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India the most dangerous country to be a woman, US ranks 10th in survey

(CNN)India is the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman because of the high risk of sexual violence and slave labor, a new survey of experts shows.

It was also the most dangerous country in the world for cultural traditions that impact women, the survey found, citing acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage and physical abuse. India was the fourth most dangerous country for women in the same survey seven years ago.
Nine of the 10 countries on the list were from Asia, the Middle East or Africa. At number 10 was the United States, the only Western country to be included. The foundation said this was directly related to the #MeToo movement.

    According to the survey:

    1. India

    2. Afghanistan

    3. Syria

    4. Somalia

    5. Saudi Arabia

    6. Pakistan

    7. Democratic Republic of Congo

    8. Yemen

    9. Nigeria

    10. United States

    The release of the report comes amid mounting public outrage in India, where a series of high-profile rape cases, including two unrelated attacks on girls aged 16 and eight, have forced the issue of sexual violence back onto the national agenda.
    In April, thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand better protection for women, in some of the largest mass demonstrations held in the country since the rape and murder of a female college student in Delhi in 2012.
    India has long grappled with the issue of sexual violence. In the months following the 2012 case, the central government moved to pass legislation increasing penalties for sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse, including extending prison sentences and introducing the death penalty.
    But despite the introduction of stricter laws, around 100 sexual assaults are reported to police in the country every day, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, with nearly 39,000 alleged attacks reported in 2016, an increase of 12% from the previous year.

      Series of rape cases spark protests in India

    Impact of #MeToo movement

    The foundation’s survey was conducted after the #MeToo campaign emerged in October 2017. The large number of women alleging sexual misconduct since then is the reason the US has been included on the list.
    “The United States shot up in the rankings after tying joint third with Syria when respondents were asked which was the most dangerous country for women in terms of sexual violence including rape, sexual harassment, coercion into sex and the lack of access to justice in rape cases. It was ranked sixth for non-sexual violence,” according to the foundation.
    War-torn Afghanistan ranked second, as the worst country for non-sexual violence against women, which includes conflict-related violence and domestic abuse. It also ranked second worst for access to healthcare and access to economic resources and discrimination.
    Syria, where a war has raged for more than seven years, ranked third on the list. The country is considered the second-most dangerous in terms of sexual violence and access to healthcare. Syria also tied for third with the United States in terms of sexual violence and harassment.
    The Thomson Reuters Foundation held a similar survey seven years ago, and found Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia to the be the five most dangerous countries for women.
    “World leaders vowed three years ago to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls by 2030, allowing them to live freely and safely to participate equally in political, economic and public life. But despite this pledge it is estimated that one in three women globally experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetime,” the foundation said.
    “Child marriage is still rife, with almost 750 million women and girls married before their 18th birthday, resulting in teen pregnancies that can put their health at risk and limiting schooling and opportunities.”

    Ongoing problem

    That India had moved to the top of poll showed not enough was being done to protect the rights of women, argued experts.
    “India has shown utter disregard and disrespect for women … rape, marital rapes, sexual assault and harassment, female infanticide has gone unabated,” Manjunath Gangadhara, an official at the Karnataka state government in southwest India, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
    “The (world’s) fastest growing economy and leader in space and technology is shamed for violence committed against women,” added Gangadhara.
    The issue of sexual violence has put pressure on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who opponents accuse of failing to properly address the issue of violence against women.
    “While our PM tiptoes around his garden making Yoga videos, India leads Afghanistan, Syria & Saudi Arabia in rape & violence against women,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress, referencing Modi’s recent participation in an online fitness trend.
    “What a shame for our country!”
    Modi, who will seek reelection next year, spoke out against sexual violence in April, asserting that rape “is a matter of great concern for the country.”
    That same month, his Cabinet passed an executive order introducing the death penalty for rapists of children under the age of 12.

    Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/25/health/india-dangerous-country-women-survey-intl/index.html

    Mom dies from flu after hospital sends her home

    (CNN)On Saturday, January 13, Tandy Harmon was an energetic maid of honor, running around with her best friend and making last-minute wedding preparations.

    That Monday — just two days after feeling fine — she was so sick that she went to the emergency room. Doctors diagnosed her with the flu and sent her home.
    The next day, the Portland, Oregon, mother of two went back to the hospital and was put on a ventilator. Three days later, the healthy 36-year-old was dead. Friends set up a GoFundMe page for her children, Madison and Jimmy, ages 11 and 12.
      Amid their grief, her family and friends have many questions: Why didn’t the ER doctors recognize how sick she was the first time she went?
      “Who’s to blame? Do you blame God? Do you blame the world?” asked her boyfriend, Steven Lundin. “Do you blame the doctors?”
      Harmon isn’t the first person to die from the flu this year shortly after being told it was OK to stay home.

      Flu takes a deadly turn

      Six-year-old Emily Muth of Cary, North Carolina, died the same day as Harmon. Just hours before, paramedics had told her mother she could remain at home, according to CNN affiliate WTVD.
      Infectious disease experts didn’t want to comment on any particular case but said that in general, it’s possible for medical professionals to miss the signs that an ordinary flu case is about to take a deadly turn.
      “We’re all human beings, and we’re all subject to making decisions occasionally that we wish we had done in another way,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
      But he said flu is “sneaky” and “devilish,” making it difficult — sometimes impossible — to pick out the relative few who will die of the flu among the thousands who will recover easily.
      “We wish we could predict the people who are going to take a turn for the worse,” he said. “It’s a gap in our knowledge.”

      Immune system turns against itself

      Dr. Buddy Creech, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt, said he wished there could be a coordinated effort to obtain blood samples from healthy young people, like Harmon and Muth, who die of the flu.
      “We would use our absolute best technology to find biomarkers in their blood that would point to some genetic or immune characteristics that make them different,” he said.
      Scientists do know one thing: Something called a cytokine storm appears to play a role in the deaths of young healthy people from the flu. This overproduction of immune cells turns the body’s immune system against itself.
      The “storm” can cause a surge of activated immune cells in the lungs, resulting in lung inflammation and fluid buildup, which in turn can lead to respiratory distress and pneumonia, according to doctors at the Scripps Research Institute.
      When Harmon and Muth sought medical attention, both were having trouble breathing, their families say.
      The Scripps scientists found that they could quiet the cytokine storm in flu-infected mice and ferrets by giving them an experimental drug.

      ‘It was pretty hard to watch’

      Dr. Michael Oldstone, a professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps who was involved in the research, says he doesn’t know of any plans to do such studies in humans, but he wishes there were. “In the animals, if we blocked the main component of cytokine storm, then they had a good outcome,” he said.
      Harmon’s family and friends hope science advances so others won’t suffer the way she did. “Everything just collapsed within days. It was pretty hard to watch,” her boyfriend said.

      See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

      Now, it’s her family that’s suffering.
      Before she got sick, Harmon and her children had moved in with her grandparents to help her grandmother care for her grandfather, who has dementia. Now, her grandmother is caring for both her husband and Harmon’s children alone.
      “I figured they have an antidote for almost anything,” Lundin said. “But there’s not much they could do. She had the flu.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/02/health/oregon-flu-death/index.html

      Eight planets found orbiting distant star, NASA says

      (CNN)For the first time, eight planets have been found orbiting a distant star, Kepler-90, 2,545 light-years from Earth in the Draco constellation, NASA announced Thursday. It is the first star known to support as many planets as are orbiting our own sun, and researchers believe that this is the first of many to come.

      Researchers had known that seven planets were orbiting the star. But Google Artificial Intelligence — which enables computers to “learn”– looked at archival data obtained by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope and uncovered the eighth planet.
      With the idea of eventually differentiating among exoplanets, Christopher Shallue, senior software engineer at Google AI in California, and Andrew Vanderburg, astronomer and NASA Sagan postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas, Austin, trained a computer how to differentiate between images of cats and dogs.
        They refined their approach to identify exoplanets in Kepler data based on the change in light when a planet passed in front of its star. The neural network learned to identify these by using signals that had been vetted and confirmed in Kepler’s planet catalog. Ninety-six percent of the time, it was accurate.
        Since launching in 2009, Kepler has watched more than 150,000 stars in one part of the sky to determine exoplanet candidates, based on the slight dimming of stars as potential planets pass across them. Kepler gathered a dataset of 35,000 possible signals indicating planets. In order to help find weaker signals of potential planets that researchers had missed, the neural network was trained to look for weak signals in star systems that were known to support multiple planets.
        “Machine learning really shines in situations where there is so much data that humans can’t search it for themselves,” Shallue said.
        The new planet has been dubbed Kepler-90i. It’s not a hospitable environment. It’s small, “sizzling” hot and rocky, whirling around its star every 14.4 days. In our solar system, the closest planet to the sun, Mercury, has an orbit of 88 days.
        “The Kepler-90 star system is like a mini version of our solar system. You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer,” Vanderburg said.
        Although Kepler-90 is a sun-like star, the planets are all bunched together in tight orbits around it — the same distance that Earth is from the sun.
        “Just as we expected, there are exciting discoveries lurking in our archived Kepler data, waiting for the right tool or technology to unearth them,” said Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division in Washington. “This finding shows that our data will be a treasure trove available to innovative researchers for years to come.”
        Researchers also announced that they haduncovered a sixth planet in the Kepler-80 system, Kepler-80g, which is similar in size to Earth. It also has an orbit of 14.4 days. The star is cooler and redder than our sun, and all of the planets orbit very tightly around it. Five of the six planets form a resonant chain, in which they are locked in orbit by mutual gravity. The Kepler-80 system is stable, as the previously discovered seven-planet TRAPPIST-1 system has proven to be.
        To date, Kepler has observed 2,525 confirmed exoplanets.
        “These results demonstrate the enduring value of Kepler’s mission,” said Jessie Dotson, Kepler’s project scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. “New ways of looking at the data — such as this early-stage research to apply machine learning algorithms — promises to continue to yield significant advances in our understanding of planetary systems around other stars. I’m sure there are more firsts in the data waiting for people to find them.”
        Missions launching in 2018, like the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and the James Webb Space Telescope, will enable further and closer study of planet candidates identified by Kepler.
        Compared with Kepler, TESS will use a similar transit method for observing planets when they pass in front of their parent stars. Though Kepler looked at one portion of the sky for stars that were farther away for a longer time, TESS will observe the entire sky and focus on the brightest and closest stars, each for 30 days.
        The James Webb Space Telescope is capable of observing large exoplanets and detecting starlight filtered through their atmospheres, which will enable scientists to determine the atmospheric composition and analyze them for gases that can create a biological ecosystem.
        The K2 mission, which launched in 2014, is extending Kepler’s legacy to new parts of the sky and new fields of study, adding to NASA’s “arc of discovery.” It has enough fuel to keep identifying candidates until summer 2018. It’s helping bridge the gap between Kepler and TESS as far as identifying targets for the James Webb Space Telescope to observe.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/14/us/nasa-kepler-announcement-eight-planets-kepler-90/index.html

        Girl has blunt message for Aetna after her brain surgery request was denied

        (CNN)Cara Pressman sobbed in the big red chair in her living room. The 15-year-old tried to absorb the devastating news relayed by her parents: that their insurance company, Aetna, denied her for a minimally invasive brain surgery that could end the seizures that have haunted her since she was 9 years old.

        “When my parents told me, I went kind of blank and started crying,” she said. “I cried for like an hour.”
        Her friends had been lined up to visit her in the hospital for the surgery three days away, on Monday, October 23. Between tears, she texted them that the whole thing was off.
          It was supposed to be a joyous weekend. Cara’s grandparents had come to town to celebrate their 90th birthdays, a jubilant party with more than 100 family and friends crowding her home. The party did go on — just with a lot more stress.
          Cara had multiple complex partial seizures that weekend. When the seizures strike, her body gets cold and shakes, and she zones out for anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes, typically still aware of her surroundings. Her seizures can be triggered by stress, by being happy, by exerting herself — almost anything. “It’s like having a nightmare but while you’re awake,” she said.
          In the six weeks since the denial, Cara has had more than two dozen seizures affecting her everyday life. Her message to Aetna is blunt: “Considering they’re denying me getting surgery and stopping this thing that’s wrong with my brain, I would probably just say, ‘Screw you.’ ”

          Aetna: We’re looking out for what’s best for patients

          The Pressman family and, separately, Jennifer Rittereiser, a 44-year-old mom who has struggled with seizures since she was 10, approached CNN in recent weeks after they were both denied, by Aetna, for laser ablation surgery, a minimally invasive procedure in which a thin laser is used to heat and destroy lesions in the brain where the seizures are originating.Aetna is the third-largest health insurance provider in the country, providing medical coverage to 23.1 million people.
          Neurologists consider laser ablation, which is performed through a small hole in the skull, to be safer and more precise than traditional brain surgery, where the top portion of the skull is removed in order for doctors to operate. The procedure is less daunting for the patient and parents who make decisions for their children: No one likes the idea of a skull opened and a chunk of brain removed.
          In denying Cara her surgery, Aetna said it considers laser ablation surgery “experimental and investigational for the treatment of epilepsy because the effectiveness of this approach has not been established.”
          “Clinical studies have not proven that this procedures effective for treatment of the member’s condition,” Aetna wrote in its rejection letter.
          The insurance company did approve her for the more invasive and more expensive open brain surgery, called a temporal lobectomy, even though her medical team never sought approval for the procedure.
          The laser surgery is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is widely recognized within the epilepsy community as an effective treatment alternative to open brain surgery, especially when the location of seizure activity can be pinpointed to a specific part of the brain.
          Dr. Jamie Van Gompel, a neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic, disputes Aetna’s assessment. He is not involved in Cara’s care nor Rittereiser’s treatment, but he said Aetna’s assessment is wrong.
          “I would not call it experimental at all,” said Van Gompel, who is leading a clinical trial on the surgery at Mayo as part of a larger national study. “It’s definitely not an experimental procedure. There’ve been thousands of patients treated with it. It’s FDA-approved. There’s a lot of data out there to suggest it’s effective for epilepsy.”
          Van Gompel said a temporal lobectomy carries a much higher risk of serious complications, including the possibility of death. “It’s a big jump to go to a big invasive procedure,” he said.
          Recovery time after open brain surgery can range from six to 12 weeks. By contrast, a patient who undergoes laser ablation can be back to work or at school in less than two weeks. The pain from laser surgery is much less, and extreme headaches are fewer than with open brain surgery, Van Gompel said.
          While laser ablation has not yet undergone large randomized controlled trials, Van Gompel said existing data shows it’s effective more than 50% of the time. He hopes the current clinical trial will show a success rate of 60% to 70% or better in epilepsy patients. Temporal lobectomies, he said, have a slightly better rate, of more than 70%.
          Pressed by CNN for a better explanation on its denial, Aetna stood by its rejection for Cara and Rittereiser, saying it was in the best interest of the patients. But the language was softened slightly.
          “Clinical effectiveness and our members’ safety are the primary criteria we use in determining whether a treatment or service is medically necessary,” Aetna said. “There is currently a limited amount of evidence-based, clinical studies related to laser ablation surgery. As noted by the Epilepsy Foundation, only studies with a very small number of participants have been used to report the effectiveness of this procedure. We consistently evaluate any new studies or additional evidence when developing our clinical policy bulletins, and will continue to do so for this procedure.”
          Contacted for reaction, the Epilepsy Foundation strongly objected to Aetna’s remarks, saying the insurance company took its information out of context. Laser ablation surgery “has emerged as a new minimally invasive surgical option that is best suited for patients with symptomatic localization-related epilepsy,” said Dr. Jacqueline French, the chief science officer with the Epilepsy Foundation.
          “This technology is much less invasive than the alternative, which involves removing a sizeable piece of brain, at a substantially higher monetary and personal cost,” French said. “This path should be available, if the treating epilepsy physician has recommended it, without delay or barriers.”
          Phil Gattone, the president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation, said insurance denials and other barriers to treatment have become a common battle for thousands of Americans with seizure disorders.
          Gattone knows first-hand the pain of what Cara’s parents are going through. His own son began having seizures when he was 4 and underwent brain surgery in the early 1990s. “It was extremely challenging for our family to make a decision to remove part of our child’s skull and brain for a surgery that we hoped would end the devastation of seizures that were stopping his development,” Gattone said. “We took this leap of faith and made the decision, and it worked out the best for him.”
          But he added that he and his wife wished laser ablation surgery had been available back then. The device used for laser ablation surgery was approved by the FDA nine years ago. “I know that my wife and I would’ve found much more comfort if we had had (laser ablation) as an option,” he said.
          Gattone said people with seizures, their caregivers and their doctors should not be “spending critical time in the midst of a health-care crisis, filing paperwork, making appeals or otherwise going through the motions of administrative paperwork” trying to get approval for a life-changing operation.
          “The Epilepsy Foundation can understand no reason why an insurance company would place any barrier to delay a treatment that may save an individual’s life, promote the development of the young child’s brain or bring about seizure control,” Gattone said.

          Mom who crashed with kid in car gets denied

          Jennifer Rittereiser lost consciousness behind the wheel of her silver SUV while driving with her 7-year-old son, Robert, in April. Her SUV rammed into a car in front of her and struck it again before veering into oncoming traffic. Her vehicle careened down an embankment, flipped over and came to rest on its side amid a tangle of brush. She narrowly missed slamming into a guardrail and several trees.
          Mom and son somehow managed to walk free unharmed.
          “People were amazed,” she said. “They had a helicopter on the way, actually. I am extremely fortunate just from that sense.”
          Rittereiser has battled seizures since she was 10 and has been able to function with an array of medications in the three decades since. For much of her life, she could tell when the seizures might come.
          These weren’t like the seizures depicted in Hollywood movies; she wouldn’t fall to the ground and writhe. She would zone out for a spell. She could understand people and could still function but couldn’t speak back — or if she did, her words were garbled.
          As an executive in the health care industry, Rittereiser has fallen asleep during meetings. When she senses a seizure coming, she rushes to the bathroom to hide until they go away. One time, she says she urinated on herself at her desk without realizing it.
          Rittereiser had a crash in 2014 in which she rear-ended a car after she had a seizure. No one was hurt in that crash, but she stopped driving for more than a year. Her medications were tweaked, and her seizures were largely kept in check, until the crash this April.
          She was soon evaluated by an array of doctors and recommended for laser ablation surgery. After 34 years of struggling with seizures, she thought her ordeal might finally come to an end. Surgery was set for June 16.
          But in late May, Aetna denied the surgery. She fought Aetna’s decision through a lengthy appeals process. Aetna refused to budge.
          “It’s just not right,” Rittereiser said.
          She said she recently went to Aetna’s website to look up the company’s values. She felt nauseated. “Everything in their core values is not being shown in the way I’m being treated. They’re talking about promoting wellness and health and ‘being by your side.’ “
          She paused, contemplating the company’s “by your side” catchphrase, saying it’s “the most ridiculous thing, because they are the biggest barrier to my success and my well-being going forward.
          “It drives me crazy.”

          Dad: ‘You get so angry’

          Julie Pressman stood near an elevator at her doctor’s office when word came that Cara’s surgery had been denied. The mom fell to the floor and wept.
          She called Cara’s father, Robert. He was at the airport picking up his 90-year-old parents for their birthday party. Mom and Dad rallied for their daughter and gathered strength to break the news. That’s when Cara sat in the red chair, crying inconsolably.
          “Telling Cara was horrible,” her mom said. “Horrible.”
          “It’s just so frustrating for us to know there’s a solution out there — a way to fix our daughter — and some bureaucratic machine is preventing this from happening,” Robert Pressman said. “You get so angry, but you don’t know who to take it out on, because there’s no particular person that’s doing it. It’s this big bureaucracy that’s preventing this from happening.”
          Julie and Robert said the most beautiful day of their lives came on August 20, 2002, when Cara popped into the world and met her 2-year-old sister, Lindsey, for the first time. “That was the day we became a family,” Julie said. “Our love for those girls is amazing. How we got this lucky is beyond us.”
          But that luck has been tested. When Cara was 9, she’d complained of extreme headaches for much of the day one evening, and then in the middle of the night, she began seizing uncontrollably. The family had two black Labradors that had gone to her room and barked like crazy to alert her parents. Cara had bitten her tongue, and blood was running down her face when they got to the room.
          It was a terrifying scene. She was rushed off in an ambulance and underwent a battery of tests. Mom, Dad and Cara never thought they’d still be battling seizures six years later — let alone an insurance company. She’s had seizures on the soccer field, during softball games, on stage during plays, in the classroom. Almost everywhere.
          How does she envision a life without seizures?
          “I don’t know,” she said. “I’ve never had a life without seizures.”
          “You will. You will,” her dad told her.
          “I just don’t know when,” she responded.
          Mom: “It will happen, kiddo.”
          Her mother calls Cara a feisty, petite powerhouse with big marble eyes and long eyelashes and a funny wit to match. She’s a naturally gifted athlete, singer and dancer, but her parents feel that her seizures have kept her from reaching her full potential.

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          They long for the day when the seizures are gone. The parents said they have paid $24,000 for insurance with Aetna this year. They’re determined to get Cara laser ablation surgery with or without the insurance company’s help. They will appeal Aetna’s latest rejection — but they’re not optimistic.
          In preparation, they’ve begun exploring raiding their retirement funds to pay the $300,000 out of pocket. “Cara is worth every penny, but man,” her mom said. ” ‘Screw Aetna,’ indeed, to quote my kid.”

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/11/health/aetna-surgery-denied-for-girl/index.html

          Bill Gates’ newest mission: Curing Alzheimer’s

          (CNN)It’s one of the holy grails of science: a cure for Alzheimer’s. Currently, there is no treatment to stop the disease, let alone slow its progression. And billionaire Bill Gates thinks he will change that.

          “I believe there is a solution,” he told me without hesitation.
          “Any type of treatment would be a huge advance from where we are today,” he said, but “the long-term goal has got to be cure.”
            I had the chance to sit down with Gates recently to talk about his newest initiative. He sat in front of our cameras exclusively to tell me how he hopes to find a cure to a disease that now steals the memories and other cognitive functions of 47 million people around the world.
            For Gates, the fight is personal. He is investing $50 million of his own money into the Dementia Discovery Fund, a private-public research partnership focused on some of the more novel ideas about what drives the brain disease, such as looking at a brain cell’s immune system. It’s the first time Gates has made a commitment to a noncommunicable disease. The work done through his foundation has focused primarily on infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and polio.
            I have interviewed Gates many times over the years, in countries around the world. He was more engaged on this topic of Alzheimer’s than I’ve ever seen before.
            Today, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, where a new case is diagnosed every 66 seconds. More than 5 million Americans live with the disease, at a cost of $259 billion a year. Without any treatment, those numbers are projected to explode to 16 million Americans with the disease, at a cost of over $1 trillion a year, by 2050.
            “The growing burden is pretty unbelievable,” the tech guru-turned-philanthropist told me. It’s something he knows personally. “Several of the men in my family have this disease. And so, you know, I’ve seen how tough it is. That’s not my sole motivation, but it certainly drew me in.”
            When he said, “I’m a huge believer in that science and innovation are going to solve most of the tough problems over time,” I could feel his optimism.
            He told me he has spent the past year investigating and talking to scientists, trying to determine how best to help move the needle toward treatment of the disease itself rather than just the symptoms.

            A disease turns 100

            It has been more than a century since the disease was identified by German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer. He first wrote about it in 1906, describing the case of a woman named “Auguste D.” Alzheimer called it “a peculiar disease,” marked by significant memory loss, severe paranoia and other psychological changes.
            But it wasn’t until Alzheimer performed an autopsy on her brain that the case became even more striking. He found that her brain had shrunk significantly, and there were unusual deposits in and around the nerve cells.
            It would take another 80 years for scientists to identify what those deposits were: plaques and tangles of proteins called amyloid and tau. They have become hallmarks of the disease.
            Both amyloid and tau are naturally occurring proteins that can be found in healthy brain cells. But in a brain with Alzheimer’s, something goes haywire, causing parts of amyloid proteins to clump together and block the cell’s messaging pathways. Eventually, tau proteins begin to tangle up inside the neurons.
            All of this contributes to a breakdown of the neural highway that helps our brain cells communicate. These changes in the brain can begin years before anyone starts actually exhibiting any symptoms of memory loss or personality changes.
            Until recently, it’s been a challenge to understand the disease, let alone identify who has it. The only way to definitively diagnose Alzheimer’s is still after someone has died and their brain can be examined under the microscope, looking for the telltale amyloid plaques and tau tangles.

            A new hope

            “It’s gone slower than we all would have hoped. A lot of failed drug trials,” Gates told me. And he’s right. Since 2002, there have been more than 400 Alzheimer drug trials run and yet no treatments. There are some drugs prescribed to help with cognitive symptoms such as memory loss or confusion but nothing that actually targets Alzheimer’s.
            In the past five years, advanced imaging technology has allowed us to see tau and amyloid in living people.
            Dr. James Hendrix, who heads up the Alzheimer Association’s Global Science Innovation team, believes that this development is a game-changer. “You need good tools to find the right therapeutics,” he said.
            By identifying these biomarkers earlier, Hendrix told me, scientists can work on finding ways to prevent the brain from deteriorating.
            “If we can catch the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s, then we’re treating a mostly healthy brain, and keeping it mostly healthy. … It’s very difficult to repair the damage once it’s done,” he explained.
            Dr. Rudy Tanzi agrees that imaging has been essential in understanding the pathology of Alzheimer’s and potential treatments. Tanzi, a professor of neurology at Harvard, has been at the helm of Alzheimer’s research, discovering several of the genes associated with the disease.
            He points out that one of the greatest faults with some of the trials has not been in the treatment itself but in the application: too late in the disease’s progression, when symptoms are already occurring. “It’s like trying to give someone Lipitor when they have a heart attack,” he explained. “You had to do it earlier.”
            Tanzi said we need to think about Alzheimer’s like cancer or heart disease. “That’s how we’re going to beat the disease: early detection and early intervention.”

            Think different

            Most of the focus in Alzheimer’s research has been on tau and amyloid, what Gates likes to call “the mainstream.” With his donation, Gates hopes to spur research into more novel ideas about the disease, like investigating the role of the glial cells that activate the immune system of the brain or how the energy lifespan of a cell may contribute to the disease.
            “There’s a sense that this decade will be the one that we make a lot of progress,” Gates told me.
            Gates believes that it will be a combination of mainstream and out-of-the-box thinking that will lead to potential treatments in the near future.
            “Ideally, some of these mainstream drugs that report out in the next two or three years will start us down the path of reducing the problem. But I do think these newer approaches will eventually be part of that drug regimen that people take,” he said.

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            Has looking into Alzheimer’s research caused Gates to worry about his own health?
            “Anything where my mind would deteriorate” is, he said, one of his greatest fears. He’s seen the hardship it has caused in his own family. “I hope I can live a long time without those limitations.”
            So Gates is now focused on prevention, by exercising and staying mentally engaged. “My job’s perfect, because I’m always trying to learn new things and meeting with people who are explaining things to me. You know, I have the most fun job in the world,” he said with a smile.

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/13/health/bill-gates-announcement-alzheimers/index.html

            Are smartphones really making our children sad?

            US psychiatrist Jean Twenge, that has claimed that social networking is getting a malign impact on the youthful, solutions critics who accuse her of crying wolf

            Last week, the childrens commissioner, Anne Longfield, launched a campaign to assist parents regulate internet and smartphone use at your home. She recommended the overconsumption of social networking would be a problem similar to those of junk-food diets. No one, as a parent, want our kids to consume unhealthy foods constantly double cheeseburger, chips, every single day, each meal, she stated. For individuals same reasons, we shouldnt want our kids to complete exactly the same using their time spent online.

            A couple of days later, former GCHQ spy agency chief Robert Hannigan responded to the campaign. The idea that point online or before a screen is existence wasted needs challenging. It’s driven by fear, he stated. The very best factor are going to would be to focus less around the time they invest in screens both at home and more about the character from the activity.

            This exchange is simply one more illustration of how childrens screentime is becoming an emotive, contested issue. Last December, greater than 40 educationalists, psychologists and scientists signed instructions within the Guardian calling for action on childrens screen-based lifestyles. A couple of days later, another 40-odd academics described the fears as moral panic and stated that any guidelines required to develop evidence instead of scaremongering.

            Confronted with these conflicting expert views, how should concerned parents proceed? Into this maelstrom comes the American psychiatrist Jean Twenge, that has written a magazine titled iGen: Why Todays Super-Connected Children Are Becoming An Adult Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Their adult years and just what Which Means throughout Us.

            When the books title didnt make her view obvious enough, a week ago an excerpt was printed within the American magazine the Atlantic using the emotive headline Have smartphones destroyed a generation? It rapidly generated differing reactions which were performed on social networking this can be broadly characterised as praise from parents and critique from scientists. Inside a phone interview and follow-up emails, Twenge described her conclusions concerning the downsides from the connected world for teens, and clarified a few of her critics.

            The Atlantic excerpt out of your book was headlined Have smartphones destroyed an era? Is the fact that a precise reflection of what you believe?
            Well, bear in mind which i didnt write the headline. Its clearly a lot more nuanced than that.

            Why have you write this book?
            Ive been researching generations for any lengthy time now, since i have was an undergraduate, almost twenty five years. The databases I tap into are large national surveys of highschool and university students, and something of adults. In 2013-14 I began to determine some really sudden changes and initially I figured maybe they were just blips, however the trends stored going.

            Id never witnessed anything enjoy it in most my many years of searching at variations among generations. And So I wondered what happening.

            What were these sudden changes for teens?
            Loneliness and depressive signs and symptoms began to increase, while happiness and existence satisfaction began to visit lower. Another factor which i really observed was the faster loss of seeing buddies personally it falls off a high cliff. Its a truly stunning pattern Id never witnessed anything like this. I truly began to question, what’s going on here? What went down around 2011-2012 [laptop computer information is a couple of years behind] that will cause such sudden changes?

            And also you concluded these changes appeared to be introduced about by elevated time spent online?
            Our prime-school data detailed the length of time teens spend online on social networking and games and that i observed how that correlated with a few of these indicators when it comes to happiness, depression and so forth.

            I had been curious not what the correlations were between these screen activities, mental health and wellness, what were the hyperlinks with non-screen activities, like getting together with buddies personally, playing sports, likely to religious services, doing homework, each one of these other activities that teens do?

            As well as for happiness particularly, the pattern am stark. From the non-screen activities which were measured, all of them correlated with greater happiness. All of the screen activities correlated with lower happiness.

            Youve known as these publish-millennials the iGeneration. What exactly are their characteristics?
            Im defining iGen as individuals born between 1995 and 2012 that latter date could change according to future data. Im reasonably certain about 1995, because of the sudden alterations in the trends. Additionally, it happens that 1995 was the entire year the web was commercialised [Amazon . com launched that year, Yahoo in 1994 and Google in 1996], if you were born for the reason that year you haven’t known a period with no internet.

            But the development of the smartphone, exemplified through the iPhone, that was launched in 2007, is essential?
            There are plenty of variations many are large, many are subtle, many are sudden and a few have been building for some time but when I needed to identify what really characterises them, the very first influence may be the smartphone.

            iGen may be the first generation to invest all of their adolescence using the smartphone. It has brought to a lot of ripple effects for his or her wellbeing, their social interactions and exactly how they consider the planet.

            IMG 2 TT
            Psychology professor Jean Twenge. Photograph: Gregory Bull/AP

            Why are you convinced they are unhappy because of social media, rather than it being a case of the unhappy kids being heavier users of social media?
            That is very unlikely to be true because of very good research on that very question. There is one experiment and two longitudinal studies that show the arrow goes from social media to lower wellbeing and not the other way around. For example, an experiment where people
            gave up Facebook for a week and ought to wellbeing than individuals who’d not.

            Another factor to bear in mind is when you’re spending eight hrs each day having a screen you’ve a shorter period to invest getting together with buddies and family personally so we know for sure from decades of research that getting together with others is among the secrets of emotional wellbeing if you are doing that less, thats a really bad sign.

            A professor at Oxford College tweeted that the jobs are a non-systematic overview of sloppy social science like a tool for lazy intergenerational shaming how can you respond?
            It’s odd to equate documenting teens mental health problems with intergenerational shaming. I am not shaming anybody and also the data I analyse comes from teens, not seniors criticising them.

            This comment is particularly strange as this researchers best-known paper, by what he calls the Goldilocks theory, shows exactly the same factor I’ve found lower wellbeing after more hrs of screen time. Were essentially replicating one anothers research across two different countries, that is usually considered a great factor. And So I am confused.

            Your arguments also appear to possess been drawn on by the conservative right as ammunition for claims that technologies are resulting in the moral degradation from the youthful. Are you currently comfortable about this?
            My analyses take a look at what youthful individuals are saying about themselves and just how they’re feeling, and so i dont think this concept of seniors like to whine concerning the youthful is pertinent. I did not take a look at what seniors are saying about youthful people. I checked out what youthful individuals are saying regarding their own encounters as well as their own lives, when compared with youthful people 10, 20, or 3 decades ago.

            Neither is it fair or accurate to characterise this as youth-bashing. Teens say they’re suffering and documenting that ought to help them, not hurt them. I authored it since i desired to provide a voice to iGen as well as their encounters, with the 11 million who completed national surveys, towards the 200 plus who clarified open-ended questions for me personally, towards the 23 I spoken to for approximately two hrs. It’d nothing to use seniors as well as their complaints about youth.

            A lot of us possess a nagging feeling that social networking isn’t good for the wellbeing, but all of us are afflicted by anxiety when really missing out.
            Teens believe that very intensely, that is one good reason why they’re so hooked on their phones. Yet, ironically, the teenagers who take more time on social networking are really more prone to report feeling overlooked.

            But is that this limited to iGeners? You could visit a children’s birthday celebration in which the parents are glued for their smartphones and never speaking to one another too.
            You should take into account that although this trend may also affect adults, it’s particularly worrisome for teens as their brain development is ongoing and adolescence is an important here we are at developing social skills.

            You say teens might be aware of right emoji however in real existence may not be aware of right facial expression.
            There’s hardly any research with that question. There’s one study that checked out the results of screens on social skills among 11- to 12-year-olds, 1 / 2 of whom used screens in their normal level and half visited a 5-day screen-free camp.

            Individuals who attended the camp ground improved their social skills studying feelings on faces was the things they measured. Which makes sense thats the social skill you realized to suffer should you werent getting much in-person social interaction.

            Same with up to regulators or parents to enhance the problem? Departing this issue for moms and dads to repair is a huge challenge.
            Yes it’s. I’ve three kids and my earliest is 10, however in her class about 50 % possess a phone, lots of options are on social networking already. Parents possess a tough job, since there are temptations on screen constantly.

            What advice can you give parents?
            Delay having your child a telephone as lengthy as you possibly can and, whenever you do, begin with one which hasn’t got access to the internet so that they do not have the web within their pocket constantly.

            However when your son or daughter states, but my buddies have one, how can you reply?
            Maybe with my parents line In case your buddies all leaped within the lake, would you’re doing so too? Although at this age the reply is usually yes, that we understand. But that you can do social networking on the pc for any short time every day. Whenever we checked out the information, we discovered that an hour or so each day of digital camera use hasn’t got any unwanted effects on mental health two hrs each day or even more is when you are getting the issues.

            Nearly all teens take presctiption screens greater than that. Therefore if they would like to use Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook to maintain their buddies activities, they are able to do this from the pc.

            That sounds difficult to enforce.
            We have to become more knowledge of the results of smartphones. In lots of ways, parents are involved concerning the wrong things theyre concerned about their children driving on and on out. It normally won’t be worried about their children sitting on their own inside a room using their phone plus they should.

            Plenty of social networking features for example notifications or Snapchats Snapstreak feature are engineered to stay glued to the phones. Should these kinds of features be outlawed?
            Oh man. Parents can put an application [for example Kidslox or Screentime] on their own kids phone to limit how long they invest in it. Do this immediately. With regards to the bigger solutions, I believe thats above my pay grade to determine.

            Youve been accused by another psychologist of cherry-picking your data. Of ignoring, say, studies that suggest active social networking me is connected with positive outcomes for example resilience. Have you collect data to suit an idea?
            Its impossible to evaluate claiming she doesn’t provide citations to those studies. I discovered a couple of studies finding no effects or results, however they counseled me older, before smartphones were in this area. She states to be able to prove smartphones have the effect of these trends we want a sizable study at random assigning teens not to use smartphones or rely on them. When we watch for this sort of study, we’ll watch for ever that kind of study approximately impossible to conduct.

            She concludes by saying: My suspicion would be that the children are destined to be OK. However, it’s not OK that fiftyPercent more teens are afflicted by depressive disorder now versus just six years back and three occasions as numerous women aged 12 to 14 place their own lives. It’s not OK more teens say that they’re lonely and feel hopeless. It’s not OK that teens arent seeing their buddies personally just as much. When we twiddle our thumbs awaiting the right experiment, we’re going for a big risk and that i for just one am reluctant to achieve that.

            Are you currently expecting anybody from Plastic Valley to state: Exactly how should we help?
            No, what I believe is interesting is many tech-connected individuals Plastic Valley restrict their very own childrens screen use, so that they know. Theyre living from it however they know its effects. It signifies that mentioning the results of smartphones doesnt cause you to a luddite.

            iGen: Why Todays Super-Connected Children Are Becoming An Adult Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Their adult years and just what Which Means throughout Us by Jean Twenge is printed by Simon & Schuster US ($27) on 22 August

            Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/13/are-smartphones-really-making-our-children-sad

            What are the benefits of coconut water?

            (CNN)Many people love the flavour, and a few hate it. But there’s no believe that coconut water has boomed in popularity in the last decade.

            Coconut water is really a liquid that’s drained from the middle of coconuts after which packaged and offered in shops. Some companies add juice or coffee into it.
            So what exactly is the reality regarding this trendy beverage, frequently marketed because of its hydrating benefits and recognized like a hangover cure?
              Let us check out exactly what the experts needed to say.

              Could it be more hydrating than water or perhaps a sports drink?

              The study states no. Two studies demonstrated that coconut water by itself provided a small improvement in hydration in humans, in contrast to water and sports drinks.
              Lisa Drayer, an authorized dietitian, concurs using the research. But she stated you need to take into account that the first study was funded by VitaCoco, a coconut water brand, therefore it is at the very best interest of the organization.
              Also, even though this study demonstrated that some participants experienced bloating as well as an upset stomach in the beverage, the other study’s participants was without these negative effects. Should there be unwanted effects, it’s most likely with an individual basis, Drayer stated.
              “My advice is always to try coconut water prior to using it for exercise,” she stated.
              When it comes to helping with hangovers, Drayer stated, there’s no valuable research that implies it’s anymore advantageous than consuming water.

              Is there benefits while pregnant?

              Some websites tout the benefits of consuming coconut water during pregnancy. If you’re a rat, it could help safeguard you from high-fat-diet-caused changes, one study states. But when you are an expectant human, you most likely should not utilize it like a substitute for other foods, Drayer stated.
              “After I consider the dietary profile for coconut water, it essentially doesn’t have iron, no protein, almost no calcium, no omega-3s since it is fat-free, with no folate,” she stated. “It isn’t an excellent source of important pregnancy nutrients.”
              It is important for women that are pregnant to remain hydrated, Drayer stated, therefore if coconut water will help to them have more fluids, she’d recommend it.
              Although coconut water does not yield lots of calcium, eating a whole raw coconut could provide enough the nutrient. But it is still no comparison to a mug of milk, that has six occasions just as much calcium like a wholecoconut and much more protein, she stated.

              How about weight reduction?

              “I do not think there’s anything special about coconut water that can help improve your metabolic process. If you are dehydrated, that may slow your metabolic process,” Drayer stated. “I would not always recommend it to lose weight. Actually, it’s more calories than water.”
              Coconut waters normally have five to seven calories and 1 gram of sugar per ounce. Many people who’re watching how much they weigh might not wish to drink their calories, Drayer stated. However for individuals who’re exercising and seem like they are able to pay the calories, it should not matter.
              There’s been some talk on the web that consuming coconut water before eating anything each morning can stimulate metabolic process, in addition to boost immunity and lower bad cholesterol. Jason Ewoldt, registered dietitian and wellness dietitian in the Mayo Clinic A Healthier Lifestyle Program, stated the study wouldn’t support this.
              “It appears like almost always there is newer and more effective breaking factor you need to eat each morning before eating anything to assist with weight reduction or energy or whoever else,Inch Ewoldt stated. “There is nothing special about coconut water. It’s basically water with a few electrolytes, for you to do each morning by consuming a glass water and getting a blueberry.”

              Potassium benefits

              Potassium is really a mineral that plays a vital role to maintain your body’s heartbeat, muscle contractions, cholesterol and nerve impulses. Coconut water has more potassium than the usual medium blueberry.
              “After I take a look at coconut water, the greatest benefit is from the fact that it is high or nice supply of potassium,” Ewoldt stated. “But are going to exactly the same factor when you eat foods that have a superior supply of potassium, like taters or kidney beans or green spinach. It might be very much of the lot cheaper, and eventually, we’d receive much more diet that simply with potassium.”
              If you wish to kill two wild birds with one stone nutritionally, coconut water is most likely not what you want.

              How about coconut oil and coconut milk?

              Coconut oil were built with a healthy image among “foodies” for some time, frequently like a central cooking component. A recent report through the American Heart Association shut this lower, proclaiming that coconut oil includes a greater number of saturated fats than butter, palm oil and lard. It referenced multiple studies discovering that the oil increases LDL — also referred to as “bad” cholesterol — which in turn causes cardiovascular disease.
              Ewoldt concurs using the association’s conclusion and it is unsure why some consider coconut oil to become a health food, he stated. But he does not think extreme care must be taken. It may be eaten moderately to supplement a healthy diet plan, he stated. “Don’t let eat it thinking it’s healthy? No.”
              Individuals are best consuming foods with unsaturated fats, like avocados and essential olive oil, he stated. Unsaturated fats happen to be proven to possess cardiovascular protective effects.
              Coconut milk can also be greater in saturated fats and calories, he stated. It’s significantly less potassium than coconut water and incredibly little fiber. However, it can make a pleasant substitution for those lactose-intolerant, he stated.

              The decision on coconut water

              Drayer stated coconut water has hydrating benefits, but she saw nothing special about this nutritionally, in contrast to whole-foods.
              “It can benefit to hydrate you and also make certain you are meeting your fluid needs,” Drayer stated. “However I don’t believe there’s anything magical about this. I do not think there’s something that you would not get in whole-foods it contains. And also the studies that link it to numerous health claims certainly weren’t rigorous enough.”

              Begin to see the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

              Ewoldt cautioned against any assumptions that coconut water might have special health qualities, particularly if it’s resulting in heavy spending.
              “Overall, I’d say if you are searching for any different beverage to assist with hydration, coconut water could be that beverage. Could it be much better than consuming water or eating vegetables and fruit? Definitely not,Inch he stated. “If you are conscious of the quantity you are consuming coconut water and you are getting a proper balance diet, it may be an accessory for an eating plan as anything can. But when you are searching in internet marketing from the purpose of ‘it’s an enchanting elixir,’ you are spending lots of money on something that’s doing hardly any.Inch

              Find out more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/02/health/benefits-of-coconut-water/index.html

              Is the world really better than ever?

              The lengthy read: The headlines haven’t been worse. But an more and more influential number of thinkers insists that humankind hasn’t been with them so great and just our pessimism is holding us back

              By the finish of this past year, anybody who was simply having to pay even passing focus on this news headlines was highly prone to conclude that everything was terrible, which the only real attitude that made sense was certainly one of profound pessimism tempered, possibly, by cynical humour, around the principle when the planet will hell inside a handbasket, one might as well attempt to benefit from the ride. Naturally, Brexit and also the election of Donald Trump loomed largest for a lot of. However, you didnt have to be a remainer or perhaps a critic of Trumps to be depressed through the carnage in Syria through the deaths of a large number of migrants within the Mediterranean by North Korean missile tests, multiplication from the zika virus, or terror attacks in Nice, Belgium, Florida, Pakistan and elsewhere nor through the spectre of catastrophic global warming, lurking behind anything else. (And all sorts of thats before even thinking about the string of deaths of beloved celebrities that appeared just like a calculated attempt, on 2016s part, to rub salt within the wound: in just a couple of several weeks, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Carrie Fisher and George Michael, to mention merely a handful, counseled me gone.) And couple of from the headlines to date in 2017 Grenfell tower, the Manchester and London attacks, Brexit chaos, and 24/7 Trump provide whatever reason to consider a sunnier view.

              Yet one number of more and more prominent commentators has appeared distinctively safe from the gloom. In December, within an article headlined Always remember that people reside in the very best of occasions, the Occasions columnist Philip Collins provided an finish-of-year review of good reasons to be cheerful: during 2016, he noted, the proportion from the worlds population residing in extreme poverty had fallen below 10% the very first time global carbon emissions from non-renewable fuels had unsuccessful to increase for that third year running the dying penalty have been ruled illegal in over fifty percent of countries and giant pandas have been taken off the endangered species list.

              Within the New You are able to Occasions, Nicholas Kristof declared that by many people measures, 2016 was the very best year within the good reputation for humanity, with falling global inequality, child mortality roughly half what it absolutely was as lately as 1990, and 300,000 more and more people accessing electricity every day. Throughout 2016 and into 2017, alongside Collins in the Occasions, the author and former Northern Rock chairman Matt Ridley the title of whose book The Rational Optimist makes his inclinations plain stored up his weekly creation of ebullient posts celebrating the commitment of artificial intelligence, free trade and fracking. When the professional contrarian Brendan ONeill delivered his own version of the argument, within the Spectator (Nothing better covers the aloofness from the chattering class than their blathering about 2016 to be the worst year ever) the point of view was becoming sufficiently well-entrenched that ONeill appeared at risk of forfeiting his contrarianism.

              The loose but growing assortment of pundits, academics and thinktank operatives who endorse this stubbornly cheerful, handbasket-free account in our situation have from time to time been labelled the brand new Optimists, a reputation meant to stimulate the rebellious scepticism from the New Atheists brought by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Mike Harris. And using their perspective, our prevailing mood of despair is irrational, and albeit a little self-indulgent. They reason that it states much more about us of computer does about how exactly things actually are illustrating a particular inclination toward collective self-flagellation, as well as an unwillingness to think in the strength of human resourcefulness. Which is better described because of various mental biases that offered an objective around the prehistoric savannah however, inside a media-saturated era, constantly mislead us.

              Not so long ago, it had been of effective survival value to concern yourself with exactly what may go wrong, states Johan Norberg, a Swedish historian and self-declared New Optimist whose book Progress: Ten Good reasons to Expect towards the Future was printed right before Trump won the presidency this past year. This is exactly what makes not so good news especially compelling: within our transformative past, it had been an excellent factor that the attention might be easily grabbed by negative information, because it could indicate an imminent risk for your own survival. (The cave-occupant who always assumed there is a lion behind the following rock would usually be wrong but hed be more prone to survive and reproduce than a single who always assumed the alternative.) However that was all before newspapers, television and also the internet: during these hyper-connected occasions, our dependence on not so good news just leads us to hoover up depressing or enraging tales from around the world, whether or not they threaten us or otherwise, and for that reason to summarize that situations are much worse compared to what they are.

              Great news, however, could be a lot harder to place partially since it has a tendency to occur progressively. Max Roser, an Oxford economist who spreads the brand new Optimist gospel via his Twitter feed, stated lately that the newspaper could legitimately have run the headline Number Of Individuals IN EXTREME POVERTY FELL BY 137,000 SINCE YESTERDAY every single day during the last twenty five years. But none of them might have done this, because foreseeable daily occasions, obviously, arent newsworthy. And youll rarely visit a headline in regards to a bad event that unsuccessful to happen. But surely any cautious assessment in our situation ought to take into consideration all of the wars, pandemics and disasters that may hypothetically have happened but didnt?

              I had been a pessimist myself, states Norberg, an urbane 43-year-old elevated in Stockholm who’s now another in the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington Electricity. I did previously lengthy for that traditional days. However I began studying history, and asking myself, well, where would I’ve been in individuals traditional days, within my ancestors northern Norway? I most likely wouldnt happen to be anywhere. Existence expectancy was way too short. They mixed tree bark within the bread, to really make it keep going longer!

              In the book, Norberg canters through 10 of the most basic fundamental indicators of human flourishing food, sanitation, existence expectancy, poverty, violence, the condition from the atmosphere, literacy, freedom, equality and also the conditions of childhood. And that he takes special pleasure in squelching the fantasies of anybody inclined to require they were born a few centuries back: it was not such a long time ago, he observes, that dogs gnawed in the abandoned corpses of plague victims within the roads of European metropolitan areas. As lately as 1882, only twoPercent of homes in New You are able to had flowing water in 1900, worldwide existence expectancy would be a paltry 31, thanks both to early adult dying and rampant child mortality. Today, by comparison, its 71 and individuals extra decades involve much less suffering, too. Whether it goes twenty minutes to see this chapter, Norberg writes at some point, in the own variation around the New Optimists favourite refrain, almost another 2,000 individuals will have risen from [extreme] poverty presently understood to be living on under $1.90 each day.

              These barrages of upbeat statistics appear meant to lead to demolishing the typical intractable political disagreements concerning the condition from the planet. The Brand New Optimists invite us to forget our partisan biases and tribal loyalties to eliminate our valued theories about what’s wrong using the world and just what ought to be done about this, and breathe, rather, the refreshing air of objective fact. The information doesnt lie. Just consider the figures!

              But figures, as it happens, is often as political as other things.


              The New Optimists are extremely directly on the nostalgia front: nobody within their right mind should want resided inside a previous century. Inside a 2015 survey for YouGov, 65% of British people (and 81% from the French) stated they thought the planet was getting worse but judged based on numerous sensible metrics, theyre simply wrong. Individuals are indeed rising from extreme poverty in an remarkable rate child mortality has plummeted standards of literacy, sanitation and existence expectancy haven’t been greater. The typical European or American enjoys luxuries medieval potentates literally couldnt have imagined. The fundamental finding of Steven Pinkers 2011 book The Better Angels of Our Nature, a vital reference text for that New Optimists, appears and to happen to be largely recognized: that we’re residing in historys most peaceful era, with violence of all types from deaths in war to schoolyard bullying in steep decline.

              However the New Optimists arent mainly thinking about persuading us that human existence involves much less suffering of computer did a couple of century ago. (Even when youre a card-transporting pessimist, you most likely didnt need convincing of this fact.) Nestled within that basically indisputable claim, there are many more questionable implications. For instance: that since everything has so clearly been improving, we’ve valid reason to visualize they continuously improve. And additional though this can be a claim only sometimes made explicit within the work from the New Optimists that whatever weve been performing these past decades, its clearly working, so the economic and political plans which have introduced us here are the type we have to stick to. Optimism, in the end, means not only believing that things arent badly while you imagined: this means getting justified confidence they’re getting better still soon. Rational optimism holds the world will pull from the current crisis, Ridley authored following the economic crisis of 2007-8, due to the way that markets in goods, services and concepts allow people to switch and specialise honestly for that betterment of I’m a rational optimist: rational, since i have showed up at optimism not through temperament or instinct, but by searching in the evidence.

              IMG 2 TT
              Illustration by Pete Gamlen

              If all this were really true, it would suggest that an overwhelming proportion of the energy we dedicate to debating the state of humanity all the political outrage, the warnings of imminent disaster, the exasperated op-ed columns, all our anxiety and guilt about the misery afflicting people all over the world is wasted. Or, worse, it might be counterproductive, insofar as a belief that things are irredeemably awful seems like a bad way to motivate people to make things better, and thus in danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

              Here are the facts, wrote the American economist Julian Simon, whose vocal opposition to the gloomy predictions of environmentalists and population experts in the 1970s and 1980s set the stage for todays New Optimists. On average, people throughout the world have been living longer and eating better than ever before. Fewer people die of famine nowadays than in earlier centuries every single measure of material and environmental welfare in the United States has improved rather than deteriorated. This is also true of the world taken as a whole. All the long-run trends point in exactly the opposite direction from the projections of the doomsayers.

              Those are the facts. So why arent we all New Optimists now?


              Optimists have been telling doom-mongersto cheer up since at least 1710, when the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz concluded that ours must be the best of all possible worlds, on the grounds that God, being perfect and merciful, would hardly have created one of the more mediocre ones instead. But the most recent outbreak of positivity may be best understood as a reaction to the pessimism triggered by the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. For one thing, those attacks were a textbook example of the kind of high-visibility bad news that activates our cognitive biases, convincing us that the world is becoming lethally dangerous when really it isnt: in reality, a slightly higher number of Americans were killed while riding motorcycles in 2001 than died in the World Trade Center and on the hijacked planes.

              But the New Optimism is also a rejoinder to the kind of introspection that gained pace in the west after 9/11, and subsequently the Iraq war the feeling that, whether or not the new global insecurity was all our fault, it certainly demanded self-criticism and reflection, rather than simply a more strident assertion of the merits of our worldview. (The whole world hates us, and we deserve it, is how the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner derisively characterises this attitude.) On the other hand, the optimists insist, the information shows that the worldwide dominance of western power and concepts during the last 220 years has witnessed a transformative improvement in almost everyones quality of existence. Matt Ridley loves to pages and use a predecessor from the contemporary optimists, the Whig historian Thomas Babington Macaulay: On which principle one thing, whenever we see only improvement behind us, we’re to anticipate only degeneration before us?

              The despondent self-critique that frustrates the brand new Optimists is fuelled partly a minimum of how they view it by a type of optical illusion in the manner we consider progress. As Steven Pinker observes, whenever youre busy knowing governments or economic systems for falling lacking standards of decency, its very simple to forget how individuals standards themselves have altered with time. We’re scandalised by reports of prisoners being tortured through the CIA only because of the in the past recent emergence of the general consensus that torture is past the pale. (In medieval England, it had been a comparatively unremarkable feature from the criminal justice system.) We are able to be appalled by the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean only because starting in the position that unknown other people from distant lands should have moral consideration an idea that will most likely have struck the majority of us as absurd had we been born in 1700. The more powerful this sort of consensus grows, the greater unconscionable each breach from it will appear. And thus, ironically enough, the outrage you are feeling while you’re reading the headlines is really evidence that this can be a magnificent time for you to come alive. (A current accessory for the brand new Optimist bookshelf, The Moral Arc by Michael Shermer, binds this argument straight to the optimists belief in science: it’s scientific progress, he argues, that’s determined to make us more and more ethical.)

              The nagging suspicion this argument is in some way with different sleight of hands it might appear allowing any outrage to become reinterpreted as proof of our betterment may make you another objection: even when it is true that everything is really so a lot better than ever, why assume things continuously improve? Enhancements in sanitation and existence expectancy cant prevent rising ocean levels destroying your country. And it is harmful, more generally, to calculate future results by past performance: view things on the sufficiently lengthy timescale, also it becomes impossible to inform if the progress the brand new Optimists celebrate is proof of historys steady upward trajectory, or simply a blip.

              Nearly every advance Norberg champions in the book Progress, for instance, required place within the last two centuries an undeniable fact that the optimists take as proof of the unstoppable potency of contemporary civilisation, but that might as fast be used as proof of how rare such periods of progress are. Humans have been in existence for 200,000 years extrapolating from the 200-year stretch appears foolish. We risk making the error from the 19th-century British historian Henry Buckle, who with confidence declared, in the book Good reputation for Civilization in England, that war would soon be considered a factor of history. This barbarous pursuit is, within the progress of society, continuously declining, should be apparent, even going to probably the most rash readers of European history, he authored. It had been 1857 Buckle appeared certain that the lately concluded Crimean war would be among the final.

              However the real concern here isn’t that the steady progress from the latter centuries will progressively swing into reverse, plunging us to the circumstances of history its the world we’ve produced the engine of that progress is really complex, volatile and unpredictable that catastrophe might befall us at any time. Steven Pinker might be absolutely factual that less and less individuals are relying on violence to stay their disagreements, but (because he would concede) it takes only just one angry narcissist owning the nuclear codes to spark a worldwide disaster. Technology has unquestionably helped fuel an international boost in economic growth, but when cyberterrorists utilize it to create lower the planets financial infrastructure the following month, that growth might rather quickly become moot.

              The thing is when something does go seriously wrong within our societies, its very hard to determine where it stops, states David Runciman, professor of politics at Cambridge College, who requires a less sanguine view for the future, and who has debated New Optimists for example Ridley and Norberg. The idea that, say, the following economic crisis, inside a world as interconnected and algorithmically driven as the world, could simply get out of hand that isn’t an irrational thought. That makes it really hard to become blithely positive. Whenever you reside in a world where everything appears to become improving, yet it might all collapse tomorrow, its perfectly rational to become freaked out.

              Runciman raises an associated and equally troubling considered modern politics, in the book The Confidence Trap. Democracy appears to do well: the brand new Optimists note there are now about 120 democracies one of the worlds 193 countries, up from just 40 in 1972. What if it is the strength of democracy and our complacency about its ability to withstand just about anything that augurs its eventual collapse? Can it be our real problem isn’t an more than pessimism, because the New Optimists maintain, however a harmful amount of overconfidence?

              Based on this argument, those who voted for Trump and Brexit didnt do so simply because they had concluded their system was damaged, and must be replaced. On the other hand: they voted because they did precisely simply because they had grown too certain that the fundamental security supplied by government would continually be there on their behalf, whatever incendiary choice they provided in the ballot-box. People voted for Trump simply because they didnt believe him, Runciman has written. They wanted Trump to change a method they also likely to shield them in the recklessness assertive like Trump. The issue with this particular pattern delivering electoral shocks because youre confident the machine can withstand them is the fact that there is no need to assume it may continue indefinitely: sooner or later, the harm might not be repairable. The Brand New Optimists describe a global by which human agency doesnt appear to matter, since there are these evolved forces which are moving us within the right direction, Runciman states. But human agency does still matter people still be capable to mess everything up. And it will be our ability to screw it up keeps growing.

              The optimists arent not aware of these risks but it’s a dependable feature from the positive mindset that you can usually locate an upbeat interpretation of the identical apparently frightening details. Youre asking, Shall We Be Held the person who is lost of the skyscraper, so that as he passes the 2nd floor, states, To date, so great? Matt Ridley states. And the reply is, well, really, previously, individuals have predicted catastrophe coming and been wrong about this so frequently this another fact to take into consideration. History does appear to deal with Ridley out. On the other hand, obviously it will: if your civilisation-ending catastrophe been on fact happened, you presumably wouldnt be studying this now. Individuals who predict imminent catastrophes are often wrong. However, they require simply be right once.


              If there’s just one momentthat signalled the birth from the New Optimism, it had been fittingly, in some way a TED talk, delivered in the year 2006 through the Swedish statistician and self-styled edutainer Hendes Rosling, who died captured. Titled The very best stats youve seen, Roslings talk summarised the outcomes of the ingenious study he’d conducted among Swedish college students. Presenting all of them with pairs of nations Russia and Malaysia, Poultry and Sri Lanka, and so forth he requested these to guess which scored better on various measures of health, for example child mortality rates. The scholars reliably first got it wrong, basing their solutions around the assumption that countries closer to their personal, both geographically and ethnically, must need to be.

              However Rosling had selected the pairs to demonstrate a place: Russia had two times Malaysias child mortality, and Poultry two times those of Sri Lanka. Area of the defeatist mindset from the modern west, the way in which Rosling first viewed it, was the deeply ingrained assumption that we’re coping with occasions which are just like theyre ever likely to be which the long run we’re bequeathing, to generations to come and particularly around the world beyond Europe and the united states, are only able to be considered a disheartening one. Rosling enjoyed observing that should you have had run this try chimpanzees by labelling a blueberry with the each country and welcoming these to select one, they’d have performed much better than the scholars, given that they could be right 50 % of time, because of chance. Well-educated European humans, by comparison, get things far wronger than chance. We’re not just unaware of the details we’re positively convinced of depressing details that arent true.

              Its exhilarating to look at The very best stats youve seen today partially due to Roslings nerdy, high-energy stage performance, but additionally since it appears to shine the bracing light of objective fact on questions usually mired in angry partisanship. Way over as he delivered the talk, we live now in the Age of the Take, where a apparently infinite way to obtain blogs, opinion posts, books and television speaking heads compete to inform us how you can experience this news. The majority of this opinionising focuses less on stacking up hard details towards a disagreement of computer does on declaring what attitude you need to adopt: the normal take invites you to definitely conclude, say, that Jesse Trump is really a fascist, or he isnt, or that BBC presenters are overpaid, or that the yoga practice is a clear case of cultural appropriation. (This shouldnt really be an unexpected: the web economy is fuelled by attention, and it is far simpler to get someones attention with emotionally billed argument than mere information plus you do not have to cover the costly reporting needed to ferret the details.) The Brand New Optimists promise different things: a method to experience the condition around the globe in line with the way it truly is.

              IMG 3 TT
              Illustration by Pete Gamlen

              But after steeping yourself in their work, you begin to wonder if all their upbeat factoids really do speak for themselves. For a start, why assume that the correct comparison to be making is the one between the world as it was, say, 200 years ago, and the world as it is today? You might argue that comparing the present with the past is stacking the deck. Of course things are better than they were. But theyre surely nowhere near as good as they ought to be. To pick some obvious examples, humanity indisputably has the capacity to eliminate extreme poverty, end famines, or radically reduce human damage to the climate. But weve done none of these, and the fact that things arent as terrible as they were in 1800 is arguably beside the point.

              Ironically, given their reliance on cognitive biases to explain our predilection for negativity, the New Optimists may be in the grip of one themselves: the anchoring bias, which describes our tendency to rely too heavily on certain pieces of information when making judgments. If you start from the fact that plague victims once languished in the streets of European cities, its natural to conclude that life these days is wonderful. But if you start from the position that we could have eliminated famines, or reversed climatic change, the truth that such problems persist may provoke another type of judgment.

              The argument that you should be feeling more happy than we’re because existence in the world in general gets better, typically, also misunderstands a simple truth about how exactly happiness works: our judgments around the globe derive from making specific comparisons that feel highly relevant to us, this is not on adopting what David Runciman describes because the view from space. If individuals your small American town are much less economically secure compared to what they were in living memory, or maybe youre a youthful British person facing the chance which you may never possess a home, it is not particularly consoling to become told that increasingly more The chinese are entering the center classes. At book readings in america midwest, Ridley recalls, audience people frequently asked his optimism for the reason their own lives didnt appear to be an upward trajectory. Theyd say, You retain saying the worlds improving, but it doesnt feel like that round here. And That I would say, Yes, however this isnt the world! Are you currently not really a bit cheered because really poor Africans are becoming a little less poor? There’s a feeling by which this can be a fair point. But theres another sense by which its a totally irrelevant one.

              At its heart, the brand new Optimism is definitely an ideological argument: generally speaking, its proponents are advocates for the strength of free markets, plus they intend their sunny picture of humanitys recent past and imminent future to vindicate their politics. This can be a perfectly legitimate political argument to create nevertheless its still a political argument, not really a straightforward, neutral reliance upon objective details. The claim that we’re residing in a golden age, which our dominant mood of pessimism is unwarranted, isn’t an antidote to age the Take, however a Take like every other also it makes as much sense to consider the alternative view. Things I dislike, Runciman states, is that this assumption when you break the rules against their argument, what youre saying is the fact that each one of these situations are not worth valuing That people feel deeply uneasy concerning the world we inhabit now, despite each one of these indicators pointing up, appears in my experience reasonable, because of the relative instability from the proof of this progress, and also the [unpredictability] that overhangs it. Everything is really pretty fragile.


              Johan Norberg, who launched his book Progress two several weeks prior to the US presidential election, viewed the outcomes are available in on the foggy morning in Stockholm, in a party organised through the American embassy. As Trumps victory grew to become a certainty, the climate switched in one of rumbling alarm to horrified disbelief. I was all Swedes in media, politics, business and so forth It could have been difficult to find an individual there who’d wished for any Trump win so soon the atmosphere was going downhill dramatically, Norberg remembered. And furthermore, they didnt have alcohol, which didnt help, because everybody was saying: We want something strong here! However they been with them more setup just like a breakfast factor. He smiled. I believe Americans dont really understand Swedes.

              The populist surges from the latter years in america and Britain powering an upswing of Trump, the Brexit election, and also the unpredicted amounts of support for Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn pose an elaborate problem for that New Optimists. Around the one hands, it’s very easy enough to characterise such anger targeted at political establishments like a mistake, with different failure to see how good situations are going or like a legitimate response to real, but localised and temporary bumps within the road, which neednt constitute any bigger argument for pessimism. However, it’s a curious view around the globe that sees such political waves exclusively as responses, mistaken or else, towards the real situation. They are members of that real situation. Even if you feel Trump supporters, say, were wholly by mistake to see their situation negatively, the perception itself was real enough plus they really did elect Trump, with all of his possibility of destabilisation. (The Brand New Optimists, states David Runciman, consider politics as simply a pain, because within their view things that drive progress aren’t political. But things that drive failure are political.) There’s a time it stops being so relevant whether prevalent pessimism and anxiety could be justified or otherwise, and gets to be more relevant simply that it’s prevalent.

              Norberg isn’t any Trump supporter, and also the election result may have appeared just like a setback for an author promoting a magazine painting humanitys immediate future as entirely rosy. Inside it, he is doing warn that progress isnt inevitable: There’s a genuine chance of a nativist backlash, he writes. Whenever we dont begin to see the progress we’ve made, we start to look for scapegoats for that issues that remain. But it’s within the nature from the New Optimism that negative developments could be alchemised into good reasons to be cheerful, and when we spoke, Norberg had an upbeat spin around the election, too.

              It may be that over a couple of years time, well think it had been an excellent factor that Trump won, he states. If hed lost, and Hillary had won, shed happen to be probably the most hated president of contemporary occasions, after which Trump and Bannon might have used that to construct an alt-right media empire, create an avalanche of hate, its keep may have been a far more disciplined candidate next time round a genuine fascist, instead of someone impersonating Trump may convince happen to be the incompetent, self-absorbed individual who ruins the populist brand within the U . s . States. This type of counterfactual argument is affected with not falsifiable, as well as in any situation, its a lengthy way from the position of straightforward positivity concerning the direction where the world is moving. But possibly it’s the one genuinely indisputable truth which the brand new Optimists and also the more pessimistically minded can agree: that no matter what, things could always, in principle, happen to be worse.

              Stick to the Lengthy Continue reading Twitter at @gdnlongread, or join the lengthy read weekly email here.

              Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/jul/28/is-the-world-really-better-than-ever-the-new-optimists

              ‘Spiritual care board’ is answer to patients’ prayers

              New You are able to (CNN)Gene LoCastro was identified as having lung fibrosis in August 2013. The painful disease causes scarring to develop within the lung area, which makes it hard to breathe.

              “Because the lung tissue thickens, your lung area can’t correctly move oxygen to your blood stream,” according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. “Consequently, your mind along with other organs do not get the oxygen they require.Inch
              Still, 48-year-old LoCastro states, he felt “pretty much OK” until August of this past year, after which he was assured by his pulmonologist that his disease was progressing “normally” and there wasn’t any reason to be concerned.
                “I had been always who is fit,Inch he stated. “I usually required proper care of myself and went to a health club … labored out 3 to 4 days per week, haven’t were built with a drink or drug in over nine years.”
                But LoCastro states he instinctively understood that some thing happening inside his body and made the decision to find another opinion. He was ultimately identified as having harmful thrombus in the lung area and it was accepted to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in October.
                “It had been downhill after that,Inch he stated. In November, LoCastro’s heart started to fail. Doctors stated he needed a dual lung transplant to outlive.
                “It had been pretty nutty, the actual way it happened so rapidly,” he stated. “However I also … understood at the back of my mind which i would be OK regardless of what. I stored on saying, ‘I’ve just should be there in my family, exist in my daughter, my spouse stay strong.’ “

                A contemporary-day chaplain

                LoCastro states his find it difficult to get back his strength was, overall, more mental than physical. “Physically, I understood I’d be capable of getting back in internet marketing,Inch he stated. Psychologically, he attempted to help keep an optimistic attitude and did lots of meditation to remain centered.
                Soon after coming at NewYork-Presbyterian, LoCastro remembers, his social worker requested whether he desired to visit a priest or perhaps a chaplain. While he views themself more spiritual than religious, LoCastro chosen the second and it was brought to nondenominational chaplain Joel Nightingale Berning.
                “We simply connected immediately,” LoCastro stated of Berning. “We’d many of the same interests. We simply spoken about existence generally. Did not need to be religion or other things. … Could’ve been baseball could’ve been family.”
                When LoCastro was scheduled for any double lung transplant in December, Berning became an excellent person in his care team, right plus the hospital’s physicians and nursing staff.
                “Nobody involves a healthcare facility wanting to stay in for spiritual care — a minimum of not consciously,” Berning stated. After they arrive, however, some patients have straightforward demands, for example physical products they require to be able to pray. “The less straightforward demands would be the existential questions — feelings, feelings, spiritual discomfort — which come out when individuals get new diagnoses or are attempting to deal with some nightmare they never thought about being in, or their batteries are low following a really lengthy course (of treatment),” he stated. “We play the role of what they desire us to become.Inch
                Among the challenges faced by LoCastro, and lots of other patients within an intensive care setting, is definitely an lack of ability to effectively communicate needs and wants. ICU people are frequently awake and alert but intubated, meaning they’ve tubes lower their throat and should not talk.
                “My training was mostly on how to have conversations with individuals regarding their soul, whether literally or metaphorically,” Berning stated. “After I began out (within the ICU), I felt very useless and frustrated. I felt like I’d something to provide when we could talk … but when they posess zero physical voice, it had been a genuine stumper.”
                That frustration sparked a concept that transformed LoCastro’s stay in hospital. Berning had lengthy observed nurses and doctors using communication boards so patients could clearly express their physical needs. He remembers thinking: Why has not anybody created a board to assist patients express their spiritual desires?

                Modern-day spiritual care

                Berning started work, together with his fellow chaplain, a Buddhist monk and professional artist named Seigan Ed Glassing. Together they came up — literally — the very first spiritual care board.
                “Chaplains, we frequently discuss four fundamental ‘flavors’ of feelings: mad, sad, glad and ‘afrad’ — or afraid,” Berning stated. “We laid it in individuals posts and attempted to really make it very … inclusive, colorful and simple to have interaction with.
                “Rather of ‘I’m nauseous, and I am in discomfort,’ it’s ‘I’m lonely,’ ‘I’m scared,’ ‘I’m frustrated,’ ‘I’m worried,’ ” he stated. “Rather of ‘turn me,’ ‘suction me,’ ‘toilet me” it’s ‘hold my hands,’ ‘play music,’ ‘pray,’ ‘get a priest’ — things like that.”
                LoCastro started using the board after his operation, as he was made not able to talk for days on finish, while his body recuperated in the double lung transplant. Greater than utilizing it to create demands for particular things, LoCastro searched for to convey how he was feeling, which did not whatsoever surprise Berning.
                “What exactly are (most sufferers) feeling and experiencing?” Berning requested rhetorically. “The majority of it — or a variety of it — really was as you’d guess: lots of frustration, lots of sadness, lots of fear. The 2nd most generally identified emotion was loved, which really surprised us. And I haven’t got a solution for precisely why that’s, but it is my personal favorite finding, because I love to believe that when individuals are critically ill, they are doing have lots of frightening, horrible, awful feelings, but we’re also attempting to provide them with just as much love as you possibly can.Inch

                Modern medical technology

                “Among the greatest alterations in critical care medicine during the last decade is the fact that we attempt, whenever you can, to not sedate patients and never insert them in medically caused comas when they are on existence support — especially (a breathing machine),” stated Dr. Matthew Baldwin, a lung and demanding care physician at NewYork-Presbyterian who had been not involved with LoCastro’s care. “Studies in the last decade have proven that … patients who receive less sedation generally have better physical function as well as better mental function.”
                That stated, this latest paradigm of care has additionally presented a brand new problem, states Baldwin. People are awake and alert but not able to effectively communicate.
                “Oftentimes, I walk round the ICU, and I’ll visit a patient on the ventilator, wide awake, sitting upright during sex,Inch he stated. “They will be tapping along the side of your bed. Clearly they are anxious. You can easily view it on their own face.”
                Baldwin remembers the very first time he saw Berning within the ICU, sitting in a patient’s bedside, holding the spiritual care board along with a dry-erase marker.
                “I was there as it were, and I believed it was the prettiest factor, because … a specific item is really a calm patient a slave to and pointing to those things, smiling at occasions and nodding, despite all of the figures up on screen, regardless of the mechanical ventilator in their side, providing them with the breaths they themselves alone cannot breathe. We recognized immediately this was transformative. We accustomed to call chaplains for the consult for dying, so we give them a call for any consult for existence.”
                Together, Baldwin and Berning conducted a study about how effective the board what food was in addressing the spiritual requirements of their ICU patients. Before while using board, the 50 patients who participated rated their degree of anxiety as typically 64 on the proportions of -100. After while using board, their average self-reported anxiety level dropped to 44, a discount of 31%.
                “It will help the individual better contextualize their illness and consider what they desire to complete, psychologically, to drag themselves through it and also to return to their ft,” Baldwin stated. “It’s these coping mechanisms that we have never provided the patients before whilst in the ICU, is the reason why this so exciting.”
                Like many survivors of the critical illness, LoCastro states he’s battled some depression. And, Baldwin states, this is actually the area by which his study saw its most promising results.
                “Patients stated they … were better prepared to handle their ongoing recovery after hospitalization,” he stated. “Plus they felt more peaceful with who these were and just what they’d been through.Inch

                Begin to see the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

                For his part, LoCastro believes so highly in the strength of the spiritual care he received he regularly returns to NewYork-Presbyterian to provide words of encouragement to patients within the ICU. Like Baldwin and Berning, he hopes more hospitals across the nation will integrate the spiritual care board (now licensed and offered by Vidatak) to their standard of care.
                “Look, Among the finest to obtain healthy,” LoCastro stated. “I’ve two new lung area. I am doing fantastic. I am at 100% oxygen. I wish to live a lengthy time, and there isn’t any reason I can not.Inch

                Find out more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/12/health/spiritual-board-critical-care-eprise/index.html

                Have I got depression? You asked Google heres the answer | Jay Watts

                Every single day countless online users ask Google lifes hardest questions, large and small. Our authors answer a few of the commonest queries Dr Jay Watts is really a clinical psychiatrist, psychotherapist and senior lecturer

                Depression may be the curse of modernity, affecting more and more of us. It’s the black dog that haunts us, the lethargy which makes it impossible to get away from bed. It’s the vacuum of meaning which sucks out all of our desire, our hope, therefore we remain within an empty void. Sadness is one thing we go through, area of the fluctuations in moods that comprise everyday experience. But depression? Depression is one thing else.

                Depression is frequently as physical as mental. It saps energy and evidence more and more suggests puts physiques inside a condition of chronic, dulling inflammation. Gait can alter, even the ability to speak in not a monotone. Simultaneously, it’s remarkably difficult to discover a biological induce to depression. The chemical imbalance theories that saturate public understandings simply do unfit using the evidence.

                Clinical diagnosis relies, therefore, this is not on any objective tests but on history taking and a patients present mental state. Because depression is really hard to differentiate from everyday sadness, diagnosis is dependant on the running impact of encounters for example lack of interest, low energy and insufficient confidence, alongside danger. Psychological diagnosis is like carving up nature through the joints. An analysis of depression informs us that something is wrong, but never quite what.

                Mental models frequently emphasise an individuals negative views of themselves, the future and the world. These frequently emerge because of early experiences items like chronic bullying, abuse, being put lower, or just being likely to be perfect constantly. But depression can also be frequently a direct result loss. This can be losing someone we like, but it is also losing a perfect. For instance, that people can completely fulfil the requirements of someone, or that the dream job can make us happy. Ones feeling of self can collapse, implode, resulting in a dying of meaning and purpose. Health issues may also cause, or at best mimic, depression. For instance, individuals with thyroid disturbance, liver cirrhosis or perhaps a dementia process are more inclined to become depressed.

                Sociologists have a tendency to emphasise the social reasons for depression. It’s no coincidence that women, people living in poverty, and individuals who’ve experienced discrimination are far more prone to experience depression. It is because depression and oppression are inextricably linked. There’s also obvious evidence possibly probably the most robust within the field that chronic adversity is deeply damaging to both body and also the psyche. This could become dangerously invisible when depression can be regarded as an easy condition.

                So many people are concerned the group of depression has been expanded to encompass too wide a range of human experiences, which this can be damaging. In 1950, depression was just believed to affect about 0.5% of the population. When antidepressants were developed, drug companies worried there wouldn’t be enough individuals to prescribe these to.

                Since that time, depression has been marketed relentlessly despite its fuzzy nature like a diagnostic category. It has formed how people view and therefore experience their internal worlds. Individuals have typically viewed the soul like a host to conflict, divided between productive and destructive urges, passion and reason, primal instincts and excessive control. But our inner worlds are actually monopolised by market values the concept that we are able to and will be able to excise problematic feelings for example sadness, to fashion a far more sellable Brand Me.

                IMG 2 TT
                The capacity to alter how we live our lives is only possible with adequate access to space for reflection such as via psychotherapy and material resources to afford choice. Photograph: Alamy

                To trouble the ideas that breed depression, it is vital to try to hear what a symptom is trying to communicate, to unfurl the onion layers around depression and uncover its message. From an evolutionary perspective, depression is frequently viewed as serving the part of forcing a time period of reflection. Many people don’t regret periods of depression, discovering it forced these to leave a problematic job or relationship, or re-evaluate how you can live meaningfully in rejection of ideas for example that we should always be digitally on and available.

                However, the ability to alter the way we live our way of life is just possible with sufficient use of space for reflection for example via psychiatric therapy and material sources to pay for choice. For this reason addressing structural inequalities and poverty are as vital an antidote to the present epidemic of depression because the prescription pad.

                If you’re feeling low, conversations are important, as depression loves to lock us along with our internal persecutors who aren’t though they’ll most likely let you know otherwise probably the most reliable government bodies in your worth. These conversations might be with clinicians, however, many individuals have also found a path from the forest of depression though connecting with activist groups, the local people, nature, creatures and non secular organisations. If situations are not too bad if you’re able to function OK, and also have some hope viewing your encounters as everyday sadness which will pass will help ensure you don’t begin to panic whenever your inner world throws up its periodic burps. Tagging all of our negative encounters as indications of potential mental illness can perform more damage than good.

                For individuals individuals who’re suprisingly low, however, I wish to say another thing. There are lots of us who’ve been at deaths door because of mental health issues but have discovered a means back. No one believed at that time that this may be possible. However bleak existence feels at this time, however hopeless, things can alter. Do not let depression trick you into believing anything different.

                If you suffer from from depression here are a few services that may help: find the local GP to gain access to medication, psychotherapies and social care support here. The gateway service for mental therapies within the United kingdom is really a plan known as Improving Use of Mental Therapies (IAPT). For information on the local service, click here.

                The Samaritans can be found 24 hrs each day. You don’t need to become suicidal to. Telephone 116 123 within the United kingdom or email jo@samaritans.org. Maytree is really a free, non-medicalised home at home to remain for a few days if suicidal. They may be arrived at on 0207 263 7070. In america, the nation’s Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. Around Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines far away can be found here.

                Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/05/have-i-got-depression-google