Scratching the lining of the womb before conceiving a baby may double the chances of a successful birth, a new study has claimed.

There is a much disputed claim that "injury" to the lining of the uterus - whether inadvertent or deliberate - increases the chance of embryo implantation and thus the chance of pregnancy in certain groups of women having In vitro fertilisation (IVF), researchers said.

 The "injury" has usually been performed as a biopsy from the womb lining (endometrium), whose action is believed to cause a favourable inflammation ("scratch") within the endometrium thereby making it more receptive to an implanting embryo. Indeed, the success of more complex uterine surgery in some studies has even been attributed to the scratch and not to the surgery itself. Now, researchers have reviewed randomised controlled trials evaluating endometrial scratching in women planning to have intrauterine insemination (IUI) or attempting to conceive spontaneously (with or without ovulation induction).

It suggests that endometrial scratching may well be beneficial in couples trying to conceive naturally or with IUI, although "the quality of the available evidence is low," said Sarah Lensen from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Eight eligible trials with a total of 1,180 women were included in the review, in which endometrial scratching was compared to no intervention or a mock intervention.

The primary outcomes were live birth/ongoing pregnancy and pain from the intervention.

Following analysis, endometrial scratching appeared to increase the chance of clinical pregnancy and live birth compared to no procedure or a placebo procedure.

The difference in outcome was statistically significant and appeared to roughly double the chance of live birth compared to no intervention (relative risk 2.22).

Lensen explained that endometrial scratching would increase the normal chance of a live birth or ongoing pregnancy from 9 per cent over a set period of time to somewhere between 14 and 28 per cent.

However, "the results must be treated with caution," said Lensen.

There was no evidence that endometrial scratching has any effect on miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or multiple pregnancy.

Lensen described endometrial scratching as "a cheap and simple procedure" which can be conducted without analgesia during a short clinic visit; it does, however, require an internal examination which is associated with pain and discomfort.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

 

Scratching the lining of the womb before conceiving a baby may double the chances of a successful birth, a new study has claimed.

There is a much disputed claim that "injury" to the lining of the uterus - whether inadvertent or deliberate - increases the chance of embryo implantation and thus the chance of pregnancy in certain groups of women having In vitro fertilisation (IVF), researchers said.

 The "injury" has usually been performed as a biopsy from the womb lining (endometrium), whose action is believed to cause a favourable inflammation ("scratch") within the endometrium thereby making it more receptive to an implanting embryo. Indeed, the success of more complex uterine surgery in some studies has even been attributed to the scratch and not to the surgery itself. Now, researchers have reviewed randomised controlled trials evaluating endometrial scratching in women planning to have intrauterine insemination (IUI) or attempting to conceive spontaneously (with or without ovulation induction).

It suggests that endometrial scratching may well be beneficial in couples trying to conceive naturally or with IUI, although "the quality of the available evidence is low," said Sarah Lensen from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Eight eligible trials with a total of 1,180 women were included in the review, in which endometrial scratching was compared to no intervention or a mock intervention.

The primary outcomes were live birth/ongoing pregnancy and pain from the intervention.

Following analysis, endometrial scratching appeared to increase the chance of clinical pregnancy and live birth compared to no procedure or a placebo procedure.

The difference in outcome was statistically significant and appeared to roughly double the chance of live birth compared to no intervention (relative risk 2.22).

Lensen explained that endometrial scratching would increase the normal chance of a live birth or ongoing pregnancy from 9 per cent over a set period of time to somewhere between 14 and 28 per cent.

However, "the results must be treated with caution," said Lensen.

There was no evidence that endometrial scratching has any effect on miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or multiple pregnancy.

Lensen described endometrial scratching as "a cheap and simple procedure" which can be conducted without analgesia during a short clinic visit; it does, however, require an internal examination which is associated with pain and discomfort.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

 

Scratching the lining of the womb before conceiving a baby may double the chances of a successful birth, a new study has claimed.

There is a much disputed claim that "injury" to the lining of the uterus - whether inadvertent or deliberate - increases the chance of embryo implantation and thus the chance of pregnancy in certain groups of women having In vitro fertilisation (IVF), researchers said.

 The "injury" has usually been performed as a biopsy from the womb lining (endometrium), whose action is believed to cause a favourable inflammation ("scratch") within the endometrium thereby making it more receptive to an implanting embryo. Indeed, the success of more complex uterine surgery in some studies has even been attributed to the scratch and not to the surgery itself. Now, researchers have reviewed randomised controlled trials evaluating endometrial scratching in women planning to have intrauterine insemination (IUI) or attempting to conceive spontaneously (with or without ovulation induction).

It suggests that endometrial scratching may well be beneficial in couples trying to conceive naturally or with IUI, although "the quality of the available evidence is low," said Sarah Lensen from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Eight eligible trials with a total of 1,180 women were included in the review, in which endometrial scratching was compared to no intervention or a mock intervention.

The primary outcomes were live birth/ongoing pregnancy and pain from the intervention.

Following analysis, endometrial scratching appeared to increase the chance of clinical pregnancy and live birth compared to no procedure or a placebo procedure.

The difference in outcome was statistically significant and appeared to roughly double the chance of live birth compared to no intervention (relative risk 2.22).

Lensen explained that endometrial scratching would increase the normal chance of a live birth or ongoing pregnancy from 9 per cent over a set period of time to somewhere between 14 and 28 per cent.

However, "the results must be treated with caution," said Lensen.

There was no evidence that endometrial scratching has any effect on miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or multiple pregnancy.

Lensen described endometrial scratching as "a cheap and simple procedure" which can be conducted without analgesia during a short clinic visit; it does, however, require an internal examination which is associated with pain and discomfort.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

 

Scientists have found a new genetic scoring technique that may predict a student's academic achievement from DNA alone and help identify children who are at risk of having learning difficulties.

The technique is the strongest prediction of behaviour from DNA to date, researchers said.

The research shows that a genetic score comprising 20,000 DNA variants explains almost 10 per cent of the differences between children's educational attainment at the age of 16.

The findings from King's College London mark a 'tipping point' in predicting academic achievement and may help identify children who are at greater risk of having learning difficulties.

Twin studies can tell us the overall genetic influence on a trait in a population. Polygenic scores, however, estimate genetic influence from common variants only, which explains the discrepancy between these DNA-based studies and twin studies (10 per cent vs 60 per cent).

As human traits are so complex and influenced by thousands of gene variants of very small effect, it is useful to consider the joint effects of all of these trait-associated variants - and this principle underlies the polygenic score method.

Calculating an individual's polygenic score requires information from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) that finds specific genetic variants linked to particular traits, in this case academic achievement.

Some of these genetic variants, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), are more strongly associated with the trait, and some are less strongly associated.

In a polygenic score, the effects of these SNPs are weighed by the strength of association and then summed to a score, so that people with many SNPs related to academic achievement will have a higher polygenic score and higher academic achievement, whereas people with fewer associated SNPs will have a lower score and lower levels of academic achievement.

The new research examined almost 10 million SNPs and identified 74 genetic variants that were significantly associated with years of completed education.

'Years of education' was used as a proxy measure for education achievement and related traits.

Researchers measured academic achievement in Mathematics and English at ages 7, 12 and 16, in a sample of 5,825 individuals from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS).

Their findings show that what makes students achieve differently in their educational achievement is strongly affected by DNA differences.

On average those with a higher polygenic score would obtain a grade between A and B, while those with lower score obtained an entire grade below at age 16.

About 65 per cent of people in the higher polygenic group went on to do A-levels, whereas only 35 per cent from the lower group did so.
The findings appear in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

 

Researchers, including those of Indian-origin, have developed novel neuroprotective compounds that may prevent the development of epilepsy.

In a study conducted in an experimental model of epilepsy in mice, the compounds prevented seizures and their damaging effects on dendritic spines, specialised structures that allow brain cells to communicate, researchers said.

In epilepsy, these structures are damaged and rewire incorrectly, creating brain circuits that are hyper-connected and prone to seizures, they said.

"In the current study, preservation of dendritic spines and subsequent protection from seizures, were observed up to 100 days post-treatment, suggesting the process of epilepsy development has been arrested," said Nicolas Bazan from Louisiana State University (LSU) in the US.

Bazan and Julio Alvarez-Builla Gomez from University of Alcala in Spain discovered and named the LAU compounds.

A number of LAU compounds were studied, which blocked a neuroinflammatory signalling receptor, protecting dendritic spines and lessening seizure susceptibility and onset, as well as hyper-excitability, researchers including Surijyadipta Bhattacharjee and Chittalsinh M Raulji from LSU said.

In epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behaviour or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness, researchers said.

It is not uncommon for people with epilepsy, especially children, to develop behavioural and emotional problems in conjunction with seizures.

Issues may also arise as a result of the stigma attached to having epilepsy, which can lead to embarrassment and frustration or bullying, teasing, or avoidance in school and other social settings, they said.

For many people with epilepsy, the risk of seizures restricts their independence and recreational activities. Epilepsy can be a life-threatening condition.

Some people with epilepsy are at special risk for abnormally prolonged seizures or sudden unexplained death in epilepsy. There is currently no cure, researchers said."Most of the anti-epileptic drugs currently available treat the symptom - seizures - not the disease itself," said Bazan.

"Understanding the potential therapeutic usefulness of compounds that may interrupt the development process may pave the way for disease-modifying treatments for patients at risk for epilepsy," he said.

The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

 

Moderate exercise such as cycling and walking for just an hour daily may eliminate the health risks associated with sitting for eight or more hours a day, a new study has claimed.

Ever since a study in 1953 discovered that bus drivers in the UK were at greater risk of heart disease compared to bus conductors, scientists have found increasing evidence that lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for several diseases and for risk of early death.

Recent estimates suggest that more than five million people die globally each year as a result of failing to meet recommended daily activity levels, according to researchers from University of Cambridge in the UK.

Studies in high-income countries have suggested that adults spend the majority of their waking hours sitting down.

A typical day for many people is driving to work, sitting in an office, driving home and watching TV. Current physical activity guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, researchers said.

Researchers analysed 16 studies, which included data from more than one million men and women.

They grouped individuals into four quartiles depending on their level of moderate intensity physical activity, ranging from less than five minutes per day in the bottom group to over 60 minutes in the top.

Moderate intensity exercise was defined as equating to walking at 5.6 kilometres per hour or cycling at 16 kilometres per hour, for example.

Researchers found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderate intensity exercise was sufficient to eliminate the increased risk of early death associated with sitting for over eight hours per day.

However, as many as three out of four people in the study failed to reach this level of daily activity.

The greatest risk of early death was for those individuals who were physically inactive, regardless of the amount of time sitting - they were between 28 per cent and 59 per cent more likely to die early compared with those who were in the most active quartile - a similar risk to that associated with smoking and obesity, researchers said.

In other words, lack of physical activity is a greater health risk than prolonged sitting, they said.

"There has been a lot of concern about the health risks associated with today's more sedentary lifestyles. Our message is a positive one: it is possible to reduce - or even eliminate - these risks if we are active enough, even without having to take up sports or go to the gym," said Ulf Ekelund from University of Cambridge.

"For many people who commute to work and have office-based jobs, there is no way to escape sitting for prolonged periods of time. For these people in particular, we cannot stress enough the importance of getting exercise, whether it is getting out for a walk at lunchtime, going for a run in the morning or cycling to work," researchers said.
The findings were published in the journal The Lancet.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

 

As much as 81 per cent of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) jobs in India perceive a gender bias in performance evaluation and are more likely to quit jobs at mid-career level, a survey said.

Women in India tend to drop out of workforce at key phases in their lives, most notably around childbearing years and later at mid-management levels, the latest Kelly Global Workforce Insights survey on Women in STEM, said.

The most significant driver is the 'double burden syndrome' of women struggling to balance work and family in a culture where both men and women feel the family and household duties are primarily the woman's responsibility, it said.

While women represent 46 per cent of all enrolled undergraduate students in STEM, not many continue to pursue careers, according to the survey released here.

"41 per cent of women in technology companies leave after 10 years of experience, compared to 17 per cent of men," said Kamal Karanth, Managing Director, Kelly Services & Kelly OCG India. "This is a very worrying scenario."

Consequently, there are few women left to fill roles at the top, said the KGWI survey, adding, this glaring disparity is clearly visible in publicly traded companies.

Kelly Services, Inc. provides workforce solutions offering a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis across the globe.

KGWI is an annual global survey that brings together work and workplace insights sourced from across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. The study takes a look at the talent gap that exists between men and women STEM fields with feedback from 1,64,000 workers across 28 countries and a multitude of industries and occupations, it said.

In 2015, 12 per cent of the companies had failed to fulfil the mandate of having at least one woman representative on their board, the survey said.

Of the 50 companies in the NIFTY index, only five had two female directors. 53 per cent met this directive by appointing directors that were either wives or sisters of executives and not really independent members.

According to the survey, 77 per cent of female workers complained of double standards in training opportunities for women, 76 per cent believed that men have a genetic advantage in math and science and 66 per cent felt that women would never get top positions irrespective of their performance.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

People with anger issues are wired to misunderstand the intentions of others in social situations which cause impaired judgement and escalates explosive outbursts, a new study has found.

Scientists found that people with intermittent explosive disorder (IED), or impulsive aggression, have a weakened connection between regions of the brain associated with sensory input, language processing and social interaction.

People with anger issues tend think others are being hostile when they are not and make the wrong conclusions about their intentions, researchers said.

They also do not take in all the data from a social interaction, such as body language or certain words, and notice only those things that reinforce their belief that the other person is challenging them.

Decreased connectivity between regions of the brain that process a social situation could lead to the impaired judgement that escalates to an explosive outburst of anger.

Researchers from the University of Chicago show that white matter in a region of the brain called the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) has less integrity and density in people with IED than in healthy individuals and those with other psychiatric disorders.

The SLF connects the brain's frontal lobe - responsible for decision-making, emotion and understanding consequences of actions - with the parietal lobe, which processes language and sensory input.

"It's like an information superhighway connecting the frontal cortex to the parietal lobes," said Royce Lee, associate professor at the University of Chicago.

"We think that points to social cognition as an important area to think about for people with anger problems," Lee said.

Researchers used diffusion tensor imaging, a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that measures the volume and density of white matter connective tissue in the brain.
Connectivity is a critical issue because the brains of people with psychiatric disorders usually show very few physical differences from healthy individuals.

"It's not so much how the brain is structured, but the way these regions are connected to each other," Lee said.

"That might be where we're going to see a lot of the problems in psychiatric disorders, so white matter is a natural place to start since that's the brain's natural wiring from one region to another," he said.

"This is another example of tangible deficits in the brains of those with IED that indicate that impulsive aggressive behaviour is not simply 'bad behaviour' but behaviour with a real biological basis that can be studied and treated," said Emil Coccaro, professor at the University of Chicago.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

Children born to single mothers are generally well adjusted, with positive feelings about family life, although they do raise questions about the absence of a father, a new study has found.

"Indeed, at the age at which children begin to understand their family circumstances, they continue to function well," said Sophie Zadeh from University of Cambridge in the UK.

The number of children born to single women is increasing with the help of technology such as donor insemination and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), researchers said.

The study was an evaluation of 51 solo mother families who were compared with 52 heterosexual two-parent families with at least one donor-conceived child aged 4-9 years.

The participating families were matched in terms of the age and gender of the target child, and on demographic factors including the mother's educational level.

The study is the first to examine child adjustment and children's perspectives in solo mother families at an age at which children are old enough to understand their family circumstances and what it means to grow up without a father - and the only study to assess children's own reports about their social and family experiences, said Zadeh.

Mothers in both groups answered standardised questionnaires of child adjustment and parenting stress. In addition, the solo mothers completed an interview which asked about their children's feelings about a father, and whether or not this was a topic of family discussion, researchers said.

A total of 47 children within these solo mother families agreed to be interviewed. They were asked about family life and friendships.

There was no significant difference between the two family types when assessed for child adjustment according to a standardised questionnaire, researchers said.

However, higher levels of financial difficulties within the solo mother families, and higher levels of parenting stress, were each associated with higher levels of child adjustment problems, they said.

Mothers mostly reported that their children had neutral (39 per cent) or mixed (28 per cent) feelings about the absence of a father, although qualitative analysis of mothers' reports showed that conversations about fathers were a prominent feature of family life, researchers said.

As for the children themselves, most (89 per cent) who answered a question about changing their family circumstances either expressed a desire for just trivial changes (38 per cent) or no change (51 per cent).

Children mostly (59 per cent) reported high (19 per cent) or very high (40 per cent) levels of enjoyment of school.

All reported having at least one friend, and most (51 per cent) named five or more friends. The majority (63 per cent) had not been teased at school, or had experienced only trivial teasing (34 per cent), researchers said.

"Between the ages of 4 and 9, donor-conceived children in solo mother families generally seem to be doing well," said Zadeh.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 19:08

Eat more whole grains to live longer: Study

Written by

Eating at least three servings of whole grains daily such as whole wheat, oats and brown rice may lower your risk of death, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that for about every serving (16 grammes) of whole grains there was a seven per cent decreased risk in total deaths, nine per cent decline in cardiovascular disease-related deaths; and five per cent decline in cancer-related deaths.

The more whole grains consumed, the lower was the death rate. According to researchers, when three servings (48 grammes) were consumed daily the rates declined 20 per cent for total deaths; 25 per cent for cardiovascular deaths; and 14 per cent for cancer-related deaths.

"Previous studies have suggested an association with consumption of whole grains and reduced risk of developing a multitude of chronic diseases that are among the top causes of deaths, although data linking whole grain intake and mortality were less consistent," said Qi Sun from Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health in the US.

Whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats and brown rice, contain dietary fibre, which may help improve blood cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes, researchers said.

Dietary fibre can also make you feel full longer, so you may eat fewer calories.
The analysis included 12 studies published through February 2016. The combined studies involved 786,076 men and women with 97,867 total deaths, 23,597 deaths from cardiovascular disease, and 37,492 deaths from cancer.

Whole grains provide many nutrients, such as fibre, B vitamins, and minerals, which are removed during the refining process, researchers said.
The findings were published in the journal Circulation.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

 

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