February 21st, 2012
By Monica DyBuncio
Brain scans of infants may predict high risk for autism, new research shows. While symptoms of an autism spectrum disorder usually appear before age three, they are typically not identified until after a child’s first birthday.
The new study – published in the Feb. 17 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry – looked at the brain development of 92 high-risk infants ages 6 to 24 months. The babies were considered high-risk because they all have older brothers or sisters who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, said the researchers from the Infant Brain Imaging Study network.
The infants underwent a type of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging at 6 months, 1 year and 2 years of age. With the repeated scans, researchers created 3D pictures that showed changes in white matter – the part of the brain embedded with nerve fibers that help different areas of the brain connect with one another.
What did they find? Researchers saw differences in the brain matter of children who were eventually diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder by age 2. These children were more likely to show thicker, denser nerve-fiber readings at 6 months – but thinner white matter at age 2.
“These findings raise the possibility of developing imaging markers that could detect risk for autism in advance of actual symptoms, and [to] begin treatment before symptoms begin,” study author Geri Dawson, chief science officer at Autism Speaks, told HealthDay.
Study authors caution the findings do not mean that autism can be diagnosed with brain scans, but the research is a step in earlier treatment.
January 25, 2012
By Nancy Shute
“KTRN is not condoning the use of magic mushrooms. However, this article is quite interesting. In fact, Dr. James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, is convinced there are medical benefits to hallucinogens like LSD.” –KTRN
Magic mushrooms are said to blow your mind, but the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, the active ingredient, actually reins in key parts of the brain, according to two new studies.
The memorably vivid emotional experiences reported by mushroom users may flourish because the parts of the brain suppressed by psilocybin usually keep our world view tidy and rational.
And since the brain area affected by psilocybin can also be out of whack in mental health problems such as depression, the researchers speculate that the drug may turn out to be useful in treating mental illness.
“The brain’s doing a lot to keep our experiences of the world orderly and constrained,” says Robin Carhart-Harris, a post-doc in neuroscience at Imperial College London, and lead author of the studies.
The studies are among the first to use brain imaging to take a peek at the brain on psilocybin.
“Depression can be described as a particularly restrictive state of mind,” Carhart-Harris told Shots. “People are stuck on how terrible they are. This seems to suggest that people can have a lifting of that negative thinking under psychedelics.”
One of the studies asked 10 volunteers to recall particularly happy memories, like getting married or becoming a parent, both with and without psilocybin. The people found the memories much more vivid, visual, and happy while under the influence. That study will be published in the British Journal of Psychiatry on Thursday.
In the second study, 30 volunteers lay in an MRI machine while tripping for science. The brain scans showed less activity in areas of the brain that may act as connectors, or hubs. One of those areas, the posterior cingulate cortex, is thought to figure in consciousness and ego. It’s also hyperactive in people with depression.
The researchers hadn’t expected to find less brain activity with psilocybin. The thought has always been that psychedelic flights of fancy are the result of an overactive brain. The results were published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Serious research into psychedelic drugs was pretty much shut down after the excesses of the trip-happy 1960s. Harvard famously fired Timothy Leary in 1963 for experimenting far too enthusiastically with psilocybin and other mind-altering drugs. Psilocybin remains an illegal drug in the same category as heroin and LSD, which the Justice Department says has “no legitimate medical purpose.
October 6th, 2011
By: John Phillip
Many people are aware that vitamin B12 status declines during aging, as millions of seniors fall prey to a decline in this critical nutrient. Vitamin B12 circulating in the blood declines in the elderly due to absorption problems in the digestive tract leading to poor uptake by body tissues, especially the brain. Researchers publishing in the journal Neurology have established a definitive link between poor vitamin B12 levels and brain shrinkage, a hallmark of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s dementia. Supplementation with the biologically active form of the B vitamin may help prevent shrinkage and preserve learning capabilities and memory functions as we age.
The study involved 121 participants from the Chicago Health and Aging Project who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans for over a period of four and a half years. Additionally, each member of the study had blood drawn to measure levels of vitamin B12 and B12-related markers that can indicate a B12 deficiency. The same subjects took tests measuring their memory and other cognitive skills.
Vitamin B12 Deficiencies Linked to Shrinking Brain Volume and Cognitive Decline Among Elderly
MRI scans were analyzed to measure total brain volume and to look for other signs of brain damage. The tests included seven measures of episodic memory, two measures of visual spatial ability and perceptual organization, two measures of perceptual speed, two measures of semantic memory, and three measures of working memory. Stored blood samples were analyzed for vitamin B12 and homocysteine, a byproduct of metabolism associated with dementia, cognitive decline and coronary artery disease.
Researchers determined that having high levels of four of five markers for vitamin B12 deficiency was associated with having lower scores on the cognitive tests and smaller total brain volume. Indicators of vitamin B12 insufficiency contributed to poor global cognitive test scores and a decrease in brain volume revealed by MRI findings compared to those with better B12 status. Higher levels of the vitamin B12 markers were linked to decreased total brain volume. Elevated homocysteine levels were indicative of greater white matter volume and elevated risk of cerebrovascular events.
Lead researcher, Dr. Christine Tangney concluded “Our findings suggest that … vitamin B12 deficiency, may affect cognition by reducing total brain volume whereas the effect of homocysteine on cognition may be mediated through increased white matter hyperintensity volume and cerebral infarcts.” Vitamin B12 deficiency among the elderly is a significant cause for concern and may very well be a key contributor to the explosion of Alzheimer’s disease cases over the past 50 years. Nutritionists recommend supplementing with the bioactive form of B12 known as methylcobalamin (1 to 5 mg per day taken sublingually) to regulate circulating levels of this critical brain nutrient.
February 18th, 2011
By: Marianne Leigh
Everyone fears aging to some extent, even if they age well. But well beyond wrinkles and sagging skin, the most intimidating loss associated with aging is that of memory and cognition. These functions rely heavily on a part of the brain called the hippocampus and have recently been the focus of study by a team of American researchers. The study found that, in a group of adults over 65 years of age, regular aerobic exercise accompanies increases in hippocampal volume, and these gains were related to marked improvements in memory.
This most recent American study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, confirms and expands upon the findings of a previous, more extensive study done in Italy and published in 2008 in the journal Neurology.
The Italian study followed a group of subjects aged 65 years and older for four years, using cognitive assessment tests to gauge the health of participants, and correlating the findings to information about participants’ exercise habits. The study was significant not only because it found dramatic reductions in development of dementia for those who exercised regularly (a 73% decrease), it also showed that the intensity of exercise had almost no bearing on results: exercises like walking, climbing stairs and gardening were just as effective at staving off dementia as more strenuous activities.
The American study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess changes in hippocampal volume in a group of participants over age 65, who performed regular aerobic exercise, and in a control group, who did not. Despite the fact that adults of this age lose 1% to 2% of their hippocampal volume per year, this study found an average gain of 2% in hippocampal volume among participants who engaged in regular aerobic walking, and the expected average loss of 1.4% in the control group. The study additionally found that increases in hippocampal volume accompanied increases in memory function.
Studies that look at exercise’s effect on the brain during aging are ongoing and very popular, with all signs pointing to the same conclusion: regular moderate exercise, especially aerobic walking, is an excellent way to fight cognitive decline. It is similarly associated with a significant decrease in the development of Alzheimer’s, and it has even been shown to slow the progression of the disease in individuals already affected.
So with all this evidence pointing to the inescapable conclusion that aerobic exercise is essential for aging well, there’s more reason than ever to do your body this favor. Go take that 30-minute walk today, and then tomorrow, get up and do it again. Your brain will inevitably thank you.
January 13th, 2011
By: David Gutierrez
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the breasts are so sensitive that they detect large numbers of non-cancerous tumors and lead to unnecessary breast removal surgeries, according to an editorial by surgeon Malcom Kell in the British Medical Journal.
Regular, x-ray-based mammograms have drawn criticism in recent years for their high rate of false positive results – the detection of benign tumors – leading to anxiety in patients and a higher rate of invasive and potentially dangerous procedures such as biopsies and even cancer treatment.
“Women who underwent a surgical biopsy as the result of a false positive mammogram screening ‘were more likely to report their work-up as a stressful experience than those who did not have a biopsy.’ So wrote members of the 1996 Task Force, in a statement of the obvious,” write Gerald E. Markle and Frances B. McCrea in their book What If Medicine Disappeared?
“This anxiety persisted long after the positive test was identified as false.”
Magnetic resonance mammography (MRM) is even more sensitive than standard mammography, and is increasingly being offered to young women who have been judged at high genetic risk for breast cancer. According to a study in The Lancet, MRM detects 92 percent of early breast lesions, while x-ray mammograms detect only 56 percent.
But not all lesions lead to cancer. Indeed, the only major study of MRM use in early cancer detection found that women who used MRM screening had the same risk of cancer recurrence as women who had not used the devices. Breast surgeon Kefah Mokbel of the London Breast Institute estimates that MRMs have a false positive rate of roughly 25 percent.
Even more alarming is evidence that false positives are leading to unnecessary breast removal (mastectomy) surgeries. The same Lancet study found that mastectomy rates were seven times higher among MRM patients than among those not undergoing that type of screening.
“[There is] no compelling evidence that this technique should be routinely used in newly diagnosed breast cancer,” Kell said.
December 13th, 2010
The Wall Street Journal
By: Alicia Mundy
Federal health department inspectors have reopened a review of complaints by Food and Drug Administration scientists who say they were pressured by their managers to approve some high-tech medical devices, overriding their concerns about potential harm to patients.
The allegations raised by a group of whistle-blowers in the FDA’s device division were dismissed in February by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, who said he found no criminal behavior in FDA managers’ actions.
The office said Wednesday it is now looking into possible violations of administrative regulations, not criminal violations. Gerald Roy, the deputy inspector general for investigations, said the seriousness of the allegations in a critical FDA area prompted his group to take a second look.
“The IG has a responsibility to make sure such FDA divisions are functional,” he said in an interview.
In addition, another division of the inspector general’s office is now conducting two reviews of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Mr. Roy said.
One is looking at the FDA’s “simplified” 510 (k) device approval process, which is popular with manufacturers because it does not require the detailed testing necessary for standard FDA approvals. That process has been overused, a government report said in 2009. The second review will look at the way the device division has been resolving internal scientific and administrative disputes, Mr. Roy said.
An FDA spokeswoman didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The whistle-blowers wrote to Congress and to officials of the Obama administration as it was entering office, describing concerns about a series of devices that they rejected but were approved anyway by some division chiefs. The group met several times with the new FDA leadership in 2009.
After the inspector general found no criminal violations, the whistle-blowers objected that their main allegations, which didn’t involve criminal matters, had been ignored. A Washington watchdog group, the Project on Government Oversight , took up the whistle-blowers’ cause, investigated their complaints and met with the inspector general’s office this summer.
In a letter Tuesday to the inspector general, POGO called the department’s earlier investigation “seriously flawed,” adding that the FDA is “hiding behind the seemingly favorable outcome” to avoid taking corrective measures.
Several approvals questioned by the whistle-blowers involved radiological devices such as computed tomography scanners, magnetic resonance imaging machines and mammogram machines. Those devices can detect diseases but also may expose patients to radiation.
“We have been vindicated by the decision to reopen this matter,” said one of the whistle-blowers, Julian Nicholas, who has left the FDA. Dr. Nicholas said that in one instance, he opposed the use of a CT scanner for routine colon cancer screening because of the risk of cancer from radiation.
Another controversial approval involved a knee surgery device that was cleared with the abbreviated 510(k) process by the head of the device division in late 2008, over objections from a half dozen FDA scientists and mangers.
Following a Wall Street Journal article about the knee device, the FDA released a report in August 2009 about the approval that was critical of some top officials. The head of the device division resigned shortly before the report’s release and another division chief left earlier this year.
October 22nd, 2010
By: Stephen Adams
Magnetic resonance mammography (MRM) is particular good at finding tumours that are hard to spot using standard x-ray mammography.
Younger women with a genetically high risk of breast cancer can be offered MRMs on the NHS if recommended by a clinician.
But Malcolm Kell, a consultant surgeon at the Eccles Breast Screening Unit at University Hospital, Dublin, said there was “no compelling evidence that this technique should be routinely used in newly diagnosed breast cancer”.
While he said MRM was invaluable for assessing advanced breast cancer and to assess responses to chemotherapy, he argued in the British Medical Journal that its routine use at an early stage could do more harm than good.
The only robust trial of its use in the management of early stage breast cancer showed that it failed to reduce the proportion of women (19 per cent) who had to return for a second operation because initial surgery had not removed all the potentially cancerous tissue.
The number who consequently had a mastectomy was seven times higher (seven per cent compared to one per cent) in those who had an MRM, while there was no evidence that the increased rate of more aggressive surgery had saved lives.
Prof Kefah Mokbel, a consultant breast surgeon at St George’s Hospital and the London Breast Institute at the Princess Grace Hospital, said about one in four indications of breast cancer from MRMs was inaccurate, known as a “false positive”.
But he said it was an essential tool for checking younger women with firmer breasts who were at a high genetic risk of cancer.
A study published in The Lancet in 2007 found MRI scans picked up 92 per cent of early lesions, which could lead to breast cancer, compared to only 56 per cent by x-ray mammography.
October 9th, 2010
By: Kurt Nimmo
On Friday, Glenn Beck announced on his radio show that he will be taking a brief leave of absence for medical reasons. “There is something wrong with my voice, and we’re not sure what it is,” Beck said, according to a transcript on his website.
“They’re going to be doing CAT scans and MREs or MRIs and PET scans and they’re going to be doing blood work like crazy.”
In July, the Fox News host admitted that he is suffering from macular dystrophy, an eye disorder that causes vision loss. “Yes, I have a problem with my eyes,” Beck told an audience of 6,000 in Salt Lake City. “A couple of weeks ago, I went to the doctor because I can’t focus my eyes … So I went to the best doctor I could find… he did all kinds of tests, and he said I have macular dystrophy.”
Glenn Beck may not know it, but it is almost certain he is another victim of Rumsfeld Plague. On September 29, the New York Times published a long article about Beck. “His Mormonism forbids coffee, but he consumes a lot of Diet Coke and chocolate,” writes Mark Leibovich.
Coca-Cola began putting the “sugar substitute” aspartame in Diet Coke in 1982. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.
In 1999, the Independent on Sunday discovered that the maker of aspartame, Monsanto, uses genetically engineered bacteria to produce the “sweetener” at its U.S. production plants. Aspartame is made by combining phenylalanine, which is naturally produced by bacteria, with another amino acid. To make the bacteria produce more phenylalanine, Monsanto has genetically engineered them. “Increasingly, chemical companies are using genetically engineered bacteria in their manufacturing process without telling the public,” said Dr. Erik Millstone, of the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex University, and a member of the National Food Alliance, told the newspaper.
Here’s what Glenn Beck needs to know — aspartame is linked to blindness. It is made up of 50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid and 10% methyl alcohol. Methyl alcohol inevitably affects vision. Back when the government imposed prohibition on the country, thousands of people went blind due to the use of wood alcohol/methanol in spirits.
The late Dr. Morgan Raiford, a specialist in methanol toxicity, warned about the danger of blindness associated with the consumption of aspartame. “This product [NutraSweet] has some highly toxic reactions in the human visual pathway and we are beginning to observe the tragic damage to the optic nerve, such as blindness, partial to total optic nerve atrophy.
Once this destructive process has developed there is no return of visual restoration,” Raiford wrote in an aspartame factsheet. “When this drug enters the digestive tract, largely the upper portion [the] aspartame molecule spins off a by product known as methanol or methyl-alcohol.”
Methanol “is an extremely powerful neurotoxin. It can produce blindness, it can produce cellular destruction in the brain and spinal cord in particular the optic nerves that has to do with our vision,” the neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock explained during a radio interview. In his book, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Dr. Blaylock discusses a study explaining why diabetics who drink large amounts of aspartame drinks are more likely to go blind. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness.
In addition to blindness, a report produced by the Department of Health and Human Services lists over 90 symptoms related to aspartame, including: migraine headaches, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain. The following chronic illnesses are triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame: Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.
It is now estimated that over 6,000 food and drink products worldwide contain aspartame. “You might be surprised to learn about some of the foods you consume that contain aspartame. Besides the obvious products like diet sodas, there are many brands of chewing gum that contain aspartame. Most non-fat diet foods contain an amount of aspartame and the same goes for most sugar-free candy,” reports the FoodFacts website. Many brands of cereal, ice cream, yogurt, iced tea, powdered power drinks, nutritional bars, pudding, vegetable drinks, and many more food products contain aspartame.
In addition to neurologic, psychologic, eye, endocrine, and metabolic problems associated with aspartame consumption, there is another problem — addiction. “Persons consuming large amounts not only may suffer aspartame disease, but also have difficulty stopping them because of violent and prolonged withdrawal reactions… the hallmark of addiction,” writes H. J. Roberts, M.D., of St. Mary’s Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach. “Recovered alcoholic patients repeatedly stated that they felt worse after avoiding aspartame than alcohol, and asserted that they had traded one addiction for another.”
It is dangerous to kick aspartame addiction cold turkey. Doctors and nutritionists recommend a 30 day regime of slowly eliminating the toxin from the body.
Earlier this year, Glenn Beck talked about eugenics on his show, but he only scratched the surface. There is a mountain of evidence confirming that the globalists are cynical eugenicists. They are now using food as a soft kill weapon to reduce the population of the planet.
“People the world over, but especially in the United States are under chemical attack,” Alex Jones and Aaron Dykes wrote in July. “Deadly and dangerous toxins ranging from aspartame to fluoride, GMO, mercury-tainting, pesticides, cross-species chimeras, plastic compounds in chicken, high fructose corn syrup, cloned meat, rBGH and new aggressive GM species of salmon have all entered into our diets and environments — whether we want it or not.”
Food is a weapon and Glenn Beck is a victim.
Glenn Beck routinely attracts millions of viewers every week. If he understands his medical problems may be directly linked to aspartame and he informs his audience of this, it will be a major victory for truth and a massive defeat for the elite eugenicists and their long held plan to not only enslave humanity, but reduce its numbers significantly.
October 12th, 2010
By: S.L. Baker
Want to raise healthy and smart children? Then don’t allow them to be couch potatoes. Exercise, it turns out, does more than benefit the body and overall health — physical fitness builds smarter brains in youngsters, too.
That’s the news from a study just published in the journal Brain Research. Scientists used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure the relative size of specific structures in the brains of 49 children, all of whom were 9 or 10 years old. The research team discovered that the hippocampus (part of the brain inside the temporal lobe that plays an important part in memory and learning) tended to be significantly larger in the kids who were physically fit. What’s more, the fit children performed better on a memory test than youngsters the same age who were out of shape.
“This is the first study I know of that has used MRI measures to look at differences in brains between kids who are fit and kids who aren’t fit. Beyond that, it relates those measures of brain structure to cognition,” University of Illinois psychology professor and Beckman Institute director Art Kramer said in a statement to the media. Dr. Kramer headed the study along with doctoral student Laura Chaddock and kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman.
The researchers zeroed in on the hippocampus because it has long been known this brain structure is intricately involved in both learning and memory and that a larger hippocampus is associated with better performance on spatial reasoning and other cognitive tasks. Moreover, previous research in older adults and animals has shown that exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus.
For the new study, the University of Illinois scientists measured the children’s physical fitness levels by seeing how efficiently the youngsters used oxygen while running on a treadmill. “The physically fit children were much more efficient than the less-fit children at utilizing oxygen,” Dr. Kramer noted.
When the researchers analyzed the MRI data on the young research subjects, they found the fit kids tended to have significantly larger hippocampal volume. In fact, this part of the physical fit kids’ brains was a whopping 12 percent bigger, relative to total brain size, than the hippocampus in out-of-shape youngsters. What’s more, the children who were in better physical condition also scored higher on tests of relational memory (the ability to remember and integrate various types of information) than their less-fit peers.
“Higher fit children had higher performance on the relational memory task, higher fit children had larger hippocampal volumes, and in general, children with larger hippocampal volumes had better relational memory,” Dr. Chaddock concluded in the media statement.
“We knew that experience and environmental factors and socioeconomic status all impact brain development,” Dr. Kramer added. “If you get some lousy genes from your parents, you can’t really fix that, and it’s not easy to do something about your economic status. But here’s something that we can do something about.”
Bottom line: getting children out of the house and playing sports, biking or being physically active in other ways could have an important effect on brain development and even intelligence.
September 13, 2010
by Jonathan Benson
Patients who undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are often given drug injections to enhance the quality of scan images. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that these drugs will now require a black box warning label–the strongest in the industry–because they can cause a rare, and sometimes fatal, condition known as nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NFD).
The drugs contain a magnetic, metallic chemical called gadolinium that travels throughout the heart and other organs to help clarify image quality during scans. Gadolinium is a known liver toxin that is also harmful to the unhealthy kidneys, but the FDA has permitted its use in medical imaging drugs since 1988.
Symptoms of NFD include skin hardening as well as tissue growth in the eyes, internal organs and joints.
Seven MRI drugs containing gadolinium have been approved by the FDA, and all can cause NFD in patients with kidney disease. But three in particular are “chemically more unstable” than the others, according to the FDA, meaning they are more likely to release the toxic chemical into the liver. These three are Bayer Healthcare’s Magnevist, General Electric Healthcare’s Omniscan and Covidien’s Optimark.
Rather than pull the drug, the FDA is requiring stronger labeling that instructs physicians to use the drug only on patients who have healthy kidneys. It also instructs physicians to screen all patients for kidney disease prior to administering any gadolinium-containing drugs.
Back in 2006, the FDA announced that it was aware of gadolinium’s dangers, but for whatever reason did not issue a black box warning at that time. The FDA continues to suggest that gadolinium is safe to use in patients with healthy kidneys, even though there is no evidence that the drug does not harm healthy kidneys.
According to reports, there are two imaging drugs on the market that do no contain gadolinium, but the FDA has only approved them for use during liver scans.