Tag Archives: University of Minnesota

Aloewood(Aquilaria malaccensis)

Botanical Name : Aquilaria malaccensis
Family: Thymelaeaceae
Genus: Aquilaria
Species: A. malaccensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms:
Agalochum malaccense (Lam.) Kuntze
Aquilaria agollocha Roxb.
Aquilaria secundaria DC.
Aquilaria malaccense Thiegh.

Common Names: Aloewood,Agarwood,Eaglewood. Vernacular names: gaharu, karas(Indonesia and Malaysia).

Habitat : Aloewood  is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Description:
A large evergreen tree occurring in forests at the base of mountainous areas. Tree can grow up to 20m tall. The depletion   of wild trees from indiscriminate cutting for agarwood has resulted in the trees being listed and protected as an endangered species.Projects are currently underway to produce agarwood in a sustainable manner.

 CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

..Aloewood  tree

Leaf , banch etc

 

Medicinal Uses:
Internally for digestive and bronchial complaints, fevers, and rheumatism (bark, wood).  Because of its astringent nature, the powdered wood of the aloe tree provide an effective skin tonic and is recommended by Ayurvedic physicians as an application for restoring pigment in leucoderma.  Powdered aloeswood provides an antiseptic so gentle it is used for ear and eye infections as well as on open wounds.

Other uses:Best known as the principal producer of the resin-suffused agarwood. The resin is valued in many cultures for its distinctive fragrance, thus used for incense and perfumes.The fungi infected wood produces a valuable incense. The wood is also used to make baskets and temporary beds. The bark is used for making ropes and cloths.

 CLICK & SEE

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquilaria_malaccensis
http://www.cites.org/eng/com/pc/14/e-pc14-09-02-02-a2.pdf
http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/docs/parks/Reforestation_tree_sp_info.pdf

http://www.asianplant.net/Thymelaeaceae/Aquilaria_malaccensis.htm

Nighttime Sleep Boosts Infant Skills

At ages 1 and 1-1/2, children who get most of their sleep at night (as opposed to during the day) do better in a variety of skill areas than children who don’t sleep as much at night.

That’s the finding of a new longitudinal study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal and the University of Minnesota. The research appears in the November/December 2010 issue of the journal Child Development.

The study, of 60 Canadian children at ages 1, 1-1/2, and 2, looked at the effects of infants‘ sleep on executive functioning. Among children, executive functioning includes the ability to control impulses, remember things, and show mental flexibility. Executive functioning develops rapidly between ages 1 and 6, but little is known about why certain children are better than others at acquiring these skills.

“We found that infants’ sleep is associated with cognitive functions that depend on brain structures that develop rapidly in the first two years of life,” explains Annie Bernier, professor of psychology at the University of Montreal, who led the study. “This may imply that good nighttime sleep in infancy sets in motion a cascade of neural effects that has implications for later executive skills.”

When the infants were 1 year old and 1-1/2 years old, their mothers filled out three-day sleep diaries that included hour-by-hour patterns, daytime naps, and nighttime wakings. When the children were 1-1/2 and 2, the researchers measured how the children did on the skills involved with executive functioning.

Children who got most of their sleep during the night did better on the tasks, especially those involving impulse control. The link between sleep and the skills remained, even after the researchers took into consideration such factors as parents’ education and income and the children’s general cognitive skills. The number of times infants woke at night and the total time spent sleeping were not found to relate to the infants’ executive functioning skills.

“These findings add to previous research with school-age children, which has shown that sleep plays a role in the development of higher-order cognitive functions that involve the brain’s prefrontal cortex,” according to Bernier.

Source : Elements4Health

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How Scratching Curbs the Itch?

Itching brings with it that ever-increasing urge to scratch, which always works wonders, but not much is known about the physiological  mechanisms behind this phenomenon.

Now scientists have watched spinal nerves transmit that relief signal to the brain in monkeys, a possible step toward finding new treatments for persistent itching in people.
....click & see

Nerve cells play a key role in itching

More than 50 conditions can cause serious itching, including AIDS, Hodgkin’s disease and the side effects of chronic pain treatment, said Glenn Giesler, a neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Some terminal cancer patients even cut back on pain medication just to reduce the itch, he said.

Scratching can lead to serious skin damage and infections in people with chronic itch, he said. So scientists want to find ways for such people to relieve their distress “without tearing up their skin,” he said.

While medications can relieve some kinds of itch, other cases resist current treatments.

Nobody knows just how scratching relieves itch. But the federally funded monkey study, reported Monday on the website of the journal Nature Neuroscience by Giesler and colleagues, takes a step in unraveling the mystery.

The scientists focused on a kind of spinal nerve that transmits the “itch” signal to the brain. The researchers sedated long-tailed macaques for the experiment and placed recording electrodes on their spinal nerves. They injected a chemical into a leg to produce itching. The nerves fired electrical signals in response. Then the researchers scratched the leg with a hand-held metal device that simulates three monkey fingers. The firing rate dropped — the apparent signature of the “relief” signal. In contrast, when researchers scratched the leg without causing an itch first, the firing rate jumped. So the nerves somehow “know” to react much differently if there’s an itch to be relieved than if there isn’t.

Sources: The Times Of India

Rheumatic Diseases

It’s not widely known, but eye problems, visual impairment and even blindness are not uncommon features of many forms of arthritis and rheumatic disease. Dr Badal Pal and Dr Sathianathan Panthakalam, of Withington Hospital, Manchester, explain.

Common, inflammatory joint disease

The three main problems in rheumatoid arthritis are dry eyes, which affects one quarter of RA patients; keratitis (inflammation of the cornea); and scleritis (inflammation of the sclera, the white outer layer of the eyeball) of which RA is one of the most common causes. Patients may also develop secondary Sjögren’s Syndrome due to salivary gland abnormality which also causes a dry mouth. In scleritis, the sclera can become thin leading to perforation.

Juvenile chronic arthritis:-
Rare form of inflammatory arthritis affecting children from six months upwards

In most cases of JCA, the eyes are unaffected for up to three years, when complications may occur, so it is important for children at risk to have their eyes checked regularly. Up to 18 per cent of youngsters with JCA have a form of uveitis after having JCA for five years. Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea – a layer of tissues made up of the iris and choroid membrane and the middle of the three layers of the eyeball – which causes irritation, reddening of the eye, and blurred or loss of vision. It can be treated by steroid drops and immuno-suppresives. Children at the highest risk are those aged under nine, with a few affected joints. They need screening every three months at the age of two, then regularly until they reach ten. Youngsters with many affected joints, or with systemic onset disease, and all children over the age of nine, are considered low risk.

Systemic lupus erythematosus:-…………


Autoimmune disease affecting many organs in the body

Eye damage in patients with lupus vary from minor problems to severe retinopathy (inflammation of the iris or choroid which can lead to visual impairment, even blindness). Five per cent of patients develop scleritis. Retinal vasculitis (inflammation of the arteries) can occur, and patients can develop cotton wool spots at the back of the eyeball, retinal bleeding and swelling of the optic disc. Double vision can also occur,

Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma):-………….


Rare, serious condition affecting the skin, joints and internal organs

The most common complaint is dryness in the eyes. A minority of patients develop retinopathy with cotton wool spots at the back of the eyeball, retinal haemorrhages and blockage of retinal arteries.

Polymyositis and dermatomyositis:-……………


Similar automimmune diseases causing inflammation of the muscles. Dermatomyositis also affects the skin

The typical lilac discolouration (heliotropic) rashes on the eyelids are seen in 40 per cent of patients. Ocular myopathy (muscle wasting) can occur in a small proportion of patients, leading to double vision, and a few people develop retinopathy.

Seronegative arthropathies:-………….

A group of non-rheumatoid inflammatory diseases

Acute uveitis is the most important disease in this group of patients:

Ankylosing spondylitis:-………………..


Rheumatic disease affecting the spine, resulting in stiffness in the back

Uveitis occurs in 20 per cent of patients. Only one eye is usually affected at one time, but both eyes may become affected during the course of the disease.

Reiter’s Syndrome:-…………………….
Also known as reactive arthritis; affects tendons and tissues as well as joints

Conjunctivitis is the most common symptom, seen in 30–60 per cent of patients. Uveitis is less frequent in early disease, but can occur in up to 40 per cent of patients.

Psoriatic spondyloarthropathies:-……………


A form of inflammatory arthritis, similar to RA

Uveitis occurs in up to 15 per cent of patients, and is frequently accompanied by conjunctivitis, dry eyes or keratitis. It can be chronic or acute.

Arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease
Arthritis occurs in association with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and Whipple’s disease.

Uveitis is seen in 10 per cent of these patients. Crohn’s disease seems to be frequently associated with uveitis (less often with ulcerative colitis).

Other eye lesions seen occasionally in this group of patients are episcleritis – inflammation of the superficial vessels of the sclera – or peripheral corneal ulceration. The likelihood of eye lesions increase in those with arthritis, spondylitis and skin symptoms.

Beh§et’s disease:-…………….


A rare disorder of oral and genital ulcers, inflammatory eye disease and skin lesions

Eye involvement is the most serious symptom in Beh§et’s patients. It occurs in 70 per cent of patients, and 25 per cent will go blind. Those most at risk are men, particularly those who developed the condition at a young age. Women are less severely affected. Patients develop eye disease within two to three years of developing the condition. Anterior uveitis is fairly easy to treat, but postererior uveitis and retinal vasculitis are more serious. After four years of eye disease, up to 85 per cent of patients have some form of visual impairment.

Wegener’s granulomatosis:-
A form of vasculitis

Eye problems develop in about 50 per cent of patients. The eye socket is infiltrated with granulomatous tissue; the eyes become prominent, and become reddened because of scleritis. Patients sometimes have visual impairment because of the compression of the optic nerve by granulomatous tissue.

Sarcoidosis:-…………………


Rare skin condition also affecting the lungs, eyes and the musculoskeletal system

Between 30 and 40 per cent of patients will develop eye problems. The most common problem is acute or chronic relapsing uveitis leading to dry eyes. Five per cent of patients develop optic nerve neuropathy (a disease of the peripheral nerves causing weakness or numbness) with a significant loss of sight.

Giant cell arteritis:-
Inflammation of blood vessels commonly in the head

Giant cell arteritis is an emergency condition, and an important cause of preventable blindness in old people. Twenty five per cent of patients develop eye disease and suddenly lose the sight in one eye. Blindness is usually due to loss of blood supply, and subsequent damage to the optic nerve. Treatment is immediate, high dose steroids, to prevent blindness in the other eye, as recovery is unusual.

Ocular side effects of anti-rheumatic therapy:-
Most of these drugs cause no significant side effects, but cortisteroids and antimalarial drugs can have toxic effects.

Antimalarial drugs, hydroxychoroquine and chloroquine, which are used in RA, lupus and other related disorders, can lead to irreversible retinal damage and corneal opacity. Patients on these drugs have their eyes examined once a year.

Corticosteroids can lead to corneal and scleral thinning, and cataracts are common after higher doses of steroids. Raised intra ocular pressure is another common side e

*Sclera…. white outer layer of the eye Retina inner most light-sensitive layer of the eye

*Conjunctiva…. transparent membrane on the front part of the sciera iris pigmented tissue surrounding the pupil – in front of the lens – allowing light to enter the eye.

*Cornia……... front part of the eye overlying the pupil, iris and lens. it is part of the sclera

*Choroid….… middle layer of the eye, alsocalled the uvea. it contains blood vessels and a pigment that absorbs excess light – this prevents blurring

*Optic nerve…… main nerve travelling from the back of the eye carrying signals to the brain for the eye to see

*Vitreous body.jelly-like substance separating the front part of the eye and the back part where the retina and optic nerve are located.

Click to see also:->
Inflammatory conditions of the eye associated with rheumatic diseases.

EYE INVOLVEMENT IN THE SPONDYLOARTHROPATHIES

Ophthalmologic manifestations of rheumatic diseases

Sources:

http://www.arc.org.uk/news/arthritistoday/106_2.asp

Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis

What are collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis?

Inflammatory bowel disease is the general name for diseases that cause inflammation in the intestines, most often referring to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis are two other types of bowel inflammation that affect the colon. The colon is a tube-shaped organ that runs from the first part of the large bowel to the rectum. Solid waste, or stool, moves through the colon to be eliminated. Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis are not related to Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, which are more severe forms of inflammatory bowel disease....CLICK & SEE 

Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis are also called microscopic colitis. Microscopic colitis means there is no sign of inflammation on the surface of the colon when viewed with a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy two tests that let a doctor look inside your large intestine. Because the inflammation isn’t visible, a biopsy is necessary to make a diagnosis. A doctor performs a biopsy by removing a small piece of tissue from the lining of the intestine during a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis are the same—chronic, watery, non-bloody diarrhea. Abdominal pain or cramps may also be present. People with collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis may suffer from ongoing diarrhea while others have times when they are symptom free.

What causes collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis?

Scientists are not sure what causes collagenous colitis or lymphocytic colitis. Bacteria and their toxins, or a virus, may be responsible for causing inflammation and damage to the colon. Some scientists think that collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis may result from an autoimmune response, which means that the body’s immune system destroys healthy cells for no known reason.

Who gets collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis?

Collagenous colitis is most often diagnosed in people between 60 and 80 years of age. However, some cases have been reported in adults younger than 45 years and in children. Collagenous colitis is diagnosed more often in women than men.

People with lymphocytic colitis are also generally diagnosed between 60 and 80 years of age. Both men and women are equally affected.

How are they diagnosed?

Some scientists think that collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis are the same disease in different stages. The only way to determine which form of colitis a person has is by performing a biopsy.

A diagnosis of collagenous colitis or lymphocytic colitis is made after tissue samples taken during a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy are examined with a microscope.

Collagenous colitis is characterized by a larger-than-normal band of protein called collagen inside the lining of the colon. The thickness of the band varies; so several tissue samples from different areas of the colon may need to be examined.

With lymphocytic colitis, tissue samples show an increase of white blood cells, known as lymphocytes, between the cells that line the colon. The collagen is not affected.

Treatment

Treatment for collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis varies depending on the symptoms and severity of the case. The diseases have been known to resolve on their own, although most people suffer from ongoing or occasional diarrhea.

Lifestyle changes are usually tried first. Recommended changes include reducing the amount of fat in the diet, eliminating foods that contain caffeine and lactose, and avoiding over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

If lifestyle changes alone are not enough, medications can be used to help control symptoms.

  • Treatment usually starts with prescription anti-inflammatory medications, such as mesalamine (Rowasa or Canasa) and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), in order to reduce swelling.
  • Steroids, including budesonide (Entocort) and prednisone are also used to reduce inflammation. Steroids are usually only used to control a sudden attack of diarrhea. Long-term use of steroids is avoided because of side effects such as bone loss and high blood pressure.
  • Anti-diarrheal medications such as bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol), diphenoxylate atropine (Lomotil), and loperamide (Imodium) offer short-term relief.
  • Immunosuppressive agents such as azathioprine (Imuran) reduce the inflammation but are rarely needed.

For extreme cases of collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis that have not responded to medication, surgery to remove all or part of the colon may be necessary. However, surgery is rarely recommended. Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis do not increase a person’s risk of getting colon cancer.

Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis do not increase a person’s risk of getting colon cancer.

Colitis -Natural Cure

Treat Ulcerative Colitis

For More Information

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Inc.
386 Park Avenue South, 17th floor
New York, NY 10016–8804
Phone: 1–800–932–2423 or 212–685–3440
Fax: 212–779–4098
Email: info@ccfa.org
Internet: www.ccfa.org

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

Source:http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/collagenouscolitis/index.htm