Sunday April 22, 2018

Cardiac device wearers should maintain distance from smartphones, says a research

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London: If you wear a cardiac device such as a pacemaker, better keep away from smartphones, researchers say.

“Pacemakers can mistakenly detect electromagnetic interference (EMI) from smartphones as a cardiac signal, causing them to briefly stop working,” said first author Carsten Lennerz from German Heart Centre, Munich.

“This leads to a pause in the cardiac rhythm of the pacing dependent patient and may result in syncope.”

“For implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) the external signal mimics a life threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmia, leading the ICD to deliver a painful shock,” Lennerz said.

Device manufacturers and regulatory institutions including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend a safety distance of 15 to 20 cm between pacemakers or ICDs and mobile phones.

Now, new cardiac devices are in use including ICDs, cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) and MRI compatible devices.

The current study evaluated whether the recommended safety distance was still relevant with the smartphones, networks and cardiac devices.

A total of 308 patients (147 pacemakers and 161 ICDs, including 65 CRTs) were exposed to the electromagnetic field of three common smartphones (Samsung Galaxy 3, Nokia Lumia, HTC One XL), which were placed on the skin directly above the cardiac device.

The actions were performed in GSM, LTE and UMTS at the maximum transmission power and at 50 Hz, a frequency known to influence cardiac implantable electronic devices. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) were recorded continuously and checked for interference.

More than 3,400 tests on EMI were performed. One out of 308 patients (0.3 percent) was affected by EMI caused by smartphones.

This patient’s MRI compatible ICD misdetected electromagnetic waves from the Nokia and HTC smartphones operating on GSM or UMTS as intracardiac signals.

“Interference between smartphones and cardiac devices is uncommon but can occur so the current recommendations on keeping a safe distance should be upheld.”

“Interestingly, the device influenced by EMI in our study was MRI compatible which shows that these devices are also susceptible.”

The results were presented at the joint meeting of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) and Cardiostim, which is in Milan, Italy. (IANS)

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Prenatal choline may boost babies’ metabolism, brain development

Researchers have found that consuming more foods with choline during pregnancy may boost metabolism and brain development of babies.

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Epilepsy drug in pregnant women may increase oral cleft risk in baby
Epilepsy drug in pregnant women may increase oral cleft risk in baby. wikimedia commons

Researchers have found that consuming more foods with choline during pregnancy may boost metabolism and brain development of babies. Although the role of choline in neurodevelopment has been studied before in rodents, the new research was conducted on pigs, which has more relevance to humans.

Austin Mudd, a doctoral student in the Neuroscience Program at the University of Illinois said,”In pigs from choline-deficient moms, their brains were about 10 percent smaller overall.” And 11 of the 19 regions were significantly smaller in choline-deficient brains, he said. The result was the same in grey and white matter concentration of the piglets.

This may increase baby’s metabolism and brain development. Pixabay

Conversely, piglets whose mothers consumed sufficient choline during pregnancy had higher concentrations of grey and white matter in the brain’s cortical regions. Grey matter is primarily made up of the neurons themselves, while white matter comprises the material that connects neurons and bridges in different parts of the brain.

Also Read: Acupuncture May Boost Chances Of Pregnancy Through IVF

For the study, the team gave pregnant sows choline-deficient or choline-sufficient diets through the second half of their pregnancies. After weaning, piglets were fed choline-deficient or choline-sufficient milk replacer for 30 days. Then the month-old piglets were scanned by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The left and right cortex were found to be larger in the choline-sufficient pigs, as a result of the a greater density of grey matter in the brain. As part of the study, some of the pigs from choline-deficient mothers were also given adequate amounts of choline after birth.

genetic testing
This is wonderful for mothers and babies. Pixabay

The results showed that it is not sufficient for the brain. “Postnatal supplementation cannot correct for prenatal deficiency. It has to occur during development,” explained Ryan Dilger, associate professor at the varsity.

“We know that the structural alteration is there, but it may not manifest in ways we can see until later in life. That’s why it’s important to think about this during gestation because the changes are occurring then,” Mudd noted. The study was published in Current Developments in Nutrition. IANS