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Elvis Augustin



Even the smallest stroke can impair cognitive function

According to an article published in the online edition of Nature Neuroscience, the blockage even of the smallest blood vessels in the brain is associated with alterations in brain tissue, which may contribute to dementia onset. However, the study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, showed that if these small changes are counteracted by the administration of a drug that is already in use, the installation of dementia can be delayed. Andy Y. Shih, lead author of the paper who completed this work as a postdoctoral fellow in physics at UC San Diego, revealed that the brain has a very rich blood supply and it is surprising that by blocking a blood vessel such consequences can occur.

Iimpair Cognitive Function

Iimpair Cognitive Function

Shih and colleagues conducted experiments on animals and have revealed that even smallest blood clots can alter nerve tissue. They used laser light to clot blood in some vessels of the brain. After a week, they looked at those areas of the brain affected by blot clots and found that the damage was widespread. These micro-lesions are too small to be seen with magnetic resonance that has a resolution of 1 mm. In the brain, due to rich blood supply, in a square millimeter area  there are about a dozen of blood vessels. David Kleinfeld, professor of physics and Neurobiology, who leads the research group, was keen to point out that it is controversial whether such small lesions have an impact on brain function. But researchers did experiments in rats and showed that indeed these small lesions can alter the brain.

In addition, the researchers wanted to see if the damage to brain processes can be stopped or slowed down with medication. In this way they showed that memantine, a drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, may be useful in this regard. Memantine has been approved by the FDA for treating moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that this drug, which works by blocking glutamate NMDA-type receptors, improves cognition in Alzheimer’s patients. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, administered memantine to the rats affected by those small strokes and showed by experiments that this drug improves the cognitive function.

Patrick D. Lyden, a co-author of the study and chair of the department of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said the study shows that even a small stroke can affect brain function. He said he suspects that these small stoke are among the contributing factors responsable for the occurrence of dementia and Alzheimer’s but that more studies are needed to confirm these facts.


New biomarker for multiple myeloma

A new study led by researchers in Singapore highlights a new biomarker called FAIM that could become a new therapeutic target of multiple myeloma. FAIM ( Fas apoptosis inhibitory molecule ), that identifies patients with multiple myeloma at high risk, is actually a molecule that prevent cell death. Researchers believe that a drug that could inhibit this molecule could be the new treatment for multiple  myeloma. The study results were published in Leukemia.

multiple myeloma


Multiple myeloma is a malignant cancer that occurs due to uncontrolled proliferation of plasma cells in the blood. It is a severe and incurable cancer that can have a wide range of signs and symptoms: bleeding, infection, anemia, kidney failure. Other important symptoms that occur are due to spinal cord compression: pain, paresthesia, weakness, paralysis and others. It should be noted that the lumbar spine is one of the most affected areas. Frequent complications of multiple myeloma are fractures and kidney damage, which is a negative prognostic sign.

American Cancer Society estimates that in the U.S., every year there are 14,600 new cases of multiple myeloma and in Singapore 80 people are diagnosed each year with this disease. There were no obvious causes of this cancer yet, but there seems to be some predisposing factors such as age over 50, male gender and obesity.

Although several types of treatment (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, autologous stem cell transplant, immunomodulatory drugs, corticosteroids) are available for patients with multiple mieloma, the prognosis is poor. Survival time varies from several months to several years depending on the stage of the disease. Resistance to treatment is one of the main factors contributing to bad prognosis of multiple myeloma.

Now researchers in Singapore have made new discoveries about the mechanisms underlying this cancer. They found a molecule ( FAIM) that is involved in preventing cell death. Based on this discovery, they were able to demonstrate that by inhibiting expression of FAIM, multiple myeloma can be eradicated. They also showed that the protein level is high in patients with multiple myeloma compared to healthy individuals. Furthermore, it was also found that the presence of this molecule in the blood of patients with multiple myeloma correlates with a poor prognosis.

Prof Lam Kong Peng, who conducted the research, said that this study joins other findings that demonstrate the utility of FAIM in multiple myeloma. He added that the discovery of these biomarkers help identify patients at risk and possible future discovery of new treatments of multiple myeloma.



Sickle Cell Disease

Researchers at Dana-Farber/Children ‘s Hospital Cancer Center (DF / CHCC) are going to develop a gene therapy for sickle-cell disease. The new experiment, whose results were presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, was tested on laboratory animals and proved successful. The research team led by DF / CHCC ‘s Raffaele Renella, MD, PhD, Stuart H. Orkin, MD, and David A. Williams, MD, were able to activate a new form of hemoglobin that is not affected by sickle-cell disease.

Sickle cell disease, or sickle-cell anemia, is an inherited blood disorder characterized by a single mutation in a component of hemoglobin, the protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood. It should be noted that this disease is more common in people who live in tropical regions where malaria is prevalent. It also should be noted that those who wear a single sickle-cell gene, which is called sickle-cell trait, are resistant to malaria infection.

Sickle Cell

Sickle Cell disease

In sickle cell disease, red blood cells shows a rigid form (sickle shape) that can not carry oxygen properly and then all the body suffers. In this way patients with sickle cell disease develop symptoms due to oxygen deprivation on the one hand, and on the other hand, symptoms related to the abnormal form of hemoglobin because sickle-shaped red blood cells obstruct small blood vessels. These symptoms are known as vaso-occlusive crisis, sequestration crisis or haemolytic crisis. Chronic pain, ischemia, necrosis, stroke, chronic renal failure, pulmonary hypertension are just some of the manifestations of this disease.

Vaso-occlusive crises, sometimes the first manifestation of the disease, are characterized by pain of different intensity and duration and are associated with high morbidity. Crises begin and end abruptly and are  accompanied by fever, leukocytosis, and malaise. Other symptoms that occur are splenomegaly, anemia, cholelithiasis, retinitis, blindness, etc..

New gene therapy thought by scientists at DF / CHCC is based on a previous work which showed that the molecular switch called BCL11A could treat the disease. There are two main types of hemoglobin produced by the human body: fetal hemoglobin that is produced during prenatal period and shortly after birth, and adult hemoglobin. BCL11A is a transcription factor that determines the shift in hemoglobin production. What is interesting is that fetal hemoglobin reduces the symptoms and complications of sickle-cell disease. Using the combined lentiviral gene transfer / RNA interference approach, the researchers were able to increase fetal hemoglobin production in the mouse by 5 to 20 times. Even though there are studies done to correct sickle-cell disease, researchers have made important steps in this regard.


Ponatinib is effective in chronic myeloid leukemia patients

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that a new oral drug, ponatinib, is effective in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic lymphoma (Ph+ ALL). The study was conducted by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI).

Chronic myeloid leukemia is a lymphoproliferative disease associated with a characteristic chromosomal translocation called the Philadelphia chromosome. In other words, CML is a cancer of white blood cells. Depending on the stage of the disease, there are several phases: chronic phase, accelerated phase and blast phase. Many patients are in the chronic phase at diagnosis, that is often asymptomatic. Untreated it progresses to accelerated phase of the disease, which is characterized by increased number of blasts, decreased platelet count, splenomegaly etc. The last stage, blast phase, is rapidly progressive and is characterized by more than 20% myeloblasts in the bone marrow. CML can affect people of all ages and has an incidence of 1-2 per 100 000 inhabitants. Leukemia causes are not fully known but there are incriminated several factors. Most commonly leukemia is associated with exposure to ionizing radiation.

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Leukemia symptoms are due to uncontrolled proliferation of white blood cells such as asthenia, fatigue, bone pain, splenomegaly, fever or low fever etc. Usually people with leukemia appear pale, due to anemia, have multiple bruises (thrombocytopenia) or infections (neutropenia). It  may happen that leukemia  be discovered by laboratory tests because sometimes has an asymptomatic evolution.

CML  prognosis is good with treatment, survival at 5 years is approximately 80-85%. In 2001, FDA approved imatinib mesylate, a tyrosine-kinase Bcr-Abl inhibitors, which had good responses, imatinib becoming  the first-line treatment for CML. Then two more drugs were approved: nilotinib and dasatanib, in order to increase response and to overcome imatinib resistance that occurs in some patients.

Studies show that 20-30% of patients develop resistance to treatment and this is the main reason for treatment failure. Another treatment option is bone marrow transplantation but it requires several conditions: a compatible donor,  immunosuppressive treatment after transplantation  etc.

Now researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) found that ponatinib has good results in patients with resistant  CML and Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblast lymphoma (Ph + ALL). Phase 1 clinical trial, in which 81 patients were included, showed that ponatinib gives meaningful responses even in those with advanced disease. Deininger, a senior author on the study who leads an ongoing ponatinib trial at Huntsman Cancer Institute, said:
“Ponatinib is arguably the most potent and broadest BCR-ABL1 available thus far, covering even the T315I mutant, which is completely resistant against all approved TKIs”.


Novel Protein Test May Predict Progression Rate Of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

According to a study, which appears online in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, researchers from Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, Emory University and the University of Florida, were able to create a novel test which may reveal the rate of progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This test measures the levels of proteins from nerve damage that are deposited in blood and spinal fluid and could represent a useful method for both physician and researches in identifying patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that have a higher risk for rapid progression.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by a progressive loss (reduction) of certain nerve cells, of the  brain and spinal cord, called motor neurons. Motor neurons control voluntary muscles, muscles that make movement possible. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive, debilitating, and a fatal disease. Walking, talking, eating, swallowing and other basic functions become more difficult with time. These conditions can cause different injuries, illness and other problems. Disease progression rate varies wildly among patients and for this reason, survival from the date of diagnosis can be months to more than 10 years.

“In the care of our ALS patients there is a need for more reliable ways to determine how fast the disease is progressing. Many ALS researchers have been trying to develop a molecular biomarker test for nerve damage like this, and we are encouraged that this test shows such promise. Because blood samples are more readily collected than spinal fluid, we are especially interested in further evaluating this test in peripheral blood in comparison to spinal fluid.”, says Dr. Boylan, study’s lead investigator.

Blood test

Blood test

Until today, there are no curative therapies for ALS, but many studies related to this issue are in progress. Actual treatment for Lou Gehrig's disease can help maintain stability and independence, keep symptoms under control and avoid complications as much as possible. Scientists believe that a test like this is needed because, on the one hand, may identify patients with risk for a faster progression of muscle weakness and on the other hand, they may detect a faster response to experimental drugs that primarily slow progression of ALS in patients with rapid progressive forms of the disease. Study’s lead investigator also believe that if exists a way to identify patients who are at risk for having a faster progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, it should be possible to conduct therapeutic trials with a smaller number of patients in a shorter period of time than is required presently. Another goal for researchers is to develop tests like this in order to gauge how well a patient is responding to experimental therapies.

This novel test measures neurofilament heavy form from blood and spinal fluid. Neurofilament heavy form are proteins that confer structure to motor neurons, and in the moment when motor neurons are denatured by the disease, this proteins break down and accumulate in spinal fluid and blood serum. In this study, scientists measured nurofilament heavy form in blood and spinal fluid and observed that in ALS patients with rapid progression of muscle weakness the levels of this proteins were higher than in patients with a slow evolution. They also observed that patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and a higher level of neurofilament heavy form have a shorter survival.


Thyroid Cancer –  Risk Factors And Symptoms

Thyroid cancer represents a malignant disease in which the cells that form the thyroid gland start to grow abnormal and uncontrollably and form a mass of malignant cells on thyroid gland called tumor. Thyroid gland in an endocrine organ located anteriorly at the base of the throat. The gland usually has a H or a U shape and is formed by two lateral lobes which are connected by a median isthmus. In rare cases, the isthmus may be absent, and the thyroid gland is formed by two distinct lobes.

The thyroid gland is one of the biggest and most important endocrine glands of the body and its activity is regulated by pituitary gland and hypothalamus. It secrets  thyroxine, triiodothyronine and calcitonin (a hormone important in calcium homeostasis). The thyroid gland controls metabolic processes, protein synthesis and overall sensitivity of the organism to the action of other hormones.

Thyroid Anatomy

Thyroid Anatomy

In United States, thyroid cancers represents 1% of new cancer diagnosis each year, 23.500 cases being diagnosed yearly. The incidence of thyroid cancer is 3 time higher in women than in men and it appears to have an incidence peek around 30 and 40 years old.

Thyroid cancer is classified into papillary carcinomas (represents 80% of all thyroid neoplasms), follicular carcinomas (approximately 10% of  all cases), medullary thyroid carcinomas (approximately 5% of all neoplasms), anaplastic carcinomas (1%-2% of all cases), primary thyroid lymphomas and primary thyroid sarcomas, which are very rare.

Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors

Thyroid cancer is quite common, given that in 5% of autopsy are found asymptomatic thyroid malignant lesions. Despite this, death caused by thyroid cancer is uncommon, this is explained by the fact that thyroid cancer is usually a disease that tends to remain localized in the thyroid for many years.

Due to the fact that most thyroid cancers are sporadic, no obvious predisposition or risk factors for developing this disease were found. It is believed that estrogen may represent a risk factor for developing thyroid cancer, because the disease has an increased incidence in women, but recent studies did not demonstrate a link between estrogen and thyroid cancer development.

Epidemiological studies have shown an increased prevalence of certain types of thyroid cancer (follicular and anaplastic carcinomas) in regions with a high incidence of goiter (abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland) that occurs as a result of a diet low in iodine. This hypothesis is supported by the decreased incidence of thyroid cancer in people who received iodine supplementation.

Thyroid Examination

Thyroid Examination

Radiation exposure significantly increases the risk for thyroid cancer, especially for papillary thyroid carcinoma. In the support of this findings lies the increased incidence of thyroid cancer in children exposed to high dose of radiation after the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during world war II and after the nuclear accident in Chernobyl. It was also observed that patients who were treated with low-dose of radiation therapy for benign disease, such as acne or adenotonsillar hypertrophy presented an increased incidence of thyroid cancer. Studies suggest that radiation exposure for imaging studies, radiation therapy for thyroid gland and high-dose radiation beam therapy dose not appear to increase the risk for thyroid cancer. Usually there is a delay of at least several decades between radiation exposure and cancer development.

A genetic predisposition has been associated with medullary thyroid cancer, which may occur as a part of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome. Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes are characterized by simultaneous or sequential combination at the same patient of benign or malignant hyperplastic lesions or tumors, benign or malignant, of at least two endocrine glands without obvious functional interrelations. There are three distinct types of MEN: MEN 1 (Wermer syndrome), MEN 2A syndrome (Sipple syndrome) and MEN 2B syndrome (Shimcke) plus Carney complex. Patients with Sipple syndrome have family history of medullary thyroid cancer and of pheochromocytoma.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

In early stages, thyroid cancer does not cause any symptom or may manifests as a solitary, painless and palpable thyroid nodule, which is usually discovered at a routine examination. 4%-7% of general population present palpable nodules and most of them are the result of a benign disease.

The age at which appears a thyroid nodule is very important because in most cases solitary thyroid nodules have a higher risk to be malignant in patients older than 60 years and in patients younger than 30 years. Thyroid nodules in males are more likely to be malignant. A very important sign for malignancy in a painless thyroid nodule is rapid growth in a short period of time.

In first stages of evolution, malignant thyroid nodules are usually painless. Pain with sudden onset is more likely to appear in benign disease such as autoimmune thyroiditis, viral or bacterial thyroiditis or an acute hemorrhage into a benign thyroid cyst.

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Cancer

Physical examination of a malignant thyroid nodule usually reveals a solitary, painless and palpable nodule, which have a consistency that may vary from soft to hard. This nodule is poorly delimited from the surrounding tissues and generally is less mobile with swallowing. An other characteristic for malignancy is represented by  the presence of a nontender thyroid mass at palpation which tends to increase rapidly in size. Usually, firm cervical masses suggest rather a limphonodal metastases than a malignant thyroid nodule.

In advanced stages, thyroid cancer causes symptoms by compression of surrounding tissues and organs. Therefore, may occur difficulty or pain when swallowing by compressing the pharynx, difficulties in breathing or shortness of breath by compressing the trachea. In the moment when thyroid cancer is invading the larynx, compressing recurrent laryngeal nerve may appear hoarseness and cough.


Scientists have made new discoveries on resistant form of breast cancer

 New findings on breast cancer resistant forms. Although breast cancer is one of the cancers that can be treated if diagnosed early, the chances of success are highly dependent upon cancer subtype. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Manchester’s Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, and published in the journal PLoS One.The key to success in treating breast cancer is to establish a correct diagnosis and appropriate therapeutic strategy. However, there are situations in which, once started treatment for a certain subtype of breast cancer, it becomes  resistant to the drugs used.
breast cancer

Breast cancer

Now researchers at the University of Manchester’s from Paterson Institute for Cancer Research have discovered a new marker of tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer. Tamoxifen is a drug used as adjunctive treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy to block tumor growth. This drug can be used only for cancers estrogen positive, ie for breast cancers that require estrogen to grow. It should be noted that estrogen positive breast cancer accounts for more than half of breast cancers. Tamoxifen is actually an estrogen receptor antagonist and is used in both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women. In addition, tamoxifen is used for breast cancer prevention.Nevertheless, there are patients with breast cancer who do not respond to tamoxifen or develop resistance during treatment. Professor Göran Landberg lead study said that although tamoxifen has been shown to be effective in the treatment of breast cancer, yet a third of patients cease to respond to initial treatment. He added that if they knew from the beginning what patients do not respond to treatment, they could receive proper treatment. It is therefore important  the discovery of a marker to predict response to therapy.

Co-author Dr Susann Busch explained how they arrived at this discovery. They analyzed biopsies from 564 women with invasive breast cancer. Some of these received tamoxifen and some did not. It was found that fibroblasts, some cells from the connective tissue around the tumor, are responsible for resistance to tamoxifen. In fact it is a protein associated with fibroblasts, pERK, that causes tumors TO become resistant to tamoxifen.
The researchers made a comparison between the biopsies from 564 patients and seen that women with low levels of pERK  did not respond to tamoxifen. Testing patients for pERK is not only time-saving but also money-saving.
Now researchers want to do more research to see the role of fibroblasts in tumor growth. Understanding these mechanisms may provide the basis for new therapeutic targets.


Older COPD patients have a high-risk of carotid artery plaque formation

According to a studyled  by researchers from the Netherlands, elderly patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are at increased risk of cardiovascular events. In other words, these patients are likely to develop vulnerable carotid artery plaque. The findings were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Artery plaque is a consequence of atherosclerosis and can occur in any part of the body. Atherosclerosis is formed due to excess fat found in the blood. This excess fat is deposited inside the blood vessels and clog them gradually. Apart excess fat, thrombosis also plays an important role in the formation of the clot. The consequence of this arterial thrombus is ischemia, this is oxygen deprivation. Consequences are different depending on the location of  ischemia: a thrombus in a blood vessel in the leg cause acute pain but in the heart leads to myocardial infarction. Also, a clot in a blood vessel in the brain leads to stroke.



It is known that atherosclerosis is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, with hypertension, smoking, diabetes and more. In addition, there are a number of other conditions that can worsen atherosclerosis, such as COPD. Researcher Bruno H.C. Stricker, MD, PhD, Professor of Pharmaco-Epidemiology at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, said that although it was known that COPD is a risk factor for ischemic stroke, though no one has yet examined the structure of an artery plaque of a patient with COPD. He said the study showed that older COPD patients had atherosclerotic plaques thicker than patients without COPD. COPD is a chronic lung disease characterized by coughing and dyspnea on exertion or at rest. This disease can lead to chronic pulmonary heart.

Researchers in the Netherlands conducted a study to see what are the risk factors for chronic diseases. Regarding COPD, researchers enrolled 253 patients suffering from this disease, patients over 55. Pulmonary disease was assessed using spirometry and the results were compared with 920 controls, ie patients healthy. The researchers used magnetic resonance and ultrasonography to assess atherosclerotic disease in  patients. It was found that patients with COPD had a higher risk of carotid wall thickening on ultrasonography. Also, the researchers also found that patients with COPD had a significantly higher cardiovascular risk than healthy patients. It was found that vulnerable lipid core plaques were more frequent in patients with COPD. Dr. Striker warned that patients with COPD may develop asymptomatic atherosclerotic disease and that physicians should be aware of this complication.


Doctor’s Ultimate Guide For A Perfect Abdomen And Muscle Definition

The truth about the abdomen.

If we were to listen to commercials, people spend more money on their abdomen than on any other muscle group. And why would not they? It is involved in almost all your movements. But the way to a nicely shaped abdomen should not involve credit cards. All you need is a well-designed diet and this simple guide. Believe me, your friend will be jealous. Do you have any questions about this area of your body? Up next we will map the most important abdominal muscles for you.

1. The six-pack.

Any man dreams at a perfect “rectus abdominis” (in scientific terms) or a “six-pack” or ” perfect abs”. Actually there are about eight segments separated by a fibrous connective tissue called fascia. They counterbalance the action of the muscles which stretch the lumbar region, the rectus abdominis keeps your spine straight. The other main function is to pull the trunk to the hips.

2. Fascia

This dense tissue blends in and through your whole body muscle mass forms a complex interconnected system. For you to understand better think at  the abdomen fascia as the barrier which separates and connects each of the eight segments of the six-pack, giving it the defined appearance.

3. External abdominal oblique muscle

Stretching vertically and diagonally, this muscle group starts at the rib cage and connects to the hip bone and the white line (see illustration number 5 below). The external oblique muscle (also called the great oblique) helps you tilt your torso from side to side and twist your torso to the left and right. Its most important role is perhaps to prevent uncontrolled rotation of the trunk.

4. Internal abdominal oblique muscle

The internal abdominal oblique muscle (small oblique muscle)  is found under the external oblique abdominal muscle layer – it helps to tilt to one side and twisting the torso while preventing uncontrolled rotation.

5 Linea alba  or the white line

This layer of fascia forms a long line that separates the middle abdomen. The linea alba does not allow muscles to tear the rectus-abdominis or six-pack muscle.

Six Pack

Abdominal Muscles

Work Out Your Back Muscles, Burn That Fat!

If you intend to attack fat, equip yourself with great looking muscles and sweat a lot, we offer you the fight signal: this latest workout designed by professionals. Guiding you through a series of intense exercise in a fast pace, this program will help you burn more calories per minute than any weightlifting or cardio exercise. In addition, the set is working every muscle from head to toe not only your abdominal muscles. The best part: whether you want more muscles mass or fewer pounds, this exercise teaches you how to adapt this training to fulfill your need.

Now get to work – it’s an order!


Perform this workout as a circuit, performing each exercise successively. To burn more fat: starting with exercise number 1, do as many repetitions as you can within 50 seconds. Then, rest for ten seconds. After you perform all movements in the circuit, rest 60 seconds. Repeat the mini-workout again.

To gain muscle: perform as many repetitions as you can in 30 seconds (you have to use more weight this time). Then rest for 30 seconds. Perform all ten exercises, rest 60 seconds, then resume movement from the first circuit.

1 Balance with dumbbells

Stand up straight with your arms on your sides and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Spread your legs and flex your knees slightly [A]. Without curving your spine, bend from the hips. Simultaneously, swing your arms back [B]. Now push forward your pelvis and straighten the trunk. By balancing, raise your arms to chest level [C]. Continue this swing back and forth throughout the exercise.

Dumbbells exercises

Balance with dumbbells

2 A pushup and a half with dumbbells

Hold a dumbbell in each hand each and stay in the pushup position with your arms outstretched. Arms are in line with your shoulders and the body is perfectly straight from head to heels [A]. Bend your elbows and lower your body slowly so that the chest almost touches the floor [B]. Take a break, then push yourself back up only halfway from the initial  position [C]. Stop and get on the on the floor [D]. Return to the starting position and repeat everything with arms outstretched.



3 Squats with a dumbbell

Hold a dumbbell in your left hand. Flex your arm so the weight is in the right corresponding shoulder [A]. Keep your back straight, without tightening it too much, push your hips backwords, bend your knees and lower your body until the upper thighs are parallel to the floor [B]. Get up slowly and simultaneously the dumbbell from your left hand to your right hand [C]. Now repeat the squat while holding dumbbell in right hand [D]. Continue to alternate.

4. Tractions with dumbbells

With a dumbbell in your left hand, hold the lunge position with your right leg in front of you. Bend your right knee and lean from the hips until you get with your body at about 45 degrees to the floor. Let your left arm hang at your side with the dumbbell [A]. Using a sudden movement straighten up your right leg and push your hips forward [B]. Simultaneously the body rotates (pivoting feet) and move the weight to the shoulder [C]. Perform the movement in reverse, then resume it. At half time allocated to this exercise, change the hand that holds dumbbell and the front leg.


5. Pushing the dumbbell above the shoulder

Use both hands to grab the dumbbell head and hold it at chest level. Position the dumbbell straight above the shoulder [A], then push it up above your head, until your arms are stretched [B]. Now lower it over the left shoulder [C]. This is a rep. Continue to move the dumbbell like this for half of the time dedicated to this exercise and for the rest of the reps, change direction (ie push the dumbbell from left to right)
Pushing dumbbell

6. Spacing dumbbells while rotating

Stand up straight and use both hands to grab the dumbbell heads. Keep it in front of the right pelvis and keep your arms stretched [A]. Now twist your hips to the left so that your left foot to be further forward and the weight to hangs beside your left thigh. Maintaining the natural curve of your back, bend your knees and hips and lower the weight in front of the left tibia [B]. Push your hips forward, lift your torso and stand. Then, completely twist your torso to the right to complete this exercise.
Spacing dumbbells

7.  Half dumbbell lifting

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and lie on the floor with the left leg bent and stretched. Place the dumbbell over your head, arm fully extended perpendicular to the ground [A]. Without having to take your eyes off the dumbbel or bending your arm, curl up on the left side and support yourself  in that elbow. Now extend your left arm [B]. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position and repeat until the end of  the time allocated. For the next series, exercise with the weight in your left hand.
 dumbbell lifting

8 Alternating lunges with a dumbbell

Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and stand straight with your feet apart at hip level. This is the starting position [A]. Without bending your back, take a big step back with your right foot get down until your left knee is bent 90 degrees and right almost touches the floor. As you stand in that position, change the dumbbell from one hand to another under the left leg [B]. Get up back to the starting position and repeat, this time making the step forward with the left foot.
lunges with a dumbbell

9. Walking with dumbbells

Choose two dumbbells, one heavy one for your right hand and one lighter one for  your left hand (the heavyer dumbbell should have twice as much weight than the lighter one). Raise the right arm, besides your ear. Let the dumbbell hang heavy with your hand outstretched along your side [A]. Tighten your buttocks muscles. Slowly, step forward [B], then back. Continue. At half time allocated to  this exercise, alternate your arm and leg.
dumbbells walking exercise

10. Turns with a dumbbell

Spread the legs and move your right foot in front of the left. Use both hands to grab a dumbbell’s head and hold it in front of the right thigh (arms are stretched) [A]. With a quick move, raise the dumbbell at chest level, but without flexing your arms. Then descend it over your left thigh. While standing  pivot and twist your hips to the left [C]. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Continue to move the dumbbell from side to side.
Dumbbell Turns


New gene variants linked with paediatric cancer

Researchers from Italy and the United States have discovered two new gene variants that increase the risk of neuroblastoma, one of the most common pediatric cancers. Researchers have found out why some children are more susceptible to this type of cancer in childhood and what are the mechanisms underlying tumor growth.

Neuroblastoma is one of the most common solid tumors occurring in childhood. The highest incidence of neuroblastoma is in the first two years of life,while  the development of this cancer in children over 5 years is rare. It should be noted that neuroblastoma is a neuroendocrine tumor that is derived from the sympathetic nervous system. The most common location is in the adrenal glands but it can occur anywhere in the sympathetic nervous system, such as the abdomen, thorax, pelvis and head.

Gene linked with paediatric cancer

Gene linked with paediatric cancer

Symptoms that appear in neuroblastoma are nonspecific: fatigue, fever, joint pain, anorexia. Of course, the symptoms depend on the location of the tumor. It can happen that the tumour determine compression on certain organs  and this way may appear constipation (when the tumor is located in the abdomen), dyspnea (when it is located in the chest), bone pain, hypertension (renal artery compression). Regarding the causes, these are not clearly known. It seems that genetic factors are involved in the development of neuroblastoma: LMO1 genes NBPF10 genes. As far as the treatment is concerned, neuroblastoma can be treated in several ways, such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, etc.. Regimen is chosen according to stage of disease and patient characteristics.

Now researchers have found two variants of genes that are involved in the development of neuroblastoma: HACE1 LIN28B genes. Researchers at the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, conducted a study that analyzed the genomes of 2,800 children with neuroblastoma. To identify two genes, they used a technology called GWAS (genome-wide association studies) on DNA. Then they compared the results found in children with neuroblastoma with a control group consisting of 7500 healthy children.

Lead author Sharon J. Diskin, Ph.D., a pediatric cancer researcher at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said that although it was known that the two genes are cancer-related genes, this is the first study that reveals the link between these genes and neuroblastoma. In addition, researchers found that HACE1 is a suppressor gene, that inhibit tumor development and LIN28B is involved in tumor progression. In other words, a low expression of HACE1 and high expression of LIN28B are associated with a poor prognosis. Furthermore, researchers have demonstrated in cell culture experiments that a low activity in LIN28B genes can slow tumor growth.