London, June 27 (IANS) Men -- more often than women -- need passion to succeed at things. It is because they secrete more dopamine, often called the "happy hormone", suggests a study.At the same time, the hormone may also be responsible for increased incidences of autism spectrum in boys than girls.Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released in the brain. It can contribute to a feeling of satisfaction. The effects of dopamine are linked to learning, attention and our ability to focus."This is interesting. Research shows a more active dopamine system in most men" than in women, said Hermundur Sigmundsson, Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Department of Psychology.The study, published in the journal New Ideas in Psychology, tested 917 people (502 women and 415 men) aged 14 to 77, to understand men and women's differing activity in the dopamine system."We looked at gender differences around passion, self-discipline and positive attitude," Sigmundsson said. The study refers to these qualities as passion, grit and mindset.The results for the women, however, are somewhat more ambiguous than men's strong need to burn for something, and this study found no such gender difference, the researchers said.While the dopamine system has earlier been associated with different conditions, such as ADHD, psychoses, manias and Parkinson's disease, the new study found it may be also linked to a certain form of autistic behaviour.Some individuals with autism may become very interested in certain topics, which can be a bit unusual, or even strange, for most people. People on the autism spectrum can focus intensely on these topics or pursuits, at least for a while. Dopamine may play a role."Other research in neuroscience has shown hyperactivity in the dopamine system in individuals with autism, and boys make up four out of five children on the autism spectrum. This, and dopamine's relationship to passion, might be a mechanism that helps to explain this behaviour," Sigmundsson noted.--IANSrvt/sdr/
Yoga not only increases range of motion, overall mobility, and boost bone health but also increases immunity in men. Here are some yoga asanas that may help.
The world is going through a strange phase. A pandemic has been raging for two years, with no end in sight. Millions of people around the world are suffering from the dreaded COVID-19 virus, with many losing their battle against the disease. Social interactions have become limited as more and more people isolate themselves with the hopes of leading a safer, illness-free life.
However, living in isolation does not guarantee a disease free life. Apart from COVID-19 a number of illnesses may strike an individual. At such times it is best to boost one's immune system by eating healthy, exercising and practising yogasanas.
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Dietary and lifestyle changes may help strengthen one's natural defenses and help them fight harmful pathogens, or disease-causing organisms. Yoga poses can increase range of motion, overall mobility, and boost bone health as well.
According to a study by John Hopkins Medicine, yoga offers physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. Furthermore, yoga helps people who are going through an illness, recovering from surgery, or living with chronic conditions faster.
Here’s looking at yoga asanas that can help men boost their immunity:
Wonderful for the nervous system and for combatting anxiety and depression, one has to begin by lying flat on the stomach and lifting the shoulders. Once in position, they have to extend the hands forward, bending at the elbows, and relaxing the glutes while lifting the neck. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Make sure you perform this asana 4-5 hours after having your main meal. It is best to do it in the early morning. Lie on your stomach, with feet apart and in line with hips. Fold your knees, take the hands backwards and hold your ankles. Breathe in, lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and towards the back. Stay in position while taking deep breaths for 15-20 seconds.
Lie flat on your stomach and stretch out your arms. Keep your knees straight and feet together. Inhale and lift your legs and arms up together. Lift your head up raising your chest off the floor as much as possible and hold for 10-15 seconds.
A bit more difficult to master, the Crow Pose will see you begin on all fours with your palms and knees on the ground. Place your elbows down aligned shoulder distance and spread your fingers and bring your knees to your triceps. Lean forward while shifting your body weight onto your triceps. Slowly lift both your feet off the ground and balance. Focus and hold position.
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New York, June 20 (IANS) While suicide rates are generally higher in men than in women, but those who indulge in family care work are less vulnerable to take their lives, according to a new study.
The study, led by Colorado State University researchers, found that that men's suicide mortality is related to their private-life behaviours, specifically their low engagement in family care work -- not just the adversities they may encounter in aspects of their public lives, such as employment.
Men tend to overinvest in the role of an economic-provider, and underinvest in family care work -- a pattern that leaves them vulnerable when economic-provider work is threatened or lost, according to Silvia Sara Canetto Canetto, Professor of Psychology at the varsity.
In the study, family caregiving was defined as, for example, providing personal care or education for a child, and/or providing care for a dependent adult.
The researchers examined suicide, male family caregiving, and unemployment in 20 countries, including the US, Austria, Belgium, Canada and Japan.
Suicide rates were found to be lower in countries where men reported more family care work, showed the study published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.
In countries where men reported more such care work, higher unemployment rates were not associated with higher suicide rates in men. By contrast, in countries where men reported less family care work, higher unemployment rates were associated with elevated male suicide rates. Incidentally, unemployment benefits did not reduce male suicide rates.
Taken together, the findings suggest that men's family care work may protect them against suicide, particularly under difficult economic circumstances, Canetto said.
Men's greater involvement in family care work would also relieve women of their disproportionate caregiving load, and give children more resources.
The findings suggest incorporating support for engagement in family care work in programmes aimed at reducing men's suicide mortality.
"This means expanding beyond dominant frameworks of men's suicide prevention with their employment-support focus," Canetto explained. "It also means going beyond treating suicide as just a mental health problem to be solved with mental health 'treatments.'"
New York, June 18 (IANS) US researchers have found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, can infect the testes of infected hamsters, a finding that can have important implications for men's reproductive health.
The team from University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), has been studying Zika virus infection in the testes for years and wondered if SARS-CoV-2 could cause a similar disease.
Hamsters are commonly used to model Covid-19 in humans since they develop similar signs of disease.
Virus was detected in the testes of all infected hamsters during the first week but tapered off.
The researchers think this may represent what could occur in men with mild to moderate Covid-19 disease. The team has detailed the study in the journal Microorganisms.
"These findings are the first step in understanding how Covid-19 impacts the male genital tract and potentially men's reproductive health," said Shannan Rossi, Associate Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology and Immunology at UTMB.
"We have much more to do before we have the full picture. Moving forward, we will investigate ways to blunt this impact, including using antivirals, antibody therapies and vaccines,"Rossi added.
As the pandemic goes on, clinicians continue to report their findings that Covid-19 affects more than just the lungs. Some patients have reported testicular pain and some reports have shown decreases in testosterone, a key hormone produced in the testes. Autopsies have also shown significant disruption of the testes at the cellular level, including the presence of immune cells.
"Given the magnitude of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is critical to investigate how this disease can impact the testes, and the potential consequences for disease severity, reproductive health, and sexual transmission," said lead author Dr Rafael Kroon Campos, postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory at UTMB.
Future studies also include modeling conditions associated with severe Covid-19, such as pre-existing conditions like obesity and diabetes and SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, the researchers said.
Along with physical and mental health, sexual health problems are also aggravated by the ongoing pandemic, a primary reason being increasing stress due to factors such as job, work life balance, financial challenges, lack of socialising and strained relationships. A recent study has revealed that Covid-19 increases the risk of developing erectile dysfunction (ED) by nearly six times.
Sexual health and wellness is defined as a state of physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual dimensions in relation to sexuality. Sexual intimacy is a highly stigmatised and taboo topic in India, and people are usually unwilling to talk openly about their sexuality and sexual health.
Stress directly affects our hormones and mood and can take away a person's libido, thereby affecting quality time of a couple. It can also cause one to indulge in smoking or alcohol consumption which in turn can adversely affect sexual performance. These can lead to problems such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, reduced libido, and male fertility.
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is a common condition that can make sexual activity difficult. It may lead to a loss of intimacy in a marriage or long-term relationship, affecting the mental well-being of both partners. Some leading Indian andrologists share their thoughts on the recent study and the co-relation between the coronavirus and erectile dysfunction.
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Pramod Krishnappa, Consultant Andrologist, NU Hospitals, Bangalore tells IANSlife: "The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on humans causing both physical and mental illness. Although the lung is the most prominent organ affected, a recent research paper from Miami has revealed the presence of Covid-19 viral particles in the most sensitive organ, penis. The authors have also hypothesised that this widespread endothelial dysfunction could lead to erectile dysfunction. An Italian survey led by Sansone also revealed that the erectile dysfunction was common among those who had Covid-19 infection in the past and very aptly commented that "Mask up to keep IT up"."
Raman Tanwar, MBBS, MS, FMAS, MCh (Urology) Gold Medallist, Department of Urology and Andrology at Uro centre, Jyoti Hospital, Gurugram adds, "Covid-19 infection leads to widespread endothelial dysfunction which means that the linings of blood vessels do not function properly once infected. For erection the optimal function of blood vessel lining is needed and many studies across the world are finding an increased incidence of erectile dysfunction in patients who are positive. Studies have also pointed that those who have ED are more likely to have Covid-19 infection."
If an individual is diagnosed with ED, the first step is to reach out to a doctor as it can be a sign of underlying health problem. Heart diseases, clogged blood vessels, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, anxiety, stress, depression and lifestyle habits like smoking and alcohol consumption are a few of the main causes of erectile dysfunction.
Vineet Malhotra, Clinical Director, Diyos Men's Health Centre shares: "The recent study conducted at the Miller School of medicine, Miami, USA notes the presence of Covid-19 in the penis even 7 months post infection. The increased risk of endothelial dysfunction can lead to a risk of erectile dysfunction in affected men."
Sanjay Pandey, Head of Uro-Andrology at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai tells IANSlife: "Covid-19 affects different men in different ways. There is a possibility that some men might develop ED after suffering from Covid-19. So particularly for young and healthy people who abruptly develop erectile dysfunction, and especially after having Covid-19, this can be a sign of something more serious going on. This could last for long term or short term. ED is usually a symptom of another medical condition. If your health isn't great to begin with, you're more likely to have severe or unwanted symptoms from Covid-19, such as ED."
Doctors suggest that with the number of cases increasing every day and multiple studies indicating that men are more prone to Covid-19, this study makes it more imperative that men must be extra cautious in their everyday life ignoring which could affect various aspects of their lives.
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Mostly, women are aware of reproductive facts and something called a biological clock ticking away. This comes into prominence especially when couples plan their pregnancy. One should keep in mind that fertility is age-related for both men and women and this understanding is pivotal because it helps in conceiving, the baby's health depends on it and one can make informed choices during pregnancy.
How age affects a women's fertility as compared to men?
Fertility with age has a different effect on men and women. A woman is born with certain number of eggs that only get depleted over a period of time, and after some time she can't produce any more eggs. But in the case of a man, he can produce sperms his entire life. Therefore, it signifies the women's pregnancy health window is short as compared to a man's, who can even father a child in their 60s and 70s. So, let's have a look at the fertility across different age groups:
Fertility in their 20s:
According to the experts, this is the perfect age group for a woman to have a healthy pregnancy. This is the age when women are most fertile. The difference in fertility in their early 20s and late 20s is almost negligible.
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Some of the great advantages of pregnancy during this age group are:
* As your eggs have lesser odds of carrying genetic abnormalities, the chances of your child having any genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome, Thalassemia, etc. is minimal.
* The risk of miscarriage lays only 10 per cent.
* Less likely that you will have premature baby or baby with low birth weight.
* Even the mother has lower risk of any health complications like gestational diabetes or hypertension.
The disadvantages of this phase are:
* In first pregnancy, the risk of pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication, becomes higher
* If you have PCOD or uterine fibroids or any underlying medical condition, achieving a pregnancy is complicated.
* When it comes to male fertility, they don't have to worry at all. If at all infertility has been diagnosed in a man, then it's all because of his lifestyle choices that lead to obesity, hypertension, contraction of any sexually transmitted infection and diabetes. This can be reversed in the case of men by altering lifestyle choices. Sexually Transmitted Infections in men affect the motility and concentration of sperms.
Also, Read► Lifestyle changes may up fertility for obese, infertile women
Fertility in their 30s:
If a woman wants to conceive in this phase of her life, then the chances of expecting are between 15 and 20 per cent each month provided they don't have any underlying health conditions. A study has confirmed that women in 30s have 30 per cent chances of conceiving in their first try. But, fertility tends to decline when a woman reaches 35 because of the decreased quality and quantity of the eggs. Even the chances of conceiving naturally after 35 are also minimal. The increased level of the follicle-stimulating hormone in a female body makes her more prone to having twins or triplets.
The risks of conceiving in 30s are:
* Higher C-section rates
* Higher chances of genetic issues in the newborn
* Increased rates of miscarriages and stillbirths
* Elevated risks of ectopic pregnancy
Fertility in your 40s and beyond:
In case of a woman, it's not impossible to conceive in this age but one should take notice of the fact that during each ovulatory cycle, pregnancy rate dips to 5 per cent between 40 and 44, whereas beyond 45 it gets reduced to 1 per cent. According to Center for Disease Control, half of women across the globe undergo fertility issues in 40s.
The risk factors of conceiving remains the same as it is in their 30s. Since there are risk factors involved, there is no guarantee that a female can conceive for sure. Even a man's fertility also declines in this age group as the sperm count and semen volume also decreases. But, one should not give up hope and consult a fertility expert at the right time.
Ultimately, the perfect time to get pregnant is when you feel it's the right time for you. It's completely fine if want to feel more confident in your career and finances to start building your family. If you do choose to wait, do consult with your doctor or a fertility specialist to make sure no health issues will come as surprise once you're ready. The fertility expert will not only help you know your ovarian reserve but can also suggest ways and means to preserve your fertility till you are ready to become a mother.
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