You Can Train Your Body Into Thinking It’s Had Medicine

The results were part of a well-known and seemingly mundane phenomenon that has been driving a quiet revolution in immunology. Its proponents hope that by cutting drug doses, it will not only minimise harmful side-effects but also slash billions from healthcare costs, transforming treatment for conditions such as autoimmune disorders and cancer. The secret? Teaching your body how to respond to a particular medicine, so that in future it can trigger the same change on its own.

Source: You can train your body into thinking it’s had medicine

This is at least a second cup kind of article, so I’ll be back because I’m curious if the effect is transferable.

Clinically, placebos been at least 50% as effective as real drugs.  But this is more than just a mere placebo effect. It’s a true form of conditioning the body’s response.  It creates a trigger based on sensations and memory whether the patient knows what they are taking is the real medicine or not. Placebos mimic medicine from the beginning and works more effectively if the patient is fooled into thinking it works. No deception is required here.

Why Expectant Mothers Shouldn’t Panic About Taking Antidepressants

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that women who take antidepressants during the mid-to-late stages of their pregnancy experience an 87% increased risk of having a child diagnosed with autism. Here’s what the study actually found and why there’s no immediate cause for alarm.

Source: Why Expectant Mothers Shouldn’t Panic About Taking Antidepressants

The problem isn’t that their math is wrong. The problem is that in this case – like many – a percentage is the wrong way to convey the data. Unless sensationalism is the goal.

Century-old Drug Reverses Autism-like Symptoms in Fragile X Mouse Model

Researchers previously reported that a drug used for almost a century to treat trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, reversed environmental autism-like symptoms in mice. Now, a new study suggests that a genetic form of autism-like symptoms in mice are also corrected with the drug, even when treatment was started in young adult mice.

Source: Century-old drug reverses autism-like symptoms in fragile X mouse model

  1. Suramin is not a drug that can be used for more than a few months without a risk of toxicity in humans.
  2. The effect is not permanent. The experimental mice’s autistic behaviours come back once the suramin has disappeared from their bodies. But these are interesting results.

For a very long time now, scientists have viewed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a cellular/genetic disorder and relatively recently researchers are now appreciating neuroimmunology as a whole. However, neuroimmunology is still a difficult field to work in, for a variety of reasons, so there is still a lot of potential in the near and distant future. The genetic, molecular, cellular, systems-level perturbations that lead to ASD do in fact underlie every mental disorder. The two are not mutually exclusive and in fact are dependent on one another.

For those who have ASD, or know someone who does, there’s research to suggest it’s worth considering ketogenic diet.  I’d first heard of the ketogenic diet being good for epileptics.

Study: BPS, BPA Alternative, Just as Bad

In a groundbreaking study, researchers have shown why a chemical once thought to be a safe alternative to bisphenol-A, which was abandoned by manufacturers of baby bottles and sippy cups after a public outcry, might itself be more harmful than BPA.

…BPA is an industrial chemical found in many polycarbonate plastics as well as epoxy resins, which are used to coat the inside of food cans. Over the past few years, dozens of studies have linked BPA, which mimics estrogen, with prostate cancer, infertility, asthma, heart disease and a number of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Source: BPA alternative disrupts normal brain-cell growth, is tied to hyperactivity, study says

Plastics are made from petroleum and a vast array of crazy modifying chemicals. We add chemicals to them to make them weatherproof, to color them, to prevent the color from bleeding, to prevent the plastic from hardening, to allow them to resist high temperature, to be soft, etc. Pretty much all of these chemicals are some form of noxious, often featuring a solvent, a chemical group that’s hardly ever friendly. The original petroleum product isn’t much better. At what point will we stop being surprised that petroleum products are unhealthy?

Look around your desk and ask which products will stop existing when we run out of oil. I’ll give you a hint, it’s anything with plastic in it.

Study: Swimming Improves Water Skills, Social Behaviors for Children with Autism

Autism typically includes limitations in social interactions and language use. These characteristics often limit how well caretakers can provide care and treatments to children with autism. In this study researchers examined the effects of a water exercise program on swimming skills and social behaviors in children with autism. They hoped to discover whether such an exercise/instructional program can be effectively taught to children with autism and if learning these skills might improve behavior as well.

Source: Swimming instruction program improves water skills and social behaviors for children with autism

You can’t just throw someone who is autistic into any social situation, expecting to improve social skills.  A welcome setting vs. an unfamiliar one is the difference between social development or panic/meltdown. Exercise is also a good outlet for feelings of uncertainty.  There’s little chance of injury/pain in swimming, aside from slipping on the deck or leg spasms.  And unless you’re doing something like water polo or synchronized swimming, it’s somewhat solitary and well defined rules about passing etiquette.

Study: Prenatal Iron May Lower Autism Risk

Moms-to-be looking for a way to cut down the chances of their kid having autism might start by being vigilant about taking prenatal iron supplements. That’s according to new research out of the University of California – Davis MIND Institute, which has found that a mom’s low iron intake was associated with up to a five-fold greater risk of autism in her child.

Source: Taking Prenatal Iron May Lower Your Child’s Risk of Autism

“We did not examine food iron in this study — we are collecting that information now — but typically foods are better sources of iron because you cannot get too much food iron, but you can get too much supplemental iron, which can be toxic,” Schmidt noted.

Check this link for a run-down of iron food sources.  Spinach barely comes out ahead of Swiss Chard…