97% of Terminal Cancer Patients Previously had this One Dental Procedure.


Do you have a chronic degenerative disease? If so, have you been told, “It’s all in your head?”
Well, that might not be that far from the truth… the root cause of your illness may be in your mouth.
There is a common dental procedure that nearly every dentist will tell you is completely safe, despite the fact that scientists have been warning of its dangers for more than 100 years.Every day in the United States alone, 41,000 of these dental procedures are performed on patients who believe they are safely and permanently fixing their problem.What is this dental procedure?The root canal.More than 25 million root canals are performed every year in this country.Root-canaled teeth are essentially “dead” teeth that can become silent incubators for highly toxic anaerobic bacteria that can, under certain conditions, make their way into your bloodstream to cause a number of serious medical conditions—many not appearing until decades later.Most of these toxic teeth feel and look fine for many years, which make their role in systemic disease even harder to trace back.Sadly, the vast majority of dentists are oblivious to the serious potential health risks they are exposing their patients to, risks that persist for the rest of their patients’ lives. The American Dental Association claims root canals have been proven safe, but they have NO published data or actual research to substantiate this claim.
Fortunately, I had some early mentors like Dr. Tom Stone and Dr. Douglas Cook, who educated me on this issue nearly 20 years ago. Were it not for a brilliant pioneering dentist who, more than a century ago, made the connection between root-canaled teeth and disease, this underlying cause of disease may have remained hidden to this day. The dentist’s name was Weston Price—regarded by many as the greatest dentist of all time.

Weston A. Price: World’s Greatest Dentist

Most dentists would be doing an enormous service to public health if they familiarized themselves with the work of Dr. Weston Pricei. Unfortunately, his work continues to be discounted and suppressed by medical and dental professionals alike.

Dr. Price was a dentist and researcher who traveled the world to study the teeth, bones, and diets of native populations living without the “benefit” of modern food. Around the year 1900, Price had been treating persistent root canal infections and became suspicious that root-canaled teeth always remained infected, in spite of treatments. Then one day, he recommended to a woman, wheelchair bound for six years, to have her root canal tooth extracted, even though it appeared to be fine.

She agreed, so he extracted her tooth and then implanted it under the skin of a rabbit. The rabbit amazingly developed the same crippling arthritis as the woman and died from the infection 10 days later. But the woman, now free of the toxic tooth, immediately recovered from her arthritis and could now walk without even the assistance of a cane.

Price discovered that it’s mechanically impossible to sterilize a root-canaled (e.g. root-filled) tooth.
He then went on to show that many chronic degenerative diseases originate from root-filled teeth—the most frequent being heart and circulatory diseases. He actually found 16 different causative bacterial agents for these conditions. But there were also strong correlations between root-filled teeth and diseases of the joints, brain and nervous system. Dr. Price went on to write two groundbreaking books in 1922 detailing his research into the link between dental pathology and chronic illness. Unfortunately, his work was deliberately buried for 70 years, until finally one endodontist named George Meinig recognized the importance of Price’s work and sought to expose the truth.

Dr. Meinig Advances the Work of Dr. Price

Dr. Meinig, a native of Chicago, was a captain in the U.S. Army during World War II before moving to Hollywood to become a dentist for the stars. He eventually became one of the founding members of the American Association of Endodontists (root canal specialists).

In the 1990s, he spent 18 months immersed in Dr. Price’s research. In June of 1993, Dr. Meinig published the book Root Canal Cover-Up, which continues to be the most comprehensive reference on this topic today. You can order your copy directly from the Price-Pottenger Foundationii.

What Dentists Don’t Know About the Anatomy of Your Teeth

Your teeth are made of the hardest substances in your body.

In the middle of each tooth is the pulp chamber, a soft living inner structure that houses blood vessels and nerves. Surrounding the pulp chamber is the dentin, which is made of living cells that secrete a hard mineral substance. The outermost and hardest layer of your tooth is the white enamel, which encases the dentin.
The roots of each tooth descend into your jawbone and are held in place by the periodontal ligament. In dental school, dentists are taught that each tooth has one to four major canals. However, there are accessory canals that are never mentioned. Literally miles of them!

Just as your body has large blood vessels that branch down into very small capillaries, each of your teeth has a maze of very tiny tubules that, if stretched out, would extend for three miles. Weston Price identified as many as 75 separate accessory canals in a single central incisor (front tooth). For a more detailed explanation, refer to an article by Hal Huggins, DDS, MS, on the Weston A. Price Foundation website.iii (These images are borrowed from the Huggins article.)

Microscopic organisms regularly move in and around these tubules, like gophers in underground tunnels.
When a dentist performs a root canal, he or she hollows out the tooth, then fills the hollow chamber with a substance (called guttapercha), which cuts off the tooth from its blood supply, so fluid can no longer circulate through the tooth. But the maze of tiny tubules remains. And bacteria, cut off from their food supply, hide out in these tunnels where they are remarkably safe from antibiotics and your own body’s immune defenses.
The Root Cause of Much Disease

Under the stresses of oxygen and nutrient deprivation, these formerly friendly organisms morph into stronger, more virulent anaerobes that produce a variety of potent toxins. What were once ordinary, friendly oral bacteria mutate into highly toxic pathogens lurking in the tubules of the dead tooth, just awaiting an opportunity to spread.

No amount of sterilization has been found effective in reaching these tubules—and just about every single root-canaled tooth has been found colonized by these bacteria, especially around the apex and in the periodontal ligament. Oftentimes, the infection extends down into the jawbone where it creates cavitations—areas of necrotic tissue in the jawbone itself.

Cavitations are areas of unhealed bone, often accompanied by pockets of infected tissue and gangrene. Sometimes they form after a tooth extraction (such as a wisdom tooth extraction), but they can also follow a root canal. According to Weston Price Foundation, in the records of 5,000 surgical cavitation cleanings, only two were found healed.

And all of this occurs with few, if any, accompanying symptoms. So you may have an abscessed dead tooth and not know it. This focal infection in the immediate area of the root-canaled tooth is bad enough, but the damage doesn’t stop there.

Root Canals Can Lead to Heart, Kidney, Bone, and Brain Disease

As long as your immune system remains strong, any bacteria that stray away from the infected tooth are captured and destroyed. But once your immune system is weakened by something like an accident or illness or other trauma, your immune system may be unable to keep the infection in check.

These bacteria can migrate out into surrounding tissues by hitching a ride into your blood stream, where they are transported to new locations to set up camp. The new location can be any organ or gland or tissue.
Dr. Price was able to transfer diseases harbored by humans to rabbits, by implanting fragments of root-canaled teeth, as mentioned above. He found that root canal fragments from a person who had suffered a heart attack, when implanted into a rabbit, would cause a heart attack in the rabbit within a few weeks.
He discovered he could transfer heart disease to the rabbit 100 percent of the time! Other diseases were more than 80 percent transferable by this method. Nearly every chronic degenerative disease has been linked with root canals, including:

Heart disease
Kidney disease
Arthritis, joint, and rheumatic diseases
Neurological diseases (including ALS and MS)
Autoimmune diseases (Lupus and more)

There may also be a cancer connection. Dr. Robert Jones, a researcher of therelationship between root canals and breast cancer, found an extremely high correlation between root canals and breast cancer. He claims to have found the following correlations in a five-year study of 300 breast cancer cases:

93 percent of women with breast cancer had root canals
7 percent had other oral pathology
Tumors, in the majority of cases, occurred on the same side of the body as the root canal(s) or other oral pathology

Dr. Jones claims that toxins from the bacteria in an infected tooth or jawbone are able to inhibit the proteins that suppress tumor development. A German physician reported similar findings. Dr. Josef Issels reported that, in his 40 years of treating “terminal” cancer patients, 97 percent of his cancer patients had root canals. If these physicians are correct, the cure for cancer may be as simple as having a tooth pulled, then rebuilding your immune system.

Good Bugs Gone Bad

How are these mutant oral bacteria connected with heart disease or arthritis? The ADA and the AAE claim it’s a “myth” that the bacteria found in and around root-canaled teeth can cause diseasev. But they base that on the misguided assumption that the bacteria in these diseased teeth are the SAME as normal bacteria in your mouth—and that’s clearly not the case.

Today, bacteria can be identified using DNA analysis, whether they’re dead or alive, from their telltale DNA signatures.

In a continuation of Dr. Price’s work, the Toxic Element Research Foundation (TERF) used DNA analysis to examine root-canaled teeth, and they found bacterial contamination in 100 percent of the samples tested. They identified 42 different species of anaerobic bacteria in 43 root canal samples. In cavitations, 67 different bacteria were identified among the 85 samples tested, with individual samples housing between 19 to 53 types of bacteria each. The bacteria they found included the following types:

Capnocytophagaochracea
Fusobacteriumnucleatum
Gemellamorbillorum
Leptotrichiabuccalis
Porphyromonasgingivalis

Are these just benign, ordinary mouth bugs? Absolutely not. Four can affect your heart, three can affect your nerves, two can affect your kidneys, two can affect your brain, and one can infect your sinus cavities… so they are anything BUT friendly! (If you want see just how unfriendly they can be, I invite you to investigate the footnotes.)

Approximately 400 percent more bacteria were found in the blood surrounding the root canal tooth than were found in the tooth itself, suggesting the tooth is the incubatorand the periodontal ligament is the food supply. The bone surrounding root-canaled teeth was found even HIGHER in bacterial count… not surprising, since bone is virtual buffet of bacterial nutrients.

Since When is Leaving A Dead Body Part IN Your Body a Good Idea?

There is no other medical procedure that involves allowing a dead body part to remain in your body. When your appendix dies, it’s removed. If you get frostbite or gangrene on a finger or toe, it is amputated. If a baby dies in utero, the body typically initiates a miscarriage.

Your immune system doesn’t care for dead substances, and just the presence of dead tissue can cause your system to launch an attack, which is another reason to avoid root canals—they leave behind a dead tooth.
Infection, plus the autoimmune rejection reaction, causes more bacteria to collect around the dead tissue. In the case of a root canal, bacteria are given the opportunity to flush into your blood stream every time you bite down.

Why Dentists Cling to the Belief Root Canals are Safe

The ADA rejects Dr. Price’s evidence, claiming root canals are safe, yet they offer no published data or actual research to substantiate their claim. American Heart Association recommends a dose of antibiotics before many routine dental procedures to prevent infective endocarditis (IE) if you have certain heart conditions that predispose you to this type of infection.

So, on the one hand, the ADA acknowledges oral bacteria can make their way from your mouth to your heart and cause a life-threatening infection.

But at the same time, the industry vehemently denies any possibility that these same bacteria—toxic strains KNOWN to be pathogenic to humans—can hide out in your dead root-canaled tooth to be released into your blood stream every time you chew, where they can damage your health in a multitude of ways.
Is this really that large of a leap? Could there be another reason so many dentists, as well as the ADA and the AAE, refuse to admit root canals are dangerous? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, there is. Root canals are the most profitable procedure in dentistry.

What You Need to Know to AVOID a Root Canal

I strongly recommend never getting a root canal. Risking your health to preserve a tooth simply doesn’t make sense. Unfortunately, there are many people who’ve already have one. If you have, you should seriously consider having the tooth removed, even if it looks and feels fine. Remember, as soon as your immune system is compromised, your risk of of developing a serious medical problem increases—and assaults on your immune system are far too frequent in today’s world.

If you have a tooth removed, there are a few options available to you.

Partial denture: This is a removable denture, often just called a “partial.” It’s the simplest and least expensive option.

Bridge: This is a more permanent fixture resembling a real tooth but is a bit more involved and expensive to build.

Implant: This is a permanent artificial tooth, typically titanium, implanted in your gums and jaw. There are some problems with these due to reactions to the metals used. Zirconium is a newer implant material that shows promise for fewer complications.

But just pulling the tooth and inserting some sort of artificial replacement isn’t enough.
Dentists are taught to remove the tooth but leave your periodontal ligament. But as you now know, this ligament can serve as a breeding ground for deadly bacteria. Most experts who’ve studied this recommend removing the ligament, along with one millimeter of the bony socket, in order to drastically reduce your risk of developing an infection from the bacterially infected tissues left behind.

I strongly recommend consulting a biological dentist because they are uniquely trained to do these extractions properly and safely, as well as being adept at removing mercury fillings, if necessary. Their approach to dental care is far more holistic and considers the impact on your entire body—not JUST your mouth.
If you need to find a biological dentist in your area, I recommend visiting toxicteeth.org, a resource sponsored by Consumers for Dental Choice. This organization, championed by Charlie Brown, is a highly reputable organization that has fought to protect and educate consumers so that they can make better-informed decisions about their dental care. The organization also heads up the Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry.

Source: MERCOLA.COM & Raw For Beauty

Study Reveals Shocking Amount of Mercury in Many Foods we Eat.


According to The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency: Mercury poses a health risk to everybody but especially to young children and fetuses because they’re still developing.  Prolonged low level exposure may cause learning disabilities by hurting the ability of children to think and read.  Adults who have been exposed to high levels of mercury may experience trembling hands and numbness or tingling in their lips, tongues, fingers, and toes.  Acute mercury poisoning especially through ingestion, can damage the brain, liver, kidneys, and even cause death.

Research published in Environmental Health and conducted in part by a scientist at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has revealed that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is contaminated with the toxic heavy metal mercuryHigh-fructose corn syrup is used in almost everything, it seems. A second study conducted by David Wallinga, M.D., entitled “Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup” reveals that nearly one-third of all grocery items sweetened with HFCS  were contaminated with mercury

WHERE DOES ALL THE MERCURY COME FROM?

Most people don’t know how high-fructose corn syrup is really made. One of those processes is a bizarre chemical brew involving the creation of caustic soda by exposing raw materials to pools of electrified mercury in a large vat. Through this process, the caustic soda gets contaminated with mercury, and when corn kernels are exposed to this caustic soda to break them down, that contamination is passed through to the HFCS.

Another toxic chemical, glutaraldehyde, is also used in the production of HFCS. It’s so toxic that consuming even a small amount of it can burn a hole in your stomach.

But don’t worry: The Corn Refiners Association insists that HFCS is a “natural” ingredient, and their Chicago-based PR firm Weber Shandwick is now also claiming that HFCS has been declared “natural” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It hasn’t really, of course, but that doesn’t stop the press releases from claiming it has. (If you think a liquid sugar processed with glutaraldehyde and contaminated with mercury is “natural,” then you’ve been duped. There’s nothing natural about a processed food ingredient made with toxic chemicals.)

A Weber Shandwick representative calls me every time I post an article about HFCS, by the way, usually with demands that I remove the entire article. I’ve invited the Corn Refiners Association to a phone interview to defend their position that HFCS doesn’t cause diabetes or obesity, and to answer questions about whether HFCS is really “natural.” So far, they have declined to be interviewed. It seems they don’t want to face real questions from an honest journalist who refuses to be censored by powerful corporations.

One thing I’ve got to say about the Corn Refiners Association is that they have a well-funded PR machine running around the internet trying to make everybody remove stories that say anything negative about HFCS.

I’ve noticed that the Corn Refiners Association is a master at spinning the truth. For example, the president of the CRA, Audrae Erickson, said this in a statement responding to the mercury findings: “Our industry has used mercury-free versions of the two reagents mentioned in the study, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda, for several years.”

Well sure, that’s true. But what is Erickson NOT saying? She’s not saying that ALL the HFCS is made without mercury. She just says that somewhere in the industry, somebody is using a mercury-free version of the caustic soda. That doesn’t mean all the HFCS is mercury free, yet if you don’t read her statement carefully, you might be misled into thinking that. Her statement, in fact, leaves open the possibility that 99% of all HFCS might still be manufactured using mercury.

Note carefully that Erickson does not say all HFCS sold in the U.S. is free from mercury. Instead, she makes a clever statement that results in most readers assuming that’s what she means. The CRA is well known for using this kind of language spin tactics.

Sources:  Real Farmacy & naturalnews.com

 

Monkey feels touch with prosthetic hand.


A sense of touch lets you connect with loved ones, makes your limbs feel your own, and helps you to interact with your surroundings. But people who are paraplegics or have lost limbs have to navigate the world without this most fundamental of sensory inputs.

Sliman Bensmaia at the University of Chicago, Illinois, is working to change that with a new model for transmitting a sense of touch to the brain that bypasses regular routes. He hopes it will be a blueprint for constructing prosthetics that convey touch in the same way that natural limbs do.

One day they'll feel the same <i>(Image: PNAS, 2013)</i>

To start, Bensmaia and his colleagues trained rhesus macaques to focus their gaze in different directions depending on whether their index finger or fourth finger were being prodded.

Microelectrodes were then placed in an area of the brain called the primary somatosensory cortex. This area represents an entire map of the body, with each neuron responsible for sensing when a different part of the skin is touched.

Microelectrodes record the activity pattern of neurons. They can also be used in reverse – to deliver electrical stimulation to make neurons fire.

Fourth finger exercise

Next, the team recorded what activity occurred and where it registered in the somatosensory cortex when a monkey had its index or fourth finger poked.

Then they stimulated the brain using the same pattern of activity. The monkeys reacted as if they had been touched – fixing their gaze in the direction they been taught in response to a poke.

In similar experiments, the monkeys were also able to differentiate between pokes of varying strength to a prosthetic hand that transmitted the information to their brain via the microelectrodes.

“Information about location and pressure of a touch is often unavailable visually or is inadequate to guide motor behaviour for people with prosthetics,” Bensmaia says. “But it is crucial. Without it we crush or drop objects in our grasp.”

He hopes that one day prosthetic sensors will be able to transmit signals to implants in humans that dispatch the correct pattern of electrical pulses to the brain to allow them to sense touch. Such prosthetics, he says, will confer a greater feeling of embodiment – the sense that your limbs feel like a part of your body, and foster richer interactions with the environment.

“Maybe this will help a person touch a loved one for the first time,” Bensmaia says. “That’s powerful.”

Though electrode implants has been used in humans, Bensmaia says that hurdles remain. Implants must be safe and durable enough to remain in the brain over a long period of time, as well as adaptable enough to function as a person’s brain changes with age.

Despite the obstacles, Lee Miller at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, says that Bensmaia’s biomimetic approach holds great promise for prosthetics, which have limited sensory capacity at the moment.

“Bensmaia is trying to reproduce a natural pattern of sensory activity and that’s a big distinction,” he says. “The best approach to conveying touch will likely be imitating as faithfully as possible the brain’s own signalling.”

Scientists Recreate The Sense Of Touch With Direct-To-Brain Electrical Signals .


We’ve seen some very cool prosthetic arms recently, including ones people are able to control—just as they control biological arms—with their thoughts. So what’s one of the next great frontiers for prosthetics? Letting people experience touches through them, too.

photo of an experimental prosthetic arm

The human sense of touch does a lot more than let people enjoy fresh sheets or soft kitties. It’s also crucial for helping people judge how hard to hold stuff they want to pick up, or whether they’ve got a good grip on something slippery. In a feature published earlier this year, Nature News talked with one prosthetic arm user, Igor Spetic, who accidentally broke dishes and bruised fruit he tried to hold with his device. If he had a prosthesis that had a sense of touch, he told Nature News, “I’d probably lay everything on the countertop and just start grabbing stuff. I’d be so excited.”

Now one research group is reporting a major step toward a touchy-feely prosthetic. A team of researchers from the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University performed a series of experiments that showed they could send electrical signals directly to the brains of rhesus macaques and that the macaques were able to interpret the signals as touches on different parts of their hands. Another series of experiments showed rhesus macaques could interpret different direct-to-brain signals as touches of varying pressure. A third explored whether direct-to-brain signals work quickly enough to be able to accurately tell macaques when a prosthetic is touching something and when it stops the touch. (The signals seem to move too slowly to be totally accurate, but the researchers thought of some workarounds, which they discussed in a paper they published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences.)

The macaques were quickly able to interpret electrical brain stimulation as analogues to physical touches.

The team will surely work to incorporate those findings into a device. For one thing, some of the researchers’ experiments actually involved a prosthetic finger that sent signals to the research monkeys‘ brains. For another, Johns Hopkins University is working on a prototype that’s the most sophisticated touch-enabled prosthesis in the world, with more than 100 sensors, Nature News reports.

There was one especially cool thing the Chicago-Johns Hopkins team demonstrated. While it’s impossible to know exactly what the monkeys feel when they get electrical buzzes to their brains, one series of experiments showed the animals were quickly able to interpret electrical brain stimulation as analogues to physical touches.

First, the researchers taught rhesus macaques to look either left or right after feeling two presses into their hands—say, pressure on the index finger, and then pressure on the pinky finger. After running several trials to make sure the monkeys learned the press-look game as well as they could, the researchers stimulated parts of the monkeys’ brains they’d learned corresponded with different parts of the monkeys’ hands. The two macaques in whom the researchers tested this looked in the correct direction 81 percent and 72 percent of the time, the very first time researchers sent electrical signals to their brains.

This research could help scientists develop touch-enabled prosthetics that send signals that are intuitive for people to interpret, the researchers wrote in their paper.

It’ll be years yet before technology like this will show up in prosthetics for people, however. It is invasive, requiring wiring to the brain, so researchers will have to do a lot to show it’s safe and durable. (Nobody wants to have to undergo frequent brain implants for tune-ups or software updates.) It’s also not clear yet whether electrical signals sent to the brain are able to reproduce touches as specific as human or monkey skin is able to feel. The electric signals could be lower resolution than true touches.

First mind-controlled bionic leg a ‘groundbreaking’ advance.


After losing his lower right leg in a motorcycle accident four-and-a-half years ago, 32-year-old Zac Vawter has been fitted with an artificial limb that uses neurosignals from his upper leg muscles to control the prosthetic knee and ankle. The motorized limb is the first thought-controlled bionic leg, scientists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago reported Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“This is a groundbreaking development,” says lead author Levi Hargrove, a biomedical engineer and research scientist at RIC. “It allows people to seamlessly transition between walking along level ground and going up and down stairs and slopes.”

Until now, only thought-controlled bionic arms have been available to amputees.

In this Oct. 25, 2012 photo, Zac Vawter, fitted with an experimental "bionic" leg, is silhouetted on the Ledge at the Willis Tower in Chicago. Vawter ...

Brian Kersey / AP
On Oct. 25, 2012 Zac Vawter, fitted with an experimental “bionic” leg, climbed the 103 flights to the top of Willis Tower in Chicago.

When Vawter thinks he wants to move his leg, the brain signal travels down his spinal cord and through peripheral nerves and is picked up by electrodes in the bionic leg. Unlike robotic models currently on the market, the prosthesis allows a normal, smooth gait no matter the incline. Although the cost hasn’t been determined, a version could be available to the more than one million Americans with leg amputations within three to five years, the Chicago scientists said.

“It makes a phenomenal difference,” says Vawter, a software engineer from Yelm, Wash., whose right leg was amputated through the knee in 2009 after he crashed his motorcycle. Aware of the institute’s work on bionic arms, Vawter and his surgeon contacted Hargrove and the team developing the pioneering prosthesis. For nearly three years ending in October, 2012, Vawter would travel to the institute periodically.

Vawter would remove his mechanical leg, slip into the bionic one, and run through a set of experiments the scientists devised, suggesting improvements and providing feedback on what was working and what was not.

 

Now, after multiple revisions to the leg’s software and two major revisions to the leg’s mechanics, Vawter says he can walk up and down stairs the way he did before the accident. With his mechanical leg, Vawter says, “My sound leg goes up every step first, and I’m just dragging the prosthetic leg along behind me.” But with the bionic leg, “I go leg over leg,” he says. “The bionic leg listens to the various signals from my nerves and responds in a much more natural way.”

Some current prosthetic legs are purely mechanical, like Vawter’s; others are robotic and have a motor, a computer, and mechanical sensors that detect how much weight is being put on the prosthesis and the position of the knee. These allow people to walk well but don’t allow people to seamlessly ascend or descend stairs with a normal gait or to reposition their leg while sitting without manually moving it. The thought-controlled bionic leg is much more sophisticated. In additional to mechanical sensors, it has two motors, complex software, and a set of electrodes – essentially antennae – in its socket that pick up the tiny electrical signals that muscles in the upper leg generate when they contract.

Two electrodes pick up signals from the hamstring muscle, where the nerves that had run through Vawter’s lower leg were redirected during the amputation. “So when Zac is thinking about moving his ankle, his hamstring contracts,” says Hargrove.

 

More electrodes pick up signals from other muscles in the residual limb. The complex pattern recognition software contained in the on-board computer interprets these electrical signals from the upper leg as well as mechanical signals from the bionic leg and “figures out what Zac is trying to do,” says Hargrove.

 

The U.S. Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center funded the Chicago study with an $8 million grant to add neural information to the control systems of advanced robotic leg prostheses. Devising a thought-controlled bionic leg has been more challenging than a thought-controlled bionic arm, says Hargrove.

That’s because the motors must be powerful enough to provide the energy to allow someone to stand and push along — and they must be small. Also, the computer control system must be safe.

“If there is a mistake or error that could cause someone to fall, that could be potentially catastrophic, and we want to avoid that at all costs,” says Hargrove.

The leg is a prototype so Vawter cannot take it home. Error rates in the software are small but need to be made smaller, says Hargrove and the leg itself needs to be made quieter and lighter. In addition, prolonged use can produce chafing where the residual limb contacts the electrodes in the bionic leg’s socket.

The ultimate cost of the final product is unknown, says Hargrove, although upper extremity prostheses range from $20,000 to $120,000. “We are leveraging developments in related industries to make sure we use low-cost components whenever possible,” Hargrove told NBC News.

Careful engineering will make it affordable. His goal is to restore “full ability” to all patients, especially the elderly. “This could mean the difference between living in their home longer and having to go to a nursing home,” says Hargrove.

Being a Lifelong Bookworm May Keep You Sharp in Old Age.


To keep their bodies running at peak performance, people often hit the gym, pounding away at the treadmill to strengthen muscles and build endurance. This dedication has enormous benefitsbeing in shape now means warding off a host of diseases when you get older. But does the brain work in the same way? That is, can doing mental exercises help your mind stay just as sharp in old age?

reading-611

Experts say it’s possible. As a corollary to working out, people have begun joining brain gyms to flex their mental muscles. For a monthly fee of around $15, websites like Lumosity.com and MyBrainTrainer.com promise to enhance memory, attention and other mental processes through a series of games and brain teasers. Such ready-made mind exercises are an alluring route for people who worry about their ticking clock. But there’s no need to slap down the money right away—new research suggests the secret to preserving mental agility may lie in simply cracking open a book.

The findings, published online today in Neurology, suggest that reading books, writing and engaging in other similar brain-stimulating activities slows down cognitive decline in old age, independent of common age-related neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, people who participated in mentally stimulating activities over their lifetimes, both in young, middle and old age, had a slower rate of decline in memory and other mental capacities than those who did not.

Researchers used an array of tests to measure 294 people’s memory and thinking every year for six years years. Participants also answered a questionnaire about their reading and writing habits, from childhood to adulthood to advanced age. Following the participants’ deaths at an average age of 89, researchers examined their brains for evidence of the physical signs of dementia, such as lesions,plaques and tangles. Such brain abnormalities are most common in older people, causing them to experience memory lapses. They proliferate in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, leading to memory and thinking impairments that can severely affect victims’ daily lives.

Using information from the questionnaire and autopsy results, the researchers found that any reading and writing is better than none at all. Remaining a bookworm into old age reduced the rate of memory decline by 32 percent compared to engaging in average mental activity. Those who didn’t read or write often later in life did even worse: their memory decline was 48 percent faster than people who spent an average amount of time on these activities.

The researchers found that mental activity accounted for nearly 15 percent of the difference in memory decline, beyond what could be explained by the presence of plaque buildup. “Based on this, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves and our parents or grandparents,” says study author Robert S. Wilson, a neuropsychologist at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicagoin a statement.

Reading gives our brains a workout because comprehending text requires more mental energy than, for example, processing an image on a television screen. Reading exercises our working memory, which actively processes and stores new information as it comes. Eventually, that information gets transferred into long-term memory, where our understanding of any given material deepens. Writing can be likened to practice: the more we rehearse the perfect squat, the better our form becomes, tightening all the right muscles. Writing helps us consolidate new information for the times we may need to recall it, which boosts our memory skills.

So the key to keeping our brains sharp for the long haul does have something in common with physical exercise: we have to stick with it. And it’s best to start early. In 2009, a seven-year studyof 2,000 healthy individuals aged 18 to 60 found that mental agility peaks at 22. By 27, mental processes like reasoning, spatial visualization and speed of thought began to decline.

Source: Smithsonian.com

 

 

New tools automatically match patients with clinical trials.


The majority of Americans—72%—say they would take part in a clinical trial recommended by their doctor, according to a survey released last month by the Alexandria, Virginia-based science advocacy group Research!America. Despite that enthusiasm, though, there’s a shortage of enrollment. According to US government estimates, only about 3% of patients with advanced cancer enroll in phase 1 trials. Part of the problem, experts believe, comes down to a lack of awareness: the general public doesn’t know about investigational trials, and few physicians discuss the option with their patients.

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New tools unveiled this year that automatically prescreen patients for trials based on their electronic medical records and email matches to doctors could help solve the problem. “We’ve needed these kinds of tools for a long time,” says Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California. “Physicians are really busy, and there are so many clinical trials that no human could track them all.”

The US federal registry, ClinicalTrials.gov, currently lists more than 145,000 trials in all 50 states, as well as 184 foreign countries. Wading through those listings is a daunting task for individuals interested in signing up for a study, assuming that they know of the resource to begin with. Ultimately, problems with patient recruitment delay clinical trials by 4.6 months, on average, according to the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Trial Research Participation, a nonprofit organization in Boston. That holdup means it takes longer for treatments to reach the market.

To increase enrollment, some patient-advocacy groups have started playing matchmaker. A year ago, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research launched the Fox Trial Finder, a web portal designed to help pair people with Parkinson’s with clinical studies (see Nat. Med. 18, 837,2012). The Alzheimer’s Association’s TrialMatch, meanwhile, has been up and running since 2010. Anyone can register online or by phone and see if he or she—or a patient or loved one—is a good fit for any of the 153 trials in 621 locations. To date, there have been 11,166 referrals, says Heather Snyder, the Chicago-based association’s director of medical and scientific operations.

In addition to the Fox Trial Finder and TrialMatch, for-profit companies have unveiled web portals to link people with studies. New York’s EmergingMed helps connect individuals with cancer trials, and in late May, Michigan-based CureLauncher unveiled a clinical-trial-matching service for a range of disorders. But tools such as these rely on the gumption of patients and doctors to wade through web listings. A new wave is emerging of automated tools that do away with the need for patients or physicians to manually enter information.

On alerts

Earlier this year, the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center in Richmond unveiled two new tools that work with its Clinical Trials Eligibility Database, which stores information about patients and clinical trials at the center. Since February, its MD Alert Notification System has automatically prescreened the list of scheduled patients each morning and emailed physicians when it finds that one of those individuals is eligible for one or more of 75 open trials at the center.

“If the patient is interested, one click by the physician refers them to the research nurse associated with that trial,” says Lynne Penberthy, director of the Massey Cancer Center’s informatics core who oversees the tracking and matching tools. Another new computer application there, the Automated Matching Tool, has been available since January. It screens all patients in the system on a scheduled basis, not just those coming in for a visit.

An algorithm known as Trial Prospector offers even greater automation for clinical trial enrollment. In a pilot study presented at last month’s American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago, the program reached into the medical records of 60 people with gastrointestinal cancer who had scheduled appointments at the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio. It pulled out 15 pieces of information—including age, diagnosis and blood count—that it compared to eligibility criteria of the 300-plus trials in Cases’s database. It then emailed doctors lists of any matches, and it also shows the studies for which the patient didn’t qualify and explains why; for example, some factors, such as low red blood cell count, might be easily fixed with a transfusion. The algorithm was 100% accurate, and 11% of the patients ended up enrolling in a trial suggested to the doctor by the algorithm.

“In theory this could be readily adapted anywhere, but we’ve still got a long way to go,” says Neal Meropol, associate director for clinical research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. His team plans to refine Trial Prospector over the next 6 to 12 months, expand it to other cancers, and test it in a community-practice setting, where physicians aren’t highly specialized and may not have as much knowledge of open trials.

Penberthy similarly sees automated trial matching tools as a way to reach a more diverse set of participants. “We’re hoping that this is going help increase the equity,” she says. “It may help to increase minority patients enrolled in clinical trials,” an underrepresented population.

Topol, who isn’t involved with the programs, says that although automated matching programs are in their infancy, “eventually they could build something that’s extraordinary.”

Source: Nature

 

Bronx A1c: Phone counseling led to lower HbA1C levels.


Telephonic intervention has been shown to lower levels of A1c across a diverse population, according to the results of a prospective, randomized trial presented here at the ADA Scientific Sessions.

The Bronx A1c study was comprised of 941 adults with diabetes — 70% who were foreign-born, 68% Hispanic and 28% non-Hispanic black — who had an A1c >7% in the New York City Health Department’s A1c registry. Participants were randomly assigned to receive print materials and telephonic self-management counseling sessions (n=443) or only print intervention materials (n=498) for 1 year. Those in the first group received four to eight counseling phone calls from a health educator, determined by their baseline A1c levels (mean baseline A1c: 9.2%). Complete outcome data were available for almost 75% of the study population.

The A1c levels of patients in the phone counseling group dropped 0.39% more than the group only receiving print materials (P=0.02). When adjusted for predictors explaining at least 1% of the variance, such as age or BMI, the difference in the levels between the groups was 0.6% (P=0.006).

Researchers said that medication adherence, diabetes distress, depression, self-care behaviors and well-being did not affect the results, according to the Sobel test. Optimistic bias, personal risk and composite risk, measured at 6 months, were significantly associated with A1c outcomes (P<0.05).

“In context of an urban A1c registry, a telephonic behavioral intervention to support self-management can have a positive substantial impact on diabetes control in a very diverse population,” researchers wrote. – by AlexandraTodak

For more information:

Walker EA. #2-OR. Presented at: ADA Scientific Sessions; June 21-25, 2013; Chicago.

 

Source: healio.com/endocrinology

Low-dose BPA exposure increased prostate cancer risk in stem cells.


In vivo evidence shows that developmental exposure to bisphenol A significantly increases the carcinogenic susceptibility of the human prostate epithelium, according to data presented here at ENDO 2013.

“Our new findings provide the first direct in vivo evidence that early life exposure to BPA [bisphenol A] at levels found every day in humans increases cancer susceptibility in the human prostate epithelium,” Gail S. Prins, PhD,Michael Reese professor of urology in the departments of urology and physiology and biophysics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said during a press conference here.

In a rodent study published in 2007, Prins and colleagues demonstrated that brief exposure to low doses of BPA early in life reprogrammed the prostate gland and enhanced the carcinogenic potential when exposed to elevated adult estrogen levels, as seen in aging men.

In the current study, Prins and colleagues tested the effects of BPA in an in vivo chimeric prostate model of human prostate epithelial stem-progenitor cells cultured from primary prostate epithelial cells of healthy donors.

They exposed host mice to daily oral low doses of BPA (100 mcg/kg of body weight [BW], n=15; 250 mcg/kg of body weight [BW], n=27) or vehicle (n=34) during the first 2 weeks of tissue formation in vivo.

At day 7, serum BPA levels were 0.16 ng/mL free-BPA and 0.47 ng/mL free-BPA for the 100 mcg/kg BW and 250 mcg/kg BW groups, respectively.

One month after the graft, mice were administered testosterone plus estradiol (T+E) pellets and researchers monitored carcinogensis over a 4-month period.

Among controls with T+E alone, the incidence rate for high grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate adenocarcinoma was 12%; 26% of grafts demonstrated normal histology.

During tissue development, treatment with either BPA dose significantly increased intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate adenocarcinoma, with an incidence of 33% (P<.05); the remainder had benign lesions with no grafts demonstrating normal histology.

An additional group (n=42) was given 200 nM BPA during prostasphere culture, followed by 250 mcg/kg BW in vivo during tissue formation to model continuous developmental exposure. Among this group, incidence of intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate adenocarcinoma increased to 45% (P<.01).

Source: Endocrine today

It’s show time for nuclear.


A growing number of environmentalists who once opposed nuclear power are now backing it as a source of energy that can significantly reduce the world’s reliance on CO2-emitting fossil fuels. That’s the point of the convincing feature-length documentary film Pandora’s Promise, released this week and now playing at cinemas in the U.S.

As I wrote in December, Pandora debuted at Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival. I was fortunate to see a screening recently in Chicago. I’ll deliver my thumbs-up review in a subsequent blog.

But today, I wanted to alert you to another upcoming cinematic homage to nuclear.

Get ready for the release later this year of “The Good Reactor” (at least that’s its title for now), from a couple of young Irish film makers, Frankie Fenton and Des Kelleher.

The film focuses on reactors powered by liquid thorium fuel. So-called “thorium molten salt reactors,” also known as “liquid fluoride thorium reactors” auger great improvements over conventional solid-fuel uranium reactors in safety and efficiency.

As someone once said, molten salt reactors can’t melt down, because, as liquid reactors, they are essentially “pre-melted.” If things go wrong, the fuel drains harmlessly into a holding tank. They leave less waste than do today’s reactors, and any potential bomb maker will find it much more difficult to fashion an explosion from them. Oh – you can also mix spent fuel into the thorium, solving the question of what to do with existing plutonium waste.

And get this: molten salt reactors run at much higher temperatures than today’s reactors, so heavy industry can use them as a clean source of industrial heat, replacing the fossil fuel furnaces they use today.

The Good Reactor will cover all this and more in a non-technical way intended to educate a general audience. It even presents level headed debate both for and against nuclear, although its pro-thorium nuclear message will be clear.

“It’s about new technology, and people’s attitudes – we want to give a proper voice to the nuclear discussion,” said Fenton, who I spoke with via Skype this morning, and who believes that nuclear along with renewables will help mitigate the global warming consequences of CO2-spewing fossil fuels. In a promotional video, Kelleher says the film is about the “power of human creativity to solve enormous problems like climate change or an energy crisis.”

Fenton and Kelleher are hoping to wrap their final cut by the end of the summer, and then hit the film festivals and seek distribution through broadcasters, cinemas or the Internet.

Like with many an aspiring film maker, the pair could use a little more moola to apply the finishing touches. They’re trying to raise a modest £40,000 ($63,000) in a Kickstarter campaign that ends soon, at 6 p.m. New York time Friday, June 21

 

Source: Smart planet

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