Anxiety and sleeping pills ‘linked to dementia’

pillsLong-term use of pills for anxiety and sleep problems may be linked to Alzheimer’s, research suggests.

A study of older Canadian adults found that past benzodiazepine use for three months or more was linked to an increased risk (up to 51%) of dementia. NHS guidelines say the drugs should be used for eight to 12 weeks at most. The French-Canadian team says while the link is not definitive, it is another warning that treatments should not exceed three months. “Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” lead researcher, Sophie Billioti de Gage of the University of Bordeaux, France, and colleagues wrote in the BMJ.

“This study shows an apparent link between the use of benzodiazepines and Alzheimer’s disease although it’s hard to know the underlying reason behind the link.” Dr Eric KarranAlzheimer’s Research UK

“Unwarranted long-term use of these drugs should be considered as a public health concern.” The study involved about 2,000 cases of Alzheimer’s disease in adults aged over 66 living in Quebec. All had been prescribed benzodiazepines. They were compared with about 7,000 healthy people of the same age living in the same community. While an increased risk was found in those on benzodiazepines, the nature of the link was unclear.

Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This study shows an apparent link between the use of benzodiazepines and Alzheimer’s disease although it’s hard to know the underlying reason behind the link. “One limitation of this study is that benzodiazepines treat symptoms such as anxiety and sleep disturbance, which may also be early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Long-term use

Prof Guy Goodwin, president of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, said the findings “could mean that the drugs cause the disease, but is more likely to mean that the drugs are being given to people who are already ill”.

Dr James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said with 1.5 million people in the UK being prescribed benzodiazepines at any one time, “evidence that their long-term use increases the risk of dementia is significant, and raises questions about their use”. Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety disorders and insomnia. Despite published guidance on their appropriate use for short-term management, inappropriate prescribing of the drugs is still a concern. Experts are calling for better monitoring of side-effects, particularly in older adults. Source: BBC Health News

Vaccine gives monkeys Ebola immunity

Vaccinated monkeys have developed “long-term” immunity to the Ebola virus, raising a prospect of successful human trials, say scientists.

First patientPicture: The first patient was injected with the vaccine last week.

The experiments by the US National Institutes of Health showed immunity could last at least 10 months. Human trials of the vaccine started this week in the US and will extend to the UK and Africa. The World Health Organization says more than 2,000 people have now died in the outbreak in West Africa. Several experimental treatments are now being considered to help contain the spread of Ebola.

This includes a vaccine being developed by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. It uses a genetically modified chimp virus containing components of two species of Ebola – Zaire, which is currently circulating in West Africa, and the common Sudan species. The viral vaccine does not replicate inside the body, but it is hoped the immune system will react to the Ebola component of the vaccine and develop immunity.

Ebola deaths – probable, confirmed and suspected (Source: WHO)

  • 1,089 Liberia
  • 517 Guinea
  • 491 Sierra Leone
  • 8 Nigeria

Poor durability

Animal research, on which the decision to begin human trials was based, has now been published in the journal Nature Medicine. It shows four crab-eating macaques all survived what would have been a fatal dose of Ebola virus five weeks later. However, only half survived an infection 10 months after immunisation.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the BBC: “The good part of this vaccine is that at five weeks or earlier you get full protection. “The sobering news is the durability isn’t great, but if you give a boost, a second shot, you make it really durable.” “We knew this worked in the monkey months ago and based on this paper we started human trials.” For now this is the best evidence available on how successful such a vaccine would be in people.

Nurses helping man with EbolaHealthcare workers would be prioritised for a vaccine

The first patient, a 39-year-old woman, was given the vaccine last week as human trials got under way. There will also be separate trials of the vaccine against just the Zaire Ebola species. These will take place in the US, the University of Oxford in the UK as well as in Mali and Gambia. People will be given just the initial jab, not a follow-up booster, in the trials. The WHO said safety data would be ready by November 2014 and, if the vaccine proved safe, it would be used in West Africa immediately. Healthcare workers and other frontline staff would be prioritised for vaccination.

‘Really encouraging’

The number of doses currently available is between 400 – if a lot of vaccine is needed for immunity – and 4,000 if smaller amounts are sufficient. As with all experimental therapies, the WHO has warned hopes of a vaccine must not detract from the proven methods of infection control which have defeated all previous outbreaks.

Prof Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham, said: “This is really encouraging data. “The degree of protection seen with the chimpanzee adenovirus alone – which will be used in one of the human clinical trials planned for the UK, Mali and the Gambia – was still pretty impressive, especially when the animals received Ebola virus within a few weeks of vaccination.

“This is important as it would keep the dosing regimen simple and could still provide good protection in the sort of outbreak that we are seeing in Western Africa at the moment.”

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Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Ebola virus
  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% – but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 55%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no proven vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus’s natural host

Source: BBC Health News

9 Things Only People With Depression Can Truly Understand

There’s been a lot of dialogue surrounding depression — particularly in light of recent events — as people struggle to understand why and how it affects people in the ways that it does. And for the 350 million people worldwide with the condition, it can be just as hard to articulate its effects as it is to understand it.MINDFULNESS

Depression can make people feel like their minds have completely rebelled against them. From a lack of will to physical pain, it can cause people to function poorly at work, in school and in social activities, according to the World Health Organization. Many people who experience depression can also experience symptoms of anxiety.

But those factors are just the start. Below, find nine things people with depression know to be true (and what others can do to help alleviate them).

The frustration that comes when someone suggests you can “snap out of it.”
suck it up

The hard truth is, depression is not the sort of thing you can just wake up and be over one morning — and suggesting such may be sending an unsupportive message. According to John F. Greden, M.D., the executive director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, these phrases often stem from a lack of understanding of mental illness.

“When [loved ones] don’t understand what’s happening, their responses are ‘suck it up’ and ‘stop feeling sorry for yourself,'” Greden tells The Huffington Post. “It’s not understood that these are underlying illnesses and chemical abnormalities, so what they’ll do is use these phrases. … These comments are probably one of the worst irritations.”

People constantly confusing depression with sadness.
It’s a common misconception that depression is just a result of being overly sad. But as David Kaplan, Ph.D., chief professional officer of the American Counseling Association, stresses, the two are not one and the same.

“People throw around the word ‘depressed’ a lot,” Kaplan previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. “Depression is a clinical term — and a lot of times when people say they’re depressed, they really mean sad. The words that we use are very powerful and it’s important to make that distinction.”

There is no such thing as a little victory.
victory

For those who deal with chronic depression, there are no little victories because every accomplishment is a big victory.

While everyday, routine motions come naturally to most people, for someone who is depressed, they are much harder feats, explains Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at the University of South Florida. “Why do depressed people lie in bed? It isn’t because of great snuggle time under the blankets. It’s because depressed people can’t bring themselves to get out of bed,” he wrote in a Psychology Today blog. “Almost any activity or task becomes a painful ordeal, even things as simple as taking a shower or getting dressed.”

Lack of energy means more than your run-of-the-mill afternoon slump.
That 3 p.m. slump you feel when you need your third cup of coffee hardly compares to the drop in energy that occurs when you’re in a depressed state. Because of this lack of motivation, depression can sometimes make you feel like your muscles don’t work, Greden explains. “It makes it really difficult to go to work, to concentrate, to laugh, to keep your focus on assignments, when you’re hurting in this way,” he says.

There are physical symptoms — and they’re just as taxing as the emotional ones.
pain

“At one point, everyone considered depression to be a mood state, and that’s a huge misconception,” Greden says. “Depression, for most people, actually involves major physical symptoms. And as a result, people don’t consider themselves depressed and they think something else is wrong.”

When someone experiences depression, physical ailments you already have can be made worse, Greden explains. Other physical symptoms include restlessness, indigestion, nausea, headaches, and joint and muscle fatigue. “These physical symptoms as well as the mood symptoms affect their routine life patterns,” he notes. “They’re all tied together.”

Things that used to be fun aren’t quite as enjoyable.
Depression can impact even the smallest pleasures in life. Hanging out with friends, fun activities like golfing and even intimacy with romantic partners all seem less exciting than they were before, Greden says. “Depression makes your life dramatically different.”

This lack of interest, coupled with the physical symptoms, are all major red flags when it comes to identifying the condition. To help someone who may be experiencing this downturn, Greden suggests approaching him or her with an open mind and continuous support, which includes offering to help find treatment.

The difficulty that comes with communicating your emotions.
communicating

When you’re experiencing depression, it can be challenging to put into words what’s going on in your mind when you know that not everyone around you feels the same way — especially when there’s a stigma around your illness. Only 25 percent of adults who experience mental health issues feel that people are sympathetic toward people struggling with mental illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Depression is a negative view of self, of the world and of the future,” Greden explains. “Everything is sort of being seen through dark-colored glasses. … It’s pretty common, when people are depressed, for them to think that no one understands them — and that’s a really tough place to be.”

The disorder is not one-size-fits-all.
faces

Each person experiences depression in his or her own way — and because of this, experts recommend practicing empathy with loved ones who may be struggling. “Symptoms differ, causes differ, treatments differ,” Greden explains. “Jobs, relationships, families — everything gets changed by this illness.”

There are ways to help others break through the throes of depression, Greden says. That includes shedding any thoughts that could be perpetuating a stigma about mental health. “We need so much more openness, transparency and understanding that it’s OK to talk about depression as an illness,” he explains. “It’s not a weakness. It’s not a moral shortcoming. It’s not something people brought on themselves. And understanding that is a pretty powerful beginning to helping a loved one with depression.”

Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/26/depression-frustrations_n_5692649.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg0000006

Train your brain to crave healthy food

It may be possible to rewire your brain so that it wants – craves, even – healthier foods. How? By following a healthy diet…
brokkoliWe know, that wasn’t the quick fix to afternoon ice cream binges you were hoping for. But this research could lead to a more sci-fi solution to the obesity epidemic. In a pilot study published Monday in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, scientists say that changing your eating behavior can actually change how your brain reacts to high-calorie and low-calorie foods.

“We don’t start out in life loving french fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta,” senior author Susan Roberts, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Energy Metabolism Laboratory, said in a statement. “This conditioning happens over time in response to eating — repeatedly — what is out there in the toxic food environment.”

So it makes sense that the opposite would also hold true.

Scientists divided 13 overweight and obese participants into two groups: a control group and an experimental group. At the beginning of the study, both groups underwent an fMRI to record their brain activity in response to photos of various foods.

The experimental group then participated in a behavioral intervention program, which included portion-controlled menus and support group sessions. The participants were asked to reduce their calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories a day and to follow a high-fiber, high-protein diet to prevent hunger and cravings.

Continue reading

Prediabetes: the hidden health timebomb

Discovering Glucose Intolerance – The One Test That Could Save Your Life

Insulin resistance doesn’t happen overnight. When most of your diet includes empty calories and an abundance of quickly absorbed sugars, liquid calories, and carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes, your cells slowly become resistant to the effects of insulin.

Your body increasingly demands more insulin to do the same job of keeping your blood sugar even. Eventually your cells become resistant to insulin’s call, resulting in insulin resistance.

The higher your insulin levels are, the worse your insulin resistance. Your body starts to age and deteriorate. In fact, insulin resistance is the single most important phenomenon that leads to rapid, premature aging and all its resultant diseases, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer.

Insulin resistance and the resulting metabolic syndrome often comes accompanied by increasing central obesity, fatigue after meals, sugar cravings, high triglycerides, low HDL, high blood pressure, problems with blood clotting, as well as increased inflammation.

Even without these warning signs, one test can determine high insulin levels years or even decades before diabetes develops. Early detection can help you reverse these symptoms, yet doctors rarely use this crucial test that can detect high insulin levels.

Why Doctors Miss the Initial Warning Sign of Insulin Resistance

Doctors have been trained to measure a person’s fasting blood sugar, or the glucose levels present in your blood, at least eight hours after your last meal. Most don’t express concern until results show blood sugar levels reaching 110 mg/dl. That’s when they start “watching it.” Then, once your blood sugar reaches 126 mg/dl, your doctor will diagnose you with diabetes and put you on medication.

The important thing to note is that blood sugar is the last thing to increase…so for many people, a fasting glucose test detects diabetes too late. Long before your blood sugar rises, your insulin spikes. High insulin levels are the first sign that can precede type 2 diabetes by decades, Damage begins with even slight changes in insulin and blood sugar.

A two-hour glucose tolerance test can help detect high insulin levels. This test measures not only glucose but also insulin levels, yet doctors rarely order it. Instead, they usually don’t express concern until blood sugar is over 110 or worse, over 126, which is diabetes.

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What to Eat to Beat an Afternoon Energy Slump

yawningAs the afternoon rolls along (or drags on, depending on your take), the office candy bowl sees an uptick in traffic. But a new study shows that it’s not sugar, but protein that you should reach for to beat an afternoon slump.

The study, from the University of Cambridge in England and published in the November 2011 issue of Neuron, found that while glucose (sugar) blocks certain neurons that help you feel awake, the amino acids in protein prevent that from happening. So, if you eat some carbs at lunch, a protein-rich afternoon snack may keep you from feeling sleepy. And since protein helps keep you feeling full longer, that snack might tide you over better than a sugary one and keep you from snacking too much throughout the afternoon.

Here are some protein-rich afternoon snacks to try:

Steamed Edamame with Coarse Salt Steamed Edamame with Coarse Salt

Spiced Chickpea  Spiced Chickpea “Nuts”

Guacamole-Stuffed Eggs A hard-boiled egg—eat it plain or gussy it up: Guacamole-Stuffed Eggs
GorpTrail mix of nuts and dried fruit

Feta & Herb Dip Veggies and hummus or Feta & Herb Dip

Turkey Rollups Turkey Rollups—Spread 2 slices of deli turkey breast with 2 teaspoons mustard (or mango chutney) each and season with pepper. Wrap each prepared turkey slice around 2 sesame breadsticks.

Also try:

  • A smoothie made with silken tofu or yogurt or this Banana-Cocoa Soy Smoothie
  • Nonfat yogurt snack tip: Greek yogurt delivers more protein than regular yogurt.
  • Banana and peanut butter
  • Open-face tuna sandwich
  • Nonfat latte (decaf or regular)

Kerri-Ann Jennings

Kerri-Ann, a registered dietitian, is the associate editor of nutrition for EatingWell magazine, where she puts her master’s degree in nutrition from Columbia University to work writing and editing news about nutrition, health and food trends. Source: Huffington Post

InselarztIn gesucht

“… bin Medizinstudentin in Berlin und hätte ein Stellenangebot für die Weiterbildung zur Allgemeinmedizin oder Compagnonsuche für eine Allgemeinmedizinpraxis auf einer dt. Ostseeinsel. Ich habe bisher zweimal dort famuliert, nur leider kann ich selbst die Stelle (noch) nicht antreten, da meine Facharztausbildung noch zu weit weg ist.

Die Praxis hat ein super nettes Team und die Ärztin hat mich beauftragt und gebeten für sie die Augen und Ohren offen zu halten.

Die Praxis ist bisher nicht adventistisch geführt, aber alle aus der Praxis kennen die Adventisten und haben ein gutes Bild von ihnen. “

 

Kontakt: HIER

Aus der Schatzkammer – Testimonies

Build hospitalHeilstätten sind ein erfolgreiches Mittel, um alle Klassen der Bevölkerung zu erreichen. Unsre Krankenhäuser sind die rechte Hand des Evangeliums und öffnen Wege, auf denen leidende Menschen mit der frohen Botschaft der Heilung durch Christus erreicht werden. 

[...] ER hat uns beauftragt, das von ihm begonnene Werk der ärztlichen Mission fortzuführen. [...] Mir wurde besonders Licht darüber gegeben, dass viele Seelen in unsern Krankenhäusern die gegenwärtige Wahrheit annehmen und ihr folgen werden. In diesen Anstalten soll man Männer und Frauen lehren, wie sie für ihren Körper sorgen und gleichzeitig zum Glauben kommen können. Unsre Krankenhäuser sollen Schulen sein, in denen man auf dem Gebiet der ärztlichen Mission Unterricht erteilt. Sie sollen den sündenkranken Seelen die Blätter vom Lebensbaum darreichen, die ihnen Frieden, Hoffnung und Glauben an Jesus spenden. Quelle: Schatzkammer der Zeugnisse 3 S. 316, 317

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Medical missionary work is to be carried forward with an earnestness with which it has never yet been carried. This work is the door through which the truth is to find entrance to the large cities, and sanitariums are to be established in many places. Sanitarium work is one of the most successful means of reaching all classes of people. Our sanitariums are the right hand of the gospel, opening ways whereby suffering humanity may be reached with the glad tidings of healing through Christ.

[...] He has commissioned us to carry forward the medical missionary work that He began. [...] I have been given special light that in our sanitariums many souls will receive and obey present truth. In these institutions men and women are to be taught how to care for their own bodies and at the same time how to become sound in the faith. Our sanitariums are to be schools in which instruction shall be given in medical missionary lines. They are to bring to sin-sick souls the leaves of the tree of life, which will restore to them peace and hope and faith in Christ Jesus. Source: Testimonies of the Church Vol 9, pg.167, 168