Category Archives: Uncategorized

Vibration therapy: clinical applications in bone

Vibration therapy: clinical applications in bone – Free full-text PMC article – 2015 Jun

The musculoskeletal system is largely regulated through dynamic physical activity and is compromised by cessation of physical loading.

There is a need to recreate the anabolic effects of loading on the musculoskeletal system, especially in frail individuals who cannot exercise.

Vibration therapy is designed to be a nonpharmacological analogue of physical activity, with an intention to promote bone and muscle strength.   Continue reading

A Tiny Tweak to Gut Bacteria Can Extend an Animal’s Life

A Tiny Tweak to Gut Bacteria Can Extend an Animal’s Life – The Atlantic – Ed Yong –  JUN 15, 2017

Most of the worms in Meng Wang’s lab die on schedule. They live their brief lives on Petri dishes, and after two to three weeks, they die of old age.

But some individuals beat the odds, surviving for several days longer than usual.These wormy Methuselahs were all genetically identical, so it wasn’t their genes that explained their decelerated aging. Instead, the secret to their longevity lay in the microbes within their gut.

This is part of a growing number of studies showing that an animal’s microbiome—the community of microbes that shares its body—can influence its lifespan.   Continue reading

Literal text analysis of death certificates

Using Literal Text From the Death Certificate to Enhance Mortality Statistics: Characterizing Drug Involvement in Deaths – National Vital Statistics Reports – December 20, 2016

Extracting more accurate data from death certificates is critical to the study of drug overdoses and drug suicides.

This report describes the development and use of a method for analyzing the literal text from death certificates to enhance national mortality statistics on drug-involved deaths.

Drug-involved deaths include drug overdose deaths as well as other deaths where, according to death certificate literal text, drugs were associated with or contributed to the death.  Continue reading

EDS in children: a longitudinal cohort study

The natural history of children with joint hypermobility syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos hypermobility type: a longitudinal cohort study. – PubMed – NCBI – 2017 Apr

This is only an abstract, but I also posted an important comment from Rodney Grahame below it.

The objective of the manuscript was to describe the natural history of complaints and disability in children diagnosed with joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS)/Ehlers-Danlos-hypermobility type (EDS-HT) and to identify the constructs that underlie functional decline.


One hundred and one JHS/EDS-HT children were observed over 3 years and assessed at three time points on the following:   Continue reading

What causes depression?

What causes depression? – Harvard Health – Updated: April 11, 2017 – Published: June, 2009

It’s often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that figure of speech doesn’t capture how complex the disease is. Research suggests that depression doesn’t spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Rather, depression has many possible causes, including

  • faulty mood regulation by the brain,
  • genetic vulnerability,
  • stressful life events,
  • medications, and
  • medical problems.

It’s believed that several of these forces interact to bring on depression.  Continue reading

Opioid receptors: distinct roles in mood disorders

Opioid receptors: distinct roles in mood disorders – Trends Neurosci. 2014 Mar – free full-text PMC article

The roles of opioid receptors in pain and addiction have been extensively studied, but their function in mood disorders has received less attention.

Accumulating evidence from animal research reveal that mu, delta and kappa opioid receptors (MORs, DORs and KORs, respectively) exert highly distinct controls over mood-related processes.

DOR agonists and KOR antagonists have promising antidepressant potential, whereas the risk-benefit ratio of currently available MOR agonists as antidepressants remain difficult to evaluate, in addition to their inherent abuse liability.   Continue reading

The role of epigenetics in human adaptivity

On epigenetics: we need both Darwin’s and Lamarck’s theories | Aeon Essays – Nov 2016 – by Michael Skinner

This is just an interesting article about the general role of epigenetics in humans. Epigenetics seems to assure a level of randomness and changeability unavailable in our genetic codes, further complicating our efforts to find the “blueprint” for any individual.

By allowing genes to be switched on or off, epigenetics allows the environment, both external and internal to the body, to change the expression of our individual genetic code.

This gives us hope to alter some of how our bodies are genetically programmed to act through subtle changes in our biochemistry, and also assures a level of randomness unavailable in our genetic code. And this further complicates our efforts to find a firm “blueprint” for any individual.  Continue reading

Increase in patients using physician-assisted suicide

Study: Oregon patients using physician-assisted suicide steadily increase – By Lynne Terry | The Oregonian/OregonLive – April 06, 2017

The number of patients using the nation’s first physician-aided suicide program, Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, has continued to grow since voters first approved the law nearly two decades ago.

A new study shows a 12 percent yearly increase in lethal prescriptions from 1998 to 2013, with an unexplained jump of nearly 30 percent in 2015. The research doesn’t include 2016 numbers, which haven’t been released yet.  Continue reading

Surgeon General’s Report on Addiction

Surgeon General’s Report: Facing Addiction in America
The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) summarizes strength of evidence as:

  • “Well-supported”: when evidence is derived from multiple controlled trials or large-scale population studies;
  • “Supported”: when evidence is derived from rigorous but fewer or smaller trials; and
  • “Promising”: when evidence is derived from a practical or clinical sense and is widely practiced.

This is exactly the kind of evidence they did NOT find for the recommendations in the CDC opioid prescribing guideline.  Continue reading

Free market ideology doesn’t work for health care

Free market ideology doesn’t work for health care | Center for Public Integrity – June 8, 2015 – By Wendell Potter

In my column last week I suggested that one of the reasons Americans tolerate paying so much more for health care than citizens of any other country — and getting less to show for it — is our gullibility.

We’ve been far too willing to believe the self-serving propaganda we’ve been fed for decades by health insurers and pharmaceutical companies and every other part of the medical-industrial complex.  Continue reading