To My Son With Down Syndrome on Your Last Week of Elementary School

Dear Alex,

Here it is: The week I’ve been anticipating since the first day of school. Tomorrow, you begin your very last week of elementary school. Wow. How quickly it arrived, and what a journey it’s been.

When you started kindergarten six years ago, it was a new experience for both of us. You were excited, probably because it meant a bus ride to and from school and daily access to the school playground. I was optimistic you would be a rock star, and you would have an awesome time in elementary school. What I didn’t realize was how much noise I would have to make at school in order for you to have the experience your dad and I envisioned for you. (You were and always will be a total rock star. No worries there.)

Al, your mom doesn’t like confrontations. While I may have been blessed with a passion for writing, speaking up just isn’t my thing. Before you even started kindergarten, I began to realize I would just have to get over my reluctance to do that — and fast.

Our society tends to operate with a “but we’ve always done it this way” philosophy, and when someone shows up to change that, it’s not always well received. That explains my last six years in a nutshell. You weren’t invited to kindergarten orientation, you weren’t assigned a “job” in your kindergarten class and you didn’t even have lunch with your kindergarten classmates. It seems the two words that were repeated throughout all the paperwork — Down syndrome — preceded you to school and defined your path before you even stepped foot into a classroom. It wasn’t done intentionally to leave you out; this is just how it worked back then.

I was flabbergasted. I had heard stories about children with disabilities not being included and parents who spent a fortune on special needs attorneys so their children would have the same opportunities. I blew it all off. We’re in an excellent school district, and I refused to believe we would have to make a fuss just so you could have a turn being a “line leader” in your kindergarten class. Yet, there we were. I have always been your advocate, Alex, but it was then that I knew I was going to have to turn up my efforts to make sure we were heard.

We started asking for meetings, and I began challenging the standards. And with just a few days left in school, I still haven’t let up. It’s not always received well, and quite often we get the impression our inquiries aren’t appreciated and are taken personally. But we forged on. If hoop jumping were an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold-medal contender! We made a lot of progress. You went from a kindergartner who only joined your peers for a short time each day to a fifth grader who spends most of your day with your peers (as it should be).

It hasn’t always been perfect, Alex. There have been many, many bumps along the way. But the beauty of this whole situation is that you love school. You have wonderful friends, and you like your teachers. You have no idea how much of a pain in the butt I’ve been to the school district. You don’t know how often I’ve banged my head on my desk (sometimes literally!) and cried in frustration after reading your assignments that weren’t properly modified.

You have no idea how often I’ve felt discouraged, how I’ve doubted my advocacy efforts or how I just felt like giving up on some days. But I won’t give up — not ever — because of the other things you haven’t yet realized. Although you’re learning a ton from your peers just by being in class with them, they’re also learning from you. You have yet to discover you’re teaching people that it’s OK to be different. You’re unknowingly showing everyone that if we stop to see the ability in all people, great things can happen across the board. Together, we’re proving that inclusion matters.

There’s still a lot of work ahead of us, buddy. It will continue to be a challenge for me to speak up to ensure you get the education to which you are entitled. Your dad and I will do it, though. We will continue to work hard behind the scenes to make sure you’re seen as Alex and not as a label. You deserve better than that, and I’ll continue to demand it.

So as you walk the halls on Friday for the fifth grade “clap out,” I’ll beam with joy and probably fight back some tears, but I won’t be sad you’re leaving that building. I’m proud of the work we’ve done there, but it’s time to look ahead to the next milestone. We’ll certainly celebrate your accomplishments of the last six years, but I’ve already turned my attention to the adventure that is middle school.

Congratulations, Alex. You’re absolutely a rock star, and I couldn’t be prouder. Cheers to you!

Love, Mom

Low Carb Talibans-best weight loss program

For me personally, this entails intermittent fasting and a cyclic approach of higher/lower carbs, plenty of protein and low/moderate fat. My main focus lies on high quality foods, with nutritious and satiating properties, and not discrimination towards a particular macronutrient.

I don’t believe there is any magic to be had when one is excluding fat or carbs from their diet. Both have their place. However, there are people that subscribe to a completely different set of opinions.

After watching the documentary Religulous
(melding of “religion” and “ridiculous) yesterday, it dawned upon me how much some religious fundamentalists have in common with certain nutritional fundamentalists. In recent years, I have seen the rise of one group in particular. I prefer to call them the low carb talibans.

When I am using the term ‘fundamentalist’ here, I am using it to characterize religious advocates that cling to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies reasoned argument or contradictory evidence – I am not talking about religious people in general, and I don’t have anything against them.

1. Religious fundamentalists believe in supernatural beings. Low carb talibans believe you can get fat without a positive energy balance, if you eat carbs.

Similar to the anti-fat proponents 15-20 years ago, we now have one group of people blaming one particular macronutrient as the sole reason for why people are getting fatter.

2. Religious fundamentalists base their beliefs on faith, not empirical evidence. Low carb talibans believe that dietary fat is unimportant for the development of obesity; the most jaded lot believe that you can eat an unlimited amount of fat, without weight gain, as long as carbs are excluded from the diet.

The ‘rationale’ behind this claim, is that the body can’t store fat without insulin (it can). Carbs equals insulin, and that means ditching carbs must mean no fat storage (wrong). They conveniently ignore that

a) eating protein produce insulin
b) fat stores itself with tremendous efficiency without insulin, due to a nifty little thing called acylation-stimulating protein (ASP).

3. Religious fundamentalists believe that forces of evil hide amongst us, trying to lead us into temptation and wrongdoing. Low carb talibans belive that carbs and insulin are to blame for obesity.

We live in an obesogenic environment; we lead sedentary lives and we are surrounded by easily obtainable foods with high energy density. High carb, high fat foods which taste great, and are extremely easy to overconsume. That people gain weight in such a setting is no great mystery, yet the low carbs talibans likes to make it out to be. It is the carbs specifically that made you fat, not that peanut butter jar you went through watching tv last night. Yes, that seems to make sense.

4. Religious fundamentalists believe there is only one way, and all other faiths are heretic. Low carb talibans tries to push their beliefs on others and will seldom accept alternative views.

More than one time, I have seen the talibans make the most ludicrous claims about their approach, often not accepting the fact that some people actually function better on a higher carb approach, and that people involved in anaerobic sports actually need them to perform better.

5. Religious fundamentalists do not accept current ideas of the creation of earth or human evolution, rather they make up their own stories of how we came to be here. Low carb talibans make up their theories regarding human metabolism.

Here’s a quick primer on how it works.

Dietary fat is stored easily as body fat without the presence of carbs or insulin.

Fat metabolism increase when fat intake is increased, but it is primarly dietary fats that are burned off, not fat stored in adipose tissue. For the latter to occur, energy balance needs to be negative. Energy can’t just disappear and an excess is stored*

When carbs are consumed, metabolism switches to glucose dependence; that is, while carbs do not get converted to fat**, they do inhibit fat metabolism to a point where dietary fats are more readily stored.

One can say that overconsuming dietary fat leads to fat storage through a direct mechanism, while overconsuming carbs leads to fat storage through an indirect mechanism, through blunting of fat metabolism/lipolysis. Either way you cut it, the key point is that energy balance is the main determinant for fat storage, or fat loss.

* carbs can only be converted to fat by a process called de novo lipogenesis (DNL). This metabolic pathway is very ineffective in humans and in studies it only comes into play during massive carbohydrate overfeeding. How come people still got fat from eating all those low fat foods back when low fat was the craze? Well, the body has the ability to upregulate key enzymes involved in the DNL pathway, making carb to fat conversion more efficient. And this occurs on high carb/low fat diets. So, there is no tricking the body from gaining weight during caloric excess by excluding fat or carbs from the diet.

** metabolism does increase a bit when energy consumption is increased; just a few percentages, nothing drastic (called ‘luxusconsumption’ or adaptve thermogenesis by some scientists). Ironically, this effect is greatest when the extra energy is provided from carbs, not fat.

Why low carb really works

I have extensive experience with all forms of low carb/ketogenic diets. I’ve done them all, the traditional standard ketogenic diet, the cyclical and the targeted ketogenic diet. I’ve come to the following conclusions:

1. There is a mild hunger blunting effect on ketogenic diets, which may help intially. This has to be weighed against the deprived feeling you get from not consuming carbs and the decrease in performance during weight training. This can be partially amended by doing a cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) or a targeted ketogenic diet (TKD), where you either carb load through the weekend or consume carbs in conjunction with workouts.

2. Making the diet highly restrictive, in terms of completely cutting out one macronutrient, may help with adherance. It certainly takes away the hedonic aspect of eating.

Studies actually show that diets which allow ad libitum intake of protein and fat, usually leads to a spontaenous reduction of calorie intake. Cutting out carbs from the equation may be a sound approach for the average joe, who’s idea of carbs are in the form of cereal and white bread. IME, you’re less likely to binge on egg omelettes and ham, as opposed to chicken and pasta.

3. When people start eating low carb and lose weight, it is partially because they start eating more protein than on their past (failed) diet approaches. Protein leads to better satiety than any other macronutrient. There’s also the issue of being forced to make sound food choices overall, such as increasing veggie intake to make up most of your carb intake in order to stay below the threshold (max 50 g carbs/day usually).

4. And of course, there is also the insulin sensitivity/resistance factor to consider. Some people do in fact feel better on ketogenic/low carb diets, for physiological, not behavioral, reasons. No energy dips, hunger pangs and so forth. ***

*** However, as I see it, people have a tendency to draw the conclusion that they need to follow a low carb approach without having visited the middle road. I’ve had some clients that were convinced they could only do well on low carbs – and it turned out they did just as well, if not better, when I incorporated veggies, fruit and berries as their main carb source. The middle road, with a minimum of refined carbs, is very workable for most people that label themselves as ‘insulin resistant’.

Anyway, rant over.

8 Things To Remember When Everything Is Going Wrong-Life Insurance Program

Marc and Angel are two passionate writers, life-hackers, and the authors of 1000 Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently. Here’s their list of 8 things to remember when everything goes wrong.

If you enjoy this, be sure to check out their website for more inspirational advice and practical tips to improve your life.

“Today, I’m sitting in my hospital bed waiting to have both my breasts removed. But in a strange way I feel like the lucky one. Up until now I have had no health problems. I’m a 69-year-old woman in the last room at the end of the hall before the pediatric division of the hospital begins. Over the past few hours I have watched dozens of cancer patients being wheeled by in wheelchairs and rolling beds. None of these patients could be a day older than 17.”

That’s an entry from my grandmother’s journal, dated 9/16/1977. I photocopied it and pinned it to my bulletin board about a decade ago. It’s still there today, and it continues to remind me that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. And that no matter how good or bad I have it, I must wake up each day thankful for my life, because someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.

Here are a few reminders to help motivate you when you need it most:

#1. Pain is part of growing. Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward. And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to. When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there. Good things take time. Stay patient and stay positive. Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

Samantha Sais /The New York Times / Redux Pictures

#2. Everything in life is temporary. Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you get hurt, you heal. After darkness there is always light – you are reminded of this every morning, but still you often forget, and instead choose to believe that the night will last forever. It won’t. Nothing lasts forever.

So if things are good right now, enjoy it. It won’t last forever. If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either. Just because life isn’t easy at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh. Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile. Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending. You get a second chance, every second. You just have to take it and make the best of it. (Read The Last Lecture.)

Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

#3. Worrying and complaining changes nothing. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least. It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed. It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it. If you believe in something, keep trying. Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future. Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter. Take action instead. Let what you’ve learned improve how you live. Make a change and never look back.

And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true happiness begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.

#4. Your scars are symbols of your strength. Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with. A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward. A scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of. Don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage. Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear. You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them. You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain.

Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most powerful characters in this great world are seared with scars. See your scars as a sign of “YES! I MADE IT! I survived and I have my scars to prove it! And now I have a chance to grow even stronger.”

Christine Guinness

#5. Every little struggle is a step forward.

In life, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams, knowing that the work is worth it. So if you’re going to try, put in the time and go all the way. Otherwise, there’s no point in starting. This could mean losing stability and comfort for a while, and maybe even your mind on occasion. It could mean not eating what, or sleeping where, you’re used to, for weeks on end. It could mean stretching your comfort zone so thin it gives you a nonstop case of the chills. It could mean sacrificing relationships and all that’s familiar. It could mean accepting ridicule from your peers. It could mean lots of time alone in solitude. Solitude, though, is the gift that makes great things possible. It gives you the space you need. Everything else is a test of your determination, of how much you really want it.

And if you want it, you’ll do it, despite failure and rejection and the odds. And every step will feel better than anything else you can imagine. You will realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path. And it’s worth it. So if you’re going to try, go all the way. There’s no better feeling in the world… there’s no better feeling than knowing what it means to be ALIVE. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

Francois Xavier Maritt/AFP/Getty Images

#6. Other people’s negativity is not your problem. Be positive when negativity surrounds you. Smile when others try to bring you down. It’s an easy way to maintain your enthusiasm and focus. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are. You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you. They do things because of them.

Above all, don’t ever change just to impress someone who says you’re not good enough. Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future. People are going to talk regardless of what you do or how well you do it. So worry about yourself before you worry about what others think. If you believe strongly in something, don’t be afraid to fight for it. Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible.

All jokes aside, your life only comes around once. This is IT. So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile, often.

Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images

#7. What’s meant to be will eventually, BE. True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead. There are blessings hidden in every struggle you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them. You can’t force things to happen. You can only drive yourself crazy trying. At some point you have to let go and let what’s meant to be, BE.

In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience. It’s a long-term journey. You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way. Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be. (Read A New Earth.)

Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

#8. The best thing you can do is to keep going. Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.

Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. Don’t stress over things you can’t change. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. And even if you fall short, keep going. Keep growing.

Awake every morning and do your best to follow this daily TO-DO list:

Think positively. Eat healthy. Exercise today. Worry less. Work hard. Laugh often. Sleep well. Repeat…

Brenda McCarthy

“Everything is temporary, this too shall pass” is a phrase that always comes to my mind whenever things are not going well. All of these are excellent reminders. If you enjoyed this Marc and Angel’s tips, share them with your friends and family.

Source: Marc And Angel

20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person With Dyslexia


It’s hard to understand it, isn’t it?

If you’re not one of the ten to fifteen percent of the population with dyslexia, it’s really hard to understand what it’s like.

It’s easy to think that it’s a bit of a scam. That if people with dyslexia worked harder, and really applied themselves, they could “get over it.” But that’s not the case.

Life is actually much more difficult for people with dyslexia. They have brilliant minds, but they’re hard to focus.

Dyslexia is a gift—the gift of being able to see things from lots of different points of view, all at once. But the gift comes with a curse, and the curse is that it’s hard to prioritize, or make sense of, all those perspectives.

People with dyslexia can be hard to live with, and hard to love, because their brains work so differently to ours. Even if you love someone with dyslexia, the day-to-day living with it can drive you insane. Because they can forget things, believe they’ve said or done things they haven’t, be incredibly messy and disorganized, and be less socially aware than other people.

The best thing you can do is to understand more about dyslexia, so you’re less exasperated and more sympathetic.

This is an insight into how their minds work.

1. They have lifestyle challenges.

Dyslexia is much more than just having difficulty reading, writing, and using numbers. They see the world in a completely different way, communicate differently, and have trouble organizing things.

Some people describe it as a lifestyle challenge, others as a lifestyle curse, because it affects almost all aspects of their lives.

2. They can seem weird.

Despite their high intelligence, and because they see so many different perspectives at once, they can appear incoherent in conversation. They can come out with strange ideas, and lack the ability to check if their thoughts are suitable for conversation. They can seem almost autistic because they’re often unaware of social rules.

3. They find details exhausting.

Because their brain is less efficient at processing letters and sounds, it has to work harder—much harder. So any time spent reading, using numbers, or focusing on details is really, really exhausting.

4. They function differently on different days.

Some days they seem to function better than others, and can appear to be improving. Other days, it’s like everything is getting worse. There’s no reason, and no pattern. It just is.

5. They are highly creative.

Their ability to view the world from all perspectives makes them highly creative. They can come up with wildly creative ideas, partly because they’re not constrained by the laws of physics, mathematical logic, or the impossible.

6. They see things that others don’t.

Like words moving on the page, or even off the page, and letters flipping about. You know how challenging it can be to read letters and numbers incaptcha? Imagine reading a whole book like that. Or reading a book through a magnifying lens that a child is holding, and moving about.

They can even see the word cat more than 40 different ways.

7. They get overwhelmed by what they see.

They see so many possibilities that their thoughts can become garbled and distorted. It’s hard to sort through all that information and work out what’s important or appropriate. Without the ability to filter, this special gift becomes a tragic, confusing, disability.

8. They are more likely to have ADD.

People with dyslexia are more likely to have ADD. About 40% of people with dyslexia have ADD, and 60% of people with ADD have dyslexia.

9. They can experience thoughts as reality.

They can fully believe they’ve told you something, that they haven’t, or swear that you haven’t told them something that you have.

Often they express themselves in such a unique way that their message hasn’t come across coherently. And they may not realize that this aspect of their communication is part of their dyslexia.

10. They may not know they have dyslexia.

According to the Mayo Clinic, dyslexia can go undiagnosed for years, and may not be recognized until adulthood. This is one reason why it’s hard to calculate the number of people with dyslexia. And, unfortunately, people with undiagnosed dyslexia often label themselves as stupid or slow.

11. They think in pictures instead of words.

Not surprisingly, they tend to be highly visual, think in pictures, and utilize visual aids to help them plan and organize their lives. Rather than using self-talk, their thought processes are more subliminal. Most people with dyslexia are not even aware that they do this.

12. They will always have dyslexia.

They can learn to read and spell, but they will always have dyslexia. To make life easier, a font and a dictionary specifically for people with dyslexia are on the way.

The font is designed to avoid confusion, and add clarity, while the dictionary will favor meaning over alphabetical order.

13. They use their brain differently.

People with dyslexia don’t use their brain the same way that most of us do. Their brain underutilizes the left hemisphere—the area required for reading—and the bridge of tissue between the two sides of the brain (the corpus callosum) doesn’t function in the same way. So, their brain doesn’t always direct information to the correct place for processing.

14. They get it from their family.

Dyslexia is inherited, and most people with dyslexia have an aunt or uncle, or a parent or grandparent with dyslexia. Scientists have discovered that the DCD2 appears to be a dyslexia gene.

15. They often have low self-esteem.

People with dyslexia are just as intelligent as the rest of us. And they’re fully aware that other people can read and write much more easily than they can. So they feel stupid compared to other people.

As Albert Einstein said:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life thinking it’s stupid.”

16. They have different symptoms.

Dyslexia is a tricky thing, because no two people have the exact same symptoms. Some lose things, or have poor organization skills. Some are slow at reading or have poor comprehension. Some may have difficulty organizing ideas to write, or have difficulty processing auditory information. Some also have difficulty sequencing the days of the week, or months of the year.

17. They are full of contradictions.

They may be highly aware of their environment, but appear lost. They may recognize, or read, a word on one page but be unable to recognize it on the next. Their brains are often very fast, but they appear slow, because they’re filtering through all the possibilities that they see.

18. They have great strengths.

People with dyslexia are often very good at reading people, and have great people skills. They usually have fantastic memories, and rely on them. They’re often good at spoken language, and frequently spatially talented (think architects, engineers, artist and craftspeople). They are highly intelligent, and intuitive, with vivid imaginations.

19. They can be incredibly successful.

People with dyslexia can be incredibly successful, often because of their dyslexia.

Famous people with dyslexia include entertainers like Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, Henry Winkler, Danny Glover and Cher. As well as artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Tommy Hilfiger, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.

Carole Grieder and Baruj Benacerraf utilized their dyslexia to become Nobel prize-winning scientists. People with dyslexia also go on to be writers and journalists like Scott Adams (of Dilbert), Agatha Christie, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Fannie Flagg (the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café).

20. They can change the world.

People with dyslexia can, and have changed the world. People like George Washington, Richard Branson, Henry Ford and Stephen Spielberg have changed, and continue to change, the world we live in.

People with dyslexia are kind, creative, highly intelligent beings who are just as frustrated at their inabilities as you are. They just can’t take a break from the way their minds work.

Instead they rely on the people that love them to help them interpret the world, and to help them function in a world that’s not adjusted to their needs.

Yes, they can be frustrating to love at times, but they have incredible, unique, world-changing gifts.



20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADHD


It’s a fact; a person with ADD is hard to love. You never know what to say. It’s like walking through a minefield. You tiptoe around; unsure which step (or word) will be the one that sets off an explosion of emotion. It’s something you try to avoid.

People who have ADD/ADHD are suffering. Life is more difficult for them than the average person. Everything is intense and magnified. Their brilliant minds are constantly in gear creating, designing, thinking and never resting. Imagine what it would feel like to have a merry-go-round in your mind that never stops spinning.

From emotional outbursts to polar opposite extremes; ADD presents several behaviors that can be harmful to relationships. ADD is a mysterious condition of opposites and extremes. For instance, when it comes to concentration, people with ADD cannot concentrate when they are emotional or when their thoughts are distracted. However, when they are interested in a specific topic, they zone in so deep that it’s hard to pull them out of that zone. Starting a project is a challenge; but stopping it is an even bigger challenge.

True love is unconditional, but ADD presents situations that test your limits of love. Whether it’s your child, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or soon-to-be spouse, ADD tests every relationship. The best way to bring peace into both your lives is to learn a new mindset to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that ADD brings all-day-every-day.

Understanding what a person with ADD feels like will help you become more patient, tolerant, compassionate, and loving. Your relationships will become more enjoyable and peaceful. This is what goes on in the mind of a person with ADD/ADHD:

1. They have an active mind

The ADD brain doesn’t stop. There’s no on/off switch. There are no brakes that bring it to a halt. It is a burden that one must learn to manage.

2. They listen but don’t absorb what is being said

A person with ADD will look at you, hear your words, watch your lips move, but after the first five words their mind is on a journey. They can still hear you speak, but their thoughts are in outer space. They are thinking about how your lips are moving or how your hair is out of place.

3. They have difficulty staying on task

Instead of keeping the focus on what’s in front of them, people with ADD are staring at the colors in the painting on the wall. Like walking through a labyrinth, they start moving in one direction, but keep changing directions to find the way out.

4. They become anxious easily

As deep thinkers, they are sensitive to whatever is going on around them. Being in a noisy restaurant can sound like you are standing in the front row at a Metallica concert. A depressing news snippet can set them into end-of-the-world mode.

5. They can’t concentrate when they are emotional

If there is something worrisome going on, or if they are upset, a person with ADD cannot think of anything else. This makes concentration on work, conversation, and social situations almost impossible.

6. They concentrate too intensely

When the doors of their mind open, the person with ADD dives in like a scuba diver jumping into the deep ocean.

7. They have difficulty stopping a task when they are in the zone

And under the deep ocean is where they stay for hours. Even when their oxygen is running low, if they are enjoying the view, they won’t come up for air until they’re almost out of oxygen.

8. They are unable to regulate their emotions

For a person with ADD, their emotions are flying wild, out of proportion and cannot be contained. The tangled wires in their brilliant brains make thought and feelings difficult to process. They need extra time to get their systems up and running properly.

9. They have verbal outbursts

Their intense emotions are hard to regulate. Since they impulsively say whatever they think, they often say things they later regret. It’s almost impossible for them to edit their words before they release them.

10. They have social anxiety

Feeling uncomfortable knowing that they are different, people with ADD are often uncomfortable in social situations. They are afraid they will say something foolish or react inappropriately. Holding back feels safer.

11. They are deeply intuitive

For people with ADD, the surface is an invisible exterior that they penetrate. They see beyond it. This is the most enjoyable aspect of ADD. This inspirational trait is what makes creative geniuses. Inventors, artists, musicians, and writers thrive in this zone.

12. They think out of the box

Another wonderful aspect of ADD is that because they think differently, their abstract minds see solutions to problems that the concrete thinker cannot see.

13. They are impatient and fidgety

Annoyed easily, wanting things to happen immediately, and constantly playing with their phones, twirling their hair, or bouncing their leg up and down; a person with ADD needs constant motion. It’s a calming Zen activity for them.

14. They are physically sensitive

Pencils feel heavy in their hand. Fibers in fabric that most people wouldn’t feel can be itchy. Beds are bumpy. Food has textures you can’t imagine. Like The Princess and the Pea, they can feel a pea under twenty mattresses.

15. They are disorganized

Piles are their favorite method of organizing. Once a task is complete, papers related to it are placed in a pile, where they stay until the piles grow too high. That’s when the person with ADD becomes overwhelmed, frustrated, and cleans up. People with ADD have to be careful to not become hoarders. It’s hard for a person with ADD to keep things in order because their brain doesn’t function in an orderly manner.

16. They need space to pace

When talking on the phone or having a conversation, people with ADD think better when they are in motion. Movement is calming and brings clarity to their thoughts.

17. They avoid tasks

Making decisions or completing tasks on time is a struggle. Not because they are lazy or irresponsible, but because their minds are full of options and possibilities. Choosing one can be problematic. It’s easy to avoid making decisions because they are over-thinkers. They obsess and dwell in the depths of their own minds.

18. They can’t remember simple tasks

Another paradoxical trait of ADD is memory. People with ADD can’t remember to pick up their clothes at the cleaners, milk at the grocery store, or appointments. On the other hand; they remember every comment, quote, and phone number they heard during the day. No matter how many post-its or calendar reminders they set; their distracted mind is always elsewhere. Visible items are easier to remember. That’s why they have fifteen windows open on their desktop.

19. They have many tasks going on at the same time

Due to the constant activity in their mind, once a task is finished, they are ready to move on to the next task without closing up the prior task. The more going on at once, the better. Multi-tasking is one of their favorite activites.

20. They are passionate about everything they do

The emotions, thoughts, words, and touch of a person with ADD is powerful. Everything is magnified. This is a blessing when channeled properly. When a person with ADD does something, they do it with their heart and soul. They give it all they’ve got. They are intense, perceptive, and deep. This quality is what makes the person with ADD so lovable.

Basically, a person with ADD/ADHD has trouble controlling their impulses. They also have many awesome qualities that you will enjoy once you understand how they think and feel. Compassion, empathy and patience will carry you through the most difficult times. It’s important to take extra care of yourself; take alone time regularly, do what you enjoy, find a support group, a therapist or a compassionate wise friend, take frequent vacations, meditate, find hobbies and your own passion. Most of all, learn how to breathe.

Some of the greatest inventors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and writers had ADD/ADHD. They succeeded because they had a loved one just like you supporting them through their daily struggles. Replace your anger with compassion. Realize how they struggle to do what comes easy to you. Think of the ADD brain, as one with electrical wiring in the wrong circuits. Next time you think that they are lazy, irresponsible, disorganized, and avoiding responsibilities; try to remember how hard they have to work extra hard to achieve a simple task.

Yes, ADD/ADHD people are hard to love, but once you understand the burden they are carrying, your heart will open up. Love and compassion will take the place of anger. You will see into their sweet and good soul.

New Research Says Smoking Marijuana Causes Complete Crohn’s Disease Remission In 45% of Patients


In the United States, according to the Controlled Substance Act:

“[W]hen it comes to a drug that is currently listed in schedule I, if it is undisputed that such drug has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and it is further undisputed that the drug has at least some potential for abuse sufficient to warrant control under the CSA, the drug must remain in schedule I.”

As it happens, marijuana is a Schedule I drug. The government says it has a potential for abuse, which it doesn’t, and that it has no accepted medicinal use, which it clearly does. According to a new study, cannabis has the capability to cause Crohn’s Disease to enter remission in 45% of patients.

The study examined 21 people with Crohn’s Disease. Half were given cigarettes without cannabinoids and the other half were given joints to smoke. The joints contained 23% THC and .5% CBD. 45% of the people given joints every day for eight weeks experienced complete remission of their Chron’s disease.

The remainder reported that symptoms were approximately half as severe. They were able to eat and sleep without so much pain.

“Subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects,”reports the study.

This is the first time a placebo-controlled trial has been conducted on cannabis and Crohn’s Disease. With any luck, more will follow.

Just one more ailment cannabis may cure.


Sickle cell disease once meant a short and painful life, but now there’s growing hope

New research and better and more aggressive treatment have begun to change sickle cell disease from an inherited condition that often condemned children to painful and short lives into a condition that can be managed with less pain and has a better life expectancy.

“I don’t like to use the word ‘breakthrough.’ We are making progress,” said David Nathan, a hematologist and president emeritus of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, who has been studying sickle cell disease for more than 50 years. “You can get leaps, but most of the time it’s dog’s work. It is a combination of basic science and clinical investigators who are persistent.”

Sickle cell disease is one of the most common inherited blood disorders, mostly found in people of African, Hispanic, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern descent and affecting about 100,000 Americans. For the disease to emerge, it must be passed down by both parents. The syndrome causes normal, oval-shaped red blood cells to lose oxygen and collapse into sickle shapes. These mutated cells do not flow smoothly and can get lodged in veins, causingexcruciating pain, anemia, severe fatigue, respiratory distress and eventually organ failure and early death.

A 1973 study put the average life expectancy after diagnosis, which usually occurred in childhood, at around 14 years. But researchers say that today many people with the disease can live far longer due to early treatment with antibiotics, better pain management and especially the use of hydroxyurea.

The Food and Drug Administration approved using the drug in 1998 to help reduce the number of pain crises experienced by adult sickle cell patients. While scientists do not know exactly how it works, hydroxyurea boosts the body’s production of fetal hemoglobin. Studies have found that higher levels of that blood component are associated with milder forms of sickle cell disease. Fetal hemoglobin continues to be produced well into the first year of a baby’s life and then switches to adult hemoglobin in most cases. Hemoglobin helps the blood transport oxygen.

Hydroxyurea has not been a cure-all. “It works in half the patients,” Nathan said. “If you give the drug aggressively, it could help 70 percent [of sickle cell patients]. It has been useful; it has been good, but it’s not good enough. It prevents the crisis of pain and acute chest syndrome, which is marked by the inflammation of lungs.”

Living with the disease

Carlton Haywood, 37, who was given a sickle cell diagnosis at age 3, knows the benefits and the shortcomings of hydroxyurea. He has taken it since he was a freshman at the University of Virginia. From about 1995 to 2000, Haywood was hospitalized only once. Before that, one of his main memories from high school is “being in and out of hospital,” he said. In college, “I was able to manage my pain crises in my dorm room. I attribute that to my responses to hydroxyurea.”

He continues to take the drug, even though it is no longer as effective, but he has added a cocktail of daily pain medication and drugs to counter an iron overload caused by monthly blood transfusions. (Transfusions of healthy red blood cells help prevent anemia in patients with sickle cell disease.)

Each day, he said, is a struggle.

Haywood, a bioethicist at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, has to carefully consider how much pain medication to take. If he takes too much, the drugs can make him feel dopey and less sharp. He monitors his exertions and his activity levels. Stress and too much exertion can trigger his pain crises.

“Whenever I feel a crisis coming on, I increase my fluids,” he said. “I cut back on physical activity. I try to rest more, I stay in my room and I don’t walk around campus. If I take [certain] pain medication, I can’t do my work. It hits me really hard and keeps me from concentrating or retaining something.”

The disease has taken a toll on parts of his body: When sickle cells clog up, causing a pain crisis, oxygen is cut off from organs and joints. Over time these begin to die. Haywood had to have his right hip replaced in 2001, and he expects to face more difficulties, possibly including replacement of his ailing left hip.

The disease is unpredictable. While Haywood has suffered his entire life, Joi and Journi Parker, 7-year-old twins from Temple Hills, Md., have rarely been hospitalized or experienced a pain crisis since they received their diagnoses three months after they were born.

Doctors don’t know why the girls are doing so well. “We’ve had them tested four times,” said their father, Jimmie Parker. “They do have sickle cell disease, but maybe they have more fetal hemoglobin than others.”

The girls’ disease was diagnosed during routine infant testing. Their parents did not know they were carriers. After the diagnosis, the girls were given antibiotics twice a day for five years to prevent infections. After they were born, their mother, Janice Parker, quit her job as a legal secretary to stay on top of their condition. (The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that “both children and adults who have sickle cell anemia may get infections easily and have a hard time fighting them. This is because sickle cell anemia can damage the spleen, an organ that helps fight infections.”)

Careful monitoring

Their pediatrician continually monitors the girls with ultrasounds for any signs of stroke, a potentially devastating complication of sickle cell disease. Parents have brought limp or drooling children to the hospital, not realizing they have had strokes, said Emily Meier, the director of the sickle cell disease program at Children’s National Medical Center. “They’ve had silent strokes with no physical signs [before they become limp],” Meier said. “We do a MRI and see changes in the brain.”

Ultrasounds have not picked up any changes in the Parker girls.

They get a yearly flu shot and are kept up-to-date with childhood vaccines. They drink fluids constantly to avoid dehydration. And the Parker home is a temple of cleanliness, with bottles of hand sanitizer in every room. At any sign of pain, the girls take ibuprofen, and with any sniffle they are kept home from school.

“They’re not any smaller than kids their age,” their father said. “They are healthy eaters. They are not any more tired than other kids.”

As they look for a cure, scientists are focusing on fetal hemoglobin.

“It is the best treatment for sickle cell,” Nathan said. “We have patients [with] 70 percent adult hemoglobin and 30 percent fetal, and they are fine. If we can raise fetal hemoglobin to 30 percent [in all sickle cell patients], we can cure this disease.”

In 2011 doctors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis studied the use of hydroxyurea in 193 young sickle cell patients to increase their production of fetal hemoglobin. About half of the babies, 9 to 18 months old, were given the drug and half were given a placebo.

“Hydroxyurea was given to young children to prevent organ dysfunction,” said one of the researchers, St. Jude hematologist Winfred Wang. “Sickle cell affects every organ in the body, especially the spleen and kidney in young children. Those [organs] did not show improvement in the study, but what became apparent were the clinical benefits. Patients on hydroxyurea had many fewer pain events, swelling of hands and feet, episodes of acute chest syndrome and hospital stays.”

Long-terms results are promising. “Kids on hydroxyurea have better immune systems,” said hematologist Patricia Oneal, co-director of the Center for Sickle Cell Disease at Howard University. “They can fight off infection, but it is going to take another decade for us to see what the actual life span is going to be [for children on this drug].”

Beyond finding a drug that boosts the body’s ability to make fetal hemoglobin, researchers are looking at correcting genetic coding, replacing bone marrow and reducing the inflammation that happens when sickle cells cause obstructions.

“Scientists are looking at biology to get at the root of the problem,” said Stuart Orkin, chairman of pediatric oncology at Dana-Farber.

Bone marrow treatments

There is a cure for sickle cell — in some cases — but it is risky and can require a lifetime of continued medicine. That cure is a bone marrow transplant.

Only about 500 such transplants have been done around the country, 40 of them at the National Institutes of Health, and all but a few involving children. Children’s National Medical Center will perform 12 to 15 this year, according to Meier.

“But there are risks,” she said. “We can have graft-versus-host disease with new bone marrow. Sickle cell patients have a higher risk of complicating stroke, seizures early in transplant, and they are always at high risk for bleedings, infection. Transplants are not an easy cure.”

Finding a perfect match for a transplant is not easy, even among family members, because of genetic differences. “The transplant worked 95 percent of the time in kids who have a perfect match,” said John Tisdale, a senior investigator with the Molecular Clinical and Hematology Branch of the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, “but a matched sibling is found only about 10 percent of the time. That’s our experience.”

To work around this, Tisdale is experimenting on mice with sickle cell disease, transplanting them with donor stem cells that are genetically only half a match. Recently he has begun to try it in humans. “We have transplanted 11 adults with half a match,” Tisdale said. A similar human trial at Hopkins has shownpromising results.

Gene therapy

But what has Tisdale and other researchers more excited than stem cell transplants is gene therapy. Using mice, Stuart Orkin at Dana-Farber is experimenting with turning off the mechanism in hemoglobin that changes it from fetal to adult. When the mechanism, BCL11A, is switched off, “85 percent of the red blood cells in the mice carried fetal hemoglobin and, on average, 30 percent of the hemoglobin contained within these cells was of the fetal type,” according to a hospital press release.

Eric Kmiec, chairman of the chemistry department at Delaware State University, describes sickle cell disease as being like a misspelled word that scientists are learning how to correct. “A mutation is a misspelling,” he said. “We are trying to use technology as a spell checker to physically reverse the misspelling of a human chromosome.”

Meanwhile, Nathan and Joel Linden, a researcher at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in California, are testing a short-acting anti-
inflammatory drug, Lexiscan, that seems to inhibit the production of white blood cells that are released by the body when sickle cells begin to jam up in blood vessels.

These additional white blood cells further gum up the blood flow. In tests, the drug seemed to reduce pain crisis in sickle cells, the two scientists said.“Maybe I can inhibit that inflammation response, reduce organ damage and shorten episodes of pain,” Nathan said.

Yutaka Niihara, a hematologist at UCLA and head of the biopharmaceutical company Emmaus Medical, believes that a type of amino acid, L-glutamine, can reverse the oxidation process that causes the sickling. After receiving oral doses of the amino acid, the patients had fewer pain crises and reported more energy, Niihara said.

As scientists move these medications and procedures out of the lab into human tests, they need sickle cell patients willing to sign up for trials. “Research is on the cusp of really nailing this disease,” said Shanta Robertson, executive director of the Maryland Sickle Cell Disease Association, whose two sons, ages 14 and 15, have the disease. “But we have a lot of work to do in terms of awareness.”



Functional Cure For HIV Additional Trials Underway After Successful Cure Of Patient-Best Life Insurance Program

Barcelona – In what could be among the most sensational discoveries in modern day medicine, Doctors in Barcelona, Spain announced that believe they have found a massive breakthrough that could lead to a possible cure to HIV – {the AIDS-causing virus that affects the lives of more than 34 million people worldwide, according to WHO.}

Timothy Brown was the first patient to ever be cured of HIV after a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia received. He is known as the ‘Berlin patient’.

By using blood transplants from the umbilical cords of individuals with a genetic resistance to HIV, Spanish medical professionals believe they can treat the virus, having proven the procedure successful with one patient.

Now, a 37-year-old man from Barcelona, who had been infected with the HIV virus in 2009, was cured of the condition after receiving a transplant of blood.

While unfortunately the man later died from cancer just three years later, having developed lymphoma, the Spanish medical team is still hugely encouraged by what it considers to be a breakthrough in the fight against HIV and related conditions, according to the Spanish news source El Mundo.

Doctors in Barcelona initially attempted the technique using the precedent of Timothy Brown, an HIV patient who developed leukemia before receiving experimental treatment in Berlin, the Spanish news site The Local reported.

Brown was given bone marrow from a donor who carried the resistance mutation from HIV. After the cancer treatment, the HIV virus had also disappeared.

According to The Local, the CCR5 Delta 35 mutation affects a protein in white blood cells and provides an estimated one percent of the human population with high resistance to infection from HIV.

Spanish doctors attempted to treat the lymphoma of the so-called “Barcelona patient” with chemotherapy and an auto-transplant of the cells, but were unable to find him a suitable bone marrow.

“We suggested a transplant of blood from an umbilical cord but from someone who had the mutation because we knew from ‘the Berlin patient’ that as well as [ending] the cancer, we could also eradicate HIV,” Rafael Duarte, the director of the Haematopoietic Transplant Programme at the Catalan Oncology Institute in Barcelona, told The Local.

Prior to the transplant, a patient’s blood cells are destroyed with chemotherapy before they are replaced with new cells, incorporating the mutation which means the HIV virus can no longer attach itself to them. For the Barcelona patient, stem cells from another donor were used in order to accelerate the regeneration process.

Eleven days after the transplant, the patient in Barcelona experienced recovery. Three months later, it was found that he was clear of the HIV virus.

Despite the unfortunate death of the patient from cancer, the procedure has led to the development of an ambitious project that is backed by Spain’s National Transplant Organization.

March 2015 marked the world’s first clinical trials of umbilical cord transplants for HIV patients with blood cancers.

Javier Martinez, a virologist from the research foundation Irsicaixa, stressed that the process is primarily designed to assist HIV patients suffering from cancer, but “this therapy does allow us to speculate about a cure for HIV,” he added.

Despite the joy and ululation, those who think its time to celebrate may have not done their research. The process of curing HIV referred to by the doctors is called Stem Cell Transplant. Whilst it has worked on this one patient, there is a lot more information about its viability and use as a cure for all people affected with HIV / AIDS.
To begin with, getting a Stem Cell Transplant is much more dangerous than living with HIV.
To successfully complete an SCT you have to completely destroy the stem cells in your bone marrow using intense conditioning resulting in:
1. Low/No white blood cells – [no ability to fight off infection, meaning even something as small as flu could kill you]
2. Low Platelets – [heavy risk of uncontrollable bleeding- a nosebleed would most likely result in death)
3. Low hemoglobin – [you will need many, many blood transfusions]
4. Graft vs Host disease – [which can cause really poor quality of life or kill you]
5. A long time spent in hospital – [weeks to months, if not a year plus].
Stem Cell Transplants do save lives, but judging by the risks state above, they only make sense for people who have specific life threatening conditions such as acute leukemia. These conditions would imply that loss of life is almost guaranteed, and certain, leaving SCT as the last hope or only option.
From a sensible perspective, HIV is now a manageable chronic condition in most cases. This “CURE” is certainly interesting but probably not applicable for almost all HIV positive people.
HIV is a minor inconvenience in the world of modern medicine. It is easily controlled with 1 pill (ARVs) taken once a day, typically with no complications or side effects.
However, dying from a bone marrow transplant because of the risks mentioned before is, by comparison, a major inconvenience.
There is great reason to be excited however, discoveries like these are a major breakthrough and can allow medical personnel to build on them for a more constructive and less intensive cure.

Trials are already underway to gather more information. They started in March 2015.

To decide if it could be done or not a trial, it was necessary first to note that Spanish banks umbilical cord had samples that will carry a key mutation that is responsible for transferring protection against HIV. This is the genetic mutation CCR5 Delta 3 , a variation that acts as a shield against the AIDS virus. Cells carrying this variant areimpermeable to the pathogen.

That’s what was discovered, almost by chance, with the Berlin patient, ie, if a person receives bone (or cord blood) from another subject that carries this positive change, will renew your blood cells they are immune to HIV, the body that will end disappearing.

“We knew that Spain is a world power in number of cords and cellularity, because the collection protocol makes us samples with many cells needed for transplants in adults. So we decided to analyze those cells rich laces, 25,000 . To this end, we agreed with all the autonomous communities and cord banks, “he told WORLD Rafael Matesanz, director of the National Transplant Organization, which has funded the search with about 100,000 euros.

After one year evaluating cord by cord to see which of them carried the mutation , said Rafael Duarte, who was director of Hematopoietic Transplant Program at the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) and is now head of Hematopoietic Transplantation Oncohematology and the Hospital Puerta Iron, “we have managed to identify this feature 157 units, representing 0.6% of the Spanish population.”

That elite cords, and a solution for those offers that require a transplant for hematologic problem, an option to cure HIV to those who, besides being HIV positive, develop a cancer of the blood. “This is not a therapy for any patient with HIV. Only is intended for those who in addition to the virus develop leukemia, lymphoma, etc,” explains Matesanz.

With antiretroviral treatments available, a general therapy umbilical cord blood is not viable. First, because there are few units worldwide who carry the mutation makes the infallible cells against the virus, and secondly because this type of transplantation is not without risks. According to overall figures in Europe the expected mortality from complications of transplant is between 20% and 25%.

This is only acceptable in patients with very serious blood disease , which if not treat them in a short time, to death. Furthermore, according a study of over 100 patients, those with HIV who have undergone a bone marrow transplant have a higher risk of complications than for people without HIV. Therefore, there is a therapy for all HIV-positive people but to very specific cases, “says Duarte.

For all this is important to test this treatment in the context of a clinical trial, said the hematologist, because the protocols are the same in the various hospitals where it is made, monitoring will be equal and once the results are available, allow you to learn from experience experts worldwide.

The trial, which will involve the Puerta de Hierro Hospital, the Gregorio Maranon (both in Madrid), the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), and the Hospital La Fe de Valencia, along with cord blood banks and the ONT, It aims to recruit patients in two to five years. “The first patient is already in. It is discussed in Madrid not until later this year or early next, because previously required to go through a chemotherapy [to kill tumor cells in their bone] and a conditioner that take several weeks. This is a person with a type of lymphoma and HIV we do not want to give more information, “said Duarte, who is the principal investigator of this trial.

157 cords mutation CCR5 Delta 3 identified in Spain continue to be part of the international registration, REDMO, but is an advisory committee (formed by doctors in hospitals, banks cord and ONT) through a protocol established to decide what to do with them if they are claimed by researchers from another country well for an HIV-positive patient with a hematologic or problem for a person without carrying HIV, consistent with the cord and requires a medical problem as a leukemia or lymphoma.

The trial, scheduled for three years and with a budget of 150,000 euros provided by the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, is within an experimental framework. “It is looking for a high amount of healing but the proof of the hypothesis that this transplant can make HIV disappear. The implications are qualitative rather than quantitative.”

The same view Josep Maria Gatell, co-director of the XV European AIDS Conference being held these days in Barcelona, is shown “is interesting in terms of research, no practical way for the current treatment of patients with HIV.”



A Tattoo Artist Has Been Offering Free Tattoo To Cover People’s Self-Harm Scars-Best Life Insurance Program

An Australian tattoo artist has been flooded with emails and requests after she posted an offer to give free tattoos to those who wanted to cover up self-harm scars.

Inspired by a friend, who had initially started self-harming to cope with an eating disorder, Whitney Develle posted her message on Facebook and Instagram, offering her services for free. Once her post went viral, she was overwhelmed with requests for cover ups; she’ll be giving only 50 free sittings and has pledged to offer discounted tattoos to those left.



Speaking to 9News, Whitney explained that the surge in requests was “humbling but also heartbreaking”.


“I have been up late most nights [since] with a close friend replying to each and every person,”


Keen to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with self-harming, Develle has called out to other tattooists to come and help her provide all of those who’ve requested a tattoo and keep up with demand.


“The hardest part was that statistically probably 98 percent of [those who had written in] were people had self-harmed. Majority of them were too scared to speak with a tattooist out of fear of being judged”


Develle hopes that her efforts, and the courage of her friend and others to come forward will spark a dialogue about the importance of speaking to someone and getting help if you’re self-harming.

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Study: Drinking Champagne Can Improve Memory And Prevent Dementia-Best Life Insurance Program

Champagne is not only delicious. It turns out that it can also have positive effects on memory.

New research is showing that the bubbly drink contains phenols that counteract age-related memory problems, such as dementia.

A study from the University of Reading in the UK examined champagne’s impact on memory, revealing that the drink contains phenols, which stimulate signals in the brain and ultimately may help us remember things better. Phenols can also counteract age-related memory impairment, such as dementia.

Champagne contains higher amounts of phenol than in white wine. According to the researchers leading the study, one to three glasses of champagne a week is optimal.

“These exciting results illustrate for the first time that the moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning, such as memory,” said professor Jeremy Spencer.

Photo: Wikipedia

Obviously, downing an entire bottle of champagne is probably a bad idea.

Champagne consumption’s effect on the liver and kidneys was not examined in this study, however past research from the University of Reading has shown that two glasses of champagne can be good for the heart and blood circulation. This in turn may reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.

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