Friday, November 26, 2010
Age related macular degeneration is a medical condition which usually affects older adults that results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field(the macula)because of damage to the retina.It occurs in "dry"and "wet" forms.It is a major cause of visual impairment older adults(>50 years).Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces,although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.The inner layer of the eye is the retina,which contains nerves that communicate sight;behind the retina is the choroid,which contains the blood supply to the macula(the central part of the retina).In the dry(non-exudative)form,celluar debris called drusen accumulate between the retina and the choroid,and the retina can become detached.In the wet(exudative)form,which is more severe,blood vessels grow up from the choroid behind the retina,and the retina can also become detached.It can be treated with laser coagulation,and with medication that stops and sometimes reverses the growth of blood vessels..Although some macular dystrophies affecting younger individuals are sometimes referred to as macular degeneration,the term generally refers to age-related macular degeneration(AMD or ARMD).Age-related macular degeneration begins with characteristic yellow deposits in the macular(central area of the retina,which provides detailed central vision,called the fovea)called drusen between the retinal pigment epithelium and the underlying choroid.Most people with these early changes(referred to as age-related maculopathy)have good vision.People with drusen can go on to develop advanced AMD.The risk is considerably higher when the drusen are large and numerous and associated with disturbance in the pigmented cell layer under the macula.Recent research suggests that large and soft drusen are related to elevated cholesterol deposits and may respond to cholesterol-lowering agents.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Bipolar disorder or manic-depressive disorder,which is also referred to as bipolar affective disorder or manic depression,is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels,cognition,and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes.The elevated moods are clinically referred to as mania or,if milder,hypomania.Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes,or symptoms,or mixed episodes in which features of both mania and depression are present at the same time.These episodes are usually separated by periods of "normal" mood;but,in some individuals,depression and mania may rapidly alternate,which is known as rapid cycling.Extreme manic episodes can sometimes lead to such psychotic symptoms as delusions and hallucinations.The disorder has been subdivided into bipolar l,bipolar ll,cyclothymia,and other types,based on the nature and severity of mood episodes experienced;the range is often described as the bipolar spectrum.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Skin neoplasms are growths on the skin which can have many causes.The three most common skin cancers are basal cell cancer,squarmous cell cancer,and melanoma,each of which is named after the type of skin cell from which it arises.Skin cancer generally develops in the epidermis(the outermost layer of skin),so a tumor is usually clearly visible.This makes most skin cancers detectable in the early stages.Unlike many other cancers,including those originating in the lung,pancreas,and stomach,only a small minority of those afflicted will actually die of the disease.In fact,through it can be disfiguring,except for melanoma,skin cancer is rarely fatal.Skin cancer represents the most commonly diagnosed cancer,surpassing lung,breasts,colorectal,and prostate cancer.Melanoma is less common than basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma,but it is the most serious-for example,in the UK there are 9,500 new cases melanoma each year,and 2,300 deaths.It is the most common cancer in the young population(20-39 age group).Most cases are caused by long periods of exposure to the sun.Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common skin cancers.The majority of these are basal cell carcinomas.These are usually localized growths caused by excessive cumulative exposure to the sun and do not tend to spread...
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by cognitive,somatic,emotional,and behavioral components. In the absence or presence of psychological stress,anxiety can create feelings of fear,worry,uneasiness and dread(Boura and Holt 2007).Anxiety is a generalized mood condition that can often occur without an identifiable triggering stimulus.As such,it is distinguished from fear,which occurs in the presence of an observed threat.Additionally,fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance,whereas anxiety is the result threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unvoidable.Another view is that anxiety is "a future-oriented mood state in which one is ready or prepared to attempt to cope with upcoming negative events "suggesting that it is a distinction between future vs present dangers that divides anxiety and fear.Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to stress.Passer et al.(2008)suggest that anxiety is the state of tension and apprehension that is a natural response to perceived threat.It may help a person to deal with a difficult situation,for example at work or at school,by prompting one to cope with it.When anxiety becomes excessive,it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder.Physical effects of anxiety may include heart palpitations,muscle weakness and tension,fatigue,nausea,chest pain,shortness of breath,stomach aches,or headaches.The body prepares to deal with a threat:blood pressure and heart rate are increased,sweating is increased,blood flow to the major musle groups in increased,and immune and digestive system functions are inhibited(the fight or flight response).External signs of anxiety may include pale skin,sweating,trembling,and pupillary dilation.Someone who has anxiety might also experience it as a sense of dread or panic.Although panic attacks are not experienced by every person who has anxiety,they are a common symptom.Panic attacks usually come without warning,and although the fear is generally irrational,the perception of danger is very real.A person experiencing a panic attack will often feel as if he or she is about to die or pass out.Anxiety does not only consist of physical effects;there are many emotional ones as well.They include "feelings of apprehension or dread,trouble concentrating,feeling tense or jumpy,anticipating the worst,irritability,restlessness,watching(and waiting)for signs(and occurrences)of danger,and,feeling like your mind's gone blank"as well as "night-mares/bad dreams,dejavu,a trapped in your mind feeling,and feeling like everything is scary."Mood affective symptoms can include feelings of danger,fear,doom and dread and can lead to the withdrawal from situations were these feelings may be perceived(Barker 2003)."You may...fear that the chest pains[a physical symptom of anxiety]are a deadly heart attack or that the shooting pains in your head[another physical symptom of anxiety]are he result of a tumor or aneurysm.You feel an intense fear when you think of dying,or you may think of it more often than normal,or can't get it out of your mind".
Monday, November 8, 2010
Abdominal obesity,colloquially known as belly fat or clinically as central obesity,is the accumulation of abdominal fat resulting in an increase in waist size.There is a strong correlation between central obesity and cardiovascular disease. Visceral fat,also known as organ fat or intro-abdominal fat,is located inside the peritoneal cavity,packed in between internal organs and torso,as opposed to subcutaneous fat which is found underneath the skin,and intramuscular fat which is found interspersed in skeletal muscle.Visceral fat is composed of several adipose depots including including mesenteric,epididymal white adipose tissue(EWAT)and perirenal fat.An excess of visceral fat is known as central obesity,the "pot belly"or "beer belly" effect,in which the abdomen protrudes excessively.This body type is also known as "apple shaped",as opposed to "pear shaped",in which fat is deposited on the hips and buttocks.Causes-The immediate cause of obesity is net energy imbalance-the organism consumes more usable calories than it expends,wastes,or discards via elimination.The specific cause of central distribution of fat is also not well understood .In humans,central obesity is correlated with overeating and a sedentary lifestyle.Hypercortisolism,such as in Cushing's syndrome also leads to central obesity.Many prescription drugs can also have side effects resulting in obesity .Because fat in the midsection,specifically in fat cells deposits deep in the abdomen. Diagnosis-While central obesity can be obvious just by looking at the naked body(see the picture),the severity of central obesity is determined by taking waist and hip measurements.The absolute waist circumference(>102 centimetres(40in) in men and >88 centimetres(35in) in women)and the waist-hip ratio(>0.9 for men and >0.85 for women) are both used as measures of central obesity.A differential diagnosis includes distinguishing central obesity from ascites and intestinal bloating.In the cohort of 15,000 people participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,waist circumference explained obesity-related health risk better than the body mass index(or BMI) when metabolic syndrome was taken as an outcome measure and this difference was statistically significant.In other words,excessive waist circumference appears to be more of a risk factor for metabolic syndrome than BMI. An increasing acceptance of the importance of central obesity within the medical profession as an indicator of health risk has led to new developments in obesity diagnosis such as the Body Volume Index,which measures central obesity by measuring a person's body shape and their weight distribution.BVI is based upon the principle that excess abdominal weight,measured by part volume,constitutes a greater health risk.Recent validation has concluded that total and regional body volume estimates correlate positively and significantly with all biomarkers of cardio-vascular risk. Health risks-Central obesity is associated with a statistically higher risk of heart disease,hypertension,insulin resistance,and Diabetes Mellitus Type2.Belly fat is a symptom of metabolic syndrome,and is an indicator used in the diagnosis of that disorder. Central obesity can be a feature of lipodystrophies,a group of diseases which is either inherited,or due to secondary causes(often protease inhibitors,a group of medication against AIDS).Central obesity is a symptom of Cushing's syndrome and is also common in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS).Central obesity is associated with glucose intolerance and dyslipidemia.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Sex Relieves Stress-A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction,according to researchers from Scotland who reported their findings in the journal Biological Psychology.They studied 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity.Then the researchers subjected them to stressful situations such as speaking in public and doing verbal arithmetic and noted their blood pressure response to stress.Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.Another study published in the same journal found that frequent intercourse was associated with lower diastolic blood pressure in cohabiting participants.Yet other research found a link between partner hugs and lower blood pressure in women.Sex Boosts Immunity-Good sexual health may mean better physical health.Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or lgA,which can protect you from getting colds and infections.Scientists at Wikes University in Wikes-Barre,Pa.,took samples of saliva,which contain lgA,from 112 college students who reported the frequency of sex they had.Those in the "frequent"group--once or twice a week--had higher levels of lgA than those in the other three groups--who reported being abstinent,having sex less than once a week,or having it very often,three or more times weekly.Sex Burns Calories-Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more.It may not sound like much,but it adds up :42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories,more than enough to lose a pound.Doubling up,you could drop that pound 21 hour-long sessions."Sex is a great mode of exercise,"says Patti Britton,PhD,a Los Angeles sexologist and president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists.It takes work,from both a physical and psychological perspective,to do it well,she says.Sex Improves Cardiovascular Health-While some older folks may worry that the efforts expended during sex could cause a stroke,that's not so,according to researchers from England.In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health,scientists found frequency of sex was not associated with stroke in the 914 men they followed for 20 years.And the heart health of sex don't end there.The researchers also found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half for the men,compared with those who had less sex than once a month.Sex Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk-Frequent ejaculations,especially in 20 something men,may reduce the risk of prostate cancer later in life,Australian researchers reported in the British Journal of Urology International.When they followed men diagnosed with prostate cancer and those without,they found no association of prostate cancer with number of sexual partners as the men reached their 30s,40s,and 50s.But they found men who had five or more ejaculations weekly while in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer later by a third.Another study reported in the journal of the American Medical Association,found that frequent ejaculations,21 or more a month,were linked to lower prostate cancer risk in older men,as well,compared with less frequent ejaculations of four to seven monthly...
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Alzheimer's disease (AD) also called Alzheimer's disease,senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT) primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer's type (PDDAT),or Alzheimer's-is the most common form of dementia.This incurable,degenerative,and terminal disease was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him. Most often,it is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier.In 2006,there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide.Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050 Although the course of Alzheimer's disease is unique for every individual,there are many common symptoms. The earliest observable symptoms are often mistakenly thought to be 'age-related concerns,or manifestations or stress. In the early stages,the most commonly recognised symptom is inability to acquire new memories,such as difficulty in recalling recently observed facts.When AD is suspected,the diagnosis is usually confirmed with behavioral assessments and cognitive tests,often followed by a brain scan if available. As the disease advances,symptoms include confusion,irritability and aggression,mood swings,language breakdown,long-term memory loss,and the general withdrawal of the sufferer as their senses decline. Gradually,bodily functions are lost,ultimately leading to death. Individual prognosis is difficult to assess,as the duration of the disease varies.AD develops for an indeterminate period of time before becoming fully apparent,and it can progress undiagnosed for years.The mean life expectancy following diagnosis is approximately seven years. Fewer than three percent of individuals live more than fourteen years after diagnosis. The cause and progression of Alzheimer's disease are not well understood.Research indicates that the disease is associated with plaques and tangles in the brain. Currently used treatments offer a small symptomatic benefit,no treatments to delay or hault the progression of the disease are as yet available.As of 2008,more than 500 clinical trials have been conducted for identification of a possible treatment for AD,but it is unknown if any of the tested intervention strategies will show promising results. A number of non-invasive,life-style habits have been suggested for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease,but there is a lack of adequate evidence for a link between these recommendations and reduced degeneration.Mental stimulation,exercise,and a balanced diet are suggested,as both a possible prevention and a sensible way of managing the disease.