Important Brain-Immune System Link Discovery

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As someone with ME, and as someone with a daughter on the Autism Spectrum, this discovery is one of the most important medical events in recent history. Times are changing and researchers are finally picking up the pace studying neuro-immune issues. As my ME progresses, the hope for better understanding of the disease and better treatments may see fruition. Many with ME, MS, and Autism, to mention some of the many misunderstood neuro-immune diseases suffered by millions, might see a flicker at the end of the tunnel.

Sunshinebright

“They’ll have to change the textbooks.”  This statement, by Kevin Lee, PhD, Chairman of the UVA Department of Neuroscience, is the result of a study at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.   The study, awarded to the UVA Health System and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has shown there are heretofore undetected lymphatic vessels connecting the brain to the immune system.

Maps of the lymphatic system: old (left) and updated to reflect UVA's discovery. Maps of the lymphatic system: old (left) and updated to reflect UVA’s discovery.

Researchers knew there was a connection between the brain and immune system, but the vessels were completely hidden.  Now, there are many new angles to exploring neurological disease.

This is a stunning discovery.  It is difficult to explain how these vessels in the brain were overlooked when the lymphatic system was explored.  New avenues of discovery are now possible and beneficiaries might be MS, Autism, Alzheimer’s and maybe even…

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Grieving Mama Cat Who Lost All Three Babies Matched With Three Abandoned Kittens

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This story just hit my heart on so many levels and I had to share it. I hope you get feels from it as well. So special…

From the Huffington Post

written by

This is a true story of a very depressed and grieving mama cat, brought back to a happy maternal state thanks to some very loving people involved in the rescue and foster care of cats, complete with gorgeous photos of this miraculous match. (Here and at the end.)

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Mikey, an eight month old cat, was inconsolable. She had three kittens, born too early. They were weak and one by one, they died. Mikey’s owner Hillary tried everything she could think of to save the babies.

After the last of Mikey’s kitten’s passed away the cat was searching frantically for her offspring, acted very depressed, and her breasts were engorged with milk.

Watching her cat suffer, Hillary was desperate for help and called Dori’s Darlings, a cat rescue organization run by Dori Hillman in Houston.

This is where Amanda Lowe comes in. She is a foster mother to abandoned kittens, through Dori’s Darlings. Just days before Mikey lost her last kitten, Amanda received three baby kittens to foster that were just a few days old, that still had their umbilical cords attached.

Amanda and another foster, Kelli Nicole, provided around the clock care for the three kittens, who she named Teddy, Abby, and Lily for four days. That’s when Amanda received the call from Dori about Mikey losing her brood of kittens.

Reaching out to Hillary immediately, Amanda offered to bring the kittens to Mikey the cat that same evening. After a conversation, they decided Mikey could make it through the night and Amanda went to her first thing the next morning.

Before showing Mikey the kittens, Amanda, who says she talks to cats and animals all the time, told Mikey how sorry she was about her babies.

Speaking to her in a soothing voice, Amanda told Mikey the cat, “I have some babies for you so you can be a mommy again.”

Amanda said she could tell Mikey liked her and trusted her, and then she placed the kittens in front of the mama cat.

Immediately, Mikey started licking them, grabbing them, hugging them. Around 15 minutes later, the cat spread out and rolled over giving the three kittens a nursing invitation.

Lily was the first to latch on.

After two hours, Amanda knew that with Mikey cuddling her new kittens, bathing them, and falling asleep with them, that she was leaving a very happy mama cat and giving the abandoned kittens a new home. She said they even looked like they belonged to one another.

As Amanda explained, the kittens are more important for Mikey, as lots of kittens are raised by human foster moms. “This was just an awful thing she went through (losing all of her babies) and this will be healing for her,” Amanda explained.

Here are some beautiful photos of this heartwarming rescue operation, all taken by Kelli Nicole, who is a professional photographer.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Most of us are sitting around a table, sharing a festive meal with family and friends, enjoying each others company.

Today, I am welcoming a friend into my home and into my family. For this, I am thankful. Thankful for being able to do this for a woman whom I consider a sister and who has been there for me many a time. Thankful that, while I can help her, she is willing to help me as well. Thankful that she understands my illness and treats me the same as she always has – with love and respect.

 

Today, I give thanks for all of the understanding, love and support I receive from my family. The road I travel would be a lot more difficult without it.

Today, I give thanks to the people with ME/CFS, who are using the little bit of energy they have, and their supporters, to advocate for this invisible illness. Together we are fighting an uphill battle – one that has been made necessary by neglect and abuse from the medical community. I am thankful that I have enough energy to join the fight.

In fact, everyday I am thankful for all of the above and more.

Thank you for reading this blog!

Baby Sea Otter Makes a splash at the Shedd Aquarium!

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This is too cute not to share! Just gives me the warm and fuzzies looking at those sweet pictures.

The Chicago Files

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[all photos in this post courtesy of Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez]

Well, well, who do we have here? This little cutie-pie baby sea otter is the latest addition to call Chicago’s, “Shedd Aquarium” her new home; her journey to arrive at the Shedd is remarkable.

At approximately one week old, weighing a mere two pounds (and that is probably “soaking wet”), this tiny sea otter was found on Coastways Beach in California.  A local resident taking an early evening stroll heard the cries of this dear little soul.  The good Samaritan immediately notified authorities; however, due to impending nightfall, no rescue could take place until the next morning, given the sea otter pup’s remote location.

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It was determined that she was orphaned; as such, she needed immediate care and nutrition.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium initially took the pup into its fold, where it houses a special, “Sea Otter Program”.  This program…

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A Note Was Found At The Airport That Said “Read Me.”

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Everyone should read this. If it applies to you, try to take it in and know it for truth. I have walked these shoes, been freed and, even with illness, am happier than I have ever been. I have found myself and love the person I am. My gift to you is the gift of reblogging “Jamie’s” gift.

Kindness Blog

A man came across a folded piece of paper while he was at San Francisco airport that said ‘read me‘ on the front.  How could anyone possibly resist that invitation?  He knew he just had to look.  So, he did.

And what he discovered inside was surprising and wonderful…

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This is what was inside… (scroll down to read a typed up version)

note from a stranger

“I recently left an emotionally abusive relationship After months of insults I wont repeat, false accusations, lies, delusions, broken mirrors, nightly battles…. I left. I know that I was being poisoned by each day that I stayed. So with a heavy heart, I left my lover of three years, knowing that I had already put it off too long. At first he begged, then he cursed, but eventually he packed his bags and faded out of my life like a bad dream.

For the first few weeks, my…

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A Puppy In Need Walked Up To A Man At Work. What Followed Shattered My Heart.

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I am a big softy for animals (especially cats 🙂 ) This is a story about a rescue – a rescue by all parties involved. And a gentle passing. Take out your hanky.

Kindness Blog

It’s never too late to help a dog in need. Whether they’re newborns or the oldest dog in the kennel, they’re all better off for our help. But let’s face it, most of our attention goes to the pups. And for good reason. They’re cute, can’t look out for themselves, and we want to protect them from the harsh world before anything bad happens.

But what should we do about the ones that don’t get rescued? The ones who’ve lived out there in the harsh world, maybe their entire lives? How can we help them? Well after reading this story about Toothless the dog, I think I have an idea. And a new hero…

One day, Cody Leightenheimer found this little guy.According to him, “I was working at a wood flooring factory a couple of months after. I had an entire wing, basically, to myself. One day I was staining…

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Blood molecule predicts success of antidepressants

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People who begin antidepressant treatment must face a grueling wait of several weeks before they find out whether or not the drug will work for them. A new take on the causes of depression could lead to a blood test predicting who will be helped by medication – taking the guess work out of prescribing.

“A test would be a major advance as at the moment millions of people are treated with antidepressants that won’t have any effect,” says Gustavo Tureckiof McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who led the study.

The research centres on miRNAs, small molecules that have an important role in turning genes on and off in different parts of the body. MiRNAs have already been implicated in several brain disorders.

In the latest study, Turecki and his colleagues measured the levels of about 1000 miRNAs in the brains of people who had committed suicide. These were compared to levels in brains of people who had died from other causes. A molecule called miRNA-1202 was the most altered, being present at significantly lower levels in the brains of people who died from suicide.

Crucially, this molecule seems to damp down the activity of a gene involved in glutamate signalling in the brain. That’s significant because recent research has highlighted the importance of glutamate signalling in depression.

The McGill team found that miRNA-1202, unlike most other miRNAs, is produced exclusively in humans and other primates. “That suggests this miRNA is involved in cognition,” says Yogesh Dwivedi of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, who was not involved in the study.

Blood samples taken from people about to start treatment with citalopram, one of the most widely used SSRIs – a class of antidepressant – showed that those who subsequently improved in response to the drug had about half the levels of miRNA-1202 as those who failed to respond. This suggests that measuring levels of the molecule could predict whether the antidepressant will be effective.

The next step, says Turecki, is to see if it also predicts response to other types of antidepressants. Promisingly, another drug called imipramine, which belongs to the second main class of antidepressants, had similar effects on miRNA-1202 to citalopram, when applied to neurons grown in the lab.

“MiRNAs are a hot topic in psychiatry now,” says Dwivedi. “They could help us understand the neurobiology of depression.” Dwivedi cautioned, however, that each miRNA can affect many different genes, so its involvement in depression may not be clear-cut.

Cosmo Hallström of Imperial College London says, although the results need replicating, a test to predict response to drug treatment would be very helpful. He points out, however, that it would need to give fast results, as psychiatrists would not want to delay starting people with severe depression on drugs that could help them.

Journal reference: Nature Medicine, DOI: 10.1038/nm.3582

My Pick As Top Crowdwish Actioned This Past Week.

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There is just too much good stuff going on at Crowdwish, so I will pick the one I felt was “up there” (besides the one that was actioned for my friend*) 

 

 

Crowdwish 109 Actioned.

April 24th’s Crowdwish was ‘I could find an online job that actually pays’.

You totally can.

Remote working is a huge industry, easily worth in excess of $150 billion a year. There is a wealth of sites offering online work, but inevitably many of them are slightly dodgy and best avoided.

As a rule of thumb, here are the things that should ring alarm bells if you are looking to make money ‘remote working’ from home:

  1. If it all feels a bit too good to be true. If someone’s offering untold riches for doing comparatively little, then use your abundant common sense. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, if you can forgive the incredibly vacuous cliché.
  2. If the contracting company asks you to pay for their services upfront. If people are demanding an advance payment, don’t ever make it. It undoubtedly signifies an arrangement that is not designed to benefit you.
  3. If they ask you to provide confidential information. Do not disclose bank account details, national insurance or social security details to anybody. Obvs.
  4. If their mails come from a personal account. If an email that you receive doesn’t contain a business email and phone number, it’s worth avoiding. ‘Real’ businesses rarely use hotmail.
  5. If  you get the ‘job’ incredibly easily. Not intended as a diss on your undoubted abilities but be aware of being accepted too readily.

There are however a lot of sites which offer legitimate methods of remote employment, pay reasonable wages and have structured processes in place that ensure nobody gets fleeced.

If you have skills and abilities in almost any area, from copywriting to accountancy, mobile app designing to translating, there are jobs posted on these sites every minute of every day, many of which pay reasonable wages of $30 an hour or more.

From reliable sources that use them frequently, these are the world’s best and most trustworthy remote working sites, which can genuinely be trusted to provide alternative sources of income for anyone with skills to offer. None of these require upfront funds to register:

oDesk. The world’s largest online workplace.

Elance. Members have earned in excess of $1bn to date.

MyCrowd. Ten million freelancers can’t be wrong.

Freelancer.co.uk. Almost 6 million available projects currently.

e4s. Specialise in student or gap yah jobs.

Peopleperhour. Particularly strong on design based jobs.

Guru.com. 800,000 jobs successfully completed to date

Good luck.

*And, just to replay the wonderful video Crowdwish helped put together for my friend:

Please watch this video about my childhood friend and visit http://www.gofundme.com/886ae8 for more information on how to help. Re-blogging is wonderful! Heartfelt thanks. ❤

Replay Sunday and Happy Easter!

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First of all, Happy Easter -hope the bunny was good to all out there!

Secondly, I am re-posting this video because I care deeply about my friend. I am asking people to re-blog  this video -on your blog, on facebook, on twitter, etc. Please spread the word, as I am hoping to reach our goal.

 

If this seems pushy, I apologize. Being aware there are many things going on in this world and everyone can do so much, this is one thing I can do to make SG’s life a little easier, and so I am trying. If you would like to donate, even as little as $5.00, please go to http://www.gofundme.com/886ae8

It is much appreciated!

Many thanks again to Bill Griffin and his team at Crowdwish.com.