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Man's weight affects sperm cells

Wednesday, 09 December 2015 09:33

A MAN’S weight affects the information

Is diabetes on the decline?

Tuesday, 08 December 2015 10:55

. U.S. diabetes cases down;

Organ donation law revolution starts in Wales

Monday, 07 December 2015 10:03

WALES has become

Mosquito-borne virus may cause fatal brain infection

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 14:31

THE mosquito-borne virus chikungunya can cause severe

Mini-strokes may lead to PTSD - Study

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 12:07

A MINI-STROKE may not cause lasting physical damage, but it could increase your risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a small, new study suggests.

Almost one-third of patients who suffered a mini-stroke -- known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA) -- developed symptoms of PTSD, including depression, anxiety and reduced quality of life, the researchers said.

"At the moment, a TIA is seen by doctors as a fairly benign disorder," said study co-author Kathrin Utz, a researcher in the department of neurology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany.

However, Utz and colleagues found that from a patient's perspective, a TIA is not so benign.

"We found one in three patients develop PTSD, which is perhaps better known as a problem found in survivors of war zones and natural disasters," Utz said.

PTSD can develop when a person experiences a frightening event that poses a serious threat, she explained. "It leads the person to experience symptoms such as worry, nightmares, flashbacks and social isolation," she said.

The findings are based on questionnaires completed by 108 study volunteers three months after having a TIA. The responses also revealed that about 14 percent had significantly reduced mental quality of life after their mini-stroke, and 6.5 percent had reduced physical quality of life.

The participants' median age was 70, according to the study, published Oct. 2 online in the journal Stroke.

TIA is a fairly common neurological condition. Five out of 1,000 people will experience one at some point during their life, Utz said. Like stroke, transient ischemic attacks are caused by restricted blood supply to the brain.

"TIAs are brief episodes of stroke-like symptoms, such as sudden onset of numbness, weakness or paralysis, slurred speech, loss of language, sudden loss of memory, blurred vision, confusion, and severe headache," Utz said. "However, in contrast to a stroke, no residual impairment remains."

TIAs are considered to be a warning sign for a stroke. It is important that patients who experience one of these mini-strokes see their doctor, Utz said.

It's not entirely clear why some patients develop post-traumatic stress disorder following a TIA, but others do not, she said.

"However, what we do know at this stage is that younger patients and patients who in general find it difficult to cope with stress are more likely to develop psychological problems following a TIA," Utz said.

"We also found that patients who overestimate their risk of suffering a future stroke are also more likely to show psychological problems," she added.

These findings suggest that particular attention should be paid to younger patients. Teaching better stress-coping skills and carefully explaining a patient's realistic stroke risk might help prevent PTSD after a transient ischemic attack, Utz said.

Dr. Ralph Sacco, chairman of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said it's important to view a transient ischemic attack as an opportunity for change.

"Even a TIA can frighten some patients and leave a lasting impact on levels of anxiety and lead to PTSD," he said.

"I often advise patients to take control of their risks and to recognize that they can do something about reducing their chances of stroke," he said.

Suffering a TIA can be a wake-up call to control lifestyle behaviours, such as diet, exercise, smoking and obesity, and to be more aware of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, Sacco said.

"Stroke is largely preventable, so it is important to not feel powerless after a TIA, but rather to become more invigorated about taking control of your health," he said.

Source: healthday


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Too much booze may harm your sperm

Friday, 10 October 2014 11:19

The more alcohol young men drink, the lower their sperm count and quality may be, new research suggests.

By Tara Haelle (HealthDay Reporter)

Gout linked to raised diabetes risk: Study

Friday, 10 October 2014 11:24






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Giant leap to Type 1 diabetes cure

Monday, 13 October 2014 15:01

THE hunt for a cure for type 1 diabetes has recently taken a "tremendous step forward", scientists have said.

The disease is caused by the immune system destroying the cells that control blood sugar levels.

A team at Harvard University used stem cells to produce hundreds of millions of the cells in the laboratory.

Tests on mice showed the cells could treat the disease, which experts described as "potentially a major medical breakthrough".

Beta cells in the pancreas pump out insulin to bring down blood sugar levels.

But the body's own immune system can turn against the beta cells, destroying them and leaving people with a potentially fatal disease because they cannot regulate their blood sugar levels.

It is different to the far more common type 2 diabetes which is largely due to poor lifestyle.

Perfect cocktail

The team at Harvard was led by Prof Doug Melton who began the search for a cure when his son was diagnosed 23 years ago. He then had a daughter who also developed type 1.

He is attempting to replace the approximately 150 million missing beta cells, using stem cell technology.

He found the perfect cocktail of chemicals to transform embryonic stem cells into functioning beta cells.

Tests on mice with type 1 diabetes, published in the journal Cell, showed that the lab-made cells could produce insulin and control blood sugar levels for several months.

Dr Melton said: "It was gratifying to know that we could do something that we always thought was possible.

"We are now just one pre-clinical step away from the finish line."

However, his children were not quite so impressed: "I think, like all kids, they always assumed that if I said I'd do this, I'd do it."

If the beta cells were injected into a person they would still face an immune assault and ultimately would be destroyed.

More research is needed before this could become a cure.


Sarah Johnson, from the charity JDRF which funded the study, told the BBC: "This isn't a cure, it is a great move along the path. It is a tremendous step forward.

"Replacing the cells that produce insulin as well as turning off the immune response that causes type 1 diabetes is the long-term goal."

Prof Chris Mason, a stem cell scientist at University College London, said: "A scientific breakthrough is to make functional cells that cure a diabetic mouse, but a major medical breakthrough is to be able to manufacture at large enough scale the functional cells to treat all diabetics.

"This research is, therefore, a scientific and potentially a major medical breakthrough.

"If this scalable technology is proven to work in both the clinic and in the manufacturing facility, the impact on the treatment of diabetes will be a medical game-changer on a par with antibiotics and bacterial infections."

Dr Gillian Morrison, from the University of Edinburgh, agreed that this "represents a real advance in the field".

She said: "The next important challenge will be to find ways to maintain these cells inside the body so they are protected from the immune response and have long-term function."



What is toenail fungus?

Monday, 13 October 2014 15:38

TOENAIL fungus is an infection that gets in through cracks in your nail or cuts in your skin. It can make your toenail change colour or get thicker. It can also hurt. Because toes are often warm and damp, fungus grows well there. Different kinds of fungi and sometimes yeast affect different parts of the nail. Left untreated, an infection could spread to other toenails, skin, or even your fingernails.


Infected nails are usually thicker than normal and could be warped or oddly shaped. They can break easily. Nails with fungus might look yellow. Sometimes a white dot shows up on the nail and then gets bigger. When fungus builds up under your nail, it can loosen and even separate the nail from the bed. The fungus can also spread to the skin around your nail.

Who Gets Toenail Fungus?

Men are more likely to get it than women. The older you are, the better your chances are, too. People who have diabetes, athlete's foot, or a weak immune system, who smoke or whose family members have it are also at a higher risk. If you spend a lot of time in the water or you've injured your toenail, your odds for getting toenail fungus go up.


The way you treat toenail fungus depends on which fungus you have and how bad the infection is. Your doctor may try one thing or a combination:

a.  A topical cream that goes directly on the nail

b.  An antifungal prescription pill

c.   Removing the damaged area of the nail or skin

In some cases, you might need to have the nail

Take Care of Your Toes

Use soap and water to wash your feet, and dry well, including between toes. Trim your toenails -- straight across -- to keep them shorter than the end of your toe. Make sure the tools you use are clean, too. Wash clippers and files with soap and water, then wipe with rubbing alcohol. You might be tempted to cover up discoloured nails with polish, but don't. Your nail bed can't "breathe," which keeps fungus from going away.

Keep Feet Dry and Clean

Be smart about your footwear. Choose socks that wick moisture away. Change them regularly. Make sure your shoes fit well. They should be made of something that lets air move through it, like canvas, mesh, or leather. Wear shower shoes in wet public places like locker rooms and swimming pools.

Know Your Toes

Take a good look at your nail beds and the skin around your toenails regularly, at least once a month. (You might need to use a mirror if it's hard to see your toes.) Watch for changes in colour and texture, as well as for cuts or damage. Does anything hurt? If your symptoms don’t improve or get worse, give your doctor a call.



High cholesterol linked to prostate cancer return

Monday, 13 October 2014 15:39

AFTER surgery for prostate cancer, elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides may be linked with greater risk of the cancer's return, a new study suggests.

In a review of more than 800 men who had had their prostate gland removed, those with higher levels of these two blood fats were more likely to have their cancer come back, compared with men with normal levels.

"These findings suggest that normalization, or even partial normalization, of blood fats among men with high cholesterol and triglycerides may reduce the risk of prostate cancer recurrence," said lead researcher Emma Allott, a postdoctoral associate at Duke University School of Medicine. Cholesterol levels can be modified by diet or use of drugs called statins, she said.

Allott's team also found that increases in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol, benefited some men. For every 10 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL) increase in men with abnormal HDL, the risk for prostate cancer recurrence dropped by 39 percent, they said.

But Dr. Anthony D'Amico, chief of radiation oncology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, expressed a note of caution. "This is a study of association, not causality," he said, noting it doesn't prove that normal blood-fat levels prevent cancer recurrence.

D'Amico, who wasn't involved in the study, does not recommend that men take statins to protect themselves from prostate cancer based on this study or similar research.

A clinical trial that compares statins, such as Lipitor, with placebo (sham) drugs to specifically test whether or not they reduce the risk of prostate cancer is needed before these drugs can be recommended for prevention of cancer or its recurrence, D'Amico said.

His reluctance is based on disappointing results from trials that found no benefit from other associations that had looked promising.

"There might be ways to modify risk factors for prostate cancer recurrence that need to be studied," he said. "But this study doesn't prove that lowering cholesterol works."

The study was published Oct. 10 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Among the 843 men in the study, 325 had abnormal cholesterol levels, 263 had abnormal triglyceride levels, and 293 had a recurrence of prostate cancer, according to the report.

Men who had triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dL or higher had a 35 percent increased risk of their cancer coming back, compared with men with normal triglyceride levels, the researchers found.

Moreover, every 10 mg/dL increase in cholesterol above 200 mg/dL was linked with a 9 percent increase in risk for the return of prostate cancer, the researchers said.

"Understanding the role of high cholesterol as a modifiable risk factor for both heart disease and cancer, the most common causes of death, is of great importance," Allott said.

Approximately 45 per cent of deaths worldwide are attributable to heart disease and cancer, and prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death among American men, she added.

Source: healthday




What to feed your baby on in Year 1

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 15:23

Start Solids at 4-6 Months

THAT”S the recommended time to introduce solid foods -- usually rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula, to start. But it's not just about age. Before starting solids, your baby should be able to sit up (with support), turn his head away, and make chewing motions. He should also be past the reflex that makes him spit out anything but liquid.

Keep Going With Breast Milk or Formula

Babies usually don't eat a lot of solid foods right away. So think of solids as something you’re adding to your baby's diet, not as a replacement for breast milk or formula. Remember, you're introducing solid foods, not totally changing your baby's diet. That will happen gradually.

Why Start With Rice Cereal?

You don’t have to -- there's no hard-and-fast rule about what solid foods you should give your baby first. It’s just that with a single-grain, iron-fortified infant cereal -- such as rice cereal -- it may be easier to notice any food allergies than with a cereal made from several grains. You may want to mix it with formula or breast milk to get a runny consistency at first, until your baby gets used to the new texture.

Eating Solids Takes Practice

It may seem like it’s something natural, but being fed by a spoon is new to your baby. Up until now, she’s only had a liquid diet. She’ll need practice to get used to the spoon and to the feel of having solid food in her mouth. So don't expect her to eat a whole lot -- maybe a teaspoon or two at a time -- when you start. Instead of trying to get her to eat a certain amount, focus on letting her get used to the experience.

Start Fruits and Vegetables, One at a Time

Fruits, vegetables, grains, and even pureed meats can all be on the menu for your baby. You may want to introduce them one at a time to see how your little one reacts. If your baby won't eat them at first, try again later. Tell your paediatrician if you think your baby might have any food allergies. Use soft baby food from a jar, or soften foods by heating or pureeing them. Put just enough on the spoon for your baby to swallow easily.

Avoid Milk and Honey

Most paediatricians say you should wait until after your baby's first birthday to start offering cow's milk. That’s because some babies may have a hard time digesting it before then. And, don't give honey to babies younger than 1 year (some paediatricians say up to 2 years). That’s because of a possible botulism risk that a baby's developing immune system can't fend off.

Stop When Baby's Ready to Stop

Your baby will let you know when he’s done eating. He might swat at the spoon, turn his head away, zip his lips tightly, spit out whatever you put in his mouth, or cry. Don't make him eat more than he wants. Kids will eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full. Honouring those instincts may help them avoid overeating now and when they get older.

Stop When Baby's Ready to Stop

Your baby will let you know when he’s done eating. He might swat at the spoon, turn his head away, zip his lips tightly, spit out whatever you put in his mouth, or cry. Don't make him eat more than he wants. Kids will eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full. Honouring those instincts may help them avoid overeating now and when they get older.

It's Going to Get Messy

As your baby grows, he'll try to feed himself. Chances are, a good bit of food is heading for his face, hands, hair, bib, clothes, or high chair tray -- not to mention you or any surfaces within flinging range. Learning to eat solid food is a full-body, tactile experience for your baby. Put a mat underneath his highchair to catch some of the mess, dress accordingly, and be patient -- this phase won't last forever.

Try Finger Foods When Baby's Ready

Around 9 months or so, your baby will be able to pick up small pieces of soft table food to eat. You'll still need to spoon-feed for a while, and continue formula or breast milk. Some great "finger foods" include ripe banana pieces, cooked chunks of carrots, cottage cheese, well-cooked pasta, dry cereal, and scrambled eggs. Avoid choking hazards like hard candy, chips, raw vegetables, grapes or raisins, hard cheese, and whole hot dogs.