Health en Tue Jul 11 14:41:26 IST 2023 woman-with-double-cancers-treated-successfully-in-mumbai <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> While being diagnosed with cancer is devastating in itself, finding that one is living with two metastatic tumours in two different areas of the body can mean lightning striking twice. A 58-year-old woman from Mumbai lived with two cancers for several months, until diagnosis. She had symptoms of post-menopausal bleeding and went to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment.<br> <br> “The patient came in Emergency with complaints of post-menopausal bleeding. Her ultrasonography revealed thickening of the endometrium. She further underwent a biopsy that confirmed endometrioid adenocarcinoma (which develops in the endometrium, the inner lining of your uterus). Later, the patient was scheduled for a whole-body PET-CT scan and pelvic MRI. The PET-CT scan showed a 5mm lesion in the left breast. So, to rule out the possibility of dual malignancy, bilateral mammography and sono-guided core biopsy of the left breast lesion was done. After the uterine and breast cancer was confirmed, a multi-disciplinary approach was adopted and the patient was counseled and readied for surgery,&quot; said Dr Rajashri Tayshete Bhasale, consultant gynecologist and laparoscopic surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road. <br> <br> As per doctors, she underwent laparoscopic surgery for uterine cancer and oncoplastic breast conservation surgery for breast cancer (breast preserving surgery) and was discharged in three days. She underwent genetic testing and was found to have MMR Gene Mutation (Lynch Syndrome). Dr Tirathram Kaushik, consultant oncosurgeon, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road said, “The patient was suffering from Lynch Syndrome which is also known as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), which is the most common cause of hereditary colorectal (colon) cancer. She also had a greater risk of suffering from colon cancer in the near future. Two surgeries were done in total. On discharge, the patient was feeling much better.”<br> <br> The total duration of the treatment was three months. Precautions advised included lifestyle modifications, exercises, and proper diet.<br> <br> In the report, 'Double malignancies: a clinicopathological and outcomes retrospective analysis from a tertiary cancer referral centre in South India,' researcher Manjunath Nandennavar from the department of medical oncology, Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru, points out that the presence of second malignancy in a cancer patient is not a rare phenomenon. In the study that focused on the frequency, types, and outcomes of double primary malignancies in Indian cancer patients, he found out that double malignancies can occur at any stage and for any type of cancer. &quot;We wish to highlight that the clinician should always be aware of the possibility of developing a second malignancy either during evaluation or in follow-up of a patient with malignancy.&quot;<br> <br> Doctors at Wockhardt Hospital, who treated the woman too, believed that treatment strategies in cases of double malignancy depend on treating the malignancy that is more advanced first, or sometimes both malignancies could be treated simultaneously. If both are amenable to surgical resection, both malignancies may be dealt with at the same time. The prognosis of patients with dual malignancies depends on the aggressiveness and the stage of presentation of the more advanced tumor. Doctors followed a multi-disciplinary treatment plan consisting of surgery and radiation therapy to treat the patient.&nbsp; Wed Jul 26 18:22:34 IST 2023 predict-your-future-health-at-the-touch-of-a-button <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Scientists from Edith Cowan University (ECU) have harnessed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise health predictions, allowing individuals to assess their risk of developing serious health conditions later in life at the mere press of a button. This cutting-edge AI technology can predict the likelihood of individuals developing cardiovascular diseases, falls, fractures, and late-life dementia based on the detection of abdominal aortic calcification (AAC), a condition known to be a major risk factor for such health problems.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>AAC occurs when calcium deposits build up within the walls of the abdominal aorta, and it serves as a reliable indicator of future cardiovascular health issues, including heart attacks and strokes. The condition is also linked to an increased risk of falls, fractures, and late-life dementia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This incredible advancement in AI-driven health predictions marks a significant step forward in proactive healthcare, empowering individuals to take charge of their well-being and make informed decisions to lead healthier and happier lives in their later years. AI holds the potential to reshape the landscape of preventive medicine, benefiting countless lives worldwide.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Previously, detecting AAC required highly trained expert readers to analyze bone density machine scans, a process that could be time-consuming, taking 5-15 minutes per image. However, the collaboration between ECU's School of Science and School of Medical and Health Sciences has led to the development of a sophisticated AI-driven software capable of analyzing an astonishing 60,000 images in a single day.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This tremendous leap in efficiency has the potential to pave the way for widespread use of AAC assessment in research and routine clinical practice. Associate Professor Joshua Lewis, a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow and one of the researchers involved in the project, emphasized the significance of this advancement in predicting and preventing health problems later in life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The international collaboration between ECU, the University of WA, University of Minnesota, Southampton, University of Manitoba, Marcus Institute for Aging Research, and Hebrew SeniorLife Harvard Medical School enabled the study to become the largest of its kind. It was based on the most commonly used bone density machine models and was the first to be tested in a real-world setting using images obtained during routine bone density testing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study compared the software's AAC assessments to those made by human experts. Remarkably, the software and expert readers reached the same conclusion about the extent of AAC (low, moderate, or high) in 80 percent of cases, a promising result for the software's first version. Notably, only 3 percent of individuals with high AAC levels were misdiagnosed as having low levels by the software. Identifying these high-risk individuals is crucial as they face a greater likelihood of experiencing fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although the researchers acknowledge the need for further improvement to match human accuracy levels, they are already working on refining the software with more recent versions. The current AI algorithm opens up the possibility of large-scale screening for cardiovascular disease and other conditions, even before symptoms manifest, enabling individuals at risk to make necessary lifestyle changes early on and promoting better long-term health.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Heart Foundation's generous funding, facilitated by Professor Lewis' 2019 Future Leadership Fellowship, has been instrumental in supporting this groundbreaking project over a three-year period. The research paper titled 'Machine Learning for Abdominal Aortic Calcification Assessment from Bone Density Machine-Derived Lateral Spine Images' has been published in eBioMedicine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed Jul 26 16:35:16 IST 2023 brain-booster-lactate-unveiled-as-essential-brain-development-fu <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Scientists at Tohoku University have made a groundbreaking discovery about the crucial role of lactate in the development of our brains. Lactate, a byproduct of exercise and metabolism, has long been known to serve as an energy source for the brain during oxygen limitation. However, the recent study reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry on June 10, 2023, reveals that lactate plays an even more significant role in our brains by facilitating the transformation of neural stem cells into specialized neurons, a process called neuronal differentiation. Moreover, researchers have unraveled how lactate communicates with the cells, influencing and enhancing neuronal functions. This newfound knowledge opens doors for potential applications in exercise encouragement and the development of cognitive disease treatments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The discovery of the cellular mechanisms through which lactate influences brain development marks a momentous breakthrough in neuroscience. Lactate, once primarily known as an energy source during exercise, now takes center stage as a key player in the intricate processes that shape our brains.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With this newfound knowledge, researchers may unlock new ways to promote healthy brain development and explore innovative treatments for cognitive diseases. Lactate stands out as a promising avenue of exploration, offering hope for a brighter future in brain health and cognition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During pregnancy, lactate levels in fetal brains increase from mid-gestation, indicating its importance in the brain's development and neuronal differentiation. In the study conducted at Tohoku University, researchers investigated the impact of lactate on neuronal cells and discovered that lactate acts as a crucial cellular signaling molecule in the nervous system.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Professor Ryoichi Nagatomi and his research team, in collaboration with Associate Professor Joji Kusuyama from Tokyo Medical and Dental University, led the investigation. They hypothesized that lactate could influence comprehensive gene expression and, thus, neuronal function. To test their hypothesis, they examined gene regulation in neuroblastoma cells treated with lactate while removing a specific protein called NDRG3, known to mediate gene regulation in the presence of lactate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The findings were remarkable. Lactate indeed plays a key role in neural differentiation through both NDRG3-dependent and NDRG3-independent pathways. This means that lactate can impact neuronal development even when NDRG3 is not present. Additionally, the study identified two transcription factors, TEAD1 and ELF4, which are controlled by both lactate and NDRG3 during neuronal differentiation, shedding light on the intricate molecular processes at play.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The implications of this study are far-reaching. While lactate's significance as an energy source for the brain during exercise has been well-established, understanding its role in promoting neural differentiation paves the way for new possibilities in neuroscience. These findings could be the stepping stones towards harnessing lactate signaling to encourage exercise or designing drugs that target cognitive diseases.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Professor Nagatomi and his team envision that their research could lead to better comprehension of brain function adaptations, including cognition and memory, when changes in lactate levels are considered. By measuring the changes in lactate levels caused by human exercise, researchers may gain valuable insights into brain function alterations, potentially guiding the development of targeted interventions for cognitive disorders.</p> Wed Jul 26 16:06:55 IST 2023 two-year-old-mumbai-boy-battling-ruptured-renal-tumour-gets-new-lease-of-life <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A two-year-old boy who was suffering from a ruptured malignant renal tumour, got a new lease of life at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai. The child had complained about severe pain in the abdomen and was also suffering from rapid breathing. He looked pale and lacked vitality.</p> <p>Paediatric Onco-surgery Consultant Dr Kant Shah, who led the team of doctors, said a complete evaluation of the patient found that he had a ruptured renal tumour which was stabilised for the time being by blood transfusions. The tumour, called Wilms Tumour, which is the commonest cancer of kidneys in children while it is highly curable, it can turn fatal if ruptured.</p> <p>According to Shyam Srinivasan from the Department of Paediatric Oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, the cure rates of childhood malignancies are inferior in India when compared to upper-middle-income countries. “There is a paucity of quality data addressing the outcome of childhood Wilms Tumour (WT) from India,” according to a review report led by Srinivasan. The review titled, 'Wilms Tumour in India: A Systematic Review', included 17 studies on 1,170 patients. Ninety-four per cent of the studies were published after 2010.</p> <p>Researchers found advanced stage (III and IV) disease in 46 per cent of patients and the overall survival ranged between 48 and 89 per cent. As per Srinivasan, a substantial proportion of children with Wilms Tumour from India are at the advanced stages of the disease. &quot;Despite several limitations, the current systematic review showed a modest survival among Indian children with Wilms Tumour. Ensuring early access to expert care along with the involvement of social support teams may further improve the survival of WT in India,&quot; the report noted.</p> <p>At Jaslok, an immediate surgery had to be performed for the little boy where a left-sided nephrectomy with lymph node sampling was done. The patient recovered well from surgery in the PICU and was then shifted to the ward. During the admission, Paediatric Oncologist Dr Amit Jain and Radiation Oncologist Dr Sharmila Agrawal initiated chemotherapy on the fifth day of surgery and radiotherapy on the ninth day, as per protocol. The patient then underwent six months of rigorous treatment and is now thriving.</p> <p>“It is important for parents to understand the seriousness when kids mention that they are suffering from pain and be alert. This case also proves that a multi-disciplinary care pathway is important for such cancers in children where a paediatric onco-surgeon is an anchor but joint care with other specialists is mandatory throughout the course of treatment. We are proud to have facilitated this little boy’s miraculous escape from a ruptured tumour,” said Shah.</p> <p>Speaking about his ordeal, the father of the patient said, “We hope our kid will survive this and go on to live a long and normal life.”</p> Wed Jul 26 15:16:40 IST 2023 muscle-loss-found-to-aid-in-fighting-infections <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Wasting, the simultaneous loss of fat and muscle, has long been observed as a common symptom during infections. Seeking to unravel the potential benefits of this process in fighting infections, scientists at the Salk Institute, led by Professor Janelle Ayres, conducted an innovative study using mice infected with the parasite T. brucei. Their findings, published in Cell Reports on July 24, 2023, challenge conventional beliefs about wasting and provide crucial insights into its underlying mechanisms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This research marks a significant step forward in our understanding of wasting during infections, challenging preconceived notions about its significance and implications. By identifying the specific immune cells responsible for fat and muscle loss, the study has the potential to pave the way for targeted therapies that spare patients from wasting and enhance their ability to combat infections and other related diseases.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study revealed that wasting during T. brucei infection occurs in two distinct phases, each governed by different types of immune cells. The researchers focused on two specialized T cell types, CD4+ and CD8+, which are known to play key roles in the immune response.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To investigate the relationship between these T cell types and wasting, the team used the parasite T. brucei as it resides in fat and can hinder the adaptive immune response, making it an ideal model to study fat wasting and T cell involvement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Their findings demonstrated that CD4+ T cells are responsible for initiating the process of fat wasting. Surprisingly, the fat loss induced by CD4+ T cells had no impact on the mice's ability to fight the T. brucei infection or their survival. However, independently of the fat wasting process, CD8+ T cells were found to trigger muscle wasting. In a surprising twist, this muscle loss was found to enhance the mice's ability to fight the infection and survive.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Senior author Janelle Ayres, the Salk Institute Legacy Chair and head of the Molecular and Systems Physiology Laboratory, commented on the unexpected results, &quot;We often make assumptions that conditions like wasting are bad, since they often coincide with higher mortality rates. But if instead we ask, what is the purpose of wasting? We can find surprising and insightful answers that can help us understand the human response to infection and how we can optimize that response.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study not only provides new insights into the role of immune cells in fat and muscle wasting during infection but also offers valuable information for developing more effective therapeutics that can spare individuals from wasting. Moreover, it has the potential to improve our understanding of wasting's impact on survival and morbidity in various diseases, such as infections, cancers, and chronic illnesses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First author Samuel Redford, a current visiting researcher and former graduate student in Ayres' lab, expressed his astonishment at the results, saying, &quot;Our discoveries were so surprising that there were times I wondered if we did something wrong. We had striking results that mice with fully functioning immune systems and mice without CD4+ T cells lived the same amount of time -- meaning, those CD4+ T cells and the fat wasting they caused were completely disposable in fighting the parasite. And beyond that, we found that normally cooperative T cell subtypes were working totally independently of one another.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This groundbreaking research highlights the importance of studying immune cells in both fat and muscle wasting and emphasizes the need to understand the underlying mechanisms to develop effective therapeutic interventions. As the team extrapolates their findings to other diseases involving immune-mediated wasting, the study opens up promising avenues for novel treatments and potential breakthroughs in managing a wide range of illnesses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed Jul 26 14:13:56 IST 2023 unesco-urges-worldwide-smartphone-ban-in-classrooms <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Unesco has called for a global ban on smartphones at schools, saying it would enhance children's learning and protect them from cyberbullying.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The report by the UN educational body points out that the overuse of mobile phones is connected to poorer performance at school while excessive screen time affected children’s emotional stability.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The report said one in six countries had banned smartphones in school after analysing 200 education systems across the globe. The Unesco report comes against the backdrop of some European countries deciding to restrict the use of gadgets on school premises.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unesco highlighted the importance of focusing on ‘human-centred’ education, pointing out that technology, including artificial intelligence, should not replace face-to-face teaching.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Addressing the shift towards online learning, Unesco advised governments not to ignore the ‘social dimension’. “Not all change constitutes progress. Just because something can be done does not mean it should be done. Those urging increasing individualisation may be missing the point of what education is about,” it said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unesco director-general Audrey Azoulay said, “The digital revolution holds immeasurable potential but, just as warnings have been voiced for how it should be regulated in society, similar attention must be paid to the way it is used in education. Its use must be for enhanced learning experiences and the well-being of students and teachers, not to their detriment. Keep the needs of the learner first and support teachers. Online connections are no substitute for human interaction.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While acknowledging that technology “stopped education melting down” during the Covid-19 lockdowns, several millions of less privileged students struggled to study without internet access.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Netherlands is set to enforce a ban on smartphones, tablets and smartwatches in classrooms from 2024. BBC quoted Dutch Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf as saying, &quot;Even though mobile phones are almost intertwined with our lives, they do not belong in the classroom. Students must be able to concentrate there and be given every opportunity to learn well. We know from scientific research that mobile phones disrupt this.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finland, too, has moved against smartphone use in schools. “We will make the necessary legislative amendments to enable more efficient restrictions in cases such as the use of mobile devices during the school day so that pupils and students can better concentrate on teaching,” the Finnish government stated, as per Euractiv.</p> Wed Jul 26 12:57:14 IST 2023 brain-tumour-qanda-with-apollos-dr-anil-dcruz <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; padding-bottom: 10px;">Name: Sneha Thakur</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; color: #007c9e;">Location: Mumbai</p> <p style="font-style: italic;"><b>Question:</b> Does phone radiations or any electrical gadget radiation be a cause for Brain Tumor?</p> <p style="margin-left: 15px; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px solid #ededed; padding-bottom: 15px;"><b>Answer:</b>There is no scientific reason that phone radiation or any electrical gadget radiation can lead to brain tumor. For years people belived that the cellular phone could cause brain tumors but numerous studies have been carried out-long follow-up of more than 10 years and there has been no conclusive evidence for the same. Similarly, with electrical gadgets as with microwaves, there is no conclusive proof that it can cause cancer. When one eats food made warm in a microwave or walk in front of a microwave and get exposed to the microwaves, they are basically non-ionised radiations. However, my advice is that whenever you use a cellular phone, try not to keep it near your ear for a longer time or even when you are sleeping you should not keep it next to you due to electromagnetic waves that are activated from a cellphone.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; padding-bottom: 10px;">Name: Joyal K Mohan</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; color: #007c9e;">Location: Mumbai</p> <p style="font-style: italic;"><b>Question:</b> Does lack of sleep contribute to brain tumor?</p> <p style="margin-left: 15px; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px solid #ededed; padding-bottom: 15px;"><b>Answer:</b>There is no conclusive evidence that lack of sleep can be responsible or causative effect for brain tumors. However, the corollary is true, many often people with brain tumors have disturbed sleep patterns.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; padding-bottom: 10px;">Name: Praveen Nair</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; color: #007c9e;">Location: Kannur</p> <p style="font-style: italic;"><b>Question:</b> What are the treatment possibilities?</p> <p style="margin-left: 15px; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px solid #ededed; padding-bottom: 15px;"><b>Answer:</b>Brain tumors are usually treated with brain surgery or radiotherapy. Chemotherapy may be added at times to potentiate the effects of radiotherapy. Chemotherapy can be conventional, targeted or immunotherapy. The best form of treatment depends on the type of tumor. Brain tumors are of various types; they can be benign or non-cancerous or cancerous. The types may also depend on the part of the brain that is affected. Some brain parts are critical, making surgery impossible. In the spectrum of benign tumors, there are meningiomas, one of the commonest benign brain tumors. Very often, these may not require any treatment and we sometimes just observe them for a year to see the rate of growth. When these are in critical areas, we offer surgery.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; padding-bottom: 10px;">Name: Khaja Mohideen</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; color: #007c9e;">Location: Tenkasi</p> <p style="font-style: italic;"><b>Question:</b> If a tumor is removed is there a chance that it will appear again?</p> <p style="margin-left: 15px; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px solid #ededed; padding-bottom: 15px;"><b>Answer:</b> Yes, brain tumors can recur after surgery. The brain is a very critical organ of the body unlike other cancers where you can excise tumors with clear or wide margins. In the brain, the more you excise into normal tissue, the more the deficit, both motor i.e., movement and sensory or sensations. Moreover, some of these cancers are very aggressive so we take out much of the tumor as possible and we prevent its regrowth through a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, or chemotherapy or radiotherapy given separately. But the chances that it will recur are very high. Very often these high-grade gliobastomas multiformae, which is like a grade 4 brain tumor, recurs within the first 1 or 2 years.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; padding-bottom: 10px;">Name: Hema Chavan</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; color: #007c9e;">Location: Pune</p> <p style="font-style: italic;"><b>Question:</b> What is the remission rate like in cases of brain tumors?</p> <p style="margin-left: 15px; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px solid #ededed; padding-bottom: 15px;"><b>Answer:</b>The brain tumors are unfortunately very aggressive. Now we must understand that brain tumors could be those which are benign and low grade and those which are aggressive or astrocytomas-grade 4 astrocytoma which is also called gliobastoma multiformae. In the grade 4 aggressive brain tumors, the longevity is very limited as the tumors grow very fast whereas surgeons, we are not able to remove all of the tumor. After aggressive debulking surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are given and patients usually live for a couple of years. For intermediate or low-grade tumors, this can be longer. For benign tumors, it depends on the location and how much we can remove. If we can remove all and it is not in a very important part of the brain, then patients do well. But by and large most brain tumors are aggressive, and they recur very fast. When I say this, I mean malignant brain tumors such as meningiomas.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; padding-bottom: 10px;">Name: Rubin Joseph</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; color: #007c9e;">Location: Bangalore</p> <p style="font-style: italic;"><b>Question:</b> Can exercise help in brain tumor recovery? If so, could you suggest some exercises?</p> <p style="margin-left: 15px; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px solid #ededed; padding-bottom: 15px;"><b>Answer:</b>Exercise will not help recover from a brain tumor, but exercise is important to rehabilitate one particularly for treatment related side effects. So, it depends on which part of the brain was removed and which part of the body was affected due to this damage. Exercises that target the specific group of muscles are prescribed. Physiotherapy helps you in the rehabilitation phase. There is no particular exercise, it varies according to the signs and symptoms and the part of the human body that has been affected due to the tumor or because of treatment side effects.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; padding-bottom: 10px;">Name: Shabin Elias</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; color: #007c9e;">Location: Mangalore</p> <p style="font-style: italic;"><b>Question:</b> Could throwing up/ nausea be a sign of brain tumor?</p> <p style="margin-left: 15px; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px solid #ededed; padding-bottom: 15px;"><b>Answer:</b>Yes, unexplained throwing up/nausea/vomiting could be a sign of brain tumor. This is because a brain tumor raises the intracranial pressure and therefore patients may vomit. It is often called projectile vomiting and not like other common forms of vomiting. The other signs and symptoms of brain tumors are headaches, blurring of vision, weakness of the body, altered gait-all related to pressure on the brain, which part it affects as well as raised intracranial pressure.</p> Wed Jul 26 11:25:07 IST 2023 world-ivf-day-highlights-50-drop-in-sperm-quality-ivf-offers-hop <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>World IVF Day is observed on July 25, drawing attention to the pressing issue of infertility, which has become a significant public health concern affecting numerous couples worldwide. Unfortunately, only a minuscule percentage of those affected seek medical evaluation, primarily due to limited awareness, lack of access, and the high cost of treatments. Additionally, societal stigma, misconceptions, and delayed diagnosis further compound the burden of infertility, underscoring the need for greater awareness and support on this important day.</p> <p>Abhishek Aggrawal, Chief Business Officer of Birla Fertility &amp; IVF, offers valuable insights into the challenges surrounding infertility and the transformative role played by in vitro fertilization (IVF).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What is the magnitude of the problem of infertility and its major challenges?</b></p> <p>Infertility has become a major public health concern. Globally and in India, one in six married couples are impacted by this. Three crore couples in India suffer from infertility. Unfortunately, less than one percent of those affected seek medical evaluation for their condition, due to lack of awareness, access, and affordability of treatment. Social stigma attached to infertility, myths like holding women solely responsible for conception and unwillingness to acknowledge male infertility are some of the key challenges. In addition, infertility is often not prioritised as a critical health condition, leading to delay in diagnosis and treatment, thereby increasing the disease burden.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What are the factors that contribute to increasing infertility?&nbsp;</b></p> <p>Changing social structures such as late marriages and delayed family planning by couples, increase in lifestyle related issues such as high BMI, early diabetes, smoking/alcohol consumption and stress levels and inadequate focus on overall well-being contributes to increasing the risk of infertility. While infertility can be caused due to several factors, there is a tendency to consider it as an individual or personal failure. The financial burden of treatment can be stressful as well. The need of the hour is to drive awareness around infertility by eradicating social stigma and misconceptions and make comprehensive treatments including IVF available, affordable and accessible.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>How has IVF (in vitro fertilisation) been a game changer in treatment?&nbsp;</b></p> <p>IVF has opened doors for couples who have been struggling with infertility. IVF has been a game changer for India. According to a report by Ernst and Young, the IVF industry is growing rampantly with annual cycles exceeding 2.5 million globally. India, however, performs only 200,000 to 250,000 IVF cycles per year. Considering that the Indian Fertility Industry is projected to reach $1,453 million by 2027, with a capacity of conducting 500,000 to 600,000 IVF cycles, the future looks promising and bright. The increasing success rates of IVF, currently at 60% year-to-date, contribute significantly to this growth. This positive trend will further drive the demand for the IVF sector.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What are the regulatory reforms to strengthen IVF?</b></p> <p>Ever since the first IVF baby arrived 45 years back, changing the history of infertility medicine, the procedure has been a ray of hope for childless couples, enabling them to have a biological child. It works as a safe and effective option when contemporary treatments fail. Policy interventions such as The Surrogacy Act and the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Act cover the entire range of fertility treatments including IVF. It focuses on bringing a more defined structure and standardization of clinical treatments to improve patient safety. The legislation empowers patients by making more information available for them to make choices about their treatment with full knowledge and understanding.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>How can IVF treatment be made widely available and accessible?&nbsp;</b></p> <p>To address gaps in the affordability of IVF solutions and make them available to a larger section of society, a transparent and ‘right pricing’ approach for patients can help. Further, improving success rates as medical technology progresses can result in decreasing the cost of treatment.&nbsp;</p> <p>With sperm quality around the world showing a 50% decline over the past three decades, it is anticipated that much larger number of babies will be conceived through IVF in the days to come. IVF now accounts for the conception of over 5% of all new-borns in some European countries where it is either more affordable or is covered by insurance. In India too, a shift in mindset is anticipated which will lead to more couples opting for this safe and effective solution to infertility. With an increasing burden of infertility in the country, IVF needs to be made affordable to increase the accessibility of this solution to one and all.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue Jul 25 14:14:35 IST 2023 children-in-food-insecure-homes-at-higher-mental-health-risk--st <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Children and adolescents living in food-insecure households have a 55 per cent higher frequency of visits to a doctor for mental health issues than those with adequate food supplies, according to a study.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The research, published recently in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at population health survey data from the Canadian Community Health Survey on 32,321 children and adolescents.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Researchers used a validated measurement tool to categorise household food access as food-secure, marginally food-insecure, moderately food-insecure, or severely food-insecure.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of the total, 5,216 (16.1 per cent) were living in food-insecure, 1,952 (6 per cent) in marginally food-insecure, 2,348 (7.3 per cent) in moderately food-insecure and 916 (2.8 per cent) in severely food-insecure households.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Researchers also found that children and adolescents in food-insecure homes had a 74 per cent higher prevalence of past-year acute care visits, defined as an emergency department visit or hospitalisation for a mental or substance use disorder.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The most common visits were for neurodevelopmental disorders, mood and anxiety disorders followed by social problems and other mental health issues.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The coexistence of household food insecurity and service use for mental and substance use disorders here is problematic, given that both of these conditions have each been found to have negative consequences for social, educational and developmental outcomes among children and adolescents,&quot; said Kelly Anderson, associate professor at Western University in Canada.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Taken together, these findings are concerning, and we need strong public policy to support families who face food insecurity,&quot; said senior study author Salimah Shariff, staff scientist at Western University.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers note that the data is also almost a decade old, and food insecurity has increased in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The relationship between food insecurity and mental health issues may be more complicated, studies suggest.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Given the diverse mental health conditions examined, it is unlikely that the mechanism of harm is lack of specific nutrients or poor diet quality,&quot; said Lynn McIntyre, a professor at the University of Calgary, Canada.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Much more likely is that food insecurity contributes to mental distress among those living in difficult circumstances, as has been shown in studies of the relationship between severity of household food insecurity and mental health disorders among adults,&quot; McIntyre said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Reducing food insecurity may help alleviate some mental health issues for children and youth, the researchers said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Clinicians should advocate as vociferously about the need for income security for families who are food-insecure as they do for solutions to emergency departments being filled with patients who need primary health care.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Some jurisdictions have proposed that practitioners screen patients for financial strain and take steps to ensure that those identified as such receive their financial entitlements,&quot; McIntyre added.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue Jul 25 10:54:40 IST 2023 cannabis-use-linked-to-epigenetic-changes-in-human-dna <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Recent research conducted by Northwestern Medicine has shed light on the impact of marijuana use on the human epigenome, revealing associations between cannabis consumption and changes in DNA methylation. The study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, delved into the long-term effects of marijuana use on the epigenetic factors that regulate gene expression and control how our bodies function.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Marijuana remains the most widely used drug in the United States, with approximately 48.2 million people, or roughly 18% of all Americans, reporting marijuana use at least once in 2019, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The research, led by Dr. Lifang Hou, Chief of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention in the Department of Preventive Medicine, aimed to explore the effects of marijuana use on epigenetic factors and their potential health implications. The team studied a group of over 1,000 adults who had participated in a long-term study, which spanned two decades, and provided blood samples at two time points: 15 and 20 years after baseline. These participants were aged between 18 and 30 at the start of the study.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Epigenetic changes were assessed by examining DNA methylation levels in the blood samples. DNA methylation involves the addition or removal of methyl groups from DNA, which can influence gene activity without altering the genetic sequence. Such changes can be triggered by environmental and lifestyle factors and may be inherited by future generations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study found significant associations between cumulative marijuana use and multiple epigenetic markers over time. Specifically, 22 DNA methylation markers were associated with recent marijuana use, and 31 markers were linked to cumulative cannabis use in the blood samples taken at the 15-year point. At the 20-year mark, 132 markers were identified in association with recent use and 16 markers with cumulative use.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Notably, one of the identified markers was also previously associated with tobacco use, indicating a potential shared epigenetic regulation between marijuana and tobacco consumption.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dr. Hou emphasized that while the research has provided new insights into the connections between marijuana use and epigenetic factors, it does not establish a direct causal relationship between cannabis consumption and the observed changes. The study also does not definitively determine the health consequences of these epigenetic alterations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Experts are urging further investigation to determine if these associations are consistently observed in different populations. Additionally, research examining the long-term effects of marijuana on age-related health outcomes could provide more comprehensive insights into the potential impacts of cannabis use on overall health.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The findings from this study underscore the need for a deeper understanding of the effects of marijuana on the human body, given its widespread use and increasing legalisation in various states. Future research could contribute to informed decision-making surrounding cannabis use and its potential implications for public health.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue Jul 25 09:37:41 IST 2023