CURRENT ISSUE
Watch Online the Live Sessions of ISWWTA 2015 Rishikesh on Youtube.Visit:https://www.youtube.com/user/ayushdarpan/
Previous issues of AYUSH DARPAN in Hindi is now available online visit:http://ayushdarpan.org

Search Engine

Loading...

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Scientists in Amsterdam Just Destroyed Breast Cancer Tumors in 11 Days Without Chemo

Research presented by Professor Nigel Bundred at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam revealed that they had tested the effectiveness of a pair of drugs known as Herceptin (a.k.a trastuzumab) and Lapatinib.
bcancer-ogThe two drugs are commonly used in breast cancer treatment already, but this is the first time they had been combined together and used before surgery and chemotherapy. What they found was they were able to eliminate some types of breast cancer in just 11 days.
Funded by Cancer Research UK, they aimed to use these drugs to combat a protein called HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) which affects the growth and division of cancer cells. It’s also more likely to return than other cancer types.
What also makes this treatment so appealing is the fact that it eliminates the need for chemotherapy and surgery. The temporary side effects like hair loss, vomiting and fatigue are also avoided, making treatment less impactful on the body. Chemo is not entirely effective, nor is it the right choice for a lot of patients, so any alternatives are welcomed.

STUDY RESULTS

257 women with HER2 positive breast cancer were selected for the study, with half being put on the drug combo and the other half were the control group. What they found was that of those on the drug, 11% had no cancer cells remaining within two weeks and 17% of cases featured dramatically shrunken tumors.
Compared to the control group who were only given Herceptin, they were found to have 0% with no trace of cancer cells and only 3% showed a drop in tumor size. Clearly, the two drugs combined have a major effect on breast cancer cells as opposed to being used on their own.
The problem currently, however, is that Herceptin’s licensing makes it only available for use alongside chemotherapy and not alone. The results of this study may help to change that though.
Although there’s still a lot of work to be done, hopefully, this is a major step in the fight against one of the world’s deadliest diseases. With medical advancements improving every year, it’s entirely possible this could happen sooner than we think!

SOURCES:

http://www.iflscience.com/…
http://www.breastcancer.org/…
https://www.sciencedaily.com/…
http://www.macmillan.org.uk/…

Musical training creates new brain connections in children

Taking music lessons increases brain fiber connections in children and may be useful in treating autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to a study being presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
IMAGE"It's been known that musical instruction benefits children with these disorders," said Pilar Dies-Suarez, M.D., chief radiologist at the Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez in Mexico City, "but this study has given us a better understanding of exactly how the brain changes and where these new fiber connections are occurring."
The researchers studied 23 healthy children between the ages of five and six years old. All of the children were right handed and had no history of sensory, perception or neurological disorders. None of the children had been trained in any artistic discipline in the past.
The study participants underwent pre- and post-musical-training evaluation with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the brain. DTI is an advanced MRI technique, which identifies microstructural changes in the brain's white matter.
"Experiencing music at an early age can contribute to better brain development, optimizing the creation and establishment of neural networks, and stimulating the existing brain tracts," Dr. Dies-Suarez said.
The brain's white matter is composed of millions of nerve fibers called axons that act like communication cables connecting various regions of the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging produces a measurement, called fractional anisotropy (FA), of the movement of extracellular water molecules along axons. In healthy white matter, the direction of extracellular water molecules is fairly uniform and measures high in fractional anisotropy. When water movement is more random, FA values decrease, suggesting abnormalities.
Over the course of life, the maturation of brain tracts and connections between motor, auditory and other areas allow the development of numerous cognitive abilities, including musical skills. Previous studies have linked autism spectrum and ADHD with decreases in volume, fiber connections and FA in the minor and lower forceps, tracts located in the frontal cortex of the brain. This suggests that low connectivity in the frontal cortex, an area of the brain involved in complex cognitive processes, is a biomarker of these disorders.
After the children in the study completed nine months of musical instruction using Boomwhackers--percussion tubes cut to the exact length to create pitches in a diatonic scale, DTI results showed an increase in FA and axon fiber length in different areas of the brain, most notably in the minor forceps.
"When a child receives musical instruction, their brains are asked to complete certain tasks," Dr. Dies-Suarez said. "These tasks involve hearing, motor, cognition, emotion and social skills, which seem to activate these different brain areas. These results may have occurred because of the need to create more connections between the two hemispheres of the brain."
The researchers believe that the results of this study could aid in creating targeted strategies for intervention in treating disorders like autism and ADHD.
Source:RADIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA

Yogic breathing helps fight major depression, Penn study shows

A breathing-based meditation practice known as Sudarshan Kriya yoga helped alleviate severe depression in people who did not fully respond to antidepressant treatments, reports a new study published today in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry from researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study bolsters the science behind the use of controlled yogic breathing to help battle depression.
In a randomized, controlled pilot study, led by Anup Sharma, MD, PhD, a Neuropsychiatry research fellow in the department of Psychiatry at Penn, researchers found significant improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety in medicated patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who participated in the breathing technique compared to medicated patients who did not partake. After two months, the yoga group cut its mean Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) score by several points, while the control group showed no improvements. HDRS is the most widely used clinician-administered depression assessment that scores mood, interest in activities, energy, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of guilt, among other symptoms.
More than half of the 41 million Americans who take antidepressants do not fully respond. Add-on therapies are often prescribed to enhance the effects of the drugs in these patients, but they typically offer limited additional benefits and come with side effects that can curb use, prolonging the depressive episode. What's more, patients who don't fully respond to antidepressants are especially at risk of relapse.
"With such a large portion of patients who do not fully respond to antidepressants, it's important we find new avenues that work best for each person to beat their depression," Sharma said. "Here, we have a promising, lower-cost therapy that could potentially serve as an effective, non-drug approach for patients battling this disease."
The meditation technique, which is practiced in both a group setting and at home, includes a series of sequential, rhythm-specific breathing exercises that bring people into a deep, restful, and meditative state: slow and calm breaths alternated with fast and stimulating breaths.
"Sudarshan Kriya yoga gives people an active method to experience a deep meditative state that's easy to learn and incorporate in diverse settings," Sharma said.
In past studies, the practice has demonstrated a positive response in patients with milder forms of depression, depression due to alcohol dependence, and in patients with MDD; however, there are no clinical studies investigating its use for depression in an outpatient setting. Past studies suggest that yoga and other controlled breathing techniques can potentially adjust the nervous system to reduce stress hormones. Overall, the authors also note, well-designed studies that evaluate the benefits of yoga to treat depression are lacking, despite increased interest in the ancient Indian practice. Millions of Americans participate in some form of yoga every year.
In the study, researchers enrolled 25 patients suffering from MDD who were depressed, despite more than eight weeks of antidepressant medication treatment. The medicated patients were randomized to either the breathing intervention group or the "waitlist" control group for eight weeks. (The waitlist group was offered the yoga intervention after the study). During the first week, participants completed a six-session program, which featured Sudarshan Kriya yoga in addition to yoga postures, sitting meditation, and stress education. For weeks two through eight, participants attended weekly Sudarshan Kriya yoga follow-up sessions and completed a home practice version of the technique.
Patients in the Sudarshan Kriya yoga group showed a significantly greater improvement in HDRS scores compared to patients in the waitlist group. With a mean baseline HDRS score of 22.0 (indicating severe depression at the beginning of the study), the group that completed the breathing technique for the full two months improved scores by 10.27 points on average, compared to the waitlist group, which showed no improvements. Patients in the yoga group also showed significant mean reductions in total scores of the self-reported Beck Depression (15.48 point improvement) and Beck Anxiety Inventories (5.19 point improvement), versus the waitlist control group.
Results of the pilot study suggest the feasibility and promise of Sudarshan Kriya as an add-on intervention for MDD patients who have not responded to antidepressants, the authors wrote. "The next step in this research is to conduct a larger study evaluating how this intervention impacts brain structure and function in patients who have major depression," Sharma said.
Source:UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

A handful of nuts a day cuts the risk of a wide range of diseases

A large analysis of current research shows that people who eat at least 20g of nuts a day have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
The analysis of all current studies on nut consumption and disease risk has revealed that 20g a day - equivalent to a handful - can cut people's risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30 percent, their risk of cancer by 15 percent, and their risk of premature death by 22 percent.
Image resultAn average of at least 20g of nut consumption was also associated with a reduced risk of dying from respiratory disease by about a half, and diabetes by nearly 40 percent, although the researchers note that there is less data about these diseases in relation to nut consumption.
The study, led by researchers from Imperial College London and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is published in the journal BMC Medicine.
The research team analysed 29 published studies from around the world that involved up to 819,000 participants, including more than 12,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 9,000 cases of stroke, 18,000 cases of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and more than 85,000 deaths.
While there was some variation between the populations that were studied, such as between men and women, people living in different regions, or people with different risk factors, the researchers found that nut consumption was associated with a reduction in disease risk across most of them.
Study co-author Dagfinn Aune from the School of Public Health at Imperial said: "In nutritional studies, so far much of the research has been on the big killers such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer, but now we're starting to see data for other diseases.
"We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases, which is a strong indication that there is a real underlying relationship between nut consumption and different health outcomes. It's quite a substantial effect for such a small amount of food."
The study included all kinds of tree nuts, such as hazel nuts and walnuts, and also peanuts - which are actually legumes. The results were in general similar whether total nut intake, tree nuts or peanuts were analysed.
What makes nuts so potentially beneficial, said Aune, is their nutritional value: "Nuts and peanuts are high in fibre, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats - nutrients that are beneficial for cutting cardiovascular disease risk and which can reduce cholesterol levels.
"Some nuts, particularly walnuts and pecan nuts are also high in antioxidants, which can fight oxidative stress and possibly reduce cancer risk. Even though nuts are quite high in fat, they are also high in fibre and protein, and there is some evidence that suggests nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time."
The study also found that if people consumed on average more than 20g of nuts per day, there was little evidence of further improvement in health outcomes.
The team are now analysing large published datasets for the effects of other recommended food groups, including fruits and vegetables, on a wider range of diseases.
Source:IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON

Monday, 14 November 2016

10 Reasons Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized In India

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the world with an estimated 125 million people consuming it in some form or the other every year. In India, marijuana use has been historically bound to faith and mysticism. It is said to be a drug that helps the user attain "ecstasy in the original sense of the word". India has consumed and celebrated charas (hash), bhang and weed for centuries.
However, implementation of stringent narcotic laws in 1986 made the sale, consumption, production and transportation of marijuana illegal in the country. 24 years on, here are 10 reasons why marijuana should now be legalized in India.

1. It will eliminate illegal trade and associate crimes

Marijuana legalization (or decriminalization) will replace the black market production and distribution with an 'overboard industry'. There will be rules and regulations but the trade will be 'populated by the government, farmers, merchants and retails clerks, not by criminals or drug dealers'.

2. Marijuana addiction is rare

An epidemiological study showed that only 9 percent of those who use marijuana end up being clinically dependent on it. The 'comparable rates' for tobacco, alcohol and cocaine stood at 32 percent, 15 percent and 16 percent respectively.


3. Taxing marijuana will increase government's revenue

By legalizing and taxing marijuana, the government will stand to earn huge amounts of revenue that will otherwise go to the Italian and Israeli drug cartels. In an open letter to US President George Bush, around 500 economists, led by Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman, called for marijuana to be "legal but taxed and regulated like other goods".


4. It will create job opportunities

Legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes in Colorado has created 10,000 new jobs in the area. There are a plethora of jobs that can be created by the marijuana industry and help reduce India's unemployment rate.


5. Marijuana use has medical benefits

Studies have shown that marijuana use has dozens of medical benefits. It treats glaucoma, prevents cancer from spreading to other parts of the body, reduces anxiety, slows the progress of Alzheimer's disease, improves metabolism and is even said to spur creativity in our brain.



6. It will help the locals

In states like Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where cannabis plants grow, marijuana is the only source of income for many locals. However, being a banned substance, the farmers are forced to sell it at a very cheap price to the drug dealers and they face additional pressure from the police as well, who are paid to destroy the cannabis plantations. Legalizing marijuana will end this 'war on drugs' targeting our own countrymen.



7. Legalization will ensure that good quality marijuana is sold to the consumers

In India, dealers often mix hash and weed with chemicals or other drugs likeafeem to improve the taste, color, texture or 'high' of the stuff. Legalization will improve the quality of marijuana sold to the users because government will regulate the production and sale of the drug.



8. Marijuana has limited withdrawal symptoms and its use can't be fatal

"I've heard you have to smoke something like 15,000 joints in 20 minutes to get a toxic amount of delta-9 tetrahydrocannibinol," says Dr. Paul Hornby, a biochemist and human pathologist. "I challenge anybody to do that." Not only is it virtually impossible to overdose on marijuana, the users face nominal withdrawal symptoms after consuming it.



9. Prohibition has failed to control the use and domestic production of marijuana

It is said that 60,000 kgs of hash and 40,000 kgs of opium is produced in Himachal Pradesh. Out of that, only 500 kgs is seized annually. As per reports, "more than 1,600 hectares of cultivable farmland and an additional 500 hectares of illicitly felled public forests are currently under cannabis cultivation". The rate is only increasing. Moreover, these days, it is pretty easy to buy marijuana in India and its consumption is widespread among the youth. So it is fair to say that prohibition has failed to curb the 'problem'.



10. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol

Marijuana consumption was never regarded as a socially deviant behavior any more than drinking alcohol was. In fact, keeping it legal was considered as an 'enlightened view'. It is now medically proven that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Unlike alcoholics, stoners don't indulge in rash driving or violent fights. They tend to be clam and pleasant under the influence of marijuana.



In conclusion, marijuana laws are outdated and more harmful than the drug itself.

After withstanding the United States' pressure for 25 years, India finally gave into the demands of its Western counterpart in 1986 by clubbing marijuana with other hard drugs and criminalizing it.
However, by making it illegal, more problems have come up. True, marijuana should be kept away from the adolescents, but its moderate use will not pose any risk to adults.
Instead of spending money on arresting drug offenders and cutting down marijuana plantations, why can't our government save itself from all this trouble and legalize a culturally accepted substance that can help in socio-economic development of the country?

Proposal legalising hemp cultivation sent to U’khand govt is still pending

Uttarakhand authorities have come up with a draft policy proposal to legalise cultivation of hemp plants (cannabis) for industrial, medicinal and scientific purposes.
The proposal was prepared by Uttarakhand Excise Management System after chief minister Harish Rawat last year announced legalising cultivation of hemp plants.
“We have prepared the proposal and submitted to the government,” additional commissioner excise, DV Singh told HT.
A policy would be formulated and presented before the cabinet soon.
Legalising cultivation of hemp plants would also help keep a check on its illegal use as Section 8 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, prohibits cultivation of cannabis for recreation. Section 14 of the Act allows state government to grow it for generating fibre and seeds.
“Derived fibre and seeds from hemp plants could boost the industrial sector in the state. That is what the government is eyeing,” joint commissioner excise, D S Chauhan said.
The proposal moots developing seeds with 0.3% tetra hydro cannabinol (THC) to be used for research and other business purposes rather than for recreation. Cannabis sativa plants generally contain 3-20% THC.
Officials admitted that developing seeds with low THC would be a challenge and research institutions would be roped in for the purpose.
“If we are able to manufacture seeds with 0.3% THC, only then can this industry boom. Scientific institutions like Indian Council for Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) and Forest Research Institute (FRI) could be considered for this task,” COO of Uttarakhand Bamboo and Fibre Development Board, Sashi Kumar Dutt said.
Low-THC seeds are also likely to be imported from countries like Australia, the US and China for research, officials said.
Currently, only one company in Haridwar is authorised to collect locally grown cannabis for markets in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and it is charged excise duty by the state.
The stalk of its plants are used to prepare shoes, car interiors, geo-textiles, apparel, ropes and also in packaging industry. Its seed is used in manufacturing of oil, flour and even animal feed. In hill states, the seeds are also used in pickles and chutneys. The specie is found extensively in hill state.
Source:HT Media

India needs improved diabetes therapies that are affordable and accessible to all: ISCR

Recognizing the crucial need for early screening to detect type 2 diabetes and manage the risk of its serious complications, 'Eyes on Diabetes' is this year’s theme for World Diabetes Day which falls on November 14, 2016. While globally there are new and improved therapies to better manage diabetes, these therapies are either expensive or not accessible to the population at large in India, says the Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR). 

Therefore, we need to scale-up clinical research, specifically in type 2 diabetes, to provide treatment options that are effective, affordable and improve the quality of a diabetic’s life.

“Currently available treatment for diabetes has its limitations in terms of safety and efficacy in achieving glycemic control on long term basis and there is a need for exploring better treatment options, which is only possible through clinical research. Indians differ from other populations in terms of body build, genetic origin, and disease presentation. Hence, India needs more clinical trials in diabetes to develop more suitable and effective treatment options for the Indian population,” said Dr. Vyankatesh Shivane, consultant diabetologist & metabolic physician.

It is estimated that by 2030, there will be more than 100 million patients living with diabetes in India. With the growing burden of diabetes in India, there will be a corresponding increase in diabetes related complications, many of which can be managed if the condition is detected on time. According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, amputation and kidney failure. Data from the International Diabetes Federation indicates that one in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed and up to 70 per cent of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles.

“The prevalence of diabetes in India is on the rise with approximately 70 million diabetes patients in the country. There are an equal number of patients with pre-diabetes, which is the first stage of the onset of diabetes. The prevalence of complications of diabetes is high in patients with both diabetes and pre-diabetes. In India, type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes remains undiagnosed for a longer period of time for a number of reasons, hence patients are more prone to complications. In keeping with this year's theme of World Diabetes Day 'Eyes on Diabetes, we must have large-scale screening programmes for early diagnosis of diabetes and pre-diabetes and early intervention. Effective glycemic control will definitely help reduce the complications associated with diabetes and reduce morbidity and mortality,” noted Dr. Shivane.

“Given the increasing prevalence of diabetes in India, our focus through clinical research should be to meet the unmet medical needs of diabetics and develop improved therapies that cut across all economic strata,” said Suneela Thatte, president of ISCR.
Source:Pharmabiz

Facebook Badge

PAGE COUNTER