Nicotine Patches Up Early Memory Loss In Study

Slapping on a nicotine patch may not just be for smokers trying to kick the habit.

In an intriguing test, researchers tried nicotine patches as a memory booster for nonsmokers with mild declines in their thinking ability, a precursor to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

“There were improvements in attention and memory performance in patients who took the nicotine patch compared to those with the placebo patch,” lead researcher Dr. Paul Newhouse, a Vanderbilt University psychiatrist, tells Shots. “The placebo patients stayed the same or got worse.”

Though the study was modest in size, involving about 70 people over six months, lead researcher Newhouse says it’s the largest trial ever performed looking at how nicotine might improve memory.

Previous research has linked nicotine to improved alertness, coordination and cognitive functioning. The latest work, published in Neurology, suggests it may help improve attention, memory and mental processing in people with mild memory loss.

So how does nicotine affect memory? The chemical actually mimics the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which stimulates nerve cell receptors in the brain. Stimulating these receptors revs up the system involved in attention, learning and memory skills.

This helps explain why when smokers quit and cut their nicotine intake to zero, they may have a harder time remembering things, Newhouse says. Eventually, their brains rebound and memory returns to normal, he says.

But that’s not the case for someone with Alzheimer’s. “If a patient has Alzheimer’s disease, the receptors are already damaged,” Newhouse says. That’s why he studied people on the brink of losing the function of receptors — to see if he could alter the course of memory loss.

“It’s like a heart attack,” he says. “We don’t wait till you get one to treat you. We use a biomarker, like cholesterol or blood pressure, so we can act with an early intervention.”

Not every part of the study came out peachy, though. Based on qualitative judgments by doctors blinded to the test, nicotine didn’t show a significant change in the patients’ “global functioning,” or their ability to handle life’s everyday problems, despite nicotine improving their memory a tad.

With that in mind, Newhouse says the next step is to return to the National Institute on Aging, which supported the study, and put together a larger and longer trial. “We want to see if we can improve performance but also symptom difficulties with memory and change the trajectory on how people decline in Alzheimer’s.”

Patients suffered no serious side effects and had no trouble discontinuing the treatment, the researchers report. Pfizer provided the patches.

Now, if you’re thinking about picking up some patches to improve your memory without a doctor’s advice: Think twice. “Nicotine doesn’t help normal performance,” Newhouse says. “It only does if you are tired, anxious, upset – impaired in some way.” And don’t start smoking either. Smoking is a terrible delivery system for any drug because of its detrimental side effects, he says.

Article Source : NPR blog

20 reasons why you should date a doctor

1. The stethoscope.
2. They can give you the gift of “missing them” because they are always at work.
3. They can give you a free medical consultation.

4. You save yourself the embarrassment of going to a doctor with a water infection!!
5. They are smart!!
6. They know their anatomy well (know what works and where)
7. They are heavy weight party people in the weekend
8. Let’s play doctor!!
9. They are well trained to listen.
10. They know how you feel, or at least pretend to!!
11 They always have a strange new story to tell.
12 They offer you a tissue when you feel like crying (it is a reflex).
13 They can stay up all night if you want them to.
14 They can guide you in the gym.
15 Money!!! (Although they work long hours for it)
16 Free medical samples!!
17 They are unshockable!!!
18 They know what you want to hear and say it!!
19 They always try to dress nice!!
20 They are trained in breaking bad news in a nice way.

Article Source : DoctorsHangout

After 25 Years In Woman’s Stomach, A Pen Still Writes

Twenty-five years ago, a British woman who saw a spot on a tonsil tried to get a better look using a pen and a mirror. She slipped and the pen went down her throat.

Neither the woman’s husband nor her doctor believed her. X-rays at the time didn’t detect the pen. Now, “they are eating their words,” as NPR’s Linda Wertheimer put it.

Pen Removed 25 Years After Woman Swallowed It
Pen Removed 25 Years After Woman Swallowed It

A CT scan shows she was right. And the woman, 76, had the felt-tip pen removed. Even after all these years without trouble, doctors figured there was a risk the pen could tear a hole in her stomach. Remarkably, the pen still worked.

Take a look for yourself at the scan showing the pen in her stomach. And the acid test, so to speak, “Hello,” written with the retrieved pen afterward.

The images come courtesy of BMJ Case Reports, a peer-reviewed clearinghouse for quirky and significant cases, that has become one of our favorite reads. The journal kindly gave us permission to reproduce the images.

For more, see the case report: “An incidental finding of a gastric foreign body 25 years after ingestion.”

Beyond being a bit bizarre, the case does have a few lessons for clinicians, the reporting doctors write: “plain abdominal X-rays may not identify ingested plastic objects and occasionally it may be worth believing the patient’s account however unlikely it may be.”

Article Source : NPR Blog

10 Easy Tips to Lose Weight Naturally

Weight loss remains a major health issue for many of us despite the onslaught of weight loss tips and medical aids that surround us.

Most of the contemporary solutions border on providing unrealistic weight loss solutions or are too time-consuming. Drastic dieting is never recommended since it can leave you malnourished and damage your body in an nonredeemable manner. In order to lose weight naturally, i.e. without using any magic pill or gymming like a maniac, use the following tips:

1. Consider Whole Grains As Your Friends

Try to eat a larger concentration of foods made from whole grains (rotis, whole wheat breads, cookies and oatmeal) rather than refined or processed foods. Whole grains are more complex for the body to metabolize, taking a longer digestion route. This keeps the body busy for a longer period, ensuring that energy is released throughout the day. This helps to decrease the frequency and intensity of hunger pangs, particularly the sugar cravings.

2. Psychological Preparedness

Don’t be shy about your weight loss goals. In fact, use the people around you to your advantage. Announce it amongst your friends and family that they should thwart you every time you are headed for a bit piece of creamy cake or a cheese-loaded pizza.

3. Know Your Food

You need to be more alert when picking up packaged food items. Remember that non-saturated fats and essential fatty acids are the good kind of fats that your body needs for its basic functions. Food items bearing labels of low-fat or low-sugar might not necessarily contain lesser calories. Instead, try to make smarter substitutions. For instance, you can choose eggless baked items and juices without sugar.

4. Use Water As A Weight Loss Tool

Try to drink water every time you get hungry or you are about to have a meal, i.e. just before a major meal like a lunch or dinner. This is a simple and effective way of instantly quenching your hunger to a certain extent. More water also raises the metabolic rate or the rate at which the body uses calories, meaning you are losing more calories per hour.

5. Manipulate Yourself To Reduce Food Intake

Try to eat slowly, breaking your food into more bites. This will ensure that you derive more pleasure out of each bite, allowing each morsel to provide more satiety, ensuring your calorie intake at the dining table remain limited. Rather than taking single, big servings, try to take numerous small servings. This helps to establish the perception that you have been serving yourself repeatedly and also makes you more conscious about the amount of food you are about to consume.

6. Use Fiber To Your Advantage

Try to include more fiber in your diet. This should include soluble and insoluble fiber for ensuring that the digested food in your intestines absorbs more water. This in turn ensures that the feeling of being full is achieved quicker. Insoluble fiber is found in leafy salads that also help you limit your food intake naturally. This is because the raw state of most salad ingredients means that you need to chew a lot more. The extra chewing and salivating that accompanies it helps to control the hunger pangs for a few hours.

7. Overcome Your Snacking Habits

Snacking is perhaps the biggest sin a dieter can commit. To ensure that you stay away from the urge to bite into a chocolate or cookie, keep your mouth busy with sugar-free chewing gum. Try to sip iced or hot herbal teas prepared with minimal amount of sugar throughout the day. These are low cal aids that help to establish the feeling of feeding yourself without consuming too many calories, preventing the urge to snack.

8. Keep Away From Salt

Salt is responsible for retention of water within the large intestine. Further, salt tends to keep our blood pressure high, making us more prone to sweating. These factors raise our thirst and the tendency to consume beverages, including teas and colas, which contain sugar.

9. Burn Your Sugars

If you cannot do without your daily intake of sweet or sugar-concentrated items, try to snack upon them during the morning hours. This ensures that the body will be using the calories extracted from your favorite milkshake throughout the day, reducing the number of calories stored as fat.

10. Exercise Easily

You don’t need to take upon heavy gym routines to exercise your problem areas. For instance, climbing up and down the stairs is one of the easiest, most accessible types of cardiovascular exercise that works-out your hips, legs and thighs beautifully. Combine this with undemanding calorie-burners like brisk walks, walking to the nearby market, walking when talking on your mobile and taking upon more household chores.

Weight Loss Precautions You Shouldn’t Ignore

Maintaining your body frame is vital at the time of losing weight. Weight loss often causes loss of vital protein, weakening the muscles that are necessary to maintain the elasticity of our tissues. To ensure that you don’t lose too much of your lean muscle mass, ensure you consume egg whites on a daily basis. Avoid the yolk since it contains a high amount of cholesterol.

Article Source : Yahoo News

Caribbean Medical School Listed WHO & IMED Directories and registered with Accredition Council

There are few medical schools available in the Caribbean region registered with the appropriate accredition councils. Texila American University is one of the most preferred Caribbean medical schools which is registered with the Accreditation Council locally, and listed with 8 major organizations like WHO. TAU is registered with NAC and listed in WHO & IMED also member of various recognition bodies.

Texila offers Health Science programs with a high-level of professionalism, exactness and problem solving skills, upon which the foundations of specialist training and an independent medical practice can be built, which facilitates further education and development of their knowledge throughout their life.

TAU Credentials or Recognitions are –

  1. Listed in WHO (World Health Organization)
  2. United Nations Global Compact program
  3. Listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED)
  4. International Association for Dental Research (IADR)
  5. Global Alliance for Medical Education (GAME)
  6. International Association For Medical Education (AMEE)
  7. National Accrediation Council of Guyana (NAC)
  8. Swiss Association of Pharmaceutical Professionals (SwAPP)