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Stroke: Saving The Penumbra

strokeStroke is one of the most dreaded life threatening and altering health conditions affecting the world’s population. Fear of stroke is majorly due to its lasting effects on surviving victims like paralysis. It is also feared due to the fact that it can cause death if not treated immediately and properly. Actually almost quarter of stroke victims always die. According to a 2004 research conducted by American Heart Association, about 700,000 new or recurrent cases of stroke occur yearly in the United States of America. According to the same study, about 4.9 million stroke survivors live today. The same research also estimates the direct and indirect costs of stroke to be about 53.6 billion American dollars. The 30 year projection by the study shows that these numbers will increase and as such outpace the overall population growth.

Available statistics is a pointer to the devastating effects that stroke has on the victims as well as o family and friends. Imagine your spouse, parent, child, brother/sister or your closest friend permanently paralyzed after a stroke. Now you have to spoon feed them, wash them and move them around on wheelchairs. Majority of survivors of stroke lose their jobs because of paralysis that renders them unable to perform at work.

The effects of stroke could be social, economic, physical and emotional.

Emotional effects of stroke

When a stroke victim is hospitalized, it affects their emotions due to the strange environment in the hospital. The change in routine and lack of ability to take in what is happening to them is a serious blow to their emotions.

Physical effects of stoke

Onset of stroke causes loss of power in the muscles of the face, trunk, arm and leg on one side of the body. The power however gradually returns in most cases. However, the limbs need to be put through a range of movements and placed in the right position lest they stiffen and become useless even with the return of power. Survivors may in such cases need to move around on wheel chairs and be assisted with their daily physical activities

Financial effects of stroke

Hospitalization bills, loss of employment and the cost of assistance that a stroke survivor would need are some of the financial implications of stroke.

Social effects of a stroke

After an attack by stroke, the life of the survivor greatly changes not only for them but for people close to them too.

What really is stroke?

It would not make sense to discuss stroke without giving its scientific definition and explaining how it occurs.

Stroke, also referred to as cerebro-vascular accident (CVA) is a medical condition resulting from cut-off of blood supply to part of the brain. Brain tissues in the affected area are damaged and eventually die off. This is because the interrupted blood supply deprives the tissues of oxygen and nutrients which they require to function always supplied in blood.

Depending on what causes the cut-off of blood supply to the tissues, there are two kinds of stroke:

  1. Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot interrupts the supply of blood to the brain tissues in the affected area. This kind accounts for about 85% of all stroke cases.
  2. Hemorrhagic stroke results when blood vessels in the brain rapture and bleed thus interrupting supply of blood to the tissues of the affected area.

In the affected area, there are two major zones of injury:

  1. The core ischemic zone is the zone of severe ischemia with blood flow as low as 10 to 25%. This leads to loss of oxygen and nutrients thus energy stores are rapidly depleted. The result of this is death of neurons and supporting cellular elements
  2. Ischemic penumbra zone is a thin layer of tissues that are found between the core ischemic zone and the normally perfused area. Cells in this zone may remain viable for several hours since arteries anastomosing with branches of the blocked vascular tree supply blood to them. This supply is however not sufficient enough to sustain the neural nutrient and oxygen demand indefinitely. The cells of the penumbra will thus eventually die unless there is reestablishment of reperfusion during the early stages of stroke.

Saving the penumbra

StrokePharmacological interventions are most effective in the penumbra zone. All acute stroke therapies aim at saving the penumbra.

The only approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke to date is intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV t-PA). The aim of this treatment is to restore the patency of the artery and increase blood flow. This has the effect of reducing the amount of cerebral damage and in effect reduces functional deficits. Its use is limited to 3-4.5 hours after the onset of stroke. This is because chances of it causing a cerebral hemorrhage drastically increase after several hours.

Another treatment called Neurothrombectomy is approved in US for use in removing blood clots in a time span of 8 hours from the onset of stroke. It requires the services of an experienced invasive neurologist.

There exists an unmet need to develop more treatments of acute ischemic stroke.

For more information about bone marrow transplant and stem cell transplantation, visit www.awaremednetwork.com. Dr. Dalal Okoury has years of experience in integrative medicine and will be of assistance.

While at it, visit http://www.integrativeaddiction2015.com to learn about the upcoming integrative addiction conference 2015. The conference will deliver unique approaches to telling symptoms of addiction and how to assist patients of addiction.

Stroke: Saving The Penumbra



Diet for Adrenal Fatigue

Choose the Safest Diet for Adrenal Fatigue

DietThe need for a good diet in the body can never be underestimated. Your food ought to be your medicine. Most of the diseases that we now suffer from are as a result of poor diet. From elementary schools in home science lessons pupils are taught on the benefits of balanced diet, however most of these lessons are never carried out of the classrooms; they are confined within the walls of the classroom and children enjoy sampling some of the ‘sweetest’ delicacies or snacks that end up to be a slow poison in their lives. Today children are suffering from various diseases that are a corollary to poor diet even adults are victims and this explain why obesity has since become a world threat. With proper diet very many diseases can be prevented or even fought and won. To begin with let’s know what adrenal fatigue is.

What is adrenal fatigue?

The term Adrenal Fatigue refers to a stress-related condition that is suffered when the adrenal glands, hypothalamus and pituitary gland are functioning below their optimal level. If the adrenal glands are new to you then you need to spare some time out of your rather busy schedule and learn on their functions, it by doing this that you will know how important they are and the need to take care of them well by eating the foods that will maintain their good health. the adrenal glands perform very vital roles that all aims at maintaining our good health but most importantly they control how the body respond to stress by releasing hormones like cortisol, DHEA and epinephrine, which are used to regulate your heart rate, immune system, energy storage and improve the general health and stability.

The adrenal glands will weaken when they are overstimulated for a long period of time. Some of the common causes of adrenal fatigue include long term exposure to stress that may stem from job, family, relationships. Another cause of adrenal fatigue is long-term suffering from chronic diseases. After a long term exposure to stressing environment the adrenal glands will be weakened so much that they will be incapacitated to perform the ordinary functions they ought to perform. When the adrenal glands have failed to perform optimally, a person will begin having such feelings of tiredness, mild depression and lack of enthusiasm. Sleep is a known cure but with adrenal fatigue even sleeping for long hours still leaves the body exhausted. This will make the person to resort drinking caffeinated drinks, indulge in sugary drinks and other stimulants which will eventually lead to even more complex problems. To solve this problem well there is need to have good diet to restore the functions of the adrenal glands.

These are some of the foods that are highly recommended adrenal fatigue patients

To help eradicate the dangers of adrenal fatigue and help restore the functions of the adrenal glands there is need to avoid some foods that affects our adrenal glands adversely and eat those foods that will nourish our adrenal glands. Some of the foods that are highly recommended for adrenal fatigue patients are not common foods you will interact with but seeking them will be worthwhile. Here they are.


Seaweeds are rich in minerals and phytonutrients that are not available on our regular diets. They can be made into a salad or starfry and helps in boosting the nutritional content of our daily meals. Currently there are supermarkets that stock different varieties of seaweeds which anybody suffering from adrenal fatigue can sample and reap the nutritional benefits they contain. The benefits of seaweeds were brought to surface by a research titled Nutritional and digestive health benefits of seaweed that was done by University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Fermented drinks

Some fermented drinks are very healthy to our adrenal glands and can help restore them and fight adrenal fatigue. Some of the fermented drinks are not only healthy to the adrenal glands but also to the overall digestive health and the immune system. Unlike in most parts of the world, fermented drinks are not yet common in North American market but they can be found in some health stores plus you can make your own. The fermented drinks are good for those suffering from adrenal fatigue as they are very rich in minerals and good bacteria that help in improving digestion and nutrient absorption. Some of the good drinks you can look foe in health stores include kvass and kombucha.

Bone broth

DietBones make a crucial part of animals. Apart from just being the framework on which meat is supported, the bones are very rich in minerals that can be very helpful to us. The bone marrow is a part of bones that is very rich in nutritional content and this explains why the bone soup is a highly valued drink in some parts of the world even today. The bone marrow helps in reducing inflammation, boost the immune system and encourage healthy cholesterol. It can also provide essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are easily absorbable in our intestines. It is a good broth for adrenal fatigue patients and it can be easily made at home.

Here is a general diet guide on how to fight adrenal fatigue. Reduce caffeine intake as well as avoid highly sugary foods as they are not very healthy for the adrenal health. Stay hydrated ‘the eight glass a day’ sentence should make meaning to you. Adrenal health is important to the general well-being of a person and that is whey here at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center we are committed to availing the best integrative approaches to treatment of diseases. We advocate for dietary as well as natural healing to diseases wherever possible. Visit as at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) will be of help.

Diet for Adrenal Fatigue



Beautiful Face of Young Woman with Clean Fresh Skin close up iso

Adult Stem Cells Therapy Amplifies Anti-Aging

With New Technologies Stem Cell Therapy Has Become Effective For Anti-Aging

Every person would love to stay young forever. That is a fact. Being young has many advantages since that is the time when a person has unrivalled vitality and good health as well. However it is in human life cycles that at some point a person shall have to age, grow old. This to me is not a problem. Aging is just a stage in life just like puberty. In spite of aging being a step in the lifecycle of human beings, it comes with certain disadvantages, as people age production of crucial hormones that life depends upon may come to a halt giving rise to myriad complications. It is these complications that are the problem and not necessarily the aging itself. It is a basic fact that women in perimenopause and menopause tend to accumulate fat around the waist and hips. Some people may also become obese as they age, a condition which is a home to many diseases such as diabetes and some type of cancers. It is therefore important to prepare yourself and choose a lifetime that will help you live a healthy life even as you age. It has been encouraged that the best way to fight these illnesses and conditions that are associated with aging is by with increasing exercise, reducing alcohol intake and eating healthy foods. By reducing alcohol intake a person reduces the danger of calories being deposited right in the gut. You may also. Also, increase your healthy fat intake, omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. However you should eliminate Trans fats completely because there’s no safe amount of them.


When for instance you chose to live unhealthy lifestyle before aging, or with considerate leniency, you had to live an unhealthy lifestyle before aging and you begin suffering the consequences; diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia among other problems associated with aging, you will need medical help. Today researchers have discovered that stem cells can be used to help in fighting aging.  Researchers have verified that the stem cell therapy can be used as in anti-aging program. To many people the stem cell therapy may be a new term or better yet an innovative approach to treatment of diseases but the reality is that this approach to treatment of diseases and fighting aging has been used for ages now, but with recent breakthroughs in technology, the use of the stem cells in treatments have grown better. A bigger hurdle that many patients using stem cell therapy as anti-aging faced was that an aging person had less of the stem cells to be used in his own therapy. The procedure was also expensive too but now the stem cells can be easily obtained and effectively used as in fighting aging.

All people have stem cells, it’s only that their amount diminishes as a person ages. The most common is known as hematopoietic stem cells.  The type of adult stem cell that is most often seen in research associated with tissue repair is a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)

Different types of stem cells used as anti-aging agents

Stem Cell TherapyThere are different types of stem cells that are located in different parts of the body. These stem cells can be used to fight aging effectively. There is a type of stem cell known as hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells are found circulating in the blood and the bone marrow. They produce blood cells such white blood cells and red blood cells among others. These stem cells can be utilized in helping to produce other types of stem cells which can effectively help to repair the body. This process is called plasticity. This process works on the basis that the stem cells have the ability to turn into different types of stem cells. Doctors may therefore go from a stem cell, which produces blood cells, to one which produces cartilage tissue or tendon tissue. When a bone marrow aspiration is performed doctors obtain a rich source of these stem cells that can be turned into more useful stem cells and be utilized in fighting age related conditions.

Researchers have found a specific stem cell type to be very important in stem cell therapy to fight aging. These stem cells that are considered to be the most important are known as the mesenchymal stem cells.  The Mesenchymal stem cells are found in the bone marrow, the circulating blood as well as in fat cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are the most important stem cells for orthopedic purposes as they help to   repair and replace damaged tissues.

The Mesenchymal stem cells are very helpful, however as a person ages the number of mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow gets depleted and this is what results in aging. It is therefore very logical to go through a stem cell therapy as an anti-aging procedure that will also help on mitigating on the adverse effects of aging.  The used of stem cells in treatments of certain diseases is not knew. However it is good to mention that when compared to embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have distinct advantages. For one, they do not cause an immune reaction, and two there are no ethical issues, as they are your own cells.

With improved technology and equipment, the stem cell therapy has become a very effective treatment for age related ailments. Dr. Dalal Akoury is an experienced doctor especially in the field of integrative treatment. Visit her at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for more.

With New Technologies Stem Cell Therapy Has Become Effective For Anti-Aging




NAC, the Cystine-Glutamate Antiporter and Addiction

NAC, the Cystine-Glutamate Antiporter and Addiction

Addiction is one complex problem faced by many. There is no limit to how many things people can get addicted to. If you cannot go a day without watching a movie, and then it gets to a point when you must slot in a couple of hours in your daily schedule to watch movies then that is your addiction.

If you keep getting those cravings for soda or sugary meals, you try to stay without them but the urge is so much that you only calm down after satisfying that thirst then that is an addiction.

Addiction can be good or bad. You can be addicted to work, you love your work that you can’t spend time away from your job. That is addiction. Such positive addictions too may be unhealthy. If you are addicted to work for instance, you will hardly spare time for other essential activities, such as being with your family.

Other forms of addiction often associated with the term, such as drug and substance abuse are detrimental to your health. A person who is addicted to alcohol for instance cannot live without it. Their lives often revolve around the liquor. The same applies to coke, cigarettes, marijuana and all other recreational drugs. The substance of addiction gets to dictate how you live your life.

the Cystine-Glutamate Antiporter

Facts about addiction

The habit is a problem. You have to first admit it in order to be able to get over it. An addict who finds it difficult to get over the problem may often be tempted to blame it on someone, or something else. But that is not a solution, acceptance is key.

Giving in to one’s yearnings is a matter of choice. At the beginning of any addiction you often see yourself in control of the situation. You are not forced to do anything, you just do it because you enjoy the act. With time though, this control diminishes and you become increasingly more vulnerable to the substance of your addiction.

You are in a position to drop your addictions by saying ‘no’ to the substance. This is the premise under which psychosocial support for addiction recovery is usually built. Through guidance one is offered a way out of their drug or substance habit. At such point, it is upon you to decide whether or not you are going to adopt a clean lifestyle.


NAC and Addiction

N-Acetyl L-Cysteine is a chemically changed version of the non-essential amino acids in the body. NAC works by purifying your body by removing harmful toxins. It is highly essential in recovery from drug addiction. alcohol and other drugs commonly abused cause a lot of damage to the liver, lungs, kidneys and other organs and this is likely to result in chronic ailments that are life threatening.  This amino acid is essential as it protects cells from getting damaged in addition to its role in preserving functions of the liver.

It is a known precursor to Glutathione which is the most effective in destroying free radicals. The amino acid works to protect the brain and the liver from damages caused by toxins like alcohol, acidic mater, particles found in the air and cigarettes smoke. It also has other significant functions that are key to the wellbeing of an individual.

Among them, it helps the body to promote its burning of fat and aids the muscle building process. Studies also indicate that it can rid the body of copper by a chelating effect, and is used in the treatment of particular diseases including bronchitis, emphysema and certain respiratory problems among adults.

NAC plays a key role in the production of white blood cells necessary for body immunity. The white cells fight diseases that attack the body and help boost the natural immune response of the body. As such, the amino acid is essential for the defense of the body against disease attack.  It further helps in insulin metabolism and functions, which is key to the body’s blood sugar regulation.

the Cystine-Glutamate Antiporter

Sources of NAC

N-Acetyl L-Cysteine can always be naturally manufactured by the body on its own. The high-protein foods such as eggs and meat are however potent dietary sources of this amino acid. Other good sources include foods such as broccoli, garlic, wheat, onions and red peppers.

Other sources that can be recommended for this important amino acid for those who are recovering from the damage caused by drug addiction include nutritional supplements found in a number of nutrition outlets in different continents. It is however important to seek recommendations form a physician since this product is largely unregulated and health consumers are likely to purchase a product that contains incorrect amount of ingredients recommended for the particular patient.

NAC, the Cystine-Glutamate Antiporter and Addiction



Oxytocin for Eating Disorders

Oxytocin May Remedy Eating Disorders

Eating disordersEating disorders have caused lots of anxiety and even depression to many people. Eating disorders are characterized by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behavior. Most people who are too keen on their weight and shape do make unhealthy eating choices which in the long run will pose a health threat to them. Here are examples of eating disorders that you should be aware of;

Anorexia nervosa – this is characterized by an individual’s endless pursuit to keep his or her weight as low as possible. Most people will either starve themselves or exercise too much to achieve this goal.

Bulimia – when someone tries to control their weight by binge eating and then deliberately being sick or using laxatives (medication to help empty their bowels)

Binge eating – Binge eating is characterized by a feeling of compulsion to overeat.

Helping people who suffer from eating disorders has never been easy as it does not only involve dealing with the symptoms but requires a total lifestyle change. It takes lots of professional counseling sessions to help a person through the journey of self-awareness and acceptance that is crucial in the healing of anybody suffering from eating disorders. However there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel to those struggling with eating disorder after scientists have discovered that a hormone known as oxytocin can be helpful in treatment of eating disorders, specifically Anorexia nervosa.

A new study done by a team of British and Korean scientists has reported that oxytocin, also known to many people as the ‘love hormone’, could provide a new treatment for anorexia nervosa.

The study, published in March, 2014 found that oxytocin alters anorexic patients’ tendencies to fixate on images of high calorie foods, and larger body shape. Those who are anoxic have the tendencies of being mired by ugly thoughts of overweight. Before this research the group had done an earlier research that oxytocin changed patients’ responses to angry and disgusted faces.

This disorder; Anorexia nervosa is a serious catastrophe that affects approximately 1 in 150 teenage girls in the UK and is one of leading causes of mental health related deaths, both through physical complications and suicide. This disorder does not only present its victims with food problems, body and shape issues but also affects how people relate in the social circles. People who are suffering from this disorder do exhibit anxiety and hypersensitivity to negative emotions.

“Patients with anorexia have a range of social difficulties which often start in their early teenage years, before the onset of the illness. These social problems, which can result in isolation, may be important in understanding both the onset and maintenance of anorexia. By using oxytocin as a potential treatment for anorexia, we are focusing on some of these underlying problems we see in patients. “Says Professor Janet Treasure from the Eating Disorders Section in the Department of Psychological Medicine at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry and senior author on both studies.

As stated in an introductory article to oxytocin: Oxytocin is a hormone released naturally during bonding, including sex, childbirth and breastfeeding. As a synthesized product, it has been tested as a treatment for many psychiatric disorders, and has been shown to have benefits in lowering social anxiety in people with autism. It helps improve relationships and settle problems with associated with social disorders.

The first Test

In this study, the first of its king on this issue, 31 patients with anorexia and 33 healthy controls were given either a dose of oxytocin, delivered via nasal spray, or a placebo. The participants were then asked to look at sequences of images relating to foods some of which were in calories while others had low calories, body shape (fat and thin), and weight (scales). Once the images flashed on screen, the researchers measured how quickly participants identified the images. If they had a tendency to focus on the negative images, they would identify them more rapidly. The test was done before and after taking oxytocin or placebo.

After taking oxytocin, patients with anorexia reduced their focus on images of food and fat body parts. The effect of oxytocin was particularly strong in patients with anorexia who had greater communication problems. The findings of this study were published in Psychoneuroendocrinology.

The second Test

After the first phase of the test, the second test was done and it involved the same participants, A similar test was done, before and after oxytocin or placebo, but this time the stimuli was changed as it involved testing the participants’ reactions to facial expressions, such as anger, disgust or happiness unlike in the first phase where it involved images of food, body and weights. After taking a dose of oxytocin, patients with anorexia were less likely to focus on the ‘disgust’ faces. They were also less likely to avoid looking at angry faces, and became simply vigilant to them. The findings of this study were published in PLOS ONE.

Eating disorder“Our research shows that oxytocin reduces patients’ unconscious tendencies to focus on food, body shape, and negative emotions such as disgust. There is currently a lack of effective pharmacological treatments for anorexia. Our research adds important evidence to the increasing literature on oxytocin treatments for mental illnesses, and hints at the advent of a novel, ground-breaking treatment option for patients with anorexia.” says Prof Youl-Ri Kim, from Inje University in Seoul, South Korea and lead author on both studies.

“This is early stage research with a small number of participants, but it’s hugely exciting to see the potential this treatment could have. We need much larger trials, on more diverse populations, before we can start to make a difference to how patients are treated.” adds, Prof Treasure.

With ongoing research new and even better treatments will be discovered and fighting eating disorders will be a lot easier. These problems need to be treated effectively through integrative medicine. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is an expert at this. Call her on (843) 213-1480 for help.

Oxytocin May Remedy Eating Disorders