Hello my dear blog readers..followers..subscribers.
Let me first thank you for your generous support,comment and honest suggestions. I’m feel glad when a get a comment or a mail from miles away.
For last three years I have tried to create a database or a collection of articles from all fields of science. Many posts are copy and paste but I think it’s still helpful for target readers.So I don’t mind any copyright issues.
Now my blog had crossed 100,000 hits.


Thanks again.
Happy reading.

Dr Chandan
New Delhi,India

Diabetes and Sleep Apnea: What You Need To Know .

Do you snore? Do you feel fatigued every day? Do you wake up frequently throughout the night? It may be that the shallow breathing or breaks in breathing caused by sleep apnea are the reason. If you have diabetes, it is critical to manage your sleep apnea in order to manage your diabetes. Some 18 million Americans are diagnosed with sleep apnea, but millions more have it and don’t know it.

If you have diabetes, sleep apnea can make it almost impossible for you to manage your diabetes. This is because sleep apnea causes a pause in your breathing while you sleep and increases carbon dioxide in your blood, which leads to:

  • Insulin resistance so that the body doesn’t use insulin effectively. This causes more sugar in the blood stream leading to high blood sugars
  • Chronic elevated blood pressure
  • A higher incidence of heart problems or cardiovascular disease
  • Early morning headaches

Inadequate rest or sleep can also lead to lack of motivation to exercise or plan meals. This often leads to irritability, which can affect relationships with family, friends and coworkers. Sleepiness also can cause people to forget to take their medications and lead to further diabetes complications.

Sleep apnea may be genetically linked and it is most commonly found in those who are overweight or obese, people who smoke and are over the age of 40.

Could you have an obstruction?

There are different types of sleep apnea, one of which is obstructed sleep apnea (or OSA), which is when breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow. With OSA, snoring is common. The National Institutes of Health report that 12 million Americans have OSA, and for people with type 2 diabetes it is a common condition to have.

Research shows that an increase in severity of OSA is correlated with poorer glucose control. If you have diabetes and have the following symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about doing a sleep study to learn if you have sleep apnea:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Snoring
  • Feeling tired or fatigued most of the time

To diagnose sleep apnea, you can undergo a sleep test called a polysomnogram, which is a test that records body functions while you sleep. The test measures eye movements, electrical brain activity, muscle activity, heart rate, breathing and blood oxygen levels.

Sleep apnea can be treated with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). This is a mask that you wear over the nose and mouth when you sleep. Air pressure from the machine forces air through the nose. This keeps the throat from closing during sleep.

If you have diabetes, the bottom line is you want to know if you have sleep apnea, because you need to manage the sleep apnea in order to manage your diabetes. Not to mention, you will feel so much better with a good night’s rest!


Israeli Scientists Develop Safe Chemotherapy .

Israeli medical scientists have made an impressive advance in the war on cancer by developing safe but very effective methods of administering targeted chemotherapy.

Scientists at the Technion University in Haifa are working on a system that administers chemotherapy without causing the repercussions that cancer patients usually incur. This is because only 10 percent or less of a standard drug dose goes to the tumor, with the remaining 90 percent distributed elsewhere in the body.

Chemical Engineering Professor Avi Schroeder, head of the Technion Laboratory for Targeted Drug Delivery and Personalized Medicine Technologies, is developing, together with his team, nano-sized “factories” that manufacture protein-based cancer drugs inside the body upon reaching the tumor site. This system, another example of Israel’s important medical innovations, is based on similar processes found in nature. At 150 nanometers or less—1/1,000 the diameter of a strand of hair, these factories are injected into the patient and circulate in the blood until finding the tumor.

(Photo: "Operator at microscope". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Another method developed by Technion scientists is a system that releases drugs inside the tumor itself, eliminating the damage to nearby healthy cells.

These systems enable doctors to tailor specific treatments for each patient, depending on his or her needs, and to target the tumor itself, avoiding the dreaded and notorious effects of chemotherapy.

“We want physicians to have better tools for predicting which drugs would be best for each patient, and get them to the target site more efficiently,” says Schroeder.

Researchers develop new transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection

A University of Texas at Arlington research team says recently identified radiation detection properties of a light-emitting nanostructure built in their lab could open doors for homeland security and medical advances.

In a paper to be published in the Oct. 1 issue of Optics Letters, UT Arlington Physics Professor Wei Chen and his co-authors describe a new method to fabricate transparent nanoscintillators by heating nanoparticles composed of lanthanum, yttrium and oxygen until a transparent ceramic is formed. A scintillator refers to a material that glows in response to radiation. The new structure is known as La0.2Y1.8O3.

The researchers say the resulting “nanostructured polycrystalline scintillators” have better energy resolution than currently used materials and caesium iodide and the new scintillator is more stable than sodium iodide. It also has a fast luminescence decay time that is essential for radiation detection because it affects how quickly a detector can work, Chen said.

“Many people use this compound as a host material for lasers or other optical operations, but no one had ever tried this for radiation detection as far as we know,” Chen said. “We used a new way to make these materials and found that they hold a lot of promise as a new direction for luminescent scintillator research.”

Chen is head of UT Arlington’s Security Advances Via Applied Nanotechnology, or SAVANT, Center. In 2010, he became principal investigator on a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with the goal of looking for a new type of radiation detector that could help reduce the threat of nuclear materials being brought into the U.S. for terrorism.

Andrew Brandt, a physics professor and co-director of the SAVANT Center, is co-principal investigator on the grant funding and a co-author of the new paper. He said the team is still working to evaluate the new nanomaterials for practical applications and to understand their physics, “but we’re very excited about the possibilities this discovery brings with it.”

Brandt noted grant funding and the subsequent research stemmed from an interdisciplinary partnership that teamed his expertise in detector and scintillator technology with Chen’s knowledge of nanoparticle behavior. “This trans-disciplinary type of research spawned the SAVANT Center, and is in concert with the vision UT Arlington administrators have for the future,” he said.

The new paper is called “Luminescence of La0.2Y1.8O3 nanostructured scintillators.” It is available online here:

Other co-authors include: Alex Weiss, chair of the UT Arlington Department of Physics; Rasool Kenarangui, senior lecturer in the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical Engineering; Lun Ma, a research assistant professor in physics; and Sunil Sahi, a doctoral student in the Chen laboratory. Co-authors also include Chinese team members from Nanchang Hangkong University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Scientists know that nanoparticles hold promise as a new type of scintillator, but the current method of embedding them into a clear polymer or glass faces the challenge of losing transparency because of a process called aggregation. The UT Arlington work, which involves the synthesis of nanoparticles using wet chemistry and heating them at temperatures much lower than their melting point, avoids the problem of aggregation to maintain their transparency.

Kenarangui said the team tried several samples at the Radiation Measurement and Application Laboratory and the La0.2Y1.8O3 had the best potential of any they examined.

Weiss said the team’s work is a breakthrough.

“They’ve developed a way to take these and process them in such away that you can make a practical device,” he said.

The new material is made from two of the least expensive rare earth elements, so it is cost-effective, Chen said. He estimates producing a La0.2Y1.8O3 scintillator would cost a little over $7 per cm3.

In lab tests, the La0.2Y1.8O3 also proved to have better energy resolution than currently used materials sodium iodide and caesium iodide. That resolution is what allows the scintillator to pinpoint the energy of a radiation source, which can be like a signature for investigators.

“If we see a radiation material, we want to know where it came from and those energies can tell us that,” Chen said.

Only 1 Person Has Been Cured of HIV: New Study Suggests Why

To this date, only one person is thought to have been cured of HIV — the “Berlin patient” Timothy Ray Brown. But no one is exactly sure which aspect of Brown’s treatment may have cured him.
Now a new experiment on monkeys provides more evidence that a rare genetic mutation in the person who donated bone marrow to Brown may have had a central role in his cure.
Brown’s HIV was eradicated in 2007 after he underwent a treatment in Germany for his leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. In the leukemia treatment, Brown first underwent radiation to kill the cancer cells and stem cells in his bone marrow that were creating them, and then received a bone-marrow transplant from a healthy donor to generate new blood cells.

After the treatment, not only was Brown’s leukemia in remission, his HIV levels also plummeted to undetectable levels, and they have remained so ever since, even though he has not been taking the antiretroviral (ART) drugs typically used to keep HIV levels low in patients. [7 Devastating Infectious Diseases]
Three possibilities
The reason the virus remains undetectable in Brown could be that the bone-marrow transplant was from a donor who had a rare genetic mutation that renders a person’s CD4-T cells — the immune cells that are the main target of HIV infection — resistant to the virus.
Having this mutation, known as delta 32, results in having immune cells that have an altered form of a certain receptor called CCR5, which prevents the virus from entering the cells.
But it is also possible that radiation killed very nearly all of Brown’s cells that contained HIV at the outset of his treatment (and hence, the donor’s genetic mutation mattered very little).
Still another possibility is that the new immune cells (that were produced by transplanted bone-marrow cells) attacked Brown’s original cells, in what is called “graft-versus-host disease”. This could have killed any HIV reservoirs within Brown that had survived his radiation treatment.
So which is it?
Now in a small study, Dr. Guido Silvestri, a pathologist at Emory University in Atlanta, and colleaguesgave the same treatment that Brown was given to three monkeys, to find out which step in the cancer treatment might have been responsible for the eradication of the HIV.
The monkeys in the study were infected with Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or SHIV, which is a virus related to HIV that causes a disease similar to AIDS in animals. The monkeys received antiretroviral drugs for some time, to mimic the situation of HIV patients. Then, the animals underwent radiation and received a transplant of their own bone-marrow cells, which were harvested before they were infected with SHIV. [10 Deadly Diseases That Hopped Across Species]
The researchers found that radiation killed most of the animals’ blood and immune cells, including up to 99 percent of their CD4-T cells. This finding left open the possibility, at this point in the experiments, that radiation could have been a key step in curing Brown by killing almost all HIV reservoirs.
The scientists also found that the transplant resulted in the generation of HIV-free blood and immune cells within a few weeks, showing that the bone-marrow transplant experiment in monkeys was successful. If the monkeys were to be found cured of HIV, the researchers would be able to rule out graft-versus-host disease, because each monkey received its own cells in the transplant.
But after the treatment, once the researchers stopped giving the monkeys antiretroviral medications, the levels of the virus rapidly rebounded in two of the three animals.
The third monkey, who had to be euthanized after developing kidney failure, had some level of HIV in a number of tissues when it died, suggesting that none of the three monkeys had been “cured” by the treatment, according to the study published today (Sept. 25) in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
The findings support the idea that although radiation can reduce HIV levels, it’s not enough to eliminate all reservoirs of the virus, the researchers said. The results suggest that in the case of the Berlin patient, either the genetic mutation of the bone-marrow donor or the graft-versus-host disease “played a significant role,” the researchers said.
The Berlin patient’s treatment has been tried in at least two other HIV patients who also had lymphoma — cancer of the lymph nodes. However, the bone-marrow donors in those cases did not have the rare mutation in the CCR5 gene. The patients initially appeared to be free of HIV, but the virus returned after a couple of months and the patients had to start antiretroviral medication again.

Roche Breast Cancer Drug Perjeta Appears to Greatly Extend Patients’ Lives .

A drug used to treat advanced breast cancer has had what appears to be unprecedented success in prolonging lives in a clinical trial, researchers reported on Sunday.

Patients who received the drug — Perjeta, from the Swiss drug maker Roche — had a median survival time nearly 16 months longer than those in the control group.

That is the longest amount of time for a drug used as an initial treatment for metastatic breast cancer, the researchers said, and it may be one of the longest for the treatment of any cancer.

Most cancer drugs prolong survival in patients with metastatic disease for a few months at most. Metastasis means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Dr. Sandra M. Swain of the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, the lead author of the study. “It’s really unprecedented to have this survival benefit.”

The results were being presented on Sunday in Madrid at the annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology. Dr. Swain has been a paid speaker for the company.

Previous analyses of the clinical trial established that Perjeta, known generically as pertuzumab, increased survival by a statistically significant amount. But until now it was not known by how much, because patients had not been followed long enough.

Two experts not involved in the study, Dr. Edith A. Perez of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Dr. Harold J. Burstein of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said the results were impressive. “Usually we see two months of improvement,” Dr. Perez said.

Perjeta, like the better-known Roche drug Herceptin, or trastuzumab, blocks the action of a protein called HER2, which spurs the growth of some breast tumors. Perjeta is meant to be used with Herceptin for the roughly 20 percent of breast cancers characterized by an abundance of HER2.

Perjeta was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012 and is already considered the standard of care in the United States.

Still, the results could lead to increased use of the drug. Only about half of the eligible women are being treated with the drug in the United States, according to Edward Lang Jr., a spokesman for Roche. And doctors say use is lower in many countries where cost is more of an issue.

In the United States, Perjeta costs about $5,900 a month and Herceptin about $5,300 a month, Mr. Lang said. He said Perjeta was priced lower than some other new cancer medicines because it has to be used with Herceptin. Some recently approved cancer drugs cost more than $10,000 a month.

Roche reported Perjeta sales of 388 million Swiss francs, or about $408 million, in the first half of this year, with about $250 million of that coming from the United States.

The trial, sponsored by Roche, involved 808 patients around the world with previously untreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Half of them received Perjeta, Herceptin and the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. The other half received Herceptin, docetaxel and a placebo in place of Perjeta.

The median survival time for those who received Perjeta was 56.5 months, or about four and a half years, compared with 40.8 months for those in the control group, a difference of 15.7 months. By another measure, known as the hazard ratio, use of Perjeta reduced the risk of dying 32 percent.

Use of Perjeta delayed the progression or worsening of the cancer only about six months in the trial. Experts said it was not clear why the drug extended lives so much longer than that.

Those receiving Perjeta had higher rates of diarrhea and rash and a lowering of white blood cell counts.

The labels for both Perjeta and Herceptin contain warnings that the drugs can cause cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. But in the study, patients who received Perjeta did not experience any more of these problems than those in the control group.

Dr. Perez and Dr. Burstein, the experts not involved in the study, said in separate interviews that they were also cheered by a nearly 41-month median survival in the control group.

When Herceptin was approved in the late 1990s, people taking that drug lived a median of about 25 months. The experts said doctors now use Herceptin for a longer time and can better manage patients.

Back Pain Treatments Shouldn’t Include Opioid Painkillers

For the first time, a major medical organization takes a stand on rampant overuse of opioids for treating back pain, headaches and migraines

Powerful painkillers do little to improve patients’ daily functioning, finds the American Academy of Neurology in a new position statement on opioid painkillers for chronic pain not related to cancer. Written by Dr. Gary Franklin, research professor in the departments of occupational and environmental health sciences and neurology, the paper outlines the growing epidemic of overdose deaths—most of them unintentional—linked to opioid use. It concludes that in the majority of these cases, pain killers may ease some pain but fall short of truly improving patients’ health. Coupled with the potential hazards of addiction and overdose, the Academy says that doctors should be looking for other ways to help these patients manage their pain.

“This is the first position paper by a major American specialty society saying that there is a real problem here, and the risk might not be worth the benefit for certain conditions,” says Franklin.

The statement traces the rise of the opioid prescribing epidemic to loosening of previously strict regulations put in place in the 1940s, when opioid-based opium and heroin gained popularity as narcotic drugs of abuse. Recognizing the potential for addiction and overdose, states implemented rigorous controls over who could prescribe opioids and how much of the medications were dispensed; violating the rules meant doctors could lose their medical licenses or face criminal prosecution. Therefore, most physicians shied away from the drugs, leading to under-treatment of chronic pain, particularly among the growing number of cancer patients.

To address that trend, advocacy groups and pharmaceutical makers of opioids lobbied to change state laws to remove sanctions against doctors prescribing them—and ended up making them too lenient, says Franklin. “The language in Washington state, for example, said that no doctor shall be sanctioned for any amount of opioids written. So even if a doctor is handing out bags of opioids, it made it hard for the medical board or disciplinary board of the state to do anything about that doctor.”


That push to begin treating pain more aggressively began with cancer patients and those who were terminally ill, but drug makers saw another opportunity in people with chronic pain. The problem, say experts, is that for most such chronic pain, including low back pain, headaches and fibromyalgia, there is little evidence to support the idea that opiates are effective, and even less data suggesting that escalating doses and keeping patients on opioids for months or even years to treat persistent pain would benefit them. Most studies only followed patients for about a month on average.

Some in the pain community called out a red flag when they saw that a growing proportion of pain patients were still taking opioids but not reporting any improvements. In 2003, Dr. Jane Ballantyne and Dr. Jianren Mao, then at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, published a review of the existing data on opioid use for chronic pain in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was among the first studies to highlight the fact that the skyrocketing number of prescriptions was doing little to actually reduce reports of chronic pain. “The real problem is physicians who are practicing with the best intentions and not understanding what the limited role of opiates is,” says Ballantyne, now a professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Washington. “For 20 years they have been taught that everybody deserves an opiate, because they really don’t know what else to do. It’s a cultural thing and it’s hard to reverse that.”

The result, Franklin notes, is that since the 1990s, more than 100,000 people have died from opioid overdoses – more than the total number of American soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. In addition, studies have linked opioid use to serious health problems, from changes in hormone levels that can contribute to infertility, abnormal immune function, heart problems, and even worsening of pain symptoms.


Ballantyne says that the opioids can backfire in excessive doses; in the same way that neurons become over-sensitized to pain and hyper-reactive, high doses of opioids could prime some nerves to respond more intensely to pain signals, rather than helping them to modulate their reaction. “The idea is that we have the answer to all chronic pain, and that is to give opiates. That’s simply not true,” she says. “A lot of chronic pain isn’t appropriate for opiates.”

To stop the epidemic of deaths by opioids, Franklin says, states have to reinstate stricter oversight over doctors who prescribe these medications and implement guidelines that call for clear limits to opioid use that both doctor and patient agree upon, particularly for chronic conditions outside of cancer or terminal care. A handful of states and the Centers for Disease Control, for example, have already instituted so-called yellow-flag warning doses that require providers to get additional opinions if a patient reaches daily opioid doses of 80 mg to 120 mg and continues to complain of pain.


But perhaps the best way to move the needle in the epidemic is to reset expectations that doctors and the public have about pain treatment. “In this country we expect everything to be fixed, and that doctors have the answer and can take pain away,” says Ballantyne. Yet many of the first strategies for alleviating pain might start with patients and their lifestyles rather than a prescription. Exercise and a healthy weight can ease much of the chronic pain associated with the back and joints, for instance. “We shouldn’t be resorting to pills as a first resort; they should very much be a last resort,” she says.

Alternative approaches to managing pain, including cognitive behavioral therapy, should also be given strong consideration. The Academy is urging insurers to step in and cover more such pain management approaches so that drug therapy doesn’t continue to be the default. “The important message is that we should not use opioids chronically for most people because they don’t work,” he says. “But at the same time we ought to be paying for things that do work.”

Fluoridated Water Can Calcify Arteries, Study Finds .

Fluoride is put in your drinking water ‘for your teeth’ without your consent, but did you know that it could also be calcifying your arteries?

A few years ago, we reported on a study evaluating a new diagnostic technology that inadvertently revealed a link between fluoride exposure and coronary artery disease. Our report stirred up quite a lot of controversy and criticism, even leading one of the most respected figures in alternative medicine (deservedly so) – Dr. Russell Blaylock — to call us out on Infowars for our allegedly sophomoric interpretation of the following article: “Association of vascular fluoride uptake with vascular calcification and coronary artery disease.” As one can see, the study’s results revealed a hitherto largely unknown connection between fluoride exposure, coronary artery disease and cardiovascular events (e.g. heart attack).

“There was significant correlation between history of cardiovascular events and presence of fluoride uptake in coronary arteries. The coronary fluoride uptake value in patients with cardiovascular events was significantly higher than in patients without cardiovascular events.”

The argument, at the time, was the study was simply about a new diagnostic technique and shouldn’t be ‘read into,’ and that, presumably, the increased fluoride uptake value observed in patients with a higher frequency of cardiovascular events was a an ‘effect’ of the heart disease itself and not in any way indicative of fluoride’s causative role as a cardiotoxic agent — despite the fact that fluoride’s cardiotoxicity has already been consistently demonstrated in the biomedical literature.

Now, a provocative new study published in the journal Toxicology not only provides some vindication for our previous interpretations, but also raises serious concern over the cardiovascular complications associated with water fluoridation practices, showing for the first time that despite exhibiting an anti-calcification effect in vitro (cell model) fluoride exposure at levels found in people who drink fluoridated water exhibits artery-calcifying effects in the more important in vivo (animal) model.

Titled, “Effect of water fluoridation on the development of medial vascular calcification in uremic rats,” the study opens with a description of the common medical justification for public water fluoridation:

“In order to improve dental health in the population, fluoride is included in tooth pastes and mouthwash solutions or is added to public water supplies at 0.5–1.5 mg/L (WHO, 2008), which has been a common practice in some countries since 1945.”

And yet, the study acknowledges that fluoride is a well-established toxicant that our body has to either incorporate into its tissues or excrete through the kidney’s to sequester or eliminate:

 ”More than 90% of ingested fluoride is absorbed through the intestine and quickly distributed between plasma/soft tissues and calcified structures, where it can be sequestered for years (Buzalaf and Whitford, 2011). When water is fluoridated at the WHO- recommended levels, the range of plasma fluoride concentration is usually 1–6 uM (Husdan et al., 1976; Singer and Ophaug, 1979). Fluoride is not under homeostatic control, and it is cleared from the plasma within few hours by the complementary action of calcified tissues and the kidneys.”

Those with chronic kidney disease have a harder time clearing the fluoride, which results in increased blood plasma levels, especially as the length of exposure increases.

The study noted that in healthy people, almost without exception, fluoride accumulates in the aorta, and in the elderly can exceed 100 ug/g [microgram/gram] tissue. Since atherosclerosis involves the gradual hardening and final calcification of the arteries with a form of calcium known as hydroxylapatite, fluoride’s role in replacing hydroxyls within hydroxylapatite crystals to form fluorapatite can be considered enhancing the cardiotoxicity of these calcium deposits due to the fact that fluorapatite is less soluble than hydroxylapatite and therefore more resistant to the body’s demineralization mechanisms (or de-calcification with natural substances such as magnesium, hawthorn or vitamin K2). The authors address this point:

“From a therapeutic point of view, this incorporation [of fluoride into hydroxylapatite as fluorapatite] may involve an additional problem, because these calcifications will be more difficult to eliminate, if at all possible.”

The report discussed how despite the observation that fluoride accumulates in the main arteries, “the effects on the vascular wall are not clear.” A brief review of the literature shows highly contradictory results, with some studies implying fluoride exposure actually reduces aortic calcification and others showing (as would be expected) deleterious effects on the cardiovascular system.  This uncertainty was one of the main reasons they designed their study:

“The aforementioned divergent findings can be explained by the use of different procedures, including very high doses of fluoride, the duration of treatment, and the animal species, in addition to either an experimental or epidemiological setup. In this work, our objective was to clarify the effect of fluoride, if any, on the development and course of medial vascular calcification (MVC, Mönckeberg’s sclerosis) in uremic rats, using low, recommended concentrations in drinking water. Our rationale was that de novo calcified tissue in aorta should incorporate fluoride when exposure to this halogen is concomitant with the course of calcification, and subsequently the rate of calcium phosphate crystallization and/or mineralization should be altered, similar to the effects in tooth enamel or bone. We used two established experimental models of calcification, rat aortic smooth muscle cells incubated with 2 mM Pi, and rats with 5/6-nephrectomy [5/6th of their kidneys removed to model chronic kidney disease] and fed a Pi-enriched diet [Pi = Inorganic phosphate], in combination with low concentrations of fluoride (similar to that of public water fluoridation). Our findings have shown that the results are inverse depending on the experimental model, which highlights the need to carry out in vivo approaches when studying complex multifactorial processes, such as Mönckeberg’s sclerosis [a type of arterial calcification].”

The study found a striking contrast between the in vitro (cell model) and in vivo (animal model) results: within the former, fluoride prevented calcification, within the later, it enhanced medial [middle portion of the artery] vascular calcification in the arteries of animals whose kidneys were weakened. Keep in mind that they did not use ‘mega doses’ of fluoride in the animal study, opting for the administration of the World Health Organization’s recommended concentration of fluoride in public drinking water to ‘prevent cavities.’

The researchers determined that fluoride’s adverse effects on vascular function in the animal model were mediated by the inherent kidney-damaging properties of fluoride (nephrotoxicity). Whereas healthy individuals are not prone to significant or at least acutely discernible damage from low level fluoride exposure (though some functional damage and proteomic changes are observed at 5-8 ppm), those with chronic kidney disease (CKD), have impaired fluoride clearance, subsequent elevated plasma fluoride levels, which creates a vicious self-perpetuating cycle of fluoride-induced aggravation of their decline in kidney function.

The researchers summarized their main finding as follows:

“The main conclusion of our study is that CKD is aggravated even by low concentrations of fluoride, which in turn accelerates medial vascular calcification (MVC), thereby confirming and extending previous reports on fluorosis in CKD patients exposed to WHO-recommended fluoride concentrations in drinking water (Greenberg et al., 1974; Lyaruu et al., 2008).”

Their final comments are to call for a reappraisal of the risks/benefits associated with fluoridation of municipal drinking water:

“In summary, the effects of fluoride on renal function and vascular health are more complicated than expected. Our findings could help to decide whether the use of fluoride to improve the dental health of the population through indiscriminate practices, such as adding it to municipal drinking water, should be reconsidered and should be replaced by a fluoridation policy based on the health status of individuals.”

It should be noted that fluoride’s association with soft tissue calcification also extends to brain structures, including the pineal gland, which we documented in a previous article: Fluoride: Calcifier of the Soul, and that its neurotoxicity – especially as evidenced by lowered I.Q. – is well documented.

An hour of exercise a day boost children’s concentration .

Parents should make sure children should do at least an hour’s group exercise every day to boost their brain function, research suggests

Just 60 minutes exercise a day saw substantial improvements in children's ability to pay attention, avoid distraction and switch between cognitive tasks

Just 60 minutes exercise a day saw substantial improvements in children’s ability to pay attention, avoid distraction and switch between cognitive tasks Photo: Alamy/Posed by models

Children who do at least an hour of exercise after school are far better at concentrating the rest of the time, research suggests.

A study of children aged between seven and nine found significant improvements in the mental skills of those enrolled on an after-school exercise programme for nine months.

Tests found those placed on the programme improved their accuracy on some mental capability tests by twice as much as those who were not assigned to do daily exercise.

The research by the University of Illinois examined 221 children, aged 7, 8 and 9, half of whom were signed up to an after-school exercise group.

All the participants underwent cognitive testing and brain imaging before and after the nine-month trial.

The study published in the journal Pediatrics, found those who did the daily routine saw substantial improvements in their ability to pay attention, avoid distraction and switch between cognitive tasks.

Study leader Doctor Charles Hillman, a community health professor of Illinois University said: “Those in the exercise group received a structured intervention that was designed for the way kids like to move.

“They performed short bouts of exercise interspersed with rest over a two-hour period.”

The children in the FITKids exercise group wore heart-rate monitors and pedometers during the study.

Dr Hillman said: “On average, kids’ heart rates corresponded with a moderate-to-vigorous level of exercise intensity, and they averaged about 4,500 steps during the two-hour intervention.”

The children were active about 70 minutes per day and, as expected, fitness increased most in the intervention group over the course of the study.

Dr Hillman said: “We saw about a six per cent increase in fitness in children in the FITKids intervention group.”

He said fitness improved by less than one per cent in the control group.

Children in the exercise group also demonstrated substantial increases in “attentional inhibition” – a measure of their ability to block out distractions and focus on the task at hand.

And they improved in “cognitive flexibility,” which involves switching between intellectual tasks while maintaining speed and accuracy.

Dr Hillman said those who were not put on the programme, but instead placed on a waiting list, saw minimal improvements in these measures, in line with what would be expected as a result of normal maturation over the nine months.

He said: “Kids in the intervention group improved two-fold compared to the wait-list kids in terms of their accuracy on cognitive tasks.

“And we found widespread changes in brain function, which relate to the allocation of attention during cognitive tasks and cognitive processing speed. These changes were significantly greater than those exhibited by the wait-list kids.”

The study found that children with greater attendance at the programme had greater changes in brain function and cognitive performance.

Researchers said it was not known whether the improvements were a result of increased fitness, or could stem from the social interactions, stimulation and engagement of the children in group activities. Dr Hillman said efforts to improve child health should focus on group activities, as a good way to improve fitness and mental skills.

“The fact is that kids are social beings; they perform physical activity in a social environment,” he said. “A big reason why kids participate in a structured sports environment is because they find it fun and they make new friends.”

Earlier this year an All Party Commission on Physical Activity warned that just half of seven-year olds in the UK meet Government recommendations to have an hour’s moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.

MPs said schools should open “breakfast fitness clubs” so that pupils get exercise before the day starts, with extra activity sessions scheduled between lessons, or during them.


The Ebola epidemic could claim hundreds of thousands of lives and infect more than 1.4 million people by the end of January, according to a statistical forecast released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The CDC forecast supports the drastically higher projections released earlier by a group of scientists, including epidemiologists with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, who modeled the Ebola spread as part of a National Institutes of Health-sponsored project called Midas, short for Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study.

The effort is also supported by the federal Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Before the scientists released results, the outbreak in West Africa was expected to be under control in nine months with only about 20,000 total cases. But modeling showed 20,000 people could be infected in just a single month.

The predictions could change dramatically if public health efforts become effective, but based on the virus’s current uncontrolled spread, numbers of people infected could skyrocket.

“If the disease keeps spreading as it has been we estimate there could be hundreds of thousands of cases by the end of the year in Liberia alone,” said Bryan Lewis, a computational epidemiologist with the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.

Lewis and his fellow researchers use a combination of models to predict outcomes of the epidemic.

The agent-based models are adaptive, evolving as more information is fed into them to provide an accurate forecast.

Pharmaceutical intervention, which is still on the horizon, is proving less effective in the models than supportive care and personal protection equipment for health care workers.

“The work with Ebola is not an isolated event,” said Christopher Barrett, the executive director of the institute. “This research is part of a decades-long effort largely funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to build a global synthetic population that will allow us to ask questions about our world and ourselves that we have never been able to ask before, and to use those answers to prevent or quickly intervene during a crisis.”