Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hallucinogenic drug helped problem drinkers


Nature | News
Retrospective analysis shows hallucinogenic drug helped problem drinkers.
 
LSD blotter
DEA/Science Faction/Corbis
An analysis of old studies suggests LSD may have a role to play in treating alcoholism.
The powerful hallucinogen LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) has potential as a treatment for alcoholism, according to a retrospective analysis of studies published in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The study1, by neuroscientist Teri Krebs and clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, is the first-ever quantitative meta-analysis of LSD–alcoholism clinical trials. The researchers sifted through thousands of records to collect data from randomized, double-blind trials that compared one dose of LSD to a placebo.

Of 536 participants in six trials, 59% of people receiving LSD reported lower levels of alcohol misuse, compared to 38% of people who received a placebo. 

“We were surprised that the effect was so clear and consistent,” says Krebs. She says that the problem with most studies done at that time was that there were too few participants, which limited statistical power. “But when you combine the data in a meta-analysis, we have more than 500 patients and there is definitely an effect,” she says. 

In general, the reported benefits lasted three to six months. Their findings are published today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Psychedelics were promoted by psychiatrists in the 1950s as having a range of medical uses — to treat conditions such as schizophrenia, for example — before political pressures in the United States and elsewhere largely ended the work.

“Alcoholism was considered one of the most promising clinical applications for LSD,” says Johansen.

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson is said to have espoused the benefits of LSD
in the book Pass It On: The Story of Bill Wilson and How the AA Message Reached the World.

In the last decade or so, however, a new generation of researchers have been interested in harnessing the therapeutic benefits of illicit drugs — such as (MDMA or ecstasy) 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) for post-traumatic stress disorder, ayahuasca for drug and alcohol dependency, and psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, for smoking cessation.

The snow globe of perception?

How psychedelics exert such effects, especially after a single dose, remains unclear. LSD and its chemical cousins share structural similarities with the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is linked to many aspects of mood, memory and pleasure. These psychedelics also bind the same receptor sites in the brain as serotonin, but there the similarity may end — studies have shown that the hallucinogens elicit chemical cascades different from other compounds that bind at the same receptor2. To complicate matters further, LSD also acts at other receptors3.

For the moment, studying human behavioural responses rather than brain chemistry may be more helpful in understanding how the drugs work.

Robin Carhart-Harris, a psychopharmacologist at Imperial College London who has researched how psilocybin could treat depression, says that psychedelics must work at both biological and psychological levels. “Psychedelics probably work in addiction by making the brain function more chaotically for a period — a bit like shaking up a snow globe — weakening reinforced brain connections and dynamics,” he says.

Roland Griffiths, a behavioural biologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, is investigating the influence of psilocybin on smoking cessation, and says that psychedelics sometimes give rise to distinctive, insightful experiences that can produce enduring positive changes in attitude, mood and behaviour.

“This is impressive and important work,” says Matthew Johnson, a psychiatrist also at Johns Hopkins University who is now running a small trial looking at the effectiveness of psilocybin to treat nicotine addiction.

“Although this meta-analysis does not replace the need to test the approach in new, well-designed and rigorous clinical trials, it puts some more muscle behind the interpretation that the older literature shows hints that psychedelic therapy might really help addiction.”

However, Ken Checinski, a consultant addiction psychiatrist and independent researcher based in London, says that although the results are exciting, no pharmacological treatment should be seen as a magic bullet and that modern therapeutic techniques have improved.
 
“The included LSD trials pre-date the use of psychological techniques such as motivational interviewing and cognitive behaviour therapy,” he says.
Nature
doi:10.1038/nature.2012.10200

References

  1. Krebs, T. S. & Johansen, P-O. J. Psychopharmacol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269881112439253 (2012).
  2. González-Maeso, J. et al. J. Neurosci. 23, 88368843 (2003).
  3. Halberstadt, A. L. & Geyer, M. A. Neuropharmacology 61, 364381 (2011).
 

Hallucinogenic drug helped problem drinkers


Nature | News
Retrospective analysis shows hallucinogenic drug helped problem drinkers.
 
LSD blotter
DEA/Science Faction/Corbis
An analysis of old studies suggests LSD may have a role to play in treating alcoholism.
The powerful hallucinogen LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) has potential as a treatment for alcoholism, according to a retrospective analysis of studies published in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The study1, by neuroscientist Teri Krebs and clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, is the first-ever quantitative meta-analysis of LSD–alcoholism clinical trials. The researchers sifted through thousands of records to collect data from randomized, double-blind trials that compared one dose of LSD to a placebo.

Of 536 participants in six trials, 59% of people receiving LSD reported lower levels of alcohol misuse, compared to 38% of people who received a placebo. 

“We were surprised that the effect was so clear and consistent,” says Krebs. She says that the problem with most studies done at that time was that there were too few participants, which limited statistical power. “But when you combine the data in a meta-analysis, we have more than 500 patients and there is definitely an effect,” she says. 

In general, the reported benefits lasted three to six months. Their findings are published today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Psychedelics were promoted by psychiatrists in the 1950s as having a range of medical uses — to treat conditions such as schizophrenia, for example — before political pressures in the United States and elsewhere largely ended the work.

“Alcoholism was considered one of the most promising clinical applications for LSD,” says Johansen.

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson is said to have espoused the benefits of LSD
in the book Pass It On: The Story of Bill Wilson and How the AA Message Reached the World.

In the last decade or so, however, a new generation of researchers have been interested in harnessing the therapeutic benefits of illicit drugs — such as (MDMA or ecstasy) 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) for post-traumatic stress disorder, ayahuasca for drug and alcohol dependency, and psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, for smoking cessation.

The snow globe of perception?

How psychedelics exert such effects, especially after a single dose, remains unclear. LSD and its chemical cousins share structural similarities with the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is linked to many aspects of mood, memory and pleasure. These psychedelics also bind the same receptor sites in the brain as serotonin, but there the similarity may end — studies have shown that the hallucinogens elicit chemical cascades different from other compounds that bind at the same receptor2. To complicate matters further, LSD also acts at other receptors3.

For the moment, studying human behavioural responses rather than brain chemistry may be more helpful in understanding how the drugs work.

Robin Carhart-Harris, a psychopharmacologist at Imperial College London who has researched how psilocybin could treat depression, says that psychedelics must work at both biological and psychological levels. “Psychedelics probably work in addiction by making the brain function more chaotically for a period — a bit like shaking up a snow globe — weakening reinforced brain connections and dynamics,” he says.

Roland Griffiths, a behavioural biologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, is investigating the influence of psilocybin on smoking cessation, and says that psychedelics sometimes give rise to distinctive, insightful experiences that can produce enduring positive changes in attitude, mood and behaviour.

“This is impressive and important work,” says Matthew Johnson, a psychiatrist also at Johns Hopkins University who is now running a small trial looking at the effectiveness of psilocybin to treat nicotine addiction.

“Although this meta-analysis does not replace the need to test the approach in new, well-designed and rigorous clinical trials, it puts some more muscle behind the interpretation that the older literature shows hints that psychedelic therapy might really help addiction.”

However, Ken Checinski, a consultant addiction psychiatrist and independent researcher based in London, says that although the results are exciting, no pharmacological treatment should be seen as a magic bullet and that modern therapeutic techniques have improved.
 
“The included LSD trials pre-date the use of psychological techniques such as motivational interviewing and cognitive behaviour therapy,” he says.
Nature
doi:10.1038/nature.2012.10200

References

  1. Krebs, T. S. & Johansen, P-O. J. Psychopharmacol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269881112439253 (2012).
  2. González-Maeso, J. et al. J. Neurosci. 23, 88368843 (2003).
  3. Halberstadt, A. L. & Geyer, M. A. Neuropharmacology 61, 364381 (2011).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"The Pusher" by Steppenwolf


  
LYRICS:

You know I smoked a lot of grass.
Oh Lord! I popped a lot of pills.
But I've never touched nothin'
That my spirit couldn't kill.
You know I've seen a lot of people walking 'round
With tombstones in their eyes.
But the pusher don't care
If you live -- or if you die.
God Damn! The pusher.
God Damn! The pusher.
I said God Damn! God damn the pusher man.
You know the dealer, the dealer is a man
With a lump of grass in his hand.
But the pusher is a monster
Not a natural man.
The dealer for a nickel
Goin to sell you lots of sweet dreams.
Ah...but the pusher will ruin your body;
Lord he'll leave your mind to scream.
God Damn! The pusher.
God Damn! God damn the pusher.
I said God Damn! God damn the pusher man.
Well now if I were the president of this land
You know I'd declare total war on the pusher man.
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he run,
And I'd kill him with my bible, and my razor and my gun....
GOD DAMN! The pusher
God damn the pusher.
I said God damn! God damn the pusher man!




Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Living with a sense of purpose in life




Conclusion:

A sense of purpose in life also gives you this considerable advantage:
"People with a sense of purpose in life have a lower risk of death and cardiovascular disease."

The conclusions come from over 136,000 people who took part in 10 different studies.

Participants in the studies were mostly from the US and Japan.


The US studies asked people:
  • how useful they felt to others,
  • about their sense of purpose, and
  • the meaning they got out of life.


The Japanese studies asked people about ‘ikigai’ or whether their life was worth living.

The participants, whose average age was 67, were tracked for around 7 years.

During that time almost 20,000 died.
 
But, amongst those with a strong sense of purpose or high ‘ikigai’, the risk of death was one-fifth lower.

Despite the link between sense of purpose and health being so intuitive, scientists are not sure of the mechanism.

Sense of purpose is likely to improve health by strengthening the body against stress.

It is also likely to be linked to healthier behaviours.

Dr. Alan Rozanski, one of the study’s authors, said:
“Of note, having a strong sense of life purpose has long been postulated to be an important dimension of life, providing people with a sense of vitality motivation and resilience.
Nevertheless, the medical implications of living with a high or low sense of life purpose have only recently caught the attention of investigators.
The current findings are important because they may open up new potential interventions for helping people to promote their health and sense of well-being.”

This research on links between sense of purpose in life and longevity is getting stronger all the time:
  • “A 2009 study of 1,238 elderly people found that those with a sense of purpose lived longer.
  • A 2010 study of 900 older adults found that those with a greater sense of purpose were much less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Survey data often links a sense of purpose in life with increased happiness.
No matter what your age, then, it’s worth thinking about what gives your life meaning.”



Read More:

Find out what kinds of things people say give their lives meaning.
Here’s an exercise for increasing meaningfulness
And a study finding that feeling you belong increases the sense of meaning.

The study was published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (Cohen et al., 2015).




A sense of purpose in life
Link: http://www.spring.org.uk/2015/12/here-is-why-a-sense-of-purpose-in-life-is-important-for-health

Hitler, the Tiger and Me


 
Documentary telling the story of Judith Kerr, creator of well-loved children's books.
From BBC's Imagine series.

Hitler, the Tiger and Me

https://youtu.be/LgKbGQMixUw




Friday, November 18, 2016

What the human brain looks like with Multiple Sclerosis

 

What the human brain looks like with MS


Goat Protection Dog

Image result for Baby Monkey is Best Friends with Goat 







Danny Macaskill: The Ridge


 
 Danny MacAskill - Riding the Ridge - Scottish star stunt ... 
Go behind the scenes of the film - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=...

The
Ridge is the brand new film from Danny Macaskill... For the first time
in one of his films Danny climbs aboard a mountain bike and returns to
his native home of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to take on a
death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline.

Explore mountain biking in Scotland here: http://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/a...

Credits

A Film by Cut Media - www.CutMedia.com

Director: Stu Thomson
Camera/Drone Gimbal: Stu Thomson, Scott Marshall
Drone Pilot: Lec Park
Mountain Guide: Matt Barratt
Assistants: Alan Blyth, Paul Smail
Titles: Sandra Ord
Colourist: Guido Snieder
Music: Blackbird by Martyn Bennett, taken from the album GRIT.

Special
Thanks To: Five Ten, ENVE Components, Santa Cruz Bicycles,
Visit Scotland, SkyeAdventure.co.uk, GoPro, Skye Boat
Trips, Macloed Estate, LowePro Bags,


Five Ten - http://www.fiveten.com
ENVE Composites - http://www.ENVE.com
Santa Cruz Bicycles - http://www.santacruzbicycles.com



Paper Trails

Paper Trails: Rolled Newspaper Animal Sculptures by Chie Hitotsuyama

chie-hitotsuyama-1

Hitotsuyama’s first animal sculpture created in 2011, inspired by her encounter with a rhino in Africa
In 2007, artist Chie Hitotsuyama took an illustration job with an NGO and traveled to Africa. There she encountered a rhino that had been rescued from poachers who prey on the beautiful animal only for its tusk, which to this day, are bought and sold for high prices. “I still remember the kindness in that Rhino’s eyes,” she says, speaking about the encounter, which inspired her to begin making animal-themed artwork.

chie-hitotsuyama-animation

Today, Hitotsuyama and her partner Tomiji Tamai create animals, built to real-life scale, entirely out of used newspaper. Each piece is painstakingly assembled by rolling wet newspaper into small bits and pieces, which help contribute to the realistic appearance.
The artist then uses tweezers to attach the rolled up newspaper to the body, which is also fashioned out of newspaper. “More than anything else, I’m particular about the realistic feel of the animals,” says the artist, speaking about her work. “They are living ordinary everyday lives just like us. I would like keep insisting on reality and producing my life-sized work as much as possible in order to convey their lives.”

chie-hitotsuyama-2
Hitotsuyama Studio is based in Shizuoka, inside an old warehouse where Hitotsuyama’s family used to operate a paper strip manufacturing plant. Beginning last month, Hitotsuyama embarked on a series of U.S. exhibitions. Her show in Los Angeles just wrapped up and she’s now moving to Chicago (Jeffrey Breslow Gallery, Sep 23, 2016 – Jan 15, 2017) and Lancaster (MOAH Museum, Oct 2, 2016 – Jan 7, 2017).

Chie Hitotsuyama “Paper Trails” from Ayako Hoshino on Vimeo.

chie-hitotsuyama-3







 Source:  http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2016/10/24/paper-trails-rolled-newspaper-animal-sculptures-by-chie-hitotsuyama/



Unique!! Japanese Artist Tightly Rolls Newspaper To Create Incredibly Re...


 

Unique!! Japanese Artist Tightly Rolls Newspaper To Create Incredibly Realistic Animal Sculptures



For
most us, newspapers are for reading. But for Chie Hitotsuyama,
newspapers serve a whole different purpose. Because as you can see
below, the Japanese artist doesn’t use them to catch up on the sport and
gossip. She turns them into incredibly realistic animal sculptures
instead.
She makes them by densely rolling, twisting, and binding
pieces of wet newspaper. The process is done entirely by hand and she
even uses the colored print to enhance the contours and gradations of
her subjects. From red-faced Japanese macaques to languishing lizards
and even a giant dozing rhinoceros, Chie creates the most stunning
sculptures from something that most of us simply throw in the trash.
It’s a brilliant way of turning bad news into something more positive.



Chie Hitotsuyama "Paper Trails"


 
Published on Sep 22, 2016
Three-dimensional
art objects created by Ms. Chie Hitotsuyama are full of life. Their
exuberant expressions convey the strength needed for survival in
unforgiving nature. Ms. Hitostuyama's works use the material of old
newspapers that stopped serving their role as an information medium. She
breathes artistic life and value into those newspapers and repurposes
them into new shapes by applying her original sensibility and delicate
manual skills. Animals of various types are living their respective
lives as if they were a matter of course.