Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

November 8, 2019

New Canadian Study Suggests Cannabis Can Benefit People with PTSD and More


"Say I'm crazy but one day we will find out about secret government studies that proved Cannabis was good for all the ailments and diseases that people thought at the turn of the 18th Century but when you have a war against something with a cero policy everything must be included particularly by those that believe that having good sex is bad, enjoying  a joint is bad unless it makes sick and you must put a whole in the sheets and we should live a life of atonement for our sins. The saddest thing is that smart educated people were forced to keep quiet or be made a pariah."
I was put once by my doctor on a regiment of a pill with the ingredient that makes you high(not naming names for obvious reasons). This was for not holding food down after an infection in my gut. It worked but the thing was that at times(most times) between doses I will become sick, shaking and a cold sweat and maybe I and if it happens while I was driving or outside the house it was really dangerous. I told my doctor to please take me off and let me just lose more weight. (lost 100lbs in 3 months). This was 2003-2004
  

Could people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) benefit from using cannabis to help reduce depressive episodes and thinking about suicide? A study of a population survey from Canada suggests that the preliminary answer is yes. 
A recent paper on the findings appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
The paper describes how researchers from the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), and the University of British Columbia (UBC), both in Vancouver, Canada, analyzed nationally representative data that Canada's national statistical office had collected in a 2012 mental health survey.
The data that they included in their analysis came from more than 24,000 Canada residents who were at least 15 years of age.
The analysis revealed that those with PTSD who reported not using cannabis in the last 12 months were considerably more likely to experience severe depression and thinking about suicide than those who said that they had used the substance.
"These findings are promising," says senior study author Michael J. Milloy, "and merit further study in order to fully understand the benefits of cannabis for people living with PTSD." 
Milloy is a research scientist at BCCSU and the Canopy Growth Professor of Cannabis Science at UBC. 
Depression, suicide higher with PTSD
The populations of Canada and the United States have some of the highest rates of PTSD in the world. A 2016 study found that 9.2% of people in Canada and 7.2% of those in the U.S. are likely to experience PTSD in their lifetime.
PTSD is a serious psychiatric condition with a cluster of symptoms that can develop in people who have had a traumatic, dangerous, or scary experience. These experiences can involve violence, conflict, and injury.
Nearly everyone will have stress-related symptoms following a trauma, but most will recover after a short while. However, for some people, the symptoms — such as fearful thoughts, bad dreams, and flashbacks — do not go away. Individuals with PTSD continue to experience trauma reactions, even when there is no threat.
People with PTSD are at considerably higher risk of depression and suicide, and many use cannabis to alleviate symptoms.
Prof. Milloy and colleagues wanted to find out whether cannabis helped lessen depressive episodes and suicidal thoughts in people with PTSD.
"We know that with limited treatment options for PTSD, many patients have taken to medicating with cannabis to alleviate their symptoms," says first study author Stephanie Lake, a doctoral candidate at UBC and a research assistant at BCCSU.

Contrasts of cannabis users and nonusers

Of the people whose data they analyzed, the researchers found that 28.2% of those with PTSD reported having used cannabis in the last 12 months compared with 11.2% of those without PTSD. 
Further analysis revealed that among nonusers of cannabis, the chances of having experienced a major depressive episode or having had suicidal thoughts in the last 12 months was much higher in those with PTSD than those without it. The chances were 7.2 times higher for depressive episodes and 4.8 times higher for suicidal thoughts.
In contrast, PTSD "was not associated with either outcome among cannabis-using respondents," write the authors.
The researchers conclude that the findings offer preliminary evidence from a population survey that cannabis use may help to reduce the link between PTSD and severe depressive episodes and suicidal states.
They suggest that there is a growing need for high-quality experimental studies to investigate the effectiveness of using cannabis and cannabinoids to treat PTSD.
"We're only just beginning to understand what the therapeutic potential of cannabis may be for a variety of health conditions."
Prof. Michael J. Milloy

July 22, 2019

LGBTQ, Alzheimers,Seizures,Sleep Meds and More {Conference on Alzheimers in Los Angeles}








It was a big week for Alzheimer’s research as researchers from around the world descended on Los Angeles to attend the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) this week. There were stories about how infectious agents may be involved in the disease, genes linked to women’s Alzheimer’s risk, and the identification of new biomarkers that may lead to advanced diagnostics.
Here's a look at some of the stories you may have missed.
Alzheimer’s and Epilepsy
People with Alzheimer’s disease have a significantly higher incidence of epileptic seizures. In fact, they have six-and-a-half times more than people without dementia. Research presented by several different researchers explored the connection between Alzheimer’s and seizures. A study presented by Ruby Castilla-Puentas, director, clinical research, neuroscience at JanssenPharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company, along with Miguel Habeych at the University of Cincinnati, found that individuals with dementia had a higher risk of new-onset or first-time seizures. They postulate that some of the seizures may be caused by the drugs used to treat dementia, as well as other conditions associated with both seizures and dementia, but it’s clear that the risk is much higher for this patient group.

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Some Sleep Medications Increase Dementia Risk
Several studies linked to sleep medications, sleep problems and Alzheimer’s were presented. Sleep disturbances are common in Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients, affecting up to 45% of dementia patients. One study presented by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that frequent use of sleep medications might increase dementia risk, but that it varies by race. The study found that study participants who reported “often” or “almost always” taking sleep medications were 43% more likely to develop dementia compared to people who reported “never or rarely” taking them. The risk was also only observed in white adults. There is also a gender variation, as reported by a study by researchers from Utah State University. Women who used sleep medication had 3.6 times increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to those who did not.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, also presented research looking at whether it was possible to improve circadian regulation by resetting the biological clock, called chronotherapy, in adults with mild cognitive impairment. The clinical trial did find that the chronotherapy was effective in improving sleep quality in the patient group.
Eisai Co. Presented Research on Tau Microtubule Quantification
The accumulation of two different abnormal proteins, beta-amyloid and tau, is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Eisai presented data on a new antibody to tau, E2814. It is believed that tau spreads through the brain of Alzheimer’s patients by way of synaptically-connected pathways, which is mediated by tau seeds that contain the microtubule-binding region of tau (MTBR). E2814 targets MTBR-containing tau species, preventing the buildup and spread of tau seeds, which might slow the spread of the disease.
Aerobic Exercise and Preventing Alzheimer’s
Generally, lifestyle behaviors that are good for the heart are good for the brain, and that has led to researchers noting that keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check via diet and exercise and appropriate medications may decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers with Wake Forest University School of Medicine presented research from the EXERT study to determine if exercise can protect from memory and cognition problems associated with Alzheimer’s. The EXERT study takes 300 people at high risk for Alzheimer’s and randomly splits them into two groups for 18 months. Half perform aerobic exercise, the other half stretching and flexibility exercises. They participate in memory and cognition tests, as well as brain blood flow, atrophy and protein testing. The study is ongoing and is still looking for another 100 people between the ages of 65 and 89 who don’t regularly exercise who have mild cognitive impairment.
Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s in the LGBT Community
Research presented at the AAIC meeting reported finding higher rates of subjective cognitive decline among lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) Americans compared to cisgender heterosexual individuals. The trial used self-reported data on subjective cognitive decline (SCD). The research presented by Jason Flatt from UCSF found that 14% of participants reported subjective cognitive decline compared to 10% among the cisgender heterosexual participants. Even after adjusting for income, age, and race, the LGBT group was 29% more likely to report a subjective cognitive decline. The connection is undetermined, although the researchers speculate that it is related to higher rates of depression, stress, inability to work and a lack of regular healthcare access in the LGBT population.
Another group reported on the effectiveness of a first-of-its-kind Alzheimer’s intervention for LGBT older individuals with dementia. They identified unique risk factors of LGBT older adults with dementia, including more likely to live alone (almost 60%), not partnered or married (65%), no children (72%) and no caregiver (59%) compared to older non-LGBT adults with dementia. The intervention study looked at individualized programs of exercise, and behavioral and coping strategies to improve physical function, independence, and quality of life.

May 1, 2019

Ketamine Relieves Depression According to NHI~ Drug Enforcement Nervous~





  • Researchers uncovered how the fast-acting antidepressant ketamine’s effects are sustained over time in mice.
  • A better understanding of ketamine’s effect on brain circuits can help guide the development of future treatments for mood disorders.
Dendrites with spinesCloseup view of three dendrites with spines, which are responsible for receiving input from other nerve cells. Conor Liston, Science
Depression is a serious mood disorder with symptoms that include prolonged periods of sadness, hopelessness, and irritability. The symptoms can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. Depression is usually treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination.
Chronic stress can lead to symptoms of depression. Studies in animals have shown that chronic stress also leads to the loss of communication between brain cells (neurons) in the prefrontal cortex area of the brain. The neurons lose dendritic spines, the small outgrowths on brain cells that receive signals from neighboring neurons. This leads to altered communication between brain cells.
Earlier this year, the FDA approved a form of the drug ketamine to treat depression. Ketamine is a fast-acting antidepressant that relieves depressive symptoms in hours instead of the weeks or longer that previous drugs required. In addition to being a major advance in treatment, ketamine provides an opportunity for researchers to investigate the short- and long-term biological changes underlying its effects on depression.
A research team led by Dr. Conor Liston of Weill Cornell Medicine investigated how ketamine affects the brain after mice experience chronic stress. They used high-resolution imaging to focus on neurons in the prefrontal cortex. The study was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Results were published in Science on April 12, 2019.
The researchers examined neurons in the prefrontal cortex of mice exposed to long-term stress. They found that mice showing behaviors related to depression had an increased loss of, and decreased formation of, dendritic spines in their prefrontal cortex compared with mice not exposed to stress.
Dendritic spine remodeling
Dendritic spine remodeling. Images taken at baseline, after chronic stress, and after a single dose of ketamine. Red arrows point to eliminated spines; blue arrows to new spines.Conor Liston, Science
Treatment with ketamine rapidly relieved the abnormal behaviors in the stressed mice. The drug also quickly restored the coordinated activity of prefrontal neural circuits that were disrupted by chronic stress. However, the researchers found that ketamine didn’t work by halting the stress-induced spine loss. Instead, the drug led to formation of new functional spines.
The initial effects of ketamine on mouse behavior occurred independently of its effects on spine formation. While the drug affected behavior within three hours, formation of the new spines took 12 to 24 hours. Formation of spines in the mice correlated with their behavior two to seven days after treatment. Further experiments showed that the newly formed spines were crucial for sustained reversal of the negative effects from stress. When the ketamine-induced spines were eliminated, the mice again showed depression-like behaviors.
These insights into ketamine’s effects on brain circuits could guide future advances in managing mood disorders. “Our results suggest that interventions aimed at enhancing synapse formation and prolonging their survival could be useful for maintaining the antidepressant effects of ketamine in the days and weeks after treatment,” Liston says. 
References:  Sustained rescue of prefrontal circuit dysfunction by antidepressant-induced spine formation. Moda-Sava RN, Murdock MH, Parekh PK, Fetcho RN, Huang BS, Huynh TN, Witztum J, Shaver DC, Rosenthal DL, Alway EJ, Lopez K, Meng Y, Nellissen L, Grosenick L, Milner TA, Deisseroth K, Bito H, Kasai H, Liston C. Science. 2019 Apr 12;364(6436). pii: eaat8078. doi: 10.1126/science.aat8078. PMID: 30975859.
Funding: NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); Whitehall Foundation; Hartwell Foundation; One Mind Institute; Rita Allen Foundation; Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship in Brain Science.

June 11, 2018

The Reason for US Life Expectancy To Have Gone Down {Inequality}


This statement should answer any question about the "inequality" on the title:
Who gets the best health care in this country(US or any country)? the ones that have all the money, not the best insurance. Insurance does not pay a Doctor to cure you but only to try not to hurt you and he/she most medicine you. You have to keep coming back to make this system keep going. Along the way, a particular congress paid by Insurance companies and an ignorant president decided the Insurance companies were not making enough money because there were too many people insured; So they even started to kill this system.

Living in the US increasingly looks like a health risk. Average life expectancy here dropped for the second year in a row, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grim trend stems from a toxic mixture of more drug- and alcohol-related deaths and more heart disease and obesity in many parts of the country. And it puts Americans at a higher risk of early death compared to their counterparts in other wealthy countries.
But what’s often lost in the conversation about the uptick in mortality here is that this trend isn’t affecting all Americans. In fact, there’s one group in the US that’s actually doing better than ever: the rich. While poor and middle-class Americans are dying earlier these days, the wealthiest among us are enjoying unprecedented longevity. 
So when we talk about life expectancy slipping, what we should also talk about is the growing problem of health inequality in America. And it’s an increasingly urgent discussion, health researchers are warning, because of policy changes on the horizon that are poised to make the mortality gap even wider. 
Some of these policies will hamper access to medical care (such as failing to fund CHIP, the health insurance program for low-income children) but others that aren’t even directly related to health care — like tax cuts — may have even more insidious effects on the American mortality gap. 

America’s alarming life expectancy gap 

The rich have long-enjoyed more longevity than the poor, but the gap in life expectancy has been widening in the US over the last few decades, along with other types of social and income inequality here. 
The CDC’s Division of Vital Statistics, which tracks mortality in the US, uses death certificates as the data source and doesn’t collect family income data. But we do have good data on the mortality gap and income from a study published in JAMA in 2016.  A group of researchers, led by Stanford University economist Raj Chetty, analyzed income data for the US population from 1.4 billion tax records between 1999 and 2014. They then compared it with mortality data from Social Security Administration death records. They found that, from 2001 to 2014, the richest Americans gained about five years of longevity, while life expectancy for the poor didn’t budge: 


Changes in race- and ethnicity-adjusted life expectancy by income group, 2001 to 2014.

 JAMA


 They also found that men who were among the top 1 percent of income earners lived 15 years longer than men at the bottom 1 percent. For women at the extremes of the income distribution, life expectancy differed by 10 years. At Vox, we broke their data down by state, and you can see that wealthier Americans are living longer than poorer Americans all across the country. (Here’s the data on men, but the same trends hold for women.)   his life expectancy divide between rich and poor Americans has been growing for decades. A report from the National Academies of Science looked at life expectancy by income groups between 1980 and 2010. In 1980, the richest cohort of middle-aged American men could expect to live until about 83 and the poorest, to 76. By 2010, the richest American males had gained six years in life expectancy, living to 89 on average, while life expectancy for the poorest men hadn’t improved. (The Washington Post has nice visualizations of the data in the report here.)

“Because we have widening income inequality and there’s a bigger gap between the haves and have-nots,” said Steven Woolf, a researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University who has been researching income and mortality. “We are seeing a bigger divide in mortality.” 

Tax reform and other Trump-era policies are expected to make the gap worse

This growing gap should be “a dramatic reminder of what actually affects our health,” Woolf added. 
We often think about health status in terms of access to doctors, hospitals, and medicines. But access to health care only accounts for about 10 to 20 percent of our health outcomes. Far more influential on our health is our socioeconomic status and certain health behaviors, like smoking, eating healthfully, and getting exercise.  
In Chetty’s study, for example, the researchers found that life expectancy among the poorest individuals was “significantly correlated” with health behaviors like smoking, obesity, and exercise. Poorer people are more likely to be overweight, smoke, and drink compared to their wealthier counterparts. Interestingly, these effects seemed to be mitigated in places that had enacted policies to curb poor health behaviors — such as anti-smoking laws or trans fat bans in cities. 
Right now, there are several policies on the horizon that are not only expected to hamper health care access but exacerbate income inequality — and widen the life expectancy disparity, David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, says. Blumenthal has written about the potential effects of the tax bill, which passed through the Senate in December, on low- and middle-income Americans in particular, and how it’ll disproportionately ding them while rich Americans and corporations will enjoy tax breaks:
Blumenthal told Vox, “We can expect ... to see the gap in life expectancy and health care outcomes between low- and high-income Americans grow in coming years if gaps in income increase.” 
Vox’s Dylan Scott and Alvin Chang have also argued that the tax bill — because of its tax breaks for the rich — “takes the wheel of America’s already-dramatic income inequality and presses the accelerator.” It’ll also repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, resulting in an estimated 13 million fewer Americans with health insurance. That’s not to mention Congress’s failure to fund CHIP and its proposed cuts to Medicaid — health insurance programs for low-income American children and adults — both moves that have been endorsed by the Trump administration, 
So instead of just focusing on the overall decline in life expectancy, we need to start talking about these links between policy, and worsening income inequality and its relationship to the growing mortality gap. If we don’t, Woolf warned, we’ll fail to see the solutions to America’s early death problem.

March 21, 2018

From The NIH " Minoxidil May Improve Blood Vessel Structure"

Grow your 'hair while making your blood vessels stronger'. I can already see the ads but that is not the reason this is being published but because you have two conditions that affect millions and you have a known substance that helps one and possibly the second. On the second it could be a lifesaver not just cosmetics like having more hair. Adam


Blood vessel sliced open to show wallThe structure of blood vessel walls can affect the flow of blood through the vessels. alex-mit/iStock/Thinkstock 

Elastic fibers in the walls of large blood vessels enable them to bounce back after being stretched. The diameter of vessels is controlled by both the amount of elastic fibers present and the degree of squeezing from smooth muscle cells in the vessel walls. A larger diameter allows more blood through. As adults age, their blood vessels slowly begin to lose flexibility. The increased vessel stiffness and reduced vessel diameter that result contribute to the aging-related risk of heart attack, stroke, and dementia. There are also rare diseases that can cause lifelong vessel stiffness from insufficient elastic fibers.

The dozens of drugs on the market for reducing blood pressure work in very different ways. Minoxidil, which also promotes hair growth when used on the scalp, can relax the smooth muscle cells in blood vessels by opening certain potassium channels. Prior studies with animals suggested that another function of the drug is to turn on the genes for elastin (a protein found in elastic fibers) and other elastic fiber genes, such as Fbn-1 and Lox, causing elastin deposits within the blood vessel wall.

To find out whether an oral form of minoxidil can remodel the vessel’s wall to reduce blood vessel stiffness and enhance blood flow to the brain, researchers studied the drug’s effects in mice. The team was led by Dr. Beth A. Kozel of NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Washington University School of Medicine’s Dr. Joel R. Garbow and Dr. Michael Shoykhet (now at Children’s National Hospital). The study was also funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Results were published online on March 2, 2018, in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

The research team studied mice that were genetically modified to have low levels of elastin in their blood vessels. As a result, the mice had high blood pressure, increased blood vessel stiffness, and reduced blood flow to the brain. One group of modified mice received minoxidil in their drinking water from weaning until 3 months, a second group was treated for only the two weeks before elastin gene studies, and a third group had plain water instead.

The scientists found that minoxidil lowered blood pressure and vessel stiffness to levels similar to healthy mice. Imaging tests showed that vessel diameter and blood flow to the brain increased in the minoxidil-treated mice. One month after the drug was stopped, the diameter was still enlarged, suggesting that the structure of the blood vessel walls had changed. Using protein analyses and tissue studies, the team showed that minoxidil increased elastin deposits in blood vessels. Gene studies revealed that minoxidil revs up not only elastin and elastic fiber genes but also more than 100 other genes related to blood vessel structure.

Taken together, the findings suggest that treatment with minoxidil lowers blood pressure in part by remodeling large blood vessel walls. The structural changes reduce stiffness, increase blood vessel diameter, and improve blood flow to the brain.

“These results in mice are promising,” Kozel says. “We are looking forward to future clinical trials to test how this medication impacts blood flow in people.”

 —by Geri Piazza
National Institutes of Health

It is adamfoxie's 10th🦊Anniversay. 10 years witnessing the world and bringing you a pieace whcih is ussually not getting its due coverage.

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