Archive for August, 2015

This story was produced by the Lens, a reader-supported, nonprofit newsroom serving New Orleans.

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods from the failed federal levees, out-of-town media and politicians are still getting some things wrong. Here are five of the most stubborn myths about the disaster, the recovery, and the city of New Orleans—plus one self-delusional bonus myth we just can’t let stand.

1. No one could have predicted it.

“That ‘perfect storm’ of a combination of catastrophes exceeded the foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody’s foresight.”
— Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Sept. 5, 2005

“I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”
—President George W. Bush, Sept. 1, 2005

“Well, God bless everyone, because nature we can’t control. She does what she wants.”
—Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, April 30, 2015

There are two problems. The first is thinking of what happened as a natural disaster.

Hurricane Katrina itself was a natural phenomenon, but most of the flooding in and around New Orleans was the result of the poor construction and design of the city’s flood-protection system by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, causing more than 50 breaches. Researchers estimated that water pouring in through the broken levees may have caused as much as 84 percent of the flooding. The extent of the flooding also made it harder to push the water out of the city because many pump stations were flooded. Some that worked were useless because they were just recirculating water in and out of the breaches.

The other problem: A disaster of this scale had been predicted, and levee failure had been discussed.

A Katrina-like catastrophe was predicted as recently as one year before the storm. In 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness conducted the “Hurricane Pam Exercise.” The exercise modeled a Category 3 hurricane hitting New Orleans, overtopping the levee system and flooding the city with up to 20 feet of water.

The Pam model showed levees being overtopped, but it did not predict that the levees would break.

That possibility, however, did appear in the Times-Picayune’s 2002 series, “Washing Away.” That series described a worst-case scenario storm, one even more intense than Katrina, hitting the metro area. Experts interviewed in the series described a scenario where the city’s levees, combined with its bowl-shaped geography, would trap storm surge water inside for weeks or months in the event of major overtopping or a breach.

“Hundreds of thousands would be left homeless, and it would take months to dry out the area and begin to make it livable. But there wouldn’t be much for residents to come home to. The local economy would be in ruins,” reporters Mark Schleifstein and John McQuaid wrote.

More troubling, though, were the unheeded warnings of possible levee failure one year before Katrina.

In 2004, residents who lived near the 17th Street Canal, which was breached in the storm, reported water pooling in their yards to the water utility, the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board. This was a sign that the levees were likely leaking, an early signal of their instability. But the Corps of Engineers was never informed of the problem.

2. New Orleans is below sea level.

Flood waters from Hurricane Katrina.
Flood waters from Hurricane Katrina cover a cemetery on Aug. 30, 2005, in New Orleans.

Photo by AFP/Getty Images

“An estimated 80 percent of the below-sea-level city was under water, up to 20 feet deep in places, with miles and miles of homes swamped.”
—Associated Press, Aug. 30, 2005

“It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that’s seven feet under sea level, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said of federal assistance for hurricane-devastated New Orleans.”
—Associated Press, Sept. 1, 2005

“For instance, an existing high school geography standard requires students ‘explain how humans interact with their environment.’ Then, a series of bullet points outlines specific approaches for teachers to use in class, such as talking about how New Orleans is below sea level for a lesson in land usage.”
Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Nov. 16, 2014

Like the unpredictable natural disaster myth, New Orleans’ low elevation has played a role in political debates about whether the city is a worthwhile investment. Some have even asked why the city was built in the first place.

This one is half true: About half of New Orleans is below sea level. But even some areas above sea level, including much of the Lower 9th Ward, flooded after Katrina because of levee failures.

In a 2007 report, Tulane University geographer Richard Campanella found that 51 percent of the urbanized area in metropolitan New Orleans was above sea level. In 2000, 185,000 people in the city lived above sea level.

This map produced by the Data Center, a New Orleans think tank, makes it clear:

150828_POL_KatrinaMyth_map

Courtesy of the Data Center

For much of the city’s first 200 years, most of its population lived on high ground. The oldest parts of the city, near the Mississippi River, can be more than 10 feet above sea level.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, a citywide drainage system and automobiles allowed New Orleanians to live farther away from the river, and developers began building in low-lying areas closer to Lake Pontchartrain.

But even much of that was once on higher ground than it is now. Ironically, the city’s flood control systems have caused it to sink. The first problem was the levee system, which, for the most part, keeps the area dry. Southeast Louisiana was built by sediment carried down the Mississippi River, deposited across the delta when the river overtopped its banks during spring floods. The levees prevented that annual replenishment.

The city’s drainage system—like the levees, built to keep the population dry—further contributed to the problem. The city was built on wet delta soil; the protected land inside the levees needs rainwater to remain hydrated. When too much water is pumped out, the soil dries and sinks—a process called subsidence—and the city ultimately becomes more vulnerable to catastrophic flooding.

3. Shooters were picking off cops and relief workers.

“Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy today.”
—Associated Press, Sept. 1, 2005

“Our hotel was overrun with gangs.”
—Brian Williams, interview published July 26, 2014

This is perhaps the most outrageous example in the “post-Katrina crime wave” genre.

There was, of course, the purported chaos at the city’s two shelters of last resort: the Superdome and the convention center. The rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl at the convention center, dozens of killings at the Superdome, bodies piled up at both.

U.S. Army National Guard soldiers assist stranded victims of Hur
U.S. Army National Guard soldiers assist stranded victims of Hurricane Katrina outside the New Orleans Convention Center on Sept. 2, 2005, in New Orleans.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

But by the end of September 2005, reporting by the Times-Picayune debunked many of these stories. In fact, officials only confirmed one killing at either site: Danny Brumfield, who was shot by police.

There were also the reports of mass looting, which led to an order authorizing police to shoot looters. Though there were many confirmed reports of looting after the storm, at least some of the alleged “looting” appears, in many cases, to have been desperate people gathering food, water, and supplies. Even early news stories included reports of people carrying food.

But the stories of citizens shooting at relief workers and police may trump those because of the consequences. Reports of officers being shot in New Orleans appear to have contributed to the decision by officials in a nearby suburb to seal off a bridge over the Mississippi River, leaving hundreds stranded on the flooded side of the river.

It also played a role in the infamous Danziger Bridge shootings, in which police officers opened fire on unarmed civilians crossing the bridge, killing two and seriously injuring four. Initial police reports claimed that people on the bridge were firing on several officers and a group of relief workers, but those were later proven false in court.

The media took much of the blame for the over-the-top coverage. But as former Times-Picayune reporter Gordon Russell, who now works for the New Orleans Advocate, noted, “their information was often coming from people who would ordinarily be considered reliable sources,” such as Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Eddie Compass.

4. The Recovery School District was created due to Hurricane Katrina.

“One prototype is the all-charter, state-run Recovery School District in New Orleans, which was created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation.”
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 8, 2015

“According to a UIUC news release on the article, after Katrina, the state of Louisiana took over 102 of the Orleans Parish School Board’s 117 schools that were deemed worst performers, and created the Recovery School District (RSD).”
—WUIS-FM, June 1, 2015

ADVERTISING

Although it’s true Hurricane Katrina hastened the expansion of Louisiana’s state-run Recovery School District, the district was not born from the storm.

The Recovery School District was created in 2003. The name comes from its mission to help failing schools recover academically. It was a natural next step in the state’s accountability system established in mid-1990s. Going into the 2005–06 school year, the RSD already had taken over a handful of schools in New Orleans.

It was after the storm, in a special session of the legislature, that lawmakers changed the threshold for failing and allowed for the state takeover of a failing district. The move was clearly targeted at New Orleans’ crippled school system.

That change enabled the RSD to take over a majority of the city’s schools, leaving only the highest-performing ones under the Orleans Parish School Board’s control.

Today, the districts operate side by side. The RSD converted schools to charters and now oversees the country’s first all-charter district. The school board operates a majority-charter district but, contrary to some inaccurate rhetoric, the district still runs five traditional schools.

5. Everything is better now.

burning house fire in the 7th ward September 6, 2005 in New Orle
A man walks past a burning house in the 7th Ward on Sept. 6, 2005, in New Orleans.

Photos by Mario Tama/Getty Images

“There are three ways things could have gone.

In the first story, New Orleans slides into its own wet grave, another urban tragedy of geography and economics. In the second story, New Orleans rebuilds itself as it was before — a sleepy southern belle of a town serving up wet weekends of intemperance. In the third story, Hurricane Katrina somehow kickstarts an age of innovation and an economic renaissance in a city written off for dead.

The Big Easy has chosen the third path — the hard path, and their struggle has revealed both the tantalizing allure, and the deep challenges, of reinventing a city.”
—The
Atlantic, April 8, 2013

“Hurricane Katrina gave a great American city a rebirth.”
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 13, 2015

The myth of the Katrina “reset” is popular with national media. The idea is that the storm and the floods that followed left the city a blank slate, allowing its leaders to rebuild it better than it was before: better planning, more efficient government, and no corruption.

The most recent, and possibly the most offensive, example was a column by Chicago Tribune writer Kristen McQueary. As a member of the newspaper’s editorial board, McQueary recently spoke to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who was making the rounds in the runup to the anniversary.

“I find myself wishing for a storm in Chicago — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops,” McQueary wrote. “That’s what it took to hit the reset button in New Orleans. Chaos. Tragedy. Heartbreak.”

The truth is more complicated than that.

It’s true that the city has grown from near-abandonment immediately after the storm to 80 percent of its pre-Katrina population, and it continues to grow faster than most other major cities. Its police department and jail are undergoing massive reform efforts. And tax collections are up year over year. The city’s schools are showing large gains in student test scores and graduation rates, according to a recently released study.

Still, the floods were devastating, and they continue to affect the area. About 1,800 people died, many of those in New Orleans. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleanians’ homes were flooded.

Ten years later, the city still suffers many blighted homes and overgrown lots. Violent crime continues to be a problem, and the city’s homicide rate consistently ranks near or at the top nationwide. The city’s fiscal progress could be undone by millions of dollars in unmet obligations. And advances from the police department and jail reforms are fitful.

The sweeping school overhaul also remains extremely controversial. Thousands of public school teachers lost their jobs after the storm and the state takeover. Schools in the Recovery School District still rank low, with about 40 percent earning a “D,” “F,” or “T” (ungraded turnaround school) in the state’s letter-grade accountability system. And a poll released Monday found that only 34 percent of black New Orleanians, whose children make up most of the city’s public school enrollment, think schools have improved, compared with 55 percent of whites.

Many people were never able to return. The overall population is lower, and the city has 100,000 fewer black residents now than before the storm, though it is still majority black. The city’s black population has not seen the same income gains as its white population. A report by the Data Center found that while the percentage of white middle- and upper-income households increased after Katrina, the percentage of black households in the same income tiers has shrunk.

Although the area has seen job growth, much of it has been in low-wage tourism and retail jobs. The city’s overall poverty rate is 27 percent, compared with 16 percent nationally. The New Orleans rate is virtually the same as it was before the storm. The childhood poverty rate is 39 percent, 17 percentage points above the national average and only a slight decrease from 41 percent in 1999.

Meanwhile, the city’s lack of affordable housing is reaching a near-crisis point. About 50 percent of the city’s residents spend more than 35 percent of their income on housing, and 37 percent spend more than half their income on housing.

6. Then–FEMA chief Michael Brown did a great job.

“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”
—President George W. Bush, Bush Press Archives, Sept. 2, 2005

US President George W. Bush.
President George W. Bush, left, and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, second right, getting a briefing from FEMA chief Michael Brown, center, in Mobile, Alabama, on Sept. 2, 2005.

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

OK, fine: It’s actually not a widely held myth that Michael “Brownie” Brown, who was the Bush administration’s FEMA director when Katrina hit, handled the disaster competently. Bush didn’t even seem to believe that for very long. Shortly after Bush’s public praise, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff removed Brown from the Gulf Coast.

Ten years later, the only person who believes Brown did anything close to a heckuva job may be Brown himself. On Thursday, two days before the anniversary, Politico published a piece by Brown titled “Stop Blaming Me for Hurricane Katrina.” In it, Brown disabuses readers of the notion that he was to blame for the city’s incomplete evacuation, cites a breakdown in the proper “chain of command” under Chertoff, and complains about his relationship with the press.

Of those, the first is the only one really worth addressing. To get a good idea of how Brown was behaving while New Orleans was devastated, it’s best to check source documents, such as emails between Brown and his staff in the days immediately before and after the storm. Luckily, those are easy to find.

Emails showed that Brown dismissed reports that the city’s levees had breached and seemed to be preoccupied with his appearance as he anticipated national television interviews. His exchanges with Marty Bahamonde are also telling. Bahamonde, a FEMA public affairs official, was notably the only FEMA employee in the city of New Orleans in the days before the storm. Brown later testified before a congressional committee that the agency had more than a dozen officials in the Superdome.

On Aug. 31, 2005, Bahamonde sent a desperate email to Brown telling him that the Superdome was quickly running out of supplies and that medical patients were in imminent danger of death.

“We are running out of food and water at the dome,” Bahamonde wrote.

“Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?” Brown responded.

Brown would later testify that Bahamonde said the Superdome had “plenty of food.”

The same day Bahamonde sent the email about the dire conditions in the Superdome, Brown’s press secretary let FEMA employee Cindy Taylor know that “It is very important that time is allowed for Mr. Brown to eat dinner” and would need plenty of time to “get to and from a location of his choice, followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc.”

Taylor forwarded the email to Bahamonde.

“Just tell her that I just ate an MRE and crapped in the hallway of the Superdome with 30,000 other close friends,” Bahamonde wrote back.

Source: Hurricane Katrina, 10 years later: The myths that persist, debunked.

Reversal of learned helplessness by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in rats is not dependent on 5-HT availability

Arturo Zazpe, Inés Artaiz, Luis Labeaga, María Luisa Lucero, Aurelio Orjales,

Serotonin (5-HT) and 5-HT1A receptors have been suggested to play a pivotal role in the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs, particularly in the case of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In the rat learned helplessness (LH) paradigm, a valid animal model of human depression, repeated treatment with the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT (0.125 and 0.5 mg/kg) and several classes of antidepressants such as the tricyclic agent desipramine (30 and 60 mg/kg), the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) pargyline (60 mg/kg) and the SSRIs fluoxetine (15 and 30 mg/kg), paroxetine (15 and 30 mg/kg) and sertraline (30 mg/kg) improved behavioural deficit in helpless rats. The involvement of serotonergic mechanisms in the antidepressant-like effect of these agents was investigated using the selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist WAY 100,635 and the 5-HT synthesis inhibitor p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA). Pretreatment with WAY 100,635 blocked the 8-OH-DPAT-induced reduction in escape failures, but did not counteract the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine and paroxetine. PCPA given alone did not modify helpless behaviour nor did it affect the behavioural effect of 8-OH-DPAT, fluoxetine and paroxetine. Adaptive changes in 5-HT1A receptor function were studied by measuring 8-OH-DPAT-mediated hypothermia and lower lip retraction (LLR) in the animals 24 h after LH test session. Fluoxetine and paroxetine treatments caused a marked reduction in agonist-induced responses, an effect completely prevented by WAY 100,635 and PCPA. In conclusion, whereas direct agonist activity at postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors attenuated helpless behaviour, the antidepressant-like effect of SSRIs was found to be independent of their actions on either 5-HT1A receptor function or extracellular 5-HT. Keywords Learned helplessness; Serotonin; Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor; 5-HT1A receptor; p-Chlorophenylalanine; depression Corresponding author. Tel.: +34 94 481 8300; fax: +34 94 481 8309.

Source: Reversal of learned helplessness by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in rats is not dependent on 5-HT availability

Reversal of Learned Helplessness by Morphine in Rats ☆: Involvement of a Dopamine Mediation A. Besson*, A.M. Privat*, A. Eschalier†, J. Fialip*,

The aim of this study was to examine the role of dopamine neurotransmission in the effects of morphine in the learned helplessness paradigm in rats, a generally recognized model of depression. In this model, rats first exposed to inescapable shocks (stressed rats) exhibited an escape deficit in a subsequent shuttle-box test performed 48 h later for 3 consecutive days. The numbers of escape failures and intertrial crossings (motor activity during each intertrial interval) were recorded. Morphine was injected twice daily for 5 days (6 mg/kg/day, SC), and haloperidol, a preferential D2-dopamine receptor antagonist, was injected IP 15 min before each shuttle-box session. At the highest dose tested (150 μg/kg) haloperidol mimicked the behavioral deficit produced by inescapable shocks. A 37.5 μg/kg dose of haloperidol, which was ineffective by itself, reversed the morphine-induced improvement of escape behavior in previously stressed rats and the morphine-induced increase in intertrial activity in both stressed and nonstressed animals. These results support roles (a) for a dysregulation of dopaminergic neuronal activity in the expression of escape deficit subsequent to an inescapable aversive situation, and (b) for a dopaminergic mediation in the effects of morphine in the learned helplessness paradigm. Keywords Learned helplessness; Morphine; Haloperidol; Dopamine; Rats ☆ The procedure used to kill the animals in this study is not allowed in UK or USA. Prof. J. Fialip, Laboratoire de Pharmacologie, Faculté de Pharmacie, 28, Place Henri Dunant, BP38, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand cedex 1, France

Source: Reversal of Learned Helplessness by Morphine in Rats: Involvement of a Dopamine Mediation

Pharmacology Biochemistry and BehaviorVolume 17, Issue 5, November 1982, Pages 877-883Cover imageEvidence for a serotonergic mechanism of the learned helplessness phenomenon

Loren Brown, Robert A. Rosellini, Owen B. Samuels, Edward P. Riley S

The present experiments examined the role of the serotonergic system in the learned helplessness phenomenon. In Experiment 1, a 200 mg/kg dose of 1-tyrptophan injected 30 min prior to testing disrupted acquisition of Fixed Ratio 2 shuttle escape behavior. In Experiment 2, a 100 mg/kg dose of 5-HTP produced interference with the acquisition of the escape response. Furthermore, this interference was prevented by treatment with the serotonergic antagonist methysergide. In Experiment 3, animals were pretreated with a subeffective dose of 1-tryptophan in combination with subeffective exposure to inescapable shock. These animals showed a deficit in the acquisition of FR-2 shuttle escape. In Experiment 4, combined exposure to a subeffective dose of 5-HTP and inescapable shock (40 trials) resulted in an acquisition deficit. This deficit was reversed by methysergide. Experiment 5 showed that the detrimental effects of exposure to prolonged (80 trials) of inescapable shock can be prevented by treatment with methysergide. These studies implicate the serotonergic system as a possible mediator of the learned helplessness phenomenon.Keywords Learned helplessness; Tryptophan; Serotonin; Methysergide; Inescapable shock; Escape open in overlay C

Source: Evidence for a serotonergic mechanism of the learned helplessness phenomenon

Source: Algal Virus Infects, Affects Humans – NIH Research Matters – National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Scientists have found a new virus called Chlorovirus ATCV-1 that can affect cognitive function in humans and make them more stupid. Scientists at the University of Nebraska and John Hopkins Medical School reveal that the ATCV-1 virus infects the green algae found in freshwater ponds and lakes. Previously, scientists believed that the virus was not harmful to humans; however, latest study reveals that the virus can affect cognitive functioning in human brain, which can shorten attention span and also cause reduced spatial awareness. The researchers were conducting a separate study but found the DNA of ATCV-1 virus in human throat. The scientists conducted a test of 92 healthy individuals and found the virus in 40 people. Individuals who were infected with the virus performed 10 percent slower in visual processing tests. The study found no link between reduced brain function and factors such as variances in sex, income, education level, race and smoking cigarette. In a separate experiment, the scientists also injected the virus in the digestive tracts of lab mice. The researchers found that when these mice were put in a maze, they took 10 percent more time finding their way out when compared to normal mice. The impact similarity of the virus in humans and mice determines that ATCV-1 virus impairs the brain function to a certain level and makes people more stupid. The scientists suggest that not only swimmers or people who have come in direct contact may have got infected. They suggest that many people may have been infected with the virus but are unaware. The scientists suggest that at this stage it is unclear how the virus is transmitted to humans and if it is contagious. Professor Robert Yolken at Johns Hopkins Medical School, who is also the study author, reveals that millions of viruses live in human body and many of them have never been examined. As the virus does not cause extreme damage it may have never been investigated before, but now scientists are examining many viruses in the human body for the first time. “This is kind of the other end of the spectrum. These are agents that we carry around for a long time and that may have subtle effects on our cognition and behaviour,” says Professor Yolken. The study has been published in the journal PNAS.

Source: Meet chlorovirus ATCV-1, a virus that can make humans more stupid : LIFE : Tech Times

Chloroviruses (family Phycodnaviridae) are large DNA viruses known to infect certain eukaryotic green algae and have not been previously shown to infect humans or to be part of the human virome. We unexpectedly found sequences homologous to the chlorovirus Acanthocystis turfacea chlorella virus 1 (ATCV-1) in a metagenomic analysis of DNA extracted from human oropharyngeal samples. These samples were obtained by throat swabs of adults without a psychiatric disorder or serious physical illness who were participating in a study that included measures of cognitive functioning. The presence of ATCV-1 DNA was confirmed by quantitative PCR with ATCV-1 DNA being documented in oropharyngeal samples obtained from 40 (43.5%) of 92 individuals. The presence of ATCV-1 DNA was not associated with demographic variables but was associated with a modest but statistically significant decrease in the performance on cognitive assessments of visual processing and visual motor speed. We further explored the effects of ATCV-1 in a mouse model. The inoculation of ATCV-1 into the intestinal tract of 9–11-wk-old mice resulted in a subsequent decrease in performance in several cognitive domains, including ones involving recognition memory and sensory-motor gating. ATCV-1 exposure in mice also resulted in the altered expression of genes within the hippocampus. These genes comprised pathways related to synaptic plasticity, learning, memory formation, and the immune response to viral exposure.

Source: Chlorovirus ATCV-1 is part of the human oropharyngeal virome and is associated with changes in cognitive functions in humans and mice

Nations All Over the World CONFESS to Carrying Out False Flag Terrorism.

Not Theory … Admitted Fact.

There are many documented false flag attacks, where a government carries out a terror attack … and then falsely blames its enemy for political purposes.

In the following 54 instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally or in writing:

(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this (http://tinyurl.com/k3lyrnn).

(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland.

(3) Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.

(4) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.

(5) The Russian Parliament, current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachev all admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and then falsely blamed it on the Nazis.

(6) The British government admits that – between 1946 and 1948 – it bombed 5 ships carrying Jews attempting to flee the Holocaust to seek safety in Palestine, set up a fake group called “Defenders of Arab Palestine”, and then had the psuedo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings.

(7) Israel admits that in 1954, an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed).

(8) The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.

(9) The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece – also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey – and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence.

(10) The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change.

(11-21) The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this) (Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). And watch this BBC special. They also allegedly carried out terror attacks in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, and other countries.

False flag attacks carried out pursuant tho this program include – by way of example only (and depending on how you count them):

(11) the murder of the Turkish Prime Minister (1960)

(12) bombings in Portugal (1966)

(13) the Piazza Fontana massacre in Italy (1969)

(14) terror attacks in Turkey (1971)

(15) the Peteano bombing in Italy (1972)

(16) shootings in Brescia, Italy and a bombing on an Italian train (1974)

(17) shootings in Istanbul, Turkey (1977)

(18) the Atocha massacre in Madrid, Spain (1977)

(19) the abduction and murder of the Italian Prime Minister (1978)

(20) the bombing of the Bologna railway station in Italy (1980)

(21) shooting and killing 28 shoppers in Brabant county, Belgium (1985)

(22) In 1960, American Senator George Smathers suggested that the U.S. launch “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]“.

(23) Official State Department documents show that, in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.

(24) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

(25) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States – such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica – and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.

(26) The U.S. Department of Defense even suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: “The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”

(27) The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war.

(28) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.

(29) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look the general said, “I am giving an example”.

(30) The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on.

(31) A Mossad agent admits that, in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya which broadcast fake terrorist trasmissions recorded by Mossad, in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.

(32) The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing.

(33) An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author).

(34) The United States Army’s 1994 publication Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces – updated in 2004 – recommends employing terrorists and using false flag operations to destabilize leftist regimes in Latin America. False flag terrorist attacks were carried out in Latin America and other regions as part of the CIA’s “Dirty Wars“.

(35) Similarly, a CIA “psychological operations” manual prepared by a CIA contractor for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels noted the value of assassinating someone on your own side to create a “martyr” for the cause.  The manual was authenticated by the U.S. government. The manual received so much publicity from Associated Press, Washington Post and other news coverage that – during the 1984 presidential debate – President Reagan was confronted with the following question on national television:

At this moment, we are confronted with the extraordinary story of a CIA guerrilla manual for the anti-Sandinista contras whom we are backing, which advocates not only assassinations of Sandinistas but the hiring of criminals to assassinate the guerrillas we are supporting in order to create martyrs.

(36) An Indonesian fact-finding team investigated violent riots which occurred in 1998, and determined that “elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked”.

(37) Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya.

(38) According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.

(39) The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings.

(40) As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”.

(41) Senior police officials in Genoa, Italy admitted that – in July 2001, at the G8 summit in Genoa – planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.

(42) The U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction. Despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. (Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government.).

(43) Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country.

(44) Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”

(45) United Press International reported in June 2005:

U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

(46) Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians.

(47) Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers.

(48) At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.

(49) Egyptian politicians admitted that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters.

(50) A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat.

(51) The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists.

(52) High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.

(53) The Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others. Ukrainian officials admit that the Ukrainian snipers fired on both sides, to create maximum chaos.

(54) Britain’s spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target.

So Common … There’s a Name for It

The use of the bully’s trick is so common that it was given a name hundreds of years ago.

“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.

The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.

Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval, air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks. Specifically, the rules of engagement state that a military force can fly the enemy’s flag, imitate their markings, or dress in an enemy’s clothes … but that the ruse has to be discarded before attacking.

Why are the rules of engagement so specific? Obviously, because nations have been using false flag attacks for many centuries.  And the rules of engagement are at least trying to limit false flag attacks so that they aren’t used as a false justification for war.

In other words, the rules of engagement themselves are an admission that false flag terrorism is a very common practice.

Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags

Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:

“A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
– Adolph Hitler

“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
– Josef Stalin

Please use Source link below to access orginial articles source and reference links.

By WashingtonsBlog

(Source:  washingtonsblog.com; March 3, 2015; http://tinyurl.com/ooqgsze)

Nations All Over the World CONFESS to Carrying Out False Flag Terrorism.Not Theory … Admitted Fact.

Source: Alternative News Project – Nations Confess to Carrying Out False Flag Terrorism

The ancient Indian spice turmeric strikes again! A new study finds turmeric extract selectively and safely killing cancer stem cells in a way that chemo and radiation cannot.

A ground-breaking new study published in the journal Anticancer Research reveals that one of the world’s most extensively researched and promising natural compounds for cancer treatment: the primary polyphenol in the ancient spice turmeric known as curcumin, has the ability to selectively target cancer stem cells, which are at the root of cancer malignancy, while having little to no toxicity on normal stem cells, which are essential for tissue regeneration and longevity.

Titled, “Curcumin and Cancer Stem Cells: Curcumin Has Asymmetrical Effects on Cancer and Normal Stem Cells,” the study describes the wide range of molecular mechanisms presently identified by which curcumin attacks cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are the minority subpopulation of self-renewing cells within a tumour colony, and which alone are capable of producing all the other cells within a tumour, making them the most lethal, tumorigenic of all cells within most if not all cancers.  Because CSCs are resistant to chemotherapy, radiation, and may even be provoked towards increased invasiveness through surgical intervention, they are widely believed to be responsible for tumour recurrence and the failure of conventional treatment.

He study identified the following 8 molecular mechanisms by which curcumin targets and kills cancer stem cells:

  • Down-regulation of interleukin-6 (IL-6): IL-6 is classified as a cytokine (a potent biomolecule released by the immune system) and modulates both immunity and inflammation. It’s over expression has been linked to the progression from inflammation to cancer. Curcumin inhibits IL-6 release, which in turn prevents CSC stimulation.
  • Down-regulation of interleukin-8 (IL-8): IL-8, another cytokine, is released after tumour cell death, subsequently stimulating CSCs to regrow the tumour and resist chemotherapy. Curcumin both inhibits IL-8 production directly and indirectly.
  • Down-regulation of interleukin-1 (IL-1): IL-1, a family of cytokines, are involved in response to injury and infection, with IL-1 β playing a key role in cancer cell growth and the stimulation of CSCs. Curcumin inhibits IL-1 both directly and indirectly.
  • Decrease CXCR1 and CXCR2 binding: CXCR1 and CXCR2 are proteins expressed on cells, including CSCs, which respond to the aforementioned cytokines in a deleterious manner. Curcumin has been found to not only block cytokine release, but their binding to these two cellular targets.
  • Modulation of the Wnt signalling pathway: The Wnt signalling pathway regulates a wide range of processes during embryonic development, but are also dsyregulated in cancer. Curcumin has been found to have a corrective action on Wnt signalling.
  • Modulation of the Notch Pathway: The Notch signalling pathway, also involved in embryogenesis, plays a key role in regulating cell differentiation, proliferation and programmed cell death (apoptosis), as well as the functioning of normal stem cells. Aberrant Notch signalling has been implicated in a wide range of cancers. Curcumin has been found to suppress tumour cells along the Notch pathway.
  • Modulation of the Hedgehog Pathways: Another pathway involved in embryogenesis, the Hedgehog pathway also regulates normal stem cell activity. Abnormal functioning of this pathway is implicated in a wide range of cancers and in the stimulation of CSCs and associated increases in tumour recurrence after conventional treatment. Curcumin has been found to inhibit the Hedgehog pathway through a number of different mechanisms.
  • Modulation of the FAK/AKT/FOXo3A Pathway: This pathway plays a key role in regulating normal stem cells, with aberrant signalling stimulating CSCs, resulting once again in tumour recurrence and resistance to chemotherapy. Curcumin has been found
  • In multiple studies to destroy CSCs through inhibiting this pathway.

As you can see through these eight examples above, curcumin exhibits a rather profound level of complexity, modulating numerous molecular pathways simultaneously. Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy is incapable of such delicate and “intelligent” behaviour, as it preferentially targets fast-replicating cells by damaging their DNA in the vulnerable mitosis stage of cell division, regardless of whether they are benign, healthy or cancerous cells.  Curcumin’s selective cytotoxicity, on the other hand, targets the most dangerous cells – the cancer stem cells – which leaving unharmed the normal cells.

 

By Sayer Ji

(Source:  greenmedinfo.com; March 22, 2015; http://tinyurl.com/nflsdzw)

Source: Alternative News Project – Turmeric’s ‘Smart Kill’ Properties Put Chemo & Radiation to Shame

Source: im7lsaages.jpg (JPEG Image, 369 × 136 pixels)

Ajit Vadakayil: March 2015

Source: Ajit Vadakayil: March 2015

Ajit Vadakayil: March 2015

Source: Ajit Vadakayil: March 2015

The Human Brain – Proteins

Most neurotransmitters are made from amino acids obtained from the protein in food you consume. Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that motivate or sedate, focus or frustrate. Their complex interaction is what shifts your mood and changes your mind. Neurotransmitters wag the tail of tadpoles and wage the tale of humanity.

Proteins Topics:
Proteins and Amino Acids
Inside the Network of Your Brain
Chemical Imbalances in the Brain
Brain Attacks-Stroke
Proteins and Amino Acids

Amino acids that come from the protein you eat are the building blocks of your brain’s network. Amino acids can excite or calm your brain as well as nourish your brain throughout it’s lifetime. Find out about the challenging journey amino acids take to your brain and the important role amino acids play.

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How Amino Acids Reach Your Brain

Imagine if the people in your family could only travel to the next town if they were escorted by a lady in a pink dress, rode in a blue Ford Mini-Van and were allowed to travel on only one road. Sound like a difficult journey? Amino acids face similar obstacles and requirements in their journey to the brain.

The fact is, if amino acids reach your brain at all, it should be considered a success. Not only do brain cells compete with body cells for amino acids (body cells pull amino acids from the bloodstream more easily), amino acids must pass the protective blood-brain barrier. To top it all off, amino acids must be escorted through the blood-brain barrier by a certain molecule on a certain pathway in a certain “vehicle”.

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Amino Acids Can Excite or Calm Your Brain

The amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine must both cross the blood-brain barrier in the same pathway. If tryptophan crosses the barrier, it will have a calming effect. If tyrosine wins out, then you will be energized and alert.

A high-carbohydrate meal can increase the brain’s tryptophan levels, and hence the serotonin that promotes contentment and normal sleep.

Therefore, a carbohydrate-rich meal may be more appropriate for the evening meal.

On the other hand, one can be energized for hours after a morning meal high in protein, because it raises tyrosine levels in the blood and brain – causing neurons to manufacture norepinephrine and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that promote alertness and activity.

Tyrosine is crucial to brain power and alertness in another way. It’s also needed for your body to make active thyroid hormones. Low blood levels of tyrosine are associated with an underactive thyroid gland. (Extreme thyroid deficiency causes severe mental retardation known as cretinism.)

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Protein Connects the Developing Brain

Protein’s networking role is even more dramatic and direct in the developing brain, when nerve cells are migrating from their birthplace. One particular protein acts as a molecular guide, somewhat like a dog herding a flock of sheep. It directs migrating nerve cells to their correct locations, where they link up with each other as they settle in.

This protein guides the cell bodies themselves, as well as the growth of the long axons that extend from nerve cell bodies toward other nerve cells.1

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Nourish Your Brain with Amino Acids

Even in the best of times your brain is often malnourished, which is then reflected in your emotions and behavior. Fortunately, your brain can quickly respond to proper nutrition – even from a single meal. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Your body breaks down dietary protein into the amino acids it uses to assemble the 50,000 different proteins it needs to function – including neurotransmitters and chromosomes, hormones and enzymes.

Dietary proteins fall into two groups. Complete proteins contain ample amounts of all eight essential amino acids. Fish and meat, fowl and eggs, cheese and yogurt are complete proteins.

On the other hand, grains and legumes, seeds and nuts, and a variety of other foods are incomplete proteins, because they provide only some of the essential amino acids.

You can, however, combine different incomplete proteins to obtain all necessary amino acids. Such complementary proteins have been known for centuries and are part of traditional diets around the world. For example, rice and beans combine to make a complete protein.

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Dietary Sources of Amino Acids

Food is your best source of amino acids. Be cautious about trying to manipulate your intake with individual amino acid supplements. These potent metabolic factors have many functions in the body that we are only beginning to understand. They are not to be taken lightly.

As always, it’s a matter of balance. Eat foods that provide the full spectrum of amino acids your brain needs for an appropriate harmony of energizing and calming neurotransmitters. Pay attention to what you eat and how you feel afterward. Learn what works best for you, according to your daily activities and need for rest.

Ensuring adequate neurotransmitter levels is crucial for optimal brain heath and fitness, however, poor nutrition is not the only obstacle. Stress, infection, and drugs tend to diminish neurotransmitter levels, as does impaired digestion and circulation.

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Inside the Network of Your Brain

The communication network in your brain is a multi-trillion maze of connections capable of performing 20 million-billion calculations per second. How does this network operate? There are three major players: Neurons, which power the message, Neurotransmitters, which create the message and Receptors, which receive the message.

Hippocampal Neurons

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Neurons – Electrical Transmission

A single one of your neurons can produce almost a tenth of a volt, and the total electrical activity in your brain is easily measurable with an electroencephalogram (EEG). Within a neuron, a bioelectric impulse (action potential) travels toward the cell body through the dendrites, the intricate branches of nerve fibers that receive information from other neurons.

The impulse then travels at a speed of up to 150MPH away from the cell body through its antennae, called the axon. The axon is a single insulated fiber that sends the bioelectric current out to the cell’s terminals, which can be several inches (or feet) away. The size and quality of the axon determines how fast the bioelectric impulse travels.

Hippocampal Neurons

Special channels and pumps in the membrane control an extremely rapid exchange of sodium and potassium ions across the membrane. This is what creates and transmits the action potential along the axon.

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Neurotransmitters – Chemical Transmission

Within the cell body of a neuron, many different types of chemical neurotransmitters are manufactured and shipped out to the end terminals of the axon. Here they’re stored in bubble-like structures (vesicles), where they wait to cross over the space between neurons, called the synapse (from the Greek word for “junction”).

The bioelectric impulse signals the vesicles to burst and the neurotransmitters to spill out across the synapse, where they’re caught by receptor molecules on the membrane of the target neuron’s dendrites.

Find out more about the types of neurotransmitters and what they do.

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Dopamine

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter needed for healthy assertiveness and sexual arousal, proper immune and autonomic nervous system function. Dopamine is important for motivation and a sense of readiness to meet life’s challenges.

One of the most vulnerable key neurotransmitters, dopamine levels are depleted by stress or poor sleep. Alcohol, caffeine, and sugar all seem to diminish dopamine activity in the brain. It’s also easily oxidized, therefore eat plenty of fruits and vegetables whose antioxidants help protect dopamine-using neurons from free radical damage. More and more healthcare professionals recommend supplementing with vitamins C and E and other antioxidants.

Age-related cognitive decline is associated with dopamine changes in the brain. People whose hands tremble from Parkinson’s disease have a diminished ability to synthesize dopamine, which is crucial to fine muscle coordination. Attention deficits are also connected to dopamine.

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Norepinephrine

Norepinephrine, also called noradrenalin, is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter needed for motivation, alertness, and concentration. Like a hormone, it travels in the bloodstream to arouse brain activity with its adrenalin-like effects.

Your brain requires norepinephrine to form new memories and to transfer them to long-term storage. This neurotransmitter also influences your metabolic rate.

Both norepinephrine and dopamine are manufactured from the amino acids tyrosine or phenylalanine in the presence of adequate oxygen, vitamins B3, B6, and C, folic acid, iron, and copper. Food sources of tyrosine include almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.

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Serotonin

Serotonin is the calming neurotransmitter important to the maintenance of good mood. It promotes contentment and is responsible for normal sleep. In addition to the central nervous system, serotonin is also found in the walls of the intestine (the enteric nervous system) and in platelet cells that promote blood clotting.

Serotonin plays an important role in regulating memory, learning, and blood pressure, as well as appetite and body temperature. Low serotonin levels produce insomnia and depression, aggressive behavior, increased sensitivity to pain, and is associated with obsessive-compulsive eating disorders.

Serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan in the presence of adequate vitamins B1, B3, B6, and folic acid. The best food sources of tryptophan include brown rice, cottage cheese, meat, peanuts, and sesame seeds.

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Acetylcholine

Acetylcholine is the primary chemical carrier of thought and memory. This excitatory neurotransmitter is essential for both the storage and recall of memory, and partly responsible for concentration and focus. It also plays a significant role in muscular coordination . A deficit in acetylcholine is directly related to memory decline and reduced cognitive capacity.

Unlike other key neurotransmitters, acetylcholine is not made from amino acids. Its primary building block is choline, which doesn’t have to compete for entry into your brain. Therefore, the more choline you consume, the more acetylcholine you can produce.

Choline belongs to the B family of vitamins and is a fat-like substance that’s necessary to metabolize fats. It is found in lecithin as phosphatidyl choline. Foods high in lecithin include egg yolks, wheat germ, soybeans, organ meats, and whole wheat products.

You can boost your acetylcholine levels by taking supplements of phosphatidyl choline, which is also the form of choline most important to the structure of your neural membranes. Vitamin C and B5 are needed for your brain to synthesize acetylcholine, in the presence of choline acetyltransferase, a key brain enzyme.

Acetylcholine levels tend to decline with age, in part because of a decreased ability to synthesize this enzyme. There also may be an increase in acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine.

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Receptors-Open the Doors

A receptor is essentially a geomagnetic lock designed to accept only the right key – the neurotransmitter whose molecular shape and polarity are a precise fit.

“The typical receptor is a large molecule, consisting of hundreds of thousands of atoms. The exposed section, the ‘lily pad,’ floats on the surface of the cell membrane, while the ‘roots’ extend deep into the cell.

“The exposed end of the receptor, the lily pad, is in truth not so much a pad as a cup, the mirror image (both in geometry and in magnetic properties)” of the molecule it is designed to receive.

“The final critical aspect of the receptor is that it is spring-loaded. When a [neurotransmitter] molecule settles into it, it suddenly and forcefully changes shape. Inside the cell, the roots move. The movement triggers a reconformation in another Tinkertoy molecule, which in turn disturbs another, which in turn disturbs still another. The reaction travels, domino fashion” until it reaches the cell body where it initiates some sort of specific activity.”2

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Receptors Can be Fooled

There are as many kinds of receptors as there are neurotransmitters – hundreds of types – with numerous subtypes of receptor for any given neurotransmitter. Although each receptor is supposed to recognize and accept only a particular neurotransmitter molecule, certain medicines and plant compounds are also able to mate with some receptors.

The neurological effects of many natural and pharmaceutical drugs are due to this tendency of receptors to accept molecules that resemble their corresponding neurotransmitter. These substitute molecules can either imitate a neurotransmitter and create a similar response, or they could simply occupy and block the receptor, making it unavailable to neurotransmitters. Addictive substance interact with the brain’s receptors in this manner.

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Receptors Decline with Age-Study

The neurotransmitter serotonin interacts with at least 15 different receptors in the body. After age 20, one of serotonin’s most common receptors starts to decline in the human brain. Known as 5-HT2A, it was shown in one study to vanish at about 15% per decade, which may be why depression commonly appears in middle-age.

When scientists scanned the brains of 21 healthy men and women, 20 to 70 years old, they observed dramatic age-related drops in the density of 5-HT2A receptors in the brain – particularly in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus – even though none of the participants were suffering from depression.3

Receptors for the neurotransmitter dopamine also decline with age. When dopamine and glucose metabolism were measured in the brains of 37 healthy subjects, researchers saw a 6% per decade decline in dopamine D2 receptors, after age 20. This decrease in receptors and in glucose metabolism translates into decreased brain activity and deterioration of cognitive function.4

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Chemical Imbalances in the Brain

Several dozen different neurotransmitter varieties have been identified in the brain, and more continue to be recognized. Our knowledge of the specific functions of neurotransmitters is still in its infancy, but it seems that each one probably plays some role in most behaviors. A neurotransmitter imbalance is usually involved in brain disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, attention-deficits, and obsessive-compulsive behavior.

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Obsessive-Compulsive Eating Disorders (OCD)

People who repeatedly perform ritualistic-type movements may be suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A type of OCD known as “body dysmorphic disorder” is a characterized by a preoccupation with an imagined or slight defect in appearance. For example, no matter their actual body size, anorexics firmly believe they are too fat. Conversely, “bigorexics” think themselves too small. As a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, appetite, and impulse control, serotonin is involved in eating disorders associated with these forms of OCD. 2nd level info
Bigorexia

Dr. Eric Hollander of Mount Sinai School of Medicine says this exaggerated sense that something doesn’t look right has a connection with serotonin, because one of this neurotransmitter’s functions seems to be involved with turning off brain processes that signal when “things don’t fit our conceived notions.” Even though nothing is wrong, a mental alarm continues to sound due to abnormally low levels of serotonin.

To help the brain raise serotonin levels, the researchers used a drug approach that significantly reduced patients’ repetitive movements and obsessive preoccupation with perceived flaws. Although not a cure, Hollander said symptoms improved by 25 to 35%. He pointed out, however, there was a significant drop in suicidal thoughts, and an improved ability to function at work or school.

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Bulimia

Another eating disorder associated with a distorted body image is bulimia nervosa, which is characterized by alternate binge eating and purging. When researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine used PET scans to study nine women recovering from bulimia, they observed a reduction in serotonin’s ability to bind to receptors in certain brain regions.

Lead author Dr. Walter H. Kaye suspects this dysregulation of the serotonin system contributes to both overeating and undereating, two extremes of impulse control. Whether this alteration in serotonin makes some women more vulnerable to developing bulimia – or is a consequence of having bulimia – is not certain, but other data suggests that bulimics experience symptoms of depressive moods in childhood.5

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Brain Attacks-Stroke

If the blood flow to your brain is interrupted you can suffer a brain attack also known as a stroke. When blood fails to reach an area of your brain, brain cells die rapidly and set off a chain reaction that kills other brain cells. A stroke is an emergency medical situation and can permanently impair your speech, movement and memory.6

Research scientists think they have discovered the “real culprit” behind strokes and it is an amino acid called Homocysteine.

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Homocysteine

Homocysteine is an amino acid created in the body from the metabolism of methionine, an essential amino acid obtained from animal protein. Because high levels of homocysteine are toxic, it is normally broken down in the bloodstream and converted back into methionine – with the help of folic acid and B vitamins.

Some people have a genetic tendency to build up toxic levels of homocysteine that damages the walls of their blood vessels. Cholesterol then gets deposited in the arteries impaired by homocysteine, which can lead to blockage and stroke or cardiovascular disease.

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Brain Plasticity After a Stroke

Functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) studies reveal the brain’s innate plasticity – its ability to reprogram itself after stroke. This highly complex organ adapts to injury by redistributing its cognitive workload across established neural networks, and recruiting different brain areas to fill in for lost functions.

Watching the brain at work with a very-high-field MRI scanner, Dr. Keith Thulborn, director of MR research at the University of Illinois, observed a patient suffering from damage to Wernicke’s area (the region in the left cortex that controls the understanding of language). Functional MRI showed that the brain initially recouped by allocating speech comprehension to an area on the opposite side of the brain. Then, over time, an adjacent area took on this cognitive task while Wernicke’s area remained damaged.

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How B Vitamins May Prevent Stroke-Study

The head of stroke research at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, James F. Toole, says the real culprit behind stroke is homocysteine, not cholesterol. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and is a major cause of disability. What’s more, stroke prevention may be as simple as taking three B vitamins involved with homocysteine’s metabolism.

He is coordinating a large international clinical trial with 57 institutions in North America and Scotland. Since 1997, the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention (VISP) trial has involved 3,200 participants with high blood levels of homocysteine, who all recently experienced a stroke. They are are being given high or low doses of vitamin B12, B6, and folic acid.7

In another study of nearly 500 white and African-American women age 15 to 44, the increased risk for stroke because of homocysteine was similar to that of smoking a pack of cigarettes per day. “We found that younger women who had the highest levels of homocysteine had double the risk of stroke compared to women with lower levels,” says Steven J. Kittner, M.D., M.P.H., professor of neurology, epidemiology, and preventive medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.8

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Anger and Hostility Linked to Homocysteine-Study

Researchers at Ohio State University measured blood homocysteine concentrations in 33 women and 31 men who completed questionnaires gauging hostility and anger expression. “These were healthy people with no known cardiovascular disease or major risk factors, so the levels of homocysteine were still in the normal range even for those with higher levels of hostility,” said Catherine Stoney, associate professor of psychology.

In both the men and women, higher levels of hostility were associated with higher levels of homocysteine. “The fact that we found this relationship even among healthy people is significant,” she said. “Many studies have shown hostility and anger expression to be potent risk factors for coronary heart disease, but this study is the first to suggest this potential explanation for why they are linked.”9 In a previous study, Stoney found that psychological stress can temporarily increase homocysteine levels.

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Homocysteine and Memory-Study

In a Tufts University study with people over 60 years old, those with higher homocysteine levels fared about 30% as well on a memory test as those with lower homocysteine levels.

Furthermore, Dr. Martha Savaria Morris and her colleagues note that the participants with higher blood levels of folic acid showed a better ability to recall a story.10

topics
Lowering Homocysteine Levels

A natural compound found in small quantities in a variety of plants and animals, supplemental TMG is used to lower homocysteine levels, in conjunction with B vitamins.

Homocysteine is converted back into methionine by a process called methylation – when a methyl group (CH3) from a donor molecule is attached to the homocysteine molecule. Trimethylglycine (TMG), also known as anhydrous betaine, has three methyl groups to donate.

Source: The Human Brain – Proteins

Is Your Brain Firing As It Should? – Neurotransmitters

By Jacob Scharf

Guest Writer for Wake up World

On our troubled planet it is obvious to each of us there are many aspects of our daily lives that are not all they could or should be. Life can be difficult at times! These less than ideal conditions we live amongst create stress and depressive states of ‘being’ in our lives, the symptoms of which can manifest in various ways, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

While many writers focus their advice primarily on the physical aspects of our health, offering great insight on how to lift our general health out of the doldrums with diet and suggestions on supplementation of certain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals etc., there is not the same wealth of information offered as to how we might lift our mental and emotional health out of the doldrums, other than with various spiritual practices such as meditation and yoga. Great advice for sure, but there is a lot more you can do if you are troubled by the stresses of modern life.

This series of articles will focus on how you may find relief from issues like stress and sleep disorders, using targeted ‘brain nutrition’ rather than having to resort to prescribed pharmaceutical medications (antidepressants, sleeping pills etc.) which, in addition to their penchant for forming ‘chemical drug dependence’ in the patient, often come with a host of unwelcome side effects that ultimately do more harm than good.
Part 1 – Natural Ways to Enhance Neurotransmitters

Anxiety and Sleep Disorders.

Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that transmit signals across a synapse (a structure that permits transit of an electrical or chemical signal) from one neuron (brain cell) to another ‘target’ neuron.

It is possible to have a deficiency in the raw materials that your brain needs to make neurotransmitters, in much the same way as a person may have a deficiency in a vitamin the body needs to assist with general health. These deficiencies can lead to states where neurotransmitters begin to ‘misfire‘, which can result in the various chronic states of mental and emotional health.

Many people are unaware that there are supplements available that will improve their neurotransmitter deficiencies and help correct the imbalance in their brain. And it may surprise you to learn that the supplements I will be discussing for optimal neurotransmitter health are a combination of natural hormones and simple amino acids, with specific functions relating to our brain chemistry.

When we encounter people who are in states of mental anguish, whether it be insomnia, acute anxiety or chronic depression, there is a general consensus within the scientific community that these individuals are experiencing a miscommunication between certain hormones and neurotransmitters in their brain. Presenting our brain with the raw ‘brain food’ it needs can help to optimize our brain’s performance and improve our mood. While taking pharmaceutical drugs may be viewed a little like sending in an armoured tank to rearrange the brain-scape, supplementing your diet with the raw materials your brain needs to rearrange itself is a more natural, subtle, and effective way to improve your mental and emotional health.
An introduction to the various supplements

As a student of Integrative Neuroscience, I witnessed a veritable epidemic of stress disorders amongst my fellow students during my finals week. Many were suffering anxiety that leads to sleep disruption – without sleep there was more anxiety and so it goes on. Sleep deprivation is not helpful when you need to think clearly, so no doubt many of us would benefit from feeding our brains what it needs to get us through these anxious times, with minimal sleep disruption and a sense of calm control – and two of these foods are serotonin and melatonin.
Serotonin

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps you relax, and the precursor for making serotonin in your body can be found in one of the 22 essential amino acids, called Tryptophan. In other words, tryptophan is the raw food for serotonin production. Food sources of tryptophan include poultry, meat, cheese, yogurt, fish and eggs. However supplementing may prove more beneficial in times of greatest need, and as we age. Tryptophan can be purchased as a stand-alone supplement. When taken correctly, tryptophan can greatly assist with states of stress and high-anxiety.

Tryptophan – Is Your Brain Firing As It Should? – Natural Ways to Enhance Stress-Reducing Neurotransmitters

There are two basic kinds of tryptophan available. L-tryptophan which is the natural amino acid and 5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-tryptophan) which is the immediate bio-chemical precursor of serotonin. When taking the l-tryptophan a larger dose will be needed (around 2-4 grams daily in divided doses, or as a single dose at night for sleep) than if you decide upon the 5-HTP kind (around 300-400mg), because 5-HTP directly crosses the blood-brain barrier rather than having to first be converted in 5-HTP from the original L-tryptophan molecule.

Several double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of 5-HTP in the treatment of depression. Either form will help with stress and sleep disorders. See more here: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2013/may2013_Better-Brain-Chemistry-with-Tryptophan_01.htm

Anxiety leads to sleep disruption, and without sleep there is more anxiety … and so it goes on. This article will focus on how you may find relief from issues like stress and sleep disorders using targeted ‘brain nutrition’, rather than having to resort to prescribed pharmaceutical medications that ultimately do more harm than good. By Guest Writer Jacob Scharf

Source: Is Your Brain Firing As It Should?  Natural Solutions for Stress | Wake Up World

Source:Stony Brook UniversitySummary:Sleeping in the side position, as compared to on one’s back or stomach, may more effectively remove brain waste and prove to be an important practice to help reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases, new research suggests.Share:

 

FULL STORY

The brain’s glymphatic pathway clears harmful wastes, especially during sleep. This lateral position could prove to be the best position for the brain-waste clearance process.
Credit: Stony Brook University

Sleeping in the lateral, or side position, as compared to sleeping on one’s back or stomach, may more effectively remove brain waste and prove to be an important practice to help reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases, according to researchers at Stony Brook University.

By using dynamic contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image the brain’s glymphatic pathway, a complex system that clears wastes and other harmful chemical solutes from the brain, Stony Brook University researchers Hedok Lee, PhD, Helene Benveniste, MD, PhD, and colleagues, discovered that a lateral sleeping position is the best position to most efficiently remove waste from the brain. In humans and many animals the lateral sleeping position is the most common one. The buildup of brain waste chemicals may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions. Their finding is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Dr. Benveniste, Principal Investigator and a Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Radiology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, has used dynamic contrast MRI for several years to examine the glymphatic pathway in rodent models. The method enables researchers to identify and define the glymphatic pathway, where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) filters through the brain and exchanges with interstitial fluid (ISF) to clear waste, similar to the way the body’s lymphatic system clears waste from organs. It is during sleep that the glymphatic pathway is most efficient. Brain waste includes amyloid β (amyloid) and tau proteins, chemicals that negatively affect brain processes if they build up.

In the paper, “The Effect of Body Posture on Brain Glymphatic Transport,” Dr. Benveniste and colleagues used a dynamic contrast MRI method along with kinetic modeling to quantify the CSF-ISF exchange rates in anesthetized rodents’ brains in three positions — lateral (side), prone (down), and supine (up).

“The analysis showed us consistently that glymphatic transport was most efficient in the lateral position when compared to the supine or prone positions,” said Dr. Benveniste. “Because of this finding, we propose that the body posture and sleep quality should be considered when standardizing future diagnostic imaging procedures to assess CSF-ISF transport in humans and therefore the assessment of the clearance of damaging brain proteins that may contribute to or cause brain diseases.”

Dr. Benveniste and first-author Dr. Hedok Lee, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Radiology at Stony Brook developed the safe posture positions for the experiments. Their colleagues at the University of Rochester, including Lulu Xie, Rashid Deane and Maiken Nedergaard, PhD, used fluorescence microscopy and radioactive tracers to validate the MRI data and to assess the influence of body posture on the clearance of amyloid from the brains.

“It is interesting that the lateral sleep position is already the most popular in human and most animals — even in the wild — and it appears that we have adapted the lateral sleep position to most efficiently clear our brain of the metabolic waste products that built up while we are awake,” says Dr. Nedergaard. “The study therefore adds further support to the concept that sleep subserves a distinct biological function of sleep and that is to ‘clean up’ the mess that accumulates while we are awake. Many types of dementia are linked to sleep disturbances, including difficulties in falling asleep. It is increasing acknowledged that these sleep disturbances may accelerate memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. Our findng brings new insight into this topic by showing it is also important what position you sleep in,” she explained.

Dr. Benveniste cautioned that while the research team speculates that the human glymphatic pathway will clear brain waste most efficiency when sleeping in the lateral position as compared to other positions, testing with MRI or other imaging methods in humans are a necessary first step.

 

Source: Could body posture during sleep affect how your brain clears waste? — ScienceDaily

A Kentucky mom shared her frustrations with a local high school’s dress code after her daughter was allegedly sent to the principal’s office for wearing an outfit that revealed her collarbone.

Mom Stacie Dunn posted a photo of her daughter Stephanie on the first day of school wearing the “inappropriate” outfit in question.

In the caption, she wrote, “So this is my daughter at school today. I had to come to the school because according to her school principal what she is wearing is out of dress code and inappropriate for school.”

Dunn said that when she arrived at the school, she saw a group of female students in the principal’s office for similar dress code violations. “This is ridiculous! WOODFORD County High School and the principle have been enforcing a dress code where as girls can not show even there collar bones [sic] because it may distract their male class mates,” she wrote on Facebook. “Parents are being called away from their important jobs and students are missing important class time because they are showing their collarbones! Something needs to change!”

After receiving a phone call from the school about Stephanie’s dress code violation, Dunn brought her daughter a scarf to wear. But the saga continued when the outfit was still deemed inappropriate and the teen was ultimately sent home after “giving the principal an attitude,” the mom claims in a follow-up Facebook post.

The following day, the mom launched a petition to help Stephanie and her fellow students change their school’s dress code. It currently has over 4,300 signtatures.

Woodford County High School’s 10-year-old dress code has been a source of tension in the past. In March, student Maggie Sunseri released a documentary featuring a series of interviews with female students, as well as the school principal, Rob Akers.

Titled “Shame: A Documentary on School Dress Code,” the 33-minute film highlights some of the students’ issues with the dress code, which mandates that shirts cover their collarbones and that shorts and skirts to be knee-length or longer.

Though Stacie Dunn’s daughter Stephanie is not featured in the film, the girls interviewed express the same kinds of concerns she shared this week. They say they feel embarrassed and ashamed about being “called out” for “revealing” outfits that show their collarbones, that it’s difficult to find acceptable clothes for schools, that the rules are not uniformly enforced and that it’s absurd to be forced to missed class because of these unfair standards.

As a result, they say they feel distracted with worry about whether or not each teacher will deem their outfits appropriate and fear that they may be humiliated.

In the documentary, Principal Akers cites removing distraction as a motivating factor behind dress codes, though he adds he was not at Woodford County High School when this particular policy was implemented during the 2004-05 school year. In his past experience as an administrator, he says, “issues with sexual harassment” among students prompted stricter dress codes.

“Certain outfits that [female students] wore created this situation where guys would make inappropriate statements, and there was a distraction to the learning environment based on what some of the folks were wearing at school,” he says in the film.

But the girls believe that it’s unfair to limit female students’ clothing options instead of addressing the harassment issues more directly with male students. “It sends the message to boys that it’s all girls’ fault, basically — any reaction or any action that they do is the girl’s fault,” one girl says in the film. “It wasn’t their fault that they were staring or got distracted. It’s the girls’ fault.”

In an interview with The Huffington Post this week, Sunseri said the inspiration behind her film and her opposition to the dress code “has little to do with clothing and more to do with the underlying message behind a code that tells young women to cover up and young boys that they can’t control themselves.” The 16-year-old high school junior said the dress code is sexist toward both girls and boys in that it “perpetuates the notion that a woman’s body is inherently more sexual than a man’s body, and that young boys’ natural tendencies are to harass or assault women.”

Sunseri added that she believes this is a widespread problem in schools and greater society across the nation, not just at Woodford County High School. “This is a time when we are already trying to figure out our place in the world, and on top of that we are made to feel guilty about the body parts we were born with.”

Principal Akers told HuffPost in response to last week’s incident that his school’s dress code is not about “sexualizing the collarbone” but having “measurable” metrics that allow the rules to be applied fairly. He also added that he’s always been open to discussing students’ concerns and making adjustments to the rules but that no one has ever tried to meet with him.

Until now. Since the recent incident with Stacie Dunn and her daughter Stephanie, Sunseri has come forward with a proposal for a new dress code. After making small changes to the proposal in a meeting with Principal Akers’, she presented it at a school meeting on August 17 in front of a council of parents, teachers and administrators. According to Akers and Sunseri, the council moved the proposal to a committee for review and asked the junior to put together a group of students to join the committee in this task. Then, the council as a whole will consider a proposal from the committee at the next meeting on September 21.

Sunseri’s proposed dress code, which she considers an exercise in compromise, would allow for sleeveless shirts with straps that are at least three fingertips wide, skirts and dresses that meet the “fingertip rule” for length and shirts that meet the “credit card rule” — a credit card length from the bottom of the throat to the top of the shirt. The rules would also permit leggings and yoga pants as long as a top covered the front and back sides. If passed, the code would go into effect in January.

Stacie Dunn expressed her joy at the prospect for real change in a Facebook post. “Hopefully the outcome will be favorable!” she wrote. Principal Akers told HuffPost that he applauds Sunseri’s initiative, both in making the documentary and following through with tangible action.

“Everyone always wanted the dress code to change, but no one was willing to do anything about it, Sunseri said in her interview, adding, “I hope that anyone reading my story feels empowered to go out and make changes within their own community.”

 

The Ridiculous Dress Code Rule That Made This Teen’s Outfit ‘Inappropriate’.

Women ask me all the time about what they’re supposed to do about the men out there who say they only want younger women in their profiles.

I remember seeing it too but I never let it stop me from favoring a man and it shouldn’t stop you either.

But the question has always intrigued me so I did a little research to find out more about why this is happening and whether or not it’s true.

I started with an old boyfriend of mine who is 11 years older than me.

He told me it was an ego thing. He felt like women who were younger would make him feel more youthful and keep him active.

He and I were from completely different generations. Although he was on the cusp of being a boomer, he was actually at the tale end of what’s called the Silent Generation.

Some of our values and views of life were different and that created conflict, which ultimately ended our love relationship.

We’ve stayed friends but when we broke up, I suggested that he start dating women closer to his age, sharing that he’d have more in common with him than he and I did.

At first he taken aback, but guess what? He now dates women whose ages are within five years of his.

It turns out these women were not only great … they also kept him on his toes, often outdoing him when it comes to activities.

It just took someone gently pointing out the benefits for him to make the switch.

Next I went to my friend Ron who has taught me so much about men and what they are looking for.

When I posed this question to him, he said men have this idea of what they want but most men still look at women their own age and will contact them regardless of age if they are attracted to their picture online.

When he was dating, Ron would date women up to five years older than he was. His girlfriend now is about a year older than he is.

He told me the problem is women post pictures that make them look old. (Sound familiar? Think of all the men you thought looked old enough to be your grandfather!)

He said that alone stopped him from ever looking at a woman’s profile regardless of her age.

But if a woman’s look appealed to him, he’d view her profile and contact her if he liked what he saw.

I talked to my old high school boyfriend about this subject since I knew he’d dated younger women.

By the way, he is the ultimate handsome bad boy and women often drop their numbers written on business cards and napkins into his hand. They even do it when he’s having dinner with another woman.

Anyway, after his marriage ended, he admits he checked out younger women. He thought it would be fun.

He found he had absolutely nothing in common with them. And once the lure of sex wore off, he was bored.

He went back to women closer to his age as well.

I’ve brought up this older man/younger woman subject a lot to more men than just these three and their answers are similar to what I’ve shared with you.

So what can you do to get these guys’ attention in your profile?

You must have a fantastic picture that makes you look like you have great energy and are fun.

Your profile has to trigger a man’s heart to say, Hey, she might be the one. She sounds AMAZING!

When you read your profile, does it make you sound amazing or is it a resume of who you are?

And finally, you have to invite a man to write you without demands attached if he’s interested.

Lisa Copeland is known as the expert on over 50’s dating. She’s the best-selling author of The Winning Dating Formula For Women Over 50 and her mission is to help as many women around the world as she can discover how to have fun dating and finding their Mr. Right after 50. To get your FREE Report, “5 Little Known Secrets To Find A Quality Man,” visit www.findaqualityman.com.

via Do Men Over 50 Only Want Younger Women? | Lisa Copeland.

Placing the sex toy — which resembles a woman’s private parts — on the coffee table, I gently demonstrate to our client how to perform oral sex.

“Think about what you’re doing with your tongue,” I tell him. “It’s a little like what I taught you about French kissing last week.”

My husband, Rob, who is teaching the session with me, weighs in. “See how she varies the pace?” he asks. “That’s the best way to bring her to orgasm.”

Wide-eyed and curious, our client, a 23-year-old virgin, takes his turn after I’ve thoroughly washed the prop. It takes a bit of trial and error, but he eventually picks up the technique. Rob and I smile at each other knowingly — it feels good to be helping this guy out.

To an outsider, sex coaching might seem a little strange. But to men like the virgin, a college student, we’re an invaluable resource. We might not be formally trained sex therapists, but — as a kinky couple who enjoy opening up our sex life to others — we’ve got a lot to offer.

Modal Trigger

Photo: Anne Wermiel

It all started four years ago, after Rob and I began advertising ourselves online as a high-end escort couple specializing in threesomes with single men.

We wanted to spice up our sex life. It was all aboveboard and legal. Clients paid for our time, but if we were attracted to them and had sex with them, the sex happened on our own time and didn’t cost a dime. We were very strict about that.

One of our favorite things was putting on voyeurs’ shows, where the guy watched Rob and me fooling around.

Sometimes the guests joined in, but mostly they liked to watch. They were nearly always married, heterosexual men who wanted to indulge in a bisexual fantasy.

After a while, though, we became something of an agony aunt and uncle, because these men liked to share their problems with us. They’d talk about how they never had sex with their wives, or how they felt they’d be laughed at if they revealed their fantasies to anybody other than us.

One of our favorite things was putting on voyeurs’ shows, where the guy watched Rob and me fooling around. Sometimes the guests joined in, but mostly they liked to watch.

Soon, the escort side of things evolved into sex coaching. I showed one man who hadn’t had sex with his wife for 20 years how to bring romance back into their lives. Why spend money seeing us or an escort girl when you can hire a baby sitter and treat your wife to a date night? Rob and I taught him to use massage to get his spouse in the mood. I even went so far as to help him book a spa day for his wife before taking her to a luxury hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. And you know what? They finally made love.

I also helped another man who came to us to discuss his fantasies — including having sex with a mysterious Russian woman. He didn’t want to cheat on his wife, though, because he loved her very much. I told him to go out and buy his wife a wig and gently suggest that they role-play. The last time I heard from him, he was the mailman and she played the bored housewife!

All in all, we love what we do, and we’re hoping to expand our business with a YouTube channel and possibly a reality TV show. In the meantime, we’re grateful for the effect that sharing our sexuality has had on our marriage. We’re closer than ever because we get turned on by the fantasies our clients express. It makes for a far better sex life for us.

— As told to Jane Ridley

 

Meet the married couple who gives guys hands-on sex lessons | New York Post.

8chan-hosted content disappears from Google searches [Updated] | Ars Technica.

 

Florida sinkhole reopens two years after it swallowed a sleeping man and killed him – The Washington Post.

 

Researchers have invented a “vomiting machine” that demonstrates just why the nauseating norovirus spreads so far and so fast.

 

The nasty stomach bug can infect hundreds of passengers on a cruise ship, or every single person who sits at the same restaurant table as a victim. It sticks to silverware and counters, and survives being dried out for weeks.

 

Scientists had also suspected that it floats in the air and spreads that way, too. But no one had actually demonstrated that it could.

 

Grace Tung-Thompson and colleagues at North Carolina State University and at Wake Forest University designed a device that they hope would perfectly replicate what happens when someone pukes, from a feeble dribble of bile to the explosive projectile vomiting that is one of the hallmarks of a norovirus infection.

 

It’s got a little tube that replicates the throat, and it’s designed to push out liquids and semi-liquids in the same, downward-facing direction that people do when they barf.

 

“This machine may seem odd, but it’s helping us understand a disease that affects millions of people,” says Lee-Ann Jaykus, the N.C. State food science professor who oversaw the work.

 

They used a range of materials, including instant vanilla Jell-o pudding, to replicate various textures of vomitus. The biggest sticking point was how to replicate norovirus, which doesn’t really like to grow in a lab dish and which the researchers wouldn’t want to risk catching anyway.

 

 

They used another virus called MS2 that’s similar to norovirus, that doesn’t make people sick and that’s easy to grow in the lab.

 

“We put it in the vomitus, we let the machine go and then we capture the aerosol,” Jaykus said.

 

“We think that there’s a at least a million particles released in a vomiting event and maybe more.”

 

Not all of it goes into the air. In fact, very little did in their experiments. But it was enough. They estimate that as many as 13,000 virus particles can be released into the air with a single retch. They made a video that shows how it works.

 

“There was evidence of aerosolized MS2 after every simulated vomiting episode,” they wrote in their report, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.

 

People can be infected with as few as 20 to 1,300 microscopic viral particles, so their study shows that vomiting could indeed spread the infection through the air.

 

“It would probably be enough to make somebody sick,” Jaykus said.

 

“When one person vomits, the aerosolized virus particles can get into another person’s mouth and, if swallowed, can lead to infection,” Jaykus added in a statement.

 

“But those airborne particles could also land on nearby surfaces like tables and door handles, causing environmental contamination. And norovirus can hang around for weeks, so anyone that touches that table and then puts their hand to their mouth could be at risk for infection.”

 

 

The findings help explain a 2012 study that showed how the virus spread on a plastic bag that had been in a bathroom where a norovirus patient threw up.

 

“There are 21 million cases of human norovirus infection in the U.S. each year, and this virus genus is now recognized as the leading cause of outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis,” the researchers wrote.

 

It kills up to 800 people a year in the U.S. alone and puts 70,000 into the hospital, so understanding how it spread sand finding ways to stop it could prevent many illnesses, the researchers said.

 

“This is work that can help us prevent or contain the spread of norovirus — and there’s nothing odd about that,” Jaykus said.

 

The next step might be to set up the apparatus in a room and see how the virus moves at it clings to bits of mucus and stomach acid and even food that gets sprayed into the air.

“It could be a really cool study,” Jaykus said

 

Yuck! Vomit Machine Shows Why Norovirus Spreads So Fast – NBC News.

Earlier this year, TIME explored the promise of precision medicine in treating cancer patients. We featured one woman who was taking a drug typically used for melanoma to treat her brain tumor. Here’s an update on how she’s doing

In November 2013, MaryAnn Anselmo—who was on the cover of TIME in March—heard the words that most of us dread the most: she had cancer. Worse, it was stage 4 glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive brain tumor that often takes a patient’s life in a matter of months. Having just recovered from a devastating car accident, Anselmo thought, “Somebody wants me dead here.”

Nearly two years later, the New Jersey resident is receiving some completely different, and more welcome news. “The latest scan doesn’t show any tumor any more,” her physician, Dr. David Hyman, acting director of Developmental Therapeutics ad Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), tells TIME. The results from Hyman’s most recent study, which Anselmo participated in, is published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

“I’m tired all the time,” she says, “but I’m dealing with it, living with it. I feel awesome compared to what this tumor could have done to me.”

MORE: The Cancer Gap

Hyman is reluctant to call it a “cure” for certain cancers—the burden of proof is higher than this one study or this one patient—but Anselmo’s cancer is gone. And for that, Anselmo can thank something called a basket trial, a new way for doctors to test promising cancer treatments that more precisely target the right therapies to the right patients at the right time. This is the first such trial of its kind.

The trial puts the idea of precision medicine to the test. At 23 cancer centers around the world, 122 patients with advanced cancer signed up for a last-resort treatment covered in the new study. All had their tumor genomes sequenced, so doctors could get a better sense of which mutations were driving the cancers, and whether there were any targeted therapies for those mutations.

Anselmo had three mutations fueling the growth in her brain, but she and her doctors at MSKCC decided to focus on one, called BRAF. A recently approved drug to treat BRAF mutations in melanoma helped shrink or halt tumor growth in half of treated patients, so doctors wanted to know whether the drug could help patients with the same mutation but with different kinds of cancer, like Anselmo. But while BRAF mutations occur in about 50% of melanoma cases, they are much rarer in other types of cancers. So creating a trial for patients like Anselmo would take both time and money that researchers couldn’t justify.

A basket trial, however, capitalizes on the growing understanding that cancers should be characterized by not just where they start (in the breast, colon or lung, for example) but also by how they grow — which mutations are driving them. A basket trial collects patients, all of whom have BRAF mutations, for instance, but who might have different types of cancer.

In the NEJM study, patients with non small cell lung cancer, colon cancer, thyroid cancer, multiple myeloma and, glioblastomas, among others, were included. By studying them as a group, Hyman says it’s possible to get a better idea of how feasible it is to target mutations like BRAF among those who don’t have melanoma.

So far, the results are encouraging. Patients with non small cell lung cancer seemed to have the best response rate to vemurafenib, 42%, after a year. More than 70% of the patients with this cancer saw their tumors shrink by at least 30% in length. There were promising signs that patients with the other, untreatable cancers also responded and took longer before their tumors progressed than they would have without the experimental therapy.

Anselmo was among the extraordinary responders. “It is unusual,” says Hyman of the apparent shrinkage of her tumor. “She really is an outlier in any way you measure it.”

NEJM 373; 8; 2015. Courtesy Dr. David Hyman: Anselmo’s brain tumor at the start of the study in 2014 (left) and on Aug. 11, 2015 (right)

But it’s precisely for patients like Anselmo that basket trials are being considered — the possibility that there may be one, two or however many patients who, rather than facing a poor prognosis with existing or non-existent options for treating their disease, may have a chance, however small, of living longer and even controlling their cancer.

“One of the things that gets lost when we talk averages and medians is how many patients benefit and for how long,” says Hyman. “There is a tremendous range and a concern that promoting the best successes sets the bar very high. But it also lets people know that things are not entirely hopeless, that there are people who have tremendous benefit from therapies and not get completely caught up in medians and averages.”

That being said, Hyman cautions that more work needs to be done to better apply the principles of precision medicine to improve patients’ outcomes. Since most tumors have many mutations, how can doctors determine which one, or ones, to target with drugs? Why do some patients respond very well, while others do not?

Another looming question has to do with how cancer doctors can start to incorporate what they are learning about mutations and cancer-causing pathways with their more traditional knowledge based on where tumors start. In the study, for example, patients with BRAF colon cancers did not respond to vemurafenib; but some started to show responses when vemurafenib was combined with another drug, cetuximab. That suggests that knowing where the cancer originates may still be an important part of the puzzle in figuring out which treatments might work best for which types of cancers.

In an editorial accompanying the study, researchers at the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health and Boston University note that basket trials may be just the first step in a precision medicine approach to cancer. Once doctors figure out which types of cancers might respond best to, for example, a BRAF-focused drug, they might conduct additional trials on each of these cancers to determine which patients, like Anselmo, would benefit most.

For her, the trail has provided the chance to sing again. A jazz vocalist, she performed at a friend’s birthday party and attended a song-writing retreat in upstate New York. She makes weekly visits to her doctors — to the dermatologist to monitor any side effects from the drug, to Hyman every two months for a brain scan, and to get lab tests done to check on her immune system. And she’s tired all the time. “But that’s par for the course,” she says. “I’m just lucky to be alive at a time when cancer care is so different than it was years ago. Who would have known that treatments could be so customized? It’s so amazing, and I’m very thankful to be a part of it.”

 

How Doctors Cured This Woman’s Brain Cancer | TIME.

“New Solution Cures Snoring – And Lets EVERYONE Sleep At Night”

I am a simple man.

I enjoy my quality of life, generally speaking, but I’ve been in desperate denial of the fact I have a snoring problem. Deep down, I know my wife is miserable when I snore, and that this persistent condition of mine puts my physical

CPAP Is Not Your Only Option

and mental health in serious jeopardy….even worse still, I’ve done nothing about it.

Until now.

Reflecting back on how I let this serious health issue drag out for years, posing an incessant inconvenience to my wife, I feel like a complete buffoon! Not only that, but my wife is convinced I have sleep apnea (OSA), which can be deadly if left untreated. Still, I ignored her requests to seek help for almost five years.

Recently, my lack of restful sleep had begun to interfere with my workflow, which brought me to a breaking point. As a writer in the research field, I figured I could potentially cure my snoring and sleep apnea by putting my craft to work, gleaning advice from the medical community.

Here’s what I found:

While most people think of snoring as a minor annoyance, research shows it can be gravely hazardous to your health. For over 18 million sufferers nationwide, it’s caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). People who suffer from OSA repeatedly and unknowingly stop breathing during the night due to a complete or partial obstruction of their airway. It occurs when the jaw, throat, and tongue muscles relax, blocking the airway used to breathe. The resulting lack of oxygen lasts for a minute or longer, and can occur hundreds of times each night.

Thankfully, most people wake when a complete or partial obstruction occurs, but this repeated interruption makes deep REM sleep impossible, leaving you completely exhausted and incapable of performing your responsibilities both at work and in the home.

According to my research, OSA has also been linked to a host of health problems including:

Acid reflux

Frequent nighttime urination

Memory loss

Stroke

Depression

Diabetes

Heart attack

People over 35 are at higher risk for such complications…..I am 40. At this point in my research, I began to feel fortunate that nothing more serious had happened, having lived with this condition for over 15 years now.

In my continuing research, I found a case study published by Eastern Virginia Medical School in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, which concluded that the use of a simple chinstrap is the single most effective treatment for snoring and OSA. Better than CPAP devices, better than nasal strips, better than any other treatment on the market.

Left on my wife’s last nerve without any other viable option, I decided to give it a try. While not the most attractive nighttime fashion accessory in the world, the chinstrap induced a surge in my sex appeal, as it instantly and miraculously CURED my snoring and sleep apnea!

The chinstrap, which is made from a cutting-edge lightweight, ergonomic material, is exclusively available from a company called MySnoringSolution. Built for comfort, it works by supporting the lower jaw and tongue, preventing obstruction of the trachea. Thousands of people have used the MySnoringSolution strap to relieve their snoring symptoms, unanimously reporting sounder sleep and a resulting boost in overall health.

This is a certifiable effective snoring cure for just $119!

The “My Snoring Solution” Chinstrap is available exclusively from the company’s website which is currently offering a limited time “2 for 1” offer. The product also comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

If you want to stop snoring once and for all, without expensive CPAP devices or other intrusive devices, this may be the solution you’ve been waiting for. The free additional strap is great for travel or as a gift for a fellow sufferer.

Don’t hesitate, Click Here to learn more and to get your risk-free, 2 for 1, exclusive bundle from MySnoringSolution.

via My Snoring Story.

Feds to stop tipping off colleges on student choices

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For years, the federal government has been delivering inside information to colleges about an applicant’s school preferences that has harmed some students’ chances for admission and awards.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been serving as a tip sheet to colleges by sharing with them the schools that a child was applying to, as well as the school order that a teenager listed on the aid application. Most students list their schools in order of preference, which some colleges have used to make admission and aid decisions.

Most teenagers and their parents had no idea that the federal government was tipping off schools, but those who learned about this practice have been alternatively livid and scared about how this information was being used. With pressure building for the U.S. Department of Education to stop sharing what should be confidential information, the department has announced that it will end the practice beginning with the 2016-17 FAFSA.

A Department of Education official provided the following explanation in an email for the policy change to CBS MoneyWatch:

We are making this change because of information we have received that some colleges were using the listing of the other schools in a manner that is not appropriate. For example, some colleges use that information in their admissions decision process — looking to see if any of their competitors were listed. Similarly, some use the information to determine if and how much institutional aid to provide — why spend money if the student would likely come to my school anyway? We also determined that there is no legitimate student aid need for such information.

Before making this decision, the official said the department conducted extensive research and consulted with various stakeholders including colleges, state agencies and others in the higher-ed industry.

FAFSA, which millions of students use, allows a financial aid applicant to list up to 10 schools on the aid application. Colleges need to know if students are applying for financial aid so they can create aid packages for their accepted applicants.

Colleges’ reliance on FAFSA lists for more than their original use came to light in 2013 when Inside Higher Ed, a trade publication, suggested that some schools were denying admission based on list order and possibly reducing financial aid.

This is a murky area and no one knows for sure how common such FAFSA data-mining is. A 2015 study, however, suggested that some moderately selective schools did reduce aid based on students’ list orders.

Although schools will no longer gain access to a student’s school list via the FAFSA, state higher-ed agencies will continue to have access to students’ college preferences. Several states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut, require that students put a state university first on the FAFSA list to be eligible for some state grants.

© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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Lynn O’Shaughnessy On Twitter»

View all articles by Lynn O’Shaughnessy on CBS MoneyWatch»

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is a best-selling author, consultant and speaker on issues that parents with college-bound teenagers face. She explains how families can make college more affordable through her website TheCollegeSolution.com; her financial workbook, Shrinking the Cost of College; and the new second edition of her Amazon best-selling book, The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price.

via FAFSA closes the door to college snooping – CBS News.

Men ejaculate faster and produce more, higher-quality sperm when they masturbate to a "novel female stimulus," scientists say.

They say variety is the spice of life, and provocative new research by scientists in Ohio suggests that that holds true in the world of human sex and reproduction.

With the help of 21 men and some porn videos, The College of Wooster researchers showed that guys ejaculate faster and produce more, higher-quality sperm when they masturbate to a “novel female stimulus.”

In other words, they really get off with a hot woman they’ve never previously encountered.

The finding doesn’t mean that men are somehow programmed to cheat on their girlfriends and wives. It may suggest that men have evolved such that it’s easier for them to have sex with (and impregnate) other women without their usual partners finding out.

As study co-author Dr. Laura K. Sirot, assistant professor of biology at the college, told The Huffington Post in an email, “Our study does not suggest anything about whether monogamy was favored or disfavored by natural selection. However, the results of this study and other studies of human differential ejaculation behavior suggest that extra-pair (or extramarital) copulations may have occurred in our evolutionary past.”

In addition to providing new insights into evolutionary biology, the finding may lead to better detection and treatment of male infertility.

When men see a doctor about fertility problems, they often provide semen samples collected while masturbating to porn. And since it features novel women, “the ejaculates produced in fertility clinics may be of higher quality than usual, which may conceal any potential fertility problems experienced in the bedroom,” study co-author Paul N. Joseph, a 2014 graduate of the college, said in a written statement.

So the finding may help spare women from invasive diagnostic procedures to spot fertility problems that really lie with their partners.

For the study, the researchers analyzed semen samples collected by 21 heterosexual men as they masturbated to seven sexually explicit films from the “Intimate Passions” series over a 15-day period. The first six films featured the same actress and actor, the seventh the same actor but a different actress.

The men were asked to abstain from alcohol and sexual activity in the 48 hours leading up to each masturbation session.

What happened? The researchers observed sharp increases in both ejaculate volume and the number of motile sperm from the men after they watched the seventh film. The time to ejaculation was significantly lower for the men as they watched the seventh film.

“It is possible that, by chance,  the actresses or scenes randomly chosen for the novel trial for each participant tended to be ones that the men found more arousing,” Sirot said. “We did not ask the men for a subjective rating of their level of arousal. However, our experiment was deliberately designed to try to eliminate any consistent differences between the video clips other than the novelty itself.”

In case you’re wondering what it took to get the guys to participate in a study like this, the answer is not much. As Sirot explained, “Each subject voluntarily participated for free and no compensation was needed.”

Perhaps that’s not such a surprise.

The study was published in the June 2015 issue of the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science.

Men Masturbated For Science, And Here’s What Came Of It.

Quarterly Perspectives: Fixed income investing in a rate-hiking cycle | About J.P. Morgan Funds.

One of two men charged in connection with last month’s home invasion, rape and fatal bludgeoning of a 64-year-old California woman was in the U.S. illegally and on probation, the News-Press has learned.

Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez, 29, who is charged along with Jose Fernando Villagomez, 20, in the July 24 attack in Santa Maria, Calif., was on probation for committing battery against an unidentified woman on May 22, 2014, while in possession of methamphetamine. He was charged twice this year for violating probation, once for possessing a concealed knife and the other for drugs, but a Santa Barbara judge allowed him to enter a substance abuse center in Santa Maria in lieu of jail. According to County Jail officials, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to issue an immigration detainer that would have required local authorities to hold him for deportation.

Police say Marilyn Pharis was beaten with a hammer and sexually assaulted in the morning attack, and died later at a local hospital. An autopsy was set for Thursday.

Ramirez fled, but was tracked from the scene by a police dog to a nearby home, according to authorities.

Ramirez pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, first-degree burglary, and assault with intent to commit rape. Those charges could be upgraded to murder following Pharis’ death. He was being held on $1 million bail.

Villagomez was booked Tuesday into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of sexual assault and attempted murder. He was already behind bars after a July 28 arrest over a probation violation.

In May, Villagomez allegedly committed battery against Miguel Angel Romero and was found in possession of methamphetamine. He was sentenced to three years of supervised probation June 17 and was also allowed to enter a drug treatment center in Santa Maria.

Both men will next appear in court on Aug. 13. The autopsy findings could result in murder charges against both.

via Illegal immigrant held in rape, murder of California woman was on probation | Fox News.

A lawyer for Hammond’s family says autopsy results show the teen was shot through the driver’s side window from behind, indicating there was no danger to the officer.

via Lawyer: Officer who fatally shot teen says he had to push off oncoming car; police release ID | Fox News.

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have identified a new vitamin B3 pathway that regulates liver metabolism. The discovery provides an opportunity to pursue the development of novel drug therapies to address obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic diseases.

Published in the August 2015 issue of Nature Medicine, the new findings show that a small molecule called N1-methylnicotinamide prevents metabolic complications caused by a high-fat diet.

“Our laboratory investigates the metabolic effects of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide [NAD+], a metabolite derived from a form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide,” explained senior author Pavlos Pissios, PhD, an investigator in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at BIDMC and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. NAD+ is central to intermediary metabolism, the intracellular process by which food is converted into cellular components in the body.

“Like reservatrol, which is found in red wine, NAD+ boosts the effects of the protein sirtuin 1 [Sirt1], which is known to provide many health benefits,” said Pissios. “Interest in the metabolic effects of NAD+ has spurred the production of several new dietary supplements to improve metabolic health and delay aging. While these results have yet to be demonstrated in humans, recent research has shown that boosting tissue levels of NAD+ can improve health and reduce metabolic complications in mice that have been fed a high-fat diet.”

The liver plays a central role in all metabolic processes, including breaking down fats to produce energy. Because a number of different proteins are involved in the metabolic effects of NAD+, Pissios and his colleagues hypothesized that there might be an as-yet-unidentified vitamin B3 pathway that was directly regulating liver metabolism. “We thought that, in addition to boosting NAD+, vitamin B3 might be positively impacting liver metabolism by acting directly on another pathway,” he explained.

To test this hypothesis, the researchers conducted a variety of experiments that assessed these proteins. Their results showed that nicotinamide N-methyltransfersase (NNMT), a “clearance” enzyme that helps the body excrete excess vitamin B3, also plays a more prominent metabolic role.

“Our lab had been gathering evidence that NNMT not only functions to clear nicotinamide from the liver, but is also involved in the regulation of liver metabolism,” said Pissios. “We confirmed this in our new study, which found that N1-methylnicotinamide, the product of nicotinamide methylation by NNMT, increases Sirt1 protein levels and improves metabolism.”

In subsequent experiments, Pissios and colleagues found that NNMT correlated positively with Sirt1 and a healthy metabolic profile in mice, and also showed that humans with low cholesterol and low triglycerides exhibited high levels of NNMT and Sirt1 in their livers.

“Since N1-methylnicotinamide is a small molecule, we were able to feed it directly to mice to find out if it would prevent the metabolic complications caused by a high-fat diet,” said Pissios. As predicted, N1-methylnicotinamide increased liver Sirt1 protein and suppressed triglyceride and cholesterol synthesis resulting in a healthier liver — with fewer inflammatory markers, less liver fat and lower cholesterol compared to control groups.

“We have now identified a new vitamin B3 pathway that regulates liver metabolism and provides us with an opportunity to pursue development of novel treatments for metabolic diseases,” said Pissios.

Source:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

 

BIDMC scientists discover new vitamin B3 pathway that regulates liver metabolism.

The Journal of the American College of Nutrition is pleased to offer Open Access to a scientific consensus paper, Sunlight and Vitamin D: Necessary for Public Health, authored by scientists from the University of California, San Diego, Creighton University, Boston University Medical Center, and the Medical University of South Carolina, along with other research contributors. The paper presents information to illustrate that UV exposure not only provides the benefits of vitamin D production, but also many additional health benefits not related to vitamin D. The current culture of sun avoidance in the United States carries with it both health risks and quantifiable harm.

The consensus was developed by GrassrootsHealth, a nonprofit public health research organization, and was led by Dr. Cedric Garland, professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego and Dr. Robert P. Heaney, Professor of Medicine and John A. Creighton University Professor Emeritus of Creighton University.

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“Humans have adapted to sun exposure over many thousands of years and derive numerous physiological benefits from UV exposure in addition to vitamin D,” said Carole Baggerly, executive director of GrassrootsHealth and co-author of the paper. “These benefits far outweigh those derived from vitamin D intake by supplements, and therefore sun avoidance being recommended by the US Surgeon General and others is unnecessarily putting Americans at risk.” The paper concludes that moderate UV exposure is a natural way to improve human health. In fact, patients suffering from cutaneous tuberculosis and other conditions stand to benefit immediately from the use of heliotherapy in their treatments. This is consistent with the results of a survey released this week by GrassrootsHealth, which can be accessed at www.grassrootshealth.net, in which 99% of dermatologists surveyed believe that UV exposure is a viable form of treatment for non-lethal skin conditions like psoriasis.

“We urge the US Surgeon General’s office and other public health entities to do the work needed to recommend UV exposure levels that are both beneficial and safe, and which favor scientifically-researched information over current cultural norms,” Baggerly added.The paper notes that further study is needed to better understand the additional health benefits of UV light beyond vitamin D, including those related to the release of nitric oxide, production of beta-endorphin, and regulation of circadian rhythms – all important components of life-long health and well-being.

via Scientific consensus paper highlights health benefits of UV exposure and vitamin D.

“The farther you get from the capital, the worse the economic situation is.”APPosted: 08/01/2015 12:25 PM EDTMembers of national guard patrol a supermarket in Caracas, on Feb. 3, 2015.CARACAS, Venezuela AP — A man was killed and dozens were arrested Friday as a mob looted a supermarket and other shops in an industrial Venezuelan city, Bolivar state authorities said.In announcing the looting, Gov. Francisco Rangel pushed back against opponents of Venezuela’s socialist government who attributed the unrest to widespread scarcities of basic goods across the oil-rich nation. He said more than two dozen people were arrested in connection with the looting in the southeastern city ofCiudad Guyana and added that there was no excuse for the behavior. “No one is starving,” he said.Rangel also suggested to the television station Globovision that the looting might have been driven by people with “political motives.” Tensions are running high in Venezuela as the country gears up for December legislative elections.Local newspaper Correo del Caroni said the commotion, which centered on four stroes, caused merchants to temporarily shutter nearby businesses in fear they might be attacked, too.A group of pro-government supporters stand outside the distribution center belonging to Venezuela’s largest food company, Empresas Polar, in La Yaguara, Caracas, Venezuela, July 30, 2015. Venezuela has been grappling with worsening shortages of basic goods like cooking oil and flour. The administration has adopted a variety of measures to address the situation and discourage hoarding, including fingerprinting shoppers who buy food at subsidized prices at supermarkets. Officials also limit the days that people can buy certain products.Few items are produced locally, and rigid currency controls and a scarcity of U.S. dollars have made it increasingly difficult for Venezuelans to find imported products. Price controls don’t help either, with producers complaining that some goods are priced too low to make a profit and justify production.The administration blames the shortages both on companies speculating with an eye toward future profits and on black market vendors who buy groceries at subsidized prices and illegally resell them for several times the amount.The looting came a day after Venezuela’s largest food distributor, Polar, protested a government seizure of one of its warehouses in Caracas and warned that any takeovers could exacerbate supply problems.The opposition immediately seized on the looting incident as a demonstration of how bad things have gotten under the current administration.Henrique Capriles, a former presidential candidate who lost a close race with President Nicolas Maduro in the last presidential election, said the looting shows that shortages have become dire in Venezuela.”The farther you get from the capital, the worse the economic situation is,” he said.

via Looting Turns Deadly In Venezuela Amid Severe Food Shortages.

It’s World Breastfeeding Week and this got us thinking about how breastfeeding is equal parts wonderful and difficult for too many women today.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended that women breastfeed children to age one, a goal a lot of women find nearly impossible. With a typical paid maternity leave (if there is any paid leave at all) of just 12 weeks, many women end up back in the workplace far sooner than the one-year mark. And those moms often struggle with time constraints, policies that discourage breastfeeding, and finding clean, private spaces to pump breast milk. (Although that last one is true for nursing women in general.)

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In 2012, McDonald’s was famously investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2012 when a new mom was forced to clock out and reduce her hours in order to walk to a library to pump breast milk. (McDonald’s did respond to the investigation by paying back the employee’s lost wages and restoring her hours, but still.)

The good news is the tide may be changing, thanks to the hard work of breastfeeding advocates. With every sad story of a mom being shamed that goes viral, more people realize how important breastfeeding really is. One concrete example: the companies listening and making it easier for moms to feed their babies.

Our hat is off to these three large companies, which have instituted pro-breastfeeding policies for their employees or customers and are setting a great example for others in the process.

RELATED: 10 Myths and Facts About Breastfeeding

Netflix

It’s been a big week for Netflix employees, which announced that its offering employees a full year of paid maternity or paternity leave. This will undoubtedly make it easier for new moms to reach the recommendation of breastfeeding babies until age one. “This new policy, combined with our unlimited time off, allows employees to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated,” Tawni Cranz, Netflix’s Chief Talent Officer, said on the company’s blog.

IBM

Moms who are nursing and traveling on business often have to ‘pump and dump,’ or throw out their breast milk because it is too complicated and expensive to ship or carry home. Not anymore, says IBM. The tech giant will launch a novel program in September that will provide moms with everything they need to ship their breast milk home while they are traveling for work.

According to the Washington Post, the new program will start with an app that will allow women to enter the travel location and choose how many temperature-controlled packages she will need to ship her breast milk home. IBM will deliver pre-addressed packages to the hotel’s front desk, ready for the employee to use.

RELATED: Breastfeeding May Reduce the Risk of the Most Common Childhood Cancer

Target

Target’s breastfeeding policy, recently posted on Facebook by Breastfeeding Mama Talk, has been getting kudos. The company supports breastfeeding “in any area” of their stores and states that, “If you see a woman breastfeeding in our stores, do not approach her. If she approaches you and asks for a location to breastfeed, offer the fitting room (do not offer the restroom as an option).” That’s a vast improvement over 2011, when breastfeeding women staged a ‘nurse in’ to protest the fact that a breastfeeding mom in Texas was asked to cover up in the store.

Helping to alleviate the worries of nursing moms is definitely a worthy cause more businesses should get behind.

RELATED: How This Breastfeeding Mom Fought Back Against A Stranger Who Shamed Her on Facebook

via 3 Companies That Are Getting It Right for Breastfeeding Moms – Health News and Views – Health.com.

ATLANTA (CNN) — You might want to stand up for this. A growing amount of research suggests that just standing — even if you don’t walk around — can have health benefits.

A recent study in Australia found that participants who spent time more standing and moving in the course of a week, based on a sensitive monitor adhered to their thigh, had lower levels of blood sugar and cholesterol. The benefits were even greater, and including reductions in body-mass index and waist circumference, among those who took more steps during the day.

The researchers of the study boiled down their findings to the simple message: “Stand up, sit less, move more.” The study was published last week in the European Heart Journal.

Although the research has been pretty clear that there are health benefits to not sitting, we are just starting to understand that standing alone may be a good alternative, said Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, director of preventive cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Lopez-Jimenez wrote an editorial that accompanied the study in the European Heart Journal.

“The reason [standing could be good] is because when we stand there are many muscles in our legs and butt and abdomen that are working to keep you standing,” he said. “Whenever muscle is used, it consumes sugar and affects triglycerides,” which could, in turn, lower cholesterol, Lopez-Jimenez said. Standing regularly could translate into lower diabetes and heart disease risk, he added.

Not just exercise

The current U.S. guidelines for physical activity focus on formal exercise, rather than just moving, and recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise such as jogging or biking. However, research suggests that even people who exercise face increased risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes if they are otherwise sedentary.

Lopez-Jimenez thinks the lack of guidelines on sedentary behavior are “a problem because we have to start shifting the attention and consider more the idea of avoiding sitting.” We need recommendations about many hours to avoid sitting, just like we have for the number of hours we should sleep, he added.

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However it is hard to say exactly how to break up our non-sitting time between standing, walking and other activities because we don’t know enough about their different health benefits, Lopez-Jimenez said.

In Australia, there are already specific recommendations about how much you should stand and how to do it. It is the first country to have such guidelines, Lopez-Jimenez said. In Colombia, government computers have software that pause the machines, forcing employees to take a break.

For now, Lopez-Jimenez advises his patients to engineer their lives to be less sedentary such as using a standing desk at work and taking the stairs whenever possible.

If we can manage to build more movement into our everyday activities, it might even be possible to skip the gym, although research is needed to address this possibility, Lopez-Jimenez. “If you barely sit during the day, do you really have to exercise to be healthy?” he said.

Timing is everything

Standing is great, but there can be too much of a good thing.

“It causes a whole variety of problems, just as if you sit for too long,” said Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics at Cornell University. In particular, standing for prolonged periods is associated with varicose veins and back pain, he said.

To get the right balance, Hedge recommends sitting 20 minutes out of every half hour at work, standing for eight minutes and moving around for at least two minutes. Although there is really no harm in spending more time in motion, you may be pretty tired by the end of the day if you do, Hedge said.

You can try to stick to this 20-8-2 breakdown by setting the alarm on your phone, using a timer app on your computer or relying on an old fashioned egg timer. “[But] these numbers are not absolute, it’s a guideline. There may be times where you have to spend a whole half hour working on a document,” Hedge said.

Following this guideline means that you would be standing up and sitting down 32 times in a workday, which could have its own benefits.

Each time you do that, you are giving your body a “gravitational stimulus,” reminding it of the effect of gravity, which can help muscles and bones stay strong, Hedge said. In the book, “Sitting Kills, Moving Heals,” Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division, talks about research suggesting that 32 transitions in a day helps maintain healthy blood pressure.

Let the work rhythm move you

Even if you don’t set a timer to tell you when to get out of your seat, there are a number of ways you can build more movement into your workday. Lopez-Jimenez suggests his patients set up their space so that things are not at arm’s reach.


Having a printer at the end of the hallway is going to force you to walk every time you print a page.

–Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez


“Having a printer at the end of the hallway is going to force you to walk every time you print a page,” he said.

These little life hacks can take many forms depending on what you do. For example, if you are an executive or administrator and have to be on the phone a lot, you could use an earpiece and talk while walking the hallway or standing in a conference room, Lopez-Jimenez said.

Workplaces are also starting to do their part to help staff get on their feet.

Some companies have moved vending machines to one central floor as an easy way to get you walking, Hedge said. “You’re not even thinking, ‘Oh well, I have to walk now,’ ” he added.

At Lopez-Jimenez’s Mayo Clinic, some cardiology meeting rooms have treadmills at the back of the conference room so attendees can walk instead of sit or stand. “The product was so successful that we had to put up sign-up sheets,” he said.

Go out to eat

Next time you are deciding between lunch from the deli or take-out Chinese, it may make sense to consider going to the spot that is a bit longer stroll, Hedge said. And instead of getting frustrated with the long line to order, just think that you are making a dent in your standing time for the hour.

If you brown bag your lunch and eat at your desk, you can take advantage of the time you saved not going out for food by taking a walk around the floor or block.

Stand by your work

Standing desks are all the rage, and they are an easy way to squeeze more vertical time into your day, Hedge said.

Related

Adding one to your workspace does not have to be a big investment. Hedge recommends starting with a low-tech setup to see if you like it: “Three pieces of wood like a bench (on top of your desk), and you have your platform. And if that works, you can spend several hundred dollars on one,” he said.

A number of adjustable standing desks are available that can help make the transition between standing and sitting seamless. They run the gamut from electronic to pneumatic, which slide up and down similar to the way an adjustable chair works.

“Whatever it is, has to be easy to use and quick, if you can’t make an adjustment easily you are not going to use it,” Hedge said. Try them out — some of the electronic kind are slow, noisy and use a lot of electricity, while the pneumatic variety can be hard to adjust, he noted.

Putting a makeshift footrest — a small box for example — under the desk can make the standing arrangement more comfortable. Standing on one foot and having the other on a footrest, then switching feet, can ease strain on the back and feet, Hedge said.

Some people go so far as to set up an exercise machine such as a treadmill under their standing desk so they can move in place. Lopez-Jimenez uses a small electronic stair stepper, which he says was inexpensive, when he talks on the phone or dictates clinical notes. “I add a couple hours of not only standing but stepping,” he said.

Doing your best work

One way to help mix up your time sitting, standing and moving is to figure out how you are most productive. Studies suggest you might not do as well with fine motor skills, such as typing or using a computer mouse, at a standing or treadmill desk, Hedge said. Likewise, for really focused work you might do better sitting.

“Anecdotally, treadmill desk companies have people sign waivers (for) if you get engrossed in what you are doing and propelled off the back (of the machine),” Hedge said.

For tasks such as reading, you might perform equally well sitting, standing or moving, Hedge said. Plus being on your feet has the advantage that it could keep you more alert, he added.

However, as Lopez-Jimenez pointed out, we still need more research to figure out which positions bring out the best in us. He is working on a study looking at how sitting, standing and walking or stepping affect typing and mouse work as well as our ability to concentrate and pay attention.

Take a stand for TV

There are many opportunities outside of the workplace to stand up for your health. Americans spend an estimated five hours glued to the TV, but we can help break out of this “couch potato syndrome” by watching standing up.

To make it easier to stay off the couch, some people have a treadmill, exercise bike or a stair stepper in front of the TV, Hedge said. A more low-tech way is to just to stand, and lean on a table or kitchen counter, while glued to the boob tube. Just like when you work at a standing desk, resting one foot on a rail or box can make the upright experience more comfortable.

Park far away and take the stairs

The advice to park a little farther away at work or the grocery store and walk is old but good, Hedge said. Another no-brainer is to take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator if you are only going up a couple of flights. This could get easier as more new buildings are being designed that feature staircases prominently in the lobby instead of the emergency staircase that you have to search for, Hedge said.

“In our society, we value doing nothing or minimizing the physical effort that our legs and hands do, but we spend money to pay for the gym and do heavy exercise,” Lopez-Jimenez said. “We need to start valuing activity more,” he added.

Technology may be your aid

Wearable devices such as the FitBit, Virgin Pulse and Nike FuelBand, to name a few, can tell you how much you have moved in a day and estimate how many calories you have burned. But that requires you to be pretty active. Newer technology, such as the KAM device, can detect even minimal movements, Lopez-Jimenez said. And the Apple Watch actually keeps track of whether you have been standing or sitting.

Although today’s wearable devices may not be all that accurate yet at measuring small changes in activity, “I think the trend will be toward continuing all these things,” Lopez-Jimenez said.

Copyright 2015 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Stand up, sit less and move more, researchers say; here’s how to do it | KSL.com.

Cancer survival in England remains lower than countries with similar healthcare systems, according to a new study. Cancer survival in England has steadily improved but the gap in survival remains.

The research, from the London School of Hygiene&Tropical Medicine, compared survival for colon, breast, lung, ovarian, rectal and stomach cancers in England, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Sweden between 1995 and 2009, and survival trends in England up to 2012. It included more than 1.9 million cancer patients in England and another 1.9 million cancer patients from the other five countries. The report analyzed data from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Sweden between 1995 and 2009 and data from England between 1995 and 2012.

Of all six countries cancer survival was lowest in England, while Australia and Sweden had the highest cancer survival overall. Cancer survival in Denmark was generally better than in England in 2005-2009, except for one-year survival of stomach cancer and five-year survival of stomach and breast cancer where England performed similarly.

Compared with the better performing countries – Australia, Canada, Norway and Sweden -five-year survival was five to twelve percent lower in England across all the cancer types measured. Patients were diagnosed between 2005 and 2009

Despite this England’s survival continues to improve, in some cases faster than elsewhere. Five-year survival from breast cancer improved more in England than in the four leading countries. And survival for all cancers except ovarian improved faster in England than Australia. Comparing patients diagnosed during 2005-2009 with those diagnosed in 1995-1999.

The faster improvements in survival could be down to the fact that there was more to be done to improve survival in England – diagnosing patients earlier and making sure more people can be given the best treatments – than in the countries that already had higher cancer survival.

Recent years have seen important increases in survival from some cancers. For example, while there was little or no change in five-year survival from lung cancer up to the mid-2000s in England, there has been steady improvement since then, up to one per cent per year during 2010-2012.

Lead author Dr Sarah Walters, from the Cancer Survival Group at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “The way England’s cancer survival has improved shows promise, but it’s vital that more is done to ensure England closes this gap and that more people survive cancer for longer. The rapid improvements we’ve seen over the past 20 years have been driven by better investment, setting and measuring targets within the NHS, and developing new ways to diagnose and treat cancer. If we are to improve further it is vital we continue to work on these areas.”

These findings are published after the Independent Cancer Taskforce announced plans to save many thousands more lives and transform patient experience and quality of life. This will be achieved by diagnosing patients earlier, making sure patients are given the best treatment, preventing more cases of cancer, transforming support for people living with and beyond cancer and providing a better experience for patients.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of early diagnosis, said, “Not only is England struggling to excel on an international level – there’s also too much variation across the country in the speed with which patients are diagnosed and whether they can get the treatments they need.

“The good news is that it seems previous improvements – in cancer awareness, services and treatments – mean we’re now seeing some improvements in survival. But we must do more of what we’re learning works. This means providing world-class funding for our cancer services and these services working together more effectively, if we want to achieve world class cancer survival.”

Citation: Walters et al. Is England closing the international gap in cancer survival? British Journal of Cancer. DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2015.265

via England Still Struggling To Close The Gap In Cancer Survival.

Chicago police, ACLU reach deal on police ‘stop and frisk’ policyBy Suzannah GonzalesThe Chicago Police Department agreed on Friday to outside monitoring of “stop-and-frisk” searches by its officers following a report that found they checked a disproportionate number of blacks and made more stops than their peers in other cities.The second-largest U.S. police department will begin keeping more data about the stops, including the race, ethnicity and gender of those stopped, the reasons for stops and their outcomes.The data will be shared with the American Civil Liberties Union and with a former U.S. magistrate judge, who will issue public reports twice a year on the department’s use of the stop-and-frisk tactic and assess whether the police force is complying with U.S. law.The tactic has been controversial, with proponents saying it helps prevent violent crime and opponents arguing that black citizens and members of other minority ethnic groups are unfairly targeted by the stops.”Stop and frisk is disproportionately concentrated in the black community,” the ACLU said in the March report, which analyzed 250 stops in Chicago in 2012 and 2013.It said black Chicagoans constitute 32 percent of the city’s population but were subjected to 72 percent of all stops.Chicago police agreed to step up supervision and discipline of officers who violate department protocol and to boost training about appropriate stops.”It is imperative that we use every tool and resource in a way that is not only lawful but respectful of the residents we serve,” said Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.Chicago police have been struggling with a spike in violent crime this year, with 252 murders reported as of late July, up 21 percent from the same period a year earlier. Reported shooting incidents also are up, by 16 percent, although property crimes including burglary and theft are down significantly.The agreement incorporated the bulk of the recommendations in the ACLU report, according to a statement by the department and group.”What we have done here is move past the litigation process and advanced directly to a collaborative process,” said Harvey Grossman, the ACLU’s legal director.A federal judge in 2013 found that stops by the New York Police Department, the nation’s largest police force, disproportionately targeted minorities.On Friday, the independent monitor charged with reviewing NYPD stop-and-frisk tactics proposed changes to the city’s patrolmen’s manual, which if accepted by a judge would become binding.The guidelines make clear that “furtive movements” or a person’s presence in a “high-crime” area are not sufficient reason for a stop. They also note that a person’s race may not be the only reason he or she is stopped by an officer, although they make clear that race may be among a group of identifying characteristics an officer uses.

via Chicago police, ACLU reach deal on police ‘stop and frisk’ policy | Reuters.

In what is regarded as the first large, population-based study of its kind, a team of researchers has found a link between vitamin D consumption and the risk of developing dementia. Older people who do not get enough vitamin D could double their risk of developing the condition.

Oily fish

Vitamin D is important for the body’s immune function, growth and repair of bones, and normal calcium and phosphorus absorption. It can be obtained from fish, milk, eggs and cheese.

Dementia is a collective term used to describe the problems that people with various underlying brain disorders can have with their memory, language and thinking. Alzheimer’s disease is the best known and most common disorder under the umbrella of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and is believed to currently affect 5.3 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is most common in people aged over 65, in which a tenth of the population has the condition.

The authors of the study, published in Neurology, state that low concentrations of vitamin D are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Worryingly, there are high rates of vitamin D deficiency in older adults – the group most at risk from developing dementia.

The CDC report that one third of the US population do not get sufficient amounts of vitamin D, with 8% of the population at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is obtained from sun exposure and foods such as milk, eggs, cheese and fatty fish.

Vitamin D and dementia: a strong association

For the study, the researchers tested 1,658 dementia-free people aged over 65 who had participated in the US population-based Cardiovascular Health Study. The vitamin D levels in their blood were tested, and they were followed up for an average of 5.6 years.

During this follow-up period, 171 of the participants developed dementia and 102 participants developed Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found the participants with low levels of vitamin D were 53% more likely to develop dementia, and those who were severely deficient were 125% more likely, when compared with participants with regular levels of vitamin D.

Similarly, participants with low levels of vitamin D saw a 70% increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and those with severe deficiency had an increased risk of 120%, again when compared with participants with normal levels of the vitamin.

Study author David J. Llewellyn, of the University of Exeter Medical School in the UK, was surprised by the extent of their results, saying, “we actually found that the association was twice as strong as we anticipated.”

The results of the study remained the same even after adjusting for other variables – such as alcohol consumption, smoking and education – that could affect the risk of developing dementia.

‘Encouraging findings’

Llewellyn urges caution following the findings of the study, stating that the results do not demonstrate that low vitamin D levels cause dementia. He suggests the direction that future research needs to take:

“Clinical trials are now needed to establish whether eating foods such as oily fish or taking vitamin D supplements can delay or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”

The study was unable to account for all forms of dementia, as by excluding participants with cardiovascular disease and stroke at the beginning of the study, the researchers encountered few cases of vascular dementia. The authors acknowledge that further research will be required to incorporate this area of the population.

Despite this, the study could provide a good starting point for this area of research. “Our findings are very encouraging,” says Llewellyn, “and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia.”

Medical News Today also reported on the benefits of oily fish earlier in the week, with a study suggesting that eating baked or broiled fish every week is good for the brain.

via Link found between dementia and vitamin D deficiency – Medical News Today.

n this study, Dr. Patrick and Dr. Ames show that vitamin D hormone activates the gene that makes the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2), that converts the essential amino acid tryptophan, to serotonin in the brain. This suggests that adequate levels of vitamin D may be required to produce serotonin in the brain where it shapes the structure and wiring of the brain, acts as a neurotransmitter, and affects social behavior. They also found evidence that the gene that makes the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1) is inhibited by vitamin D hormone, which subsequently halts the production of serotonin in the gut and other tissues, where when found in excess it promotes inflammation.

This mechanism explains many of the known, but previously not understood, facts about autism including: 1) the “serotonin anomaly” low levels of serotonin in the brain and high levels in the blood of autistic children; 2) the preponderance of male over female autistic children: estrogen, a similar steroid hormone, can also boost the brain levels of serotonin in girls; 3) the presence of autoimmune antibodies to the fetal brain in the mothers of autistic children: vitamin D regulates the production of regulatory T-cells via repression of TPH1. The Patrick/Ames mechanism is relevant to the prevention of autism, and likely its treatment.

The current guidelines for adequate vitamin D levels are concentrations above 30 ng/ml. Most Americans’ vitamin D is made in the skin from exposure to UVB radiation; however, melanin pigment and sunscreen inhibit this action. This is an important cause of the well-known widespread vitamin D deficiency among dark-pigmented Americans, particularly those living in Northern latitudes. The most recent National Health and Examination survey reports that greater than 70% of U.S. population does not meet this requirement and that adequate vitamin D levels have plummeted over the last couple of decades. This precipitous drop in adequate levels of vitamin D in the US is concurrent with the rise in autism rates.

The study suggests dietary intervention with vitamin D, tryptophan and omega 3 fatty acids would boost brain serotonin concentrations and help prevent and possibly ameliorate some of the symptoms associated with ASD without side effects. There is little vitamin D present in food and fortification is still inadequate as is the amount in most multivitamin and prenatal supplements. Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and offer a simple solution to raise vitamin D levels to an adequate status. In addition, vitamin D levels should be routinely measured in everyone and should become a standard procedure in prenatal care.

For the full text of Dr. Patrick and Dr. Ames’s research article, please see click here

Journal Reference: R. P. Patrick, B. N. Ames. Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis. Part 1: relevance for autism. The FASEB Journal, 2014; DOI: 10.1096/fj.13-246546

via Causal Link between Vitamin D, Serotonin Synthesis and Autism.

Scientists and organizations have different opinions of what is considered a deficiency of vitamin D. Vitamin D levels between 0-30 ng/mL are considered deficient according to the Vitamin D Council and the National Institutes of Health. The Endocrine Society believes that a level lower than 20 ng/mL is a deficiency. The Food and Nutrition Board considers 0-11 ng/mL as deficient.

Patients in this study, though, who experienced the much lower brain functioning after cardiac arrest had a vitamin D level of 7.9ng/mL, while good brain functioning was found in people with a level over 12.5 ng/mL, according to Medical News Today.

via Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To Seven-Fold Increased Risk Of Lower Brain Functioning After This Serious Event.

In recent years, a deficiency of vitamin D has been linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease, two illnesses that commonly occur together and are the most common cause of illness and death in Western countries. Both disorders are rooted in chronic inflammation, which leads to insulin resistance and the buildup of artery-clogging plaque.

Now, new research in mice at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests vitamin D plays a major role in preventing the inflammation that leads to type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. Further, the way key immune cells behave without adequate vitamin D may provide scientists with new therapeutic targets for patients with those disorders.

The study appears March 19 in the journal Cell Reports.

Studying mice that lacked the ability to process vitamin D in immune cells involved in inflammation, the researchers found that the animals made excess glucose, became resistant to insulin action and accumulated plaques in their blood vessels.

“The finding that vitamin D helps regulate glucose metabolism may explain previous epidemiological studies identifying an increased risk of diabetes in patients with vitamin D deficiency,” said senior investigator Carlos Bernal-Mizrachi, MD, associate professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology. “In our study, inactivation of the vitamin D receptor induced diabetes and atherosclerosis, so normalizing vitamin D levels may have the opposite effect.”

In addition, he said inadequate vitamin D turned immune cells into transporters of fat. That may help researchers better understand how diabetes and atherosclerosis are linked and provide new possibilities for therapy.

For years, researchers have been studying vitamin D’s possible roles in inflammation and inflammatory diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. By engineering mice without the vitamin D receptor on important immune cells called monocytes and macrophages, the researchers were able to learn how those conditions are linked, according to Bernal-Mizrachi.

Monocytes are white blood cells made in the bone marrow that circulate in the bloodstream. After a few days, they typically move into the body’s tissues where they mature into cells called macrophages.

“Inactivating the vitamin D receptor on monocytes and macrophages promotes inflammation of the liver and in artery walls,” he said. “It also increases the ability of monocytes in the blood to adhere and migrate into blood vessel walls, where they deposit cholesterol and secrete inflammatory substances that lead to diabetes and heart disease.”

He said the findings suggest that getting enough vitamin D may reduce those properties in immune cells, decreasing inflammation and reducing the onset of a combination of heart disease and diabetes, which is often referred to as cardiometabolic disease. In addition, the researchers found that without vitamin D, monocytes carried fat to the walls of blood vessels, which is something that hadn’t been observed previously.

“We knew that when monocytes matured and became macrophages, they would eat cholesterol deposited inside the blood vessel wall,” said co-first author Amy E. Riek, MD, assistant professor of medicine. “But in these experiments, we found that when they don’t have vitamin D, the monocytes, while they’re still in circulation, also eat up cholesterol and carry it in the bloodstream.”

That’s an important discovery, Riek explained, because it’s much easier to find treatments that target something in the blood than it is to target the same cells after they move into the wall of a blood vessel.

“So that provides us, potentially, with a new target for therapy,” she said.

It also changes the way that scientists think about how lipids are carried into the blood vessel wall to cause plaques. Scientists already knew that LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, carried fat deposits to the vessel wall. Now this study suggests that when monocytes don’t have enough vitamin D, they can do it, too.

“The monocytes were laden with fat in the absence of vitamin D receptor,” Bernal-Mizrachi said. “And they carried that fat into the artery, so that’s a new understanding of another way fat may get into blood-vessel walls in patients who are vitamin D deficient.”

Interestingly, the problem was reversible in the mice. When the animals that had developed type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis received bone marrow transplants from mice with healthy vitamin D receptors on their monocytes and macrophages, their inflammation levels decreased, and the animals had lower blood glucose and became more sensitive to insulin.

Currently, Bernal-Mizrachi and Riek are conducting clinical studies in people who have type 2 diabetes, treating them with vitamin D to see whether it can prevent some of the complications of diabetes and inflammation in humans, too.

“As part of that study, we’re actually isolating monocytes from the blood of patients before and after vitamin D therapy,” Riek said. “So we can look at the inflammatory properties of those cells to see whether vitamin D is causing any changes.”

More information: Cell Reports, Oh et al.:”Deletion of Macrophage Vitamin D Receptor Promotes Insulin Resistance and Monocyte Cholesterol Transport to Accelerate Atherosclerosis in Mice” www.cell.com/cell-reports/abstract/S2211-1247(15)00201-6

via Vitamin D helps immune cells prevent atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Now in her mid-50’s, Charlotte Seefeldt finally feels like she’s back in a good place after a bumpy few years.

The Sandy Springs mom had her two children late in life, at 43 and 45, after several attempts at I-V-F.

Then, as Charlotte went through menopause a few years later, things kind of came apart.

She gained 20 pounds, and started feeling tired all the time. So she went to the doctor,

“I would sit there and tell them that something is not right. I don’t feel like I used to,” said Seefeldt.

She says the doctors told her blood tests were normal.

“Overwhelmingly, women often struggle with this,” Dr. Tasmeen Bhatia.

“Dr. Taz,”,as she goes by professionally, sees it all the time here at The Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine: women going through hormonal shifts, who feel depressed, but don’t know why.

“Women and their hormones are hugely connected. And their mood is very connected to that,” said Dr. Bhatia “So, women will experience everything from feeling a little blue at certain times of the month to feeling full out like they’re foggy, they can’t focus, they can’t remember words. They’re down.”

When Charlotte came in to see her last winter, Dr. Taz could tell something was wrong.

“She had trouble looking me in the eye. So, oftentimes, patients that are depressed, they’re looking down at their paper, they can’t meet you, that’s the level of their depression,” said Dr. Dr. Bhatia.

“She just spent the time listening and took in the information and started processing it in her brain and was like, ‘Okay, these are the tests we need to do. If you want to find the answers, then let’s start this,” said Seefeldt.

Charlotte’s blood work showed she was extremely low on Vitamin D, which some studies show may be connected to mood disorders like depression – seasonal affective disorder – and PMS. Dr. Taz recommended a Vitamin D supplement, to see if it could help boost Charlotte’s mood.

“I don’t, by any means, want to suggest, ‘Oh, no matter what’s happened, you take Vitamin D, you’re going to be fine.’ That’s not true. It’s just a piece of the puzzle, but it’s an important part of the puzzle.”

Dr. Taz also helped Charlotte rethink her eating, encouraged her to start exercising again – and recommended supplements to balance out her hormones.

Ten months later, Charlotte says she feels like she finally has the answers – she’d been looking for – for so long.

“You are your best judge, and if you feel something is not right, there’s probably something is not right.”

via Depression and Vitamin D – Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5.

A new study conducted by researchers at Purdue University has found a metabolite resulting from the breakdown of vitamin A acts as a sort of GPS, directing certain disease- fighting cells to the body’s intestine.

“It is known that vitamin A deficiencies lead to increased susceptibility to disease and low concentrations of immune cells in the mucosal barrier that lines the intestines,” study author Chang Kim, a microbiologist and immunologist in Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said in a press release. “We wanted to find the specific role the vitamin plays in the immune system and how it influences the cells and biological processes.”

“The more we understand the details of how the immune system works, the better we will be able to design treatments for infection, and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases,” he added.

Published in the journal Immunology, the new study focused on immune system cells called innate immune cells that move quickly to eliminate an infection. These cells collect in lymph nodes before going their final destination.

In the lymph nodes, a vitamin A metabolite called retinoic acid acts upon two of three subsets of innate immune cells meant for the intestines. Kim and his team discovered that retinoic acid activates particular receptors in the cells that behave as tracking devices for the intestines. When the innate immune cells later traverse the circulatory system, the receptors seize and bind to molecules in the intestines whilst holding the cells in place.

The final location for these immune system cells is crucial because they both fight pathogens there and call for back up in the form of adaptive immune cells that are custom-made by the body to kill or neutralize the invaders.

“It is important that these cells be concentrated in mucosal barrier tissues (in the intestines), as opposed to scattered throughout the body, because these tissues are the point of entry for many infections from bacteria, viruses, and parasites,” Kim said. “Now that we have established the system of migration for these cells, we can play with it a little and see what changes the behavior and function of the cells.”

Kim added that vitamin D has also been found to guide immune cells, sending sets of them to the skin.

“We all know that what we eat significantly affects our overall health and immunity,” he said. “While there are other important regulators of immune system function, the role vitamins play is significant. How this works on a molecular level is a growing field of study.”

via Vitamin A directs immune cells to intestines – Redorbit.

Very high doses of vitamin D may help critically ill patients with respiratory failure leave the hospital sooner, a small study suggests.

Vitamin D is thought to increase the ability of immune cells to fight infection—but hospitalized patients often have insufficient levels of it because of their lack of exercise and exposure to the sun.

For the study, 31 patients were divided into three groups. Two of the groups received high doses of vitamin D3 (a total of 250,000 or 500,000 international units over five days), and one received a placebo.

Significantly shorter stay

“These dosages were significantly higher than normal daily doses and were intended to quickly restore vitamin D levels in patients who have low levels,” says Jenny Han, assistant professor of medicine at Emory University.

Study participants who received a placebo had an average blood level of 21 ng/ml vitamin D. The Endocrine Society defines deficiency as less than 20 ng/ml and insufficiency as between 20 and 30 ng/ml.

The average length of hospital stay was statistically significant for those who received the higher dose of vitamin D: 36 days for placebo, 25 days for lower dose, and 18 days for higher dose.

The length of stay in intensive care also tended to decrease (average 23 days for placebo, 18 days for lower dose vitamin D, 15 days for higher dose vitamin D), but the change was not statistically significant. A similar result was observed for duration of ventilator support.

The majority of the patients in the study had severe sepsis or septic shock; 43 percent had some type of infection upon admission. Some had cardiovascular or neurologic diseases.

More research is needed to determine the effect of vitamin D on patient recovery, the authors say.

“These data can inform the design of a larger, adequately powered randomized controlled trial on the efficacy of high-dose vitamin D3 on host immunity and other indices associated with recovery,” they write.

The findings were presented at a recent meeting of the American Thoracic Society.

Can a super-dose of vitamin D cut hospital stays? – Futurity.

I keep getting the same email over and over again, and my heart aches each time I read it: “I have tried everything to overcome my depression, but nothing has helped. Is there anything else I can do or will I have to live the rest of my life plagued with sadness?”

First, hear these three words: There is hope. If there wasn’t any, I would not be alive writing my blog. I am one of the worst cases out there like you are. I have spent more years of my life fantasizing about death than wanting to be alive. I get it. But now I do enjoy some really good days — where I feel better than I ever have. And those good days keep me motivated to get through the harder ones.

From my own 43 years of experience fighting the demon of hopelessness and from all my conversations with folks in my online depression community, Project Beyond Blue, here are some suggestions that you might try.

1. Get a Physical

The reason that you may not be getting better despite trying 20 different combinations of medication is that your symptoms of irritability, fatigue, and apathy may not be caused by a lack of serotonin or norepinephrine in your brain, but rather by a tear in your diaphragm or a problem with your aortic valve. A few conditions that are often misdiagnosed as depression are: hypothyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, vitamin B-12 deficiency, insulin resistance or blood sugar imbalances, and anemia. (See my piece, 6 Conditions That Feel Like Depression But Aren’t).

You should really get a physical and have some bloodwork done by an integrative or functional doctor; however, that can be costly, especially if you get a functional doctor who wants to run every test on you.

I asked my integrative doctor, Alan Weiss of Annapolis Integrative Medicine, to give me a list of the three or four most important blood tests a person with chronic depression should ask their primary care physician to do for them, if they can’t afford to go outside their insurance network for a consultation. He suggested:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Comprehensive metabolic profile (CMP)
  • Thyroid testing, including TSH, free T4, free T3, and thyroid antibodies
  • 25-OH vitamin D, B-12 levels

2. Check Your Thyroid

I want to return to the thyroid for a moment since this is so tricky and so critical. Every person I know who suffers from chronic depression has a thyroid issue. That is no lie or exaggeration. Every person. I was seeing an endocrinologist, someone who specializes in thyroid disease, for six years and she never tested me for an underactive thyroid. She was merely testing my TSH levels, not the full panel, which is what most primary care physicians, endocrinologists, and psychiatrists do.

If you are sluggish, gaining weight, have brain fog, need to lie down all the time, and are depressed, please have a FULL panel of your thyroid done. Your T3 and T4 levels are needed to detect slight problems that can wreak havoc with your mood and energy level. Now that I am taking natural medicine for that, I have much more energy.

Dana Trentini has a great post on her blog Hypothyroid Mom called “The Top Five Reasons Doctors Fail to Diagnose Hypothyroidism.

3. Load Up on Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12

I was relieved that Dr. Weiss included blood tests to check vitamin D and vitamin B-12 levels, as well, because deficiencies in both of those vitamins can cause severe depression. They are included in my list of 10 Nutritional Deficiencies That Can Cause Depression.

According to a 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, as many as three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D. Last year Canadian researchers performed a systematic review and analysis of 14 studies that revealed a close association between vitamin D levels and depression. Researchers found that low levels of vitamin D corresponded to depression and increased odds for depression. In another 2009 study, more than a quarter of severely depressed older women were deficient in B-12. I take each of those vitamins in liquid form so that they absorb quickly and efficiently.

4. Adjust Your Diet

If you are annoyed at this suggestion, let me say I understand. I was annoyed for the first 40 years of my life when someone would insinuate that there was a tight connection between my diet and my distorted thinking. I thought I ate well. By most American standards, I was a health freak. However, I didn’t realize how much insulin I was throwing into my bloodstream until I stopped eating all sugar cold turkey one day, as well as processed flour, dairy, and caffeine. (Alcohol is bad news too, but I gave that up 25 years ago.)

All those nut and fruit KIND bars that are supposed to be good for you, the honey in my tea, the cereal and pumpkin bread in the morning … all of them were creating a blood sugar nightmare that got me high only to make me crash … and hard. No street drugs were involved. Just a lame granola bar that I thought was sanctioned by Dr. Oz. Consider eliminating sugar and white flour from your diet for a few months. As much as I’d like to tell you that the effect was immediate, it took up to nine months before I really started to feel better, before I was free of death thoughts.

5. Get a Consultation With a Teaching Hospital

Before my husband begged me to have a consultation at Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center, I had been to six psychiatrists. One of my blogs, in fact, is called The Psychiatric Guide to Annapolis. Let me just say that there are a lot of people who shouldn’t be practicing medicine, like one I dubbed “Pharma King,” who received generous kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company.

The reason I trust teaching hospitals like Johns Hopkins, is that they never stop researching, and they are not afraid to use the older drugs like lithium that have proven track records but aren’t lucrative. Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, wrote an excellent op-ed piece in the New York Times just after the death of Robin Williams entitled Depression Can Be Treated, But It Takes Competence.

She writes: “Many different professionals treat depression, including family practitioners, internists and gynecologists, as well as psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and social workers. This results in wildly different levels of competence. Many who treat depression are not well trained in the distinction among types of depression. There is no common standard for education about diagnosis.” Go to a teaching hospital. You won’t regret it.

6. Consider Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that stimulates nerve cells in the brain with short magnetic pulses. A large electromagnetic coil is placed against the scalp which generates focused pulses that pass through the skull and stimulate the cerebral cortex of the brain, a region that regulates mood. The procedure was approved by the FDA in 2008.

In September, I featured a story about Stephanie, a woman in Project Beyond Blue, who underwent 30 sessions of TMS and was transformed into a new person. She now moderates a group on Project Beyond Blue called Exploring TMS. Several other people I know have had success as well.

7. Try EMDR

My friend Priscilla Warner first turned me on to eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. She devotes a chapter in her bestselling memoir, Learning to Breathe, about it, and how it was instrumental in breaking down her anxiety. It is mostly used for people with some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, but it has also been used to address generalized anxiety from a dysfunctional childhood, a bad marriage, or a boss from hell.

According to the EMDR Institute, “EMDR psychotherapy is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach to address the experiential contributors of a wide range of pathologies. It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health.”

8. Find a Way to Lower Your Stress

I don’t mean putting a few less to-do items on your list. I’m talking about radical lifestyle changes — like changing jobs in order to work in a less toxic and stressful environment, moving into a smaller home so that you don’t have to moonlight, deciding against adopting a rescue dog or having a third child. It can be practically impossible to keep your mood resilient if you are under chronic stress because it increases the connection between the hippocampus part of your brain and the amygdala (worry central), impairs your memory retention, affects your cortisol production (making it difficult for you to handle more stress), and weakens your immune system.

There are other ways to try to lower your stress besides quitting your job, like practicing mindfulness meditation. I took the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at my local hospital because I read numerous studies on how mindfulness meditation can reset neural passageways and change rumination patterns. As a result of the class, I am now more aware of my thinking, and I try my best to keep coming back to the present. However, nothing beats the anesthesia from depression and the calm I experience after an intense aerobic workout. I swim and run for my sanity.

In summary, the road to my recovery has been rocky as hell. I had to throw out the old system — my belief that medication, therapy, and exercise was all I needed — that the brain lived in another solar system as my body. I now believe that you must approach the illness of depression systematically: there is nothing that you eat, say, or do in your day that doesn’t affect your mood. While that thought can be overwhelming, it also points the way to hope.

You are not a lost cause.

Join conversations like “Hypothyroidism & Depression” and “Nutrition” on Project Beyond Blue,” a new community for persons with treatment-resistant depression.

Originally posted on Sanity Break at Everyday Health.

8 Things to Consider When Your Depression Is Not Getting Better | World of Psychology.

Buck research: Vitamin D extends worm lives | North Bay Business Journal.

(HealthDay News) — For patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, vitamin D3 supplementation does not affect interferon signature, according to a study published in the Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Cynthia Aranow, MD, from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, and colleagues examined the effects of vitamin D supplementation on the interferon signature (expression level of three interferon genes) in 57 patients with stable, inactive systemic lupus erythematosus.

Patients were randomly assigned into a 12-week trial of vitamin D3 at doses of 2,000 IU or 4,000 IU, or placebo.

Repletion of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (≥30 ng/mL) was observed in 16 of the 33 patients receiving vitamin D3, but in none of the patients receiving placebo, according to the data. There was no difference between the treatment groups in the percentage of patients with an interferon signature response.

Furthermore, the percentage of patients with an interferon signature response did not differ between those who remained vitamin D deficient and those who demonstrated repletion of vitamin D.

No changes from baseline were seen in any of the treatment groups in modular microarray analysis of a subset of 40 patients; there were also no differences in expression among patients with vitamin D repletion vs. those with persistent vitamin D deficiency.

“Vitamin D3 supplementation up to 4,000 IU daily was safe and well tolerated but failed to diminish the [interferon] signature in vitamin D-deficient [systemic lupus erythematosus] patients,” the researchers wrote.

One author is an employee of Rho Federal Systems, a division of Rho, a contract research organization.

Reference

  1. Aranow C et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015;67(7):1848-1857.

Interferon Response Not Affected by Vitamin D in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Of course in the article at Jezebel nowhere does it suggest actually fucking your husband yourself. God (along with all gay misandry twisted female predators) forbid suggesting any kind of affection be actid out upon a male such as a simple hand job, or the never allowed to be mentioned fellatio.  Fuck no.  Just keep that husband celibate while you have your girlfriends lick you.

He fucked the nanny because you do not like dick and she does……

In light of recent controversies absolutely rocking the nanny industry—a near-confirmed Ben Affleck affair, a rumored Gavin Rossdale affair—the New York Post has offered some advice for safeguarding your marriage.

First, they recommend avoiding hot 20-something nannies altogether, which seems like fairly reasonable advice if you’re married to an actor with sociopathic tendencies. One woman interviewed for the article adheres to this notion, and “has a middle-aged nanny she adores.”

According to Seth Norman Greenberg, VP of Pavillion Agency, “more and more clients are requesting pictures of candidates along with their bios,” which could spell bad news for any nannies cursed with a reasonably attractive face.

But if you are determined to hire someone fuckable to care for your children, the Post has several helpful tips for desexualizing them in the eyes of your wayward, ungovernable brute of a husband. One suggestion, offered by Greenberg, is a dress code of “chinos and a button-down shirt.” Here are some additional suggestions that The Post appears to have left out:

Limit your nanny’s showering privileges to once a fortnight.

Deprive your nanny of Vitamin D. Do not, under any circumstances, allow her outdoors.

Ask your nanny to kill and butcher all of the meat served to your family. Capture it on your nanny cam, and email a supercut to your husband.

Force your nanny to share a closet with your 12-year-old daughter. See how good she looks in low-rise Hollister pants, size double-zero!

Break your nanny’s pelvis.

Take your husband to the first performance of your nanny’s level 1 improv class.

Marry a gay man.

Marry a good person.

via Best Practices For Preventing Your Husband From Fucking the Nanny .

San Diego — A San Diego police officer awaiting trial on drunken driving and hit-and-run charges was found dead Monday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Clairemont.The wife of Officer David C. Hall, 41, called authorities to their Ashford Street home at 9:52 a.m. reporting the suicide, San Diego police said.When officers arrived, they found Hall’s body next to a wall in the backyard of the house.Hall, a 14-year department veteran, pleaded not guilty in May to two charges of felony drunken driving causing injury, one charge of hit and run and an allegation that his blood-alcohol content was greater than 0.15 percent — a charge that would have increased prison time. If convicted of all of the charges, he faced a maximum sentence of three years and eight months.The charges stemmed from a Feb. 22 crash in Serra Mesa where a woman driving a gray Chevrolet Suburban reported that she was hit and injured by a drunken driver who left the scene.Hall, who was off duty at the time, was later arrested and placed on paid administrative duty.Police reports indicated that the officer’s blood-alcohol content was 0.32 percent, or four times the legal limit of 0.08.A judge had ordered Hall to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings twice a week, and he was scheduled to appear in Superior Court on Thursday for a pretrial hearing.Hall was one of at least eight police officers accused of misconduct since February.“The San Diego Police Department was very aware of the stress he was under and had taken every effort to get Officer Hall the help he needed,” Police Chief William Lansdowne said Monday. “In fact, our newly formed wellness unit had met with him just yesterday. Unfortunately, even with the help and support provided, Officer Hall unexpectedly decided to take his own life.”Eleven San Diego police officers have committed suicide since 1981, according to the department.Lansdowne said Hall’s family did not wish to make any statements at this time. The officer is survived by his wife and three children.Hall worked many assignments in the Police Department since being hired in 1997, including patrol in the central division and later on specialized narcotics and parolee apprehension teams. He was transferred to the traffic division in 2008, where he worked accident investigations, until becoming a motorcycle officer in March 2010.His attorney has said that before the DUI allegations, Hall had a clean record and had received commendations for his work.Several neighbors who gathered near the police tape at Hall’s home Monday expressed shock at the death. They remembered him as a friendly neighbor who often waved as he came and went on his police motorcycle.He and his family rented a home in a nearby cul-de-sac until a few years ago, when they purchased the home on Ashford.One neighbor reported hearing what sounded like a gunshot about 9:30 a.m.“He was a very pleasant guy,” said Charles Steinmetz, who lives a few houses down. “It’s sad to lose a friend and neighbor. Our prayers go out to the family.”The death occurred four days after the Police Department memorialized slain child abuse Detective Donna Williams, 52, and her daughter, Briana, 18. The mother and daughter were killed on July 18 at their Rancho Peñasquitos home, and Williams’ son, Brian, 24, has been charged with murder in the deaths.Officer Brian Marvel, president of the San Diego Police Officers Association, commented about Hall’s death on Twitter: “Unfortunately, another tragedy has befallen the SDPD. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. God Bless.”

via Officer accused of DUI apparently kills himself | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com.

Scientists Scan the Brain To See How Stress Undermines Your Diet | Sci-Tech Today.

Northern California police department is reviewing a video showing one of its officers pulling a gun on a man who was recording him on his cellphone.

The video, posted on YouTube, shows a Rohnert Park Public Safety officer driving toward Don McComas as he’s filming. As McComas moves in closer to record the license plate number on the officer’s police SUV, the officer stops, gets out and tells McComas to take his hand out of his pocket.

McComas replies: “No sir, I’ve done nothing. I have done absolutely nothing. No.”

The officer removes his gun from his holster, speaks into his radio and says, “Seriously.”

McComas responds, “Put your gun down, really?”

The video shows McComas backing away as the officer motions the gun toward him.

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McComas repeats he did nothing wrong and tells the officer not to touch him.

When McComas asks why the officer stepped out of his vehicle, the officer responds, “You taking a picture of me. I am taking a picture of you.” The officer then asked whether McComas was “some kind of a constitutionalist or crazy guy or something like that.”

“Why are you doing this?” the officer asks McComas, who responds, “Why are you sitting here with your gun on me? This is why I am doing this. To protect myself from you.”

McComas was not detained or arrested.

As the officer walks away, he tells McComas, “Go ahead, have a nice day and put it on YouTube. I don’t really care.”

Rohnert Park Mayor Amy Ahanotu and City Manager Darrin Jenkins said in a statement that an internal review will be conducted to determine if the proper protocols were followed.

“We’ve been made aware of this matter, and we are taking it seriously,” they said. “We understand the concerns that have been raised by our community and others and we want the public to know that your trust in law enforcement in our city is a top priority.”

McComas said he was in front of his home and hooking his boat to a trailer when he saw the Rohnert Park Public Safety officer drive into his neighborhood.

The officer, he said, made a few turns before stopping to face McComas. The officer did nothing but point at McComas and his home, McComas said.

McComas became concerned, so he pulled out his camera and started filming.

“The arrogance he showed me shouldn’t come from an officer of the law,” he said. “They should de-escalate, not escalate or provoke.”

Police review video of Northern California officer pulling gun on man recording him – LA Times.

Police review video of Northern California officer pulling gun on man recording him – LA Times.