March 14, 2017

Health Roundup: Dizzy spells, CML, artificial retina, cannabis, second-hand smoke and bad news for bald men

From Authority Nutrition 13 Simple and Natural Ways to Lower Your Triglycerides

Cancer Pill Gleevec Keeps Patients Alive and Well for a Decade

The once-a-day pill turned chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML, from a certain death sentence into a manageable disease. Now data shows it's helped 83 percent of patients live 10 years or longer...."It's the first targeted personalized medicine that had ever been used. It was also the most successful," ...Gleevec is targeted to a mutation specific to CML...."It's a 10-year survival of 83 percent, which is extraordinary," Silver said. "It has led to what we call biologic cures." Patients still have leukemia, but it's not affecting their blood cell counts.

Dizzy spells in middle age may be a warning sign of dementia 20 years before symptoms appear

Scientists think sudden drops in blood pressure - often signaled by dizziness when standing up - could cause lasting damage to the brain that raises the risk of dementia. A study of 11,000 middle-aged people found that those who suffered this problem, known as orthostatic hypotension, were 40 per cent more likely to develop dementia later in life.

Study leader Dr Andreea Rawlings, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US, said: 'Even though these episodes are fleeting, they may have impacts that are long lasting. 'We found that those people who suffered from orthostatic hypotension in middle age were 40 per cent more likely to develop dementia than those who did not. 'It's a significant finding and we need to better understand just what is happening.'

Scientists Have Created an Artificial Retina Implant That Could Restore Vision to Millions

Scientists have developed a retinal implant that can restore lost vision in rats, and are planning to trial the procedure in humans later this year.  The implant, which converts light into an electrical signal that stimulates retinal neurons, could give hope to millions who experience retinal degeneration – including retinitis pigmentosa – in which photoreceptor cells in the eye begin to break down, leading to blindness.


For the Blind, an Actual-Reality Headset  Not just Star Trek fiction, a new visor from eSight is a lightweight, high-contrast vision system for legally blind people.

Artist Yvonne Felix recalls the first time she saw “Starry Night” with her eSight visor on, it made her cry. “I saw every little stroke. When I saw the color mixtures and how thick the paint was, it was the most overwhelming moment of my life,” she says. “I thought that never in my life would I be able to see something so beautiful.”

Secondhand smoke isn’t as bad as we thought. The relevant question, however, should not be merely whether there are any dangers from secondhand smoke but also how big they are.

If the alarmist claims made by anti-smoking groups were true, we’d be justified in avoiding secondhand smoke as if it were the plague. But we know now that those claims were exaggerated, so it’s worth asking whether contemporary bans have gone too far.... Now that’s not nothing, but other recent research may be even more surprising. “No clear link between passive smoking and lung cancer,” read a 2013 headline in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, hardly a pro-tobacco publication. That was a report on a cohort study tracking 76,000 women that failed to detect a link between the disease and secondhand smoke. The finding comports with existing literature suggesting that the effect is borderline and concentrated on long-term, high levels of exposure.

Cannabis boosts risk of stroke and heart attack, independent of tobacco, new study finds

Data taken from more than 1,000 US hospitals found that people who used the drug had a 26 per cent higher chance of suffering a stroke than those who did not, and a 10 per cent higher chance of having a heart attack....They indicate there is something intrinsic about cannabis which can damage the proper functioning of the human heart.  The research was published Wednesday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Washington DC.

Bad news for bald men: Hair loss drugs cause erectile dysfunction that lasts for years

Those taking a popular growth stimulant were left impotent for an average of four years after finishing the medication, a study found.  Sufferers were left unable to maintain an erection despite being given Viagra to try and solve their problem.  Experts now say that taking finasteride is a bigger risk factor for the condition than diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking.  The drug, sold as Propecia, lowers prostate specific antigen levels and is used for treating male-pattern hair loss.

Researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine assessed the effects of the hair growth stimulant. Of the 11,909 men who were studied, 1.4 per cent went on to develop persistent erectile dysfunction. This continued for an average of 1,348 days.  But the researchers found men under the age of 42 who used either drug for seven months had a 4.9-fold higher risk.

This comes after Turkish scientists last week found blood type could influence a man's performance under the sheets. Those with blood types A, B or AB are up to four times more likely to suffer from impotence than men who have blood type O.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:13 PM | Permalink

"If you count the tail as a leg, how many legs does a donkey have?”

In which a 100-year-old man gives advice to a 17-year-old Australian and teaches him the essential truth that objective truth exists.

Rudolfo spoke little to anyone but towards the end of the evening he approached me and said: “Stefano,” (35 years later and he remains the only person to have ever called me that) “Let me give you the same advice my father gave me as I set out on my path as a young man. He himself received the advice from his own father and it will aid you both as a lawyer and as a man.”

Rudolfo continued: “In all things in life be guided by the answer to the old riddle: If you count the tail as a leg, how many legs does a donkey have?” I  answered, “Five.”

The answer of course is not five, but four.

“It will always be four,” he said. “Calling a tail a leg does not make it one. Merely calling something or someone by a name or label does not make it so…things are what they are and the truth is always what it is. Pretending doesn’t change reality. Recognize all things for what they truly are and act according to that truth. “
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:19 PM | Permalink

Miscellany #61: Discrimination, Irish pubs, Hemingway, sky dancing, Coca Cola, Max Weber and Hitler

The Experience of Discrimination in Contemporary America:

Results from a Nationally Representative Sample of Adults
Key result: 5% of black people (compared to 4% of white people) say they “often” face discrimination; 29.8% of black people (compared to 30.3% of white people) say they “never” face discrimination.

Meet the Companies Literally Dropping ‘Irish’ Pubs in Cities Across the World

It all began with a architecture student Mel McNally who with some classmates analyzed the city's pubs....McNally went on to research the whole of Ireland to establish a definitive playbook of pub varieties, which led to the foundation of a design and manufacturing specialist, the Irish Pub Company [IPC], in 1990. The ambition was to design and build complete interiors of pubs, first domestically, but then for foreign markets, assembling huge shipments of flooring, decorative glass, mirrors, ceiling tiles, light fixtures, furniture, signage, and bric-a-brac, as well as the obvious centerpiece: the bar itself. The group now sells bars in six “styles” that can be selected from a company catalog: Shop, Gastro, Victorian, Brewery, Country, and Celtic.

 Irish Pub.

Designed and prefabricated in Ireland: an export not cultural or theoretical, but actual. The assiduous export and installation of these pre-made Irish bars has been going on for more than 30 years, resulting in a global network of establishments that are interrelated but unrelated....More than 500 bars and 27 years later, it continues to ship the makings of the Irish bar as far afield as Russia and Kazakhstan

McNally, the effective grandfather of the movement, is a formalist, and everything he manufactures and sells is Irish-made...Asked about essential components of an Irish bar, McNally offers, “I think everybody recognizes that good stained glass makes a difference.”

Hemingway Was a Spy

In 1940, as he was preparing to go on a trip to China, the writer agreed to work for the NKVD, the Soviet foreign intelligence agency.  Despite numerous contacts with Soviet agents over a 10-year period, though, Hemingway never did anything of substance for them and, ironically, cooperated far more fruitfully with American intelligence.
--
In a letter, he denounced Churchill after his “Iron Curtain” speech as the real threat to world peace, not Stalin, and in another he defended the Soviet purges—the people who “deserved shooting were shot.” He ardently supported Castro and praised the 1959 Cuban Revolution as the fulfillment of his dreams for Spain.

No wonder he was paranoid that the FBI was tapping his phones.  They were.

Will Indoor Skydancing be the next Olympic sport?

A Facebook video of 17 year old Maja Kuczynska has garnered 30 million views in less than a month.  She calls it calls it 'flying'.  She performs in a vertical wind tunnel where the wind speeds can reach 186 miles per hour.  The moves look effortless but staying in control requires enormous strength, flexibility and precision.  YouTube link to the amazing, gravity-defying video.

"'It's such a fast-paced discipline, right now there's no one to teach me....'A couple of different people and I are creating this discipline.'

The Quiet Tragedy Behind The Invention Of Coca-Cola  John Pemberton struggled with addiction for much of his life. Somewhere along the way, this addiction spurred invention.

Before John Pemberton served in the Third Georgia Cavalry Battalion, he made his living as a chemist and a pharmacist. ...at the Battle of Columbus in April 1865, he sustained a saber wound to the chest which nearly killed him. Pemberton survived, but was left to battle a crippling morphine addiction, which caretakers offered to Pemberton as a painkiller to treat his substantial wounds.

The Catholic work ethic.

Max Weber (1864–1920) wrote that Protestantism gave birth to a unique work ethic that spawned capitalism, and thus it is that modernity is a direct result of the Reformation. Even now, Weber’s thesis of the “Protestant work ethic” lives on among sociologists, being recounted in detail in every introductory textbook on the market. ...

The celebrated Fernand Braudel complained that “all historians have opposed this tenuous theory [the Protestant ethic], although they have not managed to be rid of it once and for all. Yet it is clearly false."  Everyone writing on capitalism accepts that it rests upon free markets, secure property rights and free (uncoerced) labour. By this definition, capitalism was a very Catholic invention: it first appeared in the great Catholic monastic estates, way back in the 9th century.

Hitler Was a Socialist

 Hitler Socialist

Adolf Hitler wasn’t “right wing.” If you take nothing else from this post, just remember Hitler was a socialist. With terrible facial hair. There’s an easy way to remember it, too. NAZI stands for National Socialist German Workers‘ Party.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:47 PM | Permalink