Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Having laws making it illegal to possess cannabis, magic mushroom, MDMA (ecstasy) and other psychoactive drugs amounts to scientific censorship, researchers from Imperial College London and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wrote in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.
The United Nations conventions on drugs in the 1960s and 1970s have contributed negatively to science in two majors ways, the authors added:
They compounded the harms of drugs
They produced the worst censorship of research for over three centuries
These arbitrary laws have set back research & development in such areas as consciousness by several decades, and halted any investigations into promising medical therapies, the researchers wrote.
Laws dating back to the 1960s seriously undermine scientists' ability to investigate such drugs as cannabis, psychedelics, and MDMA.
Professor David Nutt, Edmond J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, said:
"The decision to outlaw these drugs was based on their perceived dangers, but in many cases the harms have been overstated and are actually less than many legal drugs such as alcohol.
The laws have never been updated despite scientific advances and growing evidence that many of these drugs are relatively safe. And there appears to be no way for the international community to make such changes."
Laws hamper research into depression and PTSD
The authors argue that research into the mechanisms of action of psychoactive drugs and their potential for the treatment of depression and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) are seriously hampered because of their illegal status. In many cases R&D is impossible.
Prof Nutt wrote:
"This hindering of research and therapy is motivated by politics, not science. It's one of the most scandalous examples of scientific censorship in modern times. The ban on embryonic stem cell research by the Bush administration is the only possible contender, but that only affected the USA not the whole world."
Pharmaceutical productivity in the United Kingdom has been harmed by the country's restrictive drug laws, Nutt and colleagues pointed out. This is a pity, because many of the psychoactive elements of the cannabis plant, for example, were discovered in the UK. However, developing them into medications "has been severely hampered by excessive regulation".
The authors believe there should be exemptions in the law for psychoactive drugs in research. Prof. Nutt said "If we adopted a more rational approach to drug regulation, it would empower researchers to make advances in the study of consciousness and brain mechanisms of psychosis, and could lead to major treatment innovations in areas such as depression and PTSD."
The British Neuroscience Association and the British Association for Psychopharmacology have endorsed this call for reform. The authors are calling on other academic organizations to do the same.
In January 2012, Prof. Nutt gave a briefing about some studies on the Psilocybin Mushroom, better known as Magic Mushrooms or Shrooms, and often referred to under the umbrella term psychedelics. He explained that psychedelics should be successful for treating people with depression.
Despite legal restrictions, scientists have managed to discover several therapeutic possibilities with the cannabis plant. An article in Annals of Oncology (February 2011 issue) explained that the active ingredients in cannabis can restore appetite and sense of taste in cancer patients.
Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Having more money does not necessarily lead to happiness, especially if the person is neurotic, researchers from the University of Warwick, England, and the University of Minnesota, USA, reported in a CAGE (Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy) document.
Dr. Eugenia Proto, from the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, University of Warwick, examined how personality features may impact on how people feel about their income, with regard to different levels of life satisfaction.
Dr. Proto, from the University of Warwick, and Aldo Rustichini, from the University of Minnesota, explained that in psychology, neuroticism is a "fundamental personality trait"; it refers to a propensity. Individuals with greater levels of neuroticism tend to be more sensitive to anger and hostility, and are more susceptible to developing depression.
The authors wrote that individuals with high levels of neuroticism, who are already well paid, have a considerably higher chance of perceiving a pay rise as a failure. Rustichini said:
"Someone who has high levels of neuroticism will see an income increase as a measure of success. When they are on a lower income, a pay increase does satisfy them because they see that as an achievement.
However, if they are already on a higher income they may not think the pay increase is as much as they were expecting. So they see this as a partial failure and it lowers their life satisfaction."
Proto's and Rustichini's findings, which used data from the British Household Panel Survey and the German Socioeconomic Panel, will be presented at the ESRC Research Methods Festival, in July.
Dr. Proto said:
"These results suggest that we see money more as a device to measure our successes or failures rather than as a means to achieve more comfort."
What is neuroticism?
According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, Neutoticism is: "The condition or psychological trait of being neurotic."
In the study of psychology, neuroticism is a fundamental personality trait. The person has a long-term tendency to experience negative emotional states.
Those who score high on neuroticism experience the following frequently and more severely:
A person who scores high in neuroticism does not respond well to environmental stress, and can perceive everyday situations as intimidating. Sometimes trivial frustrations may cause despair. They tend to be shy and self-conscious, and may find controlling urges difficult.
Neuroticism is related to emotional regulation, interpersonal skills, and motivation - what experts call emotional intelligence.
Patients who score high in neuroticism are more susceptible to have anxiety disorders, such as phobias.
Written by Christian Nordqvist
Medical News Today
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
THE NUMBERS ARE STAGGERING!
Stroke is the Number One cause of disability and Third leading cause of death in the United States. What so few are aware of is that it is 80% Preventable (The most preventable of all catastrophic medical conditions), but only if you act F.A.S.T.
Support the mission of the Delaware Valley Stroke Council to reduce the incidence of Stroke by education and communicating to the public how to reduce Stroke risk and recognize Stroke symptoms. Register to participate in the Dr. Howard Mazer Memorial Strides for Stroke 5K Run/Walk! Registration begins at 7am on June 10, 2012, and the race starts promptly at 8:30am.
BETTER YET...START A TEAM
It's easy and fun. Follow the directions and gather friends, family, dogs or whoever else would like to support the cause!
All funds raised will help the DVSC fulfill our vital mission intended to raise awareness about Stroke in the Delaware Valley as well as to advocate and support Stroke survivors and their caretakers.
Join us for The 18th Annual Dr. Howard Mazer Memorial Strides for Stroke, a benefit event for the Delaware Valley Stroke Council that raises money for stroke survivors and caregivers as well as region-wide stroke prevention educational events and screenings. Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death and the number one cause of adult disability in the USA.
Your participation in this event contributes to much needed funding for the advancement of stroke prevention education in the Greater Delaware Valley. Our goal is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke and improve the lives of stroke survivors through heightened public awareness, community education, legislative and patient advocacy.
This scenic run/walk takes place along the Martin Luther King Highway in Philadelphia against the beautiful backdrop of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Enjoy food and entertainment with old friends and new as you fight against the threat of strokes. Sign up for $25 at Click Here to Signup
before June 9th and $30 on race day.
Registration begins at 7:00 am
Opening Ceremonies at 8:00 am
Run/Walk begins at 8:30 am
Feel free to call the DVSC office at (215) 772-9040 if you have any questions.