Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vitamins Reduce the Duration and Severity of Influenza

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, March 19, 2008
Vitamins Reduce the Duration and Severity of Influenza

(OMNS, March 19, 2008) Vitamins fight the flu by boosting the body’s own immune response and by accelerating healing. Individuals can be better prepared for an influenza epidemic by learning how to use vitamin supplements to fight off ordinary respiratory infections. The most important vitamins are vitamins C, D, niacin, and thiamine.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D has known anti-viral properties [1] and has been directly associated with fighting influenza in a recent scientific review. [2] Extensive evidence now shows that vitamin D serves as an important regulator of immune system responses. [3] The most dramatic evidence is a recent double-blind trial proving that vitamin D prevents cancers [4], supported by two recent epidemiological studies. [5,6] Vitamin D has been part of a supplement combination proven effective against HIV in a recent double-blind trial. [7]

During a viral infection, the body can draw on vitamin D stored in the body to supply the increased needs of the immune system. The withdrawn supplies of vitamin D are quickly replenished with 4,000 to 10,000 IU/day doses for a few days. Due to biochemical individuality, we recommend vitamin D blood testing as a routine part of a yearly physical exam.

Niacin has known anti-viral properties. The most persuasive evidence comes from recent work with HIV patients.[8-12] Niacin is required for cells to generate the energy they use to perform virtually all biological functions.

Niacin’s effectiveness fighting viruses may have to do with accelerating wound healing as well as improving immunity. Accelerating tissue repair limits collateral damage and minimizes the risk of secondary infection. Niacin has been proven to promote healing of damaged skin in double-blind trials. [13] Other recent findings (niacin reduces injury to the brain after strokes and reduces inflammation in general) also provide evidence of healing. [14,15]

Niacin, 500 to 2,000 mg/day in divided doses, is generally well tolerated during periods when the immune system is fighting viral infections. One takes such doses for several days starting at the onset of a viral infection. Dividing the dose reduces flushing. Using "no-flush" form niacin (inositol hexaniacinate) eliminates the flushing side effect.

Vitamin C
Strong evidence shows that high doses of vitamin C prevent common colds and reduce a cold’s severity and duration. [16] Given the similarities between cold and influenza viruses, the scientific case for treating influenza with vitamin C has been investigated and shown to have merit. [17] Fighting influenza with vitamin C has been tested in the clinical setting and reported to be effective at very high doses. [18, 19]

Extraordinary quantities of vitamin C, between 20,000 and 100,000 mg/day, are surprisingly well tolerated during periods when the immune system is fighting viral infections. These large daily amounts are best taken divided up into as many doses per day as possible, beginning immediately at the first sign of a viral infection. To achieve maximum effect it is necessary to maintain high concentrations of vitamin C in the body. Large, very frequent oral intake of vitamin C can maintain much higher blood plasma concentrations of vitamin C than is generally believed. [16, 19, 20]

Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Two items of recent scientific research have shown that the B-vitamin thiamine has anti-viral properties. TTFD, one of the fat-soluble forms of thiamine, was recently proven to be a potent inhibitor of HIV virus replication [21]. Thiamine was shown to be an effective treatment for chronic hepatitis B. [22]

Influenza killed more people in the two years following World War I than all soldiers killed on both sides in four years of machine-gun warfare. Influenza has been and remains a serious threat to human health. There is a great deal of public concern about the possibility of a repeat of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Vitamin C, niacin, vitamin D, and thiamine act together to strengthen the immune system, and to optimize health. Intelligent, high-dose vitamin supplement use can do much to eliminate the risk of death and disability for individuals with average health, and dramatically reduce the hospitalization and death rates amongst the most vulnerable members of the population.



[2] Cannell JJ et al. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiology and Infection. 2006. Dec;134(6):1129-40. Free access to full text paper at

[3] Tavera-Mendoza LE, White JH. Cell defenses and the sunshine vitamin. Scientific American, November 2007, 62-72.

[4] Lappe JM et al. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1586-91.

[5] Abbas S, et al. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer - results of a large case-control study. Carcinogenesis. 2008 Jan;29(1):93-9.

[6] Freedman DM et al. Prospective study of serum vitamin D and cancer mortality in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007. Nov 7;99(21):1594-602.

[7] Kaiser JD et al. Micronutrient supplementation increases CD4 count in HIV-infected individuals on highly active antiretroviral therapy: A prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 2006. 42(5), 523-528. "Micronutrient supplementation can significantly improve CD4 cell count reconstitution in HIV-infected patients. . . "

[8] Murray MF. Niacin as a potential AIDS preventive factor. Medical Hypotheses, 1999. 53(5), 375-379.

[9] Murray MF, Langan M, MacGregor RR. Increased plasma tryptophan in HIV-infected patients treated with pharmacologic doses of nicotinamide. Nutrition (NY), 2001. 17(7/8), 654-656.

[10] Murray MF. Treatment of retrovirus induced derangements with niacin compounds. The Foundation for Innovative Therapies, Inc., USA, 2006. 9 p. US 7012086.

[11] Pero RW. A method for increasing tryptophan and nicotinamide levels in vivo, and therapeutic and monitoring methods. Lynpete Trading 6 Pty., Ltd. Trading as Genetic Health Enterprises, S. Afr. PCT Int. Appl. 2008, 73pp. WO 2008008837 A2 20080117

[12] Dube MP et al. Safety and efficacy of extended-release niacin for the treatment of dyslipidaemia in patients with HIV infection: AIDS clinical trials group study A5148. Antiviral Therapy, 2006. 11(8), 1081-1089. "(D)doses up to 2,000 mg daily was safe, well-tolerated and efficacious in HIV-infected subjects. . . "


[14] Maynard KI. Natural neuroprotectants after stroke. Science & Medicine, 2002. 8(5), 258-267.

[15] Yu, Bi-lian; Zhao, Shui-ping. Anti-inflammatory effect is an important property of niacin on atherosclerosis beyond its lipid-altering effects. Medical Hypotheses, 2007. 69(1), 90-94.

[16] Hickey S, Roberts H. Ascorbate: The science of vitamin C. 2004. Lulu Press. ISBN 1-4116-0724-4. Reviewed at


[18] Ely JT. Ascorbic acid role in containment of the world avian flu pandemic. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2007. 232(7), 847-851.

[19] Cathcart RF. Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Med Hypotheses. 1981 Nov;7(11):1359-76. Free access to full text paper at See also: Cathcart RF. The third face of vitamin C. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 7:4;197-200, 1993. Free access at or

Other Cathcart papers posted at and

[20] Duconge J et al. Pharmacokinetics of vitamin C: insights into the oral and intravenous administration of ascorbate. PR Health Sciences Journal, 2008. 27:1, March.

[21] Shoji, Shozo et al. Thiamine disulfide as a potent inhibitor of human immunodeficiency virus (type-1) production. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 1994. 205(1), 967-75. "The results suggest that thiamine disulfide may be important for AIDS chemotherapy."

[22] Wallace AE, Weeks WB. Thiamine treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2001. 96(3), 864-868.

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information:

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.
Damien Downing, M.D.
Harold D. Foster, Ph.D.
Steve Hickey, Ph.D.
Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
Bo H. Jonsson, MD, PhD
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.
Erik Paterson, M.D.

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., Editor and contact person. Email:

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This article may be reprinted free of charge provided 1) that there is clear attribution to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and 2) that both the OMNS free subscription link and also the OMNS archive link are included.

Monday, October 26, 2009

PsychOUT: A Conference for Organizing Resistance Against Psychiatry

PsychOUT: A Conference for Organizing Resistance Against Psychiatry

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
May 7, 2010 – May 8, 2010

Call for Papers

Over the last century, proponents of biological psychiatry have used the language of science to naturalize the medical model as an essential way of organizing and managing human experience. In contrast, collective resistance against the theories and interventions of psychiatry has intensified over recent years as psychiatric survivors, activists and community members are contesting this institution on various political fronts. Additionally, people belonging to marginalized groups who are at greater risk of psychiatrization, such as women, racialized people, queers, trans people, people with disabilities, homeless people and other people living in poverty, are resisting psychiatric oppression in different ways, as they/we recognize threats to their/our health, human rights and lives.

The purpose of this global conference is to provide a forum for psychiatric survivors, mad people, activists, scholars, students, radical professionals, and artists from around the world to come together and share experiences of organizing against psychiatry.

Dialogue about these experiences is intended:

o to foster networking and coalition building across social justice movements, disciplines and geographical locations;

o to clarify some key goals in the struggle against psychiatric oppression;

o to develop some longer-term strategies to help us achieve these goals; and

o to help us critically examine how we use specific tools for social change, such as the law, science, theory, media, art, and theatre.

This conference is focused on theory and practice that is directly related to developing strategic actions aimed at challenging the power of institutional psychiatry.

Submission of Papers, Workshops and Creative Presentations:

This global interdisciplinary, cross-movement conference welcomes academic paper, workshop, or creative presentation submissions that can include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

o Feminist organizing against psychiatry

o Anti-racist organizing against psychiatry

o Queer and trans resistance against psychiatry

o Resisting colonizing practices of psychiatry

o Resisting psychiatric interference in nations called "developing"

o Negotiating the complex space between critical disability and antipsychiatry perspectives

o Intersections between anti-poverty movements and antipsychiatry

o Networking and coalition building across disciplines and social movements

o Commonalities and tensions within the antipsychiatry, psychiatric survivor, and mad communities

o Building a global antipsychiatry movement

o Developing long-term strategies to meet antipsychiatry abolitionist goals

o Artistic and creative resistance

o Consciousness-raising initiatives

o Using the law to protect the rights of psychiatrized people

o Supporting youth and other vulnerable groups who are resisting psychiatrization

o Using science to undermine psychiatric theory and practice

o Media campaigns: Challenges, obstacles and breakthroughs

o Examining movement history to inform present-day strategy and action

o The struggle to ban electroshock: strategies, victories, mistakes and challenges

o Resisting the pharmaceutical industry

o Envisioning and creating alternatives

o Resisting the spread of psychiatric control in the community, such as community treatment sanctions

Paper abstracts, workshop or creative presentation descriptions should be between 200 and 300 words in length. Pre-formed panel proposals are also encouraged. The due date for submission is February 15, 2010. All submissions will be peer-reviewed. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, and the author would like their paper to be considered for publication in a book of conference proceedings, a full draft of the paper should be submitted by Monday, May 24, 2010.

For any further information, please contact

You can submit a paper to this conference.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Photos: UN World Drug Report 2009

Very, very hard to look at. Link

Listen to Alexander Schauss explain how withdrawal from heroin without cold turkey can be done - using Vitamin C Poor nutrition may underlie many addictions. Correcting nutrition may halt many addictions.

Why isn't Vitamin C being used to free addicts everywhere?

That Smell

Ophelia Pictures, Images and Photos
Image of Ophelia, from the Tate Gallery.

From the New York Times:
...When clinical depression was diagnosed in my senior year, it was a relief. The phantom had been given form, something I could rail against and, finally, accept. It was Prozac that brokered the truce. With it, I believed I had put my fear behind me.

Then I met Margaret, the woman whose brief presence in my life ultimately would allow me to rescue myself, though I never would have thought so at the time.

It was my first week in graduate school. She stood on the steps of the Yale School of Drama, leaves in her hair, bellowing lines based on a passage from Medea: “What feeble night bird of misfortune is this at my door? Is this that great adventurer — the famous lord of the seas and delight of women, the heir of rich Corinth — this crying drunkard beating down the dark doorstep? Yet you’ve not had enough. You’ve come to drink the last bitter drops. I’ll pour them for you.”

The scene was electric, and I, stricken. What had wrung this rapturous outpouring from this woman, and why did no one else seem to take note of her feral presence?

BRIEFLY I wondered if she was an apparition (there was something surreal about her wide eyes and hawkish face), but then she smiled and caught my gaze and I knew. She was one of them. Here but not here. With us but not. Afflicted by, and in communion with, a force both fierce and unseen — a force that both chastened and exalted her.
If you have vertigo, you avoid bridges. If you fear madness, as I do, you avoid the Faraway Nearby — that which is at once distant and perilously close, a term I had taken from the title of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting.

That day was the first of many on which I simply lowered my gaze and walked around her. Yet not only was Margaret a difficult person to ignore, she was positively viral. Her loud, vibrato voice was mesmerizing; it flung Shakespearean and Greek verse about like nursery rhymes. Her rangy physique and erect carriage added nobility to even the shabbiest ensemble. She gave off a sour-milk odor that lingered long after she’d moved on. To inoculate myself, I developed a kind of hysterical blindness. I simply stopped seeing her....


"It was Prozac that brokered the truce. With it, I believed I had put my fear behind me....
She gave off a sour-milk odor that lingered long after she’d moved on."

The sour-milk odor and response to an antidepressant are big clues, and those who know orthomolecular medicine may quickly suspect Candida, Pyroluria or Histadelia and recommend appropriate nutritional protocols for these individuals.

Surprisingly often, correcting nutrition is all that is needed to prevent the waste of a life.

Helpful PDF - Questionnaire (Blake Graham)

UK: Increase in Long-Term Antidepressant Use, Study Reveals

"A dramatic rise in antidepressant prescriptions issued by GPs has been caused by a year on year increase in the number of people taking antidepressant drugs on a long-term basis, according to researchers from the University of Southampton.
In a paper, published in the printed edition of British Medical Journal (BMJ), scientists found that despite a drop in the number of new patients diagnosed with depression over 11 years, the number of prescriptions doubled.
"We estimate that more than 2 million people are now taking antidepressants long-term over several years, in particular women aged between 18 and 30," comments Tony Kendrick, a professor in Primary Medical Care of the University's School of Medicine, who led the study.
The number of prescriptions issued per patient rose from 2.8 in 1993 to 5.6 in 2004.
Prescription Pricing Authority data shows that more than 30 million prescriptions for SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) such as Prozac and Seroxat, are now issued per year, twice as many as the early 1990s. Researchers at the University of Southampton found 90 per cent of people diagnosed with depression are now taking SSRIs either continuously or as repeated courses over several years.
Professor Kendrick adds: "Our previous research found that although these drugs are said not to be addictive, many patients found it difficult to come off them, due to withdrawal symptoms including anxiety. Many wanted more help from their GP to come off the drugs. We don't know how many really need them and whether long-term use is harmful. This has similarities to the situation with Valium in the past."
The research team analysed all new cases of depression between 1993 and 2005 from anonymous computerised general practice records covering 170 GP surgeries and 1.7 million registered patients."


Saturday, October 24, 2009

NAMI: Pharma Companies are its biggest donors

"Drug Makers Are Advocacy Group’s Biggest Donors

Published: October 21, 2009
WASHINGTON — A majority of the donations made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one of the nation’s most influential disease advocacy groups, have come from drug makers in recent years, according to Congressional investigators.

The alliance, known as NAMI, has long been criticized for coordinating some of its lobbying efforts with drug makers and for pushing legislation that also benefits industry.

Last spring, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, sent letters to the alliance and about a dozen other influential disease and patient advocacy organizations asking about their ties to drug and device makers. The request was part of his investigation into the drug industry’s influence on the practice of medicine.

The mental health alliance, which is hugely influential in many state capitols, has refused for years to disclose specifics of its fund-raising, saying the details were private.

But according to investigators in Mr. Grassley’s office and documents obtained by The New York Times, drug makers from 2006 to 2008 contributed nearly $23 million to the alliance, about three-quarters of its donations."

New York Times Link

Search for "grassley" to see our previous posts on this matter; here is one -

Some day NAMI will have an interesting section at Little Sis.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How LSD leads to mental illness

"The father of Jaycee Lee Dugard's alleged kidnapper said his son was never 'in his right head' since becoming hooked on LSD after a motorcycle crash as a young man.

Speaking exclusively to The Mail on Sunday, 88-year-old Manuel Garrido revealed his son Phillip started to hear voices in his head - even believing that God was talking to him - when he became addic-ted to the hallucinogenic drug.

He said Phillip had been a talented, well-behaved and kind child but everything changed after he started taking LSD after the crash.

Manuel, from Brentwood in northern California, said he felt sorry for Jaycee, but his son could not be held responsible for his actions because the drug had 'killed his brain'.

'He had a motorcycle wreck, and hit his head. He was never the same again.
'He fell in with a bad crowd of Mexicans, started taking LSD, and it f***** him up. He went nuts. He's not in his right head. The little bastard doesn't know what he's doing."

LSD figured heavily in the Merritt case in British Columbia, Canada

We think of Charlie Manson and his "Family" too.
Bugliosi's HELTER SKELTER on Google Books

Dr. Abram Hoffer, a giant of Orthomolecular medicine explains the chemical reasons why LSD and schizophrenia are related. He called this aspect of chemistry the mauve factor or pyrroluria.
This scourge of mental health can be corrected with vitamins:

"The presence of the mauve factor in urine became a valuable indicator to use vitamin B3. Later, when Dr. C. C. Pfeiffer showed that kp bound pyridoxine and zinc and described the syndrome pyroluria, this became another important indicator that vitamin B6 and zinc must be used."

Pyroluria at Nutritional Healing

WHY, we ask, is this condition not routinely screened for and this simple, inexpensive and harmless nutritional treatment offered?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Viral cause of CFS/ME found?

"Researchers in the US have discovered that a high proportion of people with the debilitating neuroimmune disease Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), have a retrovirus called XMRV in their blood.

The groundbreaking study was the work of scientists from the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), located at the University of Nevada, Reno, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Cleveland Clinic, and was published online on 8 October in the journal Science.

CFS is a debilitating disease that affects millions of people worldwide, including an estimated 1 to 4 million Americans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The illness is hard to diagnose and the mystery surrounding the condition leads some people to suspect that patients are somehow either imagining their symptoms or malingering, or that they have some underlying psychiatric problem."



OSLER'S WEB author Hilary Johnson has written a moving essay on this discovery and its implications. Read it here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

UK: Scandalous abuse of the elderly - prescribed antipsychotics

From the page:
It is the first time the scale of the abuse in hospital wards is exposed, following warnings that 100,000 dementia patients in care homes are prescribed the drugs leading to the deaths of 23,000 a year

Three quarters of nurses have seen people with dementia in general wards in hospital prescribed antipsychotic drugs that are known to double the risk of death and triple the risk of a stroke in these patients, research has shown.

It is the first time the scale of the abuse in hospital wards is exposed, following warnings that 100,000 dementia patients in care homes are prescribed the drugs leading to the deaths of 23,000 a year.

Ten leading charities, carers groups and experts have written to The Daily Telegraph saying: "We cannot stand by while this scandalous abuse of vulnerable citizens continues."

Neil Hunt, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society said: "The massive over prescription of antipsychotics to people with dementia is an abuse of human rights, causing serious side effects and increasing risk of death. These powerful drugs should only be used in a small number of cases. The Government must take action to ensure that these drugs are only ever used as a last resort."

They have called on the government to publish its long-overdue review of the use of antipsychotics which ministers promised would be out in May of this year.

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said: "While the Department of Health prevaricates, thousands of people are being put at risk through the misuse of antipsychotics."

There are 700,000 people in Britain with dementia and the numbers are rising rapidly.
Antipsychotics have a sedative effect and are not licensed for use in dementia but are prescribed when patients become agitated or difficult and often then are left on them for long periods.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Canada: Recipients of flu vaccine more likely to catch H1N1

From the page:
...according to Dr. Rubinstein, the research shows that people who received the seasonal shot during the 2007-08 flu season remained vulnerable to swine flu well into 2009 – an interval that should provide most immune systems ample restoration time.

“We don't understand the mechanism,” Dr. Rubinstein said. “At the present time it is quite perplexing.”


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Misdiagnosed Youngsters? - John Sorboro, MD

Psychiatric News September 6, 2002
Volume 37 Number 17
© 2002 American Psychiatric Association
p. 32
Letter to the Editor

Misdiagnosed Youngsters?

John Sorboro, M.D.
Youngstown, Ohio

"It was with great interest that I read in your June 21 issue a review of the study by Dr. Barbara Geller, "Two-Year Prospective Follow-Up of Children With a Prepubertal and Early Adolescent Bipolar Disorder Phenotype." This study should be a wake-up call to the legions of psychiatrists who continue to pollute our youth with medications that have no real benefit or solid research to support there use.

I found it most puzzling that the author, while speculating why none of the "treatment" worked but a two-parent home was of benefit, did not consider the most obvious answer: that most of the children in her study (as well as in the United States) whom we call "bipolar" are not. Have we all forgotten what Kraepelin taught us, and how this illness is defined? The psychiatric community needs to recognize the limits of descriptive diagnosis with regard to both treatment and research. Most of us recognize there is a spectrum to this illness, but we must end this practice of labeling all children with mood lability and chaotic behavior—as well as adults with personality disorders—as bipolar.

I have cared for hundreds of adolescents in a residential setting who were diagnosed as bipolar, and many had reported psychotic symptoms. None of them was helped by medications that we acknowledge help adults with manic-depressive illness. Many of the youngsters improved with time because of structured environment and growth. Neuropsychiatric illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia can present in young people, but let’s stop pretending that all behaviorally disordered children have an illness that by definition will never go away.

Have we also forgotten that our first job as physicians is to recognize our limits and to do no harm?"


Was Bayer Aspirin Behind 1918 Flu Deaths?

"High aspirin dosing levels used to treat patients during the 1918-1919 pandemic are now known to cause, in some cases, toxicity and a dangerous build up of fluid in the lungs, which may have contributed to the incidence and severity of symptoms, bacterial infections, and mortality. Additionally, autopsy reports from 1918 are consistent with what we know today about the dangers of aspirin toxicity, as well as the expected viral causes of death.
The motivation behind the improper use of aspirin is a cautionary tale, said author Karen Starko, MD. In 1918, physicians did not fully understand either the dosing or pharmacology of aspirin, yet they were willing to recommend it. Its use was promoted by the drug industry, endorsed by doctors wanting to "do something," and accepted by families and institutions desperate for hope."
Bayer Heroin Pictures, Images and Photos
More old ads can be seen here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Game Brain

This article from Men Style/GQ is a little way off our usual Pharma trail, but certainly made us think - and wonder how many damaged brains we will see in the future in users of certain medications. The cruelty of corporate executives involved in these cases is noteworthy and clear; we do not doubt that similar coverups and indifference occur in fields other than sports.

"Let’s say you run a multibillion-dollar football league. And let’s say the scientific community—starting with one young pathologist in Pittsburgh and growing into a chorus of neuroscientists across the country—comes to you and says concussions are making your players crazy, crazy enough to kill themselves, and here, in these slices of brain tissue, is the proof. Do you join these scientists and try to solve the problem, or do you use your power to discredit them?"

Mike Webster Pictures, Images and Photos

"The coverage that week had been bracing and disturbing and exciting. Dead at 50. Mike Webster! Nine-time Pro Bowler. Hall of Famer. “Iron Mike,” legendary Steelers center for fifteen seasons. His life after football had been mysterious and tragic, and on the news they were going on and on about it. What had happened to him? How does a guy go from four Super Bowl rings to…pissing in his own oven and squirting Super Glue on his rotting teeth? Mike Webster bought himself a Taser gun, used that on himself to treat his back pain, would zap himself into unconsciousness just to get some sleep. Mike Webster lost all his money, or maybe gave it away. He forgot. A lot of lawsuits. Mike Webster forgot how to eat, too. Soon Mike Webster was homeless, living in a truck, one of its windows replaced with a garbage bag and tape.
Omalu stared at Mike Webster’s brain. He kept thinking, How did this big athletic man end up so crazy in the head? He was thinking about football and brain trauma. The leap in logic was hardly extreme. He was thinking, Dementia pugilistica? “Punch-drunk syndrome,” they called it in boxers. The clinical picture was somewhat like Mike Webster’s: severe dementia—delusion, paranoia, explosive behavior, loss of memory—caused by repeated blows to the head. Omalu figured if chronic bashing of the head could destroy a boxer’s brain, couldn’t it also destroy a football player’s brain? Could that be what made Mike Webster crazy?"

Article continues here.

The New York Times has more here.

Bipolar Disorder Secondary to Head Injury - a MEDLINE Search by Ivan K. Goldberg, M.D. can be found here.

To view healthy and sick brains at the Harvard Whole Brain Atlas, go here.

The Sports Legacy Institute is here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Drug-Induced Dementia: The Perfect Crime

"Under the influence of declining birth rates, expanding longevity, and changing population structures around the world, the global prevalence of senile dementia is expected to increase more than four-fold within the next forty years. Within the United States alone, the number of affected individuals over the age of 65 is expected to rise exponentially from 8 million cases (2% of the entire population in the year 2000), to 18 million retirees (roughly 4.5% of the national census in the year 2040). Although they are striking, these statistics quite likely underestimate the scope of the coming epidemic, as they fail to consider the impact of under-diagnosis, early-onset disease, and the potential for a changing incidence of illness in the context of increasingly toxic environments.

In the face of this imminent crisis, concerned observers have called for policies and practices which aim to prevent, limit, or reverse dementia. Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime is a timely resource which reveals why and how medical treatments themselves – specifically, psychopharmaceuticals – are a substantial cause of brain degeneration and premature death.

A first-of-its-kind resource for patients and clinicians, the book integrates research findings from epidemiology (observational studies of patients in the “real world”), basic biology (animal experiments), and clinical science (neuroimaging and autopsy studies) in order to demonstrate the dementing and deadly effects of psychiatric drugs.

Highlighted by more than 100 neuroimages, slides of tissue specimens, and illustrations, the book uniquely describes:

Ø the societal roots of the problem
(target organ toxicity, regulatory incompetence, and performativity)

Ø the subtypes and essential causes of dementia

Ø the patterns, prevalence, and causes of dementia associated with antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers, and stimulants


Ø the actions and reforms which patients, providers, and policy makers might immediately pursue, in an effort to mitigate the causes and consequences of this iatrogenic tragedy."