Bipolar1Blog

IBM’s AI can predict schizophrenia by looking at the brain’s blood flow

With 74% accuracy!

https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/20/ibms-ai-can-predict-schizophrenia-by-looking-at-the-brains-blo/?sr_source=Twitter

IBM’s AI can predict schizophrenia by looking at the brain’s blood flow

And it does so with 74 percent accuracy

Schizophrenia is not a particularly common mental health disorder in America, affecting just 1.2 percent of the population (around 3.2 million people), but its effects can be debilitating. However, pioneering research conducted by IBM and the University of Alberta could soon help doctors diagnose the onset of the disease and the severity of its symptoms using a simple MRI scan and a neural network built to look at blood flow within the brain.

“This unique, innovative multidisciplinary approach opens new insights and advances our understanding of the neurobiology of schizophrenia, which may help to improve the treatment and management of the disease,” Dr. Serdar Dursun, a Professor of Psychiatry & Neuroscience with the University of Alberta, said in a statement.

MRI scans showing statistically significant differing blood flows within the brain – Image: IBM

The research team first trained its neural network on a 95-member dataset of anonymized fMRI images from the Function Biomedical Informatics Research Network which included scans of both patients with schizophrenia and a healthy control group. These images illustrated the flow of blood through various parts of the brain as the patients completed a simple audio-based exercise. From this data, the neural network cobbled together a predictive model of the likelihood that a patient suffered from schizophrenia based on the blood flow. It was able to accurately discern between the control group and those with schizophrenia 74 percent of the time.

“We’ve discovered a number of significant abnormal connections in the brain that can be explored in future studies,” Dursun continued, “and AI-created models bring us one step closer to finding objective neuroimaging-based patterns that are diagnostic and prognostic markers of schizophrenia.”

What’s more, the model managed to also predict the severity of symptoms once they set in. These insights could lead researchers to more effective diagnostic tools and treatment options. And why wouldn’t they? IBM’s most famous AI, Watson, has already shown that neural networks are surprisingly adept at coming up with effective cancer treatment regimens.

 

Scientists Discover that the Immune System Controls Social Interaction

More amazing news, the immune system actually controls social behavior. It used to be thought that the immune system and the brain functioned independently of each other. However, that has been shown to be untrue. It has been shown that the immune system and the brain interact closely with each other and some of our behavior traits might have evolved because of our immune response to pathogens. “The relationship between people and pathogens, the researchers suggest, could have directly affected the development of our social behavior, allowing us to engage in the social interactions necessary for the survival of the species while developing ways for our immune systems to protect us from the diseases that accompany those interactions.”

Interferon γ, an immune molecule,  seems to be the molecule that is involved in both immune activity and how social organisms are! If interferon γ is knocked out in mice, they become much less social, and if it is restored, their social life gets better as well!

The theory is that even though we need to be social for survival, procreating, etc. being social increases our chances to get diseases. So interferon γ not only makes us more social but also protects us from getting sick.

And here are the amazing implications: “The researchers note that a malfunctioning immune system may be responsible for “social deficits in numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders.””

And: Litvak said. “Our findings contribute to a deeper understanding of social dysfunction in neurological disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, and may open new avenues for therapeutic approaches.”

Incredibly amazing!

 

https://explorist.futurism.com/scientists-discover-immune-system-controls-social-interaction/
Health
Scientists Discover that the Immune System Controls Social Interaction
by explorist on July 19, 2017
Scientists Discover that the Immune System Controls Social Interaction
A Startling Discovery
In a startling discovery that raises fundamental questions about human behavior, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the immune system directly affects — and even controls — creatures’ social behavior, such as their desire to interact with others. So could immune system problems contribute to an inability to have normal social interactions? The answer appears to be yes, and that finding could have great implications for neurological conditions such as autism-spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.
“The brain and the adaptive immune system were thought to be isolated from each other, and any immune activity in the brain was perceived as sign of a pathology. And now, not only are we showing that they are closely interacting, but some of our behavior traits might have evolved because of our immune response to pathogens,” explained Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, chairman of UVA’s Department of Neuroscience. “It’s crazy, but maybe we are just multicellular battlefields for two ancient forces: pathogens and the immune system. Part of our personality may actually be dictated by the immune system.”
Evolutionary Forces at Work
It was only last year that Kipnis, the director of UVA’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia, and his team discovered that meningeal vessels directly link the brain with the lymphatic system. That overturned decades of textbook teaching that the brain was “immune privileged,” lacking a direct connection to the immune system. The discovery opened the door for entirely new ways of thinking about how the brain and the immune system interact.
The follow-up finding is equally illuminating, shedding light on both the workings of the brain and on evolution itself. The relationship between people and pathogens, the researchers suggest, could have directly affected the development of our social behavior, allowing us to engage in the social interactions necessary for the survival of the species while developing ways for our immune systems to protect us from the diseases that accompany those interactions. Social behavior is, of course, in the interest of pathogens, as it allows them to spread.
The UVA researchers have shown that a specific immune molecule, interferon gamma, seems to be critical for social behavior and that a variety of creatures, such as flies, zebrafish, mice and rats, activate interferon gamma responses when they are social. Normally, this molecule is produced by the immune system in response to bacteria, viruses or parasites. Blocking the molecule in mice using genetic modification made regions of the brain hyperactive, causing the mice to become less social. Restoring the molecule restored the brain connectivity and behavior to normal. In a paper outlining their findings, the researchers note the immune molecule plays a “profound role in maintaining proper social function.”

Mikael Häggström/Wikimedia Commons
“It’s extremely critical for an organism to be social for the survival of the species. It’s important for foraging, sexual reproduction, gathering, hunting,” said Anthony J. Filiano, PhD, Hartwell postdoctoral fellow in the Kipnis lab and lead author of the study. “So the hypothesis is that when organisms come together, you have a higher propensity to spread infection. So you need to be social, but [in doing so] you have a higher chance of spreading pathogens. The idea is that interferon gamma, in evolution, has been used as a more efficient way to both boost social behavior while boosting an anti-pathogen response.”
Understanding the Implications
The researchers note that a malfunctioning immune system may be responsible for “social deficits in numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders.” But exactly what this might mean for autism and other specific conditions requires further investigation. It is unlikely that any one molecule will be responsible for disease or the key to a cure, the researchers believe; instead, the causes are likely to be much more complex. But the discovery that the immune system — and possibly germs, by extension — can control our interactions raises many exciting avenues for scientists to explore, both in terms of battling neurological disorders and understanding human behavior.
“Immune molecules are actually defining how the brain is functioning. So, what is the overall impact of the immune system on our brain development and function?” Kipnis said. “I think the philosophical aspects of this work are very interesting, but it also has potentially very important clinical implications.”
Findings Published
Kipnis and his team worked closely with UVA’s Department of Pharmacology and the group of Vladimir Litvak, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Litvak’s team developed a computational approach to investigate the complex dialogue between immune signaling and brain function in health and disease. “Using this approach we predicted a role for interferon gamma, an important cytokine secreted by T lymphocytes, in promoting social brain functions,” Litvak said. “Our findings contribute to a deeper understanding of social dysfunction in neurological disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, and may open new avenues for therapeutic approaches.”
The findings have been published online in the journal Nature. The article was written by Filiano, Yang Xu, Nicholas J. Tustison, Rachel L. Marsh, Wendy Baker, Igor Smirnov, Christopher C. Overall, Sachin P. Gadani, Stephen D. Turner, Zhiping Weng, Sayeda Najamussahar Peerzade, Hao Chen, Kevin S. Lee, Michael M. Scott, Mark P. Beenhakker, Litvak and Kipnis.
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants No. AG034113, NS081026 and T32-AI007496) and the Hartwell Foundation.
This article was provided by  University of Virginia Health System. Materials may have been edited for clarity and brevity.

New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

The immune system!!! My pet theory of what causes mental illness!
Well actually allergic reactions are inflammation. And cytokines are produced in inflammation during allergic reactions. Well cytokines are also present in high levels in people suffering from depression. And " adding anti-inflammatory medicines to antidepressants not only improves symptoms, it also increases the proportion of people who respond to treatment,"
“Cytokines skyrocket during depressive episodes and, in those with bipolar disorder, halt in remission. The fact that ‘normal,’ healthy people can become temporarily anxious or depressed after receiving an inflammatory vaccine — like typhoid — lends further credence to the theory. There are even those who think we should re-brand depression altogether as an infectious disease … Carmine Pariante, a Kings College psychiatrist who is quoted in The Guardian report, says that we’re between five and ten years away from a blood test that can measure levels of inflammation in depressed people.  If both Pariante’s estimate and the inflammation-depression theory are correct, we could potentially be just five years from an adequate ‘cure’ for depression.”

Yes, another piece of the puzzle pointing towards the immune system being the culprit in mental illnesses!!!

https://www.feelguide.com/2015/01/06/new-research-discovers-tha-depression-is-an-allergic-reaction-to-inflammation/

New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation
BY BRENT LAMBERT • JANUARY 6, 2015 • HEALTH, NEUROSCIENCE, SCIENCECOMMENTS (0) • 3000844

New research is revealing that many cases of depression are caused by an allergic reaction to inflammation.  Tim de Chant of NOVA writes: “Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to injuries, infections, or foreign compounds. When triggered, the body pumps various cells and proteins to the site through the blood stream, including cytokines, a class of proteins that facilitate intercellular communication.  It also happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with cytokines.”  Inflammation is caused by obesity, high sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats, unhealthy diets in general, and other causes.
By treating the inflammatory symptoms of depression — rather than the neurological ones — researchers and doctors are opening up an exciting new dimension in the fight against what has become a global epidemic.  Caroline Williams of The Guardian writes: “The good news is that the few clinical trials done so far have found that adding anti-inflammatory medicines to antidepressants not only improves symptoms, it also increases the proportion of people who respond to treatment, although more trials will be needed to confirm this. There is also some evidence that omega 3 and curcumin, an extract of the spice turmeric, might have similar effects. Both are available over the counter and might be worth a try, although as an add-on to any prescribed treatment – there’s definitely not enough evidence to use them as a replacement.”
Eleanor Morgan of VICE adds: “Cytokines skyrocket during depressive episodes and, in those with bipolar disorder, halt in remission. The fact that ‘normal,’ healthy people can become temporarily anxious or depressed after receiving an inflammatory vaccine — like typhoid — lends further credence to the theory. There are even those who think we should re-brand depression altogether as an infectious disease … Carmine Pariante, a Kings College psychiatrist who is quoted in The Guardian report, says that we’re between five and ten years away from a blood test that can measure levels of inflammation in depressed people.  If both Pariante’s estimate and the inflammation-depression theory are correct, we could potentially be just five years from an adequate ‘cure’ for depression.”
You can read much more by visiting The GuardianVICE, and NOVA.  And to learn much more about how food and mood are powerfully connected, be sure to read this fascinating article on Kripalu.org. (Image courtesy of the American Heart Association).

Small Footprint

I’m so excited about these no plastic food wraps. They’re made by a company called etee based in Toronto, Canada. They are made of Hemp and Organic Cotton, Organic Clove, Cinnamon and Jojoba Oils, Coniferous Tree Resin, and Beeswax. And they are completely compostable and biodegradable.
I have ordered a set of three obviously, but I promise I have nothing whatsoever to do with this company, I’m not an investor or a salesperson for them 😉 I’m just so happy that we have this beautiful alternative to plastic and we can cut down on some of the plastic that fills our landfill and destroys our oceans. The link for this company is below. As usual, I’ve copied and pasted information from their website below as well. Please take a look and help save mother earth!

 

https://www.shopetee.com/

SAY GOODBYE
TO PLASTIC

JOIN THE REVOLUTION

WE HATE PLASTIC…

Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh.

But we really can’t stand single use plastics like plastic wrap, sandwich bags, grocery bags and cutlery.  Every time we throw that stuff in the garbage we’re hit with a pang of guilt and frustration because we know it’s not good for our bodies or our planet.

So we searched for a natural solution and got inspired by…  KING TUT!  Yup, turns out ancient Egypt’s most renowned Pharaoh had a trick or two up his sleeve, er, ‘mummy wrap’.  You can learn all about it here.

A NATURAL, BETTER WAY…

FOOD WRAP

How Do They Work?

Simply warm them in your hands and wrap them around produce, bowls, sandwiches, nuts, snacks, cheese and cooked / smoked meats – virtually any perishable.  The wraps stick to themselves and provide a clean and protective seal.

How do I get them to Stick to Bowls?

If you want your wraps to firmly stick to bowls, we recommend activating them to ensure they adhere properly.  To activate your wraps, roll each wrap into a ball in your hands like you’re kneading dough, the combination of warmth and motion will make them forever tacky.  Once activated ensure that you stick the wraps to themselves, not just the bowl, to make sure they provide a good seal.  Check out the 0:04 mark of this video to see how.

Reusable?  I Don’t Get it, Won’t They Get Dirty?  

Fear not friend.   After use, simply rinse in cold water – hot water will reduce the wax coating – and wash with an eco-friendly soap (avoid alcohol based soaps) and a soft sponge, just like you would a plate or bowl.  Once clean you can either hang to dry or use a towel and re-use immediately.  They may – with certain foods like pomegranate – develop a darker patina, but as long as you keep working them they’ll keep delivering freshness.

How Long Do The Food Wraps Last?

On average, each sheet should get about 120 – 150 uses, but it ultimately depends on how often and how intensively and for what purpose you use them.  Some people will get a year out of them – especially when used as bowl toppers – while others who beat them up on a daily basis may get closer to 5 / 6 months.

What kind of dye is used? Is it Fair Trade cotton?

Fair question! All our dyes are non toxic and free of heavy metals, AZOs and formaldehyde found in typical textile dyes.  They also utilize very little water, of which a great portion is recycled. They are certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard – recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres – which means they are also in compliance with social criteria. You can learn more here: http://www.global-standard.org/

Will They Work In A Freezer?

30 days or less, yes!  But they’re not recommended for uncooked meat.

What Sizes Do They Come In?

Each pack includes:

  1. Small Teal wrap (7″ x 8″) – good for cut cucumbers, avocados, small trail mix, fruit and to top jars.
  2. Medium Green wrap (10″ x 11″) – good for cheese, large trail mix, half a sandwich, half a cabbage, medium bowls, grape tomatoes and baked goods
  3. Large Grey wrap (12″ x 14″) – good for sandwiches & left over pizza slices, celery, cheese, larger bowl or dish, larger melon, grapes, greens, beans and asparagus.
What Shouldn’t They Be Used For? 
Avoid uncooked meats, long term freezer use (more than a month) and microwaves (unless you want to add a little beeswax soup to your bowl of zoodles).

BAGS & ACCESSORIES

Why Organic Cotton?

When I first heard about organic cotton, I didn’t really get it. Organic food made sense,
but I didn’t understand why Organic cotton was so important. But it turns out that cotton requires a lot of processing and it’s really hard on fields, which in turn runs off into our water table.


Here’s a quote from Huff Post that elaborates:

“What makes organic materials, like cotton, so much better than the conventional ones? Organic cotton is grown in a way that uses methods and materials that lessen the impact on our environment. A big effort in the organic movement is to use growing systems that replenish and maintain soil fertility and build biologically diverse agriculture. Organic cotton uses far less water too.”
Why Reclaimed Leather?

Leather looks cool and it’s super useful, but due to animal treatment and the cattle industry’s impact on global warming, not to mention the issues surrounding how leather is tanned, we wanted to avoid virgin leather.

Please don’t feel judged if you eat cows, or use leather – we do too – but this was an experiment to see how practical it is to avoid virgin leather. Turns out it’s possible, but requires a bit of digging. After a number of trials, we settled on old horse straps and reins from a Mennonite farmer we met outside of Toronto.

 

Here’s a quote from Cosmopolitan that elaborates:

 

“…When it comes down to it, the cruelty faced by animals, the environmental degradation, and the awful working conditions of the poor who are forced to take up work in slaughterhouses and tanneries­—the price we as a civilization are paying for a handbag or car seats is just too much. No matter how hard activists work, we will never be able to entirely stop the cruelty or the ecological damage.”

So far… :-(

2017

Something’s wrong. Since March of 2017. That was when my son got attacked by gang members in a convenient store parking lot and had to literally fight them off with his bare hands for his life. Then his car window got smashed by, presumably, some kids. A few nights ago, he was approached by some menacing people again, bringing his PTSD from the March attack to the fore, again. In the mean time I have whacked my head against a cast iron pipe so hard that I have a concussion. Also broke my little toe. Also accidentally got sliced on my arm by a very sharp knife. And yesterday was the kicker! My son’s apartment building’s roof got struck by lightening, a fire broke out in the attic. He was asleep. He smelled the smoke, NONE of the fire alarms worked! He awoke because his nose is so sensitive. It was late morning. Being on the top floor, his apartment was filling up with smoke. He searched for his cat, so very fortunately found him, threw him in his carrier and legged it out of there. His carbon monoxide level was 4 parts per million. With thoughts of his own mortality, and again, extreme danger, on his mind. But everyone made it safe it and sound. The firefighters put out the fire. The Red Cross was there, ambulances, fire trucks.

What? What is going on? This many disasters in one family? How do you tolerate the stress of one after another, yet another, yet another disaster? The what if’s are always what kill me. I know there is no such thing as what if this had happened, because very simply, it DIDN’T happen. Of course when you survive disasters, you feel fortunate and grateful. But what if he hadn’t found his cat, what if he hadn’t woken up, what if a million times over! And not just what if, but also Now What? What’s going to happen a second from now, an hour from now, a day from now? I don’t want to, but I am living in fear and anxiety and so is my son. He doesn’t sleep at night and yesterday he was saying he wishes this spate of bad luck would end. He was seeing a therapist after the March attack but stopped and doesn’t want to see her anymore. I know she was helping him, so I don’t understand why he won’t talk to her. PTSD is a bitch, she attacks you when you least expect it, anxiety levels soar, fear punches you in your solar plexus, and the rumination doesn’t leave you alone, and being on guard, hyper vigilant all the time. Too much stress, too much anxiety and with my family history, I am afraid, very afraid.

Time for Ativan? Sure, I can dull my feelings of anxiety with an Ativan, but how will that make us safer, how will it stop these bad things from happening to us?

And this brings us to one more scary thing, how much control do you really have over anything in your life? At this moment, I would say very little.

And yes I know, what happens is not the important thing, Our Reaction To What Happens Is!

Yes I am grateful that, although things could have been far worse, we survived them. I mean I could have been lying face down in a stairwell in New York City, dead from a brain bleed when I hit my head against the pipe. But I survived. My son is unharmed. Fine and good, I know that. Looking at things positively doesn’t mean you have no fear, or anxiety, you do have those when bad things happen to you. And when a string of them happen, and seemingly keep happening, then what?

 

My fervent wish, my solemn prayer is that these strange, negative things stop happening to me and my family, and we live our lives in safety, peace, harmony and love. Amen.

Finally Posted in HuffPost Again

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/59835acae4b03d0624b0acd4

 

2017

08/03/2017 02:06 pm ET

Something’s wrong. Since March of 2017. That was when my son got attacked by gang members in a convenient store parking lot and had to literally fight them off with his bare hands for his life. Then his car window got smashed by, presumably, some kids. A few nights ago, he was approached by some menacing people again, bringing his PTSD from the March attack to the fore, again. In the mean time I have whacked my head against a cast iron pipe so hard that I have a concussion. Also broke my little toe. Also accidentally got sliced on my arm by a very sharp knife. And yesterday was the kicker! My son’s apartment building’s roof got struck by lightening, a fire broke out in the attic. He was asleep. He smelled the smoke, NONE of the fire alarms worked! He awoke because his nose is so sensitive. It was late morning. Being on the top floor, his apartment was filling up with smoke. He searched for his cat, so very fortunately found him, threw him in his carrier and legged it out of there. His carbon monoxide level was 4 parts per million. With thoughts of his own mortality, and again, extreme danger, on his mind. But everyone made it safe it and sound. The firefighters put out the fire. The Red Cross was there, ambulances, fire trucks.

What? What is going on? This many disasters in one family? How do you tolerate the stress of one after another, yet another, yet another disaster? The what if’s are always what kill me. I know there is no such thing as what if this had happened, because very simply, it DIDN’T happen. Of course when you survive disasters, you feel fortunate and grateful. But what if he hadn’t found his cat, what if he hadn’t woken up, what if a million times over! And not just what if, but also Now What? What’s going to happen a second from now, an hour from now, a day from now? I don’t want to, but I am living in fear and anxiety and so is my son. He doesn’t sleep at night and yesterday he was saying he wishes this spate of bad luck would end. He was seeing a therapist after the March attack but stopped and doesn’t want to see her anymore. I know she was helping him, so I don’t understand why he won’t talk to her. PTSD is a bitch, she attacks you when you least expect it, anxiety levels soar, fear punches you in your solar plexus, and the rumination doesn’t leave you alone, and being on guard, hyper vigilant all the time. Too much stress, too much anxiety and with my family history, I am afraid, very afraid.

Time for Ativan? Sure, I can dull my feelings of anxiety with an Ativan, but how will that make us safer, how will it stop these bad things from happening to us?

And this brings us to one more scary thing, how much control do you really have over anything in your life? At this moment, I would say very little.

And yes I know, what happens is not the important thing, Our Reaction To What Happens Is!

Yes I am grateful that, although things could have been far worse, we survived them. I mean I could have been lying face down in a stairwell in New York City, dead from a brain bleed when I hit my head against the pipe. But I survived. My son is unharmed. Fine and good, I know that. Looking at things positively doesn’t mean you have no fear, or anxiety, you do have those when bad things happen to you. And when a string of them happen, and seemingly keep happening, then what?

 

My fervent wish, my solemn prayer is that these strange, negative things stop happening to me and my family, and we live our lives in safety, peace, harmony and love. Amen.

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