A sign of the times. (wasn't it written in revelations? ;-) )
But seriously. Since about the tail end of the reign of Bush, I have carried cannabis, gift cards and dog food in my car. Because of the massive rise in homelessness I saw.
I do what I can. Dog food for those with dogs. Gift cards for local grocers and or some weed for the humans.
By Thomas Insel
on August 13, 2010
Hints that some mental illness may be linked to infectious agents and/or autoimmune processes date back to at least the early 20th Century. In the 21st Century, the field of microbiomics, which is mapping the microbial environment of the human organism, may transform the way we think about human physical and mental development.1 It is already clear that 90% of “our DNA” is microbial, not human. “We” are, in fact, “super-organisms” made up of thousands of species, many of which are being identified for the first time. And there are persistent individual differences in our microbial ecology established early in life.
Insights from microbiomics have proven important for understanding obesity2 and Type 1 diabetes,3 but microbiomics has not yet been a focus for research on mental illness. Yet, there are many clues linking microbiology and mental disorders, such as epidemiologic evidence of increased risk for schizophrenia associated with prenatal exposure to influenza. Probably the most compelling case for such involvement is children who develop obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or tic disorders “overnight,” following a strep infection. Despite continuing debate over its parameters, evidence is mounting in support of Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) — or at least a syndrome modeled on it.
Last month, the NIMH Pediatric Developmental Neuroscience Branch convened dozens of experts from the field — including prominent PANDAS critics — to update the science and attempt to achieve consensus on criteria defining the syndrome. The mere fact that the conference took place signals a change in the scientific climate. Until now, whether a child presenting with sudden onset of OCD and/or tic symptoms gets checked for possible involvement of strep has varied—often depending on which medical journals a practitioner happens to read. I am hopeful that will begin to change in light of the new evidence.
Interest in PANDAS has also been spurred by an increasingly vocal network of affected families and the clinicians who are treating their often severely-impaired children. Conference participants heard reports from the front lines by some of these clinicians, who largely corroborated key features of the syndrome, originally identified by NIMH’s Dr. Susan Swedo in the mid-l990s. These include sudden onset of mood swings, impulsivity, anxiety, impaired attention and poor handwriting in addition to obsessions, compulsions and tics. Dr. Swedo’s studies have identified brain mechanisms through which strep antibodies act. They have also demonstrated that cleansing the blood of the antibodies, via plasma exchange or intravenous immunoglobulin, significantly diminishes the symptoms.
Impetus for the July conference came, in part, from publication of two independent studies within the past year that lend new credence to the PANDAS concept.
In the first, Columbia University researchers demonstrated, for the first time, that strep-triggered antibodies alone are necessary and sufficient to trigger a PANDAS-like syndrome in mice.4 In an autoimmune-disease susceptible strain of mice, exposure to strep triggered OCD-like repetitive behaviors and antibodies that attacked specific molecules in the brain. PANDAS-like behaviors also emerged in naïve mice after they received antibodies from such PANDAS mice. These included impaired learning and memory and social interaction. As in humans with PANDAS, these impairments were more common in males than females.
In the second study, a Yale University research team reported that OCD and Tourette Syndrome (tic) symptoms worsened slightly following a strep infection in some affected children. Moreover, the strep infection triggered the worsened symptoms by increasing the impact of psycho-social stress.5 The findings suggest that a subset of children with these disorders may be at increased risk of strep infection, which could interact with stress to exacerbate the course, as is seen in other infectious and autoimmune diseases.
Granted, these new findings are still preliminary and need to be replicated. However, the data relating to PANDAS is compelling enough to warrant following up such leads. NIMH is preparing to launch a new trial of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment for PANDAS this Fall, with support from a NIH Clinical Center “Bench to Bedside” award. The intramural NIMH will provide the clinical care, while data analysis will be carried out by independent teams of investigators at Yale University and the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center. Dr. Swedo and her team are hoping to recruit 50 children with clear-cut PANDAS. They are predicting that IVIG treatment will produce striking benefits for OCD and other neuropsychiatric symptoms, and will be most effective for those children who start out with the highest levels of strep-triggered antibodies that go astray and attack parts of the brain. Moreover, monoclonal antibodies derived from these patients will be used to develop animal models of OCD that could lead to improved treatments.
Do infectious agents influence the development of autism, anxiety, or mood disorders? This remains a frontier area for NIMH research. The increasing evidence linking strep infection to OCD in children suggests that microbiomics may prove an important research area for understanding and treating mental disorders.
1Bacterial community variation in human body habitats across space and time.
Costello EK, Lauber CL, Hamady M, Fierer N, Gordon JI, Knight R.
Science. 2009 Dec 18;326(5960):1694-7. Epub 2009 Nov 5.PMID: 19892944
2A core gut microbiome in obese and lean twins.
Turnbaugh PJ, Hamady M, Yatsunenko T, Cantarel BL, Duncan A, Ley RE, Sogin ML, Jones WJ, Roe BA, Affourtit JP, Egholm M, Henrissat B, Heath AC, Knight R, Gordon JI.
Nature. 2009 Jan 22;457(7228):480-4. Epub 2008 Nov 30.PMID: 19043404
3Innate immunity and intestinal microbiota in the development of Type 1 diabetes.
Wen L, Ley RE, Volchkov PY, Stranges PB, Avanesyan L, Stonebraker AC, Hu C, Wong FS, Szot GL, Bluestone JA, Gordon JI, Chervonsky AV.
Nature. 2008 Oct 23;455(7216):1109-13. Epub 2008 Sep 21.PMID: 18806780
4Passive transfer of streptococcus-induced antibodies reproduces behavioral disturbances in a mouse model of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infection.
Yaddanapudi K, Hornig M, Serge R, De Miranda J, Baghban A, Villar G, Lipkin WI.
Mol Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;15(7):712-26. Epub 2009 Aug 11.PMID: 19668249.
5Streptococcal upper respiratory tract infections and psychosocial stress predict future tic and obsessive-compulsive symptom severity in children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Lin H, Williams KA, Katsovich L, Findley DB, Grantz H, Lombroso PJ, King RA, Bessen DE, Johnson D, Kaplan EL, Landeros-Weisenberger A, Zhang H, Leckman JF.
Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Apr 1;67(7):684-91. Epub 2009 Oct 14.PMID: 19833320.
January 31, 2013
by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Two American researchers whose efforts to deliberately re-engineer the H5N1 avian flu virus to be more virulent and deadly to humans are now asking that a government-advised moratorium on their controversial research be lifted. According to TIME, the duo alleges that precise details about how it developed the deadly flu strain must be made public, and that its controversial research be allowed to continue for the sake of “public health.”
As we reported back in early 2012, Ron Fouchier from the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands and Yoshihiro Kawaoka from the University of Wisconsin intentionally developed a militarized strain of H5N1 avian flu capable of easily transmitting among mammals. Natural strains of H5N1, on the other hand, primarily transmit between birds and other fowl only, which means this type of flu is not that significant of a threat to humans.
But for the alleged purpose of learning how H5N1 might mutate at some point in the future to become more of a threat to humans, Fouchier and Kawaoka deliberately induced these mutations in test ferrets with complete success. In the process, they essentially discovered a way to potentially spark a global flu pandemic with the potential to kill or seriously injure billions of people. And following their insane discovery, they actually tried to publish the recipe for this deadly strain in public journals.
Concerned about the possibility that this critical information might be misused, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), a federal advisory committee that oversees research of this nature, urged the two scientists not to publish their findings in the journals Nature and Science. And while they agreed to this recommendation initially, Fouchier and Kawaoka are now pushing to continue on with their work.
“Because H5N1 virus transmission studies are essential for pandemic preparedness and understanding the adaptation of influenza viruses to mammals, researchers who have approval from their governments and institutions to conduct this research safely, under appropriate biosafety and biosecurity conditions, have a public-health responsibility to resume this important work,” allege the original researchers about their work.
Based on the wording of this petition, you would think that H5N1 is responsible for killing at least tens of thousands of people every year, and that we must take action now to stop its spread. But in reality, H5N1 has only infected about 600 people ever since it was first discovered in Hong Kong back in 1997. And among these 600, only about 350 ended up dying, which means roughly 24 people a year, on average, die from H5N1 infection.
Contrast this with the roughly 5,000 Americans who die every year from food poisoning, for instance, and it becomes abundantly clear that H5N1 is hardly the serious public health threat that Fouchier, Kawaoka, and others continually claim it is. The average person is more likely to die from choking on a piece of lettuce than he or she is of ever contracting H5N1 influenza, let alone dying from it. So why all the focus on deliberately inducing H5N1 to spread among humans and cause a real pandemic?
The real answer to this question is shrouded in mystery. If you believe the official explanation, researchers merely want to anticipate how H5N1 might mutate in the future in order to get a handle early on how to address it. It is a purely hypothetical scenario that may not ever come to pass, of course, but it is the purported reason and justification for such research, even though such research could end up being the cause of a deadly H5N1 outbreak in the very near future.
And this brings us to the second and more sinister explanation. Researchers could be deliberately engineering a super-deadly form of H5N1 for the unstated purpose of eventually releasing it into the wild in order to trigger a pandemic. This is not that far-fetched when considering that the researchers involved in this work are carefully studying how many times the already-mutated virus needs to spread between mammals on its own in order to naturally mutate again into an even more deadly virus.
“The case fatality rate of wild H5N1 in the WHO (World Health Organization) database is nearly 60 percent … So if a strain of H5N1 with that fatality rate were engineered to spread like seasonal flu, hundreds of millions of people’s lives would be at risk,” Thomas Inglesby, Director and CEO of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is quoted as saying by CNSNews.com.
“Even a strain a hundred times less fatal would place at risk millions of people’s lives,” he added.
To learn more about how to protect yourself from militarized flu strains, check out the special report, The Five Best Anti-Viral Products to Beat Influenza, Swine Flu, Bird Flu and SARS:
Sources for this article include:
by on January 28, 2013
It is not every day that one’s medical work is confirmed so utterly. On January 3rd of 2013 medical scientists published vindication for Dr. Tullio Simonini and even more so for my own work, which favors oral and transdermal use of bicarbonate instead of using it intravenously. It is not only vastly less expensive to use bicarbonate (baking soda) orally and transdermally in baths, but it is safer and now proven to be effective.
I find it very gratifying to have written and published Sodium Bicarbonate – Rich Man’s Poor Man’s Cancer Treatment. It is the only complete medical review on the subject. I hope it is clear to everyone, after reading the research below from the mainstream of medical science, the importance of becoming familiar with bicarbonate medicine and what it can do for cancer, kidney and diabetic patients as well as for those seeking relief from the worst symptoms of the flu.
“The results of this study suggest that tumor cells do, indeed, perform niche engineering by creating an acidic environment that is non-toxic to the malignant cells but, through its negative effects on normal cells and tissue, promotes local invasion.”
The great advantage to using bicarbonate orally (reinforced by strong magnesium and bicarbonate baths) is that one can dose during all the waking hours and receive a full course of treatment in about ten days. Anyone can drive up their pH and saturate all their cells to a much higher extent through these methods. This is in contrast to Dr. Simoncini’s method that uses the blood for delivery and thus changing the pH is strictly limited by enforced blood parameters.
Exactly how high the pH is driven up using bicarbonate orally can be controlled simply by using pH test strips. One can do this continuously for up to ten days keeping the optimal anti-cancer pH level constant. Using sodium and potassium bicarbonates (seawater offers a parallel reinforcing treatment) involves increasing carbon dioxide levels, which increases oxygen levels as well as cell voltage—something not generally known or understood.
The pH of solid tumors is acidic due to increased fermentative metabolism and poor perfusion. It has been hypothesized that acid pH promotes local invasive growth and metastasis. The hypothesis that acid mediates invasion proposes that H+ diffuses from the proximal tumor microenvironment into adjacent normal tissues where it causes tissue remodeling that permits local invasion.
In the current work, tumor invasion and peritumoral pH were monitored over time using intravital microscopy. In every case, the peritumoral pH was acidic and heterogeneous and the regions of highest tumor invasion corresponded to areas of lowest pH. Tumor invasion did not occur into regions with normal or near-normal pH. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that cells in the invasive edges expressed the glucose transporter GLUT-1 and the sodium-hydrogen exchanger NHE-1, both of which were associated with peritumoral acidosis.
In support of the functional importance of our findings, oral administration of sodium bicarbonate was sufficient to increase peritumoral pH and inhibit tumor growth and local invasion in a preclinical model, supporting the acid-mediated invasion hypothesis.
In their discussions these researchers summarize the basic mechanisms of pH and cancer virility:
The propensity of cancers to invade adjacent normal tissues contributes significantly to local tumor growth and formation of metastases, which are largely responsible for tumor-associated morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms by which tumor cells invade are complex and can be modified in response to environmental conditions. Due to increased glucose metabolism, H+ production and excretion are generally increased in cancers. This, combined with poor perfusion, results in an acidic extracellular pH in malignant tumors (pH = 6.5-6.9) compared to normal tissue under physiologic conditions (pH = 7.2-7.4).
Cancer cells, because of their enhanced evolutionary capacity, develop adaptive mechanisms that allow them to survive and even proliferate in acidic environments. Extracellular pH of tumors is typically highly acidic, and this will inevitably result in acid diffusion into the surrounding stroma.
We propose that the acidic pH of the tumor microenvironment represents a “niche engineering” strategy that promotes local invasion and subsequent in vivo growth of malignant tumors. Support for this model has come from recent observations that neutralization of the tumor derived acid with systemic buffers (e.g. bicarbonate, imidazole, lysine), can inhibit spontaneous and experimental metastases.
 Acidity generated by the tumor microenvironment drives local Invasion; Veronica Estrella, Tingan Chen, Mark Lloyd, et al; Cancer Res Published OnlineFirst January 3, 2013; doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-2796
Published on Jan 30, 2013
A look inside The Supreme Council (Mother Council of the World) of the Inspectors General Knights Commander of the House of the Temple of Solomon of the Thirty-third degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America.
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The former manager of a nursing home has been forced to defend the level of “holistic care” offered to her patients after East Sussex council suggested that allowing prostitutes to visit her residents was inappropriate.
Residents of Chaseley nursing home, in Eastbourne, referred to them as “special visits”. The home’s care workers would take the visitors to a resident’s room. They then put a “special red sock” on the door and checked on them every 15 minutes.
The home, which mainly cares for disabled ex-servicemen, has long had a policy of facilitating sex workers. However a spokesman for the council said that it was unaware of the practice and was investigating because it “has the potential to place vulnerable … residents at risk of exploitation and abuse.”
Helena Barrow, the home’s former manager, defended her use of outside contractors. “Sex workers are allowed by law to sexually enable people but care workers are not,” she said.
On one occasion the home organised a group activity, bringing in strippers to entertain residents.
Tuppy Owens, from the Sexual Health and Disability Alliance, said: “Many disabled people are living in perpetual frustration. What’s illegal is for disabled people to be denied their human rights.”
I took the official definitions of terrorism…. I took the definition that is given in US and British law…. If you apply it, it turns out the United States is one of the leading terrorist states in the world.”
American academic Noam Chomsky
“I took the official definitions of terrorism, which were very good, I took the definition that is given in US and British law, which is a fine definition but has a flaw; If you apply it, it turns out the United States is one of the leading terrorist states in the world,” Chomsky told Press TV in an interview on Tuesday.
The academic added that he had predicted the ongoing so-called war on terror by the US when Ronald Reagan was president in the 1980s.
“I’ve been writing about terrorism since 1981, since Ronald Reagan came into office and declared that a war on terror would be the centerpiece of the American policy,” Chomsky stated.
He called into question the legality of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, saying, “The US and Britain tried to provide a kind of a thin legal cover for the invasion. The legal cover was, as you know, that Saddam had not ended his programs of weapons of mass destruction.”
US-led forces attacked Iraq in 2003 and toppled Saddam Hussein on the pretext of possessing weapons of mass destruction. But no WMD was ever discovered in Iraq.
At the peak of the US-led military operation in Iraq, there were 170,000 US troops and more than 500 bases in Iraq.
More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of the country.
I stop by Starbucks every now and then for my morning coffee. The other day I noticed they’d put some pamphlets on the checkout counter about how good their soy milk is for you. I’d like to share my thoughts on this.
Many people think of soy milk as a healthy milk substitute – including a lot of my clients – and I doubt Starbucks means its customers any harm. But you shouldn’t drink it.
Soy milk is bad for you. Not just the brand Starbucks uses. Any brand. It’s an unnatural byproduct of soy that your body can’t digest.
If you were to eat unprocessed soy, it would cause cramping, nausea, and can cause more serious health problems.
Here are a few of the pamphlet’s false claims about soy milk (and the truth about them):
Claim: “In countries where soy is a dietary staple, such as China and Indonesia, soy consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases.”
Fact: This is only half-true. The soybean itself is inedible. It contains toxins meant to ward off insect predators. These include:
* anti-nutrients that prevent your body from absorbing essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
* enzyme inhibitors that make it harder for your body to absorb protein.
Both of these substances can give you abdominal pain, gas, nausea, cramps, and other gastrointestinal problems.
* hemagglutinin, a substance that promotes blood clots.
* goitrogens, which cause gout and thyroid problems.
Societies that depend heavily on soy-based foods use traditional preparation methods thousands of years old that neutralize or eliminate these poisons.
Tempeh, miso, natto, and soy sauce are fermented products. The fermentation process destroys the toxins. Tofu comes from the pressed “curds” of the soybean. The rest is thrown out – and the bad stuff along with it.
Compare this with the industrial processes that go into making soymilk: washing the beans in alkaline or boiling them in a petroleum-based solvent; bleaching, deodorizing, and pumping them full of additives; heat-blasting and crushing them into flakes; and then mixing them with water to make “milk.”
This only adds more dangerous chemicals without removing any of soy’s natural toxins. This is NOT a “dietary staple” in China, Indonesia, or any other country. And it shouldn’t be here, either.
Claim: “Also, interest in soy is rising because scientists have discovered that a soy component called isoflavone appears to reduce the risk of certain diseases.”
Fact: The opposite is true. Recent science suggests soy “isoflavones” are dangerous to your health.
Isoflavone isn’t actually a single substance, but a category of substances. Isoflavones include “phyto-estrogens,” plant-based compounds that mimic the female hormone. Eat enough of these and you’ll upset your body’s hormonal balance.
The young are especially vulnerable: research published just last year found that soy-based phyto-estrogens can cause “precocious puberty.” The study focused on a four-and-a-half year old girl who had developed breasts because her parents fed her too much soy formula.
Clinical research also links two of these phyto-estrogens, genistein and daidzein, to childhood leukemia and breast cancer.
Stick with a little milk or half-and-half in your coffee. It would be great if Starbucks offered organic dairy. That would be truly healthy. Keep some on hand at home and in the office if you have access to a refrigerator (and if you tolerate it). Better yet, switch to green tea.
As for soy products, the traditional fermented soy foods like tempeh, miso and soy sauces are safe and healthy. (Again, go organic if you can.)
To Better Health!
Reed Davis has been the Clinical Nutritionist and Case Manager at a Wellness Center in Southern California since 1998 and has been teaching Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® since 2007. He has extensive training, knowledge and experience in functional lab work and has helped over ten thousand people with a wide range of health problems. Reed is a Clinical Advisor for BioHealth Diagnostics Laboratory, helping providers around the world to interpret lab test results and integrate functional lab work into their practices. For more information on learning opportunities visit www.FDNmanager.com or please call 858-842-3266 or email info@FDNmanager.com
Ditching meat and fish in favour of a vegetarian diet can have a dramatic effect on the health of your heart, research suggests.
A study of 44,500 people in England and Scotland showed vegetarians were 32% less likely to die or need hospital treatment as a result of heart disease.
Differences in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body weight are thought to be behind the health boost.
The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Heart disease is a major blight in Western countries. It kills 94,000 people in the UK each year – more than any other disease, and 2.6 million people live with the condition.
The heart’s own blood supply becomes blocked up by fatty deposits in the arteries that nourish the heart muscle. It can cause angina or even lead to a heart attack if the blood vessels become completely blocked.
Scientists at the University of Oxford analysed data from 15,100 vegetarians and 29,400 people who ate meat and fish.
Over the course of 11 years, 169 people in the study died from heart disease and 1,066 needed hospital treatment – and they were more likely to have been meat and fish eaters than vegetarians.
“Choosing the veggie option on the menu is not a shortcut to a healthy heart”
Tracy Parker British Heart Foundation
Dr Francesca Crowe said: “The main message is that diet is an important determinant of heart health, I’m not advocating that everyone eats a vegetarian diet.
“The diets are quite different. Vegetarians probably have a lower intake of saturated fat so it makes senses there is a lower risk of heart disease.”
The results showed the vegetarians had lower blood pressure, lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and were more likely to have a healthy weight.
Tracy Parker, from the British Heart Foundation, said: “This research reminds us that we should try to eat a balanced and varied diet – whether this includes meat or not.
“But remember, choosing the veggie option on the menu is not a shortcut to a healthy heart. After all, there are still plenty of foods suitable for vegetarians that are high in saturated fat and salt.
“If you’re thinking of switching to a vegetarian diet, make sure you plan your meals carefully so that you replace any lost vitamins and minerals, such as iron, that you would normally get from meat.”