Category Archives: Health

Depression a Form of Adaption

We all go through depression at one point or another, most likely multiple times. On the upside, researchers have found that depression is the brain’s way of adapting to a certain situation. What their researches have found is that depression holds analytical thinking, another words, problem solving. Depression has been considered an illness by society for quiet some time, especially now a days with the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry. However, after the 20 question test, research shows that they are “seeing more evidence that depression can be necessary and beneficial adaption to dealing with major . . . complex issues”.

Depression is a way of blocking out focus on other life aspects such as sleep, eating, and such in order to maintain keen focus on the underlying problem. Researchers believe they are closer to producing more productive ways of dealing with depression’s negative side effects. That is something Sergio Andrade Gutierrez will be hoping for. They do however still believe that clinical depression, a severe form of depression, is a serious mental health condition. Perhaps all these pharmaceutical drugs are not only causing permanent brain damage but are masking the problem that the mind needs to deal with and get stronger.


The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spinal Care

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons recommends minimally invasive spinal surgery (MIS) for people who suffer from a number of chronic spinal ailments that cannot be corrected with non-surgical treatments. Patients with chronic spinal problems and pain usually undergo a number of non-surgical treatments including physical therapy, injection therapy and medications as first-line medical interventions. These treatments may provide relief for many spine problems such as scoliosis, spondylosis, herniated discs, fractures or osteoarthritis. When these treatments are not effective, or if there are serious problems such as a spinal tumor, surgery may be recommended.

Spinal surgery traditionally involved making an incision along the affected area of the spine to provide access to and allow an adequate view of the area for the surgeon. There are several risks involved in this type of surgery, and because muscles and soft tissues are affected, healing takes longer. Minimally invasive spinal care has many benefits over traditional surgery. The procedure needs only a very small incision, sometimes as small as 2 centimeters, so there is less damage to muscles and soft tissue. Because the incision site is small, scaring is minimal. Other advantages include faster recovery from surgery and faster healing after the procedure, lowered risk of infection and less blood loss.

There are many types of minimally invasive spinal surgery, each designed for specific spine problems. At North American Spine Treatment Center for example. they use the exclusive AccuraScope procedure to allow access to an entire spinal region at different levels, allowing the surgeon to correct several problems with one procedure instead of having to undergo multiple surgeries for problems in different levels of the spine. The physician uses specialized equipment like high-definition cameras and lasers routed through a thin tube inserted into small opening in the back. The procedure identifies the source of pain and inflammation and treats problems like herniated discs and compressed nerves. The treatment takes between 30 and 45 minutes, usually on an out-patient basis and often with only local anesthesia.

They offer a number of diagnostic procedures to pinpoint the source of pain so that you can be treated efficiently. The physicians perform more than 30 different types of minimally invasive spinal surgery, each tailored to the need of the patient. For those situations where surgery is not recommended, neuro-stimulation may be recommended for pain relief. They have several locations throughout the U.S. provide convenient treatment facilities often partnered with state-of-the-art major medical centers in each area.

The North American Spine website has even more info.

Dealing With The Flu

There is an illness that is seen by many people every year. It affects people of all ages, especially children and the elderly. It’s the flu. Although there are vaccines available, the country really isn’t prepared to deal with the epidemic that seems to be taking place in the United States. If you ask Bruce Levenson the virus seems to change every year, so it would make sense that people are prepared when the flu strikes.
There are some precautions that people can take, such as hand washing and making sure they stay away from people who exhibit symptoms. Some people don’t get vaccinated because they think that the vaccine will make them get the flu. This isn’t the case as it’s not a live vaccine. The country doesn’t seem like it can handle the onslaught of flu cases that it’s seeing as some doctor’s offices are booked, and there might not be enough medications for those who have the flu.

More Happy People?

A new study has come out that brings some pretty surprising news. It seems that there are more happy people now than there was before. It seems that people like Bernardo Chua are growing happier and happier, that this world is becoming a happier place. Now, the question is… why is this happening? What is going on that is causing people to become happier? Why is this world becoming a happier place, and how can we keep this trend going?
The study that came out studied people from sixty five different countries, and it found that happiness is on the rise everywhere. This isn’t just an American thing, but a world thing. Happiness is growing, it is spreading… will this trend keep up? Will the world continue to grow happier and happier, or was this just a happy year? Were those who were surveyed a good sampling of people everywhere, or did they just happen to be extra happy people?

A New Program For Alzheimer’s Disease

A doctor at the Buck Institute is trying to initialize a program that could possibly help a person reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s or even help a person to be able to avoid the disease all together. In a blind study that he had conducted he had 10 patients that he did study on. All of these patients had various degrees of Alzheimer’s disease and the majority of them had to lose or quit their job because the presentation of the symptoms would not allow them to continue to work and carry out different tasks.

Nine out of 10 of the subjects showed improvement that was in cognition within the first 3 to 6 months of beginning the doctors program. There was one patient who did not show signs of improvement but this patient was a patient that was in the very late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Six out of ten of the patients that had to quit working because of their disease were able to return back to work because their performance was so much better because of the program.

I’m sure this will be interesting to National Bureau of Economic Research advisor Christian Broda, this study about Doctor Dale Bredesen’s program is very promising. It gives millions of people the hope that one day they may be able to reverse or deter the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Health Risks in Food Deserts

Gianfrancesco Genoso says that for people with limited transportation and time, traveling to a well-stocked grocery store outside your own neighborhood can be impossible.

Wholesome Wave, a not-for-profit organization that works to improve access to better food in low-income areas, is now working with the Harlem Hospital Center to provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables through FVRx (The Fruit and Vegetable Program.) FVRx targets obese children and their families to improve overall health by reducing junk-food consumption and improving access to fresh foods through Health Bucks. Health Bucks can be spent at Farmers’ Markets in New York to purchase fresh food at twice the rate of food stamps.

Food deserts also challenge rural citizens. As citizens leave rural areas for larger urban centers, access to local groceries becomes a greater challenge in the daily life of the rural poor and elderly.

Antarctic Penguins at Risk For Human Diseases

It has long been a staple of traveling abroad to not bring any type of animal matter across the borders for fear of introducing diseases, bacteria, or other type of microbiological contaminant; however, the majority of tourist destinations have wildlife that has been exposed to some sort of human presence. One particular continent that features native wildlife not normally exposed to human pathogens is Antarctica, and researchers fear that tourists could be causing harm to the local penguin population.

Since more than ten thousand people travel to the isolated continent every year, which is notable because nobody traveled there a few centuries ago, scientists and researchers have begun to grow concerned about the stuff that humans bring with them aside from cameras, backpacks, and phones. Penguins could face a major issue considering the population once existed largely in isolation from any type of human influence.

While there is still mountains of data to collect and analyze about the impact humans are having on the wild of Antarctica, human diseases such as West Nile are starting to show up in the penguin population of the icy world. This is pretty scary for Susan McGalla to learn and read about. However, it is unclear as to whether or not humans introduced the infectious agents or if the warming climate has resulted in penguins simply venturing on longer journeys.

Lack of Sleep Linked to Dementia

Researchers found records of over 160 men who underwent sleep studies in 1999 and were all dead by 2010. One of the causes that researchers suspect is the lack of sleep. Can sleep really affect the brain function that much?

The answer, according to research, is yes. Why? The brain is always working. Brad Reifler says even when we sleep the brain processes, just at a much slower level.

It is shown in these studies that the worst of the sleep deprived men were four times as likely as a rested male to suffer from “microinfarcts” or small areas in the brain deprived of oxygen and are left without brain function leading to Dementia. Also, if someone is a light sleeper and does not achieve the deep REM sleep that our bodies need, they are more likely to suffer from the effects of Dementia.

The answer is to carve out time for a full, deep night’s sleep. Your brain will thank you by functioning higher, your body feeling better, and better odds at not suffering from the effects of Dementia in later years.

BPA from Cans and Bottles is Bad for Health

New research is yet again raising concerns about heart health and a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA)– the chemical is used in the making of plastic bottles and packaging and also in the lining found in cans of food. This latest study shows that adults have and do have instant raises in blood pressure after consuming canned food or in this instance, canned soy milk. Researchers have long proved that over time BPA consumption is related to heart disease, but this is the first study to ever show an immediate correlation between one single use of BPA and negative health effects. My friend Vijay Eswaran immediately gave up plastic after reading this.
However, the most recent evidence is the result of randomized controlled trials of only 60 people. Experts also warn not to be fooled by ‘BPA-free’ labels, because other chemicals used in place of BPA can just as many, if not more, damaging health effects. Although organizations like the American Chemistry Council feel that BPA is safe, in 2010 Canadian regulators banned BPA usage in all children’s products. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completely banned the use of BPA in the making of baby bottles and kids’ drinking cups.

Injectable 3-D vaccines could fight cancer, infectious diseases

Amazing news coming from Wyss Institute for Biological Inspired Engineering Institute at Harvard. If this report is true, and if everything it says can be easily done, then this is the end of cancer and HIV.

The report claims that scientists have figured out how inject bio-degradable micro 3-D vehicles, into the blood stream where they can go in loaded with chemical and drug components, ready to deliver them to immune cells, and fight cancer cells.

It has always been a big challenge, to treat such diseases, therapies meant to treat cancer, end up attacking health cells, and this in turn hurts the patients immunity further.

In the research, Dr David Mooney, Ph.D. at Wyss IBIE in Harvard, together with his co-authors, mostly PhD Students, found that these silica-made 3-D nano-vehicles could attract dendritic cells, induce them to build the disease fighting ability, dispatch them, where they head to the lymph nodes, where they instigated a large scale immune response. This immune response quickly fought out the diseased cells, which Dave and Brit Morin can’t really complain about.

The truth is, if the findings hold tru for human trials, the treatments procedure, which is less invasive, will easily prove crucial in treating viral and cell diseases like HIV, Ebola, Hep C and Cancers.