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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.




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The Power Of Your Mind

You can force yourself to go to the gym through brute mental force, but you’re going to experience a kind of fatigue later on. You’ll take any opportunity that you can use as a convenient excuse to keep from doing your workout. Certainly, this differs per individual. Some can keep to their regimen, some have more difficulty.

The same is true when it comes to study. Did you know that neuroplasticity studies demonstrate
new neural connections can be made on a continuous basis throughout your life? The old thinking that the brain quits growing, and that neuro-connections can’t be rebuilt, is antiquated in the wake of modern evidence.

Modern science demonstrates you can learn, and keep learning, throughout your life. Certainly there are limits for individuals, but if you need to keep yourself studying, or learning, there are techniques you can use to “trick” the mind into doing it in an almost automatic sense.

Such tricks are an excellent way to quit smoking as well. Smoking is a real monkey on the back, and most don’t have the temperament or the desire to just leave off cold-turkey. The nicotine patch or gum isn’t much better; you’re still incrementally poisoning yourself, and if things get dire, you’ll likely have a smoke.

Hypnosis Solutions
But then there’s the hypnosis angle. Think of hypnosis like subconscious programming. Through subtle (or overt) suggestion, there are certain methods by which this aspect of your mind can be trained to change your behavior. According to BritishHypnosisResearch.com one form of psychotherapy called Ericksonian hypnosis can help you with anxiety, phobias, weight problems or quit an addiction like smoking.

You could probably use such techniques to curtail drinking, but you want to be careful: the liver becomes compromised because of alcohol, and
going cold-turkey if you’re a died-in-the-wool alcoholic can be dangerous. When a chemical addiction has snared the body, it can be better to be weaned; predicating rehabilitation measures.

If your medical practice doesn’t have such hypnosis techniques utilizing modern psychological breakthroughs, you’re missing a revenue stream. Additionally, this kind of therapy is in hot demand these days. You don’t have to be a mental health clinic or traditional hospital to use such techniques. Private practitioners do so equally well.

Convenient Service Expansion
Studying online saves you time and money, and can additionally help you obtain certification through scheduling which matches your needs directly. Additionally, if you’re no practitioner, you may be able to use this method to help those in your own personal life, or even to some degree hypnotize yourself.

That said, such knowledge should be used very carefully, as it can have a profound effect. It’s important to know the benefits of this technique, as well as the hazards. It is truly a knife that cuts both ways! Still, this method can be a lifesaver; especially when nothing else works for a dire circumstance.

There is an old proverb: “When I was young, I wanted to change the world. When I was in my middle years, I wanted to change the community in which I lived. When I became old, I sought only to change myself.” This proverb emphasizes a fundamental truth which pertains to the human condition.

Hypnosis can help you change yourself. This is the hardest change to make, because psychological behavior runs deep. Being able to boast such therapy at your clinic can be excellent for sales, and likewise excellent for those who really need the help. In the end, it’s a win-win situation!

CrossFit has been gaining fans and enthusiasts over the years. That is because it is a fast way to gain shape and lose weight. You’ll need extreme discipline and dedication over the course of doing extreme exercises to maintain your shape. Some say that fast gains equal fast loss. This can be avoided with the correct strategies set when training yourself. Becoming fit and perfect is never easy, but CrossFit can do it. You just have to set the correct strategy. Here are some tips on what strategy to follow.

Budget your time

Fitness is life. More correctly, fitness should be part of life. Always allot a part of your day to CrossFit. This can range from 30 to 60 minutes or up to more than that. CrossFit excels in burning fat in a limited amount of time. The longer you do it, the more you burn. Hence, the more fit you become. You can set time for it after work, as you wake up, etc., as long as it won’t affect your sleep and work. This involves training your discipline and keeping on doing your routine religiously.

This includes taking all your supplements. You may check
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Keep track of what you eat

Eating still is essential when you work out. However, make sure you don’t overeat. You may already be burning fat when doing CrossFit, but you are still prone to countering its effects with more calories. Check your recommended calorie count. There are already many apps on mobile devices to help you keep track of what you eat. In addition, some of them even track your steps and the exercise you’ve done. To make it more fun, games have also been incorporated into the different sports apps.

Form bonds, make a family

This does not refer to dating and getting a family to live happily ever after. This involves meeting people who’ll help you do your CrossFit training. People who have friends over at gyms tend to love the gym more. As such, they do not have the anxiety and discomfort most solitary gym goes have. That is because having friends to support you can always help. They can motivate you, push you to break your limits, and they’ll be there when you celebrate your victories.

Try intense workouts

If CrossFit seems to light for you, there are more advanced classes of exercises. Some of them have been called girly names but mind you they are no joke. It can have you running and chasing your breath every time you do them. As such, they are not for the faint of heart.


HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training serves one purpose: to make you lose weight and lose it fast. You can summarize all your workouts with HIIT. A 30-min cardio of HIIT can equal every exercise on the chart and still be enough to topple them all when counting the number of calories burned. Be careful when you do it, though. You should consult a fitness expert before you do it.

Vitamin D Deficiency Leads to Cardiovascular Risk in Overweight KidsA new study says that vitamin D deficiency is linked with early markers of cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese children and adolescents.

Marisa Censani, M.D., pediatric endocrinologist who serves as director of the Pediatric Obesity Program in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine is the lead author of this study. Censani said, Pediatric obesity is seen in 17 percent of infants, children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 in the U.S. Obesity is a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency. These results indicate that vitamin D deficiency can have negative impacts on certain lipid markers with an increase in cardiovascular diseases risk in children and adolescents.

Connection Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Cardiovascular Risk

Censani mentioned, This research is the first one to evaluate the connection of vitamin D deficiency to non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol and lipoprotein ratios, particularly lipid markets influencing cardiovascular risk among children and adolescents who are overweight or obese.

Over a period of two years, Censani and her colleagues assessed the health records including levels of vitamin D among children and adolescents who ages between 6 and 17 at the pediatric endocrinology outpatient clinics at Weill Cornell Medicine.

On the whole, 178 out of 332 patients passed the criteria for overweight and obesity. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and non-HDL cholesterol were recorded; and total cholesterol/HDL and triglyceride/HDL ratios were estimated. Vitamin D deficiency was regarded as 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) below 20 ng/ml.

There exists a connection between vitamin D deficiency and increase atherogenic lipids and early markers of cardiovascular disease. Patients with vitamin D deficiency had higher total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, non-HDL cholesterol, as well as total cholesterol/HDL and triglyceride/HDL ratios. But these values are not high in patients without vitamin D deficiency.

These findings suggest screening the overweight and obese children and adolescents for vitamin D deficiency and to improve the vitamin D levels to minimize cardiovascular risk, Censani added.

Written by Lax Mariappan, MSc

Grip Strength Test Can Predict Metabolic Disease and DisabilityAccording to a new cross-continental study, a simple test to assess a person's grip strength can be used to predict the onset of metabolic disease in middle or old-aged individuals.

In this study, the test locations, methodology and demographics were chosen for a reason. Chronic diseases are highly prevalent in the U.S and China. There is a high need to find the mildfire predictors of diabetes and disability in both the countries, says Mark Peterson, Ph.D., M.S., FACSM, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Michigan Medicine.

This study examined whether normalized grip strength can be used as a biomarker for physical disability and cardiometabolic disease in American and Chinese populations.

Peterson, the lead author of this study collaborated colleagues from the U-M School of Public Health, Michigan Medicine’s Global REACH, the Institute for Social Science Survey and the National School of Development at Peking University in Beijing, China.

Peterson explained that China represents a distinctive population which is the largest diabetic population in the world. This makes financial and health issues in the whole nation.

The researchers made use of data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2011 to 2012 and 2013 to 2014 and the 2011 section of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study. The muscle strength capacity and other required data related to cardiometabolic diseases and disability were found in this survey.

We wanted to investigate grip strength in specific as it is more related with whole strength of the body. To measure a person's grip with a help of handgrip dynamometer needs less only less than 10 seconds, which is helpful to implement in a clinical or community background at the population level, clarifies Peterson.

Grip Strength and Its Connection with Metabolic Disease

The team of researchers assessed normalized grip strength of 6,030 Chinese and 4,544 U.S participants who were aged 50 years and older. Blood samples of participants were collected for nonfasting glycated hemoglobin and disabilities of functional limitation related to movements were recorded with a questionnaire. A subset of 2,225 participants tested with fasting measures for insulin, glucose and triglycerides.

Researchers evaluated the connection between normalized grip strength and hyperglycemia, diabetes, hypertriglyceridemia, hypertension, low HDL cholesterol and physical disability, with the help of weighted logistic regression models. They controlled for sex, age and various socio-demographic characteristics.

The greatest discovery of the study was that low normalized grip strength was highly connected with both physical disabilities and cardiometabolic diseases in middle to old aged adults irrespective of sex and both the U.S and Chinese nationalities.

“We hope these results show how significant a simple grip strength test might be in the clinical setting,” Peterson remarks. “It is a simple way to identify and screen patients who are at early risk for these health conditions.”

Written by Lax Mariappan Msc

The following rules will help you to lose fat faster and better. Let's find out what these rules are.

Prioritize nutrition

Nutrition is very important for you training and also for losing fat. It will decide whether you will be able to lose fat or not. You will need to go grocery shopping, cooking yourself, preparing meals and keep a food journal. All these are very important and you will have to find time for all of that if you really want to lose weight and fat. Your nutrition is in fact more important than your training. You can start with a simple diet like paleo diet that focuses on natural and single ingredient foods, meat, whole eggs, fish and vegetables. Also add other food items which will support your training goals. If necessary, you will need to add supplements such as BCAAs, protein, fish oils, and other important supplements.

Rotate strategies

If you keep on using intense metabolic resistance training and HIIT or high-intensity interval training, you will keep burning fat but after a certain point of time, you will hit a plateau. Even though such exercises are very good and they help you to burn fat, they will not work after you reach the plateau. To lose more fat even after this position, you will need to switch to different strategies.

In case of metabolic resistance training, you can use moderate weights for moderate reps and while doing so, you can alternate between upper and lower body exercises.

In case of strength training, you can use traditional strength training methods which will let you lift bigger weights. In case of bodybuilding, you will need to focus on building lean muscles which will help you to increase your metabolic rate.

Get stronger

People often think that getting stronger is necessary for better performance and building muscles but they do not understand that getting stronger can also help you to burn more fat. Without losing fat, you cannot build more muscles and get stronger. You need to make your body fuel efficient and then only your body will be able to burn more fat. It also helps you to look better and build more muscles. When you perform more strength training, you will be able to lift more weight and it will help you to burn more fat. If you want to get rid of unwanted body fat from your body you will need to train at a higher and faster level and which is possible when you drive different forms of training. You will be able to perform different forms of training only when you are strong.

Start with big hard exercises

Big and hard exercises will help you to lose more fat. He need to pick the right exercises. The compound exercises will help you to burn more fat and lose fat faster. There are different types of combination exercises available which can help you to perform harder exercises for burning more fat.

Increase your metabolism

You can burn more fat by increasing your metabolism after training. You not only burn your fat while training, you can also burn fat after your workout. The questions are how much fat can be burnt in a 24-hour period and what will burn the maximum amount of fat during that 24-hour period. You need high-intensity exercises because they will create an oxygen debt (or excess most exercise oxygen consumption) which will in turn increase your metabolic rate that to long after the training is over. When you have higher metabolism, you can burn more fat and if your metabolism is higher even long after your workout, you are likely to burn more fat even when you are at rest and not working out.

1. Nick Nilsson – Mad Scientist Muscle, Fat Loss And Insane Exercises
2. Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths
3. NIH study finds cutting dietary fat reduces body fat more than cutting carbs

Indolepropionic Acid: A Metabolite Keeping Diabetes AwayA new study demonstrates that a high concentration of indolepropionic acid can protect against type 2 diabetes. Fiber-rich diets can boost the production of indolepropionic acid which is a metabolite produced by gut bacteria.

Researchers studied the metabolic profiles of 200 participants who were overweight and had problems with glucose tolerance. The participants were divided into two groups: those who had developed type 2 diabetes within first five years and others who did not develop type 2 diabetes within 15 years duration.

The two groups were evaluated by non-targeted metabolomics analysis. Unlike pre-defined markers, this non-targeted approach let the researchers to determine the concentration of various metabolites.

Indolepropionic Acid and Insulin Production

Results showed that a high concentration of indolepropionic acid in the serum was responsible for protection against diabetes. This metabolite enhances secretion of insulin by beta cells of the pancreas which provides the productive effect against diabetes.

Researchers also found that many new lipid metabolites was related to improved insulin resistance and decreased risk of diabetes. The concentrations of these metabolites were also connected with dietary fat. When the saturated fat in the diet is less, the concentration of these metabolites is higher. Like high concentrations of indolepropionic acid, these lipid metabolites also found to be protective against low-level inflammation.

Previous studies also have related gut bacteria with the risk of diabetes in overweight individuals. Our results indicate that indolepropionic acid can be one factor that intervenes with the gut bacteria and a protective effect of diet, explains Kati Hanhineva, Academy Research Fellow at the University of Eastern Finland.

Identifying gut bacteria involves a complex process; that is why the finding the metabolites produced by gut bacteria can be a more possible way for assessing the function of gut bacteria in the pathogenesis of diabetes.

Written by Lax Mariappan Msc