Monday, 23 October 2017

3D tech used in bowel cancer surgery

The surgeon is able to communicate with colleagues in the US and India during the operation. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Director General rescinds Goodwill Ambassador appointment

Over the last few days, I have reflected on my decision to appoint President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs in Africa. As a result I have decided to rescind the appointment. via WHO news Read More Here..

WHO cancels Robert Mugabe goodwill ambassador role

The World Health Organization cancels the appointment of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe amid outcry. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

'Bullying caused my anorexia'

Jamie Pye, from Norfolk, says his work with horses helped him deal with the condition. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Friday, 20 October 2017

WHO supports containment of rare virus on Uganda-Kenya border

WHO supports containment of rare virus on Uganda-Kenya border via WHO news Read More Here..

Could Too Much Exercise Be Bad for Men's Hearts?

Maybe, but only for white men, study suggests

HealthDay news image

Source: HealthDay via Exercise and Physical Fitness New Links: MedlinePlus RSS Feed Read More Here..

'Mug's game': Inside the mind of a gambling addict

Paul Grover lost hundreds of thousands of pounds; now he's at a rehab centre for gambling addicts. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Henna crowns: 'Hair' for cancer patient

For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, losing their hair can be an extremely difficult consequence. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Prosthetic arms made in Salford help Ugandan machete attack victim

Machete attack victim Ninsiima is given prosthetic arms made by Salford University students. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Thursday, 19 October 2017

'Handful of changes' make cancer

It takes between one and 10 mutations to turn a healthy cell cancerous. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Novelty contact lenses 'can cause sight loss'

Eye experts warn of nasty infections and even sight loss if they are not used safely. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Lord Steel: We should decriminalise abortion

Former Liberal leader Lord Steel says the 1967 Abortion Act is "out of date" via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

7 000 newborns die every day, despite steady decrease in under-five mortality, new report says

7 000 newborns die every day, despite steady decrease in under-five mortality, new report says via WHO news Read More Here..

Governments commit to reduce suffering and deaths from noncommunicable diseases

Governments commit to reduce suffering and deaths from noncommunicable diseases via WHO news Read More Here..

Protein 'can stop viruses developing'

Researchers at the University of the West of Scotland had already established the same protein can suppress cancer. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Hundreds of families block organ donation

Legally, consent lies with the deceased, but in practice, relatives' wishes are always respected. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

'Steep rise' in self-harm among teenage girls

Researchers say it is likely the increase is real and not just down to better awareness from GPs. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Sex life 'dead' after mesh implant

A couple married for 40 years say it's made it "impossible" for them to be intimate. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Anna Raeburn: I had a backstreet abortion

Writer and broadcaster Anna Raeburn had an illegal abortion in 1965 when she was 21. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Suspected cases from Seychelles test negative for plague

Suspected cases from Seychelles test negative for plague via WHO news Read More Here..

Catwalk debut for Down’s syndrome teen

Kate, 19, wants to challenge people’s perception of beauty. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Pre-sex HIV drug 'no-brainer" for NHS

Prep treatment could prevent a quarter of new HIV cases and save the NHS millions, experts calculate. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Hospital targets missed en masse as performance slumps

Doctors concerned as BBC analysis shows growing waits in A&E, cancer care and for operations. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dr Mahmoud Fikri

World Health Organization announces with great sadness the death of Dr Mahmoud M Fikri, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region. via WHO news Read More Here..

GP services in Northern Ireland are 'in crisis'

Some patients in Northern Ireland are waiting up to three years to see a consultant about having surgery, following a referral. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Leeds United players and staff donate pay to boy's cancer care

Toby Nye was diagnosed with a stage four neuroblastoma on his fourth birthday. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Drug therapy 'restores breathing' after spinal injury

The researchers hope the results in rats could ultimately help paralysed patients come off ventilators. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

NHS surgery waits run into years in Northern Ireland

Waiting times are increasing as the health services struggles to cope, figures obtained by the BBC reveal. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

AI used to detect breast cancer risk

Machine learning is being used to spot whether breast lesions are cancerous or not. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Man diagnosed with breast cancer

Ian Cranston underwent a mastectomy and warns that men can get breast cancer too. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Concern over norovirus increase by Betsi Cadwaladr health board

Wales' largest health board urges people to be alert to sickness bug. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Reality Check

It's been claimed that US dogs have better access to cancer treatment than Nigerian people. Do they? via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Male disease too

Breast cancer in men is rare but it's still an issue for the 10 men diagnosed with it every year in NI. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

'I felt so low, I couldn't see a way out'

A record number of children seek help from Childline over suicidal thoughts and feelings. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Inpatient mental health care for new mothers 'unacceptable'

There are calls for a mother and baby unit to be opened in south Wales. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Restaurant chain 'cut sugary drink sales' with price rise

A fall in sales of high-sugar drinks in Jamie's Italian restaurant chain was linked to the levy and menu changes. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Monday, 16 October 2017

WHO supports the immunization of 874 000 people against yellow fever in Nigeria

WHO supports the immunization of 874,000 people against yellow fever in Nigeria via WHO news Read More Here..

Electrical Brain Stimulation in Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases

The early Egyptians and Romans recognized the numbing effect of the electric properties of catfish. In fact, Romans were the first to cultivate electric fishes for pain relieving effect. But since then, not much has changed in the development of electricity based medical treatments. Things only started to change two millennia later with the discovery of electricity and a better understanding of neurophysiology.

Electroconvulsive therapy was born in the middle of the 19th century. In the early days, it was primarily used to treat neuropsychiatric disorders. In the mid-19th century, direct electric current was used for electroconvulsive therapy. By the end of 19th-century, the alternate current was discovered, and its use along with the use of magnetic fields became the subject of experiments not only investigating neuropsychiatric conditions but also other diseases like epilepsy and chronic severe headaches.

Electroconvulsive therapy is still used in the treatment of severe neuropsychiatric conditions like schizophrenia or depression, where suicidal tendencies do not respond to pharmacological agents. Unlike in the old days, now this is a non-invasive treatment usually performed under general anesthesia. The therapy non-selectively resets various centers in the brain and thus has wide-ranging side effects like loss of memory, headaches, and muscle aches.

Considering the widespread side effects of electroconvulsive therapy, the need for more selective stimulation of particular brain centers specific for a particular disease was obvious. The improvements in understanding of brain physiology and surgical techniques gave rise to “deep brain stimulation” (DBS). This is an invasive method where electrodes are surgically placed inside the specific part of the brain that are connected to a small electrical device that generates the stimulation.

At present, DBS has been shown to be effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, obsessive compulsive disorder, and dystonia. It is being studied for applications in treating depression, drug addiction, and other neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia. As the method is invasive and involves the surgical implantation of electrodes inside the brain, it is reserved for cases that fail to respond to pharmacological therapy.

Deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease

Dopamine is a chemical messenger in the brain that plays an important role in physical movement. In Parkinson’s disease, there is a progressive loss of dopamine-producing neurons resulting in motor deficiencies. Thus, the first line therapy for this disease is to give dopamine replacement therapy by prescribing a drug called levodopa.

The problem is, one-third of cases of Parkinson’s disease progress quickly and stop responding to the therapy with levodopa or other pharmacological agents, thus necessitating a treatment like DBS.

For the best results, it is recommended to go for DBS well before the symptoms become debilitating. In the later stages, the effectiveness of DBM tends to be lower.

DBS in Parkinson’s disease involves the application of continuous high-frequency electrical pulses through electrodes implanted in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in the brain (though sometimes other locations may also be chosen). The STN is demonstrated to be over-activated in Parkinson’s disease. These electrodes are connected to the compatible pulse generating device. The pulse generator uses various pulses to achieve the optimal effect, where the right kind of settings can be chosen for a person by assessing treatment effectiveness.

Continuous DBS was shown to improve motor symptoms in more than two-thirds of patients, as compared to no stimulation or intermitted stimulation.

In one of the clinical studies, bilateral STN DBS was performed on patients that were not responding to the maximum dose of levodopa or to a continuous infusion of apomorphine. DBS showed marked improvement in motor function in 61% of cases. After the procedure, there was a 37.1% decrease in the daily dosage of levodopa in the patients. There was an almost 70% decrease in the need for apomorphine, with some patients not requiring apomorphine at all. Thus, the effectiveness of bilateral STN DBS in advanced Parkinson’s disease is well established.

Although the exact mechanism whereby DBS is effective is still unknown, it is believed to involve overcoming abnormal electrical patterns generated in the basal ganglia.

With the devices and surgical technique being constantly refined,  the effectiveness of this treatment may improve sufficiently enough to be widely used during the early stages of the disease in the future.

Deep brain stimulation in Alzheimer’s disease

In Alzheimer’s disease, DBS is still an experimental treatment. Lots of research with the use of various techniques has been done on animals, some with positive results. In one such study in monkeys, intermittent DBS was used with 60 pulses for 20 seconds with an interval of 40 seconds in between. The experiment demonstrated improvements in the memory of the primates. The experiment also showed deterioration of memory following continuous stimulation. The differences with results in the treatment of Parkinsonism might be explained by the differing pathological mechanisms involved.

After months of intermittent stimulation, the monkeys demonstrated improvements in memory even on discontinuation of stimulation. This lasting effect has not yet been explained. It is quite possible that such intermittent stimulation results in an improved connection between neurons, or higher levels of release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

DBS has certain benefits over drugs, as it stimulates specific areas of the brain, while anticholinergic drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s have widespread non-selective action. Thus, DBM may prove to be a safer treatment option in the future.

It has to be noted that apart from DBS, non-invasive neurostimulation using transcranial magnetic stimulation has also demonstrated promising effects in animal studies.


Dubljevi?, V., Saigle, V., Racine, E., 2014. The Rising Tide of tDCS in the Media and Academic Literature. Neuron 82, 731–736. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.05.003.

Elder, G.J., Taylor, J.-P., 2014. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation: treatments for cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms in the neurodegenerative dementias? Alzheimers Res. Ther. 6, 74. doi:10.1186/s13195-014-0074-1.

Green, A.L., Bittar, R.G., Bain, P., Scott, R.B., Joint, C., Gregory, R., Aziz, T.Z., 2006. STN vs. Pallidal Stimulation in Parkinson Disease: Improvement with Experience and Better Patient Selection: STN vs. Pallidal DBS. Neuromodulation Technol. Neural Interface 9, 21–27. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1403.2006.00038.x.

Hansen, N., 2014. Brain Stimulation for Combating Alzheimer’s Disease. Front. Neurol. 5. doi:10.3389/fneur.2014.00080.

Little, S., Pogosyan, A., Neal, S., Zavala, B., Zrinzo, L., Hariz, M., Foltynie, T., Limousin, P., Ashkan, K., FitzGerald, J., Green, A.L., Aziz, T.Z., Brown, P., 2013. Adaptive deep brain stimulation in advanced Parkinson disease. Ann. Neurol. 74, 449–457. doi:10.1002/ana.23951.

Mallet, L., 2010. Deep Brain Stimulation in Psychiatric Disorders, in: Koob, G.F., Moal, M.L., Thompson, R.F. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience. Academic Press, Oxford, pp. 376–381. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-045396-5.00249-9.

Sharifi, M.S., 2013. Treatment of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders with Deep Brain Stimulation; Raising Hopes and Future Challenges. Basic Clin. Neurosci. 4, 266–270. PMCID: PMC4202568.

Varma, T.R.K., Fox, S.H., Eldridge, P.R., Littlechild, P., Byrne, P., Forster, A., Marshall, A., Cameron, H., McIver, K., Fletcher, N., Steiger, M., 2003. Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus: effectiveness in advanced Parkinson’s disease patients previously reliant on apomorphine. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 74, 170–174. doi:10.1136/jnnp.74.2.170.

Image via PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay.

via Brain Blogger Read More Here..

Hip implant patients sue manufacturer

More than 300 individuals want compensation for injuries they claim were caused by DePuy metal-on-metal hips. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Conjoined twins survive gruelling journey to separation

The one-week-old baby girls had to go on a 15-hour journey on the back of a motorbike. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Hospitals in England to ban 'super-size' chocolate bars

Sweets and chocolate should be under a 250-calorie limit, NHS England says. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Magic mushrooms can 'reset' depressed brain

Psilocybin - the hallucinogenic ingredient in mushrooms - may help in depression, a study suggests. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

NHS patients to be asked about sexuality

NHS England says the question will deter discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Disabled children hate crime reports increasing

Families with disabled children describe being abused online and in the street. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Gloves off

Former Liverpool and England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland tells BBC Sport about his battle with anxiety. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

'My condition will kill me'

James Dunn has started a campaign to raise awareness for his rare genetic skin condition. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Ready, steady, bake!!

Article Oct 13, 2017

Add crunch and nutrition to your baking

via Healthy Eating Read More..

Attack on vaccines sets back immunization efforts in eastern Syrian Arab Republic

The World Health Organization has received reports of an attack on medical facilities in eastern Syria that has destroyed the only vaccines cold room in al-Mayadeen district, Deir Ezzor Governorate. via WHO news Read More Here..

Breast reconstruction: 'I wanted to feel normal again'

Rita had a mastectomy last year, after being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Friday, 13 October 2017

Girl's lung collapses after screaming at One Direction

The girl became short of breath during the concert but continued cheering "because she was a super fan". via BBC News - Health Read More Here..