Stay Positive

"In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." - Alert Camus

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Neural Circuitry

It's a distribution pattern for neural circuitry in the human brain, generated by diffusion spectrum imaging (discussed/explained at Reddit).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

AGAIN: All red meat is bad for you !!!

All red meat is bad for you, new study says -

All red meat is bad for you, new study says

A long-term study finds that eating any amount and any type increases the risk of premature death.

Red meat
Eating any amount and any type of red meat increases the risk of premature death, a new study says. (William Thomas Cain / Getty Images / March 12, 2012)

Eating red meat — any amount and any type — appears to significantly increase the risk of premature death, according to a long-range study that examined the eating habits and health of more than 110,000 adults for more than 20 years.

For instance, adding just one 3-ounce serving of unprocessed red meat — picture a piece of steak no bigger than a deck of cards — to one's daily diet was associated with a 13% greater chance of dying during the course of the study.

Red meat: An article in the March 13 LATExtra section about a study linking red meat consumption to an increased risk of premature death said that preservatives like nitrates probably contributed to the danger. It should have included nitrites as well. —

Even worse, adding an extra daily serving of processed red meat, such as a hot dog or two slices of bacon, was linked to a 20% higher risk of death during the study.

"Any red meat you eat contributes to the risk," said An Pan, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and lead author of the study, published online Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Crunching data from thousands of questionnaires that asked people how frequently they ate a variety of foods, the researchers also discovered that replacing red meat with other foods seemed to reduce mortality risk for study participants.

Eating a serving of nuts instead of beef or pork was associated with a 19% lower risk of dying during the study. The team said choosing poultry or whole grains as a substitute was linked with a 14% reduction in mortality risk; low-fat dairy or legumes, 10%; and fish, 7%.

Previous studies had associated red meat consumption with diabetes, heart disease and cancer, all of which can be fatal. Scientists aren't sure exactly what makes red meat so dangerous, but the suspects include the iron and saturated fat in beef, pork and lamb, the nitrates used to preserve them, and the chemicals created by high-temperature cooking.

The Harvard researchers hypothesized that eating red meat would also be linked to an overall risk of death from any cause, Pan said. And the results suggest they were right: Among the 37,698 men and 83,644 women who were tracked, as meat consumption increased, so did mortality risk.

In separate analyses of processed and unprocessed meats, the group found that both types appear to hasten death. Pan said that at the outset, he and his colleagues had thought it likely that only processed meat posed a health danger.

Carol Koprowski, a professor of preventive medicine at USC's Keck School of Medicine who wasn't involved in the research, cautioned that it can be hard to draw specific conclusions from a study like this because there can be a lot of error in the way diet information is recorded in food frequency questionnaires, which ask subjects to remember past meals in sometimes grueling detail.

But Pan said the bottom line was that there was no amount of red meat that's good for you.

"If you want to eat red meat, eat the unprocessed products, and reduce it to two or three servings a week," he said. "That would have a huge impact on public health."

A majority of people in the study reported that they ate an average of at least one serving of meat per day.

Pan said that he eats one or two servings of red meat per week, and that he doesn't eat bacon or other processed meats.

Cancer researcher Lawrence H. Kushi of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland said that groups putting together dietary guidelines were likely to pay attention to the findings in the study.

"There's a pretty strong supposition that eating red meat is important — that it should be part of a healthful diet," said Kushi, who was not involved in the study. "These data basically demonstrate that the less you eat, the better."

UC San Francisco researcher and vegetarian diet advocate Dr. Dean Ornish said he gleaned a hopeful message from the study.

"Something as simple as a meatless Monday can help," he said. "Even small changes can make a difference."

Additionally, Ornish said, "What's good for you is also good for the planet."

In an editorial that accompanied the study, Ornish wrote that a plant-based diet could help cut annual healthcare costs from chronic diseases in the U.S., which exceed $1 trillion. Shrinking the livestock industry could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and halt the destruction of forests to create pastures, he wrote.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Peripheral artery bypass - leg

This post is being made because some of the symptoms match my experience with leg weakness.  M.S. often includes leg weakness and pain. 

Dealing with M.S. can turn you into a bit of a hypochondriac "waiting or the next shoe to drop" and looking for new symptoms to arise. Someone you know develops a condition and you see common symptoms to your own.  You hold out hope for a treatable condition to replace your M.S. and this causes you to want another disease that is curable. 

Always wanting to change places does not create a response to your own disease.  M.S. must be faced and strategies for thriving with M.S. need to be developed.


Peripheral artery bypass - leg

Peripheral artery bypass is surgery to reroute the blood supply around a blocked artery in one of your legs. Your peripheral arteries can become blocked with fatty material that builds up inside them. This is called atherosclerosis.
Peripheral artery bypass surgery can be done in one or more of these arteries to treat a blockage:
Aorta -- the main artery that comes from your heart
Iliac artery -- in your hip
Femoral artery -- in your thigh
Popliteal artery -- behind your knee
Tibial and peroneal artery -- in your lower leg
Axillary artery -- in your armpit

Why the Procedure is Performed

Symptoms of a blocked peripheral artery are pain, achiness, or heaviness in your leg that starts or gets worse when you walk.

You may not need bypass surgery if these problems happen only when you walk and then go away when you rest. You may not need this surgery if you can still do most of your everyday activities. Your doctor can try medicines and other treatments first.

Reasons for having arterial bypass surgery of the leg are:

Your symptoms keep you from doing your everyday tasks.

Your symptoms do not get better with other treatment.

You have skin ulcers (sores) or wounds on your leg that do not heal.

You have pain in your leg from your narrowed arteries even when you are resting or at night.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Bypass surgery improves blood flow in the arteries for most people. You may not have symptoms anymore, even when you walk. If you still have symptoms, you should be able to walk much farther before they start.

Your results will depend on where your blockage was, the size of the blood vessel, and whether you have a blockage in your other arteries.


Creager MA and Libby P. Peripheral arterial disease. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Libby: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Saunders; 2007:chap 57.

Eisenhauer AC, White CJ. Endovascular treatment of noncoronary obstructive vascular disease. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 59.

Update Date: 1/25/2011

Updated by: Shabir Bhimji, MD, PhD, Specializing in General Surgery, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Midland, TX. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

Browse the Encyclopedia

MedlinePlus Topics

Peripheral Arterial Disease

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2011, A.D.

Your general practitioner can quickly locate a pulse on your leg to put your mind at ease, if you do not have arterial disease.

Imagery For Getting Well- Clinical Applications of Behavioral Medicine



MS is a disease of the central nervous system involving the breaking down and scarring of the myelin sheath by the immune system which no longer recognizes the myelin as "self."  When this fatty insulation of the nerve fibers is disturbed, the messages that control bodily movements/functions are distorted or blocked or communicate to the wrong muscular destination.  The condition tends to have an uneven course of exacerbations and remission; however, stress frequently precedes exacerbations.  In general, medical treatment is focused on symptom relief.

Immune Dysfunction

Present theories concerning MS involve: (1) a viral etiology, (2) an autoimmune dysfunction, and (3) a combination of the two (the immune system attacking a virus sleeping deep within the cells of the myelin sheath).

Desired Immune Response

     * Immune system recognition of myelin sheath as "self"
     * Harmonious interaction of immune system with the body, especially the myelin -recognizing and 
        loving "self" cells
     * Increased suppressor cells

Seeds for Imagery

     * A honey-like substance coats the nerves- melting tough scars into viable powerful myelin material-
        filling any gaps in or degeneration of the myelin sheath, perfectly protecting and insulating the nerve
        fiber, allowing it to carry the nerve impulse precisely from the brain to the muscle where it is needed.
     * See a substance pouring over the tangled nerves in nerve trunks, like a soothing oil poured over 
        spaghetti, coating the nerve strands so that they untangle and magically fall into relaxed, straight 
     * See the damaged nerves arcing like frayed electrical wires.  See maintenance workers reweave the
        tattered insulation so the nerves cease short-circuiting each other.
     * (Hand and foot-warming exercises).
     * See white clouds in the head (MS scarring as seen in an MRI) being blown away by a powerful wind.
     * See the nervous system n an indigo blue color.  Where there is damage, the scales and scars are 
        greyish-white.  See a swarm of mud-daubers flying to a palette heaped with translucent myelin.  Some
        of the mud-daubers use their stingers to cut away the damaged myelin and scales from the nerves. 
        Others pick up the myelin compound and spread it into the area perfectly.  When the repairs dry, they
        turn dark indigo blue, blending so perfectly that no trace of the repair work remains.
     * See a big eraser rubbing out the lesions in the brain.
     * Imagine a worker with scrub brushes, pumice, and rouge cloths scouring away the scars and then
        painting fresh myelin into the area, which turns indigo blue to match the rest of the system.
     * See calamine lotion being patted onto areas by the immune system.  See the immune system change
        from being irritable and angry to protective, loving, and friendly.  See the whole body experience
     * Demand inwardly that your body (and any medication that you are taking) produce all its healing
       substances.  Sense and feel the substances being released...sense the suppressor T cells...teaching the
       other white blood cells to distinguish friend (the myelin sheath) from foe (bacteria).  Sense and see this
       happening all along the spinal column, from the bottom to the top and up into the brain, as a ladder of 
       flashing lights sending sparks of electrical energy throughout the body" (Epstein, 1989, pp. 149-

       AUTHORS:    Deirdre Davis Brigham with Adelaide Davis and Derry Cameron-Sampey.

In all Life Change is a Constant


"If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars."
- R. Tagore

Build a better life according to your ideal Vision.
Do not wait for perfect timing, get started now.
What you do today, is all that matters.
Do your best with what you have and start from where you are.
-- Jack Dawes

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working." - Picasso

There is power in action so make plans and execute them.

Circumstance is a result of your past and does not indicate where you are heading.

The greatest journey begins with the first step and so does your building of a new business or whatever you are setting out to create.

We all need to start where we are and in the moment, find the strength to overcome obstacles we encounter, persevere and endure until we achieve a few goals and gain momentum in a positive direction.

Live according to your Vision of the well-lived life.

"One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity."
~Albert Schweitzer

Reverence for Life:

Lost in thought I sat on deck of the barge, struggling to find the elementary and universal concept of the ethical that I had not discovered in any philosophy. I covered sheet after sheet with disconnected sentences merely to concentrate on the problem. Two days passed. Late on the third day, at the very moment when, at sunset, we were making our way through a herd of hippopotamuses, there flashed upon my mind, unforeseen and unsought, the phrase : “Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben” (“reverence for life”). The iron door had yielded. The path in the thicket had become visible.”

— Albert Schweitzer

Multiple sclerosis and Social Security Disability benefits

 Canada is my domain but this article came to my attention as a good example of what you face when you are diagnosed with a unpredictable, progressive disease with no cure and no effetive treatment like multiple sclerosis.  Does this all sound too familiar?
 This is a note posted on a Blog in the United States.

Multiple sclerosis and Social Security Disability benefits | Portland Social Security Disability Attorney Blog

Those that suffer from the debilitating and often unpredictable disease known as multiple sclerosis know all too well the many frustrations associated with the disease. March is National MS Education and Awareness Month and a good time to learn more about MS and how it affects those it impacts.

For many, MS is a mysterious disease that seems to come and go rendering those inflicted unable to walk one day and seemingly fine the next. One of the most common neurological disorders, individuals suffering from MS are typically diagnosed as having the disease between the ages of 20 and 40. While helpful treatments exist including prescription medications, diet and exercise, an estimated 15 percent of those diagnosed with the disease are rendered severely disabled.

Symptoms common in those suffering from MS include depression, memory and vision loss, fatigue, muscles weakness and loss of balance and coordination. For many with the disease these symptoms are not severe and they are able to continue to work, however, some are greatly affected and are not physically able to work.

For those who are unable to work, Social Security Disability benefits often provide much needed financial relief.
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual suffering from MS must meet the following qualifications:

•· Suffer loss of motor function in at least two extremities

•· Suffer a resulting mental or visual impairment

•· Suffer severe muscle fatigue or weakness that prevents normal motor function

For individuals suffering from MS who hope to file for SSDI benefits, the process can be tricky as the negative side-effects of the disorder tend to naturally come and go. 

For this reason, it can be particularly helpful to have a knowledgeable and skilled SSDI professional advocate on your behalf. A SSDI professional can answer any questions you may have and ensure you have all the necessary medical records and paperwork completed to expedite the benefits application process.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "March is National MS Education and Awareness Month," Feb. 28, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Roubini warns of catastrophe for Goldman Sachs — RT

Roubini warns of catastrophe for Goldman Sachs — RT


Last week economic expert Nouriel Roubini reportedly said that the collapse of the eurozone was imminent and the crumbling of the international economy would follow in due time. Now, days later, Roubini is warning of a disaster on Wall Street.

Through a series of Twitter messages posted to the Web on Monday, the manager of the Roubini Global Economics firm told his followers that Goldman Sachs and other major financial institutions could soon experience a fate similar to MF Global Holdings Ltd, the Wall Street powerhouse that filed for bankruptcy last week following a ratings downgrade.

"What happened to MF Global could happen to Jefferies, Barclays, Goldman Sachs & Morgan Stanley.Leverage & maturity mismatch can lead to runs," Roubini tweeted to his audience of over 100,000 followers on November 7.

Added Roubini, shadow banking systems, brokers and dealers with high leverage and maturity mismatch and a lack of LOLR safety nets among banks has allowed the institutions to be as exposed to collapse just as much now as ever before. Following last week’s news for MF Global, Roubini predicts that the other Wall Street banks could go bankrupt as well.

In the past, Roubini successfully predicted both the housing boom and recession that devastated the American economy for years and continues to have an effect on the country’s poor financial standings.

In the case of MF Global, the bank depended far too much on short-term financing in order to back up its long-term asset leverage and maintain capital to support operations. Following a recent revelation that MF Global held onto more than $6 billion worth of European debt, a credit downgrade ensued and investors were quick to halt their support. The company saw its shares drop by 66 percent over the course of four days and, almost literally overnight, the institution went under. Now around 3,000 employees — and billions of dollars in investments from shareholders and creditors — are no more.

As RT reported last week, Roubini is rumored to have told visitors to a private party he held recently that there is a “significant risk of a Eurozone breakup” in the near future. Recently he had offered a 50-50 chance of a collapse.

Does this seem familiar?