New Theory Sheds Light on Leonardo da Vinci’s Artistic Decline

SATURDAY, May 4, 2019 — A fainting-related fall that caused nerve damage in his right hand could explain why Leonardo da Vinci’s painting skills declined later in life, a new paper suggests.

The report, published as the world marks the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death, contradicts the common belief that da Vinci’s difficulties stemmed from a stroke.

To arrive at that conclusion, the report authors compared a drawing of an elderly da Vinci with an engraving of the artist and inventor when he was younger. They also studied a biography of da Vinci.

The drawing shows da Vinci’s right arm in folds of clothing as if in a bandage, with his right hand suspended in a stiff, contracted position, according to the paper published May 3 in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

“Rather than depicting the typical clenched hand seen in post-stroke muscular spasticity, the picture suggests an alternative diagnosis such as ulnar palsy, commonly known as claw hand,” study co-author Dr. Davide Lazzeri said in a journal news release.

Lazzeri is a plastic surgeon at the Villa Salaria Clinic in Rome.

Based on the drawings, he said it’s likely that the ulnar palsy was caused by injury to the right limb when da Vinci fell after fainting. The ulnar nerve runs from the shoulder to little finger. It manages nearly all of the hand muscles used in fine movements.

Lazzeri noted that da Vinci’s hand impairment was not associated with mental decline or other impaired movement, suggesting a stroke was unlikely.

“This may explain why he left numerous paintings incomplete, including the Mona Lisa, during the last five years of his career as a painter while he continued teaching and drawing,” he said.

While the problem with his right hand affected da Vinci’s ability to hold palettes and brushes to paint, he was able to continue drawing with his left hand and teaching, Lazzeri explained.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on ulnar nerve dysfunction.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: May 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

New Theory On Stents’ Usefulness Makes ‘Big Waves’

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Heart experts are cautiously embracing the results of a new, landmark clinical trial that questions the value of opening blocked arteries to relieve chest pain.

Chest pain sufferers who received a stent — a tiny wire mesh tube — to reopen an obstructed artery did not show any more improvement than people who only took medicine to improve their condition, the British researchers reported.

“This definitely has made big waves,” said Dr. Samin Sharma, director of interventional cardiology at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

But cardiologists can’t say whether the trial, published Nov. 2 in The Lancet journal, will have much immediate impact on clinical decision-making.

For one, the trial focused on a set of patients with relatively mild symptoms, and it did not include a long enough follow-up to see whether those who didn’t receive stents wound up with ever-worsening heart problems.

“As a physician who has cared for many patients with coronary artery disease, I have grave concerns about overgeneralizing the results of the trial to patients with more severe symptoms and limitations from their coronary artery disease,” said Dr. Ajay Kirtane, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City.

Stents are proven lifesavers for people suffering from a heart attack due to a blocked artery, and also undeniably improve the health of people with unpredictable bouts of chest pain, said Sharma and Dr. Sidney Smith, an American Heart Association spokesman and professor with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

But there’s been some serious debate over the benefits of stenting in people with stable angina — predictable, short-lived chest pain that occurs when stress is placed on the heart. Angina is typically caused by the buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries.

The latest trial addressed this question using methods relatively unique in modern medicine, cardiologists said.

The researchers randomly performed a “sham” stenting procedure on half of 200 patients with stable angina, to see if they experienced the same improvement as those who did get a partially blocked artery reopened with a stent. All of the patients received aggressive drug treatment for their chest pain.

Continued

The findings have rocked the heart health world. Patients who underwent the fake procedure improved just as much as those who received stents. They reported less chest pain and improved their performance on treadmill tests.

However, questions already are being raised about how applicable the results will be for the world at large.

The British trial involved a very select group of chest pain patients, heart experts noted.

“The fact that it took 3 1/2 years and five large hospitals to enroll only 200 patients suggests that this strategy was applied to a small fraction of patients who were seen at those hospitals,” said Dr. Cindy Grines, an interventional cardiologist with Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

For example, the patients’ chest pain had to come from only one blocked artery, said Dr. Mary Norine Walsh, president of the American College of Cardiology.

“They didn’t include anybody who had more than one vessel seriously narrowed,” Walsh said. “We can’t extrapolate this study to other patients with more than one vessel involved.”

The patients also appeared to be in relatively good health, and initially were able to spend more than eight minutes on a treadmill. That “suggests this is a very low-risk group in whom one could have predicted patients may not benefit from” receiving a stent, Grines said.

But the greatest concern over the trial involves the six-week follow-up period, which many considered too short.

“The true impact clinically of this trial requires more than a six-week follow-up,” Smith said. “We need to know what happens to the unstented lesion over a longer period of time.”

Previous trials of stenting and other heart procedures typically have followed patients out for six to nine months or even longer, Sharma said.

For example, another clinical trial found that it took at least six months for patients who didn’t receive a stent to run into trouble, either suffering a heart attack or requiring an emergency angioplasty, Sharma said.

“The benefit of the stent procedure may not be known at six weeks,” Sharma said. “It may take a little longer. If I had designed the study, I would have kept it at six months.”

Continued

Walsh agreed. “Whether or not long-term people do as well on medical therapy is really not known. This study doesn’t answer that question,” she said.

Longer follow-up trials will be needed to see whether a purely drug-based approach is better in the long run for patients with stable angina, experts said.

In the meantime, the latest study could promote better conversations between cardiologists and their patients, Walsh said.

“For the patient who is similar to the patients in this trial, that type of patient with one-vessel disease should certainly be in conversation with his or her cardiologist about whether maximizing medical therapy would be as beneficial,” Walsh said.

“There are many patients who may prefer stenting, who don’t wish to be on as many medications, for example,” Walsh continued. “A lot of this really will come down to doctors and patients talking to each other, reviewing this important new piece of data, and making a decision together.”

The trial is also a reminder that cardiologists “have to be more careful and analytical of which patients receive a stent,” Sharma said.

One relatively recent innovation involves a test of fractional flow reserve (FFR), which measures blood pressure and blood flow through partial blockages of an artery, Sharma said.

Nearly every catheterization lab in the country has one of these devices, which have been shown to accurately predict who needs a stent, regardless of how blocked their artery has become, Sharma said.

In fact, all of the patients in this latest trial underwent an FFR test, and the results showed that about 30 percent had an FFR that would have led them to be placed on medication rather than receive a stent, Sharma noted.

“At present in stable angina, we do additional testing to see whether that blockage is going to give the patient trouble in the future,” Sharma said, estimating that about 4 out of 6 patients are placed on drug therapy following their FFR test.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Samin Sharma, M.D., director, interventional cardiology, Mount Sinai Health System, New York City; Cindy Grines, M.D., interventional cardiologist, Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.; Mary Norine Walsh, M.D., president, American College of Cardiology; Sidney Smith, M.D., professor, University of North Carolina School of Medicine; Ajay Kirtane, M.D., director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York City

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Senua from Ninja Theory to Offer Realtime Virtual Characters

ninja-theory-150-2

UK-based videogame developer Ninja Theory has launched Senua Studio, a new division specializing in realtime virtual character for stage, film, broadcast, games and VR experiences.

Ninja Theory and partners Epic Games, Cubic Motion and 3lateral made major waves at GDC back in March with the live performance of a scene from Hellbade: Senua’s Sacrifice created with real-time motion capture and rendering. At SIGGRAPH in July, the teams introduced “Realtime Cinematography” — performing, capturing, editing and rendering a complex scene live on stage in minutes for over 2,000 audience members. This feat earned them the SIGGRAPH Award for Best Real-Time Graphics and Interactivity.

You can watch the full SIGGRAPH presentation here.

“We have demonstrated working solutions today, and want to push forward the future of realtime entertainment, be it live performances of digital characters for stage or broadcast, shooting fully-rendered CG scenes in realtime for previs, or interacting with believable characters in VR,” said Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades.

Senua Studio is equipped with a full technical pipeline capable of creating realistic digital characters and virtual sets. The new division is primed to tackle projects involving live performer-drive digital characters for stage or broadcast; realtime cinematography for games, broadcast and film; pre-visualization with realtime cinematography; and VR experiences with full interactivity.

Visit www.senuastudio.com for more information.

Ninja Theory

Ninja Theory

Animation Magazine

Sensua from Ninja Theory to Offer Realtime Virtual Characters

ninja-theory-150

UK-based videogame developer Ninja Theory has launched Sensua Studio, a new division specializing in realtime virtual character for stage, film, broadcast, games and VR experiences.

Ninja Theory and partners Epic Games, Cubic Motion and 3lateral made major waves at GDC back in March with the live performance of a scene from Hellbade: Senua’s Sacrifice created with real-time motion capture and rendering. At SIGGRAPH in July, the teams introduced “Realtime Cinematography” — performing, capturing, editing and rendering a complex scene live on stage in minutes for over 2,000 audience members. This feat earned them the SIGGRAPH Award for Best Real-Time Graphics and Interactivity.

You can watch the full SIGGRAPH presentation here.

“We have demonstrated working solutions today, and want to push forward the future of realtime entertainment, be it live performances of digital characters for stage or broadcast, shooting fully-rendered CG scenes in realtime for previs, or interacting with believable characters in VR,” said Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades.

Sensua Studio is equipped with a full technical pipeline capable of creating realistic digital characters and virtual sets. The new division is primed to tackle projects involving live performer-drive digital characters for stage or broadcast; realtime cinematography for games, broadcast and film; pre-visualization with realtime cinematography; and VR experiences with full interactivity.

Visit www.sensuastudio.com for more information.

Ninja Theory

Ninja Theory

Animation Magazine

New Study Provides More Evidence Against “Gateway” Theory

A study published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse adds even more evidence showing that marijuana use itself does not cause people to use harder drugs.

HealthDay reports:

“We found that marijuana use within itself wasn’t a risk factor for use of other drugs,” said lead author Joseph Palamar, an assistant professor in the New York University Langone Medical Center’s department of population health. “People do generally use marijuana before other drugs, but that doesn’t mean marijuana is a cause of [using] those other drugs.”

The researchers based their conclusions on data gathered from Monitoring the Future, an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes and values of American high school students. Roughly 15,000 high school seniors are assessed each year.

“Most teens who use marijuana don’t progress to use of other drugs, and we believe this is evidenced in part by the fact that nearly two-thirds of these marijuana-using teens did not report use of any of the other illicit drugs we examined,” he noted.

These results show that educators and counselors would do better to prevent drug use if they focus on the reasons that students give for trying illicit substances, Palamar concluded.

“We need to address the reasons why people use, the drives that lead people to use,” he said. “The majority of adults in the U.S. have at least tried marijuana, and we know the majority has never gone on to use another drug, yet we tend to treat all drug use as pathological.”

The post New Study Provides More Evidence Against “Gateway” Theory appeared first on MPP Blog.


MPP Blog

Marijuana Study Counters ‘Gateway’ Theory

It says specific reasons teens try pot are better predictors of future drug use

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Marijuana may not be the “gateway drug” some believe it to be, a new study contends.

Instead, teens smoke pot for very specific reasons, and it is those reasons that appear to prompt their decision to try other drugs, researchers report.

For example, kids who use marijuana because they are bored are more likely to also use cocaine, while kids using pot to achieve insight or understanding are more likely to try magic mushrooms, according to findings published recently in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

“We found that marijuana use within itself wasn’t a risk factor for use of other drugs,” said lead author Joseph Palamar, an assistant professor in the New York University Langone Medical Center’s department of population health. “People do generally use marijuana before other drugs, but that doesn’t mean marijuana is a cause of [using] those other drugs.”

The researchers based their conclusions on data gathered from Monitoring the Future, an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes and values of American high school students. Roughly 15,000 high school seniors are assessed each year.

The analysis focused on high school seniors surveyed between 2000 and 2011 who had reported using marijuana within the past 12 months. Researchers also analyzed the teens’ self-reported use of eight other illicit drugs, including powder cocaine, crack, heroin, LSD, other psychedelics, amphetamines, tranquilizers and other narcotics.

Nearly one-third of the teens said they use marijuana to alleviate boredom. Those teens also were 43 percent more likely to try cocaine and 56 percent more likely to try a hallucinogen other than LSD, the researchers found.

About one-fifth said they used marijuana to achieve insight or understanding, and this reason also made them 51 percent more likely to try a hallucinogen other than LSD.

Finally, one out of ten reported using marijuana to enhance the effects of other drugs, a reason that appeared to indicate across-the-board openness toward using any of the eight additional drugs.

Those teenagers who said they used marijuana “to experiment” actually had a decreased risk of using any of the eight other drugs, the researchers found.

WebMD Health

Screamworks: Love in Theory & Practice (Audio CD) newly tagged “music”

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Study Challenges Theory About Left Brain/Right Brain Behavior


Study Challenges Theory About Brain Behavior

MRI scans don’t indicate that one hemisphere dominates or affects personality

WebMD News from HealthDay

MRI scans don't indicate that one hemisphere

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) — Brain scans show no evidence that people are predominately right- or left-brained, researchers report.

The new findings challenge the widely held belief that people use one side of their brain more than the other, and that this influences their personality traits. For example, left-brained people are said to be logical and detail-oriented, while right-brained people are creative and thoughtful.

For the study, University of Utah neuroscientists analyzed brain scans from more than 1,000 people, aged 7 to 29. The researchers examined thousands of brain regions for indications that people are more likely to use either the right or left side of the brain, but found no signs that this was the case.

The study was published in the Aug. 14 online edition of the journal PLoS One.

“It’s absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain. Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right. But people don’t tend to have a stronger left- or right-sided brain network. It seems to be determined more connection by connection,” lead author Dr. Jeff Anderson said in a University of Utah Health Sciences news release.

These are groundbreaking findings that may change the way people think about the right-brain versus left-brain theory, said study co-author Jared Nielsen, a graduate student in neuroscience.

“Everyone should understand the personality types associated with the terminology ‘left-brained’ and ‘right-brained’ and how they relate to him or her personally; however, we just don’t see patterns where the whole left-brain network is more connected or the whole right-brain network is more connected in some people,” Nielsen said in the news release.

“It may be that personality types have nothing to do with one hemisphere being more active, stronger or more connected,” he said.

WebMD Health

“Superstring Theory” Co-Founder Urges Federal Government To Follow Science On Medical Marijuana

To any logical person, the assertion of the federal government that cannabis has no medical value is ludicrous at best. Millions of people use marijuana every day to medicate in one way or another.

420times 000012714242XSmall 150x150 Superstring Theory Co Founder Urges Federal Government To Follow Science On Medical MarijuanaNow a giant in the field of science is urging the federal government to let science be their guide when it comes to medical cannabis. The details come from a press release from the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access.

Washington, D.C. — Taking his first public political stance, John Schwarz, co-founder of ‘Superstring Theory’ and a Theoretical Physics professor at California Institute of Technology, published a commentary piece today in the Huffington Post, urging the federal government to put aside the politics surrounding medical marijuana and pay attention to the abundance of scientific evidence. Schwarz has also invited his fellow scientists to join him in co-signing an open letter to President Obama at ScienceInPolicy.com, calling on him to uphold his promises to put science before politics.

Schwarz points to President Obama’s emphasis on what he called, “free and open scientific inquiry,” and asks “Why hasn’t the long-running controversy over medical marijuana been resolved using science?” In 2009, as one of the hallmark actions of his administration, Obama issued a memorandum to all executive departments and agencies, explaining that “Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration on a wide range of issues, including improvement of public health…”

Recognizes that Obama “has improved the role of science in the decision-making process in many areas of government,” Schwarz writes that his administration “is ignoring scientists’ voices on medical marijuana policy.” Schwarz admits that a Romney Administration would “probably undo” what progress Obama has made in improving the role of science in policy decisions, but Schwarz laments that, “the federal government ignores scientific facts accepted around the globe – not to mention the will of the American people – to cling to outdated ideological policies and restrict marijuana research.”

President Obama’s March 2009 memorandum was followed up with another “Scientific Integrity” memorandum, issued on December 17, 2010 by John P. Holdren, the White House Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The memorandum stated that, “Successful application of science in public policy depends on the integrity of the scientific process both to ensure the validity of the information itself and to engender public trust in Government.” The memorandum directed government agencies to: “1. Ensure a culture of scientific integrity;” “2. Strengthen the actual and perceived credibility of Government research;” “3. Facilitate the free flow of scientific and technological information;” and “4. Establish principles for conveying scientific and technological information to the public.” These tenets were subsequently adopted by numerous federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is responsible for reviewing the scientific evidence on medical marijuana.

Instead of adhering to these principles, however, the Obama Administration has blocked research into the therapeutic benefits of marijuana and upheld the federal government’s standing position that marijuana should remain a Schedule I substance. Unique and prohibitively high standards in the U.S., required of no other Schedule I substance, has severely hindered medical marijuana research compared to other countries around the world. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is the gatekeeper for the supply of research-grade marijuana and has a bias for studies that investigate the supposed negative effects of marijuana. Scientists trying to study medical marijuana claim that NIDA and other federal agencies have rigged the research application process.

The Schwarz op-ed and open letter for scientists comes as the federal government is being sued over its current classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical value. Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration, a case that is asking the court — based on overwhelming scientific evidence — to order the federal government to reclassify marijuana for medical use, in either Schedule III, IV or V. A ruling in the case is expected sometime next year.

Federal opposition to medical marijuana has nothing to do with science, of course, and has everything to do with the millions flowing into political campaign coffers from Big Pharma, private prisons and others. Marijuana prohibition is big business, and big business tends to protect its interests.

But the tide is turning. Truth cannot be contained forever, no matter how much money is spent to keep it in the dark.

– Joe Klare

– make sure you check out our brand new Forums and our “Stop The Ban in L.A.” Facebook page!

– are you registered to vote? If not, get to it!

The 420 Times

Truth & Conspiracy Theory : Live From Prison Part 2 with Alleged Drug Kingpin Akbar Pray ( with Hos – Mar 25,2011

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