Tuesday March 26, 2019

Researchers Develop Novel Device to Improve Diagnosis of Dizziness

In this technology, detailed in the journal Medical Devices: Evidence and Research, the sound levels which patients are exposed to can be minimised

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Dizziness
Novel device to improve diagnosis of dizziness.

Researchers have developed a new vibrating device using bone conduction technology, that can identify the causes of dizziness.

Half of older adults over 65 years suffer from dizziness and problems with balance. However, the current tests to identify the causes of such problems are painful and can risk hearing damage.

The novel type of vibrating device, developed by researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, is placed behind the ear of the patient during the test.

According to Bo Hakansson, Professor at Chalmers, the vibrating device is small and compact in size, and optimised to provide an adequate sound level for triggering the reflex at frequencies as low as 250 hertz (Hz).

But in bone conduction transmission, sound waves are transformed into vibrations through the skull, stimulating the cochlea within the ear, in the same way as when sound waves normally go through the ear canal, the eardrum and the middle ear.

Dizziness
Dizziness. Pixabay

In this technology, detailed in the journal Medical Devices: Evidence and Research, the sound levels which patients are exposed to can be minimised.

“The new vibrating device provides a maximum sound level of 75 decibels. The test can be performed at 40 decibels lower than today’s method using air conducted sounds through headphones,” said Karl-Johan Freden Jansson, postdoctoral researcher at Chalmers.

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“This eliminates any risk that the test itself could cause hearing damage,” Jansson added.

The benefits also include safer testing for children, and that patients with impaired hearing function due to chronic ear infections or congenital malformations in the ear canal and middle ear can be diagnosed for the origin of their dizziness, the researchers said. (IANS)

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Researchers Suggest Childbirth at The Age of 50 Safe

Besides pregnancy complications, the team also examined if the newborn suffered from poor physical condition, mortality or distress during labour

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Pregnant Women
Lady with her baby. Pixabay

It is as safe to give birth at the age of 50 as at 40 and it would not endanger the mother or the baby, suggest Israeli researchers.

The study, led by a team from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Centre, found that owing to medical and technological advancements – including extracellular fertilisation and egg donation – the age at which a woman can give birth has gradually increased.

“It turns out that 50 is the new 40 when it comes to childbirth,” according to Eyal Sheiner, Director at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Soroka.

“There is no doubt that medical teams will need to handle increasing numbers of birth for women over the age of 50,” Sheiner added.

Complications, such as premature births, gestational diabetes, hypertension and cesarean sections, were found higher among women over 40 who gave birth to children compared to those who gave birth below that age.

Epilepsy is likely due to the higher doses of topiramate when used for controlling seizures. Wikimedia Commons
Childbirth at 50 could be safe: Study. Wikimedia Commons

However, there was no escalation of these complications in women over the age of 50, compared to women who gave birth between the age of 40 and 50, according to the study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) 39th Annual Meeting on Pregnancy.

But Sheiner still advised to treat the pregnancies of women over the age of 40 as high-risk ones, even more so in case of pregnancies of women over the age of 50.

Special emphasis should be placed on tracking fasting glucose and pregnant blood pressure for early detection of complications, he said.

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The study included 242,771 deliveries at Soroka, of which 234,824 (96.7 per cent) occurred in women younger than 40 years and the rest occurred in women between the age group of 40 and 50 and older.

Besides pregnancy complications, the team also examined if the newborn suffered from poor physical condition, mortality or distress during labour. (IANS)