New Light on Near-Death Flashes

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Near-death experiences during cardiac arrest – from flashing lights to life flashing before one’s eyes – may be down to carbon dioxide, a study & see

Examination of 52 patients found levels of the body’s waste gas were higher in the 11 who reported such experiences, the journal Critical Care reports.

The Slovenian researchers hope to move on the debate over why so many cardiac arrest patients report the experences.

Reasons previously suggested for the phenomenon include religion and drugs.

Those who have had near-death experiences report various encounters, including seeing a tunnel or bright light, a mystical entity, or looking down from the ceiling at the scene below in an “out of body” experience.

Others describe a simple but overwhelming feeling of peace and tranquillity.

It is thought between one in ten and nearly a quarter of cardiac arrest patients have experienced one of these sensations.

No religion
In this latest study, published in the journal Critical Care, a team looked at 52 cardiac arrest patients. Eleven of these reported a near-death experience.

There appeared to be no pattern in regards to sex, religious belief, fear of death, time to recover or drugs given during resuscitation.

And while anoxia – in which brain cells die through lack of oxygen – is one of the principal theories as to why near-death experiences may occur, this was not found to be statistically significant among this small group of patients.

Instead, the researchers from the University of Maribor found blood carbon dioxide levels were significantly higher in the near-death group than among those who had no experience.

Previous research has shown that inhalation of carbon dioxide can induce hallucinatory experiences similar to those reported in near-death experiences.

Whether the higher levels of carbon dioxide among this group of patients were down to the cardiac arrest itself or pre-existing is unclear.

“It is potentially another piece of the puzzle, although much more work is needed,” said the report author, Zalika Klemenc-Ketis. “Near death experiences make us address our understanding of human consciousness so the more we know the better.”

Cardiologist Dr Pim van Lommel, who has studied near death experiences extensively, described the findings as “interesting”.

“But they have not found a cause – merely an association. I think this is something that will remain one of the great mysteries of mankind. The tools scientists have are simply not sufficient to explain it.”

In the UK, a large study is ongoing into whether cardiac arrest patients genuinely do have out-of-body experiences. The research includes placing images on shelves that can only be seen from above. The brain activity of 1,500 patients will be analysed afterwards to see if they can recognise the images.

Dr Sam Parnia, who is leading the project at Southampton University, says he hopes to establish whether consciousness can in fact exist as a separate entity to the body.

Zalika Klemenc-Ketis.. says… “Near death experiences make us address our understanding of human consciousness so the more we know the better ”

To Learn more you may click on:->
Study into near-death experiences :
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At the Hour Of Our Death
Source : BBC NEWS:April 8. 2010

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Turmeric May Work for Alzheimer’s

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India’s very own haldi is now giving scientists hope of an Alzheimer’s cure. Researchers at the University of Southampton are investigating whether curcumin found in turmeric — that gives curries the yellow colour — could benefit people with Alzheimer’s.

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…………….…CLICK & SEE

Researchers believe curcumin could greatly minimise the effects of Alzheimer’s and will examine whether curcumin-containing drugs could counteract some of the brain changes that are characteristic of the disease.

Amrit Mudher, lead researcher from the University of Southampton, said, “Indian communities that regularly eat curcumin have a surprisingly low incidence of Alzheimer’s, but we do not know why. Part of our research will investigate how curcumin may help protect the brain and prevent the disease.”

In healthy people, proteins in the brain’s nerve cells help them to communicate with each other. In Alzheimer’s sufferers, these tau proteins become abnormal and disrupt the cell’s ability to communicate with each other and the nerve cells eventually die.

The team at Southampton will use fruit flies, genetically modified to have nerve cells that contain malfunctioning tau proteins similar to those found in people with Alzheimer’s.

Susanne Sorensen, head of research at the British Alzheimer’s Society, said, “Unless we act now, one million people will develop dementia in the next 10 years. A cheap, accessible and safe treatment could transform the quality of life of thousands of people with the disease.” Curcumin is marketed widely in the western world as a dietary supplement for the treatment and prevention of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Scientists have also recently found that curcumin helps stop the spread of breast cancer into the lungs. Turmeric is also prescribed for liver and urinary diseases.

According to Indian Council of Medical Research scientists, a cure for Alzheimer’s will greatly benefit India. Alzheimer’s, which is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to reason and make judgments, presently affects 5% of the population above 60 in India.

Globally, Alzheimer’s affects one in 10 people over the age of 65. This study could be of prime importance for India where by 2050, the average Indian might live from the current 64.7 years to 75.6 years. According to the recent ‘World Population Prospects’ of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, by 2050, the number of Indians above 80 will increase more than six times from the current number of 78 lakh to nearly 5.14 crore. At present, 20% of this category in India suffer from Alzheimer’s.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Lungs ‘Boosted by Breastfeeding’

Breastfeeding an infant
Image via Wikipedia

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A new study by UK and US scientists has revealed that the sheer physical effort involved in breastfeeding may leave babies with stronger lungs well into childhood.


Previous studies have established that breastfeeding protects babies from respiratory problems early in life, but the relationship with lungpower later in childhood is less clear-cut.

For the study, the researchers followed a total of 1,456 babies from the Isle of Wight all the way through to there 10th year to test this.

A third of them had been breastfed for at least four months, and on average, these children could blow out more air after taking a deep breath, and could blow it out faster.

This happened regardless of whether their mother was asthmatic or suffered from allergies.

Other studies have suggested that immune chemicals in breast-milk may have a protective effect against asthma.

However, the scientists from Southampton University and the College of Veterinary Medicine in Michigan State University, said that the changes in lung volume they found were not completely characteristic of an asthmatic response, suggesting that other factors might be at work.

Dr Syed Arshad, from Southampton and the David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre on the Isle of Wight, said that the physical effort needed to extract milk from the breast might be involved.

On average, babies needed to generate three times the sucking power compared to bottle-feeding, and feeding sessions tended to last much longer.

“What they are doing is very similar to the kind of exercises we suggest for pulmonary rehabilitation in older patients. I’m not aware of anyone suggesting that this might be the reason before,” BBC quoted Arshad, as

These researchers have now approached a bottle manufacturer with proposals to create a bottle, which mimics the effort needed to breastfeed.

He said that it was now feasible to conduct lung function tests on infants, which meant that a trial to see if it made a difference could be concluded within a year.

Dr Elaine Vickers, from Asthma UK, said that the study added to the evidence that breastfeeding has “long-lasting benefits” for children.

“While the results of the study don’t focus specifically on asthma, the researchers were able to demonstrate that children breast-fed for four months or longer had better lung function than those who weren’t breast-fed at all, or who were breast-fed for less than four months,” she added.

Sources:From The study is published in the journal Thorax.

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