Master Sergeant Troy Drasher had the most difficult, emotionally challenging job I have ever heard of inside or outside the military. When his Air Force doc recommended he “take a little something to take the edge off,” his life gradually declined into nightmare under the impact of psychiatric drugs. To the rescue came Dr. Mary Neal Vieten’s Warfighter Advance, one of the best recovery programs I have ever learned about. You will rarely hear such clarity brought to the difference between psychiatry and genuine help. Please listen to his story and his recovery.
In brief, the Lancet study is a multinational registry analysis assessing the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without macrolide therapy (e.g. azithromycin) in treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. The study was very large (perhaps impossibly so, but we will address that later) and included 96,032 patients, of which 14,888 were in treatment groups. The study found that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine with or without macrolide therapy resulted in significantly increased risk of both in-hospital mortality and de-novo ventricular arrhythmia during hospitalization. In summary, the authors concluded that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are actually harmful and increase risk of death when used for in-hospital treatment of COVID-19. The Lancet study was released on Friday, May 22. After deliberating over a weekend, on Monday, May 25, the World Health Organization hastily announced the cessation of all COVID-19 clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine in 17 different countries. Instead of performing its own due diligence, the WHO immediately relied on an observational study cloaked in the reputation of the nearly 200-year old medical journal The Lancet.
If just a handful of North American hospitals confirm that they did NOT share data with Surgisphere, then the Lancet study numbers cannot possibly be true.
As a physician focused on saving lives, I am tired of people dying because of political games. I have extensively studied the history and medical data worldwide on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Until February/March 2020, it was considered one of the safest, most essential and effective medicines in the world. The experts who say otherwise now for political and financial agendas should be ashamed of themselves. How can anyone with any common sense believe that a medicine that has been safe and effective in multiple conditions, called an “essential medicine” by the World Health Organization (WHO), and used in hundreds of millions of patients worldwide for 65 years, is suddenly so “dangerous” that doctors cannot prescribe 400 mg a day for 5 days for their COVID outpatients early in the disease, but we can at the same time continue to prescribe HCQ 400 mg a day for years for malaria or lupus or rheumatoid arthritis? It makes no medical sense whatsoever. […] A Yale study of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin in more than 300,000 older adults, just published May 27, 2020 said: “Evidence about use of hydroxychloroquine alone, or of hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin in inpatients, is irrelevant concerning efficacy of the pair in early high-risk outpatient disease. Five studies, including two controlled clinical trials, have demonstrated significant major outpatient treatment efficacy…These medications need to be widely available and promoted immediately for physicians.”
A researcher at the University of British Columbia says the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity to study the relationship between exercise and mental health in adults who are 65 and older. Mark Beauchamp, a professor of exercise and health psychology, said he is looking for volunteers from across the country to participate. Beauchamp and a team of researchers are launching a study into the well-being of older people and examining their emotional state after they participate in physical exercise. “I don’t think anybody could even think of a study like this before the current pandemic,” said Beauchamp. The 12-week study will include data from 600 older adults from across the country who will take part in one of two exercise programs. “We’re looking to examine the extent to which different types of exercise programs are able to support the physical and mental health of older adults — so those who are 65 years or older currently living in Canada and who have been asked to stay at home and engage in physical distancing.”
Older men may be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 because they worry less about catching or dying from it than women their age or than younger people of both sexes, according to a new study by Sarah Barber, a gerontology and psychology researcher at Georgia State University. This is a concern because older men are already more at risk of severe or fatal COVID-19 infections. Data from the CDC show the fatality rate of COVID-19 steadily rises with age, and that men are more at risk than women. […] compared to all other participants, older men were less worried about COVID-19, and had adopted the fewest number of behavior changes. They were relatively less likely to have worn a mask, to report having stopped touching their faces or to have purchased extra food. […] “Our study showed that for older men, accurate perception of risk worked as well as worry to predict preventive behaviors,” she said.
Review of study finding Hydroxychloroquine + Zinc lowers Covid mortality
More than 120  researchers and medical professionals from around the world have written an open letter to the editor of the Lancet raising serious concerns about a large and widely publicised global study that prompted the World Health Organisation to halt several Covid-19 clinical trials. On Thursday Guardian Australia revealed that the Australian data in the study, published last week, did not reconcile with health department records or databases. […] But now further questions have been raised about the Surgisphere database and the study methodology. The signatories to the open letter, directed to the Lancet and the study authors, include prominent sceptics of the value of using hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. The letter lists 10 major concerns about the statistical analysis and data integrity of the study. “The authors have not adhered to standard practices in the machine learning and statistics community,” the letter states. “They have not released their code or data.” The Lancet is among the many signatories to a statement on data sharing for Covid-19 studies. “There was no ethics review,” the letter continues. “There was no mention of the countries or hospitals that contributed to the data source and no acknowledgments to their contributions. A request to the authors for information on the contributing centres was denied. Data from Australia are not compatible with government reports. Surgisphere have since stated this was an error of classification of one hospital from Asia. This indicates the need for further error checking throughout the database.”
In the spring of 2020, as the Coronavirus pandemic took hold, America’s schools sent the kids home. Over the following weeks, home schooling and distance learning became realities for millions of children. A new study finds the sudden onset of new educational procedures shook up the online media habits inside many homes. Data shows that the need to teach kids and keep them occupied swept aside former rules regulating screen time and social media usage. […] It shows 77% of parents said they enforced household rules about screen time and the use of technology as of February 2020. Two months later, after COVID-19 changed homes into schools and work places in the wake of social distancing guidelines, 76% of those surveyed reported they suspended those rules. Screen time limits were stretched and restrictions on the use of social media or online entertainment were suspended.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) produced small but significant reductions in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) symptom burden as well as improved exercise capacity and quality of life, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Investigators from the University of South Australia in Adelaide conducted a literature review in order to describe both the nature of CBT interventions and comparators in controlled trials as well as the factors which influence intervention effects on health outcomes. CBT interventions are often thought to be useful to this population based on the “vicious cycle” of exertional breathlessness, to breathing discomfort, to anxiety, and finally, to inactivity. […] “Given the risk that pulmonary rehabilitation (with its capacity to deliver aspects of CBT) may not be accessible to all with COPD in low-resource environments, further investment in targeting, development, delivery of low-intensity CBT is indicated,” they wrote.
A new study of exercise and mental health during the early stages of the nationwide lockdown suggests that the answer is yes. It finds that people who managed to remain physically active during those early weeks of sheltering at home were less depressed and more mentally resilient than other people whose activity levels declined. […] Few people living through this pandemic will be surprised to learn that quarantines and similar measures put in place to combat plagues are associated with poor mental health. A review study published in February found that past quarantines resulted in lingering stress, confusion and mounting anger. […] And they found a consistent pattern of more exercise correlating to better cheer and vice versa. In particular, people who once had been active but rarely exercised now were significantly more likely to feel depressed, anxious, lonely and otherwise worried and dour than people who had continued to work out for at least 150 minutes a week. The effects were most striking among the people in full quarantine, few of whom had maintained their prior exercise routines and most of whom reported feeling sad, depressed and solitary now.
As social media has increasingly become a source of information about the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study from Digital Third Coast is giving insight into how much news Americans are consuming during the virus and how it’s affecting mental health. By analyzing a survey of over 2,000 Americans, the study illuminated how news consumption has dramatically increased during the pandemic. Sixty-six percent of respondents said they are consuming more news than usual, and 40% said their social media use has increased since the start of the pandemic. Facebook was the most popular platform by which respondents received news regarding the virus followed by Twitter. The analysis showed that most respondents became aware of COVID-19 in January, but only 19% showed concern about the virus at the time. By the end of March, the month when many stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders were enacted, 48% said they were concerned about the novel coronavirus. The study also provided insight into which sources Americans are most likely to turn to for information and updates about COVID-19. While 43% of respondents expressed trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updates on the virus, only 7% trusted briefings from President Donald Trump.
More than 1.6 million Americans have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and >10 times that number carry antibodies to it. High-risk patients presenting with progressing symptomatic disease have only hospitalization treatment with its high mortality. An outpatient treatment that prevents hospitalization is desperately needed. Two candidate medications have been widely discussed: remdesivir, and hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin. Remdesivir has shown mild effectiveness in hospitalized inpatients, but no trials have been registered in outpatients. Hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin has been widely misrepresented in both clinical reports and public media, and outpatient trials results are not expected until September. Early outpatient illness is very different than later hospitalized florid disease and the treatments differ. Evidence about use of hydroxychloroquine alone, or of hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin in inpatients, is irrelevant concerning efficacy of the pair in early high-risk outpatient disease. Five studies, including two controlled clinical trials, have demonstrated significant major outpatient treatment efficacy. Hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin has been used as standard-of-care in more than 300,000 older adults with multicomorbidities, with estimated proportion diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmias attributable to the medications 47/100,000 users, of which estimated mortality is <20%, 9/100,000 users, compared to the 10,000 Americans now dying each week. These medications need to be widely available and promoted immediately for physicians to prescribe.
Insomnia may significantly increase the risk that older adults will be unable to shake off depression, researchers say. For the study, the investigators analyzed data on nearly 600 people over age 60 who visited primary care centers in New York City, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. All had some level of depression. Compared to patients whose sleep improved, those with worsening sleep problems were about 28 times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression at the end of the 12-month study. […] “These results suggest that, among older adults with depression, insomnia symptoms offer an important clue to their risks for persistent depression and suicidal ideation,” said study senior author Adam Spira, a professor of mental health at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. “We can’t say that the sleep disturbances we’re seeing are necessarily causing the poor depression outcomes,” he said in a Hopkins news release. “But the results suggest that older adults who are being treated for depression and whose sleep problems are persistent or worsening need further clinical attention.”
New research is highlighting how the eyes may play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recently released a study in bioRxiv, which has not been peer reviewed, that found the eyes create a protein called ACE-2, making them a potential target for the virus. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 latches onto ACE-2 receptors, which are known as the “gateway” into cells inside the body. The protein is also found in the respiratory tract and the lungs. “Ocular surface cells including conjunctiva are susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2, and could therefore serve as a portal of entry as well as a reservoir for person-to-person transmission of this virus,” the study’s lead author Lingli Zhou wrote in the study.
Recent epidemiologic, virologic, and modeling reports support the possibility of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission from persons who are presymptomatic (SARS-CoV-2 detected before symptom onset) or asymptomatic (SARS-CoV-2 detected but symptoms never develop). SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the absence of symptoms reinforces the value of measures that prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by infected persons who may not exhibit illness despite being infectious. Critical knowledge gaps include the relative incidence of asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, the public health interventions that prevent asymptomatic transmission, and the question of whether asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection confers protective immunity.
Treating COVID-19 patients with zinc in addition to hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin led to a higher rate of discharge from hospitals and a lower likelihood of dying, according to a new study. Researchers at New York University’s School of Medicine reviewed records from roughly 900 patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. […] “We found a statistically significant decrease in mortality among patients who received zinc as part of their treatment regimen. This is the first study, to our knowledge, that showed a clinical difference in patients with COVID-19 who received zinc,” Joseph Rahimian, one of the researchers, told The Epoch Times in an email.
Australian virus scientist Professor Nikolai Petrovsky said that coronavirus was better at attaching itself to human cells than to any other animal-based on his recent research. Coronavirus is so perfectly adapted to infect humans that theories on its origin in a viral lab in Wuhan cannot be ignored. […] A team of Australian researchers from Flinders University in Adelaide and Latrobe University in Melbourne conducted a study testing how well the SARS-CoV-2 infects other animals. When the novel coronavirus enters the body, it uses its spikes to attach itself to the ACE2 receptor molecule found in the lung cells. The tighter it binds itself to the ACE2, the less likely it can be washed away, making the host sicker. In doing the research, Professor Petrovsky initially expected to find an animal most susceptible to the virus, such as bats and pangolins, which were first reported as the likely source of the virus. However, the results shocked him and his team as humans came out on top. Moreover, a typical virus tends to get better at infecting new species as they adapt over time. But it is not the case with SARS-CoV-2 as it started to ‘completely optimized from day one without the need to evolve.’
In a new study, scientists claim that cloth masks can forestall the spread of COVID-19 by clocking up to 99% of harmful particles. […] When a person coughs or sneezes, cloth layers of a face mask can reduce the amount of infectious particles traveling through the air, the researchers explain. Furthermore, the layers of cloth could also prevent the virus-carrying particles from settling on surfaces. According to the authors of the study, various combinations of cloth such as cotton-flannel were found to block more than 90 percent of particles. Moreover, a three-layered mask can reduce pathogens’ airborne transmission and surface contamination by up to 99 percent. Although the researchers don’t guarantee that cotton masks will indeed provide full protection from SARS-CoV-2, they claim that the results of their study clarify the efficiency of cotton masks when it comes to closing off potentially harmful particles. Furthermore, they say that their review suggests that cloth can block particles, even aerosol-sized particles.
Results from a study of adults with kidney failure suggest that taking both short-acting benzodiazepines and opioids may put patients at an especially high risk of dying prematurely. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of CJASN. […] The study included 69,368 US adults with kidney failure who initiated hemodialysis in 2013 or 2014. Many patients with kidney failure have physical and psychiatric conditions that are treated with benzodiazepines, and they are also 3-times more likely to be prescribed opioids than the general population. […] Patients with an opioid prescription were 1.66-fold more likely to be subsequently dispensed a short-acting benzodiazepine and 1.11-fold more likely to be subsequently dispensed a long-acting benzodiazepine. Patients dispensed a short-acting benzodiazepine were at a 1.45-fold higher risk of dying during follow-up compared with those without a short-acting benzodiazepine; among those with opioid co-dispensing, the risk was 1.90-fold higher.
Terrified you will contract COVID-19? Feeling down, lonely and wondering when you’ll be able to safely see your friends in person again Northwestern University said a new collection of mobile apps significantly reduces anxiety and depression among those worried about the coronavirus. Northwestern said a new study, published May 20 in JAMA Psychiatry, states the collection of mobile apps called Intellicare offer special content to help people reduce the stress and anxiety of dealing with the pandemic.
“These apps offer remote treatment to avoid depression and anxiety during these socially distancing times,” said senior study author David Mohr, director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies and professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “They’re designed to fit easily into people’s lives and to help the millions of people who want support but can’t get to a therapist’s office.” […] The level of improvement in anxiety and depression – about 60 percent recovery – was similar to that seen in traditional psychotherapy. While the new study employed coaching along with the apps, previously published research showed the apps alone also reduce anxiety and depression.
Some of the most common mental disorders, including depression, anxiety and PTSD, might not be disorders at all, according to a recent paper by Washington State University biological anthropologists. In the paper, published in the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, the researchers propose a new approach to mental illness that would be informed by human evolution, noting that modern psychology, and in particular its use of drugs like antidepressants, has largely failed to reduce the prevalence of mental disorders. For example, the global prevalence of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders remained steady at 4.4% and 4% respectively from 1990 to 2010. The authors also theorize that depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder may be primarily responses to adversity; therefore, only treating the “psychic pain” of these issues with drugs will not solve the underlying problem. Kristen Syme, the first author on the paper and recent WSU Ph.D. graduate, compared it to medicating someone for a broken bone without setting the bone itself. “The pain is not the disease; the pain is the function that is telling you there is a problem,” said Syme. “Depression, anxiety and PTSD often involve a threat or exposure to violence, which are predictable sources for these things that we call mental diseases. Instead, they look more like sociocultural phenomena, so the solution is not necessarily fixing a dysfunction in the person’s brain but fixing dysfunctions in the social world.”
Higher spirituality among stroke survivors was strongly linked to better quality of life for them and their caregivers who may also feel depressed, according to new research published today in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal. May is American Stroke Month. For many stroke survivors, a caregiver, often a family member or close friend, may help with daily tasks, making the survivor and the caregiver prone to depression. Depression can impact quality of life for both. […] “In summary, when care partners feel depressed, something that is common for stroke caregivers, the survivor’s spirituality made the difference in whether this was associated with better or worse quality of life. This demonstrates the important protective role of spirituality in illness, and why we must study it more […] Our study emphasizes the importance of viewing stroke survivors holistically, as a patient with symptoms and disabilities, and as an individual with emotional needs and part of an interdependent unit with their care partner,” Pucciarelli said.
People vastly overestimate the infectiousness of COVID-19 making them less likely to follow public health guidelines, argues a new paper from British and American economists. The pronounced “fatalism effect” even makes people less likely to wash their hands during the global pandemic. However, the study also found that many people quickly correct themselves when provided with accurate information, which nudges them back in the direction of the public health guidelines. The findings could have implications for policymakers and public health officials who have the task of communicating how serious the virus is, without making it seem more infectious than it actually is and causing people to throw up their hands in despair. […] “If you think the virus is very, very infectious, you’re basically just saying to yourself, we’re all going to get it anyway, why bother taking these annoying precautions?” said Akesson. The study, which was conducted at the end of March, also found that people who were fatalist were also less inclined to work from home and to stay away from high risk people.
For many nonessential workers, returning to the office might come as a welcome change, but for pets — particularly dogs — suddenly finding themselves home alone could cause separation anxiety, experts say. “After aggression, it’s the second most common behavior problem we see with dogs,” said Terri Bright, director of behavior services at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. If you’re not sure how your dog will react to being left alone, try filming your furry friend, using a free app called Manything, Bright said. If your dog cries or barks for 15 minutes or so and then settles down, odds are he or she eventually will get used to being home alone, especially if you scatter kibble around like a scavenger hunt, she said. But if the crying or barking lasts longer than that or escalates into urinating, defecating, chewing on furniture or other items, trying to get out or not eating, that’s proof that your dog is having a terrible panic attack, Bright said.
Americans freaked out by the coronavirus crisis are increasingly turning to prescription drugs to calm their nerves, according to a report Monday. Health-research firm IQVIA found that prescriptions for anti-anxiety drugs spiked 10.2 percent in March, to 9.7 million, compared with 8.8 million during the same month last year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Meanwhile, prescriptions for antidepressants rose 9.2 percent, from 27.2 million to 29.7 million, from March 2019 to March 2020. Even more startling increases were reported by other companies — Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager owned by Cigna, said that prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications rose 34.1 percent between mid-February and mid-March, according to the Journal. Prescriptions for antidepressants and sleep medications increased 18.6 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively, according to Express Scripts.
Let’s start with conflicting research by Dr. Daniel J. Wallace at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in California who has the largest medical practice in the US treating Lupus patients. He has used #HCQ safely w/ his patients for >30 yrs. 0 of them have #Covid19https://t.co/n3P1jpmB5H
The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine has shown mixed results against the coronavirus in early studies, but a new paper out of New York suggests combining it with the dietary supplement zinc sulfate could create a more effective treatment. […] Those receiving the triple-drug combination had a 1.5 times greater likelihood of recovering enough to be discharged, and were 44 percent less likely to die, compared to the double-drug combination. […] Zinc itself has antiviral properties and past research has suggested it may reduce the time people suffer from common colds. Rahimian said that it may be that when used to treat coronavirus patients, it is the zinc that does the heavy lifting and is the primary substance attacking the pathogen. Hydroxychloroquine, on the other hand, acts as an agent that transports the zinc into cells, increasing its efficacy, he suggested.
The extent and risks associated with recreational abuse of laughing gas and psychostimulants by young people have today been revealed in two studies reported at the European Academy of Neurology Virtual Congress. In one study, researchers from Turkey reported increasing stimulant use among medical students approaching their final exams, despite the substantial risks to their health. In the second study, researchers from the Netherlands detailed the neurological outcomes associated with recreational use of laughing gas (nitrous oxide), suggesting that, for some individuals, permanent neurological damage can occur. […] “Non-medical use of prescription stimulants has become a growing public health concern on university campuses over the past two decades,” explained Dr. Suna Ertugrul from the Demiroglu Bilim University in Istanbul, Turkey, who presented the results of the study. “Medicine is one of the longest and most competitive degrees to study for and many students believe that using stimulants helps to enhance their academic performance and live an active life.”
These days, the advice frequently directed at New Yorkers with deep-seated psychological difficulties is to stop having them. At a moment when every anxiety seems suddenly palpable, and every intimation of doom justified—“Congratulations on the prescience of your neurosis” is the suggested language of one therapist for patients who are obsessive hand-washers—it may seem indulgent to keep pursuing intractable dreams and dreads as though they were central to existence. Nonetheless, in the city’s great tradition, New Yorkers continue to seek out their therapists, millennial youngsters as much as neurotic elders. Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched a mental-health hotline, recruiting psychotherapists to provide pro-bono phone sessions for every sort of citizen. Therapy has become democratized: everybody needs an ear. […] “It’s utterly different and exactly the same,” says Barbra Zuck Locker, a psychologist and psychoanalyst who has been practicing on the Upper West Side for the past three decades. “We’ve been seeing a move toward remote sessions for years. We have a sense of having adapted to it already. I remember, though it seems so long ago, people talking just a few months ago among themselves: ‘Are you still going in?’ It was also generational—the younger people are much savvier.”
A new study from Indiana University has found a strong correlation between mental health, mortality, and work stress. According to the study, the risk of depression and death can be predicted by the amount of control we have at work, the demands of the job, and our cognitive ability to deal with with those demands. Study lead author Erik Gonzalez-Mulé is an assistant professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources. “When job demands are greater than the control afforded by the job or an individual’s ability to deal with those demands, there is a deterioration of their mental health and, accordingly, an increased likelihood of death,” said Professor Gonzalez-Mulé. […] “We found that work stressors are more likely to cause depression and death as a result of jobs in which workers have little control or for people with lower cognitive ability.”
The coronavirus pandemic has caused stress for everyone — including kids. Their whole world has been turned upside down. Now, a new study shows there may be easy ways to help your little ones practice good mental health hygiene during the pandemic. Scientists looked at 300 fifth- through eighth-grade students. They found those who participated in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program reported improved psychological functioning and less stress and anxiety compared to those who took a health education course. The mindfulness program taught the children breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, mindfulness while eating, and more. Experts say these types of activities are simple to do at home. For example, you can place a stuffed animal on a child’s stomach and ask them to rock it to sleep with gentle breaths. The authors of the study said another activity is to have a child hold a common object behind their back and ask them to notice and describe how it feels. Or when children feel sad, ask them “Where do you feel sad? In your eyes or your throat or your chest?” These simple approaches encourage mindfulness and may lower stress.
Movement-based yoga can significantly reduce depressive symptoms in people during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, according to Australian researchers. The researchers defined movement-based yoga as any form of yoga where participants are physically active at least 50 per cent of the time, that is forms of yoga that emphasise holding poses and flowing through sequences of poses. The study, led by the University of South Australia and a medical researcher of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), found that movement-based yoga improves the mental health of people living with depression, post-traumatic stress, schizophrenia, anxiety, alcohol dependence and bipolar disorder. The mental health improves with more yoga such people practised. […] “Our review of available evidence shows that movement-based yoga improves symptoms of depression in people who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder. So, it”s very good news for people struggling in times of uncertainty,” Brinsley said.
In December, 2018, the FDA published a new controversial rule about the safety status of the electric shock device, heinously moving it out of a class III experimental device status to a class II status with special controls. The labeling of the device was of great concern in the development of the rule. The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) is publishing false and misleading advertisements about electric shock services under the guise of educational materials without even acknowledging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) December, 2018 Rule. However, Section ix of the Rule represents the warning labels that accompany the device as a class II device with special controls and warnings that must accompany the shock device, as advertised to the consumer of the product. As the reseller of the shock device, or its use, the OMH ought to be held to the same mandates for labeling warnings as the manufacturers. OMH diminishes known risks for injury and withholds or obfuscates multiple known injury-causing risks associated with the practice of electric shock. This likely extends to misbranding of the electric shock device under FDA rules.
Researchers have found that wearing surgical masks can significantly reduce the rate of airborne COVID-19 transmission, according to a study released on Sunday. The study, conducted by a team of scientists in Hong Kong, found the rate of non-contact transmission through respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75 percent when masks were used. “The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge,” said Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung, a leading microbiologist from Hong Kong University who helped discover the SARS virus back in 2003.
The study, described as a first of its kind, placed hamsters in two cages, with one of the groups infected with COVID-19 and the other being healthy. They placed the animals in three different scenarios to analyze the effectiveness of the face coverings. In one scenario the mask barriers were placed only on cages with the infected subjects, another saw the masks covering the healthy subjects, and the third saw with no mask barriers at all. For all of the scenarios, a fan was placed between the cages to allow for the transmission of respiratory droplets. They found that when the mask was placed over the infected cage the infection rate dropped to just over 15 percent. That infection rate went up to 33 percent when the mask barrier was only used to cover the healthy hamsters’ cage.
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, a new facility in Boca Raton is now offering unique treatment options for veterans struggling with pain, addiction, PTSD and isolation. The Grey Team nonprofit is offering new treatment options like light therapy machines and infrared saunas to discourage the use of prescription painkillers. […] “A little known fact is that in the military drug usage is almost encouraged,” Reichbach said. “And then you come back to the United States because your body can no longer handle the stress of combat and you’re addicted to those drugs and not only that, but now you’re in pain, so you’re on antidepressants and sleeping pills and pain pills.” To help vets regain control of their health naturally, Reichbach installed a full service gym and therapy center, complete with fitness instructors, nutritionists and acupuncture therapists, plus cutting-edge new therapy machines to help with pain and vets who have already been using the machines this week call these treatments “next level.” “They’ve really gone out of their way to make sure that we get away from all of the medications and the pills and the normal, antiquated ways that we’ve learned to take care of our bodies,” veteran Reginald Colbert said.
public officials continue to draw comparisons between seasonal influenza and SARS-CoV-2 mortality, often in an attempt to minimize the effects of the unfolding pandemic. The root of such incorrect comparisons may be a knowledge gap regarding how seasonal influenza and COVID-19 data are publicly reported. The CDC, like many similar disease control agencies around the world, presents seasonal influenza morbidity and mortality not as raw counts but as calculated estimates based on submitted International Classification of Diseases codes.2 Between 2013-2014 and 2018-2019, the reported yearly estimated influenza deaths ranged from 23 000 to 61 000.3 Over that same time period, however, the number of counted influenza deaths was between 3448 and 15 620 yearly.4 On average, the CDC estimates of deaths attributed to influenza were nearly 6 times greater than its reported counted numbers. Conversely, COVID-19 fatalities are at present being counted and reported directly, not estimated. As a result, the more valid comparison would be to compare weekly counts of COVID-19 deaths to weekly counts of seasonal influenza deaths. During the week ending April 21, 2020, 15 455 COVID-19 counted deaths were reported in the US.5 The reported number of counted deaths from the previous week, ending April 14, was 14 478. By contrast, according to the CDC, counted deaths during the peak week of the influenza seasons from 2013-2014 to 2019-2020 ranged from 351 (2015-2016, week 11 of 2016) to 1626 (2017-2018, week 3 of 2018).6 The mean number of counted deaths during the peak week of influenza seasons from 2013-2020 was 752.4 (95% CI, 558.8-946.1).7 These statistics on counted deaths suggest that the number of COVID-19 deaths for the week ending April 21 was 9.5-fold to 44.1-fold greater than the peak week of counted influenza deaths during the past 7 influenza seasons in the US, with a 20.5-fold mean increase (95% CI, 16.3-27.7).5,6
Evidence of efficacy of Vitamin D against COVID 19
Roughly 1,300 patients at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities have received hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 since late March, according to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, this week, Wilkie said that, between Feb. 1 and April 23, the VA purchased more than 6.3 million tablets of the antimalarial drug, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in late March on an emergency use basis to treat the novel coronavirus. Hydroxychloroquine is normally used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and the VA dispenses roughly 1 million pills of it a month for those conditions, according to Wilkie. The secretary said the VA purchased such a vast amount to ensure that it had a sufficient supply for patients with those diseases, as well as those with COVID-19. “During this tracked time period, VA used about 18,000 of the tablets for COVID-19, which equates to .28%,” he wrote.
We have now published three reports–yesterday’s at the top–that could greatly help those of you contemplating treatment of COVID-19 for yourselves, a loved one, or your patients. It can also help in understanding the motives and corruption behind some widely publicized claims.
The report about Fauci’s Remdesivir has the most scientific critique available about his corruption and cancelling of the study, while continuing to promote it.
You may also wish to read our astonishing disclosure about how Anthony Fauci, Director of NIH’s Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, paid for and promoted collaborative research with Chinese Wuhan Institute researchers on how to create a deadly epidemic virus:
Social media use is one of the most popular leisure activities among adolescents. Concomitant to this is a growing concern regarding problematic social media use and its relationship with health behaviors. To further increase the body of research into this phenomenon, our study explored the relationship between problematic social media use and physical activity levels, sleep peculiarities, and life satisfaction in Lithuanian children and adolescents. […] Overall, in our study, girls with problematic social media use tended to have more negative health perceptions than boys. The results suggest that problematic social media use is an independent risk factor for negative health behaviors. This study adds to the accumulating knowledge that problematic social media use among adolescents may lead to worse health perceptions and, likely, further negative health outcomes.
The current study sought to examine the relationship between documented social media use and suicidality and self-injurious behaviors in adolescents at the time of psychiatric hospitalization. […] Those with reported social media use had significantly greater odds of self-injurious behaviors at admission […] Social media use in adolescents with a psychiatric admission may be associated with the risk of self-injurious behaviors and could be a marker of impulsivity. Further work should guide the assessment of social media use as part of a routine adolescent psychiatric history.
A man who spent 6 weeks in the hospital after contracting the coronavirus at a festival has a message: “It can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old…It can affect you.” https://t.co/LF5VQYYplo
At least 116 nurses have died in this country of 210 million from Covid-19, according to Brazil’s Federal Nursing Council—the highest toll anywhere. That is more than the 107 nurses who have died in the U.S., where the total death count of people succumbing to the pandemic is about six times more than in Brazil. In Italy, which has about twice as many total deaths as Brazil, 39 nurses have died, according to Italy’s National Federation of Nurses, or Fnopi.
The new coronavirus that has infected millions of people around the globe can wreak havoc far beyond the lungs. Some of the symptoms of the disease it causes, COVID-19, are predictable enough: cough, fever, chills, headache. But the pathogen’s effects by no means stop there. The virus can cause problems in almost every organ, including the brain, heart, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract and skin. Physicians have been taken aback at what they now call silent hypoxia, or happy hypoxia, a phenomenon in which people with dangerously low levels of blood oxygen are astonishingly not struggling to breathe. And there is “COVID toe,” painful swellings on the skin called chilblains. In rare cases, children—who were previously thought to be relatively spared from severe illness—come down with symptoms akin to Kawasaki disease, which leads to inflamed blood vessels throughout the body. Complications associated with blood clots, such as strokes and pulmonary embolisms(blockages of blood vessels in the lungs) also turn up. “It’s interesting that a respiratory virus will cause such a diverse array of clinical sequelae,” says Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Facing growing criticism, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Friday that it will not halt use of an unproven malaria drug on veterans with COVID-19 but that fewer of its patients are now taking it. In responses provided to Congress and obtained by The Associated Press, the VA said it never “encouraged or discouraged” its government-run hospitals to use hydroxychloroquine on patients even as President Donald Trump heavily promoted the drug for months without scientific evidence of its effectiveness. […] “VA has not endorsed nor discouraged the use of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients and has left those decisions to providers and their patients,” the VA said. “While all drugs have the potential for adverse events and some drugs in particular, like hydroxychloroquine, are known to have specific risks, when they are used carefully and judiciously, they can be managed safely.”
More than 150 people have been killed by the coronavirus in a single Bronx housing development, new statistics show, as it’s revealed the borough has suffered nearly twice as many deaths and infections than any other part of New York City. So far in the Bronx, nearly 4,300 of its 1.4 million residents have died from COVID-19 since the deadly virus began ravaging the county in March – compared to around 2,800 of Manhattan’s 1.6 million inhabitants. And within the borough itself, no place has suffered more devastation than the housing development known as Co-op City. Data released by city health officials Monday revealed that the virus has killed at least 155 people living in the zip code that covers the complex – or roughly 1 in every 282 residents. In one community in the Bronx, the rate of infection exceeded 43 percent, more than twice the infection rate of New York City as a whole, at 20 percent. Black and Latino New Yorkers are also being disproportionately affected, with members of those communities dying at twice the rate of white people in the city, according to the data. ‘The data shows not just a high positive … but the spread is continuing in those communities and that’s where the new spread is coming,’ the governor said. ‘We have the data we have the research and now we have to take the next step … We’re going to focus on public housing.’
A Georgia church that reopened after shutting down due to the coronavirus has axed in-person services again in what they describe as “an effort of extreme caution” as several of their families have become infected by the deadly disease. Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle, an independent Baptist church led by Pastor Justin Gazaway in Ringgold, Georgia, restarted in-person services on April 26. Church representative Joan Lewis told The Christian Post on Monday, however, that they decided to suspend “in-person worship services for the foreseeable future” on May 11 after learning several families had contracted the virus. “Our hearts are heavy as some of our families are dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 virus, and we ask for your prayers for each of them as they follow the prescribed protocol and recuperate at home,” the church said in a formal statement. “Though we feel very confident of the safe environment we are able to offer in our facilities, the decision was made … that we would discontinue all in-person services again until further notice in an effort of extreme caution for the safety and well-being of our families.”
A Texas church canceled Mass services just days after reopening after a priest died and several members of his religious order tested positive for the coronavirus. Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Houston reopened its doors on May 2, as the Lone Star State began loosening its stay-at-home orders. But on May 14, the parish canceled all services after Father Donnell Kirchner died. Five members of the congregation tested positive for COVID-19, church officials said Monday. “If you have attended Masses in person at Holy Ghost Church since the reopening on May 2nd, you are strongly encouraged to monitor your health for any symptoms and be tested for COVID-19, as a precautionary measure,” the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said in a statement to Fox News. The church said it was possible Kirchner, 79, contracted COVID-19 and that “one or more of the community might have been exposed.” The priest’s cause of death is unknown, though he was diagnosed with pneumonia before he died at home May 13.
The coronavirus pandemic’s life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people—particularly those from vulnerable populations—a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds. Assistant Professor Sarah Lowe and colleagues studied low-income women from New Orleans who were surveyed the year prior to, and at intervals after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. The women reported a range of traumatic experiences during Katrina, many of which are similar to those now occurring during the pandemic, including bereavement, lack of access to medical care and scarcity of medications. The research showed that at one, four and 12 years after the hurricane, the exposures most strongly associated with posttraumatic stress, psychological distress, general health and physical health symptoms were those most common to the current pandemic. The pandemic continues to cause widespread death and sickness, as well as job loss and severe economic hardship for many. “This pandemic is likely to have profound short- and long-term consequences for physical and mental health,” said Lowe. “These impacts are likely to be even larger than what we have seen in previous disasters like Hurricane Katrina, given the distinctive qualities of the pandemic as a disaster.”
Weekly sessions of yoga may ease depressive symptoms in people with other mental health issues, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing research. “This is a great result to now encourage people who might be thinking about trying yoga that there’s some scientific evidence that it can be effective for helping reduce depressive symptoms,” said exercise physiologist and study author Jacinta Brinsley […] “Exercise has always been a great strategy for people struggling with these feelings as it boosts both mood and health. But as gyms and exercise classes of all kinds are now closed,” Brinsley said, “people are looking for alternatives, and this is where yoga can help. […] “This is any kind of yoga where asana — postures and movement — are the main focus,” Brinsley said. “Most yoga classes that are delivered in gyms or studios today in Western society would fit this criteria. The most common styles would be: Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Power Yoga.”
A new study, published in BMC Psychiatry, examines the feasibility and acceptability of a Mindfulness-Based Crisis Intervention (MBCI) for patients experiencing psychosis in the inpatient setting. Results of the parallel-group, randomized control trial (RCT), led by Pamela Jacobson from King’s College London, suggest that mindfulness-based interventions delivered during inpatient hospitalizations may reduce short-term readmissions, a key indicator of quality in mental health care. “Psychological therapies may reduce the risk of short-term readmission; however, these are not widely offered to service users with psychosis during an inpatient admission, and there is considerable heterogeneity in type and delivery of therapy offered,” Jacobsen and her co-authors write. “This is despite the fact service users report high levels of dissatisfaction with inpatient care, and say they would like better access to psychological therapies during their admission.”
A pair of Finnish researchers recently released a neuropsychological case report of a patient diagnosed with bipolar disorder who was treated with multiple psychiatric drugs. They conducted neuropsychological assessments before and two years after lithium and other drugs were discontinued. The testing monitored the patients’ cognitive impairments, visuomotor speed, visuoperceptual reasoning, and visual memory, among other measures. “We presented a case of cognitive dysfunction that developed during long-term polypharmacy in a patient who had received a bipolar disorder diagnosis,” wrote the researchers. “Our patient, a 41-year-old woman with a doctoral degree and a successful professional career, gradually became forgetful, visually distractible, and unable to function in her normal occupational and social roles after taking lithium for several months at a commonly used dosage, in combination with other psychiatric drugs she had taken as prescribed for years.”
PEOPLE HOSPITALIZED BY the novel coronavirus don’t appear to suffer from many short-term mental health issues, but researchers are warning about potential long-term problems like anxiety and depression in a new analysis of dozens of studies from around the globe. The study, published Monday in The Lancet Psychiatry, suggests that people who are hospitalized for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, may suffer from delirium when they’re acutely sick. And while researchers said it’s too soon to know for sure the disease’s long-term effects on survivors’ mental health, these patients may suffer from depression, anxiety, fatigue and post-traumatic stress disorder in the weeks and months after they are discharged. The findings are based on a meta-analysis of 72 studies on coronavirus infections tied to COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome – two other diseases that emerged in 2002 and 2012, respectively. The studies were from multiple countries: China, Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S.
A dominant body posture may help children to feel more confident in school. These are the findings of a new study by psychologists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg. The study was recently published in the journal “School Psychology International” and provides initial evidence that simple poses can help students feel better at school. […] The new study is consistent with earlier findings on power posing; however, the concept is controversial in the field of psychological research. Some of the findings, which indicated effects on hormones or behaviour, for example, could not be replicated. However, this is also the case for other studies in psychology and other scientific disciplines. “To make our study even more objective and transparent, we pre-registered it and all of the methodology. This means that we specified everything in advance and could not change anything afterwards,” explains Körner.
Polypharmacy is common in patients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Although polypharmacy is known to increase the risk of iatrogenic neurological conditions, the recovery of cognitive function after drug withdrawal has been rarely documented in psychiatric patients using standardized neuropsychological methods. We present a neuropsychological case report of patient SN, a 41-year-old woman who developed a socially and occupationally detrimental condition of cognitive dysfunction likely induced by long-term exposure to lithium and other psychiatric medications. To shed light on SN’s cognitive deficits and their recovery after drug withdrawal, neuropsychological assessments were conducted before, and approximately 2 years after, lithium and other psychiatric drugs were discontinued. Selective cognitive impairments were observed before drug discontinuation in visuomotor speed, visuoperceptual reasoning and delayed visual memory. Partial, but not complete, recovery of function was observed 2 years after drug withdrawal.
State and local governments imposed social distancing measures in March and April of 2020 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These included large event bans, school closures, closures of entertainment venues, gyms, bars, and restaurant dining areas, and shelter-in-place orders (SIPOs). We evaluated the impact of these measures on the growth rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases across US counties between March 1, 2020 and April 27, 2020. An event-study design allowed each policy’s impact on COVID-19 case growth to evolve over time. Adoption of government-imposed social distancing measures reduced the daily growth rate by 5.4 percentage points after 1–5 days, 6.8 after 6–10 days, 8.2 after 11–15 days, and 9.1 after 16–20 days. Holding the amount of voluntary social distancing constant, these results imply 10 times greater spread by April 27 without SIPOs (10 million cases) and more than 35 times greater spread without any of the four measures (35 million). Our paper illustrates the potential danger of exponential spread in the absence of interventions, providing relevant information to strategies for restarting economic activity.
While countries across the world have eased Covid-19 lockdowns over recent weeks, Sweden stands out: it never imposed confinement measures to begin with. As billions hunkered down throughout the globe in late March, Swedish bars, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms and even primary and middle schools stayed open. There have been some exceptions. Secondary schools and museums have been closed, sport fixtures cancelled and gatherings of more than 50 people banned. Swedes have been asked to stay at home if they are over 70 or are feeling unwell.
Total Covid-19 deaths per million in Sweden versus its regional neighbors who imposed stronger social distancing.
The Swedish approach has won praise from figures on the American right such as Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who have suggested that it provides a model for the US to follow. […] Statistics suggest that Sweden has performed poorly compared to its Scandinavian neighbours, which imposed strict lockdowns. Experts say the other Nordic countries are the most apt points of comparison, given their similar healthcare systems, socio-political cultures and levels of connectedness. Reported coronavirus deaths per million in Sweden stand at 358, according to Statista – even higher than the hard-hit US, at 267. The Swedish figure is dramatically worse than those of Denmark (93), Finland (53) and Norway (44). In Sweden, “we’re seeing an amplification of the epidemic, because there’s simply more social contact”, said Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University in the US.
A Delightful Exposé of Ancient & Modern Psychology & Psychiatry
Professor of the Classics Michael Fontaine PhD was so interesting and inspiring two weeks ago talking about ancient pandemics that I asked him back to talk about two other amazing historical events: One is recent, from the 1970s: the famous Rosenhan study, called On Being Sane in Insane Places. Like many critics of conventional psychiatry, I was enamored with it. Rosenhan sent normal volunteers into emergency rooms, instructing them to act entirely normal except to say they were hearing a voice saying “Thud.” They were all locked up and given psychiatric drugs, and only other patients suspected they were not real patients. Or so David Rosenhan’s “scientific” tour de force supposedly unfolded. It turns out he conned us, not the psychiatrists. It’s an incredible story. Michael follows up with yet another amazing story, very old: A Roman play based on an even more ancient Greek play that offers a spoof on psychiatry and probably the first ever portrayal of abusive involuntary treatment. Great stuff from a great and amusing scholar.
“The bodies don’t stop coming. They can’t cope.” @ramsaysky reports from Mexico where the number of people dying from the #coronavirus pandemic is thought to be higher than official government figures.
The Mexican government is not reporting hundreds, possibly thousands, of deaths from the coronavirus in Mexico City, dismissing anxious officials who have tallied more than three times as many fatalities in the capital than the government publicly acknowledges, according to officials and confidential data reviewed by The New York Times. […] Doctors in overwhelmed hospitals in Mexico City say the reality of the epidemic is being hidden from the country. In some hospitals, patients lie on the floor, splayed on mattresses. Elderly people are propped up on metal chairs because there are not enough beds, while patients are turned away to search for space in less-prepared hospitals. Many die while searching, several doctors said. “It’s like we doctors are living in two different worlds, ” said Dr. Giovanna Avila, who works at Hospital de Especialidades Belisario Domínguez. “One is inside of the hospital with patients dying all the time. And the other is when we walk out onto the streets and see people walking around, clueless of what is going on and how bad the situation really is.”
Background In France, the combination hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin (AZ) is used in the treatment of COVID-19. Methods We retrospectively report on 1061 SARS-CoV-2 positive tested patients treated for at least three days with the following regimen: HCQ (200 mg three times daily for ten days) + AZ (500 mg on day 1 followed by 250 mg daily for the next four days). Outcomes were death, clinical worsening (transfer to ICU, and >10 day hospitalization) and viral shedding persistence (>10 days). […] Conclusion Administration of the HCQ+AZ combination before COVID-19 complications occur is safe and associated with a very low fatality rate in patients.
Aerosols and droplets generated during speech have been implicated in the person-to-person transmission of viruses,1,2 and there is current interest in understanding the mechanisms responsible for the spread of Covid-19 by these means. The act of speaking generates oral fluid droplets that vary widely in size,1 and these droplets can harbor infectious virus particles. Whereas large droplets fall quickly to the ground, small droplets can dehydrate and linger as “droplet nuclei” in the air, where they behave like an aerosol and thereby expand the spatial extent of emitted infectious particles.2 We report the results of a laser light-scattering experiment in which speech-generated droplets and their trajectories were visualized. […] We found that when the person said “stay healthy,” numerous droplets ranging from 20 to 500 μm were generated. These droplets produced flashes as they passed through the light sheet (Figure 1). The brightness of the flashes reflected the size of the particles and the fraction of time they were present in a single 16.7-msec frame of the video. The number of flashes in a single frame of the video was highest when the “th” sound in the word “healthy” was pronounced (Figure 1A). Repetition of the same phrase three times, with short pauses in between the phrases, produced a similar pattern of generated particles, with peak numbers of flashes as high as 347 with the loudest speech and as low as 227 when the loudness was slightly decreased over the three trials (see the top trace in Figure 1A). When the same phrase was uttered three times through a slightly damp washcloth over the speaker’s mouth, the flash count remained close to the background level (mean, 0.1 flashes); this showed a decrease in the number of forward-moving droplets (see the bottom trace in Figure 1A).
We were the first group to put out detailed reopening guidance back in March, the same week that many states were issuing stay at home orders. The goal is and has always been to reopen – the question is how to do it safely. 2/
We have found that remdesivir is a failed antiviral drug that will probably do more harm than good for many coronavirus patients. An earlier remdesivir trial for Ebola was stopped because the drug was causing significantly higher mortality rates than other antiviral drugs in the same trial. As one recent medical source noted, the remdesivir Ebola trial had to be aborted “because of an increase in death among patients taking it, meaning it did not help those patients”. Remdesivir is not a specific anti-COVID-19 drug, as many people think. It is a general antiviral drug with a history of earlier failures, as well as adverse effects serious enough to kill patients. Dr. Anthony Fauci should never have made it his frontrunner for drugs desperately needed to treat the pandemic. We will describe very recent scientific data confirming these conclusions. Read more…
Researchers at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine found patients given the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine along with zinc sulphate and the antibiotic azithromycin were 44 percent less likely to die from the coronavirus. “Certainly we have very limited options as far as what we have seen work for this infection so anything that may work is very exciting,” said Dr. Joseph Rahimian, Infectious Disease Specialist at NYU Langone Health […] Researchers said the patients given zinc were one and a half times more likely to recover, decreasing their need for intensive care. One theory is that hydroxychloroquine may aid a cell’s ability to absorb the zinc which has antiviral properties and responds to the infection. “It sort of boosts the zinc activity which is one of the reasons we thought to look at zinc here and in this observational study we did see a difference suggesting that maybe that boosting activity of the hydroxychloroquine with the zinc helps the zinc to work better and lead to a benefit,” Rahimian said.
Background: COVID-19 has rapidly emerged as a pandemic infection that has caused significant mortality and economic losses. Potential therapies and means of prophylaxis against COVID-19 are urgently needed to combat this novel infection. As a result of in vitro evidence suggesting zinc sulfate may be efficacious against COVID-19, our hospitals began using zinc sulfate as add-on therapy to hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. We performed a retrospective observational study to compare hospital outcomes among patients who received hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin plus zinc versus hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin alone. Methods: Data was collected from electronic medical records for all patients being treated with admission dates ranging from March 2, 2020 through April 5, 2020. Initial clinical characteristics on presentation, medications given during the hospitalization, and hospital outcomes were recorded. Patients in the study were excluded if they were treated with other investigational medications. Results: The addition of zinc sulfate did not impact the length of hospitalization, duration of ventilation, or ICU duration. In univariate analyses, zinc sulfate increased the frequency of patients being discharged home, and decreased the need for ventilation, admission to the ICU, and mortality or transfer to hospice for patients who were never admitted to the ICU. After adjusting for the time at which zinc sulfate was added to our protocol, an increased frequency of being discharged home (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.12-2.09) reduction in mortality or transfer to hospice remained significant (OR 0.449, 95% CI 0.271-0.744). Conclusion: This study provides the first in vivo evidence that zinc sulfate in combination with hydroxychloroquine may play a role in therapeutic management for COVID-19.
A new study, published in Psychiatry Research, examined potential factors influencing emotional well-being during a virus outbreak. Researchers found that perceived knowledge about COVID-19 was related to higher emotional well-being, over and above actual knowledge about the virus. They further discovered that sense of control might be the reason why. Previous research has uncovered the detrimental effects of virus outbreaks on public mental health. However, surprisingly few studies have looked at the effects of outbreaks on emotional well-being. Study authors, Haiyang Yang and Jingjing Ma, wanted to explore potential factors that might alleviate or exacerbate emotional well-being. […] The authors explain, “Participants’ perceived knowledge about coronavirus infection was associated with a higher sense of control, which in turn protected their emotional well-being during the outbreak. Approaches that boost sense of control,” they add, “can attenuate the detrimental effect of an outbreak on happiness.”
It’s no accident that most people tend to sleep at night and are awake during the day. Our sleep-wake cycle is determined by our circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock. Like old-time clocks, this internal clock needs to be reset every day, and is adjusted by first exposure to light in the morning. […] An irregular circadian rhythm can have a negative effect on a person’s ability to sleep and function properly, and can result in a number of health problems, including mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. A recent study suggested that the night-owl type might have a greater predisposition to psychological disturbances. The authors found that the different circadian types were likely to have different coping styles to emotional stressors, and the ones adopted by the morning larks seemed to result in better outcomes and fewer psychological problems. […] One meta-analysis showed that night-shift workers are 40% more likely to develop depression than daytime workers. Conversely, circadian rhythm disturbances are common in people with depression, who often have changes in the pattern of their sleep, their hormone rhythms, and body temperature rhythms.
Harvard University scientists have identified a new gut-brain connection in the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. The researchers found that in mice with a common ALS genetic mutation, changing the gut microbiome using antibiotics or fecal transplants could prevent or improve disease symptoms. Published in the journal Nature, the findings provide a potential explanation for why only some individuals carrying the mutation develop ALS. They also point to a possible therapeutic approach based on the microbiome. “Our study focused on the most commonly mutated gene in patients with ALS. We made the remarkable discovery that the same mouse model — with identical genetics — had substantially different health outcomes at our different lab facilities,” said Kevin Eggan, Harvard professor of stem cell and regenerative biology. “We traced the different outcomes to distinct gut microbial communities in these mice, and now have an intriguing hypothesis for why some individuals carrying this mutation develop ALS while others do not.”
The seemingly chaotic bacterial soup of the gut microbiome is more organized than it first appears and follows some of the same ecological laws that apply to birds, fish, tropical rainforests, and even complex economic and financial markets, according to a new paper in Nature Microbiology by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. One of the main challenges facing researchers who study the gut microbiome is its sheer size and amazing organizational complexity. Many trillions of bacteria, representing thousands of different species, live in the human intestinal tract, interacting with each other and the environment in countless and constantly changing ways. […] “Similar to many animal ecologies and complex financial markets, a healthy gut microbiome is never truly at equilibrium,” Vitkup says. “For example, the number of a particular bacterial species on day one is never the same on day two, and so on. It constantly fluctuates, like stocks in a financial market or number of animals in a valley, but these fluctuations are not arbitrary. In fact, they follow predictable patterns described by Taylor’s power law, a well-established principle in animal ecology that describe how fluctuations are related to the relative number of bacteria for different species.”
National data from this past week suggest that the U.S. is starting to experience a sustained and sharper decline in new covid19 cases after a period of extended plateau. pic.twitter.com/alcFxGsrq3
Data compiled by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health is looking to provide guidance for the COVID-19 impact on the mental health of kids. “Historical research on the effects of pandemics on children’s mental health is limited,” the study said. “But current analyses on the impact of COVID-19, in the U.S. and across the world, can help inform best practices for promoting resilience among children facing adversity.” According to their data, in 2018 hospitalizations for mental health issues in teens ages 15 to 19 in Kern County were 431, nearly double the number compared to 2010. Data shows that for ages 5 to 14, there were 258 hospitalizations for mental health issues in 2018. That’s almost three times the number of hospitalizations in 2010. As their research concluded, “With the emergence of COVID-19, children with existing mental health issues must endure the added burden of a pandemic,” meaning additional efforts need to be put in place to assist youth.
The drug maker Gilead Sciences released a bombshell two weeks ago: A study conducted by a U.S. government agency had found that the company’s experimental drug, remdesivir, was the first treatment shown to have even a small effect against Covid-19. […] The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has described to STAT in new detail how it made its fateful decision: to start giving remdesivir to patients who had been assigned to receive a placebo in the study, essentially limiting researchers’ ability to collect more data about whether the drug saves lives — something the study, called ACTT-1, suggests but does not prove. […] Peter Bach [said] “The core understanding of clinical research participation and clinical research conduct is we run the trial rigorously to provide the most accurate information about the right treatment,” he said. And that answer, he argued, should ideally have determined whether remdesivir saves lives [rather than shortens days in hospital]. The reason we have shut our whole society down, Bach said, is not to prevent Covid-19 patients from spending a few more days in the hospital. It is to prevent patients from dying. “Mortality is the right endpoint,” he said.
Campaigners for the welfare of elderly people and their relatives are calling on the UK government to be more transparent after authorities declined to disclose the number of COVID-19 deaths in individual care homes. […] Across the United Kingdom, thousands of people have died in care homes after becoming infected with the coronavirus, according to the government’s own statistics. Advocacy groups that run helplines for families of care home residents say callers are desperate for more information about where outbreaks have occurred. But they say they aren’t getting it. “This lack of transparency is a problem for all sorts of reasons,” said Ruthe Isden, health and care influencing director at Age UK, an advocate for the elderly. “It’s very hard to get a handle on what’s going on in care homes.” […] “Families and the wider public must know when and where outbreaks of coronavirus are happening,” she told Reuters. “This information is crucial in ensuring care homes are given the resources, support and attention they need to stop the spread of this awful virus.”
A private analysis of cellphone location data purports to show that a high-security Wuhan laboratory studying coronaviruses shut down in October, three sources briefed on the matter told NBC News. U.S. spy agencies are reviewing the document, but intelligence analysts examined and couldn’t confirm a similar theory previously, two senior officials say. […] If there was such a shutdown, which has not been confirmed, it could be seen as evidence of a possibility being examined by U.S. intelligence agencies and alluded to by Trump administration officials, including the president — that the novel coronavirus emerged accidentally from the lab. […] President Donald Trump has said he has seen evidence that gives him “a high degree of confidence” that the virus emerged accidentally from a lab, but U.S. intelligence officials say they have not reached that conclusion and lack hard evidence to support it. China has consistently denied that the virus escaped from a lab, and Chinese media recently called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “evil” for suggesting the possibility.
Disease trackers are calling a choir practice in Washington state a superspreader event that illustrates how easily the coronavirus can pass from person to person. The act of singing itself may have spread the virus in the air and onto surfaces, according to a report from Skagit County Public Health published Tuesday. “One individual present felt ill, not knowing what they had, and ended up infecting 52 other people,” said lead author Lea Hamner, calling the outbreak a tragedy. Two choir members died of COVID-19 after attending the March 10 practice of the Skagit Valley Chorale. The rehearsal was held nearly two weeks before the state’s stay-at-home order.
Connecticut is swabbing corpses at funeral homes. Maryland is testing all nursing-home residents and staff, symptomatic or not. Coast to coast, governors have intensified efforts to get accurate death counts at the facilities as investigations suggest far more devastation than initially recorded. […] Nursing homes account for at least a third of the nation’s 76,000 Covid-19 fatalities, and in 14 states they’re more than half the total, according to Kaiser Family Foundation data from Thursday. Those numbers, though, are woefully incomplete because 18 states aren’t disclosing such data and those that are provide varying levels of information. As officials struggle to measure and understand the true toll, the virus continues to victimize the frail and elderly in even the best-run facilities, said Elizabeth Dugan, associate professor of gerontology at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. “They’re almost like sitting ducks,” said Dugan, whose research team warned of imminent widespread nursing-home infections in early March.
Nature heals. Just a walk in the woods or a stroll by the beach on a sunny morning can awaken the innermost feelings of happiness and peace, and Environmental Psychology has gone a long way proving this fact (Bell, Fisher, Baum, Greene, 1996). Our affinity toward nature is genetic and deep-rooted in evolution. For example, have you ever wondered why most people prefer to book accommodations that have a great view from the balcony or the terrace? Why patients who get a natural view from their hospital bed recover sooner than others? Or why does it happen that when stress takes a toll on our mind, we crave for time to figure out things amidst nature? Frank Lloyd Wright had said, “Study Nature, love Nature, stay close to Nature. It will never fail you.” This article investigates the human-nature relationship in detail. Why we feel so empowered when we are close to Nature? What happens to us when the soft breeze or the warm sun touch us? With research-backed evidence and useful environment-support hacks, this piece explores and acknowledges the sheer boon of the ‘Nature Contact’.
The forced isolation of the past few weeks has turned our lives upside down and, if nothing else, has revealed just how socially dependent the human animal is. Most bee species live alone, but we are more like the honeybee, craving the complex social order and the buzz of the hive. Even if you have escaped the virus, the hardships of the shutdown are incalculable and include losing livelihoods and trying to home-school children while working remotely and worrying about loved ones stuck elsewhere. No one wants the shutdown to last a minute longer than necessary. […] But when I step into the garden, I value more than ever its state of stillness. This search for contemplative peace underpins the Japanese practice of forest bathing, Shinrin-yoku, in which you find a quiet, mossy woodland and mindfully apply all the senses to it. It is purposefully slow-paced and meditative. It is unplugged from technology, and it is not hiking or jogging along a trail. Forest bathing has caught on in the West, judging by the raft of related titles now available online.
Depression and anxiety can be prevalent among elderly people hospitalized with Parkinson’s disease, and is associated with malnourishment or poor nutrition, a study from Germany suggests. Findings also indicate that malnutrition is more prominent among men with Parkinson’s whose disease is more advanced or of a longer duration. The study, […] was published in PLOS One. […] A significant association was seen between MNA [Mini Nutritional Assessment] and PDQ-39 [quality of life] scores — that is, worse nutritional scores were statistically associated with poorer quality of life. When the researchers looked at different domains of the PDQ-39 individually, they found the strongest association between MNA and scores related to emotional well-being, implying that people with poorer nutrition are more likely to have worse emotional well-being. “The emotional well-being domain is related to symptoms of depression and long-standing anxiety. Patients with depression are more likely to exhibit loss of appetite and decreased food intake, which can favor malnutrition,” the researchers wrote.
Government clinical trial investigators changed the primary metric for measuring the success of Gilead’s experimental drug remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment two weeks before Anthony S. Fauci’s announcement that the drug would be the new “standard of care.” Instead of counting how many people taking the drug were kept alive on ventilators or died, among other measures, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said it would judge the drug primarily on a different outcome: how long it took surviving patients to recover. Death and other negative outcomes were moved to secondary measure status: They would still be tracked, but they would no longer be the key measure of remdesivir’s performance. The switch — which specialists said is unusual in major clinical trials but not unheard of — was publicly disclosed on the government’s clinicaltrials.gov website on April 16 but did not receive much attention at the time.
Paroxetine (Paxil) is one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, probably the most common class of antidepressants used. Paxil has prominent anti-anxiety properties as well. All of the SSRIs, but Paxil in particular, can cause withdrawal symptoms if weaned off too quickly. Some nonpsychiatrist prescribers, especially general doctors like me, sometimes are unaware of how slowly this drug should be tapered off. Although you did have a taper, it was too fast for you, and in my opinion, too fast in general. You’ve identified some of the most common withdrawal symptoms already: dizziness, headache, fatigue and nausea. I have heard the very term “brain zaps” from others getting off Paxil as well. Four weeks is a reasonable tapering period, but eight weeks or even longer is necessary in some people. A pill cutter, easily obtainable at any pharmacy, will be your friend. I’d recommend cutting the 10 mg pills in half, and take 15 mg alternating with 20 (alternatively, you could break the tabs into 1/4 if possible and take 17.5) for a week, then 15 for a week, then 15 alternating with 10 (or 12.5) for a week, and continue dropping the dose by 2.5 mg every week.
COVID-19 kills 1.3% of symptomatic people and could kill 500,000 Americans in the coming months if as many people contract the highly-contagious virus this year as contracted the seasonal flu last year, according to a caveat-laden estimate published Thursday in Health Affairs.
• The researchers looked at 116 counties in 33 states and found 40,835 confirmed cases and 1,620 confirmed deaths through April 20. • Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients who recovered with no symptoms were not counted in the data, which could have skewed results. • The researchers also said they could not estimate age-adjusted IFR-S because the data isn’t available.
“After modeling the available national data on cumulative deaths and detected COVID-19 cases in the United States, the IFR-S (Infection Fatality Rate – Symptomatic) from COVID-19 was estimated to be 1.3%,” said the researchers, led by Anirban Basu, Stergachis Family endowed director and professor in the Department of Pharmacy, CHOICE Institute, University of Washington, Seattle. “This estimated rate is substantially higher than the approximate IFR-S of seasonal influenza, which is about 0.1% (34,200 deaths among 35.5 million patients who got sick with influenza).”
Because Covid-19 is a new disease, there are no studies about its long-term trajectory for those with more severe symptoms; even the earliest patients to recover in China were only infected a few months ago. But doctors say the novel coronavirus can attach to human cells in many parts of the body and penetrate many major organs, including the heart, kidneys, brain, and even blood vessels. […] On CT scans, while normal lungs appear black, Covid-19 patients’ lungs frequently have lighter gray patches, called “ground-glass opacities” — which may not heal. One study from China found that this ground-glass appearance showed up in scans of 77 percent of Covid-19 patients. In another study out of China, published in Radiology, 66 of 70 hospitalized patients had some amount of lung damage in CT scans, and more than half had the kind of lesions that are likely to develop into scars. (A third study from China suggests this is not just for critically ill patients; its authors found that of 58 asymptomatic patients, 95 percent also had evidence of these ground-glass opacities in their lungs. More than a quarter of these individuals went on to develop symptoms within a few days.) “These kinds of tissue changes can cause permanent damage,” says Ali Gholamrezanezhad.
Pharmacists are increasingly struggling to source key antidepressants due to an increase in demand during the UK’s lockdown. There has roughly been a 10 to 15 per cent rise in antidepressant prescriptions across the country, according to The Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMP), having anecdotally heard of the struggles from pharmacies to meet the increase in demand. The result is that pharmacists are now paying high prices, and spending a lot of time finding fresh sources, in order to obtain supplies. […] “There are sufficient levels of Lustral to meet demand until September, however the manufacturer is working to increase production in the meantime,” they added. “Due to this, prices have gone up and so a reflective price concession was put in place for April, and we will be monitoring this situation to see if another concession is required for May.”
Fear and Grief Are Not Mental Illness…(and Never Were)
On Monday, Missouri will allow concerts to resume for the first time since the state’s stay-at-home order started at the beginning of April. Yes, concerts, where people usually pack together, breathing the same air. Apparently, the Missouri government believes it will be safe if people attending stand 6 feet apart. What’s happening in Missouri is beginning to happen in many parts of the country […] It’s understandable that states want to open up. The pandemic has resulted in a painful and scary economic downturn; unemployment has spiked to 14.7 percent. There’s an emotional toll to social distancing, too: How many people haven’t seen their families in months, are severely lonely, or are desperate for physical contact? But is the public health situation really all that different than when lockdowns began in March? According to epidemiologists, no. Although the situation varies from place to place, now, in general, doesn’t appear to be the best time for Americans to return to close proximity to one another. There are four main reasons:
Would you like reduce your risk of cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia? Researchers from around the world having been studying a variety of different factors that might reduce these risks and keep the brain healthy. […] Researchers at the National Institutes of Health recently published a study that evaluated the lifestyles of over 7,750 participants followed for five to 10 years. Participants filled out questionnaires to determine their eating habits, and had cognitive tests of memory, language, and attention administered over the phone. They used these data to determine the dietary factors most important in lowering your risk of cognitive impairment, as well as the dietary factors most important in lowering your risk of cognitive decline.
“… There will be hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, possibly more, who will need treatments such as renal dialysis for the rest of their lives. The more we learn about the coronavirus, the more questions arise…”
There’s compelling evidence that Japan, Hong Kong, and other East Asian locales are doing it right and we should really, truly mask up—fast. If you’re wondering whether to wear or not to wear, consider this. The day before yesterday, 21 people died of COVID-19 in Japan. In the United States, 2,129 died. Comparing overall death rates for the two countries offers an even starker point of comparison with total U.S. deaths now at a staggering 76,032 and Japan’s fatalities at 577. Japan’s population is about 38% of the U.S., but even adjusting for population, the Japanese death rate is a mere 2% of America’s. This comes despite Japan having no lockdown, still-active subways, and many businesses that have remained open—reportedly including karaoke bars, although Japanese citizens and industries are practicing social distancing where they can. Nor have the Japanese broadly embraced contact tracing, a practice by which health authorities identify someone who has been infected and then attempt to identify everyone that person might have interacted with—and potentially infected. So how does Japan do it?
The reason why obese people may be more at risk of dying from coronavirus could be because their fat cells make large amounts of a protein used by the infection to infiltrate human cells. The coronavirus – scientifically called SARS-CoV-2 – latches onto ACE-2 receptors, known as the ‘gateway’ into cells inside body. Fat cells express ACE-2 receptors, which experts say may explain why obese people have higher odds of suffering a severe bout of COVID-19. ACE-2 is also expressed in the fat cells of people with type 2 diabetes – another high-risk health condition driven by obesity.
The coronavirus latches onto ACE-2 receptors, known as the ‘gateway’ into cells
Scientists said fat cells express high levels of ACE-2 which make them a target
ACE-2 is also widely expressed in the fat cells of people with type 2 diabetes
The UK Government are looking into the links between obesity and COVID-19
Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Around three in ten adults in England are clinically obese – a Body Mass Index above 30. The rate is among the highest in the Western world. According to data from NHS hospitals, 75 per cent of COVID-19 patients in intensive care are overweight, compared with 65 per cent in the general population. In a ‘perspective’ paper published in the journal Obesity, the researchers explained the link between obesity and COVID-19 that has emerged. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) is the entry point for the virus. Its spiky surface binds to the receptors and, from there, replicates. Dr Ilja Kruglikov of Wellcomet GmbH in Germany, wrote ACE-2 is ‘widely expressed’ in fat cells called adipocytes in obese people and type 2 diabetics.
The study found speaking to mom over the phone (versus texting) increase levels of calmness and peacefulness, and lowered stress and anxiety. The study — which comes from Wilson Electronics — was conducted between people of Generation Z and their moms. The study measured alpha and beta brain wave patterns to determine physiological factors to see what happens when we talk to our moms. The results were compared to what happens during texting. Some of the findings include:
83% of people showed increase in calm and peacefulness when talking to mom.
83% felt less anxiety or tension.
64% felt more relaxed or calm when talking on the phone opposed to texting.
87% of Generation Z participants said they preferred texting.
Bruce Lancaster, CEO of Wilson Electronics, said in an email that the study shows the phone call is more relevant than ever and remains a powerful form of communication today.”
“Talking on the phone not only brings us closer together, but also makes us feel better. During today’s unprecedented times, something as simple as a phone call can make all the difference in lowering stress and anxiety and bringing happiness in a time where we need it most. And of course, what better time to make that call than this weekend for Mother’s Day?”
At least 25,600 residents and workers have died from the coronavirus at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities for older adults in the United States, according to a New York Times database. The virus so far has infected more than 143,000 at some 7,500 facilities. Nursing home populations are at a high risk of being infected by — and dying from — the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is known to be particularly lethal to older adults with underlying health conditions, and can spread more easily through congregate facilities, where many people live in a confined environment and workers move from room to room. While just about 10 percent of the country’s cases have occurred in long-term care facilities, deaths related to Covid-19 in these facilities account for a third of the country’s pandemic fatalities.
A recent study revealed that children confined to their homes during the COVID-19 outbreak present above normal symptoms of anxiety and depression. The survey was conducted among children from the Hubei province in China and was published in JAMA Pediatrics. The COVID-19 pandemic brought countries around the world to an unprecedented halt. In an effort to limit the spread of the virus, major cities shut down virtually all inessential activity, including entire school boards. As this type of lockdown has rarely been seen throughout history, its effect on young children is yet unknown. […] Results showed that around 23% of students showed depressive symptoms and about 19% showed symptoms of anxiety. The researchers point out that these numbers are higher than what is typically seen in young Chinese children and suggest that the loss of normal activities may have impacted the mental health of children in lockdown. “During the outbreak of COVID-19,” the authors say, “the reduction of outdoor activities and social interaction may have been associated with an increase in children’s depressive symptoms.”
Waking up with a slight headache that becomes painful enough to hinder daily life is the experience of many who suffer from migraines.But for those on a medication plan, adding a yoga practice to their treatment repertoire may help to reduce the intensity and frequency of those troublesome migraines, and how many pills they need to take to ease the pain, found a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology. […] “Yoga brings down stress, and stress is a precipitant for migraine,” said coauthor Dr. Gautam Sharma, a cardiology professor and head of the Centre for Integrative Medicine and Research (part of AIIMS). “It’s improving the mood, decreasing depression. It’s acting like one of the anti-anxiety medicines, and all of these medicines are used for migraine.” […] Yoga reduces activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the body’s involuntary response to stressful situations, increasing heart rate and alertness and sending extra blood to the muscles, Sharma said. Less sympathetic nervous system drive equals less stress, while more parasympathetic activity leads to a state of calm, which is central to yoga practice.
Nearly half the unionized workers at a Town of Tonawanda nursing home have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a employee who is sick with the virus and the union representing her. Yet the state Department of Health does not keep track of novel coronavirus infections among nursing home workers who provide care to a population described as among the most vulnerable to the deadly virus. For families with loved ones in nursing homes, the lack of information about infected workers is one more frightening issue as a state ban on visitors at long-term care facilities keeps them apart from their relatives.
Pennsylvania health officials says 79 is the average age for coronvirus-related deaths in the state and that nearly 68% of those deaths occurred in assisted-living facilities – in one of the first state-based reports to breaking down virus statistics by age demographics. The speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Mike Turzai, announced the finding in a letter Wednesday to chamber members, after state Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine informed chamber leaders about the data. Beyond the finding about the average age, the letter also states the 67.9% of the 3,106 people who have so far died in Pennsylvania – or 2,108 people – were living in nursing, personal-care and assisted-living facilities. The number translates to the 67.9% of all virus-deaths in these types of settings.
Too often, links to the Communist ideology supporting the Chinese regime’s pernicious actions are omitted in higher education. To the degree that the misdirection and inaction of China’s Communist government have been discussed in this pandemic, it is worth asking what the COVID-19 crisis has to do with Communism and its underlying ideology of Marxism-Leninism. According to the dominant narrative in much of U.S. higher education today, absolutely nothing. A well-documented left-wing bias in colleges and universities, particularly in those considered elite, produces students who are poorly prepared to recognize such behavior. Compounding the problem, history plays a smaller role in secondary education than it once did, and civics has all but disappeared.
OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS, the recognition that the microbes living inside us outnumber our body’s own cells has turned our view of ourselves inside out. The gut microbiome, as it’s known, weighs about 2 kilograms—more than the 1.4-kilogram human brain—and may have just as much influence over our bodies. Thousands of species of microbes (not only bacteria but also viruses, fungi, and archaea) reside in the gut. And with as many as 20 million genes among them, those microbes pack a genomic punch that our measly 20,000 genes can’t match. Gut bacteria can make and use nutrients and other molecules in ways the human body can’t—a tantalizing source of new therapies. […] Epidemiological researchers have turned up intriguing connections between gut and brain disorders. For example, many people with irritable bowel syndrome are also depressed, people on the autism spectrum tend to have digestive problems, and people with Parkinson’s are prone to constipation. Researchers have also noticed an increase in depression in people taking antibiotics—but not antiviral or antifungal medications that leave gut bacteria unharmed. Last year, Jeroen Raes […] and colleagues analyzed the health records of two groups—one Belgian, one Dutch—of more then 1000 people participating in surveys of their types of gut bacteria. People with depression had deficits of the same two bacterial species, the authors reported in April 2019 in Nature Microbiology.
In France, the combination hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin (AZ) is used in the treatment of COVID-19. We retrospectively report on 1061 SARS-CoV-2 positive tested patients treated with HCQ (200 mg three times daily for ten days) + AZ (500 mg on day 1 followed by 250 mg daily for the next four days) for at least three days. Outcomes were death, clinical worsening (transfer to ICU, and >10 day hospitalization) and viral shedding persistence (>10 days). […] Conclusion: Administration of the HCQ+AZ combination before COVID-19 complications occur is safe and associated with very low fatality rate in patients.
Ian’s thoughts: major media heavily promoted a non-peer-reviewed retrospective study that reported no benefits for HCQ (see Dr. Breggin’s debunking of that study) and that included no data on HCQ doses or when in the course of illness it was administered (which matters because as with other antivirals, early treatment appears to be key to efficacy). In contrast, this retrospective study passed peer-review and has data on HCQ doses and when in the course of illness it was prescribed and found lower than expected mortality among those given HCQ. Yet this study of superior quality on every score is ignored whereas the low-quality study was promoted by media heavily just because it threw shade on a drug that Trump promoted. They would literally rather tens of thousands of people die than Trump be right about even one thing.
NEW: we’ve updated our excess mortality tracker, the gold-standard measure for Covid deaths, allowing like-for-like comparisons btwn countries
UK had 43,000 more deaths than usual in March & April vs 22,000 reported Covid deaths at the time
Care homes across Western Europe have been ravaged by coronavirus and in Spain alone there have been more than 16,000 deaths, many around the capital Madrid. The true number may never be known, but families are asking why so many of their elderly relatives were lost. […] Coronavirus was spreading in Spain at an alarming speed and, on 14 March, the prime minister imposed a state of emergency with a nationwide stay-at-home order. No-one was truly safe. On that afternoon, Domínguez received an unexpected call from Monte Hermoso. The worker was “very tense,” she said, “you could feel it.” Surreptitiously, Domínguez was told that 70 people had been infected with the virus and at least 10 patients had already died. “I was frightened,” she said. Domínguez called her friend. “I couldn’t believe it,” Castillo recalled. “We weren’t being told the truth.”
There have been three studies in the last week showing significant positive results for HCQ.
The former head of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned US lawmakers on Wednesday to brace for a “long and difficult” war against the coronavirus. Dr Tom Frieden, who ran the agency during the Obama administration, said that without a substantial improvement in the national response to the pandemic, the country is on track to top 100,000 deaths by the end of May. “Until we have an effective vaccine, unless something unexpected happens, our viral enemy will be with us for many months or years,” Dr Frieden told a House panel, in the first congressional hearing addressing the federal response to the pandemic. “As bad as this has been so far, we’re just at the beginning,” he added. […] “The bottom line is that our war against Covid-19 will be long and difficult,” he said. Dr Frieden acknowledged that Americans are eager to get back to normal, with states and businesses reopening, but called for caution. He said more funding was needed to expand coronavirus testing, increase contact tracing, and boost public health capacity. “Without sustained support, our health will be avoidably at risk,” he said.
As the world reels from the coronavirus pandemic, researchers say religion may provide protection from so-called deaths of despair, new research suggests. The study, conducted in 2018-2019, found that those who attend worship services once a week are less likely to die by suicide, drug overdoses or alcohol poisoning. “These results are perhaps especially striking amidst the present COVID-19 pandemic,” study lead author Ying Chen […] Previous research has shown that religion may play a part in lowering risks related to despair, such as heavy drinking, substance misuse and suicide, researchers say. “Despair is something that can confront anyone dealing with severe difficulties or loss,” said Tyler VanderWeele […] “While the term ‘deaths of despair’ was originally coined in the context of working-class Americans struggling with unemployment, it is a phenomenon that is relevant more broadly, such as to the health care professionals in our study who may be struggling with excessive demands and burnout, or to anyone facing loss,” he added. “As such, we need to look for important community resources that can protect against it.”
In New York State, Massachusetts and elsewhere, a large proportion of deaths have occurred as the Covid-19 virus raced through nursing homes, killing thousands of helpless residents and their caretakers. The cause of this nursing home pandemic is not merely the age and infirmity of the victims. Overnight New York state has added an additional 1700 nursing home deaths to the tally. As an egregious example of manmade risks during this epidemic, Governor Cuomo’s Health Departmentissued an edict on March 25th that nursing homes must accept coronavirus patients and furthermore that these facilities cannot screen incoming residents by requiring testing for the virus. As a result, hospitals discharged their older coronavirus patients into nursing homes which were prohibited from refusing them. Tragically, these COVID-19 positive patients were not kept isolated from the general elder population. Instead of being sent elsewhere, such as to the many extra hospital beds created in New York State for the treatment of COVID-19, they were discharged to elder care facilities. Read more…
HCQ is awesome!! Structural and Molecular Modelling Studies Reveal a New Mechanism of Action of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Against SARS-CoV-2 Infection – PubMed https://t.co/orGkJw4P6l
When President Trump brought up hydroxychloroquine as a promising potential treatment for COVID-19, a huge upsurge of negative political publicity followed from it. It was strange stuff, because up until then, the treatment, which had been safely used to treat malaria, lupus, and arthritis, had been seeing promising results for COVID-19, too. Yet the condemnations from all sides poured for weeks. It wasn’t just the political establishment blasting it; it seemed to be the medical establishment, too. That raises questions as to whether financial interests might be involved here. […] The anti-HCQ hysteria spread much farther than the reflexively anti-Trump press — it went deep into the Trump-hating Democratic Party, which also condemned Trump’s favorable mention of HCQ. A young black Democratic state legislator from Michigan, who said the treatment most certainly helped save her life, was vilified by her own party for giving President Trump credit for mentioning it. She said thanks, and they threatened to expel her from their party. This, despite the ugly fact that the black community was getting hit harder by the coronavirus than others and therefore stood to gain the most from the cheap and plentiful HCQ and HCQ-antibiotic treatments. For Democrats, hating Trump was a bigger priority, so if Trump liked the treatment, then it would be important to not just scream about it but keep it away from patients — even if they had to intimidate them.
Human beings are social animals — we need interaction to be healthy. But it’s hard to be social when you’re stuck in your home in a pandemic, exacerbating things like anxiety and depression. That being so, the University of Washington is tracking the mental health of 500 people in King County to see how they’re coping. I’m not too proud to say my mood swings are crazy these days. Worrying about finances; worrying about my son’s situation as a high school senior and what college might look like; worrying about job losses and family finances. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. I know I’m not alone in this. The situation is likely the biggest mental challenge any of us have faced. Dr. Jonathan Kanter is director of UW’s Center for Science of Social Connection. He started a unique study on March 14. It tracks 500 people with a daily smartphone survey, simply asking questions about how they are doing. “We are tracking people for 75 days, every evening on their smartphones with a short survey,” he said. “How they’re feeling? Depression. Anxiety. Feeling overwhelmed. Loneliness. Social isolation and all that stuff.” […] UW has now expanded the survey to reach outside of King County. It still includes the daily survey, but it now includes self-help tips for half of the respondents.
Having a supportive family can significantly reduce a child’s future risk of major depression, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed data on more than 3,200 pairs of siblings in Sweden — including more than 600 pairs of full siblings and nearly 2,600 pairs of half-siblings — who had at least one biological parent with depression. Each pair of siblings was raised apart, one at home and one adopted into a home with parents who could “provide a supportive and generally advantaged home for their adoptive child.” Being raised by an adoptive family in a supportive environment was associated with a 23% decrease in the risk of treated major depression among full siblings and a 19% decreased risk among half-siblings. […] “No other study has examined the impact of parenting on risk for depression with this kind of powerful design — having matched siblings who experienced quite different rearing environments […] This design permits us to reach a stronger conclusion about causal effects than most other prior designs,” Kendler explained in a university news release.
COVID-19 has killed hundreds more Pennsylvania nursing home residents than was previously known, state health officials reported Wednesday, underscoring the threat at long-term care facilities that have struggled for weeks to contain the coronavirus The Department of Health reported 479 new COVID-19 deaths — 339 at nursing and personal care homes — raising Pennsylvania’s death toll to more than 2,100. Nursing homes now account for 65% of the total. […] “If we know who has it, then we can isolate effectively, we can mitigate spread much more effectively. And until there’s testing … that makes it incredibly difficult,” said Adam Marles, president and CEO of LeadingAge PA, which represents hundreds of nonprofit nursing homes statewide.
Children with long-term health conditions may be more likely to experience mental illness in early adolescence than healthy children, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London. In the study, published in Development and Psychopathology, children reported to have chronic health problems showed higher rates of mental illness at 10 years, and those health problems continued to be associated with poor mental health at the ages of 13 and 15. […] They found that bullying and health-related school absenteeism emerged as the most significant additional factors for children with mental health issues. Health-related school absenteeism was identified as the most consistent factor predicting mental health problems over time.
Covid-19 was the leading cause of death in the US during April 2020
In a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) presents a frequently updated table of studies that report results of treating COVID-19 with the anti-malaria drugs chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ, Plaquenil®). To date, the total number of reported patients treated with HCQ, with or without zinc and the widely used antibiotic azithromycin, is 2,333, writes AAPS, in observational data from China, France, South Korea, Algeria, and the U.S. Of these, 2,137 or 91.6 percent improved clinically. There were 63 deaths, all but 11 in a single retrospective report from the Veterans Administration where the patients were severely ill. […] Peer-reviewed studies published from January through April 20, 2020, provide clear and convincing evidence that HCQ may be beneficial in COVID-19, especially when used early, states AAPS. Unfortunately, although it is perfectly legal to prescribe drugs for new indications not on the label, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that CQ and HCQ should be used for COVID-19 only in hospitalized patients in the setting of a clinical study if available. Most states are making it difficult for physicians to prescribe or pharmacists to dispense these medications.
New York State has become a tipping point in the Struggle for Human Liberty. Many deaths from the epidemic of coronavirus have been unavoidable, but many others were man-made, with you responsible, Governor Cuomo. We list your offenses as a modern bill of particulars. You cannot undo the harm you have already perpetrated against the people of your state, with its ramifications for people throughout the country and the world. America should not do what you have suggested. American must reject your disastrous planning as its model. But you can begin to set things right by displaying more respect for basic civil rights and by reversing as many of your damaging decrees as possible.
China deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an “assault on international transparency’’ that cost tens of thousands of lives, according to a dossier prepared by concerned Western governments on the COVID-19 contagion. The 15-page research document, obtained by The Saturday Telegraph, lays the foundation for the case of negligence being mounted against China. […] It can also be revealed the Australian government trained and funded a team of Chinese scientists who belong to a laboratory which went on to genetically modify deadly coronaviruses that could be transmitted from bats to humans and had no cure, and is now the subject of a probe into the origins of COVID-19. As intelligence agencies investigate whether the virus inadvertently leaked from a Wuhan laboratory, the team and its research led by scientist Shi Zhengli feature in the dossier prepared by Western governments that points to several studies they conducted as areas of concern.
Brazilians dig mass graves as Bolsonaro dismisses COVID-19 as ‘a little flu’
While COVID-19 makes its monumental mark on the world’s health and economy, new research from Express Scripts reveals it is also making a significant impact on many people’s mental health. Our research shows that the number of prescriptions filled per week for antidepressant, anti-anxiety and anti-insomnia medications increased 21% between February 16 and March 15, peaking the week ending March 15, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. It’s understandable. Americans have grown increasingly anxious as they’ve seen this global pandemic upend their lives within a very short time. This analysis, showing that many Americans are turning to medications for relief, demonstrates the serious impact COVID-19 may be having on our nation’s mental health. The greatest increase was in prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications, which rose 34.1% from mid-February to mid-March, including a week-over-week spike of nearly 18% during the week ending March 15. The number of prescriptions filled for antidepressants and sleep disorders increased 18.6% and 14.8%, respectively, from February 16 to March 15.
The use of psychiatric meds in the U.S., already sky-high, is on the rise as a result of Covid-19. That’s not surprising – it happened after the 9-11 attacks, the 2008 crash and other crises. This graph comes from “America’s State of Mind,” an April 2020 report from Express Scripts. In the month from February 15 to March 15, prescriptions for depression, anxiety and insomnia rose 21%. Antidepressant use was up by 18.6%, while anxiety meds, chiefly benzodiazepines, rose a whopping 34.1%. Use of these drugs jumped 18% in the last week alone, when President Trump declared a state of emergency. […] You won’t be told about drug-dependence either. After 30 days or so of taking a drug for a short-term crisis, you may find yourself hooked long-term. This is common and serious with antidepressants. With benzodiazepines, like Xanax and Ativan, it’s the rule. According to Express Scripts, benzo consumption had dropped about 12% in recent years, due perhaps to two concerns: the dangers of combining them with opioid painkillers, and the risk of falls and confusion in seniors. In one month, the Covid-19 crisis has erased that decline completely.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it’s peeling back several requirements for approving telepsychiatry tools in order to get digital platforms that can treat prevalent mental health conditions into consumers’ hands more quickly amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports MobiHealthNews. Among the waived requirements is the need for developers to submit a 510(k) premarket notification — one step of the process that ensures the effectiveness and safety of devices that don’t go through clinical trials, but weighs on the time it takes new tools to hit the market. The FDA’s decision to dismantle some regulatory hurdles around approving telepsychiatry tools comes as the pandemic takes a serious toll on US patients’ mental health.
There’s the COVID-unit nurse whose sister got infected and became a patient. The staffer who works 12-hour shifts, only to come home to unruly and frustrated children. The nurse who felt the added pressure of supporting an unemployed brother. Dr. Jay Kaplan listens as each staffer shares their fears and problems. He tells them it’s OK to get sad or angry over the coronavirus that has sickened so many and upended their lives. He reads them his poems. He shares how, early in the outbreak, he came home one day and cried to his wife, overwhelmed by the deluge of dying patients. Mostly, Kaplan, 71, an emergency room physician and wellness specialist at LCMC Health system in New Orleans, wants them to know they’re not alone. “We need to break the culture of silence and let people know it’s OK not to have it all together all the time,” he said […] A study released last month looking at the mental health outcomes of 1,257 health care workers attending to COVID-19 patients in 34 hospitals in China, where the outbreak started and where more than 4,600 people have died, found that 50% showed signs of depression, 45% reported anxiety and 72% had some form of psychological distress.
Scientists working for the US military have designed a new Covid-19 test that could potentially identify carriers before they become infectious and spread the disease, the Guardian has learned. In what could be a significant breakthrough, project coordinators hope the blood-based test will be able to detect the virus’s presence as early as 24 hours after infection – before people show symptoms and several days before a carrier is considered capable of spreading it to other people. That is also around four days before current tests can detect the virus. The test has emerged from a project set up by the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) aimed at rapid diagnosis of germ or chemical warfare poisoning. It was hurriedly repurposed when the pandemic broke out and the new test is expected to be put forward for emergency use approval (EUA) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within a week. “The concept fills a diagnostic gap worldwide,” the head of Darpa’s biological technologies office, Dr Brad Ringeisen, told the Guardian, since it should also fill in testing gaps at later stages of the infection. If given FDA approval, he said, it had the potential to be “absolutely a gamechanger”.
For years, US researchers have been collaborating with Wuhan Institute of Virology scientists in China to build more deadly SARS-CoV viruses similar in their clinical effect to SARS-CoV-2, the epidemic coronavirus. The American/Chinese effort has used same species of bats from which new epidemic virus has come. Within a week of my wife Ginger and I announcing this disastrous situation through a blog, video, and an array of contacts—President Donald Trump stopped NIH’s funding of the research. In this video, I discuss Fauci’s role in enabling this tragic research, implications for the future, and the undaunted efforts by the Chinese to forge ahead on their own to make ever more dangerous viruses. See: https://breggin.com/trump-cancels-funding-of-us-china-research-making-epidemic-viruses/
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the coronavirus task force, had previously backed funding for a controversial lab in Wuhan, China, that has been studying the coronavirus in bats, reports said. Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had shelled out a total of $7.4 million to the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab — which has become the focus of theories about the origin of COVID-19, according to Newsweek. The National Institutes of Health, which oversees the NIAID, shut down all funding to the lab last week. “At this time, NIH does not believe that the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities,” a deputy director at the agency wrote in a letter obtained by Politico. There is “increasing confidence” among officials in the Trump administration that the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab is the original site of the virus. A report by Fox News said embassy officials warned in January 2018 about inadequate safety there. The NIH defended its funding of the lab in a statement to Newsweek. “Most emerging human viruses come from wildlife, and these represent a significant threat to public health and biosecurity in the US and globally,” the statement read.
A Senior Intelligence Source tells me there is agreement among most of the 17 Intelligence agencies that COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan lab. The source stressed that the release is believed to be a MISTAKE, and was not intentional.
Day and night, the dead are delivered into the tawny Amazonian earth – the latest victims of a devastating pandemic now reaching deep into the heart of the Brazilian rainforest. On Sunday 140 bodies were laid to rest in Manaus, the jungle-flanked capital of Amazonas state. On Saturday, 98. Normally the figure would be closer to 30 – but these are no longer normal times. “It’s madness – just madness,” said Gilson de Freitas, a 30-year-old maintenance man whose mother, Rosemeire Rodrigues Silva, was one of 136 people buried there last Tuesday as local morticians set yet another grim daily record.
Freitas – who believes his mother contracted Covid-19 after being admitted to hospital following a stroke – recalled watching in despair as her remains were lowered into a muddy trench alongside perhaps 20 other coffins. “They were just dumped there like dogs,” he said. “What are our lives worth now? Nothing.” The city’s mayor, Arthur Virgílio, pleaded for urgent international help. “We aren’t in a state of emergency – we’re well beyond that. We are in a state of utter disaster … like a country that is at war – and has lost,” he said. “It’s tragic surrealism … I can’t stop thinking about Gabriel García Márquez when I think about the situation Manaus is facing.”
In Brazil’s bustling Amazon city of Manaus, so many people have died within days in the coronavirus pandemic that coffins had to be stacked on top of each other in long, hastily dug trenches in a city cemetery. Some despairing relatives reluctantly chose cremation for loved ones to avoid burying them in those common graves. Now, with Brazil emerging as Latin America’s coronavirus epicentre with more than 6,000 deaths, even the coffins are running out in Manaus. The national funeral home association has pleaded for an urgent airlift of coffins from Sao Paulo, 2,700km (1,677 miles) away, because Manaus has no paved roads connecting it to the rest of the country. […] By Thursday, all those graves were filled with the dead, as were dozens of other new ones, according to images by the AP photographer who took the original photos and revisited the site on Sao Paulo’s eastern region. Refrigerated trucks to hold the overflow of bodies are now seen outside hospitals and cemeteries.
This period of social isolation has been hard on adults, so it should be no surprise that it’s taking a toll on children too. Researchers surveyed nearly two thousand children in second through sixth grade both in Wuhan, China and in a city about 50 miles away. After an average of 34 days under the lockdown, 23% of the kids reported symptoms of depression. 19% reported symptoms of anxiety. “It’s really important for us as adults to normalize the emotional tone in the house, so that children can follow our lead and not be nervous because we are,” said Dr. Donna Rockwell, a clinical psychologist. Dr. Rockwell says it’s important to be creative about finding projects for your children to do, and to get outside for walks, to create a new normal. […] “It’s not really what they’re going through, it’s how protected they feel as they’re going through it, and as adults we can sort of check our emotions at the door,” said Dr. Rockwell. “It’s important that we stand strong, confident, and yet truthful at an age-appropriate level with our children so that they know how to cope by watching how we cope. We will get through this together. it’s the togetherness and the connection that helps human beings survive really difficult times.”
A new study suggests that people are remarkably adept at avoiding exploitation at the hands of others – unless they suffer from anxiety. A group of three researchers from Brown University recently conducted a study that found that healthy people easily recognize when those around them become increasingly untrustworthy – and they react, appropriately enough, by pulling away. But they found that the same wasn’t true for those who have significant levels of anxiety. People who are anxious, the study concluded, continue to trust and invest in people who display increasingly untrustworthy behavior. The findings were published in Psychological Science on Tuesday, April 28. “We know from previous research that learning and uncertainty are very closely linked,” said Amrita Lamba, the study’s first author and a Ph.D. student in Brown’s Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences. “This study demonstrates that, if we do not have anxiety, we’re actually able to learn more once we detect uncertainty in social interactions, which helps us to avoid being exploited and to learn who can be trusted. With every uncertain social situation we navigate, with every change in trustworthiness we observe in people, we are fine-tuning our opinions of them and adjusting our relationships with them accordingly.”
The pandemic should make us question the value of gain-of-function research. Earlier this week, Newsweek and the Washington Post reported that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a lab near the site of the first coronavirus cases in the world, had been studying bat coronaviruses. The Newsweek report revealed an alarming tidbit: The Wuhan lab at the center of the controversy had for years been engaged in gain-of-function research. What exactly is it? It’s a line of research where scientists take viruses and study how they might be modified to become deadlier or more transmissible. Why would they do this? Scientists who engage in such research say it helps them figure out which viruses threaten people so they can design countermeasures. […] Others are skeptical. Thomas Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins, told me last year that he doesn’t think the benefits for vaccine development hold up in most cases. “I haven’t seen any of the vaccine companies say that they need to do this work in order to make vaccines,” he pointed out. “I have not seen evidence that the information people are pursuing could be put into widespread use in the field.”
News & Psychiatric Reformer Robert Whitaker – The Dr. Peter Beggin Hour
Today my radio/TV show starts a new format. The hour begins with my current news and analysis report. After the report comes an interview or other topics. Today’s news focuses on a fake VA study claiming that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin were causing the deaths of veterans hospitalized with the coronavirus, but I come up with a shockingly different analysis of its own data—and force a turnabout in the media. After the report, Bob Whitaker, journalist and scientist, gives an extremely informative and lively interview about the latest big lie from psychiatry (it is a whooper) and about encouraging developments in Europe with drug-free inpatient treatment. This is truly a fine interview with one of the most effective people in the psychiatric reform movement. A good Dr. Peter Breggin Hour.
[Comparing Covid-19 to the flu is] based on a flawed understanding of how flu deaths are counted, which may leave us with a distorted view of how coronavirus compares with it. […] The 25,000 to 69,000 numbers that Trump cited do not represent counted flu deaths per year; they are estimates that the CDC produces by multiplying the number of flu death counts reported by various coefficients produced through complicated algorithms. These coefficients are based on assumptions of how many cases, hospitalizations, and deaths they believe went unreported. In the last six flu seasons, the CDC’s reported number of actual confirmed flu deaths—that is, counting flu deaths the way we are currently counting deaths from the coronavirus—has ranged from 3,448 to 15,620, which far lower than the numbers commonly repeated by public officials and even public health experts. […] Can we accurately compare the toll of the flu to the toll of the coronavirus pandemic? To do this, we have to compare counted deaths to counted deaths, not counted deaths to wildly inflated statistical estimates. If we compare, for instance, the number of people who died in the United States from COVID-19 in the second full week of April to the number of people who died from influenza during the worst week of the past seven flu seasons (as reported to the CDC), we find that the novel coronavirus killed between 9.5 and 44 times more people than seasonal flu. In other words, the coronavirus is not anything like the flu: It is much, much worse.
An examination of nearly 350 published psychological experiments found that nearly half failed to show that they were based on a valid foundation of empirical evidence, suggesting that a wide swath of psychological science is based on an “untested foundation.” The study — conducted by David Chester, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Emily Lasko, a psychology doctoral student at VCU — focuses on the practice of experimental manipulations, in which psychologists induce specific mental states, such as giving research participants insulting or complimentary feedback to manipulate how angry they feel. […] “These findings call into question the accuracy of one of psychology’s most common practices and suggest that the field needs to strongly improve its practices in this methodological domain,” said Chester.
Older adults with depression may be at much higher risk of remaining depressed if they are experiencing persistent or worsening sleep problems, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. […] The researchers found that those with a pattern of worsening insomnia symptoms over the following year had almost 30 times the odds of having a diagnosis of major depression at the end of that year, compared to patients whose sleep had improved during that year. The patients with worsening insomnia also were much more likely to have a diagnosis of minor depression. Additionally, they were more likely to report suicidal ideation at the end of the year. […] “These results suggest that, among older adults with depression, insomnia symptoms offer an important clue to their risks for persistent depression and suicidal ideation,” says study senior author Adam Spira, PhD.
Colleges and universities should encourage social interactions when in-person classes restart later this year in order to boost student happiness and success amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, says a Ball State University researcher. “Students rely on their social networks at school to make sense of life, and that will be even more important in the fall,” said Sotiris Hji-Avgoustis, chair of the Department of Management in the Miller College of Business at Ball State. Hji-Avgoustis was part of a multi-university team that examined student happiness and social networks. “It is important for colleges and universities to enable such networks to help students flourish on their campuses,” he said. “Student clubs, associations, and the entire Greek system, will help our students ‘rebuild’ their lives despite the uncertainties of this era.”
Children do not fall under the high-risk population for COVID-19, yet they may be the largest demographic to suffer in this pandemic. According to a recent UN report, even though the number of affected children is relatively low, the indirect impact of the pandemic could be catastrophic for them. Thousands of children may suffer or even die as a result of the virus infecting every dimension of their life, including their physical and mental health, as well as their developmental, educational and socioeconomic standing. The impact of the pandemic could be particularly dire for children’s mental health. According to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, “45 percent of adults say the pandemic has affected their mental health, and 19 percent say it has had a major impact.” If the effects of these strategies on the adult population are so devastating, we must wonder about our children.
The Impact of COVID-19 and Social Distancing on Adolescents
Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, including life-threatening emotional and physical reactions. So it is not only dangerous to start psychiatric drugs, it can also be dangerous to stop them.