Monday, December 31, 2012

Yoga can tackle psychological disorders

RESEARCHERS at the Dev Sanskriti University here say that a holistic way involving yoga and herbal medicines can combat psychological disorders. The researchers subjected 60 patients of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) to a combination of yoga, pranayam,  recitation of Gayatri Mantra and herbal medicines. The highly revered Gayatri Mantra is based on a Vedic Sanskrit verse from a hymn of the Rig Veda. The 60 participants were equally divided into males and females. They got 45 individual sessions of therapeutic interventions of holistic approach. Each session was of 60 minutes, with patients doing pranayam and Gayatri Mantra for 10 minutes each and yoga for  20 minutes.  The most widely utilized treatments now are pharmacological management and behavior modification, said an article in the first issue of the Dev Sartskriti University's Interdisciplinary International Journal. A major disadvantage of drug treatment for anxiety disorders was that the relapse rate was very high, said researchers Deepak Singh, Pranav Pandya, O.P. Mishra and Pragya S. Lodhi. Pandya is the chancellor of the university. Mishra is the Emeritus Professor of psychology while Deepak Singh and Pragya Singh are professors in the department of psychology. The "holistic approach produced significant reduction in the level of OCD". said the research paper. "The combination of these specific techniques has collective effect on the patients and causes significant reduction in the symptoms of OCD." the university said. 
"Thus, the holistic approach can provide a new strategy for management of OCD. The findings are an important exploration with wide scope for further research and applications," it said. The paper also said some of the medicines in the market "cause many side effects" and approximately 90 percent of patients suffer a relapse if they discontinue medication

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stop touching your face to avoid flu

Something as innocuous as touching your face could infect you with flu, especially after your hands brush with contaminated surfaces, according to a study.  

“There are many opportunities in between hand-washing episodes for people to re-contaminate their hands. If a deadly respiratory virus is around , this is something to really take into account,” said Wladimir Alonso , from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, who led the study, according to Daily Mail. 

Alonso and colleagues picked 249 people to observe in public places on the Washington D.C. subway and in Florianopolis, Brazil, the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases reports. 

They found that people touched common objects an average of 3.3 times per hour and their faces 3.6 times per hour. “We are therefore likely to get germs on our hands far more quickly than they are washed off,” Alonso said.

Alonso said that during flu outbreaks, people should be reminded to try and avoid touching their faces as well as washing their hands regularly . But he added that while it was good to boost awareness, there was no need to be in a constant state of alert because the immune system offers good protection against disease. The advice is a timely reminder as cases of both flu and the norovirus (vomiting bug) peak over the winter months.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vitamin D protect women's mental health

Higher intake of vitamin D seems to protect mental health among women, besides keeping Alzheimer's at bay, say two new studies in France and US. The group led by Yelena Slinin, at the Medical Center in Minneapolis, found that low vitamin D levels among older women are tied with higher odds of global cognitive impairment and cognitive decline.

The group based its analysis on 6,257 community-dwelling older women who had vitamin D levels measured during the study of Osteopathic Fractures and whose cognitive function was tested by the Mini-Mental State Examination,the Journals of Gerontology Series A:Biological sciences and Medical Sciences reported.The team led by Cedric Annweiller, at the angers University Hospital in France,based its findings on data from 498 community-dwelling women.

Among this population, women who developed Alzheimer's disease had lower baseline vitamin D intakes (50.3 micrograms per week) than those who developed other dementia (59.0 micrograms per week).these reports follow an article publish in the Journals of Gerontology Series A earlier this year that found that both men and women who don't get enough vitamin D -either from diet,supplements, or sun exposure - may be at increased risk of developing  mobility limitation and disability.

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