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Mid-Day Premium Navigating PCOS: An expert home-based guide to combat the ovarian disorder

As someone who deals with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the challenge to maintain optimal weight is real. Addressing the issue, many Bollywood celebrities like Masaba Gupta, Sara Ali Khan, Shruti Hassan and Sonam Kapoor opened up about their battle with PCOS, shedding light on how it affected their mental and physical wellness.  PCOS mars four out of seven women worldwide – reveals Dimple Jangda, a Mumbai-based gut health coach who has guided several women out of this hormonal dysfunction. With six years of experience in Ayurveda and naturopathy, Jangda’s body of work has expanded from identifying the root cause of PCOS to solving it with the right approach involving healthful food and lifestyle choices. While Masaba revealed on Instagram how fitness helped her combat the disorder, PCOS continues to be a major issue that affects fertility, appearance, physical and mental wellness. To gain a thorough understanding of this condition, visited Jangda’s clinic in Bandra and learnt home-based remedies on tackling PCOS.  A rollercoaster of emotions First things first – stress levels go off the roof when you’re dealing with PCOS. It is an underlying side effect that impacts moods leaving women jittery and strained. Asna Azhar, a 29-year-old digital marketer from Andheri began to notice how her mood swings worsened as her ovarian dysfunction got more pronounced.  “I'll be fine one moment and then suddenly be incredibly frustrated with no control over the situation. The next minute – I’ll be fine again as if nothing happened! Sometimes if I'm planning the errands I need to run the next day, I feel very optimistic about getting out to get things done, but then I'll wake up and be in a horrible mood and not even want to step one foot out of the house,” Asna recounts her mood oscillations while dealing with PCOS. Temper tumult just becomes a part of living with PCOS. This brings us to the question – What causes this malfunction in a woman’s ovaries, that directly impairs her mood? Dimple lays out the root cause of PCOS. Undigested oestrogen leads to PCOS Various endocrine glands are responsible for producing hormones in the human body.  When it comes to a woman’s body, it secretes oestrogen during the first 15 days of the period cycle to boost her femininity. During the next 15 days, i.e., the end of the ovulation date to the start of the period, progesterone (a hormone that supports menstruation) is released to prepare the body for pregnancy. Dimple breaks down this complex phenomenon that enables a woman to conceive.  The first 15 days of the period cycle is when a woman is ready to conceive. If she has not conceived for some reason, the body takes a cue to stop producing oestrogen and produces more progesterone. While the body is producing these chemicals – it requires a process to break them down in order to maintain a hormonal equilibrium.  If this balance is not met – it leads to hormones brimming over the edge. For instance, take the case of pumping fuel in your vehicle. If you constantly keep fueling your car without putting it to use – you will end up with choc-a-block in the fuel tank. Similar is the case of oestrogen in a woman’s body. If the body fails to break down oestrogen – it begins to spill all over the place.  The undigested oestrogen goes on to pile up like toxic waste with no proper disposal. Additionally, the body begins to produce more androgen (male sex hormone) which leads to an irregular period cycle. Such pent-up levels of hormones lead to PCOS, PCOD, infertility, gynaecological disorders, explains Dimple.  Not only this, but it also leads to the formation of fibroids (muscular tumours that grow in the wall of the uterus), cysts (abnormal pockets of fluids) and tumours in the uterus. People with excessive oestrogen in their body are often prone to developing fibroids, outlines Dimple. Now that we know the underlying factors that trigger PCOS, we dig into the symptoms that reveal the presence of the disorder. Hirsutism, mood swings, acne – Signs of PCOS Not every individual with PCOS will experience all of these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary. Common symptoms of PCOS include: 1. Women with PCOS often have irregular periods or may experience fewer than eight menstrual cycles in a year.2. PCOS can lead to problems with ovulation, causing difficulties in conceiving.3. The ovaries may develop small cysts, which are not harmful but can contribute to hormonal imbalances.4. Increased levels of androgens (male hormones) may lead to excessive hair growth on the face, chest, back or other areas where men typically grow hair.5. PCOS can cause male-pattern baldness or thinning of the hair.6. Elevated androgen levels may contribute to acne and excessively oily skin.7. Many individuals with PCOS experience weight gain or have difficulty losing weight.8. Some women may develop dark patches of skin, particularly on the neck, groin, and underneath the breasts. This is known as acanthosis nigricans.9. PCOS can cause fatigue and low energy levels.10. Hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS can contribute to mood swings and depression. How to tackle PCOS with food and fitness? Switch off the tap According to Dimple, paying careful attention to your dietary choices can significantly contribute to overcoming the complexities of conditions such as PCOS. “The minute you stop eating the trigger foods and feeding your diseases – your body starts repairing itself.” A woman battling PCOS should curb the consumption of oestrogen from other animal-based food sources. Seafood, meat and eggs inherently carry these hormones which become a menace for those inflicted by PCOS. Dairy products are also another big source of oestrogen, informs Dimple. Additionally, packaged and processed foods should be avoided as they tend to mess up the endocrine glands. Snacks for women dealing with PCOS: Roasted makhanas, banana chips, chakki, peanut chikki, rajgira chikki.  Fix lifestyle choices Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial. Incorporating whole foods, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates can help regulate blood sugar levels, which is particularly important for individuals with PCOS as they may be insulin-resistant. Eating meals at the right time and following intermittent fasting also becomes crucial in PCOS management. The body requires 6 hours to break down the food that we eat – thus, it is important to not overfeed it and stick to eating at regular intervals. Avoiding processed foods and excessive sugar intake is also recommended. Regular physical activity is another cornerstone in managing PCOS. Engaging in a consistent exercise routine not only aids in weight management but also helps improve insulin sensitivity, reducing the impact of insulin resistance associated with PCOS. A mix of aerobic exercises and strength training can be beneficial. Keep stress at bay In addition to dietary and exercise modifications, managing stress is paramount for individuals with PCOS. Chronic stress can exacerbate hormonal imbalances and trigger symptoms. Adopting stress-reducing practices such as mindfulness, yoga or meditation can contribute significantly to overall well-being.  Dimple opines that the sleep cycle plays a major role in the regulation of hormones. Thus, it should be fixed and is not to be fiddled with. Adequate and quality sleep is equally vital, as disrupted sleep patterns can further disrupt hormonal balance. By addressing these lifestyle factors collectively, individuals with PCOS can empower themselves to navigate the challenges posed by the condition. Do not go by what fellow PCOS patients say or do Managing PCOS is far from a one-size-fits-all endeavour as it's more like a personalised puzzle-solving journey. Recognising that each individual with PCOS is unique in their symptoms, experiences and needs, a tailored approach becomes imperative. The complexity of this condition demands a nuanced strategy, considering factors such as hormonal fluctuations, metabolic variations and lifestyle disparities.

05 December,2023 09:26 AM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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Meditation training can help improve overall wellbeing of older people

An 18-month meditation programme can increase the well-being of older persons, according to a new randomised controlled trial led by an international team co-directed by UCL. The findings, published in PLOS ONE, show that meditation can improve people's awareness, connection to others, and insight. While the meditation training did not confer significant benefits on two commonly used measures of psychological well-being and quality of life, the researchers say their findings may reveal limitations in existing methods of tracking well-being. Lead author Marco Schlosser (UCL Psychiatry and University of Geneva) said: "As the global population ages, it is increasingly crucial to understand how we can support older adults in maintaining and deepening their psychological well-being. In our study, we tested whether long-term meditation training can enhance important dimensions of well-being. Our findings suggest that meditation is a promising non-pharmacological approach to support human flourishing in late life. "The study is the longest randomised meditation training trial conducted to date, and explored the impact of an 18-month meditation programme on the psychological well-being of more than 130 healthy French-speaking people aged 65 to 84. The study, led by Principal Investigator Professor Gael Chetelat, took place in Caen, France. It was conducted by the European Union's Horizon 2020-funded Medit-Ageing (Silver Sante Study) research group which involves UCL, Inserm, University of Geneva, Universite de Caen Normandy, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, University of Liege, Technische Universitat Dresden, and Friedrich Schiller University Jena. The researchers compared a meditation programme, which included a nine-month mindfulness module followed by a nine-month loving kindness and compassion module, delivered by weekly group sessions (two hours long), daily home practice (at least 20 minutes), and one retreat day, with a group that did English language training (as a comparison group) and a no-intervention control group. The team found that meditation training significantly impacted a global score that measures the well-being dimensions of awareness, connection, and insight. Awareness describes an undistracted and intimate attentiveness to one's thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, which can support a sense of calm and deep satisfaction. Connection captures feelings such as respect, gratitude, and kinship that can support more positive relationships with others. Insight refers to self-knowledge and understanding of how thoughts and feelings participate in shaping our perception - and how to transform unhelpful patterns of thought relating to ourselves and the world. The benefits of meditation training to an established measure of psychological quality of life were not superior to English language training, while neither intervention significantly impacted another widely used measure of psychological well-being. The researchers suggest this may be because these two established measures do not cover the qualities and depth of human flourishing that can potentially be cultivated by longer-term meditation training, so benefits to awareness, connection and insight are missed.The programme did not benefit everyone equally, as participants who reported lower levels of psychological well-being at the start of the trial showed greater improvements compared to those who already had higher levels of well-being. Co-author Dr Natalie Marchant (UCL Psychiatry) said: "We hope that further research will clarify which people are most likely to benefit from meditation training, as it may confer stronger benefits on some specific groups. Now that we have evidence that meditation training can help older adults, we hope that further refinements in partnership with colleagues from other research disciplines could make meditation programmes even more beneficial. "Senior author Dr Antoine Lutz (Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, Inserm, France) said: "By showing the potential of meditation programmes, our findings pave the way for more targeted and effective programmes that can help older adults flourish, as we seek to go beyond simply preventing disease or ill-health, and instead take a holistic approach to helping people across the full spectrum of human wellbeing." This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

04 December,2023 06:36 PM IST | Washington | ANI
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Being overweight can hamper body’s antibody response to Covid-19: Study

Being overweight can impair the body’s antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection but not to the protection offered by vaccination, a new research has revealed. The research, published in the journal Clinical & Translational Immunology, was led by University of Queensland. “We’ve previously shown that being overweight – not just being obese – increases the severity of SARS-CoV-2. But this work shows that being overweight creates an impaired antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection but not to vaccination,” said research lead Marcus Tong. The team collected blood samples from people who had recovered from COVID-19 and had not been reinfected during the study period, approximately 3 months and 13 months post-infection. “At 3 months post-infection, an elevated BMI was associated with reduced antibody levels,” Tong said. At 13 months post-infection, an elevated BMI was associated with both reduced antibody activity and a reduced percentage of the relevant B cells, a type of cell that helps build these COVID-fighting antibodies. In contrast, an elevated BMI had no effect on the antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination at approximately 6 months after the second vaccine was administered. Associate Professor Kirsty Short said the results should help shape health policy moving forward. “If infection is associated with an increased risk of severe disease and an impaired immune response for the overweight, this group has a potentially increased risk of reinfection,” Dr Short said. “It makes it more important than ever for this group to ensure they’re vaccinated.” Dr Short said from a public health perspective, this data draws into question policies around boosters and lockdowns. “We’d suggest that more personalised recommendations are needed for overweight people, both for ongoing COVID-19 management and future pandemics,” she said. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

04 December,2023 06:08 PM IST | Sydney | IANS
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Walking faster may significantly lower Type 2 diabetes risk

Walking at a speed of 4 or more km an hour is linked to a significantly lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, suggests a study. And the faster the speed above 4 km/hour, the lower the risk seems to be, with every 1 km increase in speed associated with a 9 per cent reduction in risk, suggest the findings published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Also Read: H9N2’s high mutability poses challenges in predicting and controlling the virus The global number of adults with Type 2 diabetes is currently 537 million, but is expected to reach 783 million by 2045, so a simple and inexpensive physical activity that is also associated with several other social, mental, and physical health benefits, might be an easy way of helping to stave off the disease, said the researchers from Semnan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. The study is based on an analysis of 10 long term studies published between 1999 and 2022. These included monitoring periods ranging from 3 to 11 years for a total of 508,121 adults from the US, Japan, and the UK. Compared with strolling at less than 2 miles or 3 km/hour, an average or normal walking speed of 2-3 miles or 3-5 km/hour was associated with a 15 per cent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, irrespective of the time spent walking. Similarly, fairly brisk walking at a speed of 3-4 miles/hour or 5-6 km/hour was associated with a 24 per cent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes compared with strolling. Brisk walking or striding at a speed above 4 miles or 6 km/hour was associated with a reduced risk of around 39 per cent, equal to 2.24 fewer cases of Type 2 diabetes in every 100 people. Every 1 km/hour increase in walking speed was associated with a 9 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, with the minimal threshold of 4km/hour equal to 87 steps/min for men and 100 steps/min for women, the findings suggest. “The present meta-analysis of cohort studies suggests that fairly brisk and brisk/striding walking, independent of the total volume of physical activity or time spent walking per day, may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in adults,” said the researchers. “While current strategies to increase total walking time are beneficial, it may also be reasonable to encourage people to walk at faster speeds to further increase the health benefits of walking,” they added. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

04 December,2023 08:14 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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India among countries with most reported dengue deaths in 2023: Report

India is among top 20 countries with most reported dengue cases and deaths in the year 2023 -- which recorded more than in the last five years annually, according to a report released on Sunday. The report, by aid agency Save the Children, showed that between January and November 2023, a whopping 5 million cases of dengue fever were recorded across 20 of the worst-impacted countries -- marking a 30 per cent increase in cases compared to 2022 and 18 per cent more than the figures in 2019. It also found that at least 5,500 people were killed by dengue across the 20 countries, including India, up 32 per cent from 2022 and up 11 per cent compared to 2019. The actual number of deaths and cases is likely to be far higher as many cases are not reported, the report said. Bangladesh, which had the highest known global death toll, faced its worst dengue fever outbreak on record in 2023, with over 300,000 people infected since January, a massive jump from the 62,000 people known to have the illness in 2022. The outbreak resulted in 1,598 deaths -- including over 160 children, mostly aged under 10 -- with the death toll in 2023 more than five times that of 2022. "Across Asia, extreme weather events have contributed to making 2023 a devastating year for dengue deaths, throwing the lives of children into disarray. Children are impacted not only as the victims of dengue but by disruption to their education, increased economic and emotional pressure on their families, and when their caregivers contract and die from disease," said Yasir Arafat, Save the Children's Senior Health and Nutrition Advisor for Asia, in a statement. "We need local plans to fight dengue -- at village and city level -- and with the involvement of communities. Controlling mosquitos, diagnosing the disease and treatment needs to be a government-wide effort and not just the work of health departments. Funding needs to better anticipate extreme weather and climate shocks to manage the risk and not just the crisis," he added. Dengue fever is a viral infection contracted via mosquito bites and can cause flu-like symptoms, including high fevers, pain behind the eyes, rash, severe headaches and body aches. In the most serious cases it can progress to dengue haemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, which can be fatal. The report blamed this year's El Nino event coupled with the climate crisis for the spike in the dengue fever outbreak. In July, the World Health Organisation reported that dengue has surged eight-fold in just over two decades from around half a million cases in 2000 to more than 4.2 million in 2022. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

04 December,2023 08:11 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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TB, malaria causing pathogens use force to breach immune defences: Study

Researchers have discovered a previously unknown process by which tuberculosis, malaria and chlamydia causing pathogens enter a cell with physical force, breaching the body's immune defences that prevent infection. These diseases are notoriously difficult to treat because the pathogens are protected inside host cells. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, introduces a potential game-changer in the fight against intracellular pathogens responsible for causing the devastating infectious diseases. “Using the parasite Toxoplasma as our representative pathogen, our work shows that some intracellular pathogens can apply physical forces during their entry into host cells, which then allow the pathogens to evade degradation and to survive intracellularly,” said lead author Yan Yu, Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry at Indiana University-Bloomington. Also Read: H9N2’s high mutability poses challenges in predicting and controlling the virus “This work suggests that targeting the motility of pathogens may be a new way to combat infection inside cells.” Normally, when an invading pathogen encounters a phagocyte -- a type of white blood cell responsible for destroying bacteria, viruses and other types of foreign particles -- it is caught and ingested by the phagocyte. For pathogens that escape this process, it is commonly thought that those pathogens must release a "secret arsenal" to “paralyse” the degradative machinery in the cell. However, Yu’s study shows that this common belief is not true. She and collaborators have found that pathogens can avoid being ingested within the immune cell by exerting a “propulsive force.” With this forceful entry, the pathogens are diverted into vacuoles that lack the ability to break down these infiltrators. A vacuole is a structure reserved for storage and digestion within a cell. To conduct the research, Yu and colleagues introduced the disease-causing parasite Toxoplasma into mouse-derived cells, observing their behaviours through a fluorescence microscope. These live parasites forcefully entered and thrived within immune cells. To understand, they created inactivated parasites that cannot exert force or create chemical substances. Unlike live parasites, these “zombie” parasites were swiftly degraded in the cell. The researchers then employed magnetic tweezers to push the inactivated parasite into the immune cell to mimic the forceful entry observed in live Toxoplasma. The inactivated parasite, now subjected to simulated forceful entry, evaded degradation, akin to its live counterpart. This suggests that the force of entry, not chemicals, explains the pathogen’s survival, Yu said. To manipulate the movement of the parasite in the second experiment, the researchers had to develop the “tweezer system” with magnetic nanoparticles. In addition, the researchers conducted the same experiments using yeast to confirm that the mechanism observed could also be found in other infectious agents, not just Toxoplasma. "This study elucidates the contribution of physical forces in immune evasion and underscores the importance of targeting pathogen movement to combat intracellular infections,” Yu said. “We’re hopeful this work may ultimately contribute to new efforts to fight a variety of infections that are harmful to human health.” This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

04 December,2023 08:06 AM IST | New York | IANS
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Family history may raise risk of some lung cancers: Study

While smoking tobacco is one of the major reasons behind lung cancer, a new study suggests genes may also be a risk factor. The study, published in journal The Lancet, showed evidence for a family history of lung cancer in individuals who do not smoke. The study included 12,011 people from Taiwan where lung cancers occur predominantly in never-smokers, and of whom nearly 60 per cent have stage IV disease at diagnosis. “In individuals who do not smoke, our findings suggest that a family history of lung cancer among first-degree relatives significantly increases the risk of lung cancer as well as the rate of invasive lung cancer with increasing age,” said researchers including from the National Taiwan University in Taipei. The team aimed to assess the efficacy of low-dose CT (LDCT) screening among never-smokers, who had other risk factors for lung cancer. Between 2015 and 2019, they examined 12,011 people of which 6,009 had a family history of lung cancer. The prevalence of invasive lung cancer was higher among participants with a family history of lung cancer (161 [2·7 per cent] of 6,009 participants) than in those without (96 [1·6 per cent] of 6,002 participants). In participants with a family history of lung cancer, the higher the number of first-degree relatives affected, the higher the risk of lung cancer, participants whose mother or sibling had lung cancer were also at an increased risk. In participants with a family history of lung cancer, the detection rate of invasive lung cancer increased significantly with age, whereas the detection rate of adenocarcinoma in situ remained stable. Adenocarcinomas are cancers that start in glandular tissues that make mucus or fluid, such as the lung, breast, prostate, or colon. In multivariable analysis, female sex, a family history of lung cancer, and age older than 60 years were associated with an increased risk of lung cancer and invasive lung cancer; passive smoke exposure, cumulative exposure to cooking, cooking without ventilation, and a previous history of chronic lung diseases were not associated with lung cancer, even after stratification by family history of lung cancer. “Further research on risk factors for lung cancer in this population is needed, particularly for those without a family history of lung cancer,” the researchers said. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

03 December,2023 09:02 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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How a shift in thinking can make humans more caring?

If you hear your friend has lost a loved one or a neighbour’s car was stolen, what happens in your mind? Do you take on the pain of your friend or do you feel concern and compassion? A new study shows when it comes to evoking empathy, our imagination is more powerful than we previously thought. Until now, research in empathy has largely focused on how imagining helping another person can promote compassion, but not on how imagining another person’s situation affects empathy, which is usually our first mental course of action. The findings, published in the journal Emotion break new ground by showing how another form of empathy, personal distress, is more prominent when imagining those situations and may actually be a catalyst for taking action to help. The joint effort between McGill and Albany University researchers discovered that when we vividly imagine someone else’s problems in our minds, it makes us feel their pain more and motivates us to lend a helping hand. “Empathy is the ability to understand the situation of another person and is vital for prosocial behaviours. However, we know that empathy isn’t just one thing - we can experience it very differently, either as personal distress or compassionate concern for that other person,” explains McGill psychology professor Signy Sheldon. The study brings us closer to cracking the code of human behaviour and the link between our mental experiences and prosocial actions. These results are important for understanding why some situations and even people seem more empathetic than others. The research involved three online experiments where participants were asked to truly visualise themselves in another person’s shoes. “Our experiments revealed that when people simulated distressful scenarios of other individuals, they felt much more personal distress than when these scenarios were not simulated. Interestingly, we also found imagining these scenarios in such a way increased the willingness to help that individual,” said Sheldon, Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory. As imagining others’ situations is linked to episodic memory, this discovery raises significant questions about the link between memory capacity and empathy, which is an important avenue for further research. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

03 December,2023 08:59 AM IST | Toronto | IANS
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Study links common headaches to neck inflammation

Researchers have identified objective evidence of how the neck muscles are involved in primary headaches, such as tension-type headaches and migraines, according to a study. People with tension-type headaches often feel a tightening in the head and mild to moderate dull pain on both sides of the head. While these headaches are typically associated with stress and muscle tension, their exact origin is not fully understood. Migraines are characterised by a severe throbbing pain. Migraines generally occur on one side of the head, or the pain is worse on one side. Migraines may also cause nausea, weakness and light sensitivity. Up to 148 million people worldwide suffer from chronic migraine. Neck pain is commonly associated with primary headaches. However, no objective biomarkers exist for myofascial involvement. Myofascial pain is associated with inflammation or irritation of muscle or of the connective tissue, known as fascia, that surrounds the muscle. "Our imaging approach provides first objective evidence for the very frequent involvement of the neck muscles in primary headaches, such as neck pain in migraine or tension-type headache, using the ability to quantify subtle inflammation within muscles," said Nico Sollmann, resident in the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at University Hospital Ulm, Germany. For the study, the team aimed to investigate the involvement of the trapezius muscles in primary headache disorders by quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to explore associations between muscle T2 values and headache and neck pain frequency. The prospective study included 50 participants, mostly women, ranging in age from 20 to 31 years old. Of the study group, 16 had tension-type headache, and 12 had tension-type headache plus migraine episodes. The groups were matched with 22 healthy controls. The tension-type headache plus migraine group demonstrated the highest muscle T2 values. Muscle T2 was significantly associated with the number of headache days and the presence of neck pain. The increased muscle T2 values could be interpreted as a surrogate of inflammation arising from the nervous system and increased sensitivity of nerve fibres within myofascial tissues. "The quantified inflammatory changes of neck muscles significantly correlate with the number of days lived with headache and the presence of subjectively perceived neck pain," Sollmann said. "Those changes allow us to differentiate between healthy individuals and patients suffering from primary headaches." Muscle T2 mapping could be used to stratify patients with primary headaches and to track potential treatment effects for monitoring. "Our findings support the role of neck muscles in the pathophysiology of primary headaches," Sollmann said. "Therefore, treatments that target the neck muscles could lead to a simultaneous relief of neck pain, as well as headache." Sollmann pointed out that non-invasive treatment options that directly target the site of pain in the neck muscles could be highly effective and safer than systemic drugs. The study was presented today at the recent annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

03 December,2023 08:58 AM IST | London | IANS
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Arthritis should be flagged along with BP and diabetes: Experts

Even though there are 60 million arthritis patients in India, the disease is yet to be considered a major non-communicable disease (NCD) by the authorities, experts said at a global conclave in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on December 2.  This was highlighted during a session at the ongoing fifth edition of Global Ayurveda Festival (WAF) on challenges posed by diseases, which are not spread by human-to-human contact but pose major health problems, such as diabetes, blood pressure and heart ailments. Dr Arvind Chopra, Ayush Distinguished Chair for Public Health and Epidemiology, said a national survey on musculoskeletal pain had shown that those affected by arthritis are 0.32 per cent. "But that number when multiplied by the Indian population figures shows there are 60 million people affected by it. Moreover, many people affected by the problem do not seek medical help until it aggravates to a serious level," said Chopra. Diseases like arthritis and diabetes can be controlled effectively if Ayurveda treatments are given in combination with other treatments, the experts said at the five-day conclave, which began on Saturday. Professor Anup Thakar, director of the Institute for Post-Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat, and Valdis Pirags, professor of Medicine, University of Latvia, presented evidence from different studies to show that the use of Ayurveda in combination with yoga can effectively control and even reverse diabetic conditions in people. Thakar said a global study done in 2021 found that 532 million people were suffering from diabetes and the number was projected to hit 783 million by 2045. “What is more scary is that 266 million people identified as diabetics in the survey didn't know they had a health problem,” he said. Pirags, who has translated some works on Ayurveda into Latvian, presented a detailed study to show how the hypothalamus area of the brain that controls endocrine systems affects diabetics, and presented evidence about the benefits that Ayurveda treatment brings to such patients. He said combining the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and modern methods of western medicine is the way forward. Professor S. Gopakumar, Government Ayurveda College, Kannur, Kerala, presented case studies from his experience to show how Ayurveda provided effective treatment even in aggravated diabetic and respiratory cases. He pointed out that the modern medical methods were not having the desired effect on the patients, forcing them to seek his help. He also said the recent spike in air pollution levels in New Delhi emphasised the need to improve immunity at the community level rather than approaching it at an individual level. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

03 December,2023 08:55 AM IST | Thiruvananthapuram | IANS
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Fast changes in dopamine levels may impact human behaviour: Study

Scientists are studying dopamine to understand decision-making and human behaviour. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that serves as a chemical messenger, facilitating communication between nerve cells in the brain and the body. It is involved in functions such as movement, cognition and learning. While dopamine is most known for its association with positive emotions, scientists are also exploring its role in negative experiences. The new study published in the journal Science Advances shows that dopamine release in the human brain plays a crucial role in encoding both reward and punishment prediction errors. This means that dopamine is involved in the process of learning from both positive and negative experiences, allowing the brain to adjust and adapt its behaviour based on the outcomes of these experiences. "Previously, research has shown that dopamine plays an important role in how animals learn from 'rewarding' (and possibly 'punishing') experiences. But, little work has been done to directly assess what dopamine does on fast timescales in the human brain," said Kenneth T. Kishida, Associate Professor of physiology and pharmacology and neurosurgery at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the US. "This is the first study in humans to examine how dopamine encodes rewards and punishments and whether dopamine reflects an 'optimal' teaching signal that is used in today's most advanced artificial intelligence research," Kishida said. For the study, the team utilised fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, an electrochemical technique, paired with machine learning, to detect and measure dopamine levels in real-time (i.e., 10 measurements per second). However, this method is challenging and can only be performed during invasive procedures such as deep-brain stimulation (DBS) brain surgery. DBS is commonly employed to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, obsessive-compulsive disorder and epilepsy. The team inserted a carbon fibre microelectrode deep into the brain of three participants who were scheduled to receive DBS to treat essential tremor. While the participants were awake in the operating room, they played a simple computer game. As they played the game, dopamine measurements were taken in the striatum, a part of the brain that is important for cognition, decision-making, and coordinated movements. During the game, participants' choices were either rewarded or punished with real monetary gains or losses. The game was divided into three stages in which participants learned from positive or negative feedback to make choices that maximised rewards and minimised penalties. Kishida said the study showed that dopamine not only plays a role in signalling both positive and negative experiences in the brain, but it seems to do so in a way that is optimal when trying to learn from those outcomes. "What was also interesting, is that it seems like there may be independent pathways in the brain that separately engage the dopamine system for rewarding versus punishing experiences. "Our results reveal a surprising result that these two pathways may encode rewarding and punishing experiences on slightly shifted timescales separated by only 200 to 400 milliseconds in time," Kishida said. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

02 December,2023 05:24 PM IST | New York | IANS
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