Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors

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Two hours per week can improve osteoarthritis symptoms in older patients, study finds
-- Randy Dotinga

THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Want to improve that osteoarthritis in your knee? New research suggests that regular Tai Chi exercise can reduce pain and help your knee function better.
"Tai Chi is a mind-body approach that appears to be an applicable treatment for older adults with knee osteoarthritis," Dr. Chenchen Wang, co-author of a study published in the November issue of Arthritis Care & Research, said in a news release from the journal's publisher. In the United States, an estimated 4.3 million adults over 60 suffer from this form of arthritis. As many as half of American adults may develop symptoms by age 85, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported recently.
Wang and colleagues from Tufts University School of Medicine recruited 40 patients, with an average age of 65, who had been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis. Half of the group took part in Yang-style Tai Chi sessions for an hour at a time, twice weekly over a period of three months. The Tai Chi session consisted of 10-minutes of self-message and review, a half hour of movement, 10 minutes of breathing exercises and 10 minutes of relaxing.
The other participants took two 60-minute classes per week for three months and learned about issues such as diet and nutrition, and treatments for osteoarthritis. They also stretched for 20 minutes.
Those who practiced Tai Chi had significantly less knee pain than the other group and also reported less depression, more physical function and better overall health.
"Our observations emphasize a need to further evaluate the biologic mechanisms and approaches of Tai Chi to extend its benefits to a broader population," Wang said.

More information
Learn more about osteoarthritis from the Arthritis Foundation.
SOURCE: Arthritis Care & Research, news release, Oct. 29, 2009
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Cholesterol Necessary for Brain Development

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[PRESS RELEASE 2 October 2009] A derivative of cholesterol is necessary for the formation of brain cells, according to a study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet. The results, which are published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, can help scientists to cultivate dopamine-producing cells outside the body.
The study was led by Professor Ernest Arenas and demonstrates that the formation of dopamine-producing neurons during brain development in mice is dependent on the activation of a specific receptor in the brain by an oxidised form of cholesterol called oxysterol. Dopamine-producing nerve cells play an important part in many brain functions and processes, from motor skills to reward systems and dependency. They are also the type of cell that dies in Parkinson's disease.
The scientists have also shown that embryonic stem cells cultivated in the laboratory, form more dopamine-producing nerve cells if they are treated with oxidised cholesterol. The same treatment also reduced the tendency of the stem cells to show uncontrolled growth.
"Oxysterol contributes to a safer and better cultivation of dopamine-producing cells, which is a great advancement since it increases the possibility of developing new treatments for Parkinsons disease," says Professor Arenas.
It is hoped that one day it will be possible to replace dead cells in the brains of Parkinson's patients with transplanted cultivated dopamine-producing cells. Such cells can also be used to test new Parkinson's drugs.

Paola Sacchetti, Kyle M. Sousa, Anita C. Hall, Isabel Liste, Knut R. Steffensen, Spyridon Theofilopoulos, Clare L. Parish, Carin Hazenberg, Lars Ährlund Richter, Outi Hovatta, Jan-Åke Gustafsson & Ernest Arenas
Liver X Receptors and oxysterols promote ventral midbrain neurogenesis in vivo and in human embryonic stem cells.
Cell Stem Cell, 2 October 2009.


The Cancer Cells Killer: Curry Spice

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England scientists researching an extract found in the bright yellow curry spice turmeric can kill off cancer cells. According to British Journal of Cancer, a molecule found in a curry ingredient can kill esophageal cancer cells in the laboratory, suggesting it might be developed as an anti-cancer treatment, scientists said on Wednesday (October 29, 2009). Researchers at the Cork Cancer Research Center in Ireland treated esophageal cancer cells with curcumin - a chemical found in the spice turmeric, which gives curries a distinctive yellow color -- and found it started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours. “These exciting results suggest that scientists could develop curcumin as a potential anti-cancer drug to treat oesophageal cancer,” says Dr Sharon McKenna, lead study author at the Cork Cancer Research Centre, UCC. Scientists have known for a long time that natural compounds have the potential to treat faulty cells that have become cancerous and we suspected that curcumin might have therapeutic value. Dr Geraldine O’Sullivan-Coyne, a medical researcher in our lab had been looking for new ways of killing resistant oesophageal cancer cells. She tested curcurmin on resistant cells and found that they started to die using an unexpected system of cell messages.” Cancers of the esophagus kill more than 500,000 people across the world each year. The tumors are especially deadly, with five-year survival rates of just 12 to 31 percent.


Pill Bottle Cap can send SMS

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How someone can be can recovered if always forget to consume medicine? According to survey, average 60 percent patient in South Africa forget to consume medicine. This is become one factor make medical expense increased. To see that survey result, a doctor named Dr. David Green created “smart” pill bottle cap that can send message containing medicine consume time schedule to patient via short message service (SMS). This unique invention was collaboration between Simpill, a company based on Cape Town, South Africa, and the biggest cellular operator company. Tellumat Communication was success to develop patient monitoring system by wireless facilities. The result, this medicine bottle has double function, beside used for keep medicine also have function to remind you via SMS if time to consume medicine has come. This is makes patient not forget to consume their medicine. This medicine bottle also makes sirens sound to remind you.


Many Parents Denied A-H1N1 Influenza Vaccine

More than one third of A-H1N1 Influenza Vaccine to Children polls respondents in some states in United States of America, according to Associated Press-GfK news agency version, statement to denied. Polls found 38 percent parents will not allowed their children given vaccine by school. The reason is connected with side effect even reported not seriously. Some of them think that influenza not more dangerous than ordinary influenza. Meanwhile the rest of A-H1N1 Influenza vaccine given slit to two opinions, between still worried with side effect of vaccine and the other surely to accept this plan. “Basically flu is flu. I just worried to side effect in the long time period,” says Julie Ueclein, one of the mothers who denied this A-H1N1 Influenza Vaccine given plan. Government health office side said they still given this vaccine to children at schools, beside need to prevent this disease, also no have negative effect.


Very Fast Spread Level of A-H1N1 Influenza

Spread level of A-H1N1 Influenza is four times faster than another virus and 40 percent dies victim is young and healthy person. “This virus track is unbelievable, almost not heard about their spread,” says General Director of World Health Organization (WHO) Margaret Chan to France’s Le Monde Daily on Saturday (August 29, 2009) in Paris, France. “In six weeks, the virus spread all over the world. Although, for another virus take six months to reach same distance with A-H1N1 Influenza spread,” explains Chan. “Sixty percent of people who died have healthy problem,” she added. That means about 40 percent from died victim happened on young and in well healthy condition. They died because fever from A-H1N1 Influenza infection in 4-7 days.
“This fact more worries. More than 30 percent of world population in high density countries has risk to get A-H1N1 Influenza infection,” she says. A-H1N1 Influenza pandemic now is dominated by flu strain in biggest part of the world. Pandemic keep continue in next some months to infection susceptible population. Even that, emergency service resources and emergency care unit application for cancer and heart diseases is better not to be changed. “All countries must prepare to the worst condition to face it this condition,” she explains. The last data from WHO showed more than 2,180 person died because this virus since April 2009.


A-H1N1 Influenza Not Influenced By Climate

World Health Organization (WHO) explained that A-H1N1 Influenza virus already infected human in many countries with various climate. This is revealed from cumulative case numbers and death by A-H1N1 Influenza in the world report. So far recorded more than 182,000 A-H1N1 Influenza infected cases and almost 1,800 death cases in 177 countries in the world. Dr SJ Habayeb, WHO representative in India clarified in New Dehli, A-H1N1 Influenza have no connected with climate. “A-H1N1 Influenza cases reported from countries with cold and hot weather temperature,” he says. For example, A-H1N1 Influenza infected cases reported from Texas, New York, and California with various weather temperatures.