Why You Should Stop Sleeping Late On The Weekends

Weve got some bad news: Sleeping a few extra hourson the weekend may actually be bad for you. In effect, by spending a few additional hours in the land of dreams, you are giving yourself social jet lag, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.This, they say, can lead to health problems in the long run.

Circadian rhythms, which are also found in plants, animals, fungi and some bacteria, alloworganisms to coordinate their biological activity with the day-night cycle. Although this rhythm is built-in, it is adjusted to the local environment using zeitgebers (time givers), external clues like temperature, light levels and so on.

By changing our sleeping patterns over a short period of time, we are causing our natural rhythm to become out of sync with the surrounding zeitgebers, which in effect is what jet lag is. This new study aimed to investigate this phenomenon in a non-invasive way, allowing the subjects to live their normal lives while the researchers unobtrusively monitored their sleep patterns.

Over the course of the research, 447 peoples sleep patterns were tracked using sleep monitors attached to their wrists, which estimated sleep time based on the movement or lack thereof of the participants. Their health status was also assessed, and several blood samples were taken throughout the study. In particular, the researchers were looking for changes inblood sugar and cholesterol levels.

As expected, participants’ sleep patterns changed over the weekend, with many of the subjects staying up later and sleeping for longer. Worryingly, the researchers found an apparent correlation between this shift in sleeping pattern and the appearance of markers of detrimental health effects. The more dramatic the weekend shift was, the more likely the subject was to show lower levels of good cholesterol and higher amounts of triglycerides (other fatty substances) in their blood precursors to heartdisease in the longterm.

Image credit: Sleeping in on the weekends may be messing up your internal clock. cosma/Shutterstock

Those with a more dramatic shift were alsothe most likely to experience weight gain and exhibit symptoms associates with the onset of diabetes. Although this study did not show that anyone developedheart disease or diabetes, it does imply that sleeping in and staying up far later on weekends, and then switching back to a normal weekday work pattern, may eventually have a negative effect on your health.

However, the study did have some limitations: In particular, the researchers did not explore whether participants with greater social jet lag had different circadian rhythms than those with less. This means that certain people’s own circadian rhythms may have been more suited to the weekend sleeping pattern, whereas others’ may have been more compatible with the weekday sleep schedule.

A similar study, albeit more invasive, was conducted in 2012 by Harvard University. In this instance, the subjects were locked in a laboratory for several weeks, and were only allowed 5.6 hours sleep a night on a 28-hour-long day. Without a doubt, the most significantdetrimental effect was to the subjects metabolism, their ability to convert nutrients into energy.

At the beginning of the study, all the participants were physically healthy; by the end of it, three were beginning to show signs of prediabetes, in that they had incredibly high sugar levels that the body was almost unable to reduce. The others were progressing rapidly towards this state.

Sleep disruption is already known to increase the likelihood of getting heartdisease, diabetes and obesity; this new study, along with others, implies that by snoozing in for longer on the weekend, we are effectively causing our own circadian misalignment and risking our health as a result.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/sleeping-weekends-may-give-you-social-jet-lag

Beating Human Hearts Grown In Laboratory Using Stem Cells

Right now, there are 4,186 people waiting for a heart transplant in the U.S., but with a huge donor shortage not all of these patients are likely to survive. Growing transplantable hearts in a laboratory has been a long-standing dream within the medical community, and a study in the journal Circulation Research has moved it one step closerto reality: A team of researchers have successfully grown a beating human heart in the laboratory using stem cells.

Previous research has shown how 3D printers can be used to manufacture 3D heart segments using biological material. Although vacant of any actual heart cells, these structures provided the scaffold on which heart tissue could be grown. Now, a team from both Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School has taken this scaffolding concept and combined it with stem cells for some truly spectacular results.

The main problem with heart transplants, other than a lack of donors, is that theres a chance that the receivers body will reject the new organ. Their immune system will often register the foreign tissue as a threat, whereupon it will proceed to attack and destroy it. The only way to stop this from happening are drugs that suppress the immune system, and this is only successful in some cases.

For this study, 73 human hearts deemed unsuitable for transplantation were carefully immersed in solutions of detergent in order to strip them of any cells that would provoke this self-destructive response. What was left was a matrix (or scaffold) of a heart, complete with its intricate structures and vessels, providing a new foundation for new heart cells to be grown onto.

This is where pluripotent stem cells come in. These primitive stem cells have the ability to become almost any type of cell in the body, including bone, nerve, and even muscle including those found in the heart.

For this research, human skin cells were reprogrammed into becoming pluripotent stem cells. They were then induced into becomingtwo types of heart cells, which were shown to readily develop and grow on the lab scaffold when bathed in a nutrient solution.

Roughly 610,000 people die from heart disease in the U.S. every year. Could this revolutionary technique one day save many of those lost to this killer? DeReGe/Shutterstock

After just two weeks, the networks of lab-grown heart cells already resembled immature but intricately structured hearts. The team gave them a burst of electricity, and the hearts actually started beating.

Significantly, any heart cells grown in this way would be recognized by the patients immune system as friendly, as long as the original skin cells were sourced from their own body in the first place. This means that these lab-grown hearts would not be rejectedand, of course, theres no donor to wait for.

Among the next steps that we are pursuing are improving methods to generate even more cardiac cells, said Jacques Guyette, a biomedical researcher at the MGH Center for Regenerative Medicine and lead author of the study, in a statement.Although this study manufactured a whopping 500 million stem cell-derived heart cells for the procedure, regrowing a whole heart would actually take tens of billions, Guyette added.

So despite falling short of growing an entire, mature human heart in alaboratory from a patients own cells, this is the closest anyone has come to date to reaching this goal and that in itself is a breathtaking achievement.

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Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/beating-human-hearts-grown-laboratory-using-stem-cells-made-skin

Best Hospitals – Pediatric Heart Surgery at Texas Children’s Heart Center

Pediatric open heart surgery is nothing new for 5-year-old Makenna Franks. She was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a condition where her aorta and the left ventricle of her heart did not develop correctly. As recently as the mid-'90s, most HLHS babies died. However, at Texas Children's Heart Center, they have been able to reduce the death rate below 2% through a pioneering three-stage repair surgery. This is just one of the many reasons why Texas Children's Hospital was ranked #3 in heart and heart surgery in America's Best Children's Hospitals 2008.

Read more about Makenna her heart surgery at

World’s First Awake Cardiac Bypass & Valve Surgery, India

Visit www.whosp.com – Dr Vivek Jawali, chief cardiovascular surgeon along with his team at Wockhardt Heart Hospital at Bangalore have set a global benchmark by performing the first coronary bypass surgery along with an aortic valve replacement without using general anaesthesia or ventilator support while the patient was on a heart lung machine.The technique of high thoracic epidural analgesia is a highly precision based methodology which involves injection of micro doses of local anaesthetic in the epidural space around the spinal cord which anaesthetises only the chest region while the rest of the system is fully awake.

This technique is a boon for patients having multifaceted medical complications, required a bypass surgery and an aortic valve replacement. His lung condition did not permit the use of a ventilator and he was high risk for general anaesthesia. With his surgery being rejected at various centres before he came to us, his best chance of survival was an open heart surgery without general anaesthesia, in other words, an awake heart surgery. We give him that chance using the technique of high thoracic epidural analgesia and a new direction in heart surgery has been unveiled,' recounted Dr Jawali.

Dr Vivek Jawali and Dr Murali Chakravarthy, chief cardiac anaesthetist of Wockhardt Heart Institute are the national pioneers of awake coronary bypass surgery on beating heart through full chest incisions and over the last few years have performed more than 500 awake heart surgeries and have ten international publications on this topic in the leading journals of the world to their credit.

Skynews of UK profiles in this film a patient undergoing a painless awake heart cardiac bypass surgery that is safe for patients who are high risk for general anaesthesia. and this now throws open the possibility of cardiac surgery for many patients (many in their most productive years) who are termed inoperable,' explained Dr Jawali. wockhardt Heart Hospital at Bangalore, India is now a preferred destination for cardiac patients not only in India but also from all over the US, UK, Canada, Middle East and Africas. It is also a teaching center for clinicians from the sub-continent. For more details visit www.whosp.com

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Ross Procedure (Open Heart Surgery)

After being neglected by local doctors, I took control of my health care and found the perfect operation to correct my congenital aortic stenosis. I had a Ross Procedure on November 10, 2006 which saved my life at the age of 34. My case should be encouragement for others to act as their own advocate. I feel better than I've ever felt in my life and I am on NO MEDICATION. NO COUMADIN.

Lehrvideo: Offene Herz OP – Aortenklappen Rekonstruktion – open heart surgery – Medizinfilm

Hier sehen Sie einen Medizinfilm Ă¼ber eine Aortenklappen Rekonstruktion durch Dr. Rosendahl aus dem Herzzentrum Lahr/Baden.