Copyright 2006 Mary DesaulniersYouve probably seen it in movies a hundred timesthe caricature of narcoleptics: one moment theyre chatting with you over dinner; the next, theyre fast asleep, their faces in their dinner plates. This caricature, more hyperbolic than true, nevertheless points to a symptom of narcolepsy which makes narcoleptics vulnerabletheir involuntary loss of muscle control. The truth is that even during these episodes of involuntary loss, narcoleptics are often fully conscious of their situation. And that is no laughing matter. Often unrecognized and misdiagonosed, this sleep disorder has been the source of trauma in many victims' lives. What, then is narcolepsy and what are the symptoms of this disorder?Narcolepsy is a "sleep disorder" characterized by the brains innability to maintain normal wakefulness during the day. We also know that in narcoleptics, the regular pattern of REM sleep is disturbed. Tested in sleep laboratories, people with narcolepsy enter REM sleep within a few moments of falling asleep while normal sleepers move into REM sleep after 80-100 minutes. This abnormal entrance into REM sleep also seems to be associated with the abnormal daytime appearance of conditions usually experienced during sleeplack of muscular control, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic dream visons. According to Dr. Jerome Siegel of the Center for Sleep Research, a group of neurons that is supposed to be active during REM sleep to suppress muscle tone and protect us from the elaborate motor programs that accompany our dreams is being triggered during waking.Researchers have theorized that the symptoms of narcolepsy emerge from this abnormal triggering of aspects of REM sleep during the day. These symptoms include1) Sleep episodes during the day that last anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours or more. Despite the extra sleep, narcoleptics experience persistent drowsiness during the day, which means that, if their condition is not recognized and treated, they can literally be time-bombs on the highway.2) Catalepsythe experience of being unable to move for several seconds or more. Catalepsy is probably the most prominent and caricatured symptom of narcolepsy, appearing in 70% of cases. Often, catalepsy takes the form of a seizure, an episode of involuntary loss of muscle control. These attacks can occur at any time during the waking period. Prompted frequently by laughter, intense emotions or even athletic exertion, these episodes can range from being barely perceptible (tremor of the lids) to total physical collapse. The one feature that distinguishes catalepsy from other seizures such as epilepsy is that the patient is almost always fully consciouseven during the most severe episodes.3) Sleep paralysisa milder version of catalepsy; sleep paralysis is the inability of the subject to move for a few seconds just before falling asleep or awakening. While most of us remember having such experiences once in a while, they are daily occurrences with narcoleptics.4) Hypnagogic hallucinations or vivid dreamswhich we all have felt or seen just before falling asleep. The difference with narcoleptics is that they live these vivid hallucinations even when awake. Known as hypnagogic dream images when we experience them just before sleep and hypnopompic dream visions when we experience them prior to awakening, these delusional, visual and sometimes auditory images are often vivid and frightening.5) Automatic behaviorwhich usually occurs while the subject is asleep. This automatic behavior includes talking, eating, putting things away, brushing hair, changing clothes, actions that are performed while the subject is asleep. However, when awakened, the subject has no memory of performing such activities.Although research on narcolepsy is growing, not much is known about the causes of the condition. What we do know is that this disorder affects between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 2000 people in the US. Its rates are lowest in Israel and highest in Japan (1 in 600), a situation which suggests that there is a genetic component to the disease. Research suggests as well that narcolepsy may be triggered by an abnormality in an area of chromosome 6, known as the HLA complex which controls sleep patterns. Complicating factors that may precipitate this condition include stress, hormonal changes, trauma, infections and immune system dysfunction. As a matter of fact, a great deal of research is now focused on the possibility that narcolepsy is an auto immune disorder.Treatment options available now tend to treat the symptoms only, not the cause. They include the use of central nervous system stimulants(like provigil) to sustain wakefulness during the day and depressants at night to suppress REM sleep.Resources: Siegel Lab at the Center for Sleep Research National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke Wikipedia
A fungus or a type of yeast causes nails fungal infection. This infection makes the nail thick and crumbly. Nail fungus normally affects the toenails. It can even disfigure the nails and discolor them. If left uncontrolled nail fungus can make the nail die. Let us see what it is and how to stop it.Nail Fungus- What causes it and how it spreads?Nail fungus is caused by a fungus that is found in common places such as locker rooms, pool side etc. If you walk barefoot in such places you can contact the infection. Any place that is frequented by many people and where many people walk barefoot is the place from where you can get nail fungal infection. Cleanliness has no role in causing "nail fungus" . Nail Fungus- SymptomsIn fungal infection of the nail, nail gets discolored. Debris begins forming below the nail and nail becomes thick. This is the sign that your nail is affected. Nail Fungus- PreventionPrevent nail fungus by wearing footwear in common places. If you frequently catch fungal infections, you should apply anti fungal powder after you visit any common place to prevent the infection. Keep your toes dry and wash them regularly.This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article.
Just like women, men are also very concerned about their physical appearances, most especially the condition of their skin. Some say that only the females are the ones who usually go crazy about various beauty and skin care treatments and products. In fact, the modern men are as vain as the women, for they are also prone to develop skin complications. Their skin problems, just like in women, are due to a number of environmental and bilogical factors.For instance, men's skin becomes oiler during the summer season. The reason for this is that the moisture in their skin rises along with the humidity. Since men has larger pores and their skin is notably oiler than women, they really need to take more care of their skin during the hot season. As expected, men become stressed during these days. But men should worry no more since skin care regimens are really easy to do. When these regimens are done correctly and regularly, they will surely have a smoother and healthier looking skin in no time.The following are the top five summer tips for men's skin care regimen:lCleanse the skin.During the summer season, men's face is prone to clogged pores that often lead to blemishes. As such, it is important for men not to use any type of skin care product that contains strong ingredients that can clog their pores and irritate their skin. To prevent skin irritation and clogging, it is recommended among men to use natural skin care cleansing products instead of deodorant soaps. lExfoliate the skin. Exfoliating the skin is important to maintain men's glowing and smooth complexion. One of the best ways to exfoliate the skin is by means of s body scrub. This skin care treatment is actually best to enjoy during the hot or warm season. In a body scrub treatment, dead cells are removed and the skin's surface becomes smoother. lTone the skin. Since men love to spend more time outdoors during the summer, their skin is exposed to pollutants and other environmental contaminants. With this, toning is the best way to protect the skin from such harmful elements. This skin care regimen keeps the face firm and elastic. Acid ingredients in toning skin care products reduce men's facial pore size as well as make ingrown hairs less painful. lNourish the skin.After cleansing and toning the skin, men should use moisturizer on their faces. Hydrating the face with a good moisturizing product is important as it keeps the face from drying. On the other hand, body lotion is one of the best skin care products to use as a mositurizing aid during the summer season. This skin care product is evenly applied all over the body after taking a bath or shower. lProtect the skin. Since the sun's heat is at its highest during the summer season, men should protect their skin from the sun's harmful rays. To do this, applying sunscreen protection will keep men's skin from drying and blistering.
Massage therapy has been used in many cultures for thousands of years. Massage is the systemized manipulation of soft tissues to relieve pain, instill a feeling of well being and normalize tissue position. Los Angeles, always a hotbed of exciting ideas, has been an area with a thriving massage therapy industry for years.Searching the Los Angeles yellow pages under for massage therapists can yield an interesting selection of businesses. Chiropractors, often the most conventional massage providers, abound in the metropolitan area. Many provide traditional chiropractic manipulation and massage therapies in combined treatment plans. Prenatal and baby massage is becoming more and more popular and chic in the Los Angeles area. Prenatal "massage therapy" relieves the discomfort and stress that a pregnancy can cause. Celebrity moms-to-be are fueling the trend, but the positive benefits of this type of massage make it a popular choice for many expectant mothers. Baby massage is another area of rising popularity, with many new moms using the massage sessions as yet another way to bond with their child. Not only does the massage strengthen the bond between mother and child, it helps the baby eliminate toxins and aids in the development of joints and muscles.Day spas are also more popular than ever, and a relaxing massage is usually a focal point of the experience. Day spas abound in Los Angeles with many specializing in various holistic treatments including several types of massage. A day of beauty treatments may include a seaweed wrap, steam shower and a Swedish massage. As more and more busy women try to find ways to relax and pamper themselves, this trend will continue to grow.With the ever-growing emphasis on wellness and natural treatments, the popularity of massage therapies in Los Angeles continues to grow. This trend shows no sign of slowing down, and as competition increases, Los Angeles folks can look forward to more innovative, relaxing experiences.
Physical exercise is the performance of some activity in order to develop or maintain physical fitness and overall health. It is often directed toward also honing athletic ability or skill.There are literally zillions of exercise benefits to be gained through a regular fitness and nutritional plan. When you read this list, you'll wonder why everyone isn't taking advantage of what fitness has to offer.Improving Mental and Physical HealthPhysical exercise can improve both your mental and physical health. The benefits of aerobic exercise include improved cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength and flexibility. Exercise pumps more blood through your veins. This increases the size of your arteries, prevents fat from clogging your arteries and helps prevent blood clots.The great thing about training the upper body is that there are tons of choices for working each muscle group. The bad thing is that there seem to be a lot of muscles in the upper body and, if you're like me, you have your favorites and your not-so-favorites.Exercise tip for an exercise benefit:Take a walk every day with your entire family. If your children are old enough to ride a bike or roller-blade, let them while you walk, jog, ride a bike or roller-blade yourself;Increased EnergyThe right combination of exercise and nutrition creates an hormonal environment conducive to fat loss, increased muscle strength and increased energy. When your body is working at peak efficiency, your energy levels soar!How much exercise do I need?Talk to your doctor about how much exercise is right for you. A good goal for many people is to work up to exercising 4 to 6 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. Remember, though, that exercise has so many benefits that any amount is better than noneKids exercise all the time without even thinking of it. Just being active, like when you run around outside or play kickball at school, is a kind of exercise. What else counts as exercise? Playing sports, dancing, doing push-ups, and even reaching down to touch your toes.Balance BallOne of the best exercise methods is to exercise with a balance ball! So, we urge you to find out more about the "balance ball" exercise today.