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Sat, 15 Aug 2020
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The Age of Autism: Gluten clue from Case 2

Finding a treasure trove of documents about the family of one of the earliest cases of autism has led this column to offer two observations: Mercury may be associated with the disorder from the beginning, and cutting-edge research near the nation's capital may help explain why it was first discovered at Johns Hopkins University in nearby Baltimore.

Attention

Imported Food (wheat gluten) Rarely Suspected

WASHINGTON - Just 1.3 percent of imported fish, vegetables, fruit and other foods are inspected yet those government inspections regularly reveal food unfit for human consumption.

Health

Food Cravings, Obesity and Gluten Consumption

Increased consumption of gluten, according to Dr. Michael Marsh, raises the risk of celiac disease symptoms1. Although these symptoms may not indicate celiac disease, they reflect some biological realities. Grain-based foods simply do not offer the nutrients necessary to human health and they damage the human body. USDA and Canada Food Guides notwithstanding, if people eat grain-laden diets, they may develop symptoms of celiac disease (but in most cases, without the diagnostic intestinal lesion).

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Sensitivity To Gluten May Result In Neurological Dysfunction; Independent Of Symptoms

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St. Paul, Minnesota - You may have gluten sensitivity and not even know it, according to a study published in the April 23 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Loss of coordination (ataxia) may result from gluten sensitivity. This disease is known as gluten ataxia. The study found that some patients might never experience the gastrointestinal symptoms that prompt them to seek treatment for the disorder.

"Gluten ataxia is a common neurological manifestation of gluten sensitivity," according to M. Hadjivassiliou, M.D., of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK. "It remains unclear why some patients with gluten sensitivity present solely with neurological dysfunction when others present with gastrointentestinal symptoms (gluten sensitive enteropathy) or an itchy skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)."

Although the cerebellum (the part of the brain responsible for coordination) and in particular the Purkinje cells (output neurons of the cerebellum) appear to be most susceptible to damage in patients with gluten ataxia, other areas of the brain are not spared. "We were interested to determine the mechanism by which Purkinje cells are damaged in gluten ataxia," commented Hadjivassiliou. Study results show that patients with gluten ataxia have antibodies against Purkinje cells and also that antibodies against gluten (antigliadin antibodies) cross-react with Purkinje cells.

Health

Obesity pill - rimonabant, Acomplia - increases suicidal thoughts

Patients taking an obesity pill in clinical trials were more likely to report suicidal thoughts or actions, US drug reviewers have said. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel will consider on Wednesday whether regulators should approve US sales.

Comment: Problem is, seems that the pill really doesn't work. See SOTT Forum discussion.


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Vietnam finds bird flu near border with China

Bird flu has spread to ducks and chickens near Vietnam's border with China, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.

The outbreak in mountainous Cao Bang province took to 16 provinces and two cities the number of areas struck by the H5N1 bird flu virus since it re-emerged in Vietnam in early May.

Health

Increased alcohol intake associated with decreased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis

New data presented today at EULAR 2007, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Barcelona, Spain, suggests that alcohol may protect against rheumatoid arthritis, with three units a week exhibiting protective effects and ten units a week being more protective still. An alcohol consumption of three units per week or more also reduced the risk by smoking or by a genetic predisposition to RA.

An increased alcohol (ethanol) consumption of three or more units per week was associated with a decreased risk of developing RA (odds ratio 0.5, 95%; confidence interval 0.4 - 0.7). The findings could improve understanding of the effects of lifestyle on the risk of developing RA and pave the way for new potential treatment approaches based on the apparently beneficial effects of alcohol.

Henrik Källberg at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, who is a PhD student said, "Several previous studies have indicated a suppression of the immune system by alcohol and a recent study showed that it prevented development of destructive arthritis. However, until now, epidemiological investigations on the effects of alcohol on RA were scarce and inconsistent. These data now show not only that alcohol can protect against RA and reduce the risk conferred by smoking or susceptible genes, but also gives an idea of the relevant alcohol doses necessary."

Magic Wand

The perks and pitfalls of pride

proud toddler boxer child
© Lambert/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Pride has perplexed philosophers and theologians for centuries, and it is an especially paradoxical emotion in American culture. We applaud rugged individualism, self-reliance and personal excellence, but too much pride can easily tip the balance toward vanity, haughtiness and self-love. Scientists have also been perplexed by this complex emotion, because it is so unlike primary emotions like fear and disgust.

University of British Columbia psychologist, Jessica Tracy, and Richard Robins of the University of California, Davis, have been exploring the origins and purpose of pride, both in the laboratory and in the field. They wanted to know if pride is as universal as, say, joy or anger.

In the June issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Tracy and Robins review several recent studies on the nature and function of pride.

Coffee

Runners: Let Thirst Be Your Guide

Many people are drinking too much water, including sports drinks, when exercising, a practice that could put some individuals engaging in prolonged types of endurance exercise at risk of potentially lethal water intoxication, say international experts who study disorders of water metabolism. Such exercise includes marathons, triathlons, and long distance cycling.

This serious condition, known as exercise-induced hyponatremia (EAH), could be prevented if only people would respect their personal thirst "meter," or would undertake a "sweat test" to determine how much water they actually need to drink in order to replace just the body fluids lost during exercising, the researchers say.

A group of experts in this condition has issued a number of papers and recommendations, including an international consensus statement on this disorder published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine in 2005. Joseph Verbalis, M.D., Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and a member of this group, recently updated the scientific community on the causes of this disorder in the May issue of Sports Medicine.

Battery

Endurance Athletes Risk Deadly 'Water Intoxication'

Health experts cautioned yesterday that some endurance athletes drink too much water during exercise and are at risk of deadly "water intoxication." Marathon runners, triathletes and cyclists are familiar with dehydration, caused by not drinking enough. But fewer are aware that too much water can kill.