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Acoustic neuroma can be treated with cyberknife radiosurgery

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Dr Aditya Gupta
Acoustic neuroma can be treated with cyberknife radiosurgeryAcoustic neuroma can be treated with cyberknife radiosurgery
What is Acoustic Neuroma?
Acoustic Neuroma which is also known as vestibular schwannoma, is a benign tumour which is non-cancerous and usually grows slowly. It develops on the main nerve that leads from the inner ear to the brain. The branches of this nerve influence the balance, hearing and the pressure from an acoustic neuroma that can cause hearing loss, ringing in your ear and unsteadiness.
Symptoms
The symptoms start with the gradual loss of hearing in one ear and the problem is accompanied by the ringing in the ear also with the feeling of fullness in the ear. The acoustic neuromas can cause the sudden hearing loss.
The symptoms that occur over time include
1. Vertigo
2. Facial numbness and tingling
3. Problem with balance
4. Facial weakness
5. Change in taste
6. Difficulty in swallowing
7. Headaches
8. Clumsiness
9. Mental confusion
Cyberknife radiosurgery has revolutionised the treatment of Acoustic Neuroma.
Causes
The cause of the development of acoustic neuroma is unknown. A rare hereditary disease ‘Neurofibromatosis’ is associated with acoustic neuroma.
It can also be caused by
1. Continuous exposure to loud noise
2. Radiation on face and neck can lead to acoustic neuroma many years later.
In 1 out of 10 people, an acoustic neuroma is caused by neurofibromatosis type-2 (NF2). NF2 can run in further generations also. A person suffering from NF2 can develop benign tumours on the spinal cord and the coverings of the brain. Acoustic neuromas formed through the type of cells called a schwann cell. These cells cover the nerve cells of the body. That’s why this tumour is also called vestibular schwannoma.
An acoustic tumour grows with the nerve in the brain. This nerve is called cranial nerves or the acoustic or vestibulocochlear nerve. This nerve is responsible to control the sense of hearing and also the balance of the body. An acoustic tumour is rare and in between 1 and 20 people in every million worldwide are diagnosed each year with an acoustic neuroma. And it’s more common in women than men.
Acoustic neuroma treated with Cyberknife
Surveys say that two out of 100,000 people aged 30 to 60 develop acoustic neuroma, which makes this condition incredibly rare. The treatment depends on the size of a tumour. If a tumour is large, there will be more medical problems. The small size of a tumour is less than 1.5 cm, the medium is between 1.5 cm and 2.5 cm and large is 2.5 cm or larger. Small tumours require Cyberknife due to their size while the larger tumours typically require surgery.
The newest radiation therapy option for acoustic neuroma is a form of radio surgery that requires absolutely no incisions using a new technology called Cyberknife. Patients treated with this new non-invasive experience minimal to no side effects. Radio surgery techniques can stop tumours from growing by using high-dose exact precision radiation treatment. Patients treated by Cyberknife technology experience minimal to no side effects and receive treatment on an out-patient basis. After patients undergo radio surgery, the acoustic neuroma is closely monitored to confirm the growth has stopped or that a tumour has begun to shrink.
The surgery includes advanced robotics, tumour tracking and imaging capabilities. The patients with particular symptoms like pressure symptoms or imbalance may be best treated with this surgery because surgery will relieve the symptoms more rapidly. Also, the large tumours mean the size greater than 3.0 cm are best treated with surgery because these tumours can sometimes swell and cause obstruction in the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
Treatment starts with the CT scan. The CT scan image is then imported to the Cyberknife treatment planning system. The oncologist team plan to treat a tumour while avoiding surrounding important sensitive structures. The process involves several sittings and per sitting lasts for maximum 1 hour per sitting. The treatment does not require any sedation and is painless.
The chances of side effects are next to negligible. Hearing is preserved and achieved in 50-75% of the time. Temporary numbness of one side of the face is 2-3%. After the Cyberknife surgery tumours stabilise in size then shrink with time.


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If You’re In Your 50s/60s, Eat This Much Protein Every Day

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Protein is an essential mineral required for building muscle mass. It is a nutrient popular for weight loss, thanks to its appetite reducing and fullness promoting properties. Everyone from children in their growing age to older adults need protein, as it is the building block of human body which strengthens bones and builds muscle mass. People above 40 or 50 or those in their 60s also need protein to prevent loss of muscle. Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal says that since protein is publicised for its benefits on bone health, it is as important as calcium and Vitamin D for older adults.

How much protein is required for people in their 50s/60s?

Ask her about the amount of protein intake that is recommended for people above 50, 60 and she says, “55-60 gms of protein per day is the recommended intake of protein for 50, 60 plus. Protein helps in healing of tissues, a process which slows down in old age. Also, we have to keep in mind that, protein levels should not exceed these recommendations, as kidneys may not be able to perform optimally around that age. However, 55-60 gms of protein is recommended on daily basis to maintain muscle and bone health.”

 

However, apart from protein, people above the age of 50 and 60 require other nutrients like Vitamin A, D, iron, calcium and fibre as well. Diet requirements change as you age and including the right kind of foods in your diet can help you have a healthy old age. ” Fibre is key for good digestion and prevention of constipation. Fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in fibre. Examples of iron-rich food includes eggs, bread, green vegetables, and breakfast cereals. Calcium-rich food is important to prevent osteoporosis. Soy, tofu, and green leafy vegetables like broccoli have a good amount of calcium. Other essential vitamins for old age are Vitamin A and D. Also, people above the age of 60 should cut down intake of salt in order to reduce risk of heart disease,” recommends Nmami.

Lifestyle tips for the 50, 60 plus

  1. Eat nutrient rich foods only. Every time you eat, consider it as a chance to nourish your body. Vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein are all important for people of this age group.
  2. Try to maintain a healthy weight by being physically active and having a balanced diet. Exercise regularly. Go for brisk walking every day, do yoga and also some strength training to maintain a healthy weight. These exercises can help maintain strength and promote cardiovascular health. They can reduce your stress levels and help you have a positive outlook towards life.
  3. Keep yourself well hydrated. Make sure you drink sufficient water every day. It is also an effective way to maintain hydration levels. You can also eat more hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumber, banana, milk, strawberries, etc. Good hydration levels will improve your immunity at old age.

4.Quit on caffeine to keep away from harmful toxins.

(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)

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Health

Plant cellulose may be used to create bone implants

The Kashmir Monitor

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Scientists have used plant cellulose to develop a strong, lightweight sponge that could be used as bone implants of the future. Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and McMaster University in Canada have developed an airy, foamlike substance that can be injected into the body and provide scaffolding for the growth of new bone. It is made by treating nanocrystals derived from plant cellulose so that they link up and form an aerogel that can compress or expand as needed to completely fill out a bone cavity.

“Most bone graft or implants are made of hard, brittle ceramic that doesn’t always conform to the shape of the hole, and those gaps can lead to poor growth of the bone and implant failure,” said Daniel Osorio, a PhD student at McMaster. “We created this cellulose nanocrystal aerogel as a more effective alternative to these synthetic materials,” said Osorio.

Researchers worked with two groups of rats, with the first group receiving the aerogel implants and the second group receiving none. Results showed that the group with implants saw 33 per cent more bone growth at the three-week mark and 50 per cent more bone growth at the 12-week mark, compared to the controls. “These findings show, for the first time in a lab setting, that a cellulose nanocrystal aerogel can support new bone growth,” said Emily Cranston, a professor at UBC.

 

The implant should break down into non-toxic components in the body as the bone starts to heal. “We can see this aerogel being used for a number of applications including dental implants and spinal and joint replacement surgeries,” said Kathryn Grandfield, at McMaster. “And it will be economical because the raw material, the nano-cellulose, is already being produced in commercial quantities,” said Grandfield.

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Health

Skin diseases more prevalent than thought: Study

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Skin diseases may be much more prevalent than thought, but many affected people do not consult a physician, a study has found.

The published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology estimated the prevalence of skin diseases outside the typical medical setting.

To include people who never or rarely seek medical aid, the study did not rely on health insurance data, but rather on data collected at the Munich Oktoberfest in Germany.

 

Screening examinations were performed randomly on participating visitors by researchers from University of Munich in Germany. Of the 2,701 individuals in the study, at least one skin abnormality was observed in 1,662 of the participants (64.5 per cent). The most common diagnoses were actinic keratosis (26.6 per cent), rosacea (25.5 per cent), and eczema (11.7 per cent). Skin diseases increased with age and were more frequent in men (72.3 per cent) than in women (58.0 per cent).

Nearly two-thirds of the affected participants were unaware of their abnormal skin findings.

“Skin diseases might be even more prevalent than previously thought. Considering their significant impact on individual, family, and social life as well as their heavy economic burden caused by inadequate self- or non-physician treatment, the public health importance of skin diseases is underappreciated,” said Alexander Zink, of the Technical University of Munich. “Information and awareness campaigns are needed to better address this neglected issue and to reduce the global burden of skin diseases,” said Zink.

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