Aerobic Exercise Training Linked to Enhanced Brain Function

Individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) because of family history or genetic predisposition who engaged in six months of aerobic exercise training improved their brain glucose metabolism and higher-order thinking abilities (e.g., planning and mental flexibility) called executive function; these improvements occurred in conjunction with increased cardiorespiratory fitness. The results of this study are published in a special issue of Brain Plasticity devoted to Exercise and Cognition.

Drugs currently available to treat AD have limited therapeutic capacity. At a time when both the human and monetary costs of the disease are projected to rise dramatically in the coming decades, there is a critical need to provide individuals with readily-deployable strategies that can decrease the likelihood of acquiring the disease or slow its progression. Researchers therefore investigated whether exercise training in asymptomatic individuals harboring risk for AD improves markers associated with AD.

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“This study is a significant step toward developing an exercise prescription that protects the brain against AD, even among people who were previously sedentary,” explained lead investigator Ozioma C. Okonkwo, PhD, of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

The study investigated 23 cognitively normal, relatively young older adults with a family history or genetic risk for AD. All patients had a sedentary lifestyle. They underwent a battery of assessments, including cardiorespiratory fitness testing, measurement of daily physical activity, brain glucose metabolism imaging (a measure of neuronal health), and cognitive function tests.

Half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive information about maintaining an active lifestyle but no further intervention. The other half participated in a moderate intensity treadmill training program with a personal trainer, three times per week for 26 weeks.

Compared to the participants maintaining their usual level of physical activity, individuals assigned to the active training program improved their cardiorespiratory fitness, spent less time sedentary after the training program ended, and performed better on cognitive tests of executive functioning (but not episodic memory). Executive function, an aspect of cognition that is known to decline with the progression of AD, comprises the mental processes enabling individuals to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. The participants’ improved cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism in the posterior cingulate cortex, an area of the brain linked to AD.

“This research shows that a lifestyle behavior – regular aerobic exercise – can potentially enhance brain and cognitive functions that are particularly sensitive to the disease. The findings are especially relevant to individuals who are at a higher risk due to family history or genetic predisposition,” noted Dr. Okonkwo. The lead author on the study, Max Gaitán, MEd, of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, remarked that “an important next step would be to conduct a larger, more definitive, study. If these findings are replicated, they would have a tremendous impact on quality of later life, providing individuals with more years of independent living, active engagement with loved ones, and building memories.”

Sources:

IOS Press

Journal Article

Image: Pixabay

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This Technique Transforms Nuclear Waste Into “Diamond Batteries”

By Mayukh Saha

As the new decade begins, scientists have been frantically trying to construct batteries made of diamond. The batteries would have the recycled energy of nuclear waste. These batteries would work for at least an entire millennium.

Researchers at Bristol University have already designed diamond batteries that obtain their power from materials that are radioactive in nature. These batteries have already been tested. Now the researchers are shifting their attention towards seeking power from nuclear waste by recycling them.

One such area where the amount of nuclear waste is high is the Berkeley Power Station at Gloucestershire. This power plant was decommissioned back in 1989 but has recently been deemed safe for the extraction of waste.

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The process involves extracting the isotopes of Carbon-14 from blocks of graphite. These would then be molded within diamonds that are wafer-thin. This, according to scientists, would provide unlimited power for a millennium. The applications would be hugely diverse – from hearing aids to spacecraft – the possibilities are endless.

These batteries made of diamond have already been tested by researchers in volatile environments – especially in areas where conventional power sources are hard to replace. According to James Barker, a full-fledged battery at this stage would be able to charge a cellphone.

While the uses are far and many, it should be primarily used by technology that requires low, stable power over long periods of time. And especially sources of energy which takes a lot more money, time and manpower to replace.

In case people are worried about the possible radiation from nuclear waste, the diamond encasing would absorb any and all forms of radiation. This would render the batteries perfectly harmless for medical and entrepreneurial use.

The UK has close to 100,000 tonnes of nuclear waste at its disposal. And most of these nuclear wastes take on the form of graphite blocks. Most of the nuclear plants are thought to be decommissioned by 2030, which makes this project a lot more necessary. The researchers are hoping that they institute a factory that would help with the conversion of nuclear waste into near-infinite sources of energy.

Tom Scott, one of the professors involved in this project, is of the opinion that the main theme behind this project is the institution of a factory at the South West nuclear plant. The factory would help in the direct transformation of the C-14 isotopes straight into the batteries made of diamond. Ultimately, it would help in the management of the rest of the materials.

Considering the state of UK’s nuclear plants by the next decade, this is a Godsend opportunity to draw out as much energy possible from nuclear waste. This will ultimately benefit a great many number of consumers.


Article source: Truth Theory

Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, videos, design, and social media management. I am an avid traveler and I started living as a digital nomad in Europe since 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: justmayukh@gmail.com Love, Mayukh Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

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Rural Water Wells in High Plains Aquifer Show Large Increase in Nitrate Levels

Private well owners should test water quality annually, according to a recent Kansas State University study that revealed nitrate levels in shallow wells above U.S. Environment Protection Act standards.

“The changes we measured in the Great Bend Prairie Aquifer appear to be large relative to changes observed in a national study by the U.S. Geological Survey,” said Matthew Kirk, Kansas State University associate professor of geology and the study’s principal investigator.

The Great Bend Prairie Aquifer, a part of High Plains Aquifer, was the focus of a 40-year comparison study of rural water wells recently published in the Hydrogeology Journal. Kirk and Alexandria “Allie” Richard Lane, Kansas State University 2018 master’s degree graduate in geology, published the study along with Donald Whittemore, Kansas Geological Survey; Randy Stotler, University of Kansas Department of Geology; and John Hildebrand and Orrin Feril, both with Big Bend Groundwater Management District No. 5.

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“The Great Bend Prairie Aquifer is very vulnerable to contamination and if rural well owners don’t know there is a problem, they obviously can’t do anything about it,” Kirk said. “Municipalities are required to test and provide safe drinking water for city residents but private rural well owners should take responsibility to test their wells at least every year.”

According to Lane, who now works for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, there are many kits that can be purchased online for under $40 that test for bacteria, pesticides, lead, copper, iron, nitrate and water hardness in water wells.

“Those kits are good to use for basic readings and if anything is concerning, then residents can send a sample to a lab for further testing,” Lane said. “At KDHE, we try to inform private water well communities that it’s important to test their wells annually.”

Kirk and Lane’s 2016 study measured water chemistries and compared them with 1970s measurements at the same sites. Twenty of 21 wells had increases of nitrate concentrations, or NO3-, compared to the 1970s samples. Seven wells exceeded the nitrate concentrations allowed by the EPA standard for drinking water. In the 1970s study, only one of the wells was above the current EPA standard.

“There hasn’t been as much work on water quality as water quantity in the High Plains Aquifer,” Kirk said. “Groundwater storage in the Great Bend Prairie Aquifer is relatively stable, but if the water is there and the quality degrades, that’s also bad.”

According to Kirk, high nitrate levels in drinking water can cause human and livestock health issues by interfering with transport of oxygen by blood and possibly causing a higher risk of cancer. Too much nitrate in groundwater can also stimulate a release of uranium and selenium from the sediment into the water. While water quantity may be a top concern for many rural areas currently, Kirk said water quality issues may soon rise to the top of the list of rural water problems.

“Other parts of the High Plains Aquifer are most likely going to see changes too but it’s just taking it longer to show up because of transport time between the surface and the water table,” Kirk said.

That transport time is fairly quick in the study area since the soil is sandy and the water table is closer to the surface, Kirk said. In addition, the aquifer and sandy soil are not ideal living environments for the microbes that help clean the water by consuming nitrate.

“Groundwater in the Great Bend Prairie Aquifer often has oxygen and where that is the case, microorganisms typically respire the oxygen instead of nitrate,” Kirk said.

According to the study results, the wells with the highest contamination were those in fields used for crops, and the isotopic evidence — like a chemical signature — show that the nitrate in the aquifer is from fertilizer. Kirk said that fertilizers help farmers increase crop yields but excess fertilizer can contaminate water supplies.

“I don’t know what the future looks like or how we balance these issues — growing food for the world and maintaining health of natural resources to grow that food — but we need to find ways to slow down nitrate accumulation and better manage nitrate into the future,” Kirk said.

Kirk advocates for precision agriculture to apply fertilizer and planting cover crops — which use excess nitrate in the soil when planted in between the harvest of one food crop and the planting of the next. Kirk said these two practices help reduce runoff of excess fertilizer and are becoming more common with irrigated agriculture in the region. He also said that more studies are needed to evaluate if the drastic increase between the two time periods of the study is leveling off or if it has just ramped up in recent years.

“We need more data about the seasonal variation in nitrate levels and multiple years of data to really understand the trend of the increase,” Kirk said. “We also hope to sample additional wells to evaluate change over more of the aquifer. We wanted to document this finding and try to spread the word because, at the end in the day, it’s a big increase of nitrate and could affect people’s health.”

Sources:

Kansas State University

Journal article

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Psychedelics To Treat Mental Illness? Australian Researchers Are Giving It A Go

By Martin Williams, Monash University and Stephen Bright, Edith Cowan University

An estimated one in ten Australians were taking antidepressants in 2015. That’s double the number using them in 2000, and the second-highest rate of antidepressant use among all OECD countries.

Yet some studies have found antidepressants might be no more effective than placebo.

Not only does this mean many Australians aren’t experiencing relief from their psychological distress, but some may also be contending with adverse side effects from their medications.

Also, the provision of these medications is costing Australian taxpayers millions of dollars through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Australia needs a paradigm shift in the way we treat mental illness. Scientific research is increasingly pointing to psychedelic drugs like psilocybin and MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, more commonly known as Ecstasy) as viable options.

While social stigma and academic conservatism have seen Australia lag behind other countries in this area of research, we are on the cusp of the first Australian trial of psychedelic drugs for mental health.

This research is going to look at psilocybin-assisted therapy for anxiety and depression among terminally ill patients.

A brief history of psychedelic drugs

Psychedelics are a broad category of drugs that can produce profound changes in consciousness. “Magic mushrooms”, containing psilocybin, have been used by some indigenous communities for at least 1,000 years. Other psychedelics, such as LSD and MDMA, were first synthesised in the laboratories of major pharmaceutical companies early in the 20th century.

In the 1950s, psychedelics were considered “wonder drugs”, used with psychotherapy in treating a range of conditions. These included depression, end-of-life anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol dependence.

But, in the 1960s, psychedelics escaped the clinic and became popular among the younger generation. In response to their association with the counterculture movement, a moral panic ensued. Psychedelic drugs were made illegal internationally in 1971.

Research and practice were abandoned, until recent shifts in attitude led to the re-emergence of medical research using psychedelics.

Some people will take antidepressants for many years. From shutterstock.com

In 2013, we wrote a piece in The Conversation about this international psychedelic science renaissance.

By that time, researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine had shown psilocybin could reliably induce mystical states leading to positive changes in personality such as openness and sociability. Psychotherapists at UCLA harnessed these effects to reduce anxiety and depression in people with terminal cancer.

Meanwhile, researchers across the USA, Switzerland, Canada and Israel had achieved promising results treating PTSD with psychotherapy (“talk therapy” guided by trained therapists) assisted by MDMA.

In the past six years, two phase 2 clinical trials have shown psilocybin can improve quality of life for people with terminal cancer.

Another study showed psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy can effectively treat depression. Some 67% of participants showed clinically and statistically significant reductions in depressive symptoms.

Phase 3 trials are now planned. If these confirm the treatments to be effective, MDMA and psilocybin are likely to become approved medications in some countries within the next five years.

Psilocybin even appears useful in treating alcohol and nicotine addiction. And MDMA may ease social anxiety in people on the autism spectrum.

How psychedelics work in the brain

We’re now beginning to understand the neurological mechanisms responsible for the mystical states and creative thinking psychedelics can produce, and how they can aid the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Psychedelics reduce the activity of a neural circuit in the brain called the default mode network (DMN).

‘Magic mushrooms’ contain psilocybin, a mind-altering psychedelic substance. Jonathan Carmichael, Author provided

The DMN is responsible for our “resting state” sense of self, which can become distorted as depression and similar mental illnesses take hold. By temporarily decreasing the activity of the DMN, psychedelics appear to enable other less direct neural pathways to be established.

These interconnections can reduce the amount we persistently rethink the same thought, which is characteristic of depression. Similarly, they promote the development of fresh perspectives on personal situations and interpersonal relationships.

It also appears psychedelics can promote the physical regrowth of neuronal connections that have withered away in people who experience long-term depression.

The mechanism of this process is not yet understood, but it seems to correlate well with the demonstrated positive mental health outcomes of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

On the other hand, various health conditions for which psychedelics are not suitable are widely recognised. In particular, people with underlying personality disorders or psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia risk worsening of their symptoms.

People who have medical conditions such as heart or liver disease, or who are using a wide range of medications including antidepressants, are also advised to avoid psychedelics without careful medical supervision.

In all cases, it is stressed that psychedelic therapy should always take place under professional supervision to minimise potential health risks.

An Australian first

Since our last Conversation article, we’ve seen some fundamental shifts in Australia.

Later this year, a phase 2 study of psilocybin-assisted therapy for anxiety and depression in 30 terminally ill patients will begin at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne.

This trial, due to be completed in 2021, will look at the effects of psychedelic psychotherapy in people with terminal conditions other than cancer, in addition to those with cancer.

Meanwhile, a newly established charity, Mind Medicine Australia, is aiming to negotiate Australia’s regulatory framework to have psychedelics reclassified from the most restrictive drug category to one that accommodates prescription medicines.

If the results of our study, and those of others around the world, confirm the promise of the initial trials already completed, there is an excellent chance several of these treatments will be approved for prescription use within three to five years.

But, as well as proving the efficacy of these treatments, we will need to continue to demonstrate their safety, negotiate regulatory hurdles and ultimately convince doctors and the public that psychedelic psychotherapy is a viable approach for mental health treatment.The Conversation


Martin Williams, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Monash University and Stephen Bright, Senior Lecturer of Addiction, Edith Cowan University. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Signed as Law: New Mexico Loosens State Marijuana Laws Despite Federal Prohibition

By Mike Maharrey

SANTA FE, N.M. (April 16, 2019) –  Earlier this month, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed two bills into law that loosen state prohibitions on marijuana. These two laws will further nullify federal cannabis prohibition in effect within the borders of the Land of Enchantment. 

Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces) sponsored Senate Bill 323 (SB323). The new law decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana. Under the new statute, possession of up to a half-ounce of cannabis will no longer be a criminal offense. Instead, it will be a petty misdemeanor with a fine of $50 for the first offense. The new law also decriminalizes marijuana paraphernalia possession.

The Senate passed SB323 by a 30-8 vote. The House approved the measure 44-20.

Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) sponsored Senate Bill 406 (SB406). The new law expands New Mexico’s medical marijuana program in several ways. Under the new law, marijuana patients registered in other states will be able to participate in New Mexico’s program. It also allows medical cannabis use on school campuses under defined circumstances and extends the registration renewal period from one to three years. Finally, the new law will allow for licensed medical marijuana establishments to create “consumption areas,” subject to approval by the department of health.

Cannabis Now called the provision authorizing consumption areas a “most courageous move.” Similar provisions have been proposed in Colorado and California.

The Senate passed SB406 by a 33-2 vote. The House approved the measure 50-15.

Both new laws go into effect on July 1.

EFFECT ON FEDERAL PROHIBITION

Under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed in 1970, the federal government maintains complete prohibition of marijuana. Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate cannabis within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.

Decriminalization of marijuana possession and the expansion of New Mexico’s medical cannabis program removes another lawyer of laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana in the Land of Enchantment, but federal prohibition remains in effect.

FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. When states stop enforcing marijuana laws, they sweep away most of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.

Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly-budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.

A GROWING MOVEMENT

New Mexico joins a growing number of states simply ignoring federal prohibition, and nullifying it in practice.

Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts joined them after ballot initiatives in favor of legalization passed in November 2016. In 2018, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through a legislative act. and Michigan passed a ballot measure legalizing cannabis for general use.

With 33 states including New Mexico allowing cannabis for medical use, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition anymore.

“The lesson here is pretty straightforward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said.

Passage of SB323 and SB406 demonstrates another important strategic reality. Once a state legalizes marijuana – even if only in a very limited way – it tends to eventually expand. As the state tears down some barriers, markets develop and demand expands. That creates pressure to further relax state law. These new laws represent a further erosion of unconstitutional federal marijuana prohibition.

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

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ALDI Announces They Are Turning To 100% Sustainable Packaging

By Mayukh Saha

The end of non-biodegradable plastic seems to be very near! With big corporations and supermarkets starting to make changes in their policies, it seems that we are looking forward to a bright future for our planet. It has been a long fight and the struggle continues, but now that we have corporations on our side, we can be positive about our victory and have it much earlier than expected.

This time, the supermarket chain ALDI has claimed that it will offer 100 percent recyclable, compostable, and reusable packaging for all the products by the year 2025. The company has put out some specific goals in a press release and the company has particularly said that they would be reducing their plastic packaging within five years.

The reason that this can be termed as a major win is because ALDI, as a grocery chain, has a major influence. It has about 1,800 stores in 35 states. They have a major impact on the lives of the American public. The problem until now was with the packaging that they received, which was just thrown out.

However, the giant had wanted to go down the sustainability route for quite some time and Jason Hart, their CEO, chose to speed up the process. They are aware of the global plastic crisis and are willing to do their best to prevent contributing to it.

ALDI has been a responsible grocery chain for quite some time now. They did not provide single-use plastic bags and have also assisted in keeping plastic grocery bags out of oceans and landfills. However, they are not satisfied. Keeping in mind how plastic continues to plague the world even now, it was important for them to do something more about this issue.

Hence, they committed to bring about a reduction in plastic packaging waste as a whole so that this menace can be stopped. They are all set to develop a future that they and all of us could be proud of. A future that is suitable for the next generation.

In the press release, ALDI claims that they have recycled over 250,000 tons of materials which include plastic, metal, cardboard, and paper. And this recycling process came with more benefits too. Due to this process, ALDI was able to avoid the creation of greenhouse gas which could have been equal to about 8,094,533 gallons.

As of now, about 90 percent of products which are sold in ALDI are packaged and produced for ALDI. This gives them the ability to initiate this step that is both ambitious and important, by doing this they will be setting a benchmark for all other corporations to achieve.

However, while the company may be producing recyclable packaging, our responsibility does not end there. It is our duty to support them, create awareness, and actually recycle these plastics so that more wastes are not produced. It is only by proper teamwork that we can achieve something.

ALDI shows the courage and responsibility to do something for the world. All it asks is your help and participation in it. So, are you willing to be a team member for a better tomorrow?


Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: [email protected]com Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

IMAGE CREDIT: Максим Кузубов

This article was sourced from Truth Theory

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April is National Alcohol Awareness Month — Time for Education and Action about Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism


By Arjun Walia

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, and the first weekend in April is Alcohol Free Weekend. This is a campaign to inform and change social norms about drinking.

Every day hundreds of Americans die because of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and thousands more are admitted into hospitals, psychiatric facilities, or jails and prison. Alcohol places thousands more at risk for divorce, unemployment, bankruptcy, and physical and emotional problems such as depression. Because it affects so many people, alcoholism is considered the number one public health problem in America – even surpassing cancer and heart disease, and is the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month (AAM) is a national grassroots effort that was started by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in 1987, and it quickly spread throughout the country. AAM highlights the need to support education, prevention and treatment for alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. It is an opportunity for families and communities, together, to educate themselves about the critical issues of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and reach out and educate their children on the reasons to stay alcohol free.

Alcoholism is a disease that affects children, families and communities across the nation. In fact, most people know someone who has been affected by this disease as over half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or alcohol problems. In this regard, alcoholism does not just affect the alcoholic but others around, and therefore it is also called a family disease.

Alcohol is a toxic and addictive drug. Each year there are well over 88,000 deaths because of alcohol, and according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), there may be as many as 15.1 million individuals with an alcohol problem or alcoholism in the United States. Alcoholism was, is, and remains one of the most pervasive and tragic diseases affecting society.

Alcohol Free Weekend

Alcohol Free Weekend is a special opportunity for parents to teach about alcohol in their homes. For at least one weekend each year people are saying that America does not need to rely on alcohol for pleasure or pastime. This also gives parents opportunity to further reflect upon the dangers and consequences of drinking with their children.

Prevention is the Best Policy

Although it is among the nation’s most deadly diseases, alcoholism is preventable. Each year AAM offers an opportunity to work in a unified effort to raise awareness about the negative consequences of drinking and to do something about it. It also asks families to look at the level of emotional pain that alcohol has caused in their lives and encourages adults to talk about alcoholism with spouses, children, and friends.

The best prevention is to help send the message to youth that one does not need to drink in order to enjoy leisure activities and have a fulfilling and healthy life. In fact, at least 34 percent of Americans do not drink at all.

Referral Information

AAM also encourages individuals with an alcohol problem to seek treatment. Help is only a telephone call away. If a person believes that he or she or a family member may have an alcohol problem or if one is hurting or in emotional pain because of alcohol, it is best to contact a local treatment agency or call the national referral helpline operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-HELP.

Sources:

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/alcohol-use-facts-resources-fact-sheet.pdf

Arjun is an independent researcher, writer, speaker and a consciousness activist. He writes for Activist Post and Natural Blaze.

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Misty Day Slice Recipe

Misty Day Slice recipe

This delicious and creamy slice using Misty Day Bliss and Zen is a healthy take on a sweet treat that’s bound to stand out.

Prep time 6.5 hours (soaking time + Freezing time)
Time: 30 min

Ingredients

Base

Filling

  • 3 cups cashew nuts, soaked for 5 hours
  • ½ cup rice malt syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 2 tsp Misty Day Zen
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste

Icing

Preparation

1. Cover cashew nuts with filtered water and set aside for 5 hours or overnight (this makes for a smoother/creamier filling).
2. Cover dates with hot water and let soften for approximately 10-15 minutes.
3. Once dates are softened add to food processor with remaining base ingredients and pulse until well combined.
4. Press base mix into the bottom of a lined slice tin and refrigerate.
5. Meanwhile drain and rinse the soaked cashews and add to a high-speed blender with remaining filling ingredients. Blend on high until a smooth mousse like texture is reached.
6. Pour the filling over base and spread evenly. Place into the freezer for 1 hour.
7. For the icing, melt coconut oil in a small pan on low heat with rice malt syrup. Sift in cacao and combine. Let cool slightly and then pour over filling. Place back into the freezer for another 30 minutes until set.
8. This slice can be stored and enjoyed from the freezer – take out and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Note: Cut slice with a sharp, warmed knife.

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10 Homeopathic Medicines for Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a bacterium named Treponema pallidum (T.pallidum). Syphilis transfers from one person to another by sexual activity (oral, anal, or vaginal). Rarely syphilis can spread through direct contact with the lesion (like during kissing).
Syphilis can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or delivery. Homeopathic medicines for syphilis help treat the problem in the initial stages.

People who are sexually active are at an increased risk of contracting syphilis. Having unprotected sex, having multiple sexual partners, having HIV are some risk factors for contracting syphilis infection. Initially, sores develop on genitals, rectum or mouth. After the initial infection, the bacteria can lie dormant in the body for decades and can become active again and damage other organs.

Homeopathic Medicines for Syphilis

There is a great scope to treat syphilis in homeopathy in the initial stages. The cases of primary and secondary syphilis are well managed with homeopathic medicines. Chancre (painless genital ulcer commonly form during the primary stage of syphilis) of primary syphilis and symptoms of secondary syphilis including rash, sore throat, fatigue, hair loss, a headache can be managed with homeopathic medicines. However, in tertiary syphilis homeopathy plays a supportive role and can be taken along with conventional treatment for symptom management. The top medicines for treating syphilis in initial stages are Merc Sol, Cinnabaris, Kali Iodatum, Merc Cor, and Syphilinum.

1. Merc Sol – For Chancres in Primary Syphilis

Merc Sol is well indicated to treat chancre in cases of primary syphilis. The chancre may be single or several small ones on the penis in cases needing Merc Sol. The chancres are soft or indurated and superficial or deep where Merc Sol is indicated. The chancres have a cheesy bottom and inverted red edges. The chancre may be painful and bleed easily. There may be secretion of pus or yellow fetid discharge from chancres. Inguinal region is painful while walking. There is a pain in inguinal glands on pressure.

2. Cinnabaris – For Red Swollen Chancre in Primary Syphilis

Cinnabaris is useful for cases of syphilis with red, swollen chancre. The edges of chancre are hard and elevated. The chancre is located in the middle of the penis in cases where Cinnabaris is indicated. The chancre is most times indurated.

3. Kali Iodatum – For Primary Syphilis with Deep Chancres

Kali Iodatum is helpful for syphilis with deep chancres. The edges of chancre are hard. Thin discharge may be present which has an offensive odour. There may be tendency to slow suppuration in the chancre. The glans penis is swollen.

4. Merc Cor – For Soft Chancre in Primary Syphilis

Merc Cor is indicated for chancre which is soft. The margins are dark red. The chancre is painful and it may bleed easily. There may be a discharge of thin pus from the chancre. The surrounding part of chancre is swollen with heat.

5. Syphilinum – For Secondary Syphilis with Prominent rash on Skin

Syphilinum is a beneficial medicine for secondary syphilis with a prominent rash on skin. The rash is prominent on the forehead, chin, front of chest and arms. An excess of fine scales peel off from it. In some cases copper – colored maculae from top of head to foot appears. Biting sensation in different body areas is felt at night. Along with this, there is fever with excessive headache. Body is extremely cold with desire to be covered. Appetite is lost. Sore throat, inflamed pharynx, and ulcers in the throat may also appear.

6. Nitric Acid – For Secondary Syphilis

Nitric Acid is indicated for secondary syphilis with skin eruptions having prickling and itching on the skin. It is also indicated for warts like growths on genitals and anus. The growths are large, jagged, and often pedunculated. There is prominent sticking and pricking in them. They are painful to touch. Sometimes they bleed on washing.

7. Phosphorus – For Managing Hair Fall in Syphilis

Phosphorus is a valuable medicine for managing complaint of hair fall in cases of syphilis. Hair fall is excessive in cases needing Phosphorus. The hair loss is general or in patches. The scalp is dry. A heated sensation is also felt in the scalp. Violent itching on the scalp may be present.

8. Thuja – For Warts like Growth in Genitals and Anus

Thuja is prepared from fresh green twigs of plant Thuja occidentalis commonly named as arborvitae. The natural order of this plant is Coniferae. Thuja is an excellent medicine to treat wart-like growths in syphilis cases. In males, these growths appear on glans, penis, perineum. They may be painful especially on walking. In females the growths may be there on labia, vulva, vagina. They may have stinging pains and may also bleed. Warts may be also present on the anus in males and females needing Thuja. These warts are painful and sensitive to touch.

9. Phytolacca – For Sore Throat in Syphilis

Phytolacca is prepared from a plant named Phytolacca decandra commonly known as poke – root or red ink plant. The natural order of this plant is Phytolaccaceae. Phytolacca is indicated for syphilis to manage sore throat. The throat is darkened, is painful, raw, rough and dry. Tonsils are bluish or dark purple in color. Swallowing is painful. Pain from the throat may extend to ears. There is marked burning and smarting felt in the throat. Scraping sensation and excoriation are felt in the throat. Ulcers tend to appear on tonsils. A disposition to hawk and clear throat is present. A sensation of a lump/plug in the throat is felt. Mucus discharge from posterior nares may be present. Apart from this pain in the limbs may be present. The pain is worse from motion.

10. Arsenic Album – For Fatigue in case of Syphilis

Arsenic Album is a wonderful medicine for managing fatigue in case of syphilis. The fatigue is very intense where Arsenic Album is indicated. There is tiredness, fatigue, lack of strength from very little exertion. Restlessness is marked with fatigue. Anxiety may also be prominently present especially at night time with above features.

Signs and Symptoms

Syphilis has three stages and the symptoms vary as per the ongoing stage.

Primary Syphilis

This is the first stage. In this a small, firm, and round sore / ulcer which is painless, and is known as chancre forms at the site from where bacteria entered the body (penis, vagina, anus or in some cases mouth). The chancre is usually one but in some cases, multiple chancres develop. The chancre tends to appear around three weeks after exposure. Chancres usually heal and disappear within 3 to 6 weeks.

Secondary Syphilis

This stage arises after healing of chancre. In this rash appears on the trunk that cover full body. The rash may be red or reddish brown in color. Along with this wart-like growths may appear in mouth, anal and genital region. Other symptoms that may appear are sore throat, muscle aches, fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, and patchy hair loss. These symptoms may disappear in a few weeks or they can return many times for a long period. If not treated in this stage then it passes into a latent stage where no symptoms appear. In some cases, the person never experiences symptoms again while in some disease may progress to the next tertiary stage.

Tertiary syphilis

Tertiary syphilis can occur many years (even 10 to 30 years ) after the onset of the infection, after the latent asymptomatic stage. In the late stages, the disease damage may occur to the brain, heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, liver, bones, and joints.

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Signed as Law: West Virginia Bill to Facilitate Banking for Medical Marijuana Program

By Mike Maharrey

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (April 1, 2019) – Last Tuesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill into law that creates a mechanism to handle banking services for the state’s medical marijuana program. The new law removes one roadblock in front of the developing medicinal cannabis industry in the state and will further nullify federal prohibition in practice.

Del. Eric Nelson (R-Kanawha) sponsored House Bill 2538 (HB2538). The legislation empowers the West Virginia Treasurer to authorize financial institutions to provide banking services for the state fees, penalties, and taxes collected under the West Virginia medical marijuana program. The legislative findings describe the intent of the bill.

The Legislature finds and declares that the inability to provide banking services needed to collect and remit the fees, penalties, and taxes authorized under the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act has delayed the implementation and is precluding access by the patients potentially eligible to be prescribed medical cannabis and investment by the persons and entities interested in providing services under the Act. The purpose of this section is to provide a solution to the banking problems encountered by the state in connection with the Act.

On Feb. 15, the House passed HB2538 by an 89-7 vote. The Senate approved the measure 29-4 earlier this month. With Justice’s signature, the new law went into effect as of the date of final passage — March 5.

Under the law, the state government cannot “prohibit, penalize, incentivize, or otherwise impair” financial institutions that accept accounts for medical cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state law. The bill also commits the state to do everything “permitted by law” to defend these financial institutions and cover “payment of the amount of any judgment obtained, damages, legal fees and expenses, and any other expenses incurred.”

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The law is intended to allay fears that banks will be prosecuted or penalized for taking in marijuana-related accounts. The Federal government has used banking laws as a weapon in its unconstitutional war on cannabis by making it impossible for marijuana businesses to access the banking system – even in states where marijuana has been legalized. The feds can prosecute bankers for knowingly engaging with cannabis businesses under the Bank Secrecy Act, the USA Patriot Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

According to Marijuana Moment,

Concerns about prosecution and asset forfeiture have long haunted financial institutions operating in legal states, but so far those that have taken the risk have operated unencumbered. That could explain why a growing number of banks have begun opening cannabis accounts, according to federal data.

While passage of HB2538 cannot stop federal prosecution of a West Virginia financial institution engaging in the medical marijuana business, it does provide some assurance that the state will shield it from financial loss and could create an environment where banks in the state are willing to handle medical marijuana funds.

As a first step, passage of HB2538 could also set the stage for creating a fully independent state banking system for marijuana businesses in West Virginia. Bills filed in the Oregon House and the California Senate would do just that by establishing limited state-chartered banks to serve the cannabis industry. These banks would operate completely outside of the federal system and could not be undermined by federal rules and regulations.

A GROWING MOVEMENT

West Virginia joins a growing number of states simply ignoring federal prohibition, and nullifying it in practice.

Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts joined them after ballot initiatives in favor of legalization passed in November 2016. In 2018, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through a legislative act. and Michigan passed a ballot measure legalizing cannabis for general use.

With 33 states including West Virginia allowing cannabis for medical use, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition anymore.

“The lesson here is pretty straightforward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said.

Expansion of medical marijuana laws in West Virginia demonstrates another important reality. Once a state puts laws in place legalizing marijuana, it tends to eventually expand. HB2538  is a perfect example of this tendency. As the state tears down some barriers, markets develop and demand expands. That creates pressure to further relax state law.

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