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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

16

Autonomic nervous system

Your nervous system has an area which is known as the autonomic nervous system. This nervous system is mostly responsible for unconsciously regulating your body's functions such as the agitation, pupillary response, respiratory rate, sexual arousal, urination and heart rate.

Autonomic nervous system has two branches. The first branch is sympathetic (fight or flight) and the second branches parasympathetic (rest and digest).

Sympathetic system will increase the speed of work of your organs and glands and parasympathetic will reduce it. In case of autonomic nervous system imbalance, the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic system is lost.

The autonomic nervous system benefit

The autonomic nervous system can turn your performance, health and life around. It can boost your productivity by 500%, improve your learning speed by several times, can increase your creativity, eliminate stress and fear, increase testosterone, reverse conditions of diabetes, help you to lose weight, cure depression, your anxiety, improve sleeping problems, accelerate recovery time, help your heart problems, lower cholesterol levels, stop asthma and help you with gastrointestinal problems. It can help in so many different problems because the main reason behind so many problems is imbalances in your autonomic nervous system.

The reason for imbalance

The reason for imbalances simple. It's a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs your physical and mental equilibrium. It is known as-stress.

However, you cannot avoid stress. Whenever you are eating, breathing, walking and talking of doing anything in your day-to-day life, you are creating stress on your system. If you try to hide from stress, that'll be you're the biggest mistake. You will need to learn to work with stress. You will need to regain your control over it.

There are two types of stress

According to the Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist Dr Hans Selye, who coined the term stress,¯ there are two types of stress- good stress and bad stress.

Good stress or Eustress is moderate or normal psychological stress which is beneficial for the person experiencing it. Bad stress or distress is the negative stress that happens when you cannot adapt to the stress.

The balance

When both the sympathetic and parasympathetic parts of the autonomic nervous system are in coherence, you will reach a state of mind which can help you to do wonderful things and it can also help you to improve your body and its functions. Scientific studies done on Franciscan nuns and Tibetan monks during their meditation practices found fascinating similarities in the areas of the brain which where lighting up and other areas lessening.

The optimal performance state

The optimal performance state is known as the flow state. You can get performance spike in your skills, sport or profession if you can align your nervous system with the optimal performance state. For optimal performance, you will need a balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Such a balance will not only help you to get optimal performance, but it will also help you to get great health and better recovery.

From balance, the optimal performance state can be achieved. It will offer you all the benefits mentioned above. If you know about the autonomic nervous system and how to balance both the parts of this nervous system, it'll be possible for you to reach the optimal performance stay which will not only help you to do better but will also help you to become healthy both physically and mentally.

References

1. Flow State Training Program
2.How does the nervous system work?
3.What are the parts of the nervous system?

Knees are the largest joint in your body. It takes on its fair share of impact. Knee pain and knee problems are very common and it is cleaning case of people of different ages. There are a few tips which can help you to prevent knee pain.

Stretching is good for your knees

Stretching is always good for you and it is also good for your knees. Those stretches that focus on the calf, hamstrings and quadriceps are good for you because that will take pressure off of the knees and kneecaps. Many people may believe that stretching is a waste of time but that is not true at all. Stretching will ensure that you have a well conditioned and flexible body and such a body will not result in over use problems in the knees. There are many good stretches available which can protect the knees and they include step ups, hamstring curls and straight leg lifts. You also need stretches that focus on building flexibility in the hips which include butterfly stretch and standing hip flexor with a resistance band. All such stretching will help you to get rid of knee pain.

Don't skip the exercise

You should not skip the exercise even when you have structural problems. Here, structural problems mean arthritis and such other structural knee problems. Strength training with special focus on the muscles in the quadriceps and hamstrings can help you to decrease pain in your knees. They will also make those muscles stronger and thereby will help you to tolerate any structural problems that you may have. Just remember to know your limits and stay within that. Staying active will also help you by controlling weight and ensuring that it doesn't go beyond the limit. Building muscle will also help you to protect your knees from further damage.

The best exercises that you can perform to prevent knee problems and being include nonimpact aerobic exercises like walking on level ground, training on an elliptical machine, swimming, water aerobics, exercising on a stationary bike etc. Just remember to avoid any type of activities that put extra stress on the knees and such activities include kneeling, deep knee bends and downhill running.

Lose some weight

You will find out that your weight plays a major role in knee pain. If you have more bodyweight than you should, then it will create problems for your back, hips and knees. If you are overweight for several years, it can take a toll on your knees. That is why it is very important for you to lose the extra weight. When you take one step, 2 to 4 times your body weight is transmitted through the knee joint. It means the more bodyweight you have, the harder the impact is on your knee joint.

If you're overweight and you have arthritic knee pain, you can reduce knee pain impact and ultimately get rid of knee pain by losing weight. People who suffer from arthritic knee can lose 20% of their pain with every 10 pounds of weight loss. You can use any type of method to lose the extra weight but you will get more benefit by adding some stretching and flexibility training.

References

1. Feel Good Knees For Fast Pain Relief
2.Knee pain
3.Knee Problems

low libido

Low libido, or low sex drive, describes a lack of interest in sexual activity. While not wanting to be intimate can cause serious relationship woes, lower self-esteem and make you feel guilty – treating the underlying cause can correct the problem.

Everyone has a different sex drive, and sexual desires naturally fluctuate over the years, so normal¯ libido is very difficult, if not even impossible, to define. However, if you personally feel distressed about decreased sex drive, it is wise not to ignore the issue.

Having a lack of interest shouldn't be confused with erectile dysfunction, although the two can co-exist. In both situations, seeking help from a professional may be the necessary step towards resolving the problem.

Additionally, open lines of communication and honesty are key in navigating this delicate situation. Loss of libido is a quite common concern which shouldn't be a cause for embarrassment – it's imperative that you tell your partner what's going on.

Causes

Having a low libido or decreased sex drive can lead to a one direct source, however, it is usually multi-factorial and may be caused by a combination of different aspects. Some of the most common causes of low sex drive are low levels of testosterone, medication, depression, medical conditions and lifestyle choices.

Low Testosterone

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone which is crucial to male development, muscular strength and sex drive. Also known as hypogonadism, low testosterone levels can occur at any age. Although testosterone production typically decreases with age, it is not only a concern for older adults, but may happen in younger men, too.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, normal testosterone levels can range between 300 and 1,000 ng/dL. When total testosterone levels drop below 350 to 300 ng/dL, male libido is usually significantly decreased. Low testosterone is only medically diagnosed when the male sex hormone falls below the above levels.

Medication

Certain medications may also cause a low sex drive in men. These can include entire classes of medication and even over-the-counter drugs.

The most common culprits are:

  • Statins
  • Beta-blockers
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antipsychotics

Although changing medication or completely discontinuing usage often alleviates the problem, that's not always the case – particularly in chronic medical conditions like atrial fibrillation or hypertension. If you believe the issue may be related to medication, consult with your doctor before changing or discontinuing certain medicine.

Depression

Men with decreased testosterone levels may experience significant mood changes. As the male hormone affects physical processes in your body, low testosterone may more likely lead to irritability or even depression.

In fact, depression and low libido are intertwined – when depression is the cause of decreased sex drive, it can make a tough situation even worse. This can also occur in reverse – having low libido or sex drive may trigger unwanted negative feelings and lead to depression.

Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic disease definitely causes distress, both mentally and physically. This is particularly true if you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or even cancer.

Regardless of the specific diagnosis, many people affected by chronic disease may experience a decreased interest in sexual activities. Furthermore, the sexual issues occurring during this time tend to be linked to the specific treatment itself.

Lifestyle

The way you live your life can also contribute to low libido in males. Some of the most common negative choices include:

  • Smoking. Nicotine increases the risk of erectile dysfunction and can impair sexual arousal.
  • Alcohol. When consumed in excess over a long period, alcohol redirects specific enzymes needed to synthesize testosterone. This, in turn, can result in reduced testosterone levels.
  • Obesity. Being overweight not only impairs hormone function but can significantly reduce both free and total testosterone levels.

To the contrary, regular exercise and healthy weight loss will boost your mood and energy. It can also improve feelings of self-confidence and improve sexual function.

Treatment

Treatment for low sex drive depends on the particular underlying cause. There are various options that can tackle a low libido. Decreased libido, which is caused by low testosterone levels, can be treated with supplemental testosterone. If the cause is more of psychological nature, various therapies or counseling can help.

Supplementation

If bloodwork shows decreased testosterone levels, your doctor may prescribe supplementation. Vitamin D, D-aspartic acid, Ginseng and Maca work well to boost your testosterone.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

When your testosterone levels are significantly low, supplemental testosterone can be used in various forms. Some options of this include:

  • Gels and patches – Transdermal testosterone is another treatment option. It's provided in a gel or patch form that you apply directly to the skin, which delivers a certain amount of testosterone each day.
  • Injections – Given by your doctor, these injections are either testosterone cypionate or enanthate, which you're supposed to receive every two weeks.

Counselling

Relationship problems may be a common cause for loss of libido. Various psychological therapies and counselling can help address the concern.

One of the examples being sex therapy – very much like other types of psychotherapy, it’s about discussing your feelings and moving past physical or emotional barriers.

Lifestyle changes

Healthier lifestyle choices – improving your diet, cutting down on alcohol as well as exercising regularly – all constitute to having an increased sex drive.

Another thing to consider is stress management. If you're constantly feeling upset, tired or anxious, you should consider the possibility of reducing the stressors in your life. If your stress is related to an underlying anxiety disorder, medication may be required.

Summary

As the topic of low sexual desire is a very sensitive one, men don't always want to talk about it, even less admit that it might be a recurring issue for them.

Sex drive is different for each individual, and is likely to change over time. It's quite common and normal for your interest in sex to not match your partner's on occasions.

However, changes in your libido that are persistent for a long period of time may indicate an underlying physiological or psychological issue. Therefore, it is essential to notice changes in you personally and if needed, seek medical help for appropriate intervention.

Robert Thomas has written a lot on in-depth content about similar topics. If you are more interested, it's worth checking out Sextopedia (alternatively their Facebook of Twitter). 

The enzyme lipase can help you to lose weight. It is a complex chemically structured enzyme that works as a catalyst for the hydrolysis of fat in your body. It can help you to eliminate your fat deposits. There are different ways which will help you to increase the levels of lipase in your body. The level of lipase is inversely proportional to the serum levels of insulin. It means if the levels of lipase decreases in your body, the insulin levels in your blood will increase. When that happens, your fat burning process will slow down and fat will start to get deposited throughout your body.

Let's find out how you can increase the levels of lipase in your body.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a very good way to increase fat loss. It increases the level of fat loss enzymes and hormones in your body. Fasting will also help you to increase to very crucial fat burning enzymes in the body-the muscle tissue-based ipoprotein lipase and hormone sensitive lipase. Since they increase in your body, they will boost fat burning by stimulating the cells to take up fat.

Standing

Standing can also help you to increase your fat burning process and get better results. If you think that going to the gym for an hour a day will help you to lose fat and weight, it may not happen as you like it to be. Exercising regularly may not have too much impact on the fat burning capacity of your body if you are sitting down for longer duration throughout the day. Studies have found that lipoprotein lipase and hormone sensitive lipase are released from your leg muscles only when they are actively flexed or are contracting. So, the important fat burning enzyme lipase will only be released from your leg muscles when you're standing.

Sitting is always better for you if you do it too much. Even though today's work force asked to sit for longer duration, it is possible to make some changes in your lifestyle to ensure that you also stand for a few hours. Standing while working or watching TV is a good technique that can help you to keep the fat away. You will not only help your body but will also help you to burn more fat by releasing more and more lipase in the body. Maybe a standing desk will help you to get better results in your efforts to burn more fat from your body.

High-intensity training

High-intensity training will help you to burn more fat. Sustained aerobic activity for longer than 15 to 20 minutes will help you to lose more fat from the body by mobilizing fat from your body lift fat stores. When you perform such high-intensity training, glycogen levels in the blood decreases and as a response to that fat from the bodily fat stores are released, which are used for energy for the body.

When blood sugar levels decrease due to high-intensity training, insulin levels also go down and because of that it triggers an increase in the levels of lipase. It means high-intensity interval training will boost your lipase levels in the body and that will help you to burn more fat.

References

1. Eat The Fat Off
2.Guide to Behavior Change
3.INTERESTED IN LOSING WEIGHT?

More and more number of people are living with diabetes and many others are prediabetes. About 90 to 95% of all diabetic people have type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, people suffering from a do not produce enough of the hormone insulin. On the other hand, in type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin but it cannot use it properly.

Being overweight or obese is a common risk factor for diabetes but however it doesn't only happen in such overweight or obese people. People with healthy weight may also suffer from this problem. More than 10% of people diagnosed with diabetes may have normal weight. Scientists were clueless why this can happen. New research may have shed light on not only why people who have healthy weight are still prone to type 2 diabetes, but also why some people are more susceptible to diabetes than other people.

New research

According to recent research, it can be a certain kind of fat that makes people prone to type 2 diabetes, irrespective of their weight.

A recent scientific study found that it may be a certain kind of fat that produces type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may be caused by buildup of toxic fat and this is what the study found out.

There is a toxic class of fat metabolizes known as ceramide that can cause type 2 diabetes. Buildup of ceramide is prevents the fat tissue from working normally. They tested this in mice and found that in mice ceramide buildup prevents the fat tissue from working normally.

After overeating, some of the excess fat going into the body gets either stored or burn for energy. But in case of some people, excess fat just turns into ceramides. And ceramide can impact the way your body handles nutrients. It can also negatively impact the way the body response to insulin and how it burns calories.

When after some time too many ceramides accumulate in the fat tissue, the body reaches a tipping point. The fat tissues present in your body stop working properly and fat goes into the blood vessel, heart or the peripheral tissues.

Previous studies on ceramides linked it to diabetes by at least three different mechanisms. This particle can result in death of pancreatic beta cells, can increase insulin resistance and reduce insulin gene expression.

In the recent study when they added extra ceramides to fat cells in mice, the element made the mice insulin resistant and they were unable to burn calories. On the other hand, mice that had fewer ceramides did not develop any insulin resistance. It is also found that mice with excessive ceramides were also prone to diabetes and fatty liver disease development.

What the study means

The study suggests that some people may be predisposed to turning excess fat into ceramides instead of turning them into calories. Skinny people may get diabetes or fatty liver disease if genetics or something else triggers ceramide accumulation. That may be the reason why some of the Asian countries have a higher diabetes rate than the US even when the obesity rate is relatively low in comparison.

References

1. Diabetes Freedom
2.Role of ceramide in diabetes mellitus: evidence and mechanisms
3.Plasma Ceramide Species Are Associated with Diabetes Risk

If you have diabetes or you are prediabetic or if you want to avoid diabetes in your life, you will need to know about the following big diabetes lies because only then you will be able to understand how to avoid these diseases or how to manage it.

Big diabetes lie #1 reducing blood sugar will reverse diabetes

This is a big diabetes lie that you will hear often. The truth is high blood sugar does not cause diabetes; it is a symptom of it. People use diabetes medicine as it is useful in lowering your blood sugar but they cannot reverse your diabetes. On the other hand, they will lose their effectiveness after some time and that is why the doctor needs to increase the dosage or need to add an additional medicine. Then one day your doctor will tell you to use injectable insulin and after that you will have to keep using it will serve

This is how it happens because the disease has not been addressed. It has been progressing as if you were not taking any medication. You cannot reverse diabetes with medications that lower blood sugar. Such medicines can only reduce the blood sugar readings but they cannot address the actual cause. The medicines that you use for diabetes are causing kidney failure, liver failure, heart attacks, cancers and strokes.

Big diabetes lie #2 Exercise helps reverse diabetes

We often believe that exercise is useful in case of every person with diabetes. However, scientific studies found that 20% of people with type 2 diabetes did not get any benefit from exercise. Exercise did not result in an improvement in blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity or the body’s ability to burn fat. The studies suggested that the resistance to exercise among people with type 2 diabetes is genetic and can be handed down through generations. If you have tried exercising but it did not improve your diabetes or fat loss, then it is likely that you are one of those people who are resistant to exercise and exercise cannot help you in reversing your diabetes. In case of other people, exercise can help you but it simply mimics the effects of the diabetes medicines. It can lower blood sugar but will not address the root cause which is insulin resistance.

Big diabetes lie #3 carbohydrates are your enemy

This is one of the most common lies about diabetes. People who are suffering from diabetes often fear carbohydrates and they believe that low carb, high fat diets area healthy alternative for them. Scientific studies done long back and some of the studies done during the present time found that it was not high carbohydrates, but in fact high fat diets that cause insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Such studies also found that a diet composed of price and, since the low-fat, high sugar and carbohydrate foods actually had no negative effect on insulin resistance at all but actually improved it.

People often believe that foods high in carbohydrates will worsen diabetes and increase the requirement for insulin and medication. And this is the basis for many of the popular diets which focus on diabetes and weight and fat loss. But it is not true. The increase carbohydrates can result in improved insulin resistance and that can help you to reduce your diabetes problem, lose both weight and fat.

References

1. Halki Diabetes Remedy
2. What is Diabetes?
3. Diabetes