Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cancer Benefits in Old Therapy-New Study

    Cancer patients who used a 5000-year-old combination of gentle exercise and meditation experienced significantly higher well being levels, improved cognitive functioning and less inflammation compared to a control group, new University of Sydney research has found.

    Dr Byeongsang Oh, a clinical senior lecturer at the Sydney Medical School who led the study, said the reduced inflammation in patients who practiced medical Qigong, a form of traditional Chinese medicine, was particularly significant.

    "Patients who practiced medical Qigong experienced significant improvements in quality of life, including greater physical, functional, social and emotional well being, and enhanced cognitive functioning, while the control group deteriorated in all of these areas," Dr Oh says.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hips Take Walking in Stride, Ankles Put Best Foot Forward in Run

    In a first-of-its-kind study comparing human walking and running motions -- and whether the hips, knees or ankles are the most important power sources for these motions -- researchers at North Carolina State University show that the hips generate more of the power when people walk, but the ankles generate more of the power when humans run. Knees provide approximately one-fifth or less of walking or running power.

    A long history of previous studies has focused on the bio mechanics of human locomotion from a whole-body or individual limbs perspective. The study shows that, overall, hip generate more power when people walk. That is, until humans get to the point at which they're speed walking -- walking so fast that it feels more comfortable to run -- at 2 meters per second. Hips generate 44 percent of the power when people walk at a rate of 2 meters per second, with ankles contributing 39 percent of the power.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Curcumin Compound inhibits Effectiveness of Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

    Curcumin, the compound that gives curry powder its yellow/orange color, may inhibit the adverse effects of nicotine in patients with head and neck cancer who continue to smoke.

    A primary reason that head and neck cancer treatments fail is the tumor cells become resistant to chemotherapy drugs. Now, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that a compound derived from the Indian spice curcumin can help cells overcome that resistance.

    "This work opens the possibility of using lower, less toxic doses of cisplatin to achieve an equivalent or enhanced tumors kill. Typically, when cells become resistant to cisplatin, we have to give increasingly higher doses. But this drug is so toxic that patients who survive treatment often experience long-term side effects from the treatment," says senior study author Thomas Carey, Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology and pharmacology.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Prevent Lower Back Injuries

    Most of us have suffered through at least one bout of low back pain in the course of our lifetime. The occurrence is alarmingly quite high, affecting approximately 60-80% of the adult population. In fact, physicians report that low back pain is so prevalent; it is second in medical visits to the common cold. The majority of LBP can be classified as mechanical; including problems affecting the many joints, discs, ligaments and muscles of the spine.

    Include a proper warm-up
    The benefits of injecting a warm-up prior to engaging in vigorous exercise are numerous. This preparatory exercise or movement helps protect against injury by improving the flexibility of the muscles. In general, the warm-up activity should last approximately 5-15 minutes with the focus on raising the total body temperature and muscles.

    Build a strong core
    There is an abundance of research to support the incorporation of a core specific programme into a regular training regime in order to prevent lower back injuries. Exercises specifically designed to challenge and activate the local stabilizers as well as the spinal extensors (erector spinae) are critical in preventing episodes of lower back pain.

    Stay active
    Maintaining a regular fitness regime will help in the prevention of lower back injuries. As exercise will strengthen and balance the muscles that assist in maintaining upright posture, performing them regularly is essential.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kennadee-Three open-heart surgeries free from bleak prognosis

    When Shawna Albright was pregnant with her daughter Kennadee, doctors told her and her husband Don that the baby would not survive because of her complex heart defects. Two referrals and two echocardiograms later, doctors said there was no way the baby would survive her complex heart defects.

    A referral to pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon Frank Hanley, MD, at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, where Hanley repairs congenital heart defects that other doctors won’t touch.

    In May 2010, Shawna delivered baby Kennadee, Hanley soon realized the tiny girl was one of the most complex patients he had ever seen. Some infants have serious defects inside the heart; others have a hard-to-repair malformation of the artery leading to the lungs. Kennadee’s case was even worse. “Kennadee had the ‘10 out of 10’ pulmonary artery problem, but inside her heart she also had a complex defect that is a 9 or 10 out of 10 on the cardiac side of things,” Hanley said. “It would take three open-heart surgeries to achieve a complete repair,” he said.

    Kennadee’s first two operations repaired her blood vessel problem. Her first surgery, a four-hour operation at age 2 weeks, allowed more blood to be pushed through these little vessels, prompting them to grow. It was a key step to prepare her for surgery number two.

    The second operation, in September 2010 when Kennadee was 4 months old, was a marathon repair that Hanley, its pioneering inventor, has performed more than 500 times. The long, arduous procedure takes such stamina, focus and experience that very few surgeons attempt it.

    So, in her third surgery in March 2011, in a re-plumbing of Kennadee’s heart, Hanley performed an eight-hour “double switch” procedure on the then-10-month-old.

    “Without these surgeries, the prognosis for her long-term survival would be close to zero,” Hanley said. “Now, all of her cardiac and lung physiology is completely normal.” And now, Kennadee is looking good, feeling good, playing peek-a-boo and planning to celebrate her first birthday on May 21, an event that once seemed unimaginable.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Soft Drinks Increases Stroke Risk

    In a study of 2564 people of varying ethnic backgrounds, researchers at Columbia University in New York and the Miller School of Medicine in Miami found a significant correlation between diet soda consumption and the risk of stroke.

    Started in 1993, Researchers divided people into seven groups: those who drank less than one soda of any type per month, those with moderate soda consumption (up to six per week), daily regular soda consumption (one or more daily), moderate diet soda only, daily diet soda only, moderate diet soda and sometimes regular soda, and daily diet soda with any regular soda consumption.

    After considering all the other factors studied, researchers concluded that regular diet soda drinkers had a 48% increased chance of having a stroke, while those who drank diet soda every day had a 61% increased risk of stroke over those who drank other types of soda.
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