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"alternative medicine"

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Study Finds Low Zinc Levels Associated With Depression

A meta-analysis of studies measuring blood concentrations of zinc in some 1,600 depressed subjects and 800 control subjects has found that zinc concentrations were significantly lower in the patients with depression. And in the studies that measured depressive symptoms, greater depression severity was associated with a greater relative zinc deficiency. The senior researcher was Krista Lanctot, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, and results are published in Biological Psychiatry.

Read the full article at Psychiatric News

(http://alert.psychiatricnews.org/2013/12/study-finds-low-zinc-levels-associated.html)

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MORE AND MORE US VETERANS ARE SMOKING WEED TO TREAT THEIR PTSD


By Thor Benson

In America, the relationship between doctors and the hegemonic pharmaceutical industry is fraught with painful, mind-numbing contradiction. There’s no better example of this than in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among US veterans and others around the country. Drugs like Risperdal, an antipsychotic, are said to be no more effective in the treatment of PTSD than a placebo. These drugs are widely distributed to treat the symptoms of PTSD, despite allegations that they’re ineffectual in treatment of the condition.
PTSD is a disorder, characterized by extreme emotional or mental anxiety, often the result of a physical or psychological injury. When confronted with a potentially deadly situation, it’s natural for humans to feel afraid—we’ve developed pretty sophisticated fight-or-flight responses to deal with real or perceived danger. PTSD arises when that response is damaged, and the patient feels stressed or frightened even when he or she is no longer in danger. The disease disproportionately affects soldiers deployed in war zones. Very often they are in situations so dangerous that they develop the condition, and return home as shell-shocked emotional cripples. Veteran’s Affairs claims that today, almost 300,000 veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD, although the number is likely much higher due to lack of diagnosis...
Read the full article at VICE
(http://www.vice.com/read/more-and-more-us-veterans-are-smoking-weed-to-treat-their-ptsd?utm_source=vicetwitterus)

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Top Five Marijuana Strains For PMS

Posted by  at 8:47 AM on November 15, 2013

There’s a serious lack of information around how cannabis can help female-specific health issues. It’s interesting to see how much research is out around issues like PTSD and other forms of anxiety, yet the health issues that disproportionately affect women are rarely talked about. This isn’t to say that women don’t also suffer from these issues, but things like premenstrual syndrome (PMS or PMDD) or menopause are hardly mentioned in relation to cannabis. Why is this? Possibly because the cannabis industry is almost always synonymous with bro-culture, pandering to twenty-something male stoners. I don’t think this trend was necessarily intentional, but gender-based bias within the cannabis industry has been largely overlooked, like most other male-dominated industries.
Due to unexamined sexism within the cannabis industry, research around female- specific health issues like PMS is still widely unknown. It’s much more common to figure out what a patient needs off the basis of the male body, leaving “lady” aliments in isolation. This whole problem pissed me off, so I decided to compile a small list of strains that have been known to help PMS from Brightside Community Foundation-the non-profit medical marijuana dispensary I work at. Many women are unaware of the benefits that cannabis can provide their health issues. As a woman pioneering her way through the cannabis industry, I want to begin to start providing that information in order to address the needs of women that are all too often left out of the conversation.
Read the full article at the Weed Blog 
(http://www.theweedblog.com/top-five-marijuana-strains-for-pms/)

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Coming Down with Dementia? Or is it just a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?


UncleBillyYoungWife
by David Bunnell
WHEN MY UNCLE BILLY TURNED 90, his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews; plus his few living friends, decided to get together and have a big birthday bash for him. Driving or flying in from around the country, we all gathered at his house in Omaha, Nebraska, where he lives with his wife Audry, who is quite a few decades younger. 
Yes, Uncle Billy, much to everyone’s shock married a much younger woman after his wife, Aunt June died in an automobile accident about 12 years ago. Only a few weeks after her death, he announced he had gotten married by the Omaha Justice of the Peace to Audry, who was then 32. Uncle Billy was 78.
In a strange way, it actually made sense.
An avid fitness freak, Uncle Billy went on daily bike rides of 10 miles or more, he swam frequently and also pumped iron at a nearby YMCA. He ate a healthy, mostly organic diet and claimed to sleep 10 hours a night, “like a baby.”
Mentally fit too, Uncle Billy liked to impress people by memorizing the words to popular songs which he would sing to us, making everyone laugh. (You have no idea how funny it can be to hear an 80-year-old man flawlessly singing the lyrics to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”)
His relationship with Audry seemed very loving. Half jokingly he once told me, “Audry and I wouldn’t make much sense if it wasn’t for Viagra.”
Read the full article at Unfrazzled Care 
(http://unfrazzledcare.com/coming-down-with-dementia-or-is-it-just-a-vitamin-b12-deficiency/)

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Help for marijuana addiction


Help for marijuana addiction

September 7, 2013

Marijuana Addiction Help

THC is the active ingredient found in marijuana. It is known to heighten the natural process of the endocannabinoid system, which is an important modulator of the autonomic nervous system. However, long term use of the cannabis plant can lead to both physical and psychological dependence on marijuana. Despite popular belief, you can experience marijuana withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use.  To summarize: marijuana can be addictive.
What are the different treatment options for marijuana addiction and where can you go for marijuana addiction help? We review here and invite your questions about marijuana addiction at the end of the article.

How To Help Marijuana Addiction

There are three main phases of marijuana addiction treatment. These include detoxification, physical and psychological treatment of marijuana addiction. We discuss each of these phases of treatment below.
1. Marijuana withdrawal treatment
The first phase of help for marijuana addiction is the withdrawal and detoxification phase. During withdrawal, the body gets rid of the toxins accumulated from years of abuse. Compared with heroin and severe alcohol withdrawal syndromes, marijuana withdrawal syndromes pose no major medical and psychiatric effects. HOwever, people abstaining from marijuana usually experience anger, depression, restlessness and change in appetite. These symptoms usually start within 24 to 48 hours of abstinence and within four to six days. Acute marijuana withdrawal lasts from one to three weeks. While traditional detox is usually not necessary during marijuana withdrawal, sometimes anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications may be prescribed.
2. Physical stabilization and treatment of marijuana PAWS
PAWS, or post-acute withdrawal symptoms, for marijuana include longer-term emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms. PAWS occurs as the brain chemistry starts to improve and return to homeostasis without the prescence of THC. Signs that the brain is recovering can include increased mood swings, irritability, low enthusiasm and variable energy. To stabilize episodes of PAWs, it is important to set realistic goals. Think of what you can do right now to improve your situation. You can also seek help from an expert. There are health care providers such as psychologists or psychiatrists who specialize in diagnosing and treating marijuana PAWS.
3. Psychological marijuana addiction treatment
Recognizing and managing psycho-emotional thoughts are important elements of a marijuana addiction treatment plan. Psychological interventions can motivate you to change. Studies show that behavioral treatments such as motivational enhancement therapy (MET), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management (CM) show promising results in the management of this kind of addiction.


Getting Help For Marijuana Addiction


Overcoming any kind of addiction is not easy. Treatment for marijuana addiction begins by recognizing that there is a problem and that you need someone who can help you. Who do you call for help?
1. Family and Friends – The support you can get from family and friends can help you on your way to recovery. Your family and friends want the best for you and they can help you find a professional who can help you with cannabis dependency problem.
2. Licensed clinical social workers – LCSWs are adept at helping people with marijuana addiction locate and get enrolled in treatment services. Social workers can also connect you with local support services or individuals who can help you,
3. Marijuana addiction treatment centers – Nationwide, you can findtreatment centers that focus on treating cannabis dependency. Their approach to substance abuse is clinically proven to be effective in overcoming addiction.
4. Marijuana Anonymous – MA is a peer support group created for those who struggle with marijuana addiction. Members of MA share experience, strength, and hope with each other to help others recover from cannabis dependency. To become a member of this group, you need to have a desire to stop using marijuana.
5. Your family doctor – Another good place to start to get help for marijuana addiction. Family doctors can refer you to more specialized services for addiction treatment in your area, and/or local resources.
6. Therapists – Health care providers such as licensed psychotherapists or psychiatrists specialize in treating marijuana addiction are skilled in creating action plans to help you cope with stress and avoid relapse. They can also refer you to a detox clinic or support groups necessary for your recovery.
Read more at Addiction Blog 
(http://drug.addictionblog.org/help-for-marijuana-addiction/)

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20 Medical Studies That Prove Cannabis Can Cure Cancer


Cannabis has been making a lot of noise lately. Multiple states across the United States and countries around the world have successfully legalized medical Marijuana, and the Uruguay parliament recently voted to create the world’s first legal marijuana market. This is good news as the health benefits of Cannabis are vast, with multiple medical and scientific studies that confirm them. On the other hand, arguments against the use of marijuana is usually published in Psychiatric journals, which show no scientific evidence that Cannabis is harmful to human health. All psychological evaluations from the intake of cannabis are largely based on assumptions, suggestions and observations (1). When we look at the actual science behind Cannabis, the health benefits can be overwhelming. So what does one who opposes the use of cannabis base their belief on? Nothing, not scientific evidence anyways. The negative stigmatism attached to marijuana is due to it’s supposed psychotropic effects, yet again, there is no scientific evidence to show that marijuana has any psychotropic effects. Nonetheless, cannabis has recently been the focus of medical research and considered as a potential therapeutic treatment and cure for cancer.
Cannabis is a great example of how the human mind is programmed and conditioned to believe something. Growing up, we are told drugs are bad, which is very true, however not all substances that have been labelled as “drugs” by the government are harmful. Multiple substances are labelled as a “drug” in order to protect corporate interests. One example is the automobile and energy industry, a car made from hemp is stronger than steel, and can be fuelled from hemp alone. Henry Ford demonstrated this many years ago. Hemp actually has over 50,000 uses!
Let’s take a look at the science behind Cannabis and Cancer. Although Cannabis has been proven to be effective for a large range of ailments, this article will focus mainly on it’s effectiveness in the treatment of cancer. Cannabinoids may very well be one of the best disease and cancer fighting treatments out there. Cannabinoids refer to any of a group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors in the body. The body itself produces compounds called endocannabinoids and they play a role in many processes within the body that help to create a healthy environment. Cannabinoids also play a role in immune system generation and re-generation. The body regenerates best when it’s saturated with Phyto-Cannabinoids. Cannabinoids can also be found in Cannabis. It is important to note that the cannabinoids are plentiful in both hemp and cannabis. One of the main differentiations between hemp and cannabis is simply that hemp only contains 0.3% THC while cannabis is 0.4% THC or higher. (Technically they are both strains of Cannabis Sativa.)  Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce cancer cells as they have a great impact on the rebuilding of the immune system. While not every strain of cannabis has the same effect, more and more patients are seeing success in cancer reduction in a short period of time by using cannabis.
While taking a look at these studies, keep in mind that cannabis can be much more effective for medicinal purposes when we eat it rather than smoking it. Below are 20 medical studies that prove cannabis can be an effective treatment and possible cure for cancer. Please keep in mind that this is a very short list of studies that support the use of medicinal marijuana. Please feel free to further your research, hopefully this is a good starting point.
Read the full list at Other Side Farms 
(http://othersidefarms.com/blog/20-medical-studies-that-prove-cannabis-can-cure-cancer/#.UjDoYuCKzzI)

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How to Be a Responsible Medical Marijuana Patient

How to Be a Responsible Medical Marijuana Patient

You’ve just been authorized to use medicinal marijuana (MMJ). What should you expect as a new medical cannabis patient? Forget that stereotypical image of Woodstock from 1969; nowadays, cannabis may not be what you expect. There are hundreds of strains to choose from that provide different effects, and the industry is a lightning rod for change and adaptation. Not only does cannabis legislation continue to change around the world, ways to use cannabis has grown dramatically throughout the years, too.
All of the constant changes surrounding the cannabis industry can make it difficult and somewhat intimidating to know how to navigate the MMJ field as a new patient. But don’t worry, your friends at Leafly have you covered. This handy guide will help you understand what it means to be an MMJ patient, includes crucial information you should know, and covers how you can be a responsible patient.
Read the full article at Leafly for Dispensary & Precautions topics
(http://www.leafly.com/knowledge-center/responsible-use/how-to-be-a-responsible-medical-marijuana-pat)

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We Are Close To A Breakthrough On Medicinal Cannabis.


Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 
I am happy to report that over the summer we have made real progress in our work on medicinal cannabis.  I truly believe that we are close to a breakthrough.
bedrocan-flosAt the beginning of the year we developed a new strategy which has proved very effective.  Instead of trying to run a high profile media campaign we decided to work on supporting individuals who have a clear and demonstrable medical need for cannabis.  This means getting support from their doctor and their MP and then seeking a prescription for a Bedrocan product and applying to the Home Office for a personal import licence. If, as is most likely, the application is refused, this could lead to issuing judicial review proceedings against the Home Secretary to show that the decision is irrational, not to say cruel and unjust.
So why have we adopted what is essentially a ‘behind the scenes’ strategy?
Read the full article at Clear UK
(http://www.clear-uk.org/we-are-close-to-a-breakthrough-on-medicinal-cannabis/)

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Activation of Cannabinoid Receptors May Treat Alzheimer’s Disease


by TheJointBlog / September 6, 2013
new study published by the journal Neurobiology of Aging has found promising evidence to suggest that Alzheimer’s disease is significantly worsened by a deficiency in the body’s cannabinoid receptors, indicating that the disease could be treated with cannabis, which naturally activates these receptors.
For the study, researchers implanted mice with Alzheimer’s disease, and examined a control group compared to a group which was deficient in cannabinoid receptors. Researchers found that the mice which were deficient in a particular cannabinoid receptor “showed impaired learning and memory deficits” compared to the control group.
According to the study’s abstract, “The surviving mice showed a reduced amount of APP and its fragments suggesting a regulatory influence of CB1 on APP processing, which was confirmed by modulating CB1 expression in vitro”.
Researchers conclude that these “findings indicate that CB1 deficiency can worsen AD-related cognitive deficits and support a potential role of CB1 as a pharmacologic target.”
These findings help to confirm a study published recently in the journal Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, which found that cannabis can slow, and potentially even cure Alzheimer’s disease.
TheJointBlog

Read more at the Joint Blog 
(http://thejointblog.com/activation-cannabinoid-receptors-may-treat-alzheimers-disease/)

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Historic Japan Stem Cell Trial Approved


Wed, 08/14/2013 - 12:00pm
Cynthia Fox


The first clinical trial of revolutionary stem cells that won a Nobel Prize for their developer has been greenlit.

The cells, called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) Cells, will be morphed into retinal cells, then given to six patients with a major cause of blindness: age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The trial, approved by Japan Health Minister Norihisa Tamura, will be led next summer by Masayo Takahashi. She is a retina regeneration expert, and a colleague of the man who first developed iPS cells: Shinya Yamanaka.
The trial epitomizes, to many, Japan’s determination to dominate the iPS cell field, an ambition that kicked into high gear when Yamanaka shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine last October for his iPS cell work.
“If things continue this way, this will be the first in-clinic study in iPS cell technology,” says Doug Sipp of the Riken Center for Developmental Biology (CDB). The CDB, Takahashi’s institute, will co-run the trial with Kobe’s Institute for Biomedical Research and Innovation. "It's exciting."
Read the whole article at Bio Science Technology 

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Dr. Kevin Bethel clears up misconceptions about stem cells

By Yasmin Popescu - Media Unlimited
Aug 14, 2013 - 11:31:07 PM

DSCN6463sm.jpg
Freeport, Grand Bahama - The Bahamas may have missed the boat on being the first country with a stem cell research center. One was proposed for Grand Bahama but due to lack of proper legislation has delayed.


Dr. Kevin Bethel of Freeport Family Wellness Center, made this statement as he addressed the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise on Wednesday morning at Geneva’s Restaurant.
He stated that at the outset that there has been some misconceptions about stem cells which he said for the most part was unfounded.

“Because,” he continued, “we have to start with the definition – what is stem cell? We are not talking about something that is produced from outer space or high science fiction thing or anything they have been talking about. All of us have stem cells in our body.

“Stem cells are biologically active cells in the body that have the ability to transform into any cell line in the body. So there are any types of stem cells. The basic definition of stem cell is a cell that has the ability to turn itself into any type of cell.”

Dr. Bethel said that whenever someone has an injury, stem cells can be taken from the person to regrow and provide self-population for the repair.

“So for something as simple as a cut or burn on the skin, we have stem cells in our skin, and in the fat layers under our skin, that can transform into the various different types of cells that are necessary for our skin to grow back. It’s a miracle when you see things like that.”

While admitting that at first the stem cell research began using placentas, Dr. Bethel said that at this present time, stem cells are taken from the person who needs it and grown.



Read more at the Bahamas Weekly

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To Soothe Chronic Pain, Meditation Proves Better Than Pills


Mind power: Mediation's effects on your brain could ease your pain.
Mind power: Mediation's effects on your brain could ease your pain.

Could honing your meditation technique cure chronic pain? It's worth contemplating.

By: BY EMILY MAIN

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Chronic pain is estimated to affect over 76 million people, more than diabetes and heart disease combined, and back pain is our country's leading cause of disability for people under 45. And though the pharmaceutical industry seems very adept at introducing one new painkiller after another, the pills don't always help. A new study in the Journal of Neuroscience, however, suggests something else might: meditation. It seems that improving yourmeditation technique could very well be more effective than painkillers at cutting down on pain, and that could save you hundreds in prescription drug costs.


THE DETAILS: This was a small study that looked at just 15 adults who sat through four 20-minute training sessions on mindfulness meditation. However, before and after the training, the participants' brains were scanned using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and during each scan, the researchers put a heating device that induced pain for a five-minute period on each of the meditators' right leg at varying intervals. The brain scans revealed that before meditation, the section of the brain that processes pain was very active, while after meditation training, activity levels were virtually undetectable. Furthermore, after the meditation training, the study participants reported an average 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and an average 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness. The study authors noted that morphine and other pain-relieving drugs usually reduce pain perception and unpleasantness by just 25 percent.
WHAT IT MEANS: It's no surprise that mindfulness meditation techniques can help us cope with difficult situations, and this mind-body connection has been so extensively studied by researchers that doctors already know that meditation canlower blood pressure, depression, anger, and anxiety. Some evidence suggests it can boost your immune system and prevent the flu, among other illnesses. However, this is the first study to show that it can lower actual physical pain. "This study shows that meditation produces real effects in the brain and can provide an effective way for people to substantially reduce their pain without medications," the authors write.
If you find yourself suffering from some form of chronic pain, try mindfulness meditation. Fortunately, it's easy to learn, and as this study shows, you only need a few minutes a day to reap the benefits.
Read the full article at Rodale 

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