Why Use Bioidentical Hormones

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Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are identical to what the human body makes. Why do drug companies seldom make and sell bioidentical hormones?

The reason is – since the late 1800’s, U.S. laws allowed medicines to be patented ONLY if they were NOT naturally occurring substances. If a drug company discovered a natural substance that could be used medically, anyone else could also use/make/sell that substance.

So what the drug companies do is to create synthetic hormones that are intentionally different. Examples are Premarin, Prempro and Provera – these synthetic drugs are different in their molecular structure from the estrogens and progesterone found in the human body.

And the problem with synthetic drugs is – since they are different from what occurs naturally in the human body, the body treats them differently and the result is often harmful side effects.

Even though bioidentical hormones have been around for a long time, the majority of doctors are not familiar with them. Today’s doctors are ordinarily schooled and trained in synthetic drug therapy, not natural medicine.

Finding bioidentical doctors and bioidentical hormone doctors can be done. For example, holistic doctors and naturopathic doctors are regular medical doctors with additional training and experience in using bioidentical hormones.

A holistic medical doctor uses a combination of conventional Western medicine and alternative medicine. A holistic doctor incorporates one or more types of complementary medicine into their medical practice.

This complementary medicine could be acupuncture, herbal therapy or homeopathy. For instance, while undergoing treatment for cancer using radiation, the patient might receive herbal therapy to strengthen the immune system.

Naturopathic physicians are medical doctors that work to restore and support the body’s systems by using medicines and techniques that are in harmony with natural processes.

A naturopathic physician will prefer treatments which keep the risks of harmful side effects at a minimum. Naturopathic doctors will use bioidentical hormones when appropriate, which are safer and with few or no side effects when used correctly.

They are trained to know which persons they can treat – they also know which patients should be referred to other health care practitioners. Since every illness has an underlying cause, a naturopathic physician is trained to find and remove the underlying causes of a disease.

That may include adjusting the diet or lifestyle of the patient, for example. A naturopathic physician will treat the whole person, taking all the factors into account.

Natural progesterone is necessary for the appropriate and balanced supply of all steroids hormones and the increase of energy production.

Bioidentical hormones like natural progesterone supplementation, high quality vitamins/supplements and good Omega-3 fish oil supplements will provide you great health benefits and are a regular part of their recommendations.

Vitamins are essential to improve men and women’s health. This will give you a increased sense of wellbeing, more energy, increase your sex drive, will give you a healthier heart and can help you with some hormone imbalance symptoms.

The Origins of Tidiness

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“A tidy house, a tidy mind.” Some of the more slovenly among us might bristle at this scolding old proverb, but to human evolution researchers it makes perfect sense. One of the hallmarks of modern behavior is the sophisticated way Homo sapiens organizes the spaces it lives in, with everything in its place. But new work at a nearly 800,000-year-old hominin site in Israel suggests that the roots of tidiness may lie deep in our evolutionary past.

Prehistoric humans did not start building permanent dwellings until about 15,000 years ago, but earlier hominins–the term now commonly used by scientists for humans and their ancestors but not other apes–frequented caves and open-air sites as they hunted and gathered food. Whereas sites occupied by modern humans often show signs of separate “activity areas” such as hearths, stone-tool knapping areas, food preparation areas, sleeping areas, and so forth, not so long ago there was little evidence that other hominins engaged in such organized behavior.

More recently, however, work at Neandertal sites has demonstrated that our evolutionary cousins also divided up their living spaces into activity areas. New research at rock shelters like Abric Romaní in Spain and Tor Faraj in Jordan, where Neandertals lived between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago–before modern humans migrated into Europe and Asia–has demonstrated spatial organization at times indistinguishable from that typical of H. sapiens. Now, a team working at Gesher Benot Ya’aqov (GBY), a 790,000-year-old site in northern Israel’s Hula Valley, claims that a much older species also showed tendencies toward tidiness. GBY is thought to have been occupied by H. heidelbergensis, a species that may have given rise to H. sapiens in Africa and the Neandertals in Europe. It is also the site of the earliest widely accepted mastery of fire by prehistoric humans.

The researchers, led by archaeologists Nira Alperson-Afil and Naama Goren-Inbar of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, mapped the precise locations and densities of thousands of plant and animal remains as well as stone tools found in one of GBY’s 14 archaeological levels. The excavated area, a long strip covering about 26 square meters, had been covered rapidly by lake sediments in ancient times, thus preserving the remains in place.

The team found that hominin activities were concentrated in two main areas at opposite ends of the strip. Knapping of stone tools made from flint was concentrated in the northwest area, while production of tools made from basalt and limestone was concentrated around a hearth in the southeast. There was also a clear pattern of animal and plant remains. For example, remains of crabs consumed by the hominins were clustered around the hearth, as were the remains of nuts and stone tools, such as anvils and choppers, suitable for cracking them open. On the other hand, fish bones were found in two clusters, one at each end of the excavated area.

The team concludes, in its report on the findings in the 18 December issue of Science, that the GBY hominins’ division of their living space into designated activity areas is a sign of “sophisticated cognition” once thought to be the special preserve of modern humans. Clive Gamble, an archaeologist at Royal Holloway, University of London, says the new work confirms other research showing that H. heidelbergensis “was a very tidy species.” At the 500,000-year-old site of Boxgrove in southern England, Gamble points out, “across a landscape with no hearths they followed rules about where to get, make, and throw away their stone tools. There was nothing random in these activities, and GBY now extends this pattern back in time.”

But Lyn Wadley, an archaeologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, sounds a cautionary note. “The GBY site is remarkable and the use of space there is more complex than one might expect for the age of the occupation,” Wadley says. But she thinks it would be a sure sign of sophisticated cognition only if the GBY hominins had attributed symbolic meanings to the way they divided their living quarters something the research team has yet to demonstrate.

 

Teens Who Smoke Marijuana But Not Tobacco Are Different From Other Teen Groups

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LAUSANNE — A Swiss study suggests that teens who use only cannabis appear to function better than those who also use tobacco, and are more socially driven and have no more psychosocial problems than those who abstain from both substances, according to a new report.

Cannabis or marijuana is the illegal drug most commonly used by youth, according to background information in the article. Cannabis use is associated with the use of other substances, including tobacco and illegal drugs. “The gateway theory hypothesizes that the use of legal drugs (tobacco and alcohol) is the previous step to cannabis consumption,” the authors write. “However, recent research also indicates that cannabis use may precede or be simultaneous to tobacco use and that, in fact, its use may reinforce cigarette smoking or lead to nicotine addiction independently of smoking status.”

J. C. Suris, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, analyzed data from a 2002 national survey of Swiss students aged 16 to 20 years. A total of 5,263 students were included in the analysis, including 455 who smoked marijuana only, 1,703 who smoked marijuana and tobacco and 3,105 who abstained from both substances.

“Our findings in this nationally representative sample of adolescents show that 6 percent of them use cannabis without having used tobacco and that one-fifth of current cannabis users (21.1 percent) declare never having used tobacco,” the authors write.

The survey also found that, compared with students who used both substances, students who smoked marijuana only were more likely to be male (71.6 percent vs. 59.7 percent), play sports (85.5 percent vs. 66.7 percent), live with both parents (78.2 vs. 68.3) and have good grades (77.5 vs. 66.6). However, they were less likely to have been drunk in the past 30 days (40.5 percent vs. 55 percent), have started using cannabis before the age of 15 years (25.9 percent vs. 37.5 percent), to have smoked marijuana more than once or twice during the previous 30 days (44 percent vs. 66 percent) or to use other illegal drugs (8.4 percent vs. 17.9 percent).

Compared with students who abstained from both substances, marijuana users were more likely to be male (71.6 percent vs. 47.7 percent), to have a good relationship with their friends (87.0 percent vs. 83.2 percent), to be sensation-seeking (37.8 percent vs. 21.8 percent) and to play sports (85.5 percent vs. 76.6 percent), and less likely to have a good relationship with their parents (74.1 percent vs. 82.4 percent).

Although teens who smoke both marijuana and tobacco seem to have more psychosocial problems and thus may be worthy targets for preventive intervention, those who smoke marijuana only also should be monitored closely and counseled. “In any case, and even though they do not seem to have great personal, family, or academic problems, the situation of those adolescents who use cannabis but who declare not using tobacco should not be trivialized,” the authors conclude.

This study was supported by a contract from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health and the participating cantons.

Indoor Plants Can Reduce Toxic Ozone Levels

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PHILADELPHIA – Potted plants in the house can make indoor air healthier by cutting down ozone levels, according to a new study.

Ozone, the main component of air pollution, also known as smog, is a highly reactive, colorless gas formed when oxygen reacts with other chemicals.

Although ozone pollution is most often associated with outdoor air, the gas also infiltrates indoor environments through ordinary copy machines, laser printers, ultraviolet lights, and some electrostatic air purification systems, all of which contribute to increased indoor ozone levels.

Exposure to the toxic gas can lead to pulmonary edema, hemorrhage, inflammation, and reduction of lung function.

A research team from the Pennsylvania State University studied the effects of three houseplants such as snake plant, spider plant, and golden pothos, on indoor ozone levels.

To simulate an indoor environment, the researchers set up chambers in a greenhouse equipped with a charcoal filtration air supply system in which ozone concentrations could be measured and regulated.

Ozone was then injected into the chambers, and the chambers were checked every 5 to 6 minutes.

The findings revealed that ozone depletion rates were higher in the chambers that contained plants than in the control chambers without plants, but there were no differences in effectiveness among the three plants.

“Because indoor air pollution extensively affects developing countries, using plants as a mitigation method could serve as a cost-effective tool in the developing world where expensive pollution mitigation technology may not be economically feasible”, said the authors.

The study is published in American Society of Horticultural Science’s journal HortTechnology.

Elderly Women Sleep Better Than They Think, Men Nap Worse

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ROTTERDAM  – Elderly women sleep better than elderly men even though women consistently report that their sleep is shorter and poorer, says a new study.

The study, published in the journal Sleep, found that women reported less and poorer sleep than men on all of the subjective measures, including a 13.2 minute shorter total sleep time (TST), 10.1 minute longer sleep onset latency (SOL), and a 4.2 percent lower sleep efficiency. When sleep was measured objectively, however, women slept 16 minutes longer than men, had a 1.2 percent higher sleep efficiency, and had less fragmented sleep.

Multivariate regression analysis showed that these discrepancies were partly explained by determinants of sleep duration such as sleep medication use and alcohol consumption.

Principal investigator Henning Tiemeier, MD, PhD, associate professor of psychiatric epidemiology at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, said he was surprised that women slept longer and better, and reported their sleep duration more accurately, than men.

“The difference between subjective and objective sleep quality arise not because women are more likely to be complainers, but because men strongly overestimate their sleep duration,” said Tiemeier.

The study involved 956 participants between the ages of 59 and 79 years; 52.3 percent were women. Information was obtained from the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort study aimed at assessing the occurrence of and risk factors for chronic diseases in the elderly.

Don’t Watch Your Wife Give Birth or You May Get Divorced

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LONDON – A medical expert has warned all fathers-to-be to stay away from the pregnancy ward as seeing their wives giving birth could lead them to divorce.

According to childbirth specialist Michael Odent, watching a woman give birth can lessen or end a man’s sexual attraction towards her and lead to a split, reports the Daily Express.

Not just that, Odent says a man’s presence can create other problems for the woman.

He points out that a man’s company extends the labor, making it more painful and stressful for the mother.

Odent believes a woman about to give birth can get distracted by her partner’s presence and might eventually need a caesarean.

Oden suggests that even male doctors should be avoided and only midwives should be present at childbirth.

He says that the more focused a woman is, easier would be the childbirth.

He will tell the Royal College of Midwives conference next month: “The ideal birth environment involved no men in general.

“Having been involved for more than 50 years in childbirths, the best environment is when there is nobody around the woman apart from an experienced midwife – and no doctors and no husband.”

Santa Should Get Off His Sleigh, Give Up Brandy and Walk

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SYDNEY – Santa should get off his sleigh and walk, because he’s a health hazard, says a public health expert.

Writing in the Christmas issue published on bmj.com, Dr Nathan Grills, from Monash University in Australia, says Santa promotes obesity, drink-driving, speeding and a general unhealthy lifestyle.

He argues “Santa only needs to affect health by 0.1 percent to damage millions of lives.”

To reach his conclusion about the jolly gent’s potential negative impact on public health, Grills reviewed literature and web-based material.

Grills found that “Santa sells, and sometimes he sells harmful products” and this happens on a global scale.

“Like Coca-Cola, Santa has become a major export item to the developing world”, says the author.

Father Christmas also potentially promotes drink-driving, argues Grills.

The paper also states that Santa has the real potential to spread infectious disease. If Santa sneezes or coughs around 10 times a day, all the children who sit on his lap may end up with swine flu as well as their Christmas present, argues Grills.

Grills suggested that Santa should get a new image- a slimmed down version on a treadmill.

New iPhone Apps to Study Human Body in 3-D

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SALT LAKE CITY – Novel iPhone applications developed by University of Utah researchers could help students, doctors and patients study the human body, evaluate medical problems and analyse other three-dimensional images.

The researchers have developed three iPhone apps, which are available via Apple’s online iTunes App Store.

The first applications is called ImageVis3D Mobile, which lets iPhone users easily display, rotate and otherwise manipulate 3-D images of medical CT and MRI scans, and a wide range of scientific images, from insects to molecules to engines.

The application, which is available free on the iTunes store, is based on computer software from the university’s Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute.

Another application-AnatomyLab-allows students to conduct a “virtual dissection” by providing images of a real human cadaver during 40 separate stages of dissection. All you have to do is hit the “View Cadaver” button.

The software, available for 9.99 dollars, has been designed by biology Professor-Lecturer Mark Nielsen and two University of Utah students, including his son.

The third application, called My Body, a scaled-down version of AnatomyLab, is available for 1.99 dollars and is intended for the general public, including “anyone curious about what their body looks like,” said Nielsen.

The SCI Institute is also developing another iPhone app, called ViSUS, which now allows users of desktop and laptop computers – and soon iPhones – to quickly and easily analyse and edit massive image files containing hundreds of gigabytes of data.

ImageVis3D Mobile and ViSUS “help people visualize and manipulate large amounts of image data,” particularly biomedical images, said Chris Johnson, director of the SCI Institute and a distinguished professor of computer science.

Nielsen says AnatomyLab is meant for students and teachers, but “a lot of medical professionals are buying it because they can show it to their patients on the spot and clarify injuries or problems they are discussing with them about their body.”

Johnson said that doctors could use ImageVis3D Mobile the same way, but with images from patients’ own CT or MRI scans.

“We assume the doctor already has looked at and analyzed the image data on a larger display device.

Now he goes back to the patient and can display that visualization interactively on a mobile device like the iPhone without having to go back to a computer screen somewhere else,” said Johnson.

Honey Sends Virility-Seeking Men to the ER

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ISTANBUL – People hoping to boost their sex lives with the help of “mad” honey may find themselves in the emergency room instead, according to a new report.

The honey, produced from the nectar of a particular rhododendron species, has long been linked to food poisoning, with most of the documented cases seen in Turkey. In the country’s Black Sea region, mad honey is used as an alternative medicine for gastrointestinal problems and, more often, as a sexual stimulant.

Reporting in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, Turkish researchers document 21 cases of mad-honey poisoning that passed through their ER over five years. Nearly all patients were middle-aged and older men — a demographic that, according to local beekeepers, usually buys mad honey as a way to enhance sexual performance.

The problem with mad honey is its concentration of substances called grayanotoxins, some of which can cause low blood pressure, slowed heart rate, vomiting, dizziness and fainting.

In Turkey, most mad-honey buyers know they are getting a “special honey,” and discuss possible side effects with the beekeepers selling it, according to Dr. Ahmet Demircan, of Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, the lead researcher on the new study.

Poisoning typically happens because the consumer downs more mad honey than is recommended, Demircan told Reuters Health in an email.

For their study, Demircan and his colleagues reviewed the records of more than 200,000 patients treated in their ER between December 2002 and January 2008. They identified 21 cases of mad-honey poisoning; patients typically developed symptoms like dizziness, nausea and vomiting about one hour after ingesting the honey.

Of the 21 patients, 18 were men, and the group as a whole ranged in age from 41 to 86. All were treated successfully and released from the hospital within 18 to 48 hours, the researchers report.

Demircan’s team also conducted a survey of local beekeepers specializing in mad honey to get an idea of the typical reasons customers buy the product. According to beekeepers, men in their 40s and 50s usually seek out the honey to improve their sexual function.

The findings, according to Demircan, suggest that ER doctors should consider the possibility of mad-honey poisoning in cases where low blood pressure and slowed heart rate cannot be attributed to other, more common causes — especially in middle-aged men.

And while most cases have been seen in Turkey, the researcher said that ERs elsewhere should be aware of mad-honey poisoning. He pointed to case reports from Europe where men of Turkish descent ended up in the ER with apparent mad-honey poisoning.

Other researchers have also pointed out that, with the growing consumption of imported and unprocessed “natural” honey worldwide, the possibility of honey intoxication should be kept in mind whenever a healthy person has an unexplained drop in blood pressure and heart rate.

Processed honey is unlikely to contain grayanotoxins.

SOURCE: Annals of Emergency Medicine, December 2009.

 

Introducing – Tribulus

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Other Names: Puncture vine

Tribulus terrestris is a herb that has been used in the traditional medicine of China and India for centuries.

In the mid-1990s, tribulus terrestris became known in North America after Eastern European Olympic athletes said that taking tribulus helped their performance.

The active compounds in tribulus are called steroidal saponins. Two types, called furostanol glycosides and spirostanol glycosides, appear to be involved with the effects of tribulus. These saponins are found primarily in the leaf.

Why Do People Use Tribulus?

Tribulus is most often used for infertility, erectile dysfunction, and low libido. In the last decade, it has become popular to improve sports performance.

Tribulus has been marketed these conditions because research performed in Bulgaria and Russia indicates that tribulus increases levels of the hormones testosterone (by increasing luteinizing hormone), DHEA, and estrogen. The design of these research studies, however, has been questioned.

A more recent study found that four weeks of tribulus supplements (at 10 to 20 milligrams per kg of body weight daily) had no effect on male sex hormones testosterone, androstenedione, or luteinizing hormone compared to people who did not take tribulus.

Erectile Dysfunction

Preliminary animal studies found that tribulus heightened sexual behavior and increased intracavernous pressure. This was attributed to increases in testosterone. There haven’t been any well-designed human studies to confirm these early findings.

Body Composition and Exercise Performance

Although tribulus has become popular as a sports performance aid, one small but well-designed study found it has no effect on body composition or exercise performance. Fifteen subjects were randomly assigned to tribulus (3.21 mg per kg body weight daily) or a placebo.

After eight weeks with resistance training, there were no changes in body weight, percentage fat, dietary intake, or mood in either group. What was surprising was that muscle endurance actually improved more in the placebo group. Muscle endurance (determined by the maximum number of repetitions at 100 to 200% of body weight) increased for the bench and leg presses in the placebo group. The tribulus group experienced an increase in leg press strength only.

Dosage

Tribulus terrestris is often taken at a dose between 85 to 250 mg three times daily, with meals.

Safety

Pregnant or nursing women should not use tribulus.

An increase in breast size (called gynaecomastia) in a young male weight trainer was reported after he took a herbal tablet containing tribulus.

People with hormone-dependent conditions, such as breast or prostate cancer, should not use tribulus.

SEE OUR POSTS ON ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION AND L-ARGININE

Home Remedies Series – Dizziness

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The common symptoms experienced during a spell of dizziness

– Loss of balance

– Light headedness

– Feeling of fainting

– Weakness

– Feeling of continuous rotation of self or surroundings

– Blurring of vision as head spins

– Nausea

Causes of Dizziness

– Sudden drop in blood pressure or dehydration may inhibit blood to the brain causing lightheadedness.

– Dizziness may be accompanied by various disorders such as: allergies, hypoglycemia, common cold, fever, diarrhea, vomiting or flu.

– Loss of balance or spinning sensation may be related to a malfunction in at least two of three main organs that contribute to our sense of balance: inner ears, eyes or the nervous system.

– Serious disorders that may cause dizziness are: stroke, heart attack, severe drop in blood pressure.

Remedies for Dizziness

– Enhance maintaining balance by learning exercises from a trained physiotherapist

– Reduce stress

– Practice Aerobic exercises

– Develop a regular sleep pattern

– Treat the disorder which is causing dizziness

Diet for Dizziness

People prone to dizziness are advised to avoid foods/ drinks such as

– Iced Tea

Pina Coladas

– Diet Drinks/ Artificial Sweetener

– Caffeine

– Alcohol

– Tobacco

– Eating sweet and salty foods together

It is important to drink ample water, a minimum of 8-12 glasses of water to ensure blood pressure doesn’t drop due to exercise, high stress activities or due to a hot climate.

Suggestion for Dizziness

– It is advisable to sit immediately when you feel dizzy to avoid any possible injuries

– Avoid taking on high stress or concentration requiring activities such as driving a car or operating machinery if you experience frequent dizziness spells

– Rise slowly from bed or spend a few minutes in bed before waking up this helps normalize blood pressure

– Dizziness could be an outcome of side effects caused by intake of certain drugs such as antihistamines and blood pressure medications. Check with the doctor before continuing the dosage.

Too Much Liquorice During Pregnancy may Affect Child’s IQ and Behavior

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HELSINKI – A new study claims that a woman’s consumption of excessive quantities of liquorices during pregnancy could hamper her child’s intelligence and behavior.

The study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology saw a comparison between eight-year-old children and found that kids of mothers who ate large amounts of liquorices when pregnant did not perform as well as other youngsters in cognitive tests on vocabulary, memory and spatial awareness.

Sixty-four of the children who took part in the study were exposed to high levels of glycyrrhizin in liquorices, 46 to moderate levels and 211 to low levels.

Behavior was assessed using an in-depth questionnaire completed by the mother and also used by clinicians to evaluate children’s behavior.

The research concluded that women who ate more than 500mg of glycyrrhizin per week – found in the equivalent of 100g of pure liquorices – were more likely to have children with lower intelligence levels and more behavioral problems.

Some of the inadequacies in the kids, selected from Finland where consumption of the drink among women is common, were poor attention spans and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

The study, carried out by the University of Helsinki and the University of Edinburgh, suggested that a component in liquorices called glycyrrhizin may impair the placenta, allowing stress hormones to cross from the mother to the baby.

Apparently, high levels of such hormones, known as glucocorticoids, affect fetal brain development, which leads behavioral disorders in children.

Professor Jonathan Seckl, from the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Cardiovascular Science, said: “This shows that eating liquorices during pregnancy may affect a child’s behaviour or IQ and suggests the importance of the placenta in preventing stress hormones that may affect cognitive development getting through to the baby.”

Professor Katri Räikkönen, from the University of Helsinki’s Department of Psychology told: “Expectant mothers should avoid eating excessive amounts of liquorice.”

SEE OUR POST “INTRODUCING-LICORICE”

Remains of World’s Oldest Human Brain Found in Armenia

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YERVAN – An Armenian-American-Irish archeological expedition claims to have found the remains of the world’s oldest human brain, estimated to be over 5,000 years old.

The discovery was made recently in a cave in southeastern Armenia.

An analysis performed by the Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory at the University of California, Irvine confirmed that one of three human skulls found at the site contains particles of a human brain dating to around the first quarter of the 4th millennium BC.

“The preliminary results of the laboratory analysis prove this is the oldest of the human brains so far discovered in the world,” said Dr. Boris Gasparian, one of the excavation’s leaders and an archeologist from the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Yerevan.

“Of course, the mummies of Pharaonic Egypt did contain brains, but this one is older than the Egyptian ones by about 1,000 to 1,200 years,” he added.

The team in Armenia, comprised of 26 specialists from Ireland, the United States and Armenia, had been excavating the three-chamber cave where the brain was found since 2007.

The site, overlooking the Arpa River near the town of Areni, is believed to date mostly to the Late Chalcolithic Period or the Early Bronze Age (around 6,000 to 5,000 years ago).

It also contains evidence of elaborate burial rituals and agricultural practices.

The skull with the brain was found in a chamber that contained three buried ceramic vessels containing the skulls of three women, about 11 to 16 years old.

The cave’s damp climate helped preserve red and white blood cells in the brain remains.

“It is a unique first-hand source of information about the genetic code of the people who inhabited this place, and we’re now studying it,” Gasparian said in reference to the nine-centimeter-long, seven-centimeter-high brain fragment.

It is still being determined from what part of the brain the fragment comes.

“Microscopic analysis revealed blood vessels and traces of a brain hemorrhage, perhaps caused by a blow to the head,” Gasparian said.

Next to one of the three skulls, the team also found four adult femoral shafts – midsections of a thigh bone – that may have also played a role in the ritual.

“Interestingly, some of them were not just burnt, but rather evenly roasted from all sides, which directly points to a ceremonial practice. This may have been a case of ceremonial cannibalism, but it still needs to be proved,” said Gasparian.

Consciousness is Brains Wi-Fi Network

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SAN FRANCISCO – Your fingers start to burn after picking up a hot plate; should you drop the plate or save your meal? New research suggests it is your consciousness that resolves these dilemmas by serving as the brain’s Wi-Fi network.

“If the brain is like a set of computers that control different tasks, consciousness is the Wi-Fi network that allows different parts of the brain to talk to each other and decide which action ‘wins’ and is carried out,” said Ezequiel Morsella.

Morsella, who led the study, is professor of psychology at San Francisco State University (SFSU).

The study says we are only aware of competing actions that involve skeletal muscles that voluntarily move parts of the body, the bicep for example, rather than the muscles in the digestive tract or the iris of the eye.

In lab experiments, participants were trained to identify and report changes in their awareness, or the feeling of being about to make a mistake, while in a state of readiness to perform simple exercises.

The results demonstrated that merely preparing to perform an incompatible action, for example preparing to move simultaneously left and right, triggered stronger changes in awareness than preparing to perform a compatible action.

The findings support a new theory developed by Morsella which predicts that the primary role of consciousness is to bring together competing demands on skeletal muscle.

Morsella’s theory also proposes that consciousness allows individuals to adapt their actions in the future, for example wearing an oven mitten (glove) to hold a hot dish.

These findings were published in the journal Emotion.

Testosterone Spray May Help Post-Menopausal Women Fight Dementia

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MELBOURNE – A daily testosterone spray may help ward off dementia and memory loss in post-menopausal women, says a new Victorian research.

The pilot study, run by Monash University’s Women’s Health Program, has been described as “an exciting new lead” by head researcher Susan Davis.

“This is a new frontier. We were quite surprised by the results. It’s cutting edge, a bit off the wall and provocative, but the results are as promising as they could be at this stage,” she said.

The research by Professor Davis and Dr Sonia Davison will be presented this week at the North American Menopause Society’s annual conference in San Diego, reports The Age.

To reach the conclusion, researchers gave ten healthy post-menopausal women aged 45 to 60 a daily skin spray of testosterone for six months.

At the beginning and end of the treatment they had “functional MRI” brain scans while doing a computer-based test of their memory and visual and verbal skills.

The scans showed that in each case, their brains performed the test much more effortlessly after six months.

“With testosterone treatment, less of the brain areas involved with these tasks ‘lit up’,” Professor Davis said.

“This indicates that less brain activation was required for the women to complete the tasks,” she added.