What Is Lyme Disease?
It is not uncommon for us to be bitten by insects and other small animals when we are out, especially in the summer. The bites can be quite irritating but they will usually do us no harm. Some bites, however, can be quite harmful to us, and some can even pose a direct threat to our lives.
One such condition is Lyme disease, which is found in many parts of the world. Lyme disease is potentially very serious and can even be fatal, although most patients will make a full recovery. Its potential seriousness means it is a good idea to know more about the disease, however, and some of the signs to look out for.
Lyme disease is transmitted to people through the bites of some very small animals: ticks. These are parasites that feed of the blood of people, and other animals, by biting through the skin to access the blood vessels just below. Most cases are transmitted by a particular type of tick: the deer tick, which is also known as the black legged tick.
Not all tick species spread the disease and, of those that do, not all individual ticks will be infected with the bacteria that causes the disease. Regardless, it makes sense to take necessary precautions if you are in an area where you are at risk of receiving tick bits.
The bacteria responsible, and passed on from tick bites, is in the borrelia family. Four members of this family are responsible for the disease, and these are borrelia burgdorferi, borrelia afzelii, borrelia garinii, and borrelia mayonii. Which type is responsible will depend largely on where in the world you live.
If you contract Lyme disease in Asia or Europe, it is likely that borrelia afzelii or borrelia garinii are responsible. If you contract it in the United States, however, then borrelia burgdorferi or borrelia mayonii are probably to blame. These bacteria are also spread by certain species of lice in some cases.
3. Red Bump
At first, the tick bite will be similar to a mosquito bite and they are often mistaken for just that. At other times, the tick will be found still attached to the host, in which case it is much clearer exactly what the cause of the bite is. If you do find the tick still in place, it will need to be removed using the correct procedure.
Take some fine tweezers and use them to grasp at the tick’s head, as close to the skin as you can. Then, gently pull the tick up and away from the skin, making sure not to squeeze it too tightly. Be sure to clean the skin with antiseptic at the site of the bite to prevent an infection occurring. In the vast majority of case, a tick bite will not mean you have contracted Lyme disease.
4. Erythema Migrans
The term erythema migrans translates from Latin into English as ‘migrating redness’. It is a term that explains the condition well, and the condition tends to arise anywhere from 3 to 30 days after the initial bite. The onset of the condition is marked when the red area around the bite begins to expand.
As the circumference of the red area beings to grow, a clear area will often form in the middle, forming a distinctive bullseye shape. In some cases, a red circle will remain in the center surrounded by a ring of clear skin, and then a ring of red skin. It is not usually itchy or painful but it can grow to be 30cm across in some cases.Learn More
What is biofeedback therapy and who can benefit?
Biofeedback therapy is a non-drug treatment in which patients learn to control bodily processes that are normally involuntary, such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate.
As it is noninvasive and does not involve drugs, there is a low risk of undesirable side effects.
This could make it suitable for those who wish to avoid medications, or those who cannot use them, such as during pregnancy.
It is often combined with relaxation training.
There are three common types of biofeedback therapy:
- Thermal biofeedback measures skin temperature.
- Electromyography measures muscle tension.
- Neurofeedback, or EEG biofeedback focuses on electrical brain activity.
During a biofeedback session, the therapist attaches electrodes to the patient’s skin, and these send information to a monitoring box.
The therapist views the measurements on the monitor, and, through trial and error, identifies a range of mental activities and relaxation techniques that can help regulate the patient’s bodily processes.
Eventually, patients learn how to control these processes without the need for monitoring.
How many sessions will I need?
Sessions typically last less than one hour.
For some conditions, patients experience relief in eight to 10 sessions. For other conditions, such as high blood pressure, improvements may take 20 sessions to appear.
Alongside these sessions will be mental and relaxation activities that the individual will complete at home for 5 to 10 minutes a day. https://cb8f69722d08b2f4a2350295a6960044.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.htmlMEDICAL NEWS TODAY NEWSLETTERStay in the know. Get our free daily newsletter
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When a person experiences stress, their internal processes — such as blood pressure — can become irregular. Biofeedback therapy teaches relaxation and mental exercises that can alleviate symptoms.
People often seek biofeedback and relaxation techniques to treat headaches and migraine, but studies into its effectiveness have produced mixed results.
In 2015, a Japanese study found that biofeedback therapy reduced the frequency and severity of symptoms in people with migraine headaches.
However, in 2009, other researchers reported that while relaxation appears to benefit people with migraine headaches, combining relaxation with biofeedback does not seem to produce additional benefits.
The authors note:
The Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute (MHNI) suggest that biofeedback therapy improves symptoms of headache and migraine in 40 to 60 percent of patients, similar to the success rate of medications.
They propose that combining biofeedback with medication may increase the effectiveness of both. However, while biofeedback may help relieve stress-induced migraine, migraines due to other triggers may be less responsive.
Some studies have suggested that EEG biofeedback, or neurofeedback, may help people with ADHD.
According to authors of a systematic review published in The BMJ in 2014, growing evidence indicates that neurofeedback could help with ADHD.
However, they call for further investigations to confirm its effectiveness, because of the weak design of many studies.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Share on PinterestMonitoring the body’s reactions can help a person learn about their stress levels and how to reduce them.
Some types of biofeedback therapy may help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD).
One study found that adding heart-variability biofeedback to standard PTSD treatment did not bring any benefit.
However, in 2016, scientists reported that the use of EEG biofeedback “significantly reduced PTSD symptoms” in 17 patients with PTSD.
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research currently recommend pelvic floor muscle training with biofeedback therapy for the treatment of urinary incontinence, based on findings in clinical studies.
Children’s anxiety at the dentist’s
Researchers at the Narayana Dental College and Hospital in India examined whether biofeedback therapy might help control children’s anxiety when receiving dental restorations.
In the journal European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry, they concluded that “Biofeedback can be used in the initial visits for dentally anxious children, and the usage of simpler biofeedback machines for these appointments in dental setup is suggested.”
Raynaud’s disease is a condition that causes some parts of the body to feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or emotional stress. It results from a problem of blood supply to the skin.
Studies indicate that thermal biofeedback can help alleviate symptoms of Raynaud’s disease.
The Raynaud’s Association reports that 80 to 90 percent of patients with Raynaud’s experienced improved circulation and a reduced frequency of symptoms after therapy.
Scientists at the University of Lübeck in Germany found that combining electrical stimulation with biofeedback therapy helped patients with fecal incontinence.
They reported in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease that “there is sufficient evidence for the efficacy of BF (biofeedback) plus ES (electrical stimulation) combined in treating fecal incontinence. AM-MF (amplitude-modulated medium-frequency) stimulation plus BF seems to be the most effective and safe treatment.”
Cognitive and behavioral therapies
Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, said biofeedback may open new avenues for cognitive and behavioral therapies.
He was commenting on a study in which people were able to control the activity of certain regions of the brain when they receive feedback signals by functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI).
Chronic rectal pain
Studies by researchers at the University of North Carolina have shown that biofeedback is more effective than some other treatments for a type of chronic rectal pain called levator ani syndrome.
Nocturnal bruxism is the clenching, bracing, grinding or gnashing of the teeth and jaws during sleep.
A team at The Turner Dental Hospital, Manchester, in the United Kingdom, investigated the effect of biofeedback therapy on this condition.
Nineteen participants were given a special biofeedback device to wear every night for 5 weeks.
Eleven of the participants experienced a reduction in headaches and jaw-muscle discomfort on waking up in the morning.
The study authors concluded: “The use of biofeedback could reduce the level of parafunctional activity and bring about meaningful symptomatic improvement.”
Participants reported no adverse effects during the study period.
Persisting childhood apraxia of speech
A person with apraxia of speech finds it hard to say what they want to say correctly and consistently. It is due to a problem in the brain, not the speech muscles.
Researchers at Haskins Laboratories in Connecticut looked at the effectiveness of a treatment program that included ultrasound biofeedback for six children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), who had persistingLearn More
Neurofeedback is not a new concept. It has been the subject of the study of researchers for several decades. Neurofeedback is a method that assists subjects to control their brain waves consciously. In fact, the electroencephalography (EEG) is recorded during the neurofeedback treatment. Then, its various components are extracted and fed to subjects using online feedback loop in the form of audio, video or their combination. Accordingly, electrophysiological components are separately demonstrated. As an illustration, the power of a signal in a frequency band can be shown by a varying bar graph. During this procedure, the subject becomes aware of the changes occurring during training and will be able to assess his/her progress in order to achieve optimum performance. For instance, the subject tries to improve the brain patterns based on the changes that occur in the sound or movie. Neurofeedback treatment protocols mainly focus on the alpha, beta, delta, theta, and gamma treatment or a combination of them such as alpha/theta ratio, beta/theta ratio, etc. (Dempster, 2012; Vernon, 2005). However, the most commonly used protocols are alpha, beta, theta, and alpha/theta ratio. In this review paper, we discussed various technical and clinical details of different neurofeedback treatment protocols.Go to:
2. Various Frequency Components
Activities of cerebral neurons have rich information about neuronal activities. When neurons are activated, they produce electrical pulses. By placing electrodes on the scalp, the electrical activity of the brain, known as EEG, can be recorded. In turn, EEG is generated by a specific type of synchronous activity of neurons which are known as pyramidal neurons and the electrical output is thus reflected in the following areas of the skin where the electrodes are located. Different patterns of electrical activity, known as brain waves, could be recognized by their amplitudes and frequencies. Frequency indicates how fast the waves oscillate which is measured by the number of waves per second (Hz), while amplitude represents the power of these waves measured by microvolt (μV).
Different frequency components are categorized into delta (less than 4 Hz), theta (4–8 Hz), alpha (8–13 Hz), beta (13–30 Hz), and gamma (30–100 Hz) where each represents a particular physiological function. In summary, delta waves are observed in the EEG signal when a person is asleep, theta waves when a person is sleepy, alpha waves when a person is relaxed and his/her muscles are loose but he/she is awake, beta waves when a person is alert and gamma waves are observed when a person is trying to solve a problem . However, there are differences in defining the exact range of frequency components in different studies.
These frequency components have subsets. For example, sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) frequency bands (13–15 Hz) are related to the sensorimotor rhythm and entitled as low beta. Some studies claimed that alpha rhythm has two subsets: lower alpha in the range of 8–10 Hz and upper alpha in the range of 10–12 Hz. Whereas some studies indicate that the alpha rhythm has 3 subsets. These definitions indicate that high and low alpha exhibit different behaviors and performances. It is believed that lower alpha is related to remembering action in semantic memory which is not the case for high alpha.
3. EEG Electrode Placement
Electrodes (placed on the scalp) can record those cortical activities of the brain regions that are close to them. Electrode System 10–20 is a method for standardizing areas of the skull and comparing data. The term “10–20” refers to the placement of electrodes over 10% or 20% of the total distance between specified skull locations. Studies have shown that these placements correlate with the corresponding cerebral cortical regions. Of 21 electrodes, 19 are used for recording cortical areas and 2 other electrodes as reference electrodes (Figure 1). The skull regions are named using letters and numbers. Letters correspond with the brain regions and numbers to the hemisphere of the brain or the locations of this hemisphere. The letters F, P, T, O, and C are related to frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, and central areas, respectively. Odd/even numbers are associated with the left/right side of the brain region. The letter z is used as PZsuggests that scalp location falls along the central line running between the nasion and the inion. FP1 and FP2 are respectively related to the left and right poles of the forehead. Also A1 and A2 are the left right regions of vestibular (ear) region that are two common sites for the placement of reference and ground electrodes (Figure 1) (Dempster, 2012; Evans & Abarbanel, 1999).Learn More