Pathology labs in India

In today’s scenario, pathology labs play a significant role in medical world. With the increase in the number of pathology labsin India, the people are getting a number of advantages and they can easily get the right treatment for their health related issues. In the past few years, India has shown remarkable growth in medical field. The growth of technology and with the introduction of new techniques even the treatment of serious diseases like Cancer is possible in India. Now people don’t have to travel across countries to countries for treatment of their diseases. With the help of the leading certified pathology laboratories, the diseases can be diagnosed here in India itself. The reputable pathology labs consists of well trained professionals laced with latest machines, equipments and most innovative approaches that provides best medical services.

 With maximum number of pathology labs in India, people can take full advantages of the cost effective services provided by the pathology labs. With the increase in pathology labs, the competition between these labs is also increasing. All the pathology labs provide cost effective services to attract the customers to their render their service. They provide most advanced techniques and methods for diagnosis which mostly includes surgical pathology clinics. In surgical pathology they diagnose the tissue removed from the patient body through a small surgery which further help to determine the treatment plan. Now you can easily avail these services and get the right treatment done at a very affordable price which will also come under your budget.  Surgical diagnosis used to be every costly at earlier times but now with these modern surgical pathology, one can diagnose their problem in the most effective rate under reliable and professional pathological doctors.

 Oncquest Laboratories is one of the most reliable and most trusted names in the list of pathology labs in India. We are the leading pathology laboratories in India. Our wide chain network spreads across all over India providing best pathological services in the medical field. Oncquest renders more than 1000 tests including screening, diagnosis, monitoring and preventive healthcare. We test and diagnose for simple to most infectious and deadly diseases. We are the best surgical pathology labs of India.  We provide best services at most affordable rates and all the tests are performed under specialise pathologists and high tech machines. We work with the best team to render the best services to our customers. We at Oncquest Laboratories, works for customers’ satisfaction and we keep trying to render them the best services. 

France: Long Stay Visa Planning

We have a gift of time.

My husband and I are both jobless for the first time since the 1980’s (you can do the math). The obvious and logical choice for most people would be to hit the pavement and search for new gainful employment. We are in the fortunate position that we do not need to worry about young dependents, read “children.” We are also lucky to have very healthy parents.

So why not? What are we waiting for? Why are we working? What better way to celebrate by taking some well deserved time off than to travel? These were all used in my heavy negotiating phase. I am lucky enough to have a husband who is willing to try new things and frankly “go along for the ride.” So the planning began back in June and the list was very long. The most important thing was the visa application to allow for an extended stay in the country (anything over 90 days requires a visa).

Several years ago, I worked in France and nothing has changed, if there is one thing the French love it is paperwork. There is no better way to emphasize the national love for bureaucracy than a lengthy visa application. The process for an extended stay (visa de long séjour) is 15 steps long, and is clearly not for the faint of heart. You need to commit to gathering all of the following (and more) in original and photocopy versions; police clearance, finger printing, photos, insurance, copies of your bank balance, promises not to work, seek unemployment insurance or get sick. Unless you are incredibly organized, it is no small feat to gather the documentation. Once you have all the documentation together, you need to physically go to Vancouver (or your closest consulate location) for a face-to-face interview, and to hand over the documents in person.

The documents for the long stay visa application requires all of the following (NOTE: verify exact requirements as the process is constantly flux):

  1. Passport valid at least three months after the expiry date of the visa + 1 set of photocopies of the main pages (photo, validity date, visas…)
  2. Long Stay visa application form duly filled out and signed + 2 recent and identical photos
  3. Per child: 1 Long Stay visa application form duly filled out and signed + 2 recent and identical photos
  4. Office Francaise de L’immigration et L’integration form completed
  5. Any document supporting your status in Canada and allowing your re-entry: Canadian Long Form birth certificate, Canadian citizenship card, permanent resident card (to be photocopied both sides), valid Canadian visa… + 1 photocopy
  6. Proof of means of income for the entire length of your stay in France: last 3 months bank statement showing your name and balance, last Notice of Assessment (NOA)… + 1 photocopy
  7. Letter under oath stating not to engage in any work + 1 photocopy
  8. Documents supporting your socio-professional status in Canada: recent letter of the employer (with position, record of employment, salary, vacation), last 3 pay stubs, Business Registration if you are self employed… + 1 photocopy
  9. RCMP Police clearance + 1 photocopy
  10. Questionnaire (visa long sejour visiteur) completed in French + 1 photocopy
  11. Proof of residency in France such as a lease, a title of property, etc + 1 photocopy.
  12. Proof of enrolment at a French school for children aged 6 to 16.

If the visa is granted:

The travel medical insurance is valid for the entire length of your stay in all the Schengen zone and covers all medical expenses such as medicine, hospitalization, repatriation with a minimum coverage of 50,000 CAD + 1 photocopy

We had to travel to Vancouver to complete our visa process. That included two return flights and a hotel room, to make sure we did not miss the appointed time. We arrived in advance of our scheduled appointment. The entry door is imposing and does cause a moment of reflection before you hit the buzzer and stumble through your greeting in French. After entry you are requested to hand over your precious stack of documents to a security guard. In our case, he rifled through our documents in a very officious manner. He removed paperclips, staples and rearranged the order. Frankly, after months of painstakingly gathering the documents it felt like a violation.

Then we were asked to wait. The next few minutes were painful as you are clearly on CCTV they have all of your most precious documents and at this stage you are not in control. We amused ourselves and passed the time by reading a French/English dictionary. We were called up to the next window and asked for proof related to our documents, this included:

  1. More photos
  2. More fingerprints
  3. The application fee

With that, we had 30 minutes to get to the bank (for updated statements) and the post office (prepaid envelope) before the office 12:30pm closing time. We made it!

I had decided long ago, it took my hubby a bit of time to catch on, that Jade our black lab would also benefit from some French food, and she may be able to pick up the odd word too. So this is proof of the fact that the French love their pets more than people, and certainly more than tourists. Jade’s application process had two steps and does not require a visit to the consular office.

Despite a bit of an onerous process a long stay in France is worth every ounce of effort. We are enjoying the food, the wine, new friends and lots of new adventures. We are making the best of our “gift of time.”

Mustard and Broccoli Beat Prostate Cancer

Earlier clinical and laboratory studies have shown that sulforaphane, a compound that occurs in significant quantities in mustard, wasabi (and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and others) has unique and highly effective anticancer activities.

Although sulforaphane has shown strong activity against respiratory diseases and malignancies such as cancers of the lung, breast, stomach and colon, the research spotlight has once again focused on its role as a potential treatment and preventive agent for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the west and accounts for the annual death of over 25,000 men in the USA alone. Although early detection and treatment are the mainstays of the management of this scourge, medical scientists are turning their attentions to safe, food based compounds that demonstrate strong cancer fighting properties.

Writing in the journal, Molecular Cancer, Scientists at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in the United Kingdom have published a paper that describes the phenomenal ways in which sulforaphane acts against the commonest form of prostate cancer – adenocarcinoma.

How prostate cancer develops

Adenocarcinoma of the prostate develops when epithelial cells of the prostate gland change into pre-cancerous cells. The reason they do so is that the aging prostate cells either drop their PTEN gene or lose the ability to activate this important anti-cancer gene; the PTEN gene’s vital role is to oppose the cancer promoting PI3K/AKT enzyme.

If the PTEN gene is inactivated or damaged during the process of DNA replication, the prostate gland loses its ability to counter the PI3K/AKT enzyme and the pre-cancerous cells progress into full blown cancer cells.

Sulforaphane and prostate cancer

This study has shown us something really interesting – that sulforaphane has almost no activity on healthy prostate cells that have normally paired PTEN genes and full expression (functioning) of these genes.

However, if the PTEN genes become damaged or begin to malfunction only then do they become sensitive to the beneficial effects of sulforaphane. In other words sulforaphane has absolutely no effect on normal prostate tissue and it is only when prostate cells become pre-cancerous or fully malignant that it manifests its cancer fighting properties. This is an attribute known as pathological-activated-therapy (PAT) and is a rare and valuable asset when it comes to the search for bioactive compounds with therapeutic potential.

Sulforaphane works its therapeutic magic on abnormal prostate tissue in two ways:

1) It stimulates the activation of alternative gene splicing mechanisms so that normal, fully functional PTEN genes can be formed during cell division and the creation of new DNA strands.

2) It stimulates the expression of existing PTEN genes that, for various reasons, have been inactivated.

By means of these two mechanisms this compound has the remarkable ability to actually stimulate the repair of damaged DNA as well as switch on previously inactive cancer-fighting genes.

Sulforaphane has two other attributes that makes the daily consumption of this spice-derived compound an absolute necessity.

  • It is a powerful eliminator of heterocyclic amines – these are cancerous compounds produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures that occur when using methods such as grilling or frying. Heterocyclic amines are thought to be one of the main reasons why the incidence of prostate cancer is so high in countries where large quantities of meat (especially beef) are consumed. Although it does not neutralize these compounds directly, sulforaphane accelerates their elimination from the body.
  • Although sulforaphane is not an antioxidant itself, it stimulates the production of the body’s own antioxidants such as glutathione.

As well as giving us a clearer insight into sulforaphane’s anticancer properties this study also underlines the importance of the foods that supply us with this key phytonutrient.

These foods ‘cut the mustard

Whether you have a prostate gland or not, a daily serving of a spice such as mustard, wasabi, horseradish or one or more of the other brassica vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cress, rocket and others) should be an essential part of your diet.

History of Educational Technology

There is no written evidence which can tell us exactly who has coined the phrase educational technology. Different educationists, scientists and philosophers at different time intervals have put forwarded different definitions of Educational Technology. Educational technology is a multifaceted and integrated process involving people, procedure, ideas, devices, and organization, where technology from different fields of science is borrowed as per the need and requirement of education for implementing, evaluating, and managing solutions to those problems involved in all aspects of human learning.

Educational technology, broadly speaking, has passed through five stages.

The first stage of educational technology is coupled with the use of aids like charts, maps, symbols, models, specimens and concrete materials. The term educational technology was used as synonyms to audio-visual aids.

The second stage of educational technology is associated with the ‘electronic revolution’ with the introduction and establishment of sophisticated hardware and software. Use of various audio-visual aids like projector, magic lanterns, tape-recorder, radio and television brought a revolutionary change in the educational scenario. Accordingly, educational technology concept was taken in terms of these sophisticated instruments and equipments for effective presentation of instructional materials.

The third stage of educational technology is linked with the development of mass media which in turn led to ‘communication revolution’ for instructional purposes. Computer-assisted Instruction (CAI) used for education since 1950s also became popular during this era.

The fourth stage of educational technology is discernible by the individualized process of instruction. The invention of programmed learning and programmed instruction provided a new dimension to educational technology. A system of self-learning based on self-instructional materials and teaching machines emerged.

The latest concept of educational technology is influenced by the concept of system engineering or system approach which focuses on language laboratories, teaching machines, programmed instruction, multimedia technologies and the use of the computer in instruction. According to it, educational technology is a systematic way of designing, carrying out and evaluating the total process of teaching and learning in terms of specific objectives based on research.

Educational technology during the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age

Educational technology, despite the uncertainty of the origin of the term, can be traced back to the time of the three-age system periodization of human prehistory; namely the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age.

Duringthe Stone Age, ignition of fire by rubbing stones, manufacture of various handmade weapon and utensils from stones and clothing practice were some of the simple technological developments of utmost importance. A fraction of Stone Age people developed ocean-worthy outrigger canoe ship technology to migrate from one place to another across the Ocean, by which they developed their first informal education of knowledge of the ocean currents, weather conditions, sailing practice, astronavigation, and star maps. During the later Stone Age period (Neolithic period),for agricultural practice, polished stone tools were made from a variety of hard rocks largely by digging underground tunnels, which can be considered as the first steps in mining technology. The polished axes were so effective that even after appearance of bronze and iron; people used it for clearing forest and the establishment of crop farming.

Although Stone Age cultures left no written records, but archaeological evidences proved their shift from nomadic life to agricultural settlement. Ancient tools conserved in different museums, cave paintings like Altamira Cave in Spain, and other prehistoric art, such as the Venus of Willendorf, Mother Goddess from Laussel, France etc. are some of the evidences in favour of their cultures.

Neolithic Revolution of Stone Age resulted into the appearance of Bronze Age with development of agriculture, animal domestication, and the adoption of permanent settlements. For these practices Bronze Age people further developed metal smelting, with copper and later bronze, an alloy of tin and copper, being the materials of their choice.

The Iron Age people replaced bronze and developed the knowledge of iron smelting technology to lower the cost of living since iron utensils were stronger and cheaper than bronze equivalents. In many Eurasian cultures, the Iron Age was the last period before the development of written scripts.

Educational technology during the period of Ancient civilizations

According to Paul Saettler, 2004, Educational technology can be traced back to the time when tribal priests systematized bodies of knowledge and ancient cultures invented pictographs or sign writing to record and transmit information. In every stage of human civilization, one can find an instructional technique or set of procedures intended to implement a particular culture which were also supported by number of investigations and evidences. The more advanced the culture, the more complex became the technology of instruction designed to reflect particular ways of individual and social behaviour intended to run an educated society. Over centuries, each significant shift in educational values, goals or objectives led to diverse technologies of instruction.

The greatest advances in technology and engineering came with the rise of the ancient civilizations. These advances stimulated and educated other societies in the world to adopt new ways of living and governance.

The Indus Valley Civilization was an early Bronze Age civilization which was located in the northwestern region of the Indian Subcontinent. The civilization was primarily flourished around the Indus River basin of the Indus and the Punjab region, extending upto the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley and the Ganges-Yamuna Doab, (most of the part is under today’s Pakistan and the western states of modern-day India as well as some part of the civilization extending upto southeastern Afghanistan, and the easternmost part of Balochistan, Iran).

There is a long term controversy to be sure about the language that the Harappan people spoke. It is assumed that their writing was at least seems to be or a pictographic script. The script appears to have had about 400 basic signs, with lots of variations. People write their script with the direction generally from right to left. Most of the writing was found on seals and sealings which were probably used in trade and official & administrative work.

Harappan people had the knowledge of the measuring tools of length, mass, and time. They were the first in the world to develop a system of uniform weights and measures.

In a study carried out by P. N. Rao et al. in 2009, published in Science, computer scientists found that the Indus script’s pattern is closer to that of spoken words, which supported the proposed hypothesis that it codes for an as-yet-unknown language.

According to the Chinese Civilization, some of the major techno-offerings from China include paper, early seismological detectors, toilet paper, matches, iron plough, the multi-tube seed drill, the suspension bridge, the wheelbarrow, the parachute, natural gas as fuel, the magnetic compass, the raised-relief map, the blast furnace, the propeller, the crossbow, the South Pointing Chariot, and gun powder. With the invent of paper they have given their first step towards developments of educational technology by further culturing different handmade products of paper as means of visual aids.

Ancient Egyptian language was at one point one of the longest surviving and used languages in the world. Their script was made up of pictures of the real things like birds, animals, different tools, etc. These pictures are popularly called hieroglyph. Their language was made up of above 500 hieroglyphs which are known as hieroglyphics. On the stone monuments or tombs which were discovered and rescued latter on provides the evidence of existence of many forms of artistic hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt.

Educational technology during Medieval and Modern Period

Paper and the pulp papermaking process which was developed in China during the early 2nd century AD, was carried to the Middle East and was spread to Mediterranean by the Muslim conquests. Evidences support that a paper mill was also established in Sicily in the 12th century. The discovery of spinning wheel increased the productivity of thread making process to a great extent and when Lynn White added the spinning wheel with increasing supply of rags, this led to the production of cheap paper, which was a prime factor in the development of printing technology.

The invention of the printing press was taken place in approximately 1450 AD, by Johannes Gutenburg, a German inventor. The invention of printing press was a prime developmental factor in the history of educational technology to convey the instruction as per the need of the complex and advanced-technology cultured society.

In the pre-industrial phases, while industry was simply the handwork at artisan level, the instructional processes were relied heavily upon simple things like the slate, the horn book, the blackboard, and chalk. It was limited to a single text book with a few illustrations. Educational technology was considered synonymous to simple aids like charts and pictures.

The year 1873 may be considered a landmark in the early history of technology of education or audio-visual education. An exhibition was held in Vienna at international level in which an American school won the admiration of the educators for the exhibition of maps, charts, textbooks and other equipments.

Maria Montessori (1870-1952), internationally renowned child educator and the originator of Montessori Method exerted a dynamic impact on educational technology through her development of graded materials designed to provide for the proper sequencing of subject matter for each individual learner. Modern educational technology suggests many extension of Montessori’s idea of prepared child centered environment.

In1833, Charles Babbage’s design of a general purpose computing device laid the foundation of the modern computer and in 1943, the first computing machine as per hi design was constructed by International Business Machines Corporation in USA. The Computer Assisted instruction (CAI) in which the computer functions essentially as a tutor as well as the Talking Type writer was developed by O.K. Moore in 1966. Since 1974, computers are interestingly used in education in schools, colleges and universities.

In the beginning of the 19th century, there were noteworthy changes in the field of education. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), right from its start of school broadcasts in 1920 had maintained rapid pace in making sound contribution to formal education. In the USA, by 1952, 20 states had the provision for educational broadcasting. Parallel to this time about 98% of the schools in United Kingdom were equipped with radios and there were regular daily programmes.

Sidney L. Pressey, a psychologist of Ohio state university developed a self-teaching machine called ‘Drum Tutor’ in 1920. Professor Skinner, however, in his famous article ‘Science of Learning and art of Teaching’ published in 1945 pleaded for the application of the knowledge derived from behavioral psychology to classroom procedures and suggested automated teaching devices as means of doing so.

Although the first practical use of Regular television broadcasts was in Germany in 1929 and in 1936 the Olympic Games in Berlin were broadcasted through television stations in Berlin, Open circuit television began to be used primarily for broadcasting programmes for entertainment in 1950. Since 1960, television is used for educational purposes.

In 1950, Brynmor, in England, used educational technological steps for the first time. It is to be cared that in 1960, as a result of industrial revolution in America and Russia, other countries also started progressing in the filed of educational technology. In this way, the beginning of educational technology took place in 1960 from America and Russia and now it has reached England, Europe and India.

During the time of around 1950s, new technocracy was turning it attraction to educations when there was a steep shortage of teachers in America and therefore an urgent need of educational technology was felt. Dr. Alvin C. Eurich and a little later his associate, Dr. Alexander J. Stoddard introduced mass production technology in America.

Team teaching had its origin in America in the mid of 1950’s and was first started in the year 1955 at Harvard University as a part of internship plan.

In the year 1956, Benjamin Bloom from USA introduced the taxonomy of educational objectives through his publication, “The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, The Classification of Educational Goals, Handbook I: Cognitive Domain”.

In 1961, Micro teaching technique was first adopted by Dwight W. Allen and his co-workers at Stanford University in USA.

Electronics is the main technology being developed in the beginning of 21st century. Broadband Internet access became popular and occupied almost all the important offices and educational places and even in common places in developed countries with the advantage of connecting home computers with music libraries and mobile phones.

Today’s classroom is more likely to be a technology lab, a room with rows of students using internet connected or Wi-Fi enabled laptops, palmtops, notepad, or perhaps students are attending a video conferencing or virtual classroom or may have been listening to a podcast or taking in a video lecture. Rapid technological changes in the field of educational have created new ways to teach and to learn. Technological changes also motivated the teachers to access a variety of information on a global scale via the Internet, to enhance their lessons as well as to make them competent professional in their area of concern. At the same time, students can utilize vast resources of the Internet to enrich their learning experience to cope up with changing trend of the society. Now a days students as well teachers are attending seminars, conferences, workshops at national and international level by using the multimedia techno-resources like PowerPoint and even they pursue a variety of important courses of their choice in distance mode via online learning ways. Online learning facility has opened infinite number of doors of opportunities for today’s learner to make their life happier than ever before.

Free Will and Determinism

The existence of free will always goes hand in hand with determinism. Free will is defined as a choice that is free and independent thereby makes it a voluntary decision. From a philosophical aspect, it is a personal choice which is expressed by a human being that is not strictly determined by physical or divine factors. Stimulated by rain, a frog croaks, or a rooster crows at dawn. We know that the frog and the rooster have no choice in the matter as their behaviors are environmentally determined. Thus, their actions are instinctive and they act according to the environmental cues. Humans, on the other hand, have much greater behavioral flexibility and thus are able to adapt to the environment. The key word here is 'adaptation', as humans are always engaged in it to avoid extinction.

The presence of genes does not by itself promise that a certain trait will be manifested, but coupled with the combination of the right and proper environment is critical for the innate tendencies to be fully expressed. These environmental factors take into account of not only natural landscapes but also of the individuals' social and culture.

In behaviorism or behavioral psychology, the key element is that all behaviors are accepted through conditioning. Through the interaction with environment, the conditioning occurs. Therefore, behaviorism places no consideration of internal mental states but focuses on the study of behavior in a systematic and observable manner. Free will is the ability to choose and it implies that it is something that occurs within a person along the effects of deterministic elements such as heredity and environment.

A person may choose to have in one way or the other by his free willpite inherit and all environmental effects. Free will that places choice as something that is real, not just an illusion and each of us can cause a certain behavior. The reconciliation between free will and determinism brings 'soft determinism' and 'compatibilist.' According to Donald Hebb, soft determinism holds that free will enterprises of behaviors that are also dependent on inheritance and past environmental history. This contradicts the conventional idea of ​​free will that is thinks of a choice made is free from the influence of past events.

Based on John Broadus Watson, an American psychologist who believes strongly that psychology should involve the study of the visible behavior, he basically left the part where the mental processes that occur within a person that is also important in the study of free will. His views on behaviorism are at its most extreme. Human behavior is always influenced by factors which clearly include biological and environmental. A creative decision which is made that is free of the effects from these factors is called free will.

To exclusively separate free will and determinism in two groups help us understand what each is defined against the other. But to understand life and the interaction of humans with each other and the choices that are thought about, free will and determinism must be assessed both at the same time. For as long as a person is unaware that he or she is controlled by the biological and environmental, the more that he or she is controlled or constricted by these elements. And that every choice and decision that is made comes from a determined pasts or experiences. For example, an 18 year old female who has a controlling father may act in sub ways that show her rebellion to go against her father, when he does not allow her to go out with her friends at night. Her actions can be rooted in free will or determinism or a combination of both.

The idea of ​​a certain action comes from either free will or determinism exclusively is naive as she can act for that sole purpose to go against the father, as most adolescent do. Or she can act in a more adult way by showing that she can be trusted or held responsible by her actions and thus making the relationship with the father a more effective one. The environmental factor in this case, which is the father's controlling nature triggers a response to the daughter.

To include a biological factor now we use the same situation except for the personality of the daughter, who is very sensitive in nature and has been diagnosed with depression. Research has shown that some people are born with a certain chemical imbalance in the brain that causes them to be more easily depressed than others. So, when this person acts in the same situation as the example above to go out at night with her friends, she may feel that her controlling father does not understand her or he is set on his decisions that she is not to be trusted.

Hereby, his reactions of not allowing her to go out may cause her to react in ways that are unique to her and her predisposition. She may just decide to abandon the idea of ​​going out, and miserably stay in her room and get depressed. She may feel that her father's actions are justifiable as he is being protective of her or that he does not trust her enough. So, free will is in question as she is constrained by a biological factor which is the imbalance in the brain chemicals, causing her behavior. But to a certain point, the environment too influences her nature to become more depress such as the father constant anger or mistrusting attitudes which will exacerbate the depression. Thus, the environment works together with the biological aspects to induce a certain outcome in the behavior of the person.

In both examples, by looking at the behaviorist point of view, we do not see the internal conflicts that go on in the individual as we focus on the physical aspects of the daughter's reaction to the same controlling father. Psychodynamic approach which is based on Sigmund Freud tells us that the reactions of the daughter to the controlling father are influenced by id, ego and superego. This perspective focuses on the role of unconscious mind, experiences of early childhood and interpersonal relationships to explain the behavior of a person. Free will not be applied when there are the factors in the past that work to produce a certain kind of behavior. But if the person realizes that these factors are at work, then at least, in this frame of mind, she can transcend the experience by making a new decision with respect to the reaction of a controlling father. This way, at the background of so many deterministic factors, her awareness will take her to a new position in her response to her father.

Free will and determinism, looked up from the angle of behaviorism, psychodynamical and biological perspectives, brings us to notice that free will acts in conscious choice that is not determined by compulsion of heredity, circumstance or environment, is not possible if there is no awareness Of the controlling deterministic factors in the first place. To transcend the effects of the past, the biological make-up, and all the cultural and social impacts on a person, the awareness that these things are working to influence the choices a person makes, is important, for determinism to be broken down. And then, allowing a choices to be made creatively, the closest experience to free will anyone can have.

Which Brand of LED Diode Is Best for Your LED Display?

When it comes to the LED display industry, no matter who is manufacturing your display or message center, there are only a few brands that are manufacturing the LED diodes themselves. Creating these bulbs, while a complex process, amounts to two major parts that need to be distinguished. The first is the production of the LED semiconductor itself (the metal part inside the bulb) and the second is the encapsulation of that semiconductor to create the bulb (the glass surrounding the metal part).

The major brands considered as choices for LED display boards are the Japanese made Nitchia; the American made Cree, the Chinese made Silan, and a host of other Taiwanese brands like HPO or Epistar.

Nitchia is the consensus favorite in terms of quality and bulb life. The problem with Nitchia is that it can be prohibitively expensive and the difference in performance vs. other brands doesn’t typically justify the expense. Cree is a favorite in the US because it is American made and they perform their own encapsulation, therefore controlling the entire process. In actuality, if you look at the statistics behind Cree bulbs, they degrade at a faster rate than almost any other brand. In fact, most colors degrade over 10% in the first year! Color uniformity in Cree is, however, very good. Silan is typically the cheapest brand available on the market. The reason that Silan has a bad reputation for quality, aside from being made in China and the implications of the China brand relative to quality, is that Silan does not encapsulate their own semiconductors.

Instead, encapsulation is performed by third party companies which may or may not be using suitable semiconductors and may or may not be doing a good job. This means that when it comes to buying Silan, the most important aspect to look into is where the Silan semiconductors are being encapsulated. When you compare the raw data on the semiconductors, they actually outperform most other brands. Their red LED’s in particular have phenomenal performance but the brand becomes unreliable due to the lack of control they have over the rest of the supply chain. There are several Taiwanese manufacturers that do a great job of controlling their quality while also providing a low cost product. This is where the best values are found. Among them are HPO and Epistar in particular. HPO is a great choice for high brightness applications like message centers where the brighter the bulb, the better.

When it comes to choosing an LED diode brand, there are many options in the market with positives and negatives to each one. New data is always pouring is as new technologies change the landscape, leaving consensus opinions in the dust. Do your homework before deciding which LED diode to purchase in your next LED display board.

11 Foods That Help Boost Your Sex Drive

Throughout history, humans have sought and tried various edibles that will help in guaranteeing the ability to rise to any sexual occasion. Aphrodisiacs are generally thought of as any substance that arouses or intensifies sexual desire. Fortunately, recent studies have discovered that some of the best-known edible aphrodisiacs do in reality contain certain vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy reproductive system and invariably to a healthy libido.

The reason certain foods boost sex drive is because they contain specific vital nutrients needed by the brain and body to regulate the levels of sex hormones and the circulatory system for optimal performance, and not because they contain any magical ingredient. With sufficient supply of these nutrients to your brain and body, vigorous sexual health is a natural end result. Best of all, instead of side-effects, most of these foods throw in some side-benefits.

To get in the mood for romance and so much more, uncovered here is a list of 11 natural sex aphrodisiacs to help increase your hormonal levels and to get your libido soaring.

Bananas

An almost ideal and power-packed food, banana is a good source of dietary fibre, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese. Bananas are equally a very good source of Vitamin B-Complex like riboflavin which are important for the conversion of carbohydrates into energy and which is also suggested to help in the manufacture of sex hormones such as testosterone. Bananas are also rich in bromelain, an enzyme purported to increase libido and reverse impotence in men. Bananas are indeed a sure-fire way to increase your sexual energy.

Dark Chocolate

This quintessential lover’s gift contains phenylethylamine, the same pleasure-producing chemical that gives you a feeling of well-being and excitement and usually released when we fall in love. Getting the darkest, richest chocolate is important. Instead of milk chocolate, opt for the dark chocolate with at least 70% of cocoa content as they contain less of the sugar, fat and other things. Chocolate also provide antioxidants, which are great for maintaining the body’s immune system.

Ginger

The powerful and high prized medicinal ginger roots, raw, cooked or crystallised, stimulates the circulatory system, relaxing blood vessels and boosting blood flow to the genitals. The pungent principles (including the volatile oil gingerol) are the most medicinally potent because they inhibit prostaglandin and leukotriene (products in the body that influence blood flow and inflammation). They also give ginger its pungent aroma. Some of the most effective forms of ginger include the powdered, encapsulated form; ginger tea prepared from sliced ginger root; or candied pieces.

Avocados

This almost too delicious to be healthy fruit aside from being very low in cholesterol and sodium, is also a good source of dietary fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, lots of minerals and amino acids, and contains a high level of folic acid which help metabolise proteins for generating more energy. The fat in avocados is monounsaturated and they also contain vitamin B6 which increases male and female hormone production. Avocados are rich in vitamin E (an antioxidant) which is vital for overall sexual function.

Almonds

The aroma of almonds is thought to arouse passion in women. Almonds are low in cholesterol but chock-full of calcium and vitamin E, and are also a good source of magnesium, potassium, protein, and phosphorus. In general, most nuts (walnut, peanut, and Brazil nut) are great sources of nutrients that promote sexual health, and often contain phosphorus and zinc. Nuts can be high in calorie so don’t over-indulge.

Oyster

The reputation that oysters are good for your sex life is nothing but the truth, as they are indeed one of the classic aphrodisiacs. They are purportedly the richest food source of zinc which promotes healthy sperm and testosterone production, making this food a winner. Testosterone is equally known to stimulate the female libido as well.

Recent scientific evidence suggests that mussels, clams, and oysters deliver two types of amino acids that spark the release of sex hormones in both men and women. Oysters are also a good source of protein, Vitamin C, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B12, iron, copper, manganese and selenium.

Asparagus

This purported phallic shape aphrodisiac contains the phytochemical glutathione, which has excellent antioxidant properties. Asparagus also has a good supply of Vitamin E, considered to stimulate production of sex hormones and may be essential for a healthy sex life.

Celery

Celery can be a fantastic raw food source for sexual stimulation as it contains androsterone, an odourless hormone released during male perspiration and which can act as a pheromone to trigger female attraction.

Figs

Symbolic of the male and female sex organs, the sweet fresh juice taste of figs is highly pleasurable to the human senses. Figs are high in amino acids, which are believed to help in boosting libido. Also they are a superb source of fibre, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

Honey

This “nectar of Aphrodite” has its roots firmly in history, going all the way back to ancient cave paintings to include its aphrodisiac popularity from the libido-enhancing power of the ancient fermented honey drink called “mead”. This food is one of the fastest ways to provide your body with sexual energy because it contains simple carbohydrates that are easily digested providing instant energy and fuel for working muscles.

Honey is also rich in Vitamin B-Complex which aid in the function of the neurotransmitters responsible for sexual arousal and also for testosterone production. Combine a few spoonfuls of honey with a glass of milk, and a handful of nuts, and you’ll give yourself lots of explosive power. This is arguably why getaways for newlyweds’ are called “honeymoon”.

Garlic

Garlic is one of the most potent disease fighters in the plant kingdom, natural and harmless, and having a pronounced aphrodisiac effect. Most of the health benefits are derived from the over one hundred sulphur compounds it contains, especially allicin, which is responsible for its characteristic scent and flavour. Allicin also helps in increasing blood flow to the genitals making garlic a highly effective herb for increasing libido.

Studies have shown that regularly consumption of garlic can be very helpful in slowing the build-up of plaque on the arteries, prevent the formation of blood clots, and help lower blood pressure thus leading to a general increase in blood circulation. However, if the odour will be a deterrent, you can try the capsules instead.

Is Your Uterus Happy? Healthy Tips For A Happy Uterus

This may seem like a strange question. If you suffer from PMS, menstrual cramps, menopausal or peri-menopausal symptoms, headaches or migraines with your period, varicose veins, endometriosis, bladder infections, chronic miscarriages, or infertility there is a good chance your uterus is unhappy, prolapsed or tipped.

A healthy and happy uterus is dependent on optimal circulation of blood, Qi, nervous function, lymph, as well as good nutrient and mineral balance.

7 Healthy Tips for a Happy Uterus:

1.Walking is a wonderful free exercise that gets your heart pumping, your diaphragm descending for optimal digestion and breathing and your legs moving for good circulation. Walking also boosts the “good cholesterol” and lowers the “bad cholesterol” in your blood, which helps to keep the heart healthy. All of these things are necessary for a healthy uterus.

2. Yoga, especially inverted poses like downward dog, and partial or full headstands help the uterus go back into the proper position allowing for good circulation.

3. Greens, such as stinging nettles, kale, spinach, collard greens, etc, are very important for both alkaline balance as well as mineral balance for optimal nervous function. Women who drink 2-4 cups of stinging nettle tea daily and eat cooked leafy greens as well as lettuce salads are getting the abundant folic acid, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals needed to create a healthy baby.

4. Green Drinks such as spirulina, chlorella, oat grass and wheat grass are wonderful sources of minerals and high in chlorophyll. Wheatgrass is also an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, E and K, as well as calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, cobalt and zinc. The chemical structure of the chlorophyll molecule and its similarity to the hemin molecule of hemoglobin makes wheatgrass quickly utilized by the human blood stream, giving the human body the fundamental components to eliminate disease and regenerate itself. (Hemoglobin is one of the major components of our blood) Good strong blood and the proper mineral balance are essential for a healthy fetus.

5. Seeds and Oils and good fats are necessary for optimal hormone production. Some good sources of cholesterol are Flax seed oil, fish oil, olive oil, canola oil, almonds, cashews, avocados among many other sources. Flax seed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acid, which appears to be beneficial for preventing heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and a variety of other health conditions. Flaxseed also contains a group of chemicals called lignans that may play a role in the prevention of cancer. Studies have shown that Mothers with low serum cholesterol levels are significantly more likely to deliver premature babies, or full-term babies with lower weight, according to the study, “Adverse Birth Outcomes Among Mothers With Low Serum Cholesterol.” Researchers studied 118 women with low total cholesterol (less than the 10th percentile) and 940 women with mid-range cholesterol levels.

6. Castor Oil is derived from the bean of the Ricinus communis or Palma Christi plant (Palm of Christ). The Palma Christi has been used for therapeutically for centuries in the folk medicine of ancient India, China, Persia, Africa, Greece, Rome, and the Americas. It has large, beautiful palmate leaves hence the name, Palma Christi.

Used externally, castor oil has been used to treat a variety of health conditions such as arthritis, liver and intestinal disorders, tumors, cysts, and skin conditions. Taken internally, castor oil is a strong cathartic and is not recommended as there are ways to relieve constipation that are not as harsh. Some of the numerous uses of castor oil include the treatment of breast cysts, fibroids, and ovarian cysts, congestion of abdominal organs, skin conditions, small benign cysts, and adhesions from surgery. Wherever there is congestion, decreased blood flow and need for healing, castor oil can be an effective treatment option.

Castor oil has a unique chemical profile rich in ricinoleic acid which is known to exist in nature only in castor oil. Double blind studies conducted by the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc. demonstrated an increase in lymphocyte production and the level of activity of T-cell lymphocytes in the group that used castor oil packs. T-cell lymphocytes originate from bone marrow and the thymus gland, identify and kill invaders such as virus, bacteria, and fungi. In addition to strengthening the immune system, castor oil appears to have a balancing effect on the autonomic nervous system, increasing liver activity and improving digestion.

7. Maya Abdominal Massage is a non invasive external massage of the abdomen that increases circulation around the reproductive organs allowing for the proper balance of hormones, minerals for optimal nervous function, ad good circulation of lymph. Many women have a laundry list of physical and emotional symptoms that can be addressed and prevented with these simple, noninvasive massage techniques. When reproductive organs shift, they can constrict the normal flow of blood and lymph, and disrupting nerve connections. Just a few extra ounces sitting on blood and lymph vessels can cause havoc throughout the different systems in the body. By shifting the uterus back into place, homeostasis, or the natural balance of the body, is restored in the pelvic area and the surrounding organs. Toxins are flushed and nutrients that help to tone tissue and balance hormones are restored to normal order. This is essential for healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

The Healing Power of Water As a Sinus Infection Home Remedy

We can discover many potent sinus infection home remedy when we know how to make use of nature which is water, air, sunlight, climate and earth.

In this article, I would like to write on how we can use water as a healing agent in treating your sinus infection. Water is the elixir of life and there are many ways to use water’s cleansing and rejuvenating powers to improve our health and vitality.

1. Hot arm bath

Immerse one arm at a time into a tub of water which gets progressively hotter to increase the beneficial effects. Add a few drops of essential oils and be more creative when using them like when you want to treat your cough or colds, use eucalyptus, for sinus, use basil, for shortness of breath, use lavender or mix these oils as they are commonly used to treat health problems related to the respiratory system.

This hydrotherapeutic treatment is a very effective sinus infection home remedy as it not only can relieve your infection but can also bring down blood pressure and helps you to relax and be able to sleep better.

2. Hot and Cold water full bath

This treatment is very effective at reducing congestion, opening the sinus area and helps to liquefy thick mucus that is building up in your sinus cavity.

Cold water has a stimulating effect, constricting the blood vessels and inhibiting biochemical reactions that cause the inflammation. Warm or hot water dilates the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to the skin and reducing blood pressure and to have a more relaxing effect, try adding a few drops of peppermint, menthol or thyme.

It is recommended to take cold baths in the morning on waking up and hot baths at night before going to sleep and not to take a bath immediately after a meal, wait for at least 2 hours. When there is slight reddening of the skin or a feeling of intense cold or heat indicates that it is time to finish the bath.

3. Foot baths at alternate temperatures

This simple foot bath therapy is an extremely useful sinus infection home remedy as it can stimulate circulation in the veins and arteries and as such extremely effective to combat sinus headaches as it clears the congestion of blood accumulated in the head, thus relieving your head tensions. Put both feet in a basin of hot water first then in the cold and repeat this cycle for three to five times. Once when you have finished this therapy, rub your feet and put on your socks and go to bed.

4. Moist Heat

Taking a warm shower is a very simple, cheap and yet very effective sinus infection home remedy to relieve your sinus pain but will also help to increase drainage and blood flow to your sinus area. When you inhale the steam during the warm shower, helps to clear and thin the mucus in your sinuses.

Water helps to keep our respiratory system hydrated which prevents a build-up of thick mucus in your sinus cavity. Some experts believe that dehydration underlies many health problems as water helps to flush out toxins to keep our cells and organs healthy. It is recommended to drink at least 2-3 liters of fresh water a day but coffee, tea or alcoholic drinks are not included as they are dehydrating.

The Omron HEM-650 Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor With Advanced Positioning Sensor

If you are looking to buy a Blood Pressure Monitor to keep a check on your BP levels and you do a lot of travelling, then a wrist monitor like the Omron HEM-650 may be worth checking out. It would also be a good backup monitor to take with you when on vacation, giving the convenience of portability due to the unit being powered by 2 x Triple A batteries giving approx 300 measurements.

Omron HEM-650

This is a Wrist Fitting Blood Pressure Monitor that has the Display Unit and Cuff combined, it also includes APS (Advanced Positioning Sensor)

The advantage of this type of monitor is that anyone with large arm circumference can still use this, providing their wrist size is between 5.25 and 8.5 inches.

The Digital Display is a good size and very easy to read. Information displayed is Systolic (taken when the heart is beating) Diastolic (when the heart is at rest) Pulse and Date & Time.

There are a number of symbols indicating various functions including:

  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Cuff Deflation
  • Right Wrist Measurement
  • Position Sensor Alarm
  • Low Battery Alert

There are also a number of Error Messages that are displayed with an “E” on the top line. If the display shows an error then refer to the User Manual to find out what the cause is and how to correct it.

The Omron HEM-650 is capable of detecting an Irregular Heartbeat. This will happen if it detects 2 or more irregular heart rhythms within a measurement period. If the heartbeats increase or decrease by 25% or more this is considered irregular.

If the Irregular Heartbeat Symbol is displayed in conjunction with a reading, it is advisable to inform your Doctor.

The Omron HEM-650 can be used on either wrist to make measurements, but it is advisable to always use the same wrist for consistent readings. If the Right Wrist is used then the Right Wrist Measurement must be selected. This is indicated by the letter “R” in the bottom LHS of the display.

The unit has built in IntelliSense technology exclusive to Omron that automatically inflates the Cuff to the optimum level for both comfort and accuracy of measurement. Once the reading is complete then the Cuff is deflated.

As with all Omron Blood Pressure monitors, accuracy is second to none, the Omron HEM-650 being no exception. In order to get the best readings an averaging system is built into the unit. Up to 3 readings can be averaged providing they were taken within a 10 minute period of the last reading.

This unit will store up to 90 measurements including Time and Date stamps. These measurements can be retrieved and viewed on the display, starting with the most recent and ending with the oldest.

Advanced Positioning Sensor

One of the most important features of the Omron HEM-650 is the Advanced Positioning Sensor. This clever device can detect when the monitor is level with the heart. If anyone tries to take a reading and the monitor is not at the correct level, then the Cuff will not inflate. When you move your arm to the correct position the Cuff will now start to inflate.

Most people who intend to buy a Blood Pressure Monitor will go for an Upper Arm fitting unit, due to the accuracy that can be obtained. If you have a job where you are constantly on the move then this may not be the best choice, and a wrist blood pressure monitor may be a better option. With the Omron Technology including the Advanced Positioning Sensor, the Omron HEM-650 wrist Blood Pressure Monitor is capable of the same degree of accuracy and consistency, and may be worth further investigation.

Weight Management in Contemporary Times

Human lifestyle and societal situations have evolved in such a way, that how much you weigh or what one’s body fat percentage is, has gained a significant meaning in many people’s lives. More than how one looks or feels; it is the fundamental basis of the quality of human health and what one is capable of doing in the world. A majority of the chronic diseases in the world today are in some way influenced by how one keeps their system’s nutrition, exercise and weight status related to it. Managing some of these aspects has tremendous implications in terms of achieving good overall health and wellbeing.

Weight loss and its requirement may not be applicable to everyone but to find out if it is something one needs to look into, a simple way to know is by calculating one’s BMI or Body Mass Index. BMI calculators are easily available online or are even calculated on many modern day weighing scales. A healthy BMI number is considered to be one from 18.5 to 25. If it is from 25 to 30, it is considered overweight and anything above this is obese. If one is in the latter two categories then they are at a higher risk of having heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

So what is it that is leading to a greater number of individuals gaining weight and having non communicable, chronic diseases? The modern day lifestyle owes itself to people living in a way that is not in tune with requirements of the human body. A lack of balance in terms of nutrition is one reason; excess eating and the wrong kind of foods are another reason. By wrong kind of foods we do not mean any food is bad or good, there are just certain foods or drinks that are not suitable for the human system beyond a limit such as processed food. Another facet is the lack of movement and exercise with much of today’s generation working with technology and on workstations that do not allow much physical activity in one’s life. Hence achieving a balance between a healthy nutritious diet and keeping physically active throughout each day can greatly assist in living a healthy life with a normal weight.

Here are a few focus points upon which one can assist their own weight loss and achieve good health:

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Discover Foods That Help Constipation To Get Things Moving Again

Foods that help constipation…

Indeed, for some four millions unlucky Americans, constipation is a chronic problem and of course if you happen to be one of the four million you’re probably less concerned about what has made you constipated than about how to get things moving again. Therefore, let’s discuss foods that help constipation.

Befriend fiber. Begin your road to recovery by eating a high-fiber diet daily such as fresh fruits, raw green leafy vegetables whole-grain oatmeal, and brown rice. In addition, eat whole grains, sweet potatoes, peas, okra, kale, garlic, carrots, cabbage, beans, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus. The most common cause of constipation is a diet low in fiber. Foods that contain high amounts of soluble fiber include adzuki beans, barley, dried beans, oats, apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, cranberries, figs, grapes, peaches, and prunes. Foods that contain high amounts of insoluble fiber include cereals, seeds, wheat bran, whole grains, and the skins of many vegetables as well as fruits. Both soluble and insoluble fiber helps prevent the formation of hard, dry stools. Most, if not all, experts recommend high-fiber foods as the foods that help constipation.

Pair fiber with water. Whether you are thirsty or not, drink at least eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water every day. The reason why fiber relieves constipation is that it absorbs large amounts of fluids, adding bulk to the stool and making it softer and easier to pass.

Try lubricating the pipes. Healthy oils like olive or canola and other monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils act as digestive lubricants and may help get things rolling again. Try topping off your high-fiber salad with a tablespoon or even two using these suggested oils.

Don’t forget the old standbys. Figs and prunes are still considered the best natural laxatives.

When Foods That Help Constipation Isn’t Enough

Usually, a high-fiber diet accompanied by lots of water is enough to get things moving again. But if not, there are other natural help for constipation such as alternative remedies that can help beat constipation.

Let’s take a look beyond foods that help constipation and turn to the herbal kingdom for relief.

Move it with Aloe. Aloe vera latex is highly valued for its potent natural laxative properties. In fact, because the latex is such a potent laxative, it is not usually used alone but combined with gentler herbs. Actually, aloe latex is in the category of a stimulate laxative.

Not just a backyard weed. Dandelion root for centuries has been regarded as an effective, gentle laxative. Dandelion increases bile flow into the large intestine, making this herb valuable for constipation.

Get passionate with passionflower. Passionflower (passiflora) is one nature’s best tranquilizers. Often used to treat anxiety and stress, passion flower helps to relax and to relieve muscle tension. Indeed, high tension levels, anxiety and stress are often implicated in chronic constipation sufferers as well as other digestive complaints.

Other natural help for constipation from the herbal kingdom: cascara sagrada, senna, flax, psyllium seed, and milk thistle.

But wait, we’ve discussed foods that help constipation as well as herbal natural help for constipation. However, we have not discussed foods to avoid, so without further adieu, let’s discuss them now.

Stay away or limit the troublemakers. Foods that can cause constipation and should be

avoided are diets high in fat, including fried foods. In addition, dairy products, salt, coffee, alcohol, sugar, soft drinks, and meat offer the body little or no fiber and are difficult to digest.

Youth Baseball Drills – "Shine the Light Drill"

One great word picture that we use to help hitters get short to the ball is what we call “Shine the Light”. In our youth baseball drills, If we can help the hitter to visualize the knob of the bat as a flashlight, it will help him to get inside the pitch and achieve the short, compact stroke.

Most hitters will initially drive the knob of the bat towards the ground and they begin their stroke. This causes the bat to flip behind them, causing a long stroke, and taking the hands out of position.

Also, if the hitter lifts the front shoulder just one inch, this will also invite the bat knob to drop down.

Here’s one of our best youth baseball hitting tips. Imagine a laser beam coming from the flashlight directly to the ball. Ask the hitter to immediately “shine the light” on the ball, driving the knob in the direction of the pitch. This will help to correct the long stroke and get the bat head into the proper contact position.

This is easy. “Shine the Light”. From that point the short stroke and proper contact will follow.

We have experienced immediate improvement in our instruction with this simple concept….”Shine the Light”. Some of our hitters have seen results in as little as 7 days.

Here is a very important point to make this effective for you. Your stride will not be vital to hit the ball. It simply will allow the hitter to be in a better position to meet the baseball. In other words, the hands are still in the lock position at the end of the stride. Your stride will overcome inertia and give a level of support that will enable you hit the fastball.

Brain And Neurological Problems Affect Almost Half Of Celiacs Even With A Gluten Free Diet

There is reasonable evidence of neurological problems in Celiac disease (CD) even those well treated on a gluten-free diet should undergo periodic neurological screening. Peripheral neuropathy is found in almost half of people with CD. Previously, neurological complications in Celiac disease were reported to be as high as 36% or more than a third. Some unexplained neurological problems are present but not recognized by the patient or their doctor in many patients and some have several problems. Unfortunately, since brain imaging is not routinely done or recommended in those who are newly diagnosed we don’t really know how high these numbers may be really be. More staggering is the fact that we are still learning about people who fail to meet diagnostic criteria for Celiac disease but are being found to have gluten related neurological problems that respond to a gluten-free diet.

There are many neurological problems that in undiagnosed and untreated Celiac disease but include neuropathy, balance problems (ataxia), seizures, MS-like symptoms, headaches, memory impairment, depression and anxiety, inattention (ADD/ADHD), schizophrenia, dementia, muscle weakness, childhood developmental delay, autism (Asperger’s). The sad truth is that many patients have delays in diagnosis that result in delayed treatment and poor response even while adopting a strict gluten free diet. The average delay of diagnosis in adults is between eleven and thirteen years. Dr. Hadjivassiliou, a neurologist in England who is considered the world’s expert in gluten related neurological problems has communicated to me by e-mail and written that responses to a gluten-free diet may take five years and if the neurological condition has been longstanding complete recovery is not likely.

The symptoms of neuropathy are paresthesia (numbness) or dysthesia (burning, tingling, heaviness, “pins and needles” sensation”). Many of my patients also describe hypersensitivity of their skin such that they do not like air blowing on them or their children or spouses against their skin. Some admit to “bug crawling” sensation on their skin, something called vermiculation in medical terms but rarely asked about or given much thought by most doctors. Odd muscle movements under the skin that some call a “bag of worms” medically known as fasiculations are also very common but dismissed by many doctors. My wife, a physician with Celiac disease, actually had these occur while undergoing an EMG (electromyleograph, recording of muscle activity by placing needle electrode into the muscle) exam by an older neurologist. Despite observing these occurring visually and the monitor showing “static like noise” the neurologist dismissed them as “normal”.

Many patients with Celiac disease also have what the radiologists and neurologists call “UBO’s” on MRI exams of the brain. These unidentified bright objects (think UFO) are white spots that show up on images of the brain. When found in certain locations of the brain they are highly suggestive of multiple sclerosis (multiple scarring spots in the brain). However, though many people with CD have MS like symptoms and these symptoms often respond to a gluten free diet when started early enough, the UBO’s seen on MRI of the brain are typically not in the classic areas of MS. Instead it is common to find them in areas of the brain associated with migraines or balance difficulty (ataxia).

Some are seen in children associated with strange seizure problems even without obvious intestinal symptoms. A classic specific syndrome is very well recognized associated with epilepsy in both children and adults who have calcifications in their brain that can be detected by CT scan or MRI. Epilepsy is well documented but the studies are confusing enough that there is not a good consensus regarding the risk and recommended screening of all children with epilepsy.

Personally and professionally I have observed all of the neurological complications of Celiac disease and most of them I have also noted in patients in whom I have not been able to confirm CD but who have what I believe are objective signs and/or genetic risk for gluten sensitivity. I have patients with MS-like symptoms, chronic unexplained neuropathy, headaches, attention difficulties, autistic behaviors and developmental delays who have responded to gluten-free diet but if they had listened to doctors who maintained such a “restrictive, expensive, hard to follow” diet should only be “imposed” on those with a established diagnosis of Celiac disease.

If you have neurological problems get testing for Celiac disease before starting a gluten-free diet. If you test negative for CD, make sure they test you for the complete HLA DQ genetics that includes the high-risk white blood cell patterns DQ2 and DQ8 for Celiac disease AND get blood tests that include IgG and IgA gliadin antibodies. If your blood tests, including gliadin IgA and IgG antibodies, are negative or normal then consider stool testing for gliadin antibodies in the stool ($99, http://www.enterolab.com).

The evidence continues to accumulate, though often ignored or missed, that gluten is toxic to some people’s brains, even if they do not have CD. If you do have Celiac disease it is likely you already have neurological problems and may be at risk despite being on a gluten-free diet. Borrowing from the old advertisement against drug abuse “this is your brain on drugs” maybe we should be getting the word out “this is your brain on gluten”. Despite your test results, consider a trial of gluten-free diet after you have your testing done if you have unexplained or unresponsive neurological problems. You owe to your brain. Like my seven-year-old son said to one of our friends, “maybe you should lay off the gluten”.

The Man With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

He lives in Bali, on the Indonesian island. He suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. His particular obsession is glass. More accurately, broken glass.

Should he break a glass, then he writes down in a special notebook, the exact time he broke it, the hour, day, month and year, what type of glass it was. He double checks all this information with the utmost care and only when he’s completely satisfied, does he close his notebook and put it away.

Recording broken glass is far from his only obsession. He must know the name of every person who passes his house, and if he sees dead chickens lying along the road, he must visit them and inspect them in the most minute detail. If he fails to find the name of someone who has passed his house, his obsession is so strong that he wants to commit suicide.

The terrible tragedy is that his condition is completely ignored, as is that of people with other mental illnesses. He works for the Government, but receives no help from them for his crippling condition.

There are healers to whom he can go. One of them told him that he was the victim of black magic. The cure was to give him a gold amulet, imbued with white magic, and he had to undergo a purification ceremony. As may be expected, these treatments left him feeling no better.

Researchers are studying the ways in which mental illness in general affects people in other countries. For instance, the OCD suffered by this man is totally different from that of an American. It’s vital to know the culture of the patient you’re treating.

If a native from the island of Tonga walks into the psychiatrist’s waiting room, it’s no good whatever for the doctor to treat him in the same way as he would a Westerner. Supposing the patient comes from a land where demons seem to reign supreme and are all-powerful. To Western eyes, the poor man would appear to be psychotic, but perfectly normal in his own country, where he’s fighting real demons.

As I’ve pointed out, OCD varies from country to country. In the West, cleanliness seems to be a major problem, whereas in the Middle East, the observance of religious ritual is of vital importance. Another Western fear is that the person with OCD will commit some terrible sexual act. In effect, they need to be guarded against themselves.

It’s estimated that around 3 million Americans suffer from OCD. These ‘rituals’ that victims of OCD put themselves through; repeated hand-washing, or hoarding useless items, are found mainly in the West.

The key is to try to join the meanings of OCD and other mental illnesses from the West to other countries.