Medicine and Psychiatry Like a Horse and Carriage

How Reliable are the Testing Trials That Determine the Safety and Efficacy of New Drugs?

Eighty percent of new drug applications sent to the food and drug administration (FDA) consisted of trial data from studies done outside of the U.S. according to the inspector general’s report. There are 3,000 new drugs coming onto the market to treat 4,600 different conditions.

Only 271 trials were done in foreign countries for American use in 1990 and increased to 6,485 by 2008. Although many study trials occur in developed countries, thousands take place in areas where illiterate and impoverished people reside. One concern with this is whether regulations are being followed by these medical teams and to what extent. Litigation risks are minimal and the wealth they have may enable them too much protection.

During the nineties, manufacturers began contracting out all phases of development and testing to companies that recruit the patients and volunteers. They also draw up rules for the trials and conduct them, prepare reports, ghostwrite technical articles for journals and advertise for participants. Paid technicians implement the procedures, gather the subjects, administer the chemical formulations, collect urine and blood samples and sequester and feed the recruits.

Prescription Drug Injury

Americans are far more likely to be injured or die from prescription drugs, physicians and hospitals than by terrorists, bombs and planes. The pharmaceutical industry influences psychiatrists to prescribe psychoactive medications even for patients who the drugs haven’t been proven safe and effective for.

There has been an astonishing increase in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness in children, some as young as two years old. The terrible-twos is a phase where healthy children are beginning to learn their boundaries and the importance of following instructions. To become fussy when hungry or tired is normal, as is also to not always be attentive while sitting in a classroom as well as is shyness. To be given mind-altering and likely addictive drugs during these critical stages of growth should be considered criminal at most and suspect at least.

Like A Horse and Carriage

The medical director of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) made a declaration in 1977 to strongly support a vigorous effort to remedicalize psychiatry. By having placed much emphasis on drug treatments, Psychiatry had become the darling of the pharmaceutical industry.

In a campaign to enhance their status they devised a deliberate plan to identify the organization as a scientific discipline along with the medical profession. They were also determined to advance their position over other mental healthcare providers. They fully embraced the biological model of mental illness and the use of psychoactive drugs to treat the various symptoms and newly developed diseases and diagnoses.

The APA set out to revise the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders (DSM-III) reference book for its 3rd edition and strived to make it different. The 1st was published in 1952 and the 2nd in 1968  and reflected the Freudian views of mental health and illness. The DSM was mainly known only within the profession. The president stated in 1977 that it would clarify any doubts that they regard psychiatry as a specialty of medicine.

A professor of psychiatry at Harvard, Vaillant, stated in 1984 that the DSM-III represents a bold series of choices based on guess, taste, prejudice and hope and that the disadvantages within the contents outweigh its advantages.

It was reliable only in the form of consistency rather than in its validity, for example if most physicians agreed freckles were a sign of cancer, the diagnosis would be reliably consistent but not valid. The book simply reflects the unproven opinions of its authors. Citations of scientific studies supporting its conclusions are either non-existent or omitted. Statements of fact are to be supported by specific references of published scientific studies in all ‘medical’ publications.

The number of diagnostic categories have multiplied and the books became larger and more costly with each new edition. It has itself become one of the major sources of income for the APA having sold over a million copies.

Treatments for emotional distress, illness and depression should not be limited to psychoactive drugs as both psychotherapy and exercise have proven effective and longer lasting in comparison. More research is needed to study other methods of diagnosis and healing in the area of psychiatry.

resource: vanityfair.com

book: The Epidemic of Mental Illness, Why?

Why We Need Sleep

Sleep-deprived people who are tested by using a driving simulator or by performing a hand-eye coordination task perform as badly as, or worse than, those who are intoxicated. Sleep deprivation also magnifies alcohol’s effects, so a fatigued person who drinks will become much more impaired than someone who is well rested. Drowsiness is the brain’s last step before falling asleep; driving while drowsy can, and often does, lead to disaster. Caffeine and other stimulants cannot overcome the effects of severe sleep deprivation.
  
 Some studies suggest that sleep deprivation affects the immune system in detrimental ways. Some experts believe sleep gives neurons used while we are awake a chance to shut down and repair themselves. Without sleep, neurons may become so energy depleted and polluted with byproducts of normal cellular activities, they begin to malfunction. Sleep also may give the brain a chance to exercise important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate from lack of activity. While rats normally live for two to three years, those deprived of REM sleep survive only about 5 weeks on average, and rats deprived of all sleep stages live only about 3 weeks.
Getting too little sleep creates a “sleep debt,” which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, the body demands that the debt be repaid. We don’t seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need; while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired. Infants generally require 16 hours daily, and teenagers require nine. Most adults generally need 7 to 8 hours every night

Many of the body’s cells show increased production and reduced breakdown of proteins during deep sleep. Proteins are the building blocks needed for cell growth and for repair of damage from factors like stress and ultraviolet rays. The deep sleep stage may help people maintain optimal emotional and social functioning when awake. Like deep sleep, rem sleep is associated with increased production of proteins. People taught a skill and then deprived of non-rem sleep had recall of it after sleeping, while people deprived of rem sleep didn’t have recall.   

 

      

   

We spend nearly all of our sleep time in stages 1, 2, and REM. The first rem sleep period usually occurs 1 to 1½ hours after falling asleep. A complete sleep cycle takes on the average of 100 mins. The first sleep cycles each night contain relatively short rem periods and long periods of deep sleep. As the night progresses, rem sleep periods are longer while deep sleep is shorter. When awakened after sleeping more than a few minutes, we are usually unable to recall the last few minutes before having fallen asleep. This is why we often don’t remember the alarm going off in the morning if we go right back to sleep after turning it off.
  
Caffeinated drinks and drugs such as diet pills and decongestants stimulate some parts of the brain and can cause an inability to sleep referred to as “insomnia”. Many antidepressants suppress the ability to experience rem

Circadian_rhythm
circadian rhythm

sleep in the natural manner. Different neurotransmitter signals in the brain have an influence on sleep and wakefulness and foods and medicines that change the balance of these signals affect the quality of sleep. Neurons in the brainstem, which connects the brain with the spinal cord, produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine that keep some parts of the brain active while we are awake. Other neurons at the base of the brain begin signaling when we fall asleep and appear to “switch off” the awake signals. Stages 1 through 4 and REM (rapid eye movement) progress in a cycle then the cycle starts over again with stage 1.

Suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN (biological clock), is a pair of pinhead-sized brain structures that together contain about 20,000 neurons and rests in a part of the brain, the hypothalamus directly above the optic nerve. Light that reaches photoreceptors in the retina (a tissue at the back of the eye) creates signals that travel along the optic nerve to the SCN structures. Signals from the SCN travel to several brain regions, including the pineal gland, which responds to light-induced signals by switching off production of the hormone melatonin. The body’s level of melatonin normally increases after darkness falls causing drowsiness. The SCN also governs functions that are synchronized with the sleep/wake cycle such as body temperature, hormone secretion, urine production, and blood pressure.

 

   

 

    

 

Workers on 3rd shift have an increased risk of heart problems, digestive disturbances, and emotional and mental problems, all of which may be related to their sleeping schedules. The number and severity of workplace accidents also tend to increase during the night shift. Major industrial accidents attributed partly to errors made by fatigued night-shift workers; three mile isle, and medical interns on the 3rd shift are twice as likely as others to misinterpret hospital test records.

 

Long-term use of melatonin may create new problems, the potential side effects of melatonin supplements are still largely unknown, therefore most experts discourage its use. Extreme sleep deprivation can lead to a psychotic state of paranoia and hallucinations in otherwise healthy people, and disrupted sleep can trigger episodes of mania (agitation and hyperactivity) in people with manic depression. The chemicals our immune systems produce while fighting an infection are powerful sleep-inducing chemicals and sleep may help the body conserve energy and other resources that the immune system needs to fight infection.

 

Once sleeping problems develop, they can add to a person’s impairment and cause confusion, frustration or depression. Patients who are unable to sleep also notice pain more and may increase their requests for pain medication. Better management of sleeping problems in people who have other disorders could improve their health and quality of life.
The use of alcohol, such as a nightcap, can only help for falling into a light sleep as it prevents the restorative stages and rem sleep. It causes a lighter stage of sleep, being easily awakened throughout the night. Abnormally hot or cold temperatures can disrupt the rem stage of sleep also because the decreased ability to regulate body temperature.

May you sleep well,

astrolivia

 

 

  

Aspartame is a Neurotoxin

When the temperature of aspartame exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in aspartame converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. Formic acid is the same poison used by fire ants to sting and kill their victims. Brain tumors (lately surgeons have found high levels of aspartame in tumors removed from patients) , escalates diabetes symptoms and this methanol toxic condition in the human body can mimic multiple sclerosis.

Aspartame is manufactured by the NutraSweet Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto, who are fully aware of the dangers of their product. However, as Monsanto also funds the American Diabetics and Dietetic Associations, the United States Congress, and the Conference of the American College of Physicians, there is a conspiracy of silence with regard to the dangers of this artificial sweetener, which is contained in over 5,000 sugar-free products sold under the following brand names:

Neotame, Nutrasweet, Nutrisweet, Aspertame, Kelco, Benevia, Equal, Spoonful, Diet Sodas, Pepsi Light and Max, Crystal Light, Sucralose, Sunette, Sweet One, Splenda, Canderel, Chuker, Misura, Manugel, Keltrol, Kelcogel, Nutrifos, Stabil-9, Lewn-Lite, Spoonful.

The American Dietetic Association takes money from the food industry to endorse their products. therefore, they cannot criticize any additives or tell about their link to Monsanto. Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon, said, “The ingredients stimulate the neurons of the brain to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees”, and has written a book entitled Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills. As a diabetic specialist and world expert on aspartame poisoning, he’s also written a book entitled Defense Against Alzheimer’s Disease about how aspartame poisoning is escalating Alzheimer’s; today women as young as 30 are being treated for Alzheimer’s. He realized what was happening when aspartame was first marketed and said diabetic patients presented symptoms of memory loss, confusion, and severe vision loss.

In Desert Storm several thousand pallets of diet drinks were shipped to the troops in the desert where they sat in the 120 degree F desert sun for weeks (remember at 86 degrees F methanol poison is released). The symptoms of Desert Storm Syndrome match those of aspartame disease.

Symptoms of aspartame disease:  spasms, shooting pains, burning tongue, cramps, vertigo, numbness in the legs, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, joint pain, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, blindness and memory loss, severe seizures, panic attacks, rage and violence, severe memory loss, coma, escalates Alzheimer’s disease, birth defects (such as mental retardation), brain tumors (lately surgeons have found high levels of aspartame in tumors removed from patients) , escalates diabetes symptoms.

Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, by H.J. Roberts, Pub. Quality Books, 2001;  and a book by Joseph Mercola entitled Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, NutraSweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health, 2006.