Ruminations

Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Losing It

"If people stop using their brains and totally devote themselves to their hand-held devices to find their way around the world, that could have a negative effect in getting around, and spillover effects on other things like memory."
"There is a use it or lose it thing about the brain."
Lynn Nadel, neuroscientist, University of Arizona

"People who have a shrunk hippocampus are at risk for PTSD, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, depression."
"For a long time we thought the disease causes shrinkage in the hippocampus. But the shrunk hippocampus can be there before the disease."
"In the past we may never have had to go on autopilot. With GPS, you might have even less of a reason to pull out that cognitive map. The hippocampus may be lacking this requirement to work for decades when you only use it once in a while."
Veronique Bohbot, neuroscientist, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, associate professor, McGill University, Montreal
hippocampus
The hippocampus is located in the medial temporal lobe of the brain. Image via Wikipedia.
Increasingly, people are relying on the use of GPS devices to help guide them spatially, geographically, no longer reliant on paper maps as they once were, for working out routes to get from one point to another. It is just so much more convenient to use a device that has been incorporated into all kinds of computing devices, and greater numbers of vehicles already come equipped with their own GPS systems; in other cases people have them installed, to give themselves greater confidence that they can achieve relaxed satisfaction in being guided to a destination, without worrying their brain over it.

They can happily go into a state of overdrive and underperformance.

Of course, satellite navigation systems occasionally go kind of cock-eyed, and deliver disastrously incorrect information, sometimes causing drivers who have become dependent on their accuracy and pay little attention to figuring things out for themselves, to not only go astray, but to find themselves in very compromised situations, far from their destination, and in the process of going the wrong way, ending up in dangerous territory. As much as technology is a matter for the good, it sometimes causes misery.

Research has discovered that reliance on technological devices for certain tasks like navigating our way around, may present with unexpected and potentially disastrous consequences, that impact our most vital function, impacting the viability of the brain in just those very areas that we have surrendered to a mechanical device. The same problems that emerge in the brain come to the fore, resembling what those diagnosed with dementia experience. The very promise and process of depending on technology rather than our own intelligence makes our brains less resilient and capable.

Many other animals we share our world with have been designed with a biological compass orienting them in space. Birds, for example are able to navigate long distances with amazing preciseness; humans, on the other hand, become confused and ultimately lost, and must find their way to where they mean to go, under their own mind-assisted agency; in other words they must figure out the solution to their own dilemmas and use memory and logic to help find their way about.

Scientists are learning more about the hippocampus, that cells located there build cognitive maps, an internalized representation of space to help us recall routes and relationships of recognized landmarks, to orient ourselves in space. Veronique Bohbot was among the scientists studying relations between memory and space in the 1990s, and one of her students was Lynn Nadel. She designed studies whose focus was on the caudate nucleus, a structure in the brain used for strategies of navigation.

While the hippocampus helps in the creation of cognitive maps, the caudate nucleus's role is to a "stimulus-response strategy" allowing the brain to teach itself directional cues and making a habit of those interior instructions, creating an autopilot system where the familiar becomes unthinking routine, a product of familiarity through observation, memory and invention. When autopilot is used excessively there is less reliance on the hippocampus which then begins to shrink grey matter volume.

Reduced grey matter has been found in studies to be related to cognitive deficits of aging; memory impairment, increasing the risk of atrophy, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.



Over the course of time through childhood into adulthood, navigational behaviour becomes more automatic, routine in nature, needing far less of a thinking process and there is a growing loss of reliance on the hippocampus, an under-use that can lead to grey matter volume decrease. A study of 55 young adults yielded the discovery that those who make use of a stimulus-response in the completion of a virtual maze also had double the amount of lifetime alcohol consumption, and greater use of cigarettes and marijuana.

Demonstrating a link between the caudate nucleus located in a brain area involved in addiction. People go nowhere without their cellphones and when the GPS is turned on to follow directions, a classic stimulus-response strategy comes into play where the creation of cognitive maps is bypassed while the caudate nucleus is activated. Increased use of the caudate nucleus diminishes the grey matter in the hippocampus, which appears to lead to a brain shrinkage, causing depression and dementia.

Be aware.

Navigation consultant Roger Mckinlay is concerned about the dependence people have on GPS and says we need to think of navigation skills as traditional skills worth having.
Navigation consultant Roger Mckinlay is concerned about the dependence people have on GPS and says we need to think of navigation skills as traditional skills worth having. (Marcus Södervall/Flickr cc)



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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Perils and Pitfalls of Donor Sperm

"Nobody on this planet would ever want a child who could potentially be sick. Nobody in their right mind would ever wish that on their child."
"Everybody wants their child to be healthy, so you are not going to pick a [semen] donor who has cancer or comes from a family with big health problems."
Diane [last name withheld], northern Ontario resident

"This is the third non-compliant rating that Health Canada has issued to Outreach Health Services for its importation activities related to donor semen processed by the European Sperm Bank since 2009."
"Even with all the corrective actions implemented by the [Denmark-based] European Sperm Bank, donor semen is still being supplied to the Canadian market that is not compliant with the semen regulations."
"Certain health and behaviour criteria such as drug use, exposure to foreign blood or body fluids were not adequately assessed [through Newmarket-based Outreach Health Services' importation of donor semen from the U.S.-based Seattle Sperm Bank] as part of the donor screening process."
Rebecca Gilman, spokesperson, Health Canada
Sperm
Three Ontario families have launched lawsuits against a U.S.-based sperm bank and its Canadian distributor alleging they were misled about their sperm donor's medical and social history.
There are twenty-six mothers, women who became pregnant through In Vitro Fertilization techniques, using donor sperm from an American man identified as Xytex Donor 9623, who was presented on the data available to prospective mothers as an intellectually brilliant man possessing multiple university degrees, whose photograph for the women to scrutinize was that of a fit-appearing, handsome young man.

This man sold his sperm between the years 2000 to 2014, later distributed and used to enable women to give birth to an estimated thirty-six children; 17 girls and 19 boys. A problem has since surfaced, identifying the 40-year-old as Chris Aggeles of Georgia. And he happened really to be a college dropout, not the brilliant academic scholar he was purported to be. Moreover, he is anchored to a criminal past, and perhaps much worse, is the host of a medley of serious mental illnesses.

Collins, pictured avobe with her son, said she chose 'donor 9623' because he was 'the male version of my partner'. The mothers who used donor 9623's sperm learned of the man's real identity in 2014 when Xytex released information inadvertently and 'in a breach of confidentiality'.
Collins, pictured above with her son, said she chose 'donor 9623' because he was 'the male version of my partner'. The mothers who used donor 9623's sperm learned of the man's real identity in 2014 when Xytex released information inadvertently and 'in a breach of confidentiality'.

Now, three women from Ontario who became mothers through this amazingly insufficiently-regulated donor process are suing the importer of the sperm as well as the American sperm bank for what they now view as an agonizingly fraught decision to trust those sources. They understand that their trust was also misplaced in the fertility clinics who used the unregulated sperm to impregnate them. Sperm bank Xytex Corp. and Outreach Health Services have been implicated in other Ontario births with the very same vexing concern; their children's genetic predisposition to mental illness.

The donor was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which is inherited by ten percent of children with a parent suffering from the malady, according to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health. Xytex itself had inadvertently identified the identity of the donor when emailing a few women who had trustingly made use of his sperm to become pregnant and later had questions they wanted answered. When women researched the name Chris Aggeles online they discovered a posting that he himself had written discussing his own struggles with schizophrenia.

A Georgia court was in possession of documents revealing that Aggeles had pleaded guilty in 2005 to a charge of burglary, receiving a sentence of eight months in prison. Medical records listed as evidence indicate he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. He had, as well, described himself for court records as having schizoaffective disorder. This is a man who has been anything but a success in life, experiencing great difficulty holding down jobs.

The lawsuits lodged against Xytex and Outreach on behalf of the three Ontario mothers cite failure to investigate, fraud and negligent misrepresentation. One of the plaintiffs described in her claim that "She was advised by Outreach that Xytex Corp. was the largest and most reliable sperm bank." She found, studying the catalogue, that Donor 9623 had two university degrees with a third in the works, a clean medical history and apparently robust sperm. Her suit states that "A client specialist with Outreach told the plaintiff that Donor 9623 was one of Xytex's most popular donors and that he already had [sired] ten offspring."

Perhaps most infuriating of all was that this client had been attempting to once again become pregnant. Her lawsuit states that at the very time she had become aware of Aggeles' health problems, the two companies had attempted to sell her additional units of this very same man's frozen semen six months after they had become aware of his falsified records after having been informed by other mothers of their discovery of his mental health problems.

Aggeles sold his sperm to Xytex between 2000 and 2014, and some was stored to be made available after 2014

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Engaging With PTSD : EEGs, Diagnosis, Treatment

"It is a big data idea combining a classic test -- the EEG -- with a modern concept. This is how Google works, it looks for trends."
Colonel Rakesh Jetly, Canadian military's senior psychiatrist

"It takes out the whole notion that you treat by symptoms."
"Symptoms are very subjective. You never really know what medication fits what patients, and so this would take all that guesswork out of it."
Verner Knott, Royal Ottawa, new study's principal investigator

"In psychiatry, we struggle more."
"The reality is that thirty to fifty percent of patients with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] or depression never get any better."
Jakov Shlik, psychiatrist, Royal Ottawa Hospital
doctoreeg

At the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, a new tack was attempted to address an almost universally-recognized problem associated with stress, and in particular stress and exhaustion and depression associated with conflict zones. A troubling number of soldiers have returned from their experiences posted abroad in theatres of war where they witness or become part of the conflict and have become traumatized as a result, unable to function normally.

Up to the present time, questioning the symptoms that the individual speaks of has been the only reliable diagnostic tool to examine the onset, extent and impact of post traumatic stress syndrome, and then once diagnosis has been established, doctors offer whatever help they identify in the arsenal available to them, from counselling to drugs. And because people differ from one another, and the illness they suffer from differs one from another as well, it is next to impossible to find the right chemical combination.

It is estimated that roughly five percent of Canada's 65,000+ full-time military has acquired PTSD. This issue is a critical one to quality of life, and there are occasions when PTSD sufferers decide they will suffer no more. Fourteen active-duty personnel in 2015 decided they could no longer get on with their lives, burdened with the PTSD that gave them no rest, and they took their own lives to find peace in death. A November 23 Canadian Forces report also cited the fact that 65 percent of the suicides suffered from mental-health injury or disorder.

Anti-depressants haven't seemed to work all that well. Some make people feel zombie-like, others begin the onset of hyper-aggression, and others yet affect the body's nervous system, and even cause issues like swelling. There are many drugs that are considered for use, but few appear to offer an avenue to real relief from the condition's symptoms. Some describe what they go through, attempting to find a solution in one drug after another as being within a "chemical experimental station".

What a study at the Walter Reed Center focused on was the use of electroencephalograms which record electrical activity in the brain through electrodes attached to the skull.  Psychiatry has used them to determine whether a brain tumour is present and responsible for a patient's change in personality, or to diagnose epilepsy. The study asked soldiers and veterans vexed with anxiety or depression of PTSD to submit to an EEG. Those scans were then uploaded to a database of about ten thousand scans of patients responding positively to drug therapy.

A California-based "predictive analytics" company, MYnd Analytics, had developed advanced software which was used in the search for matches between the scans. A predictive guide outlining which medication appeared best suited to particular patients based on the brain's electrical signature ensued. Only about 150 subjects took part in the original study, three years ago. But they reported less depression, decreased suicidal thoughts, and more engagement in their treatment.

Dr. Laura Manning Franke reviews EEG results with a research participant, who is wearing an electrode cap.
Dr. Laura Manning Franke reviews EEG results with a research participant, who is wearing an electrode cap. (Photo courtesy of Richmond VAMC)

The protocol was expanded, fine-tuned for accuracy, and additional trials were held which yielded like results. Sufficiently so to convince the Canadian military to emulate that original study. The Canadian Forces Health Centre and The Royal Ottawa Operational Stress Injury Clinic, have embarked on their own study, with the application of the EEG. Suddenly doctors have a tool to aid them in their psychiatric diagnosis. Unlike other areas of illness or disease that afflict the body, blood tests reveal nothing about mental illness.

Conventionally, patients respond to questionnaires and they self-report their symptoms. From these sources doctors gain the outline of a diagnosis and proceed to treat the illness based on prior experience, instinct and professional guidelines; basically the process is one of trial and error. Theoretically, if all goes as it appears to be heading, the EEG adds a reliable and more precise diagnostic tool reflecting the patient's physiology.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Naturally Flat Post-Mastectomy

“It’s a tremendous amount to put your body through, and it’s not like we’re going to get our breasts back,” said Rebecca Pine, 40, who decided against reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy. Credit Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times
"Reconstruction is not a simple process."
"Some women just feel like it's too much: It's too involved, there are too many steps, it's too long a process."
Dr. Deanna J. Attai, California breast surgeon

"That's the dirty little secret of breast reconstruction: The risk of a major complication is higher than for the average elective surgery."
Dr. Clara Lee, associate professor of plastic surgery, Ohio State University

"Having something foreign in my body after a cancer diagnosis is the last thing I wanted."
"I just wanted to heal."
Debbie Bowers, 45, Pennsylvania

"I was never told there was a choice. I went from the breast surgeon to the plastic surgeon, and they said, 'This is what you're going to do'."
Marianne DuQuette Cuozzo, 51

"[Focusing on the risk of complications with breast reconstruction is similar to focusing on plane crashes since] millions of flights land safely."
"Taking into consideration advances in surgical techniques] the aesthetic result can be better than the native breast."
Dr. David H. Song, chief of plastic surgery, University of Chicago

"It's a tremendous amount to put your body through, and it's not like we're going to get our breasts back."
"They [her reconstruction post-mastectomy] don't look or feel, in most cases, like our breasts [so she had the implants later removed]."
Rebecca Pine, 40, cancer survivor, New York

"A lot of the women in my support group had infections, and they were surprised at how many surgeries were involved."
"As I compared notes, I wondered, 'Why are all these women doing this to themselves'?"
Alicia Staley, 45, double-mastectomy
2015-10-16-1445026147-7958240-colin_gray_breast_cancer_finals_004.jpg
The Huffington Post

Dr. Marisa Weiss is the founder of breastcancer.org. She feels that doctors should not make the assumption that all their patients wish for reconstruction. "I've had go-go dancers who do not want reconstruction, and nuns who say, 'I need reconstruction'". But the very fact is that oncologists seem to sponsor the work done by plastic surgeons in breast reconstruction. If both are male, viewing the situation from the typical male perspective, it is a telling conclusion.

Some surgeons have the tone-deaf gall, as Dr. Song  did, to extol the virtues of breast reconstruction as an improvement over the original equipment that nature designed. As though a woman should appreciate a silicone implant sized and shaped to perfection over her own natural breast size and shape; perhaps some do, and certainly many would not. The implant is not a living part of the body, but an intruder. One that requires additional surgery which sometimes does not have the outcome promised.

So the promotion of breast reconstruction to enable women to "feel whole again", sounds like a public relations ploy to sell a dubious product in a society that has aesthetic standards for women to squeeze themselves in to, irrespective of whether this is what they really want. Many have no idea what they really want, they simply accept what they have been guided toward. And afterward, some women discard the end-product of that guidance.

Some women become accustomed to seeing themselves with scarred flat chests replacing their body shape that women are so affectionately proud of. It is a recognition of reality and the price one pays to recover from a dread disease. Dr. Attai points out that some of her patients, in particular those who originally had small breasts to begin with, are choosing to go the 'flat' chest way. And perhaps that choice falls within a middle-aged group, rather than a younger cohort of women undergoing surgery.

"Breasts aren't what make us a woman", stated Paulette Leaphart, 50, of New Orleans. She had a clotting disorder that obviated the possibility of reconstruction after a double mastectomy for medical-health reasons. She walked from Mississippi to Washington to raise awareness about the financial struggles faced by cancer patients. She did this during the summer months, topless, to bring attention to her focus.

Society has certain mores and expectations, and they come about as standard procedures when enough people accept them. Medical professionals have accepted the theory that part of breast cancer treatment includes restoration of the breast. The Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 in the U.S. requires health plans to cover the cost of prosthetics and reconstruction procedures. But is it truly a requirement that all women must embrace?

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

The BrainSCAN project

"It's an idea that is a little bit out there. [But] it's definitely in the category of things that would be awesome if true ... "
"It would open up a whole new window on the brain."
"We know that the photons are there, and photons are really good for sending signals. It would seem kind of natural for evolution to have found that, too."
Christoph Simon, Quantum physicist, University of Calgary

"It's obviously going to be controversial [the theory that the brain uses optics as a type of communication]."
"But that is good ... Controversy is good."
"It opens the possibility that you could shine light in one area and that light could be piped via the axons to another area ... and excite or inhibit other areas."
Ravi Menon, medical biophysicist, Western University
A human brain is displayed inside a glass box in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images      A human brain is displayed inside a glass box in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

What if? The current wisdom is that brain cells communicate through the auspices of electrical impulses, the bio-methodology whereby currents pass from neuron to neuron, instantly delivering messages from the brain to other parts of the body. Central command; our brains, in rapid-fire succession, blink out the coded messages for our heart to beat, our lungs to breathe, our muscles to respond to orders that our limbs be set into motion; limitless orders the body responds to in a fluid flow of command-and-respond.

At the University of Calgary, scientists there are theorizing the brain's capability of harnessing other communication powers, a system of communication based on light-reception: think fibre-optic network enmeshed with the brain to service and animate the mind. Through the use of modelling by computer the Calgary scientific team forward the idea in a journal article (see abstract below) of the plausibility that photons, fundamental particles of light, are able to zip about biological cables that link to parts of the brain.

The mystery of how nature has instructed groups of molecules to generate consciousness itself could possibly be unravelled and in the process enable science to become far more confidently familiarized with how the brain operates. Dr. Christoph Simon credits the idea having lodged in his thought processes upon discovering that specific brain cells -- along with some others elsewhere in the body -- produce photons through the process of normal metabolism.

Axons, the silk-threaded portion of nerve cells, which transmits signals to other cells, and their protective myelin sheath, could conceivably take on the mantle of "bio-photon" conductor. A biophysician from the university's oncology department joined Simon and his colleagues to develop a model which was used to test if there was physical potential for the axons to conduct light. Their observation concluded that it would.

Which does not quite prove that this is what is taking place. Still, a light communication protocol could conceivably transmit information tens of millions of times more efficiently than the electrical spark taking place between neurons, according to Dr. Simon. Of greater moment, such a system could permit for the transmission of quantum data, the basic underpinning of quantum theory taken from the world of atomic and sub-atomic particles where two places at the same time can exist containing two things at once.

The speculation represents a rather neat conception, that nature identified and acted upon the very same possibility that has now fixated Dr. Simon and his colleagues. The very thought that the mystery of how it is that the brain produces consciousness, an evasive riddle that researchers have thus far failed to solve, might be within reach of understanding, provoking additional curiosity. As is usual when a new scientific theory is proposed, there are doubters, and though outside experts find the theory interesting, they remain to be convinced.

The team has succeeded in demonstrating that it is entirely possible for axons to conduct light. But in view of the understanding that the brain's production of photons is "weak", the question lingers; is it actually using optics as a communication form, or is it not? The theoretical "light pipes", on the other hand, whether or not an optical communication network exists, could be research-useful in neurological structures or treatments, according to Dr. Menon.

Abstract

Possible existence of optical communication channels in the brain

Given that many fundamental questions in neuroscience are still open, it seems pertinent to explore whether the brain might use other physical modalities than the ones that have been discovered so far. In particular it is well established that neurons can emit photons, which prompts the question whether these biophotons could serve as signals between neurons, in addition to the well-known electro-chemical signals. For such communication to be targeted, the photons would need to travel in waveguides. Here we show, based on detailed theoretical modeling, that myelinated axons could serve as photonic waveguides, taking into account realistic optical imperfections. We propose experiments, both in vivo and in vitro, to test our hypothesis. We discuss the implications of our results, including the question whether photons could mediate long-range quantum entanglement in the brain. 
Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 36508.
Published online 2016 Nov 7. doi:  10.1038/srep36508
Logo of scirep

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Gangs of thugs in brown shirts owned the streets. They drove around in trucks, flashing their guns and their swastika armbands, hooting at the pretty girls. If they wanted to pick you up or beat you up, they did so with impunity. Anybody who resisted was beaten or killed or taken away to Dachau or Buchenwald or some other concentration camp. (You must understand that at that time, the concentration camps were prisons where opponents of the Nazi regime were detained . . . The inmates were made to work at hard labor and lived in dreadful conditions, but the words 'concentration camp' came to stand for monstrous cruelty and almost certain death. Nobody even imagined there would one day be a death camp like Auschwitz.)

Cheering crowds greet Hitler as he enters Vienna. Austria, March 1938.
Cheering crowds greet Hitler as he enters Vienna. Austria, March 1938.
Wide World Photo

How can I describe to you our confusion and terror when the Nazis took over? We had lived until yesterday in a rational world. Now everyone around us -- our schoolmates, neighbours, and teachers; our tradesmen, policemen, and bureaucrats -- had all gone mad. They had been harboring a hatred for us which we had grown accustomed to calling 'prejudice'. What a gentle word that was! What a euphemism! In fact they hated us with a hatred as old as their religion; they were born hating us, raised hating us; and now with the Anschluss, the veneer of civilization which had protected us from their hatred was stripped away.

Jews in Vienna forced to scrub Schuschnigg's slogans off the sidewalk --
www.HolocaustResearchProject.org

On the pavements, protesters had written anti-Nazi slogans. The SS grabbed Jews and forced them at gunpoint to scrub off the graffiti while crowds of Austrians stood around jeering and laughing.

The Nazi radio blamed us for every filthy evil thing in this world. The Nazis called us subhuman and, in the next breath, superhuman; accused us of plotting to murder them, to rob them blind; declared that they had to conquer the world to prevent us from conquering the world. The radio said that we must be dispossessed of all we owned; that my father, who had dropped dead while working, had not really worked for our pleasant flat -- the leather chairs in the dining room, the earrings in my mother's ears -- that he had somehow stolen them from Christian Austria, which now had every right to take them back.

Members of the League of German Girls wave Nazi flags in support of the German annexation of Austria. Vienna, Austria, March 1938.
Members of the League of German Girls wave Nazi flags in support of the German annexation of Austria. Vienna, Austria, March 1938.   — Dokumentationsarchiv des Oesterreichischen Widerstandes

Did our friends and our neighbors really believe this? Of course they didn't believe it. They were not stupid. But they had suffered depression, inflation, and joblessness. They wanted to be well-to-do again, and the fastest way to accomplish that was to steal. Cultivating a belief in the greed of the Jews gave them an excuse to steal everything the Jews possessed.

We sat in our flats, paralyzed with fear, waiting for the madness to end. Rational, charming, witty, dancing, generous Vienna must surely rebel against such insanity We waited and we waited and it didn't end and it didn't end and still we waited and we waited.

The restrictions against Jews spread into every corner of our lives. We couldn't go to movies or concerts. We couldn't walk on certain streets. The Nazis put up signs on Jewish shop windows warning the population not to buy there. Mimi was fired from her job at the dry cleaners because it had become illegal for Christians to employ Jews. Hansi was no longer allowed to go to school.

SS men supervise the confiscation of goods belonging to Jews deported from Vienna --
www.HolocaustResearchProject.org

Uncle Richard went to the cafe where he had been going for twenty years. It now had a Jewish side and an Aryan side, and he sat on the Jewish side. Because he had fair hair and didn't look Jewish, a waiter, who did not know him, said he had to move to the Aryan side. But on the Aryan side, a waiter who did know him said that he had to go back to the Jewish side. He finally gave up and went home.

Baron Louis de Rothschild, one of the wealthiest Jewish men in Vienna, tried to leave the city. The Nazis stopped him at the airport and put him in prison, and whatever they did to him there convinced him that he ought to sign over everything to the Nazi regime. Then they let him leave. The SS took over the Rothschild Palace on Prinz Eugenstrasse and renamed it the Center for Jewish Emigration.

Right after Grandmother died, the world held a conference at Evian-les-Bains, a luxurious spa in the French Alps near Lake Geneva, at which the fate of the Austrian Jews was up for discussion. Eichmann sent representatives of our community to plead with other countries to pay the Nazi ransom and take us in. "Don't you want to save the urbane, well-educated, fun-loving, cultured Jews of Austria?" they asked. "How about paying $400 a head to the Nazi regime? Too much? How about $200?"

They couldn't get a cent.

No country wanted to pay for our rescue, including the United States. The dictator of the Dominican Republic, Trujillo, took a few Jews, thinking they might help bring some prosperity to the tiny, impoverished country. I have heard that they did.

http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/nazioccupation/images/transport%20list%20of%20vienna%20jews.jpg
Transport list of Viennese Jews -- www.HolocaustResearchProject.org


From the NAZI Officer's WIFE -- Edith Hahn Beer, c.1999

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Which is the Oppressor now, the Heterosexual or the Homosexual?

Pronoun cards 2016-01

Pronoun cards 2016-02


In the ongoing saga of University of Toronto psychology Professor Jordan Peterson, he is being reviled and excoriated by the vast army of the politically correct for having exhibiting publicly the unacceptable temerity as an individual who refuses to succumb to the popular social demands that what the LGBTQ2 community calls 'straights' accept without question their language rights. Infusing them with the epithet of 'homophobic' for failing to bow to ever-increasing, more ludicrously gender-bending demands of recognition and obeisance to the agenda of harnessing righteous indignation that among the 99% of society's heterosexuals there are those who refuse to honour their precious tantrums.

Professor Peterson posted several videos wherein he made it clear that the preposterous demands that language be co-opted and coded to reflect the vast cornucopia of new and evolving gender identities requiring that the prevailing, traditional historical language of gender identity be scrapped in favour of adopting LGBTQ2's labyrinthine logic that distorting pronouns well beyond recognition will satisfy the wounded psyches of those who happen not to fall into the recognized and naturally occurring sex roles of male and female.

Tyler Anderson/National Post
Tyler Anderson/National Post    Quinn Valkyrie holds a sign at a protest against anti-political correctness professor Jordan Peterson at University of Toronto on Oct. 5.
 
The passions that Professor Peterson's perfectly sane explanation that language, though malleable, should never be the victim of a minuscule minority's field of complex identity issues aggressively pursued so that the general public has an obligation to learn a multitude of pronouns to satisfy the whimsical demands of that wounded one percent in society confused about their gender identities, has been swift and corrosive. His more 'understanding', compassionate and politically correct academic peers were quick to criticize his outspokenness. His university has looked askance at the controversy and his academic standing within it may be imperilled.

Governments themselves are literally bending over backwards, pretzelling themselves to bend language completely out of shape and understanding in a confusion of responses, all genuflecting in the direction of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community which has been enthusiastically  engaged in proving that tired old adage that it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. And so, amendments which recently passed in the Canadian House of Commons after having been given the green light of acceptability by the Canadian Human Rights Code and the Criminal Code add "gender identity" and "gender expression" as grounds for legal protection in Canada.

The University of Toronto set up a forum to argue the need for those amendments. On the dissenting side was Professor Peterson, and on the assent-demand side were two female professors, one of whom was Dr. Mary Bryson of the University of British Columbia, both experts on the issue of gender identity and gender expression. Perhaps both also qualify as experts on gender oppression as well, intimidating and threatening those whose social morals don't quite align with their own. It has been reported that a former student of a Women's Studies course in 1991 at UBC found herself in a state of fearful and disgusted apprehension taking Dr. Bryson's course.

U of T Professor Jordan Peterson debates Bill C-16 on Nov. 19, 2016.
Dave Abel/Postmedia Network   U of T Professor Jordan Peterson debates Bill C-16 on Nov. 19, 2016. Dr. Bryson is third from left.
"The students sat there in stunned, awkward silence. We had no idea what to say, what to do or where to look."
"We told them [the university] everything that was happening I assumed that Bryson wouldn't be permitted to teach at UBC any more."
"Imagine a male professor forcing female students to watch violent pornography. Imagine a male professor inviting a male guest speaker to drop his pants and expose himself to students. Imagine this prof telling students how to dress for his class and forcing them to publicly announce their personal grooming habits and their sexual orientation, and then proceed to shame students on that basis."
"It would be a national scandal."
Former UBC student, name withheld

"We take seriously any concerns raised by past or current students about their learning experiences at UBC."
"[However, the university requires] some time to look through our files as this involves a course taught 25 years ago."
Dr. Angela Redish, provost, acting academic vice-president, UBC
Professor Bryson, one of the two who debated against Professor Peterson on Bill C-165 and the Ontario Human Rights Code gender provisions, was not dismissed from UBC's teaching staff. What did occur in fact was that she became tenured, then was elevated to the post of director of the university's Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, and more latterly was named senior associate dean of the education faculty. The young woman, now in her mid-40s who spoke of her ordeal in Professor Bryson's Women's Studies class graduated with her master's in religious studies from UBC and moved on and into her career, her experience with Dr. Bryson, a bad memory.

The course she took part in was labelled "From the Margins: Lesbian Subjects Matter". In 1993 an article written by Dr. Bryson and a co-author, described a course co-taught by them in 1991. Their article was titled "Queer Pedagogy: Praxis Makes Im/Perfect", published in the Canadian Journal of Education. In the article they pointed out that the heterosexual and white students in their class were informed they would need to "function and circulate differently in a lesbian-identified space". Their students were advised to "choose either to remain silent about their sexual identification or to present themselves as 'out lesbians'."

Their class, they pointed out was one where the "unsayable" could be uttered, where so-called deviant images could be represented ... within the oppressive confines of the always-already heterosexualized classrooms. Where heterosexuals were identified as the enemy and, in the words of the former student "those of us who liked men, who had intimate relations with men were mocked .... " Aside from declaring their sexual orientation, students were informed that all sex with men was inherently violet. The students were exposed to a "Butch/Femme in Paradise", short video containing graphic images, which Dr. Bryson explains as "an art film" where the activities were "entirely consensual".

Actually, degenerate is the first descriptive that comes to mind.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Freedom From Gravity Ages Us

"Being in space can bring on accelerated aging. Returning to Earth, we see accelerated rehabilitation. if we study those two things, maybe they can inform each other so what we see in space can help us better understand aging."
"What we see in space is like an accelerated parallel of aging, related to microgravity."
"We are at the beginning of what is going to be a big increase [of the elderly population] in the world. We are going to see an increase in the needs that must be met. And what we learn in space can be a very valuable tool to help that process along."
Nicole Buckley, lead scientist, Canadian Space Agency
Hadfield
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. MAXIM SHIPENKOV / AP
The aging institute for the Canadian Institutes for Health Research has launched an international initiative, along with the Canadian Space Agency, to investigate the possibility of science learning from the processes that occur in the human body freed from its gravitational grounding, when the body reacts by gradually losing muscle mass and bones become less dense, and over time humans in space realize a diminution of normal body musculature.

This effect on the human body is acknowledged by having astronauts regularly perform one and a half to two and a half hours daily of training exercises to rebut the process.

But the decline itself, a phenomenon that appears as an aging process similar to what happens to people on Earth as they grow old, holds out promise to medical science that a fuller investigation of the space process of [reversible] aging, may provide clues to better managing the aging process of elderly humans on terra firma. And Canada's space institutions are leading the studies hoping to persuade space scientists and geriatricians to work together to prod and explore the similarities.

None animated GIF

Health systems worldwide are experiencing growing pressure with the inevitable aging of the population bulge known in the West as baby boomers. The idea being that a finer understanding of the process through this type of investigation might lead to improved treatment regarding the aging process. In space, bone loss is temporary and mostly reversible on return to Earth. That bone loss is central to the bones involved in weight-bearing; legs, spine and hips, a more rapid process than what occurs in Earthbound aging.

As an example there is more density in affected bones for female astronauts in a six-month period, than what menopausal and post-menopausal women experience in the space of two years. The loss of muscle mass, the decreases in the immune and cardiovascular systems, all all ripe for study, as is the fact that the elderly and astronauts as well experience deceased elasticity of the arteries. As well, points out Dr. Buckley, the psychosocial experiences of astronauts linked to isolation and living amongst strangers mirror experiences of the elderly, increasingly living in institutional settings.

While for most people, it takes decades to really start to feel the effects of the aging process, humans stationed in space experience some of them in fast-forward. They're often reversible once an astronaut returns home, although sometimes a few of the changes can be permanent.
A lack of gravity is the main cause for these intense alterations. Gravity is one of the most important forces at work on Earth, and it plays an immense role in the majority of our bodily systems. Take the muscles, for example. Older peoples' muscles tend to shrink and atrophy as they age and become less mobile. Astronauts' muscles react in a similar way because they are barely used. That's why astronauts in space for extended periods of time use special exercise machines to help mitigate this effect.
A similar process takes place in the bones. After a certain age, people on Earth start to lose mass in their bones, typically at a rate of about 1-to-2 percent a year. But in space, those people lose bone mass at a greatly accelerated rate: as much as 1-to-2 percent a month. Because the astronauts' skeletal systems don't need to support their weight, the bones begin to decrease production of new bone material and increase the amount of old bone absorption. Luckily, their skeletal systems usually return to normal once they've spent some time back on terra firma [source: NASA].
Even though they're saving 0.007 seconds, astronauts still experience some of the symptoms of a drawn-out aging process. Researchers are working to figure out the mechanics of why these changes occur, as well as what can be done to prevent them. This information could not only to help make spaceflight easier on the human body, but to help improve life on Earth as well.                           Jessica Toothman, Science/Spaceflight

curved space time

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Frankenstein Surgery

"[The diamond-cutting blade is] probably the sharpest and most precise blade in the world [for a] clear cut of the spinal cord with a minimal impact on the nerves."
"The greatest technical hurdle to [a head transplant] is of course the reconnection of the donor's and recipient's spinal cords."
"It is my contention that the technology only now exists for such linkage."
"This virtual reality system prepares the patient in the best possible way for a new world that he will be facing with his new body. A world in which he will be able to walk again."
"Up to now, hopeless medical conditions might benefit [from head-body exchanges]."
"Once R's [recipient] head has been detached, it must be joined to D's [donor's] body; that is, it must be connected to the circulatory flow of D, within the hour."
Dr. Sergio Canavero, Italian neuroscientist
head transplant
The VR system Valery Spiridonov will use before the surgery.  (Inventum)
At an international conference taking place in Glasgow, Dr. Canavero unveiled the tools he will be using in his ambitious, completely medically unorthodox intention to detach the head of a recently brain-dead patient and replace it with the head of another man, suffering from a rare form of spinal muscular atrophy that causes muscle wasting and motor neuron death. The man who will be risking a life that is fraught with misery, is prepared to surrender confinement to a wheelchair which he manoeuvres with a joystick to the remote possibility that he may survive this surgery.

Valery Spiridonov's Werdnig-Hoffman disease is a devastating type of spinal muscular atrophy, leaving him with severely restricted movements and a short time-line for life expectancy; he is able to feed himself, and he is able to type to communicate. Mr. Spiridonov obviously feels a huge lack in his life in its ever-ebbing vitality leaving him a limp and poignantly regretful wisp of the man he once was. He must feel the gamble he is prepared to attempt in the hope his life may become normalized is worth the effort.

Dr Sergio Canavero plans to conduct tests on human corpses before performing a human head transplant next year. Russian Valery Spiridonov has volunteered to be the first person to have the operation (pictured right with Dr Canavero, centre, on Good Morning Britain)
Dr Sergio Canavero plans to conduct tests on human corpses before performing a human head transplant next year. Russian Valery Spiridonov has volunteered to be the first person to have the operation (pictured right with Dr Canavero, centre, on Good Morning Britain)

And Dr. Canavero is imbued with boundless enthusiasm and certainty sufficient for two; himself and his patient. He now is in possession of a surgical blade designed by a bioengineering professor at University of Illinois, and has partnered with another bold medical scientist to go where none have ever trod before in the field of medical surgery and bioengineering. Their plan to be the first in the world to achieve a successful head transplant was published in the journal Surgical Neurology International.

Most medical professionals feel confident that the end result of the surgery will be the grim statement that the surgery was a success, but the patient failed to survive it.

Most medical scientists have the impression that Dr. Canavero is quite simply insane in his confidence that he will be capable of performing this incredible feat; fitting one man's head to another man's body. For the recipient of the body to replace his old uselessly deteriorating one, the bizarre exchange will certainly result in the most discombobulating of experiences, that of a mind having to adapt itself to having been paired with a body other than that he was born with, was familiar with and dependent upon.

Chinese surgeon Xiaoping Ren has joined Dr. Canavero in his proposed exploit. Dr. Ren has experimented extensively in the past in performing hundreds of mice head transplants. Of those hundreds, none of the unfortunate little creatures survived beyond a few minutes, post-surgery. Dr. Canavero, nonetheless lays claim to having performed head transplants on a monkey and human cadavers. He attests that the monkey survived "perfectly without injury" for a period of 20 hours before it was euthanized.

He has used his ambitious design for success along with his animal model experiments to attempt to persuade fabulously wealthy philanthropists to invest in funding his enterprise which will come in at a considerable cost of an estimated $128-million for the proposed "head anastomosis venture" surgery which Dr. Canavero popularized by dubbing it as "Heaven surgery". Whether it will be heaven or hell will be up for debate. A surgery that would take 36 hours for a team of 100 surgeons and nurses to finalize.

A special biocompatible glue will be used, to ensure the spinal cord holds to enable it to fuse with the donor body. The patient, Mr. Spiridonov, would be placed in a four-week drug-induced coma for the connection between head and body to fully consolidate and heal under the plan of action. The procedure itself involves cooling the body-recipient's head by hypothermia while surgeons "disconnect and reconnect it" to the body of the donor, present in the same operating room where a second surgical team will have detached the original head.

"There's never been a successful procedure that reattached a fully severed primate spinal cord", stated Extremetech.com, in contradiction to the ebullient Sergio Canavero's boastful contention. Has anyone confided this information to Valery Spiridonov? Would he believe it? Would he care?

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Vaping Popularity

"I would think that tobacco-control people would be celebrating. That's more rapid [drop in cigarette smoking] than would be predicted."
"With increasing use of e-cigarettes, and decreasing use of tobacco, it totally makes sense that there has been substitution going on."
Mark Ryndall, executive director, B.C. Centre for Disease Control

"It is being done despite the anti-smoking establishment. It isn't that governments have been encouraging this [new smoking technology] ... quite the opposite."
"Governments have been doing things to get int he way."
David Sweanor, anti-smoking movement activist, Ottawa

"It appears there has been a very big increase in quitting [conventional tobacco smoking], and it appears to be recent, [the] unprecedented [drop in American smoking rates]."
Ken Warner, public health professor, University of Michigan
A customer puffs on an e-cigarette at the Henley Vaporium in New York City December 18, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Despite the enthusiasm expressed by many who give credit to the growing popularity of e-cigarettes taking away from the conventional smoking population, not everyone is convinced that vaping has replaced cigarettes. They look elsewhere for cause-and-effect. According to Rob Cunningham for example, who is an analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society, the latest survey data that they rely upon as the basis for their statements, the lower rate of smoking is attributable to higher taxes.

A carton of cigarettes has had a $4 federal tax imposed, with a like amount of taxation set in several provinces since 2013-15, and it is that higher cost that they feel accounts for the drop in smoking rates. They also point out that people who indulge in e-cigarettes, largely also are smokers of cigarettes. In the age range where e-cigarettes are most popular, they state, smoking tobacco has remained at a steady rate over the past two years.

"That's of concern, that the progress among 20 to 24-year-olds appears to have stalled", commented Mr. Cunningham. Still, the most recent statistics underlining a sharp drop in the number of Canadians smoking has some experts supporting the plausibility of the e-cigarette displacing regular smoking with "vaping". And they emphasize that with vaping much of the carcinogen content in tobacco smoke is avoided.

Should they be correct in their interpretation it would represent a trend to better health habits that consumers themselves are leading, along with the entrepreneurs that provide them with the alternate products, and not advocacy groups and health authorities. Against that tide of opinion, however, there is the 'other side' with other experts satisfied that the diminished smoking numbers reflect tobacco tax increases doing what they were meant to do; dissuade people from smoking, with higher costs a penalty to be paid if they persist.

E-cigarette users still get their hit of addictive nicotine through the vapour emitted but without inhaling the assorted cancer-causing chemicals certain to be delivered by tobacco smoke. While their proponents claim the machines represent a much safer alternative than real cigarettes, their detractors point out that the use of e-cigarettes could lead to a re-normalization of a health-destructive habit. Amid fears that vaping could represent a gateway to cigarette smoking for young people.

In the wake of a long downward trend in smoking that petered out in the late 2000s, the rate of smoking among age fifteen-and-over Canadians fell from 19 percent to 17 percent in 2005-2011, according to the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey. In the following four years the rate fell to 13 percent of the adult population concomitant with vaping emerging as a popular alternative, a 2015 survey revealed.

A poll by the federal government estimated that 3.8 million people were smoking in 2015, representing 400,000 fewer than in 2013. 713,000 people identified in the poll were using e-cigarettes with most of the vapers continuing to smoke tobacco, while 107,000 were former smokers. This trend in Canada reflects what the United States, Britain and other countries are seeing, where vaping has become popular.

E-cigarettes are metal tubes that heat liquids typically laced with nicotine and deliver vapor when inhaled. The liquids come in thousands of flavors, from cotton candy to pizza.
Use of the devices has grown quickly in the last decade, with U.S. sales expected to reach $4.1 billion in 2016, according to Wells Fargo Securities. Sales were down 6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, however.
The healthcare community remains deeply divided over the devices. Some healthcare experts are concerned about how little is known about the potential health risks. They are especially worried about rising teen e-cigarette use, and fear that may get a new generation hooked on nicotine.
Reuters.com
People use electronic vaporizers with cannabidiol (CBD)-rich hemp oil while attending the International Cannabis Association Convention in New York, October 12, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Text-Walking : Accidents Waiting To Happen

"Our results suggest that when dialing a phone while walking, healthy adults adopt a more cautious gait pattern, which may limit the risk of falling."
"Dual tasking resulted in increased stride width in our participants. This may represent compensation for a feeling of instability during dual-task walking by increasing the base of support."
"Gait speed is typically reduced when individuals simultaneously perform other tasks. However, in today's fast-paced world, individuals are often rushed and do not choose to slow their gait speed, and even if they do, they remain more likely to fall while walking."
Kelly Seymour, study author, University of Delaware
texting and walking dangers
Photo: Healthline News

Perhaps the issue should be the question and an answer explaining why it is that otherwise rational human beings have become so slavishly fixated on instant and continuous communication? We unfailingly communicate via our electronic playthings now, all of which have become integral to our lifestyles, and at the same time those who are so closely wedded to their cellphones and who so commonly make friends and acquaintances at social media and networking sites seem to lavish all their personal attention there, to the detriment of face-on-face contact with people around them.

It is a universal problem. As is the vexatious habit people have succumbed to, in the face of institutional condemnation that makes it a traffic offense to text and drive, placing both the driver and everyone around him or her, whether in the vehicle with them, or other drivers and/or pedestrians in potential danger when a distracted driver is incapable of reacting appropriately under the influence of texting. Moving away from driving and texting simultaneously, there is the additional problem of people attending to their indispensable cellphones to text while walking.

All sense of proportion, and caution appear to escape the perception of someone wholly engrossed in texting, even while their attention should be fully focused on their locomotion, with adequate awareness of traffic, other pedestrians, physical encumbrances, traffic lights, crosswalks, broken pavement and other impediments to safety one is unable to guard against when attention is elsewhere. In Antwerp, Belgium, "text-walking lanes" have been introduced for safety for the inveterate texters and to keep other pedestrians safe from their blind obedience to cellphone communication.
Pedestrians walk past a "Look!" sign on the crosswalk at the intersection of 42nd St. and 2nd Ave. in New York. AP File/Seth Wenig
Pedestrians walk past a “Look!” sign on the crosswalk at the intersection of 42nd St. and 2nd Ave. in New York. AP File/Seth Wenig

Recently, scientists have been looking into the way that people's locomotion has been altered, resulting from texting while walking. Though they may not realize it, walking texters' gait becomes exaggerated in reflection of their inner awareness that their faculties are elsewhere than on the primary task of walking. Twenty-two volunteers were asked by researchers at the University of Delaware to dial a number on their mobile phone while in the process of treadmill walking for two-minute periods.
Keep Your Head Up: 'Text Neck' Takes A Toll On The SpineKeep Your Head Up: 'Text Neck' Takes A Toll On The Spine


Reflective markers were placed on the volunteers' arms, trunk, pelvis and legs, picked up by motion cameras measuring knee flexion, hip movement and leg swing. The experiment succeeded in showing that distraction through dialing numbers caused the volunteers to walk with strangely exaggerated strides, knees bending in peak position with every step, ankles fully flexed as though to offer as much opportunity as conceivable to step over tripping hazards. People, according to the researchers, unconsciously adapt their postures to the subconscious risk involved in this type of multi-tasking.

Diminished vision and with it attention, is compensated for by the exaggerated motions in aid of negotiating crowds. Published in Motor Behaviour, the study found that few errors occurred in dialing the numbers through the experiment, leading the researchers to conclude that the dialing was given priority over the walking. It took the texters 26 percent longer in their walking task as well, compared to those who were not distracted by cellphone texting.

Several recent studies have shown that people who use their phones when walking or driving have slower reaction times and pay less attention to their surroundings. With nine in 10 U.S. adults owning a cell phone as of January 2014, lawmakers have reacted by banning text messaging for all drivers in 46 states and the District of Columbia, according to Distraction.gov.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Coping With Dementia

"My father is an absolutely amazing person, the wisest and smartest person I’ve ever known, and it’s affected us a lot because he’s not the same person he used to be, and it affects my amazing mother, who … lives with him and takes care of him."
"I get how, how much it changes families, how much it affects people’s lives and how much we don’t really have great systems in place, and [my parents] live in Southwestern Ontario in a place where there should be better access to care and there isn’t. So we need to do better for Canadians living with dementia."
"It’s not any one single solution that’s going to respond to a fairly significant social issue like [dementia]."
Dr. Jane Philpott, Health Minister, Government of Canada

"[I can think of no disease so] deeply dreaded by anyone who wants to age gracefully and with dignity; no disease that places such a heavy burden on families, communities and societies; and, no disease where innovation to develop a cure is so badly needed."
Margaret Chan, director general, World Health Organization
In recent years, several promising Alzheimer's Disease therapies have failed to show positive results in later trials.
In recent years, several promising Alzheimer's Disease therapies have failed to show positive results in later trials. Matt Rourke / Associated Press

The figures are startling. There are 750,000 people in Canada suffering from dementia. From among a population of just over thirty-six million people. Industrialized Western countries with their 21st Century scientific medical discoveries and treatments are allowing people to live longer, more fruitful lives where chronic illnesses and diseases are kept in check for ever lengthier periods. The one disease, however, that has so far eluded effective, long-term treatment, let alone a cure, is dementia associated with age and genetic susceptibility, in its many forms, all lethal.

By the year 2031 as the country's population numbers increase and with that increase a concomitant increase in the number of elderly in society, that number of dementia suffers is expected to double. In 2011 the medical costs associated with dementia care came to $8.3-billion, an expense that is set to rise steeply over the next 25 years. By the time 25 years has elapsed, it is projected that one in four of the Canadian population will be over 65 years of age.

At the present time, despite the universality of the problem and the many scientists that are seeking to address the problem with an answer, that answer eludes. There is no cure for dementia, and no effective drugs exist with the capability of slowing down the onset and trajectory of dementia. Women represent two thirds of those afflicted, and 70 percent of caregivers also happen to be women. A Senate report and testimony heard by the national health committee point out that the country has no comprehensive plan to deal with the future explosion of dementia onset.

A private member's bill has been tabled to establish a national strategy along with an action plan to deal with the intractable problem. That bill, put forward by a Conservative Member of Parliament, formerly a minister in the previous government, has the support of Canada's other two political parties, including the now-Liberal government. The legislation addresses a plan to "encourage" far more investment into all research areas and the development of a national objective to improve the lives of people suffering the misery of dementia.

The Senate plan itself speaks to the issue of government investing $30-million to pay for a new organization of broad national sweep, and to launch a public awareness campaign; to expand Employment Insurance and compassionate care benefits to those suffering from dementia, while doubling research funding into dementia.

If the pulse of a caring, responsible society is tuned to improving the lives of the most vulnerable, usually identified as the very young, the very old, the health and mobility disadvantaged and the working poor, then this is a significant issue long overdue to be addressed, in the need for a national strategy.

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/GettyImages files
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/GettyImages Alzheimer's disease progresses more rapidly in some people than in others. Many who are newly diagnosed stay in the early stage, retaining their personality and people skills, for quite a while.

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