as understanding the problem is concerned, but because autism is such a complex disease we need to be realistic about the findings,” he adds.

Parents, it seems, are also of the same opinion.  see this study as a ray of hope, but I think we are still some distance away from any effective treatment in the form of medication,” says Indrani Basu, the parent of an autistic child and also the head of the Autism Society of West Bengal, Calcutta.
Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

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Of older moms and Down Syndrome

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India‘s urban elite has plenty of DINKs (Double Income, No Kids). These people get married later than their rural counterparts, often after they are financially and professionally independent and secure. They can afford the best, as far as pregnancy, antenatal care and delivery are concerned. Eventually, they limit their families to one or maybe two children for whom they wish to provide the best opportunities in life.

Under these circumstances, the birth of a child with Down’s Syndrome (trisomy 21 or mongolism) becomes an unbearable tragedy.

One in 800 children is born with Down’s Syndrome. Such children have a characteristic mongoloid  appearance at birth itself, irrespective of the parents’ ethnic backgrounds. The head may be smaller than normal with a sloping forehead, upward slanting eyes, a small flattened nose, low set ears, short stumpy fingers, a protuberant abdomen and a tongue which sticks out of a small mouth. Also, the palm shows just two lines instead of the usual three.

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Down’s Syndrome usually occurs spontaneously as a result of an anomaly during early embryonic cell proliferation producing an abnormal chromosome 21. During cell division it may have divided abnormally, producing three parts instead of the normal two. Sometimes a piece from the chromosome may have attached (translocated) itself to another chromosome.

These anomalies are more likely with increased maternal age at the time of the pregnancy. Many doctors and researchers consider the age 35 as the cut off.

The child shows all the typical features of Down’s Syndrome if all the cells contain the abnormal chromosomes. Sometimes the person may be a mosaic, with a mixture of normal and abnormal cells. The appearance may then be atypical.

The risk of recurrence is greater if the condition has arisen as a result of translocation. This is because one of the parents is then likely to be a carrier. The risk is around 3 per cent if the father is the carrier, and 12 per cent if the mother carries the abnormal gene. Also, a mother with a Down’s Syndrome child has a one per cent chance of producing another similarly affected child.

Life is difficult for children suffering from Down’s Syndrome as they often have subnormal intelligence. They may also have abnormalities in other organs like the heart. There may be blocks or malfunction of the gastrointestinal tract with constipation and intestinal bloating. Hearing loss or visual defects may also occur. The chromosomal abnormality causes a decreased immune response, causing frequent infections as the children grow. The incidence of leukaemia is 20 times greater than in the general population. Dementia too sets in during early adult life (around 40). All this means a lifetime of nurturing and extra care.

So does this mean that women should sacrifice education and professional careers for early marriage and childbirth?

Not really, as advances in medical science have made it possible to diagnose Down’s Syndrome during the antenatal period itself.

Ultrasound examination during the first trimester has a detection rate of approximately 95 per cent of all Down’s Syndrome cases. The measurement of nuchal translucency — the size of a collection of fluid at the base of the foetal neck  correlates with the risk of Downs Syndrome. Other markers like the size of the head, the nose, the presence or absence of heart and intestinal defects can be evaluated with a scan. The presence of several abnormal markers may be an indication of Down’s Syndrome.

Moreover, certain blood tests performed on the mother can show abnormal results if the foetus is affected. Of these, the one commonly available in India is the alpha-fetoprotein level which tends to be less than normal in Down’s Syndrome.

To confirm the diagnosis, the chromosomes of the foetus can be examined. This can be done with amniocentesis (an examination of the cells in the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus). The diagnosis takes two weeks.

The cells of the placenta can be also tested during the 10th and 12th weeks of pregnancy by Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS). If a rapid diagnosis is required, Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling (PUBS) can be done after 18 weeks of gestation. Each of these three tests is 98 to 99 per cent accurate in diagnosing Down’s Syndrome. However, all these tests carry a risk of miscarriage.

After birth, Down’s Syndrome is suspected because of the typical appearance of the baby. It is confirmed by karyotyping or checking the baby’s chromosomes to demonstrate the extra chromosome in the cells.

Unfortunately, much of this high-tech diagnosis is out of reach for the average Indian woman. Financial constraints, poor education and lack of facilities are major drawbacks to good antenatal care and prenatal diagnosis.

Source:Thr Telegraph (Kolkata,India)