Gut Microbe Secreted Molecule Linked to Formation of New Nerve Cells in Adult Brain

From Neuroscience News: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Summary: Gut microbes that metabolize tryptophan secrete indoles that stimulate the development of new neurons in the adult brain.

Source: Singhealth

The billions of microbes living in your gut could play a key role in supporting the formation of new nerve cells in the adult brain, with the potential to possibly prevent memory loss in old age and help to repair and renew nerve cells after injury, an international research team spanning Singapore, UK, Australia, Canada, US, and Sweden has discovered.

The international investigating team led by Principal Investigator Professor Sven Pettersson, National Neuroscience Institute of Singapore, and Visiting Professor at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), and Sunway University, Malaysia, found that gut microbes that metabolise tryptophan – an essential amino acid – secrete small molecules called indoles, which stimulate the development of new brain cells in adults.

Prof Pettersson and his team also demonstrated that the indole-mediated signals elicit key regulatory factors known to be important for the formation of new adult neurons in the hippocampus, an area of the brain also associated with memory and learning. Memory loss is a common sign of accelerated ageing and often an early sign of the Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Detroit-area floods mean sewage backups. Fed dollars won’t fix issue soon.

By Mike Wilkinson, Paula Gardner: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Despite the potential infusion of billions in federal infrastructure money, it could take years to see substantial improvements in southeast Michigan’s efforts to keep sewage back-ups out of basements after torrential rains. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday that any infrastructure bills passed in Washington this summer won’t be enough to meet the state’s long-term needs for water infrastructure investment, as demonstrated by widespread flooding in much of Ann Arbor, Detroit, Dearborn and across the region following storms Saturday. 

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments estimates it will take $1 billion a year until 2045 to address storm water drainage alone — and that’s just in seven of the state’s 83 counties.

That doesn’t account for the billions in other infrastructure needs, from drinking water and sewers to roads and bridges.

Federal estimates say fixes and updates to the nation’s water infrastructure system could cost $188 billion over the next 20 years, said Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Consortium, which focuses on Great Lakes restoration issues. Michigan’s share of that is about $15 billion.

“That’s not even taking the disasters and increased precipitation into account,” Rubin said. “We know we’ve been under-investing in it.”

The infrastructure bill now under consideration in Congress would spend $1.2 trillion on a range of projects, including roads, bridges, broadband and public transportation. It would also include $55 billion toward water improvement.

Ableism Is Violence

By Carol Cleigh Sutton: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Listening to the other presenters, many of whom  mentioned ableism, but most especially to the names being read – for more than an hour – during the Disability Day of Mourning, something I’ve known for years snapped into focus and demanded to be written: Ableism is Violence.

The problem is Abled Chauvinism. Like men vis á vis women, the severely abled are deeply, violently, wholly convinced, indoctrinated, certain of their superiority over us in all things, at all times and in all places. It goes beyond privilege and leaves microaggression in the dust. Early feminists said things like, “I may be a woman, but that doesn’t make me disabled.” Well, these wheels upon which I sit make me disabled. That doesn’t mean that anyone is superior to me in any meaningful way. I would concede that many people are my superior in, for example, athletics. Athletics, though, is not a meaningful area of pursuit for me. But most severely abled people would come off far behind Marcel Hug, for example, so even that is not an area of unequivocal abled superiority.

A lot of people think of ableism, if they think of it at all, as a softer, gentler form of discrimination. Some believe that it is in some ways beneficial to disabled people. I’ve even been told that it is not really like racism or sexism because, “no one would actually harm a disabled person.” No,  just murder us and then sympathize with our murderers. Ableism is violence. It is real violence done to real people. It harms and it kills.

As I write this, I can hear them saying, “yes, but it comes from a place of love.” I explain about the leavings of a male bovine. They say, “yes, but it’s really for the best, they were suffering.” I cry bullshit. “Yes, but their lives were a burden.” BULLSHIT! All of these attempts at rationalization are the violence of ableism trying to hide its ugliness inside the trappings of compassion. Their ‘compassion’ is poorly disguised contempt. It is ableism. Ableism is violence.

There is jingoism, chauvinism in the severely abled’s attitudes towards us. I remember an interview I saw with Ed Roberts. Ed recalls being told by everyone around him that he couldn’t have a life, an education, a family or a career and how he tried to kill himself. Then he got some control back and it all changed. He decided to live and he got all of those things and created structures to help others get them as well. Yet, he recounts being met with frank disbelief when talking about having a rich, full life. There is pervasive, pernicious, ableist belief that life with disability is unremitting suffering, sadness and pain. This belief that our lives are horrific and any sane person should rather die, this is the core of the BDTD (better dead than disabled) movement. The very fact that there are large, multi-million dollar organizations promoting this filth, this violence is an affront. It is hate. It is ableism. It is violence. It needs to stop.

My Silent Battle With PTSD

by Imani McElroy, MD, MPH: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Mental health stigma is preventing people, including physicians like myself, from getting help.

As I sat quietly on the bed staring at the wallpaper that was made to look like a forest, I tried to slow the racing thoughts in my head that had landed me in the psychiatric emergency department. Normally, I find great solace in the serenity that the woods offer and find myself comforted in the quiet whisper of the wind in the leaves above my head. 

But these wallpaper trees offered no solace or any semblance of peace. In fact, they made me want to get as far away from them as possible. As far away from the picture of the trees, the peeping eyes through the open blinds, and the two overhead cameras that were watching my every move.

Keeping Cool in California (or Michigan for that matter)

By Kathrine C: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Temperatures in California are at an all time high and we at Where it’s AT would like to share some tips and assistive technology (AT) that might help get you safely through the recurring heat waves.

Be aware of weather forecasts and approaching temperature changes. Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS). Here is the site listing the frequencies for the 35 stations in California.

Be aware of weather forecasts and approaching temperature changes. Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS). Here is the site listing the frequencies for the 35 stations in California.

You should be aware that experiencing heat is not only a matter of high air temperatures, humidity can dramatically impact how your body experiences heat. The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined.

(experienced temperature)

To find out how your current weather falls on the heat index, simply visit the National weather service website and enter your city and state or ZIP code into the “Local forecast” search bar in the upper left-hand corner of the site. You get a variety of information, including your area’s current heat index. The number indicated is the effective temperature a body will experience while being in your area that that time.

Stay indoors.
Do you best to stay inside from the hours of 10am to 4pm and limit any other time spent outside.

To be sure that your AC is running as efficiently as possible, resulting in cooler environments, lower strain on the energy grid and lower energy costs, you can:

Check AC ducts for proper insulation.
Be sure to clean or replace AC filters.
Install a smart thermostat, like a Google Nest Thermostat, for features like voice control and precise control of your environment which can enable you to conserve energy, not only saving you money on your energy bill but also lowering strains on the power grid that can cause power outages.
Purchase an air/room sensor to easily control your home’s air conditioning. You can set them to turn off all your AC when no one is in the home, only have rooms that have current occupants running AC, and create schedules, all working toward controlling your heat safety and energy consumption.
A home generator is a good backup in case of a power outage.
It is ideal to have air conditioning in your home, but not everyone lives in areas where air conditioning is common, has the finances to afford an AC unit, or they could simply own an AC unit, but be experiencing a brown out or PSPS. Since a few hours of air conditioning can help mediate heat-related illness. A few options can go a long way.

Find a place where you can spend peak heat hours during heat events, and please consider your area’s social distancing regulations and recommendations. You can look into visiting your local;

  • Library
  • Mall
  • Community center
  • Theater
  • The home of a friend or relative who has air conditioning
  • Public cooling center

To find a designated public shelterText SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 93301).

If none of the above places are accessible, you can fortify your home against the heat using some of the following tips:

  • When the temperature is 90° or higher, fans alone can’t prevent heat-related illness, in fact, they actually push around hot air and can raise body temperature. So, if using fans, put a dish of ice in front your fans to cool the air being moved around.
  • Be sure to clean or replace fan filters.
  • Hang heat/light blocking curtains and keep them shut.
  • Use heat/light reflecting window film or removable window reflectors.
  • Inch-thick insulation panels with reflective backing are cheap and can be placed in windows to reflect heat and block and non-reflected heat from entering a space, just be sure that they are easily removed, for safety concerns.
  • Purchase personal air conditioners in a small room and keep the family to that cooled room during peak heat hours.
  • If installing window fans or air conditioners, be sure to insulate the points of installation.
  • Check that weather stripping is in good condition to keep hot air out and keep cool air in.
  • Stay on the lowest floor in your home, as hot air rises and cool air sinks.
  • Take a cool bath or short shower to help regulate your body temperature.
  • Cool off using wet washcloths or spray bottles on your wrists and neck (Try out these awesome cooling wristbands or mountable battery operated misting fan!).
  • Purchase a hydro-powered sleep system, a cooling weighted blanket and a cooling pillow to turn your bed into a cool haven.

The Darker Story Just Outside the Lens of Framing Britney Spears

By Sara Luterman: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The documentary and #FreeBritney movement treat the pop star’s conservatorship as strange and exceptional. The truth is much more troubling.

Britney Spears can’t spend her own money without permission or decide where she lives. She doesn’t have the right to choose who she spends time with, and can’t enter into contracts. Despite being an adult, for more than a decade now, every single one of these decisions and more have been made for Britney by her father, Jamie Spears. The new documentary Framing Britney Spears thrusts the legal arrangement, called conservatorship, into the spotlight. But it provides an incomplete picture. There is a broader, systemic issue at play. Spears isn’t an anomaly, and in actuality, conservatorship has few safeguards and checks. Legal personhood is regularly stripped from disabled people through conservatorship, and nobody blinks an eye. The biggest difference is that Spears is famous. The unusual part of the story is that people are paying attention.

In the documentary, Liz Day, a senior editor at The New York Times, describes conservatorship as “a unique legal arrangement usually designed for elderly people who aren’t able to take care of themselves or their money.” She calls it “unusual” that someone as “young and productive” as Spears would find herself stripped of her legal rights. But this is far from the whole story on conservatorship. There are many young people under conservatorship, mostly with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as some with significant mental illness. It is difficult to say exactly how many young people are under guardianship. There is no national database, and state record-keeping is poor. However, a 2019 report from the National Council on Disability describes a “school-to-guardianship-pipeline,” in which conservatorship over students with intellectual and developmental disabilities leaving school is treated as a matter of course.

In California, courts are supposed to exhaust all alternatives before entering a person into conservatorship. This is certainly the opinion of Vivian Lee Thoreen, an attorney who has represented Britney’s father and who appears in Framing Britney Spears. “Courts take conservatorships really seriously, and that’s because, I think, every person’s rights are sacred,” Thoreen said. “There are rules and procedures in place to make sure that there’s accountability. And really, the theme of conservatorships is to act in the conservatee’s best interests.” However, she later concedes, she has never seen a conservatee successfully terminate a conservatorship. She does not seem to acknowledge the contradiction.

National Convention Sponsorship Statement Regarding accessiBe

From National Federation of the Blind: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The National Federation of the Blind, America’s civil rights organization of blind people, carries out the will of blind Americans as expressed through the National Convention and, between conventions, through the decisions of its elected officers and directors. This week, the Board of Directors reviewed accessiBe’s business practices at the urging of members who have researched and interacted with the company, and the Board believes that accessiBe currently engages in behavior that is harmful to the advancement of blind people in society.

In particular, it is the opinion of the Board that accessiBe peremptorily and scornfully dismisses the concerns blind people have about its products and its approach to accessibility. The Board is deeply concerned that the company treats blind access technology experts shabbily and disrespectfully in private meetings and disparages the blind in the press and their other communications. It seems that accessiBe fails to acknowledge that blind experts and regular screen reader users know what is accessible and what is not.

The nation’s blind will not be placated, bullied, or bought off. Therefore, the Board revoked accessiBe’s sponsorship of the convention on June 22, 2021. We hope that the company will ultimately recognize and appreciate the experience and expertise that blind people can bring to improving its products and services and align its mission with the expressed will and true interests of the blind.

Unless and until that happens, we decline to accept accessiBe’s participation in the 2021 National Convention or to allow it to use our convention platform to promote itself. 

Did You Forget To Attend The Arc Michigan’s June Policy Webinars?

From ArcMI: For Complete Post, Click Here…

In Case You Missed It…

Friday, June 4
Christin Nohner, Sr. Government Affairs Consultant
RWC AdvocacyHandoutsRecording
Friday, June 11
R Scott de Varona, Director
MiABLE Savings ProgramHandoutsRecording
Friday, June 18
Belinda Hawks, Director, Division of Quality Management and Planning, Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Remi Romanowski-Pfeiffer, Associate Consultant, TBD SolutionsBelinda’s HandoutsRemi’s HandoutsRecording
Friday, June 25
Nicole Jorwic, Sr. Director of Public Policy
The Arc of the United StatesNicole’s HandoutsRecording

Are You Overwhelmed By Unsolicited Health Advice?

By Laila Solaris: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Most people with a long-term illness have an extra struggle to deal with: the onslaught of well-intentioned suggestions.

“You should try ___.” Yoga, intermittent fasting, my sister’s naturopath, ozone therapy, Tai Chi, stem cell replacement, Buddhist meditation, IV antibiotics, and on and on and on…

Having an illness can mean that people assume you want advice on how to heal. I could wallpaper my room with the variety of suggestions I’ve gotten. If you have been on the receiving end, you know it’s often stressful, but it’s hard to define why — especially to the people giving the suggestions. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this phenomenon because in addition to being sick, I am also a therapist for people with chronic illness.

If you feel annoyed by all the ideas you get, you are not alone! Every person I asked said they felt cranky and defensive in response to most helpful suggestions. Below, I have listed some reasons why it can be a pain in the neck to listen to people who are “just trying to help.”

4 Things About My Rare Disease I’m Tired of Explaining

By Tiffany T.: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Healthy or not, we all have things in our lives that overwhelm us. Having a rare, chronic illness, I feel we have a variety of frustrating things we deal with that others don’t understand — or don’t want to.

Here are the four most frustrating things I’m tired of explaining to people, sometimes to the same person over and over again.

 There is no cure.

 I cannot shower every day.

Why I’m always poor.

Why I stay home.