Men Who Ejaculate More Have Lower Prostate Cancer Risks

An epidemiological study of 30,000 American men by Michael Leitzman, a cancer researcher at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, has found that men who enjoy an active sex life do not risk prostate cancer in later life.

There has been a suggested link with greater sexual activity and increased incidents of prostate cancer in previous scientific data because of the link with the male hormone testosterone and its effect on promoting cancer cell growth.

Leitzmann’s findings were that men who ejaculate between 13 and 20 times a month had a 14% lower risk of prostate cancer that men who ejaculated on average, between 4 and 7 times a month for most of their adult life. Men who ejaculated upwards of 21 times a month had a 33% lower lifetime risk of prostate cancer than the baseline group.
The study of predominantly white professional males would seem to suggest, as Mr. Leitzmann himself says, ‘the finding warrant further investigation’.

What Is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men, right behind skin cancer. Prostate cancer is also the second most deadly cancer in American men. Prostate cancer is more frequent among African American men than it is among white men. Furthermore, African American men are more likely to die of prostate cancer than are white men.
The vast majority of prostate cancers are a type of cancer called adenocarcinoma.
Adenocarcinomas arise from cells that produce fluids like mucus.

What Are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Many people who are otherwise healthy and have prostate cancer exhibit no symptoms. Eventually, when the cancer grows large enough or spreads, prostate cancer can cause a variety of symptoms including the following:
• problems urinating due to obstruction (slow or weak stream);
• frequent nighttime urination (nocturia);
• blood in the urine;
• erectile dysfunction (trouble getting an erection);
• pain in the hips, back and other bones (once the cancer has spread or metastasized);
• weakness in the legs and feet (due to metastatic tumors pressing on the spinal cord) .
Please note that if you have a weakened urinary stream or you’re peeing a lot at night (nocturia), this doesn’t automatically mean that you have prostate cancer. In fact, a much more common cause of weak urine stream is benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), a condition which isn’t cancerous. Nevertheless, if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, you must see your physician as soon as possible.

How Is Prostate Cancer Treated?
Here’s the thing about prostate cancer: Not everybody who has it goes on to die of the cancer. Many older men die of other causes before the cancer becomes severe. Although it’s imperative that anybody who is suspected of having prostate cancer be screened and, if needed, staged for the disease, a physician may decide to forego treatment in lieu of “watchful waiting.”

However, certain people–like those with advanced disease that has spread or metastasized–require treatment.

Here are some treatments for prostate cancer:
• watchful waiting
• surgery
• chemotherapy
• radiation therapy
• hormone therapy
• vaccine therapy (there exists a prostate cancer vaccine called Provenge that induces the body to attack prostate cancer cells)
• cryotherapy (cryosurgery)
• bone-directed therapy

Know more: http://www.vikramhospital.com/specialities/urology/

Sources
Ejaculation Frequency and Subsequent Risk of Prostate Cancer. Michael F. Leitzmann, MD; Elizabeth A. Platz, ScD; Meir J. Stampfer, MD; Walter C. Willett, MD; Edward Giovannucci, MD JAMA. 2004;291:1578-1586

Research Discovers Enzyme which effects depression.

Summary: Depression is the predominant mental disease and constitutes the most common cause of morbidity in developed countries. Now researchers have managed to find a connection between development of depression and the existence of an enzyme in the brain of the fetus.

Despite the fact that more than four percent of the world’s population suffer from depression, and even though approximately 1,500 individuals commit suicide each year in Sweden, the understanding of the pathophysiology of depression remains unclear and only a few new discoveries of mechanisms behind it have been made in recent years. New approved pharmacological interventions are mainly absent, despite intensive research on the subject.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have characterized the role of the enzyme CYP2C19 in depression and functional and morphological changes in the brain. The enzyme is responsible for the metabolism of many neuroactive compounds, including antidepressants, and is located in the fetal brain and adult liver.

“We previously found that the CYP2C19 gene is expressed not only in the liver, but also in fetal brain. We described that transgenic mice that overexpress the human CYP2C19 in fetal life, in adult life have smaller hippocampus as well as an altered composition of nerve cells in the hippocampus and suffer from a higher level of anxiety- and depression-like behavior as compared to the wild type mice,” says Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg, who has been leader of the study together with Marin Jukic.

Altered structure and function of the hippocampus was the starting point

The hippocampus is a central part of the brain for control of emotions and stress, and the finding of altered structure and function of the hippocampus following overexpression of CYP2C19 was in the starting point for the new study. The researchers now have examined to what extent these findings in mice can be extrapolated to humans.

Such analysis was facilitated by the fact that four percent of the population lacks the CYP2C19 enzyme, while thirty percent have increased expression of the same enzyme. By analysis of MRI-based measurements of the hippocampal volume and by analyzing epidemiological statistics for suicide as well as by evaluating tests of depressive mood from thousands of people, researchers found that the absence of the enzyme was associated with a larger volume of the hippocampus.

“These persons showed a lesser degree of depressed mode. Conversely, we found that increased activity of CYP2C19 was associated with higher suicidal incidences in depressed patients,” Marin Jukic says.

The results, presented in the international publication Molecular Psychiatry, show that the propensity for depression and hippocampal function in part is programmed in fetal life. Fetuses lacking CYP2C19 enzyme have a lower risk of depression and have larger hippocampi in adulthood.

“These findings form the basis for the identification of new biomarkers for depressive phenotypes and strengthen the fact that our CYP2C19 depression mice model can be used to understand new mechanisms for the basis of depression and for preclinical screening of new drug candidates for anti-depressant effect, in particular for those that affect the serotonergic neurotransmission,” Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg concludes.

www.vikramhospital.com
Source: Karolinska Institute

Harvesting stem cells for therapy one day be as simple as asking patients for a urine sample?

Researchers have identified stem cells in urine that can be directed to become multiple cell types.

Could harvesting stem cells for therapy one day be as simple as asking patients for a urine sample? Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine and colleagues have identified stem cells in urine that can be directed to become multiple cell types.
“These cells can be obtained through a simple, non-invasive low-cost approach that avoids surgical procedures,” said Yuanyuan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of regenerative medicine and senior researcher on the project.

Reporting online in the journal Stem Cells, the team successfully directed stem cells from urine to become bladder-type cells, such as smooth muscle and urothelial, the cells that line the bladder. But the urine-derived cells could also form bone, cartilage, fat, skeletal muscle, nerve, and endothelial cells, which line blood vessels. The multipotency of the cells suggests their use in a variety of therapies.

“These stem cells represent virtually a limitless supply of autologous cells for treating not only urology-related conditions such as kidney disease, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, but could be used in other fields as well,” said Zhang. “They could also potentially be used to engineer replacement bladders, urine tubes and other urologic organs.”

Being able to use a patient’s own stem cells for therapy is considered advantageous because they do not induce immune responses or rejection. However, because tissue-specific cells are a very small subpopulation of cells, they can be difficult to isolate from organs and tissues.

Zhang’s team first identified the cells, which are a small subset of the many cells found in urine, in 2006. The current research builds on earlier studies by confirming the multipotency of the cells. In addition, the research found that unlike iPS cells or embryonic stem cells, the urine derived-stem cells do not form tumors when implanted in the body, indicating they may be safe for use in patients.

The research involved obtaining urine samples from 17 healthy individuals ranging in age from five to 75 years. Isolating the cells from urine involves minimal processing, according to the authors. Next, they evaluated the cells’ ability to become multiple cell types.

Importantly, the cells differentiated into the three tissue layers (endoderm, ectoderm and mesoderm) that are a hallmark of true stem cells and also differentiated into the specific cell types mentioned earlier.
Next, the researchers placed cells that had been differentiated into smooth muscle and urothelial cells onto scaffolds made of pig intestine. When implanted in mice for one month, the cells formed multi-layer, tissue-like structures.

The urine-derived stem cells have markers of mesenchymal cells, which are adult stem cells from connective tissue such as bone marrow. They also have markers for pericytes, a subset of mesenchymal cells found in small blood vessels.

Where do the cells come from? Researchers suspect that the cells originate from the upper urinary tract, including the kidney. Female study participants who had received kidney transplants from male donors were found to have the y chromosome in their urine-derived stem cells, suggesting the kidney as the source of the cells.
“Identifying the origins of the cells will lead to a better understanding of the biology of this multipotent population of mesenchymal cells within the urinary tract system,” said Zhang.

http://www.vikramhospital.com/specialities/urology/

Source: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Deepika Padukone: i had to take medication for depression.

Deepika Padukone recently appeared on a news channel to talk about her battle with depression. In January this year, she broke her silence for the first time in an HT exclusive to tell the world that she was struggling with anxiety and depression, at a time when she was establishing her credentials as one of Bollywood’s most sought after actors. Here’s the article in which she bared her heart for the first time about how she straddled these two aspects of her life and came out a winner.

In early 2014, while I was being appreciated for my work, one morning, I woke up feeling different. A day earlier, I had fainted due to exhaustion; it was all downhill from there. I felt a strange emptiness in my stomach. I felt empty and directionless.

I thought it was stress, so I tried to distract myself by focusing on work, and surrounding myself with people, which helped for a while. But the nagging feeling didn’t go away. My breath was shallow, I suffered from lack of concentration and I broke down often.

Over a period of time, it got worse. When my parents visited, I would put up a brave front because they were worried about me living alone and working long hours.

Then, once, while talking to my mother (Ujjala Padukone), I broke down. She realised the problem, and got in touch with a psychologist friend, Anna Chandy, to get to the root of the cause.

Every morning, it was a struggle to wake up, and shoot for Happy New Year’s (HNY; 2014) climax. Finally, I had a word with Anna aunty. She flew to Mumbai from Bengaluru, and I talked my heart out to her. She concluded that I was suffering from anxiety and depression.

When she suggested I take medication, I was resistant. I thought talking was enough. Later, I met another psychologist in Bengaluru for a second opinion.

There were days when I would feel okay, but at times, within a day, there was a roller-coaster of feelings. Finally, I accepted my condition. The counselling helped, but only to an extent. Then, I took medication, and today I am much better.

Most of HNY was shot through this phase. But before starting my next with Shoojit Sircar, I took a two-month break to recover mentally and physically. I spent time with my family in Bengaluru and was soon better. But, when I returned to Mumbai, I heard about a friend committing suicide due to anxiety and depression. It was a huge blow.

and; My personal experience as well as my friend’s death urged me to take up this issue, which isn’t usually talked about. There is shame and stigma attached to talking about depression. In fact, one in every four people suffer from anxiety and depression.

The World Health Organisation has stated that this will be the most widespread epidemic in the next few years. We talk about all kinds of aliments, but this is probably one of the deadliest mental disorders. Nothing, including life, makes sense to people suffering from it. Overcoming it has made me a stronger person and I now value my life much more. Accepting it and speaking about it has liberated me. I have stopped taking medication, and I hope my example will help people reach out for help.

I feel that at times, the patient just wants to talk, and isn’t seeking advice. But, well-wishers saying things like, ‘Don’t worry, it will all be alright,’ might be detrimental.

Being sad and being depressed are two different things. Also, people going through depression don’t look so, while someone sad will look sad. The most common reaction is, ‘How can you be depressed? You have everything going for you. You are the supposed number one heroine and have a plush home, car, movies… What else do you want?’ It’s not about what you have or don’t have. People talk about physical fitness, but mental health is equally important. I see people suffering, and their families feel a sense of shame about it, which doesn’t help. One needs support and understanding.

I am now working on an initiative to create awareness about anxiety and depression, and help people. My team is working with me to formulate a plan, which will be unveiled soon.

Get in touch : http://www.vikramhospital.com/specialities/psychiatry/

(As told to Kavita Awaasthi)

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/ Contine reading