Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a disease that results in the sufferer losing the ability to control their bodies.


The chemical dopamine is vitally important in regulating the movement of the body by allowing messages to be sent to parts of the brain that co-ordinate movement. Parkinson’s suffers have a reduced level of dopamine that cause the symptoms as they can no longer co-ordinate movement. This reduction is caused by the loss of nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra which are responsible for dopamine production. As more and more of theses cells die less and less of the dopamine is made which leads to a disease that gets progressively worse over time. Early signs such as a persons writing getting smaller can in a matter of years lead to involuntary shacking and other symptoms that can make a person reliant on care from others. As with many diseases Parkinson’s affects each person differently which makes treatment difficult in the sense that a medication may help one person but then prove to be detrimental to another patient.

The actual reason for the nerve cells dying is still unknown with the most common suggestion being that many factors have a part to play. These potentially include exercise, genetics, exposure to chemicals, age and other environmental factors. This means that to this day there is no cure for the disease but there are treatments that can enable a sufferer to live a full life. These treatments include physiotherapy, dietary advice, medication and in some cases brain surgery. With many of these focusing on combating the symptoms caused by the disease regarding to movement or any of the wide range of symptoms that can occur making each person’s treatment unique to them. At the start when the disease is mild there will be no need for medication just regular check ups. Research is underway to try and prevent suffers from deteriorating to the point where they need medication.

A new treatment called brain cell therapy is one that is hoped to potentially be able to reverse the affect of Parkinson’s. It is thought that the brain can be coaxed so that other parts of it can take up the role of the nerve cells. This reprogramming of the brain has worked on mice buy giving them some molecules to reprogramme the healthy cells to produce dopamine. It has shown positive affects on the mice treated with the hope that this can be used on humans. Should this work then it could prove to be a cure as the dying cells would no longer be a problem as other cells can take their role. This also rises hope for other conditions that involves brain cells. If they can be reprogrammed to cure Parkinson’s then surly they can be reprogrammed to perform other functions of the brain that may be damaged. This raises hope for millions of people worldwide.


Thanks for reading

I won’t be writing any blogs for a few weeks due to as exams so will be prioitizing them until they have finished. Will continue once they are over, good luck to anyone else taking exams this season will be active again soon.


Body weight can affect the risk of migraines

New study links the risk of migraines with being overweight or underweight. 


A migraine is usually a severe headache that may be a recurring condition and can potentially harm someones quality of life. It is a common condition with half of the population between 18 and 65 estimated to have experienced a headache in the past year with 30 percent of these being migraines. A migraine can also display symptoms of nausea vomiting or increased sensitivity to light. The symptoms for each individual case can be different with reports of sweating, diarrhoea and poor concentration also being common symptoms.

There are many types of migraines these include

  • Migraine with aura which is a migraine that has warning signs associated with it for example a person my experience a loss of vision in the lead up to experiencing a migraine so can act as an early warning sign. These can occur up to an hour before a migraine.
  • Migraine without aura this is when a migraine develops without any warning signs so can be sudden pain which that just comes randomly. This is the most common type of migraine.
  • Migraine aura without headache this is when the warning signs are felt but then no headache occurs or when other migraine symptoms occur with no headache. This means there is no severe throbbing or pain the head but the body still displays other symptoms of having a migraine.

So far the cause of a migraine is unknown so there is no cure but thee are factors that are believed to increase the risk of having them. These include lack of sleep, stress and lack of exercise but it is unknown why these affect the likelihood.

A look into 12 studies involving 290,000 participants showed that people deemed as overweight having a BMI of over 30 were 27 per cent more likely to have a migraine than someone of normal weight. It was also found that people were were deemed underweight under 18.5 for BMI were 13 percent more likely to have a migraine than a person of normal weight. The results remained the same after considering age and sex.

The study can’t be completely accepted due to the data being put in by participants so may prove to be inaccurate as well as only a moderate correlation without considering other factors such as metal illness, diet or physical activity. Despite this suffers of migraines may wish to consider this as a potential way to reduce migraines with a change of lifestyle to put them at normal weight. So far the treatments of painkillers and other medication only help to treat the symptoms so this may be a way to prevent them.

I’m going to leave you with a quote from Dr. Peterlin  with a potential explanation for weight affecting the risk of migrates.

   “It is not clear how body composition could affect migraine. Adipose tissue, or fatty tissue, secretes a wide range of molecules that could play a role in developing or triggering migraine. It is also possible that other factors such as changes in physical activity, medications, or other conditions such as depression play a role in the relationship between migraine and body composition […] As obesity and being underweight are potentially modifiable risk factors for migraine, awareness of these risk factors is vital for both people with migraine and doctors.”

Thanks for reading like always anything you wish to add please feel free to comment.


Aids virus identified on this day in 1984

On this day in 1984 the cause of acquired immune deficiency syndrome the HIV virus was identified as the cause of this disease. This was announced by the national cancer institute lead by Dr. Robert Gallo.


This was of course a major discovery as up until this point it was unknown of the actual cause of aids making research and treatment incredibly hard. As the name suggests aids is a disease that affects the immune system prohibiting the bodies ability to sufficiently defend against further infection. As a result many aids suffers don’t die from aids itself but from another disease that would normally be dealt with by the immune system.

HIV is the virus that causes aids, it is a retrovirus that destroys T-cells which makes it a particularity difficult infection as these cells are the cells that are supposed to be destroying the virus and are vital in the immune system. A HIV virus will bind to the antigens of the cell and gain entry once inside the virus changes the DNA of that cells so that it produces more HIV virus.This is done by converting the RNA in the virus into DNA with the enzyme reverse transcriptase. The RNA and enzyme are both present in the virus and its this aspect that makes it retro virus. The T-cells then produce HIV viruses as this is now coded for in the DNA. The number of the viruses builds up in the cell until they cause the cell to burst, the viruses inside are therefore released able to infect other T-cells. This cycle is repeated again and again until there isn’t enough of these T-cells to combat any other infection which is then aids. Essentially leaving the body defenseless so susceptible to other diseases.


When discovered in 1984 it was hopped that a vaccine could be created in two years and now in 2017 we still don’t have a way of curing the disease. Despite this huge progress has been made with many people infected with HIV able to live long normal lives thanks to antiretroviral therapy. This is a range of medicines that help to control the virus to stop it getting out of control. Which is major considering before these were developed HIV was seen as a death wish.

Research into this area has also enabled scientists to have a greater understanding of the role of the T-cells in the immune responses. The spread though sexual contact as well as from mother to child has been explored leading to advice on prevention. Another discovery is that about one percent of the population is immune to the HIV virus, this is due to a genetic change that alters the antigens on the T-cells meaning that the virus can no longer bind onto the cell to gain entry. This opens up the possibility of gene therapy as a cure for the disease. With further developments and research it is in my belief that one day a cure will be found. All of this development made possible by the discovery of the virus back in 1984 on this very day.

If you have any questions feel free to ask

Thanks for reading



new potential treatment for antibiotic resistant bacteria

New treatment involving removing antibodies from a persons blood shows positive affects in bronchiectasis sufferers.


The bacterial pathogen pseudomonas aeruginosa can be one of the causes of infection in sufferers of bronchiectasis disease. This disease causes life debilitating symptoms such as chest pain, chronic cough and shortness of breath. This is due to a permeant enlarging of the airways in the lungs that makes the suffer at higher risk of infection. What makes this even more dangerous is the fact that the bacteria pseudomonas aeruginosa and other infections are multi-drug resistant. This makes treatment hard as antibiotics that would normally solve this issue prove to be ineffective which puts patients at higher risk of serious illness.

Two individuals suffering from this particular bacterial infection were treated with a new form of treatment called plasmapheresis which removed blood plasma from the patient, then took out the antibodies in this plasma. The antibodies were replaced by donor antibodies from blood donors. The plasma was then put back into the patient this is much like how kidney dialysis works just treating the blood in a different way. This treatment was carried out five time a week and resulted in significant improvements in the patients with mobility and independence being at its best from the last two years.


It is believed that the patients had an excess of a particular antibody that prohibited the immune systems ability to deal with the infection. Therefore meant that the lung disease got worse rather than better, to combat this they decided to remove the antibodies from their blood which is quite an unusual method but the results show that it improved the lives of the patients.

This research could help to provide am answer for infection that doesn’t rely on the use of antibiotics. There is also the possibility that this technique could be used to prevent a infection getting worse to help earlier down the line. Should this prove to be affective in other infectious diseases then could prove to be a vital component in the treatment of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Thanks for reading



We hadve all at one stage experienced a blister in one form or another and creates great discomfort which can the lead on to other issues due to the person walking awkwardly trying to relive the pain.


What actually is a blister?

A blister is a small pocket of serum, blood or pus depending on the cause and weather it becomes infected. This fluid acts as a cushion to the skin underneath that may have been damaged or irritated giving the skin a chance to repair itself. Blisters are able to develop anywhere on the skin but most commonly on hands and feet.

What causes blisters?

Blisters are most commonly caused by friction or heat resulting in the skin becoming damaged and needing to heal itself.

In terms of friction any rubbing has the potential to cause one weather that be by poor fitting shoes or holding equipment in your hands. Sports people are particularly susceptible due to to sweat making the skin surfaces moist which increases the chance of a blister developing. Warm conditions causes by exercise is also believed to be a contributing factor. A active person may also be wearing shoes more often then someone who doesn’t do as much sport again increasing the likelihood. Although sportspeople are more likely to have blisters this doesn’t mean that people who don’t exercise will be free from blisters in this way.

Exposure to excessive heat though sunburn or flames and even steam is a common cause due to the damage that the heat causes to the top layers of skin. It is also possible that other forms of radiation could contribute namely blisters by UV rays which can indicate skin cancer.

Other causes include

  • medical conditions (chickenpox)
  • contact with chemicals (detergent)
  • Infection
  • allergic reactions
  • cold


In most cases a blister should be left to heal naturally without bursting it or peeling off the skin. This will just lead to to an increased haling process as well as the chance of it becoming infected. A normal blister shouldn’t need any medical attention only if it is particularly painful or if it is belied to be infected should a person contact the GP. This is also the cause should the blister be in an usual place or should it be caused by an allergic reaction.



To prevent a blister from forming it is vital to have the the correct footwear to avoid rubbing as much as possible. Wearing suitable socks is also an effective method of combating this due to moisture being absorbed as well as providing a cushion. When handling tools wear gloves to stop the friction causing blisters. In terms of heat and chemicals make sure your skin is not exposed with the correct safety procedures and equipment in place. Finally blisters from sunburn can be prevented by wearing long clothes or by applying sunscreen.

I hope you enjoyed reading about blisters. Leave any comments or suggestions down below for the future.

Thanks George



Broccoli helps to prevent cancer

A compound found in broccoli (sulforaphane) has been found to be able to prevent cancer or slow down it’s development.  


The broccoli appears to switch on genes that help to prevent cancer while also switching off gens that causes the cancer to spread. It is believed that the many genetic changes that lessen thew risk of prostate cancer in particular. Cancer itself is deemed to be mostly caused by the diets of those affected with preventing cancer being easier than actually curing the cancer once it develops. With broccoli being the most beneficial it is also thought that other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower could also contain mechanisms to help prevent cancer.

They are able to do this by disrupting the cancer cells from forming colonies, lncRNAs are believed to play a part in the development of cancer, by being able to regulate gene expression. When they become dysregulated can be thew fuelling force for disease. The sulforaphane in broccoli is linked to being able to prevent this which then reduces the risk of a person developing cancer. This understanding is important not only in the prevention of cancer but also the treating, due to a better understanding of the cause in the first place.

There are many conflicting studies as to how much broccoli and cruciferous vegetables to consume to gain the best prevention of cancer. with some studies saying that one portion a week enough while others state that having half a portion a day is more beneficial. However with this said broccoli definitely does help to prevent cancer so it is a must in peoples weakly diet. Preventing cancer in this way is easy and means that less would actually develop the disease in the first place.

Thanks for reading George!


Social Media Causes Sense Of Isolation

Social media allows us all to communicate with anyone though out the world and allows instant messaging to friends and family so but it turns out that the use of social media increases the likelihood of feeling isolated.  


A study in 2014 based on multiple social networking sites such as Facebook, Snap Chat and twitter. Over 1500 people ages between 19 and 32 were used for the research with the participants having to declare the frequency and time which they spent on social media by filling out questionnaires. They also used a Patient report outcomes measurement system to assess the physical and mental health of participants. The study showed that people who used a social media platform over 2 hours a day are twice as likely to feel socially isolated than those who only used it for half and hour a day. This along with the fact that participants who visited social media 58 times a week were three times as likely to experience social isolation than those who went on nine times a week.

This information therefore concludes that the more a person uses social media then the more likely they are to feel isolated. Which considering that these networks allow a much more immediate and widespread communication span are actually detrimental to the social condition of the person. There are many theories why this is, one such is that people spending time on social media are doing so at the expense of other activities such as sports or clubs that would enable them to communicate face to face with other people. With the online communication not being as socially beneficial as actual conversations with people. Another theory is due to the nature of social media, everyone puts up posts of how well there life is going and glamorizes there lives. This can have a negative affect on a persons mental health as if already feeling down then looking social media will make some feel jealous due to other peoples supposably stress free lives.


The factor that I think affects the feeling of isolation the most is the exclusion factor. This is when a person doesn’t attend a social event and then the next day or the same night there are pictures on social media that portray the night to be very enjoyable. This can make anyone feel left out even if they were busy for that particular occasion but enhanced when this happens behind there back without an invitation. This is enough to make someone feel cast off, forgotten or unimportant by the group. This therefore leads the sense of being alone when before social media the person may have never even found out.

Social isolation is a growing health concern due to its association with high risk of mortality. With the increasing usage of social networks there is a potential for many more cases of the feeling of social isolation leading to premature deaths. The healthier someone is in the mind then the better they can function both physically and mentally. This makes it crucial to address this growing issue for the future health of the public especially due the the continuation of technology being an ever increasing part of all our lives.

How much do any of you use social media in a week please comment below.

Thanks for reading


Sickle cell disease gene therapy

A teenager in France has had his sickle cell disease reversed due to treatment changing his DNA.


Sickle cell disease is a condition that affect the shape of  red blood cells so that they are unable to carry out there function of transporting oxygen throughout the body as well. The cells are normally round in shape but the condition makes them rod shaped. This is caused by a inherited faulty gene that affects the development of the red blood cells. Not only can the cells not transport as much oxygen but they also have a chance to block up blood vessels that in extreme cases can lead to a stroke or lung problems.

Some people don’t have the disease but are carriers so contain the potential for the children to have the condition rather than themselves. This can have implications wheather to have children as they could be a carrier of the condition or actually have it themselves which could have a impact on there quality of life. This makes it important for suffers to have there partners checked so a decision can be reached.

To combat this there a variety of treatments that are available depending on the severity of the disease and the individual. This can be due to regular painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol or in some cases stronger in a hospital. Antibiotics can be used to counteract the higher risk of infection from the disease as well as ensuring that a person is fully vaccinated. A medicine called hydroxycarbamide can be used to reduce symptoms. Regular blood transfusions is used in extreme cases where the condition gets worse or when it damages parts of the body.

A newly explored treatment involves changing the genetic instructions in bone marrow, the part in bones that makes red blood cells, to rectify the coding error to make healthy red blood cells. A teenager in France has had this treatment done by using a virus to infect the bone marrow with the correct coding for them. The person used to have to go in for blood transfusions every month to dilute his blood but now 15 mouths after treatment they aren’t on any medication and appear to be completely rid of the disease. This example shows how gene therapy can give someone there lives back and can potentially improve the quality of lives for millions of people. The treatment needs to be tested on more people to see if it is viable as a mainstream treatment. The treatment can only be given in state of the art hospitals and laboratories so it will still be a while before it is widely accessible particularly due to the majority of suffers being in Africa. Even so this shows potential to play a massive role in treating sickle cell disease.

I hope you enjoyed reading if you have anything to add then please comment or any suggestions in general for my site.

Thanks for reading


National Cross Country

On the 25th of February I competed in the National cross country championships at Wollaton Park in Nottingham.


I went on a trip from the island to be able to compete in this competition as I have done for other events and previous years. The national cross country is one which I have attended for the last 6 years and have enjoyed each one with varying degrees of success. As you can probably tell by my placing this time I am certainly not anything special when it comes to running but do it for the fun. I like going out for runs and completing tough training sessions for the self satisfaction that it brings as well as to keep me healthy. It is also a great way to relive stress as well as any other negative emotions. Just being able to forget about everything going on and instead focus on the run, letting the brain have a rest from school work.


By running I have been able to meet lots of different people that all share the same interest as I do. It has therefore been a way of learning how to communicate with others to create new friends and share everyones different experiences. When I do sessions I do them with a group, I find this helpful as it means that I work harder than I would do without them. The feeling of people around subconsciously makes me try harder and also ensures that I attend sessions even when the weather is horrid or when I have no motivation. We all keep each other going in the toughest of sessions then also cheer each other in races to provide constant support to others in the group. So although running is sometimes seen as a solitary sport in reality there are communities created though the sport weather that being groups of runners or the whole club from coaches to officials.


In the future running will remain a way in which I can combat stress weather that be in the workplace or in my personal life, the sport will remain a large part of my life as I continue to train and hopefully improve.

Thanks for reading is anyone else out there a runner if so then what competitions have you competed in or what is your discipline.


P.S Im number 2257 in the red if your wondering


Everyone has sneezed and everyone will continue to sneeze it is one of the most common signs of a person with a cold or flu as well as a way in which diseases can be spread from person to person.


Why do we sneeze

Sneezing is a involuntary act that takes place due to irritation in the nose. This irritation can be caused by different stimulus for different people with the most common being pollen, perfume, smoke and any allergic substance. The nose senses that there is something within so will try go get it out with a large exhalation of air with the hope that the irritant will leave the body or get stuck in the mucus. The nose therefore goes back to its original condition and can function as normal. A sneeze is a reflex reaction that caused a violent reaction in the neck, chest, diaphragm and abdomen which all causes a blast of air leaving the nose. Inevitably saliva and mucus droplets will be forced out of the nose and can then spread the disease to another person.


With new research it has been revealed that the distance that a sneeze can travel has been servery underestimated. Having only thought that it could travel a distance of one meter in actuality a sneeze can travel over 8 meters which means that the chance of catching something off someone else is servery increased. This distance is due to smaller evaporating droplets creating a cloud which then stay suspended for minutes. If on the reciving end of a sneeze then unfortunately there is no way of being able to get away or cover your mouth if a mask hasn’t already been fitted due to the high speeds of the droplets. It is only the person sneezing that can help stop the spreading of the droplets we have all heard the slogan catch it, bin it, kill it. It refers to catching the sneeze in a tissue to then be disposed of and is the most effective way of preventing the spreading of illness. If a tissue is not hand though it is recommended to sneeze into your arm rather than your hands due to the potential spread of disease via door handles, keyboards and any surface that you touch with your hands. There is no way to stop yourself sneezing as it is a reflex response and no saying pineapples doesn’t stop a sneeze.

Thanks for reading if you have any questions or suggestions about me or my blog or anything you would like me to write about then please leave in the comments below. Source used down below.

Thanks George