New York: You must have heard one should sleep for eight hours, but researchers say that it depends on a person's genetics. When it comes to sleep, quality matters over quantity. People with Familial Natural Short Sleep (FNSS) prefer to sleep just four to six hours a night, and yet have the ability to function fully on.
According to researchers at University of California, San Francisco, these "elite sleepers" show psychological resilience and resistance to neurodegenerative conditions that may point the way to fending off neurological disease.
It means that the brain accomplishes its sleep tasks in a shorter time. In other words, less time spent efficiently sleeping may not equate to a lack of sleep, said Ying-Hui Fu, from the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences.
The researchers have shown that it runs in families and, thus far, have identified five genes across the genome that play a role in enabling this efficient sleep.
"There's a dogma in the field that everyone needs eight hours of sleep, but our work to date confirms that the amount of sleep people need differs based on genetics," said neurologist Louis Ptacek, from the Institute.
In the study, published in the journal iScience, the team chose to look at mouse models of Alzheimer's disease because that condition is so prevalent.
They bred mice that had both short-sleep genes and genes that predisposed them to Alzheimer's and found that their brains developed much less of the hallmark aggregates associated with dementia. To confirm their findings, they repeated the experiment using mice with a different short-sleep gene and another dementia gene and saw similar results.
The team believe that similar investigations of other brain conditions would show the efficient-sleep genes confer comparable protections. improving peoples' sleep could delay progression of disease across a whole spectrum of conditions, they said.
"Sleep problems are common in all diseases of the brain," Ptacek said. "This makes sense because sleep is a complex activity. Many parts of your brain have to work together for you to fall asleep and to wake up. When these parts of the brain are damaged, it makes it harder to sleep or get quality sleep."
Understanding the biological underpinnings of sleep regulation could identify drugs that will help ward off problems with sleep disorders. In addition, improving sleep in healthy people may sustain wellbeing and improve the quality of time we each have, the researchers said. (agency)
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Cervical cancer is most common among Indian women after breast cancer, an expert said on Tuesday.
Talking to IANS, Dr Neerja Bhatla, Head Of Department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, said that in Indian women, cervical cancer is the second most frequent cancer, but is preventable and curable, if found early and effectively treated.
However in India, an estimated 123,907 new cases and 77,000 deaths are reported each year, or one woman dying every 8 minutes, she said.
"Cervical cancer is unique in that it can be prevented by vaccination and has a long precancerous stage during which women can be tested and treated without suffering undue discomfort, anxiety, or financial hardship," she added.
The World Health Organisation has set goals to expedite progress toward the elimination of cancer and calls on countries to strive to reach the goals of vaccinating 90 per cent of girls with HPV vaccine by the age of 15, screening 70 per cent of women between the ages of 35 and 45 with a high-performance test such as the HPV test, and treating 90 per cent of women diagnosed with precancer or cancer, as well as facilitating palliative care, in the next decade.
However, the lack of awareness continues to be a key impediment to treatment participation and adherence. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already started a screening programme for the three most frequent cancers: oral, breast, and cervical cancer.
On the occasion of International Women's Day, AIIMS Delhi screened 100 women using high precision HPV test. WHO recommends using a test that gives same day results.
This is the first time this strategy was tried at AIIMS using the GeneXpert platform that is also used for TB testing. It includes novel Point of Care HPV test and enabled Single Visit Screen and Treat approach. The report was available in only 60 minutes and based on the results, patients were offered treatment of precancer.
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वाशिंगटन: अमेरिका में बीते एक महीने में हर हफ्ते ओमिक्रॉन सबवेरिएंट के मामले दोगुने हो रहे हैं। ये जानकारी देश के सेंटर फॉर डिजीज कंट्रोल एंड प्रिवेंशन (सीडीसी) ने दी।
समाचार एजेंसी सिन्हुआ ने सीडीसी के अनुमानों का हवाला देते हुए बताया कि 5 मार्च को समाप्त सप्ताह में देश में 11.6 प्रतिशत कोरोना वायरस मामलों की संख्या में वेरिएंट, बीए.2 के कारण इजाफा हुआ था।
सीडीसी डेटा के अनुसार, 5 फरवरी को समाप्त सप्ताह में केवल 1 प्रतिशत नए मामले सामने आए, जो 12 फरवरी को समाप्त सप्ताह में 2.2 प्रतिशत और 19 फरवरी को समाप्त सप्ताह में 3.8 प्रतिशत और 26 फरवरी को समाप्त सप्ताह में 6.6 प्रतिशत हो गए।
नई प्रयोगशाला और पशु प्रयोगों ने सुझाव दिया कि बीए.2, ओमिक्रोन स्ट्रेन की तुलना में अधिक गंभीर बीमारी पैदा करने में सक्षम हो सकता है।
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The highly contagious Omicron variant, which spread rapidly worldwide, is currently on the decline with its sub variant BA.2 in charge. Several countries, particularly in Europe and Asia, have reported a rise in BA.2.
The study from the University of Tokyo, not yet peer-reviewed, suggested that the possibility that BA.2 would be the most concerning variant to global health.
Currently, both BA.2 and BA.1 are recognised together as Omicron and these are almost undistinguishable.
"Based on our findings, we propose that BA.2 should be recognised as a unique variant of concern, and this SARS-CoV-2 variant should be monitored in depth," said Kei Sato, from the varsity.
In a Twitter post, Eric Feigl-Ding, a Harvard-trained epidemiologist, wrote that the subvariant - BA.2 - is "seriously bad news".
This comes even as several countries have reopened and lifted Covid-related restrictions on view of low number of infections.
After an Omicron surge that lasted for three and a half months, the average number of global daily cases dropped for a third week in a row last week, falling back by 22 per cent to 1.97 million, News.com.au reported.
But experts are worried a new subvariant of Omicron could see a devastating surge in infections and deaths around the world just as the pandemic appears to be retreating.
"Even the World Health Organisation is getting very concerned about BA.2 variant outcompeting and displacing old Omicron," Feigl-Ding wrote on Twitter.
He wrote that news out of Denmark, where the subvariant represents 90 per cent of all new cases, suggests it is having significant health impacts.
"Here is what is happening in the country with the most BA.2 variant so far. (Denmark) has been BA.2 dominant for weeks and have now almost no mitigations either - now their excess deaths are spiking again."
Danish health officials have previously noted that BA.2 may be 1.5 times more transmissible than BA.1 based on preliminary data, but it likely does not cause more severe disease.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organisation's Technical Lead on Covid-19, has also stated "BA.2 has a growth advantage even over BA.1".
"We need to drive transmission down. Because if we don't, we will not only see more cases, more hospitalisations, more deaths, but we will see more people suffering from Long Covid and we will see more opportunities for new variants to emerge." (agency)
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टोक्यो: स्वास्थ्य विशेषज्ञों ने इस बात पर चिंता व्यक्त की है कि ओमीक्रॉन के संक्रमण के मामलों को घटता देखकर जब दुनिया भर से प्रतिबंधों को हटाया जा रहा है, वैसी स्थिति में ओमीक्रॉन का नया वैरिएंट बीए.2 संक्रमण और मौत के मामलों में अचानक बहुत तेजी ला सकता है।
एपिडेमोलॉजिस्ट एरिक फिल डिंग भी इस बात की पुष्टि करते हुए कहते हैं कि ओमीक्रॉन का नया वैरिएंट निश्चित रूप से बुरी खबर है।
एरिक ने बताया है कि विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन भी इस बात को लेकर बहुत चिंतित है कि यह वैरिएंट पुराने ओमीक्रॉन की तुलना में अधिक संक्रामक और गंभीर है।
उन्होंने बताया कि डेनमार्क में कोरोना संक्रमण के जितने नये मामले सामने आये हैं, उनमें से 90 फीसदी मामले ओमीक्रॉन के बीए.2 वैरिएंट के हैं और इसका स्वास्थ्य पर बहुत गंभीर प्रभाव देखने को मिल रहा है।
एरिक ने कहा कि डेनमार्क में कई सप्ताह से बीए.2 वैरिएंट सक्रिय है और अब वहां मौत के मामले बढ़ रहे हैं। डेनमार्क के स्वास्स्थ्य अधिकारियों ने प्रारंभिक आंकड़ो के आधार पर पहले कहा था कि नया वैरिएंट बीए.1 की तुलना में डेढ़ गुणा अधिक संक्रामक है लेकिन इसका असर उतना गंभीर नहीं होता है।
विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन में कोविड-19 के मामलों की तकनीक प्रमुख मारिया वान केरखोव ने भी कहा है कि बीए.2 वैरिएंट ओमीक्रॉन के पुराने वैरिएंट से अधिक संक्रामक है और इसके प्रसार को रोकने की जरूरत है।
उन्होंने चेतावनी देते हुए कहा कि अगर ऐसा नहीं हुआ तो इससे सिर्फ कोरोना संक्रमण के मामले ही नहीं बढ़ेंगे बल्कि हम अस्पताल में भर्ती होने और मौत के मामलों में भी तेजी देखेंगे। हम यह भी देखेंगे कि लोग लॉंग कोविड से ग्रसित हैं और साथ ही कोरोना वायरस के नये वैरिएंट को भी पनपने का मौका मिल रहा है।
टोक्यो यूनिवर्सिटी द्वारा किये गये शोध से यह बात सामने आयी है कि यूरोप और एशिया के कई देशों में ओमीक्रॉन का नया वैरिएंट तेजी से फैल रहा है। शोध के मुताबिक वैश्विक स्वास्थ्य के लिए यह अब तक का सबसे चिंताजनक वैरिएंट हो सकता है।
वर्तमान में दोनों वैरिएंट को ओमीक्रॉन के नाम से जाना जा रहा है और इनमें अंतर करना बहुत मुश्किल है।
शोधकर्ता काई सातो ने कहा कि शोध के आधार पर हम यह प्रस्ताव पेश करते हैं कि नये वैरिएंट को अलग वैरिएंट के रूप में मान्यता दी जाये और इसके बारे में गहराई से निगरानी की जाये। (एजेंसी)
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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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