Why are Nerve Conduction Studies done?

The nerve conduction study stimulates specific nerves and records their ability to send the impulse to the muscle. The study can show where there is a blockage of the nerve pathway.

Nerve conduction studies are done to:

Find and evaluate damage to all the nerves that lead away from the brain and spinal cord to the smaller nerves that branch out from them
Help diagnose nerve disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or Guillain-Barré syndrome
Find the location of abnormal sensations, such as numbness, tingling or pain

Body Fat Hardens Arteries After Middle Age

Having too much body fat makes arteries become stiff after middle age, a new study has revealed.

In young people, blood vessels appear to be able to compensate for the effects of obesity. But after middle age, this adaptability is lost, and arteries become progressively stiffer as body fat rises – potentially increasing the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The researchers suggest that the harmful effects of body fat may be related to the total number of years that a person is overweight in adulthood. Further research is needed to find out when the effects of obesity lead to irreversible damage to the heart and arteries, they said.

Obesity is known to be a major risk factor for heart disease, but the reasons for this are not fully understood.
Video: Blood Circulation

EXERCISE makes the BRAIN stress-resistant

You’ve no doubt heard that a trip to the gym or a good run can help wash away the day’s stresses, but do you know how or why it works?
Every day, your body and your mind battle stress. The good news is that research from Princeton University has found that exercising can help your brain more resilient in the fight against these stressors, minimizing the brain’s response to stress and keeping anxiety from interfering with normal brain functioning. The researchers wanted to better understand how the brain regulates anxious behavior and to evaluate how responses change when it is exposed to stresses in the environment.
The researchers noted that while stressor can trigger a “fight or flight” reaction in animals, this research suggests that exercise can help produce a more measured response.

Online tests for Alzheimer’s are unreliable

Free Internet tests claiming to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease don’t work and could harm the elderly, researchers cautioned this week at an international Alzheimer’s conference in Boston.

The only definitive way to diagnose Alzheimer’s is through an autopsy after death, so aging adults who fear they may be suffering from early dementia are increasingly turning to the Internet for help deciding whether they are sick. But researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver advised against using most of these online diagnostic tools for Alzheimer’s.

IS there RADIATION involved IN a MRI test?

“Radiation” refers to any sort of moving energy. A lamp emits radiation. But it’s not radioactive, and it doesn’t use “ionizing radiation”.

An MRI works by putting you in a very powerful magnetic field, causing the nuclei of some of the atoms to line up with the magnetic field. This is completely harmless; the chemical properties of the atoms are unaffected. But when you hit it with radio waves, they bounce off in particular ways, which you can back-track to learn what they bounced off of. That allows you to build up a very fine picture of where the atoms in your body are.

Those radio waves are called “non-ionizing radiation”, because they don’t affect your atoms enough to cause them to react chemically. The frequency is too low. It does cause your body to heat up, very very slightly, but not nearly enough to do damage.


Consumption of unpasteurized milk in early life is associated with a reduced risk for asthma and allergies, results from a Polish study suggest.

In a study of 1700 individuals from a rural region of Poland, Barbara Soza?ska (Wroc?aw Medical University) and team found that consumption of unpasteurized milk in the first year of life was associated with an approximate 50% reduced risk for asthma and atopy in later life compared with non-consumption. The mechanism of protection is unclear, but may be related to bacterial composition, protective protein or fat components, and the methods of processing milk,” they suggest in Allergy.

The participants completed questionnaires on asthma and allergy symptoms and diagnoses, occupation (including farming), unpasteurized milk consumption, and demographic characteristics. They were also assessed for atopy using skin prick tests for four aero-allergens (house dust mite, mixed grass pollens, mixed tree pollens, and cat fur). Overall, 73.5% of village and 58.0% of town residents reported drinking unpasteurized milk in the first year of life.


Sports medicine doctor and fitness guru, Dr. Gabe Mirkin, author of “Eggs Do Not Raise Cholesterol”, has re-evaluated his views of the health benefits of eggs. Researchers at Mahidol University in Bangkok found that healthy participants in Thailand who added an egg to their diets each day actually raised HDL (good cholesterol) rather than LDL (bad cholesterol). Dr. Mirkin also went on to say that as much as three eggs a day will not raise LDL cholesterol levels. The reason for this is that the majority of cholesterol in the body (around 80 percent) is produced by the liver, whereas the rest comes from food sources. Dr. Mirkin pointed out that when you eat more foods high in cholesterol, such as eggs, your liver produces less. But when you eat less cholesterol the liver makes up for this by producing more.

Healthy individuals who do not have a pre-existing health condition, can eat eggs each day without seeing a significant risk of raised LDL cholesterol. In fact, eaten in moderation, eggs can be enjoyed as part of a balanced, healthy diet. But if you eat eggs each day, you should subtract a food source with an equal amount of calories, as increasing your caloric intake has been shown to raise LDL cholesterol levels.

Good Vibrations: Brain ultrasound boost mood

Sending ultrasound waves to specific areas of the brain may elevate a person’s mood, causing them to feel lighter and happier, a new study has found. The finding potentially could lead to new treatments for psychological and psychiatric disorders.
Dr Stuart Hameroff and colleagues from the University of Arizona applied trans cranial ultrasound to 31 chronic pain patients in a double blind study in which neither doctor nor subject knew if the ultrasound machine had been switched on or off.
Patients reported improvements in mood for up to 40 minutes following treatment with brain ultrasound, compared with no difference in mood when the machine was switched off. The researchers confirmed the patients’ subjective reports of increases in positive mood with a Visual Analog Mood Scale, or VAMS, a standardized objective mood scale often used in psychological studies.

HAPPY people have healthier HEARTS

Experts keep finding new links between our emotional and physical health. In a new report in the Psychological Bulletin, a pair of Harvard researchers took a closer look at how optimism may keep our hearts healthy.

After reviewing earlier studies, they conclude that people with so-called “positive psychological well-being” have a lower risk of heart disease. The element that seems to be especially helpful is optimism.

Last year these same researchers found that out of a group of nearly 8,000 men and women, those with the highest levels of optimism were 27% less likely to develop coronary heart disease.


Overweight people with pre-diabetes can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by losing a significant amount of weight, according to new research.

The study found that those who lost 10 percent or more of their body weight had an 85 percent lower risk of developing diabetes within three years, while those who lost 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight had a 54 percent lower risk.
The patients all had pre-diabetes, which means their blood sugar levels were higher than normal but not yet high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.