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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

Eat a breakfast beneficial for skin

When you are having breakfast, we can make sure that your breakfast is going to help your skin. It is important for you to include almonds in your breakfast. They contain essential fatty acids which can prevent inflammation on your skin, which accelerates fine lines, blotchiness and sagging. You can also include salmon, halibut and tuna in your dinner because they are also good for your skin.

Reduce sweet stuffs

If you want to have better skin, you will need to reduce sweet stuffs. When sugars breakdowns the process can damage the collagen which are important in keeping your skin smooth and firm. This is a natural process but you can control it by always consuming low glycaemic carbs such as whole grains. They generally contain low sugar content and your body will process them slowly and as a result you will lose less collagen.

Spray dryness away

If you want to keep your skin supple, you will need to spray with water, spring water or rose water. You will need to do it several times daily. If the water you are sprinkling on your face contains minerals like selenium, it will offer you protection from UV damage.

Reduce stress

If you really want great skin, you will need to reduce stress because stress can cause several problems for your skin. If you have too much of stress, it will increase hormone production which will result in breakouts are aggravated different skin problems such as psoriasis. If you can control your stress, it’ll be possible to keep your skin calm. Whatever way works for you, you can use that to reduce your stress.

Yoga

There are different Yoga poses which can help you to improve your skin condition and maintain skin health for longer duration. Yoga moves like child’s pose, downward facing dog and Sun salutations unknown to improve your blood circulation, which will increase flow of oxygen to your skin. And that’s why many yoga practitioners have lovely yoga glow on their skin. Yoga is also helpful for your skin because it will reduce the inflammation and stress which result in skin ageing.

Pumping iron will help you

If you want better skin, pumping iron can help you to do that. Strength training will help you to keep your skin looking better. It is specially useful for people who are getting old. You will have firmer skin from the neck down because you will have more supportive muscle tone. People who regularly pump iron or go for strength training, they generally have farmer and toned skin, which make them look better than other people with saggy skin.

Keep skincare at bed side

It is important to keep your skincare products at bed side because that will ensure that you are not missing on your evening routine. Sometimes you may find it very difficult to apply the evening routine and sometimes you may be too tired to do it in the place where you keep your skin care products. If you keep some of the skincare products at bedside which you apply in the evening, it’ll be possible for you to use them while in bed.

Drink tea

Drinking tea might help you to improve your skin and maintain skin health. If you want to safeguard your skin, you will need to drink a few cups of tea every day. It is useful for you because it contains protective compounds such as EGCG and theaflavins. Such elements are important because they can prevent skin cancer is and also reduce breakdown of collagen, which means you will have less wrinkles.

References

1. Skintervention Guide: Purely Paleo Skincare
2. Skin Care and Aging
3. Dry skin – self-care

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Let's know a little more about hypothyroidism, its symptoms and causes.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism may vary a lot based on the severity of the hormone deficiency. However, the problem is that you encounter generally happen over several years. Initially, you may not notice the symptoms of hypothyroidism which include weight gain and fatigue. Many people feel that these are the problems associated with getting older. If the problem continues for some more time, you may develop more obvious signs and symptoms. Such obvious signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include-

  • Fatigue
  • constipation
  • dry skin
  • weight gain
  • more sensitivity to cold
  • puffy face
  • muscle weakness
  • hoarseness
  • high blood cholesterol levels
  • heavier than normal menstrual periods
  • irregular menstrual periods
  • muscle aches, stiffness and tenderness
  • stiffness, pain or swelling in the joints
  • thinning hair
  • impaired memory
  • depression
  • reduced heart rate

If the problem is not treated, signs and symptoms can become worse. If there is a constant stimulation of the thyroid gland for release of more hormones, it may result in an enlarged thyroid, which is also called as goiter. If it continues, your thought process may become slow, you may be more forgetful and the feeling of depression may set in.

Advanced hypothyroidism is known as myxedema. Even though it is rare, but if it occurs, it can be life threatening. Symptoms of such a condition include decreased breathing, low blood pressure, reduce body temperature, and responsiveness and even coma. It can be fractal in extreme circumstances.

Causes

If your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, the balance of hormones will not be there any more and as a result of that chemical reactions in your body may be upset. There may be several causes of hypothyroidism. Autoimmune disease, treatment for hyperthyroidism, thyroid surgery, radiation therapy and use of certain medicines may result in hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where your thyroid glands cannot produce enough hormones. The following are the major causes of this condition-

Autoimmune disease

Some people may suffer from a specific inflammatory disorder called as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is known as the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Such autoimmune disorders happen if the immune system produces antibodies that can attack your own tissues. Such autoimmune disorders may happen because of many different reasons. If such an autoimmune disease happens, the antibodies produced will affect your thyroid’s ability to produce hormones.

Treatment for hyperthyroidism

Because of the treatment for hyperthyroidism, sometimes people may suffer from hypothyroidism. If your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, this is a condition known as hyperthyroidism and it is generally treated with the help of radioactive iodine or antithyroid medicines. In some patients, treatment of hyperthyroidism may result in reduced production of thyroid hormone or hypothyroidism.

Thyroid surgery

Another important cause of hypothyroidism is thyroid surgery. If a portion of the thyroid gland or complete thyroid gland is removed from the body, it can reduce or completely stop hormone production. In such a condition, the patient will have to use thyroid hormone for life.

Medicines

Use of some medicines may result in hypothyroidism. There are several such medicines which can cause it stop one such medicine is lithium which is generally used for treatment of psychiatric disorders. It is important to consult your doctor if you are taking any such medicines and know about the effect on your thyroid gland.

Radiation therapy

Radiation may be used in treatment of cancer of the neck or head may affect your thyroid gland and that can result in hypothyroidism. In some people, this may be a cause of hypothyroidism problem.

References

1. The Hypothyroidism Solution
2. Hypothyroidism: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
3. Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid)

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Whether you've been working out for years and are looking for more effective exercises, or you're new to working out and need help creating an exercise programme, a personal trainer can be the right answer. Personal trainers are able to put together exercise plans based on a person's specific goals and needs. It takes all the guesswork out of it for you, which means you're more likely to get the results you desire. Not only that, but personal trainers can also act as fabulous motivators, which is usually needed when it comes to exercising.

So how can you make sure that you find a personal trainer that understands what you need, your workout style, and have a personality that meshes well with yours? Here are some tips you can use as you look around for that perfect personal trainer.

Find a Trainer Experienced in Training Your Gender and Age Group

Men and women have very different needs when it comes to exercising. The programmes that are created for them should be quite different, and then unique to that individual. What this means is that you want to find a personal trainer that has experience training your gender. It can also be helpful that they have experience in your particular age range.

For example, there's the personal trainers Coventry that work for New Body Training. These trainers specialise in training women ages 40-60 years old. By picking one with such specific experience, then your odds of reaching your goals are that much higher.

Ask About the Trainer's Availability

The next question you want to ask is what their availability is like. Most likely you will want to meet with your personal trainer on a fairly regular basis, at least at the start, so you want to know you can easily book an appointment with them. Having to book weeks, even months in advance isn't exactly ideal.

Do They Create a Meal Plan?

The next question you’ll want to ask is whether or not they create a meal plan for you. A meal plan can help you to reach your goals that much faster, and again it takes the guesswork out of getting fit. These meal plans will encourage fat loss, help to create a well-balanced diet, and provide you with the fuel you need to exercise and get fit.

Does Their Personality Work Well with Yours?

This is something you can’t ask of them, rather you just have to gauge yourself in that initial consultation before you make a decision. You can ask what kind of approach they use when training, what their philosophy is, and how involved they are as your trainer.

There are different ways to get a ripped sixpack abs. Let’s find out how you can achieve yours.

Eat enough protein

If you want to get a ripped 6 pack abs, it is very important that you eat enough protein. Protein is important for you because it will help you to build lean muscle and will help you to burn body fat at the same time. You need different macronutrients such as protein, carb and fat; but the most important of them is the lean protein. It is important because it has the highest thermogenic effect on the body. So, your body will need lots of calories to break it down.

Because protein is important, that is why professional athletes and bodybuilders eat a diet that contains high amounts of protein, specially lean protein. And this is true for both men and women.

Consume healthy fats

If you want to create sixpack abs, it is very important that you also include healthy fats in your diet. Such healthy fats include fats coming from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats like raw nuts, fish oils, nut butters and olive oil. Dietary fats are important in creating your body. They will keep your insulin levels stable. This is important if you want to lose belly fat and reveal those six pack abs.

You will need to include healthy fats in your diet. Never eliminate fat from your diet because that will create other problems for you and will derail your efforts to create sixpack abs. You will need to combine lean protein with green leafy vegetables, good carbs and healthy fats to create the best looking body you want to have.

Eat post workout carbs

You may have read about carbohydrate being the worst enemy of you when you are trying to build 6 pack abs. This is not true. Simply eating carbohydrate will not make you look fat. Too much carbohydrate is definitely not good for you because you will gain weight. But natural grain or starchy carbs which are available in sweet potatoes, oatmeal and brown rice are beneficial for you when you are looking to create sixpack abs. You just need to remember to consume them after your workout. When you consume carbs post workout, it is very less likely that they will be converted to fat. You need moderate amounts of carbs and along with that you also need 1 to 2 cups of vegetables in each meal. It is necessary so that you get the necessary vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and nutrients which are important in building your body.

More focus on your diet

When you want to create six pack abs, it is important that you burn more fat and reveal those abs. To do that, you will need a balanced diet which will combine protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. It will be important for you to focus more on your diet. Proteins are important because they are the building blocks of your muscle. You will also need to calculate the right amount of carbohydrate that you need depending on your present condition and body type. Healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, as mentioned earlier, should be included in your diet. To add the necessary fibre you can include raw vegetables in your meal. They contain lots of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which are very much essential for building the lean body and the six pack abs. So, you cannot avoid anything healthy because all of them have their own roles to play in your quest for six pack abs.

 

References

1. Get Ripped Abs At Home
2. Six Pack Active Hand Exercises
3. Adrian James 6 Pack Abs Workout

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The importance of sleep in your fitness workout cannot be overstressed. Whether you are simply keeping fit or are an Olympic athlete, restful sleep is critical to your performance. In fact, the four major factors involved in fitness are nutrition, exercise and training “ and sleep!

 

Why is sleep so important? Can't people rest to recover between training exercises rather than go to sleep?

 

Sure they can, and near enough all do. However, why sleep? The answer to that is a simple one. During exercise, your muscle cells break down as does your nervous system. During restful sleep, these rebuild again so you are fit again for another day of work. You must sleep at the right time and FOR the right time!

 

Importance of Sleep: Four Phases of Sleep

 

To explain this, consider the various phases of sleep:

 

  • Phase 1: This when you are tired and just start to sleep. You are near to being awake but not quite. If you tend to read at night, maybe you nod off then awake with a jolt and continue reading. That is the near sleep stage. Had you not woken up you would have then gone into:
  • Phase 2: You have now started to sleep rather that just doze. You then enter:
  • Phase 3: A deeper form of sleep that begins to restore you mentally and physically.  Finally, you enter:
  • Phase 4: This is deep REM sleep where most of your dreaming takes place.  This takes place after about 90 minutes.
  • You then repeat this cycle though the night until you wake up.

 

Note:  If you tend to work at night, then the same phases occur when you are normally asleep.

 

It is during Phases 3 and 4 that your brain and muscles recover the rigors of the previous day.  Most of the growth hormone that aids your recovery is created when you sleep. This helps to grow your muscles, helps you lose fat and reduces your feelings of hunger. The less sleep you get, the greater the levels of the hormone that generate the need to eat more fuel  – or ˜hunger'.

 

Choosing a Mattress that Suits you is Critical

 

The importance of good-quality sleep to your fitness workout cannot be overemphasized. All professional athletes, sportsmen and sportswomen will tell you this.  Exercise as much as you wish, but if you need caffeine to keep you awake then you are not getting enough sleep “ or the right quality of sleep.

 

One way of helping you get the best quality of sleep possible is to purchase the most suitable mattress for your needs. A great pillow and a great mattress will give you the best chance of the high quality of sleep you need. Never ignore the importance of sleep in your fitness workout. Choosing a mattress that suits you is critical if you want your fitness workout to achieve what you want it to.  There are many options in the mattresses and beds, some people like adjustable beds to change the way they can position their body.

 

90-Minute Cycles of Sleep

 

These phases are believed to take place in 90 minute cycles, and it during Phases 1 & 2 that you are liable to waken up during the night if disturbed. It is well worthwhile for athletes, bodybuilders or those that simply work out to keep fit to make sure they have a mattress that helps them sleep.  Not just sleep, but to sleep throughout all the phases.

 

You must  allow your brain and your body to recover from the day's exercise.  If you don't, then you will feel a lack of energy and your body will give out earlier in your workout. You will not feel a desire to work so hard and you will increase your chance of injury.  Before you have gone through your regular workout schedule, you will be liable to stop though fatigue. All for a lack of proper sleep.

 

You can take energy boosters such as strong coffee or Red Bull as a quick fix for sleep-related fatigue, but these are no more than a quick fix to keep you awake and they don't address the main issue. That is a lack of tissue repair, muscle building and brain relaxation. You have to think of what sleep does for you, rather than try to keep your energy levels up artificially.

 

Importance of Sleep in your Fitness Workout

 

If you consume protein during the day, whether chicken or a protein drink, exercise ultimately causes that protein to be converted to muscle tissue. However, you don't see your muscles getting larger soon after you consume it.  Why? Because it takes time for your digestive system to break that protein down into carbohydrates and amino acids!

 

While you are in the later phases of your 90-minute sleep cycle,  your metabolism will use the amino acids from the protein you consumed to generate new muscle tissue and repair damaged muscles.  The more you exercise, the faster your blood flows and the faster protein is created from the amino acids and carbohydrates in your blood.

 

During the later phases of deep sleep, the growth hormone produced in that phase repairs damaged muscle tissue. New amino acids generate more proteins to aid this and create new muscle tissue.  This combination of damage repair and new muscle tissue builds your muscles and makes you stronger. It also makes you feel less tired. During this period your brain also repairs itself from the previous day's work.

 

 

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Emotional support animals (ESA) have been helping people with mental health disorders overcome the challenges they face in their daily lives. These pets, usually dogs, can provide the kind of companionship and reassurance necessary to improve one's mental outlook and disposition. Nowadays, emotional support animals are being used to treat a number of mental health disorders such as anxiety, hyperactivity, bipolar disorder, and social disabilities. While you might have heard of emotional support animals, you probably weren't aware of these five unexpected benefits!

 

1.They can improve physical health!

While it's widely understood that emotional support animals can help with mental health, they have actually been shown to benefit physical health as well! Pets not only encourage a healthier, more active lifestyle, but they can help prevent disease. Having an emotional support animal is shown to lower blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. They can even decrease pain from chronic conditions which in turn leads to needing less medication! With results like these, it's no wonder so many people are turning to emotional support animals for assistance with their mental health problems.

2. They have a powerful effect on stress levels.

Anyone who's ever felt the calming effects of a dog's head in one's lap knows just how comforting an animal can be in a time of stress. Animals, especially dogs, are easily able to pick up on human emotions and react accordingly. That makes them an invaluable resource for those struggling with mental health disorders like anxiety or PTSD. The comforting presence of an animal can make a major impact in daily stress levels.

3. Emotional support animals fight depression.

A lot of people today struggle with depression as well as other mental health disorders. Depression is difficult to treat, but emotional support animals are leading the way with positive improvements in those suffering from this problem. A study from the University of Portsmouth found in 2006 showed that caring for a pet actually can lower the risk of a depressive episode! It's definitely true that the sense of purpose that comes with caring for an animal can be a sense of relief for those struggling emotionally.

4. Pets can lower the risk of allergies.

Some of the most common allergies are those to dogs and cats, yet owning these animals is shown to lower the risk of allergies. Owning a pet can even strengthen your overall immune system! Early or prolonged exposure to animals like dogs and cats can make people less vulnerable to a number of diseases and allergies. However, you should always speak to a doctor before exposing yourself to new allergens if you believe yourself to be prone to allergies.

5. Emotional support animals encourage social interaction.

Those suffering from mental health disorders often hide away, resisting social interactions. This has the adverse effect of worsening many conditions like social anxieties and depression. Emotional support animals make it easier for these individuals to join society. Having a friendly face by your side at all times goes a long way in helping people step outside of their comfort zones and try new things. Dogs make the best therapy pets for comfort, but even cats are known to make great social companions!

There are endless benefits to emotional support animals!

Emotional support animals are changing the way we think about treating mental health disorders. People all over the world are finding relief for these conditions and disorders through