In recent health news, Researchers at the Faculty of Brain Sciences, University College London, have discovered the power of music to heal the mind. The UK team of scientists conducted a large-scale review of the effects of music therapy in the treatment of dementia. Continue reading
A sore throat, a condition known to us all, can stem from a viral infection, an allergy, or a simple irritation. It can be difficult to swallow and your throat and glands can swell uncomfortably. Most of us will experience it at least once or twice each year. Here is the first of a two-parter on the many great throat healers from the realm of homeopathic medicine. Today we look at the first four. Continue reading
Cancer therapy is a gold mine these days of health breakthroughs (it really is), as we learn more and more how to challenge the disease and improve quality of life. A new study has unearthed evidence that may be music to the ears of a cancer patient.
Researchers found that such patients may benefit from sessions Continue reading
Many people wonder whether it is safe to exercise outdoors during cold weather, especially below freezing.
As a general rule, it is; but you do want to make sure you take certain precautions, and pay attention to signs and symptoms of specific cold-weather dangers.
Additionally, there are likely better and safer options than exercising outdoors during very cold temperatures.
Three primary dangers of cold weather exercise are: Continue reading
Please call 911 immediately if you are having chest pain, difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, sudden weakness or numbness, or if you think you have a medical emergency.
Frostbite refers to the freezing of body tissue (usually skin) that results the blood vessels contract and cause loss of oxygen to the affected body parts. Feeling is lost and the color changes in these tissues as well. It most commonly affects areas that are further away from the body core and have less blood flow. These include your feet, hands, nose, and ears.
There are three degrees of cold injury: frostnip, superficial frostbite, and deep frostbite. Although children, older people, and those with circulatory problems are at greater risk for frostbite, most cases occur in adults between 30 and 49.
If you have frostbite, you may not realize at first that anything is wrong because the affected area will be numb. With prompt medical attention, most people recover fully from frostbite. However, if severe frostbite occurs, permanent damage is possible depending on how long and how deeply the tissue is frozen. In severe cases, blood flow to the area may stop and blood vessels, muscles, nerves, tendons, and bones may be permanently affected. If the frozen tissue dies, the affected area may need to be amputated.
What Causes Frostbite?
Frostbite is caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, particularly when accompanied by a low wind-chill factor or by more brief exposure to very cold temperatures.
BERLIN – Tiny laser-scanning microscope images brain cells in freely moving animals. The majority of our life is spent moving around a static world and we generate our impression of the world using visual and other senses simultaneously. It is the ability to freely explore our environment that is essential for the view we form of our local surroundings.
When we walk down the street and enter a shop to buy fruit, the street, shop and fruit are not moving, we are. What our brain is probably doing is constantly updating our position based on the information received from our sensory inputs such as eyes, ears, skin as well as our motor and vestibular systems, all in real time. The problem for researchers trying to understand how this occurs has always been how to record meaningful signals from the brain cells that do the calculations while we are in motion.
To get around this problem researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen have developed a way of actually watching the activity of many brain cells simultaneously in an animal that is free to move around the environment. By developing a small, light-weight laser-scanning microscope, researchers were able to, for the first time, image activity from fluorescent neurons in animals that were awake and moving around, while tracking the exact position of the animal in space.
The microscope uses a high-powered pulsing laser and fiber optics to scan cells below the surface of the brain, eliminating the need to insert electrodes, which are traditionally used. Because of this, the microscope is non-invasive to the brain tissue.
The traditional approach to solving these sorts of questions is to restrain the animal and present it with a series of scenes or movies or images. The miniaturized microscope allows the researchers to turn this paradigm around and allow the animal to freely move around in its environment, while still allowing the scientists to monitor the activity of the brain cells responsible for processing visual information.
It is clear that the brain does not work one cell at a time to recognize the environment, so the microscope records from many cells at a time, allowing for the first time the ability to look at how the brain is able to generate an internal representation of the outside world, while using natural vision.
“We need to let the animal behave as naturally as possible if we want to understand how its brain operates during interaction with complex environments. The new technology is a major milestone on the way to helping us understand how perception and attention work”, says