Pregnancy May Change Mom's Brain

Time in the womb is obviously important for the development of the fetal brain. But pregnancy is also a time for changes in Mom's brain — changes that may prepare women to become better mothers.

These changes still are little-understood, concludes a review published in the December issue of the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Pregnant women often complain about "pregnancy brain" or "mommy brain," a memory fog that seems to produce lost car keys and misplaced cell phones. One 2010 study suggested that high levels of sex hormones could be to blame for the frustrating lapses in concentration. But in many ways, the changes that happen in a mom-to-be's brain during pregnancy remain mysterious.

"Pregnancy is a critical period for central nervous system development in mothers," review author Laura Glynn, a psychologist at Chapman University in California, said in a statement. "Yet we know virtually nothing about it."

   Pregnant rats

It's difficult to examine the brains of pregnant women, and much of our modest knowledge comes instead from studies of rodents, Glynn said. Rats can be sacrificed and their brains studied in-depth. Studies have found that pregnancy causes rats' brains to form new olfactory, or smell-related, neurons. What's more, such pregnancy-related changes persist for the rest of the animals' lives. In rodents, at least, additional pregnancies seem to cause additional changes, so that the more litters a rat has, the more altered its brain will be.

It's not known whether women experience permanent changes as well; humans are very different from rats, after all. But according to Glynn, it's "extremely likely" that pregnancy permanently alters the human brain. The hormone flood that occurs during pregnancy dwarfs the hormonal changes that occur during other volatile times of life, such as adolescence, Glynn wrote. Just as teen hormones permanently alter brain structure and function, she said, it's likely pregnancy hormones do, too.

   Your brain on pregnancy

In fact, recent research is revealing that fetuses have more effect on their mothers than previously realized. According to a 2004 study reviewed by Glynn, movements by the fetus after 20 weeks' gestation increase a mother's heart rate and her skin conductance, a measure of psychological arousal. These changes in Mom's physiology happen even when she can't physically feel the fetal movements. [5 Myths About Women's Bodies]

Fetuses share cells with their mothers, a strange phenomenon called microchimerism. Fetal cells pass through the placenta and lodge in a mother's body, where many remain quietly for years. One 2005 study found that in pregnant mice, these fetal cells hang out in the brain, especially in smell-related areas that are crucial for recognizing offspring. No one yet knows what, if anything, these fetal interlopers do there, or whether fetal cells in humans are similarly drawn to mothering-related areas of the brain.

Some of the brain changes during pregnancy may help mothers become more attuned to their infant when it is born, Glynn suggests. Fetal movements that tickle a woman's unconscious might prepare her to bond with her infant, for example. Likewise, changes in brain areas associated with emotion and memory could prime women for caregiving.

She said, "There may be a cost" — such as the perpetual fuzziness of "pregnancy brain" — "but the benefit is a more sensitive, effective mother."

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Scientists Cure Cancer, But No One Takes Notice

Canadian researchers find a simple cure for cancer, but major pharmaceutical companies are not interested.

Researchers at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada have recently cured cancer, yet there is but little ripple in the news or on TV. It is a simple technique using a very basic drug. The method employs dichloroacetate, which is currently used to treat metabolic disorders, so there is no concern of side effects or other long term effects.

The drug doesn’t require a patent, so anyone can employ it widely and cheaply compared to the costly cancer drugs produced by major pharmaceutical companies.

Canadian scientists tested dichloroacetate (DCA) on human cells; it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells and left the healthy cells alone. It was tested on rats inflicted with severe tumors; their cells shrank when they were fed with water supplemented with DCA. The drug is widely available and the technique is easy to use, but why are the major drug companies not involved, or the media not interested in this find?

                   Mitochondria within living human cells

In human cells there is a natural cancer fighting organelle, the mitochondria, but it needs to be triggered in order to be effective. Scientists used to think that the mitochondria of cancerous cells were damaged and thus ineffective. They used to focus on glycolysis, which is less effective in fighting cancer and wasteful. The drug manufacturers focused on the glycolysis method to fight cancer. DCA treatment on the other hand doesn’t rely on glycolysis but instead on reactivating the mitochondria; which allows the cell to die and preventing the cancer from spreading.

This reactivation is a process called apoptosis. You see, mitochondria contain an all-too-important self-destruct button that cannot be pressed in cancer cells. Without it, tumors grow larger as cells refuse to be extinguished. Fully functioning mitochondria, thanks to DCA, can once again allow them to die.

With glycolysis turned off, the body produces less lactic acid, so the bad tissue around cancer cells doesn’t break down and seed new tumors.

Pharmaceutical companies are not investing in this research because DCA method cannot be patented, and without a patent they cannot make money. They’re currently making fortunes with their AIDS patent. Since the pharmaceutical companies won’t develop DCA drugs, independent laboratories should start researching DCA more to confirm all of the above findings and begin producing drugs. All of the groundwork can be done in collaboration with the universities, who will be glad to assist in such research and can develop an effective drug for curing cancer.


This article hopes to raise more awareness of dichloroacetate, and to hopefully inspire some independent companies and small startups to pick up on this idea and begin producing life-saving drugs… because the big companies won’t be touching it for a long time.

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Why is the treatment of symptoms of a recipe for disaster

The body is an integrated system, not a collection of organ divided by medical specialty. Future Medicine connects everything. Dr. Mark Hyman

Just because you treated your symptoms do not mean that you are healthy. If you think that your doctor has control over your health problems because of the medication prescribed for them - you are absolutely wrong! The doctors are very well trained to treat symptoms, but not to detect the cause - an imbalance that leads to illness. Why is this a problem? So it's like to remove batteries from smoke detectors instead of trying to find where the fire.

Doctors working properly, such as Dr. Mark Hyman, are interested in all the symptoms, because they are indicators of deeper imbalances. When you find and correct imbalances and deeper - the symptoms disappear. This approach is called functional or integrated medicine because it looks at all parts of the body, not just the individual organs. Unfortunately, much of conventional medicine does not work this way. 

If for example an asthmatic also has psoriasis, it is sent to a dermatologist. If you have irritable bowel syndrome or reflux, is sent to the gastroenterologist. And of course if it is depressed or have difficulty concentrating, sent straight to a psychiatrist. And each of these doctors, he gets a "perfect" cure for every problem, without any of them said that all of these symptoms may be associated, or in order to resolve the causes of these symptoms could fix everything at once. So at the end of a patient treated with conventional medicine best medicine - but it's still sick!

The best example I can describe all the pitfalls of this approach to treatment: The 42nd age, Joe was believed to be healthy - no matter what it took 4 different drugs for mood and psychiatric problems, and with that there is medication for asthma, psoriasis, reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic runny nose! But this was only the tip of the iceberg. Joe also had 12 pounds of excess, and the weight is carried on the worst place for your health - around the abdomen. In addition he had triglycerides 5.6 (normal is below 1.7).

His problems began quite early. During the many years of taking antibiotics for asthma, which had since childhood. As the child was fed a bottle, is allergic to milk and had colic as a baby. As an adult, his condition has worsened. He was constantly runny nose, heartburn and had often received sores on the tongue after eating certain foods. He felt a strong need for sugar cravings, and often felt weak and had episodes of very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Recently developed and psoriasis. Poor health was present in his family: mother and relatives had type 2 diabetes, and many of his relatives had reflux and stomach ulcers and heart disease. However, these problems were inevitable. Family history of disease (in this case, diabetes and heart disease) is a predisposition, but it does not mean that you are predisposed to the disease and the family.

Joe's way of life certainly has not helped his condition. His diet was poor. The day began with a powder, protein bars and coffee. Lunch would be a turkey in the dough with lots of cheese, chips and a few Diet Cola. Dinner would be a little better but was still eating bread, potatoes and pasta, and something sweet after dinner because he felt a strong desire for sweets. All in all, he generally drank two glasses of wine, 3 coffees and a myriad of Diet Cola. Besides all this, Joe was sleeping only 5-6 hours at night. No wonder he felt so bad.

But instead of looking at Joe's way of life as a possible cause of his health problems, doctors simply treat the symptoms with drugs - a lot of drugs. In fact, his list of drugs was quite frightening for a young man in the early 40's it was. Took the four psychiatric drugs: one for depression (Lexapro), one for attention deficit disorder because he could not concentrate (Concetra), one for anxiety (Xanax) and one for sleep (Ambien). He also took two medications for asthma (steroid to reduce inflammation of the lungs and the other for the opening of the airways), and in addition has other steroid nasal inhaler against chronic running nose. And of course, his collection of drugs would not be complete without a favorite of the second drug of the new millennium, strong stomach acid blockers (Protonix).

 None of these drugs was not the right solution to his problems. Joe was still sick. Take, for example, anti acid in the stomach. Conventional medicine and the powerful pharmaceutical industry have convinced us that millions of people need acid blockers to cope with their symptoms of heartburn, it is treated as a mutant strain of human beings who suddenly produce too much stomach acid. No one asks whether the heartburn connection with one's lifestyle, diet, infection or an imbalance of intestinal flora, allergy, or lack of magnesium. Instead, the cause of the problem is almost never called into question, but still give drugs (or as they call fine - drugs).

But do not be like this! We are not designed with an error, for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry. Our bodies are in a delicate balance and our health depends on maintaining this balance. People who need medication are not mutated species, wrongly designed, these are people that are the basic physical systems out of balance.

Let's see what happens next with Joe? Joe visited the doctor Mark Hyman. Hyman was not the intention to try to find a better cocktail of drugs for all Joe's problems - asthma, runny nose, reflux, ulcers on the tongue, high triglycerides, obesity around the abdomen, depression, anxiety, insomnia and attention disorder. Instead, Joe Hyman asked various questions and made the tests with which is looking at the basic systems of the body that are out of balance - his immune system, his digestive system, hormonal system and nutritional status.

This is a much different way of looking at health. The way that conventional medicine is practiced today is like trying to fix the car instead of listening to the sounds you look under the hood. And that's exactly what it is functional medicine - about looking "under the hood." So Dr. Hyman discovered that Joe has a few fundamental problems. First, he had inflammation in the gut and had parasites. This has led to a sensitivity to wheat and rye (gluten). He also had the gene for celiac disease (HLA DQ8). Because of all the antibiotics you took for years, in his gut fungi proliferated.

Joe also had insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Triglycerides were his very high, high total cholesterol and the protective "good" HDL is very low. Another had a high blood sugar and fatty liver due to eating too much sugar and carbohydrates, which in turn lead to hypoglycemia and fatigue. Dr. Hyman has also found that Joe has some genetic imbalance which has increased its intimate necessity for vitamin B12 and folic acid (vitamin is very important both for the control of mood and cardiovascular risk). The blood sample confirmed the lack of these vitamins.

Joe still had very low levels of vitamin D which is associated with depression and a weakened immune system. Then he had a very low level of chromium, which is associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. And finally, omega 3 fats were very low and they are required to maintain good cholesterol and blood sugar and as protection against diabetes.

 So how, then, Dr. Hyman helped Joe? Not treating each individual symptom, rather than restoring balance back into his life. First, he has helped to improve their diet by removing refined carbohydrates and sugar and adding more omega 3 and fiber in the diet. Then he turned off the gluten and dairy products that are inflammatory conditions caused Joe in the gut. Threw out the coffee and alcohol. Joe began to train and sleep more hours during the night. He started taking a multivitamin, fish oil and probiotics (healthy intestinal bacteria). Dr. Hyman has treated Joe with high doses of B12 and folic acid to meet his genetic need for these vitamins. It also gave him high doses of vitamin D to levels of this vitamin led to normal. Finally, Dr. Hyman treat parasites and fungi at Joe with the help of current medications.

 Dr. Hyman is again seen Joe three per month. In this short time Joe has lost 12 pounds, triglycerides were sky-high with values ​​down to the normal value, total cholesterol be reduced. Position B12 and folic acid are back to normal. High blood sugar dropped to normal, too, and insulin levels. Liver tests showed that Joe is no longer oily liver.

Joe is no longer needed medication for reflux or asthma. These symptoms have disappeared. Joe, on your own without an agreement with Hyman, also stopped taking all four psychiatric drugs, because he slept better and felt no more anxiety or depression, and no longer had any problems with attention and concentration.

Just looking "under the hood" Dr. Hyman was found that the imbalance was able to fix it. Instead of Joe's problems are treated with more medication, Joe managed to get rid of all these drugs and eventually recover. Joe is not the only example of this approach to health - such examples all over. Functional medicine is ready to take the doctor's office. People can help discover the causes of their problems.

As seen from this example, asthma or reflux problems are not irreversible, and may be due to sensitivity to foods such as gluten and dairy product of, or imbalance in the digestive system of parasites and yeast, or a poor diet with too many carbohydrates. Depression is not caused by a deficiency of Prozac, but may be associated with key nutritional factors, such as sugar, and lack of important nutrients such as vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin D and omega-3 fats.

So, when we have any chronic illness, or a whole list of health problems, we try to find their causes by following the following guidelines:

Keep in mind that diet is the most powerful thing that can create or cure disease.
If you are depressed or anxious, remember that this is not due to lack of Prozac or Valium, but that may be associated with a variety of causes such as vitamin deficiency, lack of essential fats, too much sugar or stimulants in your diet.
Try detoxifying the body by eating natural whole food diet and eliminate caffeine, sugar, alcohol, industrial products, gluten and dairy products - watch how your health problems will go away.
 Take multi-vitamin preparation and fish oil, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D - the right amount of these nutrients can solve many problems.
If you do not get better, get help - maybe you need someone who can look "under the hood."
Look for doctors who practice functional and integrated medicine.

Working in this way, the doctor may testify about the incredible transformation in patients simply cutting out what makes them sick and giving them what they need to come back into balance. And you can try this approach by following the above advice. It is just as easy as it sounds because our body's ability to heal ourselves for everything else.

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