Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms and Seven Ways to Support and Heal your Adrenal Glands

In our modern world, adrenal fatigue is extremely common and estimated by some experts to affect approximately 80 percent of the population to some degree. Adrenal fatigue is caused by all types of stress – physical and emotional – and if left unchecked, it can lead to other illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, thyroid disease and heart attack. Continue reading

Read This Before Vaccinating Your Child

One in four U.S. parents believes some vaccines cause autism in healthy children according to the Associated Press at the end of February 2010. The federal government disputes heavily this idea, so much so that it denigrates these parents and ignores the medical science that suggests a strong association between the nerve poison Thimerosal and neurological impairment

It is a closed case as far as the medical officials are concerned as stupid as that might sound. The former Chairman of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Dr. Bernadine Healy does not agree saying, “The question has not been answered.” The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 2004 report on thimerosal and autism even stated, “The committee cannot rule out, based on the epidemiological evidence, the possibility that vaccines contribute to autism in some small subset or very unusual circumstances.”

Some doctors are taking a tough stand, asking vaccine-refusing parents to find other doctors and calling such parents “selfish.” A statement from a group practice near Philadelphia outlines its doctors’ adamant support for government recommended vaccines and their belief that “vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.” Doctors routinely take these stances though the former head of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Louis Cooper says, “There’s been grossly insufficient investment in research on the safety of immunization.”

It has taken us a long time to appreciate the fact that we are wasting time arguing with the government; it has not done anyone any good. We might as well argue with a heavily armed robber or psychopath, serial killer or terrorist none of whom even have the capacity or motive to listen. People and institutions with no ‘heart’ can not be reasoned with and should be avoided like the plague. Governments are the real plague and are a pandemic even up to the level of attacking our precious babies with injectable neurological poisons.

I would like to offer a way for doctors to redeem their credibility in the face of their peers, their professional organizations, humanity and God on at least on one important issue that is cracking the foundations and integrity of contemporary medicine. We are dealing with soul issues here because we are talking about the deliberate injection of newborns, children, and adults with the third most toxic substance known to man and that is mercury. Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive element on Earth, and The World Health Organization said that there are no levels of mercury that can be considered safe.

Everyone in the United States over the age of six

months should get seasonal influenza vaccines every

year, federal vaccine advisers said on February 25, 2010.

 

All forms of organic mercury cross the blood-brain barrier easily, probably due to formation of a complex with the amino acid cysteine. It is eliminated from the organism slowly, therefore it has tendency to bioaccumulate. In the form of dimethylmercury a sniff can kill you. Anyone who listens to any justification of the practice of injecting organic mercury into babies should have their head seriously examined just the same as if they were justifying child sexual abuse (which some psychologists most incredulously have).

Danger! Poison! May be fatal if inhaled, absorbed through skin or swallowed. Contains material which may cause damage to the following organs: kidneys, respiratory tract, skin, eyes, central nervous system.  Section 8 – Exposure Controls: Personal Protection: Splash goggles, Full suit, Dust Respirator, Boots, Gloves, a self-contained breathing apparatus. Section 11 – Toxicology Information: Acute Oral Toxicity. Extremely hazardous in case of skin contact. May be fatal if absorbed. Extremely hazardous in case of inhalation. May be fatal if inhaled. Extremely hazardous in case of ingestion. May be fatal if swallowed.  Danger of cumulative effects.

What I am proposing is a clear declaration to the governments and medical boards around the world that we doctors and health care professionals will recommend to all our patients that they immediately reject and refuse all vaccinations until every government and medical body eliminates “all” use of the highly toxic vaccine preservative Thimerosal, which is fifty percent methyl-mercury by weight. We would not recommend to our patients that they drive around in a car with defective breaks or a sticking accelerator one more day nor should we let our patients remain ignorant of the dangers of Thimerosal. We need to collectively back government, health, and medical official’s backs against a hard wall giving them not a millimeter to sleaze away.

Mercury was taken out of animal vaccines 20 years ago

because it was too toxic, so why I ask my peers are

we allowing it to continue to be given to babies?

 

We have been deaf, dumb and blind to what is happening in the area of childhood vaccination, meaning we are allowing our medical colleagues to get away with murder and we are all guilty by implication. There are certain constraints or lines that must not be crossed and one is the injection of a cross and bones poison. If we support such medically insane and barbarous practices we should sign a form stating we agree with the principles and practices of the Nazi doctors who routinely injected medical subjects with lethal injections for experimental purposes. No one can say that vaccines don’t kill children for they do that all the time in what is officially known as “rare” occurrences.

There is no sitting on the fence on this issue either you support and favor the injections of poison into babies and people or you do not. It is black and white though those who think in grey shout the loudest and have most of the bullhorns in the public arena. 15% of women in America (Rh Neg) get Rhogam Thimerosal laden shots and have 50% of autistic children. If a woman has 10 or more mercury dental fillings, her chances of having an autistic child go up 27%. Boys get autism 4 to 1 more than girls. When they put mercury in Petri dishes with brain cells they get 40% cell death. Estrogen and mercury in Petri dishes somehow protected cells for only a 3% cell death. Testosterone & mercury yields 100% cell death.

Thimerosal-preserved vaccines are significant causal factors in

the development of regressive neuro-developmental disorders

including autism and related disorders/syndromes/diseases.

Dr. Paul King

 

A review of medical literature indicates that the characteristics of autism and of mercury poisoning (HgP) are strikingly similar. The parallels between the two diseases are so thorough as to suggest, based on total Hg injected into U.S. children, that many cases of autism are a form of mercury poisoning. Professor John Oxford of Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry states: From Alzheimer’s disease to a devastating lineup of other neurological disorders including Parkinsons, ALS, MS, autism and AD – mercury is known to be a potent neurotoxin that either is the prime cause of such disorders or certainly is seen to exacerbate them. He says, “If there is “any doubt whatsoever” about the safety of mercury in vaccines then it should be removed.”

Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines given to children is a high crime against our civilization and all that is good in the field of medicine. Recommended and given to children 6 months and older by pediatricians since 2004, and annually to children until they turn 18, (and in 2009 in the A-H1N1 vaccine) one can only wonder where we have gone so utterly wrong injecting our babies and children with the third most toxic element known to mankind. “These injections exceed the EPA RfD mercury amount by a factor of 125 when the Thimerosal doses are 0.25-mL in each vaccine and by 250 times when the doses are set at 0.5-mL per injection. Typically a child getting the 0.25-mL dose weighs less than 18 kg (and at six months much less) and the older children who gets the 0.5-mL dose typically weighs much less than 70 kg,” reports Dr. Paul King.[1]

It seems like Pediatricians just cannot do the math or are just too lazy to do so. The EPA’s reference dose (RfD) for mercury is 0.1 microgram of mercury per kilogram of weight per day for ingested mercury, which is the legally considered adequate safety level. So how can anyone in their right mind inject a small child with a 25-microgram dose when that passes the legal dose for a humongous adult? To meet the EPA standard a person would have to weigh 551 pounds to receive the 0.5-mL vaccine dose (50 mcg) and the little baby would have to weigh 225 pounds to redeem the attending pediatrician. In some countries they inject newborns on their first day of life with 50 mcg doses and one can only wonder what children today would be like in the third world if they did not receive the Hepatitis B shots at birth.

Dr. King asks, “How can Thimerosal used as a preservative be safe when the toxicity studies required by law (21 CFR 610.15(a)) since the late 1960s have NOT been conducted (as the FDA and the vaccine makers have repeatedly admitted or failed to refute? How is a dose of mercury that exceeds the putative “safe level” (the putative no observed adverse-effect level [NOAEL]) for injected Thimerosal-related mercury (based on a chronic toxicity study in rats that is cited and recognized by the FDA) of < 0.0042 micrograms of mercury per kilogram of weight per day for developing humans by more than a factor of 2900 for a 0.25-mL dose or more than a factor of 5900 for a 0.5-mL dose be considered either safe or minuscule?”.

A quote from researcher David Geier, MD, PhD: “We went to Atlanta,” he continues, “to the CDC, and looked at the VSD [Vaccine Safety Data] data. There is thimerosal-containing DTaP [diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine] and thimerosal-free DTaP, so we asked a question: Among children that got a minimum of either three consecutive thimerosal-containing DTaPs or   three consecutive thimerosal-free DTaPs, was there a difference in the number of autism cases in the two groups? We found mega differences. More than 20 times higher. The rate of autism in the children that got more than three doses of thimerosal-containing DTaP vaccines was much, much higher. Almost all the children that have autism in that group were the ones that got the thimerosal-containing DTaP vaccine. The more thimerosal the greater the cases of autism.”

A 1991 Merck memo (released 2005) shows that at least one major manufacturer was aware of the vaccine mercury concern much earlier. The 1991 memo stated 6-month-old children who received their shots on schedule would get a mercury dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines (FDA) for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish. “When viewed in this way, the mercury load appears rather large,” said the memo from Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman, an internationally renowned vaccinologist to the president of Merck’s vaccine division. “It is reasonable to conclude” that it should be eliminated where possible, he said, “especially where use in infants and young children is anticipated.”

A special federal court ruled against parents who claimed childhood vaccines had caused their children to develop autism. The “vaccine court” examined the evidence presented and concluded, “It was abundantly clear that the petitioners’ theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive.” What is abundantly clear is that a court ruling has nothing to do with either science or the reality of one of the most toxic substances known to man and its effect on children. It does not matter what anyone says; nothing and no one will remove the skull and crossbones label from Thimerosal, meaning no one can remove the immanent dangers to child if this substance is injected.

“There is no convincing evidence that thimerosal is a factor in the onset of

autism” is the mantra of medical officials, and no matter how wrong, mean,

stupid, and ugly these officials are they remain publically and legally right.

Not everyone has been convinced nor has anyone approved the government’s effort to cover up the dangers of thimerosal. Rep. Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, oversaw a three-year investigation of thimerosal after his grandson was diagnosed with autism. “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is directly related to the autism epidemic,” his House Government Reform Committee concluded in its final report. “This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding a lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal, a known neurotoxin.” The FDA and other public-health agencies failed to act, the committee added, out of “institutional malfeasance for self protection” and “misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Few studies of the toxicity of Thimerosal in humans have been performed and yet the CDC and the FDA consider it safe. What is clear is that these organizations do not protect the public from obvious dangers having sold their souls to pharmaceutical interests. Cases have been reported of severe poisoning by accidental exposure or attempted suicide, with some fatalities to Thimerosal. Animal experiments suggest that Thimerosal rapidly dissociates to release ethyl mercury after injection; that the disposition patterns of mercury are similar to those after exposure to equivalent doses of ethylmercury chloride; and that the central nervous system and the kidneys are targets, with lack of motor coordination being a common sign.

So display some medical integrity and join with all doctors and healers everywhere and just say no to this madness. Tell your patients to avoid vaccines like the plague because the umbrella organizations like the CDC and the FDA have been compromised and cannot be trusted. One must not lay ones child on the alter of the dirtiest bastards that have ever walked our earth, monsters that would defend the injection of newborn babies with thousands of trillions of molecules of ethyl-mercury.

Defending the use of mercury in vaccines is a direct vote for this practice anywhere on the planet it is happening and makes one responsible, in part, for it. We have all inadvertently defended its use, for we continue to allow it to happen, but it has not been clear how to stop the medical officials and all those who support them.

Let’s at least turn our backs on the medical establishment on this one form of medical lunacy that implicates us all in a civilization disruptive practice that targets the young with illegal and humane medical mistreatment. Even if you are afraid to go on public record as taking a medical stand against medical officials and their untrustworthy pronouncements commit oneself to quietly handing out this document to patients telling them that we cannot support any part of the vaccination program because you cannot trust the principle organizations and people involved because of the Thimerosal cover-up. Explain to them that just like you would not support the use of a dangerous car or spoiled and tainted foods you cannot support the outrageous stonewalling of Thimerosal and its use one more day.

Nasal Spray Raises Hope for Autistics

CAIRO – A nasal spray containing the hormone linked to bonding helps people with autism become more sociable and trusting, scientists have found.

Autism impedes the ability to communicate or form relationships. Many people with the condition find eye contact difficult.

“Under oxytocin, patients with high-functioning autism respond more strongly to others and exhibit more appropriate social behaviour,” wrote Elissar Andari, of the Institut des Sciences Cognitives, a French government centre for neuroscience research.

In a summary of her presentation to the Mediterranean Conference of Neuroscience, held in Egypt, she said the results “suggested a therapeutic potential of oxytocin through its action on a core dimension of autism”.

About 500,000 Britons have autism, with many suffering exclusion from school and long-term unemployment because of the associated behavioural problems.

As well as communication problems, people with autism can also experience over or under sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

The researchers pointed out that the effects of the nasal spray were transient and the findings did not mean that a therapy was imminent.

Any proposed medication would have to undergo extensive testing, which could take years.

In the study, the subjects were asked to inhale oxytocin and then to undergo two tests to see if the hormone had altered their behaviour.

One test involved playing a simulated ball game on a computer with three virtual players.

After inhaling oxytocin, the 13 patients could work out which of the virtual players was most co-operative and trustworthy much more effectively than subjects who had received a placebo.

The 13 subjects were next asked to look at pictures of faces to test their ability to look into people’s eyes.

Ms Andari wrote: “Oxytocin selectively increased patient’s gazing time on the socially informative region of the face such as the eyes.”

Gina Gómez de la Cuesta, research leader at the National Autistic Society, said:

“A number of studies have found that oxytocin appears to play a key role in social behaviour and social understanding.

“However further rigorous scientific evaluation necessary before we can fully assess any potential benefits.

“As autism is a spectrum condition, which affects people in very different ways, any intervention that may help one person may not be effective for another.”

Jet Lag Cure A Step Closer

DETROIT – Jet lag may soon be history thanks to scientists who have discovered the exact brain cell that sends us to sleep or keeps us awake.

The finding by University of Michigan mathematicians and their British colleagues overturns a long-held theory about our internal clock.

Understanding how the human biological clock works is an essential step toward correcting sleep problems like insomnia and jet lag. New insights about the body’s central pacemaker might also, someday, advance efforts to treat diseases influenced by the internal clock, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and mood disorders, said University of Michigan mathematician Daniel Forger.

“Knowing what the signal is will help us learn how to adjust it, in order to help people,” said Forger, an associate professor of mathematics and a member of the U-M’s Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics.

“We have cracked the code, and the information could have a tremendous impact on all sorts of diseases that are affected by the clock,” the expert added.

The body’s main time-keeper resides in a region of the central brain called the suprachiasmatic nuclei, or SCN. For decades, researchers have believed that it is the rate at which SCN cells fire electrical pulses—fast during the day and slow at night—that controls time-keeping throughout the body.

Imagine a metronome in the brain that ticks quickly throughout the day, then slows its pace at night. The rest of the body hears the ticking and adjusts its daily rhythms, also known as circadian rhythms, accordingly.

That’s the idea that has prevailed for more than two decades. But new evidence compiled by Forger and his colleagues shows that “the old model is, frankly, wrong,” Forger said.

The true signaling mechanism is very different: The timing signal sent from the SCN is encoded in a complex firing pattern that had previously been overlooked, the researchers concluded.

Forger and U-M graduate student Casey Diekman, along with Dr. Mino Belle and Hugh Piggins of the University of Manchester in England, report their findings in Science.

Alternative Treatments For Autism

 

BEVERLY HILLS – As more research is done on autism, a brain development disorder, doctors and researchers are finding alternative ways to treat it. Medication used to be the only recourse and can have nasty side effects. Parents are looking for different, natural ways to treat their autistic children.

There have been some alternative methods in treating autism that are more common than others. Some work alone while others are used in combination. There is no telling which method will work best for your child. Speak with your doctor to learn about alternative treatments for autistic children.

1. Music Therapy: Autistic children have been found to respond to music in a number of ways. Sometimes the music makes them happy and they want to move around, helping with their motor skills. Other times children sing along to the words of the song, helping with speech therapy. This has been seen in children who do not even talk. Music therapy is a natural way to help autistic children.

2. Sensory Integration: Everyone, autistic or not, has a certain smell that reminds them of something happy. Or the touch of a certain cloth will invoke specific feelings. This holds true for some autistic children as well. Researchers have been using sensory skills to get autistic children to react. The autistic children rely more on their hearing, touch, taste and smell to understand and communicate. This is also used to calm autistic children down by using specific odors or textures.

3. Nutritional: An autistic child’s diet can have an effect on the way they react. There have many different diets that doctors have been using. Some of the popular diets are gluten-free, which is no wheat products, or removing dairy from the diet. Certain ingredients in foods make autistic act out or have bad reactions. Learn what they are and eliminate them from your child’s diet.

4. Omega 3: Omega 3 is a fatty acid that has been found to have health benefits, which includes better sleep patterns, better social skills and better general health. All of these are positive attributes to a child with autism. While you can buy Omega 3 at many nutritional stores, discuss with your doctor the benefits of trying Omega 3 in your autistic child’s diet. Omega 3 and other essential fatty acids are needed in a child’s normal growth pattern. However, no major studies have been done on the benefits of fish oil for autistic children.

5. Play Therapy: Play therapy works well because it doesn’t feel like work. Autistic children are in a more relax atmosphere and have a chance to react naturally. When a therapist begins playing with the autistic child, this will give the therapist and the child a chance to bond. The child will learn to trust the therapist through playing and make the sessions easier. By helping to create bonds through playing, autistic children can learn to play well other children their own age.

Good treatment plans may use some of these alternatives along with medication or you can try them out before resorting to medication. Every child is different, so some of the alternatives therapies could work well for one autistic patient while not work for another. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work for your child. Just look for ways to keep your child happy while giving your child the best care.

Medical Marijuana has been used in some instances with excellent results. An Orange County Children’s Hospital is involved in some primary studies.  The outlook is very positive.  “Jeffrey’s Story” is a book about a child with Autism and how his life changed with medical marijuana.

Ways To Improve Your Brain Health and Fitness

Brain fitness has basic principles: variety and curiosity. When anything you do becomes second nature, you need to make a change. If you can do the crossword puzzle in your sleep, it’s time for you to move on to a new challenge in order to get the best workout for your brain. Curiosity about the world around you, how it works and how you can understand it will keep your brain working fast and efficiently. Use the ideas below to help attain your quest for mental fitness.

1. Play Games

Brain fitness programs and games are a wonderful way to tease and challenge your brain. Suduko, crosswords and electronic games can all improve your brain’s speed and memory. These games rely on logic, word skills, math and more. These games are also fun. You’ll get benefit more by doing these games a little bit every day — spend 15 minutes or so, not hours.

2. Meditation

Daily meditation is perhaps the single greatest thing you can do for your mind/body health. Meditation not only relaxes you, it gives your brain a workout. By creating a different mental state, you engage your brain in new and interesting ways while increasing your brain fitness.

3. Eat for Your Brain

Your brain needs you to eat healthy fats. Focus on fish oils from wild salmon, nuts such as walnuts, seeds such as flax seed and olive oil. Eat more of these foods and less saturated fats. Eliminate transfats completely from your diet.

4. Tell Good Stories

Stories are a way that we solidify memories, interpret events and share moments. Practice telling your stories, both new and old, so that they are interesting, compelling and fun. Some basic storytelling techniques will go a long way in keeping people’s interest both in you and in what you have to say.

5. Turn Off Your Television

The average person watches more than 4 hours of television everyday. Television can stand in the way of relationships, life and more. Turn off your TV and spend more time living and exercising your mind and body.

6. Exercise Your Body To Exercise Your Brain

Physical exercise is great brain exercise too. By moving your body, your brain has to learn new muscle skills, estimate distance and practice balance. Choose a variety of exercises to challenge your brain.

7. Read Something Different

Books are portable, free from libraries and filled with infinite interesting characters, information and facts. Branch out from familiar reading topics. If you usually read history books, try a contemporary novel. Read foreign authors, the classics and random books. Not only will your brain get a workout by imagining different time periods, cultures and peoples, you will also have interesting stories to tell about your reading, what it makes you think of and the connections you draw between modern life and the words.

8. Learn a New Skill

Learning a new skill works multiple areas of the brain. Your memory comes into play, you learn new movements and you associate things differently. Reading Shakespeare, learning to cook and building an airplane out of toothpicks all will challenge your brain and give you something to think about.

9. Make Simple Changes

We love our routines. We have hobbies and pastimes that we could do for hours on end. But the more something is ‘second nature,’ the less our brains have to work to do it. To really help your brain stay young, challenge it. Change routes to the grocery store, use your opposite hand to open doors and eat dessert first. All this will force your brain to wake up from habits and pay attention again.

10. Train Your Brain

Brain training is becoming a trend. There are formal courses, websites and books with programs on how to train your brain to work better and faster. There is some research behind these programs, but the basic principles are memory, visualization and reasoning. Work on these three concepts everyday and your brain will be ready for anything.

Iron Accumulation in a Cell Can Cause Disease

SYDNEY – The build-up of iron in a cell centre may lead to debilitating diseases which can cause brain and cardiac disorders, a study has revealed.

The accumulation of iron in mitochondria, which is the centre for cell respiration and energy production, is toxic. The iron can substantially damage the cell and cause death.

Using a mouse model, University of Sydney (U-S) researchers found that the iron loading was caused by its increased iron uptake and decreased release due to reduced iron utilization in two major mitochondrial pathways.

“The terrible part is that these children (with high iron accumulation in cells) grow up knowing the joys of self-sufficiency, being able to walk and function normally before they are struck down,” said Des Richardson.

Michael Huang, study co-author noted: “It’s great to work on such an intractable disease and by unveiling its underlying nuts and bolts to get results that can potentially help lots of people.”

The study appeared in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Genetic Link Between Psychosis and Creativity Revealed

BUDAPEST –  A new study seems to have established a link between psychosis and creativity.

Szabolcs Keri, a psychiatrist at Semmelweis University in Hungary, focused his research on neuregulin 1, a gene that normally plays a role in a variety of brain processes, including development and strengthening communication between neurons.

Writing about the study in the journal Psychological Science, he has revealed that a variant of this gene is associated with a greater risk of developing mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

For the study, Keri and his colleagues recruited volunteers who considered themselves to be very creative and accomplished.

The participants underwent a battery of tests, including assessments for intelligence and creativity.

To measure the volunteers’ creativity, the researchers asked them to respond to a series of unusual questions, and scored them based on the originality and flexibility of their answers.

The subjects also completed a questionnaire regarding their lifetime creative achievements before the researchers took blood samples.

According to the researchers, their findings showed a clear link between neuregulin 1 and creativity, for volunteers with the specific variant of this gene were more likely to have higher scores on the creativity assessment, and also greater lifetime creative achievements, than volunteers with a different form of the gene.

Keri claims that his study has for the first time shown that a genetic variant associated with psychosis may have some beneficial functions.

He says: “Molecular factors that are loosely associated with severe mental disorders but are present in many healthy people may have an advantage enabling us to think more creatively.”

His findings also suggest that certain genetic variations, even though associated with adverse health problems, may survive evolutionary selection and remain in a population’s gene pool if they also have beneficial effects.

How We Navigate Through Undesired Objects to Reach What We Want

TORONTO – Ever wondered how we always manage to make our way through various things to reach that jelly at the back of the refrigerator? Well, researchers at The University of Western Ontario have now unlocked the mystery of how our brain allows us to avoid such undesired objects.

Canada Research Chair in Visual Neuroscience Mel Goodale, lead author Chris Striemer and colleagues in Western’s Department of Psychology led the study.

“We automatically choose a path for our hand that avoids hitting any obstacles that may be in the way. Every day, we perform hundreds of actions of this sort without giving a moment’s thought as to how we accomplish these deceptively simple tasks,” said Goodale.

For the study, the researchers asked a patient who had become completely blind on his left side following a stroke to the main visual area of the brain to avoid obstacles as he reached out to touch a target in his right – or ‘good’ – visual field.

He could avoid the obstacles as any normal-sighted individual would, but surprisingly, when the experiment was repeated on his blind side, he was still able to avoid them – even though he never reported having seen them.

“The patient’s behaviour shows he is sensitive to the location of obstacles he is completely unaware of,” said Striemer.

“The patient seemed to be as surprised as we were that he could respond to these ‘unseen’ obstacles,” added Goodale.

The findings provide compelling evidence for the idea that obstacle avoidance depends on ancient visual pathways in the brain that appear to bypass the main visual areas that allow us to perceive the world.

Thus, even when the part of the brain that gives us our visual experience is damaged, other parts of the brain still maintain a limited ability to use visual information from the eyes to control skilled movements of the limbs.

Additional experiments have shown that these primitive visual pathways work only in real-time and do not have access to memories, even of the short-term variety.

To explain it, the researchers provided an obstacle in the patient’s blind field but delayed his reach by two seconds, and found that he no longer showed any sensitivity to the object’s location.

The study’s results have important implications for our understanding of what gets lost and what gets spared following damage to the brain’s main visual pathways, and point the way for new approaches to rehabilitation.

The study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Two Out of Every Three Blind in India are Women

NEW DELHI – Nearly two million people are blind in India but what is startling is that around 66 percent of them are women, government authorities and experts said Thursday, observed as the World Sight Day (WSD).

This year, the focus was on gender and eye care. G.V.S Murthy, a professor of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said that out of every three blind in the country, two are women and there is need to bring a gender equity while providing eye care.

He said there was a general assumption that what worked for men worked for women, but this was not true. There were several obstacles beginning from illiteracy, difference in roles and responsibility in decision making, and poverty which resulted in health care for men as a priority.

“There is gender disparity in health services at secondary and tertiary levels where most of the ophthalmologists were men. There is a need to look at empowering women, increasing their physical mobility and economic security,” Murthy said.

Speaking on the occasion, Shalini Prasad, joint secretary in the central health ministry, rued: “Women do not have access because of their gender. We tend to forget that women and girl child cannot reach health facilities due to a number of barriers. To make gender equality a reality, there is a need to make health care accessible.”

Experts said that as more old women are blind, perhaps more financial aid could be given to them. Women to women approach which has more empathy could be one of the steps that could bridge the gender inequality, they said.

G.N. Rao, who heads the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, said: “As an advocacy tool, the World Sight Day has served its purpose successfully as blindness now is considered as a priority issue in all the health organisations around the world”.

He also endorsed the work of government and private organisations on their initiative called Vision 2020: the Right to Sight.

As a beginning, five pilot projects in poor socio-economic strata of society could be started to demonstrate gender equity, which then could be replicated, he suggested.

As many as two million people in India are corneally blind. Every year, 30,000 more are added to this figure. Half of the people suffering from this can get their sight restored through corneal graft surgery. However, against the annual demand for 100,000 corneas, only 16,000 are available.

Monkey Brain ‘Hardwired’ for Simple Math

Monkey Brain ‘Hardwired’ for Simple Math

TUBINGEN – A German team of neurobiologists has found that rhesus macaques can engage in abstract mathematical reasoning using specific brain cells dedicated to the comprehension of math rules and relationships.

The finding could provide insight into the neurology behind human ability to comprehend much more complex mathematics, German scientists said.

“Even simple mathematical operations are highly abstract mental operations on quantities that are governed by overarching concepts and principles,” explained study co-author Andreas Nieder, a professor in the department of animal physiology at the University of Tubingen’s Institute of Neurobiology. “Monkeys can adopt abstract mathematical rules, and they can switch between them.”

“That means they understand very fundamental, non-symbolic mathematical principles, such as ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’,” Neider added. His team traced this ability to neurons in the prefrontal cortex region of the primate brain — an area that appears to be devoted to encoding the basic rules of math.

Neider and co-author Sylvia Bongard reported their findings online Jan. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To assess primate math skills and isolate the neurology behind them, the team trained two rhesus monkeys to assess when groups of various objects, such as dots, were either “greater than” or “less than” another grouping of the same object.

Having learned these two basic mathematical rules, the monkeys were then tracked as they worked levers to indicate which grouping was the larger or smaller of the two displayed.

During the course of 160 different trials, the authors also recorded neural activity among 484 randomly selected cells located in the monkey’s cognition center in the brain, the prefrontal cortex.

Neider and his team found that the monkeys were able to successfully execute the “greater than” and “less than” rules — and switch back and forth between the two — between 83 and 92 percent of the time.

What’s more, 20 percent of the monitored neurons appeared to be specifically tasked with facilitating this type of abstract math-rule comprehension. The cells did so independently, while other cells focused on the processing of sensory information, such as visual and/or or memory cues.

This isn’t the first indication that primates possess some degree of mathematical talent. Last year, Duke University researchers working with macaque monkeys found that the primates are capable of basic math despite their lack of language skills. And in 2007, researchers from Japan’s Kyoto University found that young chimpanzees actually out-performed human adults in tracking numbers and remembering sequencing.

And math proficiency may not be unique to primates.

“Number crunching is a widespread skill among animals,” Neider said. “So far, several mammalian and bird species have been shown to possess it, as well as salamanders, fish, and even bees. This ability has obvious survival advantages. In foraging, for instance, it is an advantage to choose the food source with more items compared to few. Also in social interactions, it pays to know the number of individuals in one’s own group as compared to an opponent party before deciding whether to flee or attack.”

Nevertheless, Neider noted that human mathematical cognition remains leaps and bounds ahead of that of other animals.

“In all animals,” he said, “set size is never represented in a precise way — exactly five objects — but always approximately, ‘about’ five items. Amongst other things, this sets us apart from all other animals. Guided by the development of language, we acquire a very precise understanding of numbers. We denote numbers symbolically, a skill beyond the scope of any animal.”

“With such mental tools at hand and sophisticated logical abilities, we structure and process numerical information in the most sophisticated ways,” Neider observed, “and with the most impressive results.”

“It’s simply a question of the much greater extent to which we, as humans, use abstract reasoning to maneuver in our environment, relative to other animals,” added Joe Verghese, associate professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

“So while the idea that monkeys can perhaps specifically engage in abstract mathematical reasoning is, I believe, something new, there have been many previous experiments that have shown that primates do engage in abstractions,” he added. “Which means that we are — humans and animals — probably all hardwired to do some kind of abstract reasoning. But it’s a question of the pecking order, of sophistication. The question then is, do primates consider what is life? What comes after death? Unfortunately, I don’t think there are experiments on that level yet.”

 

Kids With Small Head Size at Risk of Neurologic Problems

Kids With Small Head Size at Risk of Neurologic Problems

WASHINGTON – Kids whose head size is smaller than that of 97 percent of children may be at an increased risk of neurologic and cognitive problems, and should be screened for such problems, according to a new guideline from the American Academy of Neurology.

Published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the guideline has been developed in full collaboration with the Child Neurology Society.

Microcephaly is the medical term used for the condition in which kids have small head sizes. In some cases, it is not present at birth, but develops by the time a child becomes two.

While microcephaly is not a disease, it is an important sign that may point to other conditions.

“The evidence suggests that children with microcephaly are more likely to have certain neurologic conditions, such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy, as well as mental retardation and eye and ear disorders,” said lead guideline author Dr. Stephen Ashwal, a child neurologist at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, California, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

“In fact, the evidence shows that children with microcephaly are at risk for developmental delay and learning disorders. For these reasons, it is necessary for doctors to recognize microcephaly and check the child for these associated problems, which often require special treatments. This is an important recommendation, as it allows doctors to provide more accurate advice and counseling to families who have a child with microcephaly,” he added.

The expert says that doctors may also consider screening for coexisting conditions, such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

“Forty percent of children with microcephaly also have epilepsy, 20 percent also have cerebral palsy, 50 percent also have mental retardation, and 20 to 50 percent also have eye and ear problems,” said Ashwal.

Brain scans like an MRI or CT scan as well as genetic testing may be useful in identifying the causes of microcephaly.

Ashwal says even if a small head size runs in families, it is still important to see a doctor due to the risk of other conditions.

Stressing the importance of telling the doctor about any family history of neurologic disease, Ashwal said: “It should be noted though, that some children with small head size have normal development and do not develop any related conditions or problems.”

Healthy Older Brains Not Smaller than Younger Ones

Healthy Older Brains Not Smaller than Younger Ones

MAASTRICHT – The belief that healthy older brains are substantially smaller than younger brains has been deemed incorrect by Dutch researchers.

The authors suggest that previous findings may have overestimated atrophy and underestimated normal size for the older brain.

The new study tested participants in Holland’s long-term Maastricht Aging Study who were free of neurological problems such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease or stroke.

Once participants were deemed otherwise healthy, they took neuropsychological tests, including a screening test for dementia, at baseline and every three years afterward for nine years.

MRI scans were used to measure seven different parts of the brain, including the memory-laden hippocampus, the areas around it, and the frontal and cingulate areas of the cognitively critical cortex.

The participants were later divided into two groups: one group with 35 cognitively healthy people who stayed free of dementia (average starting age 69.1 years), and the other group with 30 people who showed substantial cognitive decline but were still dementia-free (average starting age 69.2 years).

In contrast to the 35 people who stayed healthy, the 30 people who declined cognitively over study-period showed a significant effect for age in the hippocampus and parahippocampal areas, and in the frontal and cingulate cortices.

In short, among the people whose cognition got worse, older participants had smaller brain areas than younger participants.

Thus, the seeming age-related atrophy in gray matter more likely reflected pathological changes in the brain that underlie significant cognitive decline than aging itself, wrote the authors.

As long as people stay cognitively healthy, the researchers believe that the gray matter of areas supporting cognition might not shrink much at all.

If future longitudinal studies find similar results, our conception of ‘normal’ brain aging may become more optimistic,” said lead author Saartje Burgmans, who is due to receive her PhD later this year.

The study appears in journal Neuropsychology.

Got Cognitive Activity? It Does a Mind Good

Got Cognitive Activity? It Does a Mind Good

BOSTON –  If you don’t have a college degree, you’re at greater risk of developing memory problems or even Alzheimer’s. Education plays a key role in lifelong memory performance and risk for dementia, and it’s well documented that those with a college degree possess a cognitive advantage over their less educated counterparts in middle and old age.

Now, a large national study from Brandeis University published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry shows that those with less schooling can significantly compensate for poorer education by frequently engaging in mental exercises such as word games, puzzles, reading, and lectures.

“The lifelong benefits of higher education for memory in later life are quite impressive, but we do not clearly understand how and why these effects last so long,” said lead author Margie Lachman, a psychologist. She suggested that higher education may spur lifelong interest in cognitive endeavors, while those with less education may not engage as frequently in mental exercises that help keep the memory agile.

But education early in adulthood does not appear to be the only route to maintain your memory. The study found that intellectual activities undertaken regularly made a difference. “Among individuals with low education, those who engaged in reading, writing, attending lectures, doing word games or puzzles once or week or more had memory scores similar to people with more education,” said Lachman.

The study, called Midlife in the United States, assessed 3,343 men and women between the ages of 32 and 84 with a mean age of 56 years. Almost 40 percent of the participants had at least a 4-year college degree. The researchers evaluated how the participants performed in two cognitive areas, verbal memory and executive function — brain processes involved in planning, abstract thinking and cognitive flexibility. Participants were given a battery of tests, including tests of verbal fluency, word recall, and backward counting.

As expected those with higher education said they engaged in cognitive activities more often and also did better on the memory tests, but some with lower education also did well, explained Lachman.

“The findings are promising because they suggest there may be ways to level the playing field for those with lower educational achievement, and protect those at greatest risk for memory declines,” said Lachman. “Although we can not rule out the possibility that those who have better memories are the ones who take on more activities, the evidence is consistent with cognitive plasticity, and suggests some degree of personal control over cognitive functioning in adulthood by adopting an intellectually active lifestyle.”

The study was supported by the National Institute on Aging.

Presenting – Claustrophobia

Presenting – Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder in which someone has an intense and irrational fear of confined or enclosed spaces. A person who suffers from claustrophobia may break into a panic when inside a lift (elevator), a bus, an aeroplane, a room with lots of people or any confined space.

What are the symptoms?

These symptoms may be relevant to many types of phobias (irrational fears):

— Sweating
— Accelerated heart rate
— Hyperventilation, or ‘over-breathing’
— Shaking
— Light-headedness
— Nausea
— Fainting
— Fear of actual harm or illness.

A person with claustrophobia may:

— When entering a room, start checking for where the exits are. Position himself/herself near the exits. Feel very uneasy when all the doors are shut.

— Avoid driving or entering a car during times of day when traffic is most likely to be congested.

— Opt for using the stairs rather than the lift (elevator). The reason being fear, rather than the extra exercise.

— Stand near the door at a crowded party – even if it is a large and spacious room.

— Panic when a door is closed and he/she is inside (more severe).