How light directly affects sleeping and waking

June 23, 2017

Humans are diurnal animals, meaning that we usually sleep at night and are awake during the day, due at least in part to light or the lack thereof. Light is known to affect sleep indirectly by entraining–modifying the length of–our circadian rhythms and also rapidly and directly due to a phenomenon known as masking. But while a great deal is known about how light affects circadian rhythms, little is known about the direct effects of light on sleep: Why do we tend to wake up if the lights are flipped on in the middle of the night? Why does darkness make us sleepy? Caltech researchers in the laboratory of Professor of Biology David Prober say they have discovered at least part of the answer: a specific protein in the brain that responds to light and darkness to set the correct balance between sleep and wakefulness.

Their work is described in a paper appearing online in the journal Neuron on June 22.

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Gold Standard Treatments for Endometriosis

May 17, 2017

Endometriosis is a common condition where the tissue lining of the womb is found in other parts of the body. This condition affects many women in their thirties onwards, but it can also affect young girls about to enter puberty and teenagers. Endometriosis is a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on your life, and as well as the physical symptoms, it can lead to psychological problems such as depression if it begins to impact your everyday life. It can even lead to infertility. However, there are treatments and coping mechanisms which do not have to be as un-luxurious as the condition itself. The treatments below are both highly recommended and offer a beneficial combination of methods for treating and coping with endometriosis.

 Excision Surgery

The removal of endometriosis is most successful with a deep-excision surgery. This surgery aims to relieve pain and patient symptoms by removing the inflammatory tissue and each visible endometriosis lesion upon laparoscopy. Read more

5 Ways to Deal with Age-Related Varicose Veins

May 2, 2017

As we age, we’re presented with a new set of health challenges. But, whilst some could potentially be serious, many are simply uncomfortable or unsightly, such as varicose veins. Figures suggest that over 40 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from varicose veins; it’s a common occurrence as we age.

Although they’re not a cause for worry, varicose veins can be unsightly at best, and uncomfortable or painful at worst. Thankfully, there’s no need to simply live with them. Here are some of the best ways to reduce or even completely get rid of varicose veins.

#1. Change Your Shoes


If you’re
suffering from varicose veins and tend to wear high heels, then this could be the cause. Varicose and spider veins are commonly caused by poor circulation in the legs, which is made worse by elevating the heels. Switching your heels for shoes that are no higher than around 3cm can make a huge difference.

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One in three American adults may have had a warning stroke

May 1, 2017

About one in three American adults experienced a symptom consistent with a warning or “mini” stroke, but almost none – 3 percent – took the recommended action, according to a new survey from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

Thirty-five percent of respondents reported having experienced at least one sign of a warning stroke, called a transient ischemic attack or TIA. Those who did were more likely to wait, rest or take medicine than call 911, said the AHA/ASA, the nation’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

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New report links early life antibiotic use to inflammatory gut diseases in adulthood

April 3, 2017

A new research report in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology involving mice shows that antibiotic use very early in life that alters the normal development/growth of gut bacteria, may contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disease, and potentially other inflammatory diseases like asthma and multiple sclerosis. This study adds more evidence to suggest that altering gut flora may be a viable treatment strategy for some inflammatory diseases.

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Reversing aging now possible!

April 3, 2017

 

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Photo Credit: DGIST

DGIST’s research team discovered substances that can induce reversible aging* recovery and identified an aging recovery mechanism using these substances.

Aging is a phenomenon in which a cell’s ability to divide and grow deteriorates as it gets older, and this causes degradation of the body and senile diseases. The inhibition and recovery of aging is an instinctive desire of humans; thus, it is a task and challenge of biologists to identify substances that control aging and analyze aging mechanisms.

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‘Good’ bacteria is possible solution to rampant inflammation seen in bowel diseases

March 13, 2017

Beneficial bacteria may be the key to helping to reverse a cycle of gut inflammation seen in certain inflammatory bowel diseases, University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have found.

In a study published in journal Nature Immunology, researchers led by Jenny P.Y. Ting, PhD, Lineberger member and the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Genetics, describe how inflammation can go unchecked in the absence of a certain inflammation inhibitor called NLRP12. In a harmful feedback loop, this inflammation can upset the balance of bacteria living in the gut – part of the community of micro-organisms in the human body known as the microbiome. They found in preclinical models that certain types of “bad” bacteria were more abundant, while there were lower levels of beneficial bugs in the absence of NLRP12. That led to even more inflammation in their models.

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Stem cell transplants may induce long-term remission of multiple sclerosis

February 1, 2017

New clinical trial results provide evidence that high-dose immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of a person’s own blood-forming stem cells can induce sustained remission of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system.

Five years after receiving the treatment, called high-dose immunosuppressive therapy and autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (HDIT/HCT), 69 percent of trial participants had survived without experiencing progression of disability, relapse of MS symptoms or new brain lesions. Notably, participants did not take any MS medications after receiving HDIT/HCT. Other studies have indicated that currently available MS drugs have lower success rates.

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Gut microbe study shows promise as a potential treatment for autism

January 23, 2017

The key to fighting autism might lie not in the mind, but in the gut.

A team led by Arizona State University researchers is taking a novel approach the search for effective autism treatments by focusing on improving the gut microbiome through fecal microbial transplants.

Early results are promising, but additional testing is required before an FDA-approved therapy would be available or recommended to the public.

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Breakthrough drug for MS treatment

January 10, 2017

In separate clinical trials, a drug called ocrelizumab has been shown to reduce new attacks in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), and new symptom progression in primary progressive MS.

Three studies conducted by an international team of researchers, which included Amit Bar-Or and Douglas Arnold from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University, have discovered that ocrelizumab can significantly reduce new attacks in patients with relapsing MS, as well as slow the progression of symptoms caused by primary progressive MS.

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