Thursday, February 28, 2013
The Pope left today.
I deeply respect all religions. I mostly respect the human need to believe. The fragility of the believer. The dependency of the mortal human. The infinitesimal existence of a powerless short lived thinking being. The terrifying notion of heaven and hell.... not to mention some religions promises of wine and countless virgins to men in the glory of after life.
Have I missed something here?
Did God say take care of your leaders and let others suffer?
Did God say that one should have a throne while others starve?
Did God say love is Sinful?
Did God say Did God say woman and gays are second class?
Did God say look the other way?
I am overwhelmed by thousand year traditions that are mostly meant to control the masses. This day was a clear example. One of the wealthiest, most powerful countries in the world , the Vatican, has a leadership change. The assigned majesty and grace to this political event is incredibly amusing An intricate emotional and spiritual cloak is somewhat of a mask for the obvious political struggles behind the scenes.
The ring changes hands at 8 pm and that was important a thousand years ago. In 2013, leaks about corruption and cover ups are only a few of the underlying issues. It is not a selfless, bold and spiritual move to resign but a political necessarily and possibly an order. Over a billion people follow these traditions without questioning them. Billions are starving, being shot and abused by governments around the world. I think we should reclaim an ounce of our child like curiosity and question all things.
With all due respect to the pope, you are not just a " pilgrim ".
Humbly dr. Z
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
"Previous research from Finland, based on questionnaires completed on a single occasion or on military registries, used a sample of 2,540 boys to see if being a bully or a victim at 8 predicted a psychiatric disorder 10 to 15 years later. The researchers found frequent bully-victims were at particular risk of adverse long-term outcomes, specifically anxiety and antisocial personality disorders. Victims were at greater risk for anxiety disorders, while bullies were at increased risk for antisocial personality disorder."
Victims of bullying at school, and bullies themselves, are more likely to experience psychiatric problems in childhood, studies have shown. Now researchers have found that elevated risk of psychiatric trouble extends into adulthood, sometimes even a decade after the intimidation has ended.
The new study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry on Wednesday, is the most comprehensive effort to date to establish the long-term consequences of childhood bullying, experts said.
“It documents the elevated risk across a wide range of mental health outcomes and over a long period of time,” said Catherine Bradshaw, an expert on bullying and a deputy director of the Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence at Johns Hopkins University, which was not involved in the study.
“The experience of bullying in childhood can have profound effects on mental health in adulthood, particularly among youths involved in bullying as both a perpetuator and a victim,” she added.
The study followed 1,420 subjects from Western North Carolina who were assessed four to six times between the ages of 9 and 16. Researchers asked both the children and their primary caregivers if they had been bullied or had bullied others in the three months before each assessment. Participants were divided into four groups: bullies, victims, bullies who also were victims, and children who were not exposed to bullying at all.
Participants were assessed again in young adulthood — at 19, 21 and between 24 and 26 — using structured diagnostic interviews.
Researchers found that victims of bullying in childhood were 4.3 times more likely to have an anxiety disorder as adults, compared to those with no history of bullying or being bullied.
Bullies who were also victims were particularly troubled: they were 14.5 times more likely to develop panic disorder as adults, compared to those who did not experience bullying, and 4.8 times more likely to experience depression. Men who were both bullies and victims were 18.5 times more likely to have had suicidal thoughts in adulthood, compared to the participants who had not been bullied or perpetuators. Their female counterparts were 26.7 times more likely to have developed agoraphobia, compared to children not exposed to bullying.
Bullies who were not victims of bullying were 4.1 times more likely to have antisocial personality disorder as adults than those never exposed to bullying in their youth.
The effects persisted even after the researchers accounted for pre-existing psychiatric problems or other factors that might have contributed to psychiatric disorders, like physical or sexual abuse, poverty and family instability.
“We were actually able to say being a victim of bullying is having an effect a decade later, above and beyond other psychiatric problems in childhood and other adversities,” said William E. Copeland, lead author of the study and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.
Bullying is not a harmless rite of passage, but inflicts lasting psychiatric damage on a par with certain family dysfunctions, Dr. Copeland said. “The pattern we are seeing is similar to patterns we see when a child is abused or maltreated or treated very harshly within the family setting,” he said.
One limitation of the study is that bullying was not analyzed for frequency, and the researchers’ assessment did not distinguish between interpersonal and overt bullying. It only addressed bullying at school, not in other settings.
Monday, February 25, 2013
For a number of years I have been designing a system to highly reduce stress levels for infants. A plethora of neuropsychophysiological research from pioneers such as Dr. Allan Schore , Dr. Ed Tronick, Dr. Jack Shokoff and others are avaialble supporting the idea scientifically. There is no doubt in my mind that a healthier endocrine system, cardiovascular system, central nervous system and right brain development can be achieved through the reduction of infantile stress during the first 13 months of development. Finally, there are studies supporting what was envisioned by Dr. Schore decades a go.
Early Life Stress May Take Early Toll On Heart Function
Feb. 21, 2013 — Early life stress like that experienced by ill newborns appears to take an early toll of the heart, affecting its ability to relax and refill with oxygen-rich blood, researchers report.
Rat pups separated from their mothers a few hours each day, experienced a significant decrease in this basic heart function when -- as life tends to do -- an extra stressor was added to raise blood pressure, said Dr. Catalina Bazacliu, neonatologist at the Medical College of Georgia and Children's Hospital of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. Bazacliu worked under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Pollock, biochemist in the Section of Experimental Medicine in the MCG Department of Medicine.
The relaxation and filling rate remained low in the separation model, although decreases stabilized by ages two and six months, as the rats neared middle age. Both the model and controls experienced decreases in those functions that come naturally with age.
Interestingly, the force with which the heart ejected blood remained unchanged with the additional stressor, angiotensin II, a powerful constrictor of blood vessels. Echocardiography was used to evaluate heart function.
"We expected the heart's ability to relax and refill to lag behind in our model," said Bazacliu, whose research earned her a Young Investigator Award from the Southern Society for Pediatric Research. She is reporting her findings Feb. 22 during the Southern Regional Meetings in New Orleans, sponsored by the society as well as several other groups including the Southern Section of the American Federation for Medical Research.
"We believe these babies may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and we are working to understand exactly what puts them at risk," Bazacliu said. She believes hers is the first animal study of this aspect of heart function.
Dr. Analia S. Loria, assistant research scientist in Pollock's lab and also a co-author on the new abstract, has shown that the blood pressure of maternally separated rats goes up more in response to angiotensin II and their heart rates go higher as well. Normally, a compensatory mechanism drives the heart rate down a little when blood pressure goes up.
Work by others has shown persistent blood vessel changes in the early stress model, including increased contraction and reduced relaxation when similarly stressed.
Longitudinal studies in humans have shown long-term cardiovascular implications, such as babies born to mothers during the Dutch famine of World War II, growing up at increased risk for cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes, obesity and other health problems.
Bazacliu's earlier studies in a similar animal model indicated that babies whose growth was restricted in utero by conditions such as preeclampsia -- maternal high blood pressure during pregnancy -- were at increased risk of cardiovascular disease as adults. This was true whether the babies were born prematurely or at full term. Increased pressure during development reduces blood flow from mother to baby; reduced nutrition and oxygen to the baby is considered an environmental stress.
Bazacliu's interest in early life stress grew out of the reality that, while obviously intended to save premature and otherwise critically ill newborns, neonatal intensive care units can further stress these babies. "All the procedures we must do, the separation from the mother, the environment, even though the babies need the help, it represents a stress." NICUs such as the one at Children's Hospital of Georgia work to minimize negative impact with strategies such as open visiting hours, minimalizing noise and other family-centered care strategies.
Bazacliu came to MCG in 2011 from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Fruit Flies Force Their Young to Drink Alcohol for Their Own Good
Feb. 22, 2013 — The fruit fly study adds to the evidence "that using toxins in the environment to medicate offspring may be common across the animal kingdom," says biologist Todd Schlenke.
When fruit flies sense parasitic wasps in their environment, they lay their eggs in an alcohol-soaked environment, essentially forcing their larvae to consume booze as a drug to combat the deadly wasps.
The discovery by biologists at Emory University is being published in the journal Science on February 22.