Archive for December 18th, 2012

Ordinary heart cells transformed into ‘biological pacemakers’

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Taking a major step forward in the decade-long search for a biological therapy to correct erratic and failing heartbeats, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute researchers have reprogrammed ordinary heart cells to become exact replicas of highly specialized pacemaker cells by injecting a single gene (Tbx18).

“Although we and others have created primitive biological pacemakers before, this study is the first to show that a single gene can direct the conversion of heart muscle cells to genuine pacemaker cells. The new cells generated electrical impulses spontaneously and were indistinguishable from native pacemaker cells,” said Hee Cheol Cho, PhD., a Heart Institute research scientist.

Pacemaker cells generate electrical activity that spreads to other heart cells in an orderly pattern to create rhythmic muscle contractions. If these cells go awry, the heart pumps erratically at best; patients healthy enough to undergo surgery often look to an electronic pacemaker as the only option for survival.

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Health tip of the day

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Rub peppermint oil, Tiger Balm, or white flower oil into your temples to soothe your headaches. All three remedies contain menthol, which has analgesic properties.

Maintaining weight as important as losing it for post-menopausal women

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Gaining weight back after intentional weight loss is associated with negative long-term effects on some cardiometabolic (CM) risk factors in post-menopausal women, researchers say.

In the new study, lead authors Daniel Beavers and Kristen Beavers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center wanted to look at how weight regain affects health risk in these women.

The researchers looked specifically at CM risk factors – a cluster of risk factors that are indicators of a person’s overall risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

They include blood pressure, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose and insulin.

“In this group of women, weight loss and maintaining that loss offers the most health benefit, but therein lies the problem,” Daniel Beavers said.

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Erectile dysfunction ‘may be linked to heart disease’

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Erectile dysfunction, which typically focus on a man’s inability to have sex, has a more devastating issue that could be behind having difficulty maintaining an erection – heart disease, researchers say.

Research has connected erectile dysfunction with heart disease in men between the ages of 30 to 60 for years, but it is still not commonly known among the public.

“You hear about men who pass away from heart disease and their wives find Viagra [in their belongings] and they didn’t even know they had a problem,” the Huffington Post quoted Dr. Kevin Billups from Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Integrative Men’s Health Program as saying.

According to doctors, for many men experiencing erectile dysfunction is the first signal of risk factors which, if unchecked, can lead to heart disease.

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Exercise can add extra 5 years to your life

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Adults who engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week live longer than inactive adults, a new study has found.

Framing the benefits of exercise in terms of years of life gained may better motivate people than warnings about not exercising, said study author Ian Janssen, Ph.D., of Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.

Janssen and his team used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the National Health Interview Study mortality linkage, and U.S. Life Tables to estimate and compare the life expectancy at each age for adults who were inactive, somewhat-active and active.

‘Active’ was defined as doing at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.

They found that men at age 20 were estimated to gain as much as 2.4 years of life from moderate activity. Women at age 20 gained about 3 additional years from engaging in moderate activity. The biggest benefit from physical activity was seen in non-Hispanic black women, who gained as many as 5.5 potential years of life.

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Integrative Ayurvedic healing for Parkinson’s disease

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

In the recent days of my practice at rVita, I have started getting inquiries on Parkinson’s disease management. Many patients/well wishers of rVita ask me – Can Ayurveda cure it? Is it a new disease? Can you improve the lifestyle of the patient?

On this context, I wanted to explain about how Ayurveda understands and deals with Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease also known in Ayurveda as ‘Kampa Vata’, is a neurological disorder affecting 1% of the population over the age 65 and is the fourth most common neurological degenerative disorder found in the elderly. Unfortunately changing life styles, high psychological pressures and reduced amount of anti-oxidants have increased the onset of this problem in younger age groups and the incidence has become very common.

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