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Significant improvements in positive mood and pain scores, as well as decreases in negative mood and anxiety, were observed, the researchers said. Patients perceived BVAI as overall positive (95 per cent) and wished to participate in future art-based interventions (85 per cent).

A brief bedside art therapy may improve mood and decrease the levels of pain and anxiety in patients with cancer, a study claims. In the study published in the European Journal of Cancer Care, a bedside visual art intervention (BVAI) facilitated by art educators improved mood and reduced pain and anxiety in inpatients with haematological cancers.

The study was conducted on 19 female and two male patients admitted to the inpatient bone marrow transplant and haematologic services at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine-Rochester in the US. They were invited to participate in a BVAI where the goal of the session was to teach art technique for about 30 minutes. Significant improvements in positive mood and pain scores, as well as decreases in negative mood and anxiety, were observed, the researchers said.

Patients perceived BVAI as overall positive (95 per cent) and wished to participate in future art-based interventions (85 per cent), they said. According to the researchers, the findings indicate that experiences provided by artists within the community may be an adjunct to conventional treatments in patients with cancer-related mood symptoms and pain.

Courtesy - Indian Express

Revered like a god at one point of time, the Manipur ‘polo’ pony now survives on scraps of garbage from the road.

On the side of the world’s oldest polo ground in Imphal, one of two large hoardings sends out a strong appeal to the public: “Save Manipuri pony, the original Polo pony.” The other, simply states, “We gave the world the game of Polo.” And they did. Modern polo can be rooted back to Manipur, and is derived from the indigenous game called Sagol Kangjei, originally played with Manipuri ponies. The animals, often considered the ‘pride of Manipur’ , are believed to be the descendents of Samadon Ayangba, the winged steed of Lord Marjing, one of the many deities in Manipuri mythology. They are warrior horses, among the  five equine breeds in the country.

Today, these animals, once revered as gods, are on the brink of extinction. As per the Quinquennial Livestock Census of India, conducted after every five years, the population of Manipuri pony has been dwindling since 2003, from a total of 1,898 ponies to only 1,011 in 2012. The census for 2017 is yet to
be conducted.

30 Deaths in 12 Months

As per a random survey conducted by Manipuri Pony Society (MPS) in 2014, with the support from Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association (MHRPA), Manipur Equestrian Association (MEA) and all the polo clubs and some pony owners of Manipur, there are about 97 ponies at the temporary Pony sanctuary at Lamphelpat. “The four-month-long exercise could not reach some remote areas of the state. However, we could make a rough judgment that the population of the ponies would be less than 600 at the point of time,” says N Ibungochoubi, MPS secretary, “But the rate of death is much higher than the rate of birth and we fear that today the number of ponies must be even lesser than what we had presumed,” he said.

Road accidents and food poisoning are the two biggest factors for undesirably high fatality rate of the ponies. Rapid urbanisation has caused the natural habitats (grazing fields) of the ponies to dwindle, and they come out to the roads. Here, they  survive on the garbage and little patches of grazing ground left in and around valley. This leads to multiple diseases which gradually kills the breed. The MPS has recorded around 30 deaths of young colts in 2017 alone.

Earlier the Manipur government allotted two temporary sanctuaries for the ponies: one at Lamphelpat, Imphal West and the other in Marjing foothills, Imphal East. “The Lamphelpat’s sanctuary remained flooded throughout the rainy season while there was a shortage of fodder at the Heingang sanctuary—thus driving out ponies to the streets a usual,” said Homen Thangjam, a member of MHRPA.

A New Statue

The government declared the ‘Manipuri Pony’ as an endangered breed in 2013. Subsequently, in a bid to protect the horse breed, the government introduced the Manipuri Pony Conservation and Development Policy in 2016. However, the policy has failed to achieve anything substantial.

The MPS and other like-minded groups reportedly have been urging the government to demarcate natural habitats such as Lamphelpat and other favourable grounds in all the districts of Manipur and conserve them as open and free grazing grounds for the local animal including ponies.

K. Dhanachandra, secretary Manipuri Pony Owner and Players Association (MPOPA), said there are 16 clubs, comprising pony owners from different part of the states. But the clubs are getting no financial assistance from the government at the moment. “Unlike cattle, rearing ponies is not a lucrative business, the owners are doing so just for the love of the sports and the animal,” he said.

Despite the odds, constant efforts are made by NGOs like MPS, MHRPA and pony enthusiasts to popularise the game of polo, with the intention to preserve the endangered species. There are about 15 pony-related events organised by the MHRPA such as the International Polo Tournament, Governor’s Cup, State Equestrian Championship during the polo season from October to March before the onset of monsoon. These tournaments keep the tradition of the pony alive.

It is against this backdrop that the Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has recently announced to develop Marjing Pony sanctuary, as a tourist destination where a 120-feet-high statue of the Manipuri pony will be erected, drawing flak from many quarters. “After all these years, when we thought the government had finally come to its senses, it is giving more emphasis on developing a statue by investing crores but not for the living ponies. What could be more disappointing than that?” said K Dhanachandra MPOPA secretary.

Courtesy - Indian Express

 

The findings, reported in the BMJ, show that artificial pancreas treatment provides almost two-and-a-half extra hours of normal blood glucose levels (normoglycaemia) a day, while reducing time in both high (hyperglycaemia) and low (hypoglycaemia) blood glucose levels.

Mimicking the way a dialysis machine works for kidney disease patients, an artificial pancreas can lead to better blood sugar control in diabetics, researchers from Oxford and Cambridge along with their Greek counterparts have reported.

The findings, reported in the BMJ, show that artificial pancreas treatment provides almost two-and-a-half extra hours of normal blood glucose levels (normoglycaemia) a day, while reducing time in both high (hyperglycaemia) and low (hypoglycaemia) blood glucose levels.

The researchers concluded: “Artificial pancreas systems are an efficacious and safe approach for treating outpatients with type 1 diabetes. The main limitations of current research evidence on artificial pancreas systems are related to inconsistency in outcome reporting, small sample size, and short follow-up duration of individual trials.”

Endocrinologists in India, however, expressed apprehensions that such a setup may be too expensive for a common patient.

Artificial pancreas is a system that measures blood sugar levels using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and transmits this information to an insulin pump that calculates and releases the required amount of insulin into the body, just as the pancreas does in people without diabetes. It is also possible to release glucagon, yet another pancreatic hormone, through a similar contraption; both insulin and glucagon can be delivered too. The system works only in those people whose diabetes is a result of deficiencies in their pancreas function, that is type I diabetes, in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels within the normal range.

Said Dr Anoop Misra, Chairman, Fortis-C-DOC Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology, “Artificial pancreas is an exciting approach to better management of patients with type 1 diabetes, who often struggle with blood sugar control and multiple injections. However, most patients in India cannot even afford insulin pump (available in India), and artificial pancreas will cost more, putting it out of reach.”

Courtesy - Indian Express

 

Saturday, 24 March 2018 16:40

Poor dental health linked to diabetes risk

For the study, researchers reviewed the records of 9,670 adults with 20 years of age and above who were examined by dentists during the 2009-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

You may be at an increased risk of diabetes if you are not taking care of your dental health, warns a new study which suggests that dental examination may provide a way to identify the risk for developing the disease.

“We found a progressive positive relationship between worsening glucose tolerance and the number of missing teeth,” said lead author Raynald Samoa from the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California.

For the study, presented at the ENDO 2018: The Endocrine Society’s 100th Annual Meeting and Expo, researchers reviewed the records of 9,670 adults with 20 years of age and above who were examined by dentists during the 2009-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

They analysed their reported body mass index (BMI) and glucose tolerance states by fasting plasma glucose, two-hour post-challenge plasma glucose, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), established diabetes and whether the condition was treated with oral agents or insulin.

The researchers recorded the numbers of missing teeth due to caries, or cavities, and periodontal disease for individual patients.

They also determined the relationship between glucose tolerance and dental condition by considering age, gender, racial and ethnic group, family history of diabetes, smoking status, alcohol consumption, education and poverty index.

The researchers found a progressive increase in the number of patients with missing teeth as glucose tolerance declined, from 45.57 per cent in the group with normal glucose tolerance (NGT), to 67.61 per cent in the group with abnormal glucose tolerance (AGT), to 82.87 per cent in the group with diabetes mellitus (DM).

The differences in the average number of missing teeth among the three glucose tolerance groups were significant: 2.26 in the NGT group, 4.41 in the AGT group and 6.80 in those with DM, the researchers noted.

Courtesy - Indian Express

"People say classical music is dying. I feel it will always survive. It was composed by humans, to be performed by humans, to be listened to by humans. The number of people could be less, but they will always need it", says the pianist expert.

Saying classical music makes one feel on a higher plane, a visiting Moroccan pianist contends that “there hasn’t been a terrorist or someone committing a crime after coming from a classical music concert”. “One thing I can say: That there hasn’t been a terrorist or someone committing a crime after coming from a classical music concert. You can’t say the same about pop concerts. Classical (music) elevates the soul. You feel richer. You feel in the higher sphere. Pop can sometimes bring out the violent elements of one’s personality,” said Marouan Benabdallah, a Moroccan musician who is a big name in his country and who recently performed in India. “Classical music is universal. It doesn’t belong to one nation or one culture.” Benabdallah was four years old when he started playing the piano which, according to a research, demands more skill than any other instrument. The 35-year-old feels that the instrument is complex to an extent that a complete orchestra can be played on it.

“When you start learning to play the piano, it is not that difficult and results come quickly. It becomes more and more complex with time and you realise that you can play the whole orchestra on it,” the musician told IANS in an interview after his concert here at the India Islamic Cultural Centre. “My mother is a music teacher. She used to give lessons at home… students were there, the piano was there in front of me all the time,” he said, adding: “It was absolutely natural for me to start playing it.”

Understanding the nuances of the instrument, he said, takes a lifetime. “You can reach a certain point. Once you reach there, there is always a higher point in terms of the sensibility of music and the instrument you play. Today when I look back, I feel I have improved a lot. There are people, I know, who haven’t,” he laughed. “It is like an ongoing journey that will end only after death.” At his Delhi performance, the musician brought to the capital works by classical composers from the Arab world — from war-torn Syria to Lebanon, from Algeria, Morocco’s political rival in north Africa, to Egypt and, of course, his native Morocco.

One of his curious experiences while performing in India, which he has visited a fair number of times, was that the audience starts trickling in late and the printed time is not necessarily the time he gets to start his show because, like in Chandigarh once, only one couple was in the audience when he came on stage. Talking of classical piano compositions, he said they were different from other forms of music. “You cannot listen to it while playing football, or in the gym. It is not the music that masses demand — the music that doesn’t need much focus.”

Benabdallah described the classical music genre as universal and richer than other genres. “People say classical music is dying. I feel it will always survive. It was composed by humans, to be performed by humans, to be listened to by humans. The number of people could be less, but they will always need it.” He said the genre needs more support. “Music companies are not looking at it. It is surviving on its own without any support. “It needs patrons, music lovers, and art lovers and not (music) companies looking at their finances.”

Courtesy - Indian Express

Saturday, 24 March 2018 16:33

Sadist people more likely to seek vengeance

By gaining a deeper understanding of what drives certain people to seek revenge, researchers will be able to create profiles that could be used to identify those who are most likely to commit violence in the future and intervene.

People who enjoy hurting others and seeing them in pain are more likely to seek revenge against those who have wronged them, a study has found. Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the US found that sadism is the dominant personality trait that explains why certain people are more likely than others to seek vengeance.

“We wanted to paint a picture of the personality of the type of person who seeks revenge. Were all slighted in our daily lives, but some of us seek revenge and some of us do not,” said David Chester, assistant professor at VCU.

“The core of what we found is that the person who seeks revenge is a person who tends to enjoy it,” Chester said.
The researchers conducted three studies involving 673 students in which participants filled out questionnaires that have been validated to predict a persons real-life behaviour.

They were asked to say whether they agree or disagree to a variety of statements, such as “Anyone who provokes me deserves the punishment that I give” and “If Im wronged, I cant live with myself until I revenge.”

By gaining a deeper understanding of what drives certain people to seek revenge, researchers will be able to create profiles that could be used to identify those who are most likely to commit violence in the future and intervene.
“Identifying who is most at risk for seeking revenge is really important to do in order to intervene before they engage in harmful acts and start to hurt other people in retaliation,” Chester said.

Courtesy - Indian Express

The process of posting pictures is particularly time-consuming and can be a joint endeavour among chums -- ensuring that only the most flattering photos, filters and captions are selected. Boys in the study did not ask pals for feedback or to like their posts.

Teenagers use social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to appear attractive and popular among friends, and for that they make a careful selection of photos, activities and links that they share, a new study says.

They work very hard to create a favourable online image, showed the findings published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence.

According to the researchers, content that makes them appear interesting, well-liked and attractive to their friends and peers is a primary goal for adolescents when deciding what to share in digital spaces.

“Teenagers aren’t just posting carelessly; they’re surprisingly thoughtful about what they choose to reveal on social media,” said lead author of the study Joanna Yau from the University of California, Irvine.

“Peer approval is important during adolescence, especially in early adolescence, so they’re sharing content that they think others will find impressive,” Yau added.

Facebook and Instagram provide opportunities for young people to connect and communicate with friends as well as people they know in person but are not necessarily close to, such as classmates.

These social media channels allow individuals time to craft and edit posts and, unlike offline situations, offer teenagers the chance to consider — even strategise about — how they want to present themselves online.

The study involved a group of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18.

The researchers found that for girls, the effort to construct a favourable image can involve lengthy deliberation and advice from confidantes.

The process of posting pictures is particularly time-consuming and can be a joint endeavour among chums — ensuring that only the most flattering photos, filters and captions are selected. Boys in the study did not ask pals for feedback or to like their posts.

“We found that some teens invested great effort into sharing content on Facebook and Instagram and that what may seem to be an enjoyable activity may actually feel tedious,” Yau said.

Courtesy - Indian Express

People who struggle with their mental health are more likely to intensively use their smartphone as a form of therapy and that the less conscientious individuals are, the more likely they are to be addicted to their phones.

People who are less emotionally stable and suffer from anxiety and depression are more likely to be addicted to their smartphones, according to a research.

Emotional stability is characterised by being emotionally resilient. The study found that being less emotionally stable was associated with problematic smartphone behaviour.

People who struggle with their mental health are more likely to intensively use their smartphone as a form of therapy and that the less conscientious individuals are, the more likely they are to be addicted to their phones.

As levels of anxiety increase, problematic smartphone use also increases, the findings showed.

“Problematic smartphone use is more complex than previously thought and our research has highlighted the interplay of various

psychological factors in the study of smartphone use,” Zaheer Hussain, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby in Britain, said in a statement.

“This is because people may be experiencing problems in their lives such as stress, anxiety, depression, family problems, so in that state they are emotionally unstable, meaning they may seek respite in very excessive smartphone use. This is worrying,” Hussain said.

For the study, a team of psychologists conducted an online study with 640 smartphone users, aged between 13-69 years, to find out the association between smartphone use and personality traits.

The results showed that people who are “closed off” or less open with their emotions are more likely to have problems with smartphone use.

“They may be engaging in passive social network use, where you spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, browsing other peoples’ comments, pictures, and posts, and not posting anything of your own and not engaging in discussion with others, so there is no real positive social interaction while social networking,” Hussain noted.

Courtesy - Indian Express

Experts say sustainable weight loss can protect patients from disease directly associated with morbid obesity such as type 2 diabetes.

Obese people who get bariatric surgery are less likely to require medication to control diabetes symptoms afterward, compared to those who don’t get operations to lose weight, a French study suggests.

Researchers examined data on 15,650 obese patients who had weight-loss surgery in France in 2009, including 1,633 people who were on medications to help control diabetes at the time. The surgery recipients were compared to an equal number of similar obese patients who were hospitalized that year but didn’t get bariatric surgery.

Six years later, half of the people who started out on diabetes medication and got bariatric surgery were no longer taking these drugs, compared to 9 percent in the control group that didn’t have the surgery, researchers report in JAMA Surgery.

 “We can hypothesize that sustainable weight loss can protect patients from disease directly associated with morbid obesity such as type 2 diabetes, which is a serious chronic disease that has become more prevalent all around the world,” said lead study author Dr. Jeremie Thereaux of La Cavale Blanche University Hospital and the University of Bretagne Occidentale in Brest, France.

 “Bariatric surgery should be considered as an effective treatment of type 2 diabetes in patients suffering from morbid obesity,” Thereaux said. “However, bariatric surgery is not actually recommended in the U.S. and in Europe as a treatment of type 2 diabetes in less-obese patients, and our study cannot scientifically support this idea.”

Surgical weight loss has gained traction in recent years as a growing number of extremely obese patients turn to this option after failing to lose weight through diet, exercise or medication - strategies that can also manage diabetes. Like all surgery, bariatric operations are not risk free; with these procedures there’s a possibility of malnutrition and repeat operations to adjust, replace or remove a device implanted to aid weight loss.

Among people taking diabetes drugs at the start of the study, the biggest impact on diabetes remission was seen with gastric bypass, which can reduce the size of the stomach from about three pints to roughly the size of a shot glass.

Compared to people who didn’t get weight-loss surgery, patients who had gastric bypass were more than 17 times more likely to discontinue diabetes medications by the end of the study.

With a different weight-loss operation known as a sleeve gastrectomy, which reduces the stomach to the size of a banana, people were more than 7 times more likely to discontinue their diabetes drugs without surgery.

A third type of weight-loss surgery, adjustable gastric banding, which inserts an inflatable silicone device around the top portion of the stomach to help slow and reduce food consumption, was associated with more than four times the likelihood of discontinuing diabetes drugs.

With surgery, people who didn’t take diabetes medications at the start of the study were also less likely to start taking them during the follow-up period. By the end of the study, 1.4 percent of people who got bariatric surgery started taking diabetes drugs, compared with 12 percent of the control group.

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how weight-loss surgery might help people control diabetes symptoms or reduce the need for diabetes medications. Researchers also lacked data on the amount of weight loss and how long people had been living with diabetes, both of which can independently influence whether patients need medications.

Even so, the results add to evidence that surgical weight loss may help manage diabetes, said Dr. Michel Gagner, author of an accompanying editorial and a professor of surgery at the Herbert Wertheim School of Medicine at Florida International University in Miami.

In some parts of the world, weight loss surgery is commonly done to treat diabetes, Gagner said by email.

 “In fact, even patients that are non-obese but have type 2 diabetes can get these operations,” Gagner added. “Having no more diabetes is a big thing, as diabetes attacks small blood vessels and leads to blindness, renal failure on dialysis or need for renal transplant, heart attacks and amputation of limbs.”

Courtesy - Indian Express

Experts say sustainable weight loss can protect patients from disease directly associated with morbid obesity such as type 2 diabetes.

Obese people who get bariatric surgery are less likely to require medication to control diabetes symptoms afterward, compared to those who don’t get operations to lose weight, a French study suggests.

Researchers examined data on 15,650 obese patients who had weight-loss surgery in France in 2009, including 1,633 people who were on medications to help control diabetes at the time. The surgery recipients were compared to an equal number of similar obese patients who were hospitalized that year but didn’t get bariatric surgery.

Six years later, half of the people who started out on diabetes medication and got bariatric surgery were no longer taking these drugs, compared to 9 percent in the control group that didn’t have the surgery, researchers report in JAMA Surgery.

 “We can hypothesize that sustainable weight loss can protect patients from disease directly associated with morbid obesity such as type 2 diabetes, which is a serious chronic disease that has become more prevalent all around the world,” said lead study author Dr. Jeremie Thereaux of La Cavale Blanche University Hospital and the University of Bretagne Occidentale in Brest, France.

 “Bariatric surgery should be considered as an effective treatment of type 2 diabetes in patients suffering from morbid obesity,” Thereaux said. “However, bariatric surgery is not actually recommended in the U.S. and in Europe as a treatment of type 2 diabetes in less-obese patients, and our study cannot scientifically support this idea.”

Surgical weight loss has gained traction in recent years as a growing number of extremely obese patients turn to this option after failing to lose weight through diet, exercise or medication - strategies that can also manage diabetes. Like all surgery, bariatric operations are not risk free; with these procedures there’s a possibility of malnutrition and repeat operations to adjust, replace or remove a device implanted to aid weight loss.

Among people taking diabetes drugs at the start of the study, the biggest impact on diabetes remission was seen with gastric bypass, which can reduce the size of the stomach from about three pints to roughly the size of a shot glass.

Compared to people who didn’t get weight-loss surgery, patients who had gastric bypass were more than 17 times more likely to discontinue diabetes medications by the end of the study.

With a different weight-loss operation known as a sleeve gastrectomy, which reduces the stomach to the size of a banana, people were more than 7 times more likely to discontinue their diabetes drugs without surgery.

A third type of weight-loss surgery, adjustable gastric banding, which inserts an inflatable silicone device around the top portion of the stomach to help slow and reduce food consumption, was associated with more than four times the likelihood of discontinuing diabetes drugs.

With surgery, people who didn’t take diabetes medications at the start of the study were also less likely to start taking them during the follow-up period. By the end of the study, 1.4 percent of people who got bariatric surgery started taking diabetes drugs, compared with 12 percent of the control group.

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how weight-loss surgery might help people control diabetes symptoms or reduce the need for diabetes medications. Researchers also lacked data on the amount of weight loss and how long people had been living with diabetes, both of which can independently influence whether patients need medications.

Even so, the results add to evidence that surgical weight loss may help manage diabetes, said Dr. Michel Gagner, author of an accompanying editorial and a professor of surgery at the Herbert Wertheim School of Medicine at Florida International University in Miami.

In some parts of the world, weight loss surgery is commonly done to treat diabetes, Gagner said by email.

 “In fact, even patients that are non-obese but have type 2 diabetes can get these operations,” Gagner added. “Having no more diabetes is a big thing, as diabetes attacks small blood vessels and leads to blindness, renal failure on dialysis or need for renal transplant, heart attacks and amputation of limbs.”

Courtesy - Deccan Hearald

 

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