Monday, March 30, 2015

Fun with Medical History

1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA
The remedy was found in Bald's Leechbook - an old English manuscript containing instructions on various treatments held in the British Library.

Experts from the university's microbiology team recreated the remedy and then tested it on large cultures of MRSA.
In each case, they tested the individual ingredients against the bacteria, as well as the remedy and a control solution. They found the remedy killed up to 90% of MRSA bacteria and believe it is the effect of the recipe rather than one single ingredient.

Dr Freya Harrison said the team thought the eye salve might show a "small amount of antibiotic activity".
"But we were absolutely blown away by just how effective the combination of ingredients was," she said.

Dr Lee said there are many similar medieval books with treatments for what appear to be bacterial infections.
She said this could suggest people were carrying out detailed scientific studies centuries before bacteria were discovered.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Put some in your head please

Recommendation for vitamin D intake was miscalculated, is far too low, experts say
Researchers are challenging the intake of vitamin D recommended by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine saying their Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin D underestimates the need by a factor of ten.
The recommended intake of vitamin D specified by the IOM is 600 IU/day through age 70 years, and 800 IU/day for older ages. "Calculations by us and other researchers have shown that these doses are only about one-tenth those needed to cut incidence of diseases related to vitamin D deficiency," Garland explained.
Robert Heaney, M.D., of Creighton University wrote: "We call for the NAS-IOM and all public health authorities concerned with transmitting accurate nutritional information to the public to designate, as the RDA, a value of approximately 7,000 IU/day from all sources."

Things that make my head screech

I really need to take my own advice and stay off the damn computer.

Crashed Plane’s Co-Pilot “Hid” an “Illness” From Lufthansa, German Prosecutors Say
German prosecutors say that pilot Andreas Lubitz, suspected of intentionally crashing Germanwings Flight 4U 9525, may have hid an "illness" from his "employer and colleagues," while multiple German publications report that he had issues with depression.
Per the BBC, the German tabloid Bild says Lubitz had a "severe depressive episode" in 2009. The paper Der Tagesspiegel reports via a source that Lubitz was being treated for depression at a university clinic in Dusseldorf, and both Bild and another outlet say that a note in his "aviation authority file" recommended regular psychological treatment.

Ummm, I don't think that's the illness that was overlooked...

Could Better Psychological Testing Prevent a Tragedy Like the Germanwings Crash?
No. No. NO. NO. NO.    They caused this, dammit.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mercy Mercy Mercy

Co-pilot appears to have crashed Germanwings plane on purpose 

Oh oh oh oh oh.    Tic tic tic tic tic.
I will have to stay off the internet and news for a while.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Uh Huh

Repeated use of antibiotics linked to diabetes risk
They found that patients prescribed at least two courses of penicillins, cephalosporines, quinolones and macrolides were at higher risk of being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. The risk increased with the number of antibiotic courses prescribed.
Patients prescribed 2-5 courses of penicillins increased their risk of diabetes by 8%, while for those with more than five penicillin courses this risk increased by 23%. For quinolones, diabetes risk increased by 15% among patients that were prescribed with 2-5 courses and by 37% for those with more than five courses. The risk was calculated after adjusting for other risk factors such as obesity, smoking history, heart disease and history of infections.
Oh yeah, that is going to come in handy.

They think it's gut bacteria, but that's peripheral to the endotoxemia that alters glucose metabolism and really fuels this cycle.

I've got it figured out.   I do.
There's a couple more weeks until it's too hot to work in the yard, then I will come inside and write it all down in a human understandable format for you guys.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Good Effort

Good article on history of weight loss treatments and how most of them make it worse. 

It’s time to stop telling fat people to become thin. 
It’s hard to think of any other disease where treatment rarely works and most people are blamed for not “recovering.”.
Follow her thesis to it's conclusion:
It's this simple, fat people are sick.

Dieting does not address the underlying infection.
But not dieting doesn't either.


Everything Bad is Good Again

Damn I am tired of living in this mirror.

Popular artificial sweetener could lead to new treatments for aggressive cancers
Saccharin, the artificial sweetener that is the main ingredient in Sweet 'N Low, Sweet Twin and Necta, could do far more than just keep our waistlines trim. According to new research, this popular sugar substitute could potentially lead to the development of drugs capable of combating aggressive, difficult-to-treat cancers with fewer side effects.
 The last ten years of my life have been spent unlearning everything I was taught in the first forty.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sounds Familiar

Profound, debiliating fatigue found to be a major issue for autoimmune disease patients in new national survey
Major findings include:
● Almost all (98 percent) AD patients surveyed report they suffer from fatigue.
● Nine-in-10 (89 percent) say it is a "major issue" for them and six-in-10 (59 percent) say it is "probably the most debilitating symptom of having an AD."
● More than two-thirds (68 percent) say their "fatigue is anything but normal. It is profound and prevents [them] from doing the simplest everyday tasks."
● While nearly nine-in-10 (87 percent) report they have discussed their fatigue with their doctor, six-in 10 (59 percent) say they have not been prescribed or suggested treatment by their doctors.
● Seven-in-10 (70 percent) believe others judge them negatively because of their fatigue.

 I am no longer convinced these are "autoimmune" illnesses.   They are just regular old-fashioned immune responses to infections that aren't being detected.   But nonetheless, fatigue is the primary expected symptom, not some side effect or figment of our imaginations.
According to one AD patient, "It's difficult for other people to understand our ongoing fatigue when it can't be seen by them. It's so hard just trying to get others to really, really understand how very tired you are sometimes -- even our own doctors don't understand. One wonders if even our doctors may think we are for the most part just mental cases and/or whiners."
Uh huh.
98% of patients report this symptom and we're the ones with cognitive problems.
See the matrix.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Problematic Solutions

Really long article on the history of alcoholism treatment.   It's pretty good, but I have chosen a few excerpts that tweaked my brain.

The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous

Nowhere in the field of medicine is treatment less grounded in modern science. A 2012 report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University compared the current state of addiction medicine to general medicine in the early 1900s, when quacks worked alongside graduates of leading medical schools. The American Medical Association estimates that out of nearly 1 million doctors in the United States, only 582 identify themselves as addiction specialists. (The Columbia report notes that there may be additional doctors who have a subspecialty in addiction.) Most treatment providers carry the credential of addiction counselor or substance-abuse counselor, for which many states require little more than a high-school diploma or a GED. Many counselors are in recovery themselves. The report stated: “The vast majority of people in need of addiction treatment do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.”
And yet "Rehab" is subsidized by insurance.   Thus it has proliferated like an invasive weed.
Finland’s treatment model is based in large part on the work of an American neuroscientist named John David Sinclair. I met with Sinclair in Helsinki in early July. He was battling late-stage prostate cancer, and his thick white hair was cropped short in preparation for chemotherapy. Sinclair has researched alcohol’s effects on the brain since his days as an undergraduate at the University of Cincinnati, where he experimented with rats that had been given alcohol for an extended period. Sinclair expected that after several weeks without booze, the rats would lose their desire for it. Instead, when he gave them alcohol again, they went on week-long benders, drinking far more than they ever had before—more, he says, than any rat had ever been shown to drink.
And abstinence the standard protocol.  Welcome to the Hotel California.
Sinclair came to believe that people develop drinking problems through a chemical process: each time they drink, the endorphins released in the brain strengthen certain synapses. The stronger these synapses grow, the more likely the person is to think about, and eventually crave, alcohol—until almost anything can trigger a thirst for booze, and drinking becomes compulsive.
This is absolutely not how it works.  This is not a reward system problem.  Drinking affects your glucose metabolism, and chronic hypoglycemia causes binge intake behavior.

Just notice that, once again, for all the talk about "illness", nobody ever mentions actual disease processes.
There's a reason we drink-  we are chronically infected, and the gastrointestinal effects of alcohol lessen the likelihood and severity of an acute septic episode.  The medium term benefits have historically exceeded the long term consequences...
Alcohol is the reason most of us are alive.

I will have a lot more to say about the causes and effects and costs and benefits of alcoholism in a future rant.   

Friday, March 20, 2015

Brain Eating Zombie of the Day

Hadley Freeman

I had anorexia – but not because I wanted to look like a fashion model
A French plan to ban skinny women from the catwalk ignores the fact that anorexia is an illness. We need to look at the causes not outcomes of self-loathing.
Yes, yes we do.
Eating disorders are the only mental illness that people still assume is caused by something identifiable and external. No sensible person would ask anyone why they became schizophrenic, why they suffer from clinical depression. But eating disorders are different, and this is partly because of the behaviour of those who suffer from them. In the grip of the disorder, your world shrinks to the size of a pinhole: your brain fixates entirely on weight, calories; and, if you’re underweight, being so cold it feels like you have icicles for bones.
Yes, that's called hypothermia.  It's an indication of Endotoxemia- an intensely studied effect of infection and sepsis.
But you don't know that because crazy psychs have convinced the world otherwise.
So why did I stop eating? Because I was unhappy. Because I didn’t know how to express it vocally. Because I didn’t understand I was allowed to respond to my own needs. Because I was scared of growing up. The specific causes of eating disorders are varied, but those factors are pretty common.
They told you that bullshit.   And you believed it.  

Anorexia is a primary symptom of systemic infection.   You were sick.  And insulin resistant. To the point of nausea.
And every doctor and "medical professional" you consulted failed to notice that fact.   
That's why.

You're lucky you got better, not worse.
You are clearly aware of what happens when it gets worse.
Now stop validating the lie and perpetuating the cycle.

Wouldn't this be nice

Radical vaccine design effective against herpes viruses
Herpes simplex virus infections are an enormous global health problem and there is currently no viable vaccine. For nearly three decades, immunologists' efforts to develop a herpes vaccine have centered on exploiting a single protein found on the virus's outer surface that is known to elicit robust production of antibodies. Breaking from this approach, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have created a genetic mutant lacking that protein. The result is a powerfully effective vaccine against herpes viruses.
The vaccine completely immunized two common strains of lab mice against HSV-2 when challenged with virus intravaginally or on the skin. In fact, no virus could be detected in vaginal washes four days post-challenge and even more importantly, no virus could be found in the nerve tissue, the site where HSV often hides in a latent form only to emerge later to cause disease. Protection against HSV-1, which shares considerable homology with HSV-2, was also demonstrated in both models. The vaccine produced no adverse health effects in a strain of mice with severely compromised immune systems, reflecting the vaccine's overall safety.
...The next step for the researchers in producing a herpes vaccine for use in humans is demonstrating its efficacy and safety in an FDA-approved cell line. The researchers are also looking for an industry partner to help make large quantities of the vaccine for future clinical tests.

Rainy Day Research

Low vitamin D levels and depression linked in young women
OSU researchers found that young women with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to have clinically significant depressive symptoms over the course of a five-week study, lead author David Kerr said. The results were consistent even when researchers took into account other possible explanations, such as time of year, exercise and time spent outside.
Yah, of course.  But I like this bit...
 Kerr's study focused on young women in the Pacific Northwest because they are at risk of both depression and vitamin D insufficiency. 
Heh.  I'll say.   Rhinitis too...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Good Data. Terrible Title.

Obese females who are most unlikely to lose weight are most in need of losing it
Despite the similarities in body weight and composition, the participants with high disinhibition scores were twice as insulin resistant as those with low disinhibition. Fasting insulin, leptin, and acyl ghrelin levels were comparable in both groups.
Too bad they didn't check orexin levels.  Go figure...

Their title is obtuse to the point of inaccuracy and really kind of demeaning, though.
 "Obese females with difficulty restricting eating behavior have altered metabolisms. "
There.  Better.

Problematic Solutions

The effects were huge. "After several days of treatment with high doses of doxycycline, mitochondrial respiration was visibly altered," explains Moullan. More surprising still, the consequences were observed all the way down the food chain, from mammals to flies to nematode worms to plants. "The worms' development was hindered. On the other hand, signs of aging appeared more slowly, something we had observed in earlier studies ."
The scientists also carried out growth tests on Arabidopsis thaliana, a common plant that's frequently used in laboratory research. After growing for a week on a normal substrate, it was transplanted into soil with varying concentrations of doxycycline. "Delays in growth, some quite severe, were observed after a few days, even in soils in which the concentration of antibiotics was no stronger than is found in some agricultural soils today," says Moullan.
And the authors are concerned this will affect research results in genetic experiments using them.
I am pretty sure this causes way bigger problems than that.  In actual humans.  
Like me dammit.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How to Make Sick People

Collude with the Sugar Industry

'Sugar papers' reveal industry role in 1970s dental program
The archive of 319 industry documents, which were uncovered in a public collection at the University of Illinois, revealed that a sugar industry trade organization representing 30 international members had accepted the fact that sugar caused tooth decay as early as 1950, and adopted a strategy aimed at identifying alternative approaches to reducing tooth decay.
Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health had come to the conclusion in1969 that focusing on reducing consumption of sucrose, "while theoretically possible," was not practical as a public health measure.
Sugar free soda was extremely popular in the seventies.  Tab.  Fresca.
But shortly after that they decided that recommending low-fat diets was necessary.
Funny how that works.

This is Why

Because Jamie.
He sent me this from college.

Too many good zombie/brain captions to choose one...
See the circle of sanity.

Monday, March 9, 2015


How Incarceration Infects a Community
Disease-based models help researchers understand how prison-admission rates are linked to the health of a neighborhood.
Another amazing example of "social epidemiology".
They study all kinds of transmission scenarios.   Except actual infection.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Geeky Librarian Fun

Royal Society celebrates 350 years of scientific publishing 
The first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society was published 350 years ago today, and established a new model for publishing scientific, medical, academic and scholarly research.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Preliminary Results

Heidi's latest experiment on herself-    Flonase

This is a mild steroid that has just come on the over-the-counter market for nasal allergies.
Since I have chronic nose colonization and usually find rhinitis remedies help my overall symptoms, I decided to try some.

I have had trouble controlling my infection since moving from Seattle to Arizona.  My nose ran all the time in the rain, so I thought it would clear up, but it just changed.   My sinuses are usually dry now, but so are my ears.   I've had tinnitis since last summer, and a screeching dentist drill in my right ear since the Denver conference.

After one week of Flonase administered per the directions...  it ceased.   My sinuses were clear and the noise just stopped.
The day before Miss Madcap got here.   It was so perfect, I had a headache free weekend.
It's seemed to work pretty well for a week.   And we are having red alert allergy weather right now.

Thought you might want to know.

Update: it's been about a month.   Love it.   Silence is golden.

Homework Assignment

Olive Oil Destroys Cancer Cells
While scientists have shown that the oleocanthal compound found in  extra virgin olive oil   causes cell death in cancer cells, they have been unable to provide an explanation for this phenomenon until now.
In a recent study,  Paul Breslin, David Foster, and Onica LeGendre discovered that the key to understanding the toxic effect of oleocantha in cancerous cells lies in its reaction with the lysosomes of the cell, where the cells store waste: the oleocantha ruptures the cancer cell lysosomes causing cell death within 30 minutes to an hour while leaving un-cancerous cells unharmed. This suggests that the lysosomal membranes of cancerous cells are weaker than those of uncancerous cells.
You are all to purchase some extra virgin olive oil (the "lighter flavor" is the most tolerable), and put a teaspoon in your mouth every night before bed.
That goes double for the smokers and drinkers.

The Root of the Problem

Billions 'have untreated tooth decay'
Prof Wagner Marcenes of Queen Mary University of London led an international team of scientists analysing 378 studies involving some 4.7m people between 1990 and 2010.
Their global survey suggests 2.4bn people have untreated tooth decay in their permanent teeth and some 621m children have untreated decay in milk teeth.
According to UK data, a third of the population had untreated dental decay in 2010. In Lithuania, one of the hardest-hit countries, the proportion was more than double this, at 68%.

He said: "It is alarming to see prevention and treatment of tooth decay has been neglected at this level.
Note he does not say "surprising".

Thursday, March 5, 2015

But Of Course

Adults only really catch flu about twice a decade, suggests study

And the entire medical establishment is now hard wired to nag and scare and threaten you into getting the vaccine every year.

Compare and Contrast

Statins Linked to Raised Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Large Finnish study found a nearly 50 percent increase in people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs
Researchers found that statins were associated with an almost 50 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even after adjusting for other factors.
Statins appear to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in several ways, the researchers said. One is that the drugs can increase a person's insulin resistance, and the other is that the cholesterol-lowering drugs seem to impair the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin, according to the report.
November 2013
Not on cholesterol meds? New guidelines may change that
In what's being called a tectonic shift in the way doctors will treat high cholesterol, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology on Tuesday released new treatment guidelines calling for a focus on risk factors rather than just cholesterol levels. The new guidelines could double the amount of people on medication to lower their cholesterol, experts say.
I am still waiting for the AHA to release ONE guideline that doesn't make things worse.
My advice for a better life-  do the opposite of whatever they say.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Orexin in the News

Even if they don't say so explicitly...

Scientists produce hypothalamic neurons, which can help target a range of conditions
Collaborating with scientists from New York, Toronto, and Tokyo, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have devised two methods for using stem cells to generate the type of neurons that help regulate behavioral and basic physiological functions in the human body, such as obesity and hypertension, as well as sleep, mood, and some social disorders.
The work by Florian Merkle and colleagues provides researchers, for the first time, with live hypothalamic neurons to use as targets for drug discovery and therapeutic cell-transplantation efforts for conditions related to stress, reproduction, puberty, and immune function, as hypothalamic neurons are often involved in those diseases as well.
Dr. Merkle presented this experiment at the Cleveland NN conference a few years ago.
I saw the citation last week.
He actually made it to the science news wires.... nice.

I'm pretty sure that stem cell implants are not what we really need though.

Just Sayin'

One of the quickest ways to be deemed mentally ill is to insist that you are physically ill.

Cha Ching!

Researchers find direct link between insulin resistance and behavioral disorders
People with diabetes are more prone to anxiety and depression than those with other chronic diseases that require similar levels of management. The reasons for this aren't well understood, but Joslin Diabetes Center researchers have discovered one potential explanation.
Genetically modifying mice to make their brains resistant to insulin, the Joslin scientists first found that the animals exhibited behaviors that suggest anxiety and depression, and then pinpointed a mechanism that lowers levels of the key neurotransmitter dopamine in areas of the brain associated with those conditions.
"This is one of the first studies that directly shows that insulin resistance in the brain actually can produce a behavioral change."
Pretty, pretty, pretty.
Makes a nice follow up to the previous post, huh?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

This is Why

Because we are sick and tired of being sick and tired and told that we are crazy and lazy instead.