Hearing Loss In Musicians, Not Just Rock And Rollers

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your thoughts below…..

humanearPicture a rock and roll concert, with music blaring out of giant speakers on stage. Now imagine a sophisticated symphony performance. Which group of musicians would be more likely to suffer hearing loss? Surprisingly, it’s classical musicians who may be most at risk, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

“We don’t generally think of musicians as being at risk for hearing loss,” said Dr. Ross Tonini, an audiologist at Baylor. “Generally, it’s assumed that rock and rollers are at greater risk for hearing loss, but it’s actually classical musicians that have higher rates of noise-induced hearing loss.”

Whether they are in a symphonic orchestra or a marching band, trained musicians over time may begin to suffer from noise-induced hearing loss caused by close proximity to loud instruments. Loud music from almost any part of the orchestra or brass band can cause hearing loss. Increased tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, which may be associated with hearing loss, is reported as a significant occupational hazard for professional musicians, Tonini said.

“The thing that destroys our hearing is prolonged exposure to loud sound,” said Tonini. “As musicians, if we can separate our loud, bring-down-the-house music and intersperse it with softer music in rehearsals, we can give our ears a rest.”

Hearing protection such as ear plugs specially made for musicians are recommended for those who participate in a band or symphony. “These ear plugs filter sound so that musicians are able to hear their music without damage,” said Tonini. “They protect their ears and make the music a little softer so that they can get their ears out of that danger zone, down to a level that is safer for their ears.”

Hearing loss can start in musicians in middle-school and high school who participate in band or orchestra. Tonini suggests that directors and teaching professionals should be more aware of their musicians’ hearing risks and have their musician’s hearing screened.

“From an audiology point of view, we need to be more involved in working with the public schools to provide awareness, and musicians must be mindful that they are at risk for hearing loss,” said Tonini. “Noise induced hearing loss from music is something that is completely preventable. No musician wants to lose their ability to make music because they have lost the ability to hear the music.”

Video Games, Fruits And Vegetables

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your thoughts below…..

fruitswhiteIn a study of 400 fourth and fifth grade children who were asked to create implementations (action or coping plans) while playing a video game promoting fruit and vegetable intake, researchers at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital found that children increased meal-specific fruit and vegetable intake. Their report appears today in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

“Few children eat enough servings of fruit and vegetables each day,” said Dr. Karen Cullen, professor of pediatrics at Baylor and the CNRC and first author of the paper. “These foods are part of a healthy diet, and may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. So interventions to help children choose and eat more fruit and vegetables are important.”

The ten-episode video game, Squire’s Quest II: Saving the Kingdom of Fivealot, was designed to both entertain and promote behavior change. The children were divided into four groups based on the type of implementation intention, specific plans, created during goal setting. The four groups were: no implementation intention, action plan (identifying fruit and veggie intake specifics of what, when, where), coping plan (identify common barriers to eating fruits and vegetables and ways to overcome them) and both action and coping plans. Children completed three 24-hour dietary recalls at baseline and after six months.

Parents received a weekly newsletter and a link to a website where they could access information on their child’s weekly goals, suggestions for supporting achievement of goals and ways to overcome common barriers to help their family make healthy food choices.

Researchers found that those children in the action and coping groups reported higher vegetable intake at dinner, and all groups had significant increases in fruit intake at breakfast, lunch and snack time.

“The results suggest that including implementation intentions in the goal-setting process of interventions may help children achieve their goals. Future research should continue to investigate the use of implementation intentions within interventions to improve health behaviors,” said Cullen.

Others who took part in the study include Dr. Debbe I. Thompson, a USDA scientist, and Yan Liu, both with Baylor.

Project ACES Is May 3rd

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exerciseProject ACES (All Children Exercise Simultaneously), is a signature program of the Youth Fitness Coalition, Inc. Project ACES was created by physical education teacher Len Saunders in 1989 as a method of motivating children to exercise. ACES takes place on the first Wednesday in May as part of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month along with National Physical Education Week. It has been labeled as “the world’s largest exercise class” by the media. Since 1989, millions of children from all over the world exercise together to promote proper health and fitness habits. With the obesity epidemic facing the youth of the world, children’s fitness plays a major role in fighting heart disease. Project ACES hopes to address these issues with its big event in May, as well as schools that participate in daily Project ACES Clubs throughout the year.

To learn more, click here!

Herbal Remedies Are An Overlooked Global Health Hazard

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

didyouknow?Millions of people around the world use herbal health remedies, following a tradition that began millennia ago. Many believe that herbs are safe because they have been used for many years, but researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Stony Brook University are raising awareness that long-term use of herbal remedies is no guarantee of their safety. The invited commentary appears in EMBO reports.

Dr. Donald M. Marcus, professor emeritus of medicine and immunology at Baylor, and Dr. Arthur P. Grollman, distinguished professor of pharmacological sciences at Stony Brook University, discuss the scientific evidence showing that the plant Aristolochia can cause aristolochic acid nephropathy (AAN). People with this condition experience interstitial nephritis, renal failure and cancers of the urinary track.

The authors remark that in Taiwan, according to the national prescription database, between 1997 and 2003, 8 million people were exposed to herbals containing Aristolochia. Studies of patients with renal failure and cancer in Taiwan and China show that tens of millions of people in those countries are at risk of AAN.

In genetically susceptible people, consuming Aristolochia can lead to the formation of complexes between aristolactam, a compound in Aristolachia, and DNA in renal tissues. These complexes lead to mutations in the TP53 tumor suppressor gene, which in turn initiate the process toward kidney cancer. Additional studies have shown that this process may also lead to the development of cancer in the liver and the bladder.

Marcus and Grollman indicate that other herbals and traditional medicines are responsible for severe adverse events in Africa and Asia, but in these cases epidemiological data are lacking.

Although Aristolochia has been used as a herbal remedy for more than 2000 years, “the intrinsic toxicities were not recognized, owing, in large part, to the latency period between exposure and the onset of symptomatic disease, and, in part, to genetic determinants that confer susceptibility to only approximately 5 percent of those exposed to this herb,” said the authors. The long-term scientific study of AAN revealed the association of the disease with Aristolochia.

Almost all carcinogens and many toxins require a long period of time before symptoms appear. This makes it very difficult for a layman or a professional to identify a particular compound as the cause of an illness when it was taken months or years earlier.

“The history of Aristolachia indicates that other herbs that have been used for a long time may also have toxic and/or carcinogenic compounds,” said the authors. “It is prudent to assume that many herbs may contain toxic or carcinogenic substances that can cause subsequent health problems for humans.”

Marcus and Grollman disagree with the World Health Organization’s endorsement of the use of traditional herbal remedies on the premise that traditional medicine is of proven quality, without mentioning the lack of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of herbal remedies or their demonstrated hazards, as in the case of Aristolochia.

The authors emphasize that their primary concern is “the prevention of toxicities associated with herbal medicine and not a categorical rejection of traditional healing practices. Herbal remedies pose a global hazard. We encourage the global health community to take actions that will evaluate both long- and short-term safety, as well as the efficacy of botanical products in widespread use.”

The authors declare having no conflict of interest.

TripAdvisor Names Woodloch Pines One of the Best Hotels

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newsWoodloch Pines, an all-inclusive family resort located in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, has been selected by TripAdvisor as the number two large hotel for families in the United States and the 17th best in the world in their annual Travelers’ Choice Awards. This is the sixth consecutive year that Woodloch ranks in the top three on TripAdvisor’s prestigious list. Woodloch Pines world-renowned sister property, The Lodge at Woodloch, also took the honor of the #22 Hotel in America.

TripAdvisor represents the world’s largest online travel community. The website is home to millions of unbiased and honest traveler reviews, and the travel community eagerly anticipates the annual release of the Travelers Choice Awards.

“We are thrilled to be honored by the TripAdvisor community again this year. It is humbling to see our resort, that has been in my family for nearly 60 years, among so many amazing properties and national brands. And to be included in the top three on this list for the past six years in a row, I can’t express the gratitude and emotions I feel,” said John Kiesendahl, CEO and President of Woodloch Pines. “This could not have been accomplished without the hard work and sincere hospitality of our staff members, as well as our loyal and passionate guests who want to share their experiences with the world. We thank you for standing by us all these years,” he continued.

Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews from travelers on TripAdvisor gathered over a 12-month period with emphasis placed on reviews marked as family getaways. The award puts Woodloch Pines Resort and The Lodge at Woodloch in the top 1% of hotels worldwide. The full list can be viewed on TripAdvisor’s website here: Best Hotels for Family.

To obtain more information or to book a stay, please visit Woodloch.com, or call 1-800-Woodloch.

Research Discovers Genes Linked To Twinning And Reproductive Fitness

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This article is provided by the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

mombabyBearing fraternal non-identical twins, or dizygotic (DZ) twinning, has been known to run in families. Studies have suggested that DZ twinning is potentially influenced by more than one gene and linked to a maternal factor. In a study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, an international collaborative team of researchers reports the finding of two genes that are associated with increased odds for women bearing fraternal twins.

“We know that dizygotic, or non-identical twins, is heritable and passed on down the maternal lineage. We had spent several years first identifying twinning genes in a really spectacular group of new world monkeys, the marmoset, who always have twins or triplets. Now we were ready to tackle the genetics of twinning in humans,” said Dr. Kjersti Aagaard associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine and OB/GYN and maternal fetal medicine specialist at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, and one of the study’s lead authors. “Working with our colleagues around the globe, we not only found two genes with links to twinning, but to a number of different important signs of reproductive fitness.”

“There’s an enormous interest in twins and in why some women have twins while others don’t,” said Dr. Dorret Boomsma, a biological psychologist at Vrije Universiteit (VU), Amsterdam, and corresponding author for this work, who has compiled one of the largest twin databases in the world. “The question is very simple and our research shows for the first time that we can identify genetic variants [variations of a gene] that contribute to this likelihood.”

The follicle stimulating hormone (FSHB) gene, one of two genes found to be linked to DZ twinning, has shown significant effects on fertility affecting multiple reproductive aspects. For instance, FSHB helps control the menstrual cycle and the production of eggs by the ovary.

“We found that not only did the FSHB gene variant in moms associate with an increased likelihood of having DZ twins, but was associated in a gene dose-dependent manner to the amount of circulating follicle stimulating. In addition, women from four different cohorts around the globe carrying this genetic variant had their first period, menopause, their first child and their last child at an earlier age than women carrying other FSHB genetic variants,” said Aagaard.

Women who carried this FSHB genetic variant also showed signs of less occurrence of polycystic ovarian syndrome. With this discovery, researchers were able to tie this FSHB gene to multiple reproductive fitness traits.

The second gene found by the research team, SMAD3, affected the bearing of dizygotic twins a little differently.

“We found that moms who had this SMAD3 genetic variant also had a higher occurrence of twins,” said Aagaard. “But these moms were older at the birth of their last child, so it is a little bit different than what we saw with the FSHB variant.”

The SMAD3 genetic variant associated with DZ twinning, the authors propose, might increase the chances of DZ twinning by increasing the responsiveness to FSHB through the supporting granulosa cells.

Both genetic variants affect the growth of multiple follicles, which is needed for the development of non-identical twins. Dizygotic twins start with multiple ovulation, a maternal characteristic, and identical twins start with one embryo that splits in half.

This study focused on many different moms of twin cohorts from around the world, including a validation cohort of the population of Iceland. In this group, having each allelic FSHB variant increased women’s chances of having dizygotic twins by 18 percent per allele, and the SMAD3 variant increased the occurrence of twins by 9 percent per allele. Women who had both variants showed an increased chance of 29 percent.

The work has numerous potential applications in reproductive medicine and maternal health. For instance, it may help predict the outcome of multiple births and assist in the development of new strategies to optimize fertility.

Drawing on their recent work in the marmoset, Aagaard is optimistic that these and future evolution based genetic studies focused on twinning may yield key insights for pregnancy and reproductive health.

“What has always struck us about the marmoset is that their capacity for twinning is accompanied by unique adaptive traits that optimize their ability to both carry and care for multiple young at one time,” she said. “The more we can integrate our molecular and genetic findings in both marmoset and human moms, the greater the chance that we can unravel the mysteries of what enables reproductive fitness and optimal pregnancy outcomes in both singleton and multiple gestations.”

For the names, affiliations and support of the authors of this research, visit the Supplementary Materials section of the manuscript.

50 Best Network Marketing Companies Of 2017

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thumbsupThe goal of a marketing company is to enhance the sales and profits of a company by providing more exposure as well as providing targeted exposure, which means reaching potential customers who are likely to be interested in the product or service being offered.

The folks at MLM Companies just listed their list of the 50 Best Network Marketing Companies Of 2017.

Their list of network marketing companies include Young Living, Motor Club of America, Nu Skin and Avon.

To access this list, please click here.

Student-Athletes Not Sleeping Enough, Intervention Could Help

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This article was submitted by University of Arizona News courtesy of Michael Grandner, UA College of Medicine….feel free to comment on this article below…..

stresssleepingCollege athletes are not getting enough sleep, but a simple intervention built around education and support could go a long way in improving sleep quality and, in turn, athletic performance, University of Arizona researchers said during the NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

Michael Grandner, assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology and director of the Sleep Health Research Center at the UA College of Medicine, and Amy Athey, director of clinical and sport psychology services for Arizona Athletics, were awarded an NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant last year to study sleep habits in college athletes. They were one of four teams awarded the NCAA grant, which supports studies designed to enhance student-athletes’ psychosocial well-being and mental health.

Together, Grandner and Athey developed Project REST – which stands for Recovery Enhancement and Sleep Training – to encourage student-athletes to develop healthier sleeping habits. They presented their findings at the NCAA’s annual convention on Thursday.

In a survey of 189 UA student-athletes, Grandner and Athey found that 68 percent reported poor sleep quality, with 87 percent getting less than or equal to eight hours of sleep a night and 43 percent getting less than seven hours. About 23 percent of the athletes surveyed reported experiencing excessive levels of fatigue.

While seven hours is considered the minimum amount of sleep a typical adult should get, college students – especially highly active ones, like athletes – need at least eight to nine hours for optimal functioning, Grandner said in an interview.

“Student-athletes have a lot of reasons why their sleep would be disturbed,” Grandner said. “They have a lot of time demands, they have a lot of physical demands, they have a lot of mental demands, and they’re trying to balance athletics, academics and sometimes employment, and this can set up the perfect storm for bad sleep.”

Poor sleep can have far-reaching effects, no matter who you are. For athletes, it can impact not only the way they feel physically and mentally but how they perform in their sport, Grandner said.

“Some of the most prominent effects of disturbed sleep can be reduced physical performance, reduced mental and cognitive performance, reduced recovery time from injury and worse mental health,” Grandner said. Slower reaction times, impaired decision-making abilities and even depression can result from poor sleep, he added.

While many programs exist to address student-athletes’ nutrition and fitness, Grandner and Athey didn’t know of any that specifically target student-athletes’ sleep, so they developed Project REST – a model they hope may be adopted by college athletics programs nationwide.

The researchers enrolled 40 student-athletes in the intervention program, which started with a two-hour education and Q&A session that covered what good sleep is and why it is important and tips for improving sleep. Study participants then wore Fitbits to track their sleep habits over a 10-week period, and recorded information about the duration and quality of their sleep in online sleep diaries.

Throughout the study, students had 24/7 access to peers trained to support them and answer their questions. Participants also received daily text messages from study coordinators, including reminders about the study, tips for healthy sleep and random sleep facts. About half of the participants also received sunglasses designed to block UV and blue light, and a programmable light bulb.

At the end of the study period, participants reported a number of positive effects, including better sleep quality, less insomnia, more energy and less time spent lying awake in bed. Nearly 83 percent of the student-athletes said their sleep was better, and nearly 89 percent felt their athletic performance was positively affected. They also reported less stress and greater ability to focus.

The most useful part of the intervention, according to participants, was the initial information session. They also liked being able to monitor sleep habits with the Fitbit.

Athey, who works directly with the student-athlete population as a psychologist for Arizona Athletics, often encounters students with sleep issues, and says the data from the study backs up what she already suspected anecdotally.

When students come to Athey with sleep issues, she encourages them to make minor lifestyle adjustments to improve sleep – like maintaining a consistent sleep schedule or reducing exposure to mobile-device screens close to bedtime, for example – while more severe problems are referred to a sleep specialist.

Athey is optimistic that her partnership with Grandner, a sleep expert, can help introduce useful tools to the larger student-athlete population.

“With a really simple educational intervention and opportunities for learning over a number of weeks, student-athletes were able to make changes that had a real impact,” she said of Project REST.

While Grandner and Athey targeted the student-athlete population specifically, Project REST could be modified and adopted by different campus groups nationwide, since college students across-the-board often struggle with sleep, Grandner said.

“It’s just education and support,” he said. “There’s no reason this should be limited to student-athletes.”

The Top 5 Probiotic Supplements Of 2017

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pillsHealthranks.org has just announced its “Top 5 Probiotic Supplements Of 2017.” Probiotic supplements are blends of many different microorganisms that benefit your digestive system and immunity. Did you know that 80% of your immune system is located in your digestive track? Probiotics are a great solution to make sure you’re staying on top of your digestive and immune health. Basically you feed your body with helpful bacteria to fight off the bad bacteria. To view the list of top Probiotic Supplements, click here.

Don’t Let Sleep Apnea Take Your Breath Away

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This article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your thoughts below…..

sleepThere are some moments in life that take your breath away, but if those moments are happening while you’re asleep, it might be time to see a sleep expert, according to a sleep specialist at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Sleep apnea is caused by a narrowing or complete collapse of the upper airway that occurs in some people while they are sleeping, and this can affect one’s ability to get oxygen to the body, making the body work harder to breathe,” said Dr. Fidaa Shaib, associate professor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Baylor and director of the Baylor Sleep Center. “This results in a brief arousal period, sometimes just three seconds, where the brain wakes up and the airway opens to restore breathing. For those with sleep apnea, this will happen several times throughout the night.”

Many people with sleep apnea are not aware of the number of times they are waking up briefly throughout the night. However, this sleep disruption causes them not to feel refreshed or rested when they wake up in the morning.

“It’s almost as if someone is waking you up every 10 seconds to breathe and then you go back to sleep,” said Shaib.

Symptoms

Sleep apnea is associated with multiple health issues including heart problems, high blood pressure, risk for stroke, poor diabetes control and weight gain. Common symptoms include snoring, stopping breathing and choking or gasping for air that is reported by the bed partner. Other common symptoms are not feeling refreshed in the morning or feeling tired throughout the day. Other signs that could indicate sleep apnea include restless sleep, waking up multiple times to use the bathroom, excessive sweating at night and heartburn or reflux.

“It’s important to note that women with sleep apnea may show symptoms of snoring and difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep,” said Shaib. “Their presentation is different from men, whose symptoms are usually snoring and feeling tired throughout the day.”

Risk factors and diagnosis

Risk factors of sleep apnea are obesity and anatomy, meaning that one’s facial structure may cause them to be at more risk for sleep apnea. People with nasal congestion, allergies or who are on pain medications or sleeping pills may be at a higher risk for sleep apnea.

A diagnosis of sleep apnea is made through a sleep study. Most patients will have to stay overnight at a sleep center where they are monitored for brain activity, breathing, oxygen levels, heart activity and movement. The sleep study gives a summary of a person’s sleep and experts identify those periods where there is narrowing of airways and oxygen levels are low. Some patients may also qualify for an at-home sleep test if most of their symptoms point toward sleep apnea and no other sleep issue.

Treatment

Once a diagnosis is made, the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine remains the best treatment for sleep apnea. The machine works by gently blowing air into the windpipe to keep the airway open.

“The technology for CPAP machines has advanced and the treatment is usually very well tolerated in patients,” said Shaib.

After starting the use of the CPAP machine, which must be used every night, people usually have improved sleep quality, feel more refreshed in the morning and have better daytime function as well as better memory during the day. Patients also see benefits in blood pressure control and a lower risk of heart problems.

If patients do not tolerate the CPAP machine, other treatment options can include a custom made oral appliance or surgery.

Weight loss, behavioral modifications and treating allergies usually also helps treatment of sleep apnea.

“Some patients only have sleep apnea when they sleep on their backs, so another treatment option is to use maneuvers and techniques to help the patient stay off their back,” said Shaib.

Shaib notes that young children (3-6 years) are at risk for sleep apnea, especially when they have big tonsils and big adenoids. Older children and adolescents who are overweight or obese are also at risk. Symptoms in children include loud snoring and sleeping with their mouth open. However, rather than feeling tired during the day, children with sleep apnea are usually hyperactive during the day and can have difficulty in school. Bed wetting also can indicate the potential for sleep apnea. It’s important to consult with a pediatric sleep expert if these signs are seen in children.

There is a spectrum of response from treatment of sleep apnea, Shaib said. Some people say that using the CPAP machine is life changing, making them feel refreshed throughout the day. Others may not feel as dramatic of an effect, but are still benefitting from the decreased health impacts, such as high blood pressure or risk for heart problems.