Nurdles are an apocalyptic science fiction but true

Norma sat comfortably but anxious as the Uber drove from the airport to her beachfront community in Siesta Key. She felt warm, though the car seemed to be blasting cool air. She took a issue from her plastic pack of tissues and wiped a tear just beneath her right eye.

It’s been almost a year since Charlie died. She and Charlie were married over 40 years in a coastal town in Maine. When their kids moved, She and C (as she called him) bought the condo off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. This is the first time Norma snowbirded alone, a little early for the season. She felt she couldn’t bear the cold another year without C.

It’s a long trip from the Tampa airport. She pulled a plastic bag from her carry bag. She tried to get an organic roll. She was frustrated trying to remove its plastic Stay-Fresh package but her stubbornness and hunger aided her.

Norma disliked plastic. But she realized how much plastic was reality. She enjoyed non-stick pans and used plastic utensils. Her phone, tablet, and computer are plastic. Not to mention her travel bags, and some of her clothes. My, plastics were all around!

She and C respected proper disposal of plastic products. Their children were both conservationists, as scientists for studying climate change. “But”, Norma said to herself, “So many people don’t recognize that we need to balance benefits and act responsibly with consequences.” She placed the emptied package into her carry bag.

It was mid-morning as the sun peered through her windows. “From 25 to 80”, she smiled. Norma was dressed and ready for the beach.

“Odd,” she thought as she approached the sandy area. “there’s nobody around”. The sand beneath her feet wasn’t fine and flat. It felt coarse, as if walking on salt. She thought that there might be a maintenance issue. She never reads her e-mail memos.

Time for a short dip. She walked into the water. Although the water was warm, she screamed. When she came ashore, Norma was bleeding and bruised.

Was it a sea creature? A baby shark? A monster from the deep? An alien?

Actually, it was more ominous and dark. It was of this planet and they seemed to be everywhere. They are man-made creatures called Nurdles.

Nurdles are small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil. Countless billion are used each year to make nearly all our plastic products but many end up washing up on our shores. A nurdle is a pre-production plastic pellet.

Plastic resin pellet pollution is a type of marine debris originating from plastic particles utilized in manufacturing large-scale plastics. Commonly referred to as nurdles, these plastics are released into the open environment, creating pollution in the oceans and on beaches. These are manufactured at factories near large bodies of water. In the USA and in other manufacturing countries.

Nurdles the pre-production building blocks for nearly all plastic goods, from soft drink bottles to oil pipelines. Nurdles are bought in bulk for melting, molding, extruding for millions of products used world-wide. Plastics originating as nurdles are in your car, in rails, boats and jets. They may be disguised as metallic or wood. When you touch them, they are plastic.

The Earth Day statisticians state: More than 480 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide in 2016. That is up from about 300 billion only a decade ago. About one trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually across the globe. That’s nearly 2 million every minute. The amount of bubble wrap used around the world may be wrapped around the equator 10 times. All these and more may owe their origins to nurdles.

Researchers say nurdles weigh an average of approximately 20 milligrams each, and may be found virtually everywhere. It is estimated that more than 250,000 tons enter the ocean annually. If marine life ingest nurdles, they may be endangered. Research shows that nurdles can absorb chemicals like DDT, a now widely banned insecticide; PCBs, a group of manmade industrial chemicals; and mercury.

A report commissioned by Fidra in 2016 estimates that up to 53 billion nurdles may be spilled each year from land-based sources in the UK alone. That’s equivalent to losing up to 88 million plastic bottles to sea over the course of a year.

At the small-end of nurdles infestation is pollution can also lead to significant economic losses, for example through losses in revenue from tourism and the cost of beach cleaning.

So what’s the source of nurdle pollution?

In consideration that nurdles are pre-production synthetic cells that make up most plastic products, pre-production plastic factories are the main source.

A plastic pellet is manufactured. A catalyst is combined with ethylene or propylene in a reactor, resulting in “fluff,” a powdered material (polymer) resembling laundry detergent. After that the polymer is fed to an extruder where it is melted. Melted plastic is cooled then fed to a pelletizer that cuts the product into small pellets. Pellets are shipped to customers. But as a byproduct of manufacturing, pellets make their way to waterways near factories.

Nurdles that become lost during transit or manufacturing are also an environmental hazard. In the ocean and along coastal waterways, they absorb toxic chemicals and are often mistaken for food by animals. At an average size of a 2mm ball these may be mistaken for food.

According to Business Insider, In 2018, thousands of pounds of nurdles wound up in a stream in Pennsylvania after a semi-truck that was carrying them crashed along a highway. The following year, piles of nurdles washed up on Sullivan’s Island beach near Charleston, South Carolina. The state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control later attributed the pollution to a spill from a local shipping company.

Finding actual sources are difficult. There are a few in and near Texas’ gulf coast. Thes pre-production plastic factories provide employment to depressed communities. Generally, pre-production plastic manufacturers have an unaccountable worldwide network.

Much like Earth Day is the annual Global Nurdle Hunt. The Great Global Nurdle Hunt is an annual event (first run in 2019) which aims to build upon the worldwide engagement around the issue of nurdles and support calls for effective mitigating action at industry and government levels. It is scheduled for March 13 – 22 in 2020. The Nurdle Hunt collects data and advocates solutions, albeit mostly focused towards increasing personal responsibility. Nurdle Hint has no legislative authority.

Climate change has some very precarious resources from volcanic vents to nurdle pollution. These will definitely impact the planet in 2050 and prevention requires serious, stern, and authoritative accountability so humans can survive many centuries. At this point, Nurdle Pollution and unacceptability to legislation is as serious as nuclear war.

As far as Norma’s beach incident, she’s fine. Fortunately, the community has a filtered swimming pool. Common charges will increase as staff places netting to prevent further nurdle pollution to accumulate. Sand will be replaced. Yes, new labor for a disconcerting future. Norma is happier.

Global warming from within ocean hydrothermal vents

Climate change is a comprehensive issue. Has the world always had climate changes? They were reported in the biblical book of Genesis of the Old Testament. Of course they didn’t track weather patterns then. Burning forests may be the result of human error – an incorrectly disposed cigarette. Hydrothermal vents deep in our seas and oceans are recent discoveries where molten magma meets nearly frozen water. Are warming waters a problem from these natural hydrothermal vents?

Climate change is one of the major challenges confronting the future of planet Earth as we know it. All those Deep Planet videos we might watch demonstrate that beneath the oceanic depths are cracks, fissures, nooks, crannies as dangerous as the highest mountains above sea levels. Discoveries of hydrothermal vents at the ocean bottoms raise serious questions of warming waters and melting ice. Are we cooking from within?

Seismologists track the planet surface movements 24/7 at hundreds of points. Their information is critical predicting earthquakes and earthquake severity. Some movements are like hums while others crackle and pop. Global warming from within occurs during those innocent hums. That’s when hydrothermal vents form.

Hydrothermal vents occur at both diverging and converging plate boundaries. Heat is released as magma rises and cracks the ocean floor and overlying sediments. Seawater drains into the fractures and becomes super-heated, dissolving minerals and concentrating sulfur and other compounds. Sea creatures in those depths either thrive or die. At those greater depths via exploration equipment technologies many thrive.

Cold water meshes with extremely hot molten rock magma as vents burst through ocean floor. Discovered only in 1977, hydrothermal vents are home to dozens of previously unknown species. Huge red-tipped tube worms, ghostly fish, strange shrimp with eyes on their backs and other unique species thrive in these extreme deep ocean ecosystems found near undersea volcanic chains. These are the fit that have survived the initial heat blasts of formed hydrothermal vents. For us, these vents are as foreign as radio waves from galaxies 900 million light years away. But they exist throughout our planet.

For the most part these occasional hydrothermal vents for magma are relatively small…a few centimeters. For the most part, earth crust at ocean temperatures act as potent barriers. Then there’s human impact. In the past, the main human impact affecting deep-sea ecosystems was the dumping or disposal of litter into the oceans. If it were only litter. Humans have tossed some heavy items and waste that landed on ocean floors. All it takes is a tiny crack and a century to make a hydrothermal vent.

Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor may have some impact at releasing volcanic heat into our water systems, impacting ice formations and weather patterns as extreme heat converges with extreme cold. The severity is there may be communities of these hydrothermal vents deregulating a regulation system formed over millions of years.

People use hydrothermal energy for survival. Regulation of body temperature in vertebrates is a function of a central mechanism and the main thermoregulatory organ is again the hypothalamus, particularly the preoptic area (POA), where the sensory input on the brain temperature and core temperature is integrated. Other parts of the central nervous system, such as the brainstem and spinal cord, are also involved in thermo-regulation. Our bodies sweat because our skin has pores that help maintain thermoregulation.

Your hypothalamus is a section of your brain that controls thermoregulation. When it senses your internal temperature becoming too low or high, it sends signals to your muscles, organs, glands, and nervous system. They respond in a variety of ways to help return your temperature to normal.

The problems encountering ocean floor regularization are that if there may be one vent then there may be more hydrothermal vents forming a community. Each involves a hot/cold exchange and regulation is a war of average potentials.

And that process helps sustain a deep ocean balance. Most living things on earth depend on sunlight as the ultimate source of energy. Green plants use sunlight to make food by the process of photosynthesis. In the darkness of the ocean depths there is no sunlight for photosynthesis. So how do living things survive in such an environment? The answer is found in bacteria that can use another source of energy to make food.

Water coming out of a vent is rich not only in dissolved minerals but also in chemosynthetic bacteria. These bacteria are capable of utilizing sulfur compounds to produce organic material through the process of chemosynthesis. The bacteria are autotrophs that oxidize hydrogen sulfide in vent water to obtain energy, which is used to produce organic material (i.e. grow themselves).

Chemosynthetic bacteria are the primary producers and form the base of vent food webs. All vent animals ultimately depend on the bacteria for food. So hydrothermal vents are very beneficial to creatures living at the dark oceanic depths. For all we know, these vent/water exchanges have been present since the earth first developed its crust. Billions of years ago, according to science theoretical models.

Presence of hydrothermal vents probably have little to do with global warming. Releasing noxious gas and waste into our ecosystems may have had more impact. These vents may be natural players that rewrite regulation parameters of planetary climates. Climate change refers to the changes in the global climate which result from the increasing average global temperature. For example, changes in precipitation patterns, increased prevalence of droughts, heat waves, and other extreme weather, etc.

The debate is serious. On the nay side, earth’s weather patterns have only been recorded for the past 150 years. Yet, since the industrial revolution, about 300 years ago, new chemicals found their way into our vast ecosystem. Also, we are discovering more fluctuations of the space of our solar system and scientists are exploring phenomena such as hydrothermal vents. So there are statistical outliers that boggle finite conclusions. But, in our lifetimes, changes in climates have been observed.

Within hydrothermal vents, influences on water temperatures are vague. Hydrothermal fluid temperatures can reach 400°C (750°F) or more, but they do not boil under the extreme pressure of the deep ocean. As they pour out of a vent, the fluids encounter cold, oxygenated seawater, causing another, more rapid series of chemical reactions to occur.

Based on global water temperature statistics: The average temperature of the entire ocean surfaces usually ranges from 15 to 17 degrees Celsius (59 to 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit). There is a barrier between the surface water and deeper layers of the ocean that are not mixed. The barrier begins around 100 meters and can extend another few hundred meters downward. The average temperature of deep-ocean water is only 2°C (36°F). The water coming directly from a hydrothermal vent can reach up to 350°C (662°F) and is rich in dissolved chemicals. The hot spring water forms a plume above the vent, somewhat like smoke rising from a chimney into the air. Temperature-sensing instruments, towed behind research vessels, can detect these hot-water plumes and aid oceanographers in locating hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.

Like hot springs and geysers on land, hydrothermal vents form in volcanically active areas—often on mid-ocean ridges, where Earth’s tectonic plates are spreading apart and where magma wells up to the surface or close beneath the seafloor.

These hot plumes of water from reactions with hydrothermal vents may contribute to ocean water temperatures from within.

As far as carbon dioxide releases into the air, results revealed that dissolved organic carbon is efficiently removed from ocean water when heated. The organic molecules are broken down and the carbon converted to carbon dioxide. The entire ocean volume circulates through hydrothermal vents about every 40 million years, according to theorists studying at University of Georgia.

Climate effects from vast forest fires, waste disposal, and gluttony for fossil fuels may be stressing our planetary biomes. They may arise from ignorance, irresponsibility, profit, convenience, and other factors. The vast fires of Australia may have been started by campers and smokers. 14 people have been arrested. Humans and humanity may be more significant drivers of climate changes than hydrothermal vents.

On seismology offices the earth is humming. Is it a happy or sad tune?

Do not touch me Sensory Processing Disorder SPD

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My early research was in sensitivities. I wasn’t all that interested with allergies, the immune system, and emotions. I was interested in how our 5 senses plus nerves/muscles interact and adapt to our environments, learning, talents, relationships, and mobility. How did our brains process our awareness? Adaptations and conflicts? My interests focused on hyposensitivity (Hyposensitivity to touch and movement refers to low or abnormally decreased sensitivity to motion and sense of touch) and Hypersensitivity (high sensitivity to the environment can be defined as acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to one’s external (environmental, social) stimuli. Highly sensitive people feel and sense things far more strongly than others do). That was a pretty full plate about 30 years ago. Stemming from peers, more sensory research and advanced technologies brought about a new condition affecting children and adults. Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD has opened new scopes of research that in some ways bridge and compete with autism, obsessive-compulsive and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.

Estimates believe that 1 in 20 may have SPD or 5% of the population as studied. While some may be hypoactive, most studies focus on hyperactive situations that lead to learning disorders and advanced interactive conflicts. ADHD is fairly close at 12.9 percent of men will be diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 4.9 percent of women. ADHD has treatment via prescription pills. Thus far, SPD does not. Hypersensitive behavior in people is found in 15 to 20% of the population. So the focus is justifiable.

There appears to be a tendency, made popular by ADHD and Autistic Spread Spectrum, to cluster unique behaviors in children and adults. SPD is a malfunction of body awareness, perceptions, and related balance. Some kids seem to have trouble handling the information their senses take in—things like sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Some of those kids take it to adulthood.

Is it due to behavior? Genetics? Upbringing? Maybe. Few studies have been able to validate or invalidate why SPD develops. Those with Sensory Processing Disorder, sensory information goes into the brain but does not get organized into appropriate responses, according to neuroscience studies. In these ways neuroscience has established how SPD is associated with Autism Spread Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD).

SPD is not one specific disorder, but rather an umbrella term that covers a variety of neurological disabilities. Because the child with SPD has a disorganized brain, many aspects of his behavior are disorganized. Being classified as a disability would require extensive documentation as SPD isn’t fully recognized in children and adults.

Modern theorists point to our individualistic characteristics and development. For example fingerprints are very unique to the individual. Many things are unique, such as blood and tissue types, features, diseases. Brains filled with many neuronal networks may have deviated “wiring”, making ASD, ADHD, SPD and other diseases like DDX3X difficult to treat. It may be the result of genetics and hereditary as causes. Deviated wiring may be the effect among kids that otherwise appear normal and happy. Yet, in school or social settings, they tend to perform with difficulties. Children with SPD struggle with processing stimulation, which can cause a wide range of symptoms, including hypersensitivity to sound, sight and touch. Yet, knowing this, may indicate that SPD may be more of a problem than ADHD or ASD. Think of it as a form of dyslexia of the brain.
SPD can be hard to pinpoint, as up to 90 percent of children with autism also are reported to have atypical sensory behaviors, and SPD has not been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists.

One of the things common in SPD and ASD (but not seriously studied in ADHD) is bursts of overload attacks. Think of variation of brainwaves that allow us to remain alert, relaxed, and asleep. These kids are always on beta (alert) waves that may be painful and distracting.

Scientists are just beginning to understand and tinker with how people can live and excel with SPD, with some very good successes from very small samples. Use of medicines, special diets, lifestyle changes were included but no firm method. Traditionally, SPD made use of occupational therapy but with mixed results.

Historically, SPD gained little attention as diagnostics were poorly developed. Scopes and PET scanners were only diagnostic tools. As the 21st century rolled in more studies recognized SPD, despite its absence from the DSM. In 2013 a breakthrough study hypothesized that there were more SPD cases than ASD cases in schools.. Yet, how did scientists test for SPD and were those tests reliable?

For adults ADDitude made a self-test survey that adults could fill out. Surveys are subjective and not considered scientific. Provides guidelines of what questions were answered more or less.

In children, SPD may be observed by parents as toddlers experience problems. Parents notice that a child has an unusual aversion to noise, light, shoes that are deemed too tight and clothes that are irritating. They may also notice clumsiness and trouble climbing stairs, and difficulty with fine motor skills like wielding a pencil and fastening buttons.

Of course there are many child development disorders that offer similar symptoms but SPD subtly differs at sensitivities to light, touch, noises, and clothing.

Diagnosis may be a little tricky. Most doctors may jump at ADHD or ASD, as there is some symptom overlap. More thorough exams may explore genetics to reveal DDX3X, dystrophies, and other possibilities. If you report hypersensitive issues to many sensory stimuli, doctor may refer you to an occupational therapist. These professionals can assess children for SPD. They will likely use a series of questions and observations to make a diagnosis. They may observe how your child reacts to certain stimuli. Occupational therapy (OT) is considered a viable therapy for SPD prospects. Beware, their observations may be skewed. OT has had mixed results at efficacy as a treatment.

Adults with SPD also get confused with misdiagnoses. OT is less effective. They have already adjusted to dressing comfortably. Some find role-play effective for compromising actual situations involving mobility at work or shopping or other things that require mobility. Interaction is generally mild. Hypersensitivity means people with SPD people have very low thresholds to variances of others and loudness.

People with SPD experience over reactive processing which can amplify the senses and create over sensitivity to stimuli resulting in sensory overload. To a person without SPD, a train is loud but tolerable, but to a person with SPD, that sound can be stifling, intolerable and even painful, creating anger and avoidance. Travel by public transportation is usually avoided. Yes, a crowded elevator or interior space may be unnerving.

Dating and intimacy are particularly challenging to the SPD and the other. Does the person reveal she has SPD? Some might prefer something out-of-the-box, something people call kinky. Socially, sadomasochistic communities and dominant/submissive relationships may be an integrative comfort zone for a person with SPD. While they are not mutually SPD friendly, the SPD dater doesn’t necessarily share an SPD diagnosis.

Someone dating someone with SPD is flaunting with unique everyday challenges. If you think, “Not tonight, dear, I have a headache” is a flimsy excuse, what would you think about “Not tonight, dear, you’ve put the wrong sheets on the bed again and the refrigerator sounds terrible, and you smell like you just got off an airplane, and my cocoa had lumps in it, and therefore I’m overwhelmed and can’t bear to be touched”?

That is not to say that a person with SPD has to kiss intimate relationships adieu. For people with tactile defensiveness (very sensitive to touch, gets irritated) type of SPD, sex is especially difficult. Since sex involves a lot of touching (including kissing, cuddling, fondling…and touching all the way and I have to stop mentioning the obvious details), some people with tactile SPD are averse to sexual activities. But, by adopting masochistic tendencies, may tolerate and exceed their threshold. The pain is rationalized within a supportive relationship.

Adults with sensory dysfunction issues have to cope with the challenges of everyday life while struggling with their neurological responses to such things as ceiling fans, background noise, off-gassing synthetic carpets, too many people talking at once, uncomfortable work clothes, and so on. So…typical dating environments might be like a tunnel of horrors.

Sounds, sights, smells, textures, and tastes can create a feeling of “sensory overload.” Bright or flickering lights, loud noises, certain textures of food, and scratchy clothing are just some of the triggers that can make kids and affected adults feel overwhelmed and upset.

SPD is not a mood disorder. It should not be confused with autism or ADHD, though symptoms overlap. Using Concerta for ADHD may help some symptoms of SPD but not all. SPD clearly stems from a brain that has been developed slightly differently, per University of California San Francisco study.

In studies, SPD is emerging as a new, exciting star but so much more research is necessary. Part of the problem is the condition is not professionally accepted. Although sensory processing disorder is accepted in the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC:0-3R), it is not recognized as a mental disorder in medical manuals such as the ICD-10 or the DSM-5. This restricts orthodox treatment.

Sensory processing is the way each of us responds to incoming sensory information. We learn and grow through our senses which include touch, sight, sound, smell, taste, proprioception, and vestibular sensations. We manage our day-to-day activities through all the information our bodies take in. Ninety percent of this information is actually below our conscious level of awareness. A worker with SPD may find these normally unconscious stimuli as disturbing, in a condition that evolves with age.

Many workplaces have ways they can adapt for medical conditions or they can get assistance from an occupational therapist in order to make ADAAA accommodations. Most companies may not even be aware of sensory processing issues and how much they can affect some people’s lives. Awareness is key and simple changes can drastically affect some people’s lives and work performance.

Like individual fingerprints, muscle and nerve issues, skin issues, brains follow specific guidelines when developing. Takes about 3 to 5 years on average. SPD develops in the brain as a form of distortion affecting senses at varying degrees. For the most part, adults with SPD are smart, articulate, and welcoming. Beware the hypersensitivities. You must be super-tolerant.

Being part of the human race, there are so many permutations and combinations that alter ourselves and realities. At our most normal, we disguise our frailties. Throughout conflicts, betweens, and hugs, our bodies and minds have differing capacities. We must join together to battle challenges. From my early efforts of understanding sensitivity in the 1990’s, we’ve slowly crept to understand that when someone says “Do not touch me”, it might be sensory overload or SPD. Answers lie in ever afters.

Understanding selfish and selfless

Being selfish is negative. Being selfless is good. Is that so? Selfish and selfless are seemingly close relatives.

Selfish is a marker of establishing territory where you are the center. The two primary characteristics of selfishness are being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself;
Having no regard for the needs or feelings of others.

It is totally different than selfish behaviors of a child that says this toy is mine, this clothing is mine. This room is mine. Kids grow out from that behavior. Well…maybe some.

Ironically, people who are selfish are usually unaware of the fact, believing they are genuinely nice people. A selfish person cares only about themselves (obviously) and creating happiness for them, regardless of how others are affected. Individuals who are extremely caring and emotionally understanding are typically the ones who are “used and abused” by the selfish. In the beginning, they will seem caring and looking to pamper you, but only long enough for you to let your guard down.

Is selfless the exact opposite of selfish? Many intellectuals say no. This is because selflessness isn’t even possible. The choice to ever be “selfless” will always be driven by a form of serving one’s self? No person chooses to be selfless because THEY absolutely hate it or are against doing it. People choose to be selfless because THEY want to, or believe they should be because of some virtue they hold dear, etc. Regardless of the reason for choosing it, the reason always serves some aspect of their self/being.

Many people distinguish selfish people as those who take and selfless people as those who give. Generally speaking, “selfless” gets a warmer welcome and is more widely accepted as “good”. Neither selfishness nor selflessness is good or bad. In fact, the two concepts are intricately linked. A relatively small study using 36 people was researched in Japan by Riken.

These volunteers were asked to choose one of two options, each with a baseline reward to themselves. One option then involved an extra financial reward for the participants and the other, a reward to ‘others’—in this case a series of well-known charities.

The group looked at what happened when a person is giving an extra reward to one of the charities, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a computational modeling method called a connectivity analysis. They discovered that there is a three-stage cascade process involved.

In the first stage, the brain detects a perceived benefit to others. The first stage was accompanied by neural activity in the right temporoparietal junction (right TPJ) and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (left dlPFC) regions. The second stage involves understanding the impact of the offer of value on the outcome. This corresponded to activity in the right anterior insula (salience network). The third stage is the actual decision-making process. Decision-making corresponded to activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), supporting findings from previous studies that have implicated the mPFC in strategic reasoning.

One of the most striking findings was that there was a distinct difference in the neural processes involved in giving to others between prosocial and individualistic subjects. This difference existed even when the two groups chose similar things in the original task.

This isn’t all about selfishness and generosity, but rather perceptions of value, emphasize the researchers. Rather than being altruistic, a generous subject may be perceived more value in social contributions or be subject to predispositions such as inequity aversion and guilt. The team have called the process of deciding to give to others ‘social value conversion’. In the paper, the team predicted that social value conversion is actually a primitive computation that may be essential for different forms of social behavior.

The team’s findings provide building blocks for investigating more complex forms of social decision-making. Exploring ideas about generosity and selfishness would call into question the role of cultural and religious factors, and variations across countries and regions, for example, in accounting for how we each perceive and take on board consideration for others.

Subject volunteers were age 20 to 32 and total subjects were 32. A very small study as fMRI is a very costly device that tracks how the brain is activating neural networks in decision making. Selfishness and selflessness are associated within a brain’s social neuronal networks. So the links are valid but in a small scale.

When psychologists evaluate selfish behaviors, many indicate:
Manipulation. …
Uncaring. …
Plotting and scheming. …
Self-centered and conceited. …
Giving and sharing do not come easily. …
Expectations of others to do things for them.

Psychologists view selflessness as a set of altruistic behaviors as helping others as a reward. Altruism involves acting out of concern for the well-being of other people. In some cases, these acts of altruism lead people to jeopardize their own health and well-being to help others. In many cases, these behaviors are performed unselfishly and without any expectations of reward. This is valued as empathy at being pro-social vs selfish as anti-social. But are the two so very far apart?

Some social psychologists believe that while people do often behave altruistically for selfish reasons, true altruism is possible. Others have instead suggested that empathy for others is often guided by a desire to help yourself. Quite ironic!

The self preservation always wins. Our brains may have a self referential bias. To test for self-referential bias in working memory, the research team, a collaboration between Duke University, the University of Bath in the U.K. and Southwest University in China and funded by Chinese government grants, created a computer program and tested it on 102 study participants.

First, participants learned to associate the colors blue, green and purple to labels of “friend,” “stranger” or “self” with a simple game. Then, two different-colored dots, like green and purple, would briefly flash on the screen. After a five-second pause, during which participants had to remember the locations and colors of the previous dots, a black dot would appear on screen. Participants then indicated if the black dot flashed in the same place as one of the colored dots, and if so, which label fit.

Participants correctly identified the “self”-labeled dots significantly faster than the “friend” or “stranger” dots. That meant their working memory focused on the dots labeled with the “self” color.

Referential thinking is the tendency to view innocuous stimuli as having a specific meaning for the self and is associated with personality traits and disorders.

The SRC (Self Reference Criterion) is an unconscious reference to one’s own cultural values, experiences, and knowledge as a basis for decisions. Closely connected is ethnocentrism, that is, the notion that people in one’s own company, culture, or country know best how to do things.

In the recent US Congress Impeachment decision, the SRC was very high with both parties. Each party’s SRC was so bound in “self” bias hat there were no crossing over party lines.

SRC plays roles in a variety of lifestyles. Each individual owns his/her particular lifestyle behavior as preservation of self identity. These are matched by neurotransmitter studies. with particular focus on serotonin.

What of altruism? One person’s SRC usually outweighs it. Altruistic motivations, for example, contribute to the well-being of another even though it may be at their own expense. Differentiating between altruistically motivated, norm motivated, strategically motivated and self-reported prosocial behaviors are rather confusing. Human prosociality is a complex phenomenon, a fact that is reflected in the number and diversity of measures that are used
to assess prosocial behavior across different disciplines.

Whether self preservation is selfish or selfless, it’s all biased to a pseudo-narcissistic protection of each self, as a master or a submissive of our own fate. From weight management, economy, and friendships, and opinions we may give others unconditional positive regard but we always think of our SRC first and our own conditions for the self.

Whether selfish or selfless, self is always first. Then we choose others. Yet, when cognitive rationing comes into play selflessness becomes more influential.

CRPS Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

When it comes to mid-life, there are changes. There are pains of all kinds. New and old. Some are lifestyle related and some seem to emerge from nowhere. They aren’t fibromyalgia, neuralgia, rheumatism. They fall into the cracks between the planks of established. The pains are more than one. They are syndromes that develop with age. One such syndrome is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS for friendliness.

Having a Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is one of hundreds of physical, mental and emotional syndromes that confuse patients and doctors.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic (lasting greater than six months) pain condition that most often affects one limb (arm, leg, hand, or foot) usually after an injury. CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. According to Stanford Medical schools, the main symptoms are severe pain, swelling, and changes in the skin. Although CRPS can occur anywhere in the body, it usually affects an arm, leg, hand, or foot. CRPS can make your life seem very crappy.

In this era of specialization, it is very difficult to localize pain issues and CRPS may become worse or better over time periods of less than one year. When it flares, it is disabling. Yet, insurance approaches have severely limited restrictions on seeing a disease as a singular entity or as a syndrome of several.

One method of diagnosis, apart from the observation of symptoms, is a bone scan. MRI scans and X-rays are also used to detect CRPS, for much the same reasons as bone scans. X-rays may be able to pick up irregularities or mineral loss from bones, while MRI’s can show a number of tissue irregularities.

According to the Mayo Clinic, CRPS is thought to be caused by an injury to or an abnormality of the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS typically occurs as a result of a trauma or an injury. Complex regional pain syndrome occurs in two types, with similar signs and symptoms, but different causes. Are these causes due to passed indiscretions (falls, accidents, traumas) that you recovered easily from earlier years? CRPS appears ti the 40’s as changing-life issues develop in women and men. According to the Mayo Clinic, CRPS is divided into two types: CRPS-I and CRPS-II. Individuals without a confirmed nerve injury are classified as having CRPS-I (previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome). CRPS-II (previously known as causalgia) is when there is an associated, confirmed nerve injury.

CRPS I, formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)—here, no nerve lesions can be identified. A dystrophy is a muscular disease and RSD is treated as among the hundreds of dystrophies exhibiting muscle weaknesses. Alas, there are no specified treatments or cures for muscular dystrophies.

CRPS II (formerly known as causalgia). The symptoms of this syndrome include evidence of a nerve lesion.

CRPS/RSD is a life-altering chronic condition. Living with CRPS/RSD offers many challenges to those who are affected by it. Challenges include difficulties with diagnosis, coping strategies after diagnosis, caregiver concerns, differences in the problems faced by adults and youths, insurance, workman’s compensation and other issues.

While there are some research studies, data and conclusions are still sparse.

Perhaps one of the most simple of the problems is that most pain management professionals still don’t know how to diagnose CRPS as a syndrome. They only treat symptoms.

There is no single diagnostic tool for CRPS or RSD. Physicians diagnose it based on patient history, clinical examination, and laboratory results. Physicians must rule out any other condition that would otherwise account for the degree of pain and dysfunction before considering CRPS/RSD.

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment offer the highest probability of effective treatment and possible remission of CRPS/RSD

CRPS symptoms include:
Pain that is described as deep, aching, cold, burning, and/or increased skin sensitivity
An initiating injury or traumatic event, such as a sprain, fracture, minor surgery, etc., that should not cause as severe pain as being experienced or where the pain does not subside with healing
Pain (moderate-to-severe) associated with allodynia, that is, pain from something that should not cause pain, such as the touch of clothing or a shower
Continuing pain (moderate-to-severe) associated with hyperalgesia, that is, heightened sensitivity to painful stimulation)
Abnormal swelling in the affected area
Abnormal hair or nail growth
Abnormal skin color changes
Abnormal skin temperature, that is, one side of the body is warmer or colder than the other by more than 1°C
Abnormal sweating of the affected area
Limited range of motion, weakness, or other motor disorders such as paralysis or dystonia
Symptoms and signs can wax and wane
Can affect anyone, but is more common in women, with a recent increase in the number of children and adolescents who are diagnosed

The Mayo Clinic offers some extensive clinical information on CRPS and/or RSD.

It represents many CRPS chronic pain issues. So there may be more than 1 source of chronic pain. There may be syndromes. CRPS is one of them.

Dry Needling and acupuncture for chronic pain relief

Sufferers of pain are not masochists. Trying to relieve chronic muscular, skin, and joint pain usually can be masochistic. From hot creams to pills with nasty side-effects and to surgeries with marginal success, people with chronic pain go through many pains to relieve the unbelievable. What about needles as in Dry Needling and acupuncture for pain relief? Yikes! More pain? Actually many see it as longer-term relief.

Chronic pain often comes from physical sources. The lingering may also affect emotional, psychic, and energy.

Some say there’s nothing worse than chronic pain. From pharmacies, there are wide varieties of topical and oral analgesics to help sufferers. Doctors also have stronger prescription drugs for fighting inflammation…purportedly one of the triggers of muscular, nerve, and joint pains. Opioids are also prescribed to deaden pain but also nullify most aspects of living. Then there are surgical procedures. These may average only about 75+% accuracy in fixing the problem.

Chronic pain is not new. For thousands of years, Asian cultures have built philosophies that pain is derived from blocked energies. Acupuncture has been one that has survived through to our present era. Acupuncture uses needles placed at energy meridians. Some consider it kinky. Many see it as no alternative. Others swear by therapeutic validity. Many health and wellness centers add acupuncture to their menus of care options. In the West, it is called Dry-Needling.

Based on traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture seeks to balance one’s energy flow — chi — through pathways known as meridians in the body.

Dry needling employs a Western philosophy of attacking pain trigger points, the bands of tight fascia or muscle commonly known as knots.

Originally, anesthesia was injected through hypodermic needles. Researchers discovered it was the needles, not the medication, that did the work. Eventually, doctors and therapists switched to the very thin acupuncture — or dry — needles.

After needles are inserted, an electrical stimulation unit is connected by alligator clips.

The needles act like probes.The electric current does the magic.

The muscles twitch under the low current, sometimes making the needles appear to bounce. What’s happening is knotted muscle is being released, then the electrical stimulation clenches and unclenches the muscle hundreds of times to work out kinks and provide relief.

The vibrations are similar to using a TENS unit — transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation — in which the doctor or therapist places sticky pads on the target area.

Pain management is a medical discipline, They use painful steroid injections to combat some pain areas. An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a minimally invasive procedure that can help relieve neck, arm, back, and leg pain caused by inflamed spinal nerves. ESI may be performed to relieve pain caused by spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, or disc herniation.Under X-ray guidance, a small needle is then advanced into the epidural space. Pressure is the usual sensation felt during this procedure. If pain is felt, more local anesthetic will be used. Epidural injections may last for averages of up to one year. Some found relief for up to 5 years. Research to determine the effectiveness of these treatments in the lumbar spine has shown average success rates between 50 percent and 90 percent. Side effects vary from one person to another.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a relatively new procedure used to reduce pain under medical pain management. An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area. RFA has proven to be a safe and effective way to treat some forms of pain. It also is generally well-tolerated, with very few associated complications. There is a slight risk of infection and bleeding at the insertion site. While treatment may be subjectively painful, new techniques are introduced for more accuracy and minimized pain. The healing process can take up to 2-4 weeks. Coolief is a newer version of RFA, claiming more comfort and reduced healing.

Pain management doctors also may prescribe a variety of drugs of different types that may help manage chronic pain.

Acupuncturists are not usually medically trained. They are trained by accupuncture schools. Some have rigorous standards and may take years to complete. The length of training at most schools is about three (3) years for acupuncture and four (4) years for Oriental medicine programs. The study of Oriental medicine includes both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

For example, Olympc champion Michael Phelps used Cupping, as a technique to prepare hus muscles. According to USA National Institutes of Health, Cupping is a practice used in traditional medicine in several parts of the world, including China and the Middle East. It involves creating suction on the skin using a glass, ceramic, bamboo, or plastic cup. Negative pressure is created in the cup either by applying a flame to the cup to remove oxygen before placing it on the skin or by attaching a suction device to the cup after it is placed on the skin. In “wet cupping,” the skin is pierced, and blood flows into the cup. “Dry cupping” doesn’t involve piercing the skin. Used as a mode of therapy by trained acupuncturists, there is little western scientific evidence to support claims.

There is no scientific proof that the meridians or acupuncture points exist, and it is hard to prove that they either do or do not, but numerous studies suggest that acupuncture works for some conditions. Some experts have used neuroscience to explain acupuncture and associations with neurotransmitters and brain processes. There is also little scientific evidence to support or deny.

Pharmacies devote aisles of analgesics to help reduce chronic pain. Few of these have long-lasting effect and many have uncomfortable side effects…replacing one pain with another,

Statistics show that 1 out of 5 people may sometime develop chronic pain. Generally, when drug companies aim to help solve the problem, they target the pain in several ways.

Pfizer-Lily is one of the leading sources of these drugs. They indicate that when injury or inflammation occurs, a number of biochemical mediators, including prostaglandins, cytokines, chemokines, neuropeptides, and nerve growth factor (NGF), are released. In conditions related to chronic musculoskeletal pain, such as osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), tendinitis, and chronic low back pain (CLBP), these mediators have been identified as key drivers of chronic pain.

Disease can also be the underlying cause of chronic pain. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia are well-known culprits, but persistent pain may also be due to such ailments as cancer, multiple sclerosis, stomach ulcers, AIDS, and gallbladder disease. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, neuralgia, and fibromyalgia are well-known culprits that trigger pain and are usually co-antagonists partnering the issue. Neuralgia is a sharp, shocking pain that follows the path of a nerve and is due to irritation or damage to the nerve. These nerves are found along the skeleton and impact muscles and joints in many ways.

Radiology has discovered several of the areas that may be catalysts and sources bring the pain. As nothing is 100%, the medical community seeks the least invasive methods to treat chronic pain. They use chiropractics and technologies to help reduce pain. Often something like fibromyalgia are more daunting as challenges. Fibromyalgia may be associated with hundreds of different source areas. And these are studied but it’s a slow process.

Chronic pain is not new. Acupuncture and dry needles were among the earliest attempts to cope or eliminate pain. Acupuncture was first mentioned and recorded in documents dating a few hundred years before the Common Era. Earlier instead of needles sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used around 6000 BCE for acupuncture treatment. Before stones, there may have been hands applying pressure (massage). Acupressure is a type of acupuncture. Both acupressure and acupuncture are based on same fundamental principle of acupoint activation across the meridians So chronic pain treatment may go back over 8000 years.

Today about 20% of people suffer from chronic pain. That’s more people than with diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.

Chronic pain differs from masochism as the pain is totally involuntary. A masochist is a person who is gratified by pain, degradation, etc., that is self-imposed or imposed by others…as an alternate lifestyle, according to the Diagnostic Statistic Manual (DSM). Chronic pain sufferers are most likely NOT masochists.

That does not debunk that chronic pain may not be mind induced. A pain disorder is chronic pain experienced by a patient in one or more areas, and is thought to be caused by psychological stress. The pain is often so severe that it disables the patient from proper functioning. Duration may be as short as a few days or as long as many years. Psychogenic pain is also known as psychological pain or depression. While psychogenic pain is primarily psychological, it is a very real type of chronic pain. … With psychogenic pain, however, there is often no physical cause to find and treat.

Chronic pain is a health condition that many still admit is shrouded by inconclusive sources. The belief that having sterile needles inserted, or electric nerve impulses probed are among many ways people seek to end chronic pain. Alas, there’s no conclusive answer. There are possible methods and acupuncture is among the oldest. Physical or psychological sourced, seeking help is often filled with risks that may be worse than the pain you are already experiencing.

Solutions are anti-masochistic attempts to be pain-free. Only one such solution may eliminate chronic pain. Some seek it. Since 1999, suicide rates have steadily increased, and suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. The prevalence of chronic or severe pain has also risen, and researchers believe it could be contributing to the rise in suicide rates. It caught the attention of the CDC or Centers of Disease Control.

During the study period, the CDC identified 123,181 individuals who died by suicide, including 10,789 who experienced chronic pain. From 2003 to 2014, the percentage of suicides with chronic pain rose from 7.4 percent to 10.2 percent. Not a wide variance range so more studies are needed to see how prevalent chronic pain is to suicide rates.

Chronic pain sufferers, as long as there remain remedies for chronic pain. seek them out. It is yet another important reason why national health insurance is necessary. Research suggests that anywhere from 30 to 50% of people with chronic pain also struggle with depression or anxiety. Because chronic pain can affect an employee’s work performance and job satisfaction, it’s important that chronic pain is addressed and accommodated at a company. In 2012, NCBI through PubMed, posted a study conclusion: The body of evidence identified from the systematic review indicates that CP has a substantial negative impact on work-related outcomes, supporting the importance of interventions to reduce the burden of CP. Well-designed prospective studies specifically assessing the direct consequences of CP on employment are needed to confirm these findings.

While research is sparse, CP or Chronic Pain is an issue that USA needs to address. In an era where Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is prevalent beyond veterans. A 2013 study found that illness-focused pain coping mediated the relationship between post traumatic stress disorder and both pain interference and pain severity.

Chronic pains are issues that need to be thoroughly examined. Sometimes untraditional traditions need to be included in research.

Concerta concert for ADHD

Somewhere in the recent 20th century, the medical community begat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) as an umbrella term for school age children with certain behavioral conditions. ADHD was first coined in 1902. ADHD became popular when APA recognize ADHD in the late 1960’s in the 1968 Diagnostic Statistics Manual. By the 1980’s, ADHD was a popular psychiatric condition for children who misbehaved.

ADHD is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsive behaviors. ADHD begins in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. As many as 2 out of every 3 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults.

According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), Millions of US children have been diagnosed with ADHD. The estimated number of children ever diagnosed with ADHD, according to a national 2016 parent survey, is 6.1 million.. This number includes: 388,000 children aged 2–5 years. 4 million children aged 6–11 years.Statistics, however, toll 4.4% of adults in the USA may have the ADHD diagnosis. Is it under-diagnosed among adults?

There are many chronic conditions. Some are genetic such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and Palsy. Neuralgia and arthritis may be developmental. Perhaps the biggest US pain (besides politics) is back pain. Compressed and or herniated spine discs are diagnosed as stenosis. Approximately, according to Medscape,250,000-500,000 US residents have symptoms of spinal stenosis. This represents about 1 per 1000 persons older than 65 years and about 5 of every 1000 persons older than 50 years. About 70 million Americans are older than 50 years, and this number is estimated to grow by 18 million in the next decade alone, suggesting that the prevalence of spinal stenosis will increase. Few have 100% treatments for pain relief of these.

ADHD seems to shift greatly when it comes to kids and adults under this umbrella. The term chronic, as through lifespan, brings great market potential for drugs and accessories to commonly treat ADHD sufferers. From ages 3 to 12, most of those sufferers are reported by parents. Concerta and Adderall are commonly prescribed drugs for those that fall beneath the ADHD umbrella.

There are a few prescription drugs used for treating some symptoms of ADHD. One of the first was Ritalin. In the 1980’s, if you’re child wasn’t taking Ritalin (a stimulant), it was considered odd. Ritalin was later replaced by Adderall and Concerta. Concerta was first to promote an Extended Release version that helped minimize side effects. The generic name of Concerta ER is methylphenidate extended-release tablets.

Current prescription drugs are designed for children and adults with ADD. Adderall contains amphetamine-like chemicals that stimulate the brain and central nervous system, producing a calming effect in adults and children with ADHD. Concerta is a stimulant that acts in a similar manner, but the effect is milder than that of amphetamines. Concerta is more common than Adderall.

According to Drugs.com, medical advice is urged. The “Do not use” information is vast:

Do not use Concerta if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others, as well as methylene blue injection.

You should not use Concerta if you are allergic to methylphenidate, or if you have:

glaucoma

a personal or family history of tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome; or

severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse).

Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in certain people. Tell your doctor if you have:

heart problems or a congenital heart defect;

high blood pressure; or

a family history of heart disease or sudden death.

To make sure Concerta is safe for you, tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever had:

depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions;

motor tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome;

blood circulation problems in the hands or feet;

seizures or epilepsy;

problems with the esophagus, stomach, or intestines;

an abnormal brain wave test (EEG); or

a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

It is not known whether Concerta will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is unknown whether the active drug enters breast milk.

Suppose you pass precautionary tests, what might side effects be?

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking methylphenidate (the generic chemical found in Adderall and Concerta):

More common
Fast heartbeat

Less common
Chest pain
fever
joint pain
skin rash or hives

Rare
Black, tarry stools
blood in the urine or stools
blurred vision or other changes in vision
crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
muscle cramps
pinpoint red spots on the skin
scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
seizures
uncontrolled vocal outbursts or tics (uncontrolled and repeated body movements)
unusual bleeding or bruising

Incidence not known
Confusion
depression
feeling like surroundings are not real
numbness of the hands
painful or difficult urination
pale skin
paleness or cold feeling in the fingertips and toes
red, irritated eyes
red, swollen, or scaly skin
seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
severe or sudden headache
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
sudden loss of coordination
sudden slurring of speech
tingling or pain in the fingers or toes when exposed to cold
unusual behavior
unusual tiredness or weakness
weight loss
yellow skin or eyes
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking methylphenidate:

Symptoms of overdose may include:
Agitation
anxiety
bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils of the eyes
confusion as to time, place, or person
dark-colored urine
diarrhea
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
dry eyes, mouth, nose, or throat
false or unusual sense of well-being
fast, slow, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
loss of consciousness
muscle pain or stiffness
muscle twitching
nervousness
overactive reflexes
pounding in the ears
rapid, shallow breathing
sweating
tremors
unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness

WOW! All these possible life threatening possibilities you might encounter as you try to resolve ADHD!

If ADHD is a disease at all, it is likely associated with several. Neuralgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis may be associated with 100’s of unknown but possible conditions. Is ADHD an actual disease or is it a trumped up classification?

Physicians who migt read labels are cautioned: CNS stimulants, including methylphenidate extended-release orally disintegrating tablets, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines, have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing, and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while on therapy. Yes, these meds do help ADHD patients feel more normal but addiction is high.

ADDitude Journal is a great repository of ADHD information. Some small studies show that ADHD brains have low levels of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is linked arm-in-arm with dopamine. Dopamine is the thing that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure center. The ADHD brain has impaired activity in four functional regions of the brain.

Some neuroscientists ask why has ADHD developed to such great proportions? Today’s ready access to electronic digital devices and the internet often substitute for social interaction. Such situation, if it starts in early childhood, in certain vulnerable individuals, who crave immediate rewards, can decrease the ability to maintain prolonged attention and tolerate delayed gratification, thus reinforcing future addictive behaviors. Essentially, many parents don’t realize that all those Smart devices that is “their world” also modifies how their brains process reality. Rewards and punishments are more pertinent from social media than traditional studying.

Assessing ADHD is generally subjective. Currently, clinical interviews and collateral histories from parents and teachers drive the standards. Only occasionally do we use objective assessments, such as continuous performance tasks and neuropsychological assessments, to evaluate whether or not a child can sustain attention, and whether their deficits lie in either or both auditory and visual domains. Other factors may be involved, such as motivation, low blood glucose, lack of sleep, or medication they are taking.

Thus, in the neuroscience perspective, actual ADHD diagnoses may actually be blown up to 5-times of those patients diagnosed with ADHD. Yet most Primary Care doctors hear the symptoms and prescribe Concerta ER.

As many world ADHD studies are relatively small, more work will need to establish whether Concerta ER is best for treatment. The manufacturers will hotly debate any results.

While diagnoses of ADHD may be more or less accurate, available evidence suggests that ADHD is genetic — passed down from parent to child. It seems to “run in families” — at least in some families. At least one-third of all fathers who had ADHD in their youth have children with the condition. The majority of identical twins share the ADHD trait.

All this aside, ADHD adults are smart, articulate, and hold responsible jobs. Perhaps ADHD-Adult may be more of a mix than most doctors realize. Yet…doctors are the professionals patients interface with. Problems could be elsewhere.

I believe ADHD has become more of an umbrella term among doctors and parents, regarding the behavior of their children. Personalities differ as do cultural and parental interaction. Most important, this is a digital age and kids can access and use devices more efficiently than parents. ADHD may be a reality today. Kids are kids. How they behave unlocks new doors from 1 gen to the next. Who knows how these kids develop and whether ADHD will be the problem it is today. Who knows if the Concerta concert will be valid.

What brainwaves have to do with it?

What’s your frequency? Brain theorists believe that certain health conditions may be caused and effected by the 4 or 5 frequencies your brain functions at. What do brain waves have to do with it?

The human brain is made up of brain cells called neurons, which communicate with each other through electrical brain waves. The pattern of brain waves changes depending on one’s level of consciousness and cognitive processing. For example, when one feels fatigued or dreamy, slower brainwaves are likely dominant at that time.

Feeling stressed out? Brain waves may be one of the underlying causes. Some studies indicate that cyclical speeds our brain waves may contribute to ADHD and Hypertension.

Brainwaves are produced by synchronized electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other. Brainwaves are detected using sensors placed on the scalp. Brainwave speed is measured in Hertz (cycles per second) and they are divided into bands delineating slow, moderate, and fast waves.

There are 5 types of brain waves your brain generates:

Gamma waves >40 Hz –
Higher mental activity, including perception, problem solving, and consciousness

Beta waves – 13–39 Hz
Active, busy thinking, active processing , active concentration, arousal, and cognition

Alpha waves – 7–13 Hz
Calm relaxed yet alert state

Theta waves – 4-7 Hz Deep meditation /relaxation, REM sleep. REM sleep is an exception, with recorded speeds of 30 to 50 Hz, During REM, you experience dream episodes. In addition, neurotransmitters work at forming long-term memory storage.

Delta waves – < 4 Hz Deep dreamless sleep, loss of body awareness Gamma and Beta are associated with wakefulness Alpha, Theta, Delta are associated with relaxation. Awakening from Delta or during a REM is indicative of deep, meditative sleep. They are generated in deepest meditation and dreamless sleep. According to Scientific American, Delta waves typically center around a range of 1.5 to 4 cycles per second. They never go down to zero because that would mean that you were brain dead. But, deep dreamless sleep would take you down to the lowest frequency. Being jolted awake at Delta often results in confusion. During Alpha and Theta, your brain and body are flushed with neurotransmitters that deal with memory and reduced inflammation. A recent 2013 study found that the ADHD brain tends to produce more Theta waves than the brains of average folks. Theta waves are the ones you produce as you’re nodding off to sleep. Or watching a boring TV show or movie. They indicate a state of deep relaxation.

For the study, teens between the ages of 12 and 17 were asked to perform computer tasks that involved perceiving a visual stimulus that would then trigger brain regions involved in decision-making, which then led to physical action — in this case, pressing a button.

Researchers found that the 17 participants that were predominantly diagnosed with the inattentive (IA) subtype of ADHD had the least amount of alpha wave suppression — necessary to filter out visual “noise” in order to make an accurate decision.

In 2014 deviations in brainwaves were said to detect presence/severity of Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to the American Nutrition Association, the reason why brain waves are important is because the delta/beta cycle causes an elevation in blood sugar levels and blood pressure throughout the day.

Beta waves in the high frequencies can cause agitation and anxiety perhaps caused by too much dopamine release. Dopamine problems are implicated in ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, bipolar disorders, binge eating, addiction, gambling, and schizophrenia.

Anxiety and panic attacks are associated with decreased alpha waves, increased high beta waves, and can be affected by low delta and theta waves. There is a delicate balance of the chemicals called neurotransmitters required within the body for best emotional and physiological health.

Previous studies showed that people with chronic pain experience abnormal neural oscillations, or brain waves. There are several kinds of brain waves related to different brain regions and various kinds of brain activities. People with chronic pain, it is believed, often may have brainwaves to blame. Stress puts you at Beta waves, putting you on alert. You’re waiting to respond. But, as in the classic movie Forbidden Planet, those monsters can not be fought off. It becomes fight, flight, or die. Over time, the brain and central nervous system learn to continue to put the body into a painful state, which repeats the pain cycle. In a sense, staying in Beta might be associated with chronic pain, with no other explanation. Unfortunately, few studies have been large enough for results to have wide acceptance.

One study at University at North Carolina in 2018 demonstrated promising results that stimulating brains helped reduce lower back pain. While chronic lower back pain has many sufferers, this study had only 30 people. Those aren’t enough to persuade a medical community away from codeine painkillers and surgeries. Yet, this study is one of many small studies showing how brainwaves and chronic pain may be related.

As such, many areas have devised treatment centers and recommendations to help induce alpha waves when beta is out of control.

In an article, published in Medical News Today, there are discussions as to how using EEG bio-feedback helps change brainwave patterns to treat conditions that are now only treated by drugs:

EEG biofeedback may help patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), addiction, anxiety, seizures, depression, and other types of brain condition.

During a biofeedback session, the therapist attaches electrodes to the patient’s skin, and these send information to a monitoring box.

The therapist views the measurements on the monitor, and, through trial and error, identifies a range of mental activities and relaxation techniques that can help regulate the patient’s bodily processes.

Lacking large empirical studies, biofeedback therapy may not be covered as acceptable treatments by some health insurances. It may require 20 sessions at about $100+ per session.

The goal of biofeedback is often to make subtle changes to the body that result in a desired effect. The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) defines biofeedback as a process that allows people to alter their physiological activity in order to improve health or performance. The American Medical Association defines biofeedback as an alternative therapy. The AAPB is the key organization supporting biofeedback as brainwave therapy.

The study of brainwaves has been observed since 1930, when the EEG was developed. Biofeedback has been applied to studies of sensory deprivation, bi-polar issues, and sleep studies. The questionably issues of brainwaves biofeedback within the USA, as opposed to Europe is that applied science is not viewed as valid as medical science.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a biofeedback device, Resperate, for reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. Resperate is a portable electronic device that promotes slow, deep breathing. However, the FDA doesn’t regulate many biofeedback devices marketed for home use. So…the FDA allows home use of a biofeedback product that, used correctly, may help reduce brainwaves for reducing blood pressure and stress.

I’d recommend using AAPB as a method of finding resources and clinicians for biofeedback. Overall, the integrity of brainwaves has helped people survive over millennia. Reckless use of this method as a cure for many diseases may have other problems emerge. I would like to see further study of brainwaves in large empirical studies to call it a medical utopia.

But many have tried biofeedback and brainwaves therapy. High positive subjective reviews. So if you have chronic hypertension, pain, ADHD, anxiety, and sleeplessness….might be worth a try.

Myostatins myotonic dystrophy and bodybuilding

Protein is a vital part of your diet. Consisting of a variety of amino acids, proteins compound and fuse to regulate virtually every aspect of your body. Genetics play an important part in how and where those proteins are used – and how long they endure. Different proteins aid muscle development and use. They also help cellular growth. Over the last decade, researchers have isolated some proteins that can hinder and harm muscles and cells. Some may occur in birth others occur in your life span. Myostatin is a probable protein compound that does both. It is part of the roots of muscle diseases from dystrophies to recent diseases like DDX3X that affect many lives. Isolation of myostatin as having a role is a small part of a huge puzzle thwarting treatments and cures.

Myostatins are a group of micronutrients that bodybuilders use to control muscle growth. Most people have them naturally but, through aging process, there is muscle loss. Myostatins have this strange side-effect. They aid in the eventual wasting of muscle growth.

Myostatin inhibitors have been a rage in muscular and fitness. Some competitive athletes were disqualified for using supplements or gene-doping to produce enhanced performance effects. There are many muscle issues with natural aging and an entire list of neurological and muscle wasting diseases. Is it worth the excitement?

Myostatin is a secreted protein that acts as a negative regulator of skeletal muscle mass. During embryo-genesis (within the womb), myostatin is expressed by cells in the myotome (group of muscles that a single spinal nerve innervates) and in developing skeletal muscle and acts to regulate the final number of muscle fibers that are formed. The MSTN gene provides instructions for making a protein called myostatin. Myostatin is found almost exclusively in muscles used for movement (skeletal muscles), where it is active both before and after birth. This protein normally restrains muscle growth, ensuring that muscles do not grow too large.

The general theories to stop this myostatin-based muscle wasting is to inhibit this protein from infecting those muscles. Myostatin inhibitors are found in foods as phytonutrients – naturally occurring micronutrients:

Green tea
Chocolate (especially dark chocolate and raw cocoa powder)
Blackberries
Pomegranates
Broad beans (e.g. Fava Beans)

In the body, Myostatin is produced by the muscle tissue of the heart, and damage to the heart causes it to be released into the bloodstream. It is associated with potential muscle loss of heart tissue in people with heart disease. This may also be associated with producing naturally high LDL cholesterol levels within that group. It may also trigger low HDL and high triglyceride measurements within a cardiac lipid panel in repeated serum tests.

High myostatin levels are associated with muscle wasting and may be associated with many diseases. Research on animals indicate that Myostatin levels may be significantly higher in patients with diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Duchenne muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy and multiple sclerosis, among other neurological and muscle diseases. Disease diagnosis usually demonstrates a genetic cause. Those myostatin levels and muscular atrophy may be the result of this genetic impulse. Myostatin levels may show why drugs for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy do not work.

So…it seems that myostatin inhibition might lead to helping people with muscle weakness but it isn’t easy. It’s very complicated. There are other proteins that have been influenced over time. For example, BP3 is a protein that may be involved in eliminating obesity. These proteins need co-factors to allow certain effects. Myostatin inhibition has to coincide with BP3 to trigger fat loss and muscle re-development.

One possible concern, according to Dr. Markus Schuelke, the pediatric neurologist at Charite University Medical Center in Berlin who discovered the myostatin mutation in the baby, is that blocking myostatin could interfere with satellite cells that help replace injured or dead muscle cells. It’s thought that myostatin helps keep the satellite cells at rest until they’re needed, and it’s possible that without myostatin the satellite cells could become depleted.

There are many conflicting opinions that myostatin blockers may be too targeted to boost muscle growth, as there are a variety of proteins similar to myostatin that also limit muscle growth.

There are several potential downsides to be aware of when using myostatin inhibitors for athletic enhancement.

One potential concern is that increased muscle growth will lead to an increased risk of injury due to increased stress on the muscle fibers. This is especially true for individuals using myostatin inhibitors as workout supplements instead of as part of a medical treatment for muscular dystrophy or other disorders. Muscle stress is linked with increased muscle atrophy among the various dystrophy illnesses.

It has been noted that drugs that induce myostatin inhibition may lead to higher probable risks of injury.

Other possible side effects of myostatin inhibitors include increased the chance of tendon rupture, heart failure due to inflamed cardiac muscle, and rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle fibers that often leads to kidney failure.

Meanwhile, vitamin supplement shelves have many products offering myostatin inhibitors in a bottle. They have many ingredients. Neither of these have been thoroughly tested by the FDA or European health organizations.

If myostatins and concordant protein compound interactions of the weaknesses of myotonia bring clues, treatments and cures are even more sophisticated as transport pathways may differ. Are transport pathways different because age or disease exist? Or were those pathways results from genetic instructions? Anyway, key muscles just do not work properly. That is myotonia.

Myostatin is a statin compound. Statins may irritate and amplify the effects of muscular dystrophy. Those with muscular dystrophies heart disease are told to avoid statins. The misuse of statins can produce some very insidious muscle effects without muscular dystrophy incidence.

According to WebMD, possible statin side effects among average people may be:
Headache
Difficulty sleeping
Flushing of the skin
Headache
Difficulty sleeping
Flushing of the skin
Muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness (myalgia)
Drowsiness
Dizziness
Nausea or vomiting
Abdominal cramping or pain
Bloating or gas
Diarrhea
Constipation
Rash
Drowsiness
Dizziness
Nausea or vomiting
Abdominal cramping or pain
Bloating or gas
Diarrhea
Constipation
Rash
Memory Loss

If muscle aches and weakness occur in people without muscular dystrophy, you might imagine how myostatin may effect those with muscular dystrophies.

The problems lie in the etiology or source among what makes muscles weak. For those with muscle wasting diseases – congenital and adult – the fantasy that myostatin inhibitors may work brings glimmers of hope. But will it heal the damages already done? There are research studies and results that are still clinically inconclusive. It may still be a long process ahead with many pathways. How myostatin works, how inhibitors work, and how dystrophic muscles vary are just a few of many questions that need thorough answers.

As I wrote this article, new DMD1 research is coming from UK using Tideglusib, as a pharmacological approach:

AMO-02 (tideglusib) is in development for the treatment of congenital myotonic dystrophy and has potential for use in additional CNS, neuromuscular and oncology indications. AM0-02 is positioned to enter clinical stage development for the treatment of the severe form of congenital myotonic dystrophy known as DM1 or Steinert disease. In cellular and animal models of DM1 and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as well as in muscle biopsies from patients, activity of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3ß) has been shown to increase. Inhibitors of GSK3ß have been shown to correct the activity of regulatory proteins, such as CUGBP1 in animal models of DM1. AMO-02 is an inhibitor of GSK3ß that has demonstrated pre-clinical efficacy in transgenic models and reversal of muscle cell deficits in ex vivo tissue samples in patients with DM1.

I will follow this and see how it develops.

Mobile disability travel challenges

One would favor how many countries seem to be somewhat more conscious about tourists with mobile disabilities. They treat them as invalids – not valid. But they try. Overcoming mobile disability travel challenges are difficult both in the USA and internationally. It is virtually impossible for those without disabilities to conceive all the details people with wheels, crutches, and canes require to smoothly go from point-a to point-b. Current statistics show about 10% of the world’s population (650 million) have some form of disability.

Part of the statistical problem is that most people who need mobility aids don’t want to use them. It took me years to realize I needed a cane to walk better. Another 6 months that I needed AFO braces. Based on data from the 2002 US Census Bureau, 96 percent of people who live with an illness live with an invisible one, and 73 percent of people who live with a severe disability do not use devices like a wheelchair. So, counting invisible mobile disability and mental disability, about 15 percent of the world’s population — some 785 million people — has a significant physical or mental disability, including about 5 percent of children, based on the World Health Organization in 2011.

Mobility handicaps meant no challenges if you sat comfortably on the inside looking out. For most of history that seemed fine. Mobile disability travel challenges happen when you want to go somewhere. Devices and scooters help you move. Traveling between points and having the comforts and necessities you need require considerable study. Yes, when going to supermarkets to parks or on vacations, even visiting friends and relatives, mobile disabilities uncover some hidden travel challenges.

It can be very disconcerting for those with mobile disabilities to navigate into certain stores, houses of worship, and other public spaces. There are disability travel challenges whether you are young and old. United States, over the past 30 years, has been implementing standards to help enable those that require mobility aid. Passed by Congress in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities. Of course many buildings, subways, and other areas built prior to 1990 still have poor access for disability travel.

I use AFO braces as a mobile compromise for walking. To others I am walking relatively well, albeit slowly. What many do not know is, while I can walk on smoothly paved paths, I really can’t walk stairs, on grass, on sand, cobblestones, and rough surfaces. Somehow, when it comes to mobile disability travel challenges, manufacturers are designing more mobility scooters for travel.

Thinking of accessibility, parts of New York City are working towards removal of 19th-century cobblestones so that disability travel on those streets could be more accessible. This is causing many debates from travelers and local residents who see the removal as damage to historic infrastructures. In countries all around the world, different cobblestones have remained for centuries. Some countries replace old cobblestones with new ones.

For people using AFO braces, canes, and walkers, these surfaces may be impossible to travel. For those in wheelchairs or mobility scooters, this can be a very bumpy ride, even a dangerous ride if the scooter isn’t stable. For tourists, these rough surfaces make public plazas and churches historically attractive. After all, when these were built, disabled people weren’t supposed to travel anywhere.

Many of these countries barely have accessible accessories (high toilets with bars or shower bars) available in hotel rooms. There aren’t any ADA standards there. They barely have sidewalks and most still maintain bricked streets.

Rough and rugged US National Parks also provide facilities for wheelchairs and some trails that accept human-pushed wheelchairs. They are not accommodating for powered mobility scooters and virtually impossible for AFO-brace users.

First introduced in the 1960’s, Mobility scooters offer freedom and independence, leading to improved quality of life for a growing number of people. Manufacturers are continually investing in research and development to enhance existing products and introduce new models and features. Even electric car research has trickled to mobility scooters by introducing longer-lasting and lighter lithium-ion batteries to extend power and range abilities. More companies are introducing folding scooters that may be stored in the boot of many cars. Some of these are called travel scooters. But are they easy to fold and unfold?

What’s Required to Transport a Typical Travel Mobility Scooter:

Remove the seat by lifting it off of the scooter
Remove the battery pack by lifting it off of the scooter
Undo the retaining clips that connect the front and rear halves of the scooter, separating the frame into 2 compact pieces
Fold the tiller (steering column)
Place the scooter component into vehicle

Basically, any person with the need for convenient disability travel would require a competent aid. There are new design revolutions that simplify the processes, if you aren’t very tall or big.

Yet the largest challenges that disability travel encounter are the many roads, hotels, dining areas, and recreation areas that define accessible within narrow definitions. For example, Disney parks are accessible – bathrooms and paths. The rides and shows are probably not. Some restaurants there may have some stairs.

I have spoken to people using mobility scooters and their realities are they wish they could use AFO or K-AFO instead. Ultimately, all these disability travel accessories are compromises and out-of-the-box compromises. They allow mobility challenged individuals some control to move around environments.

Many technologies are being explored to allow people with mobility challenges more independence. Some scooters have elevating seats so you can have eye-contact with people. There are also more heavy-duty models with solid suspensions to tackle rough and rugged terrains, while remaining comfortable and easy to maneuver. Advances in battery technology mean you can now cover substantial distances on a single charge too, offering greater freedom. In deed, greater hope exists for overcoming disability travel challenges. The world wasn’t really designed for us.

Among all the challenges that people with motion disabilities encounter is that handicap accessible usually does not follow ADA standards. People without these challenges, as in many things, can only view things through their constructions of reality. After accidents, they might be sharing your perspectives. They get better but you don’t. Thankfully physiatrists, orthodists, and manufacturers strive for better mobility devices to give those with disability travel challenges better solutions that promote movement.

As far as international traveling, much care and attention is still required. On an AFO, I found it impossible. Some people with scooters find it challenging. We, unfortunately, can’t expect the world to adapt to our conditions. Thankfully, in the USA, the Congress passed the ADA act. Since passing that act, people with all forms of disabilities may get accessibility options that were never considered before.

In the aging baby-boomer generation, deeper studies isolate issues of disability as a stigma. Having a disability is seen as socially inferior. There is a sense of discrimination toward those with physical or mental disabilities. Some disabled people try to adapt to the world around them, if they can. As one of the most overlooked minorities of the world, disabilities are by ways of genetics and environment. No one wants a disability.

When travelling to other countries, the stigma is probably unintentional. Mobile disability travel challenges are to try to overcome the many staircases, cobblestones, and other features that make areas tourist destinations. From bathrooms, hotel rooms, and many public spaces, one actually sees those features that are not adaptable.

For fear of falling or injury, while physically disabled people do attempt to adapt toward experiencing many of the world’s wonders, those remain from a chair staring at images on a tablet or computer. Mobile disability travel challenges will likely remain one of those perilous things that require extensive research for superior disability awareness.