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Updated: 4 days 18 hours ago

Longer you work, longer you live

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 03:07

Washington D. C, Apr 28 : Turns out, taking early retirement isn't the key to a long life. Instead, it's the people working past age
65 who live the longest, according to a recent study.

The Oregon State University researchers found that healthy adults who retired one year past age 65 had an 11 percent lower risk of death from all causes, even when taking into account demographic, lifestyle and health issues.

Adults who described themselves as unhealthy were also likely to live longer if they kept working, the findings showed, which indicates that factors beyond health may affect post- retirement mortality.

"It may not apply to everybody, but we think work brings people a lot of economic and social benefits that could impact the length of their lives," said lead author Chenkai Wu.

Wu examined data collected from 1992 through 2010 through the Healthy Retirement Study. Of the more than 12,000 initial participants in the study, Wu narrowed his focus to 2,956 people who began the study in 1992 and had retired by the end of the study period in
2010.

The team divided the group into unhealthy retirees, or those who indicated that health was a factor in their decision to retire - and healthy retirees, who indicated health was not a factor. About two-thirds of the group fell into the healthy category, while a third were in the unhealthy category.

During the study period, about 12 percent of the healthy and 25.6 percent of the unhealthy retirees died. Healthy retirees who worked a year longer had an 11 percent lower risk of mortality, while unhealthy retirees who worked a year longer had a 9 percent lower mortality risk. Working a year longer had a positive impact on the study participants' mortality rate regardless of their health status.

"The healthy group is generally more advantaged in terms of education, wealth, health behaviors and lifestyle, but taking all of those issues into account, the pattern still remained," said senior author Robert Stawski. "The findings seem to indicate that people who remain active and engaged gain a benefit from that."

The findings are published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. (ANI)

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Rotational shiftwork puts women at increased heart risk

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 08:11

Can changing work shifts risk your heart? Yes, according to a recent study.

The Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) researchers found that women, who work more than 10 years of rotating night shift work, had a 15 to 18 percent increased risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), the most common type of heart disease, as compared with women who did not work rotating night shifts.

"There are a number of known risk factors for coronary heart disease, such as smoking, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and elevated body mass index (BMI). These are all critical factors when thinking how to prevent CHD. However, even after controlling for these risk factors, we still saw an increased risk of CHD associated with rotating shift work," said lead author Celine Vetter.

Vetter added, "Even though the absolute risk is small, and the contribution of shift work to CHD is modest, it is important to note that this is a modifiable risk factor, and changing shift schedules may have an impact on the prevention of CHD."

Researchers examined the association between rotating night shift work and CHD over a period of 24 years and found that recent shift work might be most relevant for CHD risk and that longer time since stopping shift work was associated with decreased CHD risk, a new finding which researchers note warrants replication.

"Our results are in line with other findings, yet, it is possible that different schedules might carry a different risk, and we have very little information on exact schedules, as well as work start and end times," Vetter said, adding, "We believe that the results from our study underline the need for future research to further explore the relationship between shift schedules, individual characteristics and coronary health to potentially reduce CHD risk."

Researchers note that individual characteristics such as the individual's biological rhythm, disrupted in rotating night shift workers, and information on sleep patterns and quality might modulate CHD risk.

The study is published in JAMA. (ANI)

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Study links video game addiction to ADHD

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 05:50

Researcher Cecilie Schou Andreassen revealed that video game addiction is more prevalent among younger men and among those not being in a current relationship, than others.

Schou Andreassen has carried out a study with more than 20 000 participants who answered questions related to videogame addiction.

The study showed that video game addiction appears to be associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression.

Andreassen said that excessively engaging in gaming may function as an escape mechanism for, or coping with, underlying psychiatric disorders in attempt to alleviate unpleasant feelings and to calm restless bodies.

He added that the study implies that younger with some of these characteristics could be targeted regarding preventing development of an unhealthy gaming pattern.

The study also showed that addiction related to videogames and computer activities shows sex differences.

Men seem generally more likely to become addicted to online gaming, gambling, and cyber-pornography, while women to social media, texting and online shopping.

The study is published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors of the American Psychological Association. (ANI)

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Lab-grown `mini brains` reveal how Zika takes its toll

Sun, 04/24/2016 - 04:56

Washington D.C, Apr 24 : A team of researchers has discovered how the Zika virus stunts head and brain development, thanks to the sophisticated "mini-brains."

Studying a new type of pinhead-size, lab-grown brain made with technology first suggested by three high school students, Johns Hopkins researchers have confirmed a key way in which Zika virus causes microcephaly and other damage in fetal brains: by infecting specialized stem cells that build its outer layer, the cortex.

Researcher Hongjun Song said, "This more realistic, 3-D model confirms what we suspected based on what we saw in a two-dimensional cell culture: that Zika causes microcephaly, abnormally small brains and heads, mainly by attacking the neural progenitor cells that build the brain and turning them into virus factories."

Song's wife and research partner, Guo-li Ming, said, "One thing the mini-brains allowed us to do was to model the effects of Zika virus exposure during different stages of pregnancy."

Ming added, "If infection occurred very early in development, the virus mostly infected the mini-brains' neural progenitor cells, and the effects were very severe. After a while, the mini-brains would stop growing and disintegrate. At a later stage, mimicking the second trimester, Zika still preferentially infected neural progenitor cells, but it also affected some neurons. Growth was slower, and the cortex was thinner than in noninfected brains."

These different effects correspond to what clinicians have seen in infants born to women who contracted Zika during pregnancy, as well as miscarriages, she notes, namely that the earlier in pregnancy Zika infection occurs, the more severe its effects.

The research group's next step will be to test drugs already FDA-approved for other conditions on the mini-brains to see whether one might provide some protection against Zika.

The research appears online in the journal Cell. (ANI)

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Controlled BP, cholesterol can ward off heart disease in oldies

Sat, 04/23/2016 - 06:45

Age modifies the link between blood pressure, cholesterol and adverse cardiovascular outcome in older adults and now, a new study suggests that older patients are not too old to benefit from individualized preventive heart therapy.

The review by clinical experts of the best available evidence concluded that cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure-controlling therapy are the most effective treatments for reducing cardiovascular events in older adults, but that treatment needs to be individualized.

"Primary prevention trials in younger populations demonstrate small absolute risk reductions over many years, which is difficult to extrapolate to older patients," explained senior author Michelle M. Graham from the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

Graham added, "Some assume elderly individuals may not have the life expectancy to derive benefit from preventive cardiovascular therapy; however, their baseline level of risk, and subsequent relative risk reduction with appropriate therapy, may actually be higher than in younger patients."

The review provided substantial evidence that Statin therapy reduces the risk of both myocardial infarction and stroke, although close monitoring of adverse events is needed. Evidence does not support an association between cholesterol-lowering statin therapy and either cognitive impairment or cancer. Adverse effects, like muscle problems and diabetes, do not appear to be elevated in elderly patients.

It showed that potential drug-drug interactions are an important consideration when prescribing statin therapy in older patients because they have a high burden of concurrent medical conditions and are often taking multiple medications. Patients should also be made aware of over-the-counter supplements that may interact with statin therapy.

Blood pressure control is paramount to prevent cardiovascular events and mortality in elderly patients, although the target should be individualized to the patient. Current evidence supports a moderate blood pressure target
(systolic blood pressure of 120-150 mmHg) as safe and effective in elderly patients; however, this target should be individualized based on frailty and comorbidities.

Antiplatelet therapy should not be recommended due to a lack of net clinical benefit.

Other interventions shown to reduce the risk of CVD in elderly patients include smoking cessation, physical activity, and maintaining a normal body weight.

"Primary prevention of CVD can improve health and reduce future healthcare costs. Prevention of a first cardiovascular event in elderly patients should be individualized based on consideration of the current evidence, as well as goals of therapy, functionality and/or frailty, comorbidities, and concomitant medications," stated Dr. Graham.

The research is reported in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. (ANI)

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Go green to ward off chronic diseases

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 07:49
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Washington D. C, Apr 22 - A recent study has revealed that green neighbourhoods lead to reduction in chronic diseases.

Led by researchers at the University of Miami, the study of a quarter-million Miami-Dade County Medicare beneficiaries showed that higher greenness was linked to significantly lower rates of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, as well as fewer chronic health conditions.

The findings are based on 2010 - 2011 health data reported for approximately 250,000 Miami-Dade Medicare beneficiaries over age 65, and a measure of vegetative presence based on NASA satellite imagery.

"This study builds on our research group's earlier analyses showing block level impacts of mixed-use and supportive building features on adults and children," said lead author Scott Brown.

Researcher Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk said the study results "give impetus to public agencies and property owners to plant and maintain a verdant public landscape."

"Going from a low to a high level of greenness at the block level is associated with 49 fewer chronic health conditions per 1,000 residents, which is approximately equivalent to a reduction in the biomedical aging of the study population by three years," said Brown.

The study is published online by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. (ANI)

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Work factors that predict sleep problems revealed

Tue, 04/19/2016 - 03:04

Washington D. C, Apr 19 : A recent research has revealed the specific psychological and social work factors that are associated with sleep problems.

Results show that quantitative job demands, decision control, role conflict and support from a superior in the workplace were the most consistent predictors of troubled sleep, which was characterized by difficulty initiating sleep or disturbed sleep.

Findings remained significant after adjustment for potential con-founders such as age, sex and occupation skill level.

Lead author Jolien Vleeshouwers from the National Institute of Occupational Health in Oslo, Norway said, "Apart from raising a general awareness of the significance of these factors for health and well-being, the results should be directly applicable in practical efforts to target sleep problems among employees."

Vleeshouwers added that since these work factors are relatively specific and modifiable, intervention programs may be developed to target employees' appraisal of these work factors in order to improve sleep, which could in turn have an effect on health, sickness, absence and productivity.

The study involved Norwegian employees from 63 different companies, covering a wide variety of jobs. The General Nordic Questionnaire for Psychological and Social Factors at Work was used to explore factors such as quantitative job demands, decision control, role conflict and support from superiors.

According to the authors, the results support the Demand-Control-(Support) Model, which states that negative health effects may result from a combination of high job demands and low job control.

The study is published in the journal Sleep. (ANI)

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This vaccine switch may soon make polio history

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 05:22

London, Apr 18 : The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a new vaccine swap to eradicate the last few strains of the disease in 150 different countries.

Over the next two weeks, the countries will engage in a synchronised switch to a two-strain vaccine which tackles the remaining variations of the wild polio virus - type 1 and type 3, the Independent reported.

The transmission of type 2 polio was eradicated in 1999, meaning immunising against it now is pointless.

Following 30 years of the successful immunisation programme, just 12 cases were recorded worldwide this year, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and experts predict the disease could be wiped out for good within a decade.

As per the WHO's director of polio eradication, Michel Zaffran, the failure of the programme now means the virus could spread across borders once again.

He added that the job has not been done and will not be done until the virus has been fully eradicated. (ANI)

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This treatment takes just 6 wks to cure hepatitis C patients

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 07:00

Washington D. C, Apr 17 : A team of scientists has found a way to cure the acute hepatitis C with 6 weeks of a new treatment.

The study found that all patients with acute HCV, who were treated with a direct-acting antiviral treatment over a 'short- duration' of six weeks, had undetectable HCV after a 12 week follow-up.

The investigator-initiated study demonstrated that the combination of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir for only six weeks is sufficient to treat patients with acute HCV.

Those infected with HCV usually develop acute Hepatitis C, which spontaneously clears in 10 to 50 percent of infected persons. Early diagnosis of HCV infection is rare and the disease may go unnoticed until patients have already developed serious liver damage.

Sofosbuvir and ledipasvir is one possible regimen for treatment of patients with chronic HCV. Sustained virologic response
(SVR) is greater than 95 percent with a 12-week course of this treatment.

"Given the high cost of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir, and the associated side effects that occur during treatment, we set out to assess whether shortened treatment duration could be an effective option for acute Hepatitis C patients," said study author Katja Deterding from Hannover Medical School.

The research demonstrates that not only is the combination of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir safe, well tolerated and effective in acute HCV genotype 1 patients who have severe liver disease with very high liver enzymes, but a shorter treatment duration does not appear to hinder efficacy, confirmed senior author Heiner Wedemeyer.

"These exciting findings open up short and cost-effective treatment options that could prevent the spread of HCV in high risk populations," said Professor Frank Tacke, EASL Governing Board member. "We look forward to seeing this pilot study extended so the findings can be validated and then hopefully used as a tool to change clinical practice for the better."

The study was presented at The International Liver CongressTM in Barcelona, Spain. (ANI)

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Parasitic worms can help treat inflammatory bowel disease

Fri, 04/15/2016 - 03:14

Washington D. C, Apr 15 : A recent study has suggested that a certain type of parasitic worm has the potential to actually help treat the inflammatory bowel disease.

The findings provide important insights into how intestinal worms, or helminths, manipulate the gut microbiota in a way that is beneficial for its host.

Researcher Deepshika Ramanan and colleagues found that mice deficient in the gene Nod2, which are used to model Crohn's disease, develop abnormalities in their small intestines, including a compromised layer of mucus and changes to intestinal cell morphology. These alterations allowed for greater colonization by the bacteria Bacteroides vulgatus.

The team found that chronic infection of these mice with the helminth Trichuris muris restored the mucus and cell morphology within the small intestines. A closer look at inflammatory markers revealed that the parasitic worms help inhibit B. vulgatus via the immune signaling molecules, interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13, which was confirmed by knocking out a relevant transcription factor.

Similar and even more profound results were found with a second type of helminth. Monitoring the gut microbiota of the mice over the course of infection revealed that the parasites help increase the colonization of strains of a different family of bacteria, Clostridiales, at the expense of B. vulgatus. Inflammatory bowel disease is less prevalent in regions where helminth infection is very common.

Therefore, Ramanan et al. studied an indigenous population in Malaysia that has a very high rate of infection of intestinal worms, analyzing stool samples collected from individuals before and after deworming treatment.

They detected significant changes in gut microbiota composition, where Clostridiales was the most significantly reduced order, and Bacteroidales was significantly expanded following treatment. These results reveal an intriguing and beneficial facet of a symbiotic relationship between helminths and humans.

The study is published in journal Science. (ANI)

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Obese people too can keep those lost kilos off

Fri, 04/15/2016 - 03:11

Washington D. C, Apr 15 : Dropping fat and keeping it off can be difficult for obese people, but a recent study suggests that they too can maintain a stable weight loss.

The University of Copenhagen study has allowed researchers new insights into the complex processes involved in obesity and especially weight loss in obesity. It is now possible to offer overweight people a clearer understanding of how to sustain weight loss.

"This study shows that if an overweight person is able to maintain an initial weight loss, in this case for a year, the body will eventually 'accept' this new weight and thus not fight against it, as is otherwise normally the case when you are in a calorie-deficit state," said researcher Signe Sorensen Torekov.

The main finding in the study revealed that after one year of successful weight loss maintenance, the researchers were able to demonstrate that postprandial levels of two appetite inhibiting hormones (GLP-1 and PYY) increased from before-weight loss level, in contrast to the hunger hormone ghrelin, which increased immediately after weight loss but returned to normal levels (= low hunger) after one year.

This demonstrates that the hormones GLP-1 and PYY are able to adjust to a new 'set point' and thus may facilitate the continuation of a new and lower body weight.

Torekov concluded, "The interesting and uplifting news in this study is that if you are able to maintain your weight loss for a longer period of time, it seems as if you have 'passed the critical point', and after this point, it will actually become easier for you to maintain your weight loss than is was immediately after the initial weight loss. Thus, the body is no longer fighting against you, but actually with you, which is good news for anyone trying to lose weight."

The study appears in European Journal of Endocrinology. (ANI)

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Online comments may affect your views on health issues

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 05:30

Washington D. C, April 6 : One important domain, wherein the Internet plays an increasing role is health information access. Now, a study has revealed that one-sided comments posted on online news articles may influence readers' opinions about health-related topics.

This raises questions about how health social media should be moderated, especially considering the potentially polarized nature of these forums.

In this study led by Holly Witteman from the Universite Laval, nearly 1,700 participants were asked to carefully read a mock news article on home birth. The mock article was a composite of real news articles from various U. S. publications.

Witteman said, "We took paragraphs from each source, including quotes from health care professionals who were for or against home birth in order to create a balanced news item."

Participants who viewed balanced comments and those who read the article without comments expressed an average opinion of 52, while the average opinion for the negative comments group was 39 and the average opinion for the positive comments group was 63. Comments with personal stories increased the divide.

"However, this doesn't mean we should shut down comment sections or attempt to suppress personal stories," says Witteman. "If sites fail to host such discussions, they are likely to simply happen elsewhere. Although the quality of comments is sometimes debatable, social media is a valuable tool that allows people to share and find information on subjects related to their health. That kind of engagement is arguably a good thing."

"What's more, sharing information can prove particularly useful when there is no consensus on the topic in the scientific community or if a person's choice comes down to their values or personal preferences."

Organizations that seek to communicate health information and to support discussions of that information may wish to ensure they adequately represent different viewpoints so that readers can form their own opinions, added Witteman.

The study is published in Health Affairs. (ANI)

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Restoring testosterone can cut heart attack risk

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 05:51

It is natural for testosterone levels to decline as men age. Now, a recent study has suggested that its supplementation can help you keep your heart safe.

The multi-year study from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City shows that testosterone therapy helped elderly men with low testosterone levels and pre-existing coronary artery disease reduce their risks of major adverse cardiovascular events, including strokes, heart attacks and death.

The study showed that patients who received testosterone as part of their follow-up treatment fared much better than patients who didn't. Non-testosterone-therapy patients were 80 percent more likely to suffer an adverse event.

Co-director Brent Muhlestein said that the study shows that using testosterone replacement therapy to increase testosterone to normal levels in androgen-deficient men doesn't increase their risk of a serious heart attack or stroke. That was the case even in the highest-risk men, those with known pre-existing heart disease."

The results were presented at the American College of Cardiology's 65th Annual Scientific Session. (ANI)

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Obese people outnumber underweight ones: Global survey

Fri, 04/01/2016 - 10:02

London, Apr 1 : If a major global analysis study is to be believed, then we now live in a world where more people are obese than underweight.

In the past 40 years, there has been a startling increase in the number of obese people worldwide, rising from 105 million in 1975 to
641 million in 2014, according to the most comprehensive analysis of trends in body mass index (BMI) to date.

The age-corrected proportion of obese men has more than tripled (3.2 percent to 10.8 percent) and the proportion of obese women has more than doubled (6.4 percent to 14.9 percent) since 1975. At the same time, the proportion of underweight people fell more modestly, by around a third in both men (13.8 percent to 8.8 percent) and women (14.6 percent to 9.7 percent).

Over the past four decades, the average age-corrected BMI increased from 21.7kg/mA² to 24.2 kg/mA² in men and from 22.1kg/mA² to 24.4 kg/mA² in women, equivalent to the world's population becoming on average 1.5kg heavier each decade. If the rate of obesity continues at this pace, by 2025 roughly a fifth of men (18 percent) and women (21 percent) worldwide will be obese, and more than 6 percent of men and 9 percent of women will be severely obese.

"Over the past 40 years, we have changed from a world in which underweight prevalence was more than double that of obesity, to one in which more people are obese than underweight," explained senior author Professor Majid Ezzati from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London. "If present trends continue, not only will the world not meet the obesity target of halting the rise in the prevalence of obesity at its 2010 level by 2025, but more women will be severely obese than underweight by 2025."

He added that to avoid an epidemic of severe obesity, new policies that can slow down and stop the worldwide increase in body weight must be implemented quickly and rigorously evaluated, including smart food policies and improved health-care training.

The study found that women in Singapore, Japan and a few European countries including Czech Republic, Belgium, France, and Switzerland had virtually no increase in average BMI over the 40 years.

Island nations in Polynesia and Micronesia have the highest average BMI in the world reaching 34.8 kg/mA² for women and 32.2 kg/mA² for men in American Samoa. In Polynesia and Micronesia more than 38 percent of men and over half of women are obese.

Timor-Leste, Ethiopia, and Eritrea have the lowest average BMI in the world.

More than a fifth of men in India, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia and a quarter or more of women in Bangladesh and India are still underweight.

Among high-income English-speaking countries, the USA has the highest BMI for both men and women. More than one in four severely obese men and almost one in five severely obese women in the world live in the USA.

Men in Cyprus, Ireland, and Malta and women in Moldova have the highest average BMI in Europe. Bosnian and Dutch men and Swiss women have the lowest average BMI in Europe.

The UK has the third highest average BMI in Europe for women equal to Ireland and the Russian Federation (all around 27.0 kg/mA²) and tenth highest for men along with Greece, Hungary, and Lithuania (all around 27.4 kg/mA²).

Almost a fifth of the world's obese adults (118 million) live in just six high-income English-speaking countries--Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, and USA. Over a quarter (27.1 percent; 50 million) of the world's severely obese people also live in these countries.

By 2025, the UK is projected to have the highest levels of obese women in Europe (38 percent), followed by Ireland (37 percent) and Malta (34 percent). Similar trends are projected in men, with Ireland and the UK again showing the greatest proportion (both around 38 percent), followed Lithuania (36 percent).

By comparison, 43 percent of US women and 45 percent of US men are predicted to be obese in 2025.

The study appears in Lancet. (ANI)

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People shifting from chemical-cosmetics to natural one

Fri, 04/01/2016 - 09:06

New Delhi, April 1 : India, from ages back, is known to be the land of Ayurveda, but in recent past, it became more dependent on chemical laden cosmetic products.

Chemical laden products, as known, brings different side-effects with it, hence, in last five year, notable shift of consumers have been seen from chemical laden cosmetics to natural products, according to expert from natural organic cosmetics brand 'Soul Tree.'

The problem with natural beauty products have always been their price range, but again according to Soul Tree marketing expert, they have noticed quite a lot of upgradation in the middle class society, who now spends quite a lot for quality products.

Soul Tree is India's first and the only range of certified natural beauty and personal care products developed by Vedicare Ayurveda Pvt Ltd.

Natural products do have their own complications like manufacture and preserving problem, but with time and technology, the natural beauty product brands are trying to overcome the problems. (ANI)

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Can videogames improve kids' health?

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 08:14

Washington D.C, Mar 31 : Video games sometimes get a bad rap for negative effects on public health, but if chosen wisely, it may help improve health outcomes in children.

The videogames for health (G4H) field is pursuing innovative, potentially highly effective methods for changing behaviors and affecting health outcomes in children, but more research, defined guidelines and targeted funding are needed to drive game design, determine optimal use, and minimize possible adverse effects, according to a study.

In the white paper, entitled 'Games for Health for Children--Current Status and Needed Research,' the authors review what is currently known about G4H, including game design and how they can target specific behaviors and health-related factors such as games intended to reduce anxiety before surgery, to promote physical activity, or to educate about health. They also examine the implications of using G4H for child development.

The article emphasizes the need to overcome cost and technology barriers that could impede access to G4H, and proposes the need for guidelines for children, parents, educators, clinicians, policymakers, and technologists related to factors such as screen time and game development.

"The available evidence reveals that Games for Health are very promising to prevent and treat obesity, reduce stress, prevent smoking, and contribute to many positive health outcomes among children. This White Paper offers a road map for the activities that need to occur to achieve that potential," says lead author Tom Baranowski.

The study appears in Games for Health Journal. (ANI)

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Zika causes fetal brain damage in unborn babies confirmed

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 04:39

Washington D. C, Mar 31 : The Zika virus has been linked to an increased risk of brain damage in an unborn baby and now, a recent study has confirmed the same.

The research led by Olli Vapalahti from University of Helsinki, Finland, found that small amounts of genetic material from the Zika virus can be detected from a blood sample taken from a pregnant woman even weeks after the acute rash caused by the infection has passed, when the development of brain damage in the fetus is underway.

Severe brain abnormalities can be detected through neuroimaging already at this early stage, even before the development of the intracranial calcifications and microcephaly previously associated with Zika virus infections.

The observations are based on the case of a woman infected while visiting Central America during her 11th week of pregnancy. This study is the first to report isolation of infectious Zika virus from fetal tissue in cell culture.

The virus was isolated from fetal brain tissue in a cell line representing neural cell precursors. Researchers mapped the entire genome of the virus and discovered eight mutations, which distinguish this virus from the Zika strains previously reported in Central America. Vapalahti noted that some of these mutations may be associated with the adaptations of the virus to the fetal brain.

Vapalahti pointed out that the research also helps confirm the causal relation between the Zika virus and severe damage to the fetal central nervous system.

The virus isolate from fetal brain can also serve extensively in experimental Zika virus research.

The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (ANI)

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Eat your way to slimmer you with pulses

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 02:56

Washington D.C, Mar 31 : If you want to drop those extra kilos and also keep them off, then eat foods like beans, peas, chick peas and lentils, which according to a new study, can rev up your weight-loss engine.

Eating about 3/4 cup (130 grams) each day of these foods known as pulses led to a weight loss of 0.34 kilograms, in a systematic review and meta-analysis of all available clinical trials on the effects of eating pulses.

Lead author Dr. Russell de Souza from the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital said that despite their known health benefits, only 13 per cent of Canadians eat pulses on any given day and most do not eat the full serving. "So there is room for most of us to incorporate dietary pulses in our diet and realize potential weight management benefits."

The United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization have designated 2016 as the International Year of Pulses.

Pulses have a low glycemic index, that is they are foods that break down slowly, and can be used to reduce or displace animal protein as well as "bad" fats such as trans-fat in a dish or meal.

Dr. de Souza noted that 90 per cent of weight loss interventions fail, resulting in weight regain, which may be due in part to hunger and food cravings.

"Though the weight loss was small, our findings suggest that simply including pulses in your diet may help you lose weight, and we think more importantly, prevent you from gaining it back after you lose it," Dr. de Souza added.

The study appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (ANI)

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New healthcare machinery to curb modern-life stress

Wed, 03/30/2016 - 09:59

Tokyo, Mar 30 : Modern life stress and body ache is a growing concern among most of the people globally. There are many types of equipment available to de-stress the body. Japan's Dream Factory Corporation has introduced a circular cylinder which vibrates 10,000 times in 3 minutes and gives relaxation to the body.

The machine is effective for stretching. Putting it onto calf and back which is necessary to be cured it stimulates muscle without burden. It is effectively relaxing. Making muscle soft and accelerate digestion of fat this machine contributes to diet.

"Our concept is to create beauty and health. We are developing a sheet for massage. But this machine has been developed to make massage more strongly," said Yoshinori Sugimoto.

"The 3D massage seat called `DoctorAir' is small and light. It helps to massage neck and shoulder to de-stress the body," added Yoshinori.

The machine is portable and helps to solve aging and stress of daily life. The company is planning to market the product to other countries in across Asia.

"Japanese people spend money to get a healing moment. It was brought by keen progress of Japanese society. I suppose many new rising countries incline to this tendency. I expect big market will rise in new rising countries," added Sugimoto.

"Pepper is a robot introduced for communication by Softbank. The humanoid robot introduced by SoftBank Mobile has an ability to read emotions. Pepper's emotion comes from the ability to analyze expressions and voice tones," added Yuta Ishida.

A special application in the robot can held aged person to make exercise and develop conversation and game to activate brain.

Against measure to disease of aphasia currently i-pad rehabilitation is adapted. But it is boring and thrown out.

Humanoid like this Pepper can provide more humanistic cure. Patient concentrates to talk more skillfully. It brings effective training. Japan is very popular to be most aged society.

Technology has brought more convenience to daily life. (ANI)

AttachmentSize New healthcare machinery to curb modern-life stress15.8 KB Region: TokyoJapanGeneral: HealthResearch

New genetic front in war against malaria

Wed, 03/30/2016 - 06:23

Washington D. C, Mar 30 : They are as old as the dinosaurs and kill nearly 250,000 people a month. The war against malaria is now proceeding on many fronts, from preventative measures to the introduction of more effective drugs.

Now, a group of scientists, including one from the University of California, Riverside, has discovered a long-hypothesized male determining gene in the mosquito species that carries malaria, laying the groundwork for the development of strategies that could help control the disease.

In many species, including mosquitoes, Y chromosomes control essential male functions, including sex determination and fertility. However, knowledge of Y chromosome genetic sequences is limited to a few organisms.

The discovery of the putative male-determining gene, which was outlined in a paper, provides researchers with a long-awaited foundation for studying male mosquito biology.

This is significant because male mosquitoes offer the potential to develop novel vector control strategies to combat diseases, such as malaria and the zika and dengue viruses, because males do not feed on blood or transmit diseases.

The researchers used multiple genome sequencing techniques, including single-molecule sequencing and Illumina-based sex- specific transcriptional profiling, as well as whole-genome sequencing, to identify an extensive dataset of Y chromosome sequences and explore their organization and evolution in Anopheles gambiae complex, a group of at least seven morphologically indistinguishable species of mosquitoes in the genus Anopheles which contain some of the most important vectors of human malaria.

They found only one gene, known as YG2, which is exclusive to the Y chromosome across the species complex, and thus is a possible male-determining gene.

The study is published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. (ANI)

AttachmentSize New genetic front in war against malaria18.68 KB Region: WashingtonUnited StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

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