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March 29, 2012

Atherosclerotic Heart Disease, Death of Whitney houston ?

"A lot of people were surprised that Whitney Houston -- according to the coroner's report -- had cardiovascular disease, but that was not surprising to me, because we knew she had a least one major risk factor for heart disease, cigarette smoking," said John Gordon Harold, MD, the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology.

The coroner said Whitney Houston died from drowning in her hotel bathtub in February, which may not have surprised those who have followed her sad history of substance abuse. But the coroner also noted that significant heart disease was a contributing factor in her death.Houston had atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in her arteries — a condition often associated with age and obesity.

Yet heart disease, doctors say, is a frequent consequence of abusing drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The coroner's report noted the presence of cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs in Houston, who also was reported to be a smoker and a drinker. What exactly is atherosclerotic heart disease, and how does cocaine contribute to it?  Heart and addiction specialists weigh in below.

Atherosclerotic heart disease is a condition in which plaque hardens in the arteries and narrows them, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.  This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the organs and other parts of the body and can lead to serious problems including heart attack, stroke and death.

When a person engages in cocaine use on top of suffering from advanced atherosclerotic heart disease, the impact on the heart can be devastating.  Cocaine use increases heart rate, blood pressure and causes the blood vessels to constrict, reducing the supply of blood to the heart.
Atherosclerotic heart disease occurs when the arteries going to the heart and other organs are hardened because of plaque build-up within the arteries. Atherosclerosis can lead to stroke, heart attack and death, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute explains.

Atherosclerosis can develop into coronary heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer of American men and women, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Chronic kidney disease, peripheral arterial disease and carotid artery disease are other conditions that can be caused by atherosclerosis.

Symptoms of atherosclerosis can be hard to spot, since mild atherosclerosis typically doesn't have any signs, the Mayo Clinic reported. However, if the arteries are seriously clogged and hardened, the blood clot that forms in the artery can break, thereby leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Chronic heavy drinking makes the heart work increasingly harder to pump blood, and that enlarges the muscle. "The bigger it gets, the less blood it pumps and the more it tries to compensate by getting even larger," said Denisco. The end result is usually congestive heart failure.

Alcohol abuse can also affect the heart's electrical system, resulting in arrhythmia, an abnormal heartbeat. Alcohol and drug abuse are also associated with abnormal clot formation, which can lead to blood vessel blockages, heart attack and stroke.

Prescription painkillers, among the most abused substances today, don't cause the same damage to the heart. Instead these sedating drugs cause problems with breathing, which is why an overdose is potentially fatal.

Past celebrities who've died from atherosclerosis-related heart disease include Tim Russert, of TV news fame, who died in 2008 of a heart attack brought on by his atherosclerosis at age 58; and Chris Farley, a comedian, who died in 1997 of from accidental overdose of cocaine and morphine.


March 23, 2012

Face Blindness, when you can't recognize facial characteristics of individuals

Prosopagnosia also called face blindness, is an impairment in the recognition of faces, it is a very real medical condition in which an afflicted individual is unable to distinguish facial characteristics of individuals, including friends, family, or even themselves.


Reports of prosopagnosia date back to antiquity, but Bodamer's report (1947) of two individuals was a landmark paper in that he extensively described the symptoms and declared it to be distinct from agnosia. He referred to their condition as prosopagnosia, which he coined by combining the Greek word for face (prosopon) with the medical term for recognition impairment (agnosia). Since that time, more than a hundred case reports have been published.

Symptoms of Prosopagnosia 

Everyone sometimes has trouble recognizing faces, and it is even more common for people to have trouble remembering other people's names. Prosopagnosia is much more severe than these everyday problems that everyone experiences. Prosopagnosics often have difficulty recognizing people that they have encountered many times. In extreme cases, prosopagnosics have trouble recognizing even those people that they spend the most time with such as their spouses and their children.

One of the telltale signs of prosopagnosia is great reliance on non-facial information such as hair, gait, clothing, voice, and other information. Prosopagnosics also sometimes have difficulty imagining the facial appearance of acquaintances. One of the most common complaints of prosopagnosics is that they have trouble following the plot of television shows and movies, because they cannot keep track of the identity of the characters.

If you would like to assess your face recognition abilities, we currently have two tests of face recognition available. These tests include feedback on how your scores compare to the scores of people with normal face recognition.

Causes of Prosopagnosia 

Most of the cases of prosopagnosia that have been documented have been due to brain damage suffered after maturity from head trauma, stroke, and degenerative diseases. These are examples of acquired prosopagnosia: these individuals had normal face recognition abilities that were then impaired. It seems likely that more cases of acquired prosopagnosia have been published for two reasons. First, their impairment with faces is usually quite apparent to these individuals, because they have experienced normal face recognition in the past and so they quickly notice their impairment. Second, because these individual have had brain damage, they are in contact with medical doctors who have assessed their face recognition abilities. (Note that if you have experienced a noticeable decline in your face recognition abilities, you should contact a neurologist immediately. Any sudden decline may indicate the existence of a condition that needs immediate attention.)

In contrast, in cases of developmental prosopagnosia, the onset of prosopagnosia occurred prior to developing normal face recognition abilities (adult levels of face recognition are reached during teenage years). Developmental prosopagnosia has been used to refer to individuals whose prosopagnosia is genetic in nature, individuals who experienced brain damage prior to experience with faces (prenatal brain damage or immediate brain damage), and individuals who experienced brain damage or severe visual problems during childhood. However, these etiologies should be differentiated, because they are different paths to prosopagnosia and so probably result in different types of impairment; they could be referred to as genetic prosopagnosia, preexperiential prosopagnosia, and postexperiential prosopagnosia, respectively. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine the cause of prosopagnosia, but many times individuals will either know that family members are also prosopagnosic or be aware of potential incidents that may have resulted in brain damage

Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia often do not realize that they are unable to recognize faces as well as others. Of course, they have never recognized faces normally so their impairment is not apparent to them. It is also difficult for them to notice, because individuals with normal face recognition rarely discuss their reliance on faces. As a result, there are a number of individuals who have not recognized their prosopagnosia until well into adulthood. We have been contacted by far more developmental prosopagnosics than acquired prosopagnosics, and so it may be that this condition is more common than acquired prosopagnosia.

As you might expect, prosopagnosia can be socially crippling. People with the condition have trouble establishing and maintaining personal and professional relationships, Stahl explained. And many face blind people complain that they have trouble following the plots of TV shows and movies, because they can't keep track of the characters' identities, according the Harvard website.

What causes face blindness? Researchers don't know for sure, but they think it's the result of abnormal function of a region of the brain known as the right fusiform gyrus, according to the website of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The abnormality can be congenital or the result of stroke, brain injury or certain neurodegenerative diseases.


March 21, 2012

Healthy Treatment With Urine Therapy

Urine therapy refers to one of several uses of urine to prevent or cure sickness, to enhance beauty, or to cleanse one's bowels. Most devotees drink the midstream of their morning urine. Some prefer a couple of urine drops mixed with a tablespoon of water applied sublingually several times a day. Many modern Japanese women are said to engage in urine bathing. The truly daring use their own urine as an enema. Urine is not quite the breakfast of champions, but it is the elixir of choice of a number of holy men in India where drinking urine has been practiced for thousands of years. Unlike whiskey, however, urine is always available, everyone carries a supply at all times, and, for most people, there are no intoxicating side effects. 
Furthermore, the urge to overindulge is almost absent when drinking urine.  Many advocates claim that urine is a panacea. Urine is said to be effective against the flu, the common cold, broken bones, toothache, dry skin, psoriasis and all other skin problems. Some enthusiasts see urine therapy as a divine manifestation of cosmic intelligence. Homer Smith (Man and His Gods) once wrote that "man is a machine for turning wine into urine." It may be discovered that one of the chemicals in human urine is effective for fighting cancer. However,  drinking one's own urine is not likely going to supply enough of any cancer-fighting substance to do any good. For example, if you are ingesting more vitamin C (a water soluble vitamin) than your body needs or can process, you will excrete it in your urine. It doesn't follow that drinking your urine is a good way to get vitamin C into your body. 
The reason your urine contains vitamins and minerals is that your body didn't need them or couldn't use them. Even urea, which can be toxic in very high doses, occurs in such minute quantities in the average person's urine that there is very little chance of  poisoning from drinking one's own urine. 
Remember a major component of urine is urea. The presence of urea in the urine is the result of the body's chemical balancing of sodium chloride and water ratio. Urine also can smooth and moisturize the skin. Each time you use it you are effectively smearing urine on your face. According to John Armstrong's 1971 book, The Water of Life, expensive and elegant European facial soaps often contain human, cow or pig urine.
Historical anecdotes have said that drinking urine can prevent strokes and help break down blood clots and scabs. In 1952, G.W. Sobel isolated the enzyme in urine that the folk lore claimed. Urine contains a number of different hormones. Fertility drugs contain estrogens from human urine that stimulate ovulation in women and sperm production in men. Maybe the Zimbabwean tribe that drinks baboon urine in beer as an aphrodisiac has reason to do so. If you're taking Premarin, it's prepared from mares' urine and other natural sources, including human.
Several references recommend drinking urine for sleeplessness. Melatonin is present in significant amounts in the urine, especially morning urine. To entertain the possibility that urine therapy can cure everything from canker sores to cancer seems to be one of those claims. Whether it's the ingestion of urine or its topical application, there seems to be scientific reason, if not scientific testing, that says it makes sense.
Unfortunately, however,  not everybody can just jump right in and start drinking their own urine without negative side effects. The Chinese Association of Urine Therapy Perhaps the evidence was produced at the First World Conference on Urine Therapy which took place in India in February 1996. Since urine is emitted from the same bodily organ used in sex, perhaps it was thought that by drinking one's urine one was swallowing some sort of sexual energizer. In Siberia, some found drinking urine was a way to continue the hallucinogenic and spiritual effects of special mushrooms.

Not only is the urine of another person drunk but an individual may utilize his own urine, frequently still warm, thus prolonging the action of the original mushrooms or renewing their effect several times. 
Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. (The Book of Proverbs 5:15)
But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you? (Isaiah 36:12) (See also 2 Kings 18:27)
More than three million Chinese drink their own urine in the belief it is good for their health, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

March 15, 2012

Progeria.... Too young to already be old

Progeria is a rare genetic condition that produces rapid aging in children. Progeria is a fatal disease characterized by rapid aging in children.  It is rare; of every 4-to-8 million births worldwide, only one baby will have progeria, according to the Progeria Research Foundation. On average, children with the disease die at age 13. 

Premature aging that occurs at about 8 to 10 times the normal rate of aging. Because of this accelerated aging, a child of ten years will have similar respiratory, cardiovascular, and arthritic conditions that a 70-year-old would have. Progeria is the most radical of the ageing illnesses.
While there are different forms of Progeria*, the classic type is Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, which was named after the doctors who first described it in England; in 1886 by Dr. Jonathan Hutchinson and in 1904 by Dr. Hastings Gilford. 

Its name is derived from Greek and means "prematurely old". The condition is estimated to affect 1 in 4 million newborns with a total reported cases of 140 worldwide since it's been identified in 1886. This estimate has been based on the number of new children with Progeria which becomes annual born. More publications concerning boys than little girls have appeared, but the proportion of little girls and boys with progeria is in Europe at this moment nearly equal (11: 12) (Hennekam RC (2006). Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome: review or the phenotype). Worldwilde there are 80 progeriachildren of which 24 children living in Europe (amongst them 4 in Belgium and 1 in the Netherlands). Children from all races and cultures around the world have been affected.  

Causes, incidence, and risk factors 
Progeria is a rare condition that is remarkable because its symptoms strongly resemble normal human aging, but occur in young children. It usually is not passed down through families. Rarely is it seen in more than one child in a family.
  • Growth failure during the first year of life
  • Narrow, shrunken or wrinkled face
  • Baldness
  • Loss of eyebrows and eyelashes
  • Short stature
  • Large head for size of face (macrocephaly)
  • Open soft spot (fontanelle)
  • Small jaw (micrognathia)
  • Dry, scaly, thin skin
  • Limited range of motion
  • Teeth - delayed or absent formation

Signs and tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and order laboratory tests. This may show:
  • Insulin resistance
  • Skin changes similar to that seen in scleroderma (the connective tissue becomes tough and hardened)
  • Cardiac stress testing may reveal signs of early atherosclerosis of blood vessels.
  • Genetic testing can detect changes in the gene that causes progeria.
There is no specific treatment for progeria.


Natural Ways in the morning to reduce stress....

Anxiety can arise immediately upon awakening in the morning. Various sources of anxiety that can arise because the thought of work to do, busy schedule and think about the various problems that may occur. Wake up in a state of fatigue also can cause anxiety. 

One of the best ways to start the day with quiet is the morning ritual of fun. All religions have a ritual morning bath in the river of the Hindus is often done while greeting sunrise to morning prayers in Islam and Christianity 

The focus of reflection is meant to calm down and give spiritual encouragement. Can be done by reading something inspirational, meditate, or focus on what is thankful for in life. 

Morning ritual to reduce anxiety, focus on what is important in the day and give meaning to the events experienced. Humans came to himself often gave his life to something higher so it can spend the day with a good, peaceful and calm. 

"The greatest obstacle to peace in the morning gets really on our own minds, namely how to frame the day," says Judith Orloff, MD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles and author of 'Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life 'as reported, Thursday (03/13/2012). 

Doing some simple ritual soon after waking in the morning can reduce stress and set yourself up to become more productive. The morning is the perfect time to get peace and to give time for yourself. Here are some of the rituals of the morning to reduce stress. 

Write a list of anxiety 
Write down five of the greatest sources of anxiety on paper, then the anxiety would not be ambushed when they woke up the next day. But do not write the list of concerns that in the morning. 

Orloff recommends to meditate for three minutes. Perform breathing exercises, focus, and focus on the positive and beautiful. Do it for just three minutes when you wake up in the morning. Meditation will find peace of mind quickly. Put your hands on the heart during meditation that will add an element of warmth and calm down. 

Familiarize morning ritual 
These rituals can include longer periods of meditation, simple yoga exercises for relaxation or prayer. Make a ritual to be very enjoyable, so do not regard it as merely an obligation. 

Keeping time to sleep 
Anxiety can be overcome by completing the task early or too late before the deadline. Completion delay tasks before going to sleep can cause a restless sleep and feeling tired in the morning.


March 14, 2012

What Effects of PIP Implants For Women

Women concerned about PIP breast implants can find all the latest NHS information about the issue in our Health A-Z section on PIP implants.

Do the implants have to be removed early?
Most breast implants need to be removed or replaced after 10-15 years.

If you are worried?
  • If you had a PIP implant on the NHS, you will receive a letter.
  • Speak to your GP, if you had them done on the NHS, or your clinic if you had them done privately.
  • If you decide you want your implants replaced, the NHS will do it free if your original operation was done on the NHS.
  • If your private clinic no longer exists or refuses to remove the implants, speak to your GP. The NHS will remove your implants if your doctor agrees there is a medical need.
However, the committee said the NHS would remove and replace the implants without charge if patients that the NHS had operated on remained concerned.

The first review will be led by Lord Howe and will address a number of specific issues, including:
  • What information about PIP implants was available from routine systems for reporting adverse events
  • What external concerns about PIP implants were brought to the attention of regulators, and when
Women with potentially harmful PIP breast implants have a year to access Medicare rebates for MRI services to determine whether their implants are structurally sound or have ruptured. The Federal government announced the approval of rebates this week.Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino urged women to have the scans to diagnose potential health risks, if they have not done so already. “I recommend women with these implants to register with the Therapeutic Goods Administration to demonstrate the full extent of this issue,” Mrs Marino said.

Worthing woman fears PIP implants affected her pregnancies, A Worthing woman fears her breast implants may have killed her babies. Romany Smith, 44, of Worthing, was given the now banned PIP breast implants on the NHS, but fears toxic chemicals could have contributed towards her baby being still born and her suffering a miscarriage.

Ms Smith was first given the implants in 2000 after years of suffering low self esteem because of a tuberous breast deformity. Ms Smith said that amongst other women with PIP implants she has met there is a high occurrence of early onset menopause.  Out of 20 women five had had early onset menopause.


Actor Michael Madsen, was detained on suspicion of child endangerment

Actor Michael Madsen, known for roles in films such as "Thelma & Louise" was arrested for child cruelty after getting into a fight with his teenage son, authorities said on Saturday.

The actor was detained at his home in Malibu on Friday afternoon on suspicion of child endangerment. Madsen reportedly got into a fight with his teenage son after he allegedly caught him smoking pot. Michael, 54, was then held on a charge of child endangerment and cruelty to a child. It's a family matter and Michael asks that his families privacy be respected. 

Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the star's Malibu, Calif., home. Reuters reports that Madsen was charged with child endangerment and cruelty to a child, which are felony charges. Madsen is the father of five sons. With his current wife, Deanna Morgan, the big screen actor has three sons. Upon his release, TMZ asked Madsen for a statement, and the "Reservoir Dogs" star told them "everything's fine."