Friday, February 26, 2016

Fat and Lazy

Obesity actually causes people to see the world differently, study shows
In the first experiment, customers visiting Walmart were asked to volunteer for a project—each was asked to state how far away a cone was that had been placed on a sidewalk outside—the actual distance was 25 meters away—but the researchers found that overweight people tended to think it was farther away than it really was—overshooting by up to five meters. Interestingly, those who were slimmer than average tended to underestimate, thinking it was up to 15 meters closer than it actually was.
The researchers suggest these results show that as people gain weight, they begin to perceive the world differently—as an example, they note that a person hiking with a heavy backpack tends to start seeing hills as farther away, higher and more difficult to reach than a person without a pack.
 Such experiments show, the researchers suggest, that perception changes are a fixed result of weight gain—people can't stop it from happening even if they want to do so. That means, they suggest, that weight loss programs need to take such perceptions into consideration if they are to work, such as having participants wear goggles that make things look closer, or avoiding walking where there are hills.
Okay, now this is a good experiment.   I like it.
But the conclusion made here is a little lacking.   They seem to believe that this is merely a matter of weight, that adding weight makes you judge distance differently.
That is not really what's going on.

We have much less energy production in our cells than other people.   Everything about obesity- orexin deficiency and insulin resistance  and leptin overload and mitochondrial dysfunction LOWERS your basal energy levels.
And when your brain does the math to go a distance, it calculates that task based on the amount of energy you will need to succeed.   
So that seems like a lot more work to us.
Because it frakking IS.

(And don't forget the impaired cognition and lowered motivation due to dopamine deficiency.)

It is twice as much work for us to get half as much done.
That is the opposite of lazy.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Nail that Coffin Shut

High-cholesterol diet, eating eggs do not increase risk of heart attack, not even in persons genetically predisposed, study finds
A new study shows that a relatively high intake of dietary cholesterol, or eating one egg every day, are not associated with an elevated risk of incident coronary heart disease. Furthermore, no association was found among those with the APOE4 phenotype, which affects cholesterol metabolism and is common among the Finnish population. In the majority of population, dietary cholesterol affects serum cholesterol levels only a little, and few studies have linked the intake of dietary cholesterol to an elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases. Globally, many nutrition recommendations no longer set limitations to the intake of dietary cholesterol.
Yeah but- cholesterol tests and all the follow up protocols are so profitable...
It's amazing how much more medical care you need after getting ineffectual health care advice.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Just Because

Glitter and the Zombie Freaks

Article Roundup

Diabetes drug shown to help body rebuild after heart attack
Heart disease is the leading cause of illness in diabetic patients. It accounts for more than half of all fatalities and the search for enhanced treatments is of high importance.
For the first time, researchers have explored the mechanism behind metformin, a key treatment used by diabetic patients to prevent heart disease. The findings are published today in the journal, Cardiovascular Diabetology.
They found new blood vessel formation that is essential for heart attack recovery, and they established metformin enhances the physiological process through which new blood vessels form.

Investigation casts doubt over trial used to support top-selling anti-clotting drug
The trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 2011, compared rivaroxaban with the older anti-clotting drug warfarin for preventing strokes in patients with irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).
But there are now concerns about the trial results after The BMJ discovered that the blood clotting test device used during the trial had been recalled in December 2014 after giving falsely low test results.
In a special report, The BMJ's Associate Editor, Dr Deborah Cohen, says: "In terms of the trial results, it could make rivaroxaban seem safer than it was with respect to the risk of bleeding"
A new reason to give up soda: Your sugar habit may cause breast cancer
A new study finds that high-fructose corn syrup and even sugars found in fruit can fuel the growth of cancer cells.

Opioids tied to higher risk of infections in rheumatoid arthritis
The researchers found that among 1,790 patients with RA who had one or more hospitalizations for serious infection, the adjusted incidence rate of serious infection was higher for periods of current opioid use versus non-use.

Popular heartburn drugs linked to risk of dementia
A popular class of heartburn medications might raise a senior's risk of dementia, a new study suggests.
Called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), this group of drugs includes Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid. They work by lowering the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
But German researchers found that people 75 or older who regularly take the medications had a 44 percent increased risk of dementia, compared with seniors not using the drugs. The study only found an association, however, and not a cause-and-effect link.
 Yes, well heartburn and dementia are both caused by eating too much carbs.  So just taking drugs to ease the pain isn't really alleviating that problem.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cognitive Dissonance

Why are things like this possible?

Lego prosthetic arm for children wins award at Paris show

While imparting basic information about common infections seems to be a non-starter?

The mind, it boggles.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Type 2 diabetes drug can exhaust insulin-producing cells
To study the long-term effects of incretin therapy, which has never previously been assayed, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of Miami worked with humanised mice, generated by transplanting human insulin-producing cells into the anterior chamber of the eye. The mice were given daily doses of liraglutide for more than 250 days, during which time the researchers were able to monitor how the pancreatic beta cells were affected. The results showed an initial improvement in the insulin-producing cells, followed by a gradual exhaustion, with reduced secretion of insulin as a response to glucose. This, they say, was unexpected.
Oh fck all y'all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Groundhog Day

New Clues to How the Brain Maps Time
The same brain cells that track location in space appear to also count beats in time. The research suggests that our thoughts may take place on a mental space-time canvas.
I am real interested in this lately.   The tinnitus really messed up my sense of navigation.  The ears seem to sense direction.  
The Keflex blew away my sequencing ability too.    This has made it extremely difficult to adjust to a new city and climate.  I do okay on my familiar paths now, but traveling has been a real challenge.

Now that I feel better, I am trying to be more deliberate in memorizing things that used to be automatic.   Rebuild my internal map and circadian schedule.   Hippocampal basic training. 

Do the next thing.  All day.
Wake up and start over again.  

Monday, February 8, 2016

I will go weep some more now.

I went to Florida last month for a very special event.
Our friend Christina defended her dissertation and received her doctorate in Biomedical Science, specializing in Immunology and Microbiology.

It was such a special moment that I have had a hard time processing it into words.

Christina contacted me about seven years ago, and was so sick she was considering dropping out of college.    She asked for my number and called me on the phone. 
She asked me if the gluten free diet really helped.   And I said Yes.   I said it is the First Thing that has truly helped.   It's not perfect, and I don't know why it works, but this is the first thing I have tried that actually makes it better.
It was a manic mess of a conversation (on both sides),  but I could tell she was truly intellectually gifted.   And that if her brain melted in college like mine did, it would be a huge tragedy and enormous loss for the world.

I begged her to try it.

She did, she got much better, and stayed in school and got her college degree.

Now, I would really like to take credit for that but I don't.
She had already halfway figured it out, and besides she has always been the cognitive driving force in our friendship.  I am a crazy old lady and I like to pretend I am smart, but she really is.  And she really wanted to know how Narcolepsy really works.  I just had a lifetime of experiencing what didn't work.  She never gave me any slack and made her own observations and pointed out contradictions and always had a research study to back herself up.  It was pretty annoying sometimes, but as it turns out, she was usually right.

After college, she went straight into graduate school to study intestines and metabolism, specifically Diabetes.   She was convinced it's in the guts.   And everything she learned there and all her research has supported that hypothesis.   Narcolepsy is a bit more complicated than either of us imagined in the beginning, but it is not just a brain problem, it's a metabolic disease closely related to diabetes and the intestines are definitely involved.   And experiencing those effects on the inside made her able to contribute a broader perspective of that process to her colleagues.
She's now going to work for a Gut-Brain Axis researcher, studying the effect of diet on behavior.   It sounds like the perfect place for her.   (Here, watch me eat this donut!)

Just getting a doctorate while suffering from Narcolepsy is a pretty significant achievement.
Hell, just keeping a job is usually impossible.
Getting a doctorate to fathom the intricacies of the illness while personally testing therapy ideas and surfing the freaky symptoms makes it a fractal victory squared.

I wept through the entire presentation.   And evening celebration.
I was terrible company, lost within myself, but I didn't care, because what I had witnessed was the Power of Science.   A practical Miracle.  
To say that out loud while sobbing would have sounded delusional.
But she should have been asleep, and her mind was as sharp and bright as a diamond.

This brilliant young woman is living proof this is real and mostly manageable.  And she now truly believes that it is pretty easily explainable and will be increasingly preventable.
She knows this stuff inside out  and upside down, and can help us tie all our research together.  And I am confident she won't let all our hard earned knowledge fall back into our memory holes.
No one will ever be able to tell us this is all our imagination, ever again.
That is everything that I dreamed of...

Congratulations to Christina L. Graves, PhD.
You are a truly extraordinary scientist.
And Glorious Viking Warrior.

Because I Must


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Thoughts for Super Bowl Sunday

Aggression causes new nerve cells to be generated in the brain
Researchers studied the changes that occurred in the brains of mice demonstrating aggressive behavior, which attacked other mice and won in fights. After a win, these mice became even more aggressive, and new neurons appeared in their hippocampus - one of the key structures of the brain; in addition to this, in mice that were allowed to continue fighting certain changes were observed in the activity of their nerve cells.

This is what the researchers assert.  
 - Our behavior, and the behavior of animals, has an influence on the function of the brain and may cause long-term changes
This is what all psychologists assert.
That behavior alone can change the brain.

That may be so.   But this study proves no such thing.   These animals were injured, and the immune response changes the brain.   Not the behavior.   Not the emotional reward.
The hippocampus remembers where dangerous things happen.
And experiencing an immune response is a fundamental molecular indicator of danger.

It looks very much like:
-Low levels of injury increase the stress hormones, including dopamine- which produces positive  memories and confidence.   Dopamine also triggers alertness and exploring.
-And high levels of injury overwhelms the immune response and triggers depression and avoidance memories.
As it should be, I guess.

But then again-  Today is the day we celebrate that basic neurology by inducing brain damage in the winners of the human aggression tests.

Same as it ever was.

Update:  As I was saying...
Ronda Rousey thought 'about killing myself' after Holly Holm knockout

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Couple for You

Antibiotics may increase susceptibility to sexually transmitted viral infections
The researchers investigated the mechanisms of commensal microbial immunity on the genital mucosa by treating mice with antibiotics for four weeks and then exposing them to HSV-2. A control group received placebo. They report that the antibiotics caused a a dramatic increase in innate immune response—specifically, they noted increases in a molecule which blocked effector T cells from migrating into the vaginal tissues and secreting antiviral cytokines.
Antibiotic-treated mice succumbed to HSV-2 infection dramatically faster than control mice. They exhibited more severe pathology and all mice treated with antibiotics prior to viral exposure died within 11 days of infection. "Taking these data together, we find that depletion of commensal bacteria results in a severe defect in antiviral protection following mucosal HSV-2 infection," the researchers write.

Some chronic viral infections could contribute to cognitive decline with aging
They found CMV, HSV-2 or toxoplasma exposure is associated with different aspects of cognitive decline in older people that could help explain what is often considered to be age-related decline.
"This is important from a public health perspective, as these infections are very common and several options for prevention and treatment are available," noted senior investigator Mary Ganguli, M.D., M.P.H., professor of psychiatry at Pitt. "As we learn more about the role that infectious agents play in the brain, we might develop new prevention strategies for cognitive impairment."
Hmmmm.... yes, I thought of that many years ago and I'm a housewife and had pretty serious cognitive impairment caused by viruses at the time... 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

This is Why

Because this young lady is clearly infected and septic.

She shows all the signs of Adenoid Hypertropy.   And a raging sinus infection.   Look at those droopy eyes, flaming cheeks, swollen mouth and skin blemishes.   Infection all over her head.

And she's weeping and suicidal.
"I'm more wiling now than before to expose what the federal government is doing because it's worth it. If I lose my life for the future of America it's worth it. People lost their lives for our freedom. And if I lose mine for the freedom of others, than it's worth it."
Considering Self Martyrdom is a BIG RED FLAG.

That girl needs some Sudafed,  baking soda rinses, and a gluten free diet.
Emergency Zombie Intervention.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Correlation Games

Diabetes discovery could lead to more effective drugs
The formation of type 2 diabetes is directly related to how our muscles convert sugar, a landmark new study has found.
The work, published in Molecular Metabolism, is the first strong evidence that when muscles fail to convert glucose into a substance called glycogen, it leads to the hallmarks of type 2 diabetes.  They hope the research will lead to development of a drug to that could convert glucose into glycogen when muscle metabolism fails.
My turn:

Hypothalamic orexin stimulates feeding-associated glucose utilization in skeletal muscle via sympathetic nervous system.
We show that injection of orexin-A into the ventromedial hypothalamus of mice or rats increased glucose uptake and promoted insulin-induced glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in skeletal muscle, but not in white adipose tissue...
And guess what not only raises blood glucose but also lowers orexin production?

Maybe we don't actually need those drugs to solve this problem.  Just sayin.

Food for Thought

Moderate seafood consumption reduces Alzheimer's risk in certain people: study 
Eating at least one seafood meal per week was linked to a reduced risk of having Alzheimer's disease in older adults with a gene known as APOE4, a U.S. study said Tuesday.
This association, however, was not found in the brains of people who ate fish weekly but did not carry the gene, said the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Researchers from the Rush University Medical Center also examined the brains for levels of mercury, which can be found in seafood and is known to be harmful to the brain and nervous system.
They found that seafood consumption was associated with increased mercury levels in the brains but not the amount of beta amyloid protein plaques and tau protein tangles, the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
If you only get one of your genes tested.... it should be APOE.
APOE4 totally changes your immune response.  Makes you more susceptible to Herpes viruses and the effects of endotoxin.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

See the Vortex

Hypothesis: White People are susceptible to commensural microbes that biohack their immune systems to adjust their metabolism to extremes in sunlight and weather.

I believe our metabolisms have been optimized (by microbes) for work in the summer and hibernation in the winter.

Way back when... let's say 20 or 30 thousand years ago, there were migrations of people going up into Northern Europe. Probably along the west coast, up to the North Sea and Scandanavia. (or it may have been from an earlier migration, and these were Caucasians coming back from the east)

It is clear that the people who survived are the ones who carried mutations for traits that were beneficial in high latitude areas-
Like lighter skin. And blue eyes. And more Vitamin D production. And lifelong lactose tolerance.
My theory is, they also have genes that promote tolerance for certain microbes. Some epithelial change that facilitates permanent colonization. (Nasal Strep is common, but Staph is too)

And the reason for this is because the immune system is triggered by light, and this modifies metabolic activity due to seasonal changes.
In specific, we predictably get sick in winter and that makes us tired. Which reduces activity and metabolic expenditure.


This is how the yearly circadian cycle goes if you're a Neolithic Northern European:

When the sunlight lessens in Autumn, orexin levels lower and metabolism changes. Insulin resistance increases. The harvest season provides for carbohydrate loading and fat storage.

Then cold weather facilitates an initial viral infection which then lowers resistance to bacterial infection. And everyone goes inside and infects each other.  And becomes Vitamin D deficient.

The persistent bacterial infections lower orexin levels more and slows down metabolism and activity. Stored grains are more easily turned into body fat, and then burned slowly. But alcohol induces obsession, which facilitates repetitious tasks like weaving and tool making. Or storytelling and memorization.

When the days get longer- orexin levels increase, and the immune system ramps up again.
Metabolism increases and vitamin D levels too. The infections subside. By the time it's warm, people are active, and may even wash themselves.

Long days and lots of work and less available carbs promotes ketosis and mania. This is helpful if you have to farm and your warm season is only a few months long.


We are slave zombies controlled by parasites.
(Parasites that like to eat bread and drink beer.)

Migration to sunnier places, or artificial light and temperature and a year-round constant schedule mess all this stuff up, of course. Not to mention modern diet, medicines and antibiotics. They turn this mechanism inside out.

See the Matrix.

I Didn't Forget

Sorry I have been neglecting the blog. I have actually been interacting with real humans in real life.
It's Fascinating.

Anyhow, I'll put up some original writing for your amusement now.