Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dopamine is good gear: "When Wayne Kanuch received a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease in 1993, the last thing he imagined was that the drug prescribed to treat his illness would turn him into a compulsive gambler and put his libido into overdrive. Mr Kanuch's marriage ended in divorce, partly as a result of the sexual pressures he placed on his wife, and he began losing fortunes at the horse track. He was fired from his job at Chevron for trawling for dates on the internet while at work, and he quickly went bankrupt... New evidence unearthed by scientists at the US Food and Drug Administration and Duke University suggest the reason Mr Kanuch, 52, could not stop is that the drug being used to treat Parkinson's boosted the level of dopamine in his brain. Researchers are looking into the possibility that dopamine, associated with a host of obsessive behaviours, may turn some Parkinson's patients, even those who tend to be risk-averse, into obsessive pleasure seekers"."

Sheeeet! Now showers can be bad for you!: "A new analysis based on animal studies suggests that showering in manganese-contaminated water for a decade or more could have permanent effects on the nervous system. The damage may occur even at levels of manganese considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. "If our results are confirmed, they could have profound implications for the nation and the world," said John Spangler, M.D., an associate professor of family medicine. "Nearly 9 million people in the United States are exposed to manganese levels that our study shows may cause toxic effects." The study is the first to show the potential for permanent brain damage from breathing vaporized manganese during a shower. It was conducted by reviewing the medical literature and calculating, based on animal studies, the amount of manganese people would absorb by showering 10 minutes a day."

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