Cerebral palsy can’t hold back Cotee River second-grader

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 6, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

NEW PORT RICHEY

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At the age of 18 months Kiley Griggs was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. While the condition may restrict her ability to move, it does not confine her ability to dream.

“When it comes to dreams, you never know what lies ahead of you,” said Kiley, 8. “And if you never try, you’ll never be able to do.”

The second-grader at Cotee River Elementary School has done a lot. She has acted as a spokesperson for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and Wheelchairs 4 Kids. In the Pasco County School District, she has been the subject of both teacher and student profile video spotlights, this owing to the fact that she delivered a lesson on the subject of anatomy at Rushe Middle School.

“My mom’s a teacher there, and she taught me the subject,” Kiley explained. “She asked the principal if I could teach the class.”

Aside from teaching a lesson and administering a quiz she created with the help of a computer program, Kiley handed out stickers for good and bad behavior.

“We did super fun stuff,” she declared.

Currently the Student of the Month at Cotee River, Kiley is praised for her good behavior. In addition, she and her family volunteered to help serve a Thanksgiving meal at Gulf High School.

“If someone is upset,” she said. “I can’t wait to make them happy.”

And according to her dad, Jason Griggs, Kiley makes him and mom Lori very happy.

“She inspires me every day,” said Griggs, of New Port Richey. “If I feel like I can’t do something, she says, ‘Daddy, you can.’ “

Both in and out of school, Kiley undergoes physical therapy nearly every day. She has learned to ride horses at Kiddy Up Ranch in New Port Richey, which specializes in therapeutic riding services. She also swims and bicycles and has won first-place honors in the Cotee River Challenger Games wheelchair races.

“Her progress has been incredible,” said Teresa Eaton, an instructional assistant for ESE at Cotee River Elementary. “She’s so much stronger, and her intelligence is off the charts.”

Kiley’s extracurricular interests run from coding to cooking, and she is the proud owner of pet rats Cookies and Cream.

In the future, Kiley hopes to become a teacher and travel the world. And she has one other small goal in mind.

“I’d like to be president of the United States,” she said.

And in the eyes of Jason Griggs, his daughter will achieve her dreams.

“You know what we always say, Kiley,” he told his daughter. “What is the only disability?”

Kiley smiled and answered, “A bad attitude.”

Article source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/cerebral-palsy-cant-hold-back-cotee-river-second-grader/2305142

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Rats! Keep these rodents far away

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 5, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

You know we have an abundance of wildlife on Kauai; some of it is wonderful, some of it is less wonderful. Today’s column is about the health risks that rats pose to us and what we can do to protect ourselves from the diseases that they carry. Rats carry more than 40 harmful diseases and have been thought to have taken more human lives in the last 10 centuries than all the wars and revolutions combined.

Rats carry deadly diseases which can be transmitted to humans by various common ways. The most common ways rats can transmit disease include bites and scratches, rat urine infecting open sores, dead rats in water sources, infecting human food with droppings, and indirectly by mites and slugs.

There are over 40 different diseases that rats can transmit but there are six more common ones on Hawaii. They are: rat lung worm disease, Salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis), Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and Murine Typhus.

Rat lung worm disease is a deadly parasite carried by rats in their hearts, much the same as dogs carry heartworm disease.

Dog heartworm does not infect humans; however, rat feces can infect snails and slugs with the parasite, when they eat rat feces.

People are then infected when they eat raw infected snails or slugs or lettuce, fruit or other vegetables that are infected by the snails or slugs. The common symptoms of rat lung worm disease include a tingling in the skin, a stiff neck, vomiting, headaches, nausea and fever.

The disease can lead to permanent disability and coma and in some extreme cases cause Eosinophilic Meningoencephalitis, leading to death — although that is rare. More likely is permanent brain and nervous system damage.

The obvious way to avoid contracting this disease is to avoid eating raw slugs and snails, and monitor children when they are playing in the yard so that they don’t either.

Wash all veggies and salad components thoroughly before consuming. Snails and slugs can be very small and hide in lettuce folds. Wash your hands after gardening and put out rat bait as well as snail and slug bait to control vermin around your garden and property.

Salmonellosis is a bacterial illness carried by domestic pet rats as well as wild rats. It is transmitted to humans through contact with rat urine and feces and causes gastrointestinal problems such as stomach cramps, fever and diarrhea. In mild cases, people may recover in a week, but in more severe cases, the infection can spread through the entire body through the bloodstream.

Rat-bite fever is usually contracted when a rat bites or scratches a person, although it can also be contracted through contact with rat feces, or urine on open sores. There are two types of rat bite fever.

One is Streptobacillary wherein one presents with a fever, joint and muscle pain, a rash and vomiting and the other is Spirillary wherein one presents with a rash, swollen lymph nodes and a recurring fever.

Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis) is caused by a common bacteria that many rats carry. Humans infected with Weil’s disease show muscle aches, fever, rash, vomiting, and headaches and it can result in liver and kidney damage as well as cardiovascular problems. It is caused when our mucous membranes come in contact with contaminated rat feces or urine.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a fatal disease carried by rats and transmitted to humans by saliva, droppings or urine. Humans can also contract the disease through breathing in the aerosolized virus, which may be from urine, droppings or rotting rat carcasses.

Although the disease is somewhat rare, it is serious. This disease is usually carried by roof rats or Norway rats, which we have on Kauai. The first signs of the disease can be mistaken for the flu and can lead to deadly breathing difficulties. When cleaning up a rodent infestation, spray the area with disinfectant, use gloves and a respirator to avoid any airborne particles.

Murine Typhus is transmitted to humans by rat fleas. Much like the bubonic plague (the Black Plague) transfer occurs when fleas from rats bite humans. The Black Plague killed millions (75 million) of people in the middle ages up to the 1800s, but Murine Typhus typically is reported in Hawaii only five or six times a year. In 2002, we had 47 cases and this high number underlines the constant need for community education to prevent rat originating diseases.

Both Murine and the Black Plague fall under the category of an indirect disease, carried by a vector such as a flea, mite or tick rather than a direct disease carried by contact with the rat or its body fluids or feces.The rat has been and continues to be one of the most damaging invasive species in Hawaii. Rats are also a potential cause of allergens. Their droppings, their dander and hair can cause people to sneeze and experience allergic reactions.

Rat control measures include the application of zinc phosphate oat bait to grasslands and pasture areas believed to be infested with rats. Zinc phosphate is repellent to birds and other species but not to rats. It is considered a single dose poison.

Rat trapping and environmental assessments including rodent proofing, community education and the application of insecticides to reduce the flea and mite population are important measures. As well, it is important to clean up rat infested areas and remove access to possible food or shelter.

When using poisons to eradicate rats, it is important to protect your children and domestic animals from accidental contact. Rats typically do not become bait shy, which means that they will return to the bait, such as warfarin, if it doesn’t kill them the first time.

Live safe!

•••

Dr. Jane Riley, EdD., is a certified personal fitness trainer, nutritional adviser and behavior change specialist. She can be reached at janerileyfitness@gmail.com, (808) 212-8119 cell/text and www.janerileyfitness.com.

Article source: http://thegardenisland.com/calendar/health-and-fitness/rats-keep-these-rodents-far-away/article_77d57701-e5a5-53b2-b221-51a86ab107d0.html

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Poor diet blamed as scurvy reappears in Australia

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 3, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

Scurvy, a disease historically associated with old-world sailors on long voyages, is making a surprise comeback in Australia, with health officials Tuesday revealing a rare spate of cases.

Caused by vitamin C deficiency, the condition used to be a common – and often fatal – curse among seafarers who went months without fresh fruit and vegetables.

Once barely heard of in developed countries, reports suggest the problem is also on the rise in Britain, while a medical journal this year detailed the case of a baby developing scurvy in Spain.

Jenny Gunton, who heads the Centre for Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology research at the Westmead Institute in Sydney, said scurvy had reappeared in Australia because of poor dietary habits.

She discovered the disease after wounds on several of her patients failed to heal.

“When I asked about their diet, one person was eating little or no fresh fruit and vegetables, but the rest ate fair amounts of vegetables; they were simply over-cooking them, which destroys the vitamin C,” she said.

“It highlights a danger that you can consume plenty of calories, yet not receive enough nutrients.”

The scurvy diagnosis for 12 patients was made based on blood tests and symptoms, with all cured by a simple course of vitamin C.

A lack of vitamin C can lead to defective formation of collagen and connective tissues, and cause bruising, bleeding gums, blood spots in the skin, joint pain and impaired wound healing.

Common foods that keep scurvy at bay include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, kiwi fruit, bell peppers and grapefruit, but overcooking can destroy key nutrients.

Penelope Jackson was one of those diagnosed with the disease and said she was stunned.

“I couldn’t believe it. I thought, ‘hang on a minute, scurvy hasn’t be around for centuries’,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“It’s something you associate with the First Fleet and the days of Arthur Phillip and Captain (James) Cook. You don’t expect it to be around in the 21st century.”

Mr Phillip was the first governor of New South Wales state who sailed with the First Fleet from England in 1788 while navigator and explorer Cook is often credited as one of the first to understand the relationship between fresh fruit and scurvy.

Ms Gunton, who published a research paper on the disease’s resurgence in the international journal Diabetic Medicine, said patients could be overweight or obese and still have the condition.

Her paper reported there was no predominant social pattern to the incidence of the disease and that patients with poor diets appeared to be from a range of socio-economic backgrounds.

“This result suggests that despite the large amount of dietary advice readily available to the community, there are still plenty of people – from all walks of life – who are not getting the messages,” Ms Gunton said.

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“Human bodies cannot synthesise vitamin C, so we must eat foods containing it.”

Health authorities tend not to test for scurvy these days and Ms Gunton’s study advised clinicians to be alert to the potential problem especially in diabetes patients.

“Particularly if their patients present with unhealed ulcers, easy bruising or gum bleeding without obvious cause,” she said.

AFP

  • More about:
  • Australia
  • diet
  • Malnutrition
  • Scurvy
  • Vitamin C

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/scurvy-reappears-australia-poor-diet-malnutrition-a7444996.html

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Fund NHS entirely with National Insurance, Labour MP Frank Field suggests

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 2, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

NHS spending should be entirely funded by National Insurance in order to safeguard the future of the health service, a senior Labour MP has suggested.

Frank Field said in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into health service funding that the NHS currently found itself on “extremely shaky foundations”.

An immediate 1p increase in National Insurance and further reforms to the tax would help close a £67.7bn funding gap over the next five years, the former Labour minister said. 

He called for the Government to raise National Insurance to a level that would entirely fund the health service and social care – but to cut general income tax in by a “commensurate” amount.

This would effectively turn National Insurance into a hypothecated NHS tax.

The former minister also called for the tax to be made more progressive with a higher tax free threshold for lower earners – equal to the income tax threshold.

Mr Field said: “The NHS now has a unique place in the public’s affection. They not only wish to support the vision they have for the NHS with adequate financial contributions, but that they are up for a change in funding which will deliver them a better health and social care package when they need it. 

“Having a greater sense of control over the money, and the vision of the Mutual members, I believe to be crucial to the next stage in the life of the one institution of the Attlee Government which still commands the affection of voters.

“This common affection for the NHS carries a huge advantage, at a time of major fracture in our society. Here is the one organisation to which people feel its binding qualities. Taking in the funding of social care marks also a clear development in a service to which the public is committed.

frank-field-pa.jpg

Mr Field proposed similar reforms in a think-tank pamphlet published by Policy Network last year (PA)

“The reforms will not be the last word on an evolving National Health and Social Care Service. But I believe they offer the best prospect of funding open to such a Service, and one which will raise the spirits of the electorate at this time.”

Mr Field proposed similar reforms in a think-tank pamphlet published by Policy Network last year.

The NHS is facing a major funding shortfall with nearly half of hospital authorities are cutting bed numbers and a third of AEs are set to close to cope with rising hospital deficits. 

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    Scientists have pinpointed how connections in the brain are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, in a study which it is hoped will help in the development of treatments for the debilitating condition. At the early stages of the development of Alzheimer’s disease the synapses – which connect the neurons in the brain – are destroyed, according to researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The synapses are vital for brain function, particularly learning and forming memories

  • 15/25

    Sugar tax

    The Government should introduce a sugar tax to prevent an “obesity crisis” from crippling the NHS, a senior Conservative MP and former health minister has said. Dr Dan Poulter believes that the case for increased taxes on unhealthy sugary products was “increasingly compelling”

    PA

  • 16/25

    Cancer breakthrough offers new hope for survivors rendered infertile by chemotherapy

    A potentially “phenomenal” scientific breakthrough has offered fresh hope to cancer patients rendered infertile by chemotherapy. For the first time, researchers managed to restore ovaries in mice affected by chemotherapy so that they were able to have offspring. The scientists now plan to begin clinical trials to see if the technique, which involves the use of stem cells, will also work in humans by using umbilical cord material and possibly stem cells taken from human embryos, if regulators agree

  • 17/25

    Take this NHS test to find out if you have a cancerous mole

    An interactive test could help flag up whether you should seek advice from a health professional for one of the most common types of cancer. The test is available on the NHS Choices website and reveals whether you are at risk from the disease and recommends if you should seek help. The mole self-assessment factors in elements such as complexion, the number of times you have been severely sunburnt and whether skin cancer runs in your family. It also quizzes you on the number of moles you have and whether there have been any changes in appearance regarding size, shape and colour

  • 18/25

    Health apps approved by NHS ‘may put users at risk of identity theft’

    Experts have warned that some apps do not adequately protect personal information

  • 19/25

    A watchdog has said that care visits must last longer

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said home help visits of less than 30 minutes were not acceptable unless part of a wider package of support

  • 20/25

    Pendle in Lancashire tops list of five most anxious places to live in the UK

    Pendle in Lancashire has been named the most anxious place to live in the UK, while people living in Fermanagh and Omagh in Northern Ireland have been found to be the happiest

  • 21/25

    Ketamine could be used as anti-depressant

    Researchers at the University of Auckland said monitoring the effects of the drug on the brain has revealed neural pathways that could aid the development of fast-acting medications.
    Ketamine is a synthetic compound used as an off anaesthetic and analgesic drug, but is commonly used illegally as a hallucinogenic party drug.
    Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, a senior researcher at the university and a member of the institution’s Centre for Brain Research, used the latest technology in brain imaging to investigate what mechanisms ketamine uses to be active in the human brain

  • 22/25

    A prosthetic hand that lets people actually feel through

    The technology lets paralysed people feel actual sensations when touching objects — including light taps on the mechanical finger — and could be a huge breakthrough for prosthetics, according to its makers. The tool was used to let a 28-year-old man who has been paralysed for more than a decade. While prosthetics have previously been able to be controlled directly from the brain, it is the first time that signals have been successfully sent the other way

  • 23/25

    The biggest cause of early death in the world is what you eat

    Unhealthy eating has been named as the most common cause of premature death around the globe, new data has revealed. A poor diet – which involves eating too few vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains and too much red meat, salt and sugar – was shown to be a bigger killer than smoking and alcohol

  • 24/25

    Scientists develop blood test that estimates how quickly people age

    Scientists believe it could be used to predict a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as the “youthfulness” of donated organs for transplant operations. The test measures the vitality of certain genes which the researchers believe is an accurate indication of a person’s “biological age”, which may be younger or older than their actual chronological age

  • 25/25

    Aspirin could help boost therapies that fight cancer

    The latest therapies that fight cancer could work better when combined with aspirin, research has suggested. Scientists from the Francis Crick Institute in London say the anti-inflammatory pain killer suppresses a cancer molecule that allows tumours to evade the body’s immune defences.
    Laboratory tests have shown that skin, breast and bowel cancer cells often generate large amounts of this molecule, called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
    But Aspirin is one of a family of drugs that sends messages to the brain to block production of PGE2 and this means cancer cells can be attacked by the body’s natural defences

In 2015, the NHS recorded its largest deficit ever of £2.4bn. Over the summer the Health Committee found Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had broken funding pledges and claimed he was “misleading the public” over reforms. 

Two-thirds of NHS trusts are now reporting deficits, according to a National Audit Office report released last week. That report found that provider trusts’ overall deficit grew by 185 per cent to £2.45bn, up from £859m on the previous year.

  • More about:
  • national insurance
  • NHS
  • Frank Field

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nhs-national-insurance-health-a7451976.html

Tags: , , , , ,

Eat your fibre or face the flesh-eating microbe cannibals

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 30, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

“Eat your bran even if it tastes horrible – its good for you!” Many of us remember this advice from decades ago. While fibre has been a good cure as a bulking agent for exciting disorders such as constipation, it has a dull image and has faded into the background behind trendier (and more commercial) food messages including gluten, cholesterol, saturated fat and sugar. Often it can be the hardest item to find on the food label.

But fibre’s fortunes may now be on the turn. New research in the journal Cell Reports sheds light on how fibre works to protect the gut.

An international team used mice born and raised in sterile conditions with no gut microbes of their own. Normally, all animals from birth have a massive microbe community living mainly in the lower intestine (colon). In humans, this reaches 100 trillion microbes – outnumbering our own cells.

These microbes (mainly bacteria but also viruses and fungi) have evolved with us and produce many of our vitamins, hormones and chemicals. They are also key to regulating our immune systems, weight and mood. Abnormalities have been linked to many disorders. Humans have around 17 digestive enzymes and microbes have thousands – the primary role of microbes is digesting high-fibre foods (that we can’t) to extract the key nutrients.

In the experiment, the sterile mice received a transplant of 14 well-known bacteria that normally grow in the human gut. They were then starved of fibre, which led the microbes to change their normal eating habits and instead feed on the natural layer of mucus (made up of tasty carbs) lining the gut. This would be fine for short periods of time, when the body has time to regenerate the layer, but when it is prolonged – as in people on long-term junk food diets – the mucus layer becomes dangerously thin.

  • 1/25

    Most child antidepressants are ineffective and can lead to suicidal thoughts

    The majority of antidepressants are ineffective and may be unsafe, for children and teenager with major depression, experts have warned. In what is the most comprehensive comparison of 14 commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs to date, researchers found that only one brand was more effective at relieving symptoms of depression than a placebo. Another popular drug, venlafaxine, was shown increase the risk users engaging in suicidal thoughts and attempts at suicide

    Getty

  • 2/25

    ‘Universal cancer vaccine’ breakthrough claimed by experts

    Scientists have taken a “very positive step” towards creating a universal vaccine against cancer that makes the body’s immune system attack tumours as if they were a virus, experts have said. Writing in Nature, an international team of researchers described how they had taken pieces of cancer’s genetic RNA code, put them into tiny nanoparticles of fat and then injected the mixture into the bloodstreams of three patients in the advanced stages of the disease. The patients’ immune systems responded by producing “killer” T-cells designed to attack cancer. The vaccine was also found to be effective in fighting “aggressively growing” tumours in mice, according to researchers, who were led by Professor Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany

    Rex

  • 3/25

    Green tea could be used to treat brain issues caused by Down’s Syndrome

    A compound found in green tea could improve the cognitive abilities of those with Down’s syndrome, a team of scientists has discovered. Researchers found epigallocatechin gallate – which is especially present in green tea but can also be found in white and black teas – combined with cognitive stimulation, improved visual memory and led to more adaptive behaviour. Dr Rafael de la Torre, who led the year-long clinical trial along with Dr Mara Dierrssen, said: “The results suggest that individuals who received treatment with the green tea compound, together with the cognitive stimulation protocol, had better scores in their cognitive capacities”

  • 4/25

    New online test predicts skin cancer risk

    Health experts have created a new online tool which can predict a person’s risk of developing a common form of skin cancer. The tool uses the results of a 10-question-quiz to estimate the chance of a person aged 40 or over of having non-melanoma skin cancers within three years. Factors including the age, gender, smoking status, skin colour, tanning ability, freckling tendency, and other aspects of medical history are covered by the quiz

  • 5/25

    Multiple Sclerosis stem cell treatment ‘helps patients walk again’

    A new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) has enabled some patients to walk again by “rebooting” their immune systems. As part of a clinical trial at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital involving around 20 patients, scientists used stem cells to carry out a bone marrow transplant. The method known as an autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) works by using chemotherapy to destroy the area of the immune system which causes MS

    Rex Features

  • 6/25

    Dementia patients left without painkillers and handcuffed to bed

    Dementia patients experience a ‘shocking’ variation in the quality of hospital care they receive across England, a charity has warned. Staff using excessive force and not giving dementia patients the correct pain medication were among the findings outlined in a new report by The Alzheimer’s Society, to coincide with the launch of Fix Dementia Care campaign

    Rex Features

  • 7/25

    Cancer risk ‘increased’ by drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer per day

    Drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer a day increases the risk of developing cancer, according to medical experts. New guidelines for alcohol consumption by the UK published by chief medical officers warn that drinking any level of alcohol has been linked to a range of different cancers. The evidence from the Committee on Carcinogenicity (COC) overturns the oft-held view that a glass of red wine can have significant medical benefits for both men and women

  • 8/25

    Vaping ‘no better’ than smoking regular cigarettes

    Vaping could be “no better” than smoking regular cigarettes and may be linked to cancer, scientists have found. The study which showed that vapour from e-cigarettes can damage or kill human cells was publsihed as the devices are to be rolled out by UK public health officials as an aid to quit smoking from 2016. An estimated 2.6 million people in the UK currently use e-cigarettes

  • 9/25

    Rat-bite fever

    A teenager was hospitalised and left unable to move after she developed the rare rat-bite fever disease from her pet rodents which lived in her bedroom. The teenager, who has not been named, was taken to hospital after she complained of a pain in her right hip and lower back which later made her immobile, according to the online medical journal BMJ Case Reports. She suffered for two weeks with an intermittent fever, nausea and vomiting and had a pink rash on her hands and feet. The teenager, who had numerous pets including a dog, cat, horse and three pet rats, has since made a full recovery after undergoing a course of antibiotics. Blood tests showed that she was infected with for streptobacillus moniliformis – the most common cause of rat-bite fever. One of her three pet rats lay dead in her room for three weeks before her symptoms showed

  • 10/25

    Taking antidepressants in pregnancy ‘could double the risk of autism in toddlers’

    Taking antidepressants during pregnancy could almost double the risk of a child being diagnosed with autism in the first years of life, a major study of nearly 150,000 pregnancies has suggested. Researchers have found a link between women in the later stages of pregnancy who were prescribed one of the most common types of antidepressant drugs, and autism diagnosed in children under seven years of age

  • 11/25

    Warning over Calpol

    Parents have been warned that giving children paracetamol-based medicines such as Calpol and Disprol too often could lead to serious health issues later in life. Leading paediatrician and professor of general paediatrics at University College London, Alastair Sutcliffe, said parents were overusing paracetamol to treat mild fevers. As a result, the risk of developing asthma, as well as kidney, heart and liver damage is heightened

  • 12/25

    Fat loss from pancreas ‘can reverse’ effects of type-2 diabetes

    Less than half a teaspoon of fat is all that it takes to turn someone into a type-2 diabetic according to a study that could overturn conventional wisdom on a disease affecting nearly 3 million people in Britain. Researchers have found it is not so much the overall body fat that is important in determining the onset of type-2 diabetes but the small amount of fat deposited in the pancreas, the endocrine organ responsible for insulin production

  • 13/25

    Potatoes reduce risk of stomach cancer

    Scientists have found people who eat large amounts of white vegetables were a third less likely to contract stomach cancer. The study, undertaken by Chinese scientists at Zhejiang University, found eating cauliflower, potatoes and onions reduces the chance of contracting stomach cancer but that beer, spirits, salt and preserved foods increased a person’s risk of the cancer

  • 14/25

    Connections between brain cells destroyed in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

    Scientists have pinpointed how connections in the brain are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, in a study which it is hoped will help in the development of treatments for the debilitating condition. At the early stages of the development of Alzheimer’s disease the synapses – which connect the neurons in the brain – are destroyed, according to researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The synapses are vital for brain function, particularly learning and forming memories

  • 15/25

    Sugar tax

    The Government should introduce a sugar tax to prevent an “obesity crisis” from crippling the NHS, a senior Conservative MP and former health minister has said. Dr Dan Poulter believes that the case for increased taxes on unhealthy sugary products was “increasingly compelling”

    PA

  • 16/25

    Cancer breakthrough offers new hope for survivors rendered infertile by chemotherapy

    A potentially “phenomenal” scientific breakthrough has offered fresh hope to cancer patients rendered infertile by chemotherapy. For the first time, researchers managed to restore ovaries in mice affected by chemotherapy so that they were able to have offspring. The scientists now plan to begin clinical trials to see if the technique, which involves the use of stem cells, will also work in humans by using umbilical cord material and possibly stem cells taken from human embryos, if regulators agree

  • 17/25

    Take this NHS test to find out if you have a cancerous mole

    An interactive test could help flag up whether you should seek advice from a health professional for one of the most common types of cancer. The test is available on the NHS Choices website and reveals whether you are at risk from the disease and recommends if you should seek help. The mole self-assessment factors in elements such as complexion, the number of times you have been severely sunburnt and whether skin cancer runs in your family. It also quizzes you on the number of moles you have and whether there have been any changes in appearance regarding size, shape and colour

  • 18/25

    Health apps approved by NHS ‘may put users at risk of identity theft’

    Experts have warned that some apps do not adequately protect personal information

  • 19/25

    A watchdog has said that care visits must last longer

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said home help visits of less than 30 minutes were not acceptable unless part of a wider package of support

  • 20/25

    Pendle in Lancashire tops list of five most anxious places to live in the UK

    Pendle in Lancashire has been named the most anxious place to live in the UK, while people living in Fermanagh and Omagh in Northern Ireland have been found to be the happiest

  • 21/25

    Ketamine could be used as anti-depressant

    Researchers at the University of Auckland said monitoring the effects of the drug on the brain has revealed neural pathways that could aid the development of fast-acting medications.
    Ketamine is a synthetic compound used as an off anaesthetic and analgesic drug, but is commonly used illegally as a hallucinogenic party drug.
    Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, a senior researcher at the university and a member of the institution’s Centre for Brain Research, used the latest technology in brain imaging to investigate what mechanisms ketamine uses to be active in the human brain

  • 22/25

    A prosthetic hand that lets people actually feel through

    The technology lets paralysed people feel actual sensations when touching objects — including light taps on the mechanical finger — and could be a huge breakthrough for prosthetics, according to its makers. The tool was used to let a 28-year-old man who has been paralysed for more than a decade. While prosthetics have previously been able to be controlled directly from the brain, it is the first time that signals have been successfully sent the other way

  • 23/25

    The biggest cause of early death in the world is what you eat

    Unhealthy eating has been named as the most common cause of premature death around the globe, new data has revealed. A poor diet – which involves eating too few vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains and too much red meat, salt and sugar – was shown to be a bigger killer than smoking and alcohol

  • 24/25

    Scientists develop blood test that estimates how quickly people age

    Scientists believe it could be used to predict a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as the “youthfulness” of donated organs for transplant operations. The test measures the vitality of certain genes which the researchers believe is an accurate indication of a person’s “biological age”, which may be younger or older than their actual chronological age

  • 25/25

    Aspirin could help boost therapies that fight cancer

    The latest therapies that fight cancer could work better when combined with aspirin, research has suggested. Scientists from the Francis Crick Institute in London say the anti-inflammatory pain killer suppresses a cancer molecule that allows tumours to evade the body’s immune defences.
    Laboratory tests have shown that skin, breast and bowel cancer cells often generate large amounts of this molecule, called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
    But Aspirin is one of a family of drugs that sends messages to the brain to block production of PGE2 and this means cancer cells can be attacked by the body’s natural defences

The new study showed that when the mucus layer is thinner because of a lack of fibre, the gut is much more susceptible to infections. Microbes more easily cross the gut wall into the blood stream. As well as infections this also causes irritation and inflammation of the colon – called colitis. This is believed to be the basis of many common modern gut problems. The team tried to rectify the problem by feeding the mice with prebiotics. They found that while real unprocessed fibre did the trick, when the mice were fed processed, supplement fibre such as inulin powder it didn’t work nearly as well.

What about humans?

What are the lessons we can learn for our own diets? It underlines first how crucial fibre is to our health. The TwinsUK study recently showed that low fibre eaters gain weight more quickly and have less microbial diversity. Most of us are eating far below the minimum recommendation of 25-30g per day, causing a deficiency that could explain modern epidemics such as food allergies and irritable bowel syndrome, which have been related to the ill-defined and hard-to-measure problem of “leaky gut”.

If we ate more fibre and increased the diversity and health of our microbes this could prevent many diseases. It also suggests that real plant food as a source of fibre is better than processed or refined fibre produced industrially. This has implications for the food industry – and, as with vitamin supplements, reinforces the view that (although we don’t yet know why) natural is best.

The new study also helps us understand why people on permanent junk food diets do so badly. As reported previously, 10 days of an intensive burger and fries diet can decimate the number (and diversity) of healthy microbes by up to 40 per cent.

This new work confirms that fibre starvation is the major factor affecting the microbes – not just fat and sugar overload. The clear message is that we need to regularly eat real plant fibre to keep our microbes happy and prevent them devouring our guts from the inside. Food for thought indeed.

This article first appeared on The Conversation (theconversation.com).Tim Spector is a professor of genetic epidemiology, at King’s College London

  • More about:
  • fibre
  • Microbiome
  • gut health

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/eat-your-fibre-or-face-the-flesh-eating-microbe-cannibals-a7443111.html

Tags: , , , , ,

Women who conceive within six months of miscarriage are ‘more likely to get pregnant’, study finds

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 29, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

Women who conceive within six months of a miscarriage are more likely to have a successful pregnancy than those who wait longer, according to new analysis.

The findings are contrary to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines that recommend waiting at least six months.

The comprehensive review by the University of Aberdeen found that pregnancies were most successful if conceived within half a year of a miscarriage.

The meta-analysis confirms an earlier study by Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya and colleagues that found conceptions within six months of a miscarriage were less likely to result in another miscarriage or a subsequent preterm birth.

Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy), low birth weight babies and stillbirths were no different in conceptions within half a year and those after that time frame.

Dr Bhattacharya, who led the meta-analysis, said: “This review of all the published research to date shows categorically that conceiving within six months after a miscarriage is best.

“In 2010 we were the first to report that conceiving straight after miscarriage was more successful than waiting.

“Subsequently, more papers came out finding the same thing, which is why we did a comprehensive review of all available research.

“Contrary to WHO guidelines, recommending at least six months’ wait after a miscarriage, our meta-analysis of all published studies on this subject to date shows definitively that less than six months is best.

“It is not clear why this is the case – one explanation might be that if somebody has had a miscarriage they might take particularly good care of themselves, be more motivated and may even be more fertile – but that is just speculation at this point. ”

  • 1/25

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    The majority of antidepressants are ineffective and may be unsafe, for children and teenager with major depression, experts have warned. In what is the most comprehensive comparison of 14 commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs to date, researchers found that only one brand was more effective at relieving symptoms of depression than a placebo. Another popular drug, venlafaxine, was shown increase the risk users engaging in suicidal thoughts and attempts at suicide

    Getty

  • 2/25

    ‘Universal cancer vaccine’ breakthrough claimed by experts

    Scientists have taken a “very positive step” towards creating a universal vaccine against cancer that makes the body’s immune system attack tumours as if they were a virus, experts have said. Writing in Nature, an international team of researchers described how they had taken pieces of cancer’s genetic RNA code, put them into tiny nanoparticles of fat and then injected the mixture into the bloodstreams of three patients in the advanced stages of the disease. The patients’ immune systems responded by producing “killer” T-cells designed to attack cancer. The vaccine was also found to be effective in fighting “aggressively growing” tumours in mice, according to researchers, who were led by Professor Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany

    Rex

  • 3/25

    Green tea could be used to treat brain issues caused by Down’s Syndrome

    A compound found in green tea could improve the cognitive abilities of those with Down’s syndrome, a team of scientists has discovered. Researchers found epigallocatechin gallate – which is especially present in green tea but can also be found in white and black teas – combined with cognitive stimulation, improved visual memory and led to more adaptive behaviour. Dr Rafael de la Torre, who led the year-long clinical trial along with Dr Mara Dierrssen, said: “The results suggest that individuals who received treatment with the green tea compound, together with the cognitive stimulation protocol, had better scores in their cognitive capacities”

  • 4/25

    New online test predicts skin cancer risk

    Health experts have created a new online tool which can predict a person’s risk of developing a common form of skin cancer. The tool uses the results of a 10-question-quiz to estimate the chance of a person aged 40 or over of having non-melanoma skin cancers within three years. Factors including the age, gender, smoking status, skin colour, tanning ability, freckling tendency, and other aspects of medical history are covered by the quiz

  • 5/25

    Multiple Sclerosis stem cell treatment ‘helps patients walk again’

    A new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) has enabled some patients to walk again by “rebooting” their immune systems. As part of a clinical trial at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital involving around 20 patients, scientists used stem cells to carry out a bone marrow transplant. The method known as an autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) works by using chemotherapy to destroy the area of the immune system which causes MS

    Rex Features

  • 6/25

    Dementia patients left without painkillers and handcuffed to bed

    Dementia patients experience a ‘shocking’ variation in the quality of hospital care they receive across England, a charity has warned. Staff using excessive force and not giving dementia patients the correct pain medication were among the findings outlined in a new report by The Alzheimer’s Society, to coincide with the launch of Fix Dementia Care campaign

    Rex Features

  • 7/25

    Cancer risk ‘increased’ by drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer per day

    Drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer a day increases the risk of developing cancer, according to medical experts. New guidelines for alcohol consumption by the UK published by chief medical officers warn that drinking any level of alcohol has been linked to a range of different cancers. The evidence from the Committee on Carcinogenicity (COC) overturns the oft-held view that a glass of red wine can have significant medical benefits for both men and women

  • 8/25

    Vaping ‘no better’ than smoking regular cigarettes

    Vaping could be “no better” than smoking regular cigarettes and may be linked to cancer, scientists have found. The study which showed that vapour from e-cigarettes can damage or kill human cells was publsihed as the devices are to be rolled out by UK public health officials as an aid to quit smoking from 2016. An estimated 2.6 million people in the UK currently use e-cigarettes

  • 9/25

    Rat-bite fever

    A teenager was hospitalised and left unable to move after she developed the rare rat-bite fever disease from her pet rodents which lived in her bedroom. The teenager, who has not been named, was taken to hospital after she complained of a pain in her right hip and lower back which later made her immobile, according to the online medical journal BMJ Case Reports. She suffered for two weeks with an intermittent fever, nausea and vomiting and had a pink rash on her hands and feet. The teenager, who had numerous pets including a dog, cat, horse and three pet rats, has since made a full recovery after undergoing a course of antibiotics. Blood tests showed that she was infected with for streptobacillus moniliformis – the most common cause of rat-bite fever. One of her three pet rats lay dead in her room for three weeks before her symptoms showed

  • 10/25

    Taking antidepressants in pregnancy ‘could double the risk of autism in toddlers’

    Taking antidepressants during pregnancy could almost double the risk of a child being diagnosed with autism in the first years of life, a major study of nearly 150,000 pregnancies has suggested. Researchers have found a link between women in the later stages of pregnancy who were prescribed one of the most common types of antidepressant drugs, and autism diagnosed in children under seven years of age

  • 11/25

    Warning over Calpol

    Parents have been warned that giving children paracetamol-based medicines such as Calpol and Disprol too often could lead to serious health issues later in life. Leading paediatrician and professor of general paediatrics at University College London, Alastair Sutcliffe, said parents were overusing paracetamol to treat mild fevers. As a result, the risk of developing asthma, as well as kidney, heart and liver damage is heightened

  • 12/25

    Fat loss from pancreas ‘can reverse’ effects of type-2 diabetes

    Less than half a teaspoon of fat is all that it takes to turn someone into a type-2 diabetic according to a study that could overturn conventional wisdom on a disease affecting nearly 3 million people in Britain. Researchers have found it is not so much the overall body fat that is important in determining the onset of type-2 diabetes but the small amount of fat deposited in the pancreas, the endocrine organ responsible for insulin production

  • 13/25

    Potatoes reduce risk of stomach cancer

    Scientists have found people who eat large amounts of white vegetables were a third less likely to contract stomach cancer. The study, undertaken by Chinese scientists at Zhejiang University, found eating cauliflower, potatoes and onions reduces the chance of contracting stomach cancer but that beer, spirits, salt and preserved foods increased a person’s risk of the cancer

  • 14/25

    Connections between brain cells destroyed in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

    Scientists have pinpointed how connections in the brain are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, in a study which it is hoped will help in the development of treatments for the debilitating condition. At the early stages of the development of Alzheimer’s disease the synapses – which connect the neurons in the brain – are destroyed, according to researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The synapses are vital for brain function, particularly learning and forming memories

  • 15/25

    Sugar tax

    The Government should introduce a sugar tax to prevent an “obesity crisis” from crippling the NHS, a senior Conservative MP and former health minister has said. Dr Dan Poulter believes that the case for increased taxes on unhealthy sugary products was “increasingly compelling”

    PA

  • 16/25

    Cancer breakthrough offers new hope for survivors rendered infertile by chemotherapy

    A potentially “phenomenal” scientific breakthrough has offered fresh hope to cancer patients rendered infertile by chemotherapy. For the first time, researchers managed to restore ovaries in mice affected by chemotherapy so that they were able to have offspring. The scientists now plan to begin clinical trials to see if the technique, which involves the use of stem cells, will also work in humans by using umbilical cord material and possibly stem cells taken from human embryos, if regulators agree

  • 17/25

    Take this NHS test to find out if you have a cancerous mole

    An interactive test could help flag up whether you should seek advice from a health professional for one of the most common types of cancer. The test is available on the NHS Choices website and reveals whether you are at risk from the disease and recommends if you should seek help. The mole self-assessment factors in elements such as complexion, the number of times you have been severely sunburnt and whether skin cancer runs in your family. It also quizzes you on the number of moles you have and whether there have been any changes in appearance regarding size, shape and colour

  • 18/25

    Health apps approved by NHS ‘may put users at risk of identity theft’

    Experts have warned that some apps do not adequately protect personal information

  • 19/25

    A watchdog has said that care visits must last longer

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said home help visits of less than 30 minutes were not acceptable unless part of a wider package of support

  • 20/25

    Pendle in Lancashire tops list of five most anxious places to live in the UK

    Pendle in Lancashire has been named the most anxious place to live in the UK, while people living in Fermanagh and Omagh in Northern Ireland have been found to be the happiest

  • 21/25

    Ketamine could be used as anti-depressant

    Researchers at the University of Auckland said monitoring the effects of the drug on the brain has revealed neural pathways that could aid the development of fast-acting medications.
    Ketamine is a synthetic compound used as an off anaesthetic and analgesic drug, but is commonly used illegally as a hallucinogenic party drug.
    Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, a senior researcher at the university and a member of the institution’s Centre for Brain Research, used the latest technology in brain imaging to investigate what mechanisms ketamine uses to be active in the human brain

  • 22/25

    A prosthetic hand that lets people actually feel through

    The technology lets paralysed people feel actual sensations when touching objects — including light taps on the mechanical finger — and could be a huge breakthrough for prosthetics, according to its makers. The tool was used to let a 28-year-old man who has been paralysed for more than a decade. While prosthetics have previously been able to be controlled directly from the brain, it is the first time that signals have been successfully sent the other way

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The meta-analysis is published in the Human Reproduction Update journal on Tuesday.

Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Miscarriage Association, said: “This review is very important. It encourages couples who want to try to conceive soon after miscarriage and also reassures those who worry that they may have miscarried because they conceived too soon after a previous loss.

“Above all, it confirms that couples can choose to try again whenever they feel ready to do so.”

Janine Elson, a spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “Unfortunately, miscarriages are very common with one in five women experiencing a miscarriage in the first three months of pregnancy.

“A miscarriage affects every woman differently and it can be devastating for her partner as well.

“We welcome this robust review by the University of Aberdeen which confirms previous findings that conceiving less than six months following a miscarriage is not associated with a risk of repeat miscarriage and has no impact on the risk of stillbirth, pre-eclampsia or low birth-weight babies.

“This study provides couples with reassurance that trying to conceive soon after a miscarriage is safe, however it is important that they both feel physically and emotionally ready before trying to conceive again.

“Counselling should be offered to help manage the psychological stress miscarriage can cause.

“Women must ensure that any pain and bleeding has stopped and they are taking folic acid before resuming sexual activity.”

PA Scotland

  • More about:
  • Miscarriage
  • fertility

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/miscarriage-pregnancy-fertility-conceive-timing-months-quickly-more-likely-successful-study-a7446706.html

Tags: , , , , ,

Swimming the Atlantic is an extreme act of human endurance – here’s what the body will go through

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 28, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

The ConversationBen Hooper is not your average person. The former policeman has spent years competing in triathlons and open water swims, sometimes swimming up to 40km in one day. But there are some challenges that will test any super fit athlete. Hooper has embarked on a five-month journey from Senegal to Brazil that will see him strive to swim a total of 1,900 miles for up to ten hours a day.

What are the challenges his body and mind will be facing? And does he have anything in common with other performers of extreme feats?

Taking it to extremes

In 1953, Jason Zirganos, the greatest open-water swimmer of his generation, swam in the Bosphorus (8°C) for four hours; he was removed from the water semiconscious, regaining full consciousness three hours after that. Unaware of hypothermia at the time, it was concluded that he had been poisoned. The following year, at the age of 46, he attempted to swim the 22-mile north channel of the Irish Sea, where temperatures range between 9°C and 11°C.

After six hours – and only three miles from the Scottish Coast – he became unconscious and blue – and was hauled from the water. Using a penknife, a doctor exposed his heart to reveal ventricular fibrillation, where the heart beats rapidly and erratically. Direct cardiac massage failed to revive Zirganos and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fighting cold

As Zirganos’s fate reveals, the first big challenge is maintaining body temperature. In the cold oceanic waters, skin cooling occurs very rapidly. The next affected tissue will be muscle, particularly in the upper limbs. Research has shown that the contractile force of muscle is significantly decreased when its temperature falls below 27°C. Deep muscles of the forearm can reach this temperature after about 40 minutes in water of 20°C. This is very likely to happen, even if Hooper is wearing a thick wetsuit to cope with the long hours he will spend submerged. As a consequence of these changes, Hooper’s maximum power output may fall by as much as 20 per cent and reduce his swimming speed accordingly.

There will also be a fall in limb blood flow. This occurs when core body temperature drops from 37°C to 36°C – likely after a couple of hours of swimming. When this happens oxygen delivery to the muscle, and its subsequent use for energy production, is greatly reduced.

ben-hooper-1.jpg

Muscles’ ability to remove the end products of metabolism also reduce in cold conditions. The decrease in blood flow and the impaired removal of metabolic waste lead the body to switch to anaerobic metabolism, where the body tries to exercise without using oxygen to sustain the effort required to swim. This can result in lactic acid forming earlier – which produces the pain you feel after intense exercise – and more rapid depletion of carbohydrate stores. The consequence is the earlier onset of fatigue.

One step forward, two steps back

Another factor is the movement of heat through the body during exercise. In simple cold water immersion studies, resting peripheral limbs and tissues are at a significantly lower temperature than that of the core body.

When the body becomes cold, the major arteries to limbs constrict to maintain a steady core body temperature, making it harder for body heat to be transferred to the surrounding water. But during swimming this constriction of the blood vessels cannot happen to the same extent because blood needs to flow properly to maintain movement. This means more heat is lost during swimming, which results in a greater reduction in core temperature.

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Tissues also have a uniform temperature from the core to the periphery and muscles are able to maintain their function and continue to exercise to a deep temperature of about 27°C. This means that swimmers can potentially swim to the point of unconsciousness, which typically occurs at a core temperature of 30°C-33°C. This process recalls what the Himalayan climbers report as the “sweet death”, the feeling of wanting to lie down and sleep while experiencing a certain feeling of wellness – but then you die.

Fuel your performance

Another consideration for Hooper’s swim across the ocean is nutrition. Clearly, he will need a huge amount of food to sustain his effort, estimated to be around 12,000Kcal a day – the daily kcal requirement of five men combined. What is less obvious is what and how he will be eating. There is little research on this, but some evidence suggests that for swimmers covering 25km or more, carbohydrate intakes close to about 90 grams per hour from multiple transportable carbohydrate sources are required.

With the greater likelihood of encountering extreme temperature variations in open swimming events (as much as 16–31°C), swimmers may benefit from matching beverage temperatures to specific environmental conditions. For example, warm beverages or food sources, such as warmed sports drinks or soup, are used by open-water swimmers in cold water events. However, there is currently no evidence that suggests that these practises can reduce the effects caused by a fall in core temperature.

Recovery

Hooper’s performance could be potentially compared to the 43 marathons in 51 days that comedian Eddie Izzard ran in 2009. The suggested recovery time after a single marathon is two or three weeks, something Izzard clearly didn’t do, instead waking up and running marathons day after day with much less rest time. Hooper will do exactly the same – the only difference is that he will be spending at least ten hours in the ocean every day for five months. Without adequate recovery time there will be an earlier onset of fatigue with detrimental effects on performance and possibly injuries.

Even if swimming has less impact on the body because it is non-weight bearing compared to running, Hooper will have just 14 hours for recovery between sessions. This could be the difference between success and failure. Recovery strategies from swimmers competing in multiple events suggests considerable challenges when it comes to nutrition.

Glycogen is a stored form of glucose – which is how we save carbohydrates that we then use to generate energy. A short turnaround between glycogen-depleting events – one to two days – can place significant strain on swimmers aiming to start each race with optimal fuel stores. But outstanding swimmers may compete in 5km, 10km, and potentially 25km events, all within the space of five days.

In Hooper’s case, this challenge is multiplied exponentially. Aggressive attention to the amount of carbohydrate intakes between races (more than ten grams per kilogramme of weight) and timing (starting soon after each swimming session) is required to ensure that adequate glycogen replacement is achieved between races. Otherwise you just burn out and stop. Hooper may benefit from consuming small, well-planned servings (three to four a day) of high biological value protein sources with carbohydrate to optimise muscle tissue recovery but also support glycogen replacement.

Considering all the factors that might influence these extreme feats it’s clear that the challenge will be immensely tough. But with right preparation, motivation and expertise your body might surprise you with what it is able to do.

This article first appeared on The Conversation (theconversation.com). Alberto Dolci is a lecturer in exercise and environmental physiology and exercise immunology, University of Westminster and Yvoni Kyriakidou is a doctoral researcher at the University of Westminster

  • More about:
  • Ben Hooper
  • Swimming
  • Challenge
  • training
  • Extreme Sports
  • Endurance training

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/swimming-the-atlantic-is-an-extreme-act-of-human-endurance-ben-hooper-training-a7443171.html

Tags: , , , , ,

Young people are now having all the ‘old person’ medical procedures – excessive stress is probably to blame

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 27, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

Analysis out today has shown that all is not right among the younger generations.

The most striking trend emerging from a study which looked at 60,000 operations was the number of young people needing procedures we usually associate with old age. For example, haemorrhoid removal and varicose veins were two of the most common procedures for 25-35 and 36-45 year olds.

Also, 36-45 year olds are now the most likely to undergo knee and back procedures – amd such operations were both in the top five most common procedures for this age range in 2015. Even so-called millennials, those in the 16–25 year old category, are suffering from older generation afflictions, with knee operations also being one of the top five procedures in their age group.

In short, people in their twenties are thirties are becoming old before their time. The big question to come out of this, therefore, is: why?

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  • 24/25

    Scientists develop blood test that estimates how quickly people age

    Scientists believe it could be used to predict a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as the “youthfulness” of donated organs for transplant operations. The test measures the vitality of certain genes which the researchers believe is an accurate indication of a person’s “biological age”, which may be younger or older than their actual chronological age

  • 25/25

    Aspirin could help boost therapies that fight cancer

    The latest therapies that fight cancer could work better when combined with aspirin, research has suggested. Scientists from the Francis Crick Institute in London say the anti-inflammatory pain killer suppresses a cancer molecule that allows tumours to evade the body’s immune defences.
    Laboratory tests have shown that skin, breast and bowel cancer cells often generate large amounts of this molecule, called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
    But Aspirin is one of a family of drugs that sends messages to the brain to block production of PGE2 and this means cancer cells can be attacked by the body’s natural defences

In my opinion, there’s a common theme that can lead to all these ailments: lifestyle. There are more contributing factors than ever before making people’s lives more demanding. The “always on” nature of our lifestyles has played a part in the emergence of “Generation Stress”. From their early twenties, more and more people are working long hours, with jam-packed schedules, without the ability to properly switch off. When you combine this with bad posture and a lack of movement (say, for example, by sitting in office chairs all day), you can see why this might have a long-term impact on a person’s health.

This age group’s lifestyle is now also significantly more sedentary. People in their twenties should not ordinarily be needing treatment for haemorrhoids or varicose veins, but the increases in people with the conditions are real. We suspect this is also due to people spending so much more time looking at screens: spending their weekends on Netflix, playing with the latest games console or simply spending their evenings (and, in many cases, daytimes) sat using a mobile or tablet are all factors in the rise of these traditionally “older age” conditions. 

So what can people do to buck this trend? I think it’s important people in their twenties and thirties hit the “stop” button, take a view of their health and properly assess how they’re feeling. Don’t assume that with no symptoms you’re completely healthy. Don’t assume that you can’t develop back and knee conditions because you’ve only ever seen them in your grandparents.

Because of the pressures of work, many people ignore what they perceive to be minor ailments. But if you do have a persistent niggle, get it checked. It could well be indicative of something more serious and will certainly contribute to stress levels if left. If your body is seeing the signs of strain at 20 or 30 and you’re ignoring it, imagine what it will be like at 60.

It’s just as important not to overlook your mental health. Make sure you check in on how you’re sleeping, your work-life balance and how much time you take to relax and unwind. These effects are on a feedback loop with your physical health.

It can be tempting to make big, drastic commitments, like a fad diet or deciding to do a 10k run in a few months. But the best changes for your health are sustainable and long-term; for example, picking up a new long-term hobby or slightly changing your diet.

Those in their twenties and thirties have decades of their life ahead of them. Stress shouldn’t be an inhibitor to them living the lifestyle they want to, but it is becoming a serious one. Making a few informed choices about lifestyle can improve and, in some cases, eliminate these “older afflictions” and hopefully, the level of procedures we’re seeing associated with older generations will come down. It’s important you work on turning the tide now.

Dr Steve Iley is the Medical Director of Bupa UK

  • More about:
  • Medicine
  • Millennials
  • Stress

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/medical-analysis-young-people-operations-old-person-procedures-stress-excessive-blame-a7436126.html

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Morgan Spurlock from Super Size Me opens fast-food restaurant …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 26, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

You would be forgiven for thinking Morgan Spurlock would be put off fast food for life after eating nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days in a landmark documentary.

However, you would be wrong. The subject of the 2004 documentary Super Size Me has now launched his own fast food restaurant: Holy Chicken! – but with a twist. 

The restaurant has been trialled in Columbus, Ohio but Spurlock has said the eatery will be a permanent fixture in 2017.

However, all is not as it seems. Local paper Columbus Dispatch reports that what was initially sold as a more “humane” fast-food restaurant – they promoted their “free-range, free of hormones and antibiotics” chickens – was actually an illusion to highlight certain regulations fast-food chains apparently side-step.

  • 1/25

    Most child antidepressants are ineffective and can lead to suicidal thoughts

    The majority of antidepressants are ineffective and may be unsafe, for children and teenager with major depression, experts have warned. In what is the most comprehensive comparison of 14 commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs to date, researchers found that only one brand was more effective at relieving symptoms of depression than a placebo. Another popular drug, venlafaxine, was shown increase the risk users engaging in suicidal thoughts and attempts at suicide

    Getty

  • 2/25

    ‘Universal cancer vaccine’ breakthrough claimed by experts

    Scientists have taken a “very positive step” towards creating a universal vaccine against cancer that makes the body’s immune system attack tumours as if they were a virus, experts have said. Writing in Nature, an international team of researchers described how they had taken pieces of cancer’s genetic RNA code, put them into tiny nanoparticles of fat and then injected the mixture into the bloodstreams of three patients in the advanced stages of the disease. The patients’ immune systems responded by producing “killer” T-cells designed to attack cancer. The vaccine was also found to be effective in fighting “aggressively growing” tumours in mice, according to researchers, who were led by Professor Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany

    Rex

  • 3/25

    Green tea could be used to treat brain issues caused by Down’s Syndrome

    A compound found in green tea could improve the cognitive abilities of those with Down’s syndrome, a team of scientists has discovered. Researchers found epigallocatechin gallate – which is especially present in green tea but can also be found in white and black teas – combined with cognitive stimulation, improved visual memory and led to more adaptive behaviour. Dr Rafael de la Torre, who led the year-long clinical trial along with Dr Mara Dierrssen, said: “The results suggest that individuals who received treatment with the green tea compound, together with the cognitive stimulation protocol, had better scores in their cognitive capacities”

  • 4/25

    New online test predicts skin cancer risk

    Health experts have created a new online tool which can predict a person’s risk of developing a common form of skin cancer. The tool uses the results of a 10-question-quiz to estimate the chance of a person aged 40 or over of having non-melanoma skin cancers within three years. Factors including the age, gender, smoking status, skin colour, tanning ability, freckling tendency, and other aspects of medical history are covered by the quiz

  • 5/25

    Multiple Sclerosis stem cell treatment ‘helps patients walk again’

    A new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) has enabled some patients to walk again by “rebooting” their immune systems. As part of a clinical trial at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital involving around 20 patients, scientists used stem cells to carry out a bone marrow transplant. The method known as an autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) works by using chemotherapy to destroy the area of the immune system which causes MS

    Rex Features

  • 6/25

    Dementia patients left without painkillers and handcuffed to bed

    Dementia patients experience a ‘shocking’ variation in the quality of hospital care they receive across England, a charity has warned. Staff using excessive force and not giving dementia patients the correct pain medication were among the findings outlined in a new report by The Alzheimer’s Society, to coincide with the launch of Fix Dementia Care campaign

    Rex Features

  • 7/25

    Cancer risk ‘increased’ by drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer per day

    Drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer a day increases the risk of developing cancer, according to medical experts. New guidelines for alcohol consumption by the UK published by chief medical officers warn that drinking any level of alcohol has been linked to a range of different cancers. The evidence from the Committee on Carcinogenicity (COC) overturns the oft-held view that a glass of red wine can have significant medical benefits for both men and women

  • 8/25

    Vaping ‘no better’ than smoking regular cigarettes

    Vaping could be “no better” than smoking regular cigarettes and may be linked to cancer, scientists have found. The study which showed that vapour from e-cigarettes can damage or kill human cells was publsihed as the devices are to be rolled out by UK public health officials as an aid to quit smoking from 2016. An estimated 2.6 million people in the UK currently use e-cigarettes

  • 9/25

    Rat-bite fever

    A teenager was hospitalised and left unable to move after she developed the rare rat-bite fever disease from her pet rodents which lived in her bedroom. The teenager, who has not been named, was taken to hospital after she complained of a pain in her right hip and lower back which later made her immobile, according to the online medical journal BMJ Case Reports. She suffered for two weeks with an intermittent fever, nausea and vomiting and had a pink rash on her hands and feet. The teenager, who had numerous pets including a dog, cat, horse and three pet rats, has since made a full recovery after undergoing a course of antibiotics. Blood tests showed that she was infected with for streptobacillus moniliformis – the most common cause of rat-bite fever. One of her three pet rats lay dead in her room for three weeks before her symptoms showed

  • 10/25

    Taking antidepressants in pregnancy ‘could double the risk of autism in toddlers’

    Taking antidepressants during pregnancy could almost double the risk of a child being diagnosed with autism in the first years of life, a major study of nearly 150,000 pregnancies has suggested. Researchers have found a link between women in the later stages of pregnancy who were prescribed one of the most common types of antidepressant drugs, and autism diagnosed in children under seven years of age

  • 11/25

    Warning over Calpol

    Parents have been warned that giving children paracetamol-based medicines such as Calpol and Disprol too often could lead to serious health issues later in life. Leading paediatrician and professor of general paediatrics at University College London, Alastair Sutcliffe, said parents were overusing paracetamol to treat mild fevers. As a result, the risk of developing asthma, as well as kidney, heart and liver damage is heightened

  • 12/25

    Fat loss from pancreas ‘can reverse’ effects of type-2 diabetes

    Less than half a teaspoon of fat is all that it takes to turn someone into a type-2 diabetic according to a study that could overturn conventional wisdom on a disease affecting nearly 3 million people in Britain. Researchers have found it is not so much the overall body fat that is important in determining the onset of type-2 diabetes but the small amount of fat deposited in the pancreas, the endocrine organ responsible for insulin production

  • 13/25

    Potatoes reduce risk of stomach cancer

    Scientists have found people who eat large amounts of white vegetables were a third less likely to contract stomach cancer. The study, undertaken by Chinese scientists at Zhejiang University, found eating cauliflower, potatoes and onions reduces the chance of contracting stomach cancer but that beer, spirits, salt and preserved foods increased a person’s risk of the cancer

  • 14/25

    Connections between brain cells destroyed in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

    Scientists have pinpointed how connections in the brain are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, in a study which it is hoped will help in the development of treatments for the debilitating condition. At the early stages of the development of Alzheimer’s disease the synapses – which connect the neurons in the brain – are destroyed, according to researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The synapses are vital for brain function, particularly learning and forming memories

  • 15/25

    Sugar tax

    The Government should introduce a sugar tax to prevent an “obesity crisis” from crippling the NHS, a senior Conservative MP and former health minister has said. Dr Dan Poulter believes that the case for increased taxes on unhealthy sugary products was “increasingly compelling”

    PA

  • 16/25

    Cancer breakthrough offers new hope for survivors rendered infertile by chemotherapy

    A potentially “phenomenal” scientific breakthrough has offered fresh hope to cancer patients rendered infertile by chemotherapy. For the first time, researchers managed to restore ovaries in mice affected by chemotherapy so that they were able to have offspring. The scientists now plan to begin clinical trials to see if the technique, which involves the use of stem cells, will also work in humans by using umbilical cord material and possibly stem cells taken from human embryos, if regulators agree

  • 17/25

    Take this NHS test to find out if you have a cancerous mole

    An interactive test could help flag up whether you should seek advice from a health professional for one of the most common types of cancer. The test is available on the NHS Choices website and reveals whether you are at risk from the disease and recommends if you should seek help. The mole self-assessment factors in elements such as complexion, the number of times you have been severely sunburnt and whether skin cancer runs in your family. It also quizzes you on the number of moles you have and whether there have been any changes in appearance regarding size, shape and colour

  • 18/25

    Health apps approved by NHS ‘may put users at risk of identity theft’

    Experts have warned that some apps do not adequately protect personal information

  • 19/25

    A watchdog has said that care visits must last longer

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said home help visits of less than 30 minutes were not acceptable unless part of a wider package of support

  • 20/25

    Pendle in Lancashire tops list of five most anxious places to live in the UK

    Pendle in Lancashire has been named the most anxious place to live in the UK, while people living in Fermanagh and Omagh in Northern Ireland have been found to be the happiest

  • 21/25

    Ketamine could be used as anti-depressant

    Researchers at the University of Auckland said monitoring the effects of the drug on the brain has revealed neural pathways that could aid the development of fast-acting medications.
    Ketamine is a synthetic compound used as an off anaesthetic and analgesic drug, but is commonly used illegally as a hallucinogenic party drug.
    Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, a senior researcher at the university and a member of the institution’s Centre for Brain Research, used the latest technology in brain imaging to investigate what mechanisms ketamine uses to be active in the human brain

  • 22/25

    A prosthetic hand that lets people actually feel through

    The technology lets paralysed people feel actual sensations when touching objects — including light taps on the mechanical finger — and could be a huge breakthrough for prosthetics, according to its makers. The tool was used to let a 28-year-old man who has been paralysed for more than a decade. While prosthetics have previously been able to be controlled directly from the brain, it is the first time that signals have been successfully sent the other way

  • 23/25

    The biggest cause of early death in the world is what you eat

    Unhealthy eating has been named as the most common cause of premature death around the globe, new data has revealed. A poor diet – which involves eating too few vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains and too much red meat, salt and sugar – was shown to be a bigger killer than smoking and alcohol

  • 24/25

    Scientists develop blood test that estimates how quickly people age

    Scientists believe it could be used to predict a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as the “youthfulness” of donated organs for transplant operations. The test measures the vitality of certain genes which the researchers believe is an accurate indication of a person’s “biological age”, which may be younger or older than their actual chronological age

  • 25/25

    Aspirin could help boost therapies that fight cancer

    The latest therapies that fight cancer could work better when combined with aspirin, research has suggested. Scientists from the Francis Crick Institute in London say the anti-inflammatory pain killer suppresses a cancer molecule that allows tumours to evade the body’s immune defences.
    Laboratory tests have shown that skin, breast and bowel cancer cells often generate large amounts of this molecule, called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
    But Aspirin is one of a family of drugs that sends messages to the brain to block production of PGE2 and this means cancer cells can be attacked by the body’s natural defences

When customers visited the restaurant last weekend, they found cards on the tables which said the chickens were “pretty much the same as all industrial chickens but we make minor adjustments so that we can call them cage-free, antibiotic -fee, all natural and a bunch of other labels that mean little to nothing”. Other cards said they would be adding “fake” grill marks to the chicken to make it appear healthier. The gaudy walls even featured signs explaining: “The colour green makes you feel healthy and relaxed”.

Spurlock says he intentionally used the tactics fast-food restaurants do to show customers how easy it is for companies to make their food appear healthier or more ethical.

“We are ultimately going to be the first honest fast-food restaurant,” he told Today. “We are going to set the record straight.”

His publicist also told This Week he was being satirical to purposefully raise a wider point about consumer awareness.

 

“The whole ideas is to open more restaurants and you can’t do that with a product that tastes bad,” she said. 

Customers also reportedly had to sign waivers saying they were aware they were being filmed yet Spurlock will not confirm whether this is all just for another documentary.

The effects of an unhealthy amount of fast food were portrayed by the 46-year-old in the Academy Award-nominated Super Size Me. After purely eating McDonald’s for his three daily meals for a month, he was ill, gained two stone, had an increased cholesterol, experienced mood swings and took 14 months to lose the weight. 

  • More about:
  • Morgan Spurlock
  • Fast Food

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/morgan-spurlock-restaurant-fast-food-super-size-me-chicken-a7438691.html

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Egg-eating dog had egg-peeling skills

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 25, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

I’m back from vacation, but while I was gone I received more stories about weird food cravings of pets, so let’s continue the conversation.

DEAR JOAN: I wanted to pass along an anecdote about a dog my husband knew. The dog, a yellow lab, loved hard-boiled eggs.

She would take a boiled egg and gently carry it in her mouth over to tile flooring. She would then drop the egg to crack it and proceed to lick the shell off, leaving the shell all over the floor, and when it was shell free, she would eat the egg.

Clever huh?

Nancy, Portola Valley

DEAR NANCY: That dog was certainly a good egg. Sorry. I’ve been on vacation.

DEAR JOAN:  One of the best things about pet rats is feeding them. Like Remy in “Rattatoule,” they have very discriminating tastes, and our family enjoyed presenting them with tiny sushi plates of well balanced and attractively arranged meals.

Salmon, quinoa, mango, avocado, yogurt and peeled red grapes were favorites. At Thanksgiving, they dined on a miniature version of a traditional dinner, right down to the pumpkin pie and stuffing.

They offered one stinging critique of a chicken recipe I tested on them. They threw it in their litter pan. I got the message.

Teresa K., Bay Area

DEAR TERESA: I want to come to your house for dinner.

DEAR JOAN: I used to have a cat named Giza who loved to share my artichokes. After I’d taken a bite I’d hold the leaf for her and she’d scrape what remained with that rough cat tongue of hers, leaf after leaf. It took awhile.

Sue, Martinez

DEAR SUE: I’m not sure who had the most patience.

DEAR JOAN: My cats seem to like the smell of the pool when I come home from lap swimming. They act like it’s cat nip.

One of my cats also has a sweet tooth and loves a small plop of peach or apricot jam, and also a dried wild blueberry or two.

Nay A., Pleasant Hill

DEAR NAY: Perhaps they think you’ve turned into a tasty mermaid when you’ve been out swimming.

DEAR JOAN: As I read the strange behaviors of cats in your column, I am reminded of my cat, Smokey.

We had two inseparable male cats when I was a teenager, Smokey and Blackcat. Shortly after Blackcat disappeared forever, Smokey took to sitting on the floor of my bedroom, watching some invisible creature crawl up the corner to the ceiling, then along the junction of wall and ceiling to the next corner, then back again.

This behavior continued for weeks, not always using the exact same pathway or the same time of day or night, but always along junctions of walls and ceiling. It was very disconcerting, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Smokey was seeing Blackcat’s ghost, as he just sat there, watching “it.”

There was no noise to indicate an animal was behind the wall or in the attic. Besides, creatures can’t crawl up the insides of most walls as there are fire stops blocking the possible pathways.

Smokey finally quit doing this before I lost my bearings, and never did it again. I would have loved to have heard his explanation.

Lawrence V. Koepke, San Jose

DEAR LAWRENCE: Ah, all those unanswered questions that our feline friends pose.

I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts, but for years after my cat, Andy, died, I swear I would feel him jump onto my bed and curl up beside me. Was it his ghost watching over me, or just my imagination?

Anyone else have stories like these? I’ve got another vacation coming up soon and would love to have some letters to share while I’m gone.

Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/25/dog-peeling-and-eating-boiled-eggs-yep/

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