Thursday, February 28, 2013

Well how about that

Study Raises Questions About Dietary Fats and Heart Disease Guidance
Dietary advice about fats and the risk of heart disease is called into question on today as a clinical trial shows that replacing saturated animal fats with omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable fats is linked to an increased risk of death among patients with heart disease.
Advice to substitute vegetable oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for animal fats rich in saturated fats to help reduce the risk of heart disease has been a cornerstone of dietary guidelines for the past half century.
UK dietary recommendations are cautious about high intakes of omega 6 PUFAs, but some other health authorities, including the American Heart Association, have recently repeated advice to maintain, and even to increase, intake of omega 6 PUFAs.
The  American Heart Association-  creating patients for cardiologists and pharmas for fifty years.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Brain Eating Zombies of the Day

Concert Pharma, Jazz Pharma Strike $120M Deal for Narcolepsy
The deal calls for the two companies to work together on a modified version of sodium oxybate (Xyrem) for narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that leads to excessive daytime sleepiness. Under the deal, Jazz will get the worldwide commercial rights to Concert’s compounds that swap in deuterium elements into sodium oxybate, including one dubbed C-10323
Although the Concert drug hasn’t yet entered clinical trials, Jazz is hoping it will provide a long line extension for its franchise drug sodium oxybate, which was first FDA approved in 2002. The drug is cleared for narcolepsy to reduce excess daytime sleepiness and reduce cataplexy (weak or paralyzed muscles) attacks. Sales have been booming recently, up more than 60 percent, to $102.6 million in the most recent quarter ended Sept. 30. The first patents on the drug begin to expire in 2019 and 2020, according to the FDA Orange Book.
That's what I call thinking ahead.  They are paying 120 million dollars to modify one hydrogen atom so they can get a new patent and keep charging you an arm and a leg for a drug you don't even need.  They have no intention of ever distributing a generic version.

Is this the type of spending on narcolepsy research you were hoping for?
Frankly, I think it's outrageous and unconscionable.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You Don't Say

Missed diagnoses common in the doctor's office
"We have every reason to believe that diagnostic errors are a major, major public health problem," Newman-Toker told Reuters Health.
"You're really talking about at least 150,000 people per year, deaths or disabilities that are resulting from this problem."

After it is approved

Is when they find out how it really works.

Risk of pancreatitis doubles for those taking new class of diabetes drugs
In an article published online in JAMA Internal Medicine, the scientists say the new drugs—glucagon-like peptide-1-based therapies (GLP-1)—are associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for acute pancreatitis. The agents sitagliptin and exenatide—generic names for the drugs sold under the brand names Januvia and Byetta—appear to contribute to the formation of lesions in the pancreas and the proliferation of ducts in the organ, resulting in wellsprings of inflammation.

Physicians and regulators have been aware that pancreatitis could be a side effect of GLP-1 therapies, a risk that emerged in animal studies and reports to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But the Johns Hopkins investigators say their study is the first to accurately measure the strength of this risk in analyses that accounted for other pancreatitis risk factors, such as gallstones, obesity and heavy alcohol use.

"These agents are used by millions of Americans with diabetes. These new diabetes drugs are very effective in lowering blood glucose. However, important safety findings may not have been fully explored and some side effects such as acute pancreatitis don't appear until widespread use after approval," says study leader Sonal Singh, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Nobody could have predicted...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Busy Today

Have an article

Who Has the Guts for Gluten?
Various current ideas on genetic and environmental triggers for celiac disease.   

Totally Off-Topic

Danger Jim rocks Seattle

You're so jealous.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

See the Pattern

How psychology can beat obesity
Such a waste of time, energy, money, brain cells and carbs...

The opposite of health care.

My Hero

Ellie Phillips DDS on BBC podcast

Not a direct link- it's the February 20th episode on Flossing.
She's in the first segment.
" I have never flossed a day in my life."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Things that confuse me

Babies who nap in sub-zero temperatures

An Offhand Hypothesis

I predict the next "clinically recognized addiction" will be Crest Whitening Strips.
Peroxide addicts.   Abrading their teeth and gums and getting high off the immune response.

I see more and more people with overbleached teeth.   I think it's a new thing.

The Root of the Problem

Is that psychs cannot stop themselves from naming and defining everything.

'I'm a monster': Veterans 'alone' in their guilt
With American troops at war for more than a decade, there's been an unprecedented number of studies into war zone psychology and an evolving understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder. Clinicians suspect some troops are suffering from what they call "moral injuries" — wounds from having done something, or failed to stop something, that violates their moral code.
Though there may be some overlap in symptoms, moral injuries aren't what most people think of as PTSD, the nightmares and flashbacks of terrifying, life-threatening combat events. A moral injury tortures the conscience; symptoms include deep shame, guilt and rage. It's not a medical problem, and it's unclear how to treat it, says retired Col. Elspeth Ritchie, former psychiatry consultant to the Army surgeon general.
What do you mean this isn't a medical problem?
This is OBSESSION.   Ruminating on anything is a sign of OCD. 
Why must you sub-sub-sub-classify it as "Moral Injury"?
Because you really truly believe the pathology is triggered by the they can't be sick if they haven't been "traumatized".

This is an illness.  The object of the obsession is irrelevant.  
When the illness flares up you become obsessed with whatever you are doing.

Video games.  Boyfriends. Girlfriends. Work. Shopping.  Zombies.  My neighbor Joan is clearly obsessed with gardening...

It's the disproportionate feeling of importance and the inability to stop that's pathological.
And there are already a few "medical problems" known to cause that.

The reason people are sick is because ever since Freud- psychs have been allowed to pull "inner conflict" nonsense like this out of their ass and be taken seriously.

Around We Go

Diet drinks may not fuel your appetite
According to the new report, water and diet beverage drinkers reduced their average daily calories relative to the start of the study, from between 2,000 and 2,300 calories to 1,500 to 1,800 calories. At both time points, people in the two groups were eating a similar amount of total calories, carbohydrates, fat and sugar, the research team reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Six months in, the only differences were that members of the water group ate more fruit and vegetables and people randomized to diet beverages ate fewer desserts, compared to their diet habits at the study's onset. "That's sort of the opposite of what you would expect if consumption of diet soda increased the preference for sweets," Malik, who wasn't involved in the new study, told Reuters Health.
I find it interesting that the water drinkers upped their portions of fruit.   Acid and fructose- it's pretty much equivalent to soda.

This seems to be a truism:  People with a psychoactive immune response will instinctively figure out a way to trigger it.

The Guinea Pig Generation

Doctors question routine tests and treatments
Now there are 135.
That's how many medical tests, treatments and other procedures - many used for decades- physicians have now identified as almost always unnecessary and often harmful, and which doctors and patients should therefore avoid or at least seriously question.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Things I think about sometimes

Dietary Indoctrination

My husband makes no insulin, I make way too much.

I'm shocked, I tell you

Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery
The study, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Surgery, tracked the expenses of nearly 30,000 Americans who got one of two forms of bariatric surgery, and compared their long-term health costs with those of similar patients who were obese but did not go under the knife to lose weight. Even when the initial $20,000-$25,000 cost of the procedure was taken out of the equation, the ongoing expenses for the patients who had surgery were roughly the same as for those who did not.
Not to mention, 20% of them get worse.

This is the biggest scam in medicine.  Surgically removing patient's bank accounts.  Doctors are going to be fixing up the damage done to those people for the rest of their lives.

Make it So

Can Leprosy Finally Be Eradicated?
A new test and vaccine could stop a disease that has cursed humanity for millennia.

Yes, Please

Researchers Use Marine Microbe to Resolve Sinusitis
Newcastle University researchers used an enzyme from the marine bacterium Bacillus licheniformis to develop a nasal spray they say can clear sinusitis, according to ScienceDaily. They indicated in the journal PLOS ONE that they located the bacteria on the surface of seaweed. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Just a small quibble

Using mouthrinse reduces plaque and gingivitis more than toothbrushing alone
New research published in the January/February 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), indicates that the use of a germ-killing mouthrinse in addition to regular toothbrushing can significantly reduce plaque and gingivitis, more so than brushing alone.
It's 2013, people.  The microbial nature of plaque was discovered in 1683, and the major species were documented by 1890.

I recommend Biotene mouth rinse, it contains the natural antibacterial sugar Xylitol, and is milder than the others.   Healing is the goal, not eradication.

Brain Eating Zombie of the Day

Dr. Hilarious.

Angelos Halaris, MD, PhD

New Evidence for Link Between Depression and Heart Disease
A Loyola University Medical Center psychiatrist is proposing a new subspecialty to diagnose and treat patients who suffer both depression and heart disease. He's calling it "Psychocardiology."
Yes, that sounds like a great idea.  You really should start a whole new discipline. Let us know when you've narrowed down your research to one of the most common and extensively documented human pathogens.  
Stress is the key to understanding the association between depression and heart disease. Stress can lead to depression, and depression, in turn, can become stressful. The body's immune system fights stress as it would fight a disease or infection.
Umm, No.  Stress is a symptom, not a cause.  This IS basic infectious disease.   Microbes cause heart disease and immune activity inhibits the nervous system, causing anxiety and depression.  (For the record- grandiose thinking is a symptom too.)
Try strep- not stress.
Besides, there already are a couple specialties that could cover this territory, but haven't.   Rheumatology.  (have some steroids.)  Periodontistry. (have some antibiotics.)

And while we're being grandiose-
If I were choosing a specialty for you in the Brave New World-  you would be a dental hygienist.

As I was saying

Decreased vitamin D levels linked to panic and depression
Having a sufficient vitamin D level of at least 75 nmol/L at the age of 45 was associated with a 43 percent lower adjusted risk of depression and a 67 percent lower risk of having panic disorder in comparison with subjects whose levels were less than 25 nmol/L.
previous post

Collateral Damage

Drug Overdose Deaths up for 11th Consecutive Year
In 2010, the CDC reported, there were 38,329 drug overdose deaths nationwide. Medicines, mostly prescription drugs, were involved in nearly 60 percent of overdose deaths that year, overshadowing deaths from illicit narcotics.

The fruits of a powerful pharmaceutical industry.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Righteous Refrigerators

Coming soon: the fridge that helps you diet
Researchers have tried many ways to alter other people's eating habits, from an electric stomach sensor to a helpful fridge.
They think we're idiots.

Sounds Familiar

Poor Stress Responses May Lead to Obesity in Children
The team provided the children with lunch, asked them to indicate their hunger level and then gave them free access to generous portions of 10 snack foods, along with a variety of toys and activities. The children were told they could play or eat while the researchers were out of the room.
"We found that older kids, ages 8 to 11, who exhibited greater cortisol release over the course of the procedure had significantly higher body-mass indices [BMI] and consumed significantly more calories in the absence of hunger than kids whose cortisol levels rose only slightly in response to the stressor," Francis said. "We also found that kids whose cortisol levels stayed high -- in other words, they had low recovery -- had the highest BMIs and consumed the greatest number of calories in the absence of hunger." 
They assume those kids have low self control.  Eat to pacify themselves.  "In the absence of hunger."

Sounds like postprandial hypoglycemia to me.

Let the Sunshine In

Is Your Doctor Getting Paid by Big Pharma?
If you’ve ever wondered if your doctor is one of those who’s received payments, meals, trips, speaker or travel fees, or research money from a large pharmaceutical or medical device company, you’ll be glad to hear it’s going to get much easier to find out:  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just released final rules for the so-called “The Sunshine Act,” part of the Affordable Care Act, which requires manufacturers of drugs, devices, biological products, and medical supplies who are reimbursed by Medicare — as many physicians, and perhaps even most, are — to report information to CMS each year on payments, ownership, investment interests, and any other items of value the companies give to doctors and teaching hospitals.  

Duh Science

Personality Plus: Researchers Find Link to Energy Rates
People with a more resilient personality profile are more likely to have greater energy levels.

Tired people are cranky.   Now you know.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The life I wanted

60 Minutes made me cry.

Africa Mercy: Hospital of hope  (12 min. video)
The world's largest civilian hospital ship travels the west African coast, restoring sight to thousands and bringing smiles to faces once disfigured by tumors.

Back in the Day

Ancient teeth bacteria show modern diet is rotting our teeth
Our mouth “basically exists in a permanent disease state,” says researcher.

I just ordered a book on disease in archeological remains.  I know arthritis flared up around the same time, want to see what else there is.

(ooh, reminds me of this.)(ooh, this too.)

Fun Fact of the Day

Fun with Classification.

In Hippocrates' humoral theory- disease was caused by an imbalance in the four bodily fluids:  blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile.

Excess "Yellow bile" was associated with fevers and sores and periodontitis.  and a surly, angry disposition.
Excess "Black bile" was associated with the spleen and digestive disorders.   and melancholy.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

And so it goes

Damn.  I didn't think she was going to make it.
Rest in Peace, dear woman.

Brain Porn

Scans reveal intricate brain wiring
Scientists are set to release the first batch of data from a project designed to create the first map of the human brain.
Cool video 3-D flythrough.  

You can explore it yourself too.  I still haven't downloaded the data, but there's a gallery of pics and other mindblowing stuff.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Things that make me laugh

Sugar Mist Makes Veggies More Palatable to Kids
In preliminary studies, preschoolers who were served lightly sweetened vegetables (sprayed with a mist of sugar) at lunchtime ate more of the healthy foods compared to those who were served unsweetened vegetables.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Science in Seattle

How high is too high? KIRO tests pot-smoking drivers to find out
In a test that’s never before been done in Washington, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News had volunteers smoke marijuana and then put them behind the wheel to show what stoned driving looks like and the danger on the road.
Very interesting results.   The medical marijuana patient had incredible tolerance.
Blueberry Trainwreck is mostly sativa though, less sedating than the indica used for anxiety.

And when it is bad

It is horrid.

Brain Eating Zombie of the Day

Dr. W. Vaughn McCall

Study of insomnia finds a new predictor for suicidal thoughts
"Insomnia and nightmares, which are often confused and go hand-in-hand, are known risk factors for suicide but just how they contribute was unknown," said Dr. W. Vaughn McCall, the study's lead author and chair of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Georgia Regents University.
"This study reaffirms that link and adds the element of hopelessness about sleep that is independent of other types of hopelessness, such as those regarding personal relationships and careers."It turns out insomnia can lead to a very specific type of hopelessness, and hopelessness by itself is a powerful predictor of suicide," McCall said. "It's fascinating because what it tells you is we have discovered a new predictor for suicidal thinking."
According to the authors, the study suggests that nightmares and dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep may present novel targets for suicide prevention. 

So you're saying after thousands of years of human misery you have identified a special kind of hopelessness.   Huh.
Oh wait- I see what's going on here-  you're trying to validate this protocol so you can identify manic patients desperate enough to qualify for your "new improved" Electroshock therapy.   

You have two different illnesses here.  One causes insomnia and obsession.
The other causes major depression.
They are called mania and melancholy and have been known for centuries to precede suicide.

Both can eventually lead to whatever neurotransmitter combination causes hopelessness and suicidal ideation. I'm guessing it's an unbalanced rostral anterior cingulate cortex-a brain region which processes errors.  The hallmark experience of despair is that of absolute certain failure- the futility of trying.

I know you guys think that is learned behavior, but it's not.   It's physiological.  It seems to go something like this-
If you have high dopamine you will be very motivated, so if your serotonin crashes you will be despondent.
On the other hand- if you have low serotonin you will be chronically unsatisfied, add dopamine and you will obsess on it.
Six of one, half-dozen of the other.

And as far as I can tell- targeting the dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes of "sleep psychiatrists" will prevent a hell of a lot more suicide.   I'm pretty sure I'd rather go crazy and kill myself than be treated by you.
He is Editor of the Journal of ECT, Past President of the Association for Convulsive Therapy, and a prior Director of the Board of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

related post

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Speaking of Love

Someone in Russia has read my entire blog lately, and someone in Slovenia is google-translating almost every page.  Impressive.  I hope it helps.

Thanks for stopping by.  I owe you guys some coffee.

Of Mice and Men

Septic Shock
Years of research into inflammatory disease, costing billions of dollars in research funding, has been wasted on the lowly mouse.
To assess the mouse as a model for inflammation, the authors performed all the procedures described above and analyzed the animals' white blood cells for changes in the activity of their genes. Then they did the same for human patients, by comparing blood-cell samples drawn from healthy people to those from people suffering from the analogous diseases (inflammation brought on by burns or trauma, or in some experimental conditions, by injection with the endotoxin). Finally, the scientists placed the mouse and human data side by side. How similar, in fact, were the genes involved in each species' inflammation? Which molecules or kinds of signaling inside a cell did these two systems share?
The answer: not many. The correlation between mice and people was close to zero. For any given human gene that kicked up its activity or battened down in response to inflammation, there was a 50-50 chance that a corresponding mouse gene would be moving in the same direction.
Yes, that explains a whole lot.

Will someone please redo this experiment with rats?   I thought it was very promising.

Low Carb Love

A Zombie Valentine

tee hee-  I went to Safeway and they had these.  
didn't have my camera, but the internet had a pic.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ba ha ha ha ha

Canada will never be a safe haven for zombies
In a bizarre exchange in a place known for bizarre exchanges, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told the House of Commons Wednesday that “Canada will never be a safe haven for zombies.”
“I want to assure this member and all Canadians that I am dead-icated to ensuring that this never happens,” Baird said.
Baird was responding to a question from NDP MP Pat Martin ... who asked if Canada is working with the U.S. to ensure that its citizens don’t suffer from a case of the zombie apocalypse.
Takes one to know one.

More is Not Better

New study of elderly with kidney tumors
In a stunning example of when treatment might be worse than the disease, a large review of Medicare records finds that older people with small kidney tumors were much less likely to die over the next five years if doctors monitored them instead of operating right away. Even though nearly all of these tumors turned out to be cancer, they rarely proved fatal. And surgery roughly doubled patients' risk of developing heart problems or dying of other causes, doctors found.
When the only tool you're paid to use is a scalpel...

Fun Fact of the Day

Did you know-
Forensic crime analysis not only tests bite marks for human DNA, but can also compare the bacterial DNA left from the plaque on the teeth.

The Root of the Problem

Sorry, I missed this somehow.

Report Faults Food Group’s Sponsor Ties
A new report by a public health advocate criticizes the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a trade group presenting some 74,000 dietitians, for allowing corporate sponsorships of its organization.
The report, by Michele Simon, a lawyer who specializes in legal issues involving the food industry, raises questions about the role big food companies play in the continuing education of the nation’s nutrition experts and the ability of the group to challenge the industry on matters of health and nutrition.
Among her findings were
-The number of food companies and trade groups that are paid sponsors of the academy more than tripled between 2001 and 2011 — to 38, from 10 — and that roughly 23 percent of about 300 speakers at its annual meeting had undisclosed financial ties to the food industry.
-Registered dietitians can earn continuing education units from Coca-Cola, in which they learn that sugar is not a problem for children.
Sadly, this is amusing-
Margo Wootan, an academy member who is director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said leadership and other changes the organization had made had helped curb the influence of companies. “Ten years ago, the academy was really very closely tied to the food and beverage industry,” Ms. Wootan said. “But they really have cleaned up their act.” 

Foxes.  Henhouses.   Whaddya gonna do?
More fruits and grains for everyone!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

See the Pattern

Mother's 10-litre-a-day Coca-Cola habit helped kill her: coroner
Invercargill mother Natasha Marie Harris died of cardiac arrhythmia caused by poor nutrition and the effects of caffeine, Southland Coroner David Crerar said.
 Yes, that sounds good.  But  here's a fact that may be more relevant-
...Vivienne Hodgkinson told the inquest all Ms Harris' teeth were rotten and had been pulled out. Some of her children were born without enamel on their teeth.


Montana TV station broadcasts zombie alert

See the Insanity

ADHD Symptoms Persist for Most Young Children Despite Treatment
Nine out of 10 young children with moderate to severe attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continue to experience serious, often severe symptoms and impairment long after their original diagnoses and, in many cases, despite treatment.
Children with ADHD, ages 3 to 5, were enrolled in the study, treated for several months, after which they were referred to community pediatricians for ongoing care. Over the next six years, the researchers used detailed reports from parents and teachers to track the children's behavior, school performance and the frequency and severity of three of ADHD's hallmark symptoms -- inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The children also had full diagnostic workups by the study's clinicians at the beginning, halfway through and at the end of the research.
Symptom severity scores did not differ significantly between the more than two-thirds of children on medication and those off medication, the study showed. Specifically, 62 percent of children taking anti-ADHD drugs had clinically significant hyperactivity and impulsivity, compared with 58 percent of those not taking medicines. And 65 percent of children on medication had clinically significant inattention, compared with 62 percent of their medication-free counterparts.
Clearly those kids aren't getting enough medication. Give them some more...

And while I'm at it-
No Long-term Benefit of Trauma Treatments in Kids
In fact, an evidence review of 22 studies assessing traumatic stress disorders in children and adolescents showed that no type of psychotherapeutic intervention used provided significant long-term benefits.
"The most important conclusion derived from this rigorous review is: when it comes to empirical evidence to prevent or treat symptoms from traumatic events, we don't know much of anything," writes M. Denise Dowd, MD, from the Division of Emergency and Urgent Care at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri, in an accompanying editorial.
Their shit doesn't work because it's not addressing the cause.   It's that freakin simple.
Good grief, what are all those useless people going to do with themselves when we all get better?

Monday, February 11, 2013

This is Why

Another Great Photo

She may have even been one of us.  I'm just guessing though.

Well how about that

Canker sore drug helps mice lose weight without diet, exercise
In the study at the University of Michigan, researchers gave mice a high-fat diet, and they became obese. They then injected the animals with a drug called amlexanox, which has been on the market for more than 15 years to treat canker sores. The mice lost weight, even though they kept eating the same number of calories. When they were taken off the drug, the mice gained all the weight back.
Well me oh my.   A drug that improves oral health reduces obesity.   I gotta look into this.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Zombie of the Day

Charlie Sheen Reaches Out to Accused Cop Killer Christopher Dorner

Dorner likely doesn't have wifi, but if anyone understands the effects of a chaotic mind, it's Charlie.

Have Mercy for all.
Fight the good fight.

My new favorite article

I live in Seattle.   I am surrounded by militant ecologists and vegetarians.  The fact that I have solar panels and no kids to offset my environmental sins does not seem to deter their derision.

Are plant-based diets environmentally friendly?
Growing fruit and vegetables doesn't produce as much greenhouse gas as raising cattle or livestock, the study confirms, but people who eat a primarily plant-based diet make up for that by eating more of those foods.
It's not just the caloric difference-  Eating Carbs Makes You Want To Eat More Carbs. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

H1N1 Flu Virus may cause Narcolepsy via Secondary Infection

One more time...

Flu shot ingredient eyed for narcolepsy link 
 "It's clear that H1N1 is a key ingredient. But it's also clear that if you didn't have the adjuvant you also didn't have this dramatically increased risk (of developing narcolepsy)," said Mignot, who is being funded by GSK to conduct further research into the links.  "So my opinion is that it was a combination of both in Pandemrix that made it very nasty for narcolepsy."

Yes, well he's right about the vaccine.  The flu virus is necessary to provide the right antigen- it seems this result does not occur with other vaccines for other pathogens. And the adjuvant was clearly a factor, because other H1N1 vaccines manufactured without it did not have this high incidence of onset of narcolepsy.  The Pandemrix adjuvant causes a stronger immune response, which implies the immune response is actually responsible for the post inoculation complications.
Recently it has been shown that Chinese individuals often have an extreme immune response to the flu virus. And there was a documented rise in post H1N1 narcolepsy cases in China that were caused by infection, not the vaccine, indicating the adjuvant isn't actually necessary for flu virus to promote narcolepsy onset.  This non-vaccine data suggests an autoimmune reaction to the flu virus may be the trigger for narcolepsy onset.

I propose an alternate explanation for these events:  The immune reaction to the flu virus indirectly causes Narcolepsy by decreasing bacterial immunity and facilitating the development of a Streptococcal infection.  Post-streptococcal autoimmune disorders commonly cause neurological symptoms, and strep is already associated with the onset of narcolepsy.  Encephalitis Lethargica was a post 1918 flu complication with symptoms similar to narcolepsy, and has also been associated with strep infection.

The increased incidence of streptococcal infections after flu exposure is extensively documented.  It seems plausible that an extreme immune response to the flu virus facilitated more virulent bacterial activity, which then triggered the streptococcal autoimmune response causing narcolepsy in susceptible individuals.
An increase in bacterial infections after the H1N1 epidemic was predicted before it happened and confirmed after it did. 

The increased lethality of H1N1 has been shown to be due to more aggressive Streptococcus pneumonia coinfection.

Various oropharyngeal streptococcal infections were reported after H1N1 infection and were characterized by marked increases in invasive S. aureus and S. pyogenes infections among children and adults. Children with allergies seem to have a more extreme reactions to the virus too.     This may even be caused by an interaction with an antibody receptor.   (I personally got an acute oropharyngeal infection after having the US version of the vaccine.)

This additional data indicates that the mechanism for the onset of narcolepsy is more complicated than a flu infection.  Autoimmune and secondary infections must also be considered.  If narcolepsy is caused by an immune response instead of the pathogens themselves- then vaccination probably infers a greater risk of developing narcolepsy, and the proper protocol for immunization of susceptible individuals should be determined for the flu as well as pneumococcal vaccines.

Totally Off-Topic

I don't know if you have ever watched soap operas, but I enjoy them.  It's like sports to me- keeping track of all the characters and calculating the most dramatic possible scenario.

I've been tuning in The ABC soaps off and on since 1977.  Since TV is really barren and boring lately,  I started recording and watching it again after years away.  Anyhow, All My Children and One Life to Live went off the air (they are living on the web now) and only General Hospital is left.  But GH has poached a whole bunch of actors from the other two.  Which is fun because over the years almost all the casts have been on all the other shows as other characters. 

Anyhow, lately it's like a family reunion on hallucinogens. They are going all-in.  MetaCamp.  There are people coming back from the dead almost every day, evil twins dating other evil twins, and grown-up baby mixups from the past are now pregnant with the embryo swaps of the future.  Ooh look, Laura's coming back from "Switzerland" too.   It's a melodrama mobius strip.   And a constant cosmetic surgery memory game.  Who is that, what character are they now, and which facial feature is altered...

It's cracking me up.  Maybe not Cuna de Lobos legendary, but the most entertaining trash I've seen on TV in a long time. It's a great development in the genre.   I approve heartily.

Heather Webber, Lucy Coe and Todd Manning in the asylum together.  Pointing and calling eachother crazy.  Glorious.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Diet Trivia

Diets through history: The good, the bad and the scary
1970:The Sleeping Beauty Diet, which involves sedation, is rumored to have been tried by Elvis.

1992: Dr. Robert C. Atkins publishes "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution," a high-protein, low-carb plan.
umm no.  His first book Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution was published in 1972.
And Oprah lost all that weight on a liquid Protein diet.  No carbs.

I have been wondering

Development of gingival recession in orthodontically treated patients
Introduction- Our aim was to assess the prevalence of gingival recessions in patients before, immediately after, and 2 and 5 years after orthodontic treatment.

Results- There was a continuous increase in gingival recessions after treatment from 7% at end of treatment to 20% at 2 years posttreatment and to 38% at 5 years posttreatment.

Conclusions- The prevalence of gingival recessions steadily increases after orthodontic treatment. The recessions are more prevalent in older than in younger patients. No variable, except for age at the end of treatment, seems to be associated with the development of gingival recessions.

When it is good

Lindsey Vonn’s horrific crash stems from a fearlessness that makes her unique
What is the psychology that allows Vonn to keep crashing so hard and getting back up?
It's not psychology, it's physiology.  It's a psychoactive immune response.  Every time she gets hurt- she gets a dopamine reward from her brainstem.   More injury=More immune response.  Surgery and rehab will do the same thing.

It's all fun and games now, but at this rate it will surely kill her.

Update- yeah Tiger Woods seems like the perfect companion.   No impulse control problems there...

Science You Can Use

Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause an Insulin Spike?

Very good info on all of them.   Thanks Mark! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quote of the Day

There is no doubt that with sufficient destruction of the cerebral tissue one can 'cure' any psychosis by replacing it with dementia... It is obvious that such a patient is more manageable and easier to nurse than one who is violent, shouting, and restlessly psychotic.
-Clifford Allen
An Examination of Physical Methods of Treatment in Mental Disease 1946

You Don't Say

Diet sodas may hike diabetes risk
The authors also pointed out that obese people were more likely than thin ones to drink artificially sweetened drinks in the first place.

Strike that, Reverse it

Being Overweight Linked to Higher Risk of Gum Disease
"We know that being overweight can affect many aspects of a person's health," says Charlene Krejci, DDS, MSD, lead author of the article. "Now researchers suspect a link exists between obesity and gum disease. Obese individuals' bodies relentlessly produce cytokines, proteins with inflammatory properties. These cytokines may directly injure the gum tissues or reduce blood flow to the gum tissues, thus promoting the development of gum disease."
That would be the best result for dentists, but it's not so.   You people know what causes periodontitis, and have since 1890. And you know those microbes trigger cytokines.   And post-streptococcal weight gain has already been documented.
Good effort, though.

Brain Eating Zombies of the Day

Smoking, Once Used to Reward, Faces a Ban in Mental Hospitals

Let me state this very clearly:  Yes we would rather die of cancer and put up with your systematic indignities than live without nicotine.  Maybe you should figure out why.  Maybe because it works.  You probably don't understand that concept, since none of your drugs do.
And until you find something better,  you fking useless hacks-   FK OFF.

You should be prescribing and providing e-cigs for those people, actually reducing harm, not amping up their misery to satisfy your fking theoretical fantasies about improving their quality of life.
It makes you feel better.  Not them. 

Once again- fk you very much.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Oh my Heavens

Even acutely intoxicated people know this.

Heavy Drinking Raises Risk of Divorce

Even children know that.
Even the first civilizations knew that.

Future study:  Heavy drinking raises incidence of stating the obvious.

See the Pathology

House of sleep: the world's most narcoleptic family - video
More than a dozen members of the Lopez family in Seville are narcolepsy sufferers - and they could hold the genetic clue to its cure. Here, Josefina Mas-Bartoli and her son David talk about the family's sleepy tradition.
...and bread.  Go figure.


"Fearless" Patients Terrified By Panic Experiment
A new study describes how "fearless" patients with damage to the brain's amygdala or "fear centre" experienced terrifying panic in a suffocation experiment, suggesting other brain circuits that do not involve the amygdala can also produce a fear response in reaction to potential threats.
Previous studies clearly show that the amygdala plays an important role in processing external events, threats from the environment, and in the social aspect of emotion, such as recognizing the facial expressions of others. But Feinstein and colleagues propose their findings reveal the amydgala may not be the only circuit for the fear response, or for all fear responses. There may be another circuit for processing events that arise within the body, they say.
 I believe this.   I think the panic caused by low blood sugar is different than from external events too.  I think it may make us hypersensitive to environmental stimuli.

Gluten in the NYTimes

Gluten-Free, Whether You Need It or Not
Now medical experts largely agree that there is a condition related to gluten other than celiac. In 2011 a panel of celiac experts convened in Oslo and settled on a medical term for this malady: non-celiac gluten sensitivity. What they still do not know: how many people have gluten sensitivity, what its long-term effects are, or even how to reliably identify it. Indeed, they do not really know what the illness is. The definition is less a diagnosis than a description — someone who does not have celiac, but whose health improves on a gluten-free diet and worsens again if gluten is eaten. It could even be more than one illness.
“We have absolutely no clue at this point,” said Dr. Stefano Guandalini, medical director of the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center. 
and then there's this-
Experts have been skeptical. It does not make obvious sense, for example, that someone would lose weight on a gluten-free diet. In fact, the opposite often happens for celiac patients as their malfunctioning intestines recover.
Yes, well hyperinsulinemia seems to be an obvious fat producing mechanism that obesity doctors just have never been able to wrap their heads around.
Funny though, a whole lot of gluten sensitive people can...  makes perfect sense to us.

Correlation Games

Shame about past alcoholism predicts relapse and declining health in recovering alcoholics
"Our research suggests that shaming people for difficult-to-curb behaviors may be exactly the wrong approach to take," Tracy and Randles argue. "Rather than prevent future occurrences of such behaviors, shaming may lead to an increase in these behaviors."
My turn:  You're measuring an indirect correlation between effects. People with messed up amygdalas have hypersensitivity to error and impulsive behavior. Accumulating pathology in alcoholics causes both increased feelings of shame and likelihood to relapse.  Yes shaming is unproductive , but trust me, the sense of failure is physiological- spontaneous and insistent even if there is nobody there to criticize.

See rule #1 below.

Monday, February 4, 2013

You Don't Say

Poor Mental Health Leads to Unhealthy Behaviors Among Low-Income Adults
Poor mental health leads to unhealthy behaviors in low-income adults - not the other way around, according to a new study by Dr. Jennifer Walsh at The Miriam Hospital in the US. In this study, stress and anxiety predicted subsequent health-compromising behaviors, such as smoking, binge drinking, illegal drug use, unprotected sex and unhealthy diets. One possible explanation for these findings is that health compromising behaviors may be used as coping mechanisms to manage the effects of stress and anxiety.
Well, I think risky sex is a symptom of mania rather than self-medicating behavior like the others, but this is promising.

Rule #1    The pathology Always, Always, Always comes first.

Things that make me twitch

Gum Disease Found to Worsen Infection in Animal Model of AIDS
Texas Biomed scientists in San Antonio have found that moderate gum disease in an animal model exposed to an AIDS- like virus had more viral variants causing infection and greater inflammation. Both of these features have potential negative implications in long term disease progression, including other kinds of infections, the researchers say in a new report.
Told ya.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fun Fact for the Day

I am researching medical history right now.  Mostly it's annoying, but the last book had tons of fantastic info.

Everyone knows about leeches and bloodletting, but all the paintings show opening an arm vein and leeches on the neck or face maybe.
Did you know that bleeding and leeches were one of the most common and respected treatments for periodontal disease?  Dentists throughout history would cut and bleed and cauterize the gums when they were infected. But the procedure that was considered more effective was leeches. Carefully placed on the abscess in your mouth. It would take minutes to insure attachment so it didn't slip and get swallowed  And they had to stay there a while.  

You're welcome.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Inside Information

Clever, clever boys.

Brothers Develop New Device to Halt Allergy Attacks
The product, called the Auvi-Q, boldly challenges the superiority of the EpiPen at a time when food allergies among children and teenagers are on the rise. Sanofi and the Edwards brothers clearly hope it will appeal to a gadget-hungry generation with its compact, rectangular design and automated voice instructions that guide a user through the injection process. Both the Auvi-Q and EpiPen contain the drug epinephrine, which can halt a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis. 
 Making a better world one obsession at a time.

Their vision of your future

If You Are Impulsive, Take Modafinil and Count to Ten
Although modafinil is formally approved solely for the treatment of several sleep disorders, it has been shown to enhance cognition. Such beneficial effects have been observed in healthy individuals and in patients with schizophrenia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. It has also been shown to reduce impulsivity in some individuals with addictions, but these effects had not yet been studied in non-stimulant addictions like alcohol dependence.

"This line of research adopts a strategy from the attention deficit disorder 'playbook'. Modafinil has effects that resemble amphetamine. This interesting new study suggests that, if you are impulsive, modafinil may help your self-control."
Yes, frontal cortex activity is very helpful in decision making.   And I'm sure you want in on that ADHD revenue stream.
But that drug doesn't address the underlying pathology.
Or really change the underlying behavior much. Unlike modafinil, nicotine actually does activate the frontal cortex in a few seconds.
New medications might target the uncontrollable urges to consume drugs of abuse.
My experience shows these new drugs do pretty much the same thing as the old drugs, and are just as addictive, only doctors just don't call it destructive and get a cut of the action.

Stop drinking-  take stimulants
Stop smoking- take antidepressants
I'm sure you'll feel much better.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Battle Within

Most U.S. Soldiers May Suffer From Sleep Problems
They looked at 725 active-duty members of the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy, and found that 85 percent of them had a sleep disorder. The most common was obstructive sleep apnea (51 percent), followed by insomnia (25 percent).
The participants slept an average of only about 5.7 hours per night, and 42 percent of them reported sleeping five hours or less per night. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night to feel alert and well-rested the next day, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
The researchers also found that about 58 percent of the participants had one or more medical conditions. Of service-related illnesses, the most common were depression (23 percent), anxiety (17 percent), post-traumatic stress disorder (13 percent) and mild traumatic brain injury (13 percent).
OSA and insomnia and hypervigilance.   Hmmmm.   I wonder what that could be.

Oh Mercy, I just saw this.
VA study: 22 vets commit suicide every day

More Misery

Always seems to be a viable "treatment" option.

Alcohol vaccine for immediate hangover to be tested in India
If a candidate  who is vaccinated tries to drink alcohol  will immediately experience severe nausea, accelerated heartbeat, and general discomfort. Once the vaccine has been administered it cannot be reversed, the report said.
The vaccine would work for six months to one year through RNA, which can control gene expression. The so-called anti-aldh2 antisense RNA acts as a messenger to tell the liver not to express genes that metabolise alcohol.
A metabolic shock-collar.  Subtle.
Nevermind that this doesn't actually address the physiological cause of your problem- and adds another one- you need some incentive,  loser.