1. “Have you ever been in therapy? No? You should try it. It’s like a really easy game show where the correct answer to every question is: ‘Because of my mother.’” – Robin Greenspan 2. “After a year in therapy my psychiatrist said to me, ‘Maybe life isn’t for everyone’.” – Larry Brown. 3. “The nice thing about meditation is that it makes doing nothing quite respectable.” – Paul Dean. 4. “If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.” – Dr WC Heuper (1954) 5. “As she lay there dozing next to me, one voice inside my head kept saying, ‘Relax, you’re not the first doctor to sleep with one of his patients’, but the another kept reminding me, ‘Howard, you are a veterinarian!’” -Dick Wilson. 6. “My doctor gave me six months to live, but when I couldn’t pay the bill he gave me six months more.” – Walter Matthau. 7. “A woman went to a plastic surgeon and asked him to make her like Bo Derek. He gave her a labotomy.” – Joan Rivers. 8. “She got her looks from her father: He’s a plastic surgeon.” -Groucho Marx. 9. “For the majority of people smoking has a beneficial effect.” – Dr Ian MacDonald (1963) 10. “Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.” – Samuel Goldwyn. 11. “I was under the care of a couple of medical students who couldn’t diagnose a decapitation.” – Jeffrey Bernard 12. “First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me.” – Steve Martin. 13. “No-one can feel as helpless as the owner of a sick goldfish.” – Kin Hubbard. 14. “There must be something to acupuncture.After all, you never see any sick porcupines!” – Bob Goddard. 15. “The operation was a complete success, but the patient died of something else.” – John Chiene 16. “I’m not feeling very well, I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course.” – Groucho Marx 17. “A psychiatrist is a man who goes to a strip club and watches the audience.”- Merv Stockwood. 18. “Whiskey is by far the most popular of all remedies that won’t cure a cold.” – Jerry Vale 19. “I have the body of an eighteen year old. I keep it in the fridges” – Spike Milligan 20. “The art of medicine is in amusing a patient while nature affects the cure.”
Seven years after the end of a trial in which young people at severe risk of developing psychotic disorders were given fish oil tablets, most remain mentally healthy, a new study has found.
The study, presented today at the International Early Psychosis Conference in Japan, lends weight to the theory that concentrated fish oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids, may help prevent the development of psychosis.
But more evidence is needed to confirm the results, say the international team of researchers including Professors Patrick McGorry and Paul Amminger of the Orygen Youth Health Research Centre at the University of Melbourne.
“If it’s true that omega-3 fatty acids prevent the onset of the likes of schizophrenia and psychosis, and the results are consistent with this belief, then it could be valuable replacement for anti-psychotic drugs during early intervention,” says McGorry.
“[However], omega-3 fatty acids appear to only work at the early warning stage, before the more advanced stages of illness develops,” he adds.
“Once it has developed, anti-psychotics are an essential component, along with cognitive behavioural therapy and other recovery orientated therapies.”
Previous research has found that people with schizophrenia, a severe form of psychosis, have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their cells.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fats that are present in a wide variety of foods, including ‘oily’ fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna and sardines.
In the original trial, the researchers assessed the impact of a 12-week course of fish oil tablets on 81 young people aged between 13 and 25 who were assessed as being at high risk of developing a psychotic disorder.
Half took capsules containing concentrated marine fish oil (1.2 grams/day), while the other half took a placebo. They were periodically assessed for mental health changes over the following 40 weeks.
At the end of 12 months, 2 out of the 41 people who took fish oil developed psychosis while 11 in the placebo group developed a psychotic disorder.
The recent follow up research shows that seven years after the original trial, four of those who took fish oil capsules have developed a psychotic disorder, compared to 16 from the placebo group.
Those who took the fish oil capsules were also much better at dealing with challenges in their lives, while those who took the placebo tended to move into a psychotic stage more rapidly.
Scientists are unsure how omega-3 fatty acids work, but one theory suggests that it might increase a chemical called glutathione in the temporal lobes in the brain. Glutathione is a key antioxidant that exists in plant and animal cells. It helps prevent damage caused by destructive free radical molecules.
The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids might also be important. They are also known to interact with dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which are both associated with mood.
“It might be a more general neuro-protective effect,” McGorry says. “We are also currently studying omega-3 fatty acids in relation to depression.”
Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to have very few side effects apart from nausea and diarrhoea, have good public acceptance, and are low cost, say the researchers.
But, while the new study shows promise, the researchers can’t confirm the results until two replica trials are analysed. They hope to release the results of these trials next April.
High blood pressure and kidney decline may be linked to feelings of discrimination
Feeling judged because of your race could have a negative impact on your physical health, a new study finds.
A team of researchers studied 1,574 residents of Baltimore as part of the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span study and found that 20% of the subjects reported feeling that they had been racially discriminated against “a lot.”
Even after the researchers adjusted the results for race, this group had higher systolic blood pressure than those who perceived only a little discrimination.
Over a five-year followup, the group who felt more racial discrimination also tended to have greater decline in kidney function. When the researchers, co-led by Deidra C. Crews, MD, assistant professor of medicine and chair of the diversity council at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, adjusted for age and lifestyle factors, the effect stayed constant for African-American women.
“Psychosocial stressors could potentially have an effect on kidney function decline through a number of hormonal pathways,” Dr. Crews said. The release of stress hormones can lead to an increase in blood pressure, and high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of kidney disease.
This isn’t the first time that perceived racial discrimination has been linked to chronic diseases: a 2011 study found that lifetime discrimination was linked to higher rates of hypertension.
When it comes to healing herbs and plants, turmeric tops the list for its significant health benefits. This distinctive yellow-orange root has been used for centuries in medicines, herbal drinks and foods around the globe, and is often used to treat a wide range of ailments. In recent years, scientists have been studyingturmeric for its positive effects on health, and the results are promising, particularly when it comes to cardiovascular health.
The primary chemical found in turmeric is called curcumin, and studies show that this polyphenol contains powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation has been linked to cardiovascular disease, as well as other health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer. Moreover, curcumin has positive effects on insulin sensitivity, which causes a reduction in triglyceride levels in the body. Researchers believe that it may just be the anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing properties that make turmeric so effective in warding off cardiovascular disease and strengthening the heart.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Cardiology suggests that curcumin can reduce the risk of heart attacks in coronary bypass patients. During 2009 and 2011, researchers from the University of Chiang Mai in Thailand studied 121 patients who underwent non-emergency coronary bypass surgery at the University Hospital. Half of the patients were given curcumin capsules before and after the surgeries, while the other half were given a placebo. The researchers found that the patients who had taken the curcumin supplements had a 65% lowered risk of heart attacks after the operation than the placebo group, as well as significantly lower levels of inflammation and oxidative stress.
Another study by the University of Tsukuba in Japan shows that curcumin may also improve vascular function and protect the heart, especially when combined with moderate exercise. Over a period of eight weeks, the scientists here monitored postmenopausal women in three different studies that measured the effects of curcumin and moderate exercise on blood flow, artery response and blood pressure.
In the first study, they divided the women into three groups: those who took curcumin supplements, those who exercised moderately and those who did nothing. When they examined the blood vessels, they found that the women who did nothing had no significant changes to their blood flow, while the curcumin and exercise groups showed an increase in vascular endothelial function. Interestingly, curcumin seemed to be just as effective as moderate exercise in improving blood flow.
In the following two studies, the researchers found that curcumin supplements also improved the performance of the arteries when reacting to changes in blood pressure, lowered aortic and brachial systolic blood pressure, and strengthened the heart against age-related degeneration of the left ventricle. They found that the women who exercised in addition to taking curcumin supplements showed the greatest improvements.
These are just a few examples of how turmeric can help improve heart health. I suggest taking turmeric in its natural form, either chopped, juiced or ground into powder, and adding it to curries, stir-fries and healthy drinks. To enhance the absorption rate, add a little black pepper to your food or drink as well. If you decide to take turmeric or curcumin in supplement form, be sure to consult with a registered health professional beforehand.