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Nov 23
Gene that triggers Alzheimer's discovered
In a breakthrough, British scientists have isolated a "killer" gene which they believe causes Alzheimer`s.

Researchers at King`s College London believe that by identifying clusterin as a trigger for Alzheimer`s they have taken a vital step towards developing treatments to stop the nuerodegenerative disease in its tracks.

Experts at the university`s Institute of Psychiatry believe clusterin sets off a chain of events that causes amyloid-beta, a protein, to start destroying brain cells, the Daily Express reported.
Many drugs prescribed for Alzheimer`s patients aims to cut the amount of amyloid-beta in their brain.

The neurologists are now looking instead at blocking clusterin`s trigger action "in order to ameliorate or even halt Alzheimer`s".
This important study fills in critical gaps regarding the complex way Alzheimer`s takes hold and could lead us towards a new way of diagnosing, targeting and treating the condition more effectively," Professor Clive Ballard, director of research for the Alzheimer`s Society, said.

The research will be published in the medical journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Nov 23
5 reasons why to drink ginger tea this winter
For centuries, ginger has been a natural remedy in combating various kinds of ailments. Researches and findings now validate the effectiveness of this useful herb. Loaded with antioxidants and vital minerals; this wondrous herb has a wide range of health benefits. We provide you reasons as to why you should have this essential ingredient in your kitchen. Treat yourself with a warm cup of ginger tea and forget all your health woes.

Relieves Stress

Ginger tea is a remarkable in relieving stress because of its comforting and relaxing scent. Taking a whiff of ginger tea can help improve and uplift your mood. It leaves you feeling refreshed and calm, and if you're having a bad day, all those negative vibes will disappear.

Fights Respiratory Problems

In case you're suffering from common respiratory diseases such as cold and cough, ginger tea is highly recommended. Ginger aids in loosening up phlegm and expanding the lungs so difficulty in breathing is removed. It also helps pacify allergies and continuous sneezing and irritation.

Encourages Blood Circulation

Consuming a cup of ginger tea can help improve blood flow, as well as help prevent chills, fever and excessive sweating. Amino acids and minerals in this tea help make the blood flow smoothly, preventing the onset of cardiovascular disease.Boosts Immunity

Packed with antioxidants, ginger tea greatly helps improve the immune system. Drinking a cup of ginger tea every day can help outwit potential risks of a stroke by inhibiting fatty deposits from clogging the arteries. It also lowers the cholesterol level and prevents the risk of heart attacks.

Combats Stomach Discomfort

Ginger tea is idyllic in assisting digestion, thereby improving food absorption and avoiding possible stomach aches in case of overeating. Unnecessary bloating and belching can also be prevented by ginger tea. Ginger tea enhances your appetite and helps in releasing gastric acids that abet in digestion.

Nov 22
Forget tennis elbow, we're all suffering from 'office knee' - and desk jobs and obesity are to blame
More than a quarter of UK workers are suffering from painful knee joints, it has been revealed.

And surgeons and physiotherapists say that rising levels of obesity and desk-based jobs across all age groups are to blame.

Those over the age of 55 suffer the most, with one in ten questioned by healthcare provider Nuffield Health claiming they are in constant pain.

And almost a quarter of 1,600 workers aged 16 to 65 surveyed said they have been living with pain for up to two years.

Sammy Margo, a spokesperson for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said the rise of the internet and desk based jobs are to blame for the phenomenon of 'office knee'.

She said: 'I have seen a huge surge in the number of people with knee pain and it is down to the sedentary lifestyle people are leading now.

'It is very much people with desk based jobs, and some of them have been working for ten to 20 years in these roles.

'I have been a physiotherapist for the past 25 years and in that time we have had the advent of the internet, which has been very much a factor.'

And consultant orthopaedic surgeon Ronan Banim said that surgeons are seeing knees that are 'literally being crushed' by excess weight.

He warned that if the levels of obesity continue to increase, the number of people who need knee replacements is likely to 'go through the roof.'
He said: 'If levels of obesity continue to rise the number of people needing knee replacements is likely go through the roof. In clinics we are seeing knees that are literally being crushed by excess weight.

'This puts pressure on joints and can increase the long-term risk of osteoarthritis.

'Weight control, regular, careful, exercise and healthy eating are extremely important.

'Although knee pain may not life threatening, if left untreated it can seriously impact on quality of life.

'Patients should seek early treatment and, where necessary, consider losing just a small amount of weight as this could rule out the need for future surgery.'

But before you lace up your trainers and hit the road running, surgeons have also issued a warning against sudden exercise.

Mr Banim added: 'We are seeing a number of older people becoming more active, with activities like marathons and triathlons becoming popular.

'While this is excellent for maintaining a healthy lifestyle generally, the degenerative problem and pressure on ageing joints can lead to knee problems.

'It is important that ageing joints are not over used and preparation and rest before and after exercise is vital.'

Dr Sarah Dauncey, medical director at Nuffield Health, added: 'To minimise the potential risks of getting knee pain, people who are becoming more active should look at pre and post activity warm-ups and downs, wearing good trainers and supporting the joint when exercising.'

Nov 22
Bird Flu - Causes, symptoms, prevention & cure
What is bird flu?

-It is an infectious disease caused by bird flu virus( H5N1 Influenza A virus )
-Bird flu affect mainly the domestic poultry ( chicken, ducks, etc ) and less commonly in animals like pigs
-Very occasionally, humans may also be infected with this virus

How does bird flu spread to humans?

By close contact with:
-Infected poultry ( chicken, ducks, etc ) and their dropping
-Surfaces contaminated by infected birds and their dropping

Common symptoms of bird flu in humans

-Fever (38 degree C or higher)
-Sore throat
-Muscle aches
-Difficulty in breathing, pneumonia
-Pain in abdomen, diarrhea

How does bird flu spread in birds?

-Bird flu spreads from infected birds to other birds through contact
-Contact with nasal and respiratory secretion
-Contact with faeces of infected birds
-Contamination of feed and water
-Contact with contaminated equipments

Signs in birds infected with bird flu?

-Lack of energy and appetite
-Swellings of the heads, eyelids, combs, legs
-Purple discolorations of the combs / "dirty" feather
-Nasal discharge
-Coughing and sneezing
-Sudden deathHow can we protect ourselves from bird flu?

-Avoid close contact with infected and suspected birds and animal, specially their dropping, saliva, and other secretions
-Avoid consuming raw/ uncooked / partially cooked poultry products such as chicken and eggs
-Cooking ( half an hour and 70 degree C ) kills the bird flu virus
-It makes food safe
-Poultry and poultry products can be consumed following good hygienic and cooking practices
-After handling poultry and eggs, wash hands or other exposed part with soap and water


For any flu-like illness, seek medical help immediately. Bird Flu treatment generally involves hospitalization as well.

Nov 21
Green colour boosts the effect of exercise
The benefits of exercising outdoors may have more to do with the colour green than with just being surrounded by nature, a new study has found.

Researchers suggest working out in the great outdoors may produce more psychological benefits than hitting the gym, adding "green exercise" may boost mood, self-esteem, motivation and enjoyment.

The study is the first to show that the colour green may contribute to the feel-good benefits of outdoor exercise, MyHealthNewsDaily reported.

Researchers at the University of Essex in England had 14 college-age men ride an indoor stationary bicycle for five minutes while watching a video that simulated cycling through a natural environment.

They then switched the filter on the video screen from green to black and white for five minutes, and then to red for the same amount of time. The researchers assessed mood immediately after each five-minute cycling session.

The young men felt less fatigued and experienced fewer mood disturbances when they watched the green version of the video during their ride than when they viewed either the black and white or red versions. They also reported feeling more angry when they viewed the red-filtered nature video.

A previous study by the same researchers suggested that as little as five minutes of outdoor exercise produced significant improvements in mood and self-esteem.

Being exposed to shorter-wavelength colours, such as blue and green, evokes feelings of calmness, whereas red and yellow are more stimulating according to the researchers.
Lush greenery signalled abundant food and nearby water to early human ancestors, the researchers wrote in their study.As a result, positive feelings toward the colour green may have become hardwired into the human brain over the course of evolution, researchers said.

While the findings are compelling, it`s unclear whether the positive vibes arose from the colour green itself or from the familiarity of the images shown on the video, said Thomas Plante, psychologist at Santa Clara University in California in a statement.

Nov 21
'Muscular young men' may live for longer
How muscular you are as a teenager may predict how long you live, at least if you are a man.

Swedish experts who tracked more than a million teenage boys for 24 years found those with low muscle strength - weaker leg and arm muscles and a limp grip - were at increased risk of early death.

The team behind the BMJ study believe muscle strength reflects general fitness, which would explain the link.

Experts stress the findings do not mean muscle building makes you live longer.

The effect of poor muscular fitness in those tracked was similar to well established risk factors for early death, such as obesity and high blood pressure.
Continue reading the main story
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The benefits of being physically active at any age are well established"

British Heart Foundation

When the researchers took into account these better known risk factors, they found the link between early death and muscle power remained.

Thin and fat men alike fared worse in terms of life expectancy if they had weaker than average muscles, while more burly men had better survival odds even if they were overweight.

Over the course of the study, 26,145 (2.3%) of the men died. The leading single cause of death was accidental injury, followed by suicide, cancer, heart disease and stroke.

A third of the deaths were due to other causes and the researchers grouped these together for their calculations.

The teenagers who scored above average on muscular strength at the start of the study had a 20-35% lower risk of early death from any cause and also from cardiovascular diseases.

They also had a 20-30% lower risk of early death from suicide and were up to 65% less likely to have any psychiatric diagnosis, such as schizophrenia or depression.

In comparison, the 16- to 19-year-olds with the lowest level of muscular strength had the highest risk of dying before they reached their mid-50s.

The teenagers, who were all conscripts to the Swedish military, were asked to grip and to do some leg curls and arm push ups against resistance to measure muscle strength.

A spokeswoman for the British Heart Foundation said: "The benefits of being physically active at any age are well established with studies showing it can prevent children from developing diseases later on in life, as well as improving their concentration at school, their overall mental health and well-being."

Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said while there was good evidence exercise was beneficial for health, the study did not show doing more exercise would necessarily prolong your life.

And encouraging people to do more regular physical activity could be a challenge, he added.

"Sadly the trials of an intervention to increase exercise have not shown notable benefits, though that does not discourage me and many others from exercising," Prof Evans said.

Nov 20
Twins born from eggs frozen 12 years ago
A mother has given birth to a record-breaking set of twins from eggs frozen 12 years ago, giving fresh hope to cancer survivors wanting to become parents.
Monica Zapotoczny, 45, of Buenos Aires, gave birth to the twins from the eggs she had frozen at the age of 33 - surpassing the previous record of seven years, the Daily Mail reported.
After several failed attempts at IVF treatment, Zapotoczny and her husband 44-year-old Guillermo Husak, had thought that they would never have a child of their own.
They had one final attempt last year and fortunately Zapotoczny fell pregnant with non identical twins - Mercedes and Guadalupe, who were born in January by caesarian section.
As well as offering new hope to cancer survivors who are holding off having children, the news will come as a boost to career women who are having children later in life to focus on their job.
"It was a miracle. The joy we feel is indescribable, our family is complete. I hope other women who freeze their eggs can take hope from this that their dreams can one day come true," said Zapotoczny.

Nov 20
Paralysed people can now control computer cursor with thought
In recent years, neuroscientists and neuroengineers working in prosthetics have begun to develop brain-implantable sensors that can measure signals from individual neurons, and after passing those signals through a mathematical decode algorithm, can use them to control computer cursors with thoughts.

Now, a team of Stanford researchers including Indian origins have developed an algorithm, known as ReFIT, that vastly improves the speed and accuracy of neural prosthetics that control computer cursors.

Research associate Dr Vikash Gilja and bioengineering doctoral candidate Paul Nuyujukian led the team.

In side-by-side demonstrations with rhesus monkeys, cursors controlled by the ReFIT algorithm doubled the performance of existing systems and approached performance of the real arm. Better yet, more than four years after implantation, the new system is still going strong, while previous systems have seen a steady decline in performance over time.

"These findings could lead to greatly improved prosthetic system performance and robustness in paralysed people, which we are actively pursuing as part of the FDA Phase-I BrainGate2 clinical trial here at Stanford," said Krishna Shenoy, a professor of electrical engineering, bioengineering and neurobiology at Stanford.

The system relies on a silicon chip implanted into the brain, which records "action potentials" in neural activity from an array of electrode sensors and sends data to a computer. The frequency with which action potentials are generated provides the computer key information about the direction and speed of the user's intended movement

The ReFIT algorithm that decodes these signals represents a departure from earlier models.

The system is able to make adjustments on the fly when while guiding the cursor to a target, just as a hand and eye would work in tandem to move a mouse-cursor onto an icon on a computer desktop. If the cursor were straying too far to the left, for instance, the user likely adjusts their imagined movements to redirect the cursor to the right

To test the new system, the team gave monkeys the task of mentally directing a cursor to a target "an onscreen dot" and holding the cursor there for half a second. ReFIT performed vastly better than previous technology in terms of both speed and accuracy.

The path of the cursor from the starting point to the target was straighter and it reached the target twice as quickly as earlier systems, achieving 75 to 85 percent of the speed of real arms.

"This paper reports very exciting innovations in closed-loop decoding for brain-machine interfaces. These innovations should lead to a significant boost in the control of neuroprosthetic devices and increase the clinical viability of this technology," said Jose Carmena, associate professor of electrical engineering and neuroscience at the University of California Berkeley.

Critical to ReFIT's time-to-target improvement was its superior ability to stop the cursor. While the old model's cursor reached the target almost as fast as ReFIT, it often overshot the destination, requiring additional time and multiple passes to hold the target

The team introduced a second innovation in the way ReFIT encodes information about the position and velocity of the cursor. Gilja said that previous algorithms could interpret neural signals about either the cursor's position or its velocity, but not both at once. ReFIT can do both, resulting in faster, cleaner movements of the curso

The results have been published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Nov 19
Real life sleeping beauty sleeps for 64 days!
A teenager in the US suffering from a rare sleep disorder called `Sleeping Beauty Syndrome` slept for 64 days straight in her longest episode of illness yet.

Nicole Delien, 17, from Pennsylvania said she`s missed out on Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and even the first family trip to Disney World.

Her mom, Vicki, said Nicole will sleep 18 or 19 hours a day, and when she does wake up to eat, she said Nicole is in a sleepwalking state which she doesn`t remember.

Vicki Delien said it was very frustrating just getting a diagnosis, CBS Radio reported.

They went to various hospitals until a doctor at Allegheny General Hospital finally realised that she was suffering from the rare sleeping disorder Kleine-Levin.

"Affected individuals may go for a period of weeks, months or even years without experiencing any symptoms, and then they reappear with little warning," the Kleine Levin Syndrome Foundation website stated.

In addition to excessive sleeping, symptoms include disorientation, hallucination, child-like behaviour, binge-eating and periods of hyper-sexuality when awake, according to an Oxford Journals report.

That report said the disorder predominately affects young males.
The cause of Kleine-Levin Syndrome is unknown, both medical sources indicate.Medication helps spread the sleeping episodes further apart for Nicole. The last one was in March, but Nicole said she`s scared of when it will happen again.

The family recently went on a national talk show because they want other families to know about the rare disorder.

Nov 19
Enjoy the goodness of honey - the golden liquid
Remember your childhood? When you used to lick and relish that sweet delectable honey and kept asking for more and more? Its unique taste and aroma just cannot be missed. But Honey is not just for stimulating your taste buds but its healing abilities goes beyond what you had perceived. Honey is a storehouse of powerful healing attributes and has incredible antiseptic, antioxidant and cleansing properties for our body, skin and health. We bring before you the amazing health benefits of honey.

Honey is anti cancer

Honey contains flavonoids and antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. Honey possesses carcinogen-preventing and anti-tumour properties.

Reduce ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders

Recent research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis.

Helps in Weight loss

Unlike refined sugar, honey contains vitamins and minerals and not just calories.On the contrary, honey being a good source of nutrients helps you in reducing weight. Lemon juice with a little honey early morning is believed to be the effective anti-cellulite treatment. This is an effective remedy to speed up shedding pounds from your body. Again, honey and cinnamon is another powerful remedy for effective weight loss.

Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties

Its antiseptic properties inhibits the growth of certain bacteria and helps keep external wounds clean and free from infection. Honey has been used as a natural cure in first aid treatment for wounds, burns and cuts. Its antibacterial properties prevent infection and functions as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Reduces cough and throat irritation

Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, honey not only soothes throats but can also kill certain bacteria that causes the infection.Powerful immune system booster

It`s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can improve your digestive system and help you stay healthy and fight diseases. It removes free radicals from our body and improves our body immunity functioning.

Great for your skin

Honey has humectant qualities; as a result, it can be used as a moisturiser in many cosmetic preparations. It not only attracts water but also retains it in the skin, so the skin remains supple and elastic.Not only does it moisturize,but also naturally tones and exfoliates your skin.

Due to its natural antioxidant properties, which play an important role in protecting the skin from ultraviolet damage honey fights against aging and even skin cancer. Honey can be used as a sunscreen to protect the skin from the sun.

Also the application of honey on chapped lips makes them wonderfully smoother and softer.

So make sure you start your day with this cleansing tonic and enjoy it's innumerable health benefits along with that luscious, delicious taste!

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