Tuesday, February 28, 2006



'Menopause and its effect on the mind

The Patient's Doctor: The most powerful patient communication tool you can use

The Patient's Doctor: The most powerful patient communication tool you can use

Education versus indoctrination? Might be a great idea.

HealthyConcerns.com: Heathy Story: "give me healing energy and drive me to the doctor"


The pediatrician named Flea sks the question- scroll down- about mall docs, and are they any good. I Don't Think So, but other people do.... think marketing.

I guess Wal Mart has deeper pockets if there ever were liability issues- wrong diagnoses etc....

I was so mad!!!!!

Fat Doctor: House

At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 11:59:55 AM, Anonymous said...
When doctors don't know the answers, we don't hesitate to imply the patient is not mentally sound, do we?

The worst thing a doctorr/medical system can tell a patient is that it is ALL IN THEIR HEAD. I read here some people saying that patients had secondary gains from illness- maybe you should go and look up what cytokines can do for how pain is interpreted in the brain. Of course though, you people are the experts- we are just the ones who have to live with uncertainty only to be told that we are somehow wanting our spouse to be ill because it fulfills some kind of sick need in us.



Unequivocally NOOOOOOOOOO!!

After being told that a relatives pain was not really real- it was a psychological problem- I set out to find out why fatigue and pain were twinned. I set out to find out what opiates did for pain. And I set out to prove that I wasn't REALLY a Sick and twisted F*&K that wanted this person ill for my gain.

Microglia and Astrocyte involvement, TNF IL1 IL6 cascades and other weird stuff happens when pain switches from ACUTE to CHRONIC.

Opiates essentially enflame glial response, meaning that more opiates are needed for the same effect on pain.

And if you look on PUBMED and look up all this stuff you can see that I am not a sick F**k, but I am right. Inflammation can set up a chain reaction i the body that is first manifested by depression and malaise----------obviously why we have stupid personality theories of disease in the world. Google the article SLACKER OR SICK with a reference to BARR in it, and also look up Watkins. Look up Remicades effect on RA and cytokine changes.

I am so angry. Livid. Why don't you people look at secondary losses- what happens when people are in chronic pain, have a chronic condition or become mentally ill. What do they LOSE??? Do you honestly think that anyone wants to lose their income self esteem and their sanity so they can sit on their ass and whistle dixie all day?

Maybe you guys need to live with a person in chronic pain for a while before you can get that this is no more a choice than having a truck fall from the sky and squish you. Except I think you wpould probably find a way to blame that on the patient as well from the sound of the comments here

Later on NHS BLOG DOC and the ME discussion:

pm | #


If you look up excercise and cytokines on the internet you will find out that excercise increases !L6 production. Since IL6 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that increases pain and dysfunction, then does it not stand to reason that if ME/CFS patients have a glial/cytokine mediated issue with their body then maybe that is why graded excercise programs don't work. AND>>>>>>

I am sick of psychological crap. Like I have said before treatment for other ORGANIC illness is not predicated on "playing the game" at the local pain clinic and psychotherapy.

Did I ever tell you that Freud is at the root of all of this idiocy and he needs to be replaced with a scientific version of illness.

When pro-inflammatory cytokines can cause malaise and fatigue- HOWEVER they are set off- maybe we should give them a bigger look and not just stick to the "psych" problems of disease.

Transformational Healing _ What are y9ou-some kind of '''F-ing''' Christian?

What is "Transformational Healing"?

Cancer Survival and Alternative Medicine

Cancer Survival & Alternative Medicine
"The use of AM seems to predict a shorter survival from cancer."

Dr. Andy: Compulsory vaccination

Monday, February 27, 2006

How to Teach kids- How to Burn Them Out

Los Angeles Times: My kid, a burnout at 5

I work with short people and I can attest to the truth of this. Reading Riting and Rithmetic are the norm- teachers fight this in their own ways, though. Our class has centre time and field trips, but we also go full days. Where I am from this is unusual. Kids work is play. Social skills are lacking and we wonder why. Well- I think it is because we expect so much academically, that we forget that we are social beings first. If we do not have that social context, we will be bright but stupid. And sometimes just plain mean. Kids should LOVE kindergarten, and they should be excited to play and run and sing and dance- not just sit sit sit sit- In the words of Dr. Suess.

Stories shouldn't have to have a reason to fit into the curriculum. The stupidest books out there are the reading books for kids this age. They are devoid of imagination, and are boring as hell. Whoevev made these things must hate to read themselves. I am so angry when kids are forced to read crappy books or literature just because it is curricular. When I do my small group is when we PLAy with books and stories and songs and language.

Parents need to read to their kids too. The more parents read, the better example they set for their children and the more literate they are. When my kids were little we read EVERYTHING- Suess, Sendak, Munsch- and I adapted the stories to fit the kids. I WAS SO MAD and WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE were favorites. SO was an Usborne book called DUCK ON HOLIDAY- I hated the book, but my son loved it. It was an everynighter. We would read four or five books, sing songs, finish with the MOON SONG, and tuck in. It took an hour but all three kids are avid readers. We went to the library, we played puppets and dress up and had a room for crafts- glue and glitter were everywhere. We marched around the living room playing our instruments (imaginary of course) to SEVENTY SIX TROMBONES from the Music Man. There were oodles of neighbourhood kids over daily. The Tooth Fairy was attacked by the cat one day- the evidence was the glitter on the floor and the red (lipstick ) on the cats. (Mommy had do change and had to come up with a good reason why the Tooth Fairy had not come) We sang into broccoli while cooking dinner. We had Easter Trees and Christmas Eggs. We fished in the pond for crawly things- and Mommy fell in.... We talk about this stuff still, and my kids are old now. Way past childhood.

I dunno- get involved and bitch if kindergarten is tough on your kids, and do what you can at home. A couple of bucks and a big imagination can take your kids further than learning to print their names properly.

My kid, a burnout at 5
When did kindergarten become a full-time job for children?
By L.J. Williamson
L.J. WILLIAMSON is a writer living in Granada Hills.

February 27, 2006

MY SON ALREADY hates school, and he's just halfway through kindergarten.

It's not because his family isn't pro-school. Daddy has a PhD and is a professor, just like Grandpa was; Grandma has a master's of science degree, and because Mom is a writer, you can bet little Ricky knew his ABCs well before the first day of class.

We were excited when school began and confident, given his advance preparation and egghead background, that our son would do well.

It took three days before the bad reports started coming in.

"You need to teach your son how to write his name," the teacher said.

"What are you talking about?" I asked, sure she had my son confused with some other child. "He knows how to write his name."

"Yes, but he's writing it in capital letters. He needs to write it in upper and lower case."

That was when I first noticed that things had changed since I was 5.

The extent of the changes didn't sink in until after Halloween, when our son brought home an enchanting book he'd made, full of paintings of pumpkins. Yet instead of viewing it with pleasure, it left us feeling depressed. My husband pointed out that school had been in session for more than two months and these were the first pieces of art he'd brought home. Until that point, everything else had been worksheets filled with letters and numbers.

When I was in kindergarten, there were ABCs, finger painting, a nap, and mommy picked you up at noon. Now kindergarten is a 30-hour-a-week job. There's nightly homework; finger painting is a rare treat; and as for naps, there just isn't time.

Have the needs of 5-year-olds really changed that much? Not according to Ricky. When I asked him what he liked most about school, he said, "Recess."

I pressed for something positive. "Don't you like rug time?" His answer: "No, because I have to just do nothing but sit for a long time."

"What about seatwork time?" "No, I don't like it because I have to just work so fast."

During a talk at our son's preschool, visiting kindergarten teachers talked up the benefits of having children wait until age 6 to begin kindergarten, rather than enrolling them as soon as they become eligible at 5. "They'll be really ready, they'll have the advantage of being the oldest in the class, and when they get to high school, they'll be the first ones to drive." And in response to my queries about the rigorous academics we found in kindergarten, my son's teacher explained that the current kindergarten curriculum was, until five years ago, the first-grade curriculum.

So if we are being advised to wait until age 6 to begin school, and the first-grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten, the kindergarten I once knew has effectively been eliminated. No wonder there is a drive for universal preschool. Preschool is the new kindergarten.

The reason schools have pushed down the curriculum to younger students? Higher test scores mean more cash, because the state pegs teacher bonuses to academic performance index improvements. So now children are being prodded to work at a level above what may be developmentally appropriate — especially for those children with "late birthdays" who actually start kindergarten at 4 — so the schools can earn bonuses for improving performance. But at what cost to the kids?

It seems that advocates of universal preschool believe the solution to problems in our schools is to simply add more school. Yet if the funds proposed to create universal preschool were used to boost teacher salaries and hire more classroom aides, it could make a big dent overnight in the so-called teacher shortage.

Teachers need to spend less time chasing bonuses and more time considering the problems inherent in pressuring children to read a year earlier than they used to, before the existence of API scores and the cookie-cutter Open Court reading program.

If school is drudgery from the start, it's no wonder that the Los Angeles Unified School District has a high dropout rate. I'm hopeful that kindergarten will one day be a hazy memory for my son, but I'm fearful that it will set the tone for the remainder of his school years.


If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at latimes.com/archives.

Article licensing and reprint options

Infection Is Growing in Scope, Resistance - Los Angeles Times

RED HERRING | Pig Cells Cure Monkey Diabetes

RED HERRING | Pig Cells Cure Monkey Diabetes

The only thing I wonder about is- even though they sat that the liver only has a tiny bit of virus and won't cause disease is that in fact going to bear out over time?

Pig Cells Cure Monkey Diabetes

Researchers use pig insulin-producing cells to cure monkeys of type 1 diabetes.
February 27, 2006

Scientists have successfully cured type 1 diabetes in macaque monkeys using cells for the pancreases of newly born pigs and a novel immunosuppressant drug, suggesting a pig-cell cure for the human disease might be just around the corner.

The monkeys with the transplanted insulin-producing pancreatic cells, called islet cells, were able to produce insulin for the rest of their lives. The research was published online Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.

The findings are important in a number of ways. Human, rather than pig, islet cell transplantation has already been shown to reverse type 1 diabetes in people with the condition. But the problem is that the number of people in need of donor cells far outstrips their availability.

Each donated human pancreas can only produce enough cells for a maximum of one transplant, and only 3,000 to 4,000 organs become available each year. However, more than 1 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin.


So the growing evidence that pigs might be able to provide functioning donor islet cells for people holds much hope.

“The next steps are to prove porcine [pig] islet cells can be a source for human transplantation and to verify the safety of the transplant procedures,” said Dr. Rajotte, founder and director of the University of Alberta's Islet Transplantation Group.

“It's hoped within the next three to five years, we will begin testing neonatal porcine islet transplants in human patients,” he added.

The researchers found that neonatal pig cells transplants in monkeys that were given drugs to suppress their immune system were not successful because the monkeys’ T-cells destroyed them.

However, six out of seven monkeys that received the cells with a new drug were able to handle monthly glucose injections for the rest of their lives because the cells produced insulin in response to the sudden hike in their blood sugar.

Bristol-Myers Squibb researchers developed the new drug called Belatacept along with scientists at the Emory Transplant Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The company announced a deal with Incheon Metropolitan City, South Korea-based Celltrion in June last year to manufacture several of its late stage experimental products, including Belatacept.

“The use of nonhuman primates was critical for testing cross-species viral transmission due to their close genetic link to humans,” said Kenneth Cardona, a scientist at the Emory Transplant Center and the Yerkes Research Center.

A major concern about using other species’ cells and organs in human transplants is that it might aid the evolution of new types of viruses in the human population (see Rising Risk of Epidemics Seen).

In this study, the researchers conducted postmortem studies of the monkeys’ livers, kidneys, spleens, and some lymph nodes to check for pig viruses. Although they found some evidence of viruses in the liver, the finding was deemed insignificant in terms of its potential to cause new infections.

“After extensive testing, there was no evidence of transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses between the porcine cells and the transplant animals,” added Dr. Cardona.

Chicago Tribune | Stress and the lonely rat: Study hints at why women cope better

Chicago Tribune | Stress and the lonely rat: Study hints at why women cope better

Stress and the lonely rat: Study hints at why women cope better

By Peter Gorner
Tribune science reporter
Published February 27, 2006

Female rodents handle stress much better than males, which may hint at why women seem better able to survive social isolation than men, a pioneering University of Chicago research team reported Monday.

The difference in the female lab rats' responses may stem from the demands of motherhood, the researchers speculated. The idea is that mothers who can fend off stress and injury can better protect their young.

The study used 120 rats to document the long-lasting effect that three months of isolation and one 30-minute episode of acute physical stress had on the function of the rodents' immune systems.

The researchers measured what is known as the inflammatory response, the body's initial, fundamental immune reaction to bacteria, viruses and other invaders.

Just two or three weeks after being subjected to isolation and the brief period of acute physical stress, male rats showed a markedly slower inflammatory response than female rats when injected with a foreign body.

In fact, the response of the female rats was "staggeringly stronger," the authors wrote in their paper, which appears in a publication from the American Journal of Physiology.

"The study reinforces a growing body of evidence on health disparities between men and women and may shed light on why socially isolated men are more vulnerable to disease and death than isolated women," said co-author Gretchen Hermes, referring to studies showing that men who have few personal relationships may have increased risk of heart disease.

Senior author Martha McClintock noted that the inflammatory response "not only is at the heart of autoimmune diseases but also is involved in cancer, heart disease, infectious disease--just a whole variety of problems."

"Showing the effects of social isolation on the fundamental immune process has a lot of clinical implications," she said.

Team has history of success

McClintock, a psychology professor and director of the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago, specializes in determining how social interactions and individual beliefs regulate gene expression, affecting health and sickness.

She and her colleagues are most famous for finding the first conclusive scientific evidence of human pheromones--airborne chemical signals that can't be detected with the five senses but apparently influence how we think, feel and behave.

McClintock studies tough Norway rats, which have evolved into survivors. These common sewer rats are a particularly social species that live in large colonies of closely spaced burrows with cooperative grooming, feeding and rearing of offspring.

The new study covered three months, a significant portion of the rats' life span, and showed the lasting effects of an acutely stressful event superimposed on the chronic social condition of isolation.

"We stressed the animals for just 30 minutes by putting them in a plastic restraint tube that mimics the collapse of their burrow," McClintock said. "Two weeks later, we tested them and found huge sex differences in response to that very brief physical stressor."

Among the males, the episode of acute stress further delayed the inflammatory response when they were exposed to a foreign substance. "But in the females, it actually compensated for the effects of isolation. It had a positive enhancing effect on the immune system," McClintock said.

The results dovetail with studies that have found rats are more likely to give birth to female offspring than male offspring in times of stress, McClintock said, as it suggests males are less likely to survive under stressful circumstances.

It is not clear why females heal more quickly than males under stress, but the authors said it may be a protection that evolved as females tried to protect their offspring.

"While lactating, maternal rats become highly aggressive toward intruders and predators and are at high risk for wounding, particularly from neck bites," the report states.

So it makes evolutionary sense for females to respond to an immediate stressor by enhancing their inflammatory response and healing more quickly, McClintock said.

Sexes differ after a brief stress

Another possibility is that males and females experience stress differently, the study said.

If females perceive the restraint as more traumatic, they may react more strongly to the introduction of the foreign body and produce a stronger immune reaction.

"I think probably the most striking thing are the dramatic sex differences in the enduring effects of a brief stress," McClintock said.

"If I were to link the study to what's in the news right now, there are studies of differences in heart disease in men and women. We used to think they were the same disease, but now we know the nature of the inflammation is very different.

"In men it's localized in the large vessels; in females it's along the smaller vessels of the heart."

McClintock said she hoped the study would be an important contribution in the understanding of sex differences of disease--"but, specifically, disease as it occurs in the context of real social and psychological life."



Sunday, February 26, 2006

Glucosamine abrogates the acute phase of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by induction of Th2 response.

Entrez PubMed

This might have to go in MS Rats as well.... I am wondering if this adds to the debate of glucosamine and pain in arthritis. I will have to find the glucosamine article I just read today about glucosamine not being effective for pain.

1: J Immunol. 2005 Dec 1;175(11):7202-8. Related Articles, Links

Glucosamine abrogates the acute phase of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by induction of Th2 response.

Zhang GX, Yu S, Gran B, Rostami A.

Department of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. guang-xian.zhang@jefferson.edu

Glucosamine, a natural glucose derivative and an essential component of glycoproteins and proteoglycans, has been safely used to relieve osteoarthritis in humans. Recent studies have shown that glucosamine also possesses immunosuppressive properties and is effective in prolonging graft survival in mice. Whether this reagent is effective in human multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory demyelination in the CNS, is not known. We thus investigated the therapeutic effect of glucosamine on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS. We demonstrated that oral, i.p., or i.v. administration of glucosamine significantly suppressed acute EAE, with reduced CNS inflammation and demyelination. A significant, albeit not strong, blockade of Th1 response and an up-regulation of Th2 cytokines (IL-5 and IL-10) are observed in the splenocytes of glucosamine-treated mice. Glucosamine also regulates IL-5 and IL-10 in vitro. As glucosamine is able to effectively suppress acute EAE, has low or absent toxicity, and has been safely used in humans orally, our study suggests a potential use for this drug alone or in combination with other disease-modifying immunotherapies to enhance their efficacy and reduce their doses in MS and possibly other autoimmune disorders. Furthermore, because glucosamine functions not simply as an immunosuppressant, but as a mild immunomodulator, administration of glucosamine provides a novel immunoregulatory approach for autoimmune disorders.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

autoimmune mediated destruction of the hypocretin producing neurons. However, direct evidence for such a mechanism is still lacking

eMedicine - Sleeplessness and Circadian Rhythm Disorder : Article by Mary E Cataletto, MD

orexin neuropeptide system plays a significant role in feeding and sleep-wakefulness regulation,

Circadian Rhythms in Shift Workers and Diabetes

Circadian Rhythms in Shift Workers and Diabetes

Since I asked at another blog about the effects of prolonged shiftwork on autoimmune diseases, I thought I would investigate a bit more. I knew about cancer incidences being higher in nurses who worked shiftwork, and Aetiology has a great post called "Are Female Night Owls Screwed" which had me asking some questions, especially about Omega 3 and its effect on cancer. Orac at the old Respectful Insolence site had a post about flax muffins and breast cancer.

And the beat goes on....I just wish that companies and insurance companies would realize that 24/7 availability of staff costs them money in the long run. Screwing with things that are biologically defined does have consequences. And working nights for 18 years can be deadly......

Probiotics and Cytokines

Diagnose-Me: Treatment: Probiotics

Part of the Cytokine definition, as well as a probiotics link.

Interleukens and interferons are called “cytokines” and there are two general groupings, Th1 and Th2. Th1 (T-cell Helper type 1) promote cell-mediated immunity (CMI) while Th2 (T-cell Helper type 2) induce humoral immunity (antibodies).

Cytokines A tutorial

Helper T Cells TH1 and TH2 explained

Seed: The Reinvention of the Self

Seed: The Reinvention of the Self

Elizabeth Gould, neurogenesis, serotonin and depression

"....poverty and stress may not just be symptoms of society, but bound to our anatomy."

Following Doctors Orders...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Immunomodulation, Neuroendocrinology and Sleep: National Sleep Disorders Research Plan, 2003, NCSDR, NHLBI, NIH

Immunoblogging: Probiotic skepticism.

The Uncredible Hallq: Logical analysis of ad hominem

manage - definition of manage by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

Circadian Rhythms

Circadian Rhythms

This is a lik to a research facility in South Carolina. Tons of information.

The TH1 (T helper 1) and TH2 (T helper 2) Intracellular Cytokine Assay -- Alan E. Beer Center for Reproductive Immunology and Genetics

Thursday, February 23, 2006

BioMed Central | Abstract | 1471-2105-7-87 | phase analysis of circadian-related genes in two tissues

BioMed Central | Abstract | 1471-2105-7-87 | phase analysis of circadian-related genes in two tissues

This just came in my hotmail today- I am not sure what it means, but it has circadian rhythms in it. There are synchronized genes and some that are laggers....where does this go and what can one extrapolate?

Circadiana: Circadian Clocks in Microorganisms

Circadiana: Circadian Clocks in Microorganisms

I asked if organisms could influence each other's circadian rhythms, and the short answer is yes.

The Enteric Nervous System

The Enteric Nervous System

Yeah- this would be a placemarker for me- I am intrigued that 90 percent of serotonin is found in the butt and the gut. If you can imagine what this means in terms of how our brain and tummies talk- well whatever.....There are lots of links with glia here too.


Dictionary.com/Word of the Day Archive/acquiesce

Acquiesce comes from Latin acquiescere, "to give oneself to rest, hence to find one's rest or peace (in something)," from ad, "to" + quiescere, "to rest, to be or keep quiet."

What do words REALLy mean? Is The Word Compliance Compatible With The Concept of Partnership

Definitions: Persuasion, Compliance, Propaganda, Brain Washing, & Social Psychology

com·pli·ance (kəm-plī'əns)

The act of complying with a wish, request, or demand; acquiescence.
Medicine. Willingness to follow a prescribed course of treatment.
A disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others.

(The American Heritage Dictionary Online)

The argument over the word compliance is one I would like to start. Here are some definitions of compliance, persuasion and brainwashing. The thing that amazes me is that no-one seems to see that compliance means FOLLOWING, not WALKING WITH. If medicine is truly to be practiced as a partnership, we must not only change the language we use in regards to patient's adhering to treatment directions, we must also persuasively change ATTITUDES. Compliance is a top down concept, partnership is not.

Thought control truly represents the dark side of social influence, as it combines compliance, persuasion, and propaganda tactics into a powerfully insidious form of coercive manipulation that robs an individual of his original identity and replaces it with another that the individual would not have freely chosen of his own accord. Thought control requires isolation of the individual from his normal social references, and is therefore best accomplished in a separatist group such as a cult

The reason I bring this out of the original link is that compliance or the willingness to bend your will, are incredibly important aspects of Pain Management Clinics and Insurance Company Multi-Disciplinary Centres. While in their charge you give up the right to privacy- everything you say or do from the moment you enter their parking lot can and is recorded. Notes are kept on you that many people can access. They can choose to not release certain notes to you if they deem them not in their best interest to do so. The programs are essentially meaningless repetitions- the same relaxation tape, the same picking up, placing and putting down of half filled mild jugs and crates, the same recycled lectures about opioids, stress, and The Gate Control Theory of Pain. The same people are there year to year. There is a "mental health ward" aspect to the program , as people are expected to do arts and crafts activities in certain situations- burnt leather belts, tole painting boxes, and making leather wallets. This is for Occupational Therapy. Excercise Therapy is about as real as it gets. The staff emphasize over and over again that it is your personal responsibility to participate and comply with the program for your own good. If you are put in this program and do not comply your benefits can be cut. I have heard people chastised for not participating, even though they are not able to walk five steps without pain. "If its got to be its up to me" posters permeate the place.

The "treatments" offered are alternative, at best. In some cases they are off the lunacy charts. Medical treatment is often "not indicated" as the cause for this pain is usually defined as a combination of lifestyle factors. You are told that your mental, spiritual, social and work factors influence your pain to a far greater degree than they actually do. You crawl on the floor, roll on your belly, swat at inanimate objects, and basically engage in humiliating tasks to prove that you are in pain- and then they say this is normal. No- normal was yesterday, when the pain was only a 4. The day after this assessment, it is at a 7 and climbing.

You are told to wait- but when they want you to appear, you are expected at your beck and call. If phone calls ae not returned within a very short window, you are told this will be reported to your caseworker- because you are being non-compliant. You are expected to attend whenever and whatever course, meeting, doctors appointment etcetera without complaint, and if you do complain it is marked down.

Statistics become meaningless as they are moved around to prove whatever point is politically correct. Are you working three months after you were in this program? Even one day will make it look like their program works more effectively than it does. Does it matter that the only places hiring are hiring at a third of your former wage- no- a job- any job- counts towards their numbers.

When I find it, I will post a link to an insurance company link to a pat on the back for their particular program's effectiveness.....

And I sign off for now, vibrating at how pissed off and angry I am reliving the humiliation- which isn't even mine. It is a secondhand experience, as I still have a job and I have no pain, but my husband does not.

Mike the Mad Biologist: Some Antibiotic Follow-Up

Mike the Mad Biologist: Some Antibiotic Follow-Up

A good article about antibiotic resistance, and public education.

Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology (Jan. 2005)

Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology (Jan. 2005)

Some Whoo Hoo interesting poopola!!! Meditation, placebo yada yada yada....

Pain: Past, Present and Future (Paper)

Pain: Past, Present and Future (Paper)

A good look from Melzack at what the gate control and neuromatrix theories entail.

McGill Centre for Research on Pain

McGill Centre for Research on Pain

Here are a list of articles on chronic pain- some current research stuff, some weird stuff, and some run of the mill. Peruse at your leisure.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

More Glia and SCN Stuff

Circadian Rhythm Generation and Entrainment in Astrocytes -- Prolo et al. 25 (2): 404 -- Journal of Neuroscience

Circadian Rhythm Generation and Entrainment in Astrocytes -- Prolo et al. 25 (2): 404 -- Journal of Neuroscience

Okay, okay , okay...so here is the del. I decided to look up glia and SCN on Google, to see why or how glia may affect sleep. Pro-inflammatory cytokines acting on glial signalling disrupt sleep cycles. When I write about the articles I received from Linda R. Watkins at the University Of Colorado Neuroscience Lab, this will become clearer as to why it is important. But.... needless to say there is a relationship, it seems to be very important, and to me the implications for putting all the pieces together will be amazing- not only in chronic pain, but in a myriad of areas that are currently mysteries to those who live and work with them. Does that sound spooky enough......????

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Glia and Myelin

Changing places : Nature Reviews Neuroscience

: "Research Highlight
Nature Reviews Neuroscience , | doi:10.1038/nrn1865
Glia: Changing places
Jane Qiu
Although myelin serves similar functions in the PNS and CNS, its main protein constituent differs: the type I integral membrane protein P0 (protein zero) is present in PNS myelin, whereas the tetraspan membrane protein PLP (proteolipid protein) resides in the CNS. It is thought that P0 was initially the primary structural protein of both PNS and CNS myelin � which first appeared 440 million years ago in cartilaginous fishes � but was replaced by PLP in the CNS after the divergence of the bony fishes 400 million years ago. What could be the benefits of the P0 to PLP conversion during evolution?
To address this issue, Yin and colleagues reversed the evolutionary step by generating transgenic mice that expressed P0, rather than PLP, in the CNS. In these P0-CNS animals, the level of P0 expression in the CNS is similar to that of PLP in normal mice, and replacing PLP with this ancestral protein in the CNS does not affect the expression of other myelin proteins. In addition, P0, like PLP, is able to stabilize compact CNS myelin, and its distribution is indistinguishable from that of PLP in wild-type mice. Electron microscopy studies show that P0-CNS myelin is structurally similar to its PNS counterpart, and has greater periodicity (membrane spacing) than that of wild-type CNS myelin.
Next, the researchers studied the effect of replacing PLP with P0 by measuring the animals' motor function. In P0-CNS mice, motor performance was normal at 6 months of age, but declined significantly (by 90%) by 1 year � by which time 50% of the animals had died. These observations are consistent with the precocious accumulation of the amyloid precursor protein �"

Glia, Cytokines and Alzheimer's Disease

ScienceDaily: New Compound Stops Brain Cell Degeneration In Alzheimer's Disease

I am so not crazy!!! I am not. I had no idea any of this stuff was related, no idea that these things existed and no ide of the links between diseases. This article is about a new drug in the pipeline that could possibly calm down cytokine response. Are there implications here for chronic pain???

Glia and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Entrez PubMed

While talking to my mom today I wondered aloud as to the effects of alcohol on glial cells. GLIA GLIA GLIA!!! Ethanol definitely has an effect on glia. Next stop Alzheimers.....

: "1: Neurotoxicology. 2001 Oct;22(5):593-9.Related Articles, Links

Glia and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Guerri C, Pascual M, Renau-Piqueras J.

Instituto de Investigaciones Citologicas (FVIB), Valencia, Spain. guerri@ochoa.fib.es

Glial cells and their interactions with neurons play vital roles during the ontogeny of the nervous system and in the adult brain. Alcohol intake during pregnancy can cause mental retardation and neurobehavioral disorders as well as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Clinical and experimental evidence indicate that in utero alcohol exposure induces structural and functional abnormalities in gliogenesis and in glial-neuronal interactions, suggesting a potential role of glial cells on ethanol-induced developmental brain abnormalities. In vivo studies have shown ethanol-associated alterations in the migration of neurons and radial glial as well as in astrogliogenesis and myelin development. In astrocytes in primary culture, ethanol has been found to (1) impair cell growth and differentiation, (2) decrease the levels of glialfibrillary acidic protein or GFAP (an astrocyte marker) and its gene expression and (3) interfere with the stimulatory effect of trophic factors affecting their release and receptor expression. Evidence also suggests that ethanol affects intracellular protein trafficking, which may mediate some effects of ethanol on astroglial cells. These findings suggest that glial cells are target of ethanol toxicity during brain development and may underlie the neurodevelopmental abnormalities observed after in utero alcohol exposure and in FAS.

Publication Types:

PMID: 11770880 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] "

define:Psychosomatic - Google Search

define:Psychosomatic - Google Search

Here are a few of my favorite things.....NOT REALLY.

This is the manifestation of physical symptoms resulting from a mental state.

So. again we are left with- which came first, the chicken or the egg. And this is a huge philisophical divide, because if you believe the mind affects the body, rather than the body affecting the mind, then you think that people have powers of thinking that allow them health or illness. In Gabor Mate's book, WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO, he yips about how certain negative personalities have diseases that are more common than in "normals". So mind is the cause of disease. In my little corner of the world, I tend to disagree. I hold that chemicals are emitted in certain disease states that affect the personality. I come back to how children act differently before they manifest clinical symptoms of disease. This to me is proof that I am correct. I have raised three kids. I was witness to this. I remember one day when my son was one, he was screaming and banging his head on the floor. He cried, would not settle, would not eat, and was not his normal, cheery happy baby self. The next morning when he broke out into chicken pox spots, he was much calmer. I phoned my mom, delirious with joy, because quite frankly I thought my child was having a nervous breakdown- AND ALL HE HAD WAS CHICKEN POX. Dancing happy feet!!!

Maybe the moods and depression that are so often seen in Mr. Mate's Rheumatoid Arthritis patients are a result of circulating cytokines wreaking havoc in the brain, desperately trying to tell the person in their very own chemical way to lay low, because you are getting sick.

Why is there a Journal Of Psychosomatic Medicine, anyway? And why do people believe in this crap.

Now that levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines correlate accurately with self reported mood scores as was mentioned in an earlier post, maybe we can nuke this sick and twisted idea once and for all.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Description

Department of Clinical Neuroscience - Karolinska Institutet - description

My second post on this blog was how my hubby was not able to get a SCS for chronic pain til he jumped through hoops, whistled Dixie, and got naked a bunch of times- psychologically speaking, of course. I found this description of how these devices work, and how SCS effects glial cells. GLIA GLIA GLIA---what a lovely word!

Deviance and Social Control

Deviance and Social Control

"Semiformal" Social Control

a huge territory of noncriminal, nonpenal bureaucratic social control, administered by the government, which attempts to deal with the troublesome behavior of persons under their authority.
If a persons behavior becomes extremely troublesome, an array of agencies, bureaucracies, and organizations may step in to handle or control that person, to punish or bring him or her into line with the rules. These employees of these agencies are known as Professional Controllers. i.e. social workers, psychiatrists, truant officers, and representatives, functionaries and officers of mental hospitals, civil courts, social welfare offices, unemployment offices, departments of motor vehicles, and public schools.
Professional Controllers

Do not possess the power of arrest or incarceration, but can make recommendations to agents in the CJS that may have bering on arrest and incarceration.


The Impatient Patient ---David Berner

thetyee.ca The Impatient Patient

Well- NHS Blog Doc thought this could be me- which is such a nice compliment, as not only did he look me up, but he also thought I could write something this well. I only wish. This is an EXCELLENT article that shows clearly that patients should stand up for themselves, be informed and advocate for those who cannot do it for themselves. While it is laugh out loud funny in some places, it is also sobering in its message- medicine is fallible, doctors can be idiots and sometimes patients have a wisdom that is beyond that of med school training. They inhabit their bodies, and even though their experinces are classed as subjective, because they cannot be measured, they are valid.

define:psychoneuroimmunology - Google Search

define:psychoneuroimmunology - Google Search

Most of thes definitions have it- in my ever to be so humble opinion- completely ASS backwards when it comes to what psychoneuroimmunology should properly be defined as. It Should be how the body affects emotion- not how the emotions affect the body. But what the hell do I know- I just am a hick girl who reads for interest, not someone with a degree and some snakeoil.

Self-rated Health Is Related to Levels of Circulating Cytokines -- Lekander et al. 66 (4): 559 -- Psychosomatic Medicine

Self-rated Health Is Related to Levels of Circulating Cytokines -- Lekander et al. 66 (4): 559 -- Psychosomatic Medicine

Here is an interesting article that begs the question- Why aren't more doctors and insurance companies looking at these types of studies and tests to make a diagnoses of pain? Surely now we have a way to say that pain is NOT just a subjective experience, but can be measured by looking at circulating levels of cytokines in the blood using immuno-assay techniques. Laziness, insolence, indifference or MONEY?

Psychosomatic Medicine 66:559-563 (2004)
© 2004 American Psychosomatic Society



Self-rated Health Is Related to Levels of Circulating Cytokines
Mats Lekander, PhD, Stig Elofsson, PhD, Ing-Marie Neve, MD, Lars-Olof Hansson, PhD and Anna-Lena Undén, PhD
From the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Section of Psychology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden (M.L.); Department of Social Work, Stockholm University, Sweden (S.E.); Department of Medicine Karolinska Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden (I.-M.N.); Department of Biochemistry, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden (L.-O.H.); and Department of Family Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden (A.-L.U.).

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Mats Lekander, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Section of Psychology, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail: Mats.Lekander@knv.ki.se

OBJECTIVE: Self-rated health is a powerful and independent predictor of long-term health, but its biological basis is unknown. Because factors associated with poor self-rated health (eg, pain, daily discomforts, and low energy and fitness) resemble symptoms of a generalized cytokine-induced sickness response, we examined the relationship between circulating cytokines and self-rated health.

METHODS: In 265 consecutive primary health care patients (174 women and 91 men), we examined self-rated and physician-rated health, circulating levels of interleukin (IL)-1ß, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- as determined from plasma samples using high-sensitivity enzyme-linked immunoassay.

RESULTS: Self-rated health correlated with levels of IL-1ß (r = 0.27; p < .001), IL-1ra (r = 0.19; p < .05) and TNF- (r = 0.46; p < .001) in women but not in men. Thus, poorer subjective health was associated with higher levels of inflammatory cytokines. Even when controlling for age, education, physical health, and diagnoses in multiple regression analyses, self-rated health was an independent and more robust predictor of cytokine levels than physician-rated health.

CONCLUSIONS: The present findings suggest that an individual’s health perception may be coupled to circulating cytokines. Because epidemiological research established that self-rated health predicts morbidity and mortality, the biological correlates and mechanisms of self-rated health need to be understood.

Key Words: self-rated health, • sickness behavior, • cytokines, • immune system, • psychoneuroimmunology.

Abbreviations: IL = interleukin;; TNF = tumor necrosis factor;; SRH = self-rated health;; ELISA = enzyme linked immunoassay;; LPS = lipopolysaccharide.

More on drugs in workers' comp Archives

Managed Care Matters: More on drugs in workers' comp Archives

Maybe if the insurance company NURSES didn't push Neurontin like crack, then there wouldn't be such a rise in insurance company costs. 1800-2700mg a day was the goal for us- 3500 if necessary. It was a HORRIBLE drug, and probably helped to create more disability and pain. The memory and sleep on this drug were non-existent- tired yes- sleep- no. Pain relief - ZILCH. Fucked up priorities. 3 months of the drug at high dose could have covered a hyaluronidase intrathecal series of shots. AAAARGH!!!

Hospital superbugs

Scotsman.com News - Hospital superbugs

Here is a good starting point for looking up what SUPERBUGS can do to you. I almost died due to a C Difficile infection- it took six months to feel human again. I caught it from the hospital and was on antibiotics....and two days later I was so sick I could not stop puking or pooping. When I called my sister she mentioned a SMELL....yeah- how does one actually describe it. It is like death and flowers and sour and sick----whatever it was, I had detected it. A trip back to the specialists office, taken off antibiotics, much pain for almost two months. Had I not had a sister who was a nurse, and who was familiar with the stench of death- I could have died. The rate of death for C Diff after thirty days in some hospitals has been 24%. Un freaking believable- In CANADA!!!!! That is because the nasty buggers take over the colon and wreak such havoc and infection, and some doctors are blithely unaware of this. WHAT??? Thankfully my doctor was not only brilliant, but when I kept having pain she said that she would refer me to a gastr specialist if necessary. Thanks to Lactobacillus, bakers yeast and time- it was not necessary. We decided against Flagyl as it has only about a 30 percent success rate when taken as directed, and Vancomycin is incredibly expensive- and not so effective in all cases either. I had no idea that my fairly minor surgery would almost end up in death. I do not exaggerate here- I thought I was having the flu- not a near death experience- and would not ordinarily have gone running back to the doctor had I not been given a clue. I was off work for two weeks with this minor surgery- I should have only been off five days. Hospital acquired infections are on the rise so be aware and realize that diarrhea and throwing up while on antibiotics is a clear danger signal that something is not right. Run back to your physician.

As a consequence of this, I have not been able to take antibiotics since. I have no idea when it will be safe to do so, as my original surgery site has flared again, and my doctor has advised against using antibiotics- a YEAR later!!

Does Chronic Pain Shrink the Hippocampus????

Astrocytes in the Hippocampus

Astrocytes in the Hippocampus

Placemarker- Info pics

Even psychiatrists hate Freud

What Psychiatrists Hate

So- then WHY IN THE SAM HILL do we have multidisciplinary pain centres that still follow him? Maybe the psychologists don't hate him??

NUMBER 5 who is a f$#ker of immense magnitude and because of him insurance companies all over the world save money denying those dreaded malingers who only want MONEY....

Henry Miller: "Accident compensation neurosis", BMJ, 1961. Argued that people seeking compensation got better as soon as it was paid - shown since by much other research to be wrong. Hugely influential and still cited by neurologists in court cases.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Bugs and Babies Brains


So, by know you know the drill. Things that we cannot imagine, because they just have not been able to be tested before, are finally being proven. SOme mental illness is in fact bug based. Serotonin is depleted in some conditions. (I think I sound like a anti-science freak right now- real diseases THEY don't want you to know about. Give me five hundred bucks, and I'll supply with a lifetime of information. muhahaha...)

Really- this is a bookmark for me, but it is a bit of information that is relevant to my thesis that mental illness , or what we see as deviance, is not necessarily something that a person has control over. Can you imagine how horrified that first guy must have felt after he was SANE again? And how fortunate he was not to have lived in a time where rest cures, talk therapy and institutionalization and lobotomies were the cure of the day?

Glial cell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Glial cell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Glia are implicated in the transmission of pain- something unheard of before, as it was thought they could not signal the way that neurons could. Not so. They along with pro-inflammatory cytokines are responsible for maintaining chronic pain states in organisms. I refer again to the SLACKER OR SICK article that can be googled, as this is where my investigation into cytokine involvement in pain started. Then...well then I kept looking, and I contacted people for information, and then I read some more. The most interesting thing I have found is how glia are ramped up by the addition of morphine, which ratchets up the pro inflammatory cytokine response...which makes a person need more morphine to get the same very limited relief. THEY REALLY ARE NOT ADDICTS!! They have a biological response which now can be proven, happening in their body. Shame on all those people who make people in pain feel bad for trying to find relief. And thank goodness there are researchers interested in truth, not psychobabble. Mind you, it wouldn't surprise me if I heard from some idiot that we could control glial response with our minds. Just think better- I THINK I CAN< I THINK I CAN I THINK I CAN...and over there is the Tooth Fairy and the Ogo Pogo, boys and girls.....

Enough said- or my head is going to pop off!

Freud is an Idiot- But why don't you look for yourself?

In Focus Article

I hate Freud. I hate him. He was a pissant creepy horrible little man that blew off women especially with his ideas that all illness was an unresolved attempt to make up for not going after what we really wanted- which was sick sexual relationships. Unresolved longings my ASS. More like bugs and inflammation- but this made him way more money. I am reading a book called The History of Psychiatry, or somesuch title, and it is infuriating as well. Silas Weir Mitchell was another freak who liked to manipulate women. This is no different than religion to me- it is a way to gain power over someone else. And keep it.

Why do I hate psychotherapy so much- Two examples. One- a counsellor I went to once had never even met the person I was complaining about, and yet was willing, on the basis of gender only, to say I was perfect and they were not. Another counsellor tried to hypnotize me during a session- at a CHRISTIAN counselling agency nonetheless. I pretended to be hypnotized, left and never went back. To me all the tea in China was not worth the possibility that someone else could even attempt to control my actions for even one minute without my consent.

A third example involves cancer and warts being able to be healed by the mind. To my mind this is the most insulting thing I have heard. I know people who would have loved to control their cancer with any available means, including their minds if it had to be- who died anyway. How dismissive of their attempts to sustain life.

This from an insurance company psychologist who I was extremely angry at for a long time. That anger spurred me to investigate ALL their claims, and I found that the foundation for their clinic rests on shaky ground if real medicine was to ever get a toe-hold into that organization.

It probably won't. But I can dream, and take small steps that could maybe make a difference. If I ever have to deal with them again- I will argue the lies. I did last summer, and it meant that I did not have to deal with bad drug side effects. The nurse was annoyed, but too fucking bad. She is NOT a doctor, and she has NO authority unless stupid people give it to her. She is a bitch when crossed, however.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

NHS Blog Doctor: Dealing with violence and abuse in the NHS

NHS Blog Doctor: Dealing with violence and abuse in the NHS

There are a lot of things that upset me about how we treat doctors, and this is one of them.....

This Article Makes Me Puke (First award)

Endometriosis: Interactive Support & Information

"Chronic Pain and the Family" by Leslie F. Martel PhD., is an example of the most horrible sort of writing about pain and families out there. It is truly vile. Basically, pain becomes an outward symbol of the family's inner dysfunction, OR it is a way for people to manipulate each other, or it is just a way to drop out of life. While I am sure there are sick people out there that can manipulate any system they are in- work, family, church, and Glee Club, I honestly do not believe that the majority of people in pain or their families have any psychological issues that need to be dealt with any more than regular folk. But, if you can medicalize it, sicken it etc... then you can get paid to fix things that don't need to be fixed, and ignore the things that do. I ranted to NCPOA about this article when I first found it and got a very sympathetic email back from the poor woman there, and I kind of felt bad. This kind of stuff does not help people though- it makes themn feel worse because they then have to worry about their mental health, their relationships, and all that other stuff that should be not looked into by any psych professional unless it is found that the caregiver is beating on the person or something else dangerous. This speculative systems theory crap in this context is what I call bullshit.

FYI This is the part that made me ballistic!!!

The founder of general systems theory, Ludwig Von Bertalanffy, noted that "system sickness is system rigidity." It is essential that the family examine the patterns that have developed as a result of one of their members being in long-standing chronic pain. Has the family become "frozen" in their roles? Is there room for change that would improve the quality of life for all concerned? When a member of the family system develops chronic pain and it becomes clear that the problem is indeed chronic, the family will usually reorganize in a way that allows it to keep functioning as a family unit. Once the reorganization of roles and the shift in power has occurred, there is a distinct tendency for this new order to he maintained. For example, Mr. X, who was responsible for working 40 hours a week, taking care of household maintenance and household bills, was relieved of these responsibilities during a long and difficult bout with chronic pain. He may be unaware that he has now adapted to a life free of these responsibilities. When he attempts to handle bills, he finds that, for some reason, he experiences more pain. His wife, who is quite caring and solicitous and solicitous of him, assures him that she can handle these tasks.

You know what- how they choose to handle things is completely their call. They are ADULTS, not in the care of an institution. Am I to be castigated because as a completely normal chick, I refuse to do bills. I hate them I avoid them and I put them off. What is it that is wrong with me? Maybe it is my childhood. Maybe I am sexually repressed. Or maybe, the reality is there is too much month left at the end of the money. Do I muddle through and deal with it. Of course. Does hubby do a way better job than me- yes.

I think this article is up for my weekly THIS ARTICLE MAKES ME PUKE award.

Cytokines and the Hippocampus and Hypothalamus

Entrez PubMed

1: J Neuroimmunol. 1990 Aug;28(3):201-8. Related Articles, Links

Muramyl-dipeptide, a macrophage-derived cytokine, alters neuronal activity in hypothalamus and hippocampus but not in the dorsal raphe/periaqueductal gray of rats.

Dougherty PM, Dafny N.

Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School, Houston 77225.

Muramyl-dipeptide (MDP) is derived in vivo by degradation of bacteria cell walls and is the minimum fragment that stimulates the acute phase response to bacterial infection. The present study investigates whether this specific product of an immune response affects central nervous system (CNS) function. To this end, the activity of single neurons within the hypothalamus, hippocampus, and dorsal raphe/periaqueductal gray region prior to and following systemic (i.p.) injection was studied. The results obtained from a total of 120 cells demonstrate that single hypothalamic and hippocampal neurons, sites previously shown to aid in the integration of various environmental stimuli into physiologic processes, alter their neuronal activity in site-specific manners following MDP administration. The specificity of the responses included both the threshold for activation of particular sites, effects of increasing dosages upon response pattern characteristics, and time course to the changes observed. These results therefore suggest that MDPs may play a role in the neuro-immunologic regulatory pathways during the immune response to bacterial infection.

PMID: 2373761 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Remember I keep talking about how infectious and inflammatory agents can cause brain changes----I am apparently not insane, or under the influence of cytokine induced psychosis, as this will plainly show. I cannot tell you how exciting it is to have all my millions of questions answered in tiny little ways. I am forever grateful that there is information available at every turn, because it shows just how blind some people are to the possibilities that diseases of the mind are not all under an individuals control.

NHS Blog Doctor: Headaches - Ouch!

| Risk-takers 'escape Parkinson's'

BBC NEWS | Health | Risk-takers 'escape Parkinson's'

Certain personality characteristics of individuals destined to develop Parkinson's disease may make them less prone to start smoking

Professor Andrew Lees

Parkinson's is a degenerative brain disorder which affects movement and becomes more common in older age.

Its causes remain unclear, but it is often associated with a shortage of brain chemical dopamine which controls connections between nerve cells.

Earlier studies suggest a link between smoking and caffeine intake and lower rates of Parkinson's.

And it has been suggested the dopamine system is protected by nicotine and caffeine.

Professor Andrew Lees of the University of London, who led the research, said: "If you have never smoked you have double the risk of Parkinson's disease but we do not know the reasons for that.

"It may be that there's something protective within cigarette smoking or it may be another factor.

"Certain personality characteristics of individuals destined to develop Parkinson's disease may make them less prone to start smoking."


The study found patients with Parkinson's disease had smoked less, drank less alcohol and caffeine.

They also scored lower on sensation-seeking and risk taking behaviour, and higher on anxiety and depression than the comparison group.

This prompted the authors to suggest their may be a link between low sensation-seeking behaviour and what might be termed a "Parkinsonian personality".

They draw on earlier studies which suggest Parkinson's disease patients tend to reject hedonistic behaviour, to be scrupulous, socially withdrawn and disinclined to take risks.

They suggested it may be the risk-averse nature of the Parkinsonian personality, rather than the physical effects of smoking, caffeine and alcohol on the brain that influences disease rates.

Professor Lees acknowledged that behaviour may be being affected by something going wrong in the dopamine system long before symptoms of the disease materialised.

'Individual condition'

However, he added that there was evidence that certain personality types were more likely to develop certain diseases.

Kieran Breen, research director at the Parkinson's Disease Society, said determining cause and effect in retrospective studies such as this is extremely difficult and highly unreliable.

He said: "As dopamine levels can start to fall many years before difficulties with movement become noticeable and before a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is made, an assumption that the personality traits outlined in the study cause the condition is flawed.

"A more likely explanation would be that declining dopamine levels prior to the onset of the motor symptoms is associated with these behaviours."

He added that research which implies that people with Parkinson's have set characteristics or lifestyles must be treated with caution.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

DNA Haplotype Key To Predicting Prostate And Renal Cancer - News - Virtual Renal Centre

DNA and Religion

How Specific Antibiotics Work


Just a quick info guide about a whole bunch of stuff that I don't really get, but are important to anyone interested in the science of antibiotics.

Confessions of a Quackbuster


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lysenkoism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PsyBlog: Psychology Blog

Faith Healing Confronts Modern Medicine


3. Faith-healing studies could steer third-party payers toward faith-based interventions.

Effect Measure: In defense of The Flu Wiki: reply to Mattison

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The MRSAResources.com Blog � Uncategorized

Hypnotherapy - Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, Washington

Hypnotherapy - Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, Washington

Please wander around this site and see how and what hypnotherapy helps.

Also -read THIS:

Problems in Performing Double-blind Trials

However, conducting a proper double-blind, placebo-controlled study isn't easy.

One problem is that participants may be able to discern whether they are getting a real treatment or placebo. For example, the smell and taste of a liquid preparation of some herbs is distinctive. Creating a substance that looks and tastes similar but lacks any active ingredients is difficult. This means that it's possible for those in the treatment group to know they are taking the real thing and for those in the control group to know they are taking placebo. Technically, this is described as "breaking the blind," and it can invalidate the results of a study. Similar difficulties occur in studies of conventional medications. If a treatment causes side effects, participants and physicians may be able to tell whether they are part of the treated group rather than the untreated (placebo) group. A top quality study will report on the success researchers had in efforts to keep the participants "blind." Surprisingly, many studies of medications reported in prestigious medical journals fail to do so.

In addition, some treatments are difficult or impossible to fit into the double-blind format, and others may be impossible. Studies on therapies such as acupuncture, physical therapy, diet, surgery, chiropractic, and massage are quite challenging to design in a double-blind manner. How do you keep the acupuncturist or surgeon in the dark as to whether he or she is performing real or fake treatment? How do you make study participants unaware of what they are eating?

Even properly designed double-blind studies aren't perfect. 4 For example, individuals willing to participate in studies may not be representative of the general population. This could skew the results. It's not clear what can be done to eliminate this issue.

Statistical Significance
Another important issue regards a subject called statistical significance. Sometimes you will read that people in the treatment group did better than those in the placebo group but that the results were not statistically meaningful. This means you cannot assume that the results proved the treatment was effective.

Evaluation of statistical significance is a mathematical analysis used to ensure that the apparent improvement seen in the treated group represents a genuine difference, rather than just chance. Consider the following analogy: suppose you flip one coin 20 times and end up with 9 heads. Then, you flip a second coin 20 times and count 12 heads. Does this mean that the first coin is less likely to fall with the head side up than the second coin? Or was the difference just due to chance? A special mathematical technique can help answer this question. The bottom line is that when study results look good but aren't statistically significant, they can't be taken any more seriously than the apparent "bias" of the coin that happens to fall heads more often when you flip it a few times.

A related issue is called statistical power. If a study enrolls too few people, the chance of discovering a true treatment effect diminishes. The number of enrollees necessary to identify a benefit depends on the strength of the treatment—a powerful treatment can be identified as effective in a relatively small study, but a modestly effective treatment may require hundreds of study participants to identify an effect. This effect is compounded when it is tricky to measure the benefits of a treatment.

Antidepressant drugs and herbs are a good example of a form of treatment requiring very large studies to demonstrate benefit. There are two reasons for this. First, in antidepressant studies, people given placebo typically show about 75% as much improvement as those in the treated group. 5 Additionally, the method of rating depression severity—a questionnaire—is relatively coarse and subject to wide variations in interpretation. The net result is a great deal of statistical "noise." In consequence, numerous studies of antidepressants have failed to identify any difference between treatment and placebo. This doesn't mean that the drugs don't work—only that very large studies are necessary to show that they work. Similarly, when small trials fail to find an herb effective, one shouldn't think they have proven it ineffective. They simply have failed to find it effective. Only relatively large negative trials truly prove that a treatment doesn't work. Small trials may simply lack sufficient statistical power to show benefit.

Data Dredging
Another statistical problem involves what is called data dredging. Before performing an experiment, researchers are supposed to pick one or two hypotheses that their study will test. This is called the primary outcome measure(s). For example, in a study of a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, the primary outcome measure may be the score on a given memory test. The researchers hypothesize that scores on this test will improve, and then conduct the study to determine whether their hypothesis is correct.

Once a study has begun, however, there's a temptation to gather more information by applying numerous tests to the participants. These are called secondary outcome measures. In the Alzheimer's example, these may involve such ratings as questionnaire assessments of ability to perform a daily task, physician opinion of overall progress, caregiver assessment of overall progress, and other perfectly reasonable ways of evaluating the success of therapy. There is a problem, however, with using a multitude of secondary outcomes: by the laws of statistics, if you measure enough things, some will indicate improvement, just by chance. Researchers who look at dozens of factors in hopes of finding evidence of improvement in a few of them are said to be engaged in data dredging. Only the results on the primary outcome measure are trustworthy. There is simply too much leeway to find favorable data by digging deep in the mass of other data recorded.

This is not a complete list of the challenges involved in designing a proper double-blind trial. There are numerous other tricky considerations, including study dropouts, ethical issues that interfere with an accurate determination of outcome, and many more. Nonetheless, when properly designed, the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is the best method we have of objectively determining the effectiveness of a treatment.

eMedicine - Hypnosis God for warts and cancer......Can you see the ducks?

eMedicine - Hypnosis: Applications in Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery : Article by Philip D Shenefelt, MD

How did this make it into Medline :Montgomery GH, DuHamel KN, Redd WH: A meta-analysis of hypnotically induced analgesia: how effective is hypnosis? Int J Clin Exp Hypn 2000 Apr; 48(2): 138-53[Medline].

I want to know if this is real. I don't think it is, and I read a Prevention Magazine 2006 article that stated this worked for ALL sorts of things. I call bullshit!!

The funny thing is the author of the article has a low hypnotizability score- I would love to see what she really thinks of this.

I cannot believe what the hell is going on in the name of medical research.

Skeptic Online- A collection of articles at JREF

Botulin toxin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Acetylcholine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Acetylcholine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Botox is used in pain mangement. This is a placemarker to figure out HOW this works, and how other parts of the brain and nervous system work.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Virus caught red-handed - LiveScience - MSNBC.com



Ask a question on Aetiology- get an answer from Immunoblogging- I LOVE IT!!

This is a place marker, so I can read this some more. I have previously come here through Aetiology, and have found it fascinating, and a bit over my head---ahem, okay a lot over my head- but I just google the words I haven't seen before and keep trudging on. Until last year I didn't know a cytokine from a cyclone, so there is always stuff to explore!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Inflammation - Especially Low Grade Inflammation

Inflammation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Click on the Types of Inflammation link at the bottom...

Cytokines and their functions

Back Pain and Bacteria

Telegraph | News

I am curious to know what the results are in regards to this as it was done in 2001. Is there any news that anyone knows, or did this turn out to be a dead end. Once I had a pimple in a place that was excruciating, and when it was surgically removed it was like being a new person after four days of unremitting agony. If acne causes back pain, would it not be responsible for insurance companies to do real research and find out. 6 weeks of antibiotics would certainly be less costly than surgery, physio, multi-disciplinary pain programs and the like.

Vitamin D: its role and uses in immunology -- DELUCA and CANTORNA 15 (14): 2579 -- The FASEB Journal

Vitamin D: its role and uses in immunology -- DELUCA and CANTORNA 15 (14): 2579 -- The FASEB Journal

Three things I want to know more about- Vitamin D, autoimmune disease and immune system function. The more I learn the more there is to learn. How do people just pick ONE thing to do in life?

New Thinking on Neurodevelopment

New Thinking on Neurodevelopment

I hope Dad Of Cameron can help me with this!!!

Aspartame and Cancer Linked in New Study

The Lowdown on Sweet? - New York Times

Please read and comment on what you think about this- can it be re-done, is it valid, are there mistakes, and all of those things.

THEOBIOLOGY- More scientists religious....

Science & Theology News - Spirituality soars among scientists, study says

Ecklund said the scientists she surveyed are “the people who are really creating a lot of the knowledge that goes out about science and social science, public policy kinds of issues.” She presented her initial research at the annual meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion in August.

Ecklund used indicators such as attendance at religious services to measure levels of religiosity; indicators like participation yoga, meditation, scripture reading and prayer were used to measure spirituality.

More than half of scientists in all disciplines identified themselves as spiritual to some degree, although not necessarily affiliated with a specific religion.

So read it and weep- THESE are the people that decide that the psychoneuroimmunology/psuedoscience/study of HOPE kind of shit permeates the policy making and trumps scientific explanations for models of pain, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and probably the effects of being struck by lightning, too. I am in no mood to be kind today- I am furious that this has taken over ANY part of helath and science policy.

Now we have a new term- THEOBIOLOGY - which is explained here:

“If sociologists who are dealing with whole populations leave out the religious or theological side, then they are looking at a more barren, less warm, less sanguine situation. They are not getting perhaps the full idea of what it means to be caring for humanity, caring for others,” she said. Rayburn said she believes there is an essential interplay between the social sciences and the observable world, a theory she called “theobiology.”

What is next- we have The Hope Foundation of Alberta, Psychoneurimmunology, abd now theobiology, which are a bunch of people saying that bugs and environmental factors are just a PART of the disease process, but really, if we just THOUGHT better we would GET better.

If you can take it, have a look around this site- and remember that post on CONSENSUS? WELL apparently Scientists at Harvard have failed to reach a consensus as to why we are here- accident or plan?

What Happens When Bugs Change

Saturday, February 11, 2006

How to read a paper: Papers that summarise other papers (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) -- Greenhalgh 315 (7109): 672 -- BMJ

How to read a paper: Papers that summarise other papers (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) -- Greenhalgh 315 (7109): 672 -- BMJ

A good article by the last posts author that tells how to read a study of a bunch of studies. Very good work that helps to clarify some of my questions and objections to these composites.

Writing as therapy -- Greenhalgh 319 (7205): 270 -- BMJ

Writing as therapy -- Greenhalgh 319 (7205): 270 -- BMJ

The writing therapy from the PNI camp in the previous article given a bit of a Brittish come-uppance!!!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Cortisol Pain Memory and Psychoneuroimmunology

The Human Brain - Stress

One of the questions I had while going to the "Crazy Place" (the insurance companies multi-disciplinary pain program) this summer with a person in pain, was what the research about the effect of chronic pain on the hippocampus was. Apparently, research had shown that people with chronic pain had a shrunken hippocampus. Of course, the effects of STRESS were paramount to this program- if you could control your stress you could control cortisol secretion, was the theory. Again, it was a burden put on the patient- if only they were not stressed about the pain, the troubles getting money from the insurance company, the loss of, or threat of losing their jobs, the fact that their pain made the smallest things impossible some days.....then they could calm their brain down. Now, you know by now that I do not believe in this. I believe that chemical processes, started by inflammation of nerves and muscles due to some unknown cause (like invisible critters) set off a chain of events that becomes a chemical cascade in the brain. I think that pro-inflammatory cytokines, substance p, and other inflammatory mediatiors, including cortisol, take over and BECOME our emotions without us being aware of it at the time. Anyone who has ever raised a child has had the experience of a major change in a child's behaviour preceding an illness. Babies cannot fake it, so why do we think adults do?

I also wondered if we imaged the brains of adults with no pain who ended up being in chronic pain, what we would see. (Different people, different backgrounds, different ethnicites, different socio economics, different EVERYTHING.) Now, obviously this will not happen, because no-one is going to commit to a study that they rate their mood and their health daily, as well as come in on a forever schedule to see what happens to the brain that is developing pain. There are too many variables involved- self reporting may not be accurate, etc... Never mind the COST!!! I think might see things a bit differently if we did this. I think that the mood changes would come before the major pain, (and could be seen on MRI) and then while the pain was being experienced there would be a HUGE difference in brain images. I think if we start looking at the brain as being made of chemicals and having chemical interactions, and documenting what happens from normal to chronic pain, we might not villify those with it as much- unless of course we are attached to the PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY take on illness----which is a fancy way of saying it is the patients fault. Please read about some effects of elevated cortisol on brain function, and then scroll down and read about the PNI blame the patient psychology peoples take on pain.


Stress and Memory

Chronic over-secretion of stress hormones adversely affects brain function, especially memory. Too much cortisol can prevent the brain from laying down a new memory, or from accessing already existing memories.

The renowned brain researcher, Robert M. Sapolsky, has shown that sustained stress can damage the hippocampus , the part of the limbic brain which is central to learning and memory. The culprits are "glucocorticoids," a class of steroid hormones secreted from the adrenal glands during stress. They are more commonly know as corticosteroids or cortisol .

During a perceived threat, the adrenal glands immediately release adrenalin. If the threat is severe or still persists after a couple of minutes, the adrenals then release cortisol. Once in the brain cortisol remains much longer than adrenalin, where it continues to affect brain cells.

Cortisol Affects Memory Formation and Retrieval

Have you ever forgotten something during a stressful situation that you should have remembered? Cortisol also interferes with the function of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that brain cells use to communicate with each other.
Excessive cortisol can make it difficult to think or retrieve long-term memories. That's why people get befuddled and confused in a severe crisis. Their mind goes blank because "the lines are down." They can't remember where the fire exit is, for example.


Burgeoning research in psychoneuroimmunology (13) (the study of effects of emotion, cognition, and behavior on the endocrine, neuroimmune, and autonomic nervous systems (1,12,14)) suggests some of the neurohormonal and neuroimmune pathways by which psychological factors impact on pathophysiology in pain. For example, it is now understood that certain factors, such as negative emotional states, sleep disruption, and environmental triggers, can alter brain-stem processing in certain genetically susceptible individuals. This starts a cascade of events leading to the release of neuropeptides in the dura mater. These neuropeptides cause vasodilation and plasma extravasation in a process called neurogenic inflammation, which is critical to an understanding of migraine headache (15).

Elliot (16) points out that depression and anxiety in patients with chronic pain can alter levels of neurohormonal substances such as cortisol, corticotropin (ACTH), epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Alterations in blood levels of these substances may contribute to the encoding of state-dependent physiologic and affective responses. In other words, initial or reactive negative emotional states can have a direct impact on physiologic processes that affect the progression of chronic pain. Some investigators (17,18) believe that negative emotion manifests physiologically through altered stress hormone production and neuropeptide cascades that affect all organ systems. For example, in a recent randomized trial, Smyth and associates (19) found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who wrote about stressful experiences and associated negative emotions experienced significant decreases in chronic joint pain.

As pain researchers from the fields of psychology and psychiatry have incorporated these findings, new diagnostic categories have been developed, such as "Psychological Factors Affecting Physical Condition" in DSM-III and "Pain Disorder Associated With Both Psychological Factors and a General Medical Condition" in DSM-IV. These changes have helped pain clinicians adopt a much more useful approach to diagnosis and intervention in the psychological dimensions of chronic pain.

Thus, the role of psychological factors in chronic pain is more complex than originally understood. In the early 1950s, intractable chronic pain might often have been considered a psychosomatic disorder. Today we realize that chronic pain constitutes a complex mixture of pathophysiologic factors interacting with numerous psychological, social, and cultural factors, including:

Depression, anxiety, and personality disorders (5,7,9)
Defective coping styles (20,21)
Autonomic stress reactions (1,10,12,14)
Lifestyle factors (22,23)
Noncompliance with treatment program (5,7,11)
Somatization (8,16,24)
Disturbances of interpersonal relationships (7,25)
Appraisal of stressful events (23)
Beliefs about control of pain (26)
Self-efficacy and cognitive distortions (21)
Involvement with disability or workers compensation programs (11,20)

Los Angeles Times: The rights of the born

Los Angeles Times: The rights of the born

Here is a tormented Anne Lamott writing about abortion. In her very own style, and with great anger and sadness...........

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Should I Sue A Organization for Making Me Participate in Religious Rituals?

The question here is theoretical- but important. If one HAD to go to a certain place in order to receive benefits, and that place was proferring religious beliefs which you did not hold, and judging you inadequete because you had a different belief system, under Canadian Law could you sue. Especially since your source of income was dependant on you taking part in the program? I am curious if there are any takers here....

Coercion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coercive Persuasion and Attitude Change

brainwashing: Definition and Much More From Answers.com

Coercive persuasion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Process of Brainwashing, Psychological Coercion, and Thought Reform

Moment of Science: Metabolism of Evolution Information in the Blogosphere.

Skeptico: Acupuncture � it really really doesn't work

Don's Report Archive- Some Interesting Reading on Medicine, Science, and Politics

A Really Pissed Off Lambasting of "Out Of Context" Reporting And Other Things...

Monday, February 06, 2006

What's In A Name? Wellness and Wikipedia

Talk:Wellness (alternative medicine) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"Nobody 'owns' anything here. We're carrying on a discussion to try to come to a consensus on how the page should look. We now have 'Wellness' as a disambiguation page. After giving the matter some thought, I really don't think there is anything ambiguous about the term 'wellness'. It's a New-Age term and has little, if anything, to do with classical reductionist medicine, which is primarily concerned with sick people. Therefore, I don't think the disambiguation warrants a whole page of its own. It can be accomplished in the main Wellness article with a line like this one at the top:
This is an article about Wellness as that term is commonly used in alternative medicine. For a classical medicine perspective, see 'Wellness (medicine)' "

How Quacks Want to Make Their Case To Insurance Companies and YOU

Politics of Respons., BF, Etc.: "reductionist"

This Is From The Word's Number One Biofeedback Site

You can educate the professionals around you. Don’t worry about the anals who religiously demand double
blind studies, the negatives, the fundamentalists. Expect that 25%-30% of the people on this planet are afraid of change
or have vested interests in keeping things the way they are. The rest of the people either don’t care or will be
happy to hear your message. And since, as we know, only about five or ten percent of the population really
makes anything happen, you just need to connect with those people.

-Allow yourself to make a good living but also do service-- pro-bono work with people who can’t afford the fees
you must charge because insurance doesn’t reimburse. The good you do will come back to you manyfold.

-Get involved with AAPB’s advocacy plans-- legislative, PR, insurance.

-get involved in building a model, a vision, a plan for a new approach.

- Get your clients to become aware of the issues. Teach them to think about health responsibility and to see
what insurance and managed care is doing. They are the choir. They are ready to hear it. This is how we
get a grassroots support network going.

-Let’s put together a document-- a statement which expresses the goals and positions we agree upon.

-contact your legislators.

Haloperidoland Cytokine Storms

Haloperidol Improves Survival in Mechanically Ventilated, Critically Ill...

What I would like to know is that if this drug is good for reducing cytokine storms in ICU, may that not be a reason that it works in mental illness- do some mental illnesses have an "bug" component? That would fit with cats and toxiplasma causing schizophrenia, in a sense, would it not????

Spinal Cord - A proposed algorithm for the management of pain following spinal cord injury

Spinal Cord - A proposed algorithm for the management of pain following spinal cord injury

OMG!! Now I am mad- Neurontin and tricyclics might help- don't call pain psychogenic- but do understand that psychosocial factors affect pain cognition, yada yada yada. This is an algorithm that seems to bee kind of screwy, as even they admit nothing really works. So- maybe you all should find out why it doesn't work and what does. Research, not patient blaming please.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cytokine-induced depression

Cytokine-induced depression

A very good explanation as to how cytokines can cross the blood brain barrier (which medicine used to think was impermeable) and cause havoc with mood.

NHS Blog Doctor: The two-week rule for cancer patients- an addendum to the previous post.

The Hidden Persuaders- Advertising and Medicine

NHS Blog Doctor: The Hidden Persuaders

Maybe Ralph Klein can hire a few of these ad companies to convince Albertans that we need private health care, that we WANT private health care, and we will just DIE if we don't have it....

Reading this gentlemans blog, I am not sure what he thinks about privatization and medicare, but he does make a comment in one of his other entries that private insurers SKIM the best patients- the least ill- and leave the dregs to the public system, which is an unfair burden on a group that is beseiged by a bunch of bureaucrats, and who have very little recourse but to do their best in a system that denies care.

Waiting lists- find the blog on his site as to how the government manages waiting list optics. That goes like this- the wait list is two months long on paper, but you don't get put on the wait list until the numbers go down- which can be MONTHS!!!

Very confusing read for me as I cannot believe how stupid a system it is. I wonder if that will happen here in Canada, now that we have wit list mandates being looked at?

When Trust in Doctors Erodes, Other Treatments Fill the Void - New York Times

When Trust in Doctors Erodes, Other Treatments Fill the Void - New York Times

So instead we trust those who make us "feel good" without any proff that their methods work. What the hell? Feeling good, intellectually or emotionally about a condition will not cure it as far as I know. Have people's brains fallen out of their ears?

A Second Opinion From God- Scroll Down

Confessions of a Venial Sinner

Wow- am astounded that a bunch of religious folk can diagnose and recommend from afar. Sick and wrong.

Crib Death Gene

Researchers Link Mutant Gene to Crib Deaths in Blacks - Los Angeles Times

Having experinced the agony of crib death as a teenager, when my baby foster sister died, I have been terrified as a parent it could happen to my children. I would wake up late in the morning, (8 or so) and if my child was not awake, I would panic and go and check. Often I would shake them awake at night if I thought they were too still. Death of an infant marks a person.

I hope that this development leads to an understanding and treatment for crib death that will alleviate some of the pain and suffering involved with this silent killer.