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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.




Complementary Reading


Unfortunately, not every person can boast of decent skills in diagnosis and treatment of diseases. In this case, most of the urgent care services like AG Urgent Care would be less necessary. In the real world, we do need medical specialists to help in identification and treatment of issues related to our health.

A human back is a complicated structure consisting of a spine, miscellaneous muscles, and nerves. People who choose an active lifestyle accompanied by sports activities and versatile muscular exercises can face a problem of a back pain. Though in most cases, this issue is a result of a muscle pull or a pinched nerve, other scenarios can be rather hazardous to your health. On this account, let’s review signs and symptoms when an urgent care should not be neglected.


Believe or not, your back may hurt not only because of influenza. Sometimes a significant rise in body temperature is the sequence of a severe infection. If you have a doubt that a simple cold can cause such fever, do not hesitate and call your physician to avoid adverse consequences.

Serious Injury

Almost every sports activity is linked with serious damages to the body. You may hurt your back on a football pitch, basketball court, gym and other facilities. Besides, such actions as riding a bicycle, roller-skating, ice-skating, skiing, and others are also considered an accustomed way to get a back injury. So, if you understand that the trauma you have experienced is rather serious, try not to delay your visit to a medical facility.

Pins And Needles

The spine is an essential element of a nervous system. Therefore, such symptoms as tingling, numbness, and others evidence that your back is not all right. Reasons are various including spinal stenosis, hernia nuclei pulposi, spinal curvature etc. Unfortunately, you will have to visit a healthcare specialist, a bone doctor in particular. However, it is better to consult a physician to brush away any other reasons of your back pain.

Violation of Bladder Function

Have you heard about a disease called cauda equina syndrome? I wish you would not because this is a serious medical condition associated with a loss of some body functions like bladder, bowel, and others. The essence of this issue it the compression of nerve roots in the spinal cord. Reasons include a fracture, herniated disk, spinal stenosis, back trauma, tumor etc. Moreover, the progress of this state may result in a weakness of legs. In this case, it is highly recommended to seek a medical help as urgent as possible.

Foot Drop

Another significant sign of the urgency to have a medical examination is foot drop. This state is a symptom of some nerve or musculature issues, as well as brain problem. If you experience your toes dragging along the ground while walking, you are obviously in need of a professional treatment.

Unfortunately, no insurance can prevent or compensate any consequences associated with the health issues. On this account, be attentive to your back and overall health.


Does Black Tea Have Any Health Benefits?

One of the most consumed tea around the world is black tea. This type of tea is acquired from the leaves of the shrub known as Camellia sinesis and it is more oxidized than the green, white and the oolong tea types. It has a richer flavor than other varieties of tea.

Black tea is produced through methods that are distinct from other tea types. They’re first plucked and then withered in an effort to remove the moisture from them. After they’ve given out maximum moisture content, the leaves are rolled manually or with machines. This is accomplished by exposing them to a higher temperature. After the leaves are entirely oxidized, they are sorted as per dimensions.

So what are the benefits of consuming black tea? Here they are:

Prevents Heart Disease

Many studies have proven that drinking black tea helps prevent the onset of cardiovascular problems. There are antioxidants in black tea like flavonoids which help hinder LDL or bad cholesterol from being oxidized.

Black tea can reduce damage in blood vessels and the risk for heart disease is also diminished. Taking black tea can help reverse heart diseases which come because of endothelial vasomotor dysfunction. The flavonoids are also powerful in decreasing blood clots and blood vessel vasodilation. Manganese and polyphenols also help to diminish the risk of heart disease by maintaining heart muscle health.

Prevents Cancer

Antioxidants like polyphenols found in black tea prevents the formation of cancer agents in the body and this can prevent colorectal, prostate, ovarian, lung and bladder cancers. Black tea can help prevent breast, prostate and stomach cancer. The compound referred to as TF-2 in tea promotes damage of cancer cells and makes it possible for normal cells to stay unaffected.

Black tea can also decrease the risk of oral cancer in those who smoke cigarettes or use different tobacco products. Black tea prevents the growth and formation of malignant tumors.

Eliminates Free Radicals

Free radicals can create harm to the body and can bring about diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis and blood clot formation. When one consumes unhealthy food, the number of free radicals within the body increases. There are antioxidants present in black tea which aid to eliminate free radicals and guard the body from the onset of illnesses.

Boosts Immune Function

It’s imperative to improve the immune function in order to combat viruses and bacteria that may create illnesses. Chemicals known as tannin contained in black tea have the capacity to combat viruses like influenza, colds, dysentery, hepatitis and others. One type of tannin referred to as catechin is known to help in suppressing tumors.

Alkylamine antigens that are in black tea help strengthen immune responses. One should drink 3 to 4 cups of black tea per day to treat inflammations as well as eliminate damaging pathogens.



Is Eating Avocado Beneficial To Health?

Avocado is often referred to as the alligator pear, due to its targeted form and the leather-like look of its skin. It is derived from the Aztec word Ahuacatl¯. The fruit grows on the Persea Americana which is a tall and evergreen tree that may grow up to 65 feet tall. The fruit most often weighs 8 oz. to 3 kilos depending on its variety. This fruit is said to have a number of benefits for the body as discussed below.

Health Benefits of Avocado

Enhances Antioxidant Absorption

The substances in avocado can help in the absorption of two forms of carotenoid antioxidants called beta carotene and lycopene. These antioxidants are absorbed well when one adds avocado or avocado oil to a salad.

As antioxidants are fat soluble, the oil of avocado that is delivered to the salad acts as the medium which aids in the absorption of these antioxidants.

Supplies Healthy Fats

The avocado fruit contains carotenoids which include beta carotene, lutein and alpha carotene. As a vegetable it’s often viewed as unhealthy for weight watchers who find it too high in fat and oil content. Nevertheless the fats that are contained in the fruit is unique and there are numerous health advantages associated with it.

There are phytosterols which are found in avocado fruit. This fat contains campesterol and stigmasterol which can support immune function. These compounds help relieve inflammation in the body.

These anti-inflammatory advantages of avocado fat are good for those who have arthritis. The polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols or PFAs which are in avocado are not usually found in land plants but in ocean plants. This is the reason why this fruit is amazing.

Oleic acid is usually found in high amounts in avocado and as a fatty acid by nature, it presents the same advantages like olive oil. It helps the digestive tract to transport fat soluble minerals like carotenoids which can help reduce the risk of heart diseases and blood vessel problems.

Heart, Brain And Eyes Health

The fruit is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and these fatty acids are known to keep the heart healthy. They also improve good eyesight and better brain functioning. It’s regarded as one of the vital top healthy food for people who have high risks for Alzheimer's disease and who want to prevent it from occurring. The other advantages that you’ll be able to derive from the fruit are vitamin E to neutralize free radicals. It is also rich in protein to reverse memory loss in aging. The folate content is high in the fruit and can help prevent the formation of tangled nerve fibers which is associated with Alzheimer's disease.


3 Things You Do In The Morning That Slow Down Metabolism

Morning is the great time to boost one's metabolism. Metabolism is the rate of burning up sugars and releasing energy. The rate at which the energy furnished by food is metabolized depends on our metabolic expense. If the metabolic rate is sluggish it leads to accumulation of fat and sugars which in turn results in weight gain.

If you want to lose weight, there are some mistakes which you probably do and which you have to correct to avoid slowing down of your metabolism.

Eating A Late Breakfast

This is a mistake that many people make. Most men and women do not have time to have breakfast once they are dashing off to work or to drop the kids off to school. However, it is obvious that skipping breakfast may be worse for your health. It makes the metabolism feel sluggish for the whole day.

It is important that you eat within hour of waking up. This sparks off the metabolic process called thermogenesis. This turns your food into energy. Start with an early breakfast so that you will burn it off throughout the day.

Not Exercising

Research has shown that one continues burning energy even after 24 hours of exercise, especially when one does resistance type of workouts. Research additionally has verified that exercising within the morning leads to more energy being burnt than exercising at any other time of the day.

Plan a brief and quick exercise early in the morning. You could get up and go for a run or a walk as what suits your physical needs. When you do high intensity cardio interval training you activate the fat burning genes more. Doing cardio exercises early in the morning on an empty stomach will prove more in decreasing fat accumulation in the body and excess weight.

Not Doing Resistance Training

Most people feel that resistance training isn’t for them. They feel that cardio workout routines are adequate to get them fit. If you want to enhance lean muscle groups and wish to keep the fat burning system of your body going even after exercising, you should do strength training. Strength training includes working with weights.

However you’ll be able to do different forms of resistance training such as high intensity interval training. That results in the same effects as weight lifting workouts. Majority of these exercises work on the muscle mass and result in wear and tear. As the muscular tissues begin to get well and rebuild themselves, they burn the fat cells with the intention to get more energy. During the time when you relax, the muscle tissues are repairing themselves and are still burning energy. This is why a metabolism boosting exercise even for ten minutes incorporated in your morning routine will keep your energy burning throughout the day.



In our day to day activities, we all encounter various challenges that may induce stress in our bodies. Sometimes it’s pressure from a work deadline and other times the stress is caused by a small or big feud with a neighbor, a spouse, a co-worker or simply a friend. Whatever the case, stress has a lot of negative effects in our bodies, both physically and mentally. It displays its symptoms in the form of headaches, depression, anxiety and lower back pain, just to mention a few. Stress is a state that none of us like to be under and we would all love to rid ourselves of it. One way to do this is to visit your local chiropractor, and this article explores three ways in which he or she would help to relieve stress. There are a lot of centers in which we can find a lot of good chiropractors that can help us in relieving stress and its symptoms. One such center is http://www.perthchirocentre.com.au which also provides lots of great information on the topic.

Relaxing the muscles to reduce tension

The massages or physical treatments of a chiropractor aid a lot in improving blood circulation in our bodies, which consequently leads to reduced muscle tension. As a result, the body enters into a relaxed state with a reduced tightness or strain in the muscles. This restored balance in the normal motion of the body, therefore, reduces pain and stress.

Adjusting the spine

The spine is a very important organ in the body, which is directly connected to our nervous system. The health of the spine thus plays an important role in regards to the state of our nervous system which consequently determines how we feel. Our tensed muscles may sometimes press against the spine which leads to its misalignment. Long periods of sitting or standing, for example, in our places of work, can have the same misaligning effect on the spine which causes general back pain, headaches, and stress.

A visit to a chiropractor will enable him or her to align the spine back into its rightful position. This will go a long way in improving the health of our nervous system since the correct alignment of the spine will lead to the proper functioning of the nervous system.

The overall correct alignment and positioning of the spine will lead to reduced stress and physical pain. This will leave us feeling much more relaxed and physically and mentally at ease, with our bodies in the correct balance.

Advice on good nutrition

The chiropractor can not only administer treatment to you physically but can also provide guidance and advice on proper nutrition. This is because nutrition goes a long way in helping to fight stress and a lot of its symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Proper nutrition is regarded as an important factor in fighting stress since some foods can increase certain hormones in the body that can fight stress naturally. On the other hand, some foods lower the hormones in the body that actually trigger stress.

Exercising can be hard especially if you are the kind of person who barely stretches a muscle because you might be too lazy to do it, or you are just too busy. But when the time comes that you might start experiencing some back pains, then your doctor can order you to do some exercises like stretching so that you can avoid further pain and suffering due to backaches. Exercising is not just lifting heavy weights or running on some treadmills. Stretching is important too, and it is proven to help relieve back pain. Just make sure that you are doing it correctly, otherwise, you might injure yourself more.

Stretching helps get your ligaments and muscles working, or else it might get a bit rusty. This basically means that for you to not experience stiffness and joint pains, you need to move and stretch your body from time to time. Also, this improves blood flow and helps the nutrients travel all over your body. Some people might take these exercises for granted, but what they don’t know is that it helps a lot if you want to maintain a strong body and if you want to avoid soreness of your muscles when you start a heavy and vigorous activity.

The Correct way of Stretching

Please bear in mind that even though this is a simple technique, you need to make sure that you get it right in order to avoid further injury. Start at the neck and work your way down, making sure that you get all muscles stretched to get everything going.

Don’t “overstretch” to the point that you already feel pain, just enough that you feel the tension in the area, and hold it in place for 10 to 20 seconds. Then inhale deeply before stretching, and release during. Do the stretching for 3 to 5 stretches each, and alternate between muscle groups and sides. When you get the hang of it, you can already increase the number of repetitions of stretching. Also it might be a good idea to invest in a mattress that supports the back adequately.

When is the best time to do Stretches?

Every morning after you wake up is one of the best times to do this; it is recommended that you do this every day. But if not, 2-3 times a week is enough to get all those muscles and joints from aching and your flexibility also increases.

Make your way up!

Just before you do stretching for like 2 weeks straight, doesn’t mean that you are already fully flexible. Give it time and don’t overdo it just because you want to be very flexible. Do it with caution and you will ultimately get there.

Let your Doctor know about your Exercise

Ask for some advice as to what are the best exercises that you can do in order to increase flexibility and improve the way your joints work. Through this, you will also learn what you need to do before, during, and after exercising. It pays to be vigilant.

A healthy body means a healthy heart and soul. If your body is working the way it is, your mind will most likely follow through and help you in achieving what you need to achieve every day, but easier and faster.