Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Can't Sleep? Try These Insomnia Treatment Alternatives!

If you are one of the many people who have always found sleep elusive, you might probably want to check out these alternative treatments to insomnia.

Behavioral Therapy

Usually, undergoing behavioral therapy is the next resort for most insomniacs who have already tried all sorts of common methods to no avail. The objective is to alter one's perception of sleep, as well as how he takes charge of his sleep environment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

When most nights find you struggling to sleep but can't, it is not unusual for you to develop a kind of anxiety due to your frustration. However, developing anxiety could only further compound your sleep woes. To deal with this, some people try cognitive behavioral therapy—it aims to help them take control of their negative thoughts and attitude toward sleep.

Sleep Restriction Therapy

For some insomniacs, taking sleep restriction therapy works better than the other alternatives. The objective behind this method is simple: If you can't sleep, then don't. However, this does not mean staying up all night until the next day without doing anything to induce drowsiness. This therapy requires that you do any sleep-stimulating activities like deep breathing or reading boring materials.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Multiple Sclerosis: Doctors Find Bio-Marker That Indicates MS

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers have found the first bio-marker for multiple sclerosis (MS). Bio-markers are genetic codes that indicate whether an MS patient will respond to standard therapy or not.

The UAB team discovered that patients with a specific type of T helper immune cells respond well to the usual first-line therapy for the disease while those patients with a different type of T helper immune cells do not and even experience worsening symptoms.

For those patients who don't respond well to conventional MS treatments, there is a personalized medicine in which therapies are based on an individual's physiology and genetic makeup and the nature of disease.

According to Chander Raman, Ph.D., lead investigator of the study, their findings, in both animal and human models, indicate that the type of T helper cell present is the determining factor in predicting whether interferon-ß will be effective. He suggests this might be another rung on the ladder leading to personalized medicine. A simple blood test could be used to determine which type of T helper cell is predominantly responsible for the disease in an MS patient, enabling clinicians to provide the proper therapy from the beginning of treatment and eliminate the guesswork.

by: Kristine Gonzaga

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

From The Neck To The Lips

There are different ways to make your lips look fuller. One of the recent discoveries in lip augmentation makes use of muscles and connective tissues grafted from the neck.

Many aging women opt for lip augmentation when the groove of their upper lip starts to flatten and lesser amount of pink tissue remains visible. To create fuller lips, the procedure requires injection with collagen or with fat from another site of the patient's body. When the collagen or fat is absorbed, maintenance requires repeat treatments. Implants, however, provide longer-lasting options compared to injections.

According to Anurag Agarwal, MD. of The Aesthetic Surgery Center in Naples, his team conducted a study involving 25 patients who underwent lip augmentation using sternocleidomastoid, the muscle and connective tissue at the side of the neck.

In two years time, results of the study are as follows:

  • an average of 20% to 24% increase in the amount of pink tissue showing on both upper and lower lips
  • an increase of 0.9 to 0.99 millimeters on the average projection of upper and lower lips
  • no deformities in lip contour
  • no limitations in head movement
  • no neck pain
  • no nerve injuries associated with the procedure
Contributed By: Monch Bravante

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New System For Blood Sugar Control

There's a new diabetes management system from Medtronic that has been approved by the FDA. It's the MiniMed Paradigm REAL-time Revel System with predictive blood sugar level alerts and smaller insulin delivery rates to help patients and physicians come up with a customized therapy for individual needs.

This system makes use of a device to be plugged into a USB port of a computer and uploads information from the glucose monitor and insulin pump. The link reduces the risk of blood sugar crashes by improving blood sugar control. Tracking blood sugar control is done by the patient through a Wev software applications. According to Medtronic, the system simplifies the complexities of most daily diabetes regimen.

Based on the research study, there is a 36% improvement in the detection of low blood sugar condition, while detection of high blood sugar condition has only decreased by 4%. It is now available for $6,500 with reimbursement plan for those with medical indication.

Contributed By: Monch Bravante

Monday, April 5, 2010

Early Detection Of Tumors In Just One Scan

Technological advancement revolutionizes brain scanning method through the utilization of highly sensitive camera in detecting brain tumors with just a single scan.

The project, known as ProSPECTus, aims to improve the technology of next generation SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) imaging devices. It is a collaboration of the Nuclear Physics Group from the University of Liverpool and the Technology Department of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at Daresbury Laboratory.

This cutting-edge medical imaging will allow the early detection and effective diagnosis of tumors resulting in fewer patient-doctor appointments and a better probability of effective treatment. The new generation camera also has the advantage of lower radiation exposure due to shorter imaging time. This will benefit a lot of patients who normally need to be scanned frequently. With patients having fewer trips for scanning treatment, clinics will have more time to accommodate more patients who need medical imaging.

Contributed By: Monch Bravante

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Predicting Prostate Cancer With 98% Accuracy

Most often, conventional methods of diagnosing cancer are inadequate because cancer usually spreads at a microscopic level. In a new study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, researchers found a new blood biomarker that can predict the spread of prostate cancer with 98% accuracy.

The new procedure could help medical practitioners in predicting the spread of prostate cancer from the solid tumor site into the regional lymph nodes by measuring endoglin levels in a patient's blood. The same endoglin is the plasma biomarker that has previously helped predict the spread of colon and breast cancer.

Methods currently used to predict spread of prostate cancer are Gleason grade, prostate specific antigen, and rectal exam. However, these procedures are not adequate enough to predict which cancer will spread when lymph nodes metastases are small, but clinically significant.

While pelvic lymphadenectomy is a procedure that can provide significant staging and prognostic details, it is not universally practiced on all patients. This procedure may take so much time with potential morbidity. That is why it is important to have an accurate blood marker to identify patients who will be qualified to undergo lymphadenectomy, thus sparing patients who are at low risk.

Contributed By: Monch Bravante

Friday, March 26, 2010

Detecting Alzheimer's Disease With High Accuracy

It's sad to think that as we get older, there is a chance that we may get afflicted with Alzheimer's disease – the loss of memory and mental abilities. While the condition is not a regular component of normal aging, the risk of acquiring it increases with old age.

There is no known cure yet for Alzheimer's disease, only treatments that can help improve the quality of life for those with the disease. In 2009, major advances were made in the area of accurate diagnosis of the condition. Experts from UCLA have come up with a reliable blood test for detecting Alzheimer's. Over at Mayo Clinic, MRI imaging of changes in brain activity has been analyzed with an accuracy of almost 80%.

The most accurate method, however, is developed at West Virginia University where defective memory enzymes are detected with 98% accuracy by just pricking a finger. Also, they discovered that low doses of bryostatin, a drug used in chemotherapy, can help reactivate the defective enzymes. The stage is now being set for human clinical trials to start this 2010.

Contributed By: Monch Bravante