Sunday, May 09, 2010

Depression 'treatable by electromagnetic therapy'

This sounds very much like the old electroshock therapy -- and it is a bit of a joke anyway. The results they got were LESS than the usual placebo effect (of around 30%)

Patients suffering from depression may find relief from treatments using electromagnetic stimulation, offering a possible alternative to mood-altering medications, a new study found.

The research, which was released on Monday, tested 190 patients who had previously failed to respond to antidepressant drugs.

Patients were given at least three weeks of magnetic stimulation. Scientists found that the treatment led to remissions for 14 percent of them, and that most remained in remission for several months.

The treatment, known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) offers future hope of a non-drug treatment for depression sufferers, although researchers said additional studies are needed. "This study should help settle the debate about whether rTMS works for depression," [Correct. It DOESN'T work] said Mark George of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, who led the research team.

"We can now follow up clues suggesting ways to improve its effectiveness, and hopefully further develop a potential new class of stimulation treatments for other brain disorders."

The treatment aims to jump-start the brain's mood-regulating circuitry by jolting the top left front section with an electromagnetic coil emitting 3,000 pulses over a 37-minute session.

Researchers said the treatments can be safely administered in a doctor's office with few side effects, unlike more invasive brain stimulation treatments, such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

The US National Institute of Mental Health-funded research showed that although the treatment "has not yet lived up to early hopes that it might replace more invasive therapies, this study suggests that the treatment may be effective in at least some treatment-resistant patients," center director Thomas Insel said.


Milk Fascism comes to Australia

If people prefer their milk unprocessed, why should they be penalized for taking the small risk involved?

And the risk really is small. TB is the big bugbear behind pasteurization as cows can carry TB if the herd is not tested. But the answer to that is to test the herd for it and remove the affected animals. That is now normal practice in most places.

Milk processing in the small Australian country town where I grew up must have been pretty casual because when all the kids at my school were tested for TB (with the Mantoux skin test), hardly any of us needed vaccination because we all had TB antibodies in us anyway. Being young and healthy country kids, we had been infected with TB but had simply thrown it off with no lasting effects and without even knowing about it

People in poor health would be unwise to take risks, however

IT'S a story of undercover agents and an illegal substance, set in the heart of Queensland's best-known hippie community.

The Maple Street Food Co-op in Maleny on the Sunshine Coast has become an alternative lifestylers' icon over the past three decades. But now the store has been busted – for allegedly promoting the sale of raw, or unpasteurised, milk for drinking which has been illegal in Australia since the 1980s.

The co-op stocks raw milk produced by Trevor Mahaffey at his dairy farm in Goomboorian near Gympie and sold around the country under the brand "Cleopatra's Bath Milk" as a cosmetic.

In February last year, a plain-clothes Queensland Health official bought a bottle from the Maleny store. Authorities allege a shop assistant promoted the milk for drinking. The co-op claims entrapment, saying the official acted as an agent provocateur, asking if the milk was fit for human consumption. The worker said although she drank it, the shop's policy was that it was for cosmetic purposes only.

The case is due to be heard at Caloundra Magistrates Court on July 9. If convicted, the co-op could face fines of up to tens of thousands of dollars. "We are terrified," said financial officer Dick Newman. "This could put us out of business, kill us. They have a couple of high-powered barristers working on the case and we have a folk singer representing us." Mr Newman said the co-op had always complied with regulations. "This does seem a bit insane."


No comments: