What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially debilitating disease in which your body’s immune system eats away at the protective sheath (myelin) that covers your nerves. Damage to myelin causes interference in the communication between your brain, spinal cord and other areas of your body. This condition may result in deterioration of the nerves themselves, a process that’s not reversible.
Multiple sclerosis has no cure. However, treatments may help treat MS attacks, manage symptoms and reduce progress of the disease.
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary, depending on the location of affected nerve fibers. Multiple sclerosis symptoms may include:
-Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs
-Partial or complete loss of central vision, usually in one eye, often with pain during eye movement (optic neuritis)
-Double vision or blurring of vision
-Tingling or pain in parts of your body
-Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain head movements
-Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
-Slurred speech
-Fatigue
-Dizziness
Heat sensitivity is common in people with multiple sclerosis. Small increases in body temperature can trigger or worsen multiple sclerosis symptoms.
Some people have a benign form of multiple sclerosis. In this form of the disease, the condition remains stable and often doesn’t progress to serious forms of MS after the initial attack.
Video: Autonomic Nervous System






Why do you Need a Sleep Study?

Polysomnography, also called a sleep study, is a test used to diagnose sleep disorders. Polysomnography records your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements during the study.
Polysomnography usually is done at a sleep disorders unit within a hospital or at a sleep center. You’ll be asked to come to the sleep center in the evening for polysomnography so that the test can record your nighttime sleep patterns.
Polysomnography monitors your sleep stages and cycles to identify if or when your sleep patterns are disrupted and why.
The normal process of falling asleep begins with a sleep stage called non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. During this stage, your brain waves, as recorded by electroencephalography (EEG), slow down considerably. Your eyes don’t move back and forth rapidly during NREM, in contrast to later stages of sleep. After an hour or two of NREM sleep, your brain activity picks up again, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep begins. Most dreaming occurs during REM sleep.
You normally go through four to six sleep cycles a night, cycling between NREM and REM sleep in about 90 minutes. Your REM stage usually lengthens with each cycle as the night progresses. Sleep disorders can disturb this sleep process. Polysomnography monitors your sleep stages and cycles to identify if or when your sleep patterns are disrupted.
Your doctor may recommend polysomnography if he or she suspects you have:
Sleep apnea or another sleep-related breathing disorder — your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
Periodic limb movement disorder — you involuntarily flex and extend your legs while sleeping. This sleep disorder is sometimes associated with restless legs syndrome.
Narcolepsy — you experience overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep.
REM sleep behavior disorder — you act out dreams as you sleep.
Unusual behaviors during sleep — you do unusual activities during sleep, such as walking, moving around a lot or rhythmic movements.
Unexplained chronic insomnia — you consistently have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.






To Dream, perhaps to Learn?

A Harvard study suggested that dreaming may reactivate and reorganize recently learned material, improving memory and boosting performance. The subjects were 99 healthy college students who agreed to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and drugs for at least 24 hours prior to the experiment. All the volunteers demonstrated normal sleep patterns before enrolling in the study.
Each of the subjects spent an hour learning how to navigate through a complex three-dimensional maze-like puzzle. After the training period, half of the students were allowed to nap for 90 minutes, while the others read or relaxed. Following a lunch break, all the volunteers tackled the virtual maze again. The only students whose performance substantially improved were the few who dreamed about the maze during their naps. Although the dreams didn’t actually depict solutions to the puzzle, the researchers believe they show how the dreaming brain can reorganize and consolidate memories, resulting in better performance on learned tasks. And all the amazing dreams occurred early in NREM sleep.






When do you need to wear a Holter Monitor?

If you have signs or symptoms of a heart problem, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), your doctor may order a test called an electrocardiogram. An electrocardiogram is a brief, noninvasive test that uses electrodes taped to your chest to check your heart’s rhythm.
However, sometimes an electrocardiogram doesn’t detect any irregularities in your heart rhythm. If your signs and symptoms suggest that an occasionally irregular heart rhythm may be causing your condition, your doctor may recommend that you wear a Holter monitor for a day or so.
The Holter monitor may be able to detect irregularities in your heart rhythm that an electrocardiogram couldn’t
, since an electrocardiogram usually takes only a few minutes.
Your doctor may also order a Holter monitor if you have a heart condition that increases your risk of an abnormal heart rhythm, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Your doctor may suggest you wear a Holter monitor for a day or two, even if you haven’t had any symptoms of an abnormal heartbeat.






What is Alcoholic Neuropathy?

Alcoholic neuropathy is damage to the nerves that results from excessive drinking of alcohol.
Causes- The cause of alcoholic neuropathy is debated. It probably includes both a direct poisoning of the nerve by the alcohol, and the effect of poor nutrition associated with alcoholism. Up to half of all long-term heavy alcohol users develop this condition.
In severe cases, the nerves that regulate internal body functions (autonomic nerves) may be involved.
Risks for alcoholic neuropathy include:
Long-term, heavy alcohol use
Alcoholism that is present for 10 years or more
Symptoms:
Numbness in the arms and legs
Abnormal sensations; “pins and needles”
Painful sensations in the arms and legs
Muscle weakness
Muscle cramps or muscle aches
Heat intolerance, especially after exercise
Impotence (in men)
Problems urinating
Constipation
Diarrhea..
.






Is Red Yeast Rice a Miracle to Lower Cholesterol?

If you’re looking for an all-natural way to lower your cholesterol — in addition to watching what you eat and exercising — there are plenty of dietary supplements on the market that claim to do the trick. Each year seems to bring a new alternative remedy — garlic, ginseng, or artichoke extract, for example — that users tout as the next best thing to get cholesterol under control.
What new supplement are we referring to? Red yeast rice. Red yeast rice is a fungus that grows on rice and contains small amounts of a naturally occurring form of lovastatin, a type of statin that is also found in prescription medications.
Compared to that of most dietary supplements, the evidence of red yeast rice’s efficacy is quite strong — which isn’t entirely surprising, given that red yeast rice is, in effect, a low-dose statin. In studies over the years (including in several high-quality trials), various red yeast rice preparations have been shown to lower LDL by around 20 to 30 percent, comparable to a prescription statin.
More recent studies have backed up these results. In the most recent trial, a study of patients who had stopped taking statins due to muscle pain, red yeast rice capsules lowered total cholesterol and LDL by 15 percent and 21 percent, respectively (compared to 5 percent and 9 percent for placebo).
Red yeast rice is a potentially effective way to lower cholesterol, but its potency makes some experts wary — and suspicious. The amount of lovastatin in red yeast rice pills varies widely across brands — so much so that some brands appear to be spiked with lovastatin, according to an analysis performed by a consumer watchdog group. Inadvertently ingesting too much of a statin can cause side effects (such as muscle pain), and due to the safety concerns, experts discourage using off-the-shelf red yeast rice. Like always, talk to your doctor before taking this supplement.






Health-eating Diet for Diabetes

Your diabetes diet is simply a healthy-eating plan that will help you control your blood sugar. Here’s help getting started, from meal planning to exchange lists and counting carbohydrates.
-DIET DETAILS. A registered dietitian can help you put together a diet based on your health goals, tastes and lifestyle and can provide valuable information on how to change your eating habits.
-Recommended foods. Make your calories count with these nutritious foods:
Healthy carbohydrates. During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on the healthiest carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and low-fat dairy products.
Fiber-rich foods. Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber can decrease the risk of heart disease and help control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole-wheat flour and wheat bran.
Heart-healthy fish. Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish can be a good alternative to high-fat meats. For example, cod, tuna and halibut have less total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than do meat and poultry. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and bluefish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health by lowering blood fats called triglycerides. However, avoid fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury, such as tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel.
‘Good’ fats. Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — such as avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, olives, and canola, olive and peanut oils — can help lower your cholesterol levels. Eat them sparingly, however, as all fats are high in calories.






Best Medications for Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED), formerly called impotence, can affect men of all ages, although it is much more common among older men. It is normal for men to occasionally experience erectile dysfunction. However, if the problem becomes chronic, it can have adverse effects on relationships, emotional health, and self-esteem. Erectile dysfunction may also be a symptom of an underlying health condition. If erectile dysfunction becomes an on-going problem, it is important to talk to your doctor.
PDE5 inhibitors are generally the first choice of treatment for erectile dysfunction. There are three brands that are approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction:
-Sildenafil (Viagra)
-Vardenafil (Levitra)
-Tadalafil (Cialis)

These drugs are generally safe and effective for most men. These medications may not be appropriate for men with certain health conditions, such as severe heart disease, heart failure, history of stroke, or uncontrolled high blood pressure or diabetes. Men who take nitrate drugs cannot use PDE5 inhibitors, and these drugs can also interact with other medications. Talk to your doctor about whether PDE5 inhibitor drugs are a safe choice for you.






Enjoy life more!… your Body will Feel Better!

A new study from the UK and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal claims that people who enjoy life will have better physical function and faster walking speeds than their more pessimistic counterparts.
As part of a follow-up study testing the link between happiness and physical performance, the UCL researchers have assessed the enjoyment of life of 3,199 participants aged 60 years or older.
The participants in the study were asked to rate on a four-point scale how much they subscribed to the following statements: “I enjoy the things that I do,” “I enjoy being in the company of others,” “On balance, I look back on my life with a sense of happiness” and “I feel full of energy these days.”
The study found that people who had a low sense of well-being were more than three times as likely to experience problems in performing daily activities.
Video: The Heart






Aspirin for Peripheral Artery Disease

Aspirin helps prevent the formation of blood clots. This can decrease the chance that a blood clot will form and block an already-narrowed artery.
Brand-name aspirin is no more effective than generic or store brands.

Why It Is Used. Aspirin may be given to people who have peripheral arterial disease (PAD). It may also be used after bypass surgery or angioplasty to prevent the formation of blood clots after these procedures.
How Well It Works. Aspirin may lower the risk for heart attack and stroke in people who have peripheral arterial disease.
Aspirin is usually advised. A daily low dose (75 mg) is usual. This does not help with symptoms of PAD, but helps to prevent blood clots (thromboses) forming in arteries. It does this by reducing the stickiness of platelets in the bloodstream.
Here are some important things to think about side effects:
-Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
-Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
-If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.