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Tue, 17 Oct 2017
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Mothers never warned about risk of birth defects from taking epilepsy drug during pregnancy

Nearly 20,000 babies have been born with disabilities since sodium valproate was introduced in the 1970s, figures show (sold as Dépakine in Europe)
Thousands of angry mothers believe they were deceived about the risks of taking scandal-hit epilepsy pills during pregnancy.

Nearly 20,000 babies have been born with disabilities since sodium valproate was introduced in the 1970s, figures show.

The drug can cause severe birth defects, including spina bifida, where the spinal cord doesn't form correctly, and heart and genital defects.

Sodium valproate is only recommend during pregnancy if there is no better option to control symptoms of their epileptic seizures.

But scores of women say they weren't warned of the extent of the risk. They are now set to provide evidence to a European drug regulator.

Julie Marjot, from Norfolk, told the BBC doctors waited until her last child was born to reveal the controversial pills harmed three of her four children.

Comment: This has become an all too familiar syndrome where the medical system refuses to disclose the real dangers of medications or even downplays their risks, then dodges responsibility for the after effects - a psychopathic business model indeed!


Akathisia: The grim side effect of the anti-depressant Paxil

Wendy Dolin, whose husband, Stewart killed himself in 2010, believes the antidepressant he had begun taking, a generic form of Paxil, was responsible
The last dinner Wendy Dolin had with her husband, Stewart, he was so agitated that he was jiggling his leg under the table and could barely sit still. He had recently started a new antidepressant but still felt very anxious. "I don't get it, Wen," he said.

The next day, Stewart Dolin, a 57-year-old Chicago lawyer, paced up and down a train platform for several minutes and then threw himself in front of an oncoming train.

Wendy Dolin soon became convinced that the drug her husband had started taking five days before his death - paroxetine, the generic form of Paxil - played a role in his suicide by triggering a side effect called akathisia, a state of acute physical and psychological agitation. Sufferers have described feeling as if they were "jumping out of their skin."

The distress of akathisia may explain the heightened risk of suicide in some patients, some psychiatrists believe. The symptoms are so distressing, a drug company scientist wrote in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, that patients may feel "death is a welcome result."

Dolin sued the original manufacturer of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline, claiming the company had not sufficiently warned of the risks associated with the drug. In April, a jury awarded Dolin $3 million.

Comment: All this suffering over a class of drugs that work no better than a placebo.


What your sleeping position reveals about you

Those who have got a university degree are most likely to sleep on their left side each night - known as 'leftie loungers', according to a new survey.
The position you sleep in reveals plenty about your age, your job and your hobbies and how well rested you'll be, a new survey reveals.

According to the findings, those with a university degree are most likely to sleep on their left side each night and have been dubbed 'leftie loungers'.

And adults who drift off on the right side each night are more likely to be smokers and coffee drinkers, the poll of 5,000 people suggests.

The heaviest drinkers are regarded as 'stomach slumpers' - those who drift off while laying on their front. Utility workers struggle to stick to just one position, freestyling in a variety of different choices to fall asleep.

Comment: See also: The best sleeping position for cleaning up the brain's metabolic waste


Will opioid lawsuits by county officials against big pharma set a legal precedent - are vaccine makers next?

© Association of Health Care Journalists
"They know what they've been doing. They've been misrepresenting the dangers of these dangerous addictive drugs for years." - State Rep. Gen DiGirolamo

"Those pharmaceutical companies have made billions of dollars off the deaths of our children and our loved one." - Delaware County Councilman David White

Big Pharma companies have a significant presence in the suburban counties surrounding Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, being neighbors doesn't matter, since Delaware County, the SE Pennsylvania county constituting some of Philadelphia's western suburbs, filed a lawsuit on September 21, 2017 against eleven pharmaceutical companies regarding the overwhelming opioid epidemic and problem.

The reason for the lawsuit is the amount of money Delaware County had, and has, to pay for all types of services rendered and other expenses due to opioid drug abuses.


The importance of vagal stimulation for health and well-being

At the center of our bodies resides a long, wiry nerve called the vagus nerve. It extends all the way from the brain down through the chest and beyond the stomach. In addition, it connects to all major organs, including ears, eyes, tongue, kidneys, bladder, reproductive organs, and the colon. Scientists believe that vagus nerve stimulation can affect anxiety and depression, blood pressure and heart rate, as well as the function of digestive organs including the stomach, pancreas and the gall bladder.

Role of the Vagus Nerve in the Body

Being the largest nerve in the body, the vagus nerve affects more than just the body's physical functions. Some research indicates that a healthy vagus nerve is important to social bonding and empathy, as well as our ability to make complex decisions. Mystics believe that it is also the intersection between our conscious and unconscious minds, the physical and the subtle bodies. Therefore, the vagus nerve may be the most relevant part of our physical body that relates to our peace of mind and happiness.

Clearly, the vagus nerve plays a critical role in our bodies, hence it is also vital to our well-being. People with impaired vagal activity can suffer from depression, panic disorders, anxiety, mood swings and chronic fatigue. Physically, vagal imbalance can result in irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, heart burn, unhealthy heart rate, and chronic inflammation.


Suicidal thoughts and depression linked to brain inflammation

© makler0008/Shutterstock
A new study mirrors earlier research showing that suicidal thoughts and major depressive episodes have a strong correlation to brain inflammation, New Atlas reports. The findings also agree with post-mortems of suicidal patients, which showed inflammation in their brains. Researchers said this may be a new use for anti-inflammatory drugs.

Although multiple factors are likely to blame, with cases of suicide rising in the U.S. every year, these new findings certainly deserve attention, as inflammation is a known cause of numerous physical and mental conditions. Gut inflammation, for example, is known to be a cause of symptoms of depression.

From that end, scientific advances suggest your state of mind is strongly influenced by the microflora in your gut, and that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) can alleviate symptoms of depression. But, while a probiotic supplement may be helpful, it's unlikely to make a significant difference if you're still eating junk.

Comment: For more on the dietary links between diet and depression see:

Alarm Clock

Environmental toxins: Studies link heavy metals to the explosion of neurodevelopmental disorders & declining IQ in American children

© Medscape Reference
A "silent pandemic of neurodevelopmental toxicity" is disabling a generation of children around the world. This is the verdict of neurology experts Philippe Grandjean and Philip Landrigan in a 2014 report in Lancet Neurology. The staggering tsunami of developmental disabilities now affects at least one in six children in the U.S. and millions more worldwide. Two new studies suggest that the most common of these illnesses-autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and tics-are related to each other and may share common causation. The culprit? Environmental toxins, particularly heavy metals.

About 11% (or one in nine 4-17-year-olds) have received an ADHD diagnosis-and in some states, as many as 19%. The most recent ASD estimates in the U.S., from 2014 data, report a prevalence of one in 45 children, representing a "significant increase" compared to 2011-2013.

Comment: Protecting children from the "global, silent pandemic of neurodevelopmental toxicity"


Photopharmacology: Using light for health

According to new research published by Scientific Reports,1 a certain type of LED lighting is "more efficient and effective" at producing vitamin D in your skin than what can be obtained through the sun, "the sunshine vitamin."

News-Medical reported that in research conducted by scientists at Boston University School of Medicine, skin samples exposed to RayVio Corporation's 293 nm UV (ultraviolet) LED (light-emitting diode) for just 0.52 minutes could produce more than twice the amount of vitamin D3 as skin samples exposed to sunlight for 32.5 minutes.

RayVio Corporation, a health and hygiene company based in California, says it uses advanced health and hygiene technology to provide UV disinfection "for health care environments and devices, for water and air, and for appliances and personal care, (giving) consumers control over health without chemicals or costly consumables."2 Dr. Michael F. Holick, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at the university, who led the study, explained:
"RayVio's 293nm LED showed the most significant potential for vitamin D3 production in the shortest amount of time. This study will lead to a new generation of technology that can be labeled as photopharmacology in which the use of LEDs with targeted wavelengths can cause specific biologic effects in human skin to help treat and prevent chronic illnesses."3
A number of serious diseases and disorders are linked to vitamin D deficiency, such as osteoporosis, depression, unexplained aches and pains, stomach trouble, certain cancers and rickets. The researchers suggested the 293 nm LED device for making vitamin D could be a perfect fit for patients with fat malabsorption syndromes, including gastric bypass surgery or with inflammatory bowel disease.4

Comment: For more on the benefits of light therapy see:


Can you really call lab-grown meat 'clean'?

© businessinsider.com
What do agricultural giant Cargill Inc. and billionaires Richard Branson and Bill Gates have in common? They're among a group of investors who have given, so far, $17 million to Memphis Meats - a startup company that's growing meat (beef, chicken and duck) from animal cells. No actual animals are involved, just their cells, so the idea is that one day environmentally (and ethically) devastating concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) could become a thing of the past.

Branson is so confident about Memphis Meats' future that he told Bloomberg News, "I believe that in 30 years or so we will no longer need to kill any animals and that all meat will either be clean or plant-based, taste the same and also be much healthier for everyone."1This so-called "clean-meat movement," also known as the cultured protein market, has struck a chord with many, from animal rights groups and vegans to environmental groups and media outlets.

Comment: The Health & Wellness Show: Meet the Meat You'd Never Eat!
On this episode of the Health and Wellness Show we look into the future of food, where the science is going and what we can expect in the coming years. In the food science world it is not what can be created but what will be accepted. New high tech foods are easy to create in a lab with enough financial backing though the trouble the industry is having is getting the consumer to overcome the 'yuck factor'. Artificial meat research, genetically modified animals, cloned meat, lab grown-test tube meat, bleeding veggie burgers -- nothing is too far out for big corporations looking to make a profit off of the notion that consumers want save the Earth while eating 'healthy clean meat'.


Leading sleep scientist warns that lack of sleep in modern society is killing us, has 'catastrophic' effect on health

got sleep?
'I take my sleep incredibly seriously because I have seen the evidence,' says Professor Matthew Walker

A "catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic" is causing a host of potentially fatal diseases, a leading expert has said.

In an interview with the Guardian, Professor Matthew Walker, director of the Centre for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, said that sleep deprivation affected "every aspect of our biology" and was widespread in modern society.

And yet the problem was not being taken seriously by politicians and employers, with a desire to get a decent night's sleep often stigmatized as a sign of laziness, he said.

Comment: More on the science and importance of sleep: