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15th October, 2017
Spirituality is friendly to Wellbeing
 
Dr KK Aggarwal
What you believe in may impact health and longevity. Spirituality and religion have been shown to have a positive association with well-being and better health outcomes. 
 
Spirituality and the practice of religion have been associated with a slower progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Positive thinking results in almost 30% decrease in pain perception. People who regularly attend organized religious activities may live longer than those who do not participate. Regular participation in such activities reduces mortality rate by about 12% a year. Satsang is one way of acquiring spiritual well–being. Many scientific studies have shown that when mediation or chanting is done in groups it has more benefits than when done individually.
 
Spirituality can influence function of the immune system, which can be measured, like an increase in white blood cells.
Patients who undergo cardiac rehabilitation feel more confident and perceive greater improvements in their physical abilities if they keep strong faith. Increased levels of spirituality and religious faith may help substance abusers kick their habit.
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Top News
ICMR releases plan, vision for 2030

New Delhi, Oct 11 (PTI): The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released its 'Strategic Plan and Vision 2030' which outlines the body's agenda to deal with health challenges in the country. 

The agenda is based on key points such as capacity building, data management, leveraging traditional medicine and strengthening programme implementation through research, a statement issued by the ICMR said. It aims at combating non-communicable diseases and improving maternal and child health in India, it said.
 
The research body in collaboration with the Health Ministry has awarded 86 scientists for finding solutions to important health challenges and for their contribution in bio-medical science research, the statement said. In an effort to encourage youngsters to join health research and choose it as a preferred career, 'Short Term Studentship Excellence' awards were also presented for the first time this year, it said.
 
The council also released the 'National Guidelines for Stem Cell Research 2017' for all stakeholders including individual and organisations associated with basic and clinical research on stem cells and their derivatives. The guidelines have been revised to ensure that while giving an impetus to research, it does not compromise on the safety of patients and vulnerable individuals, the statement said. "The 2017 guidelines, reiterate that any stem cell use in patients, other than that for hematopoietic stem cell reconstitution for approved indications, is investigational at present. "Accordingly, any stem cell use in patients must only be done within the purview of an approved and monitored clinical trial. In accordance with this stringent definition, every use of stem cells in patients outside an approved clinical trial is unethical and shall be considered as malpractice," the statement said.
Practice Updates
NIH completes atlas of human DNA differences that influence gene expression
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have completed a detailed atlas documenting the stretches of human DNA that influence gene expression - a key way in which a person's genome gives rise to an observable trait, like hair color or disease risk. This atlas is a critical resource for the scientific community interested in how individual genomic variation leads to biological differences, like healthy and diseased states, across human tissues and cell types... (NIH).

AASM position statement on home sleep apnea testing
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has published a new position statement in the October 15, 2017 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, on the appropriate clinical use of a home sleep apnea test. According to the statement, the home sleep apnea test is a medical assessment that must be ordered by a physician to diagnose OSA or evaluate treatment efficacy. It should not be used for general screening of asymptomatic population.

A new robotically-assisted surgical device for minimally invasive surgery
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the Senhance System, a new robotically-assisted surgical device (RASD) that can help facilitate minimally invasive surgery in adults. It can enhance the surgeon's access and visualization within confined operative sites.

Study links lo calcium levels to increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest
According to a study published October 5, 2017 in Mayo Clinical Proceedings, a 1-unit decrease in calcium levels was associated with a 1.6-fold increase in the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Blood calcium levels lower than 8.95 mg/dL were associated with a 2.3-fold increase in risk of sudden cardiac arrest compared to calcium levels higher than 9.55 mg/dL.

MRI brain can detect children at high risk of MS
A study published in the November 2017 issue of the journal Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation has shown that MRI brain can reveal changes in the brain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) before the clinical symptoms of the disease appear in children. The study further reports that about 42% of children with MRI findings of MS developed the first clinical symptoms of the disease two years after the abnormal MRI
 
eMedi Humor
This lady was talking in to an envelope. I asked her what she was doing, she said 'sending voice mail'.
Medicolegal Corner
Can a person who has obtained qualification in any other Indian systems of medicine practice the modern system of medicine?

No, a person who holds a degree in other systems of medicine cannot practice modern system of medicine or Allopathy. Regulation 1.1.3 of the Indian Medical Council Act is very clear on this issue.

"1.1.3 No person other than a doctor having qualification recognised by Medical Council of India and registered with Medical Council of India/State Medical Council (s) is allowed to practice Modern System of Medicine or Surgery. A person obtaining qualification in any other system of Medicine is not allowed to practice Modern System of Medicine in any form."
eMedi Quiz
High resolution computed tomography of the chest is the ideal modality for evaluating: 
1. Pleural effusion. 
2. Interstitial lung disease. 
3. Lung mass. 
4. Mediastinal adenopathy.
Lifestyle Updates
 
eWellness: Facts about exercise 
 
  • Exercise for 80 minutes a day and brisk exercise 80 minutes a week. 
  • Walk with a speed of at least 80 steps per minute. 
  • Do resistance or weight-bearing exercises twice in a week. 
  • Avoid doing strenuous exercises for the first time in life after the age of 40. 
  • According to Ayurveda, one should exercise to his or her body type. 
  • Patients with diabetes who exercise should not exercise if blood sugar is lower than 90. 
  • In conditions of smog, avoid walking early in the morning till sunlight appears.

ESpiritual: Vedic Fasting 
 
Fasting and starvation are two different terms commonly confused with each other. Starvation means not eating or drinking altogether, while fasting means control and restrain of five sensory and five motor senses. During fasting one may continue eating or drinking but under discipline.

Vedic fasting or spiritual fasting is mentioned in Karam Kanda in Yajurveda. Every fast in our mythology has a scientific basis and rituals are added so that the common man can follow it.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Inspirational: Is your hut burning?
 
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied. 
 
It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground---it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.
Preterm babies are more likely to develop cognitive and other difficulties later
Such children also more likely to develop ADHD
 
New Delhi, 14 October 2017: As per a new large-scale study conducted among more than 60,000 children, it has been found that preterm babies are at a higher risk of developing cognitive, motor, and behavioral difficulties in later childhood, affecting even their later school performance. Preterm children are also twice as likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that every year, about 15 million babies are born prematurely around the world amounting to more than one in 10 babies born globally. The rate of preterm birth across 184 countries ranges from 5% to 18% of babies born. In India, the figure stands at 3.5 million babies out of the 27 million babies born every year. 
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