Thursday, April 24, 2014

World Malaria Day 2014 Apirl 25 - OverCome Malaria


Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

In 2012, malaria caused an estimated 627 000 deaths (with an uncertainty range of 473 000 to 789 000), mostly among African children.

Malaria is preventable and curable.

Increased malaria prevention and control measures are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places.

Non-immune travellers from malaria-free areas are very vulnerable to the disease when they get infected.

According to the latest estimates, released in December 2013, there were about 207 million cases of malaria in 2012 (with an uncertainty range of 135 million to 287 million) and an estimated 627 000 deaths (with an uncertainty range of 473 000 to 789 000). Malaria mortality rates have fallen by 42% globally since 2000, and by 49% in the WHO African Region.

Most deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every minute from malaria. Malaria mortality rates among children in Africa have been reduced by an estimated 54% since 2000.

Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes, called "malaria vectors", which bite mainly between dusk and dawn.

There are four parasite species that cause malaria in humans:

Plasmodium falciparum

Plasmodium vivax

Plasmodium malariae

Plasmodium ovale.

Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the most common. Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly.

In recent years, some human cases of malaria have also occurred with Plasmodium knowlesi – a species that causes malaria among monkeys and occurs in certain forested areas of South-East Asia.


Malaria is transmitted exclusively through the bites of Anopheles mosquitoes. The intensity of transmission depends on factors related to the parasite, the vector, the human host, and the environment.

About 20 different Anopheles species are locally important around the world. All of the important vector species bite at night. Anopheles mosquitoes breed in water and each species has its own breeding preference; for example some prefer shallow collections of fresh water, such as puddles, rice fields, and hoof prints. Transmission is more intense in places where the mosquito lifespan is longer (so that the parasite has time to complete its development inside the mosquito) and where it prefers to bite humans rather than other animals. For example, the long lifespan and strong human-biting habit of the African vector species is the main reason why about 90% of the world's malaria deaths are in Africa.

Transmission also depends on climatic conditions that may affect the number and survival of mosquitoes, such as rainfall patterns, temperature and humidity. In many places, transmission is seasonal, with the peak during and just after the rainy season. Malaria epidemics can occur when climate and other conditions suddenly favour transmission in areas where people have little or no immunity to malaria. They can also occur when people with low immunity move into areas with intense malaria transmission, for instance to find work, or as refugees.

Human immunity is another important factor, especially among adults in areas of moderate or intense transmission conditions. Partial immunity is developed over years of exposure, and while it never provides complete protection, it does reduce the risk that malaria infection will cause severe disease. For this reason, most malaria deaths in Africa occur in young children, whereas in areas with less transmission and low immunity, all age groups are at risk.


Malaria is an acute febrile illness. In a non-immune individual, symptoms appear seven days or more (usually 10–15 days) after the infective mosquito bite. The first symptoms – fever, headache, chills and vomiting – may be mild and difficult to recognize as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness often leading to death. Children with severe malaria frequently develop one or more of the following symptoms: severe anaemia, respiratory distress in relation to metabolic acidosis, or cerebral malaria. In adults, multi-organ involvement is also frequent. In malaria endemic areas, persons may develop partial immunity, allowing asymptomatic infections to occur.

For both P. vivax and P. ovale, clinical relapses may occur weeks to months after the first infection, even if the patient has left the malarious area. These new episodes arise from dormant liver forms known as hypnozoites (absent in P. falciparum and P. malariae); special treatment – targeted at these liver stages – is required for a complete cure.

Who is at risk?

Approximately half of the world's population is at risk of malaria. Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. However, Asia, Latin America, and to a lesser extent the Middle East and parts of Europe are also affected. In 2013, 97 countries and territories had ongoing malaria transmission.

Specific population risk groups include:

young children in stable transmission areas who have not yet developed protective immunity against the most severe forms of the disease;

non-immune pregnant women as malaria causes high rates of miscarriage and can lead to maternal death;

semi-immune pregnant women in areas of high transmission. Malaria can result in miscarriage and low birth weight, especially during first and second pregnancies;

semi-immune HIV-infected pregnant women in stable transmission areas, during all pregnancies. Women with malaria infection of the placenta also have a higher risk of passing HIV infection to their newborns;

people with HIV/AIDS;

international travellers from non-endemic areas because they lack immunity;

immigrants from endemic areas and their children living in non-endemic areas and returning to their home countries to visit friends and relatives are similarly at risk because of waning or absent immunity.

Diagnosis and treatment

Early diagnosis and treatment of malaria reduces disease and prevents deaths. It also contributes to reducing malaria transmission.

The best available treatment, particularly for P. falciparum malaria, is artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT).

WHO recommends that all cases of suspected malaria be confirmed using parasite-based diagnostic testing (either microscopy or rapid diagnostic test) before administering treatment. Results of parasitological confirmation can be available in 15 minutes or less. Treatment solely on the basis of symptoms should only be considered when a parasitological diagnosis is not possible.

Antimalarial drug resistance

Resistance to antimalarial medicines is a recurring problem. Resistance of P. falciparum to previous generations of medicines, such as chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), became widespread in the 1970s and 1980s, undermining malaria control efforts and reversing gains in child survival.

In recent years, parasite resistance to artemisinins has been detected in four countries of the Greater Mekong subregion: Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. While there are likely many factors that contribute to the emergence and spread of resistance, the use of oral artemisinins alone, as monotherapy, is thought to be an important driver. When treated with an oral artemisinin-based monotherapy, patients may discontinue treatment prematurely following the rapid disappearance of malaria symptoms. This results in incomplete treatment, and such patients still have persistent parasites in their blood. Without a second drug given as part of a combination (as is provided with an ACT), these resistant parasites survive and can be passed on to a mosquito and then another person.

If resistance to artemisinins develops and spreads to other large geographical areas, the public health consequences could be dire, as no alternative antimalarial medicines will be available for at least five years.


Vector control is the main way to reduce malaria transmission at the community level. It is the only intervention that can reduce malaria transmission from very high levels to close to zero.

For individuals, personal protection against mosquito bites represents the first line of defence for malaria prevention.

Two forms of vector control are effective in a wide range of circumstances.

Insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs)

Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are the preferred form of ITNs for public health distribution programmes. WHO recommends coverage for all at-risk persons; and in most settings. The most cost effective way to achieve this is through provision of free LLINs, so that everyone sleeps under a LLIN every night.

Indoor spraying with residual insecticides

Indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticides is a powerful way to rapidly reduce malaria transmission. Its full potential is realized when at least 80% of houses in targeted areas are sprayed. Indoor spraying is effective for 3–6 months, depending on the insecticide used and the type of surface on which it is sprayed. DDT can be effective for 9–12 months in some cases. Longer-lasting forms of existing IRS insecticides, as well as new classes of insecticides for use in IRS programmes, are under development.

Antimalarial medicines can also be used to prevent malaria. For travellers, malaria can be prevented through chemoprophylaxis, which suppresses the blood stage of malaria infections, thereby preventing malaria disease. In addition, WHO recommends intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine for pregnant women living in high transmission areas, at each scheduled antenatal visit after the first trimester. Similarly, for infants living in high-transmission areas of Africa, 3 doses of intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is recommended delivered alongside routine vaccinations. In 2012, WHO recommended Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention as an additional malaria prevention strategy for areas of the Sahel sub-Region of Africa. The strategy involves the administration of monthly courses of amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine to all children under 5 years of age during the high transmission season.

Insecticide resistance

Much of the success to date in controlling malaria is due to vector control. Vector control is highly dependent on the use of pyrethroids, which are the only class of insecticides currently recommended for ITNs or LLINs. In recent years, mosquito resistance to pyrethroids has emerged in many countries. In some areas, resistance to all four classes of insecticides used for public health has been detected. Fortunately, this resistance has only rarely been associated with decreased efficacy, and LLINs and IRS remain highly effective tools in almost all settings.

However, countries in sub-Saharan Africa and India are of significant concern. These countries are characterized by high levels of malaria transmission and widespread reports of insecticide resistance. The development of new, alternative insecticides is a high priority and several promising products are in the pipeline. Development of new insecticides for use on bed nets is a particular priority.

Detection of insecticide resistance should be an essential component of all national malaria control efforts to ensure that the most effective vector control methods are being used. The choice of insecticide for IRS should always be informed by recent, local data on the susceptibility target vectors.

In order to ensure a timely and coordinated global response to the threat of insecticide resistance, WHO has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to develop the Global Plan for Insecticide Resistance Management in malaria vectors (GPIRM), which was released in May 2012. The GPIRM puts forward a five-pillar strategy calling on the global malaria community to:

plan and implement insecticide resistance management strategies in malaria-endemic countries;

ensure proper and timely entomological and resistance monitoring, and effective data management;

develop new and innovative vector control tools;

fill gaps in knowledge on mechanisms of insecticide resistance and the impact of current insecticide resistance management approaches; and

ensure that enabling mechanisms (advocacy as well as human and financial resources) are in place.


Malaria elimination is defined as interrupting local mosquito-borne malaria transmission in a defined geographical area, i.e. zero incidence of locally contracted cases. Malaria eradication is defined as the permanent reduction to zero of the worldwide incidence of malaria infection caused by a specific agent; i.e. applies to a particular malaria parasite species.

On the basis of reported cases for 2012, 52 countries are on track to reduce their malaria case incidence rates by 75%, in line with World Health Assembly targets for 2015. Large-scale use of WHO-recommended strategies, currently available tools, strong national commitments, and coordinated efforts with partners, will enable more countries – particularly those where malaria transmission is low and unstable – to reduce their disease burden and progress towards elimination.

In recent years, 4 countries have been certified by the WHO Director-General as having eliminated malaria: United Arab Emirates (2007), Morocco (2010), Turkmenistan (2010), and Armenia (2011).

Vaccines against malaria

There are currently no licensed vaccines against malaria or any other human parasite. One research vaccine against P. falciparum, known as RTS,S/AS01, is most advanced. This vaccine is currently being evaluated in a large clinical trial in 7 countries in Africa. A WHO recommendation for use will depend on the final results from the large clinical trial. These final results are expected in late 2014, and a recommendation as to whether or not this vaccine should be added to existing malaria control tools is expected in late 2015.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Green Tea Improve Memory

Green tea appears to boost memory by enhancing functional brain connectivity, a new imaging study suggests.
Recent study shows that drinking a green tea extract enhances memory performance.

This is "the first evidence for the putative beneficial effect of green tea on cognitive functioning, in particular, on working memory processing at the neural system level by suggesting changes in short-term plasticity of parieto-frontal brain connections.

This study was published online March 19 in 2014 in Psychopharmacology.

Boosts Brain Plasticity

Several studies have suggested that green tea enhances cognitive functioning. However, until now, the neural mechanisms underlying these putative benefits have been unclear.

To determine whether green tea extract modulates effective brain connectivity during a working memory task and whether connectivity parameters are related to task performance, the investigators recruited 12 healthy male volunteers who consumed either a milk whey–based soft drink containing 27.5 grams of green tea extract or a similar drink without green tea.

Participants were given working memory tasks while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

fMRI results showed increased connectivity between the parietal and the frontal cortex of the brain with the green tea extract, and these neuronal findings correlated positively with improvement in task performance.

This findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain.

"Modeling effective connectivity among frontal and parietal brain regions during working memory processing might help to assess the efficacy of green tea for the treatment of cognitive impairments in neuropsychiatric disorders such as dementia," the recent study conclude.

Friday, April 18, 2014

செல்போன்: ஒளிந்திருக்கும் புதிய ஆபத்து !!

தி ஹிந்து தமிழ் 30/3/14
காலமெல்லாம் காதல் வாழ்க’ படத்தில் டெலிபோன் அழைப்பை எதிர்பார்த்து எதிர்பார்த்து நடிகர் முரளி நோயாளியாக மாறும் படக் காட்சி ஞாபகம் இருக்கிறதா? அதுபோலவே, செல்போன் அழைப்பு வராமலேயே ரிங் டோன் கேட்டது போல நீங்களும் உணருகிறீர்களா? அழைப்பு வந்துள்ளதா என அடிக்கடி செல்போனை எடுத்துப் பார்க்கிறீர்களா? அப்படியானால் உங்களுக்கு இருக்கலாம்.
ஏதோ ஒரு சூழ்நிலையையோ, பொருளையோ கண்டு பயப்படுவதற்குப் பெயர் ஃபோபியா. போபியாக்களில் பல வகை உண்டு. அதில் சமீப காலமாக இளைஞர்கள் மத்தியில் வலம் வரும் போபியாவாக மாறிவருகிறது ரிங்டோன் போபியா என்கிறார் திருச்சி கி.ஆ.பெ.வி. அரசு மருத்துவக் கல்லூரி துணை முதல்வரும் மூளை நரம்பியல் துறைத் தலைவருமான அலீம்.
“நீங்கள் ஒரு விஷயத்தை எதிர்பார்த்துக் காத்திருக்கிறீர்கள். அது நடக்காவிட்டால் என்ன ஆகும்? டென்ஷன் ஏற்படும், பதற்றம் உருவாகும், கோபம் வரும். செல்போன் போபியாவிலும் இதே பிரச்சினைதான். செல்போன் அழைப்பு வந்தது போல ஒரு உணர்வு மனதில் அல்லாடிக் கொண்டிருக்கும்.
வாகனத்தில் செல்லும்போது வைப்ரேஷன் மோடில் வைத்திருந் தாலும்கூட வைப்ரேஷன் ஏற்பட்டது போன்ற ஒரு உணர்வுவரும். உடனே செல்போனை எடுத்துப் பார்ப்போம். இல்லை என்று தெரிந்ததும் சிலருக்குச் சலிப்பு ஏற்படலாம்.
ஒரே நாளில் பலமுறை இப்படி நிகழ்ந்தால் நம்மை அறியாமலேயே டென்ஷன், பதற்றம், கோபம், முரட்டுத்தனம், படபடப்பு ஏற்படுவது இயற்கைதானே. இது நாள் கணக்கிலோ, மாதக் கணக்கிலோ, ஆண்டுக் கணக்கிலோ தொடர்ந்தால் செல்போனைக் கண்டாலோ எரிச்சல் வந்துவிடும். இந்தப் பிரச்சினைக்குச் சரியான சிகிச்சை எடுத்துக்கொள்ளாமல், கண்டுகொள்ளாமல் விட்டுவிட்டால் ஒரு கட்டத்தில் மனநோய்கூட ஏற்பட லாம்’’ என்று எச்சரிக்கிறார் அலீம்.
தவிர்க்க என்ன வழி?
இன்று செல்போன் இல்லாமல் வாழ்க்கை இல்லை என்று சொல்லு மளவுக்கு எல்லோர் வாழ்விலும் இரண்டறக் கலந்துவிட்டது. அப்படியானால், ரிங் டோன் போபியாவைத் தவிர்க்க வழியே கிடையாதா? ‘‘இருக்கிறது. அதற்குச் செல்போன் பயன்பாட்டைக் குறைப்பதுதான் ஒரே வழி. இப்போது எந்த அளவுக்குச் செல்போனைப் பயன்படுத்திக் கொண்டிருக்கிறோமோ அதைப் பாதியாகக் குறைக்க வேண்டும். இன்று இளைஞர்கள்தான் அதிகளவில் செல்போனைப் பயன்படுத்துகிறார்கள். எனவே, அவர்கள் இந்த விஷயத்தில் எச்சரிக்கை உணர்வுடன் இருப்பது நல்லது. ஒரு வேளை அடிக்கடி டென்ஷன், பதற்றம், படபடப்பு ஏற்பட்டால் மருத்துவரை அணுகத் தயங்கக் கூடாது’’ என அறிவுரை கூறுகிறார் அலீம்.
கதிர் வீச்சு பாதிப்பு
ரிங் டோன் போபியா மட்டுமல்ல செல்போனை அளவுக்கு அதிகமாகப் பயன்படுத்துவதன் மூலம் வயது, பாலினத்துக்கு ஏற்றவாறு பல நோய்கள் உருவாகி வருகின்றன. செல்போனைப் பொறுத்தவரை அதிலிருந்து வரும் கதிர்வீச்சால் மூளை அதிகம் பாதிக்கப்படுகிறது . செல்போன் கதிர்வீச்சு மூலம் 20 சதவீதம் முதல் 60 சதவீதம்வரை நோய்கள் ஏற்படுவதாகக் கூறுகிறார் அலீம்.
“செல்போன் கதிர்வீச்சு மூலம் மூளைப் பகுதியின் அருகில் உள்ள காது நரம்புகளில் பாதிப்புகள் ஏற்படுகின்றன. இது காதுகேளாத் தன்மையை உருவாக்கிவிடும். இதனால் மூளையில் புற்றுநோய் கட்டிகள் ஏற்படுமா என்பது குறித்துத் தற்போது ஆய்வுகள் நடைபெற்றுவருகின்றன. மூளை பாதிக்கப்படுவதால் வயதானவர்களுக்கு வரும் ஞாபக மறதி எனப்படும் அல்சைமர் நோய் வர வாய்ப்பு உள்ளது. உடல் நடுக்க நோய் எனப்படும் பார்கின்சன் நோய் ஏற்படுமா என்பது குறித்தும் ஆய்வுகள் தொடர்கின்றன.
நரம்பியல் தொந்தரவாகத் தலைவலிப் பிரச்சினை ஏற்படலாம். தோள்பட்டையில் செல்போனை வைத்துச் சாய்ந்தபடி பேசுவதால் தோள்பட்டை வலி, கழுத்து வலியும் ஏற்படும் ஆபத்து உள்ளது. செல்போனில் இருந்து வரும் மின்காந்தக் கதிர்வீச்சு காரணமாக மூளை நரம்பு செல்கள் பாதிக்கப்படும்” என்கிறார் அலீம்.
குழந்தைகளுக்கு வேண்டாம்
இன்று குழந்தைகள், சிறுவர், சிறுமிகள்கூடச் செல்போனைச் சாதாரணமாகப் பயன்படுத்துகிறார்கள். பொதுவாக வளர்ந்த பிறகே மூளை முழு வளர்ச்சியை எட்டும். சிறுவர்கள், குழந்தைகளுக்கு மண்டையோடு மெலிதாகவே இருக்கும். இவர்கள் செல்போனைப் பயன்படுத்தினால் முதுமைக் காலத்தில் ஏற்படும் பல பாதிப்புகள் சிறு குழந்தைகளுக்கும் ஏற்படலாம்.
பொதுவாகச் செல்போன் சூடாகும் வரை பேசுவதைத் தவிர்ப்பது நம்மைக் காக்கும். செல்போனைக் காதுகளுடன் ஒட்டிவைத்துப் பேசாமல் இருப்பதும் நல்லது. ஹெட்போன், புளூடூத், ஸ்பீக்கர் மூலம் பேசினால் கதிர்வீச்சு பாதிப்பிலிருந்து தப்பிக்கலாம்.
அளவுக்கு மீறினால் அமிர்தமும் நஞ்சு என்பது நாம் அறியாததல்ல. செல்போனையும் அளவாகப் பயன்படுத்தினால் அல்லல் இன்றி வாழலாம்.

12 வகையான சிறப்பு மருத்துவ துறைகள் முதல்–அமைச்சர் ஜெயலலிதா காணொலி காட்சி மூலம் திறந்து வைத்தார்

திருச்சி அரசு மருத்துவமனை வளாகத்தில் இருதய அறுவை சிகிச்சை உள்பட 12 வகையான சிறப்பு மருத்துவ துறைகளை முதல்–அமைச்சர் ஜெயலலிதா காணொலி காட்சி மூலம் திறந்து வைத்தார்.
முதல் அமைச்சர் திறந்தார்
திருச்சி அரசு மருத்துவமனை வளாகத்தில் ரூ.60 கோடியே 94 லட்சம் திட்ட மதிப்பீட்டில் 6 மாடிகள் கொண்ட உயர் சிறப்பு மருத்துவ மையம் (சூப்பர் ஸ்பெஷாலிட்டி) கட்டப்பட்டுள்ளது. இதனை சென்னை தலைமை செயலகத்தில் இருந்து முதல்–அமைச்சர் ஜெயலலிதா நேற்று மதியம் காணொலி காட்சி மூலம் திறந்து வைத்தார். அப்போது திருச்சி மருத்துவ மனை வளாகத்தில் இருந்த அரசு தலைமை கொறடா மனோகரன், கலெக்டர் ஜெயஸ்ரீ முரளிதரன், பரஞ்சோதி எம்.எல்.ஏ ஆகியோர் இனிப்பு வழங்கினார்கள்.
நிகழ்ச்சியில் கி.ஆ.பெ. விசுவநாதன் அரசு மருத்துவ கல்லூரி டீன் கார் குழலி, துணை முதல்வர் டாக்டர் அலீம், மருத்துவமனை கண்காணிப்பாளர் கனகசுந்தரம், பொதுப்பணித்துறை தலைமை பொறியாளர் சம்பத், கண்காணிப்பு பொறியாளர் முருகேசன், செயற்பொறியாளர் கணேசன், பி.எஸ்.கே. என்ஜினீயரிங் கன்ஸ்ட்ரக்ஷன், பொறியியல் கல்லூரி பொருளாளர் தென்னரசு ஆகியோர் கலந்து கொண்டனர்.
12 மருத்துவ துறைகள்
இந்த உயர் சிறப்பு மருத்துவ மையத்தில் இருதய மாற்று அறுவை சிகிச்சை, மூளை நரம்பியல் துறை, சிறுநீரக மருத்துவம் மற்றும் அறுவை சிகிச்சை, இரைப்பை மற்றும் குடல் நோய் அறுவை சிகிச்சை, புற்று நோய் அறுவை சிகிச்சை உள்பட 12 வகையான மருத்துவ துறைகள் இடம்பெற்று உள்ளன. இதன் மூலம் கடும் நோயினால் பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்கள் இங்குள்ள நவீன மருத்துவ வசதிகள் மூலம் உயரிய மருத்துவ சிகிச்சைகளை பெற முடியும்.

திருச்சி மகாத்மா காந்தி மருத்துவமனையில் ரூ. 60.94 கோடியில் உயர் சிறப்பு சிகிச்சை மையம் திறப்பு

 First Published : 22 February 2014 12:18 AM IST தினமணி 
திருச்சி மகாத்மா காந்தி அரசு மருத்துவமனை வளாகத்தில் ரூ. 60.94 கோடியில் கட்டப்பட்ட உயர்சிறப்பு மருத்துவச் சிகிச்சை மையத்துக்கான 6 மாடிக் கட்டடத்தை முதல்வர் ஜெயலலிதா வெள்ளிக்கிழமை சென்னையிலிருந்து காணொலிக் காட்சி மூலம் திறந்து வைத்தார்.
  தில்லி எய்ம்ஸ் மருத்துவமனைக்கு நிகராக திருச்சி அரசு மருத்துவமனையை தரம் உயர்த்த வேண்டும் என்ற கோரிக்கை எழுந்து, போராட்டங்கள் நடைபெற்ற போது, அதற்கான திட்டம் சேலத்துக்கும், மதுரைக்கும் கைநழுவிச் சென்றது.
  இந்த நிலையில் அதிமுக ஆட்சிப் பொறுப்பேற்றவுடன் மாநில அரசு நிதியில் இருந்து ரூ. 100 கோடியில் திருச்சி மகாத்மா காந்தி அரசு மருத்துவமனை வளாகத்தில் உயர் சிறப்பு சிகிச்சை மையம் அமைக்கப்படும் என முதல்வர் ஜெயலலிதா அறிவித்தார்.
  அதன் தொடர்ச்சியாக ரூ. 60.94 கோடியில் 12 சிறப்புப் பிரிவுகளுடன் கூடிய 6 மாடிக் கட்டடம் கட்டி முடிக்கப்பட்டு, உள்கட்டுமான உபகரணங்களும் வாங்கப்பட்டன. மேலும் ரூ. 45 கோடியில் மருத்துவ உபகரணங்கள் வாங்கப்படவுள்ளது.
  இந்த நிலையில், நவீன முறையில் அமைக்கப்பட்ட இந்தக் கட்டடத்தை முதல்வர் ஜெயலலிதா வெள்ளிக்கிழமை சென்னையிலிருந்து காணொலிக் காட்சி மூலம் திறந்து வைத்தார்.
  அப்போது, திருச்சி மருத்துவமனை வளாகத்தில் அரசுத் தலைமைக் கொறடா ஆர். மனோகரன், மாவட்ட ஆட்சியர் ஜெயசிறீ முரளிதரன், எம்எல்ஏ மு. பரஞ்ஜோதி, மேயர் அ. ஜெயா, அரசு மருத்துவக் கல்லூரி முதல்வர் பொ. கார்குழலி, துணை முதல்வர் டாக்டர் எம்.ஏ. அலீம், கண்காணிப்பாளர் டாக்டர் கனகசுந்தரம் உள்ளிட்டோர் நோயாளிகளுக்கும், மருத்துவக் கல்லூரி மாணவ, மாணவிகளுக்கும் இனிப்பு வழங்கினர்.

.திருச்சி மாவட்டத்திற்கு இன்குபேட்டர் வசதியுடன் கூடிய 108 ஆம்புலன்ஸ் சேவை தொடக்கம்

.திருச்சி மாவட்டத்திற்கு இன்குபேட்டர் வசதியுடன் கூடிய 108 ஆம்புலன்ஸ் சேவை தொடக்கம்

பதிவு செய்த நேரம்:2013-12-31 10:43:22 தினகரன் 

திருச்சி, : திருச்சியில் பச்சிளம் குழந்தைகளுக் கான சிறப்பு 108 ஆம்புலன்ஸ் சேவையை  கலெக் டர் ஜெயஸ்ரீ முரளிதரன் நேற்று துவக்கி வைத்தார்.
திருச்சி அரசு மருத்துவ மனை, மணப்பாறை அரசு மருத்துவமனைகளில் மட் டும், குறை பிரசவம் மற்றும் எடை குறைந்த குழந்தை களை பராமரிக்க இன்குபேட்டர் உள்ளிட்ட சிறப்பு மருத்துவ வசதிகள் உள் ளன. மாவட்டத்தில் மற்ற இடங்களில் உள்ள  அரசு மருத்துவமனைகள், ஆரம்ப சுகாதார நிலையங்களில் இவ்வசதி இல்லை. இந்த குறையை போக்க சிறப்பு இன்குபேட்டர் உள்ளிட்ட வசதிகளுடன் கூடிய சிறப்பு 108 ஆம்புலன்ஸ் வசதி ஏற்படுத்தப்படும் என்று அரசு அறிவித்திருந்தது.
அதன்படி இவ்வசதிகள் இல்லாத மருத்துவமனைக ளில் பிறக்கும் குழந்தைகளு க்கு, சிறப்பு சிகிச்சை தேவைப்பட்டால் இந்த 108 ஆம்புலன்ஸ் மூலம் திருச்சி அரசு மருத்துவமனைக்கு கொண்டு வரப்படும். இதற் கென சிறப்பு பயிற்சி பெற்ற மருத்துவ ஊழியர் ஒருவர் இந்த ஆம்புலன்சில் இருப் பார்.
அந்த வகையில் தமிழகத்தில் இதுவரை 10 மாவட்டங்களில் ஆம்புலன்ஸ் வசதி ஏற்படுத்தப்பட்டுள் ளது. தற்போது 11வது சிறப்பு 108 ஆம்புலன்ஸ் திருச்சிக்கு வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. திருச்சி கலெக்டர் அலுவலகத்தில் நேற்று இதற்கென நடந்த நிகழ்ச்சியில் சிறப்பு 108 ஆம்புலன்ஸ் சேவையை கலெக் டர் ஜெயஸ்ரீ துவக்கி வைத் தார்.
நிகழ்ச்சியில் அரசு மருத்துவக் கல்லூரி டீன் வள்ளிநாயகம், துணை முதல்வர் டாக்டர் அலீம், மருத்துவ பணிகள் இணை இயக்குனர் மனோகரன், துணை இயக்குனர் ரவீந்திரன், 108 மாவட்ட மேலாளர்கள் பால் ராபின்சன், ரவி சங் கர், ஒருங்கிணைப்பாளர் கள் கண்ணன், சிவக்குமார், சுகாதாரப்பணிகள் திட்ட மாவட்ட ஒருங்கிணைப் பாளர் முத்துக்குமார் உள்ளிட்டோர் கலந்து கொண் டனர்.
இது குறித்து மாவட்ட கலெக்டர் ஜெயஸ்ரீ கூறியதாவது: பிறக்கும் குழந்தைகளின் இறப்பு விகித்தை குறைக்கும் விதமாக இந்த வசதி உடைய ஆம்புலன்ஸ் உருவாக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. இதில் பிறந்த குழந்தைகளு க்கு இன்குபேட்டர் வசதி உட்பட அனைத்து வசதிக ளும் இந்த ஆம்புலன்சில் உள்ளது. இந்த ஆம்புலன்ஸ் திருச்சி அரசு மருத்துவ மனை வளாகத்தில் இருக் கும். இந்த ஆம்புலன்ஸ் வசதி வேண்டும் என்று 108 தொடர்பு கொண்டு கேட் கும் அரசு மருத்துவமனைகளுக்கு உடனே அனுப்பி வைக்கப்படும். இவ்வாறு கலெக்டர் தெரிவித்தார்.
திருச்சிக்கு 20 ஆம்புலன்ஸ்கள் இதேபோல பச்ச மலை  பகுதிக்கென தனி யாக 108 ஆம்புலன்சும் வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. டாப் செங்காட்டுப்பட்டி ஆரம்ப சுகாதார நிலையத்தில் இந்த ஆம்புலன்ஸ் நிறுத்தப் பட்டிருக்கும். இந்த 2 ஆம்புலன்ஸ்களையும் சேர்த்து திருச்சி மாவட்டத்தில் இது வரை இருபது 108 ஆம்புலன்ஸ்கள் உள்ளன என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Neurology of Itching and its Treatment

Treatment of Neuropathic Itch

Non-pharmacological Therapies

Management of neuropathic itch begins with non-pharmacological measures used for itch in general, followed by other therapies tried in a stepwise approach. Non-pharmacological treatments are the mainstay of initial management and should continue even if drug therapies are required. They include behavioural interventions (e.g., educating the patient about itch effects, nail-cutting and wearing protective garments) , use of moisturizers, wearing loose clothing, and avoidance of warm temperatures (Class IV evidence) . Phototherapy with narrow-band ultraviolet B has been shown to help in five cases of notalgia paraesthetica, but its use has not been explored in other neuropathic itch conditions (Class IV evidence) .

Pharmacological Therapies

As neuropathic itch is often induced without the involvement of histamine, it is not surprising that antihistamines are generally unhelpful in treatment. Any benefit appears related more to the somnolent side effects of H1-antihistamines than to a more specific antipruritic effect .

There are several medications reported for use in neuropathic itch. Capsaicin cream and topical anaesthetics such as a lidocaine patch are commonly used initially (Class IV evidence). The mechanism of capsaicin is TRVP1 activation that leads to receptor desensitization and depletion of substance P from sensory nerve terminals in the skin . In a meta-analysis of six randomized controlled studies testing capsaicin for diverse itch conditions, there was no convincing evidence in favour of the treatment. Methodological and statistical problems limited the validity of these controlled studies. Specifically, it is difficult to design experiments because the burning sensation induced by capsaicin cannot be masked, making it challenging to find a suitable placebo to maintain the blinding of patients and investigators . Other topical agents that have been used with anecdotal claims of benefit include lidocaine 5% gel , cortisone and tacrolimus . The latter activates C-fibres with TRPV1 receptors through an increase of intracellular calcium ions.

As understanding has increased about the aetiologies and pathophysiology of itch, new therapeutic strategies have emerged, including anti-seizure medications and antidepressants. Among the anti-seizure medications, gabapentin—widely used for neuropathic pain—is best studied. As indicated previously, scratching excites inhibitory interneurons to release glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid and thereby inhibit itch-responsive neurons . Gabapentin is a structural analogue of gamma-aminobutyric acid that is thought to block the alpha2delta subunit of voltage-dependent calcium channels in dorsal horn postsynaptic cells. In a randomized control trial of 60 patients with itch following burns, gabapentin was more effective and faster in action than the antihistamine cetirizine. There was no difference between gabapentin alone and the combination of gabapentin and cetirizine. All patients receiving gabapentin had become itch-free by 28 days, whereas only 3 of 20 patients receiving cetirizine alone became itch-free. Furthermore, gabapentin had no reported side effects, whereas cetirizine caused sedation (Class II evidence) . Other anecdotal reports describe the efficacy of gabapentin—either alone or in conjunction with topical agents such as capsaicin or tacrolimus—in treating single or a few patients with itch syndromes such as trigeminal trophic syndrome and brachioradial pruritus (Class IV evidence). Other anti-seizure and antidepressant agents were tried for itch by analogy with their use for treating neuropathic pain. There are anecdotal reports of antipruritic benefit with pregabalin , carbamazepine, doxepin, amitriptyline, nortriptyline and paroxetine (Class IV evidence). These medications merit more rigorous trials to determine their efficacy.

In refractory cases, thalidomide or injectable treatments may be used, depending on the underlying disorder. Thalidomide is an effective treatment for prurigo nodularis, perhaps due to its suppression of tumour necrosis factor-alpha, which is elevated in many skin disorders with itch (Class IV evidence). The limiting factors are teratogenicity and thalidomide-induced peripheral neuropathy. Injectable treatments include intracutaneous botulinum A toxin , epidural injections of clonidine and bupivacaine , and stellate ganglion blocks (Class IV evidence). In one study, botulinum A toxin was injected into pruritic skin patches at small intervals (1.5 cm apart) in a dose range of 0.8–1.4 units per point. . It showed moderate and mostly transient improvement in patients with localized itch, including notalgia paraesthetica. The proposed mechanism is modulation of TRPV1 receptors in a similar fashion to capsaicin to reduce the release of C-fibre neuropeptides .

Neurostimulation Treatment

Additional treatments for refractory itch include peripheral and central surface stimulators. Cutaneous field stimulation electrically stimulates thin afferent fibres. When applied to the affected regions in patients with localized itch, including brachioradial pruritus and notalgia paraesthetica, there was a 49% reduction of itch compared to baseline and 40% reduction in itch-related epidermal nerve fibres (as determined by immunoreactivity) on skin biopsies (Class IV evidence) ( Transcranial direct current stimulation involves a non-invasive neuromodulator applied to the scalp to influence neuroplasticity. In a case report, it was found to improve one patient's recalcitrant itch, but not pain, for 3 months (Class IV evidence).Further study of stimulation techniques to relieve intractable itch seem warranted.

Surgical Treatment

Except for a case report of microsurgical decompression in notalgia paraesthetica (Class IV evidence) , little has been published on neurosurgical interventions in the management of chronic itch syndromes, and the role of such interventions is unclear at this time.

Other Therapies

Certain other therapies, which have been used to treat non-neuropathic itch, may also be tried in patients with otherwise refractory neuropathic syndromes , although no evidence of efficacy in neuropathic itch has been published. Mu-opioid receptor antagonists and kappa-opioid receptor agonists may alleviate pruritus occurring in the context of systemic or skin diseases. Naloxone has antipruritic effects due to modulation of mu-opioid sensitive interneurons
or wide dynamic range neurons in the spinal cord . It is an effective treatment for opioid-induced itch, cholestatic itch, chronic urticaria and atopic dermatitis . Nalfurafine and butorphanol activate cutaneous kappa-opioid receptors without central side effects, and decrease itch especially in patients with uraemia .

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fruits and Vegetables Improves Memory

A flavonol called fisetin, found in many fruits and vegetables in recent study has been shown that it protect neurons in the brain from the effects of aging. The compound is known to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on brain cells. This study have now investigated the memory-protecting effects of fisetin in a strain of double-transgenic Alzheimer's disease (AD) mice. Three-month-old mice had fisetin added to their food. By 9 months of age, mice that had not received fisetin began performing more poorly in water mazes, a standard test of animal learning and memory. Mice fed fisetin daily performed as well as control mice without the Alzheimer's transgene at both 9 months and 1 year old. The researchers next found that in AD mice with memory impairment, pathways involved in cellular inflammation were activated. In fisetin-fed AD mice, those pathways were dampened, and anti-inflammatory molecules were activated. The researchers plan to further probe the molecular details of how fisetin protects memory and study how the timing of fisetin doses affect its influence on AD and whether fisetin can reverse declines in memory once they have already appeared.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

World Health Day 2014 - vector-borne diseases : AVOID SMALL INSECTS BITE - “Small bite, big threat”

World Health Day 2014: vector-borne diseases
“Small bite, big threat”
Pro. Dr.M.A.Aleem M.D.D.M(Neuro) ,
Vice principal, HOD & Professor of Neurology, KAPV Government Medical College & MGM Government Hospital, Trichy – 620017.Tamilnadu India. Cell: 94431-59940
More than half the world’s population is at risk from diseases such as malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease, schistosomiasis, and yellow fever year, carried by mosquitoes, flies, ticks, water snails and other vectors. Every year, more than one billion people are infected and more than one million die from vector-borne diseases.
This World Health Day – 7 April – World Health Organization is highlighting the serious and increasing threat of vector-borne diseases, with the slogan “Small bite, big threat”.
The organization also emphasizes that these diseases are entirely preventable. Newly published “A global brief on vector-borne diseases” outlines steps that government, community groups and families can all take to protect people from infection.
“A global health agenda that gives higher priority to vector control could save many lives and avert much suffering. Simple, cost - effective interventions like insecticide – treated bed nets and indoor spraying have already saved millions of lives,” say Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director – General. “No one in the 21st century should die from the bite of a mosquito, a sandfly, a blackfly or a tick.” Vector – borne diseases affect the poorest populations, particularly where there is a lack of access to adequate housing, safe drinking water and sanitation. Malnourished people and those with weakened immunity are especially susceptible.
Schistosomiasis, transmitted by water snails, is the most widespread of all vectors – borne diseases, affecting almost 240 million people worldwide. Children living and playing near infested water are particularly vulnerable to this disease which causes anaemia and a reduced ability to learn. Schistosomiasis can be controlled through regular mass treatment of at – risk groups with a safe, effective medicine, as well as improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
Within the past two decades, many important vectors – borne diseases have also re – emerged or spread to new parts of the world. Environmental changes, a massive increase in international travel and trade, changes in agricultural practices and rapid unplanned urbanization are causing an increase in the number and spread of many vectors worldwide and making new groups of people, notably tourists and business travelers, vulnerable.
Mosquito – borne dengue, for example, is now found in 100 countries, putting more than 2.5 billion people – over 40% of the world’s population – at risk.
Dengue has recently been reported in China, Portugal and the state of Florida, in the United States of America.
Reports from Greece say that malaria has returned there for the first time in 40 years. This highlights the continual threat of reintroduction and the need for continued vigilance to ensure that any malaria resurgence can be rapidly contained.
“Vector control remains the most important tool in preventing outbreaks of vector – borne diseases,” say Dr Lorenzo Savioli, Director of WHO’s Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. “Increased funds and political commitment are needed to sustain existing vector – control tools, as well as medicines and diagnostic tools – and to conduct urgently needed research.” On World Health Day 2014, WHO is calling for a renewed focus on vector control and better provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene – key strategies outlined in WHO’ s 2011 Roadmap for the control, elimination and eradication of neglected tropical diseases, diseases, which sets targets for the period 2012-2020.
Key Facts on vector borne disease.
Vector – borne diseases account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases, causing more than 1 million deaths annually.
More than 2.5 billion people in over 100 countries are at risk of contracting dengue alone.
Malaria causes more than 600 000 deaths every year globally, most of them children under 5 years of age.
Other diseases such as Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and schistosomiasis affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
Many of these diseases are preventable through informed protective measures.
Main vectors and diseases they transmit
Vectors are living organisms that can transmit infectious diseases between humans or from animals to humans. Many of these vectors are bloodsucking insects, which ingest disease – producing microorganisms during a blood meal from an infected host (human or animal) and later inject it into a new host during their subsequent blood meal.
Mosquitoes are the best known disease vector. Others include ticks, flies sandflies, fleas, triatomine dugs and some freshwater aquatic snails
Dengue fever
Rift Valley fever
Yellow fever

Japanese encephalitis
Lymphatic filariasis
West Nile fever
Sandfly fever
Crimean – Congo. haemorrhagic fever
Lyme disease
Relapsing fever
Rickettsial diseases (spotted fever and Q fever )
Tick – borne encephalitis
Triatomine bugs
Chagas disease
Tsetse flies
Sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis )
Plague (transmitted by fleas from rate to humans )

Black flies
Onchocerciasis (river blindness )
Aquatic snails
Schistosomiasis (bilharziasis)
Vector borne diseases are diseases caused by pathogens that are transmitted to humans through insects and ticks carrying the pathogen. They are difficult to prevent because of several challenges facing the control of vector and transmissibility of the pathogen. Here are top 10 vector borne diseases that contribute to increased morbidity and mortalily
Malaria: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), malaria is the deadliest of all vectors – borne diseases, which accounts for nearly 1.2 million deaths all over the world every year and is prevalent in about 100 countries. The disease is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium. The most common species of Plasmodium responsible for most malaria cases are Plasmodm flaciparum and Plasmodium vivax. The parasite is transmitted to humans via the vector female Anopheles mosquito. The mosquito bearing the protozoa transmits the disease to humans by biting at night. The parasite then attacks the red blood cells and reaches the liver causing symptoms like fever, chills and anemia.
Kala Azar: Leishmaniasis or Kala Azar ranks second (malaria being the first on the list) on the list of fatal diseases caused by parasites. It is mainly prevalent in India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Brazil and Sudan. It is caused by protozoan parasite of the genus Leishmania. In India, Leishmania donovani is the only parasite causing the disease. The parasite is transmitted to humans by female sand flies. Upon entry, the parasite attacks the immune system and causes ulcers or sores at the site of entry.
Dengue: Dengue is common in tropical and sub – tropical regions of the world. In the recent years transmission of dengue has significantly increased in urban areas and has become a major public health concern. According to the current estimates of WHO, dengue infections have reached 50 – 100 million worldwide, annually. Dengue is caused by a virus that is transmitted to humans by the vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
Plague: Plague had an explosive epidemic and was a major health concern at the beginning of the 20th century. It is a deadly disease caused by the bacteria Yersina pestis. It is primarily transmitted by rodents. But it is also spread through insects that acquire the infection from rate harboring the bacteria. Common insect that acquires the bacteria from rodents is flea. The bacteria enter the blood stream after a flea bite and attack the cells of the immune system. They secrete toxins which causes clots and tissue death.
Filariasis : Lymphatic filariasis is commonly called elephantiasis. Although the disease is quite widespread, it is neglected diseases because it is more disfiguring and disabling than fatal. Currently, more than 120 million people are infected and nearly 40 million people suffer from the fully developed disease. Filariasis is caused by thread like filarial worms or nematodes. Wuchereria bancrofti is the most common filarial worm, causing the disease in 90 percent of the cases. The worm is carried by and transmitted to humans by mosquitoes – mainly Culex mosquito. The worm invades the lymphatic system causing profuse selling mainly in the legs.
Chickungunya: Chickungunya has been identifien in 40 different countries including India. It is caused by a virus classified under the family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus. It is transmitted to humans by Aedes mosquito (mainly Aedes aegypti) in the daytime. Common symptoms of the disease are similar to dengue.
Lyme disease: Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to humans by black – legged ticks that are infected with the bacteria. Upon entry, the bacterium attacks the central nervous system and causes neurological problems.
Yellow fever: Mainly found tropical South America and sub – Saharan Africa region, yellow fever is a mosquito – borne viral disease. The disease is caused by the yellow fever virus and spread by female mosquito of Aedes aegypti species. The virus affects the cells of the immune system and causes symptoms like fever, chills, nausea and muscle pain.
Chagas’ disease: Chagas ’ Disease is widely found in communities of Latin America. It is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and transmitted by a large insect called ‘kissing bug’ (Reduviidae Tratominae). The Parasite damage several organs and mainly affects heart function.
Japanese encephalitis: It is a viral disease that is spread through infected Culex mosquito. The virus mainly affects the central nervous system and causes headache, fever, meningitis, coma, tremors, paralysis and loss of coordination. Several cases of the disease have been found in India. The most affected states include Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
Vector – borne diseases are illnesses caused by pathogens and parasites in human populations. Every year there are more than 1 billion cases and over 1 million deaths from vector – borne diseases such as malaria dengue schistosomiasis human African trypanosomiasis leishmaniasis Chages disease, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and onchocerciasis, globally.
Vector – borne diseases account for over 17% of all infectious diseases.
Distribution of these diseases is determined by a complex dynamic of environmental and social factors.
Globalization of travel and trade, unplanned urbanization and environmental challenges such as climate change are having a significant impact on disease transmission in recent years. Some diseases, such as dengue, chikungunya and west Nile virus, are emerging in countries where they were previously unknown.
Changes in agricultural practices due to variation in temperature and sinfall can affect affect the transmission of vector – borne diseases. Climate information can be used to monitor and predict distribution and longer – term trends in malaria and other climate – sensitive diseases.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

vector borne diseases in India

India remains vulnerable to vector-borne diseases

With nearly 2,000 outbreaks due to vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and Japanese Encephalitis reported last year, people in India remain vulnerable to the infectious ills of pathogens and parasites.

World over too, the situation is not encouraging. More than half the total population is at risk from such diseases, says World Health Organisation as it marks April 7 as the World Health Day.

Every year, more than one billion people are infected and more than one million die from vector-borne diseases said an official from the WHO which is creating awareness about the serious and increasing threat of vector-borne diseases, with the slogan “Small bite, big threat.”

“These diseases can be eradicated through preventive measures and more financial commitment for campaigns against the disease. We want to make people empowered to take decisions on their own to prevent these diseases,” said Nata Menabde, WHO representative to India recently.

Menabde said there was a need to strengthen the overall healthcare system in the country to prevent these diseases and more financial commitment to contain them.

“I also want to emphasize the importance of the primary healthcare campaign in this regard,” she said. Within the past two decades, many important vector-borne diseases have also re-emerged or spread to new parts of the world.

For instance, mosquito-borne dengue is now found in 100 countries, putting more than 2.5 billion people — over 40 per cent of the world’s population — at risk. Dengue has recently been reported in China, Portugal and the State of Florida, in the USA.

For many vector-borne diseases, there are no vaccines, and drug resistance is an increasing threat. Vector control plays a vital role and is often the only way to prevent disease outbreaks, says the WHO.

On the situation in India, a Union Health Ministry official said that out of 1,964 outbreaks of diseases, maximum were from Maharashtra (13 per cent) followed by Karnataka (12.8 per cent) and West Bengal (11.8 per cent). Ironically, laboratory facilities were accessed in 63 per cent of the outbreaks reported, said the official.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Brain Disorders and Birth Month

Does Your Birth Month Put Your Brain at Risk?

A growing body of evidence suggests that the season in which a baby is born may affect everything from eyesight and eating habits to the risk of developing both mental and physiological problems later in life. A recent study reveals that our season of birth makes persistent and lasting changes to brain structures that influence our health, personality and behavior.

The season of birth effect has been recognized since as early as 460 BC with the musings of Hippocrates, and has continued to be documented by modern research. Unlike astrology, however, these studies use scientific methodology to investigate and further understand the relationship between season of birth and physiological and psychological traits, disorders and diseases.

The latest season of birth cohort study, involving over 3 million people born in Sweden, identified that babies born in spring had a significantly increased risk of developing cutaneous malignant melanoma. The researchers suggest that sun avoidance may be critical during the first few months of life in determining your ultraviolet radiation susceptibility. Similarly, for those living in northern hemispheres, seasonal differences in UV light exposure and associated maternal vitamin D levels are linked with spring babies’ higher risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).

When it comes to neurobehavioral disorders, statistically significant associations have been made between season of birth and the prevalence of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and panic disorder, as well as traits such as lifespan, suicidality and novelty and sensation seeking. While proposed causal factors are likely combinatorial in nature, including differences in temperature, light, nutrition, maternal hormones and egg quality, new evidence indicates that these environmental variables impact brain development, with structural changes to the brain persisting through to adulthood.

Although many structural differences, both broad and discrete, were identified in the brains of those born in different months, the strongest overall effect was observed in the auditory cortex of males born in spring and summer. Compared with those born in fall and winter, these individuals had a smaller left superior temporal gyrus. Interestingly, this is a consistently replicated neuroanatomical feature of schizophrenia, especially suicide prone schizophrenics and is also a more prominent feature in individuals with suicidal depression, as opposed to those with non-suicidal depression. Again this highlights the link between spring-early summer babies and their increased likelihood of having neurobehavioral problems in adulthood.

So is there an ideal month to give birth when the health and wellbeing of your future child is concerned? Perhaps. Although there are records of autumn and early winter babies being prone to asthma, babies born in late winter through spring and into early summer draw the shortest straw as, collectively, they are at higher risk of developing a larger number of health issues from eating and mental disorders to cancer, Parkinson’s disease and MS.

In defence of all spring and summer babies out there, there has been a loose association between being born in spring and summer and being more of a novelty-loving, adventurous thrill-seeking type and it should be noted that there have been few studies on the SOB effect and more positive aspects of psychology, such as humor or creativity.

Oddly enough “March’s child being full of woe” seems to be in stark contradiction with our perception of springtime being the season of new birth. Thankfully, with the majority of human births in the world occurring in autumn, we seem to be inadvertently using the SOB effect to our advantage.


Crump C, Sundquist K, Sieh W, Winkleby MA, & Sundquist J (2014). Season of birth and other perinatal risk factors for melanoma. International journal of epidemiology PMID: 24453238

Dobson R, Giovannoni G, & Ramagopalan S (2013). The month of birth effect in multiple sclerosis: systematic review, meta-analysis and effect of latitude. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry, 84 (4), 427-32 PMID: 23152637

Pantazatos SP (2013). Prediction of individual season of birth using MRI. NeuroImage, 88C, 61-68 PMID:

World Autism Awarness Day -2nd Apirl 2104

Autism numbers rise in India

Due to lack of basic equipment and improper diagnosis of autism, the disorder is growing in India which now has over 10 million cases. Experts say early detection of this incurable disease can help a child lead his full potential but many medical professionals are unable to detect the disorder.

India is home to about 10 million people with autism and the disability has shown an increase over the last few years. According to statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 88 children today is born with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) against a ratio of one in 110 few years back.

On the World Autism Day, that falls on April 2. There are many myths and misconceptions in the Indian society concerning the development disability. It is necessary that we should create awareness on the condition through various forms of mass media.

According to CDC, autistic people are “a group of people with developmental disabilities characterised by impairments in social interaction and communication and by restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behaviour”. The disease is found to be four times more prevalent in males than females.

Health experts believe that since the first signs usually appear before a child is three years old, early detection of this incurable disease can help a child lead his full potential. In India these symptoms are usually ignored by parents and are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed by many medical professionals, which is the reason for the higher numbers in the country.

The primary thing that an autistic child needs is a proper diagnosis, which is almost non-existent in India. Government hospitals lack basic equipment for the early detection of the disability.

Surveys predict that children born to older parents or those born prematurely are at a slightly higher risk of developing ASD. In some cases it has also been found that harmful drugs taken by the mother during pregnancy exposes the child to this disability. But scientist and researchers are still attempting to recognise the main genetic cause of this disorder.

Right to Education also for autism

Even though the Indian government flagship project, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, a vehicle for the Right to Education Act, and the National Trust Act mandate that children suffering from autism too have equal and compulsory right to education, these children usually face discrimination and disparity by school authorities and even students.

Experts believe that despite India having many special schools for disables, the facilities required by autistic children are still insufficient. Since they find it difficult to express themselves socially, often it is seen that teachers are not confident enough of teaching them. These children need trained therapists and educators who make them feel comfortable and teach them more of social skills rather than bookish knowledge.

Parents have proven to be the biggest educators and role models for these children. Health specialists say that parents must help the children realise their real potential and encourage them to fulfill their dreams.

Disparity still remains

Even as the law provide for facilities of transport, vocational education, banking, housing and other benefits for people and children living with autism, they face harassment, end up becoming the laughing stock of the society and are often discriminated. There have been stray cases of private airlines offloading passengers with autism.

Though India is one of the first signatories to the UN Convention on Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, lack of awareness hinders mainstreaming of autistic people by the society. Acceptance by the society is all what these people need today.

People often mistake this learning development disability as a mental disorder. People suffering from autism may be slow learners but as Albert Einstein has proven, they do have brilliant minds.