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For people who suffer from various psychiatric and neurological conditions, brain stimulation has become an increasingly important treatment option in the recent decades.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep Brain Stimulation

Brain simulation techniques can be divided into two broad categories, invasive and noninvasive. Both of them work by targeting specific sites in the brain to adjust the overall brain activity. Among the most well-known invasive techniques is the deep brain stimulation (DBS) which requires a brain surgery and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This process is typically used for treated Parkinson's disease and this process requires an electrode to be inserted in the brain. Among the noninvasive techniques is the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) which can be administered from outside the head. This treatment is currently approved for treating depression.

Brain stimulation has resulted in dramatic benefits to patients with such disorders, which has motivated researchers to test if it can be useful in treated patients suffering from other diseases. The problem is that doctors have been unable to pinpoint which are the ideal sites to administer simulation in a given patient for a given condition.

A new study led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggest that brain networks which consists of the interconnected pathways that link brain circuits to one another can assist in selection of ideal spot for brain stimulation therapies.

Michael D. Fox, MD, PhD, First author of the study, an investigator in the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and in the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at BIDMC remarked that although different types of brain stimulation are currently applied in different locations, it has been found that the targets used to treat the same disease are nodes in the same connected brain network. This can have a direct implication on how brain stimulations are administered to treat diseases.

For example, in order use brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease or tremor an electrode need to be inserted deep in the brain. Getting the same effect with noninvasive stimulation is difficult, as the spot is deep in the brain. However, by looking at the brain’s network connectivity, sites can be identified on the surface of the brain that is connected with the deep spot site. Hence, that deep spot can also be stimulated noninvasively.

For this study Fox's team conducted a large-scale literature search to find out all neurological and psychiatric diseases where brain stimulation via both invasive and non-invasive techniques had shown improvement. The search found 14 such conditions namely addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia, depression, dystonia, epilepsy, essential tremor, gait dysfunction, Huntington’s disease, minimally conscious state, obsessive compulsive disorder, pain, Parkinson disease and Tourette syndrome. In the next step, they listed the stimulation sites, both deep in the brain or on the surface of the brain that was found to have been effective for the treatment of each of the 14 diseases.

In order to test the hypothesis that the various stimulation sites in the brain are different spots within the same brain network, Fox's team used a data base of functional MRI images and a technique that enabled them to see correlations in spontaneous brain activity. These correlations helped the investigators in creating a map of connections from deep brain stimulation sites to the surface of the brain. When this map was compared to sites for noninvasive brain stimulation on the brain surface, the two matched.

The study suggest that understanding the brain networks can help in understanding why brain stimulation works and how these therapies can be improved by identifying the best place to stimulate the brain for a given patient suffering from a given disease. These findings also suggest that resting-state functional connectivity can be useful for translating therapy between treatment modalities, optimizing treatment and identifying new stimulation targets.

References

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-09/bidm-srn092514.php

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140929153935.htm

Complementary Reading

The following interesting tips will help you to whiten your teeth

Don't eat dark foods

There are some foods and condiments that you should not because they can stain your teeth and make it difficult for you to whiten them afterwards. Such foods include marinara sauce, soy sauce and blueberries. They have very dark pigmentation and as a result they stain your teeth.

Do not use baking soda

Baking soda can be very useful for your home because it means your home but it may not be good for your teeth. The chemical compound present in baking soda is an abrasive. It means that even though it will remove stains from your teeth, it can be harmful to your teeth. It can wear your enamel away and that will result in darker teeth.

To not drink energy drinks

Even though energy drinks may be a very important element of your diet, it may not be as good for you as you think because it can stain your teeth. So, stay away from energy drinks. They contain acid and that acid can erode the enamal of your teeth. The effect is similar as eating citrus fruits. If you have to drink energy drinks, you can always use a straw to do that.

Brush your tongue

It is important to brush your tongue. It doesn’t only help you with fresh breath; it will also help you to have cleaner teeth. Brushing your tongue will help you to prevent staining of the teeth. Since the tongue, accumulates bacteria, it can become a platform for more bacteria and such bacteria can result in discolouration of your teeth. You can use it tongue cleaner to clean your tongue. If you don’t have one you don’t like to use it, you can also use a soft toothbrush to clean your tongue. Use some long strokes starting at the back of the tongue to clean the tongue. Rinse the brush after each stroke. It is necessary to ensure that the bacteria are not redeposited on your tongue.

Change your toothbrush

Your toothbrush may also be responsible for the stain you have on your teeth. Getting whiter teeth can be easier when you throw out your toothbrush and buy a new one. You should replace your toothbrush every three months. If majority of the bristles of the toothbrush have started to bend and look worn down, you should immediately change your toothbrush even though it has not crossed the threshold of three months. You need to change your toothbrush because a bad toothbrush cannot completely clean your teeth and as a result you will have stained teeth, which you do not want.

Eat raw fruits and vegetables

If you eat raw fruits and vegetables, they can help you to keep your teeth white and clean. There are good for your body and they are also good for your teeth. You can eat raw carrots, nuts, apples and cauliflower to keep your teeth clean. They remove surface stains and plaque that causes cavities from your teeth.

Use Apple cider vinegar

It is possible for you to rinse with Apple cider vinegar to keep your teeth white and healthy. Apple cider vinegar is a natural and organic way to ensure that your teeth are staying free and healthy. You need to add two parts of water to one part of Apple cider vinegar and use the solution to swish around for one minute in your mouth.

References
1. Teeth Whitening 4 You
2. There is always a way to whiten your teeth
3. Teeth cleaning

Cold sores is an embarrassing skincare problem. You will see small blisters on the lips or around the mouth. It is generally caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. It spreads more when you are stressed, sick or exposed to the sun. Many people often use face powder or concealer to cover cold sores, but it is not very effective because the sores skin is not a good base for make-up. Your skin surface is broken and crossed formation happens along with leaking of fluids and make-up cannot help you to cover that.

There are other treatments available which are much more effective against cold sores and can help you to look better within a short time. You don’t have to be worried about concealing them when you can get rid of them by using effective treatment options.

The following are some important cold sore treatment tips which will help you to get better relief from cold sore problem. These are effective and they can save your face from embarrassment by completely and quickly eliminating cold sores, crusts and licking fluids from your lips and corner of the mouth.

Cortisone injections

If you want to look better at a faster rate and you find a physician who can provide the cortisone injections, this is an important method of fighting cold sore. Injecting diluted cortisone into the cold sore will immediately reduce the inflammation. You will need the right physician to perform the procedure, but the effects are faster and noticeable. If you can find such a physician, you can go ahead with these injections.

Prescription pills

If you don’t like injections, there are prescription pills available which will help you to create your cold sore problem. There are different types of prescription pills available which are effective against cold sores. These are some anti-viral medications which will stop the spread of these sores and will also fight the infection.

Visine

It is a popular eye drop, but it is also effective against cold sores. It can be applied when you don’t have time to go to the pharmacy or you don’t have any access to pharmacies. It can reduce the red out of the cold sores and help you to get immediate relief.

Over-the-counter medication

There are different types of over-the-counter medications available for cold sore treatment. One of them is Abreva. This is a medicine that can help you by reducing the size and pain of cold sores.

It is also possible to apply make-up on top of the medicine if necessary. If you want to conceal cold sores, you need to use a clean brush or sponge so that you do not spread the infection to other areas. You can likely that product onto the infected area for a better finish.

Cold compress

This is another alternative treatment, but it is effective against cold sores. You can apply a cold compress on the area and keep it for 20 minutes. That will help you by reducing the swelling and redness of the sores. You can also use tea bags which are also effective against cold sores. You can take a painkiller if necessary to get rid of the pain. Cold compress will, however, help you by reducing your pain.

References

1. Cold Sore Free Forever – Highest Converter
2. Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others
3. Surviving the cold and flu season without antibiotics

5

If you want to improve your vertical jump, it will involve heavy recruitment of the leg muscles and so your focus should be on strengthening the leg muscles by training. Movements like squats, Olympic lifts, and deadlifts will be very much beneficial for you because they will work on your leg muscles which are very important for increasing the height to which you can jump vertically.

The following tips will help you to improve your vertical jump and you will be able to jump much higher. Let’s find out what can help you.

1. Remove the knots from your legs

There are muscle knots present in your legs along with other parts of your body and these knots are responsible for restricting the length of your muscle tissue. They can make your muscle tissue short and week. You can use a foam roller to get rid of these spasms. Move it slowly and stop on tender spots until the knots release. Use the roller on your calves. Proof from your ankle to your knee.

Move the roller along your outer thigh. Use it on the quads. From the bottom of your hip to the top of your knee, you need to roll the roller.

2. Practice depth jumps

You can perform a depth jump by stepping off a box and immediately after you land on the ground, explode up. It will activate your lower body muscles and that will help you to increase your air time. You can take a box which is 6-8 inches off the ground. Keep your arms overhead when you jump as high as possible after landing on the floor.

3. Knee to feet jump

This is a plyometric move and it is very helpful when you want to improve your vertical jump. Sit down on your heels and then swing your arms for creating the momentum as you explosively jump up. While jumping up your hips will go forward and the legs and feet will be directly underneath you. While landing, you will be in a squat position and your arms will be out in front of you. Now, by taking down on one knee at a time you can lower back to the kneeling position.

This is an important move because it can improve your lower body power. You will need to club it with a lifting regimen and that will help you to improve your vertical jump.

4. Bulgarian split squats

This is another exercise which will help you by increasing the strength of your legs. If you want to jump higher, you will need more power in your legs. The Bulgarian split squats will increase the strength of your legs and the same time will also improve your balance. You will need to do three sets of eight reps for each like whenever you are doing your lower body workouts.

5. Use your mind power

Using your mind can help you to practically improve your vertical jump. Like in any other sports, your mind can help you to improve your vertical jump. Meditation and mindfulness both can help you by calming your body. You will be able to execute ballistic movements if you have more control over your mind. Visualisation is another mind technique which will help you to see yourself succeeding in improving your vertical jump. If you can see yourself successfully jumping to the desired level, after some time this visualisation will help you to take your vertical jump actually to the level.

References

1. The Bounce Guide
2. Training methods to improve vertical jump performance.
3. Caffeine, Genetic Variation and Athletic Performance (GMC-AP)

Exercising regularly is very important for anyone and you should do that if you want to be fit and healthy all the time. But what you do when you have recently undergone a cosmetic surgical procedure? You can definitely find out whether you feel ready to start exercising or not. But you will also need your plastic Surgeons approval before you start your exercise regimen. You need to consult your doctor and a professional trainer to make a detailed plan for exercising before you start doing it after the costly surgery.

It has been found that different procedures require different measures.

Exercising after a facelift

When you go for a facelift, you may get rid of the excess facial skin or get the underlying tissues tightened or get your face and neck skin redrapped. The recovery time after a facelift will vary from person to person. It may be a good idea to get back to your regular exercise only after two weeks after the facelift is done. Before you go for that, just after one week of the procedure, you can start doing some housework like dusting, vacuuming or cooking so that you slowly get used to the movement around your house. After two weeks, when you start your exercise, start with some isometric exercising and stick to that until your stitches are taken out. After the stitches are out, he can start having longer walks which may extend up to half an hour. If the doctor prescribes you to avoid direct sunlight and high temperatures, you should do that. Keep performing those exercises for about two months and after that you can get back to your regular workouts.

Exercising after breast augmentation

In breast augmentation, the breasts are reshaped, resized or breast texture is altered. Breast implants are placed under the pectoral muscles. The recovery time for the patient will vary depending on the skin type. It is very important for you not to overuse your pectoral muscles at least for the first four weeks after the procedure is done. If you lift weights and run long distances, you will need to stop doing that for some time. However, you can practice yoga or Pilates because it will not cause any problem with your cosmetic surgery procedure will serve do not overdo any exercise during this period. You can always focus on your lower body parts during this time. Keep practicing those simple and small movements for about a month and after that, you’ll be able to lift some lighter weights and go for intense workouts.

Exercising after a tummy tuck

Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is popular because it can help you to make your abdomen thinner and firm. The recovery period after this procedure may last from one week to 4 weeks and full recovery may take 3 to 6 months. During the first couple of weeks, you can always use light walking because that will help you by promoting Tthe flow of blood. If you’re doing any cardiovascular activities, you should wait until six weeks after the surgery. Never overdo any type of exercise. Speed walking and light running should be good for you. However, we should not start lifting heavy weights immediately after a few weeks after the procedure because that may put you at risk.

Whatever cosmetic surgery procedure you have undergone, it is important to start slow and then gradually go back to your normal exercise regime. During this time, you do not have to push yourself to do more because that may cause problems with the incisions, implants or sutures.

References

1. Plastic Surgeons
2. Cosmetic surgery
3. Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

Exercises can help you to boost your metabolism and thereby build muscles and lose fat. You just need to know what type of exercises you need in your workout and when to do them. Your metabolism means all the things your body the first to convert food into energy, which is necessary to keep you moving.

Some people may have faster metabolism and some people may have slower metabolism. There are many factors that can affect your metabolism and make it faster or sluggish. Such factors include age genes and sex. Let’s find out how you can speed up your metabolism with exercise.

Intensify your workout

If your working out, try to intensify if you want to boost your metabolism. Try intervals. You can switch back and forth between higher and lower intensity and that will help you by improving your metabolism. To do that, you make your exercise really challenging and then reduce your pace and just repeat the process.

Lift weights

By lifting weights you can improve your metabolism. Muscle uses more calories than fat and if you can strengthen your muscles, it will help you to burn more calories and that will continue even when you are at rest. Lifting weights twice or thrice in a week will help you to boost your metabolism. It is also beneficial for your heart, bones and your mental health.

Do not reduce calories or carbs too much

Too much of everything is bad and that is true for calories or carbs. If you reduce calories or carbs too much, it may help you to lose body fat but it will also reduce your metabolic rate. Since your body will find out that you are reducing energy, it will stop producing certain hormones and as a result you will burn lesser calories. Since your body doesn’t want to waste energy, as a part of its survival instinct, your body will stop burning calories. Your metabolic rate will go down and you will start gaining weight. If you to lower your calories or carbs, you can do so gradually over time. You will also need to have cheat meals once a week. Reduce some foods but eat the right kind of nutrients before you gradually reduce calories or carbs from your diet.

Move around more

When you move around more, it will help you to boost your metabolism. If you spend most of your time sitting, or sleeping, probably now is the time to change that. When you get up frequently and move around a lot, you are actually helping yourself and your health. You can take the stairs or take a walk at the park. Move around in the office every 30 minutes. You can go out to take a cup of coffee or do anything where you need to walk.

Eat whole foods

Whole foods will help you to boost your metabolism. There are essential for you because they contain lots of vitamins, minerals and nutrients and these elements can boost your metabolism. There are different types of diets available which will help you to eat more whole foods. You can opt for such diets or you can simply include more whole foods in your existing diet to make it healthier for you. Whole foods do not contain preservatives and unnecessary elements and so they are healthier for you. Your body will be clean and that means a faster moving metabolic engine.

References

1. Garage Warrior
2. Can you boost your metabolism?
3. Metabolism

5

Does exercise help sleep apnea?

Exercise definitely helps in case of sleep apnea. Several clinical studies in different medical centres and universities have been done around the world to find out the effectiveness of exercise on sleep apnea. There are different mouth and throat exercises which will help people suffering from this problem to get relief.

One study found that oropharyngeal exercises significantly reduce obstructive sleep apnea severity (OSA) and symptoms and it is a very promising treatment option for people suffering from moderate OSA. Another study found that oropharyngeal exercises are very much effective in reducing objectively measured snoring and it can be a very important treatment of a large population who suffer from snoring.

Who can benefit from sleep apnea exercises?

Anyone with OSA can get benefit from such exercises. It doesn’t depend on your physical abilities. Even if you cannot move or have a mobility issue, even after that you can perform these exercises when you are comfortably seated in a chair. The breathing exercises used for sleep apnea focus on strengthening the airway muscles. The exercise that you need to use will depend on which area in your respiratory system needs attention.

Oropharyngeal exercises can help people who have OSA or snoring disorders resulting from flabby throat tissue or a larger thick tongue. It is also useful for people who have an exercise over 16 inches. It is effective in case of people who breathe with their mouth open when sleeping.

How can oropharyngeal exercises help obstructive sleep apnea?

These exercises are very much helpful in obstructive sleep apnea and so you should try them. These exercises will tone the muscles directly which involve in keeping your airway open. Such muscles include throat, jaw and tongue. However, the type of exercise that you need to do will depend on which area of your mouth is the weakest.

If the throat muscles collapse during sleep, you will need to perform throat exercises for sleep apnea. If the tongue falls back into your throat when asleep, then you will need to focus on tongue exercises important for sleep apnea. If you break through your mouth, you will need buteyko breathing exercise.

The main objective of these exercises is to tone and strengthen the otolaryngologic muscles, which mean the throat, nose and mouth, because these are the muscles responsible for blocking the air passage when they become weak and flaccid. If there are strong and toned, you will automatically get rid of sleep apnea problems.

Types of sleep apnea exercises

There are different types of sleep apnea exercises available depending on the need of the patient. Mouth and throat exercises for sleep apnea, throat exercise for sleep apnea, tongue exercises for sleep apnea, soft palate size for sleep apnea, soft palate blowing, jaw exercise for sleep apnea, singing exercises for sleep apnea, Didgeridoo for sleep apnea, buteyko breathing technique etc. Yoga is also helpful for patients suffering from sleep apnea.

You can create a personalised sleep apnea exercise program to get more advantage. Practising in sleep apnea exercise program is very easy because it is flexible. They do not cost anything and they have no side-effects and their effective. You have different types of exercises to choose from and it is also possible to mix and match different types of exercises depending on your preference. You can choose the right exercises and balance them to ensure that you are not only getting benefit but you are getting the maximum benefit at the shortest duration.

References

1. The Sleep Apnea Exercise Program
2. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
3. Effects of Upper Airway Muscle Training on OSA