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The Connection Between Your Memory & Well-Being. Tips For Neuronal Regeneration

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“I wanted only to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?” ― Hermann Hesse

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Preface- Who am I to talk on a topic like this?

Since November of 2012, I have slowly lost the ability to retrieve episodic memories, which are memories related to autobiographical events that are explicitly stated. I have also had increasing difficulty in storing and maintaining new memories. This is also known as Anterograde Amnesia in the medical community. This paper presents both the opportunity to assimilate the facts, philosophies and falsities on the topic of well-being and memory in one place for the betterment of myself; whilst additionally providing a potential gateway for re-accessing the mindset and particular class on happiness and its inherent discussions and occasional poetic banter in favor of well-being and a meaningful life provided to me during the time within the Fall of 2013.

After two years at one University, I transferred to a different one to continue my studies. I discovered a class of drugs, known as Nootropics (brain drugs.) Upon this discovery, I researched and researched trying to find the perfect Nootropic regimen for a brain functioning of the highest possible degree. I purchased a supplement concoction known as Focus Formula made by Windmill Products, which was not FDA regulated. This should have made me more aware of its abuse potential, but alas, greed of higher functioning got the better of me. I believe there is a quote that says each ingredient was designed to enhance overall cognition, memory and attention. Its primary ingredient Huperzine-A (Huperzia serrate) is an alkaloid isolated from a Chinese club moss. The main pharmacological benefit of Huperzia serrata is its activity as an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor. It is used in clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, as within Alzheimer’s there exists a lack of Acetylcholine being produced in the presynaptic vesicles so there is less activity at Ach receptor sites. After some digging this semester and semantic learnings from my Behavioral Neuroscience class and even particular readings from my course in Philosophy of Happiness I learned Huperzine-A is not for healthy, young brains. Taken daily in those without Alzheimer’s or similar neurodegenerative diseases can actually cause a cascading of Alzheimer’s disease within the subject of daily ingestion. This is quite possibly what happened in my case, considering I have been prescribed Namenda (Mementine) which is one of the most potent drugs for late-stage dementia and Alzheimer’s. This cascading of neurological deficits has affected my ability to drive, narrowed my thought-action repertoire, and most importantly almost entirely inhibited new long and short-term memory consolidation and retrieval.

That being said, I have been set forth on a journey for neuronal regeneration; for finding peace within the realm of the experiential self in the fleeting presence of a remembered self and potential absence of neuronal regenerative capabilities at this point in pharmacology. Here I will explore well-being within the experiential self, the remembered/reflective self and pharmacological perspectives on regeneration of healthy neurons, reparation of broken synaptic connections and overall reversal of an ethnobotanically induced amnesic neuronal degeneration. I am not going to go into too much on the inner-workings of the brain, as I have done this the entire semester and do not want to regurgitate the same information over and over again as it is semi-irrelevant to the topics I am dissecting; though I will go into the pharmacological workings of certain ethnobotanical and lab-synthesized compounds on the brain functioning and it’s repair. Novelty, well-being (whether it be for the brain, contentment of mind, or physical state) and natural brain reparation through feeding it the necessary building blocks to regenerate its matter and systems are the goals here. That’s enough terminological density for the time being- Now, what does this all mean for well-being? I will begin with analyzing Kahneman’s Experiential Self and his idea of the Remembered/Reflective self. Then I will delve into the relation of these two domains of consciousness to overall philosophy of the mind, psychology of well-being and psychopharmacology. Lastly, I will go into the philosophy of regimens for homeostasis restoration within the brain in the midst of cognitive declination in the way of episodic memory and how a sense of well-being is crucial for this restoration.

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Memory and Well-Being: What role does memory play in living a spiritually fulfilling life?

Marketers-learn-to-live-in-the-momentSome say a personality is nothing more than a man’s thoughts in the present moment and his memories within cognizance or an accessible area of retrieval within the brain. It has also been said your personality is the collection of all of one’s experiences and learnings assimilated into the thoughts and actions of the individual in the present. There are a myriad of personality theories that have been purported, extending from the field of psychology to philosophy and to sociology. We are now surrounded by an influx of practices, techniques and sub-cultures that hold mindfulness within the nexus. We are now surrounded by flow arts, which transform the partaking individual into the activity itself in essence, rather than another entity simply doing the activity. These mindfulness activities, Kundalini classes, flow festivals, etc. are all pervading throughout the Western culture to bring the individual into experiencing the present moment in the entirety of its essence. Why would this possibly be? Especially the historic peaking within mainstream America around the same time that Seligman, former head of the American Psychological Association (APA), began the movement of the Psychology of Well-Being in America. Seligman was most notably responsible for his initial theory of Learned Helplessness and his following theory of Learned Optimism and the eventuation of this theory into its namesake book. Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics, has recently branched out into the psychology of well-being. Kahneman presents that there exist two domains of human consciousness that differ quite dramatically within what it is to be happy. In a culture freshly bursting with well-being coaches, self-help books, and meditative practices leading to a life of well-being, Kahneman says there are several cognitive traps that make attaining the goal of well-being quite a challenge, but not impossible.

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One of these cognitive traps is confusion between experience and memory. Being happy in your life and being happy about/with your life are two very different concepts. Both lumped in with the notion of happiness. A cognitive trap is known as the “focusing allusion,” which essentially states we can’t think about any circumstance that affects well-being without distorting its importance. This holds true for me as I strive to heighten the quality of my life through novel experiences, my collegiate pursuits, and well-being practices. This presents issues for those pursuing this realm of philosophy and social sciences with the end goal of a greater subjective well-being. This is quite a prominent cognitive trap, as this moves into the meta-psychology of well-being -which is quite a rabbit hole to enter for any man, sane or not.

Let’s dissect the experiential self and the remembering/ reflective self a little further. The remembering self is the one that keeps score, maintains the story and continuity of our life -much of the mess within the notion of happiness lies in the confusion between these two selves. The remembering self is the story teller and derives it’s stories from our memories. These memories tell us the stories, so Kahneman says what we get to keep from our experiences are these stories. What defines a story is the changes, significant moments and endings. Endings are very crucial. The experiencing self lives in the present, knows the present- similar to the notion of the observing self. The experiencing self lives continuously, one moment after the other. With the experiencing self, the moments of the past are lost forever, Kahneman believes. Within most moments of our lives, the psychological present was bound by Kahneman and researchers to be about a mere span of 3 seconds. So you have 600 million psychological presents in a life, and 600 thousand in a month. Most are completely ignored by the remembering self and leave no trace. But we get the sense that these should count, as time has been said to be the most important yet finite resource that we are spending while we are on this earth, so how we spend time within these psychological presents would seem to be relevant. Were these psychological presents overlooked due to lack of significant meaning or were they simply not worth remembering? If the latter is the case, one should construct a life worth remember- if only for you. But the remembering self keeps a different story. The biggest difference is in the handling of time. For the remembering self, a two week vacation is barely better than a one week vacation, but it is twice as better for the experiencing self. Time has very little impact on the story. Remembering self does more than remember and tell stories; it actually makes your decisions as well. We don’t choose between experiences, we choose between memories of experiences as Kahneman says. We don’t think of our future as experiences, we think of our future as anticipated memories. A tyranny of the remembering self is that you can think of the remembering self; sort of dragging the experiencing self through experiences that the experiencing self doesn’t need. This is very indeed the case in vacations.

Moving Forward- Neuronal Regeneration, Or Lack Of and Meaning in Life

I am currently in the process of attaining cognitive homeostasis through a diverse yet synergistic supplement regimen. These supplements all possess powerful qualities for brain regeneration in a variety of ways. The questions exist; should I throw a myriad of mind-altering supplements into my body to give the brain the building blocks it needs for natural regeneration? This option would be possibly muddling potential future test results that could pinpoint the issue. Or should I stick to standard Western Psychiatric Pharmacological prescriptions and accept notions by doctors that there is no way to reverse the damage done by the Huperzine A? Western medicine, when it comes to neurodegeneration, only has the potential of masking particular symptoms, but not fixing the issue. The experiential self experiences novelty within every moment and does not need the continuity of the past through memories. It simply trudges forward despite the circumstances and takes full advantage of every psychological present. Loss of Episodic memory is not exactly being fully immersed in the consciousness domain of the experiential self, but it is quite relative from my understanding. Is the loss of episodic memory a gift in the way of easing the path to mindfulness and getting the most out of every new and unique psychological present? Is this cognitive declination a challenge for me to overcome? Being a neuroscience/philosophy student with background studies in psychopharmacology and cognitive science, I am in alignment, based on my fields of study, with what William James would call my habitual centre of personal energy. Experiencing growth within these fields evokes spiritual emotions of interconnectedness, possessing a niche from within which I can contribute to the whole field of well-being studies to enhance the quality of life for anyone interested in learning. William James says, “The saintly character is the character for which spiritual emotions are the habitual centre of the personal energy” Within these cognitive deficits I just happen to be pursuing fields of study that can illuminate the cause and solution of these exogenously induced deficits. This, in my perspective, is known as a synchronistic occurrence.

Synchronistic occurrences are not coincidence by any means, but more-so two occurrences that were meant to unfold in the exact way, the exact time and precise place that they did for a grand reason potent with meaning. Would overcoming a challenge of this nature, or would accepting the new state of cognitive functioning be better for my well-being and decisions responsible for my well-being in the future? Herein lies the quandary no doctor can give me the answer to- in reference of the epigraph- I must “live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self.” My true self, my habitual centre of personal energy can only live from this psychological present to the next with bright eyes, motivation and an open-mind. The quandary is one even I am unable to answer, but ironically, forgetting the quandary that is related to forgetting in the first place is rather elating in terms of my sense of well-being. Many of the sources perused on the topic of brain damage reversal indicated a requirement of a positive mindset- the belief that the damage reversal will take place. This is where utilizing philosophy really helps. A man can change his philosophy towards certain topics in life- such as the importance of memory for well-being and personality as life circumstances shift. Through this philoplasticity and our ability to cherry pick from different philosophies we can, by the end of the day, change the wiring of our physical brains due to changes in perspective towards difficulties, practicing calming techniques such as meditation, and the piece that brings it all together is neuroplasticity.

The right combination of changes as a result of philoplasticity and neuroplasticity could be all one needs to develop the habit of the aforementioned Learned Optimism. Learned Optimism, or the idea in positive psychology that a talent for joy, like any other, can be cultivated, is a key component in brain regeneration that can theoretically cause a cascading of cognitive reparations in conjunction with the appropriate building block supplements. These reparations include but are not limited to increased mitochondrial activity, unbundling of synapses and reparation of synaptic connections, growth of the hippocampus and balanced neurotransmitter release and recepting in the postsynaptic membrane. With that being said, I suppose all there is to ask now is; why not breathe happily, eat some vitamins, and lead a life worth remembering?  For those who thrive in a moment to moment life I ask; why not breathe happily, eat some vitamins, and live in the present moment wisely and earnestly as the Buddha would say? As mentioned earlier, a story is defined by change, significant moments, and most importantly endings. At the conclusion of one’s life, their final state of well-being is entirely contingent upon; not the circumstances or events themselves, but the individual’s response to these circumstances or events throughout their life.

Love and Light,

John Holloway

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The Powerful Aspirin Alternative Your Doctor Never Told You About

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo,com where it was originally posted. Published here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Given the newly released cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines recommending against daily low-dose aspirin use, natural, safe and effective alternatives are needed now more than ever.

In a previous article titled “The Evidence Against Aspirin and For Natural Alternatives,” we discussed the clear and present danger linked with the use of aspirin as well as several clinically proven alternatives that feature significant side benefits as opposed to aspirin’s many known side effects.

Since writing this article, even more evidence has accumulated indicating that aspirin’s risks outweigh its benefits. Most notably, a 15-year Dutch study published in the journal Heart found that among 27,939 healthy female health professionals (average age 54) randomized to receive either 100 mg of aspirin every day or a placebo the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding outweighed the benefit of the intervention for colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention in those under 65 years of age. Most recently, last month, new cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines submitted jointly by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Associated and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, earlier this year, contradict decades of routine medical advice by explicitly advising against the daily use of low-dose or baby aspirin (75-100 mg) as a preventive health strategy against stroke or heart attack, in most cases.

Of course, aspirin is not alone as far as dangerous side effects are concerned. The entire non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) category of prescription and over-the-counter drugs is fraught with serious danger. Ibuprofen, for instance, is known to kill thousands each year, and is believed no less dangerous than Merck’s COX-2 inhibitor NSAID drug Vioxx which caused between 88,000-140,000 cases of serious heart disease in the five years it was on the market (1999-2004). Tylenol is so profoundly toxic to the liver that contributing writer Dr. Michael Murray recently asked in his Op-Ed piece, “Is it Time for the FDA to Remove Tylenol From the Market?” Just as serious are tylenol’s empathy destroying properties that were only identified four years ago.

Given the dire state of affairs associated with pharmaceutical intervention for chronic pain issues, what can folks do who don’t want to kill themselves along with their pain?

Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol) Puts Aspirin To Shame

When it comes to aspirin alternatives, one promising contender is pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant extracted from French maritime pine bark, backed by over 40 years of research, the most compelling of which we have aggregated on GreenMedInfo.com here: Pycnogenol Research. Amazingly, you will find research indexed there showing it may have value for over 80 health conditions.

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In 1999, a remarkable study published in the journal Thrombotic Research found that pycnogenol was superior (i.e. effective at a lower dosage) to aspirin at inhibiting smoking-induced clotting, without the significant (and potentially life-threatening) increase in bleeding time associated with aspirin use. The abstract is well worth reading in its entirety:

“The effects of a bioflavonoid mixture, Pycnogenol, were assessed on platelet function in humans. Cigarette smoking increased heart rate and blood pressure. These increases were not influenced by oral consumption of Pycnogenol or Aspirin just before smoking. However, increased platelet reactivity yielding aggregation 2 hours after smoking was prevented by 500 mg Aspirin or 100 mg Pycnogenol in 22 German heavy smokers. In a group of 16 American smokers, blood pressure increased after smoking. It was unchanged after intake of 500 mg Aspirin or 125 mg Pycnogenol. In another group of 19 American smokers, increased platelet aggregation was more significantly reduced by 200 than either 150 mg or 100 mg Pycnogenol supplementation. This study showed that a single, high dose, 200 mg Pycnogenol, remained effective for over 6 days against smoking-induced platelet aggregation. Smoking increased platelet aggregation that was prevented after administration of 500 mg Aspirin and 125 mg Pycnogenol. Thus, smoking-induced enhanced platelet aggregation was inhibited by 500 mg Aspirin as well as by a lower range of 100-125 mg Pycnogenol. Aspirin significantly (p<0.001) increased bleeding time from 167 to 236 seconds while Pycnogenol did not. These observations suggest an advantageous risk-benefit ratio for Pycnogenol.” [emphasis added]

As emphasized in bold above, pycnogenol unlike aspirin did not significantly increase bleeding time. This has profound implications, as aspirin’s potent anti-platelet/’blood thinning’ properties can also cause life-threatening hemorrhagic events. If this study is accurate and pycnogenol is more effective at decreasing pathologic platelet aggregation at a lower dose without causing the increased bleeding linked to aspirin, then it is clearly a superior natural alternative worthy of far more attention by the conventional medical establishment and research community than it presently receives.

Not Just A Drug Alternative

Pycnogenol, like so many other natural interventions, has a wide range of side benefits that may confer significant advantage when it comes to reducing cardiovascular disease risk. For instance, pycnogenol is also:

  • Blood Pressure Reducing/Endothelial Function Enhancer: A number of clinical studies indicate that pycnogenol is therapeutic for those suffering with hypertension. Pycnogenol actually addresses a root cause of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in general, namely, endothelial dysfunction (the inability of the inner lining of the blood vessels to function correctly, e.g. fully dilate).[1] It has been shown to prevent damage in microcirculation in hypertensive patients, as well as reducing the dose of blood pressure drugs in hypertensive patients,[2]including hypertensive diabetic patients.[3] It has even been found to reduce intraocular hypertension found in glaucoma patients.[4]
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: There is a growing appreciation among the medical community that inflammation contributes to cardiovascular disease. Several markers, including C-reactive protein are now being fore grounded as being at least as important in determining cardiovascular disease risk as various blood lipids and/or their ratios, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Pycnogenol has been found to reduce C-reactive protein in hypertensive patients.[5] Pycnogenol has been found to rapidly modulate downward (inhibit) both Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzyme activity in human subjects, resulting in reduced expression of these inflammation-promoting enzymes within 30 minutes post-ingestion.[6] Another observed anti-inflammatory effect of pycnogenol is its ability to down-regulate the class of inflammatory enzymes known as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).[7] Pycnogenol has also been found to significantly inhibit NF-kappaB activation, a key body-wide regulator of inflammation levels whose overexpression and/or dysregulation may result in pathologic cardiovascular manifestations.[8] Finally, pycnogenol has been found to reduce fibrinogen levels, a glycoprotein that contributes to the formation of blood clots; fibrinogen has been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.[9]
  • The Ideal Air Travel Companion: In a previous article entitled, “How Pine Bark Extract Could Save Air Travelers Lives,” we delve into a compelling body of research that indicates pycnogenol may be the perfect preventive remedy for preventing flight-associated thrombosis, edema, and concerns related to radiotoxicity and immune suppression.

Given the evidence for pycnogenol’s pleotrophic cardioprotective properties, we hope that pycnogenol will become more commonly recommended by health care practitioners as the medical paradigm continues to evolve past its reliance on synthetic chemicals, eventually (we hope) returning to natural, increasingly evidence-based interventions. However, it is important that we don’t fall prey to the one-disease-one-pill model, convincing ourselves to focus on popping pills – this time natural ones – as simply countermeasures or ‘insurance’ against the well-known harms associated with the standard American diet, lack of exercise and uncontrolled stress. The ultimate goal is to remove the need for pills altogether, focusing on preventing cardiovascular disease from the ground up and inside out, e.g. letting high quality food, clean water and air, and a healthy attitude nourish and sustain your health and well-being.


References

[1] Ximing Liu, Junping Wei, Fengsen Tan, Shengming Zhou, Gudrun Würthwein, Peter Rohdewald. Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark extract, improves endothelial function of hypertensive patients. Life Sci. 2004 Jan 2;74(7):855-62. PMID: 14659974

[2] Gianni Belcaro, Maria Rosaria Cesarone, Andrea Ricci, Umberto Cornelli, Peter Rodhewald, Andrea Ledda, Andrea Di Renzo, Stefano Stuard, Marisa Cacchio, Giulia Vinciguerra, Giuseppe Gizzi, Luciano Pellegrini, Mark Dugall, Filiberto Fano. Control of edema in hypertensive subjects treated with calcium antagonist (nifedipine) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors with Pycnogenol. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2006 Oct;12(4):440-4. PMID: 17000888

[3] Sherma Zibadi, Peter J Rohdewald, Danna Park, Ronald Ross Watson. Reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in subjects with type 2 diabetes by Pycnogenol supplementation. Nutr Res. 2008 May;28(5):315-20. PMID: 19083426

[4] Robert D Steigerwalt, Belcaro Gianni, Morazzoni Paolo, Ezio Bombardelli, Carolina Burki, Frank Schönlau. Effects of Mirtogenol on ocular blood flow and intraocular hypertension in asymptomatic subjects. Mol Vis. 2008;14:1288-92. Epub 2008 Jul 10. PMID: 18618008

[5] Maria Rosaria Cesarone, Gianni Belcaro, Stefano Stuard, Frank Schönlau, Andrea Di Renzo, Maria Giovanna Grossi, Mark Dugall, Umberto Cornelli, Marisa Cacchio, Giuseppe Gizzi, Luciano Pellegrini. Kidney flow and function in hypertension: protective effects of pycnogenol in hypertensive participants–a controlled study. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Mar;15(1):41-6. Epub 2010 Jan 22. PMID: 20097689

[6] Angelika Schäfer, Zuzana Chovanová, Jana Muchová, Katarína Sumegová, Anna Liptáková, Zdenka Duracková, Petra Högger. Inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 activity by plasma of human volunteers after ingestion of French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol). Biomed Pharmacother. 2006 Jan;60(1):5-9. Epub 2005 Oct 26. PMID: 16330178

[7] Tanja Grimm, Angelika Schäfer, Petra Högger. Antioxidant activity and inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases by metabolites of maritime pine bark extract (pycnogenol). Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2011 Jan;40(1):103-6. PMID: 14990359

[8] Tanja Grimm, Zuzana Chovanová, Jana Muchová, Katarína Sumegová, Anna Liptáková, Zdenka Duracková, Petra Högger. Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation and MMP-9 secretion by plasma of human volunteers after ingestion of maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol). J Inflamm (Lond). 2006;3:1. Epub 2006 Jan 27. PMID: 16441890

[9] G Belcaro, M R Cesarone, S Errichi, C Zulli, B M Errichi, G Vinciguerra, A Ledda, A Di Renzo, S Stuard, M Dugall, L Pellegrini, G Gizzi, E Ippolito, A Ricci, M Cacchio, G Cipollone, I Ruffini, F Fano, M Hosoi, P Rohdewald. Variations in C-reactive protein, plasma free radicals and fibrinogen values in patients with osteoarthritis treated with Pycnogenol. Redox Rep. 2008;13(6):271-6. PMID: 19017467

Originally published: 2017-07-23

Article updated: 2019-04-11


Link to original article


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Long-Term Consequences of Mumps Vaccination: Many Unanswered Questions

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This is Part II of a two-part series on mumps. Part I discussed how mumps vaccination and the flawed mumps component of Merck’s MMR vaccine are fostering dangerous mumps outbreaks in adolescents and young adults.

It has been about five decades since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Merck’s first mumps vaccine. The company began launching combination MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines in the 1970s. Coincidentally—or not—an infertility crisis has been brewing over roughly the same time period, with dramatic declines in sperm counts and record-lowfertility levels. However, few investigators seem interested in assessing whether mumps outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations of teens and young adults could be having long-termeffects on fertility or other health indicators.

As described in Part I, childhood MMR vaccination has been an unmitigated disaster where mumps is concerned, deferring mumps infection to older ages and leaving adolescents and young adults vulnerable to serious reproductive complications. Public health reports show that the vast majority of mumps cases and outbreaks occur in youth who have been fully vaccinatedwith the prescribed two-dose MMR series, supporting a hypothesis of “waning immunity after the second dose.” FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials even admitthat mumps outbreaks in the post-vaccination era “typically involve young adults,” and that vaccination is failing to protect those who are college-age and above.

Myopically, many vaccine experts have called for a third MMR dose—or even “booster dosing throughout adulthood”—even though the FDA’s and CDC’s own research shows that MMR boosters in college-age youth barely last one year. As alleged in whistleblower lawsuits wending their way through the courts over the past eight years, Merck presented the FDA with a “falsely inflated efficacy rate” for the MMR’s mumps component, using animal antibodies and other fraudulent tactics to fool FDA—and the public—into believing that the vaccine was effective.

When infection arises after puberty, however, mumps is no laughing matter, presenting an increased risk of complications such as hearing loss, encephalitis and inflammation of the reproductive organs.

Mumps after puberty is no laughing matter

Around the time that the first mumps vaccine came on the market, the 1967 children’s classic The Great Brain humorously depicted mumps infection in childhood as a mere nuisance. The book’s young protagonist goes out of his way to intentionally infect himself with mumps so that he can beat his two brothers to the recovery finish line—and he experiences no adverse consequences other than his siblings’ annoyance.

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When infection arises after puberty, however, mumps is no laughing matter, presenting an increased risk of complications such as hearing loss, encephalitis and inflammation of the reproductive organs. About one in three postpubertal men with mumps develops orchitis(inflammation of the testes), which can damage sperm, affect testosterone production and contribute to subfertility and infertility. During a mumps outbreak in England in the mid-2000s, mumps orchitis accounted for 42% of all hospitalized mumps cases; the researchers attributed this outcome—which was the most common reason for hospitalization—to “the high attack rates in adolescents and young adults” that occurred “despite high coverage with two-dose MMR.” An analysis of a 2006 mumps outbreak in the U.S. reported that male patients were over three times more likely than female patients to experience complications, “due primarily to orchitis.”

An estimated 5% to 10% of postpubertal women will develop oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) following mumps infection. Oophoritis is associated with premature menopause and infertility, but mumps-related oophoritis has garnered little notice.

Mumps infections are often asymptomatic or produce nonspecific symptoms such as fever, while cases of orchitis may present with no other mumps symptoms. Nonetheless, public health officials advise clinicians that orchitis is an instant cue to test for mumps virus, and testing often reveals elevated mumps antibodies. In a case report of MMR failure, British clinicians isolated a novel genetic strain of mumps virus from the patient’s semen two weeks after the onset of orchitis and found mumps RNA in the semen 40 days later; they also noted “the appearance of anti-sperm antibodies,” with “potential long-term adverse effects on the patient’s fertility.”

In 2017, researchers who reviewed 185 studies conducted in Western nations found that sperm counts had plummeted by 50% to 60% between 1973 and 2011—an average decrease of 1.4% annually. Commenting on this work, one analyst estimated that 20% to 30% of young men in Europe and North America have sperm concentrations associated with a reduced ability to father a child. Given estimates that as much as 40% of reproductive problems have to do with the male partner, there is agreement on the importance of “finding and eliminating [the] hidden culprits in the environment” that most researchers believe are to blame.

An estimated 5% to 10% of postpubertal women will develop oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) following mumps infection. Oophoritis is associated with premature menopause and infertility, but mumps-related oophoritis has garnered little notice.

MMR’s and MMRV’s potential to impair fertility never studied

Merck has not evaluated either of its two MMR vaccines—the MMR-II and the MMR-plus-varicella (MMRV) vaccine—for their potential to impair fertility. Whether such testing would unearth direct effects on fertility (as appears to be possible with HPV vaccination in women) is thus unknown. However, mumps vaccination undeniably increases reproductive-age individuals’ risk of mumps infection and, in the process, increases the risk of fertility-altering complications. These facts alone should be attracting far more attention.

Unfortunately, because clinicians already tend to underdiagnose mumps infection and underestimate mumps complications, it is likely that they are failing to recognize possible vaccine-induced reproductive health consequences of mumps infection in their adolescent and young adult patients. In one university outbreak, “most physicians…did not suspect mumps,” and even when they became aware of the outbreak, “diagnosing mumps was not always straightforward.” Moreover, although differentiating between vaccine strains of mumps virus and wild types could provide valuable information, few clinicians have the capacity or inclination to perform testing of this type. A Japanese study of cerebrospinal fluid and saliva from patients with mumps complications found vaccine strain in nearly all of the samples and noted the information’s importance in helping determine whether the complications were vaccine-related.

Those who have sought to understand mumps vaccines’ poor performance point to a mixture of explanatory factors. These include waning immunity, the high population density and close quarters encountered in settings such as college campuses, incomplete vaccine-induced immunity to wild virus as well as viral evolution such that “the vaccine triggers a less potent reaction against today’s mumps viruses than those of 50 years ago.” However, some also quietly admit that individuals with “mild vaccine-modified disease” could be perpetuating the chain of transmission. This latter point ought to be raising questions about the logic and wisdom of administering further rounds of MMR boosters during outbreaks while ignoring the problems created by the doses already given.

… some individuals respond poorly to mumps vaccination and vaccine-induced antibody levels correlate poorly with protection from mumps infection, irrespective of the number of additional doses of mumps-containing vaccine they receive.

Most scientists appear to be either resigned to ongoing mumps outbreaks in vaccinated populations or actually accept periodic outbreaks as the cost of doing business. Publications by FDA and CDC researchers reveal these agencies’ awareness that some individuals respond poorly to mumps vaccination and that vaccine-induced antibody levels correlate poorly with protection from mumps infection, “irrespective of the number of additional doses of mumps-containing vaccine they receive.” Considering the effects on fertility, the generally abysmal track record of mumps vaccination and Merck’s fraudulent claims about efficacy, it is hard to fathom medical and public health experts’ complacency about current mumps vaccines and vaccine policies.


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Alternative News

Investigation Shows The MMR Vaccine Was Approved Based On Small Studies Showing Disturbing Results

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A FOIA request by Del Bigtree reveals that the 8 studies supporting the release of the MMR vaccine were only 6 weeks long, used only 800 children, and led to damaging respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses to many of the children.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we ready to collectively deal with the implications of ongoing revelations of industry malfeasance with regards to vaccines that for some may require a shift in long-held beliefs?

Amidst a rash of efforts to bring forward mandatory vaccination in pockets of the United States is the recent move in New York City to declare a public health emergency Tuesday over a measles outbreak and order mandatory vaccinations in one neighborhood for people who may have been exposed to the virus.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the unusual order to address what he said was a measles “crisis” in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section, where more than 250 people have gotten measles since September. The order applies to anyone living, working or going to school in four zip codes in the neighborhood. The declaration requires all unvaccinated people who may have been exposed to the virus to get the vaccine, including children over 6 months old. People who ignore the order could be fined $1,000.

Challenging Assumptions

This kind of invasive move gives rise to several serious questions, including challenging many of the assumptions that are necessarily made to justify such a move.

Assumption #1: People who may have been infected with the measles should get vaccinated immediately. De Blasio wants people who may have been infected with the measles to get vaccinated. The assumption here is that the vaccine would actually help someone who has the virus by preventing them from getting the measles or preventing them from spreading it to others. But this just doesn’t stand to reason. If someone is already infected, getting a measles vaccine will not prevent the outbreak. That’s not what a vaccine is designed for. And while the person is going through the 2-week period it takes for the vaccine to take hold, it’s quite possible that this will weaken the immune response to the actual measles infection the person has. Quarantining people suspected of being infected would be the sensible response, not vaccinating. If they happen to have the measles, no problem. Once they recover they will then be immune for life.

Assumption #2: The MMR Vaccine Can Create Herd Immunity. There is an article in the Huffington post entitled ‘I’m No Anti-Vaxxer, But the Measles Vaccine Can’t Prevent Outbreaks,’ in which Dr. Gregory Poland, who strongly advocates for vaccines, notes that outbreaks are often initiated and spread by people who have been fully vaccinated against the measles–over 50% in the case of a 2011 outbreak in Quebec. How is this possible? While this Quebec outbreak happened within a community that supposedly had achieved herd-immunity status of over 95% vaccinated, the facts are, as the article notes, that “9 per cent of children having two doses of the vaccine, as public health authorities now recommend, will have lost their immunity after just seven and a half years. As more time passes, more lose their immunity.” Therefore, herd immunity for measles is simply impossible to achieve with this vaccine.

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Assumption #3: The MMR Vaccine, in de Blasio’s words, is ‘safe, effective, and life-saving.’ The claim that the MMR vaccine is ‘life-saving’ does not stand up to simple statistics, as we detail in our article ‘Statistics Show The MMR Vaccine Kills More People Than The Measles Does.’ Whether it is effective, we have already seen that it is incapable of creating herd immunity, wanes over time, does not work at all for some people, and in some of the latest outbreaks the majority of people infected were fully vaccinated. Is it safe? This is the important question we cover in the next section.

The Studies That Stand Behind The Approval Of the MMR Vaccine

The pharmaceutical industry, as well as governmental regulatory bodies like the CDC and the FDA, assure the public that they take the safety of vaccines seriously, and that there is irrefutable science behind the notion that vaccines are safe in terms of the studies that their approval is based on.

However, a Freedom of Information Act request by Del Bigtree has revealed absolutely startling information about the studies that supported the approval of the MMR vaccines that have been injected into our children. To begin with, only 8 studies were conducted and the total combined number of children participating in the studies was only a little over 800! Furthermore, the studies only recorded symptoms for the first 6 weeks after the vaccines were given, unlike many other drug studies that follow symptoms for 5 years or more. And finally, the study revealed serious side-effects in those receiving the vaccine, including a highly significant number of participants who suffered upper respiratory illness and gastrointestinal illness, which has been linked to autism.

In our latest episode of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV, Joe, Arjun and I discussed New York’s mandatory vaccination order as well as Del Bigtree’s analysis of the MMR studies he received and the reason that Big Pharma not only does not want to do proper, large-scale studies on the safety of vaccines, but they also want to try to prevent other researchers like Dr. Christopher Exley from doing so as well.

You can watch the full episode of The Collective Evolution Show where we talk about this subject in more detail here.

You can go here to see the full episode of ‘The Highwire’ where Del Bigtree breaks down the MMR studies in question.

The Takeaway

The veils of illusion that have been masking the truth are lifting as our consciousness awakens. Transparency is coming, though how long it takes will depend on our continued efforts to dig for and spread the truth far and wide.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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