How to Exercise for Brain Health

A man in blue sneakers about to lift a weight.

You have many good reasons to become more physically active: Doing so can boost mood, help maintain a healthy weight, and keep muscles strong. Now a growing body of evidence suggests that workouts may have brain benefits as well.

Much of the research on brain health and exercise is focused on aerobics. Yet a recent analysis from the University of Canberra in Australia found that certain nonaerobic activities can also help improve brain function in people over 50.

“Even when people did have some level of decline already, they were actually able to improve their cognitive function,” says the study’s author, Joseph Northey, a Ph.D. candidate in sport and exercise science.

We reviewed the most recent research to find tips on optimizing your exercise routine to help improve your brain health and keep your mind sharp.

Take a Brisk Walk

If you don’t exercise now, it’s easy to start. Just walk out your door and keep going.

It’s fine to start small. Build up from 10 minutes walking a day until you get to at least 30, says Elissa Burton, Ph.D., a research fellow in the school of physiotherapy and exercise science at Curtin University in Australia.

And if you can, pick up your pace. Getting your heart rate up will maximize the benefits to your brain, according to Helen Macpherson, Ph.D., a dementia research fellow at Deakin University in Australia. That means you should be exercising at an intensity where you start to find it difficult to have a conversation.

Do More Than the Minimum

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults get 150 minutes of this sort of moderately intense aerobic exercise each week, which is five 30-minute workouts. But the biggest boost in brain health in the Canberra study was linked to exercise sessions of 45 to 60 minutes.

So try consolidating some workouts into a longer session. Or gradually work up to 45 to 60 minutes, five days per week.

Try Tai Chi

This Chinese martial art, which consists of slow, rhythmic movements, was one of several types of exercise tied to improved cognitive functioning in the recent Canberra study.

Plus it’s low-impact, which can be good for people who haven’t been active in awhile, Northey says. It’s also easy on your joints.

To learn the proper technique, it’s best to seek out a local class, Northey says. You can find instructors near you who are certified by the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association.

Resistance Training Can Help, Too

Resistance training, exercise that causes muscles to contract, is meant to strengthen, but it may also help protect against cognitive decline. And you don’t need weights or other equipment, Northey says. The CDC recommends resistance training at least twice per week. Here are three tips to get you started:

Stand up, sit down, repeat. As long as you’re steady on your feet, try standing up from a chair without using your hands. Do this in sets of five or more anytime you find yourself sitting around the house.

Make daily tasks harder. Choose stairs over elevators and escalators. You’ll get an aerobic workout and build muscle at the same time.

Join a class. Northey’s study found that group programs incorporating resistance and aerobic training were beneficial for the brain. Check out the offerings at your local YMCA or senior center, and remember to talk with your doctor before you start any new exercise program.

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the September 2017 issue of Consumer Reports on Health.

[“Source-consumerreports”]

Hunt for HIV cure turns to cancer drugs

HIV

ntiretroviral drugs are currently used in HIV treatment to kill any active virus

The outstanding progress in boosting the immune system to treat cancer may help unlock a cure for HIV, according to scientists meeting in Paris.

The body’s normal defences struggle to clear the body of HIV and cancer.

But the rapidly emerging field of immunotherapy has seen some patients with terminal cancer go into complete remission.

The hope is that a similar approach could clear someone of HIV, although some experts have urged caution.

HIV treatment requires daily antiretroviral drugs to kill any active virus. Left unchecked, HIV can destroy the immune system, causing Aids.

A cure is currently impossible because drugs and the immune system fail to detect the sleeping or “latent” HIV hiding in the body’s cells.

Nobel Prize winner and co-discoverer of HIV, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, told the BBC: “One of the mechanisms why [latently infected cells] persist is the fact they are proliferating very similar to tumour cells.

‘It’s huge’

“Those cells are expressing molecules that are the same molecules that are expressed on tumour cells.

“So that raises the question whether we could develop a strategy for HIV-cure similar to the novel treatment in the field of cancer.”

She is one of the scientists attending the HIV and Cancer Cure Forum in Paris.

Prof Sharon Lewin, the director of the Doherty Institute in Australia, agrees there is much to learn from cancer.

She said: “There are a lot of parallels… I think it’s huge.”

  • ‘Mind-blowing’ cows hold clue to beating HIV
  • Aids deaths halve as more get drugs
  • HIV life expectancy now ‘near normal’

Cancers evolve tricks to survive an assault by the immune system.

They can produce proteins on their surface, such as PD-L1, which disable immune cells attacking the tumour.

A new class of immunotherapy drugs called “checkpoint inhibitors” allow the immune system to keep on fighting and the results have been remarkable.

In one trial, a fifth of patients with terminal melanoma had no sign of the disease after immunotherapy.

However, only about 50 people with HIV have been given immunotherapy to treat their cancer.

Little evidence

So there is little evidence of immunotherapy drugs and their effect on HIV.

Prof Lewin has started doing the research in the laboratory and thinks immunotherapy drugs could reinvigorate an immune system that has become tired of fighting HIV.

She said: “The parts of the immune system that recognise HIV are often exhausted T-cells, they express immune checkpoint markers.

“In the laboratory, if you then put those cells in with an immune checkpoint blocker, the T-cells do regain function.”

HIV drug efavirenz - used as part of antiretroviral therapy treatmentImage copyrightSCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Image captionAntiretroviral therapy combines three or more drugs which stop the HIV virus from progressing

She said there was emerging evidence that the drugs also activated HIV lying dormant inside immune cells.

Prof Lewin said: “We want the virus to wake up, any virus that wakes up gets killed [by antiretroviral drugs].”

However this is a new concept in HIV that has so far delivered nothing for patients.

And there are important differences between the challenges of cancer and HIV immunology.

‘So different’

In cancer, the immune system can recognise the threat but is not powerful enough to do anything about it, but the immune system does not recognise latently infected HIV cells at all.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the area is “very hot” right now in cancer.

But he cautioned: “We have to be careful we don’t assume that things that work in cancer are going to work in HIV.

“HIV is so different, that even though it’s worth exploring, I wouldn’t want people to think this is going to be equally successful in HIV.”

[“Source-bbc”]

10 Simple Diet Tips to Help You Fit into That Party Dress

Simple Diet Tips

Extreme dieting practices are totally unnecessary. Just follow this guide.

We all have that one “little black dress” we keep in the back of the closet, because the zipper just won’t zip. Many of us will convince ourselves that a liquid cleanse or crazy crash diet is the only way to finally feel good in our favorite party dress, but aren’t happy about the strenuous process of getting there. Well, you’re in luck. We’re here to tell you that you can skip the liquid cleanse and long hours of cardio, and make simple, healthy changes to take your party dress out of the closet for a night on the town.

First step to weight loss? Sleep! According to WebMD, “’There are over two dozen studies that suggest that people who sleep less tend to weigh more,’ says Sanjay Patel, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio.” Seven hours of sleep are necessary for a healthy metabolic rate and regular appetite. Talk about an enjoyable way to trim your waistline.

Registered dietician Christina Moreno advises, “Make small changes slowly with the big picture in mind. It generally takes 30 days to make (or break) a habit, so make small attainable goals (smart goals) to work towards.” Small changes can include ditching the diet and drinking more water. Water is an underrated weight loss superpower — it fills you up without adding to your daily calorie consumption. Although the recommended intake is eight glasses per day, use your body weight to calculate recommended consumption, as each person is different and may require diverse amounts.

Joey Adduci, a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant at AdduciFIT, always encourages his clients to eat when hungry — never going longer than five hours without food. He also stresses the importance of building the most effective meal — choosing lean protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Moreno encourages the same principles, including eating every two to four hours and chewing food slowly while sitting down. Super simple steps; no starving yourself, no crazy workouts, just simple, effective ways to lose those few stubborn pounds and zip up your party dress. Read on for more totally doable derriere-shrinking dos and don’ts.

Eat every 2 to 4 hours

 

Who knew the key to losing weight was eating more? According to WebMD, “Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism cranking, so you burn more calories over the course of a day. Several studies have also shown that people who snack regularly eat less at mealtime.”

Add Some Spice to Your Meals

 

Eating spicy food increases metabolism. WebMD reports that “[s]picy foods have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. Cooking foods with a tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper can boost your metabolic rate.”

 

[“source-thedailymeal”]

The eyes have IT: TSB to roll out iris-scanning tech for mobile banking

Human iris. Photo by SHutterstock

TSB has announced plans to roll out iris-scanning technology for its mobile banking app from September.

The move will make the UK high street bank the first in Europe to debut iris-scanning tech.

TSB’s iris recognition tech [source: TSB]

Biometric authentication for banking, in general, has become commonplace over recent years with fingerprints among the preferred method, thanks in large part the inclusion of fingerprint reader technology in higher-end smartphones, particularly since the launch of Apple’s TouchID back in 2013. Voice recognition is used elsewhere in the banking industry, particularly in call centres.

The TSB tech is based on technology from Samsung and only customers with the latest Samsung Galaxy S8 will be able to use iris recognition to access their TSB accounts. The bank already supports fingerprint recognition-based logins.

TSB told us: “Customers with a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphone will have the option, from September 2017, to unlock their TSB mobile banking app using the Samsung Pass iris scanner. TSB’s consumer customers will be able to access their banking using either the fingerprint (an existing feature) or the iris scanner, without any need to remember lengthy IDs or passwords.

TSB’s chief information officer, Carlos Abarca, said iris recognition was more secure than other forms of biometrics. “It takes advantage of 266 different characteristics, compared with 40 for fingerprints,” he said.

“Iris recognition allows you to unlock your TSB mobile app with a simple glance, meaning all of those IDs, passwords and memorable information become a thing of the past.”

The tech offers a blend of security and convenience, according to the bank. Once customers log in after going through an iris scan app, they will need to enter a password or secret number, a TSB spokesman explained. Use of the tech is optional and other account access options will continue to be offered.

German hackers from the Chaos Computer Club were recently able to trick a Samsung Galaxy S8’s iris scanner with a picture of the device owner’s eye and a contact lens. TSB said it was relying not only on biometrics but on a digital certificate pushed onto the phone during the enrolment process, so would-be hackers would need not only a high definition image of their target’s iris but their smartphone in any serious attempt to circumvent the bank’s authentication controls.

Security experts gave the move a cautious welcome, noting that biometrics are useful but far from invulnerable. Biometric security is no longer the stuff of spy or sci-fi films. The technology is more secure than password alone but by no means a panacea.

Etienne Greeff, CTO and co-founder of SecureData, commented: “It’s good to see businesses like TSB looking to replace passwords, which are flimsy and easily breached, but hackers are wise to biometrics and it won’t stop them from trying to get their hands on your data. Biometric security has been hacked in the past and there are countless examples of fingerprints being copied, voices being mimicked and iris-scanning software being tricked.”

Multiple attacks on fingerprint scanners have been recorded over the years. HSBC’s voice recognition security system was recently fooled by a BBC journalist and his brother.

“Biometric authentication is not entirely immune to potential attack and therefore should not be relied on as the sole means of verifying a user,” said Richard Parris, chief exec at Intercede. “Rather than use biometrics in isolation, instead businesses need to be looking at strong authentication that incorporates three distinct elements – possession (something you have, such as a smartphone), knowledge (something you know, such as a PIN) and inherence (something you are, an iris scan).

“This allows businesses to verify that the person accessing the service is who they say they are, in addition to limiting the amount of times an individual can attempt access if any of these elements are missing or incorrect.”

Companies storing authentication data have a greater responsibility to safeguard it because it’s harder to recover from breaches. Fingerprint or iris patterns can’t be revoked and changed, unlike password or credit cards. “With board directors to soon be responsible for complying with GDPR, more consideration needs to be had for security techniques deployed today and how we can better protect consumers,” SecureData’s Greeff concluded. ®

[“Source-theregister”]

A progressive approach to drug addiction

Instead of overlooking the true issue of drug addiction in Chatham-Kent and participating in the stigma that surrounds it, our community must be proactive. Now is our opportunity to help individuals suffering from drug addiction and prevent needless overdoses while simultaneously protecting public health.

Last year in Canada there were 2458 opioid related overdose deaths (two every day in Ontario), all which were preventable. Some readers may turn a blind eye to this statistic and argue, “who cares?” and “better for the rest of us”. My question for those people is, when did we lose our sense of community? When did we become so individualistic that our judgment of others has clouded our ability to feel empathy?

With the recent amendments to Bill C-37 put in place by our Liberal government, which makes the process of applying for safe consumption sites easier, now is the time to counterattack the rising opioid trend and provide drugs users with a safe injection site.

Opioid use in Chatham-Kent affects a significant portion of our population and heavier drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are becoming the norm. Before this trend escalates, we must follow the lead of our major Canadian cities (Vancouver and Toronto) and advocate for a safe consumption site in Chatham-Kent to provide a more progressive approach to drug addiction.

“Insite”, which is the name of Vancouver’s site, last year alone had 1,781 overdose interventions saving the lives of suffering individuals. Yes, they are suffering. Because of the stigma that surrounds drug addiction, this may seem like a waste of money and resources to many in our community. But to reiterate, these individuals are struggling, many from mental illnesses, and are continually chastised for not having the “normal” coping mechanisms to control their lives. This safe injection site would allow for accessible, sanitary and safe means of using illicit substances, as well as provide a friendly environment free of judgment for staff members to actively engage with drug users. Having staff onsite trained in harm reduction techniques would allow addicts access to learn new strategies, be connected to other treatment services, and provide a glimpse of hope for them to realize their potential to overcome their addiction.

You may still feel this idea of allowing people to use illegal drugs in an organized legal facility is ludicrous. Won’t this encourage drug use?

Statistics have shown in Vancouver that there has not been a substantial increase in drug use because of the opening of the legal injection site. The truth of the matter is that a safe consumption site is a radical idea. It does contradict the majority of our community’s thoughts toward drug addicts. But this facility would approach the issue of drug use in a humane manner treating them as people, not outcasts of society. By providing a safe injection site, Chatham-Kent can confront the opioid crisis before it becomes an epidemic in our own backyard.

[“Source-chathamdailynews”]

Mind Your Diet During Pregnancy to Cut C-Sec Risk

Mind Your Diet During Pregnancy to Cut C-Sec Risk

A woman’s diet plays a crucial role in her future plan of conceiving a child. According to a study done by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in England, half of all women of childbearing age worldwide are overweight or obese, which puts both mother and the child at risk during pregnancy and later life. As such following a healthy diet combined with physical activity before and during pregnancy can help a great deal, as stated by the researchers.
Resorting to moderate intensity exercise such as aerobics exercises and stationary cycling during pregnancy may decrease the risk of having a caesarean section (C-sec) or developing diabetes, suggest the researchers. The findings showed that dieting combined with physical activity significantly reduced the mother’s weight gain during pregnancy by an average of 0.7 kg. It also lowered the odds of the mother having a caesarean section by about 10 per cent, the research revealed.

Caesarean section can carry risks such as infections for the mother and breathing difficulties for the baby. “For every 40 mothers who follow the healthy diet and moderate exercise, one less woman will end up with a caesarean section,” said Shakila Thangaratinam, Professor at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Changes in lifestyle reduced the risk of diabetes in pregnancy by 24 per cent, which normally affects over one in 10 mothers in pregnancy and increases risks of complications in mother and the baby.

plate comparison healthy diet

plate comparison healthy diet
“Our findings are important because it is often thought that pregnant women shouldn’t exercise because it may harm the baby,” Thangaratinam said.

 

But the study, published in The BMJ, shows “that the babies are not affected by physical activity or dieting, and that there are additional benefits including a reduction in maternal weight gain, diabetes in pregnancy, and the risk of requiring a caesarean section”, she added.

For the study, the team looked at the individual participant data for 12,526 pregnant women across 36 previous trials in 16 countries, which compared the effects of dieting and physical activity.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Forget lifestyle – we need to end poverty to combat cancer

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne, during the launch of a new ‘National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026’ at Iveagh House, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

From the point of view of early diagnosis, treatment, and support for survivors, the new National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 is an excellent document. However, the prevention section is a big disappointment. According to the foreword by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, “cancer prevention is a cornerstone of this strategy as it offers the most cost-effective, long-term approach for cancer control”.

Prof John Kennedy, chairman of the steering group that put the strategy together, also stresses the need for prevention and aggressive programmes of public education and “that the most strenuous efforts must be made to target more deprived populations in cancer prevention”.

Although recognising the “incontrovertible evidence of the enormous impact of socioeconomic status and deprivation on death rates from some cancers Ireland”, he blames smoking and poor diet. In fact, the prevention chapter is all about the promotion of healthy lifestyles. This approach will not prevent cancer or reduce inequalities.

Did the members disregard the evidence that inequality and health inequality are the main cancer risk factors? No, they knew about the health impact of inequality. “Reducing health inequalities is a priority of this strategy, as lifestyle risk factors generally follow social, deprivation, gender, and age patterns.” The steering group included a representative from the National Cancer Registry which produced a report on cancer inequalities last year titled Cancer Inequalities in Ireland by deprivation, urban/rural status and age: A National Cancer Registry Report 2016.

This report showed that not only was there a higher incidence of cancer in deprived populations but these populations had much lower survival rates. “Strong patterns of inequality . . . are documented for most of the measures examined [nine major cancer types].” None of the proposed prevention actions in the new cancer strategy will reduce inequality and may widen the health gap between socioeconomic groups. It is more likely that the steering group recognised the impact of inequality but did not know what to do about it.

There is overwhelming evidence that focusing on getting the lifestyle message across and public health education does not prevent cancer or any other disease. Prevention groups know that poor people get sick more often than those who are better off but do not analyse the problem. They assume it is a health education issue and believe that if only “the poor” realised that smoking, drinking, and being overweight was bad for their health they would change their behaviour. Because of this erroneous belief, health professionals, the Department of Health and the HSE rely on health information campaigns. They believe that if they say it often enough people will change.

For example, Goal 1 in the National Cancer Strategy is directed at reducing the cancer burden by focusing on health inequalities through information campaigns. “A significant effort is required to ensure that prevention and awareness campaigns have a particular focus on addressing health inequalities” and “it is vital that we are effective in getting the message across to the population that each person can impact significantly on their own level of risk of developing cancer.” This is so stupid.

According to Margaret Whitehead, a World Health Organisation expert on the social determinants of health and health inequalities, “the solutions may seem so complex that people can easily become frozen into inaction” leading to “lifestyle drift.” In 1988, she wrote The Health Divide which analysed the huge differences in health between socioeconomic groups.

According to a 2016 paper by Whitehead, the reason poor people do not adopt healthy lifestyles is because they do not control their own destiny. “Being in a low social position; living in a disadvantaged environment with a sense of collective threat and powerlessness and the degree to which people are discriminated against and excluded from the society in which they live”, means that people are more likely to develop cancer and other chronic diseases.

According to the new cancer strategy, “As more evidence emerges regarding the development of cancer . . . there will be a need to identify the most effective prevention methods.” We already know the most effective method which is to reduce or, as far as possible, eliminate inequalities and thus health inequalities. Unless this happens the numbers of people with cancer will not just double by 2040, as predicted in the National Cancer Strategy, but treble.

[Source:-.irishtimes]

“It’s raining needles”: Drug crisis creates danger to public, environment

Activist Rocky Morrison, founder of the “Clean River Project” in Lowell, Massachusetts, holds up a fish bowl filled with used hypodermic needles found in 2016. Morrison leads a clean-up effort along the Merrimack River, which winds through Lowell.

 CHARLES KRUPA / AP

They hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass. They wash into rivers and float downstream to land on beaches. They pepper baseball dugouts, sidewalks and streets. Syringes left by drug users amid the heroin crisis are turning up everywhere.

In Portland, Maine, officials have collected more than 700 needles so far this year, putting them on track to handily exceed the nearly 900 gathered in all of 2016. In March alone, San Francisco collected more than 13,000 syringes, compared with only about 2,900 the same month in 2016.

People, often children, risk getting stuck by discarded needles, raising the prospect they could contract blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis or HIV or be exposed to remnants of heroin or other drugs.

It’s unclear whether anyone has gotten sick, but the reports of children finding the needles can be sickening in their own right. One 6-year-old girl in California mistook a discarded syringe for a thermometer and put it in her mouth; she was unharmed.

“I just want more awareness that this is happening,” said Nancy Holmes, whose 11-year-old daughter stepped on a needle in Santa Cruz, California, while swimming. “You would hear stories about finding needles at the beach or being poked at the beach. But you think that it wouldn’t happen to you. Sure enough.”

They are a growing problem in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, two states that have seen many overdose deaths in recent years.

“We would certainly characterize this as a health hazard,” said Tim Soucy, health director in Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest city, which collected 570 needles in 2016, the first year it began tracking the problem. It has found 247 needles so far this year.

Needles turn up in places like parks, baseball diamonds, trails and beaches – isolated spots where drug users can gather and attract little attention, and often the same spots used by the public for recreation. The needles are tossed out of carelessness or the fear of being prosecuted for possessing them.

One child was poked by a needle left on the grounds of a Utah elementary school. Another youngster stepped on one while playing on a beach in New Hampshire.

Even if adults or children don’t get sick, they still must endure an unsettling battery of tests to make sure they didn’t catch anything. The girl who put a syringe in her mouth was not poked but had to be tested for hepatitis B and C, her mother said.

Some community advocates are trying to sweep up the pollution.

Rocky Morrison leads a cleanup effort along the Merrimack River, which winds through the old milling city of Lowell, Massachusetts, and has recovered hundreds of needles in abandoned homeless camps that dot the banks, as well as in piles of debris that collect in floating booms he recently started setting.

He has a collection of several hundred needles in a fishbowl, a prop he uses to illustrate that the problem is real and that towns must do more to combat it.

“We started seeing it last year here and there. But now, it’s just raining needles everywhere we go,” said Morrison, a burly, tattooed construction worker whose Clean River Project has six boats working parts of the 117-mile (188-kilometer) river.

In Santa Cruz, California, the community group Take Back Santa Cruz has reported finding more than 14,500 needles in the county over the past 4 1/2 years. It says it has received reports of 12 people getting stuck, half of them children.

  • Why Ohio lawmaker wants emergency responders to ignore overdose calls

“It’s become pretty commonplace to find them. We call it a rite of passage for a child to find their first needle,” said Gabrielle Korte, a member of the group’s needle team. “It’s very depressing. It’s infuriating. It’s just gross.”

Some experts say the problem will ease only when more users get treatment and more funding is directed to treatment programs.

Others are counting on needle exchange programs, now present in more than 30 states, or the creation of safe spaces to shoot up – already introduced in Canada and proposed by U.S. state and city officials from New York to Seattle.

Studies have found that needle exchange programs can reduce pollution, said Don Des Jarlais, a researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York.

But Morrison and Korte complain poor supervision at needle exchanges will simply put more syringes in the hands of people who may not dispose of them properly.

After complaints of discarded needles, Santa Cruz County took over its exchange from a nonprofit in 2013 and implemented changes. It did away with mobile exchanges and stopped allowing drug users to get needles without turning in an equal number of used ones, said Jason Hoppin, a spokesman for the Santa Cruz County.

Along the Merrimack, nearly three dozen riverfront towns are debating how to stem the flow of needles. Two regional planning commissions are drafting a request for proposals for a cleanup plan. They hope to have it ready by the end of July.

“We are all trying to get a grip on the problem,” said Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini. “The stuff comes from somewhere. If we can work together to stop it at the source, I am all for it.”

Here’s what to do if you find a needle:

  • Don’t pick it up. You could get infected.
  • Call the proper authorities to come pick it up. Call a drug hotline or your local health department. Don’t call 911 unless there is a health risk, imminent danger, or an emergency.
  • If you opt to discard of it yourself (which is not advised), minimize hand contact. Use sturdy gloves, disposable tongs, a shovel or dustpan, and put needles in a puncture-proof container.
  • If you get poked, don’t suck the wound. Go immediately to your doctor, emergency room, or urgent care and ask about medical tests and immunizations.
  • Tell your kids about needle stick risks. Show them what a syringe looks like and use age-appropriate language to describe why they should stay away from it. Tell them if they see any needles to find an adult, who should follow the steps described above.

[“Source-cbsnews”]

 

Is this the key to stopping cancer from spreading?

Cancer cells dividing

Divide and conquer – can metastasis be controlled?
When a tumor migrates to another part of the body, it makes cancer much more difficult to beat. A recently published study, investigating a metabolite called 20-HETE, gives new insight into this process and how it might be stopped.

Cancer’s ability to metastasize – move through the body and take root in a distant location – is a thorn in the side of cancer treatments.

A localized tumor is much easier to treat, and chances of survival are greater. Once the tumor has moved on, it can be harder to control. Around 30 percent of people with breast cancer experience metastasis, commonly affecting the lymph nodes, bones, brain, lungs, and liver.

Understanding how a tumor sets up shop in distant parts of the body is an important area of study. The trouble is, cancer is incredibly adept at finding a new location; in fact, tumors constantly send out cells into the bloodstream to see if they take hold and flourish. They are also experts at recruiting cellular assistance and making their new home perfect for supporting their continued growth.

New research, looking at a metabolite called 20-HETE, hopes to learn how we can disrupt cancer’s ability to succeed in distant tissues.

What is 20-HETE?

20-HETE (20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid) is a breakdown product of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid used widely throughout the body. 20-HETE carries out a number of useful roles, including the regulation of vascular tone, blood flow to organs, and sodium and fluid transport in the kidney. The metabolite also plays a role in inflammation, helping the body fight off infections and other diseases.

Aside from its natural and positive effects, 20-HETE appears to have a darker, more sinister side; these murky depths are currently being plumbed by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Thaiz F. Borin and his team at Augusta University, GA. His latest findings are published this week in PLOS ONE.

Co-author Dr. B.R. Achyut, assistant professor in the MCG Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, explains 20-HETE’s Jekyll and Hyde personality:

“There is normal function, and there is tumor-associated function. Tumors highjack our system and use that molecule against us.”

According to recent studies, 20-HETE provides the cancer with virtually everything that it needs; it forms part of the “seed and soil” hypothesis. For a cancer cell to up sticks and move, it needs all of its ducks in a row. It must detach from its position and become aggressive enough to survive the journey; then, once it has found a new site, it needs to recruit supporting tissue and blood vessels.

According to Dr. Ali S. Arbab, leader of the Tumor Angiogenesis Initiative at the Georgia Cancer Center, recent studies show that 20-HETE prepares the new site in a number of ways. The metabolite activates helpful protein kinases and growth factors that encourage cells to grow in size, proliferate, and differentiate.

To flourish, tumors are also dependent on the creation of new blood vessels, and 20-HETE can help in this regard. Additionally, 20-HETE turns up inflammation, a hallmark of many diseases, including cancer. It manages this

Disrupting the tumor microenvironment

In Dr. Arbab’s studies on metastasis and the processes behind it, he and his team are focused on “going after that tumor microenvironment.” In the most recent study, they used a molecule called HET0016, which inhibits the actions of 20-HETE.

To test HET0016’s ability to scupper 20-HETE’s homemaking powers, they inserted cancer cells in the mammary fat pad of mice. Once the cancer had set down roots and begun to spread, they injected the mice with HET0016. The drug was given for 5 days a week for 3 weeks.

After just 48 hours, cancer cells were less able to move freely around their test tube.

The drugs also reduced levels of metalloproteinases in the lungs; these enzymes destroy protein structures, allowing cancer cells to penetrate and new blood vessels to grow.

Similarly, other molecules useful to cancer cells, such as growth factors and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, were reduced. As Arbab says, “It gets rid of one of the natural protections tumors use, and tumor growth in the lung goes down.”

Although HET0016 is not ready for use in humans, the study demonstrates that 20-HETE could be a useful target for preventing cancer’s spread. Arbab notes that there are already certain drugs on the market – including some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs – that might also inhibit this hijacked molecular pathway.

The team plans to continue looking for ways to prevent cancer from coercing 20-HETE into playing the bad guy. Preventing breast cancer from metastasizing would be a huge step forward because, as the authors write, “Distant metastasis is the primary cause of death in the majority of breast cancer types.”

[“Source-medicalnewstoday”]

Yoga: A Plus Size Woman’s Answer to Body Shaming, Trolls

Image result for Yoga: A Plus Size Woman's Answer to Body Shaming, TrollsMumbai: A plus-sized Indian woman is challenging body stereotypes and defying internet trolls with a series of yoga videos that are proving a hit on social media.

Thirty-four-year-old Dolly Singh has gained something of a fan following online for promoting body positivity by showing that size is no barrier to mastering complex yoga moves.

To say ‘You can’t do this because you have so much weight,’ I don’t believe that,” Singh tells AFP after completing her morning stretch in a Mumbai park.

Four years ago a doctor advised her to lose weight following an ankle sprain. Singh, who is 4 feet 11 inches (150 cm), weighed almost 90 kilograms (198 pounds) at the time.

She got a trainer and embraced the “whole frenzy of losing weight” but grew bored of running so she signed up for something she’d never done before — yoga.

“The first class I was thinking ‘Can I really do this because I have a big body?’ After two or three class I realised people were looking at me and thinking ‘Oh my god she can do this’. My body had a certain kind of stamina, of flexibility.”

Singh, who works for a TV channel in India’s financial capital, soon realised there were limitations to group classes and sought the instruction she needed from videos online.

“We all have different bodies and if my teacher doesn’t have a belly, how will they know what the problems are of having a big belly,” she explains, laughing.

“I’m a big busted person and if the teacher isn’t how are they going to understand that when I’m doing a Halasana (plough pose) I’m almost choking to death!”

Singh started filming herself to monitor her progress and then began posting clips of her yoga poses on Instagram.

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‘Online trolls’

Soon she was inundated with messages, mainly from foreigners at first but then from Indian women saying that Singh was an inspiration to them.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by some people saying they would feel alienated in a room full of perfect yoga bodies, how they would feel that everyone is watching them.

“There’s an idea of not showing your body if you’re big bodied. You’re supposed to hide everything because its not appealing or it’s not something people like to see but that’s just something that’s been sold to us,” she insists.

The response hasn’t all been positive however. Singh says she has been the victim of body shaming online.

“Indian men have not been encouraging at all. There are a lot of people who write very nasty comments. They would say something like ‘You’re just a fat blob, you look just like an elephant or bear, or you’re unfit or it’s because you’re eating so much food.

“I completely ignore these things. You can’t fight internet trolls. I don’t know these people so why should it bother me?”

Singh, who currently weighs 73 kg, says she will continue trying to sell “a more positive body image” and “challenge notions of fitness and beauty”.

“I’m not aiming to have this thin figure but I am aiming to have a beautiful flow and make my body strong through yoga,” she says, smiling.

[“Source-news18”]