•   
  •   

Health & Fitness Weird gadget may cure hiccups, early study suggests

23:16  18 june  2021
23:16  18 june  2021 Source:   livescience.com

Chernobyl's liquidators didn’t pass on radiation damage to their children

  Chernobyl's liquidators didn’t pass on radiation damage to their children Exposure to Chernobyl radiation increased the risk of thyroid cancer by breaking DNA strands, but the effects didn't carry to the next generation.The new research is a step forward in understanding the mechanisms that drive human thyroid cancer, said Stephen Chanock, the director of the division of cancer epidemiology and genetics at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the senior author on both research papers. It's also reassuring for those exposed to radiation in events such as the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster and who plan to start families, Chanock told Live Science.

A simple device could be the solution to a deeply annoying problem that's plagued humanity for millennia: the hiccups.

image of a hand holding the hiccup-relieving device, which resembles a big plastic straw with a mouth piece at the top © Provided by Live Science image of a hand holding the hiccup-relieving device, which resembles a big plastic straw with a mouth piece at the top

When a bout of hiccups strikes, the brain stem shoots signals to the diaphragm that cause the muscle to contract and pull a gulp of air into the lungs; then the epiglottis, a flap of tissue behind the tongue, flips over to cover the windpipe and triggers the characteristic "hic" sound that give hiccups their name, Live Science previously reported. The involuntary reflex may serve some purpose in fetuses and newborns, in that hiccups may help train the brain regions and muscles involved in breath control. But as the "hics" serve no apparent purpose in older humans, at some point, they're mostly just a nuisance.

MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD one step closer to FDA approval

  MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD one step closer to FDA approval Barring results from an additional trial, the treatment could be approved within a few years.The study, soon to be published in the journal Nature Medicine, included 90 people with PTSD who all underwent talk therapy during the trial; these participants included combat veterans, first responders and victims of sexual assault, mass shootings, domestic violence or childhood trauma, the Times reported.

A quick internet search generates a slew of home remedies for hiccups. Some of the best-known tricks include holding your breath, drinking water from the far side of a glass and eating a spoonful of granulated sugar, while some case studies have suggested stranger cures, such as rectal massages and orgasms.

Related: Can a scare cure the hiccups?

But none of these solutions are backed by robust scientific data, and the typical home remedies "are plagued by unclear instructions, inconsistent performance and poor effectiveness," researchers wrote in a new study, published Friday (June 18) in the journal JAMA Network Open. "There is a need for a simple and effective method to stop hiccups," they wrote.

The study's senior author, Dr. Ali Seifi, an associate professor of neurosurgery and the director of neurocritical care at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said he saw a need for a hiccup remedy while working in the intensive care unit.

What is Darwin's Theory of Evolution?

  What is Darwin's Theory of Evolution? Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection isn't an idea with holes. It's one of the most solid theories in science. But what exactly is it?Darwin chose the term "natural selection" to be in contrast with "artificial selection," in which animal breeders select for particular traits that they deem desirable, according to National Geographic. In natural selection, it's the natural environment, rather than a human being, that does the selecting.

"Many patients with brain injury, stroke, and cancer chemotherapy patients get hiccups on my floor," he told Live Science in an email. For example, one of his patients developed hiccups after undergoing neurosurgery and became increasingly frustrated as the nurses helped him through various remedies, such as drinking from the far side of a cup. Just days later, Seifi got hiccups while delivering a speech to medical students, and in that frustrating moment, he "really decided that I have to find a definite, but simple solution," he said.


Gallery: 10 ways COVID-19 changed the world (Live Science)

So Seifi invented a device called the forced inspiratory suction and swallow tool, or FISST. (He has also patented the tool and branded it under the somewhat catchier name "HiccAway.") The device is a rigid plastic tube with a mouthpiece on one end and a pressure valve on the other. The user operates the tool by placing it in a half-full glass of water, "forcefully" sucking water through the mouthpiece and then swallowing the liquid.

The act of sucking up the water stimulates the phrenic nerve, which sends motor signals to the diaphragm, and the act of swallowing stimulates the vagus nerve, which helps control unconscious activity of the digestive tract and connects to the epiglottis, Seifi said. "Hypothetically, when we keep these two nerves busy with a different duty, they will have no time to mess up and generate hiccups," he said.

When people use FISST, "the hiccups are usually expected to stop instantly in one to two attempts," the team wrote in their report.

To put the device to the test, the researchers ran a crowdfunding campaign in 2020 in which volunteers could receive a free FISST to try. In all, 249 participants took part in the study and completed questionnaires in which they rated their experience on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 meaning "strongly in favor of home remedies" and 5 meaning "strongly in favor of FISST." The participants also rated their satisfaction with the product, in terms of its feasibility compared with home remedies.

More than 69% of the participants reported having hiccups at least once a month, with most bouts of hiccups lasting less than two hours. More than 90% of the participants rated FISST as superior to home remedies, in terms of both effectiveness and feasibility. These ratings were consistently high regardless of a given participant's hiccup frequency or duration.

While the results hint that FISST works better than other hiccup-relieving tactics, the study is limited in that it relied on subjective rating scales and lacked a control group, meaning a group of individuals who did not use the tool, the authors noted.

"Future studies will need to assess the efficacy of FISST in randomized clinical trials," in which one group gets a sham device, while the others test the real one, they wrote. Seifi noted that the team has already initiated such trials in the U.S., Japan and Switzerland.

Originally published on Live Science.

How do cats get their stripes? .
Several key genes dictate whether a house cat will have stripes, spots or neither.How cats get their stripes is a decades-old mystery in the life sciences, senior author Dr. Gregory Barsh, a geneticist at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, told Live Science in an email. About 70 years ago, scientists began developing theories as to why and how organisms come to bear periodic patterns, like the stripes on a zebra or the squidgy segments of a caterpillar's body.

usr: 0
This is interesting!