Photograph is by Jongsung Ryu, National Geographic Photo of the Day May 18 2014: http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/polar-bear-animal-rest/

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. ~ Joyce Meyer




Eating well may be the new eating disorder | Quartz

Orthorexia nervosa, the "health food eating disorder," gets its name from the Greek word ortho, meaning straight, proper or correct. This exaggerated focus on food can be seen today in some people who follow lifestyle movements such as "raw," "clean," and "paleo."


I Wanna Live Forever | Sean Carroll Picture Graphic

If you're one of those people who look the universe in the eyeball without flinching, choosing to accept uncomfortable truths when they are supported by the implacable judgment of Science, then you've probably acknowledged that sitting is bad for you.


The first piece I came across doing the Science Saturday post because of the new way of stacking articles that many sites use. [Scroll down, new story appears. On most sites I like the efficiency.] It's not meant as social commentary; I just think it's interesting.

The second piece is one I meant to include somewhere and forgot. In it, he explains how he addressed the situation in his life and it's clever, helpful, and interesting.

I remembered it today while walking around the house (10 minutes at least every two hours and usually every one). I spend a lot of time in the recliner because of my back; I'm not going to a gym (germs!! expense!!), too clumsy for exercise equipment, too heat-sensitive and clumsy to walk outdoors, and too social-phobic and environmentally conscious to drive somewhere to walk somewhere. "Brisk" is a speed I'll not reach again without a cardiologist holding a cattle prod in the room, but I can move purposefully for an hour or more a day (more than I did most days on the job).

Prevention has a graphic about how women can reduce their stroke risk. I would paste over the 3 to 9 drinks a week (I find no credible reason to encourage anyone to consume alcohol) with quitting smoking.

The change in medication was clearly the right thing to do. Mental state improved, blood pressure stabilized to the point that I forgot to check it today...brb. (117/70) Blood sugar numbers are good-ish -- so much improved that my doctor will be happy but I'm shooting for better.

Science Saturday (Mar 28)



New Features Added: Rubella, The Burden of COPD, Epilepsy and Smoking and more | CDC


CDCCenters for Disease Control
and Prevention


www.cdc.gov/features
Saving Lives. Protecting People. TM


Rubella

Young girl kissing mother's pregnant bellyRubella is a contagious disease caused by a virus. For some people--especially pregnant women and their unborn babies--rubella can be serious. Make sure you and your child are protected from rubella by getting vaccinated on schedule.

Learn More!



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Thursday, 26 March 2015


Wednesday, 25 March 2015


Monday, 23 March 2015


Monday, 23 March 2015



Image of the Week

This image depicts a symbolic scenario including a bottle of beer and mixed drink in the background, and in the extreme foreground, a set of car keys had been laid to rest on what appeared to be a bar's granite countertop.



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Environment Friday (Mar 27)


The week in wildlife -- in pictures | The Guardian Picture

A languid langur, an even slower loris and a tufted titmouse drinking maple syrup from an icicle are among the pick of this week's images from the natural world


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday FTSidebar (Mar 26)



Health Thursday (Mar 26)



HHS takes strong steps to address opioid-drug related overdose, death and dependence


Dept. of Health & Human Services

HHS takes strong steps to address opioid-drug related overdose, death and dependence

Evidence-based, bipartisan efforts focus on prescribing practices and treatment to reduce prescription opioid and heroin use disorders

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced a targeted initiative aimed at reducing prescription opioid and heroin related overdose, death and dependence. Deaths from drug overdose have risen steadily over the past two decades and currently outnumber deaths from car accidents in the United States. The President's FY 2016 budget includes critical investments to intensify efforts to reduce opioid misuse and abuse, including $133 million in new funding to address this critical issue.

Read more about today's announcement.

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NIMH Strategic Plan for Research


NIMH is pleased to announce the release of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Strategic Plan for Research, available online.
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to review and provide feedback on the draft NIMH Strategic Plan for Research. We look forward to your continued involvement as we strive toward research that will help us to realize the mission of the NIMH to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.
Strategic Plan

NIMH Strategic Plan for Research

Director's Message
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has just entered its 66th year as the nation's leader in research on mental disorders, supporting prevention, recovery, and cure. Over the past five years, we have seen progress in many areas, from fundamental neuroscience to research on service delivery. We have seen breakthroughs in genetics, the launch of the BRAIN Initiative, and the success of the Human Connectome Project. Read More...
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Over the past 5 years, we have seen progress in many areas, from fundamental neuroscience to research on service delivery.
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About NIMH

The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. For more information about the Institute, visit our Web site at http://www.nimh.nih.gov.
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Introduction

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead Federal agency for research on mental illnesses. The mission of the NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.
The urgency of this mission arises from the public health burden. According to recent estimates, mental illnesses account for 21.3 percent of all years lived with disability in the United States. Read More...
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Strategic Objective 1:  Define the Mechanisms of Complex Behaviors

Strategic Objective 1 focuses on the basic science required for understanding mental illnesses. This objective serves as a foundation for a research continuum leading to better interventions and services. Read More...
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Strategic Objective 2:  Chart Mental Illness Trajectories To Determine When, Where and How to Intervene

Strategic Objective 2 focuses on the crucial component of development, elucidating how brain and behavior change across the lifespan in health and illness. Read More...
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Strategic Objective 3:  Strive for Prevention and Cures

Strategic Objective 3 lays out the next steps in the research continuum for identifying better preventive and therapeutic interventions, and for tailoring such interventions to the individual. Read More...
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Strategic Objective 4:  Strengthen the Public Health Impact of NIMH-Supported Research

Strategic Objective 4 strives to bring the knowledge and findings derived from the previous Strategic Objectives to practice, improve the reach and quality of existing services, and develop novel evidence-based services. Read More...
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

People think that I must be a very strange person. This is not correct. I have the heart of a small boy. It is in a glass jar on my desk. ~ Stephen King

I've lost between 30 and 40 pounds since moving to Texas. It's not a number I track well, and while that's meant to focus on doing healthier things for their own sake, my not paying attention can have consequences. The last 10 pounds came off preparing for surgery: eating better, hydrating better, and walking more.

Things with loved ones have been tense, getting more tense as time went by. On Sunday I noticed that my blood pressure was up -- way up. Not dangerous but a systolic of 150 in a diabetic is a huge number. I eat better, get more exercise, and weigh less. Time to take a hard look at what was going on.

To address the family tension I got hammered on Xanax (1/4 mg) and sent ES a note with requests for change (we are working things out and with the help of FPO the ship is righting itself). Between the physical symptoms, family difficulties, and a somewhat hardened and angry mental state, changes had to be made.

First was stopping the half-caf coffee in the morning. Next was to begin reducing the nicotine gum. I need to do that anyway since it thins my already delicate skin. I'm determined to get it down this year even if it means sweating out some bad days.

But I might not have to endure too many of those. My psychiatrist had advised me at our last visit that changes in weight might necessitate changes in medication. So the third action (with approval from her) was to lower the Lexapro from 30 to 20 mg. While Lexapro does not typically raise blood pressure, 30 mg is not a typical daily dose. I had to take that much in part because I was overweight. Now my weight is nearing an acceptable range for my age and height.

It's only the third day, but even with adding back the half-caf this morning my blood pressure is steady at 120/70 or lower, and I'm not missing the extra piece of nicotine gum. I have the wacky hope that correcting the serotonin and norepinephrine levels will mean I need less dopamine (provided by the nicotine gum). Plus, you know, being less crazy. Empirically, so far so good. Three days puts us beyond the half-life so I'm ever hopeful. Kind thoughts appreciated.

Monday, March 23, 2015

NIH Research Matters: Predicting statin benefits, preventing movement problems, and tumor development


NIH Research Matters banner


Illustration of DNA, blood cells, and a blood vessel.Genetics Help Predict Heart Disease Risk, Statin Benefits
Researchers found that a set of genetic variants could identify people at risk for coronary heart disease and who would benefit most from statin therapy.



Healthy older cyclists.Physical Activity May Reduce Age-Related Movement Problems
Physical activity may help improve movement problems linked to brain lesions in older people. The results highlight the importance of an active lifestyle for older adults.



Illustration of cells in a tumor.Novel Approach Gives Insights Into Tumor Development
Scientists used a powerful new technique to systematically turn off all the genes in mouse lung cancer cells and test how they affect tumor growth and metastasis.




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