Friday, November 30, 2012

The Root of the Problem

A Hospital War Reflects a Bind for Doctors in the U.S.
With fewer providers competing more aggressively for health care business, doctors who sell their practices are feeling pressed to meet financial targets. 
Boise’s experience reflects a growing national trend toward consolidation. Across the country, doctors who sold their practices and signed on as employees have similar criticisms. In lawsuits and interviews, they describe growing pressure to meet the financial goals of their new employers — often by performing unnecessary tests and procedures or by admitting patients who do not need a hospital stay.
It's about reimbursement, not medicine.

It's the Sugar, Stupid

Diabetics With Cancer Dangerously Ignore Blood Sugar
When people with Type 2 diabetes are diagnosed with cancer -- a disease for which they are at higher risk -- they ignore their diabetes care to focus on cancer treatment, according to new research. But uncontrolled high blood sugar is more likely to kill them and impairs their immune system's ability to fight cancer.
Not to mention it impairs decision making.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Dumb Criminal of the Week: The Job Candidate Who Told the FBI about His Child Porn Stash

Rigorous Righteousness.  The illusion of competence.

Okay,  that's enough insanity for today.   I gotta get off the internet or my head will explode.

The Circle of Insanity

Military contemplates prosecuting troops who attempt suicide


Crazy Making

Behold the power of dopamine.

French court upholds GSK Parkinson's drug ruling
A French appeals court Wednesday upheld a ruling ordering pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to pay 197,000 euros to a man who claimed that its drug to treat Parkinson's turned him into a gay sex and gambling addict.
This drug doesn't kill people.   It makes them want to die.
It causes obsessive behavior and suicidal ideation.   Not to mention compulsive lying.
It's insanity in a pill.
It's a freakin nightmare.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Wow.   It's so hard to tell if he's gone over the edge or not...

A real urine sample might provide some answers, though.

That's Crazy

One in Five U.S. Adults Experienced Mental Illness in the Past Year
The rate of mental illness was more than twice as high among those aged 18 to 25 (29.8 percent) than among those aged 50 and older (14.3 percent), the report said. Adult women also were more likely than men to have had mental illness in the past year (23.0 percent versus 15.9 percent), it said.
Mental illness among adults aged 18 or older is defined as having had a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders) in the past year.

Zombie Jellyfish

Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality?
A species that can transform itself back to a polyp at any time appears to debunk the most fundamental law of the natural world — you are born, and then you die.
We also know that, in recent decades, the immortal jellyfish has rapidly spread throughout the world’s oceans in what Maria Pia Miglietta, a biology professor at Notre Dame, calls “a silent invasion.” The jellyfish has been “hitchhiking” on cargo ships that use seawater for ballast. Turritopsis has now been observed not only in the Mediterranean but also off the coasts of Panama, Spain, Florida and Japan. The jellyfish seems able to survive, and proliferate, in every ocean in the world. It is possible to imagine a distant future in which most other species of life are extinct but the ocean will consist overwhelmingly of immortal jellyfish, a great gelatin consciousness everlasting. 
A real medical mystery.  Fascinating.

Up Late

Fighting the demons.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A view of the vortex

I recently offered a very sick narcoleptic man $1000 to quit eating gluten for a month.
He refused.

(sorry no, this offer is not available to everyone)

How about that

Vitamin D Linked to Lower Rates of Tooth Decay
The review, published in the December issue of Nutrition Reviews, encompassed 24 controlled clinical trials, spanning the 1920s to the 1980s, on approximately 3,000 children in several countries. These trials showed that vitamin D was associated with an approximately 50 percent reduction in the incidence of tooth decay.

Going Backward

Why finding new uses for old drugs is a growing business
'Repurposing' drugs for different ailments is cheaper than testing new ones, and small biotech firms are taking advantage.

Yeah, so?

Fast Cycling Benefits Parkinson's Patients
Cycling on stationary bikes may benefit people with Parkinson's disease, especially if they cycle hard and fast. This was the finding of a new study presented this week at a scientific meeting in the US, that describes how researchers found cycling, especially at rates above what patients would choose for themselves, appeared to make regions of the brain that deal with movement connect to each other more effectively.
Vigorous exercise lowers blood sugar and improves brain function.

My father has proven this can easily be counteracted with chocolate, peanuts and beer.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Brain Eating Zombie of the Day

Dr Alex Dregan

Smoking 'rots' brain, says study
The results showed that the overall risk of a heart attack or stroke was "significantly associated with cognitive decline" with those at the highest risk showing the greatest decline.  It also said there was a "consistent association" between smoking and lower scores in the tests.
This is a pathetic article.   All of these things have been studied in great detail.   There is absolutely no need for a bunch of sweeping generalizations.
Correlation does not imply causation.   Say it Again.  And again.

Nicotine is well documented to improve function in the frontal cortex.  People smoke because their brain is not functioning properly- not the other way around.   Nicotine use is a sign of pre-existing brain impairment.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

This is Why

Because I wanted to know what happened to this happy little girl.
How she could turn out so bitter and twisted.
By the time she was nineteen...

This is Why

Because my father's doctors are going to kill him.
And he is going to comply.

It's a freakin nightmare.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sounds about Right

Need a Lot of Sleep? An Antidote for Hypersomnia 
Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have discovered that dozens of adults with an elevated need for sleep have a substance in their cerebrospinal fluid that acts like a sleeping pill.
The paper describes how samples of patients' cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contain a substance that enhances the effects of the brain chemical GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid). GABA is one of the main inhibitory chemicals of the nervous system -- alcohol, barbituates and benzodiazepines all enhance the effects of GABA. In the laboratory, the size of the effect on GABA receptor function is more than twice as large in the hyper-sleepy patients, on average, than in control samples. "In some of the more severely affected patients, we estimated the magnitude of the GABA-enhancing effect as nearly equivalent to that expected for someone receiving sedation for outpatient colonoscopy," Rye says. "This is a level of impaired consciousness that many subjects had to combat on almost a daily basis in order to live their usual lives."
Well, this probably partially explains the effect of Xyrem.   It's a GABA blocker.

But I'll bet a thousand dollars whatever it is, it's related to gluten.  Either opioids or antibodies or insulin metabolism.  Been there, done that.

Update:  Cha ching.  I'm putting my money on insulin.  It seems to magnify the effects of GABA.
And for the record, I wrote to Dr. Rye and told him to look it up.

Old Song of the Day

Happy Hangover Everyone.

True Love

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Low Carb Options

Tee hee.

Happy Narcolepsy Day!

Somebody eat some mashed potatoes for me.  I made other plans.

I am thankful you're all still alive.
I assume if you're reading this you're still alive, anyway.

Be grateful.
And know hope.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

You don't say

ADHD Drugs Help Curb Criminal Behavior
Older teens and adults with attention deficit disorder are much less likely to commit a crime while on ADHD medication, a provocative study from Sweden found. It also showed in dramatic fashion how much more prone people with ADHD are to break the law — four to seven times more likely than others.
The findings suggest that Ritalin, Adderall and other drugs that curb hyperactivity and boost attention remain important beyond the school-age years and that wider use of these medications in older patients might help curb crime.
"There definitely is a perception that it's a disease of childhood and you outgrow your need for medicines," said Dr. William Cooper, a pediatrics and preventive medicine professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. "We're beginning to understand that ADHD is a condition for many people that really lasts throughout their life."
Huh. Impulse control disorders cause impulse control problems. Huh.

Gluten Free Sadness

Drat.  I really like their brown rice pasta. And I liked the company.  Tragic.

A Family Farm’s Crisis: Its Rice Contains Arsenic
Lundberg Family Farms grows rice in Richvale, Calif., about 70 miles north of Sacramento. It has 225 employees and 5,000 acres of farmland, and it contracts with about 40 other family farms to grow rice on 12,000 acres throughout the Sacramento Valley. It sells 17 varieties of rice and more than 150 products made from rice, and it produces more than $50 million in annual revenue.
In mid-September, Consumer Reports published the results of independent lab tests that found inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen, in rice and many rice products. This came on the heels of a study by Dartmouth, released in February, that showed inorganic arsenic in brown rice syrup. Tim Schultz, 51, part of the third generation of Lundberg Farms’s family owners, said the company’s response was evolving. Because there is no federal safe standard for inorganic arsenic in food, Lundberg has struggled to make sense of the information for its customers, who greeted the news with panic.
Although the government regulates the amount of inorganic arsenic in drinking water, there are no standards for food. “The jury is still out on what levels may cause health problems,” Mr. Schultz said, “but the federal standard for drinking water is 10 parts per billion. Tests on our rice show 95 parts per billion.” Consumer Reports’ tests found levels in rice ranging from about 24 to 214 parts per billion.

Reality Based Medicine

OB/GYNs Endorse Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pills
Such a move could reduce the high rate of unintended pregnancies in the U.S., doctors' group says.
Acyclovir and Metformin should be dispensed over the counter too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Microbial Whak-a-Mole

As I was saying-

Influenza Curbs Part of Immune System and Abets Bacterial Infections
When infected with influenza, the body becomes an easy target for bacteria. The flu virus alters the host's immune system and compromises its capacity to effectively fight off bacterial infections. Now, a team of immunologists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and cooperation partners has discovered that an immune system molecule called TLR7 is partly to blame. The molecule recognizes the viral genome -- and then signals scavenger cells of the immune system to ingest fewer bacteria.
previous post

Sunday, November 18, 2012

More Fruits and Vegetables!

Diabetes rates rise dramatically, CDC reports
Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual phone survey of adults 18 and older, the investigators found that overall, the median prevalence of diagnosed diabetes went up from 4.5% in 1995 to 8.2% in 2010.
All told, rates increased 50% or more in 42 states, and 100% or more in 18 states. The largest increases were in Oklahoma (up 226%,) Kentucky (158%,) Georgia (145%,) Alabama (140%,) and Washington (135%.)

Despite all these studies and dire predictions, the fact that this is happening only proves there is no real incentive to solve this very simple problem.
Lap bands, insulin pumps, glucose meters- it's a freakin goldmine for the medical industry.


Research shows gamers are better virtual surgeons than residents
The study used machines that replicate surgical procedures — suturing, passing off needles and other tasks. The participants' competency was based on such things as how much tension was placed on the instruments and hand eye coordination.
In addition to the gamer group doing better, there was an interesting finding among their subset. This group had been composed of high school students who played two hours a day and college students who played four. It turns out the high school students did the best.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tweet of the Day

“Deranged people eating other people's faces, now Twinkies will disappear. Start working on your cardio because Zombieland is happening now.” - @DaveLozo

Crazy Ideas

Denise sent me this link.   It has lots of interesting stuff in it.

The Insanity Virus
Schizophrenia has long been blamed on bad genes or even bad parents. Wrong, says a growing group of psychiatrists. The real culprit, they claim, is a virus that lives entwined in every person's DNA. 
I'm not sure of that, but I do approve of the infection/autoimmune theory in general...

If you get to the end of the article, they conclude this:
One might expect that the disease would be associated with genes controlling our synapses or neurotransmitters. Three major studies published last year in the journal Nature tell a different story. They instead implicate immune genes called human leukocyte antigens (HLAs), which are central to our body’s ability to detect invading pathogens. “That makes a lot of sense,” Yolken says. “The response to an infectious agent may be why person A gets schizophrenia and person B doesn’t.”

Unintended Consequences

Antibiotic resistance 'big threat to health'
Resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest threats to modern health, experts say.
The warning from England's chief medical officer and the Health Protection Agency comes amid reports of growing problems with resistant strains of bugs such as E. coli and gonorrhoea. They said many antibiotics were being used unnecessarily for mild infections, helping to create resistance.
The antibiotic resistant strains are only part of the story.  As I have said before- doctors have created subclinical strains of these pathogens by their indiscriminate use of these drugs.  Strains they do not detect with their tests.   Strains that still make us sick. 
Their solution for acute illness has created chronic illness instead.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Bright Side of Brain Damage

Rappers' Brains: Relaxed 'Executive Function' May Enable Freestyle Raps
The results parallel previous imaging studies in which Braun and Charles Limb, a doctor and musician at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, looked at fMRI scans from jazz musicians. Both sets of artists showed lower activity in part of their frontal lobes called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during improvisation, and increased activity in another area, called the medial prefrontal cortex. The areas that were found to be ‘deactivated’ are associated with regulating other brain functions.
Suppressed frontal cortex.  
Enhanced medial cortex.    

Very easily induced by-
Orexin deficiency.
Dopamine mimicry.
For the record, I do not feel like I "wrote" either one of my websites.   They were completely done in my head before I even started typing.   I just transcribed what was there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Definition of the Day

Intellectual Zombies — beliefs and concepts that have been killed by evidence but that keep shambling forward nonetheless, trying to eat our brains.   -Paul Krugman

Monday, November 12, 2012

Things that make me Dance

Dopamine Agonists.
Antibodies to surface dopamine-2 receptor in autoimmune movement and psychiatric disorders. 
Various antibodies to dopamine receptors have been found and specific types are associated with specific disorders.  Booyah.

Here's a very good review article on the current strep autoimmune hypotheses.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lies of Omission

Funny, the American Heart Association didn't announce this at their conference.

Beta blockers are busted 
The 20 or so beta blockers now on the market are very widely used - almost 200 million prescriptions were written for them in the US in 2010. They are standard issue for most people with heart disease or high blood pressure. This may now change.
A large study published last month in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that beta blockers did not prolong the lives of patients - a revelation that must have left many cardiologists shaking their heads (JAMA, vol 308, p 1340).
The researchers followed almost 45,000 heart patients over three-and-a-half years and found that beta blockers did not reduce the risk of heart attacks, deaths from heart attacks, or stroke.
While this is not definitive, it's pretty damning, especially when another study - published just days earlier - found pretty much the same thing (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol 60, p 1854).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Have a Good Weekend!

Hundreds of pot cases dismissed
King and Pierce County prosecutors are dismissing more than 220 misdemeanor marijuana cases in response to Tuesday’s vote to decriminalize small amounts of pot.
In King County, 175 cases are being dismissed involving people 21 and older and possession of one ounce or less. I-502 makes one ounce of marijuana legal on Dec. 6, but King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg decided to apply I-502 retroactively.
“Although the effective date of I-502 is not until December 6, there is no point in continuing to seek criminal penalties for conduct that will be legal next month.”
What a week that was.

Mary Todd Lincoln suffered from Narcolepsy

It's all there.
Sleep problems- nightmares and vivid dreams, hallucinations
Mood problems-  major depression, obsession, tantrums
Endocrine problems- short, obese.
Obvious dental symptoms.
Surely one of us.

The Circle of Insanity

Whiner of the Year.  

Anders Behring Breivik's prison conditions 'inhumane'
Anders Behring Breivik complained in a letter to the prison service that his coffee is served cold, he does not have enough butter for his bread, and he is not allowed moisturiser.
Breivik is serving a minimum 21-year sentence for the bombings and shootings in Oslo and Utoeya island last July.
The Norwegian authorities have not commented on the letter.
However his lawyer has confirmed that the details of the 27-page document leaked to Norway's VG newspaper are authentic.
Behold the power of dopamine.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gluten Free Giving

Doughnuts Pay for Man's Prosthetic Legs

His web page is here.

Correlation Games

Earlobe creases linked to heart attacks, and other questionable study findings
I have seen that article everywhere, and she does a good job of debunking it.

But I would like to point out that all of these things are symptoms of infections known to cause heart disease.   The AHA knows that heart disease is caused by periodontal infection and is doing everything in their power to obfuscate and divert attention away from that simple information their Pharma Industry Donors don't want you to know.

This is a dubious study and yet there is a reason they are publicizing it at their conference.
It is sufficiently vague to get a lot of people in to see a doctor and get some "testing".

Brain Eating Zombie of the Day

Leonard Martin

Gargling Sugar Water Boosts Self-Control, Study Finds
According to a study co-authored by University of Georgia professor of psychology Leonard Martin ... a mouth rinse with glucose improves self-control.
...Half of the students rinsed their mouths with lemonade sweetened with sugar while performing the Stroop test, the other half with Splenda-sweetened lemonade. Students who rinsed with sugar, rather than artificial sweetener, were significantly faster at responding to the color rather than the word.
..."Researchers used to think you had to drink the glucose and get it into your body to give you the energy to (have) self control," Martin said. "After this trial, it seems that glucose stimulates the simple carbohydrate sensors on the tongue. This, in turn, signals the motivational centers of the brain where our self-related goals are represented. These signals tell your body to pay attention."
Holy Crap.
This nonsense is going to be picked up on every news outlet on the planet.
There is nothing sugar addicts would rather hear.

Sugar sweetened lemonade.   The perfect bacterial trigger.
This experiment is measuring strep induced immune response, not glucose sensing.

And I especially like they way he warps "attention" into ''self-control".   They are not the same thing.
Trust me, I have no self control when my attention (read: obsession) gets too high.    

If he did his experiment using kids from Georgia-  he needs to do it again.
And remove all the students with gum disease.
I wonder if there will be enough left to test...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

But of Course

Health-Care Law Spurs a Shift to Part-Time Workers 
Several restaurants, hotels and retailers have started or are preparing to limit schedules of hourly workers to below 30 hours a week. That is the threshold at which large employers in 2014 would have to offer workers a minimum level of insurance or pay a penalty starting at $2,000 for each worker. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Old Song of the Day

It's a good day for the forces of sanity.

Quote of the Day

“I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought I was doing the right thing.”
-Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

Bad Habits

Unholy Obsession.
Gambling-addicted NY nun stole $128,000
A nun with a gambling addiction was accused of stealing $128,000 from two rural parishes where she worked.
Sister Mary Anne Rapp was treated for a gambling addiction and is in recovery, her order said Monday, but she still faces a criminal charge of grand larceny following the thefts from the St. Mary and St. Mark congregations. She was expected to plead not guilty at an initial appearance in Kendall Town Court on Monday evening.
...Wyss said the order does not condone the conduct but continues to pray for Sister Mary Anne as she deals with her addiction.
As I said before, impulse control problems permeate every segment of society.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Go Figure

GAO: Doctors' 'self-referrals' cost Medicare more than $100M
In 2010, doctors who self-referred made 400,000 more referrals than they would have if they didn't have a financial interest in ordering more tests, GAO said. The added referrals cost Medicare roughly $109 million. GAO examined doctors' referrals for MRIs and CT scans over a six-year period. The number of self-referrals for MRIs grew by 80 percent in that time, while non-self referrals grew by only 12 percent, GAO found.
Unnecessary referrals for some tests can be harmful to patients, not just the Medicare program. Tests that use radiation — including CT scans — can increase the risk of cancer.

Sorry State of the Union

Increase Seen in U.S. Suicide Rate Since Recession
The rate of suicide in the United States rose sharply during the first few years since the start of the recession, a new analysis has found.
In the report, which appeared Sunday on the Web site of The Lancet, a medical journal, researchers found that the rate between 2008 and 2010 increased four times faster than it did in the eight years before the recession.
They correlate it to unemployment.
Which I link to less protein and less dental care.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Money for Nothing

MS drug 'rebranded' – at up to 20 times the price
A pharmaceutical company stands accused of putting profit before patients after withdrawing a drug used in the treatment of a chronic debilitating disease – ahead of relaunching it at a price predicted to be up to 20 times higher.
That's some pretty expensive lipstick on that old pig.

Reminds me of why I hate pharmas-  The CFO of my company came and gave a budget talk.   He said we were dumping millions of dollars every year into finding a treatment for Septicemia-  a deadly infection you usually get in a hospital-  because if we did find one-   "We will be able to charge anything we want for it".   He actually said that out loud in front of a lot of people.  He suggested TWENTY THOUSAND dollars per dose.   To survive an infection the doctor gave you...

Your money or your life.   That's their business model.

(for the record, I ran to the bathroom and cried and vomited.  And promptly went on a three week sabbatical.  And then I gave my notice.)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Crimes of Passion

Wasn't me, I swear.

Woman pleads guilty to breaking in, cleaning home
A woman accused of breaking into a home west of Cleveland, cleaning it and leaving a bill for $75 has pleaded guilty to attempted burglary.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Microbial Whak-a-Mole

How and Why Herpes Viruses Reactivate to Cause Disease
In the report, scientists show how the immune system may lose its control over the virus when facing new microbial threats, such as when it must fend off other viral invaders or bacteria.
...To make this discovery, researchers studied mice with latent herpes family cytomegalovirus (CMV) during severe bacterial infections. They found that T-cells responsible for CMV control were reduced significantly during a new infection with bacteria. This, in effect, reduced the "brakes" which kept the virus under control, allowing the virus to reactivate and cause disease. When the immune system eventually sensed the reactivation, the memory T-cell levels returned to normal, effectively restoring the body's control over the virus.

Story of my life.

Totally off-topic

But I love this article.

UW students' 3-D printer to turn trash into better lives in Third World
A team of University of Washington students has developed a machine that can "print" large plastic objects out of garbage.
Making a better world, one obsession at a time...