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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

Many people find that their testicles have shrunk during the recent times. It may cause confusion and embarrassment. Let’s find out how you can eliminate the causes of testicular shrinkage.

Get more sleep

Getting some sound sleep during the night is very much important for your overall health. If you are not getting enough sleep, it may result from due to lack of sleep. A study conducted by the University of Southern Denmark found that there is a link between testicles size and quality of sleep. People who are sleep deprived generally have lower testosterone levels, reduced sperm count and suffer from testicle shrinkage. Such people may suffer from insomnia, staying up late, inconsistent sleep, waking up often another search sleep problems.

Protect the testicles

You need to protect your testicles and avoid any possible direct impact on them. They have the most pain receptors concentrated in the human body and the nerves extend to the ears, groin and stomach. Because they hang outside of the body, they are not generally protected by muscles and bones and so providing safeguard to them becomes more important. It becomes easier for them to be struck, kicked, hit or crushed. Such risks are more in contact sports.

If there is a trauma to the scrotum, it can result in testicular atrophy and following the injury it can result in testicular shrinkage. If you are an athlete and you take part in contact sports, you should be very careful about protecting your testicles. Use all the safety measures available for protecting your testicles.

Reduce alcohol intake

If you love wine, beer or liquor, probably you should think again because booze can result in shrinkage of the testicles. Chronic alcohol consumption can cause Leydig cell shape and function changes. Alcohol may also shrink the testicular seminiferous tubules. Alcohol may also be the result of testicular cell death. All these processes may result in testicular shrinkage.

If you stop drinking alcohol completely your testicles may grow and regain their full size.

Avoid aluminium

Aluminium may result in testicular shrinkage. It is found in different household and common items such as food and beverage cans, pots and pans, siding and roofing, foil, antacids, buffered aspirin, astringents, cosmetics, antiperspirants, flour and baking powder, coloring agents, anti-caking agents etc. aluminium may also be present in water treatment, utensils, pharmaceuticals and food additives.

If there is overexposure to aluminium, low sperm count, infertility and shrinkage of testicles may happen. According to a study published in the International Journal of toxicology and applied pharmacology, oxidative stress in the testicles due to aluminium exposure can cause cell death and as a result testicles may shrink.

Always choose aluminium free products like aluminium free deodorant, personal care products, antacids etc.

Stop using steroids

If you are using steroids, probably this is the time to stop it. Testicular atrophy, which is also known as shrinking balls, are commonly associated with steroid use. Using male sex hormone testosterone steroids can result in this problem. Athletes and bodybuilders often abuse it and as a result they suffer from decreased sperm count, baldness, breast development, higher risk of prostate cancer, and shrinkage of testicles.

Stop smoking weed

With has a direct impact on the reproductive hormones. Chronic marijuana use may result in lower testosterone levels and shrinkage of testicles. When cannabis extract was administered in rodents and dogs, shrinkage of testicles were seen.

When you smoke weed regularly, it will lower your testosterone levels and it can cause testicular atrophy. If you are chronic smoker, you can simply see the results by stopping for a few days.

References

1. Get Bigger Testicles
2. Testicular atrophy
3. Zika may cause testicle shrinkage

If you want to get big fast and create lots of muscle for yourself, the following ways will help you. These are some simple ways to get huge and build more muscles for yourself.

Find a simple routine

Instead of going for a very complex routine that he cannot follow completely, you can always go for a simple workout routine that you can remember and follow at any point of time. Instead of reading about different types of proteins, trying to follow them and failing at them, you need to go for a simple routine and simply perform it. Do not keep changing your routines each week. You need to give some time to a routine and then only you can see a change. You need to pick a simple routine and just follow it. You don't have to feel overwhelmed with different types of routines available in different names.

Don't take a complicated routine because you are more likely to fail at it and avoid it after some time. Find a simple routine that works for you and keep repeating it until you see results. A simple routine will generally focus on progression of weight and it will contain basic have the compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, overhead press and bench press and such other lifts. If you find a routine that includes lots of isolation movements, you should avoid that.

Go to the gym

This is so simple that it is very obvious. You will need to go to the gym if you want to get huge. Doing other types of exercises will help you to get huge. You will need to let that the gym and follow a strict routine. If you don't go to the gym, you won't be able to get huge. If you do not follow a routine and simply land at the gym whenever you want, you won't get huge. You will have to avoid all types of excuses and go to the gym. You cannot skip your exercise because it's raining, you don't feel like going to the gym or you have a little pain somewhere. You will need to go to the gym and perform your simple routine with heavy weights and then you will need to come back and eat what you need to eat. There is no other way.

Eat

Forget about your abs and eat what you need to eat. If you are worried about your abs and that is why you are limiting your food the amount and watching the calories, then probably you won't get huge. If you want to pack on muscle, you will need to eat more and eat big. There is no other way to get huge. First get huge and then you can decide about cutting the amount of food. Once people start noticing your huge body and your muscles, then you can decide about cutting some food. Bulk on foods to get super big.

Lift heavy weights

It is very important to lift heavy weights if you want to get huge and get more muscles. When you lifting heavy weights it will help you to grow more muscles. Don't worry about the rep range, you simply use happy weights and do as many reps as you can. Don't worry about the speed you need to maintain. Don't worry about the angles and remembering about different types of exercise that you should do only after a particular exercise. Simply use heavy weights and lift as many times as you can. If you want to pack on muscle, you will need to lift very heavy.

References
1. Gene Expression Training To Increase Testosterone, Leanness And Mass!
2. Body Composition And Military Performance
3. Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation

Tea Consumption Can Leads to Epigenetic Alterations in FemalesIn a new study from Uppsala University, researchers show that tea consumption in females results in epigenetic changes in genes which are known to have interaction with cancer and estrogen metabolism. Epigenetic alterations are chemical adjustments that flip our genes off or on.  The results are released in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

It is well known that our environment and lifestyle factors, such as meals, smoking and exposure to chemical substances, can lead to epigenetic alterations. In this present study, researchers from Uppsala University in collaboration with study groups around Europe investigated if coffee and tea consumption may result in epigenetic alterations. Prior studies have advised that coffee and tea play a primary position in modulating disease risk in people by suppressing tumour progression, decreasing inflammation and influencing estrogen metabolism, mechanisms which may be mediated via epigenetic alterations.

The outcomes show that there are epigenetic changes in women who are ingesting tea, however not in men. Interestingly, many of these epigenetic changes had been located in genes involved in cancer and estrogen metabolism. According to Weronica Ek, researcher at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology who led the study, Previous studies have shown that tea consumption reduces estrogen levels which highlight a potential difference between the biological response to tea in men and women. Women also drink higher amounts of tea compared to men, which increases our power to find association in women.¯

The outcomes from this study spotlight the role of pharmacologically active ingredients in tea being concerned in cancer and estrogen metabolism, which will replicate that health effects related to tea consumption are possibly a result of epigenetic alterations. Nonetheless, this study does no longer show if it is healthful or not to drink tea and additional study is needed to realize how epigenetic changes located on this study impacts our wellbeing. It has beforehand been verified that tea catechins lead to epigenetic alterations in vitro and in cultured cancer cells, arguing that one of the crucial health results of tea could also be mediated via epigenetics.

More research is currently ongoing to know what more benefits we can derive from consuming tea and tea-derived products. For more research and news about tea and other healthy food, feel free to browse our other articles on this site.

5

The following ways can help you to burn more calories when you are trying to lose fat and weight. These are some of the small but important elements in whatever you do which will help you to burn more calories doing the same thing.

Exercise on a full stomach

When you exercise on a full stomach, you are going to burn more calories. When you hit the gym after eating food, which is the fuel for your body, you will have some digestive food in your system and so your muscles will be stocked with the glycogen. If you eat breakfast before exercising, you will enjoy significantly higher VO2 (which is a major of energy expenditure) and fat burn rates in comparison to people who exercise without breakfast. And the calorie burning process will last for 24 hours after working out when you exercise after eating food.

Hit the floor

When you are watching TV, try to sit down on the floor if you want to burn more calories. It will help you to burn more calories in comparison to lounging on the couch. It happens because your muscles will need to provide support to you and you will also need to work harder to stand up.

Keep it cool

If you can keep your home little cold, it can help you to burn more calories. Switch on the AC a little before or take the temperature little lower. With cold temperature Brown fats in your body will be activated and it will burn more calories to help your body stay warm. Even if you are not doing anything and just sitting there, little more cold temperature can help you to burn more calories.

Stop multitasking

Stopping multitasking may help you to burn more calories by making you walk more. Suppose you are carrying groceries. You can do that one item at a time which will make you to work more from the door to your kitchen. It is a way to make a one minute activity into a 10 minute activity. It can definitely help you burn more and more calories.

Take a smaller water bottle with you

Instead of having a large water bottle with you, you can always using smaller water bottle. It will not only help you to game if either habit of drinking water but it will also help you to burn more calories by making you walk to refill the bottle. It means you are moving more often and that is good for you when you are trying to burn more calories.

Rise and sweat

If you don’t have much time to go for exercise every morning, even then you can do something to ensure that you are burning more calories and also improving your metabolism so that you can burn some more calories during the day when you are resting. You can set your alarm 15 minutes early and use that time to do something that will stoke your metabolism. It may be anything like jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, crunches and any other things. It will help you to start the calorie burning process and that will continue throughout the day. There are many quickie routines available which will help you to perform some exercises within a very short duration.

Add music to your exercise

By adding music to your workout, you will be burning more calories because music will help you to keep moving. For example, If you are listening to music with 120 to 140 beats per minute, you have the best tempo for running.

References
1. Body Weight Flow
2. Making Sense of Calorie-burning Claims
3. How many calories does physical activity use

Ancient Drug Has Capabilities of Being a New Approach to AutismA recent study reveals that, can be safely administered to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

In a small, randomized phase I/II medical trial (SAT1), researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine say a 100-year historic drug referred to as suramin, originally developed to deal with African sleeping sickness, can be safely administered to children with ASD, who had displayed measurable, however transient, development in core symptoms of autism.

ASD encompasses a group of developmental issues, typically characterized by communication and language difficulties, repetitive behaviors and inability to socialize. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that ASD occurs in 1 in 68 children, with the medical condition four times common in boys than girls.

ASD has no single recognized cause, but may just involve both genetic problems and environmental reasons, akin to viral infections, pollution or problems in the course of pregnancy. One of the pursuits of the SAT1 study is to experiment the cell danger hypothesis as a possible unifying conception that contributes to the pathogenesis of ASD.

Writing in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, author Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine and the other researchers describe a novel double-blind, placebo-controlled safety study involving 10 boys, aged 5 to 14 years, all identified with ASD.

Around 5 of the 10 boys received a single, intravenous infusion of suramin, a drug at first developed in 1916 to deal with trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) and river blindness, both precipitated by parasites. The other 5 boys obtained a placebo. The trial followed prior testing in a mouse model of autism wherein a single dose of suramin briefly reversed signs of the neurological disease.

The outcome in humans had been remarkable, though the rationale of the SAT1 trial was basically to scan the researchers’ underlying theory about a unifying rationale for autism and to assess the safety of suramin, which isn’t an accepted treatment option for ASD. Currently, there are no approved drugs to treat the core symptoms of ASD.

All 5 boys who used the suramin infusion displayed improvements in language and social behavior, restricted or repetitive behaviors and coping skills. Evaluation of improvements was established upon observational examinations and interviews utilising standardized tests and questionnaires, such as the Autism Diagnostics Observation Schedule, 2nd version (ADOS-2), the Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Testing (EOWPWT), the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC), the Repetitive Behavior Questionnaire (RBQ) and the Clinical globalImpression (CGI) questionnaire. To decrease misinterpretation of typical everyday variations in signs, the parents were asked to mark a symptom as changed within the 6-week CGI only if the symptom lasted for a minimum of one week.

The researchers found that ADOS-2 ratings were expanded within the suramin treatment group at six weeks, but not in the placebo group. Mainly, ADOS-2 ratings improved by -1.6 points in the suramin group, but did not change within the placebo. Children who have a score of 6 or lower in ADOS-2 will have milder symptoms but not meet the formal diagnostic criteria for ASD. A rating of 7-8 suggests that the child is on the autism spectrum. Nine and above classifies the little one as autistic.

Suramin treatment was associated with improvements in the ABC, ATEC and CGI measurements, but not RBQ. Essentially the most transformed behaviors, the authors said, have been social communication and play, speech and language, calm and focus, repetitive behaviors and coping capabilities.

Barrett’s esophagus is a serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In this condition, normal tissue lining of the esophagus changes and becomes similar to the lining of the intestine. Esophagus is the tube that will carry your food from the mouth to the stomach.

Symptoms

Barrett’s esophagus does not show any specific symptoms. The symptoms of this problem is similar to the symptoms of GERD. This is a dangerous medical problem because it may result in esophageal adenocarcinoma which is a cancer of the esophagus. People who are diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus problem showed get their esophagus examined routinely so that the doctor can discover precancerous and cancerous cells at an early stage because then the disease is easier to treat.

Diagnosis

Since there is no specific symptoms of this problem, it may not be very easy to diagnose. With an upper endoscopy and biopsy, diagnosis can be done by a doctor.

It is very important for people who have multiple risk factors for Barrett’s esophagus to go for screening. Such risk factors include male sex, age over 50, white race, long-standing GERD, hiatal hernia, overweight. People who have more fat around the middle part of their body are at a higher risk.

For diagnosis, a gastroenterologist will insert a long to you with a camera down the throat of the patient into the esophagus. That is done after sedating the patient and the procedure is not painful. With the help of that you and the camera, the doctor can inspect the lining of the esophagus. Proper diagnosis will still need a biopsy. A sample of the lining of your esophagus will be taken and will be examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

When Barrett’s esophagus presences confirm, your doctor may ask for a follow-up endoscopy and biopsy to conform presence of precancerous or cancerous cells.

Some patients may have Barrett’s esophagus but no cancer or no presence of precancerous cells. In that case, the doctor may still ask for a periodic repeat endoscopy. This is a precaution that you should take so as to avoid the possibility of esophageal cancer.

Treatment

Barrett’s esophagus problem can be treated and the primary goal of the treatment is to slow the development of this condition. That can be done with the help of treatment and control of acid reflux. You will need some lifestyle changes and element that some medicines.

The lifestyle changes may include several important things. First of all, you will need to make some changes in your diet. Since fatty foods, caffeine, spicy foods, chocolate and peppermint can aggravate reflux, you will need to reduce or stop such foods. You will also need to completely avoid some foods and drinks like caffeinated drinks, alcohol and tobacco. You will also need to ensure that you are losing weight because if you are overweight, it will increase your risk for reflux. While sleeping, you will need to keep your head elevated. If you do that, a seed present in your stomach may not be able to flow to the esophagus. After eating your food, you should not lie down for three hours. You will also need to drink more water.

There are different medicines available which are doctor may prescribe to you. Proton pump inhibitor may be necessary to reduce the amount of stomach acid production. Antacids are may be necessary for neutralizing stomach acid. H2 blockers are generally prescribed for reducing the release of stomach acid. Promotility agents may be prescribed to speed up the movement of food you eat from your stomach to the intestines.

References

1. Barrett’s Esophagus
2. Barrett’s Esophagus
3. Barrett’s Esophagus