Friday, August 25, 2006

Fatherhood May Alter the Brain

By Randy DotingaHealthDay ReporterThu Aug 24, 11:47 PM ET
THURSDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay) -- Does being a dad change a man's brain? The answer isn't clear in humans, but a study with tiny monkeys called marmosets suggests fatherhood may alter gray matter.
Researchers say the structure of the brain is different in marmoset dads vs. non-dads. They also found that the brains of fathers were more receptive to a hormone linked to learning.
The Princeton University study is "very exciting" because it's apparently the first to link paternal parenting to physical and chemical changes in the brain of any primate, said Jon E. Levine, a professor of neurobiology and physiology at Northwestern University who's familiar with this research.
"Marmoset fathers, unlike many other male mammals, are very involved in offspring care," noted study lead author Yevgenia Kozorovitskiy, a graduate student in neuroscience at Princeton.
In humans, the prefrontal cortex is considered a center for emotion and higher thinking, including learning about the consequences of actions.
The researchers also found that the brains of marmoset fathers had more receptors for a hormone known as vasopressin, a neuropeptide. That means their brains could process more of this chemical than the brains of non-dads.
Vasopressin is strongly connected to parental behavior, the researchers added. In humans, the hormone -- produced in the pituitary gland -- is crucial for learning and memory.
In essence, then, "the experience of being a father dramatically alters brain regions important for cognition," Kozorovitskiy said.
According to Levine, it's not yet clear how these changes came about in the marmoset brains. "Do these changes mediate some aspect of paternal behavior, or are they secondary to physical or hormonal changes that may occur as a consequence of the behavior?" he asked. "Cause and effect still need to be explored."
And, of course, researchers would like to know if there are similar effects in human fathers. For now, though, "these are primates that exhibit paternal behavior, which is about as close to human relevance that you are going to get with an experimental animal," Levine said.
More information
For fatherhood facts, see the National Fatherhood Initiative.

Copyright © 2006 HealthDay. All rights reserved.The information contained above is intended for general reference purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before starting any new treatment. Medical information changes rapidly and while Yahoo and its content providers make efforts to update the content on the site, some information may be out of date. No health information on Yahoo, including information about herbal therapies and other dietary supplements, is regulated or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore the information should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a medical doctor.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sleep Deprivation Linked to Weight Gain

Charlene Laino
Medscape Medical News 2006. © 2006 Medscape
May 24, 2006 (San Diego) — A new study presented here at the American Thoracic Society International Conference shows that middle-aged women who sleep 5 or fewer hours each night weigh an average of 2.5 kg more than those who sleep for at least 7 hours. "Sleep deprivation has important effects on a patient's health, so clinicians should really ask their patients about their sleep habits," said study presenter Sanjay Patel, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "Getting a good's night sleep has already been shown to have effects on diabetes and heart disease and now we see it affects weight as well."Dr. Patel told Medscape that previous studies had already shown that women, men, and children who sleep less tend to weigh more than those who sleep more. But what had not been clear, he explained, is whether the loss of sleep caused the weight gain or vice versa. In addition to weighing more at baseline, the women who slept less tended to gain more weight over time, Dr. Patel reported. One of the most surprising findings, Dr. Patel said, was that the women who slept less actually ate less as well. .“The practicing physician really needs to stress to her patient that getting a good night’s sleep is not just a luxury,” Dr. Badr told Medscape. “It’s a mandatory way to improve your health.”ATS 2006 International Conference: Abstract C88. Presented May 23, 2006.Reviewed by Margaret Clark, RN, RRT-NPS

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Most Americans don't get preventive healthcare

Mon May 22, 3:57 PM ET

Many Americans are failing to get the preventive medical care that could help them live longer, healthier lives, according to a new study.
Preventive measures, like a daily dose of aspirin, colon cancer screening and smoking-cessation therapy, are all effective ways to save lives and healthcare dollars, but fewer than half of Americans who need these services are getting them, the study found.
The findings, published online by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, are based on an analysis of more than 8,000 previously published studies. Researchers with the non-profit groups Partnership for Prevention and HealthPartners Research Foundation ranked 25 recommended preventive services according to their potential health benefits and medical-cost savings.

SOURCE: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, online May 16, 2006.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Obesity + Diabetes=Diabesity
Obesity often is associated with a constellation of other conditions and diseases. Obese people suffer from high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, digestive problems, poor sleep, autoimmune disorders, pain, hormonal imbalances, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and frequently Type II Diabetes. The prevalence of the combination of obesity and diabetes has led doctors to coin a new phrase; diabesty. Dr. Val Jones, Founding Editor, Clinical Nutrition & Obesity, Medscape General Medicine; Instructor, Rehabilitation Medicine, New York Medical College, Saint Vincent's Hospital, New York, NY says that "America's diabesity problem is not about moral failure, laziness, or lack of effort." She recommends an integrative rehabilitative team approach to solving this problem that afflicts 1/3 of Americans.
The key to success lies not only within the team approach but with the patient's ability to change their way of thinking from quick fix to long term health. Dr. Diana Schwarzbein says that most people think of losing weight in order to become healthy when in fact it's the other way around. Healthy people lose weight. We can treat the obesity and the diabetes but the most effective treatment lies within the patient's attitude and the body's inherent ability to heal. This requires doctors to become better educated in an integrative health model and to educate our patients!
My weight loss protocol is customized for every patient according to what their issues are but there are certain core protocols that I follow. First I want to know how they are sleeping and what their stress levels are like! Does that sound strange? Let me explain. If stress is high and sleep is irregular or absent then it's likely that cortisol is high. When cortisol is high so is insulin. One action of insulin is to store fat. If we can normalize cortisol then we can normalize insulin. By doing this we achieve many great things; better sleep (and everything that goes along with that), fat loss, decreased incidence of diabetes, and a decreased chance of all the other diseases mentioned earlier in this article.
Good health is within your reach! The body wants and needs to function normally and even if polluted with toxins and excess fat it will respond to your efforts and reward you!
© Reuven M. Rosenberg, D.C.Disclaimer: Statements made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of nutritional products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never discontinue medical prescriptions without the consent of your physician.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Are Migraines Giving You a Headache?

About 28 million Americans suffer from migraines. Hippocrates described the symptoms as far back as 400 B.C.E. Migraine headaches tend to be one-sided, throbbing, with moderate or severe pain that is made worse by routine physical activities. During migraine attacks the blood vessels become inflamed and dilated. The pulsing or throbbing pain is triggered by the blood vessel being stretched every time the heart beats. Migraine attacks are always accompanied by something other than the pain; people may have nausea, sensitivity to light, and sensitivity to sound or odors. 20 percent of people experience an aura, or visual display. Experts can’t predict who it will strike, although it does run in families. It even happens to kids who might have stomach pain with their headache. Migraines last from 4 to 72 hours. On average, untreated, they last 24 hours. With effective treatment they could last as little as ten minutes. On average, migraine attacks occur once or twice a month. Triggers are highly individual but can include dietary factors, stress, medications, hormonal or neurotransmitter imbalances, and changes in altitude. Doctors recommend keeping a headache diary in which the patient records when the headache began, how long it lasted, how they dealt with it, and whether treatment was effective. Once a trigger can be established then the appropriate treatment may prescribed. Many times there is a stress and nutritional component. Traditional treatment utilizes various drugs which have proven to be effective but also may have unwanted side effects. In some cases surgery is utilized to remove the muscles that are found to be in spasm.With this in mind Migravent has been developed to naturally and effectively prevent migraines without unwanted side effects. It can even be used in conjunction with your medications under your doctor’s supervision.David Steiner, M.D., Chief of Neurology at Peninsula Hospital, says, “There are many treatment options available for migraines and other headache disorders. Migravent's natural compounds represent a cutting edge herbal therapy that has been shown in studies to help serve as a prophylactic (used to prevent a migraine or other headache from ever starting in the first place) for migraines, without the need for traditional medication with all the known side effects that can accompany the use of pharmaceuticals. Many recent scientific studies have supported the use of the key ingredients in Migravent as a proven, useful therapy for migraines that is both all natural and effective in serving to treat and relieve the pain of migraine headaches.With the proper diet, nutrition, chiropractic care, and other forms of treatment migraines may be greatly alleviated or even eliminated.Find out if your headaches are migraines and how chiropractic and nutritional management can help.

© Reuven M. Rosenberg, D.C.Disclaimer: Statements made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of nutritional products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never discontinue medical prescriptions without the consent of your physician.