Stressed Out Decision-Making, Vaccines and CFS, and Other News of Note
Posted on Friday, November 21st, 2008
Stress Hinders Rats’ Decision-Making Abilities (Science Daily)
A little bit of stress goes a long way and can have far-reaching effects. Neuroscientists from the University of Washington have found that a single exposure to uncontrollable stress impairs decision making in rats for several days, making them unable to reliably seek out the larger of two rewards.
Lauren Jones, a UW psychology doctoral student, working with Jeansok Kim, a UW associate professor of psychology, found that stressed rats took significantly longer to respond to a change in rewards given to them in a maze and their performances never matched those of other rats not exposed to stress.
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems (Washington Post)
Bisphenol A, a controversial chemical used to harden plastic packaging for many foods and beverages, may affect human reproduction, researchers report.
Bisphenol A (BPA) could hurt the chances of successful in vitro fertilization, or the ability of embryos to attach to the uterus, according to presentations at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s annual meeting, which concluded Wednesday in San Francisco
A team of scientists have investigated a case of vaccine-associated chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and macrophagic myofasciitis in an individual demonstrating aluminium overload.
This is the first report linking aluminium overload with either of the two conditions and the possibility is considered that the coincident aluminium overload contributed significantly to the severity of these conditions in a patient.
Gulf War Syndrome Is Real, Says US Report (New Scientist)
A committee of scientists set up by the US Department of Veterans Affairs has reported that nearly a third of veterans of the Gulf war of 1990-1991 – some 200,000 people – continue to suffer from a Gulf war syndrome caused by exposure to organophosphate nerve gas, nerve gas remedies and insecticides.
“Gulf War illness is real,” the report concludes. “Few veterans have recovered.” Their last report in 2004 also concluded that GWS is not psychological but caused by organophosphates
What’s missing in all of the debates about health care reform for the United States is a holistic approach.
The reason the U.S. ranks so poorly is because our system focuses on disease mongering and sickness care, whereas the health care systems in most other countries rely heavier on prevention. As a result, the people in those countries live longer, healthier lives.
Whether or not to provide universal health care or health insurance to every American is not the question that needs to be answered. What we need to ask is how to give Americans more time to relax, exercise, cook healthy meals, and get enough sleep and healthy doses of sunshine.
Rather than subsidizing agribusiness that produces mostly junk food and permitting direct-to-consumer drug advertising, it would be far wiser to focus on providing Americans access to healthy foods, and opportunity to exercise and rest.