A brain tumour develops when certain genes in a cell's chromosomes become faulty and cease to function properly. These genes typically regulate the rate at which the cell divides and repair genes that correct deficiencies in other genes, as well as genes that should cause the cell to self-destruct if the damage is irreparable.
A person may be born with a partial defect in one or more of these genes. Environmental factors may then cause additional mutilation. In a few other cases, however, environmental damage to the genes can be viewed as the sole factor.
Behavioural Changes That Brain Tumours Cause
Brain tumours and their treatments, in general, can alter a person's behaviour and ability to think. Patients' communication, concentration, and memory skills may suffer, and their personalities may shift. Brain tumours frequently cause personality changes and mood swings. Although the severity of these mood changes varies from person to person, it is relatively common for someone with a brain tumour to experience increased aggression and agitation.
A brain tumour may also cause weakness, dizzy spells, poor balance or lack of coordination, personality or behaviour changes, confusion, speech problems, and fits (seizures). However, it is critical to note that the impact of a brain tumour on quality of life is determined by whether the tumour is benign or malignant in nature.
In the case of benign tumours, there is little variation in the patient's quality of life. There may be neurological deficits that can be corrected with regular physiotherapy and rehabilitation. We can keep a close eye on tumour recurrence using serial imaging. In the event of a relapse, the patient may be subjected to radiation or surgery. To answer an underlying question, a benign tumour does not impair quality of life after the ailment has been contracted. Most tumours do not leave residual deficits, making it simple to return to normalcy with timely rehabilitation and psychotherapy.
The outcome of a malignant brain tumour is determined by the grade of the tumour itself. If the tumour is of Grade 1, the characteristic features that accompany it behave more or less like a benign tumour. However, chemotherapy and radiation are required for a Grade 4 tumour, which causes skin discoloration, hair loss, fatigue, and other physiological changes. As a result, people's quality of life suffers. Nonetheless, with the proper treatment and time, these changes are completely reversible.
One thing to remember, regardless of the nature of the tumour, is to maintain a positive attitude toward the illness itself. A strong mind-set greatly aids the patient in overcoming the trauma of having a cancerous brain tumour. A holistic, positive outlook on life can go a long way toward rehabilitating a post-ailment patient. Needless to say, family support and strength go a long way toward a fruitful and blissful life for the patient.
(Dr. Ravi Gopal Varma, Lead Consultant Neurosurgery & Program Director - Global Centre of Excellence in Neurosciences, Aster Hospitals Bangalore)
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Having a portable air cleaner in the home can reduce the negative impacts of air pollution on brain development in children, says a new study.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that the children born to mothers who had used the air cleaners had an average full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) that was 2.8-points higher than the group that did not use an air cleaner during pregnancy.
"These results, combined with evidence from previous studies, strongly implicate air pollution as a threat to brain development," said researcher Ryan Allen from Simon Fraser University, in Canada. The team recruited 540 pregnant women in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to participate in the study.
Ulaanbaatar has some of the worst air quality in the world, well-exceeding guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The women were less than 18 weeks into their pregnancies and non-smokers who had not previously used air filtering devices in their homes. They were randomly assigned to either the control or intervention group.
The intervention group was provided with one or two HEPA filter air cleaners and encouraged to run the air cleaners continuously for the duration of their pregnancies. The air cleaners were removed from the home once the child was born.
The researchers later measured the children's FSIQ at four years of age. Children in the intervention group also had significantly greater average verbal comprehension index scores, which is consistent with results from previous observational studies.
The research suggests that a child's verbal skills may be particularly sensitive to air pollution exposure. (Agency)
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New York: Scientists have demonstrated that normal brain ageing is accelerated by approximately 26 per cent in people with progressive Type 2 diabetes compared with individuals without the disease, according to a study.
There is already strong evidence linking Type 2 diabetes with cognitive decline, yet few patients currently undergo a comprehensive cognitive assessment as part of their clinical care.
The results, published today in eLife, suggest that by the time Type 2 diabetes is formally diagnosed, there may already be significant structural damage to the brain. The findings also suggest that the patterns of Type 2 diabetes-related neurodegeneration strongly overlap with those of normal ageing, but that neurodegeneration is accelerated.
Sensitive ways to detect diabetes-associated changes to the brain are therefore urgently needed.
"Routine clinical assessments for diagnosing diabetes typically focus on blood glucose, insulin levels and body mass percentage," said Botond Antal, a doctoral student at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University, US.
"However, the neurological effects of Type 2 diabetes may reveal themselves many years before they can be detected by standard measures, so by the time Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed by conventional tests, patients may have already sustained irreversible brain damage," Antal added.
The team evaluated the relationship between typical brain ageing and that seen in Type 2 diabetes from a dataset, which includes brain scans and brain function measurements, of 20,000 people aged 50 to 80 years old. The results were then compared with a meta-analysis of nearly 100 other studies.
Their analysis showed that both ageing and Type 2 diabetes cause changes in executive functions such as working memory, learning and flexible thinking, and changes in brain processing speed.
However, people with diabetes had a further 13.1 per cent decrease in executive function beyond age-related effects, and their processing speed decreased by a further 6.7 per cent compared to people of the same age without diabetes.
Further, MRI scans of people with and without diabetes showed that people with diabetes had even more pronounced decreases in gray matter beyond the typical age-related effects -- a further 6.2 per cent decrease in grey matter in the ventral striatum, but also loss of grey matter in other regions, compared with normal ageing.
"Our findings suggest that Type 2 diabetes and its progression may be associated with accelerated brain ageing, potentially due to compromised energy availability causing significant changes to brain structure and function," said Lilianne Mujica-Parodi, at the varsity's Director of the Laboratory for Computational Neurodiagnostics.
"By the time diabetes is formally diagnosed, this damage may already have occurred. Our results underscore the need for research into brain-based biomarkers for Type 2 diabetes and treatment strategies that specifically target its neurocognitive effects," Mujica-Parodi noted. (Agency)
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London: Worried that you are unable to hit the gym? A moderate physical activity like taking a stroll in the park or using steps instead of lifts done regularly may keep your brain healthy, according to a UK expert.
Professor James Goodwin, Director of science and research impact at the Brain Health Network, in the UK said while diets like Mediterranean regimen that are low on meat and high in plants, pulses, nuts and fish are given much importance, exercise habits deserve more attention.
"An active lifestyle (weaving regular movement and exertion into the structure of your daily life, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift) as well as 'purposeful exercise' (eg brisk walking to increase heart rate) is key," Goodwin was quoted as saying to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Exercise itself - like being in the gym - is not an antidote to living a couch-potato lifestyle. We know that if you sit for over 10 hours a day, you can go to the gym all you like - those benefits are undermined by that inactivity. You've got to do both," he added.
In a nine-year study examining the link between fitness and Alzheimer's risk, researchers at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) found that those with the highest levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were 33 per cent less likely to develop the disease than those who were least fit.
But 10 kilometre sprints and spin classes aren't essential.
"For the middle-aged and older, the highest level of fitness can be achieved by walking briskly most days, for two and a half hours or more per week," the researchers said.
Moderate exercise can not only slow ageing but can also turn back the years.
"If you do enough moderate to intense exercise, you can reverse the ageing of the brain," Goodwin said.
Further, Goodwin stressed that "the relationship between adequate brain function and exercise is fundamental".
On the other hand, sedentary life is bad for brain health. "The brain rested as well to conserve energy. If we're inactive, we have an inactive brain. It's an energy-saving strategy," Goodwin said. (Agency)
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Moscow: The Omicron strain of the Covid-19 may lead to neurological complications much like other Covid variants, according to a Russian expert.
According to founder and chief executive of DNKOM research center Andrey Isaev, although Omicron has been touted as causing mild infections, it can lead to long Covid in adults and systemic inflammations among children, TASS news agency reported.
The Omicron variant carries a large number of mutations and is also known to evade vaccine-induced immunity.
Yet, several studies have shown that the Omicron variant is less able to infect the lungs and, as a result, is leading to less patients being admitted with pneumonia who require oxygen and ventilators.
However, in many countries, particularly in the US and Israel, it spiked hospitalisations.
Isaev stated that since Omicron is a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 which had been known to affect the brain as well as cause inflammation it may have some or the other post-infection effects, the report said.
"Despite the lighter course of the Omicron, it is necessary to understand: if the coronavirus does not lead to pneumonia and artificial lung ventilation, it may have other consequences," he was quoted as saying.
"Covid-19 in the past may lead to severe nervous system disturbances - neuro Covid and long Covid-19 may occur when infected with the Omicron as well," Isaev added.
The variant also significantly affected children. Many children across US were hospitalised.
Isaev noted that "systemic inflammations may evolve with children" due to Omicron.
The predominant symptoms of Omicron include headache, lethargy, throat pain, dry cough, fever, and loss of appetite. So far studies have shown it to be largely affecting the upper respiratory system and are not known to affect the lungs much.
But in January, Israel reported a case of a person with Omicron being treated for myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle.)
Studies have shown that even mild cases of Covid-19 can trigger persistent symptoms.
Long Covid is a possibility regardless of the variant, top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci was quoted as saying in a recent interview.
"Long Covid can happen no matter what virus variant occurs. There's no evidence that there's any difference between Delta or Beta or now Omicron," he had said. (Agency)
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जामिया विश्वविद्यालय के छात्र मस्तिष्क इमेजिंग, मस्तिष्क गतिविधि, जैव रासायनिक और न्यूरो-फिजियोलॉजिकल मापदंडों को परखेंगे, जो तनाव, चिंता या अवसाद के प्रति अतिसंवेदनशील हो सकते हैं। साथ ही इन जटिलताओं से निपटने के लिए ट्रीटमेंट भी प्रदान करेंगे।
दिलचस्प बात यह है कि यह रिसर्च योग के माध्यम से की जाएगी। तीन साल के अध्ययन के दौरान अध्ययन में भाग लेने के लिए विश्वविद्यालय के छात्रों और कर्मचारियों को नामांकित किया जाएगा। योग और अन्य मनोवैज्ञानिक ट्रीटमेंट जामिया और एमडीएनआईवाई दोनों में किए जाएंगे।
जामिया मिल्लिया इस्लामिया को योग और ध्यान के मानसिक स्वास्थ्य लाभ की जांच के लिए विज्ञान और प्रौद्योगिकी विभाग (डीएसटी) से फंडिंग प्राप्त हुई है। यह शोध मोरारजी देसाई राष्ट्रीय योग संस्थान (एमडीएनआईवाई) के सहयोग से किया जाएगा, जिसमें मोलेक्युलर टूल्स और न्यूरोनल एक्टिविटी रिकॉडिर्ंग का उपयोग करके योगा द्वारा मस्तिष्क स्वास्थ्य लाभ की जांच की जाएगी।
जामिया के प्रमुख अन्वेषक एमसीएआरएस के डॉ तनवीर अहमद हैं जो डॉ सुषमा सूरी, डॉ मीना उस्मानी, मनोविज्ञान विभाग और एमडीएनआईवाई से डॉ एस लक्ष्मी कंदन के साथ मिलकर कार्य करेंगे। डॉ अहमद ने कहा, "यह शोध कार्य, कोविड -19 महामारी के प्रकोप के बाद प्रासंगिक है, जिसके परिणामस्वरूप दुनिया भर में मानसिक स्वास्थ्य के मुद्दों में तेजी आई है।
यह वैज्ञानिक रूप से स्पष्ट है कि कॉलेजों और विश्वविद्यालयों में नई कार्य-संस्कृति के संपर्क में आने पर छात्र तनाव, चिंता और कभी-कभी अवसाद से भी गुजरते हैं। विशेष रूप से, पिछले वर्ष से बड़ी संख्या में हुए अध्ययनों से पीटीए चलता है कि उन लोगों में न्यूरोलॉजिकल जटिलताएँ बढ़ी हैं जो खुद या जिनके परिवार के सदस्य कोविड19 से प्रभावित हुए हैं।
इसके अलावा प्राप्त डेटा भी स्पष्ट रूप से उन छात्रों के मानसिक स्वास्थ्य के बारे में चिंताओं को उजागर करता है, जो प्राप्ति के अंतिम छोर पर हैं। अब जैसे-जैसे कॉलेज और विश्वविद्यालय खुलने लगे हैं छात्रों में तनाव, चिंता और अवसाद का स्तर काफी बढ़ गया है।"
एमसीएआरएस के निदेशक प्रो. मोहम्मद जुल्फेकार ने कहा कि इस शोध कार्य से छात्रों को बड़े पैमाने पर लाभ होगा, क्योंकि कोविड-19 महामारी ने उनके मानसिक स्वास्थ्य पर बहुत असर डाला है।
इसलिए, डीएसटी द्वारा इस समय पर प्रदान की गई सहायता उन छात्रों को पहचानने में मदद करेगी जिन्हें हस्तक्षेप की तत्काल आवश्यकता हो सकती है। एमसीएआरएस के उप निदेशक डॉ एसएन काजि़म ने कहा कि इस शोध कार्य से एक व्यापक मानसिक स्वास्थ्य डेटा बेस का विकास होगा और जेएमआई की पहल पूरे भारत में अन्य विश्वविद्यालयों और कॉलेजों के लिए एक मॉडल के रूप में काम करेगी क्योंकि जल्द ही वे ऑफलाइन कक्षाएं शुरू करने की तैयारी कर रहे हैं।
डॉ. अहमद, डॉ. सूरी और डॉ. उस्मानी ने सामाजिक रूप से प्रासंगिक क्षेत्रों में शोध करने पर अपना समर्थन देने के लिए कुलपति प्रोफेसर नजमा अख्तर को धन्यवाद दिया। टीम ने डीन फैकल्टी नेचुरल साइंसेज, प्रोफेसर सीमा फरहत बसीर को उनके मार्गदर्शन के लिए तथा प्रो. कीया सिरकर को जामिया से ह्यूमन एथिकल क्लियरेंस प्राप्त करने में सहायता के लिए धन्यवाद दिया है।
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