Archive for the ‘health’ Category

A new, widely reported study claims that marijuana poses significantly greater risks to cardiovascular health, particularly with regard to hypertension, than does cigarette smoking.Don’t believe the hype. A careful review of the study’s methods gives reason to pause.

Source: It Took Just One Distorted Study for the Media to Freak Out Over Health Risks and Marijuana | Alternet

In a study looking at brain scans of people with mild loss of thought and memory ability, researchers report evidence of lower levels of the serotonin transporter — a natural brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep and appetite.

Source: Brain scan study adds to evidence that lower brain serotonin levels are linked to dementia: Results suggest serotonin loss may be a key player in cognitive decline, not just a side-effect of Alzheimer’s disease — ScienceDaily

 

A lay person, or a person intending to mislead, would jump to the conclusion that low serotonin levels cause dementia.  We constantly see that when article such as “Cannabis users have lower IQs” and “Teens who use cannabis less likely to succeed in life”, and other such nonsense.

I am happy to present this good quality example from Johns Hopkins by the simple phrase: “Previous studies from Johns Hopkins and other centers have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease and severe cognitive decline have severe loss of serotonin neurons, but the studies did not show whether those reductions were a cause or effect of the disease. Results of the new study of people with very early signs of memory decline, the researchers say, suggest that lower serotonin transporters may be drivers of the disease rather than a byproduct.”

True, they may believe that the reductions are causal, based on other studies, but they do NOT jump to conclusions like so many biased cannabis reports that strike sour notes with me.   I wish more researchers were wiser and more forthcoming when finding correlations, when causality has not been established, instead of foisting propaganda and lies.

AuntieBS

Marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension, according to new research.

Source: Marijuana associated with three-fold risk of death from hypertension — ScienceDaily

No BS that I can detect!  This looks like a reasonable study that sought to exclude confounders, unlike so many poor-quality studies.  Apparently, the longer you use cannabis, the greater the chance for hypertension.

If anyone sees something I might have missed, please add a comment about it.

AuntieBS

Adults in the UK who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

Source: Insufficient sleep may be adding to your waistline — ScienceDaily

 

This is another example of bad science: lack of causality.  Could poor eating habits contribute to poor sleep?  What about stressful jobs, contributing to both?  At least they admitted “Other studies have suggested that shortened sleep can lead to poor dietary choices.”

They also said, “Interestingly, the study did not find any relationship between shortened sleep and a less healthy diet — a fact that surprised the researchers.”  Well, what about an underlying stressor (work, life) making one eat excess “healthy diet” and poor sleep?  I could go on and on about this, but of course this is a summary and I haven’t the time to study the details of the methodology, but simply want to caution my readers about accepting others’ jumps to conclusions, and always consider CAUSALITY.

AuntieBS

More than 130,000 Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgeries take place each year with the majority of patients not requiring pain medication after three months post-operatively. However, researchers have found that those patients who were filling opioid prescriptions prior to surgery were 10 times more likely to be filling prescriptions five months after surgery.

Source: Patients taking opioids prior to ACL surgery more likely to be on pain medications longer — ScienceDaily

 

That brilliance could be read, “Patients who have lower thresholds of pain and/or more extensive ACL damage,  are more likely to use opiates longer”.  Well, DUH!  Where is the causality?  Are people in greater pain more likely to take opiates before surgery, as well as for longer after?  This may be the causal factor vs the implication that if we withhold pain relief until after surgery, it will toughen people to do without pain relief quicker.  Puh-lease.  They are not determining the causal factor here.  Bad study.

AuntieBS

College students attending an Oregon university are using more marijuana now that the drug is legal for recreational use, but the increase is largely among students who also report recent heavy use of alcohol, a new study has found.

Source: Marijuana use among college students on rise following Oregon legalization, study finds — ScienceDaily

 

I wonder how much Big Pharma paid for that brilliant revelation.  Let’s see, something is illegal– do I report that I use it or just keep quiet about it.  Or maybe I follow the laws and don’t use it.  Then, it is legalized, so I feel freer to report that I use it and certainly might indulge in it.  Any surprises?  Could anyone have not predicted that outcome?  The same could have been predicted about alcohol after Prohibition was lifted, or likely most ANY product that is suddenly found on store shelves.

What is not yet said is how problematic behavior is affected.  How many car accidents?  OD’s from alcohol or opiates?  Assaults?  Burglaries?  Shootings?  What is the overall effect on society from the legalization?

AuntieBS

Memory performance decreases with increasing age. Cannabis can reverse these ageing processes in the brain. This was shown in mice by scientists at the University of Bonn with their colleagues at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel). Old animals were able to regress to the state of two-month-old mice with a prolonged low-dose treatment with a cannabis active ingredient. This opens up new options, for instance, when it comes to treating dementia.

Source: Cannabis reverses aging processes in the brain, study suggests: Researchers restore the memory performance of Methuselah mice to a juvenile stage — ScienceDaily

The DEA must be upset.  Clearly, they ignore all the scientific evidence and pursue their own job-preserving ways, while they ruin people’s lives and stifle research.  And, Congress knows this (or are complete idiots) but has their lips firmly on Big Parma’s butt cheeks.  (Sigh)  When will we ever emerge from the dark ages?

AuntieBS