Did you ever see your finger become white and a few moments later become pink again? Some people experience a very painful variant of this phenomenon, a.k.a. Raynauld’s syndrome.
Raynaud’s syndrome (or: Raynaud’s disease) is a vascular disorder characterized by blood flow extremities in the fingers (sometimes as well: the toes, ears or nose) when exposed to cold objects, sometimes also as a result of stress.
The symptoms of this hand disorder include a cyclic color changes (see also the picture below):
• 1 – First stage: white fingers (blood supply is reduced);
The exact cause is unknown, however the Raynaud’s phenomenon is considered as a hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system, which causes extreme vasoconstriction of the peripheral blood vessels. Sometimes the problem is caused by a wide variety of other conditions, then it is usually diagnosed as Raynaud’s phenomenon.
People who suffer on this disorder are adviced to keep their hands warm, and to avoid stressful situations. And as a result these people are often forced to live their life carefully: likely an example of ‘cold hands, warm heart’!
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Take a look at RAPHaEL at Youtube:
In 1998, three American scientists won the Nobel prize in medicine for proving that tiny cells in the blood vessels (endothelial cells), play a vital role in regulating vascular functions. The activity of these endothelial cells has become a marker of cardiovascular health, but backthen nobody had developed a method to measure the actvity of these cells quickly (and cheaply). In 2008 an Israelian company, Itomar Medical, presented a decive named EndoPAT – which measures the health of endothelial cells by measuring blood flow.
A full EndoPAT test takes about 15 minutes. Two thimble-like finger probes are placed on each index finger and connected to a machine that measures blood flow. They spent five years perfecting the technology, which involves “listening” to minute vascular functions through sensors attached to a patient’s index fingers and interpreting the readings via software. Results are presented on a scale from 1 to 5: Healthy adults score around 3, while a mark below 1.7 raises red flags.
2009: NEW RESEARCH
A few days ago a study has been presented which confirms that the EndoPAT can ‘measure’ heart disease. The US (Boston) study included 270 patients, ages 42 to 66, who had a low-to-medium risk of a major cardiac event and were followed from August 1999 to August 2007. During that time, 49 percent of patients whose EndoPAT test indicated poor endothelial function suffered a cardiac event. The findings were to be presented on march 31 at the annual scientific session of the American College of Cardiology, in Orlando, Fla.
• Dr. Amir Lerman (cardiologist) says:
“Fifty percent of those who arrive at emergency rooms with heart attacks don’t have conventional risk factors, such as high cholesterol or blood pressure. Measuring endothelial function via the index fingers may be the missing link.”