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Sex Trafficking Of Australian Children. Yes It Happens. But Here’s What We Can Do…

Source By: Melinda Tankard Reist via SMH Good Weekend Guide

This last weekend, the Good Weekend Guide featured the story of a 38-year-old Carrie Bailee who at the age of 9 was sold into a pedophile ring by her father.

The article sent shivers across the country. How could a 9-year-old be subjected to such horror? Why did her school not pick this up? Or other parents? The survivor Carrie herself posed the very same questions.While Carrie’s torture happened in Canada, we cannot dismiss it, as the same exploitation of our children is happening here in Australia.

My work brings me into contact every week with stories of Australian children who are sold for sex by their parents or family members; at-risk children who are preyed on by gangs; young teenage girls who are being forced into prostitution; and children being exploited to enrich the billion-dollar child pornography industry…Read More>>

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Single Dose Of Antidepressant Changes The Brain

Source By: Unknown via Medical Xpress

A single dose of antidepressant is enough to produce dramatic changes in the functional architecture of the human brain. Brain scans taken of people before and after an acute dose of a commonly prescribed SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitor) reveal changes in connectivity within three hours, say researchers who report their observations in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on September 18.

“We were not expecting the SSRI to have such a prominent effect on such a short timescale or for the resulting signal to encompass the entire brain,” says Julia Sacher of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences…Read More>>

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Prenatal Phthalate Exposure Linked To Increased Risk Of Childhood Asthma

Source By: Honor Whiteman via Medical News Today

Asthma is one of the most common long-term diseases in childhood, affecting around 6.8 million children in the US.

According to the research team, including senior author Dr. Rachel Miller, past studies have suggested that childhood exposure to phthalates – a group of chemicals commonly used in plastics, cosmetics and other products – can increase asthma risk.

They note, however, that there is increasing evidence that prenatal exposure to certain chemicals can affect children’s lung development and respiratory health, but researchers have yet to look at how prenatal exposure to phthalates influences children’s risk of asthma. In this latest study, the team wanted to find out…Read More>>

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FDA Panel: Limit Testosterone Drug Use

Source by: Dennis Thompson via WebMD

There is little evidence that testosterone replacement therapy effectively treats normally sagging levels of the hormone in ageing American males, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel said Wednesday.

The panel, from two key FDA committees, overwhelmingly voted, 20-1, to tighten use of the popular drugs and require drug makers to conduct tests assessing the drugs’ risk of heart attack and stroke, according to Bloomberg News.

“The whole idea is to try to rein in the inappropriate advertising and use of these drugs,” Dr. Michael Domanski, a panel member who is director of heart failure research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, told The New York Times…Read More>>

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Stress, the Brain and the Neuroscience of Success

Source by: Don Joseph Goewey via Huff Post

In the last 10 years, a new field of neuroscience has mapped the mental zone that can literally change the brain to quiet an overly active stress response system and simultaneously pave the way for higher brain networks to perform at optimum. The more we function from this mental zone, the less we stress, and the more our brain lights up with the mix of intelligence that predicts a successful life.

When these higher networks wire and fire together, humming away at the brain speed of a hundred million computer instructions per second, we not only succeed, we excel at every level of life: from career to family, from physical and emotional well-being to fully actualizing our talent and ability. It’s a brain generating the fluid and creative intelligence to achieve goals, along with the emotional and social intelligence to instill joy in our work, peace in our life, and harmony in our relationships. It’s also a brain generating the homeostasis that promotes health and longevity. The key to all of these positive outcomes is building the mindset that transcends stress…Read More>>

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An Urgent Need To Keep Mental Health In Mind

Source by: Patrick McGorry via The Sydney Morning Herald

These days every Australian knows that sooner or later they will experience poor mental health, either personally or within their own family. What they may not know yet is that they will struggle to access the same quality healthcare that we all take for granted when we develop physical health problems.

Less than half of those with a need for mental healthcare access it, and if they do it is typically too little, too late and of variable quality. If we develop a mental illness we will die up to 20 years earlier than other Australians. We will not fulfil our true potential, and risk ending up on the scrapheap of welfare dependency and poverty. Mental health care and research suffer from serious underinvestment, yet they represent by far the best value for money for governments increasingly concerned about the sustainability of the health system…Read More>>

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Work Stress Raises Type 2 Diabetes Risk By 45 Per Cent

Source: Unknown via

High amounts of work related stress have been shown to raise the risk of type 2 diabetes by 45% in a study of over 5,000 people.

The research was carried out by researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München in Germany. 5,337 people, without type 2 diabetes at the start of the study period, were picked from the MONICA-KORA cohort study. Participants were aged between 29 and 66 years old and were monitored over an average of 12.7 years.

The researchers used the Karasek job content questionnaire to measure work strain. High job strain was marked by high psychological demands of the job combined with minimal elements of control or decision making. Examples of jobs with higher demand and lower control include waiting staff, garment makers and telephone operators…Read More>>

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The Seven Dangerous Neuro-Temptations

Source: William Struthers via Biola University Center for Christian Thought

Do you like brain science? Sure, we all do. It looks cool, it sounds exciting, it tickles our intellect, and it promises to solve all of life’s questions. Why do we do the things we do?

We’ve all seen the pulsating red, yellow and blue brain scans from laboratories of people doing any number of things ranging from playing video games and mentally rotating objects, to having a mental illness diagnosed. The technology is compelling, appealing to neurological explanations that give us the impression that people smarter than us are figuring it all out. There is something fascinating about the brain—it thinks about itself!!

As the seat of our consciousness and all of our psychological experience, the brain is situated as, perhaps, the most crucial organ in the body. If your kidneys go bad, you can get a kidney transplant and still be the same person. But transplant the brain and be the same person? Are you still you? Are you fundamentally different? Most of us would say, “No.”…Read More>>

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Serotonin Deficiency As Cause Of Depression – Is It A Myth?

Source: David McNamee via Medical News Today

Since the late 1980s, a popular theory has claimed that increasing levels of the signaling molecule serotonin is central to treating depression. This approach to treating depression is typified by the antidepressant Prozac, which works by boosting serotonin levels.

When Prozac was launched in the 1980s, it became a popular treatment for depression very quickly.

However, some experts credit Prozac’s popularity not to it being more effective than previous antidepressant medications – such as tricyclics, which work by blocking absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain – but because it had fewer side effects than other antidepressants…Read More>>

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In California, Rich, Educated and Stupid Parents Are Driving The Vaccination Crisis

Source: Michael Hiltzik via LA Times

The most shocking and disheartening story you’ll read in the Los Angeles Times today may be our piece on the stunning decline in vaccination rates among California’s kindergarten-age children.

Kids are coming to school with immunization exemptions at twice the rate of seven years ago. As my colleagues Paloma Esquivel and Sandra Poindexter document, high rates of “personal belief” exemptions from child immunizations are correlated with high median incomes. They write:

“In Los Angeles County, the rise in personal belief exemptions is most prominent in wealthy coastal and mountain communities, The Times analysis shows. The more than 150 schools with exemption rates of 8% or higher for at least one vaccine were located in census tracts where the incomes averaged $94,500 — nearly 60% higher than the county median.”

That 8% exemption level is the point at which lack of immunization threatens herd immunity, an important factor in preventing and constraining disease outbreaks…Read More>>

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