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Our brains naturally shrink as we get older. But you can reverse the trend with just three of these: walks.
Research shows that walking just three times a week for 40-minute stints can help people hang on to more of their gray matter.
Turning Back the Clock
In particular, walking seems to help preserve the hippocampus — a memory-making part of the brain. In older adults who do not have dementia, the hippocampus normally shrinks about 1 to 2 percent per year, which gradually increases the risk of cognitive impairment. But in a recent study, a year of dedicated moderate-intensity walking resulted in about a 2 percent increase in volume, which researchers say is about the equivalent to rewinding the brain-aging clock about 1 to 2 years. In the study, older adults who were not regular exercisers were assigned to year-long exercise programs focusing on either walking or doing a combination of stretching and toning three times a week. After a year, imaging scans of the brain showed that hippocampus volume increased in the walkers but actually decreased a bit in the stretchers and toners.
Brain Saving Steps
With the increase in brain volume, blood levels of an important memory-supporting protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor also increased — which probably helps explain why the walkers who had bigger-than-average brains at the outset and achieved the greatest volume increase during the study intervention also made the biggest improvements on spatial memory tests. Researchers think that aerobic exercise helps boost brain matter because it increases blood flow to the brain. Studies have also shown that walking can help increase the brain’s ability to learn, retain, and use new information.
Real Age Benefit
Exercising regularly can make your Real Age as much as 9 years younger. Actively patrolling your health can make your Real Age as much as 12 years younger.
source : Erickson, K. I. et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2011 Feb 15;
Regular moderate exercise is of paramount importance to good health — for prevention of heart attacks, strokes, for better management of diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, sexual performances — but the flip side of excessive exercise training is athletic heart syndrome (AHS).
AHS occurs due to hypertrophy of the heart muscle. Typically, it is described as increased heart muscle mass, increased chamber dimensions and wall thickness. Generally, AHS is a far more efficient heart than a normal heart. It is accompanied by slow heart rate. The heart muscle hypertrophy is the same as seen in biceps or arm muscles after continued weight training. The muscle fibres of the heart increase in length, diameter and number with prolonged endurance training like long-distance running, dancing and sports. The muscles become thickened by pressure overloads like weight training, rowing, etc. These changes in heart have to be differentiated from pathological hypertrophy of the heart muscle.
Most athletes with AHS have no symptoms at all. It gets diagnosed by an abnormal ECG, X-ray and echocardiography. Most tests get normalised after some years of stopping the exercise. High-level training athletes should be aware of AHS. If breathlessness, graying (syncope), chest pains occur, they should be evaluated. AHS should not be a cause of concern to any employment. After cessation of athletic activity, most heart-related changes will regress to normal, over a period of months.
- Athletic heart syndrome is not uncommon.
- Abnormal ECG and abnormal echo cardiography in an athlete should alert us about AHS.
- Employment, marriage and day-to-day life are absolutely not a problem with AHS.
- High-level athletes should have a periodic check for AHS.
- If detected early, the training programme can be modified.
- After stopping of high-level activity, a majority of the changes due to AHS can get reversed in a period of months or years.
- AHS is not a familial or genetically transmitted condition.
- Awareness about AHS will overcome the fear psychosis caused by abnormalities in cardiac investigations.
Eye specialists and surgeons may soon have a new tool to cure blindness and restore loss of vision. A team of international scientists claim to have developed a new eye jab that they claim could cure blindness.
As of their new invention, the Britain’s Yorkshire Eye Hospital which carried out the study in association with a team of international scientists says that the new steroid implant is used to prevent the sudden loss of sight caused by a blockage of veins at the rear of the eye.
The jab can also be used to prevent blindness caused by other causes such as diabetes and age related macular degeneration, said the experts.
“This is very exciting and could be used in a wide potential range of sight loss problems. The results are astounding,” the Daily Express quoted Shafiq Rehman, a specialist at the Yorkshire Eye Hospital in Bradford, as saying.
The treatment currently is only available privately and still needs to be assessed by the Government health and drug watchdog, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
New treatment is welcomed by specialists
Medical specialists have hailed the new treatment method that its developers claim is the first-of-its-kind treatment which is safe and effective and could help patients with the problem.
“This is new, it works and it’s wonderful. To date there have been no really safe and effective treatments for people with inflammation at the back of the eye. This is the first,” said Oliver Backhouse, consultant ophthalmologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People in Britain has also hailed the breakthrough, saying the implant is an “exciting new development.”
First patient calls the treatment ‘brilliant’
Carol Johnys is believed to be one of the first patients in Britain to have her sight saved by the new treatment. The 52-year-old, who lives alone in Bradford, West Yorkshire, had already suffered from severely impaired vision in her right eye caused by macular eye disease.
After having the steroid implant fitted she rates her eyesight as “brilliant.”
She said, “There was a definite improvement in my vision just a week later. It has given me a new lease of life.”
Widowed Margaret Sheard said: “It definitely saved my sight.” The 83-year-old, of Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, had already suffered problems with her eyes when she had sudden loss of vision in her left eye.
“I had already had treatment to both cataracts and laser treatment to my right eye. When my vision went in my left eye I assumed I needed another blast of laser but it was not the case,” explained Margaret, a retired photographic artist, nurse and mother of three.
“I live alone and needed to save my sight so I could carry on being independent,” she added. “It’s improved my eyesight no end and the quality of my life.”
src : Neelam Goswami.
Splash some hot sauce onto your meals and you`ll significantly reduce your risk of colon cancer, says scientists at Hannam University. Hot chillies have been found to attack the development of the disease in your body thanks to capsaicin – the compound that make chillies spicy.
Adding Tabasco to just about everything is the easiest and most accessible way to stay safe and spice it up!
Combining medical excellence, courage to conquer and fight against cancer and faith to bring a new life to this world, Fortis Cancer Institute successfully treats a Nigerian lady of her breast cancer during pregnancy. 26 year old John Kalzi who was diagnosed of breast cancer on her 6th month underwent complete cancer treatment and delivered a normal baby.
Experts participating at a live operative workshop on `Laparoscopic Hernia Mesh Repair at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna, on Saturday said that number of cases of hernia was on rise in the state.
The workshop was jointly organised by the department of gastrointestinal surgery (GI), IGIMS, and Association of Surgeons (ASI), state chapter.
In his speech, laparoscopic surgeon of Fortis Hospital, Kolkata, Dr Ramesh Agarwal remarked that hernia is an age-old disease with several new innovations in the laparoscopic operation of hernia mesh repair. He added that there are basically two types of operations in hernia — Trans Abdominal Pre Peritoneal Repair (TAPP) and Total Extra Peritoneal Repair (TEP).
Dr Agarwal said that in TAPP method, operation is done from inside the abdomen while in TEP the operation is performed between skin and peritoneum.
In his speech, clinical head, GI surgery, Dr Manish Mandal observed that number of hernia cases is on the rise in Bihar. He said that hernia is of many types, but commonly found are inguinal hernia and incisional hernia. Though this disease is age-old, there are several techniques for management of hernia, Dr Mandal said and added that the most recent advancement in management of hernia is laparoscopic mesh repair.
He said that in this process, the abnormal anatomy of abdominal wall is corrected and then a prolene mesh is applied on the weak wall to strengthen it. All this procedure is done with the help of laparoscope with just three-four small one cm hole, he pointed out.
Earlier, IGIMS director Dr Arun Kumar inaugurated the workshop. He especially thanked Dr Agarwal for coming to Bihar and demonstrating his operational skills.
IGIMS additional medical superintendent Dr Bindey Kumar proposed the vote of thanks.
“Indian women are at a high risk of developing cervical cancer. Of the total 10 women who die of the disease every hour in Southeast Asia, eight are from India. Cervical cancer has become the most common cancer among women in India with 1 lakh new cases reported every year,” said Dr Seema Wadhwa, Consultant, Gynecology, Fortis Hospital.
Addressing a seminar on `Cervical cancer and other gynecological problems”, Dr Wadhwa said: “Cervical cancer is potentially curable if detected early due to its long pre-cancer state that may extend from 7-10 years. It is the best example of cancer prevention. Also, the abnormal cells shed from the cervix can be easily picked up during the screening by a pap smear test.”
Explaining the risk factors, she said the chances of getting cervical cancer increase in case of multiple sexual partners, promiscuous partner, early age of first coital experience, early child bearing, prior history of sexually transmitted diseases, long term usage of oral contraceptives, cigarette smoking, immunodeficiency and most importantly viral infection with human papilloma virus (HPV). Talking about the symptoms, she said: “A woman should seek medical guidance in case of abnormal vaginal bleeding, bleeding after menopause, bleeding following coitus or pelvic examination or increased vaginal discharge. The diagnosis is confirmed by a biopsy.”
Advising the women to get themselves regularly screened for cancer, the expert said: “Pap smear is the single most effective cancer screening test. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends screening annually for all women under the age of 30 starting from 18 years or when the girl becomes sexually active. Over the age of 30, one can space the screening to every two to three years if the last three tests have been negative and some other conditions are met. The peak age of developing cervical cancer is 40-50 years,” Dr Wadhwa added.
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Over 50% of all cases globally – China, India and the Russian Federation, account for Drug resistant TB.
Each year, over nine million people around the world get infected with TB and almost two million TB related deaths are recorded worldwide. The actual figures must be far larger than this.
“On the move against tuberculosis”.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), here are some interesting facts about tuberculosis.
Fact 1 – Tuberculosis is contagious and spreads through air. If not treated, each person with active TB can infect on average 10 to 15 people a year.
Fact 2 – More than two billion people, equal to one third of the world’s total population, are infected with TB bacilli, the microbes that cause TB. One in every 10 of those people will become sick with active TB in his or her lifetime. People living with HIV are at a much higher risk.
Fact 3 – A total of 1.7 million people died from TB in 2009 (including 3, 80,000 people with HIV), equal to about 4,700 deaths a day. TB is a disease of poverty, affecting mostly young adults in their most productive years. The vast majority of TB deaths are in the developing world, with more than half occurring in Asia.
Fact 4 – TB is a leading killer among people living with HIV, who have weakened immune systems.
Fact 5 – There were 9.4 million new TB cases in 2009, of which 80% were in just 22 countries. Per capita, the global TB incidence rate is falling, but the rate of decline is very slow – less than 1%.
Fact 6 – TB is a worldwide pandemic. Among the 15 countries with the highest estimated TB incidence rates, 13 are in Africa, while a third of all new cases are in India and China.
Fact 7 – Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a form of TB that does not respond to the standard treatments using first-line drugs. MDR-TB is present in virtually all countries surveyed by WHO and its partners.
Fact 8 – There were an estimated 4, 40,000 new MDR-TB cases in 2008 with three countries accounting for over 50% of all cases globally – China, India and the Russian Federation. Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) occurs when resistance to second-line drugs develops. It is extremely difficult to treat and cases have been confirmed in more than 58 countries.
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