New to Meducation?
Sign up
Already signed up? Log In
E38463a676d1c7becc367032109f56bd
3
161

Monkey See, Monkey Do.

So you're sitting in a bus when you see a baby smile sunnily and gurgle at his mother. Your automatic response? You smile too. You're jogging in the park, when you see a guy trip over his shoelaces and fall while running. Your knee jerk reaction? You wince. Even though you're completely fine and unscathed yourself. Or, to give a more dramatic example; you're watching Titanic for the umpteenth time and as you witness Jack and Rose's final moments together, you automatically reach for a tissue and wipe your tears in whole hearted sympathy ( and maybe blow your nose loudly, if you're an unattractive crier like yours truly). And here the question arises- why? Why do we experience the above mentioned responses to situations that have nothing to do with us directly? As mere passive observers, what makes us respond at gut level to someone else's happiness or pain, delight or excitement, disgust or fear? In other words, where is this instinctive response to other people's feelings and actions that we call empathy coming from? Science believes it may have discovered the answer- mirror neurons. In the early 1990s, a group of scientists (I won't bore you with the details of who, when and where) were performing experiments on a bunch of macaque monkeys, using electrodes attached to their brains. Quite by accident, it was discovered that when the monkey saw a scientist holding up a peanut, it fired off the same motor neurons in its brain that would fire when the monkey held up a peanut itself. And that wasn't all. Interestingly, they also found that these motor neurons were very specific in their actions. A mirror neuron that fired when the monkey grasped a peanut would also fire only when the experimenter grasped a peanut, while a neuron that fired when the monkey put a peanut in its mouth would also fire only when the experimenter put a peanut in his own mouth. These motor neurons came to be dubbed as 'mirror neurons'. It was a small leap from monkeys to humans. And with the discovery of a similar, if not identical mirror neuron system in humans, the studies, hypotheses and theories continue to build. The strange thing is that mirror neurons seem specially designed to respond to actions with clear goals- whether these actions reach us through sight, sound, smell etc, it doesn't matter. A quick example- the same mirror neurons will fire when we hop on one leg, see someone hopping, hear someone hopping or hear or read the word 'hop'. But they will NOT respond to meaningless gestures, random or pointless sounds etc. Instead they may well be understanding the intentions behind the related action. This has led to a very important hypothesis- the 'action understanding' ability of mirror neurons. Before the discovery of mirror neurons, scientists believed our ability to understand each other, to interpret and respond to another's feeling or actions was the result of a logical thought process and deduction. However, if this 'action understanding' hypothesis is proved right, then it would mean that we respond to each other by feeling, instead of thinking. For instance, if someone smiles at you, it automatically fires up your mirror neurons for smiling. They 'understand the action' and induce the same sensation within you that is associated with smiling. You don't have to think about what the other person intends by this gesture. Your smile flows thoughtlessly and effortlessly in return. Which brings us to yet another important curve- if mirror neurons are helping us to decode facial expressions and actions, then it stands to reason that those gifted people who are better at such complex social interpretations must be having a more active mirror neuron system.(Imagine your mom's strained smile coupled with the glint in her eye after you've just thrown a temper tantrum in front of a roomful of people...it promises dire retribution my friends. Trust me.) Then does this mean that people suffering from disorders such as autism (where social interactions are difficult) have a dysfunctional or less than perfect mirror neuron system in some way? Some scientists believe it to be so. They call it the 'broken mirror hypothesis', where they claim that malfunctioning mirror neurons may be responsible for an autistic individual's inability to understand the intention behind other people's gestures or expressions. Such people may be able to correctly identify an emotion on someone's face, but they wouldn't understand it's significance. From observing other people, they don't know what it feels like to be sad, angry, surprised or scared. However, the jury is still out on this one folks. The broken mirror hypothesis has been questioned by others who are still skeptical about the very existence of these wonder neurons, or just how it is that these neurons alone suffered such a developmental hit when the rest of the autistic brain is working just dandy? Other scientists argue that while mirror neurons may help your brain to understand a concept, they may not necessarily ENCODE that concept. For instance, babies understand the meaning behind many actions without having the motor ability to perform them. If this is true, then an autistic person's mirror neurons are perfectly fine...they were just never responsible for his lack of empathy in the first place. Slightly confused? Curious to find out more about these wunderkinds of the human brain? Join the club. Whether you're an passionate believer in these little fellas with their seemingly magical properties or still skeptical, let me add to your growing interest with one parting shot- since imitation appears to be the primary function of mirror neurons, they might well be partly responsible for our cultural evolution! How, you ask? Well, since culture is passed down from one generation to another through sharing, observation followed by imitation, these neurons are at the forefront of our lifelong learning from those around us. Research has found that mirror neurons kick in at birth, with infants just a few minutes old sticking their tongues out at adults doing the same thing. So do these mirror neurons embody our humanity? Are they responsible for our ability to put ourselves in another person's shoes, to empathize and communicate our fellow human beings? That has yet to be determined. But after decades of research, one thing is for sure-these strange cells haven't yet ceased to amaze and we definitely haven't seen the last of them. To quote Alice in Wonderland, the tale keeps getting "curiouser and curiouser"!  
Huda Qadir
over 3 years ago
Preview
1
29

Exploding Eye Lecture

http://www.ophthobook.com Ophthalmology/Optometry lecture on eye trauma. Covers heat/fire damage, projectiles (airsoft, bb gun, paintball), chemical damage (...  
YouTube
over 3 years ago
Preview
3
105

Preventing deaths and injuries from house fires

Stream Preventing deaths and injuries from house fires by BMJ talk medicine from desktop or your mobile device  
SoundCloud
almost 3 years ago
Preview
1
30

Superior Oblique Myokymia

This is an uncommon ophthalmology finding. With this disorder, the superior oblique muscle spasmically fires, and the eye rotates. Look closely at one of the...  
YouTube
over 3 years ago
Preview
1
12

Medical Student Podcast 011

Coming up today… A BMA exclusive: dreams of being a doctor dashed as medical schools reveal graduates are seriously turned off medicine. We check in with Docs 4 docs lead Mike Peters – who’s here to tell you how to look after your well-being while you learn to take care of others. This month’s Meet the rep star Sanaa Butt (pictured) is in our quick-fire hotseat. Stay tuned for a roundup of what’s abuzz on social media – featuring #NoMoreGames. Plus we announce the winner of our first Future Doctors blog competition – who takes home £75. And a new month means a new topic – and your chance to win the cash.  
audioBoom
almost 3 years ago
Preview
1
30

HOW TO DRINK FROM A FIRE-HOSE WITHOUT DROWNING – Successful study strategies in medical school courses

If you're not happy with your performance, the most likely culprit is your study strategies. The material presented in medical school is not conceptually more difficult than many rigorous undergraduate courses, but the volume flow rate of information per hour and per day is much greater – it has frequently been described as “drinking from a fire-hose.”  
meded.ucsd.edu
over 3 years ago
Preview
1
17

Superior Oblique Myokymia

This is an uncommon ophthalmology finding. With this disorder, the superior oblique muscle spasmically fires, and the eye rotates. Look closely at one of the...  
YouTube
about 3 years ago
Preview
1
16

Exploding Eye Lecture

http://www.ophthobook.com Ophthalmology/Optometry lecture on eye trauma. Covers heat/fire damage, projectiles (airsoft, bb gun, paintball), chemical damage (...  
YouTube
about 3 years ago
Preview
1
23

Medical Student Podcast 010

Southampton medical student Brendan Westhoff, who is intercalating in medical journalism, hosts this month's podcast — which is filled with the latest news on foundation programme oversubscription, quick-fire interviews and a social media wrap.  
audioBoom
almost 3 years ago
73fa3e82d7f9148622d9b5f103276003
3
3354

Assessing Types of Burns and their Severity

This is an excerpt from "Wound Care Made Incredibly Easy! 1st UK Edition" by Julie Vuolo For more information, or to purchase your copy, visit: http://tiny.cc/woundcare. Save 15% (and get free P&P) on this, and a whole host of other LWW titles at http://lww.co.uk when you use the code MEDUCATION when you check out! Introduction A burn is an acute wound caused by exposure to thermal extremes, electricity, caustic chemicals or radiation. The degree of tissue damage caused by a burn depends on the strength of the source and the duration of contact or exposure. Around 250,000 people per year sustain burn injuries in the UK (NBCRC 2001). Because of the specialist care burns require, they are considered here separately from other traumatic wounds. Types of burns Burns can be classified by cause or type. Knowing the type of burn will help you to plan the right care for your patient. Thermal burns The most common type of burn, thermal burns can result from virtually any misuse or mishandling of fire, combustible products, hot fluids and fat or coming into contact with a hot object. Playing with matches, pouring petrol onto a BBQ, spilling hot coffee, touching hot hair straighteners and setting off fireworks are some common examples of ways in which burns occur. Thermal burns can also result from kitchen accidents, house or office fires, car accidents or physical abuse. Although it’s less common, exposure to extreme cold can also cause thermal burns. Electrical burns Electrical burns result from contact with flowing electrical current. Household current, high-voltage transmission lines and lightning are sources of electrical burns. Internal injury is often considerably greater than is apparent externally. Chemical burns Chemical burns most commonly result from contact (skin contact or inhalation) with a caustic agent, such as an acid, an alkali or a vesicant. Radiation burns The most common radiation burn is sunburn, which follows excessive exposure to the sun. Almost all other burns due to radiation exposure occur as a result of radiation treatment or in specific industries that use or process radioactive materials. Assessment Conduct your initial assessment as soon as possible after the burn occurs. First, assess the patient’s ABCs. Then determine the patient’s level of consciousness and mobility. Next, assess the burn, including its size, depth and complexity. Determining size Determine burn size as part of your initial assessment. Typically, burn size is expressed as a percentage of total body surface area (TBSA). The Rule of Nines and the Lund–Browder Classification provide standardised and quick estimates of the percentage of TBSA affected. Memory Jogger To remember the proper sequence for the initial assessment of a burns patient, remember your ABCs and add D and E. Airway – Assess the patient’s airway, remove any obstruction and treat any obstructive condition. Breathing – Observe the motion of the patient’s chest. Auscultate the depth, rate and characteristics of the patient’s breathing. Circulation – Palpate the patient’s pulse at the carotid artery and then at the distal pulse points in the wrist, posterior tibial area and foot. Loss of distal pulse may indicate shock or constriction of an extremity. Disability – Assess the patient’s level of consciousness and ability to function before attempting to move or transfer them. Expose – Remove burned clothing from burned areas of the patient’s body and thoroughly examine the skin beneath.  
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
over 4 years ago
50258c019b862b77cb3c92a0a2f8dbfe
2
90

Biohacking - The Brighter Side of Health

2014 is already more than a month old (if you can believe it) and with each passing day, the world we live in is speeding towards breakthroughs in every sphere of life. We're running full tilt, wanting to be bigger and better than we were the day or the hour before. Every passing day reinvents the 'cutting edge' of technology, including medical progress and advancement. Gone are the medieval days when doctors were considered all knowing deities, while medicine consisted of leeches being used to drain 'bad blood'. Nowadays, health isn't just about waiting around until you pick up an infection, then going to your local GP to get treated; in today's world it's all about sustaining your wellbeing. And for that, the new kid on the block is biohacking. Biohacking is the art and science of maximizing your biological potential. As a hacker aims to gain complete control of the system he's trying to infiltrate, be it social or technological; similarly a biohacker aims to obtain full control of his own biology. Simply put, a biohacker looks for techniques to improve himself and his way of life. Before you let your imagination run away with you and start thinking of genetic experiments gone wrong, let me assure you that a biohack is really just about any activity you can do to increase your capabilities or advance your wellbeing. Exercising daily can be a biohack. So can doing the crossword or solving math sums, if it raises your IQ by a few points or improves your general knowledge. What characterizes biohacking is the end goal and the consequent modification of activities to achieve that goal. So what kind of goals would a biohacker have? World domination? Not quite. Adding more productive hours to the day and more productivity to those hours? Check. Eliminating stress and it's causes from their lives? Check. Improving mood, memory and recall, and general happiness? You bet. So the question arises; aren't we all biohackers of sorts? After all, the above mentioned objectives are what everyone aspires to achieve in their lives at one point or the other. unfortunately for all the lazy people out there (including yours truly), biohacking involves being just a tad bit more pro active than just scribbling down a list of such goals as New Year resolutions! There are two main approaches to selecting a biohack that works for you- the biggest aim and the biggest gain. The biggest aim would be targeting those capabilities, an improvement in which would greatly benefit you. This could be as specific as improving your public speaking skills or as general as working upon your diet so you feel more fit and alert. In today's competitive, cut throat world, even the slightest edge can ensure that you reach the finish line first. The biggest gain would be to choose a technique that is low cost- in other words, one that is beneficial yet doesn't burn a hole through your pocket! It isn't possible to give a detailed description of all the methods pioneering biohackers have initiated, but here are some general areas that you can try to upgrade in your life: Hack your diet- They say you are what you eat. Your energy levels are related to what you eat, when you take your meals, the quantity you consume etc. your mood and mental wellbeing is greatly affected by your diet. I could go on and on, but this point is self expanatory. You need to hack your diet! Eat healthier and live longer. Hack your brain- Our minds are capable of incredible things when they're trained to function productively. Had this not been the case, you and I would still be sitting in our respective caves, shivering and waiting for someone to think long enough to discover fire. You don't have to be a neuroscientist to improve your mental performance-studies show that simply knowing you have the power to improve your intelligence is the first step to doing it. Hack your abilities- Your mindset often determines your capacity to rise to a challenge and your ability to achieve. For instance, if you're told that you can't achieve a certain goal because you're a woman, or because you're black or you're too fat or too short, well obviously you're bound to restrict yourself in a mental prison of your own shortcomings. But it's a brave new world so push yourself further. Try something new, be that tacking on an extra lap to your daily exercise routine or squeezing out the extra time to do some volunteer work. Your talents should keep growing right along with you. Hack your age- You might not be able to do much about those birthday candles that just keep adding up...but you can certainly hack how 'old' you feel. Instead of buying in on the notion that you decline as you grow older, look around you. Even simple things such as breathing and stamina building exercises can change the way you age. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to those around us to live our lives to the fullest. So maximise your potential, push against your boundaries, build the learning curve as you go along. After all, health isn't just the absence of disease but complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and biohacking seems to be Yellow Brick Road leading right to it!  
Huda Qadir
almost 4 years ago
Preview
2
7

Unintentional injuries: prevention strategies for under 15s | Guidance and guidelines | NICE

This guidance is for commissioners and providers of health services, local authority children’s services, local authorities and their strategic partnerships, local highway authorities, local safeguarding children boards, police, fire and rescue services, policy makers, professional bodies, providers of play and leisure facilities, and schools.It is also for other public, private, voluntary and community organisations and services which have a direct or indirect role in preventing unintentional injuries among under-15s.  
nice.org.uk
about 2 years ago
Preview
0
2

BIOTRONIK Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Delivers Ultra-High Energy Shock on First Fire |

BIOTRONIK landed FDA approval for the world's only implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) capable of producing an ultra-high energy electrical shock  
feedproxy.google.com
over 2 years ago
Preview
0
3

Brain on Fire - The Naked Scientists

Naked Scientists - 24th Mar 2015 - Brain on Fire  
thenakedscientists.com
over 2 years ago
Preview
0
6

'Fire-ambulances' respond medical callouts in Lincolnshire - BBC News

If you dialled 999 and asked for an ambulance, how would you feel if a firefighter arrived instead?  
bbc.co.uk
over 2 years ago
Preview
0
0

Common Computer Hazards: Guide to the A+ Certification Exam (01:05) - YouTube

Video 5 in our Introduction to the CompTIA A+ Certification Exam looks at the most common computer hazards. We look at electrical fires, ESD, and roaches. --...  
youtube.com
over 2 years ago
Preview
1
10

“Mission Critical” Patient Hand Off – RCEM FOAMed

Rom opened the #RCEM15 session by describing mission-critical communications as any exchange of information whose disruption results in catastrophic failure of the mission at hand. He described how his experience in fire/rescue services lead to research in military, law enforcement, aviation, and other industries with an eye towards emergency and critical care medicine. Clinicians may not normally consider routine communications as “mission critical”, but that is because when they fail it is not as obvious as it is in other industries. “When mission-critical communications fail for firefighters, it becomes a headline. When mission-critical communications fail for healthcare, it becomes a statistic.”  
rcemfoamed.co.uk
about 2 years ago
Preview
0
4

Morning Break: Elmo Champions Vaccines; Military Medicine Under Fire

Health news and commentary from around the Web, gathered by the <em>MedPage Today</em> staff.  
medpagetoday.com
over 2 years ago
Preview
0
6

Fire, drive and passion

Jamie Hynes explains how, with his amazing video, he chose to inspire the next generation of GPs. The video is at the bottom of this page.  
whygp.uk
about 2 years ago
Preview
0
20

Stroke Videos | cdc.gov

When someone is having a stroke, every minute counts. Just as putting out a fire quickly can stop it from spreading, treating a stroke quickly can reduce damage to the brain. If you learn how to recognize the telltale signs of a stroke, you can act quickly and save a life—maybe even your own.  
1.usa.gov
about 2 years ago