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Overuse of smartphone has been termed as substance abuse!

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ISLAMABAD: Bad news for the obsessive users of smartphones: A new study terms its  overuse as any other type of substance abuse.

The findings published in the journal NeuroRegulation also showed that those who used their phones the most reported higher levels of feeling isolated, lonely, depressed and anxious.

“The behavioral addiction of smartphone use begins forming neurological connections in the brain in ways similar to how opioid addiction is experienced by people taking Oxycontin for pain relief — gradually,” explained study co-author Erik Peper, Professor at San Francisco State University in the US.

The study involving 135 participants showed that addiction to social media technology may actually have a negative effect on social connection. The researchers believe the loneliness is partly a consequence of replacing face-to-face interaction with a form of communication where body language and other signals cannot be interpreted.

They also found that the heaviest smartphone users almost constantly multi-tasked while studying, watching other media, eating or attending class. This constant activity allows little time for bodies and minds to relax and regenerate, and also results in “semi-tasking,” where people do two or more tasks at the same time – but half as well as they would have if focused on one task at a time, Peper said.

Push notifications, vibrations and other alerts on our phones and computers make us feel compelled to look at them by triggering the same neural pathways in our brains that once alerted us to imminent danger, such as an attack by a tiger or other large predator, the researchers said.

RELEVANT PIECE PUBLISHED EARLIER:

Digital Revolution: Excessive Smartphone use may up suicidal thoughts among kids!

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Amputations in diabetic patients can be prevented by care

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HYDERABAD: Vice Chancellor Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) Prof. Bikha Ram Devrajani has advised diabetic patients to adopt special care as approximately 1 in 5 cases of infected diabetic foot ulcers end up at amputation.
Addressing a workshop on “Diabetic Foot” here today he informed that diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease caused by the body’s inability to produce and use insulin. and such a deficiency results in increased concentrations of glucose in the blood, which in turn damage many of the body’s systems.
The workshop was arranged by Sindh Institute of Endocrinology & Diabetes LUMHS Jamshoro in collaboration with Baqai Institute of Endocrinology & Diabetology at Liaquat University Hospital Jamshoro.
Prof. Devrajani informed that Diabetic complications of foot-one of the most common and visible impacts of the disease- were caused by changes in blood vessels and nerves and that can lead to ulceration and subsequent limb amputation. Diabetic foot ulcers can occur in up to 25 percent of patients with diabetes during their lifetimes and more than half of those ulcers will become infected, he informed.
He said that the daily life of diabetic patients is disrupted by the need of monitoring blood glucose levels, taking medicines and balancing the effect of activity and food. Professor Bekha Ram further informed that amputations due to diabetes cause unnecessary loss of life and disability. In high-income countries, treatment of diabetic foot complication accounts for 15-25 percent of total health care resources for diabetes, he added.
Professor Bekha Ram informed that the leg and foot amputations in people with diabetes can be prevented using low cost, low technology solutions and simple behaviors should be encouraged such as regular foot examination and examining the inside of shoes before putting them on, not walking barefoot, wearing comfortable shoes, keeping feet clean and regular care of skin and nails. He added that people who suffer from diabetes must take special care of their feet, as they are at a higher risk of infection and necrosis that can lead to amputation.

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US experts help develop plan to control Zoonotic Diseases in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported the Government of Pakistan with the development of their National One Health Framework and Strategic Plan Development Workshop July 16-20. 

The workshop focused on zoonotic diseases of national and international significance, which are diseases that can be spread between humans and animals, such as rabies and brucellosis.

Pakistan recently established a One Health Hub in the Pakistan National Institute of Health (NIH), which will support collaboration and coordination between the human, animal, and environmental health sectors on infectious zoonotic diseases.  This workshop was organized in response to a request from the Pakistani government for technical assistance in developing a One Health Strategic Plan to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in Pakistan. 

In addition, CDC and USDA experts discussed strategies to control rabies and brucellosis, which the Pakistani government prioritized as part of the One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization and One Health Systems Mapping and Analysis Toolkit (OH-SMART™) workshop held in August 2017.

The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSRC), the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MoNFSR), the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), and the Provincial, Gilgit-Baltistan, ICT and AJK Health, Livestock, and Environment Departments and Ministries participated.

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Antibiotics may give rise to new harmful bacteria

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ISLAMABAD: Besides treating bacterial infections, some antibiotics may also give rise to harmful new bacteria, research suggests.
“For a long time we have thought that bacteria make antibiotics for the same reasons that we love them – because they kill other bacteria,” said Elizabeth Shank, assistant professor of biology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“However, we have also known that antibiotics can sometimes have pesky side-effects, like stimulating biofilm formation,” Shank added.
The researchers have now shown that this side-effect – the production of biofilms – is not a side-effect, after all, suggesting that bacteria may have evolved to produce antibiotics in order to produce biofilms and not only for their killing abilities, said the study appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Biofilms are communities of bacteria that form on surfaces, phenomenon dentists usually refer to as plaque. Biofilms are everywhere. In many cases, biofilms can be beneficial, such as when they protect plant roots from pathogens. But they can also harm, for instance when they form on medical catheters or feeding tubes in patients, causing disease.

A relevant piece published earlier: What researchers from the University of Leicester have found out is certainly alarming for Karachiites! The first of its kind study has revealed that bacteria triggering respiratory infections become antibiotics-resistance due to air pollution. So as to determine this, the panel of connoisseurs analyzed the influences of air contamination on the bacteria existing in human bodies, particularly the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs). The key element of air pollution is black carbon, which is being rapidly produced via the burning of fossil fuels like diesel, bio-fuels, and biomass. Elaborating on the study, Dr Shane Hussey and Dr Jo Purves held that all of us are exposed to toxic fumes and we know its harmful impacts. Now it is obligatory to figure out such antidotes that could help in containing these effects. Also, it has been reported that two human pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumonia) are considered the prime causes of respiratory ailments. Besides, they also demonstrate high levels of resistance to antibiotics. One of the investigators Julian Ketley noted that urbanization in big cities with intense levels of air pollution poses life threats all across the globe. Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) delineates atmosphere pollution as the biggest single ecological health jeopardy. According to WHO it is accountable to around 7 million deaths per annum. The study has been reported in the journal Environmental Microbiology. (Published on 3rd March 2017)

 

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