fbpx
Connect with us

Health

Two regions of the brain critical to integrating semantic information while reading, UTHealth Houston research finds

Published

on

Newswise — Two different regions of the brain are critical to integrating semantic information while reading, which could shed more light on why people with aphasia have difficulty with semantics, according to new research from UTHealth Houston.

The study, led by first author Elliot Murphy, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, and senior author Nitin Tandon, MD, professor and chair ad interim of the department in the medical school, was published today in Nature Communications.

Language depends largely on the integration of vocabulary across multiple words to derive semantic concepts, including reference to events and objects, and statements of truth. However, the way people integrate semantic information while reading remains undetermined.

“Typically, we take pieces from different words and derive a meaning that’s separate. For example, one of the definitions in our study was ‘a round red fruit’ — the word ‘apple’ doesn’t appear in that sentence, but we wanted to know how patients made that inference,” Murphy said. “We were able to expose the dynamics of how the human brain integrates semantic information, and which areas come online at different stages.”

To uncover this, researchers studied intracranial recordings in 58 epilepsy patients who read written word definitions, which were either referential or nonreferential to a common object, as well as phrases that were either coherent (“a person at the circus who makes you laugh”) or incoherent (“a place where oceans shop”). Sentences were presented on the screen one word at a time, and researchers focused their analysis over the time window when the final word in the sentence was presented.

Overall, they found that different areas of the language network showed sensitivity to meaning across a small window of rapidly cascading activity. Specifically, they discovered the existence of complementary cortical mosaics for semantic integration in two areas: the posterior temporal cortex and the inferior frontal cortex. The posterior temporal cortex is activated early on in the semantic integration process, while the inferior frontal cortex is particularly sensitive to all aspects of meaning, especially in deep sulcal sites, or grooves in the folds of the brain.

Murphy said these findings can help illuminate the inner dynamics of aphasia, a disorder that affects a person’s ability to express and understand written and spoken language. It can occur suddenly after a stroke or head injury, or develop slowly from a growing brain tumor or disease.

People with aphasia often have difficulty with semantic integration, meaning that while they can understand individual words, they cannot make additional semantic inferences.

“Both the frontal and posterior temporal cortexes disrupt semantic integration, which we see happen in individuals with various aphasias,” Murphy said. “We speculate that this intricately designed mosaic structure makes some sense out of the varying semantic deficits people experience after frontal strokes.”

Co-authors with UTHealth Houston included Kathryn M. Snyder, MD/PhD student; and Patrick S. Rollo, research associate and third-year medical student, both with the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery and the Texas Institute for Restorative Neurotechnologies (TIRN) at McGovern Medical School. Tandon is the Nancy, Clive and Pierce Runnels Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience of the Vivian L. Smith Center for Neurologic Research and the BCMS Distinguished Professor in Neurological Disorders and Neurosurgery with McGovern Medical School and a member of TIRN. Tandon is also a faculty member with The University of Texas MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, where Snyder is also a student. Kiefer J. Forseth, MD, PhD, and Cristian Donos, PhD, both formerly with UTHealth Houston and now with the University of California at San Diego and the University of Bucharest in Romania, respectively, also contributed to the study.

Source: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Health

6 Tips to Maintain Your Skin’s Health

Published

on

(Family Features) Your skin is your first line of defense against the outer world. As the body’s largest organ, it protects you from bacteria, viruses and other environmental hazards, including pollution, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and more. It also helps regulate body temperature, recognizes pain sensations and alerts you to potential health problems, making it one of the body’s ultimate multitaskers.

While some factors that impact your skin – like genetics, aging, hormones and certain health conditions – are out of your control, there are steps you can take to support and maintain your skin’s health.

Protect Yourself from the Sun
No matter the season, exposure to UV rays from the sun can cause wrinkles, age spots and other types of damage, which could lead to skin cancer. To protect your skin from these harmful rays, use topical sunscreen daily with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 – even when it’s overcast – and reapply regularly.

Boost Your Diet with Antioxidants
A well-balanced diet consisting of plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains is an important part of maintaining healthy skin. However, diet alone isn’t always enough.

Many dermatologists recommend Heliocare Daily Use Antioxidant Formula as an oral dietary supplement. It contains Fernblock PLE technology, an exclusive plant extract rich in antioxidant properties that works to counteract the negative effects of free radicals, which are unstable atoms generated through everyday life that can damage skin cells. Free radical damage can cause wrinkles, discoloration and other signs of environmental aging. Taking a supplement daily, like Heliocare, can enhance antioxidant intake to help maintain skin health. Plus, it serves as a companion to topical SPF.

Keep Skin Moisturized
Daily use of a face and body moisturizer can help maintain a healthier skin barrier. This helps draw moisture to your skin from the air and lock it in. For best results and optimal hydration, moisturize within minutes of drying off after bathing to trap in moisture. Also remember to drink plenty of water, which can help keep skin hydrated, too.

Reduce Stress
Uncontrolled stress can trigger the release of hormones that dull skin and cause it to produce more oil, which can result in breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage clearer, healthier skin, take steps to reduce stress such as scaling back your to-do list, setting reasonable limits, making time for things you enjoy or trying a stress-reduction technique like yoga, meditation or tai chi.

Wear Protective Clothing
In addition to topical SPF, covering skin as opposed to leaving it exposed to the elements can protect from sun damage. When UV rays are at their peak, typically in the middle of the day, consider wearing long sleeves, pants and a large-brimmed hat.

Get a Good Night’s Rest
During sleep, your body repairs itself and regenerates skin cells. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, during which time the body produces higher levels of collagen, a protein that supports healthier looking (and functioning) skin. Lack of sleep and collagen loss go hand in hand.

Learn more about skin, antioxidants and free radical damage at heliocare.com.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


SOURCE:
Heliocare

Continue Reading

Blog

Exploring the Healthiest Communities in the United States: California Counties Shine Bright

Discover how California’s Marin County leads the healthiest U.S. communities, boasting high life expectancy and low obesity rates in a recent study.

Published

on

A recent study by MarketWatch has unveiled a list of the healthiest communities in the United States, with California counties claiming top spots. Marin County, nestled across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, emerged as the healthiest county, boasting a remarkable life expectancy of 85, a lower-than-average adult obesity rate, and a mere 5 percent of residents without health insurance.

The study evaluated 576 U.S. counties using 14 key metrics, including food insecurity, healthcare access, life expectancy, health insurance coverage, and environmental factors like water and air quality. Western states dominated the top 10 list, with Colorado, Hawaii, and Montana also showcasing exemplary county health profiles.

The findings emphasized a correlation between community health and wealth, with affluent areas exhibiting lower rates of food insecurity and higher levels of health insurance coverage. The presence of nature parks in many of the healthiest counties underscored the positive impact of green spaces on well-being, aligning with scientific research on the subject.

However, the study also shed light on disparities, highlighting that residents in the unhealthiest counties face challenges such as limited access to grocery stores, higher rates of food insecurity, and inadequate primary care services. Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, was identified as the least healthy county due to high uninsured rates and poor environmental quality.

In California, 37 out of 58 counties were ranked, with Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties clinching top positions. The data revealed a stark contrast in median incomes between the healthiest and unhealthiest counties, with Marin County boasting a median income well above the national average.

This comprehensive analysis serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and healthcare professionals striving to address disparities and promote well-being across communities. It underscores the importance of factors such as access to healthcare, environmental quality, and socioeconomic status in shaping overall community health outcomes.

https://patch.com/california/sanrafael/ca-has-3-10-healthiest-counties-u-s-new-study-says

Want more stories 👋
"Your morning jolt of Inspiring & Interesting Stories!"

Sign up to receive awesome articles directly to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Continue Reading

Community

Empoderar a los afroamericanos con el aprendizaje de habilidades que salvan vidas

Published

on

(Family Features) En el espíritu del Mes de la Historia Afroamericana, usted puede empoderarse, educar a otros y mejorar la salud cardíaca de su comunidad convirtiéndose en un defensor de la RCP (reanimación cardiopulmonar) y del DEA (desfibrilador externo automático). Compartir la importancia de estas habilidades que salvan vidas puede ayudar a crear un futuro más saludable para las generaciones futuras.

Según la American Heart Association, los afroamericanos tienen la mayor incidencia de paro cardíaco fuera del hospital y tienen muchas menos probabilidades de sobrevivir. El paro cardíaco en las colonias negros se asocia con bajas tasas de tratamiento y supervivencia; los estudios han demostrado tasas más bajas tanto de RCP como de uso de DEA por parte de transeúntes en estas colonias.

En Estados Unidos, las desigualdades en salud son diferencias sistemáticas en el estado sanitario de diferentes grupos demográficos y, a menudo, son el resultado de barreras como el racismo, la pobreza, la discriminación, la falta de vivienda asequible, educación de calidad y acceso a la atención médica.

El Mes de la Historia Afroamericana sirve como telón de fondo relevante para la campaña Nation of Lifesavers de la American Heart Association, cuyo objetivo es alinear los principios de empoderamiento, participación comunitaria y equidad en salud. Al celebrar la abundante herencia y la resiliencia de la comunidad afroamericana, también se puede reconocer la importancia de fomentar la educación sobre la salud cardíaca y construir un legado de salud.

Puede defender la importancia de la capacitación en RCP y DEA compartiendo esta importante información en su comunidad.

RCP
Debido a que alrededor del 70% de los paros cardíacos fuera del entorno hospitalario ocurren en el hogar, aprender RCP puede salvar la vida de alguien que conoce y ama. De hecho, si bien el 90% de las personas que sufren un paro cardíaco fuera de un entorno hospitalario no sobreviven, se pueden duplicar o triplicar las posibilidades de supervivencia de una víctima realizando RCP de inmediato. Consta de dos sencillos pasos:

  1. Llamar al 9-1-1 (o enviar a alguien para que lo haga).
  2. Presionar fuerte y rápido en el centro del pecho.

DEA
Un DEA es un dispositivo portátil y liviano que administra una descarga eléctrica a través del pecho hasta el corazón cuando detecta un ritmo anormal y luego cambia el ritmo a la normalidad. Más del 15% de los paros cardíacos fuera de un entorno hospitalario ocurren en lugares públicos, lo que significa que los DEA de acceso público y la capacitación comunitaria desempeñan un papel importante en la desfibrilación temprana. La RCP combinada con el uso de un DEA ofrece las mejores posibilidades de salvar una vida.

Las ambulancias, los vehículos policiales, muchos camiones de bomberos y otros vehículos de primera respuesta contienen DEA. Además, se pueden encontrar en áreas públicas, como recintos deportivos, centros comerciales, aeropuertos y aviones, empresas, centros de convenciones, hoteles, escuelas, piscinas y consultorios médicos. Por lo general, puede buscar cerca de ascensores, cafeterías, áreas de recepción y en las paredes de los pasillos principales donde se reúne un gran número de personas.

Siga estos pasos para utilizar un DEA:

  1. Encienda el DEA y siga las indicaciones de voz.
  2. Retire toda la ropa que cubra el pecho. Si es necesario, seque el pecho.
  3. Retire el protector de las almohadillas y colóquelas en el pecho desnudo de la persona siguiendo la ilustración de las almohadillas.
  4. Enchufe el conector de las almohadillas al DEA, si es necesario.
  5. El DEA verificará si la persona necesita una descarga y le indicará cuándo administrarla. Mientras el DEA analiza, asegúrese de que nadie toque a la persona.
  6. Reanude la RCP si no es necesaria ninguna descarga. Si es necesaria una descarga, asegúrese de que nadie toque a la persona y presione el botón de “descarga” y luego reanude inmediatamente la RCP.
  7. Continúe la RCP hasta que llegue el personal de emergencia.

Obtenga más información y descubra cómo empoderarse a sí mismo y a su comunidad en heart.org/blackhistorymonth.

Foto cortesía de Shutterstock


SOURCE:
American Heart Association

Continue Reading

Trending