Sunday, December 30, 2012

Neuroscience in Nazi Europe. Parts 1-3

 2011 Sep;38(5):696-703.

Neuroscience in Nazi Europe part I: eugenics, human experimentation, and mass murder.


Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation (M/C 796), Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


The Nazi regime in Germany from 1933 to 1945 waged a veritable war throughout Europe to eliminate neurologic disease from the gene pool. Fueled by eugenic policies on racial hygiene, the Nazis first undertook a sterilization campaign against "mental defectives," which included neurologic patients with epilepsy and other disorders, as well as psychiatric patients. From 1939-41 the Nazis instead resorted to "euthanasia" of many of the same patients. Some neuroscientists were collaborators in this program, using patients for research, or using extracted brains following their murder. Other reviews have focused on Hallervorden, Spatz, Schaltenbrand, Scherer, and Gross, but in this review the focus is on neuroscientists not well described in the neurology literature, including Scholz, Ostertag, Schneider, Nachtsheim, and von Weizsäcker. Only by understanding the actions of neuroscientists during this dark period can we learn from the slippery slope down which they traveled, and prevent history from repeating itself.

 2011 Nov;38(6):826-38.

Neuroscience in Nazi Europe part II: resistance against the third reich.


Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation, Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois 60612-7330, USA.


Previously, I mentioned that not all neuroscientists collaborated with the Nazis, who from 1933 to 1945 tried to eliminate neurologic and psychiatric disease from the gene pool. Oskar and Cécile Vogt openly resisted and courageously protested against the Nazi regime and its policies, and have been discussed previously in the neurology literature. Here I discuss Alexander Mitscherlich, Haakon Saethre, Walther Spielmeyer, Jules Tinel, and Johannes Pompe. Other neuroscientists had ambivalent roles, including Hans Creutzfeldt, who has been discussed previously. Here, I discuss Max Nonne, Karl Bonhoeffer, and Oswald Bumke. The neuroscientists who resisted had different backgrounds and motivations that likely influenced their behavior, but this group undoubtedly saved lives of colleagues, friends, and patients, or at least prevented forced sterilizations. By recognizing and understanding the actions of these heroes of neuroscience, we pay homage and realize how ethics and morals do not need to be compromised even in dark times.

 2012 Nov;39(6):729-46.

Neuroscience in Nazi Europe part III: victims of the third reich.


University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation (m/C 796), Neuropsychiatric Institute, 912 S. Wood Street, Room 855N, Chicago, Illinois 60612-7330, USA.


In Part I, neuroscience collaborators with the Nazis were discussed, and in Part II, neuroscience resistors were discussed. In Part III, we discuss the tragedy regarding european neuroscientists who became victims of the Nazi onslaught on “Non-Aryan” doctors. Some of these unfortunate neuroscientists survived Nazi concentration camps, but most were murdered. We discuss the circumstances and environment which stripped these neuroscientists of their profession, then of their personal rights and freedom, and then of their lives. We include a background analysis of anti-Semitism and Nazism in their various countries, then discuss in depth seven exemplary neuroscientist Holocaust victims; including germans Ludwig Pick, Arthur Simons, and Raphael Weichbrodt, Austrians Alexander Spitzer and Viktor Frankl, and Poles Lucja Frey and Wladyslaw Sterling. by recognizing and remembering these victims of neuroscience, we pay homage and do not allow humanity to forget, lest this dark period in history ever repeat itself.

From Duke U: Supporting oxygenation in acute respiratory failure

 2013 Jan;58(1):142-50. doi: 10.4187/respcare.02087.

Supporting oxygenation in acute respiratory failure.


Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.


Strategies to support oxygenation can cause substantial harm through lung stretch injury, oxygen toxicity, transfusion risks and cardiac over-stimulation. Traditional goals of maintaining near normal cardiorespiratory parameters are most likely overly simplistic and are insensitive and nonspecific for tissue hypoxic effects. In order to reduce iatrogenic harm, it is conceivable that clinicians could be comfortable with lower levels of arterial oxygen content (eg, oxyhemoglobin values of < 88%: so called "permissive hypoxemia"), provided that there are ways to effectively monitor tissue hypoxia. We can learn more about hypoxic compensatory mechanisms from the fetus and from high altitude residents. We also need to learn better ways of monitoring tissue oxygenation, especially in "mission critical" tissues. Ultimately clinical trials will be needed to determine appropriate oxygenation targets to allow permissive hypoxemia.

Alcohol Marketing Receptivity, Marketing-Specific Cognitions, and Underage Binge Drinking

 2012 Dec 19. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01932.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Alcohol Marketing Receptivity, Marketing-Specific Cognitions, and Underage Binge Drinking.


Department of Pediatrics, Geisel School of Medicine, Hanover, New Hampshire, The Netherlands; Cancer Control Research Program, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, The Netherlands.



Exposure to alcohol marketing is prevalent and is associated with both initiation and progression of alcohol use in underage youth. The mechanism of influence is not well understood, however. This study tests a model that proposes alcohol-specific cognitions as mediators of the relation between alcohol marketing and problematic drinking among experimental underage drinkers.


This study describes a cross-sectional analysis of 1,734 U.S. 15- to 20-year-old underage drinkers, recruited for a national study of media and substance use. Subjects were queried about a number of alcohol marketing variables including TV time, Internet time, favorite alcohol ad, ownership of alcohol-branded merchandise (ABM), and exposure to alcohol brands in movies. The relation between these exposures and current (30-day) binge drinking was assessed, as were proposed mediators of this relation, including marketing-specific cognitions (drinker identity and favorite brand to drink), favorable alcohol expectancies, and alcohol norms. Paths were tested in a structural equation model that controlled for sociodemographics, personality, and peer drinking.


Almost one-third of this sample of ever drinkers had engaged in 30-day binge drinking. Correlations between mediators were all statistically significant (range 0.16 to 0.47), and all were significantly associated with binge drinking. Statistically significant mediation was found for the association between ABM ownership and binge drinking through both drinker identity and having a favorite brand to drink, which also mediated the path between movie brand exposure and binge drinking. Peer drinking and sensation seeking were associated with binge drinking in paths through all mediators.


Associations between alcohol marketing and binge drinking were mediated through marketing-specific cognitions that assess drinker identity and brand allegiance, cognitions that marketers aim to cultivate in the consumer.


 2012 Dec 15. [Epub ahead of print]



a University of Franche-Comte, University of Franche-ComteCNRS UMR 6249.


Abstract Tapeworm eggs from the genus Taenia sp. were identified during the study of mummy remains dated to 2,286±28 BP from the Chehrabad salt mine in northwestern Iran. The presence of tapeworm in this salt mine provides paleopathological information. Moreover, it brings new information on ancient diet, indicating the consumption of raw or undercooked meat. Cultural aspects as well as archaeozoological data are discussed in order to try to detail meat consumption. Paleoparasitological data are rare in the Middle East, and are only issued from analyses carried out in the western part of this region. This case study presents the first recovery of parasites in ancient Iran. It constitutes the earliest evidence of ancient intestinal parasites in this country and contributes to the knowledge of gastro-intestinal pathogens in the Near East.

Zombie allusions: They just keep on coming-creating a new business buzzword

Zombie firms choking off economic renewal

Kate Burgess, Financial Times
Published 10:27 AM, 31 Dec 2012

“Zombies” has become a new business buzzword. It describes the thousands of small but barely-alive companies that are only surviving because interest rates are low and creditors, including the tax man and the banks, are forbearing.

These companies can just about service their debt and pay their workers, but little more. They can’t expand and, by clogging up the market, they prevent their rivals from doing so, too. Billions of capital is tied up in these companies.

Banks tolerate them because they do not want to crystallise bad debts, while HM Revenue & Customs is under political pressure not to pull the plug on employers and put their workforces on to the street. Other creditors – including customers and suppliers – would rather the zombies staggered on, as they would prefer some return from them, rather than nothing.

As a result, companies that at any other time would have gone to the wall are surviving.

A 'losing' battle on childhood obesity?

A 'losing' battle on childhood obesity?

By Sarah Mulkeen/Daily News staff
Posted Dec 30, 2012 @ 12:10 AM
Last update Dec 30, 2012 @ 08:36 AM

National efforts are being made to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity, but little data is available to guide towns on what works and what doesn’t.

Read more:

From U Wyoming: Waiving Away the Chance of Freedom: Exploring Why Prisoners Decide Against Applying for Parole

 2012 Dec 21. [Epub ahead of print]

Waiving Away the Chance of Freedom: Exploring Why Prisoners Decide Against Applying for Parole.


University of Wyoming.


Little is known about inmates' decisions regarding seeking release on parole, even though many choose to waive their parole hearings. Using semistructured, in-depth interviews with 25 adult male parole-eligible inmates who had waived a parole hearing, we seek to better understand the reasons inmates forgo the possibility of parole. We frame the study in rational choice theory, which suggests that inmates balance the perceived costs and benefits of remaining in prison versus returning to the community in reaching their decisions. A large majority of inmates attributed the decision to waive their hearings, in part, to concerns about the hearing process (e.g., parole denial likely, fear of negative experience), and most also listed various reasons that made remaining in prison a better outcome compared with release on parole (e.g., prison easier than parole, fear of revocation). The findings suggest that inmates' parole waiver decisions involve multiple factors that merit further examination.

From U Iowa: Regular physical activity prevents development of chronic pain and activation of central neurons

 2012 Dec 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Regular physical activity prevents development of chronic pain and activation of central neurons.


1The University of Iowa.


Chronic musculoskeletal pain is a significant health problem and is associated with increases in pain during acute physical activity. Regular physicalactivity is protective against many chronic diseases; however it is unknown if it plays a role in development of chronic pain. The current study inducedphysical activity by placing running wheels in home cages of mice for 5 days or 8 weeks and compared these to sedentary mice without running wheels in their home cages. Chronic muscle pain was induced by repeated intramuscular injection of pH 4.0 saline. Exercise induced pain was induced by combining a 2h fatiguing exercise task with an low dose muscle inflammation (0.03% carrageenan), and acute muscle inflammation was induced by 3% carrageenan. We tested the responses of the paw (response frequency) and muscle (withdrawal threshold) to nociceptive stimuli. Since the RVM is involved in exercise-induced analgesia and chronic muscle pain, we tested for changes in phosphorylation of the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor in the RVM. We demonstrate that regular physical activity prevents the development of chronic muscle pain and exercise-induced muscle pain by reducing phosphorylation of the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor in the central nervous system. However, regular physical activity has no effect on development of acute pain. Thus, physical inactivity is a risk factor for development of chronic pain and may set the nervous system to respond in an exaggerated way to low-intensity muscle insults.

"Among the one-third of [prostate cancer] patients who were reclassified as higher risk and retreated, PSA failure was relatively common"

Active surveillance: the Canadian experience with an "inclusive approach".


Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Division of Urology, University of Toronto, 2075 Bayview Ave, #MG408, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5.


Active surveillance has evolved to become a standard of care for favorable-risk prostate cancer. This is a summary of the rationale, method, and results of active surveillance beginning in 1995 with the first prospective trial of this approach. This was a prospective, single-arm cohort study. Patients were managed with an initial expectant approach. Definitive intervention was offered to those patients with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time of less than 3 years, Gleason score progression (to 4+3 or greater), or unequivocal clinical progression. Survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard model were applied to the data. Since November 1995, 450 patients have been managed with active surveillance. The cohort included men under 70 with favorable-risk disease and men of age more than 70 with favorable- or intermediate-risk cancer (Gleason score 3+4 orPSA 10-15). Median follow-up is 6.8 years (range 1-16 years). Overall survival is 78.6%. Ten-year prostate cancer actuarial survival is 97.2%. Five of 450 patients (1.1%) have died of prostate cancer. Thirty percent of patients have been reclassified as higher-risk patients and offered definitive therapy. The commonest indication for treatment was a PSA doubling time less than 3 years (48%) or Gleason upgrading (26%). Of 117 patients treated radically, the PSA failure rate was 50%. This represents 13% of the total cohort. Most PSA failures occurred early; at 2 years, 44% of the treated patients had PSA failure. The hazard ratio for non-prostate cancer mortality to prostate cancer mortality was 18.6 at 10 years. In conclusion, we observed a very low rate of prostate cancer mortality in an intermediate time frame. Among the one-third of patients who were reclassified as higher risk and retreated, PSA failure was relatively common. However, other-cause mortality accounted for almost all of the deaths. Further studies are warranted to improve the identification of patients who harbor more aggressive disease in spite of favorable clinical parameters at diagnosis.

From the Himalayan Times: Brahimi has Syria plan world powers may adopt

Brahimi has Syria plan world powers may adopt

CAIRO: Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said today he has a proposal to end the deadly 21-month conflict in Syria “that could be adopted by the international community.”

“I have discussed this plan with Russia and Syria... I think this proposal could be adopted by the international community,” the UN and Arab League envoy said in Egypt after meeting League chief Nabil al-Arabi.

The situation in Syria “is very bad and getting worse by the day,” added Brahimi a day after warning in Moscow that Damascus faced a choice between “hell or the political process.” “There is a proposal for a political solution based on the Geneva declaration foreseeing a ceasefire, forming a government with complete prerogatives and a plan for parliamentary and presidential elections,” he said, referring to a failed peace initiative that world powers agreed to in Geneva in June.

“Either there is a political solution in Syria” or the country risks a descent into a Somalia-like situation, Brahimi told reporters.

Physician heal thyself? (instead of surgery, why not diet/exercise?)

Obese British medics should consider weight loss surgery to set example - report

A report by a working group at the Royal College of Physicians will issue a report that will say that half of all staff in Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) are overweight or obese and should consider surgery, UK media outlets reported.
About half of the 1.4 million NHS employees are considered overweight, which is the same proportion of the UK’s general population.

Sarcopenia: Association of daily physical performance with muscle volume and strength


Association of daily physical performance with muscle volume and strength.


Department for the Development of Preventive Medicine, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology.


Sarcopenia disturbs the daily life of elderly people, and hinders healthy aging. We studied the association of daily physical performance with muscle volume and muscle strength in a randomly selected community-living population. Results: Grip power and leg muscle strength decreased about 1% per year after age 40 in both men and women. Muscle strength was greater in men than in women at every age by decade, and muscle strength in men in their 80s was similar to that in women in their 40s. Therefore, the effect of a decrease in muscle strength on daily physical performance was greater in women than men. On the other hand, the muscle volume of all limbs decreased with age in men, but there was almost no decrease in muscle volume in women. These results indicate that qualitative change in muscle was more significant than quantitative change in muscle in women. Daily physical performance was influenced by muscle performance and could be assessed based on grip power and walking speed. To prevent frailty, it may be important to determine the high-risk group for frailty using these assessments.

"for science journalism to thrive, it must primarily focus on reporting science, not politics"

Modern Science Writers Leave Science Behind

The co-author of a book on partisan science recently examined by Pacific Standard argues that our reviewer was a little too partisan himself.

FDA: "winding its way through the federal approval process for 17 years"

12/28/2012 @ 12:03AM |9,397 views

Obama's Science Commitment, FDA Face Ethics Scrutiny in Wake of GMO Salmon Fiasco

Jon Entine, Contributor

Will the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy’s John Holdren investigate the White House after violations of the Executive Office guarantee of science integrity—or should he be investigated? The Genetic Literacy Project reports.

Questions are emerging about the breakdown of the federal government’s science integrity process in the wake of the Food & Drug Administration’s long-delayed release of its approval of the first genetically modified animal for human consumption.
The AquAdvantage salmon developed byAquaBounty Technologies of Massachusetts—an Atlantic salmon modified with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon so it grows to maturity faster—had been winding its way through the federal approval process for 17 years. Two years ago, the FDA had said it was going to release its environmental assessment, the final document in the approval process, within weeks. It was finally and quietly posted on the FDA’s website only last Friday—just hours before the long holiday weekend—and published in the Federal Register on Wednesday.

Lights to be turned off in France to save money and show 'sobriety'

Lights to be turned off in France to save money and show 'sobriety'

  • Paris may go dark in the early hours of the morning if new plans go ahead
  • Traders fears the blackout would negatively affect tourism and the economy
Lit up: Paris is at risk from losing its trademark glow if plans go ahead to turn off street light in the early hours of the morning

The rules will also apply to other French cities, villages, and towns.

Batho said the measure would save energy and money, and show 'sobriety', although the plan has proved unpopular with traders.

It follows on from a new rule last July which states businesses must turn off neon lights between 1 and 6am. The measure was introduced as part of the French government's bid to improve its energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Grounded theory in music therapy research

 2012 Autumn;49(3):236-77.

Grounded theory in music therapy research.


Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Caritas Christi Hospice, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, Australia.



Grounded theory is one of the most common methodologies used in constructivist (qualitative) music therapy research. Researchers use the term "grounded theory" when denoting varying research designs and theoretical outcomes. This may be challenging for novice researchers when considering whether grounded theory is appropriate for their research phenomena.


This paper examines grounded theory within music therapy research.


Grounded theory is briefly described, including some of its "contested" ideas. A literature search was conducted using the descriptor "music therapy and grounded theory" in Pubmed, CINAHL PsychlNFO, SCOPUS, ERIC (CSA), Web of Science databases, and a music therapy monograph series. A descriptive analysis was performed on the uncovered studies to examine researched phenomena, grounded theory methods used, and how findings were presented,


Thirty music therapy research projects were found in refereed journals and monographs from 1993 to "in press." The Strauss and Corbin approach to grounded theory dominates the field. Descriptors to signify grounded theory components in the studies greatly varied. Researchers have used partial or complete grounded theory methods to examine clients', family members', staff, music therapy "overhearers," music therapists', and students' experiences, as well as music therapy creative products and professional views, issues, and literature. Seven grounded theories were offered.


It is suggested that grounded theory researchers clarify what and who inspired their design, why partial grounded theory methods were used (when relevant), and their ontology. By elucidating assumptions underpinning the data collection, analysis, and findings' contribution, researchers will continue to improve music therapy research using grounded theory methods.

Hypertension in Nigeria: "The pooled prevalence increased from 8.6% from the only study during the period from 1970-1979 to 22.5% (2000-2011)"

 2012 Dec 26;4(12):327-40. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v4.i12.327.

Blood pressure, prevalence of hypertension and hypertension related complications in Nigerian Africans: A review.


Okechukwu S Ogah, Ministry of Health, Nnamdi Azikiwe Secretariat, Umuahia 440233, Abia State, Nigeria.


To review studies on hypertension in Nigeria over the past five decades in terms of prevalence, awareness and treatment and complications. Following our search on Pubmed, African Journals Online and the World Health Organization Global cardiovascular infobase, 1060 related references were identified out of which 43 were found to be relevant for this review. The overall prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria ranges from 8%-46.4% depending on the study target population, type of measurement and cut-off value used for defining hypertension. The prevalence is similar in men and women (7.9%-50.2% vs 3.5%-68.8%, respectively) and in the urban (8.1%-42.0%) and rural setting (13.5%-46.4%).The pooled prevalence increased from 8.6% from the only study during the period from 1970-1979 to 22.5% (2000-2011). Awareness, treatment and control of hypertension were generally low with attendant high burden of hypertension related complications. In order to improve outcomes of cardiovascular disease in Africans, public health education to improve awareness of hypertension is required. Further epidemiological studies on hypertension are required to adequately understand and characterize the impact of hypertension in society.

Church backs Vladimir Putin's ban on Americans adopting Russian children

Church backs Vladimir Putin's ban on Americans adopting Russian children

Russian Orthodox church criticised for supporting Kremlin again

Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church
Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church Photograph: Dmitry Astakhov/EPA

The Russian Orthodox church has been attacked for supporting a new law banning Americans from adopting Russian children, at the end of a year that saw it plagued by scandal and accusations of collusion with an increasingly authoritarian Kremlin.
Father Vsevolod Chaplin, a high-ranking priest and a spokesman for the church, said the law was "a search for a social answer to an elementary question: why should we give, and even sell, our children abroad?"
Speaking to Interfax, a state news agency, last week, Chaplin said the path to heaven would be closed to children adopted by foreigners. "They won't get a truly Christian upbringing and that means falling away from the church and from the path to eternal life, in God's kingdom," he said.
Vladimir PutinRussia's president, signed the controversial ban into law on Friday, in retaliation for a new US law that bans Russian officials accused of human rights abuses from travelling to or having bank accounts in the United States.

From USC: "Being the Best We Can Be": Medical Students' Reflections on Physician Responsibility in the Social Media Era

 2012 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print]

"Being the Best We Can Be": Medical Students' Reflections on Physician Responsibility in the Social Media Era.


Dr. Lie is clinical professor of family medicine and course director for the Professionalism and the Practice of Medicine course, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. Dr. Trial is assistant professor of medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. Dr. Schaff is associate professor of clinical pediatrics and family medicine, associate dean for curriculum, and director, Program in Medical Humanities, Arts, and Ethics, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. Dr. Wallace is clinical associate professor of obstetrics-gynecology, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. Dr. Elliott is professor of clinical pediatrics and associate dean for student affairs, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.



To examine attitudes, self-reported behaviors, and intended actions related to medical students' use of online social media after an educational intervention.


In 2011, 180 first-year medical students at the Keck School of Medicine participated in a required two-hour session on the relevance of online social media use to professionalism. Students submitted postsession written reflections about their online presence and professional roles. The authors qualitatively analyzed and coded these reflections for emerging themes. They also examined postsession evaluations and conducted a four-month follow-up survey to identify changes in students' online social networking behaviors.


All 180 students submitted written reflections and postsession evaluations. The authors identified 10 theme categories within three domains (immediate action, intended future action, value change) from the reflections. The most common themes were "role awareness" (144/539), "did nothing" (94/539), and "intention to edit" (84/539). On a scale of 1 to 5, students rated the overall session quality at 3.92 (standard deviation 0.28). Sixty-four percent (115/180) of the students responded to the follow-up survey. Of those, 40% (46/115) reported editing or changing their Web presence after the session, and 24% (28/115) anticipated spending less time on online social networking.


Attending a required session in a professionalism course led to thoughtful reflection, increased professional role awareness, and intention to edit and monitor future online presence among first-year medical students. After four months, students reported continued monitoring and editing of their online presence. Future studies should examine whether reinforcement throughout training is needed to maintain vigilance.