February 23, 2012
By Heather Callaghan
“Yes – doctor’s still use shock therapy. Are we still living in the dark ages?” –KTRN
Did you know that electroshock therapy is still a common practice? It’s true that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) nearly died out after Jack Nicholson’s performance in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and the major influx of psychotropic drugs beginning around the ’60s.
But just as ECT was going extinct its use picked up in the ’90s and continued to grow exponentially. As of 1998, the ECT treatments numbered 100,000, approximately twice the number of tonsillectomies that year, and continues at that rate.
The Judge Rotenburg Institute is under fire once again for its improper use of aversive shock therapy; the use of shock to dissuade certain behaviors.
Young disabled Andre was called into a room after hitting one of the staff members. He was shocked once for punishment, then tied down to a restraint board and left in the room for seven hours with no food, water, or bathroom breaks. The shocks were set to zap whenever he yelled out or tensed up — he was shocked 31 times. He was responsive enough to beg his mother for help when she arrived, but went into a comatose state for three days until requiring immediate hospitalization. Rotenburg holds that this is therapy.
Andre’s mother is imploring that the video be allowed for public view so that people can see that this particular incident, and other electroshock treatments, are an act of torture. Rotenburg sought a court order to keep the video hidden during investigation. Last year, they were caught erasing crucial video evidence during another investigation. They are also responsible for the deaths of five children and numerous lawsuits.
January 17, 2012
By Johnathan Benson
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that many of the symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the often over-diagnosed condition tacked on many young people, can be treated by simply altering or supplementing one’s diet. And a new study published in the journal Pediatrics helps confirm this, noting that when drugs and behavioral therapies are ineffective, ridding the diet of toxic additives, for instance, and consuming more whole, organic foods is the best route to take.
There is still much debate over what ADHD actually is, and whether or not it is even a valid “condition” at all, at least in the way most people define a health condition. Some say ADHD is a true disease attributable to family history and genetics, while others point to petrochemical-based food dyes, artificial additives, synthetic sweeteners, and processed foods as triggers of the brain abnormalities that spur inattentiveness and uncontrollable behavior.
Well, it appears that even mainstream science is finally coming around — sort of — to the idea that diet plays a crucial role in improving behavior, focus, and mental capacity in many that have been diagnosed with ADHD. While stopping shy of recommending dietary changes as a primary approach to ADHD, doctors from Northwestern University Medical School at least say that dietary changes constitute a secondary option.
January, Friday the 13th, 2012
By David Emery
“Ch-Ch-Ch. Ha-Ha-Ha. Why are some people so superstitious about a date? Has anything actually ever gone wrong for you on a Friday the 13th? My only issue with the date is the terrible Hollywood remake of the original Jason Vorhees movie – what were they thinking? And then there was Jason X when he was in outer-space. I’m not kidding.” –KTRN
I HAVE before me the abstract of a 1993 study published in the British Medical Journal provocatively titled “Is Friday the 13th Bad for Your Health?”
With the aim of mapping “the relation between health, behavior, and superstition surrounding Friday 13th in the United Kingdom,” its authors compared the ratio of traffic volume to the number of automobile accidents on two different days, Friday the 6th and Friday the 13th, over a period of years.
Incredibly, they found that in the region sampled, while consistently fewer people chose to drive their cars on Friday the 13th, the number of hospital admissions due to vehicular accidents was significantly higher than on “normal” Fridays. Their conclusion:
“Friday 13th is unlucky for some. The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent. Staying at home is recommended.”
Paraskevidekatriaphobics — people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th — will be pricking up their ears about now, buoyed by seeming evidence that the source of their unholy terror might not be so irrational after all. It’s unwise to take solace in a single scientific study, however, especially one so peculiar. I suspect these statistics have more to teach us about human psychology than the ill-fatedness of any particular date on the calendar.
Friday the 13th, ‘the most widespread superstition’
The sixth day of the week and the number 13 both have foreboding reputations said to date from ancient times. It seems their inevitable conjunction from one to three times a year (there will be three such occurrences in 2012, exactly 13 weeks apart) portends more misfortune than some credulous minds can bear. According to some sources it’s the most widespread superstition in the United States today. Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won’t eat in restaurants; many wouldn’t think of setting a wedding on the date.
How many Americans at the beginning of the 21st century suffer from this condition? According to Dr. Donald Dossey, a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of phobias (and coiner of the term paraskevidekatriaphobia, also spelled paraskavedekatriaphobia), the figure may be as high as 21 million. If he’s right, no fewer than eight percent of Americans remain in the grips of a very old superstition.
Exactly how old is difficult to say, because determining the origins of superstitions is an inexact science, at best. In fact, it’s mostly guesswork.
July 20th, 2011
By: Anthony Gucciardi
A ten-year-old boy hung himself with a belt from his bunk bed while taking a psychotropic combination of Ritalin and Prozac. The boy’s father says that the two drugs are entirely to blame for the death of his son, whose boisterous behavior and low spirits led to a psychiatrist’s suggestion to begin taking them. At the time of death, the child had more drugs in his body than the ‘normal’ level for adults suffering from the same psychological issues.
About 661,000 prescriptions are prescribed each year in Britain alone to treat childhood ADHD — twice the figure of five years ago. These medications are also being given to extremely young children, one such child just 15 months of age. The doctors prescribing these pharmaceuticals for such young children are going against the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) official guidelines, which prohibits their use for children under the age of 6. Educational psychologist David Traxson suspects that the number of extremely young children on Ritalin or similar drugs is quite high and that it is steadily climbing.
‘These young children are taking powerful, potentially addictive drugs and no one knows what will happen to their brains in the future,’ he warned.
Ritalin stimulates the nervous system, which leads to a number of admitted side effects including increased blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and alertness and suppressed appetite. These side effects, however, are very minor compared to research that has linked Ritalin use to cancer and an increased probability of suicidal thoughts and behavior. The very pharmaceutical that is designed to help suicidal patients may very well lead to suicide. In addition, Ritalin is an extremely powerful pill that can be compared to illegal hard drugs. In fact, Ritalin has the same pharmacological profile as cocaine, and it is even more potent. Scientists using brain imaging equipment found that Ritalin in pill form occupies more of the neural transporters responsible for the “high” experienced by addicts than cocaine that is smoked or injected.
Considering the hardcore nature of this drug, one would assume that the diagnosis protocol for ADHD is quite vigorous and thorough. The sad truth is that diagnosing ADHD comes down to a matter of opinion. Due to the loose regulation of ADHD diagnosis and distribution of Ritalin and other drugs, 1 in 10 kids have been diagnosed with ADHD. Studies have found that food dyes may be to blame for the behavior observed in children that are labeled as ADHD by doctors. Such additives include: blue #1 and #2 food coloring, green #3, orange B, red #3 and #40, yellow #5-6, and sodium benzoate.
The sad death of this ten-year-old boy may be directly related to his prescription medication, Ritalin. The child’s healthcare provider should have tried to improve diet by eliminating harmful food additives and preservatives, which have been linked to ADHD, before resulting to harmful pharmaceutical drugs that have been linked to suicidal tendencies.
June 10th, 2011
By: Christopher Neefus
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a division of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), has spent $3,634,807 over the past decade funding research that involves getting monkeys to smoke and drink drugs such as PCP, methamphetamine (METH), heroin, and cocaine and then studying their behavior, including during different phases of the female monkeys’ menstrual cycles.
The study also uses “interventions” as “treatment models” for monkeys who have been taught to use drugs.
NIDA wins CNSNews.com’s “What Were They Smoking Award”—symbolized by The Golden Hookah (see video)—for sponsoring an outrageous government spending program that sends taxpayer dollars up in smoke.
Precursor research on drug-using monkeys, also funded by NIDA, discovered that after smoking cocaine monkeys exhibited “dilated pupils and slightly agitated, hyperactive behavior”—which helped researchers conclude that the “physiological effects” of cocaine on monkeys “were similar to those reported in studies of human subjects.”
In yet another federally funded study of drug-taking monkeys, the monkeys were sometimes given “trail mix” after “their daily experimental sessions.”
Back in 2001, the NIH gave $328,364 to a project called “A Primate Model of Drug Abuse: Intervention Strategies.” The principal investigator for the project was Dr. Marilyn E. Carroll, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.
The description of the grant published by NIH said: “Goals of the proposed research are to use a rhesus monkey model of drug abuse, to study factors affecting vulnerability to drug abuse and to evaluate behavioral and pharmacological treatment interventions. Routes of administration that have been developed in this laboratory will include oral drug self-administration and smoking.”
“Vulnerability factors to be examined,” said the NIH description, “are sex and phase of the menstrual cycle as well as patterns/duration of access to drugs.”
“The drugs that will be studied,” the NIH said, “are cocaine, ethanol, heroin, methadone and phencyclidine (PCP).”
“The use of nondrug reinforcers as a behavioral treatment will also be compared in male and female monkeys and during 3 phases of the menstrual cycle,” said the description.
“Potential treatment medications will also be examined in male monkeys using a behavioral economic approach.”
A decade later, the NIH continued to provide federal funding to the “Primate Model of Drug Abuse: Intervention Strategies” project at the University of Minnesota. On March 31, the federal agency gave the project its latest award, $386,907 in tax dollars.
A description posted by the NIH for the 2011 version of the project says the first aim of the study is: “To examine the effects of sex and menstrual cycle phase on the reinforcing strength of orally-delivered PCP and METH, and a nondrug control substance, saccharin, as well as smoked COC [cocaine], HER [heroin], and METH.”
“The main objective of this research is to develop nonhuman primate models (rhesus monkeys) of critical aspects of addiction that will yield useful information for the prevention and treatment of drug abuse,” says the description.
“The proposed experiments are designed to evaluate vulnerability factors in drug abuse, such as sex and phase of the menstrual cycle (hormonal status), that are related to the development and persistence of drug abuse,” it says.
“Nonhuman primate models of oral drug self-administration such as phencyclidine (PCP) and methamphetamine (METH) and smoked drugs such as cocaine (COC), heroin (HER), and METH will be used, and behavioral and pharmacological interventions will be applied as treatment models in males and females and in females during different phases of the menstrual cycle,” says the NIH description.
Dr. Marilyn E. Carroll, the principal investigator, explains her research on her webpage at the University of Minnesota.
“My research is directed toward developing behavioral and pharmacological methods of reducing and preventing drug abuse,” she says. “Animals are trained to self-administer drugs that humans abuse, and several phases of the addiction process are modeled, such as acquisition, maintenance, withdrawal, craving, and relapse.”
In April 20, 1990 article in Psychopharmacology (“Cocaine-base smoking in rhesus monkeys: reinforcing and physiological effects”), Carroll and three University of Minnesota colleagues—Kelly Krattinger, Daniel Gieske and Daniel A. Saddoff—described earlier federally funded research (supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse) involving monkeys. This research, they wrote, was “designed to establish a primate model of cocaine base smoking.”
May 3, 2011
By Bill Hendrick
According to the American Heart Association, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds in the U.S. Yet most Americans between 18 and 24 are dangerously naive about their health and assume they are healthy even though they eat too much fast food, drink too many sugary and alcoholic beverages, and engage in other behaviors that put them on the road to stroke.
That conclusion is based on a survey of 1,248 Americans ages 18 to 44 who were asked about their health and beliefs about proper behaviors and their risks for suffering a stroke. The survey was conducted by the American Heart Association-American Stroke Association.
“This survey shows the dangerous disconnect that many young Americans have about how their behaviors affect their risks for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases,” says neurologist Ralph Sacco, MD, in a news release. Sacco is president of the American Heart Association-American Stroke Association.
“Starting health behaviors at a young age is critical to entering middle age in good shape,” he says. “The investment you make in your health now will have a large payoff as you age. We want everyone — especially young people — to strive to avoid stroke, which can affect anyone at any age.”
Today, Kevin explains how specific products may help you now, but will end up hurting you in the long run. Plus, find out how a woman was able to use her mind to win the lottery!
FDA Rejects Another Diet Pill
Women Under 30 Losing ‘Lady Skills’ Like Cooking and Cleaning
Working Moms More Likely To Have Overweight Children
What School Lunches Should Be
Defective Hip Replacements Recalled
A Sex Joke and Other Judicial Bad Behavior
Take Trudeau on the Go! Click here to download this show to your iPod, mp3 player, or PC through iTunes!
January 11th, 2011
By: Bruce Drake
Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old suspect accused of shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a rampage that killed six people and wounded more than a dozen others, had a history of troubling behavior that surfaced in rambling postings on his MySpace page, YouTube videos and classes he attended at Pima Community College in Tucson.
One of his videos prompted college officials to suspend him and tell his parents that he would have to get a mental health evaluation if he wanted to return to school, according to the New York Times. Loughner attended Pima from the summer of 2005 until October when he withdrew after his suspension.
Loughner tried to enlist in the Army in 2008 and took a physical. But First Sgt. Brian Homme, a Tucson recruiter, told the Arizona Daily Star that he was rejected as unqualified. Citing confidentiality rules, the Army did not make public its reasons.
Officials said that Loughner so far is not cooperating with their investigation.
Caitlin Parker, a former friend of Loughner, told ABC News that Loughner had once met Giffords.
“As I knew him more and more after high school, he got a little bit more odd,” Parker said. “I mean, he was obsessed with the 2012 prophecy. I mean, he met Gabrielle Giffords once in ’07 and told me he asked her some question that made absolutely no sense to me, but he said, ‘I can’t believe she doesn’t understand it. Politicians just don’t get it.’”
The federal complaint filed Sunday containing the charges against Loughner said that investigators found a letter from Giffords in a safe at Loughner’s house thanking him for attending one of her “Congress on Your Corner” meetings in 2007. The complaint added: “Also recovered in the safe was an enveloped with handwriting on the envelope stating ‘I planned ahead,’ and ‘My assassination’ and the name ‘Giffords’ along with what appears to be Loughner’s signature.”
At college, Loughner “disrupted class frequently with nonsensical outbursts,” according to Lynda Sorenson, who told the Daily Star she once took a math class with him.
Another former classmate of Loughner’s, Lydian Ali, told the Star, that Loughner would frequently laugh aloud to himself during an advanced poetry class that they took.
Loughner’s writings and videos, which were mostly blocks of text, ranged from what appeared to be grievances against the college to disconnected thoughts on mind control and establishing a new currency.
“This video is my introduction to you!” said one white type-on-black-background screen from a YouTube video. “My favorite activity is conscience dreaming; the greatest inspiration for my political business information. Some of you don’t dream – sadly.”
Tommy Marriotti, a high school friend of Loughner, told the Daily Star that “conscience dreaming” – trying to manipulate your dreams – was an interest that Loughner had pursued.
(Loughner’s original YouTube postings are no longer available on the website but others have reposted them, and the content of this one is consistent with published accounts of others who viewed them).
In the video he described as his introduction, Loughner said, ” The current government officials are in power for their currency! If you’re treasurer of a new money system, then you’re responsible for the distributing of a new currency. We now know – the treasurer for a new money system, is the distributor of the new currency. As a result, the people approve a new money system which is promising new information that’s accurate, and we truly believe in a new currency. Above all, have your new currency, listener?”
In another posting, he said, “I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver.”
October 14th, 2010
Agence France Presse
Around half of US teens meet the criteria for a mental disorder and nearly one in four report having a mood, behavior or anxiety disorder that interferes with daily life, American researchers say.
Fifty-one percent of boys and 49 percent of girls aged 13-19 have a mood, behavior, anxiety or substance use disorder, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
In 22.2 percent of teens, the disorder was so severe it impaired their daily activities and caused great distress, says the study led by Kathleen Merikangas of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH).
“The prevalence of severe emotional and behavior disorders is even higher than the most frequent major physical conditions in adolescence, including asthma or diabetes,” the study says.
Mental problems do not get the same attention from public health authorities even though they cost US families around a quarter of a trillion dollars a year, according to the study.
Around nine percent of all US children have asthma and less than a quarter of one percent of all people under the age of 20 have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Merikangas and a team of researchers analyzed data from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement, which surveyed more than 10,000 US teens.
The study is the first to track the prevalence of a broad range of mental disorders in a nationally representative sample of US teens.
They found that nearly a third of the teens met the criteria for the most common mental disorder among US youth, anxiety disorders, which include social phobia and panic “attacks”.
This class of disorder also had the earliest median onset age, occurring in children as young as six years old.
Behavior disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, were the next most common condition (19.1 percent), followed by mood disorders (14.3 percent) such as depression.
Eleven percent of teens with a mood disorder, 10 percent with behavior disorders and eight percent who had anxiety disorders, especially social phobics, met the criteria for severe impairment, meaning their condition affected their day-to-day life and caused them great distress.
Teen mental disorder rates mirror those seen in adults, suggesting that most adults develop a mental disorder before adulthood, say the researchers, calling for earlier intervention and prevention, and more research to determine what the risk factors are for mental disorders in youth.
August 13th, 2010
By: Jonathan Benson
A new report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews has once again found that the antidepressants commonly prescribed to children with autism are not effective at improving behavior. After evaluating seven different studies about selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and autism, the team says there is no evidence that they work any better than a placebo at helping autistic children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any medications to specifically treat autism, but they have approved three SSRIs — sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac) and fluvoxamine (Luvox) — to alleviate certain symptoms of the illness. But according to the research, it appears these drugs are being needlessly prescribed because they do not provide any benefits.
The new study hinges upon a government-funded investigation last year that found that the antidepressant citalopram (Celexa) is no better than a placebo at alleviating autism symptoms. Upon further investigation, researchers came to realize that all related studies on other antidepressants revealed the same thing.
Besides not working, these antidepressants often cause major side effects, especially in young people. In the citalopram study, one child participant developed severe seizures from taking the drug. Even after being taken off it, the child continued to have seizures. Other children taking it had a hard time sleeping and concentrating.
The team recommends that children continue to take these medications if they seem to be helping and are not inducing side effects, but it remains to be seen whether or not the findings will affect how doctors prescribe SSRIs to autistic children going forward.