A simple urine test can reveal if someone has early-stage Alzheimer's disease, potentially paving the way for an inexpensive and convenient disease screening.
Researchers found that urinary formic acid is a sensitive marker of subjective cognitive decline that may indicate the very early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
To reach this conclusion, the researchers tested a large group of patients with Alzheimer's disease of different levels of severity and healthy controls with normal cognition to identify differences in urinary biomarkers.
Formic acid is a metabolic product of an organic compound formaldehyde.
They found that urinary formic acid levels were significantly increased in all the Alzheimer's groups compared with the healthy controls, including the early-stage subjective cognitive decline group, and correlated with a cognitive decline.
This suggests that formic acid could act as a sensitive biomarker for early-stage Alzheimer's disease, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
"Alzheimer's disease is a continuous and concealed chronic disease, meaning that it can develop and last for many years before obvious cognitive impairment emerges," said the authors.
"The early stages of the disease occur before the irreversible dementia stage, and this is the golden window for intervention and treatment. Therefore, large-scale screening for early-stage Alzheimer's disease is necessary for the elderly," they wrote.
The current diagnostic techniques include positron emission tomography brain scans, which are expensive and expose the patient to radiation.
There are also biomarker tests that can reveal Alzheimer's disease, but these require invasive blood draws or a lumbar puncture to obtain cerebrospinal fluid, which can be off-putting for patients.
A total of 574 people participated in the study, and participants were either healthy volunteers with normal cognition, or had differing degrees of disease progression, ranging from subjective cognitive decline to fully-fledged disease.
Interestingly, when the researchers analysed urinary formic levels in combination with blood-based Alzheimer's biomarkers, they found that they could more accurately predict what stage of the disease that a patient was experiencing.
"Urinary formic acid showed an excellent sensitivity for early Alzheimer's screening," said the authors.
COPD also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders is a group of lung diseases that blocks airflow and makes it difficult to breathe. The most common of these diseases are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Many people with COPD have both of these conditions. Emphysema slowly destroys air sacs in your lungs, which interferes with outward airflow. Bronchitis causes inflammation of the bronchi. COPD is a condition in which the disease worsens over time and it makes it difficult even to breathe. Asthma or Bronchitis is a very dangerous condition during pregnancy which causes fatigue, resulting in energy being diverted from the growing foetus.
Asthma can be hard to diagnose. To find out if you have asthma, your doctor takes your health history, does a physical exam and listens to your breathing.. You also may get a lung function test called spirometry. This is a test that checks how well your lungs work. During the test, you take a deep breath and exhale (blow) into a machine called a spirometer. This machine measures the amount of air you breathe in and out. It also measures how fast you can breathe. When you're pregnant, normal changes in your body can make you short of breath. This test can help your doctor know if shortness of breath is a common complication of pregnancy or if it's caused by asthma.
Treatment: Breathing Exercises with COPD
Pursed lip breathing
Pursed Lip Breathing
Pursed lip breathing has a range of benefits:
It's been shown to reduce how hard you have to work to breathe.
It helps release the air trapped in the lungs.
It promotes relaxation.
It reduces shortness of breath.
Practising this technique 4 to 5 times daily can help. Here's how to practice pursed-lip breathing:
While keeping your mouth closed, take a deep breath in through your nose, count to 2. Follow this pattern by repeating in your head "inhale, 1, 2." The breath doesn't have to be deep. A typical inhale will do. Put your lips together as if you're starting to whistle or blow out candles on a birthday cake. This is known as "pursing" your lips. While continuing to keep your lips pursed, slowly breathe out by counting to 4. Don't try to force the air out, but instead breathe out slowly through your mouth.
Tip: Pursed lip breathing is best for performing strenuous activities, such as climbing stairs.
Feeling short of breath can cause anxiety that makes you hold your breath. To prevent this from occurring, you can practice coordinated breathing using these two steps:
Inhale through your nose before beginning an exercise.
While pursuing your lips, breathe out through your mouth during the most strenuous part of the exercise. An example could be when curling upward on a bicep curl.
Tip: Coordinated breathing can be performed when you're exercising or feeling anxious.
Deep breathing prevents air from getting trapped in your lungs, which can cause you to feel short of breath. As a result, you can breathe in the more fresh air.
Here's how to practice deep breathing:
Sit or stand with your elbows slightly back. This allows your chest to expand more fully.
Inhale deeply through your nose.
Hold your breath as you count to 5.
Release the air via a slow, deep exhale, through your nose, until you feel your inhaled air has been released.
Exercise tip: It's best to do this exercise with other daily breathing exercises that can be performed for 10 minutes at a time, 3 to 4 times per day.
When you have COPD, mucus can build up more easily in your lungs. The huffing is a breathing exercise designed to help you cough up mucus effectively without making you feel too tired.
Here's how to practice the huffing:
Place yourself in a comfortable seated position. Inhale through your mouth, slightly deeper than you would when taking a normal breath.
Activate your stomach muscles to blow the air out in three even breaths while making the sounds "ha, ha, ha." Imagine you're blowing onto a mirror to cause it to steam.
Exercise tip: A huff should be less tiring than a traditional cough, and it can keep you from feeling worn out when coughing up mucus.
The diaphragm is an important muscle involved in the work of breathing.
People with COPD tend to rely more on the accessory muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back to breathe, rather than on the diaphragm. Diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing helps to retrain this muscle to work more effectively. Here's how to do it:
While sitting or lying down with your shoulders relaxed, put a hand on your chest and place the other hand on your stomach.
Take a breath in through your nose for 2 seconds, feeling your stomach move outward. You're doing the activity correctly if your stomach moves more than your chest.
Purse your lips and breathe out slowly through your mouth, pressing lightly on your stomach. This will enhance your diaphragm's ability to release air.
Repeat the exercise as you are able to.
Protect Your Lungs during Pregnancy
Since you're essentially breathing for two, take these steps to protect your lung health and your infant's health:
Tell Your Doctor About Any Shortness of Breath- There can be many reasons for shortness of breath in pregnancy. Pregnant women are no strangers to shortness of breath. Early pregnancy hormone surges and, later, the weight and bulk of your expanding womb restrict your breathing. If you're feeling short of breath, and you're worried about it for any reason, let your doctor know.
Ask for A Lung Function Test- While the parameters for the test might change as your pregnancy progresses, the simple, noninvasive lung test called spirometry can help your doctor check on your breathing.
Manage Asthma- Uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy puts both babies and you at risk. If you've been lax about your asthma medications, it's time to update your routine for pregnancy and then stick to it.
Avoid Cigarette Smoke- Don't smoke, ban smoking at home, and avoid all environments where you are exposed to cigarette smoke.(Suryalakshmi Paleri, Executive Physiotherapist, Cloudnine Group Of Hospitals, Bengaluru (Malleshwaram))
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Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 6 (IANS) For the third day in succession, the Congress-led opposition on Friday walked out of the Assembly after state Health Minister Veena George did not relent on granting any relaxation in the newly announced Covid norms.George on Wednesday announced the new guidelines, which say that those who enter shops, banks and other establishments, should have at least one dose of vaccine administered or produce an RT-PCR certificate not older than 72 hours.On Friday, Congress legislator K. Babu sought leave for an adjournment motion to discuss this issue and slammed the government for the most 'impractical and unscientific norms' set by the government to tackle Covid."There has been huge backlash to the new demand that people should take an RT-PCR test or should have taken one dose of vaccine. With the now announced relaxations, it would only help the police to take on the people and levy fines. This should not be like this. So to help the people, there should be appropriate changes," said Babu.But George said it was the responsibility of a "responsible government to safeguard the people and that's what we are doing"."None should forget the presence of the Delta variant which is there. We the government have to take care of the people and hence we have to abide by the apex court directive also. So in the present circumstances, we cannot give any relaxation as this has been decided by the expert committee," said George.Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan said that any government should understand the needs of the people and act accordingly, but this government is not understanding the woes of the people."This government is teasing the people of our state as 57.86 per cent of the population will have to undergo RT-PCR tests if they have to go out of the house and buy their needs from the shop next door. Just look into the maze of activity in social media against these impractical and illogical norms," said Satheesan and led the entire opposition out of the House.--IANSsg/dpb
New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) The Covid-19 virus may reach its endemic stage after a while, just like influenza, and the vulnerable population may have to take the vaccine shot annually, said Samiran Panda, Head, Division of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR)."Mutation is normal for all viruses when they proliferate. Experts suggest that the Covid-19 virus will reach its endemic stage like influenza after a while and then the vulnerable population may have to take the vaccine shot annually," Panda said.He explained that influenza, commonly known as flu, was a pandemic 100 years ago but today it is an endemic. "Similarly, in case of Covid-19, we expect that it will gradually become an endemic from its current state of being a pandemic. Currently, we recommend the elderly to take annual flu shots. As the influenza virus keeps on mutating, we simultaneously make minor changes in the vaccine. So, there is no need to panic. The vaccines available now are largely effective against the new variants of Covid-19," he said.Panda explained that the vaccines are not infection preventing, but disease-modifying. Experiments at the ICMR have proved that the vaccines presently available in India are effective against the new variants as well. However, the efficacy may differ for different strains, he said.People are wary that the vaccines that they are receiving now may not be effective after a while, as the virus is mutating rapidly. However, Panda said that it is futile to go for anti-body tests as the immunity does not depend only on anti-bodies. The anti-bodies that are seen using the commercial kits available in the market are not necessarily the anti-bodies that can protect a person from Covid, he added.Panda also said that breastfeeding mothers should get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19 without any hesitation. The anti-bodies that are developed in the mother as a result of the vaccination get passively transferred to the baby while breastfeeding and could be helpful to the child, he said.--IANSmiz/arm
Hyderabad, July 7 (IANS) Tension prevailed near Telangana Chief Minister's official residence here on Wednesday as a large number of outsourcing nurses whose services were terminated tried to stage a protest.The nurses alleged that the government threw them out of the jobs after using their services during Covid-19 pandemic.Demanding their reinstatement, the nurses tried to march towards Pragati Bhawan, the official residence of the Chief Minister in Begumpet. When police personnel stopped the protestors, they sat on the roads raising slogans against the government.Police personnel had a tough time in controlling the situation as some nurses tried to run towards the Pragati Bhawan. Policewomen chased the protestors to stop them for barging in. They were physically lifted and taken to the waiting police vehicles.The nurses were shifted to different police stations. The protestors alleged that a total of 1,640 nurses serving in the government-run hospitals across the state on outsourcing bases were removed from services.Some of the protestors were seen crying while speaking to the media persons. They said the government's action has landed them and their families in crisis."During Covid pandemic, the government said nurses are like gods. Now they left the gods on the road," said a nurse."Despite the risk to our lives, we served the Covid patients. We rendered the services when even their family members were not coming near them. After using our services, the government has dumped us," said another protestor.The nurses were recruited specifically for Covid-19 duties in March last year. They had Tuesday staged a demonstration at the office of Director of Medical Education (DME).Dr Ramesh Reddy, the DME however, said the nurses were well aware of the fact that their posts are temporary.--IANSms/dpb
Chennai, May 19 (IANS) Attendants of Covid-19 patients carried out a protest outside the Rajiv Gandhi general hospital here on Wednesday. The protest continued for two hours.The hospital had permitted one attendant each for a Covid-19 patient but around 100 people had thronged the premises of the hospital.Hospital sources said these people were claiming that they were the attendants of Covid-19 patients and police, on checking their credentials and details found that there were four to five attendants for each patient, leading to a huge crowding in hospital premises.Police removed all those who were thronging the hospital premises which led to protest by the attendants. As the attendants tried to enter the hospital again, police set up barricades to prevent them from entering the hospital. As the tension grew, more cops were called in to bring the situation under control. Finally, all attendants who were staying there in excess were removed after checking their credentials.--IANSaal/skp/
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