Constitutional Health Network:
Brain Tech

A few days ago, I came across one of the most shocking headlines I’ve ever read:  “Scientists Get the Green Light to Resurrect the Dead with Stem Cells”   As the father of 20- and 30-something age kids, the first thing that flashed through my mind was “zombie apocalypse!” Of course, that’s just silly. On the other hand, I’ve been hearing rumors about rabies virus being developed as a biological weapon, and science recently discovered that your genes don’t actually shut down till several days after you die.   In light of those two things, plus all the other dark and crazy things to come out of the scientific world in the past year—creating the DNA blueprint for a completely new lifeform and the push to create an artificial human genome, just to name a couple—there’s not a lot that would surprise me right now. And as I’ll talk about in an upcoming issue of our paid newsletter ...

Astounding. Breakthrough. Game-changing. Usually when we hear words like these applied to something in medicine, the reality turns out to be much more mundane. These types of words are usually pulled out in an effort to generate enthusiasm for the latest drug. They're tossed around to promote the newest, priciest medical procedures. They’re most often marketing hype at best. Last year, however, scientists at the University of Virginia and the University of Rochester Medical Center made two separate discoveries that truly were astounding. They really were game-changing. They’re radical enough that the textbooks will literally have to be re-written to accommodate them. And they’re both firmly located in your brain. What they’ve discovered forces us to change the way we look at the relationship between the immune system and the brain. And it gives us new insight into how the brain handles waste-disposal. Together, these two discoveries may give ...

Earlier this year, the health news headlines were noisily trumpeting a very suspicious statistic. 40% of all Alzheimer’s cases, the news claimed, were caused by too much insulin or insulin resistance. It made a lot of people sit up and take notice. It scared a lot of people. And it prodded a lot of people into getting their blood sugar tested for “pre-diabetes” who would never have considered it otherwise. Many of them ended up on medication they didn’t want or need.   The spectre of Alzheimer’s will motivate us, it appears, like nothing else.   But where did this number come from? How valid is it? It appeared in some reputable news outlets. And it was presented as gospel truth, with lots of scary supporting statistics—“one-third of the population is pre-diabetic,” for example—yet the number kept changing. From 40%, it grew to “nearly half.” Before long that became just “half” and ...

An amazing scientific breakthrough could mean that hundreds of thousands of people suffering from autoimmune diseases might finally have what they’ve been dreaming of: a cure. In diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus, the immune system mistakes part of the body for a foreign invader and attacks it. This immune reaction causes chronic and sometimes even fatal disease. There are treatments for some of these diseases, but till now the only possibility for a cure was also likely to be fatal. Not just for hopeless cases anymore It’s been shown that a transplant of bone marrow stem cells can reset the immune system and reverse autoimmune diseases. But in order to successfully do this doctors must first destroy the patient’s own immune system with chemotherapy or radiation. This procedure is fatal about 20% of the time. And even when it doesn’t kill, it can cause massive damage throughout the body. The chemo and ...

I’m not usually a fan of psychiatry or even psychology. I think the whole “mental health” field is in the business of making “illnesses” out of every little personality quirk. I think they’re part of a larger plan to take away our autonomy, undermine our ability to think and make decisions for ourselves, and ultimately make us all dependent on Big Pharma and Big Brother.   Of course a “mental health professional” would probably say I’m paranoid.   Psychiatrists and psychologists themselves are victims of this plot to some degree too. A handful of loud voices get the final say in what gets designated a mental “disorder” and what doesn’t, and often this doesn’t agree with the opinion of the majority of doctors. But once something gets labeled a “condition” they’re bound to treat it “appropriately” (that is, prescribe drugs) or face ...

The internet is truly one of the marvels of modern society. Where once you had to visit the library and flip through the pages of an outdated Encyclopedia Britannica in order to find information, now it’s all there at your fingertips, updated in real time. The internet has opened up a world of possibilities for learning and allowed information to spread at an unprecedented speed.   But all information is not created equal. And while the internet has allowed the light of day to shine into some dark corners, it’s had a darker side. It allows misinformation to spread just as fast as the real deal—and sometimes faster. Like the old-fashioned chain letter, internet memes can spread at the speed of fiber optic cable.   This allows misinformation, urban legends, myths and outright lies to circulate as freely as valid information. And probably no topic on the internet is more rife with misinformation than that of health, healthcare, and disease. I ...

Bristol Meyers Squibb really, really wants you to take Abilify. And keep taking it. They want this enough that they’ve come out with a new version of the pill that contains an ingestible electronic monitoring device. It keeps track of all kinds of things, from whether you took your pill or not to stuff like whether you’re standing up or lying down. It’s more than a little creepy.   Bristol Meyers Squibb wants you to take Abilify so much that they’ve positioned it as a depression treatment when really it’s an antipsychotic. It was THE top-selling drug in the U.S. in 2013, and its popularity has waned very little since then. Originally meant to treat schizophrenia and manic depression, Abilify is now one of the most common medications prescribed when antidepressants do what they do best.   That is, when they do nothing.   Two-thirds of people taking antidepressants don’t get any relief from them. (And one-third ...

If you have a smartphone, you may have noticed that every time you install an app it asks for “permissions.” An app may ask to use your camera, or to connect to your Facebook account. It may ask to use your location or to access your contact list or to connect to the internet. There’s a nearly endless list of “permissions” an app may need in order to work properly. And with each “permission” you give to an app, it can gather data—data that can be collected and sent to faceless corporations or sold on the open market. Your phone can access your email account and log your emails. It can monitor your Facebook account. It can log every key you press on the keyboard, every phone number you call. Anything you do through your phone can be noted and recorded. Now Big Medicine and Big Pharma want to harness the power of the cell phone to monitor you twenty-four hours per day…and the level they want to take this monitoring to is ...

Imagine this: you’re depressed. Yes, I know that’s not something any of us want to imagine, but bear with me. You visit a psychiatrist, and instead of the usual “Try this pill for two months and see if you feel better” spiel something completely different happens. You’re not just handed a prescription and left to sink or swim on your own. In fact, you’re not handed a prescription at all. Instead you’re scheduled an all-day appointment for the next week. And when you show up, it’s like no other experience you’ve ever had.   You enter a room that’s furnished like a comfortable living room. It’s cozy. The furniture is homey and inviting. The lighting is muted and the colors are warm and soothing. There are interesting objects d’art in strategic places, many of which have some spiritual connotation. Restful ambient music plays softly in the background. You’re invited to sit down and ...

Now that the general population is convinced the Zika virus is tantamount to the zombie apocalypse, the 24/7 news coverage has died down. As the weather heats up and mosquito season hits, we’ll undoubtedly see another rash of fearmongering. For the moment, though, things are pretty quiet on the Zika front—oday we just need a reminder every now and then to keep us good and scared.   Zika is a done deal.   We have a “scientific consensus” that the virus probably causes birth defects. Nevermind the fact that there’s little scientific evidence to support the idea—we have a “consensus” and facts be damned. In reality, there’s much that points to other factors as the cause. And we haven’t even touched the issue of why the US has such a high rate of microcephaly compared to Zika-affected countries. This, frankly, is a question everyone should be asking before buying into the “scientific ...

It's rare that we get any truly new information about Alzheimer's. Nearly every Shocking Headline merely sets us up for disappointment and leads to little more than a rehash of what we already know. Today, however, I want to tell you about something that really could end up being a game-changer. It's not a cure. It's not a treatment. It's not even something that — given the current state of our scientific capabilities — is likely to lead directly to a treatment any time in the very near future.    But.    It's knowledge that should profoundly change how we view Alzheimer's. In fact it may change the way we think about memory as a whole. It gives us one more piece of the puzzle that is Alzheimer's, and if you've ever done a jigsaw puzzle you know that once you put the edges together, the rest of the picture starts to fall into place. Scientists at MIT have just shown that we've been looking at one ...

Your brain has as many neurons as the Milky Way has stars. Not just thousands, or even millions, but billions of neurons — around 100 billion. And like the Milky Way, with its different kinds of heavenly bodies that we look at from Earth and lump together as "stars," the nervous system — including the brain — has different types of neurons with different functions.    But our brains are made up of more than neurons. They also contain a type of cell called a glial cell. We have at least as many glial cells as neurons, and maybe as much as three times as many. Neurons do the active work in the nervous system. They're the brain's electrical system. Glial cells act as their support network.    Neurons tell our hearts to beat and out muscles to move. They form and retrieve memories and give us the ability to think. Glial cells, on the other hand, give the neurons what they need to do their work. They provide ...

Every day, all over the country, people do it. They do it when they should be working. They do it from their phones when they're on break. They do it from their desktop computers when they should be sleeping. Hundreds of thousands of hours of work and family time are wasted each year because…we're addicted to cute.    If you want to garner a million views on YouTube, just post a cute animal video. At my last count, almost 220 million people have logged in to watch a 16-second clip of a mother panda reacting to her baby's sneeze. That's an incredible one hundred and eleven years in total spent watching this video, sixteen seconds at a time.    Whole websites are devoted to cute, particularly cats doing cute things. We're obsessed with cute. We seem to need cute like we need food, and when we find it on the internet we share our treasure.    If you have more than ten Facebook friends, it's a pretty ...

Seventy percent of the people in the U.S. take at least one prescription drug. You’ve probably heard this number before, but it’s worth repeating. It’s a scary number. It means that out of every ten people you know, seven of them are taking some kind of chemical with the potential for damaging side effects. Because let’s face it — if there’s a single drug out there that doesn’t have side effects, it’s the best kept secret in the world.    Fifty percent of us take two different prescriptions. And twenty percent take an incredible five or more. Some sixty-four million of us are swallowing five — or more! — pills per day. And that’s just the prescriptions. When you add over-the-counter drugs to the equation, the number is truly astronomical.    Every single one of these drugs has documented side effects. That’s why they have warning labels. Many are so dangerous that ...

Are you easily distracted? Do you start things but not finish them? Are you often "on the go?" According to the American Psychiatric Association, you might have a psychiatric disorder.  How about this: do you avoid things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time? Do you have trouble getting organized? Do you procrastinate? If so, Big Medicine says that you just might have Adult ADHD. And guess what? Big Pharma has a drug for you.    As a parent — now a grandparent — and as a health professional, few things have made me as angry as the movement to "medicate" kids into conformity by slapping them with the "ADHD" label. Although I can't deny that hyperactivity really does exist, I will argue that it's extremely uncommon. What we're "medicating" out of kids is creativity, imagination, and the ability to just… be kids.    And now they want to drug the joy ...

"Locked-in syndrome" is arguably the worst possible outcome of a stroke. In this condition, a person is left with normal brain function but complete paralysis except for their eyes. They're conscious and aware of everything going on around them. They can feel. They can see. They can hear. They can think normally. But they can't move a muscle other than those which control their eyes — not even the ones which allow them to breathe and swallow. They're trapped in their own bodies, unable to communicate except through blinks and other eye movements, hence the term "locked-in syndrome."    Now imagine this: a person with locked-in syndrome is fitted with a special cap that allows him to simply think what he wants to say and have it appear on a computer screen. He still can't move, but he's no longer trapped in his own body. He can now communicate with the outside world.    A coma patient, wearing the same ...

We live in an age of wonders. For all of its faults — most being driven by the wealthy and powerful who are funding scientific research — science has made some truly astounding discoveries over the past half century. Imagine — we decoded the human genome, the very essence of what makes us human! After that, what other area could be half as exciting? As it turns out, the brain could. The brain has become the next frontier for serious scientific research. While Big Pharma and Big Medicine are investigating Alzheimer’s disease with an eye to which chemical compounds will put the most money in the most pockets, hard science has been looking at other aspects of the brain. And some pretty astounding things have been happening. Researchers from a company called 21st Century Medicine recently announced that they had successfully frozen and thawed an intact brain. While many new outlets erroneously reported that scientists had “frozen and revived” ...

If the idea of having something implanted directly in your brain unsettles you, you’re not alone. But that’s exactly what a promising new treatment for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia entails. The experimental treatment, known as “deep brain stimulation,” isn’t available for dementia yet. If it does fulfill its promise, it still won’t go public for several years. But for a disease that’s incurable and basically untreatable, the possibility of any effective treatment is a glimmer of hope at the end of a very dark tunnel. Sometimes mad scientists get it right Although scientists are still experimenting with deep brain stimulation, it’s actually an approved treatment for Parkinson’s disease. It’s actually an official treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder. And scientists are now looking into using it for various other issues such as depression and chronic pain—and dementia. Now, ...

If you turn on the TV to relax after a long day, you may want to re-think your strategy. This is especially true at the moment, while we wind up the end of a particularly stressful and divisive presidential campaign. But it’s also true during more “normal” times. While settling in for some Walking Dead or American Idol may seem fairly harmless, it just might be another stressor in an already stressful world.   Society has always had a love/hate relationship with television. Even as we tune in for the next installment of our favorite show, we’ve blamed TV for a variety of ills from short attention spans to violence to obesity. And while science has mixed opinions on the truth of these claims, recent research is beginning to back up what many of us who’ve cut the cord already knew: watching TV can stress you out.  Here’s why. It teaches you to be afraid Most “entertainment” shows fit into a handful of categories ...

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×