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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

If you are trying to lose fat, it is very important for you to know about sugar and the relationships sugar has with fat loss. If you want to lose fat, you will have to reduce or stop eating sugar. Let’s find out what is the relationship between sugar and fat loss.

Importance

Why is it necessary to reduce or eliminate sugar from your diet if you’re trying to lose fat? When you eat healthy foods, they provide important nutrients along with the calories they contain. When you eat fruits and vegetables and whole grains, they provide you with vitamins, minerals and fibre. So, even though you’re getting some calories, you’re also getting important fuel and nutrients for your body so that they can maintain a healthy body. But when you consume candies, sweets, sodas, baked goods, sugary items your body does not receive any vitamins, minerals or fibre. It receives only calories. It means that when you eat sugary stuff, you are getting more calories without any benefit for your body.

Added sugars

Added sugars are very dangerous for you because they can cause different health problems. They can also completely destroy your weight loss program. Added sugars are available in different foods and drinks that we consume every day. Food manufacturers use sweeteners which is nothing but added sugar. It is used because it provides bulk, works as a preservative, maintains freshness, improves flavor and does other things. There are different types of sweetness available which are used by food manufacturers. Some of them are high fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener corn syrup, malt syrup, brown sugar, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, honey, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, molasses, invert sugar and raw sugar.

Naturally occurring sugars

There are naturally occurring sugars available which you probably consume every day. Such naturally occurring sugars are available in different forms. For example, fructose is present in fruit and lactose in milk. However, they generally cannot cause problems for your weight loss program because they are present in small amounts. So, even if you eat a diet of whole grain foods, vegetables and fruit, you will still get some naturally occurring sugars but they will not cause any problems for your weight loss efforts.

Reading the nutrition label

It is very important for you to read the nutrition label because that will help you to find out what is there in your food. It is not possible to remember all the names of different sweeteners used in food production. Simply read the labels and you will find out what sweeteners are used in that food. It will help you to find out which foods are high in sugar so that you can avoid them immediately. If you eliminate processed foods from your diet and go for fresh foods instead, it’ll be easier for you to reduce your sugar intake levels.

Always remember to read the label so that you can avoid all types of added sugars. Eliminate as many processed foods as you can from your diet and that will reduce a lot of sugars from going into your body. If you're working on a fat loss program, it becomes very important for you to watch your diet. Reading the labels will help you to find out what you are eating and if it does not help you to lose fat or it adds more fat to your body, you can immediately eliminate such foods. That simple step can help you to get rid of most of the processed foods and added sugars which will help you to achieve your objectives of losing fat.

References

1. Fat Loss Revealed By Will Brink
2. NIH study finds cutting dietary fat reduces body fat more than cutting carbs
3. Weight loss – common myths

If you want to have awesome looking quads, you will need to focus on the correct techniques which will help you to create some really nice quads. Leg day can be really brutal but if you can walk up the stairs after your workout, probably you are not doing what you can do. If you want to build monster quads, you will need to focus totally on the quad muscles. There may be many techniques and strategies to build monster quads. Let's know a few of them.

Start with squats

You can start with free weights squats because it is the single best overall thigh builder. It is a very essential movement which will help you to build big legs and you can also increase quad involvement in this exercise. If you use a shoulder width stance with your feet turn slightly outwards it will generate the most power for you. You can use some challenging weights here to see better results. You can use a pyramid style and go up in weight to a few low rep sets.

Compound your quads

Compound exercises are always better for your quads because they will recruit quads more and as a result of that you will see better results. For example, the machine hack squat is a movement which will recruit more quads and will provide you better results. To see better results, you can place your feet fairly low on the platform of the machine. However, you should not use this technique if you are suffering from any knee pain or injury. Then you can find any other compound exercises which will employ your quads better than other exercises.

The leg press is good for you

If you want to work on your quads, the leg press is very good for you. It will emphasize the quads. While doing this, try to keep your feet low on the sled. It will be harder for you but it will hit the quads better. If necessary you can use a close foot position which will help you to target outer quads more. If you use a wider stance, it will work the inner thigh and will impact all areas of your quads.

Partial reps

Partial reps means you do not descend completely but just a few inches while performing different types of squats. If you combine such partial reps with full range reps it can help you to build your quads more effectively. Shallow squats mostly target the quads and they are more active over the top half of the move and so partial reps can help you to put more stress on the quads which will help them to grow more. It is possible for you to selectively perform partial squats using heavyweights. But always do them in conjunction with full range moves so that you can build bigger muscles. While doing this, you can use a weight that is 30% more than you can do for the full range of motion.

There are different exercises, tools and techniques which will help you to completely focus on the quads because only that will help you to develop monster quads.

References

1. Killer Quads – Leg Training Program For Men And Women
2. Effects of Heavy-Resistance Strength and Balance Training on Unilateral and Bilateral Leg Strength Performance in Old Adults
3. Resistance training health benefits

Dumbbells can help you to transform your physique completely. There are many different weights, tools and techniques available which will help you to transform your physique. Dumbbell is one such a tool which will help you to improve your physique and look better.

The benefits

Dumbbell exercises and routines can help you to increase your physique and look better. There are different exercises but overhead squat will help you to increase the size of your muscles and thereby make you look better than you are. Exercises like crab to toe touch can help you to enhance your balance, Turkish getup can accelerate your recovery, dumbbell discuss exercise will help you to build explosiveness, different rotational punches will help you to increase your speed, different types of rows will help you to boost your metabolism, different push-ups and curls will help you to increase your stamina, split squats and shoulder raises will help you to burn more fat from different parts of the body. If you want to increase your strength, you'll be able to do that with different dumbbell exercises like dumbbell pistol squat. There are other exercises which will help you to increase your stability. So, whatever you want to achieve, it is possible to achieve that with the help of dumbbells.

When you are training your legs, dumbbells are generally easier and safer to use. It helps you to maintain balance and build muscle mass. Using dumbbells can help you to have good form which will mean you will have a more effective workout. If you are a beginner, dumbbells will be easier for you in comparison to barbell and other equipment. You don't need a spotter and you can let go of the weights without endangering yourself. Numbers will help you to build well distributed muscle mass. It will help you to work on both sides of your body and build muscle symmetrically. You will also have a greater range of motion and that will help you to work more on your muscles. When you use dumbbells, you will need more coordination and stabilization of your core and that will help you to work on your core while working on other parts of the body.

How to get started

If you want to build muscle without heavy weights, you need to start working out with dumbbells. Simply perform 5 to 8 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions for a one exercise with 15 to 30 seconds of rest between sets.

There are different exercises which will target different parts of your body. For example, dumbbell bench press will target your chest. You need to follow a certain in plan or routine which will specifically target different body parts. There are many dumbbell exercises available which will help you to perform full body exercises or target multiple muscle groups.

It is very important to maintain a good form and follow a regular, varied workout routine. Even if you perform 30 minutes of moderate exercise using dumbbells, that will help you to stay healthy and build muscle is where you want. Dumbbells will help you to use both sides of your body. You can perform optimum strength training with dumbbells without needing costly and complex machines and tools.

References

1. Dumbbell Routines & Exercises
2. Strength and Resistance Training Exercise
3. Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects

Many people ask this question Does HCG diet work? Before we go into this question let's first find out more about this diet and how it can help you.

HCG diet

HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone which is seen at high levels in early pregnancy. It is a marker which is used in home pregnancy tests. It is also used in treating fertility issues in both women and men. It was considered as a weight loss tool by a British doctor named Alberto Simeons in 1954. The diet he prescribed consisted of two main components:

  • An ultra-low-calorie diet of around 500 calories per day
  • The HCG hormone administered via injections

Today if you want to use HCG, you will find it in different product forms including pellets, oral drops and sprays.

How could it work?

HCG diet works on the principle of reduction of the calories. You need to create a major calorie deficit by reducing total calorie consumption to 500 calories. You need to cut down calories when you have higher levels of HCG in the body. It is to ensure that your body is not using muscles to get the necessary energy which will erode the muscles present in your body. The HCG will make your body to use the fat stored in your body for energy. So, your body will use the fat storage to get the necessary energy for running bodily functions and thereby will help you to reduce fat and that will eventually help you to lose weight. HCG works because pregnant women can get all the necessary nutrients and energy they need without sometimes being barely able to eat anything.

To make this diet work, you will need to take HCG in one form or other so that you get the extra hormone in your body. It is all is important to use those HCG products which are authorized because otherwise you are putting yourself in serious risk.

When you take HCG, you may not feel the need to eat as much as before and in that case 500 calories every day may be good enough for you. It will suppress your appetite and will help you to eat less while managing to use the stored fat for energy. The HCG diet will help you to lose 10-20 pounds within a few weeks. Since you are consuming less calories and your body is finding the calories necessary from stored fat sources, within a few weeks you will start losing bodyweight which will continue throughout the duration of the diet.

A HCG diet foods list

If you are going for a HCG diet, it will limit calories substantially and you may consume only 500 to 1500 calories every day. That is why HCG diet limits fat substantially. Some of the approved foods that can be included in this diet are:

  • Some fruits like oranges, strawberries, apples and red grapefruit
  • Non-starchy vegetables-lettuce, celery, cucumber, cabbage, onions and tomatoes
  • Lean meat like chicken breast, lean ground beef, shrimp, lobster and whitefish

Foods that you need to avoid

You will need to avoid some foods which include the following:

  • Fatty foods like fatty fish, nuts or foods full of oil
  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes
  • Added sugar in any form.

References

1. Australian HCG Diet Recipe Cookbook
2. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) in the Treatment of Obesity
3. Effect of the human chorionic gonadotropin diet on patient outcomes

6

If you get up in the morning with your tired, dull and aged face, you should know that you can change it. You can always improve the health of your skin with some simple but effective products and their applications. It is possible to revitalize your skin with different elements present naturally around you. Let's find out what you can do to revitalize your skin every morning so that you look great throughout the day.

Self-massage

You need a good self-massage because it will have a toning effect on your skin. It is especially good for you if you wake up with cold skin. Take a bit of an oil like coconut, lemon, olive or wheat germ oil and massage your face for 2 to 3 minutes. Then clean your skin with a hot and them towel. It is necessary to keep your skin hydrated and firm.

Tomato and lemon mask

For a great exfoliation you can use a tomato. Take an overripe tomato, lemon juice and mix them with instant oatmeal. Make a smooth puree by blending all of them. You can use your mixer grinder for making the paste. Apply it on your face and keep it for about 20 minutes. Then wash it off with warm water. It will take away all the dirt and dead skin cells and you will have a fresh and clean looking skin.

Rosemary tonic

A Rosemary tonic or water is an old beauty secret. If you want your skin young and revitalized, you can always use a rosemary tonic or water. It's a medicinal plant which will help you by increasing blood circulation in your face. It is beneficial because it will prevent appearance of wrinkles and lose skin. It is also possible to create a concentrated rosemary tea at home which you can store in the refrigerator and apply as a spray every morning.

Avocado and lemon mask

If you want to make your skin more radiant and firm, you will need this mask. Avocado and lemon both are rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids and your skin will get all of that from this mask. Take a piece of ripe avocado and mash it with a fork. Add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix them well. Your mask is ready to be used. Apply it on your skin and leave it for at least three minutes. Wash your face and hydrate it as you generally do.

Orange mask

After taking the juice out, you can use the orange pulp to create an orange mask. Simply blind date with oatmeal, yogurt and honey and make a mask for yourself. This is a refreshing mask which will help you feel better within a short time. Your skin will feel great after you apply for 5 to 10 minutes.

Coffee and coconut exfoliant

The caffeine present in your coffee can help you to have better looking skin. It will activate the flow of blood in your skin. As coffee helps you to wake up, the caffeine present in the coffee you will also wake up your skin. Take your used coffee grounds and create an exfoliant from that. Mix coffee grounds weights coconut oil. Coconut oil will hydrate your skin and will also help you to apply the exfoliant properly on your skin. Use this mixture to gently exfoliate your face.

References

1. The Pure Body – Revitalize Your Skin!
2. Keep Your Skin Healthy
3. Skin anti-aging strategies

If you are suffering from any thyroid problem, your diet is very important to ensure that you not only control the problem, but also try to correct the problem because the conditions can be extremely serious. Your diet should include such foods which will provide quality dietary nutrients including protein, necessary vitamins, antioxidants and other important elements.

Fish

Fish is a very important source of dietary iodine. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids which is very important for a healthy heart. If you one more iodine from your fish, you should consider deep sea fish like cod and haddock.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is an excellent food which offers several benefits. Coconut oil has been used as a healing food for a long time and it has many medicinal properties to offer you several different health benefits. It contains essential fatty acids which are important for proper metabolic function. These fatty acids present in coconut oil are easily assimilated by your body. They can contribute to thyroid function, and thyroid hormone production. They will also help you to regulate the metabolism.

Dairy products

Dairy products are a very important for you because they will provide you with the necessary iodine. If you every day consume milks, yogurts and cheese, they will provide you with the necessary iodine to maintain healthy iodine levels. You should include dairy products in your diet to avoid thyroid problems and also to control existing thyroid problems if you have any. There are organic, vegetarian fed and free range dairy products available in the market and you should choose them.

Beans

Beans are a good source of zinc and iron. There are also good for your health because they provide high-quality proteins and good amount of B vitamins and vitamin C. Some of those beans, like pinto beans, are a great source of selenium and it can offer you a good amount of your daily value necessary.

Liver and kidney meat

If you consume meat, then he should consume liver and kidney meat. Such organ meats will provide you with zinc, iron and selenium. They will also provide you with high-quality proteins. If you want a complete, nutrient dense source of calcium, vitamins A, C and D, potassium and vitamin B, then you need to consume such organ meats. They have such elements in higher levels in comparison to most fruits and vegetables.

Dark green leafy vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables are not only good for your overall health but they are also good for your thyroid. Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, Collard greens, mustard, turnip greens are some of the green leafy vegetables that you need. They will provide you with good amount of iron, B vitamins, and vitamins A, C and D, magnesium and many antioxidants. These are super foods for your body and they will not only supply you with the nutrients for a proper functioning thyroid, but they will also improve your health and protect you in future.

Almonds

Nuts are good for your overall health because they provide you with high-quality and lots of proteins, minerals, vitamins and fibre. Almond is especially beneficial for the thyroid because it contains several nutrients necessary for proper functioning of thyroid. It provides high amount of quality iron, selenium and zinc along with essential be vitamins and high protein. You can consume almond as a snack.

References

1. The Natural Thyroid Diet
2. Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid)
3. Thyroid disease