Tag Archives | Disease

Is Schizophrenia Caused By An ‘Insanity Virus’?

imagesIt’s a novel and chilling theory: we are all born with a brain-ravaging virus that invaded the human DNA millions of years ago. Our bodies work to contain it, but childhood infections such as the flu can allow HERV-W to become temporarily unleashed — the cause of schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis. Discovery reports:

Schizophrenia has long been blamed on bad genes or even bad parents. Wrong, says a growing group of psychiatrists. The real culprit, they claim, is a virus that lives entwined in every person’s DNA.

Schizophrenia is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 25, but the person who becomes schizophrenic is sometimes recalled to have been different as a child or a toddler—more forgetful or shy or clumsy. Even more puzzling is the so-called birth-month effect: People born in winter or early spring are more likely than others to become schizophrenic later in life. It is a small increase, just 5 to 8 percent, but it is remarkably consistent, showing up in 250 studies.

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What’s That Itch?!? Go Ahead And Pee On Your Phone to See If You Have an STD

CellphonesWelcome to our brave new world. (I’d like some soma, please if I ever have to do this…) Denis Campbell writes in the Guardian:

Mobile phones and computers will soon be able to diagnose sexually transmitted diseases under innovative plans to cut the UK’s rising rate of herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhoea among young people.

Doctors and technology experts are developing small devices, similar to pregnancy testing kits, that will tell someone quickly and privately if they have caught an infection through sexual contact.

People who suspect they have been infected will be able to put urine or saliva on to a computer chip about the size of a USB chip, plug it into their phone or computer and receive a diagnosis within minutes, telling them which, if any, sexually transmitted infection (STI) they have. Seven funders, including the Medical Research Council, have put £4m into developing the technology via a forum called the UK Clinical Research Collaboration.

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Disease Kills 20 Ugandans And Infects Over 20,000 Within Two Months

Director George Romero can scare us with zombies and crazies, but this disease which causes the body to rot away is all too real. The disease is caused by insects that enter the body, suck the blood and breed rapidly. Associated Press writer Godfrey Olukya reports:

A disease whose progression and symptoms seem straight out of a horror movie but which can be treated has killed at least 20 Ugandans and sickened more than 20,000 in just two months.

Jiggers, small insects which look like fleas, are the culprits in the epidemic which causes parts of the body to rot. They often enter through the feet. Once inside a person’s body, they suck the blood, grow and breed, multiplying by the hundreds. Affected body parts — buttocks, lips, even eyelids — rot away.

James Kakooza, Uganda’s minister of state for primary health care, said jiggers can easily kill young children by sucking their blood and can cause early deaths in grown-ups who have other diseases.

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Scientists Suggest That Cancer Is A Man-Made Disease

Source: Joshua Sherurcij (CC)

Source: Joshua Sherurcij (CC)

Basing their findings on research conducted at the University of Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, professors Rosalie David and visiting Villanova professor Michael Zimmerman assert:

“In an ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases. The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialization”.

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Moving from prehistory to modern times utilizing literary and mummified remains, there is little occurrence or reference to cancer, until the 17th century, where the team found the first reports in scientific literature of operations for breast and other types of cancer.

It has been suggested that the short life span of individuals in antiquity precluded the development of cancer. Although this statistical construct is true, individuals in ancient Egypt and Greece did live long enough to develop such diseases as atherosclerosis, Paget’s disease of bone, and osteoporosis, and, in modern populations, bone tumors primarily affect the young.… Read the rest

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20% of Gay Men Are HIV-Positive

Wow - that's really high. Worse, half of them don't know it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in this report from TIME:
Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 1 in 5 sexually active gay and bisexual men in America are HIV-positive but that 44% of them don't know it. More than 8,000 self-identifying gay and bisexual men (or, as the researchers call them, MSM, for men who have sex with men) were tested by CDC workers in the 21 American cities with the highest infection rates. The gay population in Baltimore had the highest rates of HIV infection, at 38%, while Atlanta scored lowest, at 6%. The highest absolute number of infections occurred in white MSM...
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If HIV Was In Monkeys For Years, Why Didn’t We Get It?

CampbellMonkeyNeil Katz poses the question for CBS News:

The precursor to H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, may be older than you think. Way older.

According to new research, simian immunodeficiency virus (S.I.V.) has been in monkeys for millennia, potentially putting humans at risk for the last 32,000 years and possibly much longer.

And yet, for all that time, humans didn’t get sick in mass. Only in the 20th century did H.I.V. become a global scourge that has claimed 25 million lives.

Why?

According to the New York Times, for as long as monkeys have had S.I.V., humans who have butchered them have put themselves at risk of infection from a mutated form. But because the infected people in Africa were fairly isolated, the chances for an epidemic were small. That changed, some theorize, with the explosive growth of African cities and wide spread use of cheap syringes.

But the reality is, no one really knows for sure.

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Vitamin B Supplement Can Revolutionize Treatment Of Brain Disease

Photo: Ragesoss (CC)

Photo: Ragesoss (CC)

Vitamin B tablets could slow and even halt the devastating march of Alzheimer’s Disease in the elderly, according to a breakthrough British study reported in the Telegraph:

The research showed that large doses of the supplement could halve the rate of brain shrinkage – a physical symptom associated memory loss and dementia in the elderly.

The effects were so dramatic that the scientists behind the work believe it could revolutionise the treatment of the disease.

Brain shrinkage or atrophy is a natural part of ageing but it is known to be accelerated in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) – a kind of memory loss and forgetfulness – and Alzheimer’s. Scientists at the University of Oxford conducted a trial on 168 people and found that taking high doses of three vitamin B supplements every day reduced brain shrinkage associated with dementia by up to 53 per cent.

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A Cure For HIV And AIDS

A cure may not be so far from reality, as reported by ABC News:

For years, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) researchers have shied away from the whole notion of a cure, largely because evidence showed the virus can persist even under intensive treatment.

But now, they are — tentatively — expressing a renewed interest in the idea.

That interest is sparked by clinical data showing an apparent cure in a single case and some technical advances that make it easier to track very low levels of HIV infection, experts said at the International AIDS Conference here.

But progress is hampered by lack of money for research in the field and by what one prominent researcher called “fundamental gaps” in the understanding of how HIV and the human body interact…

[continues at ABC News]

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Controversial ‘Right-To-Die’ Billboards On New Jersey Roads

This billboard on Route 22 in Hillside, N.J., has many people up in arms. Courtesy CBS

This billboard on Route 22 in Hillside, N.J., has many people up in arms. Courtesy CBS

Let’s hope that people who agree with the message don’t decide to act on it while driving… Report from CBS:

The message on a billboard in New Jersey is stirring up a lot of controversy.

It centers on whether a person suffering from a painful disease has the right to take his or her own life.

The billboard looms over a busy section of Route 22 in Hillside, facing the eastbound lanes. Some drivers said they are confused by the message.

“My Life My Death My Choice. So what does that mean?” Hillside resident Steve Leo said.

The Final Exit Network paid for the advertisement that reads “My Life My Death My Choice” and offers a website. The national non-profit group said it provides guidance to adults who suffer from illnesses that are so painful that they want to end their lives.

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Choosing Healthy Foods Now Called A Mental Disorder

PepperseggplantsBy Mike Adams for Natural News:

In its never-ending attempt to fabricate “mental disorders” out of every human activity, the psychiatric industry is now pushing the most ridiculous disease they’ve invented yet: Healthy eating disorder.

This is no joke: If you focus on eating healthy foods, you’re “mentally diseased” and probably need some sort of chemical treatment involving powerful psychotropic drugs. The Guardian newspaper reports, “Fixation with healthy eating can be sign of serious psychological disorder” and goes on to claim this “disease” is called orthorexia nervosa — which is basically just Latin for “nervous about correct eating.”

But they can’t just called it “nervous healthy eating disorder” because that doesn’t sound like they know what they’re talking about. So they translate it into Latin where it sounds smart (even though it isn’t). That’s where most disease names come from: Doctors just describe the symptoms they see with a name like osteoporosis (which means “bones with holes in them”).

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