LIVING WELL

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Bitter sweet

Published ธันวาคม 21, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Bitter-sweet-30274910.html

LIVING WELL

 

The health-damaging aftertaste of sugar and artificial sweeteners

Thai chefs are renowned for expertly combining sweet, salty, spicy and sour ingredients in delicious salads, curries, marinades, and more.

Of the four famous flavours of Thai cuisine, sweetness, provided by sugar, palm sugar, or artificial sweeteners should be reduced significantly in our daily diet, says Dr Somboon Roongphornchai, anti-ageing and weight loss physician with Bangkok’s Vitallife Wellness Centre.

“As reported in many health magazines, newspaper columns, blogs, and TV shows, excess sugar in the diet has been identified as the cause of a wide range of diseases including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis,” Dr Somboon adds.

“Excess sugar consumption has also triggered higher rates of diabetes, obesity and fatty liver. Worryingly, more young people and children are being diagnosed with these conditions than ever before – in the past, these diseases were mostly associated with adults in their 40s and above.”

While sugar moderation is highly recommended for good health, Dr Somboon adds that not all sugars are the same.

“Glucose is the sugar our bodies create from natural, simple carbs like pasta or rice. It is easily absorbed into the liver and will move onto other parts of the body – glucose is vital because it provides energy for our cells, especially brain cells.

“Fructose on the other hand, is a sugar found in many fruits and vegetables, and added to drinks such as sodas and processed fruit juices. It differs from glucose because it doesn’t provide energy to muscles or the brain, rather it metabolises in the liver and is stored quickly as fat if not fully used.

“In addition, fructose does not stimulate insulin to be released. Quite simply, people with high intakes of dietary fructose are very likely to develop metabolic syndrome symptoms such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels to raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes.”

Dr Somboon says High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – a cheap sweetener derived from corn and added to many processed foods and drinks – is the number one ingredient to avoid.

“Developed in the late 1950s, HFCS is the preferred sweetener in many processed foods today, because it is cheaper than sugar cane and beets. It is estimated that HFCS is added in up to 80 per cent of foods eaten by many people every day.

“The surge in HFCS intake has major health implications because they are around 42-55 per cent fructose. Prolonged eating and drinking of HFCS high foods and beverages impairs liver function and suppresses the leptin hormone which regulates appetite – in other words, HFCS tricks the brain into overeating and can cause intestinal damage.”

To regulate sugar and HFCS in your daily diet, Dr Somboon urges people to read food labels to identify hidden sugar. He also encourages people to cook more often so they can control what goes in, and on, their food.

“Many people have a sweet tooth and it is fine to have a soda, cookie, ice cream or chocolate bar now and again – but make them treats not part of a regular diet. And if you want to add sugar to food when cooking, that’s okay, but try to avoid processed products made with added sugar like ketchup for example.

“Home chefs can also consider sweetening alternatives such as herb stevia or organic honey and cane sugar in small amounts.”

People who have high blood sugar levels can seek advice and guidance from Dr Somboon and his team. After analysing the patient’s diet and lifestyle, Dr Somboon will design a strict diet to reduce sugar, wheat and processed carbohydrates and increase the intake of vegetables and good fats such as omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Determination and professional help can assist mothers of an adopted baby to breastfeed

Published ธันวาคม 21, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Determination-and-professional-help-can-assist-mot-30273112.html

LIVING WELL

 

In last week’s “Living Well” column, we examined how breast massage can help the production of breast milk. This week, we talk to an expert on “relactation”

In last week’s “Living Well” column, we examined how breast massage can help the production of breast milk.

This week, we talk to an expert on “relactation” – the process of rebuilding milk supply that has been reduced or dried up after weeks or months of not breastfeeding and “induced lactation”, the process of building a milk supply in a mother who has either never nursed a baby, or who has nursed years before.

“Relactation and induced lactation both take time, patience, dedication, and a lot of work. Proper support is needed for any mother considering either option. A mother can partially or fully relactate but she needs to be trained. Breastfeeding requires a lot of discipline and involves taking medication, especially in the case of an adopted child,” says Dr Sutheera Uerpairojkit, a paediatrician at BNH Hospital.

“Relactation is important especially for those who have problems with breastfeeding. Compelling reasons include a baby who is allergic to powder milk and whose mother has already stopped breastfeeding and a sick infant or newborn with a low birth weight that prevents him/her from sucking and is thus separated from his/her mother.

It is also indicated for a baby who has problems with breastfeeding or a mother who only uses a breast pump causing a decrease in milk production, when either the mother or baby are sick or are in difficult circumstances, for mothers who change their minds about giving powdered milk, and for women who haven’t given birth but want to breastfeed an adopted child,” she continues.

“Research shows the quality of relactation breast milk is the same but it does not have colostrum.”

There are, of course, contributing factors to the success or otherwise of relactation, among them a younger baby, a shorter gap between weaning and relactating, the willingness of the baby to take the breast and assistance from trained breastfeeding support experts,

The best method for increasing milk supply and relactation is to have a baby nursing frequently, as a baby is more likely to return to the breast if there is plenty of milk there. Empty the breasts frequently. Feed on both sides, and feed long enough to drain each breast well.

“The mother should position the baby correctly, ensure a good latch and plenty of time and get skin-to-skin. Skin-to-skin contact can significantly aid the process of relactation. But if a mother and child live in different places, then a good breast pump machine is essential. The mother should breast pump every two hours, and may also take medication,” Sutheera says.

“The mother can produce milk to feed her adopted child. Some countries have a protocol for school-age mothers who decide to have their child adopted at birth. The adoptive mother prepares herself during the teenager’s pregnancy by taking medicine to increase the prolactin hormone and uses a breast pump to re-establish breast milk. By the time she receives the adopted baby, she should have breast milk.”

A 2002 study conducted in India revealed a relactation success rate of 84 per cent in 139 mothers who had children less than six months old. In South Korea, in 2010, out of 84 mothers, 75 per cent were able to lactate thanks to the mothers’ determination, medication and support from families. In 2014, in Malaysia, all 12 adoptive mothers who had never been pregnant were able to breast feed their babies.

“I had one patient who couldn’t become pregnant and so asked a relative to carry the infant. That relative had a multiple birth and thanks to our help and her determination, the mother was able to produce 20 ounces of breast milk a day. ”

CORRECTION

In last week’s Living Well column |we mistakenly run the wrong photo of Dr. Siriporn Kanchana, paediatrician and chair of the Thai Breastfeeding Centre Foundation. We apologise |for the error.

 

Probiotics play an important role in keeping us healthy

Published กันยายน 16, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Probiotics-play-an-important-role-in-keeping-us-he-30267840.html

LIVING WELL

Human microbiota are microorganisms, invisible to naked eye, that reside in various regions of human body.

They begin to populate our body shortly after birth, and continue to enter through the food we eat, the things we touch and the air we inhale,

They can be found in layers of our skin and internal organs and especially in the stomach and intestines. Species of human microbiota vary in relation to their residential sites in the body, the environment and the food they live on. For example, bacteria from lactic acid can live and grow in the intestines without need of oxygen while skin microorganisms can live on fatty acids from the sweat glands.

Different types of human microbiota also perform different functions for the host body. For example, some microorganisms that live in the intestines assist digestion by creating enzymes not produced by the human body and also synthesise some vitamins and nutrients. Others help promote the functioning of the natural immune system and increase the efficiency of white blood cells. Therefore, the presence of these healthy microorganisms, known collectively as “probiotics bacteria”, in our digestive tract will assist normal digestion of our body or even improve it. In other words, probiotics help increase the efficiency of our digestive system.

“Our need for probiotics varies from person to person, both in terms of types and the amount needed, due to differences in our health conditions and lifestyles. People who often eat traditional fermented foods such as Chinese century egg, Korean kimchi, Japanese natto, Thai fermented rice noodle, as well as cultured milk and yoghurt will naturally take in more probiotics than those who have western food, which is mainly composed of meats, flours, bread and potatoes. Emotional factors, such as stress and anxiety, as well as gender and age also result in the differences in probiotic needs,” explained Assoc Prof Lee Yuan Kun, a lecturer at the Department of Microbiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, during the recent academic seminar on microbiota, sponsored by Dutch Mill, as part of the 8th Asian Conference on Lactic Acid Bacteria (ACLAB 2015).

With all these factors and additional differences in geographic locations, surroundings and ways of life, probiotic needs of people in different provinces, regions and countries can be unique. It is therefore important to choose specific types of probiotics to suit each area and its people. Doing so will ensure a well-balanced variety and the most desirable functioning of probiotics in our body.

Today, in Finland and Denmark, patients, and especially children, are encouraged to up their intake of probiotics after taking anti-biotic medication, which disturb the body’s microbial balance. If these probiotics quickly rebalance after taking antibiotic medication, the body’s functioning won’t be affected. However, if the imbalance is prolonged and the body receives non-probiotics or harmful microorganisms, the body can be more prone to diseases and functional failures. For example, antibiotic medication taken to treat diarrhoea also eliminates probiotics in the digestive tract, thus deactivating the body’s normal immune system. If the body receives another bacteria at that time, that person can, for example, become allergic to certain foods he/she has previously eaten without any side effects. However, in the longer term, if the person doesn’t change his or her lifestyle behaviour, the probiotics will repopulate gradually, leading to restoration of the immune system and elimination of the intruding microorganism.

Understanding probiotics and how they work to promote our digestive and excretory systems should help us to observe our lifestyle behaviour as well as changes in our health conditions. Applying this knowledge in our everyday life will help us to ensure proper daily intake of probiotics in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise for better efficiency of the digestive and excretory systems and, in a longer term, better physical and mental health and well-being overall.

Supine exercises and hot poultices ease back pain, says expert

DEUTSCHE PRESSE-AGENTUR

Exercises in a supine position can often help relieve back soreness, says Reinhard Schneiderhan, orthopaedist and president of the German Spinal League.

Example: Lie on your back and place your legs on a chair. Lift your head and shoulders up off the floor and stretch your arms forward. The palms should face away and the backs of your hands towards your head. From this position, move your upper body forwards and push your hands with arms stretched past your legs. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times.

Heat can also relieve back soreness. Take a bath at 37 degrees Celsius and add balm, lavender blossoms, sage, rosemary or thyme to boost circulation and calm stress-related tension, Schneiderhan says.

A hot poultice is easily made and can help. Boil and mash potatoes and wrap them in a tea towel, and apply this to the sore spot of the back

Shutting off severe headaches with a remote control

Published สิงหาคม 27, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Shutting-off-severe-headaches-with-a-remote-contro-30266743.html

LIVING WELL

Frank Ewald inflicts pain on himself by remote control nearly every day. It is not enjoyable but it helps him avoid even worse pain, the kind of suffering that has led others to attempt suicide.

Ewald suffers from cluster headaches.

“A real nightmare. Migraines are a piece of cake compared to this. It’s so bad that many patients lose hope,” says head physician Andreas Boeger at the Clinic for Pain Medicine at the Red Cross Hospital in Kassel.

That is why they are also called suicide headaches.

“You do not get used to them because the pain is so strong,” says Boeger, who is a board member of the Professional Association of Physicians in Pain and Palliative Medicine and Medicine in Germany (BVSD).

This massive pain can be shut down and largely pushed back – at least for the 49-year-old Ewald.

“The device causes pain but not nearly as severe as the clusters. I always have it with me,” says the Lohfelden native.

What are cluster headaches like?

Most of the patients get the attacks at night while sleeping. They are strong, one-sided, stinging headaches. Symptoms are – unlike for migraine sufferers – a runny nose, drooping eyelids and pupil constriction. Until now there have been very few treatment options for cluster headaches.

“No one knows yet how it happens,” says Boeger.

The Kassel clinic treats 250 cluster patients, making it the largest such institution in Germany.

And how does the treatment work?

First, a chip is implanted at a bundle of nerves in the upper jaw in the oral cavity. The chip is activated via induction with the remote control.

“The bundle of nerves is responsible for the transmission of pain. You can disrupt the attacks there and also suppress them,” says Boeger.

Including implantation, the sensor costs about 35,000 euros (Bt1.37 million). The costs are covered by insurance, though Boeger says the sensor is not for everybody. Cluster headaches currently are not curable. The BVSD says about 0.1 per cent of the people in Germany suffer from them – or about as many as sufferers of multiple sclerosis.

“It is important to me to pass information about clusters to the people,” says Boeger.

He says many people have been wrongly diagnosed because it takes about seven years before it can be correctly diagnosed.

Ewald underwent the operation two years ago.

“I have suffered from clusters since I was 18 years old. The diagnosis did not come until 10 years later,” he says.

“Clusters controlled my life.”

Now he uses the device three or four times a week after work for between 10 and 20 minutes.

“After the implantation I was pain free for 17 months. It’s absolutely an improvement in quality of life. We took trips with the family, also to the United States. That wouldn’t have been possible otherwise,” Ewald says.

New legislation needed to keep Thai teens away from smoking

Published มิถุนายน 6, 2015 by SoClaimon

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/New-legislation-needed-to-keep-Thai-teens-away-fro-30261387.html

LIVING WELL

Smoking usually starts as a lark, a way for youngsters to step into adult life and to show their mates that they’re cool.

Before they know it, though, they are hooked on a habit that will not only damage their health in the years to come but also knock years off their life.

Despite what the tobacco companies might say, smoking leads to a wide range of problems including lung cancer, emphysema and coronary heart disease. And that is definitely not cool.

Legislation and anti-smoking campaigns over the last two decades have helped reduce the number of young smokers here in Thailand with figures going from 12.26 million in 1991 people to 11.4 million in 2011. But teens are still lighting up.

A survey conducted by the National Statistic Office in 2013 records a population of 15-year-olds and over of 54.8 million. Of these, 11.4 million are smokers. Males addicted to tobacco far outnumber females and indeed the rate of male smokers has increased from 39 to 40.5 per cent and the age at which they start has fallen from 16.2 years to 15.6 years, with some kids reporting having smoked their first cigarette at age eight.

These statistics reflect the need to revise the regulations and control acts already in place as well as increase support for the production of Bupropion, a medication that has been successful in helping people stop smoking by reducing cravings and other withdrawal effects.

The anti-smoking lobby continues to urge the Public Health Ministry to adjust the Tobacco Products Control Act 1992 and Non Smokers’ Health Protection Act of the same year, which are now badly out of date and failing to prevent tobacco use. Meanwhile, the tobacco industry is constantly developing new market strategies to lure young people, among them the use of “Pretties” to introduce new products, social media campaigns, attractive packaging and even new flavours.

Today, more than 2,000 websites illegally advertise and sell tobacco products. Age restriction is a joke and smokers under the age of 18 are free to buy cigarettes on the Internet.

Dr Waranit Lumyai, who is in charge of the Trendy Activity Project, is a strong advocate of a new Tobacco Products Control Act to protect children and adolescents.

“We are campaigning for a new Act that will respond to the situation today. If the new one is enacted, teenagers’ demand for tobacco will be reduced and we should be able to control the number of early smokers. A reduction of even 100,000 a year would substantially decrease the annual economic losses of Bt15.8 billion related to smoking,” he says.

The Finance Ministry’s revenues from excise tax on tobacco and tobacco products currently amounts to some Bt60 billion annually. Of this, 39 per cent is obtained from imported cigarettes and the remaining 62 per cent from domestic income. Tobacco farmers have several channels through which to distribute their crops from selling to the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly, presently valued at about Bt1.6 billion and through exports (Bt2.25 billion).

“Farmers won’t get hurt if we are successful in reducing the domestic demand. They have time to study other forms of cultivation that are not harmful to the health,” he says.

“Under the new Tobacco Products Control Act, all parties are obligated to respect and follow what is written in the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), to which Thailand and other 178 countries are signatories. We in the Trendy Activity Project team consider it absolutely vital to set new trends for teenagers and we will be expanding our network to push for the new Tobacco Products Control Act. We care for the health of the Thai people and we want to help our country’s economy as much as we can.

Dr Pijitpong Suntornpipit, a professor at Mahidol University’s Public Health faculty agrees.

“There are more than 100 organisations pushing for the new Tobacco Products Control Act. Without it, we cannot fight against the multi-national tobacco giants and transnational tobacco dealers who tell our young Thais how cool it is to smoke. We can see with our own eyes that young people are not in the least reluctant to start smoking. The early smokers get younger by the year.

“Teen smokers here now number 1.67 million and 80 per cent of these students can still buy a single cigarette. The Asean Economic Community comes into force at the end of this year yet Thailand has failed to issue strong regulations on tobacco consumption. Our Asean neighbours like Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei have all been implementing strong Tobacco Products Control Acts for a long time, including a ban on selling single cigarettes. Why do we take our kids’ health for granted? Don’t we want them to be our future? Dr Pijitpong concludes.

Five simple changes cut dementia risk, landmark British study shows

Published มกราคม 1, 2015 by SoClaimon

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Five-simple-changes-cut-dementia-risk-landmark-Bri-30250952.html

LIVING WELL

Any one of five simple lifestyle changes could keep your brain healthier for longer.

Not smoking, taking more exercise, losing weight, cutting down on alcohol and eating better food can reduce the risk of dementia by over a third, research shows.

Men aged 45-59 who had a good score on at least four of those five lifestyle factors had a 36-per-cent lower risk of developing cognitive decline and a 36-per-cent lower risk of developing dementia than those with poor scores, a landmark British study carried out over 30 years found.

Dementia affects one in three people over the age of 65.

The research was commissioned by lobby group Age UK and carried out by Edinburgh University’s Ian Deary.

His research is based on the Scottish Mental Survey, a test that measured the cognitive abilities of every 11-year-old in Scotland in June 1947.

No other country had tested all children of a certain age and none has since – making the data collected hugely valuable to researchers.

Professor Deary tested some of those 70,000 children who were tested in 1947 – now adults in their 70s – and compared the results with profiles of their lifestyle, health, genetics and biology.

Age UK’s Caroline Abrahams described the research as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to understand how cognitive ability changes throughout life and during ageing itself.”

Deary’s work highlighted the importance of physical exercise as the most effective way to ward off cognitive decline in healthy older people and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Abrahams said: “While there’s still no cure or way to reverse dementia, this evidence shows there are simple and effective ways to reduce our risk of developing it to begin with.

“What’s more, the changes that we need to make to keep our brains healthy are already proven to be good for the heart and overall health, so it’s common sense for us all to try to build them into our lives.”

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New floors can cause respiratory problems in infants, study shows

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Expectant or new parents should wait until the baby is about a year old before laying new flooring in their home, a German scientific institute is warning.

Synthetic laminate boards, carpeting and PVC “linoleum” all give off smells.

It’s not just that babies are sometimes laid directly on the floor: they are also at risk while in the cot.

Volatile organic compounds such as styrene and ethylbenzene from new flooring spread through the air of a room, and increase an infant’s risk of developing respiratory problems, the Leipzig-based Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) found in a study.

At particular risk, the UFZ said, are children whose mother or father suffers from asthma, hay fever or other allergies. The findings were based on a survey of 500 German mothers by questionnaire.

Brain abnormalities seen in people with chronic fatigue: study

Published พฤศจิกายน 13, 2014 by SoClaimon

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Brain-abnormalities-seen-in-people-with-chronic-fa-30246851.html

LIVING WELL

A study of 15 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome has found that patients’ brains have at least three distinct abnormalities when compared to healthy people, researchers said Wednesday.

A study of 15 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome has found that patients’ brains have at least three distinct abnormalities when compared to healthy people, researchers said Wednesday.

The findings, if confirmed, could lead to new ways to diagnose and treat the troublesome condition that affects more than a million Americans, said the study conducted by Stanford University researchers in the peer-reviewed journal Radiology.

“Using a trio of sophisticated imaging methodologies, we found that CFS patients’ brains diverge from those of healthy subjects in at least three distinct ways,” said lead author Michael Zeineh, assistant professor of radiology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Researchers performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans on 15 CFS patients and 14 age- and gender-matched controls.

They found CFS patients had slightly less white matter in the brain, as well as abnormalities in a nerve tract within the brain’s right hemisphere.

For CFS patients, “the differences correlated with their fatigue – the more abnormal the tract, the worse the fatigue,” Zeineh said.

The imaging study also found abnormalities among CFS patients in two areas that connect the right arcuate fasciculus. Each connection point, known as a cortex, was thicker in CFS patients, the researchers said.

Until now, chronic fatigue syndrome has been difficult to diagnose, with its characteristic “brain fog” enduring more than six months and coinciding with a host of other symptoms.

“CFS is one of the greatest scientific and medical challenges of our time,” said the study’s senior author, Jose Montoya, professor of infectious diseases and geographic medicine at Stanford.

“Its symptoms often include not only overwhelming fatigue, but also joint and muscle pain, incapacitating headaches, food intolerance, sore throat, enlargement of the lymph nodes, gastrointestinal problems, abnormal blood-pressure and heart-rate events, and hypersensitivity to light, noise or other sensations.”

Researchers said the findings must be confirmed in future studies but that these structural differences could point to the way toward a better understanding of what causes the disease and how to stop it.

One person commits suicide every 40 seconds: WHO

Published กันยายน 9, 2014 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/One-person-commits-suicide-every-40-seconds-WHO-30242801.html

LIVING WELL

One person commits suicide every 40 seconds – more than all the yearly victims of wars and natural disaster

One person commits suicide every 40 seconds – more than all the yearly victims of wars and natural disaster – with the highest toll among the elderly, the United Nations says Thursday.

In its first report on suicide, the UN’s World Health Organisation blamed intense media coverage when celebrities kill themselves for fuelling the problem.

“Suicide is an amazing public health problem. There is one suicide every 40 seconds – it is a huge number,” says Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s mental health department, at the presentation of the report in Geneva.

“Suicide kills more than conflicts, wars and natural catastrophes,” he says. “There are 1.5 million violent deaths every year in the world, of which 800,000 are suicides.”

Some of the highest rates of suicide are found in central and eastern Europe and in Asia, with 25 per cent occurring in rich countries, the report says.

Men are almost twice as likely as women to take their own lives. Common methods are hanging, gunshots, and especially in rural areas the use of poisonous insecticides.

“Globally, suicide rates are highest in people aged 70 years and over. In some countries, however, the highest rates are found among the young,” WHO says. “Notably, suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year-olds globally.”

Alexandra Fleischmann, one of the report’s co-authors, says part of the blame lies with the publicity given to suicides by famous people, such as Hollywood actor Robin Williams.

The Oscar-winning star, who had suffered from depression, was found dead at his home on August 1, prompting an outpouring of emotion from the public and widespread media coverage.

Ella Arensman, president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, says that after news broke of Williams’ death she received “five emails of people who had recovered (from a) suicide crisis and saying that they are thinking again about suicide.”

“These overwhelming reports can have a contagion effect on vulnerable people,” she says, referring also to the “sharp increase” in suicides after German football player Robert Enke killed himself in 2009.

“Suicide should not be glamorised or sensationalised,” Fleischmann says, urging news outlets not to mention suicide as the cause of death at the start of reports, but only at the end, “with a mention of where (the reader) can find help.”

WHO, which called suicide a major public health problem that must be confronted and stemmed, studied 172 countries to produce the report, which took a decade to research.

It says that in 2012 high-income countries had a slightly higher suicide rate – 12.7 per 100,000 people, versus 11.2 in low- and middle-income nations.

But given the latter category’s far higher population, they accounted for three-quarters of the global total.

Southeast Asia, including North Korea, India, Indonesia and Nepal, made up over a third of the annual figure.

WHO cautioned that suicide figures are often incomplete, with many countries failing to keep proper tallies.

In addition, “there are many suicide attempts for each death,” WHO chief Margaret Chan says.

“The impact on families, friends and communities is devastating and far-reaching, even long after persons dear to them have taken their own lives,” she added.

Suicide and attempted suicide are considered a crime in 25 countries, mostly in Africa, in South America and in Asia.

The most suicide-prone countries were Guyana (44.2 per 100,000), followed by North and South Korea (38.5 and 28.9 respectively).

Next came Sri Lanka (28.8), Lithuania (28.2), Suriname (27.8), Mozambique (27.4), Nepal and Tanzania (24.9 each), Burundi (23.1), India (21.1), and South Sudan (19.8).

Next were Russia and Uganda (both with 19.5), Hungary (19.1), Japan (18.5), and Belarus (18.3).

The UN agency says its goal is to cut national suicide rates by 10 per cent by 2020.

A major challenge, it says, is that suicide victims are often from marginalised groups of the population, many of them poor and vulnerable.

However, “suicides are preventable,” Chan says.

Hopes rise for Alzheimer’s cure as drugs slow onset

Published กรกฎาคม 15, 2014 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Hopes-rise-for-Alzheimers-cure-as-drugs-slow-onset-30238489.html

LIVING WELL

DPA Photo

DPA Photo

The ever-increasing number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s has prompted increased effort by doctors and other scientists to find ways of alleviating or even curing the condition.

At the moment medications can only ease the symptoms of this incurable disease without being able to halt its progress.

Currently the hopes are on immuno-therapies, according to Munich psychiatrist Timo Grimmer. This implies passive immunisation of the body, with anti-bodies being introduced to the patient’s system to stimulate the body’s own immune system. The aim is to reduce or at least slow down the depositing of metabolic products in the brain. This strategy could be compared with a vaccination, says Grimmer, who heads a psychiatric out-patient department at the German city’s Technical University.

“If things go well, in around two years there will be licensed anti-body therapies. Then medical science will certainly also try to develop inoculations – that is the long-term aim in any event.”

But this is all in the future. “Thus far there is no way of halting the disease,” Grimmer says. Plaque formed from proteins -amyloid-beta peptides – obstructs neural links, and brain cells die off. The result is gaps in the memory leading eventually to complete loss of memory.

With early diagnosis, it is possible to alleviate the symptoms with medication.

Grimmer says patients are reporting problems much earlier than in the past.

“There is increasing awareness in society resulting from the fear that the evening of one’s life could have Alzheimer’s hanging over it.

“This means that patients with more minor ailments come to us that have by no means reached the dementia stage,” he says.

“Anti-dementia drugs are able to stimulate the brain cells in these people, so that memory loss is not as noticeable at first, but at some point the disease catches up with them.

“There is considerable concern over who will provide care for dementia patients in the future, and who should pay for it. From a certain point, those affected need round-the-clock care, and the numbers affected are rising to the millions in many countries and expected to double by 2050.

“That is the decisive point that makes it so important that medical science advances. A widespread disease that affects millions of people becomes unmanageable at some point,” Grimmer says.

Luckily in most cases relatives, partners or children take the load,” he says, while noting that in an increasingly individualised society, that burden is shifting on to governments.

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Hostile people more likely to suffer a stroke: study

Agence France-Presse

Feeling cynical and hostile toward others may double the risk of having a stroke in middle-aged and older adults, according to a study released last week.

The research in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association, also found that depression and high stress increased stroke risk.

For the study, more than 6,700 adults aged 45 to 84 answered questionnaires about their state of mind and behaviour.

These surveys assessed chronic stress, depressive symptoms, anger and hostility over two years, and low scores indicated a lesser frequency of these feelings.

Subjects reported no heart disease at the beginning of the study.

They were followed for between eight and 11 years, during which time 147 had strokes and 48 transient ischemic attack (TIAs), a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain.

Researchers found that those with the highest hostility scores – measured by assessing a person’s cynical expectations of other people’s motives – were more than twice as likely to have a stroke or TIA, compared to the lowest scorers.

Similarly, high scores on depressive symptoms meant an 86-per-cent higher risk, and the chronically stressed faced a 59 per cent higher risk of stroke or TIA.

Perhaps surprisingly, anger was not associated with any risk of increased stroke.

The study included a broad mix of Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic and Asian people.

The associations between psychology and stroke remained even after researchers accounted for age, race, sex, health behaviours and other known risk factors of stroke.

“There’s such a focus on traditional risk factors – cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking and so forth – and those are all very important, but studies like this one show that psychological characteristics are equally important,” says lead author Susan Everson-Rose, associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

“Given our ageing population, it’s important to consider these other factors that might play a role in disease risk.”

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