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Saturday, 21 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Small Doses Of Alcohol Are Useful For Bones

The presumption that excessive amount of alcohol destroys one's organism is rather doubtful. Some scientists consider that its moderate consumption can be even useful for health, medstream.com reports.

For example, it was proved that small amounts of alcoholic drinks had a positive influence on the density of old women's bone material. Similar scientific studies were related to men and young women too, but none of the works focused on the influence of separate drinks (such as beer, wine or liqueur).

The international staff of experts led by Katherine Tucker analyzed this problem and studied the facts on the subject.

The authors of one of the studies demostrated the positive influence of moderate doses of alcohol on bones (and especially on the density of the bone material in the spine and in the hips).

Men who drink 1-3 pints of beer per week make their bones stronger, while in women 2 cups of wine or liqueur do the same therapeutic effect.

Scientists assume that silica contained in beer and resveratrol contained in wine improve the state of bones. However, excessive consumtion of alcohol can lead to contrary results and increase the number of fractures.


Saturday, 21 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Is Stress Harmful For The Brain?

In the early 1990's, J. Douglas Bremner and his colleagues from the National Center of Studies Upon Posttraumatic Disturbances have discovered that the volume of the hippocampus is decreased among war veterans, who had suffered from posttraumatic stress.

However, the importance of this discovery was doubtful at the beginning, since scientists from War–Medicine Academy of Harvard have linked the small volume of the hippocampus with the risk of the development of posttraumatic stress among twins. But the twins who had taken part in the research were submitted to frequent traumas of the brain, which were leading to changes in other brain areas, for example in the frontal part of the cortex.

According to previous studies, made by Robert Sapolski from the University of Stanford, stress brings leads to the destruction of neurons. Bruce McEven and his colleagues from the University of Rockefeller showed that stress destroys the bonds between the neurons.

Heisan and his colleagues from the University of Yells had worked with mice submitted to posttraumatic stress. The decreasing number of synapses in the hippocampus as a result of stress had led to the development of depression. Thus, the changes in the structure of neurons had an influence on behavior.

"Our studies are based on the fact that synapses have an important role in sudden changes of mood. That's why it is essential to be able to restore synapse bonds in a short period of time", Heisan says.

Still, the decreased cortex volume in patients with posttraumatic syndrome is not linked to synapses.

According to experts, the information received as a result of experiments on animals had showed that posttraumatic stress can be caused by the loss of bonds between neurons. It is most likely that posttraumatic stress and a small trauma of the brain are two different, but related factors, which influence the state of soldiers who are submitted to stress during war. Still more research is required on this subject.


Friday, 20 Mar, 2009

Offbeat

Teenagers Don't Like Fine Quality Sound Anymore

The music expert from the University of Stanford, Jonathan Berger, has shared the results of his new research, which says that lately the new generation had become less demanding to the quality of music sound they listen to, Webplanet.com reports.

Six years ago, if students were offered to listen to songs of different genres and different quality, they would choose opera recordings and jazz on CDs, or rock in MP3 with 128 kb per second. Nowadays, the tastes of the participants in the experiment are different - they are rather satisfied with low quality sound. Besides they even like the quality, claiming that they like the background noises and the frequency of the spectrum.

"iPod has practically killed music", Gizmodo.com concludes about the results of the experiment, claiming that people not only don't know what high quality audio is, but they also hate it. "Thank you for helping in killing the civilization, Apple".

Still we cannot accuse only Apple - the Chinese MP3-player producers, who release faulty players are guilty as well. The main problem of these players is the low quality of sound.


Wednesday, 18 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Why Should Children Go To Sleep Early?

Children and teenagers love to stay till late hours in order to play computer games or to see their favorite series and they never seem to have enough time during daytime. However, scientists forestall that regular lack of sleep during childhood could deprive one of normal sleep for all their life.

Even though doctors don't know yet exactly why we sleep, the use of sleeping is unquestionable. Its lack brings about disturbances in concentration, lowers work abilities, leads to bad mood and even increases appetite, which can lead to overeating and all of its consequences.

Recently, doctors discovered another side-effect of sleep insufficiency. Japanese doctors affirm that if a child is allowed to go to sleep later than 10-11, when he of she is older he will be in a high risk of severe insomnia. Its cause lies in the fact that children don't have their biological clock established yet and, as a result, the habits which are developed when they are 9-12 years old remain for all their lives. More than that, children's biorhythms are so frail that it is enough to sleep only half of the night several times during a week and the biorhythms go wrong. In general, if a child is used to stay in front of a TV or a computer monitor till late hours, in his adult life he of she won't be able to fall asleep when going to bed earlier. It is very complicated to reverse this process.

This is the conclusion drawn by the scientists from the Medicinal University from Tokyo, led by doctor Jun Kahayama. They gathered detailed statistics about the way day rhythms of children with different models of behaviour change. They are being regulated by a special area of the brain – nucleus suprachiasmaticus, which, according to doctors, reacts on the quantity of light perceived by the human eye. When the child is exposed to the influence of artificial light during night - be that from the computer or the TV – the brain cannot determine whether the day has ended or not and, thus, doesn't send signals for sleeping. As a consequence, the brain is "reprogrammed" for a later time of sleeping.

Scientists also pay attention to the fact that, during the last 5 years, the number of children younger than 11, suffering from different sleep disturbances, has increased by 26 per cent. Their British colleagues also share these concerns: the director of the Center of Sleep Researches in Great Britain, professor Jim Horn, considers that children who are constantly using computers and mobile telephones overexcite their brain during the day and, thus, cannot sleep normally at night.


Monday, 16 Mar, 2009

Offbeat

Faith In God Protects From Stress And Anxiety

Psychologists of a Canadian university made a research, during which they established that faith in God helps to get rid of anxiety and lower the level of stress. Scientists from the University of Toronto identified the differences of brain's activity in people who believe in God and in those who don't.

People who believe, and not only the ones who regularly visit church, feel less uncertain, rarely suffer from nervous disturbances and worry less about failures in their life – all of this thanks to "specific" functions of the brain.

These results remained stable also after observing personality traits and cognitive abilities. Psychologists are sure that religious convictions have a calming influence on nerves. However, experts add that anxiety also has positive effect - it is sometimes useful for our mind.

According to scientists, excessive anxiety obviously has negative consequences for psychic health, but in the same time it is a signal of certain mistakes one makes. If a person doesn't feel anxious at all, then they won't tend to improve their behaviour and it's most probable that the person will cope with the same difficulties and mistakes in their life again and again.


Sunday, 15 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Depressions Are Bad for Your Heart

Researchers from the Washington Medical Academy claim that prolonged depressions increase the risk of heart diseases more than any genetic factor, medstream.com reports.

In 1992 scientists gathered information about 1,200 male twins, who were enrolled in the American army during the war in Vietnam. In 2005 they have examined them for the second time.

In 1992 depressions already led to the increase (almost twice) of the possibility of developing heart diseases.

The psychologist Jeffrey F. Schirrer comments that they have proved that depressions can lead to heart diseases only in the pairs of twins with a high risk of genetic disorder and with the diagnosis of clinical depression. The twins liable to such diseases, who suffered from common depressions, weren't so much affected. The results showed that "severe depressions are an independent factor".

People who have already suffered from heart attacks, heart surgery or rheumatic arthritis weren't included in the research.

The participants were divided into the following groups of risk:

-twins with high genetic and ecological risk towards depressions;

-twins with a moderate risk;

-the low risk group.

Afterwards the researchers analyzed other independent factors such as: smoking, obesity, diabetes mellitus and blood pressure.

By dividing the twins into the genetic and ecological risk groups, the scientists established the influence of genetic risk on depressions, and the influence of depressions on heart diseases.

The twins always have the same height, grow in the same conditions and have a similar genetic inheritance. Schirrer also says that if one of the brothers develops a depression and the other one doesn't, then both of them have a genetic predisposition to depressions, but "in this case the risk of heart disorder decreases".

The researchers plan to continue the observations on the twins during the process of their ageing.


Saturday, 14 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Chocolate Is To Be Compared To Alcohol And Cigarettes

The Scottish dietologist David Walker has proposed calling chocolate one of the worst health products, along with alcohol and cigarettes. He says that chocolate predisposes to obesity and diabetes of the second type.

He considers chocolate as one of the main causes of obesity and a fine would return the previous attitude towards it in a matter of a few years, bringing chocolate to the state of "luxury" that it had lost lately. The new fine system wouldn't solve the problem of obesity completely, but it could slow down the growth of obesity cases.

Doctor Walker reminded that a bar of chocolate weighing 225 g contains 1200 calories – almost a half of the recommended daily norm. In order to burn these calories one needs at least a 3-hours-long walk on feet.

He says that Scotland follows the example of USA, since its every fourth citizen already suffers from overweight because of unhealthy food and its big portions, and also because of lack of physical activity.

Walker also considers that people who consume chocolate daily don't even imagine what kind of harm they bring to their health. "I even have a patient who thinks that chocolate is useful for health", he says.

Statistics says that an average British family consumes circa 1600 kg of chocolate during all their life.


Friday, 13 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Cancer Risk Depends On Blood Group

Less people of the 1st blood group suffer from pancreatic cancer, while the ones of the 3rd blood group have a higher risk of tumor development. This is the conclusion to which American scientists from the Oncological Institute Dan Farber from Boston had come after seeing the results of a major research.

The leader of the research, Brian Wolpin, and his colleagues have analyzed the facts about the state of health of 107,500 medical workers. During the time of observance, i.e. 9 years in average, 316 participants in the experiment were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

After considering several known factors, which influence the risk of malignant pancreatic tumor development (such as age, body mass index, smoking, physical activities, diabetes mellitus), it was found that persons of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th blood groups have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer in comparison with persons of the 1st blood group, researchers say. According to them, having the 2nd blood group increases the risk of an oncological disease by 32 percent, having the 3rd group – by 72 percent and, finally, having the 4th blood group increases it by 51 per cent. However, negative or positive Rhesus factor doesn't influence the frequency of tumor development.

Nowadays it is little known about the genes responsible for the development of pancreatic cancer, Wolpin reports.

This type of cancer is developed practically with no symptoms and is usually discovered in its late, severe stages, when it cannot be operated anymore. In USA pancreatic cancer occupies the 4th place in the statistics of mortality from tumors. According to the American Oncological Society, more than 34,000 American people die from it yearly.


Friday, 13 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Chinese Woman Has Been Howling with Pain For 26 Years

A 42-years-old Chinese woman shocks people around her with her howl for 26 years. She first began howling when she noticed that it relieves her pains in the back, but she had soon lost control over it.

Hong, a woman from the village Ganzhashan Kiang around the town Fuchzhou, has told Straits News that her roars sounded like sneezing or yawning, that they could not be controlled, and that she sometimes could not hold back from howling in the street, so that people around avoid passing her by thinking of her as of a sick woman.

Hong says that it all began from lumbar pains when she was 16, "It was then when I noticed that when I howl, the pain disappears".

At first she used to do this once in 2 or 3 months, but now she cannot stop from doing it less than 5 times a day. She affirms that when she howls, she feels as if "air from inside her goes away" and that she can't stop it.

The woman addressed for help to the hospital of Fuchzhou. However, besides an insignificant deformation of her spinal column the doctors haven't found anything.

It is worth reminding that another Chinese girl aged 13 cannot cope with laughing which began when she was 8 months old after suffering from fever. This laughing continues without control till this day.


Friday, 13 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

A 7-years-old Girl Was Removed Six Organs Affected By Cancer

A 7-years-old girl from New York is getting well now after having undergone a complicated surgical operation last month. In order to remove a tumor of a tennis ball's size the surgeons had to cut through 6 organs, medstream.com reports.

The tumor surrounded the small and the large intestines, the liver, the spleen, the pancreas and the stomach of Heather McNamara. The surgical operation performed by 3 teams of surgeons in the clinic for children Presbyterian Morgan Stanley had lasted 23 hours.

After having removed the tumor the doctors have restored the patient's 3 organs, previously placed in a solution with a low temperature. They didn't succeed in restoring the spleen, the pancreas and the stomach since cancer has harmed them substantially.

The myofibroblastoma which has affected the main blood vessels and destroyed the vital organs of the little girl should not have been operated upon. The surgeons had no other choice than do this after a second unsuccessful course of chemotherapy.

When the parents of the girl understood the situation they addressed to the transplantologist Tomoaki Kato, who has removed a similar tumor in a 62-years-old woman. The father of the girl was ready to sacrifice a part of his own liver.

The girl was allowed to go home this Tuesday and now she's wearing a container with a pump for food on her back. The patient has no pancreas now and she's forced to receive insulin and other medicines as if she had diabetes mellitus. Without her spleen she is in a risk of becoming a victim of infections, that's why she will be administered penicillin for some months.

The surgeons have partially replaced her stomach by making a "bag" from the tissue of the intestine, which will digest the food. She will be able to eat as she always did, but the volume capacity of such a stomach is limited.

Heather has all the chances for a normal life if the tumor doesn't reappear.


Wednesday, 11 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Children of Old Fathers Are Less Smart

Scientists from the Neurological Institute from Queensland in Brisbane (Australia) have come to the conclusion that in childhood the intellectual abilities of old fathers' children are surely not the best.

At the same time, children of older women prove to have higher results in tests on thinking.

Earlier, researchers were trying to find the relation between parents' age and health problems in their children. Usually, those who were born in families with old mothers and fathers often have congenital disabilities and suffer from cancer, autism and schizophrenia.

During the last study, the Australian specialists have analyzed the results of the IQ tests, passed by 33,437 American children with their birth years from 1959 to 1965. The children have taken tests when they were 8 months, 4 and 7 years old. Scientists have observed the video-motor coordination, and also their capabilities of reading, writing and in arithmetic.

As it turned out, the older the child's father was, the worse were the child's test results. However, if the child had an old mother, he would pass the cognitive tests a lot better than all the other participants in the experiment.

According to the scientists, low intellectual abilities of "late" children are being explained by different genes' mutations. If in the woman's organism ova are formed in the maternal uterus, in a man's organism spermatozoa are synthesized during his whole life. In consequence, the older the man is, the "less normal" spermatozoa he has and the higher is the probability that his child won't be too smart.


Tuesday, 10 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Doctors Found the Cause of Cancer Metastases

Researchers have discovered that the key role in the spread of cancer metastasis belongs to the LOX (lipooxigenase) enzyme. They hope that the medicine blocking this enzyme will be able to hold back the spread of the disease.

The results of the research were published in the Cancer Cell journal. The scientists have made experiments on mice with breast cancer, but they are sure that their results are available for human beings suffering from other types of cancer as well.

The enzyme LOX sends signals for the preparation of a new place in the organism for the removal of the cancer cells. Without such a preparation the cancer cells may not adapt themselves to the respective conditions.

The lead researcher, Janine Earler, has declared that this discovery is the "deciding missing element of the puzzle that scientists have been trying to collect for a long time". She says that this is the first time that establishing a key enzyme responsible for the spread of tumor cells has become possible.

"If we could influence the capability of the organism of preparing new places for the removal of cancer cells, we will be able to prevent the appearance of metastases efficiently", said Earler.

"Cancer metastases are very hard to treat and this new discovery gives real hope that the scientists will manage to create a medicine against the spread of cancer", she explained.

The importance of the new result has been underlined also by Julie Sharp, from the British Center against Cancer.

"It is very important to know and to imagine the way cancer is spread. Thus it would easier to search for methods of treating this disease. The research has brought scientists one step closer to the understanding of this problem. The next stage of the studies will be finding out if it is possible to block or inhibit the LOX enzyme in order to stop the spread of cancer", she said.


Monday, 09 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Negative Thoughts About Ageing Bring About Health Problems In Older Age

Young people, who consider that old age is a hard and complicated period of time in a person's life, can really suffer from infarctions and heart attacks in an older age. Doctors have established that the attitude towards old age can determine one's future health. Negative thoughts about ageing are capable of influencing in a negative way one's future health.

The doctors of Yales School of Social Health Protection (USA) have analyzed the stereotypes about ageing, trying to determine the way they influence health in time. Researchers carried out a long-term observation of 386 people. Those who considered that old people are helpless had a higher probability of heart attack, cardiac insufficiency, angina pectoris and heart infarctions 30 years later after the first inquest.

American cardiologists consider that negative thoughts are related to additional stress, and that they also have a supplementary tensional influence on many organs' activity and function. Besides, another factor that influences health is genetics: thus, people whose old relatives had no chronic diseases will consider ageing a natural process in the majority of cases. At the same time the authors of the research cannot state that positive thoughts about old age can improve health.


Saturday, 07 Mar, 2009

Health & Fitness

Regular Physical Exercises Improve Memory

Once the years go by, memory usually gets worse, that's why one has to ask for other people's help. Scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Pittsburgh have determined that old people can fight for their future, can stimulate the growth of brain's structures and, in consequence, can improve certain types of memory, with the help of the simplest of the methods.

A lot of researches have shown that the bigger the dimensions of the hippocampus are, the more developed one's dimensional memory is. It happens so because this region of the brain is responsible for the orientation in space. Besides, it is known that, if it is removed, man loses the ability of memorizing what happens at the respective moment (long-term memory can still be kept).

Other researches showed that taxi-cab drivers have larger dimensions of the hippocampus than common people, and in students, in the time of their preparations for the most important exams, this area of the brain has an increased volume.

Along with man's ageing hippocampus is getting smaller, a number of significant changes for the worse in memory's activity and cognitive abilities appear. Of course, the speed of this process is different.

American scientists also established that the dimensions of the hippocampus in mice can be significantly increased by submitting them to different physical exercises. This is where another question comes up: what about human beings?

In order to find the answer to this question, they decided to make a study on 165 old people (109 of them being women), aged from 59 to 81.

With the help of a study based on magnetic resonance, researchers have made a complete analysis of the left and right halves of the hippocampus. They also asked the participants in the experiment to pass through tests allowing them to make a conclusion about their abilities.

It turned out that old people who lead an active lifestyle with a lot of aerobic physical efforts have a 40 percent incresed level of orientation in space, which also correlates with the dimensions of their hippocampus.

The results of the research were published in the journal "Hippocampus".

"The better physical shape they were in, the more tissues were in the hippocampus and the better their space memory functioned", concluded the professor Arthur Kramer in the press-release of the university.

Scientists consider that they have found the proof of the relation between lifestyle and the changes of cognitive abilities in older age. "This means that if one doesn’t avoid making regular physical efforts, the brain areas necessary for a complete and healthy life continue developing and memorizing the information", added the professor Kirk Erickson.


Saturday, 28 Feb, 2009

Health & Fitness

Medicine Against Fears And Phobias Discovered

The medicine, traditionally used for treating patients with a weak heart, had showed a surprising result: it helped people forget about their phobias and get over posttraumatic stress, likar.info reports.

Scientists have been trying for a long time to find a medicine that would help persons with nervous disturbances overcome their old fears.

Today, in the contemporary clinics doctors use the following method: all the things that may cause negative emotions to the patient are suggested to him in a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. After some time, the person forgets about havin connection with these emotions and the associations which might remind him about the unpleasant events of his life. Still, such a method doesn't always help. And after several years the fear might return to the patient as a consequence of a certain event.

Some doctors began to look for a physiological method of solving this problem. At first, biologists have discovered that a substance called "propranolol" helps animals "forget" about unpleasant associations. Later, new publications have appeared, supposing that it has the same influence on the human being.

A group of specialists, led by Merel Kindt from the University of Amsterdam, had decided to check its effects. The experiment included 60 healthy students as participants, all of them were made to sit in front of a monitor with images of spiders on it. Every time the spiders were appearing on the screen, the participants were exposed to an electric shock (not very painful, but still unpleasant). Thus, they were made to be afraid of the images even in the absence of the electricity's influence (the reaction was measured by seeing the movement of the muscles responsible of blinking).

After that, half of the group was administered propranolol and the other half was administered placebo. The second and the third day the experiment was repeated. It turned out that the first group had showed less fear when looking at the images. This may partially say that fear, in conditions of a further treatment, might disappear for good.

"We cannot record the fact that phobia had disappeared with the contemporary methods, but it had certainly decreased", Kindt reported.

Propranolol blocks certain adrenoreceptors. When one is in a situation which threatens his life and/or health, a big dose of adrenalin is being secreted into the blood. If certain factors remind the person about past unpleasant things, the secretion of adrenalin is repeated and sometimes the reaction might be increased.

In their article published in the journal "Nature Neuroscience", scientists affirm that propranolol decreases the sensibility of the amygdaloidal body (a brain formation) to adrenalin (and, respectively, inhibits the feeling of fear). This means that with the time it can destroy the link between memories and the reactions of the organism under their influence.

However, this research has its weak sides. For example, the experiments were made only for 3 days. Some specialists consider that before beginning a work on the creation of a new medicine for truly complicated patients it is necessary to make longer experiments (at least, some weeks for the repeating the experiment).

Besides, as some scientific groups remark, posttraumatic stress might be represented as aggression or feeling of shame, reactions not taken into consideration by the group led by Kindt. The influence of propranolol on them should also be determined.

Merel is getting ready for beginning such experiments and for a simultaneous scanning of the patients' brains.


Friday, 27 Feb, 2009

Health & Fitness

People Choose By Themselves What to Memorize Or Not

People choose what information to keep in their short-time memory. Recently, by using Functional Magnetic Resonance Visualization (fMRI), researchers were finally able to see what human beings keep in their memories, Medstream reports.

Psychologists from the University of Oregon and of California, by analyzing the activeness of the blood flow, have determined whether the color or the spatial situation of the object had been deliberately remembered by the person in case.

In the experiment participants were watching the objects for just a second, and then scientists measured how long the image of the object had been memorized. Ten seconds after each session, they made a record of the brain activeness by studying the process of option and memory saving in the visual cortex - the area which processes the visual details in the short-time memory.

"The interesting fact was that if the participants memorized the place where the object was situated, they wouldn't notice the information about the color at all, even if the object was colored. Respectively, when they memorized the color, they could not memorize the situation of the object", mentioned Edward Ouch, professor of Psychology.

Researchers used a machine for calculating algorithms in order to be able to study the spatial models of activeness in the visual cortex, linked to memorization of different stimuli. "This algorithm allows forecasting with accuracy which of the given models will be memorized and by whom", John T.Serences, also a professor of Psychology, reports.

The respective study is similar to the one made by the neurologist Frank Tong Wonderbuilt, who could predict with the accuracy of 80 percent what people would remember 11 seconds later after seeing an object.

"They only observed the brain activeness for being able to determine which of the characteristics will be saved into the memory", said Ouch. His study had showed that the sensorial area of the brain contains a model, according to which the characteristics of the object seen are purposely being saved. This means that memorization is a voluntary process and people usually choose by themselves what is important for them to keep in mind.

"Basically, our research shows that the information about the peculiarities of the memory is kept in the visual cortex", Serences reported. Thus, one uses the same mechanisms for processing the information and for memorizing it.


Wednesday, 25 Feb, 2009

Health & Fitness

Living More Than 100 Years Predisposes To Depression

Many scientists nowadays work upon the creation of the "elixir of youth", based on the research of genes of a long life. The question is if it's worth doing that. It results that living long is not that interesting after all, since, in the majority of cases, depression is developed in people once they are 100 years old.

Relatives of those who lived at least 97 years or more also live longer and are more protected from cardiovascular diseases. Doctors have noticed that the protection from cardiovascular problems was inherited by the children of those who lived longer, and the protective properties were preserved for all their lives. According to specialists, the ability of preventing aging and diseases is rather congenital and is transmitted to the organism thanks to genes. It is considered that the discovery of these genes will allow prolonging life in those whose relatives did not live so long.

Specialists from the University of Philadelphia have come across an unusual paradox. People who have already reached the age of 100 are more predisposed to depression, which, as known, is one of the factors that shorten our lives.

244 people aged 100 years have taken part in the experiment. Every fourth participant in the experiment was diagnosed with symptoms of depression.

Such a high number of people suffering from depression among the "long-livers" had surprised the specialists since those, who suffer from depression, have a higher risk of death.

Now, the researchers have to explain the paradox of signs of psychic disturbances in long-livers. It isn't clear whether depression influences the length of life or not, scientists report.


Tuesday, 24 Feb, 2009

Health & Fitness

Migraine As Legacy

There's no doubt that migraine is a partially hereditary disease. According to statistics, in 44% of patients one of the parents had previously suffered from this disease, and in 69% of them – both parents. Recently, it was determined that not only migraines are being repeated in children, but also their parents' model of behavior during migraines.

The research, made by American scientists, had showed that many of the patients sick with migraines had "copied" the habits, related to the attitude towards the disease, from their elder family members. In three quarters of cases, the "bad examples" were the mothers.

The investigation showed:

59% of the patients were going to bed;

57% of them were using classic medicine bought in the pharmacy;

8% of the patients were trying not to pay attention to the symptoms of the disease;

3% of them were making home treatment.

Though the percentage of the patients sick with migraine, who were buying especially prescribed medicine, is 44%, the index of the ones who copied the model of behaviour of elder members of the family was only 19%. The majority of them had preferred to go to bed and buy medicine without special prescriptions.

If mother, who suffers from attacks of migraine, usually "smiles and endures the pain", her children will do the same. Many parents think that there is no use in fighting with this disease, but they are wrong, because the condition can and must be treated.

It is considered that people of a certain psychological profile tend to suffer from migraines more than others. Another spread opinion is that a typical child with migraine should be less active and hypersensitive. But scientists have established that this is just a myth.

Migraine is found in all kind of children – both extraverts, and introverts, peaceful and temperamental. A factor that predisposes to migraine is stress. That's why parents who want their child to have maximal results in his studies and who take him to far-away schools just expose him to stress and headaches.

According to another hypothesis, migraine is a result of the suppression of emotions and a method of helping the organism to get rid of restrained fury, anger, fear and hostility.

The fact that many children and adults suffering from migraines feel relief after psychotherapy proves that there is a truth in the theory exposed. In case of death of a close relative, divorce or other stress situations, it is worth considering addressing to a psychologist as a method of prophylaxis.

"If children suffer from migraines, their parents mustn't tell them that they are too sensitive or weak, because it might happen that their words could one day become true", considers Dr. Warner, who has studied the mechanism of apparition of headaches for years.


Monday, 23 Feb, 2009

Health & Fitness

Sleeping Pills Are More Harmful Than Cigarettes

Thousands of people all over the world suffer from insomnia nowadays. One third of them have this problem very often or all the time. Circa 15 per cent of the "non-sleepers" use sleeping pills – according to doctor's recommendations or as self-treatment. But none of them realizes the danger they're exposed to.

Sleeping pills have become a common medicine today, when people experience so much stress and don't sleep well, while being so busy with their work and other preoccupations. The simplest method of "switching off" is the administration of sleeping pills.

In the majority of cases, according to doctors, people take pills with no good reasons for that. A lot of them, by the way, could return to a healthy lifestyle without drugs. Sometimes it's enough to increase the physical effort, to avoid drinking tea, coffee and energy drinks in the evenings.

In their turn, somnologists (specialists who study the problems linked with sleeping) warn that any sleeping medicine should not be administered more than two weeks, otherwise it will lead to the risk of physical dependence on the drug. In order to reach the necessary effect, the dose of the medicine must be increased gradually, and the refusal from it will bring about three times more increased insomnia.

There may also appear tremor, the development of depression and hallucinations. The American psychiatrist Daniel Kripkey considers that the harm caused by the daily administration of only one sleeping pill is similar to the harm caused by the effect of smoking one cigarette pack.

By the way, many people take sleeping drugs not only when they have a serious lack of sleep, but also when the have little problems with sleep. Mass-media is responsible for this in an indirect way, because of the so much discussed "theory" that states that a person has to sleep not less than 8 hours per day. In reality, it's not true.

Thus, Daniel Kripkey has made a research based on almost 1 million people during 6 years and has come to the conclusion that people who spend 6-7 hours per day on sleeping live longer than the ones who spend more than 8 hours on this. This is why the prolonging of sleep is not a condition for a better health.


Sunday, 22 Feb, 2009

Health & Fitness

Social Networks Are Bad For Our Health

Social networking websites can harm one's health if they reduce the amount of time people communicate live, a British scientist reports.

The results of the study upon the influence on health of such websites as Facebook or LiveJournal were published by the biologist Arick Sigman in the scientific magazine of the British Institute of Biology, "The Biologist".

In the respective article, called "Always Online: The Biological Influence of Social Networks", Sigman warns people not to be too "passionate" about internet-websites which replace communication with real people more and more nowadays.

The scientist affirms that lack of communication may influence negatively the activity of the organism's immune system, the hormonal balance, the activity of arteries and the processes of thinking. Thus, instead of stimulating communication, social networks replace it.

This leads to the risk of development of different diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and nervous disturbances.

The number of hours that an average British man spends daily by communicating with dear people, friends and colleagues has decreased from 6 hours in 1987 to almost 2 hours in 2007. In the same period of time, the usage of electronic mass-media and internet has increased from 4 to almost 8 hours per day.

"In a period of time less than 2 decades the quantity of people who affirm not to have someone to talk serious problems with has increased almost 3 times", Sigman says.

The scientist declares that parents spend less and less time with their children, and among all the European countries, Great Britain is the one where the smallest number of children have dinner with their parents.

The biologist denies the point of view, according to which social networks stimulate the contacts between people, by affirming that they only offer the illusion of communication to their users.

In his article, published in "The Biologist", the scientist points out the fact that physiological processes in the organism take place in a different way, depending on if a person is alone, in someone's society or in the virtual reality, as it often happens today.

"A lot of these things must yet be studied, but it seems that there is a difference between the influence of someone's real presence and the virtual replacement of someone's society", the biologist reports.


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