Connect with us

Health

Power of the pooch: Dogs ease kids’ anxiety before medical scans

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

When doctors suggested Mia Agostino get an MRI of her brain, her mother was worried about the test. How would the squirmy six-year-old cope? Would she need to be put under with anesthetic?

Enter Lucy, a 12-year old chocolate Labrador retriever. To help calm Mia’s nerves, the girl was introduced to the four-legged friend with a sweet personality and blue nail polish on her toes.

Mia’s mother Kara Agostino was thrilled when the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto offered Lucy’s help to get Mia into the MRI machine.

“I love it,” her mother said. “She’s such a dog lover — the idea of having a dog with her to have her comfortable through a process that’s completely unfamiliar to her is brilliant.”

Research suggests dogs help lower blood pressure, help children with autism to relate better to humans and increase levels of mood-improving hormones like serotonin.

Mia’s mother, Kara Agostino, right, called the idea of having a dog with Mia to keep her comfortable in the MRI ‘brilliant.’ Volunteer Joanne Somers, centre, is Lucy’s owner. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

That’s why dogs are used in nursing homes, hospitals, universities and even prisons to help with everything from anxiety to aggression. Now the dogs are being used to help to ease the experience for kids who must lie still inside a noisy, dark and narrow-tubed machine for an MRI scan, a procedure that can induce claustrophobia.

Earlier this month, doctors ordered a brain MRI for Mia to see if she’s a good candidate for cochlear implants — small electronic devices that are placed under the ears.

A few months after Mia was born, she was diagnosed with hearing loss. Since then, she’s been wearing hearing aids but her hearing has become worse.

Lucy sat with Mia before the MRI and headphones were put on the dog to demonstrate what Mia would be wearing during the scan.

Victoria Smith, a patient at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, said petting Toulouse gave her some immediate relief from her depression and anxiety. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

Lucy led Mia into the room with the MRI and sprawled out on the table before the young patient climbed in. It was all an effort to keep Mia calm and distracted. And it worked. Mia was able to complete the test without any medication or anesthesia.

When it was all over, the two new best friends enjoyed freezies together: blue for Mia and white for Lucy.

Mia was part of the PAWS program, the brainchild of Sick Kids radiologist Dr. Mary-Louise Greer. She said this is the first time in Canada that dogs have helped children into the MRI.

“If we can have the children more comfortable and relaxed … [then] they are able to potentially tolerate being in a very enclosed environment, which is quite noisy, for a long period of time,” said Greer.  

First Lassie, now Lucy

Through the PAWS program, doctors hope to avoid having to use medication to calm children before a scan. Once the kids are inside the machine, doctors also want to make sure the kids don’t move.

In a preliminary study titled First Lassie, Now Lucy, to be published in the journal Pediatric Radiology, Greer looked at the benefits of having dogs help in such situations.

She surveyed 10 patients and their caregivers. Most described themselves as being “slightly worried” before the MRI. After meeting Lucy, they described themselves as being “happy” and their caregivers agreed, rating the experience of being with the dog as either “good or excellent.”

‘At home with your animals’

Staff at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto are also convinced canines make a difference.

There are now 40 dogs volunteering throughout the hospital. CAMH hopes to increase the number of dogs to 50 by next year.

In the women’s trauma in-patient unit, 20 women who have PTSD, depression and anxiety are undergoing intensive treatment. Their days are filled with medication, doctor’s visits and therapy. But Wednesdays are special.

Toulouse, the Pomeranian pooch, is changing lives.

Toulouse, the nine-year-old canine, works his magic at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. 0:20

That’s the day Toulouse, the Pomeranian mix, makes his weekly visit.

As he entered the unit recently, he was surrounded by the patients and treated like a four-legged rockstar. He lapped up the attention and the women benefited, too.

Victoria Smith has depression and anxiety, but petting Toulouse gave her some immediate relief.

“I was feeling a bit anxious but now that I have Toulouse, I am feeling a lot more calm. He is definitely helping,” she said.

Debra Schlegel, a recreational therapist on the women’s ward, has also noticed the power of the Pomeranian.

“It’s amazing the difference you see with clients. Our population, they are going through a lot of challenges right now being in an acute setting,” she said.

“It is a really stressful time. It is a hospital but it makes it less institutional. You feel like you are at home with your animals as well.”

Schlegel has even noticed patients who were reluctant to leave their rooms come out to the lounge area for a chance to spend time with Toulouse and to socialize with other patients.

“We see the proof and we see the stress reduction and the lowering of anxiety and people smiling and it can be a really great treatment.”

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Health

Researchers warn about the severe psychological distress caused by eating junk food

Editor

Published

on

By

(Natural News) Does junk food make you sad? While the current state of the American food industry is more than enough to make anyone feel depressed, new research from Loma Linda University demonstrates a link between junk-laden diets and psychological distress. Based on their findings, it appears that what you eat can and does affect your mental health — and that the prepackaged garbage peddled as “food” can have a seriously deleterious effect on your emotional well-being.

Even after adjusting for other external factors, the scientists found this relationship held steady: The more junk food a person ate, the more distress they reported feeling. When you consider the physiological effects junk food has on the body, it is no wonder that people report feeling like they are more distressed: They are in distress, they just don’t know it’s because of what the “food” they’re eating is doing to them on the inside.

Estimates suggest that the average American gets 60 percent of their daily calories from processed or junk food. Junk food consumption is a widespread problem here in the United States. Now, there are questions about whether or not junk food is a driving force in the plague of insanity (and stupidity) striking the U.S.

Scientists link junk food to poor mental health

Published in the journal International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition in early 2019, a study from Loma Linda University scientists finds a link between poor diet and poor mental health. Even after adjusting for external factors such as gender, age, education and income level, the association between junk food intake and mental illness remained.

The power of the elements: Discover Colloidal Silver Mouthwash with quality, natural ingredients like Sangre de Drago sap, black walnut hulls, menthol crystals and more. Zero artificial sweeteners, colors or alcohol. Learn more at the Health Ranger Store and help support this news site.

Study leader Jim E. Banta, Ph.D., MPH, an associate professor at the school, says that their conclusions support the findings of previous research. To conduct their study, Banta and his team looked at data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). The scientists used 240,000 phone surveys conducted by CHIS between 2005 and 2015, and included data on socio-demographics, health status and health behaviors.

“This and other studies like it could have big implications for treatments in behavorial medicine,” Banta said of the findings.

“Perhaps the time has come for us to take a closer look at the role of diet in mental health, because it could be that healthy diet choices contribute to mental health. More research is needed before we can answer definitively, but the evidence seems to be pointing in that direction,” he added.

The fact that scientists in the 21st century are only now just beginning to even consider the possibility of a relationship between nutrition and mental health is truly disturbing. Natural health practitioners have long been aware of the importance of good nutrition for total well-being, including mental state.

Is poor nutrition turning America insane?

Vitamin D deficiency is a well-known cause of depression. B vitamins, iron, selenium and magnesium also support good mental health and deficiencies in these nutrients can also cause depression and anxiety. There is a growing body of research which strongly supports poor nutrition as a causative factor not only in depression, but in other mental illnesses — including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD and more.

For example, Dr. Banta notes that some research has linked high sugar consumption to bipolar disorder, while fried foods and processed grains are linked to depression. There is no ignoring the link between diet and disease — whether it is of the body or of the mind makes no difference.

Nearly 60 percent of the American population’s diet comes from disease-causing food, and it is hard not to wonder if obesity, heart disease and death aren’t the only problems being caused by junk food diets.

Are the increasingly insane leftists just running around in a nutrient-deprived, sugar-spiked frenzy? Whether you’re talking about the inanity of “social justice” score-keeping or the rapid acceptance of censorship to silence conservatives, it’s clear that the far left is missing a few bolts upstairs. A diet of GMOs, pesticides and toxic food additives will do that to you, though.

Continue Reading

Health

Eat healthier to improve your physical and mental well-being

Editor

Published

on

By

(Natural News) The physical health and mental well-being of a person depend a lot on nutrition and the food that he eats. Diet also influences the risk of developing chronic diseases. While the relationship between physical health and diet is well-understood, little is known about how diet and its quality influence the development of mental disorders. In a recent study, researchers from the University of Regensburg in Germany investigated the behavioral effects of a Western diet on pattern separation – the process of keeping items distinct in memory. They discovered that a diet consisting of increased amounts of sugar and saturated fatty acids, reduced levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and an increased ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids (Western diet) harms memory. The results of their study were published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness.

The Western diet impairs pattern separation

In this study, researchers investigated the utility of spatial separation – a behavioral process associated with the hippocampus – in the assessment of dietary interventions and the behavioral effects of the transgenerational administration of a Western diet on pattern separation. Pattern separation is the process of keeping items distinct in memory and is mediated by the hippocampus. Previous studies have suggested that there is a relationship between hippocampal function and diet quality in both humans and animals.

To examine the association between them, the researchers used rats, feeding over seven generations a diet containing increased amounts of sugar and saturated fatty acids, reduced levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and an increased ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids. This diet composition is characteristic of a diet known as the Western diet. The researchers administered it transgenerationally because previous studies have shown that interventional diets need to be implemented over several generations to induce behavioral effects.

100% organic essential oil sets now available for your home and personal care, including Rosemary, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Clary Sage and more, all 100% organic and laboratory tested for safety. A multitude of uses, from stress reduction to topical first aid. See the complete listing here, and help support this news site.

They compared the spatial pattern separation (or local discrimination) performance of these animals with that of rats fed a standard diet. For the test, they presented the rats two locations and allowed them to learn across trials to respond to the correct location. During spatial discrimination training, they designated a location as the correct one and rewarded the rats if they touched the correct location. They reversed the correct and incorrect locations every time the rats successfully got the correct ones nine times out of 10 trials.

The researchers found a separation-dependent difference between the standard and Western diet groups in the number of discriminations performed in the pattern separation task. The rats fed with a Western diet performed fewer discriminations. Rats with lesions in the dorsal hippocampus showed impaired pattern separation when the locations were close together but not when they were far apart. The researchers associated this impairment with hippocampal dysfunctioning. Their results align with previous studies which demonstrated that consumption of a Western diet impaired cognitive functions, damaged brain regions, and contributed to the occurrence of neurodegenerative diseases. Their results confirmed that pattern separation could be negatively affected by transgenerational administration of a Western diet.

The researchers concluded that spatial pattern separation can help detect the effects of dietary interventions and that the Western diet can impair pattern separation.

How to make your diet healthier

A healthy diet can provide many benefits, the most important of which is the prevention of chronic diseases. Here are some things that you can do to make your diet healthier:

  • Eat slowly
  • Choose whole grains
  • Add probiotics to your diet
  • Increase your protein intake
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid frying food and eating fast food
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Try new and healthy recipes
  • Eat vegetables first before every meal
  • Eat fruits instead of drinking them
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop drinking sweetened beverages
  • Get adequate sleep

Eating healthier and becoming aware of your nutritional needs will not only improve your physical health, but these will also benefit your mental and emotional well-being.

Continue Reading

Health

Apples: Eat them to keep the doctor away – and boost stem cell therapy

Editor

Published

on

By

(Natural News) There is some truth behind the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are superfoods, and they are good sources of antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative damage and boost the immune system. They also contain dietary fiber, which is good for digestion and the maintenance of gut microbiota. But there is more to apples than just being healthy, antioxidant fruits. In a recent study published in the journal Nutrition Research, researchers from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea showed the beneficial effect of apple extracts on the proliferation of adult stem cells. They also identified the possible molecular mechanisms underlying apple’s pro-proliferative effects.

Apple ethanol extracts can enhance the proliferation of stem cells useful for tissue regeneration

Tissue regeneration using adult stem cells (ASCs) has significant potential in the treatment of many degenerative diseases. It also provides a promising means of repairing chronic tissue or organ failure due to injuries, congenital defects, and aging. Stem cells are essential in regenerative medicine because they can be used directly in cell replacement therapies. However, studies on their application in clinical settings suggest that age negatively affects the proliferation status and differentiation potential of ASCs. This presents a possible limitation in their therapeutic use.

In the hopes of addressing this limitation, researchers turned their attention to the pro-proliferative activity of apples. Apples are rich sources of valuable phytochemicals that are known to be beneficial to human health. They possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and even anticancer activities. These antioxidants can help maintain human cells and protect them from harmful oxidation products. In addition, apples contain metabolites that could ensure longevity and increase the number of human cells in culture. (Related: Apples could hold key for increasing lifespan.)

Mother Nature’s micronutrient secret: Organic Broccoli Sprout Capsules now available, delivering 280mg of high-density nutrition, including the extraordinary “sulforaphane” and “glucosinolate” nutrients found only in cruciferous healing foods. Every lot laboratory tested. See availability here.

Because of this, researchers hypothesized that apple extracts might exert beneficial effects on ASCs. They obtained apple extracts using ethanol as the extraction solvent and tested these on human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) and human cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (CB-MSCs). They also used 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide and Click-iT 5-ethynyl-2?-deoxyuridine flow cytometry assays to evaluate the pro-proliferative effects of the extracts.

The researchers found that treatment with apple extracts promoted the proliferation of ADSCs and CB-MSCs. Apple extracts also induced the stepwise phosphorylation of p44/42 MAPK (ERK), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K), S6 ribosomal protein (S6RP), eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4B, and eIF4E in ADSCs. p44/42 MAPK (ERK) is a signaling pathway involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. Inhibition of this pathway results in cell apoptosis. mTOR is a key signaling node that coordinates cell cycle progression and cell growth. p70S6K is a cytokine that regulates cell growth by inducing protein synthesis. eIFs, on the other hand, are proteins or protein complexes involved in translation and protein biosynthesis.

The researchers also reported that apple extracts significantly induced the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in both ADSCs and CB-MSCs. VEGF is a potent angiogenic factor, which means it promotes the formation of blood vessels. VEGF also plays a role in other physiological functions, such as hematopoiesis, wound healing, and development. IL-6 is a promoter of proliferation. The researchers further confirmed that the apple extract-induced proliferation of ADSCs under serum-free conditions is mediated by ERK-dependent cytokine production because when they pre-treated cells with PD98059, a specific ERK inhibitor, it inhibited the phosphorylation of the mTOR/p70S6K/S6RP/eIF4B/eIF4E pathway.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that extracts from apples are potent pro-proliferative agents, and the beneficial effect of apple extract on the proliferation of ASCs may overcome the limitation in their therapeutic use in tissue regeneration.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending