Scientific Hypotheses – Michigan Paranormal Encounters http://michiganparanormalencounters.com/ Wed, 28 Sep 2022 22:13:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-2.png Scientific Hypotheses – Michigan Paranormal Encounters http://michiganparanormalencounters.com/ 32 32 Passion, exercise and relationships protect against cognitive decline https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/passion-exercise-and-relationships-protect-against-cognitive-decline/ Wed, 28 Sep 2022 22:13:28 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/passion-exercise-and-relationships-protect-against-cognitive-decline/ Share on PinterestIn a recent article, researchers reviewed studies linking three key lifestyle factors to brain health. Images Mint RF/Getty Images In a recent article, researchers reviewed studies linking exercise, relationships and passion to brain health. They found reasonable evidence that all three factors provide protection against cognitive decline. Their review noted that randomized controlled […]]]>

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In a recent article, researchers reviewed studies linking three key lifestyle factors to brain health. Images Mint RF/Getty Images
  • In a recent article, researchers reviewed studies linking exercise, relationships and passion to brain health.
  • They found reasonable evidence that all three factors provide protection against cognitive decline.
  • Their review noted that randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm their findings.

Changes in cognitive functions during the aging process are Related to the volume of white and gray matter in the brain.

Gray matter is made up of biological structures including neuronal cell bodies, synapses, and capillaries while white matter is made up of myelinated axons, through which signals are carried between neurons.

Volume of gray matter regularly declines around 10 years old. Research suggests that medically and cognitively healthier individuals experience less brain atrophy than less healthy individuals.

Studies also show that regular exercisestrong relationships and passion are essential for maintaining a healthy brain during the aging process.

In a recent paper, researchers conducted an extensive review of the extensive literature available on the link between developing brain physiology and physical activity, social relationships, and passion. Based on the evidence, they report that increased passion for an area or skill leads to more physical activity, more social relationships, and better well-being.

“[From our research]we have found that passion – or a strong interest – can be a [key motivational factor for achievement and well-being] because it defines the direction of the arrow,” said Hermundur Sigmundsson, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the lead author. Medical News Today.

“Therefore, we say: Find your passion and develop it! Courage, or perseverance, is the size and strength of the arrow. Find your area of ​​interest and focus on the process. [Be ready to] meet challenges! Challenges are the key to development! he added.

The article was recently published in a special issue of brain science.

Observational studies indicate that an active lifestyle is helpful in maintaining cognitive and neurological health in all age groups, particularly in higher-order processes such as switching between tasks, working memory and cognitive inhibition.

The researchers noted in their paper that intervention studies have confirmed these findings.

For example, older people who did 1 hour of aerobic training 3 times a week for 6 months had increased gray and white matter volume compared to controls.

Other research shows that physical activity increases functionality in brain areas related to attention and attention control, activities of daily living, and cognitive reserve, a reserve of thinking skills that acts as a buffer against age-related cognitive decline.

The new article points to studies that suggest that maintaining social ties improves cognitive reserve through cognitive strategies, greater neuronal growth and synaptic density, which protect against disease processes.

Imaging studies have demonstrated that broader social networks are linked to a larger orbitofrontal cortex—involved in decision-making—and amygdala volume.

These studies also show that people who are less socially active have a greater number of white matter lesions.

Additionally, randomized controlled trials have shown that social relationships can improve cognitive reserve, and interventions have shown that increased social interaction in communities is linked to better cognitive function and larger brain volume.

Other studies, however, indicate no link between social relationships and cognitive function later in life. The researchers therefore suggest that stronger evidence from randomized controlled trials is needed to demonstrate causation.

In their paper, the researchers defined passion as “a strong feeling toward a personally important value/preference that motivates intentions and behaviors to express that value/preference.”

Other research has shown that passion is linked to more deliberate practice in football players and to better well-being and performance in workers.

The researchers also noted that passion could therefore be important for maintaining neural plasticity. They wrote: “…hence the repetition, use it or lose it, use it and improve it and the intensity.”

An example of this is someone who is passionate about learning new languages. The researchers wrote that passion can motivate an individual to practice more of the second language and thus strengthen their gray matter, neural cells and connections.

They also noted that psychological traits such as courage and a growth mindset were also related to the development of gray matter in different parts of the brain.

The researchers further cited a number of papers which suggest that impaired motor function, antisocial behavior, depression and anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure) are common in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders and in the natural aging process.

They thus suggested that a “vicious circle” could be at play: less physical activity can promote less social engagement and less well-being.

“Passion gives direction to the area of ​​interest, which could be related to the dopamine system, which is central to attention, learning, goal-oriented behaviors and rewards. Passion can provide the focus essential to achieving long-term goals,” the researchers wrote.

When asked how physical activity, socialization, and passion improve brain health, Art Kramer, Ph.D., professor emeritus in the department of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, not involved in the research, said DTM:

We know more about the mechanisms underlying physical activity than about social interactions or learning new skills, as there is decades of literature on the effects of physical activity on brain health, learning and memory, as there are excellent animal models for physical activity (often wheel racing with rodents).

“The animal literature suggests a number of brain changes associated with physical activity, including new neurons in regions of the brain that support memory, more connections between neurons (called synapses), and an increase in vascular structure. Increased neurotransmitters and nerve growth factors (among other changes) have also been associated with increased physical activity in animal models.

– Art Kramer, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

The researchers concluded that physical exercise, social interactions and passion are essential for maintaining brain health.

Asked about the limitations of the article, Dr. Sigmundsson noted that their article was only a review and intervention studies focused on increasing passion, physical activity and engagement. should be carried out to confirm their hypotheses.

Dr Kramer added: “There are a number of limitations, including how best to personalize these factors to improve cognitive and brain function in individuals, as well as how best to combine intellectual engagement, physical activity and social interactions to maximize their lifelong benefits. and with non-patients and patients.

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When Harvard declared war on Freud, Freud won https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/when-harvard-declared-war-on-freud-freud-won/ Tue, 27 Sep 2022 14:30:00 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/when-harvard-declared-war-on-freud-freud-won/ Today, it is practically impossible to study psychology without taking into account the ideas of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Although his theory of psychosexual development—in which personality develops through early childhood interactions with oral, anal, and urinary stimuli—has been repeatedly debunked, other Freudian concepts, such as the relationship between Conscious and unconscious minds […]]]>

Today, it is practically impossible to study psychology without taking into account the ideas of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Although his theory of psychosexual development—in which personality develops through early childhood interactions with oral, anal, and urinary stimuli—has been repeatedly debunked, other Freudian concepts, such as the relationship between Conscious and unconscious minds continue to inform how we think about ourselves.

Whether you idolize him or approach his writings with caution and skepticism, every practicing psychologist is in some measure indebted to Freud. And yet, this has not always been the case. As sociologist George Homans wrote in his autobiography Coming back to my senses, “For educated people today, it is easy to forget how fresh and radical Freud seemed in the 1930s or how controversial he was.” Because of these controversies, many contemporaries treated him not with respect but with reserve and even disdain.

Henry Murray suggested that Freud mistook Gordon Allport for one of his patients. (Credit: Freud.org / Wikipedia)

Among these contemporaries was Harvard psychologist Gordon Allport, who met Freud while traveling through Europe for a scholarship. Although not entirely sold on psychoanalysis himself, Allport was intrigued by its clinical potential, and so he came to Vienna with an open mind. Hoping to spark an enlightening conversation, he told Freud about something he had observed on a streetcar on the way: a young boy telling his mother that he did not want to sit on a “dirty seat” next to a “dirty man”.

Allport hoped that the psychoanalyst would provide some insight into neurosis. Much to his dismay, Freud remained silent and still until he finally opened his mouth and said, “And was that little boy you?” This response made an unfavorable impression on Allport who, although described by his colleagues as clean and highly organized, left Vienna with the belief that Freudian thought was too preoccupied with subconscious motivations to give any consideration to conscious motives.

Psychology: social science or natural sciences?

Gordon Allport was far from the only Harvard psychologist to oppose Sigmund Freud. Indeed, the majority of his department wanted nothing to do with psychoanalysis. The motivation for this disgust was twofold. First, topics like sexual defiance and sexuality in general—both central to Freud’s work—were still considered taboo in conservative Boston, even among its most educated elites, and therefore unfit for academic study.

Second and more importantly, however, the association with psychoanalysis threatened to taint the scientific status that Harvard’s psychology department had fought long and hard to achieve. When the discipline was introduced to the university in the late 1800s, it became part of the philosophy department, not the medical school. Over time, Harvard psychologists came to desire not just institutional independence, but the same levels of authority and prestige enjoyed by the natural sciences they were emulating.

Leading Harvard psychologists insisted that people should be studied the same way we study animals. (Credit: Damien Neadle/Wikipedia)

Currently, we consider psychology as part of social sciences and natural sciences. At the time, the discipline was expected to choose one side or the other. Allport’s superiors, psychology professor Edwin Boring and university president James Conant, wanted psychology to associate with chemistry and medicine, not philosophy and ancient literature. Instead of Freud or Carl Jung, they hired animal behaviorist Karl Lashley to bolster their psychology team.

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True to his calling, Lashley argued that people should be studied in the same way as animals. In behaviorism, animals are treated as “black boxes”. Since we can’t really know what’s going on inside their heads (although modern neurologists are getting closer), the only thing about them that we can study with relative certainty is their responses to external stimuli. Under Lashley’s auspices, research projects at Harvard were to resemble experiments with hypotheses and control populations.

Biotropic vs Sociotropic

Biotropes, as Lashley and his followers were called, attempted to prevent the university from allocating resources to sociotropes – that is, members of the psychology department interested in the social rather than scientific aspects of their discipline. Following in the footsteps of Sigmund Freud, Harvard sociotropes looked beyond human behavior in favor of an investigation of invisible and intangible, yet meaningful, mental processes that Lashley ignored.

Henry Murray, author of the initially unorthodox but now classic psychology text, rallied the sociotropes. Personality explorations. Murray, who became interested in depth psychology after a “life-changing” 1925 encounter with Carl Jung, was one of the first Americans to practice psychoanalysis. A friend and colleague of Allport, he rationalized the latter’s clash with Freud by stating that he “considered consciousness as big and the unconscious as a small thing there”, whereas “Freud thought that consciousness was a little thing up there”. , the unconscious the iceberg below.

Ultimately, Harvard University created a new department where psychologists could freely explore Freud’s ideas. (Credit: Jacob Rus/Wikipedia)

While Allport did not share Murray’s admiration for Sigmund Freud, they shared an antagonism toward biotropes, whose ever-increasing emphasis on scientific inquiry left little room for scholars who dared to think differently. As newly elected president of the American Psychological Association, he openly condemned Lashley’s behaviorism, whose meteoric rise in popularity at Harvard University he attributed to the “rising and waning fads of the time”. In the same speech, he called for the democratization of psychological study.

Allport’s call has been answered, sort of. As described by Patrick L. Schmidt in his new book, Harvard’s Quixotic Pursuit of a New Science: The Rise and Fall of the Department of Social Relations, the university created a new department (although it no longer exists) in which psychologists, alongside sociologists and cultural anthropologists, could pursue unconventional and interdisciplinary research projects. That the modern discipline of psychology is multifaceted rather than singularly scientific in character indicates the enduring influence of Sigmund Freud and the researchers he inspired.

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Will having a scientific president matter in policy-making in Kenya? https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/will-having-a-scientific-president-matter-in-policy-making-in-kenya/ Sun, 25 Sep 2022 05:40:43 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/will-having-a-scientific-president-matter-in-policy-making-in-kenya/ President William Ruto talks to Africa Management University Chancellor Reuben Mutiso during the university’s graduation ceremony in Kitengela, Nairobi. [File, Standard] William Ruto won the presidential election against all odds. We have in the past tried to explain why and how he won. We look forward to his cabinet giving us an idea of ​​how […]]]>

President William Ruto talks to Africa Management University Chancellor Reuben Mutiso during the university’s graduation ceremony in Kitengela, Nairobi. [File, Standard]

William Ruto won the presidential election against all odds. We have in the past tried to explain why and how he won.

We look forward to his cabinet giving us an idea of ​​how he will run the government. I’m particularly interested in who gets the hot finance file. Can we call these men and women minister or waziri, the cabinet secretary is old-fashioned and copied from the American constitution?

However, we have not reviewed President Ruto’s academic credentials, which are unique. He is the first Kenyan president to earn a doctorate and the first scientist to occupy the house on the hill. He is a botanist.

Curiously, he is a very religious man, since his student days. Religion is a matter of faith, with few questions asked. It mainly relies on a source of knowledge, usually a holy book like the Bible or the Koran.

Science is a matter of skepticism, not certainty as we are led to believe. All scientific knowledge is provisional, until we gain higher knowledge.

Remember that at one time the atom was the smallest unit of matter? And we thought Earth was the center of the universe?

Why should we care about Dr. Ruto’s academic credentials?

Scientists think differently from artists, who call themselves social scientists. These try to mimic the methods that “real” scientists use to gather new knowledge after collecting data and testing hypotheses.

Social scientists are more bound by emotions, sentimentality and beliefs despite their flirtation with objectivity. They don’t like being told that.

Scientists are known for their objectivity, focus on cause and effect relationships, and transparency. The methods they use to collect and analyze the data are made public and anyone can reproduce their study if in doubt.

This contrasts with social scientists whose key subjects are human beings with their biases and prejudices. Social science studies are very hard to replicate, our views and beliefs keep changing.

religious politician

Since Dr. Ruto is a religious politician, we look forward to seeing his scientific part. How objective will he be in his decisions? Will he make better decisions taking into account the cause and effect relationship?

As a scientist, will he demand data or evidence for the most critical decisions? Will it eliminate our whims in making important decisions for this country? Will it make public participation more scientific?

Will transparency reign in the spirit of science? Will it remove “siri” from serikali? How will he balance his religious beliefs with science?

A more curious question is whether more scientists will get big jobs in government. Do not the birds of a feather flock together? Will college degrees compete with gender in internships?

Instead of the two-thirds rule on sex, why not the two-thirds rule on science? Ensuring a mix of social and “hard” scientists in top positions? Some think there will be a new mix of hard work, religious inclination.

There is no doubt that evangelicals played a role in Dr. Ruto’s victory. What will their dividend be?

Will Ruto’s scientific side be visible in public? Winners of drama and music festivals in school competitions always visit State House. Will the laureates of science and technology congresses also visit the president?

The United States has an Office of Science and Technology Policy under the Presidency. Will we have such an office under President Ruto?

Will the rise of Dr Ruto lead to more STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students at the university level and catalyze industrialization, which is driven by scientists and their engineer cousins?

Will there be more money for research and development? Today, 75% of university students study social sciences; will Dr. Ruto reverse this?

make a difference

Has Dr. Ruto busted the myth that scientists can’t make leaders? Jomo Kenyatta was an anthropologist, Daniel arap Moi was a teacher and Kibaki was an economist. Uhuru Kenyatta studied economics but rarely pronounced his area of ​​academic interest.

We should also accept that Dr. Ruto’s scientific training is not unique. Margaret Thatcher was a chemist, Angela Merkel is a quantum chemist. Xi Jingping is a chemical engineer and Pombe Mangufuli was a chemist. Why do chemists make good politicians? Mix things up?

Will Dr. Ruto’s academic background make a difference to our economy and lead to its transformation? Remember the big fight over the degree requirement for our leaders.

We can only wait to see what direction Dr. Ruto’s regime will take, starting with cabinet appointments. Science has been the engine of innovation and industrialization and has changed our view of the world. And through it, civilizations have flourished.

Is science the missing link in our quest to transform our society? Will Dr. Ruto and his science finally usher in the Kenyan renaissance?

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Debate over how antidepressants work puts millions at risk https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/debate-over-how-antidepressants-work-puts-millions-at-risk/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 00:30:32 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/debate-over-how-antidepressants-work-puts-millions-at-risk/ Nearly 10% of all Americans will experience symptoms of depression each year. One of the common forms of treatment includes a combination of therapy and antidepressants. According to the CDC, about 13% of Americans over the age of 18 were taking antidepressants between 2015 and 2018. The most commonly prescribed form of these is called […]]]>

Nearly 10% of all Americans will experience symptoms of depression each year. One of the common forms of treatment includes a combination of therapy and antidepressants. According to the CDC, about 13% of Americans over the age of 18 were taking antidepressants between 2015 and 2018. The most commonly prescribed form of these is called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), developed to alter the flow of serotonin in the brain.

I am one of millions of people who take an SSRI, called sertraline, to manage symptoms of anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Prior to speaking with a psychiatrist about taking this medication, I was dealing with feelings of impending doom and fear that came on a whim, along with dozens of intrusive thoughts and emotions every minute. . Basically, it’s like having your own rowdy yelling at you all day. Taking the drug has been extremely helpful for me, as it has been for many others.

And it makes it all the stranger to recognize that, as with many other complex illnesses, researchers still don’t know exactly what causes depression and whether serotonin is a major culprit. In the 1960s, scientists accidentally discovered that certain drugs used as sedatives helped relieve depression. Since these drugs acted on the serotonin system, this led to “a very simplistic idea that low levels of serotonin lead to depression,” said Gerard Sanacora, a psychiatrist at Yale University and program director of Yale Depression Research, to The Daily Beast.

Most scientists now buy into the idea that there are many genetic, social and biological contributors to depression; and yet the idea of ​​a chemical or serotonergic imbalance is stuck in the popular zeitgeist. It lingered largely thanks to its prominent place in advertisements for drugs like Prozac in the late 1980s, even when psychiatric research was already changing its perspective.

This brings us to the current debate around SSRIs. Most neuroscientists, psychiatrists, and clinicians who study and treat depression agree: antidepressants like SSRIs work just as well as cognitive therapy. With the right treatment, remission rates for depression can range between 5 and 50 percent. There is no doubt that people like me find real relief with these drugs.

But if depression isn’t as linked to serotonin levels as we once thought, it raises the issue that we don’t really know how SSRIs work and why they can help some depressed people. There are several promising theories suggesting that they play a role in mediating gut bacteria, to help the brain grow new cells and self-demand, to create larger and more complex physiological changes beyond the simple increase in serotonin levels. But none of these theories have yet been proven.

The ensuing discussion turned into a full debate, pitting mainstream psychiatry against a minority of researchers who don’t believe antidepressants actually work.

Every few years, a new wave of studies emerges from the shadows, supposedly “debunking” the notion of the serotonin hypothesis. These studies suggest that depression is either the result of social factors or caused by traumatic experiences, and that antidepressants don’t work, numb emotions, or actively cause harm. Instead of drugs, they believe depression is best treated with therapy alone.

The ensuing discussion turned into a full debate, pitting mainstream psychiatry against a minority of researchers who don’t believe antidepressants actually work.

The feuds between academics and competing researchers are just as intense and vicious as any other fight that takes place on the internet, featuring Quarrels on Twitter, editorials for think tanks and the media themselves. The murky history of the pharmaceutical industry further fuels skepticism about the effectiveness of antidepressants. When clinical trials of antidepressants failed to confirm the expected results, drug companies essentially buried the evidence and skewed the case in favor of antidepressants, which only exacerbated distrust of these drugs and their manufacturers.

Adding fuel to the fire, a recent study published in the journal Molecular psychiatry reassessed decades of past data on serotonin levels in depression, finding no evidence of a link between the two and offering this as proof that SSRIs either don’t work or only work by blunting emotions. This finding drew criticism from many psychiatrists and clinicians — the study didn’t even analyze whether antidepressants work — but with the support of the study authors, the right-wing media carried the message anyway.

“If there are benefits, I would say they are due to this emotion numbing effect, and if not, what the evidence shows are these very small differences between the drugs and the placebo,” Joanna Moncrieff , a psychiatrist at University College London who led the study, told The Daily Beast. “Antidepressants are drugs that alter the normal state of your brain, usually it’s not a good idea to do [that] long-term. »

Moncrieff herself is an influential figure in so-called “critical psychiatry,” The Critical Psychiatry Network, which Moncrieff co-chairs, describes the movement on her website: “It scientifically challenges claims about the nature and causes of mental disorders and the effects of psychiatric interventions. Researchers associated with this movement are advocating against the use of drugs for mental health issues and have even encouraged COVID-19 conspiracies.

If depression is caused by the interplay of stressful events and biology, as some members of the Critical Psychiatry Network argue, Sanacora doesn’t understand why that means antidepressants don’t work. “I just don’t follow the logic,” he said.

Four other experts who spoke to The Daily Beast specifically pushed back against Moncrieff’s findings, noting in particular that his paper and that of his team grossly confuse two assumptions under the serotonin theory. There is the chemical imbalance hypothesis which is quite well known, which suggests that a deficiency of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the body leads to depression. But according to Roger McIntyre, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto, “the notion of a chemical imbalance in your brain has never been presented as a coherent, comprehensive, evidence-based proposition.”

Instead, the most common assumption about serotonin that psychiatry takes seriously, and which McIntrye and others say is supported by evidence, is that a dysregulation of the body’s entire serotonergic system is what contributes to clinical depression. This includes problems with the amount of receptors available to bind serotonin, cell firing problems, and many other disturbances at the biomolecular level. They argue that Moncrieff is wrong when it comes to claiming that there is no evidence for the involvement of serotonin in depression.

The notion of a chemical imbalance in your brain has never been presented as a coherent, comprehensive, and evidence-based proposition.

Roger McIntyre, University of Toronto

Also, not knowing the mechanism of a drug is not a sufficient reason to prevent its use if it is clear that it helps people. “We’re confident that SSRIs work for depression,” Tyler Randall Black, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital, told The Daily Beast. “There’s tons and tons of evidence that shows us they work, but not why they work.” McIntrye pointed out that we don’t even fully know how Tylenol works, despite the fact that it’s one of the most widely used painkillers in the world. Tylenol also has an unexpected impact on the brain – although it numbs social or psychological pain, that’s no reason to take it off the market.

Vilifying these medications can have unintended consequences because therapy is often unavailable, making SSRIs the only accessible option. “The demand for mental health care far exceeds the access available,” Sanacora said, adding that many Americans have to wait months to see a good cognitive behavioral therapist. In addition, suddenly deciding to stop taking SSRIs can be dangerous: one in five patients who do so will experience flu-like symptoms, insomnia, imbalance and other symptoms that can last for a year.

While psychiatrists who spoke with The Daily Beast pointed to the serotonin hypothesis as a simple way to explain a complex disorder like depression, they pointed out that it has fostered downsides over time. The history of a “narrative of ‘chemical imbalance’ negatively influenced patients’ decision-making and self-understanding,” Awais Aftaib, a psychiatrist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, told The Daily Beast.

The demand for mental health care far exceeds the available access.

Gerard Sanacora, Yale University

Phil Cowen, a psychopharmacologist at the University of Oxford in the UK, told The Daily Beast that socioeconomic status is a contributing factor to depression, leading those in the critical space of psychiatry to believe that it “empowers doctors and industry” over patients. Ironically, he ignores the millions of “experienced people” who have been helped by antidepressants.

Yet the million dollar question remains: how do SSRIs work? Aftaib explained that a new main hypothesis is that they encourage the creation of new neurons and new connections between neurons inside the brain. The hippocampus, a hippocampus-shaped region of the brain important for memory and learning, shrinks and loses neurons when depression hits. SSRIs appear to stimulate the production of neural stem cells, which integrate into the hippocampus to restore its function and structure. Other studies suggest that SSRIs help the brain rewire the connections that cause the clinical symptoms associated with depression.

He also added that SSRIs might work through different mechanisms in different individuals, so treatments might need to be more tailored on a case-by-case basis.

And more specific, individual treatments might require psychiatrists to be more honest with their patients about what we know and don’t know about these drugs, rather than giving an oversimplified (and downright inaccurate) explanation.

Black is already trying to do this with his patients: “I’m saying we know for sure it affects serotonin, but we don’t know how it changes your brain and we don’t know you’re low on serotonin to begin with.” He has found that these open discussions about what we know so far about therapy and medication pays off in the long run, and many of his patients will still choose to take the antidepressant as part of their search to find what suits them best.

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Protein restriction may be effective in fighting obesity and diabetes https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/protein-restriction-may-be-effective-in-fighting-obesity-and-diabetes/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 19:28:00 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/protein-restriction-may-be-effective-in-fighting-obesity-and-diabetes/ According to a study conducted by researchers in Brazil and Denmark to compare the effects of protein and calorie restriction diets in humans. An article reporting the study is published in the journal Nutrients. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, including high blood pressure, […]]]>

According to a study conducted by researchers in Brazil and Denmark to compare the effects of protein and calorie restriction diets in humans. An article reporting the study is published in the journal Nutrients.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and cholesterol levels abnormal.

“The study showed that reducing protein intake to 0.8 g per kg body weight was sufficient to achieve almost the same clinical results as calorie restriction, but without the need to reduce protein. caloric intake. The results suggest that protein restriction may be one of the key factors leading to the known benefits of dietary restriction. A protein restriction diet may therefore be a more appealing and easier-to-follow nutritional strategy for people with metabolic syndrome,” said Rafael Ferraz-Bannitz, first author of the paper and currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Joslin Diabetes Center of the Harvard Medical School in the United States. states.

The study was funded by FAPESP through a doctoral fellowship awarded to Ferraz-Bannitz while attending the Ribeirão Preto Faculty of Medicine at the University of São Paulo (FMRP-USP) in Brazil. The study also benefited from a FAPESP thematic project on strategies for mimicking the effects of dietary restriction, led by Marcelo Mori, a professor at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), also in Brazil.

A multidisciplinary team of scientists conducted the study, including researchers affiliated with the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, the University of São Paulo and the National Cancer Institute (INCA) in Brazil, as well as the Center Center for Research on Obesity and Comorbidities (OCRC), a Center for Research, Innovation and Dissemination (RIDC) funded by FAPESP and hosted by UNICAMP.

Controlled feeding

In the study, 21 volunteers with metabolic syndrome were analyzed over a 27-day period during which their diets were monitored. Throughout this period, they were hospitalized at the FMRP-USP University Hospital (Hospital das Clínicas in Ribeirão Preto).

The daily caloric intake of each volunteer was calculated according to the basal metabolic rate (energy expenditure at rest). One group was fed what the authors call a standard Western diet (50% carbs, 20% protein, and 30% fat) but with 25% fewer calories.

For the second group, protein intake was reduced to 10%. The caloric intake was adapted to the basic energy expenditure of each volunteer. Both groups consumed 4 g of salt per day.

The results showed that the calorie and protein restriction groups lost weight due to a decrease in body fat and that symptoms of metabolic syndrome improved. Decreasing body fat is known to be associated with lower blood sugar and more normal levels of lipids and blood pressure.

“After 27 days of monitoring, both groups achieved similar results in terms of lower blood sugar, weight loss, blood pressure control, and lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Both diets improved insulin sensitivity after treatment. Body fat decreased, as did waist and hip circumference, but without loss of muscle mass,” said Maria Cristina Foss de Freitas, final author of the paper and professor at FMRP-USP.

The results confirmed those of previous studies involving experiments on mice. “Here, however, we managed to conduct a fully controlled randomized clinical trial lasting 27 days, with a personalized menu designed to meet the needs of each patient,” said Foss de Freitas.

Manipulation of dietary macronutrients—proteins, carbohydrates, and fats—is sufficient to achieve the beneficial effects of dietary restriction. “We have demonstrated that protein restriction reduces body fat while maintaining muscle mass. This is important because weight loss from restrictive diets is often associated with loss of muscle mass,” Ferraz-Bannitz said.

The study did not investigate the molecular mechanisms that might explain the beneficial effects of protein restriction diets, but the researchers believe that low protein intake triggered a change in metabolism or improved the body’s energy management by causing it to burn fat in order to produce energy for cells. “We only have hypotheses at the moment. The first is that molecular pathways are activated to interpret the reduction in essential amino acids as a signal to reduce food intake while leading to the production of hormones that typically increase when we fast,” Mori said. “Studies in animal models have shown the involvement of these pathways in the effects of protein and calorie restriction, both of which result in fat loss.”

Despite the promising results of their studies, the researchers point out that the diets in question were personalized. Mori also pointed out that they were focusing on a specific population of patients with metabolic syndrome (obesity, diabetes, hypertension and abnormal cholesterol levels).

“Nevertheless, it is tempting to extrapolate the results. We know that research has shown that vegan diets are positive for cases of metabolic syndrome. It has also been found that the excessive protein intake common in the standard Western diet can be a problem. Each case should be analyzed on its own merits. We must not forget that protein deficiency can lead to serious health problems, as has been well described in pregnant women, for example,” he added.

About the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is a public institution whose mission is to support scientific research in all areas of knowledge by granting scholarships, fellowships and grants to researchers linked to educational institutions University and Research from the State of São Paulo, Brazil. FAPESP is aware that the best research can only be done by working with the best researchers at the international level. Therefore, it has established partnerships with funding agencies, institutions of higher education, private companies and research organizations in other countries known for the quality of their research and has encouraged scientists funded by its grants to further develop their international collaboration. You can find out more about FAPESP at www.fapesp.br/en and visit the FAPESP news agency at www.agencia.fapesp.br/en to keep up to date with the latest scientific advances that FAPESP is helping to achieve through to its many programs, awards and research centers. You can also subscribe to the FAPESP press agency at https://agencia.fapesp.br/subscribe

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author or authors. See in full here.

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Covid-19: World’s largest medical journal finally says virus COULD come from lab leak https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/covid-19-worlds-largest-medical-journal-finally-says-virus-could-come-from-lab-leak/ Sat, 17 Sep 2022 23:42:24 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/covid-19-worlds-largest-medical-journal-finally-says-virus-could-come-from-lab-leak/ The world’s leading medical journal has admitted the Covid pandemic could have been triggered by a lab leak and admits the virus may have been engineered by scientists. It may seem like a no-brainer calling on global bodies to step up efforts to determine whether Covid-19 came from a lab in the Chinese city of […]]]>

The world’s leading medical journal has admitted the Covid pandemic could have been triggered by a lab leak and admits the virus may have been engineered by scientists.

It may seem like a no-brainer calling on global bodies to step up efforts to determine whether Covid-19 came from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan or jumped from animals infected with a bat virus.

But it’s a remarkable turnaround for the 199-year-old Lancet, which published an infamous article condemning suggestions of a lab leak as “conspiracy theories”.

However, the newspaper – which says the world should take the two main hypotheses ‘seriously’ – also suggested the virus could be linked to labs in the United States, raising fears it still furthers the cause of the virus. China rather than good science.

The world’s leading medical journal has admitted the Covid pandemic could have been triggered by a lab leak and admits the virus may have been engineered by scientists

To be sure, the Lancet Commission’s landmark report on Covid-19 raises many questions, including the alleged stifling of scientific debate, the role of experts, and the disturbing fear that the West may pander to Chinese dictatorship.

This survey – which concludes that the World Health Organization and many world leaders have reacted too slowly – was intended to be the authoritative inquiry into the pandemic. He points out that there are two “pathways of emergence” for the strange coronavirus that appeared at the end of 2019: by a “natural overflow event” of nature or by “research-related activities”.

Some diseases, such as the Sars outbreak of 2003, are known to have been attributed to “zoonotic” transmission (from animals to humans), although no proven animal hosts have been found for Sars-CoV- 2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

We also know that China covered up early cases, silenced doctors, resisted outside investigations, hid key data, and conducted high-risk experiments in maximum biosafety labs specializing in bat coronavirus research. in Wuhan.

Yet that investigation by The Lancet – now under attack by the oddly aggressive zoonotic lobby that rejects any suggestion of a lab leak – has been rife with controversy.

Shortly after the virus emerged, the journal published one of the most notorious scientific statements in recent history: a note from 27 experts attacking “conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 has no ‘natural origin’.

This influential letter played a vital role in silencing scientific, political and media discussion of any idea that the pandemic could have started with a laboratory incident.

That ended after The Mail on Sunday revealed in April 2020 that US-funded research at its Wuhan lab was focusing on bats captured 1,000 miles away in Yunnan province.

That ended after The Mail on Sunday revealed in April 2020 that US-funded research at its Wuhan lab was focusing on bats captured 1,000 miles away in Yunnan province.

However, it later emerged that it was authored by British scientist Peter Daszak, a long-time collaborator at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, who was researching bat coronaviruses – despite concerns about safety known to the laboratory.

Daszak is the £357,000-a-year chairman of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based group that funneled funds from the US to his friend Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan virologist known as ‘Bat Woman’ for his work collecting bat samples.

That ended after The Mail on Sunday revealed in April 2020 that US-funded research at its Wuhan lab was focusing on bats captured 1,000 miles away in Yunnan province.

Daszak and his allies have reacted with fury while continuing to denounce the lab leak hypothesis as a conspiracy theory – although data shows scientists in Wuhan, working with EcoHealth Alliance, have found close relatives of the pandemic virus in Yunnan bats.

Lancet editor Dr Richard Horton, who has twice been honored by Beijing, tweeted in June 2020: “Peter Daszak rejects conspiracy theories about the origins of Covid-19: and he knows more than the most… on coronaviruses.

Despite conflicts of interest, Daszak was asked to join the inquiry into the WHO’s origins in China and lead a Lancet commission inquiry alongside five of his fellow signatories, before being dumped after a outcry following my revelations.

Last October, The Lancet finally published an “alternative view” in which 16 scientists blasted Daszak for “imparting a silencing effect” on scientific debate.

Jeffrey Sachs, chairman of the commission and celebrity economist, caused a stir at a conference this year when he said he was “pretty convinced” that Covid “came out of American lab biotechnology, not nature” – a position misquoted and promoted by Chinese officials.

Some diseases, such as the Sars outbreak of 2003, are known to have been attributed to “zoonotic” transmission (from animals to humans), although no proven animal hosts have been found for Sars-CoV- 2, the virus that causes Covid -19

Some diseases, such as the Sars outbreak of 2003, are known to have been attributed to “zoonotic” transmission (from animals to humans), although no proven animal hosts have been found for Sars-CoV- 2, the virus that causes Covid -19

The report of his commission fuels this fire. It states that “independent researchers have not yet investigated US laboratories engaged in laboratory manipulation of Sars-CoV-like viruses” – before adding “nor have they investigated the details of the lab research that was going on in Wuhan.”

It might seem crazy to point blame for a possible lab leak in China to the United States. Yet there are justified concerns that Western funding agencies and scientists are tied to risky research.

And as a respected scientist told me, maybe the Chinese government is looking for a way to admit a lab accident while sharing the blame with the United States.

We know that scientists in Wuhan have been involved in collaborative projects funded by Washington and coordinated by EcoHealth Alliance, engaging in “gain-of-function” experiments that can potentially increase coronavirus infectivity and were first conducted by Western scientists.

Grant proposals were even found that included proposals to insert a furin cleavage site into bat coronaviruses. This feature, which allows Sars-Cov-2 to enter human cells more efficiently, is not found in similar coronaviruses.

And we have seen through Freedom of Information requests, leaks, books and investigative articles how some Western scientists privately feared that the virus could have been engineered and that the research was partly funded by the United States – but dismissed these ideas as they apparently led efforts to shut down the debate.

Key to these concerns are America’s two most influential scientists – presidential adviser Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Francis Collins, then head of America’s top funding body – as well as Jeremy Farrar, director of Britain’s Wellcome Trust , which funded at least one study involving the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Farrar, along with two Wellcome colleagues, were among the signatories to this Lancet statement in February 2020, as well as coordinating another influential paper in Nature Medicine, stating that the authors “do not believe that any type of scenario in the laboratory is plausible’.

Despite conflicts of interest, Daszak was asked to join the inquiry into the WHO's origins in China and lead a Lancet commission inquiry alongside five of his fellow signatories, before being dumped after an outcry following my revelations.

Despite conflicts of interest, Daszak was asked to join the inquiry into the WHO’s origins in China and lead a Lancet commission inquiry alongside five of his fellow signatories, before being dumped after an outcry following my revelations.

The statement emerged following a confidential teleconference arranged by Farrar at the request of Fauci, who was joined by Collins and Sir Patrick Vallance, Britain’s chief scientific adviser. This newspaper obtained 32 emails regarding their discussions under freedom of information laws – but officials masked almost every word.

It took more than a year to figure out that Farrar and each of the five authors of the Nature Medicine statement had expressed private fears about the engineering of the virus or a secret novel coronavirus store being held in Wuhan.

It has been depressing to see how scientists – aided by journals with ties to China, weak politicians and clumsy media – have seemingly closed ranks, allowed documents to be suppressed, obstructed investigations, withheld information and smeared those who sought the truth about the most important events of our time. health problem.

This Lancet report therefore deserves some credit for laying out the bare facts about the origins of Sars-CoV-2 – and for stating that natural and research-related fallout remain plausible causes of the pandemic based on our current knowledge.

Yet how odd that this simple statement is still controversial, so toxic is the issue thanks to the deceptive actions of China and its shameful allies in the West.

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NASA’s Mars Rover Perseverance finds surprises at Jezero Crater, including organic material – SpacePolicyOnline.com https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/nasas-mars-rover-perseverance-finds-surprises-at-jezero-crater-including-organic-material-spacepolicyonline-com/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 22:30:00 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/nasas-mars-rover-perseverance-finds-surprises-at-jezero-crater-including-organic-material-spacepolicyonline-com/ A year and a half after landing on Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover is hard at work studying an ancient river delta at Jezero Crater and discovers it’s not what scientists expected. The rock types reveal a complex geological past and some contain organic compounds in an environment that might have been suitable for microbial life. […]]]>

A year and a half after landing on Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover is hard at work studying an ancient river delta at Jezero Crater and discovers it’s not what scientists expected. The rock types reveal a complex geological past and some contain organic compounds in an environment that might have been suitable for microbial life. Most scientists don’t believe life currently exists on Mars, but there may be eternities. They’re on a “treasure hunt” for evidence, though a definitive answer will likely have to wait until the samples Perseverance is collecting are back on Earth.

Although arid today, water flowed on the surface of Mars in the distant past. Jezero Crater is home to a delta formed around 3.5 billion years ago where a river and a lake converged. NASA chose it for Perseverance, also known as Mars 2020, precisely because of its scientific potential.

During a briefing at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory today, Perseverance project scientist Ken Farley of the California Institute of Technology explained that they plan to find sedimentary rocks that form when particles settle in an environment aqueous. But they also found igneous rocks that form deep underground from magma or volcanoes on the surface.

“This juxtaposition provides us with a rich understanding of the geologic history after the crater was formed and a diverse suite of samples. For example, we found sandstone that carries grains and rock fragments created far from Jezero crater – and a mudstone that includes intriguing organic compounds,” Farley said.

NASA’s Perseverance rover puts its robotic arm to work around a rocky outcrop called “Skinner Ridge” in Mars’ Jezero Crater. Composed of multiple images, this mosaic shows layered sedimentary rock facing a cliff in the delta, as well as one of the places where the rover abraded a circular plate to analyze the composition of a rock. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Organic material has already been found on Mars with NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed in 2012 and is still busy studying another part of the Red Planet.

What is different now is that this area could have been hospitable to life.

“In the distant past, the sand, mud and salts that now make up the Wildcat Ridge sample were deposited under conditions where life could have thrived,” Farley said. But it is too early to draw firm conclusions on this. “As good as our instruments on board Perseverance are, further conclusions regarding the contents of the Wildcat Ridge sample will have to wait until it is returned to Earth for further study.”

Perseverance’s SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) instrument discovered organic molecules. JPL’s Sunanda Sharma said SHERLOC “has found signals that we think may be coming from organic matter on every target we’ve observed” so far. Between the organic discoveries of Curiosity and those of Perservance, it appears that “organic material seems to persist in a very harsh Martian surface environment, which is very exciting for us”.

Sunanda Sharma, SHERLOC scientist, JPL. Screen capture, September 15, 2022.

“To put it simply, it’s a scavenger hunt for potential signs of life on another planet, organic matter is a clue and we get stronger and stronger clues as we go through our delta campaign. Personally, I find these results so moving because I feel like we are in the right place with the right tools at a pivotal time. Mars 2020 gives us a better understanding than ever of the Martian surface to select samples And then Mars Sample Return is perhaps the best chance to answer a very deep question: are we alone in the universe?—Sunanda Sharma

Perseverance collects samples in cigar-shaped tubes that will be picked up by future spacecraft as part of the US-European Mars Sample Return campaign.

David Shuster, a scientist of samples returned by Perseverance at the University of California, Berkeley, said “it’s safe to say ‘the sample from Wildcat Ridge and another from Skinner Ridge’ are two of the most important that we will collect during this mission”. They record the “conditions of a thermally habitable environment”.

Screenshot from NASA TV. Ken Farley said they named the Jezero Crater locations for features in national parks or preserves around the world and that they were from Shenandoah National Park.

Some of the sample tubes will be left on the ground in a “depot” at Jezero Crater, while others will remain aboard the rover. Rick Welch, associate director of JPL’s Perseverance program, said they believe they have identified a suitable location for the deposit, smooth and flat for the sample return lander. They plan to leave 10 to 11 sample tubes there before the rover leaves to explore other parts of the crater and collect more samples. It has a total of 43 hits.

NASA and ESA recently redesigned the Mars Sample Return mission. Previously, a spacecraft combining a European-built Sample Fetch Rover and a NASA rocket to propel the samples into orbit around Mars reportedly landed on Mars. The rover would move across the surface to retrieve the samples, bring them back and transfer them to a capsule inside the rocket. Once in orbit, the capsule would be transferred to an ESA Earth Return Orbiter for the return trip to Earth.

The new blueprint omits the Sample Fetch Rover. Instead, the Sample Return Lander will land near the depot. NASA will provide two tiny helicopters like the Ingenuity Helicopter on Perseverance that can pick up the tubes one at a time and fly them to the lander. NASA anticipates that Perseverance will also be operating at this time and can meet the lander to deliver the samples it still has on board. NASA and ESA are still designing the mission and timeline, but the current plan is for the samples to be back on Earth in 2033.

Spacecraft artwork for the new Mars Sample Return campaign architecture. From left to right: NASA Ingenuity-class helicopter, ESA Earth Return Orbiter, NASA Perseverance rover, NASA lander with ESA robotic arm, and NASA Mars Ascent Vehicle. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As Sharma said, all of this research is devoted not only to understanding the history and evolution of Mars as a planet, but also to the question of whether it ever hosted life.

Ken Farley, Perseverance Project Scientist. Screenshot. September 15, 2022.

Farley stressed that any evidence of potential biosignatures does not mean life existed there.

“I want to be very careful in defining potential biosignatures. This is something we have discussed a lot within the science team and I want to make sure everyone understands the concept of potential biosignatures.

Potential biosignatures are something that may have been produced by life, but could also have been produced in the absence of life. One point about a potential biosignature is that it requires further investigation to come to a conclusion. This is how science works. We don’t always know the answer. We have assumptions. The rocks we studied in the delta have the highest concentration of organic matter we have ever found during the mission. You are going to know more about it. And of course, organic molecules are the building blocks of life.

So this is all very interesting in that we have rocks that have been deposited in a habitable medium in a lake that are transporting organic matter. We do not yet know the significance of these findings. These rocks are exactly the kind of rocks that we have come to study both with the rover and scientific instruments and also to bring back to Earth so that they can be studied in terrestrial laboratories. Then time will tell what’s in those rocks. —Ken Farley

JPL built and manages Perseverance. JPL is a federally funded research and development center operated for NASA by Caltech.

Perseverance launched on July 30, 2020 and landed on February 18, 2021.

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Unproven treatments in emergencies https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/unproven-treatments-in-emergencies/ Wed, 14 Sep 2022 14:16:32 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/unproven-treatments-in-emergencies/ During the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of interventions have been prescribed, promoted, and to varying degrees studied. Of these interventions, only a handful were ultimately proven to be effective and safe. Officials from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) therefore agreed during a webinar that emergency situations should not be an excuse to abandon the ethical […]]]>

During the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of interventions have been prescribed, promoted, and to varying degrees studied. Of these interventions, only a handful were ultimately proven to be effective and safe. Officials from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) therefore agreed during a webinar that emergency situations should not be an excuse to abandon the ethical and methodological precepts that govern clinical research and the use of drugs not tested under exceptional conditions.

“In practice, we have dealt with the feeling that certain rules work in normal times, and others apply in an emergency. The question is what are these other rules. What is not ethically acceptable, is that, in an emergency, anything goes. We have an obligation to conduct rigorous research,” said one of the speakers, Carla Sáenz, PhD, PAHO Regional Bioethics Advisor, in response to a matter of Medscape Medical News.

Sáenz added that rigorous research may be more difficult or may take a little longer, “but what takes longer is not doing research but continuing to give something, believing that later it will be shown that it works, and then it doesn’t,” she clarified.

Ludovic Reveiz, who is responsible for the knowledge translation program in PAHO’s Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Health Action, agreed. He holds a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology and a doctorate in public health. “Doing things right shortens time instead of lengthening it. When methodology is followed, results are achieved faster,” he said.

This does not appear to have been the most widely adopted approach in the early days of the pandemic, when hundreds of thousands or millions of patients were exposed to harmless and potentially dangerous drugs and other products. This has happened through low-quality clinical trials or discretionary off-label indications of drugs already approved for other conditions, as has been the case with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Professional opinion or beliefs often guided treatment that went beyond the evidence.

For José Luis Castro, holder of a master’s degree in pharmacoepidemiology and international adviser to PAHO’s Medicines and Health Technologies Unit, the pressure generated by the emergence of health events or situations for which he there was no clear therapeutic approach is understandable. Added to this is the feeling conveyed by the media and social networks that doing something is better than doing nothing, “anything”.

“But doing things right takes less time than doing things wrong. We forget that these bad interventions have consequences. It is not without risk: we waste time and they can harm health,” said Castro, who also shared the results. of a pharmacovigilance study in five countries of the region (Colombia, Chile, Peru, El Salvador and Cuba) during the meeting. This study identified nearly 3,500 adverse effects to azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, and other drugs used without evidence of efficacy against COVID-19 before August 31, 2020. Among these adverse effects , almost 12% (415) were classified as serious. The study is about to be published in the Pan American Journal of Public Health.

“It can’t happen anymore”

PAHO’s evidence summary on potential treatments for COVID-19 has been updated 37 times to date, and it critically appraises more than 200 interventions based on an analysis of approximately 700 clinical trials. , summarized one of its leaders, Reveiz. For most treatments, including those widely promoted, there is still uncertainty about the benefits and harms.

Some cause harm, although the level of certainty varies. Very few get the green light for certain benefits with moderate to high certainty: corticosteroids, oral antivirals and monoclonal antibodies. The appearance of new variants could affect their effectiveness.

“At the start of the pandemic, especially in the first year, a lot of interventions started being done without any evidence and based on very poor quality assumptions and observational studies. product because the interventions were there, because something had But in light of the current evidence, they had no positive impact on patients, they might have negative effects on some people, and in many cases we don’t even know because it hasn’t been measured,” says Reveiz.

Most of the interventions used turned out to be unnecessary or risky. In contrast, Reveiz noted that very few groups were administering corticosteroids until the positive results were published in June 2020. “Research is essential in these aspects,” he stressed.

Sáenz emphasized that in exceptional circumstances, unproven interventions can be used outside the context of clinical trials, always within a framework that provides adequate ethical and regulatory oversight, while generating evidence. This is what the World Health Organization has described as “monitored emergency use of an unregistered and experimental intervention” (MEURI), a framework developed after the 2014 Ebola outbreak that had not previously been adopted in the region.

Drugs and other unproven interventions “cannot be given, as they say, God’s way,” Sáenz stressed. According to the MEURI framework, four conditions must be met: (1) justification: a favorable benefit/risk profile has been established; (2) there is ethical and regulatory oversight; (3) there is a process to ensure informed consent; (4) the process generates evidence, that is, the use of the intervention is monitored and its results are documented and shared with the medical and scientific community in general.

For Sáenz, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught, among other lessons, that the MEURI framework must be applied in a “strictly” exceptional manner and that the collection of evidence can be delayed. One example has been the use of convalescent plasma, which in the United States has been given to 100,000 people under an expanded access program since late March 2020. “A clinical trial with less than a hundred times that number of participants showed that this intervention did not work. For this reason, randomized clinical trials should always be prioritized,” the official stressed.

She added: “During the pandemic, interventions were proposed as if they were within the framework of the MEURI, but without respecting the required ethical criteria. If they had been followed, I could have counted on the one hand on the treatments that were warranted. This cannot happen again in another health emergency.”

“Shortcuts are tempting and dangerous”

Pablo Richly, MD, director of the Center for Brain Health, in Quilmes Province, Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been an active social media advocate for the importance of evidence and a critic of unproven COVID-19 interventions . He often says his Twitter account during the pandemic can be compared to the famous Simpsons meme, Old Man Yells at Cloud – someone whose cries fall on deaf ears and experience misunderstanding or a rejection.

“A lesson from the pandemic could be that the popularity or spread of treatments was inversely proportional to the quality of evidence of effectiveness,” he said. tweetedfor example, August 25.

Speaking to Medscape, Richly recalled the phrase from an article in Science by bioethicists Alex John London, PhD, and Jonathan Kimmelman, PhD, as just over a month had passed since the declaration of the pandemic: “Crises are no excuse for lowering scientific standards. “

The authors were right, but they were ignored.

“The lesson should be that shortcuts are tempting and dangerous. Those who promote them are usually ignorant people or people with vested interests, which may be ideological, political or economic,” Richly explained.

Medscape asked him if, beyond “wrong” interests, many physicians might have acted on the inner belief that trying something, even without evidence, is better than taking a wait-and-see approach and if there was something in their professional training or their character. or social pressure that pushes them to action.

“It is clear that interests are not always conscious choices but can manifest through bias related to emotional factors. We are all vulnerable, so an open discussion based on public data is the best way to avoid that a lack of evidence only serves to reinforce prejudice.Ethics are key to science, but when the discussion devolves into a mere moralizing debate (e.g. saying that doing nothing is letting people die), it doesn’t. is more public health,” Richly replied.

Reveiz, Saenz and Castro are PAHO officials. Richly did not disclose any relevant financial relationship.

This article originally appeared on the Spanish edition of Medscape.

For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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DoE invests $24 million in data management R&D – Blocks and Files https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/doe-invests-24-million-in-data-management-rd-blocks-and-files/ Mon, 05 Sep 2022 12:48:36 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/doe-invests-24-million-in-data-management-rd-blocks-and-files/ The US Department of Energy is investing $24 million in research into “next-generation” data management and visualization. Organizations large and small grapple with the problem of managing large amounts of data, as well as visualizing what it is actually telling them. However, the challenge is particularly acute for the DoE, given its role in overseeing […]]]>

The US Department of Energy is investing $24 million in research into “next-generation” data management and visualization.

Organizations large and small grapple with the problem of managing large amounts of data, as well as visualizing what it is actually telling them. However, the challenge is particularly acute for the DoE, given its role in overseeing some of the United States’ most highly regarded science labs and associated supercomputers.

The DoE will therefore allocate $23.9 million for research on the “next data management”. Barbara Helland, DoE Associate Director of Science for Advanced Scientific Computing Research, said in a statement, “These efforts will allow data to be processed and stored at higher rates across edge, cloud, and desktop computing environments. high performance, and to develop new visualization methods to explore this data, formulate hypotheses and communicate conclusions to a wide range of audiences.

The agency said improvements in data management would “facilitate discovery in a wide range of areas”, including climate modelling, developing clean energy, increasing energy consumption and reducing energy consumption.

Part of that will be through “optimizing” the handling of data that needs to be moved around and analyzed, “using sophisticated mathematical techniques, including machine learning.”

The projects are also likely to “advance innovative techniques that harness smart storage and networking hardware that can provide breakthroughs that address the data challenges facing scientists and engineers.”

The research findings will likely ripple out to the rest of us over time, both in terms of better tools and techniques for storing and managing data, as well as in terms of breakthroughs in creating, managing and energy efficiency.

Argonne National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory will all initiate projects on “A Compositional Approach to Harnessing Smart Devices in Elastic Data Services.”

Sandia National Laboratories, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory will examine “Coeus: Accelerating Scientific Insights Using Enriched Metadata.”

Brookhaven National Laboratory, University of Texas, and Argonne will research “Scalable Provenance and Metadata Services for Reproducible Hybrid Workflows.”

Lawrence Berkley National Lab, Northeastern University, and the University of Illinois will conduct research on “End-to-End Object-Driven Software-Defined Data Management for Science.”

Penn State will research “intelligent file system interfaces for computer storage devices.”

The rest of the pot will go towards visualization research “on new techniques and theories needed to aid in the development of informative and interactive visualization of complex scientific data relevant to the DoE mission space.”

The explosion of data creation is itself a power consumption problem. The energy consumption of buildings housing computers means that some areas struggle to accommodate buildings housing people.

Last year, the DoE announced $5 million in funding for research into data reduction techniques and algorithms “to facilitate more efficient analysis and use of massive datasets produced by observations , experiments and simulations”.

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Analysis of self-assessment capacity scores related to infectious disease control in the International Health Regulations during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/analysis-of-self-assessment-capacity-scores-related-to-infectious-disease-control-in-the-international-health-regulations-during-the-first-year-of-the-covid-19-pandemic/ Fri, 02 Sep 2022 18:17:58 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/analysis-of-self-assessment-capacity-scores-related-to-infectious-disease-control-in-the-international-health-regulations-during-the-first-year-of-the-covid-19-pandemic/ Study framework The framework for this study was adopted from the Systemic Rapid Assessment Toolkit (SYSRA). We have adopted the SYSRA because of its consistency with the requirements of the countries in the implementation of the IHR. In SYSRA, there are two types of evaluation; horizontal and vertical. The “Horizontal Assessment” analyzes the health system […]]]>

Study framework

The framework for this study was adopted from the Systemic Rapid Assessment Toolkit (SYSRA). We have adopted the SYSRA because of its consistency with the requirements of the countries in the implementation of the IHR. In SYSRA, there are two types of evaluation; horizontal and vertical. The “Horizontal Assessment” analyzes the health system in which the infectious disease program is integrated from various perspectives. While the second element, ‘vertical assessment’, is used to assess the infectious disease specific component. Thus, both elements index the external environment (political, socio-demographic, economic) and the assessment of needs (morbidity, mortality of the disease) as a consideration in the evaluation of programs for the control of infectious diseases.2,24,25.

Self-assessment capability scores (e-SPAR) related to infectious disease control

To identify changes in country self-assessment capacity (e-SPAR) scores related to infectious disease control during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we calculated the absolute difference between the RSI e-SPAR score in 2019 and 2020 We collected this data from the WHO website in May 2021. There were a total of 13 items in the e-SPAR, including legislation and funding, RSI coordination and national RSI focal point function, zoonotic events and the human-animal interface, food safety, laboratory, surveillance, human resources, national health emergency framework, health service delivery, hazard communication, points of entry, chemical events and radiological emergencies26. Since our study focused on infectious disease control, we excluded chemical event and radiological emergency capacity scores for analysis and used only 11 of the 13 items in e-SPAR.

Case fatality rate (CFR) of COVID-19

We used deaths instead of cases to reduce bias in the data we analyzed. Indeed, there are 3 levels used in the diagnosis of COVID-19 cases; suspected, probable and confirmed cases. Thus, data on the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 will fluctuate and be unstable due to changes in a patient’s diagnostic status.27. Additionally, in reporting COVID-19 deaths, only deaths confirmed to be caused by COVID-19 were reported.27. As the pandemic is still ongoing, we used the case fatality rate (CFR) from COVID-19 data through March 31, 2021 to represent the CFR of COVID-19 in one year. We have collected the CFR of COVID-19 up to March 31, 2021 from the “Our World in Data” website.27. While until the end of 2021, the CFR of COVID-19 varied from 2 to 3% worldwide28.29, in this study, we used 2.08% as the threshold to classify countries into high or low CFR groups. This number results from the calculation of the average CFR of all the countries that we included in the analysis.

Income level of a country

Countries’ income levels were determined by their gross national income (GNI) per capita. We collected the data for 2019 from the World Development Index on the World Bank website. The income level of a country is determined by the GNI per capita of the country30. We have also adopted the income level classification of countries defined by the World Bank for the analysis, which are low-income countries (LICs), lower-middle-income countries (LMICs), low-income countries upper-middle (PRHM) and high-income countries (PRE)31.

Human Development Index (HDI)

We have used the HDI as an indicator to represent the development levels of countries which reflect the social and environmental status of the country32. HDI data was collected from the Health Development Report (HDR) 2020 on the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) website33. The UNDP HDI classification was used for analysis in the study. Low-development countries are defined as those with index scores below 0.55; while medium, high and very high development countries with scores between 0.55 and 0.69; 0.7 to 0.79; and greater than 0.8 respectively32.34.

Civil liberties (LC)

Although countries’ transparency was reported to be associated with their scores reported by the previous study, we also collected CL score data from the Freedom House website for analysis.2. And the CL level category was also adopted in the study for analysis. “Not free” countries are those whose score is from 0 to 35. While “partially free” and “free” countries are those whose scores are respectively from 35 to 70 and above 70.35,36,37.

Government Effectiveness (GE)

The GE is one of the components of the World Governance Indicators (WGI). This was the indicator reflecting the quality of public services, policy formulation and implementation. We chose GE as one of the variables because the literature mentions that the role of government and good governance were very important in infectious disease prevention and control efforts.38.39. GE data was collected from WGI Project 2020 reports40. Since the GE scores for each country in the report range from -2.5 to 2.5, we have categorized this variable into 2 categories by setting 0 as the cutoff point. Thus, a country with a GE score higher than 0 means that the country has a strong GE, and conversely a country with a GE score lower than 0 is classified as a country with a weak GE.

Data analysis

196 countries reported their e-SPAR scores in 2019 and 2020. Of these, only 154 countries with complete data on all indicators were used for the analysis. We calculated the countries’ average scores on 11 e-SPAR capabilities as well as their average score for each capability in 2019 and 2020, then calculated their absolute deviations over these two consecutive years. Additionally, since we found that the data was not normally distributed, we performed the Wilcoxon Sign-rank test to assess the significance of the difference between the scores.

Next, we divided the 154 countries into two groups based on their score classification, namely the group whose scores increased (n=98) and the group whose scores did not increase (n=56) for a more in-depth analysis. A chi-square test was applied to identify the independence of countries’ e-SPAR scores from their income, HDI, CL, GE and COVID-19 CFR levels. Then we performed a multiple linear regression analysis41 to determine which factors were associated with changes in e-SPAR scores. In the model, the difference between the average e-SPAR scores in 2020 and 2019 was the dependent variable (Y), while the CFR of COVID-19, HDI, CL and GE were the independent variables (X). We did not include country income levels in the model due to its significant correlation with the HDI index. We developed three models in our multiple linear regression analysis to determine which factors were associated with changes in e-SPAR scores across the 154 countries (model 1), countries whose scores increased (model 2), and countries whose scores did not increase (Model 3). In the analysis, we are looking for the adjusted R2 value to represent the proportion of the variance of a dependent variable that is explained by independent variables. We used a p-value of less than 0.05 as the statistical significance level to reject the null hypothesis. All analyzes were performed using SPSS software, version 18.

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