Stay Positive

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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Brain mapping gets a big boost

Significant Science of 2013: Brain mapping gets a big boost

Saturday, December 28, 2013

TEDxSunsetPark - Diana Winston - The Practice of Mindfulness

Published on Jul 4, 2012
Former Buddhist nun Diana Winston is the director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA Mindful Awareness Center, and the author of several books on mindfulness and meditation. With more than 20 years in the study and practice of mindfulness, Diana explains how routinely taking the time to be in the moment can have a profound impact on our everyday lives and relationships.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event


The Unstoppable Human Spirit: Cpl Todd Love, US Marine who lost 3 limbs in Afghanistan, completed grueling 10-mile Spartan Race

Photo courtesy of Kevin High Photography
Photo courtesy of Kevin High Photography

In making New Years Resolutions these guys can offer inspiration to all of us.

The Unstoppable Human Spirit is the best description of what drives such a person to rise to new challenges.  

In spite of the grave situation this man faces, he does not give-up on himself ; instead he takes on new challenges, such as this grueling ten mile obstacle course... or even wrestling an alligator!

When Cpl. Love is not involved in an iron man competitions, skiing, surfing, or skydiving, he wrestles alligators in Florida
When Cpl. Love is not involved in an iron man competitions, skiing, surfing, or skydiving, he wrestles alligators in Florida


Cpl Todd Love, US Marine who lost 3 limbs in Afghanistan, completed grueling 10-mile Spartan Race

Strength: Triple amputee and Marine Corporal Todd Love makes his way to the finish line of The Beast event of the Spartan Race

Todd Love, Leesburg, VA - Super Spartan


Read More:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Stay Healthy Tweets

"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." 
- Jim Rohn

Awareness cannot be taught, and when it is present it has no context.

« I cannot discover that anyone knows enough to say definitely what is and what is not possible. » 
Henry Ford

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that doesn't serve you, grow you or make you happy. MoveForward 
— Unknown

“I like to go to sleep on a good idea and wake up with the idea solved or advanced.”    — John le CarrĂ©

A writer is a descendant of other writers.  - OCTAVIO PAZ 

At the center of the universe is a loving heart that wants the best for every person. - Mr. Rogers

 "We meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life" - Carl Jung

Criticism makes it harder for someone to change.


Find out how many steps it takes to prevent a heart attack

View this content on BBC's website

BBC World Service - Boston Calling

How the world looks through American eyes

BBC World Service ‏@bbcworldservice

"Cinnamon is poison." How this ubiquitous spice spoils the holidays for a cinnamon-averse American


The Dana Foundation

The Dana Foundation


We spread the word about the science of the brain and the benefits of brain research, as well as giving research grants [admin by ]
New York City ·
Dana blog: Music in Education From our early steps in 2006 to last week's Harvard studies
  A New Way to Fight Neurodegenerative Diseases?



Thinkers, doers and innovators introducing new approaches to understanding the human brain and brain diseases.
Palo Alto, CA ·

About Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience investigates brain-behavior interaction and promotes lively interchange among the mind sciences. Contributions address both descriptions of function and underlying brain events and reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the field covering developments in neuroscience, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, neurobiology, linguistics, computer science, and philosophy.


A New Way to Fight Neurodegenerative Diseases?




Thinkers, doers and innovators introducing new approaches to understanding the human brain and brain diseases.
Palo Alto, CA ·


 I was experiencing some reactionsto licorice and looked it up on the internet and found a forum about M.S. that had some alarming things to say -the veracity of the source is unclear...
read below:

My oldest sis is an acupuncturist ~ in her practice she uses a lot of herbs based on Chinese & eastern medicine & I just emailed her to see if she can make up some licorice supplement for me ~ maybe I'll be able to say at a later date if there's any benefit to it all.

I'm still reading, AND just came to negatives about licorice that I wanted to point out to you: (be careful!)

Special Precautions

Pregnant women should not use licorice at medicinal doses. There is a danger of high blood pressure or of a hormone imbalance that would harm the fetus.

People with high blood pressure should avoid the use of licorice, which could aggravate their condition.

Anyone with a heart problem should use licorice only under medical supervision. Potassium depletion caused by licorice is especially hazardous for such patients. Anyone with pre-existing hypokalemia (low potassium) should not take licorice.

People with kidney disease, especially the elderly, may be at increased risk of side effects from this herb.

Gallbladder disease and cirrhosis are considered contraindications for licorice.

Adverse Effects

The consequences of high doses or long-term use of licorice are severe. This herb can cause high blood pressure, low levels of potassium, fluid retention and swelling of the face and limbs, hormonal imbalance, and muscle destruction leading to pain and weakness.

At least one woman experienced loss of libido. Another woman ate too much licorice candy and lost a great deal of potassium; her heart stopped.

Licorice can also change heart rhythms, prolonging QT and PR intervals on an electrocardiogram.

Lethargy and fatigue as well as weakness are part of the picture of licorice toxicity.

Many of the negative symptoms associated with licorice are due to its ability to inhibit the renin-angiotensin system. Elderly people in particular are susceptible to kidney problems as a consequence of licorice.

 Paralysis of the legs (and in one case, of all of the limbs) has been reported. A sixty-four-year-old man developed pulmonary edema, signaled by fatigue and trouble breathing, after eating four packages of black Twizzlers licorice candy in three days. This case demonstrates how quickly a serious reaction can arise.

Licorice can reduce thyroid gland activity and lower the basal metabolic rate.

It appears that individuals vary considerably in their susceptibility to adverse reactions from licorice. Some people experience negative symptoms within days, while others may ingest excessive licorice in candy, chewing gum, chewing tobacco, or herbal medicine for months or even years before they realize that they are suffering damaging effects.

Women appear to be somewhat more susceptible than men, and oral contraceptives may increase this sensitivity.

Possible Interactions

Licorice can greatly increase potassium loss due to medicines such as hydrochlorothiazide, Lasix, Hygroton, Lozol, Bumex, and other potassium-wasting diuretics.

Severe potassium loss greatly increases the risk of heart rhythm irregularities, especially in people taking Lanoxin. Amiloride, a potassium-sparing diuretic, is not recommended to counteract the potassium loss caused by licorice.

Because it binds to serum albumin, licorice may interact with other medications that bind to serum albumin as well: ibuprofen, aspirin, and Coumadin. The coumarins in licorice may also potentiate the action of this anticoagulant, possibly leading to unexpected bleeding. "



Licorice Side Effects

Although it seems like a harmless substance, licorice can cause potentially serious problems. The glycyrrhizin component is thought to cause these side effects. Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any of these serious side effects while you are consuming real licorice, such as an irregular heart rhythm, muscle weakness, or allergic reactions.

Does Licorice Cause Side Effects?

Real licorice products (including some candies, beverages, supplements, and extracts) can cause significant side effects. However, many "licorice" products contain little or no real licorice. For instance, red licorice does not contain any real licorice, and some black licorice products contain anise flavoring instead of licorice.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with licorice. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Side Effects of Licorice

Even though it seems like a harmless substance, licorice can cause some dangerous side effects. You should immediately report any of these side effects to your healthcare provider. These side effects include but are not limited to:
    • Water retention
    • Rapid weight gain
    • Swelling of the feet or hands
    • Difficulty breathing
  • Low blood potassium (hypokalemia)
  • An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Signs of hormonal changes, such as:
    • Missed periods (in women)
    • A low sex drive
    • Impotence (in men)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • Rash
    • Itching
    • Hives
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
Many of the serious side effects of licorice are thought to be caused by one specific component of licorice, known as glycyrrhizin. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) products, which have had the glycyrrhizin component removed, may be less likely to cause these serious side effects.

Final Thoughts

If you think you are experiencing a licorice side effect, please let your healthcare provider know. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you develop something that "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effect of licorice, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.

Benefits of Black Licorice

Feb 23, 2010 | By Frank Whittemore
Today, most black licorice candy is actually flavored with anise.
Photo Credit lakritz nah aufnahme image by Lucky Dragon from
Licorice is more than just a flavoring of candy. For hundreds of years the extract of the root of the licorice plant, from which the flavoring is derived, has been used in traditional medicine and continues to be used today for a variety of medicinal applications. 

In fact, due to potential effects on the body, licorice candy is now more likely to be flavored with anise.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Licorice extract is frequently suggested for treating peptic ulcers and may have similar results, when used in conjunction with antacids, to that of some prescription drugs. Licorice may also relieve symptoms of indigestion and may be helpful in treating gastro-esophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. Licorice extract is sometimes used together with peppermint and chamomile to help ease gastrointestinal problems.

Skin Treatments

Topical application of licorice as a gel or cream has been used to treat skin ailments such as psoriasis and eczema, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. A gargle of licorice and extract mixed with water can be used as a mouthwash to treat canker sores.

Antivirus Treatment

Licorice may have applications for the treatment of viral infections, including herpes simplex virus, viral hepatitis and HIV. Studies are currently underway to determine if licorice, when used in conjunction with the medication carbenoxolone, may help to inhibit viral reproduction and spread.

Upper Respiratory Treatments

Licorice acts as both an expectorant and cough suppressant and has long been used for upper respiratory ailments such as sore throats and coughs due to colds, according to MedlinePlus. In Europe and Asia, licorice extract is a common ingredient in cough remedies.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Treating and Understandinf M.S.

Major advancements made in 2013 toward treating and understanding


The 20 Most Powerful Storytelling Videos of 2013 by

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Food Poisoning: Is Factory Farming Making Us Sick?


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Tracking key to unravelling mystery of Indian Ocean turtles:

Best Ocean Animal Photos of 2013 : Discovery News

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Apple-a-day call for all over-50s

“It just shows how effective small changes in diet can be, and that both drugs and healthier living can make a real difference in preventing heart disease and stroke.”
Dr Adam Briggs, Lead researcher



Apple-a-day call for all over-50s

If everyone over the age of 50 ate an apple a day, 8,500 deaths from heart attacks and strokes could be avoided every year in the UK, say researchers.

Apples would give a similar boost to cardiovascular health as medicines, such as statins, yet carry none of the side-effects, the University of Oxford researchers say in the BMJ. 

They base their assumptions on modelling, not direct scientific study. 

Any fruit should work, but getting people to comply could be challenging.
More than two-thirds of adults do not eat the recommended five portions of fruit and veg a day, population surveys suggest. 

And although nine in 10 of us do manage to eat at least one portion a day, Dr Adam Briggs and colleagues, from the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group at Oxford University, say we would all benefit from eating more.

By their calculations, if adults of all ages could manage to eat an extra portion of fruit or veg a day, as many as 11,000 vascular deaths could be averted each year.

The Victorian mantra of "an apple a day" to keep the doctor away is particularly important for the over-50s, who are at increased risk of vascular diseases, say the researchers.

They analysed the effect on the most common causes of vascular mortality - heart attacks and strokes - of prescribing either a statin a day, which lowers cholesterol, or an apple a day to people over 50.

Assuming at least seven in every 10 complied with the advice,

 statin drugs could save 9,400 lives and an apple a day 8,500 lives a year, 
they calculate.

The data their work rests on comprises a large body of medical trials and observations involving hundreds of thousands of patients.

Dr Briggs said: 

"The Victorians had it about right when they came up with their brilliantly clear and simple public health advice, 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'

"It just shows how effective small changes in diet can be, and that both drugs and healthier living can make a real difference in preventing heart disease and stroke."

"While no-one currently prescribed statins should replace them for apples, we could all benefit from simply eating more fruit."

Dr Peter Coleman, of the Stroke Association, said everyone stood to benefit from eating a balanced diet.

"Apples have long been known as a natural source of antioxidants and chemical compounds called flavanoids, all of which are good for our health and wellbeing.
"This study shows that, as part of a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, a daily apple could help to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. "




Nutritional composition of an apple

  • Energy: 35.4kcal
  • Fat: 0.09g
  • Saturated fat: 0.02g
  • Monosaturates: 0.01g
  • Polyunsaturates: 0.05g
  • Cholesterol: 0.00mg
  • Fibre: 1.39g
  • Salt: 0.00g


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Glaxo Says It Will Stop Paying Doctors to Promote Drugs

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

You’re never too old to have an underactive thyroid

 (My doctor suggested synthroid as a possible help for fatigue...)

When a person’s thyroid hormone level gets too low nearly every system in the body is affected. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can set off a wide range of symptoms that can include fatigue, depression, weight gain, constipation, and dry skin.
Get your copy of Thyroid Disease

Many people diagnosed with a thyroid condition are surprised that such a tiny gland can have such a profound impact on overall health and well-being. But the thyroid gland plays an enormous role in human health. Throughout life, this busy gland is constantly producing hormones that influence metabolism. When disease causes your thyroid gland to slack off and underproduce thyroid hormone, or overwork and produce too much of it, you'll know something isn't right. This Special Health Report will help you recognize the symptoms and find the right treatment before you experience the long-term effects of this common condition.

While typical of an underactive thyroid, all those symptoms could be easily attributed to other medical problems. And in people over 60, symptoms of hypothyroidism can be more confusing. Any of the following health issues in a person over 60, alone or in combination, could mean an underlying thyroid problem. 
  • Unexplained high cholesterol. High cholesterol is sometimes the only evidence of an under active thyroid in an older person. Because this may be the only symptom, a high cholesterol level warrants a thyroid evaluation.
  • Heart failure. Some of the effects of low thyroid hormone levels — for example, reduced blood volume, weaker contractions of the heart muscle, and a slower heart rate — may contribute to heart failure. (Heart failure describes a condition in which the heart doesn’t pump blood effectively to the muscles and organs of the body). Symptoms of heart failure include breathlessness, swelling in the ankles, weakness, and fatigue.
  • Bowel movement changes. An older person with hypothyroidism might have constipation because of decreased movement of stool through the bowels. Less often, an older person will have frequent bouts of diarrhea, which is more typically a symptom of an overactive thyroid. Persistent or severe diarrhea in an older person always warrants a call to the doctor.
  • Joint or muscle pain. Vague joint pain is a classic symptom of hypothyroidism. It sometimes is the only symptom of hypothyroidism in an older patient, although many experience an overall muscular aching, particularly in large muscle groups.
  • Mental health concerns. As with younger people, depression is common among older people with an underactive thyroid. The difference is that in older people it can be the only symptom. An older person could also develop other psychiatric symptoms including delusions or hallucinations.
  • Dementia. Debilitating memory loss — often but not always, accompanied by depression or some kind of psychosis — can also occur as the only symptom of hypothyroidism. If you or a loved one is being evaluated for dementia, be sure that thyroid tests are part of the work up.
  • Problems with balance. Abnormalities in the cerebellum at the back of the brain that occur with an underactive thyroid may lead to walking problems in older people.
If you or someone you love is living with thyroid disease, learn how to take control of your condition and be an active participant in your care by purchasing Thyroid Disease, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Harvard Medical School offers special reports on over 50 health topics.
Visit our website at to find reports of interest to you and your family.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


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 Is it Christmas Yet?

 Mans Best Friend

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  24 Nov

A Firefighter Rescues a Kitten and Brings it Back to Life