Physical Activity Might Reduce Depression Symptoms

By jeremyc | February 19, 2017

Nearly 15 million adults in America are living with depression. A medical condition, depression leads feelings of hopelessness and sadness. Low motivation is another common symptom of this condition. In fact lack of motivation precipitates depression. Without motivation to do regular tasks, the patient is more likely to fall deeper into the abyss of negativity.

Depression can be temporary or long lasting. It might prevent a person from carrying out normal daily tasks and suicidal thoughts.

To treat depression, the underlying issues causing depression must be addressed, accompanied by lifestyle changes. Psychotherapy and counselling can help a depressed person deal with the underlying issues. Medication might also prove helpful, even necessary, in many cases. Lifestyle changes include increasing physical activity and avoiding depression triggers, among others.

According to a study, exercise can help improve motivation in depression patients. When you exercise, the production of certain mood-enhancing chemicals increase, and this in turn help reduce depression symptoms.

Depression patients are recommended to set realistic exercise goals and break up their exercise regime in smaller packets. For instance, instant of doing a 30-min intensive workout at one go, finding motivation for which might prove nearly impossible when you are depressed, you can break up the routine in short, easy options, like a 10-min brisk walk around the neighbourhood, a little bit of stretching while watching television, dancing to music for 10-15 minutes, etc.

Three big depression triggers are lack of sleep, alcohol and drugs, and stress. Avoiding them will improve your mood as well as energy levels.

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B Vitamins Might Reduce Symptoms of Schizophrenia

By jeremyc | February 18, 2017

The current treatments of schizophrenia aim to remove the symptoms of this mental illness, chiefly because there’s no cure for it as of yet. A new study reveals B vitamins help reduces schizophrenia symptoms.

It is estimated that about 1 percent of world’s population has schizophrenia. The condition affects men more than women. Common symptoms of this serious mental condition include delusions, cognitive dysfunction, hallucinations, and hyper body movements. Other common symptoms are reduced emotional expression, reduced speaking, and not deriving pleasure in normal everyday tasks.

The current treatments focus on removing symptoms. The underlying causes of this mental conditions are not known, and as of yet, there’s no cure for it. Psychosocial treatments and antipsychotics and usually prescribed for this condition.

While during the start of the treatment antipsychotics prove to be effective, there effect in long-term is not impressive. Relapse of symptoms like delusion and hallucination occurs in case of nearly 80 percent of patients.

For this research, the scientists conducted a meta-analysis of 18 clinical trials and found that high dose of B vitamins help reduce schizophrenia symptoms.

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FDA Gives Approval to a New Psoriasis Medication

By jeremyc | February 17, 2017

The FDA has given approval to Siliq for treating moderate and severe cases of plaque psoriasis in adults. The drug is administered through an injection.

Siliq is approved for use in patients who are suitable for phototherapy or systemic therapy and have not responded to other systemic therapies. According to experts, approval of Siliq gives plaque psoriasis patients one more treatment option. At the same time, experts suggest doctors should first discuss the pros and cons of using Siliq before starting treatment.

A chronic, autoimmune inflammatory disease, psoriasis is marked by red, scaly patches of skin. Patients also experience considerable skin irritation. Psoriasis is a common health condition and affects nearly 6 million individuals in the U.S.

The active ingredient in Siliq is brodalumab. This ingredient binds itself to an inflammation-causing protein, thereby reducing inflammation, which in turn plays a major role in psoriasis.

The risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior increases with the use of Siliq. That’s why the drug comes with a Boxed Warning. The use of Siliq is not recommended if the patient has certain other health conditions. Other common side effects of Siliq are headache, joint pain, fatigue, throat pain, diarrhea, nausea, and influenza.

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A Specific Gut Yeast Increases Risk of Childhood Asthma

By jeremyc | February 16, 2017

Asthma is a common health condition affecting millions of individuals worldwide. A new study connects gut’s bacteria with asthma. The researchers have identified a particular fungus in infants which if present increases the risk of childhood asthma.

A chronic respiratory condition, asthma affects more than 330 million individuals worldwide. In the US alone, it is estimated that about 25 million individuals are living with asthma.

Earlier it was believed that asthma was more common in people belonging to high-income countries. This theory, however, doesn’t hold any longer as data shows that most asthma patients are from countries where average income is low or medium.

Asthma is more prevalent in certain parts of the world. For instance, English-speaking countries and Latin countries have a significantly higher asthma incidence rate than Asia-Pacific, India, Eastern and Northern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean.

The current research was done on babies born in Ecuador. Earlier, this very team of researchers had done a study probing the connection between gut microbes and asthma on Canada-born babies. Both Canada and Ecuador has a high asthma incidence rate. About 10 percent of population in both countries has asthma.

In the previous study, the researchers had identified four gut bacteria which might prevent childhood asthma. In the current study, the scientists noted presence of a particular yeast (called Pichia) in the gut is linked with an increased risk of childhood asthma.

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Unsaturated Fatty Acids Might Help Reverse Certain Effects of Obesity

By jeremyc | February 15, 2017

A diet rich in fat causes similar changes in the immune system as ageing. This is the conclusion of new research.

This observation will help scientists better understand how obesity impacts the body’s capability to ward off infection. The researchers also noted that not all effects of obesity were irreversible. Certain effects can be reversed by adding unsaturated fatty acids present in olive oil, fish oil and other vegetable oil to diet.

Obesity is a big health hazard worldwide. Millions of people in the world are obese. In the US alone, it is estimated that one-third of the adult population is obese. The risk of several health conditions, like stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, increases with obesity.

In this research, scientists put mice on a diet rich in fat. The scientists noticed several signs of ageing of the immune system in these mice. Then mice were divided into groups and received either 2-hydroxyleic acid add-on or omega-3 fatty acid add-on.

According to the scientists, this study is the first one to suggest 2-hydroxyoleic acid might improve oxidative stress and reverse changes in the immune system caused by obesity.

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Latest Evidence Shows Vitamin D Reduces Risk of Respiratory Infection

By jeremyc | February 14, 2017

According to a large meta-analysis, vitamin D supplementation might help prevent acute respiratory infections.

Acute respiratory infections cause a large number of deaths worldwide. In 2013, about 2.6 million people died from them. Many factors increase a person’s risk of developing a respiratory tract infection, like air pollution, tobacco smoke, second hand tobacco smoke, allergens, and occupational agents.

Several observational studies have noted deficiency of vitamin D as a risk factor. However, the connection between increased risk of respiratory tract infections and vitamin D deficiency has not been proved conclusively. Some studies support the claim, while others debunk it.

Five meta-analysis in total have been done till date. Two found vitamin D supplementation reduces risk of acute respiratory infections while three noted no considerable effect.

To put an end to the debate, the finding of largest meta-analysis, in which scientists analyzed data of 25 trials, was published recently. The researchers found that Vitamin D supplementation helped reduce respiratory tract infections. To put the results in simple terms, one incidence of acute respiratory tract infection can be prevented if 33 people take vitamin D supplements.


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Consistent Weight Gain After 20 Increases Risk of Upper Stomach Cancers

By jeremyc | February 13, 2017

Earlier studies have linked excess body weight with cancer. Latest research further strengthens the claim. The research found that people who gain weight gradually after reaching twenty to the point of becoming obese might have three times greater risk of cancer of stomach and esophagus in later years.

It is estimated that about 66 percent of adults and 33 percent of children in the U.S. are obese or overweight. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that excess weight is a huge health concern. Obese or overweight individuals are at an increased risk of several health conditions, including, stroke, diabetes type 2, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Earlier studies have suggested a link between excess weight and a greater risk of the cancer of the stomach and the cancer of the esophagus. To investigate the link further, the researchers conducted the present research.

For this study, the researchers went through data of more than 400,000 individuals, all of whom were in the age bracket of 50-71 years. All participants listed their weight, among other things, first when they were 20 years old and then at 50.

The researchers found that individuals who consistently gained weight after 20 and were obese by the time they reached 50 carried a three times greater risk of developing stomach and esophageal cancers.

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Amphetamine use might cause the heart to age faster

By jeremyc | February 12, 2017

More and more people are abusing amphetamine. The drug produces many common side effects like headache, faster heart rate, mood changes, and stomach pain. While its common side effects are well recorded, much in not known about how amphetamine effects the heart. A latest study, findings of which were published in Heart Asia, states recreational use of amphetamine might speed up ageing of the heart.

A synthetic stimulant, Amphetamine works by speeding up the body’s processes like breathing rate and heart rate. Users experience high levels of energy and alertness. They may also feel happier or more powerful and confident. Common names of recreational amphetamine include, among others, ecstasy, speed, and ice.

Amphetamine increases the heart rate, raises the blood pressure, and tightens the blood pressure. Prolonged abuse of amphetamine is expected to put a lot of pressure on the cardiovascular system. With that said, hardly any study in the past has explored how regular abuse of amphetamine affects the heart health.

Earlier studies have shown that use of stimulant on a regular bases speed up skin aging. Following up on this finding, the researchers set out to find the effect of stimulant on the heart health.

The researchers found that the heart of amphetamine users aged faster compared to individuals who smoked and abused methadone.

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Whole Grains Might Improve Gut Health & Immune Response

By jeremyc | February 11, 2017

Whole grains are healthier than refined grains, a recent study suggests. The researchers found that whole grains might boost immunity and gut health.

A grain has three components: the bran, endosperm, and germ. A refined grain contains only the endosperm as it is processed; whereas, a whole grain has all the three. Oats, rye, whole wheat, quinoa, and brown rice are all whole grain foods. Examples of refined grain foods include white rice, enriched bread and wheat flour.

Previous research has linked whole grains with many health benefits. The American Heart Association suggests that whole grain can help reduce the levels of blood cholesterol, in addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and obesity.

Earlier studies have indicated that whole grains lower inflammation and this in turn produces the aforementioned benefits. In this study, the researchers aimed to explore this association more deeply.

The researchers enrolled 81 adults in good health for this study. For the initial 2 weeks, all the participants were put on a diet rich in refined grains. Forty-one participants were then switched to a diet rich in whole grains while the remaining 40 continued with refined-grains rich diet.

The only difference between the whole grains rich and refined grains rich diet was of the grain; all other things like total fat, total energy, total protein, and quantity of vegetables and fruits were similar in the two diets.

Eating foods rich in whole grain lead to an increase in the production of a specific type of bacteria in the gut, known as Lachnospira, which improves immune function. People who consumed whole-grain rich foods also recorded more memory T cells compared to the participants who followed the refined-grains rich diet. T cells play an important role in staving off infection.

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FDA Approves Emflaza For Treating Duchene Muscular Dystrophy

By jeremyc | February 10, 2017

The FDA has approved Emflaza (deflazacort) for treatment of Duchene muscular dystrophy in people age 5 years and older. Duchene muscular dystrophy (also known as DMD) is genetic disorder in which muscles progressively become weak and deteriorate. DMD is a rare but fatal condition. At present, it is believed that nearly 15,000 individuals in the U.S. are living with this condition. Emflaza is available in form of oral tablets as well as oral suspension.

Emflaza belongs to the category of corticosteroids, which work by suppressing inflammation. Corticosteroids are frequently used for treating DMD in many countries. Emflaza is the first corticosteroid to get approval for treating DMD in the U.S. The disease occurs because of lack of dystrophin, an important protein responsible for keeping muscles strong and healthy.

DMD is more common than any other muscular dystrophy, a disease that causes muscles to become progressively weaker and less flexible. This condition mainly affects boys. The disease symptoms start appearing early in childhood. DMD affected children have trouble standing up and walking. Many children eventually require a wheelchair. Lung and heart problems are also common in children who’ve DMD.

Like other corticosteroids, DMD can cause certain side effects, like facial puffiness, increased appetite, weight gain, and infection in the upper respiratory tract, among others.


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