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By Mid-Century, Heat Waves Could Cover Far Bigger Areas

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Climate change could trigger much bigger heat waves by mid-century, U.S. researchers report.

Previous research has predicted that the number and intensity of heat waves will increase, but this study is the first to examine changes in their potential physical size.

“As the physical size of these affected regions increases, more people will be exposed to heat stress,” said lead author Brad Lyon, an associate research professor at the University of Maine in Orono.

“Larger heat waves would also increase electrical loads and peak energy demand on the grid as more people and businesses turn on air conditioning in response,” he added.

The statistics are alarming.

With medium greenhouse gas emission levels, the average size of heat waves could grow 50% by mid-century, according to the study. With high emission levels, their average size could increase 80%, and more extreme heat waves could more than double in size, it predicted.

The study, published Oct. 7 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, was partly funded by the Climate Observations and Monitoring Program of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Program Office.

Predictions about the growing size of heat waves could help utilities plan for the future, according to the researchers.

“Heat wave size is another dimension of extreme heat that people don’t necessarily think of,” Lyon said in a NOAA news release. “It’s a different vantage point from which to view them and assess their impacts.”

The study also found that the length and severity of heat waves could increase substantially, which came as no surprise to the researchers.

“An increase in attributes like magnitude and duration is consistent with expectations of a warming climate,” Lyon said. “What is new in our study is the way we calculated them, which allowed us to consider size as a new heat wave dimension.”

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Sources

SOURCE: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, news release, Oct. 7, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Nike Makes Waves with Kyrie X SpongeBob Collection

Nike and Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products (VNCP) have announced the launch of the Kyrie x SpongeBob SquarePants collection. The collection features five shoes inspired by the signature characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as apparel and accessories, including t-shirts, a hoodie, socks and backpacks. The crossover is the latest part of the show’s 20th anniversary celebration to kick off this year.

Basketball superstar Kyrie Irving’s latest collection is suited for on-court competition and off-court jellyfishing with dedicated colorways for favorite characters. The three high-top sneakers in the collection showcase the signature Kyrie 5 silhouette in bright yellow for SpongeBob, pink and green tones for Patrick and turquoise accents for Squidward. The low-cut silhouette of the Kyrie Low 2 pays homage to the currency-crazy crustacean, Mr. Krabs, as well as a Sandy Cheeks version with colors inspired by her iconic space suit.

“What makes our collaboration with Kyrie and Nike so special is that we are celebrating SpongeBob’s 20th Anniversary with one of SpongeBob’s biggest genuine fans,” said Jose Castro, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Collaborations, VNCP. “Everything from the characters Kyrie chose and how they were designed into the line was done from a true fan’s perspective, and it shows. The sneakers, clothes and accessories became extensions of SpongeBob’s world, and we know fans everywhere will love this collection, just as much as we loved creating it with Kyrie.”

Kyrie x SpongeBob SquarePants will be available in adult and kids sizes from August 10 on Nike.com and in-store. In Europe, the collection will also be available at Kickz stores


Animation Magazine

More Back-to-Back Heat Waves Will Come With Climate Change

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 — Here’s another health danger climate change will deliver in the coming years: New research warns that back-to-back heat waves that go on for days will become more common as the planet warms.

The elderly and the poor will be the least prepared to weather this threat, the investigators noted. But hospital ERs and emergency service providers will also be vulnerable to the public health havoc that such “compound heat waves” will likely inflict.

“By compound heat wave, we mean multiple heat waves — or possibly individual extremely hot days — occurring one after the other separated by short cooler breaks,” explained study author Jane Wilson Baldwin. She’s a postdoctoral research associate with the Princeton Environmental Institute in New Jersey.

An example, Baldwin said, would be five extremely hot days, followed by a respite of a couple of cooler days, and then three more extremely hot days.

Such repetitive scorchers are not confined to some distant future, the study found. They are already here, with heat waves and droughts currently pegged as the direct cause of roughly 20% of natural disaster deaths in the continental United States, more than any other single natural cause.

“However, these events will become significantly more common with global warming,” noted Baldwin.

“In the present climate, only about 10% of heat waves exhibit these compound structures. Without drastic changes to carbon emissions, we project that by 2050 that proportion should rise to about 30%, indicating a dramatic change in the character of heat waves, and possibly how society needs to prepare for them,” she said.

The study looked at a series of climate simulations generated by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, in conjunction with the Princeton Environmental Institute and its Atmosphere Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

The simulations examined weather patterns dating as far back as 1861 and as far ahead as 2100. They used two possible carbon dioxide (CO2) emission scenarios: one with levels steady at 1990 numbers (which have long since been exceeded), and another in which 1990 levels doubled.

At 1990 levels heat waves were minimal, adding up to about 10 days per summer, with only 10% subject to compound heat waves.

But in the doubling scenario, the number of heat wave days was pegged as eventually rising sevenfold, with tropical regions most at risk. A quarter of those days were subject to compound heat wave cycles.

Overall, heat waves were projected to become more common and to last longer, with fewer cool days in between.

Baldwin and her colleagues reported their findings recently in the journal Earth’s Future.

For now, the team “stopped short of directly quantifying the human impacts of these events,” noted Baldwin.

But grave public health results are a distinct possibility. For example, an overtaxed electric grid may lead to increasingly frequent and lengthy blackouts and brownouts, rendering air conditioners useless, and leaving increasing numbers of people — particularly seniors — without access to lifesaving cool shelter. This may also be accompanied by a weakened food supply chain, due to the heat-prompted withering of agriculture and livestock resources, Baldwin said.

What’s more, over the next few decades the projected heat wave trends are likely unavoidable, she said.

“Global warming and heat wave changes through 2050 are essentially locked in,” Baldwin said. And that means adaptation is key, “such as increased AC and improved building ventilation; staying in shady, cool places and drinking more water; [and] hospital wards preparing for potentially more frequent heat stress victims.”

The problem is that “this adaptation is likely to be relatively easy for rich countries and people, and much harder for the poor and otherwise socioeconomically underprivileged, who already suffer the most from heat waves in the present,” Baldwin explained.

Kristie Ebi is director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the University of Washington in Seattle. She agreed that going forward, “individuals and communities need to be better prepared to manage temperatures outside the range of what we consider normal.

“The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will increase the number and intensity of heat waves over the next couple of decades,” Ebi said.

“Based on the current number of illnesses and deaths during heat waves,” Ebi added, “it is reasonable to assume the numbers would increase with more compound heat waves, if additional actions to increase awareness and preparedness are not taken.”

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about the perils of extreme heat.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: May 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Lock Eyes With Your Baby, Synchronize Brain Waves?

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Gazing at your baby may do more than strengthen that bond with your newborn, a new study suggests.

Eye contact between parents and their infants actually helps synchronize their brain waves, researchers report.

“When the adult and infant are looking at each other, they are signaling their availability and intention to communicate with each other. We found that both adult and infant brains respond to a gaze signal by becoming more in sync with their partner,” said study lead author Victoria Leong.

She’s an affiliated lecturer in the department of psychology at Cambridge University in England.

“This mechanism could prepare parents and babies to communicate, by synchronizing when to speak and when to listen, which would also make learning more effective,” Leong said in a university news release.

Previous studies have shown that when parents and their infants interact, it leads to synchronization of things such as gaze, emotions and heart rate, the researchers noted. But it wasn’t clear if their brain activity also synchronizes.

To find out, the Cambridge researchers conducted experiments with 36 parents and their babies.

They measured patterns of brain activity via electrodes in skull caps worn by the participants. They compared the infants’ brain activity to that of the adult who was singing nursery rhymes to the infant.

The investigators discovered that eye contact between the two triggered brain wave synchronization.

Study co-author Sam Wass stressed, “We don’t know what it is, yet, that causes this synchronous brain activity. We’re certainly not claiming to have discovered telepathy!

“In this study, we were looking at whether infants can synchronize their brains to someone else, just as adults can. And we were also trying to figure out what gives rise to the synchrony,” said Wass, who’s also with Cambridge’s department of psychology.

The study was published Nov. 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: University of Cambridge, news release, Nov. 29, 2017

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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New Theory On Stents’ Usefulness Makes ‘Big Waves’

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Heart experts are cautiously embracing the results of a new, landmark clinical trial that questions the value of opening blocked arteries to relieve chest pain.

Chest pain sufferers who received a stent — a tiny wire mesh tube — to reopen an obstructed artery did not show any more improvement than people who only took medicine to improve their condition, the British researchers reported.

“This definitely has made big waves,” said Dr. Samin Sharma, director of interventional cardiology at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

But cardiologists can’t say whether the trial, published Nov. 2 in The Lancet journal, will have much immediate impact on clinical decision-making.

For one, the trial focused on a set of patients with relatively mild symptoms, and it did not include a long enough follow-up to see whether those who didn’t receive stents wound up with ever-worsening heart problems.

“As a physician who has cared for many patients with coronary artery disease, I have grave concerns about overgeneralizing the results of the trial to patients with more severe symptoms and limitations from their coronary artery disease,” said Dr. Ajay Kirtane, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City.

Stents are proven lifesavers for people suffering from a heart attack due to a blocked artery, and also undeniably improve the health of people with unpredictable bouts of chest pain, said Sharma and Dr. Sidney Smith, an American Heart Association spokesman and professor with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

But there’s been some serious debate over the benefits of stenting in people with stable angina — predictable, short-lived chest pain that occurs when stress is placed on the heart. Angina is typically caused by the buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries.

The latest trial addressed this question using methods relatively unique in modern medicine, cardiologists said.

The researchers randomly performed a “sham” stenting procedure on half of 200 patients with stable angina, to see if they experienced the same improvement as those who did get a partially blocked artery reopened with a stent. All of the patients received aggressive drug treatment for their chest pain.

Continued

The findings have rocked the heart health world. Patients who underwent the fake procedure improved just as much as those who received stents. They reported less chest pain and improved their performance on treadmill tests.

However, questions already are being raised about how applicable the results will be for the world at large.

The British trial involved a very select group of chest pain patients, heart experts noted.

“The fact that it took 3 1/2 years and five large hospitals to enroll only 200 patients suggests that this strategy was applied to a small fraction of patients who were seen at those hospitals,” said Dr. Cindy Grines, an interventional cardiologist with Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

For example, the patients’ chest pain had to come from only one blocked artery, said Dr. Mary Norine Walsh, president of the American College of Cardiology.

“They didn’t include anybody who had more than one vessel seriously narrowed,” Walsh said. “We can’t extrapolate this study to other patients with more than one vessel involved.”

The patients also appeared to be in relatively good health, and initially were able to spend more than eight minutes on a treadmill. That “suggests this is a very low-risk group in whom one could have predicted patients may not benefit from” receiving a stent, Grines said.

But the greatest concern over the trial involves the six-week follow-up period, which many considered too short.

“The true impact clinically of this trial requires more than a six-week follow-up,” Smith said. “We need to know what happens to the unstented lesion over a longer period of time.”

Previous trials of stenting and other heart procedures typically have followed patients out for six to nine months or even longer, Sharma said.

For example, another clinical trial found that it took at least six months for patients who didn’t receive a stent to run into trouble, either suffering a heart attack or requiring an emergency angioplasty, Sharma said.

“The benefit of the stent procedure may not be known at six weeks,” Sharma said. “It may take a little longer. If I had designed the study, I would have kept it at six months.”

Continued

Walsh agreed. “Whether or not long-term people do as well on medical therapy is really not known. This study doesn’t answer that question,” she said.

Longer follow-up trials will be needed to see whether a purely drug-based approach is better in the long run for patients with stable angina, experts said.

In the meantime, the latest study could promote better conversations between cardiologists and their patients, Walsh said.

“For the patient who is similar to the patients in this trial, that type of patient with one-vessel disease should certainly be in conversation with his or her cardiologist about whether maximizing medical therapy would be as beneficial,” Walsh said.

“There are many patients who may prefer stenting, who don’t wish to be on as many medications, for example,” Walsh continued. “A lot of this really will come down to doctors and patients talking to each other, reviewing this important new piece of data, and making a decision together.”

The trial is also a reminder that cardiologists “have to be more careful and analytical of which patients receive a stent,” Sharma said.

One relatively recent innovation involves a test of fractional flow reserve (FFR), which measures blood pressure and blood flow through partial blockages of an artery, Sharma said.

Nearly every catheterization lab in the country has one of these devices, which have been shown to accurately predict who needs a stent, regardless of how blocked their artery has become, Sharma said.

In fact, all of the patients in this latest trial underwent an FFR test, and the results showed that about 30 percent had an FFR that would have led them to be placed on medication rather than receive a stent, Sharma noted.

“At present in stable angina, we do additional testing to see whether that blockage is going to give the patient trouble in the future,” Sharma said, estimating that about 4 out of 6 patients are placed on drug therapy following their FFR test.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Samin Sharma, M.D., director, interventional cardiology, Mount Sinai Health System, New York City; Cindy Grines, M.D., interventional cardiologist, Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.; Mary Norine Walsh, M.D., president, American College of Cardiology; Sidney Smith, M.D., professor, University of North Carolina School of Medicine; Ajay Kirtane, M.D., director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York City

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Sound Waves: Rx for High Blood Pressure, Migraine?

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A new sound-based therapy appears to reduce blood pressure and ease migraine symptoms, according to a pair of small studies.

The therapy initially reads brain activity through scalp sensors. That activity is then converted into a series of audible tones. The tones are then reflected back to the brain through earbuds in a matter of milliseconds, explained Dr. Charles Tegeler, a professor of neurology with Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“Your brain gets to listen to the song that it’s playing. It gets to look at itself in an acoustic mirror,” said Tegeler, who served as senior researcher for both studies.

“Somehow that rapid update gives the brain a chance to auto-calibrate, self-optimize, relax and reset,” Tegeler said.

One study found that 10 men and women achieved significant reductions in their blood pressure after going through an average of nearly 18 sessions over about 10 days.

These patients achieved an average reduction in their systolic blood pressure — the top number — from 152 to 136. The diastolic pressure — the bottom number — went down from an average of 97 to 81. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg or lower, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Dr. Raymond Townsend, a professor and director of the hypertension program at Penn Medicine, said the reduction created by this technology is on par with that achieved using blood pressure medication.

“This is not a drug, and it’s not technically anything invasive,” said Townsend, who is the American Heart Association’s Physician of the Year for 2016.

“If you can produce a sustained reduction in blood pressure by something like this, especially of this magnitude, you’ve got my interest,” Townsend said.

In the other study, researchers examined 52 adult migraine sufferers, providing them almost 16 sessions on average over nine days.

Two weeks after the therapy, patients reported improvements for insomnia, mood and headaches, the study found.

The sound therapy appears to help realign the autonomic nervous system by providing a form of biofeedback, said Dawn Buse, director of behavioral medicine at Montefiore Headache Center in New York City.

Continued

The autonomic nervous system unconsciously controls the function of internal organs, and regulates body functions such as heart rate, digestion and respiration.

“It is exciting to see novel work being done which may ultimately yield new effective treatment options to improve the lives of those living with migraine,” Buse said.

The therapy is called high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM). It has been tested on about 400 people in a series of studies, Tegeler said.

Previous results have shown that it can help treat people with insomnia, depression and stress anxiety. Ongoing studies are investigating its usefulness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder and symptoms of traumatic brain injury, Tegeler noted.

Larger follow-up clinical trials are being planned to confirm the results with high blood pressure and migraine, he added.

The scalp sensors detect electrical imbalances in the left and right sides of the brain. The sensors then reflect those imbalances through tones that grow more or less intense to reflect electrical activity, the researchers said.

“The brain on the right side begins to hear in the right ear what it’s doing, and the brain on the left side is hearing via the left ear what it’s doing,” Townsend said.

“Apparently the brain is smart enough to say, ‘Hey, wait a minute — the right ear is louder than the left ear or different or more intense than the other side,’ and it begins to auto-regulate,” he explained.

The autonomic nervous system plays a role in maintaining blood pressure, but doctors have been at a loss how to use it to treat high blood pressure, Townsend said.

It has two branches — the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system that continually work at odds with each other, Townsend said. The sympathetic system governs the “fight or flight” response, while the parasympathetic system governs the “stand or freeze” or “rest and digest” response, he said.

In blood pressure patients treated with HIRREM, “you see a little drop in the sympathetic and an increase in the parasympathetic, and that makes sense for seeing the changes in blood pressure that are reported here,” Townsend said.

Continued

Buse said similar biofeedback techniques also are used in migraine management, to help improve the flexibility and resiliency of the autonomic nervous system.

The sessions take a “not inconsequential amount of time,” about 90 minutes for each, Townsend noted.

However, the patient is not consciously taking part in the process, and can do other things while listening to the tones — read a book, solve puzzles or even take a nap, Tegeler said.

“This is different than many other therapies out there because there is no conscious cognitive [mental] activity required,” Tegeler said. “There is no learner in the loop.”

The research was funded by a grant from the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation Inc.

The two studies were scheduled for presentation Thursday and Friday at the American Heart Association’s meeting in Orlando. Findings presented at meetings are generally viewed as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Charles Tegeler, M.D., professor of neurology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Raymond Townsend, M.D., professor and director of the hypertension program, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia; Dawn Buse, Ph.D., associate professor, neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of behavioral medicine, Montefiore Headache Center, New York City; Sept. 15, 2016, American Heart Association meeting, Orlando, Fla.

Copyright © 2013-2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Sound Waves: An Rx for High Blood Pressure, Migraine?

FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2016 — A new sound-based therapy appears to reduce blood pressure and ease migraine symptoms, according to a pair of small studies.

The therapy initially reads brain activity through scalp sensors. That activity is then converted into a series of audible tones. The tones are then reflected back to the brain through earbuds in a matter of milliseconds, explained Dr. Charles Tegeler, a professor of neurology with Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“Your brain gets to listen to the song that it’s playing. It gets to look at itself in an acoustic mirror,” said Tegeler, who served as senior researcher for both studies.

“Somehow that rapid update gives the brain a chance to auto-calibrate, self-optimize, relax and reset,” Tegeler said.

One study found that 10 men and women achieved significant reductions in their blood pressure after going through an average of nearly 18 sessions over about 10 days.

These patients achieved an average reduction in their systolic blood pressure — the top number — from 152 to 136. The diastolic pressure — the bottom number — went down from an average of 97 to 81. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg or lower, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Dr. Raymond Townsend, a professor and director of the hypertension program at Penn Medicine, said the reduction created by this technology is on par with that achieved using blood pressure medication.

“This is not a drug, and it’s not technically anything invasive,” said Townsend, who is the American Heart Association’s Physician of the Year for 2016.

“If you can produce a sustained reduction in blood pressure by something like this, especially of this magnitude, you’ve got my interest,” Townsend said.

In the other study, researchers examined 52 adult migraine sufferers, providing them almost 16 sessions on average over nine days.

Two weeks after the therapy, patients reported improvements for insomnia, mood and headaches, the study found.

The sound therapy appears to help realign the autonomic nervous system by providing a form of biofeedback, said Dawn Buse, director of behavioral medicine at Montefiore Headache Center in New York City.

The autonomic nervous system unconsciously controls the function of internal organs, and regulates body functions such as heart rate, digestion and respiration.

“It is exciting to see novel work being done which may ultimately yield new effective treatment options to improve the lives of those living with migraine,” Buse said.

The therapy is called high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM). It has been tested on about 400 people in a series of studies, Tegeler said.

Previous results have shown that it can help treat people with insomnia, depression and stress anxiety. Ongoing studies are investigating its usefulness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder and symptoms of traumatic brain injury, Tegeler noted.

Larger follow-up clinical trials are being planned to confirm the results with high blood pressure and migraine, he added.

The scalp sensors detect electrical imbalances in the left and right sides of the brain. The sensors then reflect those imbalances through tones that grow more or less intense to reflect electrical activity, the researchers said.

“The brain on the right side begins to hear in the right ear what it’s doing, and the brain on the left side is hearing via the left ear what it’s doing,” Townsend said.

“Apparently the brain is smart enough to say, ‘Hey, wait a minute — the right ear is louder than the left ear or different or more intense than the other side,’ and it begins to auto-regulate,” he explained.

The autonomic nervous system plays a role in maintaining blood pressure, but doctors have been at a loss how to use it to treat high blood pressure, Townsend said.

It has two branches — the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system that continually work at odds with each other, Townsend said. The sympathetic system governs the “fight or flight” response, while the parasympathetic system governs the “stand or freeze” or “rest and digest” response, he said.

In blood pressure patients treated with HIRREM, “you see a little drop in the sympathetic and an increase in the parasympathetic, and that makes sense for seeing the changes in blood pressure that are reported here,” Townsend said.

Buse said similar biofeedback techniques also are used in migraine management, to help improve the flexibility and resiliency of the autonomic nervous system.

The sessions take a “not inconsequential amount of time,” about 90 minutes for each, Townsend noted.

However, the patient is not consciously taking part in the process, and can do other things while listening to the tones — read a book, solve puzzles or even take a nap, Tegeler said.

“This is different than many other therapies out there because there is no conscious cognitive [mental] activity required,” Tegeler said. “There is no learner in the loop.”

The research was funded by a grant from the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation Inc.

The two studies were scheduled for presentation Thursday and Friday at the American Heart Association’s meeting in Orlando. Findings presented at meetings are generally viewed as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

For more on controlling high blood pressure, visit the American Heart Association.

Posted: September 2016

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Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Heat Waves Are Health Threats

SATURDAY July 2, 2016, 2016 — Heat waves are more than uncomfortable, they can be deadly.

That’s especially true in large cities. And, seniors, children and people with chronic health problems are at higher risk for heat-related illness and death, according to Dr. Robert Glatter. He’s an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“Those who have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, as well as those who suffer with mental illness, may be at risk for heat-related emergencies, including heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), heat exhaustion, as well as heat stroke,” he said in a hospital news release.

“Various classes of medications including beta blockers, as well as diuretics, can impair sweating — ultimately disrupting the body’s ability to cool itself. Other medications including antihistamines, as well as antidepressants and sedatives, may also impair your ability to sweat, leading to heat-related illnesses,” Glatter said.

But young, healthy people also need to heed hot and humid weather, he added.

To beat the heat, drink water when you feel thirsty, but don’t drink more than necessary. If you’re physically active outdoors in the heat for more than an hour, it’s a good idea to consume sports drinks, Glatter said.

And watch for signs of heat-related illness, he added.

“A high pulse rate, headache, dizziness, nausea, as well as shallow breathing, may be the initial signs of dehydration that may precede heat-related illness,” Glatter said.

An air-conditioned location is the best place to be on hot and humid days. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, use a fan and a spray bottle with cool water to prevent your body from overheating, he suggested.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about extreme heat and health.

Posted: July 2016

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Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Novel Brain Cancer Treatment Taps Into Sound Waves

Experimental device seems to help more chemotherapy reach tumors, researchers report

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Brain cancer patients might benefit from an implantable ultrasound device that appears to enhance chemotherapy treatment, a small study says.

Researchers from the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris and other French institutions tested the experimental device on 15 patients with recurrent glioblastoma, a particularly deadly brain cancer. When the so-called SonoCloud was activated, sound waves opened the blood-brain barrier, letting in more chemotherapy, they said.

“The walls of the blood vessels in the brain are very difficult to cross for certain molecules,” said Frederic Sottilini, CEO of Paris-based CarThera, the company developing SonoCloud.

While this blood-brain barrier protects the brain from toxins, “it means a challenge for treating brain diseases and disorders, as 99 percent of potential therapeutic drugs are blocked by it,” he said.

“Scientists have been researching ways to bypass this barrier for over 50 years,” Sottilini said.

A U.S. cancer specialist said this experimental technique could prove to be an important achievement.

“This is significant,” said Dr. Ekokobe Fonkem, a neuro-oncologist at Baylor Scott and White’s Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center, in Temple, Texas. “One of the reasons glioblastoma, which is one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer, is very difficult to treat is because the blood-brain barrier prevents medications from getting across.”

It’s possible that this ultrasound approach could pave the way for more effective treatments, Fonkem said. “There are some medications that have potential but can’t cross the blood-brain barrier,” he noted.

But Fonkem said larger trials are needed before this device can be used in cancer treatment. “We have to see if there is any clinical benefit,” he said. “They have to show it works without increasing side effects.”

One concern, he added, is that by breaching the blood-brain barrier, you may open the door to brain infections.

“They have to make sure there is no room for bacteria to get into the brain and cause meningitis, which can be fatal,” Fonkem said.

Sottilini explained how the ultrasound device works: It’s implanted in the skull, over the area of the tumor. When activated, sound waves cause tiny beads — called microbubbles — to vibrate, temporarily opening the blood-brain barrier. This permits more of the chemo drug to reach the tumor, he said.

WebMD Health

Animated ‘Waves ’98? Wins Short Film Palme D’Or at Cannes

cannes-film-festival-150

The animated short film Waves ’98 by Lebanese director Ely Dagher has won the Palme D’Or for best short film at the Cannes Film Festival.

Waves ’98 is an artistic exploration of the director’s current relationship with his homeland of Lebanon. Dagher has been spending more time away from Lebanon, living primarily in Brussels, Belgium.

The movie beat out more than 4,500 other short films that were submitted from all across the world to earn the honor.

Here’s the trailer for the 15-minute film:

The award also qualifies Waves ’98 for the 2016 Academy Awards in the best animated short category, so animation fans will surely be hearing more about the film and its director in the months ahead.

Waves '98

Waves ’98

Injuries From Ocean Waves More Common Than Thought

SUNDAY June 23, 2013 — A study out of Delaware suggests that injuries to beachgoers caused by ocean waves are more common and severe than previously suspected, and people need to be aware of the ocean’s power — even in shallow water.

To keep safe, it’s important to swim at beaches with lifeguards, ask them about surf conditions and never turn your back to the waves, one study author suggested.

Over the past three summers, more than 1,100 ocean-wave-related injuries that required emergency room treatment were reported among Delaware beachgoers. The injuries ranged from sprains and strains to broken bones, blunt organ trauma and neck fractures. There were three deaths.

The most common types of injuries were broken collarbones, dislocated and separated shoulders, neck pain, and ankle and knee sprains.

The injuries occurred in an area called the surf zone, where many people play in the waves. This is the stretch of shoreline between the water’s edge and where the waves break. In this area, waves can hit people and slam them into the sand. Most of the injuries in this study occurred in less than two feet of water.

“Historically, the magnitude of these injuries is largely underreported,” study co-leader Paul Cowan, chief of emergency medicine at the Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, said in a University of Delaware news release. “This is the first study that documents and tracks the number of significant injuries occurring in the surf zone.”

Lifeguards at three popular Delaware beach communities — Bethany, Dewey and Rehoboth — and several state park beaches provided researchers with information on beach conditions.

Although injuries to the neck and spinal cord accounted for less than 5 percent of all cases, these patients suffered some of the most complex and life-altering injuries, Cowan said.

Overall, the findings seemed to indicate “that a lot of these folks simply don’t understand the power of the ocean, or they don’t know how to swim in ocean waves and currents,” study co-leader Wendy Carey, of the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, said in the news release.

More information

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration outlines seven dangers at the beach.

Posted: June 2013

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3DS | Denpa Men 2: Beyond the Waves Review

It’s unusual for a role-playing game to put style ahead of character development and complex battle mechanics. Yet, the lack of depth doesn’t feel egregious in the case of The Denpa Men 2: Beyond the Waves. What it lacks in complexity, it makes up for with colorful exuberance. Despite the uplifting visual style, the strength of the enemies standing in your path keeps you on your toes, and you spend so much time outfitting, capturing, and switching out your colorful cast Denpa Men to keep up with the challenge that you never miss the emotional trappings of a traditional collection of intimately connected adventurers.

The purest of motivations drive you forward here: the hunt for treasure and, ultimately, discovery. With this laser focus on the core elements of the dungeon-crawling experience, Denpa Men 2 avoids the burden of proving that its characters and story are worth your time. Instead, it allows exploration and combat to take center stage, and paints the world in a kaleidoscope of color and personality that’s often too adorable to ignore.

Your quest to rescue the abruptly abducted dwarf children at the start of the game begins with a single Denpa Man: the hero. During the hunt, you explore deep caves and tall mountains in search of the responsible party, but despite the fact that lives of children hang in the balance, your journey is a lighthearted one. Even fearsome characters, such as the diabolical King of Evil, are softened by the writing, which turns the maniacal desires of a powerful enemy into a humorous take on the naive possessiveness of children. The storyline serves only to carry your team to the next dungeon or town, but it offers a gleeful twist on RPG cliches.

Before things get serious, your randomly generated hero needs some assistance, and through his chirpy Denpa speech, he opens your eyes to the secret world of the Denpa Men. Denpas are captured through an augmented-reality interface where they float and soar about your surroundings as seen through the 3DS camera. Though their flight paths are occasionally erratic, recruiting Denpa Men is the easy part and is as simple as pointing your camera and snapping a picture.

There’s a Denpa Man for every unique Wi-Fi device in existence, and a major component of the game’s draw hinges on the near-endless variety of potential recruits. Readily available are the common Denpa Men, who have a single-colored outfit and lack antennas, which are the source of magic for some. However, if you take the time to look for Denpa Men in different real-world locations, there’s a fair chance you’ll discover some with striped outfits, oddball expressions, and powerful adornments atop their heads.

Though their expressions are more for amusement than practicality, the size and color of your squad members determine their balance of strength and agility, and elemental resistances, respectively. As in the Pokemon series, the success of any exchange in combat is defined by the elemental makeup of the attacker and the target, and preparing your team properly or haphazardly diving into a dungeon is the difference between enjoying an empowering experience or suffering an embarrassing reminder of why you should have taken the time to test the waters and form your team accordingly.

Players with experience in the first Denpa Men game eventually get to import their old hero and supporting cast into the new game, but anyone can enlist the help of other people’s Denpa Men through the use of QR codes, albeit at level 1. Their meager stats are important, because if you fail to protect them from harm, Denpa Men generated from QR codes disappear completely if left to die in battle. The benefit of this exchange is in the elemental makeup of the Denpa Men in question. Since you are limited to capturing Denpa Men in the real world, and held to the restrictions therein, a QR code may be the most reliable way to acquire a red, fire-based Denpa Man that also has an antenna with water magic, for example.

Another way would be to dye your Denpa Men through the use of flowers. You collect various seeds throughout the game, and planting them in patches of soil throughout the world yields flowers that can be used to alter your Denpa Men’s colors and elemental resistances. Growing flowers, fishing for lucrative water life to sell, and competing in the online-enabled coliseum against other teams of Denpa Men can keep you busy for hours, if not days, should you wish to extend your time with the game beyond the main story path.

GameSpot’s Reviews

Scientists Use Brain Waves to Eavesdrop on the Mind

WEDNESDAY Feb. 1, 2012 — Scientists may one day be able to read the minds of people who have lost the ability to speak, new research suggests.

In their report, published in the Jan. 31 online edition of the journal PLoS Biology, University of California, Berkeley researchers describe how they have found a way to analyze a person’s brain waves in order to reconstruct words the person hears in normal conversation.

This ability to decode electrical activity in an area of the auditory system called the superior temporal gyrus may one day enable neuroscientists to hear the imagined speech of stroke or other patients who can’t speak, or to eavesdrop on the constant, internal monologues that run through people’s minds, the researchers explained in a journal news release.

“This is huge for patients who have damage to their speech mechanisms because of a stroke or Lou Gehrig’s disease [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis] and can’t speak,” Robert Knight, a professor of psychology and neuroscience, said in the news release. “If you could eventually reconstruct imagined conversations from brain activity, thousands of people could benefit.”

However, the study’s first author, post-doctoral researcher Brian Pasley, noted that “this research is based on sounds a person actually hears, but to use this for a prosthetic device, these principles would have to apply to someone who is imagining speech.”

He explained that “there is some evidence that perception and imagery may be pretty similar in the brain. If you can understand the relationship well enough between the brain recordings and sound, you could either synthesize the actual sound a person is thinking, or just write out the words with a type of interface device.”

For the study, Pasley’s team tested two different computational models that were designed to match spoken sounds to the pattern of activity in the electrodes when a patient heard a single word. The better of the two models reproduced a sound that was close enough to the original word so that the researchers could correctly guess the word.

The aim of the research was to reveal how the human brain encodes speech, and to then pinpoint the aspects of speech that are necessary for understanding.

“At some point, the brain has to extract away all that auditory information and just map it onto a word, since we can understand speech and words regardless of how they sound,” Pasley said. “The big question is, what is the most meaningful unit of speech? A syllable, [or an even smaller unit of language, such as the sound of each letter]? We can test these hypotheses using the data we get from these recordings.”

More information

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has more about adults speech and language difficulties.

Posted: February 2012

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