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How to Get Naturally Flawless Skin With These 7 Skincare Oils

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There are many commercial skincare products available in the market today. But most of these formulas are expensive and may contain potentially harmful chemicals which can damage your skin.

But did you know that you can get naturally flawless skin minus the toxins?

The only ingredient in moisturizers that does work is oil. Plant-based oil is effective in bringing back moisture to the skin. Plant oils are similar to the oils that the skin produces.

So which oils can give you naturally flawless and great-looking skin? Here are 7 skincare oils that you can add to your beauty arsenal:

1. Argan Oil

Argan oil has been around for a very long time. Moroccans have been using this liquid gold for smoother complexion.

Benefits:

Argan oil can help clear up acne and protect the skin from infection. Women with dry skin can benefit from argan oil’s ability to alleviate inflammation due to psoriasis or eczema and smoothen dry patches. Also, argan oil also works well with oily skin.

Directions:

1. Wash your face using a gentle cleanser.

2. Place a drop of argan oil onto your palm and rub together to warm.

3. Apply it on your face and neck.

4. Wait until it is fully absorbed before putting on makeup.

Note:

To use as a leave-in conditioner, apply 1-3 drops of the oil to the ends of your hair.

2. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a very thick oil, but it is one of the healthiest carrier oils for skin. It is rich with vitamins A, E, and other collagen-boosting plant sterolins.

Because avocado oil is so thick, it is recommended to use only serums with this carrier at night or when you are going to stay home for the day. Also, it is recommended that you useavocado oil in combination with another carrier, if your anti-aging serum is too sticky.

3. Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is great for the skin. It is best used cosmetically due to its anti-inflammatory and skin-smoothing benefits.

Benefits:

Grape seed oil contains high levels of linoleic acid, which makes cell membranes stronger. Also, it is rich in antioxidants, which helps in the reduction of wrinkles.

Grape seed oil is also high in polyphenols, for the prevention of acne. If you have oily skin, grape seed oil can be use as a light moisturizer, that will not leave your skin greasy.

Directions:

1. Put a few drops of grape seed oil onto wrinkles and fine lines.

2. Massage well until it is fully absorbed. You can also use it all over your neck and as a daily moisturizer.

4. Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil comes from the Simmondsia chinensis shrub that grows in the United States and Mexico. Before it became a well-loved facial oil, jojoba oil was used as replacement for whale oil.

Benefits:

Jojoba oil is perfect as an everyday moisturizer for all skin types. It locks in moisture without making your skin greasy.

It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that prevent bacterial growth on skin and help reduce inflammation. Also, it helps to balance oil levels, therefore it would not make your face greasy.

Directions:

1. To use as a facial cleanser, place a few drops of jojoba oil on your fingers and apply to the face.

2. Wash off using a gentle cleanser and water.

Notes:

To use as a moisturizer, you can apply 2-3 drops to damp skin to seal-in moisture.

5. Moringa Oil

Moringa is considered to be a superfood but aside from this, it is known for one of its by-products called moringa oil. Moringa oil is extracted from the seeds of the tree and is use in the treatment of various skin conditions.

Benefits:

The antioxidant-rich oil is known for its ability to slow down aging. It helps purify the skin by removing acne, blackheads and dark spots.

Directions:

1. To use as a moisturizer, place 1-2 drops of moringa oil on your fingertips.

2. Massage onto your face and neck. You can also combine it with brown sugar to exfoliate the skin.

Note:

To treat burns, insect bites and scrapes, apply a drop of moringa oil to the affected area and massage well.

6. Rose Hip Oil

Rose hip oil or rose-hip seed oil is a dry oil extracted from the hip or the the hem or haw of the Rosa rubiginosa, a species of rose that grows wild on the Andes. There are many rose varieties, but true rose hip oil comes only from Rosa rubiginosa. It is different from rose petal oil, which is used in fragrances.

Benefits:

Rose hip oil is loaded with linoleic acid, which is essential to the cell regeneration process. Also it contains retinoic acid that helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and help brighten your complexion, with its Vitamin C content.

Directions:

1. Apply 2-3 drops of organic rose hip oil to the affected area.

2. Massage the oil onto your skin until fully absorbed.

Note:

Dark spots will lighten within 2 weeks of use. You can also use rose hip oil on your entire face after cleansing. This is to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and smoothen dry patches of skin.

7. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil is perfect for acne-prone skin. It’s antibacterial properties can help fight acne-causing bacteria and assist in wound healing. Also it helps in regulating oil production, which can decrease the severity and incidence of breakouts.

Other Related Articles

– How to Use Oatmeal to Get Rid of Acne/

– 6 Beauty Benefits of Cocoa Butter You Should Know

– 10 Best Ways to Use Milk for Your Hair and Skin

This Is The Easiest And Most Effective Way to Get Rid Of A Stiff Neck In Less Than 10 Seconds

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A large number of people suffer from stiff neck on a regular basis. This condition is not limited to a certain race, gender, tribe, culture, or religion, as it is evidently common among adults.

The stiffness around the neck usually comes with excruciating pain and discomfort and may be caused by poor posture; poor sitting or lying habits, work-related strain, chronic stress, and tension among many others. Harsh weather conditions may also cause the development of stiff neck.

The 10-Second Therapy

You can experience instant relief from stiff neck and associated pains simply by testing out this simple and straightforward 10-second therapy.

What you need

  • exercise mat
  • rolled up folded towel
  • 10 seconds

How to do it

  • lie flat on your back
  • try to put your body in a relaxed state
  • take the rolled or folded towel and then place it directly under your right shoulder
  • bend your right arm at a 90-degree angel with your hand parallel to your head and with palm facing outward
  • place your left hand across your chest and on your right shoulder
  • keep this posture for about 10 seconds
  • you may repeat the procedure several times if needed

The stiffness in your neck will immediately disappear and your neck will loosen up and feel less tense. The pain will go away as well.

This is a great instant trick if you are suffering from stick neck. However this is true, it is also recommended to identify the cause of your stiff neck and find effective ways on how to avoid its development. Remember that prevention is always better than cure.

Dehydration is Making You Sick and Fat, and Here’s Why

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If you’re thirsty, you’re dehydrated.

According to some studies, if you drink sixteen ounces of water prior to all your major meals in the day, and also reduce your food intake, not only will you lose weight – you’ll keep the weight off for a year.

Experts believe that in a year, people who added their water consumption by a liter-and-a-half daily burns an extra 17400 kcal. That’s equal to losing five pounds.

When you drink cold water, you boost your metabolic rate and burn calories. It takes effect ten minutes after drinking, and peaks at thirty to forty minutes after drinking.

Adverse effects from dehydration include, skin, bladder, kidney and digestive problems, exhaustion, and headaches. For us, water is as important as air. Hydrating ourselves is serious business.

Dehydration happens before you feel the thirst. Taking sips of water throughout your day is probably the best way to fight dehydration. Have a glass or bottle of water nearby. If you’re not a morning person, two glasses after waking up should normalize your blood pressure and it’s better for your health than drinking coffee with an empty stomach.

A lot of people think that juice, or soda, or tea can be as useful in fighting dehydration as water. This is wrong. The excess salts and sugars you put in your body is cleaned out of your by massive amounts of water. If you really cannot be separated from your cup of coffee, just be sure to drink a glass of water for each cup of coffee you consume.

When you drink water on a regular basis, you boost your metabolic rate and you feel a lot “fuller”. This makes you eat less. There is no safer or healthier way to lose weight than drinking water.

Here are the reasons why dehydration is make you fat and sick:

  1. Exhaustion

Water is one of the most important energy sources in our bodies. Being dehydrated can slow down the work of the enzymes, which leads to exhaustion.

  1. Allergies and Asthma

The body restricts airways to conserve water, especially when dehydrated. It was also observed that the body produces a lot more histamine is it becomes less and less hydrated.

  1. High Levels of Cholesterol

The body produces more cholesterol as a means of water-loss prevention. This happens a lot during dehydration.

  1. Bladder/Kidney Problems

During dehydration, toxins and acid waste accumulates. This leads to a place where bacteria flourish. The kidneys and bladder will be more vulnerable to inflammation, pain and infection.

  1. Constipation

During dehydration, the colon provides water more than most parts, so other organs can function. Waste moves slower through the intestines without water. Sometimes, waste doesn’t move at all.

  1. Pain in the Joints

Cartilage paddings on the joints are made mostly of water. During dehydration, cartilage is weaker and reparations are slower.

  1. Gaining Weight

Dehydrated cells do not have enough energy, and people have the tendency to eat a lot more when they are in fact, just thirty.

  1. Aging Prematurely

Dehydration causes the organs to wrinkle and wither ahead of time. This is evident in our body’s largest organ, our skin.

  1. High Blood Pressure

Since our blood when we’re hydrated, is around ninety-two percent water, during dehydration, blood becomes thick and resistance to blood flow leads to higher blood pressure.

  1. Skin Problems

Dehydration causes problems with the skin because the expulsion of toxins is impaired. Skin issues such as psoriasis and dermatitis and discoloration can happen.

  1. Digestive Problems

Low levels of water and alkaline minerals like magnesium and calcium can cause problems in the digestive system, such as gastritis, acid reflux and ulcer.

Get Rid Of Bad Breath Permanently With Just 1 Simple Ingredient!

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Admin | September 26, 2016 | Healthy Recipes | No Comments

Unfortunately, the real and ugly truth is that everyone wakes up with breath that is not fresh in the morning. This is because bacteria keep multiplying in the mouth at night and there is no continuous flow of saliva to get wash it away as is the case during waking hours. This is easily sorted out when the teeth are brushed and flossed. Eating specific foods such as onions, garlic and heavily spiced food can also leave one with bad breath. Again, this is easily taken care of with a toothbrush and toothpaste or some gum. But, if the problem goes beyond this for you and bad breath persists throughout the day, then it is necessary to take measures to get rid of bad breath that go beyond brushing and flossing the teeth.

And, once again, not everyone who has bad breath is aware that they have the problem. People’s odd reactions when you open your mouth to speak are a clue but there are ways to confirm your suspicions. The scientific way is to use a bad breath meter which measures the quantity of sulfides in your breath. The experts say that one way to find out if your breath smells is to take a piece of gauze and wipe it on your tongue. If the gauze comes out with a yellow color or with a smell, it is an indicator of high levels of sulfides in your body. Sulfides are the cause of bad breath. Another way is to lick the back of your hand and smell it after 10 minutes. If they are present, sulfur salts will remain and they will smell. A third way is to floss your teeth at the back and smell the floss. But, don’t worry, because we have the right answer for you and you just need one simple ingredient:

Baking Soda:

Yes, you got that right, baking soda is a natural way to freshen up your breath. How it works – well, it works by actually neutralizing built-up acids stuck to your teeth and tongue. You’ve got two options for using baking soda to battle bad breath. The first is to dissolve a half-teaspoon of baking soda in water, and swish it around as you would with mouthwash. The other involves dampening your toothbrush, and then dipping it into the baking soda before brushing up. If you’re diligent with either method, you can expect to see a reduction in bad breath for the long term. And trust me, you’ll be amazed by the results! We really hope you find this article helpful and don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. Thank you and have a good one!

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Study Says This Is the Shocking Reason You Should Never Ask for Lemon on Your Drink

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Whether it is an ice cold glass of water, your favorite drink or a gin and tonic, a slice of lemon is always a refreshing addition.

But did you know the microbes found on your lemon slice have the potential to cause infectious diseases?

That is according to a study which was published in the Journal of Environmental Health in 2007. The study involved researchers swabbing lemon slices that were added on their drinks at 21 different restaurants.

But How Hygienic Is It to Add a Slice of Lemon to Your Drink?

In an effort to make water less bland and more appealing to the palate, many are putting slices of lemon or other fruits into their water. This is a popular method which is used for detox and cleanses.

Study

But according to a study, putting lemon in your water can actually undo the benefits of drinking water. Why is this? It’s because fruits are a notorious carrier of bacteria.

In a 2007 study which was published in the Journal of Environmental Health, researchers looked into the cleanliness of various lemon slices in 21 different restaurants.

Researchers swabbed each lemon slice and found that just under 70% of samples produced some sort of microbial growth.

“The microbes found on the samples of lemon in their investigation all have the potential to cause infectious diseases at various body sites, although its likelihood was not determined in this study,” explained the researchers.

The researchers further stated that “Patrons of restaurants should be aware that lemon slices which are added to beverages may have potentially pathogenic microbes.”

As per Philip Tierno, PhD, a clinical professor of pathology and microbiology at the New York University School of Medicine and the author of The Secret Life of Germs, these findings are not unique.

In various studies that were conducted by Tierno, they “Always comes up with evidence of respiratory secretions, contamination from the skin and fecal matter” on the skin of the fruit.

“People are handling and touching the lemon in your glass and then place it in a container or cup and then pick-up the slices later to drop into a drink and place them on the rim of glasses”, he explained.

This is how those lemon wedges and slices can be contaminated.

Conclusion

But, fortunately the researchers have revealed a couple of ways you can reduce the chances of having contaminated fruit in your glass.

First is to make sure you wash your hands before you slice up the fruit. Or if you are in a bar, you should keep an eye out on the bartender’s cleanliness, for example if they are using a dirty towel.

Another option is to avoid having a slice in your glass or you could just go for a vodka Martini, as straight alcohol will kill any bacteria.

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Twelve Remedies for Treating MRSA at Home

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Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA is a very contagious infection of the skin. MRSA is a result of bacteria infecting a cut or wound. Individuals with weakened immune systems are more prone to it. It can become a grave threat if left unchecked. Immediate treatment is of utmost importance. And you can also find some home remedies for treating MRSA.

Causes of MRSA

So as we mentioned, the direct cause is bacteria on wounds or cuts, and a weakened immune system. Physical contact with people with MRSA as well as with objects that were used by people with MRSA, like door handles and towels, could also lead to infection. Other causes include surgeries, burns, ulcers, other skin outbreaks, taking too much antibiotics, and poor physical hygiene.

Symptoms

Some symptoms include inflammation, red pimples or boils with pus coming out, swollen skin, and pain in the area.

Here are some of the remedies for MRSA you can find at home.

  1. Manuka Honey

Extremely safe and easy to use, manuka honey is a natural treatment for MRSA. This is a medicinal type of honey, unlike the ones we see being sold in the market. Just apply manuka on the MRSA infection for fast and effective treatment. It’s great against bacteria, and soothes and relieves the infection.

  1. Tea Tree Oil

This is also great against bacteria. Apply the oil on the MRSA wound for a quick healing.

  1. Oregano Oil

Though, oregano oil results in the irritation of the skin, it can be applied on the MRSA-affected area.

  1. Olive Leaf Extract

This has oleuropein, a compound that combats MRSA and similar infections.

  1. Thyme

Thyme oil, another great oil against MRSA infection, should be taken internally because it may irritate the skin.

  1. Garlic

There is no better antibiotic against MRSA infections than garlic. Mashed garlic on the affected areas should provide a quick and easy cure.

  1. Grapefruit Seed Extract

You can apply grapefruit seed extract to quickly cure the infection. It is also a good remedy to treat a MRSA infection.

  1. Turmeric

It is widely known that turmeric has a lot of health benefits as well as healing properties. It is excellent against MRSA as well. Just rub turmeric paste on the MRSA infection. It relieves the inflammation and prevents infection from spreading.

  1. Rosemary Oil

This is another great oil which acts as a cure against MRSA.

  1. Eucalyptus Oil:

Mix in eucalyptus oil with small amounts of tea tree, lavender, oregano, or rosemary oils. This will soothe the MRSA-caused boils.

  1. Echinacea :

A cream with fifteen percent Echinacea should be good enough. Just apply this on the infection for a quick cure. It both heals and cleans the wound of bacteria.

  1. Lapachol

Boil lapachol in a cup of water for ten to fifteen minutes. Consume the tea two to eight times a day. It’s a great healer of MRSA.

Below are some of the homeopathic remedies.

  1. Aconitum

This is also known as the homeopathic vitamin C which can also heal MRSA infections.

  1. Belladona

This will come in handy when the MRSA-infected area changes into a bright-red color.

  1. Pulsatilla

This is more often given to children and women with MRSA infections.

Finally, I want to discuss ways to stop MRSA from happening. First, you should stay away from people with MRSA, or at the very least, do not have physical contact with them. Do not use things used by people with MRSA. Always take a bath right away once you finish working and find yourself drenched in sweat – infections thrive on moisture. Always cleanse cuts and wounds. Keep them covered up.

Drink Papaya Leaf Juice to Cure Many Health Problems!

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Well, it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a healthy vegetable, leaf or herb to add to your existing juice recipes or something entirely new to try – we really think that you should definitely include papaya leaf juice. Well, since few people actually eat papaya leaves, juicing it is a great way to take advantage of its tremendous health benefits. Many different studies have discovered that the phytonutrient compounds in papaya leaves act in synergy to display a strong antioxidant and immune enhancing impact in the bloodstream. Papain, alkaloids and phenolic compounds are responsible for their positive biological effects. The enzymes papain and chymopapain are the two biologically active components of papaya. They aid in digesting proteins and are widely used for treating indigestion, bloating, and other digestive disorders. In addition, the alkaloid compounds, carpaine, pseudocarpaine and dehydrocarpaine demonstrate chemo-preventive effects.

You should also know that the pure isolated alkaloids and their synthetic derivatives are used as basic medicinal agents because of their antispasmodic, analgesic, and bacterial properties. The phenolic compounds, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, quercetin and kaempferol exhibit potent antioxidant effect. Papaya leaves are also high in minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron and manganese.

Papaya Leaf Juice – Health Benefits:

There are dozens of reasons that you may want to try papaya leaf juice, and here is just a short list of the amazing things it can do.

  • Blood platelet production: first, you should know that maintaining a high number of blood platelets is extremely important after a serious illness, especially with diseases like dengue that cause blood platelets to drop to dangerously low levels. A recent study has found that papaya leaf juice significantly increases blood platelet production.
  • Supports the liver: due to its very potent cleansing effect of papaya leaf juice for the liver, it is the basis of healing for many chronic diseases, especially of the liver, such as jaundice, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
  • Prevents diseases: you should also know that the papaya leaf juice contains acerogenin that may be used to prevent many dangerous diseases, including malaria, dengue, and cancer. This supports the immune system and naturally fights viral and bacterial invaders in the body.
  • Boosts energy levels:Papaya leaf juice does such a good job of cleansing and healing that drinking it daily can help improve your energy levels and help you get started on the day more quickly. It could possibly be helpful for improving chronic fatigue.
  • Supports your digestive systems: these super healthy leaves also contain papain, chymopapain, protease and amylase enzymes that are helpful in properly breaking down proteins, carbs and helping with digestion. Individuals with digestive disorders may find this juice healing and help regulate the digestive system. This very potent antimicrobial juice reduces inflammation of the stomach lining and heals peptic ulcers by killing harmful bacteria such as the H. Pylori bacteria.
  • Minimizes inflammation: we all know that inflammation is a common side effect of illnesses and allergies. The anti-inflammatory properties in papaya leaf juice is helpful for reducing inflammation, and possibly also reduce chemotherapy side effects.
  • Regulate menstruation disorders:you should also know that drinking papaya leaf juice may reduce PMS symptoms and possibly regulate menstruation cycles due to its very potent healing properties that balances hormones.
  • Protects cardiovascular health: the powerful antioxidants in papaya leaf boosts the immune system, greatly improves blood circulation, dilates vessels and protects heart health from stroke and diseases.
  • Naturally lowers blood sugar levels: this super healthy juice also improves insulin sensitivity that helps regulate blood sugar levels. The high antioxidants content is helpful to decrease the secondary complications of diabetes such as fatty liver, kidney damage and greatly reduces oxidative stress.

The experts say that there are several ways to consume papaya leaf juice.

First, you can make papaya leaf juice – well, if you have a juicer, you can simply put the (cleaned) leaves through your juicer to extract the juice. It’s very simple – juice and store away a small bottle of the juice in the fridge to be consumed within 4-5 days. You can mix it with your regular juice for it to be more palatable. But, if you don’t have a juicer, a blender might do. Crush about 10 leaves and put into your blender with a cup of pure drinking water. Blend the leaves and strain out the juice using a cheese or muslin cloth. And, be very careful, because papaya leaf juice is very bitter and extremely potent. Start with only one tablespoon a day and work up to a maximum of two tablespoons a day, if taking for therapeutic purpose.

Or, you can make a tea infusion – here’s what you need to do: you should use about 10 medium-to-large leaves to about two liters of water (about two quarts). Boil the leaves in the water till it’s reduced to about half the quantity. Leave it to cool, discard the leaves and consume in small doses as needed. The tea may be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, but drink it as fresh as possible to benefit from its nutrients. You can also consume the leaf e extract – the experts say that papaya leaf extracts are available as capsules, tea leaves and tincture. Be sure to choose non-GMO and organic extracts as papaya is mostly GMO in the U.S. Here’s a good place to buy quality papaya leaf extract. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share!

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Here’s How You Can Clean The Blood Vessels By Way of Baking Soda

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You can now get rid of bad cholesterol and further facilitate deep cleansing of blood vessels with an all-natural powerful mixture that you need to drink in the morning.

With high levels of blood fats or cholesterol, millions of people are struggling today due to hectic lifestyle and also in part of their genetic disposition. Ideally, normal cholesterol level should only be between 4.60 and 6.20 mmol/L.

Good news is that an all-natural syrup has been proven to effectively normalize high cholesterol altogether. You may now cleanse the blood vessels with the help of baking soda. One cup of this drink will surely remove bad cholesterol in no time!

What you need:

  • 1 kilogram of lemon
  • 5 to 6 sprigs of parsley
  • 3 liters of water
  • 1 bag of baking soda

How to do it:

  1. First off, wash the lemons thoroughly with cold water, then soak it in water water. After this, pour the baking soda into the mixture. Allow the mixture to stand for about 60 minutes.
  2. Chop parley into smaller pieces.
  3. Finely chop the lemon together with the rind.
  4. Place the parsley and lemon in a pot and mix it in with three liters of water
  5. Cook this mixture in low heat for about 3 hours
  6. Once cooked, drain the mixture.
  7. After cooking, you will be able to produce 1.5 liters of syrup.

Ideally, you need to drink 1 cup of syrup every morning with an empty stomach. The preparation is good for 15 days when you drink it daily.

Can Brain ‘Pacemaker’ Improve Lives of Head Trauma Patients?

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THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Deep brain stimulation — a technique that sends targeted electrical impulses to certain areas of the brain — may help people who’ve had a traumatic brain injury gain more independence, a new study suggests.

“Traumatic brain injury is a common condition with over 80,000 new cases of disability each year,” said Dr. Ali Rezai. He’s director of the Neurological Institute at Ohio State University in Columbus.

“There are few treatment options to help these individuals. The outcomes of this study demonstrate, however, improvements in disability, functional outcomes, independence, behavioral and emotional regulation, and self-control after two years with DBS [deep brain stimulation] treatment,” Rezai said.

Traumatic brain injury can negatively affect memory and thinking, awareness, judgment, decision-making, problem solving and behavioral self-regulation, Rezai noted.

The DBS system is made up of three parts: the lead (or electrode); the extension; and the pulse generator (essentially the batteries), according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

The lead is surgically placed in the area of the brain to be stimulated. The extension is a wire that’s implanted from the head, under the skin, through the neck and shoulders to connect the pulse generator to the lead. The pulse generator is implanted under the skin in the collarbone area, NINDS explained.

Rezai and his colleagues investigated the effects of deep brain stimulation in four patients. All had suffered severe brain damage in automobile crashes six to 21 years earlier.

The patients didn’t have problems with being awake or alert, but they were significantly impaired when it came to performing daily life functions. All required daily supervision and couldn’t be alone overnight. Three needed assistance with dressing, grooming and using the toilet.

When doctors implanted the DBS system in the patients, the lead was connected to stimulate the damaged areas of the brain with electrical impulses.

After two years of treatment, the researchers reported that three of the four participants demonstrated behavioral and emotional improvements, and substantial gains in functional independence.

The investigators saw improvements in alertness and engagement among all four participants. Two needed less assistance with the activities of daily living, and three of the four increased their involvement in activities outside of the home.

“Although this is a small study, we are cautiously optimistic in that scientists reported some encouraging results in helping traumatic brain injury patients with their behavioral and their emotional difficulties,” said Dr. Eugene Lai. He’s a professor of neurology and neuroscience at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas.

Lai added that deep brain stimulation has been a well-established procedure for treating Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement.

Lai stressed that additional larger studies are needed to confirm these traumatic brain injury findings and to refine the treatment.

“With Parkinson’s disease, we know the neurophysiology well,” Lai explained. “It is a little more difficult to use it on patients with brain injury. Brain injury is not as well defined, and it is still not clear yet as to which targets [in the brain] work the best.”

Although this study focused on just a few car accident victims, Rezai said the technique might be applied to those who have suffered head injuries related to sports or other causes.

He said the procedure had no major risks, complications or significant adverse events.

Lai added that infection is probably the most common side effect, although this side effect is “relatively rare.”

Rezai said further exploration is needed to understand the exact mechanism of how the treatment works on brain injury. Also, this research was “open label,” meaning both the scientists and the patients were aware of the treatment being administered. Rezai indicated that a future trial should be bigger and tested against a placebo (a sham form of therapy).

The study was published recently in the journal Neurosurgery.

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCES: Ali Rezai, M.D., director, Neurological Institute, Ohio State University, Columbus; Eugene Lai, M.D., professor of neurology and neuroscience, Houston Methodist Hospital; August 2016, Neurosurgery

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Heavy Drinking Can Harm the Aging Brain

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THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) — As people age, the harmful effects of heavy drinking can take a toll on key brain functions, such as memory, attention and learning, a new study shows.

Researchers led by Adam Woods, of the University of Florida’s department of aging and geriatric research, asked 31 men and 35 women to complete a series of comprehensive brain tests.

The volunteers were divided into groups based on their level of alcohol intake: heavy drinkers, moderate drinkers or non-drinkers.

About 53 percent of the study group had a lifetime history of some period of alcohol dependence, the team said, and 21 were considered current heavy drinkers.

The test results of the latter group were compared to the results of the 45 non-drinkers and moderate drinkers. Woods’ team tracked brain functions such as attention, learning, memory, motor function, verbal function and thinking speed.

The study found that older people who were heavy drinkers had lower scores on tests of so-called cognitive function — worse learning skills, memory and motor function.

A lifetime history of alcohol dependence was also linked with worse learning, memory and motor function, the researchers reported. These people also had reductions in their attention or executive function (which includes reasoning and working memory), regardless of their age, the findings showed.

“It is not surprising that lifetime alcohol dependence would have long-term adverse effects on cognition [thinking], nor is it surprising that heavy alcohol use in older adults would also be associated with worse cognition,” said Dr. Marc Gordon, chief of neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y. He reviewed the new findings.

Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein directs geriatric education at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. She agreed with Gordon that “the findings should not come as a surprise, since it is well known that alcohol at any age, from birth to death, is toxic for brain cells.”

And she pointed out that the effects of heavy drinking may be especially hazardous for the elderly, many of whom are taking several medications.

“Medication regimens can be negatively affected by the use of alcohol,” Wolf-Klein said. For this and other reasons, “use of alcohol is better avoided altogether in older adults — or at least reported and discussed openly with their primary care doctors,” she said.

The study was published Sept. 22 in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

— Mary Elizabeth Dallas

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCES: Marc Gordon, M.D., chief of neurology, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, N.Y.; Gisele Wolf-Klein, M.D., director, geriatric education, Northwell Health, Great Neck, N.Y.; Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, news release, Sept. 22, 2016

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Scientists Zero In on Cause of Rare, Disfiguring Skin Disorder

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Scientists Zero In on Cause of Rare, Disfiguring Skin Disorder

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THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The rare genetic skin condition ichthyosis leaves those affected with red, scaly skin. Now, scientists say they may have pinpointed both the cause of the disease and a potential treatment.

“These patients are tremendously disfigured by this skin disease,” explained lead researcher Dr. Amy Paller, an attending physician at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

“It can be painful, itchy and easily gets infected. They may have trouble using their hands and walking,” she said in a hospital news release.

The disorder has long baffled scientists, Paller said. However, her team’s research may have identified the underlying cause of ichthyosis, and it’s similar to what drives a far more common skin condition — psoriasis.

Paller and her team discovered that a part of the immune system, known as the Th17 pathway, is overly active in people with ichthyosis. The more active the pathway, the greater the severity of the disorder, she explained.

After determining the underlying cause for the condition, she found that the biologic drug secukinumab (Cosentyx) — currently used to treat psoriasis — may also work for ichthyosis.

Like ichthyosis, psoriasis is associated with an overactive Th17 pathway.

Paller, who said she has researched ichthyosis for the past three decades, added that patients with the disorder have traveled from remote areas across the world to be evaluated by her.

The Chicago researcher said she’ll soon begin testing the effectiveness of secukinumab against ichthyosis in clinical trials. The drug works by targeting the immune system and calming overactivity in this pathway, Paller said.

The research was published on Sept. 19 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

— Mary Elizabeth Dallas

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: Northwestern Medicine, news release, Sept. 19, 2016

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Tamoxifen OK for Breast Cancer Patients Without Uterine Abnormalities: Study

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THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) — For most women, taking the breast cancer drug tamoxifen doesn’t increase their risk of uterine cancer, a new study suggests.

For women who don’t already have precancerous abnormalities in the uterine lining (endometrium), the risk is small, according to the Loyola Medicine study. The researchers said a pretreatment ultrasound may ease women’s concerns.

“Many women who would benefit from taking tamoxifen fail to do so because they fear getting endometrial cancer,” first author Dr. Ronald Potkul said in a Loyola news release. “Our study found that for women who did not have endometrial abnormalities when they began taking tamoxifen, there was a very low rate of developing pre-malignant conditions.”

Potkul is chairman of obstetrics and gynecology and director of gynecologic oncology for the Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill.

The study, funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, involved nearly 300 postmenopausal women. All had a type of early stage breast cancer known as estrogen receptor-positive cancer. That means cancer cells get signals from estrogen that spur them to grow.

The women, whose average age was 59, were randomly selected to take tamoxifen, either alone or along with the hormone progestin.

Tamoxifen is a highly effective drug used to treat breast cancer and to help prevent it in women at high risk for the disease, the researchers said.

The study authors theorized that taking progestin along with tamoxifen would reduce patients’ odds of developing abnormal changes in the uterine lining that could lead to cancer.

The women had ultrasounds of their uterus when the tamoxifen study began, after two years and again after five years.

Two years in, only 6 percent of the 89 women in the tamoxifen-only group had uterine abnormalities — much lower than the 30 percent that the study authors had projected.

Five abnormalities were found in the tamoxifen-only group, and one in the group taking tamoxifen with progestin, according to the study published in npj Breast Cancer. The authors said that difference is insignificant.

None of the abnormalities was cancerous, and only one more, also not cancerous, was found after five years.

The study authors said their findings could be affected by the fact that all participants had ultrasounds before taking tamoxifen. If they showed a set level of thickening in the uterine lining, a biopsy was done. Women with abnormal biopsies were not included in the study.

The authors said more study is needed before making broad treatment changes.

— Mary Elizabeth Dallas

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: Loyola Medicine, news release, Sept. 16, 2016

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