Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Or they are at least developmentally arrested. Either way, pedophilia does seem to be a physical disorder: Sex-related areas of their brains are notably shrunken by normal standards. It would seem to be an argument for some sort of permanent restraint on them. They can't help themselves

Brain pathology in pedophilic offenders: evidence of volume reduction in the right amygdala and related diencephalic structures

By Kolja Schiltz et al.


CONTEXT: Pedophilic crime causes considerable public concern, but no causative factor of pedophilia has yet been pinpointed. In the past, etiological theories postulated a major impact of the environment, but recent studies increasingly emphasize the role of neurobiological factors, as well. However, the role of alterations in brain structures that are crucial in the development of sexual behavior has not yet been systematically studied in pedophilic subjects. OBJECTIVE: To examine whether pedophilic perpetrators show structural neuronal deficits in brain regions that are critical for sexual behavior and how these deficits relate to criminological characteristics.

DESIGN: Amygdalar volume and gray matter of related structures that are critical for sexual development were compared in 15 nonviolent male pedophilic perpetrators (forensic inpatients) and 15 controls using complementary morphometric analyses (voxel-based morphometry and volumetry). Psychosocial adjustment and sexual offenses were also assessed.

RESULTS: Pedophilic perpetrators showed a significant decrease of right amygdalar volume, compared with healthy controls (P = .001). We observed reduced gray matter in the right amygdala, hypothalamus (bilaterally), septal regions, substantia innominata, and bed nucleus of the striae terminalis. In 8 of the 15 perpetrators, enlargement of the anterior temporal horn of the right lateral ventricle that adjoins the amygdala could be recognized by routine qualitative clinical assessment. Smaller right amygdalar volumes were correlated with the propensity to commit uniform pedophilic sexual offenses exclusively (P = .006) but not with age (P = .89).

CONCLUSIONS: Pedophilic perpetrators show structural impairments of brain regions critical for sexual development. These impairments are not related to age, and their extent predicts how focused the scope of sexual offenses is on uniform pedophilic activity. Subtle defects of the right amygdala and closely related structures might be implicated in the pathogenesis of pedophilia and might possibly reflect developmental disturbances or environmental insults at critical periods

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64:737-746

Mahjong game 'can cause epilepsy'

So watch out!

A study by doctors in Hong Kong has concluded that epilepsy can be induced by the Chinese tile game of mahjong. The findings, published in the Hong Kong Medical Journal, were based on 23 cases of people who had suffered mahjong-induced seizures. The report's four authors, from Hong Kong's Queen Mary Hospital, said the best prevention - and cure - was to avoid playing mahjong.

The study led the doctors to define mahjong epilepsy as a unique syndrome. Epileptic seizures can be provoked by a wide variety of triggers, but one cause increasingly evident to researchers is the playing - or even watching - of mahjong. This Chinese tile game, played by four people round a table, can involve gambling and quickly becomes compulsive. The game, which is intensely social and sometimes played in crowded mahjong parlours, involves the rapid movement of tiles in marathon sessions.

The doctors conclude that the syndrome affects far more men than women; that their average age is 54; and that it can hit sufferers anywhere between one to 11 hours into a mahjong game. They say the attacks were not just caused by sleep deprivation or gambling stress. Mahjong is cognitively demanding, drawing on memory, fast calculations, concentration, reasoning and sequencing. The distinctive design of mahjong tiles, and the sound of the tiles crashing onto the table, may contribute to the syndrome.

The propensity of Chinese people to play mahjong also deserves further study, the doctors say. What is certain though, is that the only sure way to avoid mahjong epilepsy, is to avoid mahjong, which for many people is easier said than done.



Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

Trans fats:

For one summary of the weak science behind the "trans-fat" hysteria, see here. Trans fats have only a temporary effect on blood chemistry and the evidence of lasting harm from them is dubious. By taking extreme groups in trans fats intake, some weak association with coronary heart disease has at times been shown in some sub-populations but extreme group studies are inherently at risk of confounding with other factors and are intrinsically of little interest to the average person.


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