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Fri, 25 Sep 2020
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Health

'Supersize me' revisited - under lab conditions

If you had bumped into nursing student Adde Karimi last September, he probably wouldn't have had much time to stop and chat. He was too busy stuffing his face with burgers, cola and milkshakes. It takes a lot of planning to get 6600 calories of junk food down you in a day, he explains. If you are not a born glutton, serious overeating also requires a high level of commitment. Karimi's motivation was commendable. "I did it because I wanted to hate this type of food," he says. He also did it for science.

Health

How sunshine triggers skin repair

A blast of sunshine could help fight skin diseases and cancer by attracting immune cells to the skin surface, according to a new study.

Eugene Butcher at Stanford University in California, US, and colleagues discovered an interesting immune process in human skin. Immune cells in the skin, called dendritic cells, convert vitamin D3 (produced in exposed skin in response to sunlight) into its active form.

Health

Marked rise in Neurological Disorders in the US debated by scientists

Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease are becoming more common in the US, a large new analysis suggests.

Deborah Hirtz at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, US, and colleagues reviewed about 500 research articles describing the prevalence of 12 diseases commonly identified and treated by neurologists.

Key

Menstrual mood swings may have a use after all

The monthly mood swings experienced by many women may serve an evolutionary purpose, researchers say, by helping to get them pregnant.

Levels of sex hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone fluctuate throughout a woman's monthly menstrual cycle. During the follicular phase at the start of the cycle, the egg is maturing and the body releases oestrogen, while during the luteal phase, when a fertilised egg might implant, progesterone is secreted.

Comment: And they had to do a study to figure that out?! Astonishing. Most women already know it.


Heart

Brace yourself for blues Monday

If you wake up feeling blue Monday, it's no wonder.

Monday is the most depressing day of the year, according to a United Kingdom psychologist.

Dr. Cliff Arnall developed a formula three years ago as a public relations campaign for a travel agency to boost travel during the industry's slowest month of the year. Arnall took factors like weather, debts, monthly salary, time since Christmas, time since failed attempt to quit (for example, to quit smoking), low motivational levels and the need to take action.

Gear

Living under Pathocratic Rule: Russian mental health rallies after 1990s turmoil

Russia's turbulent transition to a capitalist society caused a sharp deterioration in the country's mental health, a leading psychiatrist said on Monday.

But psychological disorders have started to level off in the past few years - a period that coincided with greater political and economic stability under President Vladimir Putin.

Russia has the world's second highest suicide rate after ex-Soviet Lithuania, according to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Comment: For a very long time, Russian citizens lived under the rule of pathocratic system, and lost their ability to defend their psyches from its devastating influences. Now, after the existing system was replaced by new "Capitalistic masters", no wonder that Russians suffer from variety of mental disorders or simply jump off the buildings.

This is what Lobaczewski wrote in Political Ponerology:

"Subordinating a normal person to psychologically abnormal
individuals has severe and deforming effects on his or her personality: it engenders trauma and neurosis. This is accomplished in a manner which generally evades conscious controls. Such a situation deprives the person of his natural rights: to practice his own mental hygiene, develop a sufficiently autonomous personality, and utilize his common sense."

"As already adduced, the author has been able to observe the workings of such a process of making someone consciously aware of the essence and properties of the macrosocial phenomenon, on the basis of individual patients rendered neurotic by the influence of pathocratic social conditions. In countries ruled by such governments, almost every normal person carries within him some neurotic response of varying intensity. After all, neurosis is human nature's normal response to being subjugated to a pathological system."


Health

Half Of Americans Metabolize Sugar And Fat Differently Which Can Increase Diabetes Risk

A new US study suggests that about half of the US population has a common gene variant that makes them metabolize sugar and fat differently which could increase their risk of developing diabetes.

The research is published in the January edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"That is not to say that half of US residents are destined to get diabetes," says Edward Weiss, PhD, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Doisy College of Health Sciences at Saint Louis University who led the study. The gene variant appears to contribute to diabetes risk, it does not cause diabetes on its own, he adds. Other factors are also involved.

Bizarro Earth

Study sez: Traffic pollution harms children's lungs

Traffic pollution from freeways may stunt development of the lungs in children aged 10 to 18, according to a study by researchers from the University of Southern California.

Dr. W. James Gauderman and colleagues from the USC and other institutions found that development of the lungs in children who lived within 500 meters or one third of a mile of a freeway were significantly retarded by traffic pollution compared to those who lived three times farther away from a freeway.

Comment: Meanwhile, of course, they are trying to blame all the same problems on smoking...


Health

Tool detects depression in cancer patients

British researchers have found that one-quarter of patients with advanced cancer have depression that had previously not been diagnosed.

The effects of depression can be as difficult to cope with as the physical symptoms of a terminal illness such as cancer, said lead researcher Mari Lloyd-Williams of the University of Liverpool.

Health

Psychotherapy Quiets Concerns Over Ringing In The Ears

Psychotherapy may help tinnitus suffers cope with the life disturbances that sometimes accompany their condition, according to a new review of studies.

Tinnitus is a sensation of ringing or other noise when there is no external cause for the sound. A counseling method called cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT seems to amplify patients' quality of life, even when the volume of the noise remains the same.

"It's a way of working on beliefs and changing psychological responses to tinnitus," said lead reviewer Pablo Martinez-Devesa. "Usually you'd assess the patient's feelings and perceptions of tinnitus, then introduce education on the possible causes. Then, through several sessions, you would try to change the attitudes of patients toward the tinnitus."