Study finds magic mushrooms may ‘reset’ the brains of depressed patients

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter Patients taking psilocybin to treat depression show reduced symptoms weeks after treatment following a ‘reset’ of their brain activity.The findings come from a study in which researchers from Imperial College London used psilocybin – the psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in magic mushrooms – to treat a small number of patients with depression in whom conventional treatment had failed.In a paper, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers describe patient-reported benefits lasting up to five weeks after treatment, and believe the psychedelic compound may effectively reset the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression. Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Share Comparison of images of patients’ brains before and one day after they received the drug treatment revealed changes in brain activity that were associated with marked and lasting reductions in depressive symptoms.The authors note that while the initial results of the experimental therapy are exciting, they are limited by the small sample size as well as the absence of a control group – such as a placebo group – to directly contrast with the patients.Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Head of Psychedelic Research at Imperial, who led the study, said: “We have shown for the first time clear changes in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to respond to conventional treatments.“Several of our patients described feeling ‘reset’ after the treatment and often used computer analogies. For example, one said he felt like his brain had been ‘defragged’ like a computer hard drive, and another said he felt ‘rebooted’. Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need to break out of their depressive states and these imaging results do tentatively support a ‘reset’ analogy. Similar brain effects to these have been seen with electroconvulsive therapy.”Over the last decade or so, a number of clinical trials have been conducted into the safety and effectiveness of psychedelics in patients with conditions such as depression and addictions, yielding promising results.In the recent Imperial trial, the first with psilocybin in depression, 20 patients with treatment-resistant form of the disorder were given two doses of psilocybin (10 mg and 25 mg), with the second dose a week after the first.Nineteen of these underwent initial brain imaging and then a second scan one day after the high dose treatment. Carhart-Harris and team used two main brain imaging methods to measure changes in blood flow and the crosstalk between brain regions, with patients reporting their depressive symptoms through completing clinical questionnaires.Immediately following treatment with psilocybin, patients reported a decrease in depressive symptoms – corresponding with anecdotal reports of an ‘after-glow’ effect characterised by improvements in mood and stress relief.Functional MRI imaging revealed reduced blood flow in areas of the brain, including the amygdala, a small, almond-shaped region of the brain known to be involved in processing emotional responses, stress and fear. They also found increased stability in another brain network, previously linked to psilocybin’s immediate effects as well as to depression itself.These findings provide a new window into what happens in the brains of people after they have ‘come down’ from a psychedelic, where an initial disintegration of brain networks during the drug ‘trip’, is followed by a re-integration afterwards.Dr Carhart-Harris explained: “Through collecting these imaging data we have been able to provide a window into the after effects of psilocybin treatment in the brains of patients with chronic depression. Based on what we know from various brain imaging studies with psychedelics, as well as taking heed of what people say about their experiences, it may be that psychedelics do indeed ‘reset’ the brain networks associated with depression, effectively enabling them to be lifted from the depressed state.The authors warn that while the initial findings are encouraging, the research is at an early stage and that patients with depression should not attempt to self-medicate, as the team provided a special therapeutic context for the drug experience and things may go awry if the extensive psychological component of the treatment is neglected. They add that future studies will include more robust designs and currently plan to test psilocybin against a leading antidepressant in a trial set to start early next year.Professor David Nutt, Edmond J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Sciences, and senior author of the paper, added: “Larger studies are needed to see if this positive effect can be reproduced in more patients. But these initial findings are exciting and provide another treatment avenue to explore.” LinkedInlast_img read more

Obama, Congress air cautious optimism over Zika funds

first_imgAfter an Oval Office meeting with top Senate and House leaders yesterday, President Barack Obama said he was hopeful that Zika funding would be part of an agreement to continue funding the government, a step Congress needs to take before it adjourns again at the end of the month.In other developments, Florida reported 14 more local Zika illnesses yesterday and today and new details were published about the investigation into an unusual Zika case that surfaced in Utah in July, when an elderly man apparently passed the virus to his son, who was one of his caregivers.Funding progress citedThe meeting included House and Senate leaders from both parties, and afterward, Obama told reporters that he was encouraged by work that’s being done, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.Ahead of the White House meeting, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement that members on both sides have been working on an agreement to responsibly fund the government and have already made a lot of progress. “I expect to move forward this week on a continuing resolution through December 9 at last year’s enacted levels and include funds for Zika control and our veterans,” he said.Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he was cautiously optimistic that the Senate would complete its work on Zika and the continuing resolution to temporarily fund the government. “But it can happen only if Republicans are resolved to not play politics with these important issues,” he said in a statement.At a press briefing before the White House meeting, Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, addressed a question about talk that Republican lawmakers might include a Zika bill without Planned Parenthood riders that would pay for funding with cuts to other programs. He said Obama forwarded the original funding proposal, based on input from public health experts, 7 months ago and said the legislation has been bogged down in Planned Parenthood and other controversial riders.”So the President is, once again, going to make the case that that’s exactly what Republicans in Congress should do,” Earnest said. “And again, I think it’s an open question about whether or not they’ll fulfill their responsibilities. Hopefully they will.”Health officials, professional groups urge fundingAt a media telebriefing today, meanwhile, federal health officials and leaders from two doctor’s groups pushed again for Congress to approve Zika funding, with money running out amid local illnesses and affected pregnancies increasing in the continental United States and its territories.Beth Bell, MD, MPH, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Zika funding that had been earmarked from repurposed Ebola response money is essentially all spent. She warned that critical public health may not be able to move forward, such as mosquito surveillance and multiyear studies on Zika-related birth defects. She said the funding lapse could cancel vaccine work and slow the developments of new Zika tests.”We hope they will do the right thing,” Bell said of lawmakers.Thomas Gellhaus, MD, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said developing better and faster tests for Zika virus is an urgent need, because the method for confirming infections is often complex, with pregnant women often having to wait several weeks for results, depending on where they live.He also said women of childbearing age need options for preventing pregnancy, in light of the Zika threat. “We don’t know how to prevent Zika, but we do know how to prevent unplanned pregnancy. We need to act now and act together.”Karen Remley, MD, executive director and chief executive officer of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said babies born with congenital Zika virus infections need extensive screening and access to care in the short term, and she urged Congress to keep in mind that affected children and their families will need comprehensive support in the years ahead, given that the estimated healthcare cost per Zika-affected child is about $10 million over his or her lifetime.”This is a major public health issue, and adequate funding is very important,” she said.Local Florida cases hit 70In related news, the number of local Zika cases in Florida continues to climb, with the Florida Department of Health (Florida Health) reporting 14 more yesterday and today. Three patients are from the Wynwood transmission area, including two who were sick in late July, but officials were waiting on antibody tests to rule out other mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue and chikungunya. Another six infections are linked to the active transmission area in Miami Beach.Four new patients are Miami-Dade County residents, and health officials are still investigating where they were exposed to the virus. One of the patients is a Palm Beach County resident, apparently representing the fourth local case from that area, and efforts are under way to pinpoint where he or she was infected.The new cases lift Florida’s local case total to 70. Yesterday the agency reported seven more travel-related cases, including the first in Nassau County. The state now has 621 imported Zika cases.In related developments and as if to underscore the concerns health officials voiced today, pregnant women in Miami-Dade County are facing major delays in learning the results of Zika tests, which the state is offering for free, with a large number of women taking them up on the offer, the New York Times reported yesterday.Florida announced the testing offer on Aug 3, and according to the Times, many women are waiting at least 4 or 5 weeks for their test results. Sources linked the delays to a variety of reasons: complicated testing protocols, bureaucratic problems, and lack of resources.Doctors worry that the delays are adding to the stress of pregnancies and complicating decisions on carrying or terminating pregnancies, according to the Times.Florida is monitoring 86 pregnant women who are infected with Zika virus.Utah case hints at body fluid risks in severe infectionsThe Utah case involved an elderly man with underlying health conditions who contracted a Zika infection during travel abroad. The illness in the man’s son was unusual, because it didn’t involve sexual transmission, triggering an intense investigation by Utah health officials and the CDC into how the younger man was exposed and if any others were infected or if the virus was circulating in local mosquito populations.The team published the preliminary results of their investigation today in an early online edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).According to the report, the son had cared for his father for several days, and a blood sample from the elderly man obtained 2 days before he died from septic shock revealed Zika viral load that was 100,000 times higher than normal for infected patients.Nineteen family contacts who lived in the same household or had contact with the man’s body fluids were interviewed and tested, including 13 who—like the son—had hugged the man and kissed his face. The son had assisted hospital staff with the man’s care on one occasion, but didn’t have direct contact with his stool. No other Zika infections were detected in any of the other family contacts.Healthcare workers (86) and residents of 238 households within a 200-meter radius of the two homes the older man stayed in before he died were interviewed and offered Zika testing. Antibody testing is under way for all who submitted blood samples, and urine samples were collected for anyone reporting Zika-like symptoms in the 14 days before their interviews. As of Aug 22, no other Zika infections have been detected.Mosquito surveillance near the two homes is under way, and adult mosquitoes are being analyzed and tested for Zika virus. So far no Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes—the two types known to carry the virus—have been identified.The investigators said though it’s not clear how the younger man was infected, he had close contact with his father while the elder man’s viral load was very high.The researchers warned that family contacts should be aware that blood and other body fluids of severely ill Zika infections might be infectious. They also said the case underscores the importance of contact precautions for health providers working with all patients, including those who have possible Zika virus infection.See also:Sep 12 AP storySep 12 Mitch McConnell statementSep 12 Harry Reid statementSep 12 White House briefing transcriptSep 12 Florida Health daily Zika updateSep 13 Florida Health daily Zika updateSep 12 New York Times storySep 13 MMWR reportlast_img read more

Nomura sets high water mark in City

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Lead Institute reschedules new school year commencement

first_img Share Sharing is caring! EducationLocalNewsTertiary Lead Institute reschedules new school year commencement by: Dominica Vibes News – September 3, 2015 382 Views   no discussions The board of education, management and staff of Lead Institute, in light of damages caused by Tropical Storm Erika, has rescheduled its orientation and new school year commencement.The Board of Directors, staff and students of Lead Institute expressed condolences to all those who have suffered loss of life and or property during the passage of storm Erika, especially with the families and individuals in the declared disaster areas most affected by the storm. The Institute said several of its students and a few staff resides in these communities and have suffered tremendous loss, vehicular access remains restricted in many communities, while water and electricity has not yet been fully restored to certain communities.“This forgone situation, have taken the decision to push back the commencement of the new school year by one week. Consequently, orientation and the commencement of the new school year have been rescheduled to September 11th and 14th respectively.The Institute said in arriving at this decision, “we have been most concerned for the safety of our students. Thus the rescheduling of classes is just one small gesture in helping those who have been most severely affected by the storm adjust and cope with the new realities”.“We also wish to assure the nation of our prayers and commitment to the rebuilding of our lives, families, communities and beloved nation. And in the words of the Psalmist David may “24The LORD bless [Dominica], and keep [us]; 25The LORD make His face shine on [us], And be gracious to [us]; 26The LORD lift up His countenance on [us], And give [us] peace,” the Institute said.center_img Share Share Tweetlast_img read more

NBS/GCA rolls out eighth annual second division 40-over tournament

first_imgFor the eighth consecutive year, the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) will be organizing the New Building Society-sponsored second division 40-over tournament. The event was introduced with a simple launching at the company’s Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown branch yesterday with Chairman of the Board, Floyd McDonald.McDonald expressed the company’s satisfaction with the stewardship of the GCA and said that it is with the recognition of those at the helm of the association that NBS granted the request for the sponsorship.He revealed that the financial institution is also sponsoring a tournament of a similar nature in Berbice which is also set to begin once the weather is conducive to cricket. McDonald revealed that in the pipeline there is a clash between the two top teams in Berbice and Georgetown this year  in a T20 format to decide the true champion.McDonald said that this tournament is a testament to the company’s investment in not only sport, charity and education but its contribution to the development of lives.In addition, he said that it is here where the development begins which is then transferred to the country and region before reaching the international stage in the form of the West Indies team while acknowledging the perils of that unit. NBS has also decided to reward the media for their efforts of informing the public of the work done by the cricketers and sponsors with Stabroek Sport’s Romario Samaroo winning the prize for extensive coverage of the tournament during last season.President of the GCA, Roger Harper thanked the company for its confidence in the body to sponsor the tournament once again and informed the gathering that eight players that would have participated in the competition last year have gone on to represent West Indies at various levels. He also  recognized the contributions of  Chandrapaul Hemraj and Sherfane Rutherford who are both with the Guyana Amazon Warriors and participated in the competition.Harper, speaking on behalf of the teams said that they are “anxiously” looking forward to the competition. The former West Indies player also said that the tournament provides real opportunities for the players to showcase their talent and not only benefit players in Georgetown but across the country. Meanwhile Chairman of the Competitions Committee, Shaun Massiah detailed the tournament’s structure which is expected to begin on September 29. Massiah explained the tournament will be divided into two zones and will see teams earning 10 points for a win, five batting points for scoring over 200 runs and five bowling points for taking 10 wickets. He added that there will also be a mandatory 16 overs of seam as well as the implementation of free hit for all forms of no balls. Teams will also be playing in colored clothing and the semifinal along with the final will be played under lights.Zone A will feature Sophia, Demerara Cricket Club, Transport Sports Club, GNIC, Police Sports Club, Ace Warriors and last year’s runner up, Everest.Zone B will include defending champions, Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC), Muslim Youth Organisation, Gandhi Youth Organisation, Third Class, Diplomats, Guyana Defense Force, University of Guyana and Malteenoes. GCC have won the tournament on four occasions, winning the first three editions as well as last year where they defeated Everest by 162 runs.last_img read more

Shaping up to be the best Game of Thrones season yet; and the Wheat Festival is a cultural event

first_imgCommentary by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — In case you’ve been asleep for the past week and haven’t heard, Game of Thrones season 7 premiered last night.  Game of Thrones is the most hyped show in recent years and it absolutely deserves it.  Every season is marked by spectacular battles and interesting characters, most of whom die, but only if the audience likes them.This season looks to be the most exciting one yet, winter has finally come and the Daenarys is FINALLY in Westeros so the timelines Game of Thrones has kept apart for 6 seasons are going to clash.  I won’t spoil anything if you haven’t seen it yet, but in case you haven’t, quit holding out and get that HBO membership so you can enjoy the best TV show in the world currently.Great news about that HBO membership: You can now watch HBO shows through Hulu, the lesser-tier streaming service that focuses on network television.  With the acquisition of HBO, Hulu has transformed into viable streaming service that offers a wide enough range in coverage to support getting rid of cable all together.Unlike Netflix, Hulu has access to new network programing the day its released on TV and now full access to the HBO library home to gems like Game of Thrones, Last Week Tonight, Veep, Ballers, True Detective, and many many more.  Hulu is also making moves in its original content by bringing books like 11/22/63 and the Handmaid’s Tale.  Hulu is on the come up.———In local culture news, it’s that magical time of the summer called the Kansas Wheat Festival.  The 117th Annual Kansas Wheat Festival is Wellington’s claim to fame.  We look forward to it every year, we are reminded of it every time we see the billboard on the way home from Wichita, and we confuse relatives with stories of cow patty bingo.  The “Wheatfest” is the best time to be in Wellington because everybody goes downtown for the carnival rides, fried food, and bands.It’s also the only time Wellington can promote local musical talent on such a scale (and with a beer garden near by).  This year has a much larger lineup, topping at 7 bands, for a complete list and bio’s for each band, check out the Cow’s article here.Meme of the weekI unfortunately can’t look at every meme that dominates the internet every week, so if you see a meme and think it should be the meme of the week please send it to: SumnerCultureCow@gmail.comIf you disagree with my analysis, have a grievance or any other complaint please visit hereFollow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

Vicente del Bosque calls up Nolito, Alvaro Morata, Jose Callejon and Ignacio Camacho to latest Spain Squad

first_img Diego Costa, though, was not named. He has struggled with his fitness this season and Del Bosque, in agreement with Jose Mourinho, felt the Chelsea forward would benefit from a period of rest. Juventus’ Alavaro Morata, Napoli’s Jose Callejon and Malaga’s Ignacio Camacho were also given the nod. There was also a return to the fold for Real Madrid midfielder Isco. 07/11/2014 Upd. at 17:42 There was a healthy Barcelona presence in the squad, with Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Marc Bartra, Sergio Busquets and Pedro all included; Del Bosque said: “We’ve called Pique because he is willing to come, it is not an imposition.” Andres Iniesta and David Silva were among those to miss out through injury. Celta Vigo’s Nolito, whose back-heel set up the goal in his side’s win over Barcelona last weekend, had been tipped to be involved and that proved the case when Del Bosque announced the 23-man list on Friday afternoon. Sam Marsden Spain play Belarus in Huelva on November 15 in European Championships qualifier, with a friendly against World Cup winners Germany in Vigo scheduled for November 18. Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla maintained his place as well. Vicente del Bosque has included four new faces in his squad for Spain’s upcoming matches against Belarus and Germany. CETlast_img read more

Berry bags the Star award

first_imgBy Mark GullickSTAR Cranbourne midfielder Justin Berry capped a consistently brilliant year with the Star News Group MVP award. During…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img