Social Support Crucial for Health in Old Age

‘Man is a social animal’ – this statement has become a cliché over time but still holds its significance. The reason is that it is as true in practice as it is in theory. We see in our surroundings that the people who have families around them who care for them are visibly more satisfied than the ones who are alone. Apart from family if they are getting support from their friends, neighbors and society, then they find it much easier to maintain their health and wellbeing.

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This topic has gained much attention from the social scientists as well as medical and life scientists, as they are curious to find the social factors and their correlations that are vital for human ageing, morbidity and mortality. The findings have been clear that the people who were old and had little access to others and social support were found more susceptible to ailments and were leading rapidly towards death. Whereas those older ones who had people near them to talk to them, hear and address their problems, provide emotional as well as social support, were more satisfied and more capable of keeping healthy for long.

One of the important researches finding this correlation is published in the journal, Current Aging Science journal and can be read here:

Support and Social Contact as a Decisive Meta-Variable in Morbidity and Social Welfare of the Older Person

Winter Brings Some Common Ailments

Winter is fast approaching again and we are all set to welcome it. Our warm clothes are out, blankets lay ready on beds, heaters are on and now we are looking to gather the most essential medicines we need this season. Here are some common ailments that we need to brace ourselves against.

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Cold

It gets extremely easy to catch cold in winter. These can be simple colds or the deadly pneumonia that we are vulnerable to, as the viruses and bacteria spread in the cold weather. We can prevent ourselves and family by keeping the house and surroundings clean. Also, we need to regularly wash our hands before eating and doing our daily chores.

Joint Pains

If you suffer from arthritis or other bones and joint problems, you need to be extra careful. The pain in joints and bones increases with lower temperatures. The real cause for this is not clear but this phenomenon is very common and disturbing.

Sore Throat

Infections that cause sore throat become highly active too. We have to keep avoiding chilled drinks and water and keep warm throughout the day. If you fall ill try gargling with salt dissolved in warm water. This will soothe the throat.

Asthma

Asthma patients are very likely to have their problem aggravated, especially if dry, cold winds are blowing in winter. We can generally find our oxygen levels reduce and moisture lost in windy season. This can be dangerous and should not be neglected. We need to keep the medicines and asthma pumps ready at all times to get instant help when needed.

Stomach Aches & Nausea

Norovirus is what creates stomach issues in cold season. Nausea, diarrhea, and constant stomach aches are telltale signs of norovirus. It takes its time to cure and we need to keep patience and general measures to bring our bellies back to normal.

There are many more issues that may be more severe and we need to adopt a healthy lifestyle to keep them all at bay.

 

 

Alcohol Abuse and Osteoporosis

Today is World Osteoporosis Day – a day dedicated to the complications caused in osteoporosis, studies for the cause and effects, and the possible remedies that the researchers are seeking. Osteoporosis is a public health issue related to bones. It is marked by weakening of bones, loss of bone mass and frequent fractures. All around the world there are millions who either suffer directly or have a sufferer of osteoporosis with them. They are keen to find out how they can recover from this chronic disease.

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Researchers have so far discovered certain key factors that can cause this disease and one of this is alcohol abuse. Consuming alcohol over the limits every day can be detrimental for the bones, as for other organs. Abuse causes bone toxicity rendering them to become weaker with time. The eventual result is frequent fractures that take ages to heal.

Researchers are readily calling for people to quit their booze and lead a healthy life.

Bentham Science plays its role in providing all important research studies to help the osteoporosis patients and to keep people from drinking. Find out the study, Pathogenesis of Alcohol-Induced Osteoporosis and its Treatment: A Review, published in the journal, Current Drug Targets.

Which is Healthier – Frying or Grilling

This World Food Day, we turn our focus onto a very important debate that has been going on for long but changing little in practice. The debate is about which cooking method is better for health, grilling or frying. Both the methods are popularly used and liked by masses. Grilling is done by placing food (meat or vegetables) on a wire grill kept over or under a source of heat. The food gets cooked through the thermal radiation emitted by the heat source and transmitted by the grill.

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Frying, on the other hand, is done in a frying pan or utensil containing oil or fat. The food is placed in the oil, either shallow or deep, and cooked over a heat source. The temperature of the oil rises extremely high and conducts the heat into the food to be cooked. Frying makes the food crispy, hot and enhances the taste strongly. But does it compromise the nutrition of the food?

Yes. Frying causes the essential vitamins and other nutrients in the food to be destroyed due to high temperature. Further, it adds unhealthy fat into the food as the oil penetrates and increases the cholesterol levels. This is the bad cholesterol that chokes blood vessels, increasing the risk of stroke, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. The visible ill effects include weight increase and lethargy in cases.

Grilling, also enhances taste but does not damage the nutrition in food. With it the cholesterol level in foods usually drops instead of rising. The moisture and essential vitamins and minerals are retained and add value to what we are consuming. The grilled food is  more easily digested and does not store in the body as unwanted fat.

It’s high time we change our cooking methods and keep ourselves healthy for long.

Lighting Times in Hospitals Affect Patients’ Health

Human beings are used to a cycle of light timings with light in the day and dark in the night. Accordingly, our mind and body feel active in daytime and laze afterwards. When we are exposed to light in inappropriate hours we tend to get irritated and find it hard to respond properly. Same phenomenon can get exacerbated if we are ill, as our body and mind is already fighting diseases and cannot bear extra agony. Yet this is a common sight in hospitals, medical centers and nursing homes that they are shining bright twenty-four hours – especially in the I.C.U. and other sensitive sections.

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It has been ignored mostly but now researchers are paying attention to the potential ill-effects this untimely lighting has on our circadian rhythm, i.e. our biological clock. Scientists from University of Colorado suggest that if the hospitals, medical centers and the likes control their light intensity, duration and sunlight exposure than they may help patients recover quicker than otherwise. This subject is wide and welcoming for further research that can help improve the conditions.

Find out more on this topic from the research article, Entrainment of the Human Circadian Clock to the Light-Dark Cycle and its Impact on Patients in the ICU and Nursing Home Settings.

EVA – Ageing Of The Blood Vessels Before Time

Celebrating the World Heart Day on September 29th, we bring our focus to some serious problems related to the heart and vascular system that can lead a human being towards death. One such problem is the ageing of the blood vessels before their actual time. This phenomenon is called Early Vascular Ageing or EVA. Early vascular ageing is a significant marker for cardiovascular diseases and is generally identified by stiffening of the arteries.

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EVA is caused when the blood vessels show signs of ageing before they reach their chronological age. This renders the blood vessels to be less flexible and disturbs the control of blood flow from and to the heart. It may occur due to various reasons including genetic factors, environmental effects on vascular system or any damages caused to the blood vessels over time etc. As the researchers, Dr. Stephane Laurent et al. notify in their article published in the journal, Current Hypertension Reviews, EVA is a problem that needs a lot of attention and finding its prevention can ensure many cardiovascular diseases can be combatted.

The article, Early Vascular Ageing (EVA): Definitions and Clinical Applicability, explains the phenomenon, its consequences and opportunities for finding preventive measures.

Find more studies on Early Vascular Ageing here: http://benthamscience.com/journals/current-hypertension-reviews/

Rabies: Zero by 2030

Rabies is a transmittable viral illness that nearly always results in death after the beginning of clinical symptoms. In majority of cases, home-bred dogs are to be blamed for spreading the virus to humans, although both domestic and feral animals can be carriers of the disease. It is transmitted to humans through saliva of affected animals when they bite. Although rabies is a completely avoidable disease, it still causes several deaths everyday around the globe.

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World Rabies Day is observed as the universal day of action and recognition for the prevention of rabies. World Rabies Day, on September 28, is a worldwide health initiative introduced in 2007 to increase awareness regarding the affliction of rabies and unite to boost prevention internationally. This very date is the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur, the French chemist and microbiologist, who invented the first rabies injection.

At the international meeting on rabies eradication in 2015, a joint objective of zero human mortality from canine rabies by 2030 was decided upon by the World Health Organization, World Organisation for Animal Health, UN Food and Agriculture Organization and GARC.  In assistance of this target, the theme of 2017 World Rabies Day is Rabies: Zero by 30. It is now everyone’s job to make eradication of rabies an actuality. World Rabies Day is a chance to do your bit in ending the avoidable misery and fatalities caused by rabies. One of the basic steps to assist in the avoidance and control of rabies is by inoculating your pets and educating yourself about how to avoid animals that generally spread rabies: dogs, raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes.

What We Know of Migraine

Migraine is among the most prevalent problems, and is very hard to deal with. Doctors and researchers have been perplexed for decades what exactly causes it and how can it be fought off. Migraine is signified by chronic headaches that recur either in days or weeks. The pain can be mild or intensified, varying from case to case. But no one is yet sure about the reason for this problem.

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Suspecting that it is caused by high or low blood pressure, trauma, high level of stress, some deficiency or any such issue, people try to resolve it through medicines, exercise and change in diet etc. The pain may disappear for the time being but it returns with the same strength. This goes to show that there is some other reason, and the researchers believe that migraine is genetic disorder. Researchers, psychologists and doctors consider it illusive in nature as migraine cannot be diagnosed through X-rays, MRI, other means of brain imaging or any other physical symptoms. The only means of diagnosis is through the accounts of the patents about how often they face it, and how they feel in it.

The psychologists are now developing integrated solutions to attempt to treat migraine sufferers. They suggest lifestyle changes, diet alterations, pills as well as exercises to harness, if not eliminate, this widespread disorder. But the greatest developments are antimigraine drugs that can get patients rid of it.

Here are some important articles on migraine, published by Bentham Science Publishers:

http://www.eurekaselect.com/149377

http://www.eurekaselect.com/127406

 

Food Enhances Intelligence!

We have always known the fact that food is essential for keeping us alive and healthy. But this is a general statement, so the scientists have been on the mission to understand how food keeps us healthy – both physically and mentally. Keeping our focus on mental health we need to understand how food and nutrition keeps our brain healthy.

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Recently, scientists from the University of Illinois studied the Mediterranean diet and found out that the oils and nuts carry nutrients that are very good for the brain. The dorsal networks in the brain is the key area concerned with intelligence and cognitive thinking. The Mediterranean diet includes nutrients called monounsaturated fatty acids MUFAs that the researchers found, were responsible for building the networks and enhancing thinking abilities.

The study is just the beginning and has loads to offer for scientists as they progress in this direction.

To read the latest research articles on neurology, visit: http://benthamscience.com/browse-by-subject/medicine/#ANCHSC34

Empathy – Can It Be Taught?

We live in a world of constant communication and interactions where we have to understand the others around us. We take this idea for granted until we come across people who lack this idea. Yes, empathy and understanding the others is not a universal phenomenon. There are individuals who cannot figure out how others think and what they would do in certain situations – no matter how obvious the situations are.

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As psychologists coin it, the phenomenon of understanding and empathizing is known as Theory of Mind. Most psychologists take it as a mental process that can only be studied or observed through displayed behaviors of individuals. For instance, if you can help someone without their asking you verbally, it shows you understand that they need you at that moment. If you do otherwise, your behavior depicts that you lack empathy. Hence they conclude Theory of Mind can only be observed indirectly and similarly can barely be taught to someone lacking it.

But recent study by psychologists tend to argue that Theory of Mind may itself be a group of behaviors that appear with certain simple principles of learning. That means that we can also teach these behaviors to people who bear psychological disorders.

The research study called, ‘Theory of Mind is Just Behavior’, is published in the journal, Current Psychiatry Reviews.

To read more please visit: http://www.eurekaselect.com/152108