Categories
News on Health & Science

‘Virtual Treadmill’ to Walk Faster

Scientists have developed what they claim is a “virtual reality” treadmill which can trick people into believing that they are moving more slowly than they actually are.

……………………….

According to them, the technology could be of great help to stroke sufferers across the world by encouraging them to move faster on the treadmill, which in turn will speed up their recovery.

“The virtual system encourages patients to walk more quickly and for longer, almost without them realising it. It is not just that they are distracted from the pain; by moving faster than they realise, their body actually feels it less. We’re effectively fooling the brain and cheating the body.

“It’s a lot more fun than traditional rehab and it can actually facilitate a much faster recovery. Our test subjects are usually surprised when I tell them they’ve improved by up to 20%,” lead scientist Wendy Powell was quoted by the Independent as saying.

In fact, moving images on a giant screen respond to patients’ efforts on an adapted treadmill. And using a variety of different settings, including urban and rural landscapes, the device creates a virtual world for the patient to “walk” through on the treadmill.

This immersion also acts as a distraction, and early research has already shown patients using it have a decreased perception of pain, according to the researchers at Portsmouth University.

It may be mentioned that clinical trials on patients are currently taking place in collaboration with Canada-based McGill University and early results are also said to be very encouraging. Sixty-one-year-old stroke sufferer Andy Long, who has been using the technology as part of his rehab, hails it as “magic”.

“The vast majority of stroke survivors cannot use a normal treadmill because they are not in control.

Many can only hold on with one hand, making it almost impossible. Walking is the best possible exercise for their bodies, and this system means it could all become available to them,” he said.

Sources:
The Times Of India

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements
Categories
News on Health & Science

Vegetarians Prone to Strokes

[amazon_link asins=’B01A5OOYSE,B0013OUQ3S,B00PSGWHIO,B01E18ZFJ2,B004C7MTLA,B01N1ZAMDW,B01EAPKKF0,B0019LWVLA’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’86a94746-6c25-11e7-9ebe-a59f36769201′]

Strokes are the second most common cause of deaths and the commonest cause of severe disability.
Now a study has shown that deficiency of Vitamin B12, usually seen in vegetarians, can predispose a person to strokes much more than the usual risk factors — diabetes and hypertension.

CLICK & SEE

“While 20% of Indians suffer from diabetes and high BP,” says Dr Arun Garg, consultant neurologist, Max Hospitals, “incidence of homocysteinemia (increased levels of homocysteine, an amino acid) caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, is 70%. This is seen more among vegetarians as this vitamin is mainly found in meat and milk, if it’s neither boiled nor pasteurised.” In fact, deficiency of vitamins B12, B6 and folate causes two-thirds of strokes.

This risk is four times higher in vegetarians. As folate is found in vegetables and fruits, its deficiency is rare among Indians, but that of vitamin B12 is common.

Normal levels of homocysteine are 5-15 micromol per litre. Increased levels heighten the chances of blood clotting, which can lead to decrease in blood supply to the brain, causing a stroke. Studies have found high levels of homocysteine in over 80% of stroke patients. Even a rise of five micromol increases the risk of stroke by two times.

The link between strokes and vegetarianism was confirmed in a five-year study by Garg and Dr A K Jain, neurologist, Jain Neuro Centre, in two Max hospitals and this Centre. From 2003, 4,680 OPD patients were screened for vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels. Those with a history of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, chronic renal, liver problems, alcoholics and those on vitamin supplements were excluded. Most had vague complaints — tingling, numbness, chronic headaches and depressive symptoms like sleeplessness and fatigue.

It was found that 60% patients had vitamin B12 levels below 400 pg/ml and 38.9% had less than 200 pg/ml. Homocysteine levels were high (over 15 micromol/l) in 36%. And out of these, over 80% were either strict vegetarians or took non-vegetarian food less than once a week. This showed the co-relation between vegetarians and strokes.

To confirm the study, 418 ischemic stroke patients between 30-85 years admitted during the same period were analysed. It was found that homocysteine levels were high (over 15 micromol/l) in 77.5% of the patients showing vitamin deficiency can result in strokes. The effects of a stroke are serious and sometimes fatal — paralysis, loss of speech and vision, unsteadiness, double vision or even unconsciousness.

Dr Vinay Goyal, associate professor, neurology, AIIMS, says, “It’s true that vegetarians have less vitamin B12 as compared to non-vegetarians. This has been proven in Indian Americans, Germans, and Chinese/Singaporeans.”

Prevention would cost less than Rs 10 per day, says Garg. All one has to do is take prescribed doses of vitamin B12 and B6 and folic acid. These are shown to reduce homocysteine level by 38% and the risk of stroke by 20-30%. Goyal says, “Vitamin B12 is also there in soyabean, legumes, dairy products, cottage cheese, etc.” Garg and Jain gave vegetarian patients in their study daily vitamin supplements.

Their symptoms disappeared completely after 3-6 months of therapy. Vegetarians with vitamin B12 deficiency need life-long treatment. A dose of 1-1.5 mg/day is required, says Garg. The government too should fortify food with it, much like iodized salt. Also, as India has a high proportion of vegetarians, screening should be done. So get going to quell that stroke of bad luck.

Sources: The Times Of India

Categories
News on Health & Science

Beauty of the Beetroot

[amazon_link asins=’B01E6FGBFM,B01N24VNXM,B004EI1DXW,B01BW28XYE,B01N32M7BR,B0117X0WHO,B06XZD4VKZ,B00IB7DSCG,B005172HUI’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’931e9da5-639a-11e7-8d51-d3596cbee955′][amazon_link asins=’B005KMBGME,B01LWZUK96,B01E6FGBFM,B01ADTKR1Y,B01BW28XYE,B017KYQCF0,B00068JBIS,B000P6J2TE,B004EI1DXW’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’00d2873c-639a-11e7-a755-1d296d398349′]

Scientists have discovered that beetroot has a remarkable effect on lowering blood pressure. Maria Fitzpatrick tries a medically approved new juice...

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Have you ever considered swapping your morning glass of fresh orange for freshly squeezed beetroot? Thought not – but in light of a remarkable discovery, it may be worth downing the inky, purple-red stuff with your cornflakes. And, thanks to the launch this month of a scrumptious new juice, getting your daily dose won’t require a pinch of the nose or scrubbing stubborn, deep purple stains off your chopping board.

Earlier this year, scientists at Barts and the London School of Medicine found that beetroot juice can have as great an effect on blood pressure as conventional drugs.

Led by Professor Amrita Ahluwalia of the William Harvey Research Institute – the renowned pharmacology centre that discovered how aspirin can prevent heart attacks and strokes – the research team found that just three hours after drinking 500ml of the juice (the equivalent of eating five medium-sized beetroots) there was a significant decrease in volunteers’ blood pressure. The remarkable effects were still noticeable 24 hours later.

That such an inexpensive and bounteous vegetable may lower blood pressure makes beetroot worthy of its new-found status as the first “super-root”. However, the woody consistency, off-putting earthy aroma and overly sweet taste (delete as applicable), of its raw juice have long prevented more of us taking a glug – which is a shame, given that one in three adults in the UK now suffers from hypertension and could benefit from a regular 250ml dose, the equivalent of an average glass.

According to the Blood Pressure Association, a third of sufferers don’t even realise they have the condition, which results in an estimated 350 “preventable” strokes or heart attacks every day.
advertisement

So how does beetroot work in the body? Like other superfoods, it has antioxidants in abundance, and is rich in iron, boron and folic acid. Betanene, which gives it its deep colour, is even more potent an antioxidant than polyphenols, the plant chemicals thought to be a key reason for people whose diets are rich in leafy vegetables having lower blood pressure.

But, says Professor Ben Benjamin, a consultant in Acute Medicine at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth and member of the research team, it is beetroot’s capacity to absorb and store exceptionally high levels of nitrate that earns it the super-root title. Nitrates are nutrients found in soil which all plants need to build protein, and which the body harnesses in its battle against blood pressure.

“When nitrate is present in high concentration in saliva, bacteria on the tongue converts it into a more reactive chemical, nitrite,” Prof Benjamin explains. “When the nitrite is swallowed, it is easily converted into nitric oxide, a chemical which is continually produced by our blood vessels to make them relax and hence keep blood pressure low. So dramatically increasing the levels of nitrate with beetroot juice increases this effect.”

Along with its anti-hypertensive effects, the study also found that the high levels of nitrates in beetroot juice work like aspirin does to prevent blood clots, and help to protect the lining of the blood vessels.

So encouraged were researchers by the magnitude of the blood pressure effect that they approached a Suffolk-based natural drinks company to produce a bottled beetroot juice that would make it easy for people to introduce the root into their diet.

The resulting juice, HeartBeet, is certainly palatable, and definitely good for you. A “no bits” blend of crushed organic roots, with a touch of apple juice (10 per cent) to balance out the taste, it is now on sale in selected Holland & Barrett stores. Unlike other juices already available, seven per cent of its proceeds will go directly back into funding cardiovascular research.

It’s rare for the medical community to put its weight so boldly behind the power of nature over pharmacology. According to Prof Benjamin, it is testament to the importance of the findings, which he believes could lead the way to proving that high blood pressure can be treated by altering diet alone, and with fewer – if any – conventional drugs.

“Currently, treatment for high blood pressure involves a cocktail of aspirin, statins, beta blockers, and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Many people really don’t like taking all the tablets, especially since they often don’t feel unwell, and the treatment is essentially lifelong.”

One patient with high blood pressure, 60-year-old David Kelsall from Stoke-on-Trent, is already reaping the rewards of drinking a glass of beetroot juice a day. “I discovered that my blood pressure was higher than normal when my doctor was testing for something else,” he says. “It was 165/90mmHg – not life-threateningly serious, but none the less I was anxious to do something about it.”

Before committing to medication, he decided to give beetroot juice a try. “I drank three bottles of liquidised beetroot a week. Less than four weeks after the first test, I had my blood pressure taken again, and it had already levelled out to 150/90mmHg.” (A normal blood pressure reading would be in the range of 120/80mmHg.) “Now, a few months later, it is under control and normal. I am still drinking the juice, and I’m going to continue doing so. It may not help everyone, but it’s helped me.”

A growing body of research around the world suggests that the crucial nitrates in beetroot may also contribute to protecting us against other diseases, including infections and stomach ulcers – yet more reason to drink up. Having established a connection with blood pressure, scientists are now assessing just how much – or, rather, how little – of the juice is required for it to be effective.

If nothing else, beetroot’s health credentials give us all a reason to be smug: for once, the British country garden has come up with a foodstuff that trumps those in the Mediterranean “wonder diet”. And right now is the perfect time to grow your own. Beetroot seeds won’t germinate in temperatures below 7°C, or when there’s any inkling of ground frost, so early- to mid-summer is ideal to start planting. It can take as little as 10 weeks for a crop to mature, so you could be serving beetroot juice at your final summer barbecue of the year. We should all drink to that!
# HeartBeet organic beetroot juice (£1.49 for 25cl) is available from major Holland & Barrett stores (0870 606 6605, www.hollandandbarrett.com). For more details, call 01473 890111 or visit www.heartbeet.info

Sources: Telegraph.co.uk

Zemanta Pixie
Categories
Meditation News on Health & Science

Meditation Can Keep BP In Control

[amazon_link asins=’B0011Z5NL4,0761159258,1572245379,B01ATP6ZCW,B00IS8RSDI,B00B6HVOQU,1501156985,B00DDHIA1S,B01BWBHZYE’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’095a8fa3-28b9-11e7-8d77-49d75d3121ad’]

Meditation is not only a stress buster, it also helps in regulating high blood pressure with an added benefit of bypassing possible side effects and hazards of anti-hypertension drugs, says a new study.

CLICK & SEE
Picture of Meditation (click to learn more.)

In the new meta-analysis, researchers from University of Kentucky conducted nine randomized, controlled trials with Transcendental Meditation as a primary intervention for hypertensive patients.
Transcendental Meditation among Brazil Police & Military

The findings revealed that practicing Transcendental Meditation led to approximate reduction of 4.7 mm systolic blood pressure and 3.2 mm diastolic blood pressure.

Dr. James W. Anderson, lead author and professor of medicine at the University Of Kentucky College Of Medicine, insisted that reduction the blood pressure could significantly reduce the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease without the side effects of drugs.

“Adding Transcendental Medication is about equivalent to adding a second antihypertension agent to one’s current regimen only safer and less troublesome,” he said

Sources: The Times Of India

Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident)

[amazon_link asins=’0452295548,B00AOK461A,0323295444,1492834432′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d280eea4-cffd-11e7-b7ec-074d622ecc3d’]

Definition:
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disturbed in some way. As a result, brain cells are starved of oxygen causing some cells to die and leaving other cells damaged.

Types of stroke:
Most strokes occur when a blood clot blocks one of the arteries (blood vessels) that carries blood to the brain. This type of stroke is called an ischaemic stroke.…….click & see

  • Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is a short-term stroke that lasts for less than 24 hours. The oxygen supply to the brain is restored quickly, and symptoms of the stroke disappear completely. A transient stroke needs prompt medical attention as it is a warning of serious risk of a major stroke.

  • Cerebral thrombosis occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in an artery (blood vessel) supplying blood to the brain. Furred-up blood vessels with fatty patches of atheroma (arteriosclerosis) may make a thrombosis more likely. The clot interrupts the blood supply and brain cells are starved of oxygen.

  • Cerebral embolism is a blood clot that forms somewhere in the body before travelling through the blood vessels and lodging in the brain. This causes the brain cells to become starved of oxygen. An irregular heartbeat or recent heart attack may make you prone to forming emboli.

  • Cerebral haemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain and bleeds (haemorrhages). With a haemorrhage, extra damage is done to the brain tissue by the blood that seeps into it.

Diagnostic methods for stroke

Effects of a stroke:
No two strokes are the same and people can be affected in quite different ways. This partly depends on which area of the brain is damaged, because different parts control different abilities such as speaking, memory, swallowing and moving.

  • Strokes usually occur suddenly.

  • The most common signs of a stroke are weakness, paralysis or numbness of the arm and leg.

  • Speech may be difficult or become difficult to understand.

  • Swallowing may be affected. Until this improves, patients may be fed by a tube or given fluids into a vein (intravenously) to avoid food going into the lungs.

  • People who have had severe strokes may lose consciousness. Unfortunately, the likelihood of such patients making a good recovery are poor.

Signs and symptoms of stroke

Treatment:
In the first few days after a stroke, treatment involves ensuring that the patient is well hydrated and nourished. The next phase of treatment – recovery through rehabilitation – involves a team of health professionals including physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and doctors.

If a stroke is caused by a blood clot, then taking a low-dose aspirin (eg Nu-seals 75mg) once a day may help make the blood less sticky and less likely to cause clots.

Treatment options for stroke

Risk Factors:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension) does not cause any symptoms, so everyone over the age of 40 should have an annual blood pressure check.

  • Smokers have double the risk of stroke as non-smokers.

  • Irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation) is fairly common in old age, and increases the risk of stroke by causing blood clots to form in the heart. Blood clots can be prevented from forming by taking warfarin, a medicine that makes the blood less likely to clot. Warfarin (eg Marevan) treatment requires careful monitoring with regular blood checks and is a very effective way to reduce the risk of stroke.

  • Diabetes affects 1 in 20 older people, and can also increase the risk of having a stroke. Good control of diabetes is important and requires attention to diet, regular urine tests or blood tests, and probably some medication.

  • Too much alcohol increases the risk of a stroke. The recommended ‘safe’ limits for alcohol consumption are 21 units each week for women and 28 units each week for men. One unit of alcohol is equivalent to a measure of spirits, or a glass of wine, or half a pint of beer. People who drink more than this run a higher risk of stroke, liver disease and dementia.

Prevention methods for stroke
Ongoing research regarding stroke.

Alternative preventive medication

Studies reveal Yoga increases GABA (gamma-aminobutyric) levels

Stroke – Prevention & Curing Protocol

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

Sources:http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/stroke.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta