Eating and Exercise Tips for Your 50s (Infographic)


Good news: Today’s fifty-somethings have benefited from better nutrition, health care and quality of life. That said, experts advise men and women in their 50s to aim for a smaller belt size as an expansive one carries a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. You may weigh the same as you always did, but find that the fat on your body has relocated! Men and women in their 50s (particularly post-menopausal women) tend to gain weight in their waist or midriff area. They tend to lose muscle which is replaced with fat, which unfortunately burns less calories than muscle.

One recommendation to try to combat this: Try to eat 200 calories less per day than you did in your 40s.

You may still look great, but keep in mind that your body is slowing. Fortunately, by following the eating and exercise recommendations for your age group recommended in the infographic below, you can counteract most physical changes.

50s

 

What medicines would we pack for a trip to Mars?


Mars garnered a bunch of headlines early this week, as NASA revealed it had discovered water on the red planet. And it’s likely to linger in the public mind a little longer as reviews of the latest sci-fi blockbuster based on the planet appear with the film’s national opening today.

The Andy Weir novel on which the new sci-fi movie The Martian is based has been lauded for its scientific accuracy. And expert reviews are now explaining what’s science fact and what’s still science fiction in the film.

Both the book and the film cover broad scientific ground, dealing with aspects of botany, chemistry, physics, geology, and engineering. But other than some quick self-surgery at the start, the medical aspects of survival on Mars and the long trip to and from the red planet are not touched on.

Astronaut health

The human body didn’t evolve to deal with the unique conditions of space travel. Astronauts experience a wide range of health problems, including short-term ones, such as stress on the body due to the high g-forces of launches, and motion sickness as they adapt to the weightless environment.

The International Space Station has given us an enormous amount of information on the long-term health effects of space. Astronauts who spend significant amounts of time in space experience loss of bone density, and a weakening of the muscles, due to the lack of gravity and the exertion it places on the body.

The lack of regular days and nights can also make it difficult for astronauts to sleep. And, more recently, we have found that long-term space flight also causes significant cardiovascular problems. Astronauts experience slower and less regular beats of their heart as it fights to push blood around the body in zero gravity.

The World Health Organisation maintains a model list of essential medicines that it says are needed for basic health care. But there are more than 380 drugs on the combined core and complementary list, and it would be impractical to take all of them into space, especially as most of them wouldn’t be needed.

While there’s a chance astronauts could develop cancer when in space, for instance, the risk isn’t high enough to justify the cost of including chemotherapy drugs. Taking vaccines along may also not be worthwhile, especially, as astronauts are unlikely to pick up new infectious diseases in space.

As we’ve learnt more about space flight, the number and types of medications available to astronauts has changed. In the first space missions of the Mercury program, for instance, each astronaut had just three medicines available. They weretigan, a drug that treats nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness; demerol for treating pain and, the stimulant dextroamphetamine to help keep them alert and awake.

Essential medicines

Nowadays, astronauts can spend up to six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), so they need well-supplied medicine kits as well as access to advanced medical diagnostic and emergency resuscitation equipment. The ISS has two medicines kits, one for the Russians and one for the US astronauts, which reportedly contains 190 different medicines.

In many ways, the ISS has prepared us for human expeditions to Mars as the health effects of spending time there and medical emergencies that arise are likely to be similar. But there are also some important differences.

In emergency medical situations, astronauts on the ISS can return to Earth relatively quickly. But this would be impossible for a trip to Mars so medication to cover all eventualities has to be taken along.

The ISS can also be resupplied at regular intervals so large stockpiles of medicines are unnecessary. In contrast, a human expedition to Mars may last a year or more, so the astronauts will need to take all their necessary medications with them. The types of medicines needed can be divided into two categories: those for medical emergencies and those for the health effects of long-term space flight.

Possible medical conditions and emergencies the astronauts may face, and the medications they will need include:
http://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/Sltuj/2/http://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/wjm4r/3/

Taking drugs in space

Once the medicines have been selected, we need to consider whether they will perform the way we expect them to when in space. This comes down to whether the medicines will survive space travel and whether they still work the same way in the human body in space.

The shelf life of medicines can vary greatly from drug to drug and can be affected by a variety of environmental factors such as temperature, exposure to radiation and even the amount of water in the air, or humidity. Too much or too little of these can affect medicines and render them ineffective, or worse, toxic.

Research shows medicines can also act differently under space conditions. A recent study showed when paracetamol was taken under microgravity conditions, drug absorption was much slower than on Earth but the amount of it that got into the bloodstream increased. This raises questions about how to calculate the correct dose to give astronauts in space to avoid both under-treating and overdoses.

This means we need to study, in detail, the effects of all medicines that astronauts will take with them before they can be placed in the medical kits for a mission to Mars. Any drug that doesn’t perform as expected is likely to be ineffective and put the astronauts life at risk. It will either need to be reformulated or substituted for another medicine.

A human expedition to Mars will always have inherent risks, including the physical toll it takes on the human body. Thanks to decades of space flight, we now better understand these effects and can make appropriate plans for the types and amounts of medicines needed.

Confusing the Retinoic Acids: Mix-ups Between Tretinoin and ISOtretinoin


A 14-year-old girl diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) was started on oral tretinoin (all-trans retinoic acid [ATRA]) for induction therapy. APL is a medical emergency with a high rate of mortality, so it is critical to start treatment with tretinoin as soon as the diagnosis is suspected. The patient was hospitalized during induction treatment. She was able to finish the treatment course and achieved complete remission. The patient was discharged, and the following month, she returned to the outpatient infusion center to begin 10 cycles of intravenous (IV) chemotherapy. Tretinoin was to continue on an outpatient basis, along with IV chemotherapy per protocol. But instead of administering two 14-day cycles of tretinoin as intended, an oncology clinic nurse enrolled the patient and prescriber in the iPledge program and called in a prescription for Claravis (ISOtretinoin [13-cis retinoic acid]; other brands include Amnesteem, Myorisan, and Sotret) to a local pharmacy. The clinic nurse did not realize that tretinoin and ISOtretinoin were not the same medication. She was probably more familiar with ISOtretinoin because it is prescribed more frequently than tretinoin in many pediatric oncology centers. The pharmacist at the local pharmacy did not have access to the patient’s clinical information, and the physicians continued to use the abbreviation “ATRA” in their office notes, never noting the generic/brand name of the medication on the patient’s profile. Thus, the patient began to take Claravis, not tretinoin, at home. When the patient was admitted to the hospital again about 4 months later, inpatient chemotherapy orders included tretinoin but requested the use of the patient’s home supply. When an inpatient nurse and pharmacist checked the patient’s supply, they realized it was ISOtretinoin, and not tretinoin as intended. The patient’s physicians were contacted, and the family was informed of the error. Fortunately, the patient did not experience any reported adverse effects while taking Claravis or lack of disease control while not taking the correct drug. So far, the patient continues to be in remission. ISOtretinoin can be used in chemotherapy treatment protocols in addition to its use in treating severe recalcitrant nodular acne. The drug has an unlabeled use in children for treating neuroblastoma, with a dosage of 160 mg/m2/day in 2 divided doses. Tretinoin is used almost exclusively for APL. The recommended dosage is 45 mg/m2/day administered as 2 evenly divided doses until complete remission is documented. Therapy should be discontinued 30 days after achievement of complete remission or after 90 days of treatment, whichever occurs first. Both tretinoin and ISOtretinoin are available in liquid-filled, 10-mg capsules, but ISOtretinoin is also available as 20-, 30-, and 40-mg capsules. Patients receiving ISOtretinoin must be enrolled in the iPledge program, but tretinoin does not require enrollment in any registry. Bottom line—this type of medication error associated with similar medication names is best prevented during the prescribing process with the use of a well-designed order set for APL, highlighting that tretinoin (and not ISOtretinoin) should be prescribed. Referring to the drug as all-trans retinoic acid rather than tretinoin may also help differentiate it from ISOtretinoin; however, use of the acronym ATRA alone is discouraged. This error also highlights the importance of requiring the pharmacist filling this prescription to know the patient’s diagnosis and the drug’s clinical indication at the time the prescription is filled. – See more at: http://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2014/January2014/Confusing-the-Retinoic-Acids-Mix-ups-Between-Tretinoin-and-ISOtretinoin#sthash.uQZ3whGJ.dpuf

What Your Facebook Status Updates Say About Your Personality.


Researchers never seem to run out of new ways to examine Facebook and the interactions that take place within. Here at Big Think, we’ve written about a number of Facebook studies looking into why it’saddictive, why it may make you feel depressed, and why couples who post more photos are generally happier. This Facebook research studycenters around the topic of status updates: What do we write about and what does it say about us?

Psychology professor Tara C. Marshall from Brunel University London led the study where they recruited 555 Facebook users to participate. Researchers had all the participants complete several online surveys measuring the Big Five personality traits (extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness), as well as ones measuring self-esteem and narcissism.

After comparing the participant’s survey results with data collected on their Facebook status updates, they found several trends. They noted people with low self-esteem posted more status updates about their current romantic partner, while narcissists posted more about their achievements. Also, narcissists posted more about diet and exercise routines. Researchers suggest they use Facebook as a way to broadcast how much attention they pay to maintain their physical appearance and in turn seek validation for their efforts from their Facebook community. And guess who tended to get more likes? The narcissists.

[P]eople with low self-esteem posted more status updates about their current romantic partner, while narcissists posted more about their achievements. Also, narcissists posted more about diet and exercise routines.

Marshall added in a press release: “Although our results suggest that narcissists’ bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates, it could be that their Facebook friends politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays. Greater awareness of how one’s status updates might be perceived by friends could help people to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain.”

This suggestion makes me wonder about the psychology behind the cryptic status updates I’ve seen throughout my years on Facebook. Its message is often shrouded in mystery — its tone dark and depressed. You may know what I’m talking about. They usually contain such things like “Giving up,” “Arg, Why me?” and so on that receive much curious attention from the Facebook community. Are posts such as those a rallying cry to garner the support someone needs in that moment? And does a continuous trend of those Facebook posts indicate a deeper problem?

While these questions may be all well and good, Facebook users may soon lose confidence in the network if their posts aren’t being seen. Social media guru Guy Kawasaki said in an interview a few months agothat Facebook users were becoming more aware their postings aren’t being seen by all their followers and friends. This, Kawasaki said, could result in a loss of confidence with their community.

Lead exposure in mothers can affect future generations.


Researchers have discovered that mothers with high levels of lead in their blood not only affect the fetal cells of their unborn children, but also their grandchildren.

Mothers with high levels of lead in their blood not only affect the fetal cells of their unborn children, but also their grandchildren.

A team of researchers at Wayne State University have discovered that mothers with high levels of lead in their blood not only affect the fetal cells of their unborn children, but also their grandchildren. Their study, Multigenerational epigenetic inheritance in humans: DNA methylation changes associated with maternal exposure to lead can be transmitted to the grandchildren, was published online this week inScientific Reports.

It’s a known fact that babies in the womb can be affected by low levels of lead exposure. If a pregnant woman is exposed to lead, the lead passes through the placenta into the baby’s developing bones and other organs. Pregnant women with a past exposure to lead can also affect the unborn child’s brain, causing developmental problems later in life. Previous research studies have suggested that exposure to heavy metal toxicants can influence a person’s global DNA methylation profile.

In the recent Wayne State study led by Douglas Ruden, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, director of epigenomics, and program leader in the Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors, he and his research team revealed that lead exposure can cause specific changes in DNA methylation, which can be detected in dried blood spots beyond one generation. The neonatal blood spots from both the mothers and children in this study were obtained from the Michigan Neonatal Biobank, a unique resource that has most of the neonatal dried blood spots from children born in Michigan since 1984.

According to Ruden, epigenetic effects of environmental exposures beyond one generation have not yet been demonstrated in humans prior to this study. He and his team tested the hypothesis that human fetal germ cell exposure to environmental toxins causes epigenetic changes in the newborn blood from a grandchild of an exposed pregnant woman.

“Our results suggest that lead exposure during pregnancy affects the DNA methylation status of the fetal germ cells, which leads to altered DNA methylation in grandchildren’s neonatal dried blood spots,” said Ruden. “This is the first demonstration that an environmental exposure in pregnant mothers can have an epigenetic effect on the DNA methylation pattern in the grandchildren.”

The research team stated that this novel, two-generational study design might be able to identify the genes that may serve as possible candidate biomarkers for future transgenerational risk assessment studies.

“Our pilot study provides indirect evidence that lead exposure in women during childbirth can affect the locus-specific DNA methylation status of grandchildren,” said Ruden. “However, the altered DNA methylation profiles of the grandchildren’s blood are apparently normalized during postnatal development. Also, fetal germline exposure to lead apparently has different epigenetic consequences than acute childhood exposure.”

8 Inspirational Poems That Will Warm Your Heart


http://www.rd.com/culture/inspirational-poems/?trkid=soc

New Treatments for Deadly Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis


Recently approved drugs and new therapies are helping people keep lungs functioning longer

New treatments are helping slow the deadly course of a rare lung disease that is on the rise in the U.S. and world-wide.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis leads to a buildup of scar tissue that makes it increasingly difficult for the lungs to function normally and provide the body with oxygen. The disease has no known cause, setting it apart from related pulmonary diseases where doctors can identify specific irritants or exposures to toxins such as asbestos. Its symptoms—shortness of breath and persistent cough—resemble diseases like asthma and emphysema, often leading to missed or delayed diagnoses.

Now, with improved understanding of IPF and better diagnostic guidelines for catching it in earlier stages, researchers say the number of people afflicted is substantially higher than previously thought. According to the National Institutes of Health, it affects an estimated 200,000 Americans, mostly middle-aged and older adults. A study last year in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine found that prevalence among Medicare patients over 65 more than doubled between 2001 and 2011 and is increasing annually.

Historically more men have been diagnosed, but IPF in women is increasing. It kills about 40,000 patients each year, the same number that die of breast cancer. Only half survive more than two to three years from the initial diagnosis as their lungs stop working, from causes including respiratory failure and pneumonia. Lung transplants are one option for treatment, but can be done only for a limited number of patients.

Two new drugs have been shown to slow progression, and pharmaceutical companies are exploring potential new therapies that may offer improvement to current medicines. They are looking at combinations with other drugs and the use of an approved therapy for basal cell carcinoma, a skin cancer, as a potential treatment for IPF.

Researchers suspect the disease is linked to an exaggerated or uncontrolled healing response, possibly triggered by the immune system, which produces excessive scar tissue in the lungs and thickens the walls of the alveoli, or air sacs. Smoking is one of the most recognized risks. Exposure to wood or metal dust, viral or bacterial lung infections, and a history of acid reflux disease are possible culprits.

Charles Boetsch, a 69-year-old consultant, says he was always fit and active, so he knew something was wrong in 2011 when he began experiencing a dry cough and extreme shortness of breath. After multiple tests with different doctors, a high-resolution CT scan in 2013 showed he had IPF; he decided against an invasive lung biopsy for further confirmation. He had never heard of the disease and was stunned to learn there is no cure.

Mr. Boetsch, who lives in Palm Harbor, Fla., used to smoke but quit 35 years ago. In June 2014, he enrolled in a so-called expanded access program for patients without other treatment options to take the drug Esbriet free of charge, in advance of its FDA approval.

The drug is one of two newly recommended in guidelines released in July by the American Thoracic Society, whose member physicians treat respiratory diseases and related illness. The drugs block processes involved in the scarring of lung tissue. They were approved by the Food and Drug Administration last fall, with the caveats that side effects and costs must be considered. The drugs run as much as $94,000 annually. While they don’t cure the disease, they have been shown to significantly reduce the decline in what is known as forced vital capacity, which is the amount of air which can be forcibly exhaled from the lungs after taking the deepest breath possible.

Makers of the so-called antifibrotic drugs—pirfenidone, sold as Esbriet by Genentech, a unit of Roche Group, and nintedanib, sold as Ofev by German pharmaceutical company Boehringer-Ingelheim—offer support including free medicine to eligible patients who don’t have insurance, and copay assistance to those who qualify.

Mr. Boetsch suffered side effects including gastrointestinal disturbances, a metallic taste from the nine pills he had to take daily and fatigue. “There are ways to manage yourself through all of these side effects, but the mental aspect is the toughest, because it doesn’t leave your mind, ever, and you always wonder when the next shoe is going to drop,” he says.

Mr. Boetsch says he is encouraged that his lung function hasn’t declined since he started Esbriet. He is participating in another clinical trial. He walks and exercises daily. He eats a healthy diet, steering clear of refined sugar and dairy products and buying organic foods. An over-the-counter medication helps minimize mucus in his lungs. He still gets winded climbing stairs, but he and his wife, Robyn, have continued to travel. Last October they visited Italy and in June, took a trip to Alaska. He chose not to take an oxygen pack, and while he wasn’t able to hike vigorously, he says he might in the future.

Mr. Boetsch says friends who see him looking healthy sometimes forget he has the disease, and don’t understand that he gets tired and can’t participate in social situations as much as in the past. While he knows his treatment isn’t a cure, “it buys you more time,” he says, and he has chosen to ignore the dire mortality statistics. “If you can tolerate the drugs and have a favorable response, you may get twice to three times longer with a reasonable quality of life.”

The new guidelines for treating IPF also recommend strongly against traditional treatments that studies have shown can do more harm than good. They include the use of the blood thinner warfarin and a three-drug regimen including the steroid prednisone. “The evidence showed that the standard of care that has been used for decades is wrong,” says Ganesh Raghu, lead author of the guidelines and director of the Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at the University of Washington, in Seattle. Dr. Raghu has received consulting fees from drug makers but says specific treatment recommendations were made by nonconflicted panel members.

A rare and little understood lung disease is on the rise in the U.S., for reasons that remain a mystery.

Dr. Raghu says more data is needed on the role of factors such as heredity.

In as many as 15% of cases, patients have another family member with IPF. One study by National Jewish Health, Duke University and Vanderbilt University seeks to identify a group of genes that predispose individuals to develop pulmonary fibrosis. Some patients remain in stable condition for extended periods, while others have a rapid progression or fluctuate between periods of stability and worsening symptoms, according to the nonprofit Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

“Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is usually a progressive disease, but its course varies widely among individual patients,” says Teng Moua, a physician in the division of pulmonary and critical care at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “As the disease has become more well-known, we are finding it earlier and making attempts to slow it down and manage it.” A lung biopsy is sometimes used, but many cases are now confirmed with high-resolution CT scans. Dr. Moua prescribes his patients either Esbriet or Ofev after discussions about side effects and tolerance. Both appear to have similar effectiveness, but further research is needed “in determining whether they will be helpful long-term,” he says.

New treatments are helping slow the deadly course of a rare lung disease that is on the rise in the U.S. and world-wide.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis leads to a buildup of scar tissue that makes it increasingly difficult for the lungs to function normally and provide the body with oxygen. The disease has no known cause, setting it apart from related pulmonary diseases where doctors can identify specific irritants or exposures to toxins such as asbestos. Its symptoms—shortness of breath and persistent cough—resemble diseases like asthma and emphysema, often leading to missed or delayed diagnoses.

Now, with improved understanding of IPF and better diagnostic guidelines for catching it in earlier stages, researchers say the number of people afflicted is substantially higher than previously thought. According to the National Institutes of Health, it affects an estimated 200,000 Americans, mostly middle-aged and older adults. A study last year in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine found that prevalence among Medicare patients over 65 more than doubled between 2001 and 2011 and is increasing annually.

Historically more men have been diagnosed, but IPF in women is increasing. It kills about 40,000 patients each year, the same number that die of breast cancer. Only half survive more than two to three years from the initial diagnosis as their lungs stop working, from causes including respiratory failure and pneumonia. Lung transplants are one option for treatment, but can be done only for a limited number of patients.

Two new drugs have been shown to slow progression, and pharmaceutical companies are exploring potential new therapies that may offer improvement to current medicines. They are looking at combinations with other drugs and the use of an approved therapy for basal cell carcinoma, a skin cancer, as a potential treatment for IPF.

Researchers suspect the disease is linked to an exaggerated or uncontrolled healing response, possibly triggered by the immune system, which produces excessive scar tissue in the lungs and thickens the walls of the alveoli, or air sacs. Smoking is one of the most recognized risks. Exposure to wood or metal dust, viral or bacterial lung infections, and a history of acid reflux disease are possible culprits.

Charles Boetsch, a 69-year-old consultant, says he was always fit and active, so he knew something was wrong in 2011 when he began experiencing a dry cough and extreme shortness of breath. After multiple tests with different doctors, a high-resolution CT scan in 2013 showed he had IPF; he decided against an invasive lung biopsy for further confirmation. He had never heard of the disease and was stunned to learn there is no cure.

Mr. Boetsch, who lives in Palm Harbor, Fla., used to smoke but quit 35 years ago. In June 2014, he enrolled in a so-called expanded access program for patients without other treatment options to take the drug Esbriet free of charge, in advance of its FDA approval.

The drug is one of two newly recommended in guidelines released in July by the American Thoracic Society, whose member physicians treat respiratory diseases and related illness. The drugs block processes involved in the scarring of lung tissue. They were approved by the Food and Drug Administration last fall, with the caveats that side effects and costs must be considered. The drugs run as much as $94,000 annually. While they don’t cure the disease, they have been shown to significantly reduce the decline in what is known as forced vital capacity, which is the amount of air which can be forcibly exhaled from the lungs after taking the deepest breath possible.

Makers of the so-called antifibrotic drugs—pirfenidone, sold as Esbriet by Genentech, a unit of Roche Group, and nintedanib, sold as Ofev by German pharmaceutical company Boehringer-Ingelheim—offer support including free medicine to eligible patients who don’t have insurance, and copay assistance to those who qualify.

Mr. Boetsch suffered side effects including gastrointestinal disturbances, a metallic taste from the nine pills he had to take daily and fatigue. “There are ways to manage yourself through all of these side effects, but the mental aspect is the toughest, because it doesn’t leave your mind, ever, and you always wonder when the next shoe is going to drop,” he says.

Mr. Boetsch says he is encouraged that his lung function hasn’t declined since he started Esbriet. He is participating in another clinical trial. He walks and exercises daily. He eats a healthy diet, steering clear of refined sugar and dairy products and buying organic foods. An over-the-counter medication helps minimize mucus in his lungs. He still gets winded climbing stairs, but he and his wife, Robyn, have continued to travel. Last October they visited Italy and in June, took a trip to Alaska. He chose not to take an oxygen pack, and while he wasn’t able to hike vigorously, he says he might in the future.

Mr. Boetsch says friends who see him looking healthy sometimes forget he has the disease, and don’t understand that he gets tired and can’t participate in social situations as much as in the past. While he knows his treatment isn’t a cure, “it buys you more time,” he says, and he has chosen to ignore the dire mortality statistics. “If you can tolerate the drugs and have a favorable response, you may get twice to three times longer with a reasonable quality of life.”

The new guidelines for treating IPF also recommend strongly against traditional treatments that studies have shown can do more harm than good. They include the use of the blood thinner warfarin and a three-drug regimen including the steroid prednisone. “The evidence showed that the standard of care that has been used for decades is wrong,” says Ganesh Raghu, lead author of the guidelines and director of the Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at the University of Washington, in Seattle. Dr. Raghu has received consulting fees from drug makers but says specific treatment recommendations were made by nonconflicted panel members.

 Dr. Raghu says more data is needed on the role of factors such as heredity.

In as many as 15% of cases, patients have another family member with IPF. One study by National Jewish Health, Duke University and Vanderbilt University seeks to identify a group of genes that predispose individuals to develop pulmonary fibrosis. Some patients remain in stable condition for extended periods, while others have a rapid progression or fluctuate between periods of stability and worsening symptoms, according to the nonprofit Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

“Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is usually a progressive disease, but its course varies widely among individual patients,” says Teng Moua, a physician in the division of pulmonary and critical care at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “As the disease has become more well-known, we are finding it earlier and making attempts to slow it down and manage it.” A lung biopsy is sometimes used, but many cases are now confirmed with high-resolution CT scans. Dr. Moua prescribes his patients either Esbriet or Ofev after discussions about side effects and tolerance. Both appear to have similar effectiveness, but further research is needed “in determining whether they will be helpful long-term,” he says.

Adults with AMD are accurate, but slower in performing touch screen tasks


Older adults with central vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration(AMD) have no problem with accuracy in performing touch screen tasks, according to a study in the October issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

But their performance is slower–especially during the initial “exploration” phase of touch screen tasks, according to the new research by Quentin Lenoble, PhD, of Université Lille Nord de France and colleagues. The study provides initial insights into the best ways of adapting touch screen applications for use by the millions of people affected by AMD.

People with AMD Are Accurate, But Slower, in Using Touch Screens

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults, causing serious impairment in driving, reading, and other daily tasks. “The advent of digital displays and use of computer screens has opened up many new possibilities for reading activities and travel aids for AMD sufferers,” comments Anthony Adams, OD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Optometry and Vision Science.

Dr. Lenoble and colleagues designed an experiment to see how AMD affected performance on a simple touch screen task. Twenty-four older adults with AMD were asked to explore scenes presented on a touch screen, and then to drag pictured objects to the corresponding scene–for example, matching a fish to the sea.

Their performance was compared with that of older adults without AMD, as well as young adults with normal vision. All three groups were highly accurate in matching the objects to the corresponding scene, with correct response rates of about 99 percent.

However, there were significant differences in the initial “exploration phase”–when participants were visually exploring the scenes presented on the touch screen. Average exploration time was about four seconds for AMD patients, compared to three seconds for older subjects with normal vision. For younger subjects, exploration time was significantly shorter: less than one second.

The younger participants also had shorter touch screen movement times. However, the two groups of older adults had similar movement speeds, whether or not they had AMD.

“This study shows that people with AMD are able to perform a task on a touch screen,” Dr. Lenoble and coauthors write. “They were slower during the exploration phase, but accuracy was not affected.” Based on this finding, the researchers suggest, “AMD impaired the perceptual but not the motor performance of the patients in this task.”

The authors note some limitations of their study–including the fact that it was performed using large, desktop-sized touch screen monitors. It’s unclear how AMD patients would be able to see and navigate the images presented on smaller screens, such as smartphones and global positioning systems.

But the results are an informative first step toward adapting touch screen applications for patients with AMD, and possibly with other visual impairments as well. “The advent of digital displays and use of computer screens has opened up many new possibilities for reading activities and travel aids for AMD sufferers,” says Dr. Adams. “This study suggests that there can be new strategies in making touch screen scenes and materials more identifiable to the many people with low vision caused by AMD.”

Daimler tests self-driving truck on German highway


German automaker Daimler said it trialled a self-driving truck under real traffic conditions for the first time Friday, on a motorway in southern Germany.
A Mercedes-Benz Actros truck equipped with a self-driving system takes to the highway

The truck has smart systems including radars, cameras and active speed regulators and works without a human driver—although one has to be in the driver’s seat and take the wheel if necessary.

The standard Mercedes-Benz Actros, fitted with the intelligent “Highway Pilot” system, travelled 14 kilometres (about nine miles) on the A8 motorway, with a driver in the cabin but his hands off the wheel.

“Today’s premiere is a further important step towards the market maturity of autonomously driving trucks -– and towards the safe, sustainable road freight transport of the future,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, board member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses.

“Safe testing in real is absolutely decisive for the development of this technology to market maturity. We are now able to proceed with this,” said Bernhard, who sat in the driver’s seat for the test.

Daimler unveiled the technology in May in the US state of Nevada, on the iconic Hoover Dam, an hour’s drive from Las Vegas.

The truck in Friday’s trial, the world’s first series-production autonomous truck, drove between Stuttgart and the town of Denkendorf in the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, where Daimler is headquartered.

A totally self-driving truck, without the need for human monitoring, is still a long way off.

Daimler compared the Highway Pilot to a plane’s autopilot. It is able to steer the truck by itself, while the driver “retains full responsibility, needs to monitor the traffic at all times and must be able to intervene at any time”.

The system includes front-mounted radar and a stereo camera, as well as Daimler’s Adaptive Cruise Control system.

Should the weather or the road markings deteriorate badly, the system prompts the driver to take over the controls with audible and visual signals and, if the driver fails to respond, brings the truck to a stop automatically.

The Highway Pilot has already driven around 20,000 kilometres on test routes in Germany and the United States, said Daimler.

State premier Winfried Kretschmann of the Greens party, who was also along for the ride, said “partially autonomous and autonomous driving indicates that a new age of mobility is dawning”.

“Autonomously driving and networked vehicles improve the flow of traffic and can play a decisive role in helping to avoid traffic jams and relieving the strain on drivers,” he said in a statement. “They also boost traffic safety.”

Daimler says autonomous trucks improve efficiency and cut carbon emissions. Thanks to optimised gear shifting, acceleration and braking, they generate at least five percent fewer CO2 emissions, said the company.

Daimler, whose vehicles include the high-end Mercedes-Benz range and compact Smart cars, is also the world’s biggest maker of trucks with brands including Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Fuso and BharatBenz.

 

Advice: Stop Eating Gluten Immediately if You Can Notice These Symptoms


No one can force you to do something you are not willing to do.

Every step you take is your choice. Here you can only read about what is healthy, although people sometimes are skeptical when it comes to their health.

Do you feel sometimes that you are not allowed to eat or drink anything?

But it is not true.

There are a lot of foods which can make you feel satiated.

But gluten should be avoided as it is really dangerous.

Doctors often emphasize this fact about the gluten every time they have the chance.

You can live without consuming products that contain gluten.

Look at the picture below and find out why gluten should be removed from your meals.

Advice Stop Eating Gluten Immediately if You Can Notice These

– See more at: http://www.healthyfoodteam.com/advice-stop-eating-gluten-immediately-if-you-can-notice-these/#sthash.1tDceGDa.dpuf