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How do dreams affect brain disorders?

Research presented at the latest Canadian Neuroscience Meeting connects fascinating insights into the science of dreams with the risk of developing neurological disorders.

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Scientists examine what goes on inside our brains when we dream and find surprising connections with neurodegenerative disorders.

Research presented at the 2017 annual gathering of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience, held in Montreal, investigates what goes on inside our brains when we dream. Surprisingly, the research also suggests that dream dysfunctions may predict the development of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia.

The research was conducted by Dr. John Peever and his team at the University of Toronto in Canada in 2015.

Dr. Peever and colleagues have previously studied how dreams occur and discovered the brain cells that are responsible for reaching the dream state: the so-called REM-active neurons.

How do we dream?

Since the 1960s, scientists have known that dreaming occurs during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and that the brainstem is a key brain region responsible for controlling dreams.

The brainstem is located at the base of the brain, and it communicates with the hypothalamus to transition from wakefulness to sleep, and vice versa. A chain reaction started by REM-active “SubC” neurons ultimately releases the GABA neurotransmitter, which, in turn, reduces the level of arousal in the hypothalamus and the brainstem. SubC neurons take their name from the brain area in which they are found: the subcoeruleus nucleus.

These brain cells that produce GABA, or GABAergic neurons, control the timing of REM sleep and its features, such as muscle paralysis. As Dr. Peever explains, “When we switch on these cells, it causes a rapid transition into REM sleep.” The brainstem sends signals to relax muscles and limbs so that we do not do in real life what we dream about while asleep.

Knowing all of this, Dr. Peever and colleagues set out to examine dreaming disorders such as cataplexy, narcolepsy, and REM sleep behavior disorder.

People with narcolepsy do not just fall asleep instantly, but they also experience cataplexy, which is the sudden loss of muscle tone while they are awake.

REM sleep disorders linked to neurodegenerative conditions

While examining the breakdowns in the brain circuits that cause these disorders, the team made an interesting discovery.

They found that REM sleep disorders are linked to several neurodegenerative diseases that tend to occur in old age. “This link suggests that neurodegenerative processes initially target the circuits controlling REM sleep and specifically SubC neurons,” write Dr. Peever and colleagues in their 2015 paper.

We observed that more than 80 percent of people who suffer from REM sleep disorder eventually develop synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson’s disease, and Lewy body dementia. Our research suggests sleep disorders may be an early warning sign for diseases that may appear some 15 years later in life.”

Dr. John Peever

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate that approximately 50,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year, and around half a million people live with the disease. Lewy body dementia affects another 1 million U.S. adults.

Both Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia are characterized by a buildup of a neuronal protein called alpha-synuclein inside the neurons.

In the future, Dr. Peever hopes that his research will pave the way for neuroprotective therapies that would prevent against the development of such neurodegenerative disorders.

“Much like we see in people prone to cancer, diagnosing REM disorders may allow us to provide individuals with preventative actions to keep them healthy long before they develop these more serious neurological conditions,” Dr. Peever says.

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How does sex affects our brains?

Sex! Sex! Sex! Having sex can flavor our nights, and days, with sweet pleasure and excitement, relieving stress and worry. And, of course, sex has been key to ensuring that the human race lives on. In this article, we ask, “How does sex impact what happens in the brain?”

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Sexual intercourse is known to impact the way in which the rest of our body functions.

Recent studies have shown that it can have an effect on how much we eat, and how well the heart functions.

As we have reported on Medical News Today, sex has been cited as an effective method of burning calories, with scientists noting that appetite is reduced in the aftermath.

Also, a study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior in 2016 found that women who have satisfying sex later in life might be better protected against the risk of high blood pressure.

Many of the effects of sex on the body are actually tied to the way in which this pastime influences brain activity and the release of hormones in the central nervous system.

Here, we explain what happens in the brain when we are sexually stimulated, and we look at how this activity can lead to changes in mood, metabolism, and the perception of pain.

Brain activity and sexual stimulation

For both men and women, sexual stimulation and satisfaction have been demonstrated to increase the activity of brain networks related to pain and emotional states, as well as to the reward system.

This led some researchers to liken sex to other stimulants from which we expect an instant “high,” such as drugs and alcohol.

The brain and penile stimulation

A 2005 study by researchers at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands used positron emission tomography scans to monitor the cerebral blood flow of male participants while their genitals were being stimulated by their female partners.

The scans demonstrated that stimulating the erect penis increased blood flow in the posterior insula and the secondary somatosensory cortex in the right hemisphere of the brain, while decreasing it in the right amygdala.

The insula is a part of the brain that has been tied to processing emotions, as well as to sensations of pain and warmth. Similarly, the secondary somatosensory cortex is thought to play an important role in encoding sensations of pain.

As for the amygdala, it is known to be involved in the regulation of emotions, and dysregulations of its activity have been tied to the development of anxiety disorders.

An older study from the same university — which focused on brain regions that were activated at the time of ejaculation — found that there was an increase in blood flow to the cerebellum, which also plays a key role in the processing of emotions.

The researchers liken the activation of the cerebellum during ejaculation to the pleasure rush caused by other activities that stimulate the brain’s reward system.

"Our results correspond with reports of cerebellar activation during heroin rush, sexual arousal, listening to pleasurable music, and monetary reward."

The brain and the female orgasm

In a study of the female orgasm that was conducted last year, scientists from Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, monitored the brain activity of 10 female participants as they achieved the peak of their pleasure — either by self-stimulation or by being stimulated by their partners.

The regions that were “significantly activated” during orgasm, the team found, included part of the prefrontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, the insula, the cingulate gyrus, and the cerebellum.

These brain regions are variously involved in the processing of emotions and sensations of pain, as well as in the regulation of some metabolic processes and decision-making.

Another study previously covered on MNT suggested that the rhythmic and pleasurable stimulation associated with orgasm puts the brain in a trance-like state. Study author Adam Safron compares the effect of female orgasms on the brain to that induced by dancing or listening to music.

“Music and dance may be the only things that come close to sexual interaction in their power to entrain neural rhythms and produce sensory absorption and trance,” he writes.

“That is,” he adds, “the reasons we enjoy sexual experiences may overlap heavily with the reasons we enjoy musical experience, both in terms of proximate (i.e. neural entrainment and induction of trance-like states) and ultimate (i.e. mate choice and bonding) levels of causation.”

Sex and hormonal activity

So what does this all mean? In essence, it means that sex can impact our mood — normally for the better, but sometimes for the worse.

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Having sex has repeatedly been associated with improved moods and psychological, as well as physiological, relaxation.

The reason behind why we may feel that stressimpacts us less after a session between the sheets is due to a brain region called the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus dictates the release of a hormone called oxytocin.

Higher levels of oxytocin can make us feel more relaxed, as studies have noted that it can offset the effects of cortisol, the hormone linked with an increased state of stress.

Not only does oxytocin make us calmer, but it also dampens our sense of pain. A study from 2013 found that this hormone could relieve headaches in individuals living with them as a chronic condition.

Another study from 2013 suggested that a different set of hormones that are released during sexual intercourse — called endorphins — can also relieve the pain associated with cluster headaches.

Can sex also make us feel down?

The answer to that, unfortunately, is “yes.” While s3x is generally hailed as a great natural remedy for the blues, a small segment of the population actually report an instant down rather than an instant high after engaging in this activity.

This condition is known as “postcoital dysphoria,” and its causes remain largely unknown. One study conducted in 2010 interviewed 222 female university students to better understand its effects.

Of these participants, 32.9 percent said that they had experienced negative moods after sex.

The team noted that a lifelong prevalence of this condition could be down to past traumatic events. In most cases, however, its causes remained unclear and a biological predisposition could not be eliminated.

“This draws attention to the unique nature of [postcoital dysphoria], where the melancholy is limited only to the period following sexual intercourse and the individual cannot explain why the dysphoria occurs,” the authors write.

Sex may lead to better sleep

Studies have shown that sexual intercourse can also improve sleep. After an orgasm, the body also releases higher levels of a hormone called prolactin, which is known to play a key role in sleep.

Researchers from Central Queensland University in Australia also hypothesized that the release of oxytocin during sex may act as a sedative, leading to a better night’s sleep.

In the case of men, ejaculation has been found to reduce activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is a brain region known to benefit particularly from a good night’s sleep.

In sleep, the prefrontal cortex exhibits the slowest brainwave activity compared with other brain regions, which supports the proper execution of cognitive functions during the daytime.

Researchers say that sex may lead to better cognitive functioning in older age, protecting people from memory loss and other cognitive impairments. Studies have shown that “older men who are sexually active […] have increased levels of general cognitive function.”

For women, being sexually active later in life appears to sustain memory recall, specifically. These effects may be due to the action of hormones such as testosterone and oxytocin, which are influenced by intercourse.

So, next time you’re about to slip between the sheets with that special someone, just know that this moment of passion will spark a whole neural firework show, releasing a special hormonal cocktail that will, at its best, charge a whole set of biological batteries.

Pregnancy Test After Abortion – Am I Still Pregnant?

Now For various reasons our women out there find it worth to abort, here is another time of dilemma when and how do you confirm the abortion process was successful.

How do I know my abortion has been successful? Am I still pregnant after my abortion?

With questions like this in mind, the best way to get the reassurance that the abortion has been successful, especially if you have taken the abortion pill(s), is to do a pregnancy test.

Your pregnancy test after abortion

We advise that you take a pregnancy test 4 weeks after your treatment to confirm that your abortion has been successful and that your body is returning to normal.

False Positives

If you take the test too early, it may show a false positive. This is because the pregnancy hormone may still be present in your body.

Avoid digital pregnancy tests after abortion

Please be aware that it’s not advisable to take a digital pregnancy test after your treatment. This is because digital tests are very sensitive and may pick up even the slightest trace of pregnancy hormones in your body, anything up to 8 weeks post-treatment. So you might think you’re still pregnant when you are most probably not.

Understanding the pregnancy test results

A negative pregnancy result

If you’ve had no issues following your abortion – and have a negative pregnancy test – you do not need further follow-up.

A negative which then appears as a positive test result

If you get a negative test – which later appears to be positive – check whether or not you read the pregnancy test within the time stated on the packaging. Results read outside of the given timescale may not be reliable. If in doubt, repeat the test.

A positive pregnancy result

If you have a positive pregnancy test at 4 weeks after treatment – but do not have any pregnancy symptoms – take a second test at 5 weeks.

Can I get pregnant straight after my abortion?

Yes. It’s possible for women to become pregnant immediately following an abortion, so please ensure you do not have unprotected sex after your abortion. We offer a range of contraception options at the time of treatment.

Article reviewed By – Your Nurse Solomon

The Emergency Pills and Contraception

Emergency contraception — also called postcoital contraception – is a form of birth control that may be used by women who have had unprotected sex or used a birth control method that failed.

The treatment generally is reserved for specific situations and is not a regular method of birth control.

Emergencies include being raped, having a condom break or slip off during sex action, or missing two or more birth control pills during a monthly cycle. Emergency oral contraception is used to prevent a pregnancy, not end one. They work primarily by delaying ovulation.

NOTE: My dear readers my audience Emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. It is not RU-466/mifepristone, the medication used to induce abortions.

There are 2 types of emergency contraception:

• Pill form

• IUD

RELATED ARTICLE: READ THE EARLIEST SIGNS OF PREGNANCY – COULD YOU BE PREGNANT?

There are 3 types of emergency contraception in pill form that are sold both with and without a prescription. You need to be 17 to buy them if a prescription is needed. Depending on the brand and dose, you might get 1 pill or 2.

• Pills containing a hormone called levonorgestrel:

◦ My Way (over-the-counter)

◦ Plan B One-Step (over-the-counter)

◦ Preventeza (over-the-counter)

◦ Take Action (over-the-counter)

• Birth control pills can also be used as emergency contraception, but you have to take more than one pill at a time to keep from getting pregnant. This approach works, but it is less effective and more likely to cause nausea than levonorgestrel. Birth control pills require a prescription. Talk to your doctor or nurse to make sure you are taking the correct pills and dose.

• A third kind of emergency contraception pill is called ulipristal (ella, ellaOne). You need a prescription to get it.

Levonorgestrel is a specifically packaged emergency contraception. It is available to anyone over the counter without a prescription or age restrictions.

Ella is a non-hormonal pill.

It contains ulipristal, a non-hormonal drug that blocks the effects of key hormones necessary for conception. It is available only by prescription.

How Does It Work?

Levonorgestrel  emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy by temporarily blocking eggs from being released, by stopping fertilization, or by keeping a fertilized egg from becoming

implanted in the uterus.

Levonorgestrel is taken in one dose with one pill. Its effectiveness depends on how soon you take the pill. It should be taken as soon as possible — within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. When Levonorgestrel is taken as directed, it can reduce the chance of pregnancy by close to 90%.

Ella can be taken up to 120 hours after sex. It is taken as one tablet in one dose.

An IUD can be inserted to prevent pregnancy.

The device works by stopping implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus and must be placed within 5 days of having unprotected intercourse.

How Effective Is Emergency Contraception?

If levonorgestrel  is taken as directed after unprotected sex, it will decrease the chances of a pregnancy occurring. About 7 out of every 8 women who would have gotten pregnant do not become pregnant. However, research shows that levonorgestrel starts to lose its effectiveness in women who are overweight or obese.

Instead, an IUD is the suggested option in this group.

In two reported studies, Ella significantly reduced the pregnancy rate from an expected rate of 5.5% and 5.6% to 2.2% and 1.9%, respectively. In a pooled analysis of the data, the effectiveness did not fade for 120 hours after unprotected sex.

An IUD can be up to 99% effective when inserted within 5 to 7 days after unprotected intercourse.

Where Can I Get Emergency Contraception?

Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) are available at Planned Parenthood; college, public, and women’s health centers; private doctors; and some hospital emergency rooms.

Some doctors will prescribe ECPs over the phone and call the prescription in to a pharmacy. As mentioned above, levonorgestrel is available at pharmacies without a prescription.

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Who Should Not Use ECPs?

Levonorgestrel will not affect an implanted pregnancy. Ella should not be used by women who are already pregnant or may be pregnant. The risk to a human fetus is unknown. Animal studies have demonstrated risk of fetal loss.

Women who have a chronic medical condition should check with their doctor or health care provider before using this method of emergency contraception.

Are There Any Side Effects Associated With Emergency Contraception Pills?

The most common side effects associated with emergency contraception pills include:

1. Nausea

2. Abdominal pain

3. Fatigue

4. Headache

5. Menstrual changes

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about ways to reduce nausea. They may prescribe some anti-nausea medicine for you to take before you take an ECP.

Does It Protect Against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)?

No. Emergency contraception will not protect you from contracting an STD, such as HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The best way to avoid getting STDs, is to limit sexual contact to one uninfected partner. If that is not an option, use a latex condom correctly every time you have sex.

Article by – Your Nurse Solomon

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Sugar Pregnancy Test – How to Perform It Procedure

I understand many of us tend to even fear buy pregnancy test stripes, here is your good news, you can use the sugar you have at home to find out whether you are pregnant or not.

It is said that only a woman can understand the exact feeling of being pregnant as it is one of the most important stages of their life. The first step of entering into this stage is the pregnancy test which will be conducted as soon as they have doubt of being pregnant. Sugar Pregnancy Test is a really test which can be done in home just with some sugar.

Also Read HEART BREAKING LETTER FROM ABORTED CHILD

A lot of options are available for this among which we will recommend the home-based testing methods at the initial stages. Uktvnow app This has the benefit of doing the test in a very inexpensive way. There are also situations when some woman needs to check for pregnancy at multiple times. The home based pregnancy which is also known as do-it-yourself will be very useful for such people.

In previous article we gave detail about how to perform the Bleech pregnancy test. Sugar pregnancy test is also such a test which can be done in a very natural way without the inclusion of any chemicals. This helps to avoid the usage of any chemicals which may result in any health related problems.

As the pregnancy is a stage of life which required the carrying lady to avoid the usage of unwanted medicines and chemicals, the natural testing methods are the best one for them at this stage. As this is a very economical method and can be done without too much effort, you can even repeat it multiple times whenever you have doubt of pregnancy.

Related Article READ THE EARLIEST SIGNS OF PREGNANCY – COULD YOU BE PREGNANT?

All you required to do this test is 2 -3 teaspoons of sugar and it is readily available in most of our houses. Those who get a positive result on this test are recommended to consult a doctor at the earliest. Because they are the ones that can guide you in the best way for the future steps that should be taken care. Online Sugar Pregnancy Test must be performed whenever you have any doubt about your pregnancy.

How to do the sugar pregnancy test?

For conducting the sugar pregnancy test what you required are some sugar and a well-cleaned bowl. It is recommended to use the white sugar rather than the others to have a better result. The bowl which will be used for this test should be well sterilized.

Otherwise, it may affect the result of the test. So, once you are ready with the above-said items, wait for some time until you feels to urinate. Now add 2 -3 teaspoons of sugar into the bowl. After that, it is recommended to urinate directly into the bowl rather than collecting it in some other vessels and dropping it into the bowl. This pregnancy test with sugar gives perfect and accurate reports.

How to Perform Sugar Pregnancy Test Properly Procedure

Now, wait for the response from the sugar that is added to the bowl. If the sugar is observed to be dissolved in the urine, then it can be confirmed that you are not pregnant. If it is not dissolved and is seen to clumps up then it is the indication that you are pregnant. If the result is found to be negative, you can try the same again in a couple of days. It is also recommended to do the test in the morning time with the first urine after waking up.

How does this Sugar Pregnancy test work?

It is the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) hormone which is present in the urine of the pregnant women’s that helps in the reaction between the urine and sugar. If the urine contains HCG hormone, the sugar will clump, which will in turn considered as a sign of pregnancy. Apart from sugar, this hormone shows a good response to a lot of other substances as well.

This property of the HCG is made in use by the different home based pregnancy testing methods.

Conducting the sugar pregnancy test at a too early stage of the pregnancy will show a negative result only. It doesn’t mean that you are not pregnant. So, whenever you get a negative result don’t take a decision about the same.

Related Article LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP GOALS AND HEALTH

It is recommended to try again with the same test method at multiple times with a gap of 2 -3 days. As the testing does not require you to invest any money for the same, you can do it as much as you like. It is also seen that for who are undergoing some medications, the result will not be the correct one. Also, the test conducted after too much consumption of water may also affect the result. Consider all these points carefully before you try the sugar pregnancy test. After you complete the test you will be amazed with the results for sure.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Sugar Pregnancy Test: –

Instead of using the modern pregnancy test methods, why people should use the sugar pregnancy test? There must be some strong reasons behind this. Let us have a look at the same. It is very difficult for the common people to continuously try the costly medical tests for confirmation of pregnancy. The sugar pregnancy test comes into their help at this stage. As this is very economical, you can try it as much as you want and it will cost you almost nothing.

Another advantage of the sugar pregnancy test is that it is very easy to perform. Even a housewife with less educational qualification can try this test and check the result quite easily. It is also seen that there are situations in life when a woman does not want to share the fact that she is pregnant. If trying to test for the same with some medical tests there are chances that others will also come to know about it. But by using home-based pregnancy test methods this risk can be avoided.

Along with some pros, the sugar pregnancy test has some cons as well. The most important thing that you should be aware of while doing this test is that the accuracy of it is a little bit less compared to the medical tests. However, if you find the result from the sugar test positive, you can check it again with the help of a doctor.

Conclusion: –

Tests like the sugar pregnancy test are the preliminary tests that can be done at the initial stages of pregnancy. Once you find that you are pregnant, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor at the earliest and take advice from them also.

#Earlypregnacytest #sugarpregnancytest #Perfecthomepregnancytest #cheapalternativeforpregnancytesting

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The most common Causes of Miscarriages

 

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First of all, what is a miscarriage??

A miscarriage is a spontaneous loss of a woman’s pregnancy before the 20th week that can be both physically and emotionally painful.

 

There quite many causes miscarriage out there of which many of some are not avoidable. Get insight into the most common causes of miscarriage. Now as humans, i most cases many women i find and have worked and have experienced this unfortunate happen ask why did i get an abortion?

Related Article Earliest Signs Of pregnancy – Could You be pregnant? Read Our Article

Today i bring you the most common causes of Abortion.

1. Lifestyle Some lifestyle habits, such as drug abuse, alcohol use during pregnancy, and smoking have been found to be causes of early miscarriage and pregnancy loss in later trimesters as well. Optimizing your health leading up to your pregnancy could help reduce your risk of miscarriage. Now in many cases pregnancies are unplanned, which means women are often not best prepared for pregnancy when it occurs. Most women i work on do not realize they are pregnant until a couple weeks after missing period. Preparing for pregnancy by modifying diet and exercise, limiting stress, optimizing chronic medical disorders and beginning prenatal vitamins is ideal for all pregnancies. This calls for our people to go for antenatal services as immediate as they think they are pregnant.

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 2. Physical complications Less common, but still significant occurrences of miscarriage can be caused by physical problems with the mother, such as uterine abnormalities including septum or polyps, or cervical incompetency, and mostly occur in the 2nd or 3rd trimesters.

 

3. Blood clotting disorders Like physical abnormalities, miscarriages caused by blood clotting disorders (such as Factor V Leiden), are more rare, but do occur.

4. Diabetes Women with diabetes need to work with their primary care physician or endocrinologist to optimize their sugar control because Uncontrolled insulin-dependent diabetes in the first trimester can lead to increased miscarriage rates and also a markedly increased risk of major birth defects.

Victims of diabetes, the best action plan is to see your nurse prior to becoming pregnant to optimize your health. Chronic medical disorders including diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypertension and autoimmune illnesses need to be addressed and well-controlled prior to pregnancy.

Also Read Earliest Signs Of pregnancy – Could You be pregnant? Read Our Article

 

5. Chromosomal abnormalities The most common reason for a miscarriage is problems with either the egg or sperm’s chromosomes during embryo formation. While some chromosomal abnormalities are compatible with life, such as trisomy 21, the most common type of Down syndrome, other chromosomal disorders are simply incompatible with life.

 

6. Thyroid disorders Whether it be hypo (too low) or hyper (too high) thyroidism, thyroid disorders can lead to problems with infertility or cause recurrent miscarriage.  In cases where a woman’s thyroid function is low, her body will try to compensate by producing hormones that can actually suppress ovulation; conversely, a thyroid that is producing too many hormones can interfere with estrogen’s ability to do its job and make the uterus unfavorable for implantation or lead to abnormal uterine bleeding.

Now lastly is this terrible one causing recurrent Miscarriages

7. Immunological disorders Certain autoimmune disorders do play a role in miscarriage, especially with recurrent miscarriages. Although the exact role of immunologic factors in miscarriage is “complicated. But here the body’s immune system fights the fetus, it views it as a foreign body and dangerous to it so it fights it till you get a miscarriage.

Also Read Earliest Signs Of pregnancy – Could You be pregnant? Read Our Article

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