“Hearing loss in teens may be due to loud ipod music”

What is that you are saying?  Didn’t you hear me?

How many times do parents or teachers say this to their children? It seems there may be an organic reason for this temporary deafness.

Hearing loss among U.S. adolescents has surged, possibly, because of the level of noise coming through their earbuds on their  ipods while listening to music. Continue reading ““Hearing loss in teens may be due to loud ipod music””

"Work as a team? = Progress in Alzheimer’s research"

What was that word you used?

My Mother always taught us to share, care and respectfully work together. She said that there is strength in number.

Seems that this is true in medical research as well.  Yes, in the land where no one shared data unless they were close trusted collegues.  Sometimes necessity and the overwhelming enormity of the project creates the perfect opportunity to do as mother taught us so many years ago. Continue reading “"Work as a team? = Progress in Alzheimer’s research"”

"Save your change and use your pen to stop malnutrition"

Starvation kills. Malnutrition and dehydration can eliminated an individuals chance at developing a strong healthy body and mind and can cause death. 200 million children under 5 years of age are affected by malnutrition, with 90 percent living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. And at any moment, at least 20 million children suffer from thedeadliest form of severe malnutrition. Malnutrition plays a huge role in child mortality because the immune systems of these children are less resistant to common childhood diseases. In fact, malnutrition contributes to at least one third of the eight million annual deaths of children under five of five.

Most of the damage caused by malnutrition occurs in children before they reach their second birthday.

This is the critical window of opportunity when the quality of a child’s diet has a profound, sustained impact on his or her health, physical and mental development. Breast milk is the only food babies need for the first six months. After this time, breastfeeding alone is not sufficient and the types of foods introduced into the diet are of paramount importance. Diets that do not provide the right blend of energy including high-quality protein, essential fats, and carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals can impair growth and development, increase the risk of death from common childhood illness, or result in life-long health consequences.

More clean water, protein, fruit and vegetables and less flour will eradicate malnutrition.

Tested strategies to address malnutrition are effective and are showing promising results in Mexico, Thailand, and Brazil, have reduced early childhood malnutrition through direct nutrition programs that ensure infants and young children from even the poorest families have access to quality foods, such as milk and eggs.

Although in Asian and African countries they want to tackle this problem by replicating successful complete food programs, the aid they are sent consists of fortified cereal blend of corn and soy only.  This GMO “food” will fill th ebelly of a starving child, but young child’s hunger, but does not provide proper nourishment.

International donor countries including the USA must end must support programs that don’t supply  the minimal nutritional needs of infants and young children.

Take action today to help Doctors Without Borders to change this food starvation policy,

Give all children a chance to grow up healthy.


Please sign the petition to help change the US policy and give what you can to help.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://www.starvedforattention.org

Image 1. courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cnz18k

Image 2. courtesy of   http://bit.ly/aQkswQ

“Ashwagandha helps calm nerves and improve brain funtioning”

Ashwaganda, also known as Indian Ginseng, has been used for centuries for anxiety, cognitive and neurological disorders and inflammation. It is high in antioxidants.Ashwaganda is also used therapeutically for patients with nervous exhaustion, and debility due to stress. It is also used as an immune stimulant as it has been shown to prevent brain cell degeneration from chronic stress.
For centuries, Indian and African medicine have used it an anti-inflammatory, for fever relief, and against infectious disease. Many believe ashwagandha to be effective in stimulating the immune system. It also appears to inhibit swelling and aid memory and can act as a general health tonic.

A study done in 1991 at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center indicated that extracts of ashwagandha had GABA-like activity. This may account for this herb’s anti-anxiety effects.
Ashwagandha is used in India to treat mental deficits in geriatric patients, including amnesia. Researchers from the University of Leipzig in Germany wanted to find out which neurotransmitters were influenced by ashwagandha. After injecting some of the chemicals in ashwagandha into rats, they later examined slices of their brain and found an increase in acetylcholine receptor activity. The researchers say, The drug-induced increase in acetylcholine receptor capacity might partly explain the cognition-enhancing and memory-improving effects of extracts from Withania somnifera [ashwagandha] observed in animals and humans.

A 2002 laboratory study indicated that ashwagandha stimulates the growth of axons and dendrites. A 2001 animal study showed ashwagandha had memory boosting ability. A 2000 study with rodents showed ashwagandha to have anti-anxiety and anti-depression effects. However, no clinical studies have been carried out to support its efficacy in humans.

Part of the Solanaceae or nightshade family as the tomato, Ashwaganda grows as a stout shrub that reaches a height of 170 cm (5.6 ft). Like the tomato which belongs to the same family, it bears yellow flowers and yellow-Orange to red Berry type fruit, though its fruit is berry-like in size and shape. It grows prolifically in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In Ayurveda, ashwagandha extract is considered an adaptogen or a substance that helps to normalize physiological function of the body and mind. In Ayurveda, the fresh roots are sometimes boiled in milk, prior to drying, in order to leach out undesirable constituents. The berries are used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making.
It has sedating properties, but it has been also used for sexual vitality and as an adaptogen. Some herbalists refer to ashwagandha as Indian ginseng, since it is used in ayurvedic medicine in a way similar to that ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing extracts of the herb Ashwagandha.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/a1xUVK

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/ayZLer

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/dkJ3Zi

"Remyelination of the spinal cord after injury may be a step closer"

Brain and spinal cord injuries may soon have a new treatment process that is natural and based on the individual’s own stem cells. Oligodendrocyte, precursor cells (OPCs), are  a type of cell found in the brain and nervous system that forms the coating around the nerve cells. These cells are formed during embryo formation in the ventricular zone of the neural tube (embryonic spinal cord), and the cells migrate outwards along the circumference of the tube, and then along its length. During this migration, OPCs actively seek axons around which they can wrap

their processes once they have differentiated into oligodendrocytes. Myelination, the process by which oligodendrocytes wrap their processes around nerve fibers, begins towards the end of embryonic development, and continues post-natally coating around the nerve cells.

These cells are formed during embryo formation in the ventricular zone of the neural tube (embryonic spinal cord), and the cells migrate outwards along the circumference of the tube, and then along its length. During this migration, OPCs actively seek axons around which they can wrap their processes once they have differentiated into oligodendrocytes. Myelination, the process by which oligodendrocytes wrap their processes around nerve fibers, begins towards the end of embryonic development, and continues postnatally.


Throughout their migration, these cells extend and retract filopodia-like processes to obtain cues from their surroundings. Upon coming into contact with neighboring OPCs. These hair or cilia like projections are withdrawn and then extended in the opposite direction. This seems to be a mutual repulsion mechanism which ensures that OPCs are evenly distributed along the length of the axons they will myelinate (coat). An axon is a long, slender extension of a nerve cell, or neuron, that conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron’s cell body

Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) comprise 5% of the cells in the adult brain, where they are the most proliferative cell present. They can generate both neurons and glial cells, making them an important stem cell population in the adult brain.
The bottom line is that this animal model with the injection of  hESC-OPCs cells has demonstrated that remyelination of the cervical injury site and the restoration of movement to the  limbs of these animals may help restore function in spinal cord injuries victims in the future.
Resources

Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/ctDR8x
Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/cNOulI
Image of myelination process courtesy of  http://bit.ly/c8wmkH
Image of neuron courtesy of  http://bit.ly/BECvB

"Benedryl and its’ cousins maybe bad mojo for long term users"

“Researchers … conducted a six-year observational study, evaluating 1,652 Indianapolis area African-Americans over the age of 70 who had normal cognitive function when the study began … ‘[Taking one anticholinergic significantly increased an individual’s risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and taking two of these drugs doubled this risk.'” Reported in Physorg.org.

Why were elderly people allowed to take part in this study?  It disappoints and angers me.

Over the counter (OTC) drugs like Benadryl (or Dimedrol in other countries), Dramamine, Excedrin PM, Nytol, Sominex, Tylenol PM, Midol PM and Advil PM and some Unisom products if used regularly can cause decreased brain function in those over 70 years of age.  Other anticholinergic prescription drugs, such as Paxil, Detrol, Demerol and Elavil are are made with the same antihistamine Diphenhydramine like their OTC cousins.

How do these drugs work?

These drugs, called anticholinergics, block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter. The body uses neurotransmitters to speed or slow the transmission of nerve signals throughout the brain and nervous system.

Despite Benedryl being one of the oldest antihistamines on the market it is more effective than even some of the latest prescription drugs. Consequently, it is frequently used when an allergic reaction requires fast, effective reversal of the often dangerous effects of a massive histamine release. Its active ingredient Diphenhydramine works by blocking the effect of histamine at H1 receptor sites. This results in effects such as the increase of vascular smooth muscle contraction, thus reducing the redness, hyperthermia and edema that occurs during an inflammatory reaction. In addition, by blocking the H1 receptor on peripheral nociceptors (pain receptors), diphenhydramine decreases their sensitization and thus reduces itching from an allergic reaction.

The effects of Diphenhydramine the active ingredient in many antihistamine compounds include:

  • Mouth/throat – dryness
  • Endocrine – change in appetite
  • Heart – increased heart rate (tachycardia or hypertension)
  • Liver – toxicity in very large doses
  • Brain/Memory/Nervous System –  profound drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, short-term memory loss, hallucinations, dizziness, irritability, delirium, motor impairment (ataxia), restlessness, restless leg syndrome, clouded thinking, difficult mood changes, twitching may be delayed until the drowsiness begins to cease, confusion
  • Vision-visual disturbances, abnormal sensitivity to bright light (photophobia), pupil dilation,  blurred vision at nearpoint owing to lack of accommodation (cycloplegia),  redness, dryness and yellowing of eyes
  • Respiration– irregular breathing, decreased respiration
  • Skin – itchy skin, decreased body temperature (generally in the hands and/or feet), flushing
  • Bladder/Bowel function – urinary retention, constipation, nausea, vaginal dryness,
  • Sexual -erectile dysfunction, excitability, decreased libido
  • Atypical sensations – sense of heaviness, hearing imbalances

References

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cmMLF7

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/BpDrf

Image courtesy of      http://bit.ly/csdX5Y

"To be or not to be stressed out of it-that is the question"

“Fight or flight”, to be stress or not produces in the body a hormonal response (cortisol and other stress hormones), are released within the body, slowing down or halting tissue repair, reproduction, growth and the effectiveness of theimmune system. A decrease in digestive functions of the stomach, intestines and pancreas also occurs.

Anxious feelings initially appear as our entire being prepares to physically either flee or fight . . .but if these anxious feelings are left on, they can worsen and may eventually turn into anxiety and or depressive related conditions. If these stress hormones continue to be released and are not turned off, they most likely will cause adverse physical symptoms, as well, which can lead to chronic physical and emotional distress. Because our stress and social situations have evolved so we cannot “Flee or Fight,” we find ourselves in a state where we “Freeze.” In this state we continue to produce the stress hormones, and often find ourselves not knowing how to respond for fear of losing a job, upsetting a spouse etc., or we may “overreact” with a behavior that does not have much thought to it, often compounding work-related/family or social problems or interactions.

If “fight or flight” response  is left on, these stress hormones released within the body, slow down or stop tissue repair, reproduction, growth and decrease the effectiveness of the immune system. A drop in digestive functions of the stomach, intestines and pancreas will take place.

Stress hormones such as cortisol, GH and norepinephrine are released at periods of high stress. The hormone regulating system is known as the endocrine system. Cortisol is believed to affect the metabolic system and norepinephrine is believed to play a role in ADHD as well as depression and hypertension.

Stress hormones also rise in the body during  surgery, during grief, poor sleep, and even when a person receives exceptionally good and exciting news. The hormones can stay elevated for 72 hours and then return to their normal level.

Prolonged and protracted stress can create anxiety, depression, hyper-vigilance in a variety of ways. The body was never designed to maintain high prolonged periods of stress. It can bring on physical and emotional pain and disease.

There are many integrated/complementary medicine has many ways to address physical and emotional stress successfully. Natural medicine is not used to just address symptoms, but to use the symptoms to create opportunities for the individual to de-stress, address the challenges of their life and heal.

One modality that is used homeopathy. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that listens to the person’s story, carefully assess the effects of the person’s responses to the stresses in their life and chooses a remedy to fit the person.

Each person is unique and responds to a crisis in a different way so there would be  no reason to give the same remedy to each person.

An example: A family has suddenly lost their only son.

  1. Father may refuse to talk about it and be emotionally unsupportive of other family members.
  2. Mother may cry around the clock at the about of their lost son.
  3. Grandmother may put on a strong face in front of everyone, but cry only when she is alone in her room.

All are grieving, but all need different homeopathic medicines to bring them back to a calmer more relaxed  state of effective being. The medicines do not block or suppress grieving, but allow the person to breathe more freely and express themselves so the healing can begin and their mind and body will not stuff feelings away to make them sick later.

Submitted by M.Wolken, PhD Healthy Living Center

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cqmwbt

Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/bjZYS3

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cpoDV1

"TM -one way to concentrate and sleep better"

Josh Goulding was diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in second grade, after his impulsive and disruptive behavior frequently landed him in the school principal’s office. “Over several years, I was put on a whole gamut of drugs, and nothing worked well,” says Goulding, now 24. By his second year at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Goulding was still struggling to concentrate in classes and complete his work, and his medications were causing mood swings and irritability.

The Conventional Rx: Stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin and Adderall. Almost 4.5 million children between ages 4 and 17 are diagnosed with ADHD, and nearly half of them take prescription medications, often for years. Long term, these drugs may be physically and psychologically harmful, and side effects such as sleep disturbances, poor appetite, weight loss, and mood disorders can require further medication.

The Alternative Rx: Transcendental Meditation (TM). In the first study on ADHD and TM, middle-school-age children who did twice daily nonreligious meditations for 10 minutes reduced their stress levels by over 50 percent–resulting in fewer ADHD symptoms. “TM helps children focus on a special mantra or sound, which helps the child transcend mental busyness and stress,” says Sarina Grosswald, EdD, coauthor of the study. “This allows the child’s body to completely relax and his mind to stay fully awake without effort. The results are improved behavior, grades, creativity, and inner stability.”

Success As a result of Goulding learned TM techniques of relaxing and concentration:

his sleep improved

better ability to focus his attention

ability to communicate with others more effectively inproved

GPA (grades) improved.

blood pressure was lower

no longer needed ADHD medications

Shared courtesy of    http://bit.ly/fU19R

"Concussions and their effects on the rise in children and adults"

If the NFL has begun to educate their players on concussion awareness, maybe all sporting enthusiasts should follow suit. In schools at all levels there is no agreed upon care for head injuries. A concussion can change a player’s life and a player’s family lives forever.

Concussions can happen to anyone who injures their brain through a blow to the head; that can result in loss of consciousness. Trauma to the brain when mild can be called mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), mild head injury (MHI), minor head trauma and concussion.

Factors that contribute to increasing the risk of TBI include:
* A previous concussion or head injury
* Sex: being a male
* Specific  age groups: ( 1) Children age o to 5 years, teens, (2) young adults 15 to 24 years of age, and (3) older people over 75 years of age
* Contact sports, such as football, soccer, rugby, hockey or boxing
* Work that involves farming, logging, , or construction
* Traveling by vehicle at a high rate of speed
* Alcohol use
* Lack of sleep
* Medications that cause drowsiness

Symptoms that may appear in a person with a concussion include:

* Listlessness, memory problems or tiring easily
* Irritability, hypersensitivity of the senses, or lack of patience with self or others
* Changes in normal habits: eating or sleeping patterns, behaviors, school performance, decrease motivation
* Decreasing interest in being with friends, playing with favorite toys, activities, or sports
* Loss of new skills, such as toilet training, jumping, bike riding, spelling or reading
* Change in balance, dizziness, visual field disturbances, unsteady walking, ringing in ears

Concussions among high-school athletes occur with alarming frequency. The report from the Government Accountability Office finds that three national databases of concussions among high school athletes are too low. Surprisingly only Texas, Oregon and Washington have enacted laws to meaningfully tackle the issue, the GAO reports. Oregon and Texas require athletes to be removed from play the day of the injury, while Washington gives coaches responsibility for removal.

Just taking an injured person off the field is not enough. All coaches need training to recognize and be able to administer several cognitive tests to test for memory and physical impairment. recovery often takes much longer. The Concussion Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio estimates 400,000 concussions occurred among 7.5 million student athletes who participated in high-school sports during the 2008-2009 school year.

A recent clinical study by the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington found that more than 80% of student athletes who experienced concussions reported a significant worsening of symptoms over the first four weeks after attempting to return to school academics. Typically when the stress of school activities increases concentration and the ability to remember and respond appropriately overload the brain’s biological software and the result is an increase in post-concussion symptoms. These symptoms would only be exasperated for an individual with learning or behavior challenges.

Next:  how integrated medicine can augment tradition care of TBIs.

Resources
Excerpts
courtesy of
http://bit.ly/aJYDIq

Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/aq7s2g

Image courtesy of  http://www.picturesdepot.com/

"Testing of US Drugs in third world – Pfizer is the poster child"

Almost 15 years after the fact, Nigerians are officially allowed to sue Pfizer over the company’s illegal use of a test antibiotic drug on their children. Surprisingly, The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to send the Pfizer (PFE) Trovan case to trial

Pfizer is accused of illegally testing a drug, Trovan, in Nigeria that killed 11 children and injured 181 others during a meningitis epidemic in 1996. Trovan banned in the EU in 1999 and in the U.S, but the FDA still allowed its’ use in adult emergency care.

This compensation case has been dragged out for years in the courts, because Pfizer has the money to do it. There is more at stake.

The heart of the problem that may be exposed is not the fact that people have died,

but that the entire procedure of drug testing on foreign soil may be brought into the light of day.

What will be seen?

  • the corporate greed
  • the backwoods mentality that it is okay to test new drugs on uneducated poor ignorant third world peoples,
  • the pay off of corrupt foreign government officials is condoned
  • the fudging the test results is acceptable.
  • Once the “test results” are compiled and possibly reviewed by FDA (Federal Drug Administration) -only 1 percent of trials conducted outside the U.S are reviewed.

The trail of greed and corporate manipulation behind the scenes needs to officially be exposed and all parties need to be held accountable.

Americans assume and wrongly so, that all there drugs have been tested under US standards and proven safe.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/cOFZTn

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/9UgJNx

Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/cpOuqp

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/bnGFxg