News on Health & Science

Ageing Muscle ‘Given New Vigour’

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Scientists have found a way to give old, tired muscles a new lease of life.
Stem cells play a key role in repairing muscle……CLICK & SEE

They tweaked biochemical signals in mice to boost the ability of the animal’s stem cells to repair damaged tissue, restoring its youthful vigour.

The breakthrough raises hopes of new treatments for age-related degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The study, by the University of California, Berkeley, is published in the journal Nature.

“We are one step closer to having a point of intervention where we can rejuvenate the body’s own stem cells so we don’t have to suffer from some of the debilitating diseases associated with ageing” says Dr Morgan Carlson , University of California, Berkeley

Adult stem cells play a key role in helping to repair the mature, differentiated cells that make up the body’s working tissues.

The Berkeley team identified two key regulatory pathways that control how well adult stem cells carry out their repair work.

They were then able to modify the way stem cells reacted to those biochemical signals to revive the ability of muscle tissue in old mice to repair itself nearly as well as the muscle in the mice’s much younger counterparts.

Using adult stem cells to rejuvenate tissue would eliminate the ethical controversy surrounding the use of cells taken or derived from embryos.

Researcher Dr Morgan Carlson said: “We are one step closer to having a point of intervention where we can rejuvenate the body’s own stem cells so we don’t have to suffer from some of the debilitating diseases associated with ageing.”

Regeneration capacity

The Berkeley team compared muscle regeneration capacity of two-year-old mice – comparable in age to a human aged 75-85 – to that in two-month old mice, comparable to a human aged 20-25.

As expected, they found the muscle tissue in the young mice easily replaced damaged cells with healthy new cells, while areas of damaged muscle in the older animals was full of scar tissue.

But when they effectively disabled the “ageing pathway” by blocking production of a key protein called TGF-beta, the level of cellular regeneration in the older animals was comparable the much younger mice.

However, the researchers warned that closing down the ageing pathway completely could run a risk of many health problems, for instance the ability to suppress cell division is key to controlling the development of cancer.

Lead researcher Dr Irina Conboy said the key was to find the right balance between the biochemical pathway which promoted healing, and that which promoted ageing.

“We need to find out what the levels of these chemicals are in the young so we can calibrate the system when we’re older.

“If we can do that, we could rejuvenate tissue repair for a very long time.”

Rebecca Wood, of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said: “Since Alzheimer’s causes brain cells to gradually die, research into ways to regenerate them could eventually lead to revolutionary new treatments for this devastating disease.

“More research is needed as this study was conducted on muscle tissue rather than the complex nerve cells in the brain and there are many health problems associated with the suppression of cell division.”

Dr Susanne Sorensen, of the Alzheimer’s Society, said the research was interesting as it had recently been shown that stem cells in the brain might be able to help create new tissue after damage has been done.

“This new research gives further hope that our own stem cells can be used to help regenerate cells in the body.”

Sources: BBC NEWS:June 19, ’08.

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin disorder that mainly affects the scalp, causing scaly, itchy, red skin and stubborn dandruff. For infants, seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp is known as cradle cap. In addition to the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis can also affect the face, upper chest, back and other oily areas of the body.

It’s neither harmful nor contagious, but seborrheic dermatitis can be uncomfortable and unsightly. You may be able to treat seborrheic dermatitis yourself by recognizing its signs and symptoms and by using a combination of self-care steps and over-the-counter (nonprescription) medications.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis or Seborrhoeic eczema is a skin disorder affecting the scalp, face, and trunk causing scaly, flaky, itchy, red skin. It particularly affects the sebum-gland rich areas of skin.

Common signs and symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include:

*Patchy scaling or thick crusts on the scalp
*Yellow or white scales that may attach to the hair shaft
*Red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales
*Small, reddish-brown bumps
*Itching or soreness
*Skin flakes or dandruf


Nasolabial fold scaling and erythema from seborrheic dermatitis.

Severe persistent seborrheic dermatitis of the inframammary folds.

Seborrheic dermatitis predominately affects the scalp but can occur between folds of skin and on skin rich in oil glands. These include in and between your eyebrows, the sides of your nose and behind your ears, over your breastbone, your groin area, and sometimes your armpits. You may experience periods when your signs and symptoms improve alternating with times when they become worse.

In infants, seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp is known as cradle cap. The patches may be thick, yellow, crusty or greasy. In most cases, the condition isn’t itchy for infants like it is for older children or adults.

Side Effects:

Hair loss

Side effects to inflammation may include temporary hair loss. If severe outbreaks go untreated for long periods of time, permanent hair loss may result due to damaged hair follicles.

Expect two to six months before hair growth may resume.

Though the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis isn’t known, several contributing factors seem to play a role, including an abnormality of the oil glands and hair follicles. People with this disorder seem to have increased oil (sebum) production.

It’s also thought that in some people, a yeast (fungus) called malassezia grows in the sebum along with bacteria. Antifungal treatments, such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), are often effective, supporting the idea that yeast is a contributing factor.

Outbreaks may be linked with production of certain hormones, physical stress, fatigue, travel, change of season — outbreaks are usually worse in the winter — or illness. Seborrheic dermatitis may also occur more frequently in people who have neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease.

Seborrheic dermatitis may also accompany acne rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition that causes redness of the face. However, the vast majority of people with seborrheic dermatitis have no other associated skin conditions.

The widely present yeast, Malassezia furfur (formerly known as Pityrosporum ovale), is involved, as well as genetic, environmental, hormonal, and immune-system factors. A suggestion that seborrhoeic dermatitis is an inflammatory response to this yeast has yet to be proven. Those afflicted with seborrhoeic dermatitis have an unfavourable epidermic response to the infection, with the skin becoming inflamed and flaking.

In children, excessive vitamin A intake can cause seborrhoeic dermatitis. Lack of biotin, pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) may also be a cause.

Your doctor may diagnose seborrheic dermatitis after talking to you about your symptoms and examining your skin and scalp. Sometimes, a skin biopsy or other tests are necessary to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other types of dermatitis.

Conditions that are similar to seborrheic dermatitis include:

*Atopic dermatitis. This form of dermatitis is a chronic condition that causes itchy, inflamed skin. Most often, it occurs in the folds of the elbows, backs of the knees or the front of the neck. It tends to flare periodically and then subside for a time, even up to several years.

*Psoriasis. A skin disorder characterized by dry, red, skin covered with silvery scales. Like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis can affect the scalp and cause flaky dandruff. Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas of the body.

*Ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis). Ringworm of the scalp is a type of fungal infection that is most common in toddlers and school-age children. It causes red, itchy, bald-looking patches on the scalp.

There’s no cure for seborrheic dermatitis, but treatments can control its signs and symptoms. Treatment depends on your skin type, the severity of your condition and where it appears on your body.

Soaps and detergents such as sodium laureth sulfate may precipitate a flare-up, as they strip moisture from the top layers of the skin, and the drying property of these can cause flare-ups and may worsen the condition. Accordingly a suitable alternative should be used instead.

Among dermatologist recommended treatments are shampoos containing coal tar, ciclopiroxolamine ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, or zinc pyrithione. For severe disease, keratolytics such as salicylic acid or coal tar preparations may be used to remove dense scale. Topical terbinafine solution (1%) has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of scalp seborrhoea, as may lotions containing alpha hydroxy acids or corticosteroids. Pimecrolimus topical lotion is also sometimes prescribed.

Chronic treatment with topical corticosteroids may lead to permanent skin changes, such as atrophy and telangiectasia.

UV-A and UV-B light inhibit the growth of M. furfur, although caution should be taken to avoid sun damage.

Those with seborrhoeic dermatitis might benefit from biotin supplements. One might also try a humidifier by the bed, as well as a gentle moisturizer with or without oatmeal.

Medicated shampoos are the first step in treating seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp. Choose an over-the-counter shampoo that contains one of the following ingredients:

  • Ketoconazole
  • Tar
  • Pyrithione zinc
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Salicylic acid

Try using the shampoo daily until your symptoms are controlled, then cut back to two or three times a week. If one type of shampoo works for a time and then seems to lose its effectiveness, try alternating between two types of dandruff shampoos. Be sure to leave the shampoo on for at least five minutes — this allows the ingredients time to work.

Plant-based (Herbal)treatments
Click to see :-> phytotherapy
The World Health Organization mentions Aloe vera gel as a yet to be scientifically proven traditional medicine treatment for Seborrhoeic dermatitis.

*Arctium lappa (Burdock) oil
*Chelidonium majus (Celandine)
*Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice)
*Melaleuca (Tea tree) species
*Plantago (Plantain) species
*Symphytum officinale (Comfrey)
*Zingiber officinale (Ginger) root juice

The following over-the-counter treatments and self-care tips can help you control and manage seborrheic dermatitis.

*Shampoo daily. Use an anti-dandruff shampoo that contains selenium sulfide, tar, pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid or ketoconazole as the active ingredient. Use a different shampoo with varying active ingredients each week for three weeks. Then repeat the rotation.

*Use an over-the-counter antifungal cream. Daily application of nonprescription clotrimazole (Lotrimin) may be helpful.

*Apply an anti-itch cream or lotion to the affected area. A nonprescription hydrocortisone cream, containing at least 1 percent hydrocortisone, can temporarily relieve the itch.

*Avoid harsh soaps and detergents. Be sure to rinse the soap completely off your body.

*Wear smooth-textured cotton clothing. This will help you avoid irritation.

*Avoid scratching whenever possible. Cover the itchy area with a dressing, if you can’t keep from scratching it. Trim nails and wear gloves at night.

Cradle cap:
Cradle cap usually clears up on its own within a few months. In the meantime, wash your baby’s hair once a day with mild baby shampoo. Loosen the scales with a small, soft-bristled brush before rinsing off the shampoo.

If the scales don’t loosen easily, rub a few drops of mineral oil onto your baby’s scalp. Let the oil soak into the scales for a few minutes, and then brush and shampoo your baby’s hair as usual. If you leave the oil in your baby’s hair, it may only allow more scales to accumulate on your baby’s scalp.

If cradle cap persists or seems severe, your doctor may suggest a medicated (antifungal) shampoo, lotion or other treatment.

Click to learn more about Seborrhoeic Dermatitis….……………………(1)..………(2)

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.