Erik Stokstad in Science (AAAS) writes: Publishing is one of the most ballyhooed metrics of scientific careers, and every researcher hates to have a gap in that part of his or her CV. Here’s some consolation: A new study finds that very few scientists—fewer than 1%—manage to publish a paper every year.
But these 150,608 scientists dominate the research journals, having their names on 41% of all papers. Among the most highly cited work, this elite group can be found among the co-authors of 87% of papers. Read the rest of this entry »
Professor Alon Chen and Dr. Orna Issler of the Weizmann Institute investigated the molecular mechanisms of the brain’s serotonin system and believe they’ve found specific molecular markers in those suffering from depression and anxiety. Their research focused on the microRNA molecules in the nerve cells that produce serotonin. These tiny non-coding RNA molecules regulate various cellular activities and the researchers found that in those with depression or anxiety, miR135 (one of the microRNA molecules) and two proteins can affect serotonin production.
The findings were published in Neuron last month. The scientists noted an increase in miR135 molecules in serotonin-producing areas of the brain when antidepresants were introduced. After engineering mice to produce higher-than-average amounts of this microRNA, the found that they were more stress resistant, taking longer to develop chronic stress behaviors. This is in contrast to mice with low levels of the microRNA molecule, which showed higher levels of stress-related behaviors under the same pressures.
Using human blood samples, the researchers followed the rodent-based research in the lab with tests to find the markers. The miR135 levels in subjects who suffer from depression were low. Closer inspection of the genome showed that the genes which produce miR135 are located in the same areas as those known to be associated with risks for bipolar disorders.
Professor Chen believes that this molecule could become a blood test for depression and related disorders and as a target for further pharmaceutical research.
Professor Peter Gibson at Monash University in Australia conducted a pioneering study in 2011 that gave credence to the idea of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which is often-cited in the current gluten-free diet craze and food industry.
Gibson, however, was not convinced that his study had been conclusive and set out to create a new, more controlled study.
That new study has now concluded, and it counters the findings of his 2011 study. In this study, which included patients in a completely controlled nutritional setting with a high level of rigor, Gibson found that gluten sensitivity (non-celiac) is almost certainly either psychological in nature, as no physical or nutritional reason could be noted, or due to fermentable, poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates (FODMAPs). Patients reported the same level of discomfort and symptoms when given a placebo diet as they did a gluten-rich one, but did report general improvement when given a low-FODMAP diet.
The study was very complex and well-conceived. The study removed nearly all of the possible external triggers (non-gluten) for gastrointestinal distress and once it did so, a low-gluten diet did not necessarily mean lower levels of gastro-distress. This very conclusively shows that “gluten intolerance” without celiac disease does not exist and points to psychological or FODMAPs as the more likely culprit.
The Veteran’s Administration estimates that between 11 and 20 percent of all veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the American Psychology Association says that PTSD affects 7.7 million people in the U.S.
A study recently published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress found that in women suffering from PTSD, practicing yoga resulted in a marked decreased in reexperiencing and hyperarousal symptoms associated with PTSD.
“Yoga may downregulate the stress response, and positively impact PTSD and comorbid depression and anxiety symptoms,” explained the researchers in their conclusions. They believe that yoga may be an effective complementary treatment for PTSD algonside traditional counseling.
The study focused on 38 women who showed full or subthreshold PTSD symptoms. Traumatic “trigger” events ranged from childhood physical abuse to the unexpected death of a loved one.
There are thousands of articles published every year about attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). These two disorders are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and are widely recognized as one of the most-often-diagnosed problem for children and adolescents. Yet there is a prevailing assumption among both medical professionals and society at large that ADD/ADHD is a “disease”.
In the medical community, the disease model assumes there is a known, physical cause that can be attributed to the symptoms and thus treated. With ADD/ADHD, there no such thing. It is, instead, a subjective disorder whose diagnosis is based not on physical evidence, but on subjective evidence.
This is not meant to be an argument for or against subjective diagnosis. They are common in psychology and the practice is the basis for most of the disorders listed in the DSM. But implying that there is a genetic, physical, or other known physical cause for disorders like ADD/ADHD is incorrect and dangerous.
Let’s consider how most ADHD diagnosis in children are made. First, the patient and parents visit a doctor. Anecdotal evidence regarding the child’s behavior is solicited and questions are asked which subjectively measure the behavior patterns of the child. Some observations may be made, such as the child’s apparent attention span, anxiety level, and so forth. Then a diagnosis is given.
There is no blood test, x-ray, or ultrasound capable of substantiating a diagnosis for ADD/ADHD.
Massage therapy has been around for centuries and continues to be increasingly popular. We know from our research that massage is among the top ten most frequently used complementary health practices by adults and by children. Researchers have been investigating the effects of massage therapy on a number of wide-ranging conditions, and while a lot of the research is preliminary or conflicting, there is scientific evidence that points toward beneficial effects on back pain. In fact, the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society have issued joint clinical practice guidelines that include massage therapy as one of the nonpharmacologic treatment options that should be considered for patients with low-back pain who do not improve on their own. There is also some evidence that massage may help improve quality of life for people with conditions such as depression, cancer, or HIV/AIDS.
We have some information about the evidence base of massage therapy for health purposes on our Web site. If you or a loved one is considering massage therapy for a particular health condition, I encourage you to take a look at this information and talk it over with your health care provider. Although massage therapy appears to be safe when performed by a trained professional, some people with certain health conditions should take precautions. As always, take care and be well!
In a failed attempt to explain away why vaccinated individuals seem to be the
only ones contracting and spreading whooping cough during major outbreaks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched an inquiry aimed at better understanding how the controversial vaccine works. But what the agency ended up discovering is that the vaccine for whooping cough, also known as pertussis, spreads the very same pathogenic bacteria that causes whopping cough in the first place, which in some people can lead to serious infections.
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the new FDA study claims to demonstrate that vaccines for acellular pertussis are effective at preventing the disease in those who are vaccinated. But at the very same time, the agency admits that, based on its findings, the vaccine itself spreads Bordetella pertussis, the bacteria responsible for triggering the highly contagious respiratory disease.
“[A]cellular pertussis vaccines licensed by the FDA are effective in preventing the disease among those vaccinated,” claims the agency in a recent announcement, “but… they may not prevent infection from the bacteria that causes whooping cough in those vaccinated or its spread to other people, including those who may not be vaccinated.”
In other words, the whooping cough vaccine is definitely effective at preventing the whooping cough, except that it’s not. This is the essence of what the FDA is claiming here with this dichotomy — people who are vaccinated for whooping cough are somehow protected against the disease, but they might still develop it as a result of contracting the bacterium responsible for triggering whooping cough, which is contained in the vaccine.
This type of meaningless equivocation is nothing new for the FDA, of course, which two years ago tried to pull the same
say-something-while-not-actually-saying-it stunt with bisphenol A
(BPA), the plastics chemical that has repeatedly been shown in scientific literature to damage hormones.
FDA admits whooping cough vaccines diminish immunity, increasing likelihood of infection
Besides putting those who receive it at a higher risk of developing pertussis infection, the pertussis vaccine also admittedly lowers immunity. In a recent press release about its study, the FDA spills the beans about how decreased immunity is a common adverse effect of the childhood pertussis vaccine, and that health experts have never really understood why those who are vaccinated against pertussis still contract the disease.
“While the reasons for the increase in cases of whooping cough are not fully understood, multiple factors are likely involved, including diminished immunity from childhood pertussis vaccines, improved diagnostic testing, and increased reporting,” says the FDA. “With its own funds plus support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the FDA conducted the study to explore the possibility that acellular pertussis vaccines… might not prevent infection.”
Based on this assessment, it is astounding that any parent would ever agree to having their baby injected with a chemical solution that just might cause the very same disease that it is supposed to prevent. We now know for a fact that children vaccinated for pertussis can still develop whooping cough and are, in fact, carriers that can spread the disease to others.
“This research suggests that although individuals immunized with an acellular pertussis vaccine may [emphasis added] be protected from disease, they may still become infected with the bacteria without always getting sick and are able to spread infection to others, including young infants who are susceptible to pertussis disease.”
You can read the full FDA announcement here:
Sources for this article include:
A new study published in The Lancet has implicated six new chemicals that may be contributing to the development of childhood mental disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. The study follows on a study conducted by its authors in 2006 which identified “developmental nerutoxicants.”
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai added six new chemicals to a growing list of what they call “developmental neurotoxicants.” This study adds manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, and DDT to the list. The last two are pesticides and all on the list are chemicals often found in industrial use or waste.
The study was co-authored by adjunct professor of environmental health Philippe Grandjean of the Harvard School and Dr. Philip Landrigan, Dean for Global Health at Mount Sinai.
The new study can be found on the Lancet’s website.
There is ample evidence showing that supported employment works well. Programs such as the one offered at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) help the severely mentally ill transition into the workplace through supportive therapy and work programs. They improve lives, self-esteem, and the financial prospects for many who are disabled by mental illness.
These programs usually do not interfere with the patient’s disability income, if any, as they are considered therapy by the Department of Defense’s disability program and the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Most programs focus on a combination of therapy, work capability, and transition into private employment.
Work therapy (supported employment) is not covered by most insurance, however, and is most often done through social programs, private trusts, or other funding. One VA program the author surveyed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, pays tax-exempt minimum wage to employees for up to forty hours per week for up to three months. It then transitions the patient into private jobs with continued therapeutic support. Some of the private jobs are also tax-exempt, falling under the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, while others do not. The goal of the VA’s program is to help disabled veterans find employment and the fulfillment and control it gives their lives.
Other programs from other services offer similar programs, often in cooperation with private companies or charities in need of workers.
A recent survey of the evidence for supported employment found that not only is the evidence overwhelmingly positive:
“Supported employment consistently demonstrated positive outcomes for individuals with mental disorders, including higher rates of competitive employment, fewer days to the first competitive job, more hours and weeks worked, and higher wages. There was also strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of individual elements of the model.”
That survey was published in the January issue of the journal Psychiatric Services, which is conducting a twelve-part series of literature reviews commissioned by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Below is a video of Dr. Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist at Compultense University in Madrid, Spain, clearly explaining how THC (the main psychoactive constitute of the cannabis plant) completely kills cancer cells.
Not long ago, we published an article examining a case study recently published where doctors used cannabis to treat Leukemia, you can read more about that here. To read more articles and view studies about how cannabis is an effective treatment and cure for cancer, click here.
Cannabinoids refer to any of group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors in the body. The body itself produces compounds called endocannabinoids and they play a role in many processes within the body that help to create a healthy environment. I think it’s also important to note that cannabis has been shown to treat cancer without any psychoactive effects.
Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce cancer cells as they have a great impact on the rebuilding of the immune system. Although not every strain of cannabis has the same effect, more and more patients are seeing success in cancer reduction in a short period of time by using cannabis. Contrary to popular belief, smoking cannabis does not assist a great deal in treating disease within the body as therapeutic levels cannot be reached through smoking. Creating oil from the plant or eating the plant is the best way to go about getting the necessary ingredients, the cannabinoids.
The world has come a long way with with regards to accepting this plant as a medicine rather than a harmful substance. It’s a plant that could benefit the planet in more ways than one. Cannabis is not something offered in the same regard as chemotherapy, but more people are becoming aware if it, which is why it’s so important to continue to spread information like this. Nobody can really deny the tremendous healing power of this plant.