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Sat, 24 Sep 2016
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Mad mass prescription: Psychotropic drugs act as chemical lobotomies

One of the most shameful episodes in the history of psychology is the use of frontal lobotomies. Despite very scant evidence of their effectiveness - and in spite of much evidence of serious negative after-effects - lobotomies were standard procedure through the US and Europe for around two decades, until the mid-1950s. In the US, around 40,000 people underwent a procedure that involved cutting away connections between the prefrontal cortex and the frontal lobes of the brain. Initially lobotomies were performed by drilling holes into the skull, until the American physician Walter Freeman discovered that he could reach the frontal lobes through the eye sockets, by hammering a long metal pick into the bone and then into the brain.

The procedure was extremely dangerous - some patients died, others became brain-damaged or committed suicide. A "successful" outcome meant that a patient who had previously been mentally unstable was now docile and emotionally numb, less responsive and less self-aware. Even if there appeared to be some improvement in their mental "disorder", this was often outweighed by cognitive and emotional impairments.

From a modern perspective, the use of frontal lobotomies seems incredibly brutal and primitive. However, we are nowhere near as far removed from such barbarism as we might like to believe. There are strong parallels between lobotomies and the modern use of psychotropic drugs. In fact, the blanket treatment of psychological conditions as if they are medical problems, and the consequent massive overprescription of psychotropic medication, has had a much more harmful effect than lobotomies, because it is so much more widespread.

Bacon n Eggs

Important information to understand if you want to avoid illness

It's no news that there has been an epidemic of poor health in industrialized societies over the past 100 years. Since the peak of the industrial revolution we have seen a steady incline in chronic disease.

The three most common ways for a human to perish in our society include heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

These are known as 'diseases of civilization' and together cause 75% of all deaths in Western nations. 45% of adults in the United States have a chronic disease.

The largest factor in developing one of these diseases is misinformation. So few of us actually understand why and how we are getting sick that we cannot hope to make this world a better place unless we know what truly makes us healthy.

Here are 5 things to understand about health and illness.

Comment: Americans are less healthy, and die sooner than people in other developed nations

How Can the Wealthiest Industrialized Nation be the Sickest?

Since the mid-1990s, the number of Americans suffering from at least three chronic illnesses nearly doubled. Life expectancy has decreased and infant mortality has increased. Illnesses once rare are now common, with some approaching epidemic levels. For example:
  • Autism now affects one in 88 children (CDC), compared to one in 25,000 in the mid-1970s
  • Type 2 diabetes rates in the U.S. increased by 176 percent between 1980 and 2010
  • Celiac disease is four times more common now than 60 years ago
  • Alzheimer's disease is rising at alarming rates. It's estimated that 5.4 million Americans (one in eight older Americans) now has Alzheimer's disease, and nearly half of those age 85 and older have it; AD rates have doubled since 1980
  • New infectious diseases are increasing in number, according to a 2008 study


Aerial spraying for Zika has city leaders at odds in Miami Beach

Miami Beach city leaders are at odds with a scheduled aerial spraying of the insecticide Naled over a 1.5-square-mile infection zone.

In a statement Tuesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the flights recommended by Florida health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will begin Thursday and continue for a month.

Gimenez said the number of Miami Beach mosquitoes found with Zika increased over the weekend.

The Florida Health Department announced Tuesday six new non-travel related cases of the Zika virus in Miami Beach.

Comment: See also:
  • CDC using the Zika virus to justify forced vaccinations, quarantines and mass aerial spraying
  • No link between microcephaly babies and Zika virus

Microscope 1

Infant development and the role of the microbiome

© laurenhubele.com
The human microbiome plays a vital role in overall health, with new information flooding in nearly every day. Defined as "the sum of all microbial life living in or on the human body," the microbiome is a vibrant community of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that constantly evolves throughout the life cycle as it adapts to environmental, dietary, and life changes.

Alterations in the human microbiota have been linked to a wide range of disorders, from viral and bacterial infections to metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes; and from inflammatory and autoimmune diseases to neurodevelopmental issues like depression and autism.1 Simplifying the process of how bacteria in the gut can affect the brain and other systems of the body, science writer Stephen Ginley explains:
... the gut microbiome takes advantage of the channels our bodies use to send messages between different organs. The bacteria's normal life functions produce byproducts called metabolites that move through the stomach lining, enter the bloodstream and are transported throughout the human body. Depending on the type and number of bacteria in a gut microbiome, different types and numbers of metabolites are delivered to the brain and other parts of the host's body.2

Comment: Read more about the development of the infant microbiome and how medical intervention can change delicate gut bacteria for good or for ill:
Suzanne Humphries, MD, takes us on a tour in this video series about the design behind the infant immune system - that babies are born into a "clamped-down" immunologic state which breastfeeding serves to template over the first two years. She explores the importance of full cord blood transfer, and the wrong-headedness of provoking adult-like immune responses through vaccines. Medicine has had a way of treating infants and babies like mini-adults. Perhaps awareness of the microbiome development will force us to acknowledge the mother-infant dyad and the uniqueness therein.


Life threatening downsides to chemotherapy, says study

© AP Photo/Gerry Broome
Chemotherapy is administered to a cancer patient.
A startling study by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK has found that cancer treatment itself may be killing up to 50 percent of patients.

Chemotherapy has long been controversial, as the treatment does specifically target cancerous cells, and destroys healthy cells in the process. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers dug deeper into cancer patients who died within 30 days of beginning their treatment, indicating that the treatment caused the death, not the cancer.

Across the nation, they found that 8.4 percent of those undergoing treatment for lung cancer, and 2.4 percent of those being treated for breast cancer, died within a month of beginning treatment.

Results varied greatly based on the hospital however, as an alarming 50.9 percent of those in Milton Keynes Hospital beginning chemotherapy treatment for lung cancer died within 30 days. Researchers noted that the total number of patients treated at the hospital was much smaller than the norm, but the numbers remain eye-opening.

"The statistics don't suggest bad practice overall but there are some outliers," said Professor David Dodwell, Institute of Oncology at St. James Hospital in Leeds, one of the researchers behind the study. "It could be data problems, and figures skewed because of just a few deaths, but nevertheless it could also be down to problems with clinical practice."


Modern life is killing our children: UK child cancer diagnoses have risen 40% in 16 years

Air pollution, obesity and a rise in electrical and magnetic fields is blamed for the surge in childhood cancer
Modern life is killing children with the number of youngsters diagnosed with cancer rising 40 per cent in the past 16 years because of air pollution, pesticides, poor diets and radiation, scientists have warned.

New analysis of government statistics by researchers at the charity Children with Cancer UK found that there are now 1,300 more cancer cases a year compared with 1998, the first time all data sets were published.

The rise is most apparent in teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 24, where the incident rate has risen from around 10 cases in 100,000 to nearly 16.

Researchers say that although some of the rise can be explained by improvements in cancer diagnoses and more screening, the majority is probably caused by environmental factors.

Comment: See also:


"Dirtier than a toilet seat": The case for taking your shoes off at the front door

It's easy to do and I'm sure we've all done it. Perhaps we forgot something inside the house, or needed a quick bathroom break before heading out — for whatever reason, we often decide to leave our shoes on indoors to avoid wasting time taking them off and then putting them on again.

But did you know that you're putting yourself and your family at risk — especially if you have small children who play on the floor and put their hands in their mouths an average of 80 times an hour — of stomach, eye, and lung infections?

Think about where you've been today: Maybe you were at the grocery store and your foot skimmed over some bad milk, or maybe you walked to work on sidewalks where dogs defecate and racoons drag trash around. Maybe you even work in a factory with toxic chemicals or used a public bathroom at the gas station.

Arrow Down

Thanks Monsanto: Highly toxic PCB's linked to autism

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) were produced from the 1930s through the 1970s. Their high burning temperature made them a sought-after chemical for use as fire retardants and insulators, primarily in electronic devices although also in plastics, flooring and other industrial products.

After an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of PCBs were manufactured in the U.S. — the majority by Monsanto — it was revealed that they're incredibly toxic and persistent in the environment.

They were finally banned in 1979 after their carcinogenic potential and ability to accumulate in the environment were revealed, however their toxicity was known to Monsanto long before that, perhaps as early as the 1950s and likely by 1970.1

PCBs have also been linked to infertility and reproductive and endocrine damage along with neurological effects, including damage to learning and memory. They're known neurodevelopmental toxins and a recent study has also found an association with autism.



Antimicrobial soaps are not just useless for handwashing, they also contaminate the environment

To kill germs effectively, you need to spend at least 20 seconds scrubbing, about the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice through, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many people buy soaps containing antimicrobial chemicals like triclosan (TCS) and triclocarban (TCC) in the hopes of cleaning more efficiently. However, studies show that these products are no more effective than plain soap and water. And the 20-second rule still applies.

Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have admitted that anti-bacterial soaps may pose a threat to human health.

Comment: See also:

Red Flag

Millions of Americans are drinking contaminated water - Perfluorinated chemicals that harm the immune system

© motherjones.com
C8 has been found in the drinking water in 94 counties serving more than 6 million Americans
Used in hundreds of products like Teflon, PFCs can be passed on by mothers to their children.

Fluorine-based chemicals that can cause cancer, developmental toxicity and numerous other detrimental health effects have contaminated the drinking water of millions of Americans, and the blood of people and animals worldwide. But how did these chemicals get there—and what happens when they're passed on to future generations?

A series of new, peer-reviewed studies connect the dots from the pollution sources, to drinking water supplies, to women's blood, and bolster earlier findings that these chemicals can harm the immune systems of fetuses exposed in their mothers' wombs. Perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, are used in Teflon, Scotchgard and hundreds of other products.

A study published recently in Environmental Science & Technology Letters points to military bases, airports, industrial sites and wastewater treatment plants as the major sources of PFCs in drinking water. PFC pollution from industrial facilities has long been known, but the new study found that drinking water contamination, detected by nationwide tests mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency, correlates strongly to military and civilian airports' use of firefighting foams.

Comment: Perfluorinated chemicals have polluted the blood of virtually all Americans: