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Archive for July 4, 2013

Outline+

Editor’s Pick: Outline+

Outline+
(4.5 stars with 775 User Ratings)
Universal App
$14.99

Free Offer Ended. This app was free on July 2, 2013, but the offer has expired. Follow us on Twitter or Subscribe by email or RSS feed to get daily App Gone Free notifications so you won’t miss it next time. The following impression was made during the promotional period.

Outline+ was originally $14.99, but now you can get your hands on it for nothing during its promotion and use its amazing outlining features. The app works seamlessly with Microsoft OneNote, so if you’re using that for business or personal related needs, now you’ll have options on the go. Students, business people, professionals… This app works for everyone and has a whole host of features that are too many to name here, so go check it out yourself and grab Outline+ today. Did we mention how beautiful this app looks on your iPad?

via Best Free Apps of the Day on 7/2. Outline+, Real Fireworks, ShapeThat, & More! | App Chronicles.

Tomato and Sweet Onion Salad

Ingredients

1 pound ripe mixed tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 pint Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 small sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui), thinly sliced

1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup 1/2-inch pieces fresh chives

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Combine tomatoes, onion, basil, chives, oil, vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

DO AHEAD: Salad can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

via Tomato and Sweet Onion Salad Recipe: Bon Appétit.

Active brain ‘keeps dementia at bay’


Can the brain build up a memory reserve?

Keeping mentally active by reading books or writing letters helps protect the brain in old age, a study suggests.

A lifetime of mental challenges leads to slower cognitive decline after factoring out dementia’s impact on the brain, US researchers say.

The study, published in Neurology, adds weight to the idea that dementia onset can be delayed by lifestyle factors.

An Alzheimer’s charity said the best way to lower dementia risk was to eat a balanced diet, exercise and stay slim.

In a US study, 294 people over the age of 55 were given tests that measured memory and thinking, every year for about six years until their deaths.

 

The brain that we have in old age depends in part on what we habitually ask it to do in life”

Dr Robert Wilson Rush University Medical Center

They also answered a questionnaire about whether they read books, wrote letters and took part in other activities linked to mental stimulation during childhood, adolescence, middle age, and in later life.

After death, their brains were examined for evidence of the physical signs of dementia, such as brain lesions and plaques.

The study found that after factoring out the impact of those signs, those who had a record of keeping the brain busy had a rate of cognitive decline estimated at 15% slower than those who did not.

Dr Robert Wilson, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who led the study, said the research suggested exercising the brain across a lifetime was important for brain health in old age.

He told BBC News: “The brain that we have in old age depends in part on what we habitually ask it to do in life.

“What you do during your lifetime has a great impact on the likelihood these age-related diseases are going to be expressed.”

Cognitive reserve

Dementia exacts a heavy toll on society, with more than 820,000 people in the UK alone currently living with the condition.

Commenting on the study, Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said there was increasing evidence mental activity may help protect against cognitive decline. But the underlying reasons for this remained unclear.

“By examining donated brain tissue, this study has shed more light on this complex question, and the results lend weight to the theory that mental activity may provide a level of ‘cognitive reserve’, helping the brain resist some of the damage from diseases such as Alzheimer’s,” he said.

Dr James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, added: “More research and bigger studies are needed, but in the meantime reading more and doing crosswords can be enjoyable and certainly won’t do you any harm.

“The best way to reduce your risk of developing dementia is to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.”

via BBC News – Active brain ‘keeps dementia at bay’.

Over 28% of five-year-olds in Wales overweight

Child eating a biscuit
Health experts say young children still have time to adopt a healthy lifestyle

Over 28% of five-year-olds in Wales are overweight, with 12.5% of children classed as obese, new figures from Public Health Wales show.

Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf have the highest number of overweight children, while the Vale of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire have the least.

The problem in Wales is worse than England and Scotland.

Health experts said the figures were “worrying” but children still had time to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

The heights and weights of 29,400 reception age children were collected across Wales in the 2011-12 academic year as part of Public Health Wales’ first Child Measurement Programme report.

The results showed that seven out of 10 children aged four to five had a healthy weight but 28% were classed as overweight or obese.

The report said the figures were “significantly higher” than in every region in England, where on average 23% of children were overweight, with 9.5% classed as being obese.

They were also higher than in Scotland, where 21% of children were overweight, of which 9.8% were obese – although children in Scotland were measured close to their sixth birthday.

The report also pointed to a “clear association between deprivation and obesity among four to five-year-olds in Wales”.

Dr Ciaran Humphreys, consultant in public health for Public Health Wales, said it was the first time they had been given a clear picture of how children in Wales were growing – and it was a picture that caused concern.

He said change was needed across society.

“This can be anything from making our communities more pedestrian and bicycle friendly to reducing access to unhealthy fast food near schools,” he said.

“As with most health risks, the sooner they are tackled the easier they are to address and the greater the long-term benefits.”

He added: “Encouraging healthy eating and regular exercise at a young age provides children with an excellent start and helps them grow up to be healthy adults.”

In Merthyr Tydfil, 34% of four to five-year-olds were overweight or obese, while in neighbouring Rhondda Cynon Taf, the figure was nearly 32%.

In contrast, in the more affluent areas of Monmouthshire and the Vale of Glamorgan, the figures were 22% and 25% respectively.

Dr Ruth Hussey, the chief medical officer for Wales, said the information on children’s growth would help the Welsh government tackle the problem.

“Together, we must work for a healthy, active and resilient community in Wales where all children have the best start in life,” she said.

Last month, a group chaired by Paralympic multi-gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said that PE should be given the same status as maths, English, science and Welsh in schools to help tackle obesity in Wales.

The Welsh government had asked them to look into how schools could increase levels of physical activity in children and young people.

The group said elevating PE to be a core part of the curriculum would mean more time was devoted to it.

BBC News - Over 28% of five-year-olds in Wales overweight

via BBC News – Over 28% of five-year-olds in Wales overweight.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital £450m rebuilding plan


The current children’s hospital is housed in the city’s old Victorian general hospital

A new £450m Birmingham Children’s Hospital is being planned on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital site.

The chief executives of the children’s, women’s, and Queen Elizabeth hospitals have signed a joint agreement which would create a new health campus.

The hospitals believe the move would benefit safety and research.

Sarah-Jane Marsh, from the children’s hospital, said it could be “eight to 10 years” before the first patient walks into a new hospital.

“We are building up a war chest to help finance a new development, but we would have to borrow some money through Private Finance Initiative and there are discussions taking place with the Department of Health,” she added.

‘Patient safety’

At the moment, babies born at the Women’s Hospital that require surgery have to be transferred across the city to the Children’s Hospital and then transferred back following complex operations.

Children with cancer who need radiotherapy have to go to the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Hospital for treatment.

Specialist doctors employed by the QE Hospital also work on the children’s hospital site in the city centre.

Dame Julie Moore, who runs the QE Hospital, said: “It would be a lot easier, but more importantly drive higher quality and patient safety, if we had all three specialties together.

“The three boards have set off on a path – we are going to find a solution along with Birmingham University.”

It is also believed that the new health campus would help boost research.

This could also bring further high-tech investment and jobs on to the Battery Park site in Birmingham.

The current children’s hospital is housed in the old Victorian general hospital, which was designed by the great, great-grandfather of the tennis player, Tim Henman.

The hospital, built in 1894, now provides some national children’s specialties and is said to have outgrown the building.

A current redevelopment of adolescent cancer facilities means having to build a new storey on top of some existing facilities.

The road outside has to be closed whenever helicopters need to land with seriously ill children.

Other plans ‘unaffordable’

Discussions concerning a potential merger of the children’s and women’s hospitals have taken place in the past, but broke down in 2011.

There were also previously discussions held about creating a £700m hospital to house both.

Dr Ros Keeton, the chief executive of the women’s hospital, said this had been considered unaffordable and they were now planning a separate £70m refurbishment of the hospital.

“We see benefits for women, for babies and for families, so in whatever way we can, we will be supporting them in their attempts to move,” she said.

“Our ideal would be building a brand new women’s and children’s hospital which is unfortunately unaffordable for Birmingham, so we are concentrating on a combination model.”

Consultation on the move, which is seen as in the best interests of the 1.1 million people served by the hospitals, should begin next year.

via BBC News – Birmingham Children’s Hospital £450m rebuilding plan.

BBC News – Tiny stem-cell livers grown in laboratory


The liver breaks down toxins

Tiny functioning human livers have been grown from stem cells in the laboratory by scientists in Japan.

They said they were “gobsmacked” when liver buds, the earliest stage of the organ’s development, formed spontaneously.

The team, reporting their findings in Nature, hope that transplanting thousands of liver buds could reverse liver failure.

Experts welcomed the findings, describing them as “exciting”.

Scientists around the world are trying to grow organs in the lab to overcome a shortage of organ donors.

Some patients already have bladders made from their own cells, but dense solid organs such as the liver and kidneys are much harder to produce.

Grow your own

The team at the Yokohama City University were reproducing the earliest stages of liver development – similar to that in an embryo.

They had mixed three types of cells – two types of stem cells and material taken from the umbilical cord.

Unexpectedly, the cells began to organise themselves and appeared to curl up to form a liver bud.

These buds were transplanted into mice, where they hooked themselves up with the blood supply and began to function as little livers.

The transplants increased the lifespan of mice with liver failure.

Prof Takanori Takebe said: “We just simply mixed three cell types and found that they unexpectedly self-organise to form a three-dimensional liver bud – this is a rudimentary liver.

“And finally we proved that liver bud transplantation could offer therapeutic potential against liver failure.”

He told the BBC that he was “completely gobsmacked” and “absolutely surprised” when he first witnessed the buds forming.

Treatment hope

It is thought that other organs such as the pancreas, kidneys and even the lungs could be developed in the same way. However, turning this into a treatment is still a distant prospect.

The buds are 4-5mm in length but the researchers say they would need to develop buds that are much smaller and could be injected into the blood.

The buds would not grow to be a whole new liver, but would embed themselves in the failing one and restore it.

Dr Varuna Aluvihare, a liver transplant physician at King’s College Hospital in London, told BBC News: “This a great piece of work and as a proof of concept, very interesting.

“The real highlight is that such simple mixtures of cells can differentiate and organise themselves into highly complex tissue structures that function well in an animal model.”

He said the liver was very damaged in chronic liver disease so there were still questions about where the buds were transplanted and how they would function.

The risk of a tumour developing after the transplant would also need to be assessed.

Dr Dusko Ilic, a stem cell scientist at King’s College London, said: “The strategy is very promising, and represents a huge step forward.

“Although the promise of an off-the-shelf-liver seems much closer than one could hope even a year ago, the paper is only a proof of concept. There is much unknown and it will take years before it could be applied in regenerative medicine.”

Prof Chris Mason, the chair of regenerative medicine at University College London, said there might be more immediate benefits for drug testing.

New medicines can be toxic to the human liver in a way which does not show up in animal tests. He said using liver buds might be a better way to test for toxicity.

Analysis

This is a significant advance for the field of regenerative medicine.

It might seem like science fiction but there are already people walking around today with organs made from stem cells.

A major breakthrough came in 2006 when bladders made from patients’ own cells were implanted. Grown windpipes have also been transplanted.

In regenerative medicine there are four levels of complexity: flat structures such as skin; tubes such as blood vessels; hollow organs such as the bladder; and solid organs such as the kidney, heart and liver.

The last group is the most difficult as they are complex organs containing many types of tissue.

This is a new approach to growing solid organs and is yet another window on what could be the future of organ transplants.

via BBC News – Tiny stem-cell livers grown in laboratory.

老人腳麻跛行 補充B12好腳力


還記得電視廣告演員「腳麻伯」嗎?1名老人在火災現場,碰到採訪記者訪問回應說:「我雙腳都麻掉了,我是要怎麼跑」?在骨科門診中常見求診老人主訴腳麻走不遠,甚至出現跛行的情況,以為自己中風了。(影音/攝影記者黃志文)

老人腳麻走不遠,應該進一步確認為「血管性跛行」或「神經性跛行」。

老人腳麻走不遠,應該進一步確認為「血管性跛行」或「神經性跛行」。

骨科醫師毛贊智表示,老年人走不遠,或是出現走路一跛一跛的情況,不要緊張以為是中風,因為腦中風造成的麻木感,通常是突然性,且多半會血壓上升、 臉部麻木,合併單側的臉、手腳無力。此時必需找醫師檢查,進一步確認為「血管性跛行」或「神經性跛行」。兩者症狀有類似之處,找有經驗的醫師即可診斷確診 屬於何者。

走路發麻跛行 先辨別病症

血管性跛行常好發於三高族群,包括高血壓患者與糖尿病患者等,步行約一段距離時,雙腳會有痛麻感,休息後症狀略改善緩和,但繼續再步行,雙腳症狀又會出現。至於神經性跛行則由於有神經壓迫,行走中症狀出現而跛行,停止行走稍作休息後,症狀不一定能馬上緩解。

血管性跛行Vs神經性跛行:

(表格提供/毛贊智醫師)

(表格提供/毛贊智醫師)

針對血管性跛行,內科醫師會利用導管手術觀察血管栓塞程度,並用汽球撐開,必要時需使用抗凝血藥物。毛贊智醫師表示,神經性跛行要查壓迫位置,常見 椎間盤突出、椎孔狹窄,前者用復健可緩解,後者嚴重要手術,初期以非類固醇藥物消炎,在此時神經受壓迫產生發炎,同時併用B12在治療上有幫助,因為高劑 量B12對於神經末梢與髓鞘有幫助修復功能。

神經性跛行 維他命B12修補神經

輕度到中度的神經性跛行治療,初步會以非類固醇藥物治療,或是補充高劑量的維他命B12,維他命B12稱為造血維他命,是正常生長發育、細胞生殖、 造血、核蛋白和髓鞘合成所必須,有安定神經、末梢神經功能、強化腦神經、改善手腳發麻與腰酸背痛症狀,目前已有注射維他命B12針劑加上消炎藥的方式來緩 解,基本上1周注射1次,每次不超過1500微克為宜。

毛贊智醫師表示,輕度到中度的神經性跛行治療,目前已有注射維他命B12針劑加上消炎藥的方式來緩解。(攝影/黃志文)

毛贊智醫師表示,輕度到中度的神經性跛行治療,目前已有注射維他命B12針劑加上消炎藥的方式來緩解。(攝影/黃志文)

一般人平時保健也應該注意維他命B12的攝取,可以從動物性食物中獲得,包括動物肝臟、牛肉、魚肉、起士與蛋等,如果有吃素的人,B12的攝取量較低,可以多補充;此外臨床上胃功能較弱的人,必需長期補充。治療上B12含量建議1顆500微克,1天需使用2 至3次。

【醫師小叮嚀】:

毛贊智醫師提醒,老人家感覺腳麻無力,導致無法走路,甚至因為疼痛變得走路一瘸一瘸,不要隨便使用推拿等偏方,應該找專業醫師進行診斷,確認為血管性跛行或神經性跛行,再對症下藥,才能緩解症狀。

via 老人腳麻跛行 補充B12好腳力 | 20130704 | 華人健康網.

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