Category: medicine


Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind

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A bionic eye prototype developed by researchers in Australia aims to implant an array of electrodes in the eye that can deliver electrical impulses directly to neurons in the retina.

The group, called Bionic Vision Australia, has developed a device called the wide-view neurostimulator for patients suffering from degenerative vision loss.

“It is really designed to give people back their mobility so they can move around their environment and avoid obstacles,” says Anthony Burkitt, research director of Bionic Vision Australia. “We are also working on a second-generation product that will help people recognize faces and read large print.”

Researchers worldwide are trying to find ways to use electronics to improve visual recognition. Last year, MIT announced it had developed a chip implant that could restore vision in some patients. MIT’s eyeball design holds a microchip that connects to an external coil on a pair of glasses. The chip receives visual information and activates electrodes that, in turn, fire the nerve cells that carry visual input to the brain.

Burkitt says other groups in Germany and Japan are working on similar projects. The difference largely lies in the the number of electrodes used, the configuration of the electrodes and how the data is transmitted.

Bionic Vision Australia uses an external camera — with resolution of up to 5 megapixels — mounted on a pair of glasses. An electrode array is implanted in the eye and that connects to the central part of the retina where the greatest number of retinal neurons are present. An external unit has vision-processing software to help generate the electrical impulses. The communication between the electrode implant and the external unit is wireless.

“The camera itself doesn’t need to be very powerful because the quality of the image isn’t the crucial component,” says Burkitt. “What’s important is the vision-processing software that picks up the image and transforms it into electrical impulses.”

The resultant vision is not the same as the images that a sighted person sees. Instead it’s a pixelated version with a relatively small number of dots: about 100 in early versions. But it’s a beginning, says Burkitt. Meanwhile, the team is also working on the next version of the bionic eye that will include 1,000 electrodes, delivering 10 times the resolution. It will be made of platinum, instead of the polycrystalline diamond used for the first one, so more electrodes can be packed in and better images generated.

Burkitt and his team hope to do the first human implant in 2013.

Here’s a closer look at what the neurostimulator will be like:

infertility

Infertility primarily refers to the biological inability of a person to contribute to conception.

the doctors specializing in infertility, consider a couple to be infertile if:

  • the couple has not conceived after 12 months of contraceptive-free intercourse if the female is under the age of 34.
  • the couple has not conceived after 6 months of contraceptive-free intercourse if the female is over the age of 35 (declining egg quality of females over the age of 35 account for the age-based discrepancy as when to seek medical intervention).
  • the female is incapable of carrying a pregnancy to term.

Subfertility

A couple that has tried unsuccessfully to have a child for a year or more is said to be subfertile meaning less fertile than a typical couple. The couple’s fecundability rate is approximately 3-5%. Many of its causes are the same as those of infertility. Such causes could be endometriosis, or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Couples with primary infertility have never been able to conceive.

secondary infertility is difficulty conceiving after already having conceived (and either carried the pregnancy to term, or had a miscarriage). Technically, secondary infertility is not present if there has been a change of partners.

Common causes of infertility:

  • Ovulation problems
  • tubal blockage
  • male associated infertility
  • age-related factors
  • uterine problems
  • previous tubal ligation
  • previous vasectomy
  • unexplained infertility
  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Male Hypospadias


FACTS

For a woman to conceive, certain things have to happen: intercourse must take place around the time when an egg is released from her ovary; the systems that produce eggs and sperm have to be working at optimum levels; and her hormones must be balanced

There are several possible reasons why it may not be happening naturally. In one-third of cases, it can be because of male problems such as low sperm count. Some women are infertile because their ovaries do not mature and release eggs. In this case synthetic FSH by injection or Clomid (Clomiphene citrate) via a pill can be given to stimulate follicles to mature in the ovaries.

Problems affecting women include endometriosis or damage to the fallopian tubes (which may have been caused by infections such as chlamydia).

Other factors that can affect a woman’s chances of conceiving include being over- or underweight for her age – female fertility declines sharply after the age of 35. Sometimes it can be a combination of factors, and sometimes a clear cause is never established.

Factors that can cause male as well as female infertility are:

  • Genetic Factors
    • A Robertsonian translocation in either partner may cause recurrent spontaneous abortions or complete infertility.
  • General factors
    • Diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, adrenal disease
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary factors
    • Kallmann syndrome
    • Hyperprolactinemia
    • Hypopituitarism
  • Environmental Factors
    • Toxins such as glues, volatile organic solvents or silicones, physical agents, chemical dusts, and pesticides

Infertility in men is most often caused by:

* Problems making sperm — producing too few sperm or none at all

* Problems with the sperm’s ability to reach the egg and fertilize it — abnormal sperm shape or structure prevent it from moving correctly

Sometimes a man is born with the problems that affect his sperm. Other times problems start later in life due to illness or injury. For example, cystic fibrosis often causes infertility in men.

What increases a man’s risk of infertility?

The number and quality of a man’s sperm can be affected by his overall health and lifestyle. Some things that may reduce sperm number and/or quality include:

* Alcohol

* Drugs

* Environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead

* Smoking cigarettes

* Health problems

* Medicines

* Radiation treatment and chemotherapy for cancer

* Age

What causes infertility in women?

Problems with ovulation account for most cases of infertility in women. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include irregular or absent menstrual periods.

Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:

* Blocked fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or surgery for an ectopic pregnancy

* Physical problems with the uterus

* Uterine fibroids

What things increase a woman’s risk of infertility?

Many things can affect a woman’s ability to have a baby. These include:

* Age

* Stress

* Poor diet

* Athletic training

* Being overweight or underweight

* Tobacco smoking

* Alcohol

* Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

* Health problems that cause hormonal changes

How does age affect a woman’s ability to have children?

More and more women are delaying parenthood until their 30s and 40s. Actually, about 20% of women in the United States now have their first child after age 35. So age is an increasingly common cause of fertility problems. About one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.

* Aging decreases a woman’s chances of having a baby in the following ways:

* The ability of a woman’s ovaries to release eggs ready for fertilization declines with age.

* The health of a woman’s eggs declines with age.

* As a woman ages she is more likely to have health problems that can interfere with fertility.

* As a women ages, her risk of having a miscarriage increases.

How long should women try to get pregnant before calling their doctors?

Most healthy women under the age of 30 shouldn’t worry about infertility unless they’ve been trying to get pregnant for at least a year. At this point, women should talk to their doctors about a fertility evaluation. Men should also talk to their doctors if this much time has passed.

In some cases, women should talk to their doctors sooner. Women in their 30s who’ve been trying to get pregnant for six months should speak to their doctors as soon as possible. A woman’s chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 30. So getting a complete and timely fertility evaluation is especially important.

Some health issues also increase the risk of fertility problems. So women with the following issues should speak to their doctors as soon as possible:

* Irregular periods or no menstrual periods

* Very painful periods

* Endometriosis

* Pelvic inflammatory disease

* More than one miscarriage

No matter how old you are, it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor before you start trying to get pregnant. Doctors can help you prepare your body for a healthy baby. They can also answer questions on fertility and give tips on conceiving.

How will doctors find out if a woman and her partner have fertility problems?

Sometimes doctors can find the cause of a couple’s infertility by doing a complete fertility evaluation. This process usually begins with physical exams and health and sexual histories. If there are no obvious problems, like poorly timed intercourse or absence of ovulation, tests will be needed.

Finding the cause of infertility is often a long, complex, and emotional process. It can take months for you and your doctor to complete all the needed exams and tests. So don’t be alarmed if the problem is not found right away.

For a man, doctors usually begin by testing his semen. They look at the number, shape, and movement of the sperm. Sometimes doctors also suggest testing the level of a man’s hormones.

For a woman, the first step in testing is to find out if she is ovulating each month. There are several ways to do this. A woman can track her ovulation at home by:

* Recording changes in her morning body temperature (basal body temperature) for several months

* Recording the texture of her cervical mucus for several months

* Using a home ovulation test kit (available at drug or grocery stores)

Doctors can also check if a woman is ovulating by doing blood tests and an ultrasound of the ovaries. If the woman is ovulating normally, more tests are needed.

Some common tests of fertility in women include:

* Hysterosalpingography: In this test, doctors use X-rays to check for physical problems of the uterus and fallopian tubes. They start by injecting a special dye through the vagina into the uterus. This dye shows up on the X-ray. This allows the doctor to see if the dye moves normally through the uterus into the fallopian tubes. With these X-rays doctors can find blockages that may be causing infertility. Blockages can prevent the egg from moving from the fallopian tube to the uterus. Blockages can also keep the sperm from reaching the egg.

* Laparoscopy: During this surgery doctors use a tool called a laparoscope to see inside the abdomen. The doctor makes a small cut in the lower abdomen and inserts the laparoscope. Using the laparoscope, doctors check the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus for disease and physical problems. Doctors can usually find scarring and endometriosis by laparoscopy.

How do doctors treat infertility?

Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, artificial insemination, or assisted reproductive technology. Many times these treatments are combined. About two-thirds of couples who are treated for infertility are able to have a baby. In most cases infertility is treated with drugs or surgery.

Doctors recommend specific treatments for infertility based on:

  • Test results
  • How long the couple has been trying to get pregnant
  • The age of both the man and woman
  • The overall health of the partners
  • Preference of the partners

Doctors often treat infertility in men in the following ways:

  • Sexual problems: If the man is impotent or has problems with premature ejaculation, doctors can help him address these issues. Behavioral therapy and/or medicines can be used in these cases.
  • Too few sperm: If the man produces too few sperm, sometimes surgery can correct this problem. In other cases, doctors can surgically remove sperm from the male reproductive tract. Antibiotics can also be used to clear up infections affecting sperm count.

Various fertility drugs are often used to treat women with ovulation problems. It is important to talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of these medicines. You should understand the risks, benefits, and side effects.

Doctors also use surgery to treat some causes of infertility. Problems with a woman’s ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus can sometimes be corrected with surgery.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is another type of treatment for infertility. IUI is known by most people as artificial insemination. In this procedure, the woman is injected with specially prepared sperm. Sometimes the woman is also treated with medicines that stimulate ovulation before IUI.

  • IUI is often used to treat:
  • Mild male factor infertility
  • Women who have problems with their cervical mucus
  • Couples with unexplained infertility

ART( assisted reproductive therapy)

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a term that describes several different methods used to help infertile couples. ART involves removing eggs from a woman’s body, mixing them with sperm in the laboratory, and putting the embryos back into a woman’s body.

Common methods of ART include:

  • In vitro fertilization (IVF) means fertilization outside of the body. IVF is the most effective ART. It is often used when a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked or when a man produces too few sperm. Doctors treat the woman with a drug that causes the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Once mature, the eggs are removed from the woman. They are put in a dish in the lab along with the man’s sperm for fertilization. After three to five days, healthy embryos are implanted in the woman’s uterus.
  • Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) or Tubal embryo transfer is similar to IVF. Fertilization occurs in the laboratory. Then the very young embryo is transferred to the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.
  • Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) involves transferring eggs and sperm into the woman’s fallopian tube. So fertilization occurs in the woman’s body. Few practices offer GIFT as an option.
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is often used for couples in which there are serious problems with the sperm. Sometimes it is also used for older couples or for those with failed IVF attempts. In ICSI, a single sperm is injected into a mature egg. Then the embryo is transferred to the uterus or fallopian tube.

ART procedures sometimes involve the use of donor eggs (eggs from another woman), donor sperm, or previously frozen embryos. Donor eggs are sometimes used for women who can not produce eggs. Also, donor eggs or donor sperm are sometimes used when the woman or man has a genetic disease that can be passed on to the baby.

Diabetes mellitus- know it all

It is one of the most common disease of this century and yet most of the public are not aware of the method’s to control them and live healthy even with it.

so, i will put the talk in layman’s terms.

First let me, ask you how many of you are aware of your actual blood sugar level.?

The first thing about managing diabetes is to know about normal blood sugar level. The fasting blood glucose level should be always at or below 126mg/dl and post prantil blood sugar level should always be below 200mg/dl.

Any rise above the scale can be called as diabetes.

There are generally two type of diabetes.

The type 1 diabetes and the type2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is characterized by loss of the insulin-producing beta cels of the islet of langerhans  in the pancreas leading to insulin deficiency. This type of diabetes can be further classified as immune-mediated or idiopathic. The majority of type 1 diabetes is of the immune-mediated nature, where beta cell loss is a T cell  mediated autoimmune  attack.There is no known preventive measure against type 1 diabetes.  Most affected people are otherwise healthy and of a healthy weight when onset occurs. Sensitivity and responsiveness to insulin are usually normal, especially in the early stages. Type 1 diabetes can affect children or adults but was traditionally termed “juvenile diabetes” because it represents a majority of the diabetes cases in children.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by insulin resistance which may be combined with relatively reduced insulin secretion. The defective responsiveness of body tissues to insulin is believed to involve the insulin receptor. However, the specific defects are not known. Diabetes mellitus due to a known defect are classified separately. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type.

In the early stage of type 2 diabetes, the predominant abnormality is reduced insulin sensitivity. At this stage hyperglycemia can be reversed by a variety of measures and drugs that improve insulin sensitivity or reduce glucose production by the liver. As the disease progresses, the impairment of insulin secretion occurs, and therapeutic replacement of insulin may sometimes become necessary in certain patients.

so, one of the most important thing that a person diagnosed with diabetes is that he be aware of the type of his diseases and the further complications that may follow, the details of his drugs and the most important the DO”S AND DONT IN THE DIET.

The patient prone for diabetes include,

1. Hereditary factors

2. lack of excercise

3.excessive food

4. obesity

What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?

The characteristic triad include,

polyuria(excessive passing out of urine),

polyphagia(excessive hunger) and

polydipsia (excessive thirst)

There may be apparent weight loss also in type2 diabetes

The important measures of management

1. continuous medical care and routine check up of the blood sugar level

2.Always seek the advice of your doctor before changing drugs

3. muslim patients, who take fasting during the month of ramazan, must prior to the start of fasting make sure about their sugar level and also seek expect opinion on the medicine.

4. always keep an identity card of your diabetes status with you, when you go on a journey.

5.control your diet. Do, consult a good dietician near by

Avoid fatty food components and sugar. control the consumption of meat items.

consume more vegetables, pulses and cereals.

6. control your blood pressure.

best ways include leading a stress free life, and diet regulations. a little salt less in diet may save a lot.

Do regular exercise.

7.control your blood cholesterol

check your lipid profile once in a while.

again, regular exercise helps..Run, jump or atleast clean your garden!

8. nowadays, doctors have to put it in prescription to do regular  exercise, because that is how most of them obey!!

9. do you have problems because of your excessive weight and size. you are at a very risk of getting DM.

so, control your diet

10. Always keep updated with your blood sugar level.

11. Avoid stress. stress kills!!!

12.avoid alcohol and smoking.

most of the lifestyle disorders can be prevented if we control our sedentary life habits.

know your body well.

thank you for reading,

take care, God bless

yes, i mean it!!

its summer and this is india my dear..

so, i decided to do a little bit of public service by providing few informations about some of the common problems we will face during this time. so, here im going to refer about the condition called as HEAT STROKE.

Think about walking through the street at 12 in noon and you know what im refering to. forget the air conditioner and the luxury of your vehicle, this thought is really unbearable. so, most of us are aware of this sort of condition called as heat exhaustion.

HEAT EXHAUSTION

in plain language, our body is able to dissipate the rise in temperature in the body by means of mechanisms such as sweating. medically, there are two extremes for temperature regulation, that is hypothermia and hyperthermia.

so, mostly in the summer heat, what happens is, the core body temperature exceeds above 37C and there will be severe sweat associated as a part of body effort to maintain the normal homeostais. when the generation of heat exceeds the body’s capacity for heat loss, the core body temperature rises. so, heat illness occur either when the temperature outside is very high or when sweating is impaired or its efficiency as a heat loss mechanism is reduced by high humidity. these symptoms may also be increased  during high muscular activities ,illness, old age or during certain drug consumption and alcohol.

so, in heat exhaustion, the clinical features include

1> profuse sweating

2. dehydration

3.tacycardia

4.irritablity

5.fatigue

6.headache

7.general debility

The above conditions are more common due to prolonged exertion in hot and humid weather, profuse sweating and inadequate salt and water replacement.

HEAT STROKE

we read in newspaper as condition in which people actually fall comatose to ground while walking in sunlight and mostly this condition is caused due to tthe higher complication of heat exhaustion called as HEAT STROKE

its more severe, and life threatening. the core body temperature rises above 40C the symptoms include neurological manifestations such as tremor, confusion, aggression and loss of consciousness. the patients skin feels very hot and sweating is usually ABSENT. complication include, multiple organ failure, shock , confusion etc

SO WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT THIS

There is a saying very commonly used in our field, prevention is better than cure. so, naturally, you cant dim the brightness of sun or heat, but you can take essential measures to protect yourself.

firstly, try to avoid going out in sun during the time of 11am to 2pm, when the intensity of heat is maximum. or atleast try to reduce the intensity of physical activities at sun to the minimum.

2. this is going to be vacation time for kids and so please try to keep them engaged at home the maximum time possible. hard exertion, especially at the peak time mentioned above can lead to severe complications.

3. drink drink and drink..plenty of water, fruits, juices, water melon, tender coconut water etc. drink water in regular intrevals.

4. wear loose clothes. avoid wearing jeans and especially black color materials. possibly cotton clothes and dress which allow air circulation.

5. bath atleast twice a day

6. if you are diabetic, please keep a card claiming your status as you move out and also keep some sweet item with you. Both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can be fatal. do regular check up with your diabetologist.

7. keep a regular health check up. stay healthy, be healthy.

in the codition of emergency or when you find a person having heat stroke, please follow the necessart steps.

1. cool the body of the patient immediately

2.  get the victim to a shady area, remove clothing, apply cold water to the skin

3.ice packs in armpits and groins

4. consult nearest hospital.

5. give plenty of fluid suppliment.

6.make sure the electrolytes and salts are balanced

7. avoid alcohol, tea or caffiene to decrease dehydration.

8. keep hydrating

9. wear loose clothes, be in place with proper ventilation and air conditioning

sometimes, sunburns may also be caused due to the heat stroke.

so, it is adviced to wear sunglasses to avoid damages to eyes. in severe hot conditions it is adviced to wear loose clothes, rather than walking out without shirts..

1.in condition with severe sunburn, please dont give cold water to drink. it may cause chills.

2.Apply dampened cloths or compresses to reduce the heat and lessen the pain.

3.Soak in a bathtub of plain, soap-free water (soap can irritate the burn)

4.Gently pat the skin dry afterward – do not rub it

5.Moisturizing creams or Aloe Vera gel may also help with symptoms.

in any case of emergency, go for medical assistance from an expert. contact your nearby hospital or doctor immediately

so, i guess this article was of any help for you. anyway, enjoy, take care, stay healthy..

thank you for reading and God bless you..