Friday, May 31, 2013

The American Dream

In the battle between sanity and insanity-  crazy is kicking ass. 

Hands Free Whopper Holder    (Here's the video, none of the embedded links worked.)

Damn, that's effin brilliant.

hypothetical update-  I think if I put a cinnabon in there I could eat and sleep at the same time...

As I was saying

Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation May Aid in PTSD
In the 8-week open-label outpatient trial, 12 adults with severe and long-standing PTSD and depression showed a significant reduction in the anxiety symptoms of PTSD, as measured by the PTSD Patient Checklist, as well as symptoms of depression, as measured by the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology.
"We think that it works by sending signals in through the trigeminal nerve into the brain stem," lead author Ian A. Cook, MD.

Yes, well you're wrong.
Those people's trigeminal nerves are infected and causing their symptomsSomehow your treatment has ameliorated that problem.
You have tripped over the answer and still can't see it.
Please refer to my previous post for a clue.

Billions and Billions

Billions Worldwide Suffer from Major Tooth Decay
The report shows that oral conditions affect as many as 3.9bn people worldwide -- over half the total population. Untreated tooth decay or cavities in permanent teeth -- also known as dental caries -- was the most common of all 291 major diseases and injuries assessed by the GBD 2010 study, affecting 35 per cent of the world population.
The study found that the global burden of oral conditions is shifting from severe tooth loss towards severe periodontitis and untreated caries. It found that the global burden of oral diseases increased 20 per cent between 1990 and 2010, while a reduction of 0.5 per cent was observed for all conditions together. This increase was mainly due to population growth and ageing.
Nothing will change until we address this.
It is the root of all the world's problems.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Modern Medicine

To stop MRSA's spread at hospitals, decontaminate all ICU patients
Infections acquired from health care facilities are a public health priority for U.S.  officials, given about one out of every 20 hospital patients will contract an infection they didn't come in with.

The decontamination method worked like this: For up to five days, 26,000 ICU patients got a nose swab twice a day with bacteria-fighting ointment, plus once-daily bathing with antiseptic wipes.
The researchers found washing everyone with antiseptic wipes and giving them antibiotic nose ointment made patients over 40 percent less likely to get a bloodstream infection of any type tan patients who had been screened and isolated for MRSA.
And Joseph Lister screams and twists in his grave.

Kitchen Table Corroboration

Changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function, study shows
The knowledge that signals are sent from the intestine to the brain and that they can be modulated by a dietary change is likely to lead to an expansion of research aimed at finding new strategies to prevent or treat digestive, mental and neurological disorders, said Dr. Emeran Mayer, the study's senior author. "There are studies showing that what we eat can alter the composition and products of the gut flora—in particular, that people with high-vegetable, fiber-based diets have a different composition of their microbiota, or gut environment, than people who eat the more typical Western diet that is high in fat and carbohydrates," Mayer said. "Now we know that this has an effect not only on the metabolism but also affects brain function.
By demonstrating the brain effects of probiotics, the study also raises the question of whether repeated courses of antibiotics can affect the brain, as some have speculated. Antibiotics are used extensively in neonatal intensive care units and in childhood respiratory tract infections, and such suppression of the normal microbiota may have longterm consequences on brain development.
Thanks so much.
One small quibble.   It took you 105 years.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Self Serving Science

The War on Sleep
On the battlefield of the future, there is no sleep but death. 

And they wonder why rates of mental illness are skyrocketing.
Support our troops indeed.

Rinse and Repeat

Soda and Illegal Drugs Cause Similar Damage to Teeth: Acids Erode Enamel
Tooth erosion occurs when acid wears away tooth enamel, which is the glossy, protective outside layer of the tooth. Without the protection of enamel, teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities, as well as becoming sensitive, cracked, and discolored.
The General Dentistry case study compared the damage in three individuals' mouths -- an admitted user of methamphetamine, a previous longtime user of cocaine, and an excessive diet soda drinker. Each participant admitted to having poor oral hygiene and not visiting a dentist on a regular basis. Researchers found the same type and severity of damage from tooth erosion in each participant's mouth.
This is why we all need fluoride.  It rebuilds your enamel.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

See the Pathology

I haven't watched kid TV since I was a kid, so I am not familiar with this young lady.   Nonetheless, she seems to be this spring's celebrity meltdown.

Amanda Bynes Shows Off Double Cheek Piercing On Day Out In NYC

Can you say Oropharygeal Immune Reaction?   I thought so.

Uh huh

Oregon teen arrested in bomb plot has rare form of OCD, mom says 

Actually it is probably one of the most common mental illnesses on the planet...
but let see where this case leads.

Monday, May 27, 2013


Visual test linked to high IQ
In the study, Tadin and colleagues performed two series of tests on 67 people with an average IQ score of 100 (the volunteers took one of two forms of the IQ test), which is normal. The volunteers watched a visual test where they were shown movies of circular grids, large and small, that appeared to move to the left or right. Test takers were asked how many frames of the movie they needed to see to detect the motion.
The effect was particularly linked to the verbal intelligence portion of the IQ test, which Tadin suggests is because that provides the most general measure of smarts over logic, memory and math parts of IQ. That is a sign, he says, that this tendency of high IQ folks to spot the important tree in a forest of irrelevant details is a key to what we call intelligence.
I find it interesting that he calls this the "suppression" trait.   He thinks it suppresses irrelevant data.
I believe that is wrong.  It seems to me much more like an "enhancement" trait.  First of all, we may not think "faster", but we don't stop thinking.  Our brains don't rest. Even when we are sleeping.  And secondly, we get more neurotransmitter reward for our success and more anxiety for our failure, so we focus harder on relevant items. I'm not sure if the "irrelevant" data is suppressed so much as superceded or just missed.

And he seems to assume an enhanced sense of error detection is a beneficial trait.
If only it were that simple, smarty pants.  This is a dose dependent function.  There is also such a thing as too much "enhancement"- hypersensitivity and intolerance to deviance.  Those people tend to be called bitches and assholes.
Just sayin.

But Yes, mania does seem to be a key ingredient in what wealthy western white males call intelligence.
Go figure.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Yes, I thought so

Flu vaccine also linked to narcolepsy in adults

It only makes sense.  Made me sick as all getout.

Precision Treadmill Team

I hadn't seen this version.   Get a smile on...

OK Go - Here It Goes Again
The Ok Go song 'Here it Goes Again' done for talent show at Granbury High School.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Zombie Best Friends

Starchy diet may have transformed wolves to dogs
Canine cousins differ in genes related to digestion
Tamed fox shows domestication's effects on the brain
In a different sort of analysis, Pipes discovered that all aggressive foxes carry one form of the GRM3 glutamate receptor gene, while a majority of the friendly foxes have a different variant of the gene. In people, genetic variants of GRM3 have been linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. Other genes involved in transmitting glutamate signals, which help regulate mood, had increased activity in tame foxes, Pipes said.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Circle of Insanity

Susan Powell Case Closed

I can't watch the video.
Oh the humanity.
Her kingdom for some antibiotics.

Rest in Peace, dear woman.  

Correlation Games

Chronic Heartburn May Raise Odds for Throat Cancer
People who suffer from frequent heartburn may be at increased risk for cancers of the throat and vocal cords even if they don't smoke or drink alcohol, a new study says.
Interestingly, common over-the-counter antacids seemed to protect against these cancers while prescription medications such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid didn't, the researchers said.
My explanation:
Heartburn destroys the tissue of the esophagus allowing microbes to infiltrate.  (much like smoking and drinking.)
Common oral microbes like Streptococcus anginosus and Helicobacter pylori are known to cause cancer.

And acid is something those bacteria need to metabolize sugar.
(so use sugar free antacid please)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I got nothin

Here, this is amusing-

Ethicists' Behavior Not More Moral
Approximately half of American ethicists believe that professional ethicists behave at least a little morally better than nonethicists, Schwitzgebel and Rust said. In 2009 the two began a series of experiments to determine if that is so.
One previous study found that philosophy books dealing with ethics were more likely to be missing from leading academic libraries than similar nonethics books in philosophy. Another found that ethicists and political science professors voted at the same rate as did nonethicist philosophers and professors in departments other than philosophy. Two other studies found that ethicists behaved no more courteously than nonethicists and were as likely to avoid paying registration fees as nonethicists at conferences of the American Philosophical Association.
Rigorous righteousness indeed.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Where Medical and Legal Theater Meet

Glitch in widely used polygraph can skew results
The LX4000 measures sweat in two ways. One method, known as the manual mode, directly measures the secretions from sweat glands, as scientists traditionally have done. The other, known as the automatic mode, electronically filters the measurements and is designed to smooth out the sometimes erratic graphic representations and make them easier to interpret.
David Reisinger, a veteran federal polygrapher, said he first witnessed a problem with the LX4000 in 2005, while discussing a test with a Lafayette employee by phone. When he switched between the two modes, he noticed a difference in the measurements.
Reisinger pressed the company to look into it because he saw it could change the outcome of a test depending on the setting. Polygraphers assign numbers to sweat measurements and add them up for a final score that’s supposed to show whether someone is lying. In a test where one point can make a difference, Reisinger documented up to a 16-point difference between the two modes.
He notified his supervisors, and Lafayette pledged to fix it. Years and dozens of examples later, the company still hadn’t, he said.
“What troubled me is that they couldn’t tell me which measurement was accurate,” he said.
Another fine classification scheme:  random results.

Read more here:

Just Do It

Vitamin D improves Crohn's Symptoms
“What we found, was in the participants who received the vitamin D supplements (of 2,000 International Units per day), their hand-grip strength was significantly stronger than those who took the placebo,” Raftery said. “We measured both the dominant and non-dominant hand grip strength at baseline. After three months, those who had received the vitamin D supplement had significantly stronger hand grip, in both hands, compared to those who were randomized to the placebo pill.”
Raftery said they also found the patients who had vitamin D levels of above 30 ng/ml had a significantly higher quality of life compared to those patients who had less than that and those patients taking the placebo.

“In terms of fatigue, what we found was that when the levels were 30ng/ml  or more, the patients reported significantly less physical fatigue, as well as mental and general fatigue,” Raftery said.
Okay, I think I'm going to need a new category for all this vitamin D data.    

Monday, May 20, 2013

An Offhand Hypothesis

What’s the Matter With Portland? 
For fifty years it has refused to fluoridate it's water.
The problem with Portland is it doesn't have fluoride in it's water.  And almost everyone is vitamin D deficient.   It's population is more prone to dental disease.   Autoimmune reactions to oropharyngeal diseases can cause obsessive thinking and paranoia in susceptible individuals.   Sometimes about health issues like environmental chemicals and water fluoridation.   Like those vocal people in Portland.

World Class Obsession

The Mundaneum, a Proto-Internet Made of Index Cards
To address the daunting task of arranging bits of paper into a coherent compendium of world history, Otlet developed a system called Universal Decimal Classification. Over the next few decades, a growing staff created and cataloged more than 12 million cards summarizing the contents of books and periodicals. Having assembled this wealth of knowledge, Otlet began offering a fee-based research service. Queries came in by mail and telegraph from around the globe at the rate of 1,500 per year. 
My peeps.
Back when compulsive organization was a career skill instead of a neurosis.

Infinite Possible Correlations

Men who had ADHD as kids may be more likely to be obese as adults
New research shows that men who had ADHD as children are twice as likely to be obese by the time they grow up than men who did not have the mental disorder as kids.
Even when socioeconomic factors were taken into account, men who had ADHD when they were younger still were more likely to be obese as adults, according to a new 30-year study published May 20 in Pediatrics.
"That really seems to be reflective of their early hyperactivity. It doesn't matter what their current diagnosis is so much, so we think these are longstanding issues that likely arose in early adolescence," study co-author Dr. Francisco Xavier Castellanos.
Yes, that's predictable
The authors believe that men who had ADHD may have problems with impulse control and planning, which could make them more prone to poor eating habits and making bad food choices. They may also have problems setting a regular eating pattern. 

Or they could have Post meal hypoglycemia.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nobody could have predicted

Dietary Saturated Fat Has Undeserved Bad Reputation, Says Review
"The meager effect that saturated fats have on serum cholesterol levels when modest but adequate amounts of polyunsaturated oils are included in the diet, and the lack of any clear evidence that saturated fats are promoting any of the conditions that can be attributed to PUFA, makes one wonder how saturated fats got such a bad reputation in the health literature," Lawrence writes in the review.
Seriously?   That's just blatant ass covering.  The history of that opinion was published in the NY Times over a decade ago by Gary Taubes.
It was the American Heart Association.  (by cardiologists-for cardiologists)   It was their idea.  They decided before they had any evidence.   They've been pushing the idea for fifty years.  And they refuse to let it go.

You're talking, but you're not saying anything

Suicidal behaviour is a disease, psychiatrists argue

More flying ass monkeys from people who don't even slightly understand the most significant behavior they claim to study.    They don't even seem to mean it-  they argue that calling suicide a disease will spur research whether it really is or not. 
Knowing someone's long-term suicide risk may have important implications for how a doctor chooses to treat that person, says Jan Fawcett of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. For instance, a doctor may decide not to prescribe certain antidepressants to a patient with these biomarkers, as many drugs are thought to increase suicide risk.
You don't know what causes suicide and you don't know what your drugs do.

So how exactly do you decide now?   Trial and error?   You realize you were wrong when your patient is dead?  Clever, that.

Frikkin frakkin codified malpractice...

New Rule

From now on doctors and psychs must preface everything they say with-
"We really don't know, but this is what we tell  people in the meantime."


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another Brick in the Wall

Why is Science Behind a Paywall?
Advocates of “open science” argue that the current model of science, developed in the 1600s, needs to change and take full advantage of the Internet to share research and collaborate in the discovery making process. When the entire scientific community can connect instantly online, they argue, there is simply no reason for research teams to work in silos and share their findings according to the publishing schedules of journals. 
Subscriptions limit access to scientific knowledge. And when careers are made and tenures earned by publishing in prestigious journals, then sharing datasets, collaborating with other scientists, and crowdsourcing difficult problems are all disincentivized. Following 17th century practices, open science advocates insist, limits the progress of science in the 21st.
This is the reason your doctor doesn't know about sugar and orexin.   They can't afford to read the research.

Third party profit.  
Your Galtian Overlords at work.

Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Friday

Have some good news-

Marijuana Users Have Better Blood Sugar Control
Regular marijuana use is associated with favorable indices related to diabetic control, say investigators. They found that current marijuana users had significantly lower fasting insulin and were less likely to be insulin resistant, even after excluding patients with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.
As I said before-  it reduces depression and doesn't mess up your blood sugar like alcohol.

This is my favorite experiment ever.  
Have a pleasant weekend.

What Sanity Looks Like

Pot rules taking shape; public gets a taste of what’s ahead
Washington State officials released proposed rules for a legal seed-to-store marijuana system that would allow adults to buy an ounce of tested, labeled pot seven days a week. But the draft rules are likely to be refined in weeks to come.
There's a long list of the rules.  This struck me though-
Consumers would know the contents and potency of products they buy from labels that would come with a stamp of the state’s silhouette decorated with a seven-point marijuana leaf.
Seriously, I feel like I'm tripping.

Accidently and Deliberately

Up to 1 in 5 children suffer from mental disorder
In the agency's first-ever study of mental disorders among children aged 3 to 17, researchers found childhood mental illnesses affect up to one in five kids and cost $247 billion per year in medical bills, special education and juvenile justice.
Well, there are a lot of things contributing to increasing diagnoses and spiralling costs, not the least of which is self-serving psychs and pharmas.
But this data is independent of that and should shock everyone:
The study also noted that suicide, which can be precipitated by an untreated mental illness, was the second leading cause of death (after accidents) among children 12 to 17 years old.
That, my friends, is a very serious problem.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Girls and Boys

Gum disease linked to infertility in women

You younger ladies seem interested in this topic.

And guess applies to men too.

After it is approved

Is when they find out how it really works.

Cholesterol-Lowering Drug May Reduce Exercise Benefits for Obese Adults
Statins, the most widely prescribed drugs worldwide, are often suggested to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease in individuals with obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of medical disorders including excess body fat and/or high levels of blood pressure, blood sugar and/or cholesterol. However, University of Missouri researchers found that simvastatin, a generic type of statin previously sold under the brand name "Zocor," hindered the positive effects of exercise for obese and overweight adults.
Thyfault and his colleagues measured cardiorespiratory fitness in 37 previously sedentary, obese individuals ages 25-59 with low fitness levels. The participants followed the same exercise regimen on the MU campus for 12 weeks; 18 of the 37 people also took 40 mg of simvastatin daily.
Statins significantly affected participants' exercise outcomes. Participants in the exercise-only group increased their cardiorespiratory fitness by an average of 10 percent compared to a 1.5 percent increase among participants also prescribed statins. Additionally, skeletal muscle mitochondrial content, the site where muscle cells turn oxygen into energy, decreased by 4.5 percent in the group taking statins while the exercise-only group had a 13 percent increase, a normal response following exercise training.
More evidence that fat people are not just lazy versions of thin people.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

And So it Goes

Richard Swanson’s plan to dribble a soccer ball from Seattle to Brazil ended after he was struck and killed along an Oregon highway.

Rest in peace dear man.

Can Anyone Play?

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a $1 billion initiative to fund innovations in federal healthcare programs aimed at cutting costs while improving the health results.
Ummm, invest that in effective dental care?  That would be innovative.

As I was saying

Flu in Pregnancy May Quadruple Child's Risk for Bipolar Disorder
Pregnant mothers' exposure to the flu was associated with a nearly fourfold increased risk that their child would develop bipolar disorder in adulthood, in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings add to mounting evidence of possible shared underlying causes and illness processes with schizophrenia, which some studies have also linked to prenatal exposure to influenza.
Influenza infection increases streptococcal bacterial activity.
If you haven't read it, here's my post on narcolepsy and flu.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Size Matters

For those of you with periodontal problems-  this is the results of my experimentation with all the free samples from my dentist and a bunch of my own purchases-

This is the best product I have found to reach in between teeth and get in the pockets:
Butler Gum End-Tuft Tapered Trim Toothbrush 

The small head and tapered bristles get in all kinds of hard to reach places.
The bottle-brushy type picks are much more difficult to use, leave debris in deep pockets,  and they seem to poke and cause abrasions as much as they clean.

What if?

What If Vitamin D Deficiency Is a Cause of Autism? 

Well then there are more than a few doctors who owe a a lot of mothers an apology.   And a mea culpa.

The Guinea Pig Generation

Angelina Jolie Has Preventative Double Mastectomy

What a choice.   Sigh.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Microbiome 101

Good article covering the basics.

The ecosystem inside you
Your body harbors trillions of bacteria that have profound effects on your health, your weight, and even your mood.

Thanks to my sister for this.

You Don't Say

Brain Diseases Affecting More People and Starting Earlier Than Ever Before
Professor Pritchard said, "These rises in neurological deaths, with the earlier onset of the dementias, are devastating for families and pose a considerable public health problem. It is NOT that we have more old people but rather more old people have more brain disease than ever before, including Alzheimer's. For example there are two new British charities, The Young Parkinson's Society and Young Dementia UK, which are a grass-roots response to these rises. The need for such charities would have been inconceivable a little more than 30 years ago."
When asked what he thought caused the increases he replied, "This has to be speculative but it cannot be genetic because the period is too short. Whilst there will be some influence of more elderly people, it does not account for the earlier onset; the differences between countries nor the fact that more women have been affected, as their lives have changed more than men's over the period, all indicates multiple environmental factors."
You know what does account for that?   Insulin.  Sugar Metabolism.
Sugar intake is rising at an alarming pace.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Yo Psychs

Insanity is biological.   And sometimes contagious.
And you hang out with crazy people.

You might want to think about that.

Quote of the Day

Dr Lucy Johnstone, a consultant clinical psychologist who helped draw up the DCP's statement, said "it was unhelpful to see mental health issues as illnesses with biological causes."

I am going to write to her every year reminding her of this.

Brain Eating Zombies of the Day

The British Psychological Society (has gone insane.)

Psychiatrists under fire in mental health battle
There is no scientific evidence that psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are valid or useful, according to the leading body representing Britain's clinical psychologists.

Okay, I can agree with that. But this- this is driving off the other side of the road-
In a groundbreaking move that has already prompted a fierce backlash from psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society's division of clinical psychology (DCP) will on Monday issue a statement declaring that, given the lack of evidence, it is time for a "paradigm shift" in how the issues of mental health are understood. The statement effectively casts doubt on psychiatry's predominantly biomedical model of mental distress – the idea that people are suffering from illnesses that are treatable by doctors using drugs. The DCP said its decision to speak out "reflects fundamental concerns about the development, personal impact and core assumptions of the (diagnosis) systems", used by psychiatry.
No, just because classifying those illnesses according to symptoms and taking psychoactive drugs hasn't been helpful - does NOT provide any reason for you to claim that your paradigm is better.  Your efficacy rate is frakking abysmal.  You barely prove significant correlation most of the time.

The evidence for biological causes of mental illness is independent of the classification system.   Try Medline, it's free.

This just corroborates my hypothesis that psychologists have serious cognitive dysfunction.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Circle of Insanity

Death of Beloved Town Drunk Reduces Canadian Cops to Tears
Cote befriended most of the cops on the Saskatoon police force, largely because he interacted with them so often. “It's believed Cote had been arrested more times for public drunkenness than anyone else in the city's history,”  
He seems like a taker.
But if you look closely, he was a job creator.

Go Figure

I don't know why it took me so long to do this search-

Nicotine has antimicrobial action against oropharyngeal bacteria.
Levels of inhibition  >50% occurred when most of the affected organisms were cultured with nicotine at 100-250 µg/ml.   It is noteworth that such concentrations of nicotine can be found in vivo, especially in the oral cavity of smokeless tobacco users, making these findings physiologically relevant. It should also be noted that the viridans streptococci that were used in these experiments- which were also highly susceptble to the effects of nicotine- are an almost universal inhabitant of the oropharynx.

Nicotine exposure may have a subtle beneficial effect on the host by limiting the growth of certain respiratory tract and enteric pathogens, as they enter the body through the oral and nasal passages.
Well, well, well.   How about that.
Probably explains why patches do not have the same effect.

Oh Mercy Me

The man who makes his living whittling wooden spoons  (4 min video)

The Miracle of Xyrem

Jazz Pharma shares slide despite 1Q profit jump 
Shares of Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC slid Wednesday morning, a day after the Irish drugmaker said in a regulatory filing that the Food and Drug Administration could approve a competitor's generic version of its top-seller, narcolepsy treatment Xyrem.
The Dublin-based company said in a quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that U.S. regulators could approve a generic version made by Roxane Laboratories Inc. Jazz filed a lawsuit in late 2010 against Roxane over that company's application for approval of the generic.

Xyrem sales jumped 60 percent in the first quarter to $117.5 million, which helped Jazz report better-than-expected results for the quarter.
Well, I guess that explains those outrageous price hikes. They know this is coming.  They're going to squeeze as much money out of you as they can while they still can.
Look at that.  117 million dollars.   In one quarter.
No wonder they spent that much on a similar drug to try to prevent this from happening.

Gosh that would buy a lot of gluten-free food...

Friday, May 10, 2013

It's Friday

Have a Treadmill Dancing Guy

Doing it for the Kids

Save the Children teams up with GlaxoSmithKline
The international charity Save the Children is embarking on a partnership with a multinational drug company in a controversial move which the two organisations say is designed to save a million children's lives.
A decade ago, Save the Children was among the development organisations lambasting GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world's biggest drug companies, for its high price tags on HIV drugs for the developing world. The initiative launched by the two organisations on Thursday in Kenya will see Save the Children with a seat on the R&D board, advising on new products for the poorest countries, while GSK also pays for the training of more healthcare workers who will dispense medicines and give vaccines.
Let me guess.... medicines and vaccines produced by GSK, right?

Not only are they patenting STC's excellent suggestions for product improvements- they are going to make huge profits selling those new versions and silence one of their most credible critics doing it.

How very kind of them.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yo Mom

Remember how you nagged me my entire life about my smoking?
Remember how you blamed Dad's Parkinson's on the tobacco chewing?

Nicotine may prevent Parkinson's
New research reveals that Solanaceae -- a flowering plant family with some species producing foods that are edible sources of nicotine -- may provide a protective effect against Parkinson's disease. The study appearing today in Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society, suggests that eating foods that contain even a small amount of nicotine, such as peppers and tomatoes, may reduce risk of developing Parkinson's.
You're wrong.
Please find something else to bitch about.
Like maybe my grammar.

Because They Can

Hospital Charges Vary Across U.S. for Same Procedures
The data from more than 3,000 hospitals that take Medicare, the government’s health program for the elderly, showed that in some cases costs can drastically vary for hip replacements, bone fractures and treatments for kidney failure. Three hospitals in and around the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado, charged an average of $97,214, $46,457 and $28,237, respectively, to treat a respiratory infection with complications, one example showed.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it released the data for the first time to make the health system “more affordable and accountable.” The information adds to the scrutiny of what patients, insurers and the government pay for medical services as President Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act aims to extend coverage to 27 million uninsured people.
“Hospital pricing is the craziest of crazy quilts,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of the Washington-based consumer advocacy group Families USA, in a phone interview. “People who wind up paying the highest prices are people who are uninsured and who can least afford bearing this unaffordable burden.”
I don't think those hospitals were expecting this.
Lots of spokespeople explaining how "complicated" pricing these things is.
Apparently math is hard even for accountants.

More Fruits and Vegetables!

Low Carb Diet May Help You Get Pregnant
A small study presented at this week’s meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests that diet may matter more than we might have thought. The study, which included 120 patients, showed that a diet richer in protein seems to improve fertility in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). Specifically, patients whose daily protein intake was 25 percent or more of their diet, and whose carbohydrate intake was 40 percent or less of their diet, had a four-fold higher pregnancy rate compared to patients who ate less protein and more carbs daily before and during an IVF cycle.
Dr. Russell said he decided to do the study because although having a high body mass index (BMI) has been shown to hurt fertility, he had also seen healthy, thin women whose eggs and embryos weren’t of good quality for a healthy pregnancy. He wondered why and decided to ask these patients to log what they ate and how much. After looking at the food logs the women kept during their IVF attempt, Dr. Russell was surprised to see that the daily diets of some of the women were more than 60 percent carbohydrate and 10 percent or less protein.
Hmmmm.   I wonder who told them to eat like that.

High carbohydrate intake lowers orexin levels.
Orexin is crucial to follicle development.
Low orexin levels are associated with ovulation dysfunction.

Follow the Money

When Did Doctors Become Obsessed With Obesity?
The insurance industry can also take credit for connecting obesity to ill health. Between 1900 and 1920, statisticians at Metropolitan Life and other major insurance companies used actuarial studies to prove that obese people die younger. The actuarial findings, as much as any medical breakthrough, helped turn the health care industry against body fat.
Yes, but those were life insurance companies, and since then the health insurance providers have realized how much more money they can make if we remain fat.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pros and Cons

These two stories keep coming up on my screen together...

105 year old woman says Bacon is her key to long life
Governor Chris Christie has weight loss surgery

Update from the Center of the Vortex

Self Poisoning rises dramatically in UK
The number of hospital admissions after people have deliberately poisoned themselves has risen by almost 50% in a decade.

Well Me Oh My

Antibiotics could cure 40% of chronic back pain patients
Surgeons in the UK and elsewhere are reviewing how they treat patients with chronic back pain after scientists discovered that many of the worst cases were due to bacterial infections. The shock finding means that scores of patients with unrelenting lower back pain will no longer face major operations but can instead be cured with courses of antibiotics costing around £114.
Working with doctors in Birmingham, the Danish team examined tissue removed from patients for signs of infection. Nearly half tested positive, and of these, more than 80% carried bugs called Propionibacterium acnes. The microbes are better known for causing acne. They lurk around hair roots and in the crevices in our teeth, but can get into the bloodstream during tooth brushing. Normally they cause no harm, but the situation may change when a person suffers a slipped disc.
Wait a minute.   I thought you said those people were fat and lazy.
Paradigms shifting underneath my feet.   Getting Dizzy...

Strike That, Reverse It

Benefits of sun 'may outweigh the risks', Edinburgh University study suggests
Edinburgh University research suggests sunlight helps reduce blood pressure, cutting heart attack and stroke risks and even prolonging life. UV rays were found to release a compound which lowers blood pressure.
I've been meaning to mention this.

Vitamin D may also prevent more cancer than sun causes.
Research suggests that vitamin D might help prevent 30 deaths for each one caused by skin cancer.
Although the zombie site ends with the "Wear Sunscreen" song, I now no longer believe that its benefit has been proven by scientists. I now only wear it on my nose and hands, and have been making an attempt to go sleeveless in the sun.  When there is some.  (like this week finally yay!)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Doncha Know It

Weight Gain Linked With Personality Trait Changes
Sutin and colleagues found that participants who had at least a 10 percent increase in body weight showed an increase in impulsiveness -- with a greater tendency to give in to temptations -- compared to those whose weight was stable. The data don't reveal whether increased impulsiveness was a cause or an effect of gaining weight, but they do suggest an intimate relationship between a person's physiology and his or her psychology.
In a surprising twist, people who gained weight also reported an increase in deliberation, with a greater tendency to think through their decisions. Deliberation tends to increase for everyone in adulthood, but the increase was almost double for participants who gained weight compared to those whose weight stayed the same.
As I was saying.
Impulse Control Problems.
Rigorous Righteousness.
Weight Gain.

I got nothin

Here's a nice picture.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Why Classification Matters

A case of REM sleep behavior disorder, narcolepsy-cataplexy, parkinsonism and rheumatoid arthritis.

Because these are all autoimmune reactions to the same damn infection, not separate disorders.

I'm guessing their patient also had extensive dental disease, but they just didn't think that was relevant...

We do not see the lens through which we look.
-Ruth Benedict

Up Late

Music for the Apocalypse

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Back to Reality

Betty Ford Center
Overly waifish models best beware: according to one recent grad, clients whose BMI (Body Mass Index) is below the minimum are put on “cardio restriction” and required to spend an hour meditating in the Center’s “Serenity” hall until they pack on some extra pounds. Given the quality of the cuisine here, that won't be too hard: breakfast consists of a host of “yummy” hot and cold options that are reminiscent of Sunday brunch at Grandma’s country club—with an omelet stand and huevos rancheros, along with a huge selection of yogurts and fresh fruits towering over a bountiful pile of baked goods. Lunch and dinner selections are said to be equally tantalizing.
Yes, you sick girls stop exercising and eat some of those baked goods.  That should increase your serenity.
Good grief.   Sorry, Lindsay.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Let the Choir Sing

omigod, omigod, omigod...

National Institute of Mental Health to Drop DSM Use
"Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure," Insel wrote.
As an alternative, the NIMH is launching the Research Domain Criteria Project. The goal, according to the agency, is "to transform diagnosis by incorporating genetics, imaging, cognitive science and other levels of information to lay the foundation for a new classification system."
dance dance dance!

The Circle of Insanity

Sno-Cone Joe stalked Mr. Ding-A-Ling
The Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck hadn't been rolling through the streets here for more than a week before Joshua Malatino made his message clear: There ain't enough Fudgsicles in this city for the both of us.
Yeah, I can see that.  These are enough to make me insane for about a week. Gluten, chocolate, nuts and sugar....   mmmm.   I'll take one "Rage Attack a la Mode" please!

HT to PourMeCoffee

Another Brick in the Wall

I mean matrix.  Oops, no I meant free market.

The GOP's Drug-Testing Dragnet 
This may sound overzealous, but Republican lawmakers around the country are already enthusiastically embracing the idea of making clean urine a condition of receiving public benefits. Since 2011, seven states have passed laws mandating drug tests for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) applicants and recipients, and in 2012 at least twenty-five other states considered proposals to tie welfare cash assistance, and in some cases also food stamps, to drug tests. In February 2012, Congress passed a law paving the way for states to urine-test the recipients of unemployment benefits seeking work in sectors where such screenings are required. Since then, sixteen states have considered laws tying unemployment insurance benefits to drug tests.

... By 2006, 84 percent of American employers were reporting that they drug-tested their workers. Today, drug testing is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. DATIA represents more than 1,200 companies and employs a DC-based lobbying firm, Washington Policy Associates. Hoffmann-La Roche’s former consultant, David Evans, now runs his own lobbying firm and has ghostwritten several state laws to expand drug testing. Most significant, in the 1990s Evans crafted the Workplace Drug Testing Act for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), of which Hoffmann-La Roche was a paying member. Laying out protocols for workplace drug testing, the bill—which has been enacted into law in several states—upheld the rights of employers to fire employees who do not comply with their companies’ drug-free workplace program.
Over the past decade, lobbyists like Evans have focused on what a DATIA newsletter recently dubbed “the next frontier”—schoolchildren. In 2002, a representative from the influential drug-testing management firm Besinger, DuPont & Associates heralded schools as “potentially a much bigger market than the workplace.” That year, the Supreme Court upheld the right of schools to drug-test any student involved in extracurricular activities, from the football team to the chess club. (Many in the drug-testing industry advocate testing all school kids ages 12 and up, but they have failed thus far to convince the courts.)

The great thing about the testing business is you get to make money whether people test positive or not...

The Guinea Pig Generation

Decades-old question: Is antibacterial soap safe?
It's a chemical that's been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, from the body wash in your bathroom shower to the knives on your kitchen counter to the bedding in your baby's basinet. But federal health regulators are just now deciding whether triclosan — the germ-killing ingredient found in an estimated 75 percent of antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes sold in the U.S. — is ineffective, or worse, harmful. The agency's review comes amid growing pressure from lawmakers, consumer advocates and others who are concerned about the safety of triclosan. Recent studies of triclosan in animals have led scientists to worry that it could increase the risk of infertility, early puberty and other hormone-related problems in humans.

The concerns over triclosan offer a sobering glimpse at a little-known fact: Many chemicals used in everyday household products have never been formally approved by U.S. health regulators. That's because many germ-killing chemicals were developed decades ago before there were laws requiring scientific review of cleaning ingredients.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Something that makes sense.

Psychopathic Traits Seen in Children’s Brains
The researchers focused on several brain areas known to play a role in empathy, including the anterior insula, which sits deep in the brain; the anterior cingulated cortex, a deep layer that sits behind the forehead; and the inferior frontal gyrus, a ridge of brain matter on the frontal lobe.
In all three regions, kids with conduct problems showed reduced brain activity when viewing images of pain compared with the The children were matched on age, IQ, socioeconomic status and ethnicity to reduce the chance of unrelated factors skewing the results.
Here's the good part.  Instead of announcing some newfangled name for this phenomenon, they actually try to come up with a plausible mechanism:
"It may be that these children have atypical arousal response to pain — for example, those children who are most callous may not feel pain as keenly as their peers, and this may, in turn, mean that they find observing pain less distressing than their peers," Viding said.

Yes. Yes. YesYes.   Yes.

And so it goes

Suicide rate for middle-aged Americans is up 28 percent over decade, 40 percent among whites
Health officials say suicides among middle-age Americans climbed at a startling rate over the past decade, a period that included the recession. Overall, the suicide rate for the age group jumped 28% from 1999 to 2010. And among whites, it shot up 40%.

 During the 1999-2010 period, suicide went from the eighth leading cause of death among middle-aged Americans to the fourth, behind cancer, heart disease and accidents.
Quickie Correlation

Supply and Demand

Addicted to added sugar? It's 13% of calories consumed by Americans
The researchers also discovered that the poorer people were, the bigger the role that added sugars played in their diets. Women in the lowest income category got 15.7% of their calories from sugar, compared with 13.4% for women in the middle income category and 11.6% for women with the highest incomes. For men, the corresponding figures were 14.1%, 13.6% and 11.5%.

Adverse Outcomes

Emergency Room Visits Seen Rising Among Sleeping Pill Users
Dr. Bob Rothstein, an emergency physician and vice president of medical affairs at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., said zolpidem is a safe drug. However, he added, “If it’s used more and more by a lot of people, you’re going to see those side effects. … It’s just a law of averages.”
Pardon Me?  Did you just blow this off?
In the new study, women users seemed especially vulnerable. They made up two-thirds of the ER visits in 2010. Of those nearly 44 million prescriptions for Ambien and zolpidem in 2012, about 64 percent or more than 29 million were filled for women.
“I think we know that women clear the drug from their system more slowly than men and, in fact, the FDA recently recommended a lower dose for women just recently,” Rothstein said.
This is not just side effects.
This is a predictable consequence of the low experimental standards the FDA sets for drug approval.

For the record, my friend Janet took some Ambien this week and slept through a TREE FALLING ON HER BEDROOM. 

Grocery Store Solutions

New Evidence On How Fluoride Fights Tooth Decay
The report describes new evidence that fluoride also works by impacting the adhesion force of bacteria that stick to the teeth and produce the acid that causes cavities. The experiments -- performed on artificial teeth (hydroxyapatite pellets) to enable high-precision analysis techniques -- revealed that fluoride reduces the ability of decay-causing bacteria to stick, so that also on teeth, it is easier to wash away the bacteria by saliva, brushing and other activity.
 Translation: Use Anticavity Mouth Rinse containing Fluoride.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Self Fulfilling Prophecy

When the Doctor Is Overweight
A bariatric surgeon takes his own advice.

210 pounds, 800 calories a day.
The only way that is possible is by producing massive amounts of insulin.
That man is still very, very sick.

World Class Obsession

One of my heroes.   The trailblazer.

The origins of the diagnosis of autism—and the parental guilt-tripping that went along with it.
By Temple Grandin

Pigs at the Trough

Raptor's FDA Approval Is New Test For Orphan Drug Pricing
Investors love orphan disease companies because they can charge sky-high prices -- Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN_), for example, charges about $500,000 per year for Soliris -- and insurance companies reimburse without much protest. But as the number of orphan disease companies with approved products grow, so too are concerns about a backlash. As the cost of orphan drugs rise, will insurance companies erect more roadblocks in the way of reimbursement?
Gosh let's hope so.    I think that might be just the people to pull the plug on this bullshit. 
Raptor is an interesting test case because Procysbi isn't a new drug, just a long-acting version of Cystagon, approved in 1994 to treat nephropathic cystinosis. Cystagon must be taken on a strict, every six-hour schedule. Procysbi is administered twice a day. Cystagon costs about $10,000 a year. By orphan disease standards, that's almost giving a drug away for free. Raptor intends to charge $250,000 per year for Procysbi. We'll soon find out if insurance companies agree to a 2,400% price hike for a more convenient, but not necessarily more effective, orphan disease therapy.
Yes, well Xyrem is basically just a stronger version of alcohol.   No chemistry wizards needed.

I do wonder how Jazz expects to keep it's Orphan drug status for Xyrem while seeking to sell it for every other affective illness...  Do they already have some other new and vile way to rip off Medicare and Medicaid?
Medicare fraud.   That would look good in a headline.   Hmmmm.

Maniac of the Day

 Erik Klein Wolterink is  Obsessed with Kitchens.   Heh.

Nerd Porn

The world's oldest laboratory experiment