Author Archive

The Path of Love

 

In search of God you do not need to go anywhere. No temples, no church, no mosque are not true abode of God. They are built by man. The true abode of God is this body that God himself came up and created. The body is a living temple, saying temple, and moving temple. The temple was designed by no ordinary engineer. It was created by pure will of God. Therefore, it is a sacred gift from God. You must take care of the gift as the apple of his eye. You need to properly use the body for the implementation of the Self

The body is the first tool of the righteous deeds; therefore, the body should be used to perform daily spiritual practice, not only for food and drink. Of course, nutrition is essential to maintain the body. Food is there to protect the body and the clothes to protect from the cold, but if you think all the time about food and about the wealth, when you think about God? If the food is good, mind, too, will be all right. When the mind is all right, you can reach God. You have to understand that the food and mind are designed for realization of God.

Posted February 7, 2017 by dranilj1 in BODY_MIND_HEART_SPIRIT

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Artificial Intelligence Can Now Identify Skin Cancer As Accurately As Dermatologists

A new artificial intelligence system can spot the tell-tale signs of skin cancer just as accurately as dermatologists. If one can get the tech on a smartphone, so anyone can run a self-diagnosis. Once the system is refined further and becomes portable, it could give many more people the chance to get screened with minimal cost, and without having to wait for an appointment with a doctor to confirm the symptoms. But the technology is not designed to replace doctors; it is designed to give people easier access to the first two screening stages before getting expert help.

Spotting the difference between a deadly lesion and a benign one is no easy task. One has to cautious about releasing the tool to the public before they know it would not make any false assessments, and real-world clinical testing should help improve it further. We are now seeing numerous programs and apps, powered by the intuitive reasoning of artificial intelligence showing up on phones, and giving us cheap and easy ways of assessing our health at home and that has to be better than just typing a few symptoms into Google.

Like many other diseases, early diagnosis of skin cancer is crucial. If spotted early, 10-year survival rates are around 95 percent, but that drops to 10-15 percent if the cancer has reached its later stages before being treated. This is an exciting new technology that has the potential to increase access to dermatology at a time where there is shortage in this specialty and the rates of skin cancer continue to rise.

Credits: The Stanford University Researchers.

The Role Vitamin E Plays

The vitamin E is an antioxidant which prevents the neurodegenerative disease of the brain called ataxia. Ataxia is a term for a group of disorders that affect co-ordination, balance and speech. Any part of the body can be affected, but people with ataxia often have difficulties with balance and walking, speaking, swallowing and tasks that require a high degree of control, such as writing and eating. The exact symptoms and their severity vary depending on the type of ataxia a person has. Vitamin E is not good for all kinds of disease. One other disease vitamin E cures is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which is an accumulation of fat in the liver, not due to excess alcohol consumption.

Vitamin E is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities. Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that contain an unshared electron. Unshared electrons are highly energetic and react rapidly with oxygen to form reactive oxygen species. Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species formed in the body endogenously when it converts food to energy. Health risks from excessive vitamin E can cause hemorrhage and interrupt blood coagulation by inhibiting platelet aggregation.

Vitamin E supplements have the potential to interact with several types of medications. Vitamin E can inhibit platelet aggregation and antagonize vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. Some take vitamin E supplements with other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, selenium, and beta-carotene. These collections of antioxidant ingredients blunt the rise in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, which is the most cardioprotective high-density lipoprotein. There are potential risks of concurrent antioxidant supplementation with conventional therapies treating cancer.

So essentially, we are left with a vitamin which is not good for all kinds of disease, but only where two situations are cured. One is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and the other one is a neurodegenerative disease due to an absence of vitamin E called ataxia.

What Purpose Sleep Serves?

 

 

 

Sleep lets brain to reset its synapses or memory-storing connections that send signals between neurons. In waking hours, synapses grow to let information gathered through the day’s experiences to travel throughout the brain. During sleep, the synapses shrink. Without the sleep, the brain gets overwhelmed with irrelevant information and memories, which certainly would not help brain’s function.

Posted February 4, 2017 by dranilj1 in Cognitive Psychology

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Save Your Vision

Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Age-related macular degeneration affects the macula, resulting in a loss of central vision. Two forms of age-related macular degeneration exist: the most common, dry (non-exudative) type, and the wet (exudative) type of age-related macular degeneration. Dry age-related macular degeneration typically progresses from an early, mostly asymptomatic phase—observed only by an ophthalmologist as pigment irregularities of the retinal pigment epithelium and the presence of small deposits comprised of lipids and proteins called drusen—through intermediate and then the later stages of geographical atrophy and neovascularization. Drusen are a precursor to geographical atrophy. As the disease progresses, small drusen converge into large confluent drusen with hyperpigmentation. This is usually followed by hypopigmentation. In some cases, drusen regress in size as refractile deposits appear. Progression from large confluent drusen to geographical atrophy takes approximately 6.5 years, during which time the patient experiences gradual visual loss, dark adaptation abnormalities, difficulty reading, and problems with face recognition. Alternatively, the neovascular form of age-related macular degeneration may develop, probably in response to pro-angiogenic factors. Another characteristic often seen in the eyes of age-related macular degeneration patients are reticular pseudodrusen, a yellowish-white material that appears as material under the retina organized in ill-defined networks of broad interlacing ribbons. Retinal pseudodrusen are a sign of retinal dysfunction and appear to be a risk factor for late age-related macular degeneration, although they may also occur in individuals who do not have age-related macular degeneration.

The etiology of age-related macular degeneration appears to be strongly influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. The non-genetic factors that play important roles include cigarette smoking, diet, and obesity. The interaction of lifestyle and genetic factors likely contributes to the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration through a variety of genetic pathways that are only beginning to be understood. Cardiovascular, immune, and inflammatory biomarkers associated with age-related macular degeneration point to mechanisms that may explain the influence of environmental factors on age-related macular degeneration progression. These biomarkers include C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, and homocysteine, an amino acid that adversely affects the vascular endothelium. Other genetic factors have been linked to age-related macular degeneration through Genome Wide Association Studies. Several studies indicate that genes involved in complement regulation, lipid metabolism, extracellular matrix remodeling, and angiogenesis are associated with advanced age-related macular degeneration. Further studies with next generation sequencing methods have identified rare variants of genes in the complement pathway that might have an even stronger effect on age-related macular degeneration progression. Predictive modeling of disease progression indicates that a combination of rare and common variants might improve the accuracy of risk assessment.

Genetic studies have yielded a number of biological pathways that could be targeted for drug development, yet the pathobiology of the disease remains poorly understood and is likely multifactorial. Treatment may require engagement of multiple targets.

Assessing the presence and progression of geographical atrophy from an anatomical perspective requires quantifying the total area affected as well as the location of atrophy, particularly relative to the foveal center. Various complementary in vivo imaging methods are used, including color photography using multi-spectral visual or infrared or wide field imaging, flurorescein angiography, fundus autofluorescence, and optical coherence tomography. Each of these methods has strengths and weaknesses; the challenge lies in extracting qualitative and quantitative data and mapping these data to a patient’s genotype and disease history.

Color fundus photography is the classical endpoint used in many trials and natural history studies but suffers from poor reproducibility and interference from cataracts. Fluorescein angiography requires intravenous injection, making it useful for examining leakage but impractical for large studies. Fundus Autofluorescence imaging allows for automated measurements; however, blue light Fundus Autofluorescence may be affected by natural darkening at the foveal center. In addition, blue Fundus Autofluorescence is uncomfortable for some subjects because of bright illumination of the retina. Wide field autofluorescence is a newer method not yet fully tested to determine its usefulness for clinical studies. Optical coherence tomography is an established medical imaging that has shown promise in evaluating both retinal and choroidal morphology in geographical atrophy. It allows examination and quantification of changes in the retinal layers, including the loss of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium. It will be important to further define the relationship between Fundus Autofluorescence and optical coherence tomography regarding the extent of retinal atrophy. In addition, there is a need to better define anatomic descriptors of retinal changes in eyes with geographical atrophy that are reproducible across larger populations.

The gold standard functional measure for assessing age-related macular degeneration progression has been best corrected visual acuity. An electronic version of the Early Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy has made it quicker and easier to assess best corrected visual acuity and has been widely used. However, visual acuity lacks sensitivity for assessing age-related macular degeneration in early stages. Noting that people with geographical atrophy have increased visual impairment in dim light, a low luminance visual acuity test was developed simply by placing a neutral density filter in front of the eye. Low luminance deficit has been shown to predict subsequent visual loss, and low luminance visual acuity captures foveal functional deficits better than best corrected visual acuity in intermediate and advanced age-related macular degeneration. Another technique, microperimetry, performs even better in assessing central retinal sensitivity in early stages of age-related macular degeneration. However, microperimetry tests may be redundant (particularly mesopic microperimetry) and burdensome for some patients. Scotopic microperimetry, a technique used to measure rod sensitivity, which is shown to be anatomically affected early in age-related macular degeneration. Dark adaptometry represents another approach with high diagnostic potential.

A multimodal approach including both anatomical and functional measures may be necessary to evaluate progression of disease; however, further phenotype/genotype studies will be needed to determine the best options. In addition, different types of assessments serve different purposes. For example, functional endpoints may lack sufficient precision for short studies but correlate better with quality of life and thus may be useful.

Treatments Available for Dry Macular Degeneration:

1. Eating antioxidant-rich foods, such as fresh fruits and dark green leafy vegetables delay the onset or reduce the severity of dry age-related macular degeneration. Eating at least one serving of fatty fish per week may also delay the onset or reduce the severity of dry age-related macular degeneration. These types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation and promote eye health. It is important to keep a balance between omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids in our diets. Virtually every food in a package contains omega-6 fatty acids in the form of vegetable oil. We need to increase our intake of omega-3 and decrease our intake of omega-6. Low-fat foods are good options if they have achieved their low-fat status through a process that physically removes the fat. Skim milk and low fat cottage cheese are examples of these types of good low-fat foods. A low-fat cookie or a no-fat cake, however, is a nutritional contradiction. Usually a low-fat or no-fat label on baked goods does not mean less fat was used in the production of the food, but that an artificial fat was used, usually partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. These types of fats are artificial ingredients made in a laboratory and our bodies can’t metabolize them. So it’s best to eat real cookies – just do not eat the whole dozen! Incorporate exercise into your everyday life. Obesity increases the risk for progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration.

2. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Formulation includes:

A. 500 milligrams of vitamin C.

B. 400 international units of vitamin E.

C. 80 milligrams of zinc as zinc oxide.

D. 2 milligrams copper as cupric oxide (to avoid anemia with high zinc intake).

E. 10 milligrams of lutein.

F. 2 milligrams of zeaxanthin.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before adding any nutritional or vitamin supplements to your diet.

3. Mesoxanthin and MacuHealth supplement: A cousin of lutein and zeaxanthin named “mesoxanthin” is actually the most active of the three specifically in the macula and that the combination of lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesoxanthin is what is needed. That is what the MacuHealth supplement contains.

4. Avoid ultraviolet and blue light (light waves that make the sky, or any object, appear blue) as much as possible and wear sunglasses that block blue light. In commercial sunglasses, this is usually in the yellow-orange-amber tints.

5. Control Blood Pressure. Individuals with hypertension are 1.5 times more likely to have wet AMD than persons without hypertension.

6. Avoid smoking: If you do smoke, stop – and avoid secondhand smoke as well.

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Posted February 3, 2017 by dranilj1 in HEALTHY LIVING

Qualities of Nature Are Human Construct

 


 

The accepted view of reality holds that human beings exist in the context of a vast physical universe “out there.” I doubt this description because there are no color, sound, textures, patterns, scent, and beauty – nothing of this kind in the natural world. All these qualities from the fragrance of jasmine to the sting of a honey bee and the taste of honey are produced by human beings, essentially the same as photon quanta of light has no color, such qualities are only in the biology of perception and the organs or capacities for perception that are subtle and, in a sense, invisible. There are capacities for inner seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and so on that have to do with the perception of the inner realm. There are capacities for intuition, direct cognition, synthesis, discrimination, and so on. All of these capacities are fueled by the substance of essence…These organs or capacities are connected to various energetic centers in the body that animate both the body and the human mind.

The existence of the physical universe “out there” and our participation in such a universe must be seriously questioned!

Neuroscience Perspectives-Yoga and Energy Centers Called Chakras

If you have gone to a yoga class more than once, chances are, the word “chakra” has crossed your path. Chakras are psychic energy centers that govern the human body. Chakra in Sanskrit means “wheels”. Chakras are supposedly located in seven different parts of human brain anatomy beginning from the medulla going up to the right and left cerebral hemispheres.

Doctors will tell you that there is no scientific basis for the chakras. There are no actual wheels of light rotating inside human body. Sages might have been talking about circulations than actual wheels. That said, it is safe to interpret the chakras as seven circulations of vital activities within human brain.

Dr. Alfred Penfield identified the functions of specific parts of the brain that run our bodies. He called this body map. Neuroscience knows which part of the brain thinks of certain things. We now can see which part of the brain lights up (MRI flares) when we think of food, sex, or religion. There are the parts of the brain consistent with the thought processes of the chakra groupings and the exact anatomical equivalents of the human body.

The seventh chakra is the connection to the divine. The location is in the pre-frontal cortex, a feature of the human brain more developed than our ape cousins is the command center. The higher states of concentration, free will, feelings of “oneness” and altruism are found in this region. The pre-frontal cortex is the crown of the brain and is located on the forehead, but not on the crown. As a chakra, the crown is where we connect with the Divine. If you are connected to a higher power, you feel “one” with the universe resulting in altruism and harmony.

The sixth chakra which is the center that governs foresight is in between the eyebrows. Next to the pre-frontal cortex is the rest of the frontal brain that is divided into two hemispheres, namely, the left and the right hemispheres, each governing visual and verbal inputs. Information from the eyes and ears, namely, sound and sight perception of the outside world is integrated and interpreted within a thin membrane between the right and left cerebral hemispheres known as the corpus callosum. The pineal gland that lies right below the corpus callosum has been linked to third eye experiences. The sixth chakra also known as the third eye governs sight and perception. It is the chakra that is responsible for seeing within the mind’s eye. It is further described as the channel where Ida, the female nadi and Pingala, the male nadi meet. Descriptions of nadis in various yoga texts depict it as a kind of vessel of consciousness. A “female” and “male” in esoteric terms pertain to negative and positive energies. To be more scientific, the force that gathers is associated with the female and the force that gives or focuses is considered male. These are traits that could aptly describe the hemispheres, with the right brain governing the left side of the body and the left brain governing the right side of the body.

The fifth chakra is the domain of self-expression located in the region of the throat. Broca’s area is a small portion in the frontal brain, right below the frontal eye field. It is the region of the brain that helps us produce speech. It works with Wernicke’s area situated at the bottom of the parietal lobe to produce speech and decode language. The throat Chakra is associated with communication and expression.

The fourth chakra governs love and harmony and is located in the heart. Beyond Broca’s area, deep in the medial brain is the thalamus region where the hypothalamus is situated. The hypothalamus is the heart of the brain. It is the conductor of the orchestra of the brain. The hypothalamus is responsible for the circulation of hormones, the way heart circulates the blood all around the body. This area connects with all parts of the brain; the front with the bottom and the left with the right together. The hypothalamus is enabler of all deliberate movements and the thermostat or body temperature regulator of the brain. The hypothalamus is responsible for the generation of emotions. Below the throat chakra is the heart chakra that rules commitment and relationships.

The third chakra is the seat of courage that is located in the solar plexus. Below the medial brain are the three lobes called the parietal, occipital and temporal lobes. This area governs and orchestras the limbic system that part of the brain which mediates emotions and memory. The parietal, occipital and temporal lobes perceive sensation of time and space. With the help of memory, spatial and emotional associations influence action. We know where we are and who we are in relation to the world. The body has a mind of its own. The parietal, occipital and temporal lobes’ capability to interpret reality or what we call facts, gives these lobes power to influence our perception. We literally become what we think we are, not what we are in actuality. The third chakra found below the heart and the stomach is associated with self identity. It is also the seat of courage. In the human brain, the amygdala is found within the temporal lobe and the amygdala is where flight or fight responses are decided.

The second chakra is the center of human creativity and power that is situated in the reproductive area. Below the parietal, occipital and temporal lobes and separated from the cerebrum is the cerebellum, also called the reptilian brain. The reptilian brain is responsible for the desire for social dominance, lust and other unpleasant human traits. The pons is the part that connects the two halves of the cerebellum just as in the way the thalamus region connects the right and the cerebral hemispheres. Pons is responsible for self-protection and the meeting of bodily needs. The second chakra is where primal energy is derived from. In fact, the kundalini, a powerful primal force in yoga, is found here. Usually portrayed as a coiled serpent, it is believed that when the kundalini rises to the crown, mastery and awareness is achieved. Neurologically speaking, the reptilian brain is in charge of body memory. Driving a car, riding a bike, playing the piano becomes an automatic thing in this part of the brain. Perhaps, when altruism and forward thinking becomes an automatic process in your brain that is when you have achieved the awakening of the kundalini.

The first chakra is body’s connection to the earth and is the energy center for survival that is located at the base of the spine and the feet. The last part of the brain is the part that connects the brain to the spinal column. It is called brain stem. The brain stem regulates involuntary functions of the brain that keep brain and the body going. It also controls sleep-wake cycles, respiration, heart rate, and excretions. The first or the root chakra is also the chakra of survival. When your basic needs are met, root chakra will be healthy. Food and shelter problems weaken the first chakra and cause bodily pains and diseases.

Exercise and brain are directly connected. To be mentally fit one has to be physically fit. Healthy mind cannot live in a disease-ridden body. The actions of the body change the wiring of the brain, clinically substantiated in patients overcoming mental disability. Through persistent exercise, the brain can heal itself. This has been said before by mystics from the Upanishad period, thousands of years ago. This gave rise to the practice of yoga and the knowledge of the energy centers called the chakras. Science and ancient wisdom are converging. How was it possible for the ancient mystics to arrive at the same conclusions we are only beginning to observe today!? Perhaps the answer is; consciousness knows its own nature. If you bother to ask your consciousness the question, it will give you the answer in the language that you can understand.

Posted January 24, 2017 by dranilj1 in Buddha

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