Risk factors versus the wellbeing of pregnant women

Today, at Best Doctors Blog we are analysing the importance of health during what is a special time for women – their pregnancy. It is a period in which there are significant changes in a woman’s life: physical, hormonal and dietary, which can cause a considerable deterioration in the mother’s future health.

It does not come as a surprise that the probability of a woman suffering from depression increases just as much during pregnancy, as after it (the well-known postnatal depression). Postpartum depression may occur as a direct result of hormonal changes, the effects of stress, physical changes experienced by pregnant women or even due to some environmental factors.

What factors can give rise to health problems? According to a number of studies and specialists, the conclusion that can be made is that there are numerous factors that can affect this deterioration of health. Some of the main causes of these problems are the following: Weight gain and physical changes Eating problems Lack of physical exercise Although, as stated by the experts, we must also take into account other risk factors when analysing episodes of mood swings in pregnant women. -       Unwanted pregnancies: in this case, the fact that the situation is not expected can greatly affect the mental state of patients. -       Stressful events Read more

Hepatitis virus used as a weapon against the rejection in transplant patients

Hepatitis

According to research recently published by the journal Science Traslational Medicine, the hepatitis C virus (known as HCV) has become an interesting tool when faced with rejection in liver transplant patients.

As reported by the abovementioned study, 50% of people infected with hepatitis C (17 out of a total of 34) who underwent transplantation were able to maintain the performance of their new liver, even after they stopped taking immunosuppressive drugs – a type of drug administered to this type of patient so that their body does not recognise the transplanted organ as a foreign entity, with the risk of rejection that this implies.

This is a situation, which, in spite of the high percentage of patients in whom it works (50% of cases), has no clinical application. In view of the fact that the risk of rejection disappeared in one out of two patients - as shown in the investigation - hepatitis C infection could cause the rapid onset of cirrhosis in the transplanted organ. In any event, it is possible that this research may become a discovery that brings to light part of the unknown behaviour of our immune system. An investigation that offers not only new answers, but also new questions According to Read more

Laughter used as therapy

We all surely know some of the most common benefits of laughter, but a recent study by researchers from Loma Linda University in California, US, has revealed that much more than offering relief through humour, laughter is a vital tool to the health for our physical and mental state.

The study was carried out among 20 healthy adults between the ages of 60 and 70, in which the levels of stress and short-term memory were assessed. The research was divided into two groups: the first group was asked to sit quietly, read or use their mobile phones without speaking; while the second group was shown funny videos.

 

After 20 minutes, the participants from both groups gave saliva samples and also underwent tests of short-term memory. The results showed that the group of people who had been exposed to comedy videos scored significantly better on tests of short-term memory than the other study group. The so-called "group of humour" improved their memory by 43.6% in comparison to the results gained in the pre-study test. The other group improved as well, but with not as much success, bettering their previous score by 20.3% On the other hand, the group of individuals who sat through 20 minutes of funny videos showed considerably Read more