Does a Real Anti-Aging Pill Already Exist?

One afternoon in the early 1980s, Suren Sehgal brought a strange package home from work and stashed it in his family’s freezer. Wedged beside the ice cream, it was wrapped in heavy plastic and marked, “DON’T EAT!” Inside were several small glass vials containing a white paste—all that remained of a rare bacterium that today is the foundation of the most promising anti-aging drug in decades. Sehgal had been studying it since 1972, when he’d first isolated it in a soil sample at Ayerst Laboratories, a pharmaceutical company in Montreal.

A Canadian medical expedition had collected the soil from beneath one of the mysterious stone heads on Easter Island, a speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In the dirt, Sehgal had discovered Streptomyces hygroscopicus, a bacterium that secreted a potent antifungal compound. This intrigued him; he thought perhaps it could be made into a cream for athlete’s foot or other fungal conditions. He purified the stuff and named it rapamycin, after Easter Island’s native name, Rapa Nui.

It soon proved its potential. When a neighbor’s wife developed a stubborn fungal skin condition, Sehgal mixed up a rapamycin ointment for her. “It was probably illegal,” says his son Ajai Sehgal, but the infection cleared up quickly. Suren, a biochemist who’d immigrated to Canada from a tiny village in what’s now Pakistan, became convinced that he’d stumbled upon something special. Before he could develop it any further, however, Ayerst abruptly closed its Montreal lab, and his bosses ordered all “nonviable” compounds destroyed—including the rapamycin. Sehgal couldn’t bring himself to do it and instead squirreled a few vials of Streptomyces hygroscopicus into his freezer at home. Most of the staff was fired, but Sehgal was transferred to the company’s lab in Princeton, N.J. The plastic package made the move packed in dry ice.

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About the Author:  Bill Gifford, Bloomberg News


The Day Neurofeedback Became “the Biggest Thing to Ever Happen” in Addiction Recovery.

1993It had been 25 years since Bob Dickson, now Head of the Texas Commission for Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation, had been dealing with the growing epidemic of substance abuse.  The year was 1993 and Commissioner Dickson was having little to no success.  “We weren’t making much progress.  When cognitive behavioral therapy came along we got excited.  It helped a little. As Commissioner, my annual budget had exploded from $20,000,000 to $180,000,000.  Nothing was working.  We kept seeing the same people again and again.  Something had to change.”

Unbeknownst to Commissioner Dickson, in a clinic some 1700 miles away, 2 researchers: Bill Scott and Eugene Peniston were about to make history.  In an effort to decrease relapse rates in recovering alcohol addicted individuals, they began a study involving 25 Navajo Veterans, all suffering with alcohol addiction and PTSD.  Their research revolved around reducing the anxiety associated with addiction recovery.  Addiction, as well as PTSD, create a situation where stress neurotransmitters and hormones are produced in large quantities.  This makes the patient hyper sensitive to stress and overreaction to the slightest incident produces the foundation for relapse.  Left unaddressed, relapse was all but a foregone conclusion.  Scott and Peniston theorized that stopping the flood of stress related neuro-chemicals could eliminate hyper sensitivity to stress and help reset the pleasure centers of the brain.  Their solution: in addition to traditional addiction treatment, they would add very specific Neurofeedback Therapy protocols.  To their amazement, the study was beyond a success and bordered on a breakthrough.  Of the 24 participants receiving treatment, 79% remained abstinent from alcohol 12-24 months following treatment and 100% experienced no symptoms associated with PTSD.  Their study was published and found its way to Commissioner Dickson’s desk.

Commissioner Dickson now recalls, “After reading the study I got on a plane and flew to California to meet these guys.  Needless to say I was impressed.  I came back and we ran three pilot studies.  All produced the same results as Scott and Peniston.  Neurofeedback had become the biggest thing to ever happen in Addiction Recovery Treatment.  When you give them Neurofeedback, they don’t come back.

This had a profound impact on Bob Dickson.  At that moment the state of Texas was offering select individuals early retirement.  Bob recounts, “I told my wife I had to pursue this (neurofeedback) and this is my opportunity.”   Bob Dickson soon retired from the state and went on to found the Southwest Health Technology Foundation where he conducted and published multiple studies concerning Neurofeedback, Addiction Recovery and Peak Academic Performance Training.  Bob is now semi retired and living in Tennessee but recalls that moment like it happened yesterday.

For the opportunity to experience Neurofeedback Addiction Recovery Treatment in Utah, visit the website below:

About the author:  Greg Warden is Executive Director of Neurofeedback Centers of Utah and Program Director of the Neurofeedback Addiction Recovery Center

Ritalin May Be Sabotaging Your Kids

An often difficult question for parents is whether to put their child with ADHD on either Ritalin or Adderall, the most common drug treatments for hyper and impulsive behaviors. Increasingly, the answer has been yes. In 2011, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 6 percent of American children ages 4 to 17 were taking ADHD drugs.

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