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Tue, 17 Oct 2017
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Tornado1

A hidden public health epidemic: The psychological toll of natural disasters

© Sunrise House
Long after a big hurricane blows through, its effects hammer the mental-health system.

Brandi Wagner thought she had survived Hurricane Katrina. She hung tough while the storm's 125-mph winds pummeled her home, and powered through two months of sleeping in a sweltering camper outside the city with her boyfriend's mother. It was later, after the storm waters had receded and Wagner went back to New Orleans to rebuild her home and her life that she fell apart.

"I didn't think it was the storm at first. I didn't really know what was happening to me," Wagner, now 48, recalls. "We could see the waterline on houses, and rooftop signs with 'please help us,' and that big X where dead bodies were found. I started sobbing and couldn't stop. I was crying all the time, just really losing it."

Question

Big Pharma price gouging: Why does the drug to fight opioid addiction cost $500 a month?

© Joe Raedle
The September issue of Harper's features juror excuses for why they were unfit to serve on the Martin Shkreli case. One called him the "most hated man in America," for good reason: in 2015 his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of Daraprim by 5,000 percent. Over 200 potential jurors were excused. The responses were telling.
  • Who does that, puts profit and self-interest ahead of anything else?
  • I'm aware of the defendant and I hate him.
  • My kids use those drugs.
  • You'd have to convince me he was innocent rather than guilty.
  • I think somebody that's dealt in those things deserves to go to jail.

Comment: More Big Pharma price gouging: Opioid overdose treatment prices have skyrocketed


Whistle

Dr. Moss drops a bombshell to Senators regarding the vaccine-autism debate

Earlier this year, Dr. Alvin H. Moss, a physician and professor in the Centre for Health Ethics & Law Department at West Virginia University, testified at the West Virginia Senate Education Committee on the topic of childhood vaccinations.

As most of you reading this probably already know, multiple countries and communities around the world are now implementing mandatory vaccination policies, which ensure that if a child has not received the full amount of recommended immunizations, they cannot attend public school. This is primarily due to the belief that if the majority of a population can become "immune" to a disease via vaccination, diseases will either be eradicated or at least kept under control. It's called "herd immunity," and refers to a pattern of immunity that should protect a population against invasion of a new infection. It's the backbone of pro-vaccine arguments, despite the fact that there is no science behind it, which is why it remains a theory. Measles is one example where the theory has shown to be false. Measles vaccine failures have been documented for a quarter of a century around the world, showing that we're not really looking at a failure to vaccinate, but rather a failing vaccine.

Info

What you need to know about flu vaccines in pregnancy and childhood

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns pregnant women and young children not to eat fish containing high levels of methylmercury. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends pregnant women and infants get influenza vaccines, many of which contain ethylmercury from the preservative thimerosal. Receiving them may result in mercury exposures exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended maximum levels.

World Mercury Project is deeply concerned that the risks of getting mercury-containing seasonal influenza vaccines may outweigh the benefits for pregnant women, infants and children. Mercury is known to be highly toxic to brain tissue and can impact critical stages of brain development.

Health

Shilajit: What is it & what can it do for your health?

"There is hardly any curable disease which cannot be controlled or cured with the aid of shilajit." - Vaidya Charak, famous ancient Indian from the first century A.D
It looks and smells like tar and, in fairness, it tastes a little like tar too. Yet this wondrous, ancient resin-like substance just may be one of the best things you can take to improve your health.

Shilajit has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and by yogis alike for centuries, and for good reason. It's said that this ancient superfood supports every system in the body.

Alarm Clock

Study shows significant correlations between the use of glyphosate and the rise of chronic disease

It's no secret that we are living in a time where chronic disease continues to rise at an exponential rate, especially within the past couple of decades. New evidence continues to mount suggesting that Genetically Modified Organisms (more specifically GM food) might have played, and do play a key role in those statistics.

A study published in the Journal of Organic Systems last September examined US government databases, researchers searched for GE (Genetically Engineered) crop data, glyphosate application data, and disease epidemiological data while performing a "correlation analysis" on a total of 22 different diseases.

Bell

Middle Eastern gulf states ban glyphosate over 'probable carcinogen' fears

Oman's Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that six Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman have banned the use of glyphosate herbicides since last year, after reviewing IARC's classification of glyphosate as a 'probable human carcinogen'.

Eng Saleh al Abri, Director General of Agricultural Development in Oman's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF), confirmed to the Muscat Times on Wednesday that, "Glyphosate hasn't been available in Oman since 2016."

Al Abri added, "Roundup has been suspended for use in Oman since IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) added the active ingredient (glyphosate) to their list."

Health

Antioxidant compound found in strawberries could reduce cognitive decline and inflammation associated with aging - Study

Salk scientists have found further evidence that a natural compound in strawberries reduces cognitive deficits and inflammation associated with aging in mice. The work, which appeared in the Journals of Gerontology Series A in June 2017, builds on the team's previous research into the antioxidant fisetin, finding it could help treat age-related mental decline and conditions like Alzheimer's or stroke.

"Companies have put fisetin into various health products but there hasn't been enough serious testing of the compound," says Pamela Maher, a senior staff scientist in Salk's Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory and senior author of the paper. "Based on our ongoing work, we think fisetin might be helpful as a preventative for many age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, not just Alzheimer's, and we'd like to encourage more rigorous study of it."

Maher, who works in the lab of David Schubert, the head of Salk's Cellular Neurobiology Lab, has been studying fisetin for over a decade. Previous research by the lab found that fisetin reduced memory loss related to Alzheimer's in mice genetically modified to develop the disease. But that study focused on genetic (familial) AD, which accounts for only 1 to 3 percent of cases. By far the bigger risk factor for developing what is termed sporadic AD, as well as other neurodegenerative disorders, is simply age. For the current inquiry, Maher turned to a strain of laboratory mice that age prematurely to better study sporadic AD. By 10 months of age, these mice typically show signs of physical and cognitive decline not seen in normal mice until two years of age.

Bullseye

No competition in the braces business: Dentists target mail-order orthodontics

© Danny Menendez / BuzzFeed News
Dentists are waging a war against SmileDirectClub, a startup whose mail-order product promises to straighten teeth at a fraction of the cost of braces, without the hassle of a dentist's office.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), representing 18,000 dental professionals, has lodged complaints with dental boards and attorneys general in 36 states, alleging that SmileDirect's service - which allows customers to skip in-person doctor visits and X-rays - is "illegal and creates medical risks."

At least three state dental boards - in Alaska, California, and West Virginia - have opened investigations into the company, though none have yet been completed. In August, Alaska's board voted to ask the state's licensing division to send a cease-and-desist letter barring SmileDirect from selling there.

"It became very clear to us that they were violating the law," Kevin Dillard, general counsel at the AAO, told BuzzFeed News. "Our goal is to make sure that those states understand that there is a market participant here that we believe is violating their laws that exist to protect the public."

People

Nearly 40% of Americans are now obese

© David Gray / Reuters
America's obesity crisis appears more unstoppable than ever.

A troubling new report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that almost 40 percent of American adults and nearly 20 percent of adolescents are obese - the highest rates ever recorded for the U.S.

"It's difficult to be optimistic at this point," said Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "The trend of obesity has been steadily increasing in both children and adults despite many public health efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity."

The continued weight increase in the youngest Americans is especially worrisome for long-term health. One in five adolescents, ages 12-19; one in five kids, ages 6-11, and and one in ten preschoolers, ages 2-5 are considered obese, not just overweight.