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via The JW Reporters

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via SpunkyGidget

Angie Baby

October 12, 2016

JW Reporters

All Along the Watchtower…

:42 #update #xpostspunkygidget

     1. DISASTER HITTING JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES.  The Governing Body board of the Watchtower organization over JWs long taught before all JWs who lived in the 1914 Generation died, the End would bring Jehovah God’s kingdom with paradise on earth where physically & mentally ill JWs would be healed & live forever.  By 2014 the Body had to teach that an Overlap Generation would. Many disappointed JWs went slack. In 2015 the Body had a Return To Jehovah campaign and 2016 Loyalty conventions with doomsday films and a talk saying loyal JWs should shun inactive JWs. Ghana’s JWs did not clap, elders quietly began helping others exit.  WT  reprimanded Nigerian elders for giving foes access to jw.org.  The foes sent documents to the Australian Royal Commission (ARC) investigating the WT policy of hiding pedophiles etc (1Cor 6:9-11) among JWs etc. Families quietly quit in Latin America & worldwide; grew their own independent Bible study groups in their homes teaching paradise kingdom blessings. Child custody judges disliked WT films inducing some to anxiety-panic attacks etc; on TV after the convention Adrian Karibian climbed Sydey Harbour Bridge to proclaim the End is about to hit.  The Body hustled for more money to weather the storm. For example they put ATMs in conventions, pushed JWs to make monthly auto bank withdrawls, used internet-fed JW TV to urge more donations, made cheaper, shorter, less quality literature, urged literature be downloaded more, laid off thousands of “Bethelite” staffers, dumped traveling City & District Overseers, compacted congregations, sold some halls & branches in nations including Spain’s newly built complex, sold the Brooklyn buildings sources says from $1 billion to $2 billion possibly 2 mostly to Jared Kushner (in-law of Donald Trump), built a paradise setting new headquarters near Warwick, NY on land that had had nickle contamination etc.  By 2016 two UK commissions were investigating WT in the UK over child abuse & charity fraud.  Germany also has begun a commission.

    2. THEY had JWs start shifting from doorstep preaching more to cart literature work.  Older long-loyal anointed (essentially born-agains hoping to go to heaven) in Brooklyn including Ted Jaracz’s widow called it a mistake at a private meeting so the Body told them to pack & leave though many had no family to return to as those had died; “concerned” younger Bethelites sent the Body word to find the older ones living arrangements or the story could get into the papers. The Body then helped them but word went to metro NYC congregations so that one JW TV talk at the end alluded to it indirectly and claimed if still alive GB members Barr and Jaracz would have backed the Body’s many changes. Barr did not like WTs drift. Jaracz’s support is doubtful; his dissenting widow died in 2015. Protests in & out of WT grow at Memorials of the Last Supper where only anointed JWs can partake. Elders at an Atlanta were told crowd in on “Jesus is God” protesters; the next day line up to block the view of them. See youtube, silentlambs.org, jwfacts.org & sixscreensofthewatchtower.

    3. FOES pointed out (youtube) JW TV showed Sam Herd with an expensive rolex watch, Gerritt Losch’s gem rings etc, so cameras have panned closer to faces to avoid JWs seeing those.  The Warwick compound includes an infirmary, underground parking lot, some hidden bunkers, copper roof shielding against RF surveillance. The Body want to approve more blood substitutes possibly after the 2 UK investigations.  Wealthy JWs tied to the No Blood Industry make donations, want to expand the business. The anti-transfusions blood policy has likely blocked millions from becoming JWs. In 2015 the Australian Royal Commission aired child abuse hearings with the Body’s Geoffrey Jackson saying we don’t shun or do corporal punishment.  His use of Theocratic Warfare verbal tactics was based on “we don’t shun but those shunned do it to themselves” & “parents choose the discipline.” Still, the ARC declared 77 deficiencies. The Body rejected the ARC’s suggestion of letting women attend Judicial Committees when female victims are questioned by all males including “repentent” pedophiles etc per 1Cor 6:9-11. Jackson gave scriptures against but the ARC senior counsel Angus Stewart countered with others. ARC is still exhibiting the normally secret Shepherd The Flock manual on its site where JW sisters worldwide can read it. More commission hearings will spark more news, legal actions or laws. Canada may get a commission. Marci Hamilton wants Congress to investigate or legislate to make all groups protect kids to stay tax exempt. 

    4. BODY member Anthony Morris & other American speakers in 2015-16 went to London, Warsaw etc, & said Gog of Magog (governments) are causing Great Tribulation possibly to scare JWs to do more, bluff commission officials to back off, fearing a Jonestown type suicide. Elders have noted that Body to BOE letters have said have lists of loyal ones to hide in safe places. Many JWs have to-go bags ready, etc. WT anti-gay leafletting in Devon & Cornwall in the UK upset the LGBT group Stonewall in 2016 yet Bethelites allege Body member Sanderson is a Non-Practicing Gay. Losch & others got on the Body after telling parents of molested kids to “wait on Jehovah.” We don’t need Body members alleged pedophiles etc to believe in paradise etc. It soils Jehovah’s image when those let local pedophile elders and like ilk (1Cor 6:9-11) night stalk, spy on other JWs, phone & noise harass, key apostates cars. Google search for example youtube video “NEWS 5 INVESTIGATES: Sex offender going door-to-door” about perp Wayne Ivery in Colorado Springs. Please mail copies to JWs & others in the public. 

    A.) DID you know Raymond Franz while on the Governing Body of the Watchtower (WT) organization over Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) wrote Crisis Of Conscience & In Search Of Christian Freedom.  He learned all archaeologists agreed Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BC instead of 607 BC but the Body refused to accept that since it meant their teaching Christ had returned invisibly in 1914 was wrong.  In the Jan 1, 1972 WT  magazine (p. 32) they made the Bedroom Law if a man had sex with another man or animal, his wife could not scripturally divorce him as there was no joining with another flesh to conceive.  They reversed it eventually; then when elders in a California congregation reported a couple for privately having literature & photos of non-missionary type sex, the Body ruled they must be disfellowshipped (shunned cruelly). WT magazines (Dec 1, 1972, Nov 15, 1974) banned married JW couples from non-missionary sex. The WT of Feb 15, 1978, reversed the Bedroom Law but the March 15, 1983 issue banned as “unnatural” oral intimacy including by JWs otherwise unable; also warned oral sex disqualifies male JWs from becoming elders, can lead to expulsion. The Bedroom Laws are rarely mentioned even among JWs to the Public or those talked into new Bible studies. Likely few to nobody would ever become a JW if the degree of invasiveness were known.

    B.) FOR DECADES the Body banned JWs from alternative service in place of fighting. The Body once came within a vote of changing that; long after he was off the Body they changed & published it in the WT of May 1, 1996 but gave no apology to the many JWs who had had to serve prison time or their families. JWs in Malawi were attacked, raped, had homes and crops burnt in 1964, 1967, 1972, 1975 since the Body ruled they must not buy a cheap card saying they supported Malawi’s sole political party though Christ at Matthew 5:41 & Paul at Romans 13:7 said render what is due to governments.  Simultaneously they let Mexican JWs pay money to military officers to obtain cards saying untruthfully they had served in the military. Weak logic or racism? While preaching in kingdom halls against the UN, WT affiliated as an NGO 1991 to 2001; later claimed it was just to keep a UN library card.    

    C.) WT BRANCH heads at Athens in 1986 spied on 100+ exJWs who kept reading & discussing the Bible in homes. On April 6, 1987 some 50 met at the home of Nick & Eftihia Bozartzis.  Nick spotted two watching the house, one a JW he knew. As he approached they fled.  That Apr 9 the house-church group was to meet at Voula Kalokerinou home but instead decided to celebrate the Memorial on April 11. She spotted 5 men in a car across from her house the next 2 evenings; on the 11th an unknown car & van with back window papered except for a circle in the center. Men in the car went to talk to men in the van several times. A friend went to see what was going on and the car sped away but through the van’s circle he saw video camera equipment used by elder Nikolas Antoniou & branch elder Dimetre Zerdes. Others from her house & a policeman from the nearby Italian Embassy came.  The Bethelites had driven to a park to unload equipment; were arrested for invasion of privacy.  They lied to a D.A. named Kontaxis they were only there to film a relative of Zerdes.  In reality his cousin Eftihia Bozartzis had disassociated from WT or JWs 2 years before, meaning he had nothing to do with her so was lying.  The D.A. denounced the trampling on “human rights.”  Confiscated film showed Christian ExJWs entering the house church meeting, Bozartzis not even in the film. Later WT’s Awake! magazine blasted the Greek Orthodox Church for having a stadium to cancel a WT assembly possibly to make word about Watchtower reps being convicted of criminal conduct seem less believable to other JWs if they ever heard of it.

  D.) HE REMINDED all awakening JWs & ExJWs that Acts 5:27-29 says “Obedience to God comes before obedience to men” including Governing Body men. Christianity is a “way of life” which include “sacred services” like day & night acts of kindness, parents raising happy children to do right, husbands keeping marriage honorable and working whole-souled as to God, wives known for “hospitality, kindness and neighborliness, all looking after orphans, widows & others in need.  Franz also noted Christ said he is present when even “two or three” Christians gather.  Though WT says JWs must believe & all things the Body says, Paul says “be united in the same mind and the same purpose,” but not to be totally uniform like robots, also true unity is when Christians are free to have some different views (Romans 14) yet be united by Love which is the only “perfect bond of union.” (Col 3:14)  The Bible says follow the Lamb (Christ), obey God not Watchtower men.  Apostolic authority today is not from successors of apostles or other men but the scriptures the apostles wrote to help us. Raymond Franz died in 2010 but noted Christian ExJWs can as needed fellowship while staying loyal to God in their homes; there are friendly churches of similar beliefs like some Adventist groups, some independent Baptist churches etc.  The internet, Facebook, free international phone conferences etc also offer new ways to meet via the internet. Groups showing real love grow.  Nobody needs WT to preach kingdom blessings, show loving-kindness. In 2016 WT was battered by its many past failed prophecies, governments investigating the hiding & sheltering of pedophiles etc.  Freeminds.org, sixscreensofthewatchtower, silentlambs.org, jwfacts.com. Get copies to JWs & others please.

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Cannabis, Neuroscience

Anandamide, The Runner's High

?”..The results showed that both the runners and bicyclists had 80% more anandamide in their blood after exercising, with the greatest increase among the runners. They also reported physical feelings similar to marijuana use, such as relaxation, regulated mood, and increased appetite. Plus, they found that tempo running produced the most anandamide of all exercise …” Continue reading

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Neuroscience, Writing

The Happy Hypomanic’s Handbook

“Intense creative episodes are, in many instances, indistinguishable from hypomania” — Kay Jamison

Besides the birth control pill, I’d only ever had two prescriptions, but those two were the dyna-combo to do me in—I suffered paradoxical effects from Clonazepam, and Ambien was no joke.

It took me until 2011 to make the connection.

Clonazepam induced hypomania, and I suffered benzodiazepine induced depression and rebound insomnia.

I never took another pill, but was dismayed to learn just how long my body would take to be rid of the drug and it’s cognitive interference: difficulty concentrating, confusion, irritability.

Worse yet, it seems they’d broken my happy.

Continue reading

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Angela Mari
Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Neuroscience

Hyperthymic Novelty—On Generosity: An Enhancement

“What will happen to life when science identifies the genetic basis of happiness? Who will own the patent? Do we dare revise our own temperaments?…”

I once met a physics teacher who immediately recognized me as the main character in the play he was nearly finished writing.

“Absolutely EVERYTHING I remember is realLithium just added a layer of fantasy on it (which I could perceive even at the time).”

Born to Be Happy

After reading an article “Born to Be Happy“, I found myself emailing Hagop Akiskal, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the International Mood Center at the University of California at San Diego whose “work on dysthymia, cyclothymia and hyperthymia challenged the concept of personality disorders, led to the development of a new instrument (Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS-A)), thereby contributing to the worldwide renaissance of the temperament field.”

“Information may travel at light speed, but meaning spreads at the speed of dark.”

But being told that I was “hard wired for happiness” seemed a bit over simplified and “hard wired” seemed an insult to this interaction-designer-wannabe-cognitive scientist studying neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.

On “Rewiring the Real

“Digital and electronic technologies that act as extensions of our bodies and minds are changing how we live, think, act, and write. Some welcome these developments as bringing humans closer to unified consciousness and eternal life. Others worry that invasive globalized technologies threaten to destroy the self and the world. Whether feared or desired, these innovations provoke emotions that have long fueled the religious imagination, suggesting the presence of a latent spirituality in an era mistakenly deemed secular and post-human.”

Continue reading

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Cannabis, Neuroscience

Survey of Kids and Cannabis

Photo by CNN.

84% of the parents surveyed reported a reduction in their child’s seizure frequency while taking cannabidiol-enriched cannabis.

Severe childhood epilepsies are characterized by frequent seizures, neurodevelopmental delays, and impaired quality of life. In these treatment-resistant epilepsies, families often seek alternative treatments.

In the December 2013 issue of the journal Epilepsy and Behavior, Drs. Porter and Jacobsen from Stanford University investigate the use of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy.

The survey was presented to parents belonging to a Facebook group dedicated to sharing information about the use of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis to treat their child’s seizures.

Nineteen responses met the following inclusion criteria for the study: a diagnosis of epilepsy and current use of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis.

Thirteen children had Dravet syndrome, four had Doose syndrome, and one each had Lennox–Gastaut syndrome and idiopathic epilepsy.

The average number of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) tried before using cannabidiol-enriched cannabis was 12.

  • Sixteen (84%) of the 19 parents reported a reduction in their child’s seizure frequency while taking cannabidiol-enriched cannabis.
    • Of these, two (11%) reported complete seizure freedom
    • eight (42%) reported a greater than 80% reduction in seizure frequency
    • six (32%) reported a 25-60% seizure reduction.
  • Other beneficial effects included increased alertness, better mood, and improved sleep.
  • Side effects included drowsiness and fatigue.

The survey shows that parents are using cannabidiol-enriched cannabis as a treatment for their children with treatment-resistant epilepsy.

Calming Jayden’s Seizures from Ariana van den Akker on Vimeo.

Because of the increasing number of states that allow access to medical cannabis, its use will likely be a growing concern for the epilepsy community. Safety and tolerability data for cannabidiol-enriched cannabis use among children are not available.

Objective measurements of a standardized preparation of pure cannabidiol are needed to determine whether it is safe, well tolerated, and efficacious at controlling seizures in this pediatric population with difficult-to-treat seizures.

Keywords: Cannabidiol, Dravet syndrome, Epilepsy, Intractable, Medically refractory seizures, Pediatric, Side effects, Treatment-resistant

Brenda E. Porter, Catherine Jacobson, Epilepsy & Behavior, Volume 29, Issue 3, December 2013, Pages 574-577, ISSN 1525-5050, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.08.037. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525505013004629)

Photo by CNN.

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Michael Saffioti
Cannabis, Ethics, Neuroscience

Michael Saffioti, 22, Dies in Overnight Jail

Michael Saffioti, 22, died in his cell at Snohomish County Jail last year after eating oatmeal that triggered his debilitating dairy allergy. His family claims in a lawsuit that guards ignored his calls for help and recklessly disregarded the seriousness of his condition.

Michael begged for help from his cell at Snohomish County Jail after eating some oatmeal that triggered his debilitating dairy allergy on July 2, 2012, but was ignored by guards until it was too late, a video obtained by local KIRO-7 TV shows.

The day before he died, Saffioti had turned himself into Lynnwood police for missing a court date on a misdemeanor pot bust.

Four months after Michael’s death recreational use was legalized in Washington state. Continue reading

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"We in Israel have an opportunity, and vast responsibility, when it comes to international research about medical cannabis. Israel has a government-sponsored medical cannabis program and a convenient regulatory climate for research. We also have the health maintenance organizations, which possess rare databases of precious information about the effects of cannabis on thousands of patients who have undergone that treatment.
Cannabis, Neuroscience

Conditions for Cannabis in Canaan

Governments and drug companies are loath to fund the research needed to bring the drug into general use—Israel offers ideal conditions for such research.

“We in Israel have an opportunity, and vast responsibility, when it comes to international research about medical cannabis. Israel has a government-sponsored medical cannabis program and a convenient regulatory climate for research. We also have the health maintenance organizations, which possess rare databases of precious information about the effects of cannabis on thousands of patients who have undergone that treatment.”—Mimi Peleg Continue reading

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Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Art, Cannabis, Correspondence, Culture, Documentation, Ethics, link, Music, Neuroscience, photo, Prophecy, Psychology, Religion, Running, Technology, Travel, Truth, Writing,

ANONYMOUS and Watchtower Serial Pedophiles of San Diego

Anonymous

This post is prompted tonight by my personal experience with…

“not bringing reproach upon Jehovah’s organization”.

Most Jehovah’s Witnesses

have no idea there are 24,000+ pedophiles who have hidden among the silent lambs

in their congregations…

San Diego ABC 10 News reported obtaining video of admitted child molester Jehovah’s Witness Gonzalo Campos.

“I did abuse him,” said Campos in the video. “I touched his private parts.

Testimony of Gonzalo Campos

Accused JW pedophile confession on camera released by San Diego ABC 10 News.  

Team 10 asked if Zalkin believed it’s widely known that there are sexual abuse problems inside Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“No, no and it needs to be brought to the public’s attention,” Zalkin said. “They have been operating in secrecy and at will for decades.”

Continue reading

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Culture, Documentation, Ethics, Neuroscience, Psychology, Technology

Gender Violence Issues—and a Few Good Men [TED Talk]

Domestic violence and sexual abuse are often called “women’s issues.” But in this bold, blunt talk, Jackson Katz points out that these are intrinsically men’s issues — and shows how these violent behaviors are tied to definitions of manhood. A clarion call for us all — women and men — to call out unacceptable behavior and be leaders of change.

Jackson Katz asks a very important question that gets at the root of why sexual abuse, rape and domestic abuse remain a problem: What’s going on with men? Continue reading

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Neuroscience

Conversion Disorder (DSM-IV-TR #300.11)

Conversion disorder is characterized by the occurrence of certain signs or symptoms that are clearly inconsistent with what is known about anatomy and pathophysiology. For example, the patient may complain of blindness, yet cortical visual evoked potentials are normal. Or a patient may complain of complete anesthesia of the left upper extremity and go on to describe the boundary of the anesthesia as being a clear-cut line encircling the elbow.

Other common complaints include hemiplegia, deafness, and seizures. On close inspection the specific symptomatology in each case corresponds with the patient’s particular conception of how an illness might manifest itself. Continue reading

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Neuroscience

I am a Copper Conductor, let’s stabilize my radioactivity.

Astatine

  • Only occurs on earth as the result of the radioactive decay of other elements, like Uranium and Thorium.
  • Most stable isotope has a half life of only 8 hours
  • Can’t be seen with a naked eye, because any mass big enough for you to see would…
  • Vaporize itself and maybe you and everything around you by the heat generated by it’s own radioactivity.
  • Vaporize cancer. Precise in awe inspiring destruction.

Targeted alpha therapy.

 

Oh, never mind the perfect water system. It’s no big deal. 😉

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Cannabis, Neuroscience

Carolina Parents Push for Medical Marijuana

By Molly.Parker@StarNewsOnline.com
Published: Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Matt and Annetta Saggese work on speech and physical therapy with their daughter Netta at their Wilmington home. Netta has intractable epilepsy and undergoes various therapies throughout the week. Her parents want her to have access to medical marijuana.

Matt and Annetta Saggese work on speech and physical therapy with their daughter Netta at their Wilmington home. Netta has intractable epilepsy and undergoes various therapies throughout the week. Her parents want her to have access to medical marijuana.

North Carolina parents of children who suffer severe seizures are lining up for access to and pushing for legalization of medical marijuana where it’s not already allowed.

They want people to know they’re not radicals. And they’re not going rogue. They are searching for options.

They freely admit they are desperate parents staring down nightmares with their children, having watched them develop early skills only to lose them at the hands of numerous seizures, only to have tried cocktails of medications with debilitating side effects and watch them not work.

They want the option legal in this state to try medical marijuana. They want it so they aren’t forced to uproot and move to another state where it’s legal, where there’s been early success in treating seizure disorders. Continue reading

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Validated Criteria for Clinician-Rated Trait Hyperthymia (Primary Psychology, 2004)
Neuroscience

Hyperthymia Criteria

Validated Criteria for Clinician-Rated Trait Hyperthymia (Primary Psychology, 2004)

Validated Criteria for Clinician-Rated Trait Hyperthymia (Primary Psychology, 2004)

Validated Criteria for Clinician-Rated Trait Hyperthymia. Primary Psychology (2004)

Hyperthymia is characterized by four or more of the following attributes, which are not episode-bound, and constitute part of the habitual long-term functioning of the individual

  • Upbeat and exuberant
  • Articulate and jocular
  • Over-optimistic and carefree
  • Over-confident and boastful
  • High energy level, full of plans and improvident activities
  • Versatile, with broad interests
  • Over-involved and meddlesome
  • Uninhibited and risk-taking
  • Short sleeper (<6 hours/night)
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Neuroscience

Skinny Bitch

Skinny Bitch: A No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous 

Not your typical boring diet book, this is a tart-tongued, no-holds-barred wake-up call to all women who want to be thin.

I’m skinny, are you? Here’s to shaking what my momma gave me. I’m hoping she’ll start blogging soon. She’s the expert here, not me. Hilton’s Health a blog dedicated to my grandmother, and to our fleshly heritage: for all the things that aren’t already in our genes, this one’s for you Arlene Jean. Continue reading

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Health, Neuroscience

Splendid Sweet Poison

When aspartame was put before the FDA for approval, it was denied eight times. g.d. Searle, founder of aspartame, tried to get FDA approval in 1973. Neuroscientist Dr. John Olney and researcher Ann Reynolds—hired by Searle himself—found that aspartame was dangerous.

Dr. Martha Freeman, a scientist from the FDA Division of Metabolic and Endocrine Drug Products, declared, “The information submitted for review is inadequate to permit a scientific evaluation of clinical safety.” Freeman recommended that until the safety of aspartame was proven, marketing the product should not be permitted. Alas, her recommendations were ignored.

Despite this , in 1974 Searle got approval to use aspartame in dry foods. Then, in 1975, the FDA put together a task force to review Searle’s testing methods. Task force team leader Phillip Brodsky said he “had never seen anything as bas as Searle’s testing” and called the tests results “manipulated.” Before aspartame actually made it into dry foods, Olney and attorney and consumer advocate Jim Turner filed objections against the approval.

In 1977, the FDA asked the U.S. attorney’s office to start grand jury proceedings against Searle for “knowingly misrepresenting findings and concealing material facts and making false statements in aspartame safety tests.” Shortly after, the U.S. attorney leading the investigation against Searle was offered a job by the law firm that was representing Searle. Later that same year, he resigned as U.S. attorney and withdrew from the case, delaying the grand jury’s investigation. This caused the statute of limitations on the charges to run out, and the investigation was dropped. And he accepted the job with Searle’s law firm. Stunning.

In 1980, a review by the Public Board of Inquiry set up by the FDA determined that aspartame should not be approved. The board said it had not been presented with proof of reasonable certainty that aspartame is safe for use as a food additive.” In 1981, new FDA Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes was appointed. Despite the fact that three out of six scientists advised against approval, Hayes decided to overrule the scientific review panel and allow aspartame into limited dry goods.

Continue reading

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"We in Israel have an opportunity, and vast responsibility, when it comes to international research about medical cannabis. Israel has a government-sponsored medical cannabis program and a convenient regulatory climate for research. We also have the health maintenance organizations, which possess rare databases of precious information about the effects of cannabis on thousands of patients who have undergone that treatment.
Cannabis, Neuroscience

The Quiet Giant: Israel’s Discreet and Successful Medicinal Cannabis Program

by Lindsay Stafford Mader, HerbalGram. 2013; American Botanical Council, Issue: 97 Page: 38-45

Despite its status as one of the world’s leading nations for medical research and innovation, the United States has a remarkably restrictive system in place to regulate medicinal cannabis research.

Even when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves medicinal cannabis studies, the researcher or institution must then obtain approval from the Public Health Service (PHS), as well as procure cannabis material from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which has a monopoly on the supply of cannabis that can be used for research throughout the entire country.1

Cannabis (Cannabis spp. Cannabaceae) is the only scheduled substance for which PHS approval is required, and those wishing to study the plant often have been rejected by the agency — effectively quelling this important area of science.

An increasing number of US states have taken matters into their own hands by legalizing medicinal cannabis for residents with certain health conditions.

But the federal government continues to raid and shut down state-based medicinal cannabis operations, even sending some of these business owners to prison.

Although the US situation is largely based on the discrepancy between state and federal law, Americans and citizens of other countries that ban medicinal cannabis could learn just how successfully, compassionately — and non-controversially — such a program can be handled by looking at the unique national medicinal cannabis program in Israel.

Continue reading

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Music, Neuroscience, Writing

Clark Gable

Don’t go to Heaven by yourself

I was waiting for a cross-town train in the
london underground when it struck me
that I’ve been waiting since birth to find a
love that would look and sound like a movie
so I changed my plans I rented a camera and
a van and then I called you
“I need you to pretend that we are in love
again.” and you agreed too

I want so badly to believe that “there is truth,
that love is real”
and I want life in every word to the extent
that it’s absurd

I greased the lens and framed the shot using
a friend as my stand-in
the script it called for rain but it was clear
that day so we faked it
the marker snapped and I yelled “quiet on
the set” and then called “action!”
and I kissed you in a style clark gable would
have admired
(i thought it classic)

I want so badly to believe that “there is truth,
that love is real”
and I want life in every word to the extent
that it’s absurd
i know you’re wise beyond your years, but
do you ever get the Feel
that your perfect verse is just a lie
you tell yourself to help you get by

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Cannabis, Neuroscience

Herb Vaporization Temperatures

Vaporize. I call it “neuraromatherapy”.

Cannabis, like tobacco, contains toxins that are known to be hazardous to the respiratory system. Among them are the highly carcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, a prime suspect in cigarette-related cancers. These toxins are essentially a byproduct of combustion, separate from the pharmaceutically active components of marijuana, known as cannabinoids, which include THC.

Although there is no proof that marijuana smoking causes cancer, chronic pot smokers have been shown to suffer an elevated risk of bronchitis and respiratory infections. Respiratory disease due to smoking may therefore rightly be regarded as the primary physiological hazard of marijuana.

Cannabis vaporizers are designed to let users inhale active cannabinoids while avoiding harmful smoke toxins. They do so by heating cannabis to a temperature of 180 – 200° C (356° – 392° F), just below the point of combustion where smoke is produced. At this point, THC and other medically active cannabinoids are emitted with little or none of the carcinogenic tars and noxious gases found in smoke. Many medical marijuana patients who find smoked marijuana highly irritating report effective relief inhaling through vaporizers. Users who are concerned about the respiratory hazards of smoking are strongly advised to use vaporizers. Alternative devices, such as waterpipes, have been shown to be ineffective at reducing the tars in marijuana smoke (Report).

Herb or Herbal: “any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for savoring, food, medicine, or perfume” or “a part of such a plant as used in cooking”. Botanists use the same term differently, for any non-woody flowering plant, regardless of its flavor, scent or other properties, and thus include only grass-like plants and herbs.

Herbal Vaporizer or Personal Herbal Vaporizer: A device designed to extract the essence or active compounds from a herb though the use of heat, rather than through burning or combustion.

LOW TEMPERATURE: up to 150C (302F)

  • Angelica: 100C to 150C (212F to 302F).
  • Black Horehound: 100C to 125C (212F to 257F)
  • Blue Lotus: 100°C to 125°C (212°F to 257°F)
  • Chamomile: 100C to 125C (212F to 257F)
  • Clove: 125C to 150C (257F to 302F)
  • Continue reading

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Culture, Music, Neuroscience, Psychology, Writing

A thousand years, if not for this…

O [redacted], You have searched me And know me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You sift my path and my lying down,
And know well all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But see, O [redacted], You know it all!
You have closed me in, behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me –
Knowledge too wondrous for me,
It is high, I am unable to reach it.
Where would I go from Your Spirit?
Or where would I flee from Your face?
If I go up into the heavens, You are there;
If I make my bed in the grave, see, You are there.
I take the wings of the morning,
I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
There, too, Your hand would lead me,
And Your right hand hold me.
If I say, “Darkness shall cover me,”
Then night would be light to me;
Even darkness is not dark for You,
But night shines as the day –
As is darkness, so is light.
For You, You possessed my kidneys,
You have covered me in my mother’s womb.
I give thanks to You,
For I am awesomely and wondrously made!
Wondrous are Your works, And my being knows it well.
My bones was not concealed from You,
When I was shaped in a hidden place,
Knit together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
And in Your book all of them were written,
The days they were formed,
While none was among them.
And how precious are Your thoughts to me, O El!
How great has been the sum of them!
If I should count them,
They would be more than the sand;
When I wake up, I am still with You.
Oh, that You would slay the wrong, O Eloah!
Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed!
They speak against You wickedly.
Bring Your enemies to naught!
O [redacted], do I not hate them, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
With a complete hatred I hate them;
They have become my enemies.
Search me, O El, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my thoughts;
And see if an idolatrous way is in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
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Cannabis, Neuroscience

Drivers stoned on marijuana test their driving skills

If you watched this video and liked Addy, you can watch outtakes of her here: http://kiro.tv/WFNEMZ CNN may have just posted their best piece of investigative journalism in years. In the following video, three drivers of varying ages got incredibly high on marijuana and test-drove cars around a course. A driving-ed instructor accompanied them to avert any chance of an accident, and police watched from the sidelines to spot any visible ‘signs’ of inebriation in their movements.

The volunteers — a young daily smoker, adult weekend smoker and elder infrequent smoker — proceeded to test escalating levels of stupor against the new baseline ‘legal limits’ in Colorado and Washington state. They had to reach excesses of 5 times the legal limit before their ability to drive became impaired. In most cases, the danger they presented was driving too slowly or with frequent hesitations.

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Cannabis, Culture, Neuroscience

Teenage girl suffered strokes, brain damage after smoking synthetic marijuana

Real marijuana has never killed anyone.

Spice is a synthetic cannaboid that is legal in some U.S. states. It is commonly used as a replacement drug for marijuana.

A teenage girl from Texas suffered from multiple strokes after smoking synthetic marijuana – leaving her brain damaged, blind and paralyzed, the Independent reported. Continue reading

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Cannabis, Neuroscience, Psychology

Does Cannabis Boost Creativity?

Santa Cruz student explores her imagination and cultivates creative thought with the help of her favorite herb. Credit: David Jay Brown.

Does Cannabis Boost Creativity?

New scientific studies suggest that getting high on marijuana can genuinely make you more creative.

Curran and Morgan are currently testing the effects of cannabis use on creativity in 400 subjects, and are then using neuroimaging technology to observe the neurobiological changes in the participants that are associated with creativity, while they are under the influence of cannabis.

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Neuroscience, Psychology

Lost in the Sauce

In a piece of research called Lost in the Sauce, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and UC Santa Barbara describe plying their volunteers with vodka and cranberry juice. What they found was that these volunteers saw more solutions to word puzzles — and they saw them faster. The less fortunate, sober, volunteers, subjected to a placebo, were more focused but not as creative.

Moreover, those who’d had consumed alcohol monitored their own thinking less. As we all know, this has a downside – you’re less inhibited and have less cognitive processing capacity when you drink – but the upside is that your mind, free to wander, may see more connections, associations and possibilities. Freed of discipline constraint, your brain won’t notice more but it will notice different things. It too is less inhibited.

F.Scott Fitzgerald and his drinking buddies might have been able to tell you this – but they couldn’t have told you why. What neauroscientists now believe is that creative thinking isn’t linear. It isn’t focused and many great ideas come from the intersection of observations and knowledge that might not, at first, appear to be connected. So although daydreaming is usually something you’re told not to do, it’s heavily implicated in creative thinking. And drinking alcohol frees your mind up to wander around.

This probably doesn’t mean that Mad Men cocktail habits are due to make a comeback. But it does reinforce what many of us have already observed: That our best thinking often comes when we look away from a problem and when we start to relax. Many people have great ideas driving home, in the shower and in their sleep. What’s critical is that you allow yourself time to be doing very little. So switch off the TV, the iPod and now your laptop. Go pour yourself a drink and breathe.

Lost in the Sauce The Effects of Alcohol on Mind Wandering?

Study: Want to be creative? A drink may help!

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link, Neuroscience

Patented Behavioral Recognition System

Link: Patented Behavioral Recognition System

    <p>The TV show &#8220;Person of Interest&#8221; depicts a national system by which America&#8217;s citizens are behaviorally monitored for abnormalities by which potential victims of crime and perpetrators are detected and thereby addressed by the hero. Most people think this isn&#8217;t possible recalling the movie &#8220;Minority Report&#8221; which based on a similar premise.</p>

People just have no idea—studying the cognitive sciences, especially the intersection of artificial intelligence and neuroscience, leaves me fascinated by all the technology that is currently in play in our society unbeknownst to most.

Case in point, check out this patent: AISight was shown off in Vegas at the ISC International Security Technology conference just a few weeks ago…

AISight® Behavioral Recognition System

In 2005, a team of experienced software developers and scientists with backgrounds in computer vision, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and theoretical physics began working at BRS Labs to create a technology that would allow computers to autonomously learn to recognize unusual behaviors observed by security cameras and warn security teams about those behaviors.

The results of this work – the patented AISight® Behavioral Recognition System – accepts video streams from standard cameras, detects and tracks subjects, characterizes their appearances and properties, classifies them, learns the patterns of behavior they exhibit, remembers those patterns, recognizes behaviors that deviate from those patterns, and alerts the user about those events in real time.

“These advancements would not have been possible ten or fifteen years ago because science didn’t adequately understand how the human brain models and manipulates data, and there wasn’t enough computer power to get the job done,” said Dr. Wesley K. Cobb, Chief Science Officer at BRS Labs. “Now, computers are exponentially faster and we have been successful in developing a method and system for analyzing and learning behavior based on acquired streams of video frames. This was an extremely difficult technical problem to solve, and to our knowledge, no other company has been able to approximate or duplicate what we have done.”

U.S. Patent Number 8,131,012, issued to BRS Labs in March 2012, covers the invention of using artificial intelligence learning modules to recognize behavior patterns in a video stream to identify objects and events that are unusual. BRS Labs has also trademarked the term “Behavioral Recognition™” to describe this invention and revolutionary method of analyzing and learning behavior based on streaming video data.

In addition to the behavioral recognition system patent, other BRS Labs intellectual property filings cover technical breakthroughs in background models, detection, tracking, object characterization, classification, scene characterization, target matching, techniques for unsupervised learning of spatial and temporal behavior, long term associative memories, anomaly detection using long-term memories, sudden illumination change, scene preset identification, trajectory learning, trajectory anomaly detection, spatial and temporal anomaly detection, clustering techniques in self organizing maps, classification anomalies, semantic representation of scene content, and a cognitive model for behavior recognition.

“Our now patented behavioral recognition system technology is deployed in very prominent security surveillance installations to protect the safety of millions of citizens and employees across multiple vertical markets,” added BRS Labs President John Frazzini.

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Neuroscience

Molly on the Hyperthymic Temperament

The Hyperthymic Temperament

Posted on 18 December, 2011, Read more at Molly.com…

The Thymus Gland is located by the breastbone in the nook between our throat and shoulders. A small gland, at risk as our sensitive neck and spine adjust to the ever-shifting weight of our skulls.

The Thymus, throughout history, has been a bit mysterious. It is believed to be a part of human/primate immunity and behavioral posturing.

Imagine male Gorillas pounding their chests. It’s thought that gorillas don’t only posture, but stimulate a specific biological response – to excite or to calm – by pounding upon their prominent Thymus glands.

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Angela Glass SxSW 2009 (Photo Credit @JayZombie)
Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Neuroscience

Hyperthymia != Bipolar

It was the use and consequential paradoxical effects of Clonazepam—suffering from drug induced episodes of hypomania—which lead to the discovery that I am what they call “a hyperthymic temperament”.

While it is true that patients who experience hypomania as a side effect of Clonazepam may prove to have a form of bipolar disorder that has previously gone unrecognized, drug-induced hypomania is not invariably indicative of bipolar affective disorders.

It’s frustrating because suddenly I’m facing the woes I wrote about in college regarding labeling mental illness, and the impact of the use of labels, such as “creative” or “over-achiever”.

Label it or Leave it?

Happy Hyperthymia and Hyper Hypomania

Hyper Hypomania vs. Happy Hyperthymia

Some people would include in the Bipolar Disorder category a consistently elevated mood called hyperthymia. Being constantly upbeat and always enthusiastic is not unheard of, but it is not the norm in the general population. It is more common to experience a fairly steady, neither-too-high-nor-too-low mood characterized by some contentment, some discontentment, some happiness, and some sadness — usually associated with external events such as receiving good news, problems with personal relationships, etc.

Does a long-lasting, exuberant mood that causes no problem need to be placed on the spectrum of mood disorders? In a clinical sense, no. If it poses no threat to anyone’s health, it is not a concern for psychiatrists. Cataloging and understanding a mental state like this, however, may help us better understand the full spectrum of emotional states related to mood disorders and provide clues about what can go wrong when moods become extreme.

Happy Hyperthymia

Some people always seem to be upbeat and energetic, trying new things and initiating new projects. This trait, which is sometimes called hyperthymia, is not unlike being on a “permanent high.” Some people argue that hyperthymia is a type of mood disorder that results in high activity and inflated sense of self-esteem — something like living with constant hypomania but with the crucial difference that it is not as clearly episodic. Instead, it seems to last and is without any associated depression.

While observations of many people indicate some of them have this mood trait, hyperthymic disorder is not recognized as a mood disorder by either of the two mainstream authorities, the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization. It appears in neither of their diagnostic manuals, the DSM IV and the ICD-10.

On the surface, people with hyperthymia seem optimistic and full of energy. They radiate self-confidence and self-reliance; they seem to believe they can do whatever needs to be done. They thrive on new experiences that promise variety, intrigue, and novelty. Usually, they have a great many personal interests, as well as plans for the future. They also can be articulate and witty.

It might be most accurate to think of hyperthymia as a temperament or personality trait rather than as a marker of a mental disorder. Of course, if this trait causes problems, then it becomes a legitimate subject for psychological or psychiatric care.

In fact, criticism of mainstream psychiatry is often directed at its alleged predisposition to label people with problems that don’t exist. The inclusion of homosexuality in earlier editions of the DSM IV — an error since corrected — is a frequently cited example. The reality is if someone is not unhappy, suffering, or a threat to themselves or others, psychiatrists have no reason to intervene. They are busy enough treating people with serious mental problems. It is only when complaints or serious problems appear that the labels of the DSM IV are applied as part of the process for providing effective treatment. A hyperthymic personality can be satisfying, productive, and creative. But if for some individuals it is a manifestation of a part of a spectrum of mood disorders, it could be problematic. For example, some people later diagnosed with bipolar disorder first seek help with depression after they have experienced a set-back in their lives. A close look back over their lives may reveal that they have been hyperthymic. Rather than having easily recognizable mood swings, these people may have been experiencing years of constant emotional elevation and enthusiasm along with a long history of uncompleted endeavors.

Also, the lack of a healthy response to the full range of life experience might cause problems for some people who always seem to have elevated spirits. A full, healthy life for most people includes periods of elation and introspection, action and reflection. If only one pole of our emotional lives is present, we may miss the benefits of the counterbalancing half of our responses to events. Consequently, we may lack understanding and empathy in the way we interact with people and respond to events in our lives.

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Cannabis, Neuroscience

Marijuana and Coffee are Good for the Brain?

Marijuana and Coffee are Good for the Brain discusses what happens to our brains as we age. Low doses of marijuana seem to stimulate the brain in positive ways. Coffee acts as another stimulant that is proving helpful. Professor Wenk also talks about the best method to slow down the aging process.

Do you know what will really keep you living and thinking clearly for a long time? Dr. Wenk does. His research explores the intersection of food and drugs and will challenge your biases on what makes a long life. His talk will explore why what we eat, and how much we eat, is the single most important daily decision we make that impacts how we age and how long we live.

Mary Jane Meets Tia Maria

weed coffee Weed Coffee Recipe   Mary Jane Meets Tia Maria

Image source: themadpothead

As in Turkish coffee houses, or in bars of 16th century Amsterdam, this recipe has been a favorite for centuries.

Ingredients:

  • 300 milliliters (½ pint) hot fresh coffee
  • 1-2 grams finely ground hash
  • ½ teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of Tia Maria

Directions:

Brew some fresh coffee and divide it into two cups. Add the sugar, liqueur and hashish to each. Top with whipped cream and dust in cocoa.

Recipe care of Good & Baked, “combining two of life’s sweetest pleasures”. 

 

Selected Publications of Gary Wenk, professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at The Ohio State University 

See also Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings.

  • Gold, P.E., Cahill, L., & Wenk, G.L. (2003) The lowdown on Ginkgo biloba. Scientific American, April, 86-91.PDF
  • Doody, R.S., Mintzer, J.E., Sano, M., Wenk, G.L. & Grossberg, G.T. (2003) Alzheimer’s disease: Emerging noncholinergic treatments. Geriatrics, (Suppl) 3-11.
  • Wenk, G.L. (2003) Neuropathologic changes in Alzheimer¹s Disease. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 64 (Suppl 9): 7-10. PDF
  • Rogawski, M. & Wenk, G.L. (2003) The neuropharmacological basis for Memantine in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. CNS Drug Reviews9: 275-308. PDF
  • Wenk, G.L., McGann-Gramling, K., Hauss-Wegrzyniak, B., Ronchetti, D., Maucci, R., Rosi, S., Gasparini, L. & Ongini, E. (2004) Attenuation of chronic neuroinflammation by a nitric oxide-releasing derivative of the antioxidant ferulic acid. Journal of Neurochemistry89: 484-493. PDF
  • Wrenn, C.C., Kinney, J.W., Marriott, L.K., Holmes, A., Harris, A.P., Saavedra, M.C., Starosta, G., Innerfield, C.E., Jacoby, A.S., Shine, J., Iismaa, T.P., Wenk, G.L. & Crawley, J.N. (2004) Learning and memory performance in mice lacking the GAL-R1 subtype of galanin receptor. European Journal of Neuroscience,19:1384-1396.
  • Wenk, G.L. (2004) The role of BDNF and dopamine dysfunction in autism, In: M.L. Bauman & T.L. Kemper, (Eds.) The Neurobiology of Autism, 2nd Ed., The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, pp. 362-370.
  • Gasparini, L., Ongini, E. & Wenk, G.L. (2004) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) in Alzheimer’s disease: old and new mechanisms of action. Journal of Neurochemistry91: 521-536. PDF
  • Mohmmad Abdul, H., Wenk, G.L., McGann-Gramling, K., Hauss-Wegrzyniak, B. & Butterfield, D.A. (2004) APP and PS-1 mutations induce brain oxidative stress independent of dietary cholesterol: implications for Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroscience Letters368: 148-150. PDF
  • Rosi, S., Ramirez-Amaya, V., Vazdarjanova, A., Worley, P.F., Barnes, C.A. & Wenk, G.L. (2005) Neuroinflammation alters selective patterns of behaviorally induced Arc expression in the hippocampus.Journal of Neuroscience25: 723-731. PDF
  • Rosi, S., Pert, C.B., Ruff, M.R., McGann-Gramling, K. & Wenk, G.L. (2005) CCR5 chemokine receptor antagonist DAPTA reduces microglia and astrocyte activation within the hippocampus in a neuroinflammatory rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroscience, 134:671-676PDF
  • Rosi, S., Vazdarjanova, A., Ramirez-Amaya, V., Worley, P.F., Barnes, C.A. & Wenk, G.L. (2006) Memantine reduces the consequences of chronic neuroinflammation and restores the hippocampal pattern of behaviorally-induced Arc expression. Neuroscience142:1303-1315. PDF
  • Wenk, G.L. (2006) Neuropathologic changes in Alzheimer’s disease: Potential targets for treatment. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 67:3-7. PDF
  • Wenk, G.L., Parson, C. & Danysz, W. (2006) Potential role of NMDA receptors as executors of neurodegeneration resulting from diverse insults – focus on memantine. Behavioral Pharmacology 17: 411-424. PDF
  • Marchalant, Y., Rosi, S. & Wenk, G.L. (2007) Anti-inflammatory property of the cannabinoid agonist WIN-55212-2 in a rodent model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroscience, 144:1516-1522. PDF
  • Marchalant, Y., Cerbai, F., Brothers, H. & Wenk, G.L. (2008) Cannabinoid receptor stimulation is anti-inflammatory and improves memory in old rats. Neurobiology of Aging, 29:1894-1901. PDF
  • Wenk, G.L. & Marchalant, Y. (2009) Neuropharmacology. In: G.G. Berntson & J.T. Cacioppo, (Eds.) Handbook of Neuroscience for the Behavioral Sciences, John Wiley & Sons.
  • Wenk, G.L. (2009) Neuroanatomy of learning and memory. In: D.S. Charney, E.J. Nestler, & B.S. Bunney, (Eds.) Neurobiology of Mental Illness, 3rd Ed., Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
  • Marchalant,Y.,Brothers,H.M.,Norman,G.J.,Karolina,K.,DeVries, C. & Wenk, G.L. (2009) The differential role of endocannabinoid and vanilloid receptors in the control of neuroinflammation and neurogenesis in aged rats.Neurobiology of Disease, 34: 300-307. PDF
  • Rosi, S., Ramirez-Amaya, V., Vazdarjanova, A., Esperanza, E., Larkin, P., Fike, J.R., Wenk, G.L. & Barnes, C.A. (2009) Accuracy of hippocampal network activity is disrupted by neuroinflammation: rescue by memantine. Brain, 132:2464-2468. PDF
  • Marchalant, Y., Brothers, H.M. & Wenk, G. Wenk, (2009) Cannabinoid agonist WIN-55,212-2 partially restores neurogenesis in the aged rat brain. Molecular Psychiatry, 14:1068-1071. PDF
  • Brothers, H.M., Marchalant, Y., & Wenk, G. L. (2010) Caffeine attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammation. Neuroscience Letters, 480:97-100. PDF
  • Norman, G.J., Morris, J.S., Karelina, K., Weil, Z.M., Zhang, N., Al-Abed, Y., Brothers, H.M., Wenk, G.L., Pavlov, V.A., Tracey, K.J., DeVries, A.C., (2011) Cardiopulmonary arrest and resuscitation disrupts cholinergic anti-inflammatory processes: a role for cholinergic ?7 nicotinic receptors. Journal of Neuroscience, 31:3446-3452.PDF
  • Marchalant, Y., Baranger, K., Wenk, G.L., Khrestchatisky, M. & Rivera, S. (2012) Can the benefits of cannabinoid receptor stimulation on neuroinflammation, neurogenesis and memory during normal aging be useful in AD prevention? Journal of Neuroinflammation PDF
  • Bardou, I. DiPatrizio, N., Brothers, H.M., Kaercher, R.M., Baranger, K., Mitchem, M.R., Hopp, S.C., Wenk, G.L. & Marchalant, Y. (2012) Pharmacological manipulation of cannabinoid neurotransmission reduces neuroinflammation associated with normal aging. Health. PDF
  • Cerbai, F., Lana, D., Nosi, D., Petkova-Kirova, P., Zecchi, S., Brothers, H., Wenk, G. L. & Giovannini, M.G. (2012) The neuron-astrocyte-microglia triad in normal brain aging and a model of neuroinflammation in the rat hippocampus. PlosOne PDF
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Cannabis, Neuroscience

The Munchies, Marijuana and Happiness — Psychology Today

Link: The Munchies, Marijuana and Happiness | Psychology Today

When we are depressed our brains undergo many different biochemical changes; no one is quite certain which of these actually cause the typical feelings of sadness or hopelessness.

One important depression-related change is a dramatic decline in the birth of immature neurons, known as neurogenesis, in a brain region called the hippocampus.

Drugs that treat depression, such as Prozac and Zoloft, all induce a recovery in the rate of neurogenesis in the hippocampus.

So what’s the connection with marijuana and the munchies?

The drug, rimonabant, that was so successful in reducing food cravings as it induced depression and thoughts of suicide, has been recently shown (by Beyer and colleagues at Pfizer) to significantly reduce neurogenesis.

Let’s flip this idea on its side and ask, “What would happen to neurogenesis if we exposed the brain to marijuana?”

My lab investigated this idea and discovered that a small dose of marijuana, about only one puff, taken every day can reverse the age-related decline in neurogenesis that might underlie depression.

Whether this approach might also work in young people remains to be determined.

What these studies teach us is that our brain’s own marijuana neurotransmitter system is necessary for us to feel hungry, to experience happiness and to maintain the brain normal processes, such as neurogenesis, that prevent age-associated depression and cognitive decline.

We’ve learned from our experience with rimonabant that it is dangerous to constantly antagonize this neurotransmitter system.

What we do not know is whether it is dangerous to constantly stimulate it.

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