2012年4月21日 星期六

Vertigo: Early Treatment

Are you experiencing recurrent dizziness, lightheadedness, faintness and unsteadiness? Or you may be feeling that you are spinning and whirling around frequently? Well, maybe you have bouts of what we call vertigo. Vertigo is one of the most common health problems in adults. The sensation of movement and the perception of movement are results of a disturbance in balance or equilibrium. But vertigo is actually not a disease but only a symptom. It occurs as result of disorder in the peripheral and central vestibular system which is responsible for integrating sensory stimuli and movement and for keeping objects in visual focus as the body moves.

Vertigo spells may last a few seconds to a few minutes which are intermittent, usually as a result of a change in position or sudden movement of the head such as rolling over in bed and getting out of bed.

Severe vertigo can lead to irritability, loss of self-esteem, depression and injuries from falls. These complications can really be disabling and may cause permanent damage. So before your vertigo becomes severe, you need to address some of the symptoms from the beginning.

It is very important to diagnose the cause of vertigo or dizziness in its early stages to rule out any possible serious ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, hemorrhage, or tumors. Apart from your clinical history, there are several examinations you need to undergo to diagnose your real condition. These are:

o Physical examination such as blood pressure and heart rate

o Neurological examination such as facial, eye movements, audiometry, vestibular nerves and muscles, strength, coordination, balance and walking tests.

o Blood tests which include a complete blood count (CBC) and kidney and thyroid panels to rule out systemic diseases (e.g., kidney disease, hypothyroidism).

o Imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

The treatment for vertigo highly depends on the identifying and eliminating the underlying cause. For vestibular disorders, a vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) can be ideal. It is a type of physical therapy to minimize dizziness, improve balance, and prevent falls by restoring normal function of the vestibular system.

Vertigo which is caused by migraine can often be treated with medication. Surgery, radiation or medication may be required for vertigo caused by cerebrovascular diseases (i.e. stroke), tumors, and multiple sclerosis.

Jason Rickard is the owner of Your Favourite Shop - Offering White Noise and Relaxation CDs [http://www.yourfavouriteshop.com] - Visit Hapa Health for more articles.

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How To Help ADD Without Bad Side Effects With Brainwave Entrainment

Life on the edge of sleep.

That's how a child with ADD spends most of their time. This is a true description of what a child diagnosed with attention deficit disorder experiences.

Repatterning therapy, brainwave entrainment, stimulates areas of the brain that are functioning at a low capacity, with a targeted frequency that doesn't cause any bad side effects.

ADD children can't focus for long on physical reality and return to a state of reflection and dreaming as a default--this is the alpha brainwave state.

This is exhibited by

making careless mistakes.
appearing not to listen.
being disorganized.
forgetting things.
having trouble focusing on a specific task.
speaking and acting out of turn.
not considering consequences before acting.

Emotionally, the child feels

low self-esteem.
tired because has trouble sleeping soundly.
lost because he has trouble managing time and getting along with others.

There are many different types of treatments available today and it has been noted that a combination of therapies seems to be the way to go.


vitamin supplements and herbal remedies
repatterning therapies such as brainwave entrainment
rebalancing therapies such as acupuncture
sensory integration therapies
manipulation therapies


Behavioural therapy to help deal with feelings coming from the symptoms
Understanding how to change the way he thinks and acts to improve his life.


Brainwave entrainment uses auditory rhythms to stimulate and influence the nervous system.

Based on the findings of Jeff Strong (1993), our nervous systems are rhythmically organized and can be influenced by externally produced rhythms. Research shows that use of entrainment can have a positive impact on ADD. Entrainment directs the listener's brain to a desired state of consciousness.

Our brains like novel stimuli that is unrecognizable and this is especially true in ADD making entrainment very effective.

When a person with ADD listens to a specific complex rhythmic pattern, their brain is stimulated in ways that result in immediate improvement in symptoms. Many ADD have lower activity levels in one or more areas of the brain. They stay in alpha wave--a relaxed, day dreamy frequency, most of the time. This brainwave is most profound when they read or listen--explaining why they miss what is being said. They don't produce many beta waves--the alert, focused brainwave.

Brainwave entrainment, using targeted rhythms and techniques,stimulates those areas of the brain that are deficit, increasing the activity levels, providing a good alternative to medication.

Brain stimulation provides the child with

a calming effect within minutes. (When starting out, a session's effects will last a few minutes after it is done; after a week, several hours; eventually the effects are permanent).
an increased ability to regulate mood.
improved math skills.
increased language skills.
improved attention span.
less distractibility.
less impulsivity.
less hyperactivity or restlessness.
an improved learning ability

Entrainment for 8 - 10 weeks usually gives the brain time to form new neural pathways or circuits resulting in permanent changes in the brain. Topping off the brain with a session every week or so thereafter, keeps the new circuits running at full capacity.

Brainwave entrainment is an alternative therapy that can help your child with ADD, without the side effects usually produced by medications.

* P.S. Just a little note: chewing peppermint gum will raise beta wave levels quickly--in less than a minute--if your child needs a little focusing on the spur of the moment.

Try out "ADD Help" under the Health Category in either Isochronic Tones or Binaural Beats.

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Where The Healing Starts

The baby cries. The baby cries loudly. Why?

If the baby does not cry upon arriving in this world there could be a problem! There could in fact be a huge problem. The baby could be dead upon being delivered. Oh no!

Oh YES! A baby delivered dead at birth is definitely a huge loss to parents and extended family. This is popularly referred to as a still birth.

He, she or if there are more than one must not necessarily be welcomed initially to this world with a smile, gifts, a home or dollars to secure the enormous cost associated with living healthy and well. No, these great benefits of smiles, joy, gifts are not the most essential initial and immediate priority upon arrival to this world.

The child's life is the greatest priority that is to be cherished, valued, appreciated and celebrated. It is the child's life; the (breath of life) gift that matters and that life must be confirmed to the child and to his or her parents by cries sounding, cry of joy.

So slap that baby, make that baby cry if he or she does not cry. This action is vital to welcome the baby to this world. Therefore, do not call the police or the Child Care Agency because of a sharp pain or multiple slaps inflicted by a doctor, midwife or other is deemed necessary.

Therefore, from the day you and I were born we will continue to feel pain and we will cry. Feelings, cries and pains confirm life within and among the living. Needless to say, the dead cannot feel pain so individuals who cry must all cry aloud upon entering this world.

Why? Why? Why?

Really, why should we have to cry upon coming into this world? Simply, in order to live our lives among the living requires crying and our airway has to be clear to do so.

The baby's airway is the means to breathing and communicating his or her voice and sounds of life. Fundamentally, we will always have a reason to cry in this world as human beings. Grieves, pains, loss, frustration, betrayal, disappointments, families, friends and other sorts of life events and circumstances will cause us to cry and cry and cry!

Surely, a picture can say a thousand words. Meanwhile, a picture can portray a beautiful looking portrait of a newborn's in his loving mother's arm. Her smiles may be joyously represented but inside her body she endures great pains associated with the child's delivery. Despite the pains the mother celebrates her child's birth with gladness as she requires healing to start. As a result, she strives to recover in an effort to gain strength to care for her child, husband and self.

Although, we live in advanced modern day times mothers can potentially lose their lives pre child birth and during child birth without proper medical attention or midwife care. Furthermore, pregnancy and child birth affects women's body in various ways involving hormonal changes and other. And some mothers may develop various illnesses such as high blood pressure and other. God knows mothers are very special individuals who sacrifice and care for their children. For this reason mothers are valued and appreciated all over the world for who they are and what they do for their offspring.

Needless to say, fathers are important and necessary in the conception of the child and it is the fathers who determine the sex of the child. Furthermore, fathers are equally responsible for supporting, rearing and guiding their child or children to adulthood. Most supportive, loving and caring fathers tend to also feel empathy and heartache pain for their wives pains and sufferings pre, during and post-delivery. Meanwhile, the baby will continue to cry upon being brought home. The baby will cry for various reasons including: hunger, wetness, gas pain and other accordingly. Surely, the baby will cry and cry continually in an effort to communicate his or her needs to parents and caregivers until he or she can communicate via verbal communication.

Human beings should clearly recognize that we must all cry as human beings upon entering this world. Everyone must surely feel pain and be vulnerable to emotional, physical or mental pain throughout their lifetime. Needless to say, human beings cannot avoid pain and thus will always require healing to start in their heart, body, mind and soul repeatedly. This is the true essence and nature of human existence. Therefore, it is very important to recognize that although other people lives may seem picture perfect and void of pain and sufferings it definitely is not so.

Fundamentally, we validate that we are living creations with real feelings that are important to our survival, wellbeing and welfare. Our feelings involve our heart and out of our very hearts are the issues of life, according to the bible. Someone said "We are married to our preferences". Yes, we are! It's our heart's desires that we seek. Human beings are connected to their feelings via thoughts and thoughts via actions. And every action sets in motion series of domino effects in progress continually. Can you imagine how many domino effects are actively in progress to date including past and current people's action?

Consequently, feelings drives human being as human being drives their societies globally. Feelings are very real and important to people's lives involving survival instincts and moods. Moreover, feelings are associated with sensory and neural impulses which transmit messages to the brain and spinal cord. However, in the event that the human body should experience injury or accidental damage of the nervous system it slowly may repair itself; if at all possible depending on the location of damage in the brain or spinal cord. As a result, human beings need to continually exercise caution while being diligent regarding protection of their body and bodily parts. Above all, prevention is of uttermost consideration in avoiding unnecessary harm to oneself as human beings are precious and priceless commodities.

Without a doubt, injury or damage to the brain or spinal cord may contribute to physical and mental disabilities and challenges. Also, injury or damage of the brain and spinal cord may contribute to loss of motor function. As a result, affected individuals will experience limitation in personally assisting his or herself. Plus, deterioration of standard of living will be affected.

Life exist within the scope of human beings feelings. These feelings can be potent, disturbed, bitter, angry, mad, confused, happy, sad, excited and other. Healing operates effectively when an individual strives to cope, control and manage his or hers feelings positively. Plus, having support and support system to assist individuals during severe challenges contributes to effective means of healing and recovery.

Again, feelings and management of feelings are very important as they stimulate optimal healing processes in the cells of the body along with well-balanced food, water and peaceful atmosphere. Certainly, healing cannot readily be effective among individuals existing or coexisting in long term prolonged unhealthy lifestyles and relationships. It is not beneficial to an individual's wellbeing and welfare to continue to live with internal and external negative conflicts consisting of fear, bitterness, forgiveness issues, increased stress, poverty, poor nutrition and other.

Walls will come falling down if not built well among individuals and families as the foundation of life is built on finances involving cost associated with buying and selling. It is very unhealthy when individuals experience prolonged financial hardship. Prolonged financial hardship may contributes to disturbed feelings, uncertainties, anxieties, infections, mood disorders, depression, high blood pressure, over eating, obesity, alcoholism and other. For this cause the phrase "take it easy" and "take care of yourself" is used daily locally and globally among people.

Wow, people tend to look wide eyed while lusting or appreciating hot looking gorgeous bodies of good looking people. However, all people including beautiful people, celebrities and adorable children are susceptible and vulnerable to injuries, illnesses, accidents, and unforeseen circumstances and other. Therefore, they will require healing to start from time to time throughout their lives. Yet, those who are most vulnerable to illnesses and disease are poor people and most of the people in this world are poor.

Today's poor people living in modern times experience an array of diverse factors contributing to chronic illnesses and diseases not limited to: homelessness, travelling and relocating. Contributing stressors may involve income and breech of matrimonial contract with negative domino effect in progress in people's including children daily lives. Other contributing stressor are not limited to: disloyalty, worrying, break down of societal morals and ethics, lack of problem solving skill techniques, lack of money management skills, poor coping skills and high cost of living. Furthermore, other contributing stressors involves: lack of medical coverage insurance, lack of knowledge, lack of prioritizing and lack of adequate nutrition.

Adequate nutrition is essential in the optimal functioning of human beings bodies and minds as the human body is complex involving: systems, organs, tissues, blood, cells, arteries, veins and other. Plus, the human body constantly strives to maintain equilibrium. Equilibrium involves a state of balance and is very important, necessary and vital for humans to feel a sense of balance in their lives. Being balance contributes to feelings of vitality and wellbeing. And, when equilibrium is disturbed by prolonged emotional crisis or mental upsets multiple illnesses may occur and manifest within the body requiring healing to start.

Healing keeps us alive and it is very important that the body be continually supplied with the nutrients and other needed to prevent deficiencies, weakened immune system, autoimmune disorder and imbalances. The body's job is to strive optimally to heal us divinely by means of the body's immune system. And, every life form especially human beings will experience the need for repeated healings throughout their lifetime. However, the biggest problem is not appreciating the wonders of healing as many people take healing for granted similarly to air, food, family friends and water. On the other hand, professional disciplines and industries do not take healing for granted. They are in-tuned with immediate, short and long term healing requirement among human beings in communities. Consequently, they establish lucrative healing professions and businesses not limited to: Nursing, Physician, Medical, Pharmaceutical, clinics, health care facilities and others.

Healing ourselves is a multi-trillion dollar industry per annum and growing that creates employment for our societies globally. Therefore, let us take a look at several factors that causes injuries. One of the biggest and well known contributing factors of injury among humans involves accidents and domestic situations. Injuries may result from high risk behaviors, car accidents, workplace accidents, airplanes accidents, natural disasters, in home accidents, public accidents and other. Again, healings can be gradual and can potentially start at any time when the body is supplied with optimal nutrients, remedy, medicines and a peaceful environment to facilitate the healing process. Interestingly, the body was amazingly created to heal and healthy bodies are well equipped to heal itself naturally or aided with treatment and therapy. However, each of us differ and at different times require different aspect of healing to start accordingly.

Required healing involves: mental, spiritual, emotional and physical healing as deemed necessary and as afflicted. Realistically, it is insightful to note that disease is a normal process occurring over time in the lives of individuals who are susceptible or prone to. Some individuals are born with a particular disease while others are predisposed to developing an illness or multiple illnesses and diseases associated with their DNA. Therefore, it is accurate to understand that the disease process can be active or inactive. When a disease is inactive it is considered to be begnin (non-cancerous). However, when a disease is active and cancerous it is considered to be malignant. It is interesting to note that diseases are active upon their onset. Many factors may trigger the onset of disease process especially lifestyle, environment, lack of sleep and food choices. When diseases are active they can easily and readily spread to other organs and cause severe problems and complications including death.

Some illnesses and diseases are often manifested slowly within the human body and are caused by stress, pollution, and environmental factors and other. There are different stages of the disease process and stress is on the radar of danger affecting the human body especially prolonged severe stress and stressors such as loss of a loved one. Stress can be a silent killer at times and many may underestimate how serious stress can be while others fully understand its effect and may try to stress individuals to madness or death. Individuals may die immediately by shock or eventually by long term process pending severity of its effects or response.

Alongside stress, diet, pollution, family history, environmental factors contributes to development of the different stages of illness includes: the onset stage, middle stage and malignant stage. The malignant stage is cancerous and can be a terminal stage if the body does not respond to treatment upon being diagnosed. The disease process accumulates over a period of time therefore, it is important to maintain consistent optimal health via meal planning and regular exercise. Indeed, an individual's action matters collectively over time as it normally requires time to be affected by illness or disease.

Again, stress no doubt is a major contributing factor involved in the disease process. Contributing stressors in the disease process includes: environmental, noise, jealousy, domestic, unemployment, poverty, anxiety, heavy workload, loss of loved ones, tragedy, natural disasters, negative emotional thoughts, depression, worrying and other. And today, we are witnessing mysterious diseases. Furthermore, some people today in modern day are developing up to six forms of cancers in their body causing death.

Therefore, it is essential to note what contributing factors predispose people to wounds, illnesses, diseases, autoimmune disorders and other in order to recognize where the healing starts. Major contributing factors are not limited to: lack of morals and ethical values, lack of integrity, poor governing of one's country, family dynamic, pollution, poverty, wars, environment, stress, jealousy, maliciousness, marriage breakdown, unemployment and other. Fortunately, there are enough resources in this world to assist in the day to day operation and survival of the basic unit of society which is the family. There are many parents, guardian, teachers, preachers, guidance counsellors, marriage counselors yet, many have become deeply way ward, selfish and are immune to wrong doings, disorder and carelessness. Such behaviours are excused by the popular phrase of if it feels good do it.

Certainly, they put Jesus Christ on a cross despite him doing good, healing them, healing their sick, doing great miracles and raising their dead. What will the people do to you? Where will your healing start today? The baby has to start crying upon birth for all that is to come in his or her life. Slap that baby and make that baby cry is initially where the healing starts? The scriptures tells us that light has come into the world but men love darkness more than light because their deeds are evil. "Deliver us from evil" is a part of the famously quoted Lord's prayer which is significant to consider.

Where the healing starts clearly suggest you save yourself as you must strive to be diligent among people including: family, friends and the government. The bible refers to Jesus who represents atonement for everyone's sin if you believe in Jesus Christ, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder." The government is upon every one's shoulder by means of tax collection. And, especially the poor and needy are targets for the government as they are the grassroots of the society. In addition, we can be sure of two things in this world which are death and taxes.

Indeed, this world has an abundance of resources including: taxpayer's money, food and water supply to feed the poor and the world at large however, the poor does not readily have access to much of such abundance. As a result, the poor is often challenged in accessing adequate housing, education, clean air, clean water medicine, hygienic supplies, basic human needs and other for their welfare and wellbeing. Today, yesterday and since the beginning of time many poor people are living meagrely or poorly. Many individuals can barely exist while others have an abundance to eat and enjoy. Truly to live do not really mean an individual is alive fully and holistically. Meanwhile, some rich people are choosing to waste foods and goods rather than to give to the needy and destitute.

Yes, yes and yes, there is no doubt that the poor's individual's predicament may remain grave and the poor man's life may always be disadvantaged and at risk in every country where poor people lack. However, no condition is permanent and the coin may flip with the rich becoming poor and poor becoming rich. Surely, poverty is weapon causing lack, havoc and repeated crisis for poor people and most people do not gladly embrace it. Many poor people are refusing and rejecting poverty and will do whatever is deemed necessary to get out of poverty including: securing a formal education, employment opportunities, business opportunities, robbing, fraud, killing and other. Imagine countries which at former times were wealthy countries however, have been raped and robbed of resources and, today remain in ruins contrary to past days of glory, vibrancy and splendor. Today, many of such countries experience famines or severe lack of basic resources as a result, of past British Colonial domino effects in progress. Meanwhile, greedy unfit leaders govern brutally and corrupt.

The gospel truth celebrates us uniquely and differently. And at different times we will require different areas of healing to start accordingly. Consider a person within a family in need of another family member's blood for life saving surgery yet their blood group may differ. Required healings are extremely different involving: mental, spiritual, emotional and physical healing as deemed necessary.

Some employed people are working yet their incomes are minimum paying incomes. As a result, they barely are able to live from pay checks to pay checks or pay checks to pay day loans. Others may have to rely on borrowing from friends, family or others. Such people are considered by Sociologist to be the "WORKING POOR". And some poor people are committing crimes to survive including stealing for their families and others to assist their survival.

Pampers, baby foods, adult foods and other related basic needs are regular theft items from local department stores, shopping plazas and malls. Some seniors are also stealing at local grocery stores in an effort to survive. Other seniors can be seen at local MacDonald restaurants gladly drinking their free coffee while, some share a small hamburger among other seniors. Fries, can they afford fries? It is much too expensive on pension income as an extra food item to eat or share. No way, to purchasing of extra fries or apple pie with that order. It is simply out of the question. So,no thank you there will not be any fries added to many senior's meals.

Certainly, it is most unfortunate the daily challenges the poor encounters including: children, orphans, and widows, unemployed, sick, veterans, mentally ill, physically challenged, single parent family and working poor. Consequently, scholars from higher learning institutions and formal learning institutions have studied the effects poverty has on the poor families and have documented results accordingly. They have unlimited supplies of documented facts and figures about the poor; their communities including some of the country's poorest neighborhoods. Learned professional individuals are knowledgeable regarding poor people's circumstances and are able to do much harm with such knowledge ironically.

No wonder the most effective Healer, Jesus Christ of all times lived a poor man's life in an effort to identify with most of the world's population who were poor, needy, destitute and requiring healing to start, during his time on earth. Consequently, Jesus Christ stated in the New Testament as follow: "The poor you will always have with you." He also told them that he had come that they might have life and more abundantly however, many misunderstood Jesus Christ mission which was primarily about his healing ministry and not religion.

Somehow, he was sensibly in-tuned with the predicament of the poor short and long term and had great compassion and empathy towards their illnesses and diseases. Fundamentally, he understood that his above statement was a true representation of the majority of the world's global population then and in future to come.The poor are also those who lack knowledge, wisdom and understanding of where healing starts as he said life does not consist of the abundance of things an individual possess. February, 2012, thousands of years later (AD) after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the greatest Healer; the poor is with us in many ways indulging in ignorance of not fully knowing where the healing starts. Therefore, they will always be needing healing to start in their minds and bodies.

Written by: Jennifer Roberts

Copyright c 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Very entertaining and informative is Where the Healing Starts published article. It is a must read and share article for modern day busy professionals and others. Your healing cannot longer be taken for granted with new strains of highly resistant diseases and new forms of illnesses existing. Ms. Roberts sensibly and interestingly documents Where the Healing Starts to provide insights associated with your healing and recovery.

Where the Healing Starts book is a must read regarding in depth insights that are most useful and beneficial to health and well-being.

Check out website at http://www.wherethehealingstarts.com

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2012年4月20日 星期五

The Importance of Good Visual Development For Educational Success

"It takes my son a long time to get dressed on his own. He gets very frustrated if he has to button his shirt or zip his jeans."

"Our son did not creep on his hands and knees, but pulled himself across the floor by his arms."

At first glance these descriptions may not seem so out of the ordinary but these statements and those that follow in this article paint a picture of what a preschool aged child with poor development of functional vision may look like and the difficulties they may face.

Let's take a deeper look at the development of vision. As you read this article you'll begin to understand that how we move, how we think, and how we develop is important for later learning skills.

When vision develops and matures as it should, both simple and more complex life skills become automatic. Eye movement control is necessary to develop good visual perceptual abilities. When balance and motor coordination are guided by vision we are better able to integrate what we are seeing with what our body is doing. When our eyes, body and mind work together our quality of life increases. The preschool years are the best time to guide and help your child with perceptual skills that will help them during their school years.

"My child is very clumsy, always tripping over her own two feet and running into corners. She falls down a lot and has many cuts and bruises."

What is Involved in the Development of Vision and Why is it Important?

The visual system begins to develop in the womb and continues to mature throughout infancy and into early childhood. There are many important things for your child to learn in the years between birth and entering school. A child learns more and at a faster rate during these years than at any other comparable period in their life.

This is a time for developing the basic skills of walking, talking, and learning how to learn. It is a time when your child is developing control of their body, their feelings, thoughts, and actions. We develop in a sequential, yet integrated way, using other sensory inputs as part of visual processing. You may hear the phrase "vision is movement", meaning movement guides our visual process and our visual process directs our movements.

Research tells us that the development of gross motor skills (skills that involve the large muscles of the body which help with functions such as crawling, sitting upright, walking, jumping, kicking, throwing, etc.) are extremely important to the development of visual perceptual skills (a set of skills we use to gather visual information from the world around us and integrate them with our other senses; they enable us to make sense out of what is seen). Therefore, the motor system is critical in the learning process.

"Ball games are the least favorite activity of my child. He avoids games that involve catching or throwing a ball."

What Causes Delays in Visual Development?

Vision is learned through a developmental sequence of movement and processing skills which starts in the womb. Many different factors can interfere with the development of the visual system. Complications during pregnancy or with the birthing process, childhood illnesses, head trauma or injury, inherited traits and environmental factors are all examples of factors that can contribute to visual-related learning problems in the future.

"When I ask my daughter to do a few things in a specific order, she can't seem to remember more than one or two and then asks, "What was I supposed to do next?"

Why Is Our Visual System Important for Learning?

What do we mean by "visual system"? Many think that how clearly we see an object is the answer; however visual acuity, or 20/20 eyesight, is only one part of our visual system. Vision involves much more than the sharpness of an image. We need many visual abilities in order to succeed in school and life in general. These include:

- the ability to change focus when shifting attention from near to far (as in copying from the board at school)

- the ability to keep things clear at various distances, to track or move our eyes as we follow a moving target or read across the printed page

- teaming, or using both eyes together (binocularity)

- the ability to judge depth

- visual-motor integration (the ability to guide our pencil or catch a ball)

- good visual-spatial skills (coordination, laterality and directionality, crossing the mid-line)

- perceptual skills, which are the brain's interpretation of the images taken in by our eyes, such as figure ground, visual closure and form constancy

- the ability to remember what we see (visual memory)

- the ability to create mental images--learning how to "see" visual concepts--(visualize) from the words we read or hear

All of these skills are learned and are necessary for reading and learning.

"My child doesn't make eye contact. I am constantly saying, "Please look at me when I talk to you!"

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Guidance in These Areas?

By the age of three (approximately) a child should have coordinated movements, begin to alternate feet when walking down steps, hold eye contact at near and by age four, from several feet away. They should be visually interested in simple pictures, hold a crayon and draw or color, follow a moving target with just their eyes without whole head movements.

If there is a lack of coordination and balance (clumsy), if the child does not cross the midline of their body (switches objects from hand to hand) when performing tasks, or if they have trouble learning the alphabet, these can all be symptoms of difficulty in the area of visual gross motor skills.

"My child has a hard time with body coordination. Activities like riding a bike, hopping, skipping, and even running are a challenge."

How Can I Help My Child's Functional Vision Develop Correctly?

There are many things that parents and caretakers can do during this time of early development to enhance and improve how the visual system functions. When there is a delay in one area of development, there is often a delay in other areas as well. School-aged children with visual disorders often face a lifetime of learning difficulties and frustration in the classroom and in everyday life.

We know that play affects visual development and visual development affects play; motor skills and perception are interdependent. Delays in gross motor skills skew our perception which reduces our ability to explore and learn from the environment. This will eventually affect other visual abilities.

Play helps children learn about their environment. While a child plays, he is strengthening not only his muscles, but also strengthening his perceptions, he is learning new skills, letting off excess energy, trying out different solutions to problems, and learning how to interact with others.

Therefore, it is important that your child spends at least one hour per day in play that involves visually-guided movements such as ball games and other eye-hand activities. Playing games that involve movement and imagination are very important, especially now that more children are sedentary while playing video games or working on a computer.

Dr. Lori Mowbray is the director of the Minnesota Vision Therapy Center ( http://www.minnesotavisiontherapy.com ), one of the most successful vision therapy centers operating today. To learn about her new home programs Primitive Reflex Training, Visual Development, and Vision Therapy at Home, go to. http://homevisiontherapyprogram.com.

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Mudras to De-Stress You

Understanding Mudras:

Mudras are an integral part of the ancient practice of yoga. Derived from the Sanskrit word which means 'seal', Mudras are simple hand gestures and finger positions. They have the capacity to energize and rejuvenate the body, cure diseases, prevent psycho-somatic and life-style disorders, suffuse you with a feeling of serenity, and strengthen your communion with god (the very essence of yoga).

Our body is in a permanent state of reflux and chaos. We receive innumerable sensory inputs and impressions through the day, combat work pressures, family demands, and fight a host of insecurities. Our body tries to strike an optimum balance and maintain equilibrium between the internal and the external. When the balance goes awry, we fall sick.

Mudras can help us achieve this balance in a subtle way and enhance our mental strength.

How will the practice of Mudras benefit you?

Mudras strengthen the physical body, driving out toxins and perking up the immune mechanisms.
Mudras are very good preventive therapy.
Emotionally, these simple hand gestures, calm an over active mind, make you tranquil, and instill a feeling of love and happiness.
At the subtle level, the Pranic energy or the vital force within the body is balanced and this practice also allows us to direct the vital force to various parts of the body, where the energy can be harnessed.
Mudras balance the entire, body - mind - soul complex, and thwart the onslaught of stress. They soothe frayed nerves, calm the nervous system, and revitalize you.

Dr Shweta Shah is a life style expert with emphasis on alternative medicine and treatment. Her core areas include homoeopathy, diet, nutrition, yoga and acupressure therapy. As a Medical Content Writer she has also been involved in contributing several articles for health and wellness sites on professional basis. She also contributes to other websites with the objective of disseminating essential and healthy life style tips.

Visit zerodisease blog for regular information updates on health and wellness http://zerodisease.blogspot.com

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2012年4月19日 星期四

The Power of Brainwave Entrainment

There's a scientific tool similar to hypnosis that has been used by many people in increasing their IQ levels. It has already received countless positive feedback because it has truly worked and continues to work for those who are wanting to boost their brain power. This technique is called the Brainwave Entrainment System. On this post, I shall describe to you what this system is all about, what benefits it gives it users and how one can attain the quality of life and level of thinking that he/she has been wanting for so long but never seems to get. Everybody wants to be better individuals, right? Everybody wishes to be more intelligent, a lot wiser in their dealings with other people, happier in general, right? Who doesn't want to get promoted at work? Who doesn't want to be with the person of their dreams? Who doesn't want to be blissful? If you're one of those people wishing to live a full life, then this article will suit you.

Seven (7) decades have passed since the Brainwave Entrainment System has been first introduced. Basically, this system deals with the electrical responses that our brain makes in response to the rhythmic sensory stimulation which is like a vibration or pulsation of both sound and light. Unknowingly, we all have been using it since the beginning of time. When you view the horizon as the sun rises or sets, when you listen to the humming of the birds, when you walk along the beach and hear the roar of the waves, when you go dancing or partying with friends, when you watch TV or listen to the radio, in everything you do, it involves brainwave entrainment in action.

When our brain gets stimulation through our senses electrical responses get transmitted. They are the presentations of rhythmic stimuli our brain represents. These rhythms, as they get consistent, eventually appear to be like the natural internal rhythms of our brain. These are what we call brainwaves. When this happens, the electrical cycles in our brain are harmonized and integrated in same rhythm.

I used to wonder if this type of mind training is safe. Well, after doing it for a couple of months, I can definitely say that it is. Brainwaves are a natural part of our lives and they always get activated no matter what we do. You will just have to channel these brainwaves properly so you are able to maximize its full benefits and potential. Take for example the recent passing away of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. At that time, anywhere you went, his music was being played (in the radio, on TV, even in the streets and at every home). People did this to show their grief and sadness. By having done so, they were entertaining their brain in both happy and sad ways. It's the same thing with the use of Brainwave System. The only difference is that with the latter, the process and results are more targeted, specific and scientific and are not simply for personal pleasure. You will get what you want and it won't be just any random goal. For instance, if you want to increase your IQ, there are specific sounds and music that you will have to listen to. Another kind of music and brainwave sounds will be used for curing insomnia, or for overcoming anxiety and panic attacks and so on and so forth. On the other hand, if you have some serious sickness that is related to brainwaves like, epilepsy, seizures , bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and any other brain sickness, make sure that you consult with your physician first before using the Brainwave Entrainment System. For those who are in the clear and are free to use the system, if you want to increase your IQ, you just have to listen to the CD regularly, say, 30 minutes every night before going to bed, for at least two months.

You will start to see effects depending on how receptive you are about the whole process. It will also depend on your consistency of listening. However, like me and those who are religiously following instructions, you will begin to see desired changes in yourself as soon as your first session is over. Like for me, I immediately felt calm, I could once again think clearly, I was more focused with my tasks and I started remembering stuff that I always used to forget before. Other more concrete changes will start to show after two weeks of consistent listening. The reason for this is that the more you listen to the assigned recordings, the quicker your brain tends to adapt to the sounds and the easier for your brain to produce similar rhythms and frequencies. Have you ever experienced having a song in your head that plays over and over? It's like having a last song syndrome, only this time, the effects are better, lasting and more scientific in nature.

Karen Prime (http://www.more-iq.blogspot.com/)

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Massage - The Benefits Of Regular Massage

Massage is an integral part of many physical rehabilitation programs and the benefits of massage provide relief to people from all walks of life.

Here we will go through the benefits of massage and how they can help anyone in terms of healing and relaxation.

What is Massage?

The benefits of massage as a healing therapy date back 4,000 years when massage was used in traditional Chinese medicine to cure a number of conditions.

Massage is a 'hands-on' therapy. There are many variations, ranging from a gentle stoking and kneading of muscles to firmer, deeper, manual techniques.

The benefits of massage affect the body as a whole and influences the activity of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems.

Types of Massage

There are several types of massage available that offer different benefits.

o Aromatherapy Massage: Essential oils from plants are massaged into the skin in order to enhance the healing and relaxing effects of massage;

o Lymphatic Massage: Light, rhythmic strokes are used to improve the flow of lymph throughout the body;

o Reflexology: Specialized thumb and finger techniques are applied to the hands or feet;

o Shiatsu: Gentle finger and hand pressure are applied to specific points on the body to relieve pain and enhance the flow of energy through the body's energy pathways;

o Swedish Massage: A variety of strokes and pressure techniques are used to enhance the flow of blood to the heart, remove waste products from the tissues, stretch ligaments and tendons, and ease physical and emotional tension.

Other massage treatments, which may be more specialized include:

o Craniosacral Massage: Gentle pressure is applied to the head and spine to correct imbalances and restore the flow of cerebrospinal fluid;

o Myofascial Release: Gentle pressure and body positioning are used to relax and stretch the muscles, fascia and related structures;

o Polarity Therapy: A form of energy healing, used to stimulate and balance the flow of energy within the body to enhance health and well-being;

o Rolfing: Pressure is applied to the fascia to stretch, lengthen and make it more flexible, realigning the body so that it conserves energy, releases tension, and functions better;

o Sports Massage: Often used on professional athletes and other active individuals to enhance performance and prevent and treat sports-related injuries;

o Trigger Point Massage: Pressure is applied to "trigger points" (tender areas where the muscles have been damaged) to alleviate muscle spasms and pain.

Benefits of Massage - How can massage help me?

The benefits of massage are extensive and include the ability to reduce stress, relieve muscle tension and evoke feelings of calmness and relaxation.

Growing evidence suggests that if you allow regular periods of massage in your schedule you will gain a sense of wellbeing be fitter and be healthier in mind and body.

The benefits of massage include:

o Enhanced flexibility and circulation

o Encourages lymphatic flow

o Assists venous flow of blood

o Reduces edema

o Stimulates sensory receptors of the skin and subcutaneous tissues

o Improved self-esteem

o Provides gentle stretching of the tissues

o Encourages endorphin release

o Stimulates or soothes nerves

Massage isn't capable of curing any serious or life-threatening medical disorder. The benefits of massage however, can provide welcome relief from back pain, muscle pain, headache and symptomatic relief of some psychological disorders.

Benefits of Massage - is it safe for everyone?

In general, massage is considered relatively safe.

However certain medical conditions require caution.

These include cardiovascular conditions and heart disease especially in cases of thrombosis, phlebitis and oedema.

Pregnant women should avoid massage on the abdomen during the first three months of pregnancy when the risk of miscarriage is highest.

After this period the benefits of massage during pregnancy can be enjoyed and many practitioners specialize in this area.

If you are in any doubt, check with a qualified medical practitioner before embarking on a course of massage therapy.

Benefits of massage - finding a therapist

There are many different ways that you can enjoy the benefits of massage.

You can choose from traditional couch massage, chair massage, normally carried out in the office or similar location, or have a therapist come to your home so that you can enjoy the benefits of massage in your own surroundings.

The industry is an unregulated activity so ensure you use a reputable organization and check that they have the necessary experience in the discipline before trying massage treatment for yourself.

For More FREE info including more articles on the benefits of massage and other info from trained masseurs visit http://www.privatelyyours.co.uk

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2012年4月18日 星期三

Teenagers and Sensory Processing Disorder: The Special Challenges

Teens with sensory processing disorder have special challenges because of the stage of development they're in and the fact that until now, their sensory issues may have gone unaddressed.

1. Finding the right OT can be difficult. Few occupational therapists are trained or experienced in working with teenagers who have sensory processing disorder. Play-based SI therapy may seem silly and embarrassing to teens.

2. Poor self-esteem. Teenagers who have had sensory issues for years will have learned at least some accommodations to get around them and are less likely to experience the extreme behaviors and responses they did when they were younger. However, years of feeling different and not knowing why, and noticing that they have never been quite as mature and self-controlled as their peers, take their toll. Teens with sensory processing issues usually struggle with self-esteem. They need a lot of encouragement to admit they have sensory issues and need some help.

3. Need for independence. Teenagers need to have their independence respected, so being told, "You need to do X, Y, and Z to manage your sensory issues" usually doesn't go over very well!

4. Desire to fit in. Even teenagers who don't feel the need to have a lot of friends or be conformist want to have some friends they feel they fit in with. Sensory challenges can embarrass them and may make them feel isolated, and different in a negative way.

5. Changing hormones. Teenagers have ever-changing hormones that can exacerbate sensory issues by making them more sensitive to input than they were in the past. The normal changes of adolescence can also make them more moody and emotionally sensitive.

6. New expectations. People are less likely to see your teen as a young, immature person with a hidden disability and more likely to see him or her as a young adult whose behavior is willful.

What's a parent, teacher, or therapist to do?

1. Modify traditional SI therapy techniques to be more teen friendly. As a substitute for playing with a tray of shaving cream or finger-paints, encourage the teen to cook, garden, do art or arts and crafts, and engage in other activities that challenge his tactile issues. Work with a sensory-smart occupational therapist who is willing to alter her approach to helping your teenage son or daughter to reduce any embarrassment or defensiveness.

2. Talk about sensory issues positively. Reassure your teenager that sensory issues are simply a difference in brain wiring that can have advantages but that can also be controlled and addressed to make life a little easier. Explain what SPD is and why in some cases, it's good to be extra sensitive or to crave certain sensations, and that people with sensory issues often have other gifts as well, such as the ability to "think in pictures." Then explain that there are "tricks" you and/or an OT can teach them to "make their lives easier." Everyone wants his life to be a little easier! Acknowledge how hard your teen has to work to be organized or tolerate certain sensations and praise her for her efforts.

3. Offer accommodations and sensory diet ideas for him or her to choose from. Present accommodations and activities to teenagers and let them decide which they would like to use. Honor and respect their choices and encourage them to engage in collaborative problem solving with you. If they don't want to be seen doing a brushing protocol for tactile issues, can they do it discreetly in the bathroom at school? If all the kids are wearing loose clothes and they prefer them tight, can the teen wear tight clothing, such as bicycle shorts, underneath looser clothes that seem more stylish?

4.Help your teen with sensory issues to feel okay as he is and find a group of peers he's comfortable with. Practical solutions for grooming, picky eating, and dressing, and encouraging talks about the upside of being different, can help your teen with sensory issues feel more comfortable among his peers. However, he may also feel better about himself if he expands his group of friends. Encourage your teen to develop hobbies and engage in new activities from individualized sports that don't require high levels of skill and competitiveness to enjoy them to groups that engage in the arts, community service, spiritual growth, etc. Extracurricular activities can help kids find their "tribe" and feel the power to make a difference in the world as well.

5. Accept that your child may be more emotionally sensitive at this stage. Be alert to signs of increased anxiety and depression and consult a medical health professional with any concerns you have. Remember, addressing sensory issues will reduce overall anxiety that can lead to mild or moderate depression (when you feel you can't manage your discomfort, over time, you can develop depression). Don't forget some of the most effective treatments for mild or moderate anxiety and depression include physical exercise, time spent outdoors, meditation, and breathing exercises. Mindfulness practices from yoga and tai chi to tai kwan do and karate can help, too.

6. Focus on self-awareness and accountability for self-regulating. It's very difficult to get others to accept poor self-regulation in a teen, even if you educate them on hidden disabilities. Therefore, the sooner you collaborate with your teen in creating a workable sensory diet that prevents negative behaviors, the better. It will be easier for your teen to develop better self-regulation if she is trained in using specific self-calming and self-alerting techniques that she knows work for her. Hold her accountable for using her alerting music and gum, taking time out to sit in a quiet space and do breathing exercises or use a brushing protocol, etc. Have her participate in creating a sensory diet tailored to her needs to keep her sensory needs met and to prevent fight-or-flight behaviors. Let her experience the natural consequences if she refuses to use her calming, focusing, alerting techniques.

Above all, never forget that kids with sensory issues need a "just right" challenge, a balance of accommodations to make them more comfortable and challenges that take them out of their comfort zone. Sensory diet activities for teenagers help them to develop a higher tolerance for situations and activities they'll encounter in life, and over time, retrain their brains to process sensory information more typically. Be creative and encouraging in setting up a sensory diet for a teenager, and always be collaborative to respect the teen's need for independence.

Finally, if you're a parent frustrated by trying to get your teenager's sensory issues under control, consider joining an in-person or online support group or creating one. Knowing that you aren't alone, and having practical and emotional support from other parents going through the same experiences with their teen, can help you enormously at this stage of your child's development.

Nancy Peske is the coauthor of the book Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues. Learn more about sensory issues at http://www.sensorysmartparent.com and visit Raising a Sensory Smart Child on Facebook.

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The Ayurvedic Approach to Breast Health

The Ayurvedic Approach to Breast Health

Like all tissues and organs in the human body, the female breasts are multidimensional in function. Their most recognized function is as exocrine glands, producing breast milk for the newborn, a function common to all mammalian species. Given the multidimensional functions of the breasts, a discussion of breast health approaches could be complex. Therefore, in this article we will limit our discussion to what women can do from the Ayurvedic perspective to reduce their chances of developing the most dangerous of breast diseases: breast cancer.

First let's briefly review some simple breast anatomy. Mammary glands are basically highly modified and specialized sebaceous glands which derive from embryonic ectoderm. The adult breast consists of glandular tissue, adipose tissue (fat cells), nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics. Anatomically it overlies the pectoralis major muscle and is anchored to the pectoralis fascia by suspensory ligaments known as Cooper's ligaments (not shown). The breast contains about 15 to 25 lobes formed by groups of "milk glands", or lobules. Each lobule is composed of hollow milk producing acini (also called alveoli), and feeds into a milk duct leading to the nipples. The ducts converge near the areola, the darker area round the nipple, to form ampullae or milk storage cavities. Around the areola are small glands known as Montgomery's glands which secrete an oily substance that protects the nipples during nursing. Lymph nodes within the breast drain into the axillary lymph nodes in the armpit-the first place to which breast cancer will typically metastasize.

What Is Breast Cancer? The Western View

Cancer is fundamentally a disease of failure of regulation of tissue growth. In order for a normal cell to transform into a cancer cell, the genes which regulate cell growth and differentiation must be altered. A gene is a specific sequence of DNA at a specific location within a specific chromosome. Only 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited; the vast majority is due to sporadic, acquired mutations.

The affected genes are divided into two broad categories. Oncogenes are genes which promote cell growth and reproduction. Tumor suppressor genes are genes which inhibit cell division and survival. Malignant transformation can occur through the formation of abnormal oncogenes, the inappropriate over-expression of normal oncogenes, or by the under-expression or complete arrest of tumor suppressor genes. Typically, changes in many genes are required to transform a normal cell into a cancer cell.

Large-scale mutations involve a deletion or gain of a portion of a chromosome. Gene amplification occurs when a cell gains many copies (often 20 or more) of a small chromosomal locus, usually containing one or more oncogenes and adjacent genetic material. Translocation occurs when two separate chromosomal regions become abnormally fused, often at a distinct location. Disruption of a single gene may also result from integration of genomic material from a DNA virus or retrovirus, and resulting in the expression of viral oncogenes in the affected cell and its descendants, but this is not the case in breast cancer.

The transformation of normal breast cells into cancer is akin to a chain reaction caused by initial errors, which compound into more severe errors, each progressively allowing the cell to escape the controls that limit normal tissue growth. This renegade-like scenario causes an undesirable survival of the fittest, where the natural forces of evolution become distorted and work against the body's design and harmonious order. If the rate of DNA damage exceeds the capacity of the cell to repair it, the accumulation of errors can overwhelm the cell and result in early senescence, apoptosis, or cancer. Once cancer has begun to develop, it uses the body's own design to serve its own destructive and invasive purposes.

What Is Breast Cancer? The Ayurvedic View

The female breasts are predominantly Kapha organs, having a fatty nature and producing milk, a Kapha fluid. Breast cancer is a tridoshic (involving all three doshas) disorder of breast tissue. Causes are both hereditary and acquired; the acquired causes being physical, emotional, spiritual, and environmental. Breast cancer is ultimately caused by blockage and flow irregularities at both the gross and imperceptibly subtle levels of several srotamsi (channel systems).

Dietary and other physical factors can help to cause breast cancer, or to trigger the disease in one who already has the hereditary tendency. Breast cancer, like any malignant or degenerative disease, may be the result of prolonged wrong diet, wrong lifestyle, or prajnaparadha (mistake of the intellect). Wrong regimen leads first to accumulation of doshas, then in time to acute illnesses. If those illnesses are treated improperly, that is, if the excess doshas (the three body humors) are not expelled and ama (toxins) is not purified, then the imbalance is driven deeper, resulting in chronic complaints. If these chronic complaints in turn go untreated or are treated by suppressive methods without expelling doshas or cleansing ama, then the excess doshas will localize in the most toxic or most vulnerable tissue, in this case breast tissue, to create sannipatika gulma, a malignant tumor.

Cancer in Ayurveda is not seen as a discrete disease, but a milestone on the continuum of doshic aggravation, ama (toxic waste) accumulation, and srotodushti (channel blockage). A pernicious energy gains access to the individual through the diet, the emotions, the environment, or even the karmic-influenced internal momentum of one's life. Although modern medicine has disproven any appreciable connection between fibrocystic breasts or fibroadenoma to breast cancer, Ayurveda considers both of these benign conditions to be stages in the breast cancer samprapti. Cancer is a deepening pattern of internal disconnection from the body-mind's greater intelligence which eventually begins to exhibit its own warped purpose, momentum, and direction.

Importance of Srotamsi (Channels of Circulation) in Breast Cancer

The entire fifth chapter of the Vimanasthana Section of the Charaka Samhita is devoted to the detailed description of the srotamsi and their importance in health and disease. The body and mind contains a large number of srotas or channels through which the basic tissue elements, doshas, and malas circulate. These channels are called srotas (plural srotamsi). Srotas, meaning channels or pores, are present throughout the visible body as well as at the "invisible" or subtle level of the cells, molecules, atoms, and subatomic strata. It is through these channels that nutrients and other substances are transported in and out of our physiology. It is also through these channels that information and intelligence spontaneously flow. When the flow of appropriate nutrients and energies through these channels is unimpeded, there is health; when there is excess, deficiency, or blockage in these channels disease can take root.

The channels are, to a certain extent, similar to the different physiological systems of Western medicine (e.g. arteries, veins, nerves, digestive tract, etc.) but also contain subtler energies comparable to the meridian system of Chinese medicine.

The movements of energy in all srotamsi are directly influenced by stimuli that arise in the mind, which are conveyed by the Vata energy. Hence mental disturbances, both conscious and unconscious, can cause disorders in any of the channels.

Excessive or deficient mental activity can cause excess or deficient flow in the channels of the body. Emotional outbursts or lack of mental control have effects that are analogous to surges in the channels of the physical body and can produce such conditions as in strokes, heart attacks, hyperventilation, tremors, etc.

Stanya vaha srota, which consists of the milk-producing apocrine cells of the lobules, the related pituitary hormones (i.e. prolactin), the ducts, ampullae, and nipple, is the main srota involved in breast cancer.

Artava vaha srotas, which consists of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, their hormones (i.e. estrogen, progesterone), secretions and connective tissues and related pituitary hormones (i.e. FSH, LH) all belong to artava vaha srotas--the channels carrying out female reproductive functions. The breasts are also included in this system.

Each lunar cycle between menarche and menopause, the proliferation of epithelial cells lining the breast's lobular acini (increasing from one to two layers) occurs during the luteal phase. The breast epithelium, unlike the endometrium of the uterus, cannot be shed at the end of the cycle; regression at the end of the cycle is by apoptosis (self-programmed cell death). The apoptotic residue (ama) is plentiful within the lumens toward the late luteal phase of the cycle. Efficient removal of this material is essential for the breast tissue to remain healthy and vital.

Samprapti (Pathogenesis)

Due to uncorrected exposure for a sufficient period of time to nidanas--internal and external causes of doshic vitiation--(a few common examples described below), the doshas can become aggravated and begin a sequence of pathological steps culminating in the creation of a disease state. The term "samprapti" (from the root "Ap" to cause, arrive, reach or obtain; "sam" conjunction, union, intensity, completeness) refers to this sequence of doshic-related pathology triggered by one or more nidanas (causes). Let us consider a brief explanation of this sequence.

First, one or more doshas begins to accumulate somewhere in the body and soon becomes vitiated (aggravated). Next, the aggravated dosha spills over and begins to spread. In the case of breast cancer, it may enter the stanya vaha srota or another associated srota. When it reaches a vulnerable or somewhat weakened area or organ of the body, it will stagnate there and begin to mix with and disturb the structure and function of the local tissues including sometimes cellular DNA. The tissues of the body, when spoken of in their healthy state are of course called the dhatus; however when we speak of these same tissues with regard to their mixing with vitiated doshas, we always refer to the tissues as dushyas.

This dosha-dusyas sammurcchana is the actual disease process (sammurcchana means "interaction"). The interaction of the doshas and dushyas, together with the specific effect from the site or organ involved (adhisthana) leads to the development first of specific prodromal features, and then of the main symptoms, of a disease. Involvement of primarily Kapha might result in a fibrocystic breast condition; predominantly Kapha-Vata vitiation might lead eventually to fibroadenoma; Pitta-Vata can be associated with mastitis and other inflammatory states; Tridoshic vitiation can ultimately produce cancer. Left untreated the disease will evolve its unique set of complications and can reach a stage where it is no longer curable by any means.

Ayurvedic Prevention and Treatment Approach

The essence of the Ayurvedic approach is beautifully summed up in one of its well-known statements, "Avert the danger from illness before it arrives". This terse directive emphasizes the importance of correcting imbalances while still in their earliest stages and hence very remediable. Ayurveda accomplishes this goal through health programs uniquely tailored to the idiosyncratic characteristics of each individual. It celebrates our individual uniqueness while recognizing our universal Oneness. It is through our uniquely developed human consciousness, which among other capacities, affords us the enormous power of choice, that we can influence our health. The positive and negative health effects of those choices have been understood by Ayurvedic sages for thousands of years.

It must be stated at the outset of this section that, based on current level of available Ayurvedic knowledge, Ayurveda has no place as a primary treatment for any form of breast cancer. Ayurvedic treatment for breast cancer are useful as complementary therapy in order reduce side effects and sometimes bring about a more comprehensive response to conventional treatment. Ayurvedic medicines main strength is as a strategy to prevent the initial disease or its recurrence and to prolong survival.

That being said, current research is advancing towards a rational use of Ayurveda as a primary intervention. Specifically, the methanolic leaf extract of Ashwagandha leaf (Withania somnifera) was demonstrated to restore normal p53 function in tumor cells bearing mutated copies. p53 is a tumor suppressor protein which causes either the complete destruction of cells which have irreparably damaged and abnormal DNA or to temporarily arrest cell replication so that the DNA repair mechanisms can repair the damage. Once repaired p53 then allows the cell to duplicate. How p53 chooses cell destruction or arrest is unknown; it is commonly called the "guardian angel" of the cell.

It should be noted that today all breast cancer patients should be under the regular care and supervision of a medical oncologist.

Practical Choices That Matter

The Ayurvedic approach to breast health centers on diet, detoxification, lifestyle and exercise, mental health, environment and herbal preparations. Additionally, both ancient and current Ayurvedic physicians also emphasize early detection. Self examination of breasts, regular breast examinations by health care professionals and mammograms if clinically warranted are the methods.


One of Ayurveda's great recognitions is that the body and mind naturally proceed in the direction of balance and, in fact, are designed to achieve and maintain balance and vibrant health. The systems and organs that make possible this remarkable state of physical and mental well-being, and the intelligence which directs them all, exist in all of us from birth. Cancerous changes show that, despite this inherent healthy tendency, there is an imbalance of the tri-dosha with toxins. Food is the foundation of the tissue formation process and health itself. Here are some of the more important Ayurvedic recommendations.

i. First and foremost, choose foods according to either your constitutional type or your primary doshic imbalance, if known. This will help match your diet to your agni (digestive fire). Your physician may alternatively instruct you to eat according to the seasons if you are already in a balanced state of health. Eat organic foods whenever possible.

ii. Construct a diet which reduces ama formation. A predominantly vegetarian diet of foods that are light, warm, and cooked will do this. Freshly prepared dals and soups, organic vegetables prepared with fresh spices, whole grains such as basmati rice, barley, and amaranth, and freshly made flat-breads are ideal.

iii. Include organic cooked prunes, figs, apples, pears, pineapple, papaya, and cooked leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage (cruciferous vegetables) in your diet. These foods provide fiber, antioxidants, and detoxifying effects.There is also a burgeoning body of evidence that curcumin, a component of turmeric, has breast cancer protective effects.

iv. Avoid foods that create body ama, including leftovers; packaged, canned, and frozen foods; foods grown with chemicals, GMO's, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

v. Restrict the intake of alcoholic beverages of all kinds.

vi. Visceral (abdominal) adiposity contributes to the risk for estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer in premenopausal women.


As discussed above, ama-along with agni and the srotamsi--has tremendous importance in the manifestation of breast cancer. Ama is principally the result of the initial ahara rasa (nutrient juices) not being completely digested in the amashaya (small intestines) due to abnormal jatharagni. Ama then enters the srotamsi where it causes srotodushti (pathology of the srota) leading to srotorodha (obstruction). This results in an abnormal or arrested flow of doshas, nutrients and wastes.

The doshas thus retained can extravasate out of the srota and penetrate the surrounding dhatus (now called dushyas). The site where this interaction occurs (dosha-dushya sammurcchana) is the site where disease is initiated. If the impairment to the srotas can be prevented or reversed, disease will be averted.

In Ayurveda breast cancer primarily involves the channels of the female breasts and of the reproductive system and are called the Stanya Vaha Srotas and Artava Vaha Srotas, respectively. They include all the reproductive tissue, breasts, hormones and all secretions including breast milk. Keeping these channels clear of ama and all toxins is essential. The Mano Vaha Srotas, channels of the mind, are also involved. Proper diet, lifestyle, exercise, emotional health and select Ayurvedic herbs all help however a regular comprehensive detoxification procedure is also advised. It forms the foundation of preventive health in the Ayurvedic view and is often an important part of the treatment protocol for diseases which have already occurred.

Vulnerable Breasts on a Chemical Planet

Besides the assault from endogenous toxins (ama), exogenous toxins also have a grave effect on breast health. As a consequence of decades of uncontrolled environmental pollution with persistent organic pollutants (POP's), the contamination of human milk has become widespread. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and its metabolites, dioxins, dibenzofurans, phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and heavy metals are among the toxic chemicals most often found in breast milk. Whether she is pregnant or not, these and many other chemical pose a tremendous risk to the female breast. This is because POP's are fat-soluble "lipophilic" (i.e. affinity for fat) chemicals which undergo bio-accumulation and concentration over time in the breast fatty tissue. The positive news is that POP's can be significantly removed from their sites of accumulation through regular periods of panchakarma detoxification therapies.

Ayurveda states in the Ashtanga Hridayam Sutrasthanam IV/25-26:

"Exhaustive effort should be made to radically expel the malas (doshas and metabolic wastes) at the right times. Uncorrected accumulation will verily result in aggravation and cut short life itself." "Doshas which are subdued by langhana and pachana therapies can inevitably become re-aggravated, but those which are radically expelled by samshodhana (purification) therapies will not become deranged again." (italics added)

Lifestyle and Exercise: Balancing the Doshas

Scientific evidence suggests about 30% of all 572,000 cancer deaths (39,500 due to breast cancer) expected in 2011 will be related to being obese or overweight, inadequate physical inactivity or errors in nutrition and thus are preventable.

It is clear that only about 30-40% of all breast cancer cases can be traced to identifiable genes or a familial tendency. Of those, 5 to 10 percent of women have inherited defective breast cancer genes, the most common being BRCA1 or BRCA2. The remainder have forms of breast cancers in their families that involve several genes.

That leaves 60-70% caused by unknown factors. Some are environmental--toxins we breathe, drink, touch or are exposed to in some way. The biggest risk factors are simply being a woman (

-Avoid hormone replacement therapy -Improve your diet -Exercise regularly -Follow good detection strategies -Maintain good body weight -Consume less or no alcohol

Mental Health

The state of one's mental health is a direct reflection of how we think, feel and act as we face different life experiences. Our mental health determines how we handle emotional stress, relate to others and make choices. It is the emotional and spiritual resilience (atati shakti) which enables us to achieve happiness and to survive pain, sorrow and disappointment. Normal mental health instinctively creates an underlying belief in one's self-worth, and in the dignity and worth of other human beings and all life forms. Psycho-social-spiritual stress can play a role in breast health. To refresh the mind Ayurveda suggests the classical mental balancing and rejuvenation techniques described in Patanjali's system of Raja Yoga. Because there are eight aspects in the Raja Yoga path to enlightenment, it is also known as Ashtanga Yoga (eight-limbed). Patanjali's Yoga Sutras begins with the statement yoga cittavritti nirodhah (I/2), "Yoga is for the restraint of the activities of the mind". They proceed to describe the ways in which mind can create false ideas and understandings, and details the eight steps that can taken to escape from the unreal.

Meditation techniques have been shown in numerous research studies to positively influence the physiology. The regular practice of yoga postures (asanas), breath control techniques (pranayama), and dhyana (meditation) is the most effective way to relieve anxiety, depression and emotional stress, according to Ayurvedic tradition. Although the mechanism by which meditation helps re-establish mental health is not clear, we do know that these techniques provide periods of profound sensory and cognitive rest. The regular dissociation of the senses from their sense objects and the withdrawal of the attention within appears to release deep-rooted stresses that have lodged in the structure, chemistry and energetic matrix of the mind-body.

Herbal Medicines

Ayurvedic herbal medicine regimens are not conceived using the model of a specific drug to neutralize or suppress a specific symptom or disease (allopathic model). In fact, successful treatment depends on rational and logical actions of a mixture of plant substances coupled with the incomprehensible healing intelligence of Nature. The intention of herbal treatment, like all forms of Ayurvedic therapies, is to up-regulate the innate healing capacity of the human being. Herbal treatment may be categorized according to the following scheme which forms a sequence for the prevention of any disease including breast cancer and also for the treatment of many diseases.

1. Separation of Dosha and Dushya (Sammurcchana Bhanga)

2. Autodigestion of Ama (Ama pacana)

3. Clearing of the Srotasmi (Shroto Vishodhana)

4. Optimization of Agni (Dipanagni)

5. Strengthening of Immunity (Vyadhi Kshamatva)

Separation of Dosha and Dushya (Sammurcchana Bhanga)

The initial action which must be taken in the treatment of disease is the separation of the vitiated dosha from the dushya. Since many on the subsequent steps in treating disease are strong measures aimed at the doshas, if separation of the healthy tissue is not achieved first, these treatments can and will harm the tissues and the associated srotas and vital organs. The degraded dosha and the affected tissue or organ becomes joined together like the milk fats and ghee are joined together in milk. And just as we heat the milk in order to separate the ghee from the milk fats, the herbal substances which accomplish the separation of dosha from dushya (a process called sammurchana bhanga) have the following gunas: hot (ushna), sharp (tikshna), penetrating (sukshma), rapid onset (vyavam), purifying (punanam), destructive (nashita), and separating (viyujate).

The following herbal and herbomineral medicines have the action of separating dosha and dushya. This list is by no means complete. Please note that many of these medicines can be toxic and cause

adverse reactions. They should therefore only be given for short courses and only under expert supervision.

Terminalia arjuna

Trailokya Rasa Chintamani

Datura metal Boswellia serrata

Aconitum ferox Tamra Bhasma

Strychnos nux vomica Heerak Bhasma

Semicarpus anacardium Holarrhena antidysenterica

Abhrak Bhasma Embelia ribes

Autodigestion of Ama (Ama pacana)

The operative principle behind the reversal and removal of ama is to temporarily stop providing nutrition to those parts of the body which we wish to purge of ama. In clinical application, this is achieved most readily, not with herbal medicines, but rather through fasting. Fasting is advocated as a bona fide approach for the removal of ama when found to be present or to prevent its formation. Like any other therapy, it is prescribed and supervised by an experienced physician.

During the fasting period, no new nutritive substances are available to the digestive system. Therefore the jathara agni and various dhatvagnis are utilized for the digestion of the accumulated ama. The fasting period can be as short as one or two days, or may extend for up to two weeks under medical supervision. There are several herbs and formulations which have been found to be effective in supporting and augmenting ama pacana:

Zingiber officinalis, Terminalia chebula, Tinospora cordifolia, Terminalia bellerica, Berberis aristata, Coriandrum sativum, Piper longum, Alpinia galangal.

Clearing of the Srotasmi (Shroto Vishodhana)

Whereas ama pacana is effective in transforming and liquefying the waste materials in the tissues,

the process known as shroto vishodhana draws these substances out of the tissues and into the appropriate channels of elimination (i.e. Stanya Vaha Srota). In addition, this process initiates movement in the proper direction in the srotasmi for the expulsion of the wastes. This stage requires that no matter what the primary doshic imbalance may be (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha), the Vata dosha needs to be in a balanced state. Thus is because Vata dosha is what creates movement of the wastes. A balanced Vata dosha moves the wastes in the proper and natural direction.

Medicines which act on the rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, and sukra dhatus and their corresponding srotas are used in promoting breast health. These medicines will promote the elimination of doshas from the tissues without harming the tissues and include:

Holharrhina antidysentrica, Cissampelos pareira, Tricosanthe dioica, Cyperus rotundus, Picrorrhiza kurroa, Azadirachta indica, Hemidesmus indicus, Triphala, Piper nigrum, Acorus calamus, Curcuma longa, Aegle marmelos.

In addition to these herbal medicines, anuvasana bastis (oil-based enemata) or often administered during this phase to promote the proper flow of Vata dosha in the srotas. Also there are specialized techniques of breast massage which are performed with specific oils (i.e. Narayana, Vishagarbha, Chandanbala Laxadi) and can be taught to patient to perform at home.

Optimization of Agni (Dipanagni)

There is not a single biological process occurring within our bodies and mind which does not depend on agni. Our intelligence, awareness, energy, appearance, perception, immunity, and life itself is kindled by its power. There are thirteen forms of agni as we have outlined earlier. The most important is jathara agni--which presides over and creates all the others. Any disturbance in jathara agni will result in incomplete and improper digestion and the formation of ama. Some of the herbal medicines which help to stimulate and balance the jatharagni and, indirectly, all the agnis of the body are as follows:

Gingiber officinalis

Piper longum

Piper nigrum

Cayenne pepper

Plumbago zeylanica

Strengthening of Immunity (Vyadhi Kshamatva)

The capacity to resist disease depends prominently on a substance known as ojas. Ojas is formed from the best and purest parts of each of the seven bodily dhatus; it is said to be the quintessence of human tissue metabolism. Like bees make honey by gathering the essence of several species of flowers, ojas is formed from the saptadhatus. There are certain plant-medicines which increase ojas and are therefore called jA?vanA?ya gana aushadhi, medicines which sustain Life. Some of these include:

Withania somnifera, Curculigo orchiodes, Asparagus racemosus Phaseolus trilobus Hemidesmus indicus Ocimum sanctum Tinospora cordifolia Eclipta alba Emblica officinalis Shilajitu

Glycerrhiza glabra Terminalia chebula

In addition, medicines like Triphala Guggulu, Kanchnaar Guggulu, Arogyavardhini, Maha-manjishthadi kwath, Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris) as well as the two most renowned Ayurvedic compound preparations Triphala and Chywanprash are used on a long term basis to prevent recurrence.

Medicines like Medhohar-Guggulu, Chandraprabha-Vati, and Trivang-Bhasma are also used according to the presentation of symptoms.

To prevent or reduce side effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Kamadudha, Shankhbhasma vati, Laghu sutshekhar vati and Shunthi (Zinziber officinale) can be used.

Patwardhan and Gautum5 summarize the results of preclinical studies on the cytoprotective potential of W. somnifera and its constituents. They include reports on the inhibition of breast and colon cancer cell lines compared to doxorubicin after the administration of withaferin A and an increase in the response to radio-resistant tumors when radiotherapy is combined with withaferin A treatment, among others studies.

Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal rasayana formula consisting of equal parts of three myrobalan fruits: Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). Rasayana preparations are adaptogens and can be taken for life without fear of side effects. Triphala was recently found to dose-dependently induce apoptosis in human breast cell cancer lines (MCF-7) and mouse thymic lymphoma (barcl-95). Treatment did not affect neither normal human breast epithelial and peripheral blood mononuclear cells nor mouse liver and spleen cells. Direct oral feeding of triphala to mice (40 mg/kg for 13 days) resulted in significantly (P


Oxygen radicals are continuously generated within our cells. This is a result of normal breathing which creates something called hydroxyl radicals. These molecules damage your DNA, producing the mutations that initiate and sustain health issues later on. Studies suggest that a diet that is rich in antioxidants may help to support breast health. This has led to the current nutritional recommendation that we all should consume at least five portions of fruits or vegetables each day.

Chyawanprash is significantly more powerful than other single antioxidant; it is up to 1,000 times more effective per dose than comparable amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin E in scavenging free radicals and preventing damage to the body. It provides full-spectrum, super-antioxidant power. Traditional literature states that Chywanprash improves cardiovascular and neurological functioning, reduces toxicity of the dhatus, improves immunity, balances emotions, and improves mental clarity.


All matter is energy vibrating at different rates. The fundamental state of the universe contains all possible forms of undifferentiated matter (i.e. energy) vibrating in coherent harmony. Human beings, because we are a part of the natural universe, also have a fundamental vibration that harmonizes with the rest of the creation. Illness, including cancer, is a manifestation of disharmony which arises in the individual's core vibration due to stress, environmental changes, emotional distress, physical injury, dietary indiscretion, or an infinite number of physical, mental, or spiritual factors. Healing is therefore initiated by restoring the normal vibratory state to the individual as a whole and to the vulnerable or diseased body part. The Ayurvedic therapies mentioned in this paper are not the only methods available from this comprehensive science, but will help us begin to understand how our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters can keep their bodies free from toxins and impurities and their immunity high even in modern times and thus avert the scourge of breast cancer.

Scott Gerson, M.D., M. Phil. (Ayu), Ph.D. (Ayu) received his initial formal training in Ayurvedic Medicine at the Ayurvedic College in Trivandrum, India and subsequently earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Ayurveda at the prestigious Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya and the University of Poona. He was awarded his Fellowship in Ayurveda from the Institute of Indian Medicine, also in Poona. He is the author of Ayurveda: The Ancient Indian Healing Art (NIAM Press, 1993, 2nd Ed. 2001), The Sattva Program: The Ayurvedic Approach to Diet and Weight Management (Lotus Press, 2002), and Medicinal Plants of Ayurveda (in press). He is currently president of The National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine and serves as the executive director of The Foundation for Holistic Medical Research, a non-profit organization that objectively evaluates complementary medical therapies for safety and efficacy. Dr. Gerson sees private patients in his Brewster, NY medical practice and is Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept. of Community and Preventive Medicine, New York Medical College. He is an Associate Professor at Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Department of Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine). Website: http://www.niam.com

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2012年4月17日 星期二

Retinal Implants, Still in Their Infancy, Provide a New Vision of the Future

The challenge of restoring sight is immense, and the advances in this area seem to go hand in hand with advances in technology. As with most electrical prostheses, these advances cross many scientific disciplines, from biophysics to electrical engineering. Of equal importance is the surgical aspect of being able to successfully implant such devices.

Two approaches are being employed. One is the subretinal implant, which is implanted at the level of the photoreceptors. Several thousand photodiodes are arrayed in a sheet and are connected to microelectrodes that in turn stimulate ganglion cells (the output neurons) in the retina. Light shining on this array generates a current that depolarizes the ganglion cells, via these microelectrodes. The second approach is the epiretinal implant, which is placed on the inner or opposite layer of the retina. In this, a conventional (external) camera and processing unit are connected to a readout chip that is secured to the inner retina, at the level of the ganglion cells.

Complexity and Inaccessibility

Given the hard-to-access location of the retina, at the back of the eye, and the inherent complexity of this nervous structure, the procedure is incredibly delicate. The retina is only 0.5 mm thick, and neuroscientists consider it to be the most complex sensory organ we have. Several neuronal cell types constitute the retina, including photoreceptors, bipolar cells, horizontal cells and ganglion cells.

Key to vision is the transduction of photons by the photoreceptors, which have some exceptional properties. Among those is the "dark current," which is a constant depolarization in the dark. That, in turn, releases glutamate, at the synaptic terminals of photoreceptors. In darkness, the membrane of the outer segment is permeable to sodium ions. The higher concentration of sodium ions outside the cell allows positively charged sodium ions to enter the cell in darkness, causing the cell to be partially depolarized. Light decreases the permeability of the outer segment membrane to sodium, thereby decreasing the flow of positive ions into the cell and causing the inside of the cell to become more negative (i.e., to hyperpolarize).

All vertebrate photoreceptors hyperpolarize in response to light (i.e., the inside of the cell becomes more negative). This is a unique situation that is then relayed to vertical or lateral pathways, within the retina. The final output is the ganglion cells, which lie on the inner surface of the retina. The light passes through several neuronal layers before reaching the photoreceptors, and the retina relays all the information collected by the photoreceptors in the form of coded streams of action potentials. This coded information includes form, movement, contrast and color. These signals are then transferred via the optic nerves to various brain regions, finally ending in the visual cortex.

Sight Disorders and the Retina

Many disorders of the eye are related to the retina; for instance age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and diabetic retinopathy. They often involve serious disruptions in the collection of light, and may lead to blindness. Some, such as retinitis pigmentosa, in which there is a gradual deterioration of rods within the retina, eventually leaving only the central fovea intact (which is concentrated with cones), have no known cure.

Currently much of the focus is on the subretinal implant, and many groups are investing in this technology. The hurdles are huge, of course, not least of which is the surgical implantation onto the back of the retina. In general, two surgical approaches are currently employed; the first is through the cornea and into the vitreous humor, and the second is through the sclera. Both techniques are challenging, as can be imagined. The biggest challenges involve maintaining internal pressure within the eye and contrast illumination of the surgical site during the procedure.

Once in place, there is about 50 to 100 ¼m between the subretinal implant array and the ganglion cells, which is sufficient to excite these cells. Even so, most of the other important neuronal elements that refine the retinal image in normal sight within the retina are bypassed. In animal models, the subretinal implants seem to produce action potentials in the visual cortex of the brain, and the spatial resolution is around 1 degree-a remarkable achievement. Nonetheless, the electrical stimulation of the ganglion cells is crude, and there is concurrent stimulation of their optic nerves, resulting in distorted images and cancellations of output from the photodiodes. Additionally, spatial resolution is adequate, at best, to achieve a recognizable image.

Boston Project Sees Progress

The Boston Retinal Implant Project, which is a collaborative effort with multiple academic, clinical and research institutions throughout the nation, has a novel engineering solution to treat blinding diseases with retinal implants (see http://www.bostonretinalimplant.org/). Their current prosthesis includes an external camera that is mounted onto a pair of eyeglasses. The camera transmits images wirelessly through a coil within the glasses. The scene captured by the camera is then relayed to receiving coils on the prosthesis. The retinal stimulating array consists of a row of several hundred electrodes that are capable of stimulating ganglion cells in their immediate vicinity. The result is a pixilated array of lights that appear much like a large scoreboard image, at best. With such information, however, it is anticipated that a blind person will not require the use of a guide dog or cane.

Surgical methods have been applied in animal models and so far have shown reliable success using a combination of vitreoretinal surgery and ab externo procedures. The project's retinal implant has been tested in six humans, and several of the patients who had been legally blind for decades were able to distinguish small spots of light upon low level stimulation of parts of the electrode array. (The original paper can be found at http://www.bostonretinalimplant.org/pdf/20031200-preceptual-thresholds.pdf.)

It is also noteworthy that close to 300 patents have been filed and granted on this topic. Over the past 12 months, 15 patents were filed naming various assignees, such as the Doheny Eye Institute, Neurosystec Corporation, The Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Retina Implant GMBH, Second Sight Medical Products Inc., W.C.Heraeus GMBH & Co., and Wayne State University.

Implants Currently Offer Best Hope

So, will these implants be the pathway to restoring sight in the future? In the absence of other approaches, they offer the best hope of restoring sight. Nonetheless, we are a long way off from achieving this goal. The retina is an exquisitely complex nervous structure that has many intricate levels of image processing. Our achievements to date represent a very crude approach at imitating its capabilities.

Nonetheless, several research institutes and companies, such as the Doheny Retina Institute, and Intelligent Medical Implants AG, are making truly remarkable headway in this area, and they may indeed achieve some significant milestones in the coming years. However, until micro-engineering approaches that employ either transplant technologies or neural-electrode interfaces at the single cell level are developed, science will not get close to anything capable of restoring full vision within the blind.

Alternately, it is quite likely that future advances in the current microelectrode array design will be large enough to significantly improve the visual image. I see that advance being related to the integration of smaller, more numerous electrodes and probably multiplying the current density by a factor of 10. Before that happens, however, it is premature to talk about restoring the ability to read or recognize faces, for instance. In the meantime, I suspect that we may see FDA-approved retinal implants within the not-too-distant future, with these exciting bio-prostheses continuing to improve with each additional clinical trial.

Nerac Inc. is a global research and advisory firm for companies developing innovative products and technologies. Nerac Analysts deliver custom assessments of product and technology development opportunities, competitor intelligence, intellectual property strategies, and compliance requirements through a proven blended approach to custom analysis: review of technical knowledge, investigation of intellectual property, and appraisal of business impacts. Nerac deploys analysts in diverse disciplines to help clients discover new applications, serving as a catalyst for new thinking and creative approaches to business problems or identifying strategic growth opportunities. On the web at http://www.nerac.com

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