Month: March 2014

CDC: 1 in 68 children diagnosed with autism

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The rates of autism continue to rise.

According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 68 children have been identified as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States. The new statistics represent a 30 percent increase from the 2012 estimates of 1 in 88 children with ASD.

“Community leaders, health professionals, educators and childcare providers should use these data to ensure children with ASD are identified as early as possible and connected to the services they need,” Coleen Boyle, director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said in a press release.

The findings were reported Thursday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. To get their statistics, researchers utilized community records regarding diagnoses, treatment and services provided to children with disabilities.

The report also found that rates varied widely between communities, ranging from 1 in 175 children in Alabama to 1 in 45 children in New Jersey. Additionally, the condition continues to affect more boys than girls: 1 in 42 versus 1 in 189 respectively.

Given this sharp increase in ASD incidence, CDC officials are urging parents to have their children screened for developmental delays as soon as possible.

“The most important thing for parents to do is to act early when there is a concern about a child’s development,” said Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, chief of the CDC’s Developmental Disabilities Branch. “If you have a concern about how your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, or moves, take action. Don’t wait.”

Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor for, said these numbers are shocking and are an indication of a major public health issue.

“Even if you take into consideration the more aggressive screenings, where in some cases, there might have been a misdiagnosis, I still feel that this continues to be a wake up call for parents, teachers, pediatricians and the federal government to better identify children on the spectrum, since the only effective tool for treatment we have is early intervention. Also, the discrepancy from state to state might give more weight to environmental factors as a cause.”



Caribbean Medical Schools: Preferred Choice for Canadian Medical Students

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Caribbean medical schools are the best destination for the students of Canada. A recent survey has found that most of the students in Canada prefer medical universities in Caribbean although the cost of medical education is high when compared to Canada.

Students study medicine in the Caribbean and do their residency training in Canada. Among the medical universities in Caribbean St George’s University, Saba University School of Medicine, Ross University American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, All Saints University School of Medicine, Dominica, Texila American University and Windsor University highlights the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS)

The main reason why the Canadian students apply to foreign top medical school is that they apply to medical schools of Canada two to three times and they don’t want to wait for many years through several attempts. On a survey it is proved that only 30% of the Canadians are accepted in the first attempt and in US 44%. So they prefer to best medical universities in Caribbean

CaRMS is an organization that approves candidates for a post graduate training position or graduates to do residency training in Canada. Without such training medical graduates cannot practice as doctors in Canada

Students studying outside Canada are doubled in the last five years. The main reason behind this is that they find difficult to study and practice in Canada

In 2006 CaRMS on its survey found that 80 schools have Canadian students enrolled in medicine over 30 countries. But among them 90% of the students willing to do practice in Canada which is not a easy one

Also it is noted that most of the students go to medical universities in Caribbean and some go to Ireland. There are also some destinations growing schools in Poland, Australia etc

Every year international medical schools are growing and they offer medicine program to international students. All these universities are targeting on the North American students. Although the tuition fee of studying medicine is comparatively high compared to Canadian medical schools, students prefer to study in Caribbean. It is estimated that the average fee of the program in Caribbean is $25,608 and in Canada $12,214. Ireland costs $49,800, Australia $42,334. Most students apply to best medical universities because they felt that they do not accepted in Canada due to high acceptance rates or else they have to wait for many years by taking repeated attempts

Most of the students studying in foreign medical schools are male and have completed secondary education than the counter parts in Canada. Most of the parents living in Canada are doctors and they are origins of Columbia and Ontario. So their children will easily get into Canadian medical schools that have lower acceptance rates

So studying in Caribbean Medical schools is an inviting option for the international students with affordable cost

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An innovative education portal helps students in choosing best medical schools

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caribbean an innovative online education portal provides the list of top medical schools in the Caribbean region which helps the students in finding the right medical school. caters all the requirements and the facilities in the each medical university which helps the students in choosing their appropriate medical university and grows beyond

This education portal is quite different from other portals, thanks to the uniqueness and innovative options that facilitates the students to make a right decision.  Also provides the details about clinical transfers and where to do clinical rotations. Caters the examination details in brief to prepare the students for the competitive scenario to get in to best medical schools

This one of the best education portal list all the details of universities which includes location, campus facilities, accreditation, programs offered, eligibility requirements, clinical rotations, food, climate etc. All these details are well furnished and these are updated then and there.

Besides all these provides study materials like question banks Frequently Asked Questions which would help the students to prepare for their exams and they can clarify their doubts in FAQ’s.

In addition to these exam resources this portal also provides the textbook solutions for the students. Main aim of this portal is to make the students to choose a best medical school in the Caribbean region simpler and effective.

This innovative online education portal is comfortable for the students to choose the best and right medical schools in the Caribbean region


Caribbean medical is an educational portal that brings all university details together that is located in the Caribbean region. Caribbean Medical Schools teach, train or conduct clinical research for various health care programs which includes nursing, medicine, dentistry and pharmacy.

The Caribbean medical is unique in bringing together the Medical Sciences sector, to discuss emerging issues in the delivery of world-class healthcare education related to Medical research and service.
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Diabetes and High Blood Pressure in Middle Age May Lead to Brain Cell Loss Later in Life

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People who develop diabetes and high blood pressure in middle age are more likely to have brain cell loss and other damage to the brain, as well as problems with memory and thinking skills, than people who never have diabetes or high blood pressure or who develop it in old age.

This is according to a new study published in the March 19, 2014, online issue of Neurology. Middle age was defined as age 40 to 64 and old age as age 65 and older.

“Potentially, if we can prevent or control diabetes and high blood pressure in middle age, we can prevent or delay the brain damage that occurs decades later and leads to memory and thinking problems and dementia,” says study author and Mayo Clinic epidemiologist Rosebud Roberts M.B., Ch.B.

For the study, the thinking and memory skills of 1,437 people with an average age of 80 were evaluated. The participants had either no thinking or memory problems or mild memory and thinking problems called mild cognitive impairment. They then had brain scans to look for markers of brain damage that can be a precursor to dementia. Participants’ medical records were reviewed to determine whether they had been diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure in middle age or later.

For diabetes, 72 people developed it in middle age, 142 in old age and 1,192 did not have diabetes. For high blood pressure, 449 people developed it in middle age, 448 in old age and 369 did not have it.

Compared to people who did not have diabetes, people who developed diabetes in middle age had a total brain volume average of 2.9 percent smaller. In the hippocampus area of the brain, the volume was 4 percent smaller. They also were twice as likely to have thinking and memory problems.

Compared to people who did not have high blood pressure, people who developed high blood pressure in middle age were twice as likely to have areas of brain damage.

“People who developed diabetes even in old age also were more likely to have areas of brain damage. Conversely, there were not many effects from high blood pressure that developed in old age,” Roberts says. “Overall, our findings suggest that the effects of these diseases on the brain take decades to develop and show up as brain damage and lead to symptoms that affect their memory and other thinking skills. In particular, diabetes has adverse effects regardless of the age at which diabetes develops.”

The study was supported by the National Institute on Aging, Robert H. and Clarice Smith and Abigail Van Buren Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program, Rochester Epidemiology Project, National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and European Union Regional Development Fund.

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11 Intelligence Killing Foods You Need To Avoid

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When it comes to nutrition, it must be mentioned that there are all sorts of foods: some super-foods are your greatest allies against extra pounds, while others stimulate your cognitive function and improve your memory. On the other hand, some foods are known to have a devastating effect on your brain functioning, and nutritionists advise us to consume them moderately in order to limit their negative impact. Having said that, here are the top 11 foods that kill your intelligence, slowly but surely:

1. Sugary Products

Sugar and sugary products are bad not only for your waistline, but for your brain function as well. Long-term consumption of sugar can create a wealth of neurological problems, and it can also interfere with your memory. On the other hand, sugar can also interfere with your ability to learn, this is why it is recommended to avoid pre-baked goods, sugar, corn syrup and products that are high in fructose.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol is known to harm your liver in the long run, and it also causes what is known as “brain fog”. Like the name suggests, the term of brain fog refers to a feeling of mental confusion, it acts like a cloud that impacts your ability to think clearly, as well as your memory. Have you ever noticed that you cannot remember common item names, or you cannot recall certain events or you are not sure whether they were dreams or they actually happened? This might be influenced by the high alcohol intake which impacts the balance of the brain. Fortunately, these symptoms are reversible provided that you stop consuming alcohol, or you limit your intake to one or two drinks per week.

3. Junk Food

A recent study that was performed at the University of Montreal has revealed that junk food can change the chemicals in the brains, thus leading to symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. Besides, foods that are high in fat can also trigger some symptoms that are similar to the signs of withdrawal when you stop consuming them. These foods affect the production of dopamine, an important chemical that promotes happiness and an overall feeling of well-being. Moreover, dopamine also supports the cognitive function, the learning capacity, alertness, motivation and memory. This is why it is important to avoid all foods that contain excessive fat.

 4. Fried Foods

Almost all processed foods contain chemicals, dyes, additives, artificial flavors, preservatives and such – these can affect the behavior and the cognitive functioning due to the chemical that causes hyperactivity, both in children and in adults. Fried or processed foods slowly destroy the nerve cells located in the brain. However, some oils are more dangerous than others – sunflower oil is considered to be among the most toxic ones.

5. Processed Or Pre-Cooked Foods

Just like fried foods, processed or pre-cooked foods also impact your central nervous system and they also increase the risk of developing a degenerative brain disorder later in live (such as Alzheimer’s disease).

6. Very Salty Foods

Everybody knows that salty foods affect your blood pressure and they are very hard on your heart. However, as research suggests, foods that contain high amounts of salt (sodium) can affect your cognitive function and impair your ability to think. Otherwise stated, salty foods affect your intelligence!

As a matter of fact, the consumption of salty foods and nicotine have been shown to have the same effects as drugs, as they cause harsh withdrawal symptoms and cravings for salty foods.

7. Grains, Except 100% Whole Grain

All sorts of grains have an impact on your brain functioning and your overall health, except for 100% whole grain which is very rich and fiber and it is known to prevent arterial aging. If you consume regular grains, your body risks to age quicker than it is supposed to and you can also experience memory loss and brain fog. Having said that, try swapping the regular carbs for the complex carbohydrates – all you need to do is to opt for whole grain bread!
8. Processed Proteins

Proteins are the building blocks of muscles and they are very important for the proper functioning of your body. Meat is the richest source of high-quality protein, but avoid overly processed protein such as hot dogs, salami, sausages and such. Unlike the natural proteins that help your body insulate the nervous system, processed proteins do exactly the opposite. Opt for natural fish (especially tuna and salmon), dairy, walnuts and seeds as these are natural, high-quality protein sources.

 9. Avoid Trans Fats At All Costs

Trans fats cause a series of problems, from heart-related issues to elevated cholesterol and obesity. However, they are bad for your brain as well, as they make your brain more sluggish, they affect your reflexes and the quality of your brain response – not to mention that they increase the risk of stroke!
Trans fats can also have other effects on your brain: if consumed for too long, they can result in a sort of brain shrinkage that is somewhat similar to the shrinkage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. This brain shrinkage takes place due to the fact that trans fats slowly damage the arteries – you can prevent this and lower the stroke risk by simply limiting your intake of trans fats.

10. Artificial Sweeteners

When people try to lose weight, they tend to think that they will become slim overnight by simply replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. It is true that artificial sweeteners do contain less calories, but they can actually do more harm than good! If used for an extended period of time, artificial sweeteners can cause brain damage and interfere with your cognitive capacity, especially if you use high amounts of sweetener.

11. Nicotine

Despite the fact that nicotine is not really a food product, it still wreaks havoc on your brain by restricting the blood flow to this important organ, along with the regular flow of glucose and oxygen. Nicotine not only causes premature aging, bad breath and poses an increased risk for lung cancer, but it also affects the production and the function of neurotransmitters by tightening the capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that play a pivotal role when it comes to your brain function.


Caribbean Medical School Options

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Caribbean medical schools offer many options especially entering into residency or to practice in the United States. Many medical universities in the Caribbean are accredited and gives opportunity for the students to practice clinical rotations in the United States. Even if these universities are WHO listed and your degrees are recognized, sometimes graduates of medical schools in the Caribbean are not allowed to practice in the certain or all states of United States. Before choosing a university one should have done research to select a top Caribbean medical school.

To practice in the United States here are some requirements that student should hold

  • Get graduated from the IMED listed university (International Medical Education Directory.)
  • Pass in USMLE 1 and USMLE 2 exams
  • Become certified in ECFMG board (not required for 5th pathway)

Most US residency programs do not accept students who have done 1 year of Clinical rotations in the United States. They do consider more than one year of rotations. Instead they ask for recommendation letters from those rotations

Even then some US residencies do not consider International medical school graduates. Besides ECFMG certification more than 12 states in the US expects additional requirements. So students should be careful before applying into any Caribbean medical universities and should check these issues

Caribbean medical schools are one typically providing Basic science curriculum in the first and second year of education. In the 3rd and 4th years of education rotations are take place in the affiliated hospitals. These hospitals are mostly located in the east coast.

Graduates from Caribbean medical schools are referred to as the Foreign Medical Graduates (FMG’s) or International Medical Graduates (IMG’s).  The graduates of Caribbean medical schools are represented in all the specialties. Mostly IMG’s practice in the Non surgical primary care facilities

The main reason why the International medical graduates are represented in the primary care specialty is that these are the most under staffed specialties, less competitive, and less compensated. As a result more residency programs accepts IMG’s in the Primary care field

In the Caribbean medical schools the faculty are well dedicated to teach and makes these schools are non research based. Students don’t want to consider this (non research based) because after MD graduation students will prepare their USMLE exams as US counter parts do

Find the best medical school and do research on the school directly to their website. In Caribbean medical schools the applications are invited for three different times, spring. Summer and fall

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Fighting Brain Damage from Stroke With a Substance Naturally Found in Humans

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A molecular substance found naturally in humans and rats can ‘substantially reduce’ brain damage after an acute stroke and help in better recovery, says a new animal study by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

The study, published online before print in Stroke, the journal of the American Heart Association, was the first ever to show that the peptide AcSDKP provides neurological protection when administered one to four hours after the onset of an ischemic stroke.

This type of a stroke occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked by a blood clot, cutting off oxygen and killing brain tissue with crippling or fatal results.

“Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide,” said Li Zhang, M.D., a researcher at Henry Ford and lead author of the study. “Our data showed that treatment of acute stroke with AcSDKP alone or in combination with tPA substantially reduced neurovascular damage and improved neurological outcome.”

Commonly called a “clot-buster,” tPA, or tissue plasminogen activator , is the only FDA-approved treatment for acute stroke.

However, tPA must be given shortly after the onset of stroke to provide the best results. It also has the potential to cause a brain hemorrhage.

The Henry Ford study found that this narrow “therapeutic window” is extended for up to four hours after stroke and the therapeutic benefit of tPA is amplified when tPA is combined with AcSDKP. Further, the researchers discovered that AcSDKP alone is an effective treatment if given up to one hour after the brain attack.

The researchers tested the actions of both substances on laboratory rats in which acute stroke had been induced. It was already known that the peptide AcSDKP provides anti-inflammatory effects and helps protect the heart when used to treat a variety of cardiovascular diseases. The Henry Ford scientists reasoned that the peptide may have similar neurological benefits.

Significantly, they found that AcSDKP can readily cross the so-called “blood brain barrier” that blocks other neuroprotective substances.

A battery of behavioral tests was given to the lab rats both before and after stroke was induced to measure the effects of AcSDKP administered alone one hour after onset and combined with tPA four hours after stroke.

Besides finding that both methods “robustly” decreased neurological damage associated with stroke, they did so without increasing the incidence of brain hemorrhage or the formation of additional blood clots.

“With the increased use of clot-busting therapy in patients with acute stroke, both the safety and effectiveness of the combined treatment shown in our study should encourage the development of clinical trials of AcSDKP with tPA,” Dr. Zhang says.

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