Tag Archives | Medicine

Study Suggests Marijuana Could Prevent The Spread Of HIV

HIV-budding-ColorShould weed be part of AIDS prevention? Daily marijuana use by the HIV-positive could block them from infecting others, the Daily Beast reports:

The study itself was fairly simple. For 17 months, Dr. Molina and her team at Louisiana State University administered a high concentration of THC to 4-to-6-year-old male rhesus monkeys who were RIV-positive (a virus in chimps similar to HIV), twice daily. An examination of the tissue in their intestines before and after the chronic THC exposure revealed dramatic decreases in immune tissue damage in the stomach and a significant increase in the numbers of normal cells.

During HIV infection, one of the earliest effects is that the virus spreads rapidly throughout the body and kills a significant part of cells in the gut and intestine. This activity damages the gut in a way that allows the HIV to leak through the cell wall of the intestines and into the bloodstream.

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Why Ordinary Food Will be the Future of Medicine

Pic: GardenKitty (CC)

Pic: GardenKitty (CC)

T. Colin Campbell, one the featured scientists/doctors in the breakout documentary Planeat, writes at CounterPunch:

The Problem

Few issues have become so intensely debated and politically charged as the need to reform the health care system. This debate has resulted in the ObamaCare program (The Affordable Care Act), which aims to expand and improve health care, thereby reducing health care costs.

Presently, US health care costs constitute 18% of GDP, up from about 5% around 1970 (1). These costs are burdensome and many sectors of our society are paying the price. School programs are being scaled back because of the escalating costs of retiree health care benefit programs, as illustrated in Michigan where they are “laying off teachers, scrapping programs and mothballing extracurricular activities…[because of]…health care bills of retirees.“(2). About 60% of personal bankruptcies are now attributed to medical care costs (3) and these rising costs are eroding family incomes (4), among many other devastating outcomes.

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“Epidemic Of Sleep” Reported In Village In Kazakhstan

sleepingIs it mass hysteria? A mysterious epidemic that could grind society to a halt? Or perhaps a logical response to the complexities of modern life? Via Brazil Weird News:

An “Epidemic of Sleep” is how doctors are calling a strange disease that spread among the villagers of Kalachi, Akmola region, Kazakhstan.

Local TV channel KTK reported that, even now, nothing is known about the cause of the disorder. It was found that the affected people are not close nor had any fortuitous contact with each other.

The complaints relate symptoms such as weakness, fainting, even hallucinations. All victims begin to feel an irresistible desire to sleep. Village resident Hope Yakimova said: “People are falling sleeping suddenly, anywhere, standing or sitting.”

Radiation levels and samples of air, water, and soil were measured across town. The blood of the victims was also analyzed seeking traces of heavy metals and other toxic substances.

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Scientist Says Ayahuasca May Fight Cancer

ayahuascaVia SAGE Open Medicine, Brazilian scientist Eduardo E. Schenberg lays out psychedelic shamanic drug’s possible anti-tumor properties in great detail and calls for further investigation into its use as an alternative cancer treatment:

Used for centuries in the Amazon basin by healers and shamans for many different purposes, including the healing and curing of illnesses, ayahuasca is a plant decoction that may be useful in the treatment of some types of cancer. The decoction is most commonly made of two plants in two possible combinations: Banisteriopsis caapi with Psychotria viridis or B. caapi with Diplopterys cabrerana.

There are at least nine reports of cancer patients who consumed ayahuasca during their treatment. Four were reported in a peer-reviewed article, one in an institutional magazine, one in Internet sources, two in a scientific conference (later mentioned in a peer-reviewed article), and one in a book. The origins of these cancers were the prostate, colon, ovaries, breast, uterus, stomach, and brain.

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People Who Drink Their Own Urine Each Morning For Good Health

urineOPEN Magazine has the hottest alternative health secret to start off 2014:

77-year-old south Mumbai resident Sudarshan Dheer’s daily routine begins by waking at 4:30 am and drinking a glass of his own urine. When he is afflicted by an infection or any other ailment, he increases the usage to three times a day. While all this might sound unpalatable, Dheer is part of large community of people who believe that the consumption of one’s own urine gives a huge boost to immunity.

Dheer heard about auto urine therapy (AUT), as it is called, nearly four decades ago when he had a painful viral infection. Somebody told him to read a book called Water of Life, the bible of urine drinkers written by John Armstrong. Dheer began to drink urine and his ailment came under control.

Morarji Desai, the late Prime Minister of India, was a urine drinker who felt no coyness in talking about it.

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Brain Surgery Gives Woman “Hyper Empathy”

mindShould this procedure be made mandatory? Via the Huffington Post:

A woman developed “hyper empathy” after having a part of her brain called the amygdala removed in an effort to treat her severe epilepsy, according to a report of her case.

Doctors removed parts of her temporal lobe, including the amygdala. The surgery is a common treatment for people with severe forms of temporal lobe epilepsy.

After the surgery, the woman reported a “new, spectacular emotional arousal,” that has persisted for 13 years to this date. Her empathy seemed to transcend her body — the woman reported feeling physical effects along with her emotions, such as a “spin at the heart” when experiencing empathic sadness or anger. She reported these feelings when seeing people on TV, meeting people in person, or reading about characters in novels.

She also described an increased ability to decode others’ mental states, including their emotions.

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Chinese Doctors Temporarily Attach Man’s Hand To His Foot

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.38.15 AMKind of gruesome, but I guess you have to give the doctors a hand for thinking quick on their feet.

Via Newser:

Fast-thinking doctors in China are trying to save a man’s severed hand by temporarily reattaching it to his foot, the Daily Mail reports. Xiao Wei cut off his hand in a work accident early last month, leaving him “shocked and frozen on the spot,” he said, “until co-workers unplugged the machine and retrieved my hand and took me to the hospital.” Local doctors couldn’t help, so he went to a regional facility where experts gave him a second look. “I am still young, and I couldn’t imagine life without a right hand,” Wei said.

Doctors attached the hand to his ankle to keep it alive until they can perform a proper surgery.

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Study Suggests That Meditation Changes The Body’s Gene Expression

buddhaVia ScienceDaily, how changing your mind changes your body:

A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.

The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.

“Interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain.

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U.S. Health Care vs. Socialized Health Care

Say what you want about the PPACA legislation (I certainly don’t support it), it’s getting harder and harder to defend privatized, for-profit medicine when the United States gets ranked below Costa Rica by the World Health Organization. And as much as I want to support government-run health care, it’s idiots like these guys which make me fear what might happen the next time I get sick and there just so happens to be a vote on who gets to be insured and who doesn’t that day. Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder what my life would be like if I grew up in Europe or north of the border.

VIA Christian Science Monitor

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Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future

Bsubtillis roseoflavinMaryn McKenna says that “After 85 years, antibiotics are growing impotent. So what will medicine, agriculture and everyday life look like if we lose these drugs entirely?”, writing at Food & Environment Reporting Network:

Predictions that we might sacrifice the antibiotic miracle have been around almost as long as the drugs themselves. Battlefield casualties got the first non-experimental doses of penicillin in 1943, quickly saving soldiers who had been close to death. But just two years later, the drug’s discoverer Sir Alexander Fleming warned that its benefit might not last. Accepting the 1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine, he said:

 “It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them… There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.”

As a biologist, Fleming knew that evolution was inevitable: sooner or later, bacteria would develop defenses against the compounds the nascent pharmaceutical industry was aiming at them.

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