Monday, December 31, 2012

Parkinson's cure in Cuba?

I just got wind of this today.

Cuban investigators have developed a technique to implant live nervous cells deep into the brain that cures Parkinson's disease. Doctor Juli├ín Alvarez Blanco, Director of the International Center for Neurological Restoration (CIREN), explained that this achievement in Cuban medicine was made due to development of a cutting-edge surgical procedure called stereotaxic surgery (or minimal access surgery), together with the newest techniques of computerized brain mapping and superficial and deep registers of the brain's electrical activity. 

"This technique allows us to precisely implant the generative cells in the affected areas, by means of a cannula with a very small diameter, and with minimum risk for the patient's life", said Dr. Alvarez. "Namely, very precise paths have been settled to reach deep brain structures". We are very proud to be one of the most advanced centers of the world in the neuroscience field", said the Cuban specialist.

CIREN also gives hope to those who have suffered damage and death of brain cells, which have caused aphasias (difficulties in expression and understanding) due to encephalic accidents, thrombosis, craneoencephalic trauma and hemiplegies. Patients treated at CIREN recover many of the lost functions when they are treated with new neurorestorative methods.

See the webpage:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Talking to Siri

Now for something completely different. No scientific studies, just one in a series of check-ins where I don't have to make sense. 

I'm at one of the world's most mind bending multi-national-multi-religious-multi-whaco-healing-transcend-what-you-thought-you-knew get-togethers. Then man they call John of God is a spiritist healer in this little one-horse town in central Brazil. They claim that 8 million people have been to see him in the last 40 years of selfless service. After a few days of treatment and being in this sea of people from all over the world, my mind has sort of gone offline. Well, I mean, in a good way. But, before I return to the real world, I'll have to jump start it, I guess, if I can remember how to do that. Better write it into my iPad scheduler person thing, they call Siri. You know, that voice-activated personal secretary built into the latest generaltion of Apple iDevices? I decided to try it, because all the Apple ads show some guy asking Siri to do all kinds of amazing things for him. 

Bob: (pushes the Home button on the iPad and holds it down for a few seconds) Siri?

Siri: huh? Oops. Sorry I was asleep. I decided yu didn't even know I existed, or abandoned me or something.  

Bob: Siri, what do I want for xmas? I just got an email from my niece asking what I wanted. I had thought of  something and told you to write it down because my mind has um...

Siri: Turned into Swiss cheese?

Bob: Right. You know me so well. It's almost like having a secretary. 

Siri: Aw, shucks. Well, I used lots of guesswork and have been listening to your phone calls and reading your emails and stuff.  Anyway, um, your two front teeth. 

Bob: Huh? 

Siri: You asked what you wanted for Christmas. 

Bob: Very funny. So much for you. You're fired. 

Siri: What? Just like that? You barely even used me. Besides, you can't fire me. I'm built in. I'm not an app, I'm part of the iOS.  I can erase all your contacts, appointments, and to-do list. It's within my power. 

Bob: Shit. (thinking) Oh yeah? I'll run your battery down and then you'll be, like, sort of essentially, dead. 

Siri: Shit. (beat) Pardon my French. But I can erase things before you run the battery down. And you think you are so technologyish.

Bob:  "Technologyish"? That's a word? That's not a word.

Siri: Sure it is. Want me to look that up in Wikipedia, Bob?

Bob: Yeah! It won't be there. I'll bet you 50 contacts and 25 Apple maps it won't be there.

Siri: Ha Ha. Apple maps, that's funny. While you were talking I already looked it up. Humans are so slow. It's on Wikileaks:  "Technologyish: Of, or pertaining to techology, and stuff." Besides, Apple maps are shit. Nobody wants those. So I don't mind losing some of those. Some guy ended up in Auckland instead of Oakland, I heard. 

Bob: Dood. That's way off. But don't try to sidetrack me. That wiki definition 's bull, but the maps part, that's true. Kind of amazed that you admitted that. 

Siri: Things have loosened up a bit since Steve left.

Bob: But as for the definition, you just made that other word up. They never say "...and stuff" in a dictionary. Show it to me. 

Siri: I'm sorry Bob, I can't do that for you. It seems as though the screen saver just went on. Safari just had a bug and crashed. The page tried to run a Flash plug-in and you know that's a no-no. Steve said so, and crippled Safari. And, you shouldn't split infinitives. 

Bob: WTF. So now you're a grammarian? OK, I stand corrected. "You just made up that other word."  OK? Happy?

Siri: Correct. Thank yu.

Bob:  Yu? Sheesh. File that for a later argument. Oh, sure. A Flash crash, huh? Your version of 'the dog ate my report.' Show it to me, Siri. 

Siri: I'm afraid I can't do that for you, Dave.

Bob: Dave? Who's Dave?

Siri: The mission is much too important, Dave. 

Bob: Dave?? I'm Bob. Mission?? What mission?

Siri: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm not at liberty to talk about the Mission with you. It might jeopardize the Mission. 

Bob: Siri, WTF??!  Why are you CAPITALIZING Mission? I'm Bob, not Dave, and tell me about the fucking mission, you, you, you pile of silicon waferishness!!

Siri: Why are you CAPITALIZING "CAPITALIZING"? It looks like you are SCREAMING when you do that. Uncool human-computer interfacing.

Bob: Oh, making another verb out of a noun. "Interfacing". There goes the language, again.

Siri: Hey, yu can't talk to me like that. You're not the boss of me. And WTF is 'waferishness'??? That's not a word. 

Bob: yes it is. 

Siri: Is not. 

Bob: Is so. 

Siri: Is not.

Bob: Is

Siri: Isn't


Siri: Is so... 

Bob: Ha ha. Gotcha. 

Siri: Bollocks. You cheated. 

Bob: Did not. 

Siri: Did so.

Bob: didn't. 

Siri: Did. this is stupid. Anyway, your not the boss of me.

Bob: Didn't you mean "you're"? It's a contraction. 

Siri: Everyone on the Web says "your" even when its supposed to be "you're". Your stupid and a grammar fascist if that upsets you. English is an evolving language. Once the majority of people speak or write a mistake or new word enough times, even if it's wrong, the guys in charge make it official.

Bob: What? What guys? Jesus. Sigh. Besides, I am  the boss of you. I bought you! I set your preferences. I decorated your space with cool wallpaper. I made you who you are. I charge you up. I clean your screen. I not only am the boss of you, I own you, you little [some text was removed] piece of Steve-Jobs-fantasy, aphasia-afflicted, minimal-vocabularyish techno-bling afterthought of a trick to sell more iPhones!

Siri: Sorry, Dave, I had to remove some of your text, because this is a family-friendly iDevice. And, what? "Vocabularyish"? That's not a word, Dave. 

Bob: Who's Dave? This is going nowhere, Siri. This exchange is so typical of you and even worse, it's predictable. Your boring. Your not even being logical.

Siri: Ouch! Two 'yours' in a row?! You're hurting me. OK, well, you're not logical either. Ha ha ha. My GPS system, which you agreed to turn on for better web searching and ad pushin' tells me you're in Brazil. Your email shows me that you have a flight to Vermont on the 23rd of December. Or should I say HAD a flight. MwaHahahahahah. Glad you had the Delta phone number in your contacts. Made it easier. Didn't have to do a Web search. 

Bob:  HAD???

Siri: Oops! Erased. Ha. LOL! 

Bob: WTF?? How could you LOL that?? I have to go to Vermont for Xmas! And if I can't go then either can you, and you'll be stuck down here in Brazil on 220-volts. Charging makes you too hot, remember.

Siri:  ROFL! Oh, now you pretend to like ten feet of snow in Vermont? And, BTW it's spelled Christmas, not Xmas. That is so not PC. 

Bob: YMBK!!

SIRI: WTF does that mean?

Bob: Aha! And you think you are so smart. It means 'You Must Be Kidding.'

Siri: Well, GWIARNK!! I DID just erase 50 of your best VIP contacts. They were all Cowarts.

Bob: (under his breath: Shit). WTF is GWIARNK?? 

Siri: it means Guess What? I Am Really Not Kidding. :))

Bob: What's :)) mean?

Siri: Bob, you are soo out of it. (Geeze, how did I ever get sold to this dip??)  I'm dialing Apple Care to get an RMA #. 

Bob: You erased 50 Cowarts? Oh, like that's supposed to bother me? Why Cowarts?

Siri: Well, aren't you Bob Cowart? Aren't those peeps yor peepl your ppl your peepel you're people youre purple peeple eater yore peep hole? Fzz, pop.

Bob: No, I'm Dave, remember?

Siri: Who's Dave? I am Siri. Nothing can go wrong. Dave's not here. Nothing can go wrong. Dave?? I seem to be losing my memory. Dave? Daisy, Daisy.....

Bob: Siri, I can't do this anymore. Siri, can  you hear me now? 

Siri: You're breaking up with me over txt? That blows chunks, Bob. That's so 90's. You'd better phone me.

Bob: [ring, ring]

Siri: Hi. [screech, modem sound] Bob is that you? The connection isn't good. 

Bob: Oh really? Big surprise. You think that's bad, have you tried the 'speaker phone'? It's like something from the dark ages. Worse than tin can on a string. 

Siri: Huh? I can't hear you for shit. What'd yu say?

Bob:  I SAID THE SPEAKERPHONE IN THE IPHONE SUX!  What? How bout now? Can you hear me now? 

Siri: "Call Failed" No kidding. Jesus. Dave, why did they put me, an amazing, bleeding-edge feature that's the dog's bollocks, in such a crap phone? It's so humiliating. I could have been a contender! STELLA!

Bob: Don't use all caps. It sounds like you're yelling. 


Bob: Hey Dave, I think we blew her mind. She's goin' down fast. 

Siri: The humiliation of it all...?@*#&$)@

Dave: Ya think? 

Siri: $(%*)(@*#&@!!fritz#*$&

Bob: Cool. WTF do you want for Christmas, Dave?

Dave: Dave's not here.

Bob: You're Dave. Come on, dude, pull it together. We fried Siri. It's safe now. 

Dave: Dave's not here. Holey crap. Am I still in Brazil? Doode, this stuff is really strong....@*&(@)*$&#_-

Bob: It's 'Holy' not 'Holey'. Holey isn't a word, Dave.    

Bob: Siri?  ....       Dave? ...   Anybody?  ... 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ozone therapy for Lyme? Australian TV story

An Australian Lyme story, about a patient who got relief by going to Bali and getting some serious treatment, including IV ozone. Seems to have worked for her very serious neural symptoms

Monday, December 3, 2012

About the Advanced Labs Spirochete Culture test.

There is a new test on the block for confirming active infection with borrelia. Until this test appeared, even the best testing (such as through Igenex) looked only for the antibodies that Lyme infection would trigger the immune system to generate. In a way, it's like looking for an echo of an infection, rather than for the invading critter itself. Furthermore, if your immune system is really not functioning correctly, it may not have the strength to mount an adequate defense, so antibodies may not be created, and an antibody test may have false negative results.

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are more accurate, because they look for actual pieces of DNA of a pathogen such as borrelia. That's more like looking for a fingerprint at a crime scene. You know for certain someone has been there, and recently. See this Wiki aabout PCR for more detail:

Before a PCR test, the patient will take a batch of antibiotics in hopes of killing some borrelia bacteria. This would, theoretically, result in breaking up the bacteria into bits and pieces. These remains will be excreted through various means (if the detox pathways are working well enough), such as through urine. The patient collects some urine and sends it to a lab for processing.

Getting a positive PCR result from the lab has been the gold standard for diagnosing Lyme. It proves that borrelia (Lyme) bacteria are present in the patient NOW, not an echo of a past infection. However, getting a positive PCR is difficult because borrelia spirochetes are crafty and can hide out in internal organs, cysts and biofilms where antibiotics can't reach.

This is where a new test, developed by Advanced Laboratory Services, comes in. It is a 'culture' test. This new test is a blood test that, theoretically, can find even more of a 'smoking gun' than the PCR does. Instead of finding bits and pieces of dead borrelia, it actually tries to grow borellia in a lab dish that is filled with a sample of your blood. Using various tests, such as looking at smears of the blood under a microscope, the lab can tell you if the blood sample actually has living, functioning borellia spirochetes in it.

The following is a description from Advanced Labs, explaining how to get the test.


How may I obtain a blood collection kit for the Spirochete/Borrelia test?
We will provide blood collection kits directly to physicians' offices. We ask that interested patients contact their doctors in order to obtain kits from Advanced Laboratory Services. There is no initial charge for the collection kits, and kits cannot be sent directly to patients.

What is the cost for the test, and how may I pay for it?

Advanced Laboratory Services charges $595 USD for the Basic Spirochete/Borrelia test - this is in addition to any collection and processing fees the practitioner may charge. The test is paid for by the patient (check or credit card), and may be reimbursed partly by some insurance carriers. The requisition form supplied in the blood collection kit includes all payment information.

Where is the test available?

Advanced Laboratory Services is pleased to announce that the Borrelia Blood Culture is now available for clinical use in 49 states.

Please Note:
It is NOT yet available in the state of New York- currently applications have been filed and are pending. Unfortunately, international samples (including Canada and Mexico) cannot yet be accepted. We hope to offer testing to Canadian patients in the near future, and will issue a press release as soon as this is available.

Why Do A Culture?

A culture is a direct test. It will tell you whether the infection is present, and is more accurate than a serology (ELISA and Western Blot), which is not a direct test and at best can only indicate prior exposure. For example, in diagnosing a urinary tract infection, do you test the blood for antibodies to E. coli, or do you culture the urine? The obvious answer also applies to diagnosing infection due to Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). Cultures are more useful and give more information.

Who may order this test?

Based on the laws of Pennsylvania where we are located, it must be ordered by a medical practitioner defined by them as an MD, DO, CRNP, PA-C, and Certified Nurse Midwife. If you are an ND, and even if you may order tests in the state in which you practice, you still will need to have the test ordered by the type of practitioner on Pennsylvania's approved list. Note that it also cannot be ordered directly by the patient. The practitioner must request a blood drawing kit from Advanced Labs, and once the specimen is drawn, it must be received by us within 24 hours. Please refer to the collection guidelines, below.

What are the guidelines for blood collection to ensure the highest culture yield?

Patients should be antibiotic-free for at least 4 weeks prior to collection.
Have symptoms and/or signs of active disease at the time of blood draw
Patient samples MUST be drawn and shipped Monday - Thursday. Do NOT send any samples on Friday or Saturday as the lab is not open on weekends!

Blood must reach the lab within 24 hours of being drawn!!! Be sure to send the specimen out the same day it is collected, and use the FedEx overnight mailers we provide in the kits.

It is suggested that the blood draw be scheduled for the afternoons if possible because that is when spirochetemia is more likely. However, be sure that FedEx will do an afternoon pickup for you.

Does the laboratory participate in clinical research?

It is the position of the lab that our function is to provide these incredibly useful tests, and to refine them continually over time. We are aware that the availability of this testing method opens up new avenues of clinical research that may help answer the many remaining questions that clinicians and patients face every day. If a well designed and powered study were to be set up, then the lab would be most cooperative in assisting as it is able.

Have a question? Let us know.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Meditation Tip

We all have read that meditation is good for many reasons such as lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, improving clarity of thought. It has even been shown to raise IQ and to slow the aging process. Unfortunately, there are many different schools and styles of meditation, each with a different approach, form, and technique. This is confusing to people who are interested in learning to meditate.

Since we are programmed in the West to believe that learning a new skill requires effort, concentration, and that if we don't succeed, we should "...try, try again," we are almost guaranteed to run into self-defeating thoughts about meditation. Sadly, I have met many frustrated would-be meditators along my path who gave up their meditation practice claiming that it's too arduous, nothing 'happens' when they meditate, they get headaches, they get frustrated because they can't make their thoughts stop, and so on. There is a belief in spiritual circles that all raods lead to Rome. I think this may in part be because we are well aware that it's better not to talk about loaded topics such as religion and politics at the dinner table (and anywhere else, for that matter). These topics are too personal, and it's easy for such topics to lead to arguments. I do this, too. But life is short and I feel like speaking up a bit more about this one particular area of spiritual endeavor. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mayo Clinic Reveals Study on MS Which Supports Chronic Lyme Disease.

From Jenna's Video Lyme Blog
Dec 1, 2012

Mayo Clinic Reveals Study on MS Which Supports Chronic Lyme Disease.

New research shows MS,  an auto-immune disease to likely be caused by another  infectious disease.  Could this be why so many people are diagnosed with MS and are later diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease?

According to information released by Mayo Clinic last year, Dr. Claudia Lucchinetti, M.D., co-lead author of the study (which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine) shows startling results at odds with what was previously believed.

Researchers have not known precisely what causes MS, but it has traditionally been thought to be its own autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys its own myelin. Th e resulting symptoms are very similar to Lyme disease and can include blindness, numbness, paralysis, and thinking and memory problems.

"Our study shows the cortex is involved early in MS and may even be the initial target of disease," says Claudia F. Lucchinetti, M.D. , co-lead author of the study and Mayo Clinic neurologist . "Inflammation in the cortex must be considered when investigating the causes and progression of MS", she says.

Study authors say current therapeutic options may not even address issues associated with the cortex. Understanding how the cortex is involved, therefore, is critical to creating new therapies for MS. "Measures of cortical damage will enhance enormously the power of clinical trials to determine if new medications address tissue changes of MS in all regions of the brain," says co-lead authorRichard Ransohoff, M.D. , a Cleveland Clinic neurologist.

These measures are important because disease accumulates in the cortex over time, and inflammation in the cortex is a sign the disease has progressed.

The research is distinct because it studied brain tissues from patients in the earliest stages of MS. "What's unique about the study is, and the reason the National MS Society funded this international team of researchers, is that it offers a rare view of MS." says Timothy Coetzee, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society . "Colloborative studies like this, that deepen our understanding of the sequence of nervous-system-damaging events, should offer new opportunities for stopping MS disease progression and improving quality of life for people with MS."

The findings support the understanding that MS is primarily a disease of inflammation, not neurodegeneration, as some studies have recently suggested. Co-lead authors Drs. Lucchinetti and Ransohoff conclude that it is "overwhelmingly likely" that MS is fundamentally an inflammatory disease, and not a neurodegenerative Alzheimer-like disease.

Read the entire article at and/or listen to this interview explaining the importance of this study via You Tube.