Vitamin D

The benefits of supplements are undeniable and it’s the same with vitamin D. The effects of vitamin D on the body are wide and can include improving absorption of magnesium, calcium, and phosphate. In this group of vitamins, the compounds Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 are the most valuable to us humans. Vitamin D plays an important role in promoting:
– healthy bones/teeth
– Supporting immune, brain, and nervous system health
– Maintaining healthy insulin levels and diabetes control
– Lung function
– Heart health
Foods that are naturally high in vitamin D include:
– Fish (especially salmon)
– Mushrooms
– Fortified milk
– Fortified Tofu
– Fortified Yogurt
– Fortified Orange juice
– Eggs including yolks
– Pork
The benefits of vitamin D can be wide-ranging and benefit us in many ways, but what happens when we have a deficiency in our vitamin D intake? The causes of a vitamin D deficiency can be numerous. For instance, those with dark skin or use sunscreen can minimize our body’s ability to produce vitamin D by reducing our ability to absorb UV-B rays emitted from the sun. It is the absorption of these rays that allow our skin to produce vitamin D. Also, those who live in northern latitudes or are exposed to higher levels of pollution should consider supplements or a diet with higher levels of vitamin D since they may receive lower amounts of UV-B rays from the sun.

Alzheimers Research

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia among the elderly, is characterized by plaques and tangles in the brain, with most efforts at finding a cure focused on these abnormal structures. But a University of California, Riverside, research team has identified alternate chemistry that could account for the various pathologies associated with the disease.

Plaques and tangles have so far been the focus of attention in this progressive disease that currently afflicts more than 5.5 million people in the United States. Plaques, deposits of a protein fragment called beta-amyloid, look like clumps in the spaces between neurons. Tangles, twisted fibers of tau, another protein, look like bundles of fibers that build up inside cells.

“The dominant theory based on beta-amyloid buildup has been around for decades, and dozens of clinical trials based on that theory have been attempted, but all have failed,” said Ryan R. Julian, a professor of chemistry who led the research team. “In addition to plaques, lysosomal storage is observed in brains of people who have Alzheimer’s disease. Neurons — fragile cells that do not undergo cell division — are susceptible to lysosomal problems, specifically, lysosomal storage, which we report is a likely cause of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Study results appear in ACS Central Science, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

An organelle within the cell, the lysosome serves as the cell’s trashcan. Old proteins and lipids get sent to the lysosome to be broken down to their building blocks, which are then shipped back out to the cell to be built into new proteins and lipids. To maintain functionality, the synthesis of proteins is balanced by the degradation of proteins.

The lysosome, however, has a weakness: If what enters does not get broken down into little pieces, then those pieces also can’t leave the lysosome. The cell decides the lysosome is not working and “stores” it, meaning the cell pushes the lysosome to the side and proceeds to make a new one. If the new lysosome also fails, the process is repeated, resulting in lysosome storage.

“The brains of people who have lysosomal storage disorder, another well-studied disease, and the brains of people who have Alzheimer’s disease are similar in terms of lysosomal storage,” Julian said. “But lysosomal storage disorder symptoms show up within a few weeks after birth and are often fatal within a couple of years. Alzheimer’s disease occurs much later in life. The time frames are, therefore, very different.”

Julian’s collaborative team of researchers in the Department of Chemistry and the Division of Biomedical Sciences at UC Riverside posits that long-lived proteins can undergo spontaneous modifications that can make them undigestible by the lysosomes.

“Long-lived proteins become more problematic as we age and could account for the lysosomal storage seen in Alzheimer’s, an age-related disease,” Julian said. “If we are correct, it would open up new avenues for treatment and prevention of this disease.”

He explained that the changes occur in the fundamental structure of the amino acids that make up the proteins and is the equivalent of flipping the handedness of the amino acids, with amino acids spontaneously acquiring the mirror images of their original structures.

“Enzymes that ordinarily break down the protein are then not able to do so because they are unable to latch onto the protein,” Julian added. “It’s like trying to fit a left-handed glove on your right hand. We show in our paper that this structural modification can happen in beta-amyloid and tau, proteins relevant to Alzheimer’s disease. These proteins undergo this chemistry that is almost invisible, which may explain why researchers have not paid attention to it.”

Julian explained these spontaneous changes in protein structure are a function of time, taking place if the protein hangs around for too long.

“It’s been long known that these modifications happen in long-lived proteins, but no one has ever looked at whether these modifications could prevent the lysosomes from being able to break down the proteins,” he said. “One way to prevent this would be to recycle the proteins so that they are not sitting around long enough to go through these chemical modifications. Currently, no drugs are available to stimulate this recycling — a process called autophagy — for Alzheimer’s disease treatment.”

The research was done in the lab on living cells provided by Byron D. Ford, a professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine. The findings could have implications for other age-related diseases such as macular degeneration and cardiac diseases linked to lysosomal pathology.

Julian and Ford were joined in the research by Tyler R. Lambeth (co-first author), Dylan L. Riggs (co-first author), Lance E. Talbert, Jin Tang, Emily Coburn, Amrik S. Kang, Jessica Noll, and Catherine Augello.

Next, the team will examine the extent of the protein modifications in human brains as a function of age. The researchers will study brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease as well as of people not afflicted by it.

Grants from the National Institutes of Health supported the study.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of California – Riverside. Original written by Iqbal Pittalwala. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

What is the impact of continence problems at school?

Daytime continence problems can have a significant impact on self-esteem, wellbeing and socialisation, as well as learning for the children affected. School staff are not health trained and many do not understand that children can have a medical problem affecting their bladder and/or bowel and are often at a loss to know how to help.

Many adults do not appreciate that children, particularly younger ones may not be aware that they are wet or have soiled and may assume that the child has a behavioural problem. Rules around access to the toilet and drinks can adversely affect all children, but tend to have a disproportionate impact on those with continence difficulties and disabilities.

The role of the healthcare professional
This leads to the question of what can healthcare professionals working with children and young people do to support. The impact of transfer of school nursing and health visiting to a public health role with constraints of commissioning and budgetary restrictions seems to be increasing, but the problem cannot be ignored. There are some simple and fairly quick measures that can be put into place, which are likely to have positive effects:
Health nurses can discuss timely toilet training and explain issues around bladder and bowel health with families at developmental checks. They can signpost to appropriate sources of information, such as those on our website and alert families to early signs of constipation and how to address these.

School nurses can be alert to signs of continence problems at school entry, provide first line advice and refer on if necessary. They can explain continence problems to school staff, ensuring that they understand that inadequate or dirty toilets, which provide poor levels of privacy and where poor student behaviour is unchecked, can discourage students from using them. This may result in pupils avoiding drinking and withholding urine and faeces during the school day.

Schools should be encouraged to consider their policies with respect to access to water bottles and toilets during the day. Staff may also need explanations of normal fluid intake in school age children and to be reminded of the educational and health benefits of children being reminded and encouraged to drink regularly throughout the school day.

Sick Day Medication Dosing For Diabetes

During intercurrent illness, the risk of an adverse drug event could be increased by ongoing use of some medicines. They may cause harm with either continued use or abrupt cessation during illness. Factors to consider for dose adjustment include the type of medicine, formulation and pharmacokinetics, duration of illness and comorbidities.

Patients able to self-manage their diabetes medicines should be provided with a management plan for use during sick days. Patients who are not monitoring their own glucose should be advised to see their doctor when becoming ill.

An understanding of pharmacokinetic factors associated with significant illness (sick days) can be useful to predict and manage patients at most risk. Changes in drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion are well documented in critically ill patients. Unfortunately, there are less data to guide the prescribing of regular medicines in less severe illness.

When the illness is short-lived and relatively minor, changes in physiology and pharmacokinetics are unlikely to be a problem for most medicines and in most patients. However, there are exceptions when patient advice about dose adjustment and monitoring for adverse outcomes may be necessary.

Patients able to self-manage their diabetes medicines should be provided with a management plan for use during sick days. Patients who are not monitoring their own glucose should be advised to see their doctor when becoming ill.

Fact & Fiction About Registered Nurses

Fiction: Nurses are assistants to doctors
Fact: We are actually equal partners in health care, each with a separate and unique yet vital role. One is not an elevated version of the other. Nurses work to keep you healthy and well, helping you to heal when necessary, providing you comfort and care, supporting you at the end of your life, and bringing new life into the world.
Fiction: Most nurses work in hospitals.
Fact: Only about half of all nurses work in hospitals. The rest work in varied settings such as public health, schools, corporations, pharmaceutical companies, wellness centres, law firms, law-enforcement agencies and government agencies, just to name a few. Nurses also work doing health research, setting health-care policy, running not-for-profit and government health agencies, as health care facility administrators, and managing technology and patient-care data.
Fiction: Doctors are the only experts in health care.
Fact: Nurses are health-care experts in their own right. Much of their work involves health teaching to patients and family members. Examples include: Teaching an adolescent (and his/her family) who is newly diagnosed with diabetes how to monitor blood sugar, inject themselves with insulin, prevent complications and so on; working closely with a man who has recently had a heart attack to prepare him for the physical and emotional challenges of his medical condition while returning home and continuing his recovery and rehabilitation; instructing first-time parents how to care for their newborn; providing grief counselling and support to family members of loved ones who are dying or have passed away. These are just a few examples.
Nurses also have expertise in wound care, minimizing the risk of infections, avoiding and treating skin ulcers, managing continence, managing chronic illness, maintaining and attaining health and well-being, providing comfort care and counselling.