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Sleep Medicine

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In what may be the largest study of sleep problems among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers at UC Davis have found that widely undiagnosed sleep disorders may be at the root of the most common and disabling symptom of the disease: fatigue. Study paticipant reports of sleep disorder frequency, sleep patterns and complaints of excessive daytime sleepiness suggest that sleep problems may be a hidden epidemic in the MS population.

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A sleep-promoting circuit located deep in the primitive brainstem has revealed how we fall into deep sleep. Discovered by researchers at Harvard School of Medicine and the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, this is only the second "sleep node" identified in the mammalian brain whose activity appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep.  Using designer genes, researchers were able to 'turn on' specific neurons in the brainstem that result in deep sleep.

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Insomnia can cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and earlier death. This study finds that curing the insomnia reduces the inflammation and hopefully reduces disease. It also found the best way to cure lack of sleep is through the use of a common psychotherapy treatment - cognitive behavioural therapy.

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Getting enough sleep is important to people of any age, but it is especially so for teenagers, with insufficient sleep possibly being linked to obesity as an adult.

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A study is shining new light on a sleep disorder called “sleep drunkenness.” The disorder may be as prevalent as affecting one in every seven people. Sleep drunkenness disorder involves confusion or inappropriate behaviour, such as answering the phone instead of turning off the alarm, during or following arousals from sleep, either during the first part of the night or in the morning. An episode, often triggered by a forced awakening, may even cause violent behaviour during sleep or amnesia of the episode.

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Ever wondered about the effects of binge sleeping? Are naps bad or how long should you nap for? For all these myths debunked follow the link

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Daily Steroids May Not Be Needed for Wheezing

homeo-treatment-asthma 

Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterised by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors with treatment usually involving daily treatment with inhaled steroids such as Pulmicort.  Recent research now contests that the current recommended daily dosing of inhaled steroids for children under the age of five may be just as effective as less frequent treatments with a higher dose of inhaled steroids, leading to an overall reduced exposure to the drug.

The research compared outcomes among 278 high-risk preschoolers treated with either the occasional inhaled steroid regimen of the recommended daily regimen.  Study researcher, Zeiger, found the treatments to be equally effective for reducing the frequency of wheezing episodes that required the use of oral steroids over the course of a year.  “We showed that daily treatment was not superior to intermittent treatment, ‘says Zeiger of the Childhood Asthma Research and Education (CARE) Network.  ‘And even though the dose used in the intermittent regimen was four times higher than that used for daily treatment, the cumulative dosage was threefold lower among children in the study’.

The year long study found that on average every 3.5 months the occasional group was being treated and their cumulative dose of the drug was 100milligrams less over the course of the year compared to the children treated daily with 0.5 milligrams.

childgrowth

With these new findings, further research in to the effects of inhaled steroids and the risk for impaired growth is needed.  ‘The implication is that if you are giving less steroid overall there will be less impact on growth, but that remains to be seen,’ pulmonary specialist Len Horovitz, MD, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.  “It could be that there is more absorption with the higher-dose intermittent regimen, even though the cumulative dose is not as great.”  Advances in respiratory health continue to evolve and new questions raised.  The occasional dosing schedule may be a more attractive option to parents given the convenience and possible financial and growth implications for the child.

Asthma Health Centre. Daily Steroids May Not Be Needed for Wheezing. Updated Nov 24. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/asthma/news/20111122/daily-steriods-may-not-be-needed-for-wheezing

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