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Breastfeeding cuts cancer risk

Breastfeeding 'cuts cancer risk'

Monday, 29 September 2008 10:08 UK

Breastfeeding for a year over the course of a woman's life helps cut the risk of breast cancer, research says.

The World Cancer Research Fund analysed 7,000 previous studies and found it reduced the risk by 4.8%.

Women have a one in nine chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime, meaning that the overall reduction in risk is just above 0.5%.

Researchers said it was important that women realised the positive effect of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has been linked to lower obesity levels in children and is known to confer immunity to the newborn against a clutch of infections, including respiratory diseases.

However, a recent survey found that only one in four women in the UK knew breastfeeding cut the chance of them developing breast cancer.

We want to get across the message that breastfeeding is something positive that women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer

Dr Rachel Thompson, lead researcher

Over three quarters of mothers initiate breastfeeding, but of this, only 22% are still breastfeeding at six months.

Breastfeeding has been found to lower the levels of some cancer-related hormones in the mother's body, reducing the risk of the disease.

At the end of breastfeeding, the body has also been found to rid itself of any cells in the breast that may have DNA damage. This reduces the risk of breast cancer developing in the future.

Lead researcher Dr Rachel Thompson said: "We want to get across the message that breastfeeding is something positive that women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

"Because the evidence that breastfeeding reduces breast cancer risk is convincing, we recommend women should breastfeed exclusively for six months and then continue with complementary feeding after that."

Dr Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of information, said: "Aside from family history, age, a previous breast cancer and certain benign breast conditions, we know that the major things that affect a woman’s risk of breast cancer include how early and how many children she has, how early she starts her periods and how late the menopause begins, and whether or not she chooses to breastfeed."

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Aspartame linked to neurons degeneration

Aspartame Consumption Again Linked to Degeneration of Brain Neurons

Thursday, September 25, 2008 by: David Gutierrez

High intake of the artificial sweetener aspartame may lead to the degeneration of brain cells and various mental disorders, according to a research review conducted by South African scientists from the University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"We propose that excessive aspartame ingestion might be involved in the pathogenesis of certain mental disorders, and also in compromised learning and emotional functioning," the researchers concluded.

The review of prior research found that aspartame, marketed as NutraSweet, Equal, Canderal and Tropicana Slim, leads to both direct and indirect changes in the brain when consumed in high quantities. Among these effects, the chemical can disrupt amino acid metabolism and structure, degrade nucleic acids, and interfere with the function of nerve cells and hormonal systems. It also appears to change the concentration of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

The researchers also noted that aspartame appears to cause excessive signaling of nerve cells, and nerve cell damage or even death. By disrupting the functioning of the cells' mitochondria, or energy source, aspartame leads to a cascade of effects on the whole system.

"The energy systems for certain required enzyme reactions become compromised, thus indirectly leading to the inability of enzymes to function optimally," the researchers wrote.

This directly contradicts a review published in 2007, which concluded that "aspartame is safe at current levels of consumption … no credible evidence was found that aspartame is carcinogenic, neurotoxic, or has any other adverse effect on health."

Aspartame is a widely used artificial sweetener, particularly in food and beverage products marketed as low calorie or "diet." It is used in more than 6,000 products around the world.

The chemical has been controversial since its introduction, with a number of studies linking it to cancer and neurological and behavioral disorders. People have reported experiencing headaches, insomnia and even seizures from aspartame consumption.

The FDA and the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), however, continue to insist that the sweetener is safe.

Sources for this story include: foodqualitynews.com.

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Birds population is in danger !

Catastrophic fall in numbers reveals bird populations in crisis throughout the world

By Michael McCarthy
Monday, 22 September 2008

The birds of the world are in serious trouble, and common species are in now decline all over the globe, a comprehensive new review suggests today.

From the turtle doves of Europe to the vultures of India, from the bobwhite quails of the US to the yellow cardinals of Argentina, from the eagles of Africa to the albatrosses of the Southern Ocean, the numbers of once-familiar birds are tumbling everywhere, according to the study from the conservation partnership BirdLife International.

Their falling populations are compelling evidence of a rapid deterioration in the global environment that is affecting all life on earth – including human life, BirdLife says in its report, State of The World's Birds.

The report, released today with an accompanying website at the BirdLife World Conservation Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, identifies many key global threats, including the intensification of industrial-scale agriculture and fishing, the spread of invasive species, logging, and the replacement of natural forest with monocultural plantations.

It goes on to suggest that in the long term, human-induced climate change may be the most serious stress.

Based in Cambridge, BirdLife International is a global alliance of conservation organisations working in more than 100 countries and territories which is now the leading authority on the status of birds, their habitats and the issues and problems affecting them.

When brought together, as in its new report, the regional pictures of bird declines combine to present a startling picture of a whole class of living things on a steep downward slope.

A remarkable 45 per cent of common European birds are declining, with the familiar European turtle dove, for example, having lost 62 per cent of its population in the last 25 years, while on the other side of the globe, resident Australian wading birds have seen population losses of 81 per cent in the same period.

Twenty common North American birds have more than halved in number in the last four decades, while in Asia, the millions of white-rumped vultures which once filled the skies have crashed by 99.9 per cent and the species is now critically endangered.

"Many of these birds have been a familiar part of our everyday lives, and people who would not necessarily have noticed other environmental indicators have seen their numbers slipping away, and are wondering why," said Dr Mike Rands, BirdLife's chief executive.

All the world's governments have committed themselves to slowing or halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010, but reluctance to commit what are often trivial sums in terms of national budgets means that this target is almost certain to be missed, according to the report.

"Birds provide an accurate and easy-to-read environmental barometer, allowing us to see clearly the pressures our current way of life are putting on the world's biodiversity," Dr Rands said.

"Because these creatures are found almost everywhere on earth, they can act as our eyes and ears, and what they are telling us is that the deterioration in biodiversity and the environment is accelerating, not slowing.

"Effective biodiversity conservation is easily affordable, requiring relatively trivial sums at the scale of the global economy. For example, to maintain the protected area network which would safeguard 90 percent of Africa's biodiversity would cost less than $1bn a year. Yet in a typical year, the global community provides about $300m.

"The world is failing in its 2010 pledge. The challenge is to harness international biodiversity commitments and ensure that concrete actions are taken now."

The State of the World's Birds report can be found at www.birdlife.org/sowb

Birds in peril


The report highlights the decline of common European birds. An analysis of 124 of Europe's common birds over a 26-year period reveals that 56 species (45 per cent) have declined across 20 European countries, with farmland birds badly hit. The familiar common cuckoo Cuculus canorus has declined by 17 per cent. The European turtle dove Streptopelia turtur, grey partridge Perdix perdix and corn bunting Miliaria calandra have dropped 62, 79 and 61 per cent respectively.

*African migrants to Europe

Birds migrating between Europe, the Middle East and Africa have suffered 40 per cent population declines over three decades. "Birds impacted by agricultural intensification in Europe may suffer excessive hunting in the Middle East and desertification of African wintering grounds," warned Dr Rands. "The Eurasian wryneck Jynx torquilla, northern wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe, and common nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos are vanishing."


Birds of prey are in widespread decline. In just three decades, 11 eagle species declined by 86-98 per cent in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. In addition, six large vulture species – including the once widespread Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus – have suffered very dramatic losses.

*Middle East and Central Asia

Many common species such as the Eurasian eagle owl Bubo bubo are under pressure. "The global population of Houbara bustard Chlamydotis undulata may have fallen 35 per cent in the past 20 years," noted Dr Rands.


"Thirty years ago, tens of millions of white-rumped vultures Gyps bengalensis were flying the skies of Asia. The species was probably the most abundant large bird of prey in the world: it is now on the brink of extinction," Dr Rands said. Numbers have fallen by 99.9 per cent since 1992. "Migratory shorebirds and the wetland habitats they rely on for their annual journeys, are also under threat," added Dr Rands. Sixty-two percent of migratory waterbird species in Asia are declining or extinct.

*North America

Twenty common species have suffered population declines of over 50 per cent in the last 40 years. "Northern bobwhite, Colinus virginianus, has declined the most dramatically, with population reductions of 82 per cent," noted Dr Rands. Other widespread species suffering include the evening grosbeak Coccothraustes vespertinus (78 per cent), northern pintail Anas acuta (77 per cent) and boreal chickadee Poecile hudsonicus (73 per cent).

*North America to Latin America migrants

"57 per cent of neotropical [Central and South American] migrants monitored at their breeding grounds in the US have suffered declines over the last four decades," warned Dr Rands. "Migratory species such as the Wilson's phalarope Steganopus tricolor and semipalmated sandpiper Calidris pusilla are disappearing."

*Latin America

Bird monitoring in El Salvador reports that 25 per cent of common resident species – including the flame-coloured tanager Piranga bidentata, chestnut-capped brush-finch Arremon brunneinucha, and collared trogon Trogon collaris – have experienced significant declines over the last decade. No monitored species saw their numbers rise. "Formerly widespread species like the yellow cardinal Gubernatrix cristata, once common in Argentina, are endangered," noted Dr Rands.


"Studies of resident Australian waders reveal that 81 per cent of their populations disappeared in 25 years," said Dr Rands. Seabirds are threatened at a faster rate globally than all other groups. Nineteen of the 22 species of albatross are threatened with extinction, including the critically endangered Chatham albatross Thalassarche eremita.

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Inhalers may harm the heart's health

Inhalers may up heart death risk

Wednesday, 24 September 2008 08:58 UK

Inhalers prescribed for serious lung disease may increase the risk of deadly heart problems, say researchers.

Trials on more than 15,000 patients found inhaled anticholinergic drugs increased the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death by 58%.

The drugs, Atrovent and Spriva, open up the airways to help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to breathe.

The work is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More than two million prescriptions for anticholinergic inhalers were issued in England last year, according to the researchers from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the US and the University of East Anglia in the UK.

In the 17 trials that they analysed, long-term use (more than 30 days) of the two anticholinergics ipratropium (Atrovent) and tiotropium (Spiriva) increased the risk of a heart attack by 53% and the risk of cardiovascular death by 80%.

This would mean the drugs could cause one in 40 users to die from a heart condition and one in 174 to have a heart attack, say the researchers.

Risks versus benefits

But they said these risks had to be balanced against the benefits of using an inhaler - they improve patients' quality of life by preventing disease exacerbations and COPD-related hospitalisations.

Researcher Dr Yoon Loke said: "It is a relatively small risk - about 3% of users develop problems - but the risk is serious. They may cause heart attacks and death.

"There are alternatives. If you know that your inhaler contains anticholinergics, my advice would be to ask your doctor to prescribe a different inhaler, particularly if you have a history of heart trouble or are at high risk of heart disease."

He said the vast majority of people with COPD are or have been heavy smokers, so they are already at heightened risk of heart attacks.

The current study was unable to determine if these risk factors influenced the findings.

Conflicting opinion

Dr Loke's team started to look at the problem after the manufacturers issued a warning earlier this year through the US Food and Drug Administration that there could be a higher risk of stroke as a result of using these inhalers.

Boehringer Ingelheim said it strongly disagreed with Dr Loke's findings. Its latest analysis of 30 placebo-controlled double-blind, randomised trials with data from 19,545 COPD patients "demonstrated that there is no increased risk of death (all-cause) or death due to cardiovascular events" in patients treated with Spiriva.

Dr Keith Prowse, chairman of the British Lung Foundation, said: "Anticholinergic agents are a very useful and important medication for a large number of people with COPD.

"This study highlights a possible risk of heart attack associated with the medication but the authors acknowledge that there is insufficient data to allow full analysis of other risk factors, including hypertension and pre-existing heart disease, so we need more research to establish accurate levels of risk.

Blue or grey inhalers are 'relievers' and contain bronchodilators to open the airways
There are several different reliever drugs, including beta agonists like salbutamol and anticholinergics like ipratropium
Brown inhalers are 'preventers' and usually contain a steroid drug

"In the meantime, people should discuss any concerns they have with their GP."

Judy O'Sullivan, cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "Anyone with COPD who is benefitting from taking anticholinergic inhalers should not stop taking them based on this study alone."

COPD caused over 27,000 deaths in the UK in 2004, and is projected to be the world's fifth biggest killer by 2020.

Elaine Vickers, research manager at Asthma UK, said: "This research looks solely at people with COPD who, unlike most people with asthma, have irreversible damage to their airways.

"This study looks specifically at medicines not commonly used to treat asthma and if you have asthma it is vital that you take your medicines as prescribed.

"If you have any concerns please speak with your doctor or asthma nurse or call the Asthma UK Adviceline on 08457 01 02 03."


Antidepressants may harm sperm

Antidepressants 'may harm sperm'

Wednesday, 24 September 2008 18:01 UK

Drugs taken by millions of men to alleviate depression may affect their fertility, say US scientists.

A small number of healthy men given the antidepressant paroxetine for four weeks had far higher levels of sperm with damaged DNA.

The results, reported in New Scientist magazine, do not necessarily mean these men would have serious problems becoming a father.

However, a UK fertility specialist said they were a "cause for concern".

Paroxetine, sold as Seroxat or Paxil, is one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the UK.

This is the second study by a team of researchers at Cornell Medical Center in New York which points to a possible effect on sperm quality.

They recruited 35 healthy volunteers who provided sperm samples before and during paroxetine treatment.

Under the microscope, there appeared to be not much difference between the "before" and "after" samples, with the shape and movement of sperm apparently normal in both samples.

However, tests on "DNA fragmentation" produced a different result.

Some sperm with DNA problems can be found in every sample, and 13.8% of sperm cells in those produced before treatment were found to be fragmented.

However, at the four week mark, this had risen to 30.3%.

A key question is whether this change would be enough to affect overall fertility, or whether the remaining 70% of unaffected sperm would be enough to produce a viable pregnancy.

In couples undergoing IVF, studies have found that couples where the man's sperm has higher levels of DNA damage produce fewer embryos, and their embryos are less likely to implant successfully in the womb.

More work needed

Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in Andrology at the University of Sheffield, said that while there had been "sporadic reports" that antidepressants could affect semen quality, more research would be needed to help scientists evaluate the risk.

"The apparent increase in sperm DNA damage is alarming, although the level at which we think the damage becomes clinically significant is controversial to many scientists.

"It is a shame that the authors appear not to have conducted a randomised controlled trial which would be the most scientific way to investigate the drugs effects, but I agree that the results are of concern and need to be investigated further."

The drug's maker, GlaxoSmithKline said it intended to review the study's findings.

Marjorie Wallace, from the mental health charity Sane, said that patients should wait for larger studies: "While these results may be worrying for people taking antidepressants who hope to conceive, it is important to note that this is a preliminary study with a small sample group.

"We would be worried if this study caused patients to stop their treatment and would urge anyone with concerns to consult their doctor.

"Antidepressants can be a lifeline for many people, and the risk of relapse must be borne in mind in balancing the risks and benefits of these drugs."

Dr Andrew McCulloch, of the Mental Health Foundation, said: "Most medications carry some level of risk, and antidepressants are no different.

"They are powerful drugs, so in a sense it is no surprise that research is discovering more about their impact on the body.

"More investment is needed in other mental health treatments such as talking therapies and exercise therapy.

"However, we should remember that SSRIs have changed many lives for the better and that any decision about changing or stopping your medication should be discussed with your doctor."



The link between the bras and breast cancer


The Link Between Bras And Breast Cancer

By William Thomas

If you didn't burn yours in the 'Sixties, you might want to put it away now. "Bras cause breast cancer. It's open and shut," says medical researcher Syd Singer.

The Singers became breast cancer sleuths in 1991. On the day Soma discovered a lump in her breast, the husband-wife team was studying the effects of Western medicine on Fijians. In the shower, Syd noticed that Soma's shoulders and breasts were outlined by dark red grooves. He remembered a puzzled Fijian woman asking his wife about her brassiere: "Doesn't it feel tight?"

"You get used to it," Soma had replied.

Could bras be constricting breast tissue, Syd wondered, hampering lymph drainage and causing degeneration?

Soma decided to stop wearing hers. But when Syd searched the medical literature he found no known causes of breast cancer, which rarely appears before a woman's mid- thirties, most often after 40. The highest death rates from breast cancer are in North America and northern Europe, with the developing world catching up fast.

The World Health Organization calls chemical toxins the primary cause of cancer. But poisons accumulating in breast tissue are normally flushed by clear lymph fluid into large clusters of lymph nodes nestling in the armpits and upper chest. The Singers found that "because lymphatic vessels are very thin, they are extremely sensitive to pressure and are easily compressed." Chronic minimal pressure on the breasts can cause lymph valves and vessels to close.

"Less oxygen and fewer nutrients are delivered to the cells, while waste products are not flushed away," the Singers noted. After 15 or 20 years of bra-constricted lymph drainage, cancer can result.

Looking at other cultures, Soma and Syd were struck by the low incidence of breast cancer in poorer nations awash in pesticides dumped by northern nations. They didn't find peasant women wearing push-up bras. Instead, they discovered that the Maoris of New Zealand integrated into white culture have the same rate of breast cancer, while Australia's marginalized aboriginals have virtually no breast cancer. The same trend held for "Westernized" Japanese, Fijians and other bra-converted cultures.

in Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, the researchers also observed that just before a woman begins her period, estrogen floods her system, causing her breasts to swell. If she continues wearing the same bra size, life-saving lymphatics will be even more tightly squished. Had they found the "estrogen link" to breast cancer?

Childless women never fully develop their breast-cleansing lymphatic system. Nor do women who have never breast-fed. Working women who wear bras everyday and postpone having children could be at higher risk, the Singers warn.

Even worse, a young woman's coming of age is often "marked" by her first bra. Like the ancient Chinese practice of foot-binding, "breast-binding" at puberty can eventually lead to severe medical complications.

Could bras be the "missing link" in a growing epidemic of breast cancer? Beginning in May, 1991, Soma and Syd Singer's 30-month Bra and Breast Cancer study interviewed some 4,000 women in five major U.S. cities. All were Caucasian of mostly "medium income" ranging in age from 30 to 79. Half had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Almost all of the women interviewed were unhappy with the size or shape of their breasts. Women who chose a bra for appearance, ignoring soreness and swelling, had twice the rate of breast cancer of those who did not.

But the most startling statistic was how many women who wore their daytime bras to sleep contracted breast cancer. So did one out seven women strapped into a bra more than 12 hours a day. Bra-free women have just a one in 168 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer, says Singer. The same as bra-free men.

"Don't sleep in your bra!" Syd Singer pleads. "Women who want to avoid breast cancer should wear a bra for the shortest period of time possible - certainly for less than 12 hours daily."

Syd also submits that some 80% of bra-wearers who experience lumps, cysts and tenderness will see those symptoms vanish, "within a month of getting rid of the bra."

Not everyone is ready to hang up her halter. As one woman told the team, "My tits will sag all the way to my navel without a bra." But Surgeon Christine Haycock at the New Jersey College of Medicine says that inherited traits - not ligaments or breast size - are the reason some breasts give in to gravity. Bouncing bosoms help clear the lymphatics.

Well aware that their findings were "explosive," the Singers sent their survey results to the heads of America's most prestigious cancer organizations and institutes. None responded. Like the cancer business, the bra business is huge. Multiply how many worldwide women buy several $25 bras every year and you end up with a multiple of the $6 billion-a-year U.S. bra business.

Syd Singer says that establishment censorship of the bra-breast cancer connection is killing women. Pointing to the biggest commonality among breast cancer patients, he's emphatic that it's bra-squeezed lymphatics.

Going bra-less for all occasions, Soma began dressing to de-emphasize her breasts. She also began regular breast massage and bicycle riding, vitamin and herbal supplementation, and drinking only purified water.

Two months later, her lump disappeared.

At the first frightening sign of a lump, an angry Syd Singer says, "women should take their bras off before they take their breasts off." Why wait, when you can liberate your lymphatics now?

REMEMBER: A spectacularly bad combination is wearing a bra and using a cellphone.

Push-up and sports bras are out. Choose loose-fitting cotton bras. Make sure you can slip two fingers under the shoulder-straps and side- panels. The higher the side-panels, the more severe the restriction of major lymph nodes. Don't wear this disastrous device to sleep. Take it off at home. Massage your breasts every time you remove your bra. Sing your lymphatics into health - or at least breathe deeply.

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Music-improving and treating the brain activity

(NaturalNews) Music, the universal language of mood, emotion and desire, connects with us through a wide variety of neural systems. Researchers have discovered evidence that music stimulates specific regions of the brain responsible for memory, language and motor control. They have located specific areas of mental activity linked to the emotional responses elicited by music. Now new research conclusions have identified how the affect of music could replicate the effects of hormone replacement therapy in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The August 7 issue of Medical Hypotheses reports these conclusions resulting from experience that has shown music to be useful in therapy for neuropsychiatric disorders resulting from both functional and organic origins. However, the mechanisms of the action of music on the brain have remained largely unknown despite an increase in scientific studies on the topic.

The results of past studies have clarified that music influences and affects cranial nerves in humans from fetus to adult. To explain how it works at the cellular level, researchers proposed that the neurogenesis, regeneration and repair of the cerebral nerves are the result of adjustments through the secretion of steroid hormones ultimately leading to cerebral plasticity.

Music affects levels of such steroids as cortisone, testosterone and estrogen, and it is believed that music also affects the receptor genes related to these substances and related proteins. Unlike supplementing the brain through hormone replacement therapy which can have side effects, music is natural, and its existence is universal and mundane. If music can be used in medical care, the application of such a safe and inexpensive therapeutic option is limitless.

It has also been shown that music is able to improve the mood state of people with psychiatric disorders, ameliorate the cognitive deficits in those with dementia, and increase motor functioning in Parkinson patients, as documented in the September 18, 2007 edition of Behavioural Pharmacology. Researchers investigated the effect of music on brain neurotrophin production and behavior.

They exposed young adult mice to music with a slow rhythm for 21 consecutive days. At the end of the treatment period, the mice were tested for passive avoidance learning. The music-exposed mice showed increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus. Music exposure also significantly enhanced learning performance as measured by the passive avoidance test. They concluded that music exposure might be of help in several central nervous system pathologies.

Music influences the neuronal development in children

It was Luciano Pavarotti who said, "If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them." Music affects mood, concentration, creativity, and influences the ability to learn.

Neuronal connections in the brain of the infant and young child are formed through experiences and strengthened through repetitions until predictable pathways of cognitive processing are established. Once these pathways are formed, it is as though they are hardwired and cannot be changed without much effort. Music and rhythm is essential to the developing brain as it helps to create and strengthen more neural connections that allow for auditory processing. The act of processing music stimuli elaborates these neural connections in the brain, influencing processing quality of auditory stimuli over the lifetime.

The biology of music

"Undeniably, there is a biology of music," according to Harvard University Medical School neurobiologist Mark Jude Tramo. He sees it as beyond question that there is specialization within the brain for the processing of music. Music is a biological part of life as surely as it is an aesthetic part.

Studies as far back as 1990 found that the brain responds to harmony. Using a PET scanner to monitor changes in neural activity, neuroscientists at McGill University discovered that the part of the brain activated by music is dependent on whether or not the music is pleasant or dissonant.

The brain grows in response to musical training in the way a muscle responds to exercise. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston discovered that male musicians have larger brains than men who have not had extensive musical training. The cerebellums, that part of the brain containing 70 percent of the total brain's neurons, were 5 percent larger in expert male musicians.

Researchers have found evidence of the power of music to affect neural activity no matter where they looked in the brain, from primitive regions found in animals to more recently evolved areas thought to be strictly human such as the frontal lobes. Harmony, melody and rhythm invoke distinct patterns of brain activity.

This new research is beginning to help those involved in cognitive rehabilitation. Music is now used with patients with stroke, schizophrenia, Huntington's, Alzheimer's and traumatic brain injury among others.


Anisha Chirmule, "The Influence of Music on Neurons," Serendip

Marsha L. Miller Ph.D., "Investigating the Neurobiology of Music: Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Modulation in the Hippocampus of Young Adult Mice" the HD Lighthouse

Robert Lee Hotz, "Music Shows Potential to Heal Damaged Brains" (www.neilslade.com)

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Stress chain reactions and HOW to mend them

(NaturalNews) Chronic Fatigue with its debilitating constant tiredness, is a condition of our times, affecting teenagers, as well as men and women of all ages. But have you ever wondered what its real cause might be? Part 1 of this article series examines the hidden causes of Chronic Fatigue.

It might surprise you to learn stress is the culprit.

There are various kinds of stresses, but the one thing they all have in common is that it is always about survival. Stress is classified as a stress when it impacts our survival capacity in some way.

Let's define 5 major stress categories

1. Physical survival or basic life needs: enough food, shelter, clothing, money to get by. Very basic survival needs.

2. Biochemical stress: sleep deprivation, hormone imbalances, malnutrition and malabsorption, drugs and too much caffeine or stimulants.

3. Mental: work commitments, deadlines, constant work pressure, running away or avoiding work related confrontations, dealing with bosses and executives or study/exam pressure, over thinking, over analyzing. Many people experience this stress all the time.

4. Environmental stress: noise pollution and chemical toxicity from environment or sudden chemical toxicity such as mercury leakage from amalgam fillings or inhaling paint fumes.

5. Emotional stress: anything to do with any relationship, human connectedness, family, self worth etc., love and bonding.

Out of all the stress categories, the Mental and Emotional stresses create the most havoc in your mind/body system with debilitating symptoms particularly if the stress is prolonged.

A recent study on work-related stress is revealing, (http://au.news.yahoo.com/080123/15/15lx...) .

10,000 British public servants were assessed over a 12 year period by a team from University College in London. It was the first large-scale population study looking at the effects of stress from everyday working life on heart disease. During that time, seven surveys were conducted and chronically stressed workers were found -- people determined to be under severe pressure in the first two of the surveys -- had 68 per cent higher risk of developing heart disease.

Epidemiologist and study leader Tarani Chandola was quoted saying the findings suggest stress induced biological changes may play a more direct role than previously thought. This study provides the strongest evidence yet of how on-the-job stress raises the risk of heart disease by disrupting the body's internal systems.

"In the study, stressed workers also had lowered heart rate variability -- a sign of a poorly functioning, weak heart -- and higher-than-normal levels of cortisol, a "stress" hormone that provides a burst of energy for a fight-or-flight response.

"Too much cortisol circulating in the blood stream can damage blood vessels and the heart... If you are constantly stressed out, these biological stress systems become abnormal," Chandola said.

So what does Stress have to do with Chronic Fatigue?

Everything! According to Dr. Hans Selye, also known as the 'father of stress response' because he was the first medical doctor to elaborate on the GAS (General Adaptation Syndrome) response, ongoing stress leads to Chronic Fatigue and if not dealt with, complete adrenal failure and heart failure can be the result.

As an author of 1,700 scholarly papers and 39 books on how stress affects our entire system, Selye stated that headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety/panic attacks and cardiovascular and kidney diseases are brought on by stress.

"Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older," says Dr. Hans Selye.

What happens when any form of Stress impacts your life?

Stage 1: Alarm Reaction known as 'fight or flight'. In this stage your body is geared to ward off the impacting stress which could be anything or anyone, including our loved ones, any pressures for our time, money or love and challenges to our identity in any way.

In this stage, the body is alarmed by the stressors and mounts an aggressive anti-stress response to reduce stress levels. Some doctors call this the Early Fatigue stage.

Stage 2: Resistance Response. This is where the stress goes for some days, weeks, even months. In this hyper vigilant state, the body is resisting the ongoing stress but at the expense of the adrenal glands over-pumping the stress hormones.

Stage 3: Exhaustion. When the resistance stage goes on for longer than the body can physically cope with, exhaustion sets in after one or two years. In this stage, people normally start to experience Fibromyalgia, aches/pains, back-ache, muscle tension, severely suppressed immune system and muscle weakness. Many experience sluggishness and weight gain.

Stage 4: Failure. After a couple of years of over-pumping stress hormones daily, eventually, the adrenal glands become totally exhausted. People at this stage have a high chance of cardiovascular collapse, nervous breakdown, and according to Dr. Selye -- total collapse, even death.

To understand how and why Chronic Fatigue happens to us, we need a basic understanding of the functions of the adrenal glands. These are walnut-sized glands located on top of each kidney. Their purpose is to help the body deal with stress and help us to survive.

Adrenals are important control centers for many of the body's hormones. The outer layer of the gland, called the adrenal cortex, produces hormones including cortisol, DHEA, estrogen and testosterone. The centers of the glands produce adrenaline, the hormone named after them.

The basic task of your adrenal glands is to rush all your body's resources into "fight or flight" mode by increasing production of adrenaline and other hormones. When healthy, your adrenals can instantly increase your heart rate and blood pressure, release your energy stores for immediate use, slow your digestion and other secondary functions, and sharpen your senses.

When you are stressed, your adrenal glands produce cortisol in excess. Cortisol is also known as the death hormone, because it is highly toxic and catabolizes (literally tears down) muscle mass for energy, your organs, diminishes your strength and your speed of recovery and makes people unable to cope with daily life. Adrenal fatigue also known as Chronic Fatigue occurs when the amount of stress exceeds the capacity of the body to recover from the stressful challenges.

And that list of stressful challenges is endless, including:

* lack of sleep

* a demanding boss

* the threat of losing your job

* financial pressures

* personality conflicts

* yo-yo dieting

* relationship turmoil

* death or illness of a loved one

* skipping meals

* reliance on stimulants like caffeine and starchy carbs

* digestive problems

* over-exercise

* illness or infection

* unresolved emotional issues from our past or present

The result is adrenal glands that are constantly on high alert.

These are common symptoms that are directly related to stress

* Weight gain around the waist and inability to lose it.

* Regular bouts of colds/flu and other respiratory ailments.

* Reduced sex drive.

* Poor memory

* Lack of energy in the mornings and also in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm.

* Need coffee or stimulants to get going in the morning.

* Pain in the upper back or neck with no apparent reasons

* Mild depression

* Food allergies

* Increased effort to perform daily tasks

* Dry and thin skin

* Hypoglycemia – low blood sugar

* Nervousness

* Palpitations

* Unexplained hair loss

Every challenge to the mind and body creates a demand on the adrenal glands by secreting stress hormones, one of which is cortisol and when the levels are in excess it literally destroys the body.

The destructive effect of high cortisol levels

In its normal function, cortisol helps us meet the stressful challenges, by converting proteins into energy, releasing glycogen and counteracting inflammation. For a short time, that's okay. But at sustained high levels, cortisol gradually tears your body down.

Stress, as noted earlier, raises your cortisol levels and this affects not only your body, but also your whole brain function by reducing your ability to focus/concentrate and remember things, making you somewhat incoherent. If this is not bad enough, cortisol then diminishes your immune system, making you unable to 'turn up' for your life.

Why does it happen this way?

Obviously, to force us from 'soldiering on' so you are forced to deal with the stress itself, whatever it may be. It's usually at this point that people start seeking some form of professional help, as opposed to compensating and pretending they're coping with everything -- when the body is clearly in 'danger alarm mode', because the stress is not being addressed and the symptoms are piling up.

The mind is very good at fooling itself into a coping mechanism, yet your body will always reflect signs of stress. Often, people ignore them and start 'micromanaging' symptoms (the term I use in clinic when people focus on 1 symptom at a time), rather than understanding their own patterns of survival by looking at emotions/attitudes towards situations in their life and thus 'macro managing' their symptoms.

Hidden causes of stress

It's important to emphasize the role of emotional factors. Guilt, pain from past hurts, self-destructive habits, unresolved relationship problems -- your past and present emotional experience may serve as an ever-present stressor. Dealing with these problems directly is much more beneficial than trying to micromanage symptoms which lead to focusing on the symptoms rather than the causes, the stress itself.

Thoughts and emotions and our belief systems have the most debilitating effect on our mind/body system. Powerful emotions arise out of stress -- fear, frustration, anger, sadness, apathy, hopelessness -- and usually overwhelm when the person is too exhausted to deal with anything. All these have a profoundly toxic effect on the mind/body as they force the adrenals to release more stress hormones.

In summary, our ability to handle stress, physical or emotional, is a cornerstone to our human survival. Our adrenal glands are equipped to ward off and modulate all stress. When these glands become dysfunctional and/or exhausted, our body's ability to handle stress reduces, and multiple symptoms will arise.

Even though it is always the adrenals that need special attention in the initial recovery process of Chronic Fatigue, for complete recovery it is necessary to identify the emotional or mental stress, acknowledging the impact it has on the mind/body. Balancing the stress allows people to take responsibility for their symptoms and surrender to their own healing process.

Balancing Chronic Fatigue

In part 2, we will explore ways to address and balance Chronic Fatigue from the mind/body perspective by looking at practical ways of macro-managing this debilitating condition, instead of micro-managing each individual symptom which usually leads to more frustration or more exhaustion. Having the resources and the right tools to support the mind/body system during this very stressful time helps sufferers to retrain their mind-body system and enable them to respond more appropriately to similar stresses in the future.

In Wellness!

Teya Skae




Better Health Channel 2007, Chronic fatigue syndrome, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne, viewed 30 March 2007, (http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv...)

MDA Internet 2005, Reed Group Ltd, Colorado, viewed 27 April 2007, (http://www.mdainternet.com) (secure site) .

M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society of Victoria Inc. 2006, What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society of Victoria Inc, Melbourne, viewed 27 April 2007



Mobile phones increase brain cancer risk in children

Mobile phone use 'raises children's risk of brain cancer fivefold'

Geoffery Lean – The Independent September 21, 2008

Children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use mobile phones, startling new research indicates.

The study, experts say, raises fears that today's young people may suffer an "epidemic" of the disease in later life. At least nine out of 10 British 16-year-olds have their own handset, as do more than 40 per cent of primary schoolchildren.

Yet investigating dangers to the young has been omitted from a massive £3.1m British investigation of the risks of cancer from using mobile phones, launched this year, even though the official Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme – which is conducting it – admits that the issue is of the "highest priority".

Despite recommendations of an official report that the use of mobiles by children should be "minimised", the Government has done almost nothing to discourage it.

Last week the European Parliament voted by 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to bring in stricter limits for exposure to radiation from mobile and cordless phones, Wi-fi and other devices, partly because children are especially vulnerable to them. They are more at risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and because – since their heads are smaller and their skulls are thinner – the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains.

The Swedish research was reported this month at the first international conference on mobile phones and health.

It sprung from a further analysis of data from one of the biggest studies carried out into the risk that the radiation causes cancer, headed by Professor Lennart Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden. Professor Hardell told the conference – held at the Royal Society by the Radiation Research Trust – that "people who started mobile phone use before the age of 20" had more than five-fold increase in glioma", a cancer of the glial cells that support the central nervous system. The extra risk to young people of contracting the disease from using the cordless phone found in many homes was almost as great, at more than four times higher.

Those who started using mobiles young, he added, were also five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, benign but often disabling tumours of the auditory nerve, which usually cause deafness.

By contrast, people who were in their twenties before using handsets were only 50 per cent more likely to contract gliomas and just twice as likely to get acoustic neuromas.

Professor Hardell told the IoS: "This is a warning sign. It is very worrying. We should be taking precautions." He believes that children under 12 should not use mobiles except in emergencies and that teenagers should use hands-free devices or headsets and concentrate on texting. At 20 the danger diminishes because then the brain is fully developed. Indeed, he admits, the hazard to children and teenagers may be greater even than his results suggest, because the results of his study do not show the effects of their using the phones for many years. Most cancers take decades to develop, longer than mobile phones have been on the market.

The research has shown that adults who have used the handsets for more than 10 years are much more likely to get gliomas and acoustic neuromas, but he said that there was not enough data to show how such relatively long-term use would increase the risk for those who had started young.

He wants more research to be done, but the risks to children will not be studied in the MTHR study, which will follow 90,000 people in Britain. Professor David Coggon, the chairman of the programmes management committee, said they had not been included because other research was being done on young people by a study at Sweden's Kariolinska Institute.

He said: "It looks frightening to see a five-fold increase in cancer among people who started use in childhood," but he said he "would be extremely surprised" if the risk was shown to be so high once all the evidence was in.

But David Carpenter, dean of the School of Public Health at the State University of NewYork – who also attended the conference – said: "Children are spending significant time on mobile phones. We may be facing a public health crisis in an epidemic of brain cancers as a result of mobile phone use."

In 2000 and 2005, two official inquiries under Sir William Stewart, a former government chief scientist, recommended the use of mobile phones by children should be "discouraged" and "minimised".

But almost nothing has been done, and their use by the young has more than doubled since the turn of the millennium.

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Xerox invented UV ink

(NaturalNews) Xerox subsidiary Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) has developed a type of paper that, combined with a special printer, can print documents that erase themselves after a day so that the paper can be reused.

Xerox says that 25 percent of all documents get recycled the same day they are printed, and that 44.5 percent are intended only for a single viewing. Using the new printer and paper for one-shot documents like daily menus, work summaries and office memos could vastly reduce paper and energy use, the company said.

"Think of the Google map you printed to get here," PARC Area Manager Eric Shrader said at a product demonstration. "Thirty years ago, we said the future was paperless."

"Despite our reliance on computers to share and process information, there is still a strong dependence on the printed page for reading and absorbing content," said Paul Smith, manager of Xerox's new materials design and synthesis lab.

The new paper is coated with a chemical that turns dark upon exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In order to create a document, the printer simply bombards the paper with UV radiation in the appropriate places.

While the "ink" will eventually fade on its own, after 16 to 24 hours, the printer can also be used to erase a page and print something new. Tests by Xerox found that if it was not torn or crumpled, a single piece of paper could be put through the print-and-erase cycle hundreds of times.

According to Shrader, it takes 204,000 joules of energy to create a new piece of paper and 114,000 to recycle one. Printing onto a normal sheet of paper uses about 2,000 joules.

It takes only 100 joules to print one page of the special erasable paper. If the printer also has to erase the prior image, printing uses about 1,000 joules of energy.

The erasable paper and ink are available in a variety of colors. Xerox expects to take the new product commercial within the next few years.

Sources for this story include: www.news.com, www.xerox.com.


Granulocytes determine cancer potential

(NaturalNews) Researchers have discovered that immune cells known as granulocytes play a significant role in determining a person's resistance to cancer.

Scientists have known for some time that the immune system's NK cells can identify and eliminate tumor cells, but the population of NK cells in the body is very low compared to the population of granulocytes.

Researchers from Wake Forest University of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. tested the effectiveness of granulocytes by collecting the cells from blood samples of more than 100 people. They then added these cells to cultures of cervical cancer cells.

They found that the effectiveness of granulocytes varied widely from person to person, and also that it tended to vary over time for each individual. Within 24 hours, for example, the granulocytes from one person killed 97 percent of the cervical cancer cells in a sample, while the granulocytes from another killed only 2 percent. The researchers found that granulocytes were less effective in those over the age of 50, and significantly hampered in people who had cancer. Stress also reduced the cells' effectiveness, and their cancer-fighting potential fell further during winter months.

"Nobody seems to have any cancer-killing ability during the winter months from November to April," lead researcher Zheng Cui said.

The study was presented in September 2007 at the Strategies for Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence meeting in Cambridge, England.

Cui and colleagues are proceeding with research to see if it is possible to transfer the cancer-fighting ability of granulocytes from one person to another, so that cells from people with higher inherent cancer resistance could be injected into cancer patients.

Granulocyte injections have already been successfully used to boost general immune function in chemotherapy patients. In addition, a study by Cui and colleagues found that mice suffering from cancer could be successfully treated with injections of granulocytes from mice that were totally resistant to that cancer.

Sources for this story include: technology.newscientist.com.

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Baby paracetamol-asthma concerns

Baby paracetamol asthma concern

Friday, 19 September 2008 07:29 UK

Use of paracetamol in babies increases the risk of developing asthma five years later, a study of more than 200,000 children suggests.

Those given the painkiller for fever in the first year of life had a 46% increased risk of asthma by the age of six or seven, The Lancet reported.

Researchers do not know if the drug directly increases asthma risk or another underlying factor is to blame.

Experts said parents should still use the drug for high temperatures.

Increasing use of paracetamol in children has coincided with rising cases of asthma over the past 50 years, the researchers said.

This underlines the importance of a current recommendation that paracetamol should not be used regularly in young children and should be reserved for times when they have a fever of 39°C or more and are in obvious discomfort or pain

Professor Jeffrey Aronson

The latest study, carried out in 31 countries, is the largest to date looking at paracetamol use and childhood asthma.

Parents of children aged six and seven were asked questionnaires about symptoms of asthma, eczema and related allergic conditions in addition to details on paracetamol use for fever in the child's first year of life and the past 12 months.

The results also showed that higher doses and more regular use of the drug are associated with a greater risk of developing asthma.

Analysis of current use in 103,000 children showed those who had used paracetamol more than once a month in the past year had a three-fold increased risk of asthma.

Use of paracetamol was also associated with more severe asthma symptoms.

And risk of eczema and hayfever was also increased.

Cause and effect

One explanation for the findings is that paracetamol may cause changes in the body that leave a child more vulnerable to inflammation and allergies.

Another is that the use of paracetamol in children may be a marker for something else which is causing increased rates of asthma, such as lifestyle issues or the underlying infection causing the fever, experts said.

Study leader Professor Richard Beasley from the University of Auckland said: "We stress the findings do not constitute a reason to stop using paracetamol in childhood.

"However the findings do lend support to the current guidelines of the World Health Organization, which recommend that paracetamol should be reserved for children with a high fever (38.5C or above)."

Professor Jeffrey Aronson, president of the British Pharmacological Society, said the dose relationship with paracetamol and asthma suggested there was a real association between the two.

"This confirms previous findings and underlines the importance of a current recommendation that paracetamol should not be used regularly in young children and should be reserved for times when they have a fever and are in obvious discomfort or pain."

Leanne Male, Asthma UK's assistant director of research, said: "Despite a great deal of research being carried out, we still don't know how important different lifestyle and genetic factors are in affecting the development of asthma.

"If we can establish the mechanisms behind how paracetamol might affect it, this could go some way towards helping to prevent the condition in the first place.

"At this stage however, the use of paracetamol should not be a concern for parents or carers who are worried about the development of asthma in their children."


Cloned meat on American dinners

More “Frankenfoods” heading toward American dinner tables

Published on 19-09-2008 Email To Friend Print Version

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed legal framework which is expected to open the market to meat and milk produced from modified animals, which detractors have already termed "Frankenfood".

Such creatures, which could include new hen breeds capable of laying healthier eggs and cows that are immune to mad cow disease, have been developed already.

But producers have been discouraged from marketing their creations by the absence of clear rules governing such a controversial issue.

The government wants the guidelines to resolve questions such as as whether altered animals are safe for human consumption or whether they pose a risk to the environment.

"Genetic engineering of animals is here and has been here for some time," said Larisa Rudenko, a science policy adviser with the FDA's veterinary medicine centre.

"We intend to provide a rigorous, risk-based regulatory path for developers to follow to help ensure public health and the health of animals."

Consumer groups welcomed plans to regulate the area but were alarmed by apparent gaps in the proposals.

They pointed out that the FDA does not, for example, plan to insist that all such meat, fish and poultry be labeled as genetically-engineered.

"They are talking about pigs that are going to have mouse genes in them, and this is not going to be labeled," said Jean Halloran, director of food policy for Consumers Union. "We are close to speechless on this."

The FDA has already ruled that cloned animals - which are not the same - are safe to eat.

The agency will continue to exempt genetically-altered animals that pose little risk, such as aquarium fish that were recently changed so they would glow in the dark.

Genetically-engineered animals, which are created by the insertion of a gene from one species of animal into the DNA of another, could fulfil a similar role in food production to GM plants.

Genetic engineering is already widely used in agriculture to produce higher-yielding or disease-resistant crops. However, all sides are aware that consumers may be rather more alarmed by the idea of eating GM meat.


Cell phones can affect sperm quality

Cell phones can affect sperm quality, researcher says

(Source: cnn.com)

By A. Chris Gajilan

(CNN) -- Keeping a cell phone on talk mode in a pocket can decrease sperm quality, according to new research from the Cleveland Clinic.

"We believe that these devices are used because we consider them very safe, but it could cause harmful effects due to the proximity of the phones and the exposure that they are causing to the gonads," says lead researcher Ashok Agarwal, the Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine.

In the small study, Agarwal's team took semen samples from 32 men and brought them to the lab. Each man's sample was placed into small, conical tubes and divided into two parts: a test group and a control group. The control group was unexposed to cell phone emissions, but kept under the same conditions and temperature as the test group.

The semen in the test group was placed 2.5 centimeters from an 850 MHz cell phone in talk mode for 1 hour. Researchers say that 850 MHz is the most commonly used frequency.

They used the measurement of 2.5 centimeters to mimic the distance between the trouser pocket and the testes. Agarwal reasoned that many men keep their active cell phones in their pants pocket while talking on their headsets.

Overall, researchers found an increase in oxidative stress such as a significant increase in free radicals and oxidants and a decrease in antioxidants. Agarwal says that equals a decrease in sperm's quality, including motility and viability. Evidence of oxidative stress can appear under other conditions, including exposure to certain environmental pollutants or infections in the urinary genital tract.

"On average, there was an 85 percent increase in the amount of free radicals for all the subjects in the study. Free radicals have been linked to a variety of diseases in humans including cancer," said Agarwal. Free radicals have been linked to decreased sperm quality in previous studies.

However, the study does have major limitations, he acknowledged, such as the small sample size. It also was conducted in a lab and so cannot account for the protection a human body might offer, such as layers of skin, bone and tissue. Agarwal is in the early stages of further research that can model the human body's role in protecting from radio-frequency electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones.

Agarwal also admits that there is no clear explanation of this demonstrated effect, but he shared some of his theories. "Perhaps the cell phone radiation is able to affect the gonads through a thermal effect thereby increasing the temperature of the testes and causing damaging effects in the sperm cell."

In a previous study, Agarwal and his team found that men who used their cell phones more than four hours a day had significantly lower sperm quality than those who used their cell phones for less time. Those findings were based on self-reported data from 361 subjects.

While representatives from the cell phone industry had not yet reviewed the latest study, they were careful not to give this study much merit. "The weight of the published scientific evidence, in addition to the opinion of global health organizations, shows that there is no link between wireless usage and adverse health effects," said Joe Farren, a spokesman for the CTIA-the Wireless Association.

"We support good science and always have," he said. "It's important to look at studies that are peer-reviewed and published in leading journals and to listen to the experts."

Agarwal emphasized that it is far too early for men to start changing cell phone carrying habits, noting that his own cell phone was in his pocket as he talked to CNN.

"Our study has not provided proof that you should stop putting cell phones in your pocket. There are many things that need to be proven before we get to that stage," he said.

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Motto-ul zilei

"Dragostea te face blind, Remuscarile te fac uman, Esecurile te fac umil, Succesul te face stralucitor, Dumnezeu te face sa continui. "

Mahatma Gandhi

Love makes you kind, Regrets make you human, Failures make you humble, Success make you shining, God makes you go on forward.

Mahatma Gandhi


A new car concept based on hemp

Lotus Concept Car Body Made Out of Hemp

Published on 14-09-2008 Email To Friend Print Version

You wouldn’t read about it… Lotus have gone for a different type of ‘green’ by announcing an ‘Eco Elise’ made largely out of hemp… No need to check your calendar, it’s not April 1. The theory behind this radical new approach is that Lotus feels too much “green” car technology is simply concentrating on CO2 emissions at the tailpipe, where the manufacturing processes and materials in many cars are just as environmentally damaging.

To that end, the company is presenting a more holistic environmental focus. The car will be efficient as well as quick due to its light weight and advanced engine technology, but the company has gone further by using completely renewable materials like hemp body panels, eco wool and sisal carpets, cleaner manufacturing technologies, water-based paints and locally-sourced components that reduce the carbon miles inherent in the manufacturing process.

The company’s main plant has been overhauled in the name of efficiency and eco-friendliness, with vast reductions in water (11%), electricity (14%) and gas (30%) usage last year as compared to 2006 - and nearly 60% of all the waste product from Lotus’ manufacturing processes is now recycled.

Eco Elise drivers will be made well aware that their use of the pedal is a major factor in environmental impact; the dash will be focused on encouraging the driver to maximise fuel economy, with efficiency and fuel consumption meters constantly visible, and a ‘green shift’ light to show drivers where to change gears for maximum efficiency and minimum emissions.

It’s a bold and welcome strategy that goes beyond looking at mandated emissions figures to position Lotus as a market leader and example of eco-friendly business. It’s also resulted in a pretty stunning and unique car. Well done Lotus!

Press release follows.

Trackday Warrior Turns Eco Warrior

Lotus unveils the Eco Elise technology demonstrator at the British Motor Show, capitalising on great strides forward in green technology.

The Eco Elise project promotes a different perspective on “green”, one which does not revolve solely around tailpipe CO2. This holistic approach is in keeping with the progressive Lotus culture, driving Lotus to become the world’s green automotive consultancy.

Sustainable materials, hemp, eco wool and sisal have been developed for body panels and trim and, combined with hi-tech water based paint solutions, showcase new affordable green technologies. The green credentials of the technology on show in the Eco Elise have been analysed throughout the lifecycle of the car.

A green gear change display has been integrated into the dashboard to promote greener driving as well as a weight reduction programme, illustrating the holistic approach taken. The energy expended to manufacture the car has been evaluated, working to the 3R’s - Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.

Mike Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus plc commented “This Eco Elise is a great example of the advanced and affordable green technologies Lotus is developing. We are at the cutting edge of environmental technology and are determined to push forward with our green agenda. The Lotus brand values of lightweight, fuel efficient, and high performance are more relevant today than they ever have been. We are keen to ensure that Lotus as a company and its products offer an ethical, green option that appeals to our customers”.

In keeping with the “performance through light weight” philosophy, the Eco Elise weighs 32 kg (70.5 lbs) less than the standard Elise S, which means that the efficient Elise S engine in the Eco Elise will give higher fuel economy figures and even better performance.

Dramatic improvements to the culture and operations at Lotus has rewarded the company with staggering reductions in energy (Electricity 14%, Gas 30%) and water (11%) consumed across the Hethel headquarters in 2007, compared to 2006. These advances have coincided with improvements in recycling, with 57% of waste product now being recycled.

The new green materials sourced for this car have been carefully studied to ensure that each technology used reduces the environmental impact of the vehicle. The life of the components has been analysed; during the production stage, in-use and at the end of the vehicle’s life. The technology used aims to offer lower emissions of both solvents and CO2 in the lifecycle of the vehicle, with reductions in energy consumed during manufacture.

The Eco Elise will be displayed in the Greener Driving Pavilion at the British International Motor Show from 23rd July until 3rd August. The project displays affordable green technology that is intended to be feasible and production viable in the near term future.

The Lotus Eco Elise in more detail

The project focuses on developments in:

Sustainable materials

Cleaner manufacturing processes

Renewable energy generation

Reducing carbon miles

Efficient driving techniques

Weight reduction

The renewable materials have been incorporated into the project, with hemp, eco wool and sisal providing natural, biodegradable engineering materials. Cleaner manufacturing processes have been sought, utilising the latest water based paint technology. Using this paint system saves energy and reduces emissions of solvents from the paint shop. Solar panels have been set into the hemp hard top to help power the electrical systems and give a means of renewable energy generation.

With the use of locally farmed hemp, the carbon miles to produce the Eco Elise are reduced, in keeping with the holistic approach to this vehicle. The Eco Elise puts an emphasis on efficient driving techniques by using an “economy” gear change display to improve fuel efficiency and promote greener driving. The car has undergone a weight reduction programme to add a little extra lightness, assisting in more economical, greener driving.

Sustainable materials

Sustainable hemp technical fabrics have been used as the primary constituent in the high quality “A” class composite body panels and spoiler. The renewable hemp has exceptional material properties that make for a very strong fibre. Historically hemp has been used in the manufacture of rope, illustrating the great strength of the material.

The hemp fibres have also been used in the manufacture of the lightweight Lotus designed seats. An additional benefit of using hemp is that it is a natural resource that requires relatively low energy to manufacture and absorbs CO2 whilst growing as a plant through natural photosynthesis. This hemp material is used with a polyester resin to form a hybrid composite, however it is hoped that a fully recyclable composite resin will be viable in the short-term future.

The Eco Elise seats are upholstered in a durable yet, biodegradable woollen fabric that has been given the EU Flower certificate to exemplify its environmental credentials. This new material is ethically produced and does not use any dyes or harmful processing. In fact the colour is created from the selection of sheep breeds used to produce the wool for the yarn, which increases the natural feel of the wool and reduces the processing of the cloth.

Sisal is a renewable crop that, like hemp, is used for its strong material properties. Sisal has been used for the carpets in the Eco Elise, as it is a tough, abrasion resistant material. The use of these materials illustrates the capability at Lotus of utilising new, advanced materials and the flexibility of the manufacturing facilities.

Cleaner manufacturing processes

Whilst improving the green credentials of the Lotus production facilities, the Lotus Paint Facility, in partnership with Du Pont has developed a totally water-based paint system. This paint solution includes primer, colour coat and lacquer, and it is the first time that it has been possible to hand spray a water based “A” class production paint finish.

In using this progressive water based technology, Lotus is able to achieve impressive savings in energy consumption due to the low cure temperature this paint requires. An additional benefit of this paint system is the reduction in emissions of solvents, all of which contribute to substantial cost savings for Lotus. This is a result of the unique collaboration with Du Pont in pushing forward low-volume paint spraying technology. This technology is anticipated to be available in production cars in the near future.

Renewable energy generation

The hemp hard top on the Eco Elise has two flexible solar panels neatly embedded in the roof, contributing power to the electrical systems and saving energy that would be drained from the engine.

The solar panels have been integrated into the hard top to illustrate the feasibility of applying this technology. This application shows the installation of solar panels into a composite “A” class panel with a double curvature. Using this technology on a greater number of panels would make it possible to provide more power, especially on a larger vehicle.

Reduction in carbon miles

The hemp fibres have been farmed in East Anglia, thus reducing the carbon miles incurred in the production of this Elise. Lotus Manufacturing has component manufacturing facilities and a paint facility at its headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, with another manufacturing site a short distance away in Norwich. The company operates a carefully managed logistics system operating between sites to improve efficiency, reduce costs and carbon miles. This is a Kanban driven barcode system that has been adopted by key suppliers. The process also uses packaging that is recycled many times over to eliminate waste.

Efficient driving techniques

Lotus cars have red shift lights to help drivers extract the maximum performance from the engine. However for the Eco Elise, Lotus designed software has been developed to assist drivers in maximising the fuel efficiency of the engine. A green gear shift display has been integrated into the instrument panel to ensure that gears are changed at the optimum point to reduce emissions and save fuel.

Weight reduction

“Performance through light weight” is so synonymous with Lotus. The reduction in mass improves the handling and braking performance and also reduces the effort required to accelerate the car. The weight reduction philosophy has even extended to the audio system with an exceptionally lightweight stereo and speaker system from Alpine saving 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs). The system uses MP3/ iPod technology in a sleek modern design.

The Eco Elise uses special lightweight wheels that reduce the unsprung mass and contribute a weight saving of approximately 15.8 kg (34.8 lbs) over the already super light Elise wheels. The weight saving programme for the Eco Elise has resulted in a total saving of around 32 kg (70.5 lbs) over the feather light Elise S, which reduces the fuel required to drive the car.


Antibiotics in pregnancy affect babies brain

Antibiotic 'cerebral palsy link'

By Michelle Roberts
Health reporter, BBC News
Thursday, 18 September 2008 10:49 UK

A study has linked a small number of cases of cerebral palsy to antibiotics given to women in premature labour.

The UK study found 35 cases of cerebral palsy in 769 children of women without early broken waters given antibiotics.

This compared with 12 cases among 735 children of women not given the drugs. Advice is being sent to the study's 4,148 mothers and a helpline set up.

Medical experts stressed pregnant women should not feel concerned about taking antibiotics to treat infections.

These findings do not mean that antibiotics are unsafe for use in pregnancy

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Q&A: Pregnancy antibiotics and cerebral palsy

The Oracle study was the largest trial in the world into premature labour and was set up to investigate whether giving antibiotics - which might tackle an underlying symptomless infection - to women with signs of premature labour would improve outcomes for babies.

One in eight babies in the UK is born prematurely and prematurity is the leading cause of disability and of infant death in the first month after birth.

Premature labour

In 2001, ORACLE found the antibiotic erythromycin had immediate benefits for women in premature labour (before 37 weeks gestation) whose waters had broken. It delayed onset of labour and reduced the risk of infections and breathing problems in babies.

Pregnant women should not feel concerned about taking antibiotics to treat infections

Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson

Erythromycin and the other antibiotic studied - co-amoxiclav - showed no benefit or harm for the women whose waters were still intact, however, and doctors were advised not to routinely prescribe them in such circumstances.

To study the longer-term outcomes, the Medical Research Council-funded scientists followed up the children seven years later.

Unexpectedly, both antibiotics appeared to increase the risk of functional impairment - such as difficulty walking or problems with day to day problem solving - and treble the chance of cerebral palsy in the children of the women whose waters had not broken.


More from Today programme

Of the 769 children born to mothers without early broken waters and given both antibiotics, 35 had cerebral palsy, compared with 12 out of 735 whose mothers did not receive antibiotics in the same circumstances.

The reasons behind this link are unclear, particularly as there was no increased risk of cerebral palsy in women whose waters had broken.

Hostile environment

The researchers believe cerebral palsy is unlikely to be a direct effect of the antibiotic but rather due to factors involved in prolonging a pregnancy that might otherwise have delivered early.

Researcher Professor Peter Brocklehurst of Oxford University said: "We have a suspicion that infection is implicated in premature labour.

"Antibiotics may merely suppress levels of infection to stop preterm labour, but the baby remains in a hostile environment."

The challenges a mother faces bringing up a child with cerebral palsy
Infections during pregnancy or infancy are known to cause cerebral palsy.

In a letter to doctors and midwives advising them about the findings, Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson says: "Pregnant women should not feel concerned about taking antibiotics to treat infections.

"It is important to note that these women had no evidence of infection and would not routinely be given antibiotics."

Where there is obvious infection, antibiotics can be life-saving for both mother and baby, the CMO says.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said: "These findings do not mean that antibiotics are unsafe for use in pregnancy. Pregnant women showing signs of infection should be treated promptly with antibiotics."

Cerebral palsy can cause physical impairments and mobility problems.

It results from the failure of a part of the brain to develop before birth or in early childhood or brain damage and affects one in 400 births.

A helpline is available for study participants on 0800 085 2411 between 0930 and 1630 BST. NHS Direct has information available for other members of the public.

A spokeswoman from the special care baby charity Bliss said: "This highlights the importance of fully understanding both the immediate and long-term impact of the care and treatment that both mother and baby receive at this crucial time."


Exercise can cut down diabetes 2 risk

Exercise 'can cut diabetes risk'

Tuesday, 16 September 2008 23:53 UK

Woman at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes can increase their chances of staying healthy through exercise, according to a new study.

Researchers from Glasgow University found that insulin resistance in "high risk" women dropped by 22% after seven weeks of an exercise programme.

Insulin resistance is considered to be the most important biological risk factor for developing diabetes.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) study will be published on Wednesday.

Dr Jason Gill, who heads the team that carried out the study, said: "The offspring of people with type 2 diabetes are about three times more likely to develop the disease than those with no family history of the disease.

"Not only is type 2 diabetes a very serious condition itself, but it can double or triple the risk of heart disease.

People at high risk have it within their power to substantially reduce their risk by increasing their activity levels

Dr Nick Barwell
University of Glasgow
"In fact, more than two thirds of all people with diabetes will die from heart disease."

Dr Gill's team studied women between the age of 20 and 45 who usually did less than one hour of physical activity per week and had a sedentary job.

They tested 34 volunteers who had at least one type 2 diabetic parent against 36 volunteers whose parents had no history of the condition.

At the outset of the study the offspring of diabetics had higher insulin resistance than the controls.

All the women undertook an exercise training programme of three 30 minute exercise sessions in the first week, working up to five 60 minute sessions in weeks six and seven.

Exercise was focused on cardiovascular activities such as running, using a rowing machine, aerobics and cycling.

'Vulnerable group'

Dr Nick Barwell, who led the study, said: "The same exercise programme reduced insulin resistance to a vastly greater extent in the women with diabetic parents, telling us that exercise is particularly good at reducing diabetes risk in this vulnerable group.

"Our research shows that developing diabetes is not inevitable for people with a family history of diabetes.

"People at high risk have it within their power to substantially reduce their risk by increasing their activity levels."

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the BHF, which funded the study, said: "We know that exercise is good for you, but seeing in black and white that this high risk group improved their own bodies' insulin resistance in just a couple of months is a striking demonstration of how effective it can be."

The research team said additional studies were needed to determine whether the benefits of exercise were are also seen in men with diabetic parents.

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Chamomile tea meay ease diabetes

Chamomile tea 'may ease diabetes'

Monday, 15 September 2008 00:25 UK

Drinking chamomile tea daily may help prevent the complications of type 2 diabetes, such as loss of vision and nerve and kidney damage, a study says.

UK and Japanese researchers fed a chamomile extract to diabetic rats.

The extract appeared to cut blood sugar levels and block activity of an enzyme associated with the development of diabetic complications.

Charity Diabetes UK cautioned against patients acting on the findings until further research had been carried out.

However, researchers say the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry study raises hope of a new anti-diabetes drug. More research would be needed before we can come to any firm conclusions about the role chamomile tea plays in fighting diabetes-related complications

Dr Victoria King
Diabetes UK

Cases of type 2 diabetes, many of which are linked to obesity, are on the increase throughout the developed world.

Chamomile, also known as manzanilla, has been used for years as a medicinal cure-all to treat a variety of medical problems including stress, colds and menstrual cramps.

Researchers from University of Toyama, led by Atsushi Kato, fed chamomile extract to a group of diabetic rats for 21 days and compared the results with a group of control animals on a normal diet.

Enzyme inhibition

Blood glucose levels - high levels of which are a sign of diabetes - were significantly lower in the animals fed the extract, which appeared to inhibit production of the sugar in the liver.

Tests also showed reduced activity of an enzyme called aldose reductase in tissue samples from the extract group.

This enzyme helps change glucose into a sugar alcohol called sorbitol.

In people with type 2 diabetes, the activity of aldose reductase increases as glucose levels rise in the blood.

However, sorbitol does not move easily across cell membranes and it can collect in excess quantity, particularly in eye and nerve cells, where it can cause serious damage.

Dr Victoria King, of the charity Diabetes UK, said: "More research would be needed before we can come to any firm conclusions about the role chamomile tea plays in fighting diabetes-related complications.

"Diabetes UK wouldn't recommend people with diabetes increase their chamomile tea intake just yet.

"Eating a healthy balanced diet, taking regular physical activity and adhering to any prescribed medicines remain key ways to effectively control blood glucose levels, blood pressure and blood fats.

"Good diabetes management will help reduce the risk of serious complications such as heart disease, stroke and blindness."


Clean living slows down aging

Clean living 'slows cell ageing'

Monday, 15 September 2008 23:59 UK

Taking more exercise and eating the right foods may help increase levels of an enzyme vital for guarding against age-related cell damage, work suggests.

Among 24 men asked to adopt healthy lifestyle changes for a US study in The Lancet Oncology, levels of telomerase increased by 29% on average.

Telomerase repairs and lengthens telomeres, which cap and protect the ends of chromosomes housing DNA.

As people age, telomeres shorten and cells become more susceptible to dying.

It is the damage and death of cells that causes ageing and disease in people.

Several factors such as smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with shorter-than-average telomeres. This might be a powerful motivator for many people to beneficially change their diet and lifestyle

The study authors

Professor Dean Ornish, from the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in California, and his team wanted to find out if improvements in diet and lifestyle might have the opposite effect.

They asked 30 men, all with low-risk prostate cancers, to take part in a three-month trial of comprehensive lifestyle changes.

These consisted of a diet high in fruit and vegetables, supplements of vitamins and fish oils, an exercise regimen and classes in stress management, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.

Telomerase activity was measured at the beginning of the trial and again at the end.

Among the 24 men who had sufficient data for analysis, blood levels of telomerase increased by 29% on average.

Increases in telomerase activity were linked with decreases in "bad" LDL cholesterol and decreases in one measure of stress - intrusive thoughts.

The researchers say it is too early to tell if the boost in telomerase levels will translate to a change in telomere length.

But there is evidence to suggest that telomere shortness and low telomerase activity might be important risk factors for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

"This might be a powerful motivator for many people to beneficially change their diet and lifestyle," they told The Lancet Oncology.

Professor Tim Spector, from King's College London, who has been researching ageing and telomeres, said: "This work builds on what we already know.

"Lifestyle can affect your telomeres. It would be interesting to find out whether it is diet, stress or both that is important."

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Heart effects on plastic chemicals

Heart fears over common chemical

Tuesday, 16 September 2008 15:00 UK

Higher levels of a chemical often found in plastic food and drink packaging are associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, a study has suggested.

The group with the highest levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) in their urine were found to be more than twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease.

But the Journal of the American Medical Association research did not show that Bisphenol A caused the conditions.

And a UK toxicology expert stressed the study's findings were "preliminary".

Over two million tonnes of BPA were produced in 2003, although usage of the chemical is starting to decline.

Used in the industrial production of plastics, two types in particular:

Polycarbonate plastic: A lightweight, rigid and reusable plastic used in products including CDs and DVDs, electronics equipment, sports equipment and reusable food and drink containers

Epoxy resins: Used in protective coatings, paints and adhesives, and protective liners for metal food and drink cans

As well as being present in packaging, people are exposed to BPA through drinking water, on their skin and in household dust.

Previous research in the US found detectable levels of BPA in more than 90% of the population.

Animal tests had raised concerns about the possible effects in humans - such as disruption to hormone production - but were inconclusive because people process the chemical differently.

The study by researchers from the UK's Peninsula Medical School in Exeter looked at BPA levels in the urine of 1,400 US adults, and whether they had ever been diagnosed with one of eight major diseases, including arthritis, stroke and thyroid disease.

No strong link was found aside from that with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, although higher BPA concentrations were associated with clinically abnormal concentrations of three liver enzymes.

Obesity link

People who were obese, and therefore already at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, had higher BPA levels - and the researchers said it was possible that eating more was simply linked to a higher intake of the chemical.

Some lab and animal tests have suggested potential problems, with BPA disrupting hormone balance in the body
Specifically BPA has been found to mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen - with implications for development and reproduction
Lobby groups, mainly in Canada and US have called for a ban
Canada has become the first country to move towards reducing levels of BPA exposure in the population

But they said the link between higher levels of the chemical and the conditions remained true, even when they took body mass index levels and waist measurements into account,

Dr David Melzer, who led the study, said: "These findings add to the evidence suggesting adverse effects of low-dose BPA in animals.

"Independent replication and follow-up studies are needed to confirm these findings and to provide evidence on whether the associations are causal."

He added: "Given the substantial negative effects on adult health that may be associated with increased BPA concentrations and also given the potential for reducing human exposure, our findings deserve scientific follow-up."


The study is being published to coincide with a hearing on BPA by the influential US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A spokesperson from the UK's Food Standards Agency said an expert panel was keeping the safety of BPA under review.

"The FSA will continue to closely monitor scientific reports about the health effects of BPA in the body and will take action to further protect consumers if it becomes necessary."

Professor Alan Boobis, a toxicology expert based at Imperial College in London, said the study did not fit with previous research into the chemical.

"It's an interesting finding, which we can't ignore. But it is preliminary, and requires following up."

He added: "It may be that the association is the inverse of what they are suggesting; not that the BPA is causing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but that these diseases result in a higher level of BPA, or that there may be a common cause - like something going wrong with the kidneys.

"Or it could be a chance finding."

Professor Richard Sharpe, of the University of Edinburgh, said for some people a raised risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes could simply be down to drinking too many high sugar canned drinks.

These people would also be exposed to higher levels of BPA from the lining of drinks cans - but that could be purely incidental.

He said more research was needed to tease out the truth before BPA could be labelled as the prime suspect.

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Quantum and mind over matter

Quantum Knowledge & Mind Over Matter

Quantum Knowledge


Mind Over Matter


In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is an indivisible entity of a quantity that has the same units as the Planck constant and is related to both energy and momentum of elementary particles of matter (called fermions) and of photons and other bosons. The word comes from the Latin "quantus," for "how much." Behind this, one finds the fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized", referred to as "quantization". This means that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete numerical values, rather than any value, at least within a range. There is a related term of quantum number.

A photon is often referred to as a "light quantum." The energy of an electron bound to an atom (at rest) is said to be quantized, which results in the stability of atoms, and of matter in general. But these terms can be a little misleading, because what is quantized is this Planck's constant quantity whose units can be viewed as either energy multiplied by time or momentum multiplied by distance....

Usually referred to as quantum "mechanics," it is regarded by virtually every professional physicist as the most fundamental framework we have for understanding and describing nature at the infinitesimal level, for the very practical reason that it works. It is "in the nature of things", not a more or less arbitrary human preference.laws of attraction

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Autism by E.Cayce


The information contained in the Edgar Cayce Health database should not be regarded as a guide to self-diagnosis or self-treatment. The cooperation of a qualified health care professional is essential if one wishes to apply the principles and techniques described in this database.

Autism is not a disease, but a developmental disorder of brain function. People with classical autism show three types of symptoms: impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and imagination, and unusual or severely limited activities and interests. Symptoms of autism usually appear during the first three years of childhood and continue throughout life. Although there is no cure, appropriate management may foster relatively normal development and reduce undesirable behaviors. People with autism have a normal life expectancy.

Autism affects an estimated two to 10 of every 10,000 people, depending on the diagnostic criteria used. Most estimates that include people with similar disorders are two to three times greater. Autism strikes males about four times as often as females, and has been found throughout the world in people of all racial and social backgrounds.

Autism varies a great deal in severity. The most severe cases are marked by extremely repetitive, unusual, self-injurious, and aggressive behavior. This behavior may persist over time and prove very difficult to change, posing a tremendous challenge to those who must live with, treat, and teach these individuals. The mildest forms of autism resemble a personality disorder associated with a perceived learning disability.
The hallmark feature of autism is impaired social interaction. Children with autism may fail to respond to their names and often avoid looking at other people. Such children often have difficulty interpreting tone of voice or facial expressions and do not respond to others' emotions or watch other people's faces for cues about appropriate behavior. They appear unaware of others' feelings toward them and of the negative impact of their behavior on other people.

Many children with autism engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and hair twirling, or in self-injurious behavior such as biting or head-banging. They also tend to start speaking later than other children and may refer to themselves by name instead of "I" or "me." Some speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range of favorite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person to whom they are speaking.

People with autism often have abnormal responses to sounds, touch, or other sensory stimulation. Many show reduced sensitivity to pain. They also may be extraordinarily sensitive to other sensations. These unusual sensitivities may contribute to behavioral symptoms such as resistance to being cuddled.

Autism is classified as one of the pervasive developmental disorders. Some doctors also use terms such as "emotionally disturbed" to describe people with autism. Because it varies widely in its severity and symptoms, autism may go unrecognized, especially in mildly affected individuals or in those with multiple handicaps. Researchers and therapists have developed several sets of diagnostic criteria for autism. Some frequently used criteria include:

Absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
Impaired ability to make friends with peers
Impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
Stereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of language
Restricted patterns of interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus
Apparently inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals
Preoccupation with parts of objects
Since hearing problems can be confused with autism, children with delayed speech development should always have their hearing checked. Children sometimes have impaired hearing in addition to autism.
Autism has no single cause. Researchers believe several genes, as well as environmental factors such as viruses or chemicals, contribute to the disorder.

Symptoms in many children with autism improve with intervention or as the children mature. Some people with autism eventually lead normal or near-normal lives. However, reports from parents of children with autism indicate that some children's language skills regress early in life, usually before age three. This regression often seems linked to epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. Adolescence also worsens behavior problems in some children with autism, who may become depressed or increasingly unmanageable. Parents should be ready to adjust treatment for their child's changing needs.

From a standard medical perspective, there is no cure for autism at present. Therapies, or interventions, are designed to remedy specific symptoms in each individual. The best-studied therapies include educational/behavioral and medical interventions. Although these interventions do not cure autism, they often bring about substantial improvement.

(Note: The above information comes from National Institutes of Health Publication No. 96-1877)


Edgar Cayce gave several readings for individuals exhibiting autistic features. Because Edgar Cayce was more interested in the uniqueness of each individual than in diagnostic labels, we cannot be certain as to whether these cases are representative of autism. The word autism was never used in any reading or correspondence. However, descriptions of behaviors and functioning do suggest that certain persons who received readings may have suffered from autism.

Notably, three readings given for an eight-year-old girl (2253), are indicative of autism.

(Q) Why does she not talk?
(A) This reaction, or refractory reaction in system, prevents the contraction in the muscular forces that have to do with the plexus from the secondary cardiac to the central nerve system. This is directly to the vocal box. In the corrections in the 3rd and 4th dorsal, and the 2nd and 3rd cervical, this will be stimulated, see? as will necessary later to stimulate along the eustachian tube for the reaction there, see? This NOT in the beginning. The manipulations we would make at least three times each week, and ONE of the treatments and ADJUSTMENT treatment - the other the drainages set up and the muscular forces and tendons so relaxed as to make for the feeding out or building up of nerve impulses as between the sympathetic and cerebro-spinal system.
(Q) Why does she wring her hands?
(A) Nervous reaction. When these come, there is some form of expression - and in the attempt to find an outlet for that INNATELY felt, the lack of knowing WHAT to do - see?
(Q) Will she ever be able to understand and carry out a spoken suggestion?
(A) She will, if these [treatments] are carried out as has been outlined.
(Q) Where will the first improvement be noticed?
(A) The gradual relaxation, and NOT so nervous.
(Q) Is her brain alright, or just dormant?
(A) Just dormant. (2253-1)

Edgar Cayce traced the cause of the condition to pressures along the spine where nerve plexus coordinate the functioning of the system. Nervous system incoordination resulted producing a disturbance to the "imaginative nerve forces of the body" causing the child to be "over sensitive."

The pressures, as we find, exist principally in those of the sacral, the lower dorsal, and the WHOLE of the cervical areas. These are especially seen in the 4th LUMBAR plexus, that prevents coordination in the sympathetic and cerebro-spinal impulses; while those of the central or lower dorsal, sympathetically with the upper or 4th and 5th dorsal, prevent those impulses to the central nerve force as to cause any reaction in this direction, and little or no response is seen in that of a refractory reaction, save as comes through impulses in the imaginative nerve forces of the body. Hence those tendencies of the body to be over sensitive to certain vibrations that may be set up, without the proper coordinating even to BRAIN impulses as to WHAT the reaction SHOULD be. Hence often the body responds in a manner as apparently directly opposite from that as would be, or should be, expected from voluntary or involuntary refractory, or refraction. (2253-1)

Osteopathic manipulations to relieve the pressure were recommended. A mild, natural herbal formula (containing mayblossom and ginseng) was suggested to calm and sedate the child. An energy medicine device (Radial Appliance) was prescribed to assist in coordinating the system.

Hypnotic suggestion was consistently recommended in such cases. Edgar Cayce sometimes used the expression "suggestive therapeutics" to describe a simple, natural form of suggestion to be used. Suggestion was recommended to address the habitual, involuntary hand wringing and lack of normal development:

...as the body sinks to sleep - the talk, the quieting effect, the improvements through the psychopathic effect that may be created by suggestion as the body goes to sleep. Something as this, though it may be altered according to that one giving same. Do not make same as rote, or as just something to be said, but with that intense desire to be a channel of aid and help TO the individual:

(Q) Is there anything we can do to get her to stop wringing her hands?
(A) Only applying those things that will alter the present nervous reactions in the system will change same. THIS body, would be well for the suggestions to be made under the influence of hypnosis, or auto-suggestion to the body as it sleeps. This must be made by someone in sympathy with the activities of the body, and THIS would relieve such stress on the general system. (2253-3)

Although we have no long-term documentation in this case, a letter from Mrs. Pope of the Rosehill School (where the child was staying) noted, "I think she has improved noticeably and more so since she has had the battery although it has been used such a short time."

Four readings were given for a nineteen year old male [2014] who had been "abnormal about eleven years" and who was exhibiting repetitious, involuntary movements and antisocial behaviors:

(Q) What is the reason for, and what can be done for the habit reaction he has; such as the spitting, drawing of the mouth down, and waving of the fingers before his nose and mouth?
(A) These, as indicated, are reflexes through the sensory nerve system; lack of coordination between impulses and the guided or directed forces in the mental reactions of same.
Keep up the applications indicated for corrections, making the suggestions - and not attempting to control by violent means! (2014-3)

(Q) Would you advise scolding or hitting him, when he is so uncontrollable? or what method would you advise?
(A) Patience, kindness, gentleness, ever; not in that of scolding or tormenting at all. But in cajoling, and in kindness and in patience, these are the manners.
Remember, these conditions are for purposes. While they become very trying to the individuals who attempt to administer to the needs of the body, know that these are purposeful in thine own experience also.
(Q) Is this stubborn, fresh and disobedient attitude due to his ailment?
(A) Due to the ailment; else there would be other measures indicated. And in the building up of the body, there must be the response to kindness and gentleness and love, - more than to force, power, might, hate or scolding. (2014-2)

Again, this series of readings described nervous system incoordination involving the sensory nervous system. Pressures along the spine and in the abdominal nerve plexus associated with the digestive system were noted. Abdominal castor oil packs and spinal manipulations were suggested to relieve the pressures and coordinate the nervous systems. The Radial Appliance was also recommended to assist with the coordination. A mild laxative tea was prescribed to improve eliminations through the colon as chronic constipation was a problem.

For the behavioral problems and general pathological conditions, suggestive therapeutics was recommended:

(Q) What type of suggestion would you recommend?
(A) As just indicated, the type that is to be given continually; of the creative forces or God, - love manifesting through the activities of the body. These as helpful forces will bring the bettered conditions for this body. (2014-3)

The minimal follow-up correspondence does not indicate whether the recommendations were applied consistently or the eventual outcome in this case.

A series of twelve readings were given for a young girl (1179) who was seven years old when she received her first reading. Her readings and follow up correspondence suggest possible mild autism. Her readings described a "supersenstive" system with psychic or imaginative tendencies:

These conditions are rather of the unusual nature; or the body physically and mentally is supersensitive and the psychic forces are developing much faster than the bodily functionings. Or the body functionings are of such a nature that the sensitiveness of same precludes some activities through the nominal physical developments. (1179-1)

There are periods when there are unusual activities in the psychic forces of the body. The imaginative reactions to the sensory and the external forces in the experience of the body at times find physical expression in moods. (1179-7)

The child was somewhat withdrawn and difficult. Her mother's comment immediately following 1179-1: "Now I know better how to cope with this child, who reacts so differently from my other children - she is so unusual in so many ways."

The mother's difficulty in dealing with the child's antisocial behaviors was noted:

DO NOT make it an issue with the body! Advise with, but do not rave at nor scold nor make the entity conscious of same by constant nagging, or insistency! And this will be better, it will be found, in ALL the ways of IMPRESSING the body in ANY manner for any activity.
As has been indicated, the body is supersensitive, and is made aware of self's shortcomings or self's virtues by a continual impressing on same. Listen to the entity's arguments, always. Never tell her to shut up or stop, but hear it out! Then, parallel same by counsel as respecting what MIGHT be better if paralleled in THAT direction. (1179-6)

Social withdrawal and interpersonal deficits were cited in the correspondence. The child also apparently had some difficulty with reading.

Edgar Cayce described problems with the digestive system which were contributing to the difficult psychosocial development of this child. Various digestive aids and nutritional supplements were recommended, including Ventriculin, a dietary supplement made from the gastric tissue of hogs.

As with the other cases cited above, the Radial Active appliance was suggested to assist with nervous system coordination. Spinal manipulations were recommended. A basic diet, focusing on body building foods, was emphasized. In one reading, when asked about substituting other grains for wheat, Edgar Cayce responded:

(Q) Should the body discontinue the use of wheat products, substituting RYE BREAK, WHITE RICE, OATMEAL CEREAL, BUCKWHEAT AND CORNMEAL PANCAKES?
(A) It would be well to discontinue the greater portion of the wheat products, if these others are used - and they are all very well to be used. (1179-5)

Although suggestive therapeutics was not directly mentioned, the readings did insist on the importance of providing spiritual guidance to the child through Bible stories.

According to correspondence from her mother, Ms. 1179 became a school teacher at age twenty-two and married thirteen years later.

Although the above cases vary greatly with regard to symptoms and severity, some common themes are worth noting. In all these cases Edgar Cayce focused on nervous system incoordination involving the sensory nervous system. All these individuals were described as over sensitive (even "super-sensitive"). Nerve pressures were cited as causative factors. Spinal manipulation was consistently recommended, as was the use of the Radial Appliance to assist with balancing and coordinating the system.

Problems with the digestive system and intestinal tract was significant in two of these cases (1179 and 2014). Therapies such as abdominal castor oil packs, diet, and dietary supplements were suggested.

The mental and spiritual aspects of healing were prominent in all three cases. Suggestive therapeutics was usually recommended. The spiritual focus of the family and caregivers was strongly emphasized.

Thus a blending of treatments into a well integrated treatment plan was often recommended by Edgar Cayce for the treatment of autism. Here is a summary of some of the most common treatment recommendations.


Conceptually, the Cayce approach to autism focuses on assisting the body in healing itself by the application of a variety of therapies intended to address the underlying causes of the condition. The mental and spiritual aspects of healing are strongly emphasized.

Here are some general therapeutic recommendations intended to address the underlying causes of autism:

MANUAL THERAPY (SPINAL MANIPULATION): Cayce often recommended spinal manipulations to correct specific problems which may be a primary cause of autism. It is difficult to obtain the osteopathic adjustments specified by Cayce. However, a chiropractor may be of help. The frequency of the adjustments will depend on the recommendations of the individual chiropractor or osteopath. The use of an electric vibrator may also be helpful for individuals unable to obtain regular spinal adjustments.
ELECTROTHERAPY: Regular use of the Radial Appliance to coordinate nerve functioning and circulation is recommended.
INTERNAL CLEANSING: Because autistic symptoms were sometimes linked to problems with the alimentary canal resulting in poor eliminations, hydrotherapy is recommended to improve eliminations through the colon. Hydrotherapy includes drinking six to eight glasses of pure water daily and obtaining colonic irrigations to cleanse the bowel. Following the diet should also assist with internal cleansing. Hot castor oil packs applied over the abdomen are recommended to improve circulation (especially lymphatic) and eliminations through the alimentary canal.
DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet is intended to improve assimilation and elimination. The diet focuses heavily on keeping a proper alkaline/acid balance while avoiding foods which produce toxicity and drain the system. Essentially, the diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and refined carbohydrates ("junk food"). Certain food combinations are emphasized.
SUGGESTIVE THERAPEUTICS: The use positive suggestions during the presleep period and during therapy sessions (such as massage and the Radial Appliance) is recommended to awaken the inner healing response. The spiritual attunement of the caregiver is essential.
MEDICATION: The use of a mild natural sedative (such as Passion Flower fusion) may be helpful for excitable children. Laxatives and dietary supplements may be helpful, particularly for individuals with significant gastrointestinal symptoms. Although Ventriculin is no longer available, similar products such as Secretin (made from hog gastric tissue and available only by physician's prescription) have proven helpful for some persons suffering from autism.