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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

Patellofemoral is the pain that you experience at the front of your knees around your kneecap or patella. Sometimes it is also called as runner's knee. Generally it is more common in case of people who play any sports involving jumping and running. The pain in the knee increases when you walk up the stairs or down it, run, and squat sit for long periods.

Symptoms

Patellofemoral pain symptoms can be diagnosed easily because of the dull, aching pain in the front of you knee. The pain will increase if you to any of the following-

  • Walk up or down stairs
  • Kneel or squat
  • Sit with a bent knee for long periods of time

Sometimes you may also experience occasional knee buckling. When it happens your knees unexpectedly give way and do not support your body weight. When walking, you may have a popping, grinding or a catching sensation.

Some other symptoms may include-

  • mild swelling
  • a sensation of grating or grinding when bending or extending the leg
  • reduced thigh muscle strength

Causes

Patellofemoral pain syndrome may be caused by different causes. Doctors are not sure what actually causes it but they believe that the following are the possible causes-

Overuse

When you take part in any sports that includes running or jumping, it puts stress on your knee joint. Too much of the sport can result in irritation under the kneecap.

Muscle imbalance or weakness

The problem may start when the muscles around your hip and knee are not able to keep your kneecap properly aligned. If there is an inward movement of the knee during a squat, it can result in patellofemoral pain.

Injury

If somehow the kneecap receives any trauma like fracture dislocation, it can cause the problem.

Surgery

If you have undergone knee surgery it may sometimes cause the pain.

Risk factors

There are several risk factors which can increase the possibility of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Some of the most common risk factors are-

Age

The possibility of this problem increases or decreases depending on the age. It is more common in adolescence and young adults because they are at the highest risk of this syndrome. However, it has also been seen in case of older adults.

Sex

It is seen that women are more likely to suffer from this problem. They generally have greater risk of muscle imbalance. Another factor that increases the risk is the wider angle of the female pelvis. Both of these factors may cause women to have patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Flat feet

Some people may have flat feet and they are at a higher risk of developing this syndrome. It happens because such people put additional stress on the knee joints and so that may cause patellofemoral syndrome.

High impact activities

If you are constantly engaged in high impact or weight-bearing activities, it may increase the risk of the lopping patellofemoral pain syndrome. Running, squatting, jumping et cetera vote stress to the joint and that increases the possibility of knee injury.

If you have any of the risk factors, it is very important that you check yourself for the possible symptoms of this syndrome. It will be good for you to take the preventive measures which will help you to stay away from patellofemoral pain syndrome. If you have already seen some of the symptoms mentioned above, you should immediately consult your doctor and take measures to stop the problem and future possible spread.

References

1. Patella Femoral Solutions
2. PROXIMAL EXERCISES ARE EFFECTIVE IN TREATING PATELLOFEMORAL PAIN SYNDROME
3. Knee Pain

The word “cankles” became popular in 2001. Cankles can be of different types but whatever the type is; developing thick ankles is not being a good thing for you. Let’s find out why many women suffer from this problem.

Genetic predisposition

Many women who suffer from cankles are genetically predisposed to have such type of lower leg. If one of your parents had oversized ankles, you’re more likely to have it because you have inherited them. Sometimes this may happen because of obesity or a structural absence of a well-defined calf muscle. It may also happen in case of people who are otherwise physically fit.

If this is the case, surgery may help. Many women undergo ankle liposuction to get rid of this problem. This procedure is becoming popular with women who want to reduce their ankle circumference. However with surgery, there are risks involved and the results may not be exactly what you want. It is important to talk to your doctor before you go for surgery. Some other people believe that exercise may help them to get rid of this problem but it is very difficult to spot reduce.

Fluid retention

Some people may suffer from cankles because of fluid retention. In case of some people fluid buildup in the ankle happens that makes it look bigger. It happens because of a heavy sodium intake. So, it means the problem arises because of your dietary habits. If you see that your ankles have started to swell and you feel as if you are retaining water at your ankles, you should immediately go and see your doctor. It is also important to talk to your dietician to find out what are the changes you need to make to your existing diet so that you do not consume more sodium which will ultimately lead to retention of water. Exercise may help you to reduce that but if you’re looking for spot reduce, that may not happen. An overall healthy lifestyle may help you to reduce the size of the ankles. More focus should be placed on your diet because by changing a few things in your diet, you’ll be able to make big changes in your life. When you suffer from cankles, you need to take a closer and detailed look at your existing diet to find out if you are consuming more sodium knowingly or unknowingly. Once you find out, it’ll be easier for you to eliminate that with some changes.

Pregnancy

Some women may suffer from cankles because of pregnancy. During the pregnancy the ankles may swell and cause cankles. This is quite common because of poor circulation during this time. So if you’re pregnant and you are suffering from cankles, it may be because of your condition and it may go away after your pregnancy is over. To avoid swelling of the ankles, you can reduce or completely avoid high sodium, processed and fast foods. Staying active will also help you to feel better and to avoid swelling of the ankles. Regular exercise will help you because it will promote circulation of blood which is important to avoid cankles. However, before you start exercising it is very important to consult your OB/GYN and then only proceed with the exercise program. Elevation and massages are two other important elements which will help you by improving the flow of blood to your feet and it will also reduce fluid retention, if any.

References

1. No More Cankles
2. What Causes Cankles And Ways To Tone Them
3. Turn your cankles back into ankles

Your mind power and memory are two very important elements of your life but with age and time they slow down, deteriorate or suffer from different problems. However, different studies have found that there are ways which can help you to boost your mind power and memory. Some adjustments and changes to your existing lifestyle can help you to improve your memory and mind power, which will help you to have a better life. The following tips will help you to understand how you can increase your mind power and memory.

Get a good sleep

If you are not able to sleep or if you have a poor sleep, it will have its effect on everything in your life. It will directly impact your memory. Sleeping is important because this is the time when your brain will solidify the connections between neurons and as a result of that you can remember things better. You need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day. Getting mostly will help you to improve your memory. So find out what will help you to sleep better and more and indulge in it.

Stop multitasking

For a better mind power and memory, you need to stop multitasking. If you’re trying to juggle too many things, you cannot concentrate or focus on any one of them. Your brain does not actually multitask, instead, it switches focus from one thing to another. It is better to concentrate on the task at hand.

Medication

As you know medication is very beneficial for you, your mind and your memory. Your brain starts to decline in your 20s and continues to decrease both in size and volume. Meditation is very important to delay any type of cognitive decline. It will also prevent neurodegenerative diseases. It is beneficial because it will create a positive charge in your brain’s gray matter. Meditation can help you to improve your memory and learning and self-awareness. Meditation is also beneficial because it’ll reduce stress in your life which will not only improve your physical health but will also positively impact your mental health.

Exercise

Exercise helps your body and your mind and it also helps your memory. When you exercise, it increases your heart rate and as a result more blood flow to your brain. More blood going to your brain will help you to improve your memory. You can go for any type of exercise such as running, biking, swimming or anything else that you like because all these types of physical activities will help you. Those physical activities which require hand eye coordination or complex motor skills are more beneficial for your brain and memory. Exercise will keep your body healthy and a healthy body will ensure that you also have a healthy mind.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic medicine which will help you by promoting memory. It is useful because it can prevent nerve cell damage. You can take it in the form of powder or tablet. This is very helpful in improving your brain’s memory functions. You’ll be able to focus more and concentrate more on the things that you do. It is also good for you because it can keep you safe from Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Fish all and fish oil supplements are also good for you because they will help you by promoting growth of neurons. They will also lower the possibility of dementia. Omega-3 fatty acids present in fishes and fish supplements will help you to boost your memory and mind power.

References

1. Zox Pro Training Companion Product – Infinite Intelligence System
2. The Influence of Colour on Memory Performance
3. Boost your memory by eating right

There are different effective treatments available for yeast infection. Let's find out if you of them.

Oral antifungal

In many women yeast infections can be chronic and they may return four times a year. If you have a history of reoccurrence, then you should take oral antifungal medicines every week for a few months. It will help you by reducing the re-occurrence by 90%. There are many different types of oral antifungal medicines are available and you can talk to your doctor about finding the right one for you.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil which is derived from the tea tree leaves. In several studies it was found that it works as a very effective antifungal against yeast. Many women douse a tampon in tea tree oil and insert it in the vagina at night. However, you should be careful in using it and it is important that you test it whether you are sensitive to tea tree oil or not. In case of any irritation or discomfort, you should immediately discontinue it. You will need 100% pure oil and your doctor may be able to help you to decide whether you can use it or not.

Cotton or no underwear

Yeast infection will proliferate in a warm and moist environment and so it is very important that you completely eliminate such an environment. Wear cotton lined underwear. During those days avoid panty hose and tight jeans. You should immediately change out of gym clothes and wet swimsuits. If it is possible, you can go without any type of underwear for those days. It will make are accessibility easier and will keep the area dry. You should not use any scented douses, body sprays and similar products. You should not use any other product which can imbalance the vaginal pH levels.

Probiotics

Probiotics can help you to get rid of the yeast infection you are suffering from. Several types of yogurts contain same type of probiotics that will keep the vagina healthy. A recent study found that women who suffer from chronic yeast infections will find move benefits from regular consumption of yogurts. In the study, the women placed a probiotic tablet directly in the vagina. There are Lactobacillus pills available which will not only help you to get rid of the existing yeast infection problem but will also ensure that you have a healthy vaginal environment.

Boric acid suppository

For simple yeast infections, you can use boric acid. It is a natural antifungal and antiseptic product. Studies have found that it can reduce the growth of Candida albicans, which is the strain of yeast that cause infection. It can also restrict the growth of Candida glabrata, which is more resistant to other types of treatments. Instead of using boric acid directly, you need to use a suppository capsule that contains boric acid. Do not use it directly because it can cause irritation.

Use progestin only birth control

You should avoid using estrogen-based contraception such as birth control pills because they can increase in number of yeasts and aggravate yeast infection problem. Non-estrogen methods are available for contraception and you should use them. There are progestin only mini pills and IUDs available which will ensure birth control. Spermicides can also cause irritation or other problems and so you should avoid them. Use a lubricant during sex so as to avoid the friction because friction can change the ecology of the vagina and thereby can aggravate the yeast problem.

References

1. Yeast Infection Free Forever
2. Vaginal yeast infections
3. Yeast Infections

7

There are seven main chakras available which are important when it comes to healing. They start at the bottom area of your spinal cord and then travel along up the spinal cord to the top part of your head. There are many techniques which are used for cleaning and healing your chakras.

Chakra meditation

If you use chakra meditation for healing and cleaning your chakras, you will need to approach healing from two directions.

First, you can focus on the level of cause. Unless your address the cause level, your problems will not go away. If you’re feeling distressed or upset inside the body, emotions and body, it will not be completely eliminated if you do not address the cause level. That is why chakra meditation involves meditation that assists in bringing attention to yourself until you reach a state of pure awareness.

You can also focus on the levels of effects. This is another variation of chakra meditation. In this type, medication is used to ease the feelings or effects of being isolated and separated. This is opposite to the whole that we want to be.

Balancing through massages

Massage is another common technique in chakra healing. Different chakras will need different types of massages. If you’re targeting the Root chakra, massages done on the gluteal muscles, legs and feet because the massages will encourage energy flow (which is called as prana) this region. Massage for the Solar Plexus is done by applying oils to the abdomen area where massage is done in a clockwise direction around the navel. It helps in improving waste elimination and the organ functions by bringing about conscious awareness to this personal power centre.

Healing through music

Music can help you to heal yourself by affecting different chakras in your body. Different chakras respond to different sound frequencies. There are different techniques available which use music for healing your chakras. One such popular technique is Solfeggio, where music frequencies are used to create healing sounds. Isochronic Chakra Suite is another common type of music which are brainwave entertainment techniques that include Tibetan singing bowls. You just need to know what type of sound are good for healing that particular chakra and then you can employ that sound for healing yourself. Our body response to music and sound in a great way and this is an easy way of healing your chakras and your body.

Affirmations

This is one of the most powerful tools used in chakra healing. Affirmations are nothing but positive statements which are used to strengthen and heal damaged part of you. It is possible to focus on different aspects of few with affirmations. Different chakras will use different affirmations. For example, if you’re using affirmation for the Root chakra, some of the affirmations can be “I am filled with humility. I am enough as I am.” For the heart chakra, you can use affirmations like Love is the answer to everything in life, and I give and receive love unconditionally. The same way, different affirmations are used for different chakras in your body.

Color vibration

Different colors have different vibrations. When we are exposed to different colors because of their different vibrations, our physical state, moods and emotions can change. If there is a need to rebalance your chakras, you can do that by exposing your body to different colors. The exposure can be done at home with the help of our food and clothes and other elements in the house. You can also absorb colors by wearing colored glasses from where our bodies will absorb the color.

References

1. Get The Chakra Healing Secrets Ebook And Audio Guide
2. The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine
3. Meditation, Prayer and Spiritual Healing: The Evidence

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Have you heard about the silver tsunami? This color-coded metaphor is being used to describe the explosive growth in the senior citizen population in the U.S. New Census Bureau projections estimate that there will be more adults over 65 than children in the U.S. by the year 2030. While this trend will have serious consequences on the healthcare industry as a toll, it's the oft-forgotten care providers (like nurses) that are starting to pay the most painful price.

You might find it interesting to learn that of all heavy labor professions, from construction workers to airport baggage handlers to warehouse employees and even truck drivers with notoriously long hours spent sitting, those in the nursing and nursing aid professions have the highest incidence rates of musculoskeletal disorders. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found in 2010 that for every 10,000 workers in the care field (nursing aides, attendants, orderlies), an astounding 249 of them experience some form of musculoskeletal injury. That incidence rate is over seven times higher than any other industry!

What does this mean for nurses and caregivers? As care providers, their roles starkly increase the risk for not only acute injury but chronic pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders like muscle strains, sprains, herniated discs, shoulder, back and neck injuries, and joint inflammation.

How exactly? While much of nursing and caregiving is less physically involved, like patient monitoring, administering medicine, dressing wounds, providing emotional support and so on, a huge part of it is intensely physical. Manual patient handling often includes:

  • Repositioning patients (in bed or in a chair)

  • Transferring patients (to the toilet, wheelchair, car, etc)

  • Lifting patients (during a transfer or often after a fall)

  • Readjusting, rolling, carrying patients

Risk Factors for Back Pain in Nursing

There are a handful of factors which contribute to the increasing incidence rates of injury and chronic pain among nurses, many of which are often out of their control. These include:

  • Increasing rates of older adults who require assistance with ADL's (activities of daily living) including getting dressed, toileting, transferring in and out of bed, and exercising.

  • Rising rates of obesity across the U.S. directly affect a nurses job. Almost 30 percent of senior citizens are obese, increasing the load and stress placed on their nurses and caregivers who help lift and transfer them. For a senior who is over 200 pounds, a nurse may regularly have to lift legs that are upwards of 40 pounds each.

  • Lack of proper lifting equipment and team lifting protocols, whether it's in a home health setting or even in a healthcare facility like a hospital or nursing home, leaves nurses with little choice as to the support they receive during manual patient handling tasks.

  • The number of seniors experiencing falls rose over 30 percent in the past ten years. Falls can lead to hospitalization, hip fractures, immobility and more. Climbing rates of seniors experiencing fall-related injuries influence the degree of care and manual assistance they require from care providers.

Preventing Back Pain in Nursing

Acknowledging the risk factors that lead to back pain and related injuries in nursing and taking steps to avoid them is a must for nurses, aids, and caregivers. Nurses can take the following steps to ensure their safety:

  • Always ask your patients with mobility issues to utilize their mobility aids whether they be canes, rolling walkers, wheelchairs, etc.

  • Practice good body mechanics and proper lifting techniques. Never lift from a bent over position, engage your leg muscles for momentum, and avoid awkward body positions like twisting or contorting your back to help a patient up.

  • Advocate for patient transfer and lifting protocols in healthcare institutions like assisted living facilities and hospitals so there is a plan of action (either tools or teams in place) in the event a patient falls or needs help with a transfer.

  • Make use of lifts and transferring devices for moving patients. These include Hoyer lifts, lift belts, transfer wheelchairs, transfer shower chairs, turner blankets, rolling/sliding transfer boards, and so forth.

  • Stretch and strengthen key lifting muscles like the hamstrings, quads, core, and back muscles. Body weight exercises (i.e. squats, planks, etc.) and even mindfulness practices like yoga and tai chi are a great place to start.

Additional Considerations

Not only does the unsafe and injury-prone nature of nursing and caregiving make care providers more susceptible to chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders, but the financial burden can be quite hefty too. A nurse or nursing aid who is injured on the job maybe have to take time off work and therefore lose wages and rack up medical bills while they wait for benefits to kick in too. If you work in the care sector, be smart about preventing injury!