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Do you suffer with unexplained symptoms such as headaches, sleep problems and dizziness following exposure to electromagnetic fields? You could be suffering from this condition.

Brain tumour among children on the rise in India

Brain tumour is a cancerous or a non-cancerous mass of growth of abnormal cells in the brain and is a leading cause of death in India. Every year over 2,500 of the Indian children suffer from medulloblastoma, a paediatric malignant primary brain tumour. (Representational image) New Delhi: Cases of brain tumour, especially among children, have witnessed an increase in the country in the recent years. Brain tumour is a cancerous or a non-cancerous mass of growth of abnormal cells in the brain and is a leading cause of death in India. Shockingly, it is on the rise in the age group of 3-15 years, where the chances of survival are also less. Every year over 2,500 of the Indian children suffer from medulloblastoma, a paediatric malignant primary brain tumour. “It is rising in the paediatric age group of 3-15. This month alone we saw 10 such cases of malignant cancerous tumour,” said Dr P.N. Pandey from the department of neurosurgery in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital. “In such cases, the tumour is mostly uncontrolled and starts developing when the baby is in the prenatal stage. Survival, in such cases, is one to two years after the tumour is detected in the child,” he said. The doctor added that the environmental factors to which a mother is exposed, affect the baby in both pre natal and post natal life. According to a study in 2016, every year 40,000-50,000 persons are diagnosed with brain tumour in India, out of which 20 per cent are children. The study showed a drastic increase in the cases of brain tumour in children post 2015. Doctors said that this could be attributed to long-term mobile use. “There is a lot of literature that establishes a link between mobile radiation and brain tumour. Mobile phones emit radiation from their antennas and kids are at high risk as they possess soft tissues near the ear. It is advisable for children, adolescents, and also pregnant women, to use headphones while on call or use the speaker,” said Dr P.K. Sethi, professor and consultant of the neurology department at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Even in elder patients, more and more brain tumour cases are being recorded than before. Out of 3,800 surgeries conducted in AIIMS per year, around 1,500 pertain to brain tumour. “In the neurology OPD, we get around 10 to 15 per cent cases of brain tumour. The waiting list is also increasing every year. Currently, it ranges from three to six months,” said Dr A.K. Mahapatra, professor and chief of the department of neurosurgery at AIIMS. Doctors, however, added that the rising number of cases can also be attributed to unawareness among the public and enhanced technology through which diagnostic detection has increased. “In LNJP, out of every 80 patient, five are suffering from brain tumour. Earlier, people didn’t consult doctors for headaches. An increased awareness has led to recording of more such cases,” said Dr Pandey. However, not all these patients are from Delhi. Government hospitals see a lot of influx from neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, etc.

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Sperm count drop 'could make humans extinct'

Abstract Humans could become extinct if sperm counts in men continue to fall at current rates, a doctor has warned. Researchers assessing the results of nearly 200 studies say sperm counts among men from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, seem to have halved in less than 40 years. Some experts are sceptical of the Human Reproduction Update findings. But lead researcher Dr Hagai Levine said he was "very worried" about what might happen in the future. The assessment, one of the largest ever undertaken, brings together the results of 185 studies between 1973 and 2011. Dr Levine, an epidemiologist, told the BBC that if the trend continued humans would become extinct.

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Long-term cell phone use increases brain cancer risk

According to a recent CDC survey Survey, for the first time more American households have cell phones than land lines. Meanwhile the evidence keeps accruing that long term cell phone use appears to increase brain cancer risk.

In the U.S. the lifetime risk of developing glioma, the most common brain cancer, is between 1 in 200 and 1 in 250. If the risk increased by 40% due to cell phone use, the likelihood of developing glioma during your lifetime would be between 1 in 140 and 1 in 180. If the risk doubles, the lifetime risk of developing glioma would be between 1 in 100 and 1 in 125.

Four major reviews of the research on cell phone use and brain tumor risk have been published in peer-reviewed journals this year. All of these studies report finding a statistically significant relationship between cell phone use of ten or more years and brain tumor risk especially on the side of the head where the cell phone was predominantly placed during phone calls (i.e., ipsilateral use).

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Ten gigahertz microwave radiation impairs spatial memory, enzymes activity, and histopathology of developing mice brain

Abstract For decades, there has been an increasing concern about the potential hazards of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields that are present in the environment and alarming as a major pollutant or electro-pollutant for health risk and neuronal diseases. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to explore the effects of 10 GHz microwave radiation on developing mice brain. Two weeks old mice were selected and divided into two groups (i) sham-exposed and (ii) microwave-exposed groups. Animals were exposed for 2 h/day for 15 consecutive days. After the completion of exposure, within an hour, half of the animals were autopsied immediately and others were allowed to attain 6 weeks of age for the follow-up study. Thereafter results were recorded in terms of various biochemical, behavioral, and histopathological parameters. Body weight result showed significant changes immediately after treatment, whereas non-significant changes were observed in mice attaining 6 weeks of age. Several other endpoints like brain weight, lipid peroxidation, glutathione, protein, catalase, and superoxide dismutase were also found significantly (p < 0.05) altered in mice whole brain. These significant differences were found immediately after exposure and also in follow-up on attaining 6 weeks of age in microwave exposure group. Moreover, statistically significant (p 0.001) effect was investigated in spatial memory of the animals, in learning to locate the position of platform in Morris water maze test. Although in probe trial test, sham-exposed animals spent more time in searching for platform into the target quadrant than in opposite or other quadrants. Significant alteration in histopathological parameters (qualitative and quantitative) was also observed in CA1 region of the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and ansiform lobule of cerebellum. Results from the present study concludes that the brain of 2 weeks aged mice was very sensitive to microwave exposure as observed immediately after exposure and during follow-up study at 6 weeks of age.

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Handheld screen time linked with speech delays in young children

Source:

American Academy of Pediatrics

Summary:

As the number of smart phones, tablets, electronic games and other handheld screens in US homes continues to grow, some children begin using these devices before beginning to talk. New research suggests these children may be at higher risk for speech delays.

As the number of smart phones, tablets, electronic games and other handheld screens in U.S. homes continues to grow, some children begin using these devices before beginning to talk. New research being presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting suggests these children may be at higher risk for speech delays. Researchers will present the abstract, "Is handheld screen time use associated with language delay in infants?" on Saturday, May 6 at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. The study included 894 children between ages 6 months and 2 years participating in TARGet Kids!, a practice-based research network in Toronto between 2011 and 2015.

By their 18-month check-ups, 20 percent of the children had daily average handheld device use of 28 minutes, according to their parents. Based on a screening tool for language delay, researchers found that the more handheld screen time a child's parent reported, the more likely the child was to have delays in expressive speech. For each 30-minute increase in handheld screen time, researchers found a 49 percent increased risk of expressive speech delay. There was no apparent link between handheld device screen time and other communications delays, such as social interactions, body language or gestures. "Handheld devices are everywhere these days," said Dr. Catherine Birken, MD, MSc, FRCPC, the study's principal investigator and a staff pediatrician and scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). "While new pediatric guidelines suggest limiting screen time for babies and toddlers, we believe that the use of smartphones and tablets with young children has become quite common. This is the first study to report an association between handheld screen time and increased risk of expressive language delay."

Dr. Birken said the results support a recent policy recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics to discourage any type of screen media in children younger than 18 months. More research is needed, she said, to understand the type and contents of screen activities infants are engaging in to further explore mechanisms behind the apparent link between handheld screen time and speech delay, such as time spent together with parents on handheld devices, and to understand the impact on in-depth and longer-term communication outcomes in early childhood.

Lead author Julia Ma, HBSc, an MPH student at the University of Toronto, will present the abstract, "Is handheld screen time use associated with language delay in infants?" at 10:30 a.m.

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