Saturday, March 15, 2008

Music Therapy helps in speedy recovery from Stroke
According to researchers, listening to music for few hours a day helps in speedy recovery of patient from stroke outcomes।
A study conducted by Finnish researchers on 54 patients who suffered stroke on the right or left hemisphere middle cerebral artery, noted that those patients, who listened to music for few hours a day showed better results in verbal memory and focused attention, and generally displayed a positive mood, than others who listened to only audio books or nothing at all.
The music therapy was done for two months, as soon as the patients are admitted to the hospital. The music selections were chosen by patients themselves, and they were assessed for upto six months after the stroke.
The researchers found that three months after the stroke, verbal memory improved by 60 percent from the first-week post-stroke among music-listening patients, by 18 percent among audio book listeners and by 29 percent in non-listeners. Also focused attention and ability to control and perform mental operations improved by 17 percent among music listeners, but no improvement was found among non-listeners or audio book listeners. It was also found that the music listeners’ group was less depressed when compared to non-listeners.
This study was published in the February issue of ‘Brain’, which shows the link between stroke recovery and listening to music.
The First Author of the University of Helsinki, Teppo Sarkamo said “Based on our findings, we suggest listening to music for a couple of hours everyday during early stroke recovery phase. This when done, along with the other care and rehabilitation that the patient receives, could prove to be an easy-to-conduct and inexpensive means of facilitating cognitive and emotional recovery.”
According to researchers, music helps recovery of stroke patients due to three neural mechanisms which are: through enhanced alertness and mood mediated by a part of nervous system which plays a role in inducing pleasure, arousal, motivation, memory and reward; through direct stimulation of music for recovery of damaged areas in the brain; through the ability of brain to renew or repair its neural networks after damage।
From - ayurvedictalk।com

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vitamin D 'cuts risk of diabetes'

Exposure to sunlight allows the body to manufacture vitamin DGiving young children vitamin D supplements may reduce their risk of developing type 1 diabetes later in life, research suggests.
Children who took supplements were around 30% less likely to develop the condition than those who did not.
Type 1 diabetes results from the immune system destruction of pancreatic cells which produce the hormone insulin.
The study, by St Mary's Hospital for Women and Children, Manchester, appears in Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Type 1 diabetes is most common among people of European descent, with around two million Europeans and North Americans affected.
It is becoming increasingly common, and it is estimated that the number of new cases will rise by 40% between 2000 and 2010.
The Manchester team pooled data from five studies examining the effect of vitamin D supplementation.
Not only did the use of supplements appear to reduce the risk, the effect was dose dependent - the higher and more regular the dose, the lower the likelihood of developing the disease.
Sun exposure
Previous research has found that people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have lower concentrations of vitamin D than those without the condition.
Studies have also found that type 1 diabetes is more common in countries where exposure to sunlight - which enables the body to manufacture vitamin D - is lower.
For instance, a child in Finland was 400 times more likely to develop the disease than a child in Venezuela.
Separate research has linked low levels of vitamin D and sunlight to other autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Further evidence of vitamin D's role comes from the fact that pancreatic beta cells and immune cells carry receptors or docking bays for the active forms of the vitamin.
It is thought that vitamin D helps to keep the immune system healthy, and may protect cells from damage caused by chemicals which control inflammation.
Dr Victoria King, of the charity Diabetes UK, said: "Much more research, in particular controlled trials which compares the results when one group of people are given vitamin D supplements and one group is not, are needed before we can confirm a concrete association between vitamin D and type 1 diabetes."
Governnment experts recommend vitamin D supplementation for at least the first two years of a child's life, although the Chief Medical Officer for England has suggested supplements for the first five years is a good idea.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

India's 'healing' herb-dyed cloth

Could an ayurvastra bedspread tempt you into the land of nod?Cloth infused with the herbs of traditional Indian medicine is becoming increasingly popular as the country's stressed urban workers seek cures for conditions such as insomnia and eczema.
Wearing a special shirt is claimed to cure itchy or sore skin, while sleepless nights can be taken care of by putting a herb-infused sheet over your mattress.
The herbs are selected according to the traditional Indian medicine known as ayurvedia, with the infused cloth known as ayurvastra.
"We have selected 28 medicinal plants based on ayurvedic texts and theory - then we dip the natural cotton into it to make sleeping cloths," the chief dyeing technician of the ayurvastra project, Rajan Kay, told BBC World Service's Culture Shock programme.
"For skin problems we select a plant like indigo, and mix with the plant turmeric."
Proper effect
The main centre for ayurvedic practices is Kerala, where it has existed alongside Western medicine for two centuries.
The Keralan government is set to release a report on a local clinical trial that claims the clothes do indeed have health benefits.
And cloth which calms the nerves is certainly proving popular with stressed-out IT consultants from nearby Bangalore.

The herbs are added during the dyeing processBut Catherine Stubberfield, who has worked with textile manufactures all over the world before moving to work with ayurvastra, warned that the clothes must be combined with the right lifestyle to have the proper effect.
"I believe that wearing natural cotton, wool or silk which has been dyed naturally is going to obviously help your skin, but I think as far as the healing goes ayurvedia is a way of life," she said.
"Wearing a T-shirt made of ayurvedic dyeing is not going to cure you. What the government report will say is if you take it with ayurvedic medicine, it is OK. But it is very difficult for people from the West to understand this."